One December Evening...
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
"Says you!" Daine scowled.
"Yeah, says me! What're you going to do about
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
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
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
"Jay," Daine whispered half-fearfully, "the Moltienorie
thingie said Mommy was worried, but he'd make it well. Do you think he turned
"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
Daine gulped as her eyes grew wide. "Let's go
play Neoquest II!"