Revisited: Part Six
...She saw the most hideous version of herself that she had ever seen! Her fur, instead of being the typical yellow color, appeared a murky purple, and the fur around her neck had turned a dingy gray. The colors of her fur, however, weren’t the worst of it. A third eye had appeared on her forehead, and it glowed bright yellow. Crying out in shock, she reached up to touch it, to make sure she wasn’t only dreaming.
Because she was so preoccupied with her appearance, she never ever saw it coming. The creature that had been hiding in the shower snuck up behind her and grabbed her, pulling her into a nearby closet and covering her mouth to prevent her from screaming.
“Now that the riffraff is gone, the real fun can start!” stated a ghostly voice. Jenny, down with the Gelert and the Kyrii, heard it and whimpered.
“What is it?” asked the Gelert.
“It’s... it’s a voice...” she replied with a slight tremble in her voice.
“Four down, three to go!” The voice came again, this time laughing insanely. This time, both the Kyrii and the Gelert heard it, and all three pets turned to each other with wide eyes.
“We need to get out of here,” the Gelert said with urgency in his voice. The other two whispered a fearful statement of agreement.
“Where’s the door?” asked Jenny, squinting around the dark room. The three started to search for the door, but they were promptly distracted by another finding in the room.
“Look!” said the Kyrii, pointing up at a series of paintings on the wall. “These must be previous owners of the house!”
Each painting depicted a different stern-looking neopet, most of them looking old-fashioned. All but the last painting, which was of a familiar-looking yellow Blumaroo, were of Gelerts. Immediately Jenny recognized the Gelert from her daydreams; he was in the painting previous to that of the Blumaroo’s. But how had the house’s ownership switched from him to the Blumaroo? She was itching to find out.
“Wow, look at these decorations,” whispered the Kyrii, examining some dusty items sitting on a small desk. As he did so, strange sounds could be heard coming from the room above them – and the trap door was still open.
“Let’s get out of here!” hastily suggested the Gelert, yanking them out of the room.
Now in the hallway, they had no idea which way to go. The hallway was completely pitch black, save for the lone candle in the Kyrii’s paw.
“Which way do we go?” Jenny asked frantically as they froze immediately outside the doorway.
“I don’t know.” He thought for a moment before grabbing their wrists and breaking into a run. “Does it really matter? We’re clearly being followed! Couldn’t you hear those sounds a second ago?”
“What sounds?!” asked the Kyrii incredulously. “There were no sounds other than the sounds of our own breathing!”
“Well, I heard something,” he argued back. “Gelerts do have better than average hearing, you know.”
“Can we... stop... to catch... our breath?” Jenny asked, panting from the running. The other two, who appeared not to be affected from the running at all, slowed their pace.
“Look, there’s a door! I bet it leads outside... we can escape over the fence!” Looking over their shoulders to make sure no one was still following them, they slipped outside, where the storm had slowed down but not stopped. The Kyrii shoved the bottom of the makeshift torch into the soil of the garden, making sure that it was well shielded from the rain. With any luck, it would stay lit, in case they needed it again.
Thundar roared at them menacingly as they stepped outside, but the rain had nearly stopped. Although it was dark outside, Jenny was still able to see that the appearance of the backyard hadn’t changed much since she had last seen it. In fact, it seemed even more dead than it had before, if that was possible. As she squinted through the darkness, however, she saw something that hadn’t existed in the yard before. In the corner of the yard, next to the house, there was a small graveyard.
Strangely enough, all of the stones appeared worn down, as if they’d battled with rain, wind, and snow for years. Erosion had taken their toll on them, and small vines were overtaking some of them. She suddenly felt compelled to go examine them, so she tiptoed across the soggy yard.
“Tenrik the Lupe,” she breathed, bending down in front of one of the stones and brushing aside the vines, which were overtaking the headstones. Although there was no way to be certain that the name matched the green Lupe she had seen, she somehow instinctively knew they were one and the same. As she continued to kneel there and mull over the name Tenrik and how she hadn’t quite imagined that the Lupe could possibly have such a name, the Gelert silently snuck up behind her.
“Hey! Whatcha lookin’ at?”
She nearly jumped several feet into the air and whipped her head around to look behind her. A deep sigh of relief escaped her when she finally realized who had spoken. “Oh, just this tombstone,” she panted, her heart racing from surprise. “But don’t sneak up on me! I thought you were–” She stopped, just then realizing how silly it would sound to complete her sentence with “a ghost.”
“Thought I was a what?”
“A ghost!” he said, his eyes widening.
“Thought you were a ghost?” she replied, trying to make his statement sound ridiculous.
“No, I mean, a ghost! RUN!” he choked out, backing up and preparing to flee the yard. Jenny spun around as well and whimpered at the sight of the ghost standing among the tombstones.
“Relax!” spoke the ghostly creature, holding up a paw.
The ghost appeared to be a Lupe, but the voice didn’t seem to match Tenrik’s. Regardless, Jenny asked anyway, still wary of the spirit, although he seemed harmless. “Would you happen to be Tenrik?”
“No, no,” he replied, shaking his ghostly head. “Tenrik’s my son. Poor soul... he had a hard life. Didn’t help that the family lost this house...”
“Could you perhaps tell us a bit about it?”
“Aye,” he agreed. “You see, my son was born in a small house in Meridell during Year 1 at 1:42 in the–”
He was quickly interrupted as the top half of another ghost appeared beside him. “Argh!” yelled the ghost, shaking one fist as he came out of the ground. “I don’t think they wanted your son’s life history! Get on with the story!”
The first ghost blinked in surprise. “Well, someone’s a bit grouchy today...”
“You’d be grouchy too! It’s been raining, and all the worms are trying to wiggle their way through the ground to the surface. Makes for a very uncomfortable nap.” Jenny and the Gelert shuddered at the thought.
“Aye, anyway... you wanted to know about losing the house?” Jenny nodded. “Well, as you know, my son, Tenrik inherited the house. He and Pena, the blue Lupe that you’ve seen in your daydreams, moved here, and they had two children.” He looked pointedly at Jenny.
“But... how did you know about my...?”
“I’m a ghost. I know things most living pets do not.
“Anyway, the Tenrik and Pena worked their hardest to keep their house updated and modern, as did Sliven, the yellow Blumaroo whose descendants now own this house. The Blumaroo lived in the Haunted Woods in a large, grand house, but both he and Tenrik wanted their own house to be the grandest on the planet. Thus started a huge rivalry between the two families. In the beginning, Sliven did try to end it. Peacefully he came to this house, several times, asking to buy it. While that may seem strange, remember that the rich are often obsessed with their possessions. Having one grand house simply isn’t enough, and having the top two houses on the planet... that would make a pet seem quite impressive among his friends and the rest of society. Now, the rivalry didn’t start off that bad; they were competitive against each other, sure, but they didn’t resort to juvenile actions at first. However, all of that changed after Sliven’s mansion mysteriously caught fire one day. Everyone just assumed that it had been hit by lightning or that a candle in the house had tipped over, setting it aflame. Of course, Sliven didn’t believe that for a second - especially not with the rivalry that was going on. He was convinced that Tenrik’s jealously had finally reached a new level, causing him to set his house on fire. At first, he simply snuck around Tenrik’s house, spying on Pena and Tenrik by peering through their windows. When he wasn’t able to find any evidence, he stormed over to the house, furiously accusing him.”
Jenny nodded. “I saw that in one of my dreams.”
“Tenrik, of course, denied it, but no matter how much he insisted that he hadn’t done it, Sliven was still skeptical of his innocence.”
“Yes, I remember that too. He said he wouldn’t rest until Tenrik had ‘repaid’ him for all the damage he’d done, whatever that means.”
“Well, in Sliven’s eyes, there only was one way for Tenrik to repay him. And that, my friend, was by forking over the house, which had been in Tenrik’s family for generations, to him.”
To be continued...