"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
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
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
"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
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,
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
"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
"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,
"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."