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Pet Name: Phinnroe
You walk slowly up the cobbled path, and stop, taking a deep breath as you come to the door of the house. Well, looks relatively normal, you think to yourself. White picket fence, cream cement walls, tin roof. And most importantly, no giant Venus flytraps in the front yard, you think, shuddering as you recall the home of your last interviewee for the pet spotlight.
You cautiously press the doorbell, and clasp your hands together, trying to look as professional and impressive as possible. But nobody answers. You ring again, slightly more anxious this time, until you hear cursing from inside the house. The blue shutters flicker, and a large brown eye stares sleepily at you. There is a small sigh, and the door is swung open.
You find yourself face to face with a fat, brown cybunny, who yawns and squints at you, rubbing his eyes. ‘Dude, what kind of time do you call this? You actually made me get up off the couch.’
‘Ah…’ You take in your surroundings, the inside of the house. It is spick and span, apart from the Coke cans scattered across the dining room table. Tiles cover the floor, and lead around the corner to what you presume is the kitchen. The cybunny resumes his position on the couch, a fresh can of Coke in his hand.
‘So? What are you here for, dude?’
‘Oh, yes, of course’ You compose yourself, and again, clasp your hands together. ‘I am here to see Phinnroe, is he around at the moment?’ The cybunny waves his hand vaguely, at the hallway leading down from the dining room.
You feel uneasy at wandering through someone’s house, but the cybunny didn’t seem like he would be getting up again in a hurry. You needn’t worry however, as suddenly a girl approaches you from behind.
‘Can I help you?’ You turn, and take in this girl. Must be the owner, you suppose.
'Ah yes, I am here to see Phinnroe. Is he around?’
'Of course. I'm Kahlia by the way'. She takes your arm and sweeps you down the hallway, chattering animatedly.
'... and he can only have visitors for a little while, as he need his rest and alone time', she smiles.
You get to the end of the hallway and you hear a strange noise coming from the room on the right. It sounds almost like a vaccuum cleaner, but slightly muffled. Puzzled, you peer into the room and your eyes meet the strangest sight.
A gigantic bubble fills the room, sparkling and gleaming. And inside, a plushie skeith is frantically shoving a vaccuum cleaner at the walls of the bubble, as though he is in a trance. He appears to be muttering to himself. You back away, thinking you must have the wrong person, when he catches your eye. He approaches you, still inside the bubble, with shifty eyes.
‘You’re the interviewer?’
‘Yes, and you are Phinnroe?’, you ask. ‘May I ask you a few questions?’
He nods slightly, and takes a seat in the middle of the bubble. It is then that you notice he is holding a small Swabby on his lap, and he begins to pet it gently.
‘Well, firstly, obviously, why do you live in this bubble?’ You draw closer, and touch the bubbles smooth surface.
‘GAHH!!’ Phinnroe explodes! ‘What do you think you’re doing touching my bubble you disrespectful human! It has taken me all day to clean that, and now you’re sliming it up with your filthy germs from the outside!’
He begins to hyperventilate, and grabs a paper bag, blowing into it. After a few deep breaths it appears that he has calmed down, and he shakily resumes his seat.
‘Okay…’ You are a little shocked, but determined to find out more. ‘So why exactly do you live in this bubble?’
He stares around, as if he can see many things that you cannot. He shudders, and says in a whisper…
‘The germs of course. They’re everywhere, they’re out to get me. If I ever come out of this bubble, I should die from all the infectious germs just waiting, clinging there, onto every surface.’
You begin to put the pieces together. ‘Oh, you are mysophobic? Afraid of germs?’
He whimpers but does not answer, just pets his Swabby, over and over.
‘My owner built this bubble for me, as I could not live in the outside world. I am happier here, no germs can reach me. The only things ever allowed inside this bubble are my vaccuum cleaner and my faithful Swabby, Mop.'
'So how did you become mysophobic?’
He whimpers again, and begins rocking to and fro.
‘It all began with my brother, Hawk. He was older than me, and enjoyed s-showing off in front of his friends. He was also v-very smart, much smarter than I w-was, and he would never let me forget it. O-O-One day I was playing with my skeith p-p-plushie when he came along and told me he had invented a ray that could ch-change things into candy. He asked me if I wanted to try it out and of c-c-course I said yes, so then he fired it at my p-p-plushie and …’
Phin’s eyes grow wide with fear and he dissolves into tears, rocking violently to and fro.
Kahlia then reappears, and says gently, ‘That is all he can handle for today, the past is very sensitive for him. He has many bad memories.’
She gently ushers you out of his room, leaving you with many questions about Phinnroe.
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