The Reverse Negg
The Neopia-wide Festival of Neggs had been going on for a couple days now, and Reggie the red Shoyru had the luck of finding not one but none of the neggs being hidden throughout the land.
It wasn't as if he wasn't trying his best to find the glossy gems; it was almost as if the neggs themselves were running away from Reggie. Never one for much luck, Reggie always drew the losing tickets at Tiki Tombola. (Not to mention Reggie always managed to never budge any of the coconuts at Coconut Shy – what a rip off!)
Warren the ghost Kyrii, Reggie's best friend, seemed to get most of luck out of the two, despite his eerie appearance.
It was actually near Warren's house in the Haunted Woods where the seeming root of Reggie's problems began. Reggie, per usual, was attempting to prove his worth at Coconut Shy.
"I'm tellin' ya, Reg, it's all in where you throw the tennis ball –"
Reggie cut off Warren's admonishments* by hurling the tennis ball with all of his might at the wooden planks comprising the Coconut Shy shack. The response to his obvious failed attempt was a shudder from the rickety shack, a cackle from the crazed Quiggle owner, and a sympathetic sigh from Warren.
Warren began slowly, "You could always just maybe try to listen to what I was saying..."
Reggie's wings began to rise in agitation. "Alright, fine, then how about you try the Coconut Shy since you know everything about it!"
Warren frowned. "I think we both know that's not a good idea."
Reggie motioned with his head towards the game, crossing his arms together and stepping out of Warren's way. Warren, sighing, stepped forward, sliding his 100np across to counter to Leeroy, who was finding the entire quarrel far too amusing. The pimply Quiggle managed to take a break from his obnoxious cackling long enough to hand an oil tennis ball to Warren.
With a weary glance towards Reggie, Warren aimed at the centermost coconut, hitting it square in its middle, causing it to topple to the ground with a clack. Leeroy's laughing halted, as he nervously smoothed back the greasy locks that sat atop his head, mumbling something under his breath and sliding 300np across the counter.
Warren paid no heed to the neopoints on the counter, and followed Reggie somberly, who had already begun to make his way out of the Haunted Fairgrounds.
"Sorry for being so immature," Reggie muttered as Warren sidled up beside him.
Warren shrugged his misty shoulders, a light chill breeze following the movement. "It's whatever, but why the sudden outburst? I always rock at Coconut Shy, you know that. I'm from around here, I spent a lot of time in the Fairgrounds as a kid. You know that. It's obviously unfair to you, since you grew up in Neopia Central."
Reggie had grown weary of walking. He shooed a Meowclops from a nearby tree trunk and sat down. Warren floated nearby, blinking his scarlet eyes blankly.
"The thing is – I have no luck! At all! In anything! I never win anything from any of the wheels, I never win anything from scratchcards, not Tombola, never Dice-A-Roo, never in anything that has to do with chance. And that's fine! But the thing that's been getting to me is that the Festival of Neggs is coming to a close soon, and I haven't found a negg myself – not one, and I'm afraid I won't before it ends." Reggie hung his head in despair.
Warren's face lit up with an idea. "Hey, I know! You can have one of mine! I have plenty..." Warren's excitement dimmed. Reggie was giving him his trademark 'you're kidding me, right?' frown. "Orrr... not, I guess."
A sudden rustle of leaves behind them brought them out of their current predicament. Reggie jumped up in surprise, hiding behind Warren. Reggie screeched, "Don't kill me! Kill him, he's already dead!"
"Hey, thanks, Reg," Warren said, frowning and disappearing into the path and reappearing beside Reggie. The rustling grew louder and louder as it got closer.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH!!" Reggie yelled.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!- Wait, Reggie, shut up, it's a Faerie." Warren tilted his head, pondering the thin sparkling green wings make their way towards the two. Reggie hid behind Warren again.
Kari, the negg Faerie, stepped out of the brush, attempting to shoo a Meowclops that had taken a fancy to her. The Meowclops would have none of it, purring and butting its head at her legs. "Okay, okay, you're cute... sort of... with one huge glowing eye... ugh... shoo, please..." Kari mumbled.
Warren began laughing. He floated over near the meowclops and made a frightening face at it. The meowclops hissed and shot off back into the brush. "Sorry about that, the Woods are, uh, a little unpredictable. Meowclops are scaredy cats when it comes down to it."
Kari smiled and bowed. "Thank you, young Kyrii. Say, what is your name?"
"Warren. Oh, and this is my friend Reggie. He's a scaredy cat himself. Heh." Warren indicated Reggie with a transparent thumb pointing over his shoulder.
Kari nodded. "Well, thank you. Both of you." Clasping her hands together for a moment, Kari closed her eyes.
Warren glanced back unsurely at Reggie.
Kari opened her eyes once again, and, smiling, handed a negg with an intricately painted sun on it to Warren. "So you may have a little brightness in Woods so dark!"
Kari approached Reggie and gave him a plain, ivory colored negg. "So you may remember to look at what is within – and remember that that is all that is of importance!"
With that, Kari turned on her heel, walked further down the path, and took flight into the sky.
Warren blinked, looking from his negg to the path to the sky and back again. "That was weird, dude. Wait! But now you have your negg!"
Reggie, still awestruck, stared at his negg. "You're right.. but it's... I've never seen a negg so plain. Do you think she made one this plain just for me? She probably thought I was a coward. Just my luck to make a wrong impression on one of the most treasured faeries."
Warren peered at Reggie's negg over his shoulder. "I don't know, but maybe we can dye it. Wanna try?"
Reggie shrugged. "Might as well."
Back at the cottage deep within the Haunted Woods Warren shared with his mother, father, and younger sister, Reggie and Warren busied themselves collecting all of the fruits Warren's tut-tutting mother would allow them to use for the coloring of the negg.
Dipping the negg in the colored juices of doughnut fruits, flatfruits, and even nova fruits had no effect – they failed to even make a stain.
The negg remained a plain, boring, ivory.
Warren attempted to not let Reggie lose hope. "Hey, don't worry – maybe we need to use some Qasalan fruits or something like that. Something exotic."
Reggie frowned. "It's no use. It's just my luck, to get the one useless and plain negg that exists." With a final sigh, Reggie threw the negg into the trash with a thud. A sudden crack sounded from the trash. Warren and Reggie exchanged puzzled looks for the second in such a bizarre day.
Reggie slowly crept over to the trash can, peering inside it hesitantly. Inside the trash can, the negg had split into two perfect halves. Within the two bowl-like halves, the most intricate and beautiful scenes had been etched within, lit up by a rainbow of unbelievable hues. Reggie picked up the two halves and cradled them in his arms.
"Do you remember when Kari said? It all makes sense now! She said 'to look at what is within,' right?"
Reggie's surprise at the glorious miracle left him speechless. Suddenly, he understood. Luck doesn't matter – it never matters. All that matters is who you are and how you deal with the circumstances you're given – that determines your true luck!
Reggie smiled. "Thank you, Kari," was all he managed to say.