My New Look
The cold water hit my face as I splashed it on to my still sleepy eyes. I quickly toweled my face and picked up my hairbrush as I began to brush my arms and legs with the bristled tips. I smiled brightly and glanced at my beautiful reflection in the mirror.
And I groaned.
Why couldn't I see the mirror? Suddenly everything seemed to loom over me, seeming higher than usual. Something was wrong.
I've heard of growth spurts, but not growth shorts. I hopped on top of the counter and faced the towering mirror.
This is going too far.
I gazed at my reflection, hardly believing it was mine. My owner had played some sick morphing potion jokes on us before, but this was past a joke. What happened to me?
My fur had turned a light shade of orange, my tail had grown longer and thinner, a blue bow was tied at the end of my tail, and, worst of all, I was about as tall as my miamouse.
What a great way to start the day.
Stay calm, I told myself. This is just a dream. I'll wake up. Right? I pinched myself. Or, rather, poked myself with my new little claws. I almost yelled out loud. Not a dream. Definitely not a dream.
I looked again at my reflection, as if to test myself. But instead of freaking out again, I just shrugged.
I've had worse. WAY worse. See, my owner has a nasty habit of playing with morphing potions while no one else is looking. The first time I'd been morphed, I spent a whole twenty four hours without even realizing that I was no longer a blue Acara. I had gone about my daily routine, eating lunch, my daily NC Mall trip, a movie, all as a red Poogle. At dinner that night, everyone kept staring at me until, finally, Sky cleared her throat, held up a mirror, and motioned for everyone to cover their ears.
I don't know how long I stood in front of the mirror, curiously examining a reflection that was not mine. Or shouldn't be mine. I wasn't really sure how I felt about this big change. It just feels so... weird being in a body that you don't recognize.
The clock on my wall struck 6:30. My sisters would be getting up soon. See, we all have to wake up so we can eat breakfast and not go to the imaginary Neoschool that's not down the block, that my owner's convinced doesn't not exist.
Get it? Good.
Sky, my oldest sister, busted out of her bedroom door, dramatically making her way to breakfast. She glanced at my open door, then at me, opened her mouth like she wanted to say something, then closed it and went back to her room muttering, "It's only a dream. Only a dream..."
I smiled a little bit. This might not be that bad.
Breakfast was quiet, and somewhat awkward. I found out that it was actually REALLY hard to speak with like, two teeth, so I just kept my mouth shut, and so did everyone else. Sky kept glancing at me, then at the door like she wanted to run for it. She was even more freaked out than I was. The others mostly just stared, cheese omelette hanging off of their chins.
Finally, Milly found her voice. "Ah, Heather? Umm, you're-"
"I know," I said shortly, and maybe a bit harshly. I'll admit, I felt a bit bad about snapping at her once I saw my shy sister's face. But my, two whole words. What an improvement!
Milly gazed into her bowl, embarrassed. "Oh," she said, looking like she wanted to cry. "Okay. Good."
"Yeah," said Flo, a Halloween Cybunny, and my younger sister. That's right, the Cybunny is younger than the baby. Haha. What a knee-slapper.
"I'm gonna go now," said Sky suddenly. "I've got that thing... you know, at that place."
"You know what, me too," said Milly, looking grateful for an excuse to leave.
"Oh, do I hear someone calling me?" asked Flo. "Yes! Coming!"
"BYE!" They all said at once before zipping off to their rooms.
Wow. I feel the love.
* * *
This isn't as fun as I thought it would be. Let's just put it this way: there are ups and downs to my situation. My family is too freaked out to talk to me, I can't (and won't) go out in public looking like this, and, worst of all, the cookie jar is too high for me to reach. I don't know how I'm supposed to live like this.
Being a baby isn't all it's cracked up to be. You might think people would favor me since I'm so small and cute, but everyone acts like I'm just any other pet. Well, I suppose I am just any other pet. Only shorter.
A few days ago, I made the mistake of trying to put my adorable charm to use.
My family and I were paying a rare visit to the food shop yesterday. It only happens about once a month, when my owner is feeling particularly generous and is willing to feed us something other than jelly or omelette. My owner was busy yelling at the shopkeeper to lower the price for some quesadillas and my sisters were exploring the delicacies. Meanwhile, I was down to business.
I had snatched a can of baby food of the shelf of the food shop, and made my way over to the checkout counter.
"May I help you?" asked the shopkeeper, who had just won an argument with my owner as she walked away grumpily with some over-priced quesadillas.
I held up the baby food and used my sweetest, most innocent face, fluttering my eyelids and smiling shyly.
"3,425 NP," the shopkeeper said dryly, like he went through this everyday.
"For this stuff? You've gotta be kidding-" I cut myself off at the last moment as the shopkeeper eyed me suspiciously. He knew what I was up to.
"Please?" I asked softly, turning my face into a pout.
"3,425 NP," the shopkeeper repeated, sounding impatient.
"Oh fine," I said, knowing this guy wasn't going to budge. "Will this cover it?" I asked, plopping two neocola tokens on the counter.
"That's it. Get outta my shop!" he yelled angrily. Yikes. This wasn't going as well as I'd hoped.
"Hey man. Calm down. I just-"
"What did I tell you? GET. OUT," he screeched. Jeez.
"Jerk!" I yelled at him. I grabbed a quesadilla from my owner's shopping bag and chucked it at his face. He yelped and wiped it off, his eyes watering from the spices.
"THAT IS THE LAST STRAW. NOW, I'M GONNA COUNT TO TEN," he started, but I was way ahead of him.
"RUN!" I yelled to my family.
"Huh?" said my owner, who was busy gaping at the prices on some pretzels.
I grabbed her hand and dashed to the door. At least these claws are good for making a quick escape.
But my tail wasn't. The shopkeeper was running after us at full speed, and just when I thought we were going to make it, the blue bow on my tail caught on to the already closing doors. I was pulled backwards, slamming into the door with such force my two teeth rattled. Remind me to burn that bow.
It just went downhill from there. The shopkeeper chased us for thirty feet with a broomstick before defiantly yelling, "And STAY out!" and running back to his unattended shop. What a grouch.
Let's just say we won't be going back anytime soon. Or, you know, ever.
* * *
I sat on my bed, absently playing with my tail. (I had tried to throw the blue bow away, but it kept reappearing in the closet. I guess those things are nondisposable, but that won't stop me.) I didn't know what I could do. I don't have enough money to buy myself a morphing potion, and asking my owner for money can only be described as a death wish.
I stink at games, so it'd be pointless to try and raise the money myself. I could apply for a job, but who would hire a baby? I twirled my tail around and around my paw and sighed. I was sick of being baby, sick of everything.
Maybe going outside will clear my head.
I decided to go for a walk and stop by the toy shop to get something nice, having discovered a couple hundred Neopoints wedged in the back of my bookshelf.
I had no sooner stepped through the door when the shopkeeper approached me.
"A bit young to be coming here yourself, aren't we?"
I just shrugged.
She smiled warmly at me. "Here, why don't you have this?" she asked, holding out a Purple Hasee Plushie. "On the house, of course."
"Wow, thanks!" I grinned, flashing my two teeth in a smile.
"Oh, not a problem, not a problem at all!" said the Bruce. "Oh, and dear take a sucker or two from the can by the door on your way out- yes right there. Goodbye!" she piped cheerfully.
Maybe, I thought as I absently walked back to my Neohome, I should give this new form a chance. I grinned, cuddling my new plushie and sticking a Comet Lollipop in my mouth.
Just for a little while.