Come dance with the gypsies... Circulation: 174,142,867 Issue: 408 | 4th day of Gathering, Y11
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Extreme Difficulty: Part One


by iris220_ll

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"Violet!" Ari's voice rings through the air, clear and loud. Several heads turn to glare at her, but she doesn't seem to notice. My face flushes bright pink, then blood-colored scarlet.

      I hated it when she brought so much attention to us! Being a well-named, unconverted faerie Draik, traders flocked whenever they heard my name. There was already a girl approaching us, with an unconverted faerie Xweetok and Ixi. My heart plummets as I rush over to Violet, clutching my faerie snowbunny, Lovely, in my arms. Lovely has this adorable, sweet petpetpet, a strale who I've nicknamed Cloudy. Ari grimaces when she sees the small girl approaching, and begins running. But she follows.

      They always follow.

      We rush through the streets of Faerieland to our huge mansion, constructed purely out of silver. I drum my claws against the door as Ari searches for her keys in her purse.

      "Kim!" I shriek, "Kim! Open up!"

      The door flies open, and I'm greeted by a dreary looking, unconverted grey Draik. Unlike me, Kim is not well-named; her full name is sweetkimmy84, and she was Ari's first pet. Then came Key, who had been saved from the Pound and whose real name was _thekey_. What I love most about Ari is that she doesn't treat us like trophy pets; she genuinely loves us, cares for us, feeds us gourmet foods buys us books. Kim and I have never stepped foot in the Battledome; that was Key's job. And he loved his job.

      "More traders?" Kim asks.

      I nod, grab Ari's hand, and pull as strong as possible. We get into the house just as the girl and her neopets appear in the distance, a little row of dots. Ari slams the door shut and lock it. I sigh and collapse on the ground; being an unconverted pet is hard! Tears bud in my eyes, but I quickly swipe them away. Ari sighs and wipes her forehead, then slides off her coat. There is a harsh knock on the door.

      "HELLO?! HELLO?! HELLO?! I know you're in there!!!"

      I let out a whimper and cover my eyes. Kim coos in a motherly way and wraps her arms around my waist, pulling me into a hug. Mom dismisses us upstairs with a wave of her hand; once Kim has dragged me to the top of the steps, Ari opens the door. Teary-eyed, I can see the girl; her face is as red as a tomato and there is sweat dripping down her face and her hair. The poor pets behind her look exhausted; they are sitting on the front steps. They look like they are going to cry, too.

      There is loud arguing downstairs, muffled and inaudible, as Kim drags me into the den and slams the door shut. Key is inside, tending to his Drackobunny, Drac. Kim herself has a perky disco faellie, who's usually sleeping in her fancy petpet condo. Key's looking down at Drac, but as Kim plops me into a sitting position on the sofa, his eyes roll up to look at me. The unconverted grey Lupe never really looks sad to me; more serious. The only thing dreary about him is his fur. Drac growls and begins nibbling on the piece of cheese that Key had brought to him. Kim coos against and squeezes my claw.

      "Traders?" Key ask.

      I nod.

      Kim hands me a tissue and tells me to blow my nose. I do. I'm still sniffling, but the tears are gone. I hear an audible slam downstairs that makes the entire house shake. Traders are usually angry when they leave, but sometimes they are polite. Disappointed, but polite.

      I lean against Kim. She's honestly the best older sister ever.

      To list a few details about Kim, she's tall. Taller than me by at least three feet or so, and I'm... well, short. In comparison, at least. Kim's eyes aren't grey, like most grey pets, but, rather, a dark maroon outlined by a shiny silver. She's also a bit of a tomboy - she despises dresses and skirts almost as much as she loves spyders. Today, she's wearing a pair of white capris and a Chomby and the Fungus Balls jacket with a M*YNCI cap. Our family are sort of music freaks; Kim loves Chomby and the Fungus Balls and M*YNCI, obviously.

      Key is older than Kim by a few years, I think. He's Mom's Battledome pet and a force to be reckoned with. He's into that Jazzmosis band, and has a bunch of their CDs and their Avatar framed in his room. Today he's wearing all black - he's not that into color.

      I myself am a total girly-girl. I love dresses, pink, bows and ribbons and follow all those stereotypes. Actually, I've always dreamed of being painted pink; Ari tells me that faerie suits me better, though. I guess she's right.

      I look up at Kim and sigh sadly. She's used to me crying; not only am a girly-girl, but I'm sensitive, too.

      "Being... me... is so... difficult..." I whimper.

      "Sssh, it's okay," Kim murmurs, "It's the price of being beautiful, Vi. Basic - Easy. No difficulty. Rainbow - Medium. Unconverted faerie Draik - extreme difficulty." She smiles as she says this, and is able to squeeze a little chuckle out of me. I love my sister. I love my family.

      The door creaks open and I stiffen, but it's just Lovely, who flies on in and begins tussling with Drac. For some reason, Lovely always wins. I just don't get it.

      I have a fourth sibling, who's older than Kim. Her name is Jenna2983473283, and she's a blue Kacheek. She's always bitter, jealous, and envious towards us, because she was adopted from the Pound and wants to be Ari's only pet. She's tried to get rid of us multiple times, but is always failing. Ari can't bear to abandon her. She's also jealous that she has the worst name and is the only unconverted one; she hates me the most, because I'm Ari's "favorite." She's pure evil; always acting cruel towards us and sweet and adorable towards Ari. Ari's seen her cruelty, though. I wish she would just go away.

      The door swings open. Hard.

      It's Jenna.

      "Traders again?" she asks. Her voice isn't caring or concerned. Bitter. Angry. Jealous. "You should be glad for all the attention," she says to me. "You should be milking it. You're such an idiot." She sticks her tongue out at me and leaves, slamming the door shut. The tears are budding in my eyes again. I see Key stiffening, Drac in his arms. Key hates her the most.

      "Don't listen to her," he hisses. "She's the idiot."

      "And she's upset because she had her angelpuss taken away from her as punishment for her last attempt to get rid of you," Kim coos. "She's jealous of our petpets, too. And her last attempt was pretty idiotic. I mean, she tried to abandon you at the Pound; very idiotic, in my opinion."

      "She's a 101 on the Idiot scale, and the Idiot scale is only from 1 to 10." He smiles as he says this. His smile is always genuinely happy, joyful, not dreary, like a grey smile should be.

      I burst out laughing.

      I laugh so much that tears bud in my eyes.

      It isn't that funny.

      ~*******~

      After slapping jokes, trading stories, countless rounds of Cheat!, and a few petpet battles, the time has slid by us and it is already nearing midnight. We're all extremely tired, and I guess that we'll be sleeping in the den. It's the usual; we all sleep in the den together on our respective couches while the petpets snuggle and sleep in the center of the room. My thoughts have happily drifted away from those annoying Neopians asking if I'm UFT or UFA (which I never will be), and they've also drifted away from Jenna. Oh, Jenna. I don't hate her. I don't hate her at all. She is the hateful one.

      When Jenna was adopted, Ari's fourth pet, I was thrilled. "Another sister!" I thought. When she came, she was so perky and happy and lovely. She loved Ari, and still does, so much. But then she saw us. Me. And she became bitter. Jealous. Hateful. And now even Ari doesn't know what to do with her; she's considering putting her UFA. That's only made Jenna more spiteful. Especially towards me.

      We always lock the door of the den, ever since Jenna tried to force-feed me a Poisonous Lollipop and Poisonous Jelly while I slept. Her punishment of that was having her second petpet taken away, another angelpuss. Each punishment increased her spite and hatred towards us. The door has not yet been locked; after all, we aren't sleeping yet. We are sleeping soon.

      Suddenly, I hear screaming downstairs and loud pounding echoing off the staircase, slowly approaching. Then the door flies open. There is a tomato-faced stranger standing in the hallway.

      It is the girl from earlier.

      She runs over and grabs me.

      And then I'm crying again.

To be continued...

If you're reading this, then my first series has been published in the NT! YAY!!!

 
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