Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 105,225,448 Issue: 209 | 23rd day of Gathering, Y7
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Perspective: Part Four

by gator2468


Nick woke up the next morning by means of a wooden block poking him in the back. It was still quite early - the sun was just rising. He threw all the toys that Rose and Sarah had put in there for him to play with out of the crib so they wouldn't wake him up again.

      He started thinking about what he should give to Rose. Nothing came to mind, and her birthday was tomorrow, so this was a major problem. He had the rest of the day to figure out a present.

      He dozed on and off, all the while thinking furiously. He came up with dozens of theories, but they all were impractical when thought about impartially.

      "Well, hello there, sweetie!" Tess came in and scooped him up. Wrinkling her nose, she said, "I better change your diaper now, honey…"

      After that was done she brought him to the kitchen, put him in the highchair, and gave him a jar of Lemon Meringue baby food, which he accepted reluctantly. He missed being able to eat any adult food he wanted. But, solid foods (especially meats) were not the greatest things for his new body.

      He watched Rose intently during the whole meal for ideas - she chatted with Tess and Sarah about her birthday party tomorrow, something she never did when Nick was still a Darigan. Nick knew that was because she was so afraid that she would say something insulting about Nick and he would injure her. He winced, 'I can't believe I actually acted like that!' he thought.

      "-and some of Nick's friends are coming too, so he won't get lonely. I invited Taro, Rick, and Henrik!" Rose was saying. Nick gasped, the birthday party would seem like torture! The little sample of teasing that Taro had given him before would seem like a lullaby compared to what he would receive at the party!

      Nick spoke up, "Can dey not come to da pawty?" he asked feebly, expecting the worst. They looked surprised and went into the other room to talk for a minute. They came back in.

     "None of them will come if you don't want them to come. After all, you are a baby…" Tess said slowly, watching his expression.

     Nick smiled - at least one thing was working out.

      After the girls finished eating their NeoCrunch cereal, they put Nick in the playpen and went to decorate the garden for the party. They came in multiple times - to get a Dr. Sloth piñata from the closet, to blow up some gold balloons, to bring out all of the coffee tables in the house for the snacks and refreshments to be put on.

      Nick just sat in the playpen thinking. He had never concentrated so intently on one thing for so long for his whole life. He even concentrated more than he did with his algebra homework! He was afraid that he wouldn't figure out a gift in time - it almost had to be something he could make, going out to buy something was out of the question.

      They stopped at noon to eat lunch - the girls ate Spaghetti a la Kacheek and Nick had milk. He was tired of these soft foods. Oh, how he wanted something to chew!

      When he was put back in the playpen, he started chewing on the pretty pink pillows that were piled in there. It felt good to rip something apart, although Tess wasn't very happy when she came in and found him covered with feathers and bits of cloth. The girls laughed, though.

      "Why does he do that?" Rose managed to gasp out through her giggles.

      "He's teething." Tess said knowledgably, "His baby teeth are growing in and it comforts him to chew on something." She handed him a blue bouncy ball to chew on instead - just the right size to fit into his mouth.

      Nick threw it up in the air and caught it in his mouth. This was so much fun!


      "Good night, little one," Tess cooed as she tucked him into his crib.

      "Don't let the bed bugs bite!" Rose called from the living room, where she was playing a board game with Sarah.

      "Rose! Don't scare him like that! He's only a baby after all…" she said fondly, then turned to Rose and Sarah, "Girls, I'm going to go to-" But Nick didn't hear where she was going, he was already thinking hard about his life.

      After an hour of thinking like a philosopher, he made a decision:

      Nick didn't want to be painted Darigan, like he used to be. The color would only give him bad memories of bullying his (he now realized) wonderful sisters. He had found a cure for craving solid foods - ripping up pillows - and, if he wanted to, he could make himself heard by crying or screaming, he didn't need to talk. Besides, he didn't want to go back to having to find a toilet to be able to use the bathroom.

      Taro's threat about telling everyone at Neoschool about his condition was no longer threatening. It didn't matter what other neopets thought about him, only Tess's and his own opinions were relevant.

      Thinking about the whole situation impartially, he realized that being turned into a baby was the best thing that had ever happened to him. It had changed his life and made him a better neopet.

      Smiling slightly at his discoveries, he drifted off to sleep.


      Nick woke suddenly - Rose's birthday! He had forgotten all about it! Surprisingly, though, he had woken up with a fully formed plan in his mind. Nick went over it mentally over and over until it became like a lullaby and he fell back to sleep.

      He slept soundly through the whole night, waking up only once to use the bathroom (staying in his crib of course).


      The day dawned bright and clear, with orange and pink stripes streaking across the sky. Nick wasn't awake yet, but he did wake up when Rose screamed, "Thank you, Sarah!" at the top of her lungs.

      He yawned sleepily, then starting crying loudly. It always brought Tess into the room. Sure enough, she came running in. She looked like she hadn't gotten much sleep, though. There were bags under her eyes and she looked more agitated about Rose's birthday than excited.

     She lifted him out of bed, changed his diaper quickly, and brought him into the kitchen, where Rose was ripping paper off of presents at an amazing speed and Sarah was looking enviously over her shoulder. Nick was given a bottle of milk and was set in his highchair to watch Rose. He wasn't thrilled with this, though.

     'How can I give Rose her present when I'm trapped in this horrible chair?' Nick asked himself. If he tried to ask to be gotten out, they wouldn't pay attention because his voice wasn't loud enough to be heard over Rose's squeals of joy. So he, again, started to cry. He had found himself crying more and more lately, because his voice was beginning to get weaker and harder to hear and his lisp was becoming more pronounced. He could only suspect that it because the powder that Fire2197neo314pet68 had given him was designed to make him more and more baby-like each day.

     Tess just picked him up, rocked him in her arms until he gave up and stopped crying, and put him back in the highchair. He would have to wait to give Rose her gift.


     When Rose was finished opening her presents, Tess went into her room silently (the girls didn't notice because they were too busy examining some seashells Rose had received) and came out with a box tied with a big pink ribbon. Sarah appeared to know what it was, but Rose didn't. Tess set the box on the table in front of Rose.

     "Happy Birthday, Rosie." Tess said softly, not looking tired any more, but blissful. "You can open this now because I bet you'll want to surprise your friends at the party this afternoon." Nick knew exactly what it was. It was a…

     "PINK PAINTBRUSH!" Rose screamed, nearly deafening them all, "Can we go to the Rainbow Pool now, mom? Can we? Please?" she begged.

     Tess seemed to expect that, "What are we waiting for? Let's go!" she exclaimed in an overly cheerful voice. She picked up Nick and put him in a baby stroller (almost exactly like the one Rose had received for her baby doll). Rose placed her pink paintbrush gingerly back into the box, (so it wouldn't be a target for thieves) and they set off down the road.

     Nick sat grumpily in the stroller. Passing Neopians stopped to pinch his cheeks and tell Tess how cute he was. Then, naturally, they would chat for a minute, with Rose impatiently tugging at Tess's jeans so they would continue on to the Rainbow Pool.

     Eventually, they got to the shining pool of water at the center of the Marketplace. Colors of all hues were radiating from underneath the water, giving it a mysterious sheen. Rose opened the box (ripping it in her haste to get the paintbrush out of it), grabbed the paintbrush and, without pausing to say good-bye to her blue fur, dove into the water.

     Momentarily, the whole surface of the water turned pink then it slowly faded back to its opaque rainbow shimmer. Then, Rose stepped out. Looking older, (and, in Nick's opinion, uglier) she ran toward them and gave Tess a soggy grin.

     Nick realized that this was his chance to give Rose his present. He leapt out of the stroller and, even though Rose was dripping wet, gave her a hug.

The End

Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed my first story. I welcome any questions or comments you might have!

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Other Episodes

» Perspective: Part One
» Perspective: Part Two
» Perspective: Part Three

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