An unnatural calm hung in the air like a heavy fog over
a small, modest NeoHome situated on Winding Wood Drive. It was as if the entire
forest that surrounded it was holding its breath… Suddenly, a piercing scream
rang through air, cutting through the silence like a well-sharpened Attack Fork.
"No! I don’t wanna go!" Zarrelian, a Halloween
colored Ixi shrieked.
"I don’t care if you don’t wanna go, you’re
going!" his owner, a teenage girl called Sunny, replied as she stuffed yet another
book into Zarrelian’s already overflowing knapsack.
"But Ezanna said that the fifth grade teacher
breathes fire and yells at you if you answer a question wrong!" The Ixi cried,
kicking out his hoofed legs in a futile attempt to struggle out of his owner’s
"Well, Ezanna was lying. He’s just trying to
scare you," Sunny said, holding onto her Pet with one hand while stuffing pencils
and books into a backpack with the other.
"Well he’s succeeding!" Zarrelian wailed, burying
his face into the carpet.
"I wasn’t lying," a silky voice interjected.
With a knowing smirk plastered across his reptilian snout, Ezanna, a blue Krawk,
sauntered on to the scene.
"Mr. Bronston is the meanest, most maniacal,
worst tempered Draik in all of Neopia. And, he just happens to be the fifth
grade Neoschool teacher. I thought he was scary, and he FAVOURED me!" The Krawk
spat, shooting an evil grin in Zarrelian’s direction. Ezanna placed a claw on
the Ixi’s shoulder, lowering his snout to Zarrelian’s ear.
"And he’s going to HATE you, Zarry-boy," he
Zarrelian shuddered, his little bat wings trembling
with fear. For the first time, he actually felt scared. He glanced pleadingly
at Sunny, who simply glared at Ezanna and shook her head.
"Don’t listen to Ezanna, Zarrel. Now come on,
you’re going to be late." She grabbed the Ixi by his hoof and dragged him out
the door. Zarrelian glanced back at Ezanna, just in time to hear him shoot one
last comment at his already terrified brother.
"Don’t be tardy, Zarrel. Mr. Bronston makes
late Pets sit in the front row… And he bites."
Zarrelian’s fur turned ghostly pale as he tried
vainly to hold back the gallons of sweat that had begun pouring down his face.
He took one last look at his NeoHome, which was rapidly receding into the distance
as he traveled closer and closer to the Neoschool. As he did, he couldn’t help
but ponder whether this would be the last time that he ever saw it…
Mr. Bronston sighed as he poured himself some steaming hot Borovan from a large
silver thermos into a ceramic mug. Today was the first day of Neoschool, for
thousands of young students, and for him. Oh, how he despised teaching! The
pets that he was forced to teach were all either irritating know-it-alls or
complete idiots. The Draik straightened the tie around his scaly neck. It was
his personal favorite, jet-black with a large yellow frowny face in the middle.
He sighed again and leaned back into his seat, allowing his mind to drift off
into a semi stupor. Only ten more minutes until this peaceful classroom filled
with a multitude of Pets, all of them chattering and playing and having… fun.
A sudden banging noise jolted the Draik out of
his reverie. He whirled around in his padded swivel chair and glared at the
small Halloween Ixi that stood in the doorway, grasping a green backpack between
his hooves. Mr. Bronston narrowed his yellow eyes and heaved himself up out
of his chair, flying over to the Ixi. He thrust his claws into his pockets and
pulled out a rumpled class list. He scanned it for a moment, his whiskers twitching.
Finally, he snapped his head back up and snorted, pointing a claw towards a
desk in the front row.
"You’re Zarrelian, eh? Zarrelian Battlesunn?"
he growled. The Ixi nodded, still too scared to speak. The Draik jerked his
"You’re related to that Krawk, Ezanna, aren’t
you?" he asked. Zarrelian nodded again. The Draik smiled thinly, scribbling
something down on his class list.
"I liked Ezanna. He had potential. Dead clever,
he was, but no show off. We’ll just have to see if you’re as great as old Ez
was," Mr. Bronston said, tapping the papers against his hardwood desk to get
them back into order.
Zarrelian couldn’t help but roll his eyes. Great.
He thought. Just great. Now I’m going to have live up to Ezanna’s stupid
"Sit there," Mr. Bronston barked. Zarrelian
looked in the direction of The Draik’s claw. Wonderful. A desk in the front
row. The Ixi shifted his backpack to his other hoof and trotted quickly over
to his desk, shoving papers and pens into the little slot. Mr. Bronston flicked
his tail and returned to his swivel chair, sipping his steaming Borovan and
eyeing the minute hand on the clock that inched ever closer to nine O Clock,
NST. The beginning of the first day of Neoschool.
Not long after, more and students began to enter
the room. The Draik ticked each one off on his class list and directed them
to their seats. Zarrelian watched with mild interest. Some of the pets, it seemed,
had already heard the rumors about Mr. Bronston. Those pets looked shaken, their
teeth chattering and their paws trembling. One Kiko looked as though he was
going to faint as Mr. Bronston marked his name off on the paper. Zarrelian glanced
at the two seats beside him. A Faerie Gelert and a Robot Acara had occupied
them. The Gelert grinned and offered his paw to the Ixi.
"Hi!" he barked, eyes twinkling. "I’m Poloroe,
and this is my brother, Zaveeni." He gestured with a creamy paw to the Robot
Acara, who merely nodded and added, somewhat gruffly, "Call me Zav."
Zarrelian nodded, staring Poloroe’s shimmering
Faerie wings with distaste. What kind of self-respecting Pet would allow their
owner to paint them with such a ridiculous brush? And the Acara, he looked like
some sort of kitchen appliance.
"I’m Zarrelian," he said coldly, making sure
that the Gelert knew who was in charge. Poloroe chuckled, exchanging a wink
with his brother.
"That’s a funny name! Can we call you Zarry?"
the Gelert asked. Zarrelian was highly insulted.
"No, you may not! You can call me Lord Zarrelian!"
the Ixi snapped. Unfortunately for him, Mr. Bronston was standing right behind
him. Poloroe and Zaveeni were suddenly sitting perfectly still, staring forward
with their paws folded on top of their desks.
"Well, well, well," the Draik hissed, thin plumes
of smoke emanating from his nostrils. "Looks like we have ourselves a little
loudmouth here. I suppose mister Zarrelian here thinks that his name is more
important than what I’m saying." He whipped out a long meter stick and whacked
it on top of Zarrelian’s desk, causing the entire class to jump out of their
seats. Mr. Bronston’s nostrils flared as he withdrew his meter stick and pointed
it at the blackboard, where he written the words, "learning is fun!" –Fun was
underlined twice and surrounded by a bunch of crudely drawn angry faces. Underneath,
he had written, in spiky, shaky printing, "Understood?"
The Draik nodded, shifting his position so that
he was balancing on his tail, his feet curled forward. He jerked his head into
the direction of the board, slicking his little plume of hair back with his
"Yes," he snarled, glaring at his students.
"Learning IS fun. But you know what ISN’T fun?" His narrowed, yellow eyes roved
across the room, picking out a victim. His steely gaze came to rest upon a fidgety,
silver furred Lupe sitting in the second row. "Well?" he asked, repeatedly slapping
the meter stick into his open palm. "Tell, me…" he glanced at his seating plan.
"…Beowulf. What ISN’T fun?"
Beowulf gulped, a thin bead of sweat trickling
down his silvery muzzle. "Er, Neomites?" He offered hopefully. Mr. Bronston
glared, and slammed the meter stick onto the blackboard, the force of the blow
causing the entire thing to shake precariously.
"No!" he roared, his yellowed fangs protruding
from his gumline. "I’LL tell you what ISN’T fun!" A small vein in his temple
throbbed angrily. "FUN! Fun is not FUN! At least, not in THIS classroom!" he
began pacing up and down the front of the classroom.
"There is to be no laughing, talking, trading
of Plushies, comparing of petpets…" he said, ticking them off on his claws.
"…Or any merrymaking of any kind! Understand?"
The students were all deathly silent. Mr. Bronston
"Good. Now, we will get to know each other.
We will go around the room, and one by one, you can introduce yourselves. Tell
us your name, a name that you would prefer to be called by, and one thing that
you would like to learn this year. Any questions?"
Nobody had a question.
"Good. Alright, you, the striped Grarrl in the
The Grarrl shakily stood and glanced around the
class. He cleared his throat nervously.
"Erm, my name is ElMuerteRojo… You can call
me Rojo. Or Muerte. I don’t really care. Uh, this year, I think that I would
like to learn how to, um… Divide a decimal number by another decimal number."
Zarrelian snickered. "Hey, I know how. Go down
to the Lost Desert, punch in a decimal number and then press the divide button!
Heheh." To the Ixi’s surprise, nobody was laughing. Zarrelian’s watery snicker
trailed off as Mr. Bronston came stomping over to his desk. The Draik growled
low in his throat, and, quite suddenly, a large jet of red-hot flame erupted
from his jaws, singing the hairs on top of the Ixi’s head. Mr. Bronston reached
down and picked Zarrelian up by his head. The Draik flew to the front of the
room and held the struggling pet up for everyone to see.
"You see this, class?" he asked, giving Zarrelian
a shake. "This is what I like to call an idiot. You know why?" He paused, milking
the drama to its fullest extent. "Because he was dumb enough to speak out in
my class, in my presence! THIS is what I like to call a failure, an annoyance,
Zarrelian had lashed out with his hind legs and
caught Mr. Bronston a crunching blow in the knees. The Draik released his hold
on the Ixi and howled with pain, holding his injured leg with his claws and
bouncing on his tail. Zarrelian chuckled and took the air, flapping his little
bat wings as hard he could.
"That’s for insulting The Ixi Of Doom!" he called,
grinning triumphantly. The smile fell from his face as Mr. Bronston got to his
feet and launched himself at the Ixi, roaring furiously. He reached out and
grabbed Zarrelian by the tail. The Ixi shrieked and kicked out, but this time
Mr. Bronston was ready. He ducked, and came bobbing back, fire spewing from
his mouth. Zarrelian, in a fit of desperation, banged his horned head against
the Draik’s paw. It did the trick. Mr. Bronston snarled and retreated his paw,
which gave Zarrelian enough time to grab the mug of (still hot) Borovan from
Mr. Bronston’s desk.
"Eat Borovan, sir!" the Ixi cried, and tossed
the burning liquid over his teacher. Fortunately for Mr. Bronston, his scales
protected him from the hot Borovan, though it probably wouldn’t have really
hurt, anyway, as his temper was much, much hotter than the drink. He cracked
his knuckles and flexed his muscles, which, after years of coaching the Neoschool’s
soccer team, were quite strong.
"I’m going to do what I should’ve done five
minutes ago…" he hissed.
Zarrelian shuddered, drifting slowly to the ground
like an autumn leaf. He trembled under the towering Draik, who was bearing down
on him like some avenging phantom.
"Say goodbye, Ixi!" he snarled, and released
his weapon of ultimate power…
"You got sent home early?!" Sunny cried, staring in disbelief at the form
that Zarrelian had brought home with him. The Ixi spat bitterly on the ground,
avoiding his owner’s eyes.
"It wasn’t my fault! Mr. Bronston’s out to get
me!" Zarrelian cried.
"Oh, he is not!" Sunny snapped, still steaming
over the short suspension from Neoschool.
"Yes he is! He told me so, just before he sent
me home!" Zarrelian replied, refusing to give way.
"I don’t care," Sunny said, tearing up the paper
with unmatched ferocity. "You’re still going to Neoschool tomorrow."
Zarrelian’s upper lip quivered, and his hooves
began to shake. The thought of facing Mr. Bronston again caused his stomach
to do backflips. He sank down to his knees, and roared his anguish to the heavens.
(Well, to the ceiling at least).
The End… For now.
Author’s Note: Poloroe, Zaveeni, and ElMuerteRojo are all my pets that live
on my two extension accounts. Beowulf was created because I love silver Lupes
but don’t have enough money for the Paint Brush. Mr. Bronston is a fictional
character, though he is based extremely heavily on my Social Studies teacher.
(I’d bet that he could blow fire he got really mad). Questions, comments, feedback
or hate mail are welcome and encouraged!