Author's Notes: In order to understand WHY I'm so obsessed with white Weewoos,
I recommend you read "Once in a White Weewoo" in Issue 139 of the Times. Both
"Once in a White Weewoo" and "Twice in a White Weewoo" are based on true stories.
My name is AmethystSkye111. Commonly known as Amethyst.
I'm the youngest of the family. Quiet, artsy, mostly overlooked. While my brother
Emerald and my sister Ruby vie for their place in the spotlight and Sapphire
sits comfortably in her little niche, I'm usually the one splattering paint
on a canvas and wondering what the heck I'm supposed to be painting.
It was one of those rainy, dreary days. My owner,
Ridergirl333 and my sister, SapphireCloud777 the blue Eyrie were in the kitchen.
The warm smell of baking brownies wafted into the living room, where the cabin-fever-plagued
Ruby and Emerald were battling each other with pillows. I lay on the couch,
looking on with interest. My colored pencils and sketch book lay before me,
beckoning for me to draw a story on the leaflets of crisp, pure white. A few
strokes of the pencil made the arch of Ruby's back, as the rainbow Uni reared
majestically. A few more created her legs, her hooves, her neck, and her general
shape. A few centimeters away, I drew Emerald the green Scorchio, crouched in
a defensive position, his pillow poised and ready to chuck. I took another look
at the pillow, erased a few lines and redrew them to make it look lumpier. A
fluttering of excitement as the pencil tip created the couch, the other pillows,
the wallpaper in the background. The pencil sang a song more musical to me than
anything Emerald could strum out on his wreck of a guitar. Scritchity-scritch.
Scritch-scrrtch. Scritchety. Shadows on the carpet, the walls. Ruby's muscle
tone, Emerald's scales. The look of keen mischief in the Emerald's eyes. The
defiance on Ruby's face.
A moment captured on paper forever.
By the time I had finished my sketch, the fighting
had stopped, and the warriors were at peace, settling their differences over
plates of hot brownies. I put down my tablet and joined them at the table.
"Amethyst," Rider finally said, "I know that
you want a white Weewoo, badly." It was true. I had been saving my pocket change
for over a month, in hopes that I might someday be able to afford one. They
held a great symbolic meaning for me. Plus, they were so cute! "And," Rider
added, "I want one too. So I'm going to help you save for one."
"Does this mean Amethyst gets more money than
the rest of us?" Emerald whined. "Aww, Rider!"
"No," Rider said sternly. "It just means that
the Neopoints in the bank and the points I earn playing Sutek's Tomb will go
towards the Weewoo fund. The Weewoo will, therefore, be partially mine. Sound
like a fair deal, Amethyst?"
I nodded, too happy to speak. We already had
250,000 Neopoints in the bank. (Weewoos were worth about 400,000, maybe a bit
less.) That Weewoo would be mine in no time.
* * *
About a week had passed, and our funds were building slowly but surely. Rider
not only played Sutek's Tomb, but tried her hand at other games and contests.
But despite her newfound determination, she seemed to have less and less time
to play games and earn Neopoints. "Homework," she groaned, leaning on the kitchen
table and staring blankly at the pages. "The homework is out to get me. I swear
it is. Romeo and Juliet. All the 'thees' and 'dosts' and 'wherefore art thous'.
It's a nightmare."
"Don't worry, Rider," I said, putting my hoof
around her shoulder. I knew that "Romeo and Juliet" wasn't giving Rider that
much trouble. It just took a lot of time; something that Rider didn't have.
And she just enjoyed complaining. But I was worrying. Inflation was on a rise
and sooner or later, the price of Weewoos would go up. In fact, the prices of
all petpets had been on a maddening roller-coaster ride for the past few weeks.
"What if I take a job?" I asked. The words left
my mouth before my brain could stop and think about them. "The Faerieland Employment
Agency has plenty of opportunities for people like me."
Rider looked up from her textbook and raised
her eyebrows. "You want to go to the Faerieland Employment Agency?"
Hesitantly I nodded. I knew that Rider was distrustful
of the Employment Agency. Some of her friends had gone there and wound up with
the world's worst jobs.
She paused, tucking her pencil behind her ear
in a semi-professional way. "I guess this really means a lot to you, huh?"
"More than you could ever know."
"Well then," she said, putting her pencil down,
"go on. Go to Faerieland. And Good luck."
"Will do," I said, already halfway out the door.
* * *
"State your name and current occupation," said
a bored-looking Aisha at the front desk. She smacked on her bubble gum loudly,
making me wince.
"AmethystSkye111, student and hopeful worker.
I need an after-school job…"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the Aisha said. "I'll get
right on it, hun. Meantimes, grab a seat in the lobby. Read a newspaper or somethin'."
The lobby was a whitewashed room with cheap Art
Gallery paintings adorning the walls. The Aisha's desk was at the front of the
room, facing the revolving glass doors and the street. Tacky wooden furniture
covered in overstuffed cushions lined the other three walls. A coffee table
covered in copies of the Neopian Times sat in the center of the room. I picked
one put and flipped to the short story section, laughing good-naturedly at the
antics of Daine the Halloween Ixi and gasping at the adventures of Clyde the
Ten minutes later, a slender Earth Faerie wearing
a navy business suit entered the room. "AmethystSkye111? Follow me." And so
I did, feeling rather nervous.
We walked into a musty, official-looking office
with an oaken desk and two grey swivel chairs. The desk was littered with wrinkled
papers and several paperweights, one of which looked like a pet rock, but I
couldn't quite tell.
"So, you're looking for an after-school job
with decent pay? And what are your skills?"
"Erm…" I said quietly, a feeling of nervousness
setting my stomach on ice. I had never talked to a faerie before. I can hardly
talk to normal strangers, much less ones with big honkin' wings and barrels
full of magic. "Well, I paint stuff…"
"I see. Very well then." She handed me a thick
folder that smelled of lemon-scented furniture polish. "You're new job is to
repaint the alleyways of Neopia Central. Some fool with a pack of permanent
markers was redecorating the grooming parlor."
I stuttered a few times in protest, but the faerie
held up a hand to silence me. "You don't have to worry about a thing. Just show
up at the Grooming Parlor at noon, with 400 Neopoints to pay for supplies. You'll
be paid according to the quality of the work you do. Now run along." She ushered
me out the door, deaf to my protests and shut the door forcefully behind me.
Great, now I was stuck with a job I didn't like.
But I had to do it. For a Weewoo.
* * *
The weeks passed. Painting buildings became my regular job. Rider kept helping
me to save. And finally, we have 400,000 Neopoints. Enough to buy a Weewoo.
We were at Mystery Island, at the Trading Post.
It was a collection of large shacks, each shack supervised by a Mystery Island
Native. Inside, the air was humid and hard to breathe. It covered the place
like a suffocating blanket. The smell of smoke and dead fish hung in the air,
mixed with the stench of dung furniture and the overpowering smell of garden
flowers. People shouted, advertising their goods. "TEN OMELETTES FOR 100 NEOPOINTS!
GOOD BARGAIN!" "GET YOUR BOOKS HERE! CHEAPER THAN THE SHOP WIZ!" "DROP YOUR
JUNK ITEMS OFF HERE!" "GET CHEESE FOR CHEAP!"
I winced, putting my hooves to my ears, while
Rider pushed her way through the crowd, shielding her bag of Neopoints with
her body and clinging to it as two Meerca thieves tried to knock it out of her
hands. "Get lost." I snapped at the thieves. They slunk off sullenly.
One of the Trading Post Employees, an Island
Techo was helping to run the searches. Currently, he was trying to separate
two fighting Doglefoxes. "Excuse me!" Rider called to him, "Can you help us
find a Weewoo?"
"One moment," the Techo said. Rider and I glanced
at each other, then jogged towards him at the same time. Rider grabbed the tail
of the blue Doglefox while I grabbed the paws of the brown one. The Techo concentrated
on trying to remove the blue Dogelfox's paw from the brown one's mouth.
"Thanks," he said, handing the blue Doglefox
to its owner, a mutant Cybunny. "Is there anything I can help you with?"
"We're looking for a Weewoo," Rider said. "A
white one, preferably. And one that costs less than 400,000 Neopoints."
The Techo gave a dry laugh. "You ain't gonna
find a white one for 400,000 Neopoints. White Weewoos are still a new thing.
But there a few brown ones. Follow me."
I followed him through the crowd, Rider's hand
clutching my hoof tightly. "We currently have five Weewoos up for sale." The
Techo said. "None of the owners of the trades are here now, but if you like,
you can set up your bid now and I'll see if the owner returns."
"If the owner returns?" Rider asked skeptically.
The Techo nodded. "Some trades are left here
and forgotten about, you know. You might risk waiting for days."
"It's a risk we'll have to take," Rider groaned,
setting her bag of Neopoints on the table. "So my Neopoints will be safe here?"
"Definitely," the Techo said. "I'll tell you
what; I'll put your Neopoints in the Trading Post bank account. You may withdraw
them whenever you like."
"Thanks!" Rider called, feeling infinitely more
relieved. And so we left, and waited for word from the owner of the lot.
He never responded.
A bit frustrated, Rider tried offering her Neopoints
on a different lot. That person didn't respond either, even after two weeks
of waiting. A few more trades. No response.
"This is ridiculous," Rider said, pounding her
fist on her desk. "Is there anyone in Neopia who has a Weewoo trade and actually
checks on it?"
Finally, we found a trade that was checked on
regularly, run by a woman by the name of Kanama14. "He's beautiful!" I told
Rider as she and I crowded around his cage. He wasn't the least bit frightened
of us. He just looked up with these beady, black, innocent eyes. Stretching
his wings, the Weewoo showed off his glistening brown feathers. Cautiously,
I reached through the bars of the cage and stroked his chest. He made a deep
rumbling noise, like a Kadotie's purr. "I'll name him Dreamer."
"That's a beautiful name," Rider said, smiling
"He doesn't come cheap," Kanama warned Rider.
"I trained him since he was a chick. He's the perfect little companion. Sits
on shoulders, does tricks, he even carries small parcels from one place to another!"
The Weewoo preened his feathers proudly, as though
he understood what Kanama was saying.
Rider cringed. "All I have is 400,000 Neopoints."
Kanama shook her head solemnly. "Sorry kid. That
ain't gonna cut it."
Frantically, Rider rummaged through her pockets.
"I've got… 22 more Neopoints, a sausage omelette and… a lint ball?"
Kanama's face lit up. "I accept!"
"Great!" Rider cried. I was already doing a
happy dance in the middle of the Trading Post aisle. Kanama giggled. "I'll send
the Trading Post Delivery Company with the Weewoo tonight! Just need to get
the little guy groomed. And he needs to say goodbye to all the pets in my house.
Likewise, you'll send your Neopoints through the Delivery Company?"
Rider nodded assent, too happy to speak. Finally,
all those weeks of waiting had paid off! Kanama and Rider both set up their
deliveries with the Delivery Company before leaving the Trading Post. That night,
Rider and I got ice cream to celebrate. We had finally done it.
I should know not to count my Peadackles before
* * *
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY WERE LOST?"
"I'm telling you, ma'am, they were lost," said
a frightened-looking Lenny at a desk. "I'm sorry… I don't know what else to
"You can say you'll at least give me a refund!"
Rider said, a bit more loudly than necessary. She paced around the office of
Mr. Lennard Scott, manager of the Trading Post Delivery Company. "And Kanama;
she deserves a refund too."
"I'm telling you, ma'am, I can't do anything
about it!" the Lenny protested. "The Trading Post is unable to make a profit
as it is. Jhuidah pays our wages out of her pocket." Rider gritted her teeth.
This obviously wasn't what she wanted to hear.
"Rider, breathe," I suggested from my forgotten
little seat in the corner of the office. I was equally as angry about the loss
of my Weewoo, but I'm more skilled at hiding emotion than Rider is. "Calm down."
"That's a little hard for me to do right now,"
Rider said. But she breathed in deeply, and then breathed out. "Mr. Scott, can
you tell me how in the name of flippin' Flotsams you lost my Weewoo?"
"Well…" Mr. Scott said tentatively, "I sent
Ms. Kanama's Weewoo with Jared, a young electric Wocky delivery boy. I figured
the boy might as well learn how to handle petpets during a delivery."
"You sent a NEWBIE with my WEEWOO?" Rider shouted.
I got up from my chair and gave her a gentle kick to shut her up. Then, I sent
a glare in Mr. Scott's direction to let him know that I wasn't sticking up for
him. "Continue, Mr. Scott."
"You know that the Weewoo was in a cage when
he delivered it, right? Well, the poor boy hit a pothole or something on his
bike. He told me later that he doesn't remember much about the accident; just
that he flew over his bike handlebars, heard the beating of wings, scraped his
knee, and when he got back to the bike, the cage door was open and the Weewoo
Rider slapped her forehead in frustration. I
gave Mr. Scott another glare. "And Kanama's Neopoints?"
"Well, I sent those with one of my more seasoned
veteran delivery boys..."
Rider snorted. I pretended not to notice.
"And he hit a pothole too."
"What's with this city and potholes?"
"And your 400,000 Neopoints went flying."
"And Neopians, being Neopians,"
"Scurried around like rodents and grabbed the
"But he managed to save the 22 Neopoints, the
sausage omelette and the lint ball."
"You can have them back if you like."
"Sure." This time, there was no sharpness or
malice in Rider's voice. Reaching over the desk, she took the items. She turned,
her eyes unfocused. "Come on, Amethyst. Let's go."
I nodded and followed her, feeling utterly let
down. But stuff like this happens. We have no control over Fate and the cruel,
cruel games she plays.
To be continued...