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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 16th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 45 > Short Stories > Odour of Stenchpaw

Odour of Stenchpaw

by al_the_chia

The News Acara hurled a paper at Stenchpaw's door as he biked across the rugged terrain of Lupe Forest. It thwacked against the dung door of the Lupe's house as the Acara rang his bike bell. After a few moments, the dung-constructed door flew open, and a black paw picked up the paper.

"Thanking you!!"

"Whatever!!" the Acara yelled in response, sniffing the air as he continued his deliveries. Stenchpaw Lupaire, the skunk Lupe, took in a deep, oblivious breath of air, not noticing his unique smell had killed off two insects buzzing around his head.

"Ahh… what lovely morning. The flowers are being smelling lovely, and I am not being unhappy at the all!!"

His thick, French accent and poor grammar showed through every badly pronounced word he spoke in English.

"Well," he began. "What has going to happening today…" He stopped himself. "Uh, yesterday? Yes! That is the correct word!" Stenchpaw strolled back into his dung house with his newspaper, taking a seat in his dung couch and opening it with enthusiasm. "Let us be seeing…"

The headline was:

GROOMING PARLOUR
SEARCHING FOR THE NEXT BIG SCENT!

"Hm…" Interested, Stenchpaw read further…

The owners of the famous Grooming Parlour in Neopia Central has decided to have a naming contest for his newly invented perfume. The new perfume, which contains dragonbud essence, glass rose shards, and several other secret ingredients, is said to be the sweetest smell since the invention of Peophin Fragrance Soap, and is also going to be the most expensive, going at an estimated price of 100,000 NP, which is the most expensive price ever put on a grooming item in Neopia! "We want the name to be new, different, and something to grab people's attention!" commented Mr. Satoshi Usakaki, president of the company. "And we will pay anything to find that name!!" Not only will the winner of this enormous contest receive exactly 10,000 Neopoints, but they will also put the face of the person who wrote it on the front of the bottle. "So grab a pen and write down the most creative name you can think of!! Who knows? You, yes, YOU, might be the next big star in Neopia!!" says Miss Mihoshi Usumoshi, Chief of Advertisement for the Grooming Parlour.

(For entry, Neomail your names to Usakaki Enterprises, PO box 000, with your name, address, and phone number. 6 NP shipping and handling required)

Stenchpaw set down the paper, taking a big sip from his coffee cup. "HM… For just 6 NP, I could have 10,000, and plus, the popularity I've longed to have since I was a child? How interested!!" Stenchpaw snatched a piece of paper and began to brainstorm names…

Usakaki Enterprises HQ...

President Satoshi Usakaki was a small Usul. He had jet-black hair, a trim moustache, and a pair of square, businesslike glasses. He always wore a navy blue suit with a red tie and a perfectly folded white handkerchief in the pocket, and always had a serious, thoughtful expression on his businesslike face. He sat at the head of the huge table, which was lined with a dozen different Usuls. Some were men. Some were women. All were a businesslike, motley crew of yes-men, in the neatest suits, awaiting any word from their leader, Mr. Usakaki. At the very far end of the table, a large Skeith was seated. He had a cigar and a contemptuous sneer on his big mouth, and wore a large, brown trench coat. "Well, Mr. Usakaki, I hope you are doing well." Mr. Usakaki was very nervous, but he did a very good job of not showing it.

"Mister Malkus, we told you we are coming up with a new scent that will bring us out of debt… why do you still threaten us?"

Malkus leaned back in the chair. "Well, Satoshi, you see, your company hasn't been selling the most out of all the others. As a matter of fact…" Malkus pointed to a large chart in the corner, depicting a red line pointing almost straight down. "It's at rock bottom."

Satoshi kept his firm face on. "We can improve sales, Mr. Vile... just give us time."

"We've given you a lot of time, Satoshi!" Malkus banged a paw on the table, causing four of the smaller Usuls to fall out of their chairs. "You are in deep debt. VERY deep debt. And my boss isn't very happy with you." He took the cigar out of his mouth, putting it out on the polished table. "I'm warning you, Satoshi. If this stupid perfume doesn't sell, this joint is going to be called Vile Cosmetics, and if you REALLY aren't careful, you'll be mysteriously 'flushed' out of existence, got it?"

Satoshi didn't flinch. "I guarantee you that it will sell, Mr. Vile. Now please go…I will have your money in two months."

Malkus snorted. "Fine. I'm a busy Skeith, and I have other appointments to keep. I'll see you here, again, soon, Mr. Usakaki. Good evening!!" He released a deep, raspy guffaw before disappearing out the door, leaving the stupefied Usuls to ponder at their predicament…

Stenchpaw's house...

Stenchpaw had written down at least twelve name suggestions. "HM… let us be seeing… Odour of Faerie, Odour of Love, Odour of Magical blossom, Odour to beat all Odour, Odour of Stench, Odour of the Odious…" Finally, after several days, he produced enough names to satisfy himself. The next morning, he waited at the front steps until the grouchy-faced Mailchia arrived. "Here you are!" Stenchpaw handed him the letter. "Please make sure it is getting there ASAP!!" The Mailchia grumbled under his breath as he waddled back to his truck. "Thanking you!" Stenchpaw cheered.

"Go jump in a vat of pudding!" the Chia snapped back, zooming away.

Stenchpaw nodded. "Ah, what a kind Chia…"

Several weeks later...

President Usakaki filed through the massive amounts of letters. "Usumoshi!! Are you sure this was a good idea?"

A loud electric Usul with horn-rimmed glasses popped out from within a letter bag. "Are you kidding me Sato? It's a Whammy!! A Wing-Dinger! A Doozy! A real steal!! TRUST me!!"

Mihoshi Usumoshi, Chief of Advertising, clicked a gold pen that rested behind her ear as she opened up a planner. "I've got us set up everywhere that's anywhere! We have a commercial on NTV, we've purchased a huge spot on the notice boards, heck, and we've even created a guild!! Satoshi baby, I'm POSITIVE it will be a sell-out!! TRUST me!!" She presented him with a neatly folded letter. "Now, honey, I want you to look at these. I'm POSITIVE that this one is a winner!"

She unfolded it and thrust it in his face. The name 'Odour of Stench' was highlighted.

"See this? THIS, my dear friend, is the next Thingamagummy!! The Greatest Gildersneeze since Sliced Bread!! It had Pizzazz! Potential! Political Prowess! TRUST ME!!!"

Usakaki sighed. "You haven't failed this company since you've been here, Mihoshi. I trust you."

"GOOOOOOOOOOD!!" Usumoshi smirked through her purple-lipsticked lips, showing two gold teeth in her otherwise perfect smile. "Let's get started then!! The creator of this name is a guy named Stenchpaw!! It's a unique name! Fantastic, really!" She presented a photograph of the skunk Lupe "And he's GORGEOUS!! A real stud-muffin!! A looker if I've ever looked at a looker Lupe!! His face was MADE to be on deodorant bottles!" (If only she knew how true that was…)

Usakaki scratched his chin. "I see… but are you certain that… Odour of Stench… will save the company? I've had my doubts since day one… I just have a bad feeling…"

"Satoshi, baby," Usumoshi put a paw on his shoulder and flashed her award-winning smile once again. "Don't you TRUST me?"

The next day...

Usukaki grinned as the cameras flashed, standing in front of the beauty parlour. "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls," he began. "We all know how much you love your beautiful selves. That's why we've spent years developing this scent… so it could be perfect, just for you!"

"Aww…" the crowd cooed.

Usukaki cleared his throat, putting a paw onto a large red sheet draped over a gigantic bottle-shaped figure.

"And now… for the first time in history… we present to you… ODOUR OF STENCHPAW!!"

He whipped the sheet off, grinning. An image of a skunk Lupe was painted on the large, pink bottle. Big blue letters stated the name of the product loudly. Everyone fell silent. Usukaki began to sweat as he looked out over the awestruck crowd. Suddenly, they burst into cheers. Cameras flashed and people applauded as Usukaki scratched his head, confused…

***

Usumoshi was right. The name and the picture of Stenchpaw on the front were a definite plus for the perfume. Millions flocked to the grooming store, snatching as many bottles as possible. The stocks for Usukaki enterprises went up like a rocket. Things were looking great. Of course, this was just the first week of selling. Now, they had to present the check to Stenchpaw, and tell him about his new perfume. Usukaki wanted to simply send him a nice letter with a check inside, congratulating the Lupe But Usumoshi had different ideas.

"Baby, darling, SWEETHEART!" she crooned, as Usukaki sat down in his meeting room. "It would be GREAT publicity to go to the Lupe's house and personally present the check to him!! TRUST me, it would look GREAT on live TV!"

Usukaki was hesitant. "Are you sure? I was hoping after we presented him with the check, we could just do a photo shoot and have a small billboard with his picture, you know, like the Neopian Lottery does…"

"Oh, we need MORE than that! We need commercials! We need to put this Lupe on the spotlight! Movie options! Fashion lines! Can't you see it?" She held a paw up in the air, as if pointing to a sign up in the sky. "Stenchpaw Jeans!!"

Usukaki sighed. "Well… you were right about it at first… I suppose you'll be right again…"

Usumoshi smiled deviously, adjusting her horn-rimmed glasses as she took a couple notes into her planner. "I KNEW you'd TRUST me!!"

Stenchpaw's House...

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!

"Well, who could that being?" Stenchpaw got up from his seat at his table, walking over to the door. Still in his bathrobe and pink Cybunny slippers, he opened the door, still half asleep. "Yes?"

"CONGRATULATIONS!!" Stenchpaw nearly fell over as the loud voice of Usumoshi, amplified by a microphone, blared into his ears. She flashed her awards winning smile at the cameraman behind her. "For those of you just tuning in, I'm at the house of Stenchpaw Lupaire, and…" She paused, sniffing the air daintily. "HM…" She took a step away from the door. "And we are here to present him with his check for a MILLION NP, and a brand new bottle of his new perfume, Odour of Stench!" She produced a humongous check from behind her, holding it up in the air.

Stenchpaw sat up on the floor, clutching his head. "Wha… what have I been winning?"

"Ah! He's awake, folks!" Usumoshi scuttled over to help him up, then paused, sniffing the air again. "HM…Well, now's the opportunity to test out your new perfume!"

"New perfume? What?"

Usumoshi, grinning, held up the bottle of Odour of Stench.

"WAIT!! I AM BEING THE ALLERGIC TO…"

Before Stenchpaw could protest further, she sprayed a huge amount of the pink perfume into the air. A thick, magenta cloud enshrouded the skunk Lupe With a cough, his eyes bugging, he began to have a reaction to the perfume. He broke out into hives, his face bloated into three times its usual size, his throat closed up, and his fur turned blue. Usumoshi, hesitant, flashed her phoney smile again, stepping in front of the choking Lupe. "Well, he seems to be very surprised…"

"HHUUUUUUUURK… HAAAAAAAACK…"

Usumoshi, her smile getting more and more nervous, began to talk louder to cover up his anguished, strangled cries. "And… uh… he's very happy to smell his new perfume as well…"

"IT IS BEING THE KILLING ME!! HELP!! HELP!!" Stenchpaw weakly screamed, clutching his throat.

Usumoshi shoved the check and bottle of perfume into his house and kicked the door shut in Stenchpaw's face, smiling brightly. "And…"

"I CAN'T BE BREATHING!! I CAN'T BE…"

There was one more loud, rattling cough and a long, gasping wheeze. And finally, with a dull thud, everything fell silent. Usumoshi stopped talking, putting an ear against the door. "Um… Yep, he's speechless all right…"

Several Weeks Later...

"In other news, the Odour of Stenchpaw was declared hazardous by the Neopian Bureau of Health after the near-death experience of Stenchpaw Lupaire, who is currently recovering in the Hospital. Before Usukaki Enterprises' eminent failure, Satoshi Usukaki officially handed over ownership of the company to Mihoshi Usumoshi, his head of advertising, moving to Mystery Island soon after to retire comfortably. 'I trust her with getting us out of debt,' he said, when asked for comment. Several days later, Usumoshi disappeared. Surprisingly as well, a note was found on her desk stating that she was giving all ownership of the company to Vile Corporation. Malkus Vile, president of the Vile Co., was very upset when informed upon the missing Mihoshi. 'We had just made some… er… negotiations the day before, and when we heard she was gone, we were devastated,' Malkus said, a tear in his eye. 'We hope she is found soon.' Soon afterwards, Usumoshi's Horn-Rimmed glasses were found in the lavatory of Vile Corp, along with her trademark lipstick tube. More evidence is needed, but police believe that she was flushed down the toilet. "It's highly unlikely she survived," the Chief of Police stated. Details are unclear as to who could have committed this awful crime, but Vile refused to comment…"

Usukaki shut off his TV, reclining into his chair on the beach. He opened up a neocola, staring at the setting sun and smiling. "Yup… I trust her all right."

The End

(The Moral of the Story: Trust only goes so far in the world of Big Business.)

(The Secondary Moral: Watch out for Skeiths who threaten to flush you down the toilet.)

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