Oreo123131 the red Gelert hated Halloween.
Everything about it was despicable: the fattening
candy, the costumes that gave her baby sister nightmares, the toilet paper strung
from house to house the next morning, and the destruction that took place in
their house as sugar overload kicked in.
It just made more work and no enjoyment for
her. Being the oldest, she had to help her sisters make their costumes, clean
up candy wrappers, strip toilet paper from the roof, and keep the house from
burning down when Landen discovered the leftover candy. And did she ever get
any thanks or even a single caramel cream? Nooo, nothing for Oreo.
And, she thought as she trudged home
through golden red leaves, this year will be no different.
The air was crisp and cool as white clouds floated
across the blue sky. A chill wind stirred the leaves as Pwuppy, her baby Gelert
sister, danced around chirping out what had happened in the cafeteria just a
few minutes before. A Christmas Gelert, Noelk, and a spotted Gelert named Cream
pretended to be interested in their sister's tale, which they had all seen occur,
but were actually plotting which houses to "hit" that night. Oreo listened to
their devious plans for a moment before sighing sadly. Halloween. It's everywhere;
there's no escape. I mean, the cafeteria was set on fire by a Halloween Scorchio.
And now I have to be home during the costume-making process. Ah, I would gladly
face Prince Jazan if only I could be back at school.
Oreo stalked up to the front door of their house
and fled to her room the instant it opened. Chaos ensued mere instants later.
"No, Pwuppy, you can't use my sheets to make
your costume! Use Noelk's blanket!"
"Hey, that's not fair!" Noelk shrieked.
"So?" Landen yelled back.
"Laaaaaanden, Cream exploded the Tooth Faerie
"So, do something about it! Duh!"
"But it's the seventh this week!"
Oreo curled up on the beanbag that served as
her bed and tried to read her book, All About Light Faeries, but the
noise was simply too distracting. Several more explosions piqued her curiosity
as she ventured her nose out of her room.
Unfortunately, Landen saw her nose. Bounding
over, the blonde-girl gave Oreo a wild-eyed look. Her clothes were shredded
and half-burnt, hair sticking out of her ponytail at wild angles. "I'm going
to the guild. You get to watch the demons for a long while. If you need help,
get it yourself. Bye!" Her voice rose hysterically until it cracked on the last
Before Oreo could protest, her owner was gone.
The Gelert stood frozen for a moment before seizing her obsidian dagger and
driving her siblings into the living room, screaming like a maniac. With the
unnatural speed that comes from bursts of insanity, she chained her siblings
in separate corners with enough mobility and supplies to complete their costumes
About eight hours later, Oreo was slouched in
the chia print armchair reading another book, Popular Neopian Stories,
listening to Pwuppy humming the theme for Hannah and the Ice Caves when Landen
staggered in the doorway and toward her bedroom. "Hi sweetums," she said cheerfully.
"I'm sorry, but I think I've come down with Neophobia. It's horrible, really.
I'm miserable, honestly." She took a huge swig of her twirly fruit grog. "I
think you'll have to take your sisters trick o' treating tonight. I'm simply
not up to the challenge."
The bedroom door shut. Oreo fainted.
Twenty minutes later, the red Gelert regained
consciousness to find her yullie poking her. Here goes nothing. I guess I'll
need a costume, 'cause there's no way I'll get them to stay home.. Hugging
her petpet, she staggered to her feet and quietly unlocked her sisters' chains,
ignoring their gazes of astonishment. Within seconds, they were up and running,
glitter and glue flying in all directions as they pulled on their new costumes.
Oreo was amazed as Pwuppy transformed into a beautiful Sahkmetian princess complete
with sparkling gold jewelry, black face paint, and a gauzy veil made from Landen's
best dress. Cream was swirled into a rather odd looking Meridellian soldier
using a pair of lucky green boots, a green velvet cape, and a blunted green
knight sword. Finally, Noelk had transformed herself into an average everyday
princess by perching a tiara on her antlers and swathing her body in sparkling
silver, a luxurious purple cape, and Mipsy's charm bracelet wrapped around her
slender neck. They modeled their costumes spectacularly, except for Cream, who
crashed into the wall while trying to show off her boots.
The trio waited impatiently for Oreo's approval
as sweat formed on her paws. "I…errr…uh…well then….your costumes are very nice.
"We are going tonight, right?" Cream whispered.
"Uhhhh…" (Cream drew her sword.) "Yes! Of course
we're going. But, uh, I'm gonna need a costume…"
ZOOM. Her sisters scattered and returned within
what seemed like a millisecond. Pwuppy brushed her sister's fur vigorously,
pinning it back with a fire faerie hair clip, and slipped the same faerie's
token around her neck. Cream wrapped Oreo in fiery silk and gold jewelry while
Noelk cut wings out of construction paper and coated them with glitter before
pinning them to Oreo's back. To add the final touch, all three of them judiciously
applied some red lipstick.
Oreo stared at her reflection in the bathroom
mirror moments later in awe. She'd always been a plain Gelert, but now she was…
beautiful. And not just beautiful: she was gorgeous, like the real fire faeries
that fluttered about Faerieland gracefully. Spluttering noises came from her
throat as Cream and Noelk cooed about how purty she was, and then….
The clock struck nine. "Time to go!" Oreo giggled
and chased her sisters from the room.
Three hours later, the red Gelert carefully
herded her sisters back toward their house. Pwuppy was snoring as she rode on
Noelk's back, blissfully unaware of Cream's tirade about cheap candy. Oreo was
quietly sneaking caramel creams out of her sisters' candy bags when…
SPLOOSH. A deluge of water cascaded down them.
Snickering erupted from the bushes beside the
sidewalk. The local bullies leapt out: a blue Lupe, a green Yurble, and an orange
Aisha. All grinning, all laughing and pointing. "Look at ya! You look like a
rotten, half-ripe tomato!"
Oreo stared at her reflection in a moon-glazed
puddle with horror. Her paper wings were soggy and crumpled, her makeup streaking
down her face. The bright red fur that had moments before been immaculate and
glistening was muddy, and her dress tore seconds later when she slipped in the
water. She wasn't beautiful any more; things were the way they should be…
Dropping the bags of candy and forgetting all
about her sisters, Oreo fled home weeping, the rough laughter haunting her like
Halloween night. Landen opened the door in surprise, a freshly opened can of
Achyfi in her hand. "Sweetums, what's wron…"
"Just leave me alone!" Oreo screamed. "I HATE
HALLOWEEN!" A few moments after the Gelert's bedroom door slammed, Landen could
still hear her oldest pet's muffled sobs, and when Noelk dragged her sisters
into the house a few minutes later and explained what happened, the scatterbrained
teen began to plot…
Hours later, Oreo's eyes fluttered open only
to be blinded by brilliant sunlight. Blinking painfully, she glanced over at
her clock and shrieked. The clock was gone and, as she could see when she flung
herself onto the floor, so was everything in her room except for her Fyora print
bean bag. The walls were a blank white; all her plushies, toys and books had
simply vanished. With a tiny scream, she ran into the hallway. "Landen! Landen!
Where are you? My stuff's gone!"
"Noelk? Pwuppy? Cream? Anybody?" Panicked, Oreo
checked every room in the house. Completely empty. Even their petpets were gone.
She was alone. All alone and ugly. Crying softly, she sank into an armchair
and cradled the one last book she had left: the worn edition of Popular Neopian
Stories that had remained in the living room the previous night.
I simply don't belong. I'm worn out like
my book. I guess my stuff was needed for funds, and they didn't need me to come
with them wherever they went. Alone. Always alone… A final, diamond-like
tear slipped down her cheek and fell, glistening, onto a… bright blue toenail?
Oreo looked up and saw a barefoot Landen, dressed in khaki capris and a loose
white shirt, smiling happily. "Hi Sweetums. You didn't think we'd abandoned
you, didja?" The tall, blonde girl wrapped her arms around the red Gelert and
let her sniffle, carrying her back into the Gelert's room a few moments later.
The whole room was decorated Fyora style. Her
books were lined up neatly in their new bookcase; her plushies covered a new
throne-like bed. Her sisters, sweaty and panting, were flopped on a thick rug
on the floor and arguing about where they'd put the bedroom desk.
Oreo gaped, gasped, choked, and meeped. Eyes
wide, she turned to Landen. "Wh…wh…wh…"
"Why?" Landen smiled, completely relaxed. "'Cause
you're my beautiful little princess. Happy Halloween, sweetums."
Whirling around, the insane owner giggled. "Now
let's go clean up that toilet paper!"
An hour later, as she chased the bullies around
her street with a Zaptwig, Oreo flung toilet paper at anyone who passed. Her
sisters were laughing; Landen was dancing. The sky was raining caramel creams,
and the world was right again.
Except Oreo didn't hate Halloween so much anymore.