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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Eating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 88 > Short Stories > The Vullard’s Claw

The Vullard’s Claw

by battlesunn

Ezanna, a black and white scaled Krawk, panted heavily as he ran along the road to Neoschool. He was late, a good fifteen minutes late. It wasn’t his fault! Zarrelian, The Krawk’s demonic little brother, had been tampering with his alarm clock, and it didn’t ring at all. When Ezanna finally awoke, it was ten minutes past the time that Neoschool began.

     Ezanna’s pastel green knapsack slapped against his scales as he ran, his tongue lolling unpleasantly out of his mouth. He breasted a small hill, and saw, off in the distance, the Neoschool rising out of the morning mist, like some great, stone beacon.

     Ezanna, whose narrowed yellow eyes were seeing only the Neoschool, didn’t notice the old Quiggle that was hobbling along directly parallel to the galloping Krawk. A collision was inevitable. With a loud bang! Ezanna and the Quiggle crashed, tumbling to the ground in a tangled heap.

     Normally, Ezanna was quite a polite gentlekrawk, but this morning he was feeling especially miffed, and didn’t even bother to apologize or help the old Pet up off the ground. The angry and frustrated Krawk hopped up off the sidewalk and glared at the Quiggle, who was moaning and rubbing a small bump on his head.

     "Doddering old fool!" Ezanna spat, dusting himself off irritably. "Can’t you watch where you’re going?" Disgusted, the Krawk whirled around on his heel and began to stomp off towards the Neoschool, cursing under his breath. Quite suddenly, a hoarse voice cut through the air, catching Ezanna’s ears and attention.

     "Wait, sonny! I reckon I should give you something… After all, I have postponed your journey to Neoschool, eh?"

     Ezanna slowly turned his skunk-scaled head in the direction of the old Quiggle, and raised a brow slightly.

     "A gift, huh? What did you have in mind?" he asked, regarding the old Pet suspiciously. The Quiggle nodded and flashed the Ezanna a grin, his teeth yellow and cracked with age. He shoved a hand into his moldy green robes and drew out a very strange looking object. The Quiggle’s eyes wavered over to the object, then he tossed to it Ezanna, still grinning.

     "It’s a Vullard’s Claw…" the Quiggle rasped, picking himself up off the ground and drawing up his robes. Ezanna dropped the claw and wretched, a disgusted expression playing across his reptilian features.

     "Ugh, that’s horrible! Take it back, I don’t want it!" he snarled, shouldering his knapsack. The Quiggle chuckled huskily, retrieving the claw from the ground and giving it back to the irritated Krawk.

     "It isn’t real, it’s carved out of wood… Wood that was taken from a branch of the Brain Tree himself! It’s a very powerful magical relic, and it can grant the holder three wishes."

     Ezanna accepted the claw and smirked, shoving it inside his pockets. "Three wishes, huh? Well, that ought to come in useful." The Krawk turned back to the Neoschool and began jogging in its direction, but not before he heard the strange old Quiggle calling after him,

     "Be careful what you wish for; it just might come true!"


Ezanna walked into class twenty minutes late, and his teacher, a usually kind and cheerful Grarrl, was forced to give him a detention. The Krawk slumped into his seat and watched as his teacher scribbled a bunch of mathematical notes on the blackboard, droning on and on about fractions and Pi and other dull, boring things. Ezanna stifled a yawn and reached into his knapsack, drawing out the Vullard’s claw. It didn’t look particularly exceptional. The Krawk glanced at the day’s schedule. He had gym next period, and would have to run the obstacle course. Ezanna snorted angrily and buried his face in his arms, doodling absent-mindedly in his notebook.

     Sixty long, dull, minutes later, the bell finally rang, releasing Ezanna and all the other students from the treacherous bounds of math class. The Krawk trudged over to his locker and deposited his math textbook, wincing as the loud clang of book on metal rang through his head, causing his headache to pound with even more ferocity.

     As if in a daze, Ezanna traveled through the maze of hallways and corridors before he finally reached the gym, where he met his bad tempered teacher, a Poogle called Mr. Fangburn, whose bite was a Juppie of a lot worse than his bark. Upon seeing the bag-eyed Krawk, the Poogle snorted and pointed a paw over to the massive obstacle course that dominated the entire gym.

     "Go to the starting line, Ezanna. You’ll be racing against Siricco."

     Ezanna groaned. It was just his luck that he had to race the fastest pet in class! Siricco, a fire Lupe, padded over to the starting line and pawed the ground in anticipation, flashing Ezanna a grin. The Krawk rolled his eyes and stalked over to the starting line before suddenly remembering something. Acting more on impulse than common sense, Ezanna reached into his bag and pulled out the Vullard’s claw. Feeling somewhat silly, The Krawk concentrated on the claw and said,

     "I wish I could beat Siricco in the obstacle course race." To his immense shock, the gnarled relic seemed to wriggle in his hands and burn hotly for a second. With a yelp, Ezanna dropped the claw back into his bag, staring in horror at the strange object.

     "Come on Ezanna! Shake a leg!" Siricco snarled, her bushy tail frisking from some to side in agitation. The Krawk shook his head, blinked, and returned to the starting line, wondering if maybe, just maybe, he would win. Mr. Fangburn blew his whistle shrilly, and the race began.

     Siricco took an early lead, but Ezanna was hot on her heels. They made it through the tires pretty easily, but then, on the rope ladder, Siricco gave a shriek and went tumbling down, her paw badly sprained. Ezanna hardly noticed. He continued his ascent up the ropes, jogged down the upturned benches, wove around the cones, and crossed the finish line, winning the race.


Ezanna proudly pawed the medal that hung around his scaly neck. He had won it fair and square… Well, actually, he hadn’t. He had tried to deny it at first, but he knew that he had only won because Siricco had fallen and sprained her paw. And she had only fallen and sprained her paw because of… The Vullard’s claw. Ezanna gingerly reached a paw into his bag, pulling it out.

     The Krawk shuddered, allowing his mind to linger on the mysterious object. His thoughts were interrupted by a bout of sudden, shrill laughter. Ezanna turned to the doorway of the room. Sure enough, there stood Zarrelian, the maniacal Halloween Ixi. Zarrelian was Ezanna’s little brother, and he was unbelievably annoying. The Krawk glared at the Ixi, who was still chortling and holding his sides with unrestrained laughter.

     "Heehee, hey Ez, how late were you? How long was your detention? Heeheehoohaha!" Zarrelian sniggered, grinning at the enraged Krawk. Ezanna grabbed a stapler from his backpack and chucked it at Zarrelian, who merely ducked and trotted out of the room, still laughing hysterically. The stapler hit the wall with a loud clang, and then slid down to land in a crumpled heap on the floor. Ezanna glanced at the wall; a large black mark had formed where the stapler had hit it. The Krawk crossed his arms over his chest and growled angrily in his throat.

     "Stupid Ixi! I wish I didn’t have a little brother!"

     He didn’t realize that he was still holding the Vullard’s claw.

     A sudden wriggling movement under Ezanna’s claws and a quick, red-hot jolt that seared through his hand reminded him of the relic that he still clasped tightly in his paws. The Krawk’s mouth dropped open.

     "Oh man… Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no…"

     Ezanna leapt up off the couch and skidded up the staircase, charging into Zarrelian's room. Or at least, what used to be Zarrelian’s room. What was once a room filled with Plushies, unused Battledome items, posters of GoldenRhino and Myyth, and stale Mallard treats was now just an empty storage space. Ezanna could feel his heart pumping under his scaly chest. He turned away from the empty room and ran over to the kitchen, where Shelleylou, a shadowed Gelert, sat, reading a book. The Krawk hurried over to Shelly and jabbed her in her paw.

     "Shelly! Where’s Zarrelian?" he asked, his eyes wide and frantic. Shelly looked confused.

     "Zarrelian? Who’s he?" she asked, cocking a brow. Ezanna whimpered.

     "He’s our little brother! At least… He was."

     Shelly snorted and rolled her eyes. "Our only little brother is Mordegan, Ezanna. You know that." She glared at the panicky Krawk. "Now don’t bother me, Ezanna. I’m trying to read." Shelly turned away from Ezanna and buried her nose back into the book.

     Ezanna rubbed his temples feverishly, his claws clicking on the kitchen’s tiled floor as he paced up and down the room, racking his brain for a solution. Suddenly, he thought of one.

     "Of course! The Quiggle said three wishes! I still have one left!"

     In a fit of desperation, Ezanna turned and galloped swiftly back into the living room, where his bag still sat, resting against the couch. The Krawk threw himself down onto his knees and rummaged through his bag, shifting papers, pencils and notes until he finally found it. He pulled the claw out, glaring at it. Ezanna closed his eyes, held the claw at an arm’s length and said, in a strong clear voice,

     "I wish that I never ran into the old Quiggle. I should’ve helped him up and I’m very sorry. I wish that none of this ever happened."

     Once again, the claw writhed and burned under Ezanna’s hand, except this time, there was a flash of bright light and the Krawk was thrown to the ground. He lay there for a few seconds before he finally ventured to open his eyes. He was still sprawled on the living room floor. He felt his neck and sighed in relief, the medal was gone. Siricco had won it, like she should have. He glanced at the area of the wall where the stapler had hit, but the black mark had vanished. He ran up to Zarrelian’s room and saw, to his immense relief, that it still held all the usual plushies, Battledome items, posters and Mallard treats that it had before. Zarrelian was also sitting on the bed, still chortling over his joke.

     There was still one more thing to check. Ezanna ran back down to the living room and tore his bag wide open, searching for the claw. It was gone. However, Ezanna did find a small note hidden amongst the many papers and pencils in the bag. With shaky claws, he opened it up and read the messily printed words.

     "Be careful what you wish for."

The End

Week 88 Related Links

The Draik Also Coaches Neo-soccer: Part Three
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"Yeesh, you’ve got to take a bath, or jump in Illusen’s springs or something, because you smell awful!" the Ixi spat.

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