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Shining in the Night


by kittyat14

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A white Zafara lay upon her bed with a severe case of insomnia. She hadn't been able to sleep for the past few nights, and she wondered why. She picked up her clock and looked at the face. "Nine minutes to 5:00 AM," she thought as she saw the golden sky, streaked with hues of purple and pink as the sun was beginning to rise. She shook her head and wandered over to her wooden desk, pulling out a sketchpad. Her Air Faerie Pen flew into her hand and she began to draw Hannah the Usul. A curve here, erase something there; the sketch was almost coming to life. Serenity smiled at her work and quickly retrieved some colored pencils from the closet, and then, only then, did Hannah look almost real. Her brown hair was highlighted with streaks of imaginary sunlight, the Mermaid's Tear gleaming like a piece of real jewelry. Serenity silently cheered for herself.

     A voice came from down the hall. "Serenity!" The white Zafara snapped back into reality. Her head turned to the clock. It was 7:00 AM.

     Serenity hurriedly threw her school supplies in a shoulder bag, pulled on her clothes, and ran down the hall to greet her owner.

     "Hello, Serenity, I've made you breakfast and lunch. And look, breakfast is happy to see you!" said the brown-haired teenage girl who was sitting at a table reading a copy of The Neopian Times.

     Serenity sat down at the table, staring at the 'smiling' toast. "Hi Maria. Promise you'll take good care of Sparklii?"

     The faerie Feepit flapped its wings at the sound of its name. It chirped and flew over to Serenity's plate, where it began licking the blackberry jam smile.

     "I promise." Maria put down the paper and handed her Zafara a Hannah Lunch Box.

     "Thanks, Maria." Serenity dropped the lunch in her bag and headed outside. To her dismay, some Weewoos were pecking holes in her bike tires.

     "Oh, this is just great!" Serenity shooed the petpets away and hunted for some spare tires in the shed. At last she found some, but putting them on her bike took precious time. It was 8:30 by the time she actually got on her bike.

     Serenity arrived at Neoschool at 9:30, thirty minutes past the bell. She stuffed her things in her locker and dashed for class. When she appeared in the doorway, Ms. Nerah frowned.

     "And why were you so late on the first day of school, Miss Norlah?"

     "Well, some Weewoos--"

     "I don't want to hear it. Let's think of Serenity as a perfect opposite of a model student. Late, she makes up silly excuses, she's wearing her sweater backwards..."

     Serenity blushed as she took the black turtleneck off and turned it around. She took her seat at the back of the classroom, where a shadow Acara looked at her with a simple smirk on her face. The Zafara tried to pay attention to the lesson, but couldn't help staring at the beautiful amethyst-and-lime wings of a faerie Nimmo in front of her. They were so shiny and delicate looking, almost as if someone had iced them on a cake and then put gloss over it.

     She was startled by a sudden rap on her desk. "Serenity, there is nothing enlightening about scribbling!" Ms. Nerah snatched the drawing of the wings off the desk and crumpled it in her large Skeith hand. Several students snickered in amusement.

     Lunch was no better. As soon as she sat down, everyone began pelting her with assorted foods. The supervisors did nothing. "SCRIBBLY!" a student shouted out. Serenity rushed to the girl's bathroom in embarrassment just as people started chanting "SCRIBBLY! SCRIBBLY! SCRIBBLY!" If she hadn't run so fast, she might have realized that the Nimmo was not chanting, nor had she been throwing food.

     The rest of the day was absolutely terrible. The name "Scribbly" had begun to stick in her head, people threw paper at her, and the teachers scolded her more than any of the other students.

     "I'll be happy to be home," Serenity thought as she rode her bike back to her Neohome.

     Or so she thought.

     When she arrived and stepped in the house, there was no fluttering of wings. No happy chirps. No Feepit arms coming to hug her. "Maria?" Serenity was afraid.

     Maria came down the stairs, a slightly guilty expression on her face. "How was your day?"

     "Where's Sparklii?"

     Maria walked over to the living room, where they both sat down on the sofa. "Serenity... I know you said not to take Sparklii to the Turmaculus, but I thought we could get some extra Neopoints, and there would be no harm done..."

     "No..." Serenity could feel the tears forming. "No!" she exploded, running up to her bedroom in a fit of rage and sorrow. She threw herself onto her bed, clutching the green covers in her snow white paws.

     In an hour, the tears and anger were gone, but sorrow remained. She tried to sketch a picture of Masila, but the lines were too curved, too blocky, too messy. She threw down the paper in frustration and fell back on her bed. "I can't do anything..." she whispered. "Why can't I sleep? Why can't I draw? Why can't I please anyone? Why won't people just leave me alone? Why am I asking so many questions?" She read countless books, but she still couldn't banish the deep sadness and the pain inside. Hours passed, and Serenity was lost in a world of anger, confusion, and helplessness. She went over to her desk, staring at the drawing of Hannah. Then she noticed a note, paperclipped to the top.

     "Serenity,

     You need to start believing in yourself. You are a talented, interesting, and kind person and you are going to have great friends for that. What you think is not true. I understand you're having trouble in life, but you're not alone. And that's what life is, having troubles, getting over them, and becoming a better person because of it. I want to be a friend to you, so I will be.

     Just remember, your star's still out there in the sky, and it knows that one day you will shine so brightly it will illuminate the light."

     Serenity thrust open the curtains, and there, apart from all of the other stars, was a purple-pink star. It was the most bright, and it shone with a beautiful light that Serenity had never seen before. She clutched the note in her paws, and whispered two words.

     "Thank you..."

     She fell into a peaceful sleep as she climbed into bed, memories of happy times with Sparklii in her dreams.

     ***

     The faerie Nimmo crawled out from behind a bush and saw the Zafara sleeping silently in her bed. She opened her backpack and whispered to the Ultranovas inside, "Who next?"

The End

Author's Note: This story is dedicated to anyone who's having troubles in life. Good luck to you. An enormous thank you to an anonymous person- you know who you are ;) -for letting me use and modify some of the things you said. This is my first piece in the Neopian Times, and I wish anyone else who wants to try good luck! Bye!

 
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