An October Holiday
An old, rotted floorboard creaked as what seemed to be an
owner and two pets tiptoed through the halls of a dilapidated mansion.
"I'm scared," whimpered one of the pets, an Usul
whose name was Karina.
"I'm not," said a blue Jetsam bluntly (her name
was Janichen). She adjusted her purple raincoat (it was supposed to be good
luck according to her) and said, "This would make a great poem. 'My soul
is a rotting mansion, my heart is a... my heart, um... "
"Oh I know! 'My heart is a creaky floorboard'!"
"That is the worst poem I have ever-"
"Quiet, you two!" snapped Ebil, the floorboard
(uh... the owner, actually). "You're ruining our 'Halloween adventure'," she
said, making finger quotes.
"I'd rather go trick-or-treating..." began
Karina, who had already put on her earth faerie costume earlier that day. (Trust
me, you don't know the meaning of the word 'awkward' until you've seen a mutant
Usul try to dress up as Illusen.)
Suddenly, an enormous spider scurried across
the floor. Karina practically scrambled up the wall. "D-did you see that thing?
It looked big enough to eat me!"
Janichen rubbed her chin. "Hmm... that might
'Once I saw a monstrous spider;
hope I don't end up inside her.'
"Hey, yeah!" She brightened and whipped out a
notepad which she started scribbling in.
Suddenly, a pale, greenish Kacheek tiptoed round
the corner, tripped, and quickly got up again. He had one large, glaring red
eye, which he used to stare at them as he hissed, "You have entered the house
of Eliv Thade! You must now answer my riddles or DIE!"
Ebil glared right back. "You seriously need to
renovate this place! I mean, were you thinking about tourist safety at all when
you let these floors get all rotten and mildewed?"
Thade stared at her blankly. "What, aren't you
"Why should we be?" she shot back.
"Because I'm a GHOST! Ooooh!" howled Thade, running
in circles and waving his arms.
"So your rich owner painted you. Big deal!" snapped
the girl, who was in an unusually grumpy mood that day.
"I'm bored," whined Karina, who no longer looked
"Let's ditch this place!" suggested Janichen.
The trio shuffled away. Thade called after them,
"Wait! Don't you want to see me float? Walk through walls? Er, I can hang a
spoon off my nose!" Finally he gave up and sat down in the middle of the corridor,
SJ leaned against a grayish-blue tree and wondered
why all the trees in the Haunted Woods were grayish-blue. He idly adjusted the
collar of his white windbreaker. His owner and adoptive "sisters" had vanished
into the foreboding-looking castle a few hours ago, leaving him to wait outside
and be bored. He shuffled some red-orange leaves around with his large, similarly
red-orange feet and sighed.
Suddenly, he heard voices coming from nearby.
This was very odd, as most of the tourists used the front exit, whereas the
Kyrii was waiting at the back door. Then a thought struck him - most probably,
it was a ghost, witch, or other unappetizing individual, come to chew on his
vital organs. This was, after all, the Haunted Woods. SJ hurriedly threw himself
to the ground and burrowed under some leaves, which matched his red fur quite
Two voices - a girl and boy pet, from the sound
of them - drifted towards him on the wind. He couldn't be sure, but they seemed
to be arguing about something. He peeked through the leaves, and spotted two
pets standing several yards away.
"Rohnan, I'm rather disappointed in you... you
know I always expect to get my money's worth," said what seemed to a shadow
Aisha. She wore a blue parka with the collar and hood pulled over most of her
face, so that only her eyes - strange, glowing blue ones - were visible. There
were two holes cut in the hood for her ear stalks to stick out.
Her companion, whom SJ couldn't see from where
he was hidden, sighed in a 'you're-wasting-my-time' sort of way. "This is completely
stupid. You told me you wanted to sneak into the National Neopian, not go off
on some... some... wild Pteri chase like this!"
The Aisha smiled widely; her parka slid down,
exposing a row of pointy yellow teeth. "I lied."
"And you expect me to play along? You can have
the NP back. I won't be paid to become a laughingstock."
"First of all, my dear Rohnan, no one will ever
have to know about this - and second, you know what I can do if you back out
"What?" sneered the unseen companion.
"I'll turn you in."
"You wouldn't." The second voice was full of
"I would. You know I would. I'll do anything
for my mission."
"O-okay. I'll do it."
The two turned and started walking -straight
Uh-oh. Stay calm, thought the Kyrii. What
are you supposed to do in situations like these? Oh, stop drop and roll! No,
that's not it...
Then suddenly one of them stepped on him, and
that was that.
Gilly the Usul staggered down a dusty hallway,
mumbling, "foood...." She had lost most of her IQ thanks to a loss of nourishment.
The starving pet hadn't eaten since accidentally locking herself in the house
weeks ago. And that stupid Kacheek had started showing up and giving her puzzles.
However, he hadn't been around for the past few days... if she saw him again,
Gilly decided, she would eat him.
Suddenly, another Usul appeared at the other
end of the hallway. How odd... it was wearing a red hood and carrying a lantern...
just like her. "FOOD!" screamed Gilly joyously, running towards the apparition...
The other pet starting running towards her, as well...
THUD. Gilly collided painfully with a mirror.
She scratched her orange hair in a confused fashion, then began licking the
mirror desperately, but as we all know, mirrors are cold and hard and not tasty
at all, so sadly Gilly remained hungry.
(Wait a minute, Ebil... how would you know what
mirrors taste like?!)
Who's the author here, me or you? Moving on now...
A translucent ghost Chia floated out of a wall,
affixing Gilly with a large mournful eye. "Oooooh," it wailed.
The Chia floated down to the floor, scratching
its ghostly head. "Food? The kitchen is that way, ma'am..." It pointed
to a large door on the left.
Gilly's eyes grew wide and disbelieving. "...
kitchen?" she whispered, wonderingly. Then, "KITCHEN!'" she screamed happily
as she pushed open the door and scrambled inside.
But inside, she found nothing to eat.
Gilly threw herself to the floor and began to
sob wildly, pounding the wooden boards with her small furry fists and wailing,
Suddenly, a floorboard cracked open underneath
her, revealing a long, shining something...
"Food?" asked Gilly, confused, as she pulled
the Sword of Skardsen out from the dust and polished it with the hem of her
The Chia appeared beside her. "Oh wonderful,
ma'am, you've found the sword! All you need now is the other three artifacts,
then you give them to Mister Thade and some magicky thingy happens... I'm not
sure what, though..."
Gilly, however, had other plans for the legendary
sword. She ran a claw along its oh-so-sharpiful edge and smiled, licking her
small, pointy Usul teeth. She smiled evilly and said...
"I think we're going in circles," said Janichen.
"We've passed that same suit of armor at least three times."
"Well, old houses have a lot of suits of armor,'
said Ebil. "How do you know that's the same one?"
"It has 'E.T. + L.A.', surrounded by a heart,
carved into it."
"Oh. Good point."
"Hey!" shouted the second pet in surprise as
he tripped over SJ and fell flat on his face.
"What's going on?" said the Aisha from inside
her lumpy sky-blue parka, before slipping and landed on top of the first pet.
Thinking fast, SJ sprang up while the two were
still untangling themselves and blurted, "Uh... uh... hi, my - my name's...
The first pet stood up, dusted himself off, and
stared at the Kyrii suspiciously. SJ could now see that it was a camouflage-painted
Usul, wearing a black sweater and pants. "Blarb?" he repeated, raising an eyebrow.
SJ scratched his head madly, trying to explain
the strange name. "Uh... yes, it's... Maraquan," he said finally. Blarb...
good Borovan, couldn't I come up with something better than 'Blarb'?
The Aisha peered at him with those eerie blue
eyes. It gave him the chills. "So... Blarb... What are you doing here in the
"I... uh, I should be asking that of you!" declared
She smiled another yellowed smile. "Ah... perhaps
you would like to join our mission." She snapped her fingers and pointed at
the Usul. "Introduce us."
The Usul rolled his eyes. "That right there is
Miss Lisa B. Holloway... self-proclaimed savior of the universe," he added,
in a voice dripping with sarcasm. "And as for myself - I am..." he paused.
"I thought it was Rohnan," began SJ, and then
clapped a paw over his mouth.
'Mark' stared at him.
"You, uh, looked like a Rohnan. I, erm, have
a talent for guessing names."
"Well, maybe it's wearing off, because my name
is Mark," snapped Rohnan, or possibly Mark.
SJ nodded hurriedly; this Mark looked like a
dangerous individual. "So... what's this 'mission' about?"
Mark opened his mouth to say something, but Lisa
held up a hand to stop him. "Allow me." She cleared her throat.
"My mission is to help Neopets and owners everywhere
by ridding them of an evil that has plagued them for countless years. It will
be a gargantuan task, and I will of course need help; that's why myself and
my partner Mark here are trying to spread the word to as many people as we can
reach before we begin. You may wonder why we have taken this burden upon ourselves,
and the answer is - because, my dear Blarb, no one else will."
SJ, or Blarb if you will, scratched his head
in confusion. "But what is this evil... thingy... that you're referring to,
Lisa smiled, but this time she did not part her
lips to show her teeth. Instead she pressed them tightly together and narrowed
her eyes. On an already scary-looking pet, the overall effect was rather creepy.
"I am talking, of course, about Halloween."
Gilly stalked out of the kitchen, the sword now concealed
inside her red traveling cloak. "M-ma'am," called the Chia from the kitchen,
"you're going the wrong way. The library is this way... y-you need to get the
Shield of Pion Troect next..." but the Usul was no longer listening.
The ghost, whose name was Martin, stood there
rubbing his chin. "I wonder where she thinks she's going?"
Eliv seated himself in his favorite squishy armchair
and thumbed through a book of anagrams - one of those, in fact, that he'd written
himself. Of course, scrambled words weren't nearly as fun anymore with all these
people constantly showing up at his house and demanding to be given some to
solve. It had to do with some trendy thing called an 'avatar', apparently.
And then there was the media touting that 'driven
mad by an unsolvable riddle' story. Anyone who paused to think would realize
that tale to be complete and utter nonsense. Sadly, the fact of the matter is
that many people today do not think very much at all.
A pale and familiar-looking ghost Chia suddenly
appeared besides the chair, causing Thade to yelp and drop his book (on his
foot, too.) "Can't you see I'm busy, Martin?!" he snapped.
The Chia blinked mournfully. "Actually, I'm Melvin.
Martin is my twin brother."
"Oh, never mind then... sorry, Mart- er, Melvin,
it's just that you scared me."
"What, you're still scared of ghosts and dead
pets?" sighed Melvin, and then paused, soaking up the irony of the situation.
"I mean, you happen to be one yourself..."
"Hmm..." said Eliv, looking thoughtful. "Yes,
that's right, I quite forgot."
Melvin put a paw over his eyes and shook his
"Say, have you seen that Usul anywhere? The one
with orange hair?"
"No, but I could ask Martin if you'd like."
"Yes, you do that now," the Kacheek mumbled.
He'd picked up his puzzle book again and was deeply absorbed in one of the riddles,
or possibly some random thought about the media.
Melvin nodded and stepped sideways through a
Eliv shook his head. "That's creepy. Why can't
he do something useful, like cook? Or clean up some of these horrid nasty cobwebs?
But no-o-o, it's just float and step through walls and scare random visitors
and OH I KNOW THIS ONE THE ANSWER IS HAT!"
SJ gave Lisa a quizzical look, which she either
did or did not see through that parka of hers. "Um. Wait, you're trying to save
us from... Halloween?"
The loopy pet nodded vigorously. "It's evil.
EEEVIIIIIIL." She spread her arms out like Miss Neopia giving her acceptance
speech. "Can't you all see how much better a place this planet could be if we
did away with ghosts and witches and" -she shuddered- "tooth-rotting candy?
Mark here has seen the light... let us only hope that everyone else can."
"Speaking of light," said Mark, "perhaps we'd
better get a move on... it's almost sundown, and that's when all the ghosts
and goblins come out to eat the little Neopets, oooh." The Usul waggled his
fingers at them.
(Is it just me, or are there a lot of Usuls in
this story? Because, I mean, they're getting sort of hard to keep track of-)
Sigh. Random voice person... please, just read
"But it's just little children trick-or-treating
in silly costumes - what's the harm in that?"
A knowing look passed between Lisa and Mark.
SJ saw his paw twitch, and noticed, for the first time, a shiny Virtupets v.14
stun gun that hung at his waist.
"Er, but, but those little children could hurt
themselves trick-or-treating, so, uh, so I'll help you," he added hastily.
Lisa smiled. "Good. That makes three pets. Now
then... you may wonder why we're out here in the Haunted Woods rather than in
a more populated area gathering peons, er, supporters. Well, I'll tell you,
Blarb, my friend - it's because here in the Haunted Woods is where one can find
all manner of vile and villainous creatures. If we are to destroy or weaken
this phenomenon of Halloween, we should start here. And that is why we're going
to Edna's tower. We'll give the old witch a good talking-to and make her see
the error of her ways... or maybe we'll just stuff her into our automatic creepy-critter-catching
contraption, I don't really care." She waved a small paper bag labeled 'Contraption'
in felt-tip pen.
SJ scratched his head for what seemed like the
thousandth time that evening. "But that's all the way across the woods, and
that castle is right behind us..."
"It is?!" Lisa whirled around and found herself
face-to-face with Eliv's mansion. "Well, I'll be! I didn't even notice!"
SJ glanced from Lisa to Mark, who make the 'cuckoo'
sign with his finger, then back to Lisa.
"Change of plans, men - we grab Thade first."
"Hey - I think this is the way out!" said Karina
happily. She pulled open a door and -
-was immediately bowled over by a shrieking ball
of fur and fury.
"Fooood!" screamed Gilly, leaping out of the
closet with the Sword drawn.
Karina shrieked and attempted to climb up the
wall again, but not before Gilly's flailing paws snatched a wing from her costume.
Gilly stuffed the bow into her mouth and began chewing fiercely. Suddenly she
"This no food!" she declared, spitting out the
soggy fabric. Then she glared at Karina as though it was somehow her fault that
fake wings were not nutritious and fulfilling. The mad Usul stormed off down
the hall, sword still held out in front of her.
"Okay, here we are - according to my complete
map of the Haunted Woods, we're on the third floor library," declared Mark.
SJ peered over his shoulder at the strange map.
"... it shows the insides of the buildings, too?"
Mark shrugged. "Hey, when you get the kinds
of jobs I do, things like these really help you out. I'm sure you know what
I mean," he added with a wink.
Lisa looked around. "What a large and interesting
library. It must be full of books about tooth-rotting sweets and such evil matters."
SJ plopped down on a comfortable squishy armchair.
"Doesn't look so evil to me."
Lisa shrieked loudly, causing the Kyrii to practically
fly out of his seat. "What? What? Did I sit on a mootix?!"
"You've sitten in the squishy armchair of evil
doom! That means you are an evil doom creature!"
"Okay, first of all, 'sitten' isn't a word-"
began SJ, but his sentence was cut short by Lisa pulling her small paper bag
over his head. Amazingly, the bag expanded enough to fit over his entire body;
then it shrank down to its previous size.
"Hey- hey let me out!"
The Aisha smiled her toothy smile into the bag.
"No can do... doom creature."
Thade stumbled through his library - stumbled
because you should never walk and read a book at the same time, but apparently
no one had ever told Eliv this. He walked past different aisles of books on
various topics, pausing once in a while to turn pages. Suddenly he stopped walking.
Still staring into the book, he silently walked backwards a few paces and slowly
There seemed to be a shadow Aisha, wearing a
lumpy blue parka, and a camouflage Usul (dressed completely in black from his
beanie cap to his boots), in his library. And they were staring at him.
"Um - however did you get up here? Because visitors
are supposed to stay down on the first-"
But they weren't listening; instead they had
begun whispering amongst themselves.
"Now what?" hissed Mark.
"We don't want to be infected with ghost cooties,"
began Lisa (ignoring the stare Mark gave her), "so I'll distract him and you
sneak up with the bag."
Mark sighed and snuck off.
Eliv blinked. "I could've sworn I saw an Usul
Lisa took a deep breath, then squealed loudly.
Opening her blue eyes as wide as possible, she hopped from one foot to the other
gibbering excitedly. "Oooh, Mister Thade, I'm, like, such a bit fan of yours!
Could you, like, give me your autograph? Plea-e-e-ease? Because, like, all my
friends and I, we think you're so, like, cool!" she said without taking a single
"Wait... could you say that again, more slowly,
with less squealing- mmph!"
Mark handed Lisa the bag. "Just so you know,
I'm only helping you for the money - I still think you're completely mad."
The Aisha smiled. "Why, thank you."
"It's - it's all dark!" exclaimed Voice 1.
"Aaaaah, I'm blind!" shrieked Voice 2.
"What - who's there?!"
"I can't see a thing- HELP!"
"Calm down!" snapped Voice 1.
"Okay, but just so you know, if I weren't a disembodied
voice I'd be running in circles and screaming," said Voice 2.
"Uh... I'm SJ."
"Just initials? Young people these days..." Voice 2 started mumbling about young people.
"Sooo... are you some kind of scary ghost thing?
Or did you just happen to sit in the armchair of doom?"
"For your information, those used to be very
nice armchairs! And technically I'm undead. Not a ghost."
If it had had a face, Voice 1 would have blinked.
"Those were... your armchairs?" Pause. "... Eliv Thade?"
"That's Mister Thade to you."
"OHEMGEE! Something touched my foot!"
"You don't have a foot at the moment, Mr. Thade."
"Oh. Never mind then."
Mark sighed and examined the bottom of his black
shoes; there was something squishy stuck to them. He hated having dirty shoes.
He wasn't sure why. Something about a shoe just meant it HAD to be clean.
"Hey, Lisa - have you got a coin?"
The Aisha nodded and dug a 10 NP coin out of
one of her parka's pockets.
"Oh, thanks," said Mark, snatching it away. He
began to scrape the... . stuff... whatever it was... off of his shoe.
"NO! What are you doing, you fool?!" screamed
Lisa. Mark was so startled that he dropped the coin out of pure shock.
"Sheesh - do you always have to scream at random
times? It's unnerving."
"Shoe bottoms deprive the Coin of Goodness of
its magical power!" said the Aisha, staring fearfully at the bag. "The coin
is the only thing that keeps the Contraption working properly!"
Mark rolled his eyes again. "Oh, give me a br-"
Suddenly, a sort of popping noise came from the
bag. Then all of a sudden, it vanished completely. At the same time, SJ and
Eliv materialized in the hallway with them.
"You!" yelled SJ, pointing at Lisa and mark.
"You betrayed me! I was supposed to be helping you!" he paused. "Actually, come
to think of it, I was forced into that too..."
"I'm - I'm alive!" said Thade happily.
Everyone else turned to stare at him.
"Well... okay, not alive, per say, but...
You know what I mean... um... never mind..."
Suddenly, a high, scintillating war cry came
from further down the hall.
Lisa's stalk ears stood straight up. "Only a
truly evil being can make such a sound! Mark, quick, give me the Coin of Goodness!"
She began frantically picking off the shoe gunk.
"FOOOOOOOOOOD!" screamed Gilly as she charged
towards them waving her sword.
"Done!" said Lisa happily, holding up the shining
The Usul sprang into the air... and landed comfortably
in the Contraption.
The bag grew to accommodate her... and then,
slowly, shrank down again.
Lisa stuffed it in her pocket. "Wonderful. One
less creepy-crawly being left to worry about. Unfortunately, the coin -" she
glared at Mark - "is no longer able to power the contraption sufficiently to
hold more than one pet at a time, so you two... consider yourselves lucky."
SJ looked around. "So... does this mean that
we're all friends now?"
Lisa peered at him. "Not quote. We're just...
"... and then she starts screaming about rotten
floorboards. Isn't that the strangest thing you've ever heard? Floorboards,
for goodness' sake..."
"This person sounds like a real brat," agreed
SJ. The four pets had just arrived at the bottom of the staircase to the lower
Just then, a blue Jetsam, mutant Usul, and very
tired-looking owner appeared at the other end of the hall. "Oh there you are,
SJ," said Ebil. "Guess what? We're completely and hopelessly lost."
SJ pointed. "Hey look, it's my owner."
There was a pause. Then-
"The crazy tourist lady is your owner?!"
"My owner is the crazy tourist lady?!"
Lisa screeched, "Crazy tourist ladies are EEEEEVIIIIIL!"
"Hmm, what a coincidence - that's actually my
name," said Ebil.
"Mark, stop staring at my ear," snapped Lisa
The Usul stomped his foot, not even caring if
he got his shoe covered with gunk. "You know what?! I've had it up to here with
your stupid rules and superstitions! I quit!" He stormed off down the hallway,
pausing and shouting, "Oh yes, and my real name's Rohnan Bunnyey."
"If the crazy lady is still lost, I can probably
help with that," offered Eliv.
"... and so everything basically worked out in
the end," finished SJ. He and his friend Mellie the Darigan Jetsam were enjoying
some moss-flavored coffee.
"But did you go trick-or-treating at all?" said
SJ slapped himself. "I knew we forgot something!"