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Smilty and her Tale of Woe


by silent_snow

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The graveyard was more heavily populated than Smilty had ever seen before.

     The Island Gelert sniffed and ran a paw down her fur, staring with unbelieving eyes at the Neopets that ran all throughout the usually deserted place. There were Neopets carrying strange potions, Neopets running around with shovels, Neopets holding bones... Smilty rubbed her eyes before looking again. Yes, that starry Usul was holding an actual bone, and dripping some kind of purple liquid on it as well. A small cluster of Neopets stood around the Usul, each holding their own vial of purple liquid and looking quite impatient.

     Smilty slowly walked forward, still in shock, and was immediately knocked over by a mutant Ixi. She looked up in indignation, the odd goings-on temporarily forgotten, but the Ixi merely juggled around the potion she was holding in her hooves for a moment before glaring down at her.

     "Clumsy," the Ixi snarled, "you almost made me drop it! Do you know what Sophie would do to me if I dropped this?"

     Smilty sputtered her indignation at the other pet for a moment before understanding what the Ixi had said. "Wait- Sophie? Who's she?"

     The Ixi stared at her for a moment before shaking her head. "Newbie. I don't have time for this." With that, she ran off to a grave that a few Neopets were digging into, holding her potion carefully.

     Smilty followed the Ixi with her eyes. Wait. The other Neopets were digging at that grave?

     Well, now she was thoroughly spooked. Smilty shivered as she stood up, brushing dirt off of her fur. Strange as the happenings in the graveyard were, she still had a task to do, and no amount of grave robbing Neopets was going to stop her. Huffing in order to express her continued indignation (just in case any Neopets were around to hear), Smilty headed over to the back of the graveyard.

     Luckily, this part was deserted of all Neopets, only a few lingering around with shovels. Smilty located one particular grave and stood before it, tears gathering in her eyes. Reading the name inscribed on the gravestone, she sobbed, once, twice.

     "Grace," she wailed, "why did you have to leave me!"

     But before she could continue to theatrically lament the loss of her beloved Grace, a voice from behind her interrupted her train of thought. "Hi there! Are you starting a digging team?"

     Smilty turned around, indignation written clearly on her face, and found that a short pink Xweetok was grinning infectiously at her. Smilty did not grin back.

     "No," she growled, clearly upset, "I am not planning on digging anything! Do you know what dirt does to your nails?"

     The Xweetok was clearly confused. "But we use shovels. It shouldn't matter." She paused for a moment, thinking it over, and then shrugged. "Oh well, if you won't start the team, then I will!"

     With that, the Xweetok sat down at one of the four corners of the grave, fingering her shovel determinedly. Smilty blinked, realizing what was about to happen.

     "Wait. You're going to dig up this grave?"

     The Xweetok nodded. "Yep. It's all part of the plot."

     "You can't do that!" Smilty screeched. "That's my-"

     "Hey, can I dig too?"

     A mutant Lupe had wandered over to the grave, holding his own shovel. The Xweetok smiled. "Sure ya can! Don't worry about the Gelert, I think she's some kind of newbie. Just ignore her and she'll go away."

     Smilty barely stopped herself from screaming, choosing instead to stamp all four of her paws. "I am NOT a newbie! And you can't dig up this grave, Grace is buried there!"

     "Who's Grace?" the Lupe asked, clearly confused.

     "She's my-"

     "Cool, a team's started over here. Can we join?"

     A ghost Bruce and a rainbow Blumaroo had just walked over, each toting a shovel of their own. The Xweetok and Lupe welcomed the other two, completely ignoring Smilty in the process. Within a few seconds they had all started digging their shovels into the dirt.

     "Will you listen to me?" Smilty cried, her voice breaking in the process. "You can't dig here, because-"

     A spooky doughnut hit Smilty square in the mouth, effectively cutting off her sentence. The Bruce grabbed it from her, looking a bit miffed. "That's mine," he insisted, "I'm collecting them!"

     Smilty sat down on the ground, her throat sore from all the shouting she had done, and started to cry. All four pets ignored her.

     "Sweet," yelled the Blumaroo, "I just got a Slorg!"

     Within a few minutes all of the dirt had been dug away, revealing a shiny brown casket in the grave, and Smilty had been reduced to sniffling every few seconds and contemplating why she was forced to endure such a bitter fate. Just after the four pets laid aside their shovels a faerie Pteri zoomed in, holding a vial of purple potion in his claws. Smilty stared in disbelief as the Pteri deftly opened the casket and drew out a small, filthy object.

     "By Fyora, what do you think you're doing?" Smilty screamed, lunging for the Pteri. Unfortunately, she tripped over the Lupe's shovel and landed face-first in the dirt instead.

     "Measuring the weight and volume, of course," the Pteri replied distractedly. After a few seconds (during which Smilty struggled to get back on her feet) the Pteri took out his vial and dripped 10 drops of the potion onto the bone.

     All six pets watched in curiosity as the drops landed on the object. For a few heartbeats nothing happened. Then a great cloud of green smoke sprang burst up from the object, making the Pteri cough. The four pets with shovels looked at each other with wide eyes, hardly breathing. It was the Xweetok who spoke first.

     "Then... that must be the Spirit of Slumber's bone!"

     For another second, nothing happened. Then the Pteri whooped in triumph and began running, with the bone, back to the house at the head of the graveyard. Smilty was left alone as the four others ran off to tell their friends, her mouth opening and closing speechlessly.

     "But- but-"

     Realization suddenly dawned on the Gelert. With an incredible burst of speed she took to the path the Pteri had just trod, screeching at the top of her lungs the whole way.

     She reached the house just in time, it seemed. The Pteri was giving the bone to a green Ixi, all the while talking rapidly. The Ixi took the bone and examined it, her eyes shining with excitement.

     "Good work," she told the Pteri, "now I just need to..."

     "WAIT!"

     Smilty watched as the Ixi, a misshapen blue Gelert, and a short Usul all turned around to stare in annoyance at her.

     "There's something you need to know!" Smilty cried out, clutching her paws together in exaggerated anguish. "I knew Grace, and she was-"

     "We know already," the Ixi interrupted in a sarcastic tone, "the Spirit of Slumber. Though it would've been nice if you had come up and told us earlier."

     "But she isn't!" Smilty shrieked. "She's-"

     The Ixi held the bone up in the light of a lamp to examine it more closely. The dirt that had been encrusted on part of it fell away, revealing-

     "-a plushie?"

     The Ixi stared at it for a moment in confusion, then shook the object vigorously. More clumps of dirt fell away, revealing a very dirty green Korbat plushie. The Ixi looked from the plushie to the Pteri to Smilty.

     "I had to bury Grace when her wing got torn," Smilty explained in a rather calmer voice. "Plus she wouldn't go MEEP anymore."

     The Ixi gripped the plushie more tightly, the veins on her forehead throbbing, and the toy emitted a squeaky 'meep'.

     "You fixed her!" Smilty shouted happily. "She didn't leave me after all!"

     Without a word, the Ixi tore the plushie in half, her hands shaking.

     "NOOOO! GRACE!"

     "I'll take her outside," the Usul said with a sigh, walking forward and grabbing Smilty by the ear. "Come on, now..."

     As the two left, Smilty wailing all the way, Bruno started to snicker uncontrollably. Sophie turned on him, still scowling. "What are you laughing about?"

     "Well, it's just, for a moment there, you looked so... grave!"

     With that, Bruno fell over laughing. Sophie glared down at him.

     "That's not funny."

The End

 
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