Many people asked for a sequel to my series about Molly, so here it is. I hope you like it. Please feel free to neomail.
“What a day,” sighed an orange Grundo, flopping down onto a soft chair in front of a fire. “Everyone has been doing their last minute Christmas shopping. It will be worse tomorrow too.”
A small, black meowclops blinked up at him in sympathy. The Grundo reached down and picked up the meowclops. She purred happily in his lap.
“Imagine, Molly,” said the Grundo. “Only five more days until Christmas. Are you looking forward to it? It will be your first one ever. I get the whole day off work so we can play together outside. I might invite some family over too. If they aren’t busy, that is.”
The meowclops, Molly, looked up at him happily. She was looking forward to her first ever Christmas, even more so now that she had a loving owner to share it with. Not long ago she had been despairing of ever finding the right owner. Everyone just wanted her for the avatar she could give and sold her not long after getting it. But then she had come across Bernard.
“Now Molly, what colour would you really like to be painted?” asked Bernard, picking up a piece of paper with pictures of different coloured meowclops on it.
Molly took a good look, wondering why he was asking. The Christmas looked nice and festive, but would she want to look like a walking Christmas tree all year round? Maraquan looked a bit awkward. It would be okay if you had a Jetsam as an owner. So long as he didn’t eat you. Starry was nice too, but a bit too bright for Molly’s liking.
“Take your time,” said Bernard, chuckling to himself at the look of concentration that had formed on Molly’s face. Molly gave a grateful purr and continued looking at the pictures.
In the end she chose faerie. The colour wasn’t too startling and being able to fly would be fun. She could escape if anybody wanted to steal her too, though she hoped that would never happen.
“Right-o,” said Bernard. “Good choice. Now, I am hungry and I suppose you are too, hey?” he asked, looking enquiringly down at Molly.
She gave a small nod.
“Alright then, I will go get us something to eat. I hope omelette sounds alright. I am saving the good food for Christmas.” He stood up and Molly jumped off his lap.
‘Hmmm,’ she thought. ‘I am beginning to suspect he is going to get me a faerie petpet paint brush for Christmas. That might cost him a bit. But what can I get him? A book is no good; he sees enough of them at that shop of his. Clothes maybe? He could do with a new hat, perhaps. Or gloves. It gets cold at nights.’ While she was thinking, Bernard came back in, holding a plate in each hand. One of them he put on the floor for Molly and she ate hungrily.
After tea Molly fell asleep, listening to Bernard read her a story.
A smell of warm food woke Molly on Christmas morning. She opened her eye and saw a bit of light creeping through the bedroom window. She looked over to Bernard’s bed and saw it empty but she didn’t need to wonder where he was. He could be heard in the kitchen singing Christmas tunes to himself.
“Molly!” he called a moment later. “Wake up! It’s Christmas and I have made us breakfast. Hurry up; I want you to open your present! Ow!” His exclamation was joined by a loud crash and Molly rushed down the stairs to see what had happened.
“Mrow?” she asked him enquiringly. He was sitting on the floor with a chair lying on its side next to him.
“Nothing to worry about, Molly, I just sat on the edge of the chair, that’s all. Now come sit on your chair and have breakfast.”
Molly jumped on a chair that was stacked high with cushions. They were piled so that she could reach her food on the table.
“Well, no need to stare. Dig in, help yourself to some of everything,” said Bernard, helping himself to a large plateful of delicious looking food.
Molly took him for his words and helped herself to a bit of everything. Half the foods there she had never tried before and she enjoyed herself immensely. When every last mouthful had been eaten and Bernard had cleared up, they sat next to a small Christmas tree which had a few presents under it. Bernard looked at one of them in surprise.
“That wasn’t there last night. What is it?”
Molly watched him with excitement as he examined a slightly damaged Christmas card. On the front was a picture of a house covered in snow and inside there was no writing. There was however, a small, muddy paw print that looked suspiciously like Molly’s.
“Wow, thanks, Molly!” he said after staring at it for a moment. “It looks great, really.”
Molly purred happily, hoping he was telling the truth when he said he liked it. She prodded a bag that was next to it.
“Hmm, what’s this, Molly? Surely you didn’t go to the trouble of getting me something?”
He reached in an orange hand and pulled out a beanie that was especially made to suit a Grundo shaped head.
“Oh Molly, I love it! Where did you get it?” He placed the beanie on his head and at once took on a very festive look because the beanie was red and green. Molly purred even louder in delight, closing her eye in pleasure. She was enjoying Christmas already, and the day had only just started.
“Ok, now you can open your presents,” said Bernard, reaching out and grabbing a small gift from under the tree. “Open this one first. I want to save the best for last.”
Molly bounded over to the present excitedly and tore the wrapping paper up messily with her claws. Inside was a brand new purple collar with a tag saying her name in big letters.
“Do you like it? You don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to, but I thought it would suit you...”
Molly purred happily, trying to tell Bernard that she loved it. She wasn’t quite sure how to get it on, though, and after a few failed head butts at it, Bernard put it on for her.
“Now open your other present,” said Bernard, sounding as excited as Molly felt. She tore a slightly larger parcel open and inside, just as Molly had suspected, was a faerie petpet paint brush.
“We can go and get you painted in a few days time when the Rainbow Pool is open. I expect even it closes for Christmas. Now, would you like to go for a walk?”
Molly stood up, still purring, and headed towards the front door.
“I will take that as a yes,” said Bernard, grabbing a coat and opening the front door.
“Mrow,” said Molly in reply. She followed Bernard outside and waited while they shut the door before heading off for a random walk around part of Kreludor.
“Hey look, Molly, it’s my shop! You haven’t seen that in a while, have you?”
Molly shook her head. She had only seen Bernard’s bookshop a couple of times and always very briefly. She peered in at a window and thought it looked rather empty.
“Mrow?” said asked him enquiringly.
“Yes, have a good look, Molly,” he said, not realising she was trying to ask something else.
“Mrow,” said Molly again, this time slightly more urgently.
“What is it?” asked Bernard, coming over to the window. He gasped when he saw what Molly had seen.
“My books, where are they?”
Molly followed some footprints carefully, trying to listen and smell at the same time. She had gone off on her own for a while because Bernard was talking to someone from the Defenders of Neopia.
‘I must find his books for him. It’s Christmas day; he can’t be sad,’ she thought, following the footprints. She had spotted them not far from the bookshop and, hoping they might lead her to the thief, she had followed them. After a while she began to hear some faint talking.
“What happened next?” asked a small, high-pitched voice.
“Well, stop asking and I will tell you,” said a slightly louder and more impatient voice.
Molly crept up nearer as the voice started to say something in a quiet, yet dramatic, voice. ‘What in Sloth’s name is going on?’ she asked herself.
“Hey! An intruder, look!”
Molly jumped when she recognised a large mob of meepits, one of which was pointing in her direction. Refusing to be scared, she took a few more cautious steps towards them and then gasped.
“You have all of Bernard’s books!”
“Well, we wanted something to read,” said one of the meepits in a defensive manner.
“Well, you should go buy something then, instead of stealing. Ask your owners for books or something.”
“We don’t have owners,” said one of the meepits. “And being Christmas, we wanted some fun.”
Molly blinked in surprise at the meepit who spoke.
“Yeah,” said another meepit and Molly turned her head towards him. “We meant to return them after reading...” he trailed off under her glare and blinked once, slowly.
“And why should I believe that? Aren’t meepits always planning some kind of world domination?”
The meepits all glared at her. She started to back away as one of them spoke.
“That’s just a stereotype. Most of us aren’t evil, never have been and never will be. We are just badly misunderstood.”
‘I wonder if he is telling the truth,’ thought Molly, staring thoughtfully at them. ‘If he is, I feel sorry for them. If he isn’t, well, the Defenders of Neopia aren’t far off...’
“Well, you need to return them now. Bernard is worrying and it is spoiling Christmas day for him.”
The meepits looked disappointed and a younger one began to cry.
“I’ll tell you what,” sighed Molly. “If you return those books, I will see what I can do about getting you some other books to keep, okay?”
The meepits stared at one another for a moment. Eventually, one of them spoke as if they had reached an agreement.
“Very well, we will return them. We didn’t mean to upset anyone, you know...” he trailed off, picked up a book and headed off in the direction of the bookshop, closely followed by the rest, each holding at least one book.
“Well, Molly, I don’t know how you managed to get those meepits to return my books, but I am grateful that you did. I wonder why they stole them anyway...?” Bernard looked at Molly, not really expecting an answer. She looked back at him, blinking slowly.
“Well, now that we have that over with, how about some lunch?”