Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 91,084,854 Issue: 175 | 28th day of Sleeping, Y7
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The Adventures of Tarin and Zeke: The Dark Book - Part One

by sapphire123208


A small Kacheek, with fur the color of the sun's, awoke one hot, summer's morning in Neopia Central. His fur was burning, and he felt sweaty, very sweaty. The little Kacheek sat up, stretched, and yawned. He wiped the beads of sweat from his brow and prepared to look at the alarm clock. Surely it was noon by now. How else could it be so hot? No, it was seven.

      The Kacheek dropped out of bed and dragged his feet through a small hallway, and into a kitchen. A fourteen-year-old human girl with brown hair, the Kacheek's owner, was already there. She looked up from the stove, where she was scrambling a few eggs, and said, "Good morning, Tarin! Did you sleep okay?"

      Tarin nodded a bit. "Hey, Katie. Yeah, I guess."

      He washed his hands and poured two glasses of cold milk. He set them down on the table and got out a couple of napkins. Katie turned off the burner and dumped heaps of steamy scrambled eggs onto two plates, then, quickly, she threw a handful of cheese on each pile. Then, she placed a couple of sausage patties on each one and removed a small sheet from the oven. Four rolls were sitting on it, each releasing a ton of steam. Tarin took a small plastic container from the refrigerator, and a butter knife and two forks from the drawer, and he placed those on the table. He opened the lid to reveal a cool, cylinder of butter. He sat down in his chair, and for one brief moment, he wished he was still standing in front of the refrigerator, his head sticking inside it. Katie handed him his plate.

      Tarin took a bite of sausage and ate it, then said, "Feeling okay?"

      It was the usual little chat during breakfast.

      Katie said, "Yeah, but it's boiling in here. The air conditioner doesn't seem to be working properly."

      Tarin finished his breakfast. Then, around nine, he gathered a book and a flashlight in his Jeran back pack, stuck his head in the living room where Katie was checking the weather, and asked, "Can I go to Zeke's house and see if he wants to go to the park with me? So we can just goof off?"

      Katie looked at him, then sighed. "I guess," she said. Tarin knew she didn't like Zeke's owner, David, not since the fourth grade, but he never found out why. "But take one of those little bottles of water with you, okay? It's ninety-six degrees out." Tarin picked up a small bottle of water from the fridge, then he said 'good-bye' and left.

      Tarin walked down the street with his hand over his eyes, shielding them from the sun's blinding rays. Zeke's house was one block away, but it seemed to take ages to get there, especially with the heat. The sun was beating down on him so hard. But after ten painful minutes, he reached a doorstep. He knocked on a green door and waited. After half a minute, a Blue Eyrie answered.

      "Hi, Zeke!" said Tarin, brightly. "Do you want to go to the park?"

      The Eyrie smiled. "Sure," said Zeke. "Let me ask David, okay?" While Tarin waited, Zeke walked back through a hallway. Then, after just one more minute, he came back out and nodded. He carried a brown back pack, now. "Let's go!" He and Tarin set off for the park.

      They walked down the street and turned left at an intersection. They followed that road, and not the other one, because the road on the right led to the Haunted Woods. The path on the left would bring them safely to a beautiful park.

      "So," said Zeke. "Are you up for a game of catch?"

      Tarin smiled. "You bet!" he replied, but then he thought about the heat. 'As long as we're careful and don't run around too much, we should be fine,' he thought. Then they shouldn't need worry about that at all, because they rarely missed the base ball when they played.

      They reached the park ten minutes later, and found it wasn't as full as it usually was. There were kids playing on the swings and playground, but no one dared to use the slide; it was made of metal. There was a nice fountain near the center of the park. The fountain had a statue of a Flotsam, jumping into the air and spraying water, which formed a sort of shiny dome. Around it were a few wooden benches. Near the back of the park were some trees and a large, deserted cave. The trees were not very thick, so Tarin and Zeke decided to play in those, since it was cool and shady.

      They stopped in those trees when they could no longer feel the pounding heat of the sun. Tarin dropped his back pack under a tree. Zeke opened his own back pack and tossed a leather glove to Tarin, who caught it. He slipped the glove onto his paw. Zeke put on his own glove and picked up the hard, small ball. When they were ready, Zeke threw the ball towards Tarin, who skillfully caught it. This game continued for some time, until....

      "Ready?" asked Zeke? Tarin nodded. Zeke drew back his hand and threw the ball. Then, some brown ball of feathers came soaring down from the sky. It took the ball with its feet and carried it of, behind Tarin.

      "Come back here with our base ball, you!" shouted Tarin, and he wheeled around and chased a Weewoo. Behind them, Zeke snatched up the bags. He followed Tarin in pursuit of the bird. The Weewoo gave a shrill cry and flew faster, holding onto the stolen base ball. Then, Zeke ran ahead. He swatted at the ball. The Weewoo let go of it, and it went flying into the cave. The Weewoo took off into the trees.

      Tarin and Zeke stood at the entrance to the cave.

      "Should we?" asked Zeke.

      "I guess we should," replied Tarin, pulling the flashlight out of his bag. He turned it on and directed the beam into the dark, damp cave. They walked inside a few feet and heard a thud from deep within. It sounded as though the ball had hit a wall and stopped.

      They walked through the cave, looking around it carefully. There was no sign of the base ball.

      At one point the cave floor sloped down. Tarin and Zeke carefully walked down the slope, but not carefully enough. Zeke slipped and fell, and he began to slide down. He crashed into Tarin, who fell over and began sliding, too. After a minute, the slope grew very steep, they seemed to be sliding down at almost a ninety degree angle. Finally, they hit the ground.

      Tarin picked up his flashlight, which he had dropped as they fell, and he cast the beam around. It landed on a white, leathery surface. Tarin walked to it and picked it up. "I found it," he said, looking at a wet, scratched up base ball.

      Then he saw something else. Using the flashlight, he found a book. It was a strange book, though. It was a deep violet and had a dark, almost black gem on the center of the cover. The weird thing was, it gave him a sick feeling, as though he were being watched, as he stared into the gem.

      "Look at this, Zeke," Tarin muttered, showing his Eyrie friend the book.

      Zeke did look at it, then he shuddered.. "Mmmmm.... Maybe you should just put that back. I don't like this feeling."

      At those words, there was a loud popping noise, accompanied by a flash of purple light. Tarin jumped. "I'll take that book," said a cold voice. It came from where the light had been. Tarin shined the flashlight at it, and they saw a dark faerie standing there, a Darigan Lupe and Eyrie next to her.

      The Faerie seemed like any other dark faerie. She wore purple, she had dark violet hair that went a bit past her shoulders, and she seemed very evil, but this Faerie was different. She wore a short sort of necklace; one with a single dark gem on it, like the one on the book. She also held a deep violet wand. The Darigan Lupe and the Darigan Eyrie next to her looked just as cruel, and very tough.

      "Give me that book, Kacheek," said the dark faerie.

      Something told Tarin not to give this Faerie, whoever she was, that book he found.

      "And what do you want with this book?" he asked her.

      "You don't need to know what that book does," said the Faerie. "Hand it over NOW."

      Tarin and Zeke looked at each other. Why did this Dark Faerie want an old book?

      "That book," began the Faerie, "is full of magic that would help me in my plans. Give it to me, or I'll take it by force."

      "I won't let you use this for evil!" shouted Tarin. Next to him, Zeke tensed, ready to fight.

      "Very well," said the Faerie. The Darigan Lupe and Eyrie began to approach them. "No," said the Faerie. "Don't bother. I'll deal with these two."

      She raised the wand and the book flew out of Tarin's paws. Then, she threw a jet of purple light at the cave wall behind Tarin and Zeke. It shattered, and a few dozen huge rocks fell over them like a wave, burying them. Zeke shouted. Before everything went black, Tarin saw another flash of light. The dark faerie had left them for dead.

To be continued...

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