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Of Potions and Paintbrushes: Part One


by masaryk_the_mad

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Also by antiaircraft

“Sun, I’m home!” Frostgleam called out merrily to her brother as she opened the heavy oak door of their stately Haunted Woods home. She set her canvas shopping bags down on the cool marble floor in the grand foyer and waited for a response from her brother.

      “I’m in the sitting room," a gruff voice called from a room off to Frostgleam’s right.

      She followed the voice through the front parlour to the sitting room at the rear of the house. A shaggy Werelupe was sitting in an antique armchair, by the fireplace, reading a book. It was one of the books that Frostgleam had bought at the Neopian Press that she didn’t really enjoy. She thought, when she bought it, that it would be really interesting, but it turned out to be such a boring book that she never finished it. Sun, however, was completely immersed in it.

     Frostgleam loved shopping in Neovia. Their house had every piece of furniture offered in Alabaster Chesterdrawers’ shop. She had even bought some of the fancier ones for their Terror Mountain vacation home. She also adored all the clothes made by Prigpants & Swolthy. The clothing was all so very sophisticated, and Frostgleam loved being a sophisticated Aisha. Most of the clothes didn’t fit her, but she had bought all the dresses that did. She also made sure that her other brother, Drakovitch, had one of the lovely brown suit coats.

     Shopping in Neovia was exactly what Frostgleam had just returned from. Frostgleam had gone first to the Neovian Press. Reading was one of her most cherished pastimes. She had been trying for months to get a copy of Love Hurts, but every time she went in to check for it, they were sold out. However, this time, Frostgleam was in luck. As soon as she walked into the shop, the pretty, green Pteri that owned the shop told her they had one copy left today. Frostgleam stopped being a sophisticated Aisha for a moment and ran to the shelf to grab the book before anyone else could get there. She hastily paid the shopkeeper close to the list price, without really bothering to haggle. At last, a copy was hers!

     Then, Frostgleam went to Prigpants & Swolthy to buy a new pink sun hat. Her old one had blown off her head in a strong spring breeze and landed in a mud puddle. She had tried to wash all the muck out, but it never quite came clean. She had even tried to make a washing potion, but something was wrong with her formula, and it turned her hat into a pile of sludge.

     Once she bought her new hat, she quickly stopped in at the Crumpetmonger’s bakery to buy some blueberry scones, before going to have tea with the ghost Aisha that minds the Abandoned Attic. Frostgleam always looked forward to having some time to visit with another ghost Aisha. The two would always talk about all sorts of ghost Aisha things together, such as which clothes looked good with their unique complexion. Today, they had a long conversation about how they became ghosts. Frostgleam was so immersed in listening to the other Aisha’s story that she lost track of time. The other Aisha was also so intent on sharing her story that she forgot to put out more items to sell for a long, long time. When the two finally realised how much time had passed, Frostgleam bade the other Aisha a good evening and hurried home to show off her new hat to her brother.

     “Do you like my new hat,” she queried, spinning around to show it off from all angles.

     Sun looked up from his book, looking over his reading glasses. “ Well, if you would come into the room, so that I could see you, I would let you know.”

     “I’m standing right here, silly!” Frostgleam said, a little irritated. “Do tell me what you think of my hat.”

     Sniffing the air, Sun stated, “I can smell you there, but I can’t see you.” He licked his lips. “Do you happen to have any of those tasty scones left?”

     “Can’t see me?” Frostgleam asked, a note of panic in her voice. “Stop fooling around, Sun!”

     “I’m not fooling around, Frostgleam, dear. I cannot see you.” The Lupe sounded very serious.

     “Oh, no! Not again,” Frostgleam moaned. She ran back though the foyer, through the dining hall and kitchen to the lavatory at the back of the house and flung the door open. A ray of light came in through the trees, and through the main floor lavatory window. Staring at the mirror before her, Frostgleam could only see the reflection of the empty doorway behind her.

     “I’m invisible!” she cried. Frostgleam now completely forgot about being a sophisticated Aisha and began to stomp her feet and wail.

     All of the commotion drew both of her brothers to see what was happening. Drakovitch was still wearing his lab coat. Frostgleam had left him to mind a potion she was working on today.

     “What’s all the fuss?” the calm shadow Draik asked Sun, as the two entered the kitchen.

     Sun was carrying one of the canvas bags, which he set down on the counter. He pulled out a package of scones, took one, then passed the rest to the Draik. “It happened to her again,” Sun stated, pointing toward the invisible temper tantrum going on in the lavatory doorway. “I don’t know why this keeps happening to her. She must be the unluckiest Aisha around.”

     Frostgleam was suddenly aware of the unnecessary display she was putting on and calmed down. Still exasperated, she explained to Drakovitch, “I got turned invisible again.” She walked over to where her brothers were standing. She was feeling so glum about her predicament that she started gobbling up another scone, in spite of already having had enough to eat.

     Frostgleam had some unusually bad luck with stumbling into things that made her invisible. In the past two years, she had turned invisible four times. Four times! She also had an unfortunate run-in with Boochi, but that’s a story for another time.

     The first time Frostgleam became invisible was just before Halloween, the year before last. She had just ordered the Whimsical Gothic Dress, from the posh mall in Neopia Central, to wear to the Halloween Ball, when she was stricken with a curse.

     She had been eyeing up the dress in the shop window for months. But as soon as she received an invitation to the Halloween Ball, she knew she had to have that dress. She ordered it immediately.

     As soon as the dress arrived, Frostgleam couldn’t wait to put it on. There were lots of ribbons to be tied and tiny buttons to fasten, as one would expect for any dress that elegant. She took her time with each of them. When she finished doing up the final hook-and-eye, she stood proudly in front of her mirror. Then, she ran off down the hall to show her new dress to Sun. That was Frostgleam’s fatal error. She knew it was considered to be bad luck to let a friend see you wearing clothing purchased for a special occasion ahead of the event. By the time she made it down the hall, she was nowhere to be seen.

     She was devastated by her bad luck. It took her a day or two to come to terms with what had happened and formulate a plan. Halloween was coming very soon, so she had to take action. She planned a journey to Mystery Island, to visit the famed Trading Post. Once there, she was able to secure a special paint brush to return her to her ghostly colour. In fact, she decided to buy two of these paint brushes, just in case it happened to her again.

     The next time that Frostgleam had turned invisible, it was while she was fighting off one of the vile wraiths that plagued Neopia during the time that the Faeries were still under Xandra’s curse. Luckily, she had bought that spare paint brush. Seeing as she was an Aisha that liked to think ahead, she travelled back to Mystery Island to secure another paint brush for herself.

     Frostgleam soon found out that it had been good planning on her part, as she had accidentally bumped into Boochi, about a month ago, while standing in line to buy a scratch card from Sidney. While it might have been cute for Frostgleam to have turned into a Baby Aisha, it was neither haunting nor elegant, and Frostgleam was not too happy about that. She was quick to have Drakovitch fly over to Mystery Island to find her another magical paint brush.

     Boochi was not the end of her woes, however. Scarcely a week ago, she had managed to somehow turn invisible once more, Immediately, she hurried to the bank to dig through her safety deposit box for that spare paint brush she kept for just such an emergency. Only a matter of hours had passed before she was back to being her regular, ghostly self.

     Unfortunately, Frostgleam had been a rather busy Aisha for the past week. She didn’t have time to travel to the Trading Post to find herself another spare paint brush. There was always the possibility that she still had an extra paint brush, but she was pretty sure she didn’t.

     Almost as if he was reading her mind, Sun asked, “Don’t you keep a spare paint brush in your safety deposit box?”

     “I don’t know if I have an extra one right now,” she replied in a distant voice, as she tried to mentally go through the thousands of items she had squirrelled away. “I think I may have used the last one.” She frowned, her ears drooping, though no one could see her sad expression.

     Although he couldn’t see the disappointment in her face, Drakovitch could sense Frostgleam’s dismay. “Don’t worry, sister dear,” he said in a calming voice. “We can work on making a potion to change you back to your regular self. I will be happy to help you.” A slow smile spread across his face.

     A potion! What a marvellous idea! Immediately, Frostgleam’s mind started racing. Instead of trying to mentally catalogue the contents of her safety deposit box, she began making a mental list of the books in her library that would help with this task.

     “Drakovitch, you’re a genius!” she gushed, kissing him on the cheek. She also hugged Sun, as she was very grateful for his support. With a giddy laugh, she hurried toward the library.

To be continued...

 
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