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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Hiding, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 61 > Short Stories > Krawk Files: Les than Nothing

Krawk Files: Les than Nothing

by shidi

Image by thephoenixofeio

 

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 desk.

     "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 walking..."

     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 to him.

     Lesssssss...

     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 said that?"

     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, no..."

     "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 own dooooommmmm

     "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.

The End

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!

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