The One about Lightmites: Part One
1 January, Year --
Even as I pen these words, I find it difficult to believe another year has passed already. That is, not to say it had not been an especially long year, but it seems but a few days ago I first began to note my daily employment in a journal. Seeing as how my previous is filled up with last year's endeavors, I have started a new one. I have indeed placed all personal information inside the front cover, but as that has a nasty tendency to be torn off or worn down, I shall reiterate it here:
Eliv Thade, III, B.L.
4234 (Street Name)
I notice with a fondness the "B.L." after my name, which was not able to be placed there but a few months ago. I had thought the acronym would be quite an obvious one, but it seems that precious little of people realize the meaning: Bachelor of Light - that is, I have obtained a Bachelor's Degree in the science of light, an admittedly little known study, but an important one. Much ado has, of course, been made on the topic of Light Faeries, and indeed, theses have been proposed numerously, ofttimes repetitively, as well as many conjectures on what lights and warms Neopia itself. While these topics are interesting at best, they have been endlessly argued over and have thus exhausted themselves to near extinction. Needless to say, I was the only one to graduate my class with this specific honor. I have taken it upon myself to instead study another source of light: Lightmites.
Lightmites are a great deal more difficult to acquire than I initially thought. Today was once again mostly spent in attempting to strike deals with local merchants, as I am quite without a vast amount of funds, and domestic Lightmites must be complex creatures to raise, or else that they would not cost quite so much.
A grand friend of mine has lent me his Lightmite, with the sole condition that it be kept within its glass confinement at all times. This stipulation put quite a damper on my plans, but as it is the only specimen I have for the time being, I must acquiesce, albeit with disappointment.
The past few days have been fruitless in terms of studying the Lightmite. This accursed city is simply too bright for my ventures. Even at night with the curtains drawn, the street lights still blaze through the thin cloth, destroying what little natural light the petpetpet has to offer. I need DARKNESS.
Perhaps the superstitious Friday the 13th has some merit after all. After cursing aloud once again the superfluous amount of electricity that obstructs my goals with its unerring accuracy and crying equally loudly over the need for darkness, I received a letter. I have copied it word-for-word in this journal:
Dear Mr. Eliv Thade, III:
We regret to inform you of these sad tidings. Eliv Thade (I) passed away on 8 January, Year --. Authorities have termed the cause of death to be of natural causes, and as such, his estate has been dealt with accordingly, as dictated in his last will and testament. Seeing as how you have been named his heir, you are to be present at the reading of the aforementioned will which will take place in Thade Mansion, Haunted Woods, on the 18th of January, Year --.
Please inform this office at least 72 hours ahead if you are unable to attend.
- Haunted Woods Pyre Committee
I knew not what to make of the letter when it came, as I was not in good acquaintance with my grandfather. He had rather ostracized himself from the family (which consisted only of my father, my mother, and me) and moved off to the Haunted Woods into a newly built mansion. As this was many years ago when I was very young, I only have vague membrances of him, though I do know he was a green Kacheek like my father and myself. As such, my being named his heir was a bit of surprise, as I was unaware my grandfather even knew of my existence. To be honest, I must confess, after thinking it over, it must not have been a difficult decision, as I believe I am the only family he possessed as both my parents passed away years ago. Seeing as how I do not have much of a choice in the matter, I must begin preparations for my trip.
Today was rather depressing, as it was the final day of my lease of the Lightmite. My friend offered his condolences after the loss of my grandfather, though indeed, I was sorrier over the loss of my only test subject.
Haunted Woods is so vastly different than Neopia Central! The severe lack of people is the most shocking, as I thought it was a popular tourist attraction for those with dark tastes, but it appears that is all it is: a tourist attraction - hardly any inhabitants occupy the area year-round. What is most impressive upon my mind is the absence of electric lights. True, there are some around buildings and especially in the Deserted Fairground, but most all is lit by the use of candle-embedded lanterns or - I am most excited over this latter - Lightmites. These wild petpetpets roam the town as if it belongs to them. I asked a local (rather enthusiastically, which may have caused his rather crude response) why they were not captured and sold, to which he replied that not only were they quite difficult to capture, but that stores dislike marketing wild Lightmites as they are more disruptive than their tame brothers.
The reading of the will was monotonous, if the term may be used unfettered. To spare myself the ache of writing technicalities, I am now the owner of the Thade Mansion estate and all that is contained inside. The Haunted Woods Pyre Committee has received some of my grandfather's funds for their investigative work and will-deciphering, a small portion has gone into the funeral, and a bit has been given to his servants, but the rest has been transferred to me. I confess, this awoke new strength in me, as I had been feeling discouraged with my lack of any substantial headway into my field and Lightmite thesis, and this newly-attained money will certainly help my goals. What now remains is what to do with my new estate. The Committee has advised I sell the Mansion, as it has dilapidated under my grandfather's withering care. This intrigues me as I know not what to do with a house so far from whence I currently live.
Thade Mansion is far grander than I have been lead to believe. I did not explore the entire place, but the grounds themselves are impressionable enough - Lightmites as far as the eye can see! They are so plentiful around the gardens, the local children have been capturing them for their own delight - with ease, I may add! Also, I inquired the locals about the level of darkness one receives at night, and (though my questions were entertained with quizzical stares) I discovered that it is as black as pitch, even with a bright moon, no doubt due to the enveloping canopy of trees that surround. The Mansion seems to be a most perfect place to continue my studies.
Doubts fill my taxed brain. I visited the Mansion once again, only to be surprised by the servants there. I knew of course that a small percentage of my grandfather's funds had gone to them for their service to him, but I did not expect them to still be living at the old place. The servants, which consist of a butler, a cook, and two cleaning women (all of indeterminate age), apparently do not wish to leave, regardless of their monetary ability or if I choose to sell or not, which essentially means that if I do choose to do so, they will be evicted. This I do not wish to have happen, but their presence is undesired if I do wish to live there myself. I abhor being disrupted whilst working, but perhaps, as they are fundamentally my servants now, I can demand peace during my hours of studying. This overly meticulous decision has come down to comfort versus opportunity.
I am back in Neopia Central - for the last time, I hope. Indeed, I have opted for taking up the humble abode of the Thade Mansion in the Haunted Woods. The pros appear to outweigh the cons, and as the servants have most agreeably consented to my presence and the subsequent conditions, I doubt that I shall regret my decision at all.
The substantial gap in time from my last entry is simple due to how incredibly busy I have been. Packing was far more time-consuming than I had ever dreamed, undoubtedly owing to my various lab instruments, all requiring necessary packing material due to their delicate nature. I am currently on my way back to Haunted Woods - my new home.
Perhaps it is the still waning winter, but the Mansion seems far less inviting than it has been in my previous visits. Never before have I noticed the foreboding awnings or the shadowy nooks of the house. The servants as well - there is a malevolent air here.
To be continued...