Jelly World Does Not Exist
Bruce was a very unusual Neopet.
For one, his name constantly led to jokes. After all, he was a yellow Bruce, and his name was Bruce. This, in itself, gave the impression that he was a little bit strange. That he should be left alone. He both stood out and disappeared in the crowd.
In addition, he was always questioning the accepted. “Does Kreludor REALLY revolve around Neopia? Or is it Neopia that revolves around Kreludor? Are we sure the sky is blue? Maybe it’s not; maybe it’s just a gigantic blue colored ceiling, trapping us in. Maybe it’s all just a big conspiracy.”
Obviously, no one ever believed him. He could say the sky was falling, and not a single Neopet would look up. But he never gave up.
One day, he decided to go on a very strange trip.
When he went to the Neovian Printing Press to look for a travel brochure, the pleasant, young green Pteri looked at him strangely. “Are you trying to play a prank, young man? Jelly World doesn’t exist.” Yet she sold him the brochure anyway. When he opened it, it was completely empty.
For a week, Bruce was gone. No one knew where he had gone. No one really cared, anyway. He was always the weird one who thought up weird things like meepits slowly taking over the world through mind control. He was probably off inventing a tin foil hat to protect himself.
His trip cannot be recounted. The place he went to does not exist. Therefore, his trip had never occurred either.
When he came back, he was full of stories. He held a bottle of Lemon Jelly Pop and the remains of a Jelly Sponge Cake in a paper bag, and he said that they had been homemade by these strange Blumaroos. He told everyone he met of the Giant Jelly where you could go and get free food, anytime you wanted.
Late into the night, he spoke of a wobbly, transparent jelly world, where the houses were yellow and stickily sweet, and the sky was a candy orange. A land where everywhere he walked, he bounced. Where if you stepped wrong, you could sink and be trapped, suspended in a gigantic blog of jelly for the rest of your life.
And he recounted his adventures, hopping through a monstrous volcano, judging his jumps, bouncing on pillars of jelly to avoid the burning lava. And when he had finally gotten free, he said, he had to dodge and run for his life, avoiding the blobs of goo that zoomed over the land, threatening to swallow him up.
And finally he told how he had left the mysterious, bizarre world and somehow found himself back in Neopia. And how he couldn’t quite recollect how he had gotten there.
It was some time before he realized that no one believed him. They listened, certainly, but only to laugh behind their hands, giggling at the deluded Bruce. Yet as his good friend Brucey B told him, “Bruce, you have what I’d call an imagiNATION, dude. Seriously, dude.”
He pleaded for them to believe him. He showed them the slightly putrid cake half in his paper bag. “If Jelly World doesn’t exist, how did this get here?”
Pamela the purple Peophin shrugged. “Jelly food doesn’t GET here from anywhere. It just gets here. We eat jellies all the time, and jelly fruits and veggies. But that doesn’t mean they come from Jelly World. It just somehow came into Neopia. And then people put it in their shops. And then we bought it. ‘Cause it’s cheap.”
Bruce felt almost about to cry. Here he was, a grand explorer, discovering a new land, and no one even BELIEVED him. What was he to do?
He decided to make one last ditch effort. He went out, and bought all the jelly items he could see. Soon, his cupboards were full with Strawberry Jelly, Lime Jelly, Poisonous Jelly, Jelly Cereal, Jelly Berries, Jelly Green Cheese, and any other jelly item he could find. Then he threw out all his traditional, aesthetic furniture and went and bought all the jelly Neohome furniture in existence.
He was ready for his demonstration. On his living room wall, he drew a large picture of a map of Jelly World, colored in detail. Then he called all his friends to his house and began his speech.
“Look at all these things. Could they have appeared from nowhere? If there is no Jelly World, why do people even know about it? If there is no place where jelly comes from, how are these food and objects made? Where did I go, if not the place everyone claims does not exist?”
Yet it was futile. Before he had truly begun to launch into his speech, the already-small crowd jeered and left.
At first he didn’t notice the small but significant red jelly Quiggle still standing there. Then, the devastated Bruce kicked an Orange Jelly Drawers, and bounced back, landing with a stubbed toe on the floor. When he stood up, the Quiggle was standing there, smiling.
“Bruce, why must you continue to keep this delusion that Jelly World is real?”
Bruce was so devastated that he did not consider wondering what the Quiggle who he did now know was doing in his house. “But--I saw it!”
“You only THINK you saw it, Bruce.”
The ridicules of his friends had gotten the innovative Bruce’s morale down. “What do you mean?”
“Come with me.” The Quiggle took his hand and led him to a tall building, where inside was a gigantic map of Neopia.
“Look at this. This is the map of the world. Everyone has been on every part of it. Is Jelly World anywhere? No.”
The Quiggle yanked him away from the map, cutting him off, and brought him to the old green Eyrie in the Neopian Furniture shop, who was working on a chair. “Hey, Bart. I know that you sell jelly furniture sometimes.”
Bart looked up from the chair, surprised. “Why, yes, but I don’t have any in stock sometimes.”
“Would you mind telling us where you get them? Do you go to a secret world where everything is made of jelly and everyone bounces to get anywhere?”
The Eyrie let out a deep, rich, laugh. “No, I get them just the same way I get all the rest of the furniture. Buy it off the normal people who make it. There’s no such place.”
Bruce looked subdued as the Quiggle led him out of the store. Yet, he wasn’t convinced. When they were out of earshot of the storeowner, he turned to the Quiggle and protested plaintively, “But I saw it! I know I did! I was there!”
“Come with me,” the Quiggle only repeated again. He led him out of Neopia Central, south on the edges of the Haunted Woods, and finally to a small, grassy peninsula from which Bruce could see the edges of the Lost Desert. “This is where you were when you thought you got to Jelly World, correct?”
Bruce nodded slowly, as it came back to him. He had been in this place--and then what? He had just been in that bouncy, jelly covered place? He was starting to doubt it as the wind from the sea gusted at the two of them, standing solitary on the edge of the peninsula.
“Well, Bruce, there’s nothing here. I’m sorry.” The Quiggle looked down at him compassionately. “You can see, that, right? It’s not real.”
Bruce didn’t answer, and began to trudge home, not caring if the Quiggle was following. He was dejected, but finally accepting. His mind had just, somehow, been making everything up.
Jelly World did not exist.