A Feepit Named Meepit
On the 31st day of Celebrating, Year Ten, in the 373rd issue of the honorable Neopian Times, there was an interesting question put in the editorial. The question was funny and just a bit odd, not really something unusual- the really interesting thing was what the implications were. Or rather, what happened next.
My name is Norela, and I am a red Xweetok, soon-to-be-reporter, thank you very much. Soon to be, because I haven't actually done an article yet. I was going to do an article, the greatest ever, the one that would save Neopia, that would relieve us from perhaps the greatest peril we had ever faced: unreality.... But.. Well, it's a long story.
Perhaps I should start at the beginning. It started yesterday morning. That fine morning as I was doing my daily rounds for Drana (my owner; that's just simply what she told us to call her instead of her long and slightly unoriginal name- so don't ask). I was walking around in the sunlight on Neopia Central (famous for it's sunlight, even in the dead of winter), looking at all the various shop windows, when something fell from the sky and landed right in front of me. Normally, this wouldn't have been that bad. It could have been some coins, or a paintbrush, or some other goodly offering for a lucky pet. Except it wasn't. And I didn't see it till I hit it straight on and was bounced back three feet to land flat on my back.
Now, for a pet who normally has sharp eyes and all four paws planted firmly on the ground (I had never been as good of a tree climber as my brother, Mortan) this was highly unusual and very disturbing. You could imagine, being the curious creature I am, I jumped back on my paws right away to investigate this thing that had so rudely intercepted me in my stroll. When I saw the giant blob of a thing, I nearly fell right down again. I did sit down, unable to believe what my large sharp eyes were seeing.
It was... um... globby. Very... big and... um... sort of clearish- oh for Fyora's sake- it looked like a giant blob of jelly, alright? In. Neopia. Central. Right in the broad daylight. In the middle of the road! I tell you, some pets were so startled they started running around screaming about stuff like meepit invasion and Sloth. Rather unperceptive, I thought. Okay, it was jelly, which doesn't exist, in the middle of Neopia Central, but it clearly wasn't Sloth or meepits. It was jelly! It didn't even faintly resemble Sloth.
Clearly the only one around with my head still on my shoulders, I ran off to begin my investigation immediately. And where did I go, you may ask? Where does anyone go when strange (I mean, more than the usual) things are happening in Neopia? I ran straight to the Neopian Times stands. And let me tell you, there was quite a crowd gathered around the stand I came to. Rather than discouraging me, this only renewed my determination. Something was definitely going on.
When I eventually pushed my way through- that took a while- I heard the vendor shouting.
“The latest news! The very latest! Giant blobs of UFSs are falling from the skies all over Neopia! Five hundred NP per copy!”
I tried my best to get his attention to buy one, but Xweetoks are comparatively small pets, my voice had never been very loud, and the crowd was pressing him for their copies- especially the Sloth and meepit fanatics. (In case you were wondering how I could tell their preferences, I saw their blatant T-shirts. Really, I mean, some people are so obvious.)
I eventually had to flap up to the ledge where he was standing with those ridiculous wings Drana got me that I only used for my trips to and from Faerieland and for emergencies. I decided giant globs of jelly falling from the skies was enough of an emergency. And it was good I got my copy then, too, because I hear that they were soon clean out after blobs fell on the Chocolate Factory and the Grooming Parlor and everyone else had to order theirs by weewoo.
Anyway, I took my copy and flew off to start my investigation in peace. Neopia Central was getting much too crowded, so I flew off to the nearby Kiko Lake and sat in one of the trees near the water front. And I began reading.
The article blasted on the front page was sloppy, and poorly done- clearly the work of only a few minutes to get the story out as fast as possible. It could tell me very little from what I already knew: jelly (which was referred to as UFSs, Unidentified Foreign Substances, since no one actually wanted to call it jelly and look silly admitting something existed when it wasn't supposed to. I personally thought that dull-witted) was popping up all over Neopia. I did learn a few locations, though. Some had fallen in the Haunted Woods and flattened a few werelupes, some had popped up out of the clouds in Faerieland like giant mushrooms, and still more had fallen down the waterfalls in Shenkuu. But from a handy map the article had provided, I could clearly see the highest concentration of jelly was appearing around Neopian Times headquarters, as if the problem was originating there.
I leaned back in thought (Xweetoks can do that in trees without falling off, you know). My discovery was extremely odd, and I wonder if anyone else had noticed it. If they hadn't... This could be my big break. This could finally be the time my entry was accepted and I became what I had always dreamed of: a Neopian Times writer! If I found the source to this mysterious jelly appearances, the NT would be begging on its hands and knees for my article! And saving Neopia from potential over-existence destruction would be a good bonus too. I had to find the source! I flexed my fingers. Time to get cracking.
The question was how. I certainly wasn't going to get in the Headquarters itself. For one thing, they didn't allow unproven little pets like me in- and for another, right now, it looked like a very dangerous flying zone. Well, I reasoned next, if the Neopian Times HQ was the source of all this, would the Neopian Times be a good place to look? Getting more copies of the at a time like this was out of the question- I would have to fly home and look through my own. I sighed and jumped off the branch and into the air- just in time to avoid a wave of water that splashed over the trees, nearly drenching me and my precious copy of the latest Neopian Times. I flew over the surface of the lake to find the disturbance and saw a great, huge blob of jelly slowly sinking into the depths. All the area surrounding poor Kiko Lake was soaked. I was really going to have to get to the bottom of this, I thought as I flew into the sky.
It took me about half an hour to get to Faerieland flying- and that was with hitching a ride on some speed racing unis. I was lucky, and was home before lunch time. Which was good, because I had a lot of work to go through.
I searched everywhere, in all the most recent copies I had, for any sign, any clue, of something going wrong in Headquarters. I looked through articles, I searched through the comics- even the really cheesy ones. I read all the stories and pondered on the hidden metaphors. It. Took. Forever. At least my siblings didn't bother me. They were used to me being shut up in my bedroom for hours on end with my big “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on the door. Danica only knocked to slide sandwiches inside the room and leave. I only nibbled on them, nearly frustrated to my wits' end.
The sun was starting to sink in the sky when I was about to give up hope. That's when I found it. A question in the Editorial of the 373rd issue. It was the word 'jelly' that had caught my attention immediately. I ignored the comment on eggnog below.
What would happen if I named my Feepit "Meepit"? ~annait890
Jelly World would implode into existence.
I stared, hardly daring to breathe. My hands started to tremble. Had I found it? Had I finally, actually, found it? One simple question. One simple answer. The fate of Neopia as we knew it to exist in my hands.
I think my siblings heard my shout from all the way downstairs.
Back in my room, I was breathing hard with excitement, because I finally had my lead. Mine. Why was I so certain it was mine? Even if one other pet had searched as hard as I had searched and found what I had found, they would have to search for this annait890 and her address and neomail and all that before they could go any further. For pets, that was a rather bothersome and lengthy process, and would take nearly as long as I had on finding that entry. So why wasn't I worried about that?
Well... to make things simple, I knew this annait890. Well, I knew her as Ann... Aunt Ann.
I immediately leaped into action, stuffing necessary supplies such as pencils and paper into my bag. I threw it over my shoulder and ran out of the room and down the stairs.
“Mom!” I shouted, as I ran for the door. “I'm going to go visit Aunt Ann- I might spend the night! Bye!”
“What?” Drana asked in surprise, coming out of the kitchen with a cup of hot cider in her hands, but I was already out the door.
As I flapped into the air, I could understand her confusion. I didn't normally spend much time with Aunt Ann and my cousins. Actually, she wasn't really my aunt, just like Drana, being an owner, wasn't really my mom- we just called her that. Ann was Drana's real sister, though, so we just tended to call her Aunt Ann, and her pets our cousins. Anyway, we visited about once a month because they lived in the far away mountains of Shenkuu, which is pretty hard to get to if you can't fly and didn't know a special pass through the mountains. I went to visit sometimes just for a place to stay while I researched in Shenkuu's old libraries, which were nearly as good as Faerieland's. (Don't tell the Library Faerie I said that.) I never visited on such short notice, though, and never so late during the day. I was going to have to fly hard to reach their house before sundown. It was a good thing I'd thought to pull on a sweater.
I did fly hard. It was freezing when I got to the pass through the mountains, but I pulled my sweater tighter, fluffed up my fur, and just kept on flying. Twice, I was nearly hit by flying jelly zooming past. The world of Neopia as we knew it was starting to be a dangerous place. The sun had nearly gone down, and I was utterly exhausted by the time I plopped down on my Aunt's doorstep. I just narrowly avoided hitting the flaming bushes she had on either side of her door. The petpet in the Christmas wreath on her door giggled at me, though.
It was cold, so I eventually forced myself to move. Before I could knock on the door, however, Tiaraly, wearing a purple Fyora wig complete with tiara threw open the door and squealed. “Mom! Mom- Mom! It's Norela!”
Before I knew it, I was pulled inside. It was warmer, especially when she closed the door after us, so I didn't complain. Aunt Ann came downstairs. She looked like she had paint in her hair. “Bother, Tiaraly, what is it this time- oh, Norela! This is a surprise. What made you come out so late? Tiaraly, got get her a cup of hot cider- she looks freezing.”
I straightened- as much as I could with four feet. The smoothed tail helped a bit. “I am here on a matter of importance... Aunt Ann.” It felt so odd for my first interviewee to be my aunt. It just... odd. How could I being straightforward and demand the answers I wanted when she was fussing over me like I was a few weeks old?
Ann blinked. “Importance?”
“About your editorial question,” I prompted.
She clapped her hands. “Oh! You saw it! Wasn't it so funny? I could hardly believe it when it got in-” Not surprising. No one in our family had done anything of any importance in the Neopian community since my uncle won the Caption Contest- in second place. One of the reasons I was so desperate for this lead. Our family deserved some greatness. But I wouldn't get the lead if I let my Aunt prattle on.
So I interrupted. “Yes, Aunt Ann, I saw it. What I want to know is what you did about it afterwards.”
She snorted, as if stating the obvious. “I named the feepit Meepit, of course. On my side account- annait89. Malina!” she called up the stairs. “Bring Meepit down here.”
I slapped my forehead. “You... went ahead and named it?”
“Why not? I liked the idea- it was so funny.”
I tried to breathe deeply. “And about the jelly?”
“TNT were just joking,” she said brightly. “Why bother?”
“Aunt... Ann...” I said slowly. “Do you realize what you've done?”
“You've condemned an entire world into existence! Reality is unbending as we know it! People are going crazy, meepit-lovers are starting to worship the stuff, fanatics are thinking Sloth is invading and jelly is falling from the sky! Jellyworld- which didn't exist- is now imploding straight into existence, and all because you thought the TNT was joking?”
“Really?” She seemed shocked. I think I had finally gotten through to her. I could feel the salvation to Neopia in my hands...
Then she squealed, jumping up and down with glee. “Free jelly for everyone!” she cried, punching the air triumphantly, as if she was the Space Faerie who just defeated Sloth and saved the world.
My jaw dropped.
Just then, an island Acara came down the stairs with a feepit in one hand and sipping eggnog in the other. I stared at the eggnog for a bit, but then just shook my head and tried focusing on the problem at hand. “What's this about jelly? Doesn't that stuff not exist?” she- I mean he, darn lab ray- asked.
“It does now,” I growled, glaring at Aunt Ann. “No thanks to your mom. Listen, Aunt Ann, you have to change his name.”
“Why?” she pouted. “I want my free jelly.”
“Listen, if you don't, you'll soon be getting more free jelly than you could ever possible consume- and I mean it! Jelly is appearing everywhere. If reality doesn't stabilize soon, we'll soon be-”
I was interrupted by a giant creak, crashing, and snapping of wood. We all fell to the floor as a tremor shook the house, and when I opened my eyes, I was staring at the largest blob of green-orange jelly I had ever seen- poking through a gigantic hole in my aunt's roof. There were more tremors still. I scrambled back onto my paws and threw open the door. The sight stunned us all speechless.
Jelly of all colors, shapes, and sizes (some bigger than a house) were falling everywhere like meteors of doom. Every time one of the big ones hit, a tremor shook the earth and the roof of my aunt's house shuddered, as if it was going to cave in at any moment. Neopets and owners were running around screaming, frightened out of their wits with their homes and everything in sight being flattened and destroyed by great globs of unreality. Some pets were even stuck in the stuff (though the starving ones didn't seem to mind that much as they happily ate their way out). What was worst of all, was that Aunt Ann was staring at this with something akin to fascination.
“Oh no...” I groaned. I turned to Malina, desperate. We had to do something, or watch unreality implode around us, perhaps to the destruction of all that was believable! “Quick, rename it! Now!”
“How?” he asked, panicked. He held up his feepit like it was radioactive.
It chirped at us. With sudden inspiration, I said quickly, “Repeat after me: I... love... Chirp... my... feepit.”
“I love Chirp, my feepit!” he cried, closing his eyes tightly.
And suddenly, the world imploded... with jelly.
“Norela? Norela! Norela!”
I groaned, sitting up and opening my eyes. Tiaraly was staring at me. I blinked, looking around. I was sitting on Aunt Ann's floor- except it was whole. There was no hole in the roof, no tremors shaking the ground. Aunt Ann and Malina were staring at me with concern. The island Acara was holding the feepit, who was looking entirely innocent.
“What... happened?” I rasped.
“I brought you in, but you just collapsed,” Tiaraly said with a pout. “That wasn't very nice of you.”
“Are you okay, Norela?” Aunt Ann asked with concern.
“What?!” I gasped. For the third time that day, I leaped to my paws. I ran to the door and threw it open. Pets and owners were running home in the dark, or delivering packages or messages, and building were completely stable and undamaged as usual. There was no jelly... anywhere.
“I... I don't get it,” I gasped again. “Where... where's the jelly?”
Malina snorted. “Jelly doesn't exist. What are you talking about?”
“But... but- it was falling everywhere- it was going to destroy Neopia...” I trailed off, slinking to the floor.
I felt Aunt Ann's concerned hand on my shoulder. “Um... Norela, I think you had better come inside and have a cup of hot cider. I'm sure it will make you feel much better.”
“But,” I looked up at her. “Your question... the editorial... the feepit...”
I sounded like a gibbering idiot. No wonder they pushed me inside and sat me down firmly in the kitchen for a cup of cider. At first I was inconsolable, but slowly my sense came back and I asked grimly for my bag. They didn't want to give it to me at first, but when I promised I was only going to write with the paper and pencil inside it- and drink my cider- they let me have it.
So... here I am. I'm actually almost done with my hot cider. I've been sipping slowly in order not to spill on the pages, and they've started to relax and leave me alone now. They seem to think writing has brought back some of my sanity. Sigh...
I guess I didn't get the great article I was hoping for. I mean, the threat's gone now. Neopian peace and sanity is restored. All I have left now is to finish this. At least I brought plenty of paper.
Oh, and in case you think I'm crazy, go check the Neopian Times. The editorial question is still there; I brought the copy with me in my bag and I checked as soon as no one was looking. And- casually, of course- I asked Malina what was the name of his petpet. He told me it was Chirp.
Thanks to annait890 for letting me make fun of her (and me) and her pets. All of course are used with permission.