In The Yooyu Cage: Part Two
The mechanical claw's three arms slowly shuddered apart and began to jerk downwards. The Mutant Yooyu started towards it, but a blaze of Fire streaked past him and just about knocked him over. And now Fire was sitting in the claw, staring down at him in triumph. Mutant was shocked into silence. He hadn't known that anything could move that fast. Mutant shook himself and scowled angrily at the flaming Yooyu above him.
"I did it!" thought Fire, completely aware that the Mutant Yooyu had also tried to reach the claw. "Of course I did it! How could I not? I'm the fastest Yooyu of them all! I'm the best!" And he was enclosed in the tube, which was filled with flashing orange lights.
The Snow Yooyu was sitting slumped against the wall. Until Mutant's horrible remarks, the Snow Yooyu had been so proud of her friend, so pleased that Normal had finally gotten the reward she deserved. But then Mutant had reminded her of how ordinary Normal was. And Snow had felt a sudden repulsion towards her best friend, and found herself thinking, "She's so DULL... she's not special, like us." She had been ASHAMED of her friendship with Normal. Now, she was ashamed of her shame, and feeling horribly guilty. Every so often she turned her head to look at the small brown figure curled up at the foot of the slide, sleeping without a worry in the world.
Then something spoke up from deep within her, and said with a voice as uncaring and as cold as ice, "Are you SURE you're really her best friend? After all, you didn't even lift a finger to defend Normal back when Mutant was making fun of her. You just stood there, and didn't say a thing. You're a coward, and you don't care about anyone but yourself."
"That's not true," murmured Snow, tears welling up in her eyes. "I mean, I may be a coward- I know I am, actually- but I do care about others."
"Don't pretend," said the voice in a frozen tone. "You don't care about a single Yooyu in this room."
Suddenly the Yooyu's eyes fell upon the Darigan Yooyu, who lecturing the Mutant one.
"Do you care about Darigan?" hissed the voice.
"No, b-but he's evil- he-"
Her eyes slid to Mutant, who was obviously ignoring Darigan's criticisms. "Do you care about Mutant?"
"Of- of course not, he- he's just a bully, you can't-"
Snow was forced to look at the Faerie Yooyu, surrounded by her makeup. "Faerie?"
"That doesn't- no, but- but- I hardly know her, I-"
The clockwork Yooyu waltzed across her line of vision. "Clockwork?"
"N- no- he's just a robot, nobody cares about-"
There was no one else in the cage to pretend to like. Just the simple, ordinary, dull Yooyu lost in sleep.
"And there we are," breathed the voice, sending a draft of icy air her way. "You don't care about anyone. Normal? Especially not Normal."
"You lie," whispered the Snow Yooyu, an invisible tear trickling down her cold face. "Would I be crying if I didn't care? On the day when Normal first came here- she was the very last to arrive- we all either ignored her or tormented her, just because she wasn't special. At first she was so excited and happy, but the more they tortured her, the more her eyes lost their sparkle. And finally... I did approach her, and welcome her as my friend... maybe only out of sheer PITY, but that shows that I did care that her feelings were hurt. So GO AWAY! You don't know what you're talking about."
At this the voice fell silent, but Snow buried her face in her arms and wept.
The Faerie Yooyu had just finished applying her makeup. Now she was smoothing out her wings with conditioner, smiling lovingly at them. "My wings are, like, so silky," she thought. "I just love their silky silkiness. They're just so..." Faerie fought to find a word to describe her current feelings. "SILKY!"
Satisfied, she levitated a bit and gazed around, her eyes coming to rest on Snow. "I wonder why she's, like, so depressed," thought Faerie, dropping back to the ground with a thump. "It must be because she, like, doesn't have any, like, friends," she decided. "REAL friends, not like that geeky Normal, who has NO fashion sense at all."
Faerie gazed at Snow. "I bet she could be like totally pretty if I fixed her up a bit," she thought. "She just needs some glitter and gloss, some blush to contrast her light skin, and some eyeshadow to accent her eyes. I could like do an extreme makeover!"
The Faerie Yooyu could hardly contain her excitement. "I'll do it!" she thought. "I will give this poor, sad Yooyu a friend. I will become her compassionate companion out of, like, the goodness of my heart, and bring, like, some happiness to her life."
Faerie smoothed out her wings, took a deep breath, and marched confidently towards Snow.
Snow jumped up and spun around, obviously startled.
"Oh my grarrl, she's been crying," Faerie thought in dismay. "It's worse than I thought." She searched around for a topic that would cheer Snow up, and found one.
"OH MY GRARRL," squealed Faerie abruptly, making Snow jump again. "Is Fire cute or what? He's, like, a total hottie!"
"That's because he's made of Fire," Snow managed to say, too startled to blush.
Faerie giggled. "Like, oh my grarrl, totally!" Then she pouted. "But, like, no matter how I try, he won't even, like, look at me! I mean, like, I've tried glitter, face cream, shell polish, like, EVERYTHING! I've even, like, dyed my wings!"
Snow peered at her wings. They did look a little more purple than they should have been.
Faerie smiled lovingly at her wings. She had only gotten them dyed last week, and she LOVED the result. Seeing Snow's curious look, she explained, "Lavender. It's, like, the latest fashion! Purple is the new pink!"
The Faerie Yooyu twirled around, flapping her wings. She was thoroughly enjoying modeling lavender.
"Soon, all of the cool school will be wearing lavender lipstick, lavender blush, lavender eyeshadow, lavender..."
Snow's eyes glazed over as Faerie babbled on and she shook herself. What was this? "Faerie's never even talked to me before," she thought, "and now suddenly she's chatting away as if she's, like, my best friend." Realizing her mistake, Snow corrected herself sternly, "...as if she's my best friend."
"You wanna borrow it?"
Snow blinked as she was sharply jerked back to attention. "W- wha?"
"My bottle of lavender dye! Duh!"
Snow stared at the Faerie Yooyu. "I don't have wings."
"Like, duh! I knew that! I'm, like, talking about the Snow. Don't you get bored of that plain white shell?"
"Um... Not really."
"That's, like, totally too bad. It's, like, totally your color." Faerie cocked her head to one side and looked Snow up and down. "Maybe we could just give you streaks instead."
"What are streaks?" asked Snow.
That was the wrong thing to ask. Faerie launched happily into another monologue explaining what streaks were, and ended up veering off topic and onto the subject of how totally hot her groomer's cousin Pharaoh was. Snow felt her attention wandering and she looked around for an excuse to escape.
Ah! Nearby, at the foot of the chute, lay Normal, fast asleep. Snow knew that when the next Yooyu came down, they would crash into Normal if nobody moved her. Murmuring, "See you, Faerie," she set off towards the slide without a backwards glance.
"-and, oh my grarrl, the other day he said hi to me and I was like DYING I was so happy- hey! Like, where are you going?"
Smiling in spite of herself at the voice behind her, Snow stood above the sleeping Yooyu and gazed down at her. Guilt, compassion, pity, shame, fear, and sorrow all stirred within her, and she silently said to the cold voice, "Feel that? You know you're wrong. Next time," she added, praying it was true, "I will defend Normal against any harsh words that may be said about her."
The voice said nothing, so Snow gently picked up her best friend, trying not to disturb her rest, and moved her out of the path of the slide. She had no sooner done so than Fire came rushing down it, nearly bowling Snow over.
"I rock!" cheered the Yooyu as he shot out of the chute and back into the cage. He cartwheeled to the middle of the floor and struck a pose, burning like a bonfire. "I am the BEST! The one and only Fire Yooyu, the greatest Yooyu of them ALL!" He felt four pairs of Yooyu eyes focused on him and basked in their admiration.
Faerie was thinking, "Omigrarrl, he is so hot." She gazed dreamily at him and sighed in bliss.
Snow was thinking, "I wish Fire wouldn't flare up like that. One of these days he'll melt me." But she couldn't help but smile in amusement and admiration at the flaming Yooyu.
Mutant was wondering, "What's he doing cartwheels for? Gymnastics is my department. Besides, he can't even do cartwheels. He's wobbling all over the place with his legs waving in the air. I can do a much better cartwheel than that!" To prove it, he did a perfect cartwheel himself. When he came up, he saw that nobody was looking at him, leastwise not Fire himself.
And Darigan felt a white rage build up inside of him, stretching him to breaking point. It really disgusted him to see how the Fire Yooyu treated everyone else like scum, but was revered and worshipped for his fiery beauty. Meanwhile, the Darigan Yooyu had never had an unfair thought in his life, but was loathed and avoided for his ugly, dark, "evil" appearance. He glared at Fire.
Fire saw the glare and gave the Darigan Yooyu a long, condescending smirk.
To be continued...