Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 102,975,150 Issue: 203 | 12th day of Hiding, Y7
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The Wishing Jewel: Part Two


by nut862

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Nothing seemed to be different. Julan didn't feel any stronger. "It didn't work," she said, disappointed. "Do you think that Gelert wasn't telling the truth?"

     "There was no reason for him to lie," Mitara said. "I think the jewel works. You just don't know how to use it. Just as well, anyway. Let's bring it home, and maybe sometime we'll see someone who needs it that we can give it to."

     "No way! Are you crazy, Mitara? We're not giving THIS away!" Julan said, turning the jewel around in her paws so that the light caught it from all angles. "We'll figure out how to use it. We are not about to give up three good wishes! Besides, even if it's a fake, it's really pretty. Look at how it shines," Julan murmured to herself.

     Mitara could not see how beautiful the jewel was. She couldn't see the beauty of anything in the world, but she didn't mind, for she had never known anything else.

     On the way back home, Julan talked about nothing other than what she would use the three wishes for. "After I've become the strongest Acara in the world, I'll wish that you can see, Mitara," she said charitably. "And as for the last wish…hmm…Maybe I'll wish for Battledome equipment."

     "You could let Lyshee make a wish," Mitara suggested.

     Julan looked shocked. "Lyshee? No way! She'd waste it on something silly like beauty products. I bet she'd wish to be the most beautiful Uni in the world. The Gelert gave the jewel to ME, not to her, so I get to choose the wishes. I'm going to make you see because I like you, Mitara, not because we're all going to get one wish."

     Julan and Mitara reached their small home in much less time than it had taken them to get out to the field in the first place. Julan turned the key in the lock and opened the door. The sound of hooves on the wooden floor greeted them, and Lyshee came into view. The gold Uni was carrying a green mirror in one hoof and a stick of lipstick in another, and appeared to have been in the process of applying makeup when her sisters came home. "You're back already?" she asked. "That was a short walk. Was it raining?"

     "No," Julan said, hiding the jewel behind her back. She didn't want her greedy sister to get any ideas about using the wishes for herself.

     Lyshee's quick blue eyes caught the movement. "What are you doing?" she demanded. "You're hiding something from me!" The gold Uni darted over to Julan, grabbed her paw, and dragged it out from behind her back, still clutching the sparkling lavender jewel. "Aha! What's this?"

     "Stay away from it," Julan ordered, pushing Lyshee's hoof away. "It's mine! I saved the Gelert, not you!"

     "Gelert?" Lyshee's eyes lit up with interest. "What Gelert? What kind of jewel is that? It looks valuable. I bet we could sell it for a lot of money."

     "There's no way I'll let you sell this jewel; it grants wishes!" Julan said.

     "It grants wishes?" Lyshee looked at the jewel with curiosity.

     "Yes, and you can't have it," Julan said rudely.

     "What? How dare you say that to your older sister! I'll…" Lyshee began.

     "Will you please stop fighting?" Mitara pleaded.

     Julan frowned at the Kiko. "This is none of your business. You should…"

     In one quick move, Lyshee reached out and snatched the glittering jewel from Julan's startled paw. The Acara cried, "Hey! That's mine!" but Lyshee paid no attention. She held the gem up to her eyes and stared through the beautiful clear lavender jewel. "I wish I were the most beautiful Uni in the world!"

     The jewel flashed with light, and in an instant, Lyshee was transformed. Her golden coat became smooth and glossy, her skin flawless, and her horn straight and shining in the light. Her hooves became the daintiest and most polished hooves of any Uni, and her mane and tail grew sleek and shiny. Her blue eyes became clearer and larger than ever before, and they shimmered, but it was a shimmer of the eyes themselves, not a shimmer that reflected the creature looking out of the eyes. Lyshee didn't care, though. She grabbed her green mirror and stared into it. Immediately she exclaimed joyfully, "I'm beautiful! I'm prettier than anyone else in the world!"

     Julan stared at her older sister, speechless. "That was my jewel!" she moaned. "You just wasted one of the wishes!"

     Lyshee didn't seem to notice Julan. She was too busy staring at her new self in the mirror. "I am the best," she preened. "Now I need a whole new set of beauty supplies to maintain my appearance."

     Mitara sat in the corner of the room, watching her sisters through her window of darkness, not knowing how beautiful Lyshee looked, and not caring, either. Beauty meant nothing to Mitara. She thought sadly that the wish had been spent on something so useless.

     "More beauty supplies will cost more money, though, and we don't have that much money, after YOU bought that sword this morning." Lyshee glared at Julan. "Oh, I know!" Lyshee's eyes lit up as she broke away from the mirror and turned to look at the jewel again. She stared into the jewel's lavender facets and said, "I wish I were the richest pet in the world!"

     "NO!" Julan wailed.

     But it was too late. The jewel flashed again, and suddenly Lyshee was surrounded by huge bags of Neopoints. Lyshee squealed with delight and ripped open one of the bags, letting coins spill out onto the wooden floor of their house. Each coin was marked, "1,000,000 NP."

     "I'm rich!" Lyshee crowed. "I'm the richest pet in the world! I'm also the most beautiful pet in the world! Everyone will envy me!"

     Julan glowered at Lyshee. "I'LL never envy YOU, you disrespectful, vain creature!" she spat out the words. "I can't believe you just wasted both of my wishes! Now there's only one left!"

     "You'll never envy me? Really?" Lyshee smiled, gazing at the jewel. "I wish that everyone would be jealous of m…"

     "NO WAY!" Julan yelled. At last, her warrior instincts kicked in, and she dove across the room and knocked the jewel out of Lyshee's hoof before the Uni could finish the last syllable in her sentence. The jewel spun across the floor, and Julan grabbed it up and held it in her paw. She scowled at her older sister. "You got more than your share of wishes. Because of you, Mitara will never be able to see! How do you like that, huh? That'll make a fine title for the paper. 'MOST BEAUTIFUL AND RICHEST UNI IN THE WORLD DENIES BLIND KIKO CHANCE TO SEE!' There were enough wishes for Mitara before you came along, but now…"

     Lyshee frowned. "There's one wish left. You can wish that Mitara could see again, or you can wish that you're…let me guess…the strongest pet in the world!" Lyshee's mouth turned up into a wicked smile. "Some headline THAT would be. 'GIVEN WISHING JEWEL, SELFISH ACARA CHOOSES HER OWN DESIRES OVER CURING BLIND SISTER!' Wouldn't you love that!"

     Julan reddened. "Oh, be quiet. It's all your fault." Clutching the jewel tightly, she closed her eyes and wished out loud, "I wish I were the strongest pet in the world!"

     There was no flash of light. Julan opened her eyes. Nothing had happened. She gritted her teeth angrily. "What is it with this jewel? It doesn't work! Why does it work for you but not for me?" she yelled.

     "Simple," Lyshee said, snatching the jewel out of her sister's paw. "You have to look into the jewel at the time of your wish, not close your eyes like some coward. I'll show you how it's done!" She stared into the shining gem.

     "You are not! I won't let you!" Julan dived on her sister, and the two got into a fierce struggle there on the floor. Lyshee lost her grip on the gem, and it skittered away across the floor, coming to a stop when it hit the Cloud Kiko in a corner of the room.

     Neither of the battling sisters noticed as Mitara picked up the jewel. It felt cool and magical against her skin. She stared at the jewel with the cloudy blue eyes that could not see it. What would she wish for?

     She could wish for sight. Mitara thought of leaving her world of darkness forever, to enter the land of vision that she had heard about all her life and never seen. She would be able to see the Beekadoodles as well as hear them, she would get to see what flowers looked like instead of just smell them, she would be able to watch for rain by looking at clouds instead of sensing moisture in the air, and she would see what Lyshee looked like in her new beautiful state.

     But perhaps, she thought, it was better to be blind than to be able to see; at least her affliction prevented her from becoming obsessed with material possessions like her sisters were. Mitara did not care about how she looked, like Lyshee did; how could she, when she could not see her own image in a mirror? She didn't care about Battledome weapons, because in her state, she could not battle anyway. This jewel was useful only because of the wishes, for Mitara had no need for beauty.

     Mitara took a deep breath and looked at the shining jewel with all her might, knowing that beyond the darkness that divided her from it was a world of light and beauty that she could access with a single, simple wish. She opened her mouth and spoke, her voice soft but strong in the small room. "I wish…"

     Her two sisters stopped fighting each other and looked up, surprised. Julan's fur was tousled and messy, and Lyshee's beautiful fur was hanging off of her limply. Both sisters' eyes opened wide when they saw Mitara holding the jewel.

     "No! Oh, no!" Julan cried. She could see the title "World's Strongest Acara" slipping away from her, all in that instant. The Battledome trophies…the praises…the victories…everything…it would all be gone. She felt that it was being taken away, though she had never had it to begin with. "Oh, no. Mitara, don't make a wish!" she screamed desperately. "After all I've ever done for you, you could at least let me live my dream. Give me the wish! It's my jewel; you know it is! Don't wish, Mitara, don't wish!" she almost pleaded.

     Lyshee stared at Julan with disgust. "You deserve it, for attacking me like that. I would've rammed you with my horn if you weren't my sister, and for a moment I thought I would have to do it anyway. What were you trying to do, kill me?" She looked at Mitara and sniffed. "She's probably going to wish that her eyes will be cured. What else would she wish for? She has no sense of any of the valuable things in life." Lyshee gazed around at the piles of money sacks nearby, the fruits of her earlier wish.

     "Don't wish, Mitara," Julan kept saying desperately. She would have knocked the jewel out of Mitara's fins, but she felt frozen in place.

     Mitara hesitated a moment, listening to her older sister. She took a deep breath and went on, staring harder than ever into the jewel with her sightless eyes. "I wish that the blindness would be healed…"

     "I knew it!" Lyshee said triumphantly, as if she were proud that she had guessed what her sister would wish.

     Julan closed her eyes and moaned softly. "I'll never be the strongest pet now."

     "I wish that the blindness would be healed of both of my sisters," Mitara finished.

     Julan's eyes flew open. Lyshee looked equally shocked. "What? But we can see perfectly!" Julan sputtered.

     Bright light shone from the jewel, brighter than ever before. Julan and Lyshee were both thinking the same thing: What a waste of a wish! Julan was angry with herself; why hadn't she taken the jewel from Mitara? She could have done so easily…and now the last wish was gone forever. Lyshee couldn't imagine how Mitara could be so dumb to make a wish like that. Surely Mitara was old enough to know that not everyone was afflicted as she was?

     As the jewel shone, with such intensity that the two older sisters were forced to close their eyes, Mitara gazed at her sisters with pity in her cloudy eyes. "I may be blind in body," she said softly. "But you two are blind in soul. You're so involved with objects of material value that you completely forgot about what matters most: your friends. I hope my wish has enabled you to see, like I do."

     "What are you talking about, Mitara?" Julan cried, confused.

     "You're the one who can't see, not us," Lyshee added, thinking to herself, Boy, Mitara is dumber than I ever imagined.

     As the jewel's light faded, the two sisters' thoughts began to dissipate until they had vanished completely. The gold Uni and the green Acara looked around, blinking as though they had just woken up. They felt different, like completely new pets. Lyshee looked around at all the sacks of money, remembering that she had just become the richest and most beautiful Uni in the world. She wasn't as happy about it as she had been before, though. It seemed almost…silly to be surrounded by money. They didn't need money. They were comfortable where they lived.

     "Oh, my goodness," Lyshee said. "Each of these coins is worth a million Neopoints! How are we ever going to spend all this? I can't imagine what we would need. Maybe I should donate it to the Neopian Helpers of the Poor Agency."

     "That's a good idea," Julan said. "I think I might give away my weapons, too. I don't much feel like fighting anymore. It seems a little pointless to spend all my time racking up points for my BD score, when there are other things to do." She glanced around, and her eyes lighted on the jewel Mitara held. It was no longer shining, though it was still beautiful. Julan smiled at the sight of it. "And let's give that little gem to some poor person who would like to own it."

     The gold Uni and her green Acara sister turned to the little cloud Kiko sitting in the corner, smiling at them. "Would you like to come with us, Mitara?"

     "I'd love to," Mitara said with a grin, trying to remember the last time her sisters had actually invited her to go out with them instead of her asking them to bring her out.

     As the three sisters headed out the door, chatting happily between themselves, Mitara smiled. Her one true wish had at last been granted.

The End

 
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