The Rainbow Lake
"Shani, it's hot. Where's the water? Didn't you bring an
umbrella?" wailed Riya. The little desert Usul hated the heat, even though they
lived in the hottest place in Neopia. The Lost Desert sun beat down on them as
they paddled down the small canal in their little wooden boat that Shani had made
out of fallen trees on Mystery Island. Shani stopped paddling and sighed. The
desert Cybunny turned to face her unhappy sister.
"Riya, you know that all of the food and drinks
are in my backpack, and you also know that an umbrella is too big to fit in
this boat. We've only been paddling for an hour, so don't drink all of the Cheops
juice and bottles of water. Have a Pyraberry. Food and drink in one." Shani
returned to rowing.
"But SHANI, I don't WANT a Pyraberry! I want
something different!" The little Usul folded her arms.
"Okay, okay, Riya. We have Tchea fruits, Cheops
fruits, Ptolymelon, Sutek muffins, Sphinx links, red eye eggs, Pleto melons,
scarab cookies, grackle bug steaks, sandy sandwiches, mummified burritos, and
Cheopples. Take your pick." The desert Cybunny continued paddling. She had heard
a legend about a necklace left behind by the Fountain Faerie when she left for
Faerieland after a visit. No one knew why she had left the necklace, but Shani
and Riya were about to find out. Shani was going to go alone, but Riya wanted
to go, too. Unfortunately, Riya thought Shani was just running an errand, not
going on a three day trip down the Lost Desert River. It was hardly a river,
though. It was so narrow, Tug-O-War was played across it. It was wide enough
to paddle a boat on, though, so that was the way Shani wanted to use to get
to the lake. It was easier than walking, and they didn't actually have to carry
their supplies. They had their food and drinks, toothbrushes and toothpaste,
hair brushes, and ragged desert capes. They were Battledome items, but they
made good blankets. Shani and Riya were sisters, and they had lived in the Lost
Desert their whole lives, but now their owner decided that it was time for a
change. They were moving to Faerieland, but their owner couldn't afford the
faerie paintbrushes after buying the lost desert paintbrushes and the expensive
land. A place in Faerieland wasn't cheap, and neither was a place in the Lost
Desert. Shani thought that maybe, if they found the Fountain Faerie's necklace,
she would let them use the Rainbow Pool in Faerieland. Even if she didn't, it
was a fun thing to do before they left the Lost Desert.
"Shani, why do we have all this food? Are we
going to live out here? I don't want to stay here! I want to go to Faerieland!"
Riya started to cry.
"No, of course we're not living out here. I just
don't want to run out out here, okay? Don't cry." Shani knew she shouldn't have
let her little sister come along.
"Shani, let me out. I want to go home! I don't
want to go diving in some lake! Let me out!" she wailed.
"It's too late now, Riya. Just be quiet, okay?
The sooner we get there, the sooner we can go back, and your whining is slowing
me down." Finally, the boat was silent. Shani and Riya stared out at the shining
sand of the lost desert and Qasala, which they were amazed by. The crumbling
ruins were beautiful in their own way. As they stared and stared, they hardly
noticed the sun setting in the distance. Suddenly, Shani snapped out of her
"Riya, when I pull up alongside the bank, get
out. Don't run away, please. I need you to help me to pull the boat out of the
water, okay? Then we'll go to sleep." Riya nodded, and stepped out of the boat.
She then helped pull the boat out of the water, and curled up under her cape
and fell asleep. Shani sighed. This was the time of day she loved best, when
the air cooled and the setting sun cast long shadows of the palm trees over
the dunes, and the sand sparkled. She sighed contentedly and fell asleep under
~ ~ ~
"Shani! Shani! Wake up, Shani! I made eggs and
steak!" Shani groaned and rolled over. She wasn't ready to wake up yet. What
was it with little kids and waking up early?
"What?" Shani grumbled, looking around. There,
on a rock, were two red eye eggs and two grackle bug steaks simmering in the
already boiling sun. She groaned.
"Riya, they are already cooked. You don't need
to cook them more!"
Riya's lower lip quivered. "I-I just wanted
to help!" she wailed.
"It's okay, Riya. Just get them off the rock
before they burn and it will be okay." The little Usul grabbed a leaf from a
palm tree and used it to scrape the food off the rock.
"Tomorrow, let me cook." The Cybunny grinned.
Riya managed a small smile. They finished eating, put all of their supplies
in the boat, and continued paddling. They had gotten a late start yesterday,
but they should get to the lake that day, thought Shani. They might also take
an extra day because of the very late start. They passed under the bridge and
came to Tug-O-War, Shani's favorite game.
"HEY!" yelled Ramset, who was playing-and winning-
against a Desert Shoyru. "You can't paddle in the middle of our game! You'll
mess us up!"
"Okay, okay. We'll pull the boat around." So
they got out, pulled the boat out of the water, and dragged it around Ramset.
They then resumed their paddling down the river. They snaked their way down,
and passed Coltzan's Shrine.
"Let's visit the Shrine," said Shani. Riya nodded,
and they pulled the boat out of the water. They walked up to the shrine. Coltzan
appeared, and so did a Pyramicake. They took their food, pushed the boat into
the river and got back in. They continued on. Shani and Riya had their Pyramicake
and some Ptolymelon for lunch as they passed Sakhmet, which was where they lived.
Shani had decided to start at the beginning of the river so that it would be
more of an adventure, and it would delay them from moving, since she loved the
Lost Desert. She was also afraid she was too heavy to sit on the clouds in Faerieland
without falling through. Cybunnies weren't exactly the lightest pets, especially
with all of the desert clothing.
"Look! Look! A lake! Is that where we are going,
Shani?" exclaimed Riya.
"Yep, that's where we are going." Shani grinned.
They had made it- and without Riya falling into the river or running away or
Shani going out of her mind! They passed the Pyramids game and Sutek's Tomb
and before they knew it they were floating on the lake. They paddled the boat
over to shore and pulled it up onto the beach under a palm tree for shade. They
both relaxed for a moment, and then Shani jumped up.
"Okay. Riya, I can't remember. Can you swim?"
"Good. Now, I want you to help me search the
bottom of the lake for a necklace, got it?"
She nodded again, and without hesitation, they
jumped in. The water was cool, clear, and deep, and the bottom was filled with
beautiful, sparkling kelp in all colors of the rainbow. All kinds of seashells
littered the bottom, and the rippling water and the sun cast a pretty pattern
over everything. It was magical. The sand was rainbow, too. It was the most
beautiful place in Neopia, and Shani discovered it right before she moved away.
What convenient timing. Riya dove down and picked up a twirly seashell. When
she brought it up to the light, it sparkled and shone like a precious gem.
"Ohhhh... It's so beautiful!" breathed Riya.
Shani joined her holding a handful of sand, which seemed to be mixed with glitter.
They both dove down again, and when they did, they saw a beautiful necklace
in the shape of a tear in all the colors of the rainbow. Shani picked up, and
the colors around her seemed to fade. When she brought it up to the surface,
all of the color and life in the lake had disappeared.
"Oh no!" gasped Shani. "That's where all the
color came from... The rainbow necklace! We can't take it away! This lake is
too beautiful." So she carefully and sadly replaced the necklace. The lake immediately
burst into color, and it made her happy that the lake would still be beautiful
for anyone to see. But then, what if someone else took the necklace? She then
had an idea. She took the necklace and tied it around a rock that was too heavy
for even a super strong pet to lift. The lake would forever remain in color.
She smiled to herself and returned to the surface.
"Shani, does this mean we won't be painted Faerie?"
asked Riya. "I really wanted to fly!" She began to cry.
"No, Riya, we won't be able to fly, but aren't
you glad that we did the right thing and made sure the lake stayed colorful
forever?" asked Shani. Riya nodded through her tears. "That's the most important
thing. Do you want a scarab cookie?" She took one out of her pack and handed
it to her sniffling sister. With one last look at the lake, she paddled away.
~ ~ ~
"Shani! Riya! I'm going shopping, so why don't
you go explore? Good bye!" Their owner left.
"Let's go, Riya. You've just been moping for
the past few days. Just because you don't have wings doesn't mean it's the end
of the world. Now, come on." Silently Riya followed. They spun the Wheel of
Excitement and won 500 Neopoints. They headed on over to the Poogle Races, but
to get there, they had to pass the Rainbow Fountain. When Riya saw it, she cried
and cried and cried. Shani tried to comfort her, but it didn't help. She was
so loud, the Rainbow Fountain Faerie called them over to ask Riya what was the
"I want to have wings!" she sobbed.
"But you are so pretty without them," said the
"I don't care. I want wings." She clearly had
her heart set on flying.
"Why does she want wings so badly?" asked the
Rainbow Fountain Faerie. Shani explained the trip in the Lost Desert. She was
"You found my necklace! I left it there after
I found the lake to be dead and gloomy. My necklace has water from the Rainbow
Pool in it, so that is why everything in there is rainbow. I'm glad you didn't
take the necklace away, and that you made sure no one could. For that I will
reward you." She swept her arms towards the Rainbow Pool.
"What color would you like to be, Shani? I know
what she wants to be." The faerie gestured over at the little Desert Usul who
was happily imagining flying in the air.
"I'm not sure. I would like to be Faerie, but
I kind of like being Desert," she said.
"Well, you can come back when you've made your
decision, okay?" She waved at them as they made their way to the Poogle Races.
Shani wasn't sure what she wanted to be painted yet, but she was sure she would
make the right decision.
That night, Shani had decided.
~ ~ ~
"Hello again. I have decided that I would like
to be a cloud Cybunny so that I can imagine myself flying among the clouds.
I still want to be able to swim in the rainbow lake, and I'm not sure I can
swim with wings."
The Fountain Faerie smiled. "I knew you would
make the right choice."
Shani stepped into the pool. She slipped under
the cool water and felt lighter and fluffier. When she stepped out, she was
a cloud Cybunny.
The Fountain Faerie smiled at her again. "Now,
Her sister stepped in too, and she came out with
wings instead of a cloak.
"Shani, Shani, I can fly!" Riya exclaimed. The
Usul lifted into the air, and flew around them.
"Thank you so much," Shani said to the Fountain
Faerie. "You made my sister really happy, and I like being cloud."
"Just make sure to tell all your friends to leave
rainbow necklaces they find in lakes alone, and they can look like you!" The
faerie smiled at them, and the two pets flew and hopped away, thinking maybe
living in Faerieland wouldn't be so bad.