Sophie versus The Neopian Times
Sophie was rudely awakened early in the morning by a noisy clatter. She pulled herself out of bed as she grumpily went to investigate. Today was Friday, one of the seven days a week that Sophie preferred to sleep in. She picked up her curled staff and went to eliminate the problem. She came to the door and slammed it open. As she stepped out of her shack and onto her porch she saw one of her Meowclopses tormenting a white Weewoo.
“Blink,” she scolded, “what have I told you about trying to eat the Neopian Times Weewoo?”
The filthy Meowclops offered an apologetic mew. Once he had returned inside, the Weewoo began to look at Sophie expectantly.
“What do you want?” barked Sophie. “It’s not my fault that you don’t watch out for predators. Now get off my property!”
The Weewoo took flight immediately. Sophie pushed aside her long, green, knotted hair as she looked for the weekly issue of the Neopian Times. She spotted it carelessly dropped into the muddy swamp.
“That’s last time I save that incompetent Weewoo,” she grumbled to herself as she marched into the swamp.
Mud splashed across her patched up robe. She snarled at a nearby tree as it snagged her floppy witch hat. Today was certainly going to be a bad day. Sophie reached her Ixi paw into the swamp and pulled out the newspaper. She gasped at the front page that stated, “Sophie the Swamp Witch has gone too far”. She continued to read the article.
“Sophie the Swamp Witch has had a reputation of not liking company and being nasty about it. But a few days ago Sophie committed a crime much worse than temporarily turning someone into a Slorg. Last Wednesday an innocent salesperson approached Sophie’s shack and politely asked if she would like to buy a paintbrush for her plentiful Meowclopses. The vile Ixi immediately cast a cruel spell on the Salesperson; she launched a fireball at him. Witnesses report that the salesperson was screaming in pain, but the awful Witch merely ignored him. Eventually, the clever salesperson managed to extinguish the fire by rolling in mud.”
Sophie stopped reading there and shrieked in disgust, “This is the most false article I have ever read in this pathetic paper!”
She then turned to Blink and became ranting, “Would you look at all the lies here. First of all, I don’t see any mention here that that ‘innocent’ salesperson had bothered me three times in the last week; each time I turned him away politely and when he didn’t learn his lesson I can’t be blamed for my actions. Second of all, there were absolutely no witnesses, so how can this author claim that what he knows is true? And, most important of all, my spell inflicted no pain whatsoever; it merely made it appear that he was on fire. That idiot eventually figured out that it was an illusion and left.”
After that long speech Sophie took in a deep breath. She then grabbed the issue of the Neopian Times and angrily ripped it into shreds. After it was nothing but a pile of paper scraps, she gathered them up and tossed them into a fire beneath her cauldron.
“Well, obviously no one will believe this, right?” she asked a little unsurely.
Blink simply looked back at her with a blank, one-eyed, stare.
“Well, I know that Bruno will believe me and not this stupid allegation,” she declared. “I’ll go ask him right now.”
So the Swamp Witch set out to the Haunted Woods. Her feet made a noticeable splash as she waded through the swamp, but became silent when she stepped onto the soil. She pushed aside brambles and shrubs as she marched between the trees. Eventually, she arrived at Bruno’s ominous cave. Still, she lingered with a bit of fear. It was not fear of Bruno himself; it was fear of what Bruno might say. She assured herself that Bruno was a perfectly logical thinker and that he would never doubt his own sister.
“Bruno!” she called out.
Instead of bounding out to hug her like he normally did when she visited, he walked slowly and sombrely. Sophie caught sight of his huge hulking body; he had messy blue hair and similar coloured fur. He wore the same ripped suit he had worn for several years. However, instead of a look of joy on the Gelert’s face, he looked pained.
“Sophie, how could you?” he asked sadly.
“What!?” Sophie’s scream echoed around that cave. “You actually believe that atrocious newspaper? You actually think that I would go so far as to brutally burn someone ?”
Bruno looked torn and slightly apologetic as he sighed, “Well, you often do cast spells when you’re angry and it says here that there were witnesses.”
Sophie felt her face burn up with rage at the thought the Neopian Times had turned her own brother against her.
“There were no witnesses! Absolutely none; just me, that irritating salesperson, and my meowclopses, that’s it,” she kept blurting out.
When she saw that Bruno was still being sceptical of her, she grabbed the paper out of his oversized paw and started pounding on it against the cold, rock wall. Soon it, like her own paper, was nothing more than shreds.
“Fine,” she huffed. “You can choose to be a gullible fool and believe whatever the media says is true, but I’m going to Neovia and everyone will listen to me and understand how moronic this author has been.”
She then stormed out of Bruno’s cave and made her way to her old town. Soon she was leaving the dirt behind and stepping on civilized cobblestones. She noticed many townsfolk busy with the jobs. One by one they each turned toward Sophie with looks of disgust. Soon everyone was booing, jeering, or throwing something at the furious Ixi.
“Sophie, I am very disappointed in you,” she heard the voice of her father saw behind her.
The yellow Skeith looked very professional with his suit, tie, and haircut. Right now he was frowning.
“Where do you get the right to set innocent people on fire?” Sophie’s father demanded in a disappointed tone.
Sophie’s hands tightened around her staff in anger and she felt like it might snap in half.
“That is it!” she bellowed as loud as possible, “I am going to Neopia Central and am going to have a long talk with this author!”
She headed back into the woods once more. She ignored all of the cries from the townsfolk and the lecture her father was still trying to tell her.
Soon the buzz of the town was out of hearing and she was heading north. Sophie tried to stay within the woods as long as possible, but she started to notice that gradually the environment was changing. There were fewer trees, the grass was so much more bountiful and greener, and the wild petpets were so much sweeter. Eventually, Sophie came to the point when she truly had left behind the Haunted Woods, entering the wide open plains that lead to Neopia Central. She shielded her eyes as the sun glared down on her. As she walked along the very green fields, she felt very hot underneath her witch apparel. It was a very practical outfit for the Haunted Woods, but not so much in any place where there was the sun. Sophie found a dusty path that she assumed lead to Neopia Central. After walking for a few minutes, she found that she was correct.
The bustling city looked like the last place Sophie would ever want to visit. It was full of cheerful people and goofy shaped shops. The whole place had an overly joyful aura to Sophie, but she knew that she would find the person she was looking for there. On the bright side, she realized that since there were some many crowds of people and they were all wearing customization, no one recognized her as the Swamp Witch. As she squeezed between many travelling and shopping pets, she saw a sign that indicated the location of the Neopian Times’ headquarters. She was relieved to find that it was out of the sun and in the shade of the Catacombs.
The Catacombs were much less crowded than the rest of Neopia Central. It was mainly artistic Neopets who were writing for the assorted contest or discussing literature at the coffee shop. She spotted a Yellow Chia handing out copies of the Neopian Times and approached him.
“Where did you get these?” she asked.
The Chia looked like he recognized her but didn’t say anything other than, “In the headquarters; it’s right over there.”
Sophie followed where the Chia had pointed and walked towards a blocky shaped cave. She was certain that if ever there was a place to make a newspaper, this bland building was it. She proceeded to enter, but was stopped by a brawny Grarrl.
“I am going to see the author who wrote that terrible article about me,” Sophie declared.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Peterson requires an appointment if you wish to see him,” recited the guard as if he had said this a million times.
“I am going to see him,” growled Sophie.
The guard moved aside, obviously used to this procedure. Sophie found herself in the poorly decorated lobby of the headquarters. She easily spotted a door marked “Peterson”. She strode to the door and barged into the office. Sitting at a very neatly organized desk was a very short Lutari. He had red fur, and also wore an office type of suit and glasses.
“Ah, Sophie, you’re here a bit earlier than I expected,” he said with a smug smile.
“You were expecting me?” asked Sophie, confused.
“Of course,” said the Lutari as if it were obvious. “Lots of people complain when I write an article about them. They complain that I have been bending the truth too much, but I’m still here today, so they obviously failed at proving themselves.”
Sophie was getting tired of his arrogant speech, so she hissed, “Look, I know that you lied in this article and you know it, so stop pretending I’m the bad guy here.”
“I was never pretending that,” argued the Lutari cockily. “I am well aware that my article states the untrue, but no one else knows that except you.”
“And the salesperson,” corrected Sophie.
“Ah, yes, but I doubt that he will protest,” declared Mr. Peterson.
Sophie decided that she did not like this guy at all.
She jabbed her staff up to his throat and threatened, “You are going to tell everyone that you lied or else.”
“Very well,” replied Mr. Peterson calmly.
Sophie was surprised at his willingness until he added, “Of course, everyone will easily realize that I am being forced against my will to apologize. I have gotten quite the reputation as an honest author. Now I am going to have to ask you to leave.”
Sophie realized that she had lost this battle so she got up and left peacefully. However, once she was outside, she immediately began to scheme her revenge. She thought of what she could do to make Mr. Peterson give up; he was a very in control type and seemed to be able to avoid all negative outcomes. Sophie still felt that she could outsmart him, for she was a very stubborn Ixi. Not long after pondering her plan she came up with the perfect, devious, way to beat Mr. Peterson.
She headed to the forest section of Neopia Central with one of her large, empty bags and started step one of her dastardly plot. By nightfall, her bag was full and she was very dirty. Sophie came up to the square headquarters stealthily and found an open window. She hastily deposited the contents of her bag into the window, then crept away.
It was morning when Sophie visited Mr. Peterson again. Now his office was covered in slime and all of his papers had been munched upon. Scattered throughout the room were an army of wild Slorgs. In the center of all the chaos was Mr. Peterson swatting at the petpets with a broom.
He caught sight of Sophie grinning and observed, “So it was you who put these pests into my office. I must say that is a clever way of getting revenge, but sadly futile.”
Sophie gasped at this statement. How could the Lutari still remained calm when all of his work was nibbled or covered in slime?
“You see,” explained Mr. Peterson, “I’m not about to give in just because my latest writings are a bit behind schedule; I can easily rewrite them and these Slorgs can’t live here forever.”
“Is this article also slanderous to somebody?” asked Sophie sarcastically.
Then an idea hit her; this time she could beat Mr. Peterson.
“You’re obviously too smart for me,” she lied to the Lutari as she headed out the door.
However, instead of leaving the building she went farther down the hallway. She peeked into every room until she found what she was looking for; a source of paper. She uttered a curse and her staff glowed green. The papers flashed for a second then returned to their normal state. But this was expected; they wouldn’t be affected until after Mr. Peterson wrote something on them.
She then left the building with a proud sensation. She gratefully left Neopia Central and headed back to the Haunted Woods. She journeyed through the woods, avoiding as many people as possible, and eventually arrived back at her shack.
“I’m home,” she announced to her petpets.
It was Friday again, but this time Sophie was up early waiting for the Neopian Times to be dropped onto her porch. The Weewoo was right on schedule as the paper clunked before Sophie’s feet. She jumped with joy as she read the title, “Jelly World is Real” then lower down, “By Samuel Peterson”. Her spell had worked; now no one would believe what Mr. Peterson wrote.
Later that day she received a visit from Bruno, her father, and many other Neovian villagers.
“We’re so sorry that we doubted you,” exclaimed her father. “It is obvious that this Mr. Peterson is a nutcase.”
“Yeah, Jelly World is the dumbest concept in all of Neopia,” scoffed Bruno.
Sophie grinned proudly to herself; she had won. It wouldn’t be until next Friday when she would read, “Mr. Peterson fired for fabricating untrue(and totally ridiculous) tales”.