Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 138,002,725 Issue: 286 | 6th day of Eating, Y9
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Legacy of a Nose: Part One

by hstulberg


“Ah ah ah ACHOO!” My sneeze was so violent that it created a small windstorm in my room. I wiped my nose with a tissue from the box of Neopkins that my owner Sarah had bought me, although they didn’t seem to be doing much good.

     “Eeewww,” I said staring at the snot on the tissue.

     “I wouldn’t say ew to snot if I were you, seeing as you’re covered in it,” said my brother Kazam in a mocking tone.

      My face burned with embarrassment under the layers of snot on my fur. He was right too, which made it even worse. No matter how many times I bathed every day, I couldn’t stop the snot from piling up on my fur. My life had only been like this for a couple weeks, even though it seemed like eons. I remember the day that my life changed for the worse with complete clarity. Even though I tried to stop it, the memory of that fateful day jumped into my mind.

      * * *

     As we walked up to the lab I asked Sarah if getting zapped hurt.

     She smiled at me and said, “Nope. You feel a tingly sensation and then it’s over. There’s nothing to it.”

     “Really?” I shook my head in disbelief. “Then why did Kazam yell and scream in pain during his first time at the lab?”

     Sarah looked around to make sure that Kazam wasn’t listening, then turned to me and whispered, “Because Kazam’s a big baby, except he’s too afraid to admit it.”

      I stifled a giggle. Kazam was always bragging about how brave he was, but as soon as you asked him to go to the Battledome with you, he would suddenly remember a meeting that he had with one of his friends, or an appointment that he couldn’t miss.

      I was snapped out of my reverie by ship’s horn. We were almost at the lab! Many of the other pets on the boat cowered in fear, but I stood straight, hoping to catch a glimpse of the laboratory. We pulled into a forlorn looking dock, surrounded by rocky plains. I bounded off the ship and headed to the lab.

      When we reached the lab, I turned to Sarah and Kazam and said, “Wait here, so that my new look will be a surprise.”

      They looked at each other, shrugged and walked over to a patch of rocks to sit on and wait. I stepped into the lab alone.

     I walked down a long corridor, with the odd feeling that I was being watched. When I looked around I noticed a little Kookith staring at me with eyes that swirled. Being a petpet lover I bent down to pet the creature. “Ouch!” I screamed. The evil little creature had bitten me. The Kookith gave a short laugh and ran off. Eager to exact my revenge, I ran after it. After what seemed like forever, but what was probably only a couple of minutes, I came to a door. I saw a little flap at the bottom, so I assumed that the Kookith had just jumped through it. I opened the door and was greeted by the lab ray scientist, who seemed like a kookier version of his little monster. “Like creator, like creature,” I thought to myself. The scientist pointed to spot on the floor, a few feet away from the ray. Taking the hint, I flew over the spot and waited to be zapped.

     The Scorchio pressed some buttons, while his little petpet hopped around on the keyboard. “I hope he knows what he’s doing,” I thought to myself. I was quite calm, although if I had known what this zap would bring I would have been screaming in terror.

     The ray was fired. BBBBBBBBBRRRRRRZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTT! ZZZZZZ! KAPOW! I felt a tingling sensation. It wasn’t unpleasant at all; in fact it was an enjoyable experience. I felt my front arms elongating, and my paws seemed to be growing larger and flatter. My wings shrank a bit and grew light and feathery, while the spikes on them disappeared. My mouth grew longer until it became a beak, and my horn split, becoming two ears. I felt a strange sensation in my rear, and I realized I was growing a tail. In a matter of seconds I had gone from being a green Shoyru to being a blue Eyrie!

     I fought the urge to sneeze, but my body got the better of me. “ACHOO!” I sneezed, a wild storm of snot. SPLAT! I looked up, and realized that the ray wouldn’t be working for long time, due to its new coating of snot. The lab ray scientist threw a box of tissues at my head, glared at me, and pointed to the door. I gratefully grabbed the tissues and headed out the door.

     When I got outside, Sarah screamed with joy. Eyries are one of her favorite species, and blue was her favorite color. This form was a keeper. All the way back home I fought the urge to sneeze. I did everything I could to stop myself, as I didn’t want another embarrassing situation like what happened at the lab. I plugged my nose with tissues to muffle the sound of my sneezes and to keep all the snot inside. It worked until a rather furry Tyrannian Tuskaninny passed in front of me. I turned my head away and barely avoided drenching the Tuskaninny with my sneeze. He growled angrily and walked away. After that I gave up and stayed in the bathroom for the rest of the ferry ride back, sneezing all the while.

      * * *

      I was snapped out of my reverie by another sneeze. I realized that I was out of Neopkins and grabbed the closest thing, which was my quilt. “ACHOO ACHOO ACHOO!” I sneezed. I stared down in dismay. My expensive quilt, hand sewed by faeries, was ruined.

      I heard the front door open. “I’m home!” called Sarah. “Guess what, Fhazie? I brought home some new medicines to try out against this case of the d’achoos.”

      Sarah had gotten it into her head that my sneezing was the result of the d’achoos. I didn’t think that that was the case, so we came to a compromise. We would wait a month, and if none of the remedies worked, then we would go to the doctor. Seeing as I wasn’t getting better, I was counting the days until the month was up. I had a week left, but it felt like an eternity.

      Sarah came up to my room and set down a giant grocery bag full of medicine. As she was putting the bag down, her hair brushed against my face and I sneezed. She gently wiped my nose with a Neopkin and proceeded to show me what she had bought. “Because I the Neopkins don’t seem to be working by themselves I have gotten a few other remedies from viruses with similar symptoms,” Sarah said, meanwhile emptying the bag onto the floor of my room, the only place not covered with snot. “I got five more boxes of Neopkins, as you seem to be going through them extremely fast. I also got you a box of Magic Cookies, which are also supposed to cure sneezing. I also got some Fluff Be Gone, in case this is an allergy, although I highly doubt that it is.”

      I gratefully placed four of the boxes of Neopkins on top of my dresser, and I put one box by my bed. I ate a couple of the cookies, but they didn’t help. I absolutely refused the Fluff Be Gone, because I knew that I would be the laughingstock of school if I was fur-less. Besides, I put a little of it in my furry hand and sniffed it and I couldn’t stop sneezing for five minutes. The force of my sneezing was so great that Sarah had to leave the room. After that little episode she agreed that I didn’t have to use it, and locked it away in a little cupboard that was full of other stuff that seemed to provoke strong reactions from my nose.

      The next day I walked to school, armed with a box of Neopkins and three Magic Cookies. Everything was going fine until health class. Our health topic of the month was grooming. In this class we practiced the proper ways to brush our fur and other acts of self-hygiene. To avoid making a mess, everyone was supposed to pile up their fur and put it into a bag. Then someone would take the fur and dump it at the Money Tree. I took my seat behind a Faerie Meerca, and took out my brush and comb. As she turned around to say hi, her tail passed in front of my face. My nose started to tickle, and I desperately reached into my pocket for a Neopkin. But there weren’t any left! Since there was no other choice I put my arm in front of my beak and hoped for the best. “ACHOO!” the sneeze ripped out of me at lightning speed, hitting the Faerie Meerca full in the face. Everyone turned to stare and I reached into my backpack for a Neopkin, trying not to cry.

      “Fhazie!” cried Ms. Tuce. “Where are your manners? How un-hygienic! Because of this you will be the one who has to collect all the excess fur and take it to the Money Tree.” She turned to the Faerie Meerca and said, “Madeline, you may go and wash off at the Healing Springs. You are exempt from this class for today.”

      Madeline left the room, while I tried to clean up the snot. I also made sure to put some more Neopkins in my pocket. “Class!” called Ms. Tuce. “Today we will be working on proper brushing habits. Please take out your hairbrushes and your combs. Fhazie, you may go sit in the corner, where any activities your nose chooses to do will not bother anyone.” I quietly moved to the corner and started grooming myself. It was torture! Every time I put the fur into the bag or cleaned out my hairbrush I would sneeze violently. By the end of class my nose was extremely sore and I was out of Neopkins. This boded ill for the rest of the day.

      As I collected the rest of the class’s fur, I stifled the urge to sneeze. By sheer luck I made it out of the building without sneezing, towing the bag of fur behind me. When I got outside I let out my breath. This turned out to be a mistake, as it let out the sneeze also. “Ah ah ah ACHOO!” I sneezed. Luckily there was no one to see me. I sneezed all the way to the Money Tree, where I finally put down the bag of fur and went to the Pharmacy. Using some neopoints that I had in my pocket, I bought a box of Neopkins and wiped my nose.

      Enough was enough, I decided, so I ditched school and went home. When I walked through the front door, Sarah looked up from the food that she was preparing for lunch. As I related what had happened she finished cooking her lunch and sat down at the table.

      “Fine, Fhazie, we’ll go to the doctor. Just let me finish eating,” she said. I agreed and sat down.

To be continued...

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