It started within four steel walls. In opposite corners two dinky beds faced each other, but who was I to judge? I didn’t want to be here. No neopet in their right mind would want to be in the scariest place in Neopia. Yes, see? You already know what I’m talking about, The Neopian Pound.
I didn’t want to be there! I remember when I cried for hours over my last owner, my lost freedom. After a few days my tears ran out and I decided to forget about my last owner and hope for a new one.
I soon memorized my prison keep. Four plain walls with one window letting in the only hope from the outside world. The door was facing north and the window was facing east, giving me a perfect sunrise every day. Sometimes I thought I only lived to see that sunrise day after day. The bed was too boring to even try to describe. It was just plain and lumpy, the end.
I had neighbors, I suppose you could say. In the room in my right, there was a Lenny who talked as if he were a dictionary. I would sit there listening as he tried to discover the width and length of the room, and whether it was a square or rectangle. He could sit for hours solving questions he made up. He also had a tendency to talk out loud, so one day I tried one of his questions as he said them. I wrote it down on the dirty floor with a stick and crossed it out almost immediately. It wasn’t worth it. I got a headache just looking at it.
In the left room a strange looking, yellow Kyrii with buggy eyes lived there. Whenever I tried to strike up a conversation, he would interrupt and say something randomly. One day I went over and said, “Hello, how are you?” He crossed his buggy eyes, hopped on one leg and said, “Here ye here ye, the jury has come to order!” I gave up after that. For one thing, I didn’t even know what a jury was; for the other, well he was just plain weird.
The pink Uni and Dr. Death would let us pound pets out to enjoy some sunshine if the weather was decent. I would sit there in the full sunshine just celebrating the warmth, the goodness of it.
There was one neopet who was the “Queen Buzzer.” She had friends who would follow her and admire her as if she were the Princess of the Lost Desert. I would wonder how she became that popular. She was just a plain red Wocky. No special colors, no special name, so how did she do it?
One day I got up the nerve to ask. I was always rather blunt when I wanted to know things. I walked into her “court” and stood right in front of her. She and the others seemed shocked that a plain, no good Eyrie would dare enter their small kingdom. I stared at her intensely and asked, “How did you become the Queen Buzzer?”
A few sniggers arose from her followers. She glared up at me (I’m was a bit taller then her) and said, “Why do you care? You’re just an ugly, disgusting Eyrie! Now get out of my way.” Those words struck me to the bone as she stalked away. The others quickly left after her.
I was plain, I knew, but ugly and disgusting? I stayed away from her. The other pets sniggered, laughed and talked meanly behind my back after that horrible day. Why was I different then the others? Why?
Strangely enough, the Kyrii beside my room told me the answer. He must have heard about what that Wocky had done, and he said quietly, staring me in the face, “People don’t understand. They just want to be better than others. The easiest way to do that is to push others down.” I stared back at him with amazement. He then crossed his eyes and jigged around his dark room, singing a song about a Mallard and a Warf. I was rather impressed by his words and didn’t think any more of the “Queen”.
One day in early spring, Dr. Death came into my room with a small bundle in his hands. He thrust the bundle into my arms and growled, “Here is your new roommate.” He stalked away, leaving me with a pet covered in blankets. I pulled it back and gasped. The sweetest looking Eyrie stared back up at me with her big dark green eyes. She was barely a day old; how could an owner be so heartless as to abandon such a beautiful baby? I took the strip of paper grasped in her curled paw, and read, “Lhuniae.”
After that day I devoted my time to teaching her, taking care of her, and loving her with all of my heart. She soon grew old enough to be taken for walks and I would teach her. The neighbor Lenny had many books that he let me borrow. She quickly learned to read. Her mind was as sharp as a knife. She even made friends with the crazy Kyrii, and he would talk, not randomly to her, but with wisdom I didn’t even know he had.
She grew beautiful and kind. I knew that she would one day be adopted, but I was selfish and hid her whenever promising owners passed by. After that she and I would play checkers on the floor with rocks we had found in the yard. I was never bored and for once I was happy to be in the pound. We were practically sisters.
I always hid her, never thinking that I might be adopted.
Lhuniae and I had just finished a guessing game when the door from the adoption door opened on one early morning. I quickly hid Lhuniae and stared at of the bars and into the hallway. A short girl with long, brown hair walked down the hallways. She glanced at all the pets as she neared. Every once in a while she would stop and talk to a pet, but then move on to the next.
She stopped right in front of my room. She paused and said my name, “Viremica?” I nodded and she said, “It is a beautiful name.” I hadn’t spoken to a human in so long I felt bashful. “Thank you.”
She smiled and turned to the kind pink Uni. “I would like to adopt Viremica.” I froze. The pink Uni smiled and wrote down something on her clipboard. “Come on, Viremica.” Dr. Death appeared out of nowhere and dragged me out of my room where Lhuniae was hiding.
“NO!” I yelled. The girl looked rather alarmed, but Dr. Death smiled evilly and said, “Some of them do that, don’t worry.” The girl handed a few neopoints to the Uni and led me out of the pound with Dr. Death pushing me from behind.
I stumbled down the porch and the girl caught me right before I fell. “Are you OK?” she asked. I nodded mechanically and she smiled. She talked and talked as she led me to the hotdog stand.
I didn’t hear a word that she said. I only knew that Lhuniae was gone, and I would never see her again.
I blindly walked through the busy Neopia Central. I vaguely remembered walking up some stairs and entering a house and then being led to a room. I fell onto the warm bed and heard the girl say, “My name is Tara. If you want anything, just ask.” How ironic those words where. I wanted Lhuniae, but she could never get her.
I cried and wished those soft blankets were thin and ragged. I cried and wished those colorful walls were shades of grey. I cried and wished that warm bowl of food on the nearby bed table was the normal, yucky pound food, but most of all I wished Lhuniae was right beside me, giggling over the thought of being adopted.
I stayed in my bedroom for a week, only leaving to eat and then returning to my bed to cry. At the meals three other neopets and Tara would talk and laugh. I always rushed upstairs once the meal was done. I didn’t care who they were; they weren’t Lhuniae.
I soon ran out of tears, like always, and actually took notice of my surroundings and new siblings. The house was small with only a few bedrooms and a kitchen/dining room/great room where we had all our meals.
I would lie in bed and listen to the sounds of the daily commotion. The Zafara named Kiara_Riversong could be heard chasing a Xweetok named Lee27Wheel, because he had soaked her room with water or something like that. The Pteri named Tweedy_6_6 was a little harder to hear, because she wasn’t quite so loud, but when she was in her bedroom I could hear bubbling and splashing, as if she was turning a cauldron, but that was absurd.
Tara left me alone to get used to my freedom, but she finally cracked after about a month. She walked into my bedroom and said, “Viremica! You need to do something; you need to exercise and enjoy the summer air! Please, Viremica.” She held out a hand and I stood up and took it.
After that, thoughts of Lhuniae were less but just as painful. I started playing with Lee and Kiara as they played tag and did tricks to each other. I even visited Tweedy and saw that she was indeed stirring a cauldron all the time. She winked at me and said, “You never know when you may need a truth potion or poison.” I think she was joking about the poison because Lee and Kiara just laughed.
I was even painted! My fire coat glistened whenever I moved and I enjoyed the gasps of other neopets as I passed them as I walked to the store. Kiara, Lee and Tweedy also got painted, and Tara got some new accounts with new siblings. I didn’t see them every much, but they were all fun and happy. I sometimes envied them for that. At night I still wished Lhuniae was there with me.
Tara even had a party to celebrate my first year with them! I had walked into the kitchen to see balloons, paper strings and tons of other party things placed around the room. Tara made a huge cake to celebrate the occasion and invited the whole family! I laughed and played with many other neopets and I loved every second of it. The next day, however, I felt guilty for not thinking of Lhuniae even once through that whole day.
I walked into the kitchen with a glum face where Tara was making muffins. She scooted the pan into the oven and turned to me. She frowned and asked, “What’s the matter?” I shrugged and sat down on a wooden chair. She returned to her muffins and said, “I adopted a new neopet for my fostering.” She glanced at me to make sure I understood and I nodded.
Tara had worked hard until she finally got a Secret Lab map, and now she zaps pound neopets and gets them a good home.
She continued, “Well, she is having breakfast with us today, and I hope you all like her.” The rest of my family came down. Tweedy glided smoothly into the seat beside me and Kiara and Lee bickered into the room. Tara pulled out the muffins and a knock on the door rang through the house.
Tara glanced down at the muffins and said, “They're not ready yet; can you get the door, Viremica?” I nodded and walked to the door. I could see a green Eyrie staring on the other side of the door through a window and I opened the door. I gasped.
She was all too familiar; it was like seeing a ghost. “Lhuniae?”
She stared at me and said, “Yes?”
I had never been so happy in my whole life! She was here! We hugged and chattered and never left each others side as we ate breakfast, and she met the family. Tara was grinning happily as she heard our story. Kiara and Lee bounced around with excitement and knocked the butter down, but nobody minded. Tara decided to keep Lhuniae, and we danced around the room.
From that day on, I loved my new home. I saw Lhuniae every day, even though she is on Tara’s other account. She turned faerie after getting zapped, and we would fly together all over the place. We would play checkers like we used to and explore Neopia Central together. We did everything together! After all, we are practically sisters.