A Long Lost Sister
My name is Aelouro; Elou for short. Heh, about a year ago my Floud and I escaped from the Pound into the Neopian Bazaar. That's where I met the family I am in now - Seth, Fang and Rosie. But I didn't know that I'd left someone behind. Until now.
This is the story of me, and the sister I didn't know I had.
The sun shone brightly over Neopia, warming every Neopian that walked the streets. Summer was here at last.
Of course, it was Elou's favourite season. The warmest; the happiest; and it was the season of her birthday.
She sat out in her garden with her Floud, Angel, curled up beside her. The sun warmed her brown and green coat, making her green eyes half-close in satisfaction. What more could she ask for, on a gorgeous day like this?
"Hiya, Elou." That was Rosie; the tall blond girl that was Elou's owner, returning home with groceries she had decided to go out and buy. Elou called a greeting as she retreated into the house.
Angel raised her head a moment later, wrinkling her nose. Elou ran her paw through her petpet's soft pink fur, stroking her back to sleep. Sometimes Angel had odd dreams and would wake up half way through them, unable to get back to sleep unless Elou calmed her down.
Seth emerged from the house after that. He was a large, muscular blue Lupe, with deep yellow eyes that blinked in the striking daylight. "Hey, Elou," he called across the garden to his sister.
Following after him was Fang. Taking one look at him, Elou was quite surprised at how much he had grown since they had first met. When Elou had first sighted him, he had been tiny, with huge blue eyes and a small frame - even for a Gelert. Now, he was taller, with a slender but muscular body and somewhat broad shoulders. His eyes were still blue but turning slightly brown-hazel.
But then, she guessed, Elou had grown just as much as him. She used to be so small; smaller than Fang, even. And now she stood at his shoulder, about the same height as him - just as it always would be.
Yes, it was a good life. A loving family, warmth and protection, food, a wonderful petpet... Elou could not ask for anything else.
"You mean I used to have a sister?"
"Yes. And... I abandoned her."
The man paused, his brown eyes flashing for a moment. He didn't respond to that question. "She escaped the Pound," he said instead. "She ran so far, so fast. The Techo and I tried following her but in the end we couldn't find her. I don't know where she is now, or what's happened to her."
The Neopet facing him looked bewildered and outraged at the same time. She was a graceful green Xweetok, with gorgeous green eyes and a smooth brown and green coat. One year old, just like her lost sister.
"What did she look like?" the Xweetok murmured unexpectedly.
At first her owner was silent, blinking. He had expected her to fire up at him in fury, telling him how bad he was at owning pets. But instead she came out with a calm question?
Shaking his head, he replied, "She looked exactly like you. Green Xweetok. And you were both born at the same time. In fact, I daresay you were twins."
There was silence. The Neopet's eyes had grown wide, changing from fury to fascination. She had a twin? All her life, she had been raised alone with her owner, David. But she had no idea that in truth there was a long lost sister out there.
"Aulinae, I think we should lay off this subject for a while." David turned and started to walk away, but his pet followed, stopping in front of him.
"You know I hate being called by my full name," she growled, lashing her tail once. "It's Lina. Okay? Tell me more about my sister."
David sighed in exasperation. "What do you want to know?"
"What was her name?"
Silence. Then David said, "Aelouro. But we called her Elou."
By now Elou was getting bored. She had been lying out in the garden in the blazing sunlight for about an hour now with Angel, and she felt that she should be up and doing something.
Slowly the green Xweetok rose to her full height, wincing as her now-stiff limbs shrieked in protest. Angel, who had been roused by the movement, lifted her head and bounced up almost at once.
"Rosie, I'm going out," Elou called across the garden to her owner, who was standing at the doorway, reading a book and slowly coming out into the garden.
Rosie looked up. "Okay!"
So she padded out into Neopia Central, into the Bazaar. Angel bounced happily after her.
The green Xweetok went in basically every shop, greeting Neopets as they milled past her. She bought a few items - food, a new hair brush and eyeshadow - but not too much.
As the sun slowly began to go down, Elou paused, glancing around. For some reason, something was keeping her here. She wanted to return home but something seemed to be forcing her to stay. What was this?
Lina put everything in her pink backpack, including all of her make-up and grooming items. She knew what she had to do. It seemed impossible, but she had to try.
"Lina? What are you doing?" David asked, walking into her room with a confused look in his eyes.
"I'm going to find Elou," Lina declared, zipping up her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. "I have to meet her."
Her owner looked bewildered. "Are you serious?" He ran a hand through his thick black hair, brown eyes rested on her with a look of pure confusion.
"Yes." Lina pushed past him and ran down the stairs, out of the house, before he could catch up. She remembered how he had said Elou was a fast runner; that was another thing they had in common.
Where should she go first? Lina lived in Neopia Central, in the Neopian Plaza, close to the Pound. Elou wouldn't be staying anywhere near here.
The sun was already going down; Lina had to hurry. Perhaps she should try the Neolodge first.
Quickly, Lina raced to the Food Shop. She knew the Neolodge was around here somewhere. And there it was! Near the Rainbow Pool and the Art Centre. Perfect.
The lithe green Xweetok went inside, aware that time was running out before darkness would spread over Neopia.
"Fang, will you go out and collect Elou?" Rosie asked her Gelert. "It's getting late. I'm worried about her."
After finishing his dinner, the red Gelert swiped his tongue around his muzzle and gave a brisk nod. Elou usually didn't take this long when she went out; perhaps something had happened to her.
Leaving the house, Fang realized that the sun was setting and the sky was a pale pink-red. It was later than he had imagined.
Fang raced into the shop area, going straight past the Bazaar without even realizing. He ran straight into Elou - who was emerging from the Neolodge with a disappointed look on her face. Angel wasn't with her.
"There you are, Elou," Fang panted, relieved that he didn't have to look far. "Where's Angel?"
The elegant green Xweetok turned around to face him. She looked absolutely dazed by his questions; Fang was confused.
Then something like hope flared in her eyes. "You know Elou?" she asked quickly.
Even more confused, Fang stared at her. "I'm looking at her, aren't I?" he answered, twitching his ears. "Come on, Elou. We don't have time for games. Let's go home and-"
"No, wait," she interrupted him, raising a paw. "I am not who you think I am. In fact, we are both looking for the same Neopet."
Fang stared at her, lost for words. If this was not his sister, she was an exact copy. There was no difference between them!
"My name is Aulinae," the Xweetok went on. "But you can call me Lina for short. Aelouro - or Elou - is my sister. I would like to meet her."
Some of the confusion Fang had first had was fading, but he was still curious. He wanted to ask Lina so many questions... Where had she come from? How did she find out about Elou? Had she been searching for her twin all her life?
But instead, Fang nodded. "We'll search for her together." He turned to move on toward the Bazaar - where Elou usually lurked around - but then he paused. "Oh, and my name is Fang."
It was dark now. Elou wasn't exactly sure why she was still here, in the Neopian Bazaar. Angel kept giving her a nudge as if she wanted to return home, but for some reason, Elou felt pinned to the ground.
Finally, the paralyzing force seemed to release her. The Xweetok started to move towards home, knowing that Rosie would be very annoyed with her.
A yowling voice sounded behind her and Elou whipped around. She recognized the voice before she saw Fang sprinting toward her, someone at his side. As they came closer, Elou froze, every hair on her pelt standing on end with amazement. This was a green Xweetok, just like her, with the exact same looks.
The two Neopets stood in front of her with Angel on one side, letting out barks of excitement. Elou fixed her eyes on the Xweetok, who stared straight back with the same gaze.
Fang looked at both of them, his red fur touched to silver in the steadily-lightening moonlight. "You're exactly the same," he murmured. "Twins. Long lost sisters."
"My name is Aulinae," the Xweetok told Elou. "But you can call me Lina."
"I'm Aelouro, or Elou," Elou replied.
Lina nodded. "I know. David told me all about you."
"David?" Elou blinked in confusion. "Who is he?"
A sad expression filled Lina's eyes. "You don't remember?" She sighed. "He was your old owner - my owner. Our father. We were born at the same time... then he abandoned you. He didn't tell me why."
Elou tipped her head to one side, curious. She also felt excited, though. She had a sister! Lina was every bit like her - in personality as well as looks, she guessed.
The warm night buzzed around them and by now there were almost no Neopians out.
"Elou, we should be getting home," Fang said after a few moments.
Lina touched her nose to Elou's, a gesture of friendship. "We'll meet here every day," she decided. "When the sun is at its highest in the sky. I want to find out more about you."
"Goodbye, Lina," Elou called after her as she began sprinting away. "See you tomorrow!"
After that, Elou proceeded to meet Lina every day at the Neopian Bazaar, like they promised. Seth and Rosie were quite surprised when they found out, but at least Fang seemed to understand, sometimes even tagging along with Elou whenever she met her sister.
And, well... the rest is history.