Abandoned: Part Five
It had been days since Cardea had told Taite that Kiran had a plan. Since that night, the white Usul had heard nothing else from any one of her friends. She was dying for details, but most of all she just wished that Kiran would hurry up and put whatever plan she had into action. Things in the McTavish household were progressively getting worse. It seemed that she couldn’t do anything that met Desdemona’s requirements. This only made the woman’s cruel ways worse. And Taite was getting absolutely sick of Monday’s stupid Usukis. Anything that ever came out of the girl’s mouth included the word ‘usuki’. Taite wasn’t sure that Monday knew that the real world even existed.
“Taitey!” The shriek came from none other than her youngest owner. It was followed by footsteps pounding down the hall. The door to Monday’s room burst open and in she came. Her eyes were wide and watery, her dark locks pulled into pigtails. “Taitey, look at Flight Attendant Usuki!” She waved the doll in the air frantically, and it took Taite a moment to realize what was wrong. Yes, Flight Attendant Usuki was fully outfitted with perfectly groomed fur, but there was one thing missing... Her head.
“Monday! How did you manage to do that?”
The child puffed out her cheeks and scowled at her pet. “I didn’t.”
Taite stared at the girl. “Well, it didn’t cut its own head off!” She paused for a moment, knowing Monday wasn’t about to confess. “Just give me the head and I’ll see if I can fix it.”
Monday pushed her hair out of her face and stared at the ground. “I don’t know where it is. Maybe Mommy will-”
“Monday, no! We don’t have to call Mommy! She’ll just be mad that your Usuki broke...” Taite stopped protesting, because the little girl apparently wasn’t listening.
It took a minute, but Desdemona rushed in. Her plump face was flushed and she was breathing slightly heavier than usual. She put her hands on her hips and stared down at her daughter. “What is it Monday? If you need something, just ask for your nanny. That’s why we’ve hired her.”
“Mommy, have you seen Flight Attendant Usuki’s head anywhere?” Monday held up the doll to her mother, blinking her round eyes innocently.
The blonde woman grabbed the toy from her daughter’s hand and studied for a second. Then, she turned on Taite, snarling. “YOU! You did this, didn’t you? You ungrateful little pile of soot! Where is the Usuki’s head? Where is it? Oh, it’s no use asking you! You’ll never tell me! I want you to take my Monday to Donny’s Toy Repair Shop and get this fixed. Do you hear me? Now! Shoo! Off you go!”
Taite didn’t even try to protest. She waited as Desdemona handed her child a bag of neopoints, then took Monday’s hand and led her toward the door.
“I didn’t do anything!” Taite heard her voice reach an unhealthily loud register. She let out a gasp of frustration.
The headless Usuki incident was long forgotten. Since the missing head had been fixed, two other things had gone wrong. First, all the colors of nail polish in Desdemona’s vanity had been mixed together. Now, she had green and black combination in one bottle, gold and pink in another, and so on.
If that wasn’t enough, an impossible transformation had taken place in the kitchen. The entire supply of food, formerly a mixture of pastries, fruit, sandwiches, and drinks, was now gruel. Every cupboard, jar, and shelf was filled with heap after heap of colorless, tasteless gruel.
“I don’t know what makes you think that you can pull a stunt like this, but keep it up and you’ll wish you were back at the pound!” Desdemona’s face had long ago grown blotchy. She continued ranting to the pet about how terribly rude she was being.
Taite, growing tired of being screamed at, turned on her heel and began to walk out of the kitchen.
“Where do you think you’re going? I am still talking to you!” Desdemona barked.
Taite angled her head so she could stare at the woman. Very politely, she spoke. “It’s after seven o’clock. I’m not supposed to be in the kitchen between seven and eight.” With that, she held her head a bit higher and marched out the room.
The first thing Taite noticed was the screaming. Her head was buried in her pillow, so she saw only black, but that didn’t stop her from hearing the high-pitched, continuous wail.
The Usul rolled over and opened her eyes. What she saw before her was Monday, standing in front of her closet, screeching. The young girl’s face was red and damp with tears.
As Taite sat up, groggily trying to make sense of the scene, the door burst open and Monday’s nanny bolted in. She kneeled face to face with the child. As the little girl quieted, the nanny looked at her strangely. “Monday, honey, what’s the matter?”
Monday was silent for some time before she practically yelled, “My Usukis are gone!”
Apparently Desdemona heard her daughter’s holler, because seconds later the unpleasant woman walked into the room, her face flushed with ire.
“What? Monday, your Usukis are gone? All of them?” Desdemona turned her gaze toward the open closet. Sure enough, the space that was once filled with hoards of Usuki dolls was now bare, empty. There was nothing there at all, and Desdemona was furious. Taite watched as the large woman’s skin turned a deeper shade of red. Then, her gaze fell from the closet onto the Usul. Her eyes narrowed in disgust. “Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no, no.” She spoke quietly but harshly. “You are so out of here...”
“What?” Taite cried. “Are you kidding me? I didn’t do anything!”
Desdemona laughed viciously as she turned toward the door. “Pack your bags immediately. Neopian Pound, here we come! They’re welcome to a little scoundrel like you!”
That said she stalked out of the room, her slightly maniacal laughter floating back to Taite from down the hall.
The white Usul sat in silence for a minute, stunned. Just like that, she was out. Just like that, she was back at the grey-draped pound waiting hopelessly for some decent adopter to come by. Was that a good thing? Taite wasn’t sure if it was or not, but she didn’t have a choice. Desdemona seemed convinced that Taite was the culprit behind all the pranks! She wasn’t, of course, but someone was- and Taite had a feeling that she knew who.
She rose to her paws and numbly opened her suitcase. She had only unpacked one of her five bags, so the job would be a fairly quick one. As she threw in all her belongings, Taite could feel the nanny’s eyes upon her, most likely checking to see that no Usuki items were hidden among the mounds of clothes.
Taite just rolled her eyes at this notion. What could she possibly want with over two hundred Usuki dolls and accessories?
When Taite finally shut the last of her bags, the hovering nanny nodded to herself in satisfaction. The Usul shot her a withering glare and made her way into the living room, where Desdemona was inevitably waiting.
“Let’s go, you spoiled brat,” she announced, and with that the annoying woman stalked out the front door.
Taite lay quietly on the large bed, soaking in its comfort. She knew that after tonight it would be a long time before she slept on anything resembling the soft, king-sized bed. But for now, Taite was happy. Well, not happy exactly. More like relieved. She might have been in a room in the corner of the Neopian Pound, but at least she was away from that wretched Desdemona McTavish.
And yet, it was all downhill from here. Tomorrow, she would be whisked into a small cage-like bedroom and forced to live with some pets she didn’t know. From there, she would either wait until some kind Neopian decided to adopt her, or she would be dragged off by another Desdemona.
Because she couldn’t even bear the thought of that, Taite was relieved when there was a knock at the door and a muffled, “Housekeeping!”
Taite felt her hopes inch up slightly. Housekeeping was done by the pink Uni clones. This included Asha, Kiran, and Cardea. Maybe... But as the Usul opened the door, she was greeted by an unfamiliar maid.
So her friends had not come to check on her, but there was still the possibility that they didn’t know she was here yet. Taite almost laughed at that one. Supposedly, Kiran knew everything, especially when it came to her friends’ lives. Chances were that Kiran was aware that Taite was back at the pound. For some reason or another, she just hadn’t bothered to find her yet.
Taite felt a little betrayed by this. Wasn’t Kiran supposed to be her friend? After all, it had been Kiran who had came up with a plan to get Taite away from Desdemona.
As Taite sunk back down onto the bed, she let out a hushed sob. From the looks of it, her so-called friends weren’t coming to see her. They had left her, just like that. She was abandoned.
And it was that thought that made Taite feel once again so hopelessly alone.
To be continued...