One Scary Night
"It was a dark and stormy night in the Haunted Woods. Albert
walked cautiously along, wondering where all the spooky noises were coming from.
He had heard rumors of the Esophagor, a horrible monster that turned innocent
pets into mutants, but he had refused to believe them. All he had come to this
creepy place for was to find a good place with some good, fertilized soil to build
a garden. Then he tripped on something. He looked back and saw it was just a rock.
Just an accident; nothing or no one had purposely wanted him to fall. There was
nothing to be frightened of here.
"Then, suddenly, a loud booming voice came out
of nowhere: 'Whooooo are youuuuu?'
"Albert didn't want to look up and see what kind
of awful hideous beast was speaking to him. 'A-Albert,' he answered softly.
That was when he finally gathered up the courage to look up. He saw the face
as a blurry photograph, as something entirely out of his imagination, a mirage,
"Oh, but it was real all right. It was the Esophagor,
and it didn't seem to like Albert very much. It made a face, then reached out
its long hand. Before Albert could escape, it managed a firm grip on his tail
that little Alby simply couldn't wriggle out of. He watched in consternation
as the black spots on his coat faded. His skin felt cold and rough. He felt
a terrible pain in his head, as if his brain were about to explode. The happy,
bright yellow hue disappeared from his body, and a pale blue replaced it. He
screamed as loud as he was able, but no one seemed to hear him as his desperate
cry for help faded into the chilly night air…."
But right now, it was little Terri's turn to
scream, at her big brother's scary story. Her mum heard, and ran into the room.
"Honey, calm down! What's the matter?"
"Poor Albert! Evil Esophagor! He turned Mutant!
I'm gonna turn Mutant like him!" She let out another piercing shout.
"Oh, sweetie, it's okay, it's okay," her mum
said, picking her daughter up gently and placing her in her lap. "Now what's
all this about mutants? Where did you hear this?"
She pointed to her brother, Calvin, who simply
shrugged innocently and replied, "I was just telling her a story."
His mum groaned. "Calvin, I told you to tell
her a bedtime story, not a ghost story." She turned to Terri. "Terri, forget
about all that. The Esophagor lives in the Haunted Woods, and we won't be going
"But he really does turn pets into Mutants, doesn't
he? It's true, isn't it?"
"Don't worry, he can't get you."
"Waaaahh! It's true!"
"Shh, shh," her mother tried to calm her down
a little. "It's okay. Just, please, go to sleep."
She tucked Terri in her bed. Then she whispered
harshly to Calvin, "I'll deal with you later."
Terri couldn't sleep a wink. She was too afraid
of the Esophagor. She lived in the Lost Desert, which was practically next door
to the Haunted Woods, at least in Terri's mind. What if it reaches out and pulls
my tail? She hugged her tail and pulled the covers over her head.
In the middle of the night, she ran to her mum's
room screaming, "Help! It's after me!"
"What's after you?" asked her mother groggily,
having been awakened with a start from her good night's sleep.
"Oh, Terri, you're fine. I told you not to worry
about it. It lives far away. It won't get you. I promise."
"No, it was in my room! And it was trying to
pull my tail! It was gonna turn me mutant! Get it away from me!" yelled Terri.
"Okay, Terri. Where do you think he is?"
"I don't know!...But it's after me…."
"Okay, let's try your closet."
"What if he's in there?" Terri whispered nervously.
"I'll check for you. But you have to come with
me," her mum said.
They went to her room. Terri hid behind her mum's
legs, peeking out every once in a while to make sure nothing was in there to
harm her. But there was nothing but a bunch of clothes inside.
"See? Look," said her mum. "Nothing there."
"What about under my bed?"
Her mum sighed and checked under Terri's bed.
She reached underneath and pulled out what she could find: a rather scruffy
Blue Kacheek Plushie. She showed it to Terri.
Terri looked doubtful, but eventually gave in.
"Well, okay, I guess. If you say so." She crawled back into bed, barely managing
to fall asleep without any more nightmares.
The next morning, Terri had almost completely
forgotten about the Esophagor until she walked into the family room and Calvin
said under his breath, "Aaaaalbert, where is my fooooood?" He looked up from
a paper he was drawing on and shot Terri a small evil smile.
Terri stuck her tongue out at him, but he kept
going. "Teeeerriiiiii, where is my foooood?"
Terri looked away. She had always been told that
when someone was bothering her, she should just try to ignore them.
That was when their mum walked in and noticed
how quiet her kids were being. "Oh, Calvin. You're telling stories again, aren't
"Oh, no, of course not, Mum." Calvin was getting
really good at pretending he had no idea he did anything wrong.
"Good. You better keep it that way."
Once their mum left, Calvin put his crayons down
and held up the picture he had drawn. It was of an ugly mutant Kacheek, with
an arrow pointing to it that said "This is you."
Grrrr, thought Terri. She contained her
anger as best as she could and stormed out of the room.
The next day, Calvin ran into Terri's room and
woke her up. "I'm really sorry, Terri. You know, about what I said. That was
mean, telling you you were gonna be mutant. So to make it up to you, I'm taking
you to Faerieland!"
Without thinking about the possibility that her
brother was lying, like he usually did, she said, "Yay! Okay! Let's go!"
"Wait! But first, since you've never been there,
I want it to be a surprise how it looks when we get there, so I'm going to blindfold
"Okay, sure. Whatever."
He blindfolded her and led her around Neopia
for about an hour until they reached their planned destination. "Okay, we're
here!" Calvin shouted. "Surprise!"
He removed Terri's blindfold and her smile quickly
faded. "This…this isn't Faerieland."
She looked around. It was the Haunted Woods!
The Esophagor was about fifty meters away from them.
Calvin was laughing hysterically at his sister's
frightened face. Just a moment later, the Esophagor heard and noticed them.
"Whooooo are youuuuuu?"
Calvin's laughing silenced instantly. Terri hid
"Um, th-this is Terri. I-I'm Cal…Cal…Cal…."
He couldn't even finish his sentence. He was
The Esophagor lunged toward them. Calvin and
Terri ran and dodged his grasp. While they were running they saw a sad Mutant
Terri stopped running for a second. "Do you think
"Just keep going," Calvin answered, and he just
kept running as fast as he could.
The Esophagor reached for their tails again.
Terri ducked clear out the way, but it only missed Calvin by about an inch.
"Ugh!" the Esophagor grunted. "Albert! Get them!"
Albert pretended not to hear him. He looked up
for a short second and winked at Terri and Calvin, and he didn't look so hideous
for the moment.
"ALBERT!" The Esophagor was clearly angry. "You
Kacheeks, come back, NOW!"
Terri and Calvin kept running until they finally
got out of the Haunted Woods. Even then, they could still hear the Esophagor's
booming voice echoing in the distance.
Terri slumped down against a tree, out of breath.
"That was just like the story, Calvin."
"I know," said Calvin. He paused, then looked
Terri in the eyes. "I'm really sorry." She could tell by his face that he was
telling the truth this time.
"I forgive you," said Terri.
They smiled at each other and walked back to
their NeoHome together. By the time they got there, it was dark.
"Where were you?" their mum yelled when they
walked in the door. "I was worried sick!"
"So were we," Calvin whispered in Terri's ear.
"What did you say?" asked their mum.
"Nothing," the two Kacheeks answered simultaneously.
Their mum raised her eyebrows as if to say, "Whatever."
"Mum, can I sleep in Calvin's room tonight so
we can talk?" asked Terri.
Their mum looked confused, and she had the right
to be. They never got along. "You guys actually want to talk? Not fight? Okay,
So the two walked into Calvin's room. They talked
for a while. They seemed to actually be - dare say - friends again.
"I'm tired," Terri said finally. "That was too
much adventure for one day."
"Yeah," said Calvin. "It sure was one scary night,
Terri yawned. "Yeah," she answered as her eyes
began to fall.
They both fell asleep.