Running From Royalty
Lyixxi pushed her paws off the ground to get her swing going again.
"So, Lyixxi, you were changed from a red Kacheek to a Faerie Lutari. Do you... like being a Lutari? Because you're rare, and everyone wants a Lutari, and-"
"Bibbs, don't get yourself so worked up. Just because Kacheeks aren't as rare as us Lutaris doesn't mean you're not special. You're a Starry Kacheek! You've been painted with a paintbrush that some people would kill for!"
Bibbycub's face turned serious.
"Okay, maybe not kill, but... they really, really, really want it. Lutaris don't get special treatment or anything. We're just treated normally. Sometimes I wish I didn't have wings. They can be a real pain in Kacheek Seek. I mean, you're small, so you can hide in barrels and stuff like that. When I try to hide – even though I'm thin – I can't hide behind lampposts because of these stupid wings," Lyixxi explained with a smile.
"You know my friend? Abyskus?" Lyixxi said.
"Yeah. What about her?" Bibbycub replied.
"She got a quest from the Rainbow Fountain Faerie."
"Oh, really? Cool! Has she completed it yet?"
"No, not yet, I don't think. The faerie asked her for two things: a rarity 99 and a rarity 200. She's got no chance. She'll run out of time."
"But the faerie appeared in front of her, and the faerie's asking her for a very expensive favour, so she can't really say how long she's got for it."
"I suppose so. Can't she go to the boards and ask?"
"Oh yeah. They'll help her." Bibbycub's ears twitched. She whipped her head around and stared at some trees in the distance.
"Bibbs? What's wrong?"" Lyixxi said, trying to see the concerned expression on Bibbycub's face.
"Run," Bibbycub whispered. "And don't make a sound."
"Why? What's wrong?" Lyixxi demanded, ignoring the last sentence completely.
Suddenly, a pack of Lupes – Darigan Lupes, Halloween Lupes, Ghost Lupes, Mutant Lupes, Tyrannian Lupes, Zombie Lupes, and a giant Magma Lupe (obviously the leader) – leapt out from the bushes and bolted towards Bibbycub and Lyixxi. And they looked like they were ready to kill.
"Run!" Bibbycub screamed, leaping off the swing and running away. She reached the other side of the playground and turned around.
"Lyixxi! What are you doing?! Run!" she shouted. But Lyixxi seemed to be frozen, staring at the hungry Lupes quickly advancing towards her. They were snarling and frothing at the mouth.
Think Greedy Kadoatie. Then think Mutant Kadoatie. And then think about ten times worse.
Bibbycub faced a stark choice: should she run off ahead, or should she run back for her sister?
Her choice was decided for her, however, because Lyixxi had sprung off the swing seat and was running towards Bibbycub. She stopped when she reached Bibbycub. Bibbycub grabbed her paw and tried to run off, but Lyixxi shook her off.
"What are you doing?! They're going to get us!" Bibbycub screeched.
"Hang on," Lyixxi said, glancing over at the playhouse and sand pit. "I have an idea."
"What is it?" Bibbycub asked frantically. "Oh, it's to use your wings to fly us away, isn't it?"
"Surprising as it sounds, Faerie Lutaris can't actually fly, even though they have wings." Lyixxi didn't look as if there were about fifty Lupes chasing them. She looked strangely calm.
"What's the idea then?" Bibbycub pressured. "Make it a miracle."
"You get in that playhouse over there," she answered. "I'll take care of the rest."
"Okay... but be careful." Bibbycub sprinted over to the playhouse and crawled inside, hunching up in a corner.
Lyixxi stood next to the sand pit.
Yep, she thought. Plastic. Good, or we'd be dead.
She scrabbled around the sides of the pit, trying to find the bottom. She didn't succeed, though, because the edges were buried in gravel. She looked at the Lupes, who were nearly reaching the far end of the playground, then looked at the playhouse. Bibbycub wasn't hunched up anymore; she was sticking her head out of the entrance.
Using her sharp, diving-built Lutari claws, she started to dig a small hole near one of the sides of the pit. She grinned when she finally managed to get her claws under the scratchy rim of the bottom edge of the sand box. Shoving the rest of the sand underneath the pit out of the way, she heaved the pit on its side, the gritty sand spilling out onto the gravel.
She rolled it towards the playhouse, which, now that she was struggling to push the plastic box, seemed a million miles away. The Lupes were getting closer.
Unexpectedly, Bibbycub ran out of the playhouse. She bolted towards Lyixxi and helped her push the plastic. It didn't help much – but it was still a little less tough, physical labour, right?
Working together, they managed to push it over to the front of the playhouse.
"Okay... so what was the plan, genius?" Bibbycub asked. She prayed that Lyixxi had thought farther than this.
"You get in the playhouse, and I'll prop the pit up against the entrance, so that the Lupes will smell us," Lyixxi explained.
"Okay." Bibbycub dove in the red house. "Wait! Why would you want the Lupes to smell us?!"
"I'll explain when I'm in there," Lyixxi said, leaning the black plastic against the gap in the scarlet wood, leaving a hole just big enough for her to squeeze through. This plan was perfect.
She got in the playhouse, and sat at the side, tucking her legs in. Bibbycub shuffled over to sit by her.
"No, no! Stay on the other side," Lyixxi instructed. Bibbycub padded back over to the opposite side and copied Lyixxi, tucking her legs in and crossing her arms in front of them to support them.
"You stay on the other side. There's a black hexagon decorating the front of the playhouse entrance, right? That's the same shape as the sand pit. I propped it up in the same place as the hexagon, so it blends in, and because this back wall is also black, they won't suspect anything."
"But they'll smell us!"
"Yes, they will. So they'll all charge towards the plastic, thinking it's the inside of the playhouse. Some Lupes are so dumb. And we stay against the sides so it looks realistic."
"Won't they just break the plastic?"
"This is sturdy plastic, here." Lyixxi smiled, leaning forward and knocking the plastic. "It's built to survive baby Grarrls chewing it and cheeky toddler Myncies hitting it with their little buckets and spades."
They heard the growling of hungry Lupes sniffing around the playground. Then they heard a snuffling around their hideout. They held their breath, trying not to make a sound.
Suddenly, a tiny head popped around the side of the playhouse entrance. The head of a baby Lupe.
"We've been looking for you two," the toddler said. "Master Lupe wants to see you. He says it's really important. I don't have a clue what it's about, though." For a baby, it seemed to have quite a range of vocabulary.
"If it's anything to do with dinner, tell him we have to attend the Altadorian Plot meeting," Lyixxi told him. Bibbycub held her paw over her mouth to suppress her giggles.
"Does him inviting you to a feast at the Faerie Palace count as dinner?" the Lupe asked.
"...No." Lyixxi looked at Bibbycub in amazement.
They'd been running away from a royal banquet at a five-star Neolodge? Never again...
Yeah, I don't have a Lutari... yet...