Isabel awoke with a start the morning her school began.
She smiled. She didn’t need her alarm clock with such a perfect mind.
She quickly jumped out of her regal oak wood
bed, which she then made, even though she had a robot to do that for her. She
ran to her bureau in excitement and looked into the mirror, where her reflection
-- a Uni with bed-head -- greeted her. Sighing, she combed down her mane and
placed a pink bow in it. Her teeth sparkled as she showed them in a big smile.
She was ready.
She hastily threw together breakfast: an omelette,
yogurt, orange juice, and buttered toast, before grabbing her lunch from the
cook (who she refused to have cook for her, instead making her own meals to
give the poor dear less work), and galloped out the door, quickly petting her
pink Alkenore, Serena, and kissing her head. She had just reached the bus stop
when her best friend, Rachel, a starry Cybunny, ran up to her. “Wow!” Rachel
gasped. “You got painted Faerie!”
Isabel grinned. “My parents are so nice! I told
them I liked being pink fine, but they insisted! I told them it cost too much,
but they just laughed and said, ‘Nothing costs too much for the LeNarcis.’”
“I wish my parents were that nice,” breathed
Isabel giggled, and told her, “It was too much.
I mean, one-hundred thousand Neopoints!”
Rachel raised an eyebrow. “No, it wasn’t. Your
family is the richest in town. You have a four-floor NeoHome, every land plot
built on, every room filled with expensive furniture!” she cried.
“I know,” said Isabel. “But still, I don’t want
them to spend too much on me.”
“What else would they spend it on? You’re an
only child. Be happy,” the Cybunny ordered. She tickled Isabel until laughter
built up inside her and flooded out. The bus pulled up just as Isabel managed
to get a hold on herself.
* * *
“Welcome to NeoHights Private School. If you are accepted here, you must study.
No riffraff will be accepted here. I am your dean, Mrs.—Mrs. Thims,” a threatening-looking
shadow Grundo shouted to a hall full of students. Isabel and Rachel gulped and
looked at each other. “You have already received your class lists in the mail.
Go to your first class.”
Rachel and Isabel hurried down the hallway together.
Her parents had pulled a few strings to put them in classes together. “What
do we have first?” Rachel asked.
“Err… Social Studies,” read Isabel. “It should
be just down this hallway…” Suddenly, the hall ended. They had run into a wall.
“Hmm…” muttered Isabel. Then, she heard a loud voice echoing down the hall.
It could only belong to Mrs. Thims.
“All students should be in class, unless they
wish for lunch detention. As you know, every time you get a detention, you get
one point taken off your grade point average!” Mrs. Thims boomed.
“Quick, in here!” Rachel told Isabel as she ducked
into a door that blended in perfectly with the wall—Isabel hadn’t even noticed
Inside the room was completely made metal, with
buttons and levers all over the walls. Towards the back were shelves full of
jars with strange substances in them. Behind those were cages filled with living
things making a racket.
“What-what are those?” asked Isabel shakily.
She looked over to see Rachel just as nervous.
“Teg em tuo fo ereh! Pleh! Esaelp?” they could
hear someone shout. “Oh my gosh,” Rachel muttered. Isabel grabbed her hand and
ran towards what she thought was the exit.
Isabel stopped, and gasped. In front of her
was a cage full of Grundos. Their eyes were full of tears. “A inu! Pleh! Esaelp?
Won! Ew deen ti! Yeht era gniog ot nrut su otni evals FO live!”
“I-I don’t know what they’re saying…” whispered
“What?” asked Rachel. Then she saw the cage.
* * *
They staggered into Social Studies just as the bell rang. Looking up, they
saw their teacher was a purple grundo. “Almost late there,” he said sternly.
“Please try to be more careful next time!” Then he turned away from them and
addressed the class. “My name is Mr. Retsim. Today we will be learning about
the history of Maraqua. Please take out your textbooks and turn to page 164.”
Isabel couldn’t believe it. Did anyone else know
about the lab? She looked over at Rachel, who appeared to be just as confused
* * *
The rest of their day was just as hard. Their English teacher, a white grundo,
expected them to read the first ten chapters of Popular Neopian Stories, their
science teacher, a robot grundo, told them all to read Science Is Fun by the
end of two days, and their math teacher, and especially mean and strict mutant
grundo, had them each do fifty problems in Acara Algebra, making Isabel secretly
glad for her copy of Math’s Nightmare Tips. She and Rachel were so weighed down
with work that they started on the bus and didn’t even attempt conversation.
As soon as she finished her science, Isabel said, “I bet it gets easier as the
year goes on.”
Rachel snorted. “Yeah, right. And I’m the Faerie
They both giggled as the bus creaked to a stop.
“At least your stop is second-to-last, and mine is last, so we can do our homework
free from distractions,” Isabel said as she packed her bags.
“Yeah,” replied Rachel, “I couldn’t imagine doing
math with my Robo-Quiggle leaping over my shoulder!”
Isabel laughed as she waved goodbye to Rachel
and finished packing up.
* * *
It took hours for Isabel to finish her homework. Her parents fretted over what
to do during their cocktails with her. “Honey,” her mom said, “you’ve been in
your room for such a long time… you have so much to do! I don’t know if this
school is a wise investment. So many Neopoints for all this work?” she looked
at her husband.
“Well, I didn’t get where I am today by avoiding
work,” her father told them. “I mean, where would I be without NeoHights?”
“It’s okay,” stated Isabel. “I’m sure I can handle
all this homework.”
Her mother looked worried. “Well, sweetie, this
came in the mail today.” She handed Isabel a package.
“There’s no address. We can give it away, whatever
it is, if you don’t like it.”
Isabel tore open the package. “Oh my GOSH!” she
screamed as a beautiful necklace spilled out. It was gold, on a black string.
Though it was shaped like a grundo’s head, she didn’t mind, for the stone inside
was deep blue. It glittered like stars in the midnight sky. “Wow…” she was practically
“Well, why don’t you try it on?” asked her mother,
who was also mooning over the beautiful necklace. “I may borrow it from you,
every now and then-“
Isabel laughed and tried it on. She screamed,
but her voice collapsed in her throat. She seemed to be sucked out of her living
room and into a strange place. Everything went black. Obey Sloth, a voice
inside her head commanded. Obey Sloth. The voice seemed cruel but worn,
forming the words angrily. “No!” shouted Isabel. “No! Not the… the enemy!”
“I hate you! No!”
You are bad. Sloth is good. Everyone else
is bad. Your parents, your friends, the Faerie Queen…
“No, they aren’t!” She tried to resist, but
the voice in her head was so soothing and convincing.
Adam, Donna, El Pickelsaur, your peers, your
“They- they are?”
Yes. All bad
Sloth once was a happy man. He donated to
the poor. Then all the ‘heroes’ came along. They treated him awfully! They made
him seem bad. They are bad. He is really good!
“I hate them! Why did they do that to
They were jealous. They were too stupid to
be like him, great and wonderful.
“I like Sloth… can I meet him? Bring
me to him, you fool!”
What will you do?
“Any way I can!”
* * *
“Honey… honey? What happened?” Isabel’s mom asked. She looked worried.
“Nothing, filth. Get out of my way, slimy
creature,” Isabel responded in a monotonous voice.
“That’s it, you’re grounded!” her father
shouted angrily. “Don’t talk to your mother like that.”
“Be quiet, you fool.” Isabel ran from
the house in a fit of evil. Rachel had once told her about this store that she
had read about. It was in the Haunted Woods, in a giant tree stump. It sold
only evil artifacts. She headed for there.
* * *
“What do you want?” the shopkeeper asked.
She pushed him aside and grabbed everything
she needed: a night stone, an evil bow, Hubrid’s Book of Death, A Plague Upon
You, Evil Spells, and Evil Plots For Beginners. “Hey, stop!” he shouted. She
blasted him with her night stone. Stupid shopkeeper.
She was on the rampage. Nothing could
stop her. She ran through the miles of the Haunted Woods screaming, “You betrayed
Sloth! Feel his wrath!” She screamed until her voice was sore. Everyone ran.
She laughed. She cursed Edna the witch, and felt satisfied with her efforts.
“Nothing, not anything, can stop the forces of good,” she said over and
* * *
“A desperate cry for help is heard all over Neopia as an unidentified Uni
attacks the whole world. Her motives unknown, all we can do is summon up an
army and hope for the best,” stated a reporter on NTV, “but this creature is
armed with weapons of pure evil, which are hard to defeat. Back to you, Tom.”
Rachel turned off the television and frowned.
“Neopets these days,” she thought. Then she realized where she had
seen that Uni before. It fluttered around on Faerie wings clumsily, as if it
just got them. “Oh my gosh, Isabel!” she cried. “How could she do a thing like
that? Isabel!” She ran up her stairs, into her bedroom and grabbed her backpack.
She had always been proud of her bag, mahogany with gold tassels. But now she
needed it more than ever. She packed her bag with a few necessary items, and
raced out the door.
* * *
Isabel watched everyone run away from her. “Fools! You deserve this! Look at
what you did to Sloth!” she yelled, sympathetic for poor Sloth. Then a starry
Cybunny ran up to her. “Get out of the way!” she yelled, raising her hand to
say a curse. The Cybunny just stared up at her with big orange eyes. The Cybunny
reached into her backpack. It was mahogany with gold tassels. She pulled out
a bracelet. How stupid! thought Isabel. They Cybunny handed her the
bracelet with something inscribed on it. Rachel considered melting it, but she
read it first so she could make a sarcastic remark. It said, ‘Friends’ and was
cut off in the middle. She fumbled around on her arm, and there was the other
half of the bracelet. ‘Forever’ it read. Then, she felt the spell breaking.
A tear rolled down her cheek. “Thank you,” she whispered, “for saving me.” The
“You’re welcome, Isabel.”
“Many of you may know NeoHights, a great
boarding school. It has been proven that this school was actually a laboratory,
using immense power to turn Grundos into mindless slaves of Dr. Frank Sloth.
The main alleged criminals are Mrs. Thims, Mr. Retsim, and Mr. Illems, who posed
as the headmistress, the social studies teacher, and the math teacher. How long
has this been going on? The world has yet to find out in NeoJustice court, where
the alleged criminals will be faced with charges of mind control, brainwashing,
and attempting to take over Neopia. Now, the story of an innocent child who
strange necklace in the mail. She put it on, and was taken over by Sloth. It
appears that this necklace was sent by the “teachers”, and was none other than
one of the rare Obedience Medallions created by Sloth. Now, here to tell her
story it Isabel LeNarci!”
Isabel and Rachel giggled as Isabel trotted
onto the set of NTV’s NeoNews.
“Thanks again, Rach,” Isabel said. “I
don’t know where I’d be without you.” She shivered.
“You would have done the same for me,”
Rachel said, “And anyway, the power of friendship prevails over any power in
the known universe. Those who hunger for power need only a few good friends
to make themselves at least a little important.”
“That’s so profound!” Isabel exclaimed.
“Where did you hear it?”
“I saw it on TV,” Rachel said, giggling,
proceeding to hit Isabel with her pillow. “Did you really think I was
Both Neopets laughed and watched Isabel
“live on NTV!”.
Author’s note: All similarities between characters and your pets/you is
accidental. I’m sorry for portraying Sloth badly… *edges away from his laser