Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 192,951,137 Issue: 671 | 26th day of Storing, Y16
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

A New Start

by jeslin__62



If you're reading this,


Day 24 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 07:00 am NST

Today is the day! I'm leaving for my new home in Altador. I've never been to Altador before, but I've seen pictures of it. It's bright and sunny, with lush greens everywhere and buildings with fine and sophisticated architecture. From the sound of it, it seems to be a place that I'm going to like. I can't wait to visit the Hall of Heroes!

      My feelings are really mixed at the moment. Now for the happy part. I feel joyful because I'm finally going to a new owner. I've never met Jes before, nor have I seen a photo of her, but Wendy assured me that: 'You will like her.' I nodded quietly in response. Not that I have a choice. I never had the right to choose. I do not know anything about my new siblings either, or if I will have any siblings. I can only hope with all my heart that I will like them and they will like me back. Facing the unknown is making me feel terrified. Yet, at the same time, I feel elated. Excited.

      On the other hand (paw), I'm also sad because I'm leaving Wendy and my siblings, Sid, Shawn and Shenny. (or my ex-siblings) My siblings never paid much attention to me, but they were still my siblings. I even find myself feeling a tinge of sadness at the moment. Wendy was always busy playing games and earning trophies, she never had much time for me. I was hardly ever her active pet, because I'm just a plain, dull red Poogle. Just a red Poogle. Instead, she brought my siblings along for dailies, parties and gatherings, to show them off. Sid is a fine Mutant Draik, Shawn is a magnificent Transparent Mynci and Shenny is a beautiful Darigan Aisha. I, a Red Poogle, am worthless in the midst of their popular, fancy paint. I often wondered why Wendy kept me in the first place, because I will never fit into her 'spooky-themed Neofamily'. I never belonged.

      One thing for sure: I'm happy to leave Haunted Woods. A 'fraidy cat like me living in the Haunted Woods, it's hilarious. I squeal at the slightest gust of wind and jump the tinniest squeak of the door hinges. My siblings' teasing made it a hundred times worse. Living in the Haunted Woods, our plates were often filled with gross food like Blumaroo Steak, Snorkle Pudding or Chocolate Coated Eye. I swallowed them without questions, but the truth is: I'm not a fan of gross food. I'll rather have healthy, normal (boring) food like apples and bananas, but those were as rare as Faerie Quests in our fridge. I never went out of our Neohome if I could. I never joined my siblings on their trip to the Deserted Fairground or to completes quests for the Brain Tree and the Esophagor. The Brain Tree especially, really spooks me out!

      I take a good look at my room. I shared my room with Shenny the Ixi. Shenny isn't at home at the moment. She is, as usual, attending a party at her friend's house. She was rarely at home, and sometimes only returned late at night. Her side of the room is filled with lipsticks, bottles of perfume and rows and rows of clothes. There are a few posters of the Spooky Lennies - her favourite band, on the wall. Meanwhile, my personal belongings are neatly packed into two suitcases, but I decided to leave my Pull Along Halloween Ona behind. It wasn't my favourite toy.

      Heaving my suitcases, I make my way to the living room.


Day 24 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 08:25 am NST

      I'm sitting on a bench at the station. I'm going to take a Uni carriage to Altador. My ride is due to arrive in 5 minutes. With my suitcases beside me, I'm munching on a Slime-Frosted Pretzel, hopefully the last time I'm eating spooky food. I'm all alone in this crowded, bustling station. Wendy has left hurriedly after dropping me here. No doubt, she went to advertise her Caption Contest entry at the boards. No hugs, no tears, just a hasty 'goodbye' and an awkward smile. I shrugged. I never expected more anyway.

      While waiting, I find myself wondering again about my new home. I don't care if its small or shabby. Secretly, what I crave for is very simple: for someone to love me. Will my new home bring me what I seek? I calm my breath and empty my thoughts. After all, the higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment. I don't want to be disappointed.

      I see my ride coming close to the station, gradually slowing down and landing gracefully. She's a beautiful Purple Uni, with a sleek and shiny coat of fur. I load my suitcases and clambered onto her, clutching the reins firmly.


      "Yes," I replied, giddy with anticipation, in spite of me reminding myself not to expect much.

      Here is to nowhere, I silently thought, as the Uni flapped her wings and we gain altitude.


Day 24 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 12:24 pm NST

      I'm writing this diary at the Altador station. I'm sitting on a bench (again), waiting for my new owner to appear.

      Bad thoughts are spinning through my head. Perhaps my new owner has forgotten me? Perhaps she has changed her mind about adopting me? Why is she not here?

      Be quiet. I shooed the thoughts away. Instead, I'm focusing on my surroundings, taking in as many details as possible.

      I must say, Altador is better than I ever imagined. I'm bathed in warm rays of sunlight, a rare occurrence at Haunted Woods. Pteris fly overhead, twittering and chirping. Everywhere I look, I see plenty of trees and flowers waving lazily in the breeze. The station itself is full of chattering and life.

      There are two young Acaras sitting on the bench next to me, munching on large, juicy red apples. (no spooky food!) They are having a heated discussion about the Altador Cup.

      'I'm confident that Kreludor is going to win!' one is saying.

      'No, Faerieland will triumph in the cup!' the other retorts.

      A bunch of Neopets passes by me, consisting of a Chocolate Xweetok, a White Kacheek and a Spotted Gelert.

      'Come on! We're going to be late for the concert!' the Kacheek squealed.

      In short, there are many interesting things around me, the small ones being a bug crawling on the leaf of a potted plant, the big ones being a Baby Cybunny crying in the hands of her owner.

      "Are you Turnberry?" a warm voice slightly deeper than the average female voice asked. Somehow, the voice is very soothing and pleasant to me, like the sound of a cello. I sense that the person is standing right in front of me.

      I look up and see a girl in her mid-teens. She is wearing a mint-coloured hoodie with little Kadoatie prints with a pair of slightly shabby jeans. Her dark brown hair is tied up in a messy ponytail. She wears a pair of laced-up black boots. Wow, she looks kind of... cool.

      However, what hits me is that: on her face hung a bright, cheerful smile. Her warm and sincere smile reaches her hazel brown eyes, which curve in the shape of a crescent moon. People hardly smile to me. Or maybe smiling isn't a normal habit in Haunted Woods.

      Sensing that I am too stunned to speak, she introduces herself as my new owner, Jeslin.

      "I'm awfully sorry that I'm late! I just finished baking a batch of chocolate cookies, and I got stuck in the traffic and I saw a Kad lying at the side of the road and..."

      In short, Jes' long-winded explanation of 'why-she-was-late' sounds more like a humorous story. Oops. Hopefully she can't tell I'm trying to hold in my laughter.

      "It's okay, don't be nervous, alright?' she pats me gently on my head.

      At the moment, I'm still scribbling furiously in my diary, writing down everything she's saying.

      "What are you writing in that book of yours?" Jes enquired, sounding curious.



Day 25 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 10:43 am NST

      Oh hello! Sorry that my last diary entry ended so abruptly. I even stopped in mid-sentence. I snapped my diary shut and stuffed it into my backpack when Jes asked me about it. I realized that it was rude to be writing my diary when my new owner was talking to me. I could tell that Jes was intrigued, but she didn't press the point.

      So, it was a busy day! With all the unpacking and settling in, I was too exhausted to write last night, so I'm doing it now. I'm sitting at the dining table. It's quite a large table with a blue-and-white checkered tablecloth spread out on it. On the middle of the table is a fresh bowl of orchids, courtesy of Shella. Oh yes, I forgot. Shella, a red Shoyru, is one of my new siblings. As she's Jes' active pet today, they went out a while ago to do their dailies.

      My other new sibling is Ritty, a yellow Usul. She's seated two places away from me, munching on cereal while reading a fashion magazine. I noticed that she has a weird habit of stirring her cereal in circles, apparently without her noticing. And that she pours a lot of milk into her cereal.

      Beside me sits Roll, a red Yurble. Roll is the brainy one in the family, and as Ritty said, can always be found with his nose buried in a book. In fact, he is reading a book titled 'History of Neopia' at the moment. I mean, who reads books like this?!?

      I walk out of our house into the garden with Roll accompanying me. Jes has a weird obsession for lavenders, so the garden is filled with them. The lavenders fill the entire garden with a faint and comfortable scent. On my left are a few patches of soil. Each of the pets are given a small patch of land to plant any plants they fancy.

      At this point, Roll silently whispers to me, 'This is just Jes's scheme to cut down the NP spent on buying vegetables.' I giggle in response.

      The patches are divided by low hedges of doughnutfruits. Roll has just sown neat rows of cabbage seeds on his patch. Shella had shown me hers yesterday, gesturing proudly to her patch full of blossoming starflowers. Plat's patch is filled with banana trees, while Ritty's patch is bared of anything except for a birdhouse made entirely of cheese. How weird. And my own patch is the one on the right. Imagine it, I have my own patch of land! I think I'm going to plant some marrows. I love marrow pies.

      No one in the family is really green-fingered, so the chore of tending to the plants gets pushed around constantly. (from what I've learned) Apparently, Ritty is the most skillful one in wriggling out of chores and work. The beauty queen hates to get her paws dirty!

      There are wooden fences surrounding the garden. Roll told me the story of how they spent a few summer evenings happily painting the fences white (to save fund). There are two wooden loungers under the shade of an enormous tree that I do not know the name of. A simple wooden swing is tied to a firm branch of the tree.

      At the back of the garden, a hammock is tied to two palm trees. There is a paddling pool that is apparently used by both pets and petpets. Under the roof is a battered picnic table that Roll often uses as his study table when he is bored indoors. Picnic tea in the garden is common, for Jes often says, 'What is the use of a garden if you don't enjoy it?'

      In short, the garden is quite huge. It's beautiful. It's perfect.


Day 25 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 6:30 pm NST

      Phew! I'm in my room now, just back from shopping. My room isn't huge, but it's fairly spacious for two pets. Yes, I'm sharing a room with Ritty.

      Ritty doesn't seems to mind sharing her room with me. But I still felt a little embarrassed when she had to clear some space for me last night. (she is definitely not a neat pet) I have unpacked my things and they are now neatly kept in various drawers and cupboards.

      This afternoon, Jes gave me a bag of Neopoints and promised me that I could buy anything I like. To be honest, I was quite surprise and thrilled. I wasn't used to having that much money. After a few hours of shopping, I bought a Gruslen Rug, a warm Gruslen Bean Bag (no Gruslens were harmed when making this furniture) and some new clothes. If I do say so myself, my new furniture matches well with Ritty's cheese-themed furniture. I mean, what does she has with cheese?!? She has cheese-patterned bedsheets, a cheese pillow, a cheese rug, a cheese table and a cheese chair, a cheese hairbrush, a cheese-patterned school bag and so on. Even her shampoo is cheese-scented! Wait, I think I'm going insane with all the cheeses.

      Ritty's cheese bookshelf is lined with fashion magazines and some CDs. Her shelves and drawers are filled with makeup and beautiful clothes. This reminds me forcefully of Shenny, but no, Ritty's perfume are cheese-scented. Her makeup are generally a brighter colour, compared to Shenny's dark-coloured ones. Same goes for the clothing.

      'Yoohoooooo, guys! Time for dinner!'

      That's Jes calling us for dinner. Gotta go!


Day 25 of the Month of Awakening, Year 16, 9:30 am NST

      I'm back! We've just finished our meal of garlic bread dipped in potato and leek soup, washing them down with a few helpings of mango pudding. The folks are downstairs watching Neovision, while Shella is washing the dishes. And I'm here, writing my diary (again).

      I still feel shy with my new family members, but they have all been very supportive and nice. Jes forced me to eat a third portion of mango pudding at dinner, harping that I'm too thin for her liking. Roll offered to lend me his library of books, that I can borrow anything when I need to. Plat invited me to play a game of volleyball tomorrow. Ritty said that I can use her makeup whenever I want, and she'll give me makeup lessons if I want any. (which I politely declined) Shella talked to me and helped me to settle down.

      This is the first time that I feel loved. I'm shy but I already feel like I belong here. I love this place, a place I can finally call my home. I love them, who I can finally call my family. I really can get used to this wonderful life.

      I love this imperfectly-perfect family.

      I'm going to turn in, it's been exhausting! *yawns*

The End

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


Worth Searching For: Part Nine
Roberta's directions proved to be far more helpful than she'd predicted. Hyren, Blynn, Celice, and Gwyneth found the turnoff easily, and by nightfall they'd begun to make their way up into the wooded mountains.

by cosmicfire918


It's Hard Being the New Pet
Mean Pets

by greyorangegrey


A Vanda-What?!
Poor Trasey has completely misunderstood Neopia's brand new Vandagyre!

by jhudora96


Little Ghost
Can you handle it...?

by noonsk

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.