The Day 250 Struck: Part Three
Also by plutoplus1
I can't believe I'm doing this! Kori shook her
head at her own foolishness. Why in Neopia did I leave Mystery Island, cutting
my first vacation in years short, to come here to some random lane on Neopia
Central? Even when she was asking herself this, she knew the answer. She
could not allow this 250 to go on wreaking havoc on the Natives if there was
some way for her to stop it. Besides that, no one believed her that 250 was
even a relevant piece of evidence in the case, so she had to solve it for herself.
Kori stopped at the beginning of Hilts Lane and
stared. The lane was lined with dozens of houses! How was she supposed to know
which was the 250's house? It would take hours to knock on each door and ask,
and that was assuming everyone even answered their doors! Drooping her head
at the thought of the huge task she was undertaking, she started trudging up
to the first door. As she was about to knock, she saw something out of the corner
of her eye that made her heart skip a beat . She whirled around, and there,
just around the bend in the lane, she could see a house that she absolutely,
positively knew belonged to 250.
Jogging quickly in the direction of his house,
she never took her eyes off it for fear that it was a mirage and would disappear.
Grateful that she didn't have to knock on doors at all, she stopped on the sidewalk
in front of his house and hoped that the house wouldn't disappear within the
next 250 seconds. It was so obvious that it belonged to 250, she wondered why
it had ever been a mystery whether or not he was a myth or fact. On the roof
was a huge blow-up 250 balloon, and everything about his house was in increments
of 250. She didn't bother to count the rocks and shrubs, but she had a feeling
they would all add up to 250. And, surprisingly enough, he lived at 250 Hilts
Lane. Why do I not feel shocked? Kori chuckled to herself. Approaching
his door, she hesitated. Well, here goes nothing! She lifted her paw,
and knocked three times. Nothing happened. She knocked four times this time,
as loud as possible.
How could he not be home?! I have come all
this way for nothing! She thought in despair. Lost in her thoughts, she
was not aware that the door had silently cracked open.
"Yes, yes, who is there?" the voice was... mysterious,
and seemed to have a frequency of... 250? How odd, Kori thought.
"Well, speak up, young pup! I, the Great 250,
am not about to stand around all day for you to gawk at!"
Clearing her throat, Kori found her voice. "Excuse
me, but I'm looking for a Mr. 250 who lives on Hilts Lane... You wouldn't happen
to, uh, be him... would you?"
Although Kori could not see 250, she felt him
staring at her like she was an imbecile. "Not to be rude, dear, but who else
could I be? Did you even bother to look at my roof, or count my rocks and shrubs?
I should think you would already know the answer to that question! Now, if you'll
excuse me, I have things I need to do... " He started to shut his door, but
Kori put her foot in front of it.
"No, please! I need to talk to you! Could I come
Exasperated, he gave in. "Oh, all right, but
be quick about your talking because I have many po- uh, things to do." He seemed
to just disappear behind the door, and Kori pushed it open to enter his house.
"Over here," he called, and she followed his voice to a dark sitting room. She
sat down in a chair that was illuminated by a light. Everything else was in
"So, what is you need to talk about?"
"Well, please don't get angry if you haven't
committed any of these crimes, but over on Mystery Island, there are all sorts
of bad things happening, and they all involve 250. Someone stole 250 books,
250,000 NP, 250 wooden boards on a building were painted and vandalized, and
that's not all, but... " She let her voice trail off, to hear his response.
For a few seconds it was absolutely quiet, and
then the storm broke, in a manner of speaking. "How could you have figured this
out?" he raged. "Here I have been so, so... mysterious, and yet you still solve
my anagram after I've only left 5 clues! This is impossible! Preposterous! I-I-I
have never had someone solve this so... fast!" He suddenly got calm. "How, may
I ask, did you do it?"
Startled by his suddenly calm demeanor, she fumbled
around for an answer. "Um, well, it wasn't that hard, really. Every single clue
had 250 in it. And that book in the library was the cincher, with its anagram
spelled over and over in it. And your house kind of has a huge 250 on top of
it, so... " she shrugged. "So, what did you plan to do if I hadn't solved your...
brilliant... plan so quickly?"
"Ah, yes, my brilliant plan, if you don't mind
me saying, was quite, well, brilliant. I had planned 250 events, not crimes,
mind you, to celebrate the arrival of my... uhm... " he paused.
"Your what?" Kori asked.
"Well, if you must know, my poem! I was going
to leave 250 clues that would make an anagram for my poem! It was going to win
Neopia's Greatest Poet!" He started to sob. "Now you have wrecked all hope of
me ever becoming Neopia's Greatest Poet!"
Kori let him cry for a moment, and then asked,
"What was your poem? Maybe you could share it with me?"
"Well, I suppose I could do that... yes, I could..."
He was instantly happy again, and read in his mysterious, 250 frequency-resonating
"Hilts Lane is where I live
Leaving clues is what I give
Master of numbers
Even during my slumber
To rhyme or not to rhyme
That's a question I ask many times
Because my poems are sublime
I sell them all for a dime
While my identity is unknown
And I live quite alone
Come and visit me at my home
Thank you and good bye."
Kori waited an appropriate
amount of time for an awestruck person such as herself, and then raved about
his poem. "Why, that was brilliant! No, really, it was quite good! I only wish
I had thought of it myself, so I could win the contest!" She paused. "But, maybe,
why didn't you just mail your entry in, like everyone else? It would have caused
a lot less grief... "
He started to laugh, and then said, "Well, DUH!
If you had even read the rules, it says to be UNIQUE and CREATIVE! This is the
most creative entry EVER and I would have won for sure! But noooo, little Miss
Genius had to go and solve it before it was finished!" He started to sob again.
"Wait, wait! I may have a plan to help you still
win the contest..." She started whispering her plan.
Kori was relaxing, sitting on a bench along the
Mystery Island beach front. This is the life, she thought. Finally,
a real vacation! The sun was shining, the ocean waves were rolling, and
nothing could make the day better.
Kori glanced down at the newspaper she held in
her hands and looked over the front page again. One of the articles was about
the mysterious crimes committed earlier that week. No one knew how, but all
of the stolen or vandalized items had been returned and fixed. People were still
speculating as to who could have possibly done such.
Kori laughed out loud, which drew a few odd looks
in her direction, but she ignored them, focusing on the next article, which
announced the winner of the title "Neopia's Greatest Poet". It was a rather
long winded article, but a few paragraphs down was the name, Joey King. Next
to the article was a picture of the winner. He was a nice looking Yellow Ixi,
wearing a black outfit. If one looked closely, they could see on his shirt a
small 250 pinned to his shirt. Near the end of the article, his poem had been
printed, and, not surprisingly, it was 250 characters long.
Folding up the paper, Kori stood and started
to head back to the hotel. She never would have thought that 250 had a name
other than that, or that his entire name was not 250 characters long. Many people
were probably wondering how a poet who no one had ever heard of had won Neopia's
most coveted poet title.
"They'll never know," Kori said out loud, and
laughing, dropped the paper in the garbage. She never noticed that the building
she passed had only 300 bricks painted red...