Freddy's Firework Fiasco
Willy hobbled upon crutches down the snow-covered street to his neohome. He mumbled to himself as he took a step, then used his crutches, took a step, used his crutches, creating a rhythm as he walked.
“’Go for the ball,’ he said... ‘Ignore the big guy,’ he told me.... ‘The water will cushion you in the pool’. Well, look where I am now, Coach! A fractured and sprained ankle during season. Fractured and sprained!” he shouted to the cold, biting wind. He painfully maneuvered his cloud Kougra body up the front pathway, kicking at a rock that got in his way, then yowling a second later when he realized he kicked with his busted leg. Willy muttered curses under his breath as he attempted to open the door, failed, and started shouting really loudly.
“JUSTINE! OPEN THE DOOR! JUSTINE! JUSTINE! JUSTI-” he cried until Justine, his owner, opened the door for him.
“WHAT?!” she shouted only an inch from his face. Typical Tuesday.
“I NEED TO GET IN!”
“Well, WHY DIDN’T YOU USE YOUR KEY?”
“I kind of COULDN’T!” he hollered, attempting to gesture at his “broken” (as he called it) leg, and almost falling in the process. Justine shrugged, then moved out of the way, and shut the door once he was inside.
Willy threw his crutches down by the door and hobbled over to the polka dot sofa and collapsed, propping his left leg, cast and all, up on the Tyrannian stool.
“Justine. Neocola,” Willy muttered, turning the Neovision set on and plugging in Virtual NeoQuest.
“Get it yourself,” she replied back, ink stained hands preparing another story for the Neopian Times.
“Fine, fine.” She got up and chucked it at him, and he ducked, then caught it. He opened it, drank some, then began pondering.
“I’ve been thinking,” he began, speaking slowly so as to gather his thoughts, “about my Christmas Firework Special.” Every year, Willy has his “Christmas Firework Special”. It’s a very large display of various skyrockets and explosives. It’s second only to his New Years Firework Extravaganza, which, frankly, all the neighbors love, hate, enjoy, and fear, all at the same time. He gets his fireworks from a guy named Freddy. He’s a shadow Kyrii. Everyone always wonder where Freddy gets his fireworks from, but they can only imagine....
“Well,” Willy continued, “I’m not sure whether I should do it this year.”
Justine’s quill clattered upon the floor, and she sat, staring at Willy, mouth agape. “C-cancel your Firework Special? You?” she gasped.
Willy nodded sadly. “I don’t know if I can go out there in my cast...”
“You’re going to let a little cast stop you? William The Carlisle Hackett AlleyCat is going to let a little cast stop his 500 pounds worth of fireworks from exploding in the air?” Justine, cried. Willy winced at his extremely long full name. “I forbid you from it.”
“I forbid you from canceling that Special.”
“But... but...!” Willy stuttered.
“No,” Justine said simply. “If you cancel Christmas, you’ll cancel New Years, then my birthday, then Illusen's Day, and every fireworks special until Freddy’s out of business because his biggest customer isn’t buying fireworks. So, you have to do it. Besides,” Justine glanced out the window at the shed in the backyard, which read ‘WARNING: 500+ POUNDS OF EXPLOSIVES. PLEASE KEEP ALL FLAMES AND/OR FLAMMABLE ITEMS AWAY FROM SHED’. “I don’t know how long that shed can last without flammable items getting near it. Therefore you’re not canceling your fireworks special. Besides, didn’t you already place the order with Freddy?” Justine asked, somehow forgetting about the 500+ pounds of fireworks in the shed she had just mentioned.
Willy looked sheepish, “Er... possibly....” He scratched the back of his neck, also forgetting about the fireworks. Justine sighed and placed her head in her hands.
“You forgot again, didn’t you?”
“Well,” Justine began, standing up, “neomail him now.” She tossed a quill and piece of neomail paper at him. “It is only six days to Christmas, since it’s the 19th. At least you finally got out of school, huh?”
Willy caught the paper and quill and began scrawling a message in his somewhat sloppy handwriting that greatly resembled his owner’s.
“Done.” He folded the paper, wrote Freddy’s address and it instantly disappeared. “And sent.” He folded his paws behind his head and relaxed. “So... you think Shayne can come to the celebration this time?” Once Willy finished his sentence a loud crash was heard and a hyperactive baby Tonu came crashing down the stairs.
“Mommy! Can I? Can I? Pwease? Pwease!?” he cried, running to Justine and clinging to her leg.
“Man... he has good hearing...” Willy muttered.
“Er... if I say yes, will you let go of my leg?” Justine asked, wincing in pain at Shayne’s grip.
“Okay, then yes, you can go to the celebration this time.” Relief was visible on her face when Shayne let go and started running around the room. Willy instinctively lifted his broken leg out of the Tonu's way.
“HOOWAY! YES! FINAWY! HOOWAY!” Shayne cried, running in circles around the living room, then upstairs and crashing into his bed. A feeble “Ow...” could be heard, then silence.
“Well, looks like this celebration is bound to be lively,” Willy said, placing his leg back down and taking another sip of his neocola.
“Indeed,” was the only reply Justine had.
Christmas morning came around, and Freddy had not sent a neomail to the AlleyCat’s about their fireworks, yet. Christmas proceeded as usual, though, with the main family there, save Negative, who was on a trip to Terror Mountain, and Nosey, who was trying to find Lutari Island for his Surf Guide. Plus the rest of the “side account” family hadn’t come over, due to there being a huge blizzard on Krawk Island, and no one being able to come over to visit. So the two neopets and Justine sat around the living room, the Christmas tree sparkling and the fireplace roaring, opening presents.
Shayne had received a Red Bike, a Tormund Action Figure, and a Darigan Lupe Plushie. Justine received a snorkle snout for the avatar, and trophy polish, even though she had asked for a weewoo, not trophy polish. Her pets had an odd sense of humor. And Willy had received two new books to go towards his trophy, a Red and Gold Neopets 8th Birthday Hat since it was technically his birthday, a new petpet bed for Sean, Willy’s sandan, and a razor, from Justine, with a card that read “The goatee goes. Now.” He threw the razor away and gave Justine the weewoo she had asked for, which he had, indeed, actually been hiding.
The rest of the day consisted of Justine and Willy arguing like crazy, the weewoo panicking about the crazy family it had been brought into and getting chased by Sean, and Shayne beating Willy in Key Quest four times, much to Willy’s annoyance.
The day started to grow old, night had set in and the neighbors were starting to, and still no reply from Freddy had come.
“I’m starting to get a bit worried,” Justine stated, looking at the neighbors preparing to watch the fireworks outside the window.
“Me too...” Willy agreed, his tail flicking from side to side, something he only did when nervous. Justine went into the kitchen to make some hot chocolate. Not a second after she put her foot down on the kitchen tile the doorbell rang. “Justine, do-”
“Yeah... I know,” she muttered, her voice dripping with annoyance. “Why did Negative have to go on a trip to Terror Mountain right when Willy broke his leg and we needed h-” she paused mid-sentence when she saw who was in the doorway. A short shadow Kyrii with beady eyes that kept glancing around, nervously, as if he were expecting to be arrested any moment. A small package was tucked under his arm.
“Eh, yous got Willy in dere?” he asked in a half Krawk Island, half Soup Alley accent, looking at Justine with great suspicion.
“Er, one moment, please. WILLY!”
“Coming!” the cloud Kougra called, and painfully extracted himself from the couch and hobbled over to the door, his crutches lost somewhere amongst the wrapping paper and scattered presents in the living room. He looked down at the Kyrii in front of him. “Freddy! I wasn’t expecting you to show up... normally you send the fireworks to me by special weewoo delivery service. What’s up?” The Kyrii’s faced showed relief when he saw Willy, but the suspicion came back when he heard a whoot call out.
“Look, I don’t got much time. Yer deeliv’ry ain’t comin’ in for anuder five days. I... er... am receivin’ unexpected problems from some... clientele, shall we say... up in de hills o’ Shenkuu. Blast dose tea sippin’ scoundrel!” Freddy explained.
“But, it's already Christmas!” Willy cried out, almost falling over again.
“I know... I know. But der ain’t anythin’ I can do. Tell ya what... I’lls gets ya double da fireworks fer New Years, fer only yer regoolar payment? Sound good, no?”
“Well... what am I supposed to do for Christmas?”
“Eh, wait a sec... didn’t yous guys already place an order wif me about a month ago?” Freddy asked, thinking hard. “I coulda sworn you did.”
Willy thought hard, his eyebrows coming together. “Hmm... I don’t remember. Let me go check,” Willy replied, turned around and fell into the wall. “Er... maybe you should come with me.”
“Can do.” Freddy helped Willy walk to the backyard and to the shed. Unfortunately the key wouldn’t open the lock, which had snow frosted into it. Willy cursed under his breath.
“Sorry. Oh, I almost forgot! I gots a liddle somedin fer ya,” Freddy said, attempting to cheer Willy up. He handed him the package that was under his arm.
“Thanks,” Willy replied, a little dejected. He pulled off the brown paper and opened the box to reveal a sparkler. As soon as Willy took it out into the open air it came alive, sparkling everywhere, its blue flame enthralling Willy.
“Nice, eh? Never extinguishing. As long as you keep it up in the air, it’ll never go out, put if you set it dow-” Freddy was stopped in mid sentence as the was a large explosion from the shed. A spark from the sparkler had caught onto the shed. Somehow Willy and Freddy had forgotten about the ‘WARNING: 500+ POUNDS OF EXPLOSIVES. PLEASE KEEP ALL FLAMES AND/OR FLAMMABLE ITEMS AWAY FROM SHED’ sign, and all the fireworks had ignited and been set off. Willy and Freddy dived out of the way and behind a large rock in the backyard (which happened to have been placed there just as a precaution if this incident were to ever happen). The neighbors “oohed” and “ahed” at the fireworks, and then a rogue one caught landed on the game room in the house and it caught on fire.
“Oh, not again...” Willy cried, reliving the experience of burning the game room down in their house in Meridell, setting Cheeseroller on fire from a rogue firework, and another one hitting the battlements. That was when King Skarl decided it was a good time for his firework-crazed nephew to move to Krawk Island. The game room burned down, but luckily the rest of the house stayed intact. Justine had gotten smart and built a stone barrier between the game room and the rest of the house.
After about half an hour, the intensity of the fireworks had gone down, and only a few besides the large one on the bottom for the grand finale remained. Willy and Freddy crept and hobbled over to the front of the house and the street where everyone gathered, watching. Justine glanced at Willy, who gave her a sheepish grin.
The grand finale firework went off, and the sky was lit up with beautiful cursive that read “Merry Christmas, Everyone!”. The neighbors trickled back into their houses, congratulating Willy on a job well done and that it was the best one yet. Soon it was only the AlleyCats and Freddy left, standing in the cold and snow.
“Well, Willy, dat was de best firework show I’ve ever seen! I’ll come to yer New Years one, seein’ as you’ll be havin’ double da fireworks. ‘Till then!” Freddy cried, glancing around, the scurrying quickly down the street. Willy sighed and hobbled back in with Justine and Shayne. He collapsed onto the couch, where he often slept instead of trying to go upstairs to his room.
“Well,” Willy began, “that was the most interesting Christmas ever. ‘Willy’s Christmas Firework Special’? More like Freddy’s Firework Fiasco!” And with that, he passed out on the couch, exhausted.
Author’s Note: Dedicated to my friend who managed to sprain and fracture his ankle. And dedicated, of course, to Billy, Willy’s firework loving namesake. Try not to blow anything up on New Years, Billy-boy.