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Pet Name: Dwindle
Dwindle wondered again, for the 784th day in a row to be exact, where her owner was.
She thought to herself, "Why doesn't he just paint me grey if he's going to keep me this way?"
She was bored and lonely. She hated being in a home with an absentee owner. In the beginning he visited her all the time. Every day they played games together, he bought her toys and read her books. Twice they had even helped save Neopia! Those days had long passed, though. She guessed he had grown disinterested in playing with her. Taking a deep breath, she looked around, wishing she had a brother or sister to talk to or in the very least a petpet to keep her company. There was no one else, just her. She sighed and grabbed her ripped Moehog plushie, hugging it to her chest. She looked at the book of Quiggle jokes lying next to her on the floor and thought, "I wish I could play Sutek's Tomb instead. I've read this book so many times already." But in order to play any games, her owner had to take her. She sighed again.
Suddenly and without warning, something strange begin to happen. A black dot appeared from thin air and danced around in front of her. The air around it appeared hazy. Like the heat reflecting off the horizon on a really hot summer day, thought Dwindle. Quickly it started to grow and within minutes it was as big as she was.
Dwindle titled her head to the side and wondered what was going on. Her heart was racing, partially in fear but more so in excitement that something interesting was actually happening. The air around the hole stopped shimmering. The blackness stopped growing and settled into a shape resembling a doorway. She sniffed cautiously at the darkness. Nothing smelled peculiar. She tentatively stuck a paw into the abyss, it disappeared, and she quickly drew her back her paw. She began to walk around the left side when she felt a shift in the air. "It feels like a vacuum," thought Dwindle. No sooner had the thought taken form than the suction increased and she was pulled into the blackness.
She flipped around in the pitch dark for what only seemed like a few seconds before she landed with a thud onto a soft patch of grass.
She sat startled for a moment and looked around. Her jaw dropped as she took in her immediate surrounds. Hundreds of pets of every species were scattered across the ground around her. She noticed two different things were happening. First, every few moments there would be a soft poofing sound. Then a neopet would appear and land on the ground, just like she did, and sit there stunned for a few moments. Just like she did. The second thing Dwindle noticed was some pets would also quickly disappear. She would see them, sitting there. Then in the amount of time it took her to blink they'd be gone. Dwindle had no idea where the pets where coming from or where they were going. She sat and quietly watched for a few hours before she finally got the courage to speak up.
"Can anyone tell me what's happening?" Dwindle asked loudly.
"It's a purge," answered a nearby Scorchio.
"What's a, uhhh, purch?" Dwindle asked, confused.
"Purge," replied the Scorchio. "It's called a purge. The wise and all powerful decision makers have decided to free us from our homes, where we have been neglected for so long. This place is like a waiting room. We're hanging out here until we get adopted by someone new."
"Thank you," Dwindle said, grateful for the information. She leaned forwarded, prepared to ask another question when she begin to feel tingly. She blinked and was once again in the blackness. She blinked again and was looking in the eyes of her new owner. She'd been adopted so quickly!
"Hi Dwindle, I'm Lexy," said a pretty lady with gray hair wrapped atop her head in a bun. "I just adopted you. You are my new labrat."
Dwindle watched as the old woman appraised her. She felt uncomfortable and wasn't sure what she was in for. She quickly found out as Lexy placed her under a giant ray gun then nodded her head at the mad scientist to begin. All Dwindle saw was his unkept gray hair as he leaned over the control panel and hit a huge button. Dwindle felt the jolt of the beam as it hit her and she suddenly felt a little sluggish. Like she couldn't move as fast as she could a few minutes ago.
The days turned to weeks. The weeks turned to months. Every day Dwindle was taken to the lab. She grew stronger, weaker, faster, slower. She leveled up and back down. The absolute worst was when she changed species. She hated having to get adjusted to a whole new body only to have to do it all over again the very next day. She never knew what to expect.
Dwindle woke up one morning, looked out the window and couldn't believe she'd been her four months. It felt like four years. She yearned to be back in her old home. At least there she wasn't submitted to crazy experiments. She looked in the mirror and was still startled to see her new exterior. A biscuit Kacheek. She twirled around and looked at the markings on her back. She liked being a Kacheek much better than being Elephante, her previous species. She hoped she would stay this way for at least a few weeks.
"Dwindle..." She heard Lexy called out. "I need you to come down her right away. You're moving. I'm trading you for a pirate Krawk."
"Wha...?" Dwindle started to call out when she recognized the tingling feeling. Then came the momentary blackness. She opened her eyes and there sat another "new" owner. A cute freckle faced girl with curly red hair. Dwindle didn't know what to expect.
"What's up? I'm Alize," the girl announced. "You're really awesome! Let's go get you into some new clothes."
Dwindle was quickly decked out in a costume unlike any she'd ever worn before. Complete with makeup, a pretty purple dress adorned with butterflies, and a long staff with a shiny moon perched on top. Little bursts of firework meepits exploded periodically behind her everywhere she went. Every day Alize came and put her in a new outfit. Dwindle enjoyed the attention and was starting to make friends with her new brother and sister. A few weeks went by, she settled nicely into the new routine and really began to feel at home.
After Dwindle had been there for about two months Alize came in for her regular afternoon visit. She spent the same amount of time she normally did with Dwindle's brother and sister but only stopped in long enough to give Dwindle a quick pat on the head.
"That's odd," thought Dwindle, "She must have something important to do that she's late for."
But this continued for another week. Alize visiting the other two like normal but only spending a few seconds with Dwindle.
Saturday evening rolled around and Dwindle had begun to recognize the pattern. She knew she was getting ready to move again. No sooner than she had shared this knowledge with her siblings, Alize showed up. "Dwindle, you're moving in a few minutes. I'm trading you for a pirate Draik."
Dwindle sighed. "What IS it with pirates?" she thought and into the blackness she went for the third time.
As she landed in her fourth home, Dwindle hesitated to open her eyes. She was really frustrated and just wanted to be in a place where she was loved. She didn't think this was too much to ask for but was beginning to feel like it was an impossibility for her.
"It's O.K., little one, you're here safe," she heard a soft calming voice say to her. "You can open your eyes, everything is all right."
Dwindle opened her eyes and was met with three very curious faces staring back at her. In the middle was a woman with green eyes and long dark hair. To the right of her was a beautiful alien Aisha. On the left side of the woman was a MSP Poogle, trying very hard to hide his sharp teeth and soften his features into something resembling "friendly".
The woman reached over and swept Dwindle up into an embrace. "I'm your new mommy, Nell," she whispered into Dwindle's ear.
Dwindle had never thought of any of her owners as "Mommy". She was overwhelmed at the thought and listened as Nell continued to talk.
Nell gestured to the Aisha. "This is Cry_freedom." Then she gestured to the Poogle. "And this is FortunesWon." She ruffled both of them between the ears. "You'll meet Agypsy in a moment. I sent her to fetch a couple items I wanted for you." She then moved Dwindle from her lap and set her gently in front of her. She looked her in the eyes and said to her softly, "I know you've probably had a rough time since your creation. I just want you to know that you aren't going to live like that ever again. You're going to live with us forever and we are going to love you so so much. I know I already do." She looked to the other two who were nodding their heads in affirmation.
The door popped open at that moment and a tiny pink lutra bounded in and up onto Dwindle's lap. The tiny creature was followed by a enchanting woodland Uni carrying a small bag.
"Did you find everything okay?" Nell asked the Uni. The Uni nodded. Nell turned to Dwindle and said, "This is Agypsy. The critter in your lap is Puffs. We got her for you early this morning so you could have someone to keep you company and help you get settled in."
Dwindle looked down at the cute ball of fluff and instantly fell in love. "She's so cute, and she's SO fluffy!" Dwindle said with adoration. "Thank you so much!"
"One more thing. Then I'll let you run along and get to know everybody," Nell said as she reached into the bag Agypsy had brought. She pulled out a bottle filled with green glowing liquid and a slightly dripping paint brush with a giant light blue bow tied around its handle.
Dwindle sighed. She knew it was too good to be true.
"Trust me," Nell whispered. With those words she tilted the bottle to Dwindle's lips and swirled the paintbrush around her.
Dwindle waited a few seconds for all the glitter and smoke to clear then looked in the mirror Nell was holding out for her. She gasped in surprise and delight. She was a baby Uni! Dwindle giggled with glee. Everyone knew that babies got spoiled THE most. She was so happy and finally understood what it felt like to be home. Dwindle looked around at her new family who were all smiling back at her with pure love. She sighed one last time. A sigh of contentment and peace.
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