A Waffle Paradise Circulation: 94,333,932 Issue: 184 | 1st day of Eating, Y7
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Dust


by oldnavyfan10

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Nat kicked the dust on the road with his red Kougra paw so that a hazy cloud engulfed his body. His life was like this dust. People used to need dust, when it was dirt. They would need it in their gardens, to grow flowers and plants. Now, it is simply there. It exists, but no one cares for it. Just like Nat.

     Nat's life hadn't used to be like this. He had had friends and a loving owner. He had lived in a nice Neohome with plenty of food and no need to worry. All that had changed the day his owner left.

          "It's something I have to do," he had said. "I still care about you and Lilly, but I can't be here for you guys anymore." With that, he had left. After Josh had left, Nat's life had started falling apart. Their Neopoints had run out, and the family was evicted from their Neohome. Nat and his sister began to live by the Money Tree to try and get a few Neopoints or some food. Then Nat's sister had decided to take matters into her own paws.

     Nat shook his head roughly and kicked up more dust. He didn't want to think about Lilly right now. He just got sad when he was thinking about his gentle yellow Acara sister. Not that he could be happy considering what he was about to do. He wouldn't think about that either. He still had a few minutes before he arrived there, and he would spend that time thinking of happy things. Before he could search his mind for a happy thought, he was suddenly caught in a whirlwind of feathers and claws. A passing Eyrie had bumped into him and sent him sprawling.

      "Hey! Watch where you're going!" Nat called after the white Eyrie that was hurrying away. The Eyrie turned around, looking utterly taken aback.

      "Excuse me? Oh, did I bump into you?" the Eyrie said in a surprised voice. He quickly ran back to Nat and reached out a paw to help him up.

      "Yeah, you did." Nat glowered up at the Eyrie and ignored the outstretched paw as he stood up. The other pet did not look offended at Nat's refusal of help.

      "Well, young man, I'm quite sorry about that. Sometimes I get so occupied with my work, I simply forget about the important things in life, like looking where you're going. By the way, my name's Leo. Well, Gulyleo to be exact, but my owner's the only person who calls me that. It's too much of a mouthful for everyday use, but my mother insists on it because apparently I was named after some great Eyrie. Quite brilliant, he was. It was he who developed the theory that asparagus has taken over Adam and is trying to rule Neopia. Quite interesting, really." Nat stared at Leo. The large white Eyrie spoke amazingly fast with a strange accent. He barely knew Nat, and yet it seemed like he was pouring out his life story.

     "Well, boy, are you going to tell me your name or just stand there with your mouth wide open all day? Why is your mouth open, anyways? Are you trying to catch Buzzers in it or something? That's unhealthy, you know, for both you and the Buzzer."

     Nat quickly closed his mouth and said, "Nat. My name's Nat." Leo smiled.

          "Well, Nat, where are you going? Could I offer you assistance in your travels?" Nat scowled. He didn't need help. He could to where he was going just fine by himself.

     "No. I can manage fine on my own," Nat said in a cold tone. Leo shook his head at the Kougra.

     "No, no, no! You don't seem to understand. I asked two questions, not one. First I asked where you were going. Then I asked if I could help you get there." Leo smiled questioningly at Nat to see if he understood. Nat sighed and rolled his eyes.

     In an exasperated tone he said, "I'm going to the Pound. I don't want your help." The Eyrie shook his head once more.

     "You may not want me to assist you, but perhaps you need me to assist you. Besides, I'm going to the Pound myself. That's my work, you see. I talk to the abandoned pets and write down their stories. I hope to publish a book someday. Now, Nat, I know where you are going, but I do not know why you are going there. So, why are you going to the Pound?" Leo quickly took out a ratty notebook. His eyes glimmered with anticipation at Nat's possible story. Nat's eyes narrowed.

     "I don't want to talk about it." His voice was harsh, and he immediately turned towards the Pound and began walking. However, Leo would not give up that quickly. He walked with Nat to the Pound, repeatedly trying to get the young Kougra to give up his story. Nat refused each time. Finally, they reached the Pound.

     After glancing up at the large white building, Nat said, "Will you finally leave me alone? I don't want to talk about Lilly!" Nat flinched as his sister's name came out of his mouth. Despite his refusals, Nat had finally told Leo why he was at the Pound. It was all about Lilly. Nat gulped as the memories came unbidden to his mind. He seemed to forget about Leo and the Pound as he fell back in his memories to the time when she had gone.

     He had woken up that morning under the Money Tree as usual. When he didn't see his sister curled up on her patch of grass, Nat had assumed that she had just gone to get some free omelette. At about midday, he started getting worried. It wasn't like Lilly to take so long on a short trip to Tyrannia. Nat then inspected her patch of grass to see if maybe she had left a note or something explaining where she was. His search was successful when he saw a scrap of paper sticking out from under a stick. He read the note in a shocked state.

Dear Nat,

First of all, I want to apologize. I never meant to hurt you. I only want what is best for our family. I am leaving. Please don't be angry. I will go to the Pound, and once I have found an owner, I will come back for you. You can live with me and my new owner, and we can be happy again. I know I probably should have talked to you before I left, but I thought that you would try and stop me. You always wanted to wait for Josh to come back. Let's face it, Josh may have not put us in the Pound, but he abandoned us in all ways but that. Ever since he left a year ago, we haven't seen or heard from him at all. We're on our own. I wanted to find a new owner so that we can be a family again and have a home. I love you, and you will always be my brother. No matter what, I will come back for you.

Love,

Lilly

     Nat had been frantic after reading the note. Lilly, going to the Pound? It was too dangerous. Nat had immediately gone to the Pound to look for her, but the Pound Uni wouldn't let him through. She said that only owners looking for pets to adopt or pets that were being abandoned could see the other pets. Nat had given up and decided to wait for Lilly instead. He hadn't seen her in six months. Nat shook his head as he returned to the present. Leo was staring at him as if he was expecting Nat to say something.

     Nat blinked and said, "I'm sorry, did you ask me something?" Leo chuckled.

     "Zoned out there, eh? Not to worry, I do it all the time. I just asked who Lilly was." Nat flinched at the personal question. He twisted his mouth around, trying to decide whether or not to answer.

     Finally, he said, "She was- No, is my sister. She left, six months ago." Nat felt the pain of her departure as if she had left only yesterday. Leo frowned.

    "So why are you going to the Pound? Don't you want to find her? I bet she misses you just as much as you miss her. You should look for her." Nat's face suddenly twisted in rage. The red Kougra glared up at Leo with fury.

     "What do you think I've been doing for the past six months? Of course I want to find her! But the thing is, I'm not going to! She's lost to me, just like my owner. Just like myself." With that, Nat turned away and ran back to the Money Tree. He didn't really want to go to the Pound. He didn't want to be inspected by various owners who decided that he wasn't good enough because he wasn't painted a rare color. All he wanted was his sister. Nat curled up on his small patch of grass in the shelter of the Money Tree and sobbed himself to sleep. The next day, Nat just sat by the Money Tree, not even asking for donations. As he stared at his paws, crying and feeling miserable, he heard a voice. A voice that sounded vaguely familiar.

     "Boy, why are you crying?" the voice asked. Nat swallowed his tears.

     "Because I am alone." The voice laughed. The laugh was like raindrops pitter patting on the window.

     "Boy, you are not alone. I am right here." Nat slowly looked up and saw her. He reached out to touch her arm, as if she might be a mirage. She was no mirage. She was Lilly, the beautiful sister whom he had missed sorely. Behind her stood Leo, watching the Acara he had hired as his assistant six months ago. Next to Leo was his owner who had adopted Lilly after getting to know what a charming person she was. But all that Nat cared about was Lilly. His tears disappeared, and he began to smile. His smile turned into a laugh as he hugged his sister and danced with joy. He could never have his original family back, but maybe, just maybe, Nat would find a new family with Lilly, Leo, and Leo's owner. And, best of all, he could never be alone anymore because through finding Lilly, Nat had found himself once more. He kicked up the dust on the road and finally saw it sparkle in the golden sun.

The End

 
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