StitchedKougra and Mistik
Also by pinkpanther33
There is a little shop in a dark and secluded corner of Neopia Central that carries the most unusual sort of fabric. It is managed by an old Plushie Chia - worn and mis-stitched - years of wear and tear etched into his faded cloth. It was hard to believe he was the manager of the establishment, because certainly someone who owned such a plethora of beautiful material would patch themselves with better care. But despite his ragged appearance, the Chia had a powerful and unusual magic. If he had a name once, it was long ago lost. The few patrons who wandered through the doors referred to him strictly as Sir. And his battered Plushie Bilguss, his only employee and dearest friend, simply referred to him as B.
It was a hot and sticky day when an Usukigirl wandered through the old double doors. As usual, the right one stuck, making her bash her knee against it loudly. She doubled over in pain, breathing a string of colorful language under her breath. As usual the Bilguss was first to the newcomer.
"Welcome, to the Wonderful World of B!" he said excitedly. "We have all your crafty needs! Is there something we can help you with Miss...?"
"I'm Mistik." The Usul smiled through her watery eyes, limping ever so slightly to an old and dusty bench beside the many shelves of fabric where she could sit. "I'm here because my owner has a commission for you. This was quite the tricky place to find! I asked nearly five shopkeepers before finally someone knew where you guys were! Whomever thought to put it at the end of such a creepy alley was definitely not too keen on getting visitors!"
"Ah! One minute. I'll fetch Mister B." The Bilguss disappeared into a dark doorway for not even a second before the old Chia made his appearance in a small cloud of dust and pollen.
"Welcome! I hope we can accommodate your needs today. A commission, eh? What sort of commission?"
Mistik twiddled her fingers together, feeling rather shy in front of the wise Chia's eyes. "My owner seems to think you can make her a Plushie Kougra. Is this possible?"
A small smile brightened B's features. "Anything is possible if you know how to sew it. And if you have the right thread!" He made his way to a filing cabinet from which he pulled a small box of crafting supplies and a notepad. Placing a pair of thick foggy spectacles on top of his nose, he began to scribble notes and measurements onto the paper. "Your owner - she gave you something to give me - am I correct?"
The Usul blushed furiously, of course it was just like her to forget a matter of such importance! "Oh my, I'm so sorry, here!" She leaped to her feet, taking from the folds of her dress a tiny paper bag. Tipping it sideways two black buttons fell into her palm. Though totally perplexed, she offered them to B anyways - after all, what could someone who had such an incredible surplus of sewing supplies want with these two average looking buttons?
His face lit up with glee as he took them tenderly from her. "Ah, she has done well! We get many orders to our shop, but it's not too often I get the pleasure of making something into exactly what it was always intended to be. There are too few of these left. Let her know I will require no further payment other than this opportunity. I only hope these old tired hands can still do them the justice they deserve."
"I'm sorry to pry," and truly Mistik was. It was obvious he knew something she didn't and her curiosity began to get the best of her, "But what exactly is so special about these buttons?" He held out his hand so that they caught the light. The more closely she looked at them the more it seemed there was a very faint glow around them. "Is that magic?"
Smiling, B looked kindly upon her, "Long ago, before the first of us Plushies were made, there was a lowly faerie Delina who dreamed of filling Neopia with marvelous artistic creations. More than anything she wanted to make everything beautiful. Nature is frail, and that which belongs to nature tends to wither and fade. She thought perhaps she could add something sustainable to this world, and slowly her thoughts turned from making paper trees, and tissue flowers into making actual beings out of inanimate material. It is unclear as to who it was that made this possible. It is said that she journeyed deep into the Haunted Woods in search of a Master Seamstress. When she found her, she gave her a bag of magic buttons. With these buttons it was possible to turn Plushies into real Neopets."
"But I thought they were painted that way," Mistik wondered aloud. "That it was the ancient magic of the rainbow pool."
"You are correct in thinking so! But the first Plushies were not made this way. Long ago, this was the only way of doing it. Delina is very famous now, but the world has forgotten where she came from. They only see what they want to see - an merchant who sells beautiful things." He smiled softly. "These buttons are from a forgotten time and I am honored to be in their presence."
"What about you?" the little Usul asked, realizing the wise old eyes she had been looking into all this time looked incredibly similar to the two buttons in his outstretched hands.
B chuckled. "The last Shopkeeper to own these walls created me to watch it in their stead from the last two buttons to wander through that door." He cleared his throat lightly and Mistik realized he would say no more. "Now, to business, it will take a day or two, but it can definitely be done! You will want to stay at the Neolodge I'm sure. I will have my Bilguss come for you when I am finished so you can meet your new companion."
At first the anticipation of what was to come was overwhelming and Mistik could focus on nothing else besides what would happen when the Bilguss would come. But soon enough the rowdy scene of Neopia Central got the best of her, and she found herself relaxing more and more. After all, a fun seeking Usul with a hefty bag of Neopoints could do pretty much anything they wanted. And so she browsed the shops, buying new clothing and trinkets, and eating rather well. The two days seemed to meld into one. She could hardly remember even falling asleep that night in the lodge. What a perfect vacation the trip turned out to be!
It was the middle of the second day that the Bilguss found her while she wandered the Neopian Book Store. In fact, she was so unsuspecting of his sudden return that she nearly toppled over him. Straightening up, she did a quick double take, having forgotten completely about B's instruction.
"Ah, is it ready then?" The Bilguss nodded excitedly, grabbing the hem of her skirt to pull her along. Mistik was quickly ushered through the door, retracing her steps through the dark and lonely alleyway til the familiar stoop of B's shop could be seen. She walked in with a flourish, once again bashing her poor already-bruised knee on the door. With a tiny wail and a sigh she limped back to the bench to sit on it, rubbing her wound vigorously.
"You really must stop doing that," the Bilguss laughed softly. Mistik gave him a half glower through her watery eyes before she focused on the two figures emerging from the side door behind him.
First came B, in all his tattered old roundness, adjusting the spectacles once more on his nose. Behind him, a smaller slender figure could also be seen, and as he stepped into the light, Mistik let out a gasp. The most beautiful purple fabric was stitched perfectly to make the adorable little Kougra. There were stripes and patches in a softly polka dotted orange and yellow, and atop his head a small ruffle of little fabric curls sat. He was absolutely darling. But above all else, Mistik noticed the tiny round button eyes and how alive they looked now that he was animated.
"Oh my! B, you did an amazing job! My owner is going to be so thrilled to finally meet him! Can he speak?"
"Of course I can!" a tiny voice declared from the carefully stitched lips. "B has already told me all about you and your family. I can't wait to meet everyone! Having a sister will be so much fun!"
Mistik smiling lovingly to him. "And having a brother will be equally fun! B, I cannot thank you enough! Are you sure there is nothing else you require?"
B just gave a small grin knowingly. "You have given me a beautiful gift seeing him come to life. Perhaps when I have reached a great age he will take over for me, here in the shop. Maybe to one day witness the very same miracle that I have seen. There is truly no greater payment in the world."
Mistik took the Kougra's paw in her hand, getting ready to depart. She knew the rest of the family would want to meet him straight away. "What do I call you? Do you have a name?"
"It's Stitch!" he said, beaming up at her.
"Well Stitch, it's time to go home. B - I appreciate all you've done for us." But the Chia just gave a wave of his little hand, venturing back through the shadowy door to whatever was in the back of the shop. "Did it hurt - when he made you?"
Stitch gave her little hand a squeeze. "Not at all, the first breath was beautiful, like a fresh drink of water." Mistik sighed dreamily, thinking of all the fun adventures they would have together. Her new companion wasn't just a magical marvel, but a heart warming story teller as well.