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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Hunting, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 127 > New Series > Loop’s Search : Part One

Loop’s Search : Part One

by moonstar_cutie67

"No! Don't hurt him! He's my pet!" a voice cried. It was an owner, trying to protect her baby Kougra from a villain. The villain cackled lightly and pushed the owner onto the floor.

     "I don't think so missy!" the villain said swiftly, taking the baby Kougra. "Hand over the Neopoints and he won't get hurt!" He jabbed his thumb toward the Kougra, who was whimpering.

     "But I don't have the Neopoints!" the owner cried ruefully. The villain was not impressed. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning and…

*****

"WAKE UP!" someone shouted loudly. A spotted Zafara woke up with a jolt. A pair of big, angry eyes looked back at him.

     "What are you doing here, Kimmi?" the Zafara asked him. "I lock my door at night and nobody has the key except me… and maybe mom, too." He raised his eyebrows as the island Gelert pup leapt off his bed.

     "Maybe," Kimmi, an island Gelert, said smartly, falling over his clumsy paws as he started for the door. "Mommy gave me the key because you were going to sleep in and we have a big day planned ahead of us. After all, it is the first day of summer, and Neoschool just ended. She wants to go shopping for new Neoschool clothes, supplies, books, you name it! In fact," the little Gelert went on, "she got the Neoschool list for all of us on what things we'll be needing for next year! I'm so excited! This year I start Neoschool!"

     "Well it's nothing exciting," the Zafara replied flatly. "You sit at school all day, reading from the textbook, doing work and coming home with a carriageload of homework each night."

     "I never saw a carriage come here every night, Loop," Kimmi answered in a matter-of-fact tone. Loop rolled his eyes as his little brother disappeared out of the room.

     Just as Loop was settling back in his bed, ready to drift back to sleep, there was a loud crash and a bang. "LOOP!" a female voice called up the stairs angrily. The Zafara's attention turned abruptly to the loud crash and the calling of his owner's voice. Slowly, he dragged himself out of bed and crept down the stairs, only to find that oatmeal had taken over the kitchen. In the center of the room, Kimmi sat innocently on the counter, covered with goo that Loop believed had once been a tasty breakfast.

     "What did you do now, Kimmi?" Loop asked, rolling his eyes again. Loop had been his owner's first made. Then she just had to adopt Boye, Loop's older sister. She was a rainbow Draik, cheerful and happy. Though she was the best battler in the family, no doubt. Then she made Kimmi, the little island Gelert. He was a cheerful pup too, yet he was hyper and destructive. And a troublemaker.

     "I didn't do anything," Kimmi said simply, licking his oatmeal covered nose. "I was helping mommy make breakfast. She let me and she told me to take the oatmeal off the stove. Well," he sighed. "I kinda did something funny, because the next thing I know is that I'm covered in oatmeal. Mommy was in the living room when this happened because she needed to do something, I don't really know. She's still in there, calling a cleanup crew. Do you know they clean a room for free if it's an emergency. I think I'm going to go get a bath." He stuck out his tongue, for he hated baths. He preferred to roll around in dirt and mud. Now it seemed oatmeal was fine too.

     Loop suddenly felt something fall on his head. He looked up at the ceiling and saw that the oatmeal was dripping right on him. He closed his eyes and looked at Kimmi, who began a small contest with himself to see if he could lick all the oatmeal off his face. "Loop, I'm glad you came down and awoke from your sleep," a voice said from the archway that led to the living room. The Zafara turned with surprise and saw his owner, hands on her hips. Her strawberry blond curly hair was tied neatly into pigtails. Strands of hair escaped and was tucked behind her ears. Her blue eyes were distressed and upset. "You'll have to go with Boye to the coffee shop today," she went on, waving toward the door. "She's already outside, waiting for you. Get both of yourself two snowberry delights and a cup of tea each. Or if you prefer, then you can get some water or a drink from the food shop today and then you can go to the coffee shop to eat. Just make sure you won't eat on the streets. I have to stay home and give Kimmi a bath."

     Loop nodded his head, surprised at his sister's quickness. Usually, she sat in the bathroom for hours, just thinking about Battledome items. Growing up with two brothers didn't help her touch her feminine side either, especially if one was very annoying, for now she was a tomboy. Avoiding the oatmeal mess, he glanced over his shoulder at his owner and walked outside.

     "Did you see that mess Kimmi made?" Boye asked a few moments later as the two pets walked saw the bustling streets of Neopia that they were approaching. Loop nodded his head.

     "Mom had a fit," Loop replied.

     "Yeah, Caroline was really angry when she saw what Kimmi did," Boye answered. Instead of calling Caroline - Boye, Loop, and Kimmi's owner - 'mom', she called Caroline by her first name. Since she was adopted, it really didn't make a big difference.

     "Wait, I want to stop by here for a second," Loop said suddenly, gazing at a small, rickety hut. In order to get to Neopia Central, they needed to cross through the market place. Boye looked at him with raised eyebrows. "You're not hungry, are you?" Loop asked. Boye shook her head. "Then we have time to go and check this store out. Look, and they say they have Battledome items, too."

     That caught the Draik's attention. She craned her neck to look into the window eagerly. Loop smiled and pushed the door open, a bell tinkling softly as he walked into the shop. Inside was prettier than on the outside. Bookshelves decorated with books, morphing potions, Battledome items, rare books and rare yet cheap plushies lined the walls. A map of Neopia was taped on the back of a door that seemed to lead into a back room. Boye immediately went over to the Battledome items and Loop wandered toward the counter. "Hello?" he called out, tapping a small bell that was there to catch the owner's attention.

     The back door opened and a hunchbacked lady walked over to Loop. She had greasy black hair that hung past her shoulders and uncomfortable piercing green eyes. "Can I help you?" she asked, her voice high with interest. Her gnarly face twisted into an unpleasant smile.

     "Um, yes, I was wondering if this is all you have?" Loop asked, his voice high and squeaky with fright. The old woman immediately shook her head quickly. Too quickly, Loop thought, wishing he hadn't entered the store at all.

     "No, no," she replied. "My shop imports goods every Monday and today is Monday. I was 'restocked' or whatever they call it. Anyway, there are some rare and valuable goods, if you'd like to go and check." She waved a repulsive hand at the back door. Loop swallowed hard. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Boye was too busy looking at a lost dessert dagger. He turned back to the woman, who seemed to watch him with her beady eyes.

     "O-okay," Loop stuttered.

     "Well then follow me!" the woman said excitedly, clapping her hands together and shuffling toward the door. Loop followed reluctantly, looking at Boye again. What if I don't come out alive? Loop thought to himself. What if she's an old hag that eats every pet that comes into her shop? And here I am, following her like a dumb pet that wants to be eaten! HELP ME BOYE! He wanted to scream. But when she pushed open the door and Loop poked his head in, he saw it was a completely normal storage room. He laughed to himself. "How dumb am I?" Loop asked himself under his breath. The woman seemed not to notice.

     "Here we are," she said lightly, clasping her hands together once more. "The books are over in that corner and magic items are in those boxes and Battledome items are over there…" She seemed to talk some more, but Loop didn't seem to notice. His eyes locked with an odd looking book. The cover showed half a black Usul, yet the other side of the Usul seemed to be rainbow. A chain was wrapped about the book and a heavy lock hung in the middle. The picture seemed familiar.

     When the woman finally stopped talking, Loop walked over to the book and said defiantly, "I want this."

     "That?" the woman spluttered. "You can't have that. It's much too powerful! I've had people buy it and trouble had been caused in Neopia. Then somehow, the book wound it's way back to me! You absolutely can't have that!"

     "How come nobody in Neopia seems to know about this 'trouble'?" Loop pointed out defensively. No matter what, he needed to buy this book.

     The woman's face paled. "Because nobody but me can remember the horrors that took about Neopia. I remember the beast that awakened. Somebody drifted it back to sleep, but once it slept again, the trouble and horror was erased from everybody's mind. Everybody's mind but mine of course. The beast was awakened six times and I am the only one in the whole of Neopia who knows where it sleeps."

     Loop eyed her suspiciously. He heard his mom talking about cracked hags like these that still sold things in the market place. But, he knew she wouldn't let him buy it. So he would just borrow and never return it instead. "Fine," he lied, putting the book down on the dusty shelf. Relief overtook the woman. Loop strode over to the magic items and pretended to be interested in them. He heard a tinkle of a bell and the woman walked out of the back room, calling over her shoulder,

     "Just look around and maybe you might find what you're looking for."

     Loop smirked to himself and picked up an old looking book labeled 50 NP. Taking a gunny sack from a pile in the corner, he grabbed the ancient book the woman would not let him buy and also the old one he would buy. Then, he strode out of the back room.

     When he got there, he saw an old looking man had come with his blue, sullen Kougra to buy a special potion. The woman pointed to the back room and he thanked her kindly. Then it was Loop's turn. "I'd like to buy this please," he said, taking the boring book out of the gunny sack and hiding the ancient one from view.

     "That'll be fifty Neopoints please," she said gently. Loop took out a spare fifty Neopoints he found on the streets of the market place and handed it to the hag. The cash register popped open and she put the Neopoints in. "This book is very good," she told him. He pretended to be eager and nodded his head, though really he was anxious to leave quickly. "And I'm sorry you couldn't purchase that book you really wanted," she continued, "but this book is much better anyhow."

     "Thank you," Loop said meekly. The woman nodded and smiled, showing a mouthful of rotten, smelly teeth. He tried not to gag at the putrid smell and he threw the book into the gunny sack. "Boye, are you ready to leave?" he asked impatiently, turning to his sister.

     "Yup," Boye replied, already at his side. They waved goodbye to the old woman and walked out of the shop, the bell tinkling softly as they left. "What was she talking about a book you couldn't buy? Besides, why did you buy that stupid book, anyway? I saw the exact one for twenty Neopoints in another shop the other day."

     "So," Loop said, casting a glance at the small shop that was slowly disappearing from view, "I could buy this."

To be continued…

Previous Episodes

Loop's Search: Part Two

Loop's Search: Part Three

Loop's Search: Part Four

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