The Possibilities are Endless: Part Two
“So the Soup Faerie sent me to Healing Springs, in Faerieland, and the Water Faerie was able to heal me after three visits. I’ve been working for the Soup Faerie ever since,” I concluded. We were sitting on the couch, all holding empty plates that held just a few crumbs on them. Anna’s beef stew pie had been delicious.
Delilah, Anna, and Minnie, the rainbow Usul, were all sitting around me. They had urged me to tell them my story, because they were overflowing with curiosity on why I could talk and why I was out of the pound.
“I’ve never heard of anyone working for the Soup Faerie before,” Minnie said. “Or any faerie, for that matter. I didn’t know that faeries had assistants.”
“It’s just me and Gordy,” I said. “He’s a green Scorchio, and he lives with his owner in Tyrannia. I don’t know if the Soup Faerie’s ever had anyone else other than us two. I run errands for her, and Gordy prepares the food – peeling the onions, chopping carrots, stuff like that. She’s always really busy making soup. It’s all secret recipes. Even Gordy doesn’t know any of them.” I shrugged.
“Do you help serve the Neopets?” Delilah asked. “I think that would be a fun job. You’d get to know so many different pets.”
“Sometimes,” I answered. “Not very often, though. The Soup Faerie has lots of volunteers who like to help serve, so I only help on really crowded days, when they really need the extra assistance.”
Minnie shivered with excitement. “That sounds like the best job in the world! You’re so lucky, Skyler. I wish I were you. Working for a kind faerie, living the life of a free Neopet.”
I hadn’t told them about my homeless nights. I’m sure if Minnie knew that I slept in the cold, open air every night, she wouldn’t think I had the “best job” in the world. I offered her a small smile, but no further information.
Delilah glanced at the clock. “Oh my!” she squawked. “I didn’t realize it was so late. No wonder I’m so tired. Girls, you’d better get to bed. Minnie, you told Ariel you’d be over at her house right after breakfast, remember? You won’t want to keep her waiting by sleeping in. Anna, maybe you’d like to show Skyler around Terror Mountain tomorrow.”
“Sure!” Anna exclaimed. “We’ll have lots of fun. I know all of the best places to visit. Come on, Sky, there’s an extra bed in my room.”
* * *
“And this is the Scratchcard Kiosk,” Anna said, pointing to a small, snow-covered building. It was late morning, almost noon. “Scratchcards are 600 neopoints each. I used to buy them all the time, but now I don’t, because I never win. Delilah didn’t like me wasting so much money.” She frowned, then continued walking.
“That’s Rink Runner. It’s really fun, but not when it’s crowded like this.” The frozen lake was covered with skating Neopets. Some were slipping, some had fallen, and others were tripping over the ones who were scattered about the ice.
Anna showed me the Ice Cream Cart, and then we went into Wintery Petpets. They had some petpets in there that I’d never seen or heard of before. Anna pointed out all the different species to me. “That’s an Abominable Snowball – aren’t they cute? I had one as my very first petpet. They don’t do much. Oh, there’s a Gabar. Isn’t it adorable? Minnie is trying to convince Delilah that she 'has to have one'. Minnie’s obsessed with how fluffy they are.”
Anna’s petpet was a large Snowbunny. I had met her early this morning – when I woke up with the giant ball of fuzz on my face. Her name was Cookie, and Anna described how long it took for Delilah to save up to buy her.
“Oh, look, there’s the Yullies. I love them.” Anna pressed her nose against a glass case. Inside were some tiny little green-and-yellow petpets, with what looked like a little white snowball at the tips of their tails.
I stared at them. Everything about the little creatures was just perfect. I grabbed my red coin purse, with I had strapped to my scarf. “I’m going to buy one,” I said to Anna. “Where’s the guy in charge?”
Anna looked surprised, but silently pointed to the big Christmas Bruce behind the register.
A few minutes later, I was holding my first petpet in my hands. We stepped outside, and the little Yullie quivered. “Oh, she’s cold,” Anna murmured.
I gently wrapped the tiny petpet in my scarf, and she willingly sat on my shoulder. I smiled. Now I had a little friend to take everywhere with me. She wasn’t even that noticeable when on my shoulder.
“What are you going to name her?” Anna asked.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. Any suggestions?”
Anna started listing off Terror Mountain-related names. “Snowy, Snowball, Icy, Freezy, Hannah – after Hannah and the Ice Caves, Crystal, Snowflake, Frosty, Slip ’n Slide...” Anna listed names the whole walk up to the top of the mountain. Once we reached the top, she seemed to get new inspiration. “Mika, Carassa, Taelia...”
“Taelia’s the snow faerie, right?” I asked, recognizing the name. The Soup Faerie had mentioned her a few times before. “And I like the name Mika.” I smiled and looked at my new little friend. She looked back at me with her tiny black eyes, her nose twitching curiously. Then, quick as a flash, she buried herself in the scarf around my neck. I grinned. “Mika it is.”
* * *
While we were exploring the mountain, Delilah had gone shopping in Neopia Central for food. She came back with some fresh radish sprouts, almond and cranberry trail mix, a sourdough baguette, some pears, a bag of organic green apples, a few vegetarian cheeseburgers, some sugar doughnuts, a case of grapefruit NeoCola, and a large spicy taco pizza.
We stared at these goodies hungrily. “What can we eat?” we asked.
“Whatever you’d like. Be sure to leave something for Minnie, though. She’ll be back in an hour from her friend’s house.” Delilah picked up a vegetarian cheeseburger and a can of NeoCola and excused herself to her room.
Anna and I stood there a moment, trying to decide. I filled my plate with a slice of spicy taco pizza, a piece of baguette smothered in butter, a pear, a little bit of trail mix, and a NeoCola. I also grabbed a pinch of radish sprouts for Mika. I’d come back later for a sugar doughnut.
Anna’s lunch was a little healthier. She took a vegetarian cheeseburger, lots of radish sprouts and trail mix, an organic green apple, and a tiny slice of baguette. Instead of a NeoCola, she grabbed a water bottle from the fridge.
We sat down on the couch to eat, spreading the Neopian Times out in front of us. Mika came out of her hiding spot to sit on the edge of my paper plate, nibbling on radish sprouts and almonds.
I had just finished the article we were reading on Neopia’s best vacation spots when the door flew open and Minnie tromped in, pounding her boots against the front steps to get all the wet snow off.
Anna glanced up at her sister briefly before turning the page to the editorial. Minnie spotted our near-empty plates of food and asked, “Is there any left?”
Anna had chosen to ignore her sister while she read, so I answered. “Yes, there’s lots. We put most of the stuff in the fridge so it wouldn’t go bad.”
“Awesome, thanks.” Minnie looked relieved. “I’m starving. Oh, are those apples organic? I can only eat organic fruit – what is THAT?” The Usul stood frozen, her scarf in one paw and her hat in the other.
I stared at her for a second, trying to register the look on her face. Then I glanced down at my plate. “Oh. This is Mika. My new Yullie.”
Minnie still stood there, five feet away from the coffee table, her eyes glued to Mika’s tiny body. The Yullie was oblivious to her stares and continued munching on a small corner of bread she had snagged off my baguette slice.
“Yullie,” Minnie muttered in disgust, her lip curling into an almost-snarl.
Anna looked up from her newspaper. She glanced at Minnie’s face, then down at Mika. “Yes, Yullie,” the starry Gelert said. “Isn’t she darling? Skyler bought her today in the Wintery Petpets shop. We even saw a Gabar, but the Yullies were so much cuter.”
Minnie shivered visibly. “If you say so. But please, Skyler, keep it away from my room. Little creatures like that freak me out. No offense or anything.”
I shrugged. “Sure. Whatever.” I was leaving tomorrow afternoon anyway. Besides, Mika was just a tiny little petpet. Tiny little petpets like that couldn’t harm anything. At least, that’s what I thought.
To be continued...