Not Just Any Aisha, THE Desert Aisha
Kara was never really known for anything. She was an Aisha, but so were many other Neopets. She was good at games, but never good enough for other Neopets to really acknowledge her. When she informed her owner of this, in a sad, dejected way, her loving owner saved for weeks and then bought Kara a paint brush. That was when everything changed.
The paint brush was a gift Kara had received from her owner on account of the Month of Celebrating. It was a Lost Desert one, and upon getting the present Kara carefully twirled it in her hands.
"This is a nice color," she told her owner, truthfully. Kara enjoyed going to the Lost Desert, and it wasn't only because of the presence of the Coltzan's shrine and the Fruit Machine. She loved spending her few Neopoints on the Qasalan Delights that she could purchase there and testing her strength during Tug of War competitions.
But even Kara's love for the Lost Desert wouldn't deter her from immediately going to the Rainbow Fountain with her owner and getting painted as soon as she could.
When they arrived at the fountain, her owner held the brush. "Here goes..." she told Kara, and soon after, Kara was a Desert Aisha. She quickly admired herself in the clear fountain water, at the gold she wore and the light blue eye shadow.
Kara decided that she looked better than royalty. On the way home, she wondered if anyone at Neoschool would notice the change in color. And boy, did they notice.
Almost all of the students thought Kara was a new student. They admired her color, and asked her name, where she went to Neoschool before. Kara would tell them that she wasn't new, and after being scrutinized by other Neopets, they would take her word for it.
While eating her turkey packed lunch, a green Blumaroo approached Kara. He had been staring at her all day, and Kara was just about ready to approach him first and ask what was wrong. Finally, he opened his mouth, "Hey... you're the Desert Aisha!"
Kara shrugged. "Yeah... I'm a Desert Aisha." His exclamation surprised her, but she didn’t think much of it and continued eating.
"No..." He threw up his arms in excitement. "You're not just any Aisha. You're THE Desert Aisha! The one who helps run the Fruit Machine!"
"That's not me!" Kara protested. "There are a lot of other Desert Aishas besides her."
The two Neopets exclamations made a crowd of more Neopets gather to watch what was going on.
"You do look like her," a yellow Jetsam pointed out.
"And we've never seen you before," a Fire Acara added. "You just showed up today."
"I said I wasn't n—"
Kara ceased her next comment, and stared at the crowd around her. She had never gotten this much attention before when she was a blue Aisha. No one recognized her or even acknowledged her most of the time. She liked the attention, and since no one seemed to know her beforehand, she didn't think it would hurt to play along.
"Fine, you got me," she told the other Neopets. "I'm THE Desert Aisha." She grinned at them triumphantly.
Before one could say 'Sakhmet,' her fellow Neopets burst with questions.
"Can you introduce me to the Kau and Elephante you work with? How are they like?"
"How are you going to work at the Fruit Machine and be at school at the same time?"
"How come I never win the Fruit Machine? It's always YOUR fault!"
Kara stood up and put up her hands. "Listen, everyone! I'll answer all of your questions... just ask them one at a time. I'll be here every day and you can ask me."
Her peers quieted down and soon after a few questions got in a teacher called the students in.
Kara was bothered by others at Neoschool all day. Positive and negative things were said to her as she walked down the halls. But she didn’t care. She was practically a celebrity.
When the day was over and all of the other Neopets left, Kara eventually left to give herself a little space. What haunted her was that sooner or later her classmates would find out that she was not the Desert Aisha they thought she was.
Once Kara had come home from Neoschool, she immediately tried to think up a way for Neopets and their owners to not go to the Fruit Machine in the days to come... at least until her secret was discovered. Everyone from school went there and would be asking the real Desert Aisha things she probably had no idea about.
Early in the morning, Kara left to go to the Lost Desert and talk to the ones who ran the Fruit Machine.
The Desert Kau and Elephante curiously looked at her as she ran in. "Um... ready to play?" the Kau asked the panting young Aisha.
"Um... no. I was just going to ask a question—but where's the Aisha, by the way?"
"She's on vacation at the AstroVilla," the Elephante told her. "She just recovered from Neogitus and we're waiting for the replacement for the time being."
'Perfect timing!' Kara thought. "Well... can I be the replacement?"
"You?" the Elephante asked. "A random Neopet we don't know?"
"Yeah," Kara confidently said.
"No," the Kau confirmed.
As if on cue, two Neopets she knew, a Starry Quiggle named Sam and a Desert Kougra named Millie, arrived. Ones that were probably expecting her to be in the center, running the machine.
"It's you!" the Quiggle from school exclaimed. He hopped in excitement. "I knew you were her!"
"What are you talking about?" the Kau asked the Neopet.
"We found out she was the Desert Aisha yesterday at Neoschool. She's a new student," they continued to explain.
"WHAT?!" Both Kau and Elephante exclaimed. "You're going around claiming that you're the Aisha we work with?" the Elephante asked.
'Oh no...' Kara thought, in contrast to her previous thought. "No! That's not how it started! You see, someone thought—"
"But you still claimed that you were the Desert Aisha," the Desert Kougra from school said, confused. "I thought you were."
"Well she's not," the Kau told them. He turned to Kara. "You may think so, but impersonating a member of this organization is not funny. It causes disruption in all of Neopia to the ones who want to spin this thing fairly. Now, let us wait for the real replacement in peace.”
“I’m sorry,” Kara mumbled.
“Good day,” the Kau told her.
Kara sighed and glanced at the two Neopets from Neoschool. The Desert Kougra looked at her sympathetically and looked away. Kara quickly left afterwards. She was embarrassed and ashamed, and her lie and little "game" lasted for less than a day. What was worse, was by the time she got home, her owner had already known the news. News seemed to spread quickly in Neopia.
"Lying is bad enough," her owner immediately told Kara after she had arrived home, "but lying to gain popularity is even worse. I think you were better off when barely anyone knew you."
"I do too," Kara sadly agreed. It was funny how one lie could make her from a unknown Neopet to someone everyone knew about. And for such a bad reason!
"So do I get to keep my color? After what I did?" she asked.
"Yes." Her owner sadly smiled. "It was your present. But you have to confess to the rest of your classmates and refrain from playing the Fruit Machine for two weeks—especially the punishment with the Fruit Machine."
Kara smiled back, but sighed only a little later. It was going to be hard to confess to those Neopets.
At lunch however, when her classmates approached her, Kara was prepared.
"As most of you know... I'm not the Desert Aisha who you think I am." She looked away from many scowling faces and continued. "It's not fair to the real one, or any other Desert Aishas that didn't get the fame I did when they could have done the same thing, but they didn't. I'm sorry about tricking you all."
"It's all right," Millie spoke up. "If I was in your situation I would have done the same thing."
"Really?" a Faerie Ixi questioned her.
"Um... no. Not really."
"I guess we forgive you," the green Blumaroo spoke up. "It was my mistake in the first place, and if I wasn't so loud or bothered you this wouldn't have happened."
Other Neopets nodded in agreement. Lunch ended, and when school was over Millie and the green Blumaroo approached Kara.
"Do you want to walk home with us?" Millie asked her.
"Sure," Kara happily said.
"I'm Mark, by the way," the green Blumaroo mentioned on their way. "I feel left out, though, since you're both Desert."
"We can always try to earn you a Lost Desert Paint Brush," Kara suggested.
"Really?" the Blumaroo piped up.
"Yes. And as a matter of fact," she added, as they turned towards her Neohome, "I'm pretty good at playing games."
The real Desert Aisha is healthy and running the Fruit Machine, serving Neopians everyday. Thanks for reading my story!