Delma Harrence: The Younger Days - Part One
Delma Harrence wasn’t always the beautiful faerie Zafara you see today. When she was little—and in the first years of neoschool—she was a sad looking, grungy little Zafara. Delma was still a very exuberant little creature, as her family knew oh so well way back when.
“DELLY, YOU GET DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!”
A groan issued forth from one of the upstairs bedrooms. From underneath the massive mound of blankets sitting on the bed, a green paw shot out, clutched a nearby pillow, and shoved it on top of the head of a scruffy furred Zafara, who was curling up and issuing noises of denial as she tried to drift back into slumber.
“I’m too sleepy...”
A loud snoring noise filled the household, followed by a furious thudding as a girl stomped up the stairs, shoving back her sleeves as she strode intensely towards her pet’s room.
“I warned her,” the girl muttered under her breath.
She walked up towards the mountain of fabrics, grabbed them tightly, and yanked them out in a flash, throwing them on the ground as the Zafara spun for a moment in the air, blinking dazedly and flinging out arms.
Delma fell on the mattress with a muffled thump, and slowly picked herself up. She looked up at her owner with a look that could’ve frozen the Snowager.
“Now go down and eat breakfast,” said her owner, peering down at her and showing absolutely no fear at all. “You’re going to school today, and you’re not going to go out in the fields and play yooyuball with your friends.”
“Their owners don’t mind!”
“But I do,” she said calmly and evenly. “I’m going to follow you to school today too, to make sure you don’t run off on me.”
“Downstairs. Eat. Now.”
Delma sighed and lifted herself off of her bed. She tromped downstairs grudgingly, and kicking at random things on the ground, like her little brother’s squeaky toys and such. She plopped herself down in a chair at the table, and shoved a faerie pancake in her mouth without any ceremony at all. She chomped on it noisily as her owner went to cook some more.
Lilo came downstairs, rubbing his head as he yawned sleepily. He already had his backpack together, and Delma wrinkled her nose as the yellow Blumaroo came to sit next to her.
“Morning, Mom,” he said, picking up a fork and shoving it into the warm, fluffy pancakes in front of him.
Delma ate her pancakes as fast as she could, and then burst back up the stairs in a green blur to her room where she hastily shoved her homework in as well as the rest of her supplies. Lilo was such the ‘perfect’ pet! He was nice to everyone, didn’t pick fights, and always excelled in the yooyuball tournaments for his grade. He even got good letters in all of his classes! It was so frustrating to her!
She bet this was all an act.
The green Zafara picked up her backpack and yanked it hard onto her back. She raced downstairs and shoved open the door, running outside as fast as she could. Seconds later she heard the door slam shut again, and looked behind to see her owner striding right behind her.
Faerieland was beautiful this morning. The sun shone brightly down on the misty clouds, almost making it blindingly white, and wisps of the fluffy water drifted away as she moved through it. Pets and humans alike strode through the clouds, some of them carrying expensive items for the faerie at her special rainbow fountain, and others just ogling the beautiful scenery around them. Every once and awhile she caught a pet or owner clutching tightly to their companion, scared of the heights even though they were up here.
Delma smiled. She wasn’t scared of anything.
The crowd became condensed as she became closer to the school. Pets of all kinds and colors walked these halls, but most of them were faerie to fit in with where they lived. And even though Delma hated to go with the crowd most of the time, there were two things she absolutely loved and wanted. She wanted to be painted faerie, and she wanted to play for the Faerieland Yooyuball Team.
As she walked, Delma proudly straightened her back. She would be on the team someday. She’d made a vow to do so when she’d first seen the yooyus flying through the air.
The Zafara shoved her backpack in her cubby, and sat down in her seat just as the bell began to ring. Several of the students murmured at her appearance—she normally didn’t show up—but they quickly quieted down as an old yellow Nimmo with a long grey mustache and glasses stepped up in front of them.
Delma struggled intensely not to groan as she strove to complete the work that they were handed. First they had to do math, then science; after that was the time for all the art pets to get their hands all mussed with glue, and then English. It was after that last class that Delma was excited about. This class was the only one she could ever dive into enthusiastically and jump out with good marks.
Her favorite class was P.E..
The teacher in that class was an extremely buff Grarrl who seemed to shout more than talk. Every day he had the students stand in a straight line before he yelled what they were going to do that day. Delma had gotten used to it a long time ago, but some of the shyer neopets, like the bookworm of an Usul standing right next to her, seemed to shrink and flinch at every word he spoke.
“OKAY, TODAY WE’RE GOING TO BE HAVING A LOT OF FUN!!!” the Grarrl shouted, walking in front of them like a commander. “ERIC AND LUKE ARE CAPTAINS!!! WE’RE PLAYING YOOYUBALL TODAY!!!”
Most of the pets cheered, waiting eagerly in place for the chosen pets to pick them. Delma was one of the first pets chosen. Everyone knew of her passion for the sport, and one factor pointing in her favor was that she was great at it. She was always there when she was needed, and always was able to put the yooyu in the net, even though she had a lacking point when it came to speed. Half of the pets in her class could pass her when it came to running around the track.
Delma was put into her favorite position, too. She was set as the left defender, right before the net with a Yurble called Steve. A Uni stood behind them as the defender, and the other two pets, Luke and somebody she didn’t know, were in front. Delma smiled as she saw the looks on the other team’s face.
This was going to be a great game.
“That was fun!” said Steve as they hurried inside to go back to their classroom.
“Yeah,” said Delma. “We really thrashed them! I can’t wait for tomorrow! Mr. Grunell said that we’re going to play again tomorrow!”
Delma was hyper and excited the rest of the day. She did her work enthusiastically through science, read the whole twenty minutes during reading time, and listened to her teacher lecture sternly on the process the faeries used to create the magic that made the clouds of Faerieland solid.
“Did you see how I caught the yooyu and slung it over Jerry to Iris?” Delma whispered to the pet sitting next to her. “That was genius!”
“Um... yeah,” the pet said, sort of uncomfortable that she was talking to him.
“Delma, Ian, stop talking!”
“Yessir!” Delma said.
After the final bell rang, she picked up her backpack and hurried outside. She didn’t go home, but she ran over to the practice field where the current Faerieland Team honed their moves to perfection. Kakoni Worrill was the latest pet to be added to the team. He was a small faerie Bruce, but he had loads of talent, and he’d definitely make a great forward behind Ehonio Torren, the leader.
She watched quietly as they neopets leap back and forth, passing the ball to each other as if it were a magical dance, designed for this very sport. Sparkles sprang into her eyes, and by the time she saw the faerie yooyu get passed to Kakoni, she’d been caught up intensely in their practice game.
The Bruce happened to glance her way as he flung the ball to their right defender, and what he saw amazed him. She didn’t even notice her blond hair flopping all over her face as she followed what was going on. Her mouth was slack as she watched, and she oohed whenever one of them just barely caught the yooyu.
That pet’s gonna be a player one day, he thought, and didn’t even notice as the yooyu went straight past his head.
“Worrill, get your head out of the clouds!”
Kakoni’s head shot toward his captain, and he mumbled an apology as he flew to his right to go and catch the yooyu, which happened to be trying to fly away. When he caught it, he took a quick glance over to where the Zafara had stood, only to find her being led away by some angry looking girl.
Oh well, he’d see her again someday.
Delma hung her head as her owner, Janet, scolded her.
“Next time you want to watch the team, tell me first! And make sure your homework is done before you go! Do you understand me, Delma?”
“Yes, Mom,” Delma said, hanging her head. “I will.”
They walked home slowly, Janet laying word after word on top of her head on the rules of their neohome, with she thought that Delma had ‘conveniently’ forgotten. By the time they reached the front door to their neohome, the Zafara thought that she could take a test on everything her owner had said and ace it, unlike the tests she took at school. The best grade she got—besides P.E.—was an A-.
Janet made her go up to her room to work through the homework she’d gotten at school that day. The teacher had gotten angry at her for talking, again, during the middle of his lecture, and was making her write a 150 word essay on the magic the faeries used. Delma had been angry, because then she’d been forced to listen to every tiny little word he’d said after that, and even scrape some notes up from some of her classmates.
On her bed, she read through the notes she’d purloined, and when she couldn’t remember what the teacher had said on a certain point, she just made it up. It wasn't like she had the best grade in her magic classes anyway. She had virtually no interest in spells and potions, except when they healed her.
...and then Fyora points at the wispy clouds and whispers, “Zalamadoo!”, before they go solid. The End.
Delma slapped her pencil down on her bed, and leapt off of the mattress. She scurried over to her window, unlatched it, and after she opened it, crawled through it. She jumped out of her room and fell down one story to land on the cushiony, springy clouds. Nobody had ever gotten hurt falling on these things, and when she’d found that out, she’d done her best to prove them wrong.
The Zafara ran over to the shed and opened the door. She dug into the stacks of boxes and old junk until she found what she’d been looking for. She picked up some shoulder pads, a chest plate, and her yooyuball flinger among other things, and then she hurried outside, shut the door, running over to a wide expanse of cloud that she knew would be safe to practice.
Delma let her faerie yooyu free after she shoved on all of her gear. She scooped it into her flinger, and began to go through her own set of acrobatics that she felt would help her to train for her one day position on the Faerieland Team. Janet was too cheap to pay for a trainer to help her get better.
Just as Delma leapt up into the sky to catch the Faerie Yooyu again, she heard a malicious, high pitched cackling. She scooped her yooyu up and landed before she twisted her head around to see what it was. Then her mouth dropped open in horror just as a rainbow colored beam hit her.
To be continued...