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Collecting Bogie Sauce


by kushbi

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The aroma of warm coffee had never smelled so good to Edna. She rolled out of bed and plod lazily to the kitchen. It was early Sunday morning, a terrible hour for anyone to arise, even if they wished to catch a worm.

     However, Edna had no other choice; she desperately needed something of utmost importance and it could only be obtained at the stroke of dawn in the Deserted Fairground. The sticky substance was easily contaminated if not handled with care, this being the primary reason why she never trusted anyone else to harvest Bogie sauce for her. Edna sipped the warm beverage from a Haunted Woods mug and hoped that she would be able to get a decent amount of sauce this time; after all, the berries on her shelf were wailing with impatience, for what were Bogie berries without Bogie sauce?

     The witch grabbed her Grundo-skin tote bag, a magical glass bottle and muttered a quick word of thanks to the quivering Lil' Frankie who had brewed the coffee, before flying off on her broomstick to the fairground.

     -

     The Deserted Fairground was dark and eerily silent, which was usual for a place known to harbour rather shady characters. Besides, said shady characters did not believe in the merits of adequate lighting, or in waking up early like the rest of Neopia.

     Edna tucked her broom under an arm and marched to the quiet Bagatelle stand. It was widely known that once a year, Bogie sauce sprung from a gap in the ground beside the stand. She threw back her shoulders and wore a businesslike scowl. The fairground was fraught with shadows, large and small, and the witch wished to give off an intimidating aura to anyone who could be hiding in the dark. It was better to be safe than sorry, even though few malevolent beings would dare to risk a confrontation with the powerful sorceress. Why, who could have guessed that a Werelupe would dare to pounce on the Brain Tree the other day…

     "My, what a surprise," said a familiar and not-too-welcomed voice.

     Edna stopped abruptly and stared in consternation at the hovering specter on her left.

     "Eliv Thade," she hissed, "you're not allowed to leave your castle!"

     The specter shrugged, saying, "Circumstances have changed. The wallpaper is peeling and I don't have enough gold to replace it."

     The witch regarded Thade with suspicion. It seemed strange that the Kacheek was in the fairground looking for gold. And haunted houses were supposed to be in a dire state anyway, weren't they?

     An unpleasant thought flashed through Edna's mind. The only valuable thing here was Bogie sauce. Well, actually the most expensive item was the hammer in Test-your-strength but it was enchanted to disintegrate once stolen from the game stand. As the specter hovered closer to the Bagatelle stand, Edna decided that she was not going to let him get away with a single drop of her precious sauce.

     "Surely you can't be here for Bogie sauce," she sneered, "It has to be harvested with immense magical power and I don't think that an ounce of intelligence will help."

     Thade shot her a wounded look and folded his arms.

     "Why, planning to hoard the whole serving this year? You always leave residue, don't you? That's all I'm here for," he said, slightly affronted by the witch's dig at his lack of magical prowess.

     Edna sneered and pretended to ignore him. No one was going to get in the way of her and the Bogie sauce, she would make sure of that.

     -

     Meanwhile, the ghost Lupe bit back an excited howl and reminded himself, for the umpteenth time, that it was not a good idea to let anyone know of his impending presence at the Deserted Fairground. It was not a good time to be disturbed by Neopets anxious to restore their hit points, as he was about to experience one of the greatest moments of his afterlife.

     He thought of the wonderful dawn that would be greeting him in a few minutes as he ran lithely through the Haunted Woods. Ever the loner, the Lupe had resolutely refused to venture anywhere near the fairground when it was discovered, because the hustle and bustle reminded him of friendly company that he could never have. It was especially spiteful that a Deserted Fairground would be teeming with Neopets. However, he had an ultimate weakness: a stunning sunrise. Overhearing a conversation between the Brain Tree and Edna the day before, he had learnt that there was a place where one could have a beautiful view of the Neopian sunrise unrivalled by any other spot in the Haunted Woods.

     It was at the Bagatelle stand in the Deserted Fairground.

     -

     Edna and Thade regarded each other with hostility as they stood on opposite ends of the game stand. The first rays of the sun were about to rise any moment now and a green slimy substance would trickle out from the gap in the ground.

     "Five, four, three, two," whispered Edna as she positioned the magic glass bottle strategically at the widening gap.

     "Aooooo…."

     "NO!"

     Dawn broke, the first bright rays lighting up the dark sky, but no Bogie sauce flowed from the hole. The ghost Lupe howled again, in appreciation at the lovely view of the sky, from the spot on which he had pounced and settled down just a second earlier. His tail sat heavily on the gap that Edna was bent over.

     Eliv Thade watched in amusement as the furious witch twisted her green face into a thundering expression and shook her paw at the oblivious Lupe.

     "MOVE!!" screamed the desperate witch. In a few moments, when the sky was fully lit, the magic of Bogie sauce would be no more.

     The ghost Lupe tilted his head towards her, his eyes never leaving the sky.

     "Look," he said in awe.

     A livid Edna turned impatiently to glance at what he was staring at. The sky was a dark blue sprinkled with a myriad of vivid colours -- red, gold and orange -- all spreading out in various directions. The rays sparkled and glittered, creating a portrait of shimmering beauty. She gazed in wonder as each beam fanned out across the sky. As quickly as it started, the enchanting moment ended when the rays swirled into a tiny compact yellow circle. The sun was up.

     "Wow," was all that eloquent Edna could say.

     Eliv Thade blinked and sighed with contentment. He had seen the dawn too, and a long-lost feeling of fluffy felicity filled his heart. It seemed like everything in Neopia was well and good, a happy day indeed. Why was he even thinking of refurbishing his castle? He was content beyond words with his current home. He sauntered away, whistling to himself, thoughts filled with the joy of solving puzzling anagrams.

     Soon after, the ghost Lupe stretched himself and scampered out of the Deserted Fairground with a dreamy howl, leaving Edna alone at the Bagatelle stand, still holding onto the magic glass bottle. The witch felt a fuzzy sensation wash over her. It brought back thoughts of all the things in life that made her happy -- her Lil' Frankie, coffee in the morning and making absurd demands on Neopians who accepted her quests. The persistent tugging at the corners of her mouth eventually gave way to a wide smile, and that was how the (rather shocked) owner of the Bagatelle stand found her a few minutes later.

     -

      At the other end of the Haunted Woods, the Esophagor grunted in disgust as it spewed yet another trail of green gooey substance at the Brain Tree. With a chuckle, the ancient plant wiped Bogie sauce off its trunk with a branch.

      "Another one of your underground passages?" it asked, knowing full well that the specific tunnel between the Esophagor and the Bagatelle stand was meant for the game owner to feed the hideous creature with the latest haunted wood treats.

      "Cluuuuumsy Lupe, didn't he knooooow about the gappp? I'm nooot eating Booogie berries ever agaaaain."

      "I guess it's kind of disappointing for me that my huge brains didn't consider the effect of pressure on Bogie sauce. My apologies," said the Brain Tree, "But you've got to admit that it was a good ending."

      "Whaaat iss soo good about thaaattt?"

      "I wanted Edna to know that there are other things in the Deserted Fairground besides Bogie sauce," the Brain Tree boomed. "She was too dismissive of the magical dawn yesterday. Far too dismissive."

The End

 
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