"...Creeeping along in the darkness... Waiting to strike upon some poor, helpless neopet... IS THE SHADOW USUL!" Unla declared, throwing her electric blue Cybunny paws into the air for dramatic effect. Shea screeched and fell over from the story. She didn't want to hear more, but was strangely drawn to it. The purple Shoyru's face was halfway under her covers.
"And-an' then what happens if... If the Shadow Usul... catches you?" she squeaked. Unla smirked.
"She TAKES YOUR SOUL FOREVER! MUAHAHAHAAA!" she cackled, terrifying her little sister.
"UNLA!" she heard her owner call. "YOU BETTER NOT BE TELLING YOUR SISTER A SCARY BEDTIME STORY AGAIN!"
The Cybunny gave an eye-roll. "NO, MOM!" she called back with a lie. Shea was still shaking under the covers, staring with wide eyes at her big sister. The Cybunny gave her an amused smile. "Sweet dreams, little sister," she said, leaving.
Shea sat there, numb with the story. As she heard her owner coming up to kiss her goodnight, she evened her breaths. She didn't want to get her older sister in trouble- besides, what if Unla turned her into a mortog? She had been learning magic from books very reluctantly bought by Boscoemax, their owner, or as most called her, Sarah.
She managed to look calm and collected when Sarah came in, her blue eyes looking at Shea. The owner walked up to the bed, sat down, and gave Shea a kiss on the forehead. "Sweet dreams, sweetie," Sarah said, turning out the lights and leaving.
The Shoyru sat there for a very long time, for like what felt for hours. She eventually tried to fall asleep, her own fatigue carrying her into dreamland...
Shea moved down the street, wearing her royal girl dress and crown. Other neopets turned and looked at Shea with admiration, with awe. She flashed a perfectly white smile their way, smirking as on the cover of the Neopian Times was her name. Her picture. Her holding a shiny golden Beauty Contest trophy with a big number one on the front of it. It was then the world grew dark, covered in shadows all of a sudden.
She gasped and looked around anxiously. "H-hello?" she called out, worried. She felt colder, and as she looked down, she saw her fancy royal clothes gone. "A-anyone h-here? M-mom? Help?" she called.
There were some hisses and she jumped, flapping her purple wings worriedly. "Who's there? What was that?" She was responded to by more hisses, and some laughter.
"Silly little Shoyru..." she heard a cruel voice say mockingly. Turning in the direction of which the voice came from, she was met by glowing red eyes. With a cry, the Shadow Usul pounced on her, knocking her into oblivion...
"NOOOO!" Shea screamed, sitting up. She took a few breaths. Cold sweat dripped down her face when she looked toward the clock. Four o' clock a.m. She fell back, panting. "Just... Just a dream. Just a dream..."
There was suddenly a knock at her door. "Shea? Are you OKAY?" Sarah's voice called. Shea wasn't sure what to say. Her owner said nothing for a minute, before she opened the door and switched the light on. She paused at seeing her pet's wide eyes, pale face, and sweat on her forehead. She let out a breath.
"Did Unla tell you a scary story, even though I specifically told her not to?" she asked, eyes narrowing. Shea said nothing- she was afraid to tell on her big sister. Sarah came and sat down next to Shea on the bed. "You can tell me, you know. If you're afraid your big sister is going to turn you into a mortog, no worries- I'll take away her books of magic before she can until she promises to shape up," she said. Her Shoyru weakly nodded.
"Y-yes, Mommy. Unla told me that the Shadow Usul creeps around all night and sneaks up on people and... TAKES THEIR SOULS! WAHHH!" she cried. Sarah gave an annoyed growl as she held the poor sobbing neopet in her arms, gently rubbing her back.
"Sweetie, the Shadow Usul doesn't take souls. She doesn't even live around these parts. We live on Mystery Island. The Shadow Usul is said to live in Neopia Central, across all those oceans. 'Sides, she probably doesn't even exist. I can confidently say there's zero chance of her coming here, and even if she did, she'd have to go through me first. And no one defeats moms," she said soothingly. Shea wiped away some tears.
"Pr-promise?" she whispered. Sarah laughed and hugged her tight.
"Promise with all of my heart. I'll talk to your sister. I promise you won't hear her giving you a scary story again, okay?" she said, rocking her back and forth. Shea looked up.
"I-I think I c'n go back to sleep now. Thank you, Mommy. I love you," she said, falling back into the bed. "B-but can you stay here until I fall back asleep?" she asked timidly. Sarah nodded.
"Of course, as long as you want. I love you too, sweetie." But her words became inaudible to Shea as she fell back to sleep, letting out small snores. Sarah chuckled softly as she stood up.
"Neopets. Fall asleep as soon as they feel tired at all. Night, sweetheart," she said, kissing the Shoyru's forehead once more, before turning off the light and going back to her own bed.
She didn't know that Shea cracked a small smile before she left.
Shea yawned as she woke up. Downstairs, the sweet smell of syrup and pancakes wafted. As sunlight warmed her bed, she got up, stretching, shaking her wings. She yawned and stumbled out of the room. When she made it down towards the kitchen, she paused at hearing voices- Unla and their owner's. She carefully, just like a ninja from Shenkuu, slid around and stood next to the archway, listening in.
"...Young lady, do you understand how scared your sister was? She was in tears. What do you have to say for yourself?" Sarah scolded. Unla cursed under her breath for a minute.
"I didn't think she'd take it seriously! And you know I can't turn neopets into mortogs! That's serious magic, and even I am not that good at it to do that!" Unla protested.
"But still, you very well know your sister is younger and a little easier to frighten. You need to give her a sincere apology," Sarah said. Unla snorted.
"Fine. So be it. I just meant to give her an ORIGINAL bedtime story, not those la-di-da-di-da stories! They're sooo overrated!"
"ARE NOT!" Shea protested, finally revealing herself. Unla blinked in surprise, but Sarah didn't look surprised in the least.
"Morning, sweetie," Sarah said. "Pancakes? And yes, if you were wondering, I knew you were there the whole time," she said, pouring some batter onto the pan. Shea blushed. Unla coughed, then shrugged nonchalantly.
"'Kay, I'm sorry 'n stuff-"
"For what 'stuff'?" Sarah said, glancing back at her. Unla rolled her eyes.
"For telling you a scary bedtime story and giving you nightmares. I'm sorry," she said. Shea just gave her a cheery grin.
"Apology accepted, dearest sister!" she squealed, then nearly suffocated her sister with a hug. Unla moaned as she awkward pat her sister's back.
"This is secretly part of my punishment. I know it." Unla gagged from lack of air. When Shea turned away, she smirked.
"Who said it was a secret punishment?"