Come dance with the Wanderers... Circulation: 179,088,154 Issue: 437 | 2nd day of Eating, Y12
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Onisuki


by 7splat52

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I'm Onisuki, if you haven't noticed. My owner loved me. She loved me too much. Her name was June, and she had jet black hair and emerald green eyes. My brother was Onisuko. We both had crimson red manes. Our mom was a newbie. She was too poor to afford fancy clothes or paint brushes.

      June loved us nonetheless. She tried her best to feed us.

      On one perfect autumn day, she came up to us and said, “I can’t afford to keep you guys. I’m not abandoning you—I’ll never let you guys out of my sight. Still, I want to know that you’re being fed. I’m sending you over to my sister’s place.”

      “Mom... when are we leaving?”

      June replied, “I can’t afford another meal for you guys, so... you’ll have to pack up right now and come to the pound with me. Suko, you’ll go through a transfer. Suki, I’m sending you through the pound. No offense, but I don’t think many pound snipers want a red Xweetok.”

      “Er... none taken?”

      June smiled. “Let’s go pack up.”

      My few clothes wouldn’t be able to go with me.

      “My sister has some,” June assured us.

      I wondered, “How long will we be there?”

      “Until I save up some money. It’ll be one or two months, that’s all.”

      I nodded. “I thought we couldn’t bring stuff with us to the pound?”

      June may have been playing for a mere three months, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t smart. “I’m attaching a bag to your petpet. You can put some things in there, and if anyone asks, it’s just to carry your medicine.”

      “Medicine?”

     “It’s called ‘lying,’” she said sarcastically. “It’s only a little fib.”

     I nodded and hastily stuffed a book into the pack. There was still some room, so I squeezed in my blue Ixi plushie.

     Since clothes went with the pet when they were transferred, Suko was wearing some of his best clothes. He’d stuffed a few items in his pockets, and was carrying his Scarabug.

     “Let’s go,” June said, leading us out of our one-roomed house. We pretty much slept, ate and sat on our mats. We had an icebox, but no Neovision.

      I was sort of glad to be leaving the place. I still didn’t want to let go of home, so I was happy knowing that I’d come back eventually. When I did come back, I thought, we’d have money for more furniture. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be going back.

     *

      “Bye, Suko!” I called as the robot Hissi behind the Transfers door led my brother away. I can’t wait to meet him at our aunt’s house, I thought.

      “Bye, Suki,” June said. She hugged me. Luckily, June had given the sappy goodbye speech when Suko was leaving, so I didn’t have to hear it again.

      “Bye, Mom.”

      June grinned. “You never call me that.”

      I smiled back. “Now I do.”

      I stepped behind the door to the pound. “Bye.”

     *

      “What a gem!” My new owner beamed.

      I smiled up at her. “I can’t wait to see your house.”

      She shook her head. “We need to get you some clothes, first!”

      I got a background and a vase of flowers. I’d never been able to afford a background. “Are you rich?”

      She laughed. “No, but I spend so much money that you can’t really tell.”

      I laughed with her and let my aunt lead me home.

      Turns out that she wasn’t my aunt.

      “Where’s Suko?”

      “Who?”

      I sighed. “You know, June’s other pet?”

      The girl shook her head. “I don’t know anyone called June. I’m Kayla.”

      “B-but... Suko...”

      Kayla let out a deep breath and we sat down on the sofa. I realized that she had three bedrooms, a study and a living room. Kayla seemed pretty rich to me. She even had a statue of King Altador, and she’d somehow managed to get a personal rocket—no joke.

      “The statue was from the Advent Calendar, if I recall correctly, and the rocket was from a sponsor thing. No big deal. They’re only a few thousand Neopoints each,” she’d explained on the way inside. A few thousand was still a lot.

      “But you live on an island!”

      She sighed. “A stupid, weird, foggy island that no one likes.”

      “I love it!” I’d replied.

      We were now seated inside. The truth stared me in the eye: this was the wrong owner.

      “You’re not my aunt. I was supposed to be visiting my aunt.”

      Kayla looked at me. Her eyes screamed, “I’m guilty! I stole you away from your owner!”

      “It’s not that bad,” I tried to tell her.

      Kayla insisted, “But your owner must be so mad!”

      “No, she was actually sending me away because she couldn’t afford to feed us. My aunt was looking after us for a few months.”

      “Well, then, in a few months, I’ll have to take you back!”

      I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to go back.

     *

      June evidently decided to check in on my brother and me a few months later. When my aunt said that I hadn’t arrived, June looked me up. She found me living a much better life than before. My new mom had bought me new clothes, and even painted me baby.

      “Ooh,” Mom (my new mom, that is) said, looking at a Neomail that June had sent her. “She’s using a... colorful vocabulary here...” She gasped at one part. “I didn’t steal you!” Then she set down the letter. “Do you want to go back, Suki?”

      “I don’t know. I mean, you waste all your money on us. June could barely get us the basics—but I do miss my brother...”

      Mom looked at me. “You had a brother?”

      “Yeah... his name was Onisuko. We were going to live with our aunt, and he got to go through a safe transfer. I went through the pound, and you adopted me before my aunt could...”

      Mom sighed. “I feel like such a bad person! But I don’t want to give you up.”

      “I don’t want to leave... but I do want to see my old family.”

      Mom nodded. “I think that can be arranged.”

     *

      “Suki!!” cried June and Suko in unison.

      “You.” I realized that June was referring to Mom.

      “Mom—er, my old mom, that is—don’t blame Mom—um, my new mom, I mean... whatever! June, it’s not her fault!”

      June’s expression softened. “You’re painted,” my brother and June said in unison.

      “Yeah...”

      “How did you get the money?” I realized that June was asking me.

      I shrugged and pointed at Mom. “She’s not rich, exactly, but... June, I want to stay with her.” I saw Suko and June glare at Mom. “June, Suko... I’m sorry, but I love my new family. I have all these other siblings, and... and a lot more than we had before. I mean, I’m not saying that I’m going to just forget you guys, but...”

      “I get it, sis,” Suko assured me. “We’ll visit you.”

      June’s eyes were sparkling... with tears. “It’s my fault. I should have waited a few weeks, until I could transfer another pet, but—”

      “But,” I broke in, “it’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. You wanted us to have a better life, right? And I have that here. Like Suko said, you’ll visit. I won’t forget you. I just... don’t want to leave.”

      June nodded. “Okay. I guess I should give you my contact info...”

      “Sure,” Mom said. “But don’t worry. I feed them... sometimes.” When June responded with an icy glare, Mom clarified, “I’m kidding!!”

      “Oh.” After an awkward period of silence, they burst into laughter.

      “We’ll be one gigantic, happy family!” I declared. That’s exactly what we turned out to be.

The End

 
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