Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 145,941,808 Issue: 306 | 24th day of Hiding, Y9
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The Mystery Behind the Mask


by sinister__faerie

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Mystery Island, situated hundreds of miles off the coast of Neopia. Home to Island Natives and the Gadgadsbogen Fruit. Whilst roaming about the Island you may come across the Trading Post where bargains are plenty and the Tiki Tack souvenir shop where you can take home a small piece of Mystery Island with you. If you're only staying for a short while, you might be interested in taking one of the Tiki Tours, where you can sit back and relax in a traditional hand-made Coconut cart and let one of the Island Natives show you round some of the famous sights. One place I would definitely recommend visiting is the Tiki Tack Tombola.

Every day, thousands of us Neopians flock to Mystery Island to play the Tiki Tack Tombola. As we enter the hut on the south of the Island, on the edge of the beach, the Tiki Tack Man greets us. A gentle giant, wearing his usual loud floral shirt and a smile across his Tiki mask. We form an orderly queue and one after another we dip our hands (or paws) into the white box and pull out tickets. Anything ending in 0, 2, or 5 deems us winners and we walk away with wonderful prizes, ranging from mystical codestones to bottled faeries to food for our Neopets to devour. Pull out a losing ticket and we walk away empty handed. For some of us fortunate losers, so to speak, the Tiki Tack Man may take pity on us and hand us a Booby prize, either a small amount of Neopoints or a random Tiki souvenir, on the way out - which is extremely generous as it is completely free to play!

As we leave the Tombola hut, either reveling in luck or despair, we carry on with our daily life, most of us not sparing another thought about the Tiki Tack Man until we visit the next day. For some strange reason I can't help wondering about the mysteries surrounding the Tiki Tack Man, such as his name; as we all simply know him as the Tiki Tack Man - due to the Tiki Booby Prizes he generously hands out. Such a gentle giant he seems, from the smile on his Tiki mask, which is always there, beaming out constantly, making us feel warm in his presence.

However, the reality is that it is just that, a mask. From time to time, the expression on his mask changes, which in itself seems rather strange; how does a solid wooden mask manage to bend and change with such ease and so frequently? Maybe, as it is a Tiki Mask, it possesses some strange magical power which enables it to morph into the current mood of the Tiki Tack Man. For example, if he were in a good mood, the mask would present us with a smile; however, if he were angry, we would be presented with a frown or a snarl and so forth. Another puzzling question is do we actually know what is behind the mask? I haven’t and I’m quite positive that no other Neopian has actually seen the Tiki Tack Man without a mask. I searched and searched but I couldn't find a photograph anywhere. I guess in reality it would be slightly weird to enter the Tombola hut and be greeted by the Tiki Tack Man without his mask, as it would be something we’re not accustomed to. Would we be greeted by a human face, or by the face of a creature?

As ‘Tiki’ can sometimes identified as 'the first man', one would assume that he is indeed a man, but the reality is that we don't specifically know that he is. For one, he could be an animal, a gruesome and hideous beast, a monster, an alien, or even a new species of Neopet, so rare that only one exists in the whole of Neopia. As friendly as he seems, I myself, and I’m sure any other Neopian, cannot be sure of what horrors might be lurking underneath the mask.

In day to day life we don't really hear that much about the Tiki Tack Man. He seems to remain in his usual, peaceful spot of the Tombola hut.

However on 23rd of Collecting, Y6, trouble was afoot for the Tiki Tack Man and the four other guardians of Mystery Island: Techo Master, Tiki Tour Guide, Jhuidah, and the Island Mystic, as the Evil Shaman in the Mystery Island Plot captured them. The Tiki Tack Man was the first to be kidnapped and later he returned after a while stating that we needed to find his Tiki Mask to be able to break the curse of the Evil Shaman. At the time when his Tiki Mask was missing we still didn't get a chance to catch a glimpse of the mysteries behind the mask, as he replaced it with yet another mask! Eventually on the 18th of Storing, Y6, peace was restored to Mystery Island and everyday life carried on, as well as the Tiki Tack Man and his Tombola.

For hours I have searched for information on the Tiki Tack Man and his origin but he doesn't even have a Neopedia article, which leads to further questions, such as where did he come from? What mysteries lie in his past? As I stated earlier, ‘Tiki’ can sometimes be identified as 'the first man'. Could the Tiki Tack Man have been the first Man on Mystery Island? After all, he is one of the guardians of the Island, and what better person to have as a guardian than someone who has been there from day one and who knows the Island like the back of his hand (or paw). When searching the Neopedia, I also noticed that Mystery Island doesn’t have an article, so there is no evidence to state whether this is true or false.

Inevitably, the accurately named ‘Mystery Island’, is just that, a whole bundle of mysteries. As there is no documented history for the Island, the only thing we do know about it is only what we see hear in this present day and age. I’m sure that somebody out there must know of the deep and hidden history, but until they decide to share it with us, it will always remain a mystery.

(Warning: Be careful whilst strolling around that you don’t wander into the Lost City of Geraptiku, as the deserted city is full of all kinds of strange goings on!)

 
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