The Turmaculus Ate My Snowbunny
The Turmaculus ate her Snowbunny. Grundioy knew it was completely
her own fault. She should never have risked her best friend in the hopes of a
few measly Neopoints, or an item or two, or whatever junk the Turmaculus promised.
You don't do that to your best friend. She shouldn't have let her curiosity get
the better of her. But she did, and now she was all alone.
"Grundioy, are you okay?" Joey asked her pet
worriedly, once they were back at their cosy home in Winding Wood Drive. Biting
her coral-pink lip, she looked at the spotted Aisha slumped in the Kauvara sofa.
Grundioy was sitting down without a book in her paws, which was a sure sign
that she was deeply upset.
"Yes, I'm fine," came the Aisha's meek voice,
as she reached for a book to hide her face. But of course, she wasn't okay.
Avark had been her best friend. Her only friend, in fact. Grundioy was very
rarely seen without the little spotted Snowbunny. They were so close that they
even got matching paintjobs. And she'd thrown it all away in the blink of a
Grundioy had loved having a shier being than
herself around. Avark would squeal and hide, trembling under her owner if another
pet so much as glanced her way. Avark had even been there as Grundioy won pet
spotlight. But now... she was gone. A tear trailed down the Aisha's face as
she stared at the blurred words on the page. She was gone, and she could never
Joey and Grundioy's siblings exchanged sad looks.
The Aisha was reading a book upside down.
"Grundioy!" Joey knocked on Grundioy's door. "Dinner's ready."
Grundioy was in her Art Studio, trying to finish
a painting of her big sister. The skunk Usul was half finished on the canvas,
but today the paintbrush hadn't even touched it. Grundioy's inspiration was
gone, along with the Snowbunny who used to hide amongst her pottery. "I'm not
hungry," she told her owner in a small voice. This was untrue, and Grundioy
had always hated lying. But she didn't want to go downstairs and sit at the
table with the accusing eyes of her siblings on her.
Joey knew that Grundioy hated anybody venturing
inside her Studio, so she leant against the door to speak to her. "It's your
favourite! Asparagus and yogurt pizza, with fish berries for desert!"
Grundioy knew her owner was trying to cheer
her up, and she was grateful for that. But she still didn't want to go. In her
room she had some stale bread left over from their trip to Meridell, and it
would have to do.
"Nobody blames you, Grundioy," Joey said quietly.
The Aisha listened to her steps fade away down the stairs, and then opened her
door. She followed her owner downstairs.
Grundioy took a seat at the table timidly. There
was coffee steaming in her Neopian Times mug, and two thick slices of pizza
on her pale blue plate. Her Shoyru brother was already digging into his piece,
but her sisters were polite enough to wait for her to be seated. Well... Flowal
at least was, Anna was just eyeing her food sceptically.
They all ate, chattering about unimportant nothings.
All of them pretended to have forgotten about Avark already, except for Grundioy.
She yearned for the days when she'd pick the asparagus off the pizza and feed
it to her petpet under the table.
Late at night, Grundioy opened to a fresh page in her sketchbook. She'd been
trying to get to sleep for hours, and though fatigued, her head wouldn't rest
on her Zen bed. She began sketching all the family's previous petpets on the
clean sheet of paper, beginning with Annalisaca's.
Koko the Meekins was quite easy to draw; a small
nervous chittering thing. Grundioy had been quite happy when Koko went to visit
Florg and never came back, though she was terrified to admit it. Next she drew
Rocky, Anna's petpet Rock. She frowned as she did so, she didn't really think
that a Rock classified as a petpet. But Anna loved him to pieces, so she put
him in. At least she has a petpet to love, Grundioy thought sadly.
Next was Rofal's petpets. First was Gulpy the
Goldy. One of his friends had pawned her onto Rofal; he was so gullible as to
believe that its eggshells were of pure gold. Then she drew Rover, the Redtail.
Grundioy had disliked Rover a lot. He was an annoying sidekick. She made sure
to draw his eyes close together, and a yellow snowball clutched in his paw.
One day Rover turned into a Candy Vampire, and Rofal discarded him. Grundioy
didn't need to draw his newest petpet, (also named Rover), as he was an invisible
Froggy the Greeble was Flowal's first petpet.
Grundioy drew his vacant eyes and his 20-foot tongue (to scale, of course).
Then she drew Rabbit, the Bearog. 3 heads, 6 sparkling eyes, and a wagging tail.
She quite liked Rabbit, but was getting tired at this point so she didn't pencil
in all of his fur, instead she moved straight onto her own old petpets.
Fifii the Floud, bouncing and cute and pink.
Fifii had been Grundioy's first petpet. If only the unfortunate 'carrot incident'
had never happened, she would probably still belong to Grundioy. Then she pencilled
in Avark, using soft strokes. She took care to make the Snowbunny look extra
brave, as she stared the Turmaculus down.
Then she began to draw something else, half-asleep
as she did so. A little wingless bird, with a long tail of delicate quills.
A small beak on its beautiful face, white feathers a little ruffled around the
head. Awake now, her paw moved as if it was separate to her spotted body. The
moonlight of Kreludor shone upon the page through her open window as she waited
breathlessly for the small sketch to be done.
Upon its completion, she stared at it. Where
had she seen this creature before? This birdlike petpet, staring at her from
the page with its head tilted quizzically. It was so perfect, so... so... the
Aisha yawned. Her stubborn eyelids closed finally, and she drifted to sleep
with her head upon the page of her creation.
"It's a Meepit!" Flowal squealed, holding up something pink.
Grundioy blinked, trying to adjust to the light
flooding through her window. "Wha...?" she lifted her head. A page of her sketchbook
stuck to her face with drool.
Flowal frowned. "Grundioy," she chided, "why
weren't you sleeping in bed?"
"I umm... I dunno," she rubbed her eyes sleepily.
"What did you want?"
"I bought you a present! It's a Meepit!" Flowal
repeated, grinning happily. She thrust the pink object into Grundioy's paws.
Grundioy stared at the Meepit. It stared back,
one beady eye twitching. She shuddered and put it down. "Well, it's a nice thought,
but umm... it doesn't seem like the right petpet for me." She peeled the piece
of paper off her face and studied it.
Flowal nodded understandably. The skunk Usul
adjusted her tiara, "Too soon. Well, c'mon Meepy, let's leave her alone..."
"Wait," Grundioy said as they were leaving.
"Flowal, do you know what this is?" She showed her the picture of the bird petpet.
"Eeee!" Flowal exclaimed, grabbing it and holding
it to the light. "That's a Weewoo! They're so adorable."
"Weewoo..." Grundioy repeated, committing the
word to memory.
Grundioy caught the ferry to Krawk Island. She saw the Weewoos there in the
window, under the wooden sign reading "Little Nippers". They were average looking
and didn't fill her with that indescribable feeling that the one she had drawn
had. Even so, she walked into the shop and picked one up, just to make sure.
"Arr!" came a voice from behind her, causing
the little Aisha to jump. "That Weewoo be 165 dubloons."
"One-one hundred and sixty-five? I only have
three..." Grundioy said sadly, placing the brown petpet back. It wee-wooed at
her pleadingly, but she turned and left, her ear stalks hanging dejectedly.
Even if the Weewoo had been white, like she had dreamed of, she couldn't afford
Wandering along the deserted Krawk Island beach,
Grundioy felt more alone than ever. Usually she would have loved this, the silence
except for the gentle lapping of the tide, the sun setting in the sky, left
alone to her thoughts. But she needed companionship. She was just about to head
for the Ferry home and mingle with some of the friendly Aishas in her guild
(something she rarely did, on account of her shyness) when she heard a sound.
Heart beating faster, the four-eared feline
searched the branches of the nearest tree for the origin of the birdcall. There,
perched on the highest branch, was a white Weewoo. It's silhouette was majestic
against the setting sun, and it looked as perfect as a pearl set into the branch.
This was what she had been drawing, searching
for her entire life, only she hadn't realised until this moment. A Weewoo of
pure white, so much more rare and special than the average brown one. She watched
it in awe, breathless as it studied her as well.
The petpet fluttered down onto Grundioy's outstretched
tan coloured arm. "Weewoo," it tilted its head and looked her directly in the
eye. Grundioy let out a short burst of laughter, in pure joy. This was her Weewoo.
And she would keep it away from the Turmaculus.
Grundioy caught the wrong ferry, and ended up going to Meridell instead of
Neopia Central. The Aisha, filled with guilt, like she was betraying her late
pet, hurried along to sit on a tree stump waiting for the next ferry to Neopia.
Her new petpet flew after her.
Sitting down, happy in the company of the Weewoo,
Grundioy was sure she saw the feint outline of a spotted Snowbunny in the bushes.
She held her white Weewoo close, whispering goodbye to Avark. And she was sure,
Avark didn't mind.