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Pet Name: Llamanescence
Hi! I’m Llamanescence. Yes, I know I have a bright, lime green glow. Not a day goes by without a random Neopet shouting out, “Hey, look! It’s a glowing Gnorbu!” I don’t mind, though. It’s how I met most of the people I know.
I love my lime green fluorescence, not only because it brings me friends, but because I am extremely afraid of the dark. I’m my own nightlight.
I wasn’t born with a fear of the dark. Oh no. When I was a little Gnorbu (I was green back then), I would go out into the Haunted Woods with my friends after sundown. I didn’t have an owner at that time (none of us did, in fact), so we were free to do whatever we wanted. We would dare each other to knock on the doors of scary looking houses. It was all in the spirit of fun. Nobody ever got hurt, and we always apologized to the house owners for disturbing them. They weren’t that scary, actually. You can find some of the nicest people – and the tastiest cookies – in the Haunted Woods.
My phobia started in a place quite far from that forest. The story’s actually quite comical, now that I think about it – but it was still the most traumatizing experience of my life.
It was a cool spring day, I remember. I was really bored, so I had decided to play a bit of Cheeseroller over in Meridell. After I handed over my Neopoints, the blue Cheeseroller Techo handed me a Triple Mustard cheese and motioned for me to get in line behind the others. A Maraquan Blumaroo joined the queue behind me, with his fin on a giant, Overgrown piece of cheese.
“Wow,” I said to the Blumaroo. “That piece of cheese is larger than you!”
“I know!” The Blumaroo replied, with a beaming grin. “That’s why I chose it!”
I smiled back. “I’m Llamanescence. Nice to meet you!”
“My name’s Holieas,” said the Blumaroo. “Say, you’re one of those new Neopets, aren’t you? Gorbews or something, right?”
“NOR-boo,” I said, a tad irritated. I couldn’t stand people mispronouncing my species name.
“Oh, sorry,” Holieas said, with an apologetic grin. “Hey, looks like it’s your turn. Good luck!”
I looked down. The hill was clear.
“Thanks!” I yelled, as I pushed my cheese down the hill.
“Left, right, left, right, faster, faster, left, right, faster!” I said to myself, as I maneuvered the cheese around the rocks and potholes. The cheese sailed through the finish line and the Aisha at the bottom blew her whistle.
“61 seconds!” She yelled. “So close, eh? Better luck next time. OH MY GOODNESS, look!”
I stared at the Aisha, then in the direction in which she was pointing. I felt my heart stop. Holieas’ Overgrown cheese was rolling down the hill at an incredible speed – and it was headed straight for me!
“You’re not supposed to let the cheese go until the hill is clear,” I thought, frozen in the front of the cheese that was growing larger and larger by the second. I looked up the hill and saw the bewildered Blumaroo, talking frantically to the blue Techo.
“MOVE!” The Aisha yelled. “Move, NOW!”
I snapped out of my trance and ran. I ran forward, which was a really dumb thing to do - but when you’re being tailed by a giant piece of cheese which could possibly flatten you into a pancake, it’s hard to think logically. I ran as fast as my legs would allow, with my vision blurred and my thoughts in a jumble.
I looked up. I had run straight into the stomach of the Turmaculus, who just happens to sleep right at the bottom of the Cheeseroller hill.
“Hmm. I wonder if they put the big guy here to stop the stray cheeses,” I said to myself.
The cheese. THE CHEESE! I turned around, just in time to see the giant cheese hit the Turmaculus and fall down on top of it. All the light suddenly disappeared. Every single ray of sun was gone, blocked out by the mammoth piece of fermented milk.
“Ok, ok,” I said to myself. “Calm down. I’m stuck between the Turmaculus and a piece of cheese. There is no light. What can I do?”
I touched something waxy. “This must be the cheese,” I whispered to myself. I threw all my weight against it, but the cheese didn’t budge.
I turned around and reached out in the other direction. “Rough and scaly. Must be Turmy,” I said. I kicked the Turmaculus ten times. Nothing.
“How can you be hit by a giant piece of cheese and not wake up?!?” I yelled. The Turmaculus didn’t hear me.
I slumped down in defeat. I sat there in the blackness, with terrible thoughts seeping into my mind.
What if I can’t get out?
What if nobody can lift up the cheese?
What if the Turmaculus moves and the cheese falls?
I put my paw out in front of me. I couldn’t see it.
I tried closing my eyes. It made no difference. Everything was still pitch black.
I don’t know how long I sat under that cheese. I rocked back and forth, trying to reassure myself that everything would be alright, but also making myself more and more scared. I sat there and waited, shaking in fear.
What if I run out of air?
That thought drove me to the brink. Actually, no, I think I was already on the brink. That thought just pushed me off. I fainted.
I felt somebody poking me. Poke. Poke. Poke.
I heard a familiar voice. “Llamanescence? Are you okay? Oh, please, please wake up! I’m so sorry…please, just wake up!”
Where have I heard that voice before?
Suddenly, it all made sense. Cheeseroller. Hill. Turmaculus. Dark.
I opened my eyes. The shock of the sudden sunlight forced my eyelids shut. After a few seconds, I opened them again. I saw a Maraquan Blumaroo staring at me, among others. The Blumaroo’s expression changed from a worried stare into a happy smile.
“Oh, you’re okay! You’re awake!” Holieas yelled, giving me a huge hug. “Yes! Oh, I’m so sorry, it was an accident, I swear, I was going to swat this bug off me and I let the cheese go for one second and it started rolling and I couldn’t stop it and I’m really sorry…really…” Holieas said, running out of breath.
“It’s…it’s alright,” I said, still a bit dazed from the incident. “How long was I under that cheese?”
“You were there for almost an hour,” Holieas said. “We had to figure out how to move the cheese without squishing you flat. Oh, we have to get you back to your NeoHome. You owner must be wondering where you are.”
“I-I don’t have an owner,” I said. “I’m new in Neopia, remember?” I suddenly realized how sad I felt, not having somebody to comfort me.
“Oh yeah,” Holieas said, quietly. “Well, you can come with us for today. My owner thinks Gnorbus are really awesome. I’m sure she won’t mind.” Holieas held out his fin towards me and smiled warmly.
“Alright,” I said.
We arrived at Holieas’ house just before sundown. The smell of delicious food was wafting from the kitchen. Holieas’ sister, a purple Shoyru, came out to greet us.
“You’re really late!” she said, looking slightly angry. “You were supposed to help with dinner.” She glanced over at me, and her expression softened. “Oh, hello. Who’s this?”
“A friend,” Holieas said. “I’ll explain later.”
“You can sleep in our guest bedroom for tonight,” Holieas said, leading me to a room with purple walls on the second floor. “Please pardon the dust – nobody’s used this room for years. Dinner will be starting in a few minutes, but make yourself comfy, okay?”
Dinner was great. Holieas’ sister listened in awe at my story of how I was trapped under the cheese for an hour. We ate and laughed and talked, and I realized how great it was to live in a family.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. As soon as the lights went off, I started having terrible thoughts about the cheese again. I tossed and turned and tried to shut the cheese out, but I couldn’t. I heard footsteps outside in the hallway, and I froze.
Holieas turned up at the door.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he whispered. “Did I scare you? I heard you tossing around in bed. Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I replied, sighing. “I’m still a bit frazzled about being trapped under the cheese. The darkness and all, you know?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Holieas said, eyebrows furrowing. He thought for a second. “Hold on, I’ll be right back.”
He returned, carrying a paint brush that glowed in the dark. “Here,” he said, placing the paint brush on the night table beside my bed. “This was one of my birthday presents, but I like my Maraquan colour, so I didn’t use it. You can have it. Use it as a nightlight for now, and tomorrow morning we’ll go to the Rainbow Pool.”
I gazed in awe at the paint brush. “Wow…really? Are you sure? I mean, it’s your birthday present…” I said.
Holieas nodded. “I think I owe it to you.”
“Aw…I can’t thank you enough.”
“No problem! Good night.”
Holieas tip-toed back into his room. I looked at the paintbrush again, and felt my eyelids drooping.
The next morning, Holieas came running into my room.
“Guess what?” Holieas exclaimed. “You can stay with us! My owner said it was okay! Please say you’ll stay? Please?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “You’ve already done so much for me…”
“Oh, come on! Will you stay for my sake? My sister’s no fun to play with…she just talks on the phone all day and yells at me because I’m younger than her. Please stay? Please?”
“Well, okay. I guess I will,” I replied, smiling at Holieas.
“Yes! Now we’re going to make you glow!”
Holieas and his sister pulled me to the Rainbow Pool.
I was slightly apprehensive at first – but Holieas grabbed the paintbrush and flicked the paint onto me.
I gasped. “Look, I’m glowing! Wow!”
The other Neopets at the pool all turned around to look at me. Everybody started talking about my glowing green colour.
“Awesome! I think you’re the first of your kind,” said Holieas. “The first Glowing Gnorbu!”
“Why don’t you enter the Pet Spotlight?” asked Holieas’ sister. “It’s not every day that a pet gets trapped between the Turmaculus and a piece of cheese. Plus, you glow in the dark. You’re your own walking light source! How awesome is that?”
“Yeah! Make your story known. I’m sure you don’t want that horrible hour of being underneath that cheese to be for nothing,” Holieas added.
“That hour wasn’t for nothing! If you hadn’t let that cheese roll down the hill, I never would have come to meet your family,” I said.
“That’s true,” Holieas replied, grinning. “Well, I guess I should drop cheeses on other pets more often, then!”
“Naw, I think once is enough.”