Inside the Wishing Well
The pink ‘A’ collar banged against Meesha’s chest as she ran. The disco Aisha paused a moment by the Kadoatery. She wriggled through the ajar door, facing rows and rows of cages. Kadoaties were mewling wildly in their confinement.
“Hungry, I’m hungry! Feed me!” cried one rainbow kadoatie.
“Please buy me a Diet Neocola!” mewed a pink kadoatie. At that exact moment, the door of the Kadoatery burst open. Meesha yelped in surprise and leapt to the side as a troop of five Neopians sprinted toward the pink kadoatie’s cage.
“Here, here is your Diet Neocola!” the female Neopian gasped, extending the can of liquid to the petpet. The four other Neopians seized her hair and tugged, pushing their way toward the cage. Meesha thought they looked like a pack of brutes, glad that her own owner didn’t act in such a ludicrous and rude manner! The Neopian at the front of the pack opened the cage door and slipped the can of Neocola inside. Eagerly, the kadoatie began gulping.
“Thank you, faerie_luvr99!” the kadoatie cried between gulps. The other kadoaties furiously mewling were soon quieted by the presentation of food. More and more Neopians disappeared out the door with trophies in their hands. Meesha had been plastered against the back wall, watching the spectacle with open eyes. As the minutes wore on, only two kadoaties were left crying and whimpering with hunger. A male Neopian entered once the crowds had subsided. He took one look at the two kadoaties with their requests pinned above their cages and wrinkled his nose.
“Way too expensive for me,” he muttered, leaving the feline-esque petpets more distraught than they had been before. Meesha decided to leave the hectic scene before her stroll through Neopia Central was ruined by their headache-ensuing cries. The doorbell tinkered on her way out. As she walked east, closer to the pink sunset on the horizon, she strolled by a white Grundo whose hand was locked in her owner’s.
“Hello,” the Grundo greeted, waving her free hand at Meesha.
“You too. Nice day we’re having,” Meesha offered, forcing a smile to the Grundo. She wasn’t that much of a socialite. She kept padding onward, after nodding hello to a rainbow Lupe and a Christmas Uni. And then, its roof shimmering in the dying sun, Meesha spotted the Wishing Well. A female Neopian was bent over the well’s walls, eyes shut and hands clasped together. Meesha watched, enraptured. A tiny faerie JubJub fluttered around her owner’s shoulders like a curious moth. Finally, the Neopian released what she held in her hands. A shower of gold coins clattered to the ground of the well.
“We gave what we could,” the Neopian told her JubJub as she walked away from the well. The warm breeze tickled Meesha’s antenna-like ears. She approached the well, though she had no neopoints with her. Her owner kept them all safely in the bank, where they made frequent stops. Meesha hung over the brick edging on the well, looking down into the hazy darkness. There was silence in the air except for the faint sounds of shopping Neopians and exclaiming neopets. The sun’s last rays danced on the soft grass by Meesha’s back paws. The wind shuddered a final sigh and fell silent. Meesha pushed farther out over the gaping hole. She now stood on the tips of her back paws, squinting her eyes, in search of a twinkling coin. Were there piles of donations? Curiosity prompted her to extend her body over the well just an inch more, and then the unthinkable happened. Meesha flipped over the wall. She didn’t have time to scream. Her stomach dropped in her body as she was hurtling into the cold darkness of the well. Suddenly, she hit the cold stone bottom. Humph! Meesha lay on her back, moaning. The impact was painful! But soon the rising panic about how she’d get out overtook the pain of falling such a height. Meesha could see the light of day, slowly ebbing into night, directly above.
“Uh oh,” she whispered, looking for some sort of ladder on the stone walls or foot holes.
“Never fear, welcome to the Wishing Well,” an old and strangled voice whispered from behind. Meesha whirled around to face a craggy old Techo with a gray mustache dripping off his green chin. “If you jumped all the way down here, you must be curious as to what goes on in the Well. Well, follow me. Chop chop!”
“W-well, wait, you... you don’t understand I want to—”
Supposing the old Techo was her only way out, Meesha quickly bounded after him on all fours. There was a dark corridor to the left that she’d missed in her panic when she’d fallen that he led her through. As soon as they entered, Meesha’s eyes had to adjust to the surprising burst of light. A room as big as her entire Neohome lay splayed in front of her. More neopets than she could count were busy working in the room. A jelly Kougra was leaning down to inspect the generous pile of donations donated by a single Neopian.
“A donation of ten thousand!” he called. A few neopets murmured about the remarkable offer. Meesha’s mouth fell agape. Who would’ve guessed that such a tiny well hid a large factory?
“Here is where we collect donations and measure how much we have donated, then we pass on the donations to the Money Tree where quick Neopians can grab their favorite items and of course, bags of neopoints. We get thousands of wishes and donations each day, so we have concluded to only grant four wishes a day.” The Techo paused for a breath, and as he did so, a snow Bruce shouted from the corner of the huge room,
“We’ve got an incoming wish!” A blue Kyrii and a baby Acara hustled over to him. A small piece of paper slipped out of a blue slit in the stone wall.
“Sportychick888, a donator of ten neopoints, is wishing for an island paint brush plushie!” hollered the baby Acara in a high squeaky voice. This was relayed by a chocolate Scorchio to a yellow Poogle who recorded the information. This Poogle sat on a proud wooden desk next to ten other neopets doing the same thing. Meesha quickly leapt out of the way as a red Quiggle pushed a steel cart by. It was loaded with heaps of neopoints. A cloud Gnorbu took the cart from the Quiggle and with the help of a team of fifteen, began bagging all the neopoints into bags of different value. The cart was then taken by a pea Chia to the shadowy, slender well, where the sky was completely dark above. As this was going on, a split Lenny leapt from the back of the room.
“We have the second wish granted of the day! Weixelnator will be receiving her wish of a bottled earth faerie for her donation of six neopoints!” A roar of applause echoed. Meesha stood on her tip toes, trying to get a glimpse of the huge circular machine where thousands of tiny pieces of paper had been whirling around. The Lenny had reached a wing inside and pulled out, randomly, the winning Neopian's information.
“Now you have witnessed the secrets of the Wishing Well,” the old Techo said, putting his hands together and bowing graciously to Meesha.
“Wow, this is... a lot to take in,” she admitted. “I never knew such a thing existed!”
“You learn a new thing each day out in Neopia, young Aisha,” the Techo said.
Meesha nodded. “But, sir um, how should I get out of this well? It’s nighttime, and I’d best be getting back to my neohome. My owner is probably wondering where I am.”
The Techo laughed. It sounded like a rusty door hinge; Meesha winced. “Well, look out the door to the well. Look how the steel cart is being carried. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a ride with one of them.”
Meesha turned, and a relieved smile wove its way onto her pink lips.
“Oh thank you! And thank you very much for giving me this lovely, er, tour.” Meesha took off without so much of a second thought. The steel cart was being raised above her head out of the well with an entire flock of winged neopets. The faerie pets whistled a jaunty tune as they lifted the heavy steel cart. Meesha was surprised they could lift such a heavy weight, even though there was about fifty of them working together, and one leading the way. Once the steel cart was successfully placed above ground—Meesha did not see where it went—the horde of faeries dropped back down to the stone floor.
“Wait! Wait, could someone, um, one of you er, please, give me a lift out of there?”
“Oh definitely!” was a neopet's exuberant answer. A faerie Lupe smiled at Meesha from beyond the others. “Come over here, now where do you need to go? I'd be happy to help you out."
A few moments later Meesha was soaring above Neopia. The faerie Lupe’s front paws were tucked underneath Meesha’s under arms and her disco legs dangled above the city.
“Here you are,” the faerie Lupe said as she dropped Meesha comfortably in her front lawn.
“Thank you so much!” Meesha gushed, inspired by the pet's kindness. The faerie Lupe nodded and immediately swept off into the night, her silhouette illuminated against the bright white stars. Meesha turned on heel and bolted through the unlocked front door of her neohome.
“Hey, everyone, let’s go to the Wishing Well tomorrow!”