Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 124,467,804 Issue: 251 | 4th day of Hiding, Y8
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Discovering Nobody

by thecandyandfoodlover


Sipping his coffee, Dr. Sloth opened up the newest Neopian Times issue. As he read one of the headlines, he sputtered and steaming hot coffee sprayed everywhere. Oh Borovan, not again!

     Yes, yes again. Again, there was another issue of the NT. Again, there was an article. Again, it was about him.

     Again, again, again! Hello! Aren't there any other things to talk about, he thought, like shoes, purses, and who's teasing who? Why me? And why are all of them so incorrect?

     Personally, the oh-so-evil minion never gave out information about himself or his plans. All these interviews, all these conversations, all these spyings... They weren't true! And even if they were, how could he have done all this stuff, every week? The mere thought was ridiculous!

     You know, sooner or later, readers of the Neopian Times are going to get tired of reading stuff about me, Dr. Sloth thought, taking another careful sip of his no-longer-hot drink. Sooner or later, they're going to want something completely out of the ordinary. Faeries, sea monsters, Balthazar, Snowager... All these fellows are getting quite overused.

     What if I interview someone? Me, Dr. Sloth? Interviewing somebody so ordinary that it's out of the ordinary? After all, exclusive interviews about a somebody are ordinary. So an interview about nobody should be a top seller!

     Dr. Sloth now had a plan, a goal, a mission to complete. He must interview a Nobody.


     "One way ticket to Neopia Central, please."

     "I'm sorry, sir, but we're all booked up for the next ten flights."

     "Well, what do you have free?"

     "Ahhh... Terror Mountain and Lost Desert are almost vacant, sir."

     "Oh, all right then. One way ticket to..." Dr. Sloth bit his lip as he wondered what to choose. Would there be more Nobodies in the cold or in the heat? Then again, Lost Desert had been frightfully popular since that little episode a while back... Nobodies weren't popular, were they? "Terror Mountain, please."

     The red Aisha, dressed in a crisp suit that looked like it was almost made of cardboard it was so perfect, handed him his ticket. "Okay, here's your ticket, and..." Her red complexion grew even darker as she blushed. "C-Can I have your autograph?"

     I wouldn't mind being a Nobody if people would stop asking me for that, Dr. Sloth thought surly, but he scribbled his initials and headed off, wanting to get as far away as possible from the once so prim and perfect, now giggly and blushing Aisha.

     "Neopians are weird," he muttered under his breath, and bought a Neocola from a vending machine before coming aboard to a long ride which would take him to a hopefully Nobody-packed mountain.


     "Oh, my Borovan! It's him!"

     "Can you sign my purse?"

     "Dr. Sloth... Wow!"

     It was inevitable. Where ever he went, a horde of jabbering birdbrains followed him everywhere. You'd thing, after reading so many stories and articles about him, that they'd get used to his appearance. His picture was in every single issue of the Neopian Times, after all! But no. Apparently, the real deal was a lot better than phoney typed up stuff.

     Too soon, however, the horde began to grow and grow and grow, until it felt like Terror Mountain's entire population was following him. Dr. Sloth needed an escape.

     Now, by means unknown, the infamous Dr. Sloth managed to sneak into a cafe. The stampede of follows rushed by the front door, oblivious that their source of their running was hidden and gone from their sight.

     "Finally!" Dr. Sloth ordered a coffee (he really needed to warm up), sat down in the far corner and began to tenderly sip his drink while scanning the room, searching for a Nobody.

     There was only one other person besides the workers there in the cafe, and that was a teenage girl. She had shoulder length hair, with chocolate brown lowlights and blonde highlights, mocha coloured eyes; she was rather short, just over five feet, and had delicate features. She had on an orange tanktop with a lime green T-shirt, and a jean miniskirt. (How could she stand the cold?) Fuzzy, knee high, pink boots were on her feet, and she had her legs crossed politely as she skimmed through the comics in the Neopian Times, occasionally smiling as she read a particularly funny one. A lime green purse, fuzzy just like her boots, was on the chair beside her, and poking out was a light blue notebook (also fuzzy) with a sparkly purple pencil.

     Of course, she was the one. She was alone, she was acting completely ordinary, she was a Nobody. Perfect, absolutely perfect.

     "Hello." Dr. Sloth smiled down at her as he approached. She looked up and gave a small smile back.

     "Hello," she replied, and returned to her comics.

     A slight rejection, no doubt, but this oh-so-dark villain wasn't daunted. "Mind if I ask you a few questions? I'm doing an article for the Neopian Times, and you are just the right one for the interview."

     The girl looked up at this and her smile grew into a grin, which was slightly mischievous and just a tad malicious, in a way. "Oh, of course! Here, sit down," she said, as she moved her purse to her lap.

     He gave a nod of thanks and took out a small notepad and a black pen. "Now, your name is... ?"

     "TheCandyAndFoodLover, but it's so much of a mouthful! Please, call me Candi or Squiggles... I prefer Candi right now, actually. Oh, and you spell it with an 'i' not a 'y.'"

     Candi? Squiggles? TheCandyAndFoodLover? Oh Borovan... Are all Nobodies like this? However, for the interview, he needed to hide his distaste. "Thank you," he replied smoothly, not really bothering to jot down her name. He was pretty sure he would remember something as unusual as that. "Do you have any Neopets, Candi?"

     "Mmmhmm." Candi grinned again, that creepy grin. Her eyes flashed with malice as well. "Yellowfish21, my spotted Koi, who we call Jake; Healer_of_Neopia, a skunk Scorchio, which we shorten up to Healer; a fire Kougra named Lab_Ray_Pet123, or Labray if you prefer; and my dear little Bubbles, a Christmas Acara, whose full name is Bubbles_Candy34."

     It took a moment for Dr. Sloth to write that down. He knew he wouldn't be able to remember all that. "Are they in any particular order, the way you list them?"

     "Oh yes. From oldest to youngest. The first three are all boys and were adopted, but Bubbles is the only girl and the only one created." Candi paused. "No, wait. Jake is the oldest, then Healer, then Bubbles, then Labray. Jake, Healer, and Labray are adopted and boys, and Bubbles is the girl and created."

     Oldest Jake, Healer, Bubbles -only girl and adopted- Labray Youngest, was what Dr. Sloth scribbled on his notepad. He preferred point-form to full-on sentences. "Ahhh yes... Now, are you with your pets here in Terror Mountain?"

     She looked at him as though he were mad. "Are you insane? Of course I brought them along! I can never get a hold of a babysitter, and my pets are far too chaotic to be left alone! And in my house? There wouldn't be a house if they were unsupervised!"

     "So, where are they?"

     "Where are who?"

     Dr. Sloth suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. "Your pets. Where are they?"

     "Oh..." Candi frowned. "Uhm, well, ah..."

     Sighing, Dr. Sloth put down his notepad. This was a lost cause. "You have absolutely no idea where they are, do you?"

     Shaking her head, she replied, "Nope."

     "Want me to help you?"

     "That would be most appreciated, thanks."


     "JA-AAAKE!" screamed Candi, her voice echoing throughout the chilled air. "HEALERRR! LAAABRAAAY! BUB-BLES!"

     "You know," Dr. Sloth mentioned sourly, "that if you actually looked instead of standing here and shouting, you would have a better chance of finding them."

     "Good idea. Just one problem... Where are we going to look?" Candi snapped back, and instantly looked embarrassed. Obviously, controlling her anger needed some work, and she was trying as hard as she could. However, some of it was leaking through.

     Oh Borovan, his breath looked as thick as fog, it was so cold here. He missed his coffee... Steaming, piping hot caffeine... "Look, how about we check out places that you think your pets would like? I mean, if you pets like eating snow, then look around in a few food stores. If your pets would rather have fine cuisine, try the Neggery..."

     "The Neggery! Of course! Bubbles absolutely loves Neggs!" Candi puffed out her chest proudly. "I am a genius, I must admit..."

     "Oh please." Dr. Sloth rolled his eyes, able to suppress the urge no longer. "Let's go and find the little brat, then."

     But, of course, they found something else entirely. As they entered the region of the Ice Caves, a hilarious and heart pounding sight greeted them.

     "MUMMM!!! HELLLLLLP!" A fire Kougra, looking around the age of eight, holding a Pink Paint Brush, tore down the icy path, screeching out pleas for help. "MUM-MUM-MUM-MUM-MUM!"

     "That's Labray!" cried Candi, just as a gust of wind blew nearly blew her backwards. Following the icy breath was the giant Snowager, roaring in anger, rushing after the little Kougra.

     "GET BACK HERE, YOU LITTLE BRAT!" roared the monster, as screaming Neopians all bundled up in winter outfits rushed out of the way. "WHEN I GET A HOLD OF YOU, I'M GUNNA RIP YOU LIMB... FROM... LIMB!"

     Dr. Sloth shook his head. "That does not sound very promising," he remarked, but he was interrupted by a shriek of laughter.

     "Oh Borovan! Look at Labray run! He's-He's..." Candi couldn't continue do to another dose of hysterics. "Holy Asparagus, that is absolutely... hah hah... hilarious... hah hah hah!"

     Fortunately, at least someone knew what to do in a situation like this. "Oiye, Snowager!" Dr. Sloth shouted up to the coiled beast, getting ready to strike the half running, half screaming Kougra. "It's me, Dr. Sloth!"

     "Sloth?" rumbled the Snowager, as he peered down to the figure below. Then he chuckled, which sounded a lot like thunder really up close. "Why, so it is! What are you doing down here, Sloth? Space getting too boring for you? I'm a little busy right now... Pesky kids..."

     "Yeah, that's what I need to talk about! That Kougra there, he belongs with me. Yeah. Suppose he, ah, brings back the thing he stole. Will you please stop chasing him and go back to guarding your treasure? And I'm pretty sure that some meddling Neopians are going to steal even more in your absence!" Dr. Sloth thought himself as a very convincing liar... which he was.

     The Snowager sighed, and a gust of ice almost knocked Dr. Sloth over. "I suppose so, seeing as he belongs with you... But be warned, Sloth," here the voice was so loud, so rumbling, that the icicles on the ceiling of the caves shook, "if I catch another Neopian stealing my treasure, yours or not, I will swallow him alive. Now, give back that item, before I change my mind!"

     The Kougra, or Labray as Candi called him, dutifully returned the stolen object. "Here you go, Mister Snowager," he said, taking one more glance at the Pink Paint Brush. "Are you sure you want it, though? Because my sister really wa-"

     "Yes, he's sure," Dr. Sloth interrupted quickly. The Snowager had a short temper. Thankfully, the huge ice monster didn't hear the Kougra's last sentence. The Giant gave a nod of thanks and slithered back to this cave.

     Candi stopped her laughing and gave Labray a big hug and a slap on the nose. "What the heck were you thinking, running off like that?" she scolded in a kind, mothering voice (if such a thing were possible). "Do you have any idea how worried I was?"

     "You didn't look worried, laughing like that!" Labray hotly replied, and got another smack and embrace for it. Through his owner's arms, however, the Kougra stared at Dr. Sloth with a look of pure admiration and awe. "You're my new hero," he announced to a surprised, annoyed, and yet secretly pleased Dr. Sloth. "Thanks for saving my life there."

     Dr. Sloth didn't answer. The article of a Nobody was fading from his mind. Was it really that important? He wanted to sigh, but instead he asked Candi, "So, the Neggery, then?"

     Candi nodded. "Yes, I think so. Bubbles is sure to be there."

     "Bubbles? Oh yeah, she was going to buy a Glamour Negg or whatever it's called..." Labray put in his two cents proudly.

     Dr. Sloth nodded. "Neggery it is."


     However, Bubbles was nowhere in sight once they arrived at their destination. "Where is she?" wailed Candi, pulling at her hair. Labray pushed her hands away from her face with large paws that looked too big for such a small little guy. He smiled up at her and told her that Bubbles was sure to turn up sometime. His owner smiled back sorrowfully and ruffled his fur. "I hope so, hun. I sure hope so..."

     "Come on, what damage can a prissy Acara do?" asked Dr. Sloth, raising an eyebrow.

     Little did he know, a prissy Acara can do damage. Quite a bit, actually.

     "Mummy! Mummy! Waaaahhh!!!" A helpless, shrill voice came from a nearby garbage can. "Get me outta this thing!"

     Frowning, Candi approached the source of the voice. "Bubbles?" she whispered tentatively, peering down the garbage can. She reached down there, and lifted up a sobbing baby Acara.

     "Mummy!" cried baby Bubbles, looking up at her owner with large, watery eyes. "I got shrunk..."

     Not too far away, hiding in an icy shrub, a baby Bruce with a ray gun cackled with ill humor. "Gotcha!" he chirped gleefully, and started to cackle once more.

     Boochi, Dr. Sloth thought, sighing inwardly. Time for heroic me to save the day... Again. "Hello, Boochi," he addressed the young Bruce in a cool tone. "And how are you, today?"

     "Ah, Mister Dr. Sloth!" Boochi greeted in an oily voice that ill suited the small, baby form he was imprisoned in. "So good, so glad to see you here... So nice indeed..."

     "Yes, terribly exciting, meeting up with you," he replied shortly. "Sadly, you have not ceased to disappoint me, Boochi."

     Boochi examined him with beady eyes. "Oh?"

     "You see, you have zapped one of my most valued clients. I am sure that it is an accident, but nevertheless, it would be most wise to return her to her natural colour."

     "M-Most valued client, eh?" Boochi didn't look so sweet or calculating anymore. In fact, he looked completely and utterly frightened. He knew how mean Dr. Sloth's labray was compared to his wimpy raygun. "Er, of course, Mister Dr. Sloth, sir... I will return her to her proper form... Terribly sorry, very upsetting, of course... Did not know, you see, sir..." And with a few wires crossed and a trigger pulled, Bubbles was zapped back into her Christmas form.

     "Thank you," Dr. Sloth began to say, but Boochi was already gone, scrambling along the icy ground, trying to get as far away as possible. Obviously, the little tyke feared punishment for his 'mistake.'

     "Thank you," Candi thanked him, hugging her properly restored Acara. Bubbles glanced at him and his black robes with distaste. Like your red and white jacket is any better, Dr. Sloth thought angrily, but he didn't say it out loud. Instead he sighed, and suggested to go look for Jake and Healer, which Labray, Bubbles, and Candi strongly agreed.

     However, they didn't need to look for those two, because Jake and Healer found them. Well, sorta.

     "That's it, you're asking for it!"

     "Oh yeah?"

     "Yeah, you little piece of--"

     "HEALER! Watch your tongue!" Candi shouted, cutting Healer off. The skunk Scorchio whipped around and his face fell.

     "Aww, snap..." The Scorchio quickly kicked something under a bush and hid something behind his back. Luckily, Candi didn't notice. Yet.

     "How dare you, talking to your older brother like that!" lectured a furious Candi to an embarrassed and uncomfortable Healer. They both ignore Jake, who was on the ground with laughter. No wonder that Healer was embarrassed, however: she was shouting in the middle of street, and people were beginning to watch. "You know how strongly I feel about stuff li--Healer, what's that?"

     Now the Scorchio really looked uncomfortable. "What's what?"

     Candi gave a rueful laugh and Jake stopped his hysterics, staring hungrily at his owner, waiting for a sudden reaction. "Don't play mind games with me, young man. What's that behind your back?"

      "Nothing!" protested Healer fruitlessly. Candi hunted for something under the nearby bush and withdrew a bright green and purple wrapper. She narrowed her eyes.

     "Healer!" she hissed angrily. Her three other pets were all looking now, wriggling with anticipation. "Give... it... here!"

     Reluctantly, Healer handed over a...

     "A Poisonous Lollipop?" Candi's eyes nearly bulged out of her head. "HEALER!!!"

     No doubt about it, everyone in the street was staring now. After all, she was louder than the Snowager as her veins swelled and her face wore a nasty hue of purplish red. Bubbles, Labray, and Jake held their breath, and were practically vibrating, they were so excited.

     "And what," Candi's voice dropped to a whisper, "were you doing with this?"

     Healer mumbled something Dr. Sloth couldn't quite catch. But Candi did, and Dr. Sloth wouldn't be surprised if everyone in Ice Caves heard her scream.

     "I THOUGHT SO!" she bellowed, and her three other pets fell over laughing. "I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU, HEALER! IRRESPONSIBLE, ABSOLUTELY INTOLERABLE--"

     And it went on like this for quite some time. A group of people circled around the angry owner and the guilty Neopet. Finally, Candi calmed herself slightly and dragged the Scorchio over to a corner store. Here, she bought twenty-five Poisonous Lollipops, unwrapped all of them, and gave them one by one to Healer.

     So there she stood, watching Healer going through all twenty-five of them. As soon as he put them in his mouth, green smoke issued around his face, smelling quite awful.

     I will never understand why people do those things, Dr. Sloth thought, wrinkling his nose in disgust. They're bad for you, taste and smell disgusting, and they turn your teeth into a hideous green. However, there stood Candi, who forced Healer to go through every one. By the time he was finished, the Scorchio swore never to have another Poisonous Lollipop ever again. Candi was quite satisfied.

     It was here that Dr. Sloth departed from snow and cold all together and returned up to his Space Station.


     The next day, Dr. Sloth received a neomail. He opened it up and read:

     Doctor Sloth--

     Thank you for helping me find my four pets yesterday. They all learned a valuable lesson. Labray learned not to steal, Bubbles learned not to insult strangers (especially baby Bruces), Healer not to do stuff that is bad for him, and Jake learned that it is possible to fracture a rib if you laugh too hard.

     Anyway, my pets are getting much to difficult for me to take care all on my own. I was wondering if you could be my pets' new babysitter? You don't have to do much. Just make sure that they aren't killing each other. How about ten thousand Neopoints an hour? Sounds fair? I thought so!

     Thank you again, and send me a neomail as soon as you can if you can babysit.


     PS: I do remember you were writing an article for the Neopian Times. You didn't have time to interview me, and I apologize sincerely. So, to make it up to you, I wrote a short story on you, meeting me and all. Best of all, the Neopian Times accepted it! You'll be seeing it soon, I bet. Oh, and I do hope that you like it.

     "Babysitting?" Dr. Sloth pondered the thought. He did like those kids, even if they were a pain in the neck. And he was running low on cash...

     Candi, he wrote, beginning a reply. Yes, I will accept your job offer. As for your story... I just hope it's not as outrageous and ridiculous as the other stories about me. They get really tiresome, you know. As for my interview... It really wasn't a big deal. I don't really need to publish an article; I'm famous enough already. Yours truly, Dr. Sloth.

     He folded up the letter and sent it on its way, chuckling softly to himself. "Babysitting, eh?" he wondered aloud, sitting down in his leather chair and gazing out his window. "Babysitting a bunch of kids.. How much trouble could they be?"

     Last famous words, Sloth, last famous words...

The End

Author's Note: Ah yes... This is the short story that Candi wrote and submitted. Thank you for reading it! And, yes, Dr. Sloth is my pets' babysitter... And he sincerely regrets ever taking the job. Can't see why, of course, my pets are perfect little angels... Well, sort of. Not really. Actually, not at all.

This story started out with me clicking on 'Submit An Article' and just making up a story as I went along. It started off as an article, but slowly turned into a short story. I'm not really an article type of person. Anyway, the same thing happened when I wrote my first story, 'The Truth You've Been Waiting For... ' I don't suggest this method at all. Planning out a story is much better than randomly creating one at the top of your head, then submitting it without any editing.

You can neomail me if you please. In fact, I encourage it. Everything, from praises to flamers; all is accepted and will help me write better. Best of luck, Candi

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