This was not what I really wanted to do on Halloween.
I wanted to bob for Organic Green Apples or play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Meerca.
I really really really and even really did not want to go to the Haunted Woods
to watch my Lupe battle a creepy old hag.
"But Edna the Witch only comes out of her tower
during the witching hour," Stonewolf3x had grumbled for the sixty-third time,
"It's the only time I can challenge her to fight in the Stone Dome."
"But why on HALLOWEEN?" I had grumbled back for
the sixty-fourth time, having repeated myself once when he asked me just as
the Ghost Lupe wandered by growling everyone back to full hit points, so he
hadn't heard my answer.
His response usually was to snort in exasperation,
like I should KNOW the answer to "why on Halloween", but instead he had smiled
slyly and said, "Okay, buy me a book and I'll just stay home and read."
"Great," I had said, surprised he was finally
giving up. "What book?"
"A Chia Halloween."
"But doesn't that book sell for more than 100,000
So here I was, wandering around bumping into
Brain Trees when I really wanted to be home giving out Pumpkin Cookies to trick-or-treating
Lennys dressed up like Spotted Kaus. Stonewolf3x was in a great mood, and every
time a werewolf howled he gleefully howled back in response. It didn't surprise
me he was so cheerful. I was the one lugging a backpack filled with Battledome
"What are you howling at that werewolf anyway,"
I grunted as I tried to shift the pointy end of an Ice Scimitar off my... well...
the place where I sit down. Of course that spot was so numb from the cold now
the Ice Scimitar could have sawed me in half and I wouldn't have noticed until
one of my legs dropped off. "I'm telling him that I'm not afraid of him and
that I'm armed and ready for battle," chirped Stonewolf3x with a sickening cheerfulness
that was both unusual for him and extremely annoying.
"You're WHAT???" I blurted out in exactly the
proper amount of alarm.
"What if he thinks you are challenging HIM to
The huge Fire Lupe shrugged his shoulders and
said airily, "So what? I'm not afraid of him." I stared at him in open-mouthed
disbelief for a moment and then said with a bit of airiness myself, "Yeah, you're
right. And it will be more fun with two Lupes in the NeoHome, anyway."
"What do you mean TWO Lupes?" he replied his
forehead crinkling up like an accordion.
"Well, when he bites ME, I'll turn into a werewolf,"
I shrugged as nonchalantly as I could with an Ice Scimitar up my... place where
I sit down. "I get dibs on the Meaty Lupe Treats in the cupboard!" I added with
rather convincing glee.
Stonewolf3x was wonderfully silent after that.
When we rounded the corner, if you can call it that since we were walking through
a dense clump of half-dead trees, we saw Edna's Tower. Winding from the doorway
and spiraling around the tower was a line of pets. I flinched as I saw cute
little Baby Acaras wearing Gladiator Boots and Quiggles sporting Brass Knuckles.
Stonewolf3x scowled at me and I smiled weakly back and shrugged.
"Looks like there are a lot of challengers here
ahead of us," I remarked, trying to avoid his withering glare.
"I would have been first in line if you had
agreed to come when I wanted to," he hissed between clenched fangs.
"You wanted to come last Thursday," I replied,
watching the saliva start to foam up on his lips. "EXACTLY!"
I pulled the heavy backpack off my back, dropped
it down and stepped up to the last pet in line.
"Excuse me," I said, tapping a Strawberry Jubjub
on his Helmet of Doom. "Everyone here is waiting for love potions, right?" It
was a long shot, but at the moment I was less afraid of a werewolf than my own
Lupe. The Strawberry Jubjub laughed so hard strawberry seeds shot off of his
body and pelted my kneecaps.
"I guess not," I said and returned to where Stonewolf3x
stood sharpening his fangs with the edge of the Ice Scimitar.
"So what do you want to do now?" I asked as I
watched ice shards billow down like sawdust. He didn't reply, so I added, "We
could go to Korbat's Lab and break things. You like doing that." The scraping
noise of the Ice Scimitar against his fangs got louder and started to actually
screech like fingernails on a chalkboard.
"Or we could try something else..."
"Carnival," he replied, lowering the blade.
I nearly collapsed from relief.
"Carnival? That's sounds like fun. I love carnivals,"
I said brightly.
I was actually for one brief moment excited
about the alternative to standing in line for hours just for a chance to watch
my Lupe make confetti out of an old lady.
"Carnival of Terror," he said, his eyes piercing
"Ummm..." I stammered, my brain fixed squarely
on the word 'terror', "What's choice number two?"
I must confess I didn't care for choice number
two very much, which was actually choice number three, if you count Carnival
of Terror as choice number one and having ice-cold fangs dig into my... place
where I sit down, as choice number two. So here I was, still not very happy
about the way the evening was going and headed for ravenously hungry pile of
sludge with a mouth. Stonewolf3x figured he might as well unleash his fury on
the Esophagor in the Stone Dome since he had all his battle gear with him anyway.
The Esophagor wasn't as much of a challenge as Edna the Witch would have been,
but I was just glad he hadn't suggested fighting ME.
I don't think we went past half a dozen tombstones
when we were suddenly surrounded by an enormous herd of bizarre creatures. Okay,
so there were only six of them, but it sounds better the other way. Stonewolf3x
kept walking as if he hadn't even noticed them, which amazed me because they
were extremely hard to NOT notice. They had big bulging eyes, two toes on each
foot and chubby antennae popping out of the top of their heads. Each one was
a different colour: Solar Red, Galactic Blue, Stellar Green, Cosmic Yellow,
Meteoric Purple and Planetoid Brown. I know this because I gasped, "What in
Neopia are you?" and they replied in perfect sequence:
"I'm Solar Red."
"I'm Galactic Blue."
"I'm Stellar Green."
"I'm Cosmic Yellow."
"I'm Meteoric Purple."
"I'm Planetoid Brown."
At this moment they were completely encircling
me and I stretched my arms up over my head to keep from brushing up against
them lest they had some sort of strange contagious disease that made your eyes
bulge out and three of your toes drop off.
"I mean, what kind of... things are you?" I asked,
shooting a helpless look at my Lupe who seemed to be completely unaware of my
"Ummm... Wolf..." I called out weakly, forcing
a smile to show the creatures I was harmless and friendly.
"We're Grundos," Solar Red replied, and the others
nodded in agreement.
"Ah..." I said, trying to sound as if that meant
something to me. "WOLF!" I hissed louder, but he didn't seem to hear me and
disappeared over the crest of a hill.
I glanced down at the little creatures looping
around me like a daisy chain. "What do you want?" I asked, hoping they wouldn't
say 'all of your bodily fluids'.
Planetoid Brown tugged on the bottom on my shirt
and said earnestly, "Take us to your ladder."
"Oh great," I thought, "I've been abducted by
alien house painters." Cosmic Yellow must have noticed the odd look on my face
because he whipped out a little book and flipped it open. The others clustered
around him murmuring for a moment and Galactic Blue said, "Take us to your lender."
"What are you guys, BANKERS?" I sputtered, not
realising how forcefully I must have said it because they all cringed and Cosmic
Yellow thumbed through his book a little more frantically.
Snatching the book out of his hands, Meteoric
Purple looked at it for a moment and said with complete confidence, "Take us
to your leader!" I scanned the expectant faces of the whole bunch of them for
a moment and said, "Sure."
Stonewolf3x clomped wearily into our NeoHome
and tossed his weapons on the floor. I could tell he was down a few hit points,
but his ears were perked up so I knew he had whipped the Esophagor into jelly
again. "So how did it go?" I asked cheerfully, already knowing what his answer
would be. He walked into the living room and came around the stone sofa. Then
he stopped dead in his tracks and stared open-mouthed. Planetoid Brown pulled
his head out of the tub of water in the middle of the floor with an Organic
Green Apple in his teeth. All the other Grundos applauded wildly.
"What's going on here?" Stonewolf3x sputtered.
"Happy Halloween," I replied and tossed him a