Broken Fairytales and False Hope
The sun shone like a beacon of hope over the busy Neopian scene. It illuminated the city, casting warm rays of light over the town, it made the day seem bearable, even hopeful for me. I loved the city; it was always colourful and cheerful. Most of all, I loved the Rainbow Pool with its shining, painted depths which glistened like diamonds in the morning sunshine. Its water was warm and comforting; it seemed to radiate hope and joy. I’ve never been in there, though. I can only imagine what its idyllic surface feels like, when you plunge into it, freshly painted, ready for a brand new life. But there I go again. Turning everything into a fairytale. Making the world seem beautiful.
It changed though, everything changed. One day, something happened. It made me realise, it made me come crashing down to the harsh reality which is Neopia. I’m rambling now. I’ll just tell the story as it was. Not a fairytale.
I was sitting on a cold, dull bench, watching everyone get painted. I wondered why they chosen that colour, and how they felt, having saved up for the paint brush at last. Most of the time I saw small little Kacheeks and Lupes getting painted Christmas, speckled or sketch. I love seeing the delight on their faces when they see their new reflection from the swirling depths of the mystical pool...
I was just daydreaming when a royal pet came up to me. She was an Aisha and had beautiful, silky ginger hair cascading down her back. She was wearing an elegant blue dress... she looked lovely.
“Hey, my name’s Serenity. Who are you?” she said, her voice not sounding at all like the posh regal voices in my imagination. I had never seen a royal pet before.
She didn’t ask what my name was. She asked who I was. But I didn’t know.
I remember being adopted, all those years ago. I was a young, golden coated Gelert and I looked up into my owner’s eyes. They were deep blue and caring, they seemed to tell me, “I’ll love you always, and I’ll never let you go.” I don’t need anyone to remind me how completely wrong I was.
I felt happy with my owner. I remember going out to the pound with my owner one day. She was so kind to those poor pets, comforting them with her kind, heart-warming voice. Saying that they would have the perfect owner one day. Some day.
She was looking for a sibling for me, an Aisha or a Kacheek preferably. How wrong I was. I remember the next few minutes so vividly; I even have nightmares about it sometimes. My owner started running down the narrow halls, her golden blonde hair, the exact colour of my fur, flowing behind her. My small puppy paws could not keep up with her, I was afraid that I was going to get lost. She stopped suddenly and dodged in between a large crowd. Everyone was disappointed and started to walk off. I supposed they wanted to adopt a pet. I looked around me and there were loads of pets. Millions even, but no one seemed to want them. She walked towards me, cradling a small blue dragon in her arms.
“He’s my dream pet! I can’t believe it! A Draik! His name is Daniel. A real name! And in the POUND!” she shrieked to anyone who was unfortunate enough to pass her as she walked home, me stumbling along forlornly in her wake. I was young but I still understood.
Who was I? Not her dream pet, that’s for sure.
She pounded me, as I knew she would. But I got a new owner. His name was Robert and he started training me for the Battledome, he said I would get him trophies and avatars and I’ll make him proud. A year passed and I had amazing stats. 100 hit points, strength and defence. I beat all the challengers with incredible ease. He said he loved me and he would never leave me. I was lied to for the second time.
In all the excitement of being trained, I didn’t realise. As I sat in the pound for a second time, I realised that my previous owner didn’t like me as I was. He trained me because I wasn’t a good enough pet to sit there on his account, badly named and unpainted. He didn’t like me for who I was.
Who am I? Not wanted, that’s for sure.
I hated my next owner more than my previous owners combined. She went absolutely mad when she adopted me. She couldn’t believe that she had got a great BD pet in the pound. She had other pets too. A faerie Buzz called Lovely and a skunk Quiggle simply called Twenty-nine. Those were their nicknames of course. Today, I can’t remember their real names. But for the first time in my life I was starved and uncared for. The two other pets were sent off to the neolodge shortly after I arrived. I didn’t go with them. I was traded. Me and another pet were led into this room. It had plain white walls and plain white floorboards. I met a pea Chia called Violetta; I warned her about my owner. She said she’s faced worse, that we don’t have a choice and that we have to do what our owners tell us to do. What a dull existence to have. I felt so sorry for poor Violet.
Who am I? Just another pet in the huge world of trading.
My new owner was perfect. I loved her and I’m sure she loved me too. She had a Kacheek called FlowerRose and an Ixi called Patience. They were my best friends, my first friends. My owner always told us how much she loved us and that she would never ever leave us. But us three, Patience, Rose and I had to return to reality some time. My owner came into our Neohome one day and told us something terrible. I lived with her for six peaceful months but I knew Rose was her first pet and Patience used to be her older sister’s pet. She told us the dreadful news and hugged us in turn, telling us that we were all going to wonderful owners when she quit. A week passed and I said my tearful good byes to my friends and to my owner. I never saw those three again.
Who am I? I don’t even know.
My next owner was okay for a bit. She was called Zoe and I was her only pet. But she soon got bored with me then traded me for a faerie Usul named Hayley. She was posh and arrogant and the minutes that we spent in the transfer room were filled with talk about how she was better than everyone else and she was so wonderful. Not all that wonderful if she was being traded, though.
Who am I? No one special.
My next owner was called Greg. I was on one of his side accounts, but he visited daily and that was okay with me. He trained me up a bit to 150 in all stats and gave me a snowbunny as a petpet. I called her Patience-Rose after my best friends. He never really talked to me, or to Doom, who was a Darigan Lupe and also unconverted. I had realised what unconverted pets were and that they were supposedly superior to all us common pets. Greg soon got bored with me, though, and I entered the pound for the one millionth time.
Who am I? Not loved, that’s for sure.
My next owner only owned me for a split second. She mumbled something about avatars then took Patience-Rose away from me. I didn’t really understand why. I guessed some people are just spiteful in that way.
Who am I? Just an ‘it’ with no emotion, I guess.
I spent ages in the pound this time. I learnt the art of poetry and creative writing. It was great to let all my emotions out and to pass the time. Everyone thinks Battledomers are all tough with no feelings or love. But I was normal once. Living a normal life. Once.
So who am I? Worthless and prized only for some pointless avatars and trophies.
I’m still in the pound now, but I escape for minutes at a time, just to walk around and pretend that I have a normal life, with an owner that loves me. All around me, pets are moaning that they don’t have the toy that they want or that they want expensive clothes. They don’t understand how lucky they are to have a kind, caring owner.
“Who are you?” the Aisha asks again.
“No one,” I forlornly and truthfully reply.
I saw for a split second in those kind, beautiful eyes, a shadow of myself. An understanding of what I’ve been through. I’d probably imagined it. Pets like Serenity have probably never been through what I have. I looked up at the sky and saw the wispy clouds drift lazily across the darkening sapphire sky. It was getting late, I’d better head for the pound soon.