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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 84 > Short Stories > The Joys Of Teaching an Ixi of Doom

The Joys Of Teaching an Ixi of Doom

by battlesunn

Untitled Document 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 iron grasp.

     "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 hissed.

     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 tie irritably.

     "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 reputation.

     "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 free claws.

     "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 smiled.

     "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 back."

     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, an… OW!"

     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).

     "NOOOOOOOOOO!"

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!

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