Petpet Adventures: Runaway - Part Two
Folfeux could hear the sounds of Malei chasing her through the house. She had to get outside. Archilles had told her to meet him at the fence. What did it matter what side of the fence she was on? Her paws skittered against the slippery tiles of the kitchen, getting caught in the cracks. Hopefully the other Juma was having the exact same troubles.
She looked behind her, but Malei was much faster than her, and gaining quickly. He even seemed to be enjoying himself. Folfeux focused her attention to getting into the garden. Mercifully the door was open.
But now she realised what her pet had been trying to train her for. It was true that Juma were the sneakiest petpets in the whole of Shenkuu, and they had a lot of stamina. Her pet must have been trying to train her to help in his robberies. Now she was glad that she was running away.
She burst through the doorway and into the garden. As fast as she could, she headed for the fence. She could hear Malei’s harsh breathing as he followed. On her left she could see Asmaral’s shocked face as she watched the wild chase.
“Folfeux...?” she asked.
Folfeux raced past. “No time,” she managed to yell.
But now she was slowing down. By shouting to her friend, her breath was taken away, and she desperately clawed at the fence. One claw caught the wire above and stuck. Folfeux heaved herself up, and almost fell as Malei rammed into the fence. He was laughing at her.
“Go on,” he taunted. “Run for your life.”
Folfeux felt anger rise inside her, but right now this was the perfect opportunity to escape. “I’ll get you back sometime,” she shouted.
Malei laughed. “How about now?” he queried, as he reached up a paw and began climbing the fence.
Folfeux began climbing faster. She was tiring fast, but she had already made it halfway... two metres. One left to go. Malei’s front paw caught her back one, but she shook it off and continued climbing. At last she was on top of the fence, and balancing precariously. Malei shook the fence again and Folfeux fell over the other side.
At the last moment she managed to hook her claws on the wire, and stopped one metre above the ground. But now she was on the other side of the fence. She looked around for Archilles, but he was nowhere to be seen.
A loud snarl caused her to look up, only to see Malei crouched above her. She let go of the fence, but one of her claws got stuck between the wires and tore off. The Juma fell to the ground and moaned, caressing her bleeding paw. A loud thud beside her head heralded the arrival of Malei. He bent over her.
“My house,” he growled.
“You can have it,” Folfeux said, wincing in pain. “I don’t want it if you’re in it.”
Malei bared his teeth and lifted a claw. And suddenly it was batted away by a white and navy one. The Sandan who owned the paw shoved the opposing Juma away and growled.
“Go pick on someone with your own brains. Which means you’ll have no one to pick on,” Archilles snarled.
Malei narrowed his eyes, but one look at the Sandan’s furious face and he began climbing back over the fence.
“See you around,” he spat at Folfeux.
Archilles bent over Folfeux. “How’s your paw?” he asked with concern.
Folfeux examined it. The place where her claw should be was bloody.
“It’s sore,” she admitted.
Her friend grinned. “I know just where to take you,” he said. “Here, do you need some help?” he asked, offering his paw to her.
She shook her head. “I’ll live.”
“Gosh, Folfeux. What happened,” said Asmaral as she hurried over to them. She was still in her garden.
Folfeux licked her wound. “When I woke up that Juma was already in there. He said that my pet is a top robber and that he was replacing me. I think it’s because I can’t fight, or do anything my pet told me to do. But he could understand pet.”
The Kazeriu shrugged. “So can you,” she commented.
“But if he’s working for a robber, that can’t be good.”
Archilles coughed. “Ahem. But your paw looks quite bad, and if you want some help, you’ll have to hurry. Perhaps we can come back here later.”
“But what about Malei?” Seeing their puzzled looks, Folfeux explain. “He’s the Juma.”
Sandan laughed. “I can deal with him. I’ve met stronger petpets than him.”
Folfeux thought. “Ok. We’ll come back tonight. Right, Archilles?” The Sandan nodded. “Good. Bye, Asmaral.”
“Bye, Folfeux,” the Kazeriu said.
Folfeux nuzzled her affectionately through the fence and she flicked her with her tail in farewell.
Archilles began leading Folfeux away and she followed him, limping slightly. They passed houses similar to hers and finally he stopped in front of a tall hedge. It was the only one of its kind in the entire street, and it hid the house. The Sandan turned to her.
“Folfeux. We have to be really quiet once we’re through the hedge. My friend here owes me, but his pet is not too fond of strays.”
Folfeux nodded and followed him as he crept through a hole in the hedge. The prickly branches dug into her fur, and the dirt aggravated her wound. She could just make out his stocky shape through the leaves.
“You have a lot of friends,” she commented as quietly as she could.
“What can I say, must be my good looks,” he whispered, and she was sure he winked.
“So how did you meet this one?” she asked.
“Oh, I just helped him out of a tight spot. That’s how I meet most of my friends. Except for you. You looked lonely so I thought I’d talk to you. I always meant to help you run away, but a few months ago the streets were pretty dangerous and there were a couple of petpets after me. Don’t know why. They moved on, though, because I haven’t seen them for a month. I thought it safe enough for you to get away.”
Folfeux felt a rush of gratitude. “Thanks,” she said. “But I’m sure it wasn’t that bad.”
Archilles shuddered. “It was. Even I couldn’t fight them. Here we are.”
They emerged from the hedge and Folfeux found herself looking at a three level house that stretched far away into the distance of its garden.
“Wow, that’s big,” she said at last.
“Yep,” Archilles agreed.
He padded up to a window and yelled as loudly as he could. “Hey, Jalla. You in there?”
“So much for keeping quiet,” Folfeux muttered to him.
He looked guilty. “Oops. But Jalla has hearing problems.”
A beaked head poked through the window. It was a Tomamu. The head peered around and then spotted Archilles standing on the grass.
“Archilles?” he asked. “Archilles! Come in.” Then he spotted Folfeux. “And bring your friend as well. “Are you staying the night?”
“Nope, sorry, Jalla. But Folfeux here needs some medical help. Do you think you can take a look?” Archilles asked, jumping up onto the windowsill and beckoning her to follow.
The Tomamu grinned. “I think so. Wait here. And come in.”
He waddled out of the room and Archilles jumped onto a large wooden chair. Folfeux followed and settled down beside him.
“Jalla is one of the best medical petpets I know,” Archilles explained. “His pet is the nephew of the Ruki who owns Remarkable Restoratives, the best healing shop in Shenkuu. He knows a lot. He watches his pet all the time.”
Folfeux nodded and cast her eyes around the room. It was much neater than her former home; everything seemed to have a place. The wooden chair she was sitting on was next to a tall chest of drawers held by a leg on each corner. The floor was covered in a thick, but somewhat well loved rug and there were a couple of couches positioned around a small coffee table.
Hanging up on the wall behind her was a picture in a golden frame. It depicted a tall palace built with what looked like pure gold. It was many stories high and positioned on a high mountain. It looked so frail Folfeux thought her gaze could break it.
“What’s that?” she asked. “It’s so beautiful.”
Archilles turned and looked up at the picture as well. He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Jalla returned to the room with a bandage and a small vial filled with a bluish ointment clutched in his beak. He set it down below the chair.
“That would be the royal palace. Where the king and his family lives,” he told her. He sounded businesslike. “Could you come down here, please?” he asked briskly.
“Okay,” said Folfeux, and jumped nimbly down.
Her landing was awkward due to her sore paw and she closed her eyes as it throbbed. She inspected it. It had stopped bleeding. Gingerly, she held it out to Jalla.
“Hmm...” he murmured. “I think we should give this a wash. But seeing as there is no water available, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to skip that.”
He reached for the ointment and began smearing it on the wound. Folfeux relaxed. He handled her paw gently, and the pain seemed to be lessening. She looked at it. Now she could see a swelling around the cut. But even as she watched, it began to go down.
“Wow, it works,” she said. Which probably wasn’t the best thing to say to a professional.
“Of course it works. My pet made it,” the Tomamu said huffily. “I would have made it myself, except he doesn’t let me in his workroom. But I’m allowed in the storeroom.”
He produced the bandage, and very carefully began wrapping it around her paw. He tucked it in so that it wouldn’t come undone, then he held out the vial to her.
“You want me to take it?” she asked.
“Of course. You need to put that on whenever it starts hurting, and at least once a day,” was the reply.
“Thank you,” she said.
Jalla smiled softly. “I have plenty more where that came from. “He turned to Archilles, who had been watching silently. “Now can I tempt you with a drink, or something to eat?” he asked.
Archilles looked out the window. “We have a few hours until nightfall. And Folfeux needs her rest,” he said. “If you really want to.”
“Yes, I want you to,” Jalla said. Then he stopped and listened. “Ahh...” he muttered.
“What?” Folfeux asked worriedly.
“My pet is home now. You can stay if you want. But you should keep out of sight,” he answered.
Archilles nodded just as a red Ruki entered the room.
To be continued...