There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 124,395,024 Issue: 250 | 28th day of Swimming, Y8
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Adie's Guild Experience


by vulpisarcanis

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It had been a wonderful season thus far: sunny skies, frolicking Chias and no doom impending upon Neopia.

     It was around this time that Adie joined a guild. Officially, it was called the Dandelion Guild. Unofficially, her brother Sander had dubbed it the Dunderhead Guild. It was only so long she could claim he was "just jealous."

     Truth was, the electric Eyrie was slightly creeped out by her guildmates, each with their own insipid personalities and eerie facial expressions that vaguely reminded her of the effect of a substance found in the pollen of certain flowers on Mystery Island. The substance in question caused muscles to constrict in a way that froze one's expression in a wide smile. Apparently, someone discovered this substance, bottled it and made a fortune by selling it to Beauty Contest participants, until this was found out and everybody that used it was disqualified. The substance wasn't against the rules or anything; it was just that the judges were creeped out by the eerie expressions on the contestants' faces.

     But back on subject, Adie had joined the guild nearly by accident. She was just sitting, thinking about heading to Neopia Central, leafing through an old issue of the Neopian Times. She knew it was really old, because there were all these strange characters she'd heard were around before she was born, characters like Al the Chia and authors like Shidi and oasis21. Still, she was bored and the paper was her only source of amusement.

     "Terribly splendid weather we're having, aren't we?" a cheery voice remarked. Looking over her paper, Adie could guess that it was the Ixi next to her that made the remark, if only because she was the only other person around.

     "Yes, beautiful weather," Adie grumbled and returned to reading.

     "It's always nice to have nice weather. Don't you agree?"

     Adie agreed, but didn't bother conveying this. The Ixi had a slightly eerie facial expression and seemed to be a pretty insipid person.

     "I like it when the weather is nice."

     Adie agreed again, but she wasn't going to say anything. She really wasn't interested in a conversation.

     "Of course, most people don't like it when it's windy. But I do."

     So did Adie, especially because windy weather made for some excellent flights. But she still wasn't going to say anything. Maybe the annoying Ixi would shut up eventually.

     "It might not be windy in Neopia Central," (Adie still didn't say anything, since the weather was a limited enough subject, or so she thought. The truth was, the weather was actually quite an extensive subject. It had to be, since it consisted 90% of all conversations) "but that's okay. I'm going shopping for the new Jazzmosis album. I like Jazzmosis."

     Sensing her defeat in this battle of wits, Adie shoved the old issue of the Neopian Times aside and carried on a full conversation, thus completing her quota of social obligations for the day.

     She wasn't sure how, but by the end of the first fifteen minutes, she'd already joined the Dandelion Guild and learned the secret hand/paw/talon/wingshake (which consisted not only of a shake, but a shimmy, a pirouette and several disco moves).

     She wasn't sure why she joined, either. Perhaps she'd eaten some expired asparagus or something, but the more she thought about it, the more she became convinced that any healthy individual would have seen that move for the bad idea that it was.

     The guild layout was eye-burningly bright and obscenely cheery. Whoever designed it had not only an unhealthy obsession for bright blue and hot pink, but a consistent lack of common sense.

     But that wasn't the only problem, no. The guildmembers were complete basketcases. Adie first became convinced of this when she met one of the council members, Jiggy, a white Shoyru with a suspicious eye twitch and a creepy smile that never went away.

     "You know the toolbar? The new toolbar? It's a conspiracy," he'd started prattling. Adie would have preferred a simple 'hello'.

     "Uh... yeah."

     "Just like the avatars. Does your owner have avatars? 'Course she has. Every owner has. It's a conspiracy. A way to subjugate owners and make them feed us crummy food so they could spend their money on little flashy images."

     Actually, Adie mused, her owner was cheap and never spent one Neopoint to get an avatar (but she still bought crummy food, which her pets would try to cook to a semi-edible state).

     "Excuse me," she said and dashed, she hoped, none too conspicuously, towards the door.

     ***

     Each Sunday morning after breakfast, everybody could be found in the living room, or what passed as such at The Perch. Despite its name, The Perch wasn't a cheap coffee shop for bohemian hippy-type artists, but actually a completely ordinary house that just happened to be tilted slightly and that attracted an insane number of crokabeks This time of the day was usually reserved for complaining about everything that had happened the past week and how the next day, it was going to start again, only much worse. For the most part, no exaggeration was needed (although nobody believed Sander when the fire Eyrie said he was being persecuted for his "handsomely good looks," neither did they bother to correct him or at least give him a mirror).

     This week, it was Adie's turn.

     "They're as whacky as Inny on a disinfecting spree!" she squawked.

     "Why don't you just leave the guild?" Sander growled, annoyed that he was being out-complained.

     "Duh! It'd be rude! Besides, they know where I live."

     "So?" Vulpis mumbled, just as annoyed as Sander at being out-complained.

     "They're creepy, with their dead eyes and hollow smiles." Adie shuddered. "There has to be a better way to do this."

     "Get yourself thrown out of the guild," Vulpis suggested.

     "That's a good idea! How do I do that?" Adie brightened.

     "Holding a conversation should suffice," Sander huffed crankily.

     "Did you miss the part where they're completely daft? Seriously, they don't know the difference between plural and possessive! They think apostrophes make them look smart!"

     They all lapsed into silence.

     "Well, I have no idea. But, hey, you wouldn't believe what happened to me at the Health Food store!" Vulpis declared, happy to veer the subject in her direction.

     "You were buying healthy food?" Sander asked incredulously.

     "Huh? No. I was giving away these flyers. Can you believe it? They said I was 'harassing the customers'. Hmph. Like it's my fault all that green makes people grouchy."

     "What flyers?" Adie jumped to her feet.

     "Advertising that new toolbar. It's a 2 NP an hour job, but ever since Sander spent all our money on that grooming set..." and Vulpis punctuated this by glaring at said Eyrie.

     "Brilliant!" Adie chirruped. "That's it!"

     ***

     One of the first thing she learned while in the Dandelion Guild was that nobody, under any circumstances, ever contradicted Jiggy and his conspiracy theories. It simply wasn't done. He'd only been right once, when he said the scrolls were a ploy by the Neopets Team, and ever since, everybody worshipped his every word with an enthusiasm that reminded Adie of Sloth's minions.

     Also, there was an unwritten rule which said that everybody was to be nice with Jiggy, ever since his owner had been robbed and lost 10,000 NP and a codestone. Poor Jiggy was traumatized.

     With Jiggy's group of friends (read: rabid sycophants) within view, Adie started spreading the flyers.

     Sure enough, within seconds, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she was faces with the forced smile of a particularly vicious faerie Kyrii.

     "What are you doing?" the Kyrii asked, obviously annoyed.

     "Spreading flyers. We kind of need the money," Adie replied cheerfully.

     "These are ads for the new toolbar."

     "Uh-huh. Something wrong with that?"

     The Kyrii was at loss for words.

     "Well... It's... you see..."

     Adie perked an eyebrow. "I mean," she said, "it's not like I'm hurting anybody."

     "Yes, but Jiggy--"

     "Oh, he'll be fine." Adie rolled her eyes. "What's the worst that could happen?"

     The Kyrii seemed incredulous.

     "What's happening here?" A Lupe and two Yurbles approached.

     "Here!" Adie gave them each a flyer. One of the Yurbles visibly bristled.

     "Have you no sensitivity? You know Jiggy doesn't like--"

     "Why not?" Adie interrupted. "I mean, he's exaggerating--"

     Before she knew what happened, a plethora of outraged Neopets gathered around her, screaming about rudeness, Jiggy's feelings and littering.

     Thirty second later, Adie was outside the guild headquarters, where she'd been kicked out by the angry mob; slightly dazed, with her feathers ruffled and her reputation tarnished, she got up, dusted herself and whispered victoriously,

     "Yes!"

The End

 
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