Noreen was only a red Usul who imagined the Lab Ray to
be a little machine that would bring her more happiness in the magnificent life
that she already possessed. She was never aware of the dire consequences that
would arise in her life by one normal visit to the mysterious Secret Laboratory.
She is one of the many pets whose life has been ruined by it, and who will never
experience the contentment that she once felt. This is Noreen’s story, the story
of how her life was destroyed by a single, tiny ZAP.
“Heather, is it all right if I go to the lab ray after I’m done eating?” Noreen
abruptly asked her owner during breakfast, at the same time munching on a piece
of Hot Buttered Toast
Heather, a 13-year old adolescent, peered up
from the copy of the Neopian Times that she was reading, and smiled. “Of course,
honey,” she replied cheerfully. “Just make sure that you don’t talk to any strangers
on the way there and back.”
Noreen grinned and nodded ecstatically. She quickly
chewed up the rest of her toast, thanked Heather for the scrumptious breakfast,
and made her way to the front entrance where she snatched her green rubber coat
from the coat hanger. She pulled the coat up to her ears and gave a wave of
goodbye to Heather as she walked outside her home.
It was a cool day during the Month of Gathering,
and Noreen rather enjoyed it, unlike many other pets she knew. The chilly wind
whipped itself across Noreen’s body as she paced down her neighbourhood, causing
her long and shaggy fur to ruffle up. Not that it really mattered anyway. Noreen
didn’t bother combing her fur every single day like the other Usuls did at her
school. She had much more important things on her mind, like finishing projects
and homework, studying for tests, and completing her goal, which was to read
six hundred books by her next birthday that was only four months away.
It merely took a matter of ten minutes to arrive
at the entrance of the Secret Laboratory.
Noreen briskly entered the familiar looking premises
and called out, “Dr. Zappy! I’m here!”
A mad-looking scientist with wild grey hair suddenly
stepped out of the gloomy shadows. “Well, well, if it isn’t my favourite pet,
Noreen the red Usul,” he calmly said.
Noreen blushed deeply at the compliment, and
stepped into the shadows alongside Dr. Zappy. The elderly Scorchio walked up
to a rock-strewn wall and took grasp of a silver doorknob that was secretly
placed onto it. He twisted it open and allowed Noreen to enter the brightly
lit room. When Dr. Zappy had entered the room as well, he swivelled his body
around and let his eyes catch sight of the wondrous machine that he had created
twenty something years ago. This brilliant machine that he, himself had created,
meant absolutely everything to him.
“Shall we proceed?” Dr. Zappy asked Noreen, his
eyes glinting with a somewhat untamed look.
Noreen nodded and unhurriedly took off her warm
coat. She handed it over to Dr. Zappy and subsequently strolled up to the grand
machine. It always resembled as if it has been made the very day she came to
visit, most likely because it was so glossy and polished. Anyone could tell
that Dr. Zap took extremely good care of his machine.
At last, Noreen placed herself down onto the
metal chair and strapped the large leather belts across her stomach and legs.
At the corner of her eye, she could see Dr. Zappy positioning the Lab Ray exactly
at Noreen’s forehead. Noreen quickly closed her eyes like she did every single
time, and let the magnificent ray shoot out of the machine and absorb itself
into her body. A warm tingly feeling instantly shot up Noreen’s spine and gave
her large goose bumps. Seconds swiftly passed and the process was now complete.
“We’re done!” Dr. Zappy exclaimed from Noreen’s
The Usul heaved a long sigh and unbuckled the
belts that were attached around her. She slowly stood up from the metal chair
and brushed off the dirt that was lying on her arm. Wait…where was her arm?
As Noreen gazed down at her limb, her mouth broadened, her ears began twitching
nervously, and her eyes looked as if they would burst into a million tears.
“WHERE’S MY ARM?!” Noreen yelled, her whole body
now twitching uncontrollably.
She peered down at the rest of her body and gasped
sharply. “MY BODY’S GONE!” she cried, salt-ridden tears swiftly beginning to
grow in her cerulean eyes.
“Noreen? Where are you?” Dr. Zappy suddenly inquired
as he stepped down the sturdy flight of steps.
“I’m here!” Noreen cried, tears slowly gliding
down her golden-shaded cheeks.
Dr. Zappy swivelled his body around many times,
his face carrying an expression of bewilderment. “I can’t see you!” he yelled,
his tone sounding tremendously alarmed.
Noreen moaned and slowly began dragging her feet
away from the machine and Dr. Zappy. Her mind began whirling speedily with bright
and pulsating colours dancing inside of it.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” she whimpered,
beads of sweat beginning to wet her brow. Her heart seemed to be thumping violently
in her throat, and her muscles began to ache terribly.
“Please tell me this is a nightmare,” she continued
on, her eyesight now blurring into a heavy fog.
The Usul took hold of the doorknob and twisted
it open, freeing herself from the terrifying surroundings that now haunted her
mind. She wearily paced out of the humid cave and abruptly collapsed onto the
rough ground, her mouth letting out loud sobs of agony.
“I want to go back home!” she cried hysterically,
her arms now heavily draped around her stomach.
“Noreen, where are you?!” the Usul suddenly heard
a voice exclaim. She hastily peered up and made out the thin outline of Dr.
Zappy running towards her direction.
“Nooo,” she moaned. She slowly forced her legs
to stand up and begin racing away from the treacherous Secret Laboratory that
had made her become…this.
Noreen continued running on, her paws pounding
on the rough gravel that was spread upon the great land. Large beads of sweat
slowly made their way down her crimson-shaded face, and her heart was now pounding
more furiously then ever. She felt as if the whole world has betrayed her. In
her mind, she knew she would no longer have a life…
At long last, Noreen halted to a screech at the
front entrance of her beloved home. She rushed towards the grand oak door and
pounded on it with the golden-tinted doorknocker. A matter of seconds later,
it swiftly swung open and standing there was Heather, her smile looking more
radiant then it ever had in Noreen’s eyes.
“Heather,” Noreen groaned deafeningly. “Help
me. Please, oh please, help me.”
An expression of bafflement hastily washed over
Heather’s features. “Who is that?!” she cried out worriedly.
Noreen snivelled noisily and whimpered, “It’s
me mommy. It’s your Usul, Noreen.”
Heather gasped stridently, a look of shock glinting
in her once lively eyes. “It can’t be,” she whispered, horrified. “Noreen isn’t
“IT’S ME HEATHER!” Noreen cried harshly. “BELIEVE
“Why should I believe you?!”
However, Noreen did not have enough time to answer
the query, for she suddenly collapsed on the concrete steps, and fell off into
the deep and dark world of her mind.
“Noreen? Noreen, are you all right?”
Noreen awoke from the deep sounds that were echoing
throughout her tiny ears. Her eyes softly fluttered open, and she slowly gazed
around her surroundings. She was lying on an indigo-shaded couch, intense lights
shining directly at her eyes.
“Where am I?” she groaned, gulping the dry saliva
that had formed around the inside of her mouth.
Heather let out a sigh of deep relief and stepped
towards Noreen. “You’re home,” she whispered, draping her arms around the Usul.
As she squeezed her owner in a tight cuddle,
Noreen gazed down at the rest of her body, and gasped sharply. Nothing was there.
The haunting memories suddenly began flooding Noreen’s mind, and the Usul moaned
“Why didn’t you believe me?” was the first thing
Noreen whispered to her owner, fresh tears swiftly starting to well up in her
Heather heaved a sigh and let go of Noreen. “I
knew it was you,” she whispered back, tears of her own beginning to form. “It’s
just that…I didn’t want to accept the fact that you were…” her voice came down
to an almost inaudible tone, “invisible.”
Noreen’s eyes peered down at the sofa, and she
whispered, “I thought you didn’t want me anymore.”
A new tear unhurriedly dripped down Heather’s
cheek. “I wouldn’t leave you in a million years,” the adolescent said, sobbing.
“Always remember that.”
Yet, for some strange reason, Noreen simply couldn’t
believe this. Deep inside her already shattered heart, she knew that Heather
did not want her anymore.
“I think I’m going to head off to bed, Heather,”
Noreen whispered, wiping away the salt-ridden tears that were damping her cheeks.
Heather nodded and sniffed loudly. Noreen pulled
herself up from the couch and made her up the stairs and into her room, where
she silently closed the door behind her.
“Chester, are you there?” the Usul called out,
scanning her cluttered room to find her beloved Meepit.
A little squeak abruptly came from the closet,
and Noreen let a half-smile form on her lips. She paced towards the closet and
pulled it open. Chester was quietly standing there, his two large, front teeth
nibbling on a half-eaten Ghost Marshmallow. Noreen bent down and placed the
Meepit in her arms.
“I’m gonna’ have to leave, Chester,” she whispered,
gently kissing her Meepit on his pink forehead.
Chester peered up at her with wide, oblivious
eyes and squeaked once more, this time louder.
Noreen moaned, tears welling up in her puffed-up
eyes. “Don’t make this harder then it already is,” she said. “I have to leave.
I can’t make Heather suffer. She doesn’t want an stupid, invisible pet like
Chester’s own tears began to form, and he cuddled
himself tightly against Noreen. Noreen knew he didn’t want her to leave.
“I’m sorry baby, but I just have to,” she told
Noreen placed her Meepit down on the ground and
stepped into her disordered closet, attempting to find her dark green backpack.
She quickly found it and began packing the essentials that she would need to
have when she would be living on the streets. She packed the candy that she
had hid underneath her bed since last Halloween, a few of her favourite books,
a comb, a bottle of shampoo, and her Jeran Usuki Doll that she always slept
with. After stuffing all her items in her backpack, she walked to her window
and slid it upwards, the cool wind immediately blowing past her and soaring
throughout the room.
A solitary tear unhurriedly rolled down her invisible
cheek as she pushed herself outside the window and onto the rooftop of her home.
“Goodbye, Chester,” she whispered, giving her
a Meepit a final wave of goodbye, and then closing the window shut.
Noreen hastily took out a thick rope from her
backpack and tied it around the chimney, making sure to fasten three study knots
onto it. She threw the rest of the rope down onto the unsullied lawn and began
lowering herself down, making sure that she had a very strong grip. At last,
when she was a few inches from the ground, she dropped down onto the lawn and
gazed at her dearly loved home one last time.
“Goodbye Heather,” she quietly said.
Noreen then quickly swivelled her body around
and began racing away from her home, knowing that her presence there had now
vanished and would never, ever return.
“What was that?” Heather mumbled to herself, at the same time pouring herself
some chocolate milk into a tall glass.
A moment ago, she had perceived some strident
thumping on the roof. Being cautious at the moment, Heather decided to go investigate.
She hastily made her way up the lengthy staircase and down the corridor, coming
to a halt at Noreen’s front door.
“Noreen, are you all right?” she cried out.
There was no reply.
“Noreen, are you there?”
Again, there was no reply. Beginning to grow
concerned, Heather twisted the doorknob open and stepped into the room, her
eyes instantly catching sight of the opened window, with the curtains moving
up and down in a lazy motion.
“NOREEN?!” she yelled out, her heart now pounding
The frightened adolescent quickly ran up to the
window and peered down, gasping frighteningly at the sight. There it was, the
long, thick rope making its way all the way down to the front lawn.
She’s run away.
The words wrathfully hammered themselves into
Heather’s mind. The adolescent fell down clumsily onto Noreen’s bed and placed
her head in between her knees, her strident wails of sorrow and miserly beginning
to echo throughout the motionless, night air.
Maybe Noreen shouldn’t have run away from her home, but sometimes, things
don’t sound as crazy as they used to be when you are put through such a large
amount of pain. Noreen continues her life throughout the streets of Neopia Central,
always on the lookout for small scrapes of food and a warm shelter for the night.
Her invisibility causes her to simply be a spirit that roams around the woeful
world that she resides in. As for Heather, she has now found her life to be
useless without her Usul. She locks herself in her home, not bothering to socialize
with the rest of humankind. She cries and cries all day long, her mind always
locked onto on her baby, Noreen. But as I said before, a single tiny ZAP, can
change the entire course of a pet’s life.
Author’s Note: Thank you for reading my story Zapped: Invisible. It is the
1st part in the Zapped series and more will be coming soon. If you have any
comments on this tale, I’d love to hear them. Thank you once again.