The clouds parted to reveal the sun was gleaming on the many smiling faces who walked past. A young girl with her hair as golden as the sun, tied in pigtails, was walking with her charming little puppy to school. It was that moment the girl paused, crouched down to her puppy and gently lifted off his golden collar embedded with little hearts and paws, which the pendant was a strange, but beautiful rosy heart jewel. The girl slipped it onto her arm, and it magically shrunk into a bracelet. "I hate it when you couldn't understand me, Katie!" said a voice. It was her puppy. The bracelet had the ability to make humans understand animals. "Magic, I'm going to go to school now, see you later!" she told Magic. She kissed his cold wet nose and ran to the school entrance, clutching her bag. Kate had forgot to return the bracelet to Magic and slipped it into her bag.
And that is the worst mistake that could possibly happen.
After greeting her friends, Kate ran into a boy with reddish hair. "Watch where you're going!" he shouted at her. Kate looked up. "Oh, sorry Matthew!" she told the boy. She worried about what happened, because Matthew is a very mischievous boy and there are rumors in school about him. "You'd better be, or else," he grumbled and kicked Kate on her foot. Kate screeched and a bald teacher came by. "Matthew Jenkins, that was the last straw! You're in detention now." Matthew snorted.
Before break time, Kate left her bag in her classroom like everyone else does and ran outside to meet her friends. It was that moment Matthew glided out of the detention room and ran to the classroom which Kate left her bag. Matt advanced to Kate's desk and zipped open her satchel. "Now, whatcha got in here?" he grinned to himself and pulled out the collar with the heart on it. He wanted revenge on Kate, so he tried to crack the heart like an egg on her desk, completely unaware what it was. He snickered to himself until there came a slit into the heart. Unexpectedly, there were white beams of light shooting out of the heart. Matthew panicked. What was going on??? At the moment, Matt clutching the heart in his hand, the room seemed to spin around him and there were sparkles in the air.
At that moment, he realized he wasn't in the classroom anymore.
Matthew found himself standing somewhere that wasn't in school or the detention room. To his shock, his school uniform slowly materialized into a lime green, long-sleeved shirt with yellow rims and a golden paw shape emblazoned on the front of it. His school shorts became denim trousers with pockets on each side. His trainers became white and had blue stripes on them. On his head, a striped yellow and green cap appeared.
He used the time to check his surroundings. Matthew in front of a strange-looking fountain which had large flowers on it and stairs. in the distance was a golden and pink castle, with paws all over it, similar to the one n his shirt. in front of Matthew were puppies, kittens and other animals. They eyed Matthew in suspicion, awe, fear and confusion. The only thing that uttered in Matthew's thoughts was the fact that this place incredibly girly.
He laughed very loudly, startling the animals. "Oh Kate! Nice prank!!! Guess what! I'll get you back!!!" he yelled to the sky. Nothing happened, except for the fact that the animals were now wide-eyed, and staring at his hand. The two cats and two dogs in front of the crowd were now growling. They seemed to be a calico cat, a grey tabby, a mastiff and a golden retriever, but that didn't matter at all to Matthew. Shouldn't cats be hissing, not growling? Oh well, what the hell are they looking at?
He remembered his hands were firmly gripping something he picked up before. Peering into his hands, he saw the wretched collar that he found in Kate's bag. He gasped as he remembered this collar sent him to this place. Thats what they were looking at.
It was the heart.
Kate had been running home from school, and she didn't actually bother checking her bag until now. What she also didn't notice, was that Matthew didn't come to the next class. Her racing with Magic had come to a pause, near her house entrance so Kate could catch her breath. "That was great!" she said panting, and reaching her hand into her bag. She started rummaging through it and all there remained in it, was her school books and stationary. A cloud of shock crossed her face. "Where is it? Where is it?!" she shrieked in a nervous tone.
Magic tilted his head and grown upset for his best friend. What had she lost-- "THE FRIENDSHIP HEART! WHERE IS IT?!" she yelled loudly, nearly scaring off all the birds in the neighbourhood. Magic's mouth dropped, as Kate was now furiously shaking everything out of her satchel. Eva couldn't have taken it, she's vanished for good! he thought. Tears were now brimming down Kate's cheeks, so Magic had nothing to do except comfort her. He started to gently pat Kate with his fluffy paws, but Kate didn't seem to notice. She sat there clutching her knees staring into emptiness.
The scene was cut short as Kate's mother walked out of the front door. "Darling, is something wrong?" she quickly rushed to Kate's side and wiped her tears away, pushing Magic in the process. Kate snapped back to her senses. "Er, n-no mum, everything's fine! I... I just slipped and grazed myself!" she said unconvincingly. Kate's mother, Maria, looked very suspicious, shocking Kate. Kate had never seen disappointment in her mother's eyes. There was an awkward silence until Maria decided to break it. "Katie, come inside, lunch is on the table."
Kate shuffled into the house, with sad Magic following her behind. She had a strange day. First, she was assaulted by Matthew, second, she lost her most precious fragment of her joy in life, and third, her mother had looked at her a way she never looked at Kate before. Her mother had always given her a kind, warm-hearted gaze. But now, Maria was very suspicious, and Kate knew that nobody must ever find out the secrets, not even her mother.
She wondered, how will she find her Friendship Heart?
Matthew stood there, seemingly still. Out of the blue, he heard some voices. His head was sharply turning around in all directions. Who's talking? I don't see any people here! Matthew thought, sweating. He began to think this was a nightmare. The voices seemed to be like normal people, not in-the-distance voices you may hear in scary stories. Matthew looked cautiously at the pets and saw their lips moving. The retriever seemed to speak first. "Who are you?"
Matthew was startled. "Wha-Wha? You said something?" mumbled Matthew, not taking this easily. The puppy rolled his eyes as if it was normal. "I've said something, but you haven't answered my question!" he snarled. Matthew slowly said, "Matthew". Matthew didn't want any harm done to him, the retriever seemed somewhat aggressive. He heard animals talking in the background saying things like "Where did he come from? What's he doing here? I'm scared!". The tabby raised a paw to break the hubbub.
"Matthew, can we have a word with you?" she said in a calmed tone. Matthew was almost impressed, these animals were taking it more calmly than himself. The group of the four pets walked in front of Matthew, as the mastiff gestured him to follow. Matthew obeyed. He didn't know where they were heading, but he sure did seem to be scaring most of the pets, as they were running to their colorful homes that were situated on each side of the path, shutting their doors and windows. I wonder how them filthy beasts live in tiny houses, he thought. Matthew felt uncomfortable. He knew they wanted the heart, he knew it played a part in this bizarre scenario, but why?
"We're here!" said the mastiff, in a funny voice. Matthew looked at their destination. It was the tall castle he saw when he first entered this Kingdom, and now it looked so tall close up, you would faint trying to see the top of the castle. He saw two statues of a cat with majestic fur and a collar with a heart on, both standing on either sides of the steps that led to the castle door. The two cats ran up to the door and opened it, as the dogs led Matthew inside.
Where Matthew was now standing, was a huge room with an outstretched floor, with a carpet leading to 5 thrones, the one in the middle was the largest. Above him, was a large, royal chandelier hanging from the ceiling with little diamonds on it. The four pets approached the thrones and sat on the four thrones on each side of the middle one. The calico hadn't said anything for a while, so she was the first to speak.
"In case you're wondering, we are the Royal Guards of Pocketville, this place you accidentally whizzed into. I'm Mela," she said, indicating herself. "This is Balloon-" she says, pointing to the tabby, "- This is Danny-" she points to the mastiff, "- And that is William," she implies and points to the golden retriever. "In Pocketville, we work to give pets to sad children, to help them atone in their faults," said Balloon. "In other words, we give children best friends." "We were going to give you a pet frog, but something rather unfortunate happened..." whimpered Danny. "During the friendship ceremony- Which is when a pet is born into the world- The frog, Harry, dishappeared!"
Matthew was bewildered. He was going to get a pet? His legs were aching from standing so he sat down. "Is that a bad thing?" "Of course it is!" William yelled. "The pet is meant to rise and disappear with sparkles, but Harry just dissolved into nothing, then you appeared! And we suspect it's something to do with what you have done to the Friendship Heart."
Matthew turned over the collar in his hands. That's what it's called? The Friendship Heart? "I didn't do nothing!" he lied. William hopped off his throne and walked over to Matthew, giving him an icy glare. "Don't lie to us, we can clearly see cracks in the heart," he snapped. "Puppies can be immediately arrested for this cause. If you haven't given a moment to think about it, isn't it unusual that a human understands a puppy? It's because of the Friendship Heart." What William said was true, Matthew completely forgotten he was blabbering with animals and didn't realize the strangeness of it.
"Is there anything we can do now?" Matthew asked, feeling guilty. Matthew never felt guilt in his life. If he broke a window or burned some girl's hair in a science lesson, he never felt ashamed. These animals were strange and out of ordinary, but, they have seemed to change Matthew. "By the way, what's so important about the Friendship whatsit?" he stated, snapping out of his guilt.
After a day of school, Kate came home soaking wet and closed the door behind her. She got shocking news that Kevin was the son of the Petbuster, but Kate really didn't pay attention to him saying "He divorced though, now I live with mum," so Kate and Kevin's friendship went down the drain, and she had been a target for Kevin once again. All those events made her forget the Friendship Heart. What she didn't realise was that the Friendship Heart's disappearance was related to Matthew's truancy. Magic trotted up to her and licked her leg.
The sight of Magic made her remember the Friendship Heart. "Don't worry boy," she reassured Magic. "We'll find it soon." The surprising thing was, Kate actually was relaxed without the Friendship Heart. Sure, it gave her the best adventure in her life, but good things come to an end. She could have been a normal girl and her special puppy, as it should've been in the beginning. But as she's made great progress, there's no going back, and she's going to keep those memories.
"Race you, Magic!" she said as she ran upstairs with muddy shoes on and didn't notice. Kate reached her room first, so she propped her bag against her bed. She was about to fetch a towel to dry off, when she heard her mother calling. "Kate? Can you come downstairs please? We need to talk..." she finished in a quiet, but fierce tone. This got Kate as shocked as if she would've seen a fire. Her mother never called her to talk. They had such a good relationship, and now what was happening? Kate and Magic exchanged worried glances.
In another room in the castle, a beautiful kitten resides. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean, and the patches on her skin were as rich red as the fallen autumn leaves. Her eyes showed a hint of kindness and love. She was sitting in front of a colorful bookshelf. She was shocked by the events of the Friendship Ceremony recently, furthermore, her only option was to beg for information, using the blue gem around her neck. Oh Ocean of Friendship, please answer my cries. What is the cause of this Friendship Ceremony to go wrong? Still no answer. The kitten had no other choice but to give up now. The Pocketpedia isn't responding... What's wrong? she questioned herself.
The Felis Aulicus decided to put her troubles on hold. She desperately needed a break from trying to communicate with the Ocean of Friendship. She walked around the room. I'm so worried about Eva... There has to be a reason for her cold heart. It is possible to have two rulers... What if all her evil doing was just a cry out for attention, trying to tell me she wanted to rule along side me? How could I have been so blind...? She held back her tears. She had missed her sister.
"Princess Ava!!!" a voice called, and she seen her fellow royal guards trotting up to her. It was the voice of William. "We have something to show you!" he said between panting. Ava was quite dizzy, so she didn't really expect anything so serious. "Has the Magic Fountain crystallized?" she asked. The guards shook their heads. "Follow us, Princess!" announced Balloon. Balloon felt a bit awkward ordering a princess, but Ava didn't mind.
Princess Ava followed her Royal Guards out the room, and as she did so, everyone was unaware that the bookshelf burst into flames. Slowly forming cinders as the fire slowly chewed on the books, including the Pocketpedia itself, burned along with the rest of them...
Even though it was afternoon, Kate felt the darkness shrouding her and the air closing in. She refused to take steps downstairs, but her feet disobeyed. She slowly descended the stairs, with Magic following her. Kate wished she had her Friendship Heart, so she would disappear into Pocketville forever and never come back. Kate noticed her muddy footsteps she'd left when she first came into the house and chuckled. She entered the living room and saw her mother. There was no turning back now!
Kate tried to hide her true feelings by a charming smile. "I'm here,mummy!"
"Katie, would you sit down in front of me, please?" asked her mother, in a nice tone, which made Kate more relaxed. Kate had never known that her mother was using this tone to lull her into being calm, so Kate would gain immediate trust and spill the information. "So, Kate... I've been getting word from your teachers and daddy that you seem to disappear and come later on. Oh, and Magic seems to disappear with you. Ever since Magic appeared, he was wearing a very strange looking collar. It never looked like it belonged to you. Katie... You're a good girl, can you tell me wh-- AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!" she stopped her lulling voice with a shrill scream.
Kate snapped out of her trance immediately. What was mummy going to say? Who? What? When? Or where? And why is she screaming? Kate looked at her mother, to see blood was trickling down her morher's arm and Magic's teeth were ripping into her skin. Magic had known what was going on and saved Kate from telling the truth, but Kate didn't see Magic as a hero. She immediately yanked him for her mother's safety. "MAGIC!!!! How dare you! Bad boy!! BAD BOY!!" she shrieked.
Magic leapt out of Kate's arms and hid under the table. His heart sank, started whining and his ears dropped. His tail no longer wagged. If only he could tell Kate why he did that. Kate's mother looked as shocked as a damsel in distress on the outside, but on the inside, she half-smiled and fury was cooking up. Magic's a very clever puppy, he is... I'd have to get rid of him if I want information.
Kate stood there breathless. She looked angry, but felt pity for little Magic. But that monster bit her mother. She wasn't having that. She and her mother hadn't looked each other in the eye. The both kept staring at Magic. Creaak.. The front door swung open and dad had come home, looking cheerful with an armful of shopping. "Maria darling, I'm home!" he announced, waiting for his wife to come and greet him with a kiss.
But nobody moved. His face changed into confusion, then shock when he saw his wife bleeding, his daughter standing still upset and Magic under the table. "What happened here?" he asked, but nobody answered.
Matthew stood face to face with a rare Siamese cat, who was wearing a collar with a blue heart, very similar to the Friendship Heart. She flashed a beautiful, rare smile. It was one of her famous princess features. "My goodness! This is the third time a human child has visited Pocketville!" Her voice was so charming, that the whole world would've swooned to the direction of her voice.
"Who might you be? And what do you mean by third human child?" asked Matthew impatiently. The pretty, little Siamese blinked her beautiful blue eyes. "I am Princess Ava of Pocketville. And I mean that first a girl named Kate, then a boy-"
"KATE?!!!" shrieked Matthew, rudely interrupting. The princess grew wide-eyed, so Matthew lowered his voice a little. "You don't happen to mean Kate, the one with a mutt?" The princess nodded. "Do you know her?" she asked with a little hope in her voice. Matthew angrily turned to the guards. "You told me everything about Pocketville, but you never told me that this girl comes here!!!"
He soon started calling them such rude names, that Mela fainted on top of Balloon. "D'oh! MATTHEW! You don't behave like thish in front of a princhess! We would've arreshted you by now!" Danny spoke up. William, who was clutching Danny at the startle of cussing, now loosened from him and added in, "Danny's right! Introduce yourself!"
Matthew thought for a moment before following their orders. Kate had this in her bag, all this time... "Oh yeah, whatever. My name is Matthew." He paused. "WAIT! Why did I have to introduce myself? You already said my name, Danny!" he pointed out angrily. Danny and William both whimpered. Matthew continued, "Also, I got here thanks to this..."
He held up the Friendship Heart. Ava gasped. "It's broken!! You haven't stolen it, have you?!" she screamed, her voice not so charming now. She caught the guards staring at her, so she finished in a calm voice. "We must take you to Evershell, now... And Balloon, you don't mind dragging Mela, do you?"
Kate was running across the street, her hair flowing back. It had all happened so fast... After yesterday's incident, her father decided to take Magic to the animal shelter, and now Kate felt guilty. She is heading to school now. Actually, she is meant to be heading to school. She was actually going to a friend who might be able to help her.
She finally reached a shack, where two horses were eating grass and enjoying themselves. She chuckled to herself. I heard they were able to build this in three days! she thought. She reached to knock the door and heard people inside. She breathed a sigh of relief and opened the door to see two boys playing Minecraft, and a cat. The first boy had spiky blue hair, blue shorts and a black shirt. The other boy looked the same, but instead of blue, he had orangish coloring. The cat was a tabby.
"Hi Liam X, Ezzy X and Skippy!" she called to the trio. The boy with the blue hair, Liam X, blushed. "Ezz lent the honeymaker to Santi," he said, with Ezzy X snickering. Kate wanted Liam X to help her, but she had to ask him a question first.
"Why aren't you in school?" she asked. Liam X answered casually. "One of my frogs has lots of new tadpoles. Couldn't leave without feeding them." Kate nodded her head in an understanding manner. "By the way, Liam X, can you please help me?" she asked. Liam X stood up and walked towards her. "Sure, I couldn't leave a homie behind."
"I need to get back to Pocketville, I need their help, but I couldn't... I've lost my F-Friendship Heaart!" she said the last few words in a shaky whimper. Liam X's eyes widened. "What the swag?!" Kate was glad that her friend was a good listener. He was the only one she could trust with this task.
Liam X pulled a ring off his left wrist, which had a beautiful white heart, which had an icy breeze to it. "Kate, I'll let you borrow this," he said in a way that he couldn't be hesitating. He put it in Kate's hands and she blushed. "Thank you..." she said softly. Liam X continued, "When you're done with it, will you return it? I got to keep some demons away." Kate nodded.
For the jewel to transport her to Pocketville, she would have to say the truth. However, she doesn't really want to stay with Magic forever. Also, Magic wasn't here to complete the ritual. Kate disappeared with sparkles. Before she disappeared, Liam X heard her last words: "To get the Friendship Heart back, is all I want."
White. Cold. Snowing. Kate was standing in the middle of an icy mountain, instead of the Magic Fountain. Normally transporting to Pocketville changes her clothes, but it left her in casual summer clothing. She cursed between her breath, and her hands were going numb and blue. It was going to take really long to get to Pocketville. Her nose now went blue from breathing the freezing air.
Other than that, she felt rumbling not far away. She plodded towards the noise, pushing the snow with her sandals. Her feet were blue as well. She saw a very large ship, buried in the snow, as if it crashed. However, it seemed in good condition. Kate squinted at the words covered in snow, but she could make out the words USS Voyager.
Kate's eyes lit in recognition, and she was running down the steep snow, and she saw a blonde boy walking near the ship, wearing long-sleeved red and black clothes. He had his hands on his hips, and he turned to Kate. "Wrong year again?" he asked. Kate shook her head. "Twenty-first century," she replied in a matter-of-fact stately way. "Kristijan, can you help me? I need to get to Pocketville, and I can't walk there in short sleeves, it's freezing!"
"Sure," replied Kristijan. "Just let Panda and I get some things ensured, and launch will be commencing shortly." Kate nodded. "Thanks! By the way, no need for warp."
Kate looked around and saw she was standing at the entrance to Pocketville. She thanked Kristijan and Panda and made her way, as she saw the USS Voyager rise to the air, and disappear with a blinding flash. She used her time exploring the ship's decks and chatting with Kristijan about his newest adventures, but now she had to go talk to her friends, Princess Ava and the guards.
The five animals and one human made their way through a path of trees. Mela was back up and they all seemed in good status. Except the human. "My knee hurts!" Matthew complained. Balloon turned her head in annoyance but kept walking. "Which knee?" she asked. Matthew didn't answer that. "My elbow hurts and I have to go to the bathroom!" William blew a raspberry. "Would you mind holding it in? We're nearly there!"
They all stopped when they reached a clearing, and there was a cave in front of them. Mela and Balloon climbed two trees parallel to each other, and pulled a branch down. Like automatic doors, the cave door opened. They all ran inside, quickly before the doors shut. The royal guards were lighting torches. "Matthew, please pay your respects to Evershell," Ava instrusted. As the guards lit torches, they said how much this reminded them when Ava disappeared in place of Kate.
After they went through some cave passage, there was a river, in which they had to jump across stones. They were now standing at a cliff with a bridge. "I wish I could kick you all down there," chuckled Matthew. Ava nearly fainted, but William said Matthew was only joking, and gave him a quick glare. As they crossed the bridge, Matthew seemed to put on a smirk, causing a few people to wish he wouldn't kick them off.
They went inside a cave which had ferocious-looking animal statues. Matthew made faces at each of them. They came across a black puma and a cheetah. They seemed to be the guards of the place. They also came with a strange greeting. "You brought another human? Seriously?" William sighed. "It's not like we had a choice! Let us in, now!" he growled, the word 'now' with more emphasis'. The two cats chuckled and stepped aside. The six walked through another series of caves, and they finally found an old turtle.
Before anyone could speak, Matthew blurted, "THIS IS WHAT WE CAME FOR?! A FRIKKIN TURTLE?!" The guards got quickly embarrassed and hushed him. Ava went over to the turtle. "Dearest Evershell, we're so sorry-" Ava began. The turtle kept his eyes closed. "It's no problem," he quickly said. "I haven't seen you in long. Sorry I didn't come to your arrival." Ava's jaw dropped. "You didn't come to see me arrive?!!" she shrieked. "All of Pocketville was there, why you--"
"This is not what you're here to talk about," interrupted Evershell. Ava took a deep breath. "Yes, you're right. The Friendship Heart is broken... Again!" Evershell shook his head. Everyone stared at him expectantly. He came with a strange reply. "That doesn't matter. You have an Ocean of Friendship, no?" Ava nodded. The guards shared exchanged glances. Evershell was right.
"By the way, I have a bigger problem of my own. Far worse than yours," he said. "What could it be?" asked Ava. Evershell now sounded like he was dying, wheezing. "The flowers... They're wilting!"
Kate went through crowds of little animals, who were all cheering. She could understand them thanks to the white Friendship Heart she had now. "Katie, you're back!" "We missed you!" "Where's Magic?" Kate didn't reply to any of those questions. "Puppies, where can I find Princess Ava?" she asked. There was a bit of a silence as some puppies were exchanging glances and murmuring. Finally the answer came. "She's not in her castle right now, sorry... She just went out with the royal guards."
Kate sighed. This was going to take forever. "Thanks," she mumbled. Her appreciation however, was in a sarcastic tone. The puppies didn't catch it though, and kept rambling. "Where's Magic?" "Why did you give the boy the Friendship Heart?" "Sign my collar!!" Kate didn't listen to most of those, right now she was wondering when on earth Princess Ava would come back.
When suddenly, Kate came back to her senses. Her expression was rewritten with worry. "Could you repeat that?" she begged. A crazed puppy yelled again. "Will you sign my collar??" Kate shook her head. "No, before that!" she said. Another puppy spoke up. It now seemed quite anxious. "Why did you give the boy the Friendship Heart?" it stuttered. That was what Kate was looking for. "Yes, that question!" she praised. The puppy now felt proud of herself, as if she was going to receive a treat.
"What boy??? Liam X? Kristijan??" she said the only names she could think of, they were the only ones she told about the Friendship Heart. The puppies shook their heads, and now Kate was beginning to realize it couldn't have been them. "Who then?" she asked out loud, and in her mind. The puppies weren't ready to spill the beans. "I want a treat!" demanded the puppy who asked the question. All the puppies now began to chant, "Give her a treat! Give her a treat! Give her a treat!"
Kate groaned, reached in her pocket and thrown a treat to the puppy. Most puppies looked very jealous, while this puppy's tail wagged madly. She was diving into the cube-shaped doggie treat, savouring the taste and licking her lips enthusiastically. Kate didn't tell her that the dog treat was out of date. After the deal of munching, the puppy spoke with her mouth full. "Ma-oo!" Kate was confused. "What?" she retorted. "Could you repeat that?"
The puppy's voice now came out clearer. "Matthew!"
Princess Ava and the Royal Guards stood gawking at the scene. Matthew wouldn't have known that this used to be a beautiful, endless fields of golden light. That light came from flowers, flowers signifying the friendship between children and their animal companions. The flowers were now so brown and leaning towards the ground, as if they had no hope. Some petals had fallen off, and some flowers had even fallen to the ground. Even the sky seemed to feel the flower's pain, and was dulling red. Nothing was alive here.
Matthew broke the silence unnecessarily. "Nice garden the old turtle got there," he said, but everyone ignored him. Ava's voice was quiet as she was trying to stop any high pitched squeaks when she spoke. "W-What happened? The flowers haven't done this in a long time, not ever, never! Did the pets get taken by the Pet Buster? Did the children's friendship decease?" William wiped sweat off his brow and chuckled nervously. "Nonsense! Haha.. The Pet Buster would surely not take all these pets in one day?"
Nobody took note of William's words. Mela turned around. "I bet this all started happening when he showed up!" she spat, pointing at Matthew. Matthew recoiled as if someone slapped him. Matthew's eyes furrowed in anger. "Now look here (swear word)! Don't you DARE point your dirty whatchamacallit at Matthew Jenkins!" he threatened, but to his dismay, the other royal guards were on Mela's side. They started growling at him. Ava didn't seem to care about what they were doing, her eyes still on the flowers.
Before anyone could talk, there was a sound of footsteps, rather paw-steps. Everyone turned to the noise, including Ava, to see a puppy similar to William. Normally Ava would've been shocked, because the only people who known about the flower fields were Evershell, herself, Kate, Magic and the royal guards. However, she dismissed it. "Willis?" William mumbled. "How did you get here?" Willis drew closer to them, so Willis and the others were face to face.
"I heard all that commotion," he said, grinning. "Now before you go picking on that lad, there are much more important matters. I came here to discuss it with you, if you don't mind?" Although it wasn't directed at him, Matthew rudely replied "I won't be listen to any (swear word) right now, thank you." The princess shook her head. "Ignore him," she said. "Go on, we're all ears."
Willis began. "I've been getting reports from the townsfolk, and I've even witnessed it myself. It could be the reason why the flowers are wilting. Whilst you were away, I didn't believe what the animals said at first, but I actually saw it happen. You do remember the friendship ceremony with the frog? Well, it's happening to some puppies as we speak. Slowly, one by one, they are vanishing into thin air. They are disappearing."
Kate didn't know whether to faint, choke, scream or do all three at the same time. Her heart nearly skipped a beat. The word Matthew echoed in her mind. She just wanted to pinch herself but she now couldn't deny the truth. Firstly, Matthew had disappeared for days. Secondly, her Friendship Heart as well. A lump in her throat formed as she realised what he could have done to the Friendship Heart, him not being careful with other's belongings.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" she cried so loudly that all the pets scattered and hid. Some windows cracked and birds flew off. The whole of Pocketville might have heard it. There was an awkward silence, and the girl fell to her knees. Her eyes were glazed, tears ran down her cheeks and her mouth hung open.
Most of the pets seemed to sympathise, but then they looked past her, ignoring her lament and started shrieking. "Oh no!" "Not possible!" "Aah!" "What?!" Kate wiped her tears, sniffled and turned around. She gasped, stumbling backwards. The smell of thick smoke hung in the air, and the sky seemed to be red. There was a large, burning, blazing inferno where the beautiful castle used to stand.
Far away, a man and a woman were alone in a house. They both sat on separate sofas. The man held his head in his hands, and the woman sat with one leg over the other leg, as she caressed her bandaged arm. On the floor was a dog carrier, and a whimpering German Shepherd puppy sitting in it. It was so quiet that you could only hear the clock ticking. "Peter, stop worrying about Kate," the woman sighed. "Let's just get rid of the dog and over it."
"Why haven't I known before? The girl has a habit of disappearing. You're right Maria, I remember the tour, and when she assaulted the Pet Buster man..." Peter said, but you couldn't tell whether he sounded angry or depressed. Maria rolled her eyes. What an observant husband she has. "When she comes back, don't let her out of your sight, don't let her go ANYWHERE without your supervision!" she demanded. Peter hung his head.
The puppy seemed to be howling and whining. "Shut up, Magic!" schreeched Maria. "You know what?" she said, turning to her husband. "I just wish I can go back to working and leave all of you!" Peter's jaw dropped. "Maria, no-"
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash. Maria and Peter reflexively covered their eyes, and when the light was gone they turned to its source. They were looking at he dog carrier, and something was not there. The cage door was still locked. Peter finally became observant, and enquired: "Where's Magic?"
Ava and the others paced back inside Evershell's cave, to see Evershell hanging his head, his eyes closed in depression. Ava tried not to cry. "Evershell..." she said in a somber voice. "We have just found out the pets are vanishing... There is no hope for us anymore. The Pocketpedia wouldn't respond. Our only choice now is to send Matthew home..." Matthew turned to her direction when he heard his name. Evershell opened his eyes. "Friends, don't give in. We have hope."
The animals immediately perked up and stared wide-eyed. Who said that? "The reason the world has not completely exploded yet is because of the boy," Evershell said. Matthew grimaced and Evershell continued.
"It is, however falling apart because of his presence. When he broke the Friendship Heart, his bad energy chanelled through it. The Friendship Heart is leaking bad energy, but the bad energy is not breaking out because the heart is in his grasp. If he lets go of it, who knows what will happen? My point being, we should bring good energy to the heart. The only way, is to bond a friend for Matthew. He needs a loyal companion until the end. This will perhaps restore Pocketville, and give the Friendship Heart back. Only then you can send him home."
Silence. Everyone's jaw dropped, including the wild cats back there who guard Evershell. Matthew was staring at the jewel with shock. He couldn't believe that his negative side was sheltered in the Friendship Heart. He now wanted to throw the damn thing on the floor, he didn't want to be a part of this, but he couldn't bring himself to. The Friendship Heart twinkled, as if confirming Evershell's words.
Ava smiled. Her eyes smiled and flashed. She had never been this happy since Matthew's arrival. She loved it when kids and puppies were together, and she was happy that Matthew could finally be redeemed. Her tail swished excitedly, and she felt like a kitten again.
"My dear friends!" she proclaimed and turned to them. They saw her beautiful, blue ocean eyes full of life. "Make haste! We shall return to Pocketville,and once again shall we begin a Friendship Ceremony!" The guards cheered, finally glad their princess was so content. "What about the frog? He died, remember?" Matthew broke in. The Royal Guards stared at Matthew angrily. Their princess was delightfully happy, and he decides to ruin it. What a killjoy!
Fortunately, Ava was not shaken by this. "Don't worry Matthew! That might've been a slight flaw with the Friendship Ceremony. Maybe he was the wrong pet? By the way, he didn't die." The guards inwardly breathed a huge sigh of relief. They didn't want to see their princess sad ever again!
Ava made a mad dash to the entrance of the cave. "Wait for us!" William called, and soon they all were outside, riding the path back to Pocketville.
Kate got to her feet without thinking. She gripped the Ice Friendship Heart (Liam X's white heart he had given her) tighter and wiped her tears. The pets were a little shocked to see Kate's sudden change of heart. Was something going on in her mind? Before they could ask, she darted into a sprint like an Olympic Gold-Medal Winner. The pets gawked as she ran straight towards the hellfire of the castle. "No! Kate! Don't go there!" They pleaded helplessly.
As the calls of the pets became fainter, the smog and scorching heat became thicker. The castle was no longer golden, and has soot all over the little curves. Kate choked violently and battled the strength of the smoke, and quickly ran to the front entrance. To her dismay, it was blocked by fallen melting pillars. Kate wouldn't give up yet. What was it again? Oh! She ran to the back of the castle, where there was a square-sized hole in the ground.
She leaped inside, hoping it wasn't blocked. Thankfully, the steep tunnel remained. She had used this secret castle exit before when she had first been to Pocketville, and now she was going to do it again- But using it as an entrance. There was less smoke in this underground passageway, yet there was less air to breathe. Kate had to climb up rather quickly, before the castle was fully consumed in the flames.
She pulled herself up one metre above the ground.
After a huge deep breath of exhaustion, she wiped the sweat off her forehead and pushed the trapdoor upwards to open it, then heaved herself up and climbed out. How long had she been in there, clawing her way to the top? She looked up saw the corridor in front of her covered in thick, deadly, black smoke, darker than the grey smoke outside. Katie, you can do this... she thought to herself. She paused for a second, then dashed down the corridors, breathing in as little as possible. Whenever she did, she would cough heavily, her chest hauled inwards.
She ran left and right, knowing where she was going. She couldn't see anything, it was so dark that if you put your hand in front of your face you wouldn't see it or its outlines. When she got nearer to her destination, the room was lightened with fierce tints of red and orange. She saw the dastardly flames, dancing around, taunting her as they demolished the room. They were huge, and loomed over her with the great power they had.
Kate could only stand there and gape. She was done for. When then, a sparkle caught her eye, and she saw icicles forming on the ceiling. Icicles, in the middle of a heatwave?! They were melting overtop of the fire, and with each drop came a pained hiss of rage from the fire as it shrunk. Kate remembered what she was holding in her hand, and laughed merrily with relief. The Ice Friendship Heart had saved her.
She known that the fire wasn't fully gone, as she still saw smoke come running dwn the hallways. She stepped past the little fire, and stood on her tippy toes and worn the Ice Friendship Heart around her wrist as a bracelet. She grabbed an item with both hands, pulling it off the top of the bookshelf. It was a green, beautiful book, but now red and black at the corners. She handled it with extra care, and ran back through the smothering corridors.
Matthew legs ached with the effort he spent on running, and he couldn't take it anymore. "Guys, I'm tired. Get back here!" he demanded. The royal guards groaned, nevertheless they came back to Matthew's side, with Ava following suit. What happened next was unbelievable. As Matthew lowered himself to sit down in front of a tree, a branch caught on his shirt. It torn through the fibers, and then grazed his skin, agonizingly more painful as he got lower. "Yowch!" Matthew cried, and as he did, he lost his grip on the Friendship Heart.
In a mere picosecond, the sky's red colour was awash with a frightening shade of grey,and a large crack in the ground, spreading so many miles, was directly underneath Matthew. Everyone's hearts nearly missed a beat from those unnatural distractions, but Ava was the only one who noticed the disturbance of the ground underneath Matthew, and the crack was opening quickly. If nothing was done, he was to fall into the deep, fiery mantle of Pocketville!
"Matthew, look out!" Ava cried out, launching herself at him. She pushed him to one side of the crack, which had the royal guards on it. She ended up, however, on the other side of the crack. "Princess Ava!" the guards yelled in horror. The crack split wider, until the distance between the guards and the princess was as wide as a car. The crack stopped widening, because Matthew had strengthened his grip on the Friendship Heart. "Wait there Princhess!" Danny called, backing up, ready to do a running-jump. "Danny, no!" Ava hollered back. Matthew looked into the large crack, and saw a lava river far below. No wonder Ava didn't want Danny to jump.
"Go, my friends! The Friendship Ceremony must happen! Here, take the Ocean of Friendship!" Ava added, tossing her beautiful collar to the other side. Balloon picked it up. "B-but, princess...!" She said hesitantly. Matthew glanced at the royal guards, to notice their eyes shining. Were those tears...?
"I trust you with my heart," Ava said. "I'll find a way to come back!" William, the one trying hardest to keep a straight face, ushered the guards and Matthew. "Come on," he said weakly. The guards walked onwards into the forest, heading towards Pocketville, their heads hanging. Matthew didn't move, and stared into the distance. He saw Ava run off, looking for a bridge of sorts. Matthew uttered a phrase he had never said since his birth, and he said it silently, remembering how Ava saved him.
Kate panted as she finally reached Pocketville. The pets surrounded her, praising her with utmost compliments. The puppies licked her, the kittens purred and the other animals jumped about ecstatically, despite Kate's face coated in soot and her hair unkempt and her clothes torn. "You saved the Pocketpedia! You're amazing! We love you, Katie!" they warbled. The pets put Kate at ease, and she stroked them in return. "Thank you," she said. A voice in the crowd of the puppies said, "Yay! We stopped disappearing!" Kate turned her head sharply. "What?" she mumbled. The puppy who spoke continued. "Ever since the castle burned, we started to disappear! But when you got the Pocketpedia, we aren't disappearing!" The pets started to cheer, and Kate was simply amazed.
When she turned around, Kate nearly gasped, and her pulse nearly ceased. Matthew stood there triumphantly, in new clothes, with the royal guards behind him. Underneath the shade of his cap, his dark hazel eyes glimmered a sort of evil, and he looked at her as if she was a duckling and he was a hungry crocodile. "What's wrong, Kate?" he asked, with his most deliciously familiar, sadistic tone. "You haven't had a bath in 360 million years?" He stepped towards her slowly, making himself more intimidating.
"Royal guards! Help!" Kate shrieked. Without any movement, Balloon straightforwardly said, with no hint of growling, "Matthew, don't do anything stupid." He halted in an instant, like a programmed robot. Kate was flabbergasted. Why did he follow Balloon's order? Once Matthew would have heard Kate, he would have made fun of her for calling animals 'royal guards'. She twitched as she remembered that he had the Friendship Heart, and quickly glanced at his hand.
"What have you done?!" Kate yelled, noticing the poor state of the Friendship Heart. Before Matthew could reply, Kate authoritatively erupted. "GIVE BACK THE FRIENDSHIP HEART!" The guards went in front of Matthew, defending him. "No, Kate!" William barked. "If he wasn't holding on, Pocketville would be destroyed imminently!" Kate faltered. The guards were on his side?! But she couldn't risk letting Pocketville being destroyed, so she held back. Observant little Mela piped up. "Where's Magic?" she asked. The girl was taken aback. She had forgotten that her little friend was not by her side, and Kate didn't want to tell the truth about what he did.
"He's... Actually, where's Princess Ava?" she said, eyeing the Ocean of Friendship, and then the crowd of pets listened curiously. Danny sighed. "She's been sheperated from ush," he said sadly. "Eh, William! Remember, we are here to do a Friendship Ceremony!" William nodded in sudden remembrance. "That's right! Kate was suddenly interested. "A Friendship Ceremony? For who?" she enquired. Matthew, who had been quiet for a while, stuck his tongue at her. "Oh, right," She finished. She grinned and held up the Pocketpedia. "I've brought the Pocketpedia!" she said, feeling as if she won. "We can do this!"
"Atta girl!" said Danny. "Hang on, why is it red around the edges?" Kate solemnly pointed at the still-burning castle. "Nooo! My favourite treats are in there!" he cried out. "Danny, now is not the time! Once we're done with this, you can have all the treats you want," William said. Danny's mouth watered at the thought. "Isn't anyone concerned about this?" said Balloon, throwing worried glances at the castle.
Kate gently took the Ocean of Friendship collar off Balloon. "Alright, let's get started. Pocketpedia!" she announced. "Give us a perfect pet for this lonely-" Matthew grimaced at this, "-child, desperate in need for a friend!" Once more, the Pocketpedia glowed and sparkled, full of life. This was the only positive thing the royal guards had seen today, and they fell to it's hypnotic beauty. Even Matthew smiled, unaware, as he never seen something as pretty as this. The pages flipped, and then finally landed on a blank page. Everyone except Matthew gasped.
"Nothing?!" The pets gasped, jaws hanging open and eyes widened. "Th-that's not possible! The Pocketpedia must always show a sort of pet! But here, neither mammal, bird, fish nor reptile is imprinted on the page!" William stuttered, the first time he had actually flipped out. "There must be a mistake!" Kate agreed, her eyebrows scrunched up in terror. "Why do you need a book to choose what the (swear word) you want?" asked Matthew, snatching the Pocketpedia with his free hand. "I want something awesome. Like a wolf!" he said, his eyes lighting up. Kate shook her head. "Matthew, that's not how it works..."
"What if... Matthew didn't deserve a pet?" Balloon theorized. A wicked silence ensued for a few seconds. "Nuh-uh!" Matthew said, still leafing through pages. "I want something cool." Then, in front of everyone's eyes, they saw something flittering about in the air, showing off a flash of orange. "What was that?" Kate asked. The orange blur perched on Matthew's finger, and its moving ceased. The royal guards took a closer look at it, and even sniffed it.
"What in Pocketville is that thing?" Mela asked. "We've never seen such a thing!" The pets murmured among themselves. Kate and Matthew were the only ones who knew what it was. It had a black segmented body, two delicate antennae, six legs, a curled proboscis, but what was most astonishing was its wings. They were bejeweled with orange, outlined with speckles of black and white, and larger than the creature itself.
"I don't believe it! It's a..." Kate began. "...Monarch butterfly," Matthew finished. "I heard these things are poisonous, and they are coloured orange to ward off predators," he grinned. "Just like you," muttered Kate. The royal guards didn't have the same idea as the two humans. "We should find a pet by now. Evershell said this is the only way to save Pocketville," said William. Kate giggled. "What's so funny?" William asked in annoyance, making Kate stop giggling. "Don't you realise it by now?" Kate asked. "The pet is the butterfly!"
Matthew stood up straight, admiring his butterfly. It flapped its wings, but didn't take off, as if to impress Matthew. The pets cheered wildly, and repeatedly called out for the Friendship Ceremony to happen.
"Let the Friendship Ceremony begin!" Kate proclaimed. The Ocean of Friendship soared towards the Magic Fountain, and the butterfly flew underneath it. "Let the spirit of the Ocean of Friendship light its way to the Magic Fountain..." she continued. Matthew had never felt so happy. Even though he couldn't understand what the butterfly, it was the magical experience of him bonding with the butterfly that made him happy. The butterfly, without flapping its wings, rised into the air and disappeared in sparkles. But since Matthew was not in the Big City, it reappeared near him.
Everyone cheered, and the most incredible thing happened. The Friendship Heart 'healed' itself, restored to its former glory once again. The water of the Magic Foutain flew into the air, forming a watery tornado. However, it was not threatening- it made its way to the castle, and dowsed the flames. But instead of the castle looking like how it did before the fire, it looked so breath-taking. The castle was stainless gold, with even more decorative jewels, a proud pink colour, and it was larger in size. Then, the Pocketpedia started to sparkle, and it became a much larger book- It looked so beautiful, its value would be unmeasurable.