Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 96,497,777 Issue: 189 | 6th day of Hunting, Y7
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The Missing Mint Kyrii Ice Cream: Part One


by shadowcristal

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"Thank you!" Taelia smiled happily. "Here is an ice cream coupon!" The Snow Faerie handed the green piece of paper to me and we left her house.

     "How did you get those items so fast?" I asked my sister when we got out of Taelia's yard.

     "A lady should always be prepared for such occurrences," Anatolia said haughtily. I rolled my eyes and kept quiet. My sister was always like this, obsessed with being a fine lady. I noticed that she had brushed her red Kyrii fur thoroughly today since it shone as bright as the sun.

     "Well, why don't we get some ice cream?" I said, trying to change the subject.

     "All right," she said, waving her paw dismissively.

     I smiled and started the walk down the mountain to Happy Valley. The falling snow and the cold made me rather philosophical. The noise of something being scrunched under my feet made me stop and I looked down.

     The item under my feet surprised me. I stepped aside and picked it up, leafed through the wet papers and arrived at the conclusion that it was an issue of the Neopian Times.

     "What is it?" Anatolia said as she walked past me. "Found a paint brush on the ground or something?"

     "No," I replied as I tried to make out the story on the wet newspaper. Then I heard that my sister stopped and picked up something too.

     "What is it, Ana?" I asked sarcastically. "Found a Faerie Paint Brush on the ground or something?"

     "I'm afraid that I didn't," Anatolia said as I noticed the pink paper. How typical of Ana to pick up a poster of the Grooming Parlor. I turned my attention back to the Neopian Times, still trying to figure out which issue it was since the thing that Ana had was of no interest to me.

     "It's Kojak!" I said after a few minutes' effort. I had finally managed to make out enough words to know that it was a detective story starring the great Lupe. From the words, I supposed that it was the case that involved an Invisible Shoyru and more.

     "Kojak?" my sister said, raising an eyebrow. "He must have a bad sense of fashion, being clad in that old green coat all winter." She frowned and went back to examining the thing she had picked up.

     I shook my head as I put the newspaper away. Anatolia just didn't get it. My sister wasn't interested in mysteries or anything exciting for that matter. All I had seen her care about was Usuki Dolls, Grooming Items, beautifying herself and trying to be the best.

     I was the complete opposite of her. Really, I was interested in adventuring and never worried about getting my fur dirty. The detective stories in the Neopian Times fascinated me, and Kojak's were the best of them all. Sure, he was my great big idol, but I wouldn't run to his house screaming like an insane fangirl just to get an autograph. That wasn't the kind of admiration I had for him. No, what I'd really like was to solve a mystery just like Kojak did, and stare into the eyes of the one guilty of the crime.

     It was excitement I yearned, and little did I know that I was about to receive more than my share.

     I turned my head around. Anatolia had disappeared. Worried, I cast a glance at the Ice Cream Stand that was about five meters in front of me, but she wasn't there. Where could my sister be? I hadn't heard her steps for a while, but only now had I noticed that she had disappeared.

     Then I noticed that I had stepped on something the second time this day. I bent down and picked it up. It was an advertisement for the Grooming Parlor, and I immediately knew where my sister was. I hoped that Anatolia would remember to visit our owner Summer, who was at the Kadoatery trying to feed her first Kad. Summer would definitely need some words of encouragement, having tried the whole week and not getting a single Kad yet.

     The frustration came to my mind as I walked closer to the stand, feeling sorry for my owner. She was always trying so hard for the new things in Neopia, but it was rare that she would succeed. A high, ear-piercing scream broke my concentration.

     "Oh woe!" I heard someone cry dramatically. "My Mint Kyrii Ice Cream is gone!"

     "What?" I said, running towards the direction that I had heard the voice. As I have told you before, I'm a pretty clumsy pet with cute Cybunny paws and a way-too-fluffy blue mane. I didn't see where I was going and tipped forward just when someone screamed 'stop'.

     It was too late for me to be saved. With a loud crash, I fell into the Ice Cream Stand. Lying on the ground and feeling incredibly dizzy, I now realized that I had been running into the stand.

     "Sorry," I said as I got up. To my relief my joints moved smoothly. I hadn't broken any bones or anything, but my tail hurt a little bit. Then I turned around and saw the mess that I had caused.

     I froze. Frosty ice cream cones were everywhere, and a few pieces of fancy fabric dangled from the broken umbrella. Luckily Mr. Chipper had seen me coming and he stood beside his ruined stand with a crooked bow if you could consider that little thing a mess.

     "I'm really sorry!" I said as I tried to make the Ice Cream Stand stand upright again. The broken umbrella waved around a bit, but the shaky three wheels held. Then I dropped down on my knees and started picking up ice cream.

     "Careful, there are probably pointy plastic shards on the ground from that cart and the umbrella," Mr. Chipper said as he helped me. There were a lot of ice cream in many different flavors, but we got it done only in a few minutes.

     Mr. Chipper took out a big cardboard box and wrote 'CLOSED' on it before he put the box on the broken stand. He looked at me and sighed deeply.

     For a moment there, I could feel his sadness. Feeling regretful, I stuck my coupon in his paw and patted him gently, despite the fact that he was taller than me. Looking at the blue, living, breathing creature in front of me, I realized that it must've been a lifetime of work to gather ice cream, drag them all up here and just to get his cart knocked down by a stupid, klutzy pet like me. I had hurt him.

     "It's all right," he finally said, breaking the long silence. Then he blinked and looked at the green ice cream coupon in his hand.

     "No, it's not," I protested, still feeling guilty. The philosophical moment was over, but I still felt that I had to do something. "Since I broke a lot of your stuff, here's is a coupon to make up for it. Is there any other way I can help?" As I pronounced the last words, I realized that I might be ordered to do anything for him in a week... or worse, for eternity. But Mr. Chipper wasn't that mean, was he?

     "I've collected all the ice cream and they're all there," he muttered to himself. "And the collection of coupons is going well..."

     Then it occurred to me that perhaps Mr. Chipper didn't trade his ice cream to us just for fun. Perhaps he was an avid collector that was willing to give some of his precious ice cream in order for coupons. But maybe I was wrong...

     "But the extra... it's missing..."

     I turned around and looked at him intently, as if I was seeing him for the first time. Something was missing? I remembered the excitement that I had felt while reading about missing things and detectives who found them, but experiencing something in real life was completely different.

     "What is missing?" I asked eagerly.

     "My Mint Kyrii Ice Cream," Mr. Chipper said, wringing his paws with a painful expression on his face. "And it was the only one I had besides the one in my gallery... I was planning on doing a good deed and giving it to the next person who presented a coupon to me..."

     "Mint Kyrii Ice Cream?" I repeated. Hmm... It was the one of the more expensive items in Neopia and one of those impossible-to-get items for the Kadoatery. If only I could've gotten it so Summer would be able to feed a Kad at last...

     And then I realized it. I could do something! I didn't have to sit here and stare into space, feeling sorry for Mr. Chipper. I could do something for him!

     Excited, I quickly made a plan. This was my chance to shine, my chance at being a detective. Even if I was clumsy and stupid and owed Mr. Chipper lots, this might be a great idea to repay him!

     Making a little mysterious cough, I grasped Mr. Chipper's paw and looked right into his eyes.

     "I'm a detective," I lied. (No, I wasn't a detective by then, but perhaps I'd be one in the future so it was just a white lie...) "And I'm sure I can help you with this."

     "What?" Mr. Chipper asked. "Oh, the Mint Kyrii Ice Cream? Someone must've stolen it. It was here just a few minutes ago..." He smiled gratefully, actually believing that I was a great detective. It felt bad to trick him after everything that I had put him through, but if this would work...

     "The Missing Mint Kyrii Ice Cream." I brushed my fur a little bit, trying to look mysterious. "Yes, I'll solve this case!"

     "Thank you," he said. "May I enquire your name, great detective?"

     That was when the guilt got me. "I'm not that great," I said, "and my name is Sandra."

     "Sandra, eh?" Mr. Chipper said. "Well, good luck, Super Detective Sandra!"

     Those honest eyes brimming of trust... I was embarrassed, but now that I had promised something, I would keep that promised. Then I thought of what to do next. Of course! Asking questions!

     "Well, let's start by asking a few questions," I said in my best professional voice. "What are your daily routines?"

To be continued...

 
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