Card Collections - Shoonee
Also by yatomiyuka
A pink Kacheek hurried down the stairs, pushing some school books into her
Angelpuss schoolbag. Her name was Shoonee and she had been brought up by Faeries.
"Shoonee? Hurry up; you're going to be late for
the start of your new year at Neoschool!"
A tinkling voice floated up the stairs, making
Shoonee shudder. It was the voice of her Faerie sister, Anna-Maria. She was
an Air Faerie and was so vain - the Faerie would look at her reflection every
"Yes, yes, I'm coming..." exclaimed Shoonee,
shaking her head. She hurried down the stairs, jumping a few steps as she went.
The Kacheek came into the kitchen, which was painted a periwinkle blue. It was
Shoonee's chocolate brown eyes came into contact
with a calendar. A date was ringed with a red marker pen. 25th April... It was
her birthday! Her Faerie auntie, Sheena, told her she was going to be giving
her something very special. Something that could change her life. Shoonee buzzed
with excitement even thinking about it!
"Um... Shoonee? Why are you grinning like that?"
asked her sister, looking up from over a magazine that she had bought yesterday.
"My birthday is coming up, silly!" she replied,
forcing a smile. Anna-Maria started babbling on about how excited she must be...
Shoonee didn't really take it in, but said, "Yeah... Um, I'm going to go to
school now. Good bye!"
Anna-Maria waved and went back to her magazine,
whilst Shoonee rolled her eyes.
What an airhead. It's no wonder she became
an Air Faerie.
With a soft sigh, Shoonee hopped out of the house
and started the short journey to her school. Despite everything, she had to
admit she had it easy. There was some part of her that wanted to give something
back, to repay the debt she had incurred on that day so many years ago, when
the Faeries had found her abandoned as a newborn.
On the way into the school building, the young
Kacheek pulled a timetable from her bag and perused it. Maths is first,
she realised with a groan. Why do we have to do this stuff, anyway?
The day passed without event. When she got back
home, she found Sheena serving Faerie Pancakes with a big smile stretched across
"Welcome home, Shoonee dear!" Sheena was a light
Faerie with long golden hair and blue eyes. Shoonee had never seen her sulk
or grow angry at anyone. Much the opposite of her sister, in fact.
"Hi," Shoonee said absently. Her mind was still
where it had been all day; on the calendar. An angelpuss came slinking down
the stairs and rubbed against her legs.
"Hey, Tinky," she said, offering a chunk of pancake,
which the feline snapped up eagerly. "It's my birthday tomorrow, you know."
Tinkerbell gave her an odd look; a look that seemed to say 'I knew that already.'
"I'm going to turn in early," Anna-Maria said.
"See you tomorrow."
"Goodnight," Shoonee muttered.
"It's going to be a busy day tomorrow. Maybe
you should follow," Sheena suggested.
"Okay. Night then," she said, handing the plate
back to her aunt and rubbing her eyes. But she wasn't tired, not really. She
would probably be up all night in excitement, waiting for a morning that seemed
an eternity away.
As Shoonee trudged up stairs, all her mind was
thinking off was her presents - wrapped up in different presents, all the individual
shapes... Suddenly, she was bounding with energy and excitement. The Kacheek
shoved her door open and sprinted into her bedroom.
In was a medium-sized room which was painted
soft pastel colours and decorated with posters which were carefully stuck up
on each wall. The curtains had a floral pattern running all over them. The white
window frames were open, making the curtains flutter in the slight breeze.
Shoonee leapt onto her bed and clung to the soft
pillow, relishing the comfort - she'd been leaning on a hard school desk all
day and it felt nice to be able to perceive something cushiony.
Then, her eyes predictably wandered to her Usuki
clock - still a long way to go till the excited Kacheek was allowed to open
I can't kid myself that my birthday will come
fast... I might as well try and get to sleep now, thought Shoonee, sighing
and settling down underneath the quilt.
Her eyelids drooped and Shoonee started to wonder
what she might get. She was looking forward to opening Sheena's present, though
- her presents were always worth waiting for. Anna-Maria's present would probably
some Grooming Parlour items and maybe an Usuki. They were always the same. Her
aunt's presents were original and every year the item was completely different
from the last. Aunt Sheena had told her she was getting something extra special
Shoonee's door swung open slightly and the Kacheek's
flow of thoughts was broke. Shoonee peered over the top of her quilt - it was
just her aunt.
"Are you still awake, little one?" Sheena asked
softly, ambling over to close Shoonee's window to make sure she didn't get chilly.
She also closed the floral curtains.
The pink Kacheek nodded and replied, "I'm sorry,
but I just can't get to sleep! I'm very excited, you see, especially about your
As the Kacheek blushed slightly, darkening her
pink fur. Sheena smiled and replied, "Try closing your eyes and let your thoughts
roam free. It always helps me get to sleep."
Shoonee nodded firmly and her aunt walked out,
closing the door behind her. She lay in darkness and did as Sheena instructed.
Surprisingly, what her aunt said was working! Grinning to herself, Shoonee drifted
into a peaceful sleep.
Somewhere in the depths of Faerie City, not
too far from the house where Shoonee and the others lived, a homeless, nameless
Yurble lay curled and sleeping behind an old cottage. His fur, though ragged
and filthy, was neon-bright; almost surreal, even. His large paws lay neatly
on the pavement. Between them sat a red Anubis with wide, glimmering dark eyes.
They seemed to dart back and forth almost mechanically, searching in the dark
for any sign of danger.
"It's okay, Rex," the Yurble said suddenly,
sitting up and dusting himself off. "I can't sleep either."
The shadows were alive that night, alive and
running. The Yurble's eyes were sharp enough to make out faces that first appeared
frightened, then vicious, then vacant - faces that might not have been there
at all. If there was any doubt in his mind about their possible intentions,
it vanished when he realised that Rex was snarling a vicious tirade at something
that only he could see. Without warning, the small canine was off, racing towards
that mysterious something.
"Rex! Rex, get back here now!" he called,
cupping both hands to his mouth. It wasn't like him at all to go running off,
especially not at night, in the middle of a strange town. A flash of red and
white darted through a neat row of houses nearby; the nameless Yurble set off
at a run after his beloved pet. It soon became clear just what he was chasing.
His original impression - that of a shadow given breath and life - was an eerily
appropriate description for what he now saw.
It was a winged creature, most likely an Eyrie
or Uni; the light was too poor to tell... but the Yurble had an idea that all
the light in the world would have made no change to the appearance of the beast.
Rex was running rapid circles around it, snarling and barking frantically as
if trying to warn it off. It gave no sign that it could see either of them;
it just kept on moving, regardless, towards the house at the far end of the
A vivid and terrible image popped into the
mind of the watching Yurble. It was the image of a young Kacheek girl, slumped
powerless in a corner, facing hordes of shadows - shadows of all shapes and
sizes. Things that might have been pets once, but never would be again. How
did he know all this? Maybe he didn't. Maybe that knowledge belonged to the
higher part of him that had revealed this piece of future to him, as it had
so often before...
Her eyes flew open, revealing pupils that had
shrunk in fright and watery eyes. Had Shoonee just seen her own future? Who
was the nameless Yurble? Wiping her eyes on the back of her hand and sat up,
throwing the quilt back roughly. Her shining eyes shot to her Usuki clock. Surprisingly
it was nearly time for everyone to get up.
"I'll get up a bit earlier today," Shoonee muttered
to herself, feeling slightly groggy now, even having felt very awake just a
few moments ago. The Kacheek hopped out of bed, stumbling slightly as she stood.
She ambled slowly over to her large wardrobe, opened the slightly heavy door
and tugged a few clothes of their hangers. Shoonee pulled the clothes on quickly
and then sat on her bed, waiting for the rest of her family to get up.
Just as this thought entered her head, she heard
movements from Anna-Maria's room, which was next door to hers. The dream was
moving to the back of her mind and excitement of what her Aunt had bought her
for a present was coming back to her. Her door was pushed open and an Air Faerie
stood there... Anna-Maria.
"Shoonee, happy birthday!" she gushed, bustling
in and pulling Shoonee into a tight embrace. The Kacheek scowled darkly when
Anna-Maria was not looking, before a large fake smile appeared on her face like
a scar she could not remove. When her sister let go, Shoonee backed away from
her. Anna-Maria did not seem to have noticed as she grasped the Kacheek's wrist
and pulled her out into the landing.
"We can't go and wake up Aunt Sheena!" hissed
Shoonee, her eyes wide. Sheena didn't like being woken up in the morning, even
though she didn't make a fuss and acted like her usual cheerful self.
"Sure we can!" the Air Faerie said, smiling and
hurried up the stairs, pulling a struggling Shoonee along with her. Anna-Maria
reached Sheena's room, she rapped smartly on the door with her pale knuckles.
Surprisingly, the yellow door opened straight away, and Sheena stood there,
already made up for the day. Shoonee thought she looked beautiful.
"I knew Anna-Maria would probably knock on my
door early," she said, smiling softly, "Anyway... happy birthday, my dear Shoonee!"
She knelt down and hugged the Kacheek, and since
it was Sheena who was embracing her this time, Shoonee hugged back and smiled
to herself. It was almost time to get her presents...
Dark shapes gathered around the house, a venomous
plague of shadows that seemed to drain the life from everything around it. It's
almost certainly too late for whoever is inside, he realised. It turned
him cold to think of walking away - after all, what kind of prophet was he,
if he couldn't even help this one Kacheek?
Well, here goes nothing.
Summoning his courage, the Yurble marched through
the shadows and raised a paw to knock on the door. They soaked his fur like
black water, bogging him down and draining his energy.
"Who is it?" A beautiful Air Faerie poked her
head around the door. A small, irritated frown tugged at her features when she
saw the badly-dressed Yurble standing before her. "Oh, go away! We're not a
charity!" With that, she slammed the door, leaving him more perplexed than ever.
"Was that Shoonee's friends calling around?"
"No, Just some old beggar."
"Anna-Maria! It's our duty as Faeries and users
of magic to protect for the less fortunate members of Neopia. I thought you
knew that." Shamefaced, Anna-Maria donned her brightest, fakest smile.
"I'm sorry, Sheena. It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't." The older Faerie turned
and flew up the stairs, leaving sparkling dust on the wooden staircase as she
went. Something clicked in the young Kacheek's mind; something about a dream
she had half-forgotten already. Hadn't that Yurble been homeless...? On top
of which, Sheena never flew anywhere, abhorring the mess it created. Something
was definitely wrong, and not knowing exactly what left a bitter taste in her
Meanwhile, thoughts were streaking through Sheena's
mind - she knew ever since she had taken in the young Kacheek that she was destined
to be someone very special one day. However, the clever faerie did not know
when or where she'd gain power. Could today be the day? Swallowing, Sheena walked
briskly over to where Shoonee's presents stood, all piled into one average bag
and picked them up. Then she dropped them on the polished floor because of the
"Sheena! Hurry and bring down Shoonee's presents!"
cried Anna-Maria cheerfully. The Air Faerie didn't know Sheena's suspicions
about the little Kacheek. Sighing, Sheena started to drag the bag with much
less grace than she usually showed.
As the Light Faerie re-entered Shoonee's bedroom,
the Yurble stood outside, a grim look on his face. His lids dropped down and
he muttered, "It will happen soon..."
The shadows moved slowly around the walls of
Coloured wrapping paper flew everywhere as Shoonee
tore off the delicate material, revealing all sorts of presents from relatives
in different areas of Neopia. She left her aunts present till last of course.
It had been placed on the top, as if to tempt her into opening it first. Shoonee
had taken in and placed it to the side.
Sheena's eyes stayed on the yellow wrapping paper
that held the bow and arrow that would make the little Kacheek famous. The Faerie
knew that as soon as the Neopet clutched the bow and arrow, she would change.
She would grow wings, and change from her red colour, to a candy pink. Sheena's
eyes widened - she sensed Evil heading towards them. What kind of Evil it was,
she didn't know...
"Aunt Sheena? What's the matter?" asked Shoonee
politely. Sheena exchanged a quick smile and nodded towards the bow and arrow
wrapped up next to her. Shoonee stared worriedly at her aunt before beaming
and picking up the present.
The Evil burst through the windows and the wrapping
paper vanished from the bow and arrow. The Evil, which turned out to be the
Shadow kind of Evil, started towards the little Kacheek, who let a scream escape
from her mouth. The Shadows turned and saw the bow and arrow she was holding,
and started to fly towards her.
"Shoonee! Shoot the Shadows with your bow and
arrow! You, Shoonee, the Spreader of Love! You'll make Neopia a much happier
Sheena's shout reached the Neopets ears and,
panicking, Shoonee fixed the arrow in the bow and clumsily shot the arrow -
it didn't miss, but it didn't hit either. It just brushed the side of the Shadow,
but the power in the arrow was enough to eliminate the Evil.
"Nice one!" yelled her Aunt. "Now, get out and
find the Shadow Usul! She's controlling this type of Evil! She'll be nearby!
The Yurble outside will help. I'll look after Anna-Maria. Just find the Shadow
Still upset about what had happened, unsure of
what to do and what had gone wrong, the Yurble made his disgruntled way back
down the street. His faithful companion followed closely behind him, keeping
one nervous eye on the manifesting danger.
He hit the floor and rolled, instinctively covering
his face with one paw. A pair of deep, golden-yellow eyes met with his, and
he began to scream.
Shoonee felt like she was sinking in a whirlpool
of confusion - everything was changing, and changing fast. One moment, she was
aware of an intense joy mingled with an uncertain horror that originated from
the Evil presence. Next thing, she felt something like ice against her shoulder
blades. It was a very strong feeling. Shaking her head, the young Kacheek pulled
herself back to the present. The shadow Evil was gone for the moment, but the
battle was far from over, and Shoonee knew it.
I'm not the best, but I've got to try!
A thin screech hammered her eardrums. Almost
as if entranced, she drifted through the opening doorway and out into the cold
twilight. Her breath rose in a thin mist as she ran - or flew, she wasn't sure
which - towards the sound of the attack. On the street lay the same Yurble she
had seen in her dream. He was clearly trying to fight back against the giant
shadow, but with no success: his strength was of the wrong kind. It was up to
Again, Shoonee felt herself aim the bow and nock
a second arrow. The power in it made her feel fizzed up and incredibly alive.
Is this how the Faeries feel when they use their magic? she wondered,
The arrow flew. It struck home, and the target
rolled in annoyance, trying to dislodge it. Without pause, she nocked three
more arrows. Thud. Thud. Thud.
Nice try, you little--
"Stop right there!" A flash of red on black,
a startled hiss, and the red figure flew backwards.
It gave Shoonee the chance she needed. The final
arrow was a dead-on hit; right between the eyes. They seemed to burn with shock
and rage in the final moments, as the Usul began to dissipate.
You have won the battle, Shoonee, but you
will lose the war...
Shoonee fell to her knees, shocked at what she
just accomplished. Sheena must've known all this was going to happen one day,
that's why she had given the Kacheek the precious bow and arrow to her. A sound
made her ears flick up and Shoonee looked up and saw the Yurble struggling to
his feet. Shoonee ran towards him and grabbed his arm to help him up.
"Thank you," he said, bowing. He then started
to stare at her. She felt embarrassed, and asked, "Um... Why are you staring
"Do you know what you are to become?" he said
quietly, keeping his gaze on her brown eyes.
"W-well," Shoonee said, stuttering slightly,
"Aunt Sheena said I'd make Neopia a better place..."
The Yurble replied, "You will, you don't have
any other choice. Take a look at yourself."
Shoonee looked down - her fur had turned pink
and she could feel something digging into her shoulder blades. She twisted her
head around, and spotted fluffy, pink wings. She fluttered them experimentally
The Kacheek looked up shocked and exclaimed,
"How do you know my name?"
The Yurble raised an eyebrow, and said quietly,
"I've know your name since you were picked up by Sheena and her family. Anyway,
Shoonee, you'll be flying around Neopia, fighting the Evil."
"When do I start?" she said, looking forward
to helping people.
"Well, I'd prefer if you started today... You
can't get away from this fate, Shoonee, you'll have to help Neopia sometime,"
the Yurble said, looking at the sky.
"But I'd have to leave Sheena..." Shoonee said,
her mouth trembling slightly.
"You'll be able to keep in contact with them,
of course. If you need any help, just whistle. I should be around... I'm your
And then he was gone. Shoonee stared as he walked
away, his red Anubis trotting along beside him. Sighing, she picked up her bow
and arrow and turned towards the house. To the Kacheek's surprise, Sheena was
standing there, smiling at her.
"You must go," Sheena mouthed at her. Shoonee's
eyes filled with tears and she nodded - this fate was what her aunt would've
wanted her to have. To help others.
With a wave, the Kacheek took of into the air,
to do as Sheena would've wanted.