Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 177,520,932 Issue: 428 | 29th day of Sleeping, Y12
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The Heart Beneath The Brush

by free_soul3


"You want to become what?" the group of huge Grarrls gasped as they stood next to one another, all staring at the younger, yellow Grarrl.

     "I-I just said that I... wanted to be painted Faerie," he mumbled, dragging his clawed feet in a half-circle around him. Aw, shucks. Why'd he have to open his big jaws anyway? He just had to share his deepest secret in front of all of his friends, and on the most important day of his life!

     It all started in the morning. Harrolde had woken up with Walter, his petpet Vacana, and risen from his bed. He scratched behind Walter's shaggy ears lovingly; making sure his claws wouldn't catch a hair-knot and hurt his beloved petpet.

     "I had the dream last night." Harrolde smiled as Walter peered at him through dusty bangs. "I was a Faerie Grarrl again! It was awesome!" He knew Walter had also shared the dream of becoming a Faerie.

     Harrolde made his way down into the kitchen where he saw his three younger sisters and mother, Free_Soul3, eating a breakfast of omelettes and jellies. "Hello," he said, sitting down to a half-eaten piece.

     "Hello," they all chirped. His youngest sister, Masilie, a beautiful red Peophin, had always dreamed of becoming a Pirate Neopet- she was always more athletic than he was. Then there was Opallay, the bright green Eyrie- she never made up her mind. One day it was Magma, then Robot, and then one quick spell over a Ghost Paint Brush. Opallay was busily reading a thick book over her morning meal. Finally, it was Dimitriea- the blue Aisha. She was definitely suited to become a Lost Desert Neopet. Free_Soul3 had planned so from the very beginning.

     Everyone seemed to have everything figured out- even Opallay (today she was just staying green). Harrolde sighed and put his head in his hands.

     "What's wrong?" Dimitriea asked as she scratched behind her Knum's head.

     "Oh, it's nothing," Harrolde said, putting on a smile to match her own. "I was just-"

     "-thinking about those dreams of his!" Opallay interrupted, not glancing up from her huge book.

     "No!” Harrolde cried, pushing himself up and standing out of his chair. "Besides, at least I can dream, and not just lose myself within thousands of empty pages like you!"

     Opallay slammed down her book onto the table and stood up too. "I've had enough of you!" she sneered, pointing a talon at him. "All you do every day is mope and whine like the world is going to fall on top of you any moment! Then you go and hang out with those bully friends of yours and come back to complain some more!"

     "Hey! Hey! Hey!" Free_Soul3 shouted, coming dangerously close to the two snarling Neopets. "That's enough, you two! Now apologize this instant!"

     "Humph!" Opallay gasped and sat down in her chair. "Well?" she said, peering at him from the corner of her eyes.

     "I'M OUTTA HERE!" Harrolde roared and left the kitchen stomping and growling.

     He could faintly hear his youngest sister crying, and his mother calling after him, but he didn't care- Harrolde was only going to look out for number one from now on! Who needs those three? Always holding him back! He'd find his own way to become a Faerie!

     As Harrolde blew off some steam, a big group of Grarrls came marching down the intersecting road.

     "I heard that Grarrg is going to be there!"

     "Yeah! I heard that too! He's so cool!"

     "Hey, isn't that Harrolde?"

     "Yeah! It is him! Let’s go say hi and tell him the good news!"

     The group of friends eagerly ran over to Harrolde and grabbed his shoulders and clapped his back in greeting, while he stood his ground.

     "H-hi guys," Harrolde mumbled, obviously wanting to be alone.

     "Harrolde! Buddy! Pal!" The biggest of the group roared with joy. "We got great news to tell ya, the best news there is! Grarrg's having a public appearance today! Right now! In Tyrannia! Swell, ain't it?"

     Harrolde couldn't believe his ear holes! Grarrg! Every Grarrl's idol! Going higher in politics than any Grarrl could! Wow!

     "T-t-today?" Harrolde asked stunned.

     "Yeah." A smaller purple Grarrl nodded. "You are coming, aren't you?"

     Harrolde thought of his sisters and his grand scheme that he had been planning. He thought of Opallay's anger and Masilie and Dimitriea's sad faces when he left. His mother's worried look and also of the beautiful Faerie Paintbrush...

     "I'll do it!" he cried, followed by the gleeful cheers of his companions.

     And so, the big group of Grarrls traveled to Tyrannia, greeted by the 'Uggs!' and 'Oogs!' of the happy Tyrannians. They soon came to the Town Hall, with a small fire burning in the center of a big flat rock.

     There, silhouetted by the flame, stood a huge- no, massive Grarrl, with spikes running down his spine and tail.

     "Grarrg..." the small purple Grarrl gaped in awe.

     Upon hearing his name, Grarrl turned around, alert at first, but then overjoyed with the company of fellow Grarrls.

     "Hello!" he bellowed happily, crushing the band of Grarrls in a hug with one arm. "You must be here to hear my public speech to the citizens of Tyrannia! Welcome, all!"

     Harrolde was numb with excitement, and he could feel his companions were the same! They listened as Grarrg told them about the demand for clubs and hair trimmers. They laughed at his jokes and were heart-broken when they listened to the story of how Keno's eggs were always premature.

     "Wow! This sure is swell, ain't it?" whispered the huge Grarrl to Harrolde.

     "Now," Grarrg bellowed, deep within his chest. “Please do tell me that all of you, strong Grarrls, want to be Tyrannians one day, don’t ya?”

     “Yeah!” most of the group cried, some raising their fists into the air in approval.

     “N-no...” Harrolde whispered, head turning into his chest, hiding.

     “Hmm?” Grarrg snarled, head cocking towards him. “What was that, boy?”

     Gulping, Harrolde tried to take back his words, but something was pushing him forward- something was literally pushing them out of his mouth and smacking his hero’s face. “I said- no!”

     Harrolde closed his eyes, knowing the next sequenced of forced torture. “I want to be a Faerie Grarrl!”

     "You want to become what?" the group of huge Grarrls gasped as they stood next to one another, all staring at the younger, yellow Grarrl.

     Harrolde could feel the bile rising within the others’ throats.

     “You get out of here! Right now!” the purple Grarrl shouted, pushing Harrolde back.

     “B-but,” Harrolde stammered, being shoved in, what he thought was, the wrong direction.

     “NOW!” the Grarrl roared at him, flashing his teeth. Some Grarrls were laughing, others were busily comforting Grarrg, as if he was in terrible pain.

     Harrolde ran. He ran as fast as he could out of Tyrannia. He thought they were his friends! And Grarrg! What did he think of him now? Oh why did he say that? Why did he say those awful, awful things!

     Harrolde kept on running. Blinded by his tears and frustration, he became lost. “Oh, what did I get myself into?” He sighed, sitting on top of a fallen tree. “Why can’t I just be like other Grarrls?”

     “Because you’re not like the other Grarrls, Harrolde,” said a sweet, faint voice.

     “Huh?” Harrolde cried, looking up from his lap. “W-w-who said that? Are you here to make fun of me too?”

     “I would never do that to you, Harrolde. You are very special to me,” said the voice again.

     “O-Opallay? Is that you?” Harrolde got up, looking around the wooded area, seeing nothing. Turning around in defeat, he finally saw his company- it was a beautiful Faerie, unlike any he’d seen in his trips to Faerieland.

     “Who are you?” Harrolde gasped, in utter shock.

     “I am Fyora- the Faerie Queen, my dear child.”

     The Faerie Queen! Harrolde lost all his sorrow as he gazed upon the beautiful Faerie, hovering before him.

     “Y-your majesty,” Harrolde gasped, falling to his knees.

     “Arise, Harrolde. I came to speak with you.” Fyora smiled, the most glorious smile. “I wanted to speak to you about your dream- of becoming a Faerie Neopet.”

     “Oh, yes...” Harrolde said, averting his gaze for a quick moment.

     “It’s a wonderful dream, my dear. You must not give up on it,” Fyora said, caressing Harrolde’s cheek.

     “But the other Grarrls-”

     “-Never mind them, Harrolde. You should follow your own dream. And nothing anyone else should say can change that. You are not meant to become a Tyrannian Neopet, and you know it’s true.”

     Harrolde was in awe at the beautiful Faerie’s kind words. “Wow- Thank you, Fyora!” He smiled, flashing his long teeth.

     “You’re welcome my dear,” she whispered into the wind, and left Harrolde, bashfully tracing a circle within the dirt.

     Harrolde looked up to glance at the beautiful queen one last time, but she was gone- leaving a smile and hope in his heart.

The End

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