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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 31st day of Running, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 21 > Short Stories > Avalanche Al

Avalanche Al

by al_the_chia

The Ice Caves were as icy as usual. The wind howled and screamed, making the cavernous tunnels echo, howling eerily back into the deep, windy night. Snowfall was not gentle, and it was almost like sheets of needles were pouring down onto the citizens of Winter World. Deeper into the ice caves, the Snowager let out another roaring snore, shifting on top of his huge mound of treasure. Neggs, Faeries, Scratchcards, and other priceless items rested beneath the monster's icy protection. But even deeper into the cold caverns, there was another being. In the darkest corner of the deepest tunnel, a snow white Lupe sat on the ground, holding his paws feebly over a glowing lantern. He wrapped his red scarf tighter around him, and huddled closer to the flames. Remains of Neggs, most likely stolen from the greedy Snowager a long time ago, littered the floor, along with a few meager Neggs left to be eaten. Icicles hanging from above teetered and threatened to fall at the slightest noise. The Lupe's ice-coated nose twitched, and his yellow eyes grew wide. He let out an enormous, roaring sneeze. Instantly, a shower of icicles fell, whacking the Lupe's already frozen frame. He shivered as quietly as possible, trying not to let his teeth chatter, as that may make more icicles hit him. He tried to keep himself warm by beating himself with his broad paws. The small noise echoed across the cave, and a single icicle shattered onto his nose.

"All right…" he thought to himself, brushing a layer of snow from his coat. "Today, I will escape!! Today, I shall leave this horrible place!… Ah… AH… ACHOOO!!" He shielded his face as another sheet of icicles zoomed towards him. "Ha!" he screamed insanely, waving a hiking stick and yelling. "I'll never have to be attacked by rogue icicles again… ACHOOO!!" Another sheet pelted his fur. He mumbled, picking up his lantern and beginning to pad along the corridor of the cave. He paused for a moment, listening for the heavy snores of the Snowager Nothing. He looked at the tunnel walls. He had marked the passages he had already taken. "Hm…" He looked around, disappointed. "I've taken them all!" Indeed, every single passage in the room had been taken. He kicked his paw angrily against the side of the cave wall, and stepped back in surprise as it suddenly fell down. "Ah…" he said to himself, breaking an icicle off the tip of his nose.

The Snowager's growls were suddenly there. Faint, but definitely there. "I'm getting closer…" The Lupe slowly continued, trying not to make a sound. His heart pounded with exhilaration as he continued down the passage. "I can almost see light…" He croaked to himself. "When I find the Snowager, I can finally get out of here!" He continued, hearing the sound getting louder and louder. Suddenly, he had reached his goal. "I made it…" His eyes opened wide with astonishment. Resting on his massive throne of items, the Snowager was snoring like the Drunken Grundo. The Lupe carefully held up his hiking stick for protection, and prepared to walk what seemed like a mile to the other side of the cave. His eyes shone, and signs of tears poured down his face and froze onto the ground. He could see the sunlight. All he needed to do was get past the Snowager… He took one step. The snow creaked beneath his feet, and he stopped dead. The Snowager slept on. He took another step. No reaction. Another and another, bit by agonizingly slow bit, he made his way across the cave. He stepped on a patch of ice. Instantly, he fell onto his tail, and gave a tiny yelp of pain. The Snowager stirred for a second, then shifted position and continued to sleep. The Lupe patted his tail painfully, and carefully pulling himself up, continued. He was about ten paces from the exit, when his nose began to itch. "Oh no…" he whispered to himself. It began to twitch violently. His eyes widened, and he covered his nose desperately as he released a sleep-shattering sneeze. It echoed into the cavern, repeating over and over again, and finally fading away.

The Lupe turned around slowly. The Snowager was awake, blinking at him sleepily. The Lupe stared at him, and the Snowager stared right back. Suddenly, the Snowager released a loud moan and collapsed back down. The Lupe let out a long sigh of relief, and continued out the cave to his glorious freedom...

Alexander T. Chia had replaces his normal glasses with heavy-duty prescription snow-goggles and his lab coat with a heavy-duty winter coat. As he trekked the long hike up terror mountain. He looked a little bluer than usual, and was trying to keep himself warm by beating his paws together. Fluffy, clad in a small green, red, and white scarf similar to his pattern, didn't seem to mind the cold at all.

He was listening to "The 10 Gallon Hat's Christmas Bonanza" underneath his red fluffy earmuffs, and was quietly nodding to the rhythm of 'Kiko Khristmas'.

Al however, looked absolutely miserable. "I pay for this huge trip to Happy Valley, and they CLOSED it!! How can they close the Chia Pop Stand? It was the best store for Chia Pops in Neopia!" Al, as you can probably tell, was very fond of Chia pops. Fluffy didn't appear to hear him, and continued to nod to the music blindly. "Oh well…" Al grumbled. "The legendary Crystal Lupes are supposed to be somewhere around here, and we aren't leaving till we find them!" Al, wrapped up in his own thoughts, didn't notice the large snowcapped sign resting in front of him. He ran into it, and a mound of snow fell on top of him. "What the…" Al shook the snow off. "What's this?" He looked up at the makeshift, wooden sign.

"WARNING TO ALL PASSER-BYERS… This is the entrance to the Ice Caves, home of the legendary Snowager, the Abominable Snow Chia, and also rumored to be the resting place of the Crystal Lupes. Proceed with caution. Make no sudden noises around the Snowager Make no sudden moves should you come in contact with the Snow Chia. And be sure to buy a specialised Garon the Lupe T-shirt on your way out."

The Lupe looked around. "Hm…" He was in the massive Ice Caves entryway. It was somewhat empty, but there was a tiny little hut nearby. The Lupe stumbled over to it, knocking on the window. A blue Acara's face appeared at the window. "Hello…" The Lupe mumbled. "I was wondering if there was a first-aid station nearby…" The Acara stared at the mangled Lupe, his dull expression not moving a bit. The Lupe suddenly twitched. "Ah… AH… AHHHHHHCHOOOO!!" The entire hut tilted backwards in the blast, landing straight with a loud thud. The Acara, his hair blown back, raised an eyebrow. He pointed to a sign nearby. "Thank you…" the Lupe sniffled. "Whatever…" The Acara replied. The Lupe limped over to the sign, his scarf wavering in the slight breeze. "Hm… What? All the way down into Happy Valley?" The Lupe wiggled his dripping nose. "How am I supposed to get all the way down there like this?… ah… AHHHHHHCHOOO!!" Al waddled into the ice caves. "Hm…" He looked around. Nothing but a tiny little hut and a strange looking Lupe were present. Fluffy slithered closely behind, looking around in awe at the massive cavern. The Lupe looked very strange indeed. He was wearing a red scarf and carrying a hiking stick. "Hm… This Lupe looks sick!!" As if in response, the Lupe sneezed. Al watched as the sign the Lupe was reading blew over.

"Hm…" he repeated.

Fluffy took off his headphones, blinking in surprise.

The Lupe sniffled. "I wish I had some tissue," he muttered. He began to limp towards the entryway, but noticed a strange-looking Chia staring at him. "Hm… That Chia looks weird!!" he thought.

As if in response, the Chia began to mutter into a tape recorder. He caught several words: "Lupe Log… Sick… Strangely dressed… Interesting… Project…"

"Hm…" the Lupe repeated.

Al smiled politely, waddling over to the Lupe. "Excuse me," he said. "I couldn't help noticing you were…"

"Ah… AHHHHHCHoOOoOO!!"

Fluffy was blown out of the cave entrance. He was hurled onto the top of a nearby pine tree, and as he clung to the tip, looked like some kind of bizarre tree-topping ornament.

Al, his glasses lost in the blast, blinked. "Sick…" he finished, reaching into his pocket and placing a spare onto his face.

The Lupe sniffled. "It's nothing really, just a small case of D'achoo… nothing a little tissue wouldn't cure…" He began to walk out of the cave. "I just need to get to Happy Valley and find the right shop, nothing really…"

Al frowned. "Are you sure you can make it with that sneezing?"

The Lupe looked back. "Oh, sure I can, I'll just hop on down the path and… an… AHHHHHCHOOO!!" The Lupe shot back into the cave, crashing against the side of the cave wall and sliding onto the floor. "Okay, I might need a little help…" He pulled himself up, and picked up his stick. "My name is Thornpaw. I went into the ice cave to steal from the Snowager, and got a whole bushel of Neggs. But the Snowager woke up, and he didn't look happy. Before I could respond, he let out this really loud roar. The icicles above began to fall, and I was blown even deeper into the cave. I just kept rolling into different passageways and eventually ended up at a dead end. I managed to survive on the Neggs for a few days, but I got really sick from the cold. I eventually found the right passageway out, and sneaking past the Snowager, made my escape."

Al's tape recorder clicked noisily. "Er…" He whacked his coat pocket, and the recorder rattled noisily before falling silent. "I'm sorry…" Al smiled. "It's just a… erm… Pocket Cleaner. Really interesting product…"

Thornpaw raised an eyebrow. "I see…" He stared at the Chia. "And who are you?"

"Oh, my name is Al… Alexander Timothy Chia." He pointed up to the tree where Fluffy was still shaking. "And that's Fluffy."

Thornpaw frowned. "What happened to him…" Suddenly, Thornpaw felt his nose twitch. "Uh oh… aaaaaAAAAAACHOOOOO!!!"

This time, Al was blown onto the top of the same pine tree as Fluffy.

"Oh Piffle…" Al muttered.

"Holy Kau!!" Thornpaw wiped his nose off hastily.

Al, Fluffy clinging nervously to his leg, eventually shimmied down the tree. "All right then," He grumbled, brushing snow off his coat. "We'll just ski down!" They hiked even farther up the huge mountain, finally reaching the Usul Ski Lodge. In no time, Fluffy was equipped with a snowboard, Al with a sled, and Thornpaw with a pair of skis. They stood at the very peak of Terror Mountain. Al began to shiver.

"Um… I usually just ski from halfway down… Maybe I should just…" Fluffy promptly whacked him on the back, and he fell onto his sled. "Oh Piffle…" He gasped, and shot down, screaming. Fluffy let out a tiny hissing snigger before jumping onto his snowboard and going after his owner. Thornpaw blinked. "Hm… That's weird…" Shaking it off, he pushed off the slope with his hiking stick.

"YEEEEEEEEEEEHAAA!!" He bellowed.

"AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!" Al screamed.

"HISSSSSSSSSSSSS!!" Fluffy cried.

Al frantically steered the sled left and right, dodging the huge trees threatening to knock him off. Fluffy hopped over heaps of snow, hissing a song he had just heard on his Christmas CD.

Thornpaw just leaned forward, going faster and faster. "THIS IS SOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOL!!" He screamed, propelling himself with his stick to go faster.

"AUUUUUUUUUUGH!!" Al continued, losing a piece of the front of his sled to a particularly large snowman. But as they continued going faster and faster, they drifted farther and farther apart, and soon they lost sight of each other in the vast expanse of white… Al swerved crazily on his sled. He hit a few bumps, flying into the air each time. "I REALLY WANNA GO HOME NOW!!" He screamed, hitting a snowman dead on. Snow flew everywhere, and Al noticed a carrot nose wedged up his own nose. Suddenly, a gleaming figure appeared out of nowhere.

"AUUUUUUUUUUGH!!" WHAP!! Al felt cold ice shower his face as he flew from his sled. "OOEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" He did a full flip before crashing into the snow, making a tiny, Chia-shaped hole in the ground. Tiny little snowflakes danced before his eyes as he pulled himself out. "Wha…" He shook himself alert, jerking himself out of the hole. "What? Who? Where am I?…" His eyes popped as he saw something in front of him. "MY GOSH!! I'VE DISCOVERED THE CRYSTAL LUPES!!" Laying in front of him where an assortment of Lupes, all made of crystal ice. "These were forged by the Faeries countless years ago!!" Al cried, running over to one and inspecting it. "They were a punishment to a band of rogue Lupes who terrorised Happy Valley!! The Snow Faerie transformed them to ice!!" He was starting to get frantic. "And now, I've finally found them!!! JOY OF ALL JOYS!!!" Al began to hop around. "LUPOLOGY SMILES UPON ME TODAY!!" Little did Al know that the Crystal Lupe's lair was prone to avalanches. While he was screaming with joy, the snow around him began to quake. Al suddenly paused. Turning to the hill, he saw a large wave of snow falling towards him. "Lupology does not smile upon me today…"

Fluffy was now hissing a M*YNCI song, "Aw, Girl". He did a few fancy jumps and flips before landing near a grove of trees. "Hiss…" he sighed. He swerved back and forth between the pines, and was just about to do a tailgrab off a particularly large jump when something hopped out in front of him. "GRRR!!!" It bellowed. Fluffy screeched in horror. It was a humongous, frightening beast, with shaggy brown hair and yellow skin. He reared his tiny, fingerless arms into the air, and his cute, noseless face released another roar.

It was the Abominable Snow Chia Fluffy quickly swerved on his snowboard, but tripped and rolled along… right onto the Chia's feet. The Chia was huge! It must have been 20 feet tall! It jerked suddenly, blinking in surprise. "WHO'S THERE?" he bellowed. He looked down at Fluffy, and suddenly a smile spread across his face. "LOOKIT!! PRETTY COBRALL!!" he bellowed. Fluffy shrunk into his hood, shivering. "AREN'T YOU JUST BEAUTIFUL?!?" He bellowed. He bent over and snatched up the Cobrall in his paw, nearly squeezing him to death. Raising him up, he began to stroke his head. "I'LL LOVE YOU, AND TAKE CARE OF YOU, AND FEED YOU, AND NAME YOU GEORGE!!" He planted a wet, disgusting kiss on Fluffy's nose, instantly covering Fluffy in gooey saliva. Fluffy struggled to get free, but the Chia simply tightened his grip.

"HM…" the Chia thought aloud. "WHAT DO WE PLAY?!?!" Fluffy began to cry piteously.

"I KNOW!! LET'S PLAY SNOWBALLS!!" the Abominable Chia cried. He bent over once again, and scooped up a massive piece of snow with his other paw. Fluffy screeched in horror as he was plunged into the snow the Chia had collected. The Chia hummed happily as he packed the snow into a hard, humongous snowball. Fluffy poked his head out, gasping.

"ALL RIGHT!!" the Chia screamed. "NOW WE THROW!!"

Fluffy's eyes widened. "Hiss?"

The Chia pulled his paw back and hurled the snow as hard as he could down the hillside. Before you can say 'Avalanche,' Fluffy was rolling for the bottom of the mountain, his 'Snowball' building up bigger and bigger as it plowed through the snow. The hulking Chia giggled merrily. "BYE BYE COBRALL!!" He stomped back into the trees as Fluffy plowed through a small lodge on the bottom of the mountain…

Thornpaw was having a great time skiing. He was soon twirling through the flags and jumping over trees. "I don't know why I haven't tried this before!" He yelled. Suddenly, he noticed a sign:

AVALANCHE AREA!! PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!

"Uh oh…" He swallowed. "I don't know how to stop…" He helplessly slid into the almost silent avalanche zone. Huge piles of snow were stacked up at the top of the ledge, and it looked like it could fall off at any moment. Suddenly, Thornpaw felt his nose twitch. "Not now…" He murmured. "Not here, no…ahhh…" He tried to hold his breath… "AHHH…" He felt his nose give a hard jerk. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHCHOOOOOO!!!"

For a second after the sneeze, there was complete silence. Then, there was a low rumble. A few birds flew off the nearby trees, where Thornpaw saw sled tracks. He realised Al must have been in there, and would have helped him had he not felt the ground shake. "Uh oh…" A tiny piece of snow fell. Then a bigger one. Then a huge hunk. Suddenly, the entire pile collapsed. "AUUUUGH!!" Thornpaw bellowed. It was a full-fledged avalanche!! He began to ski faster, even using his tail to propel himself. Looking back, he saw a monstrous wave of white closing in on him. "AUUUUUUUUGH!!" He repeated. Before he knew what was happening, the snow hit him. He was lost into a world of white. Everything became dark. He could hear nothing but the rumbling of the avalanche. He tried to yell for help, but his mouth was full of snow. "This is it…" he thought. "This is the end…" Little did he realise the avalanche was carrying him down…

"This is News-A-Roo, reporting live from Happy Valley. Earlier today, a large snowball hit the Advent Calendar Center hard, and crushed all the gifts for today. Thankfully, everyone escaped. All but a small Cobrall on a snowboard, who was dug from the wreckage a few minutes ago. After that, a huge avalanche swept over the entire village, burying everything in snow. The two responsible for the avalanche, a Blue Chia and a White Lupe, have been angrily attacked by several upset villagers. They are currently in a plane heading for Furgleton, along with the Cobrall dug up earlier. Their names, for their protection, will not be released…"

Al sat in his library, warming up by the fireplace. "I ALMOST HAD THEM!!" He cried. "THEY WERE RIGHT THERE!! PRICELESS LUPE ARTIFACTS!! AND NOW THEY'RE GONE!!" He sneezed hard, and grabbed a Neopkin to wipe off his nose. Thornpaw sighed, his disease already cured. "I'd feel sorry for you Al, but Fluffy is feeling a bit worse right now." Fluffy was huddled in his PetPet bed, shivering. He refused to go out except to eat, and kept on coughing up brown hairballs. Al looked to his Cobrall "I don't understand… he hasn't talked at all! He won't tell me what happened!!" Fluffy coughed up a particularly large hairball, choking and spluttering. Thornpaw sighed again, relaxing into his chair. "Now what am I supposed to do? My family has disowned me because of that stupid avalanche! They pretend they don't know who I am! And my friends probably hate me now… did you see the look on their faces? I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" He threw his paws up into the air. "But at least I'm alive."

Al looked at him. Suddenly, a thought came to his head. "ER… you could stay here," he said.

Thornpaw looked at him. "What? Stay here? In Furgleton?"

Al looked around. "I have a spare room. It wouldn't be too much trouble."

Thornpaw smiled. "Really? You'd do that for me?"

"Sure!!" Al smiled sincerely, wiping off his glasses. "You can stay here as long as you want!"

Thornpaw jumped up. "COOL!!!" He shook Al's hand, smiling. "Thanks a bunch!! I'll never forget it! How can I ever repay you?"

At this, Al's smile turned a little menacing. "I can think of something…"

Phil the Chia heard a knock on his door. "Hm…" He waddled over to the door. "If it's that stupid Chia Al, I'm going to…" He threw open the door. Instantly, he fell silent. Standing on the step was Al. And behind him was a menacing looking white Lupe.

"Hello, Phil." Al smiled. "Remember that one day you called me a Negg-headed nitwit and a Lupe-loving twit? Well, this is my friend Thornpaw." Thornpaw smiled, showing sharp teeth.

Phil turned pale. "H-h-h-hello…" he stuttered. Al smiled once more. "Hey Thornpaw, wanna hear what Phil here said about Lupes?" Phil, if it was possible, turned even paler.

"Why, certainly Al!" Thornpaw replied.

"Let's hear it!" Al whispered into Thornpaw's ear. Thornpaw's grin grew even broader as Al repeated what his cruel brother had said.

"I see…" He looked at Phil, who by this time was shaking. "Well, Mr. Phil, that sounds very nice." His tail flickered dangerously as he stepped forward. "But do you know what else would be nice right now?… Tomato Soup…"

The End

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