One of Us
Minka, a Faerie Gelert, sat in her bedroom grooming her
coat. It was a pale blue color, which matched her wings perfectly. She was a very
vain Neopet, concerned only with how she looked and how much better she was than
everyone else. Her owner, Nightsong, was just as vain as she was, and looked down
on those with modest homes or unpainted pets. To them, unpainted meant unworthy.
Setting down her gold brush, Minka called her
Faellie, Frora, over to her and went downstairs for breakfast. Nightsong was
already down there, setting a large stack of Faerie cakes on the table in front
of her. Smiling at her beautiful Neopet, she greeted her.
"Good morning, Minka. Did you sleep well last
Minka nodded, piling her plate with food.
"Oh yes! I dreamed that you were the ruler of
Neopia, and I was the prettiest Neopet in the world!"
Nightsong smiled and shook her head.
"You already are the most beautiful in the world,
Minka. Everybody who's anybody knows that."
Minka continued eating, as her owner described
what they would be doing that day.
"I thought we would go down to Usukiland and
get you those new Faerie Usuki dolls that just came out. Then maybe we will
go to the Grooming Parlor, and after that we'll go visit Faerieland for some
shopping. How does that sound?"
"Oh goody! When are we going?"
"As soon as you finish your breakfast, we can
Nightsong never got to finish her sentence,
for Minka was already out of her seat and halfway out the door. Shaking her
head, she got her coat, several large bags of Neopoints, and followed her Gelert
outside. Locking the door behind her, she called Minka back to her.
"Wait up, sweetie, and stay close. You know
what kind of normal pets hang around Neopia Central. We don't want the prettiest
Gelert in the world to run into any of them, would we?"
Minka fluttered back over to her owner, shaking
her head vigorously. Ever since she was a pup, Nightsong had warned her about
normal pets. They were lowly and common, and if they saw such a beautiful painted
pet that they might try to take revenge on her. After all, they were incredibly
jealous of any who were better than themselves. Staying close to her owner's
side, she followed her down the lane and towards the bustling hub that was Neopia
Making their way through the streets of the
marketplace, Minka held her head high and stretched out her wings. She made
sure that everyone around saw what a beautiful Faerie pet she was, and that
they all knew how lucky they were that she had decided to come down here. And
sure enough, all who saw her cast admiring looks at her, and murmured to their
companions at the sight of the lovely Gelert. All but a few, that is.
"Miss, Miss, have you any spare Neopoints? Help
some poor Neopets out."
A small group of bedraggled Neopets huddled
near the base of the Money Tree were the ones who were crying out. There were
four of them: a Darigan Aisha and Kougra, and a Mutant Lupe with a tiny cub
huddled next to her. As they reached out towards Minka, she shrank back in disgust.
Nightsong glared at them as she shepherded her Gelert safely away. As they walked
away, she remarked just loud enough for them to hear.
"Isn't it pathetic how the police let mangy
riffraff like that just loiter around and harass shoppers? No wonder they don't
have any owners, they're too rude and ugly!"
The mother Lupe comforted her pup who had begun
to whimper, ignoring Minka's comment. Her two companions, however, glared evilly
at the retreating figures. The Aisha pawed the ground angrily, her voice a sinister
hiss. The Kougra placed a reassuring paw on her back, watching the Gelert through
"Be patient, Nassska. We will fix that sssnobbisssh
brat all in good time."
He patted a small tattered pouch that was wrapped
around his waist, grinning evilly.
"Very sssoon, in fact…"
* * * *
Minka ran inside happily, carrying a large shopping
bag from Usukiland. Nightsong had just bought her each of the new Faerie Usuki
dolls- the last ones in stock, actually. And a new shipment would not be coming
in until tomorrow. She couldn't contain a gleeful laugh. She, Minka, was the
first Neopet in her neighborhood to own all of them and no one could do anything
about it! She ran upstairs to her bedroom to play, as Nightsong slumped wearily
into a squashy armchair. Perhaps she would be able to get a nap in before it
was time to start dinner.
Upstairs in her room, Minka was acting out her
version of the encounter with the poor Neopets. Nightshade was her Fyora doll,
she was the Air Faerie doll, and her Von Kougra, Mutant Aisha, and Mutant Lupe
dolls were the other Neopets. Gleefully, she made the disfigured pets back away
in fear from herself and Nightshade, until Fyora herself came and banished them
away forever. Unbeknownst to her, she had another audience besides her dolls.
A pair of burning red eyes watched her balefully from the spreading branches
of an oak tree outside her window. Nasska, the Darigan Aisha from the marketplace,
silently jumped down from her perch and landed on the ground next to her friend,
the Darigan Kougra.
"The nerve of that ssstuck-up brat. If you could
only ssssee what she'ssss playing up there with thosssse dollssss of herssss…"
Torpid, the Kougra, bared his sharp fangs in
an eerie grin.
"Patience, Nasska. We will have our revenge
tonight. Ssshe will sssoon learn what it'ssss like to be dissssfigured like
The two turned and slunk off into the trees
nearby, concealing themselves in the bushes. There, they watched…and waited.
* * * * * *
Later that night, Minka stretched out on the
floor of her living room, coloring one of her Faerie pictures. Nightsong reclined
in her chair, reading the latest issue of the Neopian times. All was silent
in the house, save for the rustle of the wind through the trees. As Nightsong
turned the pages of her newspaper, a picture of a Christmas Faellie caught her
"Oh, Minka! Before I forget, could you go out
and get Frora? I let her outside a few minutes ago, and I'm sure she'd like
to come back in. It's getting pretty cold out there."
"All right, Mama, I'll go get her."
Minka opened up the door and stepped outside.
She shivered slightly as a cool breeze ruffled her fur and tugged at her wings.
Moving timidly off of the porch, she looked out over the darkened yard, not
noticing that the porch light had mysteriously turned itself off. Rubbing her
paws together, she peered into the shadows.
"Frora! Here girl, it's time to come in! Frora?"
Without warning, the Faellie shot out of a bush
and hurtled past Minka towards the house. Her eyes were wide with fear, and
she was clearly panicking. She zipped through the Petpet door and shut it, locking
the door behind her. Minka watched her go, puzzled at her Faellie's behavior.
"Frora, what on Neopia has gotten into yo-"
Her words were cut off as something sprang at
her from behind the bushes and knocked her to the ground. A watery patch of
moonlight shone from behind the clouds, illuminating her assailants. It was
the Darigan Aisha and Kougra from that afternoon in the Marketplace. The Kougra
was pinning her down, and the Aisha was holding something in its paw. Both had
evil smirks on their faces.
"Well well well, if it issssn't little misss
perfect. Sssso you think you're better than usss, hmm? Why, you don't even know
what it'ssss like to be ussss. To be sssscorned, hated, and passssed over jusssst
becaussse of how you look. But that'ssss all about to change, issssn't it, Nasska?"
"Yesss, it mossst certainly isss. Open wide,
Nasska pried Minka's mouth open with one paw,
while Torpid took the flask from her paw. Minka's eyes widened in fear as she
saw the streaks along the sides. It was a Morphing Potion- a Mutant Potion,
to be exact. Jamming the bottle into her mouth, Torpid tilted it up as Nasska
pinched her nose shut. This forced Minka to swallow, and tears leaked from her
eyes as the sickening potion oozed down her throat…
Nightsong got up at the sound of scratching
on the door, shaking her head. That'll be Minka. She must've been playing Kacheek
Seek with Frora and gave up. Opening the door, the smile on her face swiftly
transformed into one of shock. A horrified scream tore from her throat at the
sight of the hideous Mutant Kougra sitting in front of her. She almost slammed
the door on it, until it spoke in a hoarse voice.
"Mama, it's me…Minka. Don't you recognize me?"
Nightsong gaped in horror at what was once her
beautiful Faerie Gelert. Her eyes narrowed in disgust, and the cold sneer that
was usually reserved for beggars and lowly Neopians tugged at her lips.
"You are not my Neopet. My Minka is a beautiful
Faerie Gelert, not some freakish Mutant Kougra. You are not welcome here."
She slammed the door firmly shut as Minka's
eyes welled up with tears. Her owner, the only one whose love she had known,
had rejected her because of what she looked like. She had never realized how
hurtful and painful that was. Turning, she fled into the night, tears pouring
down her face. As she ran, a heartbroken howl of sadness welled up in her chest
and burst forth. She could hear voices following her, laughing and mocking her.
Wealthy pets and owners, the same ones she and Nightsong had once socialized
with, jeered and glared hatefully at her. But all she saw and heard were Nasska
and Torpid, smirking evilly at her.
"Now you know. Now you're an outcast as well…
…now you're one of us."