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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 6th day of Relaxing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 105 > Short Stories > Heiwami: The Petpet Farm

Heiwami: The Petpet Farm

by random_joy

Neopia Central was bustling with life. People went to the different shops trying to get that special item or just buying what was needed to survive. Heiwami was doing that. The abandoned green Usul had managed to scrape together a few Neopoints and was now getting that night's food.

     Hmm, thought the Usul looking at the prices of marrows. Should I get this? It's the only thing left I can buy with my budget.

     Heiwami decided to purchase one. She paid for the small amount of food and put it in the old bag she had found before heading off for her makeshift house. Her home was now in an old shack that had been left alone for ages. It stood in between Neopia Central and the Haunted Woods. Heiwami never ventured far into the woods. She always felt like she was being followed. The Usul pushed the squeaky door open to the shack and entered the small dim room containing not much more than an old bed and stove.

     Heiwami sighed and sat down on a cardboard box. "Its so depressing in here. I wish I could brighten the place up a little, or at least have someone here to talk to."

     She picked up her bag of food and arranged it so she could prepare for dinner. As she picked up the marrow it shuddered. Heiwami gave a startled yelp and let it fall to the floor. It split in half, revealing its hollow insides. Heiwami looked at the split marrow in amazement. Marrows weren't supposed to be empty were they? She poked at one half of the marrow. In a explosion of red, orange, and black, a small streak leapt onto Heiwami. The Usul gave a yell and fell over onto her back. When she looked up, she saw a small Halloween Baby Blu staring back.

     "Erm, hello?" Heiwami asked confusedly.

     The petpet blinked at her. "Free!" he exclaimed happily.

     "How'd you get in there?" Heiwami got to her feet. How on Neopia could a petpet get stuck inside a marrow? Something seemed awry about the whole situation.

     "Grown," said the petpet bluntly as he gently floated around the room.

     Heiwami could only scratch her head and wonder why the Halloween Baby Blu said 'grown'. How could a petpet be grown? "Excuse me, but what do you mean by grown?"

     The Baby Blu made a strange sound and went for the door. He squeezed through the slightly ajar doorway and flew outside. Heiwami gave chase after him. She followed him through the Haunted Woods. She didn't realise where she had gone, if she had, she'd never had gone in. She soon lost sight of the small petpet as she swept tree branches out of her face trying to see where to go. It seemed like ages, until she found a gap in the forest. She emerged into a field flooded with bright light. Heiwami blinked a few times until her eyes focused. To her surprise she saw a huge greenhouse with marrows growing in it! She crept around the greenhouse searching for a way in. Heiwami had always been too curious for her own good, but she didn't care. Finally she reached a doorway and entered. It was hot inside the greenhouse, almost too hot.

     "Phew, this is just like the Lost Desert!" she panted. She prodded one of the marrows and watched in amazement as it wobbled a little, just like it had before back at home.

     A rustled in the leaves caused her to jump. Out from underneath, the Halloween Baby Blu she had been following scampered out and flew over to her. He shuddered as she held him in her paws.

     "What's wrong little petpet?" she asked him. The Baby Blu looked around carefully as though something was coming.

     "Bad Neopets!" he hissed angrily. "Get away!"

     "Away? You're not making any sense," Heiwami said to him. "Do you mean get away from here?"

     "Away!" the Halloween petpet bobbed his head. He looked around once more. "Before they come."

     A siren came from the other side of the large greenhouse. The Halloween Baby Blu gave a small yelp and buried himself in Heiwami's fur collar. The Usul turned and ran from the greenhouse as fast as she could until she hid herself in the forest outside. Cautiously, she peered out from the undergrowth and saw Neopets all of kinds file themselves into the greenhouse. The pets all carried different types of farming tools, and not one looked happy. They all wore the same woeful faces. As they entered, a very large and menacing Scorchio ticked names off a list. The workers toiled as they tended to the marrows under the hot lights. Heiwami felt very sorry for them. Suddenly, a shout came from the greenhouse and she saw someone pointing her way. Heiwami leapt to her feet and dashed away as fast as possible, leaving the greenhouse and its employees far behind.

*****

Heiwami slammed the creaky door behind her and hid under her old bed. She shivered with fright as she tried to reassure herself that she was safe at last. The Halloween Baby Blu crawled out from her fur collar and sighed in relief.

     "Away!" it sung happily. "Away, away, away!"

     "Yes, away indeed. Why'd you go there if you knew it wasn't safe you silly petpet?" Heiwami got out from under the bed and dusted herself off.

     "Not my fault," he explained. He tried to point at a black band on his tail. "Silly black things fault!"

     Heiwami examined the collar and gasped when she realised it was some sort of tracking device. Quickly she pulled it off and stomped on it, smashing it to pieces. "Phew, I hope that didn't let them see where we are! So, that thing made you run off did it?"

     "Ahuh, yeah. I watch from inside marrow and I see pets work all day. They not very happy. Petpets not very happy either." The Baby Blu flicked his tail at the broken tracker. "I escape by making my marrow roll away so I can get help for them."

     Heiwami thought about those poor Neopets slaving away day after day of hard labour with little food and rests. She had to do something about it. She clenched a paw in anger and slammed it down on the table. Just as she was going to voice her anger a knock came from the door.

     "Hello? Is anyone home?" somebody called. "We saw you at the Petpet Farm and we need your help."

     Heiwami ran to the door and opened it. Two red Shoyru stood there with stern faces. "How'd you know I was there?" she asked.

     "We've been watching that place for a long time now. The workers there live in bad conditions and we'd like you to come and help us free them," explained one. "We plan on getting them out of there tonight."

     Heiwami wanted so badly for those workers to be free that she didn't think properly about the situation. She volunteered without any fear of what might happen, and followed them back to the greenhouse and waited. Back at home, the Halloween Baby Blu had hid when she had opened the door. He knew he should of stopped her, but it probably wouldn't of made any difference if he had. He needed to find help, and quickly.

*****

Heiwami waited beside the two Shoyru. "Are there any other pets here?" She looked around to see if there were any others.

     "No, they're hidden waiting for the signal," said one of them.

     "When is that?' asked Heiwami.

     "Now." The Shoyru pressed a button on a remote control and the siren in the greenhouse sounded. From behind Heiwami a net was thrown over her. The Usul had walked right into a trap!

*****

Heiwami stared at the ceiling. She had been working in the greenhouse for a week now. The room she was in was even smaller than her shack back on the edge of the forest. It was dark and damp and she had to share it with two other Neopets; Usuls like her. The work had been extremely tiring. They only got an hour's rest in the middle of the day, but from sun up to sun down they had to work, tending after the marrows. The greenhouse turned out to be a Petpet Farm run by unscrupulous Neopets. The workers were all captured pets that had found out about the farm. Heiwami didn't believe her ears at first, but her roommates had explained that petpets were secretly grown and raised here. Heiwami always thought that petpets came out of thin air, but it seemed she was wrong. The Turmaculus was actually an overgrown petpet that had come from a huge marrow grown right here, which had run away. Her thoughts were interrupted when the siren rang loud and clear throughout the rooms. Heiwami and every other Neopet went outside to grab a farming tool. Heiwami wiped her brow as sweat built up from working under the bright lights.

     When will I get out of here? she wondered sadly. Nearly all hope of getting free was gone. Some leaves shook and Heiwami looked at it curiously. Suddenly, out popped a Halloween Baby Blu! Heiwami was sure he was the same one from before.

     "I got help," he said quietly. Heiwami leaned in closer to hear. "Friends coming tonight to save Heiwami and others. Don't panic when they come."

     Heiwami was going to ask who, but in a flash the Halloween petpet had disappeared. Heiwami blinked in surprise and wondered what to do.

*****

Heiwami told nobody about what had happened, not even her own roommates. When she went back to her room she sat on her bed, staring at the wall, waiting. The moon rose as she waited. Creatures howled and shadows lurked around the forest. A distant rumble from the east came closer, like a foreboding storm. Heiwami looked up at the tiny window knowing that something was about to happen. Out of nowhere horrible bellows and roars sounded throughout the farm shattering the windows on the greenhouse. Heiwami sat down on her bed and cringed as she tried not to panic. A giant foot exploded into block of rooms and everyone inside scrambled and screamed. One of her roommates tried to grab her, but Heiwami shook them off and stayed. The other Usul ran off without her.

     "Heiwami?" asked a small voice. Heiwami glimpsed down and saw the Halloween Baby Blu.

     "I'm fine. Who's that outside?" Heiwami stood up to take a peek. The Usul saw across the rubble just in time to see a large yellowish-green body disappear into the dark forest.

     "Turmaculus," replied the Baby Blu with a smile.

     "Let's get out of here and go tell the Neopian Police," Heiwami smiled. She was free again.

*****

Things became a lot better at the Petpet Farm. After the Neopian Police got into the act the pets employed from then on got paid and they had many conditions. Many abandoned pets actually came to work there and loved it. Petpets also got better care. They had never been well raised in the first place. Heiwami worked there for a while and made enough Neopoints to be able to buy food for a while. The Halloween Baby Blu came to stay with her too; she named him Choko. Heiwami had gotten her wish after all and found someone to talk to. But deep down she still wished for a family.

The End


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