The Return of Barclay
If you're by some chance wanting a happy little story about
how I turned my life around, then you might want to close this page; there's an
X in the top corner, press it. If you want another sad but depressingly true story
then don't click the X. Some of you may have encountered me already, if not in
my first tale then surely somewhere around Neopia.
My name is Barclay; do you know who I am yet?
I guess you've forgotten; it's been so long since my first story was published.
I guess I should remind you who I am, so that you can leave while you still
have the chance. As I said before, my name is Barclay, but nobody calls me that
anymore. It is forgotten; I have a much more menacing name now...
Okay that's enough fooling around; my name as
I'm most commonly known by is The Shadow Usul. I guess by know there is nobody
left to read my tale but I'll tell it anyway, if by some chance I have opened
the heart of some Neopian citizen. Like that's going to happen.
I better get on with my tale...
This is a story about my return to being Barclay...
It wasn't long after I left my final home (the
end of my first tale) that I realised I could try to become the Usul I once
was. It was then for the first time since I left my lonely burrow underneath
the bushes that I decided to return to see what treasures remained of my once
gigantic hoard (you may remember the Neopian citizens stealing what was once
stolen in my first tale).
I couldn't move freely in daylight but instead
wandered the lonely streets at night, cloaked and hidden in a shadowy blanket
of darkness. The burrow was now barren and deserted, the entrance scuffled and
ruined where larger Neopians had forced their way inside. My past home was bare
where once the walls had been stacked high with rare artefacts and items; tears
welled in my yellowy eyes as I saw the destruction humans had brought upon the
world we lived in. Not many Neopets can remember a time in Neopia before the
humans came, and if they do remember they forget that it was for the worse that
they arrived and not for the better. We used to live in harmony and peace, nobody
needed money, and we shared, until of course we became a tourist attraction...
Anyway back to the story...
My beautiful home had been destroyed and my hopes
of being reinstated as Barclay dashed, I remember when I used to be bullied
and how they'd made me give up hope about my recovery but now I was determined...
My dark paws scrabbled in the tiny crevices of
the earth in my deserted burrow, lifting the dry earth from the ground as I
was so desperate to find just one item that could help me. Just one item of
worth would be all I needed to save me; it was either fate or coincidence that
helped me then; I was scratching frantically at the dirt by the doorway when
the burrow collapsed upon me. I was frightened as the earth buried me, its cold
dry compact mixture pressing heavily down upon my body; it was black in the
claustrophobic space but my eyes were accustomed to darkness and I began to
dig my way upwards, fearing I would never reach the surface.
I was almost at the surface when suddenly I saw
something out of the corner of my eye, a protruding, wooden, smooth surface
in the dirt. I knew instantly that it was an item from my hoard but I couldn't
quite recognise what it could be. My paw reached out upwards, sliding across
the wooden surface to reach a firm grasp before I pulled it to reveal...
A Rainbow Paint Brush.
I was saved.
My life as an outcast could end, nobody would
suspect a happy little rainbow Usul named Barclay to be a shadow-lurking thief.
I almost cried as I reached the surface, my paws pulling me from the dry earth.
It was time to get painted.
The night sky was ink black with streaks of navy
blue floating almost dreamily across the blanket of darkness. With the rainbow
paint brush clutched tightly to my chest I bounded back down the dirt paths
and back to Neopia Central. It was silent in the heart of town, the occasional
late shopper rushing home laden with shopping bags, the rare light still turned
on in the happy Neohomes. My heart was pounding in my chest; to think, there
would never be another shadow Usul, I am the first and last of my kind. It would
soon be over...
The Rainbow Pool was always closed and guarded
during the night time, due to a few unsuccessful attempts from Dr Sloth to turn
all Neopets into mutated versions of themselves. A few guards however couldn't
stop me; I'm too dark and too sneaky. I crept underneath a bush and crawled
closed to the floor. My yellow eyes were darting from side to side as I worked
out how to put my plan into operation; I knew I had to swab myself with the
paintbrush before bathing myself in the pool. That posed a problem, I couldn't
just stand there while the guards were patrolling and I couldn't jump in the
pool either; they would surely hear me.
I clutched the paintbrush even tighter to my
chest but then gasped as I noticed the brown and rainbow stain across my chest
where the paint brush had been resting. Then I realised...
Swabbing myself with the brush I then discarded
the useless dull item. I crept across the tiled surrounding to the pool and
climbed the heavy steps. I wandered around the edge of the pool, being careful
to be quiet and also balanced; I couldn't fall into the pool. At the opposite
end of the pool was a rainbow coloured waterfall which would mask my tiny body
falling into the water with its huge crashing waves.
One... Two... . Three...
I plopped into the water almost pathetically,
but the rainbow coloured water swirled around my head almost dancing around
the pool. My fur was permanently stained the beautiful rainbow colour, my eyes
returning to the huge Usul form, big and beautiful. I splashed my way to the
edge of the pool where I clambered out and onto the tiles where I shook myself
dry and wandered back to the bushes. For once I didn't have to creep around
Neopia. People and pets smiled at me and said hello and then I met Violet.
She adopted me, and I told her my past, starting
from the beginning, but she already knew because she had read my tale in the
Neopian Times and searched to adopt me ever since. Those were the best two weeks
of my life...
One morning I awoke as usual, had breakfast as
usual and got ready to go into town but as I put my bow in my hair I saw a glint
of black fur in my otherwise flawless colour. By that evening my eyes were yellowing
and my mane was becoming purple. I cried in anguish as I saw my beautiful colour
drain from my body to reveal my true form, that of the Shadow Usul.
But when I looked in the mirror, for the first
time in weeks I saw myself staring back; I saw me. I left again and realised
I was happy with myself the way I was; I had a more exciting life than any other
pet I know. "You can't catch me, I'm the Shadow Usul," I screeched
in the middle of Neopia Central. As the mobs began to chase me I felt a feeling
of adrenaline and smiled. I was happy to be me!
Author's Note: It's been a whole year since my last story in the NT about
Barclay. I hope to be back writing now. Neomail comments!