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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 96 > Short Stories > Why Mystery Island IS Dangerous

Why Mystery Island IS Dangerous

by noremac9

My neck made an inadvertent cracking noise as I looked at my checkbook. Okay, so I don't have a checkbook. I do, however, have a negative amount of NPs in my wallet, and that's basically the same thing. It's pretty scary to see antimatter in your wallet.

     "Nie, my balance is -52 NPs right now," I stated with a look in my eyes that couldn't be mistaken for anything but a weak attempt to attract pity, or maybe even sympathy. "I think it's time to cut back on your training. And get ghost repellent."

     "It's not my fault a deceased Quiggle haunted you at the exact moment you had 32 NPs on you!" my cloudy Kacheek forcefully insisted, glaring Lost Desert Daggers.

     "I have a feeling it wouldn't have made so much of dent if," I paused, to add some suspense, "say, if I hadn't spent almost 14,000 NPs on your codestones!"

     Then it felt remarkably like a Sinsi's sword was poking me in the ribs. In fact, by the time my feeble eyes caught up with my lagging brain, it was already thoroughly prodding my lower abdomen. Sev, my ever-so-helpful Lupe, laughed softly from ten feet away on the grassy lawn of the Training School's exterior. Nie finally stopped his prodding, much to my relief. Yeah, I got the "point."

     "So, uh, say," I floundered like a Faerie pancake in a jelly bowl, "I wonder what Ryshu does with all those codestones?"

     Sev laughed coldly again, still not speaking. Nie, however, seemed ample to torture me a little longer.

     "You know, that's a good point," he smirked, his tail cracking like a Fire Whip. "Why don't, perhaps, we find out?"

     Sev laughed again, his cynical persona piercing me from behind like an attack fork sinking into a battle potato. I then began to wonder why I had to have pets, anyway. Luckily, I remembered why before I started questioning my very reason for existing-- you can't have items without pets.

     "Um, yeah, let's," I gingerly agreed, thinking it was all a joke. There was my first mistake. Actually, it was all a joke, until a horrifically light bulb-like smile went across Nie's light blue lips.

     "Well, we'd better get going," he said with a start, turning back.

     Sev started to raise a shining eyebrow of "What's the kid up to?", but I could tell Nie clued him in. To this day, and for many more to come, I will wonder why I got that light Faerie to bless him with that psychic ability. While they chit-chatted via ESP, I was wondering when I could get a rib protector. And also what the heck was going on. Sev motioned for me to come, apparently conspiring with his sibling, and I followed the two just because I hadn't gotten that darned rib protector yet.

     Five minutes later, after backtracking our steps, we ended up smack-dab in front of the Training School, all over again.

     "So, wise-guy, what's the big plan?" I said, trying to coax the Kacheek into clueing ME in.

     He looked at me in a way that tried to be "You'll see," but luckily, I saw it meant "You'll follow me, and you'll see it exactly the way we want you to." It's good I saw this. On the one hand, this worried me. And on the other hand, I still needed a rib protector. Yet on the other hand… dang, I wish I was a mutant Krawk.

     "Welcome back, young master," rasped the Uni door-boy like he had a Skeith in his throat, looking at me and wondering why I had left and come back thirty seconds later.

     I was still totally unaware of what we were doing, and at this point, I cared about as much as a Chia cares if it goes to a Lupe's house or not. In other words, this was shaping up to be the massacre of my reputation of the century. Heck, I didn't even have a reputation -- which was how bad it was. Not to mention the fact that a decade hasn't even past since Neopia was created, much less a century, and the fact that massacre has never been word of the day, really doesn't help my overstatement to bear any weight. Still, that's how bad I knew it would be.

     We entered onto the plush hardwood floors of the sacred Training School. Yeah, I mean plush -- all the sweat pouring off lethargic pets has sort of soaked into the wood, creating a rather squishy, old-log like feel. And I give good money for my pets to hang out here.

     Ryshu gave us the customary "Aloha, weaklings!" and then wandered off the help some Ixi with their NeoFu. I was starting to wonder exactly how this was going to be done. Sure, it's all fine and dandy they want to find out, but something remarkably similar to an internal siren was telling me I wasn't going to like how it was going to work.

     "Okay, so here's how it's going to work," informed Sev like he was the new leader of the Podunk operation. "You just go out there and 'be yourself,' okay? Just go out to the middle of that floor and, well, do your thing. I don't know! Just do it. We'll get you in a minute. Yes, you can-- when it's all done, YOU can write the expose about Ryshu's evil plan. Just because you're the only one in the family with fingers."

     I smiled for a second, then realized that even if I was getting to write the expose, first I had to distract everyone. Here came that massacre of my reputation (or lack thereof). I bit my tongue like a Skeith to a lawn chair, and walked out into the middle of the room. I had to think of something. Unfortunately, it came all too easily.

     "Female pets and not so female pets -- may I have your attention?" I crooned, trying to sound like a circus announcer whose wallet was empty and mustache was long. "You are about to witness the first EVER 'Human wishing he had one leg!' performance which will henceforth be held every time around this year, give or take a few months! Thank you for your time."

     I froze, my mind racing to come up with something stupid to do. It shocked me how easily I came up with something-- a bit of a blow to my own psyche.

     What I did was simple enough, I just thought of three things that people think are weird: The Brain Tree's nose, an exploding Mortog, and toenail soup. So I tried to combine all those in a simple act of distracting ability, and, well, it worked, I think.

     I grabbed my toenail with one hand, twisted my head 112 degrees to the left with the other, concentrated on being the brain tree's nose, made exploding sounds, and eventually, after several minutes of "Ka-bloosh! Swa-froom! Boombang!" I was removed form the premise. The good news was that both Nie and Sev had gotten wherever they were going, and they would thank me. The bad news was that everyone thought I was insane, and one Cybunny wanted to sign me to a dancing label. I declined, and wandered off, eventually sitting by a palm tree, praying no one I knew saw my impressively pathetic dancing skills.

     As I sat there, contemplating why you CAN'T eat pickled olives, just to get my mind off waiting for a signal, a coconut hit me on the head. I thought about discovering gravity, but I changed my mind. Seemed like a lot of work. However, while I sat there, hardly minding the growing lump on my head, I realized the coconut wasn't just a coconut -- it was a coconut. In other words, for those who DON'T live in the dangerous place known as mystery island -- a cannibal. You know, the little guys who put you in pots, stir you up, and eat you for dinner. Yeah, one of those. It's not like I was afraid of HIM so much -- give me a break, I could bowl with that guy. Okay, so he could eat me for dinner, and I WAS afraid of him, but that’s aside the point. It was the SPEAR he was carrying that scared me, plus the fact that he looked mad I had considered using him to discover gravity. I smiled wearily, and put my hands in the air trying to express "You friend, me friend, we friend, no?" I think putting your arms over your head must mean "Your Spardel is ugly!" to them, because he seemed highly offended. I could tell by his facial expressions.

     Needless to say, being the weaponless-helpless-but-always-the-first-to-run person I am, I took off running. I was very happy he had short legs, short arms, and no eyes. Though, I think he could see well enough.

     At that very moment, as I ran towards the Training School from my tree, running from a mad Coconut, the Techo Mountain’s eye twinkled. I stopped dead still, wondering if it was going to blink and don a Bowler Hat next, but nothing came of it. It seemed to twinkle a little longer, but then I felt a jab in my left—yeah. It felt like a poorly made spear thrust by a small arm—in fact, it was just that. As the spear went through my pants, only poking the skin, I heard a little “Tiki-tiki-wuloo-umma-bunga-YAH!” and turned to see a little Coconut come flying through the air, holding onto his spear (still firmly stuck through my pant leg) like a pole vault, and then he came really close to my eyes. So close, he hit my head directly over them, popping a knot just like the first one, only on the other side. I considered discovering gravity, really this time, but the spear he left behind needed removal.

     I pulled the spear out, tossed it toward him, and by what could’ve only been Faerie intervention, it pinned him to the lawn. Boy was I lucky, considering I usually hit about ten feet off my target with a javelin, typically hitting some innocent passerby. As I thought all this, the Techo Mountain’s eye twinkled again like a supernatural sign. Still, no bowler hat appeared, no winking began. And then something kind of horrific, in context anyway, happened—a small cord shot out of the pupil, and dangled down like a limp Wadjet all the way to the ground far below. Now if THAT wasn’t a sign, I wasn’t quite sure what was. But before I could hope to Fyora it didn’t mean I was supposed to give up playing Pyramids, I saw a small silver and green speck fly out of the pupil, as well. I didn’t know what to make of it, but pretty soon, I saw it for what it was—a robot Buzzer. Not just ANY robot Buzzer, but Sevcold’s robot Buzzer, Repeat. I could tell it was Repeat only because the maxim “Codestone, codestone, codestone, codestone, codestone—“ was getting ever closer.

     The fact that he was repeating that fragment didn’t register well in my rusty roster. For one, since his screwed up programming picks the most common word of the last thirty minutes, it meant they were either talking about codestones, or had found something. And something told me it wasn’t just a wild hunch that the fact that a rope and a petpet had just shot out of the Techo’s left eye was related, either. Plus, on top of it all, the Buzzer had extended his arm by four feet, and kept tugging on my shirt like I was supposed to follow, which I had already guessed, surprisingly enough.

     So I trudged over the lawn I’d trudged over six times already today, making my way to the bottom of the great Techo Mountain—had he a nostril, I would’ve had a good look up his nasal. So there I was, a limp Wadjet of a rope in front of me, strong and weak pets alike entering and existing the building not five hundred feet away, while a metal bug circled around mumbling about yellow rocks. Against all logical thought, I grabbed the rope, and began ascending the shnoz of that ancient monument. I wish I could say it was because I have an overwhelming sense of courage, or because I really wanted to make sure my pets were okay, but primarily, it was because I was STILL caught up on that rib protector.

     Even though I climbed about as fast as a Slorg through Babaa fur, I made it to the top. The rope led right into what should’ve been the pupil, but was a medium-sized hatchway. I could hear subdued voices, one mumbling, and one lower, crisper, and cooler. Little red flags popped up in my head like crazy, almost too many to fit in my tiny mind. Before I crawled in the hatchway, I decided to see if I could put 2 and 2 together. All that happened was a 5.

     In other words, it sounded very much like my pets were standing IN the Techo Mountain, while I dangled outside with a Robot Buzzer chanting behind me. Furthermore, some trigger-happy pets from the Training school had starting playing “Pin The Weird Man On the Techo Nose’s Rear-end With a Forest Dart,” and I was flailing wildly, hoping nothing landed in the area right above my pant leg, which was putting enough stress on the rope to make a few of its strands snap. After that, the rope went down hill-- POP! POP! POP! I had about two seconds to make a choice—fall to the ground two-hundred feet below me, or dive through a hatchway leading, more than likely, to somewhere I didn’t want to go—a place with my pets. So I made the choice—I leapt through the hatchway and landed on the stone floor inside with a resounding “Ker-Crunch!”

     My eyes slowly opened, but all I saw was yellow and black. I remembered something from earth—Yellow and black ain’t good for Jack—or something like that, so I was immediately scared out of my wits. But then I remembered my name wasn’t Jack, so I closed my eyes again. Unfortunately, a slightly heavy paw was placed on my back, and then under my chest. I was rolled over and then had water dumped on my face. I was so happy my pets roused me with such care.

     “We’re in,” stated the Silver object over my head, which turned out to be my Lupe. “Look around you!”

     I got up and looked around, only to see mountains, upon mountains, upon mountains of Codestones. It was mind-boggling. There must’ve been two thousand in the room I was in alone—and who knows how many other rooms there were.

     “Isn’t it amazing?” gasped Nie, fingering a few of the stones like the treasure they were.

     “How come no one found this before?” I wheezed, gaping at the fortune before me.

     “Because the door to this way said ‘Official Door That Leads to the Rice Warehouse.’” Sev smirked, “Plus, I think it normally had two guards—they seemed to be busy escorting someone out.”

     I laughed with giddy glee, my training problem over! I’d get some REAL furniture! Heck, I could buy anything I could dream of with this fortune!

     Then I heard a door open.

     I heard eight feet make there way up ten steps.

     I also watched two pets dive behind two heaps of codestones, and one Buzzer go out the hatch, shutting it behind him.

     I stood there, stupefied by fear.

     Oops.

     I then saw three figures emerge from around the mound by what could only be the stairs. They were the Techo Master, Ryshu, and most feared of all—the Haiku guy.

     They all began walking toward me, their faces grim, save the Haiku guy, who was chanting merrily. I wanted to run, but my legs felt like the belonged to the jelly Chia. My arms felt like they belong to a Jubjub—they were numb with fear. So I sat there in the middle of the room, helpless to move, terror pasted on my face.

     "Hello,” whispered the Techo Master.

     “Hello,” bellowed Ryshu.

     “Cloud fly lofty Bruce,” mumbled the Haiku Kougra.

     I tried to respond, but my tongue evaded my attempts.

     “How did you get here?” the Techo Master demanded, walking forward.

     “How did you get here?” Ryshu interrogated, stepping toward me.

     “Ixi bring not happiness,” chanted the Kougra.

     “I- I- I was looking for…” I stammered desperately, searching for the right wording. Or any at all. “I was trying to find what you do with the codestones!”

     “Ah, that is simple,” laughed the Techo Master.

     “Ah, that is simple,” snickered Ryshu.

     “WOULD YOU STOP REPEATING EVERYTHING I SAY?” suddenly burst the Techo Master, and with one quick “Hiya!” knocked Ryshu clear out. This scared me greatly.

     “Flame Bruce dance not pea,” said the Kougra, finally finishing his Haiku.

     “Allow me to tell you the tale,” began the Techo Master softly, benevolently. “I once had a stone. I had a code. I put them in the cooking pot, and that’s how it all began! Any questions?”

     My only thought was oh dear, because this was going to be a lot harder than I thought.

     “Um,” I mumbled, searching once more for my words.

     “I shall now tell you the real tale,” he smiled. “Ryshu is the Codestone Faerie. Like the tooth Faerie. He’s building a castle out of these.”

     “Ah, so he wants to… wait! He’s a GUY! Guys can’t be faeries, right?”

     “I shall now clarify. But I need the help of another,” he motioned for the Haiku speaker to come over. That scared me. “Tell him the tale of the codestones, and why we hoard them.”

     “Codestones bring fresh Lupe,” he began, “Hoard them all for the master. Truth bring many lie.”

     I scratched my scalp like someone watching the end of the Meridell plot. “The truth?” I tried, one more time.

     “Ah, you want the TRUTH!” exclaimed the Techo Master. “Why didn’t you say so, my boy?”

     “I think I did.”

     “Don’t correct me,” he responded, pointing to Ryshu. “Now, the truth is this—you’re in way over your head, you’re not that great looking, and we plan on disposing you. That is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

     “I kind of meant about the codestones,” I sighed.

     “Ah, that truth,” he realized. “Well, your hair is still bad.”

     “Yes, but what about the truth?”

     “Haiku Kougra, tell—“

     “Not him.”

     “Your hair is bad.”

     “Thanks.”

     “It wasn’t a compliment.”

     “What’s the truth?”

     “There is no bathroom in this building—that is the truth, I kid you not.”

     “I’m leaving now.”

     “No, I’m going to use an ancient incantation to send you out of this building via massive magical explosion.”

     “Why?”

     “Because that is the truth—and I have to act like a pacifist nowadays. I need some good old fashion destruction.”

     The whole conversation seemed like a waste of time, so I got up and pulled each of my pets out from behind the piles. It was time to go. Unfortunately, the Techo wasn’t joking. I heard him mumbling something about books and a gong and a Moltenore. Then there was a huge explosion, sending me and my pets out through the roof like Buzz away from a berry patch. The view was amazing, even though I was slightly ablaze, and definitely worth the trip-- up. Not down. Down meant six hundred feet of plummeting down to the painfully real ground.

     Ten seconds later, after soaring over half of Mystery Island, I found myself three feet deep in someone’s lawn. I yanked my beaten body out of the hole, but I felt like I had just fought the Snowager with a plastic butter knife.

     “You… you going to, going to,” Sev ached from across the now triple-cratered lawn of the home, “write, write expose?”

     “Yeah,” Nie chimed in, getting his tail of out his mouth. “When do you start?”

     “Grumohey?” I mumbled before I got the sod out from between my teeth, “Expose? On WHAT? I never got ANY information!”

     “Then make some up,” Sev insisted, popping his wrists, “you wouldn’t be the only one.”

     I simply nodded and pulled dirt out of my ear.

     “Let’s just go home and wash up—wait for Flipce to get home,” I suggested, hoping they’d get off my back about writing it.

     “Sure,” Nie mumbled, “why not? Ah well, looks like most everything that could’ve gone wrong did with our attempt to find the truth. At least things are looking up now...”

     Then the sprinklers turned on.

The End

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