Tales of an Unwanted Pet: Part Two
A week had passed since Mitchie had arrived at the infamous home of Dr. Death and a million other unwanted Neopets – The Neopian Pound. Every day, she had discovered something gruesome about life in the Pound. She didn’t know how pets could bear it! Especially the pets that had been here for years...
One particular afternoon, Mitchie was in her room on the fourteenth floor, the very top floor of the Pound. Her friends Chuck the Scorchio, Daisee the Moehog, and King Henri the Kacheek, were with her. They were playing a game of Cheat and Mitchie was losing horribly.
“You are such a bad liar, Mitchie!” said Daisee, giggling uncontrollably. “But that’s okay. At least it's entertainment!” The red Moehog put down two cards and grinned, willing anyone to accuse her of cheating.
As the game progressed, King Henri got down to one card. Mitchie had about half the pile, but that didn’t matter. This was the most fun she’d had in days.
“Hey, you know that fitness coach named Olga?” asked Chuck, as Mitchie collected more cards from the pile.
Mitchie frowned. “You mean that evil Usul that makes us do push-ups every morning? Ya, I know her.”
“I wish I didn’t know her...” King Henri muttered darkly as he added four cards to the pile without anyone noticing.
“Yeah, well, yesterday, I saw Olga talking to Dr. Death as I was walking by his office,” said Chuck as he put three cards on the pile. “She was asking him if she could quit!”
“YES!” King Henri yelled happily.
“Calm down, King Henri! We don’t know for sure if that mean old Usul quit or not. She just said she wanted to quit,” said Mitchie, who was trying not to get her hopes up too.
King Henri laughed. “Actually, I said YES because I just won the game!”
The friends looked down at their cards and then at King Henri whose paws had no cards.
“No way!” said Chuck. “How is it that you win every time!?”
“I call a rematch!” argued Daisee irritably.
“No more card games!” cried Mitchie, who was beginning to get tired of losing. “How about we go for a walk in the yard?”
Her friends agreed and soon they were all walking around in the crisp late autumn air. Other pets were running around catching leaves. Mitchie was reminded of when Jennifer would rake a pile of leaves for her to jump in. Those were the days...
“Hey Mitchie, do you remember that rude little Uni that we met a week ago?” asked Daisee. “I wonder what happened to her; I haven’t seen her around.”
“How could I forget? That snobby faerie pet insulted me in front of everyone,” Mitchie replied angrily.
“Well, I heard she was adopted,” said Chuck good-naturedly. “You have to admit, she was really pretty.”
Mitchie and Daisee exchanged exasperated looks. “Well, she didn’t deserve to be adopted is all I’m going to say,” replied Mitchie.
As dusk fell and the wind picked up, her friends continued chattering until they were finally forced to go back into the Pound’s main building by one of Dr. Death’s many attendants.
Only when Mitchie was all alone in her cot did she remember those foul words the Uni had said to her on her first day at the pound. The worst part was, whenever she fell asleep, in her dreams she would see Jennifer in the Uni’s place saying those same words to her. Mitchie would wake up crying and breathing hard even though she knew it was only a dream.
* * *
The next morning, Mitchie found herself in Chuck’s room with her friends Daisee and King Henri listening to the rain beat against the windows. She missed her old neohome which was always warm and cozy on a rainy day. She found the Pound to be cold and drafty in comparison. Because of the rain, they had not had to do their daily morning exercises, which Mitchie found rather comforting.
“Hey, did you hear about the pets on the second floor?” asked Chuck mischievously. “I heard that Dr. Death forced them to have their morning exercises even in the rain! A few of the pets had upset him yesterday and now he’s making them all pay for it!”
“Why that’s horrible!” exclaimed Mitchie. “Those poor pets will get soaked to the bone!”
“Better them than me,” declared King Henri dismissively. “Though, I bet Olga wasn’t too pleased to have to go supervise morning exercises on a day like this.”
“Oh yeah! I was meaning to ask you about that, Chuck,” said Mitchie. “Remember that story you were telling us yesterday?”
“Which story?” asked Chuck absent-mindedly.
“You know, the one about Olga quitting! How about we go on a little adventure to Dr. Death’s office? We can snoop around his papers and see if there’s a note from Olga! And if she really is thinking about leaving, we can give her a shove in the right direction,” Mitchie continued.
Her friends all agreed enthusiastically and they set off for the door at the end of the hall. The light inside Dr. Death’s office appeared to be off. Mitchie peered into the office through a window beside the door. It was empty! She tried the handle, but it was locked.
“What should we do?” she asked helplessly. She vaguely remembered a time when Jennifer had gotten herself locked out of their neohome. She had taken something and tried to pick the lock. But thinking about Jennifer hurt too much, so Mitchie turned around and faced her new friends.
“I know!” exclaimed King Henri. The yellow Kacheek shuffled around in the pocket of his white uniform. He pulled out a sharp white stick. “I found this bone in my smelly sardine wrap yesterday. Maybe I could use it to pick the lock?”
Mitchie made a face as she recalled the previous nights’ horrid meal of stale sardines.
They all watched with bated breath as the Kacheek stuck the bone inside the lock and jiggled it around. Suddenly they heard a click. The lock was open! King Henri grasped the bone and yanked, but the bone was stuck.
“Oh no! The bone won’t come out!” King Henri panicked.
Chuck shoved against the door which creaked open. The pets quickly turned around to make sure no one was watching. The coast was clear. Most of the other pets were off either in the yard or the main hall. Dr. Death was no where to be seen.
Daisee, King Henri, and Mitchie crept into the dark room. Chuck stayed by the door and tried with all his might to get the bone out.
“Hey, Chuck,” Mitchie called from inside the office. “Watch out for Dr. Death okay?”
“Okay,” agreed the Scorchio. “If I see him I’ll say ‘OUCH!’”
“Sounds good!” said Mitchie. The pets inside the office continued searching for some sign of Olga’s wish to resign. King Henri discovered a stack of papers on the doctor’s desk that he began rifling through. Daisee was looking in the desk drawers, and Mitchie was searching through his files while casting anxious glances towards the doorway.
“Is it just me, or does it smell faintly of dung in here?” asked Daisee, covering her snout with her hoof.
“It’s not just you,” replied King Henri. “It’s this desk. I have a feeling its made out of dung!”
“No,” contradicted Mitchie. “I think this is a dung carpet we’re standing on...” She bent down and rubbed a paw against the carpet. When she sniffed her paw it smelled strongly of dung. “Yep, it's definitely the carpet!”
“I guess Dr. Death has a certain interest in dung furniture,” Daisee concluded, wrinkling her snout.
They all snickered quietly for a bit and the search continued.
“Hey, I think I’ve got something!” called King Henri. “I found a note in this stack of papers! It says: Dr. Death, I would like to express to you my concerns at present. I am not pleased with the way I have been treated under your reign here in the Neopian Pound. I wish to resign as soon as possible. I will not trouble you with my list of grievances, but know this; I will leave here one way or another. ~ Olga.”
“She seems really mad,” mused Mitchie. “I wonder what she means when she says she was badly treated here. Maybe she’s remembering how he made her go out in the rain with the other pets this morning.”
Suddenly, a loud “OUCH” was heard from the hallway. A mad scramble was made to find a hiding spot. King Henri bumped his head as he lunged under the dung desk. Mitchie considered hiding under the carpet before finding the smell so acrid that she was forced to hide behind a bookshelf. Daisee hid under a small round table in the corner covered with a dainty white table cloth which concealed her nicely.
Dr. Death’s voice was heard outside. “What have we here? A little Scorchio caught red handed? Why are you trying to sneak into my room, boy?” The doctor glared menacingly at poor Chuck.
“I-I-I thought I saw something in the window... s-s-so I went over to see who was in your office while you were away. And... I-I-I got caught in the lock. See? This is my claw. It got wedged in there when I was trying to turn the doorknob. And I’ve been s-s-stuck here ever since!” Chuck sounded scared out of his mind, but the doctor seemed to buy his story.
“Well then, a simple tug should get you out in no time!” Any other bystander would’ve thought the doctor was being quite generous about the situation. But if you had been there, you would’ve seen the malicious glint in his eye when he said ‘simple tug.’
The doctor gripped Chuck, who was now quaking visibly, in his claws and yanked. Out came the bone and Chuck went flying across the hall before landing with a thud. Mitchie gasped and quickly covered her mouth.
The doctor advanced into his office and turned on the light. He gave the room a quick once-over to make sure everything was in its correct position. He came to his desk, however, and growled.
“Why are my papers in a big heaping mess?!” he yelled to no one in particular.
Mitchie gulped and knew she was done for.
To be continued...