I used to live in Faerieland. I used to be really rich. I used to be a disco Ixi, who thought they had everything in the world.
I had two sisters back then. Bluebell, the faerie Kiko, was younger than me. Flower, the island Krawk, was older. There was also my mother, Marie, and my twin brother, Lionfish the Maraquan Draik.
But then, very suddenly, my life changed. Everything dissolved around me, and left me without anything I knew for a long time.
It started on a Tuesday. My mother had been behaving strangely, and she had just called a family meeting. We all sat down around the dining room table and looked over at Marie. I looked up at her, but she avoided my eyes. She had been doing that for a few days, and I had a feeling I was about to find out why.
But, to my surprise, she began talking about something else entirely.
“Well,” Marie began, looking at us, “As you know, we have been saving for a royal paintbrush for quite some time now.” I nodded happily. I was going to be painted royal!
“And,” she continued, “as you also know, Cybunny Day is coming up.”
I nodded again, wondering why she had brought that up.
“Well,” she finished joyfully, “I have decided I am going to adopt a Cybunny. If I paint it royal, I will have four limited edition, painted pets!”
At first I thought it was a joke. The second thought that crossed my mind was that that was that was my royal paintbrush. Then a worst thought came into mind, but I tried to ignore it. I could tell from the silence that my brother and sisters were thinking the same thing.
Finally, Bluebell broke the silence. “This is silly, Mum,” she said uneasily, “You already have four pets. That’s the most you can have.”
“I know,” she replied simply.
“One of us is going to be pounded.” I didn’t even realize I’d said it at first, but I must have, because my siblings looked at me in horror.
“Yes.” Mom turned to me. “Disc, I’m afraid it’s going to be you.”
I looked up at her in shock. I tried to say something, but no sound would come out. Finally I said, “But why can’t you just buy a morphing potion or something? You could sell the paintbrush, and buy one, couldn’t you?”
Mom looked at me sympathetically.
“No, dear. I can’t have a royal pet named Discogirl.”
I gulped and looked at Flower. She looked horrified. Bluebell was crying softly. My twin, Lionfish, was looking back and forth between mom and me with tears in his eyes.
“How long do I have?”
“I will give you three days to pack and everything, and then you’ll have to leave so that we can get ready for our new sibling.”
She looked like she was going to say something more, but I didn’t care. I stood and walked out of the room. Once I was out, I ran up the stairs to my room and flung myself on the bed.
I don’t know how long I stayed up there, but I know it must have been a while because Bluebell brought me both lunch and dinner.
Two days later, I was prepared to leave. I had nothing but my faded blue Ixi plushie and my petpet, Stone the tanizard.
My siblings said goodbye to me at the door. Bluebell was sobbing, and Flora was trying not to cry. Lionfish wasn’t there. Each of them gave me a hug, and said goodbye. I was about to walk out the door when Lionfish came running over holding a package.
“Wait!” he shouted. I turned back to look at him. He held out the package.
“I made this for you,” he said sadly.
I lifted the package and opened it slowly. Inside was a picture of our whole family, a picture of me and him, a few drawings from Bluebell, and Flower’s prized sea shell. I looked up at them and smiled tearfully. “Thank you,” I whispered, and hugged each of them one more time.
Then, very slowly, I walked out the front door. I looked through the package again on the way to the pound. I was flipping through the pictures when something fell out. It was a small packet, and in it was a beautiful shell necklace that Lionfish must have made me. I put it on, and hid the pictures in my pockets, knowing they would not allow them at the pound.
One hour later we reached the pound. My mom wouldn’t meet my eyes.
We walked in together, and Maria (who I no longer refer to as “Mom” or “Mother”) led me to a desk. It had a big sign on the front that said “Abandon” in huge black letters. The infamous Dr. Death sat behind it.
“Name,” he snapped.
“Marie. This is Discogirl.”
He wrote something down.
“This way please.”
He led us down a huge hall. On either side there were cells holding one or two pets. About halfway down the hall he stopped.
“You may say your goodbyes now,” he said impatiently.
Maria walked over. “I’m sorry, Disc. I’ll never forget you.”
I didn’t say anything. I just looked up at her sadly, thinking it truly sad that she thought this necessary.
After a moment she stepped back and brushed off a tear. Dr. Death took out a set of keys and opened a door to my left. There was a sign on the door. It said Gardenwolf in big black letters. As I watched, Dr. Death took out a pen and wrote my name next to it.
Then he stood aside and held the door open. I took a last look at Marie, and thought fleetingly of my old siblings. I wondered if they missed me. I still wonder that today. Then I stepped inside my new home.
It was cold and dark. It was also damp. After a moment I sat down on the floor and looked around.
“Hello?” I said nervously.
“Who’s there?” a rather sleepy voice replied.
I gulped. “I’m Discogirl, or Disc. I’m your new room-mate, I guess.”
There was a momentary silence. Then my room-mate came closer and I could see her. She was a striped Lupe, and rather small. She appeared to be about my age, maybe a little older.
“I'm Gardenwolf, or Garden for short,” she said. “I’ve been here for seven months.”
“Oh,” I said. Then I walked dejectedly over to my hard bed and climbed in. It was still day, but there was nothing else to do, so I curled up on it. ‘What were the chances of me being adopted?’ I wondered.
Three months later, I was still there. I had stopped hoping. Three people had looked at me and Garden, but none had adopted us. Pets left every day with their new families, but I was never one of them. I was convinced I would never get out of the pound.
Garden was a big help during these times. We entertained ourselves by talking to each other and to the electric Kougra in the next cell over. Her name was Circuit. We were good friends soon.
One day, though, Circuit was adopted. Now there was only Garden to talk to. We got by anyway.
At this point I was very hungry. We were fed every other day, and only stale bread and horrible dirty water. We never left the cages, and one day I realized I had just about forgotten what sunlight looked like.
One day, when I had been there for six months, a faerie kougra went racing by. She was looking for someone to adopt. She was about to pass us when she skidded to a halt and looked in.
“Hello,” she said. “I’m Magic.”
“I’m Disc,” I said. “And this is Garden.”
The small Kougra looked at us for a minute, and then raced off again.
“That’s the last we’ll see of her,” Garden said sadly. I nodded.
But a minute later, Magic came back. Now she was leading her mother by the hand. “See, Mommy?” she said excitedly, “Two sisters! Just like I want, remember?” She went on speaking and her mother said something to her, and then walked over to us.
“Hello,” she said kindly, “I’m Dragonwing. What are your names?”
We replied, and she nodded.
“How long have you been here?”
“I’ve been here six months, and Gardenwolf has been here thirteen,” I replied. Garden had lost interest. She believed that this was just another false alarm. I knew it probably would be, too, but I was hopeful anyway.
After a few minutes, Dragonwing stood and walked over to the pink Uni standing on the other end of the hall. They talked for a moment, in which Dragon pointed to us several times. Magic was jumping excitedly about her feet. Then the Uni wrote something down, and they walked over.
The Uni took out a set of keys and unlocked our cell. “Gardenwolf and Discogirl, you’ve been adopted.” She smiled kindly, and opened the door.
I was out in a second, and in the hallway. Garden was slower. She hadn’t left that cell for over a year. She stood slowly, and walked into the hallway. A smile stretched slowly across her face.
Dragon led us outside. I ran out, and jumped about for a bit, happy to be back in the sunlight. Garden joined me after a moment. Then we all walked to the corner of the street, and Dragonwing got us an Eyrie cab. Their house was on Terror mountain!
We arrived and got out. Magic showed us the house, and our rooms. There was a boy, too. A fire shoyru named Demon. He was a bit older than me. When we entered, he gave both me and Garden a bracelet that he had made. Garden's was green and blue, and mine was purple and blue. They both had little silver heart charms on one end.
I still live with them now. It’s me, Garden, Magic, and Demon. There’s also Dragonwing, of course, and several petpets. Last year I was morphed into a yellow Xweetok, then painted rainbow. I’m happier this way.
I never forgot my old family. I saw them once at the marketplace, but I didn’t say anything. They aren’t the same as before, and I can see that they like that Cybunny very much. I’m not the same either, and they wouldn’t recognize me. I always wear the necklace my twin gave me, though, as a reminder of the things that I left behind. I wear the bracelet Demon made me when I arrived as a reminder that of everything I gained from that loss.