The Denture Adventure!
Hester Bitterbee slumped ungracefully over her wicker chair, deafeningly loud huffs of noise—“’Tis not snorin’, lads!” as she would always correct—coming out of her scrunched, bulb-like nose that came with being a brawn, blue Skeith. The wicker chair, while slightly uncomfortable, was a beautiful relic in the human-inspired Bingo Hall in Neopia's Senior Neopets Center where she currently slept. Hester woke with a start, possibly from her own noise, the chair sliding back on the recently waxed floor and the colorful bingo chips on the table next to her flying everywhere as the hot afternoon sun stretched over her from the high window to her left.
The old Neopet of seventy-eight years looked around cautiously, relaxing only when she saw her Warf, the ratty black and chestnut-colored petpet she had with her at all times (which really became a problem when she tried to get her free jelly and omelette, too), slumbering under the now littered, messy table. She reached for the paper cup where she had placed her (slightly-embarrassing) dentures so she could rest during the game and froze.
Where did they go? She could have sworn they were there a moment ago!
Panicking, she grabbed the mangy dog-like creature and stroked it roughly, earning herself a few claw marks on her wrinkled rough skin. She stood carefully, paying no attention to the bodily harm which was still being inflicted upon her, looking around in a rather doe-like way with her eyes opened wide and her mouth closed in a fine straight line. Who had been at the game that would have wanted her expensive dentures? They had been in her possession for over ten years, a gift from her husband, a scary Grarrl that became unmanageable when mad. Now some ungrateful miscreant had mercilessly taken them, probably wanting just to see her squirm and never be able to talk or walk or do anything normally ever, ever, ever again!
Hester bristled at the thought. She did not like being mocked like that.
She walked around the tables slowly with her bad, shaking legs and Warf on her spiked back, attempting to recall who had been in the room earlier that day. ‘Tis always tat Brynker! The lubber always deed give off tat killeh intent! she thought angrily, legs shaking violently as she walked, passing his normal seat by the door—a quick getaway! ...O’ tah Mertil, wit ‘er whole family in the big house! She prolly wanted tah join ‘em. She stomped furiously, again passing by the poor old Mrs. Mertil’s seat, not bothering to even recall that Mrs. Mertil had been part of a large number of newly formed community service groups to try and repay society for her human family’s mistakes. Teh freaks! Und Haffling was prolly the mad genius behind eet all! The freak! Vat’s ‘e got against lil’ ole’ meh? She huffed again, dropping the Warf to go straight for confrontation, not noticing as the aforementioned Warf landed on a wet spot on the floor, sliding in a rather comical way into a Wet Floor sign.
Then suddenly, Hester saw it. Even though her eye sight was not as good as it used to be, she knew exactly what she saw the second she passed it. Craning her head to the side as much as her bad spine would allow her, she saw a small clump of course black hairs. Picking up the few strands of the hair and stuffing them in her hidden pocket behind her left wing as evidence for the thief’s sins, she now continued her journey with renewed hope and a fuelled flame.
Hester Bitterbee was not happy, to say the least. Those dentures cost money, and she had just done an extensive cleaning on them too! And if she didn’t find them... She did not want to think about it, stomping noisily up the slightly sloped carpeted hallway toward Mr. Brice Brynker’s door, adorned with Borovan holiday wreaths and a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
“Ya ya! Come on outta t’ere und fight meh, ya lilly-libbered mili!” Hester announced loudly to the door, pounding on it as hard as she could with her dangerous tail and active arthritis. “I know ya stole meh teef!”
“Hester, can you please not talk so loudly? I was speaking to Mable Mertil earlier and she told me she was going to try and take a nap sometime today,” Brice said, opening the door a crack and allowing Hester to see the graying black hair on his feathered Lenny head.
“Then give me meh teef!”
Brice sighed. “I do not possess your teeth, Hester.”
“Tat’s Frau Bitterbee to ya!”
“Well, Mrs. Bitterbee, I do not have your dentures. You are welcome to look around if you wish.”
“Why wood I hafta look around? I already know you’ve got ‘em!”
He sighed. “Why would I want them in the first place? My teeth are fine; I do not require such things. And besides,” he stated dully as he could see Hester was going to interrupt him again, “my niece was here this morning, she came to bingo with me to analyze the chances of me not winning. If you must, question her about the whereabouts of your dentures; I’m sure she will say that disgusting little paper cup you used.”
Hester bristled, turning abruptly on her heels and slowly bringing herself away without another word to the ex-worker of Krelufun Industries, and then almost tripping on an adjacent feather duster.
Next was Mable Mertil. She lived just down the hall behind a depressing steel gray door that always seemed to aggravate Hester’s Warf, causing Hester to despise Mable even more.
“Mabes! Old lady Mabes! Come outta t’ere und give me meh teef back!”
“Hmmm? What was that, deary? You want some toffee?” Mable responded kindly after opening the door fully to reveal her small, clean room and lanky Kyrii form.
“Nah, ya old bat, give me meh teef back!”
“But I don’t have any toffee, Hester, I only do during Halloween season,” Mrs. Mable Mertil said through her large spectacles, her eyes appearing to be much larger than they actually were and her tan hearing aid sticking out ridiculously against her whitish fur. “I’m sorry, Hester.”
Hester immediately tensed. “NAH! MEH TEEF!”
Mable blinked oddly from behind her enormous specs. “Teeth? Well, I’m afraid I don’t have any of those either—well, other than my own. Well, they’re not really my own.” Hester waited patiently for the old Kyrii to ramble on; she knew that if she waited long enough the old bat would begin to feel pressured and, in an attempt to thwart the make-shift investigator, would accidentally slip up on the information and be revealed as a horrible liar and a denture thief. “But even though they’re not my real teeth, I still manage to get by because I have a wonderful dentist, Doctor Gelert; he truly does a fantastic job! Would you like his number? I believe I have it in my wearable purse I got from the Advent Calendar right here...”
“So ya dun’t gots ‘em?”
Mable looked surprised that there was someone standing in front of her. “When did you get here, Hester?”
“Do ya gots meh teef or nah?”
“Toffee? Why, I don’t have any toffee until Halloween season, deary. You should know that. I can go to the store and get some if you’d like, though.”
Hester blinked, slowly turning and walking down another hallway. Had Mable known what she was actually saying, she was sure she would have confessed to the crime sooner or later; nevertheless, Mable happened to not have black hair. She sighed. Next was Hansel Haffling, the janitor. He was new and had no clue what he was doing, which was the only real reason anyone in the senior center even knew who he was. He had asked her about twenty times during the bingo game if she was done with her drink so he could take the cup to throw in the trash. How rude!
She knocked somewhat nervously on his door. If he did not have her dentures, then who would? She almost jumped as her monstrously malkin Warf cuddled against her leg, a few of his hairs catching on her pant leg, happy to finally be reunited with his owner. The door opened just as she regained her customary, loud breathing pattern.
“Can I help you, Mrs. Bitterbee? Did you spill your carbonized cleaning water again?” He sounded almost happy at the prospect of her messing up. The nerve of him! Hester puffed up her chest angrily, seeing his course black hair that fell in knots around his rounded Chia head.
“Nah! I know ya stole meh teef, so give ‘em back right now!”
He looked horrified. “Your teeth are missing!? I’ll help you find them! I’ll check all the closets and hallways and rooms and trash cans and dumpsters and roofs and cups and mouths and everything else I can check! Don’t worry, Mrs. Bitterbee, I’ll help you!” He finished his miniature speech by bolting down the hallway, knocking over a shaggy broom and an aqueous mop bucket he had left there from his earlier cleaning of the senior center.
Hester looked down at her purring Warf desolately. Hansel would never find her dentures, that much was obvious. She slowly walked back past Mable Mertil’s unbecoming steely gray door, Brice Brynker’s unsuited festive door, and finally through the Main Entrance and into the Bingo Hall, ending her journey in her old wicker chair by the window, now completely covered in the evening oranges and reds of the setting sun. She had not expected her investigation to take so long, and had never thought she would actually fail in retrieving her missing dentures.
Placing her spiked blue tail on on the not-as-messy table (Hansel must have run by and decided to clean up a bit), Hester picked up her black and chestnut-colored Warf and sighed. Oh well, she would just have to tell her frustrating husband later. Settling down in the uncomfortable chair, she took the strands of hair from her hidden pocket from behind her left wing and huffed once more, letting them fall defiantly to the ground. “I dun’t snore, Pup, und dun’t eva let anyone tell ya otherwise.” Closing her eyes daintily, she decided to maybe make another round of investigation before facing the wrath of her husband. Yes, that would be good.
The Warf blinked up at her with his sparkling green eyes, opening his mouth to lick his master and playmate affectionately, only find that now he could not with his newly found teeth, just the right size for Hester Bitterbee.