The Mirror of Memories: Part Two
I panted as I ran down the huge flight of stairs that never seemed to end, and soon I was on the first floor again, in the middle of the huge party. I squeezed my way through the crowds of people conversing, and some of them sneered at me when they caught sight of my pink slippers. I just smiled at them and continued to swim through the crowd, looking for my parents.
I spotted them quite easily near the table with all of the food. Hey, it was hard to miss my mom when she was wearing that hideous bright orange dress. I ran up to the two blue Bori and looked at them questioningly.
"Why did you need me?" I asked, hoping they didn't want me to go run an errand for them or something. I was sort of expecting them to tell me to go to the house and get something they had forgotten.
My mother took a tiny nibble of a chocolate cookie and quickly chewed it, covering her lips as she ate. My parents weren't rich, but they didn't have bad manners, either. They were very polite. "You know Kin? The one who lives across the street? You babysat him a while ago, remember?"
"Yes, mother, I remember," I told her, rolling my eyes. Kin was a baby Ogrin who I'd had the misfortune of babysitting a few months ago. He was a real troublemaker. When I was babysitting him, I thought I'd do something nice and bake him cookies, but when I went to use the bathroom, he dumped the whole batter on the ground and smeared it all over the kitchen and himself. So I had to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the goop off of the floors before his parents got home, and then I had to give him a bath. But while I was doing that, he squirted the bottle of shampoo in my face. The worst part is, his parents are rich and they didn't even pay me well for the seven hours I looked after him.
"Well, he ran off and went to the stream behind all the houses. His mother and father just told us, and we said that you'd be happy to go and get him. Just go out the back door over there," Ma told me, pointing over to the door, which tons of people were crowding around. I looked at her angrily, but remembered that Kin's parents were counting on me.
"Fine," I said firmly, trying not to show that I was annoyed. I rudely pushed my way through the mob of pets surrounding the back door. "Sorry," I told them disingenuously. I opened the door and stepped outside, immediately feeling cold drips of water splashing down on the top of my head. Great, it was raining.
I shook off my pink slippers and trudged through the soggy cold grass, squinting into the darkness, trying to make out where I was going. The huge bright house gave off a lot of light, but it was so dark outside that the light didn’t even help. I couldn't see very far away into the darkness. I just kept walking in the direction of the stream, which wasn't a long walk from the back of the house. I was pretty sure I stepped in Spardel dung a few times as I walked through the grassy field, too.
Soon my eyes adjusted to the darkness, though I was far away from the house now. I could hear the stream, and it got louder as I walked farther. Suddenly I stepped in something wet, freezing, and chunky. Okay, I had found the muddy stream. But where was Kin?
"Kin!" I called, screwing my eyes shut as it began to rain harder. The wind that was blowing didn't help, either. I began to shiver, and I rubbed my arms to create some warmth. "KIN!" I shouted again. "Where are you?!"
I knew perfectly well that a baby neopet wouldn't just run up to someone who was calling their name, especially if it were a baby like Kin. I sighed and treaded through the icy water, clomps of mud getting smeared in the fur on the tops of my claws. The mud squished between my nails, too. I finally made it to the other side of the stream, where there was a field of raspberries that Nera's family owned. I looked around, hoping to see a figure I would recognize as Kin, but I saw nothing.
"KIN! Come out this instant!" I demanded. "...Please?" I finally just sat down in the muddy grass, holding my face in my claws. It was useless. Stupid Kin...
The rain pounded against my back, sending shivers down my spine. My teeth began to chatter, and I tried to wipe my muddy feet off on the grass, but I only made them even filthier.
Over all of the pounding rain and the sound of the water flowing down the stream, I heard another noise. It was a faint cry, and at once I knew it was Kin. I stood up quickly, looking around. My ears perked up, and I followed the sound. My legs led me to a tall oak tree near the stream, and I looked around the trunk, then spotted a small baby Ogrin curled up into a little ball. I scooped Kin up and cradled him in my arms. The poor thing was crying, and I whispered to him and told him it was okay.
I quickly waded back across the chilling stream again, wanting to get back to the house as soon as possible, but in my haste I stepped on something and slipped, falling flat on my behind. I dropped Kin and he landed in the water, I quickly got up, though it was tough pulling myself out of the heavy sticky mud. Kin seemed all right, and I reached down into the stream and felt around for what I had stepped on. I felt something smooth and long, and I picked it up, trying to make out what it was. I wiped the thick layer of mud off of it, and carved into what was a long, sturdy tube were the letters M.A.L. I tucked the tube under my arm. I'd inspect it when I got back to the house. I grabbed Kin again and made a run for the house, back through the long wet grass.
By the time I got back to the mansion, I probably looked like I had taken a mud bath. I didn't want to go back in through the back door, since I was all muddy and dirty and people would probably stare at me and wonder why I was there, so I grabbed my pink slippers, while still holding Kin and the tube I'd found in the stream, then went around the house to try to find a door people weren't crowding around. Kin was crying in my arms, and I was shivering like crazy. I walked as fast as I could around the huge house, and finally found a door on the side. I peered in, and saw that it led into a room nobody was in. I turned the handle, hoping that it was unlocked, and it was. I opened the large door and practically ran inside, panting for breath. I slammed it shut and then looked around, wondering where I could go and be unnoticed. The room's lights were turned off, and to one side I could see some people around the corner, where the main party was. To the right was the main entrance to the house and the staircase.
I decided to risk a dash to the stairs. Still holding onto Kin, I sprinted to the marble steps and ran up them as fast as I could, the baby Ogrin bobbing all around in my arms. I hoped that nobody had seen me, for what a sight I would have been. I was leaving muddy footprints behind me the whole way. When I got to the top, I looked around and spotted a bathroom. I went inside, turned on the warm sink water, and set Kin inside of it so I could wash him off. I sighed, leaning against the wall, and slid down to the floor tiredly. I dropped my pink slippers on the ground, and grabbed the tube I'd found in the stream, which was still tucked under my arm.
It was long and dull, really old looking. I wondered what those letters, M.A.L. stood for. I noticed near the top of it was a cap. I tried to unscrew it, but it was too tight. I burned my claws trying to unscrew the stupid thing, and finally I got too frustrated and just stopped trying. I stood up and grabbed a nice soft towel off of the rack and dried myself off. Kin was splashing around in the warm sink water, which was about to overflow onto all the counters. I promptly turned the sink off and sighed, relieved that I had saved myself from having to clean up a big wet mess.
As if I weren't already wet enough.
I washed all the mud out of Kin's light green fur and then drained out the sink. As for all of the stray brown chunks that had been left on the sides of the large sink, I just wiped them off with a towel and then stuffed that in a cabinet under the counter. I then dried Kin off and set him down on the ground. The Ogrin sniffed at the old tube, and he picked it up in his mouth, looking up at me with his huge adorable yellow eyes. I grinned at him -- he was too cute, even if he did cause a lot of mischief. I was sort of surprised he hadn't thrown a huge fit when I'd given him that bath. Most babies do that.
I took the blue tube from Kin and examined it again. It was hard, but I didn't know what it was made out of. I tried unscrewing the cap again, and this time it came undone, though it hurt my claw like crazy. I peered down the tube to see if there was anything inside, and I saw what looked to be a book of some kind, which had been rolled up so it could fit inside. I pulled it out and straightened it. The cover was pink, or at least it had been, but it was so old it was discolored. I flipped open the first page and I realized that it was a journal. There was an entry written in neat handwriting, and, being curious, I began to read.
I have only just gotten you, but I plan to use you until there are no more lines to write in. I got you as a birthday present from Enzie. That was yesterday. I didn't really have a party or anything, of course. Parties are for kids, and I'm not a kid anymore. I just recently got a job at this cute little Cafe down Main Street, and I love it.
I stopped reading. Bo-ring. I looked at the top of the page, and noticed that the date was exactly the same as it was today, which was the twenty-fourth day of Gathering. Only this had been written twenty years ago.
A chill ran down my spine. Coincidence? I flipped through the old dry pages of the journal, and a photograph fell out, tumbling to the ground. I bent over to pick it up, and saw that it was a picture of a blue Cybunny and spotted Kougra. I smiled -- the two pets looked really happy. Like best friends. They had their arms around each other and were grinning really big. I flipped the picture over, and written on the back were the words, "Enzie and I, twenty-seventh day of Gathering."
That meant that the picture was taken only three days after whomever this journal belonged to had gotten it. I flipped to the back of the journal after tucking the picture back inside, and noticed that most of the pages were empty. The last entry was near the beginning of the journal. This certain entry looked like it had been written in a hurry. The handwriting was sloppy and rushed. I decided to read.
I am so frightened right now. Sepra has been trying to help me, but I just don't know what to do anymore. Cel is still after me, and I'm scared to death. I need to destroy it, but I don't know how. I don't know how to get rid of this awful thing. I wish somebody could help me.
Malin Aniera Lanely
I looked up from the journal, my eyes wide. So, Malin Aniera Lanely must have been what M.A.L. stood for. And something bad had happened to this Malin, or whatever her name was, I was sure. But there were no more entries in the journal! I wondered who Cel was, and why he or she was after Malin. My mind hurt after thinking about this for so long. I began to grow worried about the author. What could have happened to her? This was exactly like not knowing the ending to a really good movie! I just had to know!
I then noticed that there was something else written on the bottom of the page.
P.S. Whoever's hands this journal may fall into, I pray that you will give this to my dear friend, Enzie Mae Tep. Good-bye, world.
My heart began to ache. What could have happened to Malin? Something bad, I'm sure of it. Okay, one thing you must know about me is that I am very nosy. Whether it's a quiet conversation my parents are having, or overhearing Lawne talking to her sister about something that sounds serious, I just have to know everything I become curious about. And I just had to know about this. I just had to. But there was no possible way, was there?
Then it hit me -- the Mirror of Memories. If I remembered correctly, you could travel back in time using it, as well as traveling in the present. Maybe, just maybe if I could get it to work, I could walk through the mirror and go back in time, to the time when Malin lived, twenty years ago. I could find out what happened to her and her friend Enzie, and I could discover who this Cel person was, and why he was after her.
I rolled the journal back up and put it into the tube, then picked up Kin, and, making sure I had my pink slippers on, went out of the bathroom and made my way to the attic as fast as I could. Kin was probably wondering what in Neopia I was doing, running all around the place like an idiot.
As soon I was in front of the Mirror of Memories again, I set Kin down, and just stood in front of it, staring at my orange Bori reflection. I tried to concentrate, to clear my mind of all of my thoughts except the thoughts of Malin and her time period.
I knew this was the real Mirror of Memories.
Now all I had to do was get it to work.
To be continued...