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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 145 > Short Stories > The Origins Of: Punchbag Bob

The Origins Of: Punchbag Bob

by tambourine_chimp

The Origins Of: Punchbag Bob

The Battledome. The name means glory or defeat to many who fight within its many arenas. Arenas that have seen dreams fulfilled and dreams shattered. The throng of cries, orders, taunts and yells constantly fill the air here, as Neopets do battle against many hostile opponents, some small and easy, most colossal and formidable…

     And then there's Punchbag Bob, a being seemingly made of nought but straw, and yet is spookily alive. How can such a thing exist? How can something as simple as a punchbag possibly be alive like you and I? Could there be a story behind the creation of Punchbag Bob?

     The answer to the third question is easily remedied; Yes.

     This is the story of how Punchbag Bob came to be…

~**~

Many years ago, when the Battledome was only just starting off, there was one Neopian who was feared more than anyone else, and whose Neopet - a particularly hideous Mutant Lupe who went by the name of "foe_crusher" - was the strongest, fiercest, and most merciless fighter on Neopia.

     If you thought a Neopet with a name like foe_crusher was alarming, you wait until you hear the name of his evil bullying owner. No one ever really knew if it was the boy's real name, or if he used it to lure younger fighter's into a false sense of security. After all, how could a kid with a name so common and friendly-sounding possibly be a great - if not evil - fighter?

     That Neopian's name was Bob.

     Together, his Mutant Lupe and he terrorized the Battledome and everyone that used it, challenging every Neopian foolish enough to set foot in the Arena. This they did with two strong assurances. One was that they clobber the unfortunate Neopet to within an inch of its life, whilst two was being in the blissful knowledge that whoever they challenged couldn't really refuse.

     Under Bob's strictest orders, foe_crusher had already defeated the Pant Devil too many times to recount here. But one thing was for sure, old PD didn't ever want a repeat of those beatings again.

     So, somewhat to the Pant Devils's dislike for all Neopians, they had struck-up a deal. If anyone Bob challenged turned down the fight, then the Pant Devil would raid that person's inventory the following night, returning with anything remotely of value…in other words; pretty much everything the Pant Devil could carry. These items the Pant Devil would give to Bob, as "tribute" to the Champion of the Battledome and his undisputed superior.

     Since quite a few people were always foolish enough to refuse, Bob received his "tribute" on an average of once a week. These items were then sold back to the hapless (and now thoroughly defeated) owners for at least twice the items original price. Within no time at all, Bob was the richest Neopian in history.

     But it wasn't the riches that drove Bob, but an endless hunger for victory, to watch his enemies fall to the floor in a beaten heap, to drink-in the opponent's sadness at their loss and of that of their hurt Neopet.

     In short, if I have not stressed it already, Bob was nothing but a heartless bully, who would win no matter the cost (this included cheating). And, as is only right, he soon got his come-uppance…

~**~

Above the skies of Neopia, there hovered a place well-known to us all now, but back in the time our story takes place it was thought of nothing more than a myth.

     Anyway, in her Royal Throne Room in Faerie City, the Queen Fyora stared intently into a shining globe that floated before her eyes. The latter held an unpleasant scowl upon its otherwise majestic features. "You evil child," she muttered to herself, totally oblivious to the far door opening a crack or of the young Faerie that poked her head round soon after it.

     "I-I'm sorry if I have done anything to displease you, Your Majesty," the young girl whispered apologetically, knees trembling. Was she about to be banished for the chaos she had started in class? "I assure you; I never meant to change Jhudora into a Dribblet -"

     It was a lie, of course…but she had only done it when the young Dark Faerie had threatened to make her wings fall off.

     "Hmmm…?" waving a hand slowly over the ball, it changed back into the Faerie Queen Snowglobe it had originally been as it floated down onto it's podium with graceful precision. "Oh," she added, upon finding the scared Earth Faerie cowering before here eyes, "Oh, I wasn't referring to you, my child…though I hear you did cause quite a stir…no, I meant that frightfully dreadful boy called Bob."

     "Who, Bob the Battledome Bully?" the young Faerie blurted out, before realising she had used the silly nickname that all the Faerie students has been referring the boy to in front of someone as respectful as the Queen herself.

     Surprisingly, no distaste showed on the Fyora's serious face. "Yes, the very same," she nodded slowly, turning and seating herself down in her throne. "He has made the Battledome an unpleasant experience for others for too long! At first," she added somewhat wistfully, "I thought it may just have been an alarming phase - the excitement of proving his Lupe to be the best, and all that. I had no trouble with his countless victories over the Pant Devil…in fact, as bitterly ironic as it may seem to you, my girl, I thank him for it. But when he continually picks on other helpless Neopians! No, something must be done, he must be taught a lesson. And you, little Illusen, are just the one to be teaching it!"

     "M-me?" the young Earth Faerie cried in disbelief. "B-but what can I do against one so powerful and as ruthless as Bob?"

     "Tch, Illusen," Fyora tutted admonished wearily. "All your tests show you are exceptionally bright, let alone extremely powerful with our magic gifts…you'll find a way, my girl."

     "But -"

     "No time for 'buts' girl! The longer you wait, the more innocent Neopians get hurt by him. Go, Illusen!"

     "B-but!"

     "GO!"

     "Yes, Your Majesty…I won't let you down." However, as she flew obediently away to carry out her Queen's orders, she couldn't help thinking that she didn't believe herself.

~**~

One day under veil of invisibility (no Faeries had been seen yet, remember), the young Illusen stood with her face pressed against one of the Battledome's many windows, watching her target at his nefarious work.

     Look at that! Illusen thought bitterly, her heart filled with pity for the Poogle on the receiving-end of yet another beating. The poor thing might as well be a dummy, a target, a…

     A Punchbag! That was it! If Bob liked to see Neopets get hit so much, the least he could do was return the favor!

     Flying off, the young Earth Faerie hatched her ingenious idea that would later be used by many Neopians for many years to come.

     Of course, she would have to break a few rules…

     Returning from Meridell with an old Scarecrow, Illusen got to work with placing a complicated charm upon it. Now, before you mention that Faerieland was discovered ages before Meridell, I'll remind you for the last time that there is nowhere in Neopia that that Faeries do not know about, especially an Earth Faerie such as Illusen. The Faeries know more about the history of Meridell than even King Skarl.

     "That's one rule broken beyond repair," she muttered uncertainly, for it had long been Faerie Law never to place a spell on any Neopian item without the Neopians themselves knowing of it being done. But since the Neopians don't even know we exist, there really is no way around that, Illusen assured herself as she folded the enchanted Scarecrow shell (she had emptied most of the straw from it) and prepared to take flight. And when you're on a quest from Her Majesty, second-best just doesn't cut it…

     "Now," she muttered darkly, as she stared bitterly upon Bob's Neohome upon arrival. "Here comes the hard part…"

     And indeed, a second Faerie Law was basically this: keep out of people's Neohomes. All it would take is one accidental bump and, veiled with invisibility or not, people would know of the Faerie's existence. But again, Fyora was not one to be disobeyed.

     Creeping into the stone house, Illusen was glad to find Bob snoring soundly in a Red Bean Bag Chair. The happy barks coming from far away told her that Bob's pet Lupe was probably in the Garden. Most likely Shadow Boxing, she thought sardonically. Muttering a few arcane words, the young Earth Faerie let the empty Scarecrow fall onto Bob's sleeping body, some force of magic guiding it to that it lay precisely where he was, its face over his face, its stumpy feet covering his smart black shoes. There was a bright flash of dazzling white light, and Bob sat up, rubbing his bleary eyes.

     "Huh? What happened?" he muttered gruffly. When his eyes suddenly turned to Illusen's face, she cursed herself; she had forgotten to put the veil back on, he could see her! "You think you can just waltz into my home, you weird little girl?" he growled angrily, standing up, he balled his fists. "You've had it now; I'm going to beat all you Neopets to a pulp! You wait…"

     With a malicious glint in his eye (for, unbeknown to him, his right one was now a button), Bob put a hand to his mouth to whistle for his Lupe…and finally saw his hand with startling awareness.

     "Burlap?" he said in confusion. "Hmph, must've fallen asleep with my gloves on…wait a minute. It's all burlap - I'm all burlap! And what's all this…this straw sticking out of me? Have you dressed me up in some silly costume?" he added suspiciously, arms flailing behind his back. When no zip or Velcro straps could be found, the horrible truth started to finally sink in. "Foe_crusher! HELP!"

     At the sound of his name, the Mutant Lupe bounded in and, upon seeing the great stuffed oddity before him, foe_crusher's eyes lit-up with joy as he pounced on his owner.

     "Hey, thanks!" the Lupe called to wherever he seemed to think his owner was. "I really needed one of these to practise my new moves on… it makes a great Punchbag, Bob!"

~**~

As Illusen finished recounting her tale of success, she eyed her Queen cautiously. The expression was hidden behind Fyora's interest of the tale being told to her.

     "Hmm, I see," she murmured finally, after some nerve-wracking silence between the two. "And then…?"

     "Well, after I explained to the Lupe - I know, I shouldn't have shown myself to him or his owner, I mucked-up on that part - anyway, when I explained that his owner had decided to leave suddenly, leaving behind the 'magical talking Punchbag,' as I called it, it was the Lupe's idea to call it 'Punchbag Bob.' When I asked why, he simply said 'In memory of the greatest Battledomer Neopia will ever have.' Those are his own words, frankly I don't think the evil child deserves such a memorial…I then made sure the Lupe was adopted by a peaceful child who was more interested in making foe_crusher the smartest pet in Neopia."

     Without answering outright, Fyora simply rose from her throne and waved a hand over her Faerie Queen Snowglobe once again, whereupon it rose and hovered between her and the young Earth Faerie. From where she was still seated, Illusen could quite plainly see the new "Punchbag Bob" being hit repetitively by a sprightly Jubjub.

     "Did you mean to make the Punchbag so seemingly invincible?" Fyora asked suddenly, shaking Illusen from her sense of wonderful achievement.

     "Oh, I kind of thought that he wouldn't really learn his lesson if he could be beaten so easily…I wanted each lesson to be a long one…" her voice trailed off as she caught the bitter look that had finally appeared on her Queen's face. When Illusen finally did speak again, it was with a quavering voice. "H-have I done the w-wrong thing, Your Majesty…?"

     "My child," the Faerie Queen murmured in all sincerity, "in all honesty, I don't think there was anything else you could have done…"

~**~

So there you have it, the whole sorry tale of how Punchbag Bob came to be. So next time you fight him, just remember how much of a sinister bully he had been before the Faerie Illusen had transformed him. Fight him, knowing you're safe from his evil attacks.

Fight him - unless, of course, you even feel an ounce of pity for him…

THE END


Author's Note: Well, that was a long story to start of series of short ones, ey? Who else would you like to hear the origins of? Just Neomail me with your ideas for characters, but make them minor ones like Punchbag Bob here…I can't make backgrounds for characters like Jean or Sloth, since they already have one! Also, I'd love comments for anyone! There are no blocks on my Neomail, so feel free to drop me a line!


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