Sleeping Beauty: Part Six
My life is perfect. And today is a perfect day. The sun
is shining and there are lots of people to see me parade. I always parade before
I enter Beauty Contests (which is fairly often). I wave to my fans at every parade,
and this one is no different.
They all wave at me and some of them even talk
to me or throw flowers at me. I love being beautiful and winning Beauty Contests.
Of course I will win this one. I know that for sure. I always win…
* * * * *
"Beauty! Beauty, you have to get up!"
I opened my eyes. "Mum," I hissed. "Why are you
waking me up when it's still dark?" Mum usually woke me up at about 7:30 in
the morning, but now it looked about 5:30. I rubbed my eyes. "What time is it
"It's 5:30," she whispered. She flicked on the
light and I flinched. She came over to the bed and ripped the blankets off me.
"No time for sleeping in! You have to get up - you're going to Tyrannia!" She
threw the note at me and put her hands on her hips. "Besides, aren't Unis supposed
to be energetic?"
I grunted and looked bleary-eyed at the note.
There was a part that I must have skipped over the day before. It read like
05:45am Arrive at school and hand in notes
06:00am Leave school
10:00am Arrive at Tyrannia and go to Tyrammet
11:00am Go to Cave Painting
12:30pm Go to Town Hall
02:00pm Leave Tyrannia
06:00pm Arrive back at school
"You have 15 minutes to get ready! I already
packed your lunch, but, er…" She hesitated. "You might have to miss out on your
"No!" I protested. "I HAVE to have a shower.
I need to make myself look…"
Mum shook her head. "There's no time. You can
have breakfast and then we have to leave straight away." She hurried out of
my room and down the stairs.
I looked at my vanity desk. I knew there wouldn't
be time for me to do my makeup or even pack any. I sighed and went downstairs.
* * * * *
"Okay, it seems everyone has remembered to bring
their notes in…" Miss Flammhouten, the yellow Krawk drawled. "…That doesn't
happen very often… so you will all be attending. You can walk with whoever you
like as long as you're in two straight lines… like that'll ever happen…"
Kitty_Girl and Copy_Cat, the two blue Peophins,
giggled with excitement as though that was the best news they'd ever heard.
Battle_Galactic glanced at me but I avoided his gaze.
Despite that, I ended up walking with him anyway
(probably because no-one else wanted to walk with me). The parents waved to
all the children as we walked away (they would probably start celebrating as
soon as we were gone). And it wasn't long before they were out of sight.
Battle_Galactic looked at me, his dark face anxious
and his long tail swishing. "Will you be okay?" he asked uncertainly.
"Of course!" I snapped. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Well…" he said slowly. "We have to pass through
the Haunted Woods. And the other day… Well, you remember."
"I'll be fine," I said stiffly. But as soon as
the golden sand gave way to damp grass I panicked, and started clinging to the
shadow Lupe. But neither of us said anything, and the only voices I had to listen
to were that of the Eyrie and Zafara in front of us.
But eventually the shadows of the trees disappeared
and we were walking across lush, rolling meadows. Neopia Central was up ahead!
And we soon arrived in the bustling city. I felt
sorry for Miss Flammhouten, having to negotiate us through the crowds. At one
point we lost an Aisha called Missy_Moo67, but we found her out the front of
It was better on the Ferry. There were only about
20 other pets on there apart from our class, and 4 of them got off at Meridell,
3 at Roo Island and 6 at Terror Mountain (although we did pick up about 7 extras).
We arrived at Tyrannia at 10:00, just like the
itinerary said. The jungle was hot and sticky and everyone was begging for Miss
Flammhouten to let us swim in the ocean. (Of course, the answer was always "no".)
"We don't have time…" she sighed. "We have to
go to Tyrammet… how exciting that's going to be…" And she led us into the tiny
village. "Take notes… Do research… Stay with your partners… Work in pairs…"
That meant, of course, that I had to work with
"How could Kyruggi have been ruling Tyrammet
for 500 years?" asked Kitty_Girl stupidly. "Shouldn't she be dead?' (Copy_Cat
nodded in agreement.)
"She's only been ruling for five years!" I laughed.
"Maybe you should learn to read a bit better!"
The two Peophins' faces changed (in sync) from
bright and bubbly to tight and sour.
I and Battle_Galactic finished our report on
the history of Tyrammet fairly quickly, so we had time to sit and watch what
everyone else was doing. Eventually, though, Miss Flammhouten collected our
work and announced (or rather, drawled) that we were moving on.
After a difficult climb up some stone "stairs"
(and quite a few grazed knees, chipped hooves and one occasion where somebody
got "gently pushed" back DOWN the stairs) we reached the mouth of a cave and
Miss Flammhouten spoke to us again.
"We decided… not that I got a say in any of it…
that it would be good to include something fun in the excursion… nothing they
organise is fun… so we're doing some cave painting…"
Let me tell you this - there is nothing less
fun than cave painting. It is actually so boring that I might skip over it and
go straight to lunch.
* * * * *
"Everybody take a seat… Not real seats of course…"
I sat down on the hard ground of the plateau.
It was cracked and broken. I immediately thought of my mirror (I'm not really
sure why). I could smell a delicious fragrance wafting through the air and I
breathed it in. What was it?
"Miss," sighed Jaddimarra (the Eyrie who had
been in front of us). "Miss, can we go get some omelette?"
Miss Flammhouten shook her head. "Kids these
days…" She walked off (still muttering to herself).
Kitty_Girl and Copy_Cat seemed to think that
was hilarious, and sat in hysterics having little giggle-fits. I glared at them.
They were ruining my day. Even my tea leaf sandwich (which I love) didn't seem
to taste as good while they were sitting there.
"What are you looking at?" Kitty_Girl demanded.
"Two ugly Peophins!" I snapped.
"Actually," Kitty_Girl flicked her mane, "that
would be you." I felt an icy hand grab my chest and the Peophin nodded, satisfied.
"Yeah, at least we're not ugly!" Copy_Cat agreed,
her jaw set, her eyes hard.
Suddenly, there was a flash of black, and Battle_Galactic
was on his feet. "At least she's not stupid!" Lots of Pets turned to have a
sticky-beak at what the argument was about.
But the Lupe's words had already done their job.
Kitty_Girl and Copy_Cat shrank back and whispered amongst themselves, throwing
us filthy looks every now and then.
I sank down, both inside and out. It was all
very well and good that I'd been defended from their taunts, but they were right.
I was smart and they were stupid, but they were beautiful and I was ugly. They
had just rubbed it in even more.
"Come now everyone… It's time to go to the Town
* * * * *
The time spent in the Hall was incredibly boring.
An hour and a half of taking notes off signs and listening to Sabre-X tell us
about why the Hall was founded and what they actually did.
"And I want a report written on this… Returned
by Monday… That will never happen…" Miss Flammhouten led us all out of the Hall,
although a few class clowns stayed behind to pretend they were famous warriors.
People were sent back to collect them. I was one of those people.
"Oh, come ON!" I begged a frustrating Scorchio
who seemed determined that he had been "chosen" to protect Tyrannia. "If we
stay they'll leave without us!"
He shrugged. "It doesn't bother me. I belong
I grabbed his arm. "I said COME ON!" I dragged
him out of the Hall and started sprinting across the barren plateau to catch
up with the class (I think Miss Flammhouten had forgotten that she'd sent me
And the journey home was much the same as the
* * * * *
"Beauty! Over here!"
I squinted at the crowd of people. It was dark
even though it was only six o'clock. I could make out Mum, Honey and Sparkle
standing about ten metres away. I was about to start running towards them when
Miss Flammhouten cleared her throat.
"I would like you all to work on your reports
over the weekend with your partners… if they're smart enough to remember who
their partner is…" She wandered off (obviously her owner was not here to collect
"Bye Beauty!" Battle_Galactic waved to me as
he loped off to his owner, and they set off in the direction of their house.
I walked over to my own family.
"Hi Mum, hi Honey, hi Sparkle. It was so… What
are you doing?" They were all smirking in a satisfied, mischievous sort of way.
"What is it? Tell me!" Still I got no answer.
"Come on B-e-a-u-t-y," Mum smiled as she grabbed
my arm and started leading me home. I eyed her suspiciously.
"Why did you just stretch out that last word?"
I demanded. "Why did you stretch out my name like that?" The only response I
got was a smile, so I gave up and let her take me home. I noticed the three
of them exchange glances.
When we got home, I managed to eat about two
thirds of my omelette before heading upstairs, throwing my mirror one last glance
and collapsing into my bed. I was too tired from the excursion to think about
But I wasn't too tired to dream…
To be continued...