Jovianna: In the Beginning
Jovianna bolted out of her bed, wiping the sleep that
clung to her eyes, and raced downstairs. Her owner, Calliope, had just adopted
her yesterday and was planning on having a party to celebrate the newest addition
to the family. She almost fell down the stairs three times, but in turn managed
to pull herself up each time. Her black hair flowed behind her, dark as night
sky. Her eyes gleamed with excitement as she heard many people down below, conversing
and eating. When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she flattened out her
dress and walked into the room to see the people who had come.
Calliope stood in a corner, leaning against
a wall and chatting with a pink Lupe. When she saw her beautiful new daughter,
she ran to her and introduced her to everyone, playfully tossing the tiny Aisha's
hair. All of the guests handed her presents wrapped in shimmering paper and
complimented Calliope on how well behaved she was.
Jovianna enjoyed the attention: after living
in the horrible pound for so long, it was good to have a home and an owner,
especially one as caring as Calliope. Calliope was very rich- her house (or
should it be called a mansion?) had over 30 rooms. She owned a huge gallery,
and her two other pets where painted Royal. She was the most well known person
in the whole Space Station. And she obviously loved Jovianna. Even though she
had only owned her for 3 days, she had already read her 10 books, given her
2 of her own rooms, and 20 Usukis. Jovianna's head was spinning from the excitement
of it all. She had never had so many things to entertain herself with.
However, after Calliope set Jovianna down so
she could talk with her friends, she started seeming a little gloomy. Jovianna
noticed that, as the party wore on, Calliope's once happy expression had faded.
After the party was done, Calliope and Jovianna
sat on the sofa together, reading a book about Kreludor. Jovianna was sure that,
any minute, Calliope would tell her what was wrong.
"Jovianna, there is something I should tell
you," Calliope said in a low voice.
"Yes, mother?" Jovianna wondered to herself
what could make her mother seem so sad.
"Well, before my friend Coraline left, she told
me that…" she faltered, set down the book, and looked straight at Jovianna.
"Honey, Sloth… Well, Doctor Sloth, that is… Do you know about him?"
Jovianna did not know. She knew hardly anything
about Neopia. When you live in a pound you don't hear much. So she didn't answer.
"He is a terrible, terrible man, sweetheart.
A long time ago, before you where born, he enslaved thousands of Grundos to
do his evil deeds. And now, now… He is back." Her last words fell like stones
into water. Then, she continued. "I… I don't want you to be worried, dear, but…
If necessary, we may have to evacuate. He has been seen, well, from what I've
heard, anyway, he has been seen in our neighborhood. We must be very, very cautious.
He is dangerous, and, well… I don't want him hurting you. Do you understand?"
Jovianna understood too well. She knew of bad things- she had lived in a pound
where terrible things happened all the time. She couldn't imagine this being
any worse. But the look on her mother's face told her otherwise.
"Jovianna, the officers that run the Space Station,
that are the very reason we are allowed to live here, are working as hard as
they can to protect us. In a few days, they will be coming by our house, to
check it and make sure that no one suspicious is hiding out here. Sloth's spies
are everywhere. And our house is so big… Well, you never know. So, when they
come, I don't want you to be afraid. They are here to help. All right?"
But nothing was all right. All of the sudden,
a fear that Jovianna had grown to know so well was creeping back into her. It
was like she couldn't escape unfortunate events. When she finally thought she
was safe from bad people, this happened. Slowly, though, she nodded. Her mother
hugged her and said, "You won't be able to play outside of the house until we
can be sure that Sloth is gone. But that will be okay, won't it?"
In a few days, the officers did come. In their
shining suits, they inspected every inch of the house until they got to Jovianna's
room. She lay on her bed, playing with some Usukis, until they came up behind
her and startled her.
"Do you belong to Calliope?" They asked, voices
booming as they stood over her.
"Y-yes. She just adopted me," Jovianna's voice
shook. She could sense anger and aggression on these people.
Then one officer said, "I've never seen an Aisha
with ears that long before. Normal Aishas all have around the same length. Did
your father and mother look like you?"
"No, sir, they didn't." Jovianna had never thought
of her extra long ears as strange. She wished these officers would leave, and
look for Sloth elsewhere.
"I don't know if we can be sure about you,"
the second officer said. "Many of Sloth's spies are mutants. She looks like
a mutant to me. And she wouldn't be so scared if she didn't have something to
Jovianna was furious. She was most certainly
not a mutant! And she wasn't sure why she was scared of them, but they seemed
so… untrustworthy. She couldn't quite put her paw on where, but she was sure
she had seen these people before. She had bad memories of officers in black
But before she could do anything else, the 2
officers took her by the arms and carried her out of her room. So she did the
only thing she could think of to do- she screamed. "Mother! Help!!!!!!!!"
Calliope ran up the stairs towards them and
yelled, "Let go of my daughter! Why are you taking her?" As she reached for
Jovianna, one of the guards blocked her way and said, "Ma'am, she's a mutant.
All of Sloth's spies are mutants. And we've been getting suspicious signals
from your house, well, since 5 days ago. When you adopted her. We're taking
her away. She can't be trusted."
Calliope was furious. She tried to hold tears
back, but she couldn't. "She is no mutant! Bring her back!" She screamed until
her voice went hoarse, but the officers would not give in. She yanked on their
arms, reaching for Jovianna's hand, but she was nothing compared to the officers.
They slammed the door behind themselves, and Calliope was left, sitting on the
floor and sobbing. She didn't know what to do. Jovianna was gone…
Jovianna woke with a start, crying from the dream.
She had been having nightmares for many nights now. And what made them so scary,
so sad, and so heart-wrenching were that they were all true.
She looked around the tiny, damp room. No one
was there. She must have been imagining those footsteps. The cell she was in
was about 10 feet by 10 feet, with thick iron bars surrounding it. The floor
was damp with a rotting slime that had been there for years and was never cleaned.
Jovianna closed her eyes, trying to remember her old Neohome. The squishy, cushion-filled
sofas. The stained glass windows. Everything was so perfect, so… Unlike this
place. She missed home. She missed Calliope. It was hard, even for her, to understand
how she could miss a place that she had only lived in for 3 days. But she had
never been loved like when she was with Calliope. Love was, in Jovianna's life,
in very short supply. But then, as she was thinking, flashes of pain shot up
her neck and into her head. Then, the nightmare started coming back into her
mind, pushing away the comforting pictures of calliope and replacing them with
the evil officers.
She lay on the floor of the small cell she had
been put in, remembering with terror the horrid dream. She remembered Calliope's
face as the officers had pulled her out the door, how helpless she had been
as they threw her in the cell. She had always been tiny, so she was no match
for the burly officers. She had been in the cell for- How long, again?- 3 months.
3 long, horrible months with only moldy bread and water to eat. It still amazed
her that she had been placed in prison because of an extra set of ears.
She was so exhausted that she fell into a light,
tense sleep, even though she would probably have more nightmares. She didn't
care any more. What did it matter? She would never get out…
Writer's Note: If you are reading this, then I have had my first story ever
published! I'm so happy! Yippee! If you liked this, please Neomail me. And look
for more stories about Jovianna later.