Plushie Eaters: Part One
Penelope ran into the house as fast as her baby Zafara legs
would take her, eyes shut tight. With a loud thud, she ran into a hard, furry
object. Opening her eyes, she looked up and saw a Faerie Ixi looming over her.
It took her brain a few seconds to register that the Ixi was her sister, Pearl.
"Watch where you're going!" Pearl cried, nearly
"Sorry," said Penelope weakly.
"What's all the fuss about, anyway?"
"I... I saw... a Grarrl!" Penelope stuttered, close
"Penelope, I've told you thousands of times.
Grarrls are not any scarier than any of the rest of us." Pearl sounded exasperated.
"I saw one eat a plushie the other day!" Penelope
wailed, the tears finally coming as she remembered the swift motion the Grarrl's
jaws had made as it ripped the plushie's head from it's fluffy body.
Pearl kneeled down beside her younger sister.
"So they have... unusual diets," she said, her voice more gentle than before. "That's
no reason to be scared of them."
Penelope buried her face in her hands.
Shaking her head, Pearl hurried from the room.
Penelope's birthday was Saturday and, this being Wednesday, she had arrangements
Walking to the window, Penelope timidly drew
back the light blue curtains. Peeping through the glass, she could see the whole
of Neopia walk by. Royal pets, gray pets, orange pets, Buzzes, Koi, Lupes, they
all passed in front of her window. But if a Grarrl happened to pass, she would
gasp and quickly pull the curtain back in front of the window. She just knew
that if she ever got too close to a Grarrl, it would eat her, pacifier and all.
"Ok, Times New Roman, it's time for your bath!"
Penelope squealed, trying desperately to drag the Drackonack into the tub. He
really was getting quite dirty and smelly. He had been so much easier to handle
before he was zapped by the petpet lab ray. Penelope really did miss her little
Oyster the Floud who was so easy to care for. And the worst thing about Drackonacks?
They had teeth.
"Penelope? Where are you?" Pearl called as she
came in the house.
"In the bathroom!" Penelope used her whole body
to scream and, as she did so, Times New Roman broke free and ran into hallway,
knocking over the petpet tub and Penelope as he went.
Pearl came into the bathroom to see her sister
sitting on the floor in a puddle of water, her fur soaked, shampoo bottle still
in one hand. Seeing the mess, she righted the tub and handed her sister a towel.
"Sometimes I wish he'd turn into a pile of soot,"
"That's a terrible thing to wish on the poor
petpet!" reprimanded Pearl.
"But then I wouldn't have to bathe him." Penelope
laughed suddenly at the thought of a wet pile of soot.
"Would you go get the mail while I clean up
Penelope obliged, wrapping the towel around
herself to keep her teeth from chattering. Evening was drawing near, cooling
everything down to make way for night.
The mail hadn't come yet, so Penelope sat down
by the mailbox and waited for Henry, the friendly red Lupe who had delivered
their mail every day since Penelope could remember.
Imagine her surprise when, instead, a big red
Grarrl came walking up the sidewalk! Penelope got up rapidly, forgetting her
towel by the mailbox, and ran into the house, crying with fear at her close
encounter with death. She collapsed on the couch and pulled a pillow over her
At just that moment, Pearl came into the living
room. "What's the matter now, Penelope?"
"There's a big scary Grarrl with our mail!"
Pearl sighed and stepped outside.
Penelope could hear her holler "hello!" to the
Grarrl. She couldn't make herself move from her spot on the couch. Plus, what
could she do to save Pearl? She had never beaten anyone except for Punchbag
Bob. All she could do was hope her sister wouldn't be eaten. Then again,
those wings probably wouldn't taste very good and the Grarrl probably would
know that. At least, that's what she convinced herself.
She breathed a sigh of relief and took the pillow
off her head when she heard Pearl come back in the house.
"Poor Henry's got the Hoochie Coochies," Pearl
explained. "Alex, your new Grarrl friend," she laughed, "is filling in for him
until he's well."
"I'm so glad you weren't eaten!" Penelope cried,
running to hug her sister.
"Penelope," Pearl said very seriously, holding
her by her shoulders and looking straight into her eyes, "you need to get over
this fear of Grarrls. Really, it's quite hurtful. They're just like the rest
"Oh, no, they're not. They eat plushies." Penelope's
eye were wide with fear. She wasn't joking.
"And Mr. Bank Skeith, would you care for another
spot of tea?" Penelope held out her red plastic teapot to the green plushie.
"Are you sure? You look absolutely parched. Well, alright then." She poured
more tea into her cup. Looking around at her fluffy guests, she sighed, "You
know, I'm beginning to think none of you like my tea. When we have parties,
I always end up drinking it all."
"Knock knock." Pearl leaned halfway into the
room through the open door.
"Come in, Pearl! We were just having a tea party.
Miss Pink Poogle would be glad to share her seat."
Pearl picked up Miss Pink Poogle and sat down
in her chair, placing the plushie on her lap.
"You can drink her tea," Penelope told Pearl.
Then she leaned across the little table and whispered, "I don't think she likes
it very much."
Pearl took a sip of the tea from Miss Pink Poogle's
cup. "You're not going to like this," Pearl warned Penelope, "but I've invited
Alex for dinner tomorrow night. We struck up a conversation this evening and
he's led a very interesting life. He was telling me about his adventures in
the latest Lost Desert War. Plus, I think it would do you good to see how interesting
and kind Grarrls can really be."
"Pearl, how could you?" Penelope was ready to
"It will be fine, Penelope." Smiling, she got
up, set Miss Pink Poogle back on the chair, and left the room.
Penelope stared sadly at her plushies for a
long time. She at least could try to defend herself; her plushies were helpless
against a hungry Grarrl. She had to get them out of the house by the time Alex
came to dinner.
The next morning, Penelope waited at the window
with a large box. It was the only day of the week that the mail came in the
morning. She held her breath in anticipation, hoping the mail carrier would
be her trusted friend, Henry, all cured from the Hoochie Coochies. She was not
"Henry! You're all better!" she cried joyfully,
running out of the house as he walked up.
"Well, hello, Miss Penelope! Yes, the Healing
Springs Faerie was kind to me this morning. Do you have an important package
for me to deliver?" He eyed the box Penelope was carrying. It was almost as
big as she was.
"Well, it's quite large, my dear. And taped
quite well. What's in it?"
Penelope hesitated. Should she tell the truth?
She trusted Henry. After all, he never failed to get their mail to them. And
if she told him it was something like paper or clothes, he might not be so careful
when handling the box. "All my plushies," she finally admitted, looking down
at the grass under her feet. "Please handle the box carefully," she added. "Mr.
Bank Skeith gets motion sickness very easily."
"Well! What's wrong with your plushies?" Henry
asked, amused at the games of children.
"Nothing. I'm just sending them where they'll
be safe. To a friend on Roo Island." She leaned in closer to whisper. "I heard
there aren't many Grarrls there."
Henry, not understanding her seriousness, laughed.
"Well, I suppose not. I'm sure they'll be very happy there, but I'm sure they'll
miss you. I hope you'll let them come back to visit you sometimes."
"Only once it's safe here, sir."
Henry chuckled. "Well, have a nice day, Penelope!
I've got mail to deliver. And I'll take extra care when delivering this one."
He took her box from her, tucked it under one arm, and he was gone.
Returning to her window in the living room,
Penelope wrapped the sheer blue curtains around herself. Pearl hated it when
she did that, but she needed a place to think. Penelope already missed her plushies
very much. Then a horrible thought came to her. What if she got more plushies
for her birthday? It was only two days away and she was counting that day. And,
though her plushies were safe for the moment, she was still in danger, as was
Pearl. And Pearl was no help, she was obviously oblivious to the danger they
were in. She began to nibble on her nails, a common, but very bad, habit. She
had a lot of work to do.
To be continued...