Home Sweet Sand Box
“I can’t take it anymore, Tanzi. The scorching sun, streets crawling with scarabugs, and burnt food lying everywhere! No, the Lost Desert is just not for me.”
Tanzi the disco Aisha sighed and rolled her eyes. She should have been used to her sister’s constant complaints by now, yet they were annoying as ever.
“We packed our bags and left Terror Mountain because you said it was too cold. Same story for Meridell, only there it was the endless supply of dung that you found unbearable. I’m really starting to wonder if there’s any way to please you, Kendri.”
Kendri ran her hoof through her long pink mane and sniffed disdainfully. “It’s not easy trying to keep yourself in top condition for so many beauty contests, you know. This is yet another reason I’m not suited for this place. Just look at how frizzy my mane and tail are!”
“I always thought the vanity of Unis was exaggerated. Then I got you for a roommate.”
“Then find yourself a new friend to live with! I’m done with this sand box they call the desert. I’ll find my own Neohome, and this time I’ll be able to decorate with a bit more taste for fashion.”
Tanzi was too upset over Kendri’s remarks to try and stop her. She had picked every piece of furniture out with careful consideration, even dedicating an entire room to her sister’s fascination with the color pink. She said not a word as Kendri stormed outside.
“She’ll be back,” Tanzi muttered to herself. “Wait until she sees just how much worse the far corners of Neopia are and she’ll be begging for her old room.”
* * * * *
Kendri walked at a quick pace, feeling as if eyes followed her every move. She realized now that perhaps taking a shortcut through the Haunted Woods as evening set in had not been the wisest choice. There was no time now to reconsider, though. Creepy as the woods were at evening’s end, they were sure to be downright terrifying at night.
“Who walksss the woods alone so late at night?” The sinister voice was that of Sidney. He sat in his small shack, fanning himself with a fat packet of scratchcards.
“I’m only a traveler,” Kendri muttered. “I’m on my way to Roo Island.”
“Ssseeking those ssilly Blumarooss, are you girl?” He gave an evil chuckle, his eyes gleaming in the poor light. “Why not take a moment and try your luck with old Sssidney, eh?”
“I’m not interested in your cards.”
“But think of the fortune that could be yoursss. I see I have your attention now. I ask for a meager 1,200 pointss, in exchange for riches beyond what you can imagine.”
Partly because she was curious, and partly so the creepy Nimmo would leave her alone, she finally relented.
A few moments later, Sidney yelled out, “We have a loossser...” all the while trying to hide a smirk behind his hand.
“The only loser I see here is you, you ugly old Nimmo.” Kendri snatched up her flower purse and walked away, her face revealing her irritation. Sidney looked on the Uni with amusement as she left. He’d received a great deal more insulting comments from patrons of the fairgrounds. “Thisss one won’t last long around here.” He chuckled to himself. “If Sophie or Edna doesn’t turn her into a toad in less than a week, then I’m a mortog!”
* * * * *
Little did Sidney know that the young Uni had no intention of remaining beneath those sinister trees. After a quick stop in Neopia Central for her dinner, Kendri continued onward toward her destination. Roo Island came up quickly, its giant, colourful castle visible even from a distance.
“This looks like the kind of place I could call home,” the Uni commented aloud. “They have cute houses, a cheerful atmosphere, and there are none of those creepy little scarabugs in sight.”
“Welcome to Roo Island!” exclaimed the Blumaroo sitting behind his desk at Roo Island Properties. “You must be thinking about building a home here on beautiful Roo Island.”
Kendri smiled. “It seems like such a lovely place, but I don’t want to hurry. I’d like to take some time to look around, to make sure this is truly the place I wish to call home.”
“But of course. Take as long as you need. Might I suggest you visit good King Roo in his castle? He can find you a room for the night, and suggest all the fun activities to be enjoyed here.”
She did just as he said. King Roo was more than happy to show her an unused room within his castle walls, and kept her busy for hours with games of Dice-A-Roo and stories of the island. By the time she lay down on her very comfortable Gummy Dice Bed that night, she was almost sure she would be returning to request the building of a new house.
It was very late in the night when a strange tapping awoke her from her sleep. Confused and more than a little annoyed, she walked over to the window. “Who lets their petpet fly about at this time of night?” she grumbled. “It really is very rude.”
Reaching out a hoof to frighten the stray petpet away, she received quite a fright herself. Glaring at her was a pair of great black eyes and sharp, pointy fangs. Count Von Roo had awakened from his daily slumber, and his hunger drove him to roam the island. With an earsplitting shriek, Kendri dove backward, nearly colliding with a side table in her rush to get away from the thin pane of glass. Knowing Roo’s guards would soon be on to him, Von Roo gave one last glaring snarl before turning and disappearing into the darkness.
Kendri politely refused when a new property for sale was brought to her attention the next morning. She couldn’t bring herself to admit how frightened she had been, not when Roo had been so kind to her. But even the youngest Blumaroo on the island could see how shaken she was as she took her leave of that colorful land and set out for her new destination.
* * * * *
“How could there be a more perfect place for me than Faerieland? I was a fool to try living anywhere else.” Kendri sat at her newly bought Light Faerie Table, admiring the pink and purple theme of her new home. “Everything here is to my own taste. The petpets are all so adorable, especially me sweet little Mipzy.” She smiled happily down on her friendly Floud. “You never make big nasty messes like Tanzi’s warf Spot always did.”
A memory of a time when Spot had upended his food dish all over the floor came to mind, and Kendri could not help giggling. She related the story to Mipzy, who contentedly played at her feet.
“Of course Spot was a very silly petpet, and didn’t realize that his petpet food would be so wet. He went sliding back and forth all over the kitchen floor. This, of course, was never entirely clean of sand. When Tanzi went to give him a bath, she looked as if Spot had put all of his dirt on to her and still not gotten at all clean.” She sighed. “I have everything I want in a home, Mipzy, but I’m not happy. I miss my sister. She was messy and had no taste, but we had so many good times together.” Mipzy looked up at her, wiggling her ears as if to respond.
“The desert may be disgusting, but you know what, girl? It’s where my real home is. Come on, Mipzy. Let’s go home.”
* * * * *
Tanzi smiled when she opened the door to find her sister standing there. “I knew you’d be back before long. Enjoy your travels out in the wilds of Neopia?”
“It was simply awful, Tanzi! First I was robbed of my points by that nasty Scratchcard Nimmo Sidney, and when I got to Roo Island a most horrible monster tried to attack me! My only regret is giving up my pretty little place among the clouds of Faerieland. But you know, even faeries must get tired of staring at fluffy clouds all the time.”
“I’ve missed you too, sis.”
“At least I’ve brought home my darling little floud Mipzy to remind me of that wonderful place. I’m hoping she’ll be a good example for naughty little Spot.”
“I wouldn’t count on it.”
“Ah well. One can hope.”
“What are all these other boxes for? Surely your petpet doesn’t need this many supplies.”
“Oh, this is all my lovely furniture! It will look so much better than that worn and tattered stuff we currently have.”
The next day, a very disgruntled pink Uni could be seen sitting behind a booth over which was painted these words: Faerieland Furniture Priced to Sell. Though Tanzi did at least let her keep her pretty light faerie table. It was the one piece of furniture Spot never got to chew. Mipzy made well sure of that. Believe it or not, petpets have decorative preferences too.