Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 155,374,162 Issue: 219 | 9th day of Celebrating, Y7
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The Colors of Autumn


by fang13250

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Pushing the bright red door open with her paw, Misty stepped out onto the stone porch of her cozy little neohome. The starry Lupe paused for a second, shifting the weight of her heavy backpack, full of completed homework. Shuffling through the piles of fiery colored leaves, she made her way to the front gate, and pushed it open gently with a squeak. Sighing again, she headed along the dirt path, hearing the clang as the gate shut behind her.

      It was a cool autumn day, the first of many to come. Misty trudged along the path, crunching as her paws hit the leaves, thinking about her life. She had thought a lot about her life lately, especially about her owner. She was such a life controller! Never letting her do anything 'too dangerous', or eat anything that was 'junk'. But most of all Misty resented the fact that she wouldn't let her get a petpet.

      "They slobber, they shed, and they rip the furniture. They don't do anything good for you, what's the point?" her owner had told her many times over.

      Misty had begun to take an interest in the thing that was not allowed to be hers. She filled her room with endless petpet plushies, books, mugs, posters, just about anything that had the face of a petpet on it. But most of all she loved Gruslens.

      Misty had no idea why they intrigued her so much. Perhaps it was the appeal of their little tusks, or the shagginess of their thick, striped fur. Or maybe it was the hint of energy in their eyes that never faded, no matter what happened to them. Whatever it was, she loved them, and to her, there was nothing better than curling up on her gruslen bean bag, reading The Grizzly Gruslen, and drinking Achyfi (she wasn't allowed to have Neocola), underneath her babaa lamp.

      Continuing walking, she paused and looked out into the dense forest before her. Green in the spring, the leaves remaining were burning bright with many shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. She was about to keep going, when a flicker of movement caught her eye, from deep within the bushes. Squinting, she looked closer, and saw a brilliant ball of orange burst out from underneath the shrubbery, scattering leaves everywhere.

      "What is that?!" she questioned to herself, as the speeding ball of fluff drew nearer. "No way!" she exclaimed loudly. She had finally realized what the thing was….. a wild gruslen.

      Though wild, the gruslen seemed unusually tame. He approached her with caution, sniffing her heals curiously. Then without warning, he bounded away, into a neighboring yard.

      "Wait!" she called, hoping he would understand her. The gruslen paused, sniffed the wind, and began to chase his tail. Chuckling to herself, Misty came up to him, throwing her backpack on top of him, after dumping her books behind a bush.

      "I'll come back later," she assured herself, and scooped up the creature with care.

      Sneaking back down the path, Misty came back upon her neohome, and opened the gate. Instead of thrusting it behind her like she normally would have, she waited and closed it gently with care.

      "I'm going to get in so much trouble," she murmured, as she retrieved the key to her neohome from underneath the door mat. Holding her breath, she opened the door quietly, and poked her head around the corner. Good, she thought, Jen is gone. Turning back around, she picked up the wriggling backpack, and went into her room. She shut the door, and dumped the gruslen on the bed. Flopping on the chair nearest, she looked at him.

      He began to sniff around her room, pawing at her plushie pile in the corner, and sniffing the doors curiously. He came upon her bean bag and lifted his leg.

      "No!" Misty cried, but the deed had been done. The little gruslen continued to explore, leaving a wet spot on the carpet and her bean bag. Groaning, Misty got up to get a towel and some air freshener.

      After mopping up the mess with the towel, she squirted the freshener around the room. The scent sent the gruslen into a fit of sneezing, and he skidded across the room several times before the sneezing stopped.

      "You need to go outside," Misty noted, and led him to the back door, where she let him into their fenced yard. Sitting on the step, she watched him as he jumped and nipped at the falling leaves.

      "Finally my own petpet," she murmured. "Now, what to name you…." She paused for a moment, then said, "Autumn, your name is Autumn!"

      Turning back to her gruslen, she smiled and watched him play. It was like she was in a dream, until she heard the gate clang and someone shuffling up the sidewalk.

      "Oh no!" Misty cried, and leapt to her feet. "Jen!" She grabbed the gruslen and dashed inside.

      "Stay here!" she instructed him, and closed the door to her bedroom. Rushing through the hallway, she saw Jen entering the front entrance with a bag full of groceries.

      "Hello Jen!" Misty said with a smile, as she stepped in front of her.

      "Misty?! What are you doing here?" she cried. "You're supposed to be in neoschool!"

      Jen thought quickly, and replied, "Oh well, I realized that I left my lunch at home, and came to get it" It wasn't entirely a lie. She HAD forgotten her lunch, but she did it on purpose, so she could eat in the cafeteria that day.

      Snatching the paper bag off the counter a few feet away, she held it up in front of her and smiled innocently. Jen rubbed her temples.

      "Alright Misty, but how are you going to get to school on time now?" she asked and glanced at the clock. School was about to start in less than a minute.

      "I'm so sorry Jen! Really!" Misty apologized, and made her face look extremely sorry. Jen eyed her, but said nothing more. Misty had just begun to relax, thinking everything was going unusually well, when an excited bark came from the direction of her room. Jen narrowed her eyes.

      "What was that?" Jen questioned, looking at Misty suspiciously.

      She glanced nervously down the hall and stammered, "I-I don't k-know"

      Jen, obviously knowing there was something going on, turned and marched down the hall.

      "No, Jen!" Misty cried, and tried to pull her away. But the determined owner kept going. Pushing open the door to Misty's room, Jen gasped.

      "What is this filthy mongrel doing in my home??!!" she cried, and jumped onto the hallway table. Autumn ran out to greet her, jumping and barking.

      "Misty, get him out NOW!!!" she yelled angrily, and began to swat at Autumn. Misty knew she had no choice. She dragged herself to the rarely used storage room in the back of the house, and picked up the dusty blue cage lying underneath a couple of cardboard boxes.

      Bringing the cage back to the still angry Jen, Misty picked up her gruslen gingerly, and set him in the cage. Jen hopped down from the small table, and picked the cage up. Shooting a glare at Misty, she began to head out the door, while Misty followed sluggishly.

      "We are taking him back to the wild," she told Misty as she headed down the path towards the woods. An uneasy silence followed, Jen walking fast with her eyes narrowed, Misty looking around mournfully, and Autumn wagging his tail and clawing slightly at the side of the cage.

      They finally arrived where Misty had found Autumn. Jen took the cage from her hand, and Misty watched as Jen released the ball of orange that was her own into the wild. Autumn stood there for a second, and dashed into the forest, and Jen walked back towards Misty with a satisfied smile.

      Misty stood trembling, tears rolling down her cheeks. "Autumn," she whispered sadly, and began to stare where she had last saw him, hoping perhaps he would come running back.

      She had known it wasn't the best idea to take him home, but she had wanted to try anyway. She had failed miserably, her secret had been discovered, and her dream smashed into too many pieces to possibly ever be put back together.

      Her life was never the same since then, her mind often drifting, thinking about the petpet she had once had. Her resentment towards Jen increased, but her love for Autumn never faded. And every time the leaves turned the fiery colors of fall, and dropped like snowflakes, she thought of her first and last petpet, Autumn.

The End

 
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