"Gihaela! Wait! I dropped my pencil case!"
Gihaela the red Ixi groaned inwardly and turned
around expectantly as she watched her accident-prone younger brother scramble
to grab the pens and pencils that had fallen out of his pencil case.
"Got them!" Damian the red Kougra exclaimed,
grinning as he shoved his now full case back into his backpack. Gihaela just
rolled her eyes. The fifteen minute walk to home from school was always lengthened
by Damian's fits of clumsiness. "Gihaela, who are they?" her brother queried,
looking behind her shoulder suddenly and frowning. Gihaela turned around curiously.
What she saw made her stomach flip over several
times. It was Melanie's crew from school. Melanie was a Disco Kyrii who had
amassed a group of Skeiths who followed her every command. Gihaela knew from
experience that they weren't the nicest bunch and also that they didn't like
her. The way they were blocking the path wasn't very comforting either.
"Excuse me," Gihaela said, hoping beyond hope
they'd just let them get home. Arusa and Emaee, her older sisters, were home
sick and without them Gihaela felt very unprotected.
"Excuse you? For what-not being painted?" Melanie
asked. Gihaela took a step back, rolling her eyes.
"You really need to get a new insult, Melanie,"
she said. "That one is getting way old."
Melanie smiled a bit savagely. "I'm working
on it, don't worry. I'm getting disappointed not seeing you cry like a pathetic
baby whenever I say your name. Your resistance must be holding up beautifully."
"Melanie, it would be really great if you could
let us pass," Gihaela began, knowing it was a lost cause.
"Or what?" Melanie taunted.
Gihaela gritted her teeth. "Or you'll regret
it. Now move."
The Kyrii laughed. "Oh, I'm so scared! Are you
going to FIGHT me?" Gihaela didn't respond. "Oh, but I forgot. Your family DOESN'T
fight. Just like a bunch of sissies, aren't you?"
That hurt. It wasn't as if Gihaela had invented
the no-fighting rule in their household, after all. But before she could respond
a red and striped blur shot by her and suddenly Damian was wrestling with Melanie.
"Get it off of me!" Melanie shouted to one of
her Skeith friends. One picked Damian up by the scruff of his neck and deposited
him in a ungainly heap in front of Melanie. "So, Gihaela. Your pathetic baby
brother will fight for you?" She glared at Gihaela and then her glare turned
into a sneer. "I'll meet that little runt at the Battle Dome at 2:30 tomorrow.
Be there, or I'll be sure to tell everyone in school about what a pack of cowards
your family is." With that, she and her group split and passed by them on the
"You shouldn't have done that, Damian," Gihaela
said, rushing over to the lump of his body. He got up, stretched, and winced
at a small bruise on his right side.
"Of course I should have! She was making fun
of you!" he said ardently. Gihaela knew that her brother was fiercely protective
of her, but seeing that protection made her love him all the more. He really
was her best friend. Thus, there was NO WAY she was about to let him go into
the Battle Dome with no training and no weapons.
"You aren't going into the Battledome, you know,"
she said, helping him up and starting to walk towards home again. "Its not safe.
You're completely unprepared, your stats are horrendous, and Melanie's never
lost a single battle."
"I don't care," Damian said. "I'm not about
to let her get out of that. Even if I lose, it'll be worth it to have shown
her that a Williams family member WILL fight." He frowned. "I hate being a pacifist
family," he muttered darkly.
"I don't, that much," Gihaela said thoughtfully.
"I can spend time reading and exploring and playing games. I don't have to get
hurt or be in pain. I don't have to go through the rigorous training process.
And it also means that more money is saved up for our paintbrush funds."
Damian didn't reply, just kept trudging towards
the house. They were just in front of it when he replied, "But without fighting,
I'm a nobody. I'm not smart enough to get an award. Gourmet foods are too expensive,
and it's hard getting a trophy for that. I'll never win in the beauty competition."
He opened the door to the house and flung his bag across the floor angrily.
"I HATE being a nobody."
"You're going to WHAT?" Carolina cried, looking at Damian in shock.
"I'm going to battle Melanie the Kyrii," he
said calmly for the third time. Gihaela leaned back in the beanbag chair and
tried to pay more attention to her book. She did NOT want to get involved in
"You're going to battle Melanie the Kyrii,"
Carolina said slowly. "Let's hop over and look at her stats, shall we?"
Gihaela groaned inwardly. She didn't need to
know Melanie's stats to know that Damian was finished; with Melanie's constant
bragging Gihaela had practically memorized them, whether she had wanted to or
"Her strength is 57. Her defence is 43. And
her movement is 51. Damian, do you have any idea what you're going up against?"
"What are my stats?" Damian asked stubbornly.
Carolina sighed. "Damian…"
"Tell me!" he urged. Carolina sighed again.
"Your strength…" she looked up regretfully,
"is 9. Your movement is 9 and your Daphnes…" she paused again, then urged herself
to continue. "Your Daphnes is only 5."
There was a thick silence in the room. Then…"I'll
need weapons," Damian said.
"Damian, it's so dangerous. You've never trained
because there's been no need. You're young. There's no way you can win, you
realize that, right?" Carolina tried to say. Damian didn't say anything for
"If I'm going to go down, then
I want her to go down with me," he finally said, and left the room.
The next day at 2:20, Gihaela stood nervously at the sidelines of the arena.
Damian was stretching and carefully going through his newly equipped items.
"He'll be okay…he'll be fine…don't worry about him…" Gihaela kept saying to
herself. She turned and saw both of her sisters, bundled up to try and prevent
them getting sicker than they already were. Arusa the Christmas Zafara looked
like she was fighting exhaustion. Her head kept lolling slightly to the side
but then she'd jerk up, blink several times, and then the procedure would repeat
itself. Emaee the blue Aisha was shivering but looked just as nervous as Gihaela
The doors to the arena opened and Gihaela looked
up as Melanie waltzed in. She smirked from across the room at Gihaela and Gihaela
could feel her stomach twist and turn in all directions. This was lunacy. No,
this was beyond lunacy. This was suicide.
Melanie stretched and did a couple of kicks
as one of her Skeith friends gave her a bottle of water, which Melanie chugged
down. Then she opened the small gate and stepped into the arena, tapping her
foot and looking expectantly at Damian. "Damian!" Gihaela hissed at the exact
same time as Carolina at her left. "Don't do it, Damian!" Gihaela whispered
as loudly as she could. "Don't do it!"
Damian didn't even look back at her but just
stepped into the arena. Melanie's owner and the group of Skeiths settled down
on bleachers on the other side of the arena. Any minute now, the fight would
And it did. With a roar Melanie launched forward.
Gihaela winced and threw her eyes over her face, leaving only little slits.
With a similar roar, Damian protected himself with his shield. He threw back
a scorch and Melanie put up her own shield.
Gihaela found her eyes going back and forth,
back and forth as the two Neopets fought. She was absolutely shocked Damian
was doing so well. Each move Melanie made, Damian was ready for and struck back
with a vengeance. Melanie was starting to look panicked, especially at the prospect
of losing to such an inexperienced battler.
"What are you in, the ballet?" she taunted Damian.
He didn't say anything. He hadn't for the entire battle and it seemed to creep
Melanie out with his constant silence and unwavering determination. "Aren't
we feminine today?" she taunted desperately. She seemed to want him to be angry
and lose his focus, but he didn't say a word. Gihaela's heart swelled with pride
for her brother.
Suddenly, Melanie staggered and fell to the
floor. Damian stopped, concerned. "I give up," Melanie said, breathing heavily.
"I've lost! Okay?"
Damian let out an apparent sigh of relief and
reached out a paw to help her up. Grinning evilly, Melanie hit him full blast
with a Kyrii Power Puncher. Damian, not ready for such a blow, staggered and
fell on the floor as Gihaela, Arusa, Emaee, and Carolina rose as one indignant
"Unfair! Cheater! You lost, and then you tricked
him! That's against the rules!" They all cried in unison. A Scorchio supervisor
blew his whistle and flew down, talking and gesturing angrily to the exhausted
yet smug Kyrii.
"Whoops, forgot the rules," Melanie said. Her
owner had gone into the arena and didn't say a word to scold her pet. She simply
threw a white towel over Melanie's shoulders and led her out of the arena.
Carolina, Gihaela, and her sisters all rushed
down to the arena and knelt next to Damian's exhausted and bruised form. "Drink
some of this, sweetie," Carolina said, shoving some healing potion down his
throat. "That'll help you for now till we can go to the Healing Springs." Damian
drank and struggled to sit up. A huge purple circle surrounded his right eye
but he was smiling.
"I won," he said simply.
"How'd you do it?" Gihaela asked, still shocked
at the events that had transpired. Her brother smiled faintly at her.
"I wasn't about to lose when I was defending
you, sis," he said. "So I gathered together all my paintbrush funds and got
codestones, and trained for hours and hours last night with the Techo Master
while you were all asleep. Then I had about twenty coffees so I wouldn't be
tired." He grinned at them. "Damian!" Gihaela said, and hugged him tightly.
"I can't believe you'd DO that for me. How can I ever make it up to you?"
"There's one thing you can do," he said slowly.
"What? Tell me and I'll do it. Do you want more
money for your paintbrush?" Gihaela asked.
"Nope," he said. He paused and then gave a lopsided
smile. "Just promise to stop me if I ever get the idea to battle again."
"Promise granted," Gihaela said, hugging him
once more, knowing she had the best little brother in the whole world.
Author's Note: I have absolutely no grudges against any of the following:
the Battledome, Skeiths, or Kyrii's. Also, if you happen to have a Kyrii named
Melanie, it is a total coincidence. She's a made-up character and I don't base
my bully characters on real Neopets ;).
Second note: I'm not a battler, in case that wasn't clear. That DOESN'T
mean I have anything against the people who do battle. I just choose not to,
and that's my own decision. If you want to comment on something OTHER than the
above statements, please Neomail me at Carolina543. I'd love to hear your response
to my first Neopian Times story!