Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 171,460,618 Issue: 396 | 12th day of Relaxing, Y11
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Invisible


by laura_leigh23444

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Deep in the heart of the Haunted Woods, an invisible pet wandered the trees gloomily. He had lived for most of his life in solitude, even though he had tried many times to make friends. No one wanted to be friends with someone they couldn't see. Now the invisible pet didn't even know what species he was—he had lived so long without seeing himself, he had forgotten. He had no owner, as he had no name. If he once had a name it had been lost many years ago. It was hard to remember things when you were forgotten.

     ***

     Many miles away, an owner and her blue Aisha, Myosotis, waited in line for the lab ray. When their turn came, they entered the room with the lab ray, and Myosotis was zapped. They left the lab ray that day with the previously blue Aisha now Grey. Even though being Grey made most Neopets sad and depressed, the Aisha was different. Her name, Myosotis, was the Latin translation for the flower “Forget Me Not”. Even though she was Grey, she could never forget who she really was, and so her attitude was still that of a blue Aisha's. Myosotis remembered, and never had to change.

     ***

     Back in the Haunted Woods, a scared Kacheek threw an anxious glance over his shoulder. He could have sworn that there was a noise in the bushes right behind him. He gulped and continued on his way, crawling through the dark forest cautiously. He crept through the trees for a while, his lone paw steps crunching down conspicuously on the dead leaves.

     Then he froze with one paw still raised, the hairs on the back of his neck lifting, and sharpened his hearing. Yes, there was definitely someone else in this part of the woods tonight. The crunching of leaves to his right told him that his unseen companion was probably less than twenty tail lengths away, but he could see no one else near. He kept his eyes trained on the spot where his ears told him the person should be, but still no one showed themselves. He could now hear the ragged breathing of the other, closer than ten tail lengths away.

     Suddenly all sounds ceased. The Kacheek stood in complete silence for a while, then a soft whisper, less than an inch away from his ear, shattered the eerie quiet. "Help me," the whisper said. The Kacheek bolted in terror, sprinting away from the invisible apparition as fast as his legs could carry him. When he finally came home many hours later, his eyes were terrified and bloodshot. The Kacheek never went into the Haunted Woods alone ever again.

     The invisible pet sighed as he watched the Kacheek race away. Every time he tried to talk to someone, they always reacted the same way. He lowered his head and plodded, dejected, back through the Haunted Woods. It seemed that there was no room in the world but a Haunted place for a pet like him, invisible and forgotten.

     ***

     Myosotis waited in line for the lab ray, just as she had every other day. She glanced at her owner and smiled fondly. “You know, we don’t have to do this,” she reminded Ariel.

     “You keep saying that. Isn’t it better to change into a shape that is really pretty, or at least not a plain color?” Ariel frowned. “Anyhow, grey is such a dull, boring color. Wouldn’t you rather be painted faerie or something like that?”

     “What really matters isn’t what people see, it’s who they see: the person on the inside. Besides, I always know that I am myself, Myosotis. Nothing my appearance changes into can change who I am.”

     Ariel glanced speculatively at Myosotis. “If you really don’t want to go to the lab ray, fine, but I think we should get our money’s worth from it. We spent half our savings buying the map pieces for it.”

     Myosotis sighed. “Never mind. Let’s just do this.”

     ***

     He was in the Deserted Fairground when he heard the voices. At first he took no notice of them, as tourists were more common in that part of the Haunted Woods. The invisible pet absently wandered in the direction of the voices, passing close to their sources, a Christmas Uni and her owner. When he walked past, the Uni froze and looked about, curious rather than frightened.

     “Do you feel that?” she asked her owner. “It’s a draft of wind, like someone just walked by us.”

     The owner frowned. “I didn’t feel anything, but that might be because you have much keener senses than me. It’s possible that you felt a ghost, but usually ghosts don’t cause the air to move. Weird.” She dismissed it and continued on her way, but the Uni stayed.

     “Aren’t you curious?” She closed her eyes and strained her ears.

     The invisible pet stared at the Uni. No one before her had taken any interest, even the slightest hint of interest, in him, other than to scream and run away. A spark of hope blossomed in his chest. Could this Uni help him?

     The Uni frowned in disappointment. “Whoever they are, they’re gone now. I could have sworn something was there, though.” She caught up to her owner, who was staring at her, amused.

     “Only you, Myosotis, would be curious about an invisible horror in the Haunted Woods,” her owner said, grinning but serious, shaking her head. The pair continued walking, leaving the seemingly empty Fairgrounds behind.

     The invisible pet watched them go. Myosotis, he thought. Myosotis was the first person to ever think of me as more than a monster. I’ll remember her. Maybe one day, perhaps when she is bored and has nothing better to do, Myosotis will remember me, the pet who was nothing more than a draft of wind.

     ***

     Walking down the street was no longer a silent matter. Myosotis glared at her hooves. “I don’t like being a Uni,” she told Ariel. “It’s too noisy. I miss the days when I was an Aisha. My feet were padded and didn’t make a racket.”

     “It is an unexpected drawback,” her owner agreed, rubbing her ears. “We’re almost to the lab ray. If we’re lucky, you’ll get zapped into something else.”

     After waiting in line, Myosotis and Ariel were admitted into the room with the lab ray. Myosotis stood in the zapping spot, just as she had done every other day for ages. She had done it so many times she was no longer nervous, though she still closed her eyes when she was being zapped.

     It was right after the big “ZAP” that the screaming started. Myosotis’s eyes flew open. Ariel was the one screaming, and the lab ray attendant was staring with an open mouth at Myosotis.

     “What?” Myosotis asked, annoyed. She held up her arm and glanced at where a paw or hoof should have been. There was nothing there. Myosotis looked down at her body. “Oh,” she said.

     She was invisible.

     ***

     “Speak, for goodness sakes,” Ariel begged. “I feel like I’m alone. People keep giving me strange looks for talking to empty air.”

     Myosotis was concentrating on her feet and had no extra energy to spend on talking. “They’ll give you even stranger looks when the empty air talks back,” she snapped. “Everyone is already weirded out because they can hear my footsteps but see no feet.” She was walking in an awkward gait that muffled the sounds of her hooves on the concrete street.

     Ariel glanced uncomfortably in the direction of Myosotis’s voice and continued walking in uneasy silence.

     They walked together down their usual walking route, down a few streets to a small park. Sitting in their usual bench, Myosotis spoke. “I kind of like being invisible,” she said, when Ariel sat beside her.

     Ariel frowned. She said, “I question your sanity.”

     “I don’t really mean that I am enjoying this—just that it isn’t as bad as one would think. I can see how I might go crazy after a while, but since I know that tomorrow I’ll go back to the lab ray, being invisible doesn’t seem that bad.”

     They sat in silence for a while. Finally Ariel said, “Does it feel different, being invisible?”

     “Not really,” Myosotis answered, “but that may be because I can always remember how I originally was.” They lapsed into a thoughtful, contemplative silence. Gradually Myosotis spoke again. “I wonder if this has happened to others before.” She grew excited. “I bet there are some pets like me at the Deserted Fairgrounds. That’s probably what we heard the other day!” She leapt to her feet. “Let’s go there and find out!”

     “What, now?” Her owner reluctantly stood and looked towards the sun. “But it will be dark in a couple of hours. You know the stories about those who have gotten caught in the Haunted Woods after dark.”

     “What’s the worst thing out there?” Myosotis teased. “Invisible pets?”

     ***

     The invisible pet did what he had been doing for countless days: wandering about the Haunted Woods, but after the incident with Myosotis and her owner, he wasn’t nearly as forlorn. Although he still walked completely silently, he walked with a spring in his step, and although his eyes, like the rest of his body, were invisible, they weren’t clouded anymore. He saw the world clearer and brighter, and nothing seemed as dreary as it had before the incident. Although the Haunted Woods was hardly a cheerful place, Myosotis had brought the seed of hope to him.

     He was walking in the Deserted Fairgrounds again when he had another unusual encounter. Standing there, between the Coconut Shy and the Bagatelle, was a pet owner, standing by a sign. The owner herself wasn’t unusual, rather it was the fact that the owner was standing alone, or, more specifically, without a pet. The invisible pet blinked and scanned the area for a pet, but none were anywhere close the owner’s vicinity. The invisible pet had never heard of or seen an owner without a pet, yet undeniably there was one standing right in front of him.

     Then his eyes read the sign the owner was standing next to and recoiled in shock.

     INVISIBLE PET RING BELL FOR HELP.

     Lying on the ground next to the sign was a small silver bell. The invisible pet shakily got back to his feet and looked at the bell, then reread the sign.

     INVISIBLE PET RING BELL FOR HELP.

     ***

     Standing near the sign and the bell, Myosotis, still invisible, was the first to see it rise slowly, as if lifted by a hesitant hand. It rang out clearly twice in mid air then was quickly dropped.

     Slowly, so not to startle the unseen being, Myosotis said, “I assume you are also invisible.” She picked up the bell casually. Ariel was motionless several yards away. They’d both agreed that the invisible pet or pets would be less frightened if Myosotis did the talking. “You can’t see me either.” She paused, hoping for someone to speak. Continuing, she said, “I’m Myosotis. What’s your name?”

     After a moment, a voice spoke up. “I don’t remember.” The speaker was male and his voice was raspy, as if he hadn’t used it in a while. “I remember your name, though. I saw you the other day, but you were a Uni back then.”

     “I’m still a Uni; I’m just not visibly a Uni.” Myosotis ignored her paradox.

     “You’re very lucky. I can’t remember what species I am or who my owner was.” A pause. “I can’t even remember if I ever had an owner.” Sorrow was apparent in his voice.

     Ariel, from the side, said, “I’m sure you had a very good owner once.”

     The invisible pet turned his attention to her. He noticed she was standing awkwardly alone, looking nervous. “Then why did they abandon me?” He blushed at his brashness and was silently thankful the rosy color in his cheeks was invisible.

     “I don’t know,” said Myosotis. “You can’t remember anything about them?”

     “Nope,” said the invisible pet.

     Ariel looked troubled. “You shouldn’t be left alone out here without an owner or someone to look out for you. It’s dangerous.”

     The invisible pet laughed sardonically. “That’s what I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. A person gets used to it after a while.”

     “Wouldn’t you like to stop living like this? I would hate being invisible for such a long time.”

     The invisible pet’s heart leapt. “Of course I would like a change, Myosotis. Every day for me is the worst day of my life. Anything save death is better than living the way I’m living.”

     “We can help,” Myosotis said eagerly. “That’s why we’re here. We can get you painted or zapped or something like that.”

     “Really?” The invisible pet jolted forward, trying to keep the desperate strain out of his voice.

     “Of course,” Ariel put in. “We have plenty of time and resources to help.”

     “And we can be sure you get a good owner,” Myosotis added.

     “As a matter of fact,” Ariel said, looking in Myosotis’s direction for confirmation, “I happen to know an owner and a pet who would be very happy to welcome you into the family.”

     “You do?”

     “Yes,” said Myosotis, smiling. “Yes, Ariel, I think I know who you are talking about. I’m sure that family would be happy to meet you, whatever your name is.”

     The invisible pet found himself blinking away tears. “Can you take me to them?” he asked.

     “We can,” said Myosotis. “Do you have anything you need to take with you?”

     “No,” the invisible pet said, hardly daring to believe that the moment was true.

     “Follow Ariel; she’ll show you where they live.”

     “Yep,” Ariel said. “I’ve been to their house many times. Let’s go.” She started walking, assuming the two invisible pets would follow. “Oh, and by the way,” she said, looking back over her shoulder in the direction of the two pets, “welcome to the family.”

The End

 
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