Author's Note: Heh. I wish, but I'm not this lucky. Don't bother asking, this
story is no more true than my first story. Oh yeah, and don't forget to read my
first story to learn about Kiara's past.)
Grimly, Stasheff, a Desert Kougra looking a bit worse
for wear, and Kiara1896, a Shadow Kougra with splotches of dark brown mud on
her paws and legs, got out of their beds to face the morning light. Things had
gone on a terrible downhill slope since Kiara had joined the family. What had
started as "well off" had plummeted to "barely making it" in the Neopian World.
Kiara still hated to be touched and often either
ran away or got into some very brutal fights. The Pant Devil and several Ghosts
had seemed to take a malicious liking to the family and their NP and good items
had steadily dwindled to nothing, leaving them depending on games and whatever
the Giant Omelette and the Tombola furnished them with. Whatever was inedible
was sold or auctioned off to make more NP, which would quickly get stolen or
spent on food to feed their family.
Kiara, a pessimist by nature had taken to muttering
darkly about her presence to them being a curse and that she should go back
to the wild so her family could live and prosper once again. Stasheff and Whyte_tiger
had been so shocked and outraged by the very suggestion that they both shook
her and told her to never think of such a thing again.
"Sis, you're a part of this family now, and no
family member is ever left to the Lupes. You're with us forever and we aren't
going to let you go just because we're in a slump. Doggone it, you're my sister,
not a shoe to be thrown out!" Stasheff had hugged Kiara fiercely and she had
been too startled to protest the contact.
Today, Stasheff and Kiara mumbled into their
morning Sausage Omelette before scampering out to prowl the Donation Tree for
whatever they could snatch. Their owner, Whyte_tiger, wearily took the little
items they had and took it to their shop in hopes of a sale.
As Stasheff prowled at the fringes of the crowd
he caught sight of a handsome golden Uni parading by. He paused and gazed at
her enviously, remembering how it had been to be well off. Then, the Uni's wings
gave a twitch and a sack full of Neopoints, which had been tied to her saddlebags,
fell with a clink and rolled to a stop next to Stasheff.
He picked it up and gasped softly at the solid
weight of it. Stasheff froze, working his jaws. This NP could feed the family
for a week if they could hold onto it. But… Stasheff shook his head fiercely
until his ears snapped. NO! It wasn't his! There was a cackle and Stasheff looked
up to see the Pant Devil diving toward him, clawed hands stretched out to seize
the NP out of Stasheff's paws.
Kiara exploded out of nowhere and took the Pant
Devil down in a flying tackle. "Stasheff, whatever you're gonna do with that
NP do it in a hurry! I'll hold him, just go!" And with that the two began fighting
savagely. The pant devil pulled out a rainbow gun but Kiara jerked it out of
his clawed hand and turned it on the little goblin. "Dag nabbit, go!"
Stasheff tore off after the Uni. NP was precious
to the family but no matter what, it was wrong to steal. He caught up with the
Uni, panting heavily and sweating from his desperate scramble through the crowds.
"H-here," he panted, holding out the NP sack
in a shaking paw, "Miss, you dropped this back at the tree."
The Uni stared at him and then back at her saddlebags.
Abruptly she smiled kindly at him and clopped her hoof on the cobblestone path
twice. Her hooves produced an odd ringing noise, like a bell in a clock tower.
He blinked in amazement as purple smoke swirled
around them as the ringing sound of the hoof faded.
The pant devil shouted, "Curses! Foiled again!"
and fled from Kiara, who joined Stasheff after a moment.
The smell of Lilacs filled their noses and when
the smoke cleared, Fyora was standing before them with a kind smile on her face.
Stasheff blinked and looked down, remembering
how he had been standing before her a few months ago, proud and well groomed
in his Desert attire as they had looked for the perfect sister. Now his fur
was grubby from rooting through trash and his garments soiled from scrounging
everywhere for anything they could sell. Kiara stared at her in shock and then
bowed her head, avoiding eye contact, her own eyes taking in her soiled black
Fyora smiled at the Uni, "Thank you BrightMorning,
I'll take it from here."
The Uni smiled back and trotted off.
"Wait!" Stasheff called. "Your NP!"
His only answer was a merry laugh from the Uni
before she broke into a gallop and leaped into the air, flying off into the
"I'm very proud of you both, you know," Fyora
said, turning back to the Kougras and lifting their chins with gentle hands.
"You both proved yourselves through the greatest tests we put you through. Kiara,
you learned to love your family, thinking about them at all times and even being
willing to leave them if only it would make life better for them. And you were
willing to support your brother, no matter what he planned to do with that sack
Kiara blushed and lowered her eyes, scuffing
her paws in the dirt.
"And you Stasheff, you've stood up for your sister,
refused to lose her, and though you are facing very hard times, you did the
right thing. We do keep an eye on you Neopets, and those who prove themselves
worthy are blessed with a special gift."
Abruptly Fyora kissed both of their foreheads
and stood tall. "And now I bestow upon you a special blessing. I reward you
and your owner infinite Neopoints, to spend as you wish. The only restraint
you have is that for everything you buy for a selfish reason, you must do an
equally selfless act to repay it. Keep it balanced, and you will never want
for anything again. Also, keep an eye out for those special people and pets
like you, who are honest and good. Should you find them, snap twice to summon
me, and they will be rewarded as you have been. The more you refer, the less
power your restraint will have upon you. Keep in mind that your selfless acts
must be done to someone who is truly in need, or they will not work."
The two dazed Kougras bowed to Fyora, their thoughts
whirling about this tremendous gift. In a small huff of lavender scented smoke,
Fyora was gone once again.
Silently the two Kougras stared at the sack of
NP left nearly forgotten at their paws.
"If we really do have endless NP..." Kiara started,
"…Then we don't really need this sack before
us…" Stasheff continued, his thoughts along the same lines as his sister.
"…So why don't we start our new found gift on
a positive paw?" Kiara finished, slowly picking up the heavy sack.
The world seemed to fall silent around them,
as though listening. The Pteri stopped chirping, the Lupes stopped barking,
and the general crowd sounds seemed to fade away. Even the sun's warmth seemed
to fade just a little.
"Why not..." Kiara whispered her plan in Stasheff's
ear and his eyes widened and he nodded vigorously in agreement.
As though the world had heard, everything returned
to normal. Pteri squawked with laughter, throwing a water balloon back and forth
to see who would catch it and who would get soaked. Lupes barked joyously and
chased after Frisbees. A small crowd cheered nearby as a marketplace store restocked
their supply of fresh fruits.
"I take it the Faeries approve," Stasheff murmured
as they made their way through the Market. With their NP firmly in paw, they
slipped into a large store and bought as many turkey dinners as their sack could
afford and gave the remainder to a helpful Grarrl who offered to help them carry
the dinners to the Donation tree.
From there, Stasheff slipped into the crowd,
checking faces and attires. He found a young Bruce and her owner who seemed
to be faring the worst and led them to where Kiara was guarding the dinners.
With a kind smile Kiara bowed to the owner and
put the huge feast into his startled hands. "A gift for you and your pet sir,"
Kiara said as the owner stammered in shock and hastily adjusted the massive
meal in his arms.
"No," Stasheff said firmly, holding up a paw
as the human groped for his mostly empty sack of NP at his belt, "We want no
payment good sir. We offer this to you freely, for we have been poor as well.
Now we are just passing the kindness forward.
The owner thanked them profusely, and the little
Bruce hugged both Kougras tightly about the neck before skipping off after her
elated owner. The two Kougras spent the afternoon handing out free meals to
the needy, then happily made their way home.
It took a moment to recover however, when they
got home and found the house in a state of total chaos; construction workers
were swarming over the Neohome. The place was being expanded into a mansion.
Whyte_tiger raced into the yard, crying and hugging
them both tightly. "I'm so proud of you two," she managed to gasp when she finally
calmed down, "I raised you both right. Fyora told me all about what you did
this morning and what you were doing this afternoon."
Stasheff blushed again, "Uhm, well, we're going
to have a lot of Neopoints to pay out after our home is finished," Stasheff
said, looking the progress over.
"Yeah, we will, but I'm getting the plans for
that worked out, too." Whyte_tiger said, sitting down next to her two pets,
"There are a lot of ingredients we can buy for the Soup Faerie, to enhance her
free soups. The good items we find on the ground can be used as things we can
pretend to buy from poorer shops. We can learn to "spill" Neopoints near poorer
Neopians. There's a lot we can do to give it away."
"The Adoption Center," Kiara said abruptly.
When everyone looked at her she ducked her head
a little, "I-I saw a flyer in the Main lobby when I was thinking about going
away to make life easier for you two. They're trying to get money through donations
to totally reconstruct it. They want to make it bigger, and better and nicer
looking so that it won't be quite so bad for the Neopets that are to be abandoned."
Whyte_tiger's eyes widened and she nodded immediately,
"Perfect! I was kind of wondering who could need such a massive amount of Neopoints
all at once." She pulled out sheets of paper and passed them to the pets. "I
drew up maps of the furniture we're going to need for each room. You two can
decorate your rooms any way you want to though. Talk to the Eyrie standing by
that delivery cart." A pair of Unis were hitched together, looking both strong
and swift. As they watched, the Eyrie gave them a quick drink of water for the
job ahead. Whyte_tiger continued, "He's agreed to drive you two anywhere to
get the furniture you want and bring it back here. Write down what you spend
on each item on the paper so we can total it up."
As the day came to a close, the Eyrie cart driver,
the Unis and the two Kougras pulled back up to the house looking tired but pleased.
Everyone came together to total out the Neopoints and they sat back and whistled.
Roughly six million was going into the house, all things included.
Stasheff and Kiara loaded the carriage with one
last load, all the Neopoints they would be giving out. It was hard work; shoveling
the heavy coins into sacks and carrying them into the abomination of a building
known as the pound.
"I don't think Dr_Death really knows how to dance,
but it sure looks like he's trying," Kiara murmured to Stasheff with a soft
giggle as Dr_Death and Rose pranced about, directing the placement of the Neopoints.
The Pound got the brunt of the NP, though hundreds
of thousands more were doled out to the Soup Kitchen for a makeover as well.
The kitchen was rebuilt and new recipes were added, purchased from the most
famous chefs in Neopia. Soon the rich scent of thick, steaming soup wafted for
miles around, drawing in the needy like a beacon in a dark night.
Although Stasheff and Kiara were rich far beyond
the limit that the Soup Faerie normally allowed, she gave them and the carriage
driver large bowls of soup each to eat for all their help. A huge thermos of
soup was also portioned out for White_tiger when they got home.
Months later, the family sat back in their new
home and breathed satisfied sighs. The home was rebuilt, their debt of selflessness
paid off, and their luck had changed completely. The pant devil avoided them,
as did the ghosts. Their store flourished, and every once in a while they hosted
delicious feasts for poor families who needed the help.
Stasheff and Kiara were working on decorating
one of the bedrooms one afternoon when a thought struck him.
"You know," he said, "I think this room is missing
Kiara looked down at him as she finished hanging
a picture on the wall, "Missing what?"
"Oh, something like a brother…or a sister maybe.
Say... laying on the bed, reading a good book. Or maybe making some weird project
to take over the world." Kiara smiled, gesturing to where the imagined sibling
Stasheff grinned and nodded, "Let's go see if
we can't rouse mom for a check of the message boards. Maybe someone's up for
The siblings shared a rare warm smile and cleaned
up, then headed downstairs to talk to Whyte_tiger.
(Special thanks to hippiesoul for the wonderful story she wrote about the
Neopian pound, its reconstruction, and her note to all of us, giving permission
to use her story as basis for our own.)