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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Gathering, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 37 > Short Stories > Antikia Lighten

Antikia Lighten

by shimmeringblue

Antikia is a purple Shoyru who spends her days singing songs to the beautiful faeries of the forest, and watching the Health Shrooms grow. Every once in a while, a Light Faerie arrives to collect some Health Shrooms. When that time comes, Antikia is always ready to help her select the ripest ones. Usually the Health Shrooms are to restock the Water Faerie's supply at the Healing Springs. Sometimes they are needed in other places like the Apothecary, but only if they have permission from the Faerie Queen herself.

Fyora had created Antikia Lighten to tend to the crop, and she had been raised in the deep forest, surrounded by trees and playful faeries. The wild Shoyru often wondered about the outside world, but never longed to be part of it. She had been there only once, but it was one time too many.

Antikia had tried but could not forget that dreadful day. She had been asked to travel to the Neopian Marketplace to deliver some Health Shrooms to Kauvara as a special request. Never again.

She was astonished by all the NeoPets. Most of them were clothed in so many brightly coloured garments and jewellery; she was amazed that they didn't collapse under the weight. Antikia felt out of place, for she had nothing but the basket of Health Shrooms.

She also noticed the other ones. Strange creatures called humans. They were all rushing around with pockets stuffed full of Neopoints (whatever those were.) Some had NeoPets tagging along behind them. Some didn't.

They were all in such a hurry to get wherever they were going that Antikia stepped back to avoid the rush.

She bumped into another human. He was heavy built and towered over her. He smiled but still made Antikia edgy. She was so used to the delicate little faeries. This guy was a monster.

"Hello little fellah! What's your name?"

"Uh... Antikia," she replied, nervously. He waited, as if he expected her to say more. When she didn't, his smile vanished.

"Antikia? That's it?? No numbers, no underscores?? What kind of a registered name is that?! I find that highly suspicious, young lady!" he said.

Antikia was bewildered and frightened. What was this guy talking about?

"What's your owner's name?"

Owner? she thought. I don't think I have an owner. But she said the first person that came to mind.

"Fyora," she answered, flatly.

The human laughed. "Right... Your owner is the Faerie Queen," he said, obviously not believing her. "More than likely you're a runaway. Was your old owner too hard on you? Feed you too many omelettes? That's too bad..." he almost hissed, pretending to show sympathy. "It's off to the pound for you, Missy!" The human reached for her arm.

The pound. Antikia didn't know what it was, but she didn't like the sound of it. She tried to run but the human caught her and dragged her off, kicking and screaming with all her might.

***

The pound was crowded full of creatures-human and NeoPet. Antikia looked around. All she could see were the horrified faces of the other pets who knew what this place was. Their owners were with them. Some had stern, uncaring faces, and some who were crying.

Antikia Lighten was handed over to an ugly Techo in a lab coat and stuffed into a cage that had obviously been occupied many times before. She cringed as the barred cage door was slammed in her face.

The air in the cage was so stale and stuffy, Antikia almost choked. The smell of unclean creatures was strong. Never had she breathed air so thick and musty. The air was fresh in the forest. Antikia huddled in the corner of her tiny cage, trying to escape the unfriendly stares of her neighbours.

In the time she was there, Antikia saw many pets handed over to the Techo and slammed into a cage. She saw them scream and cry as their former owners walked away. Antikia was horrified. How could anyone do something so cruel?

She also saw pets being taken out of their cages, gently lifted up by the smiling Uni, and placed into a happy new owner's arms. Maybe some humans aren't so bad after all, she thought.

It wasn't long before the Uni took her out of her cage and passed her too a smiling human girl. (She was adopted so fast because apparently, purple Shoyrus are more rare than others or something.) The girl promised to take Antikia to her NeoHome where she would meet all her new brothers and sisters who were waiting for her. She said it as if this were a good thing. But Antikia didn't want to be smothered in clothes and jewellery like the other NeoPets she had seen. She didn't want to be stuck in a NeoHome It didn't matter how big and grand the human claimed it to be; it couldn't possibly compare to her forest.

At first chance, the purple Shoyru flew off, leaving her new owner shouting after her.

After soaring far in the direction she thought she came, Antikia found her way into a forest, but it was not the forest she knew. Where were the pink flowers that hung from the vines? Where were her faerie friends? Where was she?

The exhausted Shoyru sank to the ground in despair, wishing she had paid more attention to the direction she had come. She never imagined that Neopia could be so enormous. Antikia hung her head and a tear slid down her cheek.

Fyora, help me.

***

The Faerie Queen heard her cry, and came. She found the little Shoyru curled up on the ground where she had fallen, fast asleep. Fyora carried her home and when Antikia awakened, she found herself surrounded by the trees she knew and was greeted by the soft, familiar voices of her faerie friends.

Since then, Antikia Lighten has never left the protection of her secret forest. She likes it where she is-in her enchanting forest where the air smells of sweet flower blossoms and the Earth Faeries dance in the trees.


Author's Note: The story makes reference to the Apothecary in the Haunted Woods, and I realise it is not there anymore. It also mentions the Water Faerie's supply of Health Shrooms at the Healing Springs, which she no longer sells. But Antikia's tale begins at a time when the Water Faerie did sell Health Shrooms and the Apothecary still existed.

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