A Day At the Fair
Living with a house full of guys can be kind of hectic.
All right, very hectic. And I can see how you might think I'm exaggerating
if you've never been in the same situation yourself, but trust me, I'm not.
Food is thrown as often as it is eaten, music is never played below an eardrum
shattering decibel level, and if, in a friendly wrestling match, a couple pieces
of furniture are broken (per week), no one bats an eye. Pretty much any day
that I come home to find all of the walls still standing is a good one. So it
is not without reason that when I arrived home to be met by silence, I was immediately
"Hello?" I called into the seemingly empty house.
"Anybody here? You guys didn't all kill each other, did you?"
Cautiously I made my way into the living room,
which was surprisingly tidy, where Dakota the green Zafara was sprawled on the
funky sofa, reading.
"Where is everybody?" I asked him.
He shrugged, not looking away from his book.
"I think Clever and Kale are in the kitchen."
Frowning, I went into the kitchen (also clean),
to see my split Lenny standing at the stove, stirring a large pot of something.
He turned as I came in.
"Oh, hi, Sage! You're home early."
Just then a crash came from the dining room.
Clever went to the door, still holding a large wooden spoon.
"Quit fooling around! Pick up the broken pieces
and come get a new one. And the forks go on the other side."
He returned to the stove, shaking his head. "Kids,"
he muttered in disapproval.
Kale came in from the dining room to fetch a
broom and another dish. "Do you think these plates are worth anything?" asked
the shadow Kyrii as he took one down from the shelf.
"Not if you keep breaking them," Clever replied
as the younger pet left the room.
By now I felt slightly lightheaded. "I think
I need to sit down," I said as I made my way to a chair. "I could've sworn I
just saw Kale setting the table."
At that moment the side door opened, and Thiebos
came in, his arms full of vegetables from the garden. He dumped them on the
counter and turned to Clever. "Here's the stuff you wanted for the salad. Can
I go now?"
"No." The Lenny pointed to the sink. "Start washing
The Blumaroo sighed heavily, but got to work
all the same.
I put a hand to my forehead. Surprisingly, it
wasn't too warm.
I should probably explain that Thiebos is the
laziest creature I know, excepting perhaps his petpet, a Tenna named Almos.
Getting him to do chores is like seeing the Turmaculus do flawless pirouettes
to the beat of Sticks N Stones, while wearing a polka dot tutu and fuzzy blue
slippers. Not physical impossible in the strictest sense, but not something
you can believe until you see it. And even then it still seems pretty unlikely.
"I must be delusional. Or dreaming," I muttered
to myself. I pinched my arm just to be sure.
Nope, not dreaming.
"Okay, I want an explanation, and I want it now,"
I demanded, getting to my feet.
"Dinner's ready," Clever announced. "And I think
I just heard the others come in." He shoved a large, hot dish of orange chicken
into my hands. "Take that into the dining room, will you?"
Scowling, I took the bowl into the other room
where the newly arrived Wanderer (a yellow Kougra), Stripes (a skunk Bori),
and Des (a blue Jetsam) were taking their seats at the table, (which, I might
add, was adorned with fresh flowers). Kale was already seated, utensils in hand,
and looked impatient.
Clever came in with the mushroom soup, Thiebos
close behind, carrying the salad.
"Eoere, get down here," Clever yelled up the
Seconds later, a Tyrannian Blumaroo bounced into
the room, and neatly into his chair.
The next ten minutes or so were devoted to filling
plates and taking the edge of the group's collective hunger, though I noticed
they were more polite than usual. "Pleases" and "Thank yous" were uttered, and
no one was belching. Once they had finished off their first helpings I cleared
"Okay. Now explain. What's going on?"
They exchanged glances.
"What?" said Stripes. "So now we need a reason
to be nice?"
"Yes," I said, narrowing my eyes.
"Well we were thinking that since we've been
so good lately-"
"You mean today."
"- that you might want to reward us by taking
us to the fair."
"The one in the Haunted Woods."
"The Deserted Fairground? With all the ghosts
and monsters and other blood thirsty fiends?"
"Are you guys nuts?"
"Hey, it the closest thing Neopia's got to an
amusement park, and we're bored out of our skulls here!"
"So read a book!"
"We've read all the books that you've bought,
and you said we weren't getting any more until we could pay for them ourselves
because they cost so much."
"And the fair is free."
"No, it isn't. I think your life is a high price
to pay for admission!"
"So come with us. You can make sure nothing bad
"I happen to like my neck the way it is right
"Aww, c'mon, Sage! We promise to be really careful,"
Eoere put in.
"Yeah, you're always saying that we should find
something amusing to do instead of just moping around the house all day," said
"Yeah, and this is actually legal," added Kale.
I glanced at him.
"Err… Not that I've been doing anything that
isn't legal," he said hastily.
"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease," they begged.
I think you can guess what happened from there.
* * *
"Hey Sage, you wanna
go on the Haunted House ride with me?" Eoere asked as our ferry pulled up to
the Haunted Woods dock.
"Uh… maybe," I said scanning the shore for a
shop that sold garlic. (No luck. It's too bad; they'd probably have lots of
business from customers who don't want to get eaten.)
The six of us (Dakota and Des had to work, and
Wanderer just didn't feel like going) got off the ferry and began to make our
way through the Woods. Gnarled branches hung overhead, blotting out the afternoon
sunlight, and the air grew cold. I pulled my jacket closer and tried to tell
myself that it was just the lack of sunlight that made the temperature drop,
but I knew it wasn't the truth. There was a presence in those woods, one that
was downright creepy, for lack of a better word.
We reached the gates of the Deserted Fairground,
which looked rather, well… deserted.
"I wonder where everybody is," said Thiebos,
scratching his head.
"This means one thing," Stripes said.
"Yep, the park's closed, time to go," I said,
turning to leave.
"NO LINES!" yelled the Bori, running for the
I sighed. That guy is incorrigible.
"I want the rest of you back here in three hours,
and not a second later," I said. "Five thirty, got it?"
They all nodded, and went off to explore.
"And tell Stripes if you see him!" I called after
By five fifteen I was
more than ready to go. I spent most of my time looking over my shoulder to make
sure I wasn't being followed, but I had taken a look at some of the park's "attractions",
if you can call them that. I wasted at least 300 NP at the Test Your Strength
game, but it was a challenge to pick up the mallet alone. After all that exertion
I was feeling a bit peckish so I went over to check out the food cart. As I
examined what was on the menu, I realized it was doing the same thing, and I
lost my appetite. After I declined to buy a scratch card, Sssidney wouldn't
quit ssstaring at me, which was unnerving. I skipped spinning the Wheel of Misfortune.
With a name like that, you're just asking for trouble.
I wandered over to the gates a bit early to wait
for the others, but to my surprise, someone was already there.
"What in Neopia happened to you?" I demanded
as I approached Clever.
The split Lenny's orange and purple paint job
was almost completely covered by a thick layer of cream pie filling. A single
pie tin was still on his head.
"You know that game where you're supposed to
shoot the Chia clowns before they shoot you?" he asked in a small voice.
I nodded dumbly.
"Well, apparently I'm not very good at it."
"It could be worse," I said, trying to cheer
"Oh yeah? How?"
But I was saved from having to come up with an
answer to that question by Thiebos, who came storming over, looking furious.
"Do you know what they're serving over at that
Mootix infested popsicle stand they call a food cart?" he demanded.
"Uh… more eyeballs?" I guessed.
"No!" he yelled. "Oh, well, yeah those… but they're
also selling Blumaroo steaks!"
"See," I said, turning to Clever. "At least you
aren't on the menu."
"Yet," he muttered darkly.
"You guys aren't taking this seriously," Thiebos
said angrily. "That could be my second cousin once removed sitting on that plate
"Well, would you prefer that he was served in
a glass or something?" I asked. Not the right thing to say.
"That's not funny!" he shouted at me. "Let's
just get the others and get out of here! I have to report this to the Society
for Protection of Blumaroos, and the sooner, the better."
"Fine with me," I said. "Have you seen any of
"I think I saw Stripes by the Cork Gun Gallery
earlier," Clever said, so we went there first.
Stripes was indeed at the Cork Gun Gallery, fishing
deep in his pants pockets for something.
"I know I have some more Neopoints in here somewhere,"
I heard him mutter as we got closer.
"Out of money, hon?" asked the blue Aisha who
worked the booth. "That's too bad." She put on a bit of a pouty look. "I wish
you could stay and play some more."
"No, no, I can stay! I have more money, I know
I do!" Just then Stripes caught sight of me. "Sage! I need to borrow some Neopoints
Do you have any on you?"
"How much?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Only about three or four thousand."
I snorted. "I don't think so. Have you even won
once at this game?"
"Not yet. And I never will if you don't lend
me the money!" he beseeched me, glancing at the booth's owner.
I looked at the Aisha, who just gave me a very
crafty smile. I rolled my eyes. "You are not wasting any more money on this
game," I told Stripes.
"But, but, but-"
"No buts. C'mon."
"I'll be back," he shouted to the Aisha as Thiebos
and I dragged him away. "I swear to you, I'll be back!"
Eoeore rejoined us as we passed the Spooky Furniture
shop and appeared to be rather pleased with himself.
"Why do you look so happy?" Clever asked.
"Oh, no reason," the Tyrannian Blumaroo answered.
There wasn't time to ask any more questions because
at that moment we spotted Kale running towards us at full pelt, followed by
a very looking angry Halloween Scorchio waving an axe and yelling.
"Run," Kale shouted as he got closer. We didn't
need telling twice, and took off through the gates and down the path through
the Haunted Woods.
"What… did you… do?" I asked Kale as we ran.
I noticed he clutched a small corked glass bottle of reddish liquid in his paws.
"Err… We had a bit of a disagreement over the
ownership of an item," he said, panting for breath.
"When we get home, you are so grounded, mister!"
I shouted as we turned on to the home stretch and raced for the ferry that was
just about to pull away from the dock.
"Wait for us!" Thiebos called to the pet steering
the boat, but apparently she didn't hear him. The ferry began moving.
We only had one way to get on that ferry and
it wasn't going to be easy. The six of us sprinted down the dock, and leapt
for the boat. By some stroke of luck, we all made it.
"Let's not do that again any time soon," Stripes
Back on shore the furious Scorchio was waving
his axe and shouting what sounded like a curse on us and all our future generations.
"At least we got away with it," Kale said, still
clutching the vial.
Someone behind us cleared his throat. "Not quite."
Slowly we turned around. An old Moehog in a skipper's
uniform stood there, glaring at us. "May I see your tickets please?"
I gulped. "We don't actually have any, sir. But,
uh…" I looked around frantically for an idea. "… we were hoping you would accept
this as payment for our passage." I grabbed the bottle out of Kale's paws and
offered it to the Moehog.
"Hey!" Kale protested, but I shot him the dirtiest
look I could muster and he shut up.
The skipper examined the bottle briefly, then
took it with a curt nod and moved aside to let us pass.
We went to the front of the boat and collapsed
on some of the benches there.
"My feathers will never be the same," moaned
Clever as he held up a pie-covered wing.
"At least no one tried to make you into an entrée,"
"I thought it was more of a main course," commented
"Guys, can we please just be quiet until we get
home?" I begged.
Surprisingly enough, they all mumbled in agreement,
and I was able to enjoy a peaceful ride the rest of the way.
We arrived home soon after. Wanderer looked up
from the book he was reading to greet us.
"So," he said. "Did I miss anything good?"
The next morning I
got up early to read the paper and enjoy the quiet before the guys woke up.
As I was flipping through to the comics an article caught my eye. "Coconut Shy
Quiggle Conked" it said. Interested, I kept reading the first line of the paragraph.
"Deserted Fairground - The Coconut Shy booth,
one of the Deserted Fairground's more popular attractions will remain closed
today, while its proprietor takes a day to recover from a confrontation with
an angry patron. The Tyrannian Blumaroo, whose identity remains a mystery, was
apparently displeased with the way the game was run. 'He called me a cheat,
he did,' said Bill Grubber, the booth's owner. 'And then he chucked one of me
own coconuts right at me noggin. I tried to tell him everyone's a winner, 'cept
for the ones who lose, but he wouldn't listen to reason!'"
I closed the paper and shook my head. I can't
take those guys anywhere.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to neomail me with
any comments. I like getting feedback. =)