The Shadow Usul’s Gift
Why is it no one likes me? I'm not popular at Neoschool, I don't have any friends.
Like other students would want to hang with me anyway. Why would they want to
hang with me if own family doesn't?
Hyul is always out. Right now he's at some birthday party on Terror Mountain.
Probably skiing right now.
Shaina is at her Gelert Scout Meeting working on the annual Gelert Scout Pasty
Sale and of course Kelly is out.
Why did Kelly even create me? Why was I even brought into Neopia? I have no
purpose in this world. No one notices me or cares.
They hate me.
Phoebe slammed her Meowclops Notebook shut and
threw it to the other side of her bedroom along with her faerie pen. The notebook
landed neatly on the plush green carpet and the pen landed nearby. The Kyrii
felt tears coming on so she ran from her writing desk to her Tyrannian Fur Bed
and flopped onto it.
She usually was a very strong person. She didn't
cry very often. Pets could call her names in school and it didn't bother her.
She could get a splinter in her paw and not flinch, even as Kelly used clear
tape to remove it. But this was different than name calling or splinters. A
splinter was physical pain. It hurt until it was removed and with name calling
she could just ignore them. Their opinions didn't matter to her not like the
opinions of her family, the pets she loved. Yet they didn't seem to have any
opinions about her or care. They could at least act like they cared.
Phoebe lay on her bed continuing to cry. After
a few minutes though the Kyrii stopped crying and sat up wiping her eyes. This
wasn't making her feel better and whenever Phoebe needed to feel better there
was one place she could always go.
On the far side of her Kelly's Neohome property
was a garden where dozens of plants grew such as silly lilies, dragonbuds, rose
trees, and fire bushes. These of course were only a fraction of the garden's
But Phoebe's favorite place was a deep little
niche between a gigantic rowze bush and a cookie tree. No one in her family
knew about it and was where she stashed all her private stuff like old journals
that had been filled and personal notes friends had sent her. Stuff her brother
and sister should never see.
So Phoebe got off her bed picked up her Notebook
and writing utensil. Then she headed off to her special place.
Yet another entry today, only this time I'm in my special place. I stopped
writing earlier because I started crying, what I wrote really got me. I don't
know why it gets me so much that my family doesn't care about me. It shouldn't
but it bothers me.
Now though I feel better. It's weird that crying makes me feel better, even
if I cry for a minute it makes me feel good.
She put down her pen and sighed her loud breath
seeming to disrupt the still air around her.
The niche she was in was of course small and
low weed growth seemed to wall her in. Kelly always overlooked this spot when
he was gardening. Also thin streamers of sunlight filtered through the branches
of the cookie tree. Phoebe gave a little shiver. For some reason she felt cold
even though this area was always humid.
"Shoulda brought a sweater," Phoebe said to herself
as she felt every strand of her red fur stand on end. Yet the coldness didn't
feel like something that could be stopped by a sweater. The chill felt like
it was from inside, like a feeling that radiated from the marrow her bones.
This coldness was slowly seeping out through every pore and that made Phoebe
shiver on the outside. Then she heard a voice, soft and eerily cold. There was
something deeply dark about it and it had a musical tone to it.
Why does your presence here not surprise me?
The voice sounded like it was coming from Phoebe's
very skull. It made her head feel weak and numb like she had sipped a splime
smoothie much to fast. Phoebe cringed in pain.
You need not be so loud. I am the only other
one here. I can hear you quite well. I can hear your thoughts. The thoughts
of one who pities themselves and who feels unloved. One who has a family such
as yours would normally consider themselves lucky. Yet you don't.
"What are you?" Phoebe said quietly each word
coming out slowly for each word caused her pain. A quiet musical laughter started
and this felt like someone was playing a set of silver chimes inside her head.
Have you not heard of the Shadow Usul?
Phoebe had heard of the Shadow Usul and what
she'd heard hadn't been anything good. Not someone she'd willingly meet. She
shivered even more.
So you have heard of me, good.
"What do you want with me?" Phoebe said. There
was no sound.
Then everything suddenly got darker. In front
of her she could make out a shadow. Only this shadow was darker than the darkness
around her. It was the shadow of an Usul.
I want nothing with you. I've seen you come
here often and I see you are troubled. I can help.
Phoebe's head continued throbbing again but this
time it got to strong for her to try and overcome. So she didn't. The pain knocked
You will thank me later.
Phoebe sat up and rubbed her head. Surprisingly
it didn't hurt. She looked around and noticed she wasn't in Kelly's garden.
Now she was laying on a Blue and Orange Couch in someone's Neohome.
If the Shadow Usul did this it can't be anything
good, Phoebe thought.
Suddenly a green Gelert bounded into the room
out of nowhere and landed on the couch next to Phoebe. Her tail was wagging
at a high rate of speed.
"Who are you?" Phoebe asked but the Gelert didn't
seem to hear or wasn't aware anyone was on the couch next to her. Phoebe asked
louder. Still there was no response.
Also for some odd reason the young Gelert looked
familiar. She had a little sash tied around her neck and a matching egg shell
colored beanie, the sign of an entry level Gelert Scout. Her long ears poked
through two holes in the top of her cap.
"Heah, Shaina, where are ya?" a boy's voice called.
"In here," the Gelert answered.
Phoebe gasped. This looked like her older sister
but it couldn't be. This green Gelert was too young to be Shaina, Phoebe thought
even she looked older. A boy walked into the living room while a yellow Ruki
"Hyul?" Phoebe said aloud. This Ruki looked like
Hyul but her brother was painted Shadow. Phoebe noticed that in the boy's arms
he carried a blanket that seemed to be wrapped around some kind of bundle.
"Come on, Kelly, hurry up," Shaina said impatiently.
"Be patient, Shay," Kelly replied.
"Yeah," Hyul added.
Shaina stuck her tongue out at him.
When Kelly made it over to the couch he sat down.
He began to open the blanket revealing what was inside. Huyl and Shaina looked
on intently, and Phoebe did also as Kelly revealed a baby Kyrii. It looked like
a little ball of red fur with eyes.
"Aww," Shaina cooed, "I usually don't like babies,
but this one is really cute." Huyl's eyes softened at the little baby as he
looked on and he didn't like babies either.
"Her name is Phoebe_05_45932," Kelly said, "I
just created her today."
"Well hello wittle Phoebe," Shaina replied bending
over the baby, "I'm your older sister Shaina and this is Huyl. Talk slowly to
him." She gestured at the Ruki who rolled his eyes.
"I know you're probably not going to like this
Shaina," Kelly said, "but until I make enough Neopoints to add to our house
Phoebs is going to have to stay in your room."
Shaina broke into a smile that could have won
an award. "Really?" She said excitedly.
"Of course," Kelly replied smiling at his pet.
No one said anything as the three of them stared
at the new edition to the family. Shaina still looked ecstatic while Huyl gazed
at little Phoebe in awe.
"I love you," Kelly said very quietly.
It was as if he had spoken for the whole group
when he'd said that, for each of them was looking at the little Kyrii with love.
The kind of love that's not really spoken or shown, but felt. A kind of love
that's harder to understand for some.
Phoebe looked at her family. They loved her.
How could she have thought any different? How could she have thought they hated
her? They'd loved her since she was a baby. Phoebe smiled.
Slowly everything seemed to disappear in a kind
of dreamy haze.
She felt moist earth on her face and in her mouth.
Phoebe spit the soil out of her mouth and sat up to start cleaning her fur.
She was still in the garden but she had just been in her Neohome. Had all of
it been a dream?
No, it was a memory. The voice in her
head now returned and it had lost none of its dark charm. Now though the voice
didn't hurt her head or make her feel cold.
"You're still here?" Phoebe asked.
All of a sudden Phoebe felt a warm light breeze
ruffle her fur and it felt like a great weight was then lifted off of her. The
Shadow Usul had gone.
Thank you for what you've done, Phoebe
thought knowing that if the Usul was anywhere around she could still be able
to hear her.
You are welcome. I knew you'd thank me.