It's Good To Be Bad
"I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, I'M NOT DOING IT!"
Well, that was a piercing scream.
"IT IS BENEATH MY STATION. I WILL NOT DO IT!"
Oooh, this is going to end so badly. I almost want to grab some popcorn, I might as well get some entertainment out of this before I get dragged in. I'm almost certainly going to be hauled out to back one person or another. I always do.
"I AM A QUEEN!"
I stand up and stretch. I'm going to be called in three, two,-
"HECTATE!" Oh, that's both of them yelling. This could be fun.
I dutifully traipse downstairs wondering whose side I'll join today. In the kitchen, my twin Calphurnia is sat at the table, the picture of composure, apart from the red spots on her cheeks. Our older brother Bolingbroke is standing on his hind legs, his front paws resting on the table opposite Phurny. I know exactly what the argument is about, I know neither of them is in the right, or entirely in the wrong, and I know I could say that and calm the whole situation down.
I'm not going to, though. I hide the wicked smile that wants to carve my face in two, and assume a facial expression that's as close to innocent as I can.
"She isn't pulling her weight-"
"He seems to be under the impression-"
They start talking at the same time, stop, and glare at each other.
"I can't understand why he believes-"
"Why the heck isn't she-"
I can't stop my evil grin spreading across my face. I know exactly what's happened here, and I know exactly how I could make it better. I also know exactly how I can make it worse, and that's what I'm going to do.
What? I'm Halloween, aren't I supposed to be evil? Bol's white, he's supposed to take the role of knight in shining armour. Phurny's Desert, so she has to be a stuck up princess. Sorry, queen, a stuck-up queen.
"Hectate-" starts Bolingbroke, breathing through his nostrils heavily. "I need you to impress upon your twin the importance of her pulling her weight, of being a full part of this family and helping out." He bites out the words, glaring at Phurny.
I turn to Calphurnia. She snorts, but delicately. A normal snort wouldn't suit her image. She manages to meet my eyes, but only just. She knows she's in the wrong, this is going to be so much fun. I raise an eyebrow questioningly at her.
"Our dear brother seems to be under the impression that I am a regular Neopet," she sneers slightly. "He believes that I should- what was the phrase he used? Ah yes, 'pull my weight'," she continues, her paws creating the quotation marks to go around his words. "Because, of course, as a queen, I should be the one to take out the trash."
I can practically see the sarcasm collecting on the floor as she speaks.
Would it be helpful for me to say that out loud, I wonder?
"I can see the sarcasm dripping from your oh-so-perfect tongue," I say wickedly. Phurny gasps, giving her the opportunity to showcase her much practiced 'poor little me' look. (I've caught her practicing in front of the mirror more than once.) Bol grins. Silly Bolingbroke, he thinks I'm on his side.
Don't they know by now? I'm on nobody's side.
Maybe I should introduce myself. Hi there, my name is Hectate, and I'm a Halloween Pteri. I'm named after a witch, and an aspiring one myself. Edna is my idol, and I answer to no-one.
I've been called every name in the book, more than once, and there's really only one name that hurts. Bossy. When was the last time you heard a boy called 'bossy'? That one hurts. But I digress.
I take joy in my appearance, and cultivate an aura of witchy inventiveness at all times. I like it, so I do it. I don't hurt anyone, and so there's nothing wrong with what I do. And what I do, is stir. I meddle, I mess things, and Neopets, around and up. Upside down, if I can. And I usually can.
Weirdly, although I've been Halloween and, self-titled, wicked, for several months now, my family haven't really noticed. Before, I was just another red Pteri, sitting in boredom high in the trees of our garden. Then, I was painted Royal. I didn't relish it, it wasn't me. I had to smile, and be properly behaved all the time. I spoke to my owner, Kai, and asked her to paint me again. After a few weeks, she came back to me, and said I could be either Faerie or Halloween. Calphurnia and I conferred, and we decided on Halloween. Phurny was working towards a Lost Desert Paint Brush, and Halloween is pretty much the opposite of Desert, right?
That swim in the Rainbow Pool was terrifying, the scariest experience of my life. I think the effect of the dunk is related to the colour dripped on top of you, Halloween was way scarier than Royal, that one was easy!
As I crawled, panting back onto the banks, Kai rushed to meet me, and bundled me up in a towel. I got my breath back, as Kai helped me into my new clothes, and held up a mirror so I could see myself. I stood tall, proud, pleased with my expression.
"Well?" asked Kai, worriedly. "How do you feel?"
I considered the question as I turned from side to side and spread my wings. How did I feel at that moment?
I grinned. "I feel wicked," I stated, raising my wings up high and bearing my teeth.
Kai laughed, slightly confused, but she was happy I was happy.
At that moment, I felt empowered. It's a feeling I have clung to ever since. Being Halloween freed me from having to be nice all the time, and I love it. I get to be the bad advice, the devil's advocate and no one expects anything else from me. So when I am nice to them, they are so surprised and grateful. And if I don't want to be nice, no one is surprised.
I love Bolingbroke, but he is very unobservant sometimes. He sees what he's always seen, regardless of whether it's still the same or not. He thinks I'm on his side. Ha. Just because I've cut Calphurnia down to size, doesn't mean I agree with him. I'll have to spell it out for him though.
"But, you are a queen. Bol, take the trash out and stop whining." I sweep out of the kitchen, leaving them gasping in shock and confusion from me, when a thought occurs to me. I step back through the door, and regard my dear brother and sister. I do love them, so much, it's just- it's so much fun to mess with them.
"Honestly, Bolingbroke, you shouldn't be so bossy. Everyone knows Calphurnia can't do a thing for herself." I leave again, just as dramatically. I can hear them spluttering behind me. I know what's going to happen now. They'll work together to take the trash out, they'll mutter about me behind my back today, then tomorrow, they'll realise that they each got their way. Bolingbroke didn't tell Calphurnia to do what she did, and Calphurnia did what she had been asked to do. On their own, they will realise how brilliant I am, and be so grateful to me that they will worship the ground I walk on.
By the time I close my door, I'm giggling. I fling myself onto my bed, and listen to the faint strains of my brother and sister grumbling about me as they empty the bin together. I fold my wings behind my head and sigh contentedly.
It's good to be wicked.