Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 177,588,188 Issue: 185 | 8th day of Eating, Y7
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I Hate Terror Mountain


by shadowcristal

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Terror Mountain. The place where happy pets build snow sculptures of Abominable Snowballs and everyone has a cup of warm chocolate now and then. The place where the streets are made out of ice and the trees are tinted with snow.

     No. She didn't like it. Perhaps she had hated it right from the beginning...

     They had moved there just in the beginning of the Month of Awakening. She had been adopted a month earlier, and together with her new family, they would start with a new beginning in a new house in Terror Mountain. She had anticipated it, hoped for it and counted down to it.

     But when they arrived there, she was disappointed. The yellow Zafara didn't like the climate. It contrasted awfully to her bright yellow fur and the wind seeped right through her bones. From the first moment she had set her foot there, she felt cold.

     "Isn't this lovely?" Jennifer asked, waving her arms. "Look at all this glittery snow!"

     "Yeah!" her new brother, Pete the blue Cybunny exclaimed. "We'll be living in a winter wonderland!"

     Elina looked around. Sure, it was nice, but the freezing wind made her shudder. She shook her head almost unnoticeably, but didn't say anything.

     "Let's play!" Pete said, full of energy. He ran and skipped a few meters before he made a nice cannonball dive in the snow pile at the end of the road.

     "Wonderland?" the Zafara muttered as she looked around. Everything was so... white. The white clouds on the white sky covered the sun, which had always been with her in the Lost Desert. She sighed, looking at her owner.

     "Well, let's go and check out our new house," Jen said as she put a slender arm around Elina's shoulder.

     -

     "What a nice house!" the Cybunny exclaimed, running around poking his head into all of the rooms. Elina, on the other hand, wasn't so interested. She longed for the old life with her previous owner, who had loved the heat in the Lost Desert. She couldn't resist it anymore... Dazed, the Zafara took a trip down memory lane.

     "Don't exhaust yourself so much," she heard Jen tell Pete. "Neoschool starts tomorrow, and you'd better relax like our Elina." Jennifer turned around and smiled at the Zafara, who wasn't smiling back.

     "Elina?" Jen asked, snapping the Zafara out of her reverie.

     "Uh... We'll go to Neoschool tomorrow, right?" the pet asked. Then she turned around and watched the snowflakes fall outside the window. Her old owner had only had one pet, and they lived in the nicest, warmest place... Why did she have to get stuck in this world of ice with an owner who didn't pay attention to her half of the time?

     Feeling resentful, the Zafara asked permission to go to her room. Finally alone, she slumped down in a corner, feeling dizzy. The memories were wonderful, but the acknowledgement that her old owner wasn't there anymore was too painful. When she opened her eyes again, Elina noticed that her eyes were full of tears. Perhaps it was wrong, but she couldn't help missing everything that she had to what she had now.

     Elina took a last look around the empty room before she spat on the floor. Then she regretted her decision and wiped it clean. The Zafara stared into space. If she couldn't find anything good soon, she would probably end up hating the place.

     -

     "The next and last lesson will be a skating lesson!" the Bruce teacher said cheerfully. He opened the door and let the students out.

     Elina was the last one to leave the room. She dreaded the next lesson, since she had tried skating at a rink once and it hadn't gone well. Then she had an idea and went into the classroom again.

     "I can't skate," she said in her best excuse-me-teacher voice.

     "You can try," the Bruce smiled, waving his fins. "Anyway, it's obligatory!" With that, the teacher left the room and started looking for his skates.

     Disappointed, the Zafara walked off. She mumbled for herself as she got to the yard. The pets here weren't as great as the ones she had known. In Lost Desert, everyone greeted the new student with enthusiasm and joy. Here, they were stuffy, stiff and cold. Well, except for that annoying teacher.

     She frowned as she entered the rink. A classmate lent her a spare pair of skates that looked quite worn. Sighing, Elina put them on as she watched her classmates forming a group on the ice.

     It took quite a while to get the skates on. They were old, and a little bit too big for her small Zafara feet. There were many laces and knots that she had to do, and each strap took more time than the previous once. The relentless wind never stopped blowing for a single second, and her fingers grew number as the time went on.

     Finally she got them on. Grudgingly the Zafara took a step forward. She wasn't expecting anything, but to her surprise, she slid forward! Elena let out a little shout before she regained control and grabbed a pole. Then she slowly walked down the stairs from the changing benches (which were outside and just above the rink).

     She thought it would be better when she got to the ice. But she was wrong. Yelping as if she had been boiled in hot water, Elena skidded on the last few steps of the stair and fell on the ice.

     Oh, how it hurt! Even though it was freezing cold, the humiliation of it all made her face red. Elina got up and staggered forward, unsure of what to do. No one helped her. If she had been in her old place, everyone would've rushed forward and tried to help. This stuffiness annoyed her. All the other students had already gathered around the teacher, and the Zafara tried to do the same.

     With a magnificent fall, she managed to place herself in the last spot that they had left for her. Gritting her teeth, the Zafara got up. The teacher told them to skate twice around the rink in their own speed.

     As she had expected, Elina was the last to finish. When she was halfway through her second round she heard some students telling an impatient classmate not to skate until she was done. The shame, the shame!

     "I hate you," she muttered darkly, "I hate you all!"

     Then the teacher proceeded to showing them exercises. There were two other pets that couldn't skate so well, and the teacher helped them. But he never helped Elina.

     The Zafara managed some of the exercises well, like the ball one. The backward skating was the worst. Almost crying from frustration, Elina would try again and again to skate backwards. But she couldn't. It was impossible.

     Her poor knees were stiff and rigid from all the falls. The teacher went on about the games. They played several games that Elina was familiar with. The Zafara was a whiz at those games on the ground, but she failed to be as great as she usually as on the ice. The key was speed, and Elina was too afraid of falling and hurting herself to skate fast.

     The worst game of them all was '1-2-3, Cheese!'. Elina sighed when she heard that the best skater in the class was going to be the one standing there. He told everyone to go to the starting line. Then he turned around, counted to three, said "Cheese!" and faced them. All the students stopped and stood still. After a few 1-2-3 Cheese's the second fastest skater managed to tag the Bori who had been turning calling out "Cheese". And so the game re-started, with the second fastest skater as the one turning around and around.

     Of course, the game worked against Elina. Even if she had skated before, it was still awful. She skated poorly and couldn't stop when they said cheese, which caused them to point at her. Then the Zafara had to go back to the start line and start all over again. Elina's rage built each time she couldn't control her skates. She remembered how Pete had said that ice would be her doom one day, and boy was he right!

     The terrible skating lesson ended with an ice version of Gourmet Club Bowls. The teacher told the pets to get into pairs. Elina looked around with a glint of desperation in her eyes, but no one approached her. She disliked these careful and conservative people who wouldn't go outside their own little perfect wonderland and try to be nice to outsiders. Finally the teacher managed to team her up with a Pteri who was pretty good at skating.

     The ball pets bent down and wrapped their arms around their knees, facing their partner. Elina bent down with her aching knees, holding onto herself tightly and praying that this would be better. She hadn't been able to skate backwards, but hopefully this would go better. The Pteri grabbed her shoulders and pushed her forward.

     The Zafara reacted instantly. After just one single push, she fell. It was too scary to skate backwards without having any control. They tried again, but she just couldn't do it! The Pteri looked at her with pity as he declared that he would switch places with her. This time it went better. At least she knew how to skate without falling, though it wasn't fast. After a couple rounds of that little competition, the teacher said that they were done.

     Feeling relieved, Elina went back up to the changing benches, sat down and undid the laces on her skates. She managed to get the skates off before her fingers felt too numb. Then she put them back in the plastic bag, returned them to their owner and said a hasty thank-you.

     "Good job," the teacher said when he came to her.

     What a lie... Elina felt terrible and almost a little bit sick. This was awful. She had wanted to scream, "I can't skate!" but she never did. No, she'd be a good girl and not make too much trouble. She had seen how some stiff people acted, and if she did anything too outrageous she would lose all chances of being accepted.

     The Zafara made a last feeble excuse before she took off at top speed. Her sore feet felt comfortable in the rough, leathery boots. She had never really appreciated the safety that the ground gave her until now. But she had spoken too early. With a surprised yelp, Elina slipped and fell on the hard ice.

     "I hate ice!" she screamed with all her might. The frustration, the humiliation and that horrible lesson... It was all in that loud scream. Several heads turned around before the Zafara realized her mistake and took off, this time at a slower pace.

     -

     "How was your day?" Jennifer asked when she came home.

     "Dreadful," Elina muttered darkly.

     "Really?" the Cybunny asked, surprised. "You know, my day was just wonderful! Skipping around and playing in all that snow... Simply sublime!"

     "I hate Terror Mountain," the Zafara mumbled as she walked off to her room. Jen heard that, and felt a little bit worried. Pete, on the other hand, was still babbling about his great day.

     -

     She was walking to school when it happened. Elina was grumbling about having another lesson, the second one in the row on the awful art of skating. Therefore she didn't notice the nice, shiny large area of ice before it was too late.

     The Zafara felt a great rush of wind, and then darkness surrounded her.

     -

     Elina blinked twice and looked at the lamps in the ceiling. No, they weren't of her cold house. In fact, this place wasn't cold at all. When she tried to move, she felt a sharp pain running through her left leg. The Zafara blinked and looked around.

     She was in the Neopian Hospital. Her left leg was hung up and covered with something white. Immediately Elina knew that she had broken her leg. But how?

     Then she remembered the ice. Of course! She had slipped on the ice, and one thing had led to another. Considering that she had a headache, the Zafara supposed that she must've hit her head too.

     The door opened and Jen stepped inside. Seeing the look on her face, Elina was hit with guilt. Perhaps she was being too obnoxious, thinking that those pets around the Terror Mountain were stuffy and disliking her new Neohome. Then she remembered the skating lesson, and the Zafara stuck her nose up in the air.

     "Do you still hate Terror Mountain?" Jennifer asked meekly, observing her pet. It was obvious that Elina hadn't been as energetic as before. Maybe it was a bad decision to move to Terror Mountain...

     The Zafara thought about the question. Hate? Oh yes, she abhorred many things about this world, like ice, skating lessons and more. But completely, totally loathe it? Well...

     "No," Elina said. "I don't hate Terror Mountain..."

     Jen looked relieved, and prepared to leave. A noise from the Zafara made her turn around in the doorway, and she saw the pet looking at her. Something shone in Elina's eyes, and she opened her mouth.

     "I haaaaaate Terror Mountain!"

The End

 
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