The End of the Rainbow: Part Two
The next morning, the Kougra awoke to the smell of sweet, damp fields. Also, blended into the Neopia Central aromas were the fresh hourly samples the food shop supplied. Today it smelled like soup, although Mossiku couldn’t determine what kind.
He stretched, running his outstretched claws through the soft blades of grass. Tiny also contributed to the wake-up with a stifling yawn.
“Today’s going to be a good day,” Mossiku confidently told his petpet companion. “I promise.”
The two had dried off from the night before, thanks in part to the warm rays of sunlight spilling through the trees. As they had the past two mornings, the duo headed toward the ferry that would take them to Faerieland. Since jobs came out soon, Mossiku didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make a few extra Neopoints.
On their way, they passed the bookshop. Mossiku stopped abruptly, staring into the shop. He loved going to the bookshop, and when he had the spare Neopoints, he’d like to start reading again. Turning around to leave, he accidentally bumped into an Acara who happened to be skipping out of the store.
“Ouch...” He heard the voice say.
“I am so sorry!” he commented, helping the pet up. She dusted her dress off, but other than getting her dress a bit dirty, she didn’t seem to get hurt.
“Oh, no problem. It was probably my fault anyway.” The Acara giggled, talking extremely fast. “I just ran out of books to read, and I’m excited to get home and read them.” She held up a shopping bag, bulging full of books.
“I see you like to read as well-”
“Sissy! Where are you?” a voice interrupted, with the Acara snapping her head around to face the girl that appeared to be her owner.
“Over here!” Sissy called, motioning to the girl.
“There you are! Oh.” Noticing Mossiku, the girl smiled. “Hello there. I didn’t know Sissy had made a friend.”
“Hello.” Mossiku nodded shyly back.
“Well, you know my name. What’s yours?” Sissy asked, her eyes bright with curiosity.
“Mossiku. This is my petpet, TinyRawr. But he really only answers to Tiny.” Tiny, being as shy as Mossiku, hid behind the Kougra’s leg. Sissy’s owner nodded.
“I’m Joy. Is your owner around here somewhere?” she asked with a smile.
“No... She quit about a week ago.” He shrugged. Sissy gasped.
“You poor thing!” The Acara gave him a squashing bear hug. “No owner? Why, I don’t know how I would survive!”
“Yes, that is quite a task for a Neopet...” Sissy’s owner, Joy, bit her lip, deep in thought.
“I got it!” Sissy grinned happily. “Why doesn’t Mossiku come home with us? Would that be fun? I hate being an only Neopet!”
“Sissy... Only if Mossiku is fine with the change. I’m alright with it if he would like to come and stay, even if it is temporary.” Both owner and pet looked at Mossiku, waiting for an answer. He didn’t really know what to say.
Could he say yes? Sissy did say she was an only-Neopet. And this was a place to stay being offered to him. But he’d feel rude just simply becoming part of a family that he had known for less than five minutes.
“I... I guess.” He sighed. This was something he couldn’t refuse. These two were kind enough to offer, and he should be grateful enough to accept.
“YAY!” Sissy twirled around in a spiral, clapping in sheer excitement. “You can come home and see my petpet. Did you know I had one? She’s a Blue Gruslen and her name is Lucky. She even has a petpetpet Breebly!” Sissy was talking very quickly, Mossiku straining his ears to keep up.
Joy simply smirked and rolled her eyes at the excited Acara. She motioned for the two to come on.
“We live near Maraqua, if you were wondering,” Joy said as the threesome approached the ferry sitting at the dock of Neopia Central, leading into the sea. “I know it’s an odd place, but the atmosphere was very appealing for a Neohome.”
“It sound like a nice place to live,” Mossiku commented as they boarded the ferry. It was difficult for him to take all of this in at once. He was going to have a home again!
“Yeah! It’s an awesome place. There’s the beach right outside of our front door, and you can see fish...” Throughout the rest of the ferry ride, Mossiku tried to act like he was listening to the overzealous Acara’s endless chatting, but found it more and more difficult as her words sped up.
Giving up, he would smile and nod every once in awhile. Her words were just a blur. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her owner chuckling to herself. She leaned over and whispered, “Don’t feel bad. I can’t understand half of the things she says either.”
Finally, the ferry stopped at the unloading zone for Maraqua. The small island for Neohome was pretty. Sugar-like sand lined the beach, palm trees blew in the wind, and Neohomes rose up through the bright green grass of the inland.
Mesmerized in awe, Mossiku didn’t see the small Bruce approach him from behind. However, he did feel when a sharp zap from the laser of the Baby Neopet’s ray gun had hit him.
Suddenly, he felt himself shrink to nearly a fourth of his normal size. He felt tiny, but he thought that maybe it was a prank shocker or something. The zapping stopped and it was then when Mossiku turned to see the Baby Bruce cackling behind him.
“Ahaha! I, Boochi, have successfully changed another Neopet! Ahaha!” Then, he vanished in a puff of pastel-pink colored smoke. Converted? What is he talking about? Mossiku thought.
He turned around; thinking his new companions might offer him some clue as to what was going on. Joy and Sissy both stared back at him, a look of pure shock crossing their faces.
“What?” he asked, turning to his petpet. Tiny had cowered away, behind Sissy’s leg. “What’s going on?”
“Mossiku... Do you know who that was?” Sissy asked, her eyes growing very wide.
“Bonnie or something?” Mossiku tried to remember the name, but his surprise from the sudden attack had caused him to not hear the name properly.
“Boochi,” Joy corrected. “He... He turns Neopets into baby Neopets with his little ray gun or whatever that thing is.”
“Then, why was he-” The Kougra now realized what was going on. He had been zapped.
Mossiku looked down, seeing caramel colored stripes on his light yellow-brown fur. He was very close to the ground. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed how much taller Joy and Sissy seemed. He felt like crying. It would be appropriate, now that he was a baby.
Blinking back tears, he mumbled, “I guess we better get home.”
“Why are you so sad?” Sissy asked as the group solemnly made their way through blocks of houses. “You got a free painting.”
“But... It was really the last connection I had to my old owner. She saved up for a long time to paint me, and I loved being gray. I wasn’t that sad all the time, and I thought that it made me look more sophi... sophisss...” Mossiku found that he was now having trouble pronouncing the letter ‘s’ properly.
“Sophisticated?” Sissy guessed.
“Yeah.” He sighed, dragging his little paws on the ground. Now he couldn’t even describe how much he liked being gray. Just as he had begun to see the rainbow of hope, it had faded once again.
They arrived at the house. Overall, the house looked very welcoming. Even the grass out front seemed to smile. A welcome mat marked the entryway, in which the Kougra followed the two into the main room.
“Thanks for taking me in,” Mossiku said weakly as the two gave him and his petpet a tour. Tiny seemed content when he found the playful little Gruslen as they passed Sissy’s bedroom. The two petpets were instant friends. At least Tiny was happy.
“No problem. And... This is your room.” Sissy showed him into a nicely furnished, white painted room. An oak bed with a quilt on top took up one corner, with a bedside table next to it. In the other corner was a desk, sitting in front of a window with a lovely view of the ocean, and with a fluffy petpet bed under it. “We could paint it and such later if you would like. Also, there’s loads of books in the bedside table if you would like to read some.”
“Thanks again.” Mossiku smiled weakly, feeling mixed emotions. He had a home, yet he had lost the last link to his former owner. His dream color. Was this a sign for a new start? No. He still wanted to be gray.
It never really appealed to him to be a baby Neopet, mostly because he wasn’t very fond of a lot of attention. Baby Neopets tend to have random strangers come up and pinch their cheeks.
Trying to think of happier topics, he went to the bedside table, where he found in one of the drawers a series of books that he’d been wanted to read for ages. Thankful he still had his intelligent mind, Mossiku picked up a book, jumped on the bed, and began reading.
Nobody had come in to disturb him, and he was quite thankful of that. Sometimes, he just liked to be alone to think. When both thinking and reading had become tiring, the new baby Kougra let sleep overcome him, hoping the next day would bring new hope.
To be continued...