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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 106 > Short Stories > The Petpet Shop

The Petpet Shop

by smileyface12_5690

Hello there. My name is Sotisha, but you probably know me better as the shopkeeper at The Neopian Petpet Shop. Any shopkeeper in Neopia Central is bound to meet a few weirdos on the job, someone who makes you cock your head and go “Huh?” from time to time. The Petpet Shop is probably where you see this the most, mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of sensible Neopians will purchase their Petpets through the convenience of the Shop Wizard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all of my customers are strange, just a lot of them. I have reluctantly decided to share one of my stories, the story of what probably was the most outlandish day in the history of The Neopian Petpet Shop...

     It started out as all the days had; I would unlock the door, step inside, and start putting some of the new Petpets on the shelves. The sky outside was a dazzling bright blue, bubbling over with soft fluffy clouds. I groaned. A clear day meant more work, as there would be more customers, and on top of that, it happened to be the third of June... Half Price Day.

     I heard the bells attached to the front door jangle. Turning around, I faced my first customer of the day. She was a Halloween Ixi, and a very young one at that. She smiled brightly, looking around the shop. She was absolutely fascinated by all of the different types of Petpets that she just couldn’t choose. Chuckling, I started to talk about some of them, how much maintenance each one was, what their behavior tended to be like, and whether or not they work well with other Petpets in the NeoHome. In the end she chose a Babaa, and, after paying, left the shop with a cheery grin.

     After that things started to get weird. The next two customers to come in were a Bruce and Kacheek, both painted Disco. I tried to stifle a giggle as they looked along the shelves, muttering things to each other in weird voices, until they finally decided on a Triffin. As they started making their way towards the cash register, I could finally make out what they were saying.

     “Whoa... dude, he like, totally has three eyes...”

     “Yes, I know, the epitome of funk... so awesome...”

     “They should like totally come out with a disco petpet paint brush... Little Disco Man here would look so awesome...”

     I had to bite my lip until it bled to keep myself from roaring with laughter. Even then it was a hard task, and I snorted while I was counting out their Neopoints. I smiled to them as they left, unable to say “Have a good day!” as I normally did. After the door swung shut behind them I keeled over with giggles. Perhaps the funniest part was that they had called the Triffin “Little Disco Man”.

     I recovered just in time to greet my next customer, a snobby Fire Wocky. She had her nose in the air as though everything in the shop was beneath her. She looked around at the shelves with looks of disgust. Some of the Petpets were frightened, and backed up a little as she passed their aisle. I sighed silently, knowing that this customer would be hard to please.

     She was about to speak, no doubt say something about how I ran the shop, when a Skunk Kyrii stumbled in, tripping over the threshold. It was rather easy to tell that he was not quite the sharpest Lost Desert Dagger in the shed. He was wearing Kyrii Rocket Boots, too... and before I could tell him to take them off, he had set one of the shelves on fire.

     Screaming, I chased him out of the shop, grabbed all of the Petpets from the burning shelf, and stopped the fire by pouring the soapy water I had used to mop the floors the previous night onto the flames. Still breathing heavily, I took the frightened Petpets, some of them with scorch marks and burns, into the back room so they could calm down and get some rest. When I came back, the rest of the Petpets in the shop looked frightened as well, but for a different reason. They were all staring at the fire Wocky.

     It took me a while to realize that the customer’s head was on fire, mainly because of the fact that she was painted to look exactly like the flames. There was still some soap water left in the bucket, so I went ahead and poured that on her head. Instead of relieved, though, she looked furious. I was confused.

     “I just saved your life! Your head was on fire and I put it out!”

     “I know, but you got soap in my eyes!” she said angrily. She slammed the door as she left, causing the room to shake, and then walked down the street, soaking wet, until she was out of sight. I couldn’t help myself, I laughed a little as I took the mop from the broom closet and started soaking up the water on the floor. The bell from the entrance rang again.

     “Um... bad time?” it was a male voice, trying too hard to sound professional.

     “Oh, no, no, just had a little accident. Feel free to look around,” I was still mopping, my eyes on the floor.

     “Ma’am, we need to speak with you,” it was a different male voice. I turned to look and nearly jumped out of my skin as I saw a striped Scorchio and a purple Lupe both wearing black suits... the Scorchio showing me his badge. “We are with the NBI, and we need to ask you a few questions.”

     I nodded, wondering if it had anything to do with the Wocky. I tried to hide the burns on the wall where the shelf was, but I knew that the two NBI members had already seen them.

     “First of all, we are closing in on a robbery... someone going around buying things from shops, so that the shopkeeper trusts them, and then stealing things on their way out when the keeper isn’t looking. We need to know... have you seen this Neopet?”

     I gasped as I stared at the photograph... it was the Halloween Ixi, my first customer of the day.

     “I think you’ve been mistaken... she was my first customer today, but she was so sweet and kind. I even watched her leave! She couldn’t have taken anything!”

     “Ma’am, trust us, we know who we’re after. All we want to know is if you have seen her, what she bought, and where she went to after leaving.”

     I sighed, trying to remember. “It was a few hours ago... she purchased a Babaa, paid full price... well, half price, being Half Price Day... but she paid without a single complaint, and starting heading off that way,” here I pointed out the window, “towards the Pharmacy. I hope that helps.”

     The two NBI agents nodded, muttered a quick “thank you” under their breath, and left.

     I was in a state of total shock and confusion. I had completely forgotten about mopping up the wet floor. I just couldn’t believe that cute little Ixi could do such a terrible thing.

     Upon seeing someone heading towards my shop, I quickly went back to the cash register and stood there. The Neopet, a Plushie Flotsam, looked around from the doorway where she stood. She cautiously walked inside as though afraid she could catch Sneezles from the air. She was mainly interested in the Fungrees towards the front, but started walking down to look at the Puppyblews. Suddenly, unable to stop it, she slipped and fell, flat on her back, squealing in pain. My jaw dropped in horror. This was a very, very bad day...

     “Are you alright?!” I shrieked over and over again, helping her back to her feet. She was crying and had some nasty scrapes on her back, her dorsal fin squished and broken. “I’m so sorry... so sorry... here, have a free Warf...”

     “No, no, it’s quite alright. I’ll just get to the Hospital, I can get there fine, just some pain in my back... it’s alright...”

     And before I could argue some more, she left. Looking down at the spot where she had fallen I started feeling guilty. She had slipped on the soapy water. Quickly, I grabbed the mop and soaked it all up within ten minutes. Just in time, I thought to myself, as two more Neopets came into the shop. Only they weren’t customers. They were the same NBI agents I had seen earlier.

     “Ma’am, sorry to bother you again, but we need to ask you something else. There has been a complaint that a customer’s head caught fire in this shop, not to mention a slip and fall case leading to serious injuries.”

     “I can explain,” I began a little hoarsely, “There was a skunk Kyrii that came in wearing those Kyrii Rocket Boots. He set that shelf on fire,” I pointed to the burned shelf. “I poured water on it, you know, but this Wocky who had been near the entrance at the time had her head catch fire, so I poured water on her too, but then she grew angry and stormed out. After you two came to question me about the Ixi robber, a Flotsam came in and slipped on the water I had poured to stop the fires. She wasn’t in any critical state, wasn’t even angry, just went to the Hospital...”

     “Pulligar, the Ixi robber! We’re supposed to be chasing her!”

     “That can wait! So,” he said, turning back to me, “You actually expect us to believe that story?”

     “AHHHHH!”

     WHOOSH...

     All three of us looked out the window. There, flying in broad daylight, was the Skunk Kyrii, supported by his rocket boots. He steered around, flying low over passing Neopets and causing them to scream.

     “Please forgive me for not believing you, Ma’am... Rhettshire, let’s go!” Both agents burst out the door to chase down the Kyrii. I tried to watch their progress, but my view was blocked by a large group of Neopets, all painted Disco, all singing something... the ones with fingers even showed peace signs. I laughed aloud; leading the group were the Bruce and the Kacheek, the ones who had been in my shop earlier that day. In between them was their Triffin, wearing a bright pink bandana covered in yellow swirls. The group was ambling by, completely ignoring the stares and sniggers from the Neopets walking past them. I could have sworn that I saw the Kacheek mouth “Whoo! Go Little Disco Man!” amidst all of the singing voices. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard.

     I saw something running in the distance, wearing a fat maroon cloak. As it came closer I noticed it was an Ixi... a Halloween Ixi. With a sudden rush of understanding, I started running out the door, trying to chase it. It tripped over two Neopets walking past... a plushie Flotsam and a fire Wocky. The Wocky had been wearing a hat, but it had fallen off to revealed burnt hair beneath. The Flotsam had bandages along her back and she let out a low squeal. A few inches from them was the Ixi, standing up, trying to gather back all of her belongings... she had stolen quite a few things during her day of dastardly deeds. I started running over to them, but one of the agents, coming out from nowhere, got there first, and quickly put handcuffs around her front hooves. He held her firmly on the spot. The other agent was speaking to the Disco Pets, telling them to go home and stop disrupting the peace.

     “But we’re singing for peace!”

     “Just go home!” said the agent furiously, and the group of pets split up and started going their separate ways, all feeling a little downtrodden. I could also see that the agent was hanging on to the Skunk Kyrii, the rocket boots in his other hand.

     “Man, what a day this has been,” said the other agent as a long car pulled up, an alarm coming from the blinking lights at the top. The NBI members shoved the two convicts into the back seat, then squished into the front seat themselves next to a very confused driver, who was also wearing black.

     “We’re very sorry for any inconvenience, Ma’am,” said the Scorchio just before he closed the door and the car zoomed off out of sight.

     The Wocky had already pulled her hat back on and was running in the opposite direction to avoid any more embarrassment. I helped the Flotsam get up from the ground.

     “I’ll be alright, I think I should just go home and get a lie-down... I’ll come back for a Petpet when I’m feeling better...”

     “Sure you don’t need any help getting back home?”

     “No, no. Very kind of you to ask, but I can manage. Thank you,” I watched her stumble a little bit, then waddle back to the street. I looked around... it was quite amusing to see all of Neopets’ confused and frightened faces. I sighed as I walked back to the shop and stepped inside.

     All of the Petpets were already asleep, so I quietly closed up the register and turned out the lights. Stepping back outside, I locked the door and started heading back home. I needed a lie-down as well...

     And all the way back, I could help but think how interesting my day had been. It was by far the funniest, strangest, most confusing, and, worst of all, least-profitable business day of my life.

The End

Author’s Note: If you have any comments, good or bad, please feel free to drop me a Neomail! This is my time writing a short story alone, so I would like to get some feedback. Thank you!

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