The Zap that Changed it All: Part Three
Saoel’s first reaction was to feel sorry for the poor creature. How would it be able to stand Kalie? But that sympathy soon disappeared.
It was the night after the Zomutt had arrived when Saoel’s misfortune occurred. It was dark outside, and Saoel was exploring the hallways. He had found that, for some reason, he now had the urge to sleep in the daytime and awake at night. Not only that, but he could now see perfectly in the dark. In the strange illuminated dimness that was now night to him, everything looked strange and different. It was like exploring a whole new world. He figured that these strange new adaptations were probably some Kadoatie thing.
He was just getting tired, and he had begun to make his way back to Linda’s room. He had just turned a corner when he saw it. Ahead of him, the Zomutt puppy was chewing on an unrecognizable, slobbery mess of purple cloth and stuffing. It suddenly looked up and saw Saoel, and it bolted away down the hallway, leaving whatever it had been mauling a moment before.
Saoel curiously walked over to the mess of torn fabric. Although it was torn and its stuffing was now scattered about the hallway, he recognized it as one of Linda’s plushies.
‘This can’t be good,’ he thought.
He was right. From behind him came a shriek of terror. He whipped around and saw Linda, standing there with a look of horror plastered across her face. Judging by the glass of water clutched in her paws, she had just gotten up to get a drink.
“Mommy!” she screamed.
Sarah emerged, bleary eyed, from one of the rooms that lined the hallway.
“What is it, honey?” she asked, “It’s one in the morning.”
Linda pointed in horror at the ripped-up plushie.
“That was my Faerie Kougra Plushie! It cost me nearly a million Neopoints!” she cried.
“What happened to it?” asked Sarah, bending over the tattered remains.
Saoel began to back away slowly. He was right. This was not good.
Linda’s eyes darted to Saoel.
“Fluffy did it! I saw her bending over it!” sobbed Linda, “Mommy, I don’t want Fluffy anymore! She destroyed my rarest plushie!”
Well, that was the end of it. Sarah scooped up Saoel and carried him away. The next thing he knew he was being tossed out through the front door. The door was slammed behind him, and he was left outside on the doorstep, all alone.
He pawed at the door, willing it to open. At least here he had been warm and taken care of! But the door was locked. And he was on the outside of it.
He turned and walked down the doorstep, out into the cold night. The wind blew through his short fur, chilling him to the bone. Where would he go now? He couldn’t go back to Linda’s house, and he wouldn’t be able to get off of Faerieland without falling hundreds of feet. The only way off was an Eyrie cab, and he wouldn’t be able to pay for it. He had no neopoints. He was trapped.
He wandered through the cloudy landscape, past buildings and homes, until he found a dark alley. It wasn’t the friendliest looking place, but at least it kept out the biting wind. He reluctantly slunk inside, wishing for the nice warm bed that he had back at his own house.
Suddenly he tripped over something that was sticking out from behind a garbage can, and he was sent sprawling face first onto the alley floor. There was a loud yelp, but it wasn’t from Saoel. He got to his paws and looked around to see what had made the noise, and found himself face to face with the strangest assortment of petpets he had ever seen. Standing before him were an Angelpuss, a Puppyblew, and an Ukali. The Ukali was rubbing his tail.
“You tripped over my tail,” he said mournfully.
“I’m sure it wasn’t his fault,” said the Angelpuss brightly, peering at Saoel through the darkness.
“Who are you?” asked the Puppyblew suspiciously, “and what are you doing in our alley?”
“Your alley?” asked Saoel nervously.
“That’s right, our alley,” replied the Puppyblew.
“My name’s Saoel. I got kicked out of my home...” he stammered. “Well, not really my home; you see, I got taken there after I got zapped with the lab ray...”
The three petpets looked confused.
“... and I’m not really a Kadoatie!” he added quickly, “I’m really a Gelert!”
The Puppyblew blinked.
“Sure you are...” he said at last.
“See,” he added in a whisper to the other two, “this is why the petpet lab ray is bad. It makes you go crazy.”
“I’m not crazy!” protested Saoel, “It’s true! The evil lab ray scientist zapped me into a Kadoatie!”
There was silence for a moment. Finally the Puppyblew spoke.
“Whatever you say. Anyway, you said that your owner kicked you out?”
“Yes,” said Saoel, “and now I have nowhere to stay. I saw your alley, and it looked warm...”
“You can stay here if you want,” said the Angelpuss. “My name’s Muff, by the way. And this is Spark,” she said, pointing to the Ukali, “and this is Blue,” she said, pointing to the Puppyblew.
“We got kicked out of our homes too,” said Blue, “My old owner got a Doglefox for her birthday and got rid of me.”
“My old owner got rid of me because I was too boring,” said Spark dolefully.
“My old owner kicked me out because I was too hyper,” said Muff cheerily.
“My owner thought I ripped up her million neopoint plushie,” said Saoel, “but I didn’t.”
“Harsh,” said Blue. “Sorry about that. Anyway, like Muff said, you’re welcome to stay here.”
“Thanks,” said Saoel. He figured that he would stop trying to convince these petpets that he had once been a Gelert. It was no use, they didn’t believe him. And, admittedly, the whole story did seem crazy.
‘Crazy but true,’ he thought with a sigh.
He looked around and found a spot next to an upturned trashcan to sleep in. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, but he was too tired to notice. He soon drifted off into sleep under the cold night sky.
* * * * *
He woke up to the sound of Muff’s voice.
“Wake up, sleepy head! The sun is shining, and it is a bright new day!”
Spark sat a few feet away.
“Oh joy,” he said in that depressed tone of his.
“You’re always so negative,” Muff said to Spark.
“Am I?” asked Spark, his eyes looking woeful.
“Come on,” said Blue, emerging from behind a trashcan. “Let’s go to the Faerie Foods shop. The shopkeeper always gives us the stuff that no one buys.”
“Okay,” said Saoel, getting quickly to his paws. He was starving.
He followed the group to a small shop and watched as Blue scratched at the shop’s door. A kindly looking faerie opened the door and smiled when she saw the petpets waiting outside.
“Hello,” she said. “You must be looking for some food. Luckily, I have some extra Cheesy Cloud Cookies for you.”
She disappeared for a moment into her shop, and came back with a cookie for each of them. Saoel ate his quickly. It was delicious!
As they walked back to the alley, they talked amongst themselves.
“What’s really down in the symol hole?” asked Saoel.
“The symol hole is just a big tunnel that leads to more tunnels,” explained Muff. “Most of the tunnels are empty, but every now and then you’ll find something in one of them.”
“Oh,” said Saoel, asking a moment later, “Are the meepits really plotting to take over Neopia?”
“As for the meepits,” said Blue, “I honestly don’t know. They probably are, but no one can be sure. They keep to themselves most of the time.”
They reached the alley soon enough, where they talked and relaxed the rest of the day. For dinner they went to the Soup Faerie, who apparently fed homeless petpets as well as poor pets. Then they made their way back to the alley to sleep after they finished eating.
Life continued like this for about a week, and Saoel began to grow content with this new way of life. He still missed Emma, and even, to his surprise, Clara. But there was no way he would be able to get home to them, so he tried to push this feeling of homesickness away.
But everything changed one day when Saoel was making his way back with his new friends from the Faerie Foods shop. Saoel was too busy talking to Blue about techniques to wake up Turmaculus that he didn’t hear the footsteps behind him until it was too late.
Saoel was suddenly scooped up by a large net. He hissed and struggled and tried desperately to free himself, but only became more tangled. The next thing he knew he was being dumped into a metal cage and carried away down the street.
To be continued...