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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 116 > Short Stories > To Judge a Book

To Judge a Book

by covergirl_tanemura

“Did you hear about, like, that totally, like, awesome dress?”

     Thalia stared at her yogurt cup in a bored manner, her hoof twisting the white plastic spoon around the murky substance. Her mind was drifting away from her fellow friend’s chit chatter, like she’d been doing for quite the long time.

     “Like, Thalia! Are you, like, listening to us?”

     Thalia abruptly jerked her head upward, peering over the rim of her glasses, “Uh, yeah,” she quickly replied. Pushing her glasses away from the brink of her pink nose. She quickly shoved her empty yogurt cup into her Sloth lunch box.

     “Like I was saying...” Thalia’s friend droned on, brushing back her beautiful black mane, “I was, like, going to this one store called ‘the boutique’.” She waved her hoof around in the air, towards their other friend. Indicating for her to come over.

     “Uh, June...” Thalia said quietly, “I think I might have to go now.” She fidgeted nervously, like she always did around June. June was always making Thalia feel inferior, I mean, who couldn’t be slightly self-conscious when they were around June? She was the most popular Uni out of their whole Neoschool. Thalia was a Uni too, but not as pretty, or popular. Not only that, but she was raking in the Neopoints faster then Thalia could utter words.

     Thalia quickly stood up, but June grabbed onto her hoof and shoved her back into the plastic red lunchroom chair, “You’re not going anywhere until I tell you about this really ugly mutant I saw in the bathroom!” June laughed her hideous laugh, the one that hung in the air for hours on end, “She was a MUTANT! Can you believe that? A mutant KACHEEK, none the less!”

     Thalia blinked, then slid her hoof from Jones grasp, “Please, I need to bring my book back to the library!” Thalia nodded her head towards the books stacked up underneath her chair, “I don’t want to get in trouble.”

     June gave Thalia a nasty look, her nose upturned in the air as their friend, Alice, slid into the chair next to June, “Like, Fineeee! Be that way.” She hissed out, before quickly turning to Alice and striking up a huge conversation.

     Thalia huffed and gathered up her books. She always hated the way June would make fun of the pets around her. If it wasn’t, ‘Oh Jeremy, he’s such a dweeb’ it was ‘Jenny? Don’t even get me started! She was, like, so wearing the wrong earrings.’. Thalia’s hoofs clanked loudly as she stormed out of the lunch room, the sound she made surfacing above all the ‘he said’ and ‘she said’s.

     “How dare she,” Thalia grumbled under her breath, before turning the corner and bumping into an unknown figure. “WATCH IT!” she hissed out angrily, her glasses flying away from her face and onto the floor.

     “Oh, dear! I’m so sorry!” said a tiny voice, Thalia could barley make out the blur that was picking up her books and things, “I didn’t know anybody else was roaming the halls.”

     Thalia felt her glasses slide back into place, her focus quickly came back into vision. In front of her face was the worried mutant Kacheek, her fur combed neatly. “Oh, it’s all right. I just had a bad day.” Thalia gathered up her books, her eyes wide. She’d never met a mutant before, let alone, a mutant Kacheek!

     The mutant's lips curved into a frown. “I’m sorry if I scare you,” it looked away, “I’m Natalie.”

     Thalia drew in shallow breaths before shoving her hoof out, in Natalie's direction. “I’m Thalia, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She gave the mutant Kacheek a small smile, getting used to its different looks.

     “You mean, you’re not afraid?” Natalie looked up hopefully at Thalia. “Oh thank goodness! I’ve got an acquaintance in this school! It’s so hard being new.”

     Thalia sighed; she knew how it was to be new. She’d come to the Neoschool in the middle of the year, June took Thalia under her wing and showed her how to be “cool”. However, Thalia just tried to stay away from June whenever they saw each other. “I know what it’s like to be new.” Thalia shivered at the thought. “It’s hard, I know. But I’m sure you’ll like it here.”

     Natalie gave Thalia a quick smile, before bounding away as the bell rung. It’s sound looming in the air. “Bye!” Natalie said quickly, hopping towards her next class.

***

“Like, oh my gosh! I’m, like, so glad it’s, like, the end of the day.”

     Thalia looked up at June, a Faerie book bag slung over her shoulder, “Yes, I’m aware it’s the end of the day. I’m quite happy myself, too.” Thalia shrugged her shoulders, “Hey, June, I met the mutant you were talking about today.”

     June looked over at Thalia, and laughed again, “Wasn’t she UGLY? I mean, really really UGLY?” June adjusted the straps on her book bag, a very expensive book bag. In the 100,000 Neopoint price range -- or at least, that’s what Thalia assumed.

     Thalia glared at June. “Don’t say that! She was really nice!” Thalia retorted, her pace coming to a quick jolt. “If you do say it again, I’ll do something about it!”

     June cocked an eyebrow at Thalia, “Don’t tell me you’ve become friends with that ugly thing,” June snapped back, her beautiful mane blowing with the breeze of people rushing past her.

     “Yes I have, June. Because she’s obviously nicer then, YOU!” Thalia huffed out, finally finding her voice to speak out against June, “ You don’t control me, and I don’t want you to. I’d rather be a friend with that FREAK, as you claim her to be, than with RUDE PEOPLE!” Thalia stomped out of the school, searching for Natalie.

     Thalia heard June’s voice faintly in the background, probably ranting and raving about how Thalia was a lousy friend anyway. Thalia’s ears twitched as she heard a sobbing noise. Using her superior Uni hearing, Thalia navigated towards Natalie.

     “Don’t... look at me...” Natalie sniffled out, wiping her nose on a tissue stuffed in her stubby paws, “I’m ugly.”

     Thalia shook her head, “If it’s because of what June said, then you can stop crying. June is nothing but mean.” Thalia shivered slightly. “She cares about nothing but looks, but you’re different.”

     Natalie looked up at Thalia, and gave her a small smile. “Thanks,” she said quietly, throwing her crumpled up tissue onto the floor. “Thanks for not judging a book by its cover.”

The End


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