The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Four
Cuni took a deep breath, and then moved forward, towards
the throne. It was much larger than she had thought, and it towered over the baby
Uni as she halted in front of it. She hoisted herself upon Jhudora's throne, and
sat there, staring blankly ahead of her.
"Anything happening?" asked Winny. Cuni's friend
had wandered to the back of the throne, inspecting it.
"All the scroll said was for you to sit on it,"
said Winny. She gave the throne a good hard kick with her hoof; but it stood
just as strong as ever. It didn't wobble or jerk at all.
"Am I doing somefing wong?" questioned Cuni,
shifting uncomfortably in the seat of Jhudora. The hazy, purple-ish mist continued
to snake at Winny's hooves, as Cuni's were dangling off of the throne.
"No, I don't think so..." Winny replied, examining
the throne again. "What'd the scroll say?"
"Atop hewr cwoud, er, you must go," recalled
Cuni. "In owder to, ah, save youwr fwiend."
"Sit upon her throne, er, you... must," finished
Winny, "To, ah, assure your journey soon will end." She blinked. "That's it?"
"There must be something," said Winny,
exasperated. "Fyora must not have mentioned something in the scroll..."
Cuni's heart sank. "But... if -- if it doesn't
wowrk, i-if we can't get to da pwace where Shy is..."
"Hold on!" cried Winny, suddenly looking up at
Xrai. "I think -- I can't be sure -- we've got to try it -- might as well--"
"What is it?" asked Cuni eagerly, a bit of irritation
in her voice.
"Cuni, when you mentioned Shyle -- I kind of
got a... an idea." Winny's eyes lit up. "Concentrate on Shyle. Think about her.
Picture, um, a happy memory of the two of you! Do something, anything!"
Cuni launched into thought, scrunching up her
face into what she hoped was a desperate but thoughtful expression. Just knowing
Shyle wasn't there made it harder and harder to think of a happy memory. She
tried to shove a thought of she and her Miamouse skipping blissfully in a meadow
or something, but the images of Cuni's past that Jhudora had shown her kept
drifting across her mind.
Maybe dat's why she showed dose to me,
Winny seemed to know exactly what Cuni was thinking.
"Try harder," she urged encouragingly.
So Cuni racked her brain, and remembered one
time when she and Shyle had attempted to bake cookies -- on their own. It was
a mess. There was cookie dough all over the place, chocolate chips flinging
from the blender, along with the occasional droplet of milk dripping from the
ceiling. When her owner, Courtney, entered the room, at first she looked outraged
-- but then she laughed along with Cuni and Shyle. It was a moment when Cuni
had been enjoying life to the fullest in the company of her Miamouse, Shyle.
At that precise moment, Cuni felt her body give
an unstable jerk; eyes still closed, Cuni felt as though a rope had been tied
around her waist and was flinging her around, like she was nothing but a pillowcase
Cuni let an earsplitting scream tear from her throat, flailing her hooves, not
daring to open her eyes for fear of what she might see.
She would hear things whooshing past her, she
could feel herself tumbling and flipping in midair down some dark hole to which
there was no exit; her heart hammered, and her voice altered and finally faded.
All of a sudden, her hooves hit solid ground
with an almighty force. Cuni swayed slightly, but was able to stand her ground.
As she opened her eyes, Cuni gasped; she was in a cylinder-shaped room made
entirely out of a bronze-colored wallpaper. It shined and gleamed, reflecting
the baby Uni back at her. Cuni's breath was rapid and shallow as she looked
around wildly; where was she? Where had Winny gone? Oh, of course... Winny hadn't
been sitting on the throne with her; she hadn't been transported to this place.
There were no doors in the room at all, and when
Cuni got a better look around, she spotted three trapdoors in the center of
the room. Curiously striding forward, Cuni jumped when she heard an echoing
"Here you have come to face your first task.
But what could you do with trapdoors, you ask?
It really is quite simple, you see;
Just pick a door, either one, two, or three.
One door leads on to your next course;
The other two will drag you in with much force
Onward to impending doom
So hurry, now; your decision looms."
Cuni was positively stunned; her first task?
Jhudora really wasn't going to give in without a fight, and Cuni's first thought
was that there would be more. She gulped, and gazed at the doors, trying not
to think about what lay ahead; she focused on actually getting there, without
being sucked into one of the doors towards an everlasting doom.
Each trapdoor had something about it, as Cuni
had just now noticed; each had an eternal smoke oozing out from beneath the
wooden door, two of them were purple and one was orange.
Well, thought Cuni, if Jhudowa ish gonna pway mind games wiff me... I
might as well pway awong. I've gotta find Shy!
By looking at the trapdoors, Cuni was instantly
reminded of visiting the burger shop once with Courtney. She remembered coming
across one of those little puzzles on the box, the ones that showed nearly identical
pictures, Which two (insert name of object here)'s are alike? She could
relate this problem to that; except she only had to pick out one trapdoor, whereas
you had to find two images that looked alike, and here, Cuni couldn't throw
away the box if she was wrong; she may never see daylight again if she chose
She ruled out the trapdoor with orange smoke
oozing out of it; Jhudora's main color was purple. Advancing upon the two trapdoors,
Cuni peered at them, but found it was much more difficult; these doors looked
exactly the same. Looking even closer, Cuni could make out tiny rings around
the golden brass handles.
Squinting her eyes, Cuni inched closer so that
her face was barely an inch away. The rings were very small, but Cuni could
see them all right; one of the doors, the one on the far right, had wavy rings;
the last door had straight ones.
How could wavy rings relate to Jhudora? Was her
hair wavy at all? Suddenly, Cuni remembered the mist at her cloud; they snaked
around the ground, twisting and turning in a wavy formation...
This was her chance. Had she figured it out?
Was it correct?
Cuni's first instinct was to run away; the problem
was much too challenging for a Uni of her age! But, knowing there was nowhere
to run, Cuni made up her mind in a split second and knew she had to take a chance.
She moved forward; one single step seemed to last an eternity, and when, finally,
her entire body stood atop the wooden trapdoor, it no longer supported her and
collapsed beneath her weight; Cuni screamed held her front hooves up high. She
seemed to be sliding down a slimy sour tunnel, except that it was pitch-black
and Cuni could see nothing.
Cui had just begun to wonder where the tunnel
would lead when suddenly it leveled out and she shot out of it as though it
were a water slide. She hit the hard floor with a loud thud, and rubbed her
sore arm, shaking her head to clear her mind. Enraged, Cuni got to her feet
and kicked at the wall.
Hadn't Cuni gone through enough? First, she'd
been made to sit through Jhudora's stupid slideshow of her past... and then
endured losing her beloved Miamouse for a second time, after watching her best
friend being tortured. Cuni slammed her hoof against the ground and roared,
"It isn't FAIR!" Her voice echoed and bounced back to her off of the walls.
Eyes still blazing, Cuni glanced around and spotted
a large metal door across the room, and looked over her shoulder; she saw the
large tube from which she had came. A flickering lantern hung above her, but
the light was faded; this task did not seem so hard. After all, the door was
It was a grimy, slick sort of place; the floor
was damp, and Cuni's hooves sloshed through as she moved forward for the door.
Suddenly, a red beam of light appeared from one
side of the hall and Cuni stopped in her tracks, eyes fixed on the light. Slowly,
it reached across the room and connected with the other side of the wall, so
that if Cuni wanted to get to the door, she'd have to walk through the beam
of light. But the baby Uni didn't move.
"Hewwo?" she called uncertainly; but the only
reply was her echoing voice. There was no sudden exclaim that came out of nowhere
to give her instructions; she was on her own. Ad it was pretty straightforward,
really; all she had to do was cross the beam and stride to the door. But it
was what would happen when she did so that bothered her.
"Well," she breathed under her breath, strolling
towards the light. "I'll never know until I twy."
With one swift movement, Cuni had taken a deep
breath -- and launched herself forward, streaking through the light, which instantly
turned a shining, gold color. At first, the baby Uni thought nothing had happened
-- until the world seemed to flip upside down, and she felt herself hanging
from the floor, looking down at the ceiling.
She felt the blood rush to her head and gulped.
Now what? She let out a scream that echoed; nobody would hear her, nobody. She
felt herself dangling there, and knew that if she even took one step forward,
she would fall and perhaps hit the ceiling; or maybe some dark hole would appear
instead and she would be fall into that as it swallowed her up.
"Hewp, oh, hewp!" she cried, rooted to the spot.
Breathing heavily, Cuni closed her eyes, trembling all over, and did the only
thing she thought could, the only thing that made sense (well, perhaps it didn't)
-- she took a step forward.
Suddenly, the world righted itself and Cuni fell
over. She looked over her shoulder; she had crossed the line, the door lay ahead,
and Cuni lurched forward, yanked open the door, and sprinted through after slamming
the door shut behind her.
"Welcome to your third and final task," said
a quiet voice from somewhere in the darkness. Cuni looked up, trying to find
her way around. It was pitch-black, but as Cuni waited a minute or so for her
eyes to adjust, she could make out the faint outline of a Neopet nearly ten
feet in front of her.
"Wh-what?" she stammered.
"Welcome to your third and final task," repeated
the creature. It said nothing more.
"Er, what do I haff t-to do?" stuttered Cuni.
The creature said nothing.
"What do I, um, haff to do?" Cuni repeated, slightly
louder. The creature still said nothing.
The Neopet snapped its fingers, and the room
was lit; Cuni could see the Jetsam staring back at her and it made her look
away nervously. Glancing at her surroundings instead, Cuni gasp; it was a vast,
endless room. There were no walls; just a cream-colored floor that seemed to
go on forever, and, up above, a heavy fog hung, so thick Cuni could not see
Cuni stood there silently for a moment, and then
it all happened in a flash; the Neopet twirled around, and it began to change
shape; the red Jetsam's skin was changing, he was growing taller, hair was growing.
Long, purple hair with green streaks. A smirking face appeared, and a dress
draped the dark faerie; Jhudora stood, glowering in front of the shaking baby
Her voice had changed. The Jetsam's low, distant
rumble had changed to Jhudora's high shriek. "You'll never see your Miamouse
again," she cried mockingly, "I don't see why you continue to try; your attempts
are feeble. She is gone."
Cui felt her heart racing, and she took a step
backwards. "Wh-what do you mean, 'she's gone'?" spat Cuni in a strangled, soft
The faerie's lip curled. "That is for me to know,"
she said quietly, and suddenly launched forward; before Cuni knew what was happening,
Jhudora had the struggling baby Uni pinned to the ground, a malicious gleam
in her eyes.
Cuni blinked and screamed. With a force she had
been practicing (by kicking her brother, Alec, when he chucked snowballs at
her) Cuni kicked Jhudora away, and the faerie backed away with a look of surprise.
Cuni knew she had no choice; Jhudora had her trapped. But she had to try, she
just had to...
The baby Uni remembered her love of flying, and
made up her mind in a second's time; with a great burst of speed, Cuni had shot
up into the air, cutting through the fog, and wandered aimlessly, listening
to the faerie's shrieks below her. She knew she didn't have much time; she had
to find a way out, she had to... Jhudora could fly, she'd be in the air after
Cuni in minutes.
Cuni, trembling and terrified, took great care
in not making a sound as to not attract Jhudora's attention. Rising higher and
higher, Cuni extended her arms; surely she'd bump into something at one point,
something that could hide her from Jhudora.
Rubbing her head, Cuni was thrown backward as
she hit something made of solid brick. Startled, Cuni held her hooves out in
front of her to see it was some sort of entrance... to where, she did not know.
Cuni hurled herself inside of it and began to crawl, the darkness overcoming
her. Jhudora's shrieks of mirth faded, and Cuni crawled deeper and deeper, farther
The darkness pressed in from all around her,
and twice Cuni banged against a brick wall and was forced to feel around for
another path. The baby Uni had just begun to panic when she squinted her eyes
-- and saw a speck of light ahead of her. Cuni began rushing forward, her hooves
Finally, Cuni burst out into the open; she fell
about three feet, and landed on her hooves. Cuni clutched a stitch in her side
and stopped to catch her breath before looking at her surroundings. It was a
brick room, lit only by a flickering torch in the corner. The torch cast a shadow
around the room, and there was but one barred window high, high above them.
It was then that she heard it. Cuni's heart pounded
against her ribs as she leaned forward; she could hear a faint whimpering sound.
A familiar whimpering sound.
Cuni trotted forward, listening intently; there
was a small cage in the corner of the room. In the cage, curled up into a ball,
"SHY!" screamed Cuni, tears leaking down her
face as she charged forward; the journey had all been worth it. Shyle looked
up, and began squeaking frantically at the sight of Cuni.
Cuni smiled, eyes watering, and noticed the incredibly
large lock on Shyle's cage. Cuni began to pick at it, and heard a clang. She
was making progress.
Sunlight shone in through the barred window,
and Cuni wondered absently where she was, and where Winny had gone. But, as
she moved her hooves back and forth, trying to break the lock, Cuni focused
on her poor Miamouse in the cage.
"CUNI!" came a shout, and Cuni spun around so
fast the lock nearly went with her. There, climbing lightly out of the same
brick tunnel Cuni had crawled through, was Winny.
"Winny!" cried Cuni, nodding at Shyle. "I found
hewr! Shy! We gotta get hewr out of dare--"
"She's coming -- sorry, it was -- my fault --"
stuttered Winny, moving forward and gazing at Cuni in terror.
"What?" Cuni was confused, but she bent down
and began to work on the lock again as Winny spoke.
"After you got in the throne -- I followed --
thought of Shyle -- and you -- trapdoors -- they were already -- you'd already
been there -- you did all the tasks before me -- I--"
"Winny, what's wong?" exclaimed Cuni.
Winny's eyes kept darting for the brick tunnel.
"Followed you -- to that room -- with the fog -- Jhudora saw me -- thought I
was you," stuttered Winny, horror-struck. "She chased me -- I found the tunnel
-- she followed me--"
"You're saying Jhudowa's coming?" cried Cuni,
dropping the lock.
Suddenly, a cloud of smoke began to issue from
the tunnel and Cuni worked furiously with the lock; her hooves kept slipping,
and she began to pant under the pressure. "Huwwy!" Cuni hissed under her breath
to herself. "Gotta huwwy..."
The smoke began to twirl around in a whirlpool
formation; a human was forming. Cuni knew all too well that Jhudora would appear
Jhudora's feet appeared first, following by her
long, purple dress, and next was her hair and head; the faerie stood there,
glowering at the two pets. She raised her hands; Winny flinched, Cuni held her
hooves over her face in protection.
"You two," the faerie hissed. Cuni began working
on the lock furiously. "You two despicable little Unis. I should have done away
with you long before now. You'll never escape here aliv--"
"DONE!" boomed Cuni, and the cage door flew open;
the brown Miamouse burst out and Cuni held her tight. A terrible smile played
on Jhudora's face.
"It matters not," said the faerie in a horrible
whisper. She held her hand higher above her head, ready to cast a spell of some
sort upon them -- when suddenly, miraculously, a pink cloud of smoke appeared
out of nowhere.
It was amazing. Cuni beamed, and the two Unis
inched closer to one another as yet another faerie grew from the cloud. Lastly,
after her body had grown and Jhudora was lost for words, the Faerie Queen's
crown was placed upon her head.
"Jhudora." Fyora's eyes were blazing, and Jhudora
backed away in shock. The queen turned to face Cuni and Winny, and said gently,
"I think it's time for you to go. Good luck." She gave a wave of her hand, and
Cuni felt a sensation of bliss; her thoughts wondered, she was swirling gently
in the ocean waves without a care in the world. She was dimly aware of anything
else around her, and Cuni's eyelids drooped.
Cuni blinked. She was standing in front of 3570
Air Faerie Avenue, and as she glanced over at Winny's taken aback expression,
she had the feeling her friend has just realized where they were as well.
"Wh--" Cuni stammered.
"Where's home," breathed Winny. Cuni glanced
down at Shyle; the Miamouse was staring blankly around in wonder.
"Winny! Cuni!" screamed Jade from behind; they
spun around to see that she'd dropped her flashlight and was sprinting towards
them. As Jade cooed over Winny, embracing her and asking questions, Cuni looked
up into the sky; even in Faerieland, clouds were visible, and Cuni could see
an oddly-shaped cloud that, to her, looked like a Miamouse in the arms of a
Shaking her head to clear her mind (how was that
possible? A cloud in the shape of a Uni, holding a Miamouse?) Cuni trotted gratefully
down the cobblestone steps after Jade and Winny.