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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Gathering, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 142 > Continuing Series > Rainy Days: Part Three

Rainy Days: Part Three

by child_dragon


     The shout broke his concentration immediately. He jumped, dropped his pen, and nearly knocked the notebook off the desk. After a few seconds his heart stopped racing in his chest and he braced himself for the next shout.

     “ERIC!! You there?”

     The person outside hammered on the door and the Kougra quickly jumped to his feet, reaching over and unlocking it so the person outside could tumble in.

     “Eric, you won’t believe this,” he stammered, “There’s a Gray on campus again! Her name is – “

     Eric turned his back to the intruder, running his paw through his spiky electric blue fur, his eyes suddenly stressed under some unknown pressure.

     “Payne Gray and she lives on the second floor of Darrow. Yes, I know,” he replied wearily, “I helped her carry her stuff upstairs.”

     The skinny boy blinked in surprise, then shut the door behind him, eyes bright with excitement or fever underneath shaggy yellow fur. Eric’s roommate, the green Lupe, raised his head from where it lay on the pillow of the bed in interest.

     “Then, are we going to go through with this? We really going to let that miserable Cybunny-“

     “Jonathon… calm down. Stop babbling.”

     Eric rolled his eyes and sat down in the chair again, picking up the Light Faerie Pen from where it had fallen.

     “But there’s a Gray on campus. And, and.”

     He stopped, just gesturing, spreading his hands out wide and glancing out the window. It was dark out now, Sunday evening, bordering on midnight. Still raining.

     “The wind is gone, the rains are here. Rainy days Eric,” Jonathon said meaningfully.

     “I –know-. You don’t have to remind me,” the other pet replied tersely, “Now, if you excuse me, we have classes tomorrow. And I have to fill out this report for my RA duties. Now, scat. And don’t forget – it’s quiet hours. Go yelling like that again and I’ll write you up.”

     Jonathon gaped at him for a moment, then sniffed in derision and made for the door, letting it slam behind him. The two watched him go, then Eric sighed and returned his attention to the paper before him.

     “We don’t have much time,” the Lupe spoke up from the bed.

     “I know. I know. Don’t worry, I’ve already got a plan. As RA, I have access to the lockout keys. Plus, that door can be broken into. I’ve heard Leslie talk about it before. No one has bothered to ever fix it.”

     “So are we going to go through with this? He had a valid point. We really going to carry out our plan?”

     He leaned back in the chair, staring thoughtfully at the ceiling.

     “Yes, we’re going to do this. I’ll write to Grievm first thing in the morning. Tell him that there’s a Gray on campus and see how he responds. In the meantime, we need to find out their habits, schedules, and how much Payne knows. I want you to befriend her pet. Alright?”

     “Can do.”

     “Good. Let me know what you find out.”

     And he returned to his paper while the rain continued outside, seemingly unending.

     It was a dismal start to classes. Payne and Maria heard all the grumbling as they ate a hasty breakfast down at the cafeteria. Dour predictions, wannabe prophets. The wind wasn’t back yet and the rain still continued to fall. The grass had already been bogged down and now the water was developing into standing puddles across all the sidewalks and open fields. There were rumors of flood, students citing the relatively low elevation of the campus and the melting snow from the mountains, feeding the river that ran nearby.

     “Beautiful. Just beautiful,” Maria sighed back in their room as Payne packed up her bag for her first class.

     “I’ll be back at nine-thirty,” she replied, “Mia, you have anything today?”

     “Weapons 101!”

     “What kind of weapons?” BlazeFast inquired. “The basic ones anyone with a Battlepedia can figure out?”

     “Excuuuuse me?” Mia said, rolling an eye in his direction. “I am quite proud of my major, thank you very much. Besides, it’s fun. Not my money I’m spending.”

     “Alright. Com’n BlazeFast. We’ve gotta get.”

     And casting one last sour glance at the window Maria snatched up her backpack and the duo vanished out the door, leaving it open behind them.

     “So,” Payne said, glancing over at Mia, “first day.”

     “You nervous?”

     “Very. That book hasn’t helped matters.”

     Both of them looked over at the desk where it was stashed. Payne had slipped it under her jacket, not wanting to draw attention to it by checking it out in the proper manner. She’d bring it back when she was done. For now, it remained safely hidden in the desk drawer. Neither of them had the time to look at it last night, and it appeared that they wouldn’t this morning either.

     “Well, I’d probably better get going too,” Payne sighed, “Maria won’t be back for about an hour after me. Use your time wisely, okay?”

     “And by wisely you mean reading that book.”


     And Payne snatched up her backpack and made her way for the door and the stairs to brave the weather yet again.

     Class was everything she expected and more. She was just another student to everyone, just someone else among them. They did not care about her past, her name, or how much Neopoints she had. The only cared how smart she was, and that she certainly showed them. And they welcomed her for it. It was a gratifying change and she realized that this was her place.

     Her jeans were soaked up to the knee by the time she got back to the dorms. The pelting rain, the puddles, everything seemed to contribute to getting her wet. In a way, it was appropriate. Her middle name was Rain, and apparently that had some significance here in the Neopian University. But somehow, she hoped that it was just coincidence. She was tired of being singled out, tired of being told she was special.

     There were puddles just inside the door leading into the dorms. She shook off her jacket, vainly trying to rid herself of the standing water, than carefully climbed the steps, feeling her paws slip on the damp surface. Even the dorms were wet now, nothing was safe from the rain. She waved to a couple people as she walked along the hallway, glancing in each room as she passed. It was always interesting to see what each room looked like – almost all of them had themes. There was the Twisted Roses room, the petpet room, and of course: hers, the Meridell room. She dropped her backpack in the corner by her dresser and closet, glancing around to see Mia laying on the bunk bed, one hind paw and tail dangling off the end, her head propped on a Jeran pillow and the book open before her.

     “You’re back,” she said in a monotone.

     “I’m back. I still don’t understand how you get up there.”

     “I climb.”

     “But I have trouble getting up there!” Payne replied, shutting the door with one foot and stripping off her soaked clothing. “Paws like ours aren’t meant for climbing.”

     “I’m talented,” she replied, leaning her head over the edge and staring down at her owner. “I met someone today.”


     “Yeah. Remember that guy, that RA that helped you carry your stuff up here on move-in day? His roommate, the green Lupe, came by.”


     “Yeah. He’s really nice, doesn’t talk much, but nice. Name is VerdeVer.”

     Payne couldn’t help but laugh and shake her head. Mia looked at her questioningly.

     “Verde – means green in a different language. Green and Gray.”

     “Huh. Anyway, we went to an early lunch in the cafeteria. So you’ll be eating on your own today.”

     “Not a problem. I’ll just bring it back to the room. You find anything interesting in that book?”

     Mia nodded and turned her muzzle back to the book.

     “I sure did.”

     “Alright. Let me hear it.”

     Mia cleared her throat and folder her paws in front of her, letting her eyes close and her ears fall before her face to drift over the book.

     “Legend says that the early years of this college were plagued with floods. The founders did not realize that they were building in a flood zone, and they soon discovered their error the hard way when the snows melted and the rains came. However, they did not want to move the campus after all that work of building it, so they appealed to the faeries. An Air Faerie took pity on them and agreed to help. She placed a very powerful spell across the campus, creating a wind that blew constantly and kept the rains moving so they wouldn’t stay too long and flood the university.”

     “That certainly explains this wind everyone talks about,” Payne replied, settling down in her chair, “They say it brings the storms and chases the storms away.”

     “Yeah. Anyway, this wasn’t enough apparently. The storms came, and the wind was gone. Just like it is right now. The university was threatening to flood, and the officials were afraid they would have to evacuate and that there would be a lot of damage to the books and buildings. But someone found this legend, and believed it was true. He appealed to the faeries once more, and the Air Faeries gifted him with a sword that had the power to summon the wind and get rid of the rain. Now here’s the wild part.”

     Mia moved to hang half over the edge of the bed, staring directly at Payne.

     “The legend continues on to say that this sword is bound to the family of the NeoPet that wielded it. Only they can take it up and summon the wind, because he was an honest person and that they trusted him and all of his kin. This person, the one that wielded the sword, is none other than the one you get your middle name from: Rain Gray. The legend says that the Gray that bears his name is the rightful owner of the sword. That would be you Payne.”

     Payne sunk lower into her chair. Just when she’d thought that all her problems would be solved, that she could live in obscurity, something has to prove her wrong.

     “Alright. So the rainy days are here and someone has to summon the rain. But what if this is just a legend Mia? What about that?”

     She shrugged delicately and Payne could tell by her stance that Mia didn’t believe the legend was true. For her part, neither did she. It seemed a bit far-fetched and there were a dozen other plausible reasons for the rain and the Gray’s apparent significance on campus.

     “Then there’s nothing lost if we look. I mean, the sword is supposed to be in the library,” Mia suggested.

     “That scary little Techo said that Jerome library was a friend of the Grays,” Payne muttered.

     “Let’s look after dinner tonight. Maybe VerdeVer can come along – he seems to know campus pretty well.”

     “Yeah. Sure. We can waste our time doing that.”

     Mia let out a shout of joy and leapt off the bed, landing on the floor with a shudder. She then skipped from the room, her ears blowing behind her as she tore off down the hallway for the stairs.

     “Summon the wind and chase away the rainy days,” Payne muttered.

     Outside, the rain still fell.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Rainy Days: Part One

Rainy Days: Part Two

Rainy Days: Part Four

Rainy Days: Part Five

Rainy Days: Part Six

Rainy Days: Part Seven

Rainy Days: Part Eight

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