Were, O Were Has My Little Lupe Gone?
I suppose you'd expect a story like this to start in the
Haunted Woods, a place full of magic and witchcraft and so many evil spells blasting
from corner to corner that it's a wonder everyone doesn't instantly get turned
into a Mortog. Ha! As if. No, this is a true horror story, and like all true horror
stories, this one started...in Faerieland.
"Why do I have to go to Faerieland?" whined Remus230,
as he stretched out on his bed. "It's boring, there's no one to fight there..."
I sighed. "Remus," I told my starry Lupe, "we're
all going to Faerieland. Don't you remember? We discussed this last night."
"I don't remember any discussion," Remus said.
This was probably true, as he'd gone 19 losing rounds in the Battledome with
the Chia Clown before falling asleep. I wouldn't expect him to remember his
species, much less his activities for the day.
"I told you...we're going to Faerieland so that
I can go to the Hidden Tower and finally get those avatars," I said.
It was true. A lifelong avatar fanatic, I had
finally saved up enough Neopoints, (by mortgaging the Neohome and selling my
guild into slavery, ) to buy a Faerie Queen doll from the Hidden Tower. Now
not only would I get the Faerie Queen doll avatar, but Fyora would give me hers
for making a purchase...two Weewoos with one stone. Yay!
"But pk... can't you just leave me home alone?"
Remus said. "I don't feel like going out today."
I sighed. Remus was the most troublesome of
all my pets. My Draik, Detrivore, was a fanatic for any game and Alethiometer_reader,
my Gelert, was content as long as he was somewhere near a good book about explosions.
But Remus loved the Battledome and relentlessly tried to fight, though he knew
even his baby brother had better stats then him. Let's face it; Remus was a
terrible fighter. But he was too stubborn to back down and I knew he needed
some kind of hobby.
"I wanted to spend the day practicing my Lupe
lunge on the sofa. I'll get better," he said, hopping out of bed. That was the
last straw. Seriously, that was the last straw sofa I'd ever bought, as an hour
of Remus' 'practice' had reduced it to Kau fodder.
"Remus, I can't leave you here," I said, "You
remember what happened the last time I left you home alone..."
"Hey, I did not invite the Snowager. He came
of his own free will."
"All right," I growled, gritting my teeth, "I'll
make you a deal. You come with us to Faerieland and... and we'll stop for slushies
on the way home."
"Fine, and omelette. Now go brush your teeth."
He scampered off, and I breathed easy, glad that my troubles were over.
As if. While Detrivore was content to zip around
at Faerie Cloud Racers and Aleth perused the Faerie Book Shop (he had discovered
that, as a baby, if he blinked his eyes really cute, then people would let him
browse without paying,) Remus had to come with me, because he wasn't interested
in "Any of that...you know...stuff." So as it was, we arrived at the top of
the Hidden Tower, me panting with exhaustion because I had to carry Remus up
the big invisible staircase on the side of the castle. I turned to the Faerie
Queen to hear her words of immortal wisdom.
"Why didn't you just take the invisible elevator?"
"Yeah, pk, why didn't you take the elevator,"
grumbled Lupey-Boy from his oh-so-comfortable perch.
I (not too gently) dumped Remus on the floor.
"Now behave yourself," I told him. "No running. No screaming. No coughing up
hairballs. No swinging your Lupe Battle Claw. No howling. No releasing the Faerie
Fog. And DON'T put on Jhudora's Bewitched Ring."
"Yeah, yeah, it's not like I haven't been in
the Hidden Tower before," he mused.
"But you haven't been in the Hidden Tower before,"
"Yeah yeah, whatever. So, can I eat that everlasting
"NO!" I bellowed. "Don't do anything! Don't touch
anything! And behave yourself!"
I turned back around to find Fyora staring at
me with an expression of disbelief, probably thinking something about why she'd
ever taken this job in the first place and how Faerieland could go fundraise
itself, she needed a vacation.
"Hi," I stammered, "I'm pk, and...gosh, I've
never been here buying before."
"What can I get for you...and your 'pet?' " she
said 'pet' in the tone of voice that you or I might say 'Slorg Droppings'.
"Oh, just for me. You see, I want a Faerie Queen
Her eyebrow shot up so fast I could swear there
was a rocket engine attached to it.
"For the avatar," I stammered, "I want the avatar."
"Ah," she said, "a popular choice among everyone
this year...but are you actually going to use the Avatar?"
"Errm, probably not, no. I just like to have
it, you know?"
"Ah," she said again, in the Slorg-Dropping-Voice,
"well, let me ring it up for you."
I further embarrassed myself by searching through
my coat pockets, pant pockets, hat pockets, and a pair of lucky green boots
that I'd taken to wearing, (a fan sent them to me. She said that they were guaranteed
to make you a better writer, but I don't believe that footwear has any effect
on skill. I just wore them to keep dung off my feet when I was walking through
Tyrannia.) all the while looking for my Neopoints. The doll was a cool 2 million,
and most of my money was in 10-Neopoint coins, so it was just a tad embarrassing
to be pushing this big 40lb stack of metal across the counter.
"Let's see...all right," she said, "this seems
to be enough. Here's your Faerie Queen Do-"
Any frequent followers of stories and literature
will know, of course what this crash was. For I had idiotically left Remus alone
and unsupervised in a shop full of breakable items; akin to leaving the Monoceraptor
alone in the Ice Crystal Emporium. As Fyora and I watched, Remus came racing
into view, screaming and bashing dangerously into shelves of priceless merchandise.
"GET IT OFF!" he screamed, smashing head-on into
a pedestal and knocking a Jhudora's crystal ball, towards the hard marble floor.
There was no time to think. I dashed towards
the pedestal and threw myself towards the falling ball, using every ounce of
power in my Lucky Green Boots. I crashed onto the ground, eyes wincing shut,
but I didn't feel the ball landing in my arms and heard a a crashing noise.
Great, I thought, the ball fell and shattered and now I'm going to have to pay
for it with my Faerie Queen doll money and I won't get anything.
I opened my eyes to take in the situation and
found myself staring a crystal ball hovering inches in front of my face. "That
dive was completely unnecessary," the Faerie Queen noted, as she floated the
ball back onto its pedestal with her Faerie magic.
"Oh, thank heavens. I was afraid I was going
to have to spend all my Neopoints on some broken item that I couldn't even use."
"You are," she stated and pointed at a pitiful
pile of grey broken...things at her feet.
I turned and glared at Remus, who stammered out
an explanation. Apparently, he had been innocently practicing his Lupe Lunge
in the back of the Tower, when someone else, NOT HIM!, had thrown him into a
cabinet where a claw necklace had clamped onto his tail. Racing to the front,
he had thrown it off and it crashed onto the floor, broken, shattered, and obliterated,
but it 'was completely not my fault, right?'
I growled as I handed the doll back to Fyora.
"You owe me a few additional million NP... but given the circumstances, I think
I'll let you pay on the installment plan," she said, in a voice that clearly
stated she wanted these Slorg droppings out of her tower this instant. "Oh,
and don't forget your Necklace." She gave it to Remus in a dustpan.
"Don't I at least get the Fyora avatar for buying
an item?" I pleaded
"You didn't buy it; you paid for it. I don't
give out avatars for broken items." And with that, she hurried us into the elevator
to make room for the next customer, one who might actually be able to purchase
something without destroying the tower.
"Darn it, Remus, why do you always have to screw
things up like this?" I yelled, as we began the march back across Faerieland
"I'm sorry...but it wasn't my fau-"
"YES IT WAS! IT'S ALWAYS YOUR FAULT! STOP PRETENDING
IT WASN'T AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!" I stopped, realizing I was shouting at the
top of my lungs. Remus looked at me, his tail between his legs, and trudged
away, looking terribly like a grey pet.
"Wait, Remus, I'm sorry...I didn't meant to yell..."
I stammered, catching up to him.
"Forget it," he said in a tiny voice, "let's
just go home."
I couldn't fall asleep that night. Gazing out
the window at the brilliant light of Kreludor shining across the Tyrannian landscape,
I sighed and thought about Remus. Sure, he was rambunctious, but who could blame
him? He didn't have a niche. The others could fit in with their hobbies, but
Remus loved something he wasn't much good at. Could I fault him for that? I
knew he had a good heart, and just didn't know what his place in life was. I
decided I needed to go talk to him.
The night wind blew eerily as I slipped along
the hallway to Remus' room. I eased open the door and approached his bed...and
Remus had disappeared. There was a giant furry...
monster sitting in his place. Oh my gosh, I thought, he's been eaten by this...
thing, and I didn't even get a chance to say...
"Remus!!" I shrieked in a voice that was too
many octaves higher than normal. The beast's eyes opened wide and it glared
at me with malice in it's eyes. I backed up against the wall.
"Oh, pk," the monster said, throwing off the
blankets, "why did you have to wake me? I was having the nicest dream. I dreamt
I was a giant monster, destroying all the inhabitants of Tyrannia."
No...it couldn't be...
"Remus?" I said cautiously.
"What?" the creature asked. "Oh, I get it. You're
still mad at me over what happened this afternoon. Well-"
"Remus, look at yourself!" I grabbed a green
mirror off the desk and thrust it towards the thing that Remus had become.
"What? I don't see anything." He handed it back
to me, and I caught a glimpse of the room's reflection. I could see the walls,
and Remus' Slorg snoozing in its tank, and my own panic-stricken face...but
I couldn't see Remus.
He has no reflection...I thought. Then
I saw the full moon shining through the window and it hit me.
"Remus, you're a WERELUPE!"
"What?" he said, looking at his own arms, "Oh,
gosh...you're right. Hey, I'm big and strong...cool."
"But how...it must have been that claw necklace
today..." I stammered, "Oh, of course, it was a WERELUPE Claw Necklace!"
"But aren't you only supposed to turn into a
Werelupe if you get bitten? I just got scratched!" he whined.
"Well, I guess that set had some teeth mixed
in...maybe it was made from antique Luperus Jaw thingies... oh, I am so suing
Fyora over mislabelling those claws... hey, where are you going?" I asked. Remus
had raced out the door.
"I'm going to the Battledome!" he called over
his shoulder, "I can't wait to beat up that stupid Chia Clown now!!"
"Remus-wait-hold on-" But it was no use. He was
gone. Angrily, I grabbed a coat and my Not-So-Lucky Green Boots and raced out
into the night after him.
When I arrived at the Battledome, I saw Remus
just about to enter the arena, where a yawning Chia Clown was pacing back and
forth, muttering something about late-night hours and overtime pay. "Remus,"
I panted, exhausted from my twenty-minute sprint across Tyrannia, "Wait a second.
You're not going to be any stronger in the Battledome because of a color change."
"Are you kidding?" he looked at me in shock,
"Look at these arms! This muscle! I'm tall now! Nothing can stand in my way!"
And with that, he shoved past me and entered the arena.
Two rounds and a couple of laugh grenades later....
I dragged the prone Lupe up out of the Arena
and leant him against the wall. "Remus," I told him, giving him a healing potion,
"You can't just expect to instantly become better, even if you are a Werelupe.
It takes time and practice."
"But practice takes time," he whined, "I wanna
be strong now!"
"Look, I know you're a little excitable at times.
But you just need to calm down and focus. You want to be a great Battledome
champ? Then you need to be steady and train, and learn and one day you could
be the greatest fighter in the world."
It was a classic moment. Until Remus fished around
in his pants pocket.
"Well, I'll just use this," he said, pulling
out the Werelupe claw necklace. He had taped it together, crudely, back into
the original shape. "I tried to fix it."
"Wow..." I said, "you did that so I could return
it and get my Avatars? Wow Remus..."
"Are you crazy?" He looked at me sideways. "I
wanted to use them myself to take out that stupid Chia Clown." And he leapt
back up to his feet and raced into the Arena again.
I sighed. Some things just would never change.
Remus might be a Werelupe now, but he was still the same old...
Then it hit me. "I'll be right back," I called
to Remus, who has squaring off against the Chia, waving his new weapon crazily
around in the air. "I just have to go pick something up."
Four minutes later, I returned to the Battledome,
a smile on my face. "I did it!" I heard Remus screaming! "I finally beat the
Chia Clown! Bring on the Snowager! Woo-hoo!"
I smiled. Yes, Remus was an obstinate pet who
couldn't listen. Yes, he was going to be preening over his new look even more
now. And yes, he had cost me the Faerie Queen avatar. So what? Anyone can get
those boring old avatars. But it's an elite few who can be the proud owners...of
a Werelupe Avatar.
Writer's Note: Why do people include these writer's notes at the end of
the story? If the story can't speak for itself, then...well, if you want to
Neomail me, could you at least spell the words correctly? Thanks.