WelcomeIgnorance, the root and stem of all evil.
It starts as a thought
Wouldn't that be nice if
Only a thought
To a want
I'd like to
I want to
To a dream
To a need
If I don't
I know I can
Apologies for the bombardment of poetry. I thought it would be a nice introduction to my personal page. I am a writer, as you could probably tell. It's not my profession as of now, but I plan to keep building my career until I can be a published author.
My name is Lucazade, but Luca is fine. I've made this page to tell you my story, of how I grew up into who I am today. I'm not a normal Snowbeast, mind you. But hopefully you will enjoy my story knowing this.
ChildhoodI don't remember much of when I was a small toddler, of course. But I was born on Terror Mountain. My mother, Andana, was a beautiful yellow poogle who was an assistant to the Snow Faerie since she was a little girl. My father, Canton, was a Snowbeast. But he was not who my mother thought he was, meaning he was a "typical snowbeast". She took me down to Neopia Central to escape him.
We lived in poverty, inches away from the Pound every day. But my mother refused to put us in there. She said that if we went in the pound, we'd be snatched up by the first person who saw us. And you never know. They probably would leave us to collect dust.
But my mother took care of me. She made sure I had food to eat and made my clothes from spare fabric she had. She worked nearly every day at the NeoLodge as a maid, and sometimes brought me to work with her. I remember an especially kind scorchio who used to give me sips of his borovan. It was nice, considering my mother often had to bring me food from the Soup Kitchen. It wasn't an easy life, but my mother made sure I was cared for. She was a wonderful mother.
I started NeoSchool soon into my childhood. I was excited to learn and meet new friends, considering my mother never had time to take me to the park, and we never had enough neopoints to put me in any daycare where I could meet friends. The first day, I dressed in the best clothing I had (the clothes I only wore to parties my mother was invited to), and got ready to learn. My mother even scraped together enough neopoints for school supplies, including a new Blue Poogle Notebook! I remember that notebook very well. The smell of the pages was amazing, and the way it felt to write my name on the cover. Even when I was young, I loved the feeling of pen against paper.
When I got to NeoSchool, my mother walked me into class, like all mothers did. The teacher was a pretty blue uni who had small glasses. She directed everyone and gave all the children a new pencil and a place to sit. I was sitting next to a small Scorchio girl, whose mother was giving me an odd look. My mother made sure to keep a hand on my shoulder while the teacher explained that her name was Ms. Nova and told us the rules of the class. I understood them perfectly well - they were just basic rules that everyone should follow. No hitting, be respectful, don't talk unless given permission. I was very excited to start. My mother kissed me on the head, right between my budding horns, and left the room.
Ms. Nova began teaching us our alphabet. I knew my alphabet, since my mother had taught me to read when I was young. She asked for us to practice writing our letters, and gave us all a workbook. I worked through it quickly, and finished the pages assigned in a few minutes. I raised my hand. Ms. Nova came over, hooves clicking on the tiled floor.
Yes?" she said.
I'm finished, Ms. Nova."
And how did you finish so quickly-" she looked at my nametag. "Luckazayday?"
You can call me Luca," I said, "and my mommy already taught me to read and write."
Her face got sour. She was examining me. My clothes. My face. At the time, I didn't know it. But she was examining the fact that I was a Snowbeast.
Well, Luca, let me see, please."
I handed her the workbook and she opened it up. The scorchio girl was watching as Ms. Nova frowned.
Very well then," she said, "why don't you just do the whole book?"
She gave the book back to me, and I started to fill in the pages. Ms. Nova called that time was up, and to pass in our books. I had made my way to the section about the letter M, and felt quite proud of myself. I was sure Ms. Nova would be happy to have to teach one less student. I handed her my book when she came around, and she didn't even look at me.
The next day, we got our books back. That is, all except for me. I raised my hand, and Ms. Nova came over.
Yes, Luca?" she said sweetly. Now I know that it was sarcasm, but then I thought she was honestly happy with me.
I didn't finish the whole book. I only reached M."
She nodded. "I know," she said.
Don't I need to finish?" I asked.
Luca I told you to finish the book, and you didn't," she said. "So you will not be given the chance to finish it now."
But that doesn't make sense! I didn't have time, Ms. Nova!" I said, my voice raising in volume.
Luca calm down this instant!" Ms. Nova said sternly. "Or your mother will be called down to handle it."
But that's not fair, Ms. Nova!" I said. "Everyone else gets enough time!"
Luca your attitude will not be tolerated!"
And she called my mother.
I was sent to the principle's office, where Ms. Nova lied about my behavior to the principle. I was made to sit there the rest of the day. My mother arrived, and asked me what happened. I told her the whole story, word for word. She shook her head and gave me a hug.
Lucazade, there are some people in this world who don't like you just because you're different."
What do you mean?" I asked.
Luca, sweetheart," she said, "you know that your father was a Snowbeast. And you are too."
Yes," I said, "but that doesn't mean I'm different from anyone else."
Snowbeasts are known to be..." she looked into my red eyes, "violent."
What does violent mean?" I asked quietly.
That they hit people," Mom said. "They're mean."
But I'm not mean!" I said quickly in defence.
I know that, Sweetheart," Mom said, "But Ms. Nova doesn't."
For the rest of my first school year, I was seated in the back of the room, away from the other students. Ms. Nova never acknowledged me. She gave me work. I did it. And she ignored me. I never asked questions or spoke to the other students. They learned to dislike me through Ms. Nova. But it didn't matter. I developed an introverted personality. I just didn't like to talk to people. And they saw that as a threat. The next year, and the year after, I was thought of as an outcast. They called me Loony Luca. Liar Luca. Loser Luca. Sometimes they weren't that creative, and said stuff like Stupid, Ugly, Weird. So I just kept to myself. I was a lonely existance. My only friend was my mother.
In my fourth year of school, I walked in and was immediately harassed by all my peers. Every name they could think of. A new one was Loner Luca. I kept my head down, hiding behind my head of shaggy blue hair. My horns had grown out, so they were about two inches in length. They were a darker blue colour, which was odd, since I had read that Snowbeast's horns were normally white. I had also developed sort of fangs that protruded slightly out of my mouth. I liked how I looked, but no one else did.
I entered my classroom and saw the teacher. My jaw dropped. It was a Halloween Ixi. She was very pretty. Her eyes were green and her tiny horns looked like large pencil tip. Her tail swung in the air as she directed students to their seats. Her eyes fell on me.
Good morning!" she said. "You must be Luca. The only Snowbeast on my roster!" She laughed and started clopping to a desk. "This is yours, dear."
I was astounded at her kindness, but went to the desk, sitting down and dropping my ugly backpack. "Thank you," I said.
She began speaking once class began.
Hello class," she said. "My name is Mrs. Rii, and I'm a Halloween Ixi, if you hadn't noticed."
There were some snickers. But mostly silence.
I am proud of the fact that I'm a Halloween ixi, just like all of you should be proud of who you are."
I felt like she was speaking to me alone.
Being different is no reason to be sad, and is no reason to be rude to others."
She began the lesson with great charisma, capturing everyone's attention almost immediately. When recess came, though, I was pulled from her perfect world of happiness and caring for others. I sat alone on a bench, reading one of my storybooks, as always. A few boys came over, looking pretentious.
Hey Loser Luca," they said, "nice jeans."
I looked at my jeans, which had patches where they had been ripped. I nodded.
Why did the Snowbeast go up the mountain?" One said. I looked up. "To get blasted by the Snowager!"
The two laughed loudly, which brought other children over. "Loser Luca! Loner Luca!" The chanted. I tried to back up to get away from them. But it was no use.
I heard a shout and Mrs. Rii pushed through the crowd of children. "Go play. Go away. Leave Luca alone."
The crowd dispersed, and Mrs. Rii sat on the bench next to me.
Are you alright, Luc? Did they hurt you?"
I shook my head.
Does this happen a lot?
She turned to face me on the bench. "Luca don't you think on what they say," she said. "everyone is a little different, and your differences are beautiful. You're a Snowbeast, and that's something to be proud of. None of these other children can say they are Snowbeasts. Did you know that Neopet owners seek out Snowbeasts? That's how special you are."
I looked up at her, and she grinned at me. "Besides that, I'm so jealous of your horns. I've got little stubs, and yours are still growing!"
I couldn't help but laugh. She was amazing, and in a minute long speech, she had taught me that I had nothing to be ashamed of.
When we returned inside, Mrs. Rii went to the chalk board and wrote a small quote.
When the sun rises, it rises for everyone."
She turned around to the class. "Can anyone tell me what that means?"
A little acara raised her hand. "It means that..." she thought, "it means that the sun rises...for everybody."
I frowned. I thought we were supposed to be smarter than that.
Luca, do you know what it means?" Mrs. Rii asked. I looked at my desk and shook my head.
When the sun rises, it rises for everyone," she said quietly. "When the sun rises, does it only rise for a few people?"
The class chimed in with a "No!"
Everyone is allowed to be bathed in the light that the sun provides. When you go outside, everyone is allowed to run and play and be happy in the sun."
The class seemed to understand that much.
Well then, if the sun doesn't pick and choose, should you be allowed to say who plays in the sun?"
The class said "No" once more.
She nodded. "Everyone is allowed to play in the sun. Everyone is allowed to be happy. But some people like to try and take the sun away from some people. Do you know how they do that?"
There was silence.
When you make fun of someone different, you're taking their sun away. When you call people losers, you're taking their sun away. And if the sun rises for everyone, then why do you get to take their sun away?"
There was silence. The class was slightly stunned. And then it suddenly hit me - she was giving this speech because of me. I didn't know why I hadn't understood before. I looked out the window at the sun. It did shine for me, as well as others.
And since the sun rises for everyone, that means we're all worthy of the suns light. We're equal. And taking the sun away from someone," she shook her head.
I looked down at my desk, shutting my eyes tightly. The sun did shine for me.
Teasing is strictly forbidden in this classroom. You are to treat everyone how they are meant to be treated. And you are never to take away anyone's sun." From that day on, I was given a new hopefulness. I helped my mother more. I didn't mope around as much. When people made fun of me, despite Mrs. Rii's no teasing rule, I remembered that the sun shines for everyone, including me.
Teenage LifeWhen I grew up a little, I decided that, along with school, I would get a job to help support my mother and I. The only job available for a Neopet as young as I was as an assistant to a Neopian times editor. I was to work immediately after school and I was paid a small sum of neopoints per hour. But it was something. I started not being able to focus on the kids at school. Between schoolwork and my new job, I was exhausted. Of course, everything I did for the editor was assistant duties, fetching pens and paper, calling to cancel and make appointments. But it introduced me to the world of writing.
When I got home, my mother and I were finally able to buy dinner ourselves. Not only was it good to get away from the Soup Faerie's kitchen (which was, of course, very nice. But got old after a while), but it made me feel like I was helping to support my already hard working mother. We were given new confidence. I was allowed to buy new clothes with our excess money. We even bought a nice little neohome. I got my own bedroom, and my own fluffy bed. Our days of street sleeping were over at long last.
But every day was exhausting, and I probably spent more time in my fluffy bed than in the rest of the home. But my mother did spend a lot of her own free time decorating. Wildflowers, her own paintings, anything she could manage to make our small house a small home. Soon, it was beautiful and happy, and made me proud to work myself to the bone every day.
As for my mother, she was spending more time than ever working in the NeoLodge. She had a small taste of what neopoints could do, and she desperately wanted to give me the best life I could have.
One day, as I worked diligently to supply my employer with pens and coffee, he asked me to write an article for him about the state of the NeoSchools. I was, of course, excited to do it. A chance to have my name in the NeoTimes, it was awesome! What I wrote was certainly not Neopian Times material, filled with excited grammar errors and organized very poorly, but it introduced me into the world of writing. When I turned it into the editor, he told me I had a long way to go, but that someday, I would be able to submit something to the Neopian Times.
AdulthoodAs I finished school, my mother and I were starting to lose funds again. She was growing old, and desperately needed a more relaxed life. So, after some convincing, she agreed to quit her job at the NeoLodge, and we lived off my work at the Neopian Times office, which was barely enough to scrape by. Eventually, we had to sell the house and go back to eating soup.
I never wanted this life for my mother or myself, and I decided to try and find us a home with the Neopians. But I couldn't just put us in the pound, that was a bad idea, especially considering how crowded it was. And poogles would be snatched up by the quickest Neopians, who just wanted us for their collections.
So I made my way to the pound boards, which were just as crowded. But I knew I had control. My mother was against it, still afraid we'd be snatched up. But I knew better. Before long, users were lined up to try and adopt us.
One user stood out over all the rest. Her name was Alicia, and she had both golden hair, and a golden heart. I knew my mother was meant to be adopted by her from the moment they met eyes. There was only one problem.
Alicia only had room for one more pet.
I knew what I had to do, but I knew neither my mother or I could take it easily. But I knew Alicia could take care of my mother and give her a nice home and food to eat. I insisted that my mother go with her, and I stayed behind in the pound boards to find an owner.
But all of them were rude and pushy, and only wanted me because I was a Snowbeast. They were collectors, and didn't even try to hide it. So I decided to gather up all the money I had left, quit my job, and went to Faerie Land. Why Faerie Land, I had no idea. It called to me. Since it had falled from the sky, it was easy now to navigate my way and find what I was looking for.
The Poogle Races.
I wanted to write a book about the horrors of the Poogle Races. They treated my species like slorgs and pushed them into racing. It was hideous, and I was going to expose it. I bought a small camera to aid me in my journey and brought a pen and paper. Those were my only weapons to fight this injustice. When I arrived, a new poogle race was just starting. I took pictures of their faces. Their hopeless faces. They looked desperately at the crowd, hoping to escape the horror they had been put into.
But the crowd just cheered and bet on the fastest looking poogle. It was sick and evil and I knew I could put an end to it.
Another Snowbeast, eh?"
I turned to see something I'd never seen before - another Snowbeast poogle. His horns were white and longer than mine, and he had longer fangs. I nodded quickly.
How'd you make your way up here? Where's your owner?"
I shook my head. "I don't have an owner, sir. I'm here to expose the corruption of the Poogle Races."
He laughed. "Well give it up, kid," he said, "Bad things happen, and there's nothing you can do about it. Even if you do expose it, do you think anyone will care?" he laughed. "I've lived a long life as a Snowbeast poogle. The one chance at happiness, I blew up. And do you see me trying to expose how Neopia treats us Snowies? I mean, even the name," he glared at nothing, "Snowbeasts. We're outcasts kid. There's nothing we can do."
This isn't just about Snowbeasts!" I said, "This is about all of poogle kind! Those poogles are being forced to race for a crowd, and you're saying I should just stand by and let it happen?"
You're not doing this for the poogles, hot shot!" he said, "you're doing it for the neopoints. I've seen your kind before. Exposing the horrors of Neopia, just to expose Neopians wallets!"
I glared, and I knew it was true. While I did care for my fellow poogles, I wouldn't do it if I knew I couldn't publish it, and get rich. I frowned.
What's your name, Kid?" he asked.
Luca. Lucazade," I said.
He raised his eyebrows. "Lucazade?"
Where are your parents?"
I laughed. "My father was never around, and my mother was just adopted by a wonderful Neopian. I'm on my own."
He nodded. "Well..." he shook his head quickly. "I've got an appointment. I..." he shook his head again, "good luck, Kid."
I frowned. Had he not just told me that I was a corrupt man? I sighed, going back to taking pictures of the Poogle Races.
I turned to hear a girl's voice, shocked by how much social contact I was making today. It was another poogle, but she was a faerie. She grinned, her pointy teeth shining.
Do you know that guy?" she asked, "Are you guys Snowbeasty friends?"
No he just approached me," I said.
Wow," she said. "You're lucky. Canton normally keeps to himself."
I blinked. "Canton..." I'd heard the name before. A long time ago. "Why? Do you know?"
He used to be a real jerk when he was younger. His wife and his only son left him."
I frowned. Canton...
He's my dad," I said quickly, barely thinking. "That's my dad."
The fae blinked. "Your dad?" she said. "Well I mean, you both are snowies."
That's..." I put my camera in my pocket, ready to chase him.
Don't go," the girl said. "He's going up the mountain. You'll never find him."
I frowned. "But I have to!" I shouted. "He's-"
I know, I know, your dad!" she said. "You'll find him again."
I sighed. "Who are you, anyways?"
My name is Maggie," she said, smiling again. "And you?"
That's cute," she said.
It's nice to meet you, Maggie," I said. "but I really have to work."
Why?" she asked. "I don't have to work."
I need neopoints."
I don't. My owner has neopoints."
That's nice. I don't have an owner."
She almost laughed. "Are you being serious?" she said. "You're a Snowbeast! You'd have no problem finding an owner!"
I noticed that she didn't say Snowbeast with anger, but simply as a definition. Her tone with me was only of kindness.
I haven't found the right one."
She laughed again. "My owner is like, scouring Neopia for a Snowbear. And yet, you can't find an owner!"
I can't find a good owner," I said, sighing. "They're all collectors."
Mine isn't," Maggie paused, and laughed. "I mean, she is a collector. Of little darlings!"
What do you mean?" I asked.
She desperately wants a Snowcake, but not just for show," she shook her head. "I think you'd be very happy with her. I know she's be happy with you."
I sighed. I knew it was a waste of time. But I followed her anyways, through faerie land, to a cottage near a waterfall.
This is our NeoHome," she said. She pushed open the door.
As soon as she walked in, a small girl ran to her, scooping her up and hugging her tight. "Oh hello Maggie!" she shouted, not noticing me. And when she did, she froze.
Who's your friend?" she asked.
This is Luca. He's a Snowbeast without an owner," Maggie said. The girl quickly set Maggie down and knelt to my level. She had bright red wings, that folded up when she knelt.
Hello Luca," she said, voice quiet. "You know, I'm like, desperate, for a Snowbeast," she said. "I'd like...no," she laughed, "I'd love it if you would join our ever growing family."
And I couldn't say no to her.