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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 19th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 124 > Short Stories > Melodramatic Stories and Tales

Melodramatic Stories and Tales

by erika_idle

It was a unilluminated and tumultuous night.

     "Ah'mm booo-red."

     The residents at 63994, Neopia Avenue, Neopia Central were bored. A small white Aisha named Yoko lay curled up on the hearth rug in front of a roaring fire, and was taking it in turns to sigh deeply and yawn. Gioacchino, a mutant Kacheek wearing a wooly Jubjub cap, was staring blankly at the ceiling of the small brick house. Jon, a red Eyrie, was simply existing: nothing more, nothing less.

     Erika, the mother and owner of the three creatures was sitting by the window, watching the snowflakes fall silently to the ground, as if in a dream.

     "Hey, Erika?" called Jon suddenly, causing everybody to jump in surprise.

     Erika shook her head free of daydreams. "Hmm?" she replied.

     Jon ruffled his red feathers and sat up. "How's that Lenny Conundrum coming along?"

     Erika shrugged, and glanced at the pile of crumpled notebook paper next to her. Eraser crumbs and broken pencils dotted the paper monument. She looked at her progress in disdain. "Not so good," she admitted.

     Jon strode over to the window where she was sitting. He peered over her shoulder at her most recent attempts. "One-oh-oh-one-oh-oh-one-oh..." he read outloud. He squinted his eyes and looked at the problem from a different angle. "I don't get it," he said finally.

     Erika shrugged her shoulders again. "It's a toughie... too bad I don't know any binary, then it would be a breeze!"

     Gioacchino sat up and stared at his mother. "Erm... I think that Lenny Conundrum is... well, over. Wasn't the binary question back sometime in the month of Hiding?"

     The girl flipped over the paper on which the problem was printed and scanned the date. "D'oh," she grumbled to herself, crumbling up the paper and adding it to her pile.

     "Ah'm still boooo-red."

     Erika sat up. "I have an idea! Let's read a nice story!"

     Gioacchino looked at his mother with some interest. He was a bit of a bookworm. "Go on," he said, stifling a yawn and pretending to look uninterested.

     The girl hopped out of her chair and went to the bookcase. Off of the third shelf she pulled a dark green book, monumental in size and mammoth in weight. "I bought it yesterday," she chirped. "It's the unabridged version of the Neopedia! Full of stories and tales and articles-"

     "We get the gist," interrupted Jon.

     Erika gave the Eyrie a stern look. She set the book on her lap and flipped it open to a random page. "A Halloween Tale," she read outloud.

     "How fitting, considering the season!" Jon exclaimed.

     Erika fixed him with another stern look, but continued with the story, nonetheless. "'How much candy did you get from that last house, Trent?' laughed Mirk, a Halloween Ixi."

     "'I got the whole load!' Trent snickered. 'They weren't home, and just left a bowl of candy out on the porch with a note asking kids to only take one! Haha... suckers!' he said, shoving a handful of candy into his greedy Blumaroo mouth as his Von Roo cape fluttered behind him."

     "How Snorkleish of them," Yoko said, clicking her tongue in disdain.

     Erika cleared her throat and continued reading. "'Hey, look over there guys,' said Sakra, a Lenny, who'd dressed as a witch. 'Old Lady Doppel over there is giving out some really good stuff.'"

     "Floss and toothbrushes, I'll bet," muttered Gioacchino. "I fell for that classic prank last year."

     "'She's half-blind, so I bet we could take a whole handful and she wouldn't notice. Besides, even if she does, we can just outrun her!' The malicious group of friends broke into laughter," read Erika.

     "It was only slightly unethical, but in honor of the season, the young pets had decided to toss aside their morals and good judgment for one night," Gioacchino added.

     Yoko clicked her tongue again. "It would serve them right if Old Lady Doppel was actually an acclaimed sprinter."

     "'Trick-or-Treat!' the young Neopets yelled, plastering fake, innocent smiles across their faces as an old Krawk lady opened the door of her Neohome," Erika read, flipping over a page in the process.

     "Plaster of Fakus Innocentus Smilius! On sale today at Osiris's Pottery Shop!" Yoko grinned.

     "'My, what frightening costumes you all have!' she said, sounding as if she had already uttered the phrase a hundred times already that night," read Erika.

     "But hey? Who's keeping count? It's Halloween! Time to throw away morals and good judgment," Gioacchino sniggered.

     Erika sighed at the young Kacheek's comment. "Do you want me to keep reading this, or are you three going to keep interrupting me?" she growled.

     Jon, Gioacchino, and Yoko hung their heads, stared at the carpet, and muttered inaudible apologies. Erika's eyes narrowed. "You've made the right choice," she said, glaring at the three in turn. She continued with the story, "Her eyes slowly wandered to the broken pumpkin that lay on the walkway to her home."

     "Ruddy hooligans, those whippersnappers get me every year with their silly pumpkin-" Gioacchino said, miming Old Lady Doppel's voice. He only stopped his imitation when he saw the look on his mother's face.

     "The three pets ran up, each snatching a large handful of candy from the Krawk's bowl and quickly stashing it in their bags. The Krawk's eyes narrowed. 'My, aren't you hungry?' she said. 'You know what? I just baked some fresh cookies... would you three like to come in and enjoy some?'" Erika read.

     Yoko giggled. "Oh, you're just this mysterious old lady living in this gargantuan and scary-looking house on top of this deserted hill at midnight. What could possibly go wrong?"

     "The three friends looked at each other, then shrugged. Everyone knew that they weren't supposed to enter a stranger's house. But really, this was just some old grandmotherly looking Krawk..."

     "Appearances can be deceiving," Jon smiled.

     "Oh, come in children. What? What cookies? Oh, go back to your rooms. Play with your toys and costumes. Forget about the cookies," Gioacchino said.

     " ...like she was going to do anything! "Just make sure she takes a bite of the cookies first, to make sure they're safe," whispered Sakra to her friends," read Erika.

     Jon chuckled, and ruffled up his red Eyrie feathers. "What. A. Fool," he said.

     "Sakra's a few Wheat Flakes short of a full box, eh?" Gioacchino smiled wryly.

     "They nodded in agreement, then entered Old Lady Doppel's house. The door closed behind them with an ominous bang..."

     "Splat! Zap! Ka-POW!"

     "Nee! Ecke-ecke-ecke..."

     Yoko looked at her brothers in disgust. "You two will definitely not be winning an award for your use of onomonpias in the future," she said.

     "The Lenny was the first to go. Whatever they had suspected, it wasn't this. No subtle tricks, just... Mirk and Trent were off and running, screaming through the house, even as Sakra's green feathers were still drifting down to the damp floorboards," read Erika in total repulsion, trying to hold back her dinner.

     "Yuck... Sakra a la Broche," Yoko giggled.

     "Mirk stood shaking, cowering in the corner, hooves covering his eyes, hoping it was all a bad dream," Erika said, flipping over another page.

     "Mirk glanced around the room in a panic, hoping to see some singing trash cans to ease his fright. Unfortunately none were to be seen, and the sudden realization hit him: this was reality," Jon said, laughing evilly.

     "Oh, harsh reality, thou art so cruel," Gioacchino said, laughing along with Jon.

     "He heard the footsteps of Old Lady Doppel coming towards him. 'So, you think you kids can go around misbehaving, do you? I suppose you think it's 'cool'? I'll show you how DEAD WRONG you are!' she cackled," Erika read.

     "Old Lady Doppel's not particularly nice, is she?" Yoko pondered outloud.

     "Do you suppose 'dead wrong' is foreshadowing?" Jon wondered.

     Gioacchino twitched.

     "The Ixi could only hope that it would be quick..."

     Yoko grinned. "My Plaster of Fakus Innocentus Smilius! Wow, that rush delivery service is really quick! They sure know the meaning of haste."

     "Trent pounded on the window in the bathroom, but it was no use. The latch was rusted shut. He was trapped. He heard the sickly sweet voice of the Krawk calling out for him. 'Oh, little Blumarooooo... where did you go?'" read Erika.

     "Trent is practicing how not to be seen," Jon said.

     "The voice turned harsh. 'Where are you?! You horrible little disgrace to society!'"

     "Oh, come on Trent!" cried Jon. "You've done your fair share for society! You've worked countless hours at the Faerieland Employment Agency, you've helped Mrs. Owen clap erasers after school -- you don't have to take these kinds of insults!"

     "Trent collapsed, shaking violently in the corner beside the toilet."

     "He was a true hero," Jon murmured.

     "All I'm going to say is that I'm not reading his eulogy," Gioacchino said.

     "That was in poor taste, Gioacchino," Yoko said, shaking her head.

     "'Ahh, there you are...'" read Erika, her hand trembling slightly.

     "Peek-a-boo, I see you!" cried Yoko.

     "Some say it's just a legend that parents tell their young pets, to make sure they behave on Halloween. There are others who claim it really happened. Everyone agrees, though: You'd best be good on Halloween, because you never know when Mrs. Doppelganger will open her door to you." Erika finished, closing the Neopedia on her lap.

      "Well?" she queried, looking at her three pets. Jon was trembling in his seat. Gioacchino was twitching and jumping at any loud noise. Yoko was making white Aishas look perfectly tan.

     Erika smiled. "So, not bad for a story that you three felt you could interrupt at any time? I mean, the moral seemed to scare you three right out of your skins," she said.

     The three nodded, still shaking.

     Erika sighed. "Well, time for bed. It's nearly midnight." She escorted the three shaking creatures to their respective rooms, tucked them in their respective beds, gave them their respective comfort objects, and turned off the lights.

     "Oh, guys?" Erika called down the hallway.

     Three pairs of eyes turned to the girl standing illuminated in the hallway. Erika smiled maliciously.

     "Ahhhh... there you are..." she said softly.

     Neopia has yet to find a better Mrs. Doppelganger impressionist yet.

The End


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