Figment of your Imagination
Snow danced down from the night sky. The thick fluffy flakes twirled through the crisp air, resting on the ground and lying quite still. The tiniest sliver of a moon hung up above, as if it clinging onto the stars for fear of falling down. A quaint little log cabin sat alone in the winter landscape. Smoke plumed from the chimney, filling the area with the nice scent of burning wood. A light shone through a squat window, pressed into the shape of a square. The door suddenly flew open, all the warmth from inside rushing out and making the snow fly wildly for a moment. Four figures darted out and took a flying leap into the untouched blanket of white. They sat up, heaving with laughter. Their breathing left silvery puffs to drift away. A blue Uni with a hat perched awkwardly over the horn on her head got to her hooves, shaking the snow off them. She had stitches curving delicately around her right eye, forming the shape of a shallow crescent.
"Missy." She beckoned for a green Zafara with one hoof. "I see a monster."
The Zafara with mittens on her front paws jumped up, fur tufted tail tip flicking as she gazed intently at an empty spot between two gnarled pines.
"Oh yes, I see it." She nodded. "It looks hungry. Did you know they only eat at night?"
"No, I didn't know th-"
"Where? I wanna see!" A yellow Aisha trotted over, neat pile of snow on the top of her head. She shook it off, squinting her already squinted eyes. "It's so ugly." She exclaimed, small boots on her paws indenting the ground as she took a step closer.
"I know," the Uni agreed, hastily pulling her sibling back. "How should we get rid of it, Missy?"
"The same way we always do, Mistress." Missy grinned, tail now beginning to lash. She sounded like the type of Neopet who should have a pair of glasses perched on her face. A red Lenny appeared behind the three girls, his size dwarfing them. He too, stared at the spot where this 'monster' was.
"Not another one." He sighed, though there was an unmistakable note of excitement in his voice. He turned around. "I'll build the fort."
"I'll help," Missy offered, wide feet acting like snowshoes as she went to help. Mistress looked at the the Aisha.
"Madam, we need to start making snowballs," she said, pawing at the snow beneath her. Madam did the same, starting to shape the snow with her paws. A stack quickly accumulated, albeit, they were very lopsided and looked more like a cross between squares and ovals.
"Master, Missy, is the fort done?" Madam called back. Master's head popped up from behind a simple wall of snow that curved slightly inward at he edges
"It should do." Missy climbed up on the wall, tapping it a few times with her paw to test its sturdiness. "Bring the ammo back here."
"Hurry," Master warned. "You know how fast monsters can strike."
By the time they were all behind the wall, snowballs beside them, their owner was watching from the window. It was that game again. But she could never say that in front of them or they'd get upset and tell her it wasn't a game. Apparently, they went out and protected the cabin from monsters. She smiled, walking over to a chair by the fireplace and sitting down. It was a normal game, she supposed, although they did get pretty deep into it sometimes. The round they had two weeks ago resulted in Mistress going in for stitches. She insisted the monster had tripped her. But she had watched. When they chased the monster into the woods, Mistress had tripped herself and fell, hitting her face off a pointed rock. That was the problem with living in Terror Mountain. So many rocks, and constant snow. By rights, she should have not allowed them to play that game anymore. But they seemed to have so much fun. And besides, it got them outside in even the most bitter weather. She glanced out the window again, flames reflecting off the polished glass. Her Neopets were firing snowballs into a spot near the forest. To her, there was nothing there but empty space. To them, there was a vicious drooling monster that needed tending to.
Meanwhile, outside, the snow was quickening.
"We're low on ammo!" Mistress shouted, scurrying to make more, but hooves made it a near impossible task. Master used his more adapted claws to help. Even underneath his scarf and feathers, the Lenny was beginning to feel the cold nip at his skin. Missy seemed to be counting on her fingers, muttering to herself, then whispering something to Madam. The Aisha nodded. Then she threw the last oddly shaped snowball in the pile. A whoop of glee followed
"Got him!" She laughed. Her siblings started cheering, as they watched the monster run off whimpering into the woods. Its footprints began to fill up with freshly fallen snow. The heavy door to the cabin opened, pushing snow aside in the process. Their owner poked her head out, long blond hair getting toyed with by the wind.
"Mistress, Madam, Missy, Master!" she called, trying to force it down. "You should probably come in before you freeze! Supposed to be a blizzard tonight!"
Reluctantly, the four Neopets trudged in. The drifts of snow had built up fast. By tomorrow, there would be enough to go sledding or hunting in the forest for more monsters. The owner paused for a moment, staring out into the swirling mass of glistening white snowfall. For one brief moment, she had the feeling there was something out there. Trying to push the thought to the back of her mind, the door creaked shut, and their silhouettes were outlined as shadows through the light of the window, huddling around the fireplace.
"We totally scared it," Madam boasted. "You should have seen it scamper away like a frightened Cybunny."
"Hey, watch it, Leslie is a Cybunny." Missy glowered at the Aisha.
"Yh mdm, dn be wud," Mistress said through a swig of hot chocolate.
"Don't talk with your mouthful," Master and his owner said in unison. Mistress swallowed.
"I said, yeah, Madam, don't be rude."
"I wasn't being rude," Madam huffed. "I only meant-"
"I think you should all head upstairs and get some sleep," their owner cut in. They all groaned.
"But Fancee," Mistress whined. "We wanna go out and fight more monsters."
Their owner, Fancee, had to force herself not to snap as her sisters agreed with a chorus of excuses.
"I'm sure the monsters are sleeping." She tried to speak calmly.
"Actually, monsters only eat at night, so technically, they should be awake," Missy informed her. Master got up, walking away from the bickering girls and towards the window, looking wistfully outside.
A few frost covered bushed rustled. Some strange, olive green creature with warty skin and bloodshot eyes peered out. A slow, steady drip of yellow slime came from it's mouth. The creature's face was caked with snow where Madam's snowball had hit him. Grumbling with annoyance, he withdrew his head back into the safety of the forest, and ambled away into the shadowy gloom of night.
The wind picked up, and a blizzard began to howl through the mountains.