|Come dance with the gypsies...
||Issue: 750 | 23rd day of Gathering, Y18
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"Shortfall" by xxskyisfallingxx
"We’re doomed!” Sulvi wailed.
The baby Aisha rocked back and forth in the darkest corner of the lounge, unable to meet her brother’s apprehensive gaze.
“Doomed is a pretty strong word,” Zypea the pea Chia observed her distress calmly from his position on the sofa. “We’re just in a bit of a pickle. A spot of bother, if you will. A temporary setback.”
“Enough with the synonyms,” Sulvi groaned, holding up one paw in a half-hearted attempt to silence him. “No amount of wordplay can fix this mess. It’s a disaster! A catastrophe! It could spell the ruin of us all!”
“It might even be bad.”
Sulvi groaned again. “This isn’t the time for jokes, Zypea.”
The pea Chia deflated almost instantly. His jesting was usually enough to cheer Sulvi up, but her current demeanour suggested it was now achieving the exact opposite. Besides, he knew she was right; they were in serious trouble.
“Look, there’s got to be a way to fix this,” he insisted seriously. “We just have to think.”
Sulvi shook her head sadly. “It’s no use. Sky worked so hard on her story for the special 750th issue of the Neopian Times. And now, thanks to us, it was all for nothing.”
“Don’t blame yourself,” Zypea tried again to reassure her. “We just wanted to help. Who would have thought that starting a five-part series in Issue 745 would make it end in Issue 749? It’s not our fault the math didn’t want to cooperate.”
Sulvi managed to choke out a laugh through her tears. “That’s a stretch, even for you. Everyone knows that you would have had to start the series in Issue 746.”
“Not everyone, apparently,” Zypea sighed. “If there’s anyone Sky should be mad at, it’s me. I was the one who submitted it too early.”
“But it was my idea to submit it for her in the first place,” Sulvi argued despondently. “We’re both in hot water.”
They sat in silence for a moment, stewing in their thoughts. Not for the first time, Sulvi wished that Sky had never decided to attend Brightvale University. Then she could have submitted her own story and they wouldn’t have gotten themselves into this mess. More than that though, Sulvi missed her other flatmate. It hurt to think that their ill-fated scheme might drive a wedge between them.
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