Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 118,827,471 Issue: 239 | 12th day of Hunting, Y8
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That Purple Grundo

by dragoncrazy10


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 their parents.

      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 CafĂ© 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 Grundo.

      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 door.

      "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, "Mygora!"

      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 her.

      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 a sunrise."

      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.

The End

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