Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 164,193,660 Issue: 179 | 25th day of Awakening, Y7
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The Loneliest Grundo

by shoveitgirl


"Sakura! Get down here right now!" KikiAnneBuzz called to her little sister.

     "Just one more minute! You know I wouldn't miss your Battledome match, Kiki!"

     "Well mom, Eek and I are headed down to the Dome. You're gonna have to drag Equi with ya by 2:30."

      Sakura24601 (a.k.a Sakura the red Ruki) groaned loudly to her sister, making her think she would hate bringing Equi_Lea, her little white Grundo sister, along. In reality, she was glad her bigger sisters weren't bringing her. Everyone thought Equi was just "a mentally challenged Grundo" (to quote her most soft-spoken sister EekMeekSeek), but Sakura knew otherwise. She had heard her speak, something that was thought that she couldn't do. Equi_Lea often carried out meaningful conversations with her sister. If only she would let them know that.

      As soon as the front door slammed behind the muscular Kiki, Sakura went to Equi's room in their neohome. No one ever went in that room but Equi and Sakura. If they did, perhaps they wouldn't think Equi was so dumb.

      All the walls of the room had bookcases except the one with her bed. The bookcases were always stocked with new books (in alphabetical order, no less). She had every nick-nack or doo-dad you could think of lined up perfectly on said bookcases and a hoard of health food under the bed.

      Sakura knocked on the door that hid all of this.

     "Just a minute okay?"

     She looked at the clock. They could afford to wait a minute or so. "Fine. Just don't take too long."

      Anyone that didn't know better would think that she got a hefty allowance of neopoints, but that was far from true. Her mother gave her youngest daughter the least allowance of all her children, a mere 25 neopoints, stating that "she won't know the difference".

      A next guess would be that her sisters gave her money. EekMeekSeek, the blue Flotsam, and KikiAnneBuzz, a blue Buzz, rarely gave their sister anything. Even her Ruki sibling never had to give her much. Equi_Lea loved to play games, and was incredibly good at it. Every day, Sakura said that she was going to go play games and every day she brought Equi. Really, the only game she played was Usuki Frenzy; her Grundo companion played the rest.

      Many times Equi would get her mother's account name on the high score boards, but for some reason she was afraid of others finding it to be her that was the wizard of these grand scores. Maybe it was from year upon year of people saying she couldn't do anything (and her actually starting to agree), but she didn't want anyone to know she was the one mastered these games. So every time, Sakura would tell her mother she scored the high score.

      After gaming for a few hours, the sisters would head out shopping. Sakura loved seeing her thrifty sister silently haggling up a storm, and Equi always got the items at lower than retail. They'd buy baked goods, and collectable cards for Equi's collection, or sometimes even a new instrument to play in the woods behind their house. But the smart neopet always saved 10000 neopoints, half of her typical earnings, for her money stash.

      Her money stash was money saved up for a bigger, more important, item like an expensive quest item or (her most important goal) a Faerie Paint Brush. Sakura knew Equi must have enough to buy it now; she had been saving for nearly 2 years now. She just wondered why she never bought the paintbrush that would mean so much to her. The faerie paint brush, to Equi_Lea, meant she would never be called stupid again; she would be prized. She'd be treasured, she'd be loved.

      A look at the clock pulled Sakura out of her thoughts. Her sister's match in the Battledome was to start in a half an hour and they hadn't yet started to get to there!

     "Equi, time to go!"

     "Just a minute!" said Equi_Lea in her small voice.

     "You don't HAVE a minute! We got to get to the Battledome in 30 minutes!"

      Equi came out of her room with bags of neopoints. "It wont take more than 2 minutes."

     Sakura sighed. "I guess it wouldn't be that bad. Come on, let's go."

      They walked in a fast jog, hoping to make it in time. Sakura and even Equi were starting to doubt it wouldn't "take more than 2 minutes". "Equi, it's been 10 minutes! When are we going to get there?"

     "We're here!" she said simply.

      They walked into a quaint little store, nothing too special looking. "Sakura, why don't you wait outside." Sakura was shocked. Equi_Lea never did anything without her! Yet she had to respect her decision.

      From the vantage point Sakura had outside the window, she could see Equi haggling with the shopkeepers. She could vaguely hear the shopkeeper say, "Two million neopoints will get you the lot," and saw the white Grundo hand over the money for a full bag of who-knows-what. Sakura quickly glanced at the clock inside the store. 2:45! She barged straight into the store, and with little more than a "Time to go!", pulled Equi down the street. "We missed the match!"

     Equi felt bad. "I'm so sorry!"

     Sakura smiled, "It's okay. We can't get in too much trouble, could we?"

      "HOW COULD YOU MISS YOUR SISTER'S MATCH?!?! YOU KNOW THIS MEANT A LOT TO HER!" her mom yelled at the top of her lungs. "I won my match against the Grarrl from Tyrannia, no thanks to you!" complained Kiki. "That was really insensitive," said Eek. The Flotsam's soft-spoken remark hurt Sakura the worst. "I'm sorry guys, it's just that..."

      Then a voice came from behind all the verbal attackers, "Don't blame her." Their heads whipped around to see Equi_Lea speaking to them.

      "I wanted to head to a shop. I made Sakura late. I should be the one who is punished."

     "You're . . . speaking!" whispered the oh-so observant EekMeekSeek.

     "I started talking about three years ago. By that point, I think you had made up your mind I was stupid. I only told Sakura and I'm glad I did. She has taken me to earn money on games and spend it on items. But with my saved money, I bought this." Equi emptied her mystery bag to reveal four paintbrushes: A Fire, a Cloud, a Rainbow, and a Faerie.

      "First, the fire brush is for the toughest neopet I know, Kiki." A shocked Buzz held the orange and black paintbrush, as close as anyone had seen her to crying.

      "Next, a cloud brush for the dreamer of the family, Eek." EekMeekSeek was really crying as she received the paintbrush.

      "For the only person that made my world bright the last few years, a rainbow brush. Sakura?" Sakura smiled as she was handed the purchase.

      "Mom, the only thing I can give you is my love. Not that it helped these past years, but at least I can say I tried." Her mom leapt forth and gave Equi a hug. "I'm so sorry, Equi_Lea. I should have treated you better. I have no excuse."

      EekMeekSeek leapt on Equi also. "I should have known you weren't dumb. I'm sorry!"

      This emotional display drove KikiAnneBuzz to tears. "I should have loved you more. After all, you are my littlest sister."

      Sakura24601 smiled and joined the group hug. "I'm glad you found the love you deserve."

      Equi smiled from the bottom of the pile of tears and said,

     "But the Faerie Paintbrush is MINE!"

The End

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