It was just an ordinary day, like no other. Who knew that out of all the days of my life, this day, the needle of the haystack, would change my paths forever?
One crisp morning, I happened to be at my friend Dale’s house. The brown Lupe and I were both bored out of our minds – we just lay around, sitting on sofas and whatnot, our minds spinning with tedium. Looking around his living room, my curious eye found something gleaming on one of the shelves of Dale’s bookcase.
“What’s that?” I asked, pointing to a golden feather, glistening in the sunlight.
“It’s just a Neopian Times Champion trophy. My mom won it from writing some article or whatever. You know, for the newspaper?” Dale replied, not interested.
I knew what the Neopian Times was – it was a newspaper. I never really found much intrigue in it; I usually would just fetch it for Mom every morning. I didn’t know Neopian citizens actually WROTE it...
“What do you mean...?” I continued.
“Look, it’s not that complicated. Someone just submits an article, comic, story – etc., and if the publishers of the Times likes it – well, it gets published and you earn a trophy for so-called hard work,” answered Dale. “Not so interesting. I mean, how much fun could reading be?”
I nodded in agreement, although deep inside I had a passion for reading books. My favorite book was “Adventure Bound Xweetok,” the perfect concoction of adventure and suspense spun into one bound hardback. Sometimes Mom and I would take a short stroll to the Art Centre, stop by for a hot cup of java or tea (I would just eat the delicious pastries), and listen to the suspense-filled stories around the fire, or perhaps even a few poems hosted by the mysterious pink Poogle with the brown beret. I remember that some time back I took art lessons at the How-to-Draw station because I wanted to be part of the Art Gallery, but I gave up on that after finding I had no drawing skill whatsoever. When we were heading out, my mom would pick up a copy of the Neopian Times from the newspaper delivery boy, a yellow Chia named Dave. Then my mind lit up an idea, like a lightbulb that finally was changed. Could we, Neopets, write our own wonderful stories and publish them?
“Dale, could we... let’s say... write our own submissions?” I asked, trying to keep my eagerness at a cool level.
“You are definitely a Xweetok. Jeesh, you hear about something and get so hyped up over nothing! You curious little rascals. Well, sure, you could... but it’s not... you know, like normal. You’re not saying you want to write your own article, do you?” Dale responded.
“No way! I was just thinking...” I said, covering up my desire to write my own story.
It was no use. I couldn’t write my own story. It just wasn’t some average thing a Neopet would do. And how could I, a red Xweetok, write a breathtaking adventure like those other skilled writers? Besides, I would have to do it without Dale, my best friend, scoffing at me and embarrassing myself. I couldn’t believe I would even think such a thing. I trashed the thought of something so ridiculous.
“Dale! Come upstairs and clean your room... NOW!” Dale’s mom yelled from above.
“Wait a sec!” he screamed at the top of his lungs.
“DALE, NOW! Your room is a pigsty!” she shouted back.
My eardrums started to hurt as I looked at Dale.
“Hey, I’ll be right back. I’m just going to cram my stuff under the bed,” Dale articulated, sighing.
“Okay, no problem. Do you want me to help you?” I asked.
“It’s alright. It’ll only take a matter of seconds,” Dale replied, heading up to his room.
I nodded, and then sat comfortably on a recliner. I yawned as I stretched my arms toward the ceiling. As I lazily sat, I found myself looking at the Neopian Times Champion trophy continuously. Maybe... no, it couldn’t be possible. I could just try... I then started looking for a pen, to perhaps attempt to write something. The only writing utensil within sight was the golden feather. It’s probably off-limits. I mean, I would treasure a trophy like that, I muttered to myself. Still...
My curiosity overtaking me, I jumped on the first shelf, then second, then third, until I reached the fifth shelf. I clenched the feather of solid gold into my mouth as I jumped onto the floor, miraculously landing on my feet like a cat. I placed the quill gently onto the ground, then tore out a piece of paper from Dale’s Pepper Chia Notebook. My hand held the golden plume with tenderness as I practiced writing some words:
I wish I had my very own Weewoo.
Looks like I still know how to write my basic sentences after a year already, I thought. Good thing Mom taught me. As I thought about it, writing was like an art. Drawing with letters. It was so much easier for me to write than draw. The sentence was printed in shiny gold letters, the handwriting plump and cute. Suddenly, as I snapped out of my thoughts, out of thin air, a adorable little Weewoo popped out of empty space. It pecked around the floor. I rubbed my eyes. Was this really happening? No, it couldn’t be. It was just my mind playing tricks on me, wasn’t it? I pinched myself hard, trying to wake up from this impossible yet delightful dream. I yelped as I saw a red mark on my fur, from the pressure against it. The copper Weewoo jumped into my paws, chirping softly. I could FEEL it, and I could SEE it, so could this little bird really exist from a simple sentence? It must’ve been from the feather! Perhaps it was magical. I continued writing:
I love to eat Berry Xweetok Ice Cream.
Again, out of basically nothing, a cone of delicious pink ice cream appeared before me. I licked the frozen treat, and amazingly, I could TASTE it. The sweetness lingered over my mouth as I finished the delicacy in one bite. Ouch. Brain freeze.
“Hey, I’m finished cleaning my ro—” Dale started to say, coming down the stairs. “Is that a Weewoo?! Those Petpets are a fortune!”
“Okay, this might sound crazy, but this trophy quill makes what you write come to life! I know I shouldn’t have touched your Mom’s trophy, but—” I tried to explain as fast as I could.
“Let me see that!” Dale said, snatching the pen from my hands. He messily wrote:
I want a Chocolate Chia Truffle.
Dale waited patiently, but nothing appeared.
“Why doesn’t it work?” Dale questioned, “You try.”
I hesitantly took the trophy and encrypted the words over:
I want a Chocolate Chia Truffle.
In a matter of seconds, the piece of chocolate heaven materialized. Dale shoved it in his face and swallowed, enjoying every bit of the sweet.
“I don’t understand,” I said, “I’ve written with other pens but this quill just happens to make things... come into view.”
“Maybe it’s like a puzzle. Or, maybe you’re like Yin and the feather is Yang. You guys just unite and become magical...?” Dale commented. “Do you realize how much power you possess? I wish I could be you right now.”
I thought about it. I could get whatever I wanted, whatever I needed just by writing it. Greedy thoughts filled my mind. I could finally have faerie wings like those other Xweetoks. Mom wouldn’t have to go to work and get Neopoints. But then, how would those hard workers get paid? And how about the people who had nothing to begin with? And no one would really like me for who I was. They would just try to be friends with me to get what they wanted. I shook my head side to side.
“No, this isn’t right,” I began to say. “I’m happy with what I have. It’s not fair to be able to do this. If other people figured this out, the world would become chaos!”
I decided to put the trophy back in its place. I confidently set the feather on the fifth shelf, as Dale shook his head in disagreement. Of course, he would never give up something like what I had. But this enchanted experience was not what had changed my life forever. This day was what made me open my eyes.
When I arrived back home, I took out my Tatty Notebook and a Basic Pencil and began to write:
Writing is an unspoken language, a way to provoke yourself into new worlds. Just write a couple of sentences, and you can fly away to Mystery Isle and listen to the words of the Haiku Generator; or perhaps whisk yourself away to the chilly North, and take the forbidden treasure of the Snowager. Maybe, no matter how absurd it may sound, you can experience a world of numerous kinds of jelly. You don’t need it right there in front of you to have it; you just need to believe it is there. That is what writing is – a way to have what you do not have. And sometimes these things do happen, things that are unexplainable. We call these miracles. And every Neopian, Neopet, and living creature experiences a miracle sometime in their life, and I have today. Anyone, no matter how big or small, can achieve what they want to achieve. And today, I have fulfilled my dream: to write.
This was an introduction of one of my very first short stories.
A few years later, I submitted my own articles and stories. I won several trophies. I realized anyone can write if they believe they can. And strange enough, I never did touch those trophies with the desire to write for my own gain; instead, I set them on the fifth shelf of my bookcase. The little piece of paper with the simple golden sentences still are there; I put them on my writing desk and somehow they give me ideas for the Neopian Times. The copper Weewoo is now my companion to the places that I visit around Neopia. I’ve even written a story about this mythical place called “Jelly World.” A Red Xweetok can only go so far.
My name is Tale. I have just told you my tale, my very own story, my miracle.
And no matter who you are, Neopet or Neopian, anyone can write magic.
If you are reading this, I'm in the Neopian Times! *tap dances, then trips*