Smell the Scents: Part Three
Bella looked in the water a bit farther upstream and on the opposite side of the river to where Timmy currently was. She was playing a game with her usukis. In it she was a famous princess and explorer, and the usukis were all her trusty servants. She was expecting to find lots of golden neopoints in the bottom of the stream, which she would bravely dive down and get.
Her own baby Gelert face looked back at her. There were no neopoints, no golden neopoints, no nothing - except a soggy shoe and a few rocks.
“Ewwww!” she said in a whiney voice. “That’s gross. Come, trusty servants; let us get away from here!”
With that, Bella picked up her usukis and ran off into the trees, stopping a short while later to explore in some bushes for hidden treasures. She gave up soon because she had a very hollow feeling in her stomach.
“You know what, trusty servants? I am hungry. I don’t know how long I have been out. I am kind of cold and still a bit wet from the rain too. Maybe we should go home and get something to eat. Mum will welcome me back proudly with all the treasure I have to show her. I will be a great hero and maybe the Defenders of Neopia will let me join them. Or maybe Hannah will let me join her on adventures. I bet she would love my help!”
Bella picked up her usukis again, along with a few random items that she believed were grand treasures. She ran off in the direction of home, almost stumbling in exhaustion.
After a short time of searching, she found the edge of the woods and followed the path to her neohome. She ran to the back door.
“Mum, I am home. Come see the treasures that me and my trusty servants found!”
The water gurgled quickly all around Timmy as he tried to keep his balance on a little stepping stone. He had found a line of them crossing the river just next to where he had found Bella’s scent. He wasn’t entirely sure if she was capable of crossing them but she must have tried, because Timmy couldn’t find her scent anywhere else.
He gulped when he saw the next stepping stone. It was small and kind of pointy up the top. It was going to be challenging to land on. He took a flying leap at it and for a split second he was on top of it. Unfortunately Timmy weighed a great deal more the Bella, and when he landed on it a small piece on the top broke off. Timmy’s back legs slipped out of under him, quickly followed by his front legs and the rest of his body. He found himself being dragged along with the water, and the current was pulling him under the water far too often for his liking. He struggled to keep his head above the water, splashing about with his front legs. Swimming had never been his strong point, though.
“HELP!” he managed to gurgle when his head popped up for a moment.
There was nobody there to hear him, though, except Bella. And she was very busy trying to find golden neopoints in the bottom of the stream, so she didn’t hear.
“HEEELLLLLP!” shouted Timmy again, vaguely hoping that someone would hear him and help.
Nobody did, though, and the water was icy cold. Timmy’s senses began to go numb. He cried for help again as he was carried down the rushing river.
Max woke up relatively quickly after being knocked out. He couldn’t remember much and the room he was in didn’t help, because he didn’t recognise it at all.
The walls were painted purple with green swirly patterns. There was no carpet. The door was also painted purple with green swirly patterns. Max tried to open it, but it was locked.
‘Hardly surprising,’ he thought. ‘But where am I and who captured me? Where is Timmy? Why was I captured?’
All these questions ran through Max’s head, and one by one he answered them all except for the last one.
‘I think it was a dark faerie that captured me. I remember catching a glimpse of one before I was knocked out. That would mean I am in her lair somewhere. I think Timmy ran the other way. I can’t believe I didn’t listen to his warning. I could have avoided this whole situation and instead I was completely rude to him. That was very stupid of me. I suppose I should apologise when I get out of this mess. But how will I get out?’
Max’s thoughts went silent (if that’s possible) when he heard the sound of footsteps. They were quite soft and Max could only hear them for a few seconds before they stopped. The sound of someone fumbling slightly with a key was heard and then the door opened.
Max gasped and tried to keep calm as Jhudora stepped into the room.
“Bella, you’re back! I’ve been worried sick about you! How dare you go off like that? Max and Timmy had to go looking for you. Where are they?”
Bella gasped for breath as her mother hugged her tightly. She tried to cling to her treasures but when her mum hugged her even tighter she dropped them.
“Mum, let me go. You made me drop all my treasures!”
Her mum let her go and dragged her inside.
“You can pick up your stuff later. First of all you are going to have a big bath and something to eat.”
“But I don’t want a bath. I want to show you all my treasures. My trusty servants and I found them when we went exploring in the woods!”
Her mum glared at her and turned on the taps in the bath.
“I don’t care what you found. You don’t just go off without permission like that. Anything could have happened to you. You might have been kidnapped or robbed. You might have gotten really sick or lost. I might never have seen you again. And now your brothers have gone out looking for you. Where are they? Did they come back with you? I haven’t seen them!”
Bella sat herself in the bath, suddenly deciding it might not be such a bad idea to have one. She felt very dirty and the bath was nice and warm. She looked up at her mum.
“I don’t know where Timmy and Max are. I haven’t seen them. And I wasn’t lost. I have my trusty servants to look after me!”
Bella reached out a paw and grabbed an usuki that she kept in the bathroom to play with when she had her baths. She took no more notice of her mother, who was still speaking to her.
“Right, well, I hope Timmy and Max come back soon. You have been a very naughty girl, Bella, and you can spend the rest of the day in your room without your usukis. I will go and get you some lunch and you can have that when you are out of your bath. So hurry up.”
Bella ignored her mum as she stormed out of the room. She was still playing with her bath time usuki and hadn’t actually heard a word her mum had just said.
Timmy coughed up some more water. He had been swept up on the side of the river, not actually much farther down from where he had fallen in. He lay there for a few minutes so that he could get his breath and energy back. That short struggle in the river had exhausted him and now all he wanted to do was lie down and sleep.
‘No,’ he thought after a minute. ‘I must find Bella. But where did her scent go? Back up the stream somewhere. I hope she crossed alright. Falling in the stream like I did could have seriously injured her.’
He got up and wandered along the edge of the stream, heading up towards the place where he had fallen in. He hadn’t gone very far, however, when a faint whimpering sound came from somewhere in the trees not far from the river.
Deciding that he could spare a moment to investigate, Timmy left the edge of the stream and followed the sound. It became quite loud and Timmy looked around to see where it was coming from. He couldn’t see anything, though, and started to wander in circles. It was really loud for a few seconds and then went quiet when he moved. He wandered back to where it had been loudest and promptly tripped over something.
‘What was that? I never trip over my own feet,’ thought Timmy, confused.
He felt around the area where he had fallen. He could feel a small petpet, trembling beneath his paws.
‘No wonder I couldn’t see it! It’s invisible. I don’t even know what type of petpet it is. Wait a minute, I think, I think it is a doglefox.’
At that moment the invisible petpet, presumably a doglefox, let out another whimper and crept up to Timmy’s side, making him jump.
“Aww, you poor thing. Have you lost your owner?”
It whined and pawed him gently.
“Never mind, you can come with me. I have to find my sister, maybe you can help me. But stay close; I can't see you and I don’t want to lose you. Do you have a name?”
The doglefox shook his head slightly, though Timmy couldn’t see it.
“Umm, bark once if you have a name and twice if you don’t.”
The doglefox barked twice.
“Okay then, I will call you Joe. Is that okay?”
The doglefox rubbed against Timmy.
“I will take that as a yes. Now come on, off to find Bella.”
To be continued...