Handed in for an English Homework: Part Seven
“Me?” I asked. “What did I do?”
For about a minute she stayed crying and screaming, then paused.
“I’ll give you an explanation,” she told me. “But that’s all.
“I started off as a blue Tuskaninny, but as my owner got richer and richer, she morphed me and painted me into who I am today. She told me about her old pet, Fluff, who she had pounded, and felt sorry about, but was scared to adopt.” She looked at me. “She thought you’d been adopted, or would hate to see her. She didn’t want to confirm her fears, and the longer she left it, the more she hated the thought of it.
“However, one day, I convinced her to start again, get rid of her pets, and help pets like you, in fact, you if possible. She pounded me, and all of my sisters, Jade the faerie Lenny, Lake the MSPP Poogle, and Fyora the faerie Cybunny.”
I gasped, but Alinah carried on.
“She had arranged new owners for us all, but she didn’t have the heart to tell Fyora of it, who was always her favourite. She pounded her last, and told her she would come and get her instantly. However, shortly after, the pound closed. She told me, that if she did not adopt you, if you didn’t want her, she would...” Alinah broke off, sobbing. “She would self-freeze!”
“Oh!” I said, shocked. “I’m so sorry, Alinah! I had no idea!”
She turned to me, her tears now dry.
“You can have my carawool,” she said bitterly, and left.
I blinked. It all felt unreal. It was only when I visited the lab again I woke up properly.
It hurt just as badly, the lightning pain running through my body, opening my eyes wide, and throwing me to the floor, but I stayed out of the blackness of many colours.
I started neoschool today.
I thought at first it would be okay. When Alinah entered, the pets seemed to treat her with respect, smiling and greeting her.
When I entered, however, their smiles turned to sneers.
“Basic,” a fire Hissi said scornfully. “What are you doing here? This is a rich school, you know.”
“Hey!” I replied. “Not all basics are poor, you know!”
“Sure they’re not.”
Slowly a crowd turned up and began to circle us.
“Hey!” one of his friends said. “Look at her name!”
“Fluffy underscore neopet one two three,” he read out. Everyone in the circle snickered. “Great name you have there.”
“Class has started!” A busy looking Acara rushed in. “Settle down!”
“Yes, Miss Peacock,” the class chanted, before sitting down in their seats. Unsure where to go, I sat at the nearest free desk. My partner, a mutant Krawk, glared at me.
“I don’t want you sitting next to me,” he hissed, as class began.
The first lesson was maths, which was bearable, apart from the glares and stares I was getting.
However, the next lesson was English.
“Right, class!” our teacher barked, without greeting us. “Today, I want you to write about your life so far. Anything you do not complete will be for homework.”
“Yes, Mrs Frost.” The class sighed and began writing.
“You there!” I looked up, to find Mrs Frost pointing at me. “What’s you name, new girl?”
“F... Fluffy,” I stammered. Mrs Frost’s stare was as cold as her name.
“Your full name?” she asked.
I blushed and told her my name as it is written on my lookup. A fresh wave of laughter emerged from the class.
“Alright, class, get on with the assignment.” She wrote my name down.
I knew immediately what to write.
‘Once upon a time there was a princess. She was quite ugly, but she thought she had a prince who took care of her. But one day the prince was put under a spell by the evil witch, and found another more beautiful princess to take care of. One day, however, he remembered the ugly princess and came back for her. He put the beautiful princess in the tower, but could not get the other one out, because he found the door was locked. At first the beautiful princess seemed boastful and horrible, but over time the ugly princess realised how nice she was and they became friends. Then, one day, the door was opened, and the prince rushed in for his ugly princess, leaving the beautiful one to be taken by hideous witches. But the ugly one could not forget how he abandoned her for the beautiful princess, and the beautiful princess for her, so she would not leave.
‘Then, one day, a strange type of prince came by. He was trying to make the ugly one prettier, so another prince would want her. She had three other princesses, who all hated the ugly one, because once...’
I stopped mid-sentence to find Mrs Frost standing over me.
“Let’s see what you’ve written then, Fluffy underscore neopet one two three.”
I flinched, handing her my paper.
“Once upon a time there was a princess,” she began, and frowned. “Oh, I’m sorry, your highness, I didn’t realise!”
The class erupted into laughter, several pets almost falling off their chairs.
“Let me begin again.” Mrs Frost smirked, and put on a high pitched mocking accent. “Once upon a time there was a princess!” she cried, in the most dramatic voice she could.
The class once again were in hysterics.
“The princess was quite ugly!” she continued, putting her paw to her forehead.
I thought she would stop there, but she went on, reading the whole story, pausing occasionally to let the class laugh.
“I expect a proper, factual account of your life in two days time,” she told me, throwing my story away. “Not this made-up, fairytale rubbish. Understand?”
“Yes,” I muttered. I was bright scarlet.
“Good,” she said. “Class dismissed.”
It was break, so I turned to leave, but the pet that had been harassing me this morning blocked my way, accompanied by his friends.
“Princess Fluffy!” he said, taking on Mrs Frost's mocking tone. “How wonderful it is that you have graced us lowly peasants with your presence!”
“Let me out!” If there was any time in particular I didn’t want to put up with pets mocking me and my background, it was now.
“As you wish, Your Majesty.” He bowed, and stepped to the side. I left hesitantly, sure I would not be allowed to leave, but they made no effort to stop me.
Outside, in the playground, neopets went about in small groups, or played simple games like skipping and hopscotch.
A young looking neopet came up to me.
“Hi!” She beamed. Definitely the over-helpful sort. “It looks like you’re new! Well, let me tell you a bit about the school. At school, we have several rules, but the main ones are...”
I let her babble on a bit about no sweets or neocola, always doing your homework, and being polite to teachers.
“And let me remind you that today, like all Mondays, is a half day!” she concluded, before running off to join the skipping game.
‘My new siblings never told me that,’ I thought. ‘Well, it’s a good thing that she did; otherwise I might have stayed here all day!’
It was art next, after break. The one lesson I was really looking forward to.
Our teacher, Miss Bubbles, arrived a few minutes late. She was nice, but a definite scatterbrain.
“Now, what class are you?” she asked, leading through her papers. “Oh, whatever! Just draw whatever you want!”
I didn’t know what to draw. My paper stayed blank.
“Are you having problems of thinking of something to do?” asked Miss Bubbles. I nodded.
“There are some pretty flowers outside,” she told me. “Why don’t you go and draw those?”
I nodded, grateful for the chance to leave.
My flower drawings were good, compared to the others, but not particularly special in my opinion. I gave them to Miss Bubbles when I got back to the classroom.
“These are great!” exclaimed Miss Bubbles upon receiving them. “I’ll have to pin this up somewhere! How did you do it?”
“She probably cheated!” yelled a voice from the back. No prizes for guessing who that was.
“Now, Rezzarius, I’m sure Fluffy didn’t cheat.” She smiled at him, and pinned my picture up on a notice board. “Let’s see what you drew.”
His picture was a rushed, badly drawn self portrait. His serpentine body was not long enough, the fire a red mess.
But, instead of pointing this out, Miss Bubbles just smiled and gave him a sticker.
“That’s great, Rez! You’re really improving!”
He smiled smugly at me.
“However,” she continued. “It does need a bit more work. For example, the head is more of this shape...” She began rubbing out and correcting it. “And the fire could be much more detailed.”
There was a sharp intake of breath. Rez turned to me, eyes burning.
“You’ll pay for this,” he mouthed.
Just then, the bell went.
“Class dismissed!” We all rushed out, eager to eat lunch.
Rez and his friends approached me. “We’re eating in kelp this lunch, so don’t you dare even think about turning up there.”
I blinked. Kelp?! I’d always wanted to go there! But tickets to Maraqua were expensive, and Kelp itself was even worse. Yet, here was Rez and his friends, casually going there for lunch!
I decided to go to Pizzaroo for lunch, but then realised I had no money.
“Can I borrow some neopoints?” I asked the pet who sat next to me. “I’ll pay you back!”
“Sure you will,” he said. “You’re super rich.”
I sighed. I was just going to have to go hungry then.
It was then I thought of it. The Money Tree! There was bound to be some food there.
My heart sank when I reached it, however. There were hundreds of owners and pets there, hastily grabbing anything a kind donator put down. How could I stand a chance?
However, not one to quickly give up, I tried my hand at it. One person left a baggus, I tried reaching for it, and... well, got squashed. A crowd immediately stampeded forwards, pushing and shoving to be the first.
That still didn’t put me off. I kept trying, and, ten exhausting minutes later, managed to get 400 neopoints, just enough to buy me a pizza.
“Peppermint pizza, please,” I said, approaching the green Blumaroo who runs Pizzaroo.
“Of course! But should you not be in neoschool?”
“I thought that Monday was a half day.” I began to get worried.
The Blumaroo shook his head.
“Every Monday at 4 o’ clock they come to Pizzaroo!” he exclaimed. “It cannot be a half day!”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Positive!” he assured me. “You should go back; if you hurry, you may be there for the end of the last lesson!”
I nodded, and ran off.
“Hey!” he yelled. “You forgot your pizza!”
I didn’t care. I was rushing to school, tearing down the paths of Neopia Central. I reached school at quarter to four, and entered the classroom panting.
“Nice of you to drop by, Fluffy,” said a voice I all too well knew.
Mrs Frost takes us for Geography as well, it seems.
“Would you care to explain why you are late?” Miss Frost put on her mocking voice. “Or do you consider that, as a royal, you can just come and go as you like? Because let me tell you that is not the case.”
Rez smirked, and there was something in that smile that made me so angry red dots appeared before my eyes.
“Rez told me Monday is a half day,” I said, bluntly.
“Rez told you that?” asked Mrs Frost, surprised.
“Well, not personally, but he told somebody else to,” I accused.
“That’s a lie!” he yelled.
“It probably is,” agreed Mrs Frost. “How do you know Rez told this other pet to tell you Monday was a half day? Did you see him do that?”
“Well, no, but...” I realised I had no evidence to support my claim.
“But?” asked Mrs Frost. “Please continue.”
I sighed. I knew I had lost. “My owner needed me at home. I’m sorry. I’ll bring a note tomorrow.”
“You better,” Mrs Frost said, sceptically. “Oh, look, it’s 4 o’ clock already! Class dismissed. Fluffy underscore neopet one two three, you should copy up the notes from somebody else.”
‘I’m sure pets will be queuing up for that opportunity,’ I thought to myself.
I left school, not waiting for any of my siblings. Bad move.
I was almost halfway across the playground when I saw them. Rez and his friends, standing in a circle, waiting for me. I turned to run, but I was too late- they had already blocked the way. I had fallen right into their trap.
“Your highness!” cried Rez, gleefully.
“Come on, Rez, let me out,” I said. “Don’t you have better things to do with your time? And quit with that whole your highness thing.”
“No the first request,” Rez said. “But yes to the second, poundee.”
I balled my paws into fists. Seeing this, Rez did the same.
“Fight, fight, fight, fight!” a crowd I hadn’t noticed before chanted. I stared at them, recognising a few faces, including Angel’s.
“Nah, I don’t feel like fighting today.” Rez uncurled his claw. “But I do feel like playing catch!”
He grabbed my bag, which had fallen on the floor, and began to throw my books around. His friends did the same, and soon my books were crumpled and dirty.
“Oh!” he exclaimed, as a book fell out my bag. “What’s this?”
With horror, I realised it was my diary.
“Hmm... looks like a diary,” he said, addressing the crowd. “Want me to read it?”
“Yeah!” they yelled back. I was shocked. How could they all just stand there, and watch this happen, without stopping it, in fact, cheering for it?
It was then the torn piece of paper fell out of it. I stiffened as I realised what it was.
“What’s this drawing, then?” Rez asked, inspecting it.
“It’s nothing,” I said, too hastily.
“Looks like rubbish to me,” he taunted.
It was then I saw her. A flash of pink, around the edges of the crowd.
“Alinah!” I called. “Help!”
She chewed her lip, but did nothing.
“I think I’m going to throw it in the bin!” Rez decided.
“Alinah?” I asked, but she had run off. “Anyone? Please!”
“Looks like nobody’s coming.” Rez smirked.
“Yes they are!” said a voice from behind me. “Now you had better clear off, or else, got it?”
They scampered, cowardly.
“Thank you so much!” I said gratefully, picking my books off the floor.
“You’re welcome, Pixie.”
“How did you...” I turned around, and saw a faerie Cybunny. “Fyora!” I yelled, hugging her.
“Pixie!” she yelled back. “It’s good to see you! I’ve missed you so much! How have you been?”
She listened patiently as I told her about Crazy Chris, how I’d been adopted, the lab ray, Alinah, being bullied, and everything in between. She nodded, but didn’t say much.
“Why didn’t you ever visit me?” I asked, shyly.
She smiled. “I was wondering if you’d ever ask!” She told me about how she’d been adopted by traders, people who swapped pets like they were TCG cards, based on how much they thought she was worth.
“It was several months before I found my current owner,” she told me. “And by that time you’d already been adopted.”
“But we’ve found each other now,” I said.
“Yes,” she agreed. “We have.”
“Do you.... do you blame for what happened to Sophie?” I asked, much more nervously.
There was a long, scary silence as she thought about it.
“No,” she answered, eventually. “I do not blame you.” And I knew that it was true.
“One final question,” I told her.
She groaned. “Not another one!”
“What’s your current owner like?”
She smiled. “She’s amazing.”
And since the rest of the day did not go too well, I’ll end on that happy note.
I bunked off neoschool today. After all, if you were me, would you go? I convinced Fyora to leave too, and we spent the day by the Rainbow Pool, talking. It was amazing, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“Fluffy!” I hadn’t realised how late it was until I heard Jasmine’s voice.
“I should probably go,” I told Fyora. If Jasmine had taken the time to find me, it was probably something important.
“You’re leaving?!” cried Angel, when she heard the news.
“I’m sorry, but I have important things to do in real life,” Jasmine repeated, again. “However, I have found nice new owners for all of you!” Her eyes slid to me. “Well, almost all of you.”
“It’s fine,” I told her, barely concealing a grin. “I think I’ve found myself a new owner.”
I walked out of that neohome for the last time.
I’m at Fyora’s at the moment, and we have come up with a plan.
We are going to move to Faerieland, join a new neoschool, make new friends, and get painted a new colour in my case, with our new owner.
A fresh start.
The only old thing that I’m bringing with me is Fyora.
A new start requires a new diary, and so, I have decided to leave you this, Mrs Frost.
A proper, factual account of the last two years of my life.
You’ll probably hate it.
But do you know what?
I don’t care.
Because, for once, I’ll be who I want to be, not who others want me to be.
I’ll be happy.