The Princess and the Pauper: Part One
"Ilana! You made Maldrev cry again!" the owner shouted at
Ilana. The Royal Zafara shuffled her feet as she tried to look down, trying to
keep a picture of disgrace. She didn't succeed well, as her flustered red cheeks
revealed her fury.
The Baby Kacheek's shrill went up by another
few pitches as big, fat tears spilled onto his rosy cheeks. He threw the milk
bottle at Ilana, who ducked just in time to avoid being hit in the face.
But she had to pay the price. With the lukewarm
milk dripping down her skirts as Ilana glared indignantly at her little brother
with passion in her eyes. Her owner saw that anxious tap by her feet and the
frown that tugged at the corner of her mouth.
"Into your room! And no more trouble!" her owner
shouted as Ilana ran.
Bam! She slammed her door so the hinges shook.
She shook her fist as she muttered bad things about her little brother. Oh,
the simple annoyance of it! Ilana sighed. This had to be the fifth time today
she was getting blamed for something she didn't do. After all, Maldrev could
cry whenever he wanted, right?
She fell onto the floor, sobbing like her little
brother had done. It wasn't fair, it just wasn't! It was Maldrev's fault that
the sugar bowl fell on the floor; it was his fault that her owner's best plant
was squeezed behind the door! Who knew a baby could create this much trouble?
Ilana's thoughts were bitter. She had pictured
it so perfectly. She had expected him to look at her with a pair of adoring
eyes, playing with her whenever she got bored, and let her read books to him.
She had even bragged about his arrival to all of her friends. What a good laugh
they had gotten when she had pushed the baby stroller to show him off, and how
the Asparagus piece stuck onto her face. Ew! Disgusting baby spit!
Ilana spat on the floor. She would not tolerate
this any more! She had always been the perfect little pet… until this happened!
Suddenly Maldrev was the perfect pet, the owner's favorite. Ilana absentmindedly
hugged her Starry Paint Brush Plushie as she thought it over.
Hmm… There just had to be a way to make something
like before. She remembered the days when they were just two, playing seek-and-hide.
The Zafara sighed, lost in memories.
Bam! The sound made her stand up in surprise.
Maldrev was probably throwing another fit again. Good, since she was in her
room this time, she wouldn't be blamed. The rage built inside her as she heard
the crashing sound of glass that shattered. Then a thought hit her.
This was just too good. To do something that
her owner would never expect! Ilana forced herself to be calm as she sat down.
The bottled-up anger was flowing free as creative waves… There! She had it!
The most brilliant idea!
She grinned stupidly at her own cleverness before
she realized she was acting like a common neopet. Ilana frowned at herself;
she had always thought she was more than just a simple neopet.
But it was just too perfect to let go of. Running
away from home.
She immediately picked up her faerie backpack
as she stuffed all the necessities in it. Lipsticks, Mirrors, Eye Shadows… and
some food. She had already packed everything before she realized she had forgotten
to put her Starry Paint Brush Plushie in it. Ilana grumbled, but emptied her
backpack as she tried to stuff the items neater this time.
When she was done, Ilana cast a look at her
clock. Daylight or not, she was leaving today. The Royal Zafara decided that
now was the time.
She slowly unlocked her door as she poked her
head out, searching for any movements in the hallway. No one was there. Ilana
quietly tiptoed out of her room, and hid behind the nearest marble pole.
Tip. Tap. Someone was coming! Ilana squeezed
herself into the space between the marble wall and the pole. A gurgling sound
told her that it was her little brother who was coming. Ilana held her breath.
This excitement, she thought, might make her faint.
The Baby Kacheek stopped. He looked with those
big, brown eyes really hard behind a pole. In his little mind, he remembered
that he had forgotten one of his toys just behind it.
Ilana saw Maldrev closing in on her. She couldn't
see it, but her face was beginning to shift to an odd color because of the lack
of breath. She took a step backwards, and felt something hard under one of her
Squeak! The toy made several tooting noises
as Ilana jumped up. The Kacheek smiled. He had found his toy. He reached his
hand forward and grabbed it. Then he saw Ilana.
Ilana didn't think. She mindlessly jumped over
her little brother as she ran towards the exit. It was so close…
"Maldrev!" She heard the owner's voice just
as she passed through the door.
She ran through the forest, and over the big, big fields. The grass was high,
and she could stop here to catch her breath. As she slowed down, Ilana thought
of her home. She patted her backpack to make sure everything was in order and
then sat down in the grass.
The feeling of fear overwhelmed her. She gasped
for breath as well as to calm herself. Ilana tried to chase those scary thoughts
away from her mind.
What if she never came home again? What if she
was stuck forever in this green place? What if…
Ilana decided to ignore those annoying voices
in her head. She suddenly felt hungry. After all, she had run a long time before
this little break. In ten seconds, the Zafara unwrapped a sandwich and chomped
it down at the speed of light. She opened the Can of Neocola and drank thirstily.
In the middle of another swallow she stopped. Oh! How undignified she acted!
Like a common gluttonous pet! She wrinkled her nose in distaste at herself as
she daintily sipped the cola.
Now that she had stilled her hunger and thirst,
Ilana thought of the options. No, she wouldn't go home yet. That unreasonable
brother! How did he dare to put a squeaky toy behind her just when she could
sneak away? Ilana's brows furrowed at the thought as she made herself stand
A few flags were dancing in the wind as Ilana
looked. Yes, that had to be somewhere… Civilization!
In her joy, Ilana ran towards it. When she got
closer, she looked at those dull, gray, boring flags that were dangling from
the top. The air of the city clogged her nose as she walked into the city.
This part of the city wasn't a pretty place.
Garbage was strewn everywhere and the smell of dung made Ilana want to run out
of there. Against her better knowledge, she continued to walk in there, lifting
her skirts every now and then to avoid getting those muddy stains on that pretty
The feeling of panic rose in her throat as she
looked at all those people who hurried by her. They were dressed in rags, and
their eyes shifted now and then. Ilana knew she was better, but at the same
time, she was afraid. Afraid of these scary pets in rags, and what they could
"Hi pretty," a Pirate Eyrie stopped her. "Care
to join us, princess?" he said with a teasing voice.
"No," replied Ilana as she lifted her head high
and quickly walked by.
The Eyrie's eyes turned to gray steel.
"Do you know who I am?" He thundered as he caught
up with her, and stood in her way. The Zafara noticed that some other pirate
pets surrounded her.
"No," Ilana muttered haughtily as she tried
to calm the fear inside her heart. She was determined not to let these scallywags
"I am Olgden, the leader of the Pirate Operation!"
his voice echoed through the empty streets as he looked down at her, "These
are my companions, Walron," he gestured at the Scorchio, "Ciril," he pointed
at the Aisha, "and Samling," he waved to the arriving Krawk.
"A heap of scallywags," Ilana mumbled as she
tried to continue forward. That annoying Pirate Eyrie wouldn't let her! She
glared at him.
"I heard that," he hissed at her as he stared
at her with intensity greater than her own. She called up all of her last courage
and tried to walk by. The Pirate Scorchio grabbed her arm.
"Don't think we're letting you go so easily,"
Walron the Pirate snarled at her as he gripped her arm harder. Ilana struggled,
but Samling helped to hold her. In his other hand, the Krawk held her backpack.
"Don't hurt her too much," the Aisha suggested.
"She looks rich. Treat her fairly."
Ilana's insides raged. She had been grateful
for his first declaration, but she froze when he said his second. She twisted
away the arm that the Scorchio held in, but he only caught it again.
The four of them laughed at her.
Ilana was caught in the claws of fear. She lost
her control as her shrill shriek flew into the sky.
"No one will hear you…" Olgden whispered.
The Zafara shrank back. She bit her lip, trying
not to let the crystal tears well up in her eyes. It was hopeless, and she sank
to the ground in defeat.
To be continued…