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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 15th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 113 > Short Stories > Cold Nights in the Usuki House of Horror

Cold Nights in the Usuki House of Horror

by picklegirl100

Whenever you meet a Grarrl, Grundo or any other misjudged neopet, get to know them before you talk judge them. I know that I'm not just speaking for myself. Why would I know? Well then, just listen to what I have to say.

     When the pound assistant came and took me out to meet my new owner, I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life, I thought I might have found someone who didn't hold a grudge against Grarrls.

     The assistant led me down the hall. When I neared the front desk, I heard four voices.

     "Yes dear, I'm getting you another Usuki friend. Well, she's not a Usuki yet, but I have the paint brush at home."

     "But mommy," a small Usul's voice whined, "why do you have to get one from the pound? All the pets here are smelly!"

     "Yeah," said another. "Have you seen how dirty they are? Some of them were even playing in the dirt!"

     "Ewwwww", came three simultaneous whines.

     "I told you yesterday", said the first woman's voice. She didn't sound at all upset at her pets for talking so rudely. "Veera left her Quiggle here because she couldn't keep it anymore with her three Lupes. The poor thing will probably get its manicured nails all dirty. But then I told her you've been wanting a Quiggle, so we're here to adopt it."

     I was immensely relived that these people weren't adopting me. They sounded like snobs. As we reached the end of the hallway though, I looked into the waiting room and noticed that there wasn't anyone else besides a woman I had heard talking and her pets. My heart sunk.

     "They must have left," I thought. Or maybe it was a prank.

     "Here she is, Softly_Somber." The assistant who had taken me addressed the woman. Now I was really confused. She already had three Usuls, two Usuki painted girls and one boy, Usuki painted too.

     All four of them turned around at once.

     "Eeeeek!" screamed the woman. "I asked for a Quiggle, not a monster!" The woman looked completely terrified at the sight of me.

     "She's not a monster, she's a Grarrl. This is the pet you asked for, Softly_Somber."

     The Usuls looked petrified that I might be their sister.

     "But mommy, was Veera's Quiggle Sweetly_Somber?" the youngest Usul asked sweetly.

     "Oh yes, that's right" She was clearly relieved that she wouldn't have to adopt me. "I'm so sorry about that, could you bring in Sweetly_Somber please?"

     I think my heart might have fallen into my stomach right about then. I didn't like these people very much, but they'd be better than the pound. Tears started to well up into my eyes.

     "I'm sorry ma'am," responded the assistant, "but you've already filled out the papers. If you want to adopt Sweetly_Somber, then you're going to have to abandon Softly_Somber first."

     I could hold in my tears any longer. Just what I needed, another disappointment in my life. I know that my tears must have been about the size of a baseball. I'm not sure if what she did next was out of terror for seeing such a big mountain of a neopet cry, or for self preservation, but I'm sure it wasn't out of kindness.

     "F-fine, I'll keep it, just get it to stop crying." Suddenly, my tears halted and my heart bounded out of my stomach. I was going home. Home.

     The Usuls, who had been cowering behind their owner, stepped out from behind her. The fear that had been in their eyes a moment ago turned into anger in their voices.

     "But we can't have that ugly monster as a sister!" the eldest girl scowled at me as she talked.

     "Mommy, pweeze don't get it!" The youngest girl tried to sweet talk her way out of having me as a sister the same way a young neopet may try to sweet talk their owner into buying a Chocolate Lenny or a Neocola. I felt as if I was nothing but a rag, the lowest living thing.

     The Boy Usul only nodded and glared at me. The two girls seemed to be in control of him.

     "I'm sorry, but I don't want another eruption on Flood Mountain over there. As soon as we get home I'll buy a Quiggle morphing potion and a Usuki paint brush. You three can teach her some manners." The Usuls frowns quickly turned into a grin.

     "Okay mommy."

*******

And that was exactly what they did. Almost as soon as we stepped inside, their owner, Taya, left to get a morphing potion, the three Usuls stood in front of me arms crossed, with the boy in the middle. Talfa, the oldest and bossiest looked me straight in the eye.

     "If you're going to be our new sister, then you're going to do what we want. Got that?" For being a little Usul, she had to have quite some nerve to talk to me, the huge Grarrl. But then again, I guess she must have seen me for who I was when I cried. I was just a big wuss.

     "You're gonna sleep in the little room across from Dillik with the dung walls," the youngest, Telka, said nodding to the boy the boy. Dillik just stood there in between his sisters, his face expressionless.

     "You'll do whatever we want," Telka said as Taya's footsteps came up the walkway, "and the first thing we want you to do is take that potion."

     The three Usuls smiled coldly as Taya opened the door.

     "I got my three favorite Usuls some snacks," she smiled broadly as she handed the Usuls three overflowing bags of goodies, chocolates and candies flowing over the edges and onto the floor. "And here's a Quiggle morphing potion, a Usuki Paint brush, and an orange Chia Pop for your new friend," Taya said coldly. She handed me the orange Chia Pop, and gave the morphing potion to Telka, and the Paintbrush to Talfa.

     "Tell me when you want to paint the monster, and I'll get Ulfa to bring you down to the Rainbow Pool."

     "Okay mommy," said Talfa sweetly.

     "Drink." Telka thrust the Morphing Potion at me. I had always liked being a Grarrl, even though everyone's afraid of Grarrls and stereotyped me.

     I could feel a new flood of tears coming as they forced the potion down my throat.

*******

I can't say the next few months of my life were happy. Telka, Talfa and Dillik were worse to me than I could have ever imagined. They beat me whenever I didn't listen, and I had to serve them all the time, although their mother had an Ulfa, a Uni, as a maid and nanny.

     The worst part had to be being a Usuki Quiggle. Have you ever seen what a Usuki Quiggle looks like? It's degrading to walk around with that hair.

     The only two good things that happened to me while I was living in the Usuki House of Horror were Dillik and Neoschool. Whenever Taya, Telka, and Talfa weren't around, Dillik wasn't mean to me at all. He wasn't nice though, either, and he didn't say a word even if I talked to him.

     But he did talk Taya into to sending me to Neoschool.

*******

Telka and Talfa were playing house when Taya told the Usuls that she would be signing them up for Neoschool. In their game, I was the annoying wannabe from next door, Dillik was Telka's husband, and Talfa was Dillik and Telka's teenage daughter. Telka and Talfa had forgotten about the game and were arguing loudly over whose room I should clean first.

     Taya walked into the room briskly, and turned towards the Usuls.

     "Darlings," Taya cooed, "do you want to go to Neoschool this year or be home schooled?" Neoschool! It had always been my dream to be smart. I wished I could go, but I knew Taya would never want me there.

     Telka and Talfa thought about this, as Dillik stood in the corner, face expressionless.

     "Sure," said Telka after a moment. "It was fine last year as long as we get to be in the same class together." Talfa and Dillik nodded in agreement.

     "And of course you don't want S_S, right" S_S is what Taya called me. I think its because she wanted to forget I was there. (Personally, I like it better than Softly_Somber)

     "Yes!" Telka and Talfa said simultaneously before Taya could finish her sentence. Great, no sanity or brains. I'll never amount to anything besides a Quiggle in a dress.

     "But what if Galarith shows up again? You could make Softly_Somber a Grarrl again so she can protect you." That room was so quiet right then that I swear I could hear Taya thinking. Dillik never talked unless Telka or Talfa told him to. And he never argued with either one of them. But he stuck up for me, the Quiggle in a dress. And I might go to Neoschool!

     "Dillik, don't speak unless spoken to," Taya said quickly and coldly, trying to hold peace between her prized pets.

     "No, its okay mom, he has a point," Telka remarked thoughtfully.

     "Yea mommy, Galarith was big and ugly, and he was mean to us. But he's a big ugly Skeith so we couldn't do anything about it."

     "And we couldn't keep her Usuki forever mom. It was fun at first, but if I'm seen one more time in public with a skirted Quiggle I think everyone will stop holding in their laughter."

     "Okay then," Taya reluctantly gave in. I'll get a Blue Grarrl Morphing Potion tomorrow. Neoschool starts on Wednesday." She gave one last disappointed look to Dillik, and walked out of the room.

*******

"Okay S_S, we're only letting you come to protect us. You're not to be seen next to us unless we send Dillik. We'll show you off and first, then you'll skidadlle, got it?" Telka stared at me with piercing eyes. Yes! I don't even have to hang around with them! Taya made sure the four of us got into the same classes together, but I never had to look at them for more than a couple minutes.

*******

I nervously stepped into the play yard in front of a big brick building that said "Queen Fyora's Neoschool Academy". There were tons of Neopets on the playground, and all different kinds. Two Nimmos were playing on the seesaw, and there was a Skunk Zafara playing freeze tag with a Disco Aisha. A red Acara sat with a Faerie Uni and a Pink Usul, gossiping and talking. Telka and Talfa whispered a little together then turned to Dillik and me.

     "S_ S, come with us and let us introduce you to Gerla, Kira, and Helpsa," Talfa said menacingly. It looks funny when she's angry because she's so small and talks sweet normally. "Leave right after we tell them you're the toughest neopet in Neoschool. Act mean, but don't hurt them, and do whatever we tell you."

     Reluctantly, I followed them, and tried to act as ferocious as I could for a neopet who's about to have a nervous breakdown.

*******

Neoschool was so much fun, I actually forgot to be scared of Telka and Talfa. I didn't make any friends, but I hadn't expected to. Nobody wants to be friends with a Grarrl, especially when the most popular girls in Neoschool say that she's tore up a Babaa once just because she was hungry. It doesn't make a difference though, I've never really had any friends.

     As soon as we got home, Taya gave the Usuls all new school supplies. She gave the Dillik Sloth themed items, and me ink themed items. Telka and Talfa had had so much fun at school that they actually shared a chocolate Jubjub with me.

*******

The next day at Neoschool had to have been the best day of my life. As I walked into the playground that morning, I noticed a Faerie Jubjub and two Grundos sitting on the jungle climber.

     Why not make some friends? I thought. I had had a good enough day yesterday, who not push my luck well it was still there?

     I walked up to the Neopets slowly, as if they might be a bomb.

     The Jubjub laughed hysterically when he noticed me walking up to him. He seemed like the eldest of the three. "We don't bite you know," he said, sighing off the rest if his giggles. I had the attention of the two Grundos now, one was purple and one was Faerie. They had been bickering loudly over something about Neopox, but not the way Telka and Talfa do. They both gazed at me a little bit frightened.

     "Oh come on you two," the good-tempered Grundo laughed again. You can escape Dr. Sloth, but you can't talk to a Grarrl. I have a feeling she doesn't bite any more than you do."

     I swallowed. I had really wanted to be friends with them, but Telka and Talfa told me to act like I was mean.

     "Th-these teeth aren't for decoration, you know." It didn't sound at all like a threat, and this time the Grundos both laughed with the Jubjub.

     "Come on, you don't have to pretend with us," the Purple Grundo quickly got over her laughing fit. "We won't tell the Toy Shop of Terror Rejects that you're not as strong as they think." I've been calling them the Beings from the Usuki house of horror, but that's a good one.

     "How could you tell," I sarcastically gave in.

     "I'm not sure. It might have been the stuttering, the hiccups, or the death walk over here," the Faerie Grundo finally spoke.

     I gave in completely to the laughing fit, and the four of us started rolling on the ground.

     "I'm Lolipop," the Jubjub finally stopped rolling (There's a reason Jubjub roll is a move in the battle dome, and I think I saw it then.)

     "I'm Destinys_One_Flaw," the Faerie Grundo said. "Our owner adopted me from the pound when I was really little. I can't remember the selfish slob who named me, but if I ever."… Lolipop tried to stare daggers at Destinys_One_Flaw, but coming from a little purple boy Jubjub, they turned out to be more like very blunt knives or spoons than any dagger I've seen.

     "Remember what happened last time you tried to "pay back" your owner for naming you," the purple Grundo was obviously trying to hold in her laughter, but she wasn't doing such a good job.

     "Anyway," the Faerie Grundo continued, "please don't call me Destinys_One_Flaw. Try D_O_F or Destiny." The little Faerie Grundo unclenched his fists, and sighed. "I can't help it if I'm named after my owner…"

     "But you can help it if you act like him!" the purple Grundo interrupted.

     "Come on you two, can't you even try to not pull each other's spots off all the time." Lolipop sighed, exasperated.

     "I'm not the one with Neopox!" D_O_F interrupted. The two of them did fight a lot, but lightly, not the way Telka and Talfa will tear each other's head off just to get the last word.

     "I can't help it if purple Grundos have spots, I didn't always have spots."

     "Come on you two, she doesn't even know your name yet, don't give her a bad impression until she at least knows who you are." Lolipop sighed, like he hated having to be in charge.

     "Fine, I'm Sleettzo, and D_O_F has a huge nose!" The purple Grundo started cracking up, but I noticed Lolipop wasn't amused, so I tried my best to keep a straight face. I wasn't very good at it.

     "I'm a Grundo just like you, we have the same sized noses…" Lolipop quickly cut D_O_F off, but he was still smiling.

     "Come on, she's heard enough about us, and we don't even know her name."

     I blushed slightly. I'd been perfectly fine listening to them talking, but I wasn't that good of a public even though only it was only the three Neopets listening. Every one else was still staying as far away from me as they could.

     "Softly_Somber, right?" Lolipop asked. He must have either over heard Telka and Talfa introducing me or heard the rumors that I had eaten my Babaa once. If I had ever owned a Babaa, I wouldn't have eaten it, that's for sure. "Why do you even put up with those pampered Usuls anyway? They're so pampered and spoiled they wouldn't eat a Chocolate Uni if I offered them one. You could always run away. If they you so much, why don't they just get their owner to abandon you?" Lolipop looked concerned, and I could tell he was in charge when their owner wasn't around.

     "Well…" I didn't want to get in more trouble with Taya than I would be already for talking to the Neopets. The bell rang for classes to start. DOF and Sleettzo looked at each other worriedly, and Lolipop looked a more concerned than he had before. But they grudgingly followed me into the classroom.

*******

For the next month, I hung around with Lolipop, DOF, and Sleettzo. At first, Talfa and Telka were mad at me for acting nice towards them, but Dillik pointed out that two of them were Grundos, and Grundos had served in Sloth's army. They actually started ignoring me after that. With Neoschool to distract them, they seemed to be bored of me.

     It was only when I overheard them talking one night that I realized how bad that was.

     "Yeah, she's not even a good bodyguard. She stood in front of us a couple of times when Galarith came, but she even stutters. She seem happy enough, just get Taya to leave her at the pound again." Telka sounded bored and tired, as if she was just talking about giving away a toy. I didn't like it here, but it's definitely better than the pound! If they leave me, I can't go to Neoschool, and I had been having so much fun.

     I buried my head in my pillow to quiet the sobs, and listened carefully. They were in Dillik's room, across the hall from mine.

     "Let's tell Taya to drop her off after Neoschool tomorrow. I don't wanna talk 'bout this anymore, I'm tired." I heard Talfa and Telka walk out of Dillik's room and down the hall.

*******

I couldn't sleep that night. I had been doing so well, and things were actually looking up. I had friends who actually cared about me. Not only did they stick around me in school, but I had also caught Lolipop or DOF following me home flying once or twice. I never told them about my life or why Taya kept me, but they never asked after the first day.

     "Just as things are looking up, they go right back down, just like when I was adopted by Taya. I thought it was so good to have an owner until I met her." Usually, talking to myself helps because there's someone to listen and respond, even if it's only me, but now it just made me feel more alone.

*******

At Neoschool the next day, I never told DOF or the others that I wasn't coming back. Telka and Talfa had decided to tell me right after school so they could brag about it the next day.

     The whole day I was so sad that I could barely talk. And when I did talk, it felt like I would start crying again. I tried my best to hold my tears in even though, like usual, I wasn't very good at it. Lolipop seemed to take my signs, and didn't bother me much. They still hung around me, but they didn't try to talk

*******

As the day ended, I decided, to walk with the Usuls of Terror Toy Shop a little bit, but then run away and live on the streets when we neared the pound. I said goodbye to Sleettzo, Lolipop, and Destiny as usual, and hoped that they wouldn't follow me today. If anyone found me they would probably turn me into the pound, and that was one place I didn't want to go to ever again.

     Telka and Talfa sharply gave me the news, and looked a little shocked when I didn't respond. Dillik stood, as usual, with his face expressionless.

     They took me to the pound anyway, but just when I was about to run off, cut through the NeoHomes, and find myself a nice cozy cardboard box to live in, Sleettzo stepped out of the bushes.

     What a day to follow me. I really don't want to go to the pound, even if some pets think it's safe and good.

     But to my surprise, they didn't take me to the pound. "Don't take S_S back to that smelly pound. Have you ever had to live in the pound? It's like being in prison without having done anything wrong."

     Lolipop and DOF landed and stood in font of Telka and Talfa.

     "Give her to us, we'll take care of her," Lolipop said with a grin.

     Telka and Talfa stood thinking, and for the first time since I had met them, Dillik smiled. Just a little smile, but it was good enough for me.

     "Sure," Talfa said. "It doesn't make a difference to us."

     They walked down the street, Dillik following them, still grinning.

     Every time I say it's the best day of my life, I find another day to top it.

     "Come on," DOF said, "Come and meet our owner. You'll love her, she's so nice."

*******

I did like their owner, my owner now too. She's really nice and barely gets mad at me. I finally told Lolipop and the Grundos what had happened to me, everything. It turns out that their owner and them had been planning to rescue me ever since they came home that first day after Neoschool. Lolipop talked with Dillik, and got him to suggest that Telka and Talfa to bring me back to the pound so they could adopt me.

     So next time you see a Grarrl or a Skeith, don't run away screaming and make yourself look like an idiot, get to know them first. You probably won't regret it (unless it's Sleetzo, boy do I regret meeting that crazy Grundo.)

The End


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