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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 89 > Short Stories > Swirlyhorn: Hoof Horror

Swirlyhorn: Hoof Horror

by apparent

The warm, sunny weather embraced the citizens of Neopia one afternoon; the sky was perfectly cloudless and Dwarf trees swaying with every slight breeze. After a full day of school, the siblings, Jyrosen, Saigru, and Krawker_oth helped with some gardening behind their NeoHome that was still under construction. Each picked up a bush of Rowzez, out of the pile picked up from the Gardening Center, and began planting them along the border of the small plot of land.

     Their older sister, Swirlyhorn, arrived home from Neoschool later then usual. She trudged through the backyard on two hooves, due to the fact that two cardboard boxes were clutched within her grasp. Krawker, the first to notice is sister's arrival, waved one of his claws that were covered with a gardening glove. The Uni smiled and headed towards her brothers.

     Worriedly, she asked, "Where's mom?"

     Jyrosen looked up, his green eyes twinkling with a slight feeling of mischief. "She's inside, talking about how much trouble you're in for being late today."

     Saigru brushed past and grabbed another stalk of Rowzez, blithely humming a tune to himself. Swirlyhorn frowned - she could never count on her brothers to get her out of any kind of trouble. Nearby, a Lenny took perch within a tree, chirping a delightful song. She turned and headed the way that she came, steadily advancing towards the front door of her home. Once her destination was reached, Swirlyhorn released a nervous sigh.

     "Well, here goes nothing."

     Using one of her free hooves the nervous Neopet opened the front door, slipping inside cautiously. As previously stated, her owner was sitting in the living room, writing up a grocery list. Swirlyhorn closed the wooden door behind her, and then headed towards her owner with a timid greet, "Hey, mom."

     Apparent smiled and waved her pen in her 'pet's direction. "Hello, Swirlyhorn. Mind telling me why you were so late coming home from school today?"

     Swirlyhorn gulped and nodded, the skin underneath her fur pounding with sweat. "Yes, I was just about to. You see my friend, Rhiiae, has a good friend who works at the Pharmacy. We wanted to set a trend at school so the worker customized these Step out Shoes for us to wear."

     She set the two boxes onto the table in front of the couch, removing the lids and then slowly taking the shoes out of their containers. Apparent squinted and then raised an eyebrow at the sight of the shoes. Personally, her owner thought they looked ridiculous: pink step out shoes (that probably couldn't sell) that were ruined due to the fact that a circular mold was placed in the middle of each shoe, creating a hoof-like shape so that an Uni could find it easily worn for purposes other then medicine. A blue pair was placed next to the pink pair, which was probably cheaply painted that color. Whoever customized the shoes made each pair equivalent to four, for easy walking for the Neopet.

     Swirlyhorn intently waited for a response, nibbling at her bottom lip with worry. She thought that the shoes were the best looking things in the world, and that it wouldn't hurt to get a couple more pairs. After a few minutes of silence, Apparent managed to respond without bursting into a fit of laughter, "Err.. Swirlyhorn, yeah, those are pretty nice! Just uh.. don't wear them too much or else your friends will feel intimidated by your cute sense of style."

     "So, I can wear them to school?" Swirlyhorn inquired, her eyes widening with excitement.

     "Sure, you can try them out for a few days."

     Swirlyhorn yipped and jumped into the air, squealing with excitement towards her owner's response of approval. "Whoo! Thanks, mom!" She grinned and yanked her shoes off of the table, dashing towards her bedroom.

     Apparent made sure the coast was clear before she burst out into a fit of laughter on her couch. "Oh goodness, what did she get herself into this time?"


The next morning at school, Swirlyhorn and her friend entered the building, sporting their customized high heels proudly. In their perspective, they looked like the next movie stars. However, the staff of the school saw them as two students gone crazy who needed guidance counseling. Whenever either of them walked down the hallway, their shoes made an annoying 'CLONK!' sound on the tiled floor. Students stared at them in awe, wondering where they managed to get customized shoes.

     The day dragged on, both Swirlyhorn and Rhiiae blissfully accompanied by their new shoes. Some Neopets asked, "Where'd you get those?" "Are they unreleased?" and others inquired, "Are you CRAZY?!" accompanied by the weird expressions of teachers. Swirlyhorn looked the most ridiculous at the most. Her height was already pretty high, but with the heeled shoes on she could easily compare with the Monceraptor.

     When the end of the day bell rang, the two friends exited the school, feeling pretty stylish, their shoes making a rhythmic 'clank, clonk, clink!' pattern as they bounded upon the tiled floor and out the school building. The teachers and staff were relieved.

     Upon her arrival at home Swirlyhorn posed for her brothers, who were also stricken with an expression somewhat like, 'what in Neopia is the matter with her?' while being forced to watch their older sister pose in the sunlight.

     "I just look darling, don't I?" She asked, puckering her lips happily. "This is the greatest day ever. These shoes make a whole new ME."

     At night, Swirlyhorn took off her shoes and set them next to her bed. She noticed the soles of her hooves felt a little sore, probably from wearing her shoes for the first time. "I hope this pain doesn't persist," she sighed and then laid down for a night's rest.

     The next day was basically the same. Swirlyhorn and Rhiiae stormed into the school with their clankety-clank shoes, drawing attention from everyone in the building. The teachers exchanged worried glances, and students stared curiously. At night, Swirlyhorn would remove her hooves, and notice they were little sorer then they were the night before. However, she acted mindless, shrugged it off, and continued her patter with her friend. Their shoes were worn for a period of two weeks, every other day they'd wear their pink shoes, then the blue, then the pink again.

     Unfortunately Apparent received numerous complaints from the teachers on her answering machine, and responded to each of them carefully. Due to too many people that were unhappy with the situation, Swirlyhorn's owner pleaded her to use the shoes for three more days. Without much of a choice her Neopet accepted.

     On the evening of the third day, when returning home from school, Swirlyhorn sat on the couch began to get ready to have her afternoon snack. She tossed her backpack onto the floor, and then tried to shake her shoes off her forepaws. Shaking and shaking with all of her might, the shoes didn't budge. Flustered, the Uni cried, "Ow, c'mon you stupid shoes! Get off of my hooves!"

     There she sat for thirty minutes, refusing any help, trying to shake off her customized step out shoes that were seemingly glued onto her body. Nothing worked.

     Her efforts to remove the shoes with her hooves failed, and Swirlyhorn had one last choice: to cut them off. Later the same evening Apparent (accompanied by her curious siblings) cautiously snipped at the shoes with blue Cybunny scissors.

     Swirlyhorn watched scornfully as her seemingly beautiful shoes were snipped at the sides, allowing her to pull her infected hooves out of each of them.

     The first to notice the problem with her hooves was Jyrosen, who gagged and plugged his nose with horror. "Ew! What is that horrible smell?"

     Saigru sniffed at the air and coughed, as Krawker_oth ran crying out of the room. Swirlyhorn looked down at her hooves and was not happy with what she saw. Her hooves had morphed to a red color, with black dents here and there due to the infection. At the sole of each hoof she noticed a small rash, pink colored, due to the color of the shoes.

     When the Uni looked up her two brothers had fled the room and the only person still there was her owner, who also had her nose covered. "Oh, Swirlyhorn, I should've known those shoes were no good. Come upstairs and take a bath."

     Painfully, the Uni nodded while swallowing her tears, and slowly walked towards the bathroom with the guidance of her owner. Each time she stepped upon the ground a horrible shock shot up each hoof, resulting in a cry of pain. She wished that she hadn't ever worn those shoes to school so much. Carefully, she set a bath (with extra soap inside of it) and scrubbed vigorously at her hooves.

     An hour later, the Uni retreated from the bathroom. Her cheeks were stained with tears at the unsuccessful attempt to restore the health back into her hooves.

     "Give it some time, overnight it should heal." Apparent reassured.

     But the next morning the hooves were worse. Swirlyhorn was unable to walk at all, and she stayed home from school, sick. Apparent became worried and tried dozens of remedies to try and heal the painful, cracked hooves, but all failed.

     "We'll have to call Dr. Gelert."

     And so it was done. The Doctor entered the Uni's bedroom, greeted by the foul aroma that graced the air. His examination was quick (stinky air can do a lot to a doctor's speed) and he prescribed a personalized cure. "Just massage the cream into each hoof once a day, and within a week you should be healed."

     "Thank you, Dr. Gelert." Apparent smiled and lead him out of the house.


The day flew by. The same evening Apparent came into Swirlyhorn's room to check on her, but found her Neopet crying with grief. She sat herself on her bed and placed a hand on her shoulder.

     "I hope you learned a lesson, Swirlyhorn," Her owner said quietly while nuzzling her nose into the Uni's wet cheek. Swirlyhorn nodded slowly, while peering down towards her hooves.

     "Yes, I learned a lesson. Next time, I'll just get Illusen to make shoes for me!"

     They had a long way to go.

The End

Week 89 Related Links

Addiction Predicament: Part One
"Haha! A fashion queen playing against an energetic brat at Go! Go! Go!? This will be entertaining, won't it, Krawker?"

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