Sleeping Beauty: Part Seven
I always win Beauty Contests, and I just won another one.
It is incredibly easy, since I am so beautiful. I don't want to be mean, but the
other contestants don't stand a chance. I walk out of the building and wave to
my fans. They all came here for the soul purpose of seeing me.
I win constantly, but they still get excited
every time. I suppose they just really look up to me. I would too. I'm the most
beautiful pet in Neopia, and they all want to be me…
* * * * *
"Beauty, rise and shine!"
"Leave me alone, Sparkle," I mumbled to the Royal
Gelert standing in the doorway. "Why are you waking me up on a Saturday, anyway?"
"We woke you up on the holidays." She was fidgeting
slightly and trying to hide a smile. "Now get up! We can go to the food stall
and get sand fruit for breakfast."
"I hate sand fruit." I sat up and glared at the
blurry shape that most resembled my sister. "It tastes like, well - sand!"
She frowned slightly and bit her lip. "Will you
come to the Petpet stall with me? I'm saving up for one, but I still need to
choose." She was looking at me strangely, desperately even.
"Why are you so determined to get me out of the
house?" I demanded suspiciously. What was going on?
She hesitated, her face anxious. "Will you come?"
I sighed. "Fine! Just give me a minute to get
ready." After she left, grinning like an idiot, I went and examined my face
in the mirror. Still ugly. I carefully applied sunscreen, and then set to work
picking out other makeup to wear. In the end, I chose tan blush (for that healthy,
golden glow), green eyeshadow (for added quirk) and pink lipstick (for a girly
touch). I was just about to start applying it when the door was flung open.
"Stop!" Honey's eyes were wide with horror and
her mouth was hanging open. The Faerie Peophin snatched the cosmetics away from
me, and collapsed on the bed in relief, breathing heavily.
"What are you doing?" I was shocked. Why was
my family acting so strangely?
"Oh," She looked embarrassed. "Well… Mum doesn't
think you should wear any makeup today. She said you should give your skin a
rest." She was nodding in a way that seemed to be daring me to argue. "Now,
go down the street with Sparkle and buy some breakfast. Mum will even give you
I followed her down the stairs, wondering what
was going on.
* * * * *
"So what am I going to eat, since I don't like
sand fruit?" I was walking through the central part of Sakhmet, with Sparkle
She hitched up her dress and did a little run
to catch up. "Well, whatever you like! Pyramibread. You like Pyramibread." (This
was true.) "Get some of that and I'll get a sand banana."
We passed Sakhmet Solitaire and I turned right
to head up to the Petpet stall.
"Where are you going?" asked Sparkle curiously.
She hadn't even moved in that direction. I decided she suffered from short-term
"You said you wanted a Petpet, didn't you?" I
swished my long tail and tossed my mane. This day was just getting weirder and
"What? Oh yeah! Er…" She paused, then smiled
nervously. "It's not that important."
I shrugged and we set off again for the food
stall. Something was definitely wrong here. My family was pretty normal (usually,
anyway) and now they were all acting so strange. What were they up to? When
I thought about it, I realised that they had been a bit funny since the day
before, when I had got back from Tyrannia.
"Oh, yum!" Sparkle was eyeing a basket of Scarab
Cookies and licking her lips. "Expensive, though. It's too bad Mum only gave
us 500NP each, or I'd buy one. Even if we combined our money…"
I picked up a loaf of Pyramibread and sat it
on the counter. The Grarrl looked closely at me, and I looked away nervously.
"You could afford two of those bread things…
Or even three…" Sparkle was flitting around the stall, reading the price tag
on pretty much everything.
"I know where I've seen you before!" boomed the
shopkeeper. I jumped about a metre in the air in alarm. Sparkle looked terrified.
"You haven't seen her ANYWHERE," the Gelert said
forcefully, glaring at the Grarrl. "You've never seen her before."
Something dawned on the shopkeeper's face and
he nodded solemnly. He turned to me. "That will be 124NP…" I handed him the
money and he counted it carefully before putting it in the pocket of his robes.
"Are you buying anything?" he asked Sparkle. She sat a sand banana on the counter
and paid for it. Then we left.
"What was all that about?" I asked, trying to
"All what?" Sparkle demanded wildly. (She was
less casual.) "Nothing happened, what are you talking about?"
And we didn't talk all the way home. Why was
she being so defensive and mysterious? There was something going on behind my
back and I was going to find out. But there were more surprises.
It was almost lunch by the time we got home,
and when we were halfway down the street I saw Honey out the front talking to
somebody. She handed the figure a bag. They both glanced around nervously. I
strained my eyes.
It was Battle_Galactic!
As soon as he saw me he turned and ran down the
street, around a corner and was gone. What was he doing at my house? Sparkle
just kept walking as if she hadn't seen anything, which only made me angrier.
Why were they keeping secrets from me?
When we reached the house, Honey had gone inside
and was sitting in the lounge, reading. She looked up as we walked in. "Hi guys.
Did you have fun?"
"I need to talk to you," said Sparkle anxiously.
"It's important." The two of them walked into the kitchen and had a whispered
conversation. It didn't take them long, and it was only about 30 seconds before
Honey came out.
"I'll go tell Mum," she informed Sparkle over
her shoulder. Then she ran upstairs (to tell Mum, naturally), with her mane
billowing behind her. Sparkle came out of the kitchen and sat next to me on
"Is it true that you Unis have big appetites?"
she asked stupidly. She was trying to cover up all the strange behaviour (and
"I don't know," I answered, standing up. "But
I'm going to have lunch." I walked out to the kitchen, and broke off another
chunk of Pyramibread. The explosion of sand-jam flavour in my mouth was beautiful.
I did like Pyramibread.
"Hi, Beauty." Mum strolled into the kitchen,
a cup of coffee in one hand and a copy of the Neopian Times in the other. "Having
I watched her face very carefully, to see if
she was acting strangely as well. I nodded. "I didn't finish my Pyramibread,
so I thought I'd eat it now.
Mum smiled vaguely (more weird behaviour). "You
look nice with no makeup on," she said gently. "It really shows off your natural
beauty. That's why I gave you the name. Because you're pretty."
I laughed hollowly. "Don't tease me."
I shook my head and went upstairs. My mirror
showed that Mum HAD been teasing me. I looked awful with no makeup on. (And
actually, the makeup didn't make much of a difference.)
That was when I realised. My vanity desk had
been cleared! Every single blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish, hairbrush,
mouthwash, hand mirror and hairspray was gone! I got down on the floor and hunted
around. There was nothing there. I almost cried. My makeup was the only thing
keeping me going, and now it was gone!
"Beauty, a friend of yours is here." Mum poked
her head around the door. "He's in the kitchen, and he wants to know if you
want to go to the fountain in Qasala with him."
It could only have been Battle_Galactic. And
there he was. The shadow Lupe looked awkward and out of place sitting in the
kitchen talking to Sparkle. He was nodding politely and agreeing with everything
"And Squoppie the Kacheek lives under the bed.
She just moved there from the top of the cupboard. She built a whole new house
and sold the old one to Mitz and Fritz. They're Gelerts and they're twins. I
bought them the other day in Neopia Central. Do your plushies have houses or
are they too poor? Are some of them rich?"
The Lupe leapt to his feet when he saw me, obviously
relieved that I was rescuing him from the Royal Gelert who he had been "talking"
to for the past few minutes. "So, you want to come?" he asked hopefully. I nodded
(out of pity) and we set off.
"So, why do you want to go to Qasala?" I asked
as we walked away from Sakhmet and toward the river crossing.
"Well…" he said thoughtfully, "since I only moved
here over the holidays, I haven't had much of a chance to look around yet. I
used to live on Mystery Island. That's why I went there on Sunday. And now it's
the next Saturday. It seems like we've known each other a lot longer than that,
I nodded. Then I asked, "Why were you at my house?
Why is my family acting so weird? You're in on this, I know you are. What is
He sighed. "You're not supposed to find out,
but… Well, you know that building next door to the school? Where they were having
the Beauty Contest?" He bit his lip.
"Yes," I said impatiently. "What about…" And
then it dawned on me. "YOU GUYS ENTERED ME?" I exploded. "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?
ARE YOU CRAZY?" I clapped my hooves to my face. "Oh no…" I gasped.
He frowned slightly. "What?"
"People will see the picture! They'll see me!
I have to get it out of there!" I started running back in the direction of the
building, horrified. I had to stop them! I knew Battle_Galactic was following
me, but I paid him no attention. I just kept running.
The building loomed in front of me, a dark omen.
I flung open the double-doors.
* * * * *
A huge crowd of pets and owners was sitting
in a massive room. On the stage was a judge, sitting at a table. Everybody was
already clapping and cheering - the winner had already been announced.
The pictures of the contestants were up on the
wall. All these beautiful pets, flashing beautiful smiles. And in the center
was an enormous picture of the winner.
It was me.
My own face was smiling down at me. I looked
And suddenly Battle_Galactic was pushing me up
onto the stage. Mum and Honey and Sparkle had already run up there and were
waiting for me, grinning like lunatics. Once I was up there I looked at them.
"I won," I said blankly.
"We knew you were beautiful!" Mum laughed. "We've
been trying to tell you for your whole life!" They all nodded, and Battle_Galactic
pulled us all into a big group hug.
As I stood there with my family and my new-found
friend, for once I was happy being the purple Uni by the name of Beauty_Queen571.
And I never looked in the mirror again.