The La-Iin Series
“Happy Merry Minomix”
A knock sounded at the door.
“Now who could that be?” A Minomix woman said. She and her husband went to answer the door together. Standing there was a small Birdmix girl who looked fairly young.
“Um, hello, my name is Shaejaein Rini-Futo,” she said. “I go to school with your daughter…I wanted to tell her something. It’ll be really quick, so…”
“You’re looking for Yefu-Shenhao?” The Minomix woman said. “She’s not in right now.”
Rini-Futo’s eyes widened. “Where is she?”
“She might be playing with the neighborhood girls,” the Minomix man said. “She does play with them a lot nowadays.”
“Where would that be?”
“There’s a small patch of grass in the middle of the road. A tree grows there. That’s where they usually meet up. If they’re not there though, I’m not sure where she might be. She and those girls go everywhere.” The Minomix woman said. “Good luck finding her. If you can’t find her, just tell us what you wanted to tell her and we’ll pass along the message.”
“Um, okay. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Bustaen.” The two Minomix nodded and closed the door. Rini-Futo spread her wings and went into flight, checking around the neighborhood for the landmark Yefu-Shenhao’s parents had described.
Rini-Futo noticed that there were several Minomix in the neighborhood. As she continued to look around, she let out a breath, trying to calm herself down. She had never been to Yefu-Shenhao’s neighborhood before–she only felt confident enough to fly over to it after extensive research on the location of the “Bustaen” family.
So many of the people in the area seemed much larger than her, and flying above the houses, Rini-Futo felt tiny. She was lost in these thoughts for longer than she would have expected, until she heard a familiar voice from underneath her.
“What, you wan’ me to lift this whole thin’ now?”
“Please, Yefu-Shenhao! We love seeing your strength in action!” A voice below her cried. Curious, Rini-Futo landed.
A small grassy area sat in the middle of the street, a tree growing in the middle. There, standing around it, was Yefu-Shenhao and several other children who looked around her age, and mostly girls as her parents had said save for two boys.
The children were all a variety of species, and to Rini-Futo’s dismay they were of species normally much taller than her. She wasn’t sure how she was going to get Yefu-Shenhao’s attention with all those children in the way.
Then, she flapped her wings. ‘Oh.’
“A’ight, here goes….” Rini-Futo flew above the children just in time to see Yefu-Shenhao lifting up large metal boxes. Rini-Futo gasped. Yefu-Shenhao lifted them up with only minimal struggle, the moment so brief she had almost missed it. The children began to cheer and Yefu-Shenhao gave a snort and a smile before setting the boxes back down again.
“Can you do–” One of the boys started, but before he could continue, Yefu-Shenhao looked up and noticed Rini-Futo. Rini-Futo flinched away.
“Is that Shaejaein?” She heard her say.
“Who’s Shaejaein?” Asked an Animated Pumpkin girl.
“Girl from my school,” she said simply. “Yo, Shaejaein, that you?”
Rini-Futo took a breath and flew closer to Yefu-Shenhao before landing. She stared up at her, if only to avoid the gazes of the other children who were now starting to watch her closely.
“Hey, Shaejaein. Good ta see you! What brings you ova’ here?”
“Um…I came here to see you, actually,” she said quietly. Glancing around, she noticed that the other children were still staring at her. She felt nervous enough to want to fly away as fast as she could go, but she stayed, remembering what she had come here for.
“Didja wanna see me?” Yefu-Shenhao asked. “That’s fine. I was just doin’ a test ‘a strength ri’ now, so it’s perfect timin’. HEY! ANYONE ELSE GOT SOMETHIN’ THEY WANT ME TA LIFT?”
“I do!” The Ferreniao boy piped up. “In my house, we have these really heavy bags of dog kibble! I want to see if you can carry three of those!”
“Do I gotta go in yer house?” Yefu-Shenhao asked.
“No, I can get them! I’ll be right back!” The Ferreniao boy then ran off energetically.
“While we’re waitin’ on ‘im….yeah, Shaejaein?”
“You’re….you seem popular,” Rini-Futo said quietly.
“Me?” Yefu-Shenhao glanced around at the children, who were eagerly chatting among each other about her next challenge. “Guess so. Bu’ I think it’s prolly ’cause I’ve got a lotta strength. Otha’ Minomix have lots’a strength too, but I’m pretty much the only Minomix kid ’round here. So I guess they kinda all flock ta me….”
“Do you l-like doing tests of strength?”
“Yeah!” Yefu-Shenhao said cheerfully. “It’s pretty fun. Best thing about bein’….well, it sounds really weird ta say poplyuer. But these kids always have somethin’ fer me to do. Even if they jus’ like seein’ my powers, I like it!”
“Do you use your other powers?” Rini-Futo asked.
“Yeah, I do sometimes. Watch!”
Yefu-Shenhao sucked in a deep breath, then bellowed at the top of her lungs. Rini-Futo froze, but against her will. The bellow had been startling, but she wasn’t sure why she couldn’t move.
“Like it? I don’t usually use it though ’cause it takes me a little ta get it quite right an’ ya know, freezes people an’ all….”
“It’s….interesting,” Rini-Futo said politely. “I guess there’s a lot I don’t know about Minomix powers…”
“Prolly not, but I could teach you! There’s this really weird one I can use where–”
“Yefu-Shenhao, I got the dog kibble!” Called the Ferreniao boy. All the children turned to face him. He was pulling along a wagon full of kibble bags, and his energy from earlier seemed to have been mostly sapped as he panted and trudged along with the wagon of dog kibble. Still, he seemed excited to see how Yefu-Shenhao fared, and when he dropped the wagon handle he started to jump up and down, his eyes focused on Yefu-Shenhao.
“You want me to just hold the bags, or carry ’round the wagon?”
“Both! Second one first!” He said quickly before starting to wheeze.
Yefu-Shenhao nodded and picked up the wagon handle. She began to drag it along with her down the road. The children followed after her. Rini-Futo watched on, until she realized they likely were moving on and flew after them.
Yefu-Shenhao stopped at another grassy spot, though this one was smaller and bordered with flowers. She then picked up one bag of kibble, then the second. She didn’t seem to be having any issue holding them, but when she reached down to grab the third one, she couldn’t seem to reach.
“You can do it, Yefu-Shenhao!” A Cicadin girl cried.
“Yeah! We believe in you!” Said a Snowliv girl.
“Go for it, Yefu-Shenhao!” Said a Catori-Birdmix boy.
Rini-Futo couldn’t really tell how the other children’s words were affecting Yefu-Shenhao. She still seemed to be struggling to reach the other bag of kibble. Yefu-Shenhao gave a grunt, then finally managed to reach down, grab the third bag of kibble, and carry it. She was almost thrown over by its weight, but she soon managed to stabilize herself.
“I did it!”
The children started to cheer. Rini-Futo felt slightly off-put, but she decided to clap. Yefu-Shenhao started to look embarrassed.
“That one was preeeeee-tty difficult, Hekwok!” Yefu-Shenhao said to the Ferreniao boy. He stared up at her with wide eyes and his mouth hanging open. “You win for today, hardest challenge by far!”
“Eeeeeeeee!” Hekwok shrieked. Some of the other children covered their ears, while others just giggled.
“You are really strong, Bustaen,” Rini-Futo said. Yefu-Shenhao smiled. “Thanks, Shaejaein! Ya know, I been thinkin’ ’bout my strength lots recently, ‘specially since I’ve had some time ta myself since school’s been out. I think when I grow up, I should do somethin’ that has ta do with strength. ‘Cause why waste it, I say? Maybe people’ll say it’s cliché fer a Minomix ta want ta do a strong job, but I just like the idea!”
“I’m totally behind that!” A Normal-Siren girl said.
“You guys’re definitely helpin’ me towards that goal,” Yefu-Shenhao said. “But I think I hurt my back a bit reachin’ down to get that kibble….so, I guess fer today, the test ‘a strength’s over.”
“Okay!” The Animated Pumpkin girl said. “Then, see you tomorrow, Yefu-Shenhao!”
The group of children walked away. Yefu-Shenhao waved after them, then turned to Rini-Futo. “So, d’ja want somethin’ from me? Think we got a little sidetracked…”
“Oh!” Rini-Futo gasped. “Yes, I did! I wanted to tell you….you remembered that school is starting tomorrow, right?”
“…yeah?” Yefu-Shenhao almost looked a little offended. “Didja go around askin’ everyone else that too, or’s it just me?”
“No, that wasn’t it,” Rini-Futo said. “It just had to do with that….um, I heard Mr. Chensu say there’s going to be some interesting lessons this year….and I wanted to tell you he told me one of them, so I was going to tell you too, so you knew ahead of time.”
“I had to tell someone…you were the first person I thought of,” she said. “Um, so…there’s going to be a Malicerie Medley some time this year.”
“I’m sorry, that was kind of silly to come all this way for that….”
“Nah, thank you! I feel kinda special now, since ya told me first an’ all!” Yefu-Shenhao grinned. “Thanks, Shaejaein. I’ll keep it in mind.”
“You’re welcome, Bustaen,” Rini-Futo said.
‘Bustaen’s a really interesting girl,’ she thought to herself. ‘I’m sure she’s going to keep being really popular.’
“Um, before I go…what’s that weird power you were talking about?”
“Oh, this.” Yefu-Shenhao slammed a fist into the palm of her hand and squeezed the fist tighter together. When she let it go, a strange pink, bloody ball splat on the ground.
Rini-Futo stared on in horror.
“Yeah, that’s one I’ve been wantin’ ta understand too,” she said. “….er, Shaejaein, are ya alright?”