Funding or How I Ended Up in the Meepits’ Employ
I sighed as I looked over the job listings in the paper. My stint as a freelance journalist had gone disastrously. I had been at it for over a year now and what little success I had managed was marred by all the various disasters and traumas I had suffered.
My Neopets had been trying to persuade me to try a different job. I had finally reluctantly agreed. Still, I wasn't happy. Nothing I had found suited me. What I really needed to do was to throw the freelance thing out the window and get a job with an actual paper. However, my pets weren't into that idea either. Besides, as they pointed out, with my track record for disaster, who would hire me?
My Christmas Zafara came wandering into the room. Yanli was too focused to truly be wandering. She was playing at indifference, something she failed at.
"What do you need, Yanli? You'd better not be about to ask for something sugary. I saw what you did to the playroom," I warned.
She jumped and looked a little guilty. "Oh, you saw that? I'm a clean it up, soon. Anyway, I found something in our mailbox, but I seem to have forgotten where it went."
I pulled a stick of sugarless gum out of my pocket and held it out to her. She took it and handed me a letter.
She put the gum in her mouth and asked, "What is it?"
"Yanli, I haven't even opened it." I laughed.
"Oh." Yanli's Warf-like attention span was gone and she left.
I looked over the envelope, but it was a plain white and unmarked. I opened it and pulled out the letter inside. It was an invitation to a job interview for a position with a paper called the Weekly World. The company that owned the paper was called MWD Incorporated. I had never heard of the company before, but I hadn't heard of a lot of companies. They were looking for a person with experience in the field of journalism and who was willing to travel a lot. They wanted to see me tomorrow at eleven. I squealed in delight. If this came through, I could still be a journalist and have a real job. I decided to celebrate by reading comics.
Not long later my Faerie Cybunny came into the room. Elise sat down on the couch and looked over at me. As she did, she shifted uncomfortably. She has always been uncannily good at reading me, even when she was a baby.
"What's up, Kristy?" Elise asked.
"I've got a job interview for tomorrow!" I replied, beaming at her.
"No," Elise said firmly.
"No! Whatever it is, I can tell it's not good, you're too smug. It's with a newspaper, isn't it? You said that you would try a different field," Elise clarified.
"Oh, come on! Everything else didn't appeal to me. I have to do something I like or I won't last," I replied.
"No way, you've been in jeopardy too many times. What about the Doctor Sloth incident?" Elise countered.
"Whaaaaa! Bluejay, no!" I screamed.
"Or how about when you got beaten by a fat Bruce?" Bluejay continued, ignoring my cry.
I grabbed Bluejay's beak and held it shut. Doctor Sloth's face had turned purple with rage. He reached under his desk and pulled out a ray gun. I mentally vowed that if we somehow survived this I would make my Starry Pteri eat baby food for a year.
"I will vaporize you all!"
"It was nice to know you," Chloe and I said to each other.
"That worked out okay in the end," I replied. "Besides, that was Bluejay's fault."
"No, that was your fault for being stupid enough to bring the Space Faerie's biggest fan to interview her arch-nemesis. Another thing, how will you be able to control your big mouth?"
"I don't have a big mouth!" I cried indignantly.
"Oh, yeah? What about Taelia?" Elise asked.
"So, Taelia, did you get rid of those streaks under your eyes because they weren't fooling anyone..."
"Why, you little..." Taelia fumed.
"Or because they made you look more like a Darigan Acara than you do already?" I quipped.
"You little Mortog! I'll make you look like a Darigan Acara!" Taelia roared.
She stood up and raised her wand and my last memory was of thinking, "I think I went too far this time."
"Okay, so I can have a big mouth, but that was something else entirely. You know how it is with Taelia," I admitted.
"You're not going," Elise stated.
"You're not my mother, I'm your mother. I'm going," I retorted.
"I'm the smart, mentally stable one; you're supposed to respect my opinion," Elise cried. "You and journalism are like a Slorg and neat freak, they aren't meant to be! Come on, this is a bad idea."
"I love being a journalist! Sure, know I can be a walking disaster, but how can you ask me to give up something I love so much?"
"Fine! If you get eaten, see if I care!" Elise yelled and stormed off.
I went on reading the comics in the paper. Elise would be over it by tomorrow. She did have my best interests at heart. Elise always tried to warn me off of these things and then Chloe was there to clean up my messes and haul my broken body off to the nearest hospital.
The next day came and at ten thirty I was in the bathroom doing my hair and make up while Chloe, currently a Robot Kyrii, whined outside the door.
"No, Chloe, for the hundredth time, no! This is a job interview, I can't bring you," I called out.
She began to wail loudly in her robotic voice.
"Knock that off; that only works for Yanli and Inna. You're much too old for that!" I shouted over her.
The wail stopped suddenly and she said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. Come on, what if something happens? What if a Chiazilla attacks Neopia Central and eats you? What if they are really pirates and they are going to kidnap you and make you work as a swabbie? What if Boochi zaps you and you turn into a baby?"
"Then I'll scream and you'll hear me and you can come and rescue me," I replied jokingly.
"Yeah, I guess I would. Like that time when you found that Spyder in the bath and you screamed so loud that Judge Hog heard you clear on the other side of town and came to find out what was wrong. That was hilarious!"
I blushed at the recollection and countered, "It looked like a monster. You saw the size of that thing. Even Judge Hog was horrified by it."
"He also squished it in two seconds, some monster." Chloe giggled.
I came out fuming and found Elise waiting there with Inna in her arms.
"Do you really want to do this? Think of the baby. What will she do if her mama gets turned into a Slorg? She already has a petpet, not to mention the emotional trauma." Elise tried to guilt me, holding out the little Acara.
I took Inna and kissed her and said, "Wish Mommy luck, baby."
"Mama, want nummies, buew ball nummies," Inna replied.
"Baby wants candy? Has baby been good?" I asked.
She nodded and clapped her hands.
"Then, Mommy will bring back some candy. You be good while Mommy is gone. Mommy loves baby," I promised and gave her back to Elise.
"Wuv, mama!" Inna cried as she waved goodbye.
"I'll be back by lunchtime," I called as I headed out the front door.
Chloe followed me to the end of the sidewalk, whimpering in her best impression of her Warf.
"Down, girl. Go bench press the house or something." I laughed.
I walked through Neopia Central's business district until I came to the building that I was supposed to have my interview at. It was a normal looking office building. I entered and walked up to the front desk. The receptionist was a bored looking Purple Kyrii. I asked her if she could tell me where I was supposed to go for my interview.
She gave me a deprecating glance and said, "Are you sure you want this job? Maybe you should go home."
"Most certainly not. I'm a qualified journalist. Journalists don't back away from challenges," I said, hoping I sounded confident.
"Whatever. Don't say I didn't warn you. Third Floor, third door on the left, take the elevator," she replied condescendingly.
I went to the elevator and tried to regain my composure as the elevator took me up. The bell dinged and the doors opened and I got out. The hall was completely normal. I came to the third door on the left and knocked. The door opened of its own accord. The lighting in the room was dim. The window's blind was down and the only light came from a lamp hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room. It made me think of interrogation rooms on Neovision shows. There was a desk and two chairs, one in front of it and one behind it. The one behind it was high-backed and turned towards the window. My instincts told me to run and never look back, but I never listen to the reasonable voice that would keep me out of my various disasters.
"Excuse me, my name is Kristykimmy. I'm here for a job interview," I called out.
"Come in, Miss Kimmy," a high-pitched voice called out from the high-backed chair.
I walked in and the door swung closed behind me and locked. I was sure that this had been a bad idea now.
"Sit down," said the voice.
I did and he said, "I've seen your résumé and read your articles and done some background checking. All of what I have found has convinced me that you would be perfect for the position."
"I'm flattered by that," I said slowly, trying to figure out if that was a good thing or not. "What is the position, sir?"
"Just a journalist for a local paper. Well, that will be your cover."
"Cover? What are you, spies? I'm not a spy; I'm not spy material. I can't get through a day without drawing national attention to myself for doing something stupid." I laughed nervously.
"No, we're not spies. You see, Miss Kimmy, we have recently bought a newspaper company; we feel it will be the perfect cover for our agent. We need someone to help us infiltrate our competition, but we need someone that no one would ever expect. This makes you, with your track record for disaster, perfect. Your normal everyday life will remain the same and you will work a normal job as a journalist for this paper. We will contact you with details of your missions when we need you."
I rose and said, "You know, I don't think this is a good idea. I'm not the person for this. I'm sorry for wasting your time."
The chair swiveled around and in it sat a Meepit.
"You're a Meepit!" I screamed.
"Your grasp of the obvious is admirable," the Meepit replied sarcastically.
"I can't work for a Meepit! You're a petpet and an evil one on top of that!"
"If you don't work for us, we will eat you, your pets, their petpets, and your Jeran collection," the Meepit threatened darkly.
As he said that, a sea of Meepits, jaws snapping, came swarming out of the darkness. I leapt up on the chair and cried, "Okay! I'll do it. I'll work for you. Just call off the Meepits."
He snapped his little pink fingers and they disappeared back into the darkness.
"So, who is the competition you were talking about?" I asked as I got down from the chair.
"The Feepits, naturally. You see, Meepits have a well-deserved reputation as evil petpets bent on world domination, but the Feepits have the same goals as we do. However, the Feepits take advantage of their cuddliness and the stupidity of the general public to pretend to be good," my new boss explained.
"Okay, so I just go about my normal business unless you want me to spy on the Feepits?" I asked.
"Okay, what do I call you?"
"Oh, so long as it isn't insulting, I don't care. I can't tell you my real name."
He frowned and said, "Well, I suppose I should have expected something like that out of you. Meepie is fine. Your boss at the paper will contact you tomorrow. His name is Buzz Johnson and he is a Grey Lupe who is anything but grey. The paper you will be working for is the Weekly World. Welcome to MWD Inc."
The door unlocked and opened. I felt surprisingly calm as I got up and walked out. I left the building and stopped at a candy store to pick up the promised candy. I got home and dropped my purse by the door and went into the family room. I dropped the candy on the table and sprawled out face down on the couch. I could hear my pets assembling.
"Where's the candy, Kristy?" Yanli asked.
I pointed to the table and they all dug in. Elise came and sat down on the couch, seating herself on top of me.
"So," she said, drawing out the 'so' in a way only she could. "Didn't get the job?"
"No, I got it," I said from within the couch.
"So," she said, drawing it out again. "What's up?"
Suddenly the ridiculousness of the situation hit me and I began to laugh. Gently at first, growing stronger and stronger by the moment until the entire couch was shaking. Elise jumped up off me in panic and Bluejay yelled, "She finally cracked. I'm calling her shrink."
I turned to them and laughed out, "They were Meepits! I'm employed by the Meepits! If I don't do what they say, we're all going to be eaten. I was almost eaten by about a million Meepits! This is so unreal and so funny!"
They all exchanged looks of horror, except Inna, who decided to join me in my laughter. I laughed for a minute more, then stopped abruptly and picked Inna up and asked, "Who's hungry?"
"I hungy, Mama!" Inna cried, clapping her hands.
So I went off to the kitchen to make lunch.