Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 96,313,980 Issue: 190 | 13th day of Hunting, Y7
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A Surprising Surprise

by precious_katuch14


It was a gloomy day in the Month of Eating. A curious green Jetsam wandered down the stairs to see what was going on. On that day, Kat had told her four pets to stay upstairs while she talked with a fellow owner, but the quad was too curious to remain in their rooms any longer.

     "Do you hear anything, Angel?" asked a white Aisha, who was sitting at the top of the stairs.

     The Jetsam shook his head. "Nope, nothing interesting. Just some boring things like the stock market and Kat's latest article." Beside him, a faerie Acara hovered lower, and a striped Kacheek followed, setting himself down beside Angel.

     "Let's keep listening," said Glitter, landing one step above her two brothers. "Maybe Kat's planning a surprise party for me!"

     "Your birthday's months away," said Fluffy, walking down towards her siblings as silently as possible. Soon all were quiet again as they hung on to every word that floated from the living room.

     A tall, dark girl was busy talking with their owner, tossing back her long blonde hair as she did so. "So I said, 'Was it Kat's birthday today?' And he was like, 'Oh yeah!'" She burst out laughing, and meanwhile, the four pets watching the two humans beadily turned to themselves.

     "Kat's birthday is today?" asked Sweet. "Really?"

     "I didn't know that!" exclaimed Angel. His sisters shushed him up and they continued hanging on the conversation.

     "What, my birthday today?" Kat was saying. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go shopping!" She jumped off the sofa, and so did her companion. The two excited girls ran out the door, with the pets' owner yelling, "Hey, I'll be back in an hour! Be good!" The door closed behind them, leaving a group of confused siblings.

     Glitter squealed as soon as the two people had left. "Oh my, we HAVE to do something for her birthday!"

     Fluffy nodded. "An hour's enough for us to whip up a good plan," she agreed.

     "Ooh, a surprise party for Kat when she gets home!" suggested Angel. His sisters clapped in delight, obviously supporting the idea.

     "So what are we all waiting for?" asked the striped Kacheek. "Our hour is ticking away and we're all sitting around here doing nothing! LET'S GET TO IT!" He and his three younger siblings dashed off in different directions, all muttering about a party, a cake and presents.


     Meanwhile, just outside, Kat and her friend were counting their cash before they went off to the shops.

     "Don't be silly," said the dark-haired girl. "My birthday isn't until the Month of Swimming."

     "No, really?" asked her blonde friend.

     "Yes, really. I have to wait for like, three months. So come on, let's go shopping!" The two girls sprinted off towards the Marketplace, oblivious to the chaos that was about to unfold in Kat's Neohome.


     Angel had gotten hold of his favorite scissors and was now snipping away at some spare colored paper to create streamers. "Hey, who's going to be writing 'Happy Birthday Kat' on these things?" the green Jetsam asked as he began drawing some designs on the newly cut length of paper. As a little Anubis came up and started nipping at the ersatz streamer, Angel gently shooed him away and continued scribbling swirls and such on his creation.

     Just a few steps away, a faerie Acara was hovering in the kitchen, looking through cupboards and tossing down some foodstuff to a white Aisha waiting below, who tossed them over onto the table.

     "Are you sure Sweet knows what he's going to buy?" asked Glitter, looking down at her sister before dropping a jar of cookies. "He better not buy her something stupid, like stuff that wriggles."

     "We can trust the guy, Glitter," replied Fluffy. "Now throw me the cookies!"

     "Cookies? Where?" Angel peeked his head into the place and saw his two sisters with a container of the yummy treats.

     The Acara glared at her little brother. "No way! These will not be touched till the party!"

     Shrugging, the Jetsam went off, trailing his homemade streamer behind him. Without warning, a Snowbunny streaked by, and tripped onto the paper, sliding on the slippery kitchen floor towards Fluffy, who was holding the cookies.

     "Cottontail!" she cried.

     "What? Where?" said Glitter, and stared down below her to see a white Aisha knocked out of the way by a careening petpet. Her older sister was shoved onto a chair, and fell over, still holding the jar, which was miraculously saved.

     "Can't you put that Snowbunny somewhere where she won't disturb us?" asked Glitter bossily.

     Fluffy nodded, and transferred the cookies to the Acara. Then the Aisha picked up Cottontail and went upstairs, leaving her younger sibling to set the table for the planned purpose.

     "Angel!" yelled Glitter from the kitchen, "I need your help here!"

     "But I'm making streamers and decorations and confetti!" replied the Jetsam. "This place has to look super-cool for Kat's surprise party!"

     "Well, you can make decorations in the kitchen - decorate this chocolate cake she's been keeping for a 'special occasion' with some cream! Get creative!"

     That made the green Jetsam come zooming into action, grab the cream and begin squeezing a 'Happy Birthday Kat' message on the top of the cake in a crazy squiggly style while Glitter started arranging the other food.

     "We need to put some streamers in here," said the faerie Acara. "Nice design, Angel. NOW GO MAKE WITH THE ARTSY STUFF!"

          Her little sibling dashed off back into the living room, where all the papers had been strewn around. "Glitter, I need to put some streamers in the living room too!" he called out.

     Fluffy came back. "Angel, you can take the decorations you have to put in the kitchen and go there. I'll take care of the setup in here." As the Jetsam picked up one long length of swirl-filled blue paper and dragged it off with him. The white Aisha dragged an armchair and stood up on it, clutching another banner in one paw.

     "Glitter! Here I am!" shouted Angel, returning with the needed materials in tow. The faerie Acara snatched them up and soared high to start posting them all over the kitchen. As his sisters put up his works of art, the Jetsam hopped onto the chair, grabbed the cream and began decorating the available space on the cake with little rosettes.


     "Can't…find…good birthday present," sighed a striped Kacheek as he traversed the Marketplace, ducking whenever he saw or thought he saw Kat pass by. Clutching a small bag of cash and a lot of trepidation and anxiety in his head, he spotted a small shop just located in the outskirts of the cluster of stores.

     "Welcome to Elsa's Emporium," said a green Zafara who was dressed remarkably like Edna the Witch. "I am Elsa, a big fan of Edna and I shall accompany you to - "

     Sweet's gaze fell from the shopkeeper to a little toy located on a high shelf. It had an air faerie inside, surrounded by a multitude of sparkly things.

     "I see you have spotted the Air Faerie Snowglobe," said Elsa, grinning. "Very rare, very pretty, and very delicate. We've moved this little baby up there out of reach, so no crazy shopper would knock it over and break it. Well then, how much will it be for this fine item? 75,000 NP is a start."

     The striped Kacheek gasped. "75,000? But…I don't have that kind of money. All I have is…7,500. Oh well…" He shook his head at Elsa and turned away, shoulders slumped. "I guess my owner won't get anything for her birthday today."

     Before Sweet could step out of the shop, a human's hand swooped down on his shoulder. "Sir, perhaps I can reconsider." He craned his neck and found himself face-to-face with a slightly short young girl, with curly brown hair and freckles. "Are you Sweety1_1501?"

     "Yeah, but what's it to you?"

     The green Zafara's owner gave him a very serene yet serious look. "Kat once helped me earn 100,000 NP by donating to my shop. I have always wanted to repay her, and this is my chance. I will give you this lovely snowglobe for only 7,500. Tell her that I am forever grateful for the wonderful deed she has done to me." She stepped onto a chair and reached for the toy. Sweet gave up the whole pouch of coins and received the Air Faerie Snowglobe, handling it carefully.

     Sweet couldn't help but feel forever grateful himself. "Thank you," he said softly. "Say, I didn't catch your name."

     "Call me Lazuli," said the girl. "Hope you can come again soon."

     She and Elsa waved as he left their shop - and saw Kat and her friend walk by, headed for a street marked "Rainbow Lane".

     A wave of new panic rising in him, the Kacheek sprinted towards home, quickly overtaking his owner and her companion. He kicked open the door of their Neohome and dived right in, thankfully making sure the snowglobe didn't touch the floor.

     "Smooth move, Sweet," said Fluffy, bending down to gaze at Kat's present. "Cool snowglobe."

     "Kat…Kat's almost here!" he yelled. Glitter and Angel whipped around to see their brother, traded looks and quickly began polishing their work. The green Jetsam arranged the last of the food, while the faerie Acara made sure all the banners and streamers weren't in crooked positions. Finally, the white Aisha flicked off the lights, made sure everything was nearly dark, and all four pets dashed to hide in the living room.. Angel nearly squealed with excitement, but Glitter clamped her paw over his mouth.

     They heard the click of the doorknob, and the creaking of the door as their owner stepped inside. "Hello? Guys, where are you?" Kat pulled the switch of one lamp and illuminated the surroundings.


     The girl was taken aback as her pets leapt out of their hiding places and ran towards the kitchen, Fluffy pulling her along. She was met with extravagant streamers, a buffet on the kitchen table and a large banner that said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAT" in huge colorful letters.

     "So what do you think?" asked Sweet.

     "Ooh, I designed the cake!" said Angel, pointing to the chocolate cake with creamy frosting.

     But she was speechless. Their owner was extremely flabbergasted, and she let loose a sentence that made her pets' faces fall quickly.

     "You guys…it's not my birthday today."

     "You said so awhile ago, when you were talking to your friend," said Fluffy.

     Kat shook her head. "Nah, she made a mistake. I was just laughing at what she said, because she thought my birthday was today. Actually, it doesn't come till the Month of Swimming. But - "

     She sighed a little after seeing her pets' downcast expressions.

     "But I really appreciate all the work you put through. The food, the decorations, and the cake…it's all so amazing. In fact, I can't believe that you spent that one hour preparing for this." The girl gave Angel, Fluffy, Glitter and Sweet big hugs. "Even if it ISN'T my birthday, I'm really thankful."

     The Jetsam smiled widely. "For the stuff we gave you?"

     "Well, yes. But I'm also thankful for pets like you. You'd go through any lengths to create something to make me happy. Not many can brag that they spent an hour planning something big and exciting just for one person."

     At first, the quad stood there, all smiles. Then, Sweet dashed off somewhere, and instantly came back, with a hastily wrapped package in his paws.

     "We got you a gift too!" he said, thrusting it into her hands. Even more astonished than before, Kat tore off the paper and found an Air Faerie Snowglobe shimmering in the light.

     "Oh…you shouldn't have…I've always wanted one of these…my word. I don't know what to say." She walked off for a moment, gently put the snowglobe on the living room table, opened her arms and embraced all four of her pets once again.

     "Say it after we eat!" exclaimed Glitter. "We didn't get all this food out for nothing! Come on!"

The End

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