A Pair of Punished Pranksters
The moon was full, and the sky was plagued by ominous shadows. Two Darigan Neopets, a Scorchio and an Aisha, snuck onto the property, spray paint in hand. "I can't believe that Ella beat us in the Beauty Contest," grumbled the Scorchio. "We'll show her!"
He rushed over to the tower which stood next to the house. He pressed the button on the can and wrote "Ella stinks!" on the tower in neon letters. Snickering, he turned to his friend. "Now she'll— What are you doing?!"
"Wrecking the garden benches," grinned the Aisha, smashing the stone. "Spray paint isn't satisfying enough."
"You imbecile!" snarled the Scorchio. "They'll hear you and wake up! Then we'll get caught!"
The Aisha paused. "Well, let's hope that they're sound sleepers."
However, the victims had indeed been awakened. A Stealthy Draik rushed out of the house, her steps full of fury. "What is wrong with you?!" she yelled. "You'll pay for this!" Then, all of a sudden... time froze.
The two delinquents found themselves unable to move. "What gives?!" cried the Scorchio. "Let us go!"
"Not so easily," replied the Draik. She glanced at the smashed benches and the graffiti on the tower. "I am Maldice, Ella's sister. I live here with her, and I will not tolerate vandalism."
Then the two Darigans felt awfully strange. They gasped in horror as their souls were separated from their bodies. Two glowing silhouettes stood before Maldice, still paralyzed by her curse. "Stop it!" sobbed the Aisha. "We're sorry! Now leave us alone!"
"Listen," began Maldice. "If you want to be reunited with your bodies, then you need to complete two favors for me. In other words, you need to redeem yourselves. First, you need to clean up the mess you made. You must also pay for the replacement benches. Second, my cousin is hosting a charity event in a few days, and she needs help. You must volunteer. Until those two tasks are completed, your souls will stay separated from your bodies."
The two Neopets groaned. "All right," grumbled the Scorchio. "However, we can't do anything until you unfreeze us."
"True," replied Maldice. The Darigans felt somewhat relieved as the paralysis was lifted. Nevertheless, they couldn't spend the rest of their lives wandering the globe without their bodies. "It's dark out," stated the Aisha. "May we please start repairs in the morning?"
"Sure," replied Maldice. "I expect to see you here at 8 am sharp."
"Yes, ma'am," replied the Scorchio. Then the two Darigans sauntered away.
The two pals returned to the property at 8 am as they had promised. "Welcome," Maldice greeted them.
"Hullo," yawned the Aisha.
"First, you need to paint over the graffiti," ordered Maldice. "Here's some paint and two paint brushes." She handed them the supplies. "You must paint the whole tower because the color of the paint isn't exactly the same as before. I couldn't find the original color for sale."
The Scorchio groaned. "All right." He picked up the brush and began to paint over the neon letters. Then he jabbed the Aisha. "Don't make me do all the work!" he snapped. "Get going!"
The Aisha reluctantly started to help. She practically fell asleep due to the monotony of the chore. As her eyelids drooped, she wished that she hadn't gotten herself into this mess. She was so sleepy that she didn't notice the paint can that lied in her path. She clumsily tripped over the obstacle and fell flat on her face.
The Scorchio laughed. "You klutz!" he yelled. "You always make such a fool out of yourself!"
"It's not funny!" snapped the Aisha. She ran toward the garden hose and rinsed the paint off of herself.
"It sure isn't." The Scorchio turned around and saw Maldice. "Hey, Aisha," she began. "You spilled perfectly good paint. You need to be more careful."
"Yes, ma'am," groaned the Aisha, picking up her brush.
Some minutes later, the two Darigans had finished painting the tower. "Now what?" the Aisha asked Maldice.
"My new benches have just arrived," she replied. "First, you need to pick up the broken pieces from the smashed benches and dispose of them. Then, you will carry the new benches over to the garden and put them into place."
"Aren't they heavy?" asked the Scorchio.
"Sure," answered Maldice, "but if you hadn't vandalized my property, then you wouldn't be doing this chore, would you?" She winked.
The Scorchio groaned. "This will be difficult." He and the Aisha removed the broken pieces, then tried to lift the benches. "Argh!" groaned the Scorchio as the two toiled across the lawn. After a while, he couldn't support the bench anymore. His arms collapsed, and as a result, the bench fell onto the Aisha's foot.
"Owwwww!" she yelped. "Watch what you're doing!" She grimaced in pain. "You dropped it on my foot! It's probably broken!"
"Sorry," shrugged the Scorchio. "I couldn't lift it any longer."
The Aisha sobbed. She tried to lift the final bench, but she couldn't help due to her ailing foot. "I can't lift this by myself!" growled the Scorchio. "Get your lazy self over here and help!"
"I can't," frowned the Aisha. "You hurt my foot."
"Whatever," snapped the Scorchio. "I'm taking a break." He sat down on the bench and crossed his arms furiously.
As he rested, the Aisha tried to talk some sense into him. "Hey, brother," she began. "I'm tired of all this bad-boy and bad-girl shenanigans. We've gotten into trouble one too many times. Once we finish helping Maldice, we should stop causing trouble."
"No way!" he answered nonchalantly. "After we're done here, we'll be having fun again, just like old times!"
"I think we'd feel better about ourselves if we didn't misbehave."
"I'm not even going to listen to you!" He walked over to the other side of the garden and sat on the swingset.
Then Maldice appeared to check on the pair. "Where's the Scorchio?"
The Aisha rolled her eyes. "He's taking a break," she replied. "I wish I could lift this final bench, but he dropped one of the benches on my foot and broke it. He doesn't have the strength to lift an entire bench himself."
Maldice hesitated. "All right," she began. "You're done. I'll have my sister lift the final bench. She's a Battledome pet. Now, I need payment for the benches you broke."
"How much?" asked the Aisha.
"What?! That's a lot!"
"Are you unable to pay?"
"Um, no—" The Scorchio had returned and clamped his hand over her mouth. "We can't afford it!" he told Maldice.
"I think you're lying," she answered. She grabbed the Scorchio's satchel and looked through it. "You're carrying one million Neopoints," she stated. "Are you aware of the Tax Beast? He takes 10-25 percent of the Neopoints you carry if he visits you. Therefore, the more you have out, the more you lose."
"Well, we restock," explained the Scorchio.
"You aren't doing that right now. Anyway, I'll help myself." She took 200,000 Neopoints.
The Scorchio sat down on the bench and groaned. "That would've bought lots of supplies for future pranks," he grumbled.
"I wish you would forget about playing tricks on people!" sighed the Aisha.
Maldice clapped her hands, and the two turned around to face her. "As I told you last night, you also need to help my cousin during her charity event. You will be helping her serve bowls of soup to needy Neopians. Tomorrow, you should be at the Soup Kitchen at 6 pm. Don't be late."
The two siblings nodded. "Now you may leave," Maldice told them.
"Let's get out of here and have some fun!" shouted the Scorchio, dragging his sister away.
The next morning, the Scorchio woke the Aisha up at 7 am. "Hey, sis," began the Scorchio. "I have another idea for a prank. At the Food Shop in Neopia Central, there are chairs so that people can sit down and eat. We'll put Superglue all over the chairs. Then everyone will be stuck. It'll be hilarious." He snickered.
"I already told you how I felt about that," replied the Aisha sleepily.
"Come on! It'll be fun."
"I'm not helping you. You'll be seen anyway."
"No, I won't. I'll sneak into the place before it opens. I have Radioactive Muffins to break the back door down."
"Whatever. I hope you get caught." She quickly fell back asleep as her brother left the house.
The Scorchio arrived at the Food Shop and ran over to the back door. He quickly threw the muffins and broke the door down. He rushed inside, superglue in hand, only to be confronted by a furious Yellow Chia.
"What are you doing?!" he hollered. "Are you trying to rob the place? Well, I've got news for you: I'm here even before hours! Now leave or else I'll get help!" He angrily waved his spatula in the air.
The Scorchio ran away to avoid getting into trouble. Disappointed by the failure of his prank, he sauntered home. He opened the door and saw his sister half-asleep on the couch. "Something tells me that your prank failed," she stated.
"You're right," he groaned. "I'm getting caught so often lately. I have to figure out a way to avoid this."
"Or you could just stop playing silly pranks altogether," answered the Aisha.
"Never," he snapped. Then he walked upstairs and crawled back into bed.
That evening, the two Darigans arrived at the Soup Kitchen as planned. "Welcome," Maldice greeted them. She gestured to a Purple Lupe. "This is my cousin, Snazztacular. You will be helping her serve soup until 9 pm tonight."
"Hi," Snazz greeted them. The two siblings followed her into the kitchen.
"Listen," began Snazz. "I'll cook, and you'll stand in front of the line of Neopets and serve the soup."
"Alrighty," replied the Aisha.
The two pals began to distribute the soup. They were met with warm smiles from grateful Neopians. The Aisha felt great about helping needy people. She knew that she was done with pranks forever.
Then the Scorchio tapped her on the shoulder. "I have an idea," he snickered. "I'll put hot sauce in all the bowls of soup." He held up the glass bottle. "This stuff is made with real ghost peppers! Everyone will be breathing fire just like me."
"No way," growled the Aisha. "If you do that, Snazz will find out. Then Maldice will never give us our bodies back."
"You're right," groaned the Scorchio. "I'll have to find a different use for this hot sauce."
"No, you shouldn't," answered the Aisha. "Why do you continue to play pranks on people? You were born first. Since you were my big brother, I looked up to you when I was young. I followed your instructions. However, now I'm doubting you. These pranks have gone on long enough! They cause problems for both us and other people. Besides, helping people is rewarding. Pay attention to the gratitude that everyone is showing upon receiving the soup. That should make you feel wonderful."
The Scorchio sighed. "I'll behave myself and see how I feel," he grumbled.
As he served hundreds of bowls, he was happily thanked by Neopian after Neopian. A rewarding feeling of alacrity began to wash over him. He concluded that this way of life wasn't nearly as bad as he had thought. In fact, he felt better about helping other Neopets than hurting them with pranks.
Then he heard Snazz groan. "Aw, man!" she yelled. "The stove is broken! Now how will we cook the soup?!"
"Like this," replied the Scorchio, breathing fire. Snazz jumped out of the way, clearly taken aback.
"That works," she told him. Throughout the night, he continued to cook the soup using his fiery breath.
Finally, the event was over, and it was time to leave. The two Darigans felt despondent because they had to stop serving soup. Then Maldice appeared. Turning to Snazz, she asked, "Did those two behave themselves?"
"They were great!" answered Snazz.
"I'm glad to hear that." Maldice turned to the two siblings. "You have completed all the tasks I gave you," she told them. "Now you may have your bodies back."
The two pals cheered. They felt elated as their souls were reunited with their bodies. Dancing around, the Scorchio stated, "You know, I always took this awesome Darigan color for granted. However, now I know that some people aren't as lucky. Thank you, ma'am."
"You're welcome," replied Maldice. "I'm glad you've learned your lesson."