Blue's Way: Part One
“Look, I was painted rainbow over the summer!”
“I got painted sketch!”
“Electric- it looks so much better than sponge did!”
“Ooh, I was painted pink, too! But I look better in pink than you do.”
“You do not!”
A large blue Kougra shouldered his way into the circle between the two indignant Pink Unis.
“Who’re you?” the Sketch Gelert asked rudely.
“Me? I’m Blue. Blue in name, Blue in color. I’m new around here.” Blue leaped gracefully onto a tree branch just above the group’s heads. He sat down, and the end of his tail started to flick idly. “My full name is BluesKing186, but Blue is simpler. By the way, nice school you have here,” Blue commented, looking around the crowded Neoschool grounds.
The painted Neopets looked at each other in dismay and confusion. An unpainted pet, speaking with them like he was painted too! Then telling them that their school was nice! What nerve he had!
After a long pause, one of the Unis sniffed. “Well, I’m going to go fix my fur- not that I need to, unlike some other Unis.”
The other Uni gave her a nasty look, and then marched off in the opposite direction to gossip with some of her other painted friends.
The other Neopets quickly dispersed, a few of them shooting glares at Blue over their shoulders. The big Kougra didn’t seem to care, examining their dark glances with interest.
* * *
Across the schoolyard, a yellow Acara whose name was Nareiieran (Rei for short) shook her head in disbelief. “Can you believe that, Fura?”
Fura295, a small Green Wocky, shook her head in amazement. “He must be crazy,” she agreed. “I mean, everybody knows not to tangle with those painted pets. He’d better watch his back, ‘cause now they’ll do anything they can to take him down a peg or two.”
Rei nodded. “It’s too bad; he seems nice enough. But he should have known better than to walk up to a group of all painted pets and start talking to them. They think that they’re way better than unpainted pets.”
Fura shrugged. “Well, this sounds mean, but there’s really nothing we can do. We can’t act friendly towards him, unless we want to get beat up too. I guess he won’t have any friends at our Neoschool. You’re right; it is too bad.”
The bell rang for school to start, and the two pets headed towards their first class, comparing schedules and realizing with delight that they had first period together. They went into the school, then down the hallway and into their first period math class. They settled into their seats right next to each other and immediately started looking around with interest.
Suddenly Rei jabbed her paw into Fura’s side. “Look!” she hissed. “Some of those pets over there are giving us dirty looks!”
Fura glanced over at a large group of all-painted pets, who were talking and laughing together. She sighed. “Ignore them, Rei. Remember what happened last year? I don’t want you to get into another fight with them. And it’s not just us they’re looking at- they give dirty looks to all the unpainted pets. Don’t take it personally.”
Rei scowled. “Some of those pets were our friends a couple of years ago, you know- before they were painted.”
“All the more reason not to beat them up.”
“That’s not how I feel,” Rei muttered under her breath.
At that moment, a middle aged blue Gelert entered the room and quickly called the class to order. Rei and Fura were hoping that she would have Blue introduce himself, but quickly realized that she wouldn’t since it was the first day of the new school year. After all, there were many other new pets, too. After this hope was dashed, the two settled down to listen to the completely uninteresting math lesson.
A couple of hours later, the two best friends went outside and headed towards the Yooyuball field for their PE class. As they crossed the grounds, Fura suddenly gasped and shoved her elbow into Rei’s ribs.
“Oof!” the Acara groaned. “Why did you-” Fura simply pointed, and Rei looked to see Blue pinned down by a bunch of the painted pets. “Oh, no! Hurry- let’s go somewhere where we can watch, but the painted pets won’t see us watching.”
They quickly found a tree trunk suitable for their purpose, and watched in distress as the enormous blue Kougra was hit repeatedly in the stomach.
“Why doesn’t he do something?” Fura whispered anxiously. “He could take them all on at once if he wanted to!”
Rei shook her head slowly. “I get the feeling that he doesn’t want to beat them up. He doesn’t even look like he’s trying to get away!” Her eyes widened at a particularly hard punch, then grimaced. “I do know one thing... some of our old ‘friends’ are over there, watching their friends beat Blue up!”
Fura paled and moaned in dismay. “No!”
Just then the school bell rang, signaling the start of the next class. The painted pets scattered quickly so that they wouldn’t be seen bullying, but Fura and Rei lingered a moment to make sure that Blue was all right. After the painted pets were gone, the Kougra quickly pulled himself upright and slung his backpack on his back. He easily jogged into the school building, as if the only thing he was concerned about was getting to class on time.
Rei turned and stared at Fura. “He’s moving around like they didn’t even touch him, and some of those pets can punch hard.”
Fura nodded. “I thought he wasn’t stopping them because he was a coward. Now I think that he didn’t stop them because he simply couldn’t be bothered to.”
The pets looked at each other in astonishment, and then remembered where they were and rushed off to class.
The rest of the school day was no different than normal, and immediately after school ended Fura and Rei headed to their art club meeting in the art classroom. Though they scanned the room hopefully, they couldn’t see either Blue or any of their former friends.
The fact that none of the latter were present made Rei snort in derision. “Of course they aren’t here,” she told Fura. “Everybody knows that painted pets don’t join the art club.”
“I know,” Fura sighed, “but I was hoping that it would be different this year. After all, a few years ago we were all very good friends, and we were all in the art club together...”
Rei glanced over at the Wocky and saw that she was near tears. “I know, Fura,” she said unhappily. “I wish that they were still our friends, too.”
That evening after the meeting ended, Fura and Rei exited the art classroom and started to cross the school grounds.
Suddenly Rei nudged Fura. “Look,” she said quietly. “I wonder if he’s been here all afternoon?”
Fura glanced over and nearly stopped walking. A silhouetted Kougra was lying on a tree branch looking at the sunset. She didn’t need three guesses to figure out who it was. “That Kougra is strange,” she replied to Rei, “But for some reason I like him very much.”
The Acara nodded. “My sentiments exactly.”
* * *
The next morning the two went to school early to pin up posters about the art club in the school hallways.
“After all,” Fura had told Rei, “Nobody will come to the art club meetings if they don’t know when they take place. Maybe that’s why there weren’t any painted pets there yesterday.”
Rei shook her head, but she didn’t say anything. She could tell by the look on Fura’s face that she didn’t believe her own words.
They were finished putting up posters more quickly than they had anticipated, so while they were waiting for school to start they went outside. They found a shady tree and sat down with their backs to the tree trunk to sit and talk for a while.
All of the sudden, they heard a noise above them and whirled around in surprise. Blue was stretching and yawning on a tree branch over their heads.
In astonishment, Rei blurted out, “Have you been there all night long?”
Blue glanced down at them, seemingly not surprised at all to see them there. “Why do you ask that?” He questioned casually.
“Well,” Fura answered after a short pause, “We saw you there last evening when we started home after our art club meeting ended.”
The big Kougra nodded and quietly replied, “Sharp eyes.” He then started to clean his paws, completely ignoring the two Neopets below him.
When Blue didn’t say anything else, Rei announced, “I’m Rei, she’s Fura, and we’re pleased to meet your acquaintance.”
At this, Blue stopped washing himself as abruptly as he had begun and looked directly at them for the first time. “And I yours. My apologies; I must seem dreadfully rude. My name is-”
“Blue, we know,” Fura said quickly, then clamped a paw over her mouth.
Blue’s eyebrows shot up, and Rei hurried to explain. “We know you weren’t introduced in class, but we overheard you talking to that group of painted pets yesterday...”
Blue chuckled. “Ah, eavesdroppers, are you?”
Both of the eavesdroppers had the decency to blush, but Blue shook his head. “Don’t be ashamed. It’s not wrong to be curious, and both sharp eyes and curiosity are good virtues.”
He gave a long, low whistle, and as Rei and Fura watched in amazement, a brilliantly white Weewoo appeared. Blue cupped his paws to its head and whispered to it. With a shimmering trill, the bird vanished.
In shock, Fura asked, “Do you happen to know that White Weewoo?”
Blue smiled contentedly. “He is my sole companion.”
“But they’re so rare! Like, they practically don’t even exist!”
The Kougra was about to answer her when the Weewoo came back, freefalling through the upper tree branches to lightly land on Blue’s shoulder. The feathered beauty twittered in its own language, and Blue nodded curtly.
He turned to the Wocky and Acara below him. “I must go. I am needed elsewhere. Farewell for now.”
Fura and Rei watched silently as he lithely dropped out of the tree, and then loped out of the schoolyard, around a corner, and out of sight.
“Wow,” whispered Rei.
To be continued...
Yay, I got in! Any comments, constructive criticism, etc. are appreciated.