Who Needs a Paintbrush?
Ginger was a slorg. That just about summed it up, but she really loved being a slorg and all things slorg. One of her favorite things was slorg slime. She loved playing practical jokes on her dear Aunty Nancy and randomly sliming her. Aunty Nancy especially loved having her feet slimed, or so Ginger thought. Slorgs love warm moist environments, so living on Mystery Island was wonderful.
However, there was this odd phenomena that happened starting in October around Rosie’s hut. There was a cold front that moved in and it snowed! Miserable weather for a slorg! Ginger ached all over and her usually soft slimy skin was cracked and dry. Tommie loved Ginger so much and was worried about her. None of the bottled slime unguents seemed to work. There was really only one solution; Ginger had to go to Balakami for the winter. Now many of you may say, Balakami, where is that? It is one of the many islands between Mystery Island and Lutari Island. Balakami was the largest and southernmost near Lutari. It was very beautiful, warm and petpets loved to go there for vacations.
Ginger went over to her friend Beatrice’s to see if she would keep Tommie company over the winter. Beatrice was a Christmas Pile of Soot and very funny. She knew about a million jokes and left little sooty trails wherever she went. Beatrice agreed at once.
Tommie got went to the ticket office for the Harbor to get Ginger a ticket on the next boat to Balakami. The next day Ginger was at the harbor with her tiny suitcase. Everyone hugged and kissed her gently and told her to write. Ginger had never been on a big boat before and was a little anxious. A lovely Red Yurble named Tammy helped her stow her suitcase and lead her to the petpet section. The boats from Mystery Island were known for catering to the pampered petpet and Ginger was impressed. There were about ten petpets already there. A Faerie Babaa was sitting in a straw chair, which she was munching on. Twin Cobralls peeked out of a basket and smiled at Ginger. There were three snowbunnies fast asleep in a very warm looking snowbunny nest.
Tammy smiled at Ginger and said, “Darlin, will this seat do you?” She gestured toward a heated tank of slorg slime. It had a tiny pillow and a slimy plant growing in it!
“Oh, this is lovely,” said Ginger. She settled in and started chatting with a Disco Feepit who was sitting next to her.
Maria-Isabel was also going to Balakami for the winter. “Oh honey, you know I broke my leg a few years ago playing on Terror Mountain. I get achy now and the warm weather just helps a lot.” They chatted about all sorts of things, shared the snacks they had each brought and then got on the subject of paint jobs. Maria-Isabel had been four different colors!
“Oh, but sweetie, I didn’t spend one neopoint on a paint brush. Balakami has some remarkable perks. My first year there I loved lying out on the beach so much that I turned Island! It was great! The next year I went to this restaurant that my friend Bobby recommended. They serve the strangest food, and all on a stick. I had a great meal and turned mutant! The next year I stayed in a little cabaña near a lemon grove and turned yellow, and last year after a few night club visits, I woke up Disco! I bet you are going to change too! It just happens there!”
Ginger was impressed! She never knew you could morph into different colors without a paint brush! She and Maria-Isabel got off the boat and went to the Palm Inn Petpet Spa together. It was a beautiful spa. They had their rooms just perfect. There was a pool and hot tubs, one with water and one with slime. There were palm trees and citrus trees all around the spa. The air was filled with the heavenly perfume of the citrus blossoms. Maria-Isabel was hoping to turn green so she drank Spirulina Fizzes every morning. Ginger tried one but thought they tasted like grass. She found that she loved orange smoothies. The orange groves were so near and the smoothies were so fresh. She had lots of exotic fruits on Mystery Island, but the oranges seemed to be her favorite.
One morning, Maria-Isabel came banging on Gingers door. “Look! Look at my paws and tail!” She turned around and showed Ginger a distinctly dark green tail and the tips of her paws were also turning green. “And look at your back, Ginger! You have a stripe!”
Ginger hurried into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Sure enough, there was an orange stripe down her back where her Tyrannian Fur ridge used to be! “Oh, this is so cool! Tommie will be so excited! He bought me a Tyrannian paint brush because I wanted to be painted, but we didn’t have a lot of neopoints to spend, and Tyrannian was not too spendy.”
Over the next few weeks, the new friends continued to change color. Maria-Isabel misplaced her disco glasses right after the fur on her head turned green. Ginger noticed that her tusks were shrinking and one morning were not there. She had orange smoothies, mandarin orange salad and even an orange facial one day. Ginger neomailed Hakon to see if he could arrange a surprise homecoming for her. He got a special slorg habitat and put it in the bathroom where it was warm and humid. He figured she would be ok for the rest of the winter there. He also ordered her a special wet suit to wear if she wanted to go outside. It would keep her warm and moist.
Ginger sailed home that Friday to Mystery Island. The only one who knew she was coming home was Hakon. She went to the door, shivering, and rang the bell. Little Rosie answered and said, "Yes, honey, what can I help you with?" She did not recognize Ginger at all! Ginger whispered to her about what happened and told her to go tell Tommie that she was home from Balakami.
Tommie came bounding to the door as soon as Little Rosie told him and yipped with delight! He ran in circles cuddling his newly orange slorg on his back.
The person that Ginger really wanted to see was Aunty Nancy, but it was so early. Tommie helped Ginger on with her wetsuit and took her to Aunty Nancy’s hut.
Ginger wiggled out of her wetsuit and put a healthy dose of orange-smelling slime in Aunty Nancy’s slippers. “She will love that, Ginger!” whispered Tommie. “It is so cool that your slime smells like oranges now!” Ginger smiled and gave the slippers one more sliming before getting back into her wetsuit.
That Saturday there was a skating party at Rosie’s hut. All the pets and moms (and dads like Uncle Frank) bundled up and came over. Ginger happily stayed in her warm slorg habitat in the bathroom.
After a few hours of fun, everyone was tired and came in for hot cocoa and to warm up. Aunty Nancy wanted to get the snow out of her hair and went to the bathroom to use the mirror. She saw a beautiful orange slorg in the bathtub smiling up at her. She knew that smile anywhere. “OH, Ginger! It was you who slimed my slippers! Look at you!” She scooped up Ginger and gave her a big hug, forgetting that she was getting slimed in the process. “You got painted in Balakami! Wow! What a change!”
“Well, I didn’t really get painted, I got oranged... let me tell you all about it.” The rest of the afternoon Ginger recounted the story of the magical resort in Balakami and how it changed her. Everyone was quite impressed and many petpets said they planned to go next year. If you can save some neopoints by eating oranges, what the heck? Go for it!