I Dare You
"WHAT?!!" blurted out Polly. "I am NOT doing that!"
Her Wocky friend grinned. "Once you're dared,
you're dared," she said, her copper eyes glinting. "And there's no turning back
now. So, I'll say it one more time: run up to Tyler and his mates, and kick
them into the Lake. Oh, come on, Polly," she sighed, watching the devastated
expression on her friend's face. "I'm only asking you to do it once…"
"Cara, don't you get it? It'll be embarrassing,"
Polly hissed, looking in the direction of Tyler and his friends hanging out
by the edge of Kiko Lake. The Kyrii had just told a joke and they were all howling
Polly didn't feel like laughing now. She waited
for a while, and then said slowly, "Okay, Cara, how about I tell them it was
a dare after I push them in the lake?"
"Kick them," corrected Cara. She narrowed her
eyes, and then said reluctantly, "All right, fine. But that kind of spoils the
fun of doing it… I always run off straight after I do a dare," she lied with
an inside smile. Nobody ever gave Cara a dare - after all, she was a tough tomboy,
and if you said the wrong thing to her chances were high that she'd clock you
"Anyway, I'm giving you ten minutes to pluck
up whatever courage you've got in your Cybunny body and do it," continued Cara
as her eyes started to look like precious stones. "Sounds simple enough?"
Polly nodded slowly, and hurried off to think
about this. Oh, how I wish I hadn't suggested playing Truth Dare or Command,
she thought bitterly. I must have forgotten how tough Cara is at dares…
Polly glanced back, where the Wocky was watching her from under the oak tree.
She had a look on her face which seemed to say, 'What are you waiting for? Just
Polly quickly turned around. Who am I kidding?
She's my best friend! But, although she can be a little annoying at times… Polly
had already used up two minutes of her time. Maybe I shouldn't do this -
"Oh, what the heck? I'll just go and get it over
and done with," she muttered, heading bravely towards Tyler and his friends.
Back under the oak tree, Cara was smiling triumphantly.
They didn't seem to notice as Polly nervously
sneaked up behind them, slightly to one side and her heart pounding. She knew
she didn't stand a chance, but she counted how many there were against her anyway.
One… two… three… four... five… six… six… six…
After recounting them several times, Polly frowned
and scratched her head. She was sure there were seven of them before.
And then her stomach dropped. Where was Tyler?
She hadn't seen him leave -
Suddenly she screamed as she was pushed roughly
forwards, and toppled over into the murky water as she slipped on the wet morning
grass. Polly bobbed back up to the surface, gasping for air with her white fur
sopping wet, and felt her heart sink.
Tyler had seen Polly coming and had decided to
push her into the water instead. They were all roaring with laughter, even more
amused than they were after that joke had been told. Polly felt pathetic as
she picked a muddy leaf out of her strawberry-red mane.
And then, to her horror, she saw Cara standing
not far away from Tyler's gang - and she was laughing too. Angry, Polly fought
her way over, and when Cara saw the fire in her eyes she stopped laughing and
helped pull her friend out.
"You've got to do better than that, Polly," she
giggled as she wiped some mud from Polly's cheek. "Aw, come on, it was only
The Cybunny didn't reply. She was never accepting
one of Cara's dares again.
Over the next couple of days, things weren't
going any better for Polly. Whenever she came into view of Tyler and his friends,
they tried to frighten her by pretending to push her over again and they guffawed
unpleasantly. She tried to ignore them, and knew that she wasn't going to be
with Cara for a few days so tried sticking up for herself, but it was no use.
She was now the laughingstock of Tyler and his gang.
Polly wondered if she should tell her owner,
but then remembered that he was away often, earning Neopoints. And her younger
brother wouldn't understand any of the situation. So she knew that there was
only one other thing to do: solve the problem herself.
And she knew just what she was going to do.
"Hey Cara, want to play Truth Dare or Command?"
called Polly as she came across her friend, who was playing Knucklebones by
herself under their usual oak tree. Tyler whispered to his friends and they
chuckled, looking in Polly's direction. She ignored them as Cara looked up.
"Um, okay," the Wocky said, secretly surprised
that she had finally spoken to her ever since the dare.
"Right. I'll go first," smiled Polly, preparing
to give her a dare for the first time. "I dare you to go to the Bazaar and into
Cara stared at her, a look of disbelief on her
"Is that all? Seriously?"
"Yep. You'll find out why," hinted Polly. Now
it was her eyes that were twinkling.
Cara still looked doubtful, but she said in an
unimpressed manner, "Okay…" and stalked past Kiko Lake back to the Bazaar. Polly
smiled, hoping that her dare would work.
Later, the door of the Bakery opened and a yellow
Wocky stepped inside, looking confused. Why on earth has Polly dared me to
do this? she thought, also wondering why she had been bothered to go all
the way down here. She stared at the cakes and loaves of bread sitting there,
unwanted, inside the glass cases. Watching all of this was making her feel hungry,
so she grabbed a buttered crumpet and put it on the counter.
The shopkeeper smiled. "Ah, so you're the girl
who ordered that basket of bread? Cara Westward?"
Cara was about to splutter 'Yes but I didn't
order that,' when the shopkeeper took something out, and she found a small basket
of bread loaves in front of her nose. "And since you're buying the crumpet as
well, that'll be one-thousand, six-hundred and sixty Neopoints!" he said with
"Erm, okay then," stammered Cara, taking the
bread and crumpet and paying the Neopoints. She then hurried out of the shop,
wondering who had ordered the bread for her.
The Wocky was so confused that she had gone hungry
all of a sudden, so she took out a loaf of bread from the basket - and found
a small note at the bottom, sticking out under the bottom of the other loaf.
Surprised, she took out the note and read it with shaking paws.
Go to the Tyrannian Concert Hall to see the Blue
Kacheek Group. Don't worry, your ticket has already been ordered for you.
Cara dropped the letter in amazement. Surely
Polly wasn't doing this? It wasn't her nature to set up complicated plans… And
how did she (or whoever else) know that she was planning to see the Blue Kacheek
This had better be a dream. A weird one.
She wondered if she should go back to Polly and
ask about the dare, but then remembered from reading the Times that now the
performance started in ten minutes. Cara then decided flatly that she should
go and see her favourite band first, and then go back to Polly.
Seven minutes later, Cara stepped out of a wooden
boat and onto the hard, cracked ground of Tyrannia. Around her Tyrannian Korbats,
Lupes and other inhabitants glared at her, as if wanting to kick her out. At
the far end of the Tyrannian Plateau, flashing spotlights waving about in the
air indicated that the Tyrannian Concert Hall was open and waiting for all the
Neopets to pour in, like a giant head tipping a packet of lollies into its mouth.
Hoping this boring dare would end here, Cara
sighed and headed off towards the Concert Hall, also hoping that this would
cheer her up.
But disaster struck: the Blue Kacheek Group was
half an hour late, and in the meantime everyone fidgeted in their seats with
nothing to do, except listen to the high-pitched wails of a hot and bothered
baby Techo. Even worse for particularly huge fans, one of the band members had
had a nasty incident with the Esophagor (fortunately not injured, but left behind)
and it was too much of a hassle to pick him up all the way from the Haunted
Woods, plus the fans couldn't wait any longer. The concert was then cancelled.
Hot, bothered and extremely annoyed, Cara bolted
out of her seat to storm off back to Neopia Central - and as she turned around,
she spotted another small note, lying in the leather where she had just sat.
Cara groaned and read the letter, knowing that she was in for another instruction.
This is your last task. Go to Faerieland and
grab an easy job at the Employment Agency, and once you have completed the job
go straight back to Kiko Lake. Now look at your reflection. What do you see?
"Maybe it was worth doing this dare if this is
some kind of cool magic trick," Cara said to herself. "And if it's not, then
I'm going to kill Polly."
A grumpy and tired Wocky waited restlessly amongst
the crowds outside the Employment Agency, wanting, like everyone else, to get
a job. Some rich Neopians were coming and entering another door, clutching Job
Coupons with looks of dignity on their faces. The more Neopians with Job Coupons
passed, the more Cara wished she had one too.
Suddenly, a pretty Faerie came from the other
side of the glass door carrying a small golden key. She looked ready for pandemonium
as she fitted the key into the lock, while the Neopets outside eagerly shuffled
forward. The Faerie turned the lock… took it off… and before she could open
the door, there was a flurry of Neopets of all colours and sizes bursting into
the Basic Jobs room. Cara tried to fight off all the Neopians, but she felt
pretty annoyed as she ended up being the last one inside.
"Three Midnight Eyeshadows? I'll take it!"
"Two Organic Green Grapes for only seven minutes?
You're kidding me!"
"Six Jubjub Rolls, now that's expensive…"
The noise was too much for Cara as she pushed
her way to a counter and fought to read a sign that ordered her to find '3 Organic
Bananas'. "I'll take it!" she yelled above the noise, while the other Neopets
behind her groaned and muttered, running off to find another easy job.
The Faerie behind the counter tried to smile
above the harassed expression on her face as she detached the sign from the
clipboard, revealing another job, and handed it to Cara. "Good luck," she cried
above the din.
Cara managed to escape through the fighting crowds
and onto the soft, fluffy clouds of Faerieland. Gasping for breath, she knew
that three Organic Bananas would be easy to find, but Neopia Central and Faerieland
were so apart from each other that she would no doubt be all worn out by the
end of the day.
She almost nodded off as she trudged all the
way back to Neopia Central. Best to get this over and done with, she
thought sleepily as she approached the Health Food Shop (which was disturbingly
shaped like a disgusting stalk of broccoli).
"Good afternoon!" said a green Quiggle cheerfully
from behind the counter. "How are you today?"
Cara ignored his question and grunted, "Hi, have
any Organic Bananas?"
"Of course," beamed the Quiggle, pointing to
a small crate near the cash register. "Only 133 Neopoints per bunch of two!"
The Wocky snatched three bunches, stuffed them
all into a plastic bag and dumped them on the counter. The Quiggle paused, and
then declared, "Three-hundred and ninety-nine Neopoints." Cara spilled the last
of her Neopoints onto the counter, which the Quiggle took and replaced with
two Neopoints, and she took the bag and left.
For the thousandth time Cara wondered why Polly
had given her such a stupid, tiring, boring dare, as she headed back towards
Faerieland with blisters on her feet.
Back at the Employment Agency, more crowds of
job-hungry Neopets were filling the main room, chiefly around the door on the
left that marked 'BASIC JOBS'. Glad that she wasn't there in the suspense any
longer, Cara approached the front desk, where another Faerie wearing a red sparkly
dress was sitting.
She smiled as Cara came up to her. "What can
I do for you?" she asked.
"I've come to return these Organic Bananas and
complete my job," said the Neopet breathlessly, and showed her the sign.
The Faerie nodded and browsed one of the many
papers from the pile on her desk. "Let's see… Cara Westward… Basic Job… three
Organic Bananas… yes, yes, that's you. Congratulations, and here's your pay!"
"Thanks," said Cara, managing a smile as she
piled eight hundred and thirty-four Neopoints into her purse.
And with that she left for Kiko Lake.
When Cara calculated that it had been nearly
two hours since Polly had given her the dare, her eyes nearly popped out of
her head. Two hours?! Surely it couldn't have been that long!
At last she approached (what she hoped was) her
final destination, Kiko Lake. Sure enough, she found Tyler and his friends by
their favourite place, sitting by the edge of the Lake, and Polly was reading
a book under the cool, shady oak tree. Cara started walking quickly towards
her, and then broke into a run, eager to find out why she had been given this
"How's it going?" called out her friend, looking
up from The Gelert Diaries.
"Listen, what the heck is up with this dare?
It's taken forever," complained Cara. "It's just… not normal."
Polly smiled. "Exactly," she said. "I assume
you've almost finished."
"Yes," muttered Cara, and ran off to look in
As she advanced towards the edge of the Lake,
Tyler's gang saw her and started whispering and nodding to each other. They
didn't seem to be sniggering this time. Puffing out her pink mane to show she
wasn't a bit tired, Cara knelt down not far away from them and stared into the
It wasn't murky today. It was as clear as a crystal
and shimmered in the afternoon sun, creating a silvery patterned carpet that
stretched out for miles. The vision made Cara feel more tired than ever for
a few seconds, then she realized that her fur was sticking up in all directions
and that there were bits of sleep in her eyes. She hastily tidied up her fur
and rubbed the sleep away. Had Polly told her to do all this just to see a messy
version of herself in the reflection of the water? Surely not…
Cara froze. The reflection showed a shadowy figure
coming up from behind her, and -
She was suddenly pummeled in the back, and there
was a huge splash as Cara fell into the water, destroying the beautiful carpet
pattern that had lay within before. As she rose up to the surface, spitting
out mucky water, she suddenly felt just like Polly had when she'd been kicked
in as well…
Even spookier, it had been Tyler who had pummeled
her. "Whoever said Cara was tough?" he crowed, and the rest of the gang fell
about laughing. She felt her face go as red as a tomato.
Suddenly a delicate white paw grabbed hold of
Cara's arm, and hauled her up and out of the Lake. She blinked to find Polly
standing there, looking somewhat slightly happy.
"Dares are so embarrassing, aren't they? Still,
never mind," said Polly, trying not to smile as she tidied up her rather damp
It was then that Cara realized. A few days ago,
she herself had forced Polly to do an embarrassing dare, and after she had fallen
into the lake she had laughed at her. And now Polly had dared her back; making
her go to the bakery, do nothing at the Tyrannian Concert Hall, trail off to
the Employment Agency to grab a job, waste her Neopoints at the Healthy Food
Shop, trek back to the Employment Agency again, and journey back to Kiko Lake
only to get pushed in.
It was as simple as that: Polly had taken revenge.
And now she knew how it felt to be dared.