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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 139 > Short Stories > The Adventures of Daine - The Building Scam

The Adventures of Daine - The Building Scam

by taipeiss




     The infernal racket of hammering, sawing, and other such industrial noises shook through the Neohome to the point that even thinking was impossible. Taipei, Thayet, and Daine all sat around the breakfast table, attempting to maintain their sanity as the walls trembled under the noise. The plate of omelette that once sat peacefully in the middle of the table now jittered towards the edge, threatening to smash itself onto the floor. Thayet, however, caught it just in time. The noise suddenly halted for the first time in almost three hours. Taipei, very upset, slammed her fork onto the table as she stood and walked swiftly to the door.

     "I'm going to go up there and see what all this is about. How much sawing do you have to do when the room is made out of cloud?!"

     "I'm coming too, Mommy!" Daine, the Halloween Ixi, dashed after her owner, leaving the forgotten bit of omelette on her plate.

     They had just cleared the first case of stairs when the noise began again. Even more infuriated, the girl moved in quick, rapid strides until she had moved up to the uppermost story of her Neohome. Just as she was near the area of construction, the noise stopped again. Nonetheless, she was extremely exasperated.

     "YOU," she nearly shouted as she dragged a crouching, drill-wielding Eyrie to his feet. "WHAT is all this noise about?! It's totally unnecessary, and it's driving us INSANE!"

     The Eyrie looked nervous, but tried to maintain an innocent visage. "Well, erm, you see, there are these pipes that we're going to have to strip to finish building past this wall over here," he mumbled, motioning towards an eastern wall of cloud, "and there is a problem aligning with the wall on the story below us. We can't take it out, or the whole Neohome will collapse! And um... wow, it's Sunday, isn't it? Yeah, weekends are going to cost you a little extra, along with all this things we'll have to do to make this room work."

     The girl let out a frustrated sigh as she let go of the Eyrie's collar. He scuttled back towards the other workers, relieved to have been released from such a fiery temper. Taipei tapped her foot. "I'm paying you all by the hour, aren't I?"

     "Yes ma'am," replied a Bruce in a hard hat.

     "Well you'd all better hurry up, because if I have to spend another ten hours listening to all of this clamor, you won't get a single Neopoint from me." With that, she whipped around and went back down the stairs.

     Daine, who had been peeking around the corner, watched her owner go before turning back around and peering into the room.

     "Wow," she heard an Aisha remark, "that girl sure has some mouth on her! Fiery little thing, huh? Telling us to hurry up! Who does she think she is?!"

     "My mommy, and the reason you're getting moneys today, unless there's a reason you shouldn't," Daine whispered inaudibly before creeping off to her room.

     Plopping down onto her bed, Daine stroked a napping Miette's fur. Miette, the Snowbunny, quickly woke, and hopped onto Daine's lap.

     "I don't trust those guys, Miette. What do you think?"

     Miette twitched her nose and hopped around some more. Daine sighed.

     "I guess I might as well be talking to Mr. Penelope." Daine smiled and shook her head, casting a glance at the Yellow Krawk Plushie on her window seat. It, of course, did nothing. "Wait a minute," she thought, "I've saved the day before! I can do it again! All I have to do is catch those icky slime balls while they're trying to scam us, and they'll be gone in no time!"

     Miette hopped happily in a circle, before settling down for another nap. Daine, however, crept carefully back up to the top story. No noise emitted from the construction room, but she peeked in anyway.

     The small group of workers sat in the middle of a cloud floor, eating sandwiches and talking.

     "Yeah, this has got to be the easiest job ever," the Bruce commented. "All we have to do is pull out some of that compacted-cloud material and stick it together."

     A pink Aisha nodded. "The lab really did a job with that stuff. Whatever they put in it sticks together nicely and seamlessly. Never floats away. Although I wouldn't be too upset if it did, ya know?" The others joined her in laughter before the Eyrie spoke.

     "Exactly. Then that dumb girl will just call us up again to fix the room. We'll come up here, say things like 'Hm, these remnant cloud strands are frayed. That'll take some more time to fix.' Then we just sit up here, mess around, make noise like we're doing something, and then whip it all together in the last thirty minutes. Piece of cake."

     Daine clapped a hoof over her mouth to keep back a gasp. She was right! They were scamming them! Seeing the trio rise, she trotted back down the stairs, the springy jelly floor masking any noise.

     Daine had just joined Taipei and Thayet on the couch when the three workers came down into the living room. The Eyrie took his hard hat off and wiped his brow as if he had been working hard.

     "Ah, Miss Taipei, it's been almost two hours now. Union says we should get a break now. Plus, we need to run back to headquarters to pick up some more, erm, nails, for the room." The three workers shifted around uneasily while they waited for the reply.

     The girl regarded them, almost suspiciously, for a moment, before shrugging. "Whatever. But hurry up."

     Relief flowed into their faces as they quickly exited the room. Daine got up too.

     "I'm gonna follows them," she declared. Taipei's hand was quickly on the Ixi's shoulder.

     "How come, Ver?" the girl questioned.

     "Because they're scamming us Momma, and I'm gonna prove it!" Daine sped out of the room; the sound of the front door closing soon followed. Thayet looked at her owner, an inquisitive look in her eyes.

     "Because, Thay," Taipei said, answering Thayet's unvoiced question, "Ver's hunches are usually right, and she seems pretty convinced right now. Her convictions are even truer.


Daine followed the builders down to Neopian Central, where they stopped in Borovan Park and hung out. The Ixi, quite upset, watched silently from behind a tree as the three lounged around, not doing anything for quite some time.

     Who do these jokers think they are?! Daine hissed in her mind. They lied to us and said they were gonna get stuffs to build our rooms with, and now they're just sitting there, costing us more and more Neopoints every second! What should I do? But before Daine could do anything, the three workers got up and left. She sighed and galloped quietly after them.

          They strolled aimlessly until they finally made it back to the house, where they pulled a box of nails out of a bush before they went inside. Daine tailed them back up the stairs, spotting Taipei and Thayet in the ground floor library on her way up. Thayet saw the flash of maroon fur as it rushed by and knew that Daine was onto something. The Kacheek tapped her owner on the shoulder, and they crept up the stairs after Daine.

Daine was, again, peering into the room being constructed when Taipei and Thayet caught up to her. The noise had just begun and, seeing them over her shoulder, Daine motioned into the room.

     There the three workers sat, banging hammers into planks they held and running loud machinery into nothing but thin air. Daine stepped into the doorway and, arms crossed, cleared her throat. The workers, surprised, dropped their equipment as their eyes shot to the door. The Bruce laughed when he spotted Daine.

     "It's just the little Ixi. Go away and play with your dolls, little Ixi!" The group laughed loudly.

     "First of all," Daine informed them, "they're plushies. Second of all, you guys are so busted." Taipei and Thayet came to stand behind Daine as they regarded the fraudulent workers with looks of disgust. Daine looked up at Taipei, who nodded. "You're fired," the Ixi declared with a grin. The workers looked flustered. The Aisha was the one who spoke.

     "But we... I... but..."

     "Fired," Thayet reinforced, "and I'm pretty sure you guys are expected to leave now. Don't expect any pay." Taipei nodded, and the workers, defeated, rose. They trudged down the stairs and out of the house with Daine and Thayet behind them.

     "And don't come back, you meanies!" Daine called after them.


A week later, Daine, Thayet, and Taipei stood in front of their Neohome, admiring it in all its glory. The last clouds had gathered, the final room of jelly was set. Their home had finally been completed.

     "All thanks to you, Ver," Taipei said as she hugged the Ixi around her shoulders. "If it weren't for you being so alert, we might still be wasting Neopoints on those fakes."

     "Bah, it's nothing," Daine giggled as she grinned widely. "I'm um... gonna go upstairs now. Bye!" She sped inside, the others racing after her.


The End

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