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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 90 > Short Stories > The Kadoatie Came Back

The Kadoatie Came Back

by battlesunn

To say that Zarrelian was a rather eccentric little Ixi was like saying that Dr Sloth was just a little grumpy, or that Meridell was just a trifle battered. The pint sized Halloween painted terror was one of the nuttiest, most maniacal pets in Neopia.

     Though he did have one weakness...

     Kadoaties.

     The serious faced, squat little felines terrified Zarrelian out of his wits. He didn't show it, if he ever saw a Kadoatie, he would just make up some hair brained excuse, usually along the lines of "I think I hear my owner calling me..." --Something that he said to anyone who he accompanied when he saw a Kadoatie. Even if the person happened to be his owner.

     Still, no one really took notice of Zarrelian's odd behavior among the Petpets. After all, he was such a strange little Ixi that his chronic fear of Kadoaties was almost natural, something that anyone could dismiss with a wave of their hand. Poor Zarrelian. He was far too ashamed to admit this; he thought that he had a reputation to uphold. (Even though he really didn't, no one actually took him seriously). Fortunately for Zarrelian, he didn't need to turn tail and run from a Kadoatie very often. After all, they were rare and unpopular enough to be witnessed very infrequently.

     Of course, all fears have to start somewhere. Zarrelian certainly wasn't born with such an irrational phobia. No, of course not. The Ixi's fear had begun to germinate just a few months ago, when he took that fateful trip to the park...

***

It was a day much like any other day, sunny and warm, with just a hint of a gentle cool breeze rippling through the shadow dappled foliage of the many dense trees. Zarrelian had wasted most of the day inside the NeoHome, sitting on his pointed little tail, sipping a Neocola and watching television. He's been vegetating all day long… his owner, Sunny, thought to herself. How long has it been since he's taken his petpet for a walk?

     Zarrelian's petpet was an irritable Mallard with fiery red plumage, an indulgent that had set Sunny back a few thousand Neopoints. Even so, the Mallard was beginning to decay in a state similar to his owner, becoming apathetic and lazy during the long, inactive hours of the day. So, Sunny, recalling the Ixi's many heartfelt promises of weekly walkage, decided to give Zarrelian the royal boot, in the direction of the park.

     She strode confidently over to the television, and promptly switched it off. Zarrelian was outraged.

     "Hey!" he shouted, struggling to his feet. "I was watching that!" The Halloween Ixi glared angrily at Sunny, his bright green eyes flashing.

     Sunny smiled, rolling her eyes as she gently picked up the Mallard, plopping him in Zarrelian's lap. "Webbleflub needs a walk," she announced.

     "Webbleflub needs a lot of things," Zarrelian muttered, searching for the remote control so that he resume watching television.

     "Yes, I agree," Sunny replied, narrowing her eyes slightly. "He needs food, water, shelter, attention and exercise. I give him four out of five of those things. All I ask is that you give him his exercise."

     Zarrelian rolled over on the couch so that his backside was facing Sunny. "Meh."

     "Don't 'meh' me, mister!" Sunny snapped, pulling the Ixi up by his collar. "When you asked for a Mallard, I said that you wouldn't be a responsible owner. But noooo you said! I specifically recall you insisting, many a time, I'll feed him! I'll walk him! I'll love him! and what have you done? Nothing!" She tossed him down on the couch again, thrusting a specially designed Mallard leash and harness into his hooves.

     "Take him to the park. And don’t come back for an hour!" She eyed Zarrelian; a mischievous glint sparkling in her sapphire colored eyes. "I'll lock the door, so don't bother just taking him around the house and sneaking back in. I'm on to you."

     And with that, she picked up Zarrelian, Webbleflub and the walking equipment and tossed them out onto the sidewalk. Zarrelian got up and gingerly rubbed his head where a small bump had formed.

     "Dumb owner," he muttered, massaging him horns. "Thinks she's so great and powerful." He looked around and sighed, glancing at Webbleflub and fitting him with the Mallard harness. "May as well get this over with."

     He tugged the crimson feathered petpet through the lush park and over towards the calm and deserted pond, pushing him gently into the crystal clear water and lying down in the shade of a nearby heart tree. He yawned, eyeing Webbleflub with distaste.

     "Go on then, have a swim or something so we can go home," he snapped angrily.

     Webbleflub glared at the Ixi, turning his tail feathers to him. With an indignant huff, he waggled his rear in the air and jumped into the pond, splashing about water and tiny fragments of pond weed. Zarrelian rolled his eyes and turned over on his back, ready to doze off, when he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. Something small, blue, and with two very large eyes.

     Zarrelian jumped to his hooves, and saw, to his amazement, a Kadoatie. The Kadoatie wasn’t anything particularly remarkable. It was skinny and dust covered, as though it had been fending for itself on the streets of Neopia for some time. The catlike petpet simply sat there and stared at Zarrelian, its unblinking yellow eyes penetrating the Ixi’s heart. Zarrelian grinned and clapped his hooves together excitedly.

     "Ooh! A Kadoatie, those are worth lots of Neopoints." He regarded the petpet critically. "Mind you, this one’s a tad run down. He’s been through the mill, for sure. No one would want to buy him in this state!" Zarrelian rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

     "I know! I’ll bring him home, take care of him for a week, and then, when he’s all pretty and clean, I’ll sell him and keep all the money for myself!" the Ixi glanced at his Mallard.

     "Come on, Webbleflub! Time is of the essence. The sooner we sell this Kadoatie, the sooner I can buy you that robot petpet paint brush," he exclaimed. Webbleflub waddled out of the pond, ruffling his feathers regally. Despite his reluctance to be painted robot, the Mallard was happy for the opportunity to make a new friend, as he was alone and lonely for most of the day.

     Zarrelian scooped up the stoic Kadoatie in his hooves and grinned maliciously at him.

     "You’re going to make us rich, aren’t you, Kadoatie?" He raised a brow slightly. "Calling you by your species is boring. From now on, your name is…" He glanced around, searching for inspiration. He caught sight of nearby Gelert munching on a bowl of peas, and then a small tear-shaped drop of lingering pond water running down Webbleflub’s feathers. Zarrelian smiled.

     "I’ll call you Peatear! Err, Peter."

     Chuckling at his fabulous naming tactics, the unusually high-spirited Halloween Ixi trotted cheerfully down the dusty path the led to the NeoHome, Webbleflub waddling in tow.

     Zarrelian was clip clopping merrily down the road, not looking where he was going, when he slammed head-on into a large tree.

     "Ow!" he cried, jumping back. "I don’t remember that tree being there before…" He murmured, massaging a bump that had formed on his head. The Ixi felt an eerie prickle on the back of his neck, as though he was being watched. He glanced down at Peter, only to have his gaze met by the Kadoatie’s steely yellow orbs. The petpet continued to stare at Zarrelian, stoic and unblinking. Zarrelian shuddered. He couldn’t put his hoof on it, but there was something that definitely bothered him about that Kadoatie…

     The next morning, Zarrelian awoke to an all too familiar prickling sensation on the back of his neck. Groggily, he rolled himself over to fact his bedside table, and gave a yelp of shock.

     It was Peter. Once again, the stony faced Kadoatie was sitting stock-still and staring intently at the now terrified Ixi.

     "Peter!" he squawked, a difficult thing for an Ixi to do. "What are you doing? QUIT STARING AT ME!" he roared.

     Suddenly, a loud rumbling noise reached Zarrelian’s ears. A high pitched squeaking sound emitted from his mouth. The Ixi froze and remained completely rigid as his bed collapsed to the floor, taking Zarrelian with it. The Ixi screeched and quickly scurried to the other side of the room, panting and wheezing. After regaining his composure, Zarrelian whirled around and pointed a trembling hoof at Peter.

     "You!" he rasped. "You’re a jinx! Bad things happen whenever you come around." He rolled up his pajama sleeves and advanced on the calm petpet.

     "Neopoints or no Neopoints, I’m getting rid of you!" He scooped Peter up in his arms, and tossed him out the window. The Kadoatie landed unruffled and unharmed on the dewy grass. He slowly turned his head back in the direction of Zarrelian, and uttered a low, dangerous hiss. The Ixi shuddered. Maybe it was just a trick of the rising sun, but he could’ve sworn that the Kadoatie’s eyes had flashed and changed color from mesmerizing gold to deep crimson.

     Zarrelian chased those disconcerting thoughts from his mind and returned to the warmth and comfort of his room, yawning as he stumbled blearily back into bed.

     Later that afternoon, Zarrelian was busying himself with a list of presents that he would never buy for siblings. He chuckled evilly to himself as he scribbled down, "Sword of the Air Faerie" for his Battledome passionate sister, Shelleylou. The Ixi was just about to form the "R" in "Red Wine" when he felt that dreaded prickle on his nape. Already anticipating what was to come, Zarrelian slowly turned around, and whimpered at the vision that befall him.

     The Kadoatie. It gazed sternly on the Ixi, menacing and unblinking. Zarrelian bared his teeth. Creepy or not, he was not to be outdone by a fuzzy kitty! With a ferocious snarl, he leapt upon the Kadoatie and got him in a headlock. To the Ixi’s surprise, Peter did not struggle or fight back as he had expected, but rather remained completely comatose as Zarrelian dragged him outside and threw him in a Uni Taxi en route to Faerieland.

     Zarrelian smiled proudly as he watched Peter being flown away to Faerieland. The Ixi relished his victory for a while, but eventually returned to the NeoHome to finish his list.

     In the evening, Zarrelian plopped down in his favorite beanbag chair in front of the television and simply vegetated, banishing all Kadoatie related thoughts from his mind. It didn’t really matter, because Peter was far away in Faerieland. The Ixi reached down to grab the remote control, but froze when his hoof struck something small, fuzzy and still. Heart pumping wildly, Zarrelian allowed his gaze to trail downward until finally catching sight of the grave-faced Kadoatie.

     "No…" he whimpered. "Go away! You can’t be here, I sent you to Faerieland!" The Kadoatie remained perfectly still and silent.

     "HELP!" Zarrelian howled. "DEMON KADOATIE!" All the shouting caught the attention of the NeoHome’s shadowed matriarch, a Gelert called Shelleylou.

     She stalked into the room, throwing the Ixi a sour glare.

     "What is it, Zarrel?" She asked exasperatedly. Whimpering incoherently, Zarrelian pointed a hoof at the rigid Kadoatie. Shelly squealed with delight and clapped her paws together.

     "Aw, what a cute widdle Kadoatie! Cootchie-cootchie-coooo!" she cooed, scooping up the petpet and cuddling it in her ebony-furred arms. Zarrelian gasped.

     "No Shelly! Don’t do it, he’s evil!" the Ixi protested. Shelly frowned.

     "What are you talking about Zarrel? Look how adorable he is!" Zarrelian glanced at the Kadoatie, and nearly fainted in shock.

     All of the sudden, Peter had transformed from a steely, stone-faced petpet into a purring, smiling, affectionate fuzzball. Zarrelian scratched his head. Maybe the Kadoatie wasn’t so bad after all…

     Without Shelly’s notice, Peter turned his head around and stared at Zarrelian. The Ixi gasped and fell to the floor in a trembling heap as the Kadoatie’s eyes flashed crimson again, and this time it definitely wasn’t a trick of the light. Peter seemed to smile crookedly at Zarrelian, and then, just before turning back to Shelly, it winked .

The End

Author’s Note: Oooooo, creepy, huh? So what exactly was up with that petpet, anyway? I’m not sure, but since then, Zarrelian has been utterly petrified of anything Kadoatie related.

Week 90 Related Links

Odd-Job Shelly: Part One
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