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Pride Goes A Long Way

by triffin_


The sky was gray. The streets were gray. No corner of Shitona Town wasn't gray. It's inhabitants were not only gray by looks but by emotion too. There were drained of happiness and joy once felt by all. No one new ever ventured to this village. Could there be a duller place to live? Could there be a duller day in life you had to live?

     Shitona Town, landlocked by many other lively, bustling towns. Shitona Town, full of despair and sadness. Shitona Town, where the gray paint brush was discovered. A homely village plagued by seemingly eternal sadness. In this desolate town, lived Shellia.

     Every morning, Shellia woke up to the sunless sky. She'd look out the window to see the stormy clouds brewing. The continual rain added to the dreariness. She'd look in the mirror at endless flaws. Her matted gray fur. Her ears that were no where near perky. The circles under hers eyes. A typical gray Lupe. Stereotypically.

     Shellia longed to be free of all burdens, the greatest being imprisoned in this forsaken town. She was uneducated of all the great wonders outside of Shitona. She couldn't imagine a color besides gray. She had never seen the shining sun providing energy and life. Or the stars giving second chances and hope.

     It was a typical night. Shellia sat in her room, laying on her back on the floor. She thought of Faerieland. The way she understood it, Faerieland was a myth. It seemed only to be a surreal fantasy. It chewed away at her insides more and more every day. "Why can't I just speak up?" her heart screamed. "It seems to be the right thing, to stay the same, stay loyal,," her mind yelled. She sighed.

     "Loyal to what? Being miserable?" Shellia said. She went to the window. A gentle breeze ruffled her hair. She looked down upon her town in every possible way. She looked out into the gray sky.

     "Huh?" she said. She squinted into the sky leaning out her window. A small twinkling light was high in the sky. There was no moon, but Shellia knew it was a star. She clasped her hands together and truly felt hope and happiness.

     "I wish my town could see you little star," Shellia prayed. She watched the star until clouds swept over it, masking the beauty. She climbed into bed thinking of things to come.

     The next day was like all the rest. Outside it was gloomy. The sun was sure to never shine. It was really just a pitiful town, but Shellia had hope. If her dreams could be shared and her prayers answered, Shitona Town would be free of it's curse.

     "I- I know this sounds stupid," Shellia said shakily. When anyone talked there voices trembled. All was usually quiet.

     "Listen Xentri. I- I feel like I'm trapped. We can't live our lives this way," she declared.

     "Shell- I don't understand," said Xentri, a Cybunny. A sad miserable one.

     "Xentri, please. When I say 'we', I mean all of Shitona. We all have to move on, see bigger and better things. What's the point of living if all you see is sadness!?" she cried.

     "Stop trying to tell me all this junk. We aren't the future of tomorrow Shell, okay? Just leave it alone," Xentri said, in the familiar monotonous tone. Shellia sat there paralyzed in disbelief.

     "Fine," she said brushing him away with a glance, "Fine Xentri, fine," she said walking away. "I don't know about him, but I am definitely doing something. This isn't right," she thought.

     The day after that, Shellia seemed to have more hope than before. Her ears perked up whenever she dreamed of a colorful life. A life of true color not just gray. And true emotion not just sad. A real life. It made Xentri enthusiastic as well.

     "Shellia, I am getting better vibes about this idea," Xentri admitted. "I mean, I want to change," he said. It made Shellia's eyes sparkle like the star light.

     "N- now you understand Xen. We have to raise everyone's spirit," Shellia said with dignity.

     It was on the lonely playground where Shellia and Xentri gathered friends who gathered friends who gathered friends. Shellia stood upon a creaky wooden swing. She looked down at all the gray faces watching her.

     "I- I- I'm tired of dreaming," Shellia stuttered.

     "All of us- we-we should..." she trailed off. Xentri stood up and continued,

     "Everyone! Shellia wants us all to live happier lives! I am sure not one of you can tell me you're grateful for this life!" Xentri said taking pride with his friend. There was agree all around. Shellia's pride overwhelmed her.

     "Dreams can come true! If you believe..." she declared. Everyone's voice grew louder and even more cheerful. It was a grand day for Shitona's public. Soon their lives would be better. Soon Shellia's prayers would be answered.

     Then next day was even more spectacular. More and more Neopets bustled about the streets. More emotion was visible. Shellia knew her plan was the talk of the town. The town was still gray, but their prides were full of every color.

     Soon enough it was the last straw. Shellia could bear it no more. She was going out to see the sights outside of Shitona. She was going to start fixing up her town. She was going to take away the darkness and make Shitona shine again with the radiance of the sun.

     "I'm- so- close," she said. She was footsteps away from being out of the shadows and into the sun. She walked slowly out of the forest from which she came. It was the fastest way to Neopia Central from her dismal town. She shielded her eyes and stepped into the glorious sun. It was truly an unforgettable day in Shellia's life.

     Usuls and Chias and many other species walked the streets handsomely painted many colors. She walked to a pearly white fountain trickling crystal blue water. She cupped some water in her hands and drank the crisp liquid. It refreshed and energized her. It made her that much more hopeful. She then remembered her plan. She walked around and her eyes lit up when she say a hardware store.

     She bought beautiful paints to color their town. She bought posters to hang all around. She had been saving Neopoints forever hoping to make a difference, and now was her chance.

     "I'm just wondering, what'll you be doing with all of this?" said the rainbow Kiko at the register.

     "I'm going to," she searched for the words, "beautify my town!" she said proudly. She smiled and walked out of the stores. She decided it was time to go back. As she headed back to the forest, she spotted a tattered cardboard box that seemed to glow. It had a faded ribbon tied in a bow around it. Out of sheer curiosity Shellia opened the box. It was rainbow paint brush.

     Shellia traveled back to her town that much faster, with such happiness she was sure to burst. As she ran down the street the people all around gaped at her. She grinned pleasurably and saw Xentri.

     "Xentri! Xentri! I did it! I'm going to change all our lives forever!!" she cheered. Onlookers listened, their eyes lighting up.

     "I'm proud Shellia."

     Shellia painted her house a bright green. She hanged posters of faeries on fences and lamp posts. Spirits brightened. Some of the clouds seemed to move away and a few rays of sun peeked out from behind the remaining gray.

     "We all have to go!" Shellia declared. Now there were more Neopets willing to venture out. So they went. Shellia lead them out of the shadowy forest into the free sunshine of Neopia Central. They bought paint and colorful furniture and everyday thing but in color! They even had trucks to bring the heavy things back to their town. It was a grand day.

     "Yes! Yes!" Shellia screamed as she stood on a large pedestal in the center of town. The sun emerged completely. There was no gray in sight. Smiling faces warmed Shellia's heart. Sun light warmed her body.

     "You proved magic is real Shellia. If it weren't for you, well... no one would have ever spoke up," Xentri said as he and Shellia watched the pink and orange sunset. She told him,

     "It was all because of one sparkling star... through all that gray..."

The End

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