Lost Memories: Part Five
Xireei had reached Neopia Central, and trusting her instinct, had kept away from humans, hoping that chance would lead her to her mother, now that her footprints were gone.
“Myrrta?” she called quietly. “Firreter? Where are you?”
She found an alley in the far back streets of the city, and curled up behind a trash can. Yawning, she closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep. “Wherever they are,” she thought, “I’m sure they’ll still be there in the morning.”
Myrrta wandered through the shadowy, desolate streets, shivering as an icy wind blew through the sky. She finally approached the pound, which had been locked up for the night, and attempted to peer inside. Her vision was blocked by the iron bars in the windows, and it was too dark to see inside, anyway.
“Firreter?” she called, hoarsely. “Are you in here?” She stepped back as a green Gelert stood up to peer out the window at her.
“What do you want here?” the Gelert questioned, stifling a yawn. “Not many come looking for the pound. Just the opposite actually.”
Myrrta looked hopeful. “I was looking for my son. He was caught by one of the catchers this evening.”
The Gelert tilted his head to one side. “What did your son look like?”
“He was a Tonu, like me, and a ghost. His name was Firreter, and he had a scar over one eye, the right one. Oh, and he’s rather absent minded, too.”
“Well, I don’t know about the name,” the Gelert said, “But I had a Tonu in the cage next to mine a few hours ago that looked and acted just like that.”
Myrrta leaned over the side, trying to see into the next cage. “Firreter? Where is he now?”
The Gelert looked sympathetic. “Well… someone came to adopt him right after he got here. I’m afraid I don’t have any idea where he could be now.”
The Tonu’s hopeful look turned to one of sorrow. “Do you know which direction they went, at least?”
“That way,” the Gelert barked softly, gesturing with a paw towards a row of houses farther away. “I think his owner took him into that house on the very end, the one with the green roof.”
“Oh,” Myrrta stated simply. “Thank you then.”
“Good luck!” the Gelert called, sinking back down into the cage. “I hope you find your son!”
“Thank you again,” Myrrta replied, as she slipped out of sight and started towards the house with the green roof.
Meanwhile, Firreter and Skycleaver had just gotten out of the neighborhood of houses, and were wandering through the alleys and emptier streets of the town, trying to avoid any people they might meet this late at night.
“Well, Skycleaver, do you want to stop for tonight and rest?” Firreter asked, as they came up to an abandoned warehouse in the more run down section of Neopia Central.
Skycleaver looked up at the building and shivered. “Kyyyrrrrnnnn… chhhhk,” she squawked, and flicked her tail, which in Albat language, appeared to mean, “Yes, but I just wish we could stay somewhere nicer than this run down shack.”
Understanding, Firreter nodded, but said, “Well, we won’t meet any humans here, that’s for sure, and we should rest tonight, so we can have enough energy to continue tomorrow.”
The small Albat said nothing, but twitched her ears nervously.
Firreter sighed as he looked up at the building, then slowly headed inside, being careful to make sure there was no one there.
“It looks like we’re alone,” Firreter observed, as they walked through the warehouse, which was indeed as empty as it looked.
Skycleaver just shivered again, the cold night air blowing through her thick coat of feathers.
Suddenly, a vicious hiss came from behind one of the crates stacked up next to the wall. A pair of Kougra appeared from the darkness, stepping into a patch of light caused by moonlight shining through the gaps in the ceiling.
“So…” the largest one, a shadow Kougra, snarled, stepping forward. “What d’we ‘ave here? A Tonu? What do ya think yer doin‘, trespassin’ in our territory?”
Firreter tensed, preparing to run. “I don’t mean you any harm, I just wanted to spend the night here. I’ll be gone by morning!”
Another Kougra, a female with a spotted coat, broke into raspy laughter. “You want to spend the night here?”
A third Kougra also appeared, a male with a dark brown pelt. He was missing an ear. “We don’t allow strangers to trespass, young ‘un,” he wheezed, unsheathing razor sharp claws. “What d’ye think we should do with ‘em, Shade?” he asked, referring to the shadow Kougra.
Shade grinned, malevolently. “I dunno, Granite.” He turned to the female with the spotted coat. “Any ideas, Fen?”
The female, named Fen, glared at the two trespassers with yellow eyes. “We haven’t had any visitors in a very long time. I think we should let them go.”
Granite looked surprised. “Let ‘em go? Are ye’ sure ‘bout that?”
“Yes,” Fen purred. “Let them run for a while and get tired. They’re already tired anyway. Then we can chase them down and take care of them. No one escapes us.”
Shade looked triumphant. “’Kay then, trespassers. Yer free t’go.”
Firreter sank to the floor, preparing to dash outside.
Granite growled, “Now run, before we run out of patience an’ come after ye!”
Skycleaver leapt onto Firreter’s shoulders as they took off, trying to find a suitable place to hide before the Kougra gave chase.
Panting, Firreter came up to a large trash can in an alley. It wasn’t the best hiding place, but it would hide them and disguise their scent. Ignoring his revulsion, Firreter jumped in, and waited for the Kougra to appear. Sure enough, within five minutes, there they were.
Sniffing the ground, Granite stated, “They must’ve come this way, but I lost ‘em right here!”
Shade growled. “Don’t think ye’ve gott’n away this time, trespassers! Yer ne’er safe as long as we’re still ‘ere!”
Suddenly, the appearance of a human startled them all.
“Mangy creatures, get out of here!” it yelled, waving a baseball bat. The three Kougra hissed at it, but retreated back to the warehouse.
Firreter used this as the opportunity to make an escape. “Come on, Skycleaver,” he whispered frantically. Let’s get out of here!”
The albat followed as they sped down the street into unknown territories, with no idea where they were going.
The next morning, back at Lori’s house, Kara had woken up, only to discover that Firreter was missing.
“Kai! Lori! Come here!” she called, nervously, after checking every part of the house.
“What is it?” Lori asked, as she entered the living room.
Kara sat down on the sofa. “It’s Firreter! He’s gone!”
“Gone?” Kai asked, incredulously.
“Yes, gone!” Kara wailed.
“Are you sure, Kara?” Lori asked, looking around. “Where did he go?”
“I don’t know!” the Xweetok moaned. “I thought I heard something last night! It must have been him! And his albat was gone too!”
Lori looked down. “Well, he did seem unhappy when we brought him here. Maybe he’d rather be out in the wild.”
“But why would anyone want to live out there?” Kai questioned. “It’s cold!”
“I’m not sure,” Lori said. “But we’re not just going to sit here and do nothing! Come on, we’ll go walk around town and see if we find him anywhere. Maybe someone will have seen him. Kara, will you stay here, in case he comes back?”
The Xweetok nodded, slowly.
“Good. Come on, Kai, get your coat on. We’re leaving!”
“Okay!” Kai agreed, pulling a jacket on. “I’m ready!”
“Good luck!” Kara wished sadly, as they walked out the door. She then sighed, and sat back down on the couch. “I hope they find him. Why would he want to leave?” she thought to herself. “Even though he only got here yesterday, he’s part of the family. Firreter, please be okay!”
Myrrta stretched, blinking slowly in the morning sunlight. “Where am I?” she thought for a second, and then remembered. She had spent the night in a drainage ditch under a driveway, in the middle of the town. Her search for her son had been unsuccessful; he hadn’t been in the green-roofed house. Yawning, she crawled out of the ditch, and started towards the town again, feeling better now that she had a good night’s rest. He must be here somewhere, she could sense that he was still in Neopia Central. But where?
Lori and Kai had stopped at their neighbor, Correy’s house to ask if any of them would help look for Firreter.
Raeneya, a Christmas Zafara, answered the door. “Hi, Lori and Kai! Do you all need something?”
“Well, kind of,” Lori started. “You know the ghost Tonu we adopted the other day? Well… he’s kind of…missing. Kara woke up this morning and said she couldn’t find him anywhere!”
Raeneya looked disappointed. “Well, that stinks. Hold on, I’ll go get Correy.”
She disappeared for a moment, and then returned with her owner, Zafaraluvur_8.
“Are you going to look for Firreter?” Raeneya questioned. “Can I come too?”
“It’s fine with me,” Lori answered. “But ask Correy first, you don’t know if he’s coming yet.”
“Of course I’m coming!” Correy insisted. “You can come, Raeneya. Ready?”
“Yes!” Raeneya agreed, cheerfully. “Come on, Firreter could be miles away by now!”
“Alright, we’re coming!” Kai sighed, following.
To be continued...