"Your Hands Glow Blue For A Moment...": Part One
Tylla the Electric Lupe had been in the Lost Desert for
only one day, but already she had drawn several conclusions about it, one of them
being that it was much too hot for Neopets with fur. She stopped and fanned herself,
wishing she had set out when it was cooler.
"We should have left earlier this morning,"
she said to her friend Jenipur, a White Zafara.
"You shouldn't have slept so late, then," Jenipur
replied, factually as always. "Besides, you were the one who wanted to see Coltzan's
Shrine. I was all for staying in Sakhmet -- you know, doing a little shopping,
seeing the sights..."
"This is one of the sights," said Tylla. "You've
heard the stories! Amazing things happen to people who visit the shrine! We
might get a Paintbrush, or a million Neopoints, or buried pirate treasure, or..."
"A burnt fish."
"I was talking to one of the vendors in the
marketplace this morning, while you were snoozing," said Jenipur. "He said he
went to Coltzan's Shrine one time and got a burnt fish."
Tylla scratched her head. "Why would Coltzan
give someone a burnt fish?"
"I don't know! If we see him, maybe we can ask
him," Jenipur replied.
The two of them continued to walk slowly across
the sands. The sun beat down on them, and Tylla wished she didn't have such
dark-colored fur. Electric blue stripes were fun to have back in her home in
Neopia Central, but out here in the desert, Jenipur's white fur had the advantage.
Tylla sighed a little. Jenipur was her best friend and had kept her out of a
lot of trouble over the years, but did she always have to have better luck in
everything? Sometimes it seemed like nothing she did ever went wrong...
"Hey, look, I think that's it!" said Jeni.
Tylla looked up. Outlined against the blue sky
was a spire of golden stone. Despite the heat, Tylla began to smile. There it
was -- Coltzan's Shrine! She picked up her pace, forgetting about the heat as
she raced across the sand. She was rather pleased that she made it there before
Jenipur did. For a moment, the two of them stood there in the shrine's shadow,
"You go first," said Tylla.
"No, this was your idea, so you go first."
"All right, I will," said Jenipur, and she walked
directly up to the side of the shrine and laid her paws on it.
Instantly, the wind picked up, throwing swirls
of sand into miniature tornadoes. In the midst of the chaos, a ghostly face
appeared in the air.
"Thank you for coming, young Neopet," a soft
voice intoned. "I will do what I can to help you."
There was another swirl of dust and wind, and
when Jenipur looked down, there was a heap of gleaming Neopoints at her feet.
"Ooh!" said Jenipur happily. "That was easier
than I thought it would be!"
"Let me try now!" Tylla said, bounding forward.
Jenipur scooped up her newly-found Neopoints
and scooted aside so that Tylla could have a turn. Tylla walked reverently up
to the shrine and laid her paws against the stone. It felt warm and a little
tingly to the touch, the way she'd always imagined magic would feel, and she
held her breath as she waited for something wonderful to happen. The wind picked
up again, and...
...her paws glowed blue for a moment. Then everything
"That's it?" she exclaimed. "No treasure? No
rare items? Just a stupid blue light?"
"It's not nice to talk to Coltzan like that,"
Tylla looked sulky. "It's not nice of him to
give you Neopoints and not give me anything."
"I'll share," Jenipur offered. She sounded as
if she was genuinely sorry for Tylla.
The Lupe tried to smile. "I know you will. Thanks,
"You're welcome," Jenipur replied. "Now, let's
get back to Sakhmet. If we hurry, we might get there in time for lunch."
Tylla nodded and began walking back to the city.
Even with Jenipur trying to cheer her up, she still couldn't help but feel disappointed.
She had come so far to see the shrine, and nothing had happened but some weird
lights! It just wasn't fair. She let her head droop, staring sadly at the ground.
"Don't worry," said Jenipur. "We can come back
again tomorrow, and I'll let you go first. Then maybe you'll get something good."
"Maybe so," Tylla replied, sounding distracted.
"Oh, come on -- you aren't going to sulk all
the way back to Sakhmet, are you?" asked Jenipur.
"No, it's not that," said Tylla. "It's just
that my paws have started to glow again."
Jenipur stopped walking and stared. Sure enough,
Tylla's paws were glowing a vivid blue that showed up even under the bright
light of the sun. It was particularly noticeable around her electric-blue stripe
markings. Jenipur blinked.
"Well, I've never heard of anything like that
before," she said. "Maybe it will wear off after a while."
"I hope so," Tylla replied.
"I'm sure it will," said Jenipur more confidently.
"Once we get far enough from the shrine, it's bound to fade."
Tylla nodded. Jenipur was probably right. After
all, she was always right! They just had to get far away enough from the shrine
that its magic couldn't reach her, and then the lights would stop. Coltzan had
been a good king, after all - there was no way he would leave a poor Neopet
to spend the rest of her life walking around with glowing blue paws!
Nevertheless, by the time the two of them returned
to Sakhmet, the glow had not faded one bit. The two Neopets stood at the gates
to the city, looking with puzzlement down at Tylla's paws.
"Well, this is awkward," said Jenipur.
"Everyone is going to stare at me," Tylla wailed.
"I wish I'd never gone to Coltzan's Shrine!"
"There's nothing we can do about that now,"
Jenipur said sensibly. "Just sit here a minute and I'll see what I can do."
Without further explanation, Jenipur walked
into the city. Feeling helpless, Tylla sat down against the wall and hid her
paws in the sand. That helped a little, but she could still see a faint shimmer
now and then if she moved. The sand was hot and itchy, both to hide her paws
in and to sit on. A few other Neopets on their way to or from Sakhmet paused
to wave to her, and looked mildly confused as to why this young Lupe refused
to wave back to them.
At last, Jenipur returned, carrying a pair of
"Here," she said. "Put these on. I got the thickest
ones I could find. If these don't hide the glowing, nothing will."
Tylla stared at the gloves. They certainly looked
thick - thick and heavy and much too big for her small paws. They would hide
the strange light, but how was Tylla supposed to do anything while wearing those
"I can't spend the rest of my life wearing gloves!"
Jenipur gave her a patient look. "You don't
have to wear them the rest of your life. You only have to keep them on as long
as it takes for that weird light to go away."
"But they don't fit!"
"We'll get you some smaller ones later, if we
need to. I had to make do with what I could find in a hurry. Come on," said
Jenipur. "It's hot out here. Let's go get a drink and cool off, hmm?"
Tylla hesitated. She didn't really want anyone
to see her with glowing blue paws, but she didn't really want to wear the heavy
gloves in this heat. On the other hand, she was thirsty after all that walking
around in the desert, and she wasn't going to cool off sitting here in the sand
"All right," she said. She pulled on the gloves
and followed Jenipur into the city.
Once they were in Sakhmet, they made their way
to the inn where they had been staying. There was a restaurant downstairs where
travelers could sit down for a meal and a cool drink. The two of them found
a table out of the way and ordered two glasses of Juppie juice and a bowl of
fruit to share. Tylla began to relax a little. It was much cooler inside the
building, and there weren't many other Neopets around to bother them. She sipped
her drink and felt her spirits begin to lift. She was, after all, a naturally
cheerful Lupe, and she never let her setbacks get her down for long. Soon she
was happily chattering with Jenipur, planning out what they would do for the
rest of their vacation.
"We should got to Qasala tomorrow," she was
saying. "I hear they've got an amazing library, and I've always wanted to try
their Queela dip..."
"I hear it's hot enough to set your tongue on
fire! Better order a couple of gallons of Qando punch to go with it," Jenipur
"I'll try both!" said Tylla. She picked up a
Cheops from the fruit bowl and began to pull off the leaves, but her clumsy
gloves got in the way. Without thinking, she yanked them off. Immediately, all
eyes in the room turned to stare at her. Out of the blazing sun, the weird blue
glow was even more noticeable. Tylla blushed beneath her fur and quickly shoved
the gloves back on again.
"What was that?" said a Xweetok on the other
side of the room.
"I've never seen anything like it," an Usul
"It was nothing! Nothing at all!" Tylla protested.
She got up from the table and began running to her room, trying to get away
from all the curious stares.
"Tylla, wait up!" Jenipur called. She got up
and chased after her friend.
She managed to catch Tylla in the hallway upstairs
and began trying to calm her down.
"Hey, it's all right," she said. "Everybody's
just curious, that's all."
"I hate it when everybody stares at me," Tylla
complained. "Especially when I can't do anything about it! I didn't ask to be
turned into a walking night-light!"
"It'll be okay. Look, tomorrow we'll go back
to the shrine, and maybe Coltzan will undo the magic for you if you ask. And
if that doesn't work, we'll see if we can find somebody who knows more about
this kind of thing, and maybe they'll be able to help you. One way or another,
we'll get you fixed."
"Do you think there's anybody here who knows
how to cure glowing paws?" asked Tylla wistfully.
"There might be," said an unfamiliar voice.
"It's not impossible, anyway. Someone like me, for example, might be able to
figure it out. But then again, I might not."
Tylla and Jenipur looked up to see a Green Lenny
climbing up the stairs behind them. He was wearing a wide-brimmed hat and glasses,
and he carried a backpack slung over one wing.
"Who are you?" Tylla asked. "Can you help me?"
"Well, I don't know if I can or not," the Lenny
replied. "It's possible, as I said. Very possible. But you never know. I might
not. And to answer your first question last, my name is Shandon. I am an explorer.
Well, that's what I call myself. But others might call me a researcher. Or perhaps
a scholar. It could be any of those."
"You don't sound very sure," said Tylla dubiously.
"Well, of course I'm not sure!" Shandon replied.
"It doesn't pay to be too certain. No good scholar should ever let himself become
so sure of anything that he rules out all other possibilities, because there's
always a chance he could be wrong. At least, that's what I think. But I might
not be right about that. Don't you think?"
"Um," said Jenipur. "Something like that."
"Exactly," Shandon replied, sounding pleased.
"So here is the way it stands, according to my understanding of things - which
is purely subjective, I hope you understand. My interpretation of events is
that a singularly unusual event has befallen this young Lupe here, which appears
to have rendered her seriously distressed. When I reached that conclusion, I
decided to follow her and make further inquiries - because after all, I may
have misinterpreted the situation. However, if my assessment is correct, it
would seem that she could use some help. Therefore, based on that assumption,
I offer my services. If you two will consent to aid me in my current research,
I in turn will do everything in my power to assist you. I think this is a fair
offer, but of course you're free to disagree with me."
"Um," said Jenipur again. "He sure uses a lot
of words, doesn't he?"
"I'll take your help," Tylla said. "I'll do
anything to stop these stupid lights!"
"Very good," Shandon replied. "Then meet me
downstairs at sunrise tomorrow morning. I'll be waiting for you there. At least,
I think I will, but you never know what could happen."
The two young Neopets agreed with this meeting.
Shandon, looking pleased with himself, waved a cheerful goodbye and wandered
off again, talking to himself about the things he thought he would need for
his explorations - thought he needed, of course, but wasn't really sure.
Tylla and Jenipur spent the rest of the day
exploring Sakhmet, but Tylla's heart wasn't in it. She kept checking her paws
every few minutes to see if the glow had faded. All she could think about was
what could possibly be done to solve her strange problem, and whether or not
the Lenny she'd met could actually do anything to help her. It was hard to believe
in someone who didn't seem to think he could do it himself. At last, the day
came to an end, and the two Neopets returned to their room and crawled into
"Turn out the lights," Jenipur mumbled sleepily.
"They are turned out," said Tylla.
"But..." Jenipur sat up and blinked. Even though
Tylla had blown out the lamps, the room was still filled with a pale light.
"It's my paws," Tylla wailed. "They won't stop
"Pull a blanket over them," Jenipur suggested.
"But it's too hot for a blanket!"
"Then put your gloves back on."
"I can't sleep with gloves on," said Tylla.
"Well, I can't sleep with the lights on," Jenipur
replied. "Well, it's not that the lights are on, but... you know what I mean!"
Tylla sighed. "I'll never get a good night's
sleep again if I don't fix this soon!"
"Maybe it will fade by morning?" said Jenipur,
but she didn't sound very hopeful.
"I don't think so. I think they're actually
getting brighter. I'm sure they weren't this bright earlier."
"They probably just look brighter now because
it's dark outside," Jenipur said, but she didn't sound any more sure of herself
now than Shandon did. Tylla sighed and put on her gloves.
To be continued...