The Young Dr_Death: Part One
“Leave me alone!” he cried. There were tears in his eyes as another snowball hit him, right between the eyes. He staggered away as his assailant laughed maliciously.
“Hey, Death’s not supposed to feel pain!” chortled a big red Skeith. He picked up more snow in between his clumsy, glove-covered hands. He had a tattered blue scarf thrown around his neck and a large black coat that both smelled faintly of formaldehyde- perhaps to keep him from eating it. His short, buzz cut hair was black and frozen in spikes due to the immense cold of Terror Mountain.
Thwack! Another snowball hit him on the side of his head. Dr_Death staggered over the snow, trying to get away. His eyes and face were red from the cold, and from crying. He furiously rubbed his brown hair, trying to get the snow out of it. Another snowball, this time on the left side of his body, right up against his brown coat, sent him to the ground with a terrific thud. The small crowd of pets cheered and heaved more snowballs at him. He lay there for a minute, then low-crawled away from them. He felt his blue tie snag on a rock. He tugged it away as another icy-cold snowball fly, like a projectile, into his back. Then he got up and ran.
“Yeah, you better run away!” an alien Aisha sneered at him. He gave the Skeith a high-five and smiled maliciously. The small group of male pets, all rather young and immature, walked the other way, talking and joking like the last twenty minutes hadn’t even happened.
But Dr_Death knew they had happened all too well. It’d been twenty minutes of incredible terror, when he’d been jumped when he’d finally left the pharmacy after staying for two hours. He been hit with more snowballs than he’d ever known before, and his whole body ached with a dull, pounding pain all over from the impact of the snow and sheer coldness. If there’d only been one of them, or maybe even two, he might have been able to hold his own. But against a whole pack, there was nothing he could do but to turn and run for it.
He ran for his life, harder than he ever had before, not stopping until he was in an almost silent grove of pine trees. He looked around and listened with bated breath- there was not a single sound except the snow quietly falling to the ground. He let out a sigh and panted slightly, leaning against a tree. He reached into his pocket, feeling for a vial of medicine that he’d waited so patiently and paid so dearly for. He finally grasped it in his hands and took it out. It was filled with a purple liquid, a little congealed, and smelling faintly of roses.
Snow fell softly onto his head from one of the branches, and he smiled. He’d escaped.
“Hi,” the young brown headed girl said, smiling as the young Dr_Death entered the door to the house. Dr_Death stamped his feet on the purple carpet at the threshold of the door and hung his coat on the coat hanger there, revealing a vibrant blue blazer underneath. Dr_Death straightened his matching blue tie and rubbed lint off of the NeoAcademy badge and his blue trousers. Then he looked up at his owner.
“Hi, Drew,” Dr_Death said. The young girl went back to reading her magazine while lying on the couch. The house was very simple- made of wood and smelling of pine with sparse furniture as most of their neopoints had been spent making it insulated against the harsh winter cold. Dr_Death bounded up the stairs to his room, which was furnished much like the rest of the house- it only contained a small wood desk with a matching chair, a twin-sized bed with a yellow blanket and pillow, a closet with Dr_Death’s uniforms and shoes, as well as a small amount of other clothing, and a window with heavy drapes to keep out the draft.
Drew had never imagined the beatings Dr_Death would take when she’d chosen this name- she’d wanted something original, something daring, something cool. Unfortunately, Asparagus was already taken, so she’d settled for Dr_Death. The young hazel-eyed youth had been overjoyed with her new Techo, Dr_Death, and for several years, Dr_Death had been happy too. Most of their earnings went into the house, so not much was left over for other things. Still, they’d been happy.
Dr_Death set his backpack on his bed. Of course, it was different when he started school- his name was so weird and his bearing so... plain, that the other students liked to pick on him. He was also very shy and couldn’t stand up for himself or garner much respect from his classmates. Dr_Death had few friends outside of Drew and petpets he brought home, and none of them went to his school.
He took out the vial and went to his desk, taking a small plastic cup out of the drawers. He poured the liquid until the cup was almost full and kneeled down to a small green pouf, on which something very small, blue, and furry lay, coughing.
“Here you go,” Dr_Death told the baby Puppyblew. The Puppyblew’s face was drenched with perspiration- he had a very high fever. He shook its head and lay back down, moaning.
“Please, you have to drink it,” Dr_Death whispered. The baby Puppyblew moaned and began to cry pitifully. After all, he was only a baby. Dr_Death scratched his head.
“Probably has never been outside the care of its pet-owner,” he said to himself. “Or very far from home. This little guy must be scared to death.” But he had to take the medicine. The pharmacist had told Dr_Death this special mixture was the only thing that would make the Puppyblew better.
He went back to his desk and got out a small plastic spoon. Loading it with medicine, he tried again to give it to the Puppyblew. He shook with fever, and refused to drink. Dr_Death bit his lip.
“Please,” he whispered again, taking the sick petpet into his arms and rocking it gently. He patted its head and took a cloth from a basin of water that was next to the pouf. He gently laid the cloth on its head and offered it the spoon, one last time.
“Merf,” he moaned weakly. Dr_Death held up his head, and he finally accepted the medicine, in small, painful gulps. “Merf!” he squealed, pushing the spoon away and sniffling. Dr_Death smiled- at least it had taken the medicine, anyway.
“Little gulps. We’ll do it in little gulps, ok?” Dr_Death said kindly.
The Puppyblew nodded its head and licked Dr_Death on the cheek. He bit his lip and smiled, stroking the tiny petpet’s back. The Puppyblew slowly sipped the medicine again, this time much more confidently. Dr_Death always had a knack for calming ill petpets down.
Dr_Death looked out the window. It had begun to snow heavily again. Terror Mountain always had snow- in the winter time, which it was now, the only difference was that it snowed harder and the temperatures dipped far below freezing at night. They lived at the very top of the mountain, and it was awful for anyone who got lost out in the perpetual storms- especially petpets. Dr_Death never failed to go one week without finding a lost, sick, exhausted, and injured petpet. Some had just been lost by careless pet-owners who had let them out to play without watching them. Others had just been abandoned by pets who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, take care of them. Some were even strays, raised in the wilderness on the fringes of civilization. Wherever they came from, however they came, they still came, and Dr_Death found them. He’d nurse them back to health, all on his own.
Dr_Death sighed. This took up most of his time that wasn’t spent in school. It was more than a hobby for him.
“More like... a calling,” he said to himself, rocking the Puppyblew in his arms again. Then his thoughts turned back to what had happened earlier that afternoon with the bullies.
“They’re just jealous,” Dr_Death told himself uncertainly, repeating what Drew had told him.
“They only pick on you because they’re jealous you’re so smart and you don’t have to wear fancy clothes or show off to let people know it,” she’d said. It was true- Dr_Death was the smartest pet in his grade. Dr_Death always stopped short of telling Drew that they were doing more than just picking on him, fearing that she’d start something that would make things even worse at school. Besides, he didn’t want to move. He liked Terror Mountain, and even when the petpets he took care of ultimately left his home, they still remained his friends, and would come visit him all the time with their pet-owners, many of whom lived in either the Ice Caves or Happy Valley.
Dr_Death sighed again. He didn’t care what those pets at school thought about him. He had his petpet friends, and that was all.
To be continued...