Fired. The word echoed through Les' head, over and over,
as he trudged slowly through the streets of Neopia. All his worldly possessions
were slung over his back in a small pack, and he had no clear aim in mind. He'd
been best mates with Stevo since Kindergarten - the day they'd eaten worm nuggets
together. Mrs. Scruples, Les' mother, wasn't the best of cooks, and none of
the other kids would come near Les and his lunch. But Stevo thought Les' wiggling
food was 'exciting'! They'd been best mates ever since... and now, Keri had
taken it all away! Les sighed. He'd tried so hard to please Mrs. Furwin, but
the cranky Acara just didn't seem to have much tolerance for mistakes.
All of Neopia lay before him, full of wonder
and adventure. But all Les could think of was his comfortable room back at the
Lair, his nice computer and his Florg. "I shouldn't think about Florg," Les
muttered to himself. "He's what got me in this mess in the first place." He'd
been in such a rush to get back to the lair and play a quick game of Feed Florg
that he'd taken a shortcut right through the Reptillior enclosure. The resultant
chaos had gotten him nearly killed, and ultimately, fired. "How could I have
been so careless?!" he screamed, and noticed people hurrying to cross to the
other side of the street. "Great, I've been away from home for less than a week
and I'm already starting to talk to myself like a crazy person. This is wonderful,
just wonderful..." He continued to walk, looking down at his feet and not paying
any attention at all to where he was going.
When he bumped into a tree, however, Les took
a good look around, and realised he had ventured into the Haunted Woods. Homeless
pets crouched in the shadows, looking for handouts or perhaps, something a bit
more insidious. Les had dealt with some of the most riled creatures in all of
Neopia in his time, but some of those Skeiths and Grarrls he saw in the shadows
of trees looked downright deadly. "Hey, pretty boy..." called a distinctly female
Skeith. "Nice mane."
"Uh... thanks, ma'am," Les called back nervously,
hastening his steps. He ducked quickly into the first building he saw - a dilapidated
hovel with a half-hanging sign that proclaimed sordidly, "Cockroach Towers."
Les opened the creaky green door, which was warped and nearly falling off its
hinges, and hurried inside. The pungent odour of the place assailed his nostrils,
and nearly made him faint. Behind the half-rotten front desk was a bored looking
Techo, reading The Neopian Times. There was a sign, worn with age and scribbled
with a bit of graffiti, that read 'Ring bell for service.' There was however,
no bell in sight. "I guess I'd better get a room."
The Techo didn't glance up, or acknowledge Les
in any way. He merely turned the page. "Oh, Cheesy Neos... how your existential
quandaries delight the masses..."
"Existential... uh, yeah. Hey, mate. I'd like
a room, please." Les said, a bit louder.
"Hahah... PetPet... Herd. PetPets... such little
microcosms of our deviant society and all its countless ills and turmoil..."
"Hellllloooo?!" Les shouted, knocking on the
"Ring the bell," the Techo called, still reading.
"There is no bell!" Les grumbled.
"What are you, a Nihilist? There is no bell,
there is no tree, there is no existence..."
"No, there is no bell. The bell is gone. There
is an absence of the bell..."
The Techo had gone back to reading. Annoyed,
Les pursed his lips together and clicked his tongue lightly. "Rrrrring. Rrrrring."
"Help you, sir?" said the Techo, putting down
the paper and snapping to attention.
"I'd like the least filthy of your roach-infested
rooms, please," Les replied, rolling his eyes.
"Five NP. We've got a great scab-picking contest
going on in the Lobby later, if you'd like to join in."
"Quite all right," Les grimaced, handing over
five of his scant NP and receiving a grubby key in return. "Room 13... great.
There's some irony. Where is it?"
"Up the stairs, somewhere," the Techo shrugged,
picking up the paper again. "Ah, Editorial - what half-witty platitudes will
the Creator bestow upon the unwashed masses this week?"
"Blimey... and I thought I was going crazy.
That bloke is already there," muttered Les as he trudged up the stairs, carefully
avoiding a large rat on the third step that was hopefully only of the 'almost
gummy' variety. Room 13 was at the end of a long hall, only one flight of stairs
up. Les thought he'd gotten lucky, until he saw the yellow tape around the door
that said, "Chia Police Line - Do not Cross!" Someone had helpfully snipped
the tape in two and tucked the pieces out of the way, however, so that the door
was still able to be opened. Feeling a bit less than sure of the wisdom of his
actions, Les turned the key in the lock and swung the door wide.
The room was stale with disuse, and had apparently
been the site of a crime scene. Here and there, strange Chia-sized shapes were
marked in chalk, and small drops of what looked like ice crystals lay in little
puddles on the threadbare carpet. Les took a sharp intake of breath when he
saw a rotund, red Chia with leaves on his head, encased in a solid block of
ice, right in the middle of the room. "Crikey! This bloke's gotten himself iced,
right here in the middle of my room! Well, my feet are a bit sore from all this
Les shut the door to his room, and drug a chair
over to the icy Chia. He rolled his khaki pants up and propped his paws up against
the frozen fellow. "Ahhhh..."
A chill wind seemed to rustle the half-fallen
Leaf Curtain on the room's one broken window when Les' tootsies made contact
with the ice. Shivers ran down his spine as the entire room's temperature seemed
to drop about 20 degrees. Too scared to move, he closed his eyes shut, and hoped
that whatever horrible thing had happened to the Chia wasn't about to happen
The frightened Kyrii snapped his eyes open just
as swiftly as he'd closed them, hearing his name in a long eerie whisper. "Wh-who
I ssssaid tttthatttt...
"Who's I? And why are you talking in a vaguely
creepy lisp?" Les glanced around the room frantically.
Hey, pal. Do you know how hard it is to communicate
from the great beyond? Hmph. Give a guy a moment to have some sort of effect
for all the effort it taaaaaakesssss.
"Oh, all right, go on with the melodrama. Sorry."
Les was somehow less than afraid now.
No, no. It's really not worth it at the moment.
I'm just here to warn you, lest what happened to me, happen to you!
"Blimey! What happened to you, mate?" Les eyed
the icy Chia. Surely the voice must be him. But where was it coming from? The
Chia wasn't thawing one bit.
Florg. Beware the Florg!
"What? No way! Florg's a great guy. Granted,
he's sort of the reason I got fired...."
Florg ruined my life! He got me frozen! Three
times a day soon wasn't enough for me, pal. I just wanted to feed him more and
more PetPets. All the looks of horror on their sweet little faces... all the
crunchy sounds as their bones became snackies...
"Okay...you're starting to scare me here, mate.
I never heard bone crunchy sounds when I played the game."
Game? Hah! You're still playing that silly
game? That's how I started, too. Then I went to the Space Station... and met
the real Florg. Three meals a day... three meals only. But did I listen? Oh,
"The real Florg? Blimey! I've got to find a
way to get to that Space Station!" Les shouted, ignoring the creepy warning
factor of the whole message entirely.
Have you been listening to a word I'm saying?
Florg is bad! Do you want to wind up like me? I had a wife and three little
ones to support, and now look at me! Iced, in a fleabag motel...
"I think the Fleabag's down the road, mate.
This is the Cockroach Towers."
Whatever! Seeking the Florg is seeking your
"Uh-uh," Les said, removing his feet from the
ice. "Thanks for the warning. Say, how did you get to that space station where
I shouldn't go, anyhow...?"
Well, that's easy. I just got a Faerie Quest,
bugged the Fire Faerie to take me to the Space Faerie, and next thing you know
I was on my way to the VirtuPets Space Station. Why didn't they change that
name after the whole Sloth incident? Wonder if he's still up there? Ah, well...where
was I? Oh, yes... beware the Florg! Beware...
Les tuned out the annoying disembodied voice,
and went to lie down on the mostly tattered bed. Suddenly, his fortunes were
looking up. Sure, he'd been fired from his job, but maybe, in a way, that was
a blessing. Now he'd have plenty of free time... time in which to find his new
best mate, Florg.
Author's Note: The parody in this story is intentional, and the characters
used in it reside on the account Krawk_Files.
As always, thank you for reading, and feel free to Neomail
me if you've got a question, comment, or are just feeling a bit riled!