My LAST Shopping Trip to Neopia Central
Well, where does one start? It was the most dreadful day of my entire life. Coming from the rather more "classy" sector of Meridell, I thought that a trip to the city would be a welcome break! I couldn't be more wrong. First I get ambushed, then I get taxed by some unseemly beast, then to top it all off I get abducted by none other than Dr. Frank Sloth. I ask you!?
It was a pleasant day if I recall correctly; the sun was shining quite nicely, bouncing between a cloud now and again. A gentle breeze wrapped around me in the heat and the dew-blessed trees guided the path to the cart station. The night before was atrocious according to Cheryl, Maud's sister once removed. But the morning sun had taken the rain and left the earth quite firm and dry.
Anyway, as I was saying, I packed my bag with a few sandwiches, Marrow and Turnip to be precise, from Bert's garden, Bert being Cheryl's ex-husband. But therein lies another story, a stick of butter - 150 neopoints. 150 Neopoints! Have you ever heard of such a scandal. Anyway, I walked through the castle gates and to the cart station, and caught the 2 o'clock wagon to Neopia Central. Unfortunately, a few peasants had the same idea, but I ensured they stayed a good distance away from myself.
At the next village they left, leaving the whole carriage, and a strange artifact which resembled a rotten berry left by the peasants, to myself. It was all going well until this point. The wagon stopped abruptly, and who should open the door but some fool in a blue costume. Called himself the Pant Devil! Of course, I was in no position to challenge his integrity, and he demanded the item I held in mental contemplation. Now the simpler sort of folk would do as he asked, but being educated I knew how to solve this little fiasco. I picked up the artifact left by the peasants, and handed it to the fiend. He stared at it, looking a little puzzled, poor dear, and then fled into the trees. To be honest, I would expect nothing more of a fool who dresses up in Blue costumes, unless it's George, Maud's half-brother, who always has the most spectacular costumes for the summer ball.
That aside, the journey continued as one would expect on such a glorious day. The gentle shroud started to lift from the air as the watchful trees started to thin, until in sight was a sight to behold: Neopia Central. Now one who lived in the city full-time would not understand the feeling such a creation imposes upon a countryman. Meridell Castle, Darigan Citadel, Brightvale Fortress, they are nothing in comparison to the towering skyscrapers of Neopia Central. Even the word "central" carries powerful connotations. Not since the Cheese Rolling festival of Year 6 has such a build up of emotions filled me with adrenaline. The wagon pulled up to the toll gate, and within a few minutes I was in the bustling centre of Neopia.
I stepped off the sturdy wagon, which looked a little shabby in such a surrounding, paid my dues, and then stepped off into the visitor information centre. The air seemed heavy and almost dirty, but I did not mind it one bit. It was certainly an improvement on the scents emitted by Meri Acres Farm! I collected a few maps, and off I started for the Bank to withdraw some funds. But as I was walking, I said to myself, "If only Gladys could see this!" Huge neovision screens with stocks and shares beaming across the streets. A rather deep well, apparently a wishing well, but I have my suspicions. Then I came to the bank. Was there ever a sight I had seen! Huge white marble pillars embodied a huge structure that was Neopia Central Bank. I almost ran into the lobby, and then, noticing the strange looks from the common people, slowed into a graceful stroll. One must set an example to the common people, you see. I queued for about five minutes and then I was greeted by a rather large Skeith.
"Excuse me good sir, I wish to withdraw some funds," I proclaimed. He smiled at me; I have a feeling, however, it was more of a grimace.
"Your account number please, sir?" he replied. We went through the formalities, and then I withdrew ample funds with which to enjoy myself for the day. This is when the trouble began. Just as I left the bank, a beast, green in colour and quite hairy - unseemly sort - stopped me in my tracks.
"Pay the tax," he ordered.
"How dare you speak to me like that! Do you know who I am?" I replied. And quite rightly too, Maud commented when I got back. For some reason I felt compelled to pay, and ten percent of my withdrawal was stashed into his brown bag. With that, he left to prey on some other unsuspecting victim. I felt well and truly robbed! Day-light robbery!
Anyway, that wasn't it! I visited several boutiques such as the Chocolate Factory, in which I purchased some truffles for Doris and some candy canes ready for Christmas. I must say the clothes shop left more to be desired, although the book shop did have an interesting collection! After I had consumed my sandwiches, I donated my annual sum to the Money Tree and decided to visit the bazaar. This is when the next fiasco occurred. I was strolling through some parkland, when all of a sudden I was not in sunshine. It was dark, rather cold, and quite damp to be honest. Reminded me of Claude's back room, Claude being Doris' son.
I was seated in a rather shabby chair, not at all like the one in my front-room, but unable to move.
"What in Neopia is going on around here?!" I exclaimed. After a few minutes more, or it could have been seconds, according to Maud, because I had no concept of the time in such a void place, a neovision screen started up in front of me. In it was a green face, but who it was I didn't know.
"Do you know who I am?" interrogated the figure.
"No," I answered firmly. I wasn't going to be pushed around by some peasant with a shabby chair.
"I am Dr. Frank Sloth, and you are my prisoner."
"No sir, I am Brerok and you are a peasant. Now release me at once!"
He didn't take kindly to that. The neovision screen went blank for a few minutes or hours, or even seconds as Maud rightly pointed out, and then he appeared again.
"You will answer me these questions, surrender your funds, and then be returned to Neopia," a voice boomed. Returned to Neopia? Was I not on Neopia? I must admit this made me waver a little, but my voice carried strong.
"No, No, and Yes," I replied.
"Oh really? Well, unless you want me to administer you to scientific experimentation, then I would answer these questions," he explained. I was sure it was getting late, and the last cart left Neopia at seven!
"Ok, what are the questions," I said. I was unhappy to give in, but I really needed to get back.
"Ok. Would you be interested in purchasing a new Sloth style smoothie?" he asked.
After about an hour of these mindless, unimportant questions, my pockets were emptied and then I appeared back in the parkland. Can you believe it! Doris certainly couldn't, I mean honestly. Could I have any more bad luck? It was ten past seven, and it started to rain.