Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 115,191,906 Issue: 230 | 9th day of Running, Y8
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Katie and Terry

by kindheartedfairy


The twelve-year-old blue Acara walked through Neopia Central. She wore a crimson red cloak over her torn plain azure T-shirt and matching shorts. In her left hand she held a piece of torn, old, and yellowish paper, close to her, as if of important value. She stopped, unfolded the piece of paper, and read it for a moment. Her bright yellow eyes darted from one Neopet to the next, as if looking for someone. Katie walked up to a Yellow Ogrin. "Excuse me, but could you tell me where the Haunted Woods are?"

      "Uh… yeah," the Ogrin replied. "But why would you want to go there?"

      "I'm… visiting my grandparents, who live in the Haunted woods," she lied. It was untrue. She had run away from home a month ago to live with her mother, who had disappeared over two years ago.

      "Oh, well, for whatever reason you're going to that awful, frightening place, it's thataway," the Ogrin said, pointing to Katie's left.

      She thanked him and walked off in that direction, thinking about her mother.

      Though it had only been two years since she had last seen her mother, she hardly remembered anything about her. She was a Halloween Acara, now living in the heart of the Haunted Woods, if the map was up to date, and Katie was sure it was. But what was her mother's name? Cheryl. Cheryl. That was her mother's name: Cheryl. Cheryl, a sorceress with great powers, but had been ridiculed by some other sorcerers and sorceresses.

      Katie remembered something else. She was only a witch by her mother's kind's measure, but most at her age were nearly enchanters. If Katie were to learn her mother's magic, she would have two missed years of training to catch up with. And she would be alone.

      With the help of various pets, Katie soon reached the edge of the Haunted Woods. She could tell why the pets that had pointed out the way for her had been uneasy at the thought of it, but she found herself entering the dark shadow created by the bare trees, unafraid.

      Soon, it became so dark that hardly any light shone through the trees. Katie whispered a few strange words and a sphere of white light covered her hand like a glove. The Acara's bright golden eyes reflected the light most eyes would never see, and she could glimpse several figures disappearing into the shadows, frightened by the light. Yet Katie could see them well, and let the light fade. She did not need her spell to see through the darkness.

      After a long, unmeasured time of walking, Katie spotted a light. She confidently walked towards it and soon there appeared many more. As she came closer, she could see clearly the many Neohomes in the Haunted Woods, filled with Neopets performing magic as though it was a thing everyone could do. Of course, that was, in fact, the reason.

      Katie walked through the town, looking for a familiar face. But she could see none. Maybe she could ask for directions.

      "Um, hello?" she asked an Island Bori carrying a stack of books that went up to his chin. "Can you tell me where... I think her name is Cheryl? She's a Halloween Acara, and she's supposed to live somewhere in this town."

      "Yes," the Bori replied. "I know where she lives. I'm her neighbor. Why are you looking for her?"

      "Because she's my mother," the Acara replied.

      "I see... are you Katie or Tori?"


      "Well, if you walk with me, when I enter my home, your mother's is the smaller one on the left. My son, Terry, will probably be helping her clean up her home."

      So Katie quietly followed the Bori, and thanked him as he went to his family, while she went to finally be reunited with her long lost family member.

      "Mom? It's me, Katie," called the Acara as she walked through the quiet Neohome. Unlike the Maraquan Neohome Katie had grown up in, this one was dry, and made from wood, with different furniture.

      "Who are you?" a voice asked.

      Katie looked in the direction the voice had come from, to see a Faerie Bori standing in a doorway, carrying some small boxes stacked up on top of each other. "I'm Katie, Cheryl's daughter. Are you... Terry?"

      "Yes," Terry answered. "Your mom is upstairs, in her bedroom. Lately, she's been worried sick about you and your brothers and sisters. Come on, follow me." He put down the pile of small boxes he had been holding and led her up a flight of carpeted stairs.

      As Katie followed the Bori, every memory of her mother she had seemed to pop up in her main thoughts. She remembered how she and her mother had collected shells for a necklace for Katie. It had been lost long ago, but Katie remembered how it looked so much like her mother's necklace, which now lay in her sister's possession. She remembered finding out she was magical at a young age, and how she had learned faster than her siblings, but had helped them perform the spells she could do, either with ease or difficulty. She remembered, not long before her mother had left, of how she had created her own spells, just a few simple, but to her then, and still even now, they were working wonders. She had felt as though she had written a book, and she had discovered it would be published. She felt as she had when discovering her powers. She had been delighted at creating her first spell, and had celebrated individually for two days.

      Before Katie could think about her other memories, they reached the top of the staircase. Terry opened a nearby door.

      Inside, there were so many wonderful things, Katie couldn't believe she hadn't remembered what her mother's room had been like at home. But now she did. She recognized the emerald-green velvet curtains, the ocean-blue bed her mother now stood by, her back turned, and the crimson chairs, the same colour as Katie's cloak. She spotted a larger, amethyst-colored cloak hanging near the bed, and she spotted something new, which she also liked, though she had never seen it before. A few strange black petpets walked across the floor.

      "What are those?" Katie asked in a curious tone of voice.

      "They're Spyders," Terry answered as the Halloween Acara turned around.

      "Katie!" her mother cried as she ran forward, arms spread wide.

      "Mom, I missed you so much!" Katie answered as the two embraced.

      "Where were you?"

      "With Dad. Soon, I'm going to get Amy, Candy, Mickey, and Tori here, also. But I'd like to stay here for a little and practice my magic. I haven't used it for a long time."

      "Very well. I can teach you, but maybe you should get settled and find out who everyone is," Terry said.

      Katie panicked for a moment, and her head jerked to look at Terry. "Sorry. I forgot you were there."

      "It's okay. I'd probably forget about others if I just saw a loved one after two years."

      Terry was so energetic, Katie's tour of her new home seemed to be a blur. At the end, the Bori seemed to have used up nearly every bit of enthusiasm he had.

      "Well, I guess you're going to go back to your mom," he said sadly.

      "Are you... unhappy?" Katie asked.

      "No." Terry whispered something that Katie barely made out. "I just wish I had a friend."

      "I'll be your friend!" Katie said, intending for that to stay as truthful as she meant it at that very moment.

      "Really?" he asked. "No one my age lives near me-until now."

      "I need a friend too," she answered. "I haven't had one for years."


      Katie proceeded to tell him her story: of her father's cruelty, her siblings, how she had run away, and how she still intended to go back for her siblings, who she knew were still loyal, and still wanted to keep to promise she had made to herself the day she had left.

The End

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