A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 110,063,541 Issue: 170 | 19th day of Celebrating, Y6
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One December Evening...

by taipeiss


"Alright Daine," said Jason the Rainbow Shoyru, "roll the die, and we'll figure out how much damage you did against the Devilpuss!"

     Lil_Veralidaine and My_Sweet_Thomas, known to their friends as Daine and Jason, lay sprawled on the floor of the living room as they played another round of Neoquest II. Jay's deep, icy blue eyes sparkled with excitement as he rubbed his hands together, the black cloak he wore swooshing softly as he moved. Daine, however, was not as excited. Her usually brilliantly green eyes now dulled as she stared at the plastic figurine of King Terask that crouched in the middle of the board.

     Jason noticed his little sister's boredom and frowned. "What's wrong, Daine? We've almost beat him!"

     "Jay, it's a weirdo-looking red Angelpuss. I don't care if they named him the Delisammich, because he would still be boring to fight." She sighed softly and stared out the window as blops of soft white danced down the deep sapphire night. "I wanna go outside and play, Jay! You haven't wanted to explore since you came back from the war against Kass. I'm sick of staying inside! I can puke to prove it if you want me to!"

     "Keep your lunch to yourself, Ver. We can't go outside. It's too cold, and Mom hasn't finished her shift at the National Neopian yet." Indeed, it was still another half hour until TaipeiSS, their owner, was to come back home.

     "Jay, I'm eight years old. Eight! And you're like, elevendy. I'm sure it's okay if we go outside and play in our own yard. Plus, we can go exploring! I've always wondered what was past those thick treeses in the gardens."

     "What's past those thick 'treeses' is none of our business. That's Mom's private garden place."

     Daine pouted. "You're no fun anymore, Jay. Pweaaaase come with meee?" The Ixi batted her eyelashes as she widened her eyes, her bottom lip sticking out just a bit.

     "That's no fair!" Jay exclaimed as he suppressed a laugh. "You can't play dirty like that!"

     Daine grinned. "Why, did it work?"


     "Then I guess I can! Come on! Let's go!"

     Jay sighed, then joined his little sister in the donning of coats, scarves, boots, and mittens. In no time, they had bounded out of the front door and through the gardens, stopping to poke holes in a snowman as they passed it.

     "Let's go skating! Let's go skabating! Let's go kasbating!" Daine leapt around in the snow as she spun in circles.

     "Don't test your luck," Jason laughed as he stuck out his tongue, "and anyway, we didn't put on our skates." The Shoyru suddenly jerked around and fell over, an alarmed look on his face. Daine rushed back to him.

     "What's wrong? What happened?!"

     "Ack... a snowflake hit my eye."

     Daine stared at her brother before bursting into laughter and falling into the snow. Jay stood up and glared playfully.

     "What?! It surprised me! Stop laughing! I'm gonna get you!"

     Daine leapt up and sped further into the gardens, Jay at her tail with a nice, sizeable snowball. "You'll have to catch me first," she yelled back. She soon neared the thick line of trees that divided Taipei's private garden plot from the others. Jay and Daine both stopped.

     "You wouldn't," the Shoyru challenged. Daine merely smirked before darting past them. Jay gasped, collected his thoughts, then ran in behind her. Their frenzied pursuit gave them a dizzying view of a pond and some fragrant flowers, along with the towering gazebo that they had to swerve around. Without noticing the change, they had darted through another thick layering of trees and over a bare, snowy landscape, soon speeding through yet more rows of trees.

     The nimble Halloween Ixi darted around towering Heart Fruits and past snow covered Pink Bonsais, twisting and turning a crazy path through their foliage. She soon lurched to a stop as she gasped for breath around giggles. Jay soon came bounding into her, knocking them both into a thick snowdrift where they lay and laughed hysterically for some time. When they finally stopped and collected their bearings, they noticed the sharp stars that scattered over the dark sky. The snow had stopped, but not before bestowing its clear, crisp scent upon the air. Daine looked around.

     "Jay... where are we? Is this part of Mommy's garden?"

     Jay lay against the drift, his eyes squinting as he stared around at the trees. "I... I don't think so, Daine. I can't see our house through the trees, but I know the ones around her plot are closer together."

     Daine's eyes grew large. "Are we... lost?!"

     The Shoyru bit his lip and scratched his head, searching for a calm, reassuring answer. None came. Daine noticed.

     "Oh no! We're lost! We'll never get home," Daine wailed, "and, and the giant Kookith-eating monster is going to come and take us away and we'll have to work in his mines and mine for jelly and we'll be all alone and then he'll use the jelly to take over the world and stop Christymassness from coming and--"

     "DAINE," Jason shouted sternly to cut through his sister's ramblings, "what in Neopia is this giant Kookith-eating, jelly-mining monster?!"

     Daine stopped abruptly and spoke softly around sobs. "I... I dunno. I made him up."

     "Then he can't come to take us, Daine. He doesn't exist."

     "Says you!" Daine scowled.

     "Yeah, says me! What're you going to do about it?"

     Daine smirked craftily as she lobbed a handful of snow into Jay's face and giggled. "I dunno. Something like that."

     Jay spat out his mouthful of snow and laughed. "Okay, now that we're calm, can we start thinking about how we're going to get home? Do we even know where home is?"

     Daine hummed monotonously as she thought for a minute, then pointed in two opposite and obviously arbitrary directions. "That way!"

     Jay cocked an eyebrow at her. "Daine, you have no idea where we are, do you?"

     "Nope. And this snow is crunchy and hurty and coldy." Indeed, the damp from the snowdrift had begun to pervade the thick scarves that the two had wrapped around their necks. Daine sulked as she stared at the palms of her mittens, darkened and beginning to get soggy. A soft light appeared over them, and they began to warm and dry. Daine looked up, half startled. Jay smiled at her, his hand outstretched a bit.

     "Faerie magic. Gotta love it. Now come on, Dainey brain; we've got a home to find." He helped her out of the snowbank and held her hand as they trudged past the trees around them. "I hope this is the right direction," Jay sighed to himself. "It'd better be. Daine trusts me." Indeed, the Ixi plodded next to him with a small smile on her face, apparently amused by the crunching of the snow under them. Jay smiled a bit, then sighed; yes, he had missed playing with his little sister while he was away, but the last thing he had wanted to do was get lost in the middle of a cold forest at night, when they could have been at home finishing decorating for Christmas.

     They had marched for what seemed to be forever when Daine sighed and tugged at his arm. "Jay, I think we're even more losted than were before!"

     The two now stood in a wintery clearing ringed by the thick trees that densely populated the forest. Jay sighed, throwing his head back and staring up. Even the stars, who had at first seemed so naive and uninterested, now seemed to jeer at the two from the higher heavens. They twinkled icily with malicious pleasure as if they dangled a taunt above them. Ha ha, we can see your home and you can't. Jay glared up, then looked around and sighed. "Well, Ver, we could just walk the other way. Maybe,"

     "No!" Daine plunked into the snow and glowered up at him as she crossed her arms. "I'm tired. I'm tired of walking and tired of being cold and tired of being all lost. Use your magimickal powers and make us home right now."

     "Daine, I can't do that. I don't have powers like that. Do you?"


     "Well then. We'll just have to find another way. And sitting there to mope is NOT going to help."

     Daine begin to sniffle as her eyelids fluttered quickly. Jay sighed; making his little sister cry was the last thing he had wanted to do. He sat down next to her and hugged her close. "I'm sorry, Ver. I didn't mean to yell at you. I'm just as tired as you are. Forgive me?"

     Daine nodded meekly. "S'okay, Jay. What do you think we should do?"

     Jay shrugged. "I... I really don't know," he admitted. The silence lasted only a few seconds before a soft, vague ringing shimmered on the air. Jay and Daine both looked up, then gasped.

     Before them hovered what seemed to be a large Faerie Moltenore. The fires and coloring of its body changed smoothly, first from timid, new flames to an impassioned burning blaze, then to softly smoldering embers that faded to a deep and darkened void-like figure.

     "I am the forces of nature. For what reason hath thou infringed upon my domicile?" came an arcane voice to their minds.

     The voices of Daine and Jay's minds sounded in unison. "We're sorry, but we've lost our way and are just trying to get home. Can you help us?"

     The Moltenore nodded as it hovered in the air, then closed its eyes. A swell of a breeze, chillier than the wintery night, swept towards them, a full spectrum of Faerie magic sparkling in their vision. The world around them fell into a smooth orb that swirled around between them and the Moltenore, an emblackened emptiness surrounding them.

     "Beware thine way from hitherforth, and joyous wintery holidays, young ones. Thou hast worried the fair Taipei, but worry not. Thou shalt return to thine home, and this shall turn back and be well again." The voice faded away as a their visions clouded. When they could see again, they stood outside of their front door, Taipei just coming down the street towards their house.

     "Jay," Daine whispered half-fearfully, "the Moltienorie thingie said Mommy was worried, but he'd make it well. Do you think he turned back time?"

     "I... I dunno, Daine, but if he did, I guess we have time to play still. So... what do you wanna do? Wanna still play in the yard?"

     Daine gulped as her eyes grew wide. "Let's go play Neoquest II!"

The End

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