Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 186,904,174 Issue: 325 | 11th day of Sleeping, Y10
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The Pound Life


by emma_forney_is_here

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Lavendercoat watched as the snow slowly began to pile up on the green, grassy ground. The fireplace crackled on the other side of the room. She had bundled herself in a large pile of blankets on her bed; it was unusually cold outside. Lavender was a red Xweetok. Her eyes shone brightly as she let her mind begin to wander and found herself thinking about before—when she led a horrid, unhappy life in the pound. She remembered Shania—her previous owner—as she picked Lavendercoat up and placed her on Dr. Death’s desk.

     “Shania,” Lavendercoat cried helplessly, “why do you have to take me here?” Shania was getting bored of Lavender, or Lavendercoat, and had made the decision to take her to the pound. Shania and Dr. Death ignored the poor neopet.

      “What’s her name?” he asked Shania.

     Shania gazed at the sobbing Lavender, and said, “Lavendercoat.”

      “Age?”

      “She’s a year old.”

      “What’s your address?”

      Lavender began to stop crying. She had seen the pink Uni from across the room. She gave Lavender a warm grin, which said, “Don’t worry. You’ll get adopted.”

      Lavender sniffled as Shania left. She was lifted up by Dr. Death and was stuffed carelessly in a cage. After Dr. Death locked the poor Xweetok into the small space, she was left alone. Shania was gone, and that was that.

      There was no warmth in the pound; only a cool, bitter breeze that left Lavender shivering. Lavender curled up to try to get warm, but she didn’t succeed. The cold, hard metal floor of the cage prevented her from the slightest bit of comfort. The pound was a quiet place, Lavender had noticed. Not a whisper came from a neopet. All were sound asleep, perhaps dreaming of being adopted. Lavender looked around the pound. Rows of cages filled the semi-small building to the very top. Lavender’s stomach grumbled hungrily. Was there anything to eat here? Lavender remembered the warm and savory meals Shania and she had eaten at their neohome. Footsteps were approaching Lavender’s cage. Her ears perked up, and she backed to the corner of the crate as an old face appeared. It was an old blue Cybunny. Her face was wrinkled and kind. The pink Uni was following her, guiding her threw all the Neopets.

      “She will adopt a baby Xweetok instead of me,” thought Lavender. Caught by surprise, the Cybunny began to question the Uni.

      “What’s her name?”

      “Shania, her old owner, called her Lavendercoat. She said she’s about a year old.”

      “Why’d she give her up?”

      “She didn’t say.”

      There was a pause, and Lavender surely thought the Cybunny would be interested in her and keep asking more things about her. But instead of the Cybunny asking more questions, they moved on to the next cage. Lavender was left alone again. She began to weep.

***    

       Night had come. The lights were shut off, and the pink Uni and Dr. Death were gone. Lavender had seen the old Cybunny adopt a male blue Lupe. She saw the newly adopted pet’s smile as he and the Cybunny exited the stuffy pound. She then began to think there was no hope in getting adopted. The more she thought of it, the more miserable she got.

       She slept the night away restlessly and dreamt about the day. She whimpered in her sleep as she thought of Shania. Shania had seemed nice at first, giving her plushies and Usuki dolls. Why Shania had gotten bored of her, Lavender did not know. Lavender had awoken after a nightmare, and had scrambled to her feet. She looked around her and sighed. She panted heavily. Shania was running after her and was shouting insults at her. Insults that Shania had said to her the night before she was taken to the pound. A faint cry came from the cage next to Lavender. Lavender was a light sleeper and woke up immediately.

      “Hello?” called Lavender, surprised to hear her voice echoing through the pound. She repeated herself, but more softly. “Hello?”

      “Who’s there?” replied a mournful voice.

      “Hi, I’m Lavendercoat. What’s your name?”

      “I’m NevadaDesertHeart. Call me Desert for short.”

      “What’s wrong?”

      “I’ve been here for practically a year. No one wants to adopt me.”

      Lavender stayed quiet.

      Desert continued. “I’m a blue Kacheek. There’s no chance of me being adopted. What kind of Neopet are you?”

     Metal blocked the two’s sight, so they were not aware of each other’s appearance.

      “I’m a red Xweetok. I’m nothing special.”

      The door suddenly burst open, and the pink Uni appeared. She turned the lights on. Lavender’s eyes blinked and adjusted to the light. The pink Uni now sat at her desk. A few minutes later, Dr. Death opened the door. He nodded to the pink Uni as a greeting, and sat down at his desk and began to shuffle through papers. The light blinked a few times and almost went out. It then held strong. But then, another visitor opened the door: the blue Cybunny from the previous day.

      “Hello!” she said to the pink Uni in a joyful voice.

      Trotting after her was the Lupe.

      “I wanted to see two Neopets this morning. I have decided our neohome is big enough for them.” The Uni jumped to her hoofs.

      “And who do you want to see?” Lavender held her breath.

      “Lavendercoat and that one... NevadaDesertHeart.”

      The pink Uni smiled. She knew how long Desert had waited for this one moment. She came towards the cages that held Lavender and Desert, and opened the locks with two silver keys. She let the Cybunny hold Lavender. She held Desert carefully. The Cybunny cradled Lavender in her arms fondly.

      “I’ll sign the paperwork,” she said finally.

     Desert and Lavender grinned at each other. The new friends would share a neohome.

      The old Cybunny’s name was JoyfulMelody. She told the two to call her Joy. The Lupe’s name was NightGuardian. He turned out to be quite nice and adventurous. Joy’s house was like a Neopian’s dream home. There were at least eleven rooms and gardens. Every room had a bed, a couch, and toys. The gardens flourished with beautiful trees and flowers. Joy enrolled NightGuardian, Desert, and Lavender into a local Neoschool. NightGuardian and Lavender were in the same grade, while Desert was one grade higher. Every breakfast was better than Shania’s. In fact, Lavender had almost totally forgotten about her. Neggs, bacon, muffins... These were some of the things Joy served the family for breakfast. And what would become of the family, a year later?

***    

      Lavender sipped her neggnog and began watch the snow again.

      “Lavender!” called Joy from the other room.

      “Come on, we’re opening presents!” Lavender smiled to herself. It was Christmas. She began to think about Christmas with Shania, but pushed the thoughts away. She was with Joy now. She raced into the other room. The family had gathered around the Christmas tree, eager to open up the presents. Joy handed Lavender a present covered with metallic sapphire-colored wrapping paper.

       “Open it up!” shouted NightGuardian gleefully. Lavender beamed after she had torn the paper off—there was a Camouflage Paint Brush lying inside. Lavender’s eyes brimmed with happiness.

      “I thought we could go to the Rainbow Pool since it’s early. What do you think?” suggested Joy.

      “That sounds great,” replied Lavender with ultimate bliss.

      Her life had definitely changed.

The End

 
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