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The Midnighter


by czenko28

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Once upon a time, there was a bunch of young Neopets of all different kinds. All of the Neopets liked to stay up really late. They played board games, card games, and hide and seek. They would run and laugh all night long, but the owner didn’t like this. The owner would sit in bed, tossing and turning from the noise the Neopets would make. They would cause a lot of people to wake up, and it would take a long time for them to get back to sleep. The Neopets didn’t care, though. They just continued laughing and playing, no matter how late or dark it was.

     One night, a monster was lurking the streets, looking for food, but since everybody was asleep soundly in bed, not a creature was stirring from what he could see. The streets were completely empty, and the monster was very hungry. His stomach growled ferociously, and he needed something to eat. He kept his ears and his eyes wide open. He was a big fat monster, with small wings on his back and spikes that stuck out from his spine. He was truly a scary monster that would need a lot to eat to be content.

     While the monster was wandering down the streets, he heard the young voices of some Neopets in a house not far away. The lights inside the house were still on and the pets were giggling loudly.

     “Let’s play hide and seek!” yelled out one of the pets.

     “Okay!” said the others. So the game started. One pet searched while the others hid.

     The Neopet searched for a long time. Hours possibly. She looked everywhere she could possibly think of, and she eventually got desperate. “Guys!? You can come out now!” the Neopet called. “I give up!” But no pets appeared, even after the Neopet’s call. She had no choice but to continue searching.

     While the Neopet was looking in the laundry bin for the fifth time or so, a shadow appeared from behind her. She saw the shadow and immediately assumed it was a friend. “There you are! I thought I would see you never-” but the Neopet was no more before she was even able to finish her sentence. All that could be heard was the grumble of a happy stomach.

     From then on, the monster was named “the Midnighter.” Up to this day he searches for pets staying up past their bedtime to feast on. So don’t stay up too late, or the Midnighter may get you.

     Chipper's eyes were wide with fear. She clutched her wool blanket against herself and shivered. "T-The poor... l-little..." she wanted to say "Neopets" afterward, but she was too shaken up to finish her sentence. She just stared into her owner's face. Sammie's face was without feeling. How could she not feel sympathy for these pets? How could she tell such a horrible bedtime story and not be shaken by the ending? This is what Chipper was asking herself as she stared at her owner's face.

     Sammie noticed Chipper had been staring, so she she dabbed her finger with her tongue and wiped her face with it, in fear there was something disgusting there that she didn't know about. After realizing her face probably wasn't the problem, she then ignored Chipper's gaze and began to speak. "Don't worry 'bout them Neopets, Chip." She smiled warmly as she cast her gaze just above Chipper to avoid her beaming eyes. "A good lil Gnorbu like you would never get caught by that Midnighter. Why I bet that guy's miles away from this 'ere place."

     Sammie's attempt at comfort didn't work for Chipper. "B-but what about those Neopets?!" she cried out. "What if the Midnighter is eating his next victim right now?!" Her ears were alert and her fur stood on end. There was no possible way she could sleep now. "Sammie... I-I'm scared. Really scared." And there was no question that she wasn't. If any petpetpet was to land on her, she would jump into the air and hit the ceiling from fright.

     Sammie, once again, was not stirred, not even by Chipper's words. "If you jus' get snuggled in this bed o' yours, you wouldn' have no problem with any Midnighter that comes around." She kissed her Gnorbu on the forehead and stood up to leave the room. "Now get some shut eye, ya hear?" The Gnorbu's beaming eyes didn't turn nor blink. They stayed fixed on Sammie as she stood up and made her way toward the door.

     "Wait!" Chipper called when Sammie reached the doorknob. Sammie was getting impatient.

     "What?" she said back, ready to get out of the room and go to bed. Sammie had only created Chipper just recently. She was not used to having her new pet around at all. She wasn't used to such a craven character around the house, and Sammie found it hard to deal with. The bedtime story she had told this night was not intended to be a big horror story. It was only a story to make sure that her pet would get to bed on time. It worked fine for all of her other pets, but now telling this story again, she had a pet crying to her instead. Chipper was a weakling, that's for sure, and her behavior was quickly getting on her owner's nerves.

     "Wh-What if it gets me, Sammie? I-I really, really... I just don't want to be eaten, Sammie! Please understand." Chipper continued holding onto her wool blanket tightly as she sat on her new bed in her newly created bedroom.

     Sammie gave out a loud sigh. She was exhausted. "You won't be eaten." Her patience apparently was out. "Now good night." With that, she turned off the lights and closed the door behind her, leaving Chipper in darkness.

     Her eyes didn't blink. She barely moved. She was as silent as the walls. She barely even breathed, for that matter. She was absolutely frightened, and she didn't know what to do with herself that night. She was too scared to go to sleep, but just staying up would increase her chances of getting eaten by the Midnighter. She found herself lost in the darkness. Chipper was holding onto her blanket so tightly that there would most likely be long lasting creases in the cloth when the morning came.

     She wanted to get up and go to her owner's room to sleep. She would feel safe there, but no, her owner wouldn't allow that, and Chipper would probably be eaten before she could even reach her owner's bedroom.

     Chipper also wanted to sleep, but she found no way how she could with her mind as active as it was, in fear.

     She wanted to hide in her blankets, and that she could do.

     Chipper quickly pulled her wool blanket over her head and curled up in a big yellow ball. Her bed was no longer a bed with a Gnorbu in it. Oh no, not a Gnorbu, but a big lump.

     Long minutes awake slowly grew into hours. 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, no Midnighter. As the time very slowly went by, Chipper became more sleepy. Her eyes grew very heavy and she could barely stay awake. She was only just drifting when... CRASH! A loud noise came and went. It was close by. Chipper leaped to her feet from the noise, and by reflex, without even thinking, she flew to the window to witness what had just happened. Her eyes wandered the deserted street for a bit before spotting what it was. CRASH! CLING! CRUNCH! Chipper saw it. A spiked tail was wagging around in a dumpster nearby. Chipper remembered Sammie taking out the garbage earlier today. She placed their garbage in that exact spot where the creature was rummaging through. This thing's body was deep inside Chipper's trash can! His paws squished around in there, rummaging through all of the useless goodies. Chipper was too curious to be scared. She wanted to know what was in there. Probably nothing. Chipper was then thinking about going back to bed. She remembered that she had been scared. What was she afraid of again? She thought for a second. It was hard to remember since she was so tired. It was then that the creature peeked his head out of the dumpster. Chipper could only see the outline of him. Nothing much, just a pudgy face. Then his large paws were revealed, then his round body, then his small dragon wings. Chipper gazed at the creature curiously. It reminded her of something, but what?

     "Hmm... that creature reminds me of the Midnigh-" Chipper's sleepy mind suddenly clicked awake. "The Midnighter!" Chipper screamed in full alarm. His appearance fit the Midnighter's description exactly. Chipper must've run around in circles about three times before frantically finding the doorknob and rushing out to her owner's bedroom. Chipper's voice was so loud that even the monster outside could hear the noise, and as quickly as he heard it, he fled from the scene.

     "Mommy! Mommy!" Chipper called, not even bothering to think about what her owner's name was. She pounded on the door before thinking about it being unlocked.

     Inside, Sammie was just rubbing her eyes to wake herself up for the annoying sounds Chipper was making. Chipper came stumbling in clumsily. She wasn't thinking at all. Only reacting. There was no time to think anyway. Hello! There's a monster in the neighborhood!

     By the time Chipper was able to speak to her owner, all that could come out was useless nonsense. "Th-th-there was this thing... Oh, Mommy. Th-the... thing. It was big... and... huge... and... s-scary... and... uh b-big!"

     "You gotta be kidding me." Sammie didn't say that, but her facial expression said it all. "Just go to bed, Chipper," was something she actually said.

     "No! Sammie! It was real! It was real! I saw it with my own two eyes!"

     Sammie's patience was mostly gone, but she tried her best to get her new young Neopet to shut up. She got out of her bed and knelt down so she was at her Neopet's height. "I'll tell ya what, Chip. Tomorrow we're gonna go get yer eyes all checked out. How does that sound?"

     "No! I don't need a doctor! I don't need one!" Chipper shouted. Tears filled her eyes. She was desperate to explain to her owner what had just happened, what she had just seen, so she wanted to do it by force. She wanted to shout it into her. "The Midnighter is real!"

     "Ugh..." Sammie sighed and put a hand on her forehead. She didn't know what to do with Chipper. This was too much for her to handle. She didn't expect to get a pet she couldn't handle. Her Neopet wouldn't even cooperate when she made a suggestion to how it could be resolved, but she only got more shouting and noise as a result. She couldn't deal with it anymore. There was only one final solution to her.

     "Let's have a look," Sammie finally said.

     "Yes! Thank you! You won't be disappointed," Chipper said to her owner as she led her owner out of the bedroom and to the front door of the house.

     "And now I present to you," Chipper said as she placed her hand on the door knob, "The Midnighter!" The door flew open and a rush of cold night air blew into the two girls' faces. Both of them looked out into the night and wandered the empty streets lit by the moon. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Chipper's jaw dropped open.

     "Now it's my turn," Sammie said as she made her way back into her house. Chipper slowly began to follow, disappointed. Sammie then stood inside the house, her hand on the doorknob. "And now I present to you," she said in a mocking voice, "my first abandoned pet!" She slammed the door closed and locked it.

     The door slam was loud and fast. It blew Chipper's fur back. After the air slowed down and calmed, Chipper just stared at the door silently. She immediately sat down. Her eyes remained fixed on the doorknob. What had just happened?

     Sammie yawned and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water.

     Chipper stared at the door.

     Sammie chugged her water down and placed her glass on the kitchen counter, too lazy to put it away.

     Chipper stared at the door with tears in her eyes.

     Sammie slowly began making her way upstairs. Her light blue night gown dragged against each step.

     Chipper's eyes were too blurry with tears to even see the door.

     Sammie walked into her bedroom and turned off the lights as she yawned again.

     Tears started to trickle down Chipper's face as she was coming to realize what had just happened.

     Sammie snuggled into bed, and happy to have her newly created Neopet out of her life, she fell asleep.

     "S-She... a-abandoned me?" Chipper sniffled to herself, and collapsed to the floor with big sobs. She cried into her hooves. Her life was over just as quickly as it had started. She was without a home, without a purpose, and without a friend to keep her safe from the creatures of the night. The feeling of worthlessness and defeat came over her. She lay in front of her old home, wishing that she would just disappear, but since she was already created, she couldn't do that.

     Her crying was non-stop. She didn't know what else to do. It was all she could think of to do. She didn't feel like doing or thinking about anything else. She didn't want to review all that had just happened. It was too painful to think about. Only looking at the past few minutes were painful enough. She was sure that she was even too young to take care of herself properly.

     Not far in the distance, a creature came out from where he was hiding. He had seen and heard all that had happened. His evil looking eyes turned to the Gnorbu, who exposed herself in broad moonlight. Slowly and sneakily, he crept up behind the crying Gnorbu. The yellow Gnorbu subsided to sniffing. CRUNCH! The creature stepped on a crispy leaf.

     "AH!" Chipper cried out and spun around to see what it was. It was the creature that she had seen before. It was exactly the creature she imagined when Sammie was telling her the Midnighter story. It was the Midnighter himself. He was a big, red, scary looking Skeith. Chipper forgot all tears when she found herself so close to the monster that she could breath on him. Chipper took a breath in for a loud, ear-piercing scream.

     Before she could, however, the Midnighter put a paw over her mouth. "Shhhhh!" he said. Chipper froze with her eyes wide open. "Don't wake anybody up." His voice was surprisingly humble. Chipper nodded.

     "Follow me. Don’t make a sound," he told Chipper quietly. She followed him without a sound just as he said. She was still very frightened of the beast. He seemed to be sweet, but she couldn’t help but fear that he was probably just making it easier for her to be eaten. However, his voice just seemed to reassuring. Somehow, her fear was replaced with a sense of security. She didn't know why though.

     "You... y-you're the Midnighter... aren't you?" Chipper couldn't help but stammer as the two of them made their way into a deserted park.

     "Yeah, yeah... I know, but..." Before he could finish his sentence, Chipper let out another high-pitched shrill. The Midnighter jumped to clamp his paws over her mouth, muffling her cry. "Shhhhh!" he shushed her again. He felt the urge to yell at her, but he knew that would probably make things worse. He knew that he looked very frightening, and he knew of the stories that were told about him. "Be quiet... calm down... I’m not going to hurt you... please." With that, he carefully removed his paws, hoping it would not be repaid with another scream.

     His voice calmed her. One thing that did not match how she imagined from the story was his voice. "But... but... aren’t you s-supposed to eat me?" she replied, trying to remain calm. Her voice was shaking. Before she allowed him time to respond, she chimed in, "I mean... I d-didn't do it! I didn't mean to stay up late! Honest! Please! D-Don't eat me! I'm a good pet! I was trying to go to b-bed, but... b-but... I c-couldn't. I... I...." She did not realize that her voice was rising as she spoke.

     The Midnighter shook his head and sighed. "No! No, no... look... just..." He sighed again. He had to stop himself from raising his own voice. "Look... those stories you heard aren't true. I'm... well... let me just tell you my version of the bedtime story."

     Tears had already begun to well up in Chipper's eyes. She quietly nodded. The Midnighter carefully picked her up and placed her on top of a nearby park bench. She made herself comfortable and then he cleared his throat before beginning.

     A young red Skeith wandered the streets on his own. He did not have an owner. He didn't have any brothers and sisters. He didn't even have a petpet. He was too young to make a life of his own, so he began to make his living by going through other's trash cans to find leftover food.

     The Skeith at first went through garbage in the daytime, but got chased away far too many times by angry Neopets and owners. After this happened quite a few times, the Skeith got an idea. From then on he was going to search through the garbage in the night. That was what he began to do, and it was pretty successful for a while. It was working much better for him. Nobody was chasing him down the sidewalk for eating other's garbage. He didn't understand why they used to bother chasing him. He figured, "Their trash is my treasure. They don't even want it, so can we just share?" But still, they didn't like to share.

     One day, young Neopets were staying up way past their bedtime. They were giggling loudly, playing games, doing whatnot. The kids were screaming and having fun, but it was really annoying as that Skeith was rummaging through all of the garbage cans. He tried to make it fast, and tried not to be distracting, but that wasn't good enough. The Neopets' sleepover was just too loud. The Skeith made his way into the Neopets with the sleepover's yard, when one of the kids gave an earth-shattering scream. It was most likely a tickle fight, or something silly, but the scream was so loud that everybody on the block heard it. Lights turned on, windows flew open, and heads peeked outside into the street. The only thing out there was a young Skeith, standing there for all to see.

     Rumors spread fast to what had happened that night. The night went from one person to another. As the story got told and retold, the story grew to be more and more fictional until it came to the point where it was a bedtime story for young Neopets, titled "The Midnighter." "The Midnighter" is a name that somebody had made up. At the time, the Skeith was nameless, but the residence of Neopia gave the Skeith his name. He adopted the name, "The Midnighter" though the story is not true, but he would most likely remain the victim of this story for the rest of his life.

     He continues to rummage garbage cans, the Midnighter does, but every once in awhile he gets a screaming pet up in their bedroom, "The Midnighter is out to get me!"

     The Midnighter's story ended. It was the first time he had told the story, and it was very emotional for him. However, he was strong enough to not cry. He looked up to see Chipper's reaction. She was sound asleep, like a baby, doing what she couldn't do for hours. The morning sun was beginning to rise. Both of them had stayed up all night.

     The Midnighter looked down and mumbled to himself, "Hopefully somebody knows the truth now..." He felt himself becoming sleepy as well. He crawled onto the bench and lay down next to her. He shuffled himself until he was in a comfortable position. As he closed his eyes in comfort, he felt something he had not felt in a long time – a small ounce of peace.

     The next day the two would embark on a new relationship. Two abandoned pets finding their first friend. An unlikely pair, but a sure one yet. the Midnighter quietly drifted to sleep, his head resting on Chipper’s soft coat, smiling.

The End

Author's Note: The pets in this story are based off of the real Neopets, midnighter_1 and Chipper_gal, who are pets taken in by P.A.W.S. We wish them luck in finding an owner that loves them for the fun personality they bring to Neopia.    

 
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