"So, this is the stuff you eat, huh?" EmeraldFlame555
the green Scorchio said with a look of disgust. "Not like NeoCrunch, that's
for sure. One could almost call it gross."
"I've seen some of the stuff you eat, Emerald,"
I muttered. "Lice rice and pickled leeches…" I sighed.
"Don't insult Ridergirl's food, okay? You may
have to get used to it." Emerald just continued to stare at the corn flakes
I had given him.
My name is RubyRainbow333 and I'm a rainbow Uni.
Emerald and I were somehow blown out of the computer and into the "real world."
At least that's how Ridergirl describes it. Neopia seems real enough to me.
But this world is where Ridergirl and Musician spend most of their time. Of
course it would seem real to them. But is their reality a mere illusion? Sometimes
I wonder. Will we ever go home? And if we can, would we want to? I like this
world. It's so much more interesting than Neopia.
We got a tour of Ridergirl's NeoHome… er… her
house. Her owners… ER… parents were away, as were her siblings. Musician came
to visit. She brought her pets, Shelby the rust-and-white-colored dog, Indigo
the blue Gelert and Comet the red Lupe. Indigo seemed to like playing with Shelby.
"She doesn't talk, but she's a lot of fun" Were her exact words. I simply gawked
at Ridergirl's huge book collection. "They don't disappear after you read them?"
I asked in awe. Emerald listened to Ridergirl's jokes and laughed. I'll wager
he didn't understand half of them. Comet raided the refrigerator, fascinated
by the variety of food in this world.
Ridergirl sighed. "Cathy," she said to Musician,
"What are we going to do about these pets. They belong in Neopia, not this foreign
From across the room, I could hear Emerald call,
"Cool! Ruby, this toy looks like you!"
Ridergirl took a few deep breaths, prayed for
patience, and exclaimed, "Emerald, that's my unicorn statuette! It's made of
"So?" Emerald asked excitedly.
Ridergirl groaned. "It's really expensive and
it…" I heard a crash, followed by a scream. "Breaks easily." Ridergirl concluded
with a sigh. "Cathy, you watch the pets while I clean up."
All in all, our first day in this unfamiliar
world went downhill from there. Ridergirl's parents returned home. Musician
had to leave, and Ridergirl hid us in her bedroom. "If my parents see you, they'll
freak!" she said. "I'll sneak you lots of table scraps." During dinner, however,
Emerald thought it would be a good idea to jump on the bed. Ridergirl's parents
went upstairs to our bedroom to see what was causing the noise. I managed to
shove him into a closet just as Ridergirl's mom and dad were halfway up the
stairs. We tried to breathe quietly and to stay perfectly still.
Minutes later I heard, "Jen? Why are there scorch
marks on your quilt?"
"How should I know, mom?"
"It's your quilt, honey."
"Sure, but as far as I know, there haven't been
any fire-breathing dragons jumping on my bed."
Ridergirl's parents gave exasperated groans.
Fifteen minutes had passed before I could exit
the closet without freaking out. "That was close," I sighed. Then, I said, "Emerald!
You nearly destroyed our cover! Literally! Now find something productive to
do or scat!" Emerald, being the jokester of the family, found this all amusing.
"Jeez, sis. Don't have a Kau. It was a bit of
harmless fun." I spent the next ten minutes silently fuming.
Finally, Ridergirl came upstairs and saved my
sanity. She then gave Emerald a harsh scolding and ineffectively covered the
scorch mark with a stuffed toy rabbit. I hoped no one would notice.
That night, I had a dream. I was in a dark, sinister
cave and yet… no one was there. Not Emerald, not Sapphire, not Amethyst and
not Ridergirl. Instead, there was a strange, alien presence, black like a night
without moon or stars. An evil so tangible, I could reach out and touch it if
I wanted to. But I didn't want to. If I touched that blackness, I knew I would
be sucked into its icy depths never to return. I would be consumed by it, eaten
alive. A wintry wind swept through the scene, covering me with a thin blanket
of snow. I wanted to move, to run away from the horror and evil, and to remove
the snow from my back. But I couldn't. I was frozen in place. I would have to
fight it to get past it. I reached for my Wand of the Light Faerie, (always
my primary Battledome weapon) and… it wasn't there. I awoke with a fright. Cold
sweat dripped down my face. I kept wondering: Who… or what was that evil thing?
Did it create the virus that coughed us out of the computer? And why must I
fight it? Finally, pure exhaustion sent me to sleep.
The next morning, I told Emerald about my dream. "It was so real," I said anxiously.
"That I could feel the bitter cold, smell the dark evil cloud, and hear the
Emerald snorted, "Sis, the pollution in this
world has gotten to your head. You lost three times in a row when battling the
Pant Devil. And that was with your wand of the Light Faerie," he laughed. "Girl,
you should have been born a Lupe. You look for a fight. You search for a hunt.
And you'd hunt far more difficult prey than Chias."
I was stung. I knew the truth in his words. "Yeah,
well, you couldn't hunt a can of prune juice and you know it." I said. "And
when the world ends and the Food Shop Chia quits his day job, it'll be pets
like me that are gonna survive."
That's when I heard the faint squeak of new shoes
against a wooden floor. I ignored it.
Emerald left the breakfast table and left me
thinking. Exactly how true are his words? Am I an odd Uni? Do I really hunt
like a Lupe? Do I look for a fight? And is he not eating those corn flakes because
if not, I'm still hungry.
To be continued...