Revenge of the Meepits
The chill north wind blew a strong gust across the frost-bitten Neopian Bazaar. I hastily covered my ketchup and mustard hot dog with a paw, anxious not to let the wind knock the condiments onto my nice new clothes. I munched a large bite out of the hot dog, letting its fresh heat warm me up as I listened to my arch-enemy discuss a peace treaty outside Hubert’s Hot Dogs.
The petpet sitting across from me was a rather baleful little fellow, his short pink fur not disguising the menace that lurked in his great black eyes. He quickly devoured a Tigersquash corn dog, leaving crumbs about his buck-toothed grin.
“Come now, Feepit,” he began, pausing to tear off a large bit of corn dog and swallow it whole, “I say we have fought for far too long, and I do not begrudge you for always beating me in those fights. I for one cannot even recall what it was that started our whole affair in the first place.”
“Neither can I,” I added mildly, chewing a small piece of hot dog, which was quite excellent in the chill of that day in the Month of Storing. Meepit looked at me approvingly.
“Precisely. You see, Feepit, how ridiculous we have been acting?” he chuckled, wolfing down the rest of his corn dog in one bite. “Though, I must admit, the profits off the merchandising have been wonderfully high,” Meepit confided jovially. I nodded, thinking fondly of all the things I had bought with my share.
“Nevertheless, it would not be prudent to continue on in our barbaric and senseless fights if we do so for monetary means,” he reasoned. “What say you and I set aside that lifestyle and begin anew --- as friends?”
“Indeed that would be lovely,” I replied, finishing off my hot dog with a sigh of satisfaction. Meepit smiled broadly, and I thought I detected a sinister look in his eye that vanished immediately. Suspicious but willing to accept his change, I shook his hand in friendship.
Meepit laughed and clapped his hands together. “Now then, my newfound chum, I would like to celebrate our budding benevolence with a trip,” he stated mysteriously.
“A trip? Indeed? But where to, my good Meepit?” I asked, ignoring the sour taste on my tongue at those unprecedented words.
“Ah, I’ve been longing to visit this place, but, alas, work has kept me away for years. My friend Feepit, I would like to take you to my hometown, a little place I call the Haunted Woods,” Meepit revealed, excitement growing on his face.
I had my doubts about the place, but seeing his enthusiasm, I had to surrender. “Of course, Meepit, that sounds lovely. When shall we depart?”
“As soon as you are ready!” Meepit cried, jumping up out of his chair.
‘Which would be never,’ I thought silently.
We arrived at the desolate Haunted Woods a few days later, clutching our bags and shivering in the frosty morning. The early sun cut out a fairly large amount of the terror and malevolence of the Woods’ reputation, making it appear to be like a Halloween party after everyone had gone home the next morn.
“Where will we be staying, my good Meepit?” I inquired, teeth chattering. “I do hope you picked a suitable hotel?”
“Bah, hotels,” Meepit snorted. “Nonsense, my jocular friend, we shall be staying at my family’s residence, the very home I lived in as a boy.”
Clamming up my horror, I followed him around crooked and broken streets, avoiding the murky puddles that plagued the cracks and potholes, for a long while until my arms and feet were good and sore. Finally, we stood before a large, ominous home with frosted windowpanes and a Shadow Usul snowman in the front.
“Velcome to Meepit Manor, ze place vhere ve slurp your blood through bendy straws,” Meepit joked, noticing the look of anticipation on my face. I laughed nervously and followed him to the front doors. He set his bags down, knocked three times on the brass knocker, and waited.
The doors creaked open with not a person behind them. I shivered as we went down a cobwebbed hall lined with portraits of bizarre and eerily comical Meepits, one with a silly wig and another with an eyepatch and a Cybunny’s foot on a chain about his neck. I gulped and followed Meepit throughout the house.
“You said this was your family’s residence...” I started, looking about at the barren, empty house. Inches of dust puffed up in clouds as my feet fell to the floor.
“Yes, that’s true, Feepit, but nobody has lived here for years,” Meepit explained patiently. “Come now, my friend, set your bags by the door. It’s fine. I will make you some tea, and you will enjoy yourself at my home.” ‘Whether you like it or not,’ his smile seemed to add.
I had seemingly no choice but to do as he bid. I seated myself at a green antique chair from nearby Neovia while Meepit casually lit a gas lamp and busied himself at the stove. Glancing about the place, I noticed that Meepit was from very well-off stock, as the quality of the furniture and decor revealed to me.
A few minutes later, Meepit poured me a glass of hot water and stuck a dusty tea bag in the cup. Humming, he went back to the stove and returned with a set of heated biscuits that tasted like cardboard.
We drank our tea and ate the biscuits, discussing the various activities we were to do that day.
“Come, Feepit, I will show you the highlights of the Woods!” Meepit urged. “We can go meet Edna herself, watch a few battles at the Stone Dome, even make a few masks and wear them about the town.”
“Could we go to Neovia instead?” I asked, hoping to visit a few of those historic shops, but Meepit beat me down.
“Neovia, my friend? Ah, but you would be missing so much of our culture,” Meepit sighed. He gazed out the window in melancholy, then, seeing something, leapt up in pure delight. “Yes, that’s it!” he cried, knocking over the tea.
“What’s it?” I asked apprehensively, for he seemed to be looking at a graveyard which looked eerie even in daylight.
“Gaze upon it, Feepit, the most culture you can squeeze out of a visit to the Haunted Woods,” Meepit replied, pointing far off at the skyline. “The Deserted Fairground itself!”
I didn’t quite know whether to trust a name like ‘Deserted,’ but Meepit would not hear a word against it. Gathering up the dishes and tossing them carelessly into the sink (they splintered in an ear-shattering crash), he dragged me out of his house and to the Fairgrounds.
We arrived as the sun was at its peak. “There’s no need to be scared, Feepit,” Meepit said lazily, acknowledging the signs of nervousness that plagued my person.
“I am not scared,” I denied hotly. A decidedly evil smirk danced on Meepit’s face.
“If you say so,” he leered.
For the day, we played at all the infamous Fairground stands, losing a small fortune and winning only eight Neopoints at the Test Your Strength booth. Finally, I was broke, and Meepit had only a thousand Neopoints left. We ordered supper at the Spooky Food, where I had Scary Soup and did not ask what was in it. Meepit was slightly more daring, and ordered a squishy brain wrap, which proved to be his undoing as he announced that he had to go to the restroom several minutes later while I was pitching balls at coconuts with the meager amount Meepit had left.
“All right, but hurry back,” I replied, trying my hardest to knock even one down.
My endeavors failed miserably, and I had to stop when I had nothing left to spend. At that time, I noticed that night had fallen while I gambled away our savings. Sighing, I went to go look for Meepit.
I knocked on every restroom stall, but there was no reply. “Meepit, are you in here?” I called out, but there was no reply. Thinking Meepit had left and was trying to find me outside, I turned to leave. A flittering knife whizzed by my head and stuck in the door, catching a few hairs off my ear. “Oh, very amusing,” I laughed without humor and turned around. No one was there.
“Hello? Little boy?” I thought for a moment. “Older boy? I know you’re in here...” I searched every stall, but they were all empty. In the last stall, the door seemed to be stuck, and it took a great deal of struggling to find it opened inward rather than outward. Chucking at my ignorance, I pushed the door open, to find a message written in red ink: “We are coming for you, Mister Feepit.”
“Oh ho, you are a riot, you are,” I said, annoyed. I searched under the sinks and around the cabinets, but still there was no one. A drop of water fell on my head, making me shiver with its iciness. I looked up, expecting to see an evil clown or a vampire leering down at me, but it was only barren rafters and pipes.
I walked outside, thinking perhaps it was a ghost pet or petpet that had made its escape. The Fairground was quite deserted, to my surprise. When I had entered the restroom, it had been as lively as the Marketplace, but not so now.
A whisper felt its way into my ear, “We are coming for you, Mister Feepit.”
I turned in annoyance, expecting to see someone playing a joke on me, but there was nothing. “Just the wind,” I muttered to myself as I walked on, searching for signs of life.
I passed countless striped tents and vendor carts, but still nobody appeared. I sighed and looked about, noticing vividly how creepy the Haunted Woods was at night. “Oh, bother that Meepit,” I said indignantly. “To play such a joke on me.”
“Do you think it’s funny?” a rasping voice questioned me. I looked about sharply, but still there was no one. I knew this couldn’t have been the wind, for it sounded nothing like that.
“Is someone invisible over here? Come now, you’re wasting my time here,” I shouted in anger. The lights flickered out across the Fairground, leaving me in total darkness. Gasping with sudden fright, I lit a match and peered out. An evil face smiled back at me.
“On the contrary, Mister Feepit, your time is ours,” it hissed. I screamed and dropped the match, running seemingly for my life. The light went out with a cackle that was sure to be a Neopet’s. In terror, I looked up at the night sky, hoping for starlight or a full moon, but, alas, it was cloudy.
I tripped over something soft and landed on the hard ground. Groaning, I used my paws to feel what it was. It was a cold body that felt like Meepit. As I got to its mouth, it bit.
I screamed again and wrestled my paw out of its grip. Panting and gasping for breath, I looked about in utter alarm, though I could not see a thing in that awful darkness. The night began to grow hot with my panic, and I fled the Fairgrounds, bumping into several things that left me bruised and shaky, yet alive.
I clawed my way to the light of the city and hurried to the nearest way out of the Haunted Woods. The night was foggy, but the streetlights made my path easier to see. Flinching at a werelupe’s howl, I darted across the streets to a Uni-drawn bus that was about to leave.
“Ten Neopoints, please,” the driver demanded, holding out his greasy paw. I paid him the last of my Neopoints, then settled down in the bus, sighing with relief.
I paid no heed to where we were going after he set off and tried to settle down to sleep. To my surprise, he woke me up not five minutes later in front of Meepit’s house.
“No, no, sir, I distinctly said Neopia Central,” I said, anxiousness returning.
“The bus doesn’t go that far,” the driver replied gruffly, tossing me out of his bus and flying away down the road.
“Wait!” I cried in vain. Shivering, I looked back up at Meepit Manor, which looked infinitely scary in the night. The moon had come out a bit, and I was able to see my way as I wandered up the cobblestone path.
Knocking three times with the brass knocker, the doors swung open with their usual spooky air. I crept down the hall, which was much darker in the dead of night, and made my way to the kitchen. Picking up my bags to leave, a voice inquired, “Going so soon, Mister Feepit?” I turned in pure terror to see a skeleton grinning at me, bathed in moonlight.
That was the final straw for me. I picked up my things and ran out of Meepit Manor, shrieking in hysterics, into the dark of the Haunted Woods.
Laughter broke out in Meepit Manor. “Aye, we got him good, didn’t we, Jim?” a voice cackled.
“Yeah, Joe, we did,” Jim giggled. “Serves the little Feepit right, eh, Meepit?”
“Indeed, Jim, old boy,” Meepit cackled. “I’d say we got our revenge as deserved, right, brothers?”
A howl of approval went up in the night.