A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 81,443,838 Issue: 150 | 23rd day of Swimming, Y6
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Al Tastes Revenge: Part One


by al_the_chia

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Pre-Story Thingy...

It was no secret to anyone that Alexander T. Chia was a lupologist. He was very proud of it. He announced it with his flair, his style, and his labcoat. He poured lupology from every hole in his head, the instant you looked into his eyes you knew, even if you never heard of a lupologist. He practically had ‘Bumbling, Adorable Scientist’ tattooed on his eyebrows. He did actually once, during college, along with several piercings, but had them removed later.

      It was, however, at least a very small surprise for many to hear that Al also had hobbies other than Lupology. He also had a penchant for food. Lots of money, a round figure, and years of travel around the globe had given him one of the broadest palates in Neopia.

      He marked out famous restaurants on maps whenever he took trips, he brought a silver set with him wherever he went, he attempted to cook exotic dishes for himself. He knew the names and uses for all the little forks and spoons and other odds and ends around and on the plate that no one even noticed, even the seemingly useless sprig of parsley that people assume is just for decoration.

      He had eaten the sweetest eyeballs, slurped disgusting and delicious teas, crunched rare cookies, fully digested the most extraordinary pies. He had (unknowingly) tasted the most potent poisons and disgusting dishes the world had to offer, fed to him by many characters who would rather have seen him dead, and as such, he had gradually developed an extremely strong digestive system, able to stomach the most disgusting, spicy, and dangerous foods (and otherwise).

      Despite all this, he remained one of the most humble and respectful guests to have over for dinner, never truly boastful of his palette unless it involved Lupes in some way. But there were sad, sad reasons for this.

      Al harbored a dark secret about his connoisseurism. Deep in that little blue head, there was a panging, hungry Greeble, nibbling away at his tasteful, deep-fried soul.

      And it was about to force itself down his throat…

Soupaw’s Kitchen...

‘It’ occurred on the outskirts of Lupe Forest. Rain fell outside Soupaw’s Soup Shack, which was surrounded on all sides by drooping wet pine trees and a long, endless, flooded road. The world was gray, but the shack was anything but gray. It was large and glorious, a neon sign proudly stating its name to all who passed.

      There was a bustling business inside, filled with beautiful furnishings and rich, fat customers. Umbrellas hung from nearly every arm, and nearly every arm was lifting spoons filled with soup towards waiting, open mouths. Only some missed and ended up pouring soup into their eyes, and one ungraceful arm was lucky enough to pour it down their pants.

      Al calmly exited the restaurant, a somber expression on his normally cheerful face and a stomach full of soup. He was dressed in a fine gray suit and hat, with a sharp red bow tie and a smart pair of red, shiny shoes. His hair was slicked back, and he wore gold-rimmed glasses that gleamed in the candlelight. He heard the music that had been loud and annoying indoors just faintly outside; a Neopian Philharmonic tune. It was stuffy and stereotypical, but it displayed the newfound class and distinguishment of the restaurant since Al first encountered it.

      Al was not accompanied by his blue Cobrall, as he normally was. The only thing keeping him company was the umbrella that burst open above him, which was a brilliant shade of blue. Beads of water trickled off of it as he collected himself, walking down the road, the umbrella bobbing and swaying with his movement.

      Moments ago, Soupaw himself had gravely seen him off, nervously wringing his apron. The fat and jolly purple Lupe looked anything but fat and jolly, looking unusually pale and thin with worry. His moustache-like whiskers had twitched very nervously as he had stood by Al’s table, watching Al’s expression carefully. He had been smiling when he approached Al.

      Moments ago, five customers simultaneously poured soup into their eyes, and one managed to pour some down their pants, as a clap of thunder had rang out just as the bell announcing the visitor’s entrance had rung ‘him’ in.

      Moments ago, that mysterious character had taken a seat at Al’s table, smiled rather viciously, whispered something into his ear, and taken off again, ringing the little bell on the door twice.

      Moments ago, Al was eating quite happily. He chatted noisily to the people in the tables around him about his lupological discoveries.

      “Oh, sure, no one believed me when I said that Halloween Lupes, of any kind of Lupe, are slightly less aggressive than most other types, but when I showed them the comparative bite marks and bruises from several other kinds of Lupes, they finally believed me!”

      He had fallen silent upon seeing the figure. He had stayed silent when the figure left.

      Now, it was moments later. With all these moments past, Al now had a momentous moment for himself. He looked up at the sky, watching a gloomy Pteri fly past, soaked to the bone in the rain. Everything outside the restaurant was gray and black-and-white, like a Jazzmosis concert, only without the freaky, repetitive music and the free mug afterward.

      “Piffle,” he said, simply and quietly.

      The Pteri was struck by lightening. With a loud squawk, it fell from the sky, landing in a grove of trees with a smack. One of the large pine trees had been struck by the lightening as well, and, with a squawk as loud as the Pteri’s, now fell upon the unfortunate neopet as it tried to regain its senses. Singed feathers fell from above with the rain. Al’s head was craned towards the falling feathers, witnessing all of it happening, somber, distracted, and silent. The Pteri feebly squawked again, and the tree caught on fire.

      “Piffle,” he repeated, his glasses illuminated by the dancing flames.

      He continued walking as another Pteri landed nearby, laughing at his now thoroughly injured companion, and getting struck by lightening himself.

Al’s House...

The rain had begun to stop, but the sky and the world was still as dark and gloomy as ever as Al plodded down Main Street, the umbrella still bobbing over his head. He released a long, heavy sigh as he arrived at his front garden, the path to the pleasant blue house with the bright yellow windows lined with exotic and bizarre plants and a white picket fence. As Al walked down this path, another bolt of lightening scared a Pteri enough to make him ram into one of Al’s windows, knocking him out cold.

      Fluffy jumped at the noise, then slithered over to the window and peered out just in time to see his owner’s blue umbrella disappear. He was eagerly anticipating his owner’s return; he wasn’t happy to be left alone in the house on such a creepy evening.

      He slithered over to the door and threw it open just as Al was about to push it open himself. Startled, Al gasped and released his umbrella. A sudden draft blew it down the street and out of sight, the vivid blue starkly contrasting the black-and-white world outside until the very end.

      Al sighed, watched it go, and then entered the house. “Piffle.”

      Fluffy frowned, flitting his tongue in and out of his mouth. His owner was acting funny, and the world outside was unusually gray and black-and-white. He quickly slithered out of Al’s way as his owner took off his wet shoes to reveal his normal red sneakers, pulled off the gray suit to reveal his normal white lab coat, and rubbed the gold paint off his glasses to reveal his normal glasses.

      “I’ll get started on your dinner, then.” He muttered distractedly, ramming into a table and knocking a lamp to the floor with a crash. He didn’t pick it up.

      He teetered about for a moment, unsure of himself, before heading through the door to the dining room, which led to the kitchen. Fluffy followed him, concerned.

      As Fluffy slithered into the dining room, which was lavishly furnished, he heard a crash from the kitchen. He started, halting for a moment and listening tersely. He heard a muffled “Piffle,” then the bumping and scraping and splatting noise that normally occurred when Al was preparing Fluffy’s food. Fluffy calmed, then slithered towards the swinging kitchen door again.

      He pushed it open just as Al was about to push it open. The door smacked into Al, surprising him. He dropped Fluffy’s food dish, which clattered on the black-and-white linoleum. The almost gummy rat that would have been Fluffy’s dinner flew out the open window with a sudden draft, its vivid red color starkly contrasting the black-and-white of the outside world as it got sucked into a sewer grate.

      Al sighed, watching it until its last moments. “Piffle.”

      Fluffy squinted. Something was definitely off.

      “H...Hiss?” he asked.

      “Oh, no, nothing’s wrong,” Al sighed, reaching down and picking up the food dish. “It’s just...something has happened.”

      “Hiss! Sss,” Fluffy nodded, understanding.

      “Oh, no, Sloth didn’t turn my research tapes into sludge again.” Al laughed, then sighed, then laughed a little more, then wiped a tear from his eye. “Not that kind of something. Something...well, I can’t really tell you, Fluffy. It’s something...traumatic...and confusing...and it involves...pineapples.”

      Al pushed his glasses up on his face, smacked his dry, quivering lips, and retreated back into the kitchen.

      Fluffy held the door for a moment, watching his owner scurry about in an attempt to find him more food. He frowned once more, slithering away and letting the door swing back into the kitchen.

      As the door rocked back and forth, in and out of the kitchen with wooshing noises and slowing momentum, Fluffy sighed as well, slithering towards the table and climbing up onto a seat, only able to speculate on what could be wrong with his owner...

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Al Tastes Revenge: Part Two
» Al Tastes Revenge: Part Three



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