Frank ran and ran until he couldn’t breathe and he saw stars. He put his hands on his knees and took some deep breaths.
“Why are you so clumsy Frank? Why can’t you just be normal like the other kids?” he chided himself.
As he was slowly walking along a quiet street he heard giggling. He looked over and noticed a dim light coming from one of the houses. Something drew him over to the house and he crept over to the window. He heard the sound of laughter drifting from the living room.
“Alright! Face mask time ladies!!” Tarla said.
Tarla reached into her bag to find the bottle containing the face mask.
“It’s not in here!” She exclaimed.
“I had it in here right beside my math notebook, but now it’s gone. Maybe I dropped it at school?”
“It’s okay we can do without it” Rivi said. “There’s plenty of other things we can do! How about we all play a game of double or nothing?”
“I have a better idea, let’s talk about boys.” said Mira with a playful smirk.
“What do you think of Simon?” Peyphetos asked with a shy smile.
“He’s okay.. Kind of quiet, but very good at basketball if that’s what you like Pey” Riviarus looked at her friend and giggled.
“What do you think of Frank, Tarla?” Rivi asked.
“I mean he’s definitely smart, he just seems a little weird” Tarla said slowly.
“Well I think he’s a total loser and if he can’t be normal then why bother talking about him?” Mira answered sharply.
Frank stepped back from the window.
“That’s it” he huffed.
He stormed back to Neopia Central and snuck behind the Money Tree. He rooted around for the flask in the Rainbow Fountain and noticed he started to feel funny. In his anger, he kept feeling around until his hands closed around the bottle. He filled the bottle with the funky smelling water and ran back to his house.
“You won’t ever laugh at me again.”
He plugged in his hot plate and heated up the swampy water until it turned into a murky gas.
He ran back to the sleepover and unlocked the window. He pointed the flask into the crack and opened it. The gas slowly spread down to the floor and began to disperse on the main floor.
Rivi shrieked as small bumps began to spread up her arms.
“Oh my Fyora Eoow look at your leg!” Batoon said.
“I feel really weird guys. Why do I seem bigger?” Grikket said with terror in her voice.
“What’s happening to all of us?” Weeli exclaimed.
“Whoa Mira, you’re turning green! Aerodraft pointed in horror.
“What do we do!?” Pitbullo howled.
“Everybody calm down, we will figure this out” Kauvara said with bravado as her hair turned orange.
The girls all sat around looking at each other in desperation.
“I’ve got it! We can go see my mom’s best friend! She knows all about mysterious potions” Kauvara jumped up.
“As long as she can take this ugly green away… it is so not my colour” Mira said with disgust.
The girls gathered up their stuff to head out as Frank hid in the bushes to watch them go. He felt a slight pang of guilt, but that quickly dissipated when he remembered how cruel Mira was. Despite that, Frank decided to follow them.
The girls struck out on their bikes in the southwest direction to see Edna the Swamp Witch all the way in Haunted Woods.
“How much longer do we have to go. I’m already exhausted.” Whined Waterpaarden.
“Yeah my legs are about to fall off” Weeli grumbled.
“Come on guys, we can make it. I’m sure it’s not that much farther.” Tarla chimed.
“See look over there! I can see Haunted woods from here!”
“Thank Coltzan. I really couldn’t take much more of this” Antidotal complained.
They carefully made their way through the woods in search of Edna’s home. As they came up to the tall grey tower, Kauvara stopped them.
“I’m going to knock on the door and see if she’s home. Follow me.”
Kauvara knocked on the creaky, old door. It swung open slowly but nobody was there. She slowly crept into the tower and the girls hid behind her.
“Edna? Are you home? It’s Kauvara!” she said as calmly as she could.
A ratty looking Meowclops sauntered out of the darkness of the hallway. Vergieal jumped.
“Lionus is that you!? The last time I saw you, you were just a baby!” Kauvara scooped up the Meowclops and he purred.
They walked into the living room and saw the famous Edna the Swamp With asleep on the couch with the television on. Kauvara tiptoed over and shook her awake. Edna slowly rubbed her eyes and blinked.
“WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE!? LIONUS GET AWAY FROM THAT THING” Edna boomed and pulled out her wand.
“Edna, it’s me Kauvara… something has happened to my friends and I… there was a weird gas and Rivi started to get bumps up her arm, Grikket ballooned up, my hair turned orange and Mira turned green!” Kauvara let the words tumble out.
“My my little one, I haven’t seen you in almost 15 years” Edna said calmly as she sat down with Lionus in her lap.
“Are you going to help or not witch?” Mira pouted.
“You have lovely friends Kauvara. Do you have any idea what the gas was made of? I can look up the antidote in my books.” Edna replied.
“Ms. Edna we have no idea, it just smelled… pungent and putrid… kind of like a swamp?” Tarla answered slowly.
“Hmm. that doesn’t sound good.. Let me get some books, would you girls come help me?”
Antidotal, Erebusx and Rivi cleared off the kitchen table while Batoon, Pey and Weelie helped Edna carry books downstairs. They dumped at least 15 giant volumes on the table.
“Now let’s see.. Was the air glittering?” Edna asked quickly.
“No mam” Eoow replied.
“Don’t call me mam. Were any of you in contact with a Meepit today?”
“No Edna” Batoon answered.
Edna rapid fired off about 15 questions and the girls answered them as best they could.
“Well it looks to me like you somehow found some Scamander Slime but in a gaseous form... which is very unusual, but it should be a relatively easy fix” Edna said slowly, as she read from the ancient pages.
“All we need to know is how we fix it” Mira said impatiently.
“If you would wait a minute.. I could tell you.”
Edna did some complex equations and pulled a few things from other boxes along her shelves. She pressed a button beside a picture frame and a cauldron swung out of the wall.
“Well that was cool.” Antidotal said.
“Stand back girls.” Edna said as she began to mix a big batch of the potion.
The cauldron began to bubble and turned a deep red and then purple. It began to flicker until the whole pot went white.
“All you need now is some sap from a Tongue Tree. But I will need it in the next 6 hours or the potion will be no good.” Edna said.
“Where are we going to find that!? I’ve never even heard of that?” Mira complained.
“Tongue Trees are native to the Haunted woods and the sap is used for salves and skin remedies” Tarla quipped.
“Looks like you aren’t the smartest one here Mira” Erebusx chimed.
“Tarla is right young ones. You need to go out and find some soon before it gets too dark” Edna said.
“Ah but it’s already dark out..” Rivi said glumly as she looked behind the curtains.
“What are we going to do!?” Vergieal wailed.
“Chill. I have just what we need” Mira said as she pulled something of her bag.
“This is a glowbug, it will let us see where we’re going”
“Oooh neat.” Eoow reached out to touch it.
“Don’t touch or he’ll turn his light off!” Mira shouted.
The girls hurried off in the direction of the Haunted woods swamp. Once they reached the swamp they frantically searched for the Tongue tree.
“Look guys it’s over here!” Waterpaarden squealed.
“Alright let’s put some in this jar and hurry back. The sooner we get back, the sooner I can go back to looking like my fabulous self again.” Mira urged.
They quickly gathered a sample of the sap and rushed back to the Swamp Witch’s Tower.
Kauvara busted through the front door and handed the jar of sap to Edna.
“Did we make it in time!?” Rivi yelped.
“Just in time girls.”
Edna added the sap while stirring the potion counterclockwise. It flashed blue and then was still. She poured the antidote into little cups, one for each girl.
The girls took them eagerly and slurped down the warm liquid.
“Ooooh Grikket, look you’re deflating!” Weeli said excitedly.
“Eoow your leg isn’t purple anymore!” Rivi said as she stroked her smooth arms.
“About time, ugh, blue was always my colour” Mira said as she gazed at herself in the mirror.
“Hey Edna, I don’t suppose you have any honey do you?” Vergieal asked shyly.
“I don’t, sorry little one.”
As the girls realized the effects of the potion had worn off and they were back to their normal selves, they packed up their stuff and went to head home.
“Thank you so much Edna, we don’t know what we would have done without you.” Kauvara hugged her mom’s friend.
“Maybe I’ll grow up to be just like you Ms. Edna” Tarla said with a grin.
“You have the whole world in front of you girls. Shoot for the stars.”
Kauvara rounded everybody up and they pedaled home.
Edna went to close the door but Frank snuck out of the shadows and walked up to her.
“Do you have any more of that potion Ms Swamp Witch?” Frank asked.
“I suppose, but what would you need it for?”
“I need to fix something” Frank replied after some thought.
“Of course little one. But be careful!” Edna smiled and handed over the jar.
Frank stuffed it in his backpack and pedaled home as fast as his legs could carry him. He flew into Neopia Central and walked right up the Rainbow Pool. By now the citizens were in a panic and the whole town had gathered. Judge Hog and Doctor Flexo had wrapped “DO NOT ENTER” tape around the Rainbow Pool.
“Citizens please stay back. We don’t know what this water could do.” Judge Hog announced.
Frank stepped up onto the rim of the Rainbow Pool.
“Let me help” he said quickly as he upended the bottle into the murky water.
“Boy, you don’t know what you’re doing! Get back!” Doctor Flexo shouted.
“I do too” Frank said defiantly.
The citizens began to murmur and Doctor Flexo and Judge Hog gasped.
The water cleared up and shone a beautiful sky blue as it always had.
“What did you put in there boy?” Judge Hog asked.
“Just a little something I made in my lab” Frank replied with a grin.
He leapt down and raced home.
“It really was an exhilarating feeling to save the day…” Frank pondered, but something didn’t feel right.
As he drifted off to sleep Frank vowed to find a way to get back at Mira for finding an antidote, one that even she couldn’t stop.
And so Dr. Sloth was born.