The End of the Rainbow: Part Four
When the three returned home at the end of the day, the two petpets greeted them eagerly, as if expecting that they had gone to get petpet supplies.
Mossiku kept the Blumbuz well hidden behind his back until he was sure that the petpets thought the petpet bed was all the three had purchased. They had done various jobs, but they hadn’t really bought anything else but the petpet bed and the petpetpet.
“Tiny,” Mossiku called as the petpet was going back outside to play. “I got something special for you.” He pulled his hand from behind his back and revealed the glowing creature. Tiny’s eyes grew wide, trying to ask, ‘Is this really for me?’
The bug saw the petpet, happily jumping onto the fur of his forehead. It chirped with content. The Snoogy jumped around excitedly, this time trying to tell his owner ‘Thank You!’
“Don’t tell me, tell Joy.” Mossiku laughed, pointing to his owner. His owner. Had he really just referred to her as that? The more he thought about it, the more he liked this being a permanent arrangement. Tiny snapped Mossiku out of through as the petpet ran up to Joy, repeating his excited jumping.
“Well, you’re quite welcome. I thought it would a nice welcoming gift.” She chuckled, stood up, and walked off.
“So...” Sissy said, skipping around the room. “What do you want to do? We have board games, we could go swimming outside, we could watch the petpets, or really anything within reason... You pick.”
“How about a board game? You pick which,” Mossiku said as Sissy started going through games that were stacked up neatly against the wall.
“Neocheckers! My favorite!” She pulled out the box, opened the game, and the two started setting up the board in the floor beside the sofa.
“I call red!” the Acara exclaimed, taking the red side of the board. Mossiku nodded in agreement, taking a seat at the blue side of the board. “Blue goes first. Best two out of three?” Sissy asked.
“Sure,” Mossiku agreed.
In about an hour, the two had played ten games, Sissy proving to Mossiku a very worthy opponent. They didn’t seem to recognize the score once they got past the first game, since after one lost, both wanted another chance to play.
Joy left about halfway through their eleventh game, saying that a friend was wanting her to see a new petpet that she recently found.
“She’s always socializing with her friends, although she’s not much of a talker,” Sissy explained about their owner. “She normally will take us with her, though. But since it’s late, I understand.”
Mossiku nodded, and they got right back to their game. Soon, the game number lost count, and the two were completely into each round of Neocheckers that they would play. The two petpets even came in to watch, in silence, the competition.
Finally, in a winner-takes-all match, Mossiku came up victorious. It was getting late, and their owner still hadn’t returned.
But, just as Sissy was about to say something on that subject, their owner came through the door, holding a small box in her hand with a smile on her face.
“What did you get? I thought you were going to see a friend!” Sissy asked, running up to the box.
“Oh, no you don’t,” She lifted up the box, just out of her pet’s range. “Yes, I did go see a friend. She was selling this. Mossiku?”
“Yes?” he asked, folding the Neocheckers board up. She motioned for him to come over to where her and Sissy were standing. Quickly, he finished putting up the game and walked over to the duo.
“This is for you.” His new owner handed him the rectangular box. It was no bigger than a board game box, and was very light, but there was evidently something in it. Slowly, he set the box down and opened the lid.
Inside lay a paintbrush; but this was no ordinary paintbrush. Its handle was at an unusual curve, and the brush itself seemed to be crying. It was a gray paintbrush.
“I was telling a few people of your dilemma, and I had a few extra Neopoints saved up, so I took the opportunity to get you this. Consider it a welcome gift.” She nodded, Sissy squealing in delight.
“Thanks. Thank you so much!” Mossiku exclaimed, hugging each member of his new family.
“Let’s go!” Sissy said happily, nearly pulling the two out the door.
“Not so fast!” Joy chuckled. “The Rainbow Pool isn’t open at this hour of the night. We’ll go first thing tomorrow morning.”
“Fine.” Sissy folded her arms across her chest. “But can we get up extra early?”
“If you promise you won’t be tired,” her owner bargained.
“Of course!” the two pets said excitedly. Mossiku knew for sure that he probably wouldn’t get a wink of sleep that night, but he also knew he wouldn’t be tired tomorrow morning. He would be too full of hope and excitement.
The new family soon separated into rooms to fall asleep. Mossiku didn’t feel very tired due to excitement, just like he had anticipated. Tiny was already snoring contently in his new bed. Soon, though, Mossiku was joining his petpet in slumber. It was much later than he would usually go to sleep, but it was still much needed rest.
Early the next morning, it wasn’t Mossiku that was up first, but a Royal Acara that he wondered was more excited than he was.
“C’mon! The Rainbow Pool opens soon!” she yelled, hurrying down the hall. Her owner seemed tired, as well as Mossiku. He tried not to show it, remembering their promise the night before.
The sun had barely poked its head over the horizon when the owner, pets, and petpets got on the ferry to Neopia Central. Normally, the ride never seemed very long to Mossiku. Now, wide-awake and running off of excitement, the ride seemed to drag on forever.
The water lapped gently over the edges of the boat while it glided through the ocean. The group of five seemed to be the only ones on the boat.
“I see the rainbow! We’re nearly there!” Sissy jumped up and down, pointing in the direction of the mainland.
“Is she always this excited when she gets up early? Or are trips to the Rainbow Pool that exciting to everyone else?” Mossiku asked Joy.
“Actually, this is calm compared to last time we went to the Rainbow Pool. When she got painted Royal, she was bouncing off of the walls, and I had to hold her down so she wouldn’t fall of the edge from all of her excitement,” she explained with a giggle. It was then when the Kougra remembered when he had gotten painted gray. He remembered the excitement of before.
This time, though, he was somewhat different. He was being careful of the box in his lap, and although he wanted to jump around, he wanted to make sure that him and his paintbrush made it to the Rainbow Pool together.
The sun had finally coming up, letting rays of springtime merriment sunshine weave through the trees. It seemed all so familiar to Mossiku. It was all like the last time he visited this place.
They entered the gated area, where the rainbow descended into the water. The sections were still marked the same, and Mossiku knew right where to go.
With the box safely tucked under his arm, he led the group to the gray painting area of the pool. The water was the same sparkling blue color that it had been the last time.
It was like déjà vu. When he took out the brush and it hit the water, the blue turned a dull gray color. Mossiku jumped in, feeling his appearance transform for the third time in his time as a Neopet.
He didn’t take near as long in swimming around as last time. He knew he was gray, and he was more excited about looking at his new painting in the mirror than he was about swimming around.
As he exited the pool, the four onlookers, or otherwise known as his family, were all smiles. They were all equally happy for the Kougra.
“How do I look?” he asked as soon as he was fully out of the pool.
“Come see for yourself! Race you to the mirror!” Sissy quickly stated, getting a head start on running to the mirrors lined up along the exit. He peered into it, seeing his former self, but with a smile.
Who said gray pets always had to frown.
Then, another realization hit him. Here he was, his life finally back together, at the end of a rainbow. And he had been wrong. Searching for the end of the rainbow had brought him back to very same spot as where his adventure as a gray pet had begun.
And it had been just as obvious as the last time.