Meow Circulation: 99,279,380 Issue: 195 | 17th day of Relaxing, Y7
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An Issue of Sanity

by undeadfortune


(Author's Note: This story is in the form of a diary. The accounts that unfold occurred many… many sad years ago to the unfortunate Kyrii writer in question. It just goes to show what can occur… when your writing gets the better of you...)

22nd day of Hunting,

      This has to be the best thing that has ever happened! I've been commissioned to write a memoir of one of my favorite Neopets of all time! Why, for the life of me, I cannot remember the last time such an event of good fortune has come my way!

      I am to write the accounts of a dear friend of mine. Why, say they are only a friend is propitious! They happen to be one of my most favorite friends in all of Neopia! I can hardly think of a time in my life where I hadn't spent such a good time, as with them.

      Just the other day, I had mentioned that I would be leaving for the summer. I disliked the cold weather, and would be traveling to my summer Neohome in the south. When they asked what I would be doing, I replied that I would try to write a new novel. At this, their eyes lit up with such excitement, I thought my friend would explode on the spot.

      They told me they would like me to write their memoirs, and I instantly agreed. Not as a favor, or that I hadn't a good idea about my head to write for, but that she was the dearest of all my friends, and I could hardly say no to such a request.

      I shall begin writing as soon as I arrive at my summer home, just north of the Haunted Woods.

24th day of Hunting,

      I've arrived at the wonderful Neohome! Why, the place is such a steal for a mere five hundred Neopoints a week! The place is tucked into the side of a hill, with a long forest that stretches off behind it. The landlady has kept a garden, so she told me, with lovely flowers of every type scattered in groups in the yard.

      The entire sight is quite something, and I cannot believe she had such a hard time renting the attractive Neohome out.

      I recall asking if there was anything the matter with the Neohome. Leaks? Bugs? But she laughed and told me it was just the best-kept secret in this part of the country. I remember chuckling lightly and smiling, and never thought about it once more until now.

      The inside of the house is also breathtaking, as the owner spared no expense to have it decorated. A constant theme of Zen can be found from room to room, as every matches and is set in its ideal place. My own room is rather exquisite, and with my own personal touches, I know it will be my home away from home.

      I've already set up a room to write in. I've found there are three floors in the Neohome, with the attic resting peacefully on the top. The room is bare, save for a table and chair almost squarely in the middle. A window rests on the north wall, allowing the setting sun to shine its light inwards, and cast its light upon me while I write.

      There's something though, that I will probably change. The residents before me have done something curious with the ceiling of the room, in that the entire ceiling is painted with different faces and characters. At first, when I saw it, I thought someone was watching me, but I shook off the silly notion, when I realized it was merely a picture.

     I've made sure to bring many quills, and sheets of paper, and I know that I will be ready to set to work within the coming days.

28th day of Hunting,

     I've met some of the neighboring individuals in the area, and they all seem to be very nice people. I've even asked a few for lunch some time, if they can spare an afternoon or two.

      There's a Quiggle, who lives no more then a mile to the west, and lives in a quaint little cottage near a pond. He's told me that every day this summer he'll be fishing on that very pond, and for me to visit when I can. Of course, I agreed that I'd be there this coming weekend, and he said he'd like that.

      Then, there's the Jetsam to the south. She's an interesting character, who one might say is a bit eccentric. She has torn up every tree around her property, and then filled in the empty holes with Neopoints, hoping to grow a Money Tree of her own. I told her it was an awfully good idea, and she was pleased that I thought so. She mentioned that an annoying Quiggle had dismissed the idea, and told her it would by no means work.

      I returned home that night, and set to work on the memoir. With a quill in hand, I poured forth an amazing amount of words in a very short time. I had known my friend for her whole life, and found it effortless to put our adventures into words.

      But, then I stopped. There was a smell in the room, and it made my head swim. What would cause such a smell as this…? It smelt as if something were burning. With a quick look around the room I saw that everything was unharmed and not a single item was letting off smoke.

      "Odd," said I, and headed to the window, hoping it was something simple like a small wildfire.

      But I saw no sight of smoke as I stuck my head out the northern window. I was only met with a cool breeze on my face, and the scented aroma of flowers. Pulling my head back in, I looked up. There on the mural above me was a bonfire, with a group of Neopets surrounding it.

      It looked like a lovely campfire, and every character around seemed to be happy and smiling. What an interesting picture!

1st day of Relaxing,

      My how the ceiling can annoy me so! I sit in the lonely chair, writing away, when I get the feeling that someone is watching me. The room is always empty and there is no flying Neopet outside my window, but yet, I feel the eyes of someone staring at me. Drilling their eyes into my very being!

      I must work on this memoir. My friend is counting on me to complete it for The Neopian Times, and I very much wish for her to be happy. I'll make her happy once I complete her memoir and deliver it to her. She will smile that smile that she does so well, and I will smile, and the whole world will smile at our happiness.

      But there are the distractions. I think to myself… How can I stop these distractions?

3rd day of Relaxing,

      I had a grand time at the Quiggle's pond yesterday. We sat by the pond and fished and fished, and watched the clouds go by overhead. We relaxed, and listened to the tuneless sonatas of Mallards.

      Why, we spent the entire day by the pond and didn't catch a thing! I half-expected we wouldn't, but we enjoyed our time nonetheless. As I left, I mentioned that he should come over to my Neohome for coffee one afternoon. He replied that he'd enjoy that very much.

      Friends are so wonderful to have!

4th day of Relaxing,

      To make up for my lack of working, I awoke early in the morning and set out to writing. I had barely finished a page when I felt the eyes.

      Glancing around, as I was so accustom to doing now, I wasn't surprised to find the room empty. I looked up, and there, almost direction above me, was a small striped Kougra, sitting on the ceiling. Not sitting, sitting, mind you, as that would be impossible. But sitting, painted on the painting overhead.

      I had never noticed the Kougra before, and found myself watching it, as it returned the favor. My eyes began to wander, and I noticed other parts of the picture I hadn't seen before.

      A group of Spardels playing with a deck of cards! Babaas jumping over fences! One could not believe the strange and interesting sights that I found, painted on the ceiling overhead.

      And with that, I wasted nearly three hours. In what felt like a second, I had spent a good deal of my morning watching the motionless creatures… and so I set back to work.

6th day of Relaxing,

      I am more then half way through with the memoir now, and no thanks to the mural! I find myself become more and more distracted, with every passing hour, as new characters join the others, and seem to hold different activities as time passes on.

      I would swear it was a Mynci's birthday yesterday, as a party sprang up in one corner of the ceiling, and I was sure it was not there earlier. The groups of Neopets seem to be frozen in celebration, and each with a grin on their faces. Why, there are balloons, and cakes, and even presents!

      I found myself thinking of what I should bring, but then shook off the idea, remembering it was only a picture…

8th day of Relaxing,

      My landlady is coming in two weeks. I've invited her over for coffee and to chat about the Neohome. I'll have no complaints of course, unless I build up enough courage to mention the mural.

      Oh how she'll laugh at me when I bring up the subject! Living pictures? Nonsense! Who has every heard of such a crazy thought as that. No, I shall keep the conversation light, and the coffee hot. I do not want her to throw me out of such a nice home as this, and with the memoir coming along so nicely!

      My dearest friend will be ever so pleased to find how lovely the memoir is when I have finished it. She'll thank me with ice cream I hope, and maybe even take me to a show around town.

      Just being with her, in her presence will fill me with happiness and joy! Why… I haven't seen her in a long time now. It has been much over two weeks now, and I feel that if I do not see her soon, I shall feel quite gloomy.

      I must finish this memoir!

10th day of Relaxing,

      I heard them today. At first I dismissed the idea, and thought it only to be the window. But upon further inspection, I found the window to be closed!

      I carefully glanced up, not allowing them to know I had heard, and saw them motionlessly staring back at me. They were playing tricks! I must stop these foolish thoughts before the landlady arrives next week.

11th day of Relaxing,

      My Quiggle friend came by today, and we sat and talked over coffee. I dared not allow him in the attic, and so we sat outside, in the garden.

      He commended the landlady's use of flowers, and placement of colors, and I agreed, taking a sip of my freshly brewed drink. We chatted about anything of interest, and how he had recently caught the largest Pfish he'd ever seen in all his time. I told him I'd like to go fishing with him some time, and he agreed that I should.

      While we chatted, I could see the mural through the open window. It was quite ironic that from where I sat, I had almost a perfect view of the painting, but there it was. I could see the Neopets watching me, and could sense their jealousy of being outside. It felt good to have them want something they couldn't have.

      I laughed aloud, but stopped when the Quiggle gave me a curious look. I replied that I had remembered a good joke, and recalled one I knew aloud. He laughed gently, and told me it was a good one to remember.

      How I hated those pictures for making me look like a fool! I waited for the Quiggle to leave to head up to the room, but when I arrived, it had returned to normal.

12th day of Relaxing,

      I was deep in my work when I heard them again. Immediately, I sprang onto the table and tried to find the source of it.

      The pictures stared back at me, with their lifeless expressions like a guise over their faces. I wanted them to stop tormenting me so, and they knew it. It was then I caught one winking at me out of the corner of my eye, and almost seemed to be waving.

      It was the Kougra from before! Back to taunt me, and it had worked. Without thinking, I reached down for where I had laid my quill to rest, and grabbed for the small jar of ink. I returned to my standing pose and screamed at the picture with all of my energy, letting the ink fly from my hand and splash onto the ceiling.

      I could feel a great sense of shock, not from myself, but from the other pictures. I looked around and saw they each had a stunned appearance about them, and were each gazing in the direction of the Kougra, who was now trapped underneath a dark spot of black ink.

      Feeling sorry, I quickly rushed into my bedroom, and tearing a sheet of my bed, hurried back to help the Kougra. I found all of it's friends around the black spot, and I worked quickly to brush off the ink before it stained the poor creature permanently.

      Once my work was completed, I, being very exhausted, went to sleep.

13th day of Relaxing,

      I didn't see many of the creatures on the mural the next day. I found myself not being able to complete my work as I continued to glance upwards at the picture, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of my friends.

      Around noon, I spotted a frequently seen Bori making its way across the ceiling. You can image my shock as I fell from my chair to see the picture in movement! I found myself wide-eyed in amazement at such a sight!

      A young Usul met the Bori, and the two began playing a game of ball. After only a few minutes, they looked at me, and seemed to beckon that I should join them.

      I pointed to myself in disbelief. Did they really mean me, of all people to join them? How could I enter such a picture! Something was nothing more then a trick of my mind, or an illusion of my thoughts!

      They continued to wave, but when they saw I would not join them, they played on by themselves, until late into the night…

14th day of Relaxing,

      The memoir is near complete, and yet I find myself unable to complete it. I put the quill onto the paper, and my brain shuts down as if it doesn't want me to finish my work.

      Every passing moment, the ceiling seems to lower itself downward, and I feel that the room is beginning to cave in on me. I have been away from society for too long, and now I feel that I may have gone mad!

      Being cooped up in such a room, it is no wonder I have had such wild and foolish thoughts of moving pictures and watchful eyes. It was nothing more than my mind, trying to create someone for me to talk to… at least that is what I hoped it to be.

      As I sit in this chair at the desk, I feel that I am needed somewhere else. The pictures call to me when my back is turned, and seem to be playing fantastic games whenever I turn around to look.

      They stand, as if waiting for me to join them in their merriment, but I know I cannot, as joining a drawing defies everything that I know. One cannot simple break the rules of nature that have always been in place… can they?

      And yet, the landlady is coming tomorrow… I hope she will be able to put my silly thoughts to rest, and prove it has been nothing but my imagination.

15th day of Relaxing,

      The landlady is coming today. I'm so excited that I will finally show someone the attic, and they will finally show me it has all been in my head. Nothing but crazy thoughts I have dreamt, while working on the memoirs…

      In the last minutes we have together, I look upwards, and watch my Neopet friends stare back, with a hoping gaze that I will soon join them. I tell them that I can't, that it is simply impossible, but they do not answer with words, and just continue to stare.

      I hear the landlady outside, through the window. She is coming up to the door. I had told her I'd be waiting upstairs with a surprise, and she replied she couldn't wait to see it.

      My glances shift from the door of the attic to the picture, and I decide to put my one last foolish thought to rest.

      "Fine!" I announce, and stand on the chair, and then the table.

      The ceiling seems much closer now, than it did the many days before, and I look at the pictures, which seem to be only inches away from my face. They are happy, and seem to be planning a large game to play, but I count an odd number of characters. They are waiting for me!

      I pick up this diary, but realize it has no place amongst games! How can one write when there are games to be won, and a ball to be played with!

      I finish the last few lines I am working on, and I hear the landlady coming up to the door now. What a surprise she will get when she opens the door! I promised her one, and now she will receive it! I shall set this down now… as a document of what has happened.

      Am I crazy for seeing things that do not exist, or are you the one who doesn't see what is really hidden? Maybe you have pictures of your own that would like you to join them… if only you give them a chance.

      Good-bye, dearest of all my friends. I have completed your memoir.

The End

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