Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Part One
"Marigold, can you please do your homework now? Belinda
is not going to be happy with me," Jasmine said with a sigh. "She said to make
sure you had your homework done by suppertime - which it is in twenty minutes!
She's going to be home any moment now."
Jasmine the babysitter ran frantically around
the neohome, tidying up the small messes Marigold's little brother, Kipper,
kept making. She picked up all of his little toys and ran to get a wet cloth
to wipe up the banana he squished into the carpet.
Marigold and Kipper were both Moehogs - and not
very handsome at that. Their owner, Belinda, was always wishing they'd care
more about their appearance. She always felt humiliated taking them anywhere.
Kipper didn't care - but truth was, Marigold really did. It wasn't her fault
she was born naturally hideous.
"No," Marigold grunted. She was always depressed
and angry. "And I'm not helping you wipe up banana, either."
"I wasn't going to ask you to," Jasmine growled.
"Do you want me to give your mother a bad report?" she asked. "I can. I can
tell her how bad the both of you were. And this is my first time even babysitting
here! Well, let me tell you, I'm not doing it again!"
"That's what they all say," Marigold groaned.
"I don't care. Tell my owner. She's not my mother. Owners and mothers are completely
different things. Mothers and mommies act nice. They have big, caring hearts.
My owner is not that. She's an owner, who is just someone else on Neopets trying
to be the best, getting the most trophies, all the avatars... She doesn't care
about her pets - us. So she's not an owner."
"She cares about you, I'm sure," Jasmine said
"Why do you think she hires babysitters every day?"
Marigold retorted. "She doesn't want to be around Kipper and me! That's why!
Two reasons - she wants to avoid us, and she's too busy for us. She's always
out restocking unbuyable plushies. She likes stuffed things more than us, her
"If there's a difference between mothers and
owners, then there is a difference between children and pets, too. Maybe you
shouldn't be so cold and hard on your mother - maybe she's trying to make a
living for you two. Maybe she's trying very hard but she can't fit everything
in." Jasmine sighed. "You start on your homework, little missy. I have to go
start on supper." Jasmine shook her head slowly and walked out of the room.
"I don't even have homework," Marigold murmured
to herself as she trudged off to her bedroom, feeling lonely and unloved. "It
was just Valentines Day," she said to herself. "I didn't even get one valentine!
I don't even have friends to give me valentines!" A tear rolled down Marigold's
cheek once she had firmly shut her bedroom door.
That's when it happened. Marigold threw herself
onto her bed and cried, "I'm invisible! I'm worthless! I'm invisible to everyone.
It's like no one sees me! I wish I really was invisible. I wouldn't have to
obey anyone, dress up; I wouldn't have to go to the pound if my heartless owner
abandoned me. I could be alone, and I could like it." Marigold sobbed and stained
her pillow and face with tears.
Marigold got up and looked into her mirror to
see if her tear stains had made her yellow face blotchy and red. But as she
peered into the glass, she didn't see a thing. No reflection. No nothing. Marigold
waved her arm at the mirror. She couldn't see it moving in the glass! She looked
down at her arm and she didn't see it. She felt it moving - but it wasn't there.
"Oh, Borovan," Marigold muttered. She was absolutely
shocked. "Jasmine!!" she screamed. "Jasmine! Jasmine!! Get in here!" she yelled
at the top of her lungs. "I can't see!" Marigold screamed. She feared she was
going blind, except for the fact she could see everything but herself.
Jasmine burst into the room, panting. "What is
it?" she asked. "Marigold?" Jasmine scratched her head and looked around in
the empty room. "I thought-"
"Jasmine! What do you mean?! Here I am," Marigold
interrupted. "Right in front of you! Do you see me?" Marigold asked. She gulped
down tears. Jasmine could not see. "That's okay," Marigold said with a sigh.
"I can't see me, either." And she flopped down on the bed.
"I'm imagining such odd things today," Jasmine
said to herself as she exited Marigold's bedroom. "Such odd things..."
"That's it. I'm invisible," Marigold said to
herself as soon as Jasmine was out of earshot. "I said I wished I was invisible;
I said I practically was invisible already, and so now I am. Great going, Marigold."
The Moehog sighed. "How am I going to do anything? How will I eat my supper?
How will I go to neoschool? How will I make friends? How will I-" A smile slowly
poked out on Marigold's face.
Suddenly she heard the doorknob to the neohome
opening. That meant Belinda was home. Marigold skipped freely down to the living
room where Belinda was taking off her coat. Marigold skipped three circles around
Belinda, and, because she was invisible, Belinda didn't even know it! Marigold
loved this. It was going to be the life.
She followed Belinda freely into the kitchen,
where Jasmine was putting some dishes back into cabinets. The food looked delicious
- Marigold hoped she would get some. She hoped Belinda and Jasmine and Kipper
didn't worry too much about her. She could easily tell them she was invisible,
but they would freak out. They'd scream, think the neohome was haunted, and
leave forever. They wouldn't believe.
Marigold stifled a giggle and poked Belinda on
the shoulder. She watched eagerly as Belinda turned around and swatted at the
air. Marigold stepped back just in time. She saw Belinda's eyes widen. But Belinda
didn't say anything, because her "mother" would be too embarrassed in front
of Jasmine to "imagine" a poke.
But Marigold reached over and poked Belinda again,
this time a little harder. She saw Belinda stiffen and slowly turn around. Belinda's
mouth got very tight when she saw nothing but the normal kitchen, with a table
and some chairs and cabinets.
Marigold held in another chuckle and poked Belinda
very hard in the forehead. "Ow!" Belinda cried. "Jasmine, there's something
strange going on." Belinda couldn't hide her "imaginings" any longer. "Something
in this kitchen is poking me harder and harder, and now it's starting to hurt."
Belinda rubbed her forehead.
Jasmine looked like she was going to laugh, but
she didn't want to. She was only a babysitter, after all, and could be denied
her salary. "I don't think so, your majesty," Jasmine said, trying hard not
to laugh. "I sure didn't poke you. I think Marigold is throwing some fit somewhere
not doing her homework, and Kipper is in his room with a little friend from
neoschool. No one else could have-"
"No!" Belinda interrupted. "Don't pull the 'your
majesty' stuff on me. Now, you listen. Someone sure as goodness did poke me
and I want to know if you have any pranks going on here in my neohome! I know
it wasn't haunted before! And besides, I don't believe in ghosts." Belinda sniffed
angrily. "Anyway, I told you Marigold should have had her homework done."
Marigold snickered. She walked over to where
Jasmine was cooking and she grabbed a meat ball. She quickly tossed it at Belinda.
This really was the life! She looked on as Belinda's good dress was now splattered
with meat and sauce.
"Jasmine!" Belinda screamed. "Don't dare you
throw your horrid cooking at me! I'm not paying you for that! Speaking of pay,
let's skip it altogether! I don't think you deserve it!" Belinda shook her finger
angrily. "Get out of my neohome this instant! I'll take over from here!"
"It wasn't me, I swear... Honestly," Jasmine
said quickly. As she was being pushed out the door by Marigold's furious owner,
Jasmine cried out. "I spent hours with these little rascals, cleaned up messes,
started supper, and all of this for no pay?!" Jasmine tossed herself on the
floor. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but I can't go for that. I didn't throw a meat ball
at you. Maybe the same person who poked you threw it."
Belinda rolled her eyes. "Don't pull that on
me," she said again. It seemed to be her favorite line. "This neohome is not
haunted and I know you're simply trying to be rude. I know my children did not
cause you any trouble because they are darling angels!" Belinda cried.
Marigold felt tears come to her eyes. Belinda
called them "her children". She also called them "darling angels". Maybe Belinda
really was a mommy, a mother. Maybe she did have some affection for them. Or,
maybe not. Maybe Belinda just said that as a retort to Jasmine's pleading for
"I know that's not true. From what Marigold told
me, that sounds like the first time you've ever called them darling angels!"
Jasmine said, fury ringing in her throat and voice. "Marigold said you aren't
a mother, more like an owner, and that you don't care for her or Kipper!"
Marigold felt her heart get cold. How could Jasmine
repeat such things? That wasn't for repeating! Now Belinda never would
care for them because of this! Because of what she said! Marigold sighed and
came over and helped shove Jasmine out the door. She really did deserve no pay.
To be continued...