In an Eggshell
"I AM ready!" I shout excitedly to my shaking owner, Caz.
For over a year, I've been waiting and waiting for those few words that she's just spit out. Ever since that dreaded day. The BOOCHI day.
I was a pink Pteri back then, my feathers shrouding my agile body and hard beak and eyes making me a pet that no one would mess with. Then he came. I was fluttering about in the garden; flying high to taunt Hespera (whose wings were not yet strong enough to get her airborne) and he simply tottered up to our wall. He was young and pinky-red with the vacant, distant eyes that only a baby Bruce could have. Both Hespera and I froze. We'd heard things from our owner about a mysterious little baby Bruce.
Legend was that he was never a very popular little neopet. He got bullied at neoschool by all of the others. Instead of playing Kacheek Seek, or the other games the young ones played, he spent his spare time fishing alone and playing lonely games of Gormball with imaginary friends. Then, one day, his owner equipped him with radioactive snow. Tired and unsure of its use (as well as being unpopular, he was also a little less intelligent than most of the others), the little Bruce ate the snow. The radiation sunk in, and the startled Bruce suddenly got the power to change any neopet at his will to "Baby". Excited by his new power, Boochi decided that if other pets wouldn't play with them, he'd make them play - his weapon, the Deadly Boochi Ray Gun. So anyway this little Bruce came to our wall, and asked to play. We were instructed to never let strangers into our neohome, and being the oldest it was my duty to make sure we stuck to the rules. I told him grudgingly that he could not come and play with us. Giggling, the Bruce suddenly pulled out a pastel coloured ray-gun. He fumbled with the buttons, still chuckling to himself. I started to get uneasy, and flew back to the ground. Hespera attempted to glide down beside me, landing messily on a flower patch. After giving her a look of disgust (that was Caz's favourite patch of roses) I turned my complete attention towards the fumbling Bruce, who had now seemed to have found the buttons he was looking for.
"What are you doing with that gun? Those are dangerous, you know," I asked him nervously.
"You no let Boochi play, then Boochi makes you play!" he replied ecstatically.
He pushed down all of the buttons at once. The ray juddered and whirred, then shot something directly at me. I saw a flash of light, and then nothing. I've seen nothing ever since. You see, it's not the best life, being an egg. Suddenly I could not fly, or play, or hunt. Entombed in a horrid, crusty shell like a Qasalan mummy, I just sat there all day. Hespera desperately tried to keep me company, sitting and talking to me. I heard all of her stories, and about her first real flight, and I felt sad. I was supposed to be the one to help teach her, but instead I was stuck in this evil tomb.
My owner was upset, too. She'd spent so much money turning me into that flamingo-coloured bird that I loved being, and now all of her hard work had been ruined. I'd begged her to turn me back for weeks after he zapped me, but I knew deep down she didn't have the funds to do it. So I lived in the egg, my only skills being to talk and listen. Hespera and Detearc recited neoschool lectures to me in my egg. I couldn't attend neoschool because I couldn't travel well, and Caz didn't want to risk getting me cracked. Better a whole egg than a scrambled one, I guess. Nothing much changed for a very long time; Caz's funds grew very slowly, and I settled to the fact that I'd probably be a baby Pteri forever. Then one day came a fateful knock on our neohome door that was to change the boring routine of my life forever.
I heard the knock at the door clearly. Not being able to see, my hearing had seemed to get a lot better. Caz opened the door and a gruff and important-sounding voice answered her welcome.
"Hello, I'm here to see 'Gazer', please. Patrick Redwock here, from the Royal Neopian Times."
I rolled around in excitement. What could a universal newspaper want with ME? My owner showed him to my room speechlessly, and I heard him crouch down beside me.
"Gazer? Patrick Redwock here. Your sister has entered you for an appeal. We heard your story, you see. Every month we collect neopoints for those spectacular incidences like yours, for neopets that really need it. If I could just hear your story again, first account, then I will be able to determine if I think you are eligible."
I was in shock; a chance to finally see again, to fly and play! Stuttering and excited, I related my story to Patrick. How Boochi came, the legend my owner told us all, and everything. He seemed excited too, and I heard his pen scribbling away frantically. Suddenly we were finished, and adrenaline rushed out of me like a waterfall taking out its power on the rocks below.
"Alright, Gazer, that was very well recounted! The appeal you have been entered for is released in two weeks' time. If you buy the paper you will see if you have won then."
After he had left, I found Hespera and thanked her so much that I could feel her grinning.
“It's no problem, Gazer. I want you to be able to play with me! I also want to race you to Virtupets! I think I might have a chance now.”
I may have 'accidentally' rolled on her paw after that comment. She'd never beat me at a race!
So for two weeks, our whole family was on tenterhooks. Hespera flew up and down the hall endlessly, Arc swapped her regal staff from hand to hand like it was a plaything, and Caz kept forgetting to buy food and visit the stores for fear the paper would come out early. I rolled around my room until everything was flattened to a crisp. (Hey, at least Caz didn't have to worry about ironing!) Then finally the two weeks were up. That morning Caz came into my room silently, holding the closed paper in both shaking hands.
"Are you ready, Gazer?"
"I AM ready!"
I hear the paper being rustled, a quick flick of pages and then a gasp.
"You... we... oh, GAZER! We won, we won! You won! Oh my...”
"You mean I'll be pink again?"
"Even better! Pets, I'll be back in a second, I have to buy the paint brush."
I listen as Caz runs out of the room, and sit there, my mind buzzing. Hespera flies in and whispers lovely things into my ear.
"We're gonna fly together, Gazer! You and me...”
An hour later, Caz comes sprinting back to the house. She grabs me, and we travel as quickly as lightning to the Rainbow Pool. She quickly sits me down and prepares me for painting.
"Gazer, I have a mirror ready; oh, I can't wait, and you are going to be beautiful!"
Before I can reply, she grabs the mysterious paint brush and hits me with it. Magically, I rise into the air. I feel an explosion of colours wrapping themselves around me, and the evil egg cracks. Blues and yellows and all the colours of the sunset melt into my feathers, my tail stretches out magnificently like a phoenix's and suddenly I catch a glance of myself. I am no longer baby; I'm not even pink.
"Faerie...” I utter. I can say nothing else.
Caz gurgles excitedly.
“Yes, faerie! I saw the funds we got on the newspaper; it was double that of a pink paint brush. Oh Gazer, I'm so proud of you for recounting your story.”
I have been Faerie ever since. So Boochi, wherever you are, I want to tell you to keep your ray gun to yourself, and look at me now! Oh, and as for that published story that Patrick Redwock released? Well, you've just read it. ;)