Enchanted Stories: Adventure in Brightvale - Part One
'The last five months have been uneventful.'
That statement doesn't really make much sense to an outsider, but we all knew what we meant by that. We meant the book. Five months ago a book had appeared and had unexpectedly led us on an adventure, an adventure that never happened.
The events that took place in the book turned out to be fictional. I researched it heavily after we returned and found that Blanc Town did indeed exist. The town and its annual celebrations were all true, but the events of the raid fifty years ago were fictional. I could find no record of a Daniel and his family ever living there. I even swallowed my pride and went to Taelia to ask about the bandits; she told me to go take a history class.
The Book Shop owner was unable to find out anything about the book, so I took it to my favorite faerie and good friend Illusen. She believed my story, but told me that she had never heard of such a thing being done before. She also said she would have believed it to be impossible if it hadn't really happened. After hitting several other dead ends I decided the best thing to do was to forget about the book and get on with our lives.
So that is what we did. The family expanded yet again to include a baby, an Acara named Sireinna. The shy sweetheart had quickly become the center of our family. That was not the only change; I had bought paintbrushes for Yanli and Anita. Anita was now a White Aisha and Yanli a Christmas Zafara. The other members of the family are Elise, a Faerie Cybunny, Chloe, a labbie who happened to be a Spotted Lupe at that time, Princess, a Desert Uni, and Bluejay, a Starry Pteri.
It was a glorious spring day. I was sitting in my garden sketching a picture of Princess's Beekadoodle, Becky, who was preening her feathers on the edge of the birdbath. Behind me, in the children's playground, I could hear the sounds of laughter from my Neopets. I had just finished sketching and was getting out my pens to ink the outlines when I heard that familiar poof and thud next to me.
I put my pen down and reached over the edge of the bench. I groped around until my fingers encountered a hard, square object. I picked it and looked at it; I felt like an electrical current passed through me, I knew it was no ordinary book. The book was bound with green cloth and on the spine its title was etched in gold letters.
Adventure in Brightvale.
"No, no, NO! Not again!" I screamed through clenched teeth.
Despite its different binding and name I knew it was just like the last one. That time we had been drawn into an adventure unawares, but not this time. These things were dangerous and I was not putting my family in that kind of danger again.
I quickly ran out to the curb and tossed it in the trash can. I sighed with relief and returned to the garden. About two seconds after I sat down there was another poof and something landed next to me on the bench. I turned to look and there sat the accursed book.
"What?" I gasped.
I grabbed the book and, in a fit of anger, threw it clear across the garden. Two seconds later it was sitting by my side again.
"Go away! I don't want you!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.
My outburst drew attention; everyone looked over at me in confusion. The only other creature they could see was Becky; the bird was looking at me, her head cocked to one side.
"Are you being mean to my Becky?" Princess cried, galloping over to her bird.
I was too distraught to answer; I didn't want them to know about this new development. The last story had faded into a distant memory, and the first book was locked away never to be touched again. It needed to stay like that. I grabbed the book and raced into the house. I found some rope in the broom closet and a couple of mossy rocks from the Underwater Fishing, I tied them to the book. Then, I ran back out into the garden and dropped the book into the deeper of the two ponds there.
"You'll be sleeping with the fish tonight!" I cackled manically.
A hand tugged at my sleeve and I looked down into Yanli's bright blue eyes.
"There aren't any fishies in there," she informed me.
No one asked me what I was doing. The widely accepted truth is that I am insane, and usually they decided that they really didn't want to know what was wrong with their mother. I decided to take my art supplies to my room and finish my picture there. I put my stuff down on the desk and then collapsed on my bed, feeling completely worn out. There was a poof, and something landed smack on my head. I rubbed my head and glared down at the object. It was the book. I screamed loud enough for all the neighbors within a mile radius to hear me and passed out.
I awoke the next morning to my alarm blaring. I got up and realized I was still dressed. I momentarily wondered why I hadn't gotten into my pjs last night. Then, I noticed the book sitting there and remembered everything.
"Stay put or else!" I threatened it as I left to get ready for the day.
Downstairs I found Elise in the kitchen cooking breakfast.
"Good morning, bunny-mine, you're up early," I commented.
"I thought I'd give you a break. I wasn't sure if you had recovered from yesterday's psychological breakdown," Elise teased. "Also, Yanli wakes up at the same time I do, and she always makes it down first, so if you weren't here, she would have made us breakfast. That might have resulted in psychological and physiological breakdowns for all of us."
I laughed, "I'm trying to teach her, but that girl has the attention span of a Warf."
At that moment Yanli bounced to the kitchen and stopped dead in front of me.
"You okay?" she asked.
"Yep, I'm sorry about yesterday, sweetie," I replied.
Neopian physics state that if Yanli comes to a complete stop when doing anything but eating or sleeping, she must make up for it by an increased action in the next few seconds. I was on the receiving end of this action, as she sprang forward, tackle-hugging me, dropping me to the floor while squeezing as tight as she could.
"Yanli!" Elise reprimanded. "You've gone and broken her again."
Yanli jumped off me and, dancing in place, laughed and apologized at sixty miles an hour.
"Imma wake Bluejay!" she yelled and took off running.
"I shouldn't have built that boy a loft bed," I moaned from the floor.
Chloe came in at that moment and noticed me lying on the floor. "I'd say good morning, but it looks like that would be cruel."
She helped me up and moments later Yanli returned, dragging a dazed brother by his wing and looking very proud of herself. Mornings would simply not exist without Yanli to make them happen. I went to get the baby and breakfast was soon served. The peaceful breakfast was interrupted by a poof and the book landed in the middle of the table.
"I told you to stay put!" I screamed at it, jumping out of my chair.
My pets looked at me then at the book. The Kadoatie was out of the bag now.
Elise picked it up and asked, "Is this what you were tossing in the pond yesterday?"
"Yeah, and in the trash, and across the garden, and in my room. This thing is stalking me!" I complained.
"Adventure in Brightvale, eh? That sounds interesting." Anita commented.
I glared at her across the table. Anita was a globetrotting adventurer; I knew how the wheels in her head were turning. She took no notice of my disapproving look.
"We are going to read it, aren't we?" Bluejay asked innocently.
I fed Inna another spoonful of strawberry baby food before saying no.
"Why not?" Yanli whined.
All my other pets had the 'why not' look on their faces too.
"Because they are dangerous! We nearly got clobbered by a ten foot tall Grarrl last time!" I explained.
"He was only nine feet tall," Princess corrected, as if it changed something.
I rolled my eyes. "And you guys say I'm the insane one."
They kept making that face at me and I gave in. "Fine, but if Bluejay gets eaten by something, remember, you wanted to go in there."
"Why am I going to get eaten by something?" Bluejay shrieked.
"Don't mind her, Bluejay," Elise sighed. "She's just being Kristy."
I hated myself at that moment because I realized that I was elated that we were going to read it. I knew they were dangerous and yet I was not insensible to thrill of the coming adventure. But, really, what else were we going to do? The book was chasing me around, which, in my mind, meant that someone was sending it. Whoever was behind this might not be someone I wanted to pick a fight with. I had a bad habit of incurring grudges from Neopia's more powerful characters.
Breakfast was soon cleared away. We gathered in the family room and got comfortable. Just as I was about to start reading, Celine, Anita's larger than normal Seti, raced into the room and dropped down at her mistress' feet and looked expectantly at us.
"Are you coming too, Cellie?" Anita asked, stroking her petpet's head.
Celine looked up at her mistress and panted happily, then turned her attention back to me with that same expectant face.
"All right," I said. "Let's do this."
To be continued...