It is a sunny Monday morning - I can really tell; it's cutting
right through my blinds and it woke me up. I just lie in bed for a while. My clock
says seven am. I don't leave for another hour. I begin to slip back into sleep,
when a crazed Babaa jumps onto my bed moaning about something I can't quite understand.
I try to push her off, but she will have none of that. Lady (the Babaa) starts
to moan louder, until, completely fed up, I yell, "Kelsey! Get your mistreated
Babaa out of my room!"
Kelsey, running in with her wings all akimbo,
gives me a look that plainly says she has no idea what I'm talking about. "Well,"
I say, "Lady has been going on about something; you should really take better
care of your petpet."
Once again, Kelsey gives me that same look, though
this time it only lasts for a few seconds, because Lady has begun to moan again.
"Chase! She's hungry! I've been looking for her
food everywhere. Have you been hiding her Babaa treats again? That must be why
she came in here," Kelsey so correctly accuses me.
I grin, throwing the pack of Babaa treats I had
under my pillow out the door, saying, "Catch!" as Lady, followed by Kelsey,
runs out after it.
Laughing, I go over to my Fyora Inspired Vanity
and brush out my long, black and yellow Aisha ears. Sometimes it takes ages
to get them straight, and a whole lot of NeoGlo hairspray. Now, so I can be
ready faster, I just leave them hanging at my side.
I go downstairs, still laughing a little, ready
for breakfast. I don't expect the row that is about to start.
"Amy, I'll just have some coffee. Do you have
any House Blend?" I ask, searching for the coffee as Kelsey, looking a bit flustered
from having to drag the Babaa food away from Lady, comes into the room. I should
pity her, but I choose to just make it worse. "Oh, and a Can of Prune Juice
for Kelsey. You've been wanting that Ach y Fi avatar, right?"
Kelsey almost literally blows up. There probably
would be less of a mess if she did, seeing as Amy is bringing over our drinks
at this very moment. "Just stop it, okay? First, you go and hide Lady's food,
then you treat me like I can't have anything but Prune Juice! Just because I'm
younger than you, you don't have any right to treat me like that!" Kelsey yells,
scaring Amy so much that she drops my coffee and Kelsey's *heh heh* Prune Juice.
"What a great start to a Monday," Amy mumbles
as she grabs the mop to fix up our little mess.
"Don't be such a baby," I tease, casting a wary
glance towards Amy. Kelsey glares at me, putting her hands up behind her head
and making them look like Aisha ears while sticking out her tongue and crossing
her eyes. I know that she's just teasing me back, but I hate when she does that.
I try to stay calm, but somewhere inside of me, a terrible anger is screaming
to get out.
"You know why I treat you like that? 'Cause
you can be such an annoying little Shoyru. And you know what, I don't care if
you got painted first! How stupid would I look if I got turned into a Raindorf?
Extremely. I'm glad you got painted Christmas instead of me!"
I run over to the door, grabbing my Hasee backpack
that I had packed last night, and shout, "I'll get coffee on the way!" I get
out the door just in time to hear Amy say, "Ever since we painted her Fire,
she has had a much worse temper." I hear Kelsey mutter something, probably about
how I have always been this way. I'm out on the road by then, way before school
starts, though. I can hear about it later.
I feel a burning sensation on my chest, and,
making sure that a Buzzer didn't sting me, I look down to see what the matter
is. There is no welt or stinger, but the 'A' hanging on my Aisha collar, which
is normally yellow, is glowing bright red, and is hot to the touch. I don't
worry too much. Aisha 'A's are known to do mysterious things.
Gym class is the only subject that Kelsey and
I have together. I'm not always sure that that is a good thing, seeing as we
are no good together when it comes to competitive sports. I sigh, reaching into
my gym bag for the Gormball my gym teacher, Ms. Callif, had asked me to bring.
All the schools in the Lost Desert are going to have a desert-wide Gormball
competition, and it was decided that whoever was on the Gormball team (that
could include anyone from seventh grade to twelfth grade) should be in the same
gym class. So, because Kelsey and I are both on the Gormball team, even though
she is in seventh grade and I am in ninth, we have the same gym period. I bring
the ball out of the girls' locker room and into the gym. Ms. Callif is standing
at the front of the room. I give the ball to her and go sit by an Electric Usul
named Gypsy, a White Wocky named Chalese, a green Eyrie named Sid, a brown Grundo
named Anton, and Kelsey. We get the upper gym because there are a lot fewer
of us than there are of the kids in the regular gym classes. The upper gym is
just big enough so that we can play a real game of Gormball.
"Okay, everyone!" Ms. Callif says enthusiastically.
She is in charge of the Gormball team every year, and she plans on getting into
the Annual Gormball championship this year. So do I.
She tells us that today we are going to be using
a real Gormball, not another of those old, barely inflated bouncy balls. I wait
patiently for her to finish talking on the outside, but inside I'm thinking,
Come on! This is the first time since summer that I've gotten to play with
a real Gormball. She finally finishes, and hands Anton the ball. He, being
in tenth grade, is the oldest, and the rules say that the oldest gets to start,
so he always starts. He throws the ball up and sets it into play.
First it goes to Sid, then to Chalese, then to
Gypsy, who whips it over to me. I, just barely catching it by jumping up, turn
in mid-air and whip it to Kelsey, who, without Aisha-like reflexes to begin
with and weighed down still more by her heavy winter coat, manages to have it
messily break on top of her.
"Hey!" she screams angrily. "No whipping; it
says so in the rule book!"
I groan, retaliating with an almost pathetic,
"Gypsy did it. Why aren't you reprimanding her?" I already know the answer,
and as soon as it comes, I am prepared with something else.
"Because her throw didn't break on anyone!" Oh,
"Oh, of course, I forgot. Gypsy's your friend.
If her throw had broken on me and I had called her on whipping, you would have
sided with her! You are such a know-it-all brat!" I feel the 'A' on my collar
begin to heat up
"I'm the brat? Who is the one who can't stand
to be wrong?"
"Both of you!" said Sid, a disgusted look on
his face. "Kelsey thinks she's always right, and Chase never wants to be proven
wrong. This isn't helping the game at all!" The heat of the 'A' against my chest
begins to intensify.
"I don't have t-" I begin, but Ms. Callif cuts
me off with, "Let's call it a redo and start over with Anton throwing the ball
Kelsey, Sid, and I all mumble, "Okay," and Ms.
Callif gives Anton the Gormball to start over and begin fresh. As the game progresses,
neither Gypsy nor myself whip the ball, and Kelsey and I don't say a word to
each other until school is out.
"Come on," I say to Chalese as we walk out of
last period together. Chalese is my best friend, and I don't want to have to
run into Kelsey without some means of escaping. We don't see Kelsey in the halls,
so that must mean that she is already outside. As we get closer to the door,
we hear a ruckus out on the blacktop. Apparently, Tyrone, a Mutant Kougra who
is the bully of the entire school, is trying to hurt, or scare, or just plain
be mean to some younger kid. I drag Chalese with me over to the spot where the
trouble is, hoping I can help. No matter how much Kelsey and I fight, I am pretty
good at breaking up arguments that involve other people, unless of course they
won't stop and listen, or bring me into it. Then, I get right back into fight
I push through the crowds standing by, amazed
that I am the first one that has tried to help. I look down, expecting to see
a Uni or an Ixi at Tyrone's mercy. Instead, I see a familiar Christmas Shoyru,
her violet eyes blinking to keep what I know to be tears away.
I come right up to Tyrone, saying in my most
haunting whisper, "Leave- her- alone."
He laughs, growling in a demeaning sort of way.
"Oh, are you her defense? I think she was better off before. Like you can do
anything about it!"
"LIKE I CAN'T!" I scream, shoving him away from
Kelsey. Tyrone growls, jumping for me. I dodge, and come right back at him,
as a by-standing Yurble shouts, "Cat fight!"
"So tell me again. How exactly did this happen?"
Amy asks, as we sit in the Lost Desert Medical Center. The Desert Cybunny who
runs this place is constantly putting bandages on my cuts and giving me Healing
Potions to get my hit points back up. If she doesn't stop soon, I think I'll
be here for another month just recovering from overdose.
"Okay," I say, a little miffed at having to tell
Amy once again. "Tyrone was messing with Kelsey, and he wouldn't bug off, so
I shoved him away before he stepped on her, then he jumped for me and I dodged
him, then I jumped back, he scratched, I bit, etc., etc., etc. Do I need to
go over it again?"
Amy sighs. She knows how exasperated I am about
having to tell her over and over, and she realizes that I can't be happy with
this crackpot Cybunny shoving potions down my throat. She looks at me sadly
and says, "I just wish you could control your temper better. I've been getting
reports from the school..."
Suddenly I know what I have to do. My temper
has been making life worse for just about everybody. And Amy was right. It didn't
start until I was painted Fire. I could just get painted some other color, but
I know that that won't help. Even if I get painted blue, I will keep my terrible
temper. So, I tell Amy about the 'A' and how it has been heating up whenever
I get mad. We both believe that it is some kind of magic. I falter for a moment,
a lump catching in my throat, then say, "Amy, I'm going to Neopia Central to
find Kauvara. I mean, you said yourself that it was magic, and she's one of
the best magicians there is. I'm hoping that she can give me some answers."
"Oh, Chase, you can't go!" Kelsey interjects.
"What about the Gormball championship? And what about us? I'm- I'm gonna miss
I hug Kelsey, and tell her that they'll find
someone to replace me. And of course, I'll miss her, too. "You shouldn't have
any more trouble with Tyrone now," I say, giggling and crying all at once. But
mostly crying. Her head falls onto my shoulder, and I feel a wet patch starting
to form. After a final goodbye, I pack a bag and begin my journey that will
take me all the way to Neopia Central to find the magical Kau named Kauvara.
I keep waving, walking backwards all the way, until I finally round a corner
and Kelsey and Amy can no longer be seen. As I turn around to see the road better,
a single tear falls down my cheek, giving me that feeling that if I don't turn
around now, I won't see this place for a long time. I stop, getting my bearings
together; then, decidedly, I fix my pack and head forward, and never look back.
Author's Note: If you're reading this, that means I finally got into the
NT!! Any comments and constructive criticism would be welcome.
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It had only been a few days since her Grandmamma had sent
her a similar Neogram beginning with the same sentence, Please, do not be
|Shining in the Night|
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...