Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 105,225,448 Issue: 209 | 23rd day of Gathering, Y7
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When the Ghosts Come Out: Part Four

by lavendergoddess79


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 the best!"

      "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 still asleep."

      "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 pretty!"

      "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 Alicia's books.

      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 that day.

      "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...

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Other Episodes

» When the Ghosts Come Out: Part One
» When the Ghosts Come Out: Part Two
» When the Ghosts Come Out: Part Three

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