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Telling Kep's Story


by ee365

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Who am I? Nobody of consequence, really. I am a red Lutari, fairly ordinary in looks and stature. My name is Prissy. I have an owner, a job, and a sister, a red Uni named Tara. I am nearing twenty years old and work as a reporter for the Neopian Times. My owner is neither rich nor poor, and I have no desire to be painted. See, a very average Neopet living a very average lifestyle.

     I am average, but I have been chosen. Selected. Not to go on any great quest or adventure, but to hear the story of a ridiculed celebrity, a fallen star trying to regain her place in the sport she loves-Yooyuball.

     But I'm using fancy words here, trying to turn this into a tragic news article when she has asked it to be a bare-bones documentary of the truth. I gave her my word on it, and this is what it shall be. Her story, revealed at last.

     Most of you, especially you Altador Cup fans out there, have heard of Kep Bonnefie, the Darigan Buzz who for years has refused to speak a single word, yet continues to play Yooyuball for the Citadel team. It is her story I tell, and in the manner she asked me to.

     But I suppose I should start at the beginning. Tell you how I, Prissy the Lutari reporter, came to be the one to hear the Buzz's tale.

     After the Altador Cup was announced, of course, Times reporters swarmed all over the Colosseum, on assignment to publish articles about everything from the teams to the souvenir shop. I was busy getting into print an article about King Altador I'd just written, and didn't get my assignment until most of the other reporters were already at the Cup.

     My boss, Calla, was running short on article ideas. It was looking like I wouldn't be writing a Cup article after all when all of a sudden-it happened. The Darigan team arrived at the Colosseum-with Kep Bonnefie playing as Left Defender.

     Of course, it put Calla in a frenzy. "That Buzz has such a tragic history! I must have an article about her in the Times, Prissy. You understand how important it is? This could be the Altador Cup article of all Altador Cup articles! Can you see it, Prissy? I can! Kep Bonnefie: A Tragic Past Revealed! You're just the Lutari for the job, Prissy! You must get Kep's story! You must!"

     So here I was, packed off for the Colosseum by my overenthusiastic boss, saddled with the task of prying the life story from a Buzz who doesn't talk. Brilliant.

     After much pondering, I decided the best idea was to find Miss Bonnefie and see if I could bribe any information out of her. See, I hate using bribery-but Calla loves it. And Calla had told me this assignment could be either the highlight or the undoing of my career-in other words, if I didn't get Kep to spill, I was fired.

     So it was the 10th day of Relaxing when, armed with only my quill pen and my Yellow Star Notebook that I knocked on the door to the Darigan Buzz's room. I hoped I could succeed-or else I might find myself knowing the answer to "What is scarier? My boss Calla when I've failed or an angry Kep Bonnefie?"

     I'd never seen Kep Bonnefie in person before, and I have to admit, she was an awe-inspiring sight. But no need to go into that-you've all seen Darigan Buzzes before, and Kep was no different, except for her Darigan Yooyuball Uniform complete with spiked shoulder pads.

     Suffice to say that upon seeing her, I was very scared. All I could do was stutter out, "M-miss Bonnefie? I'm... er... I'm Prissy Cringle from the N... Neopian Times, come to... ask you a few questions..."

     Kep stared at me then, just stared with her big red eyes. All of a sudden, I felt incredibly stupid. Standing before me was one of the best Yooyuball players ever, nearly cheated out of her career by the media. What was it Calla had told me? "She had a series of... unflattering articles... published about her, and since then she has refused to speak." It was a newspaper that had put Kep in this state, and now a newspaper was trying to get her to tell them about it.

     "Er... ma'am... I'm... so sorry. I didn't realize... er... the media... I... you don't have to tell... in fact I'll just leave..." I had turned around to get myself out of there, job or not, when Kep spoke.

     Yes. Spoke. Kep Bonnefie, who hadn't talked to anyone for years, spoke to me, a random Lutari reporter she didn't even know.

     "Why do you go?" the Buzz asked me. "Why do you leave? You know your job is at stake, you have Neopoints in your backpack to bribe me with... yet you go."

     Don't ask me how Kep knew all this. I suppose she'd had enough experience with media over the years to guess. I wasn't sure I knew the answer-but I told her what I felt.

     "I don't feel it's right, Miss Bonnefie. You've been treated so harshly by the media-it would be like rubbing salt in the wound."

     "Come inside." That surprised me. I was a newspaper reporter, one of those Neopets who had brought Kep to shame, but she let me inside. Once I was sitting down on her couch with a glass of Elderberry Achyfi in my paw, she spoke again.

     "Miss... Prissy, is it? Yes, Miss Prissy, you are the first reporter to come here since those... articles... were published. As it happens, I do wish Neopia to know the truth about why I refused to talk all these years-and you seem like a reporter to publish it in truth, not the bunch of lies most Times workers write."

     "I shall record your story in utmost truth. I promise." I wasn't sure if my word was good enough for her, but obviously it was, as Kep continued.

     "There isn't really much to tell. Not as much as most would suspect. But it is enough." With this short prologue, she began.

     I have recorded the story of Kep Bonnefie in the exact manner it was told to me that day in her room at the Colosseum:

 

     I had been playing for Darigan Citadel for only four years, which in the world of Yooyuball, isn't long. I hope I do not seem to boast in admitting that I was a bit of a natural at it. My offensive skills weren't great, but I was a defender like the Citadel had never seen before.

     I'd played Yooyuball since childhood, and was so excited about finally being on a professional team. My brother, Brutus Bonnefie-a Darigan Kau-was a successful business man in the plushie industry, and my sister, Anza Bonnefie-a Darigan Usul-was a Palace Guard to Lord Darigan himself. I was glad to have made my place among the Neopian famous.

     Today, Darigan's right defender is Tormo Frein, a charming young Pteri I'd trust with my life. But at the time, a shady but pretty Darigan Shoyru named Sallyanne Skanders played Right. Sal was athletic, but she wasn't made for Yooyuball. She was good, but not great. And she was jealous.

     Despite Sal's jealousy, we were able to work together as a team for the first four years. However, I now know that Sal was constantly on the lookout for something to ruin my rise to all-stardom.

     She got her opportunity one crisp, warm day in the Month of Running. On that day, I was contacted via a message-carrying Weewoo by a childhood friend of mine, a Brown Aisha by the name of Izabel.

     Izzy and I had grown up together on the outskirts of the great Darigan Citadel. However, when Izzy was fourteen, her mother left home and she went to live with her aunt. Her aunt was a Moehog of remarkable magical ability, in the service of Lord Darigan. Perhaps you know her name-Morguss?

     Izzy had always had a liking for dancing, just as I had always nurtured a passion for Yooyuball. Can you guess yet who Izzy turned out to be? If not, I shall tell you: My dear friend became an instrument of her aunt's used in the Meridell-Darigan War-the cunning and seductive Court Dancer.

     After being revealed, Izzy hid in the Haunted Woods where she lived with ghosts. Neopets were so scared of her new companions that nobody came to seek her-though many tried. She was a criminal, wanted for being a spy for Darigan.

     Word had come to Izzy about my newfound fame in the sport of Yooyuball. Someone-I suppose it was one of the ghosts-found out for her where I had taken residence, and she sent me a letter via Weewoo. It read thus:

     My dearest Kep,

     Congratulations on your position on the Darigan Yooyuball team. I hear of your triumphs from my sorry exile and they make me grin and remember the old days. The ghosts are company, but they are nothing to your friendship. Thank you, dear friend-I would not be here and alive if not for your loyalty, your not hating me even after I was used by Aunt Morguss to hypnotize Skarl.

     Best Regards,

     Izabel or the Court Dancer

     The letter of course, meant loyalty in a friendship sense. My not hating her had inspired her to keep running from the law, keep going, knowing that there was at least one Neopet out there who didn't think of her only as a criminal.

     But it could have been interpreted other ways. A jealous Sallyanne Skanders, having snuck into my room one night when I was out, could have seen a way to humiliate me. The letter could have meant that I had helped a wanted criminal escape the law-making me a criminal myself.

     So Sallyanne took the letter and showed it to a friend of hers, a Neopian Times reporter not unlike yourself. But this reporter was twisted and loved printing rumors and fake news. So articles were written, calling me a criminal-saying I had helped the Court Dancer escape Skarl's jailers, even when all I'd done was remain her friend.

     I was slandered, laughed at by the Neopian public. When I tried to explain the dirty trick Sallyanne had played, only one Neopet believe me: the Darigan team captain, Tandrak Shaye. Shaye had Sallyanne banished from the team, but it helped little. I was still laughed at, ridiculed, and called a criminal.

     I did serve some time in Skarl's jail, but was bailed by Tandrak. My innocence has been legally proven, but the newspapers continued to slander me. So Tandrak, my dearest friend, suggested the silence. If I said nothing, nothing I said could be held against me or used incorrectly by the press.

     So I have been silent, waiting for a good-hearted reporter such as yourself to publish the truth of my story. Waited in hope that the very newspapers that brought me down can prove to Neopia that I am not a criminal-just a very dedicated Yooyuball player who truly loves her sport.

 

     This is, in its entirety, the true story of slandered Yooyuball star Kep Bonnefie, as recorded by me, reporter Prissy Cringle. Read this, Neopia, and believe that Kep has been wrongly accused. She is not, after all, a fallen star, merely a laughed-at athlete trying to prove she is not guilty. Kep is not a criminal, just a forever devout Yooyuball player and faithful Darigan Citadel team member.

The End

 
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