Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 175,667,379 Issue: 358 | 5th day of Gathering, Y10
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Alone No More


by whiskerun

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The sun was blocked by dark, gloomy clouds that covered the sky in Neopia Central. It had been non-stop rain for three days straight now; Seth wasn't bothered. He liked the rain. The sound of rain was smooth, pattering on the window and feeling cold against his thick fur. It also symbolised his loneliness, which he also didn't care about. The blue Lupe was like a loner. He only had his owner, Rosie, but no other pets as brothers or sisters. Sometimes he wondered what that would be like, but never mentioned it.

      "Seth_Brightfire! Get down here now!" A loud, frustrated voice sounded at the bottom of the stairs. Seth bared his teeth and lashed his tail; he hated when he was called by his full name. It made the fur on his neck rise with annoyance.

      The voice, as Seth could tell, belonged to Rosie. She wasn't usually so cold and angry. As the Lupe slunk down the stairs from his room, he wondered what had made her so worked up. She was standing in the kitchen with her arms crossed, staring at him as he came closer.

      "Look at what you've done." She pointed down to the floor, where a broken cookie pot was lying smashed. There were lots of cookie crumbs surrounding it. There were crumbs leading up to an open window, which Rosie hadn't seemed to notice. "You ate all the cookies and smashed the pot. Seth, how could you?"

      Alarmed, Seth stared at her and shook his head innocently. "But I didn't do it!" It was true. He had been nowhere near the pot when it happened, and didn't even know it was broken.

      Rosie rolled her eyes up to the ceiling for a moment before staring back down at her pet. "If you didn't, then who did? Be honest with me, Seth. I know it was you."

      There were no words that Seth could say to defend himself. Instead he bowed his head, knowing that there must be a punishment awaiting him for the thing he hadn't done.

      "No smoothies for another week. I'll double it if this happens again." Then she knelt down beside the Lupe and hugged him. "I know you're sorry. Just, please don't do it, okay?"

      "Okay." Seth sighed. There was no point fighting for the truth. But who had actually done it?

      ~*~*~

      The next morning was more rain. Seth was outside, his tail curled around his paws, staring out at the treetops in the distance. The rain soaked his blue fur and trailed past his yellow eyes, but he couldn't care less. Loneliness was his only friend.

      Suddenly, there was a rustle in the bushes. Seth looked around the garden, standing his ground when the rustle sounded louder. A small figure was racing through the bushes and messing up the flowers, scattering mud everywhere.

      "Who goes there!" Seth demanded, rising to his full height. The rustling stopped, and the figure disappeared. Seth was left standing, staring at nothing but the once beautiful garden messed up.

      Just his luck - Rosie walked out of the house with a book in her hands.

      "Seth, I got you a-" She broke off and dropped the book when she saw the garden. "Seth! What in Neopia!?"

      This time, Seth's mouth dropped open. "Rosie! I didn't do it, I promise!"

      His owner was silent, staring hopelessly around her ruined garden. "M-My... gar... garden..."

      Before Seth could say anything, the rustling started again. Rosie looked up, hearing it too. Seth was quite relieved that he had evidence that the garden wreck was not his fault.

      "Who's that!" Rosie shouted. The rustling stopped, but the figure was still there. Then, a paw stepped out. It was followed by the whole body of a red Gelert, covered in mud. He was still very small; obviously he was a newborn, escaped from the Pound or his family. He looked up at Rosie with big, innocent eyes.

      Seth didn't fall for the cuteness, but his owner did. Her eyes softened and she gently picked up the lost Gelert. "Aww, what's your name?"

      The Gelert had mud all over his paws and was getting Rosie's shirt muddy. "Fang_Shadowflame." His voice was quiet and a little shaky, but Seth saw the mischievous gleam in his eyes.

      "I'll call you Fang," Rosie decided. "Do you have a home?"

      Fang shook his head. Seth became worried when Rosie's eyes twinkled, and she said, "You can live with us!"

      Then Seth realised something. "Rosie, he must be the one who ate the cookies, too!" He remembered the trail of crumbs leading to an open window.

      Rosie looked thoughtful. "Maybe." She shrugged, not really seeming to care. Her eyes were fixed on the Gelert in her arms. "Come on, Fang. I'll show you inside." She walked back through the door. Fang looked over her shoulder at Seth; their eyes locked, and Seth saw a sparkle of triumph in his gaze.

      Left stunned, standing soaked through his fur, Seth wondered what had just happened. Had he just got a little brother? Yes, he had. That in his mind was not a good thing. Now, all of Rosie's attention would be focused on Fang, and Seth would get the blame for things he didn't do.

      ~*~*~

      It had finally stopped raining that night, and the sun was setting, turning the sky a pale pink colour. It was dinner time. Seth sat patiently at the table as Rosie served his favourite; pasta.

      Three bowls were set out this time. Fang hadn't arrived yet; he was in his new room, the old spare room, getting used to his surroundings. Seth thought the bowl with the most food was his, and reached for it, but Rosie moved it away from him.

      "No, Seth. That's Fang's bowl." She smiled softly. "He must be starving after his long run from the Pound."

      They had found out that Seth came from the Pound, and was abandoned at birth. He had never known his parents who had left him just a week ago. After that long week living in the Pound, he couldn't take it, and saw his chance to flee.

      Seth grunted and took the other bowl. It was only half-filled. He didn't complain, though, and ate silently.

      Fang finally arrived a few moments later and took his seat. His eyes rested on the biggest bowl, and he hungrily licked his lips. "Is that for me?"

      "Yes," Rosie said, sitting down herself. "Hope you like pasta home made."

      Fang ignored the knife and ate out of the bowl with his paws. Seth didn't look; it disgusted him. Rosie was a little put off, but it didn't seem to bother her that much.

      When dinner was finished, Fang was bouncing around Seth, begging the Lupe to play with him.

      "I don't want to," grunted Seth. But Rosie told him to, and he had no choice. Complaining in his mind, he followed his new baby brother up the stairs and into the old spare room.

      Fang had already messed up most of it. There were books on shelves that were knocked over, toys in the corner that had been scattered around the room, and the bed was all messed up.

      "Okay, so what do you want to play with?" Seth sighed boredly.

      Fang grabbed a toy ball and bounced it across the room. Seth had to duck so it flew past his head, and it knocked the pillow to one side. Underneath it, Seth saw a photo and picked it up.

      It was a picture of a family. There was a faerie Eyrie, a Shadow Xweetok and a Fire Kougra. And there, in the middle, was a tiny red Gelert with it's eyes closed, curled up in a tight ball. Standing over them all was a young girl with long brunette hair and eyes that sparkled.

      "N-No, don't look at that." Fang snatched the photo off of Seth and hid it under the pillow again.

      Seth stared blankly at him. "Was that your old family?"

      Fang's eyes fell down to the floor. "Yes. I never got to meet them. I was too young; they took a family photo the moment after I was born, and then threw me in the Pound when they had their chance later on. But I didn't meet them because I was in my room the whole time, and when I was abandoned it was by the Techo. He just came into the house and snatched me; that's all I remember."

      "Why did they abandon you?" Seth asked, curious about Fang's horrible past.

      The red Gelert stared up at him. Instead of those usual, playful and mischievous eyes that Seth was starting to get used to, there was only misery and loneliness. "Because they wanted to adopt a beautiful, painted pet from a friend instead of me."

      Seth suddenly felt something like pity for the young Gelert. He sat down, realising how alike they actually were. "Fang, you were as alone as I was before we met."

      Fang looked up at him, the big Lupe shadowed over him as if protecting him. He rested his head on Seth's shoulder. "Really?"

      "Yeah." Seth curled his tail around his new brother, and knew now how important a sibling was. "Welcome home, brother."

The End

 
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