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Week 452
You are on Week 453
Week 454

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 Four Hundred Fifty Three Ends Friday, March 26th

"This is silly," Jinkee muttered as he stared down at the blue Grundo plushie clutched in his yellow paw. "I know everyone says it's magical, but why would anyone discard a magical plushie anyway?"

Of course, the Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity didn't answer the Kacheek's question. Jinkee sighed.

"What am I even supposed to say to you?"

Again, the Kacheek received no answer but the impassive red stare of the Grundo plushie.

"Well, maybe I could explain why I'm here," Jinkee began. After all, it wasn't every day that he spent his time travelling to Faerieland to ask stuffed toys for help, whether they were magical or not. "You see, um, Mr. Plushie, I've been having a hard time recently, and I can't figure out why. It almost feels like I've been cursed, because none of my misfortunes have been my fault..."

Once he got started, Jinkee couldn't stop himself from pouring out all of his recent woes to the plushie, as if he were unburdening himself to his dearest friend. He told the plushie about being falsely accused of stealing food off of customers' plates at his job at kelp, being fired, having the Pant Devil steal a precious (and extremely expensive paint brush) he'd been planning to sell to make ends meet, arguing with his best friend over something silly, coming down with Neezles; the list went on and on.

Jinkee's throat was sore by the time he'd finished, and still the Grundo plushie just gazed up at him, its red button eyes gleaming.

The Kacheek wiped his eyes on the back of his paw and asked, "So, can you help me? Can you work some of your magic?"

Nothing happened. No items magically appeared; no bags of Neopoints fell from the sky.

"I should've known this would just be a waste of time," Jinkee grumbled. "Just like everything else I do. I was stupid to think a nasty old unwanted plushie could help me."

The Kacheek was about to toss the blue Grundo plushie back onto the fluffy pile of clouds where it usually lay, when he heard a voice.

"If you want me to help you, you must first help me, young Neopet..."

Editor's Note: This week's Storytelling beginning was inspired by an idea from grammy27272727. Keep sending in your ideas for Storytelling beginnings, and they might just appear in an upcoming contest!

Author: Never look a discarded Grundo plushie in the mouth
Date: Mar 22nd
Jinkee yelped and dropped the plushie in surprise. "Who's there?" he asked, glancing over his shoulder for a body to correspond with the voice. "I-I trained at Mystery Island," he warned, though the effect was ruined by his stammer.

Laughter issued from somewhere near to his left. Jinkee turned to face an empty stretch of clouds. "Okay, no funny games." He didn't like this. Strange confrontations with disembodied voices never, ever led to happiness.

The disembodied laugh continued, now behind him. Jinkee whirled around to see the Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity hovering a few feet above the purple surface of Faerieland.

"That's... not normal," he said, his palms beginning to slick with nervous sweat. "Plushies don't talk."

The plushie fell back to the clouds, where it lay, lifeless. "You think it's the plushie doing the talking?" the voice demanded, sounding slighted. "Would this kind of lovely, low timbre come from a mere plushie, Kacheek?"

Jinkee squeaked, shaking his head.

"Don't entertain these silly notions, then." The Grundo plushie rose once again then disappeared, as if it had been stuffed into an invisible pocket.

"B-but -- I -- I need that plushie," Jinkee protested. "It's supposed to help lift my curse."

"No, no, no. I'm supposed to help you lift your curse, after you help me check off a few items on my to-do list," the voice said. "The plushie is just a plushie."

"Then who are you?"

"Oh, don't bother yourself with the identity of little old me. I'm just a faerie. An invisible faerie, as of now, but that's just temporary. I'm actually incredibly popular for my skills at spreading joy and happiness."

Jinkee's face lit up. A faerie! Faeries had magical powers, more than any old toy did. "Can you help me?" he asked, all fear forgotten.

"Well. No. We've gone over this -- you help me first."

But that wasn't fair. Faeries were supposed to be generous and selfless. Jinkee scowled and crossed his arms.

"Hey, Kacheek, I know what you're thinking. But I'm probably the only one around who can lift that curse of yours, unless you want to talk to Jhudora about it."

He considered it. If the disembodied voice was his one shot, then... "Fine. What do I have to do?"...

Author: mithril_mithrandir
Date: Mar 22nd
"All right, let's just see here," the ominous voice started, as a small notebook appeared out of nowhere, again seeming to come out of a very large invisible pocket. Suddenly a pencil floated next to the notepad, tapping on it lightly as the disembodied voice made thinking noises such as "hmm...", "ahh...", and "uh-huh..." It was starting to make Jinkee a little uncomfortable.

"Well, Kacheek..."

"It's Jinkee," he corrected. Being called "Kacheek" was getting old in a hurry.

"Oh, right. Of course. Well, Jackie, while I had wanted to keep my identity unknown to you, it has occurred to me that perhaps some of the more important errands on my 'To Do' list will require us to be able to see each other. It could get very confusing otherwise."

"Um, okay, so why don't you just make yourself visible? And by the way, it's Jinkee, with an n," Jinkee said. He was becoming slightly wary of this mysterious floating voice.

"I already told you that's not how this works, Jinsey. I'm not going to become visible. You are going to become invisible, silly," the voice replied calmly.

"What?! But -- but how?" Jinkee stammered. This trip was turning out nothing like he had hoped.

"There is such a thing as the Invisible Paint Brush, you know. It doesn't take a faerie to figure that one out..."

"Well, if you think I've got the Neopoints to afford an Invisible Paint Brush, then you obviously haven't been listening to a word I've said! And besides, how the heck is me becoming invisible going to allow me to see you, just because you're invisible too? There is absolutely no logic in that! And my name is JINKEE!" the Kacheek huffed, almost ready to turn around and go back home, curse or no curse.

"So you're telling me that you came all the way to Faerieland to spill your guts to a ragged, old plushie about some curse that you're under, and now you're suddenly concerned with logic? That's rich," the voice scoffed. "But I suppose it would take way too much of our precious time to wander around looking for a paint brush. After all, we have work to do, haven't we, Kach- err, Jinkee? So I suppose it's rather convenient that we happen to be in a very close proximity to a place where you can be painted a snazzy new colour without having a paint brush, isn't it?"

"You mean, the Rainbow Fountain?" Jinkee asked. "It's not working. I heard some pets talking about it on the way here."

The disembodied voice exhaled loudly. "That's just something the faerie tells wide-eyed Neopets, so that they will gladly do her bidding when she asks. If she allowed pets to come freely, there wouldn't be anyone left to fetch her anything she wanted, now would there?"

"You know, for being someone who supposedly spreads happiness and joy throughout Neopia, you sure are cynical."

The voice chuckled. "I like you, Jonsey; we'll get along just fine."

"Yeah, I'm sure," Jinkee sighed, rolling his eyes at being called yet another name that wasn't his. "Kacheek" was starting to sound better already. "Okay, so if the Fountain Faerie is selective about who she allows in, I doubt we can just prance over there and ask for a quest, can we?"

"Who said anything about a quest? Like I said earlier, we don't have time for those kinds of shenanigans. Look, I've been hanging around long enough that I know how things work around here. The Fountain Faerie always leaves the fountain to go hand out quests at exactly 4:35 p.m., which happens to be in about five minutes. Now, of course, she has that incompetent Maraquan Chomby guard the place while she's away, but after he eats his Bacon Belly Buster at precisely 4:50 p.m., he falls asleep four minutes later. He'll only sleep for seven minutes and thirty-six seconds, but that's plenty of time for us to sneak up and get you nice and invisible. Then we can really get down to business."

"You've really thought about this a lot, haven't you?" Jinkee mused.

"Like I said, Jamesy, I want to help you. As soon as you help me first."

***

"I don't feel right about this," the Kacheek whispered as he stood at the edge of the Rainbow Fountain.

"Why not?" the disembodied voice whispered back. "Trust me, that guard is out like a light for another... five minutes and twenty-one seconds."

Jinkee glanced at the snoring Chomby at the opposite end of the fountain. "No, I mean, it feels like I'm stealing something. I haven't done anything to deserve using the fountain, as the other pets who come here have. I don't think it's fair."

"Fair? Jinkee, you've been under a curse, and you're worried about fair? How fair is it that you lost your job, huh? Or that your friend, uh what was his name? The Gelert?"

"Warren." Jinkee narrowed his eyes at the memory.

"Yes, that Wagner got so angry at you over nothing? Come on, we aren't hurting anyone by using the fountain, and I think it's only fair that you let me help you get rid of this curse once and for all... just as soon as you help me with a couple of things first," the voice whispered back.

"Okay," Jinkee said as he took a step closer to the fountain. "Hey, wait a minute, how will the fountain know to paint me the right colour?"

"You just have to think it," the voice said quietly. "And don't you start getting any ideas about some other expensive colour while you're in there. I know it's temping, but I promise getting rid of this curse will be better than being painted any fancy colour, you got it, Jempsy? Seriously, think Invisible, or else all of this was for nothing, and I can never help you, ever. And you'll be cursed for the rest of your life. The end."

"Okay, okay. I got it," Jinkee hissed back. He closed his eyes and tried to push all of his thoughts of walking around Neopia Central in a nice shade of shadow, or perhaps a green and white speckled coat?

No, Jinkee thought. Invisible. I want to become invisible.

The Kacheek raised his hands over his head and dove gracefully into the fountain...

Author: favonianbreeze
Date: Mar 23rd
When Jinkee opened his eyes it was as though he was a minute grain of sand trapped inside of a Rainbow Swirly Thing: all around him was a liquid vortex of colours that arced and swirled, essences of pets to be -- a hook of dark teal pirate, a gleam of statuesque gold, a quartet of sensible red, blue, yellow and greens swishing by in parallel lines, extravagant fluttering faerie lingering like a wish on the edge of awareness...

And then there was the space between the colours, a space of lack. Jinkee attempted to focus his thoughts amidst this kaleidoscopic experience on those areas of dearth at the edge of colours -- on the essence of invisible.

And invisible came to him, squeezing through brilliant hues of every colour to conglomerate around Jinkee, around his hands, his head, his tail, until he, too, was nothing but nothing...

Jinkee resurfaced from the Rainbow Fountain's magical waters, gasping not only for air but at the fact that he could not see his own (rather prominent) nose any more.

"I did it," he breathed as he climbed out, dripping iridescent droplets onto sun-baked stone but otherwise utterly transparent.

"So you did," spoke the voice of his likewise-invisible interlocutor. "Good job, Jeffrey, I really thought you'd be tempted by some of those shades... I think you would have made a good snot, for the record."

"Thanks."

"So, to business..."

Jinkee, who had finished examining his new self -- or lack thereof -- with wonder, gave his attention to the place where his companion ought to have been standing.

Oddly, he could actually see a pair of feet.

Indeed, as Jinkee's now-transparent eyeballs adjusted to the spectrum of general invisibility, he was able to make out a very distinct outline. And that outline looked like a bizarrely jolly version of Dr. Sloth, smiling giddily at him and looking vaguely like he was about to propose a picnic and a daisy-picking contest.

"Who the --" started Jinkee.

"The Happiness Faerie, of course!" answered the masked and caped oddity. "Sheesh, Jimminy. I thought I was more popular than this with the general population..."

The Happiness Faerie stepped up to Jinkee and extended a hand. "It's nice to finally meet you in the realm of the invisible. Now, to business. You remember that I told you that I need your help before I offer you mine."

"Yes."

"And that I needed us to be able to SEE each other so that you could help me properly."

"Yes..."

"Hence us both becoming invisible..."

"Yes," answered Jinkee, feeling as though threads of his sanity were slowly unravelling.

"Good. Obviously becoming invisible has made your brain visible -- or confirmed its existence, at any rate, which I was seriously concerned about before..."

"Wish I could say the same for you--" started Jinkee.

"-- a-tut-tut, no comments from the peanut gallery. So what I need you for, specifically, is to pull a fun little April Fools' prank, you see. Two invisible partners in crime, this prank is in the bank."

"What does this prank involve, exactly?"

"Well... banks, actually. The National Neopian, to be precise."

Jinkee raised invisible eyebrows.

"Come along with me, and we'll talk about it on the way," said the Happiness Faerie, and he hop-skipped along Faerieland's cloudy avenue toward Neopia Central.

***

Jinkee listened to his strange partner's off-kilter rambling as they made their way to Neopia's sunny metropolis. The experience was quite surreal -- wandering, invisible to distant passersby, down familiar streets -- and Jinkee promised himself that this was the last time he would eat Beany Burpers so soon before going to bed.

The Happiness Faerie suddenly paused to exclaim, "Look, Jenkins!!" and point wildly at a particularly nondescript paving stone. As Jinkee waited for the Faerie to get over his fascination with the piece of roadwork, his attention was drawn to a discarded page of the Neopian Times, fluttering idly at his feet.

Jinkee's eyes widened as he saw who was featured on the front page, and even more as he saw the headline...

Author: larkspurlane
Date: Mar 23rd
There, in 20-point font, the front page of the Neopian Times read: Daring New Chef a Hit at kelp. And below this seemingly oversized proclamation Jinkee could see the smug smile of his former best friend, Warren, dazzling and confidently beaming for the portrait. As the Kacheek skimmed through the accompanying article, he exclaimed at the profusion of hyperbolic adjectives, "Genius... culinary virtuoso... visionary... gastronomic crackerjack..."

Raising his eyes from the newspaper, Jinkee muttered to himself, "Warren got my old job at kelp?"

A voice uncomfortably close to his right ear purred, "And it would seem he's doing a better job at it than you did, Jimbo."

The Kacheek turned his head fast and stared the faerie in the eye, insisting, "Jinkee."

"Jeremy."

"Jinkee."

"Joey."

"My name is Jinkee!"

"Oh," the voice purred once more, "is that what you think your name is?"

Jinkee blinked hard, staring into the twinkling red eyes behind the black mask of the Happiness Faerie, unable to fathom what he meant by that statement. The faerie giggled and leaned over the Kacheek's shoulder, and with one long, green finger, turned the newspaper page, revealing another page underneath, one similar in appearance but as thin and insubstantial as onion skin. He tapped meaningfully at the headline of this second sheet, and skipped away merrily, breathing deeply at the daisy he twirled in his right hand.

Jinkee focussed hard to read the headline; it was written in the same 20-point font as the front page, but the colours shifted and morphed, appearing as inconstant as the space between all colours that he had experienced in the Rainbow Pool. When he finally adjusted his eyes to the strange spectrum, he read, "Daring New Criminal Makes Hit On kelp."

He quickly dropped his eyes to the supplementary picture and saw the same smug smile on his friend Warren's face, but this time it was captured beaming from within a plum-coloured hood.

The Kacheek dropped the pages to his side and looked toward the faerie with a blank and dumbfounded stare. Finally, he said, "I don't understand."

"Of course not, Jean-Paul," the Happiness Faerie said, taking a break from polishing the seemingly ordinary paving stone that had caught his attention earlier. "You are, after all, new to the realm of the invisible."

"But Warren..."

"First of all, that's not 'Warren' on this plane." The faerie rolled his eyes as he hooked his fingers into air quotes around the Gelert's name.

"On this plane? What do you mean?"

The faerie sighed and stood up, wiping his hands on his flowing black robes. "Unlike with other paint brushes, an invisible paintjob doesn't change your appearance, it reveals your true appearance."

"But Warren... whoever you think this is…he can't be both a new chef and a new criminal."

"He can potentially be either." The faerie approached Jinkee once more, his gait light and frolicsome. "Both worlds exist simultaneously, just as both of those newspapers exist simultaneously. In the lower plane, your friend William..."

"Warren."

"Whatever," the faerie replied indulgently. "In the lower plane your supposed friend betrayed you and stole your job as sous-chef at kelp, causing a great sensation and garnering headlines. Were he to visit the Rainbow Pool and become invisible, he would then walk this higher level of existence, closer to the essence of who he really is: a mastermind thief, causing a great sensation and garnering headlines. Don't you recognise the picture?"

Jinkee squinted once more at the front page of the alternate Neopian Times, but shook his head helplessly. "It looks like Warren, but not quite."

"Well, that's because in this realm, he's known as Kanrik."

The Kacheek shook his head with confusion. "I don't think I'm understanding this."

With a supportive arm thrown around the Kacheek's shoulder, the Happiness Faerie began to prompt him toward the now highly polished surface of the paving stone. "I think you will understand a little better once you have a look in the Mirror of True Reflection here."

"The wha..." Jinkee broke off in mid-sentence as he caught sight of himself in the shiny stone. He was struck mute as his reflection showed him to be...

Author: mamasimios
Date: Mar 24th
"Mr... Mr. Chuckles?!" Jinkee exclaimed, taking a step back. "But... I'm petrified of clowns!"

"No," the Happiness Faerie whispered into the Kacheek's ear. "Jingie is petrified of clowns."

"I still don't understand!" cried the Kacheek. "None of this plane stuff makes any sense to me!"

"Oh, I think you'll find it makes perfect sense after we 'visit' the National Neopian," laughed the faerie in a falsely sweet voice.

Jinkee looked down at his paws, at his feet, but all he could see was his shimmering outline, it was only in the Happiness Faerie's mirror that he saw the pink fur of a Neopian criminal...

"This is silly," Jinkee reassured himself. "I'm no clown, I'm just an ex-employee of kelp, a master chef, not a master criminal."

"Oh, you can keep telling yourself that," came the sing-song voice of the Happiness Faerie, "or you can do something about it."

"Like what?"

"Don't you remember our plan?" The faerie pointed a green finger in the direction of the National Neopian's huge wooden door.

Jinkee nodded slowly, his whole body trembling. "I remember... it's just that, well, I still don't know if I'm ok with this..."

"Stop thinking like Jimmie and start thinking like Mr. Chuckles," interjected the Happiness Faerie. "You're him, so it shouldn't be too hard to tap into that."

I'm not him, I hate clowns! the Kacheek thought, his paws curling into fists. This is absurd... but for some reason, I really feel like eating a pie right now.

He cast his gaze around Neopia Central, and instantly the Bakery caught his eyes... and his nose.

"Fine, because my curse depends on it I'll help you," Jinkee began. "But first, we need to make a detour..."

Author: sadinei
Date: Mar 24th
The Happiness Faerie followed Jinkee's hungry, telltale gaze.

"Fine," he agreed cheerfully. "You have precisely 184.7412 seconds to go do your thing; it'll be excellent warmup for our field trip to the bank. I'll meet you back here."

He paused, then added, "Don't be late, now, or things will get messy. All right, Jeffy, go."

Jinkee was so eager to get at those pies that he spared no second thought for this curious last remark. The dilemma of being Mr. Chuckles would have to wait until later.

He hurried across the street, swerving to avoid the rickety wheels of an oncoming cart -- while still relatively new to this parallel universe of invisible and its benefits, he had a feeling he was still liable to be squished, trodden on, or otherwise physically harmed if he was as ignorant as the busy pets were of him.

Only slightly unnerved now at his lack of visible features, Jinkee instinctively grabbed for the bakery door and pushed, noting with satisfaction that as long as he remained like this, he would be allowed to leave fingerprints on the glass without enduring the glare of some idle assistant.

He briefly recalled something about Mr. Chuckles -- no, himself -- and the power to control pies...

In fact, if the Kacheek had actually been a little less ignorant (and more of pastries), he would have noticed the Happiness Faerie's reflection doing a victory dance of sorts.

***

It was a job excellently done, if he did say so himself. The Happiness Faerie stared gleefully at Jinkee's flickering outline vanishing into the bakery. His little puppet was off to fetch the vital creamy props for his great prank, as per the overall plan.

Ah yes, the prank. Of course it wasn't a raid or a mugging or anything like that! How terrible that would be at the National Neopian. Terribly unoriginal, that is.

Besides. The Happiness Faerie's duty was to spread happiness, whether it be by creating a massive mess at the bank on April Fools', throwing twigs at annoying Neopians, or making Kacheeks believe he could lift a curse that never existed.

Or making said Kacheek actually think of himself as some clown villain, thought the faerie as he scooped up the newspaper and wiped his breathtaking drawing of Mr. Chuckles from the paving stone. Such a convincing imitation could only be expected from a faerie with a Ph.D. Never mind in what.

As for Jinny's (or was it Jamison's) real identity on the true plane... well. If it were discovered, that would certainly perk things up.

The Happiness Faerie was about to note the time, and that 180 seconds happened to be up, when he turned to find a pie flying out of nowhere, straight toward his face...

***

At the same time the unseen Jinkee happily left unseen fingerprints on the bakery door and the Happiness Faerie wriggled in a manner he never would have done so on the lower plane, Warren was going through a bad day. The long lines at his current location, the National Neopian, had him practically fuming.

The Gelert threw up his paws in exasperation. His promotion and general usurpation of Jinkee's position hadn't been as wonderful as he'd expected. The boss expected so much of him, he was never tipped enough, and now, to top it all, he was told to buy his own ingredients for the new kelp dishes.

So here he was now, intending to make an unsavoury withdrawal from his bank account to purchase a bit of seaweed on a stick.

As with Jinkee, if he had thought to look more carefully, he would have noticed something odd about his surroundings...

Author: _razcalz_
Date: Mar 25th
***

Meanwhile, Jinkee was busy trying to assume his supposedly true identity -- an evil, pie-throwing clown -- and had sent a pie flying straight toward the Happiness Faerie's face.

"AHHHHHHHH!"

Jinkee grinned, noting with satisfaction that the Happiness Faerie's shrieks were unusually high-pitched and girlish.

"What was that for?!" the Happiness Faerie shrilled, wiping off pieces of the pie's flaky crust and its creamy interior.

"You told me that my real identity is a clown, so..." Jinkee shrugged nonchalantly. "I thought that I'd try being more like one."

"Ha-ha, very funny," the Happiness Faerie huffed. "But... I guess that it could be useful for what we're going to do."

"Oh?" Jinkee raised a brow expectantly.

"Oh, yes!" the Happiness Faerie beamed. He envisioned the moment that he and whatshisname would fling open the doors of the National Neopian, raise their arms, and flick their wrists. Pies would be sent flying toward every snobby employee's and rude customer's face. It would be the perfect revenge for all of the times that someone had cut him off in line or threatened to call the security guards.

"Let's go!" The Happiness Faerie grabbed Jinkee's wrist and dragged him in the direction of the National Neopian. "This is going to be so much fun!" he trilled.

The unlikely pair stopped in front of the National Neopian's intimidatingly large, bright red door. The Happiness Faerie mused that perhaps they wouldn't have the strength to fling open the door, but that what came after their less than grand entrance would be a more than memorable performance. It would be so memorable that it would be recorded by future historians as one of, if not the most, important parts of Neopia's history.

"On the count of three," the Happiness Faerie whispered. "One... Two... THREE!"

The Faerie and Jinkee pushed open the bank's door and stepped inside the packed building. The Faerie immediately began throwing pies, but before Jinkee could join his accomplice, he glimpsed Warren in the crowd. Warren had ducked a well-aimed pie, and when he straightened up, he spotted Jinkee.

Jinkee narrowed his eyes, facing Warren and raising his hand...

Author: lil_miss_sunshine807
Date: Mar 25th
"Jinkee!? What are you doing here!?"

There was an awkward pause, pie halfway risen to meet its creamy fate on that insufferable Gelert's features before the chain of events that had happened so far came thundering back to the Kacheek, finishing with the fact that he should be very much invisible and, judging from his ex-friend's expression, wasn't.

"Y-you can see me!?" he spluttered, forgetting all about the pie in his paws and even momentarily forgetting that Warren had gotten him fired and then had the nerve to steal his job.

The Happiness Faerie, still chucking pies like a crazed carnival Chia, causing screams and even a few giggles throughout the entire bank, didn't seem to notice the lack of aid from his accomplice. Warren merely scowled.

"Of course I can see you, Jinkee!" growled the Gelert, waving his paws in a wild gesture for what could only be for the sake of frustration. "Just WHAT are you doing? Can't you see the line's going slowly enough witho--"

"Wait a minute, you called me Jinkee!"

"Of course I called you Jinkee! That's your name, isn't it?" But Jinkee wasn't listening. Just how could Warren see him? He'd taken a dive into the Rainbow Fountain and turned invisible... entered that bizarre higher plane nonsense and...

Suddenly he saw it. His reflection in the clean glass windows of the National Neopian. He wasn't Mr. Chuckles at all! He was still the plain yellow Kacheek he had always been, only rather uncharacteristically boasting a pie in his right hand. He lowered it. "I... I've been tricked..."

After all, that had to be the only explanation. The Happiness Faerie (though, thought Jinkee bitterly, she... he... IT was certainly far from bringing happiness) had convinced him that his stolen paintjob had worked, and that there was a such thing as a-- what was it?-- higher plane of existence... and most terrible of all, made him believe that he was a Neopian villain! How had he lapped up all of that? How could he currently be raiding a bank with PIES?

And speaking of pies, the screams seemed to have died down. And while the National Neopian now had a delicious coating of cream, he couldn't see the Happiness Faerie anywhere. And what was more, a shout from behind him informed Jinkee that the baker he had just stolen from was quite aware that Jinkee WASN'T invisible.

Realisation hit him like a pie to the face. "Warren! We don't have time! I think someone's going to rob the bank!"

Warren, who had been about to blather on about how the queue being so long as well as having to buy his own ingredients was just the start of what he could only describe as a curse, jumped as the Kacheek grabbed his arm. "NOW what's got into you? Don't tell me--" Looking over Jinkee's shoulder at the angry baker he started. "You STOLE all these pies?"

Jinkee shook his head wildly. "Now's not the time! I just KNOW someone's here to rob the bank... and actually, I know just who the someone is!"

Warren, who had been struggling in the Kacheek's grip, suddenly gave up, letting himself be pulled down the hall of the bank, trying in vain to avoid puddles of pie. "What do you mean, you KNOW?"

"I should have known it all along! And I think I have a pretty good idea of what he's planning. But first... you have to help me..."

Author: chernobyl44
Date: Mar 26th
"...what do you need?" asked Warren, concerned more for Jinkee's sanity than anything else. "And can you quit hovering that pie around like you're about to smack someone upside the head with it --"

"I'm going to smack you with it if you don't shut up. Listen to me," Jinkee bit out in an undertone, warily backing away from the furious baker and the Skeith security guards who were appearing silently at all exits to investigate the commotion.

"Warren -- there's some sort of... of thing walking around, calling itself the Happiness Faerie, but I really don't think it's the Happiness Faerie at all, I think it's Sloth, and he's about to pull something..."

"Rob the National Neopian? Are you kidding me? Did you see the size of those guards?"

"He -- he was going to use me as a distraction, I kind of went crazy with pies thanks to him, but you snapped me out of it..."

Warren treated Jinkee to such an intensely sceptical look that Jinkee actually felt his fur curl away in embarrassment.

"He tricked me into thinking I was Mr. Chuckles, okay? It's a long story. Trust me. You don't want to hear it."

"Right. I absolutely do not want to hear it. Also, I think you're crazy."

"Thanks, Warren..."

"No problem... so what's the plan?"

"Well -- we're going to need the baker to cooperate..."

***

Crime was so easy that there was no challenge any more, Sloth reflected as he skipped his merry faerie way down the hall to the vaults. Sloth had to resort to dressing like an escaped inmate of the Meepit Oaks Sanitarium to actually see some nice nefarious criminal action. He did like the flower basket, though... might have potential as an implement of Grundo-clobbering if appropriately weighted with Kreludan rocks.

Now that his hapless minion was disseminating chaos in the bank's main hall in the form of cream pies (so classy!), Sloth was free to help himself to vast quantities of Neopian gold to finance the installation of a private wave pool in his Space Station.

Sloth paused at the sight of the National Neopian vault's stupendous locking mechanism.

Then he started to giggle.

Only because he was still dressed as the Happiness Faerie, though, because giggling was extremely unmanly and un-Slothy behaviour, and he would do it under no other circumstances.

As Sloth took out a Slothpick X9877 -- a lock pick of his own creation, patent pending -- he reflected that it was cute, really, the way the bank tried to keep the likes of him out with locks. He had a Ph.D. in Horribleness and a Masters in General Criminal Endeavours, after all. Locks, ha ha.

Sloth inserted the Slothpick into the vault's mechanism and wiggled it around expertly. They might have attempted something a bit more challenging or original.

"Like cream pies," muttered Sloth quietly to the vault.

"Exactly like cream pies," replied a voice.

That was when Sloth was smacked upside the head with a large and glutinous mass of lactose byproducts moving at high velocity...

...followed by flying tackles by two dozen heavily armed Skeiths.

***

The Pelting of Sloth was instated as a half-day holiday at the National Neopian, with the afternoon dedicated to re-enactments and Happiness Faerie costume contests.

In the years following this creaming of epic proportions, it became tradition to serve cream pie to all clients who visited the week of the Great Pieing.

The baking business boomed, and the baker was pleased -- but none was more pleased than his establishment's new manager, Jinkee, who was now not only a master chef but a master pastry chef, with a specialisation in (extremely throwable) cream pies of every variety.

And let us not forget the Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity, which now holds a position of honour in the front window, smiling its quiet smile at hungry customers among cupcakes, creampuffs, cookies, and the other things that make life sweet.

The End

Author: larkspurlane
Date: Mar 26th



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