When the Ghosts Come Out: Part Four
Princess opened her eyes and looked at the clock. 5:30.
Good, she had gotten up early, just like the other pets. She wanted to show them
that she could live the way they did.
Yesterday had been a great day. Princess had
met so many kind and interesting people- all of Alicia's friends. It seemed
like they had stopped at every neohome in the Haunted Woods. Princess couldn't
even remember how many people she had met. She had had a great visit so far.
It was hard to imagine that she was leaving tomorrow.
Princess got up and went downstairs, where all
of Alicia's pets were already. Princess found them in the living room. Angel
was writing something in a red notebook. Devil, who was sitting next to her
on the couch, was reading a book. Daisy and Cloud were playing cards.
"Hi, everybody," Princess said. She looked around
the room. "Where's Red?"
Devil looked up from her book and shrugged.
No one said anything for a moment.
"I think I saw him go into the kitchen," Daisy
said, "He doesn't like to be around us much." Then she immediately turned her
concentration back to the card game she was playing. Princess sat down on a
chair in the corner. Then, she saw Alicia enter the room.
"Princess," she said. "I see you got up early
today. Let's have breakfast."
So the pets ate. Alicia had made pancakes again.
Princess ate them happily, and was done in a few minutes. She got up and would
have headed for the living room, but Aunt Alicia walked up to her with her hands
behind her back.
"Wait," Alicia said, "I have a surprise." Then,
she showed Princess what she was holding behind her back.
Princess's eyes lit up when she saw it. It was
what she had always wanted - a royal paint brush! Now she could be a beautiful
princess, just like her name.
"Thanks, Aunt Alicia!" Princess exclaimed, "You're
"I thought today we might go to the Rainbow Pool and paint you," Alicia said, glancing at the clock. Princess noticed that
it was a little after six.
"We should go right now," Alicia said.
"Why are we leaving so early?" Princess asked.
"Well," Alicia began, pausing for a moment.
"Less people will be awake there, so it'll be less busy. Now let's get going."
"Can the other pets come too?" Princess asked.
"Oh, they don't need to. We'll only be gone
for a few minutes."
So Alicia and Princess left the neohome. They
began to walk through the woods, where it was, of course, quite dark. Princess
kept her eyes on Alicia, who led the way. They started out behind the neohomes
and had to walk only a short distance before they came to a place where there
were fewer trees. It was getting brighter and brighter the further they went.
"Here we are," Alicia said, "the end of the
Haunted Woods. Not as far as you'd expect, huh?"
Princess nodded, and they kept walking. Soon,
they were in Neopia Central. Princess smiled when she saw it. Up ahead of her
was the Rainbow Pool. She could clearly see its bright, glistening waters from
where she stood. She had past it so many times in her day to day life, but never
once had she actually thought she would get to use it. Alicia and Princess walked
up to the pool.
Alicia helped Princess cover herself with paint
from the royal paint brush. Then, Princess jumped into the water. She splashed
around for a minute, and then walked out of the pool. Princess took a look at
herself. What a beautiful princess she was! She ran over to Alicia in excitement.
"Look at me!" she said, smiling and dancing
around. Alicia smiled back.
"Can we stop by at Nicole's neohome and show
her how pretty I am?" Princess asked.
"I don't think that's a good idea. She's probably
"I guess you're right," Princess said. "Besides,
it's not like I won't see her tomorrow."
Alicia nodded. "Let's go home now."
So the two of them went back through the Haunted
Woods. They entered Alicia's neohome when they got to it.
"Hey everybody!" Princess called out, "Come
look at me!"
She heard running footsteps coming towards her
from different rooms. Before she knew it, Devil, Angel, Daisy, Cloud, and Red
were standing in front of her.
"You got painted!" Devil said, "You look so
"Thanks," Princess said. She looked at the other
pets, noticing that Daisy was making a strange face and shaking her head. Princess
couldn't figure out why her cousin was doing this.
"What's the matter, Daisy?" Princess asked,
"don't you like my new look?"
"Oh," Daisy said, "No, it's really pretty. It's
just that…" She stopped talking, as though she couldn't find anything else to
say. Princess might have asked her more, but she was too excited about how she
looked to think of this. So instead she went into the living room to look through
Princess glanced at the bookshelf. Nothing looked
very interesting. She was a little bored, so she started to think. She wondered
what time she would be going home tomorrow. Wouldn't Nicole be surprised to
see what she looked like now! After all, Nicole hadn't expected her to be painted
a new color.
Then, suddenly, Princess remembered something.
When she first left home, Nicole had given her rules to follow. Princess hadn't
disobeyed any, except the one that Nicole had said was most important- not to
accept Alicia's gifts. The royal paintbrush had been a gift. Although Princess
didn't understand the reasons for this rule, Nicole had said that it was very
important. For a moment, Princess was afraid. Then, she realized how silly she
was being. Nicole couldn't have expected Alicia to give her anything this big.
Nicole knew how much she wanted this, so she'd be happy for her, right? One
other thing Nicole had always told her was important was being polite. So Princess
decided that she had better go thank Alicia.
Princess opened the living room door, and walked
out into the hallway. She wasn't sure where Alicia was. She had realized that
one of the bad things about large neohomes was that it was so hard to find people
in them. So she headed down the hallway. The first door that she came to was
open. Princess had never been in this room before. Though she doubted that Alicia
would be in it, she was curious about the room, so she entered.
This room was very small. In fact, the only
piece of furniture in it was wooden desk. On top of the desk was a large stack
of papers. Princess slowly walked over to the desk to get a closer look. As
soon as she was close enough to read the writing on the papers, she could tell
that they were only neomails, nothing she should read. Then, she saw who the
first message was from - her owner. Princess really wanted to know what Nicole
might have to say to Alicia, so she unfolded the paper and began to read. She
realized that the neomail was a reply to a message Alicia had sent Nicole earlier
"Dear Nicole," Princess silently read. "You
should just see how pretty Princess is. All of us here love her new royal look."
Then came the section that Nicole had written.
"You can't seriously be thinking of doing this
again. It's not fair." That was strange, Princess thought. She wondered what
this neomail was about. Then, underneath where the paper had been sitting, Princess
saw another message. It was from Nicole, and had been sent after the one Princess
had just read. She picked it up to take a look.
"Please, Alicia, it's just not fair. If you
do this again it'll be the third time, and it was only a plushie for a faerie
quest. Besides, I can pay you back the neopoints now." Now Princess was really
confused. What could these neomails be about? Then she noticed a crumpled up
piece of paper on the floor. Princess picked it up and carefully unfolded it.
It was another neomail, but this one had been written by Alicia. She must never
have sent it. Princess assumed that it was for Nicole, and read it.
"I don't care if you have the neopoints- I don't
want them. You promised that if I gave you that plushie I could have any of
your pets that I painted."
Princess was shocked. She could hardly believe
this. Could her aunt Alicia really be trying to steal her from her owner? Why
would she do something like that? She had seemed so nice.
There was only one thing to do - Princess had
to escape. But how could she? Alicia and her pets would know if she tried to
leave. Princess suddenly thought of Alicia's pets. Were they in on this too?
In the neomail, Nicole had said that this was the third time. Had Alicia taken
two other pets too? Then she remembered how Cloud and Daisy had tried to tell
her something on her first day at Alicia's, but stopped when Alicia came towards
them. Suddenly it all made sense. Princess knew she had to get out of this place.
The question was how.
To be continued...