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Petpet Name: Clé
Pet Name: Nimetta
Nim woke up every morning at precisely 6:30. Well, perhaps it is too generous to insight that she "woke up." Rather, the little draik spilled out of bed in a cascade of pillows and blankets. Nim had the tendency of waking up extremely stressed that she was late for something. She usually wasn't. Then again, the life of an artisan typically began very early in the morning.
This morning was no different from those of days passed: although her mattress took up a good 70% of livable space in her very small bedroom, every day, she managed to find herself wedged in between it and the wall. With a groan, the little draik wobbled into a position of the standing kind: a position much more dignified than falling back asleep on the dusty hardwood floor.
She tried to keep her living arrangements tidy. But even though she resided in a one-bedroom flat where the bedroom may as well be a closet, it was difficult for her to find the time. And because Nim despised disorder with every fiber of her being, she chose to spend as little time in her apartment as possible.
It was a cozy affair, to say the least. There was a french window to one side of the room. Nim crawled over her bed and flung the window open. Then, she pushed the shutters aside. The soft light of autumnal Brunel instantly filled the space. It was also raining, which made her very happy. Next, the little draik collected her impressive collection of blankets and pillows from the floor, and tossed them on her mattress. They floated down and settled into what looked like a somewhat-made bed.
The calendar above her bed indicated that today was Monday. Of course, that wouldn't matter to an apprentice chocolatier, who worked every single day of the week anyway. In one corner of the room was a little sink, perfect for a little draik. Nim brushed her teeth, but with one arm placed thoughtfully on her hip, studied the papers on her walls. They were recipes that she had taped up, covering every imaginable surface, and they were for chocolates. Everyday, as part of her routing, the little draik chose one recipe to study and try her hand at. Of course, as an apprentice, she did not have much say in what she could make, but it was good to try.
Nim drifted to the kitchen, dressed for the day, but very hungry. She had coaxed her cloud of curly brown hair into some semblance of a bun, and now peered into her refrigerator. It was very empty. There was a carton of milk (but that was empty too) and a single egg (but Nim wasn't in the mood for eggs). She should go grocery shopping but—and she checked the clock—she did not have the time, for Monsieur Dutoit, her teacher, expected her at 8 o'clock sharp. So, the little draik threw on her little raincoat, and marched out the door.
Pain et Noisette served fresh bread and viennoiseries at the corner of Rue des Marchands. It was so named because the customers were sometimes given a complimentary bag of honeyed hazelnuts if they were very polite. It was also a very convenient bakery, as bakeries went, for it was right by Maison Dutoit, where Nim worked. The little draik purchased a little chausson aux pommes with whatever loose neopoints she found in her coat pocket, and placed herself at a tablet outside, sheltered from the rain by an overhang.
Nim startled and looked at her feet. It was a little schnelly who add uttered such a indignant remark, interrupting her breakfast! But the petpet looked very damp from the rain, and also very hungry.
"Bonjour! Where is your owner?"
said the little draik. The schnelly chirped a reply, but the translation was lost on Nim. So, she dropped it a handful of hazelnuts and a generous quarter of her pastry, and set off for the chocolate boutique. Throughout the entire day, she secretly wondered if the little petpet was alright.
Monsieur Dutoit dismissed Nim very late that night, and she was very hungry and very tired. The little draik absently thought about her empty fridge, and decided she must, at all costs, purchase some groceries this evening. She walked passed the bakery (now closed), having forgotten completely about the schnelly from this morning. But it kindly reminded her.
The petpet was sitting on the windowsill of the bakery, but it hopped off and bounced towards Nim. It appeared significantly dryer now, but that was because the rain had long stopped. Nim cooed a hello and found some leftover hazelnuts in her pocket to give to it. Instead of thanking her for the meal, the schnelly skittered away. This saddened Nim slightly, but the petpet returned seconds later with a set of keys jingling in its mouth.
"My apartment keys!"
she exclaimed. She had not even noticed this extremely essential object slip out of her pocket this morning. She thanked the schnelly profusely, and would have invited it to a cup of hot chocolate, but it was very late, and she was very tired, and also very hungry.
Nim managed to gather a few cans of soup, a day-old baguette, a wedge of cheese, a bagful of broccolis (since some vegetables couldn't hurt), and a box of spaghetti before the grocery store near her apartment closed. Outside her building, paper bag in hand, the little draik fumbled for her door keys. Tragically, they were not in her pocket, and Nimetta was, once again, very sad.
No one—not even Nim—was surprised to find the little schnelly sitting politely before her, keys in its mouth.
"Oh, thank you! You are my little savior tonight, you know?"
It did not occur to the little draik that the schnelly may have been stealing her keys, but that was just fine. The petpet had followed her all day, and honestly, Nim was happy for the company. She allowed it to scurry into the apartment, where it happily accepted her head scratches and a tiny plate of cheese, bread, and broccoli. As evening drew to night, Nim was ready to sleep, but as she moved to close her window, the schnelly clambered out. It vanished in the night. She chuckled:
"You are just as independent as me, my friend."
The very following day, Nim stumbled out of her apartment, a slice of bread wedged in her mouth. This time, she was, indeed, late. But she nearly tripped over a little individual who appeared at her feet. When the little draik looked down at the obstacle, she recognized the schnelly once more! It chirped happily, recognizing her in return. There was a set of keys in its mouth.
Such is how the companionship of Clé and Nim began. She eventually named the petpet this, for it had such a knack for retrieving (or was it stealing?) her keys. Independent at heart, the little schnelly comes and goes as she pleases, as Nim leaves the window open for this exact purpose. Still, the two are now inseparable, Clé responding only to Nim, and Nim gifting free chocolates only to Clé.
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