58045 Hagan Row
"Do you have any idea how rare that is?!" growled the pure white Acara. She glared at the Skeith standing before her.
"My dear Terra," the Skeith cooed "I have already found one. You simply have to steal it. You can handle that, now can't you?"
Terra looked skeptical. She shook her head and her multitudes of earrings created a soft jingling noise. The Skeith, dressed in an antique blue suit, continued without waiting for Terra to answer.
"I have the address of the building written down. It's a residential home in Brightvale. I want the magical plushy. This one is a Red Gelert plushy. It's located in a room on the second floor in the front of the building. Since the home is residential, you're not going to confront any guards. Your only obstacle is a vicious ghost Gelert. He guards the plushy, and he's very dangerous." He then looked at Terra from over his glasses and smiled a jagged, toothy grin.
Terra nervously ran her fingers over the hilt of the dagger hanging at her side. Then she smiled. "I can handle it. They call me Featherfoot for a reason. I'll be able to slip in and out of there before anyone will notice." The Skeith looked at her darkly and grinned without mirth.
"You will not fail me. I need that plushy to complete my collection. If you screw this up, it could take years to find another one. You may not fully understand what this collection means to me, but I'm sure you can understand how angry I will be if you don't get this plushy." Without waiting for an answer, he dropped a slip of paper on the worn wood table and stormed from the shack. Terra anxiously looked at the door for a few minutes afterward. Then regaining her composure, she glanced at the slip of paper. It was crumpled badly, and though the letters were smeared, 58096 Hagan Row, Brightvale could still be read.
Terra looked out the dirty and cracked window of her tiny shack. It was dark out, and she could only see her pale reflection in the filthy window panes. Before going to sleep, she gathered the supplies she would need for the robbery. She did not drift off to sleep right away. She lay awake for many hours, thinking about the robbery that was to take place the following evening. When she finally went to sleep, dawn was creeping upon Neopia. She fell into uneasy dreams of ferocious, ghostly Gelerts.
When she woke up, dusk was just settling. She tenderly rubbed her forehead. Terra had slept on and off all day. Horrible images of Werelupes, vampire Gelerts, and other monsters danced through her dreams.
"Normally I'm not worried about jobs..." Terra grumbled to herself. Dazed and feeling slightly sick, she sluggishly made her way to Brightvale.
Terra had gone at an agonizingly slow pace. By the time she reached the edge of the city, it was midnight. She pulled the paper out of her pocket and looked it over. Terra had to squint to read the smudged letters, and it took her almost an hour to find the home, which turned out to be on the outskirts of Brightvale. The address was 58045 Hagan Row. The home was very large and regal-looking. The owner was obviously very wealthy, and the building looked like a castle to Terra. She had lived out of a shack almost her entire life, and any building larger than a one-room cabin looked like a castle to her.
Scoping out her surroundings, she discovered the room that held the plushy. Silently, she climbed to the window of the room. Her eyes widened and her muscles stiffened as she gazed through the window. A Gelert with pale green fur was curled around a worn red plushy. As he yawned, Terra could see that his front teeth were abnormally long and sharp.
Terra began to tremble as she looked at the Gelert. Her dreams from the night before came flooding back to her. The sounds of snarling, growling, and biting echoed through her mind as she stood petrified before the window. Then, shaking her head, she regained her composure.
"They were merely dreams," she muttered under her breath as she opened the window. Moving more silently than a shadow, the white Acara crept up to the Gelert. Terra was so adept at stealing, not even her many earrings made a sound. Gently, Terra plucked the red plushy from the Gelert's grasp. She glanced at the plushy. It looked old and tattered, and in no way magical. Then the Gelert stirred and, forgetting all about the doll's condition, she dashed through the open window and shut it, without so much as a creek. But as she was just reaching the boundary of the yard, a horrid howling shattered the silent night. There was a great deal of noise coming from the house now, and it sounded like some massive animal was thundering down the stairs. In sheer and utter terror, Terra bolted into the forest. When she glanced over her shoulder, she caught a glimpse of a hulking shape breaking through the door. Its eyes were blazing red and it sent out another ear-splitting howl, before leaping after her.
With as much agility as she could muster, Terra pelted through the shadowy forest. She could barely see, and was darting blindly through the thickets. Sharp branches clawed at her face, and the wild undergrowth tangled up her feet, but she pressed on.
"Oh dear Fyora, what did I get myself into?" she said aloud. She could hear the panting and snarling of the Gelert behind her now. Her legs ached horribly, and she finally paused in a quiet glade. "My nightmare is coming true..." she said between deep breaths.
Terra liked to think of herself as a good thief, since stealing had been her only means of survival for many years. As Terra pondered, her hunter caught up to her, and suddenly a mammoth shape slammed into her and knocked her hard against a tree. Terra was momentarily stunned, but quickly regaining her footing, she pulled a dull knife from her belt. All that could be seen of the Gelert were his eyes, which burned with unfathomable rage.
"Why did you steal MY plushy?!" he snarled. The sheer ferocity of his voice made Terra jump.
"I... I... have a client..." Terra stuttered, "who would pay handsomely for it." She had begun shaking badly again and tried desperately to remain confident.
Roaring with fury, the Gelert snapped, "But why!? There are hundreds and hundreds of plushies just like that!" Then it dawned on Terra: the letters were smudged. She had gone to 58045 Hagan Street, not 58096 Hagan Street, which was the original address. Then it occurred to her that this Gelert was Halloween Painted, not Ghost—but she hadn't been able to tell, due to the darkness. A wave of mixed emotions hit Terra, and she dropped both the knife and the plushy. The Gelert then quickly scooped up his precious plushy, as Terra tried to cope with several feelings. Dread, disappointment, hatred, sadness, relief, and irritation all bubbled up inside her.
The Gelert's temper faded completely with the return of his plushy. Now he gazed at Terra, who was looking down and clenching her fists tightly. Then a single tear ran down her cheek and the Gelert padded over to comfort her.
"Get away from me!" she cried. This time, it was the Gelert who was startled, and he jumped back in surprise. Terra fell to the ground— partly in exhaustion and partly in sorrow— and began balling. The Gelert, who was now looking at Terra with his head cocked, could only catch a little of what she said between sobs.
"...I don't want to do this anymore..." Terra blubbered. Tears poured from her eye like a waterfall. "I've been alone for so long..."
A wave of grief fell over the Gelert, and he found that he actually felt a little sorry for the thief. He also got the feeling that the Acara did not willingly choose to be a criminal, but was forced to become a robber, due to sheer necessity. Smiling, he said calmly:
"My name is Kamares. You're obviously very lonely, and I'm guessing a bit confused." He walked over again and knelt beside her.
Without looking up, Terra said, "Well, you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Just leave me alone so I can rot here..."
Kamares stood up and held out his paw. "I'm sure this is all just a big misunderstanding. You should come home with me— we have an extra bedroom, and my sisters will be delighted at having a new playmate." Kamares smiled again and the corners of his glimmering fangs stuck out of his mouth. Terra looked up at him with melancholy red eyes, which were puffy from crying.
"Sisters?" she said, with a tone that reminded Kamares of a lost child.
"Yep. And they're just about your age too," he said while helping her up.
"You mean... I don't have to steal anymore? I can become part of a... a family? Your family?" Terra replied, softly rubbing the myriad of scratches on her arms.
"Of course. There's always room for more in my family," Kamares said cheerfully. Then, seeing her small, but countless cuts, he added, "We can give you some bandages too." They slowly made their way through the wood, and together—victim and thief— Kamares and Terra walked back to Brightvale and returned to 58045 Hagan Row.