The Yellow Gelert: Part Two
“Sewing–is–very–tedious.” Each word was punctuated by a jab into the cloth.
“Delly, for the fiftieth time, stop saying that,” snapped Chezzanne, whose room redecorating had been halted temporarily. She was still sharing a room with her sister, Dellayn. “You're getting on my nerves.”
“Chezzanne,” Pixie, said, entering the conversation, “what's gotten into you?” Ever since Dellayn had come along, Chezzanne had been bossy, started neglecting her studies, became obsessed with fashion and never seemed to do anything but put on makeup and read about beautiful Unis.
“Wh-what do you mean?” Chezzanne looked up in surprise.
Being smart was not in anymore. Just when Chezzanne had started caring about being 'in' was unknown, but it seemed that it was likely the new friends she'd made that initiated it.
“Just be nice to your sister. And Dellayn, seriously, stop complaining.”
Dellayn took a stitch in the light pink fabric that was to become a Wocky and nodded obediently. “Sorry.”
Chezzanne didn't say anything.
Dellayn stitched boredly for the required two weeks, and produced ten Plushies. She sold them, so the time hadn't been a total waste, but she could have made a lot more pushing buttons on the elevator.
On the first day back to work, she was surprised to see Mrs. Twinkle wringing her hands and jabbering to a blue Shoyru.
“What's up?” Dellayn asked.
“Dellayn, I'm so sorry, but I thought you were going to be gone for two months, and we really couldn't go that long without an operator. I'm afraid I hired someone new.”
“And you don't need two,” Dellayn stated weakly. She was surprised Mrs. Twinkle would just dismiss her like that, but held her tongue.
“I'm so very sorry. I can give you another position...?”
“No, thanks.” Dellayn sighed slightly. “Well, bye. Thanks for the job.”
Dellayn had to walk to the dock, which set her paw to aching all over again. “Oh, no! I thought it was all better,” she moaned. She thought of dropping into the beauty parlor, because Chezzanne might be able to contact Pixie, but she hated to ask the temperamental Uni for anything and trudged to the dock alone.
Dellayn dragged herself to her room and took a nap, but was awakened by Pixie coming in.
“Delly, are you home already?” The door hadn't been locked.
“Yes,” wailed Dellayn, and explained about the new elevator operator.
“Too bad! Maybe you can get a job elsewhere. How about at the smoothie shop?”
That suited her, so Dellayn applied for a job and was accepted immediately.
“I really need the help,” explained the manager, who was also the only worker. “You'll be in charge of making them. Here's the recipe list. You have to memorize it, or else... or else... well, then you won't be able to do anything.”
Memorization was certainly not Dellayn's strong point. At all.
Chezzanne, who had learned several languages, knew all sorts of tricks, Dellayn was sure... but the way their relationship was going, it didn't seem likely that the blue Uni would share them.
As Chezzanne breezed in the door, Dellayn looked up. “Hi, Chez.”
Chezzanne mumbled something about being tired and ran to their room.
“What's with Chez?” Dellayn asked incredulously, as Pixie bustled around the room tidying as usual.
“I think there's something she really wants, but she doesn't have enough money for it.”
“What does she want?” Dellayn asked, wondering what could be so important.
Dellayn tapped on the door that Chezzanne had closed and locked.
Dellayn wasn't sure what to say. “It's my room, you know,” she offered eventually.
A fumbling at the doorknob made Dellayn smile, and she pranced in before Chezzanne could change her mind. “What is it that you want really bad, but can't afford?”
“I want a new comb–a Pea Comb.” Chezzanne shrugged. “I know it's not that expensive, but makeup is, and I need a lot.” She pursed her lips. “I have, like fifty NP.”
Dellayn had a thing or two to say about Chezzanne's excessive use of makeup, but bit her tongue. “Maybe I'll get it for you... just because.” She really wanted things to work out between the two of them. She just knew they could be great friends.
“Don't!” cried Chezzanne, as if she'd been slapped. “I mean, you can't! We're... not nice to each other. It's just not normal...”
“I try to be nice,” Dellayn argued.
“Well... I mean, I know I'm not nice to you... so if you get me a Pea Comb, I'll feel guilty every time I look at it.”
“You don't have to feel guilty.” Dellayn looked down. “Maybe we could start over.”
Chezzanne brushed at her face, and Dellayn knew she was crying, just as she was. “Really? It's... it's been so long since I've been nice.”
“We can try...”
A half scoop sugar,
Two scoops ice.
Two scoops applesauce
And a sprinkle of spice!
Chezzanne and Dellayn laughed together as they finished the little song to help Dellayn remember how to make the spicy apple smoothie that had come around for the holidays. Chezzanne made songs for every other recipe, too.
“Got it?” Chezzanne asked, and Dellayn nodded.
“Thanks for helping me.”
Chezzanne smiled. “No problem.” She sat up and happened to glance in the mirror as she did so. “Oh no! My eyeshadow is smudged!”
Dellayn decided that it was time to speak up. “I think you should stop wearing makeup.”
Chezzanne gaped. “But... but then... then I...” She swallowed hard. “I won't be pretty!”
“You mean you are self-conscious?” Dellayn was so surprised that she almost slid off of her bed.
“Of course. Why, are you?”
“Well, yeah... Pixie hates the color yellow. I don't know what possessed her to get a yellow Gelert. At least she likes blue. You don't even need to be painted to make her like you.”
“She likes you, Dell,” Chezzanne said quickly. “It's just that I feel so plain when I don't wear makeup. It's like having chocolate when all your life you've had jelly. You never want to go back.”
“Ew, I don't like chocolate, remember?”
“Bad example. Okay, say you had Sprout Wraps all your life, then you had jelly. Wouldn't you want to keep eating jelly?”
“No, jelly is for special occasions. Sprout Wraps are healthier.”
“You are very difficult.” Chezzanne set down her eyeshadow. “But you have a point. Maybe I'll try the natural look for a while,” she laughed.
“Well, I have to go to work. Thanks again. I'd never remember these if it wasn't for you.”
Dellayn hurried to the smoothie store, and began making the new product, eggnog smoothies.
Two large eggs,
A splash of milk.
Whip it up
'Til it's smooth as silk.
Add a little sugar,
And a little spice.
Then your eggnog
Will be really nice.
Dellayn sang the song under her breath and followed the recipe as she did so.
“Did you say something?” asked the manager, a green Eyrie.
“Uhhh... just trying to remember the recipe,” Dellayn said lamely, chuckling a little bit.
“Are you singing?”
Dellayn blushed and nodded.
“I want to hear,” he said with interest. “After this customer.”
The yellow Chia left the shop and Dellayn sang in her low, quivery voice, blushing brightly the whole time.
“How cute,” the Eyrie cried. “The customers will like to know what's going in their smoothies. Go ahead and sing out loud while you make them.”
Dellayn had never been so embarrassed in her life. “Okay,” she agreed. She couldn't argue with the manager, after all.
Lemon in a splash,
Grapes in a clump.
Ice in a cube,
And sugar in a lump.
She was good at making smoothies, and it wasn't long until...
“I'm going on vacation, Dellayn, so you'll be in charge while I'm gone. You can hire a helper if you want.”
Dellayn wasn't the assertive, in-charge type, but she thought she might do pretty well, so long as she had a good assistant. Now where can I get a good, honest employee? she wondered.
Dellayn decided to take a walk around after work. “The Soup Kitchen,” she said aloud.
She whispered a few words to the Soup Faerie, who smiled and nodded. “Attention, Neopets! Go to the smoothie shop to apply for a well-paying job in a great environment.” She ladled some soup into a bowl as she spoke.
“Er, I guess I'd better go back to wait for applicants.”
Dellayn hurried to the store, but already, poor Neopets were lining up outside the closed doors. Since not all of them knew how to read and write, she decided to just ask a few questions and decide whether they would work out.
She sat at a tiny table and motioned to a snuffling red Meerca. The Meerca looked behind him to see if she was gesturing to them, but seeing nobody, he hurried forward and hopped up in a chair.
“Are you sick?” Dellayn asked, as he sneezed four times in a row.
“No; it'th dutht dith cold.”
“It's–it's cold?” Dellayn couldn't understand him...
“Yeth. The thmoothie thop ith cold.”
Dellayn rubbed her neck. “Maybe you shouldn't work in such a cold place. Tyrannia is healthier for you, don't you think?”
“Maybe I can try thomething there,” he agreed, and left the shop.
Dellayn blinked, and when her eyes opened, saw a red Kacheek sitting in front of her. “How do you do?”
“Fine,” said the Kacheek. She sounded weary and old.
“Name, age and owner's full name, please.”
“Ahnee; I'm two years old; I was abandoned by Pixelina Peafarmaddious, but ran away from the adoption center shortly afterwards.”
Dellayn sat frozen to her seat, then choked out, “Pixie? Pixelina Peafarmaddious?”
“Oh no. No! That's impossible! Tell me... was she a good cook?”
“No; no, she couldn't cook a thing. But she did make good jelly.” Ahnee didn't seem to realize what pain these words brought the yellow Gelert sitting across from her.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes... I will be. I think I'll hire you. Come in tomorrow at seven.”
Dellayn exited the shop, and called, “I'm sorry, but I've already chosen the employee. You can all come in tomorrow for free smoothies, though.”
On the way home, Dellayn cried inconsolably. “Why would Pixie abandon a pet? Why didn't she ever tell me? Will she abandon me?” Dellayn sobbed out as she neared home. It was almost more than she could do to open the door, though it was little more than cloud.
“Chezzanne, are you home?” Dellayn hoped with all her heart that she was.
“No, but I am,” called Pixie.
Dellayn's heart swelled with anger and she left the house as quietly as she had entered.
“What do you mean, she just left?” Chezzanne stared at Pixie.
“What I said. I don't understand it. She didn't say anything at all!”
“Maybe she went to Kiko Lake to see Shei.”
“But why would she come in, then leave? And without saying a thing?”
Chezzanne set her jaw. “I don't know, but I'm going to call Kela.” A few minutes later, she came back, smiling slightly, but her eyes were full of fear. “Found her. I'm getting the ferry. I think you should stay, Pixie, in case she comes home and sees that neither of us are here.”
Pixie nodded and breathed a sigh of relief.
Chezzanne loved the ferry, but this time the trip held no enjoyment. Dellayn had hysterically wailed something about Pixie abandoning a Kacheek, and Chezzanne couldn't help but be worried.
“Here she is,” said Kela, holding onto Dellayn, who was trying to wriggle out of her grasp. “She's had a mental breakdown, I think.”
“I can handle it from here,” Chezzanne said hurriedly. “Thanks a million.”
Dellayn broke free and latched onto Chezzanne's leg. “Pixie,” she hissed out, “abandoned a red Kacheek, Ahnee. I know because she came from the Soup Kitchen to get a job–not at the Soup Kitchen, but at the smoothie shop. There was also a red Meerca... Ahnee was abandoned... by Pixie!”
She did sound a bit cuckoo.
“Come on, we'll stop in Neopia Central and you can tell me all about it, okay?” Chezzanne soothed.
An hour later, they were seated in the health food store, eating sprout wraps. Dellayn had coherently explained it at last, and now Chezzanne was starting to believe her. “I wonder why she never told us. We'll confront her tonight,” Dellayn said, much calmed by her sister.
“I think we should. Right now, though, we just need to get home. The last ferry leaves soon."
To be continued...