The Nightmare Wizard
Valarie woke up, and before she could even register that fact that she had stuffed her hooves into her fuzzy pink slippers, she had run down the hall to her sister's room.
"Wake up, Lilian, wake up!" Valarie shook the little pink Ogrin until Lilian woke up, shaking and with tears streaming down her tiny pink face, eyes wide with fright.
"Oh, Lilian, what was it this time?" Valarie sighed as she wrapped her arms around Lilian and smoothed her sister's dark pink hair with one hoof.
"Oh Vally," cried Lilian. "It was real bad. See, you 'n me was there, and there was this real big ol' beast with fangs, and they, and oh, oh!" Lilian burst into tears again and Valarie tried her best to soothe her younger sister.
"Would you like me to tell you a story, little one?" the skunk Moehog asked her tiny sister.
Lilian stopped crying and wiped her eyes on her scrawny arm. She sniffed a couple of times.
"'Bout what?" She gave Valarie a skeptical look, to which Valarie smiled.
"Long, long ago there lived a beautiful princess named Lilianna."
Lilian giggled. "Was she a pink Ogrin like me, Vally?"
"Yes, only not as pretty."
Lilian giggled and rolled her eyes and Valarie pushed her over to make room, and as she rested her head against the dark headboard, she said, "Now, be quiet."
The skunk Moehog took a deep breath and continued.
"She was the most beautiful princess ever. She wore long, lovely gowns and had real flowers braided into her hair. But she had nightmares every night. The king and queen were worried about her, because every night she woke up screaming. So, they decided to find a cure for the nightmares."
"How'd they fin' a cure?" asked little Lilian, intrigued.
"I'll get to that. Now you hush up, hear?"
Lilian nodded, anxious to hear what unfolded.
"The king and queen decided to ask every magician in the kingdom to come and see if they could cure the princess. They offered a reward of a million neopoints."
"A million!" Lilian's eyes grew wide with wonder, "That's enough to buy... to buy a million ice creams! Vally, a million!"
Valarie gave Lilian a look.
"Lili, I need to finish the story. Be quiet, else I won't."
Lili nodded. "Yes sir!"
"Many came, and many failed. Some gave the princess magic liquid that made her ill, some chanted a series of strange words, and some sprinkled a powder over her. However, nothing worked. Every night she still awoke, screaming."
"Did they ever fin' a cure?"
"Will you hold on, Lilian?"
Lilian giggled and pretended to zip her mouth shut.
"Now. One wizard, by the name of Valarinna-"
"Like you!" exclaimed Lilian.
"Yes. Now, hush, Lili."
Valarie took a deep breath and continued.
"Valarinna was a lovely skunk Moehog from Krawk Island. She had long, grey hair and bright blue eyes. However, she was very poor and wore only rags. When she knocked on the castle door, the maid thought her to be a beggar and asked her to leave.
"'You don't understand,' said Valarinna, 'I know how to cure the princess!'
"The maid sighed, and let Valarinna in."
"Did she cure Princess Liliana?" asked Lilian, her eyes full of curiosity and wonder.
Valarie gave Lilian a look. "Lili, stop interrupting me! You'll see what happens." Valarie took a sip of water from the glass on Lilian's nightstand, and continued. "Valarinna went in to see the princess. 'I can cure you,' she said. 'I'll believe it when I see it,' replied the skeptical princess. Liliana expected to see Valarinna pull out a vial of strange liquid or a tube of powder, or at the very least some parchment with an ancient spell scrawled on it. But instead, Valarinna handed the princess a sack. 'It's moving!' squealed Liliana. She dropped the sack and it emitted a whimper. Valarinna rolled her eyes at the princess's ignorance and took out a tiny puppyblew.
"'Oh!' breathed the princess. She took the tiny creature in her arms and it nestled against her neck.
"'Sleep with her in your chamber tonight, your highness, and I assure you you will have no nightmares.' With that, Valarinna left the princess's chamber and went to see the king and queen.
"'I have given your daughter the cure. I gave her her instructions.'
"That night, the king and queen went to bed anxiously.
"'I hope it works!' said the queen.
"'I'm sure it will,' assured the king, although he was just a tad nervous.
"A cup of tea was prepared for the princess and she took a luxurious bubble bath. She slipped on her best cream colored silk nightgown with a hot pink bow and crawled into bed. The little puppyblew crawled in beside her and snuggled up against her neck."
"Does it work?" begged Lilian, her eyelids getting droopy.
Valarie took another sip of water and continued the story.
"The princess waited for sleep to come, but it seemed to be taking a while. Eventually, even the little puppyblew fell asleep, her breathing slowed down and she quit squirming. The princess was very nervous. If this did not work, she would be plagued by the nightmares for the rest of her life.
"Her eyelids began to droop and her muscles relaxed. Slowly, she began to close her eyes."
"It worked! It worked!" yelled Lilian in a muffled voice, lest she wake up the others.
"You'll SEE!" admonished Valarie.
"I bet it works," muttered the little pink Ogrin.
Valarie rolled her eyes and resumed her tale.
"When the princess woke up that morning, it was not by being shaken awake by a nervous parent and finding herself sobbing. Nor was it by her own screaming, or by screaming so hard she fell off the bed. She woke up the same as any normal neopet would."
Lilian's eyes brightened as she waited for her sister to continue.
"She scooped up the puppyblew and ran into the dining room, where her parents and Valarinna were having a marvelous feast.
"'It worked! I told you it would!' yelled Valarinna triumphantly. The king and queen hugged their daughter, and the queen scooped up the tiny puppyblew, who proceeded to lick the royal face. The queen laughed and laughed.
"'Our daughter is cured! She will no longer have nightmares!'
"They danced around the long, dark table covered with exotic dishes and steaming, milky tea."
"I love milky tea," whispered Lilian, her eyes feeling like heavy weights.
"Shh, it is alright, little one," Valarie whispered into her sister's ear.
She slid away from the little pink Ogrin, who curled up in a ball on the soft bed.
"That was a good story, I liked when they fin'ed a cure, 'n it was a puppyblew." Lilian's eyes shut and Valarie stood up.
"Good night, Princess Liliana." Valarie reached down and kissed her sister's cheek.
She slowly made her way to the door, trying hard not to step on any of the toys scattered about on the blue plush carpet.
"Yes, Lili?" whispered the skunk Moehog.
"Thank you." She rolled over, and with a deep breath fell into a deep, nightmareless sleep.
When Valarie got to her door, she saw her owner, Mary Jane, leaning against it, hands stuffed in the pockets of her cloud soft white bathrobe.
"Was Lilian alright?" asked Mary Jane in a soft tone.
"She's fine. I told her a story and now she's snoring away."
Mary Jane smiled, her white teeth glowing in the moonlight.
"You are a good kid." She ruffled Valarie's hair and walked off down the hall.
Actually, Valarie thought to herself, I'm a wizard.
She smiled and crawled into bed.