"Um, hello?" I said, hoping no one was there so I could just get out of there.
But before I could decide to run away quickly, a voice sounded from the far
back of the shop.
"Yes, come in," the voice said, quiet and gravely. "What have you?"
"Well, maybe I just want to look around--"
"Everyone who comes in here has something. No one comes just to look around."
"Oh... umm... well, I have this." I walked forward to the end of the shop,
but only saw the counter; there was no shopkeeper. Gulping, I put it on the
counter and said, "It's Jhudora's comb. Or one of them."
Suddenly a small figure jumped up on the counter and picked up the comb. I
jumped back quickly; it was a Cyclopian PetPet! "What?!" he asked irritably,
seeing the expression on my face.
"I didn't know pet pets could become shopkeepers, is all," I mumbled. I wanted
to ask why a pet pet shopkeeper would keep other pets in cages in its shop,
but I had the feeling this one didn't care.
"Well, obviously we can. Did Jhudora give you this herself? Or is it some
If it was, why would I tell you? I wondered, but said, "No, it's real.
I got it for my first quest for her."
"Hmm," he said with a sly grin, "you must be a favourite. She doesn't usually
give such rare or unique items to a First."
"It's worth 1,000 NP," I said, feeling crept out by the whole thing. "That's
all I'll take."
"And all I shall offer is 800."
Grinning broadly, the little Cyclopian took the comb and turned it over a
few times in his tiny hands. His eyes seemed to gleam with greed. After a few
minutes, I cleared my throat, and he said, "Oh, right." He dug in his filled-up
pockets and drew out eight hundred small yet priceless coins. "Take them."
"The agreement was for nine hundred!"
He muttered something about never trusting a Gelert and pulled out a hundred
more. "Leave now."
I was glad to do so. Once I was outside I paid a quick 10 NP for a bag and
put my riches inside. I decided to spend half the remaining money--445 NP--on
some food and present the rest to my family.
So, I splurged. It felt so good to be able to do that at last! I bought only
the cheapest food at first, but then I bought finer delicacies, just proud to
be able to afford them. With the last few Neopoints I bought some books and
toys, pocketed 45 of it for myself, and I was off to the little hut we had set
up in Mystery Island.
You should have seen the faces of my family when I presented them with the
food, the books, and the toys. They all crowded around me, even Shyna, touching
and gasping over each item, eyes widening when I brought out the rest of the
NP. "Where did you ever get this?" asked Flyt.
I told them the story, but I didn't tell them it was the Dark Faerie who did
it. I said I had just been wandering when a Light Faerie randomly chose me for
a quest. They seemed a little sceptical because the quest was so easy, and the
Light Faerie doesn't reward with items, but I explained it away by saying this
was an Uber Faerie. We all know they're stranger than regular ones.
Soon they forgot about all their questions and fell to eating. Shyna, with
a lot of common sense, divvied some of the food up (enough for a good healthy
meal) and set the rest aside. She did the same for the books and the toys. "You'll
thank me later," she said when some protested, "if we're ever down on our luck
The next day, emboldened by the pride I felt at providing for my family, I
told them I was going for a walk, but went to Faerieland instead. I carried
the forty-five Neopoints I had kept from my earnings yesterday in the pack,
as well as some food; I didn't know how long Jhudora would keep me.
She didn't recognise me until I reminded her I had fetched her the carrot
the day before. "Oh, of course, Obi," she said. "How could I forget? I trust
you fed your family well?"
"Yes," I said, "we had a grand meal. You said I could come back tomorrow,
and take another quest."
"Yes, yes, yes. I was just about to look for someone to run an errand for
me. My little Poogle is in dire need of a brushing. No, I don't want you to
brush her. I need a Red Long Hair Brush in sixteen minutes."
This time I was prepared, and I didn't have to steal anything. I walked into
the first grooming shop I saw and paid a measly 20 Neopoints for a red brush.
I walked out, flushed with excitement, knowing I would make it back with plenty
of time to spare.
But when I got there, she roared at me: "You knave! I asked for a long hair
brush, and you got me a short hair! No, of course I can't use this for my Poogle!
She deserves a longhair! You have five minutes left! Find me a real long hair
Could you say no to a voice like that, which could strike fear even into Dr.
Sloth himself? I left shaking with fear, returned the brush to the shop, and
paid an additional 15 NP for a long hair brush. I made it back with just thirty
seconds to spare.
She didn't say anything to me this time, just tossed me a jar. A jar? The
label said Jhudora's Special Patented Hair Growth Cream. Hair growth?!
Who would have known a Dark Faerie would be interested in hair?
Nevertheless, the Shop Wizard reported that this was worth 500 NP. Not as
much as her old comb, but certainly a good amount. I dreaded going back to that
magic shop, so I went to the same grooming store.
The shopkeeper asked me dryly if I needed a green brush now instead of the
red, but I said no, I wished to sell him something. He acted very bored until
I placed the jar on the counter.
"Hair growth, eh? And not just any cream--a faerie cream. Guaranteed, then,
I'll bet, with some magical potion or some such. How much do you want?"
I noticed he asked how much I wanted, not how much it was worth, so I asked
for a thousand. He promptly paid me and I, shocked and with a much heavier pack,
stumbled out the door.
There, 1,900 NP made in just two days. I was stunned. After months of starvation
and bitterness, our salvation was here. It had probably been here all the time.
I no longer felt angry at Jhudora for demanding a long hair brush over my short-hair
one. After all, her Poogle needed brushing, and she could hardly be expected
to accept less than the best.
I didn't stop to buy anything this time; I just rushed straight home. If they
were astonished yesterday, they were utterly amazed today. We had a feast that
night, and everyone begged me to tell them my secret. I refused--if Jhudora
knew I was telling my family, she might not favour me. I just felt I had to
keep it a secret.
The next day, and the next, I came back for more quests. I fetched her sketch
pads; collars; magical items; food; all manner of things. She rewarded me with
jellies, brushes, makeup and toys, all marked Jhudora's and worth at
least a thousand NP. A few days, she didn't give me anything, and I didn't ask
for anything. We could stand a couple of days with no dough.
But then came a week where she paid me nothing for my work. I came every day,
from Sunday to Saturday, bringing her rather expensive items (well, not lavishly
expensive, but still rather high-end), but every time she just snatched them
from me and told me to come back the next day.
My family still didn't know where I made the NP. I never showed them any of
Jhudora's things; I made sure to sell them for NP and then give it to them.
After a while they stopped asking because they knew it was making me irritable,
and just took the money.
Finally, after a week or so of getting no payment for my quests, I managed
to scrape up enough courage to ask her timidly, "Jhudora, c-could I please have
some Neopoints? Or an item? I-I mean, we're running out of money, and food..."
"Quiet!" she snapped. "I can't give you anything! Fyora is watching this place
like a hawk! If she finds out I'm giving regular Neopets dark items, she'll
drum me out of the faerie business! When she leaves I believe I can. But not
I gulped, but I supposed that made sense. Fyora was the queen of the faeries,
and of course she wouldn't stand for any NeoPet to get items from a dark one,
even if they were making the pet rich. Some details didn't make sense, but I
figured I'd be getting good items soon.
Every once in a while, I would get very good items, and that would make up
for the days without. I was trapped then, I guess; my family's pressure, Jhudora's
mind games and my own doubts kept me coming back, hoping for money. She even
showed me other, now-rich pets who she said had got rich just because of her.
It kept me brainwashed, I supposed. Her quests started costing more. When I
asked why, she replied, "Remember what I told you in the beginning? 'But as
the quests become harder your rewards will be ever greater.' I told you they
would get harder."
But the rewards didn't get any greater. I was buying her Easter Neggs and
she was giving me old ratty clothes worth 500 NP. Every so often she'd toss
me a bone, so to speak, a lost Maraquan treasure, or a gift from one of the
queens of the Lost Desert. But those were very rare and just enough to keep
me coming back.
One day, I was sitting in her cloud, which looked almost as natural as home
by then. She was apparently busy grooming her Poogle--but with a short hair
brush, I noticed wryly. Finally she looked up and said, "I've been wanting my
Poogle here to be something, well, less cutesy. I was thinking something distinctly
reptilian. Go fetch me a Krawk petpet. Quickly, now! I'm giving you twenty minutes!"
I gulped. Krawks cost 100,000 NP, and I could never do that! At auction, they
got even higher; and people were demanding outrageous things for trades. There
was no way I could get a Krawk for her.
I stood up and did something I had never ever done before: I refused her quest.
"No," I said. "I can't get you a Krawk, Jhudora." Her eyes blazed as she stood
up, knocking the Poogle from its perch. "You refuse? Well. Isn't this a first?
After so much I invested in you--you didn't think my payment in items was free,
did you? I had to create those things myself--you would suddenly deny me something
I ask? Well. Fine, then. Go."
I left then, though she was still talking. It was something about letting
a good, honest faerie down. I felt, right then, empowered; I could do anything!
I went back to the quests the next day. She had a hint of a smile on her face,
but she didn't say anything about my refusal. All she said was, "You have been
set back to your number-one quest. You are now at the very beginning."
This was a very clever ploy, I realise now, though I didn't then. It made
me frenzied, trying to get back to my previous score. I reached an all-time
low one day when I had to buy a medallion for her that cost 20,000 NP. I was
actually begging in the marketplace for spare Neopoints.
I forgot, though, that I was in the marketplace my family shopped in, so I
guess you can understand my surprise when my sister Nawe demanded from a shop
door, "Obi! What are you doing?!"
From there, my whole story just unraveled. I told Shyna, Mikey, Nawe, and
Flyt everything: Jhudora, the items, my source of Neopoints, how I had refused
a Krawk, why our funds had been dwindling (the cost of the items had risen),
everything. Of course, Shyna forbade me to pay visits to Jhudora anymore, and
Mikey contacted the other faeries, specifically Fyora. They in turn told me
that they had been asked by a sympathetic shopkeeper--the Cyclopian one, in
fact--to keep an eye out for me. I returned to thank him the next day.
The last I heard, Jhudora
has been shut down. But she may be operating somewhere else, so I always keep
an eye out for her dark cloud, ready to take some unsuspecting pet in. Maybe
next time you won't be as lucky as me; I actually learnt to appreciate my owner
and all the nice stuff she does. So please keep an eye out.
Note: The pets in here are not related to the real pets Obi the Eyrie, Nawe
the Uni, Mikey the Kiko, mikey the Shoyru, the user Shyna or Flyt the Uni.