Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 188,352,100 Issue: 533 | 17th day of Awakening, Y14
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The Packrat's Aftermath


by hendrik_micah

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The first thing I should tell you is that my owner is obsessed with everything.

     Well, maybe that's a little over the top. What I probably should say is that he gets a little carried away with almost everything.

     But where are my manners? I should really start by introducing myself. My name is MrSurprise4you, but you can call me Four. Pretty much everyone else does, and it's less of a mouthful of Ummagine.

     My owner is Hendrik_micah, but we all call him Mick. Again, because it's easier. I mean, how do you even pronounce _? Anyway.

     I'll start with the most recent situation, I guess. It'll probably explain things better than I could.

     Oh, and don't mind if I hop around in the story a bit. All for the best, and all that. You know how it is. Right?

     "I don't even remember getting half of this stuff." Mick was balancing precariously on top of a stack of what looked like Tiki Tack prizes inside his Safety Deposit Box.

     "Well, it's been a couple of years," I said, as he windmilled his arms to keep his balance. "Or more."

     "But... you'd think... I might recall..." He paused to hop over to a hill of crates filled with healing potions. "-where or when... at least some of- WHOA. Almost lost it there."

     I looked up at him. He was somehow at the very peak of the pile of crates, bent over forwards like he was looking down a well or something.

     "You need a coin to make a wish."

     "What?"

     "Never mind," I said. "Maybe you should come down and sort through things one by one."

     "That might be a better idea." He took a step back and proceeded to tip the entire pile he was standing on right over. He really is a klutz, you know. I can't even begin to explain. Thank Fyora he landed in the plushies.

     I saw Tjasse (my brother - Ice Bori) cover his face with his paw and shake his head. But we all thought it was kind of amusing, to be honest. This kind of thing had been happening ever since Mick decided to clean out his Safety Deposit Box after getting the Packrat Avatar. Remarkably, we'd all managed to avoid getting hurt or viciously maimed in any way. Lots of squishy things in here helped. Not all of them were as indifferent about getting landed on as the plushies, but they certainly kept us alive and without much more than sore limbs.

     I walked over to see if he was okay. Follow-up on his klutzcapades was pretty much my responsibility, as I'd been around the longest. I didn't mind, really, but it got messy sometimes. He always felt more embarrassed than he should have. I mean, everybody falls down, right? Some just do it more... spectacularly than others. I stifled a giggle.

     Squeezing my way between stacks of Battledome weapons and various gardening tools and appliances, I trotted over next to him. He still had a few Pikises drifting in circles above his head, so I shooed them away and nudged his shoulder.

     "I'm okay, I'm fine, I'm alright, didn't even fall, did I fall? I didn't think I fell. Just kind of cruised down here." He squinted up at what was left of the pile he'd been at the top of. "Wasn't that high of a fall. Cruise, I mean. Cruise down."

     I couldn't help but laugh. We really just thought he was silly when he got like this, but he must have been convinced it was in a bad way. Silly in the best way, I assure you.

     He got to his feet and shuffled away, sat down in front of some jelly food and started sorting. I plopped down beside him and scratched my head through my Blechy hat. (Best. Thing. Ever.) Tjasse was off somewhere else playing tic tac toe with the Mallards, by the sound of it. I leaned my head on Mick's shoulder and closed my eyes for a second. Blechy slid down over my face.

     "I've been considering writing for the Neopian Times again," I heard my owner say. I groaned.

     "Not this again." I fell over on my side, landing behind his back.

     "I really think I might have an idea for a story this time!"

     I sat up and gave him a meaningful look. Which he missed, because he was trying to get his hand unstuck from half of a Pear Jelly. We had gone through this a couple of times before, and it always ended the same way; him convinced he could write something to get into the NT and getting frustrated and upset in the process because he felt like his stories went nowhere, and me feeling bad because I was never able to convince him to avoid trying so he wouldn't get that way. So I decided to try a different tack.

     "What would you write about?" Maybe I could help him out with a decent plot, or some creative editing.

     "Well, there was this one time when I was playing a lot of Ultimate Bullseye and I got a nasty rope burn from the string because I was trying to use the crossbow myself instead of letting the petpet use it and then some Elephante charged in shouting about Turmaculus-"

     "No."

     "Once I was trying to get a piece of the Giant Omelette and they thought I'd already come for a piece so they wouldn't let me get one and the Lupe guy kept shouting at me but I hadn't gotten one yet so I tried to get past him and he tackled me and we rolled around and attracted these pterodactyl things that started circling-"

     "Mm-mm. No way."

     "What about that one time Tjasse got Floppy Tongue and I thought I caught it and the hospital wouldn't let us in because-"

     "NO. No no no. Definitely not."

     He picked up a Sludge Pie gingerly and dropped it in the "Decide later" pile he was making. Which seemed to have a significantly larger number of items in it than either the "Keep" or the "Get rid of" piles.

     "Well." I watched him thinking. It was another fairly amusing sight. His eyebrows were like a Blumaroo on a trampoline. He got an idea and brightened up. "What about the plot? I could write something about trying to solve the plot and getting all confused about it but eventually managing to figure it out and save the day!"

     "What plot?"

     His face went blank. He really hadn't been keeping up to date on the plots. I felt moderately bad for doing this to him, but I knew he appreciated it, even if it did seem like I was being a wet Blechy hat. (I don't think I can express how much I love my Blechy hat.)

     "You know. The... plot. That one plot."

     "Krawk Island's Disappearance?"

     "Sure, yeah, that one." He nodded.

     "You didn't take part in that one. And it was a mini-event, technically."

     He opened his mouth, and closed it again.

     "Catching Vernax?" I laughed.

     "Altador Cup."

     I shook my head. "Not a plot either. It's an event. And it happens regularly."

     "Cyodrake's Gaze."

     "Too long ago. You're out of touch."

     He stopped to think again. Smiled sheepishly. "Faeries' Ruin?"

     "You never finished that one. And do you really remember any of it?"

     He shook his head and laughed. "I just need something people can relate to."

     I stopped to think. If there was one thing my beloved owner wasn't good at, it was relating to people. He'd be the first to admit that. But there had to be some common ground; something he could write about.

     He picked up a Crunchy Skullberry and a Geraptiku Fly Trap, moving to drop them into a pile. I could tell his brain was working faster than a Meerca chasing a Negg, but apparently not coming up with anything he thought would be good enough to write about. Writers are so picky.

     "Giant mutant blobs of jelly chasing Jelly Chombies but getting eaten by the Chomby when the blobs are too small and eating the Chomby when they're too big!"

     I had it! I danced around, revelling in the utter genius of the idea, spinning in circles and humming that single by Yes Boy Ice Cream that no one can remember the name to. I finally stopped and looked over in time to see Mick sitting up straight from where his face had mashed into a pile of Islandberries and Gobi Fruit. I guess I must have startled him.

     He turned around and looked at me, pieces of various fruit dripping from his face.

     "You've got... something..." I motioned toward his chin, then gave up.

     He picked up a Petpet bed to wipe his face off. I grimaced, but decided I wouldn't tell him what was stuck on the bottom. He just wouldn't appreciate it.

     "Idea?" he asked, missing a streak of yellow across his forehead.

     "I just thought you could write about this."

     "Mashing my face?"

     I laughed. "No, of course not. I mean organizing your Safety Deposit Box. Cleaning it out and all that."

     He moved his head backwards in what I've come to understand is confusion. He's so weird.

     "Who would want to read that?" He looked around at all the piles. Over a thousand different kinds of items, and multiples of too many of them. "That's boring. I mean, people could relate, but it's boring."

     "Well, what about writing about your difficulty figuring out what to write about then?" I started to realize maybe they weren't the two greatest ideas, but they were definitely better than any he'd had so far.

     "That's just redundant. And confusing. How do I even make that into a storyline?" He shook his head and shrugged.

     I rolled my eyes at him. "It doesn't have to have a plot, it just has to connect with people. And be funny."

     "Funny is difficult."

     "Tell you what," I said, smirking. "I'll write it. I'll write a story about both. And people will love it."

     He laughed. "Deal. And if it gets published, we'll [Well, I can't tell you what we'll do, because it's my little secret and you all would get very jealous of me and my owner's dastardly schemes. So let's just say it involves a Noil, a Nik, six consecutive issues of Mystery Island Monthly, and one very very large building in Brightvale]. How's that sound?"

     I nodded, repositioning my Blechy hat. (Love.) This was going to take some work.

     And, well, after that, I got to work.

     Obviously.

     Mick is still working on his Safety Deposit Box. I figure we've got a few days until he realizes it'll take months and just does what he can when he can.

     Him and his avatars. And the trouble he goes through for them.

     And the trouble they get him into!

     I remember this one time, with the Beast in the cave in Tyrannia.

     Maybe I'll let him tell you that story.

     Coltzan knows he'd probably borify it. Boringize? Boriform...?

     He'd make it boring.

     Maybe he'll let me write it.

The End

 
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