The Zap that Changed it All: Part Two
In an instant a bolt of electricity arced from each ray, meeting in mid air with a menacing crackle. The combined bolt of energy shot down and hit Saoel, coursing through him and making his fur stand on end. He shut his eyes tight, trying to shut out the pain of the jolt.
But then it was over. Saoel felt different. He opened his eyes slowly. The clasps were gone, and as he looked around he realized why. He had, somehow, shrunk out of them. He looked down at his paws. They were small and blue.
Smoke was billowing from the lab ray, and it was making all sorts of dangerous sounding buzzing noises.
“No! The experiment has caused a short in my lab ray!” shouted the Scorchio. He was franticly trying to put out a small fire that had sparked from one of the wires.
Saoel suddenly caught a glimpse of his reflection on the side of one of the machines. All he could do was stare in horror. Staring back at him was the face of a Kadoatie.
He tried to scream, but all that came out was a thin, ear-piercing mew. He leapt down from the table and scurried from the lab and up the dirt tunnel. He dodged the roots that grew down into the tunnel and the paws of pets and their owners on their way down to that horrible lab ray. He didn’t stop until he was once more blinking in the bright light of the beach.
He had to get home. But what would Emma think? And worst of all, what would Clara think? She would never let him forget this, he was sure of that. He would never hear the end of it.
He ran towards the spot where his Eyrie cab was waiting to take him home, but before he could get there he was suddenly picked up around the middle by a pair of large paws.
“Look, Mama!” said a high female voice. “It’s my lucky day! Not only was I just zapped Faerie, but also I found a Kadoatie! Can I keep her?”
Saoel looked up and found himself face to face with an ecstatic looking Faerie Lupe.
“Well, I don’t know... caring for a petpet can be a big responsibility,” said the Lupe’s owner, a blond haired girl of about 20, “and we don’t have any petpet supplies.”
“I can go and get supplies tomorrow when I go shopping with Pricilla,” said the Lupe, “And I promise that I’ll take care of her and walk her and feed her and give her water and groom her!”
With each promise she made, she squeezed Saoel tighter.
“Well, all right,” said the Lupe’s owner.
“Yay!” squealed the Lupe, squeezing Saoel so tight that he felt as if his eyes would pop out of his head. “I’m going to name her Fluffy!”
“I’m a him, and my name is Saoel!” he tried to say, but all that came out was a series of mews.
“Awww, look! She likes her new name!” said the Lupe with a squeal of delight.
Saoel rolled his eyes but stayed silent as he was carried aboard an Eyrie cab. As it lifted off from the island, Saoel looked mournfully out of the window. How would he ever get home now?
His panic increased as the cab landed on the clouds of Faerieland, and the Lupe, whose name he had learned was Linda, stepped out of the door onto the clouds.
‘Great,’ thought Saoel, ‘I’ll never be able to get home now. I’m on a cloud!’
It was then that he knew he was trapped here. Even if he escaped from Linda, he would never be able to get off of this cloud. There was no way home.
Saoel was carried under one arm through the cloudy landscape, past shops and homes, and finally to Linda’s house. Linda lived in a sprawling mansion that barely fit on its yard. It was even bigger than Emma’s home, and Emma’s home was huge.
Linda carried Saoel up to her room as soon as they entered the house. It was made out of cloud, and Saoel briefly wondered why everything didn’t fall through the floor into the rooms below. As he gazed around, he saw that just about every piece of furniture was covered in plushies. The desk, the chairs, the pink vanity mirror, even the rugs had all been completely taken over by plushies of every shape and size.
Presently Linda released Saoel from her painfully tight grip onto her bed. There was barely enough room for Saoel there because it too was smothered in plushies.
“This is my room, Fluffy,” said Linda, adding, “You’ll have to sleep on the floor; we don’t have a petpet bed yet.”
Saoel looked down doubtfully at the floor, wondering if he could find room among the plushies.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door, and a small voice squeaked, “Lin-daaa! Mommy said you had to play with me!”
“Not right now, Kalie,” said Linda in an exasperated voice.
Suddenly the door was pushed open, and Kalie ran inside. She was a small Pea Chia, only a toddler. Her eyes darted to Saoel.
“Kitty!” she squeaked, leaping at Saoel with surprising speed and grabbing his tail.
Saoel hissed and leapt away, his tail jerking free of the young Chia’s grasp. Kalie let out a squeak of indignation and began to run after Saoel.
“Play with me!” she cried again and again, reminding Saoel of his sister’s talking baby Usuki doll after it had broken and began repeating that same phrase until its batteries had run out.
Luckily, he was finally able to escape by leaping onto the kitchen table. Unfortunately, his safety only lasted a moment. He was soon shooed off the table by Linda’s owner, whose name he had learned was Sarah, and Kalie began to chase him again. When she finally caught him, he had to endure about ten minutes of getting his tail pulled and his ears tugged before Linda came and rescued him.
The only time Saoel got peace was when the Kalie was finally put down for her nap. During this time Linda fed him in a repulsively pink dish covered in red hearts. She had pulled it out of the pantry, as she didn’t yet have a petpet bowl. He stared down at the lumpy brown pellets that were petpet food, and thought mournfully of the gourmet food he was served at home.
When it was Linda’s bedtime, she carried Saoel up to her room and set him down on the only plushie free spot on the floor, expecting him to sleep there. Although Saoel was exhausted from being chased around all day, he couldn’t fall asleep. Wherever he looked, there was a plushie staring back at him. He could sleep with all of those eyes on him.
As he lay awake, he remembered how eager he had been to use the lab ray only that morning, and how he was sure that he was finally going to be tough and strong after he was zapped.
He looked down at his blue paws, which he could now see with his Kadoatie eyes even in the blackness. He wondered if all of this would have even happened if he hadn’t been so impatient. Perhaps if he had waited until Clara’s beauty contest was over to go to the lab ray, that evil Scorchio would have found some other poor pet to zap into a petpet. Maybe then he would have been zapped Tyrannian or Darigan, or maybe he would have been turned into a Grarrl or a Skeith or some other tough pet.
As he fantasized woefully of what could have been, the night wore on until, before he knew it, the rising sun was casting rays of light across the plushie-infested room.
He got stiffly to his paws, stretched, and then leapt onto the windowsill. In doing so he sent three or four plushies tumbling to the floor. He peered out the window into the cloudy landscape beyond, and watched as Neopians and their pets began to go about their daily business. He wondered if Emma and Clara were out looking for him. Emma was probably worried sick. Clara was probably privately celebrating.
Linda awoke a few minutes later and carried Saoel downstairs with her to breakfast, setting him down as soon as she entered the kitchen. Saoel watched as she poured that same disgusting looking petpet food as yesterday into that frilly pink bowl.
He walked over to it, and gave it a reluctant sniff. He hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday morning, and at the moment he felt hungry enough to eat just about anything. Maybe he could just take a little bite...
He bent over the bowl and took a tiny taste of the petpet food. He nearly spit it back out again. It tasted revolting!
“Mom, I’m going to the mall now,” said Linda as she finished her breakfast and got up from the table. Saoel noticed with delight that she snuck some table scraps into his dish as she walked past. Finally, something edible!
“Very well,” said Sarah, “But don’t spend any more than ten thousand neopoints this time.”
“Fine,” said Linda as she disappeared out the door.
* * * * *
Saoel had devoured the table scraps and had leapt on top of the refrigerator shortly after Linda had left. At least here, Kalie couldn’t reach him. He had drifted off some time ago, and was now enjoying a wonderful dream in which he was a fierce Darigan Eyrie, and had just won a battle with the snowager.
But a sudden bang awoke him from his fantasy. He leapt up, succeeding in hitting his head on the ceiling.
The bang that had awoken him was Linda throwing open the door. As she rushed inside, Saoel noticed that as well as shopping bags, she held something else in her arms. That something was moving.
“Mom, come see what I bought off of some newbie!” she shouted.
Sarah rushed into the room.
“For goodness sakes, what’s all the commotion about?” she asked.
“Well, Kalie keeps chasing Fluffy around, so I figured I’d get her a petpet of her own! I bought this little guy for her for only five thousand neopoints!”
Saoel finally saw what Linda was holding. In her paws was a faerie Zomutt puppy.
And that’s where the trouble began.
To be continued...