Captain Spoof waited for Zelda to reply to his question.
The Pirate Kougra waited anxiously for her to tell him what was going on with
her lately. All she had been able to do was write introductions and that was
it. Zelda Zap waited trying to find the perfect words to reply with but all
she could croak was,
"I don't know," Zelda sighed, dropped her quill
and her paws found her face. "Lately, Spoof..."
"Cap'n Spoof," the Kougra corrected her.
"Captain Spoof," Zelda echoed. "I've been coming
up with great ideas and I start writing but then, once I get somewhere another
idea pops into my head. I forget about my original idea and start on the new
one. I can't focus. Writing usually comes so easily to me. I've tried for days
to write a decent full length story but all I get are introductions, nothing
else," Zelda informed him. She stood up and snatched all the stacks of parchment
on her desk. "See these?" She waved the pawful of papers in front of his face.
"They are all worthless beginning with no middle or end!" Zelda sobbed before
throwing the papers into the air. The papers slowly glided to the floor while
the Kougra sat silently with a blank look on his face. Zelda waved her paw in
front of his face between tears, "Hello! Spoof? Did you get that?"
"Sorry, did ye say something?" the Kougra asked
"You didn't hear anything I just said?" Zelda
"Nope. I tend to zone out when people give long
important lectures or speeches. It's me only flaw." Captain Spoof told her while
polishing his claws on his jacket. "Arg, I had a really hard time as a cub in
school. Every time me math teacher would start saying some important rule about
addition and I'd daydream. Needless to say, I failed math."
"How did you graduate, then?" Zelda asked. "You
told me once that you graduated."
"I took a course through the mail. I'm a visual
learner, matey," Spoof informed her.
"Ye want to write down what ye just said?"
"Ahoy!" Spoof bellowed and pointed to himself.
"Fine," Zelda snapped. She grabbed a fresh piece
of parchment and began to write down her speech as well as she remembered it.
Spoof circled the room picking up the papers on the floor before informing her,
"It seems to me ye have a focusing problem.
Ye can't concentrate on one topic." Zelda let out a groan, crumbled the piece
of paper in paw and threw it over her shoulder. "It's like trying to teach a
Faerie to be a pirate. Faeries are such worthless shark bait; them have focusing
problems, like ye."
"Really? You don't say."
"I think ye have the Zillions," Spoof diagnosed.
"The Zillions. It's a fatal disease that makes
ye incapable of focusing on a single topic."
"You're making that up," Zelda argued with disbelief.
"Arg! Am not! It's like Writer's Block but not
really. It's like the opposite of writer's block, instead of getting no ideas
you get way too many. It's hard to explain but me not making it up!" Spoof protested.
"Fine, if I do have the 'Zillions.'" Zelda used
her paws to put quotes around the word Zillions. "How do I get rid of it?"
"I don't know," Spoof exclaimed. "I be a pirate,
not a doctor, love," Zelda groaned and let her face fall on to her desk. "I
know me bucko, K.C. Arthur had it for awhile but he got over it." Zelda snapped
"Perfect. He wrote many great works and just
had to overcome the Zillions. I'll just go talk to him, his office is just down
the hall," Zelda cried excitedly, jumping to her paws and heading to her door.
"Yo-ho-ho!" Spoof chuckled. "He's not there
"Did he move a bigger office or something?"
The Zafara asked confused. The Kougra stopped laughing and looked at her in
amazement before gently replying,
"Lassie, K.C. Arthur retired."
"Retired?" Zelda gasped. "Since when?"
"About a month ago. Editor Snowflake threw a
bash for him. That doll can throw one great party, for a non-pirate I mean.
I was surprised that ye didn't go, that Lupe was the reason ye started writing."
"I had no idea. I guess I was so absorbed with
my own career I didn't pay attention to anyone else," Zelda admitted, before
falling back into her chair. She couldn't believe what a disappointment she
"Too bad, love. It was a good party. Them served
those little cocktail weenies, I love those. I swear, love, this Cap'n ate like
thirty of them," Spoof informed her.
"I can't believe, he's gone," Zelda uttered
"He didn't die, ye know," Spoof countered. "Ye
can go see him. I gave him a lift out to Winter World yesterday. He went to
go visit his mother, maybe he's still there."
"You want to me to go all the way to Winter
World despite, my deadline to try and find a cure for some fictitious disease,"
"Aye, but it's not made up. If ye don't want
to go, fine! Then, ye can sit here yer office and throw yer career down the
drain because ya can't write anything but introductions. Ye might write a couple
of articles about how to write an introduction but then, yer career will plummet
from there all the way to Davy Jones's locker." Spoof told her. "It seems you
got two choices: go to Winter World with me and save yer career or become a
has-been. What will it be love: go with the Cap'n or wallow here?" Zelda stared
off into space a couple of moments while Captain Spoof continued to drone on,
"Go with the buccaneer or sit around like a Blurtle? Go with the stunning handsome
Kougra or sit here in this arg, clean office?" The Zafara leaned against
the wall, still considering her options, until she grabbed her coat from the
hook on the door.
"Fine, let's go," Zelda declared.
"Great," Captain Spoof celebrated. He crossed
the room and pulled the Zafara into a hug. The smelly pirate gripped so tight
she could barely breathe. "Just wait until ye see me ship, darlin'. It's amazing."
Zelda quickly pulled him away before pulling on her very expensive black Babaa
"Will you be bugging me the entire boat ride?"
the Zafara scowled.
"It'd be a ship, not a boat," The pirate corrected
her as he walked out of the white door of her office. Zelda simply groaned and
followed behind, she had to do something to save her career and K.C. Arthur
was her only hope.
"Are you sure this the right place?" Zelda asked.
The young Zafara had to put up with a yapping pirate Kougra and choppy water
for hours. They finally arrived at the arctic waters of Winter World. Then,
they were trampling around the icy world hours in search of Zelda's only hope
and cure, K.C. Arthur. She was freezing and they were still no where close to
finding the legendary author. They must have been up every frozen lane on the
mountain searching for the Lupe.
"That'd be the address me bucko wrote down,"
Spoof answered pointing to a small brick house with a chimney puffing with black
smoke. The house was covered with snow and was simply adorable; the type of
house you'd see on a Christmas greeting card.
"The mail box says 'Carlson' not Arthur. This
can't be right!" Zelda told him and pointed to the small red mailbox in the
front of yard. She charged through the owner's snowy front yard to the wooden
door, "Let's see if there is anyone inside who knows where we can find him."
"Fine, avast!" Captain Spoof answered, chasing
"I can't believe you wrote down his address
on a napkin," Zelda scolded, while she knocked on the door. Before, she snapped
her paws back into her pockets to hide them from the cold. She pulled her coat
close to her and watched her breath appear in front of her.
"So?" Spoof answered. "A lot of Neopets do it."
"They don't use the napkin after!" Zelda jeered.
"You just had to have pizza for lunch and smudge the address. If you would have
just written it down and saved it, like a normal Kougra. We wouldn't have been
tromping in the freezing snow for hours!"
"This ye thanks me get for helping yer out,"
The Kougra snapped back at her. "Blimey! I've only been trying to help ye since
the beginning and ye give me a bad attitude. That better change, lassie, or
you're swimming home!" Spoof declared loudly. He crossed his paws across his
chest and turned his back to her. "You've certainly no bonie lass."
"Sorry," Zelda apologized under her breath.
Luckily, Captain Spoof's big Kougra ears heard her apology, despite how discreet
she tried to make it.
"Apology accepted, love," Spoof replied and
pulled her into a suffocating hug. Zelda pushed the strong Kougra away from
her and gasped for air. The wooden door swung open. An elderly Christmas Lupe
stood there in a red apron covered with Snowbunnies and she was covered in spots
"Hello!" The Lupe beamed at them. "Can I help
"Mrs. Carlson?" Zelda asked.
"Yes, dear," the dark green Lupe chirped.
"My name is Zelda Zap and this is Captain Spoof,"
Zelda introduced. "We're looking for K.C. Arthur and..."
"Say no more, dear. Come in, out of the cold,"
She cried and ushered the two Neopets inside. The entrance to her home was bursting
with holiday color. Her entire Neohome was decorated in various shades of red,
green, and white. She pulled off their coats, put them away in the closet and
called up the stairs, "Klondike, your friends from the newspaper are here."
"Klondike?" Zelda quietly hissed to Captain
Spoof. "Who's Klondike?" Mrs. Carlson whisked the duo into the living room and
sat them down upon the comfiest sofa in the universe, in front of the fire place.
Spoof stretched out his claws and back and got comfortable. He closed his eyes
and began to hum an old shanty. Zelda sat down puzzled and annoyed, "How can
you enjoy yourself? Where supposed to be looking for K.C. Arthur not having
tea with Klondike Carlson!"
"Has anyone ever told yer quite high strung?"
Spoof murmured. Suddenly, a middle-aged Green Lupe appeared wearing a red sweater
and tan pants. He held a charcoal Snowbunny in his paws.
"K.C. Arthur!" Zelda squealed excitedly.
"Zelda? Captain Spoof? What are you two kids
doing around here?" The older Lupe replied surprised and took a seat on a comfy
armchair across from them. "It's good to see you both." He told them while stroked
"Yo-ho-ho! Klondike is yer name," Captain Spoof
giggled. "No wonder ye decided to go by K.C. Yer name be worst than a Warhool
"Huh, kid?" He asked.
"Ignore him," Zelda advised, giving Captain
Spoof a gentle slap and a look declaring that he be quiet.
"I must admit this gathering is rather a surprise,"
K.C. Arthur admitted earnestly.
"Klondike, aren't you going to introduce me?"
Mrs. Carlson called from the kitchen.
"Mrs. Carlson is my mother," Klondike told them.
"Meggie Carlson, this is Zelda Zap and Captain Spoof."
"Pleasure to meet you, dears," Mrs. Carlson
shouted while she worked in the kitchen. "Sorry, I'd come out and shake hands
but I am in the middle of baking."
"Its fine," Klondike called back.
"So you're real name is Klondike Carlson?" Zelda
"Yes, K.C. Arthur is a pen name. Arthur is actually
my middle name," He informed the dup.
"Would you care for any refreshments?" Mrs.
Carlson called again.
"No, thanks," Zelda replied politely.
"Arr, a Mocha would be delightful," Captain
Spoof called into the kitchen.
"Aren't pirates supposed to drink grog?" Zelda
"Mochas be better, love. I'm a different kind
of pirate," Captain Spoof told her.
"You can say that again," Zelda muttered.
Mrs. Carlson, the Christmas Lupe danced into
the room with a plate of cookies and Captain Spoof's mocha. He handed the black
Snowbunny to Mrs. Carlson and she whisked him away to the kitchen. They all
nibbled at the cookies quietly until Klondike asked,
"So, why are you two here?"
"We just wanted to see you," Zelda lied.
"Sink me! I thought we came here to get a cure
for yer Zillions," Captain Spoof exclaimed before, being elbowed in the side
by the Zafara sitting next to him. "Ouch! What did I do?"
"I see, I figured there'd be a reason you'd
suddenly come around here. After all, you didn't even come to my going away
party or even say goodbye," Klondike said.
"Look, K.C. I'm really sorry. I've been a real
pain in the butt. I guess I just let all the fame go to my head," Zelda admitted.
"It's all right, kid," K.C. Arthur comforted
her. "It's happens to the best in the business."
"You'll help me? Even though, I've been a total
loser?" Zelda gasped.
"I'm not sure if I can help you cure the Zillions
but all I can tell you is this," K.C. Arthur began. "Zelda, a good story can
come from here," K.C. Arthur pointed to his head. "But a great story, a great
story can come from here." K.C. Arthur quickly moved his paw to his heart. "The
Zillions doesn't happen to authors for some random reason, it happens because
your conscience is tired of writing good. You have the potential to be great
and the Zillions is a way to challenge you. Only the great came overcome the
Zillions, only the great can write a story from the heart." He began to pace
as he talked, "You've been worrying too much about what other people will think
of your story, your fame and fortune. You forgot why you even began writing,
you started writing not to become famous or great or because it was what you
loved to do."
"I understand," Zelda answered weakly. Her brain
and vision was suddenly more clear. She now knew of how much pressure the world
and she had put on herself.
"This Cap'n knew, K.C. wouldn't let ye down,"
Captain Spoof boomed and placed a massive paw on her shoulder. "Yo-ho-ho! If
yer retirement gets too boring, ye can always become a pirate." He pulled a
card out of his pocket and slid it to K.C. Arthur. "If ye ever want to begin
a career in piracy, send me a Neomail."
"Umm, thanks, Captain Spoof," K.C. Arthur said
and slipped the card into his pocket. "Now, it's been a pleasure to see you
both but I really must pack. I have an early boat to catch in the morning, to
Roo Island." The Lupe stood and ushered his guests to the door where they pulled
on their coats.
"Thanks for everything, K.C," Zelda replied.
"Take care, kids," K.C. Arthur told them.
"Safe journey," Captain Spoof called as he danced
outside into the snow. Zelda followed close behind thinking deeply on what the
prized author had told her.
"Likewise," K.C. Arthur called, closing the
door. The Lupe leaned against the door with a smile when his mother came into
"Why did you help her, Klondike?" she asked
curiously. "She didn't deserve help from you."
"Fame is a funny thing, it effects others in
different ways. Zelda was just a victim of becoming cocky and obnoxious. Now,
I have a feeling, she won't be that way much longer. The Neopian Times Offices
will be a better place now."
Mrs. Carlson beamed and kissed her son on the
forehead just like she did when he was a child. Even though, K.C. Arthur was
no where close to being a child anymore. She tussled the green fur on his head
"I'm so proud of you." She flashed a grin to
her son before she went back to the kitchen and he went upstairs to pack.
It took the young Zafara awhile to get used
to the idea of not writing from her mind and to relax. Zelda tried the entire
boat trip to write from her heart, but it didn't happen. When she arrived back
home to Neopian Central, she locked herself in her office. She isn't exactly
sure how she learned to write from her heart to cure the Zillions. No one, not
even K.C. Arthur, the master of words could find words to describe the feeling.
All she could tell us was that she used a regular pen and paper to write her
story, instead of her fancy quills and parchment. Her hand finally relaxed and
she didn't have to grip the pen so tight. Zelda learned that writing could be
fun again and not the torture that she had made it. She submitted a short story
to the editor and it was published the next day. Critics and fans raved it was
her best piece ever. The fame didn't go to her head; the overconfident and cocky
Zafara had become grateful and modest. She had truly transformed back into what
she had been when she first began writing for The Neopian Times.
Now, Zelda only writes on the weekdays and spends
her weekends with a dear old friend, a pirate, to be exact; on Mystery Island
playing volleyball and sipping tropical drinks from coconut cups. The best part
of it was the Zillions dared not to bother her again. It's odd to think that
a single Zafara could turn into a legend from the single disease, that the Zillions
could make her into a better Neopet and writer. Maybe the Zillions isn't as
bad as Writer's Block after all.
Author's Note: Does this story sound too cliché and corny to be true? Well,
I wrote this story under the influence of the Zillions and I was cured. To this
day, the Zillions have never bothered me again. The heart is the best tool anyone
can when working with arts. Don't believe me? Give it a try and you'll see the