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Thus, the Clock Struck Twelve


by shadih_temporary

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A/N: "DeLaCois" is pronounced (Deh-luh-schwawz)

I sat there, sulking, waiting… waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen to me. Regardless of the many pets surrounding me, I felt alone… alone and helpless.

      My name is Travis. But, pets call me Trav. I am but a simple, striped Lupe. I was born and raised in the pound. I spent my whole life here, barred up in a prison with no escape. The pets here seem to like it. That's only because another one of them gets adopted every darn day.

      And now, I go back to my darkened corner of the playground, watching the pets frolic. I spotted a male, yellow Wocky not too far away. He had a small mustache, wore a purple t-shirt and blue jeans. Ms. DeLaCois, a strict, red Yurble who played the role of one of the pound's teachers, was walking a small blue Wocky up to the yellow Wocky.

      "Sarah's getting adopted," I whispered.

      I was sick and tired of all these pets who have spent a mere week in the pound getting adopted, while I have been here my whole life.

      "Hey, Trav!" I heard a squeaky voice yell.

      Curiously, I directed my attention away from Sarah and her new owner to find that a baby Aisha and a baby Skeith had called my name.

      "Wanna play ball with us?" the baby Aisha asked me.

      "No," I replied, lifting myself up off the ground. I was wearing, short, khaki pants and a dark blue, long-sleeved sweatshirt at the time. I placed the hood of the sweatshirt over my head and jammed my hands in my pocket. I trudged away, bored as ever.

      That's when I bumped into Ms. DeLaCois.

      "Oh! Travis! I have been scouring this whole place looking for you!" she exclaimed, "Come, follow me."

      The stubby, red Yurble grabbed my wrist and tugged me inside the pound. She was wearing the ugliest white blouse, grey jacket, and grey skirt. I nearly gagged at the sight of her wardrobe.

      "Um… where are we going?" I said to Ms. DeLaCois, wincing as her sharp nails dug into my skin.

      "You'll see," she said, simply.

      After traveling through countless hallways, Ms. DeLaCois took me into a small room. The only thing the room contained was a desk, a chair behind the desk, and two chairs in front of the desk. A young, Brown Lupess occupied one of the two chairs in front. She definitely was not as young as I. The Lupess wore a white, long-sleeved, button-up shirt and long blue jeans.

      I turned to look at Ms. DeLaCois. "What's going on here?" I said, concerned.

      Ms. DeLaCois ignored me and smiled at the Lupess.

      "Is that him? Travis?" said the Lupess.

      "That's right," Ms. DeLaCois put patted me on the shoulder.

      "Er… the name's Trav." I corrected the two.

      The Lupess arose from her chair. "He's perfect!"

      "Wait… am I…?" I choked on my own words.

      "Yes, Travis," Ms. DeLaCois said, "You're being adopted!"

      I stared at the Red Yurble, flabbergasted. Could it really be true? I thought. After years and years of living in the pound, I was going to be adopted?

      I felt incredibly awkward. The brown Lupess made her way towards me and smiled sweetly.

      "Hi," she said. "I'm Layna. But, I guess you'll be calling me 'Mom', from now on."

      "Uh… hi…" I was terribly nervous.

      Ms. DeLaCois picked up a small folder off of her desk and opened it. "Well, Ms. Layna," she said. "I see you have filled out the necessary paperwork. You may now take Travis and go."

      "Yay!" Layna squeaked with way too much glee.

     ***

      Layna and I walked a great distance from the pound. She kept prodding me to call her 'Mom', but I refused. Soon enough, we arrived at the entrance to a rather large forest of dead, leafless trees with branches and dead leaves strewn across the ground.

      "Why are we at the Haunted Woods?" I asked Layna, confused.

      "This is where I live, Travis." Layna replied, smiling.

      "Call me Trav," I told Layna. "And… you live here… in the Haunted Woods? Why?"

      "Because, this place has a rather majestic side to it," Layna replied, "And that sort of majestic touch can make something so dull as this place just as beautiful as any paradise."

      "Uh… okay…" I blinked.

      "Now, come on!" Layna began hopping up and down. "I want to show you your new home!"

      Layna grabbed my wrist and tugged on it the way Ms. DeLaCois used to. She pulled me along as she skipped down a dirt path. Soon enough, a small, yellow NeoHome came into view. It was surrounded by a tiny, white picket fence that an Angelpuss could easily jump over. Layna hopped over the fence. I merely stepped over it, shrugging. Layna leaped forward, landed on a doormat reading "Welcome Home! :-D", and wiped her feet.

      "Let's go in!" Layna smiled sweetly as she threw the front door open and stepped inside her home.

      It was a simple NeoHome, nothing special. The carpet was a very light brown, and the walls were white. White curtains covered every singled window.

      "Welcome to your new home, Travis!" Layna sighed happily and shut the front door.

      "It's Trav," I corrected her once more.

     ***

      It was late at night by this time. Layna had taken me out for a walk all over the Haunted Woods. It was incredibly boring. I nearly screamed with delight when we got back "home". Now, I'm home alone. Layna went out to buy some food. There is truly nothing to do here.

      I was lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling. I wasn't allowed to bring much of my belongings from the pound, but I did manage to snag my 'Defenders of Neopia' comics in time. I reached under my new bed and pulled out Issue 6 of the 'Defenders of Neopia' series.

      "If I'm lucky, by the time I finish reading all 3,649 of my comics, I'll be old enough to leave this horrid place and join the war against Dr. Sloth… wait, there is no war against Dr. Sloth, is there?"

      I sighed.

      "Maybe I'll head to the kitchen and grab a can of NeoCola before I begin reading," I said.

      I went to the door of my room and turned the doorknob. The door didn't budge an inch. I tried again, but the door still refused to move. I then turned the doorknob and pushed on it with great force, but the door did not move.

      I kneeled down and peeked through the keyhole to find that a chair had been lodged up against the door.

      "What in the world…" I whispered.

      I rammed my shoulder against the door, trying desperately to knock the chair away. It didn't work.

      "Layna can't keep me locked up in my room," I said.

      I turned around and headed straight for my window. I pushed the curtains to the side and lifted up the window, but only to find that many iron bars had been nailed to the windowsill.

      "What the heck is going on?!" I screamed.

      Suddenly, the huge grandfather clock in the living room began to chime. Dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong… dong…

      The clock had struck twelve.

      I turned from the window and walked to the door. I placed my eye to the keyhole again, just out of curiosity.

      "Hmm…" I stood akimbo.

      Suddenly, a twig snapped outside of my bedroom window. I spun around, my heart beating rather rapidly. Inch by inch, I stepped towards the window that was wide open, scared as ever. I reached the window, and placed my paw on one of the iron bars.

      "H-Hello?" I called.

      There came no answer. I repeated, but there still came no answer.

      "Ugh, I'm being silly," I said to myself, "the only reply I'm going to get is from the howling of the wind,"

      I went to shut the window, when I saw it. A rather large, shadowed figure, inching towards the window. I froze, scared stiff. Suddenly, the shadowed figure took a great leap forward, and grasped the iron bars of the window. I knew then what it was.

      "Werelupe!" I screamed in fright, my hands still on the opened window.

      Yes, it was indeed a Werelupe.

      The fearsome beast grasped the iron bars with all of its might, and began tugging at them with strength galore. My heart jumped into my throat as began kicking at the door. It still would not budge. The Werelupe roared as it slowly began to bend the iron bars.

      "Help!" I cried.

      I didn't know why I even bothered. It was no use; nobody was home. I quickly spun around and, without thinking, grabbed the chair at my new desk and slammed it into my bedroom door. Success! I managed to create a hole in the door… … … a hole that a Spyder could not even fit through.

      The Werelupe then bent the bars so that there was a large hole that its head could fit through. I slammed the chair into the door again, creating a larger hole. I repeated this over and over until the door gave way and broke down into several piece. I hopped through the opening where the door once was, just as the Werelupe tugged at the iron bars so hard that the bolts attaching them to the windowsill were ripped out of their holes.

      I ran into the living room, and then to the front door of Layna's home. I quickly swung the door open, and bolted outside.

      "Help me!" I cried frantically. "Layna! Someone! Anyone! Help!!"

      I heard a great roar, and the sound of thumping footsteps. The Werelupe was right behind me.

      "No!" I screamed.

      I tried to remember which way Layna took me to get to the Deserted Fairground. I thought that maybe someone there could help me. All I had to do was remember which way it was.

      I came upon a fork in the dirt path that ran throughout the Haunted Woods. Each path looked the same, and I could not see very far down them. Without thinking, I took the path straight ahead of me. I had no time to think, for I had a hungry Werelupe gaining on me.

      I guess I was a pretty lucky Lupe that day, for the path I chose was correct. I arrived at the Deserted Fairground, but definitely did not stop running when I reached it. I tore through the fairground, running as fast as I could until I came upon the Haunted Marketplace.

      "This has to be where Layna is!" I shouted.

      I suddenly heard frightened screams and gasps. I turned around in regret and found various Halloween pets bolting out of the area, running from the Werelupe that had been chasing me.

      "Oh my GOSH!" I cried.

      I spun around and zipped into the marketplace, nearly out of breath. While bumping into several angered Neopets, I desperately searched for Layna. I bolted behind a shop, but only to find myself face-to-face with the Werelupe.

      I tried to scream, but the Werelupe pounced on me, knocking the wind out of me. I fell to the ground, and it pinned me there, staring evilly at me.

      That's when a large, dark cloud, began to inch towards the full moon that glowed brightly in the dark sky. The Werelupe licked its lips, and growled.

      "Um…" I started, staring at the cloud making its way towards the moon. "Nice teeth?"

      The Werelupe blinked twice, and then roared in anger, its hot, steamy breath clouding around my head. The huge, dark cloud, moved over to the left all of a sudden, veiling the bright, full moon. The Werelupe winced, howled, and stumbled back. I was free.

      The Werelupe fell to the ground, breathing softly. Suddenly, the Werelupe began to change shape. Its waist thinned. Its hands grew smaller. Its broad shoulders began lanky. And its fur became a lighter shade of brown.

      I just couldn't bring myself to leave the Werelupe. It looked so helpless as it lay there. I began to crawl towards it, very cautious. I placed my paw on its shoulder and managed to catch a glimpse of its face.

      "Layna?!" I cried in disbelief.

      Layna looked at me, her eyes halfway open. "Run…" she said, weakly.

      "What? Why?" I couldn't take my eyes off of her.

      "R-r-RUN!!" Layna bellowed.

      I staggered backwards, and then noticed that the area began to get a little brighter. The cloud! The cloud was beginning to move away from the moon!

      I took one last look at Layna, and then bolted home.

     ***

      "Why didn't you tell me?" I asked. "Why didn't you tell me you were a Werelupe?"

      Layna and I sat at the coffee table in the middle of the living room. She had come home earlier that morning at around three o'clock A.M. Her clothes were ripped and torn, and she looked weaker than a Chia that tried to befriend a Lupe.

      "I-I didn't want to frighten you, Trav," Layna said, nervously. "I thought that if you knew I was a Werelupe, you'd run away."

      She called me Trav.

      "Well, I know now," I told Layna. "And do you see me running away?"

      Layna stared at me for just a second, and then smiled happily.

      "No… no, I don't," she said.

      I laughed. Layna stood up from her sitting position, walked over to me, and hugged me. All I could do was smile.

      "Now, remember," Layna began, "there's going to be a full moon tonight. Don't be a fool, stay in your bedroom!"

      I nodded. "I don't think I'll make the mistake of leaving this house at night EVER again."

      We both laughed.

     ***

      It was late at night. I had fallen asleep at this point. But, there was something wrong. I felt odd, like something just wasn't right. And because of this, I awoke. The clock struck twelve, and the thing chimed twelve times.

      I looked around the room, beads of sweat forming on my brow. I felt like… like I wasn't alone in that bedroom. That's when I saw it: the window. It was open! The iron bars were never mended!

      I gasped. Suddenly, a rather large figure began to rise from the floor. I saw the back of its head first, peeking over the top of the foot of my bed. The beast was now standing up, its back to me.

      "Please… no… NO!" I yelled.

      The figure turned around to face me, its eyes bright red. It was a Werelupe. It was Layna. It was hungry.

The End

 
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