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||You are on Week 243
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Two Hundred and Forty-Three Ends September 16th
Having received the news as she ate her breakfast, Kalina sighed with great dismay. The week's Beauty Contest winners were being announced, and for at least the hundredth time, the Poogle daydreamed that one day she too would win. Of course, in her own mind, she was a far cry from those breathtakingly beautiful Neopets who seemed to win each week.
Her friends all tried to convince her to enter; some even suggested that she was certain to win. Kalina wasn't so sure, though. What if she didn't win? Would everyone laugh at her? She couldn't bear the thought. Kalina told herself that she was more of a shy type and wasn't made for such social affairs as the Beauty Contest, but deep in her heart, the dream was still there.
"Well," she said to herself, "I guess I could give it a shot. I mean, really, the only thing I have to lose is my pride, my dreams, any remnants of self-respect..." Kalina sighed once again and let her head thud against the table, sending milk sloshing out of her cereal bowl. It was hopeless.
Her neighbour and childhood friend Jory waved at her from the kitchen screen door before coming in. "Good morning!" he said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "Hey," he said, suddenly concerned. "What's going on? Aww, don't tell me it’s the Beauty Contest thing again."
Kalina sat up. "Don't you ever knock, Jory?" she asked. "It's none of your business what’s bothering me."
"Of course not," the Techo said, grinning and pulling a bit of cereal off her head. "Besides, you're much too ugly to win that Beauty Contest."
"WHAT?!" the Poogle screamed.
"You heard me," Jory continued. "Pfft, you wouldn’t stand a chance." The Techo tried not to laugh as he spoke. He knew Kalina far too well and could tell exactly how this would end.
"I'll show you who's ugly! I'll WIN that contest! You'll see!"...
Author: is wondering what to put here|
Date: 9th September
..."You think so?" Jory asked, eyes glinting. "You can't make a silk purse out of a Snorkle's ear, you know."
"Maybe not, but I can make a princess out of a Poogle!"
"You're going to get painted royal?"
Kalina glared at him and started eating her cereal. "No. I'm going to go on a diet."
"Whoa," said Jory, alarmed. "Um, Kalina, I know you have to submit a portrait and your owner can only draw stick figures, but Poogles are supposed to be round."
"I didn't mean a diet to become thinner," Kalina said, giving the Techo a withering look. "I meant a good diet." She started eating her cereal again. "This is okay, if not great. Milk is good. But I don't usually eat as healthily as I ought to. If I'm going to make the best of myself, I need to drink more water and eat more vegetables, to make sure my eyes are bright and my skin and fur are lustrous."
"Oh," said Jory, rather impressed. This was a lot better sense than Kalina usually showed about the Beauty contest. "But wait. You're a--"
"Yeah, oh." Kalina finished her cereal -- what of it hadn't been spilled on the table -- and went to the cupboard to look for a bottle of water. "Bottle of water, bottle of water, oops, that's pressurized water...."
Jory's eyes widened in alarm as the Poogle carefully set the Battledome weapon back in the cupboard and picked up another bottle instead. "Um," he said as she pulled on the cork, "that's a bottled water--"
"Thank you for freeing me! I grant you the ability Quench."
"Faerie," Jory finished as the water faerie flew off.
"Oops," said Kalina. "Oh well. I guess I could douse any fire Poogles I'm competing against."
"You are a fire Poogle!"
"So that would be the most direct competition," Kalina retorted, finding a pitcher of water from the Lost Desert and bringing it over to the table.
"I know you weren't serious about cheating," Jory said, watching her start to guzzle the water, "but are you sure water is good for a fire-painted Neopet's complexion?"
"Yes." Kalina's tone brooked no argument.
"Okay." Jory watched in fascination as she finished the gigantic drink of water in a series of long gulps, although he supposed it helped that some of the moisture was being evaporated into billows of steam. Wow. A cool drink AND a steam bath for her face at the same time. "Well, do you want to go over to the Health Food shop this morning? Quenton the Quiggle is pretty cool; you could talk to him about nutrition."
Kalina gave him a suspicious look. "You don't think I can win. Why should I listen to you?"
He shrugged. "Hey, I'm all about good eating."
"...Don't you have to work?" Jory, as a yellow Techo, had taken up working at the Pound, one of an assortment of shift workers who gave Dr_Death a break. Nobody could work a stressful post like that 24/7! Jory even had a white coat and a toupee. (And what he wasn't about to let on to Kalina was that the job had taught him to pretend to be a lot grumpier and more negative than he really felt.)
"I don't go on shift until this afternoon. And I know you don't either." Jory shot out his tongue and nabbed a last piece of (rather cooked) cereal from behind Kalina's ear, then gave a broad grin. "Let's go!"...
Date: 12th September
...And so, the yellow Techo and fire Poogle set off that bright Neopian morning, bounding cheerily from Kalina's doorstep to the health food shop of Quenton the Quiggle to begin the perfectly healthy diet. Kalina's heart overflowed with excitement. Jory was just content that his friend was happy.
And Prospera was absolutely and totally enraged.
The faerie Lenny had awoken that morning quite refreshed, slipping out from beneath the silken sheets of her luxurious bed and onto the polished marble floor. Striding across her hallway, whose shelves were decked with a plethora of Beauty Contest trophies, she fluttered downstairs to fix herself a completely wholesome breakfast of an omelette of the faeries and haunted milk. Her nutritionist had told her that drinking haunted milk would do wonders for her already dazzling feathers.
Whether or not this was true, Prospera could care less. She had enough money to spend on it, and if it meant more Beauty Contest fame, she was all for it.
After examining an unsightly brown dot on her beak in the mirror for some time, and then preening herself, she decided to go eavesdrop on her least likeable neighbor, Kalina. The dim-witted Spardel-faced Poogle was most likely groaning about how pathetic she was and how she could never win a Beauty Contest. Prospera scoffed at the thought. Kalina? A Beauty Contest? How could someone as hideous as Kalina hope to win against someone as utterly magnificent as herself?
And, surely enough, Kalina could be seen wearing a droopy face of despair while she munched on her cereal. Prospera watched this from the large oval window in her living room, a window perfect for spying on her neighbors. Prospera prided herself in knowing all the goings-on of the neighborhood -- but that's a different story.
Prospera made a squeaky sniffling noise as she recoiled in disgust at the thought of eating just plain cereal. Cereal would do nothing for her but make her fat, and fat was ugly, and ugly was the enemy.
Kalina continued eating, and then was interrupted by someone else -- unruly Jory. Prospera had spread enough rumors about him to know how uncouth and inconsiderate he was.
"Fools befriend fools," Prospera muttered her breezy, whispery voice.
They started a heated conversation, in which Kalina seemed outraged. Interested, Prospera arched her neck to spy further on her neighbor. She pressed her head against the glass, hoping didn't look too disgraceful, and fine-tuned her already near-perfect hearing.
"...ugly! I'll win... contest!"
Prospera's heart stopped in mid-beat. The Beauty Contest?
The two continued to rattle on, and anger began to boil within Prospera. So, that ugly little Poogle thought that a better diet would help her win the Beauty Contest, eh? And by that, she'd oust her of her fairly earned throne? She'd usurp Prospera's reigns of Beauty Contest fame and fortune?
"I don't think so," Prospera hissed, her soprano voice laced with unquenchable fury.
Fluttering back to her dining room table in a huff, dread suddenly piled into Prospera's heart. What if...
No, that could never happen.
But it could, maybe...
No, it couldn't.
No, it couldn't!
And it hit Prospera hard in the face, sending her toppling to her chair, eyes fraught with distress.
"What if... she wins?" The thought had occured to Prospera earlier, but she'd been too blinded to realize it was a definite possibility. She gasped as she thought of the horrifying reality.
She could get... No, she dare not speak of it.
But it slipped into her mind, anyways.
She could possibly... (she let out a gasp of terror at this point) get second place!
Tears began to drip down Prospera's cheeks. She'd won the past twenty-three Beauty Contest consecutively. The thought of being second best had never seemed so real before, not with the Snorkles she competed against.
But what if Kalina had a chance?
What if Kalina won?
Prospera was surprised to find herself growling. Sweeping away the tears with a gosammer wing, Prospera stood up at attention.
"She can't take my throne from me," she snarled. "It's my throne, my own! I will do anything, and everything, to stop her from taking it from me."
Terrible schemes of began to run amok in Prospera's mind. Plots that would not only ruin Kalina's chances, but keep her little Poogle self in place in the future. Plots that would keep Kalina from ever mustering the courage to step out in public again.
"Yes, yes..." Prospera whispered.
And with that, the faerie Lenny, embroiled in her own vicious thoughts, headed out to Neopia Central as well, to begin the ending of Kalina's short-lived career...
Date: 13th September
...It would not be enough, the faerie Lenny decided as she strode through the streets of Neopia Central, for Kalina simply not to win -- to place second, for example. No. She must lose, and lose horribly. She must be humiliated. She must be put in her place. She must be punished for even presuming to compete against the Neopet who had won 23 consecutive times.
Prospera, whose finely manicured claws had been clicking rhythmically along the pavement in time with her whirling emotions, finally slowed outside a small shop. As she saw the display, her beak curled with a slow, evil smile.
A tinkle of bells announced the Lenny's entrance, and the starry Kau at the desk glanced up. "Welcome to Kauvara's," she said politely. "Can I help you?"
From under her wing, Prospera withdrew a delicate purse of white silk and laid a pile of Neopoints upon the counter. She even smiled at the Kau -- not, of course, out of kindness, but because the glee born of the thought of revenge was too glorious to contain.
It would be perfect. Each day would bring Kalina horror... each day Prospera would laugh that the Poogle thought that she'd have a chance against her. No, simple losing was not enough.
Kalina must regret the day she ever signed up.
Turning fully to the Kau, Prospera spoke her command in distinct soprano tones. "One Tuskaninny Transmogrification Potion, please..."
Date: 13th September
...Prospera's beautiful face was marred with a snarl of disgust as she passed commoners on the street, looking drab and dirty. Had they no shame? Prospera held back a snigger as she passed a particuarly pungent farmer, who smelled of rotten carrots. Placing a delicate wing across her beak dramatically, she glared after the farmer as he passed.
"URGH!" she snarled, just within the farmer's range of hearing. "That is the most rancid smell I've ever encountered in my ENTIRE life! Have you never heard of Eau de Neo? I'm sure even a poor, pea-brained peon like yourself could afford some!"
Tightening his grip around the flowerpots he held in his dirt-stained fingers, the farmer swayed on the spot for a minute, speechless. He looked up at Prospera, as if in awe of the utter cruelness he had just witnessed. She glared back, tapping an indignant heel at him, her body language screaming at him to get out of her sight. The farmer slumped over his purchases miserably and continued on his way home, fighting back tears of mingled anger and embarassment.
With a haughty sigh, Prospera continued down the avenue, attempting to avert her eyes from the disgusting and foul pets who littered Neopia Central. Everytime she passed a commoner, her smug smile twitched with disdain, and her eyes glittered with pride. As she neared the Health Food shop, her beady eyes were on the lookout for Kalina, the overgrown Warf, and Jory, the Techo who looked like Dr_Death's younger and fouler brother.
A loud crash diverted her attention away from her search, and Prospera's gossip-starved ears led her into the store, which she normally passed by for lack of exotic foods. Her nosiness was rewarded with one of the most beautiful things Prospera had ever seen: her new enemy, Kalina, sprawled on the floor, covered in a layer of beetroots that she had brought down in her fall. Resisting the temptation to snigger uncontrollably, Prospera swooped down towards Kalina, her devious eyes masked with genuine concern.
"Oh, honey, are you all right?" she asked in a honeyed voice, sickened by how low she had to stoop to retain her crown. Reaching a hand towards Kalina, she could not help but grimace when Kalina's fire-covered paw touched her exquisite, sleek feathers as she helped her up.
"I'm fine, thanks." Kalina muttered, her already flaming cheeks positively radiating with an embarassed heat.
"Well, that's lovely, really," Prospera muttered, a bite in her saccharine-sweet voice. She was hoping the fall alone would have taken care of her problem for her, but it looked as if she would actually have to be nice to this sickening filth straight from the Meridell Rubbish Dump. It would all be worth it in the end, when she got her nice shiny trophy, her crown firmly planted where it belonged: on the head of the most beautiful pet in the world -- her.
"Do you come here often?" Prospera asked, offering a simpering smile. "I do; I love it here. I enter the Beauty Contest quite often, just as a way to pass the time, you see. I swear by this food. Without it, I doubt I'd be where I am today!"
Her words were well-chosen. Kalina looked up at Prospera in awe, her mouth slightly agape. Prospera could smell the cereal on her breath and gagged slightly. Luckily, Kalina mistook this gag for a sneeze. "Bless you!" she said, staring in awe. Her haughty but beautiful neighbor had never bothered to speak to her before, much less offer help. "I've always wanted to win the Beauty Contest, but I've never actually won, you see..."
Prospera's smile was practically blinding, and she gripped Kalina's arm and steered her out of the store. A dumbfounded Jory raced after them. "I have a ton of advice, if you're interested. In fact, I can give you a makeover, if you like! Let's go!" she said, tugging Kalina's arm and vowing to disinfect her wing to within an inch of its life as soon as Kalina was gone.
"But what about my health foo--?" Kalina began to ask, but Prospera cut her off sharply.
"Oh, you won't be needing that quite yet..." breathed Prospera, her face alight with psychotic glee. Possibilities raced through her head, each more malevolent and disturbing than the last. "Just you wait until I'm through with you!"...
Date: 14th September
...A bewildered Kalina allowed herself to be dragged down the street on the Lenny's wing. Prospera was practically a legend among the pets who aspired to be Beauty Contest winners. Now, suddenly, Kalina's idol was treating her like an equal, a friend. It seemed too good to be true!
The Poogle realized that Prospera was speaking to her. Embarrassed, she mumbled something incoherent. Did a flicker of disgust cross the Lenny's face? Kalina dismissed it as her imagination; Prospera was once again gossiping away, and her dazzling smile showed no signs of faltering.
Jory, who had been hanging back uncertainly, now ran up to Kalina, puffing.
"Could somebody tell me what's going on?" he demanded peevishly, tired of being ignored.
Even Jory couldn't bring Kalina down from Cloud Nine.
"Prospera's going to give me a makeover for the Beauty Contest," she announced.
"Uh, that's great," the Techo said, frowning, "but what about me?"
"I suggest you run along home," Prospera told him in sickly sweet tones.
"You're ditching me?" said Jory incredulously, his face beginning to take on a stony scowl very like Dr_Death's.
"That's right," the Lenny replied before Kalina could say anything. "Ta-ta."
With that she turned and continued on her way twice as fast as before, with Kalina in tow. Kalina glanced back, wanting to apologize to her friend, but he had already disappeared. Oh, well. She'd see him later. It was all too easy to banish the incident from her mind.
Prospera steered the Poogle right up to her front step and ushered her in the door. She tossed off an excuse and hurried to the nearest bathroom, leaving the half-wit gawking in the cavernous entry hall.
Once the door was shut and locked -- couldn't have the idiot blundering in here and discovering her plot -- the faerie Lenny opened her dainty, white purse and drew out her earlier purchase. Then she flung open an enormous cabinet chock full of beauty supplies and removed a bottle. Its contents she promptly dumped into the toilet.
The horrid stuff smelled as foul as it looked, Prospera thought disgustedly, as the Transmogrification potion slopped into the bottle that had formerly held "Princess Fernypoo's solution for a radiant complexion." As foul as Kalina would soon look...
Date: 14th September
...The bathroom door was flung to the side in Prospera's eagerness to set her plan in motion. In one wing she clutched a bottle with an exuberent portrait of Princess Fernypoo plastered on, and in the other she brought a silky brush and mirror. The brush, she thought, will have to be burned. Still, it was better to have her guest believe her intentions were true, at least for the time being. As she strode towards Kalina, her dazzling feathers were reflected in the marble's surface, which had been polished to give the effect that the Lenny was walking on water, not stone.
Prospera felt a savage pleasure at the sight of her enemy standing alone and helpless in her domain, but it wouldn't do to transmogrify the Poogle here. She had passed a mutant Tuskaninny once in the street. Though she had refused to get within thirty feet of it, she was under the impression that the creature was more of a pus and slime volcano than an actual pet. The faerie Lenny certainly couldn't have Kalina destorying her perfectly clean floors.
"Oh, Kalina dear!" trilled Prospera in a singsong voice. The expression on the fire Poogle's face registered blissful disbelief as her hero wrapped a wing over her shoulders in the semblance of friendliness. Prospera inwardly recoiled.
"Where are we going?" Kalina dared to ask as Prospera herded her out the door they had originally entered through. A small but truthful voice in her head was relieved to leave the gargantuan house; by contrast, it made her feel vastly insignificant.
"Fresh air is as good for your health as vegetables," Prospera invented wildly, forcing the bottle into Kalina's paws. "Drink up -- it helps your complexion." She added casually, flashing an award-winning smile.
Kalina gingerly tasted the contents of the crystalline glass--
"Ugh, this is disgusting!" she choked, feeling bile rise in her throat.
"Beauty comes at a price." Prospera said, pretending to groom the dark black fur on the Poogle's ears. Though she went through the motions with practised ease, her eyes were intent upon the vial.
Kalina heisitated, then tilted her head back and swallowed the thick, bitter potion. She felt the horrid sensation of thousands of tiny creatures crawling under her skin as her flesh began to twist and turn hideously...
"I - I don't feel so well. I have to go!" she gasped, knocking the brush out of Prospera's grip in her haste. She half-stumbled the short distance to her own front door.
Prospera's triumphant smirk followed her the entire way.
* * * * *
Jory scowled at his knees as he trudged the lonely path home, a blazing sunset at his back. After being abandoned by Kalina, (he felt a twige of resentment every time he thought about it) the Techo had decided to report early for his job impersonating Dr_Death. Today, the negative irritation he was required to display to the public had been all too real.
The Techo stared firmly at the ground as he passed Kalina's house, but his attention was caught by a muffled sobbing sound that pushed through the walls. Concern for his friend immediatly prevailed over his own bruised feelings, and Jory pushed the door open cautiously.
Date: 15th September
...There was no answer, though the sobs grew louder.
"Kalina, what's wrong?" Jory called, tentatively stepping through the door and closing it behind him.
From around the kitchen door peeked Kalina, her cheeks shining with tears. Upon spotting Jory, she disappeared from view. She renewed her sobs with a new zeal.
Jory, his curiosity prevailing over his manners, took another step toward the kitchen.
"Kalina, what happened? Did you have an allergic reaction to some of Prospera's shampoo?"
"You could say that!" cried Kalina from behind the kitchen door. Her voice was a fusion of anguish, hurt, and contempt. Jory could hear his friend take a deep, chocking breath to calm her self. The crying seemed to stop.
"Promise me you won't laugh." she said softly. Jory was genuinely puzzled now.
"Of course I do!" the Techo said. He prepared himself for what he thought to be the worst.
Kalina threw the door open miserably. Joy gasped. The situation was far from being humorous. From the waist up, Kalina looked to be no different. Her fiery coat was a bit matted. Her cheeks were wet, her eyes were swollen, and her nose was red from crying. But below that, the smoky black fur gave way to a discolored brown and yellow. Where paws ought to have been were hideous flippers.
"How did...?" Jory asked, unsure of where to begin.
"Prospera," Kalina said softly, her voice barely audible. "She said it would make me beautiful. It tasted like sludge! I couldn't finish drinking it, and I ran home. I guess drinking half of the bottle meant only half a transformation." Her eyes welled up with tears once more. "I trusted her! She seemed so nice..."
But Jory wasn't listening. He was marching out the front door and toward Prospera's house, his friend's sorrow etched into his brain...
Date: 15th September
...Prospera couldn't keep the grin off her face as she watched a wrathful Jory storming up to her front door. For a moment she hesitated, then swept through her ornately carved front door, unable to resist the opportunity to gloat over her devious scheme. The Lenny met the Techo halfway up the walkway, her beak almost breaking in half as her dazzling smile worked its way toward her ears. "Back so soon?" she asked sweetly. "I would have thought you would be over at your little friend's house, admiring her makeover." With that she launched into a fit of diabolical laughter.
"I cannot BELIEVE what you did to her!" Jory snapped, his eyes and voice like knives. "She looked up to you, she thought you were the greatest thing since the Health Food store, and you... you... POISONED her!"
Prospera flashed him a condescending smile that he longed to dash into oblivion. "She looks better now than she ever did before. Anything would have been an improvement," she added with a cruel sneer. Jory's paw curled into a fist, but Prospera only laughed all the more. "You wouldn't dare," she taunted. "Now why don't you run along and buy her a morphing potion -- oh yes, I forgot! You don't have the money to do that, do you? Isn't that why you dress up like Dr_Death and do that preposterous job?"
Jory was shaking with anger. "You Pedackle-faced traitor," he hissed, "I'll show you. Kalina WILL win that contest- in spite of all your tricks!" With that he turned and dashed away in the direction of the pound.
* * * * *
"I'm sorry, but we can't give you any advance on your pay," Dr_Death said firmly.
Jory was frantic. "Sir, it's an emergency! I don't have time to explain, but I have to do this, and it has to be NOW!"
Dr_Death put up a fight, but Jory was in no mood to be gainsaid, and after several minutes of arguing, the younger Techo got his way. With the Neopoints safely in his pocket, Jory dashed off to Kauvara's, hoping it wouldn't be closed.
Kalina sat listlessly on the floor, paralyzed by misery. She had long ago run out of tears, and she didn't even notice when her door flew open and a breathless but triumphant Jory flew into the room. "Kalina!" he panted. "Guess what I got!"
"An invisible paint brush? That's all I want right now."
"Invisible? No way! You'd never win the Beauty Contest with that!"
"It's not like I could either way. Not even as myself, before I got tricked."
Jory's face was a picture of iron determination. "You can, and you will. Come and see what I got you."
Kalina looked up, a tiny spark of hope in her eyes. "A faerie Lenny morphing potion?"
Jory couldn't help but grin. "Nope. I know you, and I think this would suit your personality better..."
Date: 16th September
...And from the bag behind him, Jory extracted a small, pale blue bottle, which appeared to have wisps of white floating inside it. Still breathless, he shook it happily, unsettling the hazy contents.
“What sort of… potion is that?” asked Kalina, excitedly. It was too good to be true. She had forgotten entirely about the fact that half of her was mutant -- she even managed to flap her flippers on the floor eagerly without noticing that she still had them!
“Well, I was on the way to Kauvara’s shop,” explained the Techo, now beginning to dance from foot to foot happily, “and I had in mind exactly what I wanted to buy, but I’ll come to that in a minute. Anyway, it turned out that she didn’t have exactly what I wanted, but I explained the whole thing to her, and she mixed up a brand new morphing potion, just for you!”
“But Jory!” cried Kalina, shaking her head, “how did you get the Neopoints to buy it?”
The Techo, still dancing about gleefully with the potion, couldn’t help but grin again. “Well, Dr_Death isn’t quite as cantankerous as he looks. I got a pay raise and an advance on it!”
* * * * *
“So, could we just have a little excerpt from your winning speech, please, Miss Kalina?”
The Poogle smiled, tears of joy running down her face like crystal raindrops, as she shakily repeated what she had said in the contest. She was still utterly astonished that she had been declared the winner, and right at that very moment, was being interviewed by the Neopian Times.
“Well, I couldn’t have done any of this without my friend, Jory,” she repeated, giving yet another grateful glance to the beaming yellow Techo sitting in the front row. “He helped me realise that my daydream was more than just a dream, and he brought my head out of the clouds and helped me put the clouds on my fur instead!”
Again, this brought another titter from the audience as they admired this contestant whom they had never seen before, with her beautiful cloud-painted coat. Of course, it brought a titter from everyone but one Neopet -- Prospera of course, who was standing behind the curtain with a grimace of pure hatred on her features, almost jumping up and down with fury.
“Thank you, Kalina,” the Kyrii reporter replied with a dazzling grin, leading her off-stage into the audience, Jory walking alongside her. “I’m sure you want to get home with your shiny new trophy. Is there anything else you would like to say?”
The Poogle thought for a few moments before responding, turning back to the audience. “I’d just like to thank Prospera the Lenny whilst I’m here. She taught me that even when the worst things happen, there is absolutely no substitute for having a good friend, and friends are even more priceless than the most exotic of all beauty treatments!”
And with that, the two companions set off for home, chattering all the way, the icy glares and fiery curses aimed at their backs from Prospera having no effect whatsoever. With the story was out, it could be guaranteed that no Neopet would ever be upset by her insults again.
Date: 16th September
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