A Place To Be
The snow was leaking through her beaten souled boots. Black rubber was grinding on freshly fallen January snow, as Arrow dug deeper into its depths. A pudgy, round faced women was having the same struggle as she dug her shovel deeper into the drive way. With all the strength they could muster, the walk ways and path to a shabby, run down Neohome was made. Exhausted, the browned her and yellow Xweetok fell down to the ground, huffing and puffing, their breath catching in the air. As the pair caught enough breath to sit up, they both chuckled and started to make snow balls. It was a tradition they formed, having a bit of fun after hard work. Heather let out her jubilant laugher, hands flapping as Arrow through a snow ball at her. Her mom/owner could be such a weirdo. But she had taken her in when no one else would.
As Arrow would say, if she could tell you out loud, things haven't been always easy. As the two headed in, Heather gestured for Arrow to sit down at the table. Curious, she sat down while her mom made hot cocoa. The steam rising in the kitchen warmed her up. Heather sat two cups down and gave her daughter a pat on the shoulder.
"I want you to tell me, if you can, how you came to me."
Arrow sighed and looked away. She brought out her chalkboard and began to write. ~**~
A three year old yellow Xweetok holds tightly to a young girls hand. She can't be over 15. The cold blue eyes glare down at her as Ally twirls her dyed stawberry red hair. She shakes her head and yanks the bewildered and frightened pet through the hustle and bustle of Neopia central.
"You know, I thought Xweetoks were supposed to be mischievous and fun. How did I end up with a broken one who can't say a word? Just my luck I guess."
Arrow couldn't utter a sound as she was born mute. Ally and all of Neopia knew created pets could have any age picked for them. You could see a 20 year old with a 14 year old pet or a 40 year old with a 2 year old pet, it just depended on the age chosen for you by a owner. Neopets came out of eggs from a machine that had user friendly options. Ally liked the looks of Xweetoks and decided to try for 13, but messed up and picked three. The sun glared down on Arrow as she was ushered to a path way down the stairs of a dingy looking one room Neohome.
The noise and clatter from the crowds became muffled as Ally slammed the door to the room. Dust clouded out other windows, spider webs hung loosely in the corner and the furniture looked in a state of decay. The three year old ran away and hid under the dusty table. Footsteps slowly approached her and stopped right beside the edge. The teenage girl snorted and yanked her out by her yellow tail, ignoring the hollowing pain as Arrow struggled to free herself, now upside down.
Ally's sugar gum got closer to her face, the grip on her tail growing tighter and tighter. "You think that you're going to live a life of luxury? Huh? What, the place isn't good enough? Well suck it up! I shouldn't have made a freak like you, you hear? You're a mute and no one will love you! Ever!"
Ally dropped Arrow and with a turn of the heel, walked right to the door. Arrow sobbed, tears and snot mixing together as she held her injured tail, curling up into a ball. The sound of a door could be heard slamming and Arrow was alone. ~**~
Arrow grew as did Ally's disapproval and taunts did too. The owner was a spoiled, manipulating human who had gotten cut off from the money from her parents in Brigtvale. A few years passed and the girl decided she could make a Neopet to scheme and cheat people out of their Neopoints. The only fatal mistake she made was the age of her pet. Arrow went to school and never tod anyone what went on at home, not even her best friend Wolverine. ~**~
She was always alone, most days. That simply how it was and the seven-year-old Xweetok wouldn't have it any other way. She shivered in the cold, cold night, waiting for someone at an empty corner by the street lamp. The hollowness in her stomach was not unmatched from the pinches and tail pulling she had gotten that day for not cleaning up the house. Arrow simply wanted to forget the abuse and escape somewhere far away. As the night brew darker and darker, Arrow was starting to worry when a figure stepped out from the shadows. A tall, ragged looking Tyrannian Kougra came into view and he tugged at his jacket, shivering. Out from his pockets spilled a book and papers. He shrugged sheepishly as Arrow tried to stifle a giggle. She was the only one to be the klutzy and poor Tyrain's friend, after his mom had moved the family to Neopia Central.
Wolverine smiled and picked up the fallen contents. As they looked over the book title "A History of Neopia ", the eight-year-old Kougra picked up his green book bag and took out a brand new mini chalk board, eraser and, package of chalk. Arrow gasped as he handed them to her.
Wolverine whispered merry Christmas, but was tackled in the snow by a brown furry flash. The pair rolled around and laughed, or as best of an attempt she could make. Tears spilling, snow falling. She didn't hear the crunch of boots as her friend helped her up. Nor did Wolverine as a rock hit Arrow's head. Pain flashing, yelling, lights turned on, everthing started to go black. The last thing she heard was her name being called. ~**~
Thirteen stitches and a trip to the pound later, Arrow awoke in her cage. It had been three days, and no one had seen hide or tail of Ally. Groggily, testing the bandages around her head she blinked as the sunlight peeked through a open window. No visitors were allowed and Wolverines mom couldn't take her, due to lack of funds and money. Arrow closed her eyes and didn't want to open them for the next three years she was at the pound. The other pets teased her and she was out casted by many. No one came to adopt her, day after day. Arrow learned how to read and write, math and science, history and social studies. Yet the pound school wasn't home. She hatched a plan to run away, a few weeks before Christmas. The perfect opportunity came when she was on a trip with her class to Neopia Bazzarr. When Billy the Christmas Uni held up her chalkboard away from her, laughing and dancing to the outskirts of the group, she kicked his legs and ran as far as she could, pound employees hot in pursuit. Arrow hid in a hollowed out part of a tree. She sat hunched in the hollow pit for hours. Shivering and cold she only got up when it was black and many stars were shining in the velvet sky.
She ran. ~**~
Arrow sat down at the kitchen table, nursing a hot cocoa mug in her hands. Heather smiled sadly as tears torrented down the Xweetoks face, dampinng her fur. She scribbled down on her chalk board. Holding it up, Heather had to bite back tears of her own as the words "Am I a freak?" blurred from her vision. Getting up from her spot, Arrow was engulfed in a tight, warm embrace.
Heather held the shaking form. "You're not a freak, you're not broken. You're my daughter. Your Arrow. Wonderful, bright, lovely young lady who I'm so blessed to have in my life right this minute. You'll never, ever, be treated like that and I promise you, you'll always have a place in our home. "
The snow fell silently, the night grew on, and the two cried and cried. As the last of the tears went away, Arrow knew she'd had found the place to be.