Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 127,792,023 Issue: 260 | 6th day of Collecting, Y8
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What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part One

by puppy200010


"But I don't wanna moooooove!" whined Kalina, gazing around the room at the piles of cardboard boxes which contained all of her family's possessions. "We've lived in Meridell my whole life!"

      "I know," said her owner, who was exhausted by her pet's whining and was busy packing, "but you'll like it on Mystery Island, I bet. We'll be living right by the beach, and I'm sure you'll make friends soon."

      The purple Zafara, sighing sadly, walked out of the room. Why'd they have to move anyway? She could see no reason for it, and her owner never had said why they were selling their small house in Meridell. True, it sounded fun to live by the beach, a place she had only ever visited once, but what about all her friends at home? She didn't enjoy writing letters, but she supposed she would have to write some if she wanted to keep in touch with all her old friends. Before leaving her house, she took one last nostalgic look at her old bedroom, which now seemed incredibly bare.


      "We're here!" Kalina's owner exclaimed, walking up the path in front of the new house. At the moment, however, Kalina wasn't interesting in the house. What had caught her attention was the blue ocean and yellow sand of the beach that now was in her backyard. "Do you want to see your new bedroom now, or..." She stopped in the middle of her sentence when she looked up and realized Kalina had just walked around the house into the backyard. "...Or, you can go look at the beach," she said, following her pet.

      "Wow, this is amazing..." Kalina breathed, staring out into the ocean. Perhaps living here wouldn't be quite so bad after all!

      "Isn't it?" her owner said, walking up beside her. "But at the moment, I think we need to get the boxes inside the house." With a sigh, Kalina went to help.

      From the outside, the house looked to be fairly large, but on the inside it was much smaller. Regardless, it was still about the same size that Kalina's house had been in Meridell. Many of the rooms had green bamboo flooring, which gave the house a definite island feel. After wandering through several hallways, Kalina's owner pointed out the room that was to be Kalina's bedroom, and they walked inside.

      "Wow, so this is it?" asked Kalina, eyeing up the room. "It's got an amazing view into the backyard," she said, walking over to the window.

      "Yes, it does. It's got a nice closet too," her owner added, gesturing to a white door on the other side of the room. As Kalina turned her attention to the door, her owner started to walk out of the room. "I think I'm going to go unpack some more boxes," she told her pet.

      After opening the door, Kalina groped around on the wall of the dark closet for a light switch. She quickly found one, and light flooded the room. The closet was amazing! Not only was it roomy, but it also had plenty of shelf space; shelves ran the entire way around the closet. And, Kalina found with delight, toys had been left there! The most amazing was an enormous dollhouse against the far wall of the closet. In fact, it was so large that it covered most of the wall. "Hey, look at this!" she shouted to her owner, even though she knew that her owner had already left the room.

      "What is it?" her owner answered, walking down the hallway.

      "Take a look at this!" she yelled in response. "There are toys in here!"

      "Yes," her owner agreed, returning. "The previous owner of this house told me about them. Apparently, these toys belonged to a pet of the house's original owner, and they've simply never been moved. The original owner of this house was very rich from what I was told, and she was the one who designed the plans for this house. This room apparently served as a playroom to one of her pets, and even if her pet had broken toys that were easily repairable, the owner would go out and buy new ones to replace them. Sounds like a very spoiled pet, if you ask me. Anyway, you're perfectly welcome to play with any of them, if you'd like. I would make sure to clean some of them off before doing so, however, since they look like they've spent quite a few years in this closet. They're all blanketed in dust!"

      Kalina nodded. "Ok," she said, walking out of the room to find a feather duster.

      She spent most of the afternoon doing as her owner had suggested. After returning with some cleaning supplies, she had started working on the massive dollhouse. Peering into the house, she realized that the years locked in this closet had taken their toll, and the house's floors and furniture were covered with an even but disgusting layer of dust and dirt. "This may take longer than I thought," she admitted to herself, sighing.

      By the end of the afternoon, the dollhouse nearly looked like new, and Kalina had gone to find her Usuki doll so she could play with it. They were still packed, of course, but Kalina soon found them in the bottom of one of the crates in her bedroom, along with several of the dolls' outfits and her Usuki Dream Castle. Back into the closet she trotted, and she played with her dolls for nearly an hour. She would have continued to play, but her owner called her down to dinner. After dinner, Kalina and her owner were going to go and meet the new neighbors, so Kalina quickly threw her dolls back into the box. There was no use letting them lie around if she wasn't going to play with them more later.

      After dinner, Kalina's owner cleared the dishes off the table, before exiting their home through the front door so they could meet the neighbors. They first picked the house right across the street. Curtains were drawn in all the windows, and it didn't appear that many lights were on in the house, but Kalina's owner knocked on the front door anyway. Nothing but silence followed. After about a minute, Kalina could see a Quiggle poke his head in an upstairs window. She thought he looked similar to the Quiggle in NeoQuest I--a relative, perhaps--but she hadn't been able to see him long enough to tell. Soon, however, he reappeared in a downstairs window, only to vanish again. "Who is it?!" demanded a voice from behind the front door.

      "We're your new neighbors! We just moved in across the street, and we just thought we'd drop by to say hello..."

      "No!" he shouted nervously. "Err, I mean, I'm rather busy at the moment. Maybe some other time."

      "Ok! We'll talk later, I guess?" Now Kalina and her owner could hear the distinct sound of a lock sliding into place, along with sounds of the Quiggle scurrying away from the door.

      "Well, if all our neighbors are like that, we'll never have to worry about our privacy being invaded," Kalina commented as they walked back down the front path.

      Her owner laughed and agreed with her. "He obviously doesn't get out much," she said, pointing out the completely dead and brown grass of his lawn. The dead grass was such a contrast to the house to its left, a house that appeared to be surrounded by a jungle, but they decided to visit the house on the other side first.

      The next neighbors were a frantic family with three pets. As soon as the door had been answered, Kalina could hear a young Neopet crying, along with the noise of utter chaos. "Hello," a sheepish owner greeted them upon answering the door. She held a baby Yurble, who was responsible for the crying. The owner tried to free one of her hands, but she was trying to feed her pet from a bottle of milk that was nearly the size of the baby's head. After thirty seconds of attempting to free one hand, she gave up. "Sorry about the chaos," the owner apologized, ducking to avoid a very young brown Pteri that flew by. "Jimmy!" the owner quickly scolded at the cue of a loud CRASH! noise. Soon, a pink Aisha, looking barely older than her flying terror of a brother, rode by the front door on a tricycle. Kalina had been hoping that some pets her own age would live nearby, but it was quite clear that there were none here. Kalina and her owner stood and chatted for ten minutes, but the young owner clearly had her hands full, so they left and went to another house.

      "And so, dearie, I finally learned how to grow the perfect squash!" said the neighbor living at the next house, an elderly blue Acara that seemed to be missing a few teeth.

      "How very interesting!" exclaimed Kalina's owner at the end of the story, nudging Kalina in the ribs with her elbow. The purple Zafara, who had been half asleep, echoed her owner, just to seem polite. So far, none of the new neighbors had been at all... normal. Not by her standards, at least. This current neighbor was obsessed by gardening, and it was quite obvious to see even from the outside of her house, because you could hardly see her house! Kalina and her owner had to walk through the near jungle to get to the front door, and all the while Kalina had been expecting to trip over Cobralls on the ground and see tropical rainforest birds flying overhead. Once they had gotten inside the house, this neighbor had told extremely boring stories about all of the vegetables that grew in her backyard. Kalina really couldn't care less. Ok, so you've got an entire salad growing in your backyard. Great. Learn how to grow dressing, she thought as she sat there, bored out of her mind.

      Finally, Kalina's owner told the neighbor that they should be going, since it was getting late. Kalina couldn't be more relieved to leave the stories about growing vegetables. Conveniently for her owner, the stories had made Kalina extremely bored and therefore tired, so she didn't have much trouble sending Kalina to bed as soon as they returned home. Shoving several boxes out of her way as she walked toward the bed, Kalina crawled into bed. She probably would have gone to sleep immediately, but something was keeping her awake. There were noises... coming from her closet!

To be continued...

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