Becoming King Skarl: Part Two
Abby stared at her reflection in the mirror. She couldn’t believe it. She was a Skeith, and a Blue one, at that!
Maybe something is wrong with the mirror, she kept telling herself. She walked over to the Scorchio.
“Um, am I really a Skeith?” Abby asked. She never thought she would say those words.
“Yes, sir,” the Scorchio responded, to which Abby replied, “Sir? My name is Abby, and I’m a girl.”
“Not anymore,” the Scorchio said, pressing down hard on a button. Upon hearing this, Abby held back tears, raced out of the laboratory, and practically jumped onto the waiting boat.
In Meridell, Abby didn’t know what to do. She had been transformed into a boy Skeith, and her name was Abby. It just wasn’t right! She thought about saying that “Abby” was a nickname for “Abraham,” but it still sounded awkward. She did not consider herself to be a boy. She was a “she,” not a “he.”
Abby didn’t like to blame things on others, but she felt as though this had been all King Skarl’s fault. He had given her that stupid map, and she was sort of thinking about him right before getting zapped.
Suddenly, an idea popped into Abby’s head. King Skarl was a Blue Skeith, and he was somewhere in Mystery Island by now. Abby had told the guards at the castle that, she, too, was going on vacation. The royal officials had not yet figured out who should take King Skarl’s place. It all was perfectly clear! Abby could come disguised as King Skarl, and no one would notice! Then, she could see just how much “hard work” the king was faced with.
Abby arrived at the castle with a scowl on her face. Walking right up to the guards at the front entryway, she yelled, “Let me in!”
Startled, one of the guards cried out, “King Skarl, is that you?”
“Who else would it be?” Abby replied. “Once again, let me in!”
“Where are your guards?” the other guard inquired. “They were supposed to be with you at all times for your safety, Your Highness!”
“Those lazy bums?” Abby said. She heard a tinge of nervousness in her voice, but hoped the guards wouldn’t notice it. “I fired them! They didn’t even know where the boat to Mystery Island was! I guess I’ll just have to keep doing my job.” Abby was very imaginative, and, in this situation, creativity was needed.
“We’ll let you in, sir, but we just want to let you know that your advisor left for a trip, too. She didn’t say where she was going, just took off,” the guard that had first spoken said. The two guards opened the entryway’s large doors, and Abby took a step forward.
“I can do things on my own without her,” Abby snarled, walking into the castle and leaving the guards in a state of bewilderment.
Abby made her way up the staircase. It was much harder to walk now, seeing as how her transformation from a small Acara to a quite large Skeith had taken place so quickly. Despite difficulty of moving, Abby went into Skarl’s room and changed into his clothes. She had never seen herself in anything so expensive and royal. She would have danced and pranced, but she had realized that this was not her life at all. It was a lie. Even though she was wearing the clothes, they didn’t feel good or real on her. The scratchy tufts of faux fur made her want to itch, and the long robe she had adorned herself with reached the floor, and would certainly make walking more difficult. Why had she done this again? Out of anger, out of spite. Out of wanting to know if someone’s job was as hard as hers. She wondered if it was worth it, living the life of King Skarl.
Shrugging it off, she opened the door and proceeded to the meeting room. Inside, Abby knew that the Meridellian royal officials were having a meeting to decide who should take the place of King Skarl during his vacation.
Through the walls, Abby could hear Leonard Lennford, the green Lenny that was the official stenographer (person who writes dictations). Ugh, Abby thought. This must be a hard job if King Skarl has to deal with Leonard every day. Leonard was a bit of a know-it-all and definitely a show-off. Whenever Abby talked to him, he would always correct her. He was a walking, talking, bragging, combined dictionary and thesaurus.
Leonard was saying, “And so, we have concluded that the official to take the Royal Majesty’s place while he is on holiday will be none other than-”
At this moment, Abby burst into the room, interrupting Leonard by declaring, “Me!”
A collective gasp was heard in the room, as everyone turned to look at Abby. Leonard put his wing over his beak, whispered, “Your Highness? What in the world...?”, and collapsed into a bow. An Elephante (whom Abby recognized as the Official Meridellian Food Connoisseur) saluted nervously.
“King Skarl?” a voice in the back of the room said.
Abby looked at the source of the voice, and then tried to hold back a blush. For there, sitting in a chair, looking ever so surprised, was...
His shocked eyes were fixated on her for only a minute or two, but to Abby, it felt like hours. It was as if he was staring straight through Abby, perhaps at someone else in the room, but she could tell he was looking at her (well, the King Skarl version of her, anyway) by the next thing he said.
“I was just about to take your place! I am so sorry, Your Majesty,” Jeran said, bowing. Abby now hoped that Jeran wouldn’t notice the rosy red color of her cheeks. She wasn’t hardcore, but she was still a fan girl. And, now, she could understand why Neopets would suddenly turn red: they had seen Jeran.
She could also see why Neopets suddenly turned invisible: they were so embarrassed they didn’t want to be seen. That was exactly how Abby felt, standing there, completely frozen, staring at Jeran.
“Yes, well, apology accepted,” Abby sputtered, then added, “Those guards are good for nothing! They didn’t even know where the boat to Mystery Island was! I fired them immediately. And now, my advisor is gone! Tell me where I am supposed to go!” Abby hated sounding bossy in front of Jeran, but it was the way Skarl would have acted.
“Well, sir, today you get to see your brother, since he couldn’t make it any of the other days,” Leonard said.
“Fine,” Abby grumbled. She felt that her acting experience was getting better every minute. Maybe after this whole King Skarl thing was over, she could quit her job as royal advisor and make thousands of Neopoints on Neovision, or something similar to that. Or, she could get dozens of gleaming, golden trophies writing short stories for the Neopian Times.
That’s when Abby realized something: She hadn’t exactly thought of a plan to make up for what she did after all of this was done. When King Skarl and his guards came back from Mystery Island, they would find her out! She’d be sent to the dungeons for sure. Maybe, if she was very lucky, they would at least give her some crumbs and crusts to eat. Other than that, she would be doomed! She would be a criminal for pretending to be someone she was not.
But, somehow, Abby couldn’t stop pretending. She had “become” King Skarl to find out how hard his job really was, and she had not figured that out yet. Perhaps the visit with King Hagan would make her see just how difficult being a king was.
She called for her guards to usher everyone out of the meeting room (she was glad to get rid of Leonard and not have to stare at Jeran’s perfect face), and awaited the arrival of Brightvale’s King Hagan, King Skarl’s brother. To pass the time, Abby wondered what she would say to Hagan. Should she take the cruel approach, the one that Skarl would definitely approve of? Or the cool, calm, and collected approach, so as not to seem too angry? Maybe she should just let Hagan do all the talking, with a few nods and grunts thrown in between. It seemed the safest, but also the least Skarl-like.
Abby was so deep in her pondering thoughts that she didn’t see the carriage pull up. In fact, she didn’t notice it come down the street or rumble up the pavement. She only become aware of it when a green Gelert stepped out of it, playing fanfare on a trumpet.
“Hear ye, hear ye,” the Gelert shouted. “Now announcing the arrival of King Hagan of Brightvale!” The Gelert then proceeded to open the door of the round, olive colored carriage.
“Drew.” King Hagan’s voice could be heard. He indicated the Gelert with his hand. “I can’t seem to get out. Please help me.”
That’s funny, Abby thought. Great minds must think alike, because ‘Please help me’ is exactly what I feel like saying.
To be continued...