It was a charcoal and agitated night.
The residents of 63994, Neopia Avenue, were
settled in front of the fire, as usual. Yoko was taking it in turns to brush
her Snowbunny and her own white Aisha fur with the same brush. Jon the Eyrie
was curled up on his favorite beanbag, nibbling on a freshly baked cookie. Gioacchino
the Kacheek was reading a book on finance.
The owner and guardian of the three, a girl
named Erika, was sitting at her desk, pouring over her books.
"What are you doing, Erika?" asked Yoko, not
"Homework," was the simple reply.
Gioacchino looked up. "What kind of homework?"
he asked, walking over to the desk. He peered over Erika's shoulder, but before
he could read any of the text, Erika slammed the book shut abruptly.
Gioacchino jumped back in alarm. "What did you
do THAT for?" he cried. "You nearly took my nose off!"
Jon sniggered. "She's probably reading that
comic book that's stuck between the pages," he said.
Erika glared at Jon as Gioacchino yanked a small,
brightly colored bundle of paper out from between pages 567 and 568. "The League
of Super Authors," he read outloud. "Well, THAT sounds exciting," he giggled.
Erika made a grab for her comic book back, but
failed miserably. "It's very exciting, thank you very much," she muttered.
"So, are you reading that for extra credit?"
Yoko asked innocently.
Erika wrung her hands in exasperation, and looked
for an outlet. She found it on the bookshelf. "Hey!" she yelled. "It's the Neopedia!
How about I read you a nice, soothing, bedtime story!"
"Nah," Gioacchino replied, his nose stuck in
the comic he had retrieved from Erika.
Erika lunged for her comic, and was successful.
Gioacchino groaned as she put it on the top shelf of the bookshelf, where his
little Kacheek legs could not reach.
Yoko came over with her blanket, her Lenny plushie,
and her Snowbunny. "Read a good story this time, please?"
Jon eyed his sister. "Good story as in scary
gross stuff? Blood and gore and shoot 'em ups and Dr. Sloth or some other infamous
mastermind?" he asked her hopefully.
"No!" cried Yoko, pulling her Snowbunny ever
closer. "Good as in happy things, Faeries and Unis and plushies and rainbows
"I think I'm going to be ill," Jon said.
"You know, Jon," Erika started, "Yoko has had
to put up with two extremely frightening stories already... that Halloween tale
and an article about Dr. Sloth. She was able to appreciate both of them... to
an extent. I think it's her turn to choose a story."
Jon sighed loudly, but nodded.
"You going to listen, Gee-Gee? Or are you going
to be a mean, heartless, older brother that only cares about things that he
likes and never the well-being of his younger sister?" Erika said, using the
guilt-trip in such a way that Gioacchino choked back a solitary tear.
Gioacchino set down his book on finance and
nodded sadly, also. "I'll listen," he grumbled.
"Yay!" cried Yoko. "I choose this one!" she
said, as she jabbed at a bookmarked page.
Erika grinned. "How long have you been planning
this?" she asked.
"Oh... not to long," Yoko grinned back.
Erika opened the book to the marked page and
read outloud the title. "The Snow Faerie," Erika announced.
Jon and Gioacchino groaned in unison. Erika
silenced the two with a glare. "It's Yoko's turn," she said through gritted
teeth. Jon and Gioacchino nodded, and sat down with a melancholy glance at their
Erika scanned the page. "This story begins by
following the life of a young Wocky."
Gioacchino yawned. "Cut the introductions, let's
get on with the story. Some of us have advanced Trigonometry to calculate and
worlds to dominate," he said, stifling a second yawn.
Erika sent Gioacchino another one of her trademark
glares, but began to read, "Her name was Shelly, but her brother called her
"What a beautiful beginning," Yoko mused.
"Shivers was riding her bicycle and was pedaling
furiously, because it was an old-fashioned bike, no speeds, no fenders, and
the brakes don't always work," Jon added.
"When Shelly announced that she would shortly be celebrating her birthday
with a party of much magnificence, there was much talk and excitement with the
Wockies," Gioacchino added further.
Erika sighed. "Are you two going to ruin this
story for your sister with mindless interjections?"
Gioacchino was opening his mouth to say "YES!"
but in a much longer and uncouth way, but then he caught sight of Yoko's face.
Her eyes were twinkling with tears, and her milky-white Aisha ears were drooping
"Fine," he grumbled.
Erika sat up and began to read again, "He
did this because she hated the cold."
Yoko sighed again with happiness, and Jon and
Gioacchino stifled their giggles by turning them into hacking coughs.
"She hated hated the snow, hated the ice,
hated having to wear three layers of clothes whenever she wanted to go outside,
hated the sky being dark for half the year... she hated-hated-hated this silly,
"Cheers, cheers, cheers to that," Gioacchino
mumbled to Jon.
"'Shelly Shivers! Shelly Shivers! Shelly
Shivers!' he shouted, throwing snowballs at her," Erika read.
"What kind of horrible brother would throw snowballs
at his younger sister?" Jon said, aghast.
Yoko raised an eyebrow.
"She ran away from him, her tears freezing
on her cheeks."
"She was cold. With her solitary Doglefox named
Fang at her side, she knew that her only chance of survival would be to build
a fire," Gioacchino said.
"'Leave me alone!' she shouted, her voice
echoing off the snow-covered field."
"Snow-covered fields forever..." Jon sang.
"She wanted to run forever, run until she
was all the way back home, and away from this horrible place forever," continued
"Poor Sally," Gioacchino said.
"Shelly," Yoko corrected.
"Honestly, Gee-Gee," Jon said, clicking his
tongue in bemusement.
"Her parents brought her and her brother
up here for "holiday," but holidays were supposed to be fun, and this was anything
but fun. A whole week up here in the frozen nothing, with nothing to do but
suffer her brother's taunts in this land where winter never ends. "
"Why, it's always winter... but never Christmas!"
said Gioacchino in a sing-song voice.
"She was running, fast as she could, her
eyes half-closed for the bitter wind biting at her eyes. She forgot to wear
her goggles, and she couldn't see anything. She didn't care."
"Pretend to care, Sally," Gioacchino said.
"Just as long as she got away from her brother,
she didn't... WUMPH!" said Erika, using her vocal chords to their full potential.
"Great 'wumph'!" Jon commented.
"Thanks!" Erika said proudly, as she turned
over a page and continued with the story. "She hit the tree hard and fell
backward," read Erika. "When her back hit the ground, she felt it crack
underneath her and she fell downward into a spiraling blackness."
"Sally's in another dimension! AAAaaaahhhh!"
"The light of the world above her spiraled
away and she fell, fell, fell."
"Down, down, down," Yoko added.
"The snow caught her, but she wasn't cold..."
"I didn't know Meuka Snot was in this story,"
"Ewww!" whined Yoko. "That's disgusting!"
"It wrapped up around her like a blanket,
and she was warm like sitting by the fire, reading her book. Her nose was filled
with the smell of marshmallows and hot chocolate. She opened her lips to see
if she could taste it, too..."
"NO! Don't taste it! DON'T TASTE IT! STOP! Ewwww!
Don't, please don't taste it...!" cried Yoko, Gioacchino and Jon in unison.
"...and she did."
"Something has happened!" Jon said. "Jon_Buckland
has come down with a bad case of Bloaty Belly!"
"'Shh...' a voice told her. A beautiful,
whispering voice," Erika read.
"Ohh... so it wasn't Meuka Snot," Gioacchino
"How do you know?" Yoko asked.
"His voice isn't beautiful and whispery," Gioacchino
stated. "I'd guess it would be more of a slippery, warbley, slimy and congested
sort of voice."
"Something has happened!" Jon said. "Jon_Buckland
has come down with a bad case of the Grumbles!"
"She felt warm breath on her cheek and she
opened her eyes."
"Open your eyes, look up to the skies, and see..."
"The snow didn't catch her; it was a bundle
of furs, as white as the snow. She looked up further and saw an alabaster face
and eyes as blue as the frozen sky."
"Nobody knows what it's like to be hated...
behind blue eyes..." sang Jon again.
Erika sighed deeply, and continued. "Shelly
tried to speak. "Are you a F-f-f-?" Again, the Faerie whispered, "Shh..." Shelly
"Hey, you got me tongue-tied, tongue-tied..
.tongue-tied, whenever you're around..."
"JON! Stop singing!"
"The Faerie smiled. 'Let's get you home...'"
"Our house... is a very, very, very, fine house..."
Erika, Gioacchino, and Yoko all glared at Jon
simultaneously and in such a formidable way that Jon was forcefully reminded
of the Ghost Lupe, and was instantly quiet.
Coughing loudly, Erika continued. "Taelia
the Snow Faerie came to the winter lands of Terror Mountain long ago. While
the other Faeries gave her strange looks, wondering why she went to the frozen
climbs of Neopia, she gave them no regard."
"I know thee not," Gioacchino said, using his
best Taelia voice.
"She packed up her things and moved out to
where the blistering winds blow and the snow covers the ground every day of
"Well," Yoko mentioned. "I guess she didn't
move to Tyrannia."
"Taelia uses her magic to keep the wildest
winds from finding the villages. When Neopians get lost in the storms, she leads
"Lumos! Reducto! Ahh, dang it. We're hopelessly
lost, guys," Gioacchino said, using his Taelia voice again.
"The other Faeries still give her strange
looks, but she doesn't see them. She's too busy walking the wintery hills, wrapped
in her magical furs, looking for those who have lost their way in the snow,"
Erika finished, shutting the Neopedia.
Yoko sighed happily. "What a wonderful story,"
she said. "Full of daring escapes, cool Faeries, and an unbelievably brave younger
"Yeah, wonderful," Jon muttered, earning himself
a kick in the ribs from Erika.
"I didn't think it was that horrible," said
Gioacchino suddenly. "I kind of liked it."
Jon stared at his older brother. "You did?"
he said in disbelief.
Yoko grinned, hugging her plushie and her Snowbunny.
"Yay! Two points for the Aisha!"
"Three points," Erika said.
"Can I choose the story next time?" pleaded
Jon to his siblings.
"Sure, as long as it isn't another one of your
usual blood and gore and shoot 'em ups and Dr.Sloth or some other infamous mastermind
stories," Yoko said, shivering slightly at the mere thought.
"Of course it won't be!" said Jon, sympathetically.
"What kind of brother would I be if I chose a story that I knew my little sister
Yoko perked up. "Thanks, Jon!" she said, grinning.
She rewarded her brother with a swift hug before she skipped off to her bedroom
for the night.
Gioacchino raised an eyebrow. "Soo... Lord Darigan
or the Ghost Lupe, then?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of the
Jhudora," Jon said, absentmindedly.
Gioacchino grinned. "Sometimes I'm almost proud
to have a little brother like you."