Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 177,073,856 Issue: 335 | 21st day of Running, Y10
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A Winning Failure

by bubbly_bows


"Will you hurry up, Icecreamy!" my older sister Summer whined impatiently.

      "I'm coming, I'm coming!" I yelled back, pausing to stare at a particularly grumpy Mutant Chia, who was passing. "Really!" I added, as Summer opened her mouth angrily.

      Together, we ran along the beach of Mystery Island, where we lived with our owner, Elizabeth. SummerSunLover, or Summer, as we call her, is my older sister, a blue Kacheek. I am her younger brother(only by a few minutes, but that doesn't seem to matter to Summer), and am a blue Gelert.

      Right after we pushed open the door to our small house, Elizabeth shrieked, "We're going to Faerieland! I need points and we can get some by doing a quest."

      Summer screamed excitedly, but I privately groaned. Not only was Faerieland an extremely girly place, but I was terrified of heights. Not a very good thing for us Gelerts, who are supposed to be loyal and all that, but I can't help it. Elizabeth knows, but every time we go to Faerieland, she seems to forget.

      "Icecreeeeeeemy!" Summer yelled again; she and Elizabeth were already at the door. I sighed and followed them. The honest truth is, you just can't win against women.


      It wasn't until we were in Faerieland when I realized how hungry I was. Having closed my eyes for the entire ride up here, I hadn't noticed. Summer, who seemed to be thinking the exact same thing, whined (she does a lot of whining!), "Lizzy, I'm huuuuuungry!"

      "Fine, okay, let's go!" Elizabeth was extremely bouncy. I wondered if it was because she was simply excited for the quest, or she had drunk too much Neocola for lunch.

      After stopping at Faerie Foods (and buying several Faerie Queen Burritos) we were finally on our way to Faerie City. I was assuming Summer would be taking the job at the Faerie Employment Agency; she had done a total of twelve so far and I had done zero. However, I assumed wrong. As we entered the door of the Agency, Elizabeth said happily, "You'll be doing the job this time, Icecreamy! Isn't that exciting?!"

      Um, no. Maybe to her, but not to me. Summer looked just as surprised as I felt. "B-but..." she spluttered as we joined the long line of Neopians waiting for a job. I noticed my paws were going sweaty. I was not an experienced shopper; the Marketplace just made me dizzy. Especially if I was on a time limit, I would never be able to find the items. But too late. The clock had struck 4:00, and jobs were now available.

      "Can't you do something?" I desperately asked Summer, as Elizabeth ran off to find a job.

      "I prefer not to," Summer replied. She was looking as if her birthday had come early. "I prefer to see you struggle."

      I was just about ready to make Summer sorry for what she had said to me, and I would have, except Elizabeth returned. She pressed a slip of paper into my paw.

      "You need to find four Red Fuzzles. You have twenty-seven minutes. Go now, hurry!"

      A million things were running through my mind. First of all, where did I go to find the Fuzzles? What if I didn't find any at all? And, most importantly, how was I supposed to get back up to Faerieland? The only way was with the Eyrie carriages, but I would never go unless Elizabeth was with me.

      "Liz," I began.

      "No time, Icecreamy! Here's 1,000 Neopoints. Four Red Fuzzles, remember?"

      "But... why... aren't you coming with me?" I gasped, feeling alarmed.

      "No, I have to stay here with Summer--I can't go, it's not allowed--Hurry, Icecreamy!!"

      I stood there, dumbfounded, still clutching the paper and Neopoints. I didn't move until Summer shoved me out the door.

      Outside the Agency, I took a deep breath and headed towards the carriages.


      "It's okay, Lizzy, cheer up!" Summer begged once all three of us were back in our Neohome.

      "Okay. I guess," said Elizabeth dully. "I think I'll go take a nap." She trudged halfheartedly up the stairs.

      Once Elizabeth was our of earshot, Summer turned to me furiously.

      "I can't believe you! Elizabeth was trusting you, and you let her down! I--I--I'm going to my room!" She half-shouted, before stomping away.

      I sank weakly into a chair. Yes, I had failed the job. I returned forty-eight minutes after the required time, with only two Fuzzles. I had let Elizabeth down. She would probably hate me now. I, for the first time since I could remember, began to cry.


      The next few days were truly miserable. Elizabeth was still in an unhappy mood, most likely because I had managed to spend and/or lose all of the Neopoints she had given me. Summer was in a possibly worse mood. She was always annoyed at me, but even more so these days. After hours of wondering and thinking, I had decided what to do.


      I snuck quietly out of the house two days later while Elizabeth and Summer were still sleeping. I was armed with a backpack and 1,500 Neopoints. I ran all the way to the Eyrie carriages, then boldly walked up to the nearest Eyrie.

      "Hello," I said bravely, but my voice still shook with my fear of heights. "I'd like to go to Faerieland, please."

      "Hey, wait a minute, I remember you," the Eyrie squinted at me. "Closed yer eyes the whole way up last time, didn't ya?"

      Ignoring his comment, I politely asked, "How much?"

      "Fifty Neopoints."

      After handing over my money, I awkwardly climbed onto the carriage.

      "Well, take me, then," I said nervously.

      The Eyrie flapped his wings, and a moment later, we were soaring through the air. I realized flying wasn't so bad, in fact, it was rather fun. I was enjoying myself so much I was disappointed when we landed in Faerieland.

      "Thanks, then," I told the Eyrie.

      "Don't mention it, boy." He looked at me. "Enjoy yourself here."

      "Okay. I hope." I set off towards Faerie City.


      I glanced at the long list of jobs. Having literally no experience in the shopping world, I had no idea which items would be easy to find. However, there were mobs of Neopians swarming around me, so I grabbed the job of finding two Non-Magical Grape Chia Pops. I had thirty-six minutes.

      I darted out the door, almost knocking over a brown Ixi, and ran back to the Eyrie who had dropped me off.

      "I... need... to get... to... Terror... Mountain..." I panted.

      "Sure." The Eyrie glanced at me. He looked almost alarmed at my tongue hanging out of my mouth as I tried to catch my breath, but took me off to Terror Mountain all the same.


      "What?!" I yelped.

      "Five-hundred twenty-eight Neopoints," the yellow Lenny at the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop repeated. "And no less."

      "Fine," I grumbled, handing over my Neopoints in exchange for a grape pop.

      One down, one to go.


      "Here we are," the Eyrie said, landing at the gates of the Marketplace.

      "Thanks," I said. "Can you wait?"

      "Right-o," the Eyrie said brightly.

      I frowned at his cheeriness, but had no time to ponder it, as I had to get to the Shop Wizard.

      Normally, I would have no idea where to go, but I could see the top of a cone-shaped, star-printed tent sticking into the sky, which could only belong to the Wizard.

      I set off among the shops at a trot, paying no attention to what was going on around me.

      At last I reached the tent. The JubJub Wizard was just finishing helping a yellow Kau, and I stood there, hopping from one paw to another in anxiety.

      "Hello, how can I help you?" The Wizard peered at me.

      "Yes, I need a Non-Magical Grape Chia Pop," I said.

      "Just a moment."

      I waited. Impatiently.

      "Yes," the Shop Wizard said finally. "The least expensive one that I know of is four-hundred and fifty Neopoints, at 2Tazz2's shop."

      "Thanks." I bolted out the door, then realized I had no idea where 2Tazz2's shop was. I stuck my head back into the tent.

      "Which sect--"

      "Shop section thirty through forty," the JubJub said, sounding almost bored.

      "Thanks." I ran past again.

      Before long, I ran into 2Tazz2's shop. The shopkeeper, a green Xweetok, glanced at me. I snatched the grape pop off the shelf, paid, and made my way through the maze of shops back to the Eyrie.


      The light faerie at the Agency looked up at me. "Yes?"

      "I finished my job." I held out the two Non-Magical Grape Chia Pops, which were melting slightly.

      "Ah, yes. Thank you." The faerie took them and consulted her clipboard.

      "Let's see, you finished in twenty-eight minutes, eight minutes early, so you get a bonus. Your total payment is---"

      I held my breath.

      "----1, 780 Neopoints."

      "Thank you SO much!" I was so happy, I could have hugged the faerie. I took the Neopoints and cheerily walked back to the edge of the enormous cloud, home of the Faeries.

      I had never really noticed how pretty Faerieland was after all.

The End

I worked incredibly hard on this story. :) Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments, feel free to Neomail me!

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