|Illustrated by theeaterofworlds|
Azure watched Ruby, her older sister, slowly apply another
layer of makeup.
"Ruby, don't you think you've put on enough
makeup?" asked Azure.
"Of course not," answered Ruby. "I want to look
my best of the costume ball tonight."
"Not like that's going to be a problem, Ruby,
you've always looked your best with or without makeup," replied Azure sarcastically.
Ruby narrowed her eyes at Azure's reflection
in her vanity mirror, "Will you be going to the ball Azure?" she asked bitterly
Azure looked down at her tiny blue Zafara paws
and blushed, "Maybe, with that nice Uni down the road. Mother said that he's
been inquiring about me," she answered.
Being the younger sister of the most beautiful
Zafara in their small southern town, Azure didn't receive much attention. This
pet, however, was different from the rest. He wanted to spend his time with
Azure, a Zafara who thought of herself as too plain to be noticed. This boy
made her feel special, seeing how she had to live in her sister's shadow.
probably just astonished by how someone as pitiful as you could be related to
a beauty like me," said Ruby
Azure looked away, too shy to defend herself against Ruby's cruel remark.
"Besides," Ruby softly patted a powder puff on her face, "he's already taking
me to the costume ball," she said.
Azure looked at the back of her sister's head
in shock. She quickly held her paws to her mouth, afraid she might scream in
protest. Ruby could see Azure's overwhelmed expression reflected in the mirror
and smiled sinisterly as she played her sister perfectly.
"That's right," Ruby turned to face Azure, "he
asked me to go with him to the costume ball," she said.
Azure stood speechless as she struggled to choke
back tears. Her thoughts screamed, pleading for her sister's mercy.
No, don't do this Ruby… please… don't… Ruby…
"And you know what makes this all so funny,
Azure?" a spiteful grin spread across Ruby's face, "Not once did he care to
ask about you."
Azure's world shattered, it was only after this
could she feel her tears trickle from her eyes. She ran to her room and slammed
the door behind her. Azure leaned against the door then slowly stumbled into
the room. She collapsed to her knees and looked to the sky for answers.
sobbed Azure, "Why does she do this to me? What… what have I done to deserve
Like gentle rain, soggy tears ran down her chin and dripped onto the floor.
"Azure, dear, are you all right?" asked Mother from the outside the bedroom
Azure quickly wiped her tears away, "Yes," she
"I said yes mother!" shouted Azure quickly.
There was a long pause.
"Well, all right Azure. Ruby is ready to leave
and is waiting outside in the garden for her date. Could you please wait with
her?" asked Mother.
Azure looked at the ground. There was a bitter
taste in her mouth, the taste of blood. Azure was biting her tongue.
"Yes mother…" answered Azure as she slowly picked
herself up off the floor.
Azure blindly walked through the huge garden,
snagging and tarring her dress, cutting her skin against the thorns of the rose
bushes. Lost deep in her thoughts, she could only feel the pain of her broken
does she hate me?
"Azure, over here!" called Ruby.
Azure spotted Ruby sitting under the rose arbor. She was dressed like a bright
flashy red Primella.
Azure let out a downhearted sigh as she sat
down next to Ruby.
"Oh don't be so sad Azure," said Ruby. "You
and I both knew this was going to happen. It only took a matter of time for
him to realize that he could have a rose like me, instead of a weed like you."
Azure could feel that bitter taste rise up in
her mouth again.
"Beauty isn't everything, you know," said Azure
Ruby burst into loud mocking laughter, "Oh please
Azure, don't be so naïve! Beauty is what makes the world go round and with looks
like mine I'm going to be the most famous Neopet the world has ever seen!" she
said with excitement.
Azure's resentment was boiling inside her. She
was getting so enraged she could only hear her own rapid heartbeat. Ruby paused
and stood up, looking into the setting sun as it disappeared behind the horizon.
She turned quickly and looked down at her sister with a smug hatred in her eyes.
"I will stay beautiful forever," said Ruby.
Suddenly Ruby let out a whimper. She buckled
over, wrapping her arms around herself and yelled out in pain.
Azure stood up in shock, "Ruby, what's wrong?"
"A burning pain, deep inside me… my heart… it
feels like it's turning to stone!" sobbed Ruby.
Suddenly Azure noticed something strange. She
squinted through the evening light at an unusual marking on Ruby's arm. Azure's
eyes widened with terror as she realized what the strange marking was.
"Stone… you are turning into stone!" gasped
Azure in shock.
Ruby couldn't believe her ears, "What?!" she
Azure stumbled away from Ruby in horror as she
watched her sister transform into a statue. Ruby reached out to Azure, pleading
for her mercy.
"Azure, help me… please..." cried Ruby.
Azure looked at Ruby's trembling paw for a moment
as her sister's cries for help echoed in her mind.
Azure, help me…
"Help you…?" whispered Azure out loud.
A wicked smile spread across Azure's face, it
glistened in the moon light.
"No…" whispered Azure.
"What…?" gasped Ruby in shock.
Ruby's legs quickly turned to stone.
"No!" shouted Azure. "How could you take my
life from me? How could you hate me so?"
Ruby's chest and arms soon followed.
"This is your punishment! This is what you deserve,
Ruby!" shouted Azure. "You said you will be beautiful forever, well, now you're
getting your wish!"
throat hardened, cutting off her cries. Her voice still echoed in the garden.
Azure softly placed her paw on Ruby's cold frightened face. The stone was still
wet from her tears.
"Poor sister… poor, sweet sister… when will you ever learn? You have to be
careful of what you wish for… because it just might come true…" whispered Azure.
Azure slowly turned away from Ruby and returned
to the house. She left her sister standing alone, amongst the roses deep within
the garden. Ruby's cold, heartless beauty now belonged to the hands of time,