A Trip to Remember: Part Five
“Look!” Dellayn shrieked, leaning over the edge of the small boat. “There’s the castle! And that must be Brightvale’s castle, too!”
Shei quickly grabbed the Gelert’s scarf and pulled her back before she toppled overboard. “Don’t fall!” she warned, giggling. “That would be the end of our trip.” She stared up at the castle, which seemed to be growing larger as they got closer. “I wonder if we can see Kiko Lake from the top of it? After all, Kiko Lake is right behind Brightvale. We can almost see the castle from our house.”
The first place they visited was Meridell Castle. They browsed Kayla’s potions, played Double or Nothing, then left. They couldn’t see Shei’s house from it, and the king was out to lunch.
“This isn’t very great,” Dellayn complained once they were back outside the castle. “The castle wasn’t as spectacular as I thought it would be.”
“Let’s go to Brightvale,” Shei suggested. And so they did.
Brightvale Fruits was the closest place across the bridge. Since Dellayn had though Mystery Island’s food looked funny, she thought these so-called “fruits” were extremely out of the ordinary, and refused to even touch one.
The glazier shop was one of Shei’s favorites. The glass windows were spectacular! Her favorite was a smaller one, of a little Primella swimming in an underwater wonderland.
The Wheel of Knowledge looked very intriguing, but it was expensive for a single spin. Shei and Dellayn each pitched in half the neopoints, deciding they’d spin it once and share the prize.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to share. “A king who fails to seek the council of his court can only be seen as a fool,” the Draik at the front of the wheel told them. “You won that bit of knowledge. Use it wisely.”
Startled, the two friends exchanged glances. What?
“So much for that,” Shei murmured a few minutes later as they were walking away. “I was hoping for a book or something.”
“I guess that’s why it’s called the Wheel of Knowledge,” Dellayn said dryly. “But I have to admit, I wanted a book, too.”
Delighted at the thought of books, they visited Brightvale Books. There wasn’t much in stock. Shei bought About Roberta and Dellayn purchased Keeping the Peace for her owner. “I wish I could find a book for Chez,” she murmured, but they didn’t have anything else.
Inside Brightvale’s castle, Shei stepped up to the king and sputtered some unknowledgeable nonsense. “You know, it’s always said that... um, kindness – is, ah, similar to... to an asparagus,” she stuttered, looking up sheepishly.
The king was not impressed. After that show, Dellayn chose not to try and attempt to share some knowledge with the very smart king, who claimed he had already known about the whole kindness-asparagus thing.
Outside the castle, both girls sighed. “This isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be,” Dellayn confessed.
“Same here,” Shei groaned. “I’m tempted to end the trip early and just go home. Or at least back to Mystery Island! I’d love to soak up some more sun. It feels so warm and rich on the island. Back at the lake, it just feels hot and sticky.” She shuddered. “But I doubt Kela would want to move to Mystery Island. She used to live there, did you know that? She loves the lake, though, because it’s close to Neopia Central, but somewhat desolate.” Shei sighed.
“And Pixie loves Faerieland,” Dellayn said. “I like it, too, but I feel sort of left out. Almost everyone who lives there can fly – except for me. Even Chez can fly a little, because she has small wings. Lucky. I’m the only one who can’t fly out of my friends there.” She let out a huff, then smiled a little. “It is pretty, though. And on good days you can look down the edge of the cloud and see the lands below.”
“That’s pretty special,” Shei encouraged with a grin. “I mean, you can’t do that anywhere else!”
“That’s true,” Dellayn agreed, then changed the subject. “So what should we do? I don’t really want to stay here.”
“Me neither. And I didn’t expect that king to be so smart! Do you think we should just go home and end the trip early?”
“I guess so. There isn’t much else to do.”
* * *
“You’re home early!” Kela gasped, startled, when the girls walked in the door. “I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow. So? How was your trip?” Eagerly, she set to work in the kitchen, fixing up a snack for them.
“It was great!” Shei grinned. “I loved Mystery Island.”
“And Terror Mountain was spectacular,” Dellayn put in. “But we didn’t like Meridell very much. So we decided to come home early.” Then she promptly changed the subject. “Where’s Chez?”
“She took the girls out for a walk in Neopia Central,” Kela informed her, pulling her long brown hair up into a ponytail. “They begged her all morning, and she finally gave in about an hour ago. They should be back soon. Are you girls hungry? Do you want something to eat? We have some leftover soup from lunch, if you want.”
“Soup sounds good,” Shei said. “I’ll be right back. Where’s Fluffy, Kela?”
“Last time I saw her, she was nibbling on grass in the backyard. I let her out this morning, since the weather was cool.”
Shocked, Shei stared at her owner. “Last time you saw her? You let my Snowbunny out in the backyard – by herself?! Kela!”
“Calm down,” Kela said with a laugh. “I can see her through the kitchen window. Fluffy is a smart petpet, Shei. She knows her way around, and you know she’d never try to run away. She loves it here.”
Shei sighed, but went to fetch the little brown Snowbunny. Cuddling her, she walked back into the living room. “I missed you so much, Fluffy! Did you have a good time without me? I hope the girls treated you okay.”
Dellayn smiled, but inside felt empty. She missed her own petpet back home, Reginald the Puppyblew. “Kela, do you mind if I send Pixie a Neomail and ask her to come pick me up?” Kela was like an aunt to Dellayn, and she felt completely comfortable around her. Surely she’d understand Dellayn’s homesickness.
“Of course!” Kela exclaimed. “There’s some paper on the table. I’m sure you miss Pixie a lot.”
Dellayn smiled her thanks at her, then began her letter.
Shei and I decided to come home from our trip a day early. We explored Meridell, but it wasn’t as much fun as we hoped. We were also quite homesick for our family and petpets! I’m at Kela’s right now, and she said that Chez went to Neopia Central for a walk with Alyett and Clea. Would you mind coming to pick us up?
See you soon,
Kela sent the Neomail for her, and in less than half an hour, Pixie showed up at the front door with a big hug for her neopet.
“How was your trip?” Pixie asked, giving Dellayn a hug. “I even brought you a friend.” She lifted up a squirming Puppyblew, who eagerly began licking Dellayn’s face.
“It was great!” Dellayn laughed, hugged her beloved petpet, and both girls began telling their owners everything that happened.
A little while later, Chez arrived, surprised to see her sister and owner. “What are you doing home early?” she asked, having mixed feelings about the ordeal. “I thought you weren’t coming home until late tomorrow night.”
“We weren’t, but we decided to come home early,” Dellayn explained, launching into a shortened version of their trip.
Alyett and Clea squealed excitedly when they saw their older sister, and didn’t leave her side for the rest of the evening. “Don’t ever go away again, okay?” Alyett said firmly, squinting into Shei’s eyes. “Promise.”
Shei just laughed. There was no way she could promise not to go away again – she loved traveling! Instead, she said, “Next time, Aly, maybe you can come with me. Or maybe we’ll all go to Mystery Island as a family.” She glanced at Pixie, Chez, and Dellayn. “Actually, make that two families! It’ll be a great vacation, filled with sun, sand, and a beautiful beach. We can spend all day, everyday, hanging out on the beach, soaking up the sun, swimming, and playing volleyball. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
“I’d like that,” Chez said quietly, smiling at her owner.
Kela grinned. “What do you think, Pix? A vacation on the beach sounds pretty good to me. Maybe we should start planning for a trip.”
Shei and Dellayn exchanged glances. This is it! Their glances seemed to say. A real family vacation.
“Let’s do it!” Shei exclaimed. “We can go in a month or two. Oh, Kela, can we? I’d love to go back.”
“Me, too,” Dellayn chipped in. “Just as long as we make sure not to sit on any crabs.” She smiled sheepishly, and Shei told her story, making everyone laugh.
“It’s not that funny,” Dellayn tried to defend herself, but everyone was laughing so hard they didn’t hear her. Reginald licked her on the nose, and with a smile, Dellayn muttered, “Well, at least you’re not laughing at me.”