Nothing is Scarier than a Halloween Brat
It was Halloween night, and Walda the Baby Kacheek was sitting at home with a glum expression on her face. While her friends were out trick-or-treating, she was being punished for misbehavior which may or may not have included a chocolate-induced sugar rush. “Grounded on Halloween!” she exclaimed to herself. “This stinks!”
While her older siblings went to a Halloween party, Walda had been left in the care of her cousin Anjetta, who didn’t care for spooky gatherings or Halloween in general. Bored, Walda went into the living room, where she picked up her crayons and her coloring book. She was scribbling orange over a pumpkin when she heard a snore.
Anjetta had fallen asleep on the couch. With a mischievous smile, Walda had an idea. If Anjetta was not watching Walda, then the latter could go anywhere she wanted, and no one would find out, as long as she got back before her sisters got home. Walda gleefully put on her faerie costume and pranced out the door.
She found her friends walking along the sidewalk, pillowcases containing candy in hand. “Hey!” she exclaimed. “I’m here!”
“Weren’t you grounded?” one of her friends asked.
“You said you were grounded,” another pointed out. “Did you sneak out?”
“Go home. Your family is probably worried about you. Don’t worry---we’ll save you some chocolate.”
“I consider that a promise.” Walda walked away, frowning at first. However, then she decided that she would try to have some fun by herself. Nothing would ruin her Halloween, and she figured that there was no better place to visit than the Haunted Woods. Therefore, she began walking toward the forest, and arrived soon enough.
When Walda got there, she was confronted by a myriad of attractions. There were so many that she didn’t know which one to visit. Because she couldn’t decide, she asked a stranger. “Hey, sir,” she began, “what are some fun things to do around here?
“Don’t play the carnival games,” he answered. “They’re rigged and therefore a waste of Neopoints. You are also unlikely to win at the scratchcards.” He paused. “Do you like quests?”
“Of course! How do you think I became a Battledome pet?”
“Then I’d recommend the Brain Tree. He gives out Neopoints and prizes in exchange for information. If you’re lucky, you might get an avatar.”
“I guess I’ll try that. Thanks!” Thus Walda headed toward the Brain Tree.
Walda approached the Brain Tree, feeling slightly nervous. “I have a quest for you, weakling!” the tree boomed.
“Um, sure,” answered Walda.
“Okay, tell me when and where Charlie Chia died. You have one hour left.”
“How am I supposed to find that out?” asked Walda. However, the tree was no longer responsive. Therefore, Walda figured that she would ask another stranger. “Ma’am,” she began, “the Brain Tree asked me when and where somebody died. How would I find that out?”
“You have to do two quests for the Esophagor,” answered the Neopet.
“Okay, I will do that. Thanks!” Walda soon found the Esophagor. “I’m hungry!” he complained. “Find me food, and I will reward you.”
“Sure,” answered Walda. “Are you looking for anything specific?”
“Yeah, I’d like Mummy Spaghetti. I recommend that you try the Spooky Foods shop.”
“Okay.” Walda walked away, and after a bit of searching, found the shop. She approached the shopkeeper, a Bruce who looked rather menacing. “Hi,” she began, “do you have Mummy Spaghetti?”
"Yes, I do. How many would you like?”
Walda paid for the food and brought it back to the Esophagor. “Thank you,” he said. “Charlie Chia died in the year 25 BN (before Neopia).”
“Okay,” Walda said, writing the information down.
“If you want to know where he died, bring me Edna’s Spooky Brew.”
“Sure.” Walda went back to the Spooky Foods shop and asked if the item was in stock. “It isn’t right now,” began the shopkeeper, “but it may come in later tonight.”
“I’m on a quest. I can’t afford to wait.”
“Sorry. I can’t help you.”
Walda frowned. However, then she had an idea. She noticed a rusty bowl and some leftover food in the trash. Smirking, she assembled the items together in an attempt to pass it off as Edna’s Spooky Brew. She figured that the Esophagor wouldn’t mind, since monsters would eat anything.
She brought her concoction back to the Esophagor, who didn’t seem to care that the food was two weeks old. He munched on it heartily. “Thank you! I was starving. Charlie Chia died in the Haunted Woods.”
Walda wrote the information down and rushed back to the Brain Tree. She took a deep breath. “Charlie Chia died in---”
“FOOLISH MORTAL!” boomed the tree. “You are one minute too late!”
“So I failed?!”
“Yes. Try again tomorrow!”
“That’s lame!” However, despite her efforts to reason with the Brain Tree, he refused to grant her another chance until the following day.
Walda sighed and trudged away. A few minutes later, she had an idea. If she took off her faerie costume, then the Brain Tree wouldn’t recognize her. She removed it and stashed it in a bush, intending to come back for it later. Then she returned to the Brain Tree.
“I have a quest for you!” he exclaimed. “Will you accept it?”
Walda smirked, relieved that the tree hadn’t recognized her. “Of course,” she answered.
“Okay, tell me when and where Alyssa Aisha died. You have one hour left.”
Walda frowned. She had hoped that she would be asked about Charlie Chia again so that she wouldn’t have to buy more food. Nevertheless, she went back to the Esophagor, who appeared not to recognize her, either. “Feed me!” he exclaimed.
“Okay. May I please buy you something cheap?”
“Well,” began the Esophagor, “you appear to be a child, so I’ll make the two quests easy. First, bring me a Spooky Shake.”
Walda returned with the item, feeling relieved because it only cost 100 Neopoints. “Yum!” exclaimed the Esophagor. “Want a taste?”
“No thanks,” replied Walda nervously.
“Alyssa Aisha died in the year 43 BN.” Walda recorded the information. “Now bring me a Tongue with Veggies, and I will tell you the place.”
“Gross!” exclaimed Walda. Nevertheless, she retrieved the item, and was again pleased that it was inexpensive.
The Esophagor accepted the food and devoured it in a single bite. “Alyssa Aisha died at Skull Rock,” he told Walda, who wrote the information down. Then she dashed back to the Brain Tree, hoping she wasn’t late again.
“Did you find that information, mortal?” bellowed the tree. “You have three minutes left!”
Walda was relieved. “Alyssa Aisha died in 43 BN in Skull Rock!” she exclaimed.
The Brain Tree paused. “Thank you!” he exclaimed. “You are correct! Please accept this Lucky Robot’s Foot and 12,953 Neopoints!”
Walda grinned hugely. That was a LOT of pocket money for her! “Thank you so much!” she smiled. Furthermore, the Lucky Robot’s Foot would be useful in a future Battledome fight.
“Hey, kid,” began the Brain Tree, “you are well within the top 50 on the high score table. Therefore, you should receive an avatar tomorrow night at 8:30.”
That was even BETTER! “Yippee!” she shouted, jumping for joy. “That reminds me. What time is it now? I need to be home by 11 pm.”
“It’s 11:05,” answered the Brain Tree sheepishly.
“Oh, my! I’ve got to get home!” Thus Walda sprinted away, forgetting to retrieve her faerie costume in the process.
Walda meekly walked inside her house and saw Anjetta in floods of tears. “I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed. “I hope she’s okay!”
“You imbecile!” snapped one of Walda’s sisters. “You can’t just sleep on the couch when you’re babysitting a mischievous BRAT!”
Anjetta buried her face in her hands.
Walda knew that she would be screamed at if she was seen. Therefore, she tried to sneak upstairs, but she was noticed anyway. “YOU!” exclaimed her sister. “YOU HORRIBLE BRAT! HOW DARE YOU SNEAK OUT WHILE YOU’RE GROUNDED! We were SO WORRIED about you! Now you’re DOUBLY GROUNDED!”
Walda stared up at her sister with a scared expression on her face. “Doubly grounded?!” she repeated.
“YES! You were grounded for two weeks... Now you’re not going anywhere for a MONTH!”
Walda’s eyes welled up with tears, and she started to throw a tantrum. Nevertheless, her sisters wouldn’t tolerate it, so they carried her upstairs to her bedroom and locked the door. Then one of them sighed. “Thanks for nothing, Anjetta.”
Anjetta stared at the ground.
“Hey, no one said that raising a child was easy,” frowned another one of Walda’s sisters. “It takes a village to raise a child.”
“So what?! This is unacceptable!”
Exasperated, everyone went to sleep. However, there was no doubt that this Halloween had been wild with action. The sisters had fun at the party, and Walda enjoyed scampering around the Haunted Woods. This was one holiday they would never forget.