The Summer Holiday
"Lina, the AC is out. Again," Philesia, the Mutant Aisha, called.
"I noticed," Lina responded dryly. "It's boiling in here."
"Well, go get a repairman," Philesia demanded. "Seriously. The air's so hot and dry that Ray's having trouble breathing."
Ray, the Maraquan Aisha, waved a fin in response before dragging a wet washcloth across her gills. "I'm... fine...," she gasped.
"Come on, Ray, I'll fill up the bathtub," Lina said, reaching for her pet. Ray put her fins around Lina and together they went to the bathroom. The sound of running water reached their ears moments later as Lina helped ease the Maraquan pet into the bath.
"That won't help the rest of us!" Philesia shouted. The group of Aishas and one Ogrin lounged around the Neohome, sweating in the summer heat. There was no response from their owner, and the Mutant Aisha started grumbling. "I bet you wish you didn't come home this weekend," she mumbled to Thunder, the only non-Aisha in the family.
"Trust me, it'd be even hotter in Altador," Thunder replied.
"I have trouble believing that." Philesia stretched out on her back, her hands flapping a piece of paper at her face in a futile effort to cool down while her ears panted.
Kata950465, the Christmas Aisha, frowned. It wasn't that she didn't like summer; she loved going to the beach and swimming. Her birthday was even in summer. But she definitely preferred winter. In winter, you could always get warmer by putting a sweater on, drinking hot cocoa or snuggling close to a fire. In summer, there were only so many ways to get cooler.
"Maybe we could go to Terror Mountain?" she suggested. "It'll be cool there."
"Ugh, it's too hot to even travel. I don't want to do anything," Philesia complained. There were murmurs of lazy agreement from the others as well. No one wanted to suffer through a carriage ride or a hike before reaching Terror Mountain's sweet coldness. The heat seemed to drain their energy.
Kata sighed and stood up, her legs sticking for a moment to the chair. She walked towards the kitchen and opened the freezer, enjoying the rush of cold air that flowed from it.
"Are you getting a popsicle? Bring me one!" Philesia called.
"Don't leave the freezer open too long," Lina warned.
"Make it a grape!" Philesia called again.
Kata gazed at the white ice crystals that lined the edge of the appliance, an idea forming. If nobody wanted to go to Terror Mountain, maybe she could bring Terror Mountain here.
She closed the freezer door, heading back to the hallway and up the stairs towards her room.
"Hey!" Philesia yelled. "You didn't get me a popsicle!"
Kata ignored her and opened her bedroom door. The window had been left open, and a slight, almost non-existent breeze stirred the curtains. She went to her desk and got out several sheets of white paper.
She hummed while she worked, trimming and cutting. White paper scraps littered her desk, and every once in a while she made an attempt to clear them into the waste basket, but they stuck to her hands and fingers.
When she was done working, she had several delicate paper snowflakes and even a couple of snowflake chains. She grabbed a roll of tape and made her way downstairs, taping up snowflakes as she went.
Philesia looked up once Kata entered the living room. "What are you doing?"
"I made snowflakes." She tapped a particularly large one above the doorway, reaching as high as she could.
"It'll make the room look cooler."
"That's ridiculous," Philesia scoffed.
"I think it's a great idea," Lina said. "It'll keep our mind off the heat." She smiled and took a snowflake from Kata, taping it on the window.
Kimiko, the Desert Aisha, glanced at the white snowflakes. "I have some cotton balls in my room. If we pull them apart and then clump them back together, we could make it look like snow."
Ed, the Striped Aisha, nodded. "We could even have a snowball fight."
"I'll go get them." Kimiko stood and went to her room, reappearing moments later with a bag full of white cotton. She and Ed went to work fluffing them up, and then spreading them along the corners of the floor and on the furniture.
"That'll just create a mess," Philesia said. Ed threw a ball of cotton at her, causing one of her ears to growl.
"I have more paper in my room," Yellow, the Island Aisha, said. "I'll make some more snowflakes."
"And I'll help," Sulza, the Red Aisha said. Together they went to cut up more designs.
Ray poked her head out of the bathroom, a wet towel wrapped around her neck to help her breathe in the dry summer heat. "What's going on?"
"They're all making the house look like a dump," Philesia said. "I mean, more of a dump than usual, that is."
Kata rolled her eyes. "We're decorating."
"I have that one holiday petpetpet diorama," Ray said. "I'll go bring it down." Ray went to fetch it, returning with a very delicate sugar Diorama of Petpetpets Celebrating the Holidays. She set it on the table amidst the snowy cotton.
Cream, the Speckled Aisha, looked at the candy Mootix in amazement. "You still haven't eaten that thing?"
"It's not for eating," Ray told her, "it's for decoration."
"Then why's it made of sugar? If something's for decoration, it shouldn't be made of sugar." Cream stood and stretched. "Well, if we're going to decorate, we might as well break out the Christmas decorations."
"Those are in my room," Kata said. She and Cream went to the Christmas Aisha's room, getting the several large cardboard boxes that held almost everything holiday-related. Cream paused to pick up Kata's Christmas Aisha Antlers and Nose.
"You should put these on," Cream said. "It's Christmas in the middle of summer, after all."
Kata rolled her eyes again. "Those things make me look ridiculous."
"If you're not going to wear them, I will."
Kata swiped them from her sister. "Fine, I'll wear them." She put them on, examining her reflection in the mirror. "It's been forever since I've worn these."
"Come on, let's get these downstairs."
Together they lifted the boxes and brought them to the living room. Dragon, the White Aisha, lifted a shiny red ornament. "Too bad we don't have a Christmas Tree."
Lina paused, considering, before leaving the room. She came back with a tall wooden coat rack. Philesia gazed her one large mutant eye at her. "Seriously?"
"Why not? It'll work just as well." Lina took a red ribbon from Dragon and started wrapping the coat rack. Sulza found some green construction paper and started taping it to the make-shift tree, trying to give it needles.
"You've all gone crazy." Philesia turned to Sweets and Vineti, the Checkered and Chocolate Aishas, to share in her disbelief, but discovered that they both had taken up decorating too. Vineti was putting stockings above the empty fireplace and Sweets was tapping up more snowflakes.
"You're the odd one out, Philesia," Ed said. "You sure you don't want to decorate with us?"
"Harumph," Philesia said, sagging back down into the couch, not dignifying her brother with a response.
"Can't have winter without some popsicles!" Kata said, reappearing with fruit-flavored pops in her hand. She passed one out to everybody, and Philesia smiled.
"Now this, I can agree with," she said, licking a grape flavored ice pop.
"I think the decorations worked," Yellow stated. "I feel cooler already."
Kata went to stand next to Lina, and the human girl hugged her Christmas Aisha.
"You did a good job, Kata. Everyone is so happy now."
Kata smiled. "When do you think they'll realize that the air conditioning came back on?"
Lina laughed. "Probably not for a while, Kata. Probably not for a while."
The End (Happy Holidays everyone!)