An Eternal Season of Giving
The Day of Giving had recently passed, but it was nevertheless getting colder and colder. Shroomsy said that Neopia would soon enter its eighth year. While everyone else was preparing for the new year, buying scarves and hats and winter coats, in an overall good mood despite the weather, there was always one who didn’t follow suit. That one pet happened to be Luna.
Did she care if it was almost zero degrees out? No. Did she care that another year was approaching? No. Did she enjoy all this goodwill and happiness? A thousand times no! It’s quite irritating, actually, Luna thought furiously to herself. Everyone running around the streets, screaming “happy new year” and such.
“Shroomsy, can we please go home?!” the blue Acara begged her owner, rolling her eyes at all of the cheery pets and people window shopping and carrying heavy bags. Luna didn’t think she could possibly take it anymore.
The owner turned and sighed. “Luna, we took a vacation to Neopia Central just for this. And you know we can’t leave until we finish shopping. I need to pick up some gifts.”
The Acara glared at her. “Erm, Shroomsy, I think you’re confusing New Year’s with the Day of Giving. We don’t need presents.”
“Why are you so eager to leave, anyway, Luna?” asked Aliynira, Shroomsy’s yellow Lupe. “It’s not very kind and generous of you.”
“Yeah. We have to get some stuff for everyone to make them remember how great it is to be part of our family, don’t we?” Sparkie added, flapping her yellow Shoyru wings. Aliynira nodded in agreement.
Shroomsy sighed. “They’re right. And besides, Luna, we need to get SG some new winter things.” The ivory Ixi nodded. “But we’ll go home after that,” the owner promised, wishing to accommodate all of her pets’ needs.
Luna snorted. “Fine!” Someone walked past the group, with a shout of “Happy New Year”. And then the Acara just couldn’t take it anymore. She turned and rushed through the crowds (who were obviously shopping for New Year’s gifts, like her deranged owner) away from Shroomsy and her siblings.
“Hey! Luna, get back here!” She could hear Shroomsy’s voice calling after her and the pounding of paws, hooves, and feet, along with the flapping of wings. But the Acara couldn’t stop. She kept running through the streets, oblivious to where she was headed. It didn’t matter. Anywhere was better than with her insane family.
She found herself in the Neopian Bazaar before long. Just then, Luna remembered the two thousand or so Neopoints she was carrying for Shroomsy. She sighed, and pushed open the door to the Smoothie shop.
Inside, the Tuskaninny that ran the place greeted her. “Happy New Year!” he exclaimed. “What can I get for you?”
Luna took a deep breath and ignored the holiday shout. “I’ll have... a Mega Super Lemon Grape Smoothie, please.” She sighed as he pulled out a cup and began blending and preparing the shake behind the counter.
The Tuskaninny slid the finished smoothie across the counter to her. “That’ll be one thousand and fifty Neopoints, miss.”
Despite herself, Luna grinned. She was a better haggler than anyone in her family. “How about eight hundred?”
“Come on, nine hundred and seventy five points for this amazingly high quality item,” he persisted.
Luna shook her head and handed over a small amount more. “Eight hundred and twenty five.”
The shopkeeper sighed. “Nine hundred and thirty- no less.” Luna snorted.
“Eight hundred fifty.”
“Nine hundred and twenty five!”
“Eight hundred sixty five!”
“Eight hundred seventy!”
“Eight hundred eighty five and no lower!”
“Fine. Eight hundred seventy five.”
“Oh, alright. It’s a deal!” He scowled slightly, but this didn’t deter Luna from whatever else she had planned.
Luna smiled, handing over the Neopoints. “Thanks.” Grasping her smoothie, the blue Acara turned and left the shop.
She walked down the street, sipping the smoothie. Apparently, Luna was radiating some type of dark aura- she was the only one not being attacked with shouts of “Happy New Year”. Good. That was what she wanted.
Hearing something in the shadows rustle, Luna turned slightly, still drinking the Lemon Grape goodness that was her smoothie. She caught sight of a mint green ear, and then a tail. Seemingly, there was a pet in the alleyway. For a second, she turned to face the direction from which the movement came, but then snorted and continued walking on.
“Why should I care if there’s a pet outside in the snow? Not my problem. I don’t even know who it is.” Luna sighed, and forced herself to walk by. Why was she having good intentions all of a sudden? This just wasn’t right. She was evil, for Sloth’s sake. She couldn’t be running around helping beggars on the streets. That was Aliynira and Sparkie’s area.
But the longer she attempted to ignore the pitiful figure, the guiltier she felt. Finally, Luna kicked a pebble at the wall of a shop and turned back around. “I hate my conscience,” she muttered.
“Hey. You, on the street corner.” Just because she was helping this pet didn’t mean that Luna had to be all... nice about it. “Why are you out here in the snow? It’s cold, in case you’ve forgotten.”
The pet peered up at her sadly, yellow eyes reflecting some sort of inner pain that couldn’t be expressed in words. For a moment, Luna paused, eyes widening slightly. It was a Gelert, that was clear now. The condition of the poor Gelert was shocking, but it was his response that took Luna aback.
“I don’t really notice the cold anymore.”
Taking a single step back, Luna gasped slightly. “O-oh.” She could already feel her natural hatred dissolving into something like pity. “Um, I’m Lunabelle... Luna. What’s your name, anyway?”
The Gelert sighed. “I’m not sure now,” he admitted softly. “But you can call me Whi. That’s... that’s what everyone used to call me.”
“Well, then... that’s what I’ll call you too.” Luna kicked at the snow. “So, uh, do you have a house to go back to... or an owner? I could take you there...” She trailed off, wondering why she was being so kind to him.
Whi shook his head. “Nuh-uh.”
Luna sighed. Then, making a decision, she abruptly dragged the Gelert to his paws. “Then you’re coming to see Shroomsy.”
He glanced at her, and smiled. “Thank you.” And with that, the Acara and Gelert walked off together through the snow, to a warm, waiting (and frantic) family.
“Nira! Sparkie! SG! Luna! Get ready, we’ve got to go shopping!” Shroomsy’s voice cut through her memories. “Come on, we’re going to the beach!” Ah, yes. Every year when Neoschool let out and summer began, Shroomsy took them to the beach to celebrate.
The Acara grinned slightly and rushed down the stairs after her siblings. “Hey, Shroomsy? Can we bring Whi along this year?”
Her owner raised an eyebrow. Out of all the pets that lived in the house (and that was quite a lot), she only took the four of them out with her... most of the time. “Well... I don’t see why not!” Shroomsy turned and shouted once more up the stairs. “Whi! Get down here! You’re coming with us!”
The green Gelert came hurtling down the stairs. “Really?” Luna couldn’t help but notice how much better he looked now that his coat was clean and his eyes were bright. She could hardly see the hidden pain anymore—but still knew it was there. When Whi turned to her expectantly, knowing that she had had something to do with this decision, Luna simply smiled.
“Yep! Now come on!” Shroomsy walked out the door with Aliynira, Sparkie, and SG in tow. Luna and Whi exchanged a grin and followed them.
Walking through the snow once more with her family, Luna reminisced about the past for the umpteenth time. Glancing over at Whi, her old friend, she couldn’t help but be grateful for the often dormant kindness that she often considered a ‘flaw.’ At times like these, the Acara was glad that she could help another, touch someone’s life—just as she had with Whi on that fateful day. Whether it be winter, summer, autumn, or spring, anyone could do just the same.
At times like these, Luna was thankful for the season of eternal giving that she knew everyone held inside themselves.
Author's Note: Phew! My fourth NT publication! =D Yes, the whole beginning of this story is set in the past. Maybe not too far in the past, but you know. I'd like to thank everyone for this. This little story’s for everyone who I know wanted another. But anyhow, comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated. Good day to you all!