Kai sat on his front porch, his forehead in his paws. The blue Wocky felt tired and heavy, as if there were no point in moving. He shifted his weight around and let out a long sigh.
“I’m no good for anything!” he thought to himself. Kai looked up. There was a small handful of kids running across the street.
“I bet they’re all winners. I bet they have golden cheat trophies, or silver beauty contest ones,” Kai pouted. “Why can’t I be like them? Why can’t I win something for once in my life?”
He stood up and stomped his foot.
“This world is too unfair. I mean, everyone expects you to be things you can’t possibly be. If you want the Beauty Contest trophy, you have to be pretty. If you want the Neopian Times trophy, you have to be a good writer. Why, even to get flash game trophies, you need to be good at games! What happens if a little Wocky like me comes along and isn’t good at any of those things? What if he isn’t pretty like his sister, Kyra, or smart like his friend, Bobby? What if he can’t score high scores in Wicked Wocky Wobble or attain the Feed Florg avatar? Does that mean that he shouldn’t get a trophy?!” Kai furrowed his brows in contempt at society from his point of view. “I work just as hard as anyone else in this world – my Neopia – and I think I should get some recognition.”
Kai crossed his arms and marched forward, looking like Lawyerbot at an important business meeting. He decided that today would be the day he got a trophy. Today he would show the world that he, a common blue Wocky, was good at something.
* * *
First, Kai decided to try the kadoatery. After all, many of his friends had gold trophies from the annoying little petpets - why shouldn’t he? After buying a basket of food, Kai waited inside the giant building along with hundreds of other people.
And he waited.
“Argh! Forget this,” he said after a half an hour. “I’m leaving.” And so he took his basket and stomped out of the kadoatery. Just as he stepped out of the door, though, he began hear a chorus of mews.
“The kadoaties!” Kai exclaimed as he dashed back to the rows of cages. He looked at the top row. They were all fed and happy. The second row? Fed. Kai groaned. He had a feeling he knew how this would end. He just scanned the rest of the cages until he finally found one that was unfed.
“Yes! Finally a trophy!” Kai shoved the basket of food he had brought into the poor speckled petpet’s cage. But, his large, genuine grin slowly faded as he heard a voice scold him.
“Oops!” it said. “It looks like you don’t have the proper item to feed Panda the Kadoatie.”
“I don’t have the item... of course.” Kai shuffled his feet out the door, truly disappointed. “Well, I guess I’ll try to beat Punchbag Bob now. That seems easy enough.”
* * *
Toward the beginning of the battle, Kai versus Punchbag Bob, Kai was feeling optimistic and energetic. Crouched down in a battle stance, Kai took out his two scarab rings and began to fight the punchbag. In his brain, he counted each slam, kick, and hit.
And so Kai went, taking out all of his anger from the kadoaties on the poor punchbag in front of him. But, after the hundredth hit, the blue Wocky began to grow tired. His frequent attacks slowed to one every ten or so seconds in between breaks. When Kai got to his 163rd attack, there were still 1740 hit points left on Punchbag Bob. After one more hit, Kai collapsed in the middle of the Battledome out of exhaustion.
“So... tired!” Kai panted to himself. “I... give up! I guess... I’ll go... try for cheat. Whew!”
With that, he headed for the games room to try for a trophy among many of Neopia’s finest – the cheat champions.
* * *
When he entered the giant room, Capara, Little Timmy, and Branston all glared at the small, blue Wocky from their seats around the giant table. Kai nervously sat down in his chair and looked around at all of them.
“So, uh, are you guys ready to start?” Kai got no response, just empty stares. “Here, I’ll go first. Five fours,” the Wocky said, putting down five random cards in his hand. Finally, the Eyrie to his right spoke.
“You’re new to this, ain’t you?”
“Well, um, I guess you could say that,” Kai stuttered, embarrassed. “Why? What’d I do wrong?”
“Duh!” The red Kyrii rolled her eyes. “You can only have four cards of a number maximum. Not FIVE!”
All three pets around Kai began to laugh as he felt tears well up in his eyes.
“S-so, what should I do now? I mean, c-can I take back the cards?”
“Here’s what happens,” Little Timmy said. He looked to Capara, then Branston and counted on his fingers – one, two, three...
“CHEAT!” they all screamed, bursting out into hysterics.
Kai’s face turned bright red, and he felt the first of his tears begin to fall down his cheeks. He ran out of the room as fast as a Chia with a Lupe close on its tail. He found a place to sit outside of the games room, and he cried to himself, covering his blotchy face with his paws. At first he cried about how mean the other three cheat players were to him, but eventually he began crying in his own self-pity.
“Why am I not good at anything? I mean, I try hard and do my best at anything I’m faced with. Is it my fault that other pets – all other pets – have something they’re good at? They all have some special talent, some something. Something that I just don’t have.”
“Excuse me,” Kai heard a voice above him say, “I don’t mean to intrude on your personal life, but I just heard you talking a moment ago.” The Wocky looked up to see a tall, male owner peering at him over a pair of spectacles and nodded.
“Anyways, you seem like an interesting pet and I think that all of Neopia would like to know about you and your problems. Why, I bet that you could inspire many other insecure pets out there. I’m sure there are many others who feel the way you do and that if you were to go out and tell the world about yourself, the pets would accept themselves for who they are.”
“So, what should I do?” Kai asked, unsure about the man’s proposition.
“I’m in charge of finding the pets for the Pet Spotlight. I think that you would be a great subject for next week.”
“Really?” Kai blushed. Suddenly, though, he had an epiphany. “Wait a second. The Pet Spotlight? Does... does that have a trophy?”
“Of course it does,” the man responded. “After all, we need some way of rewarding the special pets.”
“I’ll do it!” Kai blurted out, ecstatic. Finally, he would get his long-awaited trophy.