Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 193,938,194 Issue: 724 | 18th day of Running, Y18
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Visit To The Neopian History Museum


by jrayeb3

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      My steps echoed through the corridor, my paws cold from the granite. I stuck my paws in the pockets of my hoodie, warming them slightly. My owner stood next to me, walking me into this strange place. A museum, she had said it was. But so far, all I had seen was a long hallway. Jessa grabbed my arm.

      “Tarshall, we're almost here. We're going to see some really cool stuff, okay?” Her voice was gentle. I nodded my head, then tucked my hand back into its pocket.

      As we kept walking, the corridor grew more colorful. Tapestries hung from the walls, doors were half open. The air smelled of dust. A tall faerie stood in front of us, stacks of books piling around her. She set the book down and looked up at us, seeming mildly surprised there were visitors.

      “Hi there, I'm Taliara. Are you here to visit the museum?” Her voice was high pitched and happy as she pulled out a piece of paper.

      “Yes we are. Do we have to sign in?”

      Taliara nodded. “Just write your pets age on this paper and feel free to tour around. There are many sections, and I think you'll be interested at what you can see!”

      I doubted it, but I didn't want to say anything. Jessa had offered me a Chocolate Korbat if I was good, and my stomach rumbled in anticipation of the treat. She looked down at me, tapping a pen against her face in thought.

      “You're... 25 days old now, right Tarshall?”

      “Yup!” My voice came out squeakier than I thought it would in my head. My face felt hot and I looked at the ground. “Where should we go first?”

      My owner looked around the room. She seemed to be taking in everything around her head. “Let's go there first.” She was pointing to a thick white door with a red sign on it. “It says Ancient Games, that sounds fun!”

      Taliara poked her head up from a book again. “If you're careful, you can play with the toys on the tables!”

      My eyes widened. I really did love playing with toys, especially the soft plushies my owner had bought at the plushie store. As she guided me into the room, I was taken aback a bit. It didn't look like an old museum like in the books, but it looked like a daycare play center! I could feel the fur around my neck fluffing up like it did when I got excited.

      I tugged on my owner's sleeve. “Look! Look, there's a puppet!”

      Lying on a table and carefully propped up, a tiny Gnorbu was made out of fabric. A small note card labeled the object a “Captain Tuan Hand Puppet”.

      “Do you remember the legend of Captain Tuan and his crew discovering Shenkuu?”

      “Yeah! And that weirdo got thrown right off the edge!”

      She looked amused, one eyebrow raised and half of a smile across her face. “Well, I guess that's one way of putting it.”

      I reached my paw out to touch the puppet. It was a soft texture, and I carefully traced the face of the Captain with my paw. Velvet. Now my paws were coated in dust.

      I sneezed, knocking the puppet over, then frantically tried to stand it back up again. When I had shoved it back into a place close enough to it's original, I pulled onto Jessa's arm.

      “I think I'm ready to go onto the next room.” She pursed her lips and pushed up her glasses.

      “Okay. How about....” She glanced to the closest door, she read off the sign. “How about the Faerie Exhibit?”

      I nodded my head and wiped the remaining dust off onto my jacket. “Sounds cool!” I didn't know much about Faeries, but since they had blessed RJ, he'd been able to shoot electricity sometimes.

      As we entered the room, the environment seemed to be that of a different world. The room was barely lit by dimmed lights, and fading colors lay in bottles that were mounted on podiums. I ran up to the red color shining from the bottle, them jumped back when it moved.

      “Wha..? That light's got wings!”

      Jessa nodded. “That's a fading fire faerie. She's losing all of her energy.”

      I looked around. The room was filled with the bottles containing the faeries, fading away from... what? Life? Power? Would the charm wear off and they'd dissolve, or perhaps turn into gray faeries?

      My stomach felt weak. “I... I don't really...”

      “Tar, they're fine!”

      She must have thought that I couldn’t detect the uncertainty in her voice.

      “Let's just move on, okay? There's another room right here, look.” She pointed across the hall to a big green door surrounded by windows. Sunlight trickled in through them, hurting my eyes in contrast with the last room's dim lighting.

      The door labeled “Garden” led us to a greenhouse. Benches were aligned against the walls, and the air smelled sweet and earthy. I walked carefully over to a flower, dirt sinking into my paws.

      The flower was red with brilliant petals erupting from the center. It had a red frill around its base, like an angry Cobrall... or a happy Wocky. I looked both ways, making sure no one was watching. Jessa was examining a large green leafy plant in the corner, when I pulled the flower out of the ground.

      One. Two. I held my breath and counted.

      Nothing happened. With a sigh of relief, I put the flower in my pocket. Fiery red, like the faerie I had seen. I hoped it was okay, but I decided not to worry about it. I'd drive myself insane, wondering and creating impossible ideas in my head.

      Jessa walked by me again. She sat down in the earth next to me, not saying a word. A shrill call echoed in the distance, as if it was from a bird. The heat felt warm and relaxing as if I could fall asleep here.

      “There's lots of cool plants here.” She pointed to a blue g-rape type vine. “Those are Bluesticks, and if you brush your teeth with them you're supposed to grow big and strong, but they taste and smell disgusting!”

      I laughed. Some Neopians came up with the craziest stories. Then I imagined myself strong, surrounded by vines of Bluesticks, lifting up Battledome prizes.

      “We'll have to try that sometime, Jessa.”

      “If you want, but I don't want you to smell bad!”

      I looked up at the sky. It was a bright blue, a few clouds here and there that looked as soft as the inside of my hoodie. A mild breeze shook the area ever so lightly.

      Jessa pulled something out of her pocket. “Here. Chocolate Korbat, you've been great so far.”

      She handed me the chocolate pet, still wrapped fresh from the Chocolate Factory. I unwrapped it and took a bite, the sweet milk chocolate filling my mouth.

      “Thank you.” I tried to say, my mouth still filled with the treat.

      “No, thank you. I've wanted to come this museum for a while. It's been a great experience. Your brothers were so unruly when I took them places at your age. Ryan brought a little wooden sword everywhere, and Henry wouldn't take his eyes off his book. It was crazy.”

      I giggled. I could so see Henry yelling at Ryan as he got whacked with a little toy sword. More chocolate entered my mouth.

      “So, are you liking it with us so far? I know it must be a bit strange, but I've certainly enjoyed having a new friend around.”

      I thought for a moment. She'd adopted me recently, chose out a name, and taken my home to meet my brothers and sisters. Traded away her own items for this sweatshirt that I loved, brought me places to see sights...

      “It's definitely been awesome.” I answered truthfully.

      Before I knew it, the words were rushing out of my mouth.

      “I mean, you guys are so cool... I have food and a hoodie and I live on the island, and Lopez takes me out and lets me pet his Blugar and Ryan plays knights with me and Henry... Henry, he puts up with me and lets me read his extra books, James gives me little gold charms and Chris lets me wear his gloves sometimes and blue comes out of my hands... Ice draws with me and River tells me stories and V catches me fish pets and Eve lets me talk and she nods and listens, even when it's about Petpets. It's been awesome.”

      Jessa smiled and pulled me into a hug. “It's been awesome having you with us, too. You're a good friend to those guys, and they need one sometimes.”

      My head tilted like it did when I was confused. “What do you mean?”

      Jessa shrugged. “I think you know.”

      I thought I did too. When Ice and I put our drawings on the fridge, and when I played in the waves with V, they looked happier.

      “Maybe it's my job to make you guys smile.”

      “Well, you're certainly doing that right. For now.” She winked at me.

      “C'mon, there is a petpet section I do NOT want to miss!

      I ran up behind my owner, wrapping the chocolate back into its foil and placing it in my pocket with the flower.

      The petpet room was bright. Balls and toys were scattered around the room, and a tiny swimming pool bubbled in the corner.

      “All of these creatures are unique because you can't find them in the wild anymore. That's why they're here!”

      “Wow!” Something was coming out of the pool, and a small black squid emerged. He made squeaking noises, sounding happy even though he couldn't talk.

      Tiny paw steps were coming from behind me, and I turned to see a Kookith, his feet leaving behind little piles of snow. He tried to leap up to me and made a shrill noise, the one we had heard back in the greenhouse. I smiled and tossed him down a piece of my chocolate.

      His little happy chirp was worth giving up my Korbat.

      The End.

Thanks to Dani for letting me use her gallery as a setting!!!

 
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