Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Adventure
It was another fine morning in Neopia. Kaela Kau stretched her legs and wiped the sleep from her wide doe eyes. She looked across the sunny bedroom she shared with her Cybunny sister and joyfully yelled, “Good morning, Ceara!”
Ceara was greatly vexed. She looked at the silly ball of joyful energy that was her Kau sister and replied, “It is too early in the morning!”
“Too early in the morning for what, Ceara?” asked Kaela.
“Too early in the morning for you!” And with this Ceara rolled over and pulled the bedding over her head. She wondered yet again if Kaela was ever anything but happy and loud. It wasn’t so much the happy she took issue with...
Kaela shrugged and danced out of their bedroom. Then she ran into her Eyrie brother, Eshan, in the main hallway. “Good morning, Eshan!” she trumpeted. Eshan regarded her with a knowingly amused and passive expression.
“Good morning, Kaela. What are you up to?”
Kaela smiled as she replied, “I think I will go for a nice morning walk down to the marketplace and window shop for a little bit.”
Eshan raised an eyebrow and said with an air of familiar reprimand, “Just window shop and stay out of trouble!”
Kaela made a silly face at her youngest sibling as she said, “Why would I get into trouble?”
And with this she continued out the door, while obliviously humming. Eshan the Eyrie shook his head and muttered to himself something about his Kau sister being friendly mischief on four legs looking for trouble. But she was the eldest of their little family and he had important things to accomplish this morning. So, against his better judgment he simply watched her go off on her own.
Kaela managed to walk all the way to the marketplace without anything eventful happening. If this was unusually lucky for her, she took no notice of this fact. She pranced more than walked to the great NC Mall. There she admired the newest things displayed there. Her eyes grew wider and wider with wonder and childish desire as she window shopped. She was just thinking to herself how she might convince her owner to buy her the latest dress displayed, when she spotted a familiar grey figure standing only a few feet away admiring the very same dress.
It was Pinalinar, whom Kaela had met before, but whom she didn’t know very well. Their owners were very good Neofriends, but Kaela had never really had much in common with the gloom and doom essence of arrogance that was this grey Gelert. But Kaela Kau was a bright, friendly soul. So, she immediately smiled and walked over. It was nice to see someone familiar in the big marketplace. Besides, Kaela hadn’t talked to another fellow Neopian for at least ten whole minutes; she was desperate to talk to someone.
She was positively bubbling with words as she gushed, “Hello, Pina! Wonderful morning! Have you come to shop at the Mall? Is that not a beautiful dress? I love it! I think I will show it to my owner the next time she comes here with me. What about you? I bet that dress would look great on you...”
“Excuse me? But who are you and why are you babbling at me?” the grey Gelert said as she interrupted Kaela’s joyful stream of words.
Kaela stopped and then stuttered a little as she said, “Oh! Perhaps you don’t remember me? Ah, we have met. I am Kaela Kau and you're Pina. Our owners are Neofriends and...“
Pinalinar interrupted her again, “PRINCESS P-NUH-LEEN-ARE!” she said with a complete look of disdain directed at Kaela. “Not Pina! Now please, go find a stream if you like babbling. I came here alone to get more pretty things,” she finished rudely. Then she turned away, ignoring the suddenly quiet Kaela.
This did not last long, however. “You’re a Princess? Wow! That is so cool! Maybe I am a Princess too! Do you think maybe?”
Pinalinar gave a singular look of disgust and answered, “You? No, one is born a Princess and a real princess behaves with noble decorum.”
Kaela seemed not to notice her hateful tone at all, as she rushed to say, “What is decorum? Yeah, maybe not; I mean I should know if I was. You're right. So what are you buying? What do you mean more pretty things? Do you have a lot of dresses? I bet you do, because what else do Princess wear, after all?”
Pinalinar was shocked into answering her. She was not used to someone trying to keep talking to her after a brief exchange. She did not like most, make that any Neopians and did her very best to keep them at a distance.
“I have the greatest, grandest collection of pretty things in all of Neopia and yes, I am buying more to add to this royal collection. I am leaving now, since you will not.”
Kaela only heard the greatest, grandest collection part. “Really? I would love to see your gallery of pretty things! Can I come over and see it, Pina, please?”
Pinalinar, truly alarmed and angry, shouted, “No! Absolutely not! Never! Leave me alone!”
Kaela was puzzled as Pinalinar ungracefully rushed away. How strange, maybe like her sister Ceara, her new friend Pina was just not a morning person. Surely she did not mean what she said. She was just grumpy in the morning. Yes, that must be it. Ceara was perfectly lovely by noon. Kaela was burning with curiosity about Pina’s collection of pretty things. Maybe she could sneak a peek, and once again, almost unknowingly, Kaela was following the grey Gelert with curiosity leading her into mischief.
Kaela shadowed Pina surprisingly quietly and quickly. She was completely focused on the retreating Gelert and took no notice of her passing surroundings. How Pina and by default, she arrived at a rather small but elegant and stately castle in a strange land in Neopia, she had never been to before, she could not have related to anyone, no matter how many words she used or how long she talked. The Gelert did not look back and did not see that the talkative Kau had followed her home. Princess Pinalinar talked to no one and chose to use her private side entrance to her personal chambers. Kaela simply followed her up the stairs.
The Gelert Princess took out a large golden key and opened a thick set of doors just off her royal bedchamber and disappeared. Kaela took pause here. Was that the gallery of pretty things that was the greatest and grandest in all of Neopia? It must be, she thought. But if she entered now, her friend Pina might not be happy to see her. It was still early in the morning and perhaps she ought to wait. But she really just wanted a quick peek. Would Pina really be mad at her? Maybe she should just be honest and see if Pina would change her mind since she was already here. That is when she heard a great shriek from the room!
“Oh no, Pina, what’s wrong?” Kaela shouted in response as she rushed into the room unthinkingly.
“Robbed, I have been robbed! You thief!” Pinalinar yelled when she saw Kaela Kau.
“Me? Steal? Oh my, no! Pina, it wasn’t me!” Kaela cried.
Pinalinar continued shouting, “It was you! Guards! Just wait till the royal guards get here! Trespassing and stealing from me! How dare you!” Pinalinar continued to rant hysterically. Soon indeed guards did burst into the room. Kaela quickly put her hoof in her mouth, trying to explain exactly how she had innocently followed Princess Pinalinar to just peek at her collection of pretty things, and found herself under arrest and in very deep trouble in a matter of minutes.
They were bringing her to stand judgment before Princess Pinalinar’s eldest brother King Bastyn when other royal guards shouted for help down the hall. Kaela’s guards exchanged looks of alarm and ran to aid their fellow guards without as much as a thought for their Kau prisoner. Kaela ran after the guards, no thought of escape, only of helping others in trouble.
“Hey, where are you going?” Pinalinar shouted. Then, realizing she was alone, she dashed after everyone.
They all charged into the Throne room to find a pair of hapless guards shouting that the royal crown had been stolen! Pinalinar instantly began accusing Kaela all over again.
“You stole Bastyn's crown too! Give it back, thief! Give it back right now!” This was when Princess Pinalinar’s twin and older brother came into the room.
“What is going on?” asked Sir Bishep calmly. The guards gave their version of events and of course Pinalinar gave her version very loudly. Poor Kaela actually had trouble getting a word in edgewise for the first time in her life. But Bishep eventually got the overall picture and took charge of the situation quickly. He directed the guards in an organized fashion to search and secure the castle and they followed his confident commands gladly.
This left Sir Bishep with his overwrought sister and a very confused Kaela. Sir Bishep turned to his sister and said, “Pinalinar, you are behaving poorly and neurotically again. Please calm yourself and be more reasonable. Kaela is our friend and would clearly never steal from us. How can you waste time accusing her? We need to find the real culprit quickly. Kaela, you better go home; I am sure your brother Eshan is worried about you.”
Kaela looked at Bishep. “You remember me and Eshan?” she asked.
“But of course! How can someone not remember meeting you, Kaela? Besides, Eshan and I are good friends; surely you remember me?” he replied.
“Oh well, of course I do, Sir Bishep! I just... well, it’s nice you remember me! Thank you!” Kaela began.
Bishep interrupted as politely as he could, “Call me Bishep. The Sir is a bit much among friends. I am sorry, Kaela, but I must see to finding the real thief. We must recover the royal crown. It has been in the royal family since the beginning of our rule and my brother Bastyn cannot rule without it. Please excuse me, I will send a guard to escort you home.” That is when Pinalinar protested, “What about all my things! I know she stole them! I just know it!”
“Enough already, Pinalinar. I do not have time for your spoiled tantrums right now!” Bishep proclaimed as he stomped out of the room with purpose. Kaela and Pinalinar were alone now and it seemed that no one had time for them. Though Pinalinar hated being around other Neopians, the only thing she hated more was being ignored completely. She would never admit this to anyone else. So, when Kaela made to leave the room, Pinalinar spoke to her.
“Where are you going?”
“To solve this crime and find the crown. And your stolen pretty things! What else? You don’t really think I am just going to stand here until someone takes me home! Are you coming or not, Pina? Come on! Let’s find your things!” Kaela said with a sudden burst of energy.
Pinalinar did not want to admit that she had been wrong about Kaela. She was not going to apologize to a common Kau. Now, with other Neopians this might have deterred a friendship. But Kaela held no grudges and didn’t think of demanding an apology. And since Kaela seemed to be the only one concerned about finding her things, Pinalinar followed Kaela out of the throne room.
Kaela with Pinalinar right behind her came into the great hall. Kaela paused trying to choose a direction of where to head next. Where should they look for clues, she pondered to herself. She was about to ask Pina her opinion, when they heard a strange sound. Both of them looked up at the Great Hall’s ceiling, which had a massive and beautiful skylight of mosaic stained glass. These panes could open to let in the fresh air and sunlight. And what should they see? Two masked Aishas sneaking gracefully to the rooftop. Clearly, they were planning to escape with their sacks budging with the missing royal treasures. A great golden crown was on top of one of the sacks.
The great Aisha thieves looked down and one of them purred to the other, “We’ve been spotted. Double time it before these fools get any bright ideas!” The other one gave a quick shimmy and leap to the top of the glass roof and as this Aisha did so, the great golden crown wobbled and fell down right on Kaela’s head! “Forget it, Meesha! Let’s get while the getting is good!” the first one said.
“Ouch! That hurt!” Kaela exclaimed. Pinalinar shouted for the guards and screamed about them getting away with her pretty things!
“Wait!” Kaela shouted as the Aishas dashed off. “Did that Aisha say Meesha? That’s the infamous Aisha thieves Purrow and Meesha! We must catch them before they get to their hideout! No one knows where it is! No time to wait for the guards, Pina! Come on, after them!” And with that Kaela dropped the crown on the floor as she ran over to the rope ladder in the far right corner that led up to the roof in question.
Pinalinar in her ranting and confusion grabbed the great golden crown off the floor and blindly followed after Kaela without thought. And so there they were, a clumsy Kau and a hysterical Gelert running after the most notorious, gracefully, elusive thieves in all of Neopia! There was no real chance of them catching these clever thieves, was there?
In a sudden petulant fit of rage and pure desperation, Pinalinar whipped the heavy royal crown back and threw it at the escaping Aishas. Then the most perfect and unexpected thing happened as a result. It landed just in front of the leading Aisha and the masked Aisha tripped and fell on the royal crown and the following Aisha tripped over their fellow thief. Both collapsed on the ground tangled together. Kaela and Pinalinar managed to catch up and bounce on the fallen Aishas.
Then even more amazingly Kaela and Pinalinar wrestled the bags away from the Aishas in the mass of limbs that ensued and as the fur went flying! The Aishas clawed and tugged, but with astounding strength Pinalinar yanked hard and screaming.
“Give me my things! You mangy fur balls!” Pinalinar yelled. The royal guards could be heard coming in the distance. When the sound of reinforcement reached the Aishas’ ears, they gave up and disappeared in a sudden spurt. Making the most of the commotion, they quickly escaped.
Kaela and Pinalinar were dusting themselves off when the royal guards and Sir Bishep finally reached them. After explaining all that had occurred quickly, the guards ran off to pursue the Aishas in the direction Kaela and Pinalinar pointed. Sometime later, after the whole castle and the surrounding area had been searched up and down, the guards reported their failure to find and capture the Aisha thieves in the courtyard. But the royal crown and all of Pinalinar’s pretty things were recovered. After things calmed down, everyone gathered in the courtyard and agreed that things could have been much worse if not for Kaela’s and Pinalinar's bold but rash actions.
They continued to go over the day’s excitement until finally, with everything set mostly to rights again, it was starting to get very late in the afternoon. Kaela sighed with regret as she said, “I had better get going if I want to make it home before dinner. Eshan and Ceara are probably wondering where I am. Pina, can you give me directions back to the marketplace please?”
But, before anyone could reply, Kaela continued without pause, “And can I come over again some other time soon, Pina? I never did get to see your collection of pretty things, really. Maybe when you have it all back in order? Or we could just do something else for fun! What do you like to do for fun, Pina?! Huh, Pina? Hey Pina, do you like fashion shows? I love fashion shows! Can I try on some of your princess dresses next visit? I can bring all my fancy clothes. Hey Pina, what about a ball! You like dancing right, Pina? I love dancing! Pina, what do you think? Pina, my friend, we could...”
Pinalinar raised an eyebrow, and repeated one word, “Friend?” Kaela got quiet and then said, “Well yeah, we’re friends aren’t we, Pina?”
Fortunately, before Pinalinar could reply with her usual response to such a question, her brother Bishep interrupted, “Well of course you and Pinalinar are friends. You're friends with all of us and we will be happy to see you again soon. But you're right, you need to get home before your siblings and owner get really worried about you!” And then he gave her very easy directions back to the marketplace.
After Bishep had her repeat back the directions twice, Kaela waved and said goodbye to everyone. “Goodbye, Pina! See you tomorrow!”
Pinalinar who had been brooding in moody silence called out to Kaela as she was leaving. “Wait a second, Kaela, one thing.”
Kaela turned around. “Yeah, Pina?” she said.
Pinalinar said, “Repeat after me, PRIN-CESS P-NUH-LEEN-ARE.”
Kaela with a bit of a puzzled look repeated, “PRIN-CESS P-NUH-LEEN-ARE.” and then “did I say it right?”
Pinalinar nodded and said with an air of suffering patience and condensation, “Yes, Kaela, that's right.”
Kaela then replied with a cheerful and proud air of accomplishment, “Oh good!” Then, with nothing more than a deep breath, she waved again and loudly said, “Well, bye then, Pina!” and started on her way home.
Pinalinar stood in shocked and affronted silence. A complete look of disbelief showed on her face as Kaela walked away. The silence was broken by her brother Bishep, whose face had been brimming with barely contained laughter. He laughed so hard he began to cry. Shaking, he repeated only, “She said, Bye, Pina!” over and over.
Pinalinar frowned and yelled, “Oh, be quiet, Bishep!”, and she stormed away to be alone in her gallery of pretty things. This only made Bishep laugh harder and the courtyard rang with his laughter for a very long time.
Pinalinar failed to tell Kaela never to return and that no one was ever allowed to see her collection of pretty things. But for some reason this did not irk her as much as it should have. In fact, perhaps in the secret depths of her heart she was happy to have made such an unlikely friend. But, if this was the case, then she told no one and she complained loudly about the annoyingly sunny and silly Kau all the way to her gallery room. She spent the rest of the evening pouting there as she set her pretty things in order, speaking to no one the rest of the day. If she was rather particular in rearranging her things and polishing them to a brilliant shine, it was for her own selfish satisfaction, not because she was planning to show it off to anyone someday; at least this is what she told herself.
Meanwhile, completely unaware of her effect on her new friend, as usual, Kaela followed the simple directions from Bishep and after a long but uneventful walk, Kaela finally returned home at dinnertime. Eshan and Ceara rushed her at the door, Ceara hopping and hugging her. Well, Eshan looked her over to see if she was hurt and then berated her about being gone all day.
“Where have you been all day? We have been so worried about you today!”
Kaela just smiled and shrugged as she answered, “I am just fine, Eshan. Please stop worrying. I just met my friend Pina at the Mall and I went to her place to see her amazing collection, but... when we got there, her gallery and her brother’s crown were stolen! So, I had to stay and help her chase the culprits and get all the things back. I came home as soon as I could; now, what’s for dinner? I am starving!”
Ceara looked at Kaela in amazement, saying, “You chased thieves and found lost royal treasures without me?”
Eshan added, “And all you can say is what’s for dinner?”
Kaela declared, “What? I am really hungry. You try catching thieves at large on an empty stomach all day! And Ceara, you’re the one who wanted to stay in bed all morning! It’s not my fault you missed all the fun!”
Eshan raised an eyebrow at his Kau sister’s remarks. “Fun, miss all the fun she says to us.” Kaela smiled at her brother and ruffled his wing feathers.
“Oh yeah, Bishep says Hi!” And with that she left them incredulous on the doorstep of their Neohome as she went into the kitchen to see what there was to eat. She wondered briefly what she and Pina might do together tomorrow...
The End (For Now)