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Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Part One

by mygoodguild


"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 softly.

     "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 pets."

     "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 pay.

     "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...

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