Three Wishes: Part Ten
“It’s funny how everything seems the same, even though everything’s completely different. Well... I guess the rest of Neopia has no idea that there’s actually a Princess of Sakhmet, not a Prince. But still... it’s all so weird.”
Sylkon rolled his eyes at Ko’s continuous talk. But in truth, it was actually a relief to hear him talking non-stop, as he had done before. Only before Sylkon had found it so extremely annoying. He had found Ellie annoying because she did what needed to be done, and Ophir because she didn’t talk at all. But now it was quite comforting, everything they did.
They passed through the gates of Sakhmet without incident, probably because they had a Desert citizen with them. Not a particularly smart-looking citizen, it had to be admitted from his torn clothes and snagged fur, but a citizen all the same.
It had taken a day’s trek across the desert, and Sylkon had noticed that there were a lot more pets moving about than there had been when they first moved to the Desert. It must have been the declaration of the war. Troops gathering and all that. But he was going to put a stop to that.
“Anyone hungry?” Ellie asked.
“Not really,” Sylkon said. “But do you think we could still go to our new neohome?”
Ophir exchanged a look with Ellie. “Maybe,” she said slowly. “It’s not like that would have changed at all. Why?”
“I need to look respectable if I’m going to reinstate myself as Prince.” He saw their shocked expressions, and hastily added, “So I can get into the Palace, pretending to be, well, me.”
Ophir nodded with understanding, and they changed their route. After a few minutes’ walking they reached the grand marble structure. Ellie opened the door with her key and they stepped inside. No other pets or people to confront them. That was a good sign.
Sylkon locked himself in the bathroom and washed himself down in the bath, before heading up to his room and changing into new clothes. He was gratified to see that Ko had had the sense to change his as well, and Ellie had brushed the snags out of her coat. Ophir didn’t need to do much, as her fur was short.
They met in the kitchen, and Ko, being the only one with an appetite, was wolfing down a sandwich.
“Do you think we can come with you?” Ellie asked.
“Ko can come, because he’s a desert pet, but I’m not so sure about you two.”
“We can come after you, pretending we’re seeking audience with the Prince.”
“That would work. Wait...” Sylkon tapped his hoof on the table. “I could try getting us all through the windows. I think I could lift you all up.”
“You mean... with magic?” Ko’s eyes were wide.
“No way,” Ophir said. “Kaus were never meant to fly.”
“You won’t be flying as such... Well, maybe you will be. But it’s the easiest way. We can all get in without attracting attention.”
“And flying through a window is so not going to attract attention,” Ellie said sarcastically.
“Don’t worry. I’ll set up a distraction on the other side of the Palace.”
Ellie sighed and leant against the table. “It could just work,” she murmured. “Ko?” He nodded and tried to say something, but Ellie held up a paw. Sylkon could relate; it really wasn’t pretty watching someone talk with food in their mouth. “Ophir?”
The striped Kau nodded, looking pale.
“Good,” said Sylkon. “Shall we go now?”
“I don’t see why not,” said Ophir.
“Mumph,” said Ko, and grinned.
“Don’t talk or make any sound,” Ellie told him, poking him in the ribs. “It’s disgusting.”
Sylkon could just see him refraining from sticking his tongue out.
The walk to the Palace took less than half an hour, and soon they were staring up at a wide balcony. Sylkon knew it was the balcony to his temporary bedroom. As he readied himself to use magic, he heard Ellie ask him a question.
“So what are you planning to do?” she asked.
He paused, breathing deeply to calm himself. “I’m going to make a wish that all my wishes were reversed.” He didn’t add that he wanted them all to remember what they had been through. He couldn’t stand being left out of the family again. Only now was he beginning to feel part of a team.
He lifted his head and ignited a flame, which grew until it had a diameter of half a metre. Then he tossed his head and sent it spinning into the air, arching over the Palace, and hopefully landing in one of the courtyards.
As soon as he had sent it off he, braced his legs apart. “Be ready,” he said loudly. Then he flapped his wings strongly, and projected his senses to push forwards and up, up to the balcony.
He saw Ophir lift first, her hooves flashing wildly, Ellie rising with her forelegs spread wide like wings, Ko doing a perfect summersault before he stoped spinning and his limbs fashioned themselves gracefully, almost like he was posed mid-step. Then they were all dumped unceremoniously onto the balcony. Ophir looked dizzy with relief, leaning against the rail.
Sylkon heaved himself upwards and after several large flaps he landed beside them, folding his wings.
“Are we all okay?” he asked.
They nodded, except for Ko, who was already through the thin curtains and into the room. Sylkon cursed and ran after him.
“What if there’s someone in... here... al... rea... dy...?” His voice trailed off as his eyes fixed themselves on the lamp. Almost in a daze he started forwards, his hoof outstretched to snatch it from its pedestal. His hoof was centimetres away. Then:
“Guards! Intruders in my room. Deal with them at once!”
There was a pattering of paws and hooves in the doorway, and then half a dozen pets burst into the room. A gust of wind knocked Sylkon backwards, his hooves screeching on the polished floor. He saw the guards pile onto Sylkon, then Ellie tear the curtains down and pull them off, with Ophir’s help.
Then he saw Maleficus.
The Genie, in royal Uni form, waved a hoof lazily at Sylkon, but Sylkon was ready. He thrust his head forward, sending back a counter-wind, but also succeeding in blowing Maleficus apart. He reformed again, the smoke solidifying, but the damage was already done. Two of the guards had seen.
“He’s a fake,” Sylkon roaraed at them. “Get him!”
They rushed forwards without hesitation, giving him the distraction to lunge for the lamp.
Maleficus sent the guards crashing into the wall with varying dgrees of concussion and turned on Sylkon. Then he froze as he was the lamp clutched determinedly in his hooves.
“The game’s up, Maleficus,” Sylkon snarled.
“Not quite,” the Genie spat back. It was bizarre, seeing as the Genie looked identical to himself. “If you put me back in the lamp, I’ll always find another foolish pet to set me free again. Even you can’t destroy the lamp with your newfound powers.”
“But I can try,” Sylkon replied calmly. He fized his eye firmly on Maleficus. “Now there’s the matter of my last wish.”
Maleficus snarled and changed into a desert Draik, white lightning flashing across his paws. It arched across the room, and Sylkon ducked, but then he realised that it was heading straight for his siblings!
Quick as a flash he extinguished the burning light, but he knew that he couldn’t protect them and make a wish at the same time. He took a step forward and slashed the lamp through Maleficus’ chest. He howled and dissolved into smoke, giving Sylkon the chance he needed. Keeping the lamp pressed up against Maleficus, backing him up agains the wall, he spoke.
“I wish... I wish that all my wishes were reversed, but that my siblings and I remembered what had happened...” he hesitated, then ploughed on. “And...”
His voice was lost in the howl of outrage from Maleficus as there was a flash and his vision faded. But he still got the third part of his wish in.
“Hello! Anybody home?” Frosti’s cheerful voice bounded around the marble walls of the neohome. She strode into the room followed by the furniture moving pets, carrying the rest of their belongings.
Ellie popped her head out of the kitchen, grinning widely. “Hey Frosti!” she called. “We’ve made lunch for you, if you want some.”
Frosti went into the kitchen... and dropped the box she was carrying onto her foot.
Sylkon stood by the stove, a fake chef’s hat set at a jaunty angle on his head. He was tossing food around in a frypan, flipping it up high and catching it again.
“When did you learn to do that?” Frosti asked, her eyes watering from the pain in her foot. And since when did you cook? What about your clothes?
Sylkon sent her a huge grin. “You’ll never know.” Ellie scowled at him, for some reason, ad he began whistling. “Alright, it’s ready,” he said after a few moments, flicking off the stove and placing it on the bench. “Ko, bowls!”
The desert Lupe scrambled to the cupboard and pulled out the crockery, then laid cutlery beside it. Ellie picked up a large spoon and began to dish it out while Sylkon cleaned his hands on a tea towel.
I leave them at home for a few days... and now they suddenly work together as if they’ve been doing this all their life? Wow, I should do that more often. Frosti shook herself and sat down beside Ophir, who was sketching a picture of Sylkon.
“That’s nice,” Frosti said. “It’s actually quite good.”
“Thank you.” Ophir beamed. “I thought I’d try something different. It’s been really boring here since you were gone.”
Ko spluttered over a particularly large piece of food. Or that was what it looked like. He returned to his food quickly, though.
“So nothing happened?” Frosti asked, unable to believe it. Something must have happened to make them get along so well. And Sylkon actually looked a bit ruffled. He usually looked immaculate.
After lunch Frosti oversaw the arrangement of their belongings. All four of her pets disappeared, and she couldn’t blame them. But she did wonder where they had gone.
Outside Ko let out a sigh of relief. “I’m so glad we managed to fix everything up before she came home.”
“Me too,” Ellie agreed.
Ophir was walking up ahead with Sylkon. “And just where exactly do you think you can hide that?” she asked him.
“I’ll show you, but we have to go out of Sakhmet, into the open desert,” Sylkon replied.
They passed though the gates and Sylkon breathed in deeply, glad that there was no longer and threat of war. He pulled the lamp out from his coat and held it up to the light as they continued to trek.
“You won’t get out again,” he vowed to the glinting metal.
They stopped between two towering sand dunes, and Sylkon nodded. “This is the place. Stand back.” He blushed a little bit. “I just thought I’d mention... I kept my magic powers. I wished to keep them.”
Ophir’s eyes narrowed, and Ko frowned. Ellie lay down on the sand. “I could tell by the way you could suddenly flip food in the fry pan without spilling a single morsel, and the way you don’t seem to need to lift anything anymore. It was kinda obvious. But there’s nothing I can do.”
Sylkon was surprised at her accepting reaction. “But it’s up to you to be responsible for your powers.” She fixed him with a stare.
He nodded. Then he placed the lamp on the ground and paced away. He forced the sand to pile on top of the lamp, then he used his fire magic and heated the grains up until they were white-hot and melding together. As soon as the grains had joined into a huge lump of stone, he cooled it off. The result was a lump of gold rock, two metres in diameter.
“I don’t think anyone will be getting through that soon,” he said, happy with the result. Then he led the way up one sand dune. When they reached the top her forced the other dune to collapse on top of it, hiding it away completely.
“Do you really think that will stop him?” Ko asked, looking a little awed by the magic.
“Maybe. For a few more hundred years at least,” Ophir said. “But who knows?”
“No one’s going to dig through the entire Lost Desert. Besides, I don’t think anyone knows about the lamp besides us.”
“True.” Sylkon nodded. “I think everything’s fine now. Let’s go home.”
In the middle of Neopia Central, a paw came down heavily on a thick book, faded with age. The pet that had knocked against it bent down and picked it up, reading the title.
“Genies: Types, Origins, Powers,” she murmured to herself. “I think I’ll keep this.” She tucked it into her bag and walked away down the street, whistling happily.
Author’s Note: I really hope you enjoyed this, because I enjoyed writing it. If you have any comments, please neomail me. :D