Six of one...half a dozen of the other

It was now a few weeks after the adoption of Emerald and things were finally settling down. Ashtah was back from the hospital and feeling so much better. In fact, she was looking even more buff than usual since Mom decided to step up the training program. Ashtah now fairly bristled with muscles and she had taken to hanging out in the weapon shop looking for cool battledome items to buy. She was currently saving to get a complete flotsam armour set, and had already bought one ultra rare Flotsam Star Blade. Ginger, Dral and Emerald now thought Ashtah was insufferable. Each thought that if they heard her ramble on about armour ONE MORE TIME they were going to stuff her into a wooden cabinet and lock the door behind her. After all, the true mark of a good sibling is their willingness to tell you what a pain you are.

Today, Ginger was making sure Emerald knew her way around the house, the house being huge and all. Emerald thought her neck was going to fall off what with all the rubbernecking she was doing. She couldn't believe how much stuff there was! Of all the rooms, she loved the ones with the robo quiggles. Every time she saw them bouncing around the room, her face would split into a huge grin.

"Where did all this stuff come from," Emerald asked. She was bouncing around with one of the quiggles.

"Mom got all this by being in Neopia for a long long time." Ginger replied. "She is an eccentric collector of stuff, every once in a while she just has to go out and buy things. That's how we found you!" Ginger continued. "Mom wanted to spend money, so we were going out to Neopia Central."

"Neat-O!" Shouted Emerald. "This is soooo much fun! Can I see other rooms? Hey, what's that room off the pantry?" Emerald was sniffing around the room, and noticed a large wooden door with a huge lock on the front. She stopped in front of it and tapped it with her paw. Turning back to Ginger, she asked "Can we go inside this? What is it??"

Ginger laughed, her voice booming around the room. "I figured you would find that room. Mom said you had a nose for treasure. That's the house safe. Mom keeps extra special items in there like rare battledome items, rare foods, birthday gifts...stuff like that."

"Birthday presents?" Emeral cocked her head. "Why do you need a safe for that?"

"Um." Ginger started, "You never saw us searching for them before, we can be persistant. Mom finally said we caused too much damage looking for presents. After Dral's last birthday, Mom started to lock them up, said something about it was cheaper to build a safe than replace the house and stuff. Geeze, all we did was peek under Mom's floor boards..."

Emerald's eyes got huge. "You tore up the floor??" She asked in awe.

Ginger nodded.

"You guys are soo cool!" Emerald bounced around Ginger in small gelert hops, tail wagging furiously. "So can we go in there? Canwe canwe canwe??"

Ginger looked around quickly. "Well..." She said, "I'm not supposed to, but I did crack the combination." Emerald managed to look even more impressed. "Just don't tell anyone..." Ginger headed to the safe door and started to fiddle with the combination lock.

"And just what do you think you are doing?" Came a voice from behind them. Ginger froze and slowly turned around. Then she gulped. Mom had such an amazing way of appearing without any warning....

"I was, uh." Ginger started guiltily.

"She was breaking into the safe to show me what was in there!" Emerald said happily. Now she started to bounce around Mom. Mom raised an eyebrow at Ginger. Ginger tried to sink into the floor. "Oh, I can't WAIT to hear the explaination for this." Mom looked at Ginger expectantly.

Ginger was now thinking about just making a run for it. Mom was now tapping her foot, and still looking at Ginger. "Uh," started Ginger. "....."

"I see," said Mom. "Well, it's a good thing for me that I change the combination all the time. Ginger looked abashed. "Now," Mom continued, "Take Emerald outside and show her the grounds."

"C'mon Emerald." Ginger said. Emerald looked disappointed. "Awwwwwww....." she said.

Ginger and Emerald trotted outside. Ginger was relieved to have been let off so lightly. That was quite a rarity for her. Emerald frisked around outside, trying to sniff everything at once. The grounds were as huge as the house. Emerald headed straight for the pond, splashing around the water and chasing the goldfish. Ginger rolled around on the ground laughing...Emerald looked so funny with water lilies hanging off her head.

"Hey, who's that?" Emerald splashed out of the pond. A yellow eyrie had touched down by the back door and was ringing the bell. As they watched, Mom answered the door.

"Oh that? That's Lillend_QuickWing. Her owner is Mom's that makes Mom her grandmother. Of sorts." Ginger got up and stretched. Her stomach started to rumble. Patting her tummy, Ginger told Emerald it was time to go inside and grab a snack, preferably large. Heading towards the house, Ginger resisted the urge to start eating some of the delicious looking stones lining the back sidewalk. It was tough being a grarrl, everything looked so yummy.

"C'mon Emerald." Ginger said, "When we get inside, I'll introduce you to her. She's really nice."

"I already know Mom's nice," Emerald said.

"Not Mom, silly. Lillend_QuickWing." Ginger clarified.

"I know," Emerald said, "I only said it because you get this funny look on your face, like you are trying to think harder." Emerald looked at Ginger playfully and scampered off.

"HEY!! Get back here!" Ginger roared and took off after Emerald. Emerald beat Ginger to the house and ran through the pet door without even stopping. Ginger had to stop and open the door. Grarrl's don't fit though gelert sized doors very well. When she was inside, she saw everyone sitting at the table except Ashtah. Instead a funny looking green lenny was sitting in Ashtah's chair.

"There there," said Mom consolingly to the lenny. "I'll get you fixed up soon as possible." The lenny just sat sullenly in the chair with her wings crossed. Lillend_QuickWing was patting the lenny's back in a comforting manner. Ginger put two and two together.

"YOU'RE A LENNY!!" Ginger shouted.

"What clued you in?" snapped Ashtah.

Ginger noticed that Dral was sniggering behind her hands. "Yah," said Dral, "She just got back from the lab ray, and has been pouting ever since." She snickered again and cleared her throat as Ashtah shot a very dirty look across the table.

Mom clucked to herself and pushed up from the table. "Let me go get another flotsam potion from the safe. You knew this was inevitable when we started to use the ray in addition to the training school."

"Yes! But a LENNY!!??" Ashtah got up and started pacing the kitchen floor. "C'mon! This is the worst!"

"Hey, buck up Ash," Dral choked on her laugh and handed Ashtah a wooden spoon, "You could'a been a KRAWK!!" She howled again in laughter and started banging her fist on the table. Tears started running down her face and she had to gasp for air.

"Why you little..." Ashtah made as if to pounce on Dral. It was only by the timely intervention of Lillend_QuickWing that Dral didn't end up being stuffed into the closest teapot.

"Now Ashtah..." Mom said soothingly. "I will get you back to your old self again soon enough." She started to head to the safe room, and paused. "Oh no. I forgot to buy more flotsam potions. I'm all out until I can get to the marketplace." Looking back, she gave Ashtah an "I'm sorry" look.

"YOU MEAN I GOTTA STAY THIS WAY FOR THE NIGHT???!!!" Ashtah thought she was going to explode.

Ginger couldn't help it. She started howling with laugher. This time Lillend_QuickWing was a tad bit too slow. Ashtah pounced on Ginger and they proceeded to roll around on the floor wacking each other. Mom hollard for them to "KNOCK IT OFF!!" and pried Ashtah off Ginger. Both were panting and glaring at each other.

"That is enough Ashtah!" Mom was still hanging onto Ashtah and wouldn't let her go. Ashtah glared at Ginger. Ginger stuck her tounge out at Ashtah. "LEMME AT 'ER!" Ashtah hollared again, but Mom held on tight.

"Ginger! Stop teasing your sister. Ashtah, get over it!" Mom plopped Ashtah down on the floor.

Ashtah sulked then stalked out of the kitchen. Dral was gasping for breath and Ginger was nursing a blooming black eye. Mom looked Ginger over and gave Ginger a healing potion. Emerald jumped off her chair and hopped over to Lillend_QuickWing.

"You have to come more often," said Emerald. Lillend_QuickWing looked puzzled. "That way we can do this again!!" Lillend_QuickWing just laughed and patted Emerald's head. Dral started off laughing again and Ginger swallowed the potion. "Are you really out of flotsam potions?" Ginger asked Mom quietly. "'Cause I thought you just bought some yesterday." Mom gave Ginger a knowing look.

"I have plenty of potions." Mom said. "I just think she needed some humbling first." Mom winked at Ginger and Ginger smiled back. "She'll be fine in the morning once she takes a potion; maybe skunk this time. You can apologize to her then."

"Yes Mom." Ginger knew better than to argue. Besides, she knew the three of them would tease Ash regardless of what Mom said. Ginger was already thinking of places to stash Lenny feathers so Ashtah would find them. Hopefully the three of them would stay one step ahead of Ashtah's temper.

Emerald was dancing around the kitchen table. "YOU GUYS ARE SOOOO COOOL!" she barked happily, "I am so glad I live here!

Fini Back to My Short Stories
Now for all the legal jargon. Neopets owns the rights to everything Neopet related: past, present and future. I am just a fan, and while I like to write stories, all the charactors, food items, etc. all come from Neopets!!