An Altadorian Morning
There was something about the cold, bright water lapping into the bay combined with the crisp chill of the weather that made Altadorís archaic charm suddenly comfortable to Aviva. The yellowing morning slid over the white-capped mountains at her back as she sipped a glass of Altadorian nectar and nibbled her honeyed toast. Iím so glad I saved up the Neopoints to afford this place, Aviva thought as she admired the marble veranda of the small, private villa she rented. It was situated in the cheerful village along the docks, looming over the open water so as the waves would roll up and lick the veranda stairs that led into the sea. True, it cost her an arm and a leg and several yearsí worth of saving, and the decision that this sophisticated getaway would be in Altador was a last minute plan, as the old city had only recently been discovered. She was more than satisfied with her decision to splurge senselessly.
Presently, she finished her toast and dregs of the nectar collected in the bottom of her glass. Her two Neopets were still asleep on the mammoth bed the three of them shared in the night, each with an abundance of room to themselves as it was. She tightened her silky robe around herself as a wind rippled down from the mountains in the northeast, stirring the waves to anxiously tumble up the stairs and splash sea spray up to her bare feet. Aviva thought of life back home, and how she would much rather trade all of that for the serenity this secluded life in Altador provided. With a groan she imagined her nanny Columba and the homestead that lacked her own mother, the remainder of the drab summer, and the succession of high school in the fall. For now, Iíll enjoy this for myself, she thought with a smile, and daydream about moving here when I grow up. It was a pipe dream, sure, but it didnít stop her from thinking about what it would be like.
The sun peaked the mountains, spreading daylight over the city and surroundings and causing everything to glow with golden warmth. The clouds in the west, which ebbed the growing dawn, broke across the sky so that the sun might warm the Altadorian bay. In an empty-minded moment, Aviva removed her bed robe and - still in her pajama boxers and cami - descended the steps into the water.