Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 124,467,804 Issue: 251 | 4th day of Hiding, Y8
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The Day 250 Struck: Part Two


by puppy200010

--------

Also by plutoplus1

"All the crimes are related to 250!" yelled Kori, running into the town square. The pets there all turned to stare at her. "Something evil is doing 250-related crimes all throughout Neopia!"

     "What is that crazy red Poogle talking about?" muttered a pet carrying two large shopping bags to her companion.

     "You're outta yer mind!" shouted a green Lupe wearing a beret.

     "No! Listen!" Kori responded desperately. Several interested pets crowded around her. "I'm sure all of you have heard about the recent crimes on Mystery Island, right?" They nodded. "Well," she continued, snatching a newspaper away from a nearby pet, who protested, "take a look! These crimes both happened in the Haunted Woods, and they involved the number 250. Plus, 250,000 Neopoints were stolen on this island yesterday, and 250 wooden boards of the barn on the Tigerbuggle Farm were vandalized! It's all connected! Don't you see?"

     All of the pets still looked completely skeptical, and most turned to leave. As one pet was walking away, he said, "You're crazy! Either you're imagining things, or the fact that 250 is involved with all the crimes is a coincidence. Besides, what evil mastermind would commit "evil" crimes that all involved the number 250? It's preposterous!"

     Frustrated, Kori sighed. It was obvious that she wasn't going to get any help here. But who would help her? She was starting to think that she'd have to battle the 250-related crimes on her own, when suddenly, she remembered the natives! They had been chanting the number 250 as she walked past... perhaps they also knew what was going on and could help her? She sprinted in the direction of the path that she had taken earlier that day.

     ***

     "I am sorry," replied an Island Techo, "but we cannot help you."

     "B-but... why not?" replied Kori. "You have to help me!"

     Another one of the the native pets stepped forward, and said, "It's not that we don't want to help you, but... "

     "But? But what?"

     The group of natives went completely silent, and no one answered her question.

     "You know what I'm talking about though, correct?"

     "Yes."

     Kori breathed a sigh of relief. At least they didn't think she was crazy!

     "You see," the Techo said, gesturing towards her, "we'd like to help you, but we are unable... We may know who is creating these crimes, but we're afraid to go up against this..." He paused, searching for words.

     "... This... this... creature?" Kori stared.

     "I'm sorry, but if you want to stop... it... you'll have to do it without us."

     Kori gave a sad sigh and started to walk away, her shoulders slumped. "Well, thank you anyway..."

     "Stop!" She glanced back. "I can at least point you in the direction of this creature, can't I?"

     "Yes, that'd be helpful."

     The Island Techo walked over and whispered something in her ear, and she gasped.

     "No!" she responded, shocked. "There's no way it could be..." Suddenly, a large group of incredibly noisy tourists walked by, covering up any and all noise within a one quarter mile radius. Kori thanked the natives and left, ready to start work on the mystery.

     Her first stop was the library, she decided. She had read in another brochure that it was supposed to be the best on the island. Of course, considering it was the only library on the island, the competition for Best Library was rather slim.

     As she approached the library, it soon became apparent that something was wrong. Pets were gathered around in clumps chattering about something very interesting, from the looks of it, and gesturing towards the library. She went up to a group near the back, and listened in on their conversation.

     "I just can't believe something so... so... evil could happen!" sobbed a Zafara wearing glasses. "How could someone just steal all 250 books that our precious library contained!"

     "There, there, dear, I'm sure we'll be able to get some donations from the Money Tree to help us rebuild our library." The Zafara's mother patted her on the back.

     "It won't be the same! I'll never be able to find that exact copy of How to Bake in Humid Climates in 734 Ways ever again!" The pet continued to sob, and Kori moved away to allow the pet privacy for her grief.

     Since no one was standing in front of the library denying entrance to it, Kori decided to go in and have a look around. It was dark inside, but she followed the arrows that pointed the way to where the books were held. After walking down a short corridor, she was in the main room. Or at least what was left of it.

     There were about a dozen book shelves lining the room, and every single one was empty, as they were supposed to be since the books were all stolen. Stepping slowly around the room, she glanced at the stark shelves and pondered in silence. Who would do this, and why? How could she stop them? How was she supposed to do her research now? As she thought her way through these problems, she stepped on something. Looking down, she found a book. She did a double take. What is a book doing in here?! They are all supposed to be stolen!

     Quickly she picked it up, scanned the cover, and gasped. The title of the book was 250: Myth or Fact? Opening it up, she read the inside jacket cover.

     Many have wondered whether or not the mysterious

      250 was an actual... thing, or whether it was some

     mischievous pet playing pranks on all of Neopia. It

     is still not known, but author Kippi Hipniplippi has

     recorded in this book all of the crimes committed by

     such, and any that could be possibly related to him.

     Also inside are several supposed hypotheses as to why

     250 would ever do such a thing, what causes pets to think

     ... it is a real... thing, and a list of all 250 sitings. Who

     would ever want to miss out on a book like this?

          This was exactly what she needed! Quickly looking around to make sure no one was watching her, she hid the book under her shirt, and started to walk nonchalantly towards the front. I'll return the book when I'm done with it, she promised silently. At the front of the library, she happened to glance at a plaque above the door. It read, Proud Owners of 251 Books. Grinning to herself, Kori left the library.

     Outside, there was still a large crowd gathered. At the rear of it, she spotted that same Zafara, who amazingly still had some tears left. As she passed the Zafara, she felt it was only proper she provide the distraught Zafara with some hopeful news.

     "Don't worry, the library contained 251 books!" Kori said brightly.

     The Zafara looked at Kori, and the tears slowly stopped. "That means... that means that one book is still left in the library!"

     Kori nodded encouragingly, until she realized that she was taking that one book that provided hope. "Uh, well, actually... they can't find the 251st book, but uh... I'm sure it's in there somewhere!"

     The Zafara suddenly burst into a new round of tears, mumbling something like, "Why me! Why me!" and the mother gave Kori an evil glare. Quickly Kori made her way back to the hotel to start reading her book.

     ***

     Kori flopped onto her hotel bed and cracked open the book. The book appeared to be rather long from the width of the spine, but once she flipped through the pages, she realized that there was only one legible word per page, and all the other words on the page were nearly completely faded out. Not surprisingly, the book was 250 pages long.

     "Hmm, ok," commented Kori as she scanned the text. Because of the briefness of the legible text, the book didn't contain much information, and the information it did contain didn't make much sense. Confused, she flipped back to the front of the book to reread it. That was when she noticed that the first letter of each word spelled out the word "anagram"! Kori had no idea how it was possible, but the word "anagram" was spelled over and over again by the first letter of each word in the book.

     Grabbing a pad of lined paper, Kori decided to make some notes on the crimes she had already witnessed. "Let's see," she mumbled, fidgeting with her pencil. "First the crimes happened at the hotel gift store, then the island market, then the Tigerbuggle farm, school, and library..." She jotted them all down on her paper and looked at her list. Staring down her list of locations, she noticed that the first letters of them spelled "hitsl".

     "What kind of a word is hitsl?!" she wondered aloud before remembering that 250: Myth or Fact? had told her to look for anagrams. As hard as Kori tried, however, she was unable to find any words that could be made by her seemingly random list of letters. Exasperated, she finally decided to give it a rest. The library's book was still sitting on the other side of her bed, and she decided that since was done with it, she might as well return it to the library.

     ***

     "I'm telling you, Mom, the book just isn't in here!" wailed the Blue Zafara, who was still at the library, searching for the 251st book.

     "Hey," said Kori, entering through the library's front doors, "I think I found it over here."

     The tearful Zafara squealed in excitement and ran over. "How can I ever repay you?" she shouted.

     "Wellllll," Kori drew out, pretending to be deep in thought. "You could find out what these letters are an anagram of!" She handed her notepad to the young pet.

     "It's obviously an anagram for hilts!" she announced in a tone that said that she couldn't believe Kori hadn't been able to figure it out.

     "Hilts?"

     "Yes, hilts. Probably like the road name, Hilts Lane."

     "Hilts Lane, that's in... "

     "Yup, it's in Neopia Central."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Day 250 Struck: Part One
» The Day 250 Struck



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