Morgan sighed heavily as she poked her lumpy mashed potatoes.
She risked lifting up her head to gaze at all the other students that surrounded
her, chatting away happily. What she noticed the most was their beautiful colors.
Reds, blues, purples; all of them lovely and breathtaking. She then looked down
at her gray Wocky fur and felt her heart sink lower into her chest. Again, she
sighed as she thought of the days when she was colored. Her fur used to be a lovely
shade of blue, clear as the afternoon sky. She remembered frolicking in the glades,
singing in her sweet voice without a care in the world. However, her curiosity
of the lab ray soon got the best of her and now here she was, a dull boring gray
with hardly any excitement about her appearance. It didn't take the other students
long to start making fun of her and giving her cruel names like "Morgan the Mope"
and "Goofy Grey."
"Hiya, Sis!" Morgan looked up to find her brother,
Bo, smiling down at her with lunch tray in hand. "Mind if I join you?"
Morgan just shrugged. "Free country," she muttered.
The green Krawk set his tray down across from
his sister. He noticed how she was lethargically poking her food. Once again,
she was having one of her mope attacks. "Okay, Morgan. What's wrong now?"
"Nothing," she said as she twirled her gravy
together with her potatoes. "Just trying to think of at least one good thing
about being gray."
Bo rolled his eyes. "Aw, Morgan! Come on! Don't
act like this. It's not like you're a mutant or anything."
"But being gray isn't much better!" She then
started to poke her mystery meat entrée heavily. "Why did you talk me into going
to the lab ray with you?"
"Hey hey hey! I just asked you to tag along,"
said Bo defensively. "You're the one who wanted to try it. It's not like you
were the only one that paid the price."
Morgan chuckled bitterly. "Oh yeah. I forgot
how much you suffered when you changed from shadow to a terrible green! There's
bound to be a support group for pets like you."
Morgan immediately felt a twinge of guilt when
she saw the hurt expression on her brother's face. "Sorry. I guess I just…I
don't know. Gray is such a depressing color. I'm not the same girl I used to
Bo smiled as he reached for his chocolate brownie.
Breaking it in half, he gave the bigger piece to his sister. "Don't worry so
much about it. No matter what color you are, you'll always be my little sister."
Morgan smiled as she half-graciously took the
brownie piece. Just as she was about to take a bite, a shadow loomed over her.
When Morgan saw the silhouette of hoofs, wings, and a horn, she immediately
knew who it was. "You really shouldn't eat those things. They go straight to
She turned to fine Tempest, the prettiest and
most popular faerie Uni in all the school. She was wearing her usual mean-girl
smile while sporting a lovely designer jacket and hair pieces that would make
an air faerie jealous. Behind her were the typical pretty crowd: Shoyrus, Usuls,
Aishas. The only way Tempest would ever take a second glance at a pet was if
she was trendy and attractive. Everyone else was obsolete and Morgan was no
"So, Morgue," sneered Tempest, using one of
her many cruel nicknames. "What do you think of the weather today? So nice and
sunny! I just love the way the sun shines on my mane after washing it. Too bad
gray fur doesn't have that same effect." Tempest's followers giggled at the
harsh comment. Morgan merely lowered her head and chewed on the brownie.
"Hey, Horn Head!" snapped Bo, who hated to see
his sister get picked on. "Don't you have a mirror to crack?"
Tempest glared at Bo before continuing. "Actually,
I was just coming to remind everyone that the talent show is tomorrow night.
Me and the other Neopian Novas will be doing our cheer routine. Definitely a
Bo simply rolled his eyes. "Wow. A bunch of
cheerleaders doing somersaults and shaking pom-poms," he replied blandly. "Remind
me to miss that."
Tempest turned her nose up at Bo. "You're just
jealous because you're acrobatically challenged. Well, we have to go rehearse.
Come along, girls. Oh, and Morgan? Good luck tomorrow night!" Tempest's friends
giggled and obediently followed Tempest out of the cafeteria.
"What did she mean by that?" muttered Morgan.
"I'm WHAT challenged?" asked Bo (more to himself).
* * *
For the rest of the day, Morgan couldn't get Tempest's words out of her head.
Had the Uni given her some cruel warning for the future? Was Tempest and her
friends planning some immature prank on her?
"Don't let it bother you, Morgan," said Bo as
they walked side-by-side down the hall at the end of the day. "She's probably
just messing with your mind because she doesn't have one of her own to mess
"I don't know, Bo," sighed Morgan, adjusting
the strap of her book bag. "You know how Tempest is. She just loves making other
pets miserable. I wouldn't be surprised if she plants a Mortog in my locker
or slips vinegar into my juppie juice or…"
Before Morgan could continue, something on the
notice board caught her attention. It was the lineup sheet for the talent show.
There were at least twenty different student names on the list, but it was the
one at the very bottom that made the Wocky's blood run cold.
"Bo!" she squeaked. "I'm on the talent show
Bo looked over his sister's shoulder to find
that she was right. Signed up as the very last act for the evening was "Morgan,
the Grey Wocky." "Since when did you sign up to do the talent show?"
"I didn't!" she cried. "I don't understand!
How did I…?" Then, she remembered what had happened at lunch. "Tempest! She
must've signed me up!"
"But why would she do that?"
"Because she knows that if I go after all those
students who're better than me, I'll be the laughing stock of the entire school!"
Morgan felt her eyes filling with tears as she wrung her paws together nervously.
"I got to get out of this, Bo! I'll just tell the theater committee that this
is one big misunderstanding."
"No, Sis!" said Bo, his eyes shinning as if
getting a new idea. "I think you should perform at the show tomorrow!"
Morgan's jaw literally dropped when she heard
her brother suggest such a thing. "W-What? Why? I can't do anything!"
"Yes, you can!" said Bo, gripping his sister's
shoulders. "You've still got a great singing voice. Remember last year, when
you were in chorus? You got all the best solos! I bet if you sang tomorrow night,
you'd blow all the other acts away."
Morgan shook her head as tears began to flow
down her cheeks. "No, I can't! It was different back then. I was blue and pretty…"
"Morgan, your color didn't change your voice,"
replied Bo. "You're still the same Wocky I always knew."
"You just don't get it!" she cried loudly. "Nobody
wants to see an ugly, boring gray blob like me on the stage. Why else would
Tempest sign me up? I'll be terrible! I won't do it!"
Before Bo could stop her, Morgan threw off her
back pack and ran straight out of the school. "Morgan, wait!" he shouted, running
after her. But when he got out into the sunlight, she was already out of his
sight. Bo sighed heavily and wished that, more than anything, his sister would
see just how beautiful she still was.
* * *
Morgan ran faster and faster through the deep woods. When she saw that she
was far away enough from the school, she plopped down next to a tree stump to
shed the rest of her tears. She just couldn't perform at the talent show. The
other students already rejected her for what she was; how could singing make
it any better? She then noticed there was a clear pond nearby. She leaned over
and peered at her wavy gray reflection.
"Bo's wrong," she sniffed, wiping the tears
from her moistened cheeks. "Becoming gray did change me. I'll just call in sick
tomorrow before the show. I don't have to sing for anyone if I…want to."
She sighed heavily. Although she had predicted
an outcome, deep down she truly did want to sing. She recalled how singing helped
her express her emotions. Sitting under the large tree in her backyard, writing
songs to express her moods. Then, in the evening, she would have her family
gather after dinner and would sing for them all. They would always cheer and
pat her on the back, telling her what a magnificent gift she had. But ever since
she turned gray, she hadn't sung one note.
"Well, if you want to sing so badly, why don't
Morgan nearly leapt into the pond from surprise
when she heard the second voice. She quickly turned to see a tall figure wearing
a light green hooded robe. Her wings were hidden under the robe, but Morgan
could tell immediately that it was a faerie. Which kind, she wasn't sure. She
could only make out her perfectly angelic face.
"W-Who are you?" Morgan stuttered.
The faerie lightly gripped her robe. "Well,
I go by a lot of things, but you may call me 'Prism.' And who might you be?"
Morgan swallowed nervously. "Morgan. Um, I'm
not trespassing, am I?
Prism chuckled. "No, Dear. In fact, I'd say
you're exactly in the right place." She then bent down and took Morgan's chin
in her hand. She gently turned the Wocky's head from side to side, studying
her facial structure. The faerie then ran her finger's through Morgan's fur,
testing its softness. This was making Morgan very uncomfortable and prayed with
all her heart that this stranger wasn't a dark faerie!
Much to her relief, Prism smiled just like a
good faerie would. "You're perfect! Could you please just sit on this stump?"
Morgan cocked an eyebrow in confusion. "Why?"
"Because I just have to paint a picture of you."
Prism then took out a large pouch from under her robe. Inside was a small notebook
of blank paper, jars of faerie paint, and a paintbrush.
Morgan was completely stunned. "You want ME
to pose for you?"
"If you don't mind." The truth was that Morgan
wasn't sure if she did mind. She'd never thought that she'd be good enough for
a painting, but when she saw Prism lightly pat the stump, welcoming her upon
it, she decided to risk it.
"Ok," said Morgan, climbing upon the stump.
"But I'm warning you: I don't think my color will make a very flattering picture."
"We'll see about that," replied Prism as she
sat down on a rock and got out her paper and brush. "Just sit still and try
to be as natural as possible."
Morgan did as she was told and remained perfectly
still as Prism started painting. During the long period of silence, Morgan's
thoughts kept drifting to her brother and wondered if he was searching for her
right now. She wished she hadn't made such a spectacle of herself back at the
"Lift your head up a little, please," said Prism,
interrupting Morgan's thoughts. "So, what were you so upset about before? Something
Morgan sighed heavily, treading that she would
ask this. "It's nothing, really…"
"Sure it is. You can tell me."
Morgan almost bit her lip, but resisted for
fearing it might ruin the picture. "Well, there's this talent show at school
tomorrow and this really mean Uni, Tempest, signed me up without me knowing
about it. And now the whole school expects me to perform and…"
"And you're afraid because you think that being
gray means you have no talent," finished Prism. "Am I right?"
Morgan nodded sadly. "My brother thinks I should
sing because that's what I used to do before…this happened." Morgan could feel
a fresh batch of tears beginning to form in her eyes. "I won't do it. I'll make
a fool of myself."
Prism sighed lightly as she dabbed more paint
onto her brush. "You poor thing. You remind me so much of an air faerie I once
knew. As you've probably heard, air faeries are suppose to be incredibly beautiful,
which can also make them very vain. And this faerie was no exception." Prism
stole a glance at her model to see if she still had her attention. When she
saw the bewildering look upon Morgan's face, she continued.
"Yes, this air faerie was constantly primping
herself, using every cosmetic and accessory in Neopia. Neopets loved doing quests
for her because she was so lovely, but whenever they successfully completed
a quest, she didn't reward them. She just took the item without so much as a
thank you and flew back to her cloud, making herself look more attractive. Well,
one day, word of her selfishness reached Queen Fyora and she thought that she
should be punished. And so, she took the one thing from the faerie that would
forever change her."
Morgan knew exactly what Prism meant. "Her wings?"
Prism nodded. "Yes, her wings and from that
day on, she was a gray faerie. She begged Fyora to give her wings back, but
the queen wouldn't listen and banished her from Faerieland."
"That's awful," said Morgan. "Whatever happened
"Well, for a long time she just roamed Neopia,
feeling sorry for herself and thought she was the ugliest creature alive. She
was envious of all the Neopets and their lovely colors, but she realized that
there were some who were as uncomfortable with their appearance as she was with
hers. There were green Aishas wishing they could be painted faerie; silver Shoyrus
wanted to be pirates. Each pet she thought to be beautiful wished they were
something else. And it was thenshe discovered a gift she never knew she had…"
After completing the last stroke, Prism smiled
and turned the canvas around. "She discovered that she could see inner beauty
and share it with others."
Morgan nearly fell off the tree stump when she
saw the painting. It was a gray Wocky, just like her, only she was smiling and
looked absolutely radiant. It showed her sitting upon a tree stump, gazing into
the sky as the sun filtered through the clouds. Her eyes were still pink and
her fur still gray, but she was stunning nonetheless.
"It's…it's beautiful," whispered Morgan in awe.
"Of course it is," said Prism, placing her hand
around Morgan's shoulders. "It's you!"
As much as she liked the painting, there was
something that still tugged at Morgan's mind. "Wait a minute. That faerie in
your story…was she…I-I mean, are you…?"
Prism chuckled. "Yes Morgan. That faerie was
me." Prism then reached up and lightly pulled off her hood. Her hair was long
and gray and her skin was incredibly pale. However, Morgan still thought she
was lovely, especially when she smiled.
"You mean, you go all over Neopia and paint
pictures for others?" asked Morgan, looking back down at her own.
"And I've never been happier, even when I had
my wings." Prism then lifted Morgan up and placed her on her lap. "Morgan, I
know it's not easy being different. There are days when you can't help feeling
plain and unimportant, but you shouldn't let those negative feelings describe
who you are. If there are others who love you no matter what you look like,
then that's all you need. Don't make being gray your enemy; instead embrace
it, make it apart of who you are. And whatever you do, don't keep such a special
gift locked away inside you. Share it with the world! Let them see your inner
beauty. Because no matter what you look like, inside you have all the colors
in the world."
Once again, Morgan felt tears filling her eyes,
but this time they were tears of happiness. Never before had she ever felt so
enlightened. For too long, she hid away in the shadows of her depression, letting
it control her. Now, thanks to Prism, she knew what she had to do. "Thank you,
Prism," she said, hugging the gray faerie.
"Morgan! Morgan, where are you?"
Morgan's ears perked up when she heard the voice
of Bo echoing through the woods. She leapt off Prism's lap and scanned the forest.
"Bo? Bo! I'm over here!"
The green Krawk emerged from the foliage, carrying
both his and Morgan's backpacks. "There you are! I've been looking all over
"I'm sorry, Bo," said Morgan, taking her book
bag. "I guess I overreacted back there, but I got some great advice from…" She
stopped in mid-sentence when she turned to find that Prism was no longer there.
Morgan looked all over for her new friend. "Prism? Prism, come back!"
"Hey, Morgan? Did you draw this? It's really
good." Morgan turned to see that Bo was holding the painting that Prism had
made for her. She must have left it behind, Morgan thought.
"No…it's a gift," said Morgan as she took it
from her brother.
"Hey, Morgan?" said Bo uneasily. "Look, I'm
sorry about earlier. You don't have to do the talent show if you don't want
to. Whatever you decide to do is cool with me."
Morgan smiled as she looked back down at the
picture before placing it in her book bag. "Actually, Bo, I changed my mind.
I will sing tomorrow. Come on, let's go home! I got a great idea for a new song."
* * *
Morgan twiddled her paws nervously as Tempest
and the Neopian Novas were finished up their cheer routine. She tried to look
her best for the evening by wearing a lovely sky blue dress and a fresh pink
flower tucked behind her ear, but still she felt a bit ordinary.
"Tempest's done," said Bo as he peeked through
the curtains. "You're up next."
"Bo, I don't know about this," Morgan moaned,
clasping her brother's hands. "What if I forget the words? What if I hit a sour
note or puke or…"
"Morgan, Morgan! Relax!" Bo reassured. "Once
you get out there, you'll be fine. And you know I'll be cheering for you."
"You mean you'll be the ONLY one cheering for
The siblings turned to find Tempest standing
behind them, decked out in her cheerleading outfit. "Oh, I forgot to ask you,
Morgue," the Uni continued. "Do you want to be buried or cremated after you
die out there?"
Bo furrowed his brow and stood in front of Morgan
defensively. "One more word to my sister and I'm using your head as a ring toss
Before Tempest could utter one word, the principal's
voice interrupted their argument. "And now, our final act is Morgan the Gray
Wocky singing 'The Colors Inside.'" There was a weak applause coming from the
"Well, here goes nothing," said Morgan, heading
for the stage.
"Go get 'em, Sis!" Bo whispered encouragingly.
Morgan felt her skin quiver when she stood in
the brightness of the spotlight. She could only make out the shadowy forms of
the audience members as they chuckled or coughed. I can do this, she thought
taking a deep breath. When the piano music started to play, Morgan went into
I am just a gray girl
Living in a colorful world.
I fade into the darkness.
Just another faceless stranger
In the crowd;
Lacking all the brightness.
Whenever I want to run away
And find a place to hide.
I just close my eyes and discover
The colors inside.
I could be yellow like the sun
That shines everywhere
Or red like a rose bloom.
Blue like a sapphire;
Green like a clover field.
Or white like a full moon.
Starry like that ones that glow in the sky.
Or fire that burns so bright.
Or maybe a rainbow that has all
The colors inside.
Or a pirate that sails on the open seas.
Or cloudy like that ones that fly in the breeze.
A plushie so soft;
A baby so sweet;
A faerie that flies.
So many colors I have inside…
But I'll always be a gray girl
Living in a colorful world.
That will never change.
As the world turns
And the days fade away;
I'll always be the same.
No matter how many colors circle me
And make me want to hide.
Forever, I will always have
The colors inside.
I will always have the colors inside…
Morgan nearly fell over from the intensity of
the applause when her song ended. Every single member of the audience was standing
and cheering madly. She was so shocked she didn't know what to do. "Take a bow,
Sis!" she heard her brother cry from backstage. She smiled and obeyed, curtsying
before leaving the stage. She was greeted by the extended arms of Bo as he picked
her up and twirled her around, hugging her tightly.
"Morgan, that was incredible!" he cried happily.
"You sounded great out there! Man, everybody was like shocked into silence!
The Principal even ordered the nurse to get tissues from the supply closet!"
"I did it, Bo!" said Morgan, returning the hug.
"I can't believe I actually did it!"
"Neither can we."
Bo and Morgan separated from their hug to find
a faerie Ixi and a disco Aisha standing before them, smiling politely. "Hey,"
said the Aisha. "I don't know if you know us, but I'm Crystal and this is Clover."
"We just wanted to tell you we thought you were
awesome out there," added Clover, fluttering her wings.
Morgan felt flattered, but Bo was skeptical.
"Wait a second. Aren't you two of Tempest's friends?"
"Define friends," said Crystal, rolling her
"She kicked us both out of the routine yesterday,"
said Clover. "She said my hoofs were making too much noise."
"And that my ears were too big," added Crystal.
"Tempest is always giving us a hard time."
"And we were sort of wondering…" Clover rubbed
her hoofs together nervously, which reminded Morgan a lot of how she used to
act around Tempest. "I know we never stood up for you when Tempest picked on
you, but we really did feel bad. We hate it when she does that!"
"She's really been getting on our nerves, so
maybe…" Crystal, too, rubbed her paws anxiously. "Do you think we could start
over? You know, hang out sometime?"
Morgan was surprised. These popular girls wanted
to be HER friend? "Sure," she said, smiling. "That'd be great. Hey, after the
show, do you all want to go out for pizza?"
The girls nodded, happily to have finally made
a sweet new friend. "Hey, they're announcing the winner!" said Bo, peeking through
Just then, Tempest stepped forward, pushing
Morgan and her former friends roughly aside. "Make some room, please," she said
pompously. "I want to have plenty of walking space to get my award."
"And now, ladies and gentlemen," boomed the
principal. "Our judges have totaled their votes and the winner of this year's
talent show is…Morgan the Wocky with her song, 'The Colors Inside!'"
"WHAT???" cried Tempest, dropping her pom-poms.
"All right!" cheered Bo, pushing his sister
Morgan felt tears of joy fill her eyes as she
walked onto the stage, receiving her trophy from the principal. Once again,
the audience was standing, cheering her name. She glanced over to see Bo, Crystal,
and Clover all clapping for her, beaming with pride. Tempest, however, had fainted
and was trying to be revived by her fellow cheerleaders.
The Wocky looked back out over the audience
and bowed again, but when she did she saw a piece of paper next to her feet.
Picking it up, she saw that it was a drawing! It showed Bo, Crystal, Clover,
and herself smiling and holding hands. Down in the corner was written "Sharing
the Gift." Morgan felt the tears flow down her face as she looked up into the
spotlight. "Thank you, Prism," she whispered and walked off to join her friends