“What?!? You’ve already done a quest for Illusen today? Are you crazy? She’s so sickly SWEET that I gag when I see her!” Jhudora ranted, as I tapped my blue foot impatiently. I patted my white mane and swished my long, beautiful white tail.
“I thought you were bad! And now I figure out you’ve been seeing ILLUSEN?!?! GET OUT NOW!” screamed Jhudora. I fled her magnificently evil castle and collided with a floating, luminescent body.
“Oh, Katy. It’s only you.” I sighed. I straightened out her green, glowing wing and she ran Illusen’s comb through the tuft of hair below my horn. We always carry around something that the other one might need, because we’re always running into each other-literally.
“Yeah. Came to see Jhudora, but it doesn’t look like he-she’s in a good mood,” corrected Katy. “Money Tree?”
You know what? I’ve been being impolite. I’ve yet to introduce myself to you. Ugh. I cannot believe myself! I’m Faith the blue Uni and I live in Meridell. I go all over Neopia, though. I mean, what’s a girl going to do when she’s done all she can do? Plus, poking the Snowager is fun. One time, I told him he had cooties and he blasted me. Bet he didn’t mean to give me an avatar! I can fool ‘ol Snowy whenever I want to. I love going to Neopia Central and marveling over the beautiful colors I can be painted at the Rainbow Pool. I long to be grey, but I only have 451,366. Grey paint brushes are a lot! No wonder people love grey pets.
Walking down to Neopia Central, I stared longingly at the Neopets I was passing by. I wished I was beautiful like them. I saw a stunning rainbow Zafara pushing a baby Zafara in a stroller. Two laughing, baby Eyries were playing on a swing set while their brown-haired mother eyed them lovingly. Even the small children were painted cute, carefree colors. I sighed when I thought about my pretty brother Remku and his tan colored markings. He was especially magnificently looking without clothes, I decided. Why couldn’t Mommy afford to pay for a paint brush? I pondered over this on my way to the Money Tree.
“Sssssssoooo... would you like to buy a ssssscratchcard?” hissed Sidney. Dr. Frank Sloth himself took out his Meowclops wallet with a little pink bow on the lower left hand corner. That was Frank’s “comfort corner”-where he looked when he was doubtful. He was staring intensely at it now.
“Ssssssooooo...” continued Sidney, reaching for Dr. Sloth’s wallet. Dr. Sloth pulled away and quickly counted out 1,200 Neopoints and shoved it into Sidney’s waiting hand.
“Thanksssssssss...” said Sidney, handing a scratchcard to Dr. Sloth. Dr. Sloth glanced at the card and quickly did a double-take.
An Icetravaganza scratchcard?!?! How did that get there? Dr. Sloth made sure Sidney couldn’t see the card he was scratching or Sidney would surely take it back. Okay, time to scratch off six of these, thought Dr. Sloth, determined. He looked at the jackpot. 11,067,103. Wow. Apparently nobody had won in a while. First square was a blank. The second square... jackpot. Third square was a blank. So was the fourth. Dr. Sloth was losing faith. Then fifth and sixth... and they were both jackpots! He, Dr. Franklin Sloth, future ruler of Neopia, won on a scratchcard! He squealed like a little girl when presented with a bag of new clothes. Or shoes. Or something. Either way, he made a very non-manly shriek when he won. He hurried up to the wintery scratchcard kiosk to redeem it. I mean, it would look very bad if Dr. Sloth turned it in to Sidney. Very, very bad.
“Hi, I won the jackpot?” Dr. Sloth said, giddy with excitement. He shoved the card into the Wocky’s hand. She pulled on a pair of stylish, maroon glasses with square frames and squinted at the card.
“My, we have a winner!” She smiled, handing Dr. Sloth a heaping bag full of Neopoints... and another one... and another one. “I’d suggest putting this in the bank.” She winked. Dr. Sloth ran out and found a trampoline. When no one was looking, he catapulted himself into the clouds.
“I’m back, friends! And I have lots of Neopoints!” he exclaimed, bending down to pat a cloud. “Hello, Arnie. Can you take me to the Trading Post?” The cloud ascended, and Dr. Sloth sat down in a chair made of cloud for the ride.
“Oh Katy, look! Isn’t this Uni modeling the color royal so regal? So stunning? So... so... not me?” I sniffed as tears welled up in the corners of my eyes. I tried to dab at them with the sleeve of my dark princess gown but they wouldn’t go away. I want a paint brush so badly, it’s not even funny.
So don’t think about laughing.
Hey! Stop that! It’s not funny!
You’re such a meany. So stop it. Okay. There.
As I was speaking, Katy was immersed in studying an ice Korbat. I personally think ice pets are cute, just not the best to be around when it’s snowing outside. Katy has a very different opinion. But that’s why they say opposites attract!
Turning her nose up and walking away from the ice Korbat, Katy proclaimed, “Eww. I don’t want to be ICE. I’d MELT. That would be so WIERD. Ugh. So what were you saying again?”
Ignoring her sudden grumpiness, I repeated my words. “I said, isn’t the roy-” I stopped midsentence because a coin had hit me on the head. And suddenly, it was raining coins. Falling from the sky and conking me on the forehead. Just what I needed! I scooped up the precious Neopoints and rested them carefully in my bag I had slung across my side. Luckily, it was the time of day where no one was in the Rainbow Pool. This time was lunchtime, the time Katy and I always came. Sure, we got lunch a little late, but we had the Rainbow Pool all to ourselves. And now we had these Neopoints all to ourselves.
“But we just left the Mooooneeeeeeyyyy Treeeeee! This should’ve happened therrrreeeee! What a waaaaasssstttteeeeee!” Katy complained, bobbing up and down midair with her short arms crossed defensively across her chest.
“Be quiet, Katy, and help me!” I ordered, grabbing more and more handfuls. I was sure to get a paint brush now. Reluctant and pouting, but still obeying, Katy started gingerly picking up Neopoints and dropping them in my sack like they were filthy worms. When the currency rain had stopped, I snapped up the remaining scattered Neopoints. By this time, the bag was stuffed.
“Sorry to leave early, Katy, but I have to go count this stuff. I’ll be back later, ‘kay?” I hurried off, eager to count the Neopoints I had just acquired. She shrugged and flittered into the garden outside of the Rainbow Pool.
“Say, Archie? Heard any good stories lately?” Dr. Sloth had started a polite conversation with his cloud and was impatient to end it. Listening intently, the cloud shivered and then Dr. Sloth clapped.
“Oh, what a great story, Archie! Such a happy ending!” So caught up in his glee, Dr. Sloth didn’t notice the Neopoints spilling out of the bags until it was too late--when he was at the bank. So much for his riches! But there was hope for someone else...
“Eight million, one hundred thousand, thirty-nine, eight million, one hundred thousand, forty, and eight million, one hundred thousand, forty-one!” I finished counting with a flourish. How nice it was to be rich. What an amazing feeling. I wish I’d had it before. But at least I have it now.
“First things first, I need my grey paint brush,” I muttered to myself. I hurried off to the Trading Post in search of a grey paint brush. But when I got there, things didn’t exactly go as planned. I’d never been there before, but a nice lady dressed in a smock helped me out. I found the paint brushes fine, sure--but I didn’t know you couldn’t bid more than 800,000 Neopoints on one lot! Grey paint brushes are surely more than that. One lot asked for “800k pure and 3.2 mil ets”. What’s ets? I wondered. I decided to ask the nice apron-lady.
“Excuse me, miss?” I said, approaching the woman. Her blonde hair flowed down her back. She was definitely not a Neopet. “What is ets?”
She chuckled, which made me wonder if I had asked the wrong question. I must have had a puzzled look on my face, as she stopped laughing and started explaining. “Ets means easy to sell. That means they want items that they can easily sell in their shop or in their trades for more Neopoints.” She smiled at me. “Here, I’ll help you get some.”
I noticed she had a name tag pinned to the lapel of her collared, white blouse that said “Nancy”. Nancy led me to the paint brushes called baby.
“These paint brushes sell for around 590,000 Neopoints each,” she explained. “They’re in very great demand, so they are considered easy to sell. How much Neopoints in easy to sell items do you need?”
“I need three-point-two mill,” I informed her.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll leave you here. Bid 590,000 Neopoints on six baby paint brushes. That means you have 3.6 million neopoints in easy to sell items, so you only need to bid 400,000 actual neopoints on your lot.”
“How did you know how much I was going to bid on the lot?”
“Well, usually people ask for 800,000 Neopoints 'pure' and then ask for easy to sell items for the rest.”
“Oh, I get it now,” I said, not really understanding. Oh well--I could learn it later. I got accepted on all the lots, hurried back to the grey paint brush, and quickly bid on it. While I was waiting, I sent a Neomail to Katy. It read,
Hi! It’s me, Faith. So I’m waiting to be accepted or rejected for a grey paint brush. I actually had a lot of Neopoints. Like eight million!! But you know that being painted grey is totally my dream, right? Well, I might get it! I’m so happy. Please neomail me back.
I clicked send and then refreshed to check on the lot. I almost missed the icon, but there it was. Unmistakable. It said I had been accepted! I rushed to my inventory to see the paint brush. It was beautiful. I tap-danced almost all the way to the Rainbow Pool.
Standing in front of the Painter, I took a deep breath. Did I really want to do this? Did I really want to be grey? Yes. Yes, I did. I stepped in, closed my eyes, and got painted. I stepped out of the stall a few minutes later freshly painted. I stood in front of the provided full length mirror... and I was beautiful. I looked like all the other pretty Neopets I had seen walking to the Money Tree with Katy. I was perfect!
“You did a quest for JHUDORA?!? I can’t BELIEVE YOU! Jhudora is EVIL! Why would you HELP HER?” shrieked Illusen. I fled the castle, my shiny grey tail swatting away all her helpless, frustrated words.