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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 14th day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 135 > Short Stories > Seeing the Truth

Seeing the Truth

by ginger23456

People had always called her weird. Sometimes people were too scared to go near her, not because of her special ability, but more the fact that they thought she was crazy, that she was making up her stories just to get attention. More than anything though, she knew that people were scared of her; you see, she could read people's minds.

     Verity was a starry Lenny and had been born with this strange and powerful ability. Sometimes it would just come on suddenly without warning, plunging Verity into a fit of panic. Sometimes she saw terrible things; thoughts of her so-called friends thinking up vicious ways to upset her or a lonely Neopian's tragic life as they slowly crept along the streets keeping their head down in sorrow, but she also saw good things. She saw little children thinking about what ice-cream to buy, saw old Neopets carrying baskets of food thinking about their loved ones; she loved that part, so much in fact that she could feel a warm tingling sensation in her body every time she saw a good thought.

     Sometimes Verity wouldn't be able to read people's minds. She didn't really know why, whether it was stress or tiredness, but it did make her feel normal, like she was just an average Neopet with an average life with nothing to worry about except friends and what book to read next; except she wasn't. Whenever she felt herself drift off into normality a sudden pang would jolt her back to reality, her reality being that she wasn't normal in the slightest. A mind reader was very far from that.

     Her ability to know what others were thinking helped her. With it she could steer clear of the people whose thoughts were filled with evil deeds, betrayal and closed-mindedness and mingle with the ones who were friendly, who were trustworthy and whose thoughts were filled with nothing but good times with friends, good words about others and happiness. Verity could see the truth in people and that was definitely a good thing.

     Verity used her ability to grow apart from her so-called friends and had now made new ones, ones who appreciated her, and ones who liked her the way she was even though she could delve into their innermost secrets. Any secrets they did have however, they shared with Verity anyway. They had formed a tight bond together and it was a friendship that Verity knew would last.

     It was a crisp March day when the four friends decided to meet up for a stroll through the wooded area of their town. Tanya, a Cloud Uni with a shimmering mane that stretched all the way to the ground, rested her legs on a small embankment lining the forest path. She had brought a small backpack with her and was thinking about what to eat.

     "No, that could cause a stomach upset if you eat one of those too early in the day," Verity said knowing that Tanya was thinking about eating a Carnapepper. "Save it for a desert or something."

     "You're so bossy, you know that?" said Tanya laughing.

     "Sure do!" replied Verity laughing with her friend.

     Verity turned around and looked into the eyes of her other friend Liza a blue Kyrii. The starry Lenny's heart lurched as she delved into Liza's mind. The young Neopet seemed to be having trouble at home. Liza was reciting the words of her mother over and over again in her head.

     "I can't believe we've been burgled! How will we be able to cope now?"

     Tears started to well in her eyes before she looked up at Verity, and now the tears started to roll down her cheeks.

     "You already know don't you? About my family," she whispered just loud enough so that Verity could hear.

     Verity walked over to her friend and sat down beside her.

     "You've been burgled, haven't you?"

     "Y-Yes," she sobbed. "They took everything and my Mom… she's so upset. I've never seen her so sad before. I just don't know what to do. I wanted to stay at home with her but she said she'd be okay and told me to enjoy myself with my friends. But how can I enjoy myself with what's happened?"

     Verity placed a comforting wing around Liza's shoulders and said "It'll be alright. We'll make sure that you have a really fun time. Won't we you two?" she shouted at Tanya and Dylan, a green Shoyru who was sat next to the greedy Uni.

     "Sure," replied Dylan. "What's she upset about?"

     "Do you mind if I tell them?" Verity asked.

     "No. They're my friends too."

     And so Verity called them over and explained what had happened to Liza and her family. Both Tanya and Dylan too, said the same thing that Verity had said; that they'd all make Liza's day a fun one.

     "Come on, then!" shouted Dylan, hopping up and down. "Let's go and have a fun time! But first we'd better get outta this forest. I mean, come on! What can you do in a forest that's fun? I know! We can count trees! Yeah! Fun! Fuuuun!"

     The three girls started to giggle and almost immediately the look of upset and worry cleared from Liza's face; and her mind too Verity saw. Dylan had a brilliant sense of humour and it was often his jokes and comments that made each day they spent together that little bit better.

     "We could always go to Neopia Central," suggested Tanya as she swallowed a mouthful of food. "Loads of shops and cool things to do there. Plus, we can buy chocolate! You know, that shop is my favourite."

     Reaching Neopia Central at last, the four friends were overwhelmed by how overcrowded the place was. Neopians bustled this way and that way all eager to reach the shops in time to buy the new stock. To Liza, Tanya and Dylan, the crowds didn't bother, but to Verity the hundreds of thoughts swirling through her head were enough to make her pass out. She could hear words that were drowned out by other words and sentences that mingled with others so that all she could hear was a vast ocean of sound. Usually she could only hear the thoughts of maybe ten people. It was the first time, right here in Neopia Central that something like this had happened. Whether her abilities were getting stronger she didn't know, but what she did know was that she wouldn't be able to stand it for much longer.

     Her friends were speaking to her but she couldn't hear them. Their mouths were moving but no sound surfaced. Their words were drowned out by thoughts and at that time she knew she was going to faint…but she couldn't faint. She had to get through this. If she could just make it to a shop then she'd be alright.

     She looked around; her eyes were heavy and her legs felt like jelly but she could see that the book shop was only twenty seconds away. She walked to the shop, hands over her ears. She knew that it would make no difference - the thoughts were in her head - but it acted as a small comfort to her nonetheless. The shop seemed to take forever to reach; it was as if she was in a vast ocean of thoughts and every big step that she made she was washed back by the strong currents.

     She reached the door and stepped inside. Immediately the thousands of jumbled words and sentences vanished and she could now hear her own heavy breathing. Liza, Tanya and Dylan followed her and closed the door behind them.

     "What's wrong with you?" asked an alarmed Tanya. "Are you alright? You looked as though you were about to faint!"

     "I-I'm fine now," Verity replied. She lowered her voice. "It was my ability. I don't know what happened but I could suddenly hear everyone's thoughts. There were at least a hundred people close by so you can imagine why I had to come in here don't you? I just had to get away."

     "We understand," replied Liza. "And you say nothing had ever happened like that before?"

     "Never. That was the first time."

     Verity looked around. Books of all shapes and sizes lined the many shelves of the book store. Some were thick with dust and were obviously very old.

     "Maybe I could find some information about my ability in one of these books. I've got to try and find some information about what just happened out there."

     And so they searched. Before long Dylan had been distracted by a large book full of comics and was sat at one of the desks laughing. Tanya had given up too and had taken to eating the Carnapepper that had been lying in her back pack.

     "What's this?" asked Liza pulling a dusty red book off the shelf. "It's called "Delving into the Mind of a Mind Reader."

     They placed the large book onto a table and puffs of dust swirled up into their nostrils and mouths making them cough. They scanned through the pages until Liza noticed a small paragraph that described what Verity had outside. It read:

     To the mind reader this experience is very rare but also very fortunate. It usually means that a thought of a person nearby wants to remain hidden. These thoughts trigger this experience usually because the thought is considered to be of evil or dangerous quality. No one really knows how these thoughts trigger the experience however.

     Verity and Liza looked at each other not quite coming to terms with the words written on the paper. Liza read it again and again and the words 'evil or dangerous quality' stuck out more than any other. Then the word 'thief' came to mind. Her heart started to beat quickly and she could feel jabs of pain in her chest.

     "You think the thief is out there?" asked Verity. "There's a chance that they are but…well, it could be anyone. It could be a different thief. It could even be a Dark Faerie for all we know."

     "I know that but if there's a chance it might be the same thief that stole from my house…oh please just say you'll go back out there and try and catch him!"

     "I-I can't," stammered Verity.

     "We'll all be around you to look after you, don't worry. You've got to do this though. For me, for all of us! How would you feel if another family gets burgled? Eh? And then another one and another?"

     "Okay. I'll do it," she said feeling immediately guilty.

     "Thanks a lot! I knew you were brave! Remember, we'll be here with you."

     The four Neopets left the shop and Dylan was still giggling at a comic that failed to leave his mind. It didn't amuse Verity in the slightest but as long as Dylan found it funny that was all that mattered. The voices came flooding back. The thief, if it was him, was still close by. She could hear words again, solitary words jumbled together with other words and sentences. Her head began to spin round and round. She looked straight into Liza's eyes and soon found that the words eased. Now she could read the thoughts of Liza without hearing any other words.

     "You can do this Verity. Come on. You can do it. Don't let us down."

     She then stared into Dylan's eyes. He was still thinking about the comic and was laughing harder than ever. She looked into Tanya's eyes.

     "I'm so hungry! I need food!" was what she was saying in her mind.

     That was the key; to look straight into people's eyes. She could find this thief if she looked them straight in the eyes. She saw a bunch of people in front of her and swerved past them. In front of her were other Neopians. They were all going about their daily business without a care in the world. The thief could be any one of them. Of all the hundreds of Neopians in Neopia Central, just one of them was the person she was looking for. It was almost impossible…almost.

     Again, she swerved past them and looked around. There in front of her was a purple Meerca. He was bouncing across the street with a black bag slung across his shoulder. He didn't seem to care about anyone as he pushed past them. He knocked a little Usul over and she began to cry. The Meerca didn't stop to apologise. It was almost as if he was running away from something, scared of being caught by someone. Verity followed.

     "Stop!" she shouted although she could hardly hear her own voice for the other voices were swirling around violently around in her mind. He didn't stop. She shouted again. He wouldn't stop. "Thief!" she yelled. At this word the Meerca bounded faster across the street. He was the one alright.

     She ran through the crowds and her legs seemed to buckle beneath her. Lennies weren't used to running. She couldn't fly; her wings felt like blocks of iron, too heavy to lift up. Who would have thought reading many thoughts all at once would make somebody so tired?

     "Stop!" she yelled again. Verity was aware that she was getting slower and slower. She couldn't let him get away. Just as all hope was lost, she saw Dylan zooming overhead. The Meerca didn't even look up. Dylan was very stealthy, very fast and very strong. He descended over the Meerca and grabbed his shirt with his clawed feet. He flew up in the air without a struggle so that the Meerca's feet were dangling just centimetres above the ground. He let out a silent yelp before Verity ran up to him. She peered into his eyes.

     "Stupid Shoyru! Get offa me! Get off!"

     She peered deeper into those menacing eyes and saw past thoughts. Thoughts of his triumph of being able to burgle the little Kyrii's house, thoughts of escaping with the goods so that he could sell them to make profit. And then she heard nothing. In fact she heard nothing but the sounds of Dylan yelling "You'll pay for what you've done!" and her other friends cheering. She also heard gasps of people watching Dylan flapping his mighty wings to keep in the air and the thief hanging limply in the air, his tiny arms flailing in all directions.

     Verity was glad that she could hear no thoughts at this moment. She had had enough of them and if she heard any more she thought she might faint. She ran up to the Meerca and laughed at him.

     "You really thought you'd get away with it, didn't you?" she said. "Well let me tell you something. Do a bad thing, you get caught. Be it hours, days, weeks even years, you'll get found out eventually. It looks like your time has already arrived. Dylan, you stay here with this thief and we'll go and inform Judge Hog."

     And so Verity and her two friends quickly arrived at the Headquarters. After only a minutes wait Judge Hog entered the foyer. He grinned as he caught sight off the three girls.

     "Hello there," he said in a heroic voice. "What can I do for you pretty ladies?"

     "There's a thief just outside," Verity blurted out. "My friend, a green Shoyru has got him but I don't think he'll be able to hold him much longer. He's a big fat Meerca."

     Tanya laughed at this and Verity could see why. She had worded it rather funny.

     "Well I was just taking a nap you see and…"

     Verity shot him a bitter glance.

     "Okay, I'll do whatever you wish," he finished sheepishly.

     Verity leading the way, her friends alongside her and Judge Hog behind, they quickly ran to where Dylan was struggling, his wings beating fast as he continued to hold the pesky thief in the air.

     "It's you!" Judge Hog yelled. "You've been causing trouble for a long time Hextar but this time we've got you!" He turned to Verity, Tanya and Liza. "This hooligan has been causing trouble ever since he was a kid. It's about time he got his comeuppance."

     With a swift movement of his right arm, he grabbed Hextar's tail and yanked it downwards causing the Meerca to yelp in pain. He fell to the floor and Judge Hog tied his paws tightly in rope before ordering him to stand up. Dylan fell to the floor, his wings falling to the ground. He didn't try to move them.

     "Wow," he said gasping for breath. "Now that's… what I call heavy!"

     They made their way back to the Headquarters a little while later. The receptionist was standing at the desk a huge black bag by her side.

     "I believe these are yours," she said. "Hextar confessed to everything."

     "Thanks!" cried Liza. "Thanks for everything Verity! He would never have been caught if it wasn't for you!"

     "Ahem!"

     She turned around. "Oh, and you Dylan! Thanks!"

     Taking the black bag from the receptionist she and her friends went back to her house to tell her mom the great news. As they all sat around the living room on nice plush chairs Verity spoke.

     "I'm really glad that you all respect me for who I am. No, I'm not normal but that doesn't matter does it? I am who I am and I'm proud of that."

     Her friends all turned to look at her and smiled. They all knew how hard it had been for Verity knowing that she was different to everyone else. But, in the end, she overcame that and was proud of herself, not only because she was unique but also because she had just saved one of her best friend's lives and that in itself was something to be proud of forever.

The End


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