“So I was walking around Maraqua yesterday with my owner and the most amazing thing happened,” Blake said to the interested group of young pets surrounding him. “An air faerie came out of nowhere and handed me a fire paint brush and a million neopoints.” A few of the onlookers gasped. “True story,” Blake confirmed. “And that’s why my owner and I were able to buy this new Neohome.” Blake pointed to the huge home being built behind him.
“It’s so big,” someone whispered.
“You must have a lot of toys,” said a red Pteri.
“This all sounds rather unbelievable. An air faerie and a fire paintbrush in Maraqua? That never happens.”
“I know it’s unbelievable. That’s what makes it so amazing. And I’m an honest Lupe, you don’t have worry about my stories being true.” He paused. “Hey, what’s your name? In fact, I don’t know any of your names. If you guys are going to be my neighbors, I should at least know your names.” Each of the children introduced themselves happily. A couple of the smaller ones were shy of the large Lupe, but everyone introduced themselves, except for the faerie Wocky that had doubted Blake. He had to ask for her name again before she told him it was Angela. Blake nodded and turned his attention to the pets that were still asking questions. He didn’t even notice when she left.
“Blake, tomorrow I’m going restocking again,” Blake’s owner said. “Yesterday I restocked enough to buy this house and tomorrow I hope to get enough to buy some furniture.”
Blake nodded and took a bite of his omelette. He didn’t mind being alone. When his owner seemed to be done talking, he started telling a story about the Grarrl-eating Meowclops he had seen that day.
The next day, after eating breakfast, waving to his owner as she left, brushing his teeth, and combing his fur, Blake went outside with his book. He sat in the garden, book open in his lap and his eyes scanning the sky for any space stations that might pass by. It wasn’t long till Tommy, an orange Grundo, shy enough to shame Sloth all the way up in his space station, came up to Blake and started talking to him.
“Did anything interesting happen today?” asked Tommy after they had talked for a while.
“In fact there was a little thing. Sloth came by today, again. He keeps asking me to be his second in command, and I keep having to refuse. Today he started yelling at me telling me that he may have to use force next time.” Blake nodded confirming the story as he said, “True story.”
Tommy’s eyes were huge with awe. “That’s so cool. You must be a really special person.”
As the day went on Blake played with the pets in the neighborhood and as Tommy told them what he had learned, the other pets started to ask Blake about his other experiences. Blake told them many of his stories. He told the story about the time he helped Rohane fight monsters. “True story,” he said at the end. He told the story of when he discovered Lutari Island, “True story,” and the time he fought Turmaculus to get his petpet back. “True story.” Blake told a lot of stories that day, and they all ended with the words “true story,” and none of the pets doubted him when he said it. And because he was so popular, Blake kept telling stories for the next week, with no plans to ever stop.
Angela came up to Blake one day. He had seen her throughout the week, but she hadn’t said anything to him. She just watched over her younger brother, Tommy. “You know, they believe you,” she said.
“What?” Blake didn’t know what she was talking about.
“Your stories. They believe them. They believe you.” The Wocky was mad, but Blake didn’t know why.
“Of course they believe them; they’re true stories.” The Lupe knew he was charming. Why wasn’t Angela impressed? She must not have heard enough stories, he decided. “Angela,” he said, placing his blue paw on her faerie shoulder, “this is a lot like that time I--”
“I don’t want to hear any story you have to tell,” she said, cutting him off at the same time she shook his paw off her shoulder. “All the kids love you. My brother comes home and tells me he wants to be just like you. But when they find out that it was all just a lie, they’ll be crushed. They’ll hate you.”
Blake laughed. “No one hates me.”
Angela scoffed and walked away.
No one but you, Blake thought disappointedly as she left.
The next day Blake waited outside his house, reading his book, as he always did. He was waiting for one of the pets from the neighborhood to come up and start talking to him. Someone always came, but today no one came, Blake was forced to actually read his book. He wasn’t able to share any stories that day, so when his owner came back from restocking, Blake started talking and didn’t stop until his owner forced him to go to bed.
When he woke up, Blake decided he was not going to spend another day alone. He went looking for Tommy. The small Grundo was folding paper in his yard. Blake approached him, but Tommy ignored him. Blake could see he had already folded a Wocky, and was now working on a Lenny.
“Tommy?” No response. “That Wocky looks really good.” Still, nothing. Blake put on his kindest voice, “Tommy, hey, what’s the matter?” For a moment there was no answer, then Tommy turned to face Blake.
“Angela said that none of your stories are true. That you’re a liar.” Tommy wasn’t angry, he looked sad. “Is that true?” he asked.
“Who did Angela tell this?” asked Blake, skillfully sidestepping the question.
For a moment they were silent. Then Blake said, “You know, this reminds me of that time when I was in Fyora’s Hidden Tower and at first she ignored me, because she thought I didn’t have enough money to buy anything. Eventually she forgot I was there, and when she got up I put a tack on her chair. True Story.” Tommy was smiling during the story, but when it ended he frowned.
“That story’s not true.”
“I told you how true I think the story is. But you can believe whatever you want.”
Tommy thought about what that meant for a second, then he smiled and said, “Ok, tell me another story.”
After Blake told his story, Tommy asked him, “Do you really think the origami Wocky is good?” Blake said yes sincerely. “Angela taught me. I’m just learning. She knows all the pets, but the Wocky is her favorite. She loves the way it looks in origami.” He laughed. “I think if she could, she’d paint herself origami, she loves it so much.”
Blake laughed with Tommy, and asked Tommy to teach him how to do some origami. They spent the rest of the day, folding colorful sheets of paper into interesting shapes.
The next day Tommy told everyone on the street that Blake was still the best story teller in all of Neopia.
“But he’s a liar,” said the red Pteri.
“He’s like a fiction author,” said Tommy. “He pretends his stories are true. He doesn’t care that everyone knows they’re lies, and he still tells really good stories.”
Tommy convinced all the pets on the street to hang out with Blake again, and it wasn’t long until he was the most popular pet on the street. Even Angela began to listen to his stories. Some of the pets started imitating the Lupe, telling their own “True Stories”. Tommy was by far the best as he, once again, was on a mission to become just like Blake.