I Am Moehawk: Part One
“Please Mr. Lupid,” Moey begged, “it’s really, really important to me! I have to go to the town hall tonight. I promise I’ll do the detention tomorrow instead; I’ll...” The young Moehog’s voice trailed off as he quivered under the professor’s patient gaze.
Mr. Lupid sighed. “Alright, Moey,” he said reluctantly. “As it’s so important to you – but remember, you have your detention tomorrow. Same time, same place - don’t forget.”
Moey nearly jumped for joy, but instead tried to look respectful. “Of course, Mr. Lupid. Thank you so much, sir. I won’t forget the detention!” The last bit was shouted over his shoulder as hooves trotted speedily across the sturdy tarmac of the neoschool playground. He only had twenty minutes to get to town hall and he couldn’t be late.
“Moey!” a voice called from behind him. It was his friend, Eliza, the red Usul. She was in a different class and so she wouldn't have known about Moey's detention. It wasn’t exactly his fault he had detention though... Danni, a troublesome Shoyru, had stolen his homework. Anyway, he had more important things to worry about now.
“Hey Eliza! You coming to my audition?” Moey asked excitedly.
“You betcha, Moey! You’re going to be a Yes Boy Ice Cream member! This is your chance at the big time!” The last words echoed round his head as though it were an empty cave. This definitely was his chance at the big time. Moey grinned, white teeth gleaming as he galloped alongside her, trying not to show his nerves as they came up to the town hall. He heard Eliza breath deeply beside him, and tried not to smile. She was, perhaps, even more wound up about the audition than he was, but she hid it well.
“Here we are...” he whispered, sickly pale beneath his blue fur. He glanced at Eliza’s reassuring brown eyes, before looking back to the large oak doors and shrinking at the sight of the congregation amassing within the hall.
“Well...” prompted Eliza impatiently. Moey looked back at her, unsure of what he was supposed to do. “Oh for the...” she began, forcing the Moehog inside, and turning to the bored Wocky at the entrance table. “I’d like an audition form for Yes Boy Ice Cream please,” she said with ease. But of course it was easy for her to say it – it wasn’t her auditioning! It wasn’t her putting her dignity on the line!
The Wocky gave a little yawn, politely covered by a paw, and handed her a single sheet. “Your number is 0102,” she said in a nasal voice. “Please fill out the form and hand it in upon entry to the judging area.” Judging area? Moey thought nervously, gulping. That sounded very competitive – and the number. Did that mean there were over a hundred other competitors for that place? He’d never get in... He felt his confidence diminish with every passing second.
“Pull yourself together, Moey!” snapped Eliza, handing him her lucky fire faerie pen.
He cast his eyes to the form: Name. Moey paused. He didn’t want to put down Moey – it was just so uncool. He said as much to Eliza, who frowned, nose scrunching up in thought. “You could have something like ‘Moehammer’... or... ‘Moetown’, or...”
Moey frowned along with her, before grinning widely as an idea came. “How about ‘Moehawk’?” Not waiting for a reply, he scribbled the name down in red ink, and moved onto the next question.
Species. Moey groaned at that question, before finally filling in ‘Moehog’. Moehogs were just as uncool as his name, but he couldn’t afford a morphing potion – and besides, most of the other species were stuck up anyway.
He looked over the rest of the sheet carefully, filling in all the questions about why he deserved to be in the band, and glanced up to see the expression on Eliza’s face as he answered the one about his owner.
“What?” he asked nervously.
“You have an owner, Moey; you’re not an orphan...”
“But Sylvia is sooooo uncool! It’s uncool to have an uncool owner and um...”
“Aw, c’mon Moey – or should I say Moehawk? – put her in; she wouldn’t pretend you didn’t exist just for street cred...”
“She would if it meant she could get a Krawk...” he mumbled. Shaking his head, he scribbled her name to stop Eliza nagging him. She smiled at him and stood up, pushing him along.
“C’mon, hand it in!” she cried, running towards the judging area.
“Where do you think you’re going?” demanded the entrance table Wocky, crossing her arms and glaring at him as if she was purposely trying to put off his audition. Moey cowered under her glare. She pointed up to a neon display, which displayed the number 0086.
“I think we have to wait until that displays my number,” he said, stating the obvious, and returning to his seat. Eliza sighed loudly, but recognizing the logic in his words, collapsed besides him. Moey tapped his hoof on the ground anxiously; hearing a ‘ping’ as the sign moved onto 0087. He held back a gasp as he saw Danni (the blue Shoyru who had stolen his art homework) enter the audition room.
Each ‘ping’ seemed to take an agonizingly long time in Moey’s mind. “Is it my go yet?” he whined at Eliza.
“Two more people,” she yawned. They’d been there for at least an hour and there was nothing to do but wait. Moey resumed tapping his foot. The ‘ping’ noises grated on his nerves, yet he knew he’d be glad when it rang for him.
He didn’t notice the number switch to 0102 until Eliza tapped him on the shoulder. “Go on, Moey, do yourself proud!” she gushed, nudging Moey towards the door.
Squaring his shoulders, Moey sauntered to the door with feigned confidence, and handed his sheet into the assistant, who looked him over with a raised eyebrow before sighing. “Go inside. You will be told what to do there.” Disapproval was evident, but at what Moey wasn’t sure – and he didn’t particularly care. He could do this.
Moey entered the room, blinking at the light that shone directly into his eyes. He saw the assistant hand his application to one of the Yes Boy Ice Cream Shoyrus and tried not to show his nerves. They were here? Watching him? Moey felt his stomach churn.
A few minutes of painful silence passed as the yellow Shoyru – Raido, Moey remembered – skimmed over the form. When he was finished, they both looked up.
“Moehawk?” the red one, Boyo, asked in a half-sigh, expression disbelieving. Moey nodded, not trusting his voice.
“Right,” Raido muttered. “Now, no doubt you know one of our songs?” Once again, Moey inclined his head. “Well then,” the Shoyru said, leaning back into his chair, “Show us what you can do.”
Just like that? Sing, just like that? Moey was frantic. His mind fled through all of their songs he knew, before finally settling on ‘Look Through the Window’, their debut single.
“She’s got eyes to look through windows...” His voice quavered, falling flat for a second, before picking up again.
“She’s got paws to knock on my door;
“If she’d only knock, then I could help her...” The rhythm faltered as Moey forgot to change key.
He forced himself to continue and belted out, “But I’m not what she’s looking for.” He could sympathise with that feeling: Sylvia always trying to save up for an elusive Krawk and he felt guilty for not being the pet she was looking for.
Finally, Moey’s voice picked up depth and began to flow into the tune he knew. Then the chorus came up; a part he’d sung so often his three brothers had threatened to chuck him out of the house:
“She’s looking for a neohouse that feels like home
But I can’t provide that
She’s looking for a place to be and not be alone
Don’t think I can give that
Well, she can look through my window
She can keep looking through my window.”
The rest of the song was sung to perfection, the words coming as naturally to him as if he had written them himself. Moey knew he had started off badly, but he hoped that that would be overlooked.
Finishing, exhausted with the effort he had put in, Moey looked to the two Shoyrus hopefully. He heard then whisper to each other; where they picking him? Did they like his voice?
Moey bit on his bottom lip as he stared at the two band members apprehensively. What were they saying?
Moey was dismissed with “You’ll get a neomail in a week telling you how you did.”
He began to wander out, disappointed at such an impersonal response, when Boyo stopped him with a grin. “Good luck, Moehog Dude.”
Moey frowned, pushing his Green Oat Cereal around his bowl. It was 7am on a Tuesday morning, a week after his audition, and there he was eating breakfast with his brothers and Sylvia, as if it was any other day. Somehow in his mind he’d got the idea that today would be special; that he would wake up knowing he was going to be a pop star. Naturally, Moey felt short-changed by the fact that he had woken up with a bad case of d'achoo and now had to go to school.
“Come on, Moey, we’re going to be late!” yelled his eldest brother, a blue Elephante called Barry. “You don’t want to get detention again, do you?”
Moey grabbed his backpack and some tissues. “Alright, alright, I’m coming!”
He left the house, not realising he’d stepped over a neomail addressed to him, and began to walk to school, sneezing with every other step. When he got to school, Eliza was waiting for him outside Mr. Lupid’s classroom.
“Well?” she asked impatiently.
“Well what?” replied a confused Moey.
“Am I looking at the third member of Yes Boys Ice Cream?”
“Oh. I don’t know. I didn’t get a neomail. I guess I was so bad that they didn’t even bother.” He shrugged dejectedly.
“Don’t be like that, Moey. Someday you’re gonna be a star – I just know it!” she said enthusiastically.
“Well, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean a lot coming from you. Sorry, ‘Liza.”
“Stay behind after class,” she said as they walked into Mr. Lupid’s room. “I have a plan. Just you wait and see.”
Moey was curious, but he didn’t believe that her plan would be any good. Eliza always had the best intentions, but she, like him, was just a kid. What could she possibly do to help?
When Moey finally got home to a mirror, he looked at what Eliza had done to him after the lesson. She’d taken Mr. Lupid’s paints and coloured him in his favourite colour – red – and, although the colour was amazingly vivid and made him feel like a star, it was cracking and he looked ludicrous. Only the Rainbow Pool could truly turn him red, and Sylvia couldn’t afford a magical paintbrush without tapping into her ‘Krawk fund’.
His youngest brother, Spike the Uni, came into his room, “Hey, get this, Moey—” he stopped and laughed, “What in Neopia have you done to yourself?”
“Eliza tried to paint me red,” he sniffed, not knowing how to react to the laughter. “What were you going to tell me?”
Spike raised his eyebrows. “There’s a neomail on the kitchen table addressed to ‘Moehawk’ and we were wondering if you knew who it’s for. It’s kind of wet – Fred and Barry spilt Neocola on it earlier.”
“You spilt Neocola on my neomail?!” yelled Moey before sneezing repeatedly.
“No, Fred and Barry spilt Neocola on Moehawk’s neomail – didn’t you hear me?”
Indeed, Moey barely heard him – he was already halfway down the stairs. He skidded into the kitchen, making a ghastly screeching noise, and grasped the envelope. It flopped between his hooves, drenched with brown liquid.
On the verge of tears, Moey tried to open it but, when he finally got the neomail out, the writing was so smudged that he couldn’t make out what it said.
“Now I’ll never know if I was good enough!” he blubbered, trudging back upstairs.
Wishing to wash away what had happened, Moey ran himself a bath and got in. The only thing that was washed away was the peeling red paint, and even that stayed in the water, staining it pink.
To be continued...