Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 124,395,024 Issue: 250 | 28th day of Swimming, Y8
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A Jelly's Journey: Part One


by sum41girl2k

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Also by sunset_rose285

*Trudge... trudge... trudge...*

     Shuffling slowly along the dusty main road of Meri Acres Farm was the saddest looking Blumaroo to be found on the near side of Neopia. The hot rays of sunlight passed through his translucent body and cast a long yellow shadow on the ground beneath his feet. Bryan the Blumaroo was just returning from his latest trip to the Lab Ray. He had pleaded with his owner to let him stop making the long trips to the ray every day when he had been zapped into a Darigan Eyrie, but she had refused. She preferred something a little more "cuddly," as she put it.

     Now look what I am. From majestic Darigan Eyrie to wimpy Jelly Blumaroo in just two short days...

     Upon reaching the front porch of his Neohome, Bryan took a brief moment to observe his surroundings before opening the door. It was a breezy summer morning in Meridell. The few puffy clouds in the sky chased each other around like cloud Gnorbus frolicking in the wind. The otherwise beautiful setting was only slightly marred by the dark, smoggy haze swirling around the Darigan Citadel that had been floating above their farmland for several years now. All the Meridellians had grown accustomed to its presence and now spoke of it only when necessary, and even at that in hushed tones.

     Looking towards the Meridell Castle, Bryan spotted two Usuls that appeared to be pointing at him and giggling behind their paws.

     "What, haven't you ever seen a Jelly Neopet before?" he yelled. The girls looked startled at his outburst and started backing away from him and were soon moving quickly down the road in the opposite direction.

     Feeling like a sore thumb of depression and angst sticking out of a whole world of blissful small, furry Neopets, Bryan grabbed the doorknob and turned it. He groaned as he realized that his paws now left little bits of lemon flavored jelly on whatever he touched. The silence that emanated from the house revealed that his owner was currently out. Most likely with her friends, blasting their favorite song of the week from the latest Chomby and the Fungus Balls CD or gossiping about which brand of bubble bath left fur at its shiniest.

     That's good. I don't think I can deal with the embarrassment of her cheek pinching and going on and on about how "squishy" and "jiggly" I am now.

     Taking a step towards the foyer, Bryan stumbled over something on the ground shaped like a small log. Using his tail to help steady himself, he bent down to examine what the obstruction was. It appeared that he had tripped over one of several small logs that had piled up on front of the door. He realized that they were issues of The Neopian Times. His owner had put out a subscription to the popular newspaper months ago, and it appeared that the majority of the issues since then had never even entered their house.

     Why bother? She never even reads these things.

     But being the loyal pet that he was, even though he was currently unhappy with almost all aspects of his Neopian life, Bryan scooped up the small mountain of papers into his arms and tottered dangerously towards the door. He was a step away from it when two of the issues sitting at the top of the large pile, apparently unsatisfied with their carrier's service, suddenly slipped from his grip and tumbled towards the ground, but not before one greeted Bryan's left ear in a rather violent fashion, taking a small chunk with it. Letting out a sigh from physical pain and frustration, Bryan took a deep breath to calm himself down as the jelly in his ear reshaped itself to fill in the void that the Times had left.

     "I'll be back for you two later," he said in the meanest way a Jelly Blumaroo on the verge of tipping over under the weight of an enormous stack of Neopian Times could.

     He gave the newspapers a glare for good measure and walked it, dumping his cargo on the tiny couch in the living room. He went back to the porch and bent down once again to grab the rogue papers. But before he could do that, something sparkly on one of them caught his eye.

     The Neopian Times

     Special Edition: Celebrating Our 250th Issue! Glittering effect brought to you by Kauvara's Shop of Magic.

     Foremost Kau Fortune Teller Predicts 250 To Be Most Magical Number

     Beside the first headline was a picture of a Kau in gypsy-esque clothing sitting at a small wooden table with a giant crystal ball containing swirling gases of all different colors. She was staring into her orb with wide eyes, apparently seeing something important in the vapors.

     Rolling his eyes at the headline, Bryan grudgingly retrieved the rolled up newspapers from their offensive position on the floor. Not seeing any way to place them with the rest of the papers on the couch without causing a small-scale avalanche of some sort, he tossed them onto the dining room table as he walked past, where one of them promptly unfurled and lay flat against the surface. He reluctantly bounced up the stairs to his bedroom, each bounce reverberating through his gelatinous body.

     "Hey, Max," said the Blumaroo as a greeting to his lifelong friend and petpet. Bryan had first laid eyes on the Spotted Spardel at the pound when he was only a little toddler, and they had been best buddies ever since.

     He collapsed on the sofa next to Max and gave him a pat on the head. The Spardel's expression remained unchanged as he was showered with jelly morsels from Bryan's paw.

     "So how do you like my new look?" asked Bryan. He went on to recount all the details of his morning's adventure along with how he really felt about being forced under the ray by his owner. By the end of the heart-wrenching story, Max had started wagging his tail energetically, which generally meant that he was hungry.

     "Come on, boy; let's get you something to eat." Carrying Max under his arm, Bryan made his way to the kitchen. After rummaging for a while in the dusty cupboard, he dug out a can of tasty Chokato Petpet Food. He pulled off the lid and emptied the contents into Max's Disco Petpet Bowl.

     While Max ate, Bryan sat down at the dining table to brood over his unlucky zap. He had been staring at the table, deep in thought, for quite a few minutes before he noticed exactly what he was looking at. It was the issue of the Neopian Times he had unceremoniously flung there earlier. On the bottom of the front page was an advertisement that featured a Grey Acara surrounded by a group of Rainbow and Disco pets. If the other pets had thought that their cheerfulness would rub off on the Acara, they were obviously wrong.

     Are You Feeling Down? Do Grey Storm Clouds Hover Above Your Head All Day? Has Life Completely Lost its Meaning?

     If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it's time for you to get a more positive view on life!

     Visit our office at 250 Malevolent Road, Darigan Citadel to get help today.

     There are other Neopets that feel the same way I do? Maybe it's worth a look... A visit never hurt anyone, right?

     "Come on, Max. We're taking a trip!" Bryan grabbed his trusty Commander Garoo Backpack, filled it with enough food for a day's journey, and headed out the door with his petpet under one arm and the special Neopian Times under the other.

     After some clever bargaining with one of the sky-pirates who made their living robbing other planes and blimps of their valuable cargo, the pair was able to secure safe transportation to the more-than-slightly elevated castle in the sky.

     Finding the right address was a bit difficult, as it was perpetually nighttime in the Citadel, but a couple wrong turns and a few minutes later, Bryan was standing in front of the largest building he had ever seen. There were towering turrets that shot up into the sky, rusty iron gates that creaked in the wind, and spikes larger than his entire Neohome. 250 Malevolent Road happened to be a side entrance to the castle. Seeing that the number was marked in a substance that looked suspiciously like blood, he set Max down on the ground and knocked on the door before he completely lost his nerve and decided to head home, knowing that he made the trip for nothing.

     The door was answered by a Grarrl. A very big Darigan Grarrl wearing a suit adorned with large silver spikes.

     "What do you want?" he roared impatiently.

     "Erm, is this the place where they help you with depression? I saw this ad in the Neopian Times, and-"

     "Not another one of you guys... What are you talking about, son? This here is a DUNGEON." He stepped back from the door to give Bryan a better view of the inside. The grimy stone walls had chains hanging from them, and the floor was littered with small circular stones that had little symbols painted on them. "All we have here are prisoners and these Cellblock game pieces that Master Vex likes so much. So if you're not here for a game, you might as well scram before-"

     The guard suddenly fell to the ground and before he knew it, Bryan was being dragged into the dungeon and slammed against the wall. Recovering from his surprise, he looked down to see that his attacker was an elderly Lupe that looked like he had not had a haircut or a shower in a few decades. He looked over at the door and saw that the guard appeared to have been clubbed over the head with the old Lupe's walking stick. There was a rapidly swelling lump on his head that looked like it would be sore for days.

     He felt himself being shaken. He looked back at the Lupe. His eyes were wide open and staring at Bryan in a way that made him feel quite uncomfortable. He gave Bryan another shake.

     "Jelly... You really are jelly... Amazing..." the Lupe muttered, examining Bryan's tail closely.

     "Uh, yes... What does that have to do with anything?" Bryan asked fearfully.

     "What does it have to do with anything?? It has to do with EVERYTHING. Where did you come from young man? Where?? ANSWER ME!!"

     "Uhhh, I live in Meridell. That's the land that's right below your lovely floating castle of doom, and-"

     "No, boy! Tell me where you REALLY come from... Was it... The land of the Jelly Volcano? No one else believed me... But you believe me, don't you? Because you come from there, right? You're one of them? Tell me the truth!" the old prisoner said breathlessly, as if Bryan's answer was going to change Neopian life as they knew it.

     "Jelly Volcano? There's no such thing as-"

     "You ignorant fool! It is the land of gelatinous goodness..." He poked Bryan in the elbow with his walking stick and watched in wonder as his whole arm jiggled. "It covers all the land that the eye can see. And the pets. Even THEY are made of jelly... It's a miraculous thing... One minute they look like what you eat for midday snacks, and the next, they're up walking and talking to you!" He became even more wild-eyed as he dug deep into his memories. "And at night... When all the pets are sleeping... The petpets. They come to feast on the most gigantic blob of jelly you have ever seen... But then, the most horrible thing happened... It came out of the Jelly Volcano... It came and everything- GET YOUR PAWS OFF ME, YOU DIRTY SCUMBAGS!"

     The guard had regained consciousness and decided to gather some help before going up against the Lupe and his stick again. The three massive Darigan Grarrls were forcing their prisoner back into his chains while all receiving mighty wallops on the head. The guard stood back and mumbled to himself while rubbing the back of his skull.

     "Curses... Note to self: never let a Jelly Neopet enter the dungeon again. They get Number Five too riled up. Also, stop by the Post Office Kiosk and pick up some stamps..."

     Partially restrained, Number Five continued to shout battle cries as he prepared for war against his invisible enemy. "The Pirate Jelly!!! They are attacking! I will fight them off with my Apple Jelly Club! Come and get me, you little..."

     Feeling like he couldn't stand to watch any more of this lunacy, Bryan slid out the door unnoticed, feeling a little shaken up.

     A world of gelatinous goodness? Right. Like a place full of people like me would ever exist. This is hopeless.

     After finding Max happily entertaining himself in a Snakebush, Bryan decided he already had quite enough of this adventurer thing, and that they should head home empty-handed. The Citadel, however, was not about to let that happen...

To be continued...

 
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