Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 107,594,495 Issue: 215 | 4th day of Storing, Y7
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A Hint of Malevolence


by mistoffelees_cat

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Cosmo was an orange Grundo. He wore a black Gruundo T-shirt clad with jeans and sneakers. He had a sponge Grundo for a brother and a Wuzzle for a petpet. He had all the qualities of a good Grundo: he was generous, obedient, respectful and tidy. Well, not exactly. Cosmo was generous, but only to the female Grundos around his age; he was obedient, but only to Sloth; he was respectful, but only to his Wuzzle (You would be too if your petpet was an evil ball of fire!); and he was tidy…enough. In short, Cosmo was a rambunctious Grundo in need of a good reprimanding (which of course, he had never heard the likes of). In addition to being all of the above, Cosmo was a little on the mischievous side. He loved nothing more than to set whoopee cushions on Sloth's chair and tape "Kick Me" signs on innocent Grundos' backs. His Wuzzle often helped him carry out these deeds.

      Ah, yes, Cosmo's Wuzzle. Even though he was just a petpet, he could easily be qualified as a character in this story. Cosmo took great pride in his Wuzzle, who was named, quite coincidently, Fireball.

      Cosmo would often walk up to random Neopets and say, "This is my Wuzzle, Fireball! A Wuzzle is an evil, evil fuzzle! Isn't he so adorable!" And then the person would scream when Fireball hissed and Cosmo and Fireball would walk away snickering. Yes, Cosmo and Fireball were meant to be together from the day Cosmo picked him up free at the petpet shop. But enough with the introductions; let's just get on with the story.

      It all started one day when Cosmo had to do some shopping in Neopia Central. He leaned casually against the Money Tree and pulled out a small list from his pocket. In nice, neat printing, written by his neat and orderly brother, Stellar, were the items Cosmo was to obtain in Neopia Central. Cosmo looked over the list when Fireball, who had been sitting on his shoulder, began jumping up and down.

      "Hang on, Fireball, I'm just finishing reading over the list…oh my…" The list suddenly unfolded to reveal a list that extended all the way down to Cosmo's scuffed up sneakers. Fireball started jumping up and down even harder.

      "Fireball! You're starting to hurt me!" said Cosmo sharply. Suddenly Fireball couldn't take it anymore.

      "EEHEEHEEHEE!" squealed Fireball as he took a bounding leap to the lowest branch of the Money Tree.

      Cosmo swerved around and craned his neck to look up at Fireball who was perched in the tree, clinging onto a small Fire Paint Brush Plushie and cuddling it while making soft cooing noises. Cosmo glared at the little Wuzzle.

      "You get down from here this instant and drop that thing you're holding!" said Cosmo angrily. Cosmo jumped suddenly as the Money Tree twisted around to face Cosmo.

      "Hey, bub!" said the Money Tree. "Dis is de Money Tree; if ya haven't noticed, ya get free stuff here! Let da liddle tyke take what he wants!" The Money Tree then twisted back to his normal position. Fireball, who was still perched on a branch, stuck his tongue out at Cosmo.

      "Fine!" said Cosmo, still angry. "Come down here, you little imp!" Fireball obeyed this time and dropped down from the tree.

      "Hey, watch it!" said Cosmo, but it was too late. The list had gone up in flames from when Fireball brushed it as he had fallen.

      "ACK!" squeaked Cosmo in dismay as he threw it on the ground to stomp it out. Soon the fire was out, but all that was left of the list was a pile of ashes.

      "Oh well," Cosmo sighed. "At least I read a little bit of it before it burst into flames! C'mon Fireball." Fireball leapt onto Cosmo's right shoulder, still clutching the plushie.

      Cosmo decided to head for the toy shop first. The first thing he remembered from the list was a Red Buzz Plushie - probably for a quest Stellar was on or something.

      When they got there, Fireball hopped off Cosmo's shoulder, put on his innocent face, and then went to the Fire aisle, where they kept toys and plushies just like the one he was still holding. Cosmo went to a different aisle to search for the Buzz Plushie. He found it with no trouble. He payed for it and was about to walk out the door of the toy shop. He glanced at the wristwatch bound around his wrist. A sly smile slowly crept over Cosmo's face. He stopped in mid step and rubbed his hands together. Nothing was going to stop him from doing his favorite addiction now - restocking.

      Cosmo found a comfortable seat on the floor, conveniently near the check out counter. He waited there for 5 minutes, just grinning greedily and rubbing his hands together. One minute later, Fireball walked up. His innocent face had earned him a lollipop from the shopkeeper, and he was sucking it with delight at that moment. He tugged on Cosmo's T-shirt, but Cosmo didn't budge. Instead, Cosmo's arm shot out robotically and began stroking Fireball's head with a greedy pleasure.

      Nobody knows why some petpets sense things their owners don't. Like if it's going to rain, or if Sloth will zap an item, or if the Pant Devil will come in 3 minutes, 35 seconds and a half. Right now, Fireball sensed something. It was just a small twinge in his left leg, but he sensed something. He quickly jumped on one of the toy shelves and hid behind some toys. Cosmo didn't even notice he was now stroking nothing but air.

      Fireball suddenly let out a high shrilled "BRRRFLLLP!" and at that very second, the toy shop restocked. Cosmo snapped back into reality, though he was still slightly in his restocking craze. Cosmo looked frantically around as hundreds of Neopians burst into the shop, looking for restock items. Cosmo's eyes hit something yellow; he immediately grabbed the thing and ran to the check out counter. His fingers and mouth seemed to move at a million miles an hour while he haggled the price to 5,324 neopoints. At the moment, Cosmo had absolutely no idea what he was buying or how many neopoints he was spending until he finally burst out of the store and flopped down on the grass outside, gasping for breath, with his eyes closed tight in exhaustion. Fireball strolled casually out of the store once the chaos had subsided, still clutching his plushie and sucking his lollipop. He sat down on the grass beside Cosmo.

      In about a minute, Cosmo had caught his breath, but his eyes remained shut. He decided to play the game he always played when he managed to grab something in a store. To play the game, he would feel the object he had bought and try to decide what it was. Cosmo's hands touched every single side, seam and stitch of the plushie-like object he had obtained, but he could still not make it out.

      "All right!" he said aloud. "I give up! Fireball, show me what it is!" Fireball's face shrunk into his orange, flaming body and he shook his little head.

      "Mmmm mmm," he mumbled as he shook his head "no".

      "Oh come on, Fireball!" said Cosmo, trying to encourage the little Wuzzle. "All you have to do is hold it up to my face!" This seemed to intrigue Fireball a bit and he grabbed the thing with his feet (taking UTMOST care not to burn it) and held it up to Cosmo's face, inches before his eyes. Cosmo snapped open his eyes.

      "YYEEEEOW!" screamed Cosmo in fright as he quickly crab-walked backward into the wall of the toy shop. What he had seen when he had opened his eyes was two little, red, glowing eyes staring back at him from a yellow checkered head.

      "Hehehe!" said Cosmo, still a little frightened. "It's just a plushie!" Fireball then imitated Cosmo when he had been frightened of the plushie.

      "EEOW!" squealed Fireball. He then fell down on the ground giggling. His lollipop fell onto the grass, but Fireball retrieved it in less than five seconds and began sucking on it again, ignoring the grass stuck to it.

      "That's not funny!" said Cosmo as he reached down and picked up the plushie he had obtained and stuffed it in his baggy jeans' pocket. "C'mon, Fireball," said Cosmo as he started walking along the path in Neopia Central. He had completely forgotten about the rest of the things he had to get for Stellar. All Cosmo cared about now was getting safe into his apartment in the Space Station - ever since he had picked up the strange plushie, Neopia Central had given him the creeps.

      Cosmo arrived at his apartment at about 6:00 pm. It was getting late, but who could tell when you live in space? When Cosmo walked into the apartment, Stellar was already there, lounging in his hammock, reading with his petpet Blobagus, Suds. Suds immediately went down to where Fireball was and they began sucking the lollipop and playing with the paintbrush plushie together.

      "Hey, bro!" called Stellar from his hammock. "Did you get the stuff I wanted?" Suddenly, Cosmo's mind zoomed back to early in the afternoon in Neopia Central when Fireball had put fire to the list.

      "Well, um, I…" Cosmo stuttered. He stopped, took a deep breath and continued. "Fireball set the list on fire and all I could remember was the Red Buzz Plushie and here you go," said Cosmo quickly. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a plushie. Cosmo pulled one of those "Oh my gosh! He's not supposed to see this!" faces and then stuffed the weird plushie he had bought restocking back in his pocket, but not before Stellar's quick eyes got hold of it. Now it was Stellar's turn to pull a face. It was one of those "What is THAT!?" faces and his words matched his face exactly.

      "What is THAT!?" he asked, totally appalled that Cosmo would buy such a thing.

      "Oh!" said Cosmo, his cheeks turning bright red. "Erm, eh heh…" Cosmo put on one of his many "Say anymore, and you're gonna get a black eye," faces and spoke in a voice so firm Stellar flinched, "You didn't see anything!" To smooth things out, Cosmo pulled the right plushie out of his pocket and threw it up to Stellar. Then he raced into the bathroom and slammed the door. Once safely inside, Cosmo pulled the strange plushie and looked it over carefully. It had pink and white polka dotted ears, blue and green polka dotted patches (some of its limbs were patches entirely), a yellow checkered body, pearly white, razor sharp teeth, and, of course, those wicked red, glowing eyes.

      "You'll catch a fine price on the open market!" The poogle's evil grin turned upside down.

      "You won't sell me!" it hissed. Its eyes glowed even brighter red.

      "GAK!" Cosmo managed to squeak out a squeal of fright and threw the poogle plushie on the ground.

      "YOU WON'T!" hissed the plushie even louder. Cosmo shook his head in fright, not believing a plushie was talking, rather hissing, at him. "That's good," said the poogle as his grin returned. He then fell limp as if all he was only, well, just a plushie. This was when Cosmo took action. He jumped to his feet, grabbed the plushie poogle, and flung it into the toilet. With lightning speed, Cosmo flung the lid of the toilet down and dove onto the handle of the toilet. A reassuring flushing sound greeted Cosmo's actions.

      "Muahahaha!" laughed Cosmo maniacally, as he grasped at the air above his head, entirely overjoyed with his handiwork. Just then, the door to the bathroom swung open. There stood Stellar in the doorway. You can imagine the look on his face when he saw Cosmo, standing on the toilet with his hands in the air.

      "You are REALLY starting to freak me out…" said Stellar as he walked away from the weird sight. The petpets were still on the floor with the Fire Paintbrush plushie and a sticky lollipop stick. Fireball did a good imitation of Cosmo, which both the petpets found hilarious.

      "Muaheeheehee!" squealed Fireball, his flames rising higher than usual. Cosmo walked out of the bathroom with a rather dazed look and walked over to his hammock and flopped down in it.

      "I'm gonna order some pizza from Grundo's café," he said.

      "I thought Gargarox didn't have it?" said Stellar, not quite recovered from Cosmo's weird behavior.

      "He gets it imported from the Pizzaroo," said Cosmo as he reached for a pad of paper and pencil. He jotted down the order and handed the slip of paper to a passing Oscillabot outside the door of their apartment. The Oscillabot hurried away with the precious piece of paper.

      A half-hour later, the pizza arrived at their apartment door, carried by another Oscillabot. Fireball had a short conversation in the squeaky petpet language with it before it had to leave.

      Cosmo opened the box only to find a piece missing. "What the…" said Cosmo, confused. He snapped his fingers with the solution to find out who intercepted the piece of pizza - the security cameras. There were many outside the apartment in the hallways leading to the Space Station's Central. Cosmo walked outside the apartment, and lifted one of the cameras off the wall. Cosmo knew where most of the cameras were hidden, being a very mischievous Grundo; he had to in order to not get caught. He took the tape out of it and ran back to the apartment.

      Once inside the apartment, he put the tape in one of his many devices. A picture of the hallway showed up on the small screen on the device. Cosmo peered hard at the black and white static screen. On the screen, was a picture of the hallway. Ah, yes, here comes the Oscillabot. The Oscillabot opened the box to make sure everything was there. Full pizza. The Oscillabot moved on. Just as it was about to turn the corner, it was knocked over by what seemed to be a blow in the stomach. Cosmo gasped. The Oscillabot was grabbed and pulled around the corner with one swipe of whatever it was that had crossed paths with it. The only thing visible to the camera now was the pizza box with the pizza inside. Then, a small, yellow, checkered hand zipped out, opened the box, grabbed a slice of pizza and was gone.

      Cosmo stopped the tape. He dropped the device he was using and ran over to the bathroom, and halted in front of the door, skidding to a stop. There were little wet footprints leading to the door of their apartment and out of it. What's more, the toilet lid was open.

      Cosmo just stood there, not believing what his eyes told him. Fireball came along and hopped on Cosmo's shoulder. He was whimpering.

      "Yeah, Suds is whimpering too," said Stellar. But Cosmo was still staring at the wet footprints.

      "Petpets can sense things others can't…" Cosmo half mouthed, half whispered. Then it hit him. "Stellar, we can't go to sleep tonight! It's coming!"

      "You know, you've been acting really weird ever since this afternoon," said Stellar, not the least bit worried. "Just get some sleep! It'll do you a world of good!" Stellar then walked over to Cosmo and pushed across the room and into his hammock. Stellar snapped off the lights and retreated to his own hammock, and went to sleep in seconds.

      "No…can't,*yawn*, sleep…" But despite what his mind told him, Cosmo drifted off into slumber. He was awoke by the sound of door against wall. When he opened his eyes, he was blinded by light from the open door of the apartment.

      "But we locked it…" said Cosmo fully awake. Alas, there in the doorway stood the silhouette of the plushie poogle holding a filer in one hand. The lock on the door to the apartment was sawed cleanly in half. The poogle entered the room, to Cosmo's surprise, walking on its hind legs. Now, Cosmo could see his glowing red eyes and glowing white teeth, but that was it. Cosmo knew now it was time to take action before the monstrosity he had bought caused anybody any harm. He leapt out of bed, flipped in the air and landed deftly on his feet. His face was a look of surprise as he glanced with wide eyes from his feet to the poogle.

      "I thought you could only do that in movies!" gasped Cosmo, but he couldn't say any more before the poogle leapt upon him.

      "Gerroff!" Cosmo said as he managed to throw the poogle across the room. While flying through the air, one of the plushie's seams caught on a bit of barbed wire hanging from the ceiling. RRRRRIIIIIPPPP! The sound could easily be heard by Cosmo. He grinned. What was the little poogle going to do now, eh?

      "Muahahaha! I have injured you, fool!" roared Cosmo triumphantly. He stopped in mid laugh. The poogle was still grinning his dastardly grin when he pulled out from behind his back a needle.

      "Uh oh…" Cosmo's eyes became very wide. He reached behind him frantically, and managed to grab a book and hold it feebly in front of his face, expecting the poogle to throw the needle at him. The poogle had different plans. It went to throw the needle, but brought it back around and stitched the ripped seam back up in one swift motion. Cosmo let out his held breath in a relieved sigh, only to catch it back up immediately. The poogle lunged at him again, flying through the air at a terrific rate, its red eyes glowing, its white teeth gleaming. Cosmo closed his eyes for the end.

      "Good bye, cruel world!" he squealed.

      Something has Happened! The Pant Devil attacks and steals "MSPP" from your inventory!

      Just then the Pant Devil crashed in through the roof of the apartment.

      "Muahahaha! Say good bye to your precious toy!" he laughed evilly.

      "Good bye!!!" said Cosmo ecstatically as he threw his arms around the Pant Devil.

      "Hey, go easy, kid…" said the Pant Devil as he tried to float away. Stellar's hammock suddenly produced three figures from under the quivering blanket; a rather sleepy Stellar, who had woken up when he had heard the rip, Fireball and Suds. Fireball squealed with excitement and then went into another one of his giggle fits.

      "Underwear are no laughing matter, they are serious business!" said the Pant Devil, reprimanding Fireball.

      "So are you going to take our plushie, or what?" asked Cosmo, grinning. The MSPP was still wriggling and squirming in the Pant Devil's firm grasp.

      "Oh yes, muahahahaha!" screamed the Pant Devil as he floated through the hole in the ceiling he had created. Turned out, he had blasted straight through the entire Space Station, much to the dismay of Sloth. Outside, you could hear the Pant Devil screaming,

      "I said DO NOT bite the Pant Devil! YEEEEOOOOWCH!"

      Stellar chuckled, then cleared his throat, "I'm sorry, Cosmo. I should have listened to you about that…thing."

      "It's OK, bro," said Cosmo understandingly. "I don't think anyone cared much for it." With that comment, Suds shivered, pretending to be scared but he was no match for the hilarious Wuzzle actor, Fireball. He flamed up more than usual and bared his teeth.

      "GGGGGRRRRRRAAAAAHHHHH!!!" he roared (a rather squeaky roar, mind you) at the top of his little Wuzzle lungs. Everyone laughed at this. In fact, they were laughing so much at the whole incident with the MSPP, they were completely unaware of the little red eyes peering out of their closet…

The End

Author's Note: This is my second piece into the Neopian Times, but it my first out of hopefully many featuring Cosmo and Stellar. I actually wrote this a while ago, but decided to submit it around Halloween hence its spooky theme! Feel free to Neomail me concerning this story or anything else - I will gladly reply to all Neomails!

 
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