Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 114,248,913 Issue: 228 | 17th day of Awakening, Y8
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Of the Scamanders

by krawkster92


The great and grand city of Sakhmet was abuzz with the daily activities of its occupants. Shouts of merchants were coming from every stand; the attempts of these market-goers to sell their goods to the citizens of the city. Some claimed their Tchea fruit was the best in the Lost Desert, while others simply stated that their goods had no comparison.

      Yes, every merchant was convinced that his inventory was the finest and rarest of all. However, this day was not one of the days that citizens were all shopping. The road was almost empty, except for some guards, though even some of them were not present. Instead, a good number of the Sakhmet shoppers and a few off-duty guards were swarmed around a tall, stone pillar near the back of Sakhmet.

      A tall, slender Techoess was silently showing the intrigued crowd astounding tricks of wonder, all of which included Scamanders. Her garb resembled that of a gypsy; white, patched, faux-silk Peasant's pants were hoisted up with a golden rope belt, holding many pouches, their contents unknown. She had a golden and blue long sleeved robe-like jacket, having many rips and tears, a golden colored-shirt underneath.

      Her dark yellow scales, which unmistakably matched that of the Scamanders, caught the desert sun's bright rays, giving her an enchanting disposition. Appearing at the base of her tail and the back of her head was the brown colored pattern which was exactly that of a Scamander's, continuing down to the end of her tail. She had a green and red striped head-band around her head, a little ruby, possibly 'borrowed without permission', placed in the middle.

      She'd occasionally shove her hand into one of the pouches, pulling out a fine, colored powder, which she would throw upon the ground, creating a great smoke that rose, astounding the crowd. She smiled smugly, and looked straight into the eyes of one Scamander, and winked partially. The Scamander seemed to understand, and started staging the next trick with the others. While the crowd was distracted, the Techoess slipped away quietly, pick-pocketing her audience members discreetly. She arrived back at just the right moment, and threw the colored powder yet again, this time creating the largest, and most distracting, explosion yet. The crowd gasped in astonishment when the smoke cleared, to find that the Scamander-look-alike Techoess, and all the Scamanders, to have vanished, leaving the crowd flabbergasted, and of course, a few neopoints and valuables short.

      The crowd thinned rapidly with frustration as the Market goers returned to their browsing.

      Suddenly, the remaining and slower of the crowd all looked to their feet simultaneously. A tiny, left-behind Scamander scuttled over the feet of the remaining audience, hissing at those that attempted to stop the tiny petpet.

      One of the remaining citizens was a young, brown Poogle, the son of a wealthy merchant. He was finely dressed in some of Sakhmet's best; not a single spot or patch was visible.

      His father had sent him to fetch five pounds of Tchea fruit, along with some silk to mend his mother's clothing. As he stood, thinking over what he had just seen, the Scamander scuttled closer and closer to him.

     Without a moment's hesitation, the little petpet jumped onto the middle of the Poogle, snatching his heavy pouch of many neopoints in its golden jaws. It happened so quickly that the Poogle had little time to respond, but he did manage to see the little petpet scurry behind the corner of a nearby alley.

      What would his father think of him if he returned without the supplies, and how would he tell him that a petpet stole his neopoints? He darted after the swift petpet, having much trouble keeping up with it. The petpet scampered over inventories, upturning baskets of Cheop plants.

      The Poogle jumped gracefully over the fallen produce, trying to keep up with the tiny, yet strong little petpet. The chase went on for quite some time, the Scamander leading the Poogle into the deepest and most unknown parts of the Sakhmet City. He gave one last burst of speed around another turn, sure that he would catch the little thief.

      He ran head first into a stone wall. He stood dazed for a moment, his brains swirling around in his skull. He rubbed his throbbing nose, and then looked around cautiously. He was lost.

      The Poogle plopped himself upon the ground, his golden earrings jangling as he hit the ground. The hot, desert sun had started setting. Sighing, he closed his eyes and laid his head on an old basket.

      He was on the verge of sleep when something jerked him to his senses.

     Well, something had literally jerked him. He quickly snapped his eyes open, to find that Scamander clamped tightly around one of his earrings. The Poogle swatted a paw at it, trying to get it off his ear.

      "Get off, you little monster!" he shouted hoarsely, resorting to tugging on its tail.

     The Scamander let go of his ear, and dashed behind a basket in the corner of the small alley.

      The Poogle cocked his head. He crawled on his knees and paws over to the corner and slowly removed the basket. He was stunned to find that the Scamander was nowhere to be seen. But, with a double take, he saw a small opening in the stone wall. The hole was small, but big enough for him.

      He peered in, but it was too dark to see where it went. He pondered his predicament. He sighed. There was no other choice.

     The Poogle brushed away some already disturbed cobwebs and squeezed into the hole and pulled himself down the passage. It went for quite awhile. He even thought it went sloped downward for sometime. Just as fatigue was plaguing the small Poogle's body, he saw light at the end of the long passage.

      He squeezed through the small opening, almost becoming stuck in the small exit. He flopped to the sandy ground, breathing heavily. The Poogle's amber eyes slowly opened; in front of him lay what appeared to be a whole underground temple.

      Old statues of the long dead King Coltzan the 1st and other long since past rulers were scattered around.

      He was in awe. Though small, this area was amazing. It had several small, but still very rich, mounds of gold and treasures. And at the base of one of the mounds was his pouch of neopoints.

      He smiled and ran over to it. The Poogle bent over to grab it, but another swift hand reached it first. In front of him stood the Techoess from before, a look of accusation on her golden, sand colored face.

      "What," she asked, "are you doing here?" Her voice was smooth and snappy, but had a lulling tune to it.

      The Poogle opened and closed his mouth for a moment, hesitating on what to say or do. "I… c-came to get my neopoints back," he said in a matter-of-fact way, pointing to the bag in her grasp.

      She snorted.

     "Who said they were yours?" she said, smirking.

     He looked at her angrily.

     She shrugged it off and sat down, placing her hands on her knees, one of which still grasped the bag.

      "How did you find this place? I assumed it was hidden quite well," she said, rubbing her chin while looking at the sand floor.

      "I… followed a Scamander…" he stated simply, unable to stop staring at the strange pattern on the back of her neck, wondering if it were natural.

      She seemed to understand completely.

      "Well, what's your name, Poogle?" she asked, lowering her head and looking him straight in his eyes.

      He hesitated for a moment.

      "My name is Tukoh," the Poogle said slowly, somewhat reluctant to tell a complete stranger his name.

     She nodded.

      "Well," Tukoh said, turning his head slightly, "and your name is…?" he asked, wondering if she'd tell.

      "Scamandra," she said straight forward, "But what's it to you?" she asked suspiciously.

     Tukoh shrugged nervously.

     He had no reason to ask what she was doing down there. He understood why completely. He'd come across bandits before.

      "So," he asked, rubbing the back of his neck, "what's with all the…um… Scamanders?"

      She lifted her head and looked into his eyes, as if reading him like an open scroll. "I do not know," Scamandra said, adverting her piercing gaze and looking at the wall. "I've been with them as long as I can remember. I guess they raised me…" Scamandra said quietly, looking back at her crossed legs.

      Tukoh nodded absentmindedly, suppressing a yawn, and he couldn't deny the fact; he was exhausted.

      His eyelids wanted to tug down, and he had to fight them. Scamandra watched him intently for some time, until the young Poogle could not fight it any longer, and his vision started to blur, and he faded away into a deep sleep.

      Suddenly he was jerked away, a sound of hissing above him somewhere.

     A cobrall hung over the side of a wooden plank, trying to tell him off.

     He leapt up and backed away, but then, slowly adverted his gaze from the angry petpet.

      He looked around. He was…back in the bazaar.

     He turned his gaze to the sky, shocked to see the moon was gleaming back at him. It must have been nearly midnight.

     He rubbed his aching head, then stopped, remembering what had happened what seemed like minutes ago.

     In haste, he felt around on his belt. He sighed with relief as he felt his sack of neopoints, full up like it was when he had set out that day.

      But, there was something else added to it. There was a small parchment scroll, tied up with fancy golden lace. He grabbed it quickly and began scanning it.

      Written in chicken scratch with some misspelled words, was a small note.

     "Keep my secret safe. You must not ever tell, Tukoh."

      At the bottom of the note was a little symbol of a Scamander curved in an 'S' shape.

      He suddenly saw something move in the corner of his eye, and he swerved his head to the left, glancing around.

      Tukoh could have sworn he had seen a Scamander scurry by.

The End

Yay! ^_^ First story! I hoped you liked it! Please send me any questions or comments. ;3

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