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Pet Name: Kokilakiochi
"I don't know about this," the ghost Kacheek murmured in a woeful tone.
"Come on, it'll be fun!" I announced in a hopefully reassuring way. "You could win a trophy! It'll look great in your collection won't it?" Koki's collection was amazing! She lived in the attic, which was stuffed with all sorts of cool contraptions, dusty old scrolls and books, and apparently priceless antiques. What I really loved were the model ships; there was this Shenkuuvian one that could supposedly actually fly and-
"Um, lmpedimeta, did you have some questions then?" Koki's soft voice gently reminded me of why I was there. She always addressed me by my full name, though I normally just preferred "Imp". I couldn't be annoyed by it though because it was just her way to be so solemnly formal all the time. I wondered for a moment if it bothered her to be called Koki, but she had never said so. Kokilakiochi seemed like a ridiculously long name and I couldn't even pronounce it properly.
I sat down at the top of the attic stairs and flipped open my battered blue notebook, past pages of doodles and scribbles to the list of questions I had written. "Questions for Koki's Pet Spotlight Entry" was written as neatly as possible on the top line. I didn't have great handwriting, but I could always read it fine, and I found it unfair that Sasha always found it "illegible".
I ran my eyes over the list.
"1. What is your favorite food?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. If you had one wish, what would it be?
4. What is your favorite item in your collection and why?
5. How did your collection start?"
I bit my lip, nervous but excited. I had never interviewed anyone before. The first few questions were pretty basic and unoriginal, and the last couple just might annoy Koki. She was pretty private and mysterious, so I knew next to nothing about her. Well, she had a cool collection of everything imaginable and always seemed to be depressed, but just who was she when she was alive? How did she end up haunting my family's attic? I knew I probably wasn't going to get answers to those questions today, but perhaps I could coax something interesting out of her.
"So," I started, willing myself to sound confident. "Do you have any favorite foods? ...Besides chocolate cake, I mean." Before meeting Koki, I wouldn't have thought that ghosts ate. A few years ago, though, my owner had baked a big chocolate cake for my birthday. Thickly frosted and sprinkled with walnuts, it had looked absolutely delicious and I couldn't wait for a piece. "Be patient, Imp. You can have some after dinner," my owner had said. I waited all day, ate dinner, and finally it was time for cake! But it was gone! Someone had eaten every last crumb. Coco and Sasha had been out shopping, and Tymr didn't even like chocolate. I knew my owner wouldn't have eaten my special cake. Who could have eaten it? That had been first clue that led me to discover our house was haunted.
"Oh," said Koki, thinking for a moment. "Queela Crisps." I nodded and quickly scrawled her answer in my notebook.
"Lavender," she sighed.
"And, what would you do if you had one wish?"
There was an awkward silence for a while. I started doodling in the margins of my notebook.
"I wish I could leave this house." I was a little surprised, but I guess I shouldn't have been. As a ghost Koki was apparently stuck here. I remembered she once had told me she could only leave for a few hours on Halloween night. I thought of all the rare items in her collection from all over Neopia. I wondered if she had once been to all those places. Maybe she missed them. Maybe she only dreamed of seeing them. Did she get to visit them on Halloween?
"Err... What's your favorite thing?" I blurted out stupidly. "From your collection, I mean."
Koki looked thoughtful, then disappeared further into the attic. It was sort of dark in there, and felt a bit spooky now that I was alone. Though I suppose it should have been spookier to be talking to an actual ghost. But Koki was nice enough. Well, as long as you don't get her angry that is.
In a moment, she was back, holding a model ship. I realized at once it was the flying one. A little exclamation of "Oh!" escaped my lips. Koki pulled an intricate wind-up key, made to look like a Kazeriu, from what seemed to be thin air. She carefully inserted it into a slot in the model and turned it a few times.
To my amazement, the sails fluttered. The ship made a humming noise and before I knew it, it was flying around the room. It went around and around for a little while, then the humming stopped and it started to descend. Koki quickly caught it.
"Wow, that was amazing! Ok, I have one more question." It was then I realized hadn't asked why the ship was Koki's favorite, but I figured it was a little late now. If I asked two questions now I might annoy her.
"How did your collection start?" I regretted the words as soon as they tumbled from my mouth.
Koki didn't get angry. She didn't say anything. It was clear she wasn't prepared for the question. She stared down at the model ship, not meeting my gaze.
There was a long, uncomfortable silence. I didn't doodle anything in my notebook this time. I didn't move a muscle. I wasn't sure if Koki was going to get angry with me or start crying. I wasn't sure whether or not she would do nothing at all. Eventually, she spoke.
"When I was alive, there was a flying ship exactly like this one. This is a model of it. I used to travel on that ship sometimes, and I would bring things back."
I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. I could tell there was more to the story, but this was the most Koki had ever said to me about herself. She was always rather quiet when she wasn't complaining about being ignored.
My brain was buzzing with thought and I hadn't even noticed that Koki had disappeared. I stayed sitting there for a moment. Then I closed my notebook, stuffing my pencil into its spiral binding, and made my way downstairs. I needed to start working on Koki's Pet Spotlight entry. I wondered if I would have enough to write about and how exactly I would describe that marvelous flying ship. And the entries usually had photos of the featured Neopet with them. Would Koki even show up in a photo? I guessed I was going to find out.
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