Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 99,276,740 Issue: 197 | 1st day of Swimming, Y7
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Johnny's Story: Part Two

by sarahsuk


"Which pet would you like for a sister, Tiffany?"

     "I don't know, Tillie, it's a tough decision."

     "Take your time, hon."

     "That blue Shoyru looks nice."

     "I think that's a boy, sweets. You want a sister, don't you?"

     "Yes, I'm tired of being surrounded by brothers. Let's look over there."

     My eyes fluttered open. I had been having the most wonderful dream. Carrie and Jill (her petpet Angelpuss that Sherry and I had gotten for her birthday) had found me and we were living together in a big palace made of chocolate…

     "Hey, the new guy's awake!" a voice hollered.

     I whirled around and saw a red Kacheek grinning at me. I stared at her. She was standing inside a cage, silver bars surrounding her. On the other side of me was a blue Pteri. He winked at me and I took a step backwards. I yelped as I realized I had backed up into several silver bars.

     "Where you from, kid?" the blue Pteri asked me.

     "I'm from…" My voiced trailed off. Tears sprang into my eyes, but I quickly rubbed them away. I couldn't cry. Not when I had to do investigating.

     "How'd you get here, kiddo?" the red Kacheek asked. "You been bad to your owner?"

     "Where am I?" I mumbled. I could see other Neopets in cages, propped up on the side of the wall. Other Neopets were in the small aisle, gazing into the cages with their owners. The place looked familiar, like I had been there before. But I couldn't remember…

     "You're in the Pound, kid," the blue Pteri said, chuckling. "And 'till you get adopted, you ain't getting out."

     I suddenly felt dizzy. I reached out for something to clutch, but my hand just ran across the rusty silver bars. I dropped on to the floor or the cage and remembered. My old owner had brought me here, dumped me in a cage, and walked away crying. The last thing he told me was that Maria would come get me. I had reached out to him and asked him why he couldn't keep me. But he started to run, and that was the last I saw of him.

     "He's a first timer, ain't he?" the red Kacheek said, raising her eyebrows.

     "Looks like it," the blue Pteri grunted. "Hey, kid, this your first time in the pound?"

     I shook my head as I slowly picked myself up. I started to remember what had happened. The Coffee Shop and the Techo who said… I gasped.

     "What you gasping about?" the Red Kacheek asked.

     "The Techo at the Coffee Shop!" I cried. "He's Dr. Death!"

     The Blue Pteri laughed. "Yeah, Dr. Death goes for a coffee every night."

     "You'd be pretty dumb not to know that," the Kacheek said, raising her eyebrows. "Did he carry you here? You look awfully heavy. I only weigh 52 pounds."

     "Only she says," the blue Pteri scoffed. "I weigh 36!"

     The Kacheek rolled her eyes. "My name's Razz. The blue Pteri over there is Bonder."

     "What's your name, kid?" the blue Pteri asked, cocking his head to one side.

     "Johnny," I whispered. "My name is Johnny."

     Razz and Bonder continued chatting, but I did not reply to any questions given to me. Hours passed and soon the whole place was cleared. The only ones in the room were the Neopets in cages. The lights were flicked off and we were all left in darkness.

     I told myself not to cry. Crying was for babies. That wasn't me. I wasn't a baby. I heard some whimpers a few cages away from me. I tried to ignore them, but they only grew louder. I did the best I could to see who was doing the wailing. It was a small Kougra with a large cut in one paw. The cut reminded me of my injured wing. I winced. The thought of it hurt.

     A large heavy metal door on the side wall swung open to reveal a dark threatening shadow. Dr. Death. He walked down the aisle of cages holding the unfortunate Neopets. Most were sleeping; some lay awake. I immediately curled up in the corner of my cage and pretended to be sleeping.

     "Newcomer sleeping already, is he?" Dr. Death murmured. He tapped his hand against the bars of my cage. I flinched, but made no other movement. He carried on.

     Dr. Death padded over to where the Kougra wailed. "Shush, kid," he muttered under his breath. He continued on with his inspection and left, slamming the door behind him and waking several sleepers.

     "Johnny?" a voice whispered.

     I didn't say anything. I just stayed where I was, curled up. The urge to burst into tears grew stronger. I had to will it away.

     "Johnny?" The voice got a little louder. "Are you awake?"

     I felt tears drip out of my eyes. They slipped down my cheeks and I could see the floor of the cage darken as the tear stained the silver metal. I swallowed and willed myself not to speak, to just get through the night as fast as I could.

     "Are you crying, Johnny?" It was Razz and her voice was now filled with concern and sympathy.

     "No," I gulped. Tears started to spill out of my eyes now and I had trouble breathing. I coughed a few times and soon I was sobbing.

     "Johnny?" Razz whispered. She slid her hand through the bars of her cage and went through to my prison. Her paw hung in mid air. "Come here," she said quietly.

     I made no movement, only tried to stop my sobbing into sniffles. The Kougra who had wailed before took one look at me through the darkness and his own eyes started to well up. I looked away and tried to focus on Bonder's snoring.

     "Johnny," Razz said her voice low. "I know you can hear me. Please come over here." Her voice was almost pleading. I inched closer to her. Her paw brushed against my injured wing and I stifled a cry.

     "Are you OK?" she asked me. I nodded and moved away from her again. She reached out farther, but I now pressed myself against the bars so she could not reach me. Hours seemed to pass. Razz finally dropped her paw and I nodded off to sleep.

     The next morning I awoke to the sound of footsteps. I opened one eye and saw a curious Acara peering into my cage.

     "Carrie!" I yelled, jumping to my feet. My head hit the ceiling of my cage and I fell to the ground, crying out with surprise and pain.

     The Acara started to cry. "Mommy, this Shoyru made me cry!" she wailed, rushing into her owner's arms. The girl stroked the Acara's head. "Don't worry, dear," she said. "Everything's going to be OK."

     But everything wasn't OK. Nothing would ever be OK. again. Not until I busted out of here. I grabbed hold of the bars and started to shake them violently. Neopets who gazed in at me started to back away. Razz and Bonder both gave me sideways glances. I managed to ignore them. I started to scream.

     "Let me out!" I shouted. "I don't belong here! I have a home! I have Carrie and…" I took a deep breath and wiped my eyes. "And I have…"

     "No one!" a voice in my head said. "You have no one! Carrie doesn't care about you anymore. She doesn't want to think about you anymore."

     "No," I whispered. "That's not true!" I pounded at the bars until Dr. Death came running into the crowded room.

     "What's all this racket?" he yelled, looking furiously at me.

     "I don't belong here!" I yelled. "Let me out!"

     "Anyone who does not have a home belongs here," Dr. Death said, twisting his face into an evil frown. "This is your home now."

     The Neopets were all silent as Dr. Death gave me death glares. I dropped on to my knees and started to bang my head against the bars. "Kill me now, why don't you?" I cried. "Kill me now!"

     Dr. Death started to open his mouth, but right as the first words started to tumble out of his mouth, the door slammed open and a middle aged woman rushed into the room. "I haven't got all day, mind you!" she yelled. "Let me at those pets!"

     Everyone was staring at the newcomer now. She gazed into all the cages, clicking her tongue thoughtfully. When she came across my particular cage she clapped her hands together. "I have found my fourth child!"

     I glared at her. She was a bit overweight and had curly blonde hair and big blue eyes. She wore too much make up and had on about a billion bracelets on one wrist. She was the kind of woman you'd picture holding a cake overloaded with icing. She wore a flowery dress and red stilettos that looked as if they pinched her toes.

     I hoped she wasn't talking about me. Unfortunately, she grabbed my cage and completely hauled me on to the ground. I yelled out with surprise and anger as I toppled from the ceiling to the ground as she held me under her arm. My injured wing managed to get in my face somehow.

     "How much for this darling, Deathy?" the woman said, still clutching on to my cage so I was still in an uncomfortable position. Dr. Death just stared at the woman as if in shock at being called 'Deathy'.

     "Well?" the woman demanded. "I haven't got all day! Hurry it up, will you?"

     "Oh my-" Razz stared at the overweight woman and felt even more sympathy for Johnny then she had the night before. Bonder just stared, shocked.

     The woman paid for me and got the key to open my cage. As soon as the door swung open she stuck her bracelet decorated arms into the prison and grabbed me around the waist. She pulled me out and dropped me on the ground. She snatched up my hand in hers and started to walk out of the pound.

     I turned around and stared at Razz and Bonder and the Kougra. "I'll be back for you," I managed to call out to them. They grinned and nodded. I thought I heard Bonder say, "If you survive."

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Johnny's Story: Part One
» Johnny's Story

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