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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 287
You are on Week 288
Week 289

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 Eighty-Eight Ends September 1

“All right, all right, I’m coming!” Stafoo said impatiently as the doorbell rang again. The Xweetok put down the cake he was baking and headed for the doorway, wiping his paws on his apron. “Some folks just can’t wait,” he muttered as he opened the door... only to find the doorstep empty.

“Not again!” Stafoo complained as he peered out of his home, glancing this way and that. Nothing seemed amiss. The Xweetok was about to turn around and go back into the house when a small white envelope in the doorway caught his eye. Just as he stooped to pick it up, he heard his name being called.

“Stafoo! Hey, Stafoo!” An Usul scurried down the street, waving at him.

“Hey, Desu,” Stafoo called back. “How are you? Are you the one who rang my doorbell?”

“What?” she asked, looking puzzled. “No, I just got here. What’s that in your hand?”

“A letter,” the Xweetok replied, opening it. He pulled out a thin white piece of paper and stared at it.

Stafoo... I’m waiting,” read the Usul, peering over his shoulder. “Who’s that from?”

“I have no idea,” Stafoo said, his brow creased in bewilderment. “These past few days some rascally prankster has been ringing my doorbell and then taking off, leaving these unsigned, mysterious notes. It’s starting to get really annoying...”

Author: Mysterious Writer
Date: Aug 25th
...Desu's eyes brightened, whirled in their sockets like carousels gone awry. Stafoo, a longtime associate of the Usul's (through a series of his own extraordinarily foolish choices), recognized this look, and took the necessary precaution of distancing himself several feet from the Neopet. If you cared enough to think properly about it, Stafoo not being among the pawful of people who were that bored, Desu's obsessive nature was not truly her fault.

For you see, Desu worked as a Jubjub Blackjack dealer. So she was to be forgiven.

"Have you thought about getting security?"

Stafoo sighed. Fyora willing, the rangy Skunk Usul's spell of Salespet Syndrome would be brief. "No, I haven't," he allowed, his mind frisking itself off to an imaginary spa somewhere south of Neopia Central. "Tell me all about it."

His friend-by-technicality smiled, causing Stafoo to desperately wish for a pair of sunglasses and a strong, harsh Nanka Bottle he could pour to make his escape.

"Worried about prowlers invading your home? Fear not! For the Guild of Security is willing and able to provide you with everything you'd never want in the area of keeping your beloved belongings safe from snatching paws! Shrinking from that stalker you can never quite shake? Drop in on us at our Headquarters in the Neopian Bazaar, and we'll provide you with a quality security guard free of charge! That's right, free of charge! 30 day satisfaction trial or your hard-earned Neopoints refunded, absolutely guranteed! Tax Beast allowances and guard snackage costs not included."

Stafoo sighed as he pulled his paws from his ears, ceasing the merry bit of tune he'd been whistling to keep the swarm of exclamation points at bay. "You know," the Xweektok told Desu, sarcasm biting at the words. "You're supposed to STOP working after you leave the Blackjack table. I'm not doing this."

* * * * *

"I can't believe I'm doing this."

"Aw, come on Stafoo," his friend-of-sorts urged, staring unabashedly at the neon violet letters above the doorway that spelled out G ild of Se urity.

Annoyed, Stafoo kicked at the ultraviolet "u" lying at his feet. He should never have questioned why Desu was the best Jubjub Blackjack dealer in the business, or why Snowbunnies can't fly.

"Hey," a new voice boomed, sending Stafoo skidding back on his hindquarters. "Don't you be kicking that! That's our best letter u! It stayed on the sign for 2 and a half days!"

With a whumpf that rattled the Xweetok's organs out of their proper places, the door before them slammed open, and out stepped...

Author: missjessiegirl
Date: Aug 28th
...He had to hand it to Desu. She knew how to secure a deal. For before him stood a gargantuan Skeith, just bursting at the seams with muscle upon muscle upon muscle... Stafoo knew that there was no way he'd refuse security now. It was either that or be squished by that gigantic salespet.

The Skeith whipped out a pad of papers. "My name is Darringer. I'll be your security agent," he said. "Sign here, and here, initial here, sign here, full name, yes, now here you sign in blood, just like this... spit shake and we're done."

Stafoo did as he was told, not because he wanted to, but because he was one tenth the size of the monstrous Neopet and did not wish to become any smaller via a good squishing by said monstrous Neopet.

"I'll set up a perimeter immediately," Darringer said, wiping the spitshake spit onto his tie and smiling fangily. "Now I'll be needing five thousand Neopoints up front--"

"What?!" Stafoo cried. "I thought it was a free trial!"

"Ah, but the fine print. Guard snackage fees. We Skeiths eat quite a lot, you know."

"You're my guard? Well, of course, that would make sense," Stafoo trailed. "But five thousand? I thought you Skeiths ate anything! I have several old shoes in my closet you can help yourself to."

* * * * *

Thousands of Neopoints and more than one rusty old can later -- apparently Darringer had an appetite for tin -- Stafoo sat in his house, gazing absently out the window at the yellow tape that said STAY OFF THE GRASS. How ridiculous.

There was a knock on the door. Stafoo, suspecting his enormous security guard, answered. There was Darringer, sleeping on the porch... and yet another note.

Stafoo picked it up, closed the door, and sat down at his kitchen table with a sigh. Maybe this note would tell him how to escape his own home without causing Darringer to bust down every door in the neighborhood and charge it to his already-flailing tab.

He read the words once. He read them twice. Stafoo's eyes grew wide and the lines on his face furrowed. His tail twitched as he read them a third time.

No way, he thought. There's just no way...

Author: mangohomer
Date: Aug 28th
...They had spelled his name with five O's.

Stafooooo.... I'm waiting...

This was getting absurd. Who did they think he was -- some fraidy-Kougra who would be scared by additional ghostlike letters? Even if they added six O's, he swore, he would not be moved.

The Skeith snored again, his heavy grunts rattling the panes. He turned in his sleep, took a bite out of the porch, and kept sleeping.

All right... so maybe, Stafoo admitted, he was a little frightened. But surely, in all of this it was perfectly reasonable for a fellow to be a little... perturbed. If only he could figure out a reasonable explanation. Just -- why would they put in so many O's?

He sat down, staring at the letter. It stared back as best it could without eyes. Well, actually, he supposed it had one large I and the two small ones in "waiting", but.... He smacked his attention back to the subject at hand.

The letter was obviously solid and real. Despite its "spooky" spelling and unusual ability to materialize on his doorstep, there was nothing particularly odd about the letter itself. He sniffed it -- yes, it smelled normal. As non-magical as a Chia pop.

That seemed to imply, then, that it was left by non-magical means. It was part of an elaborate practical joke, or--

He jumped up, running over to his overflowing junkmail pile. Sure enough, about half-way down, was a poorly photocopied flyer from the Guild of Security. If he recalled properly, that letter had arrived about the same time as the doorbell first started ringing at random. With an annoyed expression creeping across his face, he flipped through the rest of the mail. Three fliers from them.

He glared out the window at the Skeith who, even now, was snoring loudly, and took a deep breath.

That's it, he told himself -- it's all an elaborate scheme to make me hire a security company! Revenge fantasies drifted through his mind. He would call the Defenders of Neopia on them! -- No, no, this was too trivial for that. He would feed the Skeith poisonous jelly! No... no... that would make the Healing Springs faerie irritated with him... he would set their guild on fire! No... no... that was really a little too melodramatic.

He had just the thing! He would go out there and give that Skeith a piece of his mind. Oh, he'd tell him EXACTLY what he thought about this whole scheme, and about his spelling too. The Skeith would be utterly humiliated to be caught -- why, he might even cry!

With that plan firmly in mind, Safoo scurried out to the Skeith and began his impressive speech:

"Er... excuse me... Mr. Darringer?" The Skeith turned and glared at him. "It's not really very nice to... I mean, you oughn't ring a bell on a fellow and then... I suppose what I'm trying to say is... could you please, possibly, if it's not too much trouble, stop eating my flowers?"

Well now. That hadn't come out quite as he had planned. He had to face it now... he was making a fool of himself! Stafoo flushed a bright red, and without a further word rushed into the house.

I was totally within my rights, he thought miserably. There's really no reason why I can't ask him to leave.... Well, I already paid for today. I suppose I can always ask him tomorrow.

He tossed and turned all that night, silently obsessing about the O's. Did they have no respect for him? Did they really think he hadn't figured this out? But how to say it? How to put his outrage into words that would leave that pathetic Skeith totally humiliated?

He woke up to the sounds of the Skeith eating the window shutters. Well, that wouldn't do at all. He would just get right up and put on his dress clothes, and tell that Skeith to go off now. That did seem like the sort of thing one ought to get dressed up for, didn't it?

He put on a tux and a small top-hat. (He hoped it would make him look distinguished. It had certainly looked distinguised on the mannequin at the shop) I am the employer, he reminded himself. It's perfectly natural that I ask him to leave.

"Skeith," he said with as much firmness as he could manage. "You are dismissed. I find your eating and your over-charging to be... well, frankly it's absurd. So I'd like you to go now."

It wasn't exactly a tongue-lashing, but at least he'd come out with it... right?

His erstwhile security guard turned ponderously to look at him.

"I'd prefer not," the Skeith said gravely...

Author: threskiorn
Date: Aug 29th
..."You'd prefer..." the Xweetok muttered disbelievingly as his voice trailed of. This really wasn't going to plan.

"No. I'm going to stay right here and look out for you, for as long as you are in danger," Darringer replied with a wide grin. Stafoo noticed one of his prized gardenias poking out from between the Skeith’s teeth.

Stafoo swallowed and tried again. “I’m not in danger anymore as I found out who was leaving the notes, so you can help someone else who is…”

The Skeith’s grin dropped. “You did?”

“Yes.” Stafoo adjusted the way that he was standing to prevent his knees from knocking together.

“Who was it?” Darringer grunted.

Was he seriously asking him? Stafoo blinked. He certainly wasn‘t making this easy. “It was... It was, or maybe someone in your g-g-guild...”

The Skeith suddenly let out a deep house-shaking laugh, causing the Xweetok’s porch window to come loose from the nibbled window frame and fall to the ground with a shatter. “Why on Neopia do you think it was me?” Darringer asked once his laugh had eased to a menacing grin.

“Well, because...” Stafoo reached to the table behind him, not taking his eyes off the enormous Skeith. He grabbed one of the fliers and shoved it into the Skeith’s face.

Without thinking Darringer opened his mouth and swallowed the flier whole. “Erm, sorry about that. Force of habit. Do you have another one?”

“Actually...” Stafoo muttered as he slowly backed away from the Skeith and picked up another of the guild fliers. He carefully held it out towards Darringer and stepped backwards again as the Skeith took it in his hands and started to read it. “I know your guild left the letters so that I would hire you. Another letter came while you were asleep outside.” The Xweetok told him.

Darringer was now frowning. He looked across at Stafoo. “These are our fliers, but believe me, we get enough work without having to resort to the sort of tactics you’re suggesting.”

Stafoo gulped and shuffled back some more.

The Skeith’s face scrunched up into a thoughtful expression. “Did you say you were left another letter just now?”

“Yes,” Stafoo nodded.

“Well that puts one major hole in your theory doesn’t it. If, as you suggest, I was leaving the notes, wouldn’t I have stopped when you hired me?”

“Well... I...” Stafoo muttered. He hadn’t thought of that. He looked across at the Skeith, who was now grinning smugly.

“Can I see the letter?” Darringer asked.

“Erm. I guess...” The Xweetok stood back as the Skeith tramped through into his living room. His front door was still wobbling slightly from the Skeith slamming it shut behind him. Stafoo followed him through and handed him the letter. He looked in horror as Darringer was eyeing up his Golden Symol Statue. “That’s the letter. Can you please refrain from eating anything within the house.”

As Darringer was glancing at the note the Xweetok’s door rang again. Stafoo rushed to the door as quickly as he could and flung it open to reveal...

Author: jellybeanott
Date: Aug 29th
...a familiar Skunk Usul standing on his doorstep, in the space that Darringer had recently vacated. She waved cheerily at Stafoo, smiling as she admired the yellow tape strung around the yard. “How’s the new security working out?” Glancing at the Xweetok’s formal black attire, she added, “Are you going somewhere?”

Stafoo adjusted his top hat self-consciously. “Er, no. As for the security, well, I just got another note.”

Desu’s brow furrowed. “Even with all this security? You’re dealing with a tricky customer.”

Stafoo eyed his “security”, the yellow Skeith that was leaning lazily against his wall, licking his lips as he glanced around at Stafoo’s furniture. “I’d appreciate it if you’d, er, stop looking at my house like that,” the Xweetok said nervously.

“Like what?”

“Like...” Stafoo coughed. “Like you’re about to eat it.”

Darringer let out a rumbling laugh. “I’m not going to eat your house; I’m here to protect it, after all. Now, those pets with houses made of chocolate, they’re the ones who are asking for it. Especially if they keep sprinkles in their cupboards.” The Skeith dragged himself over to a round green table that was standing in the hallway and leaned his arm heavily on it; the thin pole that supported the table creaked, and Stafoo’s eyes widened as he noticed a crack forming in the wood. Darringer turned and smiled at Stafoo. Absently he leaned down and took a bite of the table.

“Say, Stafoo, have you ever thought about furniture insurance?” Desu asked brightly, her eyes beginning to gleam.

“No,” Stafoo said weakly, not sure if he could stomach another of the Usul’s sales pitches. He turned to the Skeith, who had picked up the table by its cracked support and was eating it like a lollipop, and, with full intentions of ordering him out of his house for good, said, “Could you -- could you please go back outside and -- eat my flowers instead?”

“Of course, Mr. Stafoo.” Darringer ambled past the Xweetok, who was inconspicuously beating his forehead with his little top hat. “Always glad to oblige.”

Desu had already begun her spiel about furniture insurance. “Don’t worry about the neighbor’s Meepit tearing up your couch any longer when --”

She would have gone on, but a thin white object blew in the open door and smacked her in the face, ending her speech. She yanked the offending envelope away from her eyes, glaring at it. “Who left that door open?” she demanded.

The sound of chewing came from Stafoo’s garden. The Xweetok was too fascinated with the letter to think about his gardenias, however. He grabbed it from Desu and ripped open the envelope. “Another note!” he exclaimed.

Stafoooooo... I’m waaaaiiting...

Six O’s this time! Stafoo gritted his teeth. That mystery writer had some nerve. In fact, reading the letter again, the extra letters sounded more impatient than ghostly. That writer had no right to expect him to get up and run off to meet whoever was waiting. Just because he happened to have better things to do with his time than run around the neighbourhood leaving notes at strangers’ doors --

A piece of paper struck Stafoo in the nose, cutting off his train of thought. He looked up quickly at the still-open door and the Skeith outside who was happily munching on his garden. Shaking his head, Stafoo turned back to the thing that had hit him. Sure enough, it was another envelope. The mystery writer was getting much too impatient, sending notes within such a small time frame of each other! Stafoo opened the envelope and pulled out the message inside, wondering how many letters would be added to it this time.

Stafoo, I’ve waited long enough.

You’re out of time.

Author: nut862
Date: Aug 30th

At that very moment there was a thunderous crash that shook Stafoo to his core. It sounded like it came from the backyard. Darringer came running in. Despite his large bulk, the SKeith moved swiftly when required.

"What was that?" he questioned.

“I have no idea, but it came from the backyard,” Stafoo replied

“You’d better wait here. I’m going to go investigate,” said Darringer.

“Shouldn’t I go with you?”

“No, it might not be safe. I’m here to protect you. I can’t let you go into unknown danger.”

Unable to argue with that logic, Stafoo agreed to stay behind, but he was too shaken up to sit still and wait.

“Let's go to the front yard and wait for the person behind this. They’re bound to show up soon,” he said to Desu.

“Good idea!” said the Usul as they stepped outside “Now I can finish telling you what I heard about furniture insurance.” The Usul’s eyes started to glaze over again.

“No! That won’t be necessary. I think I’ve heard enough.” He tried to ignore her, while he scanned the streets with his eyes, from one end to another.

Desu went on, undeterred. “Well, you already knew that the Quality Insurance Company has the lowest prices around, and that they will gladly insure any item, from a Functional Grey Chair to a Jhuidah Cooking Pot. But did you know that Quality Insurance Company is the number 1 leading insurance provider in Neopia, and that 7 out of 10 Neopets trust no other brand?”

Stafoo couldn’t take any more. “Desu! How do you know this? Have you even talked to ten people about furniture insurance?”

The sharp question seemed to break Desu out of her reverie. “Yes, actually, I have. All the trendy socialites who play Jubjub Blackjack love to discuss these topics. Ms. Fatinah, the famous singer, the Listra sisters of dancing fame, and Mr. Nefar, the world renowned hypnotist, all swear by QIC.”

“I think you need to realise that I’m not a famous hypnotist or dancer,” Stafoo said, trying to be patient. “I’m just an ordinary Xweetok trying to earn my living.”

As Stafoo spoke he saw somebody coming around the side of his house from the back. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

It was Darringer.

“What are you doing here?!?”

“I looked all over your backyard. I checked behind every tree, and inside every delicious bush, but I didn’t see any signs of unusual activity. I would have come back through the house, but you locked the back door. Why did you do that? You don’t still suspect me of setting you up do you?”

“No, not at all. And you must be mistaken because I did not lock the back door.”

They both looked at each other, confused.

Just then--


-- there was another crash. This time it appeared to be coming from inside the house...

Author: yvonne_l_d
Date: Aug 30th
...Stafoo and Darringer exchanged questioning looks. The loud crash seemed to have startled even Desu out of her the-merits-of-furniture-insurance rant. At any rate, the glaze lifted over her eyes and her Usul ears perked up.

"What was that? It sounded like it came from inside the living room."

"I'll go and investigate," Darringer said promptly. The massive Skeith's eyes were narrowed as he squinted into the relatively dim house, trying to discern any unfamiliar shapes inside. Stafoo nodded and followed, too apprehensive even to worry about the wisdom of letting Darringer into his living room again - after all, Darringer might try to eat his expensive furniture this time...

“There’s nothing here,” the Skeith announced as they reached Stafoo’s living room. “Nice rug you’ve got here,” he added, eyeing the beige colored carpet appreciatively. Stafoo had to restrain himself from rolling his eyes, and fought down the urge of dismissing Darringer permanently. “Could you - er, maybe the grass outside would taste better than -”


Stafoo was interrupted by another loud crash which resounded through the house, but this time it seemed to come from the hallway. Before Darringer could react, Stafoo was already sprinting through his home towards the direction of the hall. As he ran, he glanced down at the most recent message from his mysterious visitor still clutched in his hand. Whoever was responsible for this really had some nerve, first to add extra O’s to his name, then to trespass into his house and throw things around...

The hallway was empty. Stafoo looked around, mildly irritated, but saw nothing. Only his beautiful porcelain lamp had been damaged - it had been knocked off of its stand and now lay in a heap of broken pieces on the carpet. Stafoo whirled around as Darringer and Desu caught up to him, both panting heavily. “You should - really consider – that furni- furniture insurance,” Desu managed to get out between gasps for air. “Quality Insurace Company insures everything under your Neohome’s roof, giving you security at a very affordable cost, so you can rest assured-”

But Stafoo had stopped listening. He was straining his ears upstairs, where the faintest sounds of footsteps could be heard. Someone was walking around in his bedroom, in his house! He turned slowly towards Darringer, who had stopped crunching on the broken remains of Stafoo’s lamp to listen. Their eyes met. One look and Stafoo knew the Skeith had noticed the sound too.

“Follow me,” Darringer grunted and together they quietly climbed the stairs, leaving the Usul, now with glazed-over eyes, to recite her speech in the empty hall. The Xweetok and the Skeith crept closer to the closed door of Staffo’s bedroom, and the nearer they got, the clearer the sound of footsteps become. Someone was definitely behind that door...

Stafoo took a deep breath and turned the doorknob, gasping in surprise as it opened...

Author: astra139
Date: Aug 31st reveal... well, pretty much anything but the wooden walls, homey decor and oaken furniture that made up his bedroom. The Xweetok's eyes roamed around what he had assumed to be his bedroom, and now appeared not to be. In front of him, miles and miles of sand stretched out before him, pyramids standing off in the distance and a sun blazing high within the sky. The barren land seemed devoid of life, but a dim shape further out was probably a city. Stafoo's eyes nearly popped out of his head. What in Fyora was the Lost Desert doing in his bedroom?

Behind him, Darringer whistled softly, "Nice bedroom."

Somehow, this comment brought Stafoo back to his senses. Somewhat. "Are you kidding me?" the Xweetok practically cried, "This isn't my bedroom! Look at this! Look at it!"

The Xweetok then made the mistake of grabbing the Skeith by his arm and pushing him "inside" the Lost Desert. Although Darringer could have easily resisted, the security pet allowed himself to be dragged into the Lost Desert.

Except it wasn't. As soon as Stafoo had crossed into the sandy wasteland, he heard a click behind him that could only mean his door had shut, and turning around revealed not only this, but there was no door anymore. Not only that, but he was no longer in the Lost Desert. The air cooled slightly, though became noticeably more humid. Distant bird calls became audible, as did the sounds of rushing water. Trees sprung from the ground, healthy and green, towering over the two pets' heads. Lush green grass spread from beneath their feet and overtook the slowly dissapearing sand.

"Mystery... Mystery Island!?" spluttered Stafoo, "What's going on here? Where's my room? Where's my house!?"

Footsteps suddenly became audible, rising in volume, which could only lead to show that someone, or something, was coming towards them. Stafoo turned around again, bracing himself for another suprise, and yet all the same was shocked nearly to death at the sight of what it was emerging from the bushes...

Author: lockshensa
Date: Aug 31st

Stafoo lunged forward, unable to restrain himself. Luckily, Darringer, who was much larger and had been trained rather well, was able to make up for the Xweetok's momentary lack of control; he threw out an arm and caught Stafoo around the waist. Stafoo snarled angrily.

Out of the bushes crept a small figure. It was muttering to itself angrily. As it came into the light, Darringer could see it more clearly; it appeared to be a small Kookith of bizarre coloring and adorned in a tiny lab coat. Stafoo struggled against Darringer, but he held strong.

"That Kookith made my Petpet vanish!" Stafoo yelped angrily. "A Puppyblew - her name was Snuffles - and that monster made her vanish!"

The Kookith shrieked with laughter suddenly, its enormous eyes rolling about. Darringer's brow furrowed. He glanced at Stafoo, who was now lessening his wiggling.

"Why is he in your bedroom?"

"Experimenting, no doubt," Stafoo bit out, frowning. "He's just jealous because Snuffles never blew anything up of mine-"

"Wait." Darringer let go of Stafoo in surprise. Stafoo, also caught unaware, fell forward. Darringer ignored his glare as he scrambled to his feet. "Jealous?"

"Well, yeah." Stafoo brushed himself off, keeping his eyes on the insane Kookith. "I used to keep him - called him Kooky - but I guess he took his name to heart because he just went bonkers!"

Stafoo took a deep breath before continuing.

"You know, blowing things up, making bizarre concoctions, that sort of thing," he continued. The Kookith laughed shrilly and then snorted, shuddering. Darringer sent it a glance. "Not a very good Petpet, but when he said he'd made a lab ray-"

"A lab ray?"

"Well, yes." Stafoo rubbed his neck uncomfortably. "Anyways, I didn't want her to, but Snuffles insisted on trying it and... well..."

He paused, and then turned on the Kookith.

"It didn't work."

Darringer stared at him. He tore off a branch of a nearby tree and chewed on it thoughtfully before replying.

"So he was waiting for you to take him back?"

"I guess," Stafoo said huffily. The Kookith began gurgling.

"Well, why not take him back?" Darringer ignored Stafoo's horrified expression. "Look at him, he's kind of..."

He trailed off as the Kookith started spinning, a loud whirring noise emitting from its mouth. Darringer rubbed his neck.

"Er... well, ask it how to get home, anyways."

Stafoo nodded and crouched down in front of the Petpet.

"Hey, you want to turn off whatever invention you managed to construct in here?" he said, trying very hard to look into the Kookith's eyes. Unfortunately, it was very difficult, seeing as the Kookith was nothing but a blur as it spun on toe, giggling. Suddenly, the Kookith stopped and darted off. Stafoo jumped to his feet.


There was a loud CLANG and then Stafoo found himself back in his room. M*ynci poster on the wall, rainbow lamp - it was all his. Darringer blinked, and then began chewing on the carpet. The Kookith stared at Stafoo, beeping.

"Teleportation?" Stafoo admired the mess Kooky had constructed. String, jelly... was that a Neocola can? The Kookith shrieked in what Stafoo imagined was a proud way.

He lifted up the Kookith, ignoring its slightly unnverving shaking. Darringer stood up and smiled. Bits of carpet stuck through his teeth. Stafoo sighed and began to tell him, very carefully, that he didn't need security anymore. They descended the stairs together and stopped in the front hall. Stafoo grimaced as Darringer bowed his head, opened the door, and took a bite of the side before thumping out into the evening. Exhausted, Stafoo dropped onto the couch.

"Hey Stafoo!"

Stafoo groaned as the Usul dropped down beside him.

"Why'd ya let him go, Stafoo? Don't you need security, Stafoo? Whatcha got there, Stafoo? Do you know about Petpet insurance-"

"Hey Desu." Stafoo opened his eyes and forced a smile. "We caught the bad guy. I want to thank you for all your help so..."

He paused.

"Here." He shoved the Kookith into Desu's arms. Desu peered up at him, eyes wide and shining. Stafoo winced involuntarily.

"Thank you!" She hopped up, clutching the Kookith to her. "Thank you thank you thank you-"

"You're welcome!" Stafoo took a deep breath as Desu's face fell. "I mean, you're welcome. Very welcome. But now, you have to go, I think he looks hungry-"

"Of course!" Desu slapped herself in the forehead, laughing. "Gosh, I'm such a bad owner, I've gotta go."

She scurried towards the door, the Kookith squished against her chest. Stafoo waved her out as she muttered to herself about Petpet insurance. Closing the door after her, he went back to his sofa and dropped onto it.

Opening one eye, he realized it was rather chilly. He got up, went to the kitchen, and minutes later, there was an enormous fire roaring in his fireplace. He smiled as he watched the notes curl up and then let himself drift off into sleep.

The End

Author: nerdparty
Date: Sep 1st

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