A Push in the Right Direction
“I can do this.”
I was standing on the peak of Terror Mountain, clutching my ski poles as hard as I could. My eyes wandered all the way down the snowy mountain, as I looked at my destination a million kilometers away. A series of loud thuds were ringing in my ears as I felt myself trembling. Desperate to take my mind off of things, I glanced sideways and saw countless neopets skiing and gliding, which made me feel as though I had eaten a year’s supply of rotten omelettes.
Why did I ever agree to be dragged along for this? I could be at my neohome right now, drinking some vanilla flavored borovan and playing with my Feepit. But I realized that I couldn’t avoid this any longer, since for the past three years, I have always made excuses. This year, I was having troubles coming up with new ones, and my brother, a very aggravating camouflage Lupe, had started to suspect me. Just this morning, he announced that I was a cowardly dung Meepit, an insult that made my face glow red so that I looked like an overgrown tomato. That stupid Pythae (aka Pit-head). I’d love to feed him to the Esophagor. In fact, I’d do it right now if it weren’t for the fact that I was stuck on the top of Terror Mountain.
Once more, I glanced down the mountain; the snow in front of me looked untouched and fluffy. To give myself more time, I pretended to be adjusting the zipper on my ocean-blue ski suit. Then, I fiddled with my goggles for a minute or two. I threw my ski pole in the air, hoping to catch it, but it almost hit me on my head with the pointy end (Pit-head laughed in a cruel tone).
To postpone the moment of going down the mountain even further, I watched the sky as the clouds travelled by. I thought I saw one that looked like my Feepit, Iona. As I stared in wonder, a cloud shaped like Balthazar passed overhead, reminding me of Pit-head’s Halloween costume. Note to self: never dress in a costume imitating anything evil, because Pit-head had to run for several hours from the Defenders of Neopia, but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy watching that.
I was brought back to Neopia by a sudden yell issuing from my right. I whipped my head around and saw some Kacheeks having a snowball fight. The yell had come from the Electric one, who had gotten a snowball the size of a negg thrust into his collar. I stifled my giggles and instead, decided to focus on my task again.
I could feel the burning gaze of Pit-head on my back. He might as well have poked me with his ski pole. He made a small cough that sounded very much like “coward”. But good thing my friend, an Ice Bruce named Ennalie, was here. She thumped my brother on the head (“Oww, watch where you point those poles”) and gave me a one-armed hug, saying, “You can do this, just don’t think too much about it.” Then she easily drifted down, and I understood why she always won these kinds of competitions.
Ennalie is the sort of neopet that everyone seems to like. She has nine trophies, four of which are from the Beauty Contest. Her Battledome skills are amazing; she even beat the Space Faerie! But the part I like the most about her is that she never brags about it. She always makes me feel as though I’m just as good and includes me in everything she does. This is probably because I’ve been nice to her even when she started going to the lab ray (that place gives me the creeps). I remember that she started out as a Blue Cybunny, like yours truly, but then was changed into a Mutant Grarrl and then a Darigan Techo. Every day, I remember her coming over to our neohome, and I provided her with a shoulder to cry on. Thankfully, her owner decided to stop once she was turned into an Ice Bruce. Since that day, Ennalie has never let a peep escape her mouth about the lab ray.
Thinking it was best to take her advice, I tried not to think too much about my fear, but trying just made it even worse. The harder I tried, the more pronounced the image of me falling all the way down became inside my head. I could even picture the swollen bruises and lumps throbbing all over my body and oozing purplish blue pus. My imagination kept producing images of me rolled up in painful poses, and I wondered whether half of them were even possible. Once again, I resorted to fussing with my zipper and goggles. Then, I very much wanted to stuff my mittens inside my mouth and scream, but Pit-head would probably take the chance to choke me.
Before anyone got suspicious of my attempts at dawdling, I risked a fleeting look down the mountain, and I saw a small speck which I thought was Ennalie. Suddenly, the height of the mountain dawned on me. I swayed on the spot, feeling as though I might spatter the whole of Neopia with barf. Why did I eat so many buttered toasts this morning? The thought of food made the feeling worse. I had a sudden urge to lie down and scoop some snow in my mouth, but my body wouldn’t move.
I could hear a distant chuckle from somewhere behind me. How could Pit-head be laughing at a time like this?! Surely, I needed to go to the Healing Springs. Before I could think of a proper plan, I felt a sudden force on my back. Too shocked to realize what was happening, I let out a piercing scream that could’ve caused an avalanche. My innards were dropping down the mountain as I stood as stiff as a board, screaming at the top of my voice.
“You can thank me later!” a shout came from above, but I was too distracted to take in the words.
My screams hung in the air as I traveled at the speed of light, and miraculously, the barfing sensation disappeared due to the cold temperature. I was aware of the cool wind against my face and my stomach seemed to be shriveling up.
Down the mountain I went, until I mercifully reached the bottom. I let out a yell of happiness at having proved Pithead wrong. Ennalie came running at me with a couple of other neopets, who had witnessed my rather embarrassing display. She grabbed me in a hug and said that I was the bravest Cybunny ever. I could see Pithead coming out of the corner of my eye, and as he approached us, he said, “Man, you almost deafened me, next time, I’ll stay as far away as possible from you.”
I smiled weakly and replied with a wink, “Always my pleasure, and thanks for the push in the right direction!”
I stood in the middle of a small circle of neopets as they all patted me on the back and said things like, “Awesome!” or “We’ll bring some earmuffs the next time you come.” This gave me a strong sense of appreciation for the Neopians around me, even Pit-head. I grinned sheepishly and laughed along with everyone as he imitated me, screwing up his face in horror as he ran around screaming like a girl.
Today was a day that I won’t forget in a long time. As I was walking back home, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of having overcome my fear. I made a mental note to come back here tomorrow and the day after and for the rest of the month. Next time, I should totally bring Mom. After all, I know for a fact that she hates heights.