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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 116 > Short Stories > Nothing Worth Living For

Nothing Worth Living For

by greenpickle2

It was a damp night during that breezy October day, where the only signs of life were the glimmer of a few dim lights shining from the Neopia Central homes and shops. Far down the street of Soup Alley, Neopia Central, was an anxious little Christmas Acara named Gemma9543 waiting for what just about held his future. He sat patiently by the front door of the NeoHome, waiting for what great thing might come. The door suddenly swished open, and a tired looking Neopian, greenpickle2, plopped himself on the ground with a small scratchcard in his hand. The tiny Acara ran over excitedly to greet his owner.

      For months, the duo saved up every single Neopoint they had. Greenpickle2 would get up at the crack of dawn and collect their bank account interest to add to their savings. They would spend the entire day playing every possible game he could with Gemma9543. One hundred Neopoints became one thousand Neopoints. One thousand Neopoints became ten thousand and ten thousand transformed into one hundred thousand Neopoints -- exactly one hundred thousand Neopoints. They gathered every last Neopoint they could. When they worked together, they could accomplish anything.

      They watched their investments carefully and they made sacrifices when it came to anything. The little Acara was only allowed to keep one of his toys, and the only meals they ate were the free foods from the Tyrannian Omelette. They never dared buy anything costing over 150 NP, and Gemma9543 was only allowed to keep one Battledome item, for the rest had to be sold away. They had to sell what they could, and treasure what they were able to hold.

      Nearly three months passed, and they had exactly 100,000 NP. Greenpickle2 was a gambler and had raised his neopet to be one. A Neopian that accomplished saving up 100k would want to use the Neopoints wisely, but the two had planned on making a gamble -- and a big gamble at that. They made a gamble that could take the life of a Neopian and either enrich it, or corrupt it. The two did not care, because they felt lucky and when they had luck, they had a destiny, which became a fortune.

      Now it all comes back to that damp October night, when greenpickle2 came home with their horrible and unthinkable fate. Gemma9543 grabbed the little scratchcard from greenpickle2's hand and flipped it over. He stared with a look of awe on his face and joy in his eyes.

      Gemma9543 spoke excitedly, "An Icetravaganza! An Icetravaganza! How did you find one? I can't believe we finally have one!"

      Greenpickle2 replied, "They were all selling at the unbuyable level, but I finally managed to find one selling for 99,999 NP. I took the first one that I saw."

      "But that'll only leave us with one tiny Neopoint…"

      "Don't worry, because if we win, that one tiny Neopoint will just be another tiny fraction of our pile of gold… think of it… if we win this Jackpot, then we'll have anything we want…"

      Gemma9543 gave a look of apprehension. He fearfully replied, "But what if… But what if we lose…?"

      "Don't think like that. It's those that think of losing that actually end up losing in the mix of it all. If we think positive about this, then we'll have a positive result."

      "Can we please just scratch the card and get it over with. I want to untie this giant knot in my stomach… please…"

      Greenpickle2 smiled at him. "Okay. We'll have it your way. Would you like to do the first scratch for us?"

      "Yes! Yes let me do the scratching! I want to do the scratching! I'm feeling lucky tonight! Please let me scratch!"

      "Alright, alright already. Calm down. I'll let you scratch. Now you know the rules. We are only allowed to scratch six of the nine spaces, and we need three Jackpot squares. You can do this, because all you need to do is take your time and do what you feel is right."

      "Okay. This will be easy. These Neopoints are practically jumping into my pocket. All I need is just three Jackpots…"

      Gemma9543 began to scratch the Icetravaganza. He slowly scratched off the top center space. With a surprised look, he exclaimed with joy, "A Jackpot space! I have a Jackpot space!"

      He then continued on and scratched the space left of the middle.

      "Aw. This one is a blank. I can't believe it. A blank…"

      Greenpickle2 tried to reassure him…

      "Hey, don't worry about it. It's only one blank and we still have four chances left. I'll scratch the next one this time, okay?"

      "…Well… … … Okay! You can do it this time!"

      Greenpickle2 then scratched off the bottom center space. He muttered in a frustrated tone of voice, "Another blank… This isn't right… How is this possible?"

      "Okay this is it! I'm going to get it this time!"

      Greenpickle2 scratched the card's bottom left space. He saw yet another blank space. Astonished, he moaned, "Why is this happening? Why? How am I supposed to win with all these blanks? I have to win… I just have to…"

      Gemma9543 took the card away. Comfortingly, he spoke, "It's really alright. We have two chances left and we need two more Jackpots. We have been lucky up to this point, so maybe we can get lucky again."

      Gemma9543 scratched the top right space and sighed with relief. "Another Jackpot space! This is great! We only need one more and then we will be living the good life. Just one more Jackpot!"

      Excitedly, he scratched of the center space of the scratchcard. Ready to burst out with anxiety, his joy came crashing down. He was dead silent. He just looked at the card and dropped it. It fluttered down to the floor, showing the front of the card as it dropped. It showed another blank space. There were two Jackpots and four blanks. They lost it all. They lost their money, their time, and their spirit. The two just sat on the cold floor for hours, not speaking at all. They were in shock, and in fear. They had nothing. They had nothing worth keeping. They had nothing worth selling away. They had nothing worth living for.

The Next Morning

The two walked out of the front door of their NeoHome. Gemma9543 was still devastated over last night's events, yet he tried to do everything he could to cheer them both up.

      He spoke to Greenpickle2, "Hey, It's not that bad really. We still have 2/3 of a Pepperoni and Sausage Omelette for a meal. Plus, I still have the Blue Poogle Toy that you let me keep. That's a fun toy to play with. Besides, we still have each other… We should not forget about that."

      Greenpickle2 sighed and replied, "Yeah, sure, the first few days will be alright, but then how will we live afterwards? What will we eat? What are we going to do to survive? We can't live like this forever! We have done too much to deserve this… it's all over… we have lost it all!"

      "Please don't be sad greenpickle2. Even though we are all we have, I still think that's better than any sum of Neopoints you could offer somebody."

      "Don't act like you don't care. We spent months saving up all of those Neopoints and sacrificing everything, and we blew it, anyway. We had a good thing going and we gave it all up… we have nothing worth living for… nothing to look forward to. Nothing… except one tiny Neopoint that rests at the bottom of my pocket… one little Neopoint out of one hundred thousand…"

      "I do care, but you really ought to stop depressing yourself like this. It is all over now. We have one Neopoint, and we have to use that Neopoint to reform ourselves. We can do it again. I have heard stories about Neopians starting from scratch and they are doing just fine. You have to pick yourself up. We have to start over…"

      "I just don't know. I don't know how we are expected to live. I don't know what we are expected to do, and it drives me crazy thinking of what I am supposed to do with this tiny Neopoint in my pocket! I'm so sorry..."

      "Give yourself time greenpickle2… we will make it. We just need some time…"

      The two remained silent for a moment and then continued on with their walk. Greenpickle2 stared into the distant skies of Neopia as they went on. Meanwhile, Gemma9543 still continued to try comfort his sorrow, but nothing could. He had to live with a mistake. He didn't want to but he knew he had to. He didn't know how to live with the misfortune he had caused them. In fact, he didn't know how he was going to live at all…

One Week Later

Gemma9543 and greenpickle2 walked everyday down the cold streets of Neopia Central, hopeless and effortless in recovering their fortune. They walked past the shops, day after day, cold and hungry, wishing they could go back into time. They couldn't though, and therefore, they walked their long walks, with that one Neopoint resting in greenpickle2's pocket.

      Several days after their loss, greenpickle2 finally gave it up. He had lost everything, and ruined life itself for him and his innocent neopet. He brought Gemma9543 with him to the place where his gambling all began for him -- The Brucey B Slot Machine.

      "What are we doing here?" questioned Gemma9543.

      "We are finishing off what we have done. This is where I first started gambling. I have never really taken you here before, since I stopped coming here a long while ago… at least it seems that way…"

      Gemma9543 looked surprised and very confused. Not knowing what was going on, he asked greenpickl2, "Why are we at the Brucey B Slot Machine when we don't have any Neopoints to use? All we have is that one tiny Neopoint you kept."

      "That is why we are here. I am getting rid of this last Neopoint. It gives me too many bad memories. It is the remainder of our mistake and our downfall. This is the only way we can rid ourselves of this tragedy…"

      At that point, greenpickle2 stared sadly at the Brucey B Slot Machine. He took the Neopoint at of his pocket, grasping it tightly, dealing with the pain of letting go. He then set the slot machine for a 1 NP bet and looked at the Jackpot - 87,567 NP. The Jackpot was slowly going up past the 90,000 NP mark. Careless, greenpickle2 walked away with Gemma9543 as the reels on the slot machine spun.

      Gemma9543 slowly asked greenpickle2, "Aren't you going to look at the reels?"… … …

      "For what? We lost anyway… but if it will really make you happy…"

      Greenpickle2 turned around and his jaw dropped and he stared in awe. The middle line of the slot machine showed three Lucky Coin symbols in a row. Slowly, the fourth reel slowed down, revealing yet another lucky coin. Gemma9543's eyes lit up with joy and amazement as the fifth and final reel slowed down. The reel showed an approaching lucky coin symbol, but it went too far and passed the line up by two. Instead, a little pyramid guy revealing a wild replaced the Lucky Coin symbol. The slot machine went off and Gemma9543 jumped up and down, happier than ever. He trotted over to the machine as the Jackpot began shooting out the front. The jackpot currently being paid out flashed on the front of the machine - 100,000 NP. Greenpickle2 gave a slight smile and paused for a moment as Gemma9543 bugged him to come over and see the splendor of what had just happened.

      Greenpickle2 and Gemma9543 walked home that day, each carrying a 50,000 NP satchel. They wondered about why they had gained back what they lost, and if they were really fated to win that Jackpot. Gemma9543 and greenpickle2 decided to equally split their winnings, and to stop gambling… for a little while. They both learned though, that even when they had nothing worth living for, they had each other to live for, and that was probably the greatest thing to live for yet…

The End

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