The Best Place to Live
"Well, I guess we've moved in the last scrap of furniture
from our old home. Now we just need to set everything up and it'll be just like
home!" Tia, an owner, said, a shining smile on her face. Her long, brown hair
was in a ponytail. She had blue eyes and a simpering smile. Tia hung her thumbs
from the pocket in her jeans. She often took to the bright side of things; she
had a white T-shirt with a Faerie Parade pasted onto it.
"THIS is a home?" a Maraquan Ixi named Mari groaned.
"We only got this place in Maraqua because it was the cheapest plot of land
here! Look at it! There's hundreds of creepy fish swimming around! Look at the
stalks of slimy seaweed in our yard! There are jagged, foot-piercing rocks stuck
in the sand!"
"Aw, come on Mari, look at the bright side. We can
be like the old settlers of Neopia Central. We can start a new life here, and
I'm sure, in time, we'll find a way to make this the most joyful house on the
block!" Tia said.
"I can't live a day like this!" Mari moaned. She hunkered
up in the corner, scowling.
"I hate it when you get like this," Tia sighed, "How
about we put up the furniture together, then I'll get to work on the yard, and
you can go meet neighbors. Take a break! Then, tomorrow, we work on the rest
of our yard together. Deal?"
Mari was hesitant. Meeting new people was about as
easy to her as walking across land.
* * * * *
Mari opened up the new front door. She swished her
fin and darted off. There was a forest of seaweed, and she swam through it.
The leaves ticked her cheeks and she laughed the long, joyful giggle she had
not done in a long time.
The Ixi swam out of the forest and deeper inside the
city of Maraqua. It was so glamorous, unlike her "home." Mari would give ANYTHING
to live in the palace. She swam up to the maractite gates leading straight to
the palace. Mari would have to take this path to go to four neighborhoods..
"Who are you?" a tall guard asked.
"My name is Mari, and I live in 00001, The Ruined
Path, Maraqua," Mari stated.
"I feel sorry for you," the guard said, sympathetically,
opening the gates.
"Thank you," Mari said, between a smile and a sigh.
Mari darted into Sea Shell Circle, the first neighborhood.
The fist house was number 27854. Mari smiled in spite of herself, for, as grand
as this part of Maraqua was, this house was simple, yet very nice and pleasant
to look at. Mari reluctantly swam to the door.
Ding! Dong! the doorbell rang. The face of
a Maraquan Shoyru glanced from a tall window next to the door.
"Hello?" the Shoyru asked.
"Hi, my name is Mari... and I just moved into Maraqua.
My mum wants me to come and meet the neighbors, so I did," Mari stuttered, she
was rather shy.
"Yay! I love getting new neighbors! MOM!!!" the Shoyru
shouted. A girl appeared, wearing the same outfit as Tia, but having shoulder-length
black hair and green eyes.
"Hello?" the girl asked, in a manner much like the
"New neighbors!" the Shoyru jumped for joy.
"Where do you live?" the girl asked sweetly. "If your
mother would like, I could go help her move in."
"Um... 00001 Ruined Path," Mari blushed as she said
"Oh... I'm so sorry, I'll go help your mother clear
out the front and back yards," the owner said, "And Nem? Please introduce this
young Ixi around Maraqua."
The girl pulled on some shoes and strutted towards
The Shoyru called Nem blushed a little. It seemed
she was shy, too.
"Hey, I'm Mari, and I guess you are Nem? Before we
go, if we are going, I want to go tell my mum something."
* * * * *
"Mum? Can you please just make a path in the seaweed?
Because I like having it be a forest. Please?" Mari begged. Tia nodded. Mari
smiled, and swam past the gate and back to where Nem was waiting.
"C'mon Mari, I have LOADS to show you! Maraqua is
such a wonderful place and I'm so glad they rebuilt it, its so fulfilling living
here. Would you like to see the castle? I know the King, he allows me to visit
the library whenever I want. Of course, he's a very generous man-I mean- fish."
Nem smiled. "I used to be unpainted and live on land. When they came up with
my color, my mom bought the paint brush right away! She decided we should move
here, because I had gills and always had to be in water."
"Password?" another, stricter guard asked.
"Blandfish," Nem said, and the gate was held open.
The palace looked so rich and pleasant that Mari shivered with excitement.
"I told you that it was wonderful!" Nem smiled.
She opened open the palace door. The king was busy, so Nem showed Mari the library.
It was filled with paintings and books upon books. There were new books, ancient
books, leather-bound books, and books with covers of paper. There were even
scrolls and manuscripts!
"All you have to do to come here whenever you want
is to meet the King and be friends with him. I'm sure he'll like you," Nem shrugged,
"All you have to do is confront him alone and say hello. He values bravery."
"That's not so easy," Mari sighed.
"Mari, there are stables and kitchens, libraries and
game rooms, art rooms and music rooms, and he lets you explore it all! Give
it a try, he's not bad at all, and I'm sure he's back by now!" Nem said.
"Um," Mari stuttered. Too late. Nem grabbed her fin
and tugged her out of the library and into the throne room.
"Good evening Nem. Who do we have here?" the King
"This is my friend, Mari. She wants to meet you,"
"Hello Mari. I'm the King, and how would you like
unlimited access to the castle?" the King asked. Mari nodded dumbly. The King
handed Mari a long list of words with dates next to them. The dates changed
each weak, and the list ended exactly a year away.
"Yes, I just made it today. It's a list of all the
passwords in the future. The paper is waterproof." The King smiled. His eyes
crinkled, and they glistened.
"Thank you," Mari said, in shock.
"Thank you, Your Majesty, it's high time we get back
to her house to see how things are going." Nem smiled. The King nodded, still
smiling that fatherly grin. Mari raced Nem home, and they shot through the gates
like darts. It took only a second to get through the forests of seaweed, they
were going so fast.
Mari gasped. All the sharp rocks had been unearthed
and made a path, smooth side up, of course. The seaweed was trimmed in an area
to make an entrance for the path. Coral was being planted. Mari opened the front
door and swam upstairs. She opened the blue curtains and looked out her window,
with Nem, to the backyard. The fish were gone, it was too clean for them, and
there were arrays of Maraquan plants everywhere. It wasn't great yet, but it
was just getting started.
Mari and Nem looked at Mari's new room. There was
a Royal Oak Bed, a Regal Wooden Wardrobe, countless posters of Maraqua, a Blue
Bean Bag, a Blue Lamp, a Cozy Recliner, even some Petpet beds! Nem complimented
her, and Mari blushed.
They went together outside, to the shining, watery
world that was more beautiful than any land kingdom.
* * * * *
"Well, it's not much yet," Tia admitted later that
day. (Nem and her owner had left; they had promised to come back tomorrow.)
"No, Tia," Mari grinned, "this is the best house anyone
could wish for."
And I think she was right.
Author's Note: If you are reading this, it is my third time in the NT.