Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 180,823,044 Issue: 450 | 2nd day of Swimming, Y12
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450 Minutes of Sleep


by jdb1984

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In Neopia Central, the chilling evening wind whipped around me as I walked. I pulled my thin, raggedy coat tighter around me. It was an old thing, full of patches from my many fixes, though it barely kept me warm now. But it was one of the last things my mother gave me, and I couldn’t afford a new one anyway.

     It was unusual to have a cold evening during this time. It was summer; it wasn’t supposed to be cold. My blue Bori form struggled to walk against the wind as I continued towards my destination.

     After the job I worked at folded last year from lack of customers and rising prices, I have been unable to find another one. My savings soon ran out, and I didn’t know my former co-workers well enough. Even if I did, I didn’t want to impose on anyone. So I ended up broke and alone on the streets.

     I’ve been able to survive, though, thanks to the kindness of the Bakery owner. He usually gave me his stale food when I stopped by. The Kacheek wished that there was more he could do, but business hasn’t been the best for anyone. Even the Soup Faerie had to limit the supply of soup she gave out.

     The wind continued to blow, making me colder than I already was. Fortunately, I saw the place I’ve been staying recently up ahead. It was the place where I used to work, and the building hasn’t been sold or demolished yet.

     As I entered, closing and locking the door behind me, I went to the opposite wall, where I had a thin blanket and a barely fluffy pillow. As I wrapped myself up and shivered, I thought about the fact that I may not wake up, that I may close my eyes and never open them again. But if that did happen, I know that I would see my mother again. I would be in a place she usually told me about, where I could be happy, and never endure the hardships of this world again.

     As I softly sang a song my mother used to sing to me when I was a young boy, I closed my eyes.

     And I slept.

     ---

     In Meridell, I watched as the wind blew. Some distance away, I could see the crops at the Meri Acres farm bend slightly to the wind as well. Despite the unusually cold night, I knew their crops would be okay.

     Stretching my yellow Wocky paws, I decided to check on my two sons before heading to bed. I got up and walked over to the room that the two of them share, seeing some light coming from it. As I walked in, I saw that the beam was coming from the candle that one of them used to read, and he seemed to fall asleep while doing it. They’re both blue Zafaras, but they couldn’t be more different in their personalities. The older was into learning, while the younger liked to have more fun. They were a handful, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

     I gently took the book from the older one and carefully marked his page. Then I blew out the candle and gave both of them a gentle kiss before I quietly walked out the door.

     I walked into my room, where my husband was sleeping. I climbed into bed and brought the covers to my neck. I then closed my eyes.

     And I slept.

     ---

     In Shenkuu, I watched the snow falling on the higher peaks of the mountain town. As I watched, I reflected on how I got here. Many shrewd investments, having neopoints placed in the right place at the right time, and not wasting any of it put me in the position I was now. I even morphed into a blue Draik to celebrate my newfound wealth, though my Ruki family didn’t like my change.

     I didn’t care, though. I had everything I ever wanted out of life. I had a mansion for myself and my servants, I had a substantial bank account that should last. I was set for whatever life threw at me.

     I turned away from the window and decided to take the stairs up to my room on the third floor rather than the elevator. I’m not sure why, maybe I just needed the exercise. As I made my way to the second floor, I encountered one of my servants, Hikari, cleaning something up. Even at this late hour, she still liked to make sure everything was looking good. I laid one of my hands on her red Pteri shoulder to get her attention and told her she should go to bed.

     She nodded and got to her feet. After taking a final look at the spot she was cleaning, she walked down the hall, presumably to where the servant quarters were. I took the cleaning supplies with me as I continued up to the third floor.

     Once there, I stopped to drop off the supplies in the closet and then went into my own spacious bedroom. As I climbed into bed, I reflected how lucky I was to be like this. Completely set, rich, and basically living the dream of just about every Neopian. As I sighed contently, I closed my eyes.

     And I slept.

     ---

     High above Altador, I sat on a cloud, watching the city I helped create. My light shined, looking like a star near my constellation, Siyana. At this late hour, there were maybe three Neopians walking around. As I looked at them, they seemed to all be converging on one spot--Magical Marvels.

     Knowing that the stores in Altador were closed at this time, this caught my attention. I flew down, landing behind a building, and watched the figures from there. One of them, a Uni, turned and pounded at the door with his back hooves. After a few kicks, the locked door was kicked open, and they all rushed inside.

     I knew that I couldn’t let them get away with their ill-gotten gains, so I rushed forward. My bright light gave me away, however, and they were all ready with Guilded Crossbows when I got to the door. Thinking fast, I grabbed a jar of Exploding Powder and threw it, exploding at their feet and confusing them. It gave me enough time to blast all three crossbows with light magic, destroying them.

     The thieves ran out the back door, and I let them go, figuring they wouldn‘t be back tonight. I noted what was destroyed or used by my own hand, then cleaned up and left enough neopoints to pay for the items.

     I fluttered back onto the cloud I was on before. I needed to sleep if I was going to live up to being first to rise. Then I lay down and closed my eyes.

     And I slept.

     ---

     During the day, four Neopians couldn’t lead more different lives. But as they slept for those 450 minutes, they are one and the same. All resting, all hoping for a better result the next day, all dreaming their own personal dreams. Maybe if more of us was like that during the time we were awake, seeing everyone the same, then maybe this world could become a better one.

The End

 
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