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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 30th day of Storing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 75 > Short Stories > The Dung Hero

The Dung Hero

by hippiesoul

Images by laurensama and oddhatter

Somewhere in a different dimension, far from Neopia, there's a Solar System where a little odd planet lies. They say this Earth planet is where humans come from, but no Neopet has ever actually been there. However, according to the humans in Neopia, it is a beautiful planet, blue from space, with lots of lovely landscapes, even if slightly ruined by what humans like to call "progress".

     It's also in this planet, in a place called California, that a bunch of special humans live. They're not special because they are obsessed with the weirdest things, and they're not special because they can come up with the cheesiest plots. No, those humans are special because in a world very different from their own, they are gods.

     Yes, simple humans from Earth are divinities in Neopia. Some because they created it, others because they maintain vital parts of our Neopian life, like the shops or the games. Either way, every one of those Staff (short for Squirrels infecTed with the rAre Fizzy Flu) is important in Neopia and praised by countless Neopians.

     One of those staff happened to have a very curious job: he was the editor of The Neopian Times. While some people may think this is an always exciting job, the editor sometimes had a different opinion. His name was Josh, and could be found in the office, in front of the computer reading tons of submissions, wearing his brown coat and striped shirt.

     "Cliché, chatspeak, nonsense..." He sighed before sending a couple of stories in a no return trip to the Land of Delete. He glanced at the computer clock - twenty more minutes until he could go home. Just 1.200 seconds until he could relax, away from bad grammar. Just 120.000.000.000 more shakes until he was free.

     The computer's alarm rang, brightening Josh's face. A couple of mouse clicks and he was in Neopia. Yes, no matter how godly they are, the staff does visit Neopia every once in a while. As for Josh, or Mister Shankly, as he liked to be called when he was in Neopia, he was in Neopia fairly often - there was no bad grammar haunting him there. But he had a secret reason to be there more than the other staff people. It was a well kept secret, and no one knew - not even suspected - that he was sometimes in fact... the Dung Hero.

     Shankly arrived at his NeoHome and sat on the dung couch, sipping a dung slushie while admiring his new pile of dung, fresh from Tyrannia. Some people said he was obsessed with dung, but it was a healthy obsession. Actually, it was the cosmic amount of time Shankly spent with dung that gave him his super power, the power to control dung. Despite how useless this ability can seem to be at first, Shankly made good use of it, and often commanded big piles of dung to prepare his lunch, or bring him the paper.

     Besides having this ability, Shankly had also a very special means of transport to aid him in his heroics. It was a magical flying toilet that could fly him anywhere he wanted in Neopia. It was quite handy, actually, despite how ridiculous it may sound.

     One would think a flying toilet and an amazing dung ability would be enough to succeed as a super hero, but the Dung Hero knew he would never be complete if the special suit was missing. It was a brown suit with a weird consistence, with a big logo on the chest, proudly showing a pile of dung. It also had a cape, as any decent super hero would. And, of course, Shankly would always be careful enough to remove his glasses when he was impersonating the Dung Hero.

     So there was Shankly, relaxing in his NeoHome when Vega, an Ona flew through the open window. She smiled sweetly at Shankly and shook her wings graciously as she landed next to his leg.

image by oddhatter

"Hi Vega," Shankly greeted.

"Neopia Central, Rainbow Lane, 172835. It's something about a tree who can't get off a Kadoatie," she said, smiling seductively at Shankly, not really paying any attention to what she was saying.

Shankly giggled and petted the Ona's head, making her tiny heart warm. Vega was a petpet Shankly once found in a pile of dung he had brought home. The poor thing was lost and fell on the pile of dung, not being able to get out of it afterwards. Shankly, of course, took good care of her, and eventually made her his informer of cases that could require the Dung Hero's help. Actually, Vega was more of a sidekick to the Dung Hero, and she did her job well, even though most of the time she was just a bit too concerned in pleasing Shankly, since she had the hugest crush on the man.

     Shankly knew when a situation required him, and a Kadoatie on a tree was definitely the case. He thanked Vega for letting him know and got on his flying toilet, taking off his clothes to reveal his dung hero suit underneath. Vega always thought she lived for that moment, and she almost fainted each time Shankly changed suit, but she managed to just sigh romantically and fly trough the window right after Shankly and his toilet.

image by oddhatter

     "So, Vega, where is the troubled Kadoatie?" the Dung Hero asked when they were near number 172835.

     "Right there, down there, you see?" she said, pointing at a blue spot, in the middle of the green leaves of a Heart Fruit Tree.

     But as the flying toilet took the Dung Hero closer to the troubled petpet, he could clearly see something was wrong.

     "That's no Kadoatie, you silly Ona," the Dung Hero exclaimed. "It's a Blumaroo! And a white one, too!"

     "That's odd," Vega said, confused, while the Dung Hero put the toilet on ‘hover' mode near one of the branches. "It was a Kadoatie just a minute ago!"

     "Hey, Blumaroo!" the Dung Hero called to the Neopet.

     "Oh, help! Help me over here!" the White Neopet begged.

     "Fear not, my friend, help is on it's wa--" the Dung Hero said his line, but when trying to move from branch to branch to reach the troubled Blumaroo, he accidentally stepped on a weak twig and fell through leaves, heart fruits and branches, until he reached a rather large branch and landed on it with a loud 'boink'. "Ooouch..."

     "Oh my, are you okay?" Vega asked worried sick, slapping Shankly's face. "Talk to me! Can you hear me? Oh please, don't die!"

     "Stop it, that hurts..." the Dung Hero finally said, pushing the anxious Ona away, who sighed in relief. The white Blumaroo stared a couple of branches above him. "Hehe... that was planned, you know... I was... supposed to show up this way," Shankly tried. The Blumaroo rolled her eyes and asked if he was going to help her or not. Apparently, she had climbed the tree to get her Kadoatie, who couldn't get down, but when she approached the petpet, he disappeared, and now it was her who couldn't get down.

     After a couple more tries, the Dung Hero finally got near the Blumaroo. "He was just gone, and in no puff of smoke!" she said. She pulled a few leaves away and showed the Dung Hero where the petpet had been. But as she touched the tree's trunk, she too was gone! Just like that, with no previous warning.

     "Oy, that was weird," Shankly admitted.

     "Yes, it's very peculiar how they both disappeared when they touched this tree's trunk. Humm, I wonder..." The little stars on top of her antennas began to glow lightly, like they would always, when the little petpet was thinking hard or sensing something. The Ona floated near the Dung Hero's face, and touched the tree's trunk with the tip of her paw. Needless to say, she disappeared.

     "Well, what am I to do..." Shankly said, resigned, and touched the trunk as well. Instantly, he got sucked into the tree, and began to fall. He opened his eyes slowly and looked around. It looked as if he was falling through a chimney. A very large, very long, very dirty chimney. There were no signs of Vega, the Blumaroo or the Kadoatie, but there were little weird marks on the walls, forming little circles of dust. The thought of Chet Flash crossed Shankly's mind, but it was quickly gone when he hit the ground.

     "Ouch! That's the second time I fall on a hard thing and land on my butt today... I must be really out of luck..." The Dung Hero stood up and realised where he was. It was a living room! A small living room filled with maps and huge old books, with an armchair right under a lamp, which hanged from the ceiling, and a worn out rug - and he was in the fireplace, covered with ashes, in the middle of pieces of wood and old copies of The Neopian Times.

     "Psst! Over here!" He heard someone call softly. It was Vega, calling him from under a coffee table covered with a pale purple towel. "Quick, hide here!"

     Shankly attended the Ona's request and slid under the table, being careful not to let any bit of his cape show underneath the towel. He wanted to ask Vega what it was all about, but she covered his mouth with one paw and used the other to point at a hole in the towel just big enough for them both to be able to see what was going on outside.

     An Aubergine Chia walked in carrying a big cauldron. He had a wicked smile on his face, and would occasionally look evilly at something on the opposite side of the coffee table, that Vega and Shankly couldn't see. The Chia set the cauldron in the fireplace and light up the fire. Then he filled the cauldron with water and threw in it some herbs from a pot on the coffee table, nearly causing the Dung Hero to have a heart attack, thinking they would be discovered.

     When the water began to boil, the Chia walked to whatever it was he'd been staring at all that time, and brought it to near the cauldron, where Shankly and Vega could see it perfectly. It was a cage with little wheels so it could be carried around with no trouble, and inside, there were the Blumaroo and her Kadoatie, tied up, with cloth covering their mouths.

     "Vós me veniredes a la mano, a la mano me veniredes, y vos veredes peixes nas redes," the Aubergine Chia chanted, inspired by Gil Vicente.

     What on Neopia is this? A Chia who eats petpets and Neopets? Oy vey, I must stop him! the Dung Hero thought. Vega nodded at him as if she had read his mind and silently gestured him to be careful. But just as Shankly was about to stand up and reveal himself, the Blumaroo screamed. Having his second almost-heart attack of the day, Shankly kept quiet and listened.

     "You freak, get off me!" the Blumaroo yelled, biting the Chia's arm, when he took the cloth off her mouth. "How dare you try to eat us? I'm a Neopet and he's a petpet, we're not food!"

     The Chia mumbled something and then said, "I'm sick and tired of people wanting to eat me just because I happen to be an Aubergine, so now I will eat you for a change!"

     "But I wasn't going to eat you!" the Blumaroo replied.

     "Oh, weren't you? Then why did you fall through my secret house's chimney? That must mean something!"

     The Blumaroo rolled her eyes and began to explain her story, but the Chia just said it was enough and put the cloth back in her mouth. He threw the little scared Kadoatie in the cauldron first, and the scream of the innocent petpet woke up all of Shankly's courage and boldness. He suddenly stood up, knocking the coffee table down, revealing himself and Vega to the offending Chia. He rested his hands on his hips and looking menacingly at the Chia said in a deep hero voice, "Stop it, you evil villain!"

     The Chia raised an eyebrow and looked at the Dung Hero confused. A man in a brown hero suit with a pile of dung stamped on his chest coming from under his coffee table was way beyond what he could handle to understand.

     "And may I know who the heck you are and why you were under my coffee table? Look at that, you spilled my tea!" The Chia looked upset, and diverted his attention away from the Kadoatie, who managed to get out of the cauldron of boiling water, unhurt.

     "I am the Dung Hero, protector of the dung lovers and the oppressed!" And not leaving the Chia any more time left, Shankly jumped in the air and punched the Chia, knocking him down. But perhaps that really wasn't Shankly's lucky day, because the Chia got really upset about the punch and replied by using his Grand Lightning Beam. Shankly fell flat on the ground, but didn't give up. Instead, he whistled and said something along the lines of "I evoke the power of mighty dung", and a huge mass of dung came flying from the Chia's own toilet, and hit him square in the face.

image by laurensama

image by laurensama

     "Woah, that actually worked!" Shankly exclaimed surprised. It's not like he didn't know he could do it, it's just that he had never actually tried. When all you do is rescue petpets trapped in tall trees, you haven't got much of a chance to try your dung power against evil villains.

     The Aubergine Chia didn't get up to attack Shankly anymore, as he fainted from the dung hit, but Shankly tied him up, just in case.

     When he woke up, and Shankly confronted him, he admitted he was just a very lonely Chia, and added, "I'm just a poor Aubergine Chia who got beaten up as a youngster and always had people wanting to eat me! I'm sorry I tried to eat those two, but what would you do if two creatures fell through your chimney in the middle of your food labels reading hour?"

     Realising the Chia just had a messed up little mind, and listening to his golden heart, the Dung Hero let the Chia be, after he promised he would fix his chimney so no one else would fall through it, and promising he would never try to eat more pets again.

     And so, the Dung Hero saved the day, releasing the Blumaroo and her Kadoatie and taking them back home. The Blumaroo was so grateful she hugged the Dung Hero in a way that left him breathless and Vega green with envy. And of course, she asked who he was in reality, but Shankly, as any good super hero would have done, said that was a secret, and hopped on his toilet, flying home, while the Blumaroo waved goodbye, sighing, "My hero... I'll tell everyone about you!"

     On their way home, they met a Fire Kyrii who gave them some Chewing Dung, along with a sincere "Thank you", and a screaming teenage Zafara who said the Dung Hero rocked.

     Apparently, the Blumaroo had kept her word and told everyone about him and how he saved her, because Shankly had the pleasure of seeing the story featured on the news that night.

     "...And that's how the wonderful Dung Hero saved me! Oh, Dung Hero!" the Blumaroo sighed tenderly on the screen.

     Shankly grinned and turned to Vega. She winked at him and smiled sweetly, the two stars on top of her head glowing. Maybe she was sensing a bright future for the Dung Hero. And there's a chance she was correct.

The End

This story is for you, Josh, as an elaborate “thank you for everything” note. We all appreciate you! =)

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