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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 75 > Short Stories > Rancid Rex Rides Again

Rancid Rex Rides Again

by al_the_chia

The Neopian West...

     It was a star-studded night in the dry, vast valley of sand and dehydrated suffering that only the rowdiest of Kaupeople called home. Cactuses bloomed in the moonlight, parading their wondrous petals before the Scamanders that scurried across the rapidly cooling sand without a care. A joyful chorus of desert crickets struck up a tune, adding background music to the serene scene as well as the howls of the rapidly disappearing Native Lupe Tribes, moving farther and farther away in a sick kind of one-way tango as the hokey, gimmicky Ghost Towns, Kau farms, and other such things pushed forward.

     Beyond the dusty, half-abandoned town of Cactus Fanny sat a deep ravine, where the many Ghost Towns desperately competed in search of gold, oil, and other jewels. The Gelerts of Fanny often had wars with the Native Lupe Tribes over the ravine's contents. The wars proved great distraction, and while they occurred Outlaws often seized the opportunity to rob the women and children back at the town.

     Outlaws like Dustin Kaupoke, wanted with a reward of 18,000 NP, alive or otherwise. Kaupoke was unusually skinny and bony for a Kau. He had a shallow, sunken face that usually had a sullen expression smeared across it, and his eyes, instead of bright and wide, were smaller and darker, mostly hidden under his dusty brown kauboy hat. Although you could see most of his ribcage inside his blue-furred chest, he was an unusually fast (if not stubborn) individual, with lightening tongue to match. His only fault was his endless need to openly voice his sarcastic thoughts and complaints with any creature in earshot.

     And right then, Kaupoke has more than enough to shoot his mouth off about, although for lack of thirst his loud voice was momentarily silenced. He sighed, his sore eyes leering around from his sore head as he grimly galloped through the seemingly endless mounds of sand. As the sun glared into his pupils, his face squished up like a wrung sponge, and he felt he could finally not handle the loud any longer when it finally happened.

     "I suppose this here is far enough, Poke. Hold Kau!"

     Kaupoke let out a long moan of relief before collapsing onto the ground with a little cracking noise, the air zooming out of his lungs like a balloon.

     "FINALLY! I think you should put a little bumper sticker on your belt with your weight on it so that I can start charging you by the pound. Of course, I'd need a jack to hold up all the layers of fat from your stomach to see it, but I think the financial gain would be worth the effort."

     A huge black paw cuffed the Kau's large ear with a huge, powerful sweep, and he yelped in pain before letting his complaints die down into undetectable grumbling. Kaupoke was loud, but he was smart enough to know not to disturb his enormous partner too much. He drummed his hooves on a rock as a massive Skeith clambered off his back, the spurs on his pitch-black leather boots jingling as he emptied a small knapsack onto the ground.

     "Hm...out of Hamburger, Kau...ain't that a shame? Well, I suppose we'll make do with what we have."

     Kaupoke gulped.

     If people though Kaupoke was bad, they knew Rancid Rex (or Percy Hornswaggle, although if you called him by his real name you most likely wouldn't wake up the next morning) was about ten times worse (and worth about ten times more at 180,000). His temper was like lightening, his gut was like steel, and his guns were like...well, really fast thingies that fired stuff at other thingies really well. He was a massive skunk Skeith, not too graceful on his heavy paws but quite the ballerina when directing Kaupoke across rough terrain.

     "Kaupoke, Ah'm a getting mighty tired. There ain't no people fer miles 'round these parts, and we're runnin' short on supplies..."

     Kaupoke snorted as he grabbed a few logs and started up a fire. His face was illuminated in the darkness as he sat down, stretching his legs. "YOU'RE tired? I've been carrying your fat frame for miles. Your BUTT is imprinted into my back, and I think if we don't get chiropractic assistance soon something's gonna SNAP!"

     He proved his point by rolling his neck around twice. A sound like a thousands twigs being stepped on at once flew from his cracking neck. Rex's eyes widened as he dropped the can of beans he was holding.


     "And that was just my neck. Care to hear the full, unabridged 'Nutcracker' Ballet, performed by my vertebrae?"

     Rex grunted in disgust as Kaupoke stood up on his hind legs and held up his arms, expertly twisting his back to crack out a sound eerily close to a nutcracker. He nodded his head twice and a sound like a machine gun rattled from his ears. Finally, he bent over, and touched his toes in an aerobic exercise move to make a snap so loud it seemed like invisible fireworks were dancing in the sky.

     In the distance, Lupes howled in agony and Scamanders scattered for miles around as Rex cuffed his partner over the ear again. Kaupoke snorted, falling back onto all fours with a popcorn rattle. Rex built up a makeshift fire, pouring the beans into an empty, dirty pot as Kaupoke performed yoga exercises from a book.

     "So, now what, almighty outlaw? We must have robbed every town in the west, and now that they know we've escaped from jail, they're all going to be on guard! And with the endless desert and the Injuns, we'll never be able to travel safely again! And I'm getting tired of going to bed with visions of sugarplums and bounty hunters with bazookas dancing around in my head!"

     "Ha! What do ya THINK we'll do?" Rex stuck the beans over the fire, taking off his hat with his other paw to fan it. "We've gotta get us some disguises! Then we can sneak into town lots easier."

     "Disguises? Oh, now why didn't you think of that when we went to Cactus Fanny? We might have actually NOT been caught! Oh, but you think of everything just a LITTLE bit too late, that's right, I forgot. A little slow in the noggin, as I recall."

     Kaupoke tapped his head with a hoof, grinning as he watched Rex turn red.

     "One crayon short of a set. A few books less than a library. A few yards behind the mile, a couple of beans..."


     Kaupoke cracked his neck with a rebellious grin, launching into an abusive flurry of insults.

     "You're so fat that when you walk down the street in a yellow cowboy hat, people scream that the Turmaculus is back and sic their petpets on you. And you eat 'em, too."

     "Kau...Ah'm warnin' ya..."

     "You're so fat that when Count Von Roo attacked you, he decided to skip sucking your blood cause he was tryin' to cut down on the fat!"


     "You're SOOOO ugly, that when you actually won at Kiss the Mortog, the princesses started to explode! And..."

     "SHUT IT, Kau. Now, we'll steal us some of those false moustaches, phoney glasses, and new clothes from a tradin' post somewheres. And then, we'll go on and get ourselves up as different peoples, see? That way, no one will ever know it was us!"

     Kaupoke sighed as he tied his legs into a pretzel, sniffing the beans with disgust. "First even halfway bright idea I've ever heard come out of your chubby-cheeked mouth, oh Great Tub-of-Lard. The only problem is, we have zero NP. AND, our faces are on every wanted poster from here to the Lost Desert. AND, we ain't got a single friend in the world save the Scamanders and the goldarned tumble weeds."

     He gestured to the endless desert to prove his point. A Scamander watching from a distance scurried away in alarm as he gestured.

     "The next town we come across could be for hundreds of miles, and they'll be likely to hang us the moment they see us!"

     Rex finally lost his temper. Foam flew out of his mouth and his eyes became wide and bloodshot as he pulled out his pistols and shoved each of them up Kaupoke's nostrils.

     "LISTEN!! The only reason we're low on NP is that you spent all them on those stupid cartons of milk and massage therapy! And if YOU could move a little faster, we'd probably have reached a town by now!! IT'S ALL YER FAULT, YOU WORTHLESS..."

     Rex was about to make some holy bologna out of Kaupoke before he stopped himself. His claws trembling and clutching the pistol handles he stood up, glaring at the unimpressed steer with a dangerous glint in his beady eyes. Nobody was afraid of Rancid Rex or Kaupoke anymore. The fear died as soon as they were captured. Captured and put into that rotten jail. By those stinking EASTERNERS!!

     "Well, you're right about one thing, Kaupoke. We ARE far away from any of them trading posts. But it ain't YER fault. It's that lousy Chia, Al, and that there Lupe, Thornpaw!! I reckon if we ain't welcome in the west no more, we'll have to go EAST. And the first stop we'll have to make is at Al's place!"

     Kaupoke's neck cracked as he leaned over to grab his plate and fork, still grousing. "Oh, just great! Now I get to carry you the OTHER direction!! Goody!"

     The pair loaded beans onto their plates, scoffing away as the stars twinkled above them in the clear desert sky. Things were never going to be the same for the Neopian West or East again.

     "I could have been a decent rodeo Kau, run around all day and stab Chia clowns in the fanny with my horns with halfway-good pay. But nooooooo. I had to pursue a life of crime with fatty of the year..."

     "You can be easily replaced, Kau."

     "Oh, whatever. I'm sure lots more Kaus would be able to carry you, Rex. Why, you're so petite that you could be swept away in the breath of a butterfly!"

     "Shut up, Kau. I'm warnin' you."

     "Oh? You understand sarcasm now? I'll have to be a lot more careful around you now, chipmunk cheeks. By the way, your mother called, and BOY, I didn't think it was possible, but she even SOUNDED fat!"

     "THAT'S IT!"

     BLAM! BLAM!!




THE EN*blam!*

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