A Very Special Wish
It was a chilly morning in Neopia Central, with frost settling on the rooftops and a blistering breeze blowing through the trees. The sun had barely risen and the streets were empty, with the exception of one lone white Aisha who was shuffling along the path. Her head was wrapped warmly in a fluffy scarf, and her hands were buried deep in her coat pocket, fighting off the winter cold.
The Aisha's name was Amalia, and she was on a mission: to visit the Wishing Well and make a very special request.
She walked further away from Neopia Central, heading towards the Plaza. It was quiet here too, though she could hear the sound of drowsy Kadoaties mewing in the distance. She was almost there.
Amalia thought about the events that had led her here. She had spent the day before in her Neohome, preparing decorations for the month of Celebrating and watching her neighbours frolicking outside in their snow covered gardens. The little Aisha was lonely. So, so lonely. All she wanted was a companion, someone to talk to, to go on adventures with, to share the festive season with. Oh, how she longed for a Petpet to call her own.
Unfortunately, Neopoints had been tight lately. Amalia had been working extra hours at the Employment Agency, doing quests for various faeries, anything she could do to save a little more and put it towards her dream pet. She had almost met her goal and was nearly ready to head down to the Petpet shop and adopt a friend of her own, when bad luck struck.
She had been visiting one of her local shops, when the Angry Tax Beast had appeared right before her eyes, demanding she give him all of her hard-earned points. Being a law-abiding citizen, Amalia had sadly handed them over, sighed, and knew her dreams of owning a Petpet of her own were all but gone. What little she had left, she knew she would have to spend on food items, and gifts for her colleagues at the Employment Agency. There would be no Petpet this year.
A strong gust of wind blew her scarf in her eyes, and Amalia hastily brushed it away. She shook her head, clearing it of that sad memory. As she looked up, she saw the old Wishing Well directly in front of her. She had reached her destination.
She reached into her coat pocket and withdrew a small bag of jingling coins. It was the sum of her savings, the points she had been stashing away for the past few weeks, a little bit here and a little bit there. She hoped that even if it didn't grant her request today, the Wishing Well might consider granting it on the Day of Giving. It was, after all, the most magical time of the year.
With a deep breath, Amalia leaned over the Wishing Well and prepared to make her wish.
"I wish for a friend this Christmas, a special Petpet to call my own. I wish for a ... "
Before she could finish, a figure appeared beside her. She paused in surprise, turning to see who it could be.
It was another Aisha, red in colour and smaller in size, dressed in clothes that were not very appropriate for the freezing weather. He was standing on the ledge of the Wishing Well with a single coin in his hand. When he saw her turn to look at him, he bowed his head.
"I'm so sorry to interrupt you." The small Aisha said softly. "It's just that it's so cold, and I really need to make my wish."
"My goodness, you must be freezing! Here, take this." Amalia hurriedly took off her scarf and wrapped it around his neck. "There, that's better. Now, what's your name?"
The red Aisha snuggled into the scarf and shivered. "I'm Maurice. Thank you so much!"
Amalia gestured to the Wishing Well. "You're welcome to go first, Maurice. What are you wishing for today?"
Maurice looked up at her with sad eyes. "Well, it's not really a wish for me. It's for my sister. It's so cold, and we're down on our luck this month, and I really need to find us some food. I'm hoping the Wishing Well will grant me something, anything, that we can sell to use to buy groceries. I'm not quite sure what to wish for, actually. This is all I've got." He held out the single coin and sighed.
"We can't have that!" Amalia said, shocked. "Come on, let's go!" She grabbed Maurice by the hand and led him away from the Wishing Well and back towards Neopia Central.
Amalia knew that she wouldn't be going back to the Wishing Well today. These were people who needed her help, and that could benefit from her coins - so she formulated a plan.
First, they visited the Fresh Food shop, where they stocked up on pantry goods and delicious treats. Then, they dropped by the Pharmacy, grabbing medical items and blankets. Finally, they stopped at the Clothing store, where Amalia made sure that they had enough winter woolies to get them through the cold season.
Holding bags full of their purchases, Maurice led her back to his home, which Amalia was surprised to discover was only a few streets away from her own. The windows were drawn and the house was dark. All was still, until a curtain twitched on one of the front windows. A small face peered through.
"Milly!" Maurice yelled, running for the door. "You'll never guess what happened!"
The door opened, and another small red Aisha gingerly walked outside. "Where have you been, Maurice? I've been worried! Oh...!" She spotted Amalia standing behind him, and fell quiet.
"This is Amalia, Milly. She's helped us out so much, we've got groceries and firewood and blankets! Let's go inside!" Maurice excitedly herded everyone out of the cold and into the house.
They unpacked the bags of groceries together, and Amalia quickly whipped up a pot of Myncironi and Cheese for the siblings. As they ate, they spoke about their hopes and their dreams for the holidays. It was though they had known each other for years, and Amalia felt so delighted that fate had brought them together. Milly, sitting on the chair next to Amalia, reached out and gave Amalia's hand a squeeze.
"But what about your wish?" Maurice asked, as Milly nodded with worry. "You spent all of your coins on us, and you didn't get a chance to ask for anything for yourself!"
"Never mind my wish. I'm just glad to have helped. Now, it's time for me to head home. Enjoy your dinner, and I'm just down the road if you need anything!" Amalia made her way to the front door, gave the pair a hug, and stepped outside, ready to make her way home.
Amalia opened the front door and hurried to make herself a beverage to combat the cold wintery chill. She shrugged off her coat, and as she did so, a note fell to the floor. She picked it up and sat down at her kitchen table, sipping a cup of warm Borovan. With a content sigh, she opened up the letter and prepared to read it.
There are no words that we can say that will explain how grateful we are to have met you today at the Wishing Well. You have made our dreams come true, and we want to thank you so much for reaching out to strangers and being such a caring person. We can't repay you just yet, but we want you to know that we will be here for you no matter what, and we can't wait to spend the festive season with you. Thank you for being a friend. Happy Holidays!
Love, M & M. "
The little Aisha smiled happily and put the card back down on the table. What a strange day it had turned out to be!
She may not have received her dream Petpet companion from the Wishing Well, but she'd received something even better: new friends to call her own. And that was the most magical gift of all!