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Wish Upon a Soup Faerie


by rmuecke

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Maya sat, gloomily looking out of the rain-spattered window. "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…" she muttered. "I wish I could have someone to play with!" She sighed almost silently. She was a Royal Aisha, very pretty, and very, very bored. It was her birthday, but nobody seemed to have remembered. Anyway, who cared? It had been raining for almost a week and there was nothing to do.

     Her owner, Trisha, tried to offer ideas. "Read?"

     "Done that."

     "Cook marshmallows over a fire?"

     "Nah."

     "What about helping at the Soup Kitchen?" Maya considered this. She'd never actually seen the Soup Kitchen, but she knew a bit about it. She thought it might be interesting to help cook the soup and feed the pets - besides, everyone knew the Soup Faerie made the best soup in Neopia!

     "Okay," Maya eventually said.

     "Great!" said Trisha. "We can walk there."

     About five minutes later, Maya and Trisha were at the Soup Kitchen, a large building shaped like a pot. Trisha quickly went into the building and talked urgently to someone, Maya couldn't see who. Then she waved goodbye and slipped off. Maya ducked inside the kitchen.

     "Hi, I'm Maya. I'm here to help," she said to the Soup Faerie, who was standing next to a large iron pot full of what looked like hot, bubbling stew. The Soup Faerie nodded and pointed to a chopping board.

     "You can help by chopping up that asparagus," she said in a melodious voice. Maya sighed and began to slice the asparagus. Chop, chop, chop.

     Meanwhile, Trisha had gone back home and was contemplating what to buy Maya for her birthday present - she was planning to give her a surprise party, but she didn't have the present yet. Trisha suddenly had the perfect idea and laughed as she went to get some money to buy the things she would need.

     After chopping the asparagus, Maya was told to chop up some carrots, some meat, some herbs - all she was getting to do was chop stuff! But she was still enjoying herself more than she had for the past few days. At last she was getting to do something!

     Finally the Soup Faerie asked her to do some actual serving. Maya grinned as she slopped some greenish soup into a bowl, which she then passed to a gawky Yurble, who muttered 'thanks.' The Soup Faerie smiled secretively as she began writing a note to Trisha.

     Trisha was having so much trouble finding Maya's present. She'd looked absolutely everywhere she could think of, but she just couldn't find the perfect thing. A yellow Lenny wearing a blue uniform of some kind ran up to her.

     "Message from the Soup Faerie for Trisha?" he asked breathlessly. Trisha nodded and opened the letter.

     "Trisha, I thought you'd like to know how pleased I am with Maya. She has a steady hand and good eye," ('all those needlework lessons paid off!' Trisha thought laughingly) "and she likes interacting with people. I've upgraded her from food-chopper to soup-pourer. Love, the Soup Faerie." Trisha grinned, then she realised how stupid she'd been. All she needed to do was to look in the Soup Kitchen, and she'd find almost everything she needed for Maya's birthday present.

     Trisha strolled casually into the Soup Kitchen, where she caught sight of Maya, wearing a stained and burn-marked apron, pouring soup (Golden Juppie? Something yellowish, anyway) into bowls. She grinned, and waved. Maya stopped pouring for a second to wave back, then she continued distributing soup and talking animatedly to a tiny Zafara, who had skin that was a deep sapphire blue.

     As the Zafara left with her full bowl of soup, Trisha walked up to her and looked as innocent as possible. "What's your name?" she asked.

     The Zafara looked puzzled. "I'm Erisla," she answered cautiously. "What do you want?"

     Trisha smiled. "Nothing much," she answered. "Could you take me to your owner, please?"

     Erisla started leading the way to her small house, feeling a bit confused and more than a bit worried.

     Maya continued pouring soup, wiping sweat from her forehead as she worked.

     The Soup Faerie smiled at her as she slopped soup into various mismatched wooden bowls.

     Maya wondered what Trisha was up to and what that young blue Zafara was doing. It was so much fun talking to someone nice her own age, reflected Maya as she mopped up some spilled soup on the ground.

     Erisla walked to her house with Trisha. She finally stopped outside her tiny, one-roomed wooden house and knocked on the door. "Mum, I'm home!"

     Her owner, a harried-looking skinny woman, caught sight of Trisha and exclaimed, "Erisla, why didn't you tell me you were bringing a guest?"

     Erisla brushed past, red-faced, and began setting their small table. "Guys, dinner's ready!"

     She poured the soup - she'd been carrying her bowl of soup ever since she'd left the Soup Kitchen, Trisha realised - into several smaller bowls. Three other pets immediately converged on the table and slurped down the broth. Trisha realised with horror that they were literally starving. Their owner watched with weary eyes as the three pets fought over the fourth bowl - Erisla's - while Erisla herself trudged over to the straw bed in the corner and fell asleep.

     Their owner noticed Trisha staring aghast at the other pets arguing. "I can't stop them fighting. If only I had one less mouth to feed, it would be easier. But I just can't put any of my darlings into the Pound! What if they were mistreated at their new home?"

     Trisha nodded seriously. "Why don't you give one of your pets to a friend?" she asked.

     Erisla's owner sighed. "All of my friends already have four pets!"

     "Well, could I have one of your pets? Erisla maybe? My Aisha, Maya, is really quite lonely and I noticed that the two of them got on very well," Trisha babbled. She hadn't intended to ask for Erisla, but this seemed the perfect opportunity to ask.

     Erisla's owner gaped. "I don't know. Maybe you should ask Erisla herself? It would make things easier, to have one less mouth to feed, but I would miss her so! Could I visit her perhaps, if she agrees?"

     Trisha nodded. "Sure! In fact, I'd like it if you did. I would like some more friends."

     Erisla's owner walked over to where Erisla was sleeping fitfully. "Wake up, sweetie!"

     Erisla rubbed her eyes and looked over at her owner. "What? I was trying to sleep!"

     Trisha gulped. "Erisla, um, do you think I could take you home with me?" she mumbled.

     "What, like a guest?" Erisla asked in disbelief.

     "No, like - like my family," Trisha gabbled.

     Erisla stared in astonishment at her. "Really? To live with you and Maya forever and ever?" she said, with a slight gasp. "Sure!"

     Trisha grinned gleefully. "Come with me then! I want it to be a surprise for Maya when she gets home."

     Trisha and Erisla raced home as quickly as they could run. As soon as they got to Trisha and Maya's - and now Erisla's - large marble house, Trisha grabbed an envelope and a piece of paper.

     "Maya," she scrawled, "could you please come home by 6 'o clock? I've got something very important to tell you. Lots and lots of love, Trisha." As soon as she finished writing that, she shoved the letter into her pocket instead of sending it. She had loads to do before Maya came home.

     Trisha quickly whipped up the makings of a chocolate cake. "Erisla, could you please put this in the oven for me?" Erisla did as she was told, hoping she wouldn't get lost in the huge house. As Erisla trotted off obediently, Trisha sent Neomails to all of her friends to come to her house immediately (not to knock, but come in as soon as they got there), along with the one to Maya.

     Erisla put the cake in the oven and ran back to Trisha. "Trisha, where do I sleep?" she said.

     Trisha smiled and said, "I took the liberty of building a room this morning. It's on the top floor, made of cloud. I thought you might like a room of your own, rather than sharing. And cloud seemed the nicest option for a room on the top floor. It also has heaps of comfortable furniture in it for you."

     Erisla looked shocked at the fact that she'd have her very own room, all to herself.

     She was even more surprised when Trisha added, "And you have your own bathroom too, by the way." Noticing that Erisla seemed to be in a slight state of shock, Trisha gave her a hug. "Why don't you go upstairs to your bathroom and have a bath?" Trisha asked, handing her a bottle of shampoo and a fluffy towel. "I have to finish the cake."

     Maya was tired and a bit hungry. The Soup Kitchen was closed for the night and now she was just cleaning up.

     The Soup Faerie smiled at her. "Well done, Maya, I'm really quite impressed." With that, she handed her two small envelopes, one a delicate russet red, and one an ordinary white Neomail envelope.

     Maya opened the red one first. Inside was an avatar (along with a note explaining that people who helped at the Soup Kitchen also got the avatar, not just people who ate there) and a picture of Maya and the Soup Faerie together. Maya smiled at the Soup Faerie, and, touching the face in the picture with her finger, made the same wish she had made that morning. "I wish I could have someone to play with!". She laughed at herself - It was a silly superstition that a picture of a faerie was lucky - and put everything in her pocket, not noticing the glint of faerie dust on her hand.

     She opened the second envelope. There was just a letter in this one, from Trisha, asking her to be home by 6 'o clock. Maya checked the clock on the wall, and jumped. It was already 5 past 6! She said a hasty goodbye, and ran home.

     Trisha spread thick chocolate icing over the cake, and then stuck a big blue candle in the middle. She put it in the center of their dining room table, and raced to her front room, where her friends were patiently waiting. "Okay, look, sorry this was a bit rushed, but I'd like you to hide in places in this room - behind couches, under tables, anywhere! When Maya comes in, jump up and yell 'Surprise!' Got that?" Trisha yelled.

     As her guests ran around looking for suitable hiding spots and stepping on each other's feet, Trisha raced back into the kitchen. Erisla was standing there, totally clean, with a big smile on her face and a yellow ribbon on the top of her head. "You look lovely," said Trisha happily.

     Erisla nodded. She was completely transformed by her hot bath and her complete happiness.

     Trisha led Erisla by the hand into the front room, where the guests were completely hidden. Trisha looked around. "Good. Alright, Erisla, hide inside this cupboard here, and come out when you hear your name," she said. Erisla tiptoed inside the bright purple cupboard, and held her breath.

     "It's lucky Maya's always late, isn't it?" Trisha said with no real conviction. She looked at the clock - 10 past, and no sign of Maya.

     As soon as she said that, however, she heard quick breathing and pattering footsteps. "Oh, Trisha, I'm so sorry I'm late!" gasped Maya, waiting to be let in. Trisha opened the door slowly. "I went the wrong way, and I had to clean up and…" She stepped inside, and suddenly -

     "Surprise! Happy birthday, Maya!" yelled everyone, jumping out of their hiding spot and throwing balloons at her. Maya gaped at them. She'd thought everyone had forgotten her birthday, but they obviously hadn't. She was utterly speechless. "Aren't you happy?" demanded Trisha worriedly, but for once, Maya had nothing to say. All she could do was smile and hug everyone.

     After all the presents had been given and everyone had calmed down somewhat, Trisha coughed. Everyone was immediately quiet. "I have one more present to give Maya," she said quietly. "Maya, I know you are lonely sometimes, and you have nobody to play with, and I'm sorry about that. But I decided today that you really needed a friend. So I decided to give you, for your birthday present… Erisla."

     Maya had no idea what 'Erisla' meant. As the cupboard door swung open, she was guessing in her head, "A Petpet? I already have one. A toy? I already have too many. A book? I'm already clever enough. What?" But as Erisla stepped out into the light, Maya realised, and she smiled. "A name." The name of the blue Zafara she had made friends with that afternoon.

     Trisha grinned. "A sister." The two pets stood where they were for a minute, stunned. They were friends, yes, but now they were sisters too.

     Suddenly a tear dripped from Maya's eye. Erisla started to cry too, and soon everyone was bawling their eyes out. Including Trisha, who had gone to the dining room to fetch the cake. As she came back into the front room, she wiped her eyes and gave Maya the knife to cut the cake. Maya brought down the knife, and wished. "I wish that I could be this happy for the rest of my life," she murmured quietly. And she smiled softly, and hoped this wish, too, would come true.

The End

  Author's Note: If you're reading this, this is my first NT submission! =3 Fanmails and constructive criticism welcomed, please no hatemail or random Neofriend requests, blah blah blah. Dedicated to my friend Mossy. No, she doesn't want hatemail or random Neofriend requests, either. Keep reading! ~Rainbow Cloud

 
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