A Waffle Paradise Circulation: 97,025,825 Issue: 191 | 21st day of Hunting, Y7
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In Living Color


by auntfalcor

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Sunny's first memories were of the pound. He didn't remember the kind Pink Uni who called herself Rose and always made sure the occupants had enough food to eat and water to drink. He also didn't recall the scary gray-haired Techo that would always act bitter and mean to people but secretly comforted the unwanted Neopets when nobody else was around. He didn't even remember the old Draik with tears in her eyes who had brought him there in the first place and claimed it was for his own good. All these things meant nothing to him, so he forgot.

     What Sunny did remember were the cages that surrounded the inhabitants and kept them imprisoned. They were metal, just like him.

     Two years ago, his owner Kari had walked into the pound with the faerie Acara and baby Lupe the Robot Draik would come to know as his siblings. When Kari had seen Sunny she had knew that he would make a perfect addition to her family, and the other two had happily agreed.

     "He'll be perfect. We could use a servant to help around the house."

     Sunny had instantly known that he was not normal. Kari had told him that he was inferior, that normal Neopets were made of flesh and skin, and that he was nothing but a shadow of them, devoid of a heart and soul.

     "Sunny, I want you to play with me!" Milo whined.

     Sunny stopped cleaning the windows and went over the baby Lupe's play area. "What would you like me to do?"

     "Colors!" Milo shouted happily, pointing to markers sitting on a nearby desk.

     Knowing what this mean, Sunny winced inwardly and brought Milo the markers.

     Milo didn't hesitate. He grabbed the Draik's tail first and applied several streaks of blue to the metal surface, then switched to red and made polka-dots on his spikes. After that, Milo practiced writing his name all over Sunny's arms, occasionally making squeals of delight at seeing how silly the Draik looked covered in ink. All the while Sunny stood perfectly still, having put up with it countless times before. Kari made him do everything they wanted.

     After Milo had grown tired of playing, Sunny went to go wipe the ink off of his coat, but was interrupted by his sister Jeanette. "Sunny, I need you to go to Neopia Central and pick me up some beauty supplies. I need to look good for the contest tonight."

     "Okay, just let me wipe -"

     "Now."

     So Sunny started walking to the beauty parlor, receiving many stares from passersby and even a few snide comments along the way.

     "Look who's been pulled out of the junkyard!"

     "I hope you're not getting rusty!"

     "Nice tattoos metal mouth!"

     Sunny hung his head low, trying to avoid catching anyone's eyes. He had long gotten used to the stares and the insults, but the marker on his coat magnified his shame of being different, and he felt inferior.

     "Well, I am inferior," Sunny said aloud to himself. Kari and the others constantly reminded him of this fact. Sunny didn't even have any friends; and though he had never been sent to Neoschool, he knew that if he had been the pets would have just laughed at him and called him names, like the neighbors and the people on the street did. Sunny thought to himself as he walked. "I wish that I could be normal. If only-"

     Sunny's thoughts were interrupted by a rainbow that suddenly appeared in front of him, reflecting his image faintly, and he ran a hand through it to make sure he wasn't imagining it. Sure enough, his hand came out wet with rainbow dew, and sparkled in all of the colors.

     A glittering water faerie seemed to swim down the rainbow and approached the astonished Sunny. She spoke in a soft but serious tone. "What is wrong, little one? I had been gazing at Neopia from the clouds, and saw you here. You do not look well." The faerie appeared to be genuinely concerned.

     Sunny frowned, not feeling worthy enough to even be in the faerie's presence, much less to talk to her. "It is nothing. I am much too lowly of a creature, and do not wish to waste your time."

     The faerie looked confused. "Why is that, little one?"

     "Because I am just a mere robot, and cannot possibly understand the cares of the living." Sunny had heard Kari tell him this explanation hundreds of times, and he was surprised that the water faerie did not appear to think this.

     The faerie frowned. "If that is what you believe, then I can make you a regular Draik, if that's what you really want." At these words the faerie put her hands in the rainbow, and a pool of water gathered in the palms of her hands. The water glistened and swirled, and Sunny looked at it in disbelief. "Just dip your hands in the rainbow as I have done. Drink it, and you will become any color you desire."

     Sunny approached the rainbow and gathered water in his palms as the faerie had done. This was it; this was what he had always wanted, wasn't it? No more being different, no more getting teased, no more putting up with Kari, his siblings, or the rest of Neopia thinking that he was inferior. Sunny looked into the pool of water that had formed in his palms, and with one last look at his robotic reflection in the glittering rainbow, Sunny put his snout to his hands and emptied the contents into his mouth.

     Sunny felt the fluid go down his throat and his whole body tingled and pulsed, turning organic. Wires turned into veins, electric current to blood, metallic coating to soft scales. His Styrofoam insides transformed to living tissue, and the various motors in his body turned to complex, functioning organs. Sunny opened his eyes and looked once again into his reflection, this time seeing a normal Draik look back at him, shiny scales glittering all the magnificence of the rainbow back at it.

     Sunny couldn't help but notice that, though his new body felt different, he felt the same on the inside, and this bothered him. Wasn't he supposed to feel more intelligent or wise? If being robot was inferior, then why did Rainbow not feel any different?

     The water faerie read Sunny's confused expression and looked at him knowingly. "It doesn't feel any different, does it?" Sunny looked up, surprised at how the faerie knew. "You are who you are, little one. It doesn't matter if you are painted of unpainted, mutant or beauty queen, mechanical or carbon-based: you will always be the same on the inside. People may have treated you badly because their bodies were different than yours, but their souls were made of the same thing."

     With that, the beautiful rainbow and its accompanying faerie vanished, leaving Sunny standing there on the path the Neopia Central without a thing to say.

     *****

     "Where is that stupid robot?" Jeanette fumed. Sunny's Acara sister had been waiting all day for her new beauty supplies, and the contest was in an hour! "Oh boy," Jeanette thought to herself, "When he gets back he's going to get it!"

     At that exact moment, Jeanette heard the door opening, and stomped into the hallway. "Sunny, you better have a good excuse for this, because I am so mad at you right now I could - could -" Jeanette stopped in mid-sentence; not because she had wanted to, but from pure and utter shock. In the doorway was her brother Sunny. She knew it was him; it had to be, but how!?

     Sunny just stared at her, his face showing no emotion except for a small frown. "Tell Kari that her servant is leaving, and that she is no longer my owner anymore." With that, Sunny turned around and walked back out of the Neohome.

     Jeanette stood there in shock for a moment, and then ran out and called after him, "What about me? You can't just leave me like this! I'm your sister!"

     Without even turning back, Sunny answered, rainbow scales glinting in the sunset.

     "You never were."

The End

Author's Comments: Thank you, Spiritwolf_forever, for giving me the idea for this piece.

 
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