"Hey!" yelled the little Kau, "Knock it off!"
"Whatever, Pipsqueak!" the Grarrl retorted.
The sad truth was that the little Kau WAS named Pipsqueak, and he was picked on every time he came home from the Kau Corral when his lessons were done. He was Baby painted, and his owner had saved up for years so she could get that paint brush. Yet the students of the neighboring school, Meanie Academy, thought it was all right to disrespect an adorable little Baby. The school harbored some of the most aggressive neopets in the world of Neopia, and the Grarrl that terrorized the poor Kau, Terry the Tear-Jerker, just so happened to have one of the worst reputations of them all.
"Just let me go!" yelled Pipsqueak, the Grarrl now pulling on his tail.
"Why should I?" Terry teased, sticking out his tongue.
"Because I SAID SO!" Pipsqueak even surprised himself by his own outburst.
"Whatever you say," the Grarrl said, releasing his tail. The bully's voice suddenly sounded robot-like, unemotional.
'This can't be right,' thought Pipsqueak. 'That bully never listens to ANYONE, let alone me! Why isn't he trying to shove my tail up my nose?'
The Grarrl stood, perfectly still, his face an unreadable mask.
'Hmmmmm...' Pipsqueak thought, a plan already beginning to knit itself together.
Several Days Later:
"TERRY!" Pipsqueak, or Pip as he had ordered to be called, yelled ferociously, one hoof pointing at the big, red F on the paper he was holding. "This homework was GRADED!"
"I'm very sorry, Master. It was an honest mistake. I'm not very good in math. I beg your forgiveness, Master," Terry pleaded, wringing his hands distractedly. Pip had made him cut his classes at Meanie Academy to do his bidding at the Corral.
"I will give you a chance to redeem yourself. I have a test later and I didn't study. I need you to sneak into Mr. Nimmo's desk and steal the answers. Don't. Get. Caught. Do you understand?" Pip ordered fiercely.
"Yessir, I do, sir." Terry nodded furiously.
"Very well then, hurry along. I need to get some milk from the cafeteria. Even we masterminds must have proper nutrition..." Pip glared at the hesitating Grarrl expectantly. "Well? Kau Kau Farm Milk costs about 200 neopoints. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know..."
After Terry's hesitant posture had gone unchanged for several moments, Pip repeated the words. "200 neopoints. Now..."
"But sir, I need to eat lunch, too," Terry whimpered pitifully.
"You can have the empty carton to chew on when I'm done," the Kau sneered, every word dripping with the unwarranted cruelty. The Grarrl handed over his last few coins. "Now go get those test answers."
As Terry scurried off to the classrooms and began to raid Mr. Nimmo's desk, Pip sipped his milk, thinking of more devious tasks to put his minion to.
'I wonder if he has any friends,' Pip pondered. 'Would my powers affect them the same? It would be wonderful to have someone a bit more intelligent under my command...'
"Pipsqueak? What's wrong with you?" A soft voice near his ear made him jump, causing him to spill the milk all over himself.
"HEY!" Pip yelled at the voice. "My name is PIP! NOT Pipsqueak! And LOOK! My milk is EVERYWHERE!"
"What's wrong with you?" the voice asked again. Pip turned to see who had spoke the insolent words as he wiped the milk out of his eyes. He would soon show them how strong his powers were...
Pip blinked several times at the one who stood before him. "No..." he whispered, flabbergasted. "I-I-"
The words wouldn't come out. He was locked in the gaze of Mariabel, the pretty pink Kau he had always been too shy to ever speak to. "I-I-" he stuttered again. He had ruined everything. He had wanted revenge on the Grarrl so bad that he abused his powers and treated the neopet like dung. It made his heart ache to think about how terrible Terry had made him feel only a few weeks before. He couldn't bring himself to imagine how Terry must feel about Pip's ruthless cruelty.
"What's wrong with you?" Mariabel repeated for the third time, sorrow and disappointment flooding her beautiful eyes. Pip was still speechless.
"I got the-" Terry stopped, letting the slip of paper fall from his hands. He was open-mouthed, staring at Pip.
"What's your problem?" Pip said, the guilt forgotten for a moment.
"You're... you're..." The Grarrl was cowering in fear, Mariabel's expression still sad and forlorn. "You're a monster!!!" Terry stumbled backwards and attempted to hide under a nearby cafeteria table.
"No I'm not! That's ridiculous!" Pip scoffed. 'Am I?'
"Yes, Pipsqueak, you are..." Mariabel turned and flicked her tail. Pip thought she had left, but she returned with an object.
'A mirror?' Pip didn't understand.
"Just look." She held the red mirror up to his face. What he saw was unnatural. Awful. Horrible. Terrifying.
'Me...' Pip looked at his reflection in the mirror framed by the simple red plastic, and refused to accept it, even though he knew it was true.
A mane of yellow fur hung around his neck. His body was red and snake-like, his horns huge and charcoal-colored. Tentacles protruded from his nose and mouth, black as night. This creature couldn't be him. It wasn't him...
"Your cruelty and abuse of your power has mutated you into this beast..." Mariabel whispered softly. "It's the new you. It's not the sweet little Pipsqueak you were, it's the you that wanted revenge, the you that felt like you needed to be that way to teach Terry his wrong."
"No..." he whimpered. "No. No. No. No. NO! It's not my FAULT!"
Pip didn't know what to think. How could he have done this? How was he supposed to use his power? Why was he being punished for something he didn't have control over? This wasn't his fault. It wasn't. It wasn't. It wasn't...
Mariabel's hooves clomped across the floor. She was leaving.
"No," Pip ordered commandingly, his voice that he had repeatedly used with Terry kicking in. "Stop."
"That mind control power won't work on me. I'm done with you, you just don't understand, you're not trying to understand," Mariabel called over her shoulder, "Pip." This last word hurt most of all. She really had given up on him...
"No no no no no no no... please..." Pip pleaded. "I need you. I'm not ordering you this time. I'm begging."
She stopped, turned around slowly...
"What?!?!" Pip yelled, fumbling with the mirror. Had the mutation gotten worse?
What he saw was more surprising than what he saw the first time.
He was back, small and cute once again.
"Pipsqueak!" Mariabel exclaimed. "You did it! You broke the curse!"
"Pipsqueak!" Terry crawled out from under the table and dusted himself off. Next thing Pip- well, Pipsqueak, knew, Terry held the little Kau in a huge hug. "You're back!"
"I'm so sorry, Terry," Pipsqueak apologized. "I shouldn't have treated you like that, even if you bullied me."
"I'm sorry, too," Terry said, to Pipsqueak's complete disbelief. "I'm pretty sure, in your place, I would have done the same."
"Well, this is just another happy ending," Mariabel commented. "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"