That Purple Grundo
It's a gloomy night. Rain pours from the sky, pelting the
window of what is now my room. The water races down my window pane. Drops merge
with other drops and speed up in their contest to get to the bottom.
Despite the weather, I couldn't be happier.
Trina walks into the room. "Would you like a
sour blue slushie?" she asks.
"Yes, please!" I reply, and she hands me a cold
plastic cup filled with my favorite drink.
Well, maybe I could have been happier. But now,
with my slushie and everything else, life couldn't be better. I can't believe
how swiftly my life had changed from this morning….
That Purple Grundo, that was my name. Or, at
least that was what everyone called me. That was even what I called myself.
There was no time for names in the life we led.
I was a Grundo slave in a section of the space
station. I and so many others were responsible for manufacturing Neopian products,
be it toys, keychains, or a matter of different foods. I was not an extraordinary
Grundo. In fact, I was one of the weakest, slowest, stupidest ones there (as
a certain blue Grundo always liked to tell me). And every Grundo there knew
it. They liked to call me names and laugh at the mistakes I made.
That is, every Grundo except one. There was
Mother. Though to everyone else she was known as "Hey! You," to me she was always
Mother. After all, that was what she was. I never knew my father, so Mother
was all I had. I was lucky, though. Most Grundos there didn't know either of
Mother didn't call me That Purple Grundo. She
called me Jeran. I never understood why. After all, I was nothing like that
Lupe. Not strong, not fast, not clever, not heroic. I asked Mother why she called
me Jeran, but she only said, "You'll understand someday."
But then, one day, the only person to believe
in me disappeared. Mother and I were enjoying a rare moment of leisure, and
then our supervisor, a robot, shouted in his monotone voice, "We need a green
Grundo over here." He noticed Mother's green hue before any other, so he said,
"You there. Come." Mother shook her head. "You will come," the robot said in
a louder tone. He wheeled over to Mother and extended his arms to grab her.
He dragged her to the floor below a pipe and then pressed a red button. The
pipe sucked up my mother, and then she was gone. I never saw her again.
From then on, life was even more horrible. There
was no one to stop the Grundos from making fun of me. No one would make me feel
better when I was upset.
One day, I was a bad Grundo. I don't know what
came over me, but when we were making slushies, I couldn't help but take one
from the assembly line. It was a sour blue slushie. I liked it the second I
drank it. I consumed the whole thing before anyone could stop me. I didn't go
unpunished, though. A robot approached and asked, "What did you do?" Without
waiting for an answer, he slapped me across the face so hard, I fell to the
floor. "You do not use the products you make," the robot said and wheeled away.
It was just my luck that a day later, a robot
called, "We need a purple Grundo." I tried to hide, but purple with orange spots
was hard to camouflage. The robot noticed me immediately and said, "You there.
Come," just like he had to my dear mother.
"No!" I screamed. I began to run. I couldn't
die. I couldn't disappear into the pipe. There was no life to live here, but
I had to do something to make my mother proud. I couldn't do that if they sucked
me up that pipe.
There was nowhere to run, though. All of the
slave Grundos were packed into three rooms, and I hadn't run two feet before
I bumped into a white Grundo and fell.
The robot came behind me and grabbed me. "That's
a good Grundo," it said as it dragged me to the pipe. It pressed the button
and the pipe sucked me up.
My life flashed before my eyes. I was moving
at what seemed like the speed of light. Just when I thought the trip would never
end, I fell out of the pipe.
It was different, where I landed. Happy Neopets
and owners were walking around, eating lunch at Grundos Café and playing the
Lever of Doom game. I could see someone playing games in an arcade.
"Welcome to the outside world," said a green
Grundo in front of the pipe. Then he turned and looked up at a tall girl. "Here
is your purple Grundo, miss. What will you name him?"
"I'm not sure yet," replied the girl, "I'll
come back and register him when I've decided on a name."
"That is against regulation," protested the
The girl didn't reply. She grabbed my hand and
walked away quickly.
"I didn't like his tone," she whispered to me.
"I want to wait for the perfect name, and that guy'll have to wait too. So,
did they call you by any name where you came from?"
"That Purple Grundo," I told her, choosing not
to mention Mother's name for me. It hurt too much to talk about Mother.
"Well, we'll have to find something nicer than
that," the girl said gently. "Oh, I never told you my name, did I?"
I shook my head.
"It's Trina. And don't worry, Mygora and I will
find a good name for you."
"My other pet."
We both stepped onto a spaceship attached to
the space station. When the ship was full, its doors closed and the vehicle
shot forward. I gritted my teeth. I already disliked this mode of travel, but
I didn't want Trina to see. Thankfully, it ended quickly. Trina still held my
hand and led me out of the ship.
"This," she told me, "is Neopia Central. It
won't be far now." We walked down a couple streets and then we stopped in front
of a Neohome. Trina and I walked up the driveway and Trina put a key in this
"Is this Paradise?" I asked timidly as we walked
through the front hall made entirely out of chocolate.
"No," Trina laughed, "but it's home."
"Where's Mygora?" I asked.
Trina laughed again. "You don't waste any time.
I'll go check." She went to the bottom of the stairs leading up and yelled,
In a second, a green Grundo came down the stairs.
She caught a glimpse of me and then yelled, "Jeran!"
"Mother!" I yelled back, and ran over to hug
I feel my face. The traces of the happy tears
I cried are still there. As I continue to stare out the window, the sky becomes
beautiful. Bits of blue, yellow, orange and red become apparent and blend together.
"Trina," I ask, "What is that?"
Trina smiles. "That, Jeran," she replies, "is
I smile. Maybe now I understand why my mother
calls me Jeran. Maybe now that I'm free, I can make life better for all the
other slave Grundos. Maybe I'll make it so the Grundos will not longer be enslaved.
Jeran, I think to myself. I like it.