The Best Present Ever: Part One
"Ruby!" Violet called, using her faerie wings to gracefully dodge Xsteriod and Storm, who were tangled up in Christmas lights. "I need you and Emerald to take the cookies out of the oven- And don't you DARE eat them!"
"Unwrap that cord from around your tail. I think it has a busted light." Xsteriod, the Tyrannian Xweetok, winced as more lights crackled. "And.... that would be a few more."
"Why do we even put up so many?" Storm, the pirate Ogrin, grunted, unraveling the snarled knot of wires in his long tail. "Seriously, I bet people can see us from Virtupets!"
"Quit whining, Storm," Lucky,a short yellow Bori, sighed. "It should not be that complicated to string some lights. Also, please refrain from setting up a kung fu Santa display; that has never been included in the plans for good reason."
Sand smirked, entering the conversation, "You know, I could always cast a spe-"
"NO!!!" responded all the neopets present.
"It's not that we don't appreciate your help-" began Xsteriod nervously.
"But nobody enjoys a holiday spent defending against hostile animated decorations," Lucky finished for him.
Saphire--a striped Gelert--who was wrapping boxes, added, "And I'm pretty sure that evil snowman was planning to eat me."
Laughing, Sand pranced out of the room,ignoring the business around her. Hurriedly, Violet pawed through her checklist, determining if thing were in order. Lucky was decorating the tree,the rest of the lights were nearly ready to be set up and the presents for their friends coming to the Christmas party were taken care of.
"Vi!" Fifi,a beautiful royal Peophin, waved her hoof to catch her cousin's attention. "I've gotten all the invitations done--and that's no easy job with hooves--where do you want them?"
"What?" Violet rounded on her Ogrin brother,who was acting suspiciously guilty. "STORM! I asked you to send the ones I made up three days ago! What happened to those?"
Sheepishly shrugging, he responded, "I lost them somewhere in my room."
"We need them sent by this afternoon." Violet snapped her fingers. "Go get a cookie and tell Sand to deliver them."
* * *
Unexpectedly, a glowing purple hole seemed to rip a hold in the wall. A crisp white envelope was thrown through while a simulated voice chirped, "You have got mail!"
Artemis the starry Gelert adjusted his glasses that were perched on his snout as he picked up the letter. His siblings Lil and Kai--a Halloween Techo and Christmas Pteri respectively--peered over his shoulder while Sharp Beek,the ghost Pteri, stared at the kaleidoscopic colors coming from the hole. It had a slightly hypnotizing effect. Abruptly, he snapped out of the daze when his brother cleared his throat and began to read.
Dear romanian_cutee & company,
You and your neopets have been invited to our fifth annual Christmas Party*. Please RSVP as soon as you can and put the letter through the portal(but be sure not to place your hand in too close or it may make a rip in between dimensions). It begins at six o'clock and dinner will be served so come hungry! We hope you will be able to enjoy the holidays with our families.
thedoggirl_97 & kca_98
*We do not guarantee that there will be no ghosts, automatons, magical creatures and the like interrupting the party and possibly being dangerous..... (But that is highly improbable.)
After Artemis finished, they were silent for a moment.
Then Sharp Beek grinned. "I don't know about you guys, but that sounds awesome!"
Kai agreed. "I bet it would be fun. They seemed like nice families when we met them at the guild."
Lil frowned. "Did you not read the small print? Or hear the rumors about their haunted house?"
"So?" Sharp Beek smirked. "I can deal with that."
Lil rolled her eyes. "Artemis, what do you think? You're not really considering this, are you?"
"Well..." The Gelert hesitated. "It's up to RC."
* * *
"Listen up!" Violet, her tail swishing through the air, stalked back and forth in front of her lined up siblings and cousins like a general. "It is now five hours until the party and there is still many things to be done," Seriously, she glared at her fidgeting 'troops.' "Thanks to certain pets-" Ruby and Emerald shuffled their paws guiltily. "-we no longer have any cookies at all in this house! And," Ominously, Violet halted before Xsteriod and Storm,who flinched nervously. "SOMEBODY decided to use the punch to fill water balloons and goof off."
"Er.... it was an accident...?" Storm grimaced as a powerful tail thumped him over the head.
Angry, Fi, sticky from the punch, snarled at him, "Accident? You expect someone to believe that? It took me FOREVER to string those lights and you RUINED them!"
Sighing, Saphire sadly stroked her clumpy, sweet-smelling fur. "I think I'm going to need a few bottles of shampoo."
"Try Storm's," Lucky sulked, carefully wrapping a sprained paw from a fall from a latter due to an ill-placed dodge of said Ogrin. "He probably has your brand."
"HEY!" Storm fumed. "I only bought that lady shampoo once... and it was NOT on purpose! I just grabbed the wrong kind!"
"In the lady's section?" Lucky fired back.
"I was tired an-"
"ENOUGH!" Violet shouted, "Knock it off, all of you! We don't have time for this! Xsteriod, Storm, run to the store and get ingredients for cookies and punch. Ruby, Emerald, help Lucky fix the lights. Fi, Saph, once you are cleaned up get the table ready."
Seven neopets scrambled in different directions. Firefly, Violet's carmariller, hovered anxiously near his owner's head aware of her stress. Slowly, the faerie Xweetok let out a breath. Being 'in charge'--as much as one could with these neopets--was hard.
* * *
A timer buzzed loudly. Saphire hurriedly shut it off as Fi pulled what she hoped was the finale batch of cookies from the oven.
A Darigan Lupe snout poked through the kitchen doorway, "Hey sis, Vi says th-"
"Emerald!" Fi guarded the cookies suspiciously. "You better not be trying to eat these again!"
"No." Emerald looked longingly at the them. "I came to say that our guests are coming now and Vi wants you in the front room."
"Alright." Saphire washed her floured paws. "We'll be there in a second."
As they left the stuffy kitchen, Saphire asked, "So, you think it's going to be a normal Christmas this year?"
"Not a chance," Fi replied nonchalantly. "I'm sure something will explode, our food will attack us, or Sand will turn us all into petpets."
"Well," Saphire blinked thoughtfully. "I guess that is 'normal' for us."
"True," the Peophin grinned. "I hope our friends have a taste for the supernatural!"
* * *
Artemis nearly leapt out of his fur when the doorbell rang itself. Kai had just reached over to press it, but a second before he touched it, it reacted.
Kai's eyes widened. "Whoa, it's like the house is alive! Is it... safe to go in?"
"If it was evil it wouldn't let people live in it, right?" Sharp Beek peered in a window impatiently. "And it could've been just a ghost playing a prank on us."
"Listen to yourselves!" Lil scoffed, looking around at the white stones. "A living haunted house? You guys are getting more and more ridiculous!"
She happened to glance up. Rubbing her eyes, she did a double take after a Draik statue blinked. Before Lil could say anything, the heavy doors swung open.
The faerie Xweetok smiled,flipping her long purple hair out of her face. "Come on in!"
"Excuse me." Lil caught her attention. "I think there was someone on your roof."
"The roof?" Artemis echoed. "All I saw were fancy gargoyles. "
"Maybe," Sharp Beek interjected. "The ghost possessed one!"
"Or maybe it's an enchanted statue!" Kai exclaimed,catching onto his brother's excitement.
Violet's smile remained in place, but it seemed forced now.
"Oh, I told him not to bother the- OW!" Storm yelped as a paw stomped down on his tail. "Er... we do have a couple statues up there. Regular... non magical statues... that definitely don't move around and refuse to listen to directions."
Interrupting the awkward pause, Ruby skid into the room. "When can we eat the cookies? They smell so delicious!"
Glaring, Violet watched him hastily wipe crumbs off his chin. "I'm sure our guests would love to have some if there's any left."
While the owners went to chat, the pets gathered in the den,their arms full of food.
"I love having these parties," Emerald stretched, flopping over on a cushion. "Remember last year's?"
Saphire giggled. "Or last new year's party?"
Fi snorted. "Whose idea was it to have Storm get the fireworks?I can't believe we almost burned down the entire neighborhood!"
"Almost," Storm pointed out as their four guests stared. "Not actually."
"Listen up!" Sand commanded suddenly from her seat on Ruby's back. "We should have a story. You know, about past Christmas parties!"
"Yeah!" Xsteriod and Violet chimed simultaneously.
"I have a request," Sand swished her tail. "Ruby,you should tell the story of our first Christmas."
Ruby was surprised. "Okay. Well, I guess it really started when Mom asked us to prepare the house for the party. We had to work together as a team, but it wasn't very easy since we hadn't been a family very long...."
To be continued...