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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 19th day of Hiding, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 147 > Short Stories > Pip's Strange Job

Pip's Strange Job

by costa_rican_girl

"Mom! Where are you, Mom?" called Pip the pink Scorchio. She was finally old enough for the one thing she had always wanted to do: work at the Employment Agency.

     Pip's mother, Avon, who was a red Acara, came scurrying down the hallway. She had just woken up and had a toothbrush in her mouth.

     "Yssss drrr?" she said, her mouth full of toothpaste.

     "Mom, I can't understand a word that you're saying!"

     Avon spit out the toothpaste and tried again.

     "Yes dear?" she asked.

     "Well, Mom, today's the day! I'm now 13 and three quarters and can go to the Employment Agency, right?"

     Avon scratched her head, wracking her brain. Oh yes, she vaguely remembered telling Pip that when she was 13 ¾ she could work at the Employment Agency with her.

     "Well then," Avon replied. "Get ready to go. Are you absolutely sure about this, Pip? Working at the Employment Agency is hard, hard work, you know."

     "Yes, I know. But I could use a bit of extra Neopoints! I'm running low, and since you won't increase my allowance…"

     So once Pip and Avon were ready to go, they grabbed their bags and headed out the door.

++++

When the two arrived at the Employment Agency (which was just across Faerieland), Avon immediately took out her pen and her stop watch. It was now 8:37 in the morning.

     "Okay, Pip. This is how the Employment Agency works," began the mother. "Some people buy Job Coupons, but I prefer to go with the basic jobs, since they are easier and less expensive. If you are ever able to afford a Job Coupon, you use it over there-" The Acara pointed to a nearby desk that held a strict looking faerie who had her hair up in a tight bun. "For now, though, until you become rich and famous, we go over here-" she then pointed to a smaller desk that had a younger, gentler looking faerie occupying it. She was pulling out some cards from a drawer. "Every ten minutes new basic jobs come out, and people snatch them up right away. So you grab the one nearest to you, read it, sign it, and take note of what you need to get and how much time you have to get it. Don't be picky, because the jobs are snatched up within seconds. No time to poke around looking for the easiest one. Oh! It's almost 8:40! Watch and learn, Pip."

     Avon stepped over to the "Basic Jobs" desk and glanced at her watch. Suddenly, the faerie working there waved her hand and hundreds of papers cluttered the desk. Pip could see no more, because Neopets were quickly huddled around, grabbing and chattering and yanking. Her mother emerged, looking rather shabby from all the paws and claws.

     "Got one!" she said happily, waving a piece of paper around. "I have to get three Organic Apples in 54 minutes and 20 seconds. My reward for completing the job is 256 Neopoints, plus the bonus for getting it in extra fast. Let's go."

     So Avon and Pip hurried to the Shop Wizard and found three Organic Apples. They arrived back at the Employment Agency just in the nick of time.

     "You just made it," said the Faerie, smiling. She gave them the Neopoints. "I'm sorry, but no time bonus this time. But you got it in!"

     The Faerie placed the Organic Apples inside a small carton, then took the carton into the room behind her desk.

     "Now it's your turn, Pip," Pip's mother said, turning. "But before it is 10:20, do you have any questions?"

     Pip thought for a moment. No, she didn't think there was anything else she needed to know at that moment, so she shook her head.

     "Well, get to it, then," said Avon, giving her a little nudge.

     Pip stepped up to the desk and began to wait. She didn't have to wait long.

     Soon the desk was again filled with pieces of paper. Pip clasped the closest one in her hand and quickly stepped away from the on-coming crowd. They looked dangerous.

     "Good job!" commented Avon, smiling. "Now let's see here…" She took the paper from Pip and read it. "You need to find 6 Blue JubJub Plushies. Oh no! You only have 12 minutes! Better hurry, then!"

     Pip raced out of the building, stop watch in hand. If she only had 12 minutes she had to really hurry.

     When the Scorchio got to the Shop Wizard there was a small line. She hated lines, especially when she was in a hurry! Luckily the Neopets went quickly and Pip was soon at the head.

     "Hello, I need 6 Blue JubJub Plushies," she said, looking up at the Wizard, who was a JubJub himself.

     "Okay, here are the least expensive shops-" He gave her a list and turned to the next Neopet, a Uni, who seemed to also be in for the Employment Agency.

     Pip rushed to the shops, bought all the items (Avon had given her 2,000 Neopoints to start out with), and sped back to the Employment Agency.

     "Oh, I'm sorry," the Faerie at the desk said. "But you are 40 seconds too late. Maybe next time you can get them in on time!"

     The pink Scorchio felt like someone had taken a paint brush and painted her blue; she was so sad. She ambled over to where Avon was sitting.

     "What is it?" asked Avon. "What happened?"

     "I was 40 seconds too late," Pip replied sadly.

     "Don't worry, Pip! You can't believe I was expecting you to get it your first try! I don't know anyone who did!" She hugged her daughter.

     "What should I do with all the Blue JubJubs?" Pip asked her mother.

     "Well, you could donate them to the Money Tree, give them to the Neopian Pound, keep them, sell them, or anything else you can think of."

     "Well, I did spend all those Neopoints on them, but maybe I'll give them to the Neopian Pound."

     Avon smiled at Pip's kindness. "I raised you well," she said. "We'll bring the Plushies to the Neopian Pound at the end of the day. But now it's time to get back to work."

     So Pip and Avon went their separate ways, in a manner of speaking. They both joined the dangerous crowd of pets seeking jobs every ten minutes, and they got separate jobs.

     By the end of the day Pip's 2,000 Neopoints had turned into 5,761 Neopoints! Avon earned 6,024.

     "You did a great job, Pip!" Avon commented.

     "Thanks mom."

     "Ready for tomorrow?"

     "You bet!"

++++

Over the next few weeks Pip and Avon went to the Employment Agency four days a week. Pip was allowed to keep all the money she earned, so she had a lot of spending money. She bought herself some brand new Green Eye Shadow, some furniture for her room, and a Mau Codestone for her friend Jacob, who loved to battle.

     But one day was different.

++++

"Get up, Pip!" Avon called as she got breakfast ready. Today she was serving Faerie Pancakes, Pip's favorite.

     "Mmm!" said Pip as she walked into the kitchen. "Faerie Pancakes-my favorite!"

     She helped herself to a pile of pancakes and began to eat.

     "Hey Mom? Could I leave early from the Employment Agency to play with Jacob?"

     "Sure, Honey. What time are you aiming for?"

     "Probably after my second or third job."

     "Okay. Going to give him that Mau Codestone you bought?" Avon asked.

     "Yep."

     When the red Acara and her daughter were ready they grabbed their scarves (as it was almost winter) and left their quaint Neohome.

     When they got to the Employment Agency everything was normal. All of the Neopets were busy with this and that, talking and laughing and bustling about.

     "I'll see you when I get home this evening, Pip," Avon said as she walked away to wait for a job.

     Pip smiled. She loved the Employment Agency. She almost didn't want to leave at the end of each day! But she hadn't seen Jacob for a while, and she missed him.

     DING!

     That was the "ten minute bell" that had been installed the day before. Pip raced over to the desk and joined the jumble of pets that were looking for jobs. She snatched up a random piece of paper and brought it over to a chair.

     She sat down, reading the paper. She had two hours to get four Green Bean Bag Chairs. Her reward was 3,000 Neopoints.

     "Three thousand Neopoints!" exclaimed Pip. "Yay! This is a good job!"

     So the Scorchio headed over to the Shop Wizard to find four inexpensive Green Bean Bag Chairs.

     Four shop owners had reasonably-priced ones. One was for 400, one for 300, one for 475, and one for 620. Pip bought them and brought them back to the Agency.

     The "Basic Jobs" Faerie gave her 3,000 Neopoints as a reward along with 872 as a bonus! Pip had earned 2,015 Neopoints on her first job of the day!

     Not a bad start, she thought, putting the money into her bag.

     Then she noticed something very peculiar. It was 9:28, but there was still a piece of paper lying on the desk. Pip picked it up and read it.

      Find One Gallion.

     Time: 1 week.

     Reward: ???

     A Gallion? Pip had always wanted a Gallion, but they were like 200,000 Neopoints; way too expensive for a Petpet in her opinion.

     The Scorchio had never seen a Basic Job that asked for such an expensive item, gave so much time, and didn't list the reward! Pip decided to put it back when-

     DING!

     Oh no! The next batch of Basic Jobs were out, meaning Pip couldn't return this job because it was from the previous group!

     So this was it. Pip was left with a decision: fail the job, or buy the Gallion and see what happened.

     "Honey?" Pip vigorously stuffed the job into her bag and turned around. It was Avon. "Shouldn't you be going to Jacob's now?"

     "Oh!" Pip had completely forgotten! "Yes! I'll go now… Bye, Mom!" She waved and left the building.

++++

Knock knock knock!

     "Come in!"

     Pip walked into Jacob's house and stood by the door, waiting. She heard footsteps and Jacob appeared.

     Jacob was a white Eyrie. He loved battling of all sorts, and often went to the Battledome.

     "Hi, Jacob!" Pip said. "I bought something for you-" She gave him the Mau Codestone.

     "Wow! Thanks, Pip!" Jacob replied happily. "This will be perfect for the Mystery Island Academy!"

     They went into his room and Jacob put the Codestone in his trunk.

     "So… Now that you have all those Neopoints…" the Eyrie began, "I was thinking maybe you'd like to go shopping at Neopia Central?"

     Shopping? Pip absolutely loved shopping!

     "Yeah!" she said. "That would be awesome!"

     Jacob led her outside to the nearby street. He stuck his arm out and waved it around. Pip thought he looked ridiculous, but she didn't say anything.

     Suddenly a Uni-drawn covered wagon appeared. The wagon had a sign on it that said:

     Nova's Pull 'n' Go Service

     "Nova's Pull 'n' Go Service?" questioned Pip. "What's this?"

     "It's something I just discovered. My brother told me about it yesterday. He's going to work for them, you know!" Jacob's brother was a brown Uni.

     The two climbed into the covered wagon and sat down. There were four rows of benches; one of them was already full with a young Wocky and an adult blue Nimmo, along with two Purple Chias.

     "Neopia Central!" the Uni pulling the wagon called. He began to walk, eventually speeding up to a fast sprint. He was very fast, and they arrived at their destination in less than twenty minutes.

     "So…" began Jacob, "where should we go first?"

     "Somewhere private," replied Pip in a low voice. "I have something to tell you."

     "Uh… we could go to the Health Foods store. No one ever goes there," said Jacob, grinning.

     He was correct. At this time of day the adult Neopets were mostly working, and the younger Neopets weren't going to be caught looking at healthy food! No, the shop was completely empty.

     "So… What do you have to tell me?" Jacob asked.

     Pip took out the paper that had the job listed on it and showed it to him.

     "What do you think of that?" she asked after he had read it.

     "Wow. This is very… odd. A very strange job." He looked truly astonished. "So… are you going to do it? Are you going to buy a Gallion?"

     "I don't know yet. I know my mom would never let me do it, because she would think it was a phony. But I have a feeling it's real. I haven't told Mom. I don't think I will until I finish it, if I do." She shrugged. "Do you think I should do it?"

     To Pip's surprise, Jacob nodded.

     "Yes," he said. "Maybe the reward is millions of Neopoints!"

     "Or maybe it isn't," Pip reminded him. "That's the thing. I don't want to lose more than 200,000 Neopoints for nothing!"

     "Ah, what's a bit of Neopoints lost? You can earn it back in a month's time! I think you should do it, Pip."

      He turned the paper over and gasped. "Look!" he said. "It says… It says 'Name is Koshie. Female.' I'll bet we're looking for a female Gallion named Koshie! This isn't just any Petpet, Pip."

     Pip snatched the paper away. He was right! How could she have missed that?

     "But where would we find a Gallion named Koshie. Do you think it's a stray? Or maybe someone kidnapped it! Oh, this is going to be difficult! We have no idea where to find this Gallion!"

     "Don't worry!" replied Jacob. "I have an idea. Follow me."

     He led Pip to the Notice Board, found a spare piece of paper, and began to write. He was finished in a matter of seconds, and he held up his masterpiece.

      LOST GALLION!

     Name: Koshie.

     Gender: Female.

     REWARD!

     Please bring it to 4961 Faerie Foot Road, Faerieland.

     "Reward? What do we have to give?" asked Pip.

     "Oh, it'll be simple. Just give 'em a few thousand Neopoints and they'll be happy," said Jacob confidently.

++++

The next day was a Friday, so Pip had the day off. When she brushed her teeth and washed her face she headed to Jacob's house first thing. She was planning to spend the entire day there.

     Knock knock knock!

     "Who is it?" called Jacob.

     "It's me, Pip!" she replied. He let her in and they went directly into Jacob's room and sat down on his two Functional Grey Chairs.

     "Has anyone come?"

     "Yes."

     "And?"

     "The Gallion was a male. Not female like the paper said."

     Pip banged her fist onto the arm of the chair.

     "What if no one else comes?" she demanded. "Then what?"

     "Then we go to Plan 'B'."

     "And what's Plan 'B'?"

     "We'll deal with that when the time comes. In the meantime, would you like to post more flyers around Neopia? Nova's Pull 'n' Go Service is very cheap and speedy. We can go anywhere with them, except maybe Mystery Island. For that we would need Kenny's Rowing And Going Incorporated."

     Pip smiled. What odd names these transportation groups had!

     "Okay," she said. "Let's get down to business."

++++

At 11:00 that night the two Neopets were finished with everything they could think of. They had put flyers in all of Neopia's lands (except Maraqua), had turned down two Neopets with Gallions, and had earned a few extra Neopoints by working at the Employment Agency for three hours.

     Pip went back home to go to bed, but couldn't fall asleep. This was getting over her head. What if they couldn't tell Koshie from some other female Gallions? And what if the Neopet with the right Gallion won't accept 6,000 Neopoints they were going to pay? What if they wanted more?

     She was glad Jacob was helping her. He was so knowledgeable and understanding. He was a great friend.

     Suddenly Pip knew. She knew she would get through this; it was all just a cool adventure! And she knew she would know who Koshie was when she saw her.

     All this comforted Pip, and she fell asleep in less than a minute.

++++

"Pip! Pip, come here! Oh my goodness! PIP!" Pip opened her eyes. It was 9:45 A.M. already! Why was Jacob calling her name?

     She got up, dressed and headed out her bedroom's door in the blink of an eye, not even bothering to brush her teeth.

     "What is it, Jacob?" Pip asked, yawning.

     "There are so many Neopets! They all have Gallions! Can you believe this?"

     The Pink Scorchio looked out of the window. Sure enough, there was a big crowd of Neopets in Jacob's front yard. Suddenly she was wide awake.

     "Luckily no parents are home today; they're all at that Faerieland meeting. C'mon!" Jacob grabbed Pip's arm and tugged her to his house.

     Pip felt it was her turn to take charge.

     "Everyone, please get into a single file line, starting over there. Remember, this is only for a female Gallion named Koshie. Anyone who doesn't have a female please don't get in line." Some pets walked sadly away. "Right. Please be patient!"

     "Uh… Pip?"

     Pip turned around.

     "How are we going to tell one female Gallion apart from the one called Koshie?" Jacob whispered.

     Pip smiled mysteriously.

     "Trust me," she said. "I'll know."

     And so the sorting of the Gallions began. Myncis and Grundos and Nimmos were all turned down. Pip wasn't sure what she was looking for, but every time she stroked each Gallion's fur and looked them in the eye, she knew they weren't Koshie.

     The hours sped by and still no Koshie. By the end of the day Pip wasn't sure if there even was a Koshie!

     Both Neopets went home that night, greatly disappointed. They'd had high hopes of them finding the right Gallion, and they were crushed.

++++

The next day, a Sunday, went exactly the same. Many, many Neopets showed up with Gallions but still Pip hadn't found the right one.

     "We have to do something more!" exclaimed Pip angrily. "This is not enough!"

     So the two friends decided that while Pip was sorting through the rest of the Gallions, Jacob would take down all the flyers. Pip was right, they needed to do something more.

++++

"Anything?" asked Jacob as he arrived from taking down the flyers in Meridell and Roo Island.

     "Nope," Pip replied sadly. "Nothing."

     "Do you need me here or should I take down the rest of the flyers?"

     "Take down the flyers," Pip said hastily, stroking a particularly fat Gallion on its belly. She shook her head at the owner, a blue Techo, and called out for the next Gallion.

     Later that day Jacob returned to a tearful Scorchio.

     "It's going to be okay, Pip," he soothed. "It's just a little job!"

     But Pip wouldn't stop her crying.

     "Take the next days off. After all, Wednesday is your birthday!"

     "B-but I can't!" sobbed Pip. "The job is due Th-Thursday!"

     "Well then what do you want to do? We decided we needed to do something more, but what is there to do? Can you think of anything? I know I sure can't. And there's no way I'm going back to sorting through all those Gallions. I got sick of it real fast. Let's just go home, Pip. Let's see what our fate is. Just go with the flow, don't row against the current! If we fail, we fail. It was still a good experience! But no more." And with that, the Eyrie walked into his house and closed the door, leaving Pip standing on his front lawn.

     Pip wiped away her tears angrily. Jacob was right. There was nothing left to do except to sit and see what happens. It was a good think Avon let her have the week off (because of Pip's birthday on Wednesday); she really needed a rest.

     So the Scorchio went home, feeling the terrible stab of defeat.

++++

"Good morning, Sleepyhead!" called Avon as Pip walked into the den. "What does it feel like to be 14 years old?"

     Pip shrugged. "The same."

     It was now Wednesday, two days after Pip and Jacob decided to give up. Pip was feeling much better, now that she had gotten some true rest.

     "Well, can you do me a favor? Please be here in the den at 6:00 tonight. I have a surprise!"

     Probably presents, Pip thought.

     "Sure, Mom," she said. "I promise I'll be here at six. But right now I think I need a day away from Faerieland. Could we visit Meridell? Let's go there until 5:00. Can we?"

     Avon checked her watch.

     "How about this: we go to Meridell at noon until 5:30. Sound good?"

     "Okay!"

     Pip headed off back to her room to sleep some more.

     "Pip?" The Scorchio stopped and turned around. It was Jacob's voice, coming from the other side of her bedroom door.

     "Yeah?"

     "Can I come in?"

     "I guess so."

     The white Eyrie opened the door. He had a gift in his hands.

     "Happy birthday!" He handed her the present and she opened it.

     "Wow! Thanks so much, Jacob!" It was a Green Job Coupon! "How on earth did you save up enough money for this?"

     "Well, I've been saving up since I found out you were going to be working in the Employment Agency. Plus the price dropped a considerable amount. I'm just sorry I couldn't get you a better one. You deserve it."

     Pip was so overcome by her friend's kindness that tears welled up in her eyes and she hugged him.

     "You're the best friend ever," she whispered.

++++

"Wow, Mom! Thanks for taking me to Meridell!" Pip said happily as she and her mom stepped into their Neohome. "That Turdle Racing game was fantastic!"

     Pip and Avon had been in Meridell for the past five and a half hours, and they'd had a great time. Pip won 400 Neopoints from Extreme Potato Counter!

     But now it was 6:00; time for the surprise.

     Avon led Pip into the den.

     "Now, just wait here," she said. "And I'll bring in the surprise."

     Pip sat down on a Functional Purple Chair and waited.

     Suddenly she heard a scratching noise at the den's doorway. She looked up and gasped.

     There was a Gallion standing in the doorway! A real live Gallion!

     "Oh my-" she whispered. "Mom-Oh Mom!" She hugged Avon then inspected the Gallion. It was so small! Just a baby!

     "I got it from a Petpet breeder. Unfortunately he had already named it, so it responds by that name. I'll bet you can train it to respond to whatever you would like to name it, though!"

     Suddenly Pip's fingers started to tingle as she petted the tiny creature. This was it. This was the one!

     "Mom!" she cried, overexcited. "What did the breeder call it?"

     "Koshie," Avon responded.

     Pip jumped up and flew to her bedroom. She ripped out the piece of paper that had the job listed on it. She gasped in astonishment. Now it read:

           Find One Gallion.

     Time: Forever.

     Reward: Destiny.

     And that was when Pip knew that this Gallion was hers; that it was her destiny to keep Koshie. She didn't know why, but she knew that Koshie was here to stay.

     Koshie had been found.

THE ENDOr is it?

Author's Note: Hey everyone! This is my first story in the Neopian Times! w00t! Please feel free to Neomail me with comments, questions, or criticisms. PLEASE REMEMBER: I won't accept Neofriend requests unless I have known you for a while. Thanks!

~Rose


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