The Most Amazing Fortune Teller in all Neopia
First there was Chalsie, the blue Ogrin. She'd always be running around, telling random pets their fortune or dancing alone in fields, farm land, or in her bedroom. Her owner, Lo, felt that her sweet pet might be lonely and went to the pound to get her a playmate.
Now, not just any pet would make a good companion for the eccentric Chalsie. Lo waited until the pound had a pet that was accepting, quiet, had a good attitude, and also had interests of their own. Along came Hog17, the brown Moehog who was soon renamed Venteen.
At first, Venteen was shy. Chalsie was so excited to have a new brother but Venteen kept thinking of his old home and didn't want to mess up and be put in the pound again. Lo tried to be encouraging and let him know that she understood, as she was shy herself in new places, but Venteen just couldn't relax.
Chalsie was a bit younger than Venteen and felt that she could scare him into having fun. She would wait for hours, even reading while she waited for her older brother to happen by so she could pop out and yell "Boo!" She succeeded in the scaring part but not on the fun.
Venteen felt like a failure, well aware of why he was adopted but feeling like he was letting Lo and his new sister down. If he'd talked to Lo about it, she would have set him straight. Sure, she had wanted Chalsie to have a playmate but she also wanted whatever pet she adopted to feel welcomed and free to be themselves. Alas, he was too withdrawn to go to her about such a thing and told himself that the late teen was too busy with high school graduation and preparing for college.
He packed a kerchief and awkwardly tied it to a stick using his teeth, mouth, tusks, and hooves in various ways until he felt it was secure. He snuck out the back, preparing to take himself back to the pound.
"Boo!" yelled Chalsie, who'd been waiting in the bushes behind the Neohome.
"Chalsie!" he yelled back, dropping his pack and subsequently watching his belongings scatter everywhere.
She ran to help but stopped after picking up the first item. She looked to her brother with sadness in her eyes. "You're leaving?" Already, her voice was warbling.
He was uncomfortable and looked away, focusing on picking up his things instead. "Yes. Maybe someone else will adopt me and I won't mess it up."
His sister sniffled. "No! You didn't mess up here, I did. It was stupid and childish of me to keep playing games. I should have grown up for you then you wouldn't want to leave because you don't like me."
Startled, he looked over to her but she was already backing away. Before he could do anything, she turned and ran. He tried to stop her but his short Moehog legs couldn't compete with her long Ogrin ones.
He didn't feel right leaving like this. He finished picking up his things so Lo wouldn't suspect anything then went searching for his sister.
I'm such a failure. Lo would let me do whatever I wanted and look what I did - I made Chalsie run away. He worried for the young Ogrin, hoping she was safe. She was here first. If anything happened to her, I'd-
Sniffling, up in the tree above him. It was Chalsie, her fur a mess and tears swelling up her eyes. "Chalsie!" he called.
She looked down then turned away. "Go ahead, don't let me stop you." She wiped at her nose. "Lo and I will be be fine. It'll be like before."
He winced, thinking hard and fast how to get her down before something bad happened. He had an idea. "Chalsie, if you don't come down, who's going to read my fortune?"
She slowly turned around, suspicious. "You want me to read your fortune?"
"Well, I can't have my fortune read by anyone else, can I? I only trust the 'Most Amazing Fortune Teller in all Neopia' to tell me my future."
She sighed. "Okay." She slowly climbed down, watching Venteen carefully the whole time. Once she reached the bottom he wanted to hug her but refrained. She let out a breath, drew herself up, and said in her most grown up voice, "Follow me to my office." They went to the tree house.
Venteen had been shown the tree house when he was first adopted but this was his first time going inside. It was easy to see Lo had let Chalsie have the most say in the decor. There were purple curtains with yellow stars billowing at the paneless window. On the floor was a shaggy pink rug and there were two couches, one blue and a green one with vertical white stripes. In the corner was a dark wood bookshelf with some library books, notebooks, coloring supplies, and small toys and knick knacks. Chalsie sat on the blue couch and motioned for Venteen to sit opposite her.
Her face was now serene, all traces of earlier's sadness gone. Venteen was watching but somehow missed her withdrawing some tarot cards. She laid them out on the cushion between them.
"You only going to put down three?" he couldn't resist asking. She lifted an eyebrow and he quickly added, "What am I talking about? You're the amazing fortune teller, you know what you're doing."
She looked back to the cards, studying them. "Thank you. Now here, I've put down your past, present, and future." She looked back up, making sure he was following. He nodded and she continued, gesturing to the one on her left. "Your past is clouded with mistakes, regrets, and emotional turmoil."
He quirked a brow. How did she know words like 'emotional turmoil' and he never talked about his past! She gestured to the card in the middle. "You're at a crossroads, trying to escape the calamity you feel you make wherever you are and to go somewhere you can just quietly exist without making any impact on your surroundings or the people around you."
He looked around, wondering where she got words like 'calamity' and 'crossroads,' suspecting a friend of hers to be holding up cue cards or something. She looked up and met his eye. "Please pay attention as this is your destiny we're discussing."
He gulped. "Right." Where'd she get 'destiny' from? Is she channeling something?
She thrust her paw at the third card, making the others bounce on the cushion. "Your future holds compassionate people, tolerance, and fun." She put down three cards vertically, to right of the third already on the couch.
"What do those mean?" he asked redundantly, realizing he'd made another mistake.
She shook her head but smiled. "There you go again, afraid to just live, as the card at top indicates." Without looking away, she continued, "The card in the middle tells me you must work on your patience and the third.."She paused, looking down again. She threw up her paws and leaned back on the armrest. "I don't know what it says. You tell me."
"What?!" He leaned forward, studying it. It was a green Eyrie flying towards what looked like Faerieland. He smiled, something he hadn't done in a long time. "Come on, Chalsie, I have an idea."
A few hours later, he'd found what he wanted to show her. In the grass of the glade, not too far in the forest, there were some petpetpets working away at their tiny chores. He excitedly explained what they were doing, what each was called, and obscure facts about each. Chalsie looked bewildered but was trying to follow along with what he told her. After awhile, they just watched in silence, Venteen beaming and Chalsie looking thoughtful.
Finally, Venteen broke the silence, slowly looking to his sister. "You know what? You really are the 'Most Amazing Fortune Teller in all Neopia."
She nudged him, smiling. "Thanks but I already knew that." He laughed and her expression turned serious. "You know what?" He squirmed, thinking he'd made a mistake, then she proclaimed, "You're the 'Best Big Brother in all Neopia!'"
He beamed. For once, he didn't feel nervous, scared, or rejected. All he felt was contentment, happy to simply be hanging out with his little sister.