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Kip Vision


by erileen

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"Up and at 'em, Dale! We have to make it to the lab before lunch!" A voice sprung through the opened door and heavy footsteps - clomp, clomp, clomp - announced the departure of someone unwelcome in the early morning hours.

      The previously sleeping blue Krawk opened his eyes and sat up in his bed only to see his owner, Christina, walking into the kitchen. Hot breakfast smells pounced upon his stomach like a mad angelpuss. Quickly, the Krawk pulled himself out of his Jeran bed and slicked a comb through his hair. He darted out of his room and into the kitchen, swinging himself up onto a stool at the counter, stuffing hot Faerie Pancakes into his mouth furiously. Dale couldn't wait to get to the lab. He had only been gaining and losing hit points and levels for the last month, and was eager for major change.

      He knew that he had a great life, happier than most he knew - most of his friends had been through some kind of hardship, a stint at the Neopian Pound or having to get through without much money. Dale would often lay in bed at night, trying to think of something difficult that had happened to him, but nothing came to him - Christina had hatched him from an egg; he'd lived with her in complete happiness all of his life. He thought about his best friend - Kip. He smiled as he thought about Kip, a fire Kyriii. He'd been in the Pound himself for a while before he'd met up with his loving owner, who'd doted on him adoringly. You couldn't help liking Kip - he was just one of those easygoing, great guys. Dale and Kip had been friends for a long time - "forever and a week," as Christina put it. Kip was another part of Dale's life that made things so great. Things had been good for him from the beginning, and he couldn't see them changing any time soon.

      Christina flopped down the Neopian Times, pushed her chair away from the table. The flop noise of the paper hitting the table stirred Dale from his thoughts as he shoved the last of his pancakes into his mouth. Christina smiled, giving him a pat on the head as she grabbed the dish and began to wash it off. Once the breakfast platters had been thoroughly rinsed, she picked up her completed lab map and said, "C'mon Dale! Let's go!"

     ***

      "Do remember to keep calm at all times during the transformation," the Scorchio said as he walked behind the ray gun. Christina bit her lip, and gave Dale a frightened smile. Dale was her only Neopet, after all. Watching him undergo major transformations was a difficult feat... a very difficult feat. She often worried that something might happen sometime, and he'd end up as something totally different than what she knew him to be. Of course, she'd experienced nothing but great statistic changes for the past few weeks, and had no reason to think that she's experience anything else...

      "One... two... three!"

      The Scorchio pushed the button and the Ray activated. Dale closed his eyes and breathed in and out very slowly. He felt his body begin to change... something sprung out of the top of his head and tickled his nose. Pain erupted from his back, and evidently something else was happening back there too. He felt a cold, trickling feeling and knew his scales were changing colors...

      Suddenly, he felt nothing. He opened his eyes and saw a bewildered looking Scorchio and a frightened looking Christina.

      "Well," he said, stepping down from the table. "How do I look?" The Scorchio shook his head; words failed him. Christina reached into her pocket book and pulled out a small compact, gazing at Dale with a look of pale, surprised shock in her face.

      Dale peered in the mirror and let out a loud yell...

     ***

      "I'm never going to school again," Dale said dully. Tears clouded his eyes. Christina held his claw.

      "Dale, it isn't all that bad. Really, dear... " she said tenderly as she sat on the bed with him, biting her lip. She wasn't quite sure what to say, or how to say it.

      "What do you mean it isn't that bad, Christina?" Dale groaned. "I'm-I'm... " He jumped up from his bed and eyed himself in his full-length mirror. His once blue belly was now turquoise, his scales pink. A long, turquoise curl covered his right eye and brushed his nose. Pink wings sprung out from his back.

      He was a Faerie Krawk. A male Faerie Krawk.

      Christina sighed and twisted the sleeve of her shirt around her hand. "Dale, I don't know what to say... "

      "I'm never going to the Ray again," Dale said firmly. Christina nodded.

      "But Dale, do understand that I'm practically broke? It will take me a long, long while to save up for a Blue Paint Brush."

      "I understand," Dale said in his monotonous voice. "Christina, could you just leave me alone for a little?" He winced. "Sorry if that sounded rough... I just need to be alone." Christina nodded, and stepped out of the room closing the oak wood door.

      Dale groaned as he flopped onto his bed. "A MALE Faerie Krawk. Who's ever heard of something so perfectly stupid?"

      He sighed - it was only to be expected. After all, his friends had endured their hardships, and he thought that his turn had finally come up. It was his turn for hardship - his turn to be strong and brave. But... but he couldn't even start to consider being strong and brave. After all, people who were smart and courageous could look things like this in the eye, square their shoulders, hold their head high and live with it. With a jolt, Dale realized that he wasn't that kind of person, and suddenly a dark, deep feeling of resentment filled his stomach and gave him a sort of bitter taste in his mouth. How on Neopia would he manage to get through all of this?

      "I guess," he said aloud to himself, "it's my turn to be brave." A shiver ran through his body. With that thought coursing through his body, Dale closed his eyes and, trying to forget the day's occurrences, dozed off.

     ***

      Sunlight peered through the window into Dale's room and tickled his nose lightly. Dale opened his pink eyes, and stretched. It wasn't until he looked in the mirror that he remembered the prior day's events. Groaning like a person in mind-wrenching pain, he flopped down on his bed and smashed his head into the pillow. Almost immediately, he heard a knock on the door.

      "Dale?" It was Christina. She opened the door and poked her head in. "Dale, it's time for you to go to school."

      "Christina," Dale said, getting off the bed and shaking his head, "you don't really expect me to go to school, do you?"

      Christina seemed to think about it for a moment, and then nodded slowly; thoughtfully.

      Dale's eyes nearly popped out of his pink head. "Christina! You must be off your rocker!" Christina laughed.

      "Dale, Dale... you're being silly!" She smiled as sat down beside him on the bed. "You needn't worry about such trivial things as color."

      "Christina," Dale said, "this is more than just color. I look like a girl!" Christina sighed and stood up to exit the room.

      "Say what you want Dale, but you're going to school, even if I have to drag you in kicking and screaming." With that, she nodded curtly and closed the door.

      Dale sighed as played with his turquoise curl of hair. "I can't believe this... it's an outrage! A scam! A trick! Christina is insane!" he declared to air.

      Hot breakfast smells wafted through the door and stormed in, demanding Dale to eat. He heard his stomach growl angrily.

      "Well," Dale thought, "if Christina's making me go to school, I might as well eat." With that, he grabbed a coat and ran to the kitchen.

     ***

      "Look! A new girl!" Dale turned his head to see an excited Faerie Kacheek pointing in his direction, whispering to a friend.

      "Oh great. No one even recognizes me!" Dale said, cringing. He sighed. "I wonder if Kip with recognize me?"

      Dale looked but didn't see Kip on the school grounds. Shrugging, he sat down on a large boulder placed artistically outside of the building, and waited for the bell to ring.

      Suddenly, he saw two large Skeiths heading for the boulder. They stopped, shocked at seeing someone else sitting on what was rightfully "theirs" - that rock was their sitting place! How dare some new girl sit on it!

      "Hey kid! Get off our rock," one said, throwing Dale a challenging grin.

      Dale took a deep breath. "No!" he said. He noticed that his voice shook, but sure enough it was strong. The green Skeith's face broke into a wide grin.

      "Dale?" he said. Dale nodded.

      "Dude!" the blue one said. "What did you eat, man?"

      "It was the lab ray," Dale said miserably.

      "Dude!" both Skeiths yelled.

      The green one jeered. "So you're still a guy, but you're all pretty now?" he attempted at a pirouette, but fell to the ground in a laughing fit. The two walked away, chuckling deeply.

      Dale sighed, tears clouding his eyes. He got off the boulder and headed to the school cloakroom to hang up his jacket. He sighed and leaned against the cold wall as he put his coat on a hook. He wiped tears furiously out of his eyes as the bell rang. He walked to his classroom and walked in. He stared at the floor and heard the whispers exchanged and felt laughing eyes follow him.

      He took his seat, which was right next to Kip's. He glanced over and saw it was empty - he was probably still in the cloakroom. Dale slumped his head into the desk and stared out the window into the rolling hills. How he wished he was out there, running away from this mess.

      The teacher was writing on the blackboard when the door burst open and in walked Kip. He panted as if he'd been running and made his way to his seat, offering an apologetic smile to the stern teacher. He sauntered down the aisle to take his seat, waving to various pets. Dale closed his eyes and waited for Kip's reaction when he saw...

      "Hey Dale," Kip whispered as he took out his notebook. Dale turned to Kip.

      "Kip... you didn't notice?"

      "Notice what?" Kip whispered, beginning to take notes. Dale motioned at his body.

      "Kip, look at me!"

      Kip gave his friend a good once-over. "You changed into a Faerie?" Kip asked, sounding slightly incredulous. Dale nodded somberly, awaiting for his friend to laugh at him too. Kip seemed to process the information for a moment, and then shrugged, laughed, and offered, "Cool, now you can fly!"

      Dale felt light headed as he reached for his own notebook to copy down something the teacher had printed on the blackboard. "But Kip," he whispered, "I'm different now. I look like a girl!"

      Kip looked up from his notes, chuckling a bit. "You're the same person inside, Dale, and that's the person I care about." With that, Kip bent down and continued writing.

      Dale smiled and looked down at what he'd written, but everything was blurry. He let a tear drop hit the page, making a tiny wet spot. His heart swelled with pride. His best friend in the world didn't care that he looked like a girl... he cared about the person inside of him.

      He had "Kip Vision."

The End

 
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