One of Them No More
In order to understand this story a bit better, you may want to read The
Shadows in the Light in issue 161.
A Kougra was standing upon a hilltop. He was watching
the goings on around him, for the hill was behind a popular picnic ground.
He had bright sapphire eyes, and fur of pure
white. He had no Kougra stripes anywhere-- he was just a pure, pure white.
"I pity you," the Kougra mumbled to himself,
watching the pets laughing, playing, shouting. "I give you my deepest sympathy."
He averted his gaze. His eyes turned steely,
"I pity you all for having to live with them!" He was looking at some
owners playing, laughing with their pets.
This Kougra was tramping all around Neopia Central,
searching. Searching for his owner. He was going to get his revenge.
You see, as soon as he became a white pet, all
of his old memory was lost. He couldn't remember his owner's name, or where
they had lived. Nothing. Just how his owner used to look.
The Kougra sat still, ignoring a Frisbee flying
past his face. No one could see him. He was about to turn and pad softly away,
when he heard the sound of crying.
It was the sound of a young pet who was mourning.
The Kougra hesitated a moment. What did it matter to him, this pet? It was no
business of his. It was not his matter.
Yet, the sound softened him a bit.
Finally, he decided a little look wouldn't hurt
him. So he slithered towards the sound.
Parting some bushes, the Kougra spotted a baby
"W-w-waaah!" wailed the Lupe.
Curiosity burned inside the Kougra Why was this
pet crying? Fighting against the old saying, "Curiosity killed the Angelpuss."
Or the Kadoatie. Or the Kougra, as in his case.
Finally, the white pet fought against his "better
judgment" again, and crept closer to the Lupe, until he was standing right in
front of the baby pet.
The Lupe, for some reason, glanced up.
"Who aw you?" asked the Lupe, immediately stopping
"I am Mar... I thought no one could see me,"
the Kougra answered, the scene seeming strangely familiar.
"I... I don't knwo how I sees you. One minwute
you wasn't dere, and den you aw!" the Lupe replied truthfully, with his babyish
Mar felt uncomfortable with the subject. He switched
"Well... what's your name?" "Fwiecefwigta!" replied
"FierceFighta..." repeated Mar thoughtfully,
"I'll call you Fier. Come along, Fier."
So it was that I found Fier, the baby Lupe. He
continually called my "pwetty", which got on my nerves, but I soon stopped that.
You don't really need to know how.
Anyways, it seems that a rule of theirs was no
baby pets were to become one of them. You were to wipe away all memory of you
and anything that concerned you from a baby pets' mind, and leave them where
you found them, a place you thought suitable, or wander away with them to let
them grow up and then take them to the fountain.
Of course, I didn't know that. No one told me.
No one ever tells me anything. So I tackled the easiest path to the Place, which
was a long ways to go, as I was at the main part of Neopia Central, and the
Place was past downtown, until you were almost at the end of Neopia. Then there
are certain paths, which are secret to all except us, and a few spins, then
That made it a few days travel. And having a
baby pet does lag you down.
"Come along, Fier! We don't have all day!" I
tried to sound patient.
"Whewe aw you taking me agwain?" the Lupe stopped
trying to peek into the Bakery Window.
"My home," I replied, taking a back alley-way.
"Den you aw gonna twake me to my hwouse, wight?"
asked Fier, trust in his big brown eyes.
"Uh, sure. Now come on!" I pried Fier off of
the broken blue car in the alley.
Fier ran alongside me, trying to keep pace. I
slowed down a bit. Try as I might, the days, hours, the time I spent with this
Lupe. All the time, I grew closer to him.
"Mawr, I hungwy!" whined Fier, sitting down with
I sighed. Five minutes of travel, just five minutes
straight without a stop! That's all I ask!
"Okay, okay!" I pulled down a garbage can and
rummaged through it.
"Here." I tossed him some pieces of an old omelette.
I waited while he wolfed down his meal.
"Now, let's go!"
"But, Mawr, I's tiwred now!"
"Well, get on my back." The things I did for
Fier clambered onto my back. We walked for a
few minutes when he started up again.
"Mawr!" Fier tapped me.
"What now?" I was really getting impatient.
"Mawr, I hafta--"
"I know, I know." So we stopped for a bathroom
We had traveled for a whole week before we got
to the Place. Once we were within a few feet, I started spinning, whirling,
"Mawr, what aw you doin'? I scawed!" cried the
I didn't reply. A spin here, a twirl there, a
jump, a flop, a land.
"Here we are!" I stopped.
The Lupe jumped off my back, wobbling uneasily
no his feet.
Before he was ready, a beautiful white Zafara
sprang to my side.
"What is HE doing here?" whispered the Zafara,
"Well, he saw me what else could I do?" I responded,
startled at my friend's hostility.
"Mar! Baby pets... they're too innocent. We cannot
do anything to him." Sila explained, a bit more worried, now, than angry.
"But... Sila! What do I do?" I panicked.
"Look, wipe all his memory, take him away, just
put him somewhere else and take away all his memory of us." Sila slipped away.
The Lupe rubbed his eyes, but before he could
really take in his surroundings, I picked him up, and ran off.
"Mawr, why didn't you let mwe see youw home?"
We were in a field. I wasn't sure what to do.
"Take me home, Mawr," demanded Fier in response
to my silence.
I didn't listen.
"Mawr, take me home. Mommy will be waiting. Maybwe
with a chocolate cake! Mommy will hugs me and kiss me. Mommy wuves me. Mommy
pwobably misses me, like I miss Mommy..." the Lupe broke down, and sobbed steadily.
"Don't cry... Don't cry!" I pleaded. Without
thinking, I sang,
"Don't cry my little one,
I have you here, don't cry.
You must forget all about me,
Our time together is done.
But please don't cry-- hush!
We may yet meet again.
Now is the time for rest,
Sleep until I set you in bushes lush."
Thus, I wiped his memory of me. He fell into
a deep sleep, not to wake again, until I set him in the bushes I found him in.
I traveled by night and by day, not stopping
to rest my aching legs, nor close my weary eyes. I did not stop for the food
my stomach grumbled for, but continued on, clenching Fier by the scruff of his
neck in-between my teeth.
I was almost there-- the hill behind the picnic
ground. I blinked wearily.
It was at the foot of the hill, when I saw her.
My heart beat sped up. My eyes narrowed. I didn't
see or hear anything else. I zoomed my vision upon the girl.
She had flowing ebony hair, eyes of a brown hue.
Her face was pale, her frame lanky.
Yet, even though I recognized her, she seemed...
different. Her face wasn't laughing, her mouth wasn't turned up in a smile,
nor were her eyes twinkling.
Instead, her eyes were clouded, her mouth a tight
line, and her whole face seemed to droop. Then her mouth formed a word... no,
a vaguely familiar name, "Aqwuamarine".
This didn't matter to me, though. I was going
to attack. I was tensing my muscles, getting ready to run, pounce, attack, rip,
Then I heard an innocent, young voice, "Mommy...
I is coming. Dwon't worry, mommy. I is here..."
It was Fier mumbling in his sleep. I couldn't
get her, not yet, anyways. I was still bearing Fier. I must return him.
Tearing myself away, I mentally decided to track
Then, I climbed the hill. Feeling the familiar
ache of bones that needed rest.
"Fier... good bye." I touched the baby Lupe's
forehead, and laid him down in his bed of bushes.
He stirred in his sleep, and I quickly stepped
behind the bushes. He was waking up.
I was once again turning to go, when I heard
him calling out in a tear-choked voice, "Mommy? Where'd you gwo?"
And an answering voice say, "Fighta? Fighta!
Oh, where are you?"
I waited, and heard the sound of eager feet crashing
through the trees and bushes.
Fier jumped up, excited. "Mommy! Mommy, I is
here! I is here!"
Suddenly, the owner came into view. It wasn't
even a female, the owner was a male. And yet, he let his only baby pet call
him 'Mommy' instead of 'Daddy'.
I was about to spit at the owner with spite,
when I saw Fier run into his owner's arms.
The owner was about 14, with shaggy brown hair,
and dancing black eyes. He gathered the Lupe lovingly.
As soon as I saw Fier's owner gather him with
such gentle arms, and such a loving gaze, something inside me snapped.
'I love you Aqw...' the name the lovely voice
was saying didn't come clear.
I felt myself being lifted, gently. I was a young
Kougra at the time. My color... I can't see it. It's too blurry. But I hear
myself saying, 'I wuv you too, mama.'
Suddenly, I seemed to get closer to my younger-version's
'I love you... I love you... I love you...'
My memory got clearer.
'Mama! Can we play? Play... Play...'
Everything around me seemed silenced. Just me
and my memories.
A loving embrace, a hug, a tear. My emerald fur.
Everything was becoming so clear...
My name! I snapped out of it, and ran. Ran to
where my owner had been standing.
She was gone.
Desperately, I searched the ground. I needed
to find her. It was then I realized people were staring at me.
I smiled uneasily at all of them. Then, I found
footprints that belonged to her... my owner.
I followed them to the edge of the picnic ground.
They led to a small, clear pool. I peeped in. I saw a reflection. A reflection
of a small, white Kougra. Then I gasped. A small white Kougra with stripes of
blue and eyes of yellow.
I broke into an all out run. My memory was coming
back. Everything. My name... my house.
I ran, sweating and panting. A left at that street,
a right over here, another left.
I came to a block of houses. Approaching a big
pale yellow house, I slowed down.
This was it.
I stopped at the driveway and stood, staring.
I took in all of the flowers, the grass. My favorite climbing tree at the edge
of the yard.
Somehow, I made it to the front door.
I gathered my breath and knocked.
Aqwuamarine was home.