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Fyora's Grey Discovery


by endisnigh

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Queen Fyora stepped outside of the Neolodge on a cool, cloudy morning. The weather seemed a bit gloomy for this time of year, but she didn’t pay much notice of it. She was taking some time off from her usual work at the Hidden Tower to make some time for herself. She enjoyed visiting Neopia Central to check out all the prospering shops and the endearing Neopets who ran them.

      She made her way to the Neopian Bazaar, where all her favourite small stores were. First on her to-do list was Unis Clothing. She knew she could always count on Ellia, the Blue Uni who ran the store, to help find her next perfect outfit. The Uni also always provided positive energy which would give a great start to her morning.

      Fyora walked in through the glass doors and was met with an unexpected sight. She was caught off guard by how different it looked from the last time she visited. The store was near-empty, the clothes appeared drab, and the ambience was melancholy. She spotted Ellia in the back. The once cheerful and fashionable Blue Uni now sat glumly without colour.

      Ellia looked up as Fyora approached her. “Hi,” she said, hardly looking up. “Can I help you look for anything?”

      “I did want to check out your new arrivals… but Ellia, what’s going on here?” Fyora said looking bewildered.

      Ellia avoided meeting Fyora’s gaze. “I’m not entirely sure… One day everything is normal, and the next… Well, everything just seems bleak now. But here, let me show you some of our new stock,” the Uni said as she led Fyora to a different section of the store.

      This section didn’t look much different than the rest of the store. Even the clothes looked sad with all the colour drained from them.

      Ellia had been pointing out the new items with a monotone voice when Fyora interrupted. “I appreciate you helping me look, but I may hold off on purchasing for today,” she said with an empathetic smile.

      “It’s okay, I understand if you don’t like anything… Have I always had such poor taste?” the Uni said as tears welled up in her eyes.

      “Ellia, no! You have a great fashion sense. Actually…” she trailed off as she picked up a dull pink dress. “I was just thinking of saving my money, but I’d like to buy this, please,” she said as she placed her item on the counter.

      The Uni went to the register to ring her up. “Thank you for stopping by. It was good to see you again Fyora.”

      “You too, Ellia… I hope you feel better soon,” Fyora said as she grabbed her bag and walked out of the shop.

      ”That certainly was strange,” Fyora thought to herself. “How did that even happen?”

      Fyora headed towards the Grooming Parlour. She had booked an appointment to have her hair coloured the night before.

      As she stepped inside the store, she was shocked to find that it looked very similar to the clothing shop. The normally colourful shop was now sporting the same dim hue and the Usul shopkeeper that was working today did not look like she wanted to be there.

      The Usul eyed Fyora as she walked up to the counter. “Blah, what a dreary day… What do you want?” she asked as she lazily flipped through a magazine.

      “I had a scheduled appointment at 11 AM. Would that be you assisting me today?” Fyora asked, almost hesitant to even request service.

      The shopkeeper looked at the appointment book. “A hair colour? You can do that yourself. I need a break,” she said as she grabbed a box of hair dye and handed it to Fyora. “Enjoy. Someone should…” she said softly, putting her head down on the counter and ending the conversation.

      Fyora paused as she processed the interaction that just happened. She didn’t feel like there was much she could say, so she slowly picked up the box of hair dye and left the shop.

      “Two stores that are now grey? What’s going on here?” she asked aloud as she looked at her watch. “It’s about lunchtime, I guess I should grab something to eat…” She considered her choices and decided to visit her friend Hubert. He ran a hot dog business and always had the most creative choices. Although some were odd, the wide selection of hot dogs were always selling left and right.

      The Faerie Queen walked into Hubert’s Hot Dogs and gasped. ”Hubert too!? I don’t understand!” she thought as she made her way up to the saddened Mynci.

      Hubert the Mynci spotted her as she approached. “Huh… Oh- Hubert’s Hot Dogs,” he muttered as a greeting in an enthusiastic tone. “Get em while they’re… lukewarm?” he considered, looking at the miserable array displayed around him.’

      “Hubert…” Fyora said, trying to comfort him by touching his arm. “What’s happening to Neopia Central? You’re the third one I’ve seen like this today. I don’t want to bombard you with questions, but I don’t understand. When did this happen? Do you know how this happened? Is everyone affected? I can try to help, just tell me what you know.”

      “I don’t think I will be of much help. We’re all really confused and don’t know why we’ve changed. What’s the point in trying to figure it out anyway? Whatever it is, it seems to be spreading faster. Not everyone here has turned grey, but plenty of us have changed. The baker, even the bank manager… Plus, I even heard it has made its way to Terror Mountain,” the glum Mynci mumbled. “I should get back to work… did you want to purchase one?”

      She still wanted to support his small business, so she made a quick purchase. Her choice was limited as the normal wide variety was filled with Grey Hot Dogs. All glum-looking and accompanied by a small raincloud. It wasn’t her first choice, but it would have to do. As Fyora took time to eat her lunch, she started making plans to visit Terror Mountain. “I’ll go visit with Kari. She often keeps an eye on the mountain while maintaining her responsibilities at the Neggery.”

     ***

      Queen Fyora landed in Happy Valley, the floor of Terror Mountain. She quickly glanced around, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The name was still true – everyone looked happy. She gave a sigh of relief. “Maybe Hubert had misheard,” she said as she made her way up to her friend the Negg Faerie.

      Kari was lazily gliding around watering the Neggs as Fyora walked into the Neggery. “Oh Fyora, I wasn’t expecting you,” she said as she paused what she was doing.

      “Kari, you’re grey! This is serious. Why haven’t you reached out? Has anyone else been affected?” Fyora claimed in desperation. This was worse than she thought. She needed to help find a solution, and fast.

      Kari’s face filled with despair. “It’s been hard to find the motivation to do anything. I’m sorry I didn’t notify you sooner…” she said, clearly disappointed in herself. “The only other person that I’m aware of turning grey is Inah, the Lenny who runs the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop. Well, actually, she just renamed it the Moderately Content Icy Amusement Snow Shop. But Queen Fyora, I’ve heard others mention how it’s spreading to many other lands. And not just living creatures, but objects are starting to change too. They’ve mentioned Coltzan’s Shrine, the Giant Omelette… even that Grundo Plushie you have in Faerieland has turned grey!” Kari wailed in desperation.

      The Faerie Queen’s face lost most of its colour. As she took in the gravity of the situation, she realised how serious of an issue this was. They needed to act fast before all of Neopia changes. She would need help from the smartest in Neopia to help solve this mysterious grey curse.

     The End.

 
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