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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Relaxing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 51 > Short Stories > Slimed

Slimed

by scriptfox

Author's note: In writing this account of the most traumatic event to occur in our household since MonoKeras and Kallisari were married, I have been forced to rely upon accounts given by others. The perceptive reader will quickly see where I have had to assume what happened in other areas and have descended into the realm of speculative fiction in writing those scenes. It is my hope that I will be forgiven these lapses, and that the reader will understand my lack of desire and ability to question all of the participants in this story.

LIKE MANY TROUBLES in life, this one started out small. What caused it originally may well remain unknown forever. Perhaps it was the blinds letting the sun into Kallisari's eyes too early in the morning. Perhaps it was MonoKeras' unintentionally harsh tones, and perhaps they were caused by his own frustrations at facing an important and tricky case for the day. Whatever the cause, the argument that resulted when MonoKeras found his favourite combs hiding under the dresser instead of on top was loud enough to wake me from my own sleep. I got up and stuck my head into the hallway so that I could hear what the argument was about. Rolling my eyes, I went back into the room to get around for my own activities that day. I figured they were both adults now, and that they should be able to handle a trivial affair like that.

     It got a bit more serious an hour or so later. I was dressed and going down for breakfast when I met MonoKeras. He was heading out the door with his trenchcoat snugged tightly into place.

     "Had breakfast already?" I inquired.

     "Nah. I figure I'll be safer staying out of the kitchen for a while. I'll catch something at the food shop on my way into the office."

     "Okay, well good luck and take care."

     He waved an absentminded hoof at me on his way out the door, obviously more concerned with his work for the day than the wife he was leaving behind in the kitchen. When I went into the kitchen, I found that Kallisari was still sniffling as she laid out a very fancy breakfast. I recognised some of MonoKeras' favourite dishes and commented upon it.

     "Yes, I know," she sighed. The ears poking up out of her witch's hat drooped despondently. "We had an argument this morning. He was being his usual conceited self, but I didn't have to respond to his baiting. Only I forgot that then and... well... maybe I can get him in a better mood with this."

     I stared at her and my stomach got that sinking, sick feeling in it. "Uhhmmm... I hate to tell you this, but MonoKeras already left for the day. I think he's avoiding you. No doubt a guilty conscience," I added hastily.

     To say that Kallisari was less than overjoyed is to understate the case. To say that she was upset and furious would be closer, although I'm not sure how well she can hold a grudge. (Not very, I suspect. The fact that she was ready to make up already would indicate that.) I managed to get my own breakfast down safely before leaving myself, but the unresolved situation between those two nagged at me off and on during the day. That's the trouble with Neopets, I guess... you can't help but worry about them, even when it doesn't do any good.

     I suspect that the situation was nagging MonoKeras as well, even though he's never admitted to it. The all important case turned out to be an investigation for the Chia Cops. They'd managed to catch a purple Skeith smuggling in illegal Battledome weapons. They had almost everything they needed for the case, but they were missing one very important thing- what was his smuggling route? Without that, they knew his confederates would manage to smuggle in more weapons, even assuming they did sentence him to prison.

     As he looked at the Skeith's profile, MonoKeras didn't need to be told who was helping him. The marks were plain for anyone to see- that is, anyone who'd had the sort of faerie dealings that MonoKeras had. He pulled out his old paint pots and headed for another rendezvous with the Dark Faeries.

     The cave was dark, but then it always was. MonoKeras proceeded to use his special paint to draw the Y on the floor that would summon the Dark Faerie. He made it large, and then instead of using only a broken circle around it, he made it entire. That is how I know he was not in a good mood. Normally, he would be much too careful- dare I say wise- to enforce a commanding summons upon a Dark Faerie.

     MonoKeras' skill had increased a lot during the past few months, and the summons this time was so powerful that he managed to capture a very important faerie- Jhudora herself.

     MonoKeras invoked the ritual greeting. "I see you, Jhudora."

     "And I you, MonoKeras," she replied with a bored air. The boredom vanished when she found she couldn't step outside of the circle. "Let me out of here, you vicious little Uni," she snarled as she pounded the invisible barrier surrounding her.

     "Not until I've sent you on your own errand, Jhudora." MonoKeras failed to react to her sulphurous response. "It's really quite simple. I need knowledge of the whereabouts of a purple Skeith, two hundred and eighty pounds, operating under the code name of burgaloo. I believe he passed through your domain, along with his accomplices, at 8 p.m. three days ago last night. Give me where, who, and as exact a time as you can manage."

     "That's not how you do things!" Jhudora shrieked. "Have you lost your senses, you yellow hairball? We're supposed to haggle, you don't just 'command' a Dark Faerie!"

     "Too late. I already did. Now go!" The force of MonoKeras' command threw Jhudora into a tailspin and she found herself back in the Dark Faerie caves before she had recovered her balance. The geas was upon her, and she was forced to find out MonoKeras' information for him. It only took a matter of minutes. Dark Faeries are notorious for knowing all about any sort of trespasser in their domain. And to a Dark Faerie, all non-Dark Faeries are trespassers, regardless of what deals they've struck for their own safety.

     She was still steaming, but MonoKeras' power at least managed to keep a relatively civil tongue in her head as she reported back.

     "Burgaloo passed through the Northwest quadrant, exiting at the twisted tree at 9:24. Two accomplices--a red Buzz named tylpie and a yellow Scorchio, name unknown."

     "Very good, Jhudora." MonoKeras' indulgent tone caused her to bridle again. "You are dismissed."

     Jhudora managed to bite her tongue before it slipped out with the ritual 'thank you' of a trapped faerie. She sank silently into the rock floor, glaring until the last.

***

"I'm going to cream him! I'm going to yank his ears so hard they turn into strings! I'll pull his dirty little mane out by the roots- one hair at a time! I'll...."

     The Uber-Dark Faerie let her lips curl into a bored smirk as she watched Jhudora pacing back and forth in front of her. "I get the idea, Jhudora. You want revenge because he humiliated you."

     "Revenge?? That's not the half of it! Why, the legal stuff alone, I could get the Queen to..."

     "To do your dirty work for you? What kind of weakness is that?"

     Jhudora swallowed the rest of what she was about to say. A Dark Faerie does not show weakness. At best, it results in a loss of status. At worst, it could lead to a painful, prolonged, and messy end. "Okay, I'll just pulverise him by myself, then," she muttered when she got her voice back.

     "Oh come now, Jhudora," the Uber-Dark Faerie admonished gently. "Where's your style? That is just so easy and petty. No, dear one, to do this properly, you have to find some way to torment him."

     "I'll do that, too! I've got this kris bladed knife that...."

     "No, no, no. Now look. What are his weak points? Where does he live? What gets him really upset? Mmhmmm now you're starting to see the point. What we do is find out the one thing or person that he is most vulnerable to and attack him through them."

     Jhudora's face lit up with evil glee as she cackled. "I've got it! I know just the person to attack. Now how do we take her apart...."

***

Not surprisingly, MonoKeras spent a miserable evening apologising to Kallisari. She didn't beat him with her broom, as she had once in the past, but her tongue worked just as well. I was rather impressed, actually. She might still be good-hearted and a bit naive at times, but she'd come a long way from the poor, ignorant, half-wild pet that I'd adopted out of the pound. Her vocabulary was limited, but her eloquence came through quite clearly. MonoKeras' own ears were drooping as he went up to bed. If he'd been a Lupe, his tail would have been between his legs.

     When the next morning's sunlight shone through his bedroom window, MonoKeras groaned. He rolled over to find he was alone. Kallisari was obviously downstairs. He blinked at the brightness rather blearily, wondering if he could stay in bed with a headache for a while. Maybe he could say that he'd caught it from Kallisari last night. Nah, that'd be too obvious. She'd probably take it for another insult.

     His gloomy musings were interrupted by a shriek from downstairs. The bedsheet was left floating in the air as MonoKeras whisked out of the room and down the stairs faster than it could hit the mattress. He found Kallisari backed up against the wall, staring down at the floor with a horrified expression. Her broom was held in the half-cocked position, bristles quivering with her tension. MonoKeras looked down to find a spotted tan sort of creature with big black eyes staring up at Kallisari. It opened its mouth in a wide red grin before hissing.

     "EEEKKKK!"

     "Calm down, it's not going to hurt you. It's just a Slorg. It's a Petpet, see?"

     "GET RID OF IT! LOOK WHAT IT'S DONE TO MY KITCHEN FLOOR!"

     MonoKeras looked. A huge trail of sticky clear slime led across the floor and out the open back door. "Now how did that back door get opened," he muttered to himself. He looked out into the back yard, puzzled. The sound of loud whackings and hissing behind him made him spin back around. Kallisari had lost her patience- or her nerve- and was slamming the Slorg with her broom for all she was worth. It was bouncing around the room and off the walls, hissing angrily.

     A chance ricochet sent it flying into the living room, and MonoKeras practically stepped on Kallisari's tail flukes as he crowded her from behind when she followed it. "Hey, hey, HEY! You're just making things worse!"

     Kallisari wasn't listening. She continued to swipe at the now thoroughly aroused Slorg. A stench filled the room as it was knocked off the walls again, but it wasn't until it began to glow with a sickly purple light that MonoKeras knew something was very wrong. The hissing changed into a high-pitched shriek, somewhat akin to steam being let out of a kettle. The eyes changed to blazing coals of orange fire, and it wasn't being slapped against the walls now- it had gained the power of flight and was bouncing off them itself.

     Kallisari, her initial anger spent, tried to fend it off with her broom as it sailed towards her. It tore through the bristles, leaving a huge hole there. Severed bristle ends floated gently through the air as it bounced off the wall and headed back.

     "GET DOWN!" MonoKeras shouted as he pushed Kallisari to the floor. The former Slorg sailed overhead and thumped into a corner. MonoKeras felt Kallisari shaking underneath him. "Get out," he hissed into her ear and shoved her towards the kitchen door, placing himself between her and the monster.

     Kallisari didn't have to be told twice. She ran through the door and slammed it shut behind her. It was then that she began to sob and shake as reaction hit her. She listened fearfully to the hissings and snarlings coming from the living room as MonoKeras dealt with this menace. After a couple of heartbreaking minutes, the only sound was the low murmur of MonoKeras' voice. She couldn't make out the words, but it sounded calm and relaxed.

     Kallisari opened the door a crack. "Is it gone?" she quavered.

     "Shhhh.... it's all fine, Kalli, don't worry. Just come in slow and easy. And leave the broom in the kitchen."

     Kallisari meekly dropped her broom and slid into the living room cautiously. MonoKeras was sitting on the floor with the Slorg curled up in his lap as he stroked it. He looked up and grinned a bit wanly. "All better, Kalli. It looks like we have a new visitor."

     Kallisari gulped and stared down at the blob. It stared back up at her and grinned. At least it didn't hiss this time. "Well.... okay. As long as it isn't staying."

     MonoKeras' voice never lost it's calm petting tone as he continued talking. "Oh, it's staying. She's staying with us for good, I'm afraid. Jhudora and the Uber-Dark Faerie have seen to that."

     Kallisari managed to choke back her scream, but it still emerged as a frightened peep. "Eep.... what is it?"

     "Oh, she's a Slorg A nice little spooky Petpet. She says her name is Emerald, by the way." Emerald looked up and grinned again when she heard her name. "But... but... Jhudora? The Uber-Dark Faerie? I don't understand!"

     "Shhhh, calm down, Kalli, Emerald is still a bit shaken. She's also a curse from those two. I managed to make Jhudora angry with me yesterday, and this is her way of getting back. Emerald is going to stay with us for good. As long as we treat her fine, she's just another Petpet. But if we try to get rid of her, she turns into a magical demon straight from the deepest, most evil parts of the Dark Faerie caverns. Look on the bright side... she'll make the perfect watch-Petpet."

     "But... but... she's leaving trails of slime all over the place!"

     "I know. Slorgs do that."

     "But how am I supposed to keep this place clean when she's here messing it up??"

     MonoKeras sighed. "I'll find something to help with that. It's not enchanted, too, it's just regular old slime. Any normal Slorg does it all the time." He stood up, cradling Emerald in his arms.

     "Well... okay. If you want to keep her, I guess you can."

     "Me? Oh, no. Remember, I already have a Petpet--Sun Pegasus. Only one Petpet allowed per pet- Neopian law. She's yours, not mine." There was a soft thump. MonoKeras looked down at Kallisari's limp form as it sprawled in an unconscious heap over his hind hooves. This wasn't going to be easy.

     "Oh, brother," he groaned.

     Blchocobo's masked head poked its way into the room. "Did someone call for me?" he inquired brightly.

The End


Author's PS - Yes, MonoKeras did finally convince Kallisari to take care of Emerald. His promise of figuring out how to take care of the slime hasn't been fulfilled yet, but they're both working on it. It looks like we have no choice in the matter, and despite her constant protests, I suspect that Kallisari is actually becoming fond of the little critter.

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