Rainbow Fountain Blues
It was a bad day. Really, not a good day at all. Who could have thought when I awoke in my Neohome this morning that today would turn out this way? I didn't, or else I probably would have never left.
It started out as a normal. I got out of bed and woke up Vanilla, my Alkenore petpet. Together we sleepily crossed the Neohome living room floor. Our owner was eating breakfast. We joined her, and then I remembered I had an appointment at the Neopian Bank! I had to hurry! I rushed out of our Neopia Central Neohome while Vanilla stayed back to relax throughout the day... petpets are good at relaxing.
I had made it about halfway to the bank when something strange came over me. I stopped, frightened. There was something not quite right in the air. A little bubble popped up... a random event! "Something has happened!" it exclaimed. I braced myself. "A torrent of multi-coloured water falls from the sky and drenches you!!! You hear evil cackling from the sky..."
I looked up, even more frightened. The cloud had passed, and the evil cackling had faded away. But it hit me then, and I looked slowly down... I, a Faerie Kacheek that my owner had saved up for months to paint, had been turned to a basic blue Kacheek again. It was as if the world had ended for a moment! I certainly felt blue, that's for sure. How could I go home and show my owner? What if she was angry with me?
I trudged through Neopia Central, noticing how people saw me differently now that I was back to being a basic color... or didn't see me, for that matter. No one really paid me any attention. I used to get compliments about my pretty wings, or my lovely yellow and orange color. But this time, nothing. No one looked. Head down, I arrived at the Neopian Bank and went to my appointment. That done, I stepped out of the bank, and stopped. I couldn't go home. Not like this. What could I do?
I was resolved to not go home until I had set things right. I turned and started walking. My destination was Faerieland! I would visit the Faerie Quest building and wait until the Fountain Faerie needed help finding ingredients. I could do that! I could search high and low if it meant my owner wouldn't be disappointed in me.
It took a little under three hours to walk to Faerieland. I nearly collapsed when the beautiful land came into sight. There it was! My owner had only taken me there a few times before, to use the Healing Springs or let myself or one of my siblings spin the Wheel of Excitement. I walked into Faerieland and couldn't keep myself from staring in awe around me. What an amazing place! Faeries zoomed by in the sky above, various shops sold cute Faerie petpets and delicious smelling Faerie foods, and there it was to my left, the Rainbow Fountain, with huge gates barring pets that hadn't been granted access, but only smiles of joy on the pets I could see within. One Peophin pet was getting painted Zombie. His owner seemed... a little put off by his new look, but he was ecstatic. The next pet, a Zafara, got painted Faerie. I gulped, remembering what color I used to be. How plain I must look now, to all these beautiful and rare pets...
I made my way to the Faerie Quests building. Pushing open the huge, heavy doors, I saw Fyora standing at the front of a long line of pets. She handed out cards one by one to pets that assigned them the faerie that needed their help, and the item they needed to find. I stood at the back of the line. In front of me, pets chattered excitedly. Some pets spoke about how they wanted to be stronger, or faster, but the majority of pets talked about the most coveted quest of all... a Rainbow Fountain quest. One by one pets received their cards and left the building. The line advanced, until finally I stepped up to the tall, regal faerie. She looked down at me, and I couldn't help cowering a little. She had a soft, kind smile however, and she handed me a card.
"Use this quest wisely, little Kacheek," she said, with a grin.
I looked down. I couldn't believe it! It was impossible! My first try, how could this be? I had received a Fountain Faerie quest!
"T-Thank you, Faerie Queen!" I stuttered, in awe. She gently nodded and scooted me out of the way so that the line could continue.
I slowly stepped away, the reality settling in. I had received a chance to set things right! I left the noisy building, back out to the fresh and sweet-scented air of Faerieland. I looked down at my card. I needed to find, 'Aisha Pencil Sharpener'.
'This shouldn't be too hard,' I thought, 'I have fifteen thousand neopoints in my pocket since I just came from the Bank, this should be enough for any item!' I had saved so long for these neopoints, that I didn't doubt they could buy me any item I desired.
I made my way excitedly back out of Faerieland and to Neopia Central to the Shop Wizard. The fancily clad JubJub sat on a pedestal, looking through many papers and scrolls for the best prices for pets and owners that came to him, searching for items. Luckily the line was short, and I quickly found myself face to face with him.
"What can I find for you?" he asked in a booming voice.
"I'm... looking for Aisha Pencil Sharpener," I said, quietly, a little intimidated by him.
He busied himself for a few moments, rummaging through his papers and then skimming a long scroll. "The cheapest I have is for twenty-four thousand neopoints."
"Great!" I said, digging in my pocket for my neopoints – and then stopped. "...How much did you say?"
"Twenty-four thousand. If you cannot pay, please move along to allow the next pet to use my services."
"I..." I couldn't speak. I paused. The pets behind me were getting restless. A large Grarrl shoved me out of the way and I landed in a patch of grass, tears in my eyes. I couldn't get the item. I didn't have enough. My one chance to make things right, and I had failed. I would have to go back to my owner and show her what had happened. Who knew how angry or disappointed she would be...
I stood up, brushing myself off. Putting the quest card gently into my pocket, I began walking home. I walked slower than normal, not looking forward to what would await me. I arrived twenty minutes later. My owner rushed outside to meet me, clearly worried.
"Where have you been!" she cried, then stopped. "What happened to you!"
I told her the story from the beginning. Her face dropped.
"I can't believe it... after I saved up so much to paint you..."
"I know. I'm sorry." I pulled out the card and handed it to her, "I thought I could fix it by doing this quest for the Fountain Faerie, but I don't have enough neopoints. I failed..."
My owner took the card and looked at it for a long time, eyes wide. She then smiled widely, and rushed into the house. Confused, I waited as she rummaged around inside, then ran back outside and handed me a small item. I blinked. It was an Aisha Pencil Sharpener.
"I wanted to give it to you in a few months when you started Neoschool. But now, you can use it for a bigger purpose."
I just stared. I couldn't believe it! I was holding the item! A huge smile broke out on my face and my owner hugged me, then picked me up and we walked the long way back to Faerieland and to the Faerie Quest building. This time we went in a different line, one where all the Faeries of Neopia stood and waited for the pets that would fulfill their quests. I was the only pet in the line for the Fountain Faerie. I walked up to her slowly, and handed her the card and the item. She took the two and smiled.
"How wonderful! You found my item. You can now be painted any color you'd like by my Fountain. Which do you choose?"
"Fae-..." I stopped, and looked at my owner who had placed a hand on my shoulder.
"You should choose Faerie only if it's the color you want to be painted. I like Faerie, but I like Blue too. You are my pet, above all. This time though, you should choose the color you want to be painted."
I considered this. After a few moments, I smiled softly and looked at the beautiful faerie.
"Plushie, please. That way, I can make people happy and I can receive the thing I love most... hugs!"
It's wonderful being Plushie. My owner hugs me more often than ever, and I have never seen a cuter pet! The best thing I learned from this experience though, was that it doesn't matter what color you are. Every pet matters and just because your color changes, it doesn't mean you change. Your owner will always love you, and you should love yourself!