This is a story about a young Neopet who is used to being spoiled, mostly because she is the only Neopet owned by her mom. This story isn’t the exciting adventure of a pirate, a young pet from the pound, or any of those usual classic stories. No, this is simply what happens to us unless we are careful with the pets we choose.
* * * * *
“Darn! This key doesn’t fit either...” Mattie, a camouflage Kougra, hissed to herself as she jammed another key into the lock. She withdrew it and tried another. She cursed the heat under her breath as it beat down on her. After three more keys, the Faerieland door lock finally clicked. Mattie pushed it open and flipped the tan light switch. The lights flickered on throughout the house as Mattie sat on the purple couch, turned on Neovision and threw her backpack from Neoschool carelessly on the floor. Normally, the large house would disturb Neopets, simply because it was too quiet. But not Mattie. She was the only Neopet who lived there, and it had been that way all her life.
An hour later, Cameron, Mattie’s red-head owner, came in.
“Hey Mattie, I’m back!” she called. Mattie leapt up from the couch and hugged her mom.
“And I brought a friend!” Cameron stepped aside to reveal a silver Kougra.
“Hi, I’m Silvia!” the Kougra said. The room grew deathly quiet.
Mattie passed out.
* * * * *
Cold water splashed onto my face, stirring me wide awake. I don’t think I could’ve been more awake if I was zapped by the lab ray.
“What, who, where?” I jerked up, knocking my head into Cameron’s. I moaned and lay down again.
“Cam, are you okay?” I heard a voice say. Cam is MY nickname for Mom! I blurrily opened my eyes to see a silver Kougra.
“Uggh... Silvia?” I murmured groggily. That’s right, her name was Silvia! But where did SHE come from?
“Mom... What’s she doing here?” I said as I slowly sat up.
“I found her at the pound, looking as sad as can be....” Cameron replied, her hands clasped on her forehead.
“Yeah, I was very lucky she saw me and brought me home!” Silvia murmured, looking dreamily at the ceiling.
“So, Mattie. You have a sister!” Cameron said as she helped me to my feet. I couldn’t believe it. A sister. MY sister. Someone who was actually a Neopet was going to live with me.
Fewer books, I would share my toys and clothes, less just-me-and-Mom time, I would have to share Jeenee, my Xepru, and less love from Mom...
What could be worse?
I walked into the kitchen after Cam and Silvia. Mom set plates filled with Kougra Paw Cereal in front of us.
“Mmm, best food I’ve had in all my life!” Silvia said as she eagerly gulped it down.
I chewed mine more slowly. I was still thinking of what I would have to share and have less of.
“For a few nights, you can sleep with Mattie. Just until we set up your room.”
“Oh, thank you!”
The way she said it sounded a little too... happy. Something wasn’t right about her. I just couldn’t put my paw on it....
“Tell us how you parted with your old owner,” I heard myself say.
She began to squirm a little, and then she stared at me.
“Tell us what happened. Why you got in the pound. I mean, you’re painted! Who would want to abandon you?”
Silvia picked up her empty bowl and walked over to the sink.
“Well....” she began. “My owner got his hands on a Draik Egg. But he already owned us four, so he had to get rid of one. He chose me.”
Cameron walked over to Silvia and hugged her.
“Oh, Silvia... I’m so sorry! That must’ve been terrible...”
The whole thing seemed rather strange to me, though. I decided to study her closely, so I could figure out just what she was hiding.
* * * * *
“Good night, Mattie.”
“Good night, Mom.”
“Good night, Silvia.”
“Good night, Cam.”
I let the slightest hiss escape my lips when Silvia used my nickname for Mom. I was in my Angelpuss bed, while Silvia was going to sleep in my Kadoatie sleeping bag. Mom shut off my blue lamp and closed the door.
I snuggled with my Xepru and closed my eyes. I could feel myself falling into a deep sleep...
* * * * *
Rustle rustle! Step step! Creeeeaaakk! I awoke to the first sound of the sleeping bag rustling. I’m a very light sleeper, so it wasn’t hard.
I kept my eyes shut, because it could’ve just been Mom. But even Mom doesn’t walk that lightly. When I heard the door creak open, I opened my eyes to see Silvia’s silver fur reflecting off the lights above the stairway. She had a pen and paper in her paws. Silvia walked towards the steps, until I could hear a soft clump! Clump! Clump!
When I was sure she had walked down all the steps, I quietly got out of bed. I tiptoed over to the door, which was still open. Jeenee, since she was so sensitive to my movements, followed after me.
I walked out the door and quickly went down the steps. I heard more pawsteps, and then a light switch click. I looked around to see the lights were on in the kitchen.
I crouched to the floor, my camouflage color blending in with the rug. I crept to the kitchen and waited. I heard the soft scribbling of a pen, the rustle of paper being folded, and the unmistakable click of a Neomail about to be sent. I ducked as low as I could to the ground. A Neomail message can go up to 2000 Uni Power! Just as I predicted, the Neomail whooshed over my head.
I desperately tried to catch it, but it was too fast! I sadly crouched down again when I heard a small rustle. Jeenee had caught it!
“Good Jeenee!” I whispered as I patted her head. “Now we can figure out what she’s up to!”
I crept into the living room and turned on a lamp. Jeenee settled into my lap as I opened the Neomail.
Ha! It worked! Someone picked me up from the pound just as you were leaving. The fools have no idea what I’m really doing! I am concealing a key in this letter to the Neohome so you can take me home along with their stuff! We will go down in history as Neopia’s greatest thieves. I will see you tomorrow! ~Silvia
* * * * *
I sat there for a long time, just reading and rereading the message. I couldn’t believe it. She’d bamboozled us! I had to show the message to Mom as soon as I could! But Mom wasn’t home. She wouldn’t be till tomorrow after Neoschool.
I let out a deep sigh and set the Neomail on the purple couch.
It suddenly became obvious to me. I wasn’t holding on to the message.
I turned around to see the Neomail gone. It must’ve zoomed off.
I would just have to cross my claws that Silvia’s brother would come after Neoschool when Mom was home.
I trudged back up the stairs with Jeenee at my heels.
* * * * *
Mattie’s heart felt heavy in her chest. Neoschool was over, and her home awaited her. What would she find? Would all of her stuff, including Silvia, be gone?
The thought suddenly occurred that Silvia might take Jeenee with her. Xeprus weren’t cheap, so it would be a fine prize.
This made Mattie break into a sprint. She had to get home, for Jeenee’s sake!
* * * * *
“You’ll never get away with it!” I hissed. A cruel, high-pitched laugh was the reply from Silvia.
“You sound a lot more confident than you look!” her brother, a gold Kougra by the name of ‘Derrick’, said. Well, I couldn’t argue with that. I was shaking all over from fear. And I was tied up in the corner of the living room.
Jeenee had somehow escaped. She’s a smart petpet, so she probably read the Neomail last night with me. Either Jeenee was getting Mom, or she had made a run for it to save her own fur.
All our furniture was stacked up, being loaded into a Neomail message. Neopoints were beginning to be gathered by Silvia.
“Cameron’ll come! You’ll see! Then you’ll be SO sorry!” I said as I wriggled around in the tight ropes. I think they were beginning to embed into my fur.
“Even if she does, she’ll be too late!” Silvia said in a high voice. I recently discovered she doesn’t have that sweet voice I once thought she did. No, she has a voice that sounds like a claw scraping a chalkboard. It’s terrible!
But then came the sound that was like music to my ears.
The front door was thrown open, revealing Cameron and a Xepru. Jeenee!
“Freeze, Derrick! Jeenee sent me all the information in a Neomail. The jig is up!” She held a Lightning Wand in her right hand. Wow, I didn’t know Jeenee could write. Surprising, what you figure out when someone tries to steal all your stuff.
Derrick put his hands to the sky, along with Silvia, who dropped the Neopoints she had been holding.
Jeenee trotted over to me and nipped the ropes in two. I rubbed my arms, where the ropes had squeezed tightest.
Cameron aimed her wand at Derrick.
“Out,” was all she said. Silvia and Derrick made their way to the front door. Just as Silvia was about to exit, she turned around with a smirk and hissed, “Bye, Mattie.”
The door shut closed, and I collapsed. That was the scariest thing I had been through in all my life. I was shaking all over, when I felt a loving hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see Cameron.
I held onto her and cried. Just like that. I just hugged and cried and hugged and cried.
“It’s okay, it’s okay...” she murmured. After five minutes, she forced me to release my grip. She squatted so we were at eye level.
“Mattie, I know you don’t want to hear this, but we’re going to have to leave.”
“What?!?” I exclaimed as I backed away from her.
“Calm down. You’ll just be going to my side account. I’ll move all your stuff, Jeenee, our Neopoints, all of that.”
She narrowed her eyes.
“But you will have two brothers. Can you make do with that?” I thought hard. I didn’t feel so protective over my stuff this time, since Cam lived with these Neopets all their lives. I could trust them.
I sniffled, and nodded.
* * * * *
“Morning, Toby,” I said to my baby Kacheek brother.
“Mworning, Sissy!” he replied happily in his high chair.
“Morning, Calcifer,” I said to my fire Shoyru brother.
“Morning, Cam,” I said finally to Mom.
“Hello, Mattie! Kougra Paw Cereal this morning?”
“You know it’s my favorite,” I replied as I pulled out my chair from the table next to Calcifer.
“Sleep well?” Cam asked as she set the cereal in front of me.
“Like a rock!”
Toby found this comment quite amusing. Calcifer gulped down his breakfast very quickly and grabbed his backpack.
“You don’t have to go to Neoschool early this morning!” I reminded him.
“Oh, yeah...” he said, blushing as he sat back down. My brother loves school so much that it kinda freaks me out.
Toby finished his pancakes and put the sticky plate on his head.
“Look, Sissy! It’s a hat!”
I chuckled as Cam gently pulled it off.
“Now, Toby. Don’t do that, okay?”
“Okay, Mamma.” He pushed his high chair away from the table and jumped down. He ran into the living room with Tammy, his Angelpuss, following.
“Jeenee, can you turn on Neovision for him?” I asked my Xepru. She gave a quick nod, and then bounded away into the living room.
“Want to go to Faerieland, today?” Mom asked me.
“Sure, sounds like fun. What for?”
“I decided we should get some faerie furniture to match the house.”
“We’ll leave at 10:00 A.M. NST.”
“Calcifer, you’ll look after your brother?”
“Then it’s settled!”
* * * * *
Jeenee and I ran alongside Mom throughout Faerieland. There were kind faeries, mean faeries, big faeries, small faeries, all kinds of faeries!
I continued to gape at a particular light faerie when I bumped into another Neopet.
“Oh, sorry. Didn’t see you-” I stopped short. It was a silver Kougra with an infamous voice.
“Oh, forget about it. Could you spare a neopoint-” She stopped short too.
I examined her closer. She was covered in dirt, litter, and other things. Not like the Silvia I knew before.
She nodded very, very slowly.
We both just stood there for a long time. I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“What do you want, Silvia? Have you already finished robbing our old home?” Cam said in a harsh voice.
“On the contrary,” she replied in her scratchy voice. “I was abandoned at the pound because I failed at tricking you. The pound looked at my reputation and kicked me out so no one else could be fooled. I have been begging at Faerieland for at least five months now.”
Five months. That’s when I moved in with Calcifer and Toby.
“That’s... tough,” I said awkwardly. It was hard to be compassionate to the one who had last been tying me up in rough ropes.
“Yes... Well, I get along alright. Faeries have blessed me, so I can make a fair enough living.”
“Well... I wish you the best of luck,” Cameron finished. Silvia nodded to her and disappeared down an alley.
Cameron and I stared at the alley for a long time.
“If she wasn’t lying... She’ll be all right?”
“Don’t worry, Mattie. She’ll be fine.”
* * * * *
And that is where our story ends. Cameron was right. Silvia did make it. She eventually got a job at the Faerie Employment Agency. Silvia made a living and eventually bought a home, gained friends, trust, and a new reputation. As for Mattie, she now lives happily with her brothers and Mom in a top notch Neohome. Everything worked out. The only thing that still puzzles me is what happened to Derrick?