Of Advents and Calendars: Part Two
Also by sweetie_purple16
Sage’s eyes widened. "THE SNOWAGER!" She started to sob. "No! How could he be so foolish? How could he?"
Fluffy's face was full of shock. "WHAT? But isn't the Snowager... a legend?"
Sage shook her head. "It's true, and he lives above us. But he's not known to snatch pets!" As Sage said that, she collapsed into Koy's arms, shivering with shock.
Koy gently put Sage onto the sofa and covered her with a blanket.
Kylie rubbed her temples, moving her paws in a circular motion. "What do you suggest we do now?" she said wearily.
"I don't know!" Fluffy replied. "I have some Battledome equipment that's really powerful..."
Kylie shook her head, "No, we need something more. An army more like, URGH!"
Koy gritted his teeth. "Where are we gonna find one of those?"
"I don't know, I don't know!" Fluffy cried frantically.
Sage jerked her head up suddenly. “Army? Army? We don’t need no stinkin’ army!” she screamed.
Oh, no, now she’s lost it, Kylie thought. Sage gave an indescribable smile.
“Kylie,” she said very slowly, “what’s the Snowager?”
“A... worm...?” The Draik wasn’t sure what to say.
“Be more specific.”
“A worm made of snow. And ice.”
“Right. And Kylie, what melts ice?”
“And what do we have plenty of right here?”
“Uhm, Sage, this is Terror Mountain,” Koy cut in. “I don’t know WHERE you’re going with this, but...”
“I wasn’t asking you! Kylie, what do we have plenty of right here?” Sage repeated.
“Snow. And ice.”
“No!” Sage pointed out the window. “Not there here, here here.” She pointed at the room.
“Neopets. Furniture. Walls. Floor.”
“Oh, I give up!” shouted Sage. “You know what, Kylie... the FIRE burned down. Why don’t YOU go and...”
“Oh!” Kylie’s hands flew to her tiny mouth. Then she grinned and swiftly blew a stream of fire at the fireplace.
"You shouldn't yell at me, you know!" Kylie said once she'd blown a stream of fire.
"I know, I know, I know," Sage said hastily. "We're all cranky, and you know it."
Kylie rolled her eyes as she heard the doorbell ring, "Fluffy, do you mind getting that? "
"Sure thing!" Fluffy called as she ran to the door. The instant Fluffy opened the door, angry voices began to erupt, crying out for better prizes. A violent Skeith even tried to throw a punch towards Fluffy. Fluffy slammed the door shut as she cried, "There's a mob outside!”
"WHAT?" Kylie was shocked. "Oh - I said we were out of stock! Because I couldn't find any more of today's boxes! Plus we were out of neopoints anyway..."
"Never mind WHY there's a mob, let's focus on WHAT IN NEOPIA we're supposed to do!" Sage yelled above the noise. "We have to get to Daniel - and fast! Before the Snowager..." She stopped and whimpered a bit.
"Kylie!" Fluffy shouted, pressing herself against the door. "Where are you GOING?"
Kylie had run to the stock room and was now climbing boxes of future prizes frantically. "Remember, Sage?" she called. "We got snowed in that one time and we had to use this?"
"Use what?" Koy asked as Sage looked up. A grin almost split Kylie's face in two as she tugged on a piece of rope hanging from the ceiling, and the trapdoor opened.
"This is so cool!" Koy exclaimed as he climbed through the steep, low-ceilinged tunnel.
"Where does this lead to?" Fluffy asked curiously.
"The Garage Sale igloo," Sage explained. "The builder thought it'd be funny if he connected the two igloos."
“I thought that was at the top of the mountain...”
“It is. Why else would the tunnel be so long?”
"Shoot!" Koy cried suddenly. "Our owners are gonna be worried if we aren't home in ten minutes!"
"But... but... we need you!" Kylie begged. "PLEASE?"
"Oh, alright," Koy sighed, deciding that this was much more important than a curfew. “So, what's the game plan?"
Sage hastily opened a trapdoor that appeared in the tunnel and called for Mika and Carassa. "Paper!" she commanded.
Mika smiled, grabbed a sheet of paper, and handed it to Sage without question, who immediately began to scribble with a pen she found in her coat pocket. She took a deep breath. "Here we go!”
Koy stared at the diagram until his eyes almost crossed. There were arrows and cross-outs everywhere, much like on his tests at Neoschool, and it took a moment for him to make sense of it all.
“No,” he said. “That’s insane, Sage, we can’t melt the Snowager!”
“You’re not gonna; she is!” Sage jerked her thumb towards Kylie, who looked startled.
“What? Sage, are you REALLY sure that’s a good idea?” she stuttered.
“Do you want to get Daniel back or not?” the Acara snapped.
There was only one answer to that. Kylie slowly nodded, but a knot had formed in the pit of her stomach.
Fluffy gently laid a paw on Sage's shoulder. "The Snowager is a billion times larger than Kylie, Sage," Fluffy whispered gently. "We can always find another way..."
"NO!" Sage snapped at them all. "You guys just don't get it, do you? Of course, rich, owned pets!" Sage briskly flicked Fluffy's paw away.
"Youch!" Fluffy exclaimed as her tail lashed angrily.
"Guys, really! Break it up." Koy shoved his arms between Sage and Fluffy, pushing them away from each other. "Look. We can't burn the Snowager, but - "
"We're NOT leaving Daniel to get eaten!" Sage hollered. Her voice echoed in the small igloo.
"I'm not saying we SHOULD! Just let me finish. We can't burn the Snowager, but it's pointless to fight snow with snow."
"Okay, Mr. Know-it-all, what do you suggest?" Sage growled. Koy had half a mind to snap at her, but he forced himself not to. "Look! We don't have that much TIME - we can't spend forever planning this! For all we know, the Snowager could've already eaten Daniel!"
Kylie whimpered. Sage, oblivious to all going on around her, continued. "This plan is better than none. We either burn the Snowager or Daniel gets eaten." She raised one eyebrow, daring the others to argue with her.
Koy rubbed his arms. The igloo seemed much colder all of a sudden.
"Doesn't the Snowager SLEEP at certain times?" Fluffy wondered aloud.
"You're right!" Kylie cried. "We'd have a better chance of getting Daniel back then!"
"Hmph," Sage snorted. "Shows what you know. You either wimp out, get blasted, or get some flimsy item. You don't get a pet!"
"Well, it's a better plan than yours!" Koy snapped, as his self-control broke.
Sage swallowed and hissed, jumping on Koy. Soon after Fluffy attempted to separate the two while Kylie sobbed softly in the corner of the igloo.
Desperate calls echoed through the snowy hills. A fourteen-year-old girl wrung her hands nervously and turned to her friend.
"Do you think they've run off? Koy PROMISED me he'd be home by 4:30..."
The woman sighed. "I don't know. I don't see why they WOULD, but..." She stopped when the teenager covered her face with her hands.
"Come on, Marie," the younger one said faintly. "It'll be dark in... about half an hour. We have to look faster." She lowered her hands and let them clench into fists, releasing some of her nervous energy.
"Let's go, then," Marie said, determined. "Wait... didn't Fluffy say she'd be in the Ice Caves...?
“Breanna. BREANNA, where are you GOING?"
No answer. The Snowager's roar and the shriek of a Neopet had been enough to trigger Breanna into running faster than ever before towards the Ice Caves.
"Breanna! Be reasonable!" Marie called as she huffed, just as worried.
Fluffy couldn't understand them. One moment, they both say, We must not waste time! and the next, they are wasting time fighting one another! Fluffy gently rocked Kylie in her arms as Kylie, exhausted from her anxiety, was slowly drifting to a light sleep. She could vaguely hear the sounds of the two Chias welcoming their customers...
"KOY! FLUFFY!" Fluffy heard the distant call of Marie, her owner.
"In here! In here!" Fluffy called desperately from inside the igloo as Marie came dashing in after calling for Breanna several times.
"What is GOING ON?" Marie's voice sounded shocked. “Koy! WHAT are you DOING?” she asked, noticing Koy and Sage wrestling on the floor. Sage looked up abruptly.
"Who're you?" she asked rudely.
"How'd you get in?" Fluffy attempted to cut off Sage, but wasn't quite quick enough.
Marie shot Sage the evil eye. "I came in through the door, just like everybody else." She jerked her thumb towards the door.
"Is the mob gone?" Kylie was suddenly alert, but not alert enough to remember that she was in the Garage Sale igloo.
"What mob?" Marie sighed. "Fluffy, Koy... you two have A LOT of explaining to do here."
The Silver Neopets looked at each other. But all Fluffy said was, "Hey Mom, do you have any candles?"
"Candles?" Marie asked, puzzled. "I guess I might have some in the SDB... why? How many do you need?"
"Well... er... you see..." Koy began as Breanna stumbled in.
"KOY!" Breanna rushed to give Koy a thorough inspection and a hug. "You're in a LOT of trouble, mister!"
"Helloooo?" Sage called. "Hate to break up the happy reunion but a pet is about to be eaten here!"
Fluffy rolled her eyes. "You see, the Snowager has our friend Daniel and we'd really like him back."
"I see," Marie said. "Well, I suppose you can use some candles... but will that be enough?”
Breanna waved her hands in front of her face. “Um, what?” She turned to Marie. “Did I miss something here? Who’s Daniel?”
“Oh boy,” Koy sighed sarcastically. He went on to very quickly summarize what had happened.
“...So we had a little disagreement over the plan and Sage and I started fighting. We don’t know WHAT to do, Mom; I don’t think it’s a good idea to wait until the Snowager goes to sleep because that could take hours, but if we burn him, well that just doesn’t seem right and – ”
“Slow down.” Breanna touched her pet’s shoulder. “So Daniel was the scream I heard,” she murmured to herself. Marie looked up.
“Never mind that. I have an idea. We’re not going to melt the Snowager and we’re not going to get Daniel eaten. Breanna, do you still have all those items from the Packrat avatar?” The teenager nodded. “Good; go get a torch, or something with fire – doesn’t matter what. And hurry!
“The rest of you, come with me. We’re going to the Snowager.”
"What are we doing?" Sage complained. "Isn't this just about the same thing as my idea?"
"First, I suggest that the complaining stops!" Marie snapped. "And second, just because we are getting torches doesn’t mean that we’re going to burn the Snowager."
Even Sage backed off for a moment at Marie.
Breanna came running up the slippery slope carrying five or six torches and a lighter.
"Thanks Breanna!" Marie said as she took the requested items. She lit them neatly and handed one to each pet (except Kylie, who insisted that she was perfectly capable of making fire herself). She then turned to Koy. “Koy, go fly up to the Snowager. Take your torch and stall any way you can.”
“He’ll eat me!” Koy moaned. “How am I supposed to stall a giant worm like that?”
“Let me rephrase that.” Breanna leaned forward and tapped the handle of Koy’s torch. “You don’t stall him, you threaten him. Got it?”
“Oh! ...Got it!” shouted Koy, and immediately raced off. Sage, still wary of both owners, looked at Marie tensely.
“I really hope,” she said simply, “you know what you’re doing.”
"'Course I do!" Marie huffed, inside not confident at all...this was a risky operation, and everything needed to be perfect.
Fluffy bounded up to her mom. "What should I do?!" she asked, eager to be wrapped up in all the excitement and danger.
"Nothing yet," Breanna answered quietly, concentrating on not worrying about her Shoyru.
Sage shrugged, handed Kylie her torch, and started towards the cave's opening.
"STOP!" Marie and Breanna cried in unison. "You could endanger this whole operation!"
Sage turned and scowled at them. "Look, you two may be able to control YOUR pets, but not us!" She gestured towards Kylie and herself. "We're without owners for a VERY good reason. That good reason is that owners are always trying to shove you into a box; trying to make you do everything you don't want to do!"
"Sage!" Kylie shrieked, but she was ignored. Sage was going red in the face now.
"It's been nothing but chaos since she - " Sage jabbed a finger in Fluffy's direction " - and Koy came! And as for YOU two - " she threw a glare towards Marie and Breanna " - we haven't done a darn thing since you came! For all we know, Daniel's already been eaten by the Snowager! You may be able to control your pets, but you're NOT!... CONTROLLING!... ME!!"
This outburst brought complete silence to the igloo. Breanna stared at Sage with eyes as fiery as her torch, sorely tempted to hurt Sage in some way.
Marie couldn't control her anger. "You know what, you ungrateful Acara? We don't have to help you! You could be eaten by the Snowager, and you know what? I HOPE YOU ARE!" And with that she yanked the torches out of the pets’ hands and stormed out of the igloo with Breanna trailing after her, a worried expression clouding her face.
Fluffy noticed her mother leaving and was drawing a blank as to how to convince her to stay. Sage crossed the line, though, and she really pushed Marie to the edge.
Kylie was furious. She bared her teeth as Marie and Breanna left the igloo. "SAGE!" she screamed.
"KYLIE!" the Acara mimicked. This only angered Kylie further.
"What did you do that for?" she hollered. "We had help, and you drove them away! You're really impossible, Sage - I don't see why Daniel and I put up with you for as long as we did!"
"Help? Help? WHAT HELP?" Sage yelled.
"They had a plan! And they brought torches! The younger girl, she made Koy go out and stall the Snowager, FOR US! For Daniel! And you want to just brush all that off and do your own thing, like usual! You want to go melt the Snowager! Well, ya know what? They took all the torches back, so the only thing that's gonna get melted is YOU!" Kylie screamed as she chased Sage with her fiery breath around and around the igloo.
"You couldn't put aside your differences for a moment! For... Daniel!" Kylie screeched as she finally gave up and stepped outside to let Sage ponder on her actions alone.
Sage looked at her reflection in the ice as tears flooded her eyes again. Her thoughts of Daniel, her anger, lashing out at innocent people who wanted to help.
Kylie poked her head in from outside. "What do YOU want to do?" she snarled. Kylie's expression softened when she saw Sage's tearful eyes.
"I don't know," Sage whispered, more to her reflection than Kylie. "I don't know...”
"Does the little wormy wanna play?" Koy's voice was taunting, but inside he was shaking. Waving the torch around, he wondered what was taking so long. The Snowager lunged for him, but Koy warded it off with a flick of the torch.
Finally the Snowager gave up and dropped Daniel roughly out of its mouth and onto the floor. Koy kicked up snow again and again, trying to blind his opponent, who was tougher now that its mouth was free.
Daniel looked weakly up at Koy. "Thank you..."
And then he blacked out.
Koy swooped down and grabbed Daniel. Struggling with Daniel's weight slightly, Koy flew through the cave's opening and dropped Daniel a safe distance away before collapsing against the ice, as well.
Breanna sneezed as she realized in horror that she'd forgotten...
"KOOOOOOOYYY!!" she yelled as she ran towards the Ice Caves, followed by Marie.
When Breanna reached the Snowager's Cave, Koy was nowhere to be seen. She slumped against the opening when she spotted a Pirate Kougra and a Silver Shoyru near the ice banks below. Quickly, she sped down as fast as she could, hoping they were both unharmed and okay.
She dropped to her knees and ran her hand over each of them tenderly. Daniel was rather cold, and stiff too, but Koy seemed to be more or less alright. Both of them were unconscious.
Marie followed her. “Are... are they alright?” she whispered.
Breanna was about to answer when a roar came from deep inside the cave. They’d been spotted.
To be continued...