"Rise and shine, my little Mallards!! It's a beautiful sunny day, and you shouldn't waste it by sleeping!"
Jellyer groaned, rubbing her eyes repeatedly in attempt to "awaken them". There was no point in trying to fall back to sleep. Her owner would just keep pestering her until she got up. Her sister, Jellyerberry, rolled clumsily out of her bed to the floor. "Oof!!"
Jellyer giggled, hopping out of her bed and stretching her arms. She turned, and frowned. "Aww, man! I got sprinkles in my sheets again!" referring to the ones that had fallen off of her chocolate painted body during the night.
Her owner, Misty, merely shrugged and said, "No worries, I'll vacuum them up later. Now would you mind waking up you brothe-I mean sister, Jellyermint, for me? Vyax is already up and is waiting for me downstairs."
Jellyer nodded, and hopped out of the room and down the hall. Stopping at a blue door, she quietly knocked twice, before carefully opening the door. Forcing a smile, she said in her most cheerful voice, "Up-and-at-'em, sleepyhead!"
Jellyer frowned, and went closer to the Flotsam's bed to investigate. "That's odd, she usually doesn't leave her room until someone comes to get her...," the Cybunny muttered to herself, after it was made apparent that she wasn't in the room. Not thinking much more of it, and left the room, and ventured towards the kitchen.
"Well, where is she?" her owner asked, seeing her enter the kitchen alone. Vyax and Jellyerberry sat quietly at the table, eating breakfast. Jellyer shrugged, leaning on the counter.
"Dunno. She wasn't in her room when I went to go get her."
Jelly frowned. "Well, can you go look for her. I'm a bit worried."
Jellyer sighed dramatically, but obeyed. Scurrying around and outside of the house she searched high and low for Jellyermint. With each passing minute, the nervous knot in her stomach grew. Five hours finally passed, and it was official: Jellyermint was missing.
"No no no... This isn't good... This REALLY isn't good!!" Jellyer whispered to herself as she sat on her front lawn, exhausted from her frantic searching. When she had told her owner, she had begun to panic, and was now running all around the neighborhood in hopes that someone had seen her precious pet. Jellyerberry and Vyax remained inside, frightened by the ordeal.
Dozens of questions raced through Jellyer's head. Where was she? Did she run away? Was she kidnapped? Is she okay? Is she in danger? One question seemed to claw at her the most, though. Would she ever see her again?
"No! This is no time to be negative!! I MUST stay positive for the sake of the others... for the sake of Jellyermint. Now, if I was a mischievous, Disco Flotsam, where would I be?..." Jellyer thought hard, trying to think of places her sister seemed to enjoy. She snapped her "fingers" suddenly with a triumphant "Aha!". Faerieland!
"Okay, so I was apparently wrong...," Jellyer muttered after running through all of Faerieland, thinking for sure her sister would be there. She always loved to come to pull pranks of the various faeries that lived there.
"Don't worry! We've only checked one place! We still have all of Neopia to search for Jellyermint!" her friend Dani said, trying to reassure her friend. Jellyer had invited the blue Lupess, hoping it would make it easier to find her sister that way. Of course, Dani had to bring her younger brother Tomi with them, slowing the searching process down a bit.
"Well, you DO have experience in finding lost siblings," Jellyer said. They both looked over at Tomi, causing the small Christmas Cybunny to chuckle nervously.
"Yeah! Okay, so where else do you think she would have gone? Want to try the Haunted Woods? Jellyermint always did have a passion for creepy things," Dani said, now pumped.
"Nah... she never goes there unless someone else is with her. She's not THAT brave...," Jellyer muttered.
"Oh," Dani replied quietly.
"Island," Tomi suddenly said, looking up at the two older neopets suddenly with wide eyes.
"Island?" they both asked, tipping their heads to the side.
"Island," he said once more.
"... Island!!!" they said with excitement, suddenly realizing what he had meant. Mystery Island.
"That HAS to be where she is!! She's always telling me about how much she loves all that exotic fruit and stuff!!" Jellyer said, bouncing up and down with excitement. Turning towards Tomi, she crouched down and patted his head. "You're really smart, you know that?"
Tomi beamed happily, puffing out his chest.
The two girls giggled, and then set off towards Mystery Island.
"Have you seen a disco Flotsam recently? About 'ye tall, mischievous, carrying a toy sword or something?" Jellyer had been asking around the island, seeing if any of the inhabitants or tourists of Mystery Island had seen her sister. She always received the same, disappointing answer, though: 'No'.
"This is hopeless!! We'll never find her!!" Jellyer whined, waving her paws around in frustration.
Dani sighed. "You know, I've never seen you this worked up before... or so negative. You're really worried about her, aren't you?"
Jellyer pawed at the sand beneath her. They had stopped to rest on the beach after an hour of searching the island. "Well, yeah. She IS my little sister... but... I..." Her voice trailed off, and she didn't complete her sentence.
"You what?" Dani asked, her eyes full of concern.
"I... I'm afraid that this is all my fault..."
"Now why would you think that?" Dani asked in surprise, resting her chin on her paw.
"Well, last night... we got into a huge fight... It was just after dinner and we were all playing the in the living room while Jelly cleaned up. Vyax and Jellyerberry were building this tower out of blocks and I was watching them. Then, suddenly, Jellyermint came tumbling out of nowhere, and destroyed it. Vyax looked like she was going to cry, and Jellyerberry got all frustrated and stomped all angrily to her room." She paused.
"I started telling her to apologize, and she just rolled her eyes and said she had nothing to apologize for. She just tripped and fell. We started to argue about that, when I said something horrible to her..."
"What was it?" Dani asked.
"I said... I said that she didn't care about anyone but herself, and probably never would. I saw something in her eyes that I had never seen before, and then she went and locked herself in her room the rest of the night. The next morning she was gone. Oh! It really IS all my fault!!" Tears threatened to come, but Jellyer forced them back. Thanks to her stupid comment, she might never see her sister ever again. No... NO! That wasn't what she wanted!! She had to find her. Had to find her...
Without warning, she took off running, leaving Dani and Tomi in the sand, calling out after her.
My fault... my fault... my fault. The phrase ran through her mind over and over again, each time hitting her like a punch in the stomach. Wrapped up in her thoughts, Jellyer paid no mind to where she was going, and suddenly crashed into someone, sending them both falling to the ground. "Oww... Oh! I'm so sorry! I-I wasn't watching where I was going and-" She froze, her eyes wide.
Two bright, familiar eyes stared back at her. They blinked in recognition. They belonged to a disco Flotsam.
"JELLYERMINT!!" Jellyer cried, leaping towards her sister and engulfing her in a tight hug. Jellyermint did nothing to stop her.
"What are you doing here?" the Flotsam asked, once released from the hug.
"What am I doing here? What are YOU doing here?! I've been looking EVERYWHERE for you!! You had everyone at home worried sick!!" Jellyer said with a frown, waiting for an explanation.
Jellyermint looked down at her fins. "I... I had something I had to do." She picked up a parcel, which she had dropped when she was run into, and opened it, revealing a new block set, and an apologetic card.
Jellyer's eyes widened in surprise. "What is...? What is this for?"
Jellyermint closed it back up, and said, "I felt bad about last night, honestly, and I wanted to make it up to them... and you. I'm sorry. I really DO care about them... I probably just don't show it very much."
"Oh... no, no, no!! I never should have said that!! I didn't mean it, I was just upset that the time. I wasn't thinking. I didn't know it would hurt you. It was I who didn't care about YOUR feelings!... I'm sorry, Jellyermint. I promise I'll never say something like that to you ever again."
Jellyermint smiled. "Thanks... and I'll TRY to act better... but I ain't making no promises, so don't get your hopes up, 'kay?"
Jellyer chuckled. "Of course."
"Now if you don't mind, I want to get home. I've been out since midnight, and SERIOUSLY need some sleep," Jellyermint said, faking a yawn.
Jellyer nodded and took her sister's fin into her paw, never wanting to let go.