Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 157,654,463 Issue: 272 | 29th day of Celebrating, Y8
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A Very Feepit Christmas: Part Two

by rainpaint


Back downstairs in the kitchen, Athena was helping Elspeth wash the dishes - and gathering up the courage to protest the situation. Athena opened her mouth to plead her sister's case but, catching a glimpse of her owner's face, closed it again. She had enough sense to recognize that was the end of it; there was no changing Elspeth's mind once she got that determined look. Plus, the Faerie Peophin didn't want to end up being punished as well. Although it's not going to be any fun going without Cadmium, she grumbled inwardly.

      "So, Athena, what's your reaction to the situation?" Elspeth turned to her Faerie Peophin, delicate hands dripping with soap bubbles.

      Do you really want to know, El? The Faerie Peophin knew it was just a ploy to get her to agree with her owner. Despite her true thoughts, Athena's good sense prevailed. She paused for a minute to scrape up the right response. With all her heart, she wanted to tell the truth; yet she did not want to say anything that would be a betrayal of her sister. "Um, well..." Really intelligent response, Athena. Shaking her head, she continued. "I wish that Cadmium had just done what you wanted her to in the first place, but I understand that she gets a little...distracted sometimes. But she really meant well, El! Really, honestly, and truly she did! She was so excited to get upstairs after dinner last night and start her Christmas list!" Athena realized she was using an abnormal amount of exclamations, but Elspeth didn't seem to notice. The Faerie Peophin held her breath for one hopeful minute, then let it out when her owner turned back to her, the same expression hardening her pretty features.

      "And what do you think of the manner in which I punished her?" Elspeth demanded, a soap bubble clinging to one of her coffee brown curls.

      Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Athena gritted her teeth, then sighed. "I think she deserves it," Athena murmured, shrugging her sweater-clad shoulders. No matter how much she wanted the Royal Aisha to accompany her to collect the Advent prize, Athena knew deep down inside that Cadmium deserved her sentence. Besides, that wasn't the first time the Royal Aisha had gotten so excited about something that she'd forgotten what she'd been told. Just two weeks ago, their class had decided to throw a party. Cadmium had immediately volunteered to bake the cake (which translated to getting Elspeth to make it), but as soon as she'd gotten home, the Royal Aisha had gotten a scratchcard through a random event and had immediately run to the Lost Desert to scratch it off. In the chaos, she had completely forgotten to ask Elspeth to make the cake or buy one from the store; their class had ended up eating canned pears that the kind cafeteria owners had scrounged up for them. Needless to say, they hadn't been very happy with the Royal Aisha and had made life at school quite miserable for her for about a week.

      "Good girl. I knew you'd understand. As long as she behaves herself and does a good job assisting me in the shop today, you both will be able to go tomorrow. We just need to nip this little problem of hers in the bud, eh?" Elspeth gave her a friendly punch.

      "Eh," Athena agreed weakly, returning the gesture. She finished washing her share of the dishes and went upstairs to prepare for her long trek to Happy Valley. Upon reaching her room, she heard Cadmium singing and dancing to "Bludolph the Green-Nosed Reindorf." I really shouldn't interrupt... But she opened the door anyway.

      "Then all the Reindorfs loved him-" The opening of the door startled the Royal Aisha, and she whirled around, brandishing a hairbrush. "HEY! CAN'T A DANCING AISHA HAVE A LITTLE PRIVACY?" a blushing Cadmium hollered from her precarious perch atop one of the bedposts.

      "Not when you share a room. But you can keep dancing anyway," Athena giggled, helping the Royal Aisha down.

      "No, that's really okay." Cadmium hastily switched off the speaker. "So, you're going to get the Advent prize without me while I have to work in 'Elspeth's Shop of Dreams Come True.' Don't have too much fun." Seeing Athena try to speak, Cadmium held up a paw. "Don't feel sorry for me, either. I deserve this. I should've just washed the jug like she asked me to." The Royal Aisha shrugged as she tied a kerchief on her unruly hair. Glancing at herself in the mirror, she gave an approving nod.

      "Wow, Cadmium's not holding a grudge. What happened to you while you were up here getting ready?" Athena asked, taking a sip of mouthwash and gargling.

      "Christmas happened, that's what," Cadmium called over her shoulder as she walked down the hall to join a waiting Elspeth.

      "Huh?" Having spat out the mouthwash, Athena ran to the railing. "What do you-" But the slamming of the front door told her that the two had already left. Sighing in resignation, Athena returned to her bedroom and finished getting ready. As she slipped on her coat at the door, a shiver of excitement traveled up and down her spine. I'm going to get the Advent Prize! Humming a carol, she skipped down the sidewalk, receiving amused glances from passersby.


      That night after dinner, Cadmium and Athena met up in their room to discuss the day's events. Sipping hot apple cider and flipping through holiday-themed books, the two made a pretty picture in the evening light. Tiny snowflakes fell outside, visible only in the faint glow of the street lights.

      "So, how'd it go at the shop today? You and Elspeth sure didn't talk that much at dinner." Athena paused between flipping the pages of her book to take bites of the white chocolate igloo, that day's Advent prize.

      "Too tired. There must have been a thousand people at the shop today!" A mischievous gleam dancing in her eyes, Cadmium dunked a piece of chocolate in the hot apple cider and took a sip of the melted mixture.

      "Cadmium! That's repulsive." But curiosity overcame the Faerie Peophin, and she too tried dipping a chunk of chocolate into her drink. "Hmph, dash' no haf bad," she mumbled with her mouth full.

      "Talk about repulsive! Aren't you glad El's not here to correct your manners. Speaking of El, what're we getting her for Christmas?" Cadmium shuddered. "Not another 'How-To' book."

      Last year, the two had gotten their owner a book on how to make glue. Always one to save money, Elspeth had loved the idea of creating their own adhesive mixture. The day after Christmas that year had been "glue-making day." Three hours after they had begun, they were all three in the emergency clinic - Elspeth to have glue removed from between her fingers, Athena to have her tail unstuck from her right hoof, and Cadmium to have her antennae pried apart.

      "Definitely not. How about..." her voice trailed off as she absent-mindedly twirled a lock of silvery-white hair around her hoof. "We could draw her something. I mean, she did frame one of my pictures for her desk at the shop."

      "Let's not forget that not all of us are brilliant artists," Cadmium pointed out as she gestured towards her drawing notebook, which was filled with abstract doodles and stick-figures.

      "Yeah. So how about I do a painting for her and you..." Her hoof fluttered in the air, as if that would help her think of something for Cadmium to give Elspeth. "How about you just buy her something?"

      "Good idea. I'll get her self-cleaning dishes! That'll make all our lives more pleasant." Cadmium grinned. "But wasn't it convenient that the incident this morning kept us from having a 'talk about your feelings meal'?"

      "Cadmium!" Athena gasped. "Did you do that on purpose?" She tossed a pillow at her sister.

      Cadmium's green eyes glittered. "I would never do something so malicious." She gave her cutest smile and smacked Athena in the head with another pillow. An all-out pillow war broke out. Shrieking joyfully, the two leaped from bed to bed and whacked each other with their pretty pink pillows. The sound of creaking stairs interrupted their fun. They swapped panicked glances and jumped down from their beds, straightening the covers and returning to their former spots on the floor. A firm knock on the door told them they'd been just in time.

      "Cadmium, Athena, I've been thinking," Elspeth began, coming into the room. She sat down on the edge of Athena's bed and continued. "I know I said you could both go to get the Advent prize tomorrow, but..." Her voice trailed off, and she actually looked nervous.

      "But what? Go on, El." Despite her encouraging words, Athena's stomach churned with worry.

      "Well, Cadmium was such a wonderful help in the store today, and I cannot afford to hire an assistant." She fiddled with the tassels on one of the pillows that had, just seconds before, been used as a weapon. She took a breath, and all her words came out in a rush. "I thought you two could alternate helping me in the shop and going to get the Advent prize. During the holiday season, it's just so busy, and I cannot usually handle it all by myself, and..." Elspeth caught her lip between her teeth. "It was fun having one of you there." She gave a sheepish smile.

      "It was?" Athena asked incredulously.

      "Well, yeah, kinda." Cadmium admitted. "We made up names for the customers-"

      "Remember that one? 'Snuffles Huffystuffypants?'" Elspeth giggled.

      Cadmium gave a snort of laughter. "Oh, yeah. He didn't stop sneezing the whole time he was in the shop! His pet kept handing him tissues until Snuffles sneezed all over him! After that, you'd think he would have bought a paintbrush for the poor Techo."

      "But he didn't?" Now Athena was intrigued. Elspeth is laughing! This might be worth it...

      "Nope. He went outside and sneezed himself into the big Christmas tree near the Wishing Well," the Royal Aisha recalled. By the time Elspeth and Cadmium had finished regaling the Faerie Peophin with tales of their day, the two pets, their sides aching from laughter, agreed to try out Elspeth's proposition. After all, Athena thought, anything that gets Elspeth to laugh like that is worth trying. She smiled sleepily as the sweet sound of her owner's laughter echoed in her mind.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» A Very Feepit Christmas: Part One
» A Very Feepit Christmas: Part Three
» A Very Feepit Christmas: Part Four
» A Very Feepit Christmas: Part Five

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