Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 135,120,757 Issue: 269 | 8th day of Celebrating, Y8
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Lucky Cake


by nut862

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Tammy was just sitting down at her kitchen table to eat her favorite breakfast of a hot Banana Roll, when something happened.

     A large cake, garnished with twists of pink frosting and large red roses made of sugar, fell out of the air and landed smack in the blue Aisha's lap. The cake settled on her knees, leaning into her chest and oozing icing all over her skin.

     Tammy jumped in fright, nearly throwing her Banana Roll up in the direction the cake had come down. Tammy quickly looked up in that direction for some explanation of why a falling cake had just interrupted her relaxing morning, and found the source of the problem: a large hole broken in the roof of her straw house. Blue sky was showing through the gap in the yellow straw.

     The Aisha yelped and instinctively stood up, her eyes fixed on the hole. She forgot about the cake in her lap, which slid down her body as she stood, leaving bits of it behind on her skin. Tammy watched the abused pastry hit the springy straw floor and come to rest in a melting pile.

     Then the cake erupted, sending icing and roses flying. From the center of the cake rose an ecstatic-looking blue Blumaroo. "Happy birthday!" he cried, turning to Tammy with a wide grin.

     The Aisha stepped back in surprise. "What... what are you doing there?"

     The cake-splattered Blumaroo, half submerged in the gooey cake, replied joyfully, "It's your birthday!"

     "I know it's my birthday," Tammy replied, a little annoyed. "I was just about to have a nice peaceful breakfast to celebrate it."

     The Blumaroo looked at the untouched Banana Roll in Tammy's paw, and exclaimed, "But you can't eat that on your birthday! Why, it's just a plain old breakfast roll! Have some cake!" He grinned and scooped up a large handful of cake in both paws, holding the sticky goo out to Tammy.

     The Aisha disdainfully eyed the cake and the Blumaroo. "Banana Rolls are my favorite breakfast. I like them even more than cake. What could be a better birthday breakfast than my favorite food?"

     "Oh, I guess you're right," the Blumaroo said brightly. He stuffed his handful of cake into his own mouth and chewed it slowly. "Mmm."

     Fed up with this grinning clown, Tammy exclaimed, "You just came barging through my roof inside a cake on my birthday! That was very bad manners, and I'm not at all pleased. Why did you do it?"

     "Because it's your birthday," the Blumaroo replied cheerfully, licking his fingers. "Wow, this cake is really good."

     "So on my birthday, random strangers are allowed to invade and damage my home?" Tammy gestured angrily at the hole in the roof. She was glad it wasn't raining.

     But it was raining, Tammy realized. Large green blobs fell from the blue sky, making muffled thumps as they landed softly on her roof. One of them came through the hole in the straw and landed in her dining room. The one was followed by more.

     Soon, Tammy's house was filled with large spotty Mortogs hopping everywhere, jumping on her furniture and kissing her plushies. One Mortog snatched the Banana Roll from Tammy's startled hand. Another sidled up to her leg and began licking the smeared cake off of her.

     Tammy shook off the bold Mortog in disgust, and looked around her house with horror. Mortogs were in her cupboards and under her blankets, making horrid croaking noises and burping. Tammy hoped desperately that none of them would explode.

     "Get out!" she screamed. She shook her fist at the hole in the ceiling, through which more Mortogs were coming, and at the thumps that shook straw loose from her roof. "Get out of my house! Oh, Jhudora curse you!"

     "Such language from a birthday girl," the Blumaroo said, munching on cake.

     "There are Mortogs in my house because of that wretched hole you made in the ceiling!" Tammy screeched.

     At that moment, the straw roof, weakened from dozens of heavy Mortogs landing on it, gave way. A shower of straw and Mortogs came down on the Aisha and the Blumaroo.

     "You see the hole didn't matter; they would have come in anyway," the Blumaroo said, smiling.

     Tammy took one look at the large swath of blue sky above and the green beasts that were raining down out of it, and she screamed and ran out of her house, flicking bits of cake off of her chest.

     This was no way to start off a happy birthday, she thought as she fled her home, dodging the Mortogs that were falling from the sky. She was going to have to rebuild her house from scratch when this queer weather had run its course. She'd have to use a sturdier material this time, one that couldn't be smashed by falling cakes or Mortogs.

     "Mortogs! Mortogs! Ack, get me out of here!"

     Tammy was nearly knocked down as an agitated blue Shoyru swooped down, ruffling the fur on her head. She watched the Shoyru fly away; there was a Mortog sitting on his head, and another riding on his back. The one on his head leaned down over his face and gave him a large smooch.

     The explosion distracted the Shoyru so much that he forgot to look where he was flying, and ran into a tree. Tammy wasn't the only one having a bad day, it seemed.

     Tammy felt a tap on her shoulder, drawing her attention away from the unfortunate Shoyru. She turned and found herself looking at a pair of small Chias, one blue and one yellow. Both grinned at her, and then the yellow one asked eagerly, "Have you seen the cool world events?"

     "If there are Mortogs raining worldwide, then yes, I have seen the events, but I wouldn't call them cool," Tammy said irritably, not in the mood to be pestered by a Chia wanting to tell her the news. She walked off without another word, not caring if that was rude. Her home had just been wrecked by a freak turn in the weather, on her birthday no less; she was entitled to be a little out-of-sorts.

     "Beware!" someone hissed, and Tammy turned in time to see a ghostly gray tail disappearing into a creaky wooden house on Soup Alley.

     A Mortog fell on Tammy's head then; apparently that was what the mysterious ghost had been warning her about. Tammy removed the Mortog with the tried-and-true pest elimination method of wildly flapping her arms and shrieking.

     "I wish this day were over! No, I wish this day had never started!" Tammy ran down the street, holding her arms above her head to ward off any other Mortogs. Something flew by her head, and she instinctively ducked, not caring whether it was a Mortog or another Shoyru. She no longer trusted things that came out of the sky.

     It turned out to be a red Draik, flying as fast as his wings could carry him. "I'm going to Mystery Island until this rain stops," he cried, swerving to avoid a falling Mortog. "The weather's nice there!"

     A place without Mortogs sounded heavenly to Tammy right that moment. She felt she could almost hear island natives chanting mysteriously far away, calling her to their land. Mystery Island. That was all the way across the sea... but anywhere to escape this rain. Tammy had nowhere else to go, considering the state her home was in.

     She made up her mind to go to Mystery Island with all possible speed, even if she had to hitch a ride on the back of a Draik, and ignored the ghostly voice growling at her from behind the door of 131 Soup Alley, "Don't go to Mystery Island!"

     Despite her determination, Tammy hadn't gotten far before shining motes of light began to swirl around her.

     The next thing Tammy knew, she was standing on a white cloud, with blue sky all around her. Purple and pink towers rose up from distant clouds, with faeries flitting in and out of them. Despite Tammy's confusion, she was overjoyed to see that there were no Mortogs falling in this land above the sky.

     At that moment, there was a flash of purple and green smoke in front of Tammy--some other unfortunate soul snagged out of nowhere as she had been by the motes of light?--and Jhudora stood upon the cloud with her. "Have you completed one of my quests today?" the Dark Faerie demanded, threatening the blue Aisha with her staff.

     "Can't say I have," Tammy muttered. "I don't even know why I'm here."

     "Fyora summoned you," Jhudora cackled. "But she's not going to see you today. I would turn you into a Mortog for the fun of it, except I had too many of those things on my hands already. I dumped a load of them over the edge of Faerieland this morning, and I hear they're still falling."

     Tammy twitched at the mention of Mortogs. "It was you? Then I want you to fix my roo--"

     She didn't get a chance to finish. She found her eyes drawn to the cloud she was standing on, and gasped as she saw bright red lines burnt into the white cloud, forming a symbol that could only be the feared curse of legendary Ta-Kutep. The Aisha instinctively ran, right off the edge of the cloud.

     Jhudora seemed to be shaking her fist, but Tammy soon lost sight of the faerie as she fell the long way down. She fell through clouds and sky, passing an ominous-looking red Pteri on the way, and sighed to herself. Now she was the one falling from the sky. She'd probably crash through someone's roof and ruin their day. She almost liked that idea; it felt like payback.

     "Hope you are having fun!" a green Scorchio said cheerfully, watching Tammy fall past him.

     Tammy growled back at him.

     The Aisha had begun reflecting back on her life when suddenly a wall of white cloth sprang up beneath her, seemingly out of nowhere. The cloth caught her in it and wrapped around her, pressing her tight against it. Strangely, the cloth seemed to be falling slowly, almost as if it were controlling its descent, and brought Tammy safely to the ground inside it. There it released her, and Tammy stood shakily up on her own two legs to see her rescuer.

     A very large Ghostkerchief floated beside Tammy, offering a simple smile and looking at her pleasantly through its round yellow eyes.

     Tammy breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks," she said, managing to smile back despite her close call. She looked around; she was back in Neopia Central, on Main Street, surrounded by shops. That was lucky; considering how the day had been going, Tammy would have expected to end up in the Haunted Woods. She began to walk away.

     She heard rustling behind her, and glanced back. The Ghostkerchief was following her, still smiling and looking happy to have found a new friend.

     "Did you know you can send postcards to friends?" A yellow Chia popped out from the Post Office, followed by his blue brother.

     The Ghostkerchief looked at his new friend and smiled wider, as if offering a hint.

     Tammy sighed, closing her eyes for a moment. "I can't send a postcard to you. I don't even know your address."

     The Aisha opened her eyes, and found the Ghostkerchief gone. She looked around, and spotted a black-furred Usul running away into an alley, with a smiling Ghostkerchief tagging along after its new new friend.

     Tammy shook her head and stepped forward. Her foot caught on rough fabric, and she pitched forward. Rubbing her knee as she stood up, she glanced at what she had tripped over. A sack of Neopoints--150 of them, if the number scrawled on the bag was anything to go by. Pleased for once, Tammy began to calculate how many more Neopoints she needed to rebuild her house.

     A ghostly hand whisked the sack of money away from Tammy. She looked up quickly, and saw a chain-clad specter floating away to the Money Tree. Tammy shook her fist in as good an imitation of Jhudora as she could manage, wishing she could turn pets into Mortogs too.

     Tammy's stomach was rumbling, hungering for the Banana Roll she'd missed out on that morning. She looked longingly at the hamburger-shaped shop several yards away, but knew she didn't have enough money with her to buy anything.

     Instead, she turned and headed home, feeling utterly exhausted. The idea of going to Mystery Island had long since left her mind. Besides which, the Mortogs had stopped raining; apparently Jhudora's supply had run out.

     It felt good to see her house again, even if it was little more than a sagging stack of straw after the Mortogs had struck it. Tammy walked up her front path, looking forward to getting inside and not moving for the rest of the day.

     An all-too-familiar yellow Chia came up behind Tammy and accompanied her to her door, chattering, "Did you know you can send Neopets to friends?"

     "Can I send you somewhere else?" Tammy replied grouchily.

     The blue Aisha sighed with relief as she stepped through her front door, locking it behind her to keep the annoying Chias out. She wandered through the house, evaluating the damages it had suffered. At least the Mortogs seemed to have cleared out.

     Tired, the Aisha collapsed right on the floor, lying in the bed of straw with the sky over her. Not caring that she was a perfect target should another Mortog fall from the air, she fell quickly asleep.

     Yet even her dreams were restless. She had one in which she was falling endlessly through the sky, and could hear the howls of a depressed Pteri accompanying her all the way down to her doom. In another, she thought she had come down with a dangerous case of NeoPox and had gone to the bank to withdraw money for a cure, but had found her account empty; worse, all of her items had fallen prey to the Pant Devil, and her investments...

     Tammy never found out what happened to her investments, nor did any of the various pets who shared in that recurring dream, but even without that knowledge the blue Aisha woke in a sweat. She found herself looking up at stars. Her house was dark, and she was alone... alone?

     The blue Blumaroo from the cake was standing over her, smiling. Tammy got up abruptly. "What are you doing here?" she demanded. Her patience and temper were worn short.

     He chuckled. "Did you enjoy your extra special, lucky day?"

     Tammy glared at him. Instead of answering, she asked shortly, "Do you intend to fix my roof?"

     The Blumaroo winked at her and sprang up on his tail, bounding through the open hole above her into the starry night, calling down to her, "Till next year... good luck!"

The End

 
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