Life of a Shopkeeper
A Chia gazed up into the vast sky of dawn. The light from
the rising sun reflected onto the clouds, turning them a warm pink color. His
yellow fur glowed from the sunlight as he stood. He felt that he was going to
have a great day, worry-free and filled with glee.
Without waiting another moment, he convinced
himself to keep walking toward his destination. No matter what the case, he
still had a job to do. He took one last glance at the beaming sunrise and kept
on heading toward the direction of Neopia Central.
With every step, the buildings became larger
as if they were coming toward him. The reflections of the pink clouds were visible
from their lustrous glossy glass windows. After a small sum of minutes of walking
cheerfully, he now faced his own shop.
The tiny Chia unzipped his bag and searched for
his store's keys. After a few short minutes of constantly pulling his things
out and tossing them back in, he could not find his keys. He decided to dump
everything in the bag on the ground to help him search. Instead of finding what
he was looking for, he came across things that he didn't even know he had, and
didn't know existed. The contents varied from spare Neopoints to chocolates
of many colors and shapes, some stranger than others.
Once he had carefully spread out his things onto
the hard ground, he began to get frustrated. His keys were still nowhere in
sight. Quickly, he glanced to his left and right. Then, he lifted up the dusty
welcome mat below him and saw a spare key. He carelessly threw the doormat aside.
He placed the bag he was holding on the ground
beside him and grabbed the tiny silver key. As he held it, it shined like the
bright sunlight on a rushing waterfall. Carefully, he slipped it into a tiny
silver keyhole between the two glass doors and turned it until he heard a soft
clicking sound, which told him that it unlocked. Then he pulled the doors open
and stumbled inside.
Inside were many tables of different sizes and
shapes, a counter with a grey register, and a door that seemingly led to the
back of the building. The Chia dropped his bag onto the checkout counter and
went through the door behind it.
The first thing the small Chia had noticed was
that there were many brown boxes stacked from the floor the ceiling. He was
almost completely surrounded with the boxes. A frown appeared on his face as
he realized that he might not have such a great day after all.
One by one, the small-sized Chia pulled, pushed,
carried, and dragged boxes into the main room. There were many more boxes than
he would usually find each and every morning. Without a further thought, he
began to unpack a few of the smaller boxes first. Once they were unpacked, he
carried the foods to certain areas of the room depending on the type of food
they were. He placed all of the drinks onto a skinny shelf by the front doors
and placed all of the fresh hot burgers on a long table.
* * * * *
The Chia sighed in relief after he placed the
last box of fresh foods from the first load onto the table and unpacked it.
He dropped a stack of cheeseburgers onto a table and placed heavy glasses of
milkshakes on a long wooden shelf. Exhausted, he walked over to a small square
window in front of the store. The sun was shining very high above the bazaar.
The Chia had been working alone in the shop all morning! He could hear the ground
rumble before his two flat feet. Bottles and cans began to shake on the tables
faster with each passing second.
They were coming.
The tired Chia quickly made his way behind the
counter and stared at the tables covered in vibrant colors. He smelled the warm
odor of freshness and sheer accomplishment in the air surrounding him. He turned
to the doorway and watched uninterestedly as pets and some petpets of all sizes
and colors headed toward his edifice at record speeds. He frowned instantly.
They were here.
The moment the door had burst open, all chaos
was released. Wrappers from various items had gone flying onto the nearby heads
of a group of green Nimmos. An orange Zafara had just grabbed the last purple
negg when a blue Skeith had just pounced on top of him for it. The screams filled
the air so earsplitting that it seemed it could be heard from miles away. One
white Lenny had tripped over a spoon and fallen face first into a Grarrl's chocolate
ice cream. On the opposite side of the room, where the most madness was currently
occurring, a fairly large crowd of Elephantes were after a bag of peanuts and
were ready to fight for it.
Many cans of Neocola exploded as they were kicked
and thrown around the room in the mist of the battle. Jars of baby food were
smashed in half as pets tried to rush through the crowd to the checkout line.
Bowls of soup were toppled over and food was being hurled across the room, some
landing on the customers. Fruits either ended up squashed or in pieces. Even
foods that were costly were being sold as fast as feathers drifting in a roaring
sandstorm. To the shoppers, especially the aggressive and hungry ones, it was
Massive bags filled with Neopoints whizzed at
the Chia as he tried to stuff them into the register and every open space in-between.
Dishes behind him shattered as they hit the ground. A large shelf of plastic
spoons and forks tumbled off the wall and scatted in front of the Chia's feet.
Small petpets began to gnaw on the food that was dropped onto the floor. Neopets
slid in every direction because a table of orange juice and other sugary beverages
had collapsed. To the Chia, a minute felt like an hour, except for the fact
that so many things were happening much too fast to pay attention to. It seemed
as the mayhem would never cease, but just as soon as it began, it had ended.
They were gone.
The place was deserted in just mere seconds.
Bare shelves lay on the floor of the room, some in pieces. The large tables
were smashed in half and a thick blanket of Neocola stains covered the once
clean floor. It was hard for him to even believe that they were ever clean in
the first place! The distraught Chia looked around his shop. It was trashed
beyond one's imagination, but it shouldn't have been much of a surprise to him.
Quickly, he brushed the dirt off of his white and blue apron and reached for
his broom. He sighed in relief again that the hungry crowd was gone, but he
had a strange, uneasy felling that the worse was yet to come.
The shopkeeper of the Neopian Fresh Foods looked
at his calendar, only to find himself frozen in horror.
It was Half Price Day.