Colors, Colors, Everywhere
"Oh, what about Desert?"
"We live on Terror Mountain."
"Oh, yeah. Well, what about Grey?"
So began the daily discussion of paintbrush
colors between Panthera171 the Kougra and her sister, sapphire71493 the Lupe.
For as long as they could remember living with
Usa, they had been overshadowed by painted pets everywhere. They had been ridiculed
since their first day of Neoschool with their older sister Aquablaze1112 the
Peophin. It took a while for Usa to manage a steady income, by which time she
had then brought in another pet, x_X_sky93_X_x the Xweetok.
So every morning, Panthera and Sapphire discussed
ways that might make them look richer. Sometimes they discussed their Neohome,
sometimes nice avatars, sometimes the Lab Map, and sometimes they even discussed
stamp collection and the stock market. But they knew that every morning, at
some point or another, the conversation would turn to being painted.
"I don't know about you," began Panthera haughtily,
"but I wouldn't want to look gloomy all the time. I've already decided that
I want to be painted Plushie." Sapphire just rolled her eyes.
"Oh, yes, ever the cheerful one, you are, Panthera.
Anything has got to be better than Baby, though," she said with a shudder.
"Really? I always thought it looked quite cute
on you," Panthera teased.
"Oh, yes, how tough I'll look in the Battledome,"
the Lupe grumbled.
"And you think people will take you seriously
if you're grey?"
"Well, they surely wouldn't take me seriously
if I was Plushie! But Darigan, there's a good color for the Battledome!"
"Oh, yes, I agree. Especially if you want to
look like it's Halloween all of the time. You'd scare the fur off the younger
kids at school."
"Girls, Aqua and Sky left ten minutes ago! Go
to school already!"
Panthera sighed. "Time for the daily torture
fest," she groaned.
As they got to Neoschool, the torture was already
waiting for them. They were the only two in their grade that weren't painted.
They didn't have the comfort of their older sister, who was two grades above
them, or the silly antics of their brother, some several grades below.
A passing Island Uni called out, "Hey, look!
It's the blue Lupe, and the red Kougra!" The entire playground was laughing
at them. They were all alone.
They tried to walk through the playground to
their classroom like they didn't care. This was not to be, as they were constantly
pelted with dodge balls. They thought that if they stayed under a tree, the
others wouldn't see them. This was a mistake. More people than ever were crowding
around them, laughing and pointing.
"Why don't you just go back to Neopia Central?"
Somebody yelled out.
Sighing, the unpainted pets walked towards the
school. It was not to be that they could ever just play on the swings or slide
down the slide. When they got into the classroom, however, they were stunned
to be called directly to the front office. When they arrived, silently dreading
and eagerly awaiting what was to come, they stood shocked to see Sky, Aqua,
and Usa all standing there, waiting for them.
"There's been an... emergency," Usa said nervously.
She was always a good actress. Nodding anxiously, Panthera and Sapphire sighed.
It was not until they were safely in their Neohome that Usa told them what it
was all about.
"You see, I've received a quest from-"
"You brought us home from school so we could
do a quest?" Aqua asked in disbelief. She actually liked school.
Don't you dare suggest that we go back,
Sapphire thought to herself. Those dodge balls hurt like Jhudora's Cloud.
"Don't interrupt," Usa chastised. "As I was saying,
I received a quest from the Fountain Faerie. And I already have the item she
has requested." Smiling at their awed silence, she continued. "However, there
is still the question of who is to be my active pet when I give the item. As
you know, that is the pet that gets to be painted as soon as I turn in the item."
Hopefully this was right, she thought to herself. "Sapphire, I want you
to stay home with Sky. He doesn't have many choices, after all, being a Xweetok.
He's still too young to be painted, anyways. And Sapphire, you haven't even
decided what you would like to be painted." Please don't put up a fight,
she pleaded silently. "Aqua, Panthera, please come with me. We're going
After Sapphire reluctantly agreed to stay, Usa,
Panthera, and Aqua were off to the cushy clouds of that exact place.
"Now, I want you both to know that if Sky had more
choices to be painted, and if Sapphire could decide what she wanted to be painted,
then they both would be here, as well," Usa said. Panthera and Aqua nodded.
"As it is, only one of you can be painted. Remember that I only need two more
lab map pieces, and I'll have the whole thing. Now, I'm going to play the Wheel
of Excitement. I expect you to have decided who will be painted by the time
I get back. And hopefully I won't bring on the wrath of the Pant Devil again."
With that information, she flounced off to the
Wheel of Excitement, hopefully getting the avatar.
Panthera gave a silent cheer. "Finally! Plushie
Kougra, here I come!" She studied her sister for a moment. How silly of her
to forget that she had always wanted to be painted skunk, ever since she saw
the model Skunk Peophin at the Rainbow Pool. Aqua had been ecstatic with joy
when she saw it, and said that at the soonest possible moment, she was going
to be painted Skunk someday.
Panthera smiled at the memory. Her sister had
been so happy, and she deserved to get something in return for all of her kindness.
She was the oldest, after all, even though Panthera didn't usually support that
as a reason for anybody to get something. By the time Usa got back, however,
she had made up her mind on what to do.
Usa walked over and studied her pets for a moment.
How could she have thought that they would have reached a decision on their
Sighing, she said, "You haven't decided yet,
have you? All right, Panthera, what do you have to say?"
Panthera took a deep breath and began, knowing
that this would change her life forever. "Well, Plushie is one of the most given
color changes at the Lab Ray, right?" I hope, she thought to herself.
"So I've decided that Aqua should get painted."
After gaping at Panthera a moment, Usa smiled
and led them to the Rainbow Fountain.
Giddy from pride and excitement, the young Kougra
didn't remember much of what happened next until Aqua came out of the Fountain,
"Oh, thank you so much, Panthera!" she squealed
while squeezing the life out of Panthera in a hug. "Just so you know, this doesn't
mean that I'll stink like a skunk or spray people or anything. I'm still a Peophin,
"Oh, I know that," Panthera said with an evil
grin, "but the rest of my grade doesn't!"