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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Running, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 42 > Short Stories > Spooky

Spooky

by slack_jawd_yokel

It all started when Alison, my owner, decided to take me and my family camping. With only one normal member (Me, KiwiBonk), a prissy white Aisha, a speckled Aisha that likes to take everything apart, and a really, really, REALLY annoying youngest brother, who happens to be an Aisha, too, not to mention four PetPets who would rather eat toe jam than leave the house, I knew that this camping trip was doomed.

Alison got the camping idea when she was reading a Neomail her friend, named Krista, had sent her. She said that she was going camping. Therefore, my brilliant owner got the sudden urge to go spend some quality time in the woods with her pets.

You know, there's only two 'Woods' in Neopia: The Haunted Forest, and the Tyrannian Jungle. I said 'No way' to the Tyrannian Jungle, since it reeks of dung and is teeming with dinosaurs. MinxJade wasn't too hot about camping for a night in a forest that is dark, gloomy, and also appears to be haunted. We (Me, my brothers, and Alison) persuaded her to come, saying that it was only for a night, people went into the Haunted Woods all the time, and there was no way that we could possibly meet a ghost.

Boy, were we wrong.

The first thing we saw as we trudged along a muddy path, each carrying a heavy bookbag, (Except for ChinoGod, the youngest, you'll see why later), and MinxJade carrying a fishbowl containing Sara Dippity, her pet Bluna, was none other than possibly the most famous ghost in Neopia, the Shadow Usul.

Okay, I was much too stunned to do anything. You see, I don't really believe in that kind of stuff. But there she was before me, in flesh and blood. Sort of.

"Hello," said Alison slowly. The Shadow Usul said nothing.

"Heee?" said Snuffs, KiwiBonk's Abominable Snowball, which probably meant something like, 'This camping trip was a baaaaaaad idea.'

"How ya doing?" said Rumples. Still nothing.

"Uh guys, I don't think this is the real Shadow Usul," MinxJade said.

The Shadow Usul stirred. Its glowing red eyes rested on the white Aisha. She gulped.

"Let's slowly walk away," I suggested. They followed my suggestion. Together we slowly backed away. The Shadow Usul followed.

"KB, this isn't working!" Alison said.

"How much father to our campsite?" asked Chino, who seemed undisturbed by the fact a dangerous evil monster was following us.

"I thought we could camp under the Brain Tree," said Alison.

"And be bombarded with questions like when and where George Lupe died?"

"Run for it!" MinxJade screamed. We all turned and ran. I tripped on a root and rolled down a hill that seemed to be covered with sea urchins. At last I rammed into something. I opened my eyes, and looked all around. It was black. Very black. And quiet. Very quiet.

"Alison?" I called into the darkness. My voice echoed back. I was in a cavern of some sort. A drop of some foul smelling liquid landed on my paw. My eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light. There was a kind of stalactite growing from the ceiling. For the first time, I noticed the floor was damp and squishy. It stank of rotting meat. I stood up. The floor moved.

The cavern was filled with the same stinky stuff that was on my paw. It swirled around my legs, and the smell nearly made me hurl. And yet, the smell was sort of familiar. Where had I smelt it before? Somewhere in the Haunted Forest. But where?

"ARRRGGHHH!" I suddenly realised where I was. Not in a cavern, but in the Esophagor's mouth! "Lemme out!!! Lemme out!!!! LEMME OUT!!!!!!"

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaat waaaaaaaaaaaaas thaaaaaaaaaaat?" Every time the Esophagor spoke, an oval of light appeared at one end of the cavern.

"I'm inside your mouth! Spit me out!" I yelled.

"Hooooooooooow diiid yooooooou geeeeeeeeet in theeeeeeere?" it said.

"You ate me!"

"Ooooooooooooh. Soooooooooooooorryyyyyyyyyyyy." Pbultht! With a noise like a whoopee cushion, the Esophagor spat me out. I lay for a moment on the mucky ground, covered in spit and gasping for breath.

"Thanks," I said to the greyish lump of slime with two red eyes, and a large gaping mouth from which I had just exited.

"Nooooooooo proooobleeeeeeeeem."

I decided to leave very quickly. I walked a short distance, until I saw Alison and the others, still sporting their knapsacks, walking towards the Brain Tree. I was very alarmed to see the Shadow Usul still on their heels.

"There's KiwiBonk!" Chino cried, pointing in my direction.

"Ew," said MinxJade as I came closer.

"What happened to you?" asked Spitfire, Rumples' Airax.

"I got eaten by the Esophagor," I explained. "You couldn't get rid of the Shadow Usul?"

"Yeah, we tried to run away, but we couldn't. She was too fast," Chino said.

"Anyway, guys, let's set up camp. That's what we came here to do, after all," said Alison.

Ignoring the Brain Tree's annoying questions, we set up three tents underneath its gnarled roots. One tent was for me, Alison and MinxJade, one was for Rumples and Chino, and the last one was for the PetPets.

"Let's eat!" said MinxJade.

"I hope you didn't pack anything gross," Rumples said.

"Uh, my bookbag kinda came off when I was rolling down that hill," I said.

"Don't worry. The only stuff I put in yours was lipgloss," Alison said. "Oh no! The lipgloss!" She took off running in the direction of Sea Urchin Hill.

"Okay, whose bookbag was the food in?" Rumples asked. Nobody said anything.

"Heeee!" Snuffs screamed, which probably meant something along the lines of, 'Don't look at me."

"I believe it was Chino's," Spitfire said from his perch of the Brain Tree's brain.

"When did Patrick Poogle die? Where did Chester Korbat die?" the tree hollered.

"Chino? What did you do with the food?"

"I... I... ate it," Chino whispered, his eyes filling with tears.

"You ate it? All? Even the baggus?" I demanded.

"There wasn't a Baggus," Chino said.

"Come on, this is Alison we're talking about. There had to have been a Baggus"

During all this, the Shadow Usul stared us without blinking.

"Great. Now what can we eat?" MinxJade whined.

"Let's pick some mushrooms or something and cook them," Rumples suggested.

"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" said Snuffs, which probably meant, 'Ew.' "We can catch like a bird or something," said MinxJade. Spitfire squawked and flew away.

"Peanut's kind of a bird. Let's eat her," I offered. Peanut, the Flightning Bug, jerked horribly. We all shuddered involuntarily.

"No!" Chino cried.

"Yeah, you ate our food, we'll eat your pet," Rumples said evilly.

Chino burst into tears. I was about to add something else, but a cold wind blew past my ears, and made my fur stand on end. MinxJade's eyes grew large. Rumples stiffened. Chino stopped crying. The ground and the surrounding trees disappeared behind a grey mist.

"What's happening?" said MinxJade in a tiny voice.

The proud figure of a lone Lupe appeared behind Chino. His body seemed to be made of smoke. He had black holes where his eyes should have been. Another ghost.

"Go away," said Chino.

"No," said the Lupe.

"Chino, watch your manners," I said.

"Sorry."

"That's okay," the Lupe rumbled.

"Who are you?" MinxJade asked.

"I am the Ghost Lupe," the figure announced proudly.

"Hi, I'm KiwiBonk," I said. "That's MinxJade, that's Rumples, this is Chino, and these are our pets, Peanut, Snuffs, and Sara Dippity."

"My pet's gone somewhere else," Rumples said.

"Our owner Alison left to get her lipgloss," said Chino.

"I see."

"So...." I said, attempting to make conversation. "How are you?"

"I'm all right. It's kinda lonely sitting here in this void of mist. You?"

"Fine."

"Fine."

"Yeah, me too."

"Good, I guess."

"Bbbttzzipp!"

"Blooooooooob."

"Heeeeee!"

"Well, I gotta go," said the Ghost Lupe.

"Okay, bye."

"See you," I said. The Ghost Lupe disappeared, and so did the mist. Slowly, the forms of the Brain Tree (Still shouting questions) and the Haunted Forest appeared.

"That was weird," MinxJade said, after a pause.

"Hey, guys!" Alison called, running towards us. As she came closer, I could see she was carrying her tubes of lipgloss in her arms.

"Look, there's a lake!" Chino said, pointing to a lake that had not been there before. "We can catch some fish!"

"Why would we catch fish?" Alison asked.

"Chino ate our food, remember," MinxJade said. "Oh yeah, you weren't here."

"Why don't we just eat-" Rumples began, looking hungrily at Sara Dippity, but was silenced by a jab in the ribs with MinxJade's elbow.

"Okay, let's fish," I said. We began making fishing rods out of really long, black, skinny things poking out of the ground that I suppose were grass or something, and string that Chino just happened to have in his pocket. When we were done, we went to the edge of the lake, and cast our strings into the inky black water.

"I just remembered something," said Rumples after a few minutes. "We were supposed to put hooks and bait on these things."

"And we were also supposed to hang onto the rods when we cast them out," I said, eying our fishing rods that were slowly floating away.

So we made them again, this time with little hooks made out of some wire we found bent into hook shapes. As for the bait, we used worms. There were enough of those around. I already had like twenty stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

Snuffs, who had made his own fishing rod (which is amazing, considering he has no arms), caught the first fish. Actually, it probably wasn't a fish. It had leathery skin, a huge gaping mouth, strange shoelace-looking tentacles, and smelt like a waterlogged boot. So we threw it back. During all this, and through the Ghost Lupe episode, the Shadow Lupe was still there, silent as a.......shadow.

I began to question whether or not we were going to find something, and even if we did, whether we should eat it. At last, MinxJade got a nibble. On her behind.

"OW!!!" she screamed. "That Chia bit me!"

"MinxJade," Rumples said. "You are obviously imagining things. For that is the Jelly Chia, and it is not capable of biting you."

Sure enough, a bluish blob of jelly (Let me tell you, it did not even remotely resemble a Chia) was sitting there, jiggling like all jelly does.

Chino timidly stepped forward and pinched it. Nothing happened.

"I swear it bit me. I'm sure it did." MinxJade protested.

"It's probably someone's jelly that they dropped there when we weren't looking," Alison said.

"Then why didn't we hear them?" MinxJade asked.

"Jelly doesn't really make much of a noise when you drop it," said Chino. To prove his point, he picked up the blob and dropped it down. It promptly broke into two pieces with a kind of 'Squuishhhurp.'

"AHH!" Chino screamed.

"You killed the Jelly Chia!" MinxJade shouted.

"Not so loud," said Alison. "You don't want someone to see what we've done. We could get arrested."

"Heeeee!!" Snuffs shrieked, which probably meant something like, 'You mean, Chino will get arrested.'

"Look, he's putting himself back together," I yelled. With the same kind of squishing noise, the Jelly Chia became one piece again.

"Cool," said Chino. "Do it again."

"No," said the Jelly Chia. We were all taken by surprise.

"I didn't know you could talk," I said.

"Boy, if I had a Neopoint for every time someone said that, I... I'd have a Neopoint"

"Oh, are you shy?" MinxJade asked kindly.

"Don't scare him, MJ," I said.

"Actually, I'm a girl," said the Jelly Chia patiently.

"Oh."

"I'm very misunderstood, and that makes me sad."

"I am too," said Chino. "Everyone thinks I'm a hyperactive five year old obsessed with NeoBoys and destroying things, who picks his nose, when in reality, I'm a hyperactive five year old obsessed with NeoBoys and destroying things, who doesn't pick his nose."

"At least nobody thinks you're dangerous," said the Jelly Chia sadly.

"Don't be too sure about that," MinxJade said evilly.

"All of Neopia is scared of me. I don't have any friends," said the Chia, shedding a jelly tear.

"We'll be your friends," Alison told her.

"Ew, no way, I'd never be friends with you losers," snapped the Jelly Chia, and bounced away.

"Okay, that was... um... interesting," Alison said.

We all turned back to our fishing rods. Mine was bent almost to the water.

"You caught something, KB!" MinxJade hollered.

"Heeeee!!!" screamed Snuffs, which probably meant, 'Better not be another boot!'

We all grabbed the pole and yanked. A dark shape flew out of the water, spraying us with muck.

"Hee hee hee!!!" chuckled an evil voice.

"Uh oh," Alison whispered. I noticed she took a Chia Bubble Gun out of her pocket, which was weird, since only Chias can use them.

In front of us was floating a greyish-blue... thing with glowing red eyes. It had long skinny arms, which it was holding out to us. Its mouth was open in a wide grin.

"Hi," said Alison, trying a friendly approach.

"Who are you?" asked MinxJade.

"I am the Pant Devil!!!!" it said. "Ah ha ha ha ha!!!"

"Pleased to meet you," I said pleasantly. I've heard of this guy. He steals stuff, and.... not much else. I'd better be nice.

"I am going to steal your stuff!" the Pant Devil said.

"NO!!" Alison screamed, and hugged her lipgloss tight to her chest.

"Heee!!!!" Snuffs screeched, which probably meant something like, 'Weirdo.'

"If you're the Pant Devil, how come you don't have any pants?" Chino said.

"Because I don't need any. Muah ha ha ha!!!"

"Yeah, he kinda doesn't have any legs," Rumples said.

"You laugh like the bad guy on Space Aishas," Chino told the evil monster standing a few feet in front of him.

"What's Space Aishas?" it said.

"My NeoBoy game."

"Ah ha ha ha!!! I'll steal that, too!"

"Nice going," I said. "There goes your only source of entertainment."

"No, it's a really cool game!" Chino said, his eyes shining. Once Chino gets started on video games, nothing will stop him. Once he talked for a WHOLE day about how cool this guy named Captain Aisha was.

"You control Lieutenant Shay. You must battle the evil gross green aliens, before they take over the galaxy!" Chino announced.

"Sounds pretty cool," the Pant Devil said.

"Yeah, the graphics are really good! The best character in the game is Captain Aisha. He's got a gigantic Turbo Lazar Charger. It can blow the enemies up in one shot!"

"Seriously?"

"Seriously. I have this other game, called 'The Oracle of Aishas'. It's pretty cool too."

"Shut up," MinxJade said, turning a little green. She hated video games like Chias hate rabid Lupes.

Chino continued to tell the Pant Devil all about his video games. The rest of us sat around, our hands on our chins, continuing to fish. At last a giant voice boomed, "JUNIOR!!" from beyond the trees somewhere. The ground shook. We woke from our bored stupor.

"Oh, gotta go," said the Pant Devil. He floated towards the voice, calling, "I'm coming, mommy!"

"Heeeee!!!" Snuffs screeched, which probably meant something like, 'Man, let's leave this forest.'

"Let's leave this forest," I said. Snuffs beamed at me.

"Okay. Before we meet another ghost," Alison agreed. We said goodbye to the Shadow Usul and the Brain Tree, packed our tents and bookbags, found Spitfire, pried Snuffs away from his fishing rod, and set off towards home.

Rumples argued that it wasn't officially a camping trip, because we left at like ten in the night, but let me tell you, I don't want to see another tent for a long time.

Fluzzyface, Krista's Poogle, wanted to know how my camping trip went. I just smiled and said, "Spooky."

The End


Author's Note: I'm sorry if I offended the Shadow Usul, the Esophagor, the Brain Tree, the Ghost Lupe, the Jelly Chia or the Pant Devil with my story. Uh oh, someone's knocking at my door...

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