Once Upon a Time, There Was a Cliche
Curono sat there, in his small cage, amusing himself with
thoughts of how horrible his life was. Sure, it wasn't so horrible by many standards,
but the trouble was, it was. For him, anyway-- many others might have been just
fine with a life like his. But then again, if you'd gone though what Curono had,
He couldn't prove to anyone that his life had
been so bad-- mainly, due to the fact that he had a case of the common amnesia.
The only thing he could remember before he came down with it was that he had
an evil twin. And that someone, somewhere must have painted him Island, because
sure enough, he was an Island Peophin. And also, he deduced, someone, somewhere--
probably that same person-- must have dumped him in the pound. Because, sure
enough, he was in the pound, an Island Peophin, with amnesia. He didn't hate
the pound so much, since he didn't have anywhere else to compare it to. No,
he didn't hate the pound, but he hated that his life had brought him there.
Not because it was so rough to be brought there, but actually, because it was
so horribly cliché.
His life was cliché. The amnesia, the evil twin,
the "I'm a painted pet trapped in the pound!" thing. All of it, all of it would
make any writer cringe. Though he was no writer, it made him cringe, too. He
really would have wished to be a morbid, miserable mutant, sleeping in a dump,
as long as it wasn't so cliché. Oh yeah, and as long as the people around him
weren't so stereotyped.
"Like, there goes another owner," said his cellmate,
PriccEPi252 the prissy Gelert, "and he, like, totally ignored me. Puh-leaze,
what isn't there to like about my, like, totally cute face?"
Curono sighed. He would've preferred a violent,
bloodsucking monster over her as a cellmate. At least it wouldn't be so cliché.
Okay, so maybe it would be. Maybe some normal sort of pet with anger issues,
always willing to beat the dung out of Curono-- he would've preferred THAT over
her. But it didn't look like he had much of a choice.
"Like, are you listening to me, Curono?" she
sighed, "Because you are, like, totally phased out! Humph. I'm going to, like,
do my nails again!"
He didn't really care. He just wanted out, out
of this stinking place, but not in a way that was cliché. He couldn't make himself
leave like that, even if he got the chance. Unfortunately, the chance didn't
wait for him to take it-- it bit him in the tail.
CRASH! POP POP POP! SLAM! GAH! RRRNNGH! TEAR!
Out of nowhere in particular, the pound exploded
violently, the whole front of the building ripping open from a massive explosion.
And, out of nowhere, mutant Grundos charged in, their goal in mind. In the explosion,
Curono's cage had been torn in half, and if he had chosen to, he could've slipped
right out of the whole scene, easy as Meerca pie, and safe a deposit box . But
he just couldn't, mainly due to the fact that there was Grarrl commanding all
the mutant Grundos, who were grabbing pets left and right, putting them in sacks,
and remorselessly cackling with no sign of emotion. Curono wasn't scared, no,
he was far too stubborn for that. He just couldn't bare the thought of how cliché
this was, especially with the stereotypical minions, the evil Grarrl, the petnapping--
and so he sat there, obstinately mumbling under his breath.
But he only mumbled for a little bit longer,
because shortly thereafter a green hand reached into his torn cage.
"No, please no, don't take me like this…" he
"Must follow orders," the Grundo droned, "Master
commands me to."
"Wouldn't you rather like to do things… y'know…
like, eat lollipops and dance at parties, than capture me and act stereotypical?"
The Grundo shrugged. The point didn't get across.
Probably because he had already put Curono into his sack, and wasn't listening
at all. Curono was hauled across the expanse between the creature's master and
it, the whole time mumbling obstinately to himself about the unfairness of his
life. He really didn't give a rip that he was captured, it just bothered him
by who he was captured by. Soon the sack, and him with it, hit the ground hard.
Actually, it was the back of a cart, so it hurt a little more than dirt.
"Let's go, minions, we must take the prisoners
to our destination," cried what Curono could only assume was their leader, probably
a Grarrl, Skeith, or Buzz.
A vague "Yes, Master!" went out from the minions,
though Curono almost thought they were saying "Bless faster!", something more
appropriate for a Faerie quest than an overlord…
Hours later, they arrived at their destination.
Curono's bag was once again lifted, carried, and dropped down, this time on
stone. It was a good thing he had 19 HP, because that fall took about 14 out,
plus two more for discomfort. Finally, after all this time, he was removed from
He was in a cave, along with all the other pets
that had been captured, the minions, captains, and now, the overlord of all.
The overlord was a Skeith, dressed in pitch-black garb, sitting in a chair adorned
by bones. His eyes were full of malice, his expressions full of bad writing.
"MWUAHAHAHAHAHAH!" he bellowed loudly, "NEOPIA
SHALL BE MINE TO RULE-- FOREVER!"
All his minions bowed, all the pets trembled,
but an obstinate voice interrupted his cackling.
"That's so cliché…" Curono called, "But what
did I expect?"
The overlord gasped at the pet that dared to
defy his might. He motioned for one of his minions to bring the Peophin closer
to the throne.
"What did you say, little pet," he said, trying
to sound evil and frightening, and frankly, doing a darn good job, "Do you want
to see my power? Do you want to feel the teeth of the great beasts I posses?
Little Neopet, you are--"
Curono cut him off.
"Man, this is pathetic…" he mumbled aloud, "But
sure, with a life like mine, what have I to lose? Bring 'em on, fat boy, bring
'em on in droves. Oh yeah, and make sure it's the starved ones that go after
me first, as to cause massive amounts of pain."
The tyrant could hardly believe his senses.
A Neopet was resisting him, resisting him like there was no tomorrow. He looked
at his pocket calendar, and indeed, there was a tomorrow. Sure enough, there
were tomorrows for some time to come. The Neopet obviously didn't have a pocket
calendar like his.
"You shall feel the pain of destruction soon,
oh yes, so soon… I will have your--" the wannabe-overlord was cut off once more
"Couldn't you be a little less cliché, DARN
IT?" he cried, "I mean, everything about my whole life has been this way, everything,
and I'm sick of it, SICK OF IT! Can't you just do something to me and stop demonstrating
how stereotypically evil you are? PLEASE? Aw, forget it, forget it all, I'm
But before he could make a futile attempt at
escape, something happened. There was a blinding flash of light, one that you
knew wasn't just light, but probably really shiny light, magical light, or some
other kind of light entirely. Right after everyone's eyes reopened, they beheld
three faeries flying above them.
"We are here to rescue," cried the Light Faerie.
"Here to protect," cried the Earth Faerie.
"I thought we were here to save them?" asked
the Air Faerie awkwardly.
"Sheesh," the Light Faerie sighed, "there goes
the intro. Just get the pets to safety…"
And with that, magic blasts went everywhere,
wrapping around pets and bringing them into the sky. The overlord's face had
a pasted "NOT THAT!" look, and his minions had a "There goes that gig," look
on theirs. Needless to say, the pets were thrilled, save one. Curono.
"No, no, not like this!" he sobbed, "Please
no! This is totally Deus Ex Machina, cliché, pathetic…"
"Um, we're saving you, what do you care?" asked
the Air Faerie like he had just said something insane, which he pretty much
"It's not like that! And please, make this magic
thing let go of me!" he begged, "But, uh, let it lower me first, because dropping
from here won't be too much fun…"
"Look, like, you're weird, and like, we can't
do that, because… Time to get going!" the Air Faerie responded, then started
flying, trailing the pets behind her, along with the other two faeries.
Curono decided that remaining obstinate would
work just as well as being released.
As all the pets flew off, the Skeith couldn't
help but think of that crazy Peophin. There was something strangely familiar
about the pet, something he couldn't shake… then he remembered, just before
they left earshot.
"Peophin, I am your FATHER!" he cried at the
top of his lungs, then breathed in heavily.
Curono heard him. The rest of the trip went
well with him passed out, gliding through the clouds…
Unfortunately, they were only free of his obstinate
presence for so long. About an hour later, in a rugged part of Neopia Central,
not far from Faerieland, he woke up. The party had stopped in a clearing, smack-dab
in the middle of the woods, just to make sure there weren't any Dark Faeries
following them. There weren't. Curono sat up, bewildered, confused, and quite
frankly, ticked off.
"Where's that guy who said he was my father?"
he mumbled, scratching his head with his hoof (a pretty interesting thing to
"Way," said the Light Faerie, "way, way back
there. Totally left him behind."
Curono wondered what the dung was going on.
"What the dung is going on?" he demanded.
After the Faeries explained everything about
their journey, motives, destination and goal, Curono put his head in his hoof,
which was pretty painful.
"Please, don't take me to Faerieland, don't
save me like this…" he begged, "Please, leave me here to be… stuck! I don't
care! Just not this, not like this…"
His case was so pathetic, confusing, and just
plain bizarre, the Faeries decided that they couldn't bear to bring him any
farther, because he was so annoying. Therefore, they left him there with no
provisions, nothing, nothing but a "Goodbye, obstinate one…" and a wave from
all the other rescued pets.
He heaved a sigh of relief. He was in fairly
unknown territory, with no provisions, very little hope of living, and darned
happy. He decided to get the heck out of the clearing, and get the heck into
the forest, just because he thought that was the only interesting thing to do.
So he did so.
Right next to a stream he stopped, marveled
at the beauty of the trees making a canopy above him, and sat down. The stream
trickled quietly; the trees let the wind through softly. He became lost in thought
about mostly philosophical dung. It suddenly occurred to him that there was
nothing cliché about the moment. Nothing. Nothing at all. And so he decided
to take full advantage of that.
"THE END" he said to no one in particular,
hoping it really would be the end, and nothing cliché would happen.
"Is not!" said a voice from behind a tree, one
that startled him.
"WHAT? First of all, it is THE END, and
secondly, who are YOU?" he said, baffled by the voice.
A young Kacheek stepped out from behind the
tree, nodded his head, bowed down, and responded.
"If you say it is so, it is so," he said reverently,
"oh great one."
Curono didn't like the sound of this at all.
He also noticed that the young pet was dressed in medieval clothing, but not
that of Meridell. It didn't look good.
"'Oh great one'?" he stuttered, "Please tell
me I'm not 'the chosen one', that will 'deliver you all from evil'."
"How did you know that?" the Kacheek asked,
astonished, "You must truly be the great one to know so many things…"
Curono's face drooped. He stuck his head in
the stream. He made some gurgling noises. He gurgled some more. He banged his
head on a rock. It hurt.
"Why, why, why, why…" he gurgled, "WHY ME? WHY
ME? Oh curse it all, curse it all…"
The Kacheek looked confused, and ran quickly
to the nearby castle, as Curono continued gurgling, banging his head on things,
In a few minutes, the Kacheek brought back two
knights, the king, a royal scribe, and a mage. None of them knew quite what
to make of the scene they saw. They decided they would just do what they had
planned to do.
"Oh chosen one," called the king to the gurgling
maniac, trying to sound as formal as possible, "as I'm sure you know, we are
in great distress. We know only you can bring the land to its rightful balance,
oh chosen one! Save us, we beg of you, chosen one!"
He continued gurgling, banging, and mumbling
"DREE WEND" when he could, or for those who don't speak gurglian, "THE
END" He stopped after a few minutes.
"I'm not the chosen one, now go away," he said
"But the signs say you are, oh chosen one, the
chosen one," the mage responded.
Curono gurgled one more time for good measure,
then obstinately went along with them to the castle. It was rough being him.
They brought him to the high court, the royal
chamber, the-place-where-all-the-big-folks-go. The king got back on his throne,
the mage at his side, and everyone else in their proper places. Curono was brought
to the center.
"Oh great one," the king bellowed, "our fair
kingdom is in distress."
"Heard it before…" the Peophin complained.
"We know, oh great one, because you are all-knowing,
that that is why you know our troubles already," the king said reverently, "but
we will tell you the rest to make sure you know everything. A dark kingdom assails
us, one driven by evil, and malice, with no redeeming qualities, seemingly for
no reason. Actually, it is for no reason, save being evil. As I was saying,
oh great one, they're trying to destroy our fair kingdom. However, there is
one thing that can save us-- the Amulet. Only the chosen one can find it, retrieve
it, and save the kingdom, oh chosen one, and I think you know where you come
"So, I get the amulet?" he sighed.
Everyone in the court 'Ooh'ed, and 'Ahh'ed at
"Yes, chosen one, you must get the Amulet, defeat
some things, and save us forever!" cried the king enthusiastically.
"This is pathetic," Curono said bitterly.
No one in the court knew what to do, and they
all looked at each other nervously.
"But I'll do it, even though it's horribly cliché,
just because I have absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, better to do," he
This made everyone much more at ease, and they
soon kicked him out and waved goodbye, saying that he would deliver them from
evil, save them, etc.
He wondered why no one had told him which way
the evil kingdom was. Then he saw a huge plum of smoke rising from the east,
some freakish dragons circling the sky, massive dark clouds, lightning, a giant
volcano, heard some tortured screams, and finally, just to complete the scene,
a massive castle towering into the sky, black iron and all. He wondered how
the heck no one had discovered it yet. Then he remembered it was probably protected
by some dark curse, or something equally cliché.
He supposed he needed to head off in that direction.
And yet something told him he shouldn't. It was himself. He wondered if he should
just head for the shore, through the many forests, instead, try to get picked
up by a boat, and taken back to Neopia central. Unsurprisingly, something very,
very cliché happened.
On one side of him, a Halloween Aisha popped
up. On the other side of him, a Christmas Zafara.
"You've got the right idea," said the Aisha,
"who cares about them?"
"No," said the shining Zafara, " you must fulfil
"No," retorted the Aisha, "he needs to do whatever
"Not if it isn't right!" she reasoned.
"The only thing that's right, is what you want
to do," the Aisha argued.
"No, it's what your destiny calls you to do!"
she said sappily.
"Destiny is a way of saying whim," he retorted.
"Hey," Curono interrupted, "guess what?"
"What?" the two pets said in unison.
He knocked them both on the head with either
hoof. They both fell like potato sacks.
"If there's one thing I hate," he said with
the feeling of a job well done, "it's other pets telling me how to run my life.
Especially if they’re figments of my conscience."
He continued towards the sea, leaving the kingdom
After wandering for many hours, he reached the
shoreline. Apparently, it wasn't well known, because there was no one there.
Nothing on the water, except a message in a bottle. The message floated up to
him a landed on the shore. He sighed at the ridicule of it, then opened it to
read the contents. It read:
HELP! I'm stuck on an island, and there are
all these natives, and I think they’re going to cook me, and they have forks
out, and there's this big pot, and they're motioning for me to get in it, and…
nevermind, I'm dinner. Oh well, I guess I'll chuck this into the sea to waste
Curono sighed, stomped the message into the
sand, and stared across the sea. It was boringly bleak. Since nothing was really
happening, he decided this wasn't a terribly cliché moment.
"THE END" he said with authority.
Nothing ended. He tried it a few more times.
Nope, no luck.
Then he spotted a boat. It was a ship, actually.
It was a pirate ship, way off in the distance, and he could hear them singing
an old pirate song. He didn't want them to pick him up, not because he was afraid
of pirates, but because they were always so cliché. So he just sat there…
After the pirate ship was long gone, nearly
an hour later, there was another boat he saw coming straight for shore. It looked
like many other boats, and it was coming right for him. Why, he didn't know,
but at this point, he really didn't care.
It came and landed on the shore, and out came
an owner. She looked at Curono.
"You're the perfect pet," she said, startling
him, "and I'm your perfect owner. Get in the boat."
Without a word, he hopped in the boat, and they
drove off into the sunset.
"Um, how'd you know where I was?" he asked,
"Simple," she smiled, "I just followed my heart!"
Curono vomited over the side of the boat.
"Um, it's just going to end like this, isn't
it?" he murmured.
"Yup," she smiled.
"And we're going to live happily ever after?"
"Of course," she said in her perky way.
"And I don't even know your name?" he continued.
"Nope," she beamed. He vomited again.
And they all lived happily ever after… except
for Curono, who was fairly obstinate, and really ticked that he lived happily
ever after. So therefore, he didn't, and was thus happy, in which case he did,
and was thus not happy… Therefore, Curono lived paradoxically and obstinately
ever after. THE END (And this ain't Curono talkin')