Twist of Fate: Part One
It was a bright sunny day when I was born, but as night approached, one of the largest storms in Neo-history loomed in the distance. Or so I was told...
Born as a mutant Krawk, everything about me was strange. I possessed three bulging eyes, four out-of-place arms, and grotesque green skin freckled with yellow speckles. At first, I had no inkling that I was different. I played in the shining sun whenever I had the chance. I was treated equally to everyone else in the household, and I had a sort of confidence that I can barely remember, even now. It all would come crashing down as soon as I was old enough to leave the house and join my sister in going to Neoschool.
“Mom! Mom!” I yelled down the hall way. I was frantic; the first day of school! One of the happiest days of my life, or so I thought. How little did I know what would be in store for such a little Krawk...
“Hold your Unis!” Manda laughed. “You still have an hour to get there, and the school is only 10 minutes away. Plus, Chichi is going to walk with you; there’s no need to fret so much.” Manda was my owner. She raised us to call her Mom, though; she preferred it over her own name. She loved us each as if we were her own children, and that’s why we all turned out as well as we did. If only her unconditional love could have prevented the tragedies of the outside...
Chichi came into the living room and looked at us through her cloak. She visited the Laboratory’s Secret Ray regularly and felt a cloak hid her frequent changes the best. She wasn’t ashamed of visiting; she just needed that constant to keep her recognition. Otherwise she’d cause a lot of confusion with her teachers and friends alike. Manda always told me to respect her for she was my sister. At the time I thought she should just accept her form, but what did I know? I just told myself it was her life; I couldn’t tell her how to live it.
“Are you ready?” she huffed. “I told my friends I’d meet up with them early to see which classes we had together this year.”
“I’m ready!” I yelped as I pulled away from Manda while she tried to tame my hair. Right when we I stepped out, I messed it back up just the way I like it to look.
As we approached the school, I could see the students teeming around the schoolyard playing, and waiting for the first bell to ring. I wondered which were first years students as I was. I couldn’t wait to meet someone new and be known like Chichi was. Once we entered the gates, she quickly left my side and went to chat with a very pretty faerie Ixi and a cool looking disco Shoyru. I was extremely tempted to walk with her and meet her friends. I really wanted to be included. Yet my heart raced at the thought of talking with the older students; what if I said something stupid? Instead, I went to find some friends my own age. In the corner of my eye, I seen a rather large Lupe walking toward me. I figured he was walking up to someone else, so I ignored him slightly. My ego was hardly big enough to assume he was walking toward me...
Then suddenly, as soon as he was near me, he laughed rather loudly and said,
“Hey you. Yeah, you... what in Neopia kind of pet are you?”
As I turned toward him, he was almost twice my size. He was a Werelupe, and a menacing one at that. Not that there is a friendly looking Werelupe around, but as a first year student meeting one for the first time, he was a very dreadful character. His extraordinarily dark brown, thick fur coat and torn jeans was nothing to mess around with. He even had a deep scar, which went across the front of his face just missing his bright green eyes, and a rather large nick in his right ear. His frame demanded authority and I knew I was to give it.
“I-I-I’m a Krawk,” I stammered. He was practically breathing down upon me. His image was burned into my brain. The chill that ran down my bones, I’ll never forget.
“Hah! You’re the ugliest Krawk I have ever seen! C’mere, guys, look at this. He’s a freak!” He started to laugh at me. A bunch of his Lupe cronies came around and started pushing me around and calling me names, all the while laughing at my looks. At that moment I knew what kind of pet he was. All the respect his character had eloquently built up by just standing there had come tumbling down right in that instant. All my feelings flowed with tarnished hope. Why was this happening? I thought. School was supposed to be a place to meet friends and learn. Right when I was about to break down and cry from all of the abuse I was enduring, a great white Kougra leaped from the school doors and roared so loud the younger Pteris flew to the nearest trees. The sound echoed from the nearby mountain tops.
“Get your paws off that pet!” she yelled at the untamed group of oversized Lupes, “Get to class! I don’t want any trouble from you, you hear? Unless you want detentions on the first day of school, or the rest of the school year for that matter!”
When she finally shooed them off and made sure they ran back to the shadows of the school, she turned to me. I caught her frightened glimpse for a fraction of a second before she realized what she was doing. Even the teacher of the school was scared of my exterior. She cleared her throat and asked as gently as she could at the moment, “Are you alright?”
“Y-yes,” I answered. “Why is everyone looking at me so strangely?” I asked her. I could see the shame on her face once I asked this. To be honest, this had never happened to me before.
“Well,” she started. She didn’t quite know what to say, I could tell. What do you tell a child in this situation? It wasn’t going to be easy. The longer she took, though, the more pessimistic I became. “Well, you are a mutant Krawk, Fratimer. The children here aren’t quite used to seeing mutants around these parts; in fact it’s extremely rare for mutants to live in this area. I’m sure they’ll get used to you very soon, though.” Then she gave me a weird smile that made me feel even more uncomfortable and walked into school. “Don’t be late to class!” she yelled back, like I had anywhere else to be.
Come to find out, she was my first teacher of the day, Miss Jakilya. That must have been how she knew my name. Should have been obvious who I was, the only mutant on school grounds, or so I was told. No one ever did get “used to” me like she said. When I realized that everyone thought what Vainglory told me, I grew to dislike my own skin.
Leaving school that day, I finally noticed the students around me whispering in each others ears as I passed by. My euphoria in the morning must have blurred it all out. But after everything that had happened, my eyes were open. I could see everyone looking at me in either fright or disgust. And I couldn’t understand why. Why was everyone like this? Why was it me?
As I approached the gate, my head fell to its lowest. My sister must’ve spotted my shame, and came running up to me.
“Fratimer!” she yelled. “Fratimer! Wait up!” Finally catching up with me, she was breathing a little heavy. “Hey, what’s the matter?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” I asked. “Look at me!”
She looked at me with eyes filled with pity. She knew exactly what was wrong, but she played the fool for my sake. I can’t say I was angry about it, she was only trying to spare my feelings.
“Fratimer,” she said softly, “the kids, they don’t understand. They see someone different...”
“That doesn’t excuse what they’re doing!” I interrupted. “Don’t they know I have feelings too! Haven’t they learned better?”
Chichi just kept walking. I didn’t know if she was thinking to herself, or lost anything else to say. We walked the rest of the way home in silence. My once happy thoughts continued to twist themselves and bring me down, all because of that one incident. The indecency of that one Werelupe, who could’ve just as easily been my hero. Instead, he chose to be my downfall. He didn’t know what he had gotten himself into. Because we all know, once you fall, you can only come back up.
To be continued...