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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 89 > Short Stories > Ezanna’s Inner Krawk

Ezanna’s Inner Krawk

by battlesunn

Ezanna, a Krawk of gleaming black and white scales, sighed sadly to himself as he stared wistfully out his NeoHome’s window at nothing in particular, his reptilian face propped up on his claws. Ezanna was uncharacteristically depressed, and it didn’t take a genius to notice. His sister, an ebony-furred Gelert called Shelleylou, could sense that something was wrong with her scaly brother. Not that she cared. Shelly was the kind of Pet who looked out for herself and no one else, unless a reward of some sort was in order.

     Even so, she had always felt a sort of special connection with Ezanna. Maybe it was the fact that he was older and more mature than her other two brothers, or maybe it was the certainty that he had proved time and time again to be a faithful lackey. But either way, the Gelert couldn’t help but think that maybe it was her duty to comfort him.

     She gingerly approached the dismayed Krawk and tapped him on the shoulder, seating herself across from him and curling her lithe tail around her ashy forepaws.

     "Come on Ez. Tell me what’s up; you’ve never been this quiet before," she began, offering Ezanna an outlet for explanation. The Krawk heaved another great sigh.

     "Shelly, am I a Krawk?" he asked. Shelly just stared at him. Ezanna tried again. "I mean, when you look at me… What do you see?" he inquired. The Gelert titled her head to the side and peered at him from her flashing, emerald green eyes.

     "I see a skunk Krawk who’s making a lousy attempt to sound insightful," she finally replied. Ezanna dismissed her comments with a wave of his claw.

     "No, you’re wrong. When I look at myself, like, in a mirror, I just see a Zafara, pretending to be a Krawk." His eyes hardened. "I’m not a real Krawk. I was born a Zafara, and then transformed into a Krawk. It’s like wearing a Halloween costume all year long."

     Shelly rolled her eyes. "You look like a Krawk to me, Ez."

     Ezanna shook his head. "You’re looking at me, but you aren’t seeing me." He stood up. "I know what I have to do to escape this slump." Ezanna turned back to his skeptical sister. "I’m going on a journey of self discovery, and I’m not coming back until I find my inner Krawk." Shelly raised a brow.

     "And what should I tell Sunny?" she asked. Ezanna grabbed his coat off the hook on the door and pulled it over his shoulders.

     "Tell her to put my dinner in the fridge if I’m not back by then." He squared his shoulders and flexed his claws.

     "When I come back, I’ll be a Krawk!" Ezanna proclaimed. Shelly threw up her paws in frustration.

     "You’re already a Krawk, dingbat!" she howled. But she was too late; her ill-fated brother had already left.

***

Ezanna grinned as he strode down the dusty path leading from his NeoHome, just happy to be out of the house and into Neopia. It was a brisk, spring day. The clouds above were a swirling myriad of grays and whites, though none dark enough to begin a rainstorm. Ezanna figured that the easiest way to get connect with his wild self would be to get back in touch with nature, like a real Krawk. Uncaring as to where he was heading, Ezanna continued on his way, walking obliviously into an uncharted forest.

     It wasn’t until it started getting dark that Ezanna began to get just a wee bit scared. He slowed his pace, padding silently through the woods, before coming to a complete stop entirely. He shuddered as an icy wind picked up, chilling him to the bone. Ezanna sighed, plopping down on a nearby rock.

     "What am I doing here?" he wistfully asked, rolling his eyes to the tree-shrouded sky as though he would find the answer there. "This whole quest was stupid. I’m going home." The Krawk stood and turned to hurry out of the forest, but sudden movements in the darkened bushes made him freeze. Ezanna stood rooted to the spot, not daring to breathe lest he betray his position, though his heart felt as though it was pounding loud enough to do so anyway.

     He narrowed his eyes and focused on the rustling foliage, trying to determine exactly where his attacker was located. Suddenly, all movement within the forest stopped. Everything was silent for a few, precious moments, before it was shattered by a horrible bloodcurdling cry as a gargantuan Poogle came leaping out the bushes, gnashing its ferocious fangs and snarling viciously. Ezanna gasped, took a step backwards, and stumbled on a protruding tree root. He crashed down to the forest floor, scooting himself back over the beds of fallen pine needles in a vain attempt to escape the Poogle’s gnashing jaws. The Krawk whimpered and he crouched down, curling into a ball and shielding his face with his claws. Ezanna shuddered as he felt the advancing Poogle’s rank breath seething against his scaly hide…

***

Shelly sighed irritably as she stared out her NeoHome’s window, snout resting on her ashy black paws, which were propped up on the windowsill as she waited impatiently for Ezanna to return. The Gelert’s rope-like tail thrashed against the richly carpeted floor in frustration. Ezanna had been gone for almost two hours now. How long did it take to discover your inner Neopet, anyway? Shelly snorted. Obviously, she didn’t give a Juppie about Ezanna’s welfare… But she couldn’t help but feel a little bit worried. If Sunny came home and found Ezanna missing, then there was no doubt in the Gelert’s mind that she would be blamed. Shelly made up her mind right there and then. She would go out, find Ezanna, hit him over the head for being so dense, and drag him home whether he liked it or not. There! Problem solved.

     Not bothering to grab a coat as her thick fur provided enough insulation on even the coldest of days, Shelly sauntered out the door, lowering her nose to the ground and sniffing around for traces of her brother. It didn’t take long before she found some Krawk tracks in the ground, which were still slightly damp from the heavy rainfall that had occurred the previous night. The Gelert smiled smugly. Her superior sense of smell had never failed to triumph over even the toughest situations.

     Following the broad trail of prints, Shelly trotted jauntily into the woods, ready to retrieve her brother.

***

Ezanna could feel the icy cold sweat trickling down his scales as he stared the beast, the vivacious wild Poogle, straight in its ferocious, blood-flecked eyes. The Krawk closed his eyes for what he figured would be the last time, expecting to feel some sort of pain, but there was none. Cautiously, he gingerly opened one hazel eye before finally realizing that the Poogle was gone. Ezanna peered around the forested glade, searching for his savior. Finally he laid eyes on a Krawk, the most magnificent one that he had ever encountered.

     Her scales were a brilliant sea blue hue, as his had once been before being painted with a skunk brush. Her eyes, enchanting pools of liquid gold, seemed to glimmer with unmatched power… and, as it seemed, compassion. Somehow, and without any violence, she had managed to drive the Poogle away. Ezanna struggled to his feet, which suddenly felt as though they were made of lead. The mysterious Krawk offered her claws to help him up.

     "Ezanna," she began, her voice sounding like a bell, a northern wind, and the crashing of the surf against a rock face all in one. "I know why you have come here. You don’t believe that you are a true Krawk." Ezanna was astonished.

     "How did you know my name?" he inquired, reptilian features shining with wonderment. The Krawk tossed her well-kept powder blue mane.

     "It is unimportant. I know many things. Many things about many Krawks." She turned back to Ezanna, her rippling golden orbs flashing with an unseen ferocity.

     "Why you have been so depressed lately, Ezanna? You believe yourself to not be a Krawk. You feel as though you do not possess the spirit of one, rather than that of a Zafara. What makes a Krawk? You own all parts of a Krawk in your anatomy. Scales, claws, a ragged mane, jutting fangs. What is there to complain about?" she asked. Ezanna shrugged, unsure of his once powerful argument.

     "I don’t know…" he admitted shamefully. "I was always taught that it was our passions and feelings that determined who we were. But I suppose that… what’s on the outside does have some influence."

     She nodded, "Yes, Ezanna. You are a Krawk. You will always possess the spirit of a Zafara, and nothing can change that, but you are most certainly a Krawk."

     Ezanna grinned, "So then I was right! All this time, it really is what’s on the outside that counts!" The Krawk proclaimed.

     "What’re you talking about, Ezanna?" a hard, unyielding voice interjected. Ezanna whirled around, only to have his gaze met with Shelly’s. The Gelert stalked stonily up to the Krawk and grabbed his arm.

     "Come on," she grunted as she tugged him towards the exit of the forest. "Let’s go." Ezanna frowned.

     "But… the Krawk lady! Where’d she go?" Ezanna snapped his head around in all directions, combing the forest with his eyes for the strange Krawk, but to no avail. Like the faint kiss of winter on a warm summer’s day, she was gone.

The End

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