Walking with the Shadows
"The world is filled with shadows, yet never will those
shadows envelop me." The ancient spell many Usuls uttered, arms filled with Usica
Berries. They wanted protection and shelter. And I would give them it. For although
the spell was working and pushing me away from the Usul gathering, I still had
a bit of Blue Usul in me. The time had come to restore myself from my shadowy
mind. I had to free myself, and let someone know that although evil reigned in
Neopia's long, dark alleys, I had survived being one of those evils and was coming
back to save those alleys. This is my story, the story of the Shadow Usul.
My name was Stephanie, and I had the best life
any Neopet could want. Marble floors, long, sweeping staircases and expensive
furniture dominated our Neohome. My owner was caring, loving, and did not spoil
me, albeit the mound of Neopoints she had. I was having too much fun. That's
why the darkness had to extend its shadowy hand of fate and swallow me into
The day of evil and blackness was two days away,
little did I know. My owner had set up a marvelous event, being rich and important,
and I was very excited about that. The event she had planned was the Usukicon
Y1, and I had one of the biggest collections anyone in Neopia had ever seen.
My whole collection was worth 199,000 NP, but all that happiness would soon
be stolen from me.
* * * * *
The day came. I was setting up my huge Usuki
collection at a large, pink booth, when a hunched, cloaked figure came up to
"Let me see your eyes, child," she rasped.
"Why? Who are you?" I asked.
Instead of replying snappishly as I had expected
her to do (I had met a lot of old rich ladies, my owner being famous and all
that), she grabbed my chin with a hoof more like a claw and lifted my head so
that I would stare into her eyes.
I had never seen eyes like hers before. They
were magenta, with swirling purple pools of wisdom. Her eyes seemed like they
were living, so bright and intelligent they were.
"OH!!" screamed the (so it seemed) magician,
and slumped onto my display in a dead faint.
"Madam! Are you all right?" I exclaimed. I accepted
a cool cloth from a Neopet in the crowd that was gathering and laid it on her
forehead. She pushed it away.
"My dear... Stephanie..." she barely whispered.
"Yes? What about me?" I asked.
"You are in danger! Grave danger!" In spite
of her faint, she got up from the display. She began to hobble away, without
even saying 'Thank you' or 'Have a nice day'. I turned away from her to continue
setting up, and the crowd dispersed.
Suddenly, I heard her voice behind me.
"Beware the Neopet whose name means trouble!"
What can that mean? I thought. The next instant,
my thoughts were jolted back to the world of normal Neopets.
A crowd had gathered at my display, obviously
knowing I was the pet of the richest Neopian around, except for Adam. All of
them clamoring for autographs, I sighed.
After signing every paper, I sat down. Who knew
having a famous mom would get you this much attention.
Suddenly, a small Baby Zafara popped up out
"Hi, Stephanie!" it said in an adorable babyish
voice. "I'm krypsimo_kako. Will you sign this paper?"
I smiled sweetly at it. "Of course!" I told
"Oh, and I have a gift for you!" Her voice had
suddenly become hard with determination. I was taken aback, but accepted her
It was a bottled Faerie... except it wasn't
like any Faerie I'd seen before. It glowed a deep, deep indigo, with fire leaping
from what seemed to be its hands to the inside of the glass. I didn't know what
to say. Obviously, this gift was worth more than Fyora's Castle itself!
I managed to find my voice. "T... Th... Thank
Krypsimo_kako smiled. "You're welcome!" She
hopped away to a young man who I supposed to be her owner. The owner had a dark,
shady look about him... but I didn't let that bother me.
* * * * *
The day went by in a flash. As soon as the Usukicon
was over, I rushed home.
"Mother! Mother! Look what this Baby Zafara gave
me!" I shrieked in excitement.
"No shrieking in the house, Stephanie!" Mother
reminded me. "Now, what is it you have to show me?"
"A Faerie, Mother!" I held up the glass bottle.
The indigo faerie was now sitting down, and I thought I could see her glaring
My mother took a step back. "Stephanie, discard
that right now."
"What?! Why?" I began to get angry. This was
my prize. She couldn't tell me what to do with it.
"Stephanie! Didn't you read the news today? That's
the most dangerous Faerie on Neopia! It's the Darkest Faerie!"
Her words met a ringing silence. It was I who
"Fine," I said coldly. "Fine. If you won't let
me have my Faerie, then I won't let you have your beloved Neopet."
I opened the door, grabbed my Faerie, and closed
the door with a crash. And I heard the last thing I would ever hear from my
* * * * *
I ran for miles, out of the city to the edge
of the Haunted Woods. At last I sat down, too tired to carry on. I stared at
the bottle in my hand.
"I ran away from all I had for you. I think
I should be worthy of a gift..." I said to the pulsing light of the Faerie.
Then, I pulled the cork out of the glass bottle.
Three things happened at once. First, I was
thrown backward. Second, the glass bottle shattered into twelve pieces. Third,
a bright, indigo light pierced my eyes and drove into my skull. I was frightened
out of my wits.
"You want a gift, do you?" A voice said as the
blinding light began to die down. "I do treat those who help me well..." The
light finally disappeared, and I saw the pondering face of the Faerie who was
destined to wreak chaos upon Neopia.
"What do you want, little girl? I could make
you painted... or rich... maybe even famous?"
It was quite obvious to me that she had no idea
who she was talking to. I decided to take a different route and see where it
"All I want is to be home in my comfortable
bed with you in your bottle in the discard bin," I whispered.
The Darkest Faerie's face contorted with rage.
"Wrong answer, little girl!" she screamed, and
threw arrow after arrow of burning hate at me.
* * * * *
My memories of the weeks after that night were...
faded, as if someone had blurred my eyes and simplified my brain.
Many months later, I woke up under the same
tree. As soon as my eyes focused, I recoiled from the horrors around me.
The Darkest Faerie had changed the Haunted Woods.
No longer were there innocent trees. Now they were all blackened and mutated.
I stared up at my tree, wondering if it had changed as well... and realized
it was staring back at me.
"AAAH!" I screeched, and lifted myself to my
feet, ready to run away. The sweet-smelling tree I had been under now had a
hideous brain, with bulbous red eyes and a gaping mouth. It had become something
not even Queen Fyora could undo. But then I caught notice of my paws and my
body. They were both blackened like the trees around me. I saw my reflection
in one of the tree's great red eyes.
My face was now black, with no hint of a mouth.
My eyes were mere slits of white, too penetrating for comfort. The fur that
warmed my neck was now Jhudora's purple, and the rest of my body was like the
shadow of a real Usul. For that's what I was... The Shadow Usul.
As I rushed away from the Woods, I heard the
tree calling me back. "I need my question answered..." it moaned. I pitied it.
The poor thing was cursed, like me, and could never be at peace.
I got to Neopia Central. Desperate for food,
my new shadow-like state came in handy as I stole a basket of bread from the
Ever since then I was the stealing master of
Neopia Central. I had also hurt many young Neopets in my rage. I was greatly
ashamed of myself every time I did it. But I was cursed, and there was nothing
I could do about it. Until now.
* * * * *
I saw a young girl with brown hair enter a shop
with a happy Neopet. Not wanting to alarm the shopkeeper, I hid as a midday
shadow on the corner of the doorframe. Suddenly, it opened again.
"...and thank you again!" called the girl, and
then closed the door. I whirled into Shadow Usul form and tapped her on the
shoulder from behind.
"Yes... Oh!" she cried, backing away from me.
"Yes, I know I'm the Shadow Usul, but I have
to talk to you, okay?"
"Er... all right."
* * * * *
All that you see above was told to me by the Shadow Usul and converted into
story form by myself. I pity her and hope that you all will too when you read
her story. She is a brave Neopet, and let's all hope that maybe life will be
better for her someday.