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Anthoneisha


by joey200010

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"More Chombies are released," Phoebe said with a squeal of excitement, reading the headline of the Neopian Times.

     Anthoneisha looked up from her glass of chocolate milk, which she had been staring at intensely for no particular reason other than complete boredom. "You can't adopt a Chomby, you already have four pets," she said logically.

     "True…" The short haired girl pondered this fact, placing the fresh issue of the 'Times on the table. "I guess I could always just like, abandon one of you girls," she giggled, obviously joking. However Anthony knew that she was considering this little joke and this prospect made her sink deep down into the straw sofa. She pulled her blue cap over her eyes as if she could somehow hide from her owner by this action. It seemed to work. Phoebe continued humming to herself as she examined her nails. At that moment, the Peophin's three sisters galloped into the room, giving her a short-lived distraction. Carlau678, Marlau678 and Sharlau678, the pretty Uni triplets.

     Carla picked up Anthony's chipped glass of milk with a shiny hoof and sipped it. Marla sank into a ripped Jeran beanbag chair and Sharla rummaged in the snow fridge for a carrot. These were Anthony's sisters, each one more pampered than the one before. Anthony groaned to herself, she had a feeling her day was just about to get worse.

     "Mummy, can we pleeease get a little Chomby sister?!" Sharla whined through a mouthful of orange vegetable. She shut the fridge and turned to Phoebe, pouting and chewing at the same time. The split Uni's diet consisted entirely of carrots. "I'll get Anthony to take her for a walk every day!" she grinned cutely at Phoebe, pieces of carrot in between her straight teeth. "Just, please? They're ever so cute, in a pudgy reptilian way."

     "Yes, can we," Carla demanded sharply. She tore the blue cap from Anthony's head and tossed it to the floor for no apparent reason. Carla was a fire Uni with a temper to match but Anthony was used to it. The Peophin rolled her eyes and looked at her owner expectantly. Perhaps she was waiting for Phoebe to give a scolding to Carla, or for Phoebe to dismiss the idea of creating a Chomby. Phoebe could not meet her pet's eyes, so instead Anthony straightened her red bangs, picked up her hat and put it on backwards. She looked at Marla - the middle triplet and the only member of this family that sort of understood her. The spotted Uni was reading the discarded 'Times and looked up briefly to smile at her.

     "Well, if I was to get a Chomby, I'd have to abandon one of you guys, and I've spent so many Neopoints on your paint jobs and all… It would just be a waste," Phoebe said slowly after a moment. She was stroking her round chin in thought and Anthony thought she looked extremely silly. But Anthony was also slightly scared at how seriously her owner was considering the newborn Chombies.

     "Anthoneisha's not painted," Carla pointed out bluntly. "You wouldn't be losing many Neopoints on her. Plus her head's always in the clouds, AND her name doesn't even match the rhyming scheme. Besides, she's too much of a tomboy for this family."

     Anthony glared at her, and the Uni returned the poisonous look. Anthony's sisters could really hit a sore spot; the Peophin had never really felt accepted into her own family because she wasn't a giggly little flirty Uni like the rest of them. Not that she would want to be like them...

     "The Chombies are running out… Maybe we could just go to the Pound and see if anybody's abandoned one? There's no harm in just looking." Phoebe looked at Anthony pleadingly, and the Peophin already knew her owner's decision. With a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach, the green pet rose and left to escort her owner to the Pound.

     *****

     Anthony sat in her new cell. She was still partly in shock, though she knew it shouldn't have been such a surprise. Phoebe and Marla were arguing loudly somewhere nearby, their raised voices drifting over to her. They must still be in the Pound, on their way to the Create-A-Pet Centre, Anthony thought. She caught snatches of her name in their feint conversation but she didn't care anymore. Even if Phoebe came back to her cell and begged to take her back as her pet, she'd refuse her. She would never forget this humiliation; being discarded like a half-bitten apple at the prospect of a shiny newborn Chomby.

     Three hit points, starving and unhappy. These are the average conditions that she had heard pets were adopted in, back in the days where the Pound was an unknown and unwelcome building that she'd never have to think twice about. Anthoneisha never thought she would end up the same way; hungry, weak and alone. I guess not too many pets in here ever thought they'd wind up in such a place.

     "Hi," came a voice from the cage next to hers. Anthony looked through the bars, and gaped in shock at the fire Wocky. A painted pet, in the Pound! She examined her and then decided she looked friendly enough to talk to.

     "Hello," Anthony replied. "How long have you been here? Not too long, I'm guessing."

     "You guessed right," she laughed, a tinkling laugh that somehow reminded Anthony of Chet Flash. "I came in just as you were being shut in that cage. Your sister didn't seem too pleased, I heard her shrieking at your owner. I like your cap by the way."

     "Thanks. And no, she didn't want me to go. Only…"

     "Chombies?" The Wocky's voice was understanding and as sweet as grapefruit Grundo lollypops. "You poor guy."

     "Yep, Chombies. And umm, I'm a girl," Anthony mumbled. She took a seat on the pile of straw at her feet, feeling herself flush and her complexion make her cheeks turn an unwelcome shade of green. She hoped this nice Wocky didn't judge her because she was abandoned in the hopes of a limited edition pet. She didn't mind being mistaken for a boy, it happened a lot.

     There was a short silence. "Oh, sorry. Well, maybe you'll be adopted by a nice owner who'll care for you. I know I've just had an owner like that."

     Anthony found this hard to believe. After all, this Wocky was back at the Pound. A 'nice' owner wouldn't abandon a pet, especially a painted one! That's the way she had been bought up to think anyway.

     She realized they had not been properly introduced. "Anthoneisha," Anthony said, squeezing her hoof through a gap in the cell bars.

     "Banny274_2004," the Wocky stated, taking Anthony's hoof in her own paw. "Actually, my old owner is looking for a new pet just like you right now, so you never know your luck." That very moment, somebody adopted Banny and she dropped Anthony's grip and exited the cage.

     "Good luck!" Anthony called out after the Poogle. Banny winked at her and walked off humming a tune.

     Anthony was alone again. Inhaling sharply, she curled up on the pile of hay and closed her eyes tightly. Maybe if she blocked out everything she wouldn't feel this pain and rejection. Maybe if she forced all thoughts of her ex-owner and sisters from her mind then she could breath normally again. But she couldn't help thinking; maybe... if I had been more of a girly girl, more "normal", I wouldn't be in this situation. I just never fit in with the family. Like when they went to their silly cosmetics store and I'd always be riding my skateboard down Neopia Central instead. It wasn't very ladylike. Ohh... my skateboard. I will never see it again.

     She willed herself not to cry. She would not bring herself to tears; she was too strong for that.

     "Hello?"

     She opened a green eye. For a moment, the girl standing at her cell door had sounded like Phoebe. However this girl was wearing makeup a lot darker than Phoebe ever did and dressing in black clothes that Carla would say, "Did not match her pale skin tone." Despite that, she looked kind enough and was smiling at the little Peophin with ebony lips.

     "Hello," Anthony echoed.

     "Anthoneisha is it?"

     She nodded. "I prefer Anthony but."

     "Would you like to come home with me, Anthony?"

     She nodded again, hesitating for only a millisecond.

     *****

     Normally Anthony wasn't shy, but meeting a brand new family kind of quietened her (especially since she now had issues about being herself). She kept silent as she was introduced to her new siblings, pulling her blue cap over her dark eyes and wild mob of orange hair (that she now realized was a little greasy).

     There was Flueriel the softly spoken blue Gelert. She was accompanied by a Sludgy named Devil for some sentimental reason, and smiled at the fluoro-green Peophin warmly. Flueriel was worryingly thin and Anthony was amazed at how pretty she was.

     Ixifun, the outgoing strawberry Usul, was the youngest. Anthony burst out laughing the first time the Usul tap-danced across the kitchen floor to breakfast. Surprisingly they got along famously, though Ixifun was a little loud for her.

     Regorey was the assumed oldest. He was an introverted soul who mostly kept to himself and barked a few bitter words when spoken to. His past was shrouded in mystery. Missing feathers and scars were the only hints to his past, but Anthony wasn't really the curious type and she didn't really care deeply about the red Eyrie's origins. She did find it comical, however, that Regorey owned a red Slorg (whom he announced he loathed although Anthony saw him hugging it late one night). She pictured herself becoming great friends with Regorey, generally she had more boys as friends than girls, but her new sisters also made her feel very welcome.

     "This is Cresha," Ixifun had exclaimed at the top of her lungs, shoving a yellow and black Poppit into Anthony's face. The Peophin sneezed and backed away, smiling apologetically and explaining that she was allergic to Poppit hair. She had learned this when one of her sisters had taken every opportunity to fill her pillows with the stuff so she came out in a rash.

     "You had nice sisters," Regorey said with a strong hint of sarcasm.

     Heidi, Anthony's new owner, explained that she would only be looking after the Peophin for a little time, until her stats improved and she had a new paint job. Heidi outlined the risks of the lab ray but also noted that Anthony would have a far better chance of adoption the next time she was in the Pound. Anthony agreed to the plan and began being zapped at the lab ray. Though she did think it a little superficial of owners to only adopt painted pets, she understood the chances of finding a home were greater if she had a pretty package.

     After a few weeks she turned into a red Bori. Heidi was very pleased, remarking that the new species suited her perfectly. She her she could now go back to the Adoption Centre whenever she was a suitable colour.

     Anthony bounced around for several days, happy to have four feet. It took a short while to get used to, but it made it so much easier to use the skateboard that Heidi had generously bought for her. Her hearing had improved tenfold, now that she could rotate her ears, and her blue cap fit her small head much better. Things were looking up and she was enjoying the short time she was staying at 224637 Market Street, Neopia Central. Though she knew that each time she visited the lab ray, she risked changing into a different species, and even into a boy.

     Then one day she looked at herself to see that she had turned cloud. Anthony was incredibly pleased with herself. And she remembered one of her sisters remarking once that her "head was always in the clouds," which was suitable though she didn't know how much truth it held really.

     Eager to start a new life with a new spiffy coat, she decided on the next day to be released into the Pound. Tonight they would go to Pizzaroo, so the Bori could eat her last dinner with the temporary family in style. She ordered a happy birthday pizza, though it wasn't her birthday, and all of her momentary siblings were amazed that she had never eaten gourmet food before.

     When they left the restaurant, Anthony saw her old sister Sharla. She galloped over to the Uni in excitement. "Hey..."

     The split Uni eyed her imperiously. "Do I know you?" She took a bite of a carrot and began walking away.

     "Sharla, it's me, Anthony!" the Bori grinned, putting her blue cap atop her sky blue head and doing a comical tap dance type thing. "Remember me?"

     "Oh. Yeah," she said simply and trotted away. A blue Chomby bounced out of a nearby shop and trailed clumsily after Sharla, who tossed the remains of her carrot to a passing Floud.

     Tears threatened to escape Anthony's eyes as the Uni she used to call her sister walked away without even a second glance back. She found out that even though Sharla was breaking her heart, she couldn't bring herself to hate her cold relative. This time over, Anthony would find a family that loved her as much as she would love them.

     Anthony walked slowly back over to Flueriel, who was giving her a concerned look. She took off her cap and stared at it, then threw it in a nearby trash can.

     *****

     The cell door clicked shut but the sound didn't fill Anthony with despair like it had the first time. She knew she wouldn't be there for long. Heidi waved goodbye on the other side of the cage, then began to wander the hall looking for another pet to take under her metaphorical wing.

     "Anthoneisha?" a familiar voice gasped as it approached the cage. Phoebe read the name tag on the cell door. "Is that really you in there?"

     Anthony stared at her old owner. So much pain was associated with that voice, that short haircut and that seemingly innocent smile. "Sharla told me she saw you the other day, but like I didn't believe her. You're looking much more... expensive these days."

     "I'm glad you noticed," Anthony said flatly, refusing to look at the round-chinned girl that abandoned her so impulsively.

     Phoebe twirled a strand of hair, looking at Anthony sympathetically. "Things with the Chomby didn't work out. So, if you like, want to come back home, it's cool. I think you'll fit in a lot better, now that you've lost that stupid cap and all!" she giggled.

     Anthony considered Phoebe's proposal for a moment.

     "Well? Anthoneisha?" The girl was starting to get impatient.

     "My name is Anthony," she said simply, and turned away. Phoebe gave a snort of annoyance, and the cloud Bori listened to her first owner's footsteps as they faded away down the hallway. It didn't matter. There would be others.

     It only took a few more seconds until Anthony was spotted and snatched up. And as the Bori was adopted she saw Heidi again, for the last time, adopting a shy little blue Chomby. Anthony smiled at both of them, she was happy that she and the Chomby were finally free from Phoebe. However she knew that it would take time for the Chomby to go to the loving home that it deserved. Anthony hoped the same did not apply to her.

The End

NOTE: Thank you for reading. Anthoneisha has been disowned on the time of this publication, so if you're lucky you can adopt her :) She's been treated poorly, so look after her.

 
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