Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 196,047,123 Issue: 889 | 31st day of Sleeping, Y22
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Three of a kind


by rkbear

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     "Are we going to go in or we just gonna stand here all night?” Steel, a darigan poogle, adjusted the heavy pack on his back. He stood behind a magma xweetok. She was his sister Scarlet. Normally she was a fearless explorer, but now she just watched the fire dance and the gypsys who sat around it.

      “Huh?” Scarlet looked up at her older brother surprised. “Sorry, Steel what were you saying?” She pulled her coat more tightly around herself to dim her glow, but it didn’t help much. She was making nearly as much light as the fire she’d been watching. Her fur always gave away her emotions to her family. One of the disadvantages of taking a dip in the magma pool in Moltara. Steel had seen her jump in that with eyes wide open and one paw on her nose without a second thought when she’d finally caught the guard asleep after weeks of pestering.

      “I said, let’s go,” He pushed past her no bothered by the heat rising from her fur. Another side effect of her swim. She had to wear heat resistant clothes.

      “Steel, no wait!” She protested grabbing his arm, but Steel was much stronger than her and he pulled right into the middle of the camp.

      The gypsies all stopped talking and stared at the new comers. Steel opened his mouth to speak but didn’t get a change. Scarlet let go of his arm and stepped around him. She was staring at a pastel xweetok on the other side of the fire, who was watching them quizzically. Before he could stop his sister she stepped right through the fire and up to the other xweetok.

      “Bellsamy?!” the pastel jumped at the name. Steel had never heard it before but the other xweetok must have.

      “Scarlet? Is it, is that really you?” The other girl, who Steel had to guess was Bellsamy, grabbed Scarlet and embraced her tightly. “I can’t believe it! Where have you been all these years? What happened to you and Violet? Is she with you? Does Ash know you’re here? Great Fyora someone has to get Ash! Everyone its Scarlet!” She released Scarlet and held her at arm’s length, then looked over her shoulder. “Whose this?”

      “Woah, woah, Bellsamy, slow down….” Scarlet stepped away from her old friend. “This is my brother, Steel. Now tell me, who is Ash and Violet?”

      “You-you don’t know?” Bellsamy asked shocked. “You better come in, before Ash gets here.”

      “I have a brother and a sister,” Scarlet held her mug with two paws but she didn’t take a sip. Steel sat beside her with his own mug. He put it down to give his sister a hug, but she just stared at her cup. “I have lots of brothers and sisters…”

      “Drink, it will make you feel better, I made it with herbs from the forest,” Bellsamy encouraged as she took her own place at her table. She had taken them into her caravan and shoed the others away. Some of the others left before she could stop them to get Ash. A pirate xweetok, Scarlet was told was her brother. She was triplet. “You used to like that tea, you were the only one of us who did…”

      “Isn’t this what you wanted to learn, Scarlet?” Steel asked. Scarlet didn’t answer she just stared at the tea. “Scarlet and I, are both adopted. We have 6 other siblings at home. We are all adopted. The Haunted Woods was the only clue we had to where Scarlet came from. I was with our, mom, when we uh, found her? Someone called my name and I uh, followed it and found her.” Scarlet nodded in agreement, though she didn’t really remember that, but that’s why Steel had come with her. He was very protective of his younger siblings too, but then again he knew that Scarlet wouldn’t need his protection.

      “That sounds like Grym,” Bellsamy shook her head. “He’s, uh, well you will probably meet him too. Your, uh, well, Ash isn’t really a fan of Grym…you see, you lived with me and my mom, you were orphans. One day, you all went to get some herbs for my mom, she was the healer in the camp before me, and only Ash came back…he’s blamed himself for you and Violet going missing. You don’t have any xweetok sisters from the Haunted Woods do you?”

      “No,” Scarlet answered, this question before Steel could. “I’m the only one in my family.”

      “Oh, well, Ash will still be glad to see you,” Bellsamy answered. “Unless you aren’t ready to see-“

      “Bellsamy, where are they?!” A loud voice interrupted.

      “Oh dear, I’ll talk to him, you don’t have to see him if you don’t want to,” Bellsamy rose from the table and hurried to the door of her wagon. Steel and Scarlet could hear talking to the new comers. “Now hold on, oh, dear, you’ve brought Goo, hello dear. Now hold on just a minute! Ash you can’t just-Hey! Now hold on just a minute. What if she doesn’t want to see you?” Steel stood up but Scarlet motioned for him to wait. He was surely going to see what the commotion was about and going to try to defend Bellsamy, but she had a feeling she had it under control.

      “She’s my sister,” The voice replied, sounding angry.

      “Well you might as well come in too, Goo,” Bellsamy answered, letting someone else into the wagon as a pirate xweetok appeared. Steel stayed standing watching the xweetok staying between him and Scarlet.

      “Scarlet?” the xweetok asked, looking at Steel suspiously, for a moment before turning to Scarlet who slowly stood up. Bellsamy re-entered followed by a chocolate bori who she shoed toward the other end of the wagon.

      “Come along, Goo, we should give them some space. They haven’t seen each other in long time,” Bellsamy told him as she shoved the protesting bori to the back.

      “And you must be Ash,” Scarlet said pushing her Steel to the side so she could get a better look at the newcomer.

      “So I am,” He agreed. “You’ve-changed.”

      “So have you,” She replied. “This Steel, he’s my brother.”

      “Your brother, that’s funny,” Ash answered, taking a mug from the mantel above the fire where the tea pot still hung above the fire. He took a seat at the table. “What happened to your fur?” Steel looked at Scarlet before taking a seat at the table and Scarlet joined him.

      “What happened to yours?” Scarlet answered. She had a vague memory of romping with two other starry xweetoks around the gypsy camp. “I took a dip in the magma pool. So where have your stars gone?”

      “They faded,” Ash replied. “It got darker as I got older…so what else has happened to you?”

      “I got adopted,” Scarlet replied. “I have a wonderful family. Steel is my-oldest brother, I have four of them, and a nephew, plus three sisters at home.”

      “And Violet?” Ash asked as he poured himself a cup of tea. He took a sip and then made a face.

      “I don’t know, I didn’t even know I had another brother,” Scarlet replied. “I came here to find out where I came from, I didn’t expect to find- my family.” She gave both boys a weak smile. Steel put one paw on top of hers. Ash frowned at the brotherly gesture.

      “Well, I am glad to have you back,” Ash replied.

      “Back?” Steel protested. “Now wait a minute-“

      “Steel,” Scarlet interrupted. “Now don’t going starting an argument you two. I am back Steel, but that doesn’t mean, that I am moving here Ash, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get to know you. You are both my brothers, so you’ll have to learn to get a long.”

      “That sounds like the Scarlet I know,” They all looked up as Bellsamy re-entered the room with curious bori looking over her shoulder. He reminded Steel and Scarlet of their brother Bandy, who was at home on Mystery Island. “So now that you’ve been reunited, what are we going to do about Violet.” “Violet,” Ash asked. “Bellsamy what are you going on about. This is Scarlet, now can we have some time to get reacquainted?”

      “You mean let the two of you argue, neither of you have really changed since we were cubs,” She shook her head. “Tea, Goo? This is your Aunt Scarlet, by the way, and well I suppose that would mean he is your uncle, Uncle Steel, that does have a good ring to it, did I hear you are already an uncle?”

      “Sure,” Goo slid excitedly into the chair next to Ash’s. He looked at the newcomers curiously. “Nice to meet you.”

      “Um, yes, yes, I am our sister, Forest, adopted a young draik,” Steel responded. “He’s a bit of a trouble maker.

      “When did you learn manners?” Ash asked with an eyebrow raised. He slid his cup over to him. “Goo is a trouble maker too, they’d get along great.”

      “It's cold!” Goo protested, pushing the cup away. Scarlet picked it up.

      “I can fix that,” She smiled, as she wrapped both paws around it. “One of the benefits of being magma.”

      “Wow!” Goo replied excitedly. He took the now steaming mug from Scarlet.

      “So, what are we going to do about Violet?” Bellsamy asked, again as she pulled up a stool. The small table was now quite crowed but none of her guests appeared to mind they were all watching her expectantly.

      “Whose Violet?” Goo asked.

     

To be continued…

 
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