Author's Note: This story was inspired by the shopkeeper who is a White Wocky
with paint all over it.
I came from a large family that was all purebred White
Wockies. We had high standards in my family, ones that we all had to live up
to... or else our mothers would be extremely angry.
I myself am right at our expectations, sometimes
a bit above. I love my family, but sometimes they won't let you do anything
that you want. They did that to me with my calling.
I got my calling on my fifth day of Grade Three.
My mother sent me off with a lunch of spaghetti in my thermos and two cookies
and carrots. I kissed my mother on the cheek goodbye, and set off for Neoschool.
I happily walked off, for I loved school. Some
kids playfully teased me about it, but they would never actually make fun of
me. I was the richest kid, which, in turn, made me the most popular.
When I got to the school yard, I was greeted
with the usual enthusiasm. "Hey, Jon!" they would call out to me, smiling and
commenting on how nice and neat my White Wocky fur looked.
I would reply to them with a friendly "Hi!"
and a wave. Most kids would be eager to get just noticed by me, for most didn't
think they were 'worthy' to talk to me, though I never thought that someone
was lesser than me.
The school bell rang, and I went into line.
My Other Languages Teacher, who was on yard duty that certain morning, smiled
at me warmly. I smiled back. Even the teachers looked up to me as if I was some
kind of god.
My best friend, who, at the time, was Charlie
the White Hissi (we had been drawn together because of our colours), slithered
over to me. "Hi, Jon!" he said happily, "How was your night?"
"Fine," I replied as the teacher shuffled us
inside. "How was yours, Charlie? Have a good sleep?"
"Yes and yes!" said Charlie. I was a little
annoyed over his over-happiness, which made us become enemies in the fifth grade.
When we got in class, we started the day as
normal. After what seemed like only an hour, it was the last period of the day,
which was art. We only had it on Fridays, and in my first and second grade classes,
we only learned the names of the colours and stuff like that, no real art. So
we were hoping that we would get actual art this time.
"So, class," said our teacher, who was a Royal
Cybunny, "today for art we will be painting a picture that I assign you."
We all cheered, for we were actually doing something
fun in art! Before, art was most of our least favourite subject.
"You will be graded on this, but it won't go
to your report card," continued our teacher. "It's just to show you where you're
The whole class stared at Jackilyn, the Strawberry
Zafara, who was the best artist in the class. For show and tell, she would bring
in art that would wow all of us. We were sure that she would get an A+ in art
The teacher took us to the art room and gave
us paper. The art room had paint and clay everywhere and was extremely messy,
but for some reason I loved it in there. To me I felt comfortable.
We set ourselves up on the paint-splattered
easels. Beside me was Jackilyn, and on my other side was an Electric Uni named
Serena. The teacher came around and handed out cards, instructing us to keep
them turned down.
"On the card is what I want you to paint," explained
the teacher, "Every card is different. You may flip it over and get started...
We all flipped over our cards and silently started
to paint. My card said, "Red Kougra about to attack."
I grabbed my paints and started to work. I was
zoned out from the rest of the world as I painted, making long, graceful strokes
and short, playful ones for certain parts of my picture.
When I finally put down my paint brush, I examined
my work with happiness. I liked my painting, but not as much as some people
The teacher walked by my row, and stopped dead
in front of me. "Oh my..." she whispered, and then said, "That picture is the
best I've seen in ages!"
Everyone stared at me uncomfortably. But the
worst stare was the one from Jackilyn, who was staring at me with her mouth
open and a stare of astonishment and confusion on her face.
That night, I went home in high feelings, despite
the uncomforting stares of my classmates half-an-hour ago. After all the staring,
people had started to clap and cheer for me.
I came home and burst through the door, and yelled,
"Mummy! Look what I did today!"
I heard footsteps coming from the stairs right
in front of me (we had no downstairs; only the hall was under the main floor),
and her happy face was soon replaced by one of horror. "JON, WHAT ON NEOPIA
HAPPENED TO YOU?" she yelled.
I looked at my appearance, and noticed just then
that I was covered with all kinds of colours of paint. In my family, it was
a disgrace to have even a small spot on you in my family, for since we were
White, it was easy to spot mess. And because we were honored, it counted even
more that we were kept spotless.
"It will take hours to clean you up!" she screeched.
"And in only one hour your father has an important business dinner, where all
family has to be present!"
"It was in art class," I said quickly, "I didn't
"You should have noticed!" snapped my mom. "Now,
what was so important that you had to tell me?"
"I want to be an artist!" I said happily.
That made my mother even angrier. "NO!" she yelled.
"NEVER! YOU WILL NEVER BE AN ARTIST!"
A lump formed in my throat. My mother wasn't
supporting me! "W-why?" I was able to choke out.
"An artist will never be a worthy job!" she shouted.
"You need a good education! You need money! Artists don't make money! We've
already planned out what college you are going to, and what you are going to
take as a job! And, in any circumstances, you DO NOT try any art!"
Suddenly, I burst into tears. I ran past her
and up the stairs to my room, clutching my picture and my bookbag. I sat on
my bed, and cried and cried, until I couldn't cry any more.
For the next years, I was able to go and buy
paints, crayons, pastels, and pencils, and secretly make works of art in my
room. I couldn't let my mother or father know, for they would have a fit if
In the fifth grade, after I lost Charlie as my
best friend, Jackilyn and I became best friends because of our love of art.
It was the last month of my last year of Neoschool when she asked me while we
were on the swings, "So, do you have a plan of what college to go to after summer's
I actually did have one that I really wanted
to go to, but I knew my mother wouldn't approve. "I really want to go to the
Royal Neopian School of the Arts," I replied.
"That's where I want to go to, too!" squealed
Jackilyn happily. "We can see each other again!"
I sighed. "But my mother doesn't want me to go,"
I said unhappily. "She hates art, and she wants me to become a wealthy business
owner like my dad, and send me to the Mystery Island College."
Jackilyn's face fell. "Oh," she replied solemnly.
"That's okay. We can still see each other sometimes, apart from the fact that
I'll be in Neopia Central and you'll be in Mystery Island, right?"
"But, Jackilyn," I replied so suddenly, getting
up off my swing, "I'm going to apply for both. If I get into the R.N.S.A., I'll
go there instead, secretly. Then I'll become an artist!"
"Yes!" Jackilyn yowled. She was so happy she
started to skip around in little circles. "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
That night, my mother gave me my application
papers to go to the Mystery Island College. "Fill it out, and we'll send it
in tomorrow," she said, and sent me up to my room.
That night, on a futuristic handheld device that
had come straight from the Virtupets' factory, I looked for the address of the
R.N.S.A. I wrote down the address and got another piece of paper and started
to write my other application.
The next day, I took both my applications and
stuck them in the Neomail box outside our home. Then I set off for school.
Jackilyn greeted me. "Jon! Jon!" she exclaimed
happily. "I got my application for the R.N.S.A.! They accepted me!"
My pride for her was doused a bit by my jealousy.
She was allowed to go to whatever college she liked, and her family supported
her. Why didn't my family want me to become my dream?
Then I remembered something crucial to actually
going to the college. "Do you have the tuition money?" I asked.
Jackilyn gasped. "I need that!"
"And no matter where you go for college, be
the R.N.S.A. or not, you need tuition," I said. "I need the money, too."
We sat there, thinking, until Jackilyn had an
idea that made her jump around. "We could get jobs as shopkeepers!"
"That's a great idea!" I said. "We should go
find one after school!"
That day, we both started to go to the marketplace
and search for shops with a "Help Wanted" sign. Jackilyn found one and rushed
in, leaving me alone.
I walked around for a while, until I finally
found one. The shop was called "Ohhh... Shiny *_*", and looked like a good sized
place to work.
I walked into the store. A Royal Gelert came
up to me and asked me gruffly, "Do you want any help?"
"I'm here to apply for the job," I said hesitantly.
"You're hired!" he said, and started to the
"Hey!" I called to him. "Wait! You need to teach
me how to be a shopkeeper! Come back!"
The Gelert stopped suddenly, and started to
turn around. He took one look at me and sighed. "I'll stay here," he said, "but
only for a little bit. Actually, looking at the time, we have to close now.
Be here tomorrow after your school."
I left the shop, and Jackilyn came running up
to me. "My job is great! How is yours?"
I just sighed.
The next day, I went to my shop to find the
old shopkeeper waiting.
"Right," he said, "Your first job is to make
posters. Make them now." He thrust me a paper and some paint.
My heart skipped a beat. He wanted me to do
some art! I was so thrilled that I knocked over the coat stand on the way to
the backroom, and went sprawling on the floor.
The Gelert came over to me. "Why'd you do that?"
he asked, then when I looked at him in a puzzled way, he grudgingly said, "Are
"No," I replied, "but you could help me up."
The Gelert reached out his paw, which I grabbed.
"Thanks," I said. "Hey, what's your name?"
"I am Welshire," said the Gelert. "I forgot
to ask your name. What is it?"
"Jon," I replied.
I scurried into the backroom and opened the
paints with care. I started to use the brush, making every stroke more beautiful
than the last.
After I finished nine posters (they all looked
different), Welshire came in and inspected my work. After he was done, he turned
to me with his mouth open.
"That is amazing!" he said excitedly. "Do you
go to the Royal Neopian School of Arts? I did, but it was for my drama skills."
"I'm in my last month of Neoschool," I explained,
"but I want to go to the R.N.S.A., but my parents want me to go to the Mystery
"I suppose you have this job to get tuition
money?" he asked, and I nodded. He sighed. "I guess you need tuition if you're
going to any college," he said, but then he sat up. "Do you really, with all
your might, want to go to the R.N.S.A.?"
"Yes," I replied.
"Then tell your parents that," said Welshire.
"Tell them that if they don't support you, then you don't care. If an artist
is truly what you want to be, then they should support you. And if you get accepted
into the R.N.S.A., go there, no matter what your parents say. And I'll be happy
to provide your tuition."
I squealed. "Really?"
Welshire smiled. "Really."
After Jackilyn went home, I went to the park
to think about what Welshire had said. My parents should support me,
no matter what. If they truly loved me, then they would let me follow my dreams.
Yes, I thought, I'm gonna have to
show my parents up. I need to tell them that I need to become an artist and
go to the R.N.S.A.!
I walked home, and took a deep breath as I opened
the door. I was going to tell my mother, no matter what!
"Mother?" I said, and she looked up. "I need
to tell you something extremely important-- even more important than getting
to bed on time."
My mother scowled and said, "What is it, Jonathan?"
I sighed. "First of all, call me Jon. Jonathon
sounds so formal. And now, I have something of utmost importance to confess."
I took another deep breath. "Mother, my passion that I must follow with all
my heart is my art. I need to be an artist!"
My mother just stared at me. "Jonathon, I thought
that we got rid of that silly wish nine years ago!"
"Mother, this is my dream. Maybe you haven't
noticed, but I have been following my dream for nine whole years!" I snapped.
"And I don't want to be a wealthy businessman. I don't want to go to the Mystery
Island College. I want to be an artist to the best of my abilities and go to
the Royal Neopian School of Arts!"
I could see anger flickering into my mother's
eyes. "No!" she said, getting up and stomping her foot down. "You WILL NOT become
an artist! You WILL become a businessman, and you WILL go to the Mystery Island
"NO!" I yowled. "Mom, look what you're doing!
You're keeping me away from my dream! My boss, Welshire, has already arranged
to pay all my tuition! Jackilyn is going there, and if I don't, I probably won't
see her again!'
My mother's eyes only narrowed.
"Don't you see?" I said, desperately trying
to get her to understand. "Don't you see that this is what I want to be? I don't
want to be what you want me to do!"
My mother did nothing.
I shook my head. "You know what? I can't believe
you. If you're holding me back from my dream, then I don't think you're being
such a good person."
I thought I detected a flicker in my mother's
eyes as I turned on my heel and ran out of the house, heading for Jackilyn's
It was three days later. I hadn't seen my family
at all in the past few days, getting up early and heading to Jackilyn's, then
coming back late when everyone was asleep.
As I snuck out of the house in the morning,
I saw that some Neomail had arrived. Surprised, I saw it was addressed to me.
I opened it.
'Dear Jon Reddert,' it read,
'Congratulations! Your application to the
Royal Neopian School of Art has been accepted! We hope to see you after the
Your quarters will be Dormitory 3, Room 4.
You will be sharing with Ricky Jones. When you get to the school, you will go
to the Auditorium. Your map that is enclosed will show you the way.
Dean Yeates of the R.N.S.A.'
I stared at the letter, reading it over and
over again. "Oh my goodness," I breathed, and raced inside.
In the kitchen, everyone was eating. They all
stopped in mid-chew as soon as I came in.
I threw the paper down on the table. My mother
and father snatched the paper up and hungrily started to read, their eyes going
back and forth as they took in the letter.
After a few moments, they slowly lowered the
paper. We stared at each other for a long while. Then, my mother smiled at me.
"Good job," she said, and then hesitated before
I couldn't believe it. I smiled, and a tear
of happiness fell down my face, and I ran over to my mother and hugged her as
hard as I could.
Jackilyn and I walked away from the street,
and I waved goodbye to my family. Jackilyn and I turned around, our heads held
high, our hearts beating fast.
We approached the huge building in front of
us. The door had a sign on it that read 'The Royal Neopian School of Arts'.
I grabbed Jackilyn's arm, and we looked at each
other. We each took a long, deep breath, and opened the door together.
Author's Note: Yea! I got a short story in! I think that I wrote this story
really well. Hopefully, you do too!
Thank you napolean16850, abbymorkem, and zoerobertson. Thank you again a
million times over!
Hopefully, this isn't the last time you'll see my name in the Neopian Times.
Thank you for reading!!!!!! ~Bath