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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 42 > Continuing Series > Kallisari Cleans Up: Part Two

Kallisari Cleans Up: Part Two

by scriptfox

Kallisari stared at Edna the Witch, fear and revenge warring in her heart. She needed that Halloween paint brush dangling temptingly in Edna's hand. At the same time, if she took it, Edna's curse would doom her to marrying her worst enemy, which would probably be the very Kiko that had made life so miserable that she'd traveled for days trying to find a way to protect herself!

Revenge won. "Curse" was something Kallisari had not had any experience in. Come to that, this was the first time in her life that she'd had to worry about anything for more than a day anyway, and "long term planning" was not in her regrettably limited vocabulary.

"I'll take it!" she declared.

Edna's grin flashed even more blackened teeth. "Here ya go, then, dearie, and don't say you weren't warned!" Her cackle followed Kallisari as she left the clearing in the Haunted Woods at top speed.

Kallisari forgot all about her sore bottom, letting it rub itself raw as she pulled her tail flukes over the roots of the trees. The trees themselves writhed, but she ignored that, too. It wasn't until she was on the outskirts of Central Neopia that the next question entered her mind.

Now that she had the paintbrush, how was she going to use it??? Kallisari moaned as she collapsed. Hope and enthusiasm fled, letting her body remind her again of its needs. Everything hurt. She'd been on land too long! But she still kept a tight hold on her precious paintbrush as she limped into the central marketplace. It was deserted. Everything was long shut, with all of the Neopets safely tucked in bed... or else exploring some of the night spots elsewhere.

Water! She had to have water! Kallisari's eyes widened with amazement as she saw a huge rainbow glowing in the middle of the square. Then she let out a small shriek of delight as she saw the pool it ended in. She immediately dived in, not thinking that a pool with a glowing rainbow in it might be magical.

At first she reveled in the feel of the water as it caressed her tail flukes, but then she found herself sinking! Now, Peophins know how to swim, and Kallisari had swum all her life in her home river. But this didn't seem to be normal! She gulped for air as she went down. Suddenly it seemed as if the glowing rainbow had swallowed her. She was totally blinded with the multi-hued streaks of light that surrounded her until whump! She landed in a rounded chamber flooded with peach-coloured light.

"Where am I?" she wondered aloud to herself.

A slightly friendlier cackle than Edna's sounded behind her. "You're in the heart of the Rainbow Pool, little lady." Kallisari blinked as she beheld a sprightly figure sitting behind the desk. "My name's Jack. What can I do for you?"

"I don't know," Kallisari said miserably. "I'm kind of lost. I just wanted to get a bath before trying to figure out how to use this." She held up her paintbrush.

Jack doubled over laughing. "Lady, the faeries are watching out for ye! You just landed in the one spot in all of Neopia where we can handle that little thing."

Kallisari's ears perked up, and her heart sang a happier tune. "You can? How?"

"Step right this way...."

Some time later, Kallisari was staring happily at herself in a mirror. Her black cape and legs were nice, but she was reveling in her new hat. She tugged on it again, ever so slightly. The minute adjustment was more to reassure herself that it was actually there where she had so longed for it to be!

"It's wonderful," she sighed dreamily.

Jack leaned against the wall, grinning. "Yep, one of my finest paint jobs, if I do say so myself. Tell ya what," he winked, "seeing as how you've been so nice, I think I'll throw in a little extra."

Kallisari brightened. This sounded good! "Extra?"

"Yep! Here, take this," he said, handing her a broom. "Not part of the standard paint job, but hey, you're not my usual customer, either. You wouldn't believe some of the attitudes I get... they wander in here, expecting me to bow and scrape because they have this 'really kewl paint brush'. Ick... anyhow, take it, it's yours."

Kallisari held the broom loosely in her hooves and stared it at blankly. "I... thanks, but I..."

"Hey, it goes with the outfit. Real witches are always supposed to have a broom, it's how they fly around."

"Fly? You mean I can..."

"No! No, no, no! And another no! See, honey, it's just a costume- a paint job, get it? You're painted to look kinda like a witch."

"Oh!" Things suddenly clicked in Kallisari's mind. "So that's why Edna had a hat just like mine. She didn't need a paintbrush, because the brush just copies what she already had!"

Jack grimaced. "Yeah. Steer clear of her, she's bad news."

Kallisari looked at Jack's sour face and decided not to tell him where the paint brush had come from. "Thanks, but if I can't fly, what do I use it for?"

Jack grinned. "Well, you can always use it to sweep."

"Sweep?"

"Sure! That's what it's originally for. Here, let me show you...."

Kallisari stared in fascination as Jack demonstrated. She'd lived all her life in a river, or a forest. Dirt was dirt, and the idea of "clean" hadn't occurred to her until she saw Jack sweeping away some loose paint dust on the floor. "That looks like fun!"

"Well, some people might think so," Jack replied.

Kallisari failed to catch the dry note in his voice. Besides, she had just thought of another use for the broom. "I'll take it!" she said. "Thanks so awfully much!"

"Not at all. Take care of that paint job, now!"

"I will!" she replied cheerfully. Crossing over to the portal, she looked at the glowing wall of light dubiously. "Uh... how do I get back?"

"Just dive in, my young Peophin!" Jack called.

That sounded good enough to Kallisari. She jumped in, and sure enough, the whirl of light this time buoyed her up until she was carried to the surface of the small pond. She crawled out to see the first faint glimmerings of dawn on the horizon. All night! Well, it had been worth it. She swayed home, humming to herself. She was so caught up in her enraptured daydreams that it wasn't until she got back to the banks of her home river that sleep finally demanded its way.

Funny, she thought as she drifted off, things haven't hurt since I got painted... this paint job must have cured my land problems too...

Kallisari awoke the next morning with a rumbling stomach. Her travels from the day before had left her famished for food! She headed straight for her usual negg patch to eat some health neggs. She was almost full before she stopped to realise that she hadn't seen the Kiko. Well, it would come, she knew, and she was ready for it!

She didn't have long to wait. She was leisurely strolling back to the river when Wham! That all too familiar weight slammed her down to the ground. She pushed herself back up, and her hat fell off her head.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!"

Kallisari laughed at the sight of the Kiko, upside down on the ground with her hat shoved into his bottom. "Serves you right!" she chortled. "You've been making my life miserable, you rotten Kiko! And not only do you get that, but..." she grabbed up her broom. "You get this! and this! and this! " With every repetition of the word, she whacked the Kiko. He hollered in time to her whacks, but after the first sentence, Kallisari switched to simply yelling "Bad Kiko! Bad, bad, bad, bad!"

"Ow! Ow! Help! Murder! Mercy! Ow! OWWW!"

"Bad Kiko! Bad-bad-bad-bad!"

After three or four minutes, both of the combatants were totally exhausted. Kallisari slammed the Kiko up against a tree trunk with her broom, then leaned back and braced her weight on it while she panted. The Kiko by this time had given up trying to say anything and was simply crying. Kallisari began to feel just a tiny bit sorry for her former tormentor, but as she remembered the misery he'd put her through, her resolve hardened. It might not be fun, but it had to be done or she'd never be able to eat in peace again.

"Hee...lllp, Pw-w-lease, help!" the Kiko bawled, waving its little arms in the air.

Kallisari stared in fascination as her hat bobbed up and down from the Kiko's futile attempts to right itself. "If I help you, do you promise not to bother me again?" she asked.

"Yes! I pw-w-romise!"

"Never again? Ever? As long as you live?"

"Never! Honest! I promise! Just help me up!"

"OK, but if you try it again, next time I won't!"

The Kiko just pulled in on itself and cried some more. Kallisari's ears drooped. She really didn't like this at all. Well, it was easily cured. With a firm tug, she managed to pull her hat loose from the Kiko's bottom. "Oh!" she stared down at the bloody hole and looked at the dark stains on her hat. On an impulse, her tongue darted to her hat tip, and she winced at the coppery taste.

The Kiko's cries reminded her of what she'd been doing. "Oh, yes!" she murmured. Then, bracing herself against the tree, she pushed with all of her strength until the Kiko was rolled over onto its bottom. It lay there hiccuping for a while.

Kallisari watched as her now former tormentor slunk away, hopping slowly down a small path. "Ow, ow, ow" was the tune it sang, with another "ow" every time it hit the ground.

Guilt still threatened to plague poor Kallisari, but it was driven back as she realised that Edna's curse hadn't come true! "Hey, I did it!" she laughed delightedly. "I got revenge on him, and I didn't wind up marrying.... him." A strange look crossed her face as she thought back. A picture of the Kiko's bottom ran through her mind, and then she giggled.

"So that's why it didn't work," she crowed. "It wasn't a he after all- it was a she!"

Kallisari strolled slowly back to her river, making sweeping gestures with her broom along the path in front of her. Humming a happy song, she dove in, and proceeded to try and find some of her Water Faerie friends so she could show off her new paint job.

The faeries laughed and played with her. Kallisari found that her new hat didn't help at all in her swimming. She still loved it, though. She also had fun with using her broom to help steer her course as she swam in the water. All sorts of tight turns and tricks were possible, she found, and although Jack had told her she couldn't fly with it, she came close to it as she played underwater. Her new black cape came in handy when it was time to hide. She would become a dark black spot on the bottom of the river instead of a bright blue one. More than once, she managed to dine on fish that she'd never been able to catch before, simply because they'd always seen her. Now she could sneak up on them from ambush!

She explored on land more, too. Her thoughts that her new paint job had cured her of her land problems proved entirely correct. She could sway rhythmically around on land all day without a problem or care in the world. Indeed, it seemed that she didn't have a care in the whole wide world!

And that, dear reader, is where the story could have ended. After all, Edna's curse was defeated, and Kallisari had her heart's desire. Her life could go back to the idyllic paradise that it had been.

But fate had stranger things in store for Kallisari. She was to find that a curse wasn't so easily fixed. And, too, there was the matter of being a little more careful about which neggs she ate....

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Kallisari Cleans Up: Part One

Kallisari Cleans Up: Part Three

Kallisari Cleans Up: Part Four

Kallisari Cleans Up: Part Five

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