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The 12 Days of Project Killjoy


by breakingchains

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Vaela's Christmas list consists of: a blue jeweled collar, Aisha disco-dancer shoes, and Usuki dolls.

     Tollo's Christmas list consists of: Judge Hog merchandise, a pair of scarab rings for battledome practice, and - Dare he hope? - A Christmas paint brush.

     My Christmas wish list? I'm glad you asked. My Christmas wish list consists of:

     An owner!

     What? Good Fyora, no! Don't misunderstand me! I'm not a pound pet. I'm not one of those pity-cases who sits in a cage, catching diseases and moping about how wonderful life was before my oh-so-special owner threw me away. I simply hate my current owner.

     Her name is Amelia. She obtained me the moment she arrived in Neopia – Vaela and Tollo came much later. (I was first, she says, because "JubJubs are soooo cutesy-bootsy, d'awww!". Yes, she really talks like that.) And I tell you, I have been bored simply to tears ever since I came to live here. The most excitement I've had was the day she painted me island - but she got the brush from a passing "Jacko", whatever that is. She can't even afford to paint Tollo Christmas at this point. I think someone's going to be a sad little Lupe on Christmas morning!

     But I digress. She's truly vapid – such a simpleton herself that she doesn't understand my sophisticated needs. She gives me dozens of books, but usually they are from the Money Tree. Because a JubJub of my distinction is obviously going to be interested in a Maraqua Coloring Book or an instructional guide to Bubble Sculpture.

     Ah, and the clothes. Foolishly enough, I was excited when she told me she was getting me some new fashions - maybe, I hoped, I would be getting some nice new dresses and shoes. Instead, she came in with a few handouts from "Top Chop" and basics from the general store. As you can see, that's what I'm wearing now, and it clashes horribly with my exotic coloration!

     Hmph. But enough of my reasons for wanting to leave - let me tell you now of my plans. My secret, brilliant plans.

     I would love to be adopted out, but no self-respecting peasant girl would abandon a pet of my caliber - I am both well-painted and well-named. This makes me a commodity not easily relinquished. Trading seemed a possibility at first, but she simply "Wubs Vinky too very, very much" to consider it, though I try to drop hints. And when I say "hints", I mean I may as well have etched the message into a boulder and dropped it right on her head.

     Sorry, where was I? Yes. She says she "wubs" me dearly – too much to give me what I actually want, which is to be far, far away from this place. Therefore, my obvious goal is to decrease that wub... er, love. I, Vinqala, shall become the worst neopet ever! I shall make myself perfectly torturous to endure! And when Amelia can stand no more, I will be either pounded or traded, and be well on my way to an owner and a family that complements my amazing qualities! I intend to be in a new home by Christmas; and since my owner will not stop rambling about the oh-so-splendid joy of being with family, I have decided to dub this magnificent undertaking "Project Killjoy." I shall keep a journal along the way, so as to reflect on my results, and constantly plan my next move.

     So, yes. Do not tell anyone. This is a secret. Secret, brilliant... everything a plan should be, no? I'll become so completely obnoxious that all that "wub" utterly disappears!

     ...What say you?... I already am obnoxious?

     So it's already working! Excellent!

     ***

     Day one of the Magnificent Project Killjoy

     I awoke bright and early to begin planning the task that lay before me. "Borrowing" some of Tollo's beloved crayons and a stack of drawing paper, I laid them out on the pink vanity desk in my bedroom and began brainstorming posthaste. Unfortunately, the strength of the crayon was nothing compared to my impressive JubJub toe musculature – it broke off in my paw and left a multitude of waxy pink crumbs in my fur. Perhaps I should use a pen.

     ***

     Day two of the Ingenious Project Killjoy

     I knew that this had to be done slowly and gradually; if I simply started acting like a terror all at once, Amelia would notice the change. No, I must begin with isolated incidents at first, then slowly incorporate more and more until the obnoxiousness seems a natural part of my character – not a skin-deep change in behavior that can be remedied with scolding or a heart-to-heart talk. I hate those heart-to-heart talks.

     With this in mind, today I began stage one: artificial clumsiness. The goal of this stage was to slowly make myself more and more of a liability by causing accidents and breaking important items. Amelia would not punish me for accidents, but they would still annoy her greatly and thus set the stage for later phases of the plan.

     ...Or so the reasoning went. (The brilliant, brilliant reasoning.)

     My first maneuver was simple: ruin dinner. I blatantly dropped a dish full of Bagguss Casserole, from as high as I could reach, while moving it to the dinner table. After making a slimy green mess full of dangerous glass shards on the floor this way, I loudly blamed it on Tollo, even though he was across the table from me at the time. Unfortunately, all three of them decided this was because I was feeling insecure about my "mistake", and proceeded to reassure me it was OK, clean up the mess, tell me not to cry and give me hugs. Then we all went out for Pizzaroo. It was deliciou... *cough*

     Hm. It seems the family's annoyance threshold is too high for artificial clumsiness to be of use. Therefore, I will skip stage one and move to a more dramatic tactic. If I'm not mistaken, Vaela just brought home a Spyder petpet ("Patricia") that she purchased with a full month of her meager allowance money; I shall make that the focus of my next display.

     ***

     Day Three of the Astounding Project Killjoy

     "Artificial Clumsiness" has failed. Today we begin with the "Bane of Siblings' Existence" phase: a tendency to constantly start family fights.

     I spotted Vaela sitting in the living room, playing with a Ghostkerscarf. (Yes, a Ghostkerscarf. She was making it fly around the room and hide around corners, popping out to scare her various cheap toys. Including a Toy Spacerocked Slingshot, which she then made shriek in horror, for some reason.)

     Anyway. Her new Spyder, Patricia, was minding its own business at the edge of the rug behind her. I inched close to it, trying not to draw Vaela's attention; then without warning, I let out a scream.

      "Oooohhh! Aaaaaaah! Patricia bit me!" I howled. Vaela turned around, confused – just in time to see me pretend to try to stomp her beloved Spyder, bringing my foot down over and over again but continually "missing" as it scurried around. She stared, her eyes widening, jaw starting to head for the floor. I yelled again: "Little beast! I should feed you to my Niptor!"

     (What? Yes, I have a Niptor. His name is Faust. Lucky money-tree grab, apparently.)

     Now, I had expected her to get mad, and tell on me, and make a big scene of how mean and nasty I was. That was the point of the exercise, after all. But what I didn't expect was that she was going to throw back her little Aisha head, open her mouth, and start bawling like a starving Kadoatie at the very top of her lungs.

     I froze. I wasn't exactly thrilled to have made her cry. She was almost incoherent, wailing that I was going to hurt her poor little Patricia and squish her flat; I stood stunned for a moment, trying to think of how to respond, but then she threw the first Usuki. The hard plastic whacked against my forehead, and I let out a (real) scream before retreating for the stairs - leaving her to tearfully comfort Patricia. I later learned that Amelia was out scouring the Money Tree rather than sitting in the kitchen as I expected – completely out of earshot.

     So, I have made a mess and blamed Tollo (bothering him not at all) and threatened Vaela's petpet (bothering her... more than perhaps was deserved). And Amelia is still oblivious, talking about how she wubs her baby darlings and how we're so happy together as a big neo-family. Bah! This is becoming tiresome!

     Still, I will attempt one more maneuver in this phase before going on to the next. My plan remains brilliant – it just needs tweaking!

     ***

     Day Four of the... Somewhat Difficult Project Killjoy

     Yesterday was awkward, but it was still progress. Having made myself sufficiently hated by Vaela (who continues to stick her tongue out at me and call me "slorg-butt" when I approach) I decided I must now become detestable to Tollo.

     Unfortunately, I must explain, this little Lupe is not easily rattled. He is laid-back, with a ridiculously forgiving nature, and it would take something serious to make him truly despise me. (...Such as donating his bed to the Money Tree and telling him Amelia had decreed he must now sleep in the space under the sink. I considered it.)

     Yes, you see; to earn his loathing would take something more serious than a JubJub of my standards is willing to do. This became abundantly clear today when I was fixing him lunch, as my useless owner was out searching the Money Tree yet again. I had obtained both a rotten omelette and a few poisonous lollypops, which I had previously hidden behind a box of wheat flakes on the counter; my intention was to feed him the omelette to give him a nasty case of ugga-ugga, then once he was feeling ill, hand him the lollypops to "make him feel better".

     Brilliant. But perhaps... a bit rash, I thought, as I was reheating the omelette in a frying pan. Tollo was sitting at the table, watching me eagerly with his trusting eyes – waiting for a lunch that he didn't know was designed to make him feel terrible. After the lollypops, he would need a pricey and terrifying Tongue Shrinker injection; on top of that, the cure for ugga-ugga is so ridiculously expensive that he might spend months or years unable to make any noise but "Uhg", and that was both unbelievably annoying and probably contagious. (Guilt did not play a part, I tell you. It did not!) So there I stood for several minutes, silently weighing pros and cons as Tollo sat oblivious behind me.

      "Vinky!" he suddenly whined. "You burned it!"

     I blinked and looked down as the smell of smoke caught my attention. He was right. I had been so lost in thought that the omelette was now stuck fiercely to the pan, turning black at the edges.

      "Umm... Sorry?" I said, lost for a better reply. Tollo sat looking pathetic for a moment, then smiled.

      "That's OK. I wanted cereal anyway." He seized the box of wheat flakes off the counter and set about pouring himself a bowl, never even noticing the hidden poisonous lollypops he had just exposed. I thought about perhaps tainting the cereal with chili-chia hot sauce, but he ate it so fast that I never got the opportunity.

     So. Phase one did not inspire any anger. Annoying Vaela inspired some anger, but that anger did not cause the chain reaction of conflict I had hoped for. And this had simply failed. I must strike a balance with the severity of my methods. If Project Killjoy is to succeed, I need something with both immediate consequences and dramatic appeal. And I think perhaps I should focus mainly on annoying Amelia directly – trying to torment my siblings to appear a poor fit for the family has not proven fruitful.

     ***

     Day eight of the Painful Project Killjoy

     I suppose you are wondering why we have made a sudden jump to day eight. Well, unfortunately, it's because I have spent the last four days laid up in bed after injuring my foot, and it took this long for Amelia to both find my diary and remember to bring it to me. I borrowed a Rainblug from a friend and had just let it loose in Amelia's dresser in the hopes it would eat holes in her clothes, but then, in the rush to leave, I tripped on the stairs, fell and rolled over the top of Faust on the way down. (He seems fine.) Vaela seems to have forgotten all about hating me and is now trying to serve me tea in bed out of sympathy. Grr! So many setbacks!

     I am now wondering if I should not forge a note from Amelia and go check myself into the pound. I could bribe my friends to tell her that I was eaten by the Monocerous. But first I suppose my foot must heal.

     ***

     Day nine of the Rather Frustrating Project Killjoy

     I'm still in bed. Amelia has been bringing me just about everything, staying home from her Money-Tree scrounging sessions to wait on her poor widdle Jub-wuv. Why does she dote on me so? The rainblug clearly acted as expected (all of her jeans have big, fraying bite-marks around the edges now) but she hasn't even mentioned it. Did she even notice?

     There is not very much I can do to further my plans while I'm lying here so gruesomely hurt. I tried kicking Tollo with my good foot when he asked if I was feeling better, but he laughed and called me "slorg-butt", then gave me a hug. At least this sandwich tastes nice.

     ***

     Day ten of the Rapidly-Deteriorating Project Killjoy

     Well, it is two days until Christmas and I have made no progress at all! Amelia is standing over me as I write this, messing with a virtupets-made CD player and trying to get it to work. I have no idea what kind of music she's trying to play for me – most likely a song by Yes-Boy Ice Cream or something equally vapid.

     ...Wait. It's Twisted Roses? I LOVE Twisted Roses! And she says she's bringing me another surprise! What gives?

     Day ten, part two

     Well, I... am sitting here wearing a JubJub Tulip Maiden Wig. I remember telling Amelia that I wanted the dress from this set. The dress. Certainly not the wig, no sir.

     But she was so excited – telling me, as Twisted Roses played in the background, all about how she won a paint brush from the Fruit Machine, and sold it just to get her beloved Jub-wuv this wig, because apparently she thought I wanted it. She's inexcusably clueless, but it's... kind of touching. She could have used that NP to buy herself some new jeans to replace the ones the Rainblug chewed up. I didn't have the heart to be mad at her.

     ***

     Day eleven of the temporarily-paused Project Killjoy

     It's Christmas eve. I can walk with little pain now, and I'm sitting on the living room couch, drinking a cup of borovan. Patricia and Faust are curled up together at my feet. (Did Vaela honestly believe Faust would eat a Spyder? He's far too cultured for that!) The snow is coming down outside our Neopia Central neohome, and it looks like we'll be stuck here for a while because of the weather. But the house is warm and dry. For the moment, I have put my brilliant plans on hold. I had set myself a deadline, but... well, you know, no sense in ruining Christmas for Tollo and Vaela, yes? I'll ruin their New Year's instead.

     Unfortunately, it seems that pictures of me in this ridiculous wig are being sent out on the Christmas cards this year. My joy cannot be contained.

     ***

     The end of Project Killjoy

     It is Christmas day, and it is rather astounding.

     Tollo got his Paint Brush. It seems the brush Amelia won at the Fruit Machine was a purple one, leaving her just enough to get both my wig and his brush; and Vaela got her shoes besides, thanks to that decade's worth of Money Tree scrounging.

     The other gifts were minor – small toys and basic clothes – but the little ones are thrilled. Amelia gave one of her never-ending sappy speeches about love and family and togetherness and the meaning of Christmas, but I wasn't listening to most of it. I was listening to Twisted Roses.

     I must admit that... I have had a slight change of heart. Vaela picked up her Spyder earlier and repeatedly poked my forehead with it; it was a pretty disgusting experience, but she said it was "giving Vinky kisses". Tollo is still calling me a slorg-butt, but he laughs when he says it. And Amelia... well, she's a bit stupid, bless her heart, and I don't expect that to change. But she tries. She really tries. And she means it when she calls me her Jub-wuv... whatever a Jub-wuv is.

     So, despite everything, I have decided to stay. Enduring these horrible hardships is part of being a family, no? Even if I found a new family who gave me everything I wanted, they might have other bad habits. Like listening to Yes-Boy Ice Cream.

     And besides... it's rather a cute wig.

The End

 
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