Judgment: Part Three
It took a while for the quill to begin moving again, the
whole room seemed heavy with the light that the sun was pouring in. Whatever it
was that was moving the quill, it wasn't sure if this was entirely the appropriate
mood for what it was writing. So it paused, taking in the glorious day that was
beginning to bloom outside, the smell of bread from downstairs and the song of
a Pteri a long ways away. The quill fell to the desk with a clatter and the light
sound of something thwacking the rug could be heard. The sound moved towards one
of the larger windows, taking in the sight of the new day, taking it all in, the
smells the sounds, all the things that were now forbidden to it. It moved slithering
over the floor like a Cobrall, up to the desk where the worn journal lay open,
the wet ink still drying. Soon however the ideas could no longer be pent up inside
of whatever occupied the room, soon they had to spill over onto the paper. With
much thought, the quill began to dance onto the parchment.
That week was a long and hard one, although
me and Solange walked to school with each other as usual, that seemed distant.
As if it was a stretch to just say hello, each word took longer to say and each
motion seemed forced. I took to talking to other pets, making shallow friendships.
My social skills certainly weren't sharp things, but I slowly became better
at small talk.
"How is the weather? You play any sports? What's
your favorite subject?" I wasn't having the same deep meaningful conversations
I had with Solange but, they satiated me for about a week. When I finally burst
it was unfortunately to the one I least knew. It was right after school, but
before Solange had come out and we were attempting to make awkward conversation.
Adele a small red Chia was leaning against the concrete wall of the building.
I was standing, shifting around nervously.
"You know what really bugs me?" I whispered quickly,
glancing around to make sure no one was in sight. Adele leaned foreword eager
to not have to listen to me drone on about the weather any longer.
"Solange. She is just trying to be friends with
the popular pets, they wouldn't normally tell her the time of day if she asked.
That's why she sided with that Mynci. Eugh you know who else I can't stand,
that Mynci, Mellie. She thinks she is so cool, but really she isn't. Man are
all the pets here idiots?" I questioned myself, relaxing slightly. It felt so
good it get all of this weeks worry off of my flippers.
I turned around to leave and there in front
of me was a rainbow Pteri. The same Pteri I had just been ranting about, her
eyes were wide and open as if seeing me for the first time. She looked ruffled
and her beak laid pried, unbolted. I could hear her heart it was beating so
loudly. We stood looking at each other. I suppose she was wondering what I was
thinking, but I had no trouble reading her face. I had never seen her like this.
Her feathers were rumpled and she was hunched over, it only took a couple of
seconds however for the words to sink in. Then anger brought her to life, like
an evil plushie. "I can't believe you Pricilla. I stay friends with you when
there are so many pets who would have been nicer, not doubted themselves so
much, and then you say this. I don't know what to think. Who are you Pricilla,
because I certainly don't know?"
I can't believe she would say something like
that; she was the one who was giving her self over to the popular pets. I was
about to send an angry retort back when she threw something at me. As it landed
in my arms I felt it, it was my scarf. Wooly, soft, but strangely it did not
feel as warm and welcoming as it usually did. Before I had a chance to respond,
she was gone, a multihued dot against the sky. I petted the scarf quietly; Adele
had sense enough to be gone, so my rage could not be directed at her. I was
alone, the sky was cloudless and the sun was shining, fortunately the weather
did not reflect my mood, or Neopia Central would be flooded. I headed home,
reluctantly dragging my feet behind me.
The next morning I got up, and went outside.
My owner was still asleep, so I got out without being forced to down some of
the gross food she had stocked up. When I went outside I expected to see Solange
there waiting for me and then I remembered it all. I almost wanted to go back
inside and not come out again for a long time. However, just running away wouldn't
do me any good, no matter how much I wanted to. With a resolute frown on my
face I walked to Neoschool, alone.
The day went by quickly. Bells rang, tests were
handed back, and the everyday things that seemed once to matter simply didn't.
Solange kept on sending glares at me, and my eyes could only stare back blankly.
Halfway through a lesson on the dangers of the Chia Clown, a note landed on
my desk with a slight woosh. It was crumpled into a small ball. Carefully, under
my desk I flattened it out and began to read. It was written in the messy scrawl
that belonged to Solange.
"Until you apologize I won't be your friend.
I can't be friends with someone who insults me." My gut feeling was to apologize,
but I knew in my head that I was right and apologizing wouldn't change anything.
So I took and small piece of paper from my pale starry notebook, then I scribbled
on it quickly with my candy cane pen.
"You are always nosing into other people business
Solange. I apologize for not saying it to your face," I crumpled it quickly
and sent it over to her desk with a slight movement of my flipper. It landed
quietly on her desk; my eyes were hooked to her face as she read the letter.
Her whole face contorted quickly to a small wrinkled mess, her beak clamped
determinedly shut. She tossed the note into the garbage and didn't even look
at me. I turned away from her then, knowing that she didn't take it well. Why
can't she just apologize for defending Mellie. I just didn't understand.
With the entire note passing incident I didn't
notice that it was almost time for recess. The bell jolted me out of my reverie.
Soon I was being herded outside by the teacher. The day was a dimmer version
of yesterday and clouds muted the sky. Pets were joyfully running around, and
there was Solange, talking to a tall Darigan Lupe. I didn't want to be too obvious,
so I slunk behind a tree to get a better idea of what she was saying.
"Eugh, that Pricilla, how can you stand to be
around her. She would be cool if she just was nicer to other pets. She was such
a Mortog to Sicilla the other day; Sicilla just wanted to help her up." The
deep rich baritone voice of the Lupe wafted to my ears. I held my breath waiting
for Solange to defend me.
"Yeah. You know what is funny I used to be friends
with her. Heh look! I'm Pricilla and I like to Swim. All Flotsam are like her
you know," Solange commented nonchalantly. It was if a Sword of Domar was thrust
deep inside of me. I couldn't breath, I couldn't move. Something deep inside
of me crunched, and I felt my whole face turn bright red. I let out a loud squeal
not caring if anybody heard me and ran away as far as I could, out, just out.
I figured that all my troubles would be left in my dust. Any further resolution
I had crumbled. Neohomes were a blur as I rushed to nowhere. I passed through
the good section of Neopia Central and quickly watched it turn into the bad
part. I soon found myself in a dark alleyway, huddled up into a cardboard box.
I shook uncontrollably.
"I just wish no one could ever judge me again!"
I shouted to the world, as if it could hear my plight and strangely it did.
A dark sinister voice curled around the box.
"Are you sure?" the voice rasped quietly, coldly.
I stopped shaking to listen to this proposition.
"Who are you?" I stuttered inaudibly, looking
up and around for the giver of the voice, though the cardboard box cut off most
of my vision.
"Do you want it?" it rasped impatiently. Something
struck me as odd about the situation, but thinking was beyond me now. I merely
held out one flipper. I expected a couple bright flashes of light, or a portal
of some kind to appear but nothing like that happened. I merely felt less alone
and a slight cold feeling crept into my chest. I held up a flipper to see if
I was any different on the outside but there was no outside to be different.
I looked myself up and down carefully but I was gone, at least in all outward
The quill stopped, this time for good, lying
down on the paper, the old tattered journal closed and an old raspy voice rang
throughout the room, like a rusty hinge being used for the first time.
"Oh what a fool I was. What can I do?" The mark
of insanity seemed to descend upon the pet painted invisible, that if one looked
very hard could be defined as a Flotsam, a very striking Flotsam, whose beauty
spoke of water, and days in the sun and surf. "I can only try to mend what I
have lost, I suppose and running isn't doing me any good anymore," with a stubborn
stomp of her left flipper, Pricilla headed downstairs. "Mom. I'm home."