Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 124,395,024 Issue: 250 | 28th day of Swimming, Y8
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One Bar of Chocolate


by star_29791

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"We've run out!" Coco, the chocolate Chia wailed.

      Her owner, looking frazzled and tired, came into the kitchen.

      "What now, Coco?" she asked.

      "There's no chocolate in the chocolate cupboard!"

      "Coco..." her owner said. "It's not even breakfast time."

      "Please!" Coco whined, knowing her owner would give in anyway. Who could resist a little brown chocolate blob with chocolate sauce and whipped cream on its head? Especially a spoilt one.

      "Fine." Her owner went to her purse and retrieved a few Neopoints. "Go down to the chocolate factory and get yourself some chocolate."

      Coco pouted, as she counted the Neopoints in her paw.

      Her owner rolled her eyes but handed her some more Neopoints anyway.

      "Yay!"

      Without a word of thanks, Coco sprinted out of the front door.

      "I'm going to buy some chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!" Coco sang as she bounced along the pavement... literally. Having eaten so much chocolate, Coco was rather like a large bouncy ball.

      She was just entering Neopia Central when a voice said, "Do you really need so many Neopoints?"

      Coco whirled round to see a somewhat cocky blue Zafara, wearing rags, sitting in a tree nearby. She glared at him.

      "No need for hostility," the Zafara said, jumping down easily from the tree. "It's just that it's not really necessary to buy so much chocolate." He leaned against the tree, his arms resting behind his head.

      Coco continued to glare at him. He was so arrogant; it was surprising he didn't have it written on his head in large, bold capitals.

      "I like chocolate."

      "I like chocolate. Doesn't mean I have to eat myself until I am a blob of chocolate."

      Coco's jaw dropped open. How dare he accuse her of being fat! She was merely a little on the round side... but what Chia wasn't?

      She started to stalk away but the Zafara stepped in front of her, his paws held up in front of her to stop her from walking on.

      "Hey, hey, stop. I wasn't being horrible. Guess it came out the wrong way."

      Coco glowered.

      "I was just saying that you don't need all that chocolate. I mean, loads of Neopets have nothing!" he said.

      Coco observed his tatty clothes and how thin he was. But she felt no sympathy. Who was this Zafara to her?

      "Well, I can indulge in chocolate and give to those who have nothing," Coco snapped, before stalking off.

      This time he didn't stop her.

~*~

      Coco was seething. How dare he? So what if she liked and could afford chocolate? How was it his business? It wasn't her fault there were poor Neopets in Neopia.

      As she approached the Chocolate Factory, she saw that there was a large crowd of Neopets coming out of the Chocolate Factory, all giggling and talking, some munching on chocolate they'd just purchased.

      'Oh no!' Coco thought. 'I've just missed the restocking time. It's all that Zafara's fault!'

      By the time she had marched up to the Factory's entrance, everyone had gone, save a few stragglers. She was just about to go in anyway to see what she could find, when she heard a tiny voice.

      "Please, miss, spare some change."

      Coco cursed under her breath. She looked down to see a young blue Tonu staring up at her. She hesitated. Should she get out her purse and find a few coins so this little wretch would leave and risk scavenging the last few pieces of chocolate, or ignore it and grab whatever was left?

      "I don't have any," she said, with no hint of remorse. She shrugged and hurried into the factory.

      "That wasn't very nice," said a voice.

~*~

      "You!" Coco exclaimed at the sight of the oh-too-familiar Zafara.

      "That wasn't very nice either." He frowned. "You're not a very nice Neopet, are you?"

      Coco could positively feel the steam coming out of her ears - that is if she had any ears. It had always been a mystery to her how Chias like herself could hear things.

      The Zafara ignored her and walked off into the shop. Coco gasped and realised if he got to the last chocolate before she did, she'd have to wait a while before the factory was restocked. And already, she could feel the familiar craving for chocolate. She couldn't wait until the next restock!

      She dashed through the shop but aisle after aisle was completely empty. She was getting desperate, the whipped cream on her head starting to look a lot less smaller than before.

      Finally, at the second to last aisle she saw something on the shelf at the other end. One bar of chocolate. She grinned and strode determinedly towards it, her paws outstretched. She could already feel the chocolate, smell it, taste it.

      Almost there...

      "Not so fast." The Zafara had darted forward and grabbed the chocolate just milliseconds before Coco was about to.

      "Hey!" Coco complained.

      "Finders keepers. Losers weepers." The Zafara grinned, haughtily. He strode away towards the till.

      "I found it first!" Coco protested, following him.

      "How do you know?"

      "Because I did!"

      "How do you know I didn't see it first but hid until you saw it so I could snatch it out from under your nose?" the Zafara asked.

      Something in his tone made Coco just know he wasn't lying.

      "Give it back!"

      But they'd reached the till and the Zafara paid.

      She trailed him out of the shop, whining non-stop.

      "Just quit your whining!" he finally snapped. When he saw her glaring, he grinned and said, "Fine. I'll give it to you if you do something for me."

      "What?" Coco asked, suspiciously.

      "I'll give it to you if-"

      "I know!" Coco interrupted. "I was asking what you want me to do."

      "You really want this chocolate, don't you?" the Zafara said, a hint of amusement in his voice.

      "What do you want?" Coco said.

      "Patience, patience." The Zafara thought for a while. Then he smiled. "I want you to give at least twenty Neopoints to the next twenty poor pets you see."

      Unable to see the illogic in this, Coco agreed and wandered back to where the blue Tonu had asked her for change. He was still there now and she hurriedly put twenty Neopoints in his paw.

      "There you go!" she said.

      "Nuh uh," said that voice.

      She turned to see the Zafara watching her.

      "Be nice," he said.

      Coco scowled.

      "Fine," she snapped. She turned back to the Tonu and taking another twenty Neopoints said, "Here. Take this. You look half starved, you poor thing."

      Then she stood up, smirked at the Zafara and stalked off.

      "She's an odd one," the Zafara said, with an incredulous expression on his face.

~*~

      Coco was tired. She had wandered all over Neopia Central, looking for poor Neopets. She now had just thirty Neopoints left, having given the rest away to nineteen Neopets, plus she'd give that Tonu double what she needed to.

      She had spent all her Neopoints but for that chocolate, it was worth it.

      She spied a hungry looking red Techo a few paces away, sitting on a log.

      'Hurrah!' she thought. 'The last one!'

      She raced towards the Techo, then slowed down when she came near him.

      "Hello," she said, sweetly. "You look hungry. Have these Neopoints." She hesitated. She had just ten Neopoints left. "Have these last few Neopoints as well."

      And she gave him the last ten.

      "My thanks, kind Chia," the Techo said, jumping up in happiness.

      It would be nice to report that Coco felt a stirring of happiness, content and satisfaction at having made someone other than herself happy. But that would be too clich├ęd.

      "Well done."

      The Zafara had sneaked up behind her. Again.

      "The chocolate is yours."

      Coco grabbed the chocolate and stuffed it in her mouth.

      As the Zafara quietly walked away, he said to himself, "What a blob of chocolate... "

~*~

      Feeling contented, Coco started to head home, having already forgotten about the Zafara.

      "Chocolate cake, chocolate bar, chocolate house, chocolate shoes, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate," Coco sang.

      As she passed the Chocolate Factory, a flurry of Neopets could be seen running in.

      "It's restock time!" Coco shouted. And she raced toward the factory, her mind racing with thoughts of all the chocolate she could buy with her Neopoints... wait a minute.

~*~

      As he was walking through a wood, the Zafara heard an ear-splitting scream that made the birds fall from their branches.

      "That took her a while to work out," he said to a nearby bird. It was raining birds all around, as the scream continued to grow louder.

      He shrugged and strolled home to his little dwelling in the centre of the woods.

      He wasn't technically stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, he was merely... tricking the rich into giving to the poor.

      Which made him a good fellow, right?

The End

 
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