TALES: Look Alike Part 1

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By Sanoon
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Literature Text

    "Get dressed, Ryne," Myst called out from the bathroom. The fruit bat was adjusting his plain blue shirt in front of the mirror. Meticulous detail was spent on his appearance today, for he was expecting company. His fur was groomed far above his already high standards, and his clothes were delicately pressed. It was amazing how soft he could be if he put enough effort into his hygiene, not that he was a dirty creature to begin with. Now Ryne on the other hand.... "Ryne, are you ready?"
    "Stop talking!" The brown bat shouted back. He was laying on the couch, shirtless, watching the foreign show on the television. It was annoying him how long it was taking to learn this language. Why couldn't everyone just speak Squickish and make life easy?
    "I want this to go perfectly." Myst pulled out a strip of dental floss and wrapped it around his fingers. "Did you clean the coffee table?"
    Ryne gave a quick glance to the table, covered in the days unopened letters, a sprawled deck of playing cards, a few empty beer bottles, and a cup of water. "Yes," he replied with disinterest. He paused for a moment when he noticed one of the letters had large red print stamped on the front. Of all the letters he had received, none had ever looked like that. "Hey, turd, there's an important looking letter here."
    Myst discarded the used string of floss and gave the mirror a quick smile. His canines looked wonderful. "Put it on the counter. I'll read it later."
    "Whatever." The brown bat had already gone back to watching whatever it was that was on the TV while mouthing out the vocal sounds that came from it.
    "You didn't clean a thing!" Myst shouted upon leaving the bathroom and seeing the state of affairs in the living room. "And you're not dressed!"
    "Blah-blah-blah," Ryne grumbled out a he reached out for the daily mail on the coffee table. "Read this," he said, lifting it into the air.
    "Put it on the counter! They'll be here soon and you're not even ready!"
    "What is it with you today!?" the brown bat shouted as he took the letters to the kitchen counter. "If they already like you, I doubt seeing a messy table will change their entire opinion of you! And what's with you being a perfectionist all of a sudden?"
    "No, Ryne, not today!" Myst dashed to the table and began organizing the cards. "Any other day I would argue with you, but today is very important to me, so please just be nice."
    "Buh, fiiine," Ryne droned as he trailed off into the bedroom. "Usually you're the one who hates wearing shirts."


    "Come out, you scared-y little dragon!" Anna and Twisty were standing just outside the open garage door, viewing upon where Sanny laid inside. ""There's nothing to worry about! I go to these places all the time!" Anna had finally deemed the bat ready to venture into the nearby town. Television could only teach so much. "Well?" Twisty was dressed in her best pair of pants, brown shirt, and a decorated parka. She was certain she would make a good impression.  Anna had decided on a pair of jeans and a striped black and white shirt. Sanny, of course, wore nothing.
    "Why do I need to go?" growled the dragon. He rested on a few laid out blankets; what could only be considered his crude bed.
    "Because you need to see more than this forest at some point in your life," Anna nearly shouted in response, crossing her arms as she did.
    "I hate towns."
    "You've never been to one! You just fear dragon hunters. No one will come after you."
    "I'm not going."
    Twisty briskly walked into the garage and grasped onto the dragon's head in a reassuring hug. "Please?" she hummed out. "Please come along. It'd be more fun if you joined us."
    "I really don't want to," he whispered out. This change of tactics had a far greater impact. Anna took notice and also changed her tone, moving closer to pet his muzzle. It was a weakness of his.
    "Come along for us?" Anna asked in a calmer tone. Sanny huffed in annoyance.
    "Fine. Just this once."
    Twisty squeaked in delight and ran out of the garage. Anna pulled on Sanny's head via one of the two horns atop his snout. "C'mon. We're going to meet Myst at his apartment, and it's already going to take an hour or two to navigate there through the forest."
    The dragon could have easily resisted, but he played along and let Anna lead him out of the garage. Twisty had already jogged ahead, eagerly awaiting the two to catch up, though Sanny still wasn't thrilled about this trip; he had never gotten over his fear of towns, much less did he want to show this fear to his friends. He was a dragon; raised to be brave and fearless in a culture that was ruthless and uncaring. He wasn't, of course, but it wasn't a flaw he wanted to reveal. It was a stigma he felt he had to embody, both as a sort of appeasement to a past and culture he despised, and as a character he felt Anna and Twisty expected him to be.
    The trip was rather uneventful: Filled with small talk about what they would likely do today while traveling about the town. There were shops to be had, food to be eaten, and luxuries to be enjoyed. Sanny abstained from this conversation. He was too worried about his own safety.
    Eventually the town drew upon them. They could have seen the taller buildings like the clock tower and some of the apartment complexes rise up in the distance had the tree line not prevented such a thing. When they broke through the abrupt end of the woods, they found they were in a rather spacious yard. A row of two story homes lined their view. They were filled with so many different things, each a representation of their owners tastes and character. Some had pools, some had trees, some had grills and chairs, and a few, as rare and unwanted it may be, were overgrown and disused.
    "Looks like someone's backyard," Anna stated as she took everything in.
    "Should we be here?" Twisty asked as she cautiously stepped ahead of Anna.
    "Probably not," the cat replied, resting her arms on her hips. "We're going to need to find a real way into town. Should be a path somewhere."
    Twisty snapped her fingers and turned to Anna with a victorious grin. "I know! Sanny can fly and find the trail!
    "That could work."
    "No!" The drake had stopped along the tree line. He was already beginning to feel the unease and fear of the unknown well up inside, and now his friends wanted him to advertise himself by becoming the most visible thing in the sky?
    "Right," Anna said as she turned back to Twisty and crossed her arms. "Knew you wouldn't do that for us."
    "I'm going back," Sanny growled. "I have no reason to stay."
    "No!" Twisty shouted, running up to the drake while waving her wings frantically. "Don't leave! This is supposed to be a fun group activity!"
    "I don't like towns," Sanny humed back. "I've told you this, right?"
    "Well, yes," the bat answered, lowering her wings, "but you also said you've never been to one before. You have to at least try it once."
    "I would be fine going my entire life never finding out if I was wrong or not."
    "Well today you're going to find out," Anna added in. "Now let's go. Myst is still waiting on us." There was only an angry growl of a reply as Anna began walking north along the tree line. The bat wordlessly patted Sanny's side before continuing on.
    The group followed the line of houses, and much to the dragon's dismay, anyone who was enjoying the sunny day in their backyard quickly retreated indoors upon his sight. This was surely a prelude to how his day would be going.
    They soon came to a paved path that cut through into a patch of trees, leading into town. It was a bike trail, cutting through this residential area and deeper into the town and provide a scenic route for pedestrian traffic. It was strange, though, how everything abruptly ended along the tree line, as if the townsfolk were fearful to extend farther. The path itself was only five feet wide, which Sanny was fully able to occupy. Another five feet of grass extended out on both sides, then a thick wall of trees to give the manufactured trail a natural feeling.
    There were a few joggers and bicyclists on the trail, though most turned around upon seeing the dragon. Very few were brave enough to continue past, though that didn't stop them from staring. It was starting to eat him up inside. If the few on the trail acted like this, who could tell how the rest would take his presence?
    The first street the trail intersected with looked to be a residential street, with bike lanes on the side of the road and decorated with nice houses like the one Twisty had. A passing car forced the bat to release an uncontainable squeak of joy, and a look of utter confusion from the dragon.
    "Everything is as beautiful as the TV said it would be," Twisty squeaked out, hopping about as she was unable to restrain her excitement.
    Sanny didn't even hear her; he too was lost in the moment, but for much different reasons. What were these strange contraptions? Why was everything here so strange? Houses like Twisty's, but each with lawns filled with junk, metal boxes on unnatural stone ground, metal jutting out of the grass in strange colors and shapes, and wooden poles that made light. He knew he was an alien to this world of strange customs and creations, and he didn't like it one bit.
    "This?" Anna asked with a dismissing wave of her hand. "This is nothing. Wait till you hit the shops. I'll loan you some cash so you can get a real town experience, but we need to hit the ATM first to do that."
    Twisty jumped on the cat, wrapping her wings around Anna's fuzzy frame. "That's the best! You're the best! Thank you!"
    "Don't worry about it, it's nothing," Anna said as she gently pushed the bat off of her. "Gotta find Myst's place, first."
    They continued down the path. They were looking for a three story apartment complex on Dusty Diggs Road, though it was becoming increasingly clear as they passed road after road that neither of these would be found via the walking trail, as the housing turned into tight two story brick buildings, all with signs telling of their trade. The traffic in this area was far denser, with pedestrians even amongst the commotion.
    "Ah, we've hit downtown," Anna stated upon observing the brick buildings.
    "Downtown?" Twisty asked as she watched the cars drive by.
    "Yeah. These buildings are a lot older, which is why they look so different. Also, the second floors are studio apartments." Twisty cooed in awe as a response. "We should ask one of these store owners where we can find that apartment complex." The two continued on, while Sanny trailed somewhat behind. He had found it near impossible to stay on the sidewalk with all the fancy lamp posts, decorative trees, and store canopies that were merely obstacles to his large body and uncompromising wings. He could feel the eyes staring at him. Oh how he hated it.
    What kept the two from getting too far ahead was Twisty window shopping at every store they passed. Every window was filled with treasures that amazed and delighted the bat, whose secrets she so desperately wanted to unravel. Thankfully, though, crossing the streets and alleyways helped move them along. It was one such alley where the rustling of cans and glass caught the bat's attention. Was someone there? It was a mystery that needed to be solved, and her curiosity was apt enough to forgo any sense of danger. Without alerting Anna, or saying anything at all, she stepped into the narrow passage.
    A can flew out of an open dumpster lid, bouncing off the brick wall opposite of it. A curious sight. Twisty didn't have to venture further before a rat lifted itself into view, looking in the opposite direction. Why was it digging through garbage and making a mess? The rat was sniffing the air, curious itself at the possibility of a new visitor and potential danger. Slowly, and in an almost eerily fashion fit for a horror movie, the rat turned to meet the gaze of the bat. Her stare was cold and intimidating, even if her whiskers dancing like fire in their adorableness betrayed her serious nature.
    "Hello," Twisty said meekly behind a timid smile, pulling her wings up to cover herself. "Didn't mean to interrupt. Just...keep doing what you were doing." Behind her, Sanny poked his head around the corner, curious to see why she had split off from Anna.
    "Yea', ye just stay away from my dump, Batty!" the rat declared with a squeaky voice, snapping her fingers at Twisty to add some extra emphasis. The eerie glare was dropped when she noticed the dragon's head poking out from around the corner. Not out of fear or shock, she tilted her head at the big creature curiously. "And what yer lookin' at, Scaley?"
    "Uh," Twisty mumbled as she looked back to Sanny. He had entered the alleyway, even if it was a tight fit for him, and kept his determined stare on the rat as if she were some sort of dangerous creature.
    "Don't pay scavengers any mind," he said in a low tone. He never took that stare off from the rat, and vice versa.
    "I was just curious," Twisty whispered back as she turned her gaze to the rat as well.
    "Let's go," he said as he gently bit onto the back of the bat, lifting her up with his lips. She squeaked in protest, though she knew there was nothing she could do to stop him. As Sanny backed himself out of the alley, she waved goodbye to the rat.
    "Yea', ya better run with yar tail between yar legs!" the rat shouted in victory as the two left. She grabbed what was left of a discarded chicken dinner before scampering off deeper into the alley.
    "Why did you stop me?" the bat asked to her draconic friend as he carried her down the sidewalk. This action drew a great many stares and comments from the locals.
    She found herself gently lowered to the ground before being released. "You walk into danger every chance you get," he said in a whisper while she readjusted her parka. He couldn't control his excessive breathing. He felt as though he was on a stage and everyone was here to watch; here to judge.
    "Danger? What danger?"
    "Don't mingle with scavengers," he responded back. His eyes were unfocused, constant with blinking.
    "This isn't the forest, Sanny." She crossed her wings in annoyance. "Just because-" The bat stopped mid sentence when she noticed how quickly the dragon was breathing. Did she anger him? "Are you alright?"
    "Everyone is staring." He lowered his head to Twisty's height. "Please, let’s just hurry."
    "There you two are," Anna said as she ran up to the two, holding with her quite the scowl. "Why did you let me keep walking? I thought I had lost you guys."
    "Sorry," Twisty quickly blurted as she turned to face the cat. "I got distracted."
    "You can shop later," Anna said with a flip of her wrist. "I asked around and found out where the apartment is. We're not too far away. Just a few blocks, actually." The cat turned and walked ahead to the next intersection and rounded the corner.
    The bat patted Sanny's snout before following Anna. With a groan and whine, the dragon also took to the tail of this conga line of slapdash tourism.
    The apartment wasn't difficult to find now that proper directions were to be had. The apartment building was actually one of three buildings that revolved around a plaza acting as its center, with a small pool as a bonus. Myst was thankfully already sitting outside. When he saw the trio, he quickly and giddily ran over to them, waving a wing as if he already wasn't noticeable against the far duller crowd.
    "Hi guys!" the fruit bat enthusiastically shouted as he stopped in front of the trio. The group responded in kind. "You guys will finally be able to meet my friend, Ryne. He's rough around all the edges, but he's fine once you get to know him."
    "That would be great," Anna said with a smile and a nod. "I promised Twisty I'd take her shopping after this."
    "Lucky you," Myst said as he pinched the brown bat's cheek. She immediately covered her head shyly behind her wings, to which Anna and Myst laughed. "C'mon, let’s head inside."
    "How will Sanny get in?" Twisty asked as she peeked out from her wings.
    "He, uh, can't," Myst responded with a weak laugh as he scratched behind his right ear. "Sorry big guy. I'll keep them for just a short bit." He could only return a look of concern. Were they really going to leave him alone out here? The three walked inside the middle building, talking and laughing. Yes, yes they were.
    The dragon laid himself near the entrance to the building and hid his head under one of his wings. How long would he have to wait? If they didn't come out soon he would just leave. This was the opposite of a good day. All he could hear was the constant roaring of engines and people talking. He could smell a thousand stenches, and nothing here was natural.


    "Aaaaand, this is where I live," Myst said as he opened his door. The three walked inside, quiet as they observed the single color scheme of the house. Ryne was watching TV, and oh thank goodness he was dressed.
    "It's very...tan," Anna mused aloud. Ryne had turned his attention to the new guests, but only stared at Twisty.
    "Yeah, I think it's the only color they had when they made the place," Myst said jokingly. The fruit bat pointed over to his friend. "That's my childhood friend, Ryne." He adjusted his language to Squickish. "Ryne, say hi."
    "Bitch, don't tell me what to do," Ryne grumbled back.
    "He says hi," Myst responded as he rolled his eyes. "Please, have a seat if you want." Anna walked over to the recliner while Twisty took a spot on the couch. Myst took this time to retreat to the kitchen to finish up his new creations.
    "You don't speak English?" Twisty asked Ryne, whom still hadn't taken his eyes off of her.
    "No," he responded quickly. "I'm learning though."
    "I have some books that might help."
    Ryne lowered his gaze for the first time. "Oh..." he mumbled. "That would be waaay more helpful than magazines and TV. I might actually be able to learn the damn language."
    The two bats shared a small laugh as Anna gazed over to Myst in the kitchen. It felt a lot like she was back visiting the colony again. Bat squeaks everywhere. Myst seemed busy in the kitchen. Was he preparing something? Hopefully it would be quick. They had shopping and exploring to do. She would come to find that that would not be the case as the time crawled on. Twisty and Ryne seemed content, though Anna truly didn't know since they never spoke English, but Myst was helpful to translate at least. Though rare conversation and food couldn't hold the two forever; they had to find Sanny and experience the town, something Twisty was still far too eager to do.
I'm hoping this is just a two part story. We'll see how it work out.

Next ChapterTALES: Look Alike Part 2
Previous StoryTALES: Two Best Friends

The preview image was drawn painstakingly by :iconannaklava:, which can be found here!
Twisty is :icontwooost:
Anna is :iconannaklava:
The Professional Dumpster Diver is :iconravenpuff:
Sanny is of course myself.
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Ravenpuff's avatar
And thus a new adventure for poor Sanny is about to begin :evillaugh:
Sanoon's avatar
I think everyone is going to be in for a treat. :D
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