On the Outside
Mazz had found the green Kyrii potion while cleaning out Spider's gallery. It had a green theme, and the human had decided there were too many green things in Neopia to collect. It had been tucked neatly behind a collection of snot items, that no one had wanted to touch. As usual Mazzard shook her head at her family, and got down to business. It wasn't like you couldn't wash the snot off.
She held the potion in her hand, watching the contents swish about. Mazzard was a grey Skeith, which she didn't mind being. In Neopia you had countless options to change your self image. You could be a short Kacheek one day, and a hulking Grarrl the next day. She had known pets who changed their shape frequently, and lab rats who had changed so many times they forgot what their original species was. Oh yeah, she had been a lab rat at some point, long before she came to live with Spider. Still she couldn't seem to put the potion in the pile of items that were going to be sold. There was something.. charming about it.
"What's that?" a voice chirped behind her.
The grey Skeith turned her head calmly, and smiled at her little sister, Gichi. She was much younger than Mazz, and was a green Skeith. Mazz had been in the beauty contests several times, and always ended up in fourth, where Gichi always seemed to come home with a trophy. The two never thought anything about it, and Mazz didn't feel about never winning. She had her plants, and petpet, and friends back on Krawk Island, and that was enough to keep her happy.
"It's a morphing potion," she replied, slipping the bottle into her bag. It wasn't like Spider would notice it was gone.
Before Gichi could respond, a voice called to them from across the room.
"Are you two done chitchatting? We still have the glowing section to do, and Nukers wont let go of the Radio Active Muffin," a speckled Cybunny barked at them. He was shorter than the girls, and always, always, carried a clip board on occasions like this. It was his way of avoiding work, Mazz observed. He could just scribble something down and act like he was organizing everyone else's job.
"We should slip this potion in Conreo's drink. I'm sure he would love being a Kyrii for a day," Mazzard commented, with a sarcastic smile.
Gichi looked horrified.
"Oh, Mazz! That would be so mean! Spider waited all year to get a Cybunny, and it means so much to both of them," the younger pet said, her smile quickly fading. She looked at Mazz pleadingly, and the grey Skeith knew her sister was right.
"Ok, Ok, it was a stupid suggestion. It would just give him a bigger excuse to not do a honest day work."
Gichi brightened up, helping her sister lift another box.
"What do you think Spider will collect next?" she asked.
Mazz shrugged. This was the third time Spider had changed the theme of her gallery.
It was later that evening when Mazz arrived home. She had parted ways with the Neopian Central house hold, and made the trip back to Krawk Island. She was weary from a days worth of work, and flying all the way back without a break, but there was no time to nap. There were thirsty plants in her green house, and new seeds to sow. Gardening was hard work, but it was also therapeutic to a pet who had been given s large helping of common sense in a family that seemed to lack it. It wasn't that she didn't love each and every member of the crazy group, but sometimes a girl just needed to spend some time alone. Her greenhouse provided that time. A moment just shut out the rest of the world, and enjoy the cool soil under her fingers.
She picked up a bag of Aurora Lilly seeds, and dumped a few in her hand. Carelessly she sat the bag on one of a pair of boulders she kept as decoration, and began to work. There was a quiet cough, and Mazzard look up to see her Ukali sitting where she had placed the seeds, the bag pushed off between the two boulders.
"Elsworth!" she scolded, gently lifting the little dragon up. She tried to reach down to get the packet of seeds, but her hands were too big. The Skeith groaned. Six-thousand neopoints, down the drain. To move the boulders would risk damaging the flowers that grew in their shade, and the thought of that hurt almost as much as the wasted money. Then Mazzard remembered the Kyrii potion, tucked safely away in her bag. Kyrii had smaller hands. If she was a Kyrii she could reach the seeds.
Without putting much thought into Mazzard pulled the potion out, and took a drink.
Gichi opened the door to the Krawk Island house, beaming happily at the two mutants who sat in the living room.
"Where's Mazz?" she asked, clutching her purse in her bag. "We're supposed to go berry picking today."
The female Korbat, Jakerae smirked, and exchanged a glance with the older mutant Lenny.
"I don't think Mazz is going to have time for an activity that might dirty her fur," Jak said, almost sickeningly sweet.
Oyelam, the Lenny, shifted through the Neopian Times. He looked concern.
"Wait? What? Is she sick?" Gichi asked, not realizing the Korbat had mentioned "fur".
"Well, um, you see, dahling..." the Lenny began, nervously.
"Hey Gichi," Mazzard's voice said, but when Gichi turned her head, the Skeith wasn't in her line of sight.
Gichi gasped as she looked down. A strange, furry green face looked up at her. No, it wasn't strange now that she stared at it. It was definitely Mazz's face, but a Kyrii now. It had Mazz's tired looking eyes, and serious expression. It was even wearing a very altered version of one of her sister's dresses.
"You're--you're!!" the Skeith tried to get out.
"Short?" Mazz finished. "I know, I know, but I'll get used to it."
"A Kyrii!" Gichi gasped, feeling like she was going to cry.
"Oh, yeah," her sister replied, as though it didn't mean much. "Well, I figured being smaller would be convenient, but Kyrii have so much fur, and hair. Maybe I'll convince Spider she really wants a Shoyru, then I can fly again."
Mazz seemed to not hear Jakerae's bouts of laughter.
"But I thought you were happy as a Skeith!" Gichi muttered, feeling a bit betrayed.
Her sister tilted her head, as though wondering why they were still having this conversation.
"I was very happy as a Skeith," she replied, then smiled at her sister. "Now, I will be happy as a Kyrii."
The older pet went to the closet and grabbed her coat, to signal they were done talking about this.
"Are you ready to go to berry picking?" Mazz asked. "I could use some more dung for my garden."
Gichi's head spun, as she tried to ignore Jakerae's smirk.
"Oh, Mazz, you don't want to do that!" she hissed, sweetly. "You'll get your precious Kyrii hair all messy!! I'm sure Gichi will appreciate your change in circumstances, and take you to the salon instead!"
Gichi glanced down at a very unimpressed Mazz, then back at the Korbat who was trying to signal to her that the Kyrii was just being polite by going a long. Her message was unclear, but it had been what Gichi had been thinking all along.
"That sounds like a great idea!" she piped up, disappointed. Gichi had really wanted some berries.
Mazzard look shocked, and a bit doubtful.
"Yeah! I was going to tell you I wanted to go to the salon today."
"Um.. Ok? If that's what you want to do.."
Gichi glanced over at Mazz, as she sat in her salon chair. The Kyrii looked bored, and flustered, but as always she didn't say anything out of politeness. The young Skeith looked down at the floor, still feeling depressed. What if Mazz didn't want to be her friend anymore, or go out in public with her? What if she only wanted to hang out with other Kyrii? The anxiety was already too much for the green female. She didn't want to lose her best friend.
"Are you ok, Gichi?" Mazz asked, placing herself in front of her sister.
Gichi glanced away, and nodded.
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Because you've been acting weird ever since you came over today," the Kyrii replied. "Since when do you want to come to the salon? I know you like to do your own hair and makeup at home!"
Gichi shifted uncomfortably. Mazzard was short, and fluffy, but she still was intimidating.
"I thought you'd want to..."
"Because, that's what Kyrii like to do."
"Jak said.." Gichi began, but noticed her sisters expression.
"You think just because I'm a Kyrii now, I'm going to magically start avoiding work that gets me dirty?" Mazzard scolded. "What's next? I'm going to suddenly stop wanting to be around any pet I don't deem as 'beautiful'."
She looked at Gichi's face, and frowned.
"Oh, Gichi, how could you think that."
She leaned over to hug her sister, who was trying not to cry.
"It doesn't matter what species you are, Gichi. You're still my sister, and I'm still me," Mazzard said. "Just because people think all Kyrii are vain, doesn't mean that's true. Just because I don't look like I did yesterday doesn't mean I'm not me on the inside."
Gichi felt ashamed. She knew that, but sometimes you just needed to be reminded. The story ends there, but it should go without saying, that the two left the Salon, and Mazz got her dung.