Tales from the Haunted Woods: The Ghost Meowclops
Deep in the depths of The Haunted Woods, in the darkest
fog and the dead of night, two little Neopets shivered as they walked, but they
kept a steady pace. The larger of the two was Andrew, a blue Bruce with an unmistakable
bunch of feather fluff on the top of his head and the goofiest bowtie you've ever
seen, but he was very smart. His little sister, Mina, only reached the height
of his shoulder. She was a pink baby Bruce with a little pink bow tieing off the
tip of her headfeathers. Her eyes darted this way and that in vain. She couldn't
see more than two feet in front of her. She wished now that she could be back
in bed in her nice little cloud room with her faerie Slorg, Muffin, and all her
nice squishy plushies and their friendly button eyes.
Suddenly, there was a flutter of Batterfly wings
overhead, and it was all too much. She grabbed at her big brother's hand.
"Andrew, I'm scared!" she whispered.
"Don't be a baby, Mina, you promised!" he scolded
her lightly and then as if distracted, he looked up at the moon. They were late,
and it was Andrew's turn. Their pace quickened.
"Where is that Bruce?" muttered Gannon.
Gannon was a shadow Kougra from Andrew's Math
class. Though he was no bully, he certainly had an intimidating factor that
rarely if ever required him to repeat his orders to any neopet. And Andrew was
late. He leaned impatiently forward, resting his elbows on his knees. The other
Neopets grumbled among themselves and poked at the campfire with long sticks.
All except Sheila. She was incessantly cleaning her glasses and reassuring the
other Neopets that she did in fact wash her hands before she made the Scab Cakes.
Suddenly, there was a rustling in the bushes.
All eyes quickly turned and froze on the spot. Sheila gasped.
The rustling continued, a Whoot made it's call
from a distance, no one dared move... and finally Andrew emerged. But as little
Mina shyly made her way around her brother, the relieved voices were turned
to moaning and boos.
"Aw, c'mon, guys, mom made me bring 'er!" Andrew
"She'll ruin everything! How can we make it really
scary with her around?" asked Danny, the Blumaroo.
"She'll cry unless this one'll be about a Roy-al
U-ni Prin-cess who chipped her hoofpaint!" taunted Angelee as she waved her
paw daintily. The Featherhorn sisters were not amused.
"I won't!" cried Mina, standing up as proud and
tall as her little round, flippered body could. "I won't! I'm as brave as any
of you! Just go ahead and see!" But little Mina's speech was already overpowered
by quiet giggling and the chatter of the older Neopets until Gannon spoke.
"Let's give her a shot," he said cooly, and with
that, they all began to settle back onto their logs around the campfire in anticipation.
Sheila shivered in the night air. Gannon looked over at Andrew before he could
begin his tale, "-but it better be a good one, kid." And trying not to look
nervous, Andrew nodded. He had been preparing this story for weeks. He leaned
forward and lifted the flashlight out of the hollow of the head log. With the
flick of the switch held under his chin, his features were horribly disfigured
and dark. His eyes glowed like a ghost Meepit. He laughed evily. Mina swallowed
"This tale begins... on a night like this...
in these very woods..." At that moment, the wind picked up slightly. "Old Mr.
Tunnatin, a grey Lupe, was hobbling about his yard, searching for his petpet
that had died five years earlier. You see, Old Mr. Tunnatin's memory was failing
him, and every night he called to his dearly departed Meowclops, Sweets, for
hours in the cold before he reluctantly gave up and came in to bed. He continued
this way for many years, all alone in the far outskirts of Neopia Central. The
neighbors eventually left the little old neighborhood abandoned and moved on
to the high streets with their shops and restocking skillz."
"Andy, what are skillz?"
"Well sor-ry!" Andrew continued,
"The Haunted Woods grew with age and enveloped
Mr. Tunnatin's tiny dwelling. All the while, he was unaware of the creeping
danger closing steadily in, and that night when he called out to Sweets, his
Meowclops, a tiny mew came from the black rose bushes, and a little black tail
swished before the fuzzy creature leapt out and bounded happily in the door.
Unphased, Old Mr. Tunnatin carried on. He hobbled back inside, and life went
on for a time just as if Sweets had never left, because he couldn't remember
Sweets ever leaving.
The little Meowclops played with yarn as always
while Mr. Tunnatin rocked in his chair and watched. Joy filled his heart because
although his mind could not remember a time without her, the heart knew. Deep
down inside, he knew and could not think on it.
He daily brushed her soft black fur as he always
did, and she slept up by his pillow at night like she always did, and for quite
some time all was right with Neopia.
And then one morning as he was reaching for his
box of NeoCrunch Cereal, he tripped and little bits of Meowclops food went rolling
across the kitchen floor. He had upturned her bowl, and anticipated that Sweets
would hear it and come running, but she merely lifted her head and settled back
down to her nap. Mr. Tunnatin was puzzled. As he looked down, he blinked and
to his amazement, there were heaps upon heaps of Meowclops food all over her
corner of the kitchen. It was everywhere! Had she not eaten all this time? How
could that be? He wandered in to the living room, wide-eyed and pondering. He
sat in his rocker by the fire and held his head in one paw. And as he was wrought
with confusion, a little Psimouse scurried along a branch out his window in
plain sight, and he decided that, Sweets had been catching food for herself.
That's all there is to it. But deep in his heart, he could not shake the absence
As his memory was continually fading, he also
continually poured food into her bowl each morning as he always had, and as
his kitchen began to be ever so slightly flooded with Meowclops food, he shuffled
through it and never thought on it again.
The days come and go, and Sweets is in fact gone,
but she still comes in every night to Old Mr. Tunnatin's NeoHome when he calls.
Every now and then, when little Neopets like you and me come wandering into
the Haunted Woods late at night, they might see a piece of the food rolling
about at their feet, never to be eaten... by the ghost Meowclops!" Mina gasped.
And Andrew continued, "And old Mr. Tunnatin might know deep down that she's
a ghost, but it's no matter because after all these years....
HE'S A GHOST TOO!!" Sheila shrieked and Danny,
and Angelee, and the Featherhorn sisters all went running home as fast as they
could, running, and giggling and screaming.
Andrew sat back on the hallow head log and smiled
as Gannon simply nodded with an approving smile, and little Mina was fast asleep
on Sheila's abandoned picnic blanket.