Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 142,067,714 Issue: 297 | 22nd day of Relaxing, Y9
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The End of the Rainbow: Part One


by littlej001

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All of the positive feedback on my first series inspired me to write this series. I hope you all enjoy!

A clap of thunder rumbled throughout the dark Neopian world. Deafening raindrops pounded onto stone rooftops, adding to the despair of a small Grey Kougra, sheltering his lone petpet under his body. His fur was matted, his eyes were sullen, and his tail was dragging limply on the ground.

     His name was Mossiku. He had no nickname, preferring the more dignified name. His owner had recently quit, leaving him all alone in a dark, uncertain Neopian future. In a desperate attempt to find a home, Mossiku had fled to the pound.

     All the lone Kougra had found there were many Neopians—many with more than two pets already—greedily watching, as if waiting for the instant that he enrolled himself into the strange place so they could snatch him. It was clear that this was not the correct option for the abandoned pet. He wanted to make sure that he could look forward to being taken care of. Not just be dumped again when something better came along.

     Now, three days later, he had decided that going out on his own had been his best option. Although the rainy days of Neopia Central were a nightmare, he always told himself that after every storm, there was an end of the rainbow. Mossiku continued reminding himself that the end of his rainbow in his internal storm was coming. Maybe even a pot of golden Neopoints would also be waiting.

     Sighing, he shook the thoughts out of his head and rounded a corner, bringing him into the innermost part of the city. A burger structure loomed to his right, with the glowing green sign of the pharmacy to his left. A cold burst of wind stopped the pet, forcing him to find a rock to curl up under. He found the perfect one: a crevice behind the food shop. Another clap of thunder rattled him to the core.

     TinyRawr--or Tiny, for short--his petpet Snoogy, whimpered in fright. His large gray eyes, for the first time Mossiku had ever witnessed, revealed terror.

     Giving a reassuring purr, Mossiku curled up under the shelter of the crevice of rocks.

     The young Kougra shook his head, striving to get loose beads of water off. It was hard to think of a glimmer of hope when everything just seemed to be falling apart within him.

     Just a mere week ago, Mossiku had woken to find his owner sadly sitting at the kitchen table, her head perched in her hands. When Mossiku had asked what was wrong, she had somberly told him that the Neopian world didn’t seem to suit her anymore. It was time to move on.

     “I can’t keep debating this. I’m really sorry,” she had said. Even though Mossiku was a gray pet, he was typically a happy sort. Prancing along in the flowers really wasn’t his idea of a ‘good time’, but he did smile on occasion and he loved to read. In fact, he had thoroughly enjoyed his old life.

     Mossiku had tried desperately to contact friends, but he found many were in large families, and there was simply no room for their owners to take in one more pet, even just for a little while. Staying with friends was out of the question.

     Then it came to answering all of the questions of why he was looking for a home. It seemed that his old owner hadn’t mentioned her sudden exit to many Neopians.

     He didn’t feel any anger toward his previous owner. She had taken care of him for so long, and she always had the best for him. Sometimes things just don’t work out how you planned, and that’s a difficult fact to face.

     Another clap of thunder rattled Mossiku all the way to the tail. The rain was slowly getting harder, the patter that he had earlier heard was turning into a stampede of drops. He glanced down at Tiny.

     The small creature had fallen asleep, using Mossiku’s tail as a blanket. Sleep seemed so far away to Mossiku, with troubled thoughts heavy on his mind. Earlier, his paws had ached for a rest, but the ache ceased once he had sat down under the rock.

     Slowly, so as not to wake his petpet companion, Mossiku stretched out his front paws, retracting his claws in a stretch before sleep finally overcame him. Sleep drifted him into a dream, which took him to a memory where some of his dreams had really come true.

     “Come ON!” The yellow Kougra, a younger Mossiku, practically pulled his owner along the pathway to the Rainbow Pool.

      “We’ll get there soon enough,” His owner huffed, tired from being pulled all the way from their home in Terror Mountain. “Can we stop for a rest?”

     “Fine,” Mossiku reluctantly said. He folded his front paws across his chest. The little Kougra saw his owner put down a box safely beside her as she took a seat on the bench. In that box was an object the two had been saving for since the day Mossiku had first known what the object was.

     It was a gray paintbrush. It was going to turn him into his dream color, gray. Why would he want to be gray? Mossiku never really knew. It had always just strangely appealed to both him and his owner.

     Looking impatiently over at his tired owner, he saw the glimmer of the rainbow that meant the Rainbow Pool was closer than he thought. They were only a little bit away from Neopia Central. Why did his owner have to choose this time to stop? Didn’t she know how excited he was?

     Apparently seeing her distressed pet, Mossiku’s owner stood up, grabbed the small box, and motioned for her pet to lead her on.

     With the adrenaline of his excitement, Mossiku pulled his owner into town in record time. The spring day couldn’t have been better for a day to get painted. Sections of the Rainbow Pool were labeled, ready for use. In alphabetical order, Mossiku quickly scanned around the pool to find his correct section.

     “Baby, Biscuit, Brown, Camouflage...” Mossiku mumbled, skipping ahead to names closer to the one he was looking for. “Faerie, Ghost, Glowing, Golden... AH HAH!” He jumped excitedly, seeing an open station labeled ‘Grey’ on the stones encompassing the pool.

     His owner had already taken out the paintbrush, giving it to him as he approached the water. Slowly, Mossiku dipped the brush in, watching the water turn a soft gray color. He inhaled, held his breath, and jumped in. The water was cool, but he paid little attention to that detail. He could already feel himself changing.

     The bright yellow that used to be Mossiku’s fur was now turning into a pale gray color. His stripes turned a darker shade of black, and he felt his ears start to sag.

     He came up from the pond for air, knowing the transformation was already complete. Upon coming above water, his owner let out a squeal of delight, seeing her pet in his new fashion.

      “You’re GRAY now!” she called excitedly.

      “I KNOW!” he called back, swimming over to the edge. “Where’s a mirror?” he asked once he was out of the water. Mysteriously, once he had come above the surface, it was as if the water had just vanished off of his fur, and he was no longer wet.

      “A mirror? It’s over by the exit,” the girl explained, pointing over to the exit of the gated area.

     The two made their way over to the mirror quickly. Mossiku closed his eyes as he was approaching, not wanting to get a glance at his new color from far away. He wanted to be blown away all at once.

     And he was.

     As he opened his eyes when he knew he was in front of the mirror, he saw a happily-sad Neopet staring curiously back. He looked depressed, with only a hint of a smile in his face; but inside, he was more joyful than he had ever been.

     The saying ‘the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’ was somewhat like what he felt. Here was the end of the rainbow, but it wasn’t gold that was there. It was a happy little gray Kougra.

     Mossiku woke with a start. The pale blue sky of the dream was washed away by the drops of rain still falling from the darkened sky. He didn’t know how long he had been asleep, but his instincts told him that morning was still a long way off.

     The dream he had just had... It bothered him. Why was he thinking about times like that? Couldn’t he have a useful dream for once that would tell him what to do? Was his mind trying to make him sadder? That wouldn’t get him out of his problem of finding a home.

     “An idea would be nice,” he mumbled to himself. Tiny was still curled up around Mossiku’s tail, somehow sleeping through the bad weather. Was his petpet even more worn out than he was?

     Shaking the thoughts away, Mossiku settled down once again to find himself engulfed into a dreamless sleep. Maybe his end of the rainbow was coming. It just might not be as obvious as the last time...

To be continued...

 
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