The Zap that Changed it All: Part Five
At first no one would buy Saoel from Seakran. Seakran was asking for five million neopoints for Saoel, and no one wanted to pay that much. In the end, Niria suggested that he just leave Saoel at the Kadoatery. And that’s what Seakran did.
The Kadoatery was not exactly a peaceful place. It was full of pets, all waiting eagerly for their chance to feed a Kadoatie. When Seakran finally arrived there with Saoel, he had to shove his way through the thick crowd of Neopians who were already assembled there. It was not an easy task, but he was finally able to carry Saoel’s heavy cage into the small building.
Seakran handed Saoel over to the owner of the Kadoatery, a stressed looking Cybunny. She shoved him into a small cage and quickly closed the door before he could escape.
He took a moment to peer around at his new surroundings. There was a dilapidated bed in the corner, still covered in white Kadoatie fur from the last resident. A half empty water dish sat next to the bed. It was half empty because of a crack in its side, which was slowly leaking water across the floor. Well, it wasn’t exactly the presidential suite in the Neolodge, but it was his new home.
At the moment, however, he did feel a little hungry, and as he glanced through the bars of his new home, he saw the hundreds of Neopians who were waiting outside of it.
‘Waiting to feed me!’ he realized.
What should he eat? He decided on some Chocolate Covered Toffee. It had been a favorite treat of his when he lived with Emma. Almost as soon as he thought this, a delighted looking Blumaroo shoved it in through the bars of his cage.
Saoel devoured it in one bite. It tasted so delicious! He hadn’t eaten gourmet food since the lab ray incident. He licked his lips, savoring the sweet taste.
It was then that he realized that not only would the Neopians feed him whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, but they were happy to do it! This place wasn’t so bad after all!
* * * * *
Saoel had just finished devouring a Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. He licked each of his paws in turn, listening to the babble of the Neopians outside of his cage. That was the only bad thing about this place. There was always someone peering in at you. And it was rather hard to sleep with all those pets talking.
He glanced out through the bars, and saw something that made him freeze in mid-lick. Through the crowd he could have sworn that he just saw the unmistakable face of Clara!
He hardly dared to believe his eyes. But yes! There she was again, crown and all. She was staring intently at the cages, waiting for one of his Kadoatie neighbors to grow hungry.
“Clara! Clara!” he shouted over the buzz of voices, “It’s me, Saoel! Your brother, the yellow Gelert!”
When he shouted, all that came out was a mew.
‘No! She can’t understand me!’ he thought franticly. ‘How can I get her attention?’
He had a sudden idea. He could ask for something to eat. He let his mind settle on a nice rainbow Doughnutfruit. Clara looked up as the mass of Neopians scrambled to get his food. Saoel began to wave his paws at her, franticly trying to get her to understand.
But it was no use. His cage was suddenly bombarded by pets, all trying to shove a rainbow Doughnutfruit in through the bars of his cage. In the mayhem, Clara was suddenly gone. She had disappeared into the massive crowd.
Saoel’s heart sank. That had been his chance to get back home. But he had blown it. He suddenly had no appetite for the food that had come in through the bars of his cage. He turned around and curled up in a miserable ball of blue fur on his petpet bed.
* * * * *
Saoel now refused to eat anything. He longed to go back home more than anything else, back to Emma, back to Clara.
The pets waiting for him to grow hungry soon grew disappointed and abandoned his cage to go to other cages with occupants who actually asked for food. But although the pets in front of his cage were gone, it didn’t stop the constant drone of voices. The only peace he got was when the Kadoatery closed one night so the frizzled looking Cybunny could give the Kadoatery a much needed cleaning. It definitely needed a good wash, Saoel figured, with all those pets going in and out all the time.
The relative quiet pressed in on Saoel’s sensitive ears, sounding strange to him. The only noise was that of the Cybunny’s broom sweeping back and fourth across the floor in the next room. Then, suddenly, a noise. It sounded deafening against the silence. Someone was calling his name.
“Psst! Saoel! Are you here?” said a voice.
Saoel darted to the front of his cage and peered at the three faces below him. He had honestly never expected to see them again.
“Blue! Muff! Spark! Is it really you?” he asked, his eyes wide.
“Yes,” replied Muff quickly.
“Saoel,” asked Blue, “Do you want to get out of here?”
“Yes, more than anything,” replied Saoel excitedly, “I want to go home!”
“Then we can help you,” said Muff excitedly.
She leapt up and grabbed on to one of the bars on his cage. She used one claw to delicately pick the lock, and, after a few tries, it finally clicked open.
The Kadoaties around them were beginning to mew questioningly at the newcomers. The Cybunny must have heard the noise because Saoel heard her footsteps rushing towards them.
“Hurry!” said Blue, but there was no need.
Saoel was on the floor and running towards the door. He pushed it open and the four ran outside just as the Cybunny entered the room. Saoel didn’t look back.
“How did you find me?” asked Saoel as the group slowed down.
“Well,” said Muff, “we heard from a friend of ours, a Weewoo, who heard from a Noil who heard from a Mallard who heard from a Snowbunny who heard from a Turdle that there was some crazy Kadoatie in the Kadoatery who was shouting for someone named Clara, claiming that he was their brother, and he was really a yellow Gelert. And when we heard we remembered that crazy story you told us, and we knew that it must be you! So we stowed away on an Eyrie cab, and got down here as quick as we could!”
“Yea,” said Blue, “and we nearly got caught on the way because of Spark’s snoring.”
“What?” whined Spark, “The trip was long and boring and I didn’t get enough sleep the night before because someone kept singing in their sleep! Honestly, how could I sleep with the theme song from Meepit Juice Break being hummed over and over again in my ears?”
He cast a meaningful look at Muff.
“Hey, it’s not my fault, it’s catchy,” retorted Muff. “Anyway, the point is that Saoel’s safe now, and he can go back to his real owner.”
It felt like they had only traveled for a few minutes when the roof of Saoel’s home loomed up on the horizon. Saoel couldn’t believe he was actually seeing it again. He ran the rest of the way there, followed by Muff, Spark, and Blue, who had insisted on coming with him the whole way back to his home.
When they finally reached the door, Muff fluttered up and rang the doorbell. Saoel could hear faint voices from behind the door before it was swung open by none other than Clara.
Saoel had never been more delighted to see her in his whole life. He ran inside, and looked around for Emma. His friends followed him inside.
“Mom! Mom, come quick!” yelled Clara, “There’s a bunch of petpets invading our house!”
Saoel’s heart sank. They still didn’t recognize him. Suddenly, something on the refrigerator caught his eye. It was the magnetic letters that he used to play with when he was only a pup. He ran to them now, and rearranged them so they spelled, “I AM SAOEL”.
Emma had run over to see what all the commotion was about by this time, and stopped when she saw the words on the refrigerator.
“Clara? Did you do that?” she asked.
“No, Mom,” replied Clara, looking stunned. “The Kadoatie did.”
Saoel looked around for something to write with, and his eyes rested on Clara’s homework, which currently sat on the kitchen table. A pencil sat next to it. He leapt up and grabbed the pencil awkwardly in his paws, flipped the homework over to the blank side, and began to write what had happened. Clara and Emma leaned in close, reading every word of it. And with each word their eyes grew wider and wider.
He told them of everything, the lab ray, his stay with Muff, Blue, and Spark, and the Kadoatery. He left out the part about losing a battle to an Angelpuss, however. When he was done, Clara and Emma were staring at him with wonder. Emma spoke first.
“Oh Saoel! We missed you so much! We looked for you everywhere, but it was hard because we weren’t sure if the lab ray had changed your color or species! I’m just glad you’re back, petpet or not.”
Clara then did something she had never done before. She stepped forward and hugged Saoel.
“I missed you so much!” she said. “I never knew how lonely it was without you around, little bro.”
Saoel purred, just happy to be home again, back with his family once more.
* * * * *
Emma had taken Saoel to the Neopian hospital. It took a while to get the doctor to believe that Saoel was really a Gelert; he only believed the story when Saoel wrote it down himself. When he was finally convinced, he spent the better part of an hour poking and prodding Saoel with medical tools.
Finally he said, “I believe that there is a way you can turn him back to normal. I believe that since he was, at one point, a Gelert, you will be able to give him a Gelert morphing potion. It should turn him back to the way he was before.”
Emma looked relieved.
“I can do that,” she said. “Saoel, what do you think?”
Saoel thought for a moment. If he did morph back, he wouldn’t be able to talk to Muff or Blue or Spark anymore. After hearing the story of how they helped Saoel, Emma had willingly allowed them to stay in the house as long as they wanted. But even so, as a Gelert, he would never be able to communicate with them. They didn’t understand human or pet words, just as pets and humans didn’t understand their words. Saoel was lucky. He could understand them both.
It was then that he knew what he had to do. He held the pencil firmly in his paw and wrote: If it’s okay with you, Mom, I think I would like to stay a Kadoatie.
Emma read this, and looked into his eyes. “Are you sure?”
She smiled, and picked him up and held him in her arms.
“Then it’s decided. Thanks for your help, doctor,” she said, “but I think he’ll be okay just staying the way he is.”
Emma left the room with Saoel, the doctor’s curious gaze still staring after them.
“Saoel,” said Emma quietly as they walked into the waiting room where Clara was awaiting their return, “I just want you to know that even though you may not be my fluffy little Gelert pup anymore, I still love you. And I’ll always support you, no matter what you chose to be.”
Saoel wanted to say so much to her at that moment, but all that he could manage to do was to utter a soft purr. It was all that was needed, however; Emma understood. She smiled down at him, and together he, Emma, and Clara headed for the door.
And so it was that Saoel found his destiny in a very unexpected way. What had begun at first as a misfortune soon became a blessing. He had made new friends, and gained a new sense of who he really was.
And as Emma carried him out the doors of the hospital and down the street, he knew that he was not only going back to his home, but also to the new life that awaited him there.