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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 9th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 118 > Short Stories > Ameesa's Clearing

Ameesa's Clearing

by haywire_kitty

Ameesa was scared. To be honest, she was terrified. The little Ixi was starting Neoschool the next day and she simply did not want to go… she had a number of reasons for that.

     First of all, her owner was poor, and all that he had been able to get for Ameesa’s lunch was a half-eaten berry. Ameesa glanced at it and sighed. The other Neopets would be sure to laugh at her when they saw what she had to eat.

     She was also very shy and couldn’t speak to anyone except her owner without stuttering. She was sure that as soon as the Neopets in her class heard her speaking, they would start making fun of her.

     And, last but definitely not least, there was her appearance. Ameesa was a mutant.

     She had been only a couple of hours old when her previous owner, a cruel, rude person, had given her an Ixi transmogrification potion. Being young and ignorant, Ameesa drank it, and what had to happen happened — she changed from a beautiful yellow Ixi into a vile mutant one.

     Her owner, disgusted, threw her into the pound, and Ameesa stayed there for almost three months before Maelan, who was her owner still now, came along and adopted her. At Ameesa’s wish, Maelan had tried everything from paintbrushes (the cheaper ones like blue or red) to the Secret Laboratory (a friend had given them access to it and they had used it for three months without any change coming over Ameesa), but nothing worked. Ameesa stayed a mutant. Maelan didn’t mind too much; he liked his Ixi all the same; it was Ameesa who really minded. She wouldn’t have cared whether she had been red, Faerie, or brown; she simply hated being mutant because everyone was constantly making fun of her.

     She sighed again and turned away from her meagre lunch, looking towards the only window in her bedroom, a tiny crack which, in the daytime, only let through a little bit of sunlight.

     But now the sun was set, it was pitch black outside, and Ameesa knew that it was very late. She took one last look at the half-eaten berry, shuddered, and lay down on her bed.

* * *

The night was a long, restless one. Ameesa couldn’t fall asleep, but at the same time, she didn’t want to, because that meant that morning would come and she didn’t want that to happen because that meant Neoschool…

     But the morning eventually came, and Maelan pulled his Ixi out of bed, pushed her to school, said a quick goodbye, and ran off to try to earn some Neopoints. He ignored Ameesa’s pleads and complaints because he thought that school was good for her, and besides, if she didn’t go, she would be staying home all day alone and that couldn’t be any better, could it?

     Maelan didn’t think so and Ameesa had to go to school.

     As soon as the Ixi stepped into the Neoschool building, almost everyone turned to look at her and there was whispering and pointing all around. Ameesa decided to ignore everyone and went directly to the board on which all of the pupils’ names and the class they were in had been hung up.

     Her name was right at the top. Class 7, the board said. Ms Blanche. Room 120. The small Neopet had no idea where that was.

     She wandered around for a few moments, looking at the room numbers. 104… 160… 109… wasn’t there any logic to these numbers?

     Finally, Ameesa decided that she had to ask someone where her classroom was. She was terrified at the idea, but she had to do it, or else she would be wandering around all day.

     The first Neopets she spotted was a group of giggling Unis, Kacheeks, and Poogles. Ameesa stepped towards them.

     “E-excuse m-me—”

     She had no sooner started her sentence that a Uni, who had been speaking to the others about a brand new Usuki doll or something like that, turned around and glared at Ameesa.

     “Honestly, don’t you know not to interrupt?” The Uni then realized that Ameesa was mutant and added with a sneer,

     “Especially when you’re ugly!”

     The others burst out laughing. Ameesa didn’t reply but walked away, her fists clenched. A tear ran down her face as she looked around and noticed a teenage girl with a tiny red Chia beside her. She approached them cautiously.

     “Uh -- uh -- e-excuse me, but do y-you h-happen to-to know where room one h-hundred a-and twenty is?” she asked cautiously.

     The small red Chia took one look at her and screamed. The girl had been reading a notice on the wall but she turned around, took one look at Ameesa, and became furious.

     “How DARE you come here and scare my Anthony! I will report you to the Chia Police! I—”

     She went on, but Ameesa turned away and ran, blindly, she didn’t care where she went, all that she wanted to do was get away from that horrid, horrid place — so she ran.

     Out of the school, across the yard, through the gate, as far away from the school as she could get, she ran, ran until she became so exhausted that she couldn’t take any more steps and collapsed onto the ground with a sob. Her heart was pounding, her eyes were full of tears, and she lay on the ground for a moment with her eyes closed. She was sick of everyone and everything. She was used to small Neopets being mean to her but their owners! … Neopets’ owners had never been mean to her. Oh, she hated humans, she hated Neopets, she hated her old owner for making her mutant, she hated her new owner for forcing her to go to Neoschool, she hated—

     Then she ran out of ideas and looked around herself.

     She was in a small clearing surrounded completely by trees. The clearing was simply grass except that all around it were tiny blue flowers, flowers such as Ameesa had never seen. They were like balls of thousands of petals packed together, the Ixi thought at first, but when she looked closer, she saw that the petals weren’t packed together but folded inwards into a rounded shape.

     Ameesa loved the small clearing immediately, the flowers even more so. She stood staring at them for what felt like hours but must have only been a couple of minutes, feeling completely happy, until she remembered that she was supposed to be at school. Her happiness melted like a Snow Puff in the sun. How could she face anyone now? She still didn’t know where her classroom was, and if she asked anyone they would be sure to laugh at her or be rude to her again…

     So Ameesa didn’t move. She stayed in the small clearing for the whole day, lying on the soft grass, staring into the beautiful blue flowers, and simply feeling unbelievably happy. When she became hungry she ate her half-eaten berry. She regularly looked at the sun to see the time, and at about two o’clock she decided to start getting back to the Neoschool. She wasn’t too far, but coming to the clearing she hadn’t been thinking, she had been crying and running like crazy, and because of that she had no idea of how to get back to school.

     She wandered around for an hour before succeeding in getting out of the forest. She found herself in a big field. Far away, on the other side of the field, she could see the big Neoschool building. She quickly walked towards it, and when she arrived, she glanced at the sun. It was about 3:10. Neoschool ended at 3:20, so she had ten minutes before the other Neopets came out of the school and before her owner came to take her back to their Neohome.

     Ten minutes is a short time but it was long enough for Ameesa to think about what she had just done.

     She suddenly realized that while Maelan couldn’t know that she hadn’t gone to school, her teacher would. Would her teacher wonder why she hadn’t come and ask Maelan about it? No, probably not, Ameesa thought. She would just think that the Ixi had stayed home because of a case of the Sneezles or something like that.

     The noise of a bell ringing broke into Ameesa’s thoughts. She clapped her hooves over her ears and walked towards the front gates with the Neopets who came running out of the building. Maelan was already there, waiting. He grinned when he saw Ameesa. She ran towards him and together they left the crowd of Neopets to walk towards their Neohome.

     “Did you like your day at Neoschool, Ameesa?” her owner asked her.

     Ameesa hesitated. “It was alright.”

     “Did you meet any nice Neopets?”

     “Not really,” she mumbled.

     Her owner didn’t say anything more and they walked on. Their Neohome was on the edge of Neopia Central. It was a small, rundown house with three rooms: a kitchen and two bedrooms. If Ameesa’s owner had had any more Neopoints, he would have bought another house, but he barely had enough to feed himself and his Ixi. It didn’t really matter to him or Ameesa, though, because the two of them were just happy to be together under a roof, even if that roof occasionally leaked.

* * *

The next day, once again, Maelan brought his Ixi to school. He left her at the front gate with a quick “have a good day”. Ameesa waited until she couldn’t see him anymore to walk away from the Neoschool, through the field, and into the forest. From where she went in it she walked as straight as she could, occasionally stopping to make an arrow with some twigs so that she would be able to get out of the forest quickly.

     Eventually she arrived in the clearing she had found.

     It seemed even more beautiful than it had been the day before. The grass seemed greener; the flowers more blue; the trees seemed stronger… Ameesa breathed in the light fragrance of the small flowers. She felt free—and completely happy—and she hadn’t felt like that ever before. For once, it didn’t matter to her that she was a mutant.

* * *

For two weeks Ameesa led a perfectly happy life. Every morning her owner dropped her off at Neoschool. As soon as he was gone she ran through the field and the forest to the clearing. She had learnt the way by heart; she knew every tree, every flower. She spent her day in the clearing and around it. At three o’clock she headed back to the school. Maelan came to pick her up at 3:20. Ameesa didn’t tell him that she didn’t go into the Neoschool and he never thought of it.

     On the second day of the third week of school, Maelan came to get Ameesa like usual. He greeted her with a “hi, how was your day?” like usual, Ameesa answered with an “it was fine” like usual, and they walked the rest of the day in silence like usual.

     They had just arrived in front of their Neohome when Maelan stopped and turned towards his Ixi.

     “You haven’t been going to school,” he said, angry all of a sudden.

     Ameesa looked at the ground. How could he know? …

     “Your teacher sent me a Neomail asking me why you hadn’t been coming. I didn’t even know. I wouldn’t have known if your teacher hadn’t told me!”

     Ameesa looked up fearfully. To her relief, Maelan didn’t look angry anymore.

     “Where have you been spending your days, Ameesa?” he asked softly.

     The small Ixi let out a strangled sob and slowly, in between hiccoughs and sobs, told her owner of what had happened since the first day of Neoschool.

* * *

During the whole walk to the school the next day Maelan tried to convince the Ixi that he was doing the right thing in sending her to Neoschool. Ameesa wouldn’t listen. She had told her owner times and again that she didn’t want to go, he hadn’t listened, so she didn’t listen to him.

     They arrived at school. A kind-looking white Bruce was at the gate, and when she saw Maelan and his Neopet, she smiled and went towards them.

     “You must be Ameesa,” she said, addressing the mutant Ixi. She turned to her owner. “And you must be Maelan. I’m Ms. Blanche.” The two of them shook hands and paws. They talked until the bell rang. Then, Ms Blanche took Ameesa’s hoof, and they walked inside the building. Ameesa smiled to herself. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all. Maybe she would even make some friends…

     They turned into a room. Beside the door was written the number 120. Inside the room were about 25 other Neopets. They were running everywhere but sat down at their desks as soon as they saw their teacher.

     Ms. Blanche led Ameesa to the front of the room. The class became quiet, staring at the odd-looking Ixi. A small Mynci let out a muffled shriek but Ms Blanche quieted her by giving her a piercing look.

     “Well,” began the Bruce. “First of all, good morning, class. Today we are welcoming a new student: Ameesa.” Ms Blanche turned towards the Ixi. “Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself, Ameesa?”

* * *

The day wasn’t a very fun one for Ameesa. When she introduced herself she stuttered, and the class laughed so much that not even Ms Blanche’s glare could silence it.

     In all of the other classes it was the same. There was constant giggling around Ameesa. At lunchtime, the Ixi sat herself underneath a tree in the yard and ate there by herself.

     When the bell signifying that it was the end of the day rang, Ameesa practically ran out of the classroom, out of the building, and up to Maelan.

     “I’m going to my clearing!” she shouted angrily. Then she ran away without looking back.

     It was only when she had arrived at the clearing that she started to feel better.

     She lay down for two hours, doing nothing. When she got up to go, she wasn’t angry at Maelan or anyone else anymore.

     She stared at the flowers for a moment. Neoschool may be bad, she thought to herself, but I’ve got my clearing and that’s all that matters.

     And that night she was happy.

The End

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