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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 30 > Short Stories > Legend of the Tombola

Legend of the Tombola

by leb388

A few years ago, when Mystery Island, or the "Mystery Isle" was first being discovered by Neopians, a man named Tom lived there. He was richest on the island; it was rumoured that he had more money than everyone else put together, but he never shared his wealth. His safety deposit box was so full of junk that he could barely open it. One day, after Neopians found his island and started going there, Tom decided to be a tourist in their area.

Tom looked through Neopia, and bought some souvenirs in the shops. As he was walking out of a food shop, a blue ghost suddenly appeared in front of him.

"AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!" Tom yelled.

"Hand over your item of the most value and you won't get hurt," the ghost sneered. "I want your Rainbow Fuzzle."

"Who--who are you?" Tom asked, now more amazed than afraid.

"They call me the Pant Devil," he said. "Now, do I have to wait all day? Hand over an item. Now."

Tom reluctantly handed over his Fuzzle, and the ghost went off, laughing.

"Hmm," Tom murmured. He walked over to the Chia Police Station and explained what had happened.

"Yeah, we get that a lot," said a Chia. "It's the Pant Devil. Just don't carry items you want to keep all day."

"Where I live, people are nice to each other and don't steal others' things!"

"Where do you live?" the Chia asked. When Tom told him, the Chia said, "Listen, I hate to tell you this, but once the Pant Devil finds out how to get there, he'll rob the people there, too. We can't do anything about it."

"Fine! I'll do something about it!" Tom said, and he left. This is horrible, he thought to himself. Neopians are robbed and they can't do anything about it? And my fellow islanders will have to deal with the same thing? I've got to do something about it.

It was getting dark, and Tom decided to head back to his home. He had almost reached the ferry when two more ghosts flew into his path.

"Are you Pant Devils?" he asked.

"No," said one in an eerie voice. "We're just plain ghosts. Hand over 300 Neopoints."

"Make me!" Tom yelled.

But the ghosts were too fast. Tom's wallet flew out of his pocket, and the ghosts took what they wanted and gave the rest back to him. Then they vanished into thin air.

"No wonder Neopians can't afford much! They're being robbed left and right!" Knowing that going to the Chia Police wasn't going to do much, he tried to continue on the path, but in the darkness he bumped into a tree.

"Watch it!" said a voice. Tom looked around. He was alone.

"Who was that?" he asked.

"Have you come to take an item or Neopoints?"

It took Tom a minute to realise that the tree was talking to him. "No... I mean, you give away items and Neopoints? Are you... alive?"

"Yes," said the tree. "I'm alive as you are. My name is the Money Tree. Any Neopian that wanders here may take anything I have to give. People donate to me, and I give to anyone who desires what I have."

Suddenly, Tom had an idea. Give out Neopoints or items to anyone who asks for them? "I don't want anything," he said, "But thanks." With that, he rushed off.

By the time he was at the ferry, the idea had completely formed in his mind. He went home, and the next morning set up a little stand outside his house. Anyone who came by could take a ticket-- if the number on it ended in a 0, 2, or 5, he'd give them a prize or two of high value. If they didn't win, he gave them a cheap item, and maybe some Neopoints Any person could give it a try--but only once a day. First only islanders came, then the visitors came rushing in. Tom asked nothing of them at first--for he knew that all of them were robbed often.

For about a year, he did the contest. He sponsored it with his own money, because after all, he was the richest person living.

One day he asked a Neopian if the Pant Devil had robbed him.

"Not for a while," he replied. "Though he used to steal stuff from me every day. Now I think that there's more people in Neopia, so every person gets robbed less."

At this, Tom was angry. People were just greedy! He started asking some people to give back to his contest, after all they had taken from it. His contest was made for Neopians seeking refuge from robbery-- now it was just another stop people made for something for nothing.

***

Today, Tom Bola still runs the contest named after himself. He will sometimes take down his contest until he gets enough money to put it back up. Don't be fooled. He just wants to test you, to see if you're willing to give or just receive.

Maybe we can all learn something from him. People have been complaining about why the Tombola guy is asking for money. Think about all you've got from him. Can you complain now?

The End

Week 30 Related Links

Tombola Guy and I: An Interview
Tombola Guy has a certain aura that none other have in Neopia.

by lilmarron



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