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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 75 > Short Stories > Memoirs of a Turmaculus

Memoirs of a Turmaculus

by shidi

Image by thephoenixofeio

IN EXILE...

     Reflecting back upon a half a life spent in contemplation of living and relative inaction, I am surprised to find that I yet have the desire to share my memories. My name at birth, Percival Thornton, is perhaps unimportant to what I have become - a creature in exile, primarily self-imposed. During my long sleep in the idyllic land of Meridell, I was known simply as 'The Turmaculus'. Ah, I can hear the protests now... "The Turmaculus! You lazy bugger! You never gave me anything, and then you ate my Babaa!" Protests, perhaps, half-grounded in fact... but nonetheless, will you not take some time to read my tale? After all, there are two sides to every story, so listen closely, and learn...

The Early Years
     I was born, many years ago, the youngest child of Edna and Cecil Thornton, two young Turmacs with a strong work ethic and not many Neopoints to their names. My parents, and my six siblings, all lived and worked on the Thornton Turnip Farm. Predictably, they farmed turnips there. I never claimed to have imaginative roots. I was born a rather large baby, and from the beginning, I loved to eat. My rather unimaginative parents fed my siblings and I the most redundant meals imaginable - turnip soup, turnip stew, turnip casserole, turnips and turnips and more turnips. Because I knew no better, I accepted this vegetarian diet without question and ate my fill of our field's bounty.

     When I was five years of age, I was sent off to our village school to join my elder siblings at class work. Much to my surprise, I found that I was not accepted easily by my fellow students. They taunted me for my large size and called cruel, yet unimaginative insults, such as, "Turmac, Turmac, two-by-four! Can't get out the Neohome door!" When I tried to point out the logic of this situation (quite obviously, if I was at school, I had fit through the door!) , they simply called me, "Fat boy!" I ran home from school in tears. My mother assured me that I was not fat, but rather, big-boned. This did absolutely nothing to make my schoolmates cease in their torments.

     Still, I was a bright child, always questioning the ways of the world around me and receiving answers of the utmost inadequacy. I searched hungrily for every source of knowledge that my mind could absorb. Tomes of knowledge, various teachings of sages, and all types of obscure and arcane lore came into my possession. I started to acquire quite a reputation as a pack rat, as I would also keep various toys, plant life, and interesting objects to examine and admire. By the time I had finished school, my insatiable thirst for knowledge (and my large size) made it impossible for me to continue living at home. With a somewhat fond farewell to my rather dim-witted family, I trudged off down the road with all my possessions in a rather large sack slung across my back. I do believe they were glad to see me go - profits on the farm would certainly have risen after they no longer had to feed me a full half of the total crop.

My Grand Adventures
     Ah, to be young again, and have the whole world lie before me full of wonders yet to be discovered! I traveled extensively in those days of my youth, and witnessed so many changes in Neopian society. I spent a summer in Faerieland, learning of the delectable faerie foods - a much welcome change from turnips, clomping through the clouds and doing some odd jobs at the Employment Agency. I often pondered just what those faeries did with the objects that we collected and even investigated for signs of a conspiracy - but to no avail. Some mysteries of life are simply not meant to be unraveled by the common creature.

     When I returned to Neopia Central, I found that a disturbing trend was beginning. Some creatures, considered lesser by their brethren animals, were being bought and sold within the bounds of slavery - being termed as 'PetPets', and set apart from the rest of society. I, perhaps fortunately, escaped such a fate due to my considerable stature. I traveled then to the lost land of Tyrannia, and marveled at the primitive fare. I didn't speak the language of the people there, but I got on well enough by grunting and gesticulating emphatically when I needed to communicate. I made a considerable amount of money in the Switch-A-Roo racket before it was shut down for questionable bookkeeping. Well, such is life.

Image by thephoenixofeio

     I had acquired a taste for gambling, and missed the simple bait-and-switch routine of UggaRoo. Desperate to continue my run of good fortune, I kept my ear to the ground for any signs of a new game where high stakes and quick Neopoints could be made. I caught wind of a craze that was hitting hard out in the desert - the Cheat parlors, where sharpies and frauds and card sharks of all kinds could get a high rollover for just a small stake. I drifted to the city of Sakhmet, and settled easily into its seedy underside. I quickly fell in with a questionable crowd - Brucey B and his gang. They called me Big T, and didn't pry into the source of my income any more than I pried into why Brucey kept fingering that strange medallion. Things were going well until the dung hit the fan down at the royal palace, and the area found itself at war.

     Patriotic I was not, but still, these invaders were messing up my plans. I found myself drafted into the army, and using my large bulk to considerable advantage on the battlefield. The enemy troops would cry in terror when they saw me coming. "Turmaculus!" they shouted, and ran away as fast as their paws would carry them. The nickname stuck, as such things tended to do, and by the time the war ended, everyone was referring to me (quite respectfully) as The Turmaculous.

The Long Sleep
     I was quite exhausted by my exploits in the war, and settled down for a nap. A nice, long, uninterrupted nap was my plan... but Sahkmet isn't the kind of city that lends itself to peace and quiet. I kept being woken up by various annoyances, intrigues, an assassination or two... and so I picked up camp and walked further and further out of town. During one of my walks, I tripped over a root. Quite clumsy of me, actually - and how was I to know that apparently root-tripping often opens portals to the past. What sort of lame quantum dynamics govern our world that this is possible, you may ask? I have yet to figure out the answer to this one myself. The land I found myself in by this mystical mishap was verdant and peaceful - the perfect place for a nap. I settled down to sleep, curling myself around my large sack of possessions and snoozing away.

     Unfortunately, while I slept, some enterprising young fellow had erected a sign that read "Turmaculus!" right next to my sleeping spot. PetPets from all over the land began to try and wake me from my sleep. When they woke me nicely, I often gave them some battle advice, or a nice present from my sack of goodies. But they kept coming! Every day, more and more of the little fellows... and I was getting sort of hungry. I do believe it was a Slorg that was the first victim of my strange eating habit. He was rather annoyingly thumping my snout with a stick. I only meant to open my mouth to yell at him, really... but then he jumped up into the air, and I bit down, and well... he was quite tasty, if a bit slimy. Fellow's got to eat, after all. I began to snack here and there on the most irritating of the little fellows that came to awake me. Call it my contribution to natural selection.

Meridell vs Darigan
     Another year, another conflict - inevitable that we pets, being the fickle creatures we are, will come to irreparable disagreements that erupt into violence. As I was still napping, I didn't really care enough to get involved either way. From the gossip I overheard in my wakeful periods, it seemed that all the fuss was about a magical orb that made life perfect. Well, guess what, kids? Life isn't perfect! If you ask me, the orb should have been smashed and the whiners should have learned to deal with life. Have diseases? Go get cured! Don't have enough food? Plant more crops! As long as the fighting stayed away from my area, I was happy. I continued giving out my bounty to those brave enough to wake me - and eating the occasional impudent snack.

     One day, however... a terrible silence prevailed. I opened my eyes, and found no Petpets waiting to greet me... only an ominous smoke that blanketed the area. The fields, once lush and green, were charred and blackened. Ah, yes, the war had been won... but at what cost ? The victor would still be relying on a magical orb to fix his problems, and all concerned would have truly learned nothing at all. Saddened by this, I packed up my sack, and moved on....

Parting Words
     So take these words I have writ, and use them as you will. Disregard them as the ramblings of a monstrous creature, the one who 'ate your precious Fluffykins'; or carry them to heart and learn what lessons can be found within. Perhaps, someday, I shall emerge from hiding, again ready to face the world of Neopia with all its glorious contradictions, triumphs and travesties. Until said day, I bid you fare well. Be kind to each other, and remember that violence is not the only answer. Self-reliance, rather than reliance upon magical artifice, is always the better answer. Oh, and Babaas are best served with a chilled glass of Kau Kau Farms milk, and a side of greens.

     Sincerely, Percival "The Turmaculus" Thornton

The End

Shidi's Note: I received the text contained within at my home in Faerieland, in a plain brown envelope sealed in purple wax with a large "T" carved into the sealing. I am unsure as to the current location of the Turmaculus, but I wish him the best of luck, wherever he may be.

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