A Waffle Paradise Circulation: 118,827,471 Issue: 239 | 12th day of Hunting, Y8
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The Path to Freedom: Part Two


by bathschool123

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Sampson tried to suppress a cry of disbelief. He knew he was finally painted, but part of him was screaming in terror at the reflection in the puddle. Sampson lifted one of his paws and looked at it. Claws as sharp as kitchen knives gleamed back at him.

     Then Sampson remembered that most Darigan pets had wings. He flapped them, feeling joy spread through him. He had wings! They might not have been pretty like Julie's, but he still had them. And if he had wings, he could fly.

     Sampson decided that he would try out his new wings and fly home. He spread them and started flapping. Sampson ran forward and jumped into the air.

     All Sampson felt was wonder as he took flight. He climbed higher and higher until he was above the stars. Up here, it was a clear night. The moon was full and shining, and the stars were their brightest. It's beautiful, thought Sampson.

     Sampson dived under the clouds so that he could see what street he was on. He found himself on Soup Alley, in the downtown part of Neopia Central. He would have to continue flying north if he wanted to get to the uptown part of Neopia Central, where he lived.

     Sampson landed at the start of his street. He started walking up the street, until he came to his mansion.

     He quietly opened the door and slipped inside the kitchen. He guessed it was about midnight. He went up some stairs until he got to the first floor. He wove in and out of the maze of rooms, until he came to the stairs. He went up them and walked to the other end of the second floor, where his room was located.

     Sampson pulled the covers off his bed and snuggled in. He grabbed the blankets and pulled them over himself until he was completely under the covers. That was so when Jefferson came to wake him up, like he usually did when he slept in past eight, he would not see a sleeping Darigan Kougra.

     Then Sampson slept and slept.

     But, like most people do when they are sleeping, Sampson moved around, messing up his covers, and soon, he ended up on top of his blankets, his newly painted self revealed.

     ***

     Sampson woke up to a scream. He quickly sat upright, looking for the source of the bloodcurdling wail.

     Sampson saw Jefferson against his wall, his eyes wide with terror. The look he was giving Sampson soon turned from terror to anger.

     "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SAMPSON?" he yelled, then charged at Sampson.

     But Sampson was too quick. He beat his wings and flew upwards in the nick of time.

     Jefferson bashed his head against the wall. Then he turned to Sampson. "CLARA!" He screamed.

     Clara came rushing in. "What is it, Jefferso…" she stopped short as she saw Sampson.

     Clara exploded. "I TOLD YOU THAT THE PAINTBRUSH WAS NOT FOR YOU!!" she roared. "AND YOU DISOBEYED ME AFTER I CLEARLY SAID THAT IT WAS NOT FOR YOU!

      Clara was angrier than Sampson had ever imagined. It was as if there was fire in her hand and she was madly flinging it at Sampson.

     Sampson, terrified, backed away from her. He turned around and fled.

     Sampson ran up their street and kept running until he was in the heart of Neopia Central, which were the main shops.

     Sampson ran to the money tree and grabbed one thousand neopoints that were donated by the ghosts. He then went to the food shop and bought a burger. Sampson sat down near the book shop and ate the burger.

     The eating was calming down his fear. But he knew he had to go home soon, or else Clara would start looking for him. And when Clara was looking for someone, they were in deep trouble when she found them.

     But Sampson wanted to be alone for a bit longer. So he finished his burger, which was his breakfast, and walked to the bazaar. While he was there, he remembered that he had some neopoints left from when he bought his burger, and decided to buy something else. But he was too easily seen in the bazaar, so he decided to make his way to the marketplace.

     It would be harder for Clara to find him there, anyway. There were so many shops and people. It would take her hours to find him.

     Sampson ran to the soup kitchen, where it was always warm. Plus, he was still hungry because the burger he ate wasn't nearly enough to keep him satisfied.

     Sampson walked up to the soup faerie and was suddenly glad for his Darigan colour and five hundred neopoints he was clutching. The Soup Faerie would have recognized him if he was green, and then she wouldn't have given him any food. Clara did, after all, have much, much, much, much, much, more than three thousand neopoints.

     The Soup Faerie smiled at him. "Hello there," she said warmly. "What will it be today?"

     "I'll have some chicken noodle, please," replied Sampson.

     The Soup Faerie went towards her chicken noodle soup pot and grabbed a bowl and big spoon. She scooped some soup from the pot and poured it into the bowl. Then she handed the bowl and a smaller spoon to Sampson.

     "Thank you," he said once he was done. He put the bowl and spoon in the sink and left the soup kitchen.

     Sampson traveled through the marketplace, his belly full and five hundred neopoints still in his pocket. He stopped at the edge of the marketplace, far away from the soup kitchen. Not many Neopians came back here, where the shops that didn't sell as well resided.

     Sampson found a tiny shop that was only size one. It was called 'Charity'. He decided to go inside.

     Inside the shop there was music playing the tune of an easy-listening song. It was cramped inside and the one shelf had five items on it.

     The shop keeper, a rainbow Kacheek, smiled as Sampson entered.

     "Hello," it said. "Would you care to buy anything in this shop? Our purpose is to donate all the neopoints we get to the money tree. So far we haven't had much luck."

      Sampson felt sorry for the Kacheek and her colleagues. They had good hearts and were using the store for good. Not like Clara, he thought, disgusted.

     Clara already owned all of what the store was selling, but Sampson wanted to help them. He picked up a pink Gelert plushie that looked slightly used and took it up to the counter.

     "Ah, it looks like you're taking old Toby," the Kacheek said, her smile widening. "Nobody wanted him. He's been here for months."

     The Kacheek paused. "I never thought a Darigan Kougra could ever be so nice," she said. "Usually they would like to rip apart the store."

     Sampson suddenly felt shame for his new colour.

     "Don't feel bad," said the Kacheek. "You're a nice one." The Kacheek looked at Toby's price tag. "He's fifty neopoints," she said.

     Sampson put his five hundred neopoints on the counter. "I think he's worth five hundred," he said stubbornly.

     The Kacheek's eyes widened. "Thank you," she said, her eyes brimming with gratitude.

     Sampson left the shop and decided that he should start heading back home.

     As Sampson walked toward his street, he started dreading what Clara would do to him. Would she buy a cheap green paintbrush and paint him his original colour? Would she banish him from her home? Out of those two choices, Sampson longed for it to be the second one. He did not wanted to be painted green again; he was starting to get attached to his new colour.

     Sampson turned down the street, clutching Toby, worried about might happen to him.

     Sampson continued down his street, still worried. Clara might have looked nice to other Neopians, but when she got angry, oh, she got ANGRY.

     Then he came to his neohome. He took a deep breath, and entered.

     Clara, Jefferson, Mindy and Julie were all sitting around a table. When he entered, Clara erupted all her anger out onto him. Mindy was looking at him, shaking her head and tut-tutting, while Jefferson looked at him as if he was going to tear him apart.

     But Julie was looking at him much differently. It was as if she understood how he was feeling. She was looking at Sampson with utmost respect. In her eyes was a pain that Sampson had always felt; the pain of exclusion.

     Suddenly, Sampson turned around. He ran out the door, not caring that it was wide open.

     "WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" Clara thundered. She ran out the door, the other pets close behind her.

     Sampson stopped and turned to them. "I'm leaving," he said stubbornly.

     At that, Julie raced inside.

     Sampson gripped Toby with his teeth and started running. Then he started flapping his wings. He was airborne.

     "Sampson!" was the cry he heard from the ground. Suddenly, Julie was beside him, matching his pace. She was holding two backpacks with Adorable and Spike in them.

     "What is it?" snarled Sampson.

     "I want to come with you," she said.

     Sampson felt touched. "You don't have to…" he started.

     "I am," insisted Julie. "Look, I even packed us two backpacks, and fetched Adorable and Spike."

     Sampson grinned at her. "I guess I have a tag-along."

     Sampson and Julie flew off, in the direction of Roo Island, heading toward some very menacing storm clouds.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Path to Freedom: Part One
» The Path to Freedom: Part Three



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