Getting a New Color
"Wow, I can't believe I'm getting painted!" I twirled around happily and jumped a little in the air, fluttering my golden wings. Harpier has always told me that they were fake, but I still think that they're real.
"I know," Flames said, grabbing my hand so I wouldn't bump into the faeries fluttering from here to there. "It seems like I just adopted you not too long ago and here you are now, getting a new coat."
"I'm getting painted," I argued. "I'm not getting a new coat."
"I meant a coat of paint," Flames said with a small laugh. "Not that you're getting an actual new coat."
"Oh," I said, looking at the grass below me. I had never visited Faerieland when it was up in the sky, so I didn't know how clouds felt, and I guess I was just used to it being on the ground. "Where are Harpier, Aluendi, and Lodowaty?" I finally asked after a few moments of silence.
"I had asked Harpier to go do our dailies," Flames explained. "With any luck, we'll see her on the way back from the Rainbow Fountain visiting The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity. Or TDMBGPOP for short. Aluendi is at Uni's Clothing Shop, getting herself a new dress and getting you some new clothes to go with your new paintjob. And Lodowaty is taking Snow Cloud for a visit up to Terror Mountain. And don't worry about her, she's wearing her fuzziest, warmest clothes and brought about fifteen blankets."
I skipped over a small rock in the ground and smiled at Flames. Her dark brownish-golden hair was pulled back into a long braid down her back as usual, and she was wearing a grey shirt and light blue shorts. She had lime green flip flops on. "Well, at least you get to see me get painted," I said happily to Flames.
"Yeah, and I'm super-excited to see you get painted," Flames said. "When I painted Harpier with the Shadow Paint Brush, I may have gotten some shadow-colored paint on my arms and legs, but I was so happy to see her with her shadowy black feathers, and she looked so happy when she got her new coat of paint, I didn't regret not selling the brush we had won for one second." Flames smiled, a drifting look sparkling in her eyes.
"But Harpier didn't get to use the Rainbow Fountain," I pointed out. "And I do, so you won't have to get paint all over you!"
"Yeah, now I can have the Fountain Faerie Naia paint you for me," Flames said. She smiled at me.
"Y- Yeah," I said, shivering. I had never admitted this to anyone, but all of the faeries kind of scared me. Fyora, Naia, Marina, and all the other special faeries were no exception. In fact, they were kind of worse. With all of the power that the faeries have, they could toast you like my morning breakfast of buttered toast. Fyora is actually the worst of them all, because Neopets are always telling me how much power she has because she is the ruler of Faerieland.
"So, have you decided on what color you want to be painted?" Flames asked, her eyes bright with curiosity.
I fidgeted nervously while I walked, and nearly tipped myself over right on the back of a quite vain-looking Faerie Tuskaninny. He grumbled and stormed away, fluttering his yellow, red, and orange colored wings furiously.
"Well, that's the thing," I said, righting myself. "I haven't really picked a color yet."
"How about I help you decide?" Flames asked. "I have a pamphlet of colors right here, courtesy of the Rainbow Pool back in Neopia Central."
"Okay," I said. "What color is the rarest of them all for Aishas?"
"I'm going to have to say that that would be Alien," Flames said, peering at the pamphlet. "It's a color that only Aishas can be painted, but I don't think it really fits your style, because you would gain an extra set of ears. You would have six ears instead of four."
"No way," I said quickly. Harpier already made fun of me for having one extra set of ears, I didn't want to know what she would do if I had two extra sets of ears.
"The other rare colors would probably be Faerie, Eventide, Zombie, Darigan, Elderly, island, Jelly, Maractite, Maraquan, Plushie, Royal, Spotted, Woodland, and Desert," Flames described. I pondered this.
"Can I see a picture of the Faerie Aisha?" I asked, leaning towards the pamphlet.
"Sure," Flames said. She handed me pamphlet, and quickly pointed to a turquoise Aisha with glittering translucent pink wings.
I shook my head. "I don't think that that's for me either. I mean, if the Aisha didn't have those sparkling pink wings, then they would just look like a plain blue Aisha. And I want to be a cool color, something out of the ordinary. But something that would still match well with all of the clothes Aluendi is buying me." I gingerly fingered a strand of my auburn-accented blonde hair. "It needs to go well with my hair, too."
"Well, would you like to ask the Fountain Faerie what she thinks would be a good color for you?" Flames asked, taking the pamphlet back from me.
"I- I guess," I stammered, thinking that the evil faerie would pick some horribly hideous color for me, like mutant. "Can you just tell her that I don't want to be painted mutant? Or some dangerous colors like snow or magma? And definitely no baby."
"I think we can manage that," Flames said, smirking at me. She turned and looked forward. "See, the fountain is just ahead."
I stared intently where Flames was pointing. I saw glimmers of all the rainbow colors through the rustling leaves of the trees, which piqued my interest.
I stifled back a gasp as we walked into the small clearing where the Rainbow Fountain was located. I had been here before, where the water was just as dull as the splashing waves that lapped onto the sandy beaches of Mystery Island. But for all of you out there that have never seen the fountain at its fullest, it's an entirely new experience all together.
Glistening water of all the colors of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, cascaded off the slick rocks and splashed gently into the pools of rainbow water below, making small ripples in the glassy surface. Trees rustled gently around the pool, providing the perfect amount of shade. The green grass swayed under my feet. It was like someone had poured a bag of happiness all over the clearing. And there, in the middle of the pool on top of a particularly large gleaming rock, sat Naia the Fountain Faerie, beckoning for me and Flames to saunter on over to the edge of the rainbow water.
I hesitantly stepped forward, but Flames thrust her hand into the hood of my light pink sweatshirt and dragged me forwards at a much faster rate than I wanted to be moving. I hacked and scrambled to stay upright as I was pulled along, but Flames wasn't slowing down, and I couldn't possibly keep up with her. It was an embarrassing sight; an owner dragging her basically painted Neopet towards what was obviously her first time completing a Fountain Faerie quest.
Flames stopped abruptly at the edge of the water, and let go of my hand. I waved my arms furiously as I reached the edge of the pool. I nearly overbalanced and tipped over into the water, but Flames noticed me struggling to stay upright and swiftly grabbed my arm, pulling me back onto shore. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I stood in silence, mostly from fear and shock. Naia glided up to us, her tail just barely splashing the water and breaking the stillness. A warm smile spread across her face, and she had her arms stretched out benevolently.
"Thank you for completing my quest, young Neopian," Naia said finally after she sat still in the water in front of us.
Flames looked up at her in awe, and I looked up mostly in amazement that one faerie could tower over me by about five thousand feet. And I wasn't exaggerating.
Okay, maybe I was a little.
"I- I'm Flames," Flames gulped after she had stared for a little while.
The Fountain Faerie looked at her with kind eyes. "You must be new here, young Neopian. Is this your first time at the fountain in its true colors?"
Flames nodded her head meekly. She reached over and picked me up gingerly off of the ground, snuggling me against her chest. "I got you a stamp," she said as I wriggled to get free. "I'm here to paint my Aisha, Pacina."
"Ah, what a lovely name for such a lovely Green Aisha," Naia said, reaching over and gently taking me from Flames's arms into her own. Despite being in the water so often (meaning all the time), her skin was soft.
"And what color do you wish to be painted today, Pacina?" she asked, playfully bobbling one of my extra ears. I giggled.
"That's the problem," I said, looking up at her. "I don't really know what color I want to be painted. I know that I don't want mutant, snow, faerie, alien, magma, or baby, but there are so many other colors to choose from, I just can't decide."
Naia looked thoughtfully at me, and then turned to Flames. "If you don't mind," she said softly, "I think I know of a color that would look perfect on Pacina. Do you mind if I choose her new color for you, or do you have a color in mind?"
"Of course," Flames said. "I mean, of course you can choose a color. I don't have a specific color in mind, and besides, I'm sure whatever you choose will be perfect."
"I don't think I've ever gotten to choose a color before," Naia said, smiling at Flames. "Owners always know what they want when they come here, demanding for a rare color. I'm glad I gave you a quest, Flames, plus it helps me complete my stamp collection."
Naia looked surprised for a moment. "Oh, uh, I mean, it helps me... complete a spell. Yeah, that's right. A spell that keeps the magic of this fountain running." She smiled.
"Can I please get painted now?" I said in as sweet a voice as I could muster, trying to hide the fact that I was rolling my eyes.
"Of course, dear," the Fountain Faerie said, collecting her cool. She lowered me to the water, thinking for a moment.
I shivered as she plunged me under the water.
Colors of all different shades and hues swirled around me, tickling my fur and winding around my paws. It felt like it was seeping into my bones, and slowly, my green fur that I had always known to be mine slowly started to change to a pale peach brown color. I kind of wanted my color to be a surprise, so I closed my eyes, not wanting to see anymore than I already had.
Warm hands wrapped around my shoulders and slowly pulled me out of the water. I slowly opened my eyes as I was turned to face Flames.
Both of us had to hold in our gasps. But I just couldn't manage to. My fur was a creamy tan color, and a light sky blue seemed to have been painted around my eyes. A golden necklace in the shape of a Carmariller that looked suspiciously like Sunshine was clasped around my neck. Golden bands looped around my wrists. I had a flowing cape on, more of a robe actually, and a golden crown thing on my head that I was quite sure of what to call it. It wound around my extra ears as well.
Flames held back the tears in her eyes. "Oh, Pacina, it's lovely! Naia painted you desert, I think that that's a lovely color for you, don't you think? I thought that green was the best color for you, but I think this is just even better. What do you think?"
I looked down at the pale sandy color all over my fur. I took the golden crown thing off of my head, and removed the robe from over my sweatshirt and sweatpants, and gently folded them up. I squirmed around in Naia's gentle grasp to face her. "Thank you," I said quietly, still partially staring at my fur. "I love my new color."
Naia beamed at me. "I thought that you might like it," she said.
The Fountain Faerie gave me a little kiss on the forehead and set me down gently on the grass. "You should go show your siblings you new color," she said. "I'm pretty sure that Harpier is at The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity right about now."
"How can you know that Harpier is at TDMBGPOP right now?" Flames asked curiously, leaning forwards.
"Hear that soft screaming sound?" Naia asked, putting a hand to her ear and pointing with the other hand over the treetops. When I listened hard, I could hear it too, the faint angry sounds coming from over the trees.
"That would be Harpier," Naia said with a sigh. "Every day that she comes here, all me and the other faeries can hear is Harpier's repetitive screaming at the poor plushie for not giving her anything or giving her something worth a very small amount of Neopoints. Or any amount of Neopoints under five hundred."
"Thank you so so much Naia," Flames said about a dozen times. "I can't believe what an amazing color you picked for Pacina."
"It was nothing," Naia said modestly. "If I ever come to your aid in the future, make sure that you don't spend too much on my quests. I hate to cause trouble."
"Noted," Flames said, saluting the Fountain Faerie.
We all waved a million goodbyes and Flames and I turned to start walking home. We walked out of the beautiful clearing, farther and farther away from the pool, and soon the distant gushing sounds of the falls became muted.
"Harpier!" I shouted, spotting the unmistakable shadow feathers. She stood out like a sore thumb here, while everything was pink and purple and green, with some orange or other colors like that, Harpier was the only Neopet with black feathers for miles around.
Harpier turned with a grimace on her face. "What is it now, the Pant Devil come to steal my new toy worth about twenty Neopoints?"
"No, it's me!" I shouted happily, bounding over to Harpier. I gave a quick glance to the forlorn Blue Grundo Plushie hanging within the tree branches.
"Pacina, you got painted... desert?" Harpier asked, the grimace disappearing from her face and being replaced by a look of confusion. "Flames, I thought that we agreed on Alien."
Flames shrugged. "I didn't think Alien would suit her, so I let her decide."
"Okay, well, desert looks cool on you," Harpier said distractedly. She turned back to the plushie. "But you should be getting going back home now, because Alu and Lodo both already sent me a Neomail saying that they were sailing on their way back home. So they'll be home when you get there. Besides, I still need to visit the Faerie Caverns, and I have some business to attend to here." Harpier smacked a fist into her palm.
"Okay, well, we better be getting back to our Neohome so Pacina can try her new clothes on," Flames said. "I'll grab an Eyrie Cab. Oh, and good luck with the dailies, Harpier."
Flames and I turned; listening to Harpier's repetitive cursing at the poor plushie. I sighed and shook my head, thinking about our trip to Faerieland.
We walked up to a small building on the edge of Faerieland, with Eyries of all colors flying here and there outside. As I thought of the Rainbow Fountain, a thought occurred to me about Naia that I would have never thought about before.
I listened to Harpier still ranting at The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity. I smiled at the thought of Naia, still thinking about what had happened back at the pool of multicolored water. Something about faeries in general.
I hadn't been scared of them.
When I strained my ears, listening intently, I could still hear the splashing of the water that no longer had any color to it. The water that would remain as plain as ever, until we assisted the Fountain Faerie again. I heard the water gushing down the cliffs, the breeze gently rustling the trees, and the water lapping up shore. And listening as hard as possible, using all four of my ears, I could still hear the Fountain Faerie splashing through the water, and I could still picture Naia beaming at me when I had gotten my new color.
Author's note: Hi guys! Yes, Pacina did get painted a while ago, but with all the submissions for the 600th issue and everything, this story just got beaten out. Oh well, I'll try again next time. -Flames