Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 111,981,549 Issue: 223 | 13th day of Sleeping, Y8
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Sleeping Beauty: Part Two


by ruff_zette

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I am walking down the main street of Neopia Central. A pink Wocky rushes over to me. "Are you really Beauty_Queen571?" I smile and continue on walking. More pets are coming over to me. Girl pets with shining faces filled with admiration. Boy pets with dreamy eyes.

     And a Lupe. A shadow Lupe, waving to me. I flick my mane and keep on walking. I am too busy to go over and say hello. I have cosmetics to model, pictures to sign, fans to greet and of course a Beauty Contest to enter…

     * * * * *

     I hit the ground with a thud. I sat up and rubbed my head. I realised I must have been sleeping fairly close to the edge. I squinted through the darkness to try and see where I had put my bag and… Darkness? It was dark. It was still night!

     I heaved myself up and walked over to the door. I pushed it open and crept across the corridor to the bathroom. I washed my face (or rather, splashed it with cold water), and then went downstairs.

     I hunted through the kitchen. After all, Unis have big appetites and I hadn't eaten since yesterday lunch. I found three chocolate Gelerts, a plain omelette, a strawberry milkshake and a piece of toast.

     "What is going on?"

     I jumped about a metre in the air and spun around and saw Princess_Honey standing in the doorway. Her mane was fluttering slightly even though there was no wind. How did she do that?

     She came over and sat next to me. "Feeling better?" she asked, stealing a Gelert off my plate. She looked sympathetic and as though she really did care about me.

     I took a deep breath and shook my head. "Oh, Honey. Why can't I be beautiful? Why can't I be beautiful like you and Sparkle? I'm so sick of being ugly." A tear rolled down my face and dropped onto the table.

     Honey patted my back. "You ARE beautiful, Beauty," she said gently. "Your name suits you. You're gorgeous. The prettiest pet in Neopia!"

     I stood up. "Stop lying!" I hissed. "I am not beautiful! Maybe it's because I'm this foul colour, I don't know. All I know is that you and Sparkle are beautiful and I'm not! I'm an ugly purple Uni!"

     I stormed out the front door and ran down Tezoatl Row. It was cold but I didn't care. Eventually I sat down on the ground and rested. I didn't cry (had I run out of tears the night before?) but I spoke to myself. I did that a lot.

     It was about 15 minutes before Honey came and got me. She must have realised I needed some time to myself. We walked home together, but we didn't talk. When we got back to the house, I went back to my bedroom. Honey didn't try to stop me.

     I sat down on the bed. I wanted to cry but I just couldn't. I was sick of being me. I wondered if I could run away. I knew that the answer to that was 'no'. I decided to go for a walk later. But just me.

     * * * * *

     The sand formed little clouds around my hooves. Why did we live in the Lost Desert? Why didn't we live in Faerieland? I hadn't even been there! I think, before I was born, Mum and Honey used to go there a fair bit. Mum obviously liked Faeries. Faerie backpacks, Faerie Peophin…

     "Oh well."

     "What?" A desert Kougra was looking at me strangely. I had been talking to myself again. Why did I always talk to myself? I turned and ran before he could get a good look at my face.

     I was panting heavily as I ran (I didn't really exercise much). Since I was looking over my shoulder, I didn't realise I had run all the way to Dune Street. I also didn't realise there was someone right in front of me.

     I rubbed my head as I sat up. At that point I wasn't even sure what I was doing on the ground. "Sorry," I mumbled, hauling myself to my feet. "I didn't see…" I stared. It was the shadow Lupe from yesterday. "What are you doing here?" I demanded.

     The Lupe looked rather alarmed at my sudden change of tone. "I-I'm sorry? I don't think there are any rules against me being here, seeing as I live here!"

     "You do not! I saw you on Mystery Island yesterday! You don't live here… Do you?" I added, with a note of uncertainty. What if he did live here? I would have made an idiot of myself!

     "You were on Mystery Island too, but that doesn't mean you live there, does it? I live here and if you don't believe me, come see my house!" He grabbed my front leg and started pulling me along.

     "Oh, no! I'm fine, really! I do believe you! That really won't be necessary…" There was nothing I could do to stop him. He just dragged me up the street until we came to a rather large house, which we stopped at.

     "There!" he said smugly. "Now do you…"

     "Battle_Galactic! What are you doing to that poor Uni? Let her go this instant!" A short, strict looking woman was storming towards us. "You are in big trouble! How dare you pick on the other pets! I thought I told you…"

     I felt very guilty. I was just standing there, letting him get told off for something he didn't do. I had to do something. "Actually, Miss, I'm a friend of his. He was just showing me the way to your house."

     The woman's face softened immediately. She stopped yelling at Battle_Galactic and spoke gently to him instead. "It's lovely that you're making friends, dear." She turned to me. "Would you like to come in for a snack?"

     "Er… No, I've got to go now."

     "Very well. Goodbye, dear!" She turned and bustled back into the house.

     I yanked myself away from the Lupe and tried to shield my face with my hoof. I didn't want him to see how ugly I was. I was just lucky he hadn't noticed yet. "Goodbye." I turned and ran back to my house.

     * * * * *

     I pushed open the front door and wandered inside. Sparkle flung herself at me. "You came back!" The royal Gelert grinned at me. "I thought you were dead! Dead and never coming back!" I lowered her to the ground.

     Mum put down the Neopian Times and looked at me over her glasses. "You were gone a long time. We were starting to worry."

     "I'm fine Mum. I can go out and do as I like." I went upstairs with Sparkle following. I walked into my room. "Sparkle, go and play with your plushies. I'm too busy to play with you right now." She turned and loped off to her bedroom. I closed my door.

     I looked in my mirror, just like always. And, just like always, the Uni looking back at me was ugly. I examined my eyes closely. Did I have nice eyes? I didn't think so. No, I didn't. Nothing about me was nice.

     I don't know how long I looked at myself in the mirror, but it must have been quite a while because I was still looking when I heard Mum yelling. "Beeeeeaaaaaaauuuuuuutyyyyyyy! Spaaaaaaaaaaaaarkle! Hooooooooooneeeeeeeey! Diiiiiiiiineeeeeer!"

     I attempted to gallop down the stairs, but tripped and fell. I hoped I wouldn't get a bruise. That would be just terrific. Then I could look even worse.

     We all sat down at the table and Mum served up shrimptail and Pyramibread. I started eating straight away. I hadn't eaten much today, and I didn't want to have to raid the kitchen in the morning.

     "I'm going to Neopia Central tomorrow to do some shopping," said Mum. "Who wants to come?"

     "I will. I can help you with the shopping and I have to meet Rosagoir there anyway," Honey said airily.

     "I want to buy some more plushies," piped up Sparkle. "I have to come!"

     Everyone looked at me. Should I go? I was considering saying I would stay home but then I realised I had something to do in Neopia Central too. "Of course I'll come too." Then I added, "But I might have to do a few things on my own."

     "We'll all split up at one point and then meet back together at the food shop, say, two hours later?" Mum suggested. "Then we can all do what we need."

     Everyone seemed to think this was a good idea so that was what we settled on. After dinner I brushed my teeth, took one last look in the mirror and went to bed. I knew what I wanted to do tomorrow, but I couldn't tell anybody.

     I lay in bed for quite a while, planning for tomorrow. I knew tomorrow would be the day it would all come together. And even tough I thought about that for a long time while drifting off, right before I went to sleep, my mind turned to something else.

     Or, more accurately, someone else.

To be continued...

 
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» Sleeping Beauty: Part One
» Sleeping Beauty



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