Handed in for an English Homework: Part Six
“You ruined that future the day you put me here,” I said. My voice was firm, but had a slight shake. “No. I will not go home with you. Not after what you did to Fyora and me. Go and find another badly named basic. There are plenty of them.”
Sophie looked at me mournfully. “I thought I meant something to you, Fluffy. You may be a badly named basic to everyone else, but to me, you’re my Fluffy! My little baby neopet!”
“And what’s Fyora?” I asked. “Just your well named faerie Cybunny? Go, Sophie. You don’t belong here.”
Megan, a pet I vaguely remembered from our old pound, stared at me, like everyone else.
“Three times,” she said.
I think all the pets here think I’m mad. I probably am. After all, an owner is an owner, no matter who they are. But I couldn’t betray Fyora in that way. And, like Fyora said, the pound isn’t too bad after all.
I hope Fyora’s okay. She hasn’t visited yet.
January 1st, year 11
New Year. For once, it’s a time for new beginnings, at least, for Fyora and me. However, as the current situation is not too good, here are my New Year’s resolutions:
1. Get out. Every time a new owner comes, I will make sure they notice me. I will make myself beautiful. I will act clever, and funny. I will show them my artwork. Or I will act scared and lonely; make them feel sorry for me.
2. Find Fyora. I will search every inch of every land, and I will find her, and I will speak to her.
3. Fyora and I will be best friends forever.
Nothing like impossible optimism to start the year.
Owners come, but barely glance my way. There are just too many for me to be the best, or the worst. Just too many for me to be at all significant.
I wish I had gone with Sophie when I had the chance. Fyora still hasn’t come.
Why won’t she visit? What’s taking her? Every day I wait by the door, but she never shows up.
“I’m sorry, Fluffy, but I don’t think she’s going to turn up,” one of the guards said to me.
I shook my head.
“She’ll come! She promised!”
“Fluffy... some pets, when they leave, they just pretend the pound never happened. If you were Fyora, a nice pet with a good life ahead of you, would you want to come back here?”
“Fyora’s not like that!” She wasn’t, was she?
He looked at me, sadly.
“I think it’s time to make some new friends Fluffy. I’ll tell you if Fyora comes.”
She will come back. There must be a reason for her not coming.
I took the guard’s advice and made some friends. They’re called Nikki and Zaccy, after their real names. That’s how all the pets get their names here. It feels weird being called Fluffy, after being Pixie for so long.
Nikki and Zaccy are okay, but I doubt I’ll get that close to them. They’re fun to be around, kind, and understanding, but not particularly special. Besides, they’re such good friends with each other I’m just the annoying other neopet tagging along, the extra one.
Why won’t she come? Does she think that Sophie adopted me? I hope so much that she doesn’t. I bet she does! She must feel terrible, thinking Sophie preferred me to her! Poor Fyora! That’s why she doesn’t visit! It has to be!
My birthday! And guess what? I got a card from Fyora! I’m so happy, I can’t believe it! She’s probably going to visit, as well!
She hasn’t come yet, but I’m sure she will. She probably lives a long way away.
Nikki got adopted, although it could just be for the avatar. She told me that was why she was made; her owner needed a Skeith for an avatar, and then pounded her. Her only life has been the pound. I can’t even imagine that.
I was right. Nikki returned today. Acted like nothing had happened. It’s as if she is nothing more than a way of getting an avatar that owners can rent.
Fyora’s not coming.
It was Nikki who sent the card. She told me today.
I don’t know whether to hate her or love her for it.
If I know she’s not coming, why do I still wait by the door?
Wow! Guess what? Crazy Chris showed up, at the same time as Ayla, and it turns out he wasn’t so crazy after all!
It was not long after he stepped into the pound that I heard trumpets.
‘This is it,’ I thought. ‘I’ve gone mad. I should have known it would happen one day.’
But other pets were turning their heads as well.
“Do you hear... trumpets?” Zaccy asked me.
“Yeah,” I said. “I thought I was just imagining it.”
Then, a scrawny blue Moehog began rolling out a red carpet, finishing at Chris’s feet. Pets were gathering either side, trying to see what was happening. Then, a fat, grumpy, old Skeith, dressed richly in a red robe and crown, escorted by heavily armed Draiks, began to walk down towards Chris.
“Father!” Chris yelled.
“My son!” King Skarl ran forward and began hugging him. “I can’t believe this terrible mix-up happened! I promise it won’t again!”
“It’s been horrible here, Dad! They thought I was crazy!”
“It’s fine now, son, you can come back with me to the castle now, and resume being the prince of Meridell!” Skarl bellowed. Turning to the Moehog, he ordered “Sort out the adoption process, then! And arrange a room in the castle!”
The Moehog scuttled off and began paying the adoption fee.
“Chris!” Ayla stepped forward. “Remember the deal? I helped you, you help me!”
“You were no help at all! You thought I was made, just like the others! You don’t deserve anything!”
Neopets gasped and pointed. Ayla stiffened.
“I... see,” she said. “Very well then. I suppose I got what was coming for me.”
She left, emotionless as ever.
“Wow,” Nikki said. That just about sums it up.
This is it! I’m finally leaving.
My new owner seems nice enough, but she says she’ll only be my owner for a little bit. She has something called the lab ray, and is going to zap me with it every day until a turn into a nice colour that people will want.
“I’m back!” she called, entering her neohome with me. “Guess who I’ve got with me?”
“Another of your charity cases, probably,” answered a Darigan Kougra.
My new owner narrowed her eyes at him. It’s just occurred to me she wasn’t even told me her name.
“Now, now, Dak, Fluffy is going to be staying here for a bit, and we are all going to be nice to her.”
Dak rolled his eyes.
“Hi, Fluffy!” a baby Kougra piped. “I’m Angel, and I’m the baby of the family.”
My new owner smiled proudly.
I waved to the other pet in the room, a pink Draik.
“That’s Alinah,” my owner whispered to me. “My dream pet. Hasn’t said a word since she got here.”
“When was that?” I asked.
“Two years ago,” she replied.
“I have to go!” she announced to everyone. “I’ve spent too much time here already!”
She left, and the moment the door closed, Angel became a different pet.
“So, this is what Mum brought home,” she snarled, inspecting me. “Not much to look at, are you?”
“Yeah,” Dak added. “Just another unwanted poundee.”
Alinah stayed quiet.
“What’s your problem?” I asked.
“Only that you stole our brother from us!” Angel snapped.
“I stole your brother?” I asked.
“Yeah!” she yelled back. “All of you! Mum had to pound him, just so she could help the ‘poor and needy neopets in the pound’! Well I don’t care about you! I want him back! He’s worth ten of you!”
She gave me a look of hatred, then stormed out. Dak followed her, frowning at me when she passed. Only Alinah was left.
“So... umm, hi,” I said. She didn’t reply.
“Well... this is awkward.” Still no response.
“They really hate me, don’t they?”
Silently, she left.
I sighed. Just then, my new owner returned.
“I’m back!” she called, looking around. ”Where is everyone? Oh well, you’re there, Fluffy, exactly who I want! Come on, we’re going out!”
I hurried towards the door.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Oh, the secret laboratory!” she answered. “Can’t you walk any faster? I’m in a hurry, you know.”
Apparently, it’s too secret to write here exactly where we went, but eventually we reached a pond.
“It’s down here,” she said, jumping in.
“But...” I protested. I couldn’t swim.
“Yes?” she asked.
“I... I don’t know your name.”
“It’s Jasmine,” she answered. “Now get in!”
I found out that I needn’t worry about not being able to swim, because it was actually more of a process of sinking to reach the lab.
“Okay, now, inside here is a scientist,” she told me, when we reached the building. “He’s going to shoot you with a ray gun, and you might change. But you’ll be fine!”
I was nervous as we approached the scientist, a crazy eyed yellow Scorchio. I personally wouldn’t trust him to cure me of Bloaty Belly, much less experiment on me.
“Hold still,” he told me, pointing his gun at me. “This won’t hurt a bit.”
He was right. It didn’t hurt a bit. It hurt a lot.
The pain spread quickly from where the ray had hit, covering every nerve, every part of my body, putting it in pain and making it clench up. The pain was black, and then fireworks appeared, red and blue and yellow, popping and banging, and me spinning around and around and falling, screaming.
“Is she okay?” Jasmine asked.
“Yeah, she’s fine. He’s just a little shocked. Next!” the Scorchio barked.
White dots blurred my vision, and I felt dizzy as I walked out and swam back up with Jasmine.
“I don’t feel any different,” I told her. “What changed?”
“Oh, just statistics,” she answered. “Nothing special. Wow, it’s late! Can you walk home from here? I have to go!”
She rushed off into the crowd before I had time to answer.
Later, when I got home, Alinah was waiting for me with an omelette.
“The aftershocks will be practically gone by tomorrow,” she told me. “I know; I used to be a lab pet myself.”
“You... talk,” I said.
“Well, don’t sound so surprised,” she said. “I do talk; I just find most pets aren’t worth talking to.”
“And the others don’t fit that category?”
“I would have thought that would be obvious.”
“So they’re like that with everyone, not just us poundees?” I asked.
“Jasmine wasn’t always so rushed. She used to spend time with her pets, play with them, and care about them. But then, she got more and more preoccupied doing other things. She stopped playing with her pets, and one day decided to have a pet clearout. She got rid of two pets, both badly named and unpainted. Then she adopted me, a pink Draik from my past owner, and started adopting poundees and zapping them.” She stopped. “They blame us for not only getting rid of their siblings, but for the fact Jasmine only uses them as trophy pets.”
“Trophy pets?” I asked. “What do you mean?”
“You’ll see. Her friends are coming round tomorrow.” She grimaced.
“And what about you?” I asked. “You said you were a lab rat once!”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” she answered. “Now eat up!”
This is such a strange household, full of much unhappiness that could be so easily resolved.
I see now what Alinah meant about trophy pets.
Jasmine’s friends came all at once, a large giggling group of mainly teenage girls. They talked for a bit, until Jasmine announced it was time to see her pets.
Dak was first.
“This is my Darigan Kougra,” Jasmine announced. “Look how high his strength is! He’s a Battledome pet, hand trained by me!”
All her friends murmured their approval.
“Next, is my baby Kougra Angel!” Jasmine said, showing them Angel. “Look how adorable she is!” Angel acted her part, staring up at them bewildered, with her large round eyes, the picture of innocence.
“Aww!” one of them commented “Oh my! Is that a Draik you’ve got over there?”
“Yes!” Jasmine proudly said. A Draik, apparently, is the only pet to have if you’re anybody. “She’s a bookworm, our Alinah is.”
Alinah barely glanced up from her Tale of Two Lupes.
“Wow!” another gasped. “Painted as well!”
“And well named!” another added. “Pretty name you have, isn’t it?”
Alinah carried on reading.
“Alinah’s a little shy around strangers,” Jasmine hastily said. “But usually she’s the life and soul of the party!”
“Jazzy, who’s this?” one exclaimed, seeing me.
“Oh, that? That’s Fluffy,” Jasmine said. “I adopted her from the pound, and I’m zapping her, so she can go to a better home.”
“The pound?” The same friend tutted sympathetically. “How long were you there?”
“About eight years.” I shrugged.
“Eight years! That’s awful!” she exclaimed.
“Yes,” another said. “Terrible. It’s a good thing you’re doing so much to help them, Jazzy.”
“Are you sending her to neoschool with the others tomorrow?” asked another.
“Well, yes, of course!” Jasmine quickly replied. “I treat all my pets equally, even those only staying for a bit!”
“You didn’t say anything to me.” I frowned.
“Oh, I was keeping it a surprise!” Jasmine shot me a warning glance.
And with that, they left to have dinner.
Some food had been left out for us too. It didn’t look particularly appetising- hot dog flavoured yogurt, and carawool, but the pound had taught me not to be picky.
I was just about to eat it, when Dak let out a shriek.
“You’re actually going to eat that?!” he yelped.
“Sure,” I answered calmly. “It’s food, after all.”
“Here.” He pushed his towards me. “You can have mine too.”
“Same.” Angel shoved hers in front of my nose. “It’s what you deserve, poundee.”
They got up and left, glaring.
“So, what’s your story?” I asked Alinah. “You said that you’d tell me.”
“Of course.” She smiled. “Well, my first owner was named Sophie. I had her for many years.”
“My owner was called Sophie too,” I said.
She looked confused for a second, and then her expression turned to anger.
“You!” she screamed. “You selfish, stupid pet!”
To be continued...