Lost Memories: Part Six
Firreter was walking through town again, keeping to the deserted streets, now that people were starting to begin their day, and would be terrified if they saw Firreter or Skycleaver. That would probably get him back into the pound again.
They had spent the night in a storm drain, cold, wet, and unhappy. “Skycleaver, do you think we’ll ever find my mother?” Firreter asked, sitting down next to a broken street lamp.
The albat tilted her head, and muttered, “Chhhhhrrrr....”
“But I know she’s here!” Firreter insisted. “She wouldn’t just leave me!”
Skycleaver froze, and gestured madly at something a few streets away from them with her wings. “Chakaar!” she screeched. “Kiiiiiiii!!!!”
“What is it?” Firreter hissed, hiding behind a trash can. His eyes widened as he realized who it was. A Tonu!
“Mother!” he called, running towards her.
Myrrta squinted as she saw someone running up to her. “Firreter?” she asked, as he approached.
“Myrrta!” he cried cheerfully.
“You’re alive!” she exclaimed. “How did you escape from your owner?”
Firreter looked down, guiltily. “My owner... I left at night, while they were all still asleep.”
“And is that where the albat came from?”
Firreter nodded. “I found her in the closet; they didn’t even know she was there. Her name’s Skycleaver.”
Skycleaver chirped and waved her tail in greeting.
Myrrta looked around. “Well, are you ready to go? We can’t hang around Neopia Central all day.”
“Go where?” Firreter asked.
Myrrta looked over the fence surrounding the city. “To Tyrannia, of course! That’s where we lived before you came here, with a large pack of other Tonu.”
“Oh,” Firreter said. “Tyrannia.”
“Well, are you ready?” Myrrta questioned, turning to leave. “We still have to cross to the other side of Neopia Central to leave.”
“Okay, I’m coming!” Firreter agreed, catching up with her.
“Hey Lori,” Raeneya asked, pointing towards two neopets coming down the street. “Doesn’t one of them kind of look like Firreter to you?”
Lori looked over. “Hey, it does! I think it’s him!”
“Firreter!” Kai called, rushing towards them. “It’s us! Kai and Lori! And the neighbors!”
“Come on, before we lose them again!” Correy said, following.
Stretching, Xireei walked down one of the streets of Neopia Central. After spending the night behind a trash can in an alley, she was ready to start her search for her family again. Suddenly, she froze. Seeing two familiar looking Tonu on the street ahead of her, she recognized one of them as her mother, Myrrta.
“Mother!” she called, running towards them. “Firreter! It’s me, Xireei! Wait for me!”
“Look!” Myrrta cried, as she saw Xireei come running up. “Firreter, it’s Xireei, your sister!”
Firreter looked over. “Xireei!”
“What are you doing here?” Myrrta questioned, as her daughter approached.
The blue Tonu flicked her ears. “I came looking for you and Firreter!”
Myrrta smiled. “I’m glad you’re here, Xireei, I haven’t seen you in months!” She then looked apologetic. “I’m sorry I left you.”
“That’s okay,” Xireei assured her. “I knew it was for a good reason.”
Myrrta nodded. “Meet Firreter, your brother. You’ve probably heard of him, but he’s different, he’s nicer now.”
“That’s good!” Xireei beamed, as she saw Firreter. “Do you remember me, Firreter?”
Firreter shook his head. “I don’t remember much of anything, Xireei. Not since I arrived here.”
“Oh,” Xireei said, confused, then looked to her mother for an explanation.
“None of us are really sure what happened,” Myrrta informed her. “I suspect he was killed by something, then came back as a ghost, and couldn’t remember anything before that. It must have changed his personality as well.”
Xireei looked relieved.
“Was I really that terrible before?” Firreter asked, appearing shocked.
“Yes,” Myrrta said solemnly. “But you’re not like that anymore, and that’s what matters.”
Firreter looked to the ground, and remembered the dream he had while he was still living with his owner. “Yeah, I guess. I just wish I knew what happened!”
Xireei looked up suddenly. “Hey, look! Firreter, there are four humans up there calling your name! Do you know them?”
Firreter turned around, and saw Lori, Kai, Correy, and Raeneya standing a few streets away from them. “That’s my owner!”
Myrrta pawed the ground nervously. “Should we run?”
Firreter shook his head. “I want to talk to them first, I don’t think it’s right to just leave without even telling them why, or where I’m going.”
Myrrta looked unhappy. “Well, if you’re sure.”
Her son nodded, then turned to the humans watching them. “Lori? Kai?”
Kai bounced up to him happily. “Firreter! We found you! Were have you been? We were all so worried...”
“Wait,” Raeneya insisted.
“Firreter?” Lori asked, as the Tonu approached them. “Well, I guess you found your family.”
He looked down at the ground, feeling guilty at so quickly leaving the family that had taken him in. “Yeah...”
“That’s okay, we won’t feel bad if you’d rather go with them,” Lori assured him.
Firreter looked back towards his mother and sister, not responding.
“Well, what are you going to do?” his previous owner questioned. “This is all your decision.”
The Tonu sighed, shaking his head. “I don’t know!”
Myrrta rushed up to them. “What do you mean ‘you don’t know’?” the female Tonu inquired, keeping a safe distance from the humans. “You have to come back with us! Don’t you want to see the rest of the pack, and Tyrannia...? That’s where you belong, back home, with us!”
Firreter looked up at her. “How would you know? I’ve never been there before! Maybe the other Firreter did, but I’m different now; whatever happened to me in that forest changed me.” He looked towards his previous owner and her pets. “They’re all I really remember as family since then.”
His mother looked heartbroken.
“I’m sure you all enjoy living in Tyrannia as a pack, but I know I wouldn’t feel right living there.” The Tonu pawed the ground nervously. “So... if it’s alright with you... I’d like to stay here with my new family.”
Myrrta blinked disbelievingly. “Really? You’re certain?”
Firreter nodded. “Yes...”
The female Tonu sighed. “Well, if that’s what you really want, I guess there’s no changing your mind. Goodbye, Firreter.” She flicked her ears and started toward the gate. “Come on, Xireei!”
Her daughter hesitated.
“Well?” Myrrta questioned. “Come on; if we leave now, we can be close to the Haunted Woods by nightfall!”
“Mother?” Xireei started. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’ve decided that I want to stay in Neopia Central with Firreter.”
“What?!” Myrrta exclaimed. “Why? You were born in the pack! Why wouldn’t you want to come back?”
“Because I know what it’s like to live there!” Xireei stated. “I’d rather live in Neopia Central with an owner and be safe. Back in Tyrannia, there’s wild Grarrls and all kinds of dangerous things, and I don’t like hunting for my own food either.” Shaking her head, she continued, “I think I’d like living here, it seems like an exciting life.” The blue Tonu looked over at her brother. “And I couldn’t leave Firreter here alone, could I? I could tell him all about what happened before he left, just like you used to tell me!”
Myrrta smiled, reflectively. “You two are just like me at your age, impossibly stubborn. Still, I suppose you’re old enough to make your own decisions on what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. If you want to stay here with them, Xireei, go ahead. Maybe this kind of life is better for you.”
Xireei nodded. “Thanks, Mom.” The blue Tonu pranced up to where her future owner was standing, and called, “Make sure you visit us sometime!”
“I will!” Myrrta promised, as she trotted over to the gate. “Stay safe!”
Later that week, Xireei was sitting in the backyard with Firreter, trying to explain the type of Tonu he was while he lived in the pack. Xireei had decided to live with Correy, Raeneya, and her brother Anderis, while Firreter decided to remain with Lori, Kai, and Kara.
“Well, Mother said that when you were first born, you always ran off by yourself to hunt things, like Warfs and Tigermice, but you’d always leave your kills in that cave you liked. The other Tonu were grateful for that, because we were vegetarians, and only ate grass and certain types of tree leaves.”
“And when did I start talking?”
Xireei squinted, trying to remember. “I’m pretty sure it was a lot later than all the others, but you were growling at everyone from the moment you hatched.” She looked up at the sky. “Of course, I wasn’t born yet; you were about eight when I hatched.”
Firreter nodded slowly.
“Well, that’s about all I know.” The blue Tonu yawned, standing up and stretching.
Her brother sighed. “Thanks, but that still doesn’t explain what happened in between that time and the time I arrived here.” He looked over as Skycleaver glided over to them from a nearby willow tree.
Xireei frowned. “Well, I can’t help you with that.”
“Oh well, I’ll just try to forget about it. Maybe it will come to me later.”
His sister nodded, understandingly. “Maybe.”
That night, Firreter was asleep in his closet, once again dreaming. He was in the same dark forest that he had previously dreamt about, but this time, he was still a ghost, blind in his right eye. Much to his surprise, he saw an albat perched in a tree.
“Hello?” Firreter called.
The albat opened an eye. “So, you’re finally here.”
Firreter looked confused. “What do you mean? Who are you?”
“I don’t have a name,” the albat squeaked. “But I think you’ve seen me before, in your past life.”
“My past life...” Firreter shook his head. “You mean, what my sister was telling me about? When I was born in the herd?”
“I don’t know about your sister, but yes, it was your life when you were first born. You were quite a savage, as I remember.”
Firreter nodded. “Will you tell me what happened?”
“Yes,” the albat agreed. “That’s what I’m here for. You were running from Tyrannia, and your path led you to the Haunted Woods.” It gestured around with a wing. “When you reached these woods, you were caught by a creature called the Nightslayer, a Werelupe that hunts anything that moves. You lost your right eye, and were killed by the Nightslayer, therefore becoming a ghost. Becoming a ghost caused you to lose all your memories of your life, and changed your personality completely. I think you can remember what happened from there.”
“Yes,” Firreter agreed. “But how do you know all this?”
The albat flapped its wings. “I’m your conscience. Everyone has one, you know, but you can’t see me until you become a ghost.”
Firreter looked skeptical. “Why do you look so much like my petpet, Skycleaver?”
The albat bobbed its head. “I am Skycleaver. But I can only talk to you in your dreams.”
Firreter looked thoughtful. “So that’s how you just appeared out of nowhere. Well, I guess that makes sense. Are all petpets consciences?”
Skycleaver shook her head. “Oh no! We just like to take the shape of petpets because it’s easier to see us like this.” She twitched her ears. “So, are you satisfied with that explanation?”
The Tonu nodded, gratefully. “Yes, thank you. I can’t say how much this means to me!”
Skycleaver smiled slightly. “You don’t have to. Well, goodbye!”
As the morning sun shone through the slits in the closet door, Firreter awoke. “Skycleaver?”
The small albat woke up, blinking intelligently.
Firreter smiled. “I know you can’t talk to me now, but I just wanted to thank you again. Now I know I can stay here, and be happy. I know where I come from now, and what happened to me.”
Skycleaver purred, chirping joyously.
“Come on then!” he beamed, opening the closet. “Let’s go have breakfast!”
As they approached the table, Kai, Kara, and Lori had already woken up.
“Good morning!” Firreter greeted them, cheerfully.
Kai grinned. “Yes it is! We’re going to paint Kara starry today!”
Lori placed a plate of omelettes in front of them. “Yep! We finally have enough!”
“Great!” Firreter agreed. “Good for you, Kara!”
The Xweetok looked at the kitchen floor sheepishly. “Thanks! Maybe now we’ll be able to eat normal food, not just omelettes every day.” She glanced over at Firreter. “You’re sure cheerful this morning. What happened?”
Firreter picked up Skycleaver. “Well, I appreciate Skycleaver much more now, and that’s all I’m going to say.”
Kara shrugged, slightly confused. “I’m not sure what that means, but as long as you’re feeling better, I guess it doesn’t matter.”
Firreter nodded. “Now that I know where I came from, I can be happy living here with all of them,” he thought. “Thank you, Skycleaver, you’ve given me the reason that I am what I am.”