Tina picked up the wrinkled pear and frowned, brushing her
red hair behind her ears. Where's Marmie? she thought, her mind drifting
away from the pear and towards "Mar", her baby Cybunny. She looked around the
house quickly and found Marmie in her room, sitting with a few other baby friends.
"Hello Neos!" Tina greeted the babies enthusiastically,
for she had heard that "Neo" was the new way of referring to a neopet. When
no one responded she blushed and realized she'd made a fool out of herself.
"Well... who are you all?" She glanced at Marmie quickly, making sure the Cybunny
noticed her scowl. "Since Marmie invited you without telling me, and I certainly
don't know who any of you are!"
Everyone but Tina suddenly burst into giggles
then, as if the human was just some big joke. One of the babies, a Uni, turned
to Mar and managed to squeal, "You were right! Your owner's real funny!"
Tina and Marmie both looked to each other, Mar
with a look of shame and Tina with embarassment. "I see," Tina said coldly,
and left the room with a quick slam of the door.
She heard all the little babies resume playing,
squealing every now and then, the muffled sound of movement as they toddled
around every now and then.
It wasn't until twenty minutes later that Mar
saw all her friends off, hoping they'd have a good time. She then smiled and
turned to Tina, who was flipping through a magazine in a way that clearly stated:
"Oh really, Tina!" Mar huffed, slicking her ears
back to give her the innocent look. "I just told them you were funny! They've
never met a funny human before. You're all too busy discussing thwacking each
other with asparagus to be funny."
"Oh and THAT makes me feel better?" Tina turned
away from her only Neopet, begging herself to hold in the tears. She couldn't.
"Look," she finally told Marmie, "I need to do something to show I'm important
to you. You think I'm a joke!"
Marmie looked saddened. "You're my mom and my
owner, and I love you, Tina! I said you were funny, I didn't say you were a
joke! You get me good food," Tina thought of the rotten pear, "and we live in
a good home," Tina looked around at the dusty mess of a house, "and I've got
plenty of toys!" Tina held back a giggle: Mar was telling the truth about the
Marmie hopped into her mother's lap and onto
her shoulder, where she brushed her nose against Tina's cheek in affection.
Tina patted Marmie diligently then set her on the ground, a smile on her face.
"You may not think I'm a joke, but all your friends do, and then their owners
will think I am. I've got to do something, Marmie. Something that will make
everyone notice me."
"Like what?" Mar looked up in disbelief: what
could Tina possibly do?
Tina looked puzzled for a minute then a sly smile
appeared. "Oh, just win a contest."
"Aaaarrrrrrrrgh!" Marmie threw her book bag on
the new pink carpets. She hopped into the kitchen and reached into the fruit
bowl, pulling out a perfectly shaped and aged apple. She bit in and instantly
spit it all out. "PLASTIC?!?!!"
Tina suddenly entered the room, Mar's book bag
on her arm. "My new carpets, Mar!! Are you trying to ruin my new carpets?! This
goes in the kitchen only, and after the kitchen is remodeled in the Homework
Mar's eyes narrowed. It had only been three days
since Tina had decided to enter a contest, and the next day she'd decided Neohome
Spotlight was perfect for her. She'd instantly ordered way more furniture then
they could afford and had new carpets installed in the Family Room and the bedrooms.
Marmie hadn't even had enough money for lunch, hence her crabbiness.
"Yeah, whatever, Tina," Mar growled, shoving
the 'apple' under Tina's nose. "Is this plastic?"
Tina bit her lower lip. "...Yeah."
"AAAAAAH!!!!" Marmie threw the apple into the
fruit bowl and grabbed her backpack, dragging it to the kitchen table. "Can't
I eat anything? All I could afford today was a Fyora Day Muffin, and they were
only twelve neopoints since they have to get rid of them." Tina looked quizzically
at the Cybunny and Mar explained, "They bought way more then they could sell
for the Faerie Festival, so now they're selling them at a discount before they're
"Well... are you really hungry?" Tina looked
startled that Mar could even THINK of food.
Marmie's eyes narrowed and she dug her clipped
nails into the kitchen table. "Yes, I am starving, now that you seem to care!"
Tina giggled and picked up the little Cybunny,
exiting the neohome and locking the doors behind them. She hailed an Eyrie Taxi
and told the driver to get them to Kelp. On the way Tina explained everything
to her Neopet. "The judges can't tell plastic from real fruit, and plastic fruit
stays longer and looks better. It will cost more to just keep buying real fruit
to replace the old junk when it gets moldy and soft, so we'll save from money
for that lamp I want-"
"And how will you pay for my lunch? And for Kelp,
how will you pay for that? It's expensive, Tina! I heard it costs sixty thousand
neopoints at the LEAST!"
Tina giggled. "As if we haven't eaten there before,
Mari? Oh, and I went out gaming and here," she handed Mar an impressively heavy
neopoints bag from her pocket, "is your lunch money for the week."
"Oh wow! Thank you, Tina!" Mar said enthusiastically,
and they had a good meal at Kelp and then when they got home Marmie was only
delighted to have Tina help her with her homework.
"There we are," Marmie could hear Tina murmur
as there was a loud CLANK! Marmie got out of her new bed, which matched her
Queen Fyora themed room, and went into the kitchen. The floors were a sparkly
marble and the fridge was brand new, clean (Yeah, no more mold! Mar had first
thought), and a shiny silver. In the middle of the room Tina was looking around,
making sure everything was perfect.
"Is it done, is it done?" Mar asked eagerly.
After all these months, all these long, dreadful months where all she was able
to afford at lunch was bread and water (Tina hadn't been able to get money for
Mar's lunch, since she had spent all her time moving furniture). Her belly constantly
rumbled but she was more eager to see the house done than to eat.
"I... I...." Tina suddenly screamed, running
to Marmie and picking her up, then running in circles as Mar laughed for joy.
"We're all done! We're all done!" Owner and neopet chanted, their eyes glowing
and their smiles wider then every before.
There were now fourteen rooms in the neohome,
each furnished lavishly with matching sets and with new flooring and wallpaper
and paint! Mari ran into one of the new connected rooms: a new addition, the
Island Room. "Bamboo" covered the walls and there was a soft, greenish carpet
that looked spongy and delicate, like grass itself. She fell onto a nearby couch
made of leaves and bamboo and rolled all over it, basking in the fake sun the
hundreds of ceiling-lamps created.
Tina entered the room, a silver tray in her arms.
"Do you still think I'm a joke, Mar?"
Without hesitation Marmie blurted out, "I never
thought you were!"
They both giggled and then Tina stepped closer,
so that Marmie could see what was on the tray: piles and piles of the most exotic
of fruits; breads dipped in marvelous sauces and buttered and toasted; vegetables
raw and steamed; and two Fyora Day Fizzes accompanied by two Glorious Fyora
Sundae's and two Ultimate Fyora Day Muffins.
Marmie was taken aback. How could they afford
this feast when they had just finished off a near-million neopoint home? She
rubbed her eyes. The food was still on the tray, but Tina was taking it into
the connecting Dining Room. "Come on, Marmie," Tina told the Cybunny.
Mar hopped obediently after her, still befuddled.
"This isn't possible," she finally told Tina as they were standing in the noble
Dining Room, looking down at the large silver tray on the wooden table.
"It is," the human assured her Neopet, a smile
upon her face. Within seconds both had produced gold-edged plates from the China
Cabinet and were filling them up with the food. Mar couldn't stop laughing as
she piled Carrot Stuffed Jacket Potatoes onto her plate, drinking up the Fyora
Day Fizz so quickly that she felt bubbly. As soon as she had finished one drink
or one of the two types of dessert another appeared from the kitchen, and all
the while Tina kept asking Mar if there was anything else she wanted.
"No, nothing, nothing else, Tina!" Mar would
chuckle, cramming another slice of Gwontek Melon into her mouth. Their napkins
were soon soaked with sauces and splattered black with stains, but they just
tossed them into the laundry room.
Finally, when their bellies were full to bursting,
the doorbell rang. Marmie had just finished her sixth Glorious Fyora Sundae
and felt uncomfortably full, but still got the door. There sat her four little
friends, all looking excited and giggly. "Everyone in the neighborhood is saying
your house is done, since we haven't heard anything break for two hours now!"
Mar frowned. She suddenly felt the shame that
her owner had: people figured they had to break at least one thing every two
hours?! "Listen, guys, we're real busy. Moving stuff, y'know."
"But-but-but," all of the babies protested, their
lower lips quivering. "Maaaaar!"
With a quick movement Tina was at the door, looking
down at the little babies with smiles. "Marmie, I just cleaned up our dinner,
so why don't you let your little friends in?"
All of them huddled in and went into the only
room they knew now: the kitchen. Mar frowned, she didn't think her 'friends'
very friendly anymore, twisting her words around and insulting her mom AND herself
very easily. "I don't think so, mom. Make them leave, pleeeeease!" begged Mar
in a whisper, looking pleadingly up at her owner.
"Mar, where would we be if they hadn't inspired
me to work on the house? I've decided not to enter into the Neohome Spotlight-"
"MOM, YOU CAN'T!" shrieked Marmie, gasping.
"Yes, I can. It shouldn't have taken a contest
to make this house look better. It's my job. We have the greatest house in the
neighborhood now, Marmie, and we've got a lot of money from the Home Budget
that we didn't use. We'll let your friends have a quick little look around so
that they'll tell their moms how much better our house is," both of them giggled,
"and then you can tell them their not very good people, and get new friends."
It only took a second for Marmie to agree. Looking
up at her mom with envious eyes she said, "You know exactly what you're doing,
don't you? No, you're not a joke at all, mom."