The Mistaken Identity: Part Three
It had only been an hour, and Edward, the blue Lupe, was already loathing the situation he was in. He finally had the family he never really wanted, and now they were taking him shopping.
It would have all been fine if Isabella, the Royal Lupe, had not noticed Edward’s lack of clothing. Edward was fine living in only his fur, he had never owned, much less worn, any sort of clothing, and he was quite fine with that. Quinn seemed to think that was a horrible thing.
Edward had only been in a shop once, and that was on one of his thieving missions, and it was definitely not called “The Corner Cottage”. He did admit that it was a catchy name, but nevertheless he did not like it.
Clothes and baubles lined the shelves; they were aligned for all to see in their best quality. Edward considered snatching a few of the high-priced items, but he quickly changed his mind when he remembered his true mission; stealing Quinn’s fortune of unknown proportions.
“Edwin, what do you think about this Blue Newsboy Hat?”
Edward had since forgotten about his alias name, so he did not react to Quinn’s question.
“Hello? Edwin, is everything alright?” Quinn patted Edward on the shoulder and he jumped and turned to face her with his teeth bared.
“Edwin! What is wrong?” Quinn shrieked, as the whole gang, consisting of Isabella, Jane, and Max, quickly joined in the fuss.
“Ahem, sorry about that.” Edward quickly changed his stance to something more relaxed and his lips reached to the sky in a grand smile. “I... I was daydreaming.”
“About what?” Isabella asked in a curious yet monotonous tone.
“Well, I imagined I was in... the Haunted Woods, and Hubrid Nox showed up. And he was disguised as a ghost Cybunny...” Edward’s eyes drifted until he could find a new subject. “Is that hat for me?”
He knew he would regret that question the moment it left his mouth.
Quinn shook her head to clear her mind once more, she knew something was different about this pet; she just could not place what it was. “Yes, do you like this hat? Why don’t you try it on?”
Edward imagined his eyes rolling as he placed the hat atop his head. He was shocked to find that he actually liked the way it looked on him. It made him look official, and sophisticated. He felt as if he could shout “News! Get your news!” and have people flock towards him in mobs to buy whatever he was offering.
What was he thinking?
Max and Jane did not find anything on the shopping trip, whereas Isabella had three bags full of grooming supplies and clothes. Quinn had insisted that Edward get the hat, and she paid for it all with coins from her pocket.
Finally, it was the moment he had been waiting for. Edward was finally visiting his new, but not permanent house. He promised himself that he would stay no longer than one more day. He would simply find where Quinn and the family kept their fortune then he would find a way to get them out of the house so he could leave unnoticed. Then, he would lose the hat, even though he was starting to like the look of it.
To say the house was large... well, that was an understatement. It was massive; the house filled the lot that it was placed on, and it had a small garden in the rear.
Quinn gave him a quick tour of the house with baby Jane in her arms asleep. There was a room for each of Edward’s siblings, and the guest room was now his own.
“Well, Edwin, what do you think? Does it fit your standards?” Quinn did not want to force him to talk about his past life; she decided that she would let him talk when he felt he was ready.
“Not too shabby. Do you mind if I look around some on my own?” Edward asked, careful to disguise his motives.
“Sure. Dinner will be in ten minutes. You can find your way around? Right?”
“Of course.” Edward snickered. He had been the mastermind in many projects involving locations and their layouts and floor plans. He could memorize where each room was in the course of a few minutes. He already knew where he needed to look; the living room.
He sneaked down the hall, and was quiet when passing his new so-called siblings' new rooms. He stopped abruptly when he passed Isabella’s room; she was sitting at her vanity twirling the tendrils of hair on her forehead. The vanity mirror faced where Edward was standing.
His sudden halt caused his new hat to topple off and land in front of the door way.
“Oof!” he said as he bent down and snatched it up.
“Going somewhere?” Isabella remained facing the mirror and she continued to pamper her flawless features.
“Y-yes, I was just going to see some of the other rooms. I thought I should get a feel of where things were. You know what I mean?” He had never, never been caught in action. He also had never told the truth in a stand-up situation, like he was doing now.
What was this family doing to him? First a change in appearance, and now strings of lies were no longer slithering from his lips.
“Carry on.” Isabella winked.
Did she know what he was up to?
The living room was a sight to see; it was a Lost Desert theme. It was decorated with pottery and pictures. There were other things also, but Edward did not take the time to note any of them. He had heard Max, his pirate brother, talking about the “riches in the room” with his sister Isabella. He also said something about a picture.
Edward was silent as he tore through the room with a careless perfection. Finally hidden behind a painting of King Coltzan himself, Edward found something of significance. There resting behind the oversized painting was a safe, and a numerical combination lock.
Edward knew nothing about a combination. He would be a fool not to figure it out, but for some odd reason he was actually starting to have second thoughts.
Before he could make any further attempts to freeze time, a small hand tugged on his tail.
Edward was startled and turned to find himself face to face with his youngest sibling, Baby Jane.
“Achoo!” Jane shot across the floor and landed on her back due to her dastardly sneeze.
“A-are you OK?” Edward walked over to Jane and placed her back on her tiny baby Lupe paws.
“A-a-aachooo!” Jane replayed the happening again once more.
“Maybe you should see Quinn.” Edward knew nothing about being sick. He never had much contact with others during his years on the run.
He placed one paw over his nose and with his other he placed Jane on his back and carried her into the kitchen.
Quinn was bent over a big bowl. It appeared to be filled with different types of fruits; bananas, apples, and even grapes. When she heard Edward entering the room, she straightened up and smiled broadly.
“You found your way back!” Edward walked forward and plopped baby Jane on one of the seats. Quinn’s face dropped suddenly as she realized something was not right. “Edward? Jane? Is everything all right?”
“Well, I do not know. I think there is something wrong with Jane. She found me in the... erm... hallway and she kept sneezing. Anyways, what is for dinner? I am starved.”
“Oh my goodness,” Quinn bent down and pressed a hand to Jane’s forehead, “She feels warm, and look, her nose is runny. You said she was sneezing?” Concern crossed upon Quinn’s face.
“Yes ma’am, she was. As I was saying, is that fruit salad?”
“She must have the Sneezles,” Quinn concluded, she stood up and began rummaging through the cabinets. “It looks as if we do not have a Magic Cookie either. Edward, I need you to do me a favor before dinner. Could you please take Jane with you, and could you visit the Pharmacy and purchase the remedy?”
“Me? But I have to... shouldn’t Max or Isabella take her? They know her better...”
“I think this would be a perfect bonding opportunity for the two of you! Do hurry! Here,” Quinn reached inside a Chia shaped cookie jar and pulled out a few coins, “this should be plenty. It may be late when you get back so you two can buy a snack while you are out.”
Edward looked at the shiny coins that were now sitting in his paws. There was more than enough there; he could make a run for it now and have plenty to get by for a few months, maybe even a whole year. But then if he did, what would happen to baby Jane?
Edward sighed and pushed back his date of departure for a few more hours. What hurt could a little errand do?
“Off we go, Jane.” Edward grabbed baby Jane by the skin on her neck and he placed her on his back once again.
Jane slumped down on his back and her nose started to drip. It created little puddles of mucus on his back. Edward took a deep breath and stepped outside the house, then began his journey back into Neopia Central with a runny-nosed baby Lupe on his back.
To be continued...