The Adventures of Daine - Telescreens and Skating
"MOMMA MOMMA MOMMA! FIRE FIRE FIRE!" The Halloween Ixi hopped crazily around the entrance hall as she yelled at the top of her lungs. A girl soon sped towards the door, her long brown hair streaming behind her.
"Thanks, Daine. Who's at the door? And if you yell 'fire' for the door, what would you yell for a fire?"
The Ixi stopped and looked at the girl. "Iunno. I just heard the doorbell ring and and and I yelled so yeah. And if there was a fire I would be too busy runnin' to yell to anybody else. Open open open the door!"
An electric Aisha stood on the porch, holding a wide, brown parcel. "Delivery for LilThayet the Faerie Kacheek?"
Thayet was already at her owner's side. "That'd be me!" She signed a paper and lifted the package from the Aisha's hand, dropping a small bag of NP into his outstretched hand.
"Thank ye, ma'am." The Aisha tipped his hat as he tucked the NP away, then hummed as he skipped across the paving stones and down the street. Daine began to hop up and down again.
"Open open open! Whatsit whatsit whatsit?"
Ripping the paper away, Thayet revealed a long and wide piece of glass framed in metal. A card lay on top of the shiny surface.
Hi Thayet! Hope you enjoy this. - Pengy, your Space Station pen pal.
"Space Station pen pal?" Taipei looked at her Kacheek with interest. Thayet nodded.
"Yeah, I've been writing to other pets all over Neopia. Pengy and I decided to trade some stuff that the other couldn't get. I sent an Organic Leek and one of my favorite books the other day. Pengy called this thing a 'telescreen.' He says that pets in the Station use it to watch shows and stuff. I'll set it up in the living room. Is that okay?"
"That's awesome, Thay! Feel free. I'll be upstairs if you need me." Taipei skipped away and up the stairs as Thayet carried her new treasure into the living room, Daine trailing at her heels. The Ixi plopped onto the couch and sat patiently, an unnerving action for the hyper Ixi.
The telescreen was soon mounted above the fireplace. Thayet, very satisfied with her work, flopped onto the couch and lifted a small, clear plastic rectangle, upon which different lights glimmered.
"This is the clicker, Daine. It lets you change the picture on the telescreen!"
Daine blinked. "Thay, there IS no picture on the telemabobber."
"Then let's turn it on!" Thayet pressed on the purple light, and a picture formed on the telescreen's glass surface. Two Grundos were bopping each other in the head with copies of Neopian Times Issue 3. Daine cheered and clapped.
"Yay yay yay! The screenytelophy works!"
Thayet laughed. "It's 'telescreen,' Ver. Let's watch something else." She pressed a red light, and the picture re-formed, this time in the image of a masked Korbat.
"It's time for... KORBAT MAAAAAN!!!!" the screen declared. The Korbat zoomed around the screen, engaging in battles with an evil Bruce and Aisha. About an hour later, a segment on planting flowers in space aired. Thayet was greatly enraptured in it, until Daine's loud, mock snoring roused her from her trance. Thayet bopped her little sister with a pillow, who giggled so hard she nearly fell off of the couch.
Taipei came down about an hour later to check on her Pets. Thayet was stretched out on the couch with a glazed expression. Daine lay across the Kauvara table, her head dangling upside down off of the edge. A lengthy ad for the Grackle Fryer 3000 played, declaring that you could simply "START IT AND LOSE MEMORY OF IT!!!"
The girl smirked and, picking up the clicker, switched the screen off, only to be met with moans from her pets.
"Maaaa," the two cried in unison, "we were watching that!"
"No, you weren't. Trust me. Why don't we go for a walk? Or play a game of Cheat!?"
Daine blinked up at her. "Because 'Korbat Man' comes back on in ten minutes. THIS MANY MINUTES, MOMMY!" The Ixi held up both of her hooves and shook them, totally unaware that she had no fingers. Taipei laughed.
"You can watch 'Korbat Man' later, silly brain. Come on. You two have been potatoeing on this couch all day. Up up up! You both need some fresh air!"
Thayet nodded sagely. "Very true, according to Breathe, which is the Faerie philosophy on air."
"No breathing equals no life," Taipei and Daine moaned, quite monotonously, in unison. "We know, Thay, we know." The Kacheek grinned sheepishly.
"Well, it was one of the first books I ever read. What do you expect?"
"Well," Taipei began, as she pulled Daine up from the couch, "I expect you two to get off of your lazy bums! Telescreens are all fine and spiffytastic, but you can't spend eternity staring at it like you're completely catatonic. This is probably one of the reasons that you don't find these things in Neopian Central."
"What about the spacey pets, Mommy? Are they all cattytomack?" Daine looked up at Taipei, a concerned but curious look on her face. Taipei laughed.
"No, I doubt it. Space station pets tend to be somewhat... eccentric. Like those Grundos bopping each other? They can handle it. Now come, you two. Let's go skating! I didn't buy that ice rink for nothing"
"Yay!" Daine jumped up and down, very excitedly. "And we're off like a herd of Turdles!"
Thayet grinned. "Can I build snowmen too?"
The star-shaped ice skating rink crouched in the center of the Northwest Garden. This particular garden plot was never anything short of freezing, with a thick mantle of snow on the ground and icy ornaments dotting the edges. To the east was a thick, staggered line of trees, which provided the border between the icy landscape and Taipei's own private garden "room."
Warm panes of cheery sunlight skimmed through the nippy air as birds called between the trees. The snow crunched under Daine's hooves as she sprang happily through it, giggling and humming some random song. A cozy hat nestled over her ears as the warm, matching scarf hugged her neck. Thayet and Taipei followed her, both also bundled up nicely. Daine fell onto her back to make snow angels, and Taipei took the opportunity to strap skates onto her shiny, black hooves.
"Moooommmyyyy! I don't need those! I can skateses wiff my hoovsie feetses!"
"Ver, the last time you tried that, your legs slipped out from under you and you landed on your face three times in the first five seconds. You slid halfway across the rink before we could catch you, remember?"
Daine giggled. "Yah! It was fun!"
Thayet gave off a short laugh. "Fun? So that's why you were sniffling and sniveling all afternoon? Because it was fun?"
Daine stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry. "Meanie head!"
"Aw, Daine, you know I'm just joking." Thayet grinned as she gently took a hold of her little sister's wrist. "Now let's skate!"
The two swooped gracefully around the edges of the rink, giggling and chattering all the way around. Skating into the center was perfect for showing off their cool moves and spins, even if they did end up lying flat on the ice. The afternoon soon progressed into a game of freeze tag, which was coincidental, considering that it was quite chilly in the garden. Hours passed, and Taipei was happy to note that nobody seemed to remember the telescreen.
"It's wonderful how a little fresh air can drive out any traces of laziness," she remarked to herself. Hoisting a cheerful Daine onto her shoulders, she sped around the rink and did spins that made the Ixi cheer and giggle. Thayet gave them a perfect score of six, then did a spin of her own and gave herself a seven, only to be met with a snowball in the face.
"That's not fair, Thay," Daine remarked as she packed a snowball and tossed it. "I'll seven you!"
"That doesn't make sense. You'll 'seven' me? How do you 'seven' someone?"
"Like this!" Taipei tossed a snowball and caught the Kacheek right in the face. Thayet giggled and sent some snow flying for herself.
It was late afternoon when the trio, soaking and laughing, finally made it inside. They all took hot showers before settling down to a nice game of Cheat!, which Daine, as usual, made completely absurd.
"Daine," Thayet moaned as she laughed, "you can't throw down six cards and say they're eleven kings."
Daine stuck her tongue out. "I just did."
The family all had a lovely evening and slept well that night. As time went on, they did keep watching the telescreen, but only occasionally. They still spent most of their time playing, or shopping, or running around the house, trying to find where Daine had hidden random objects. When they did watch the telescreen, they actually enjoyed it, instead of just staring blankly at the screen as if they were under a trance. After all, none of them wanted to become "cattytomack."
"That's right. I'm sure you know today's moral, Daine?"
"... Turmacs smell like Stuffed Chokatos?"
"No, Daine. The moral is: do things in moderation. And what's with you sniffing Turmacs lately?!"