Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 91,590,388 Issue: 174 | 21st day of Sleeping, Y7
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One Scary Night

by kacheeklover3579


"It was a dark and stormy night in the Haunted Woods. Albert walked cautiously along, wondering where all the spooky noises were coming from. He had heard rumors of the Esophagor, a horrible monster that turned innocent pets into mutants, but he had refused to believe them. All he had come to this creepy place for was to find a good place with some good, fertilized soil to build a garden. Then he tripped on something. He looked back and saw it was just a rock. Just an accident; nothing or no one had purposely wanted him to fall. There was nothing to be frightened of here.

"Then, suddenly, a loud booming voice came out of nowhere: 'Whooooo are youuuuu?'

"Albert didn't want to look up and see what kind of awful hideous beast was speaking to him. 'A-Albert,' he answered softly. That was when he finally gathered up the courage to look up. He saw the face as a blurry photograph, as something entirely out of his imagination, a mirage, not real.

"Oh, but it was real all right. It was the Esophagor, and it didn't seem to like Albert very much. It made a face, then reached out its long hand. Before Albert could escape, it managed a firm grip on his tail that little Alby simply couldn't wriggle out of. He watched in consternation as the black spots on his coat faded. His skin felt cold and rough. He felt a terrible pain in his head, as if his brain were about to explode. The happy, bright yellow hue disappeared from his body, and a pale blue replaced it. He screamed as loud as he was able, but no one seemed to hear him as his desperate cry for help faded into the chilly night air…."

But right now, it was little Terri's turn to scream, at her big brother's scary story. Her mum heard, and ran into the room. "Honey, calm down! What's the matter?"

"Poor Albert! Evil Esophagor! He turned Mutant! I'm gonna turn Mutant like him!" She let out another piercing shout.

"Oh, sweetie, it's okay, it's okay," her mum said, picking her daughter up gently and placing her in her lap. "Now what's all this about mutants? Where did you hear this?"

She pointed to her brother, Calvin, who simply shrugged innocently and replied, "I was just telling her a story."

His mum groaned. "Calvin, I told you to tell her a bedtime story, not a ghost story." She turned to Terri. "Terri, forget about all that. The Esophagor lives in the Haunted Woods, and we won't be going there."

"But he really does turn pets into Mutants, doesn't he? It's true, isn't it?"

"Don't worry, he can't get you."

"Waaaahh! It's true!"

"Shh, shh," her mother tried to calm her down a little. "It's okay. Just, please, go to sleep."

She tucked Terri in her bed. Then she whispered harshly to Calvin, "I'll deal with you later."

Terri couldn't sleep a wink. She was too afraid of the Esophagor. She lived in the Lost Desert, which was practically next door to the Haunted Woods, at least in Terri's mind. What if it reaches out and pulls my tail? She hugged her tail and pulled the covers over her head.

In the middle of the night, she ran to her mum's room screaming, "Help! It's after me!"

"What's after you?" asked her mother groggily, having been awakened with a start from her good night's sleep.

"The Esophagor!"

"Oh, Terri, you're fine. I told you not to worry about it. It lives far away. It won't get you. I promise."

"No, it was in my room! And it was trying to pull my tail! It was gonna turn me mutant! Get it away from me!" yelled Terri.

"Okay, Terri. Where do you think he is?"

"I don't know!...But it's after me…."

"Okay, let's try your closet."

"What if he's in there?" Terri whispered nervously.

"I'll check for you. But you have to come with me," her mum said.

They went to her room. Terri hid behind her mum's legs, peeking out every once in a while to make sure nothing was in there to harm her. But there was nothing but a bunch of clothes inside.

"See? Look," said her mum. "Nothing there."

"What about under my bed?"

Her mum sighed and checked under Terri's bed. She reached underneath and pulled out what she could find: a rather scruffy Blue Kacheek Plushie. She showed it to Terri.

Terri looked doubtful, but eventually gave in. "Well, okay, I guess. If you say so." She crawled back into bed, barely managing to fall asleep without any more nightmares.

The next morning, Terri had almost completely forgotten about the Esophagor until she walked into the family room and Calvin said under his breath, "Aaaaalbert, where is my fooooood?" He looked up from a paper he was drawing on and shot Terri a small evil smile.

Terri stuck her tongue out at him, but he kept going. "Teeeerriiiiii, where is my foooood?"

Terri looked away. She had always been told that when someone was bothering her, she should just try to ignore them.

That was when their mum walked in and noticed how quiet her kids were being. "Oh, Calvin. You're telling stories again, aren't you?"

"Oh, no, of course not, Mum." Calvin was getting really good at pretending he had no idea he did anything wrong.

"Good. You better keep it that way."

Once their mum left, Calvin put his crayons down and held up the picture he had drawn. It was of an ugly mutant Kacheek, with an arrow pointing to it that said "This is you."

Grrrr, thought Terri. She contained her anger as best as she could and stormed out of the room.


The next day, Calvin ran into Terri's room and woke her up. "I'm really sorry, Terri. You know, about what I said. That was mean, telling you you were gonna be mutant. So to make it up to you, I'm taking you to Faerieland!"

Without thinking about the possibility that her brother was lying, like he usually did, she said, "Yay! Okay! Let's go!"

"Wait! But first, since you've never been there, I want it to be a surprise how it looks when we get there, so I'm going to blindfold you, okay?"

"Okay, sure. Whatever."

He blindfolded her and led her around Neopia for about an hour until they reached their planned destination. "Okay, we're here!" Calvin shouted. "Surprise!"

He removed Terri's blindfold and her smile quickly faded. "This…this isn't Faerieland."

She looked around. It was the Haunted Woods! The Esophagor was about fifty meters away from them.

Calvin was laughing hysterically at his sister's frightened face. Just a moment later, the Esophagor heard and noticed them. "Whooooo are youuuuuu?"

Calvin's laughing silenced instantly. Terri hid behind Calvin.

"Um, th-this is Terri. I-I'm Cal…Cal…Cal…."

He couldn't even finish his sentence. He was stunned speechless.

The Esophagor lunged toward them. Calvin and Terri ran and dodged his grasp. While they were running they saw a sad Mutant Kacheek.

Terri stopped running for a second. "Do you think that's Albert?"

"Just keep going," Calvin answered, and he just kept running as fast as he could.

The Esophagor reached for their tails again. Terri ducked clear out the way, but it only missed Calvin by about an inch.

"Ugh!" the Esophagor grunted. "Albert! Get them!"

Albert pretended not to hear him. He looked up for a short second and winked at Terri and Calvin, and he didn't look so hideous for the moment.

"ALBERT!" The Esophagor was clearly angry. "You Kacheeks, come back, NOW!"

Terri and Calvin kept running until they finally got out of the Haunted Woods. Even then, they could still hear the Esophagor's booming voice echoing in the distance.

Terri slumped down against a tree, out of breath. "That was just like the story, Calvin."

"I know," said Calvin. He paused, then looked Terri in the eyes. "I'm really sorry." She could tell by his face that he was telling the truth this time.

"I forgive you," said Terri.

They smiled at each other and walked back to their NeoHome together. By the time they got there, it was dark.

"Where were you?" their mum yelled when they walked in the door. "I was worried sick!"

"So were we," Calvin whispered in Terri's ear.

"What did you say?" asked their mum.

"Nothing," the two Kacheeks answered simultaneously.

Their mum raised her eyebrows as if to say, "Whatever."

"Mum, can I sleep in Calvin's room tonight so we can talk?" asked Terri.

Their mum looked confused, and she had the right to be. They never got along. "You guys actually want to talk? Not fight? Okay, that's great!"

So the two walked into Calvin's room. They talked for a while. They seemed to actually be - dare say - friends again.

"I'm tired," Terri said finally. "That was too much adventure for one day."

"Yeah," said Calvin. "It sure was one scary night, huh?"

Terri yawned. "Yeah," she answered as her eyes began to fall.

They both fell asleep.

The End

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