I am a terrible person. I havn't updated in so long, I'm surprised I still have people reading this. Well, here's another chapter!

The sunset glowed red, not visible within the walls of the castle courtyard, but there all the same. Golden glanced nervously at the sky. "We need to get tha' Neolodge 'fore its dark."

Kitterboy nodded. "I'm so tired I could sleep on a Tyrannian bed." He joked.

Shelly giggled as she trotted along beside him. "I'm so tired I could sleep next to...Turmaculus." She challenged, eyes landing in the enormous petpet as they walked down the castle hill.

They walked among the closed shops, and the few pets out in the sun's last rays hurried to wherever home was. "I'm so tired I could sleep...on the Snowager's tro...trove." Kitterboy yawned.

Shelly stumbled. Kitterboy noticed she was falling behind him. He sighed. "I knew this would happen." He bent down, offering his back. "Climb on." Shelly groaned, but was too tired to refuse. She climbed onto his backpack, and clinging with her sharp Aisha claws, fell asleep. Kitterboy stood up slowly and began to walk up to a large brown building.

Golden pushed through the door to the Neolodge and walked over to the counter. "Two rooms for the night" he said to the disinterested Peophin behind the counter. He stacked some Neopoints on the worn wood surface.

The Red Peophin snapped her Chewing Dung and handed them two keys. "Check out's at noon tomoreh. Food NOT included." she whined, resting her chin on her hoof.

Golden led the way up the stairs. Squinting at the keys in the dim stairwell, he handed Kitterboy the one marked 15. "I'll be in room 16. Don't bother me. We'll start off whenever we wake up." Golden whispered, tip-toeing past the closed doors. Kitterboy nodded, and put the room key into the lock. He pushed open the door and peered inside.

The room had that over-clean hotel feel, with two beds, two lamps, and a desk. Kitterboy carefully set down his backpack on the desk, and gently picked up his little sister off of it.

"Come on, in bed." He coaxed.

Shelly groaned. "Uh-uh. I'm not...sleeeeeeeeeepy..." she protested, before collapsing into the bed.

Kitterboy flopped on the other bed and stared out the window to the east. Kreludor had started to rise, its pale light shining through the darkened sky. He watched as it rose alone into the Neopian night, continuing its chase after the elusive sun. 'It's always like that,' Kitterboy thought, 'The sun chases the moon, the moon chases the sun, but neither ever meet the other. Like me, ' he realized suddenly, 'chasing after Cat.' he looked at the moon, and fancied it was looking at him. 'So alone...' then Shelly muttered and turned in her bed, reminding him. 'I'm not alone. I have family, and I'm gonna save Cat because she's family too.' with that thought, Kitterboy drifted off into the realm of dreams.

Kitterboy woke suddenly to a loud CLUNK from the Golden's room. His eyes shot open, seeing perfectly in the dark. He sat up in bed, listening intently.

"You hear it too?"

Kitterboy squeaked in surprise. Shelly was next to his bed, peering up at him with scared red eyes.

"Shelly!" he hissed, "Don't do that!"

Shelly whimpered. "There are weird noises coming from Uncle Golden's room."

Kitterboy swung his paws over the side of the bed, dropping to all fours. "I hear them." he said, just as a loud rustling sound came from next door, followed by a gurgle.

Kitterboy padded over to the door and poked his head out into the hallway. No one could be seen, so he walked to Golden's door, and slowly turned the knob. Shelly slunk between his paws and shoved her head through the door as he did. The door softly clicked closed behind them, but they were too shocked to catch it.

Kreludor's light shone through the window, falling across the two beds. One was empty.

The other was occupied by a monster.

The monster was pure black, standing out against the white sheets like a Spyder on a countertop. Large, Eyrie-like wings flopped over the side of the bed, trailing on the floor. The beast's mouth was gaping open, red tongue lolling to the side, revealing long white fangs. A rasping, gurgling noise issued from its chest.

Kitterboy gasped, but Shelly screamed.

"Hngh?" grunted the beast. Its eyes snapped open, glowing red in the dark. It heaved itself upright, enormous paws thudding on the floor. Quick as a wink, it leaped at the pets trembling at the door.

Kitterboy knew he had only seconds. He shoved Shelly beneath him and held his paws protectively over her. He squeezed his eyes shut and waited to feel claws and teeth ripping into him.

It never came. After a good ten seconds of silence, Kitterboy opened his eyes slowly and looked up. The black thing was looming over him, one paw holding the door shut. As Kitterboy gazed in shock, the thing's red eyes met his.

The great beast heaved a sigh. "I told you no' to bother me." it rumbled. It was then Kitterboy realized the monster looked very much like a Lupe.

The Lupe creature took his paw off the door and stared sadly at the floor. "Hi, Kitterboy."

Kitterboy sputtered in disbelief. Shelly wiggled out from under Kitterboy's limp arms. She stared at the huge black winged Lupe, and said what Kitterboy was trying to. "Uncle Golden?" she asked incredulously.

A smile stretched across the Lupe's fanged muzzle. "Hi, Shelly. Yes, it's Uncle Golden."

A few minutes later, the three were sitting on the beds in Golden's room. Golden on one, Kitterboy and Shelly on the other. Golden was staring at his hind paws, looking like he expected to be kicked.

Kitterboy broke the silence. "What happened to you?" he asked, concern etched in every word.

Golden ran a paw over the curved white teeth that hung out of his mouth. "I was cursed." he said finally.

"How?" Kitterboy asked, "Why?"

Golden ruffled his feathers self-consciously. "It's a lon' story," he warned.

"We're not going anywhere." he retorted, and Shelly crossed her arms, the picture of stubborn.

"I wanna know!" she cried, "Who would do something like that?"

Golden smiled. "All righ', I'll tell yeh."

Golden cleared his throat and shuffled his wings a bit before starting. "When I was a Meridell Guard, Kin' Skarl was 'avin' trouble with the werelupes near the 'aunted Woods. He sen' some guards to...ah... 'reason' with 'em. I never made it to their territory."

"When the troop was marchin' on the road, a herd of Ghost Unis ran across. They followed us, scared the newbies, and generally made themselves a nuisance. The cap'n ordered me to take care of 'em."

"I followed them into the woods, and immediately got lost. I was tryin' to find my way back to the road, when I came across a Dark Faerie. She was sittin' on a rock when I ran pas' and she jumped and fell off. She accused me of pushin' her, and cursed me. I turned into...this." He trailed off, gesturing helplessly at himself.

Shelly got up and sat next to him. "How come you don't look like this always?"

Golden looked happier now that Shelly wasn't scared of him. "Well," he continued, "After I had...calmed down a bit, I taugh' myself to fly and flew to Meridell. Actually, if I hadn' gotten cursed I probably wouldn' 'ave made it out at all. Lisha foun' me, an' took some pity on me. She brough' a powerful Ligh' Faerie to 'elp. The Ligh' Faerie cast another spell that made it so tha' when the sun was shinin' I would look normal. When it goes down, I turn into a monster." Golden finished, and seemed to shrink in shame.

Kitterboy stood, and looked in Golden's glowing red eyes. "You're not a monster. Stop saying that. The Dark Faerie was the monster, for doing this." he said fiercely, glaring at Golden. "And I swear, nobody's ever going to call you a monster and get away with it, not while I'm around."

Golden looked shocked, and then sighed in relief. "All righ'. Enough talkin'. We need to sleep. Ge' back to bed, the both of yeh." he rose and ushered them out the door.

Shelly yawned, and before shutting the door behind her and Kitterboy, had the last word in. "Uncle Golden, you snore loud."

Golden laughed at the shut door, before retiring, his heart lighter than it had been in years.