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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 77 > Short Stories > Buttered Humour

Buttered Humour

by terrabondayle

Untitled Document

Dry gusts of wind tossed and tangled in Catriona's hair and she was forced to brush it away irritably every few seconds. Beside her, DenorAiDevlin and RaigaraRanailez were not having an easier time with the weather of Meridell. Calanthil was hidden in Devlin's mane to avoid being blown away.

     The destruction caused by Darigan was tearing away at Meridell. The earth under their feet was freezing and rock hard. Dust gathered in heaps, and all it took was a small gale of wind to send the particles flying into the eyes of unwary Neopians. The land was no longer green but brown with traces of decay and waste. Nothing, save the miracle of the orb would heal the land into growing again.

     This realisation saddened Catriona and her bonded Neopets, as they were all strong users of the earth element. They could feel the dull pain of the earth beneath them, but could do nothing that would save it permanently, let alone one day. The land was destined to be infertile and only the unnatural powers of the orb made the plants grow.

     When Catriona had learned about Meridell's poor state, she, along with Devlin and Raigara, decided to pay a visit to the barren land and see how Illusen was faring.

     They passed by Meri Acres Farm where potatoes from potato counter were scattered everywhere. The Kacheek who had just come back from visiting his Gelert neighbour at Pick Your Own, was climbing up over the fence to get back to his potato shack. Unfortunately, the fence was not in good shape and as he tried to jump down, a loud 'rip' sound was heard from behind him.

     The Kacheek fell to the ground awkwardly, and was stunned. At the sound of his pants ripping, Raigara had erupted into snorts of laughter and was now struggling to hold herself up, one hoof to her stomach. The farmer was not as pleasant and had turned red with embarrassment and rage.

     "What are ye laughing at, Uni? Get outta my sight ye blasted ruffian!"

     He picked up a lone potato and threw it at the island Uni and her companions. He missed, but Raigara was breathless from laughter and could not get up to save herself. The potatoes were still coming and nearing their mark. Devlin hurriedly helped his bondsister get up and ushered her onward out of potato targeting range.

     "That was a smart move, Raigara," he scoffed. "Now we'll never pass by again without getting potatoes bouncing off our heads."

     Raigara was wheezing hard trying to get her breathing back to normal, but sniggers still made their way through. "B-but… did-didn't… y-y…you… see… him? Th-that's… a c-class…-sic!"

     The skunk Eyrie rolled his eyes and continued walking. Raigara followed, small titters still escaping from her.

     "Uhh… my stomach hurts…."

     Catriona snorted derisively. "That's what you get for acts of such immaturity."

     "But… it was funny!" Raigara could not help but laugh all over again. She stopped suddenly and groaned when she felt the pains in her sides and ribs.

     "What was funny?" A clear, sonorous voice drifted softly beside them. Out of the bare trees, stepped out Illusen. She seemed suddenly very bright in her green clothing when compared to the dull colours around her.

     "Illusen! How are you?" Catriona asked concerned. "Has the war affected you deeply?"

     The Earth Faerie sighed. "Perhaps in a way it has, but I've adapted. My magic allows me to sustain some green life in a small area, but I do not know how long it will last."

     The Terrabondayle nodded solemnly. "Is there anything we can do to help?"

     Illusen considered Catriona's words for a moment. "Actually yes, there is something you can do. Since my glade was destroyed, I haven't anyone to help me with my quests. Could you or your bonded help me?"

     "To be honest with you, Illusen, I am feeling suddenly ill… it may be because of the earth's influence, but whatever it is, it will have to be Raigara or Devlin who will help you."

     The Faerie smiled. "Any help is appreciated. I think I have something that will help you ease the ill feeling. I will bring you to my temporary glade in a moment."

     The Earth Faerie turned to the island Uni. I have a job for you, Raigara. I need you to get me a Faerie toast with butter'. You have 16 minutes an-oh, I'm sorry! I get used to saying that so often it has become mechanical now." Illusen chuckled softly. "Take the time you need, but I'll be waiting."

     Raigara nodded and took off into the air heading towards Faerieland.

***

The clouds floated past the flying Uni on her way to the Faerie food shop. Around her, pets, mostly painted Faerie, were busily helping out around the employment agency. Raigara made a soft landing on the light, but firm clouds holding up Faerieland.

     She stepped into the Faerie food shop and waited a couple minutes for restock. Seemingly out of nowhere, Neopets and their owners barged into the shop grabbing everything in site. However, Raigara was swift and was able to get the last Faerie toast with butter.

     She stepped outside whistling nonchalantly, and suddenly stopped. The sunlight was suddenly replaced by a tall shadow. Before the island Uni stood Jhudora, the dark Faerie

     "How convenient," she said with a wry smile. A Neopet who has what I need before I even ask for it."

     Raigara took an involuntary step back. "You mean this toast? I am sure if you wait for restock you can get-"

     "I don't have the time to wait!" She snapped but quickly resumed her smile. "I'm sure I can reward you extra for giving me that Faerie toast with butter, as it was not your intention to give it to me."

     "Er… no it wasn't…" Raigara thought it wise to keep to herself the knowledge of who it was really for. "But I can't give this to you, I need it quickly for Terrabondayle needs it as soon as possible."

     "And you think I don't need ingredients quickly? I do not have all the time in the world, Uni. Why do you think I have other pets get the items for me? Now, give me that Faerie toast."

     Raigara's eyes gleamed mischievously. "Or what?"

     "Or you will be having a very bad case of the Sneezles."

     "What about this 'reward' you are going to offer me? I'm not going to give this up for a measly poisonous lollipop."

     Jhudora muttered something impolite but snapped her fingers. A puff of purple smoke came around her hand and as it cleared away, a bag of 100 Neopoints appeared.

     The Uni raised an eyebrow. "I paid much more than 100 Neopoints for this item."

     The Dark Faerie glared and snapped again. Another 400 Neopoints were added.

     Raigara seemed to contemplate this for a moment. "Hmm… no, 500 isn't enough." Jhudora gritted her teeth angrily. "How much do you want Uni? It is nothing but worthless toast."

     "Ah, but if it was so worthless to you, would I be standing here haggling? Now, up the ante!"

     The Uni's unjust bargain continued for a long time, until finally, Jhudora lost her temper and exploded. "5000 NEOPOINTS! HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU WANT?!"

     "That will do nicely but…"

     "BUT?"

     "But…" The Uni smiled innocently. "But I don't want to sell it anymore." Raigara was blown into the air by Jhudora's infuriated scream.

     "I've had enough with your bargaining! Give me that toast!" She shot into the air and rained thunder around the island Uni. Raigara yelped and barely dodged the dark fires of lightning. She beat her wings furiously to gain speed and altitude but Jhudora was not far behind. More sparks of dark magic zipped past, slightly singing the Uni's mane, but she kept going.

     "Get back here with that toast! You'll never escape!" Jhudora shot more balls of shadow fire at Raigara, but she manoeuvred speedily. It was a tail chase, and Raigara had had experience with Devlin. She wondered if the same technique would work…

     Jhudora was almost within grabbing reach of Raigara's tail, when the Uni banked up sharply and did a somersault in the air, getting behind Jhudora. Unfortunately, the law of gravity applied to the toast and the butter slid off onto the dark Faerie in mid-flight of the back flip. Jhudora stopped, and the warm butter slid down her face.

     Raigara's mouth opened but it was not for laughter this time. "On second thought… you can have this!" She tossed the Faerie toast without butter to Jhudora, hitting her in the face, and fled, fearing for her life this time. She made it out of Faerieland safely, but barely missed the caustic potion that was thrown at her.

***

The island Uni was still sweating and galloping furiously across the fields of Meridell. The old Kacheek farmer (who has sewn up his pants) recognized her and shouted angrily whilst throwing some more potatoes at her. They missed of course, since the Kacheek was a horrible thrower, but it did not help Raigara's nerves.

     She skidded to a halt in front of Illusen, who was talking with Devlin about old forest herbs.

     "Raigara!" she exclaimed. "I told you there was no hurry-"

     The Uni was out of breath again, but forced the words through. "If-f-f… y-you… we-were in… m-m-my… shoes… you… would-d-dn't…s-sa-say… th-that…"

     Devlin grinned knowingly. "I think Raigara has a story to tell us."

     Tell it she did, but left out the part about haggling. If Catriona knew about her fake attempt at trying to cheat Jhudora of her money, she would never hear the end of it.

     'And then, I got her off my tail with a mid-air somersault, but I dropped the toast… on her head…"

     "You what?!" Illusen burst into uncontrollable laughter. "Oh, Raigara! That's the funniest thing I've heard since the potato counter Kacheek sat on a bush of super juicy berries at Pick Your Own! I wish I could have been there!" She continued to laugh, clutching at her sides in pain and glee. Devlin was no better and even Calanthil was sharing in the chortling. The Uni was silent however, and she shifted uneasily as she remembered the Dark Faerie's angry cries.

     "That's odd, Raigara," Devlin said as he wiped tears from his eyes. "I thought you, above everyone, would have gotten a good laugh from this."

     "You could say I already have, Devlin," she said in a troubled tone. "I think it's going to be my last laugh for a long time…."

The End

Author's Note: Er… I like food. I don't mean to use all these food comparisons. Really.

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