Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 179,088,154 Issue: 437 | 2nd day of Eating, Y12
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Prank'd and Reprank'd


by tippertot

--------

Also by saro_the_legendaerie

It was April Fool’s Day, and Loranigh was bored. This was a very bad combination for the Neopians unfortunate enough to be shopping in Neopia Central that day. The Kyrii had been disgusted by what had become of April Fool’s this year. The only pranks she saw were petty ‘got your nose’ tricks and pets poking their friends and shouting “April Fool’s!” She even saw someone giving someone else a balloon that had the catchphrase. It was pathetic.

     Lori sighed. She had lived on these streets, homeless, ever since she could remember. Her blue fur was rough and matted, and her only possessions were a very worn potato-sack dress and an ancient quilt she wore around her shoulders as a shawl.

     But those years on the street had made her clever, oftentimes too much so. She knew ways to get around rules and boundaries, and she could sucker someone out of the very clothes on their backs. And when she was bored, her street smarts were bound to cause trouble.

     So as she wandered through the Marketplace’s busy streets, her stomach full of soup from the Soup Kitchen, only one thing was on her mind. She would show these innocent shoppers what April Fool’s Day was really about, and they would be wise to stay out of the way. All she needed now was a victim.

     ---

     On this same morning, Luna set off from her house on the Darigan Citadel to do some shopping for lunch. The Electric Draik was very pleased to be able to do this- she did not get out much and was downright giddy to get out and about.

     Her siblings back home had been reluctant to let her go- Luxor, her Skunk Peophin brother, had seemed close to panic- but she had assured them that she would be there and back; no detours, no haggling with user-owned shops, and no thunderbolts.

     They didn't seem very thrilled, but in any case, they relented. Being the only person in the house with legs also helped convince the two Peophins and the Maraquan Zafara that she should be their shopper.

     "At least this once. We'll see about permanently," the Zafara, La'Khina, had noted with a bored sigh. Luna had saluted them all before leaping gracefully off the Citadel with her typical cavalier attitude.

     She wore her good mood and confidence like her festive frock coat; and with a tingle in her wings, and an empty canvas bag slung over her shoulder- for any good Neopet was eco-conscious and abhorred plastic bags- she descended into the midst of the shopping crowds.

     Luna's eyes were sharp, and her mind apt to wander as much as her feet, so she spent several minutes gawking like the proverbial kid in the candy store, all the while humming a little song to herself and swinging her bag. The Neopoints in her pocket clinked quietly to themselves as she flittered around, and she was far more of a sight that afternoon than she realized.

     ---

     Lori sat with her back to the wall of one of the larger shops, casually rolling a negg about in her hands. Although it looked rather normal, she knew it to be very rotten inside. She had found a carton of them near a dumpster, and they had given off a horrible stink. But it had turned out that one of them hadn’t broken, and she held it now like a precious gem.

     There was one pet she had been watching for a few minutes now; a Draik. The Kyrii rolled her eyes slightly. The few Draiks she had known had either been rich snobs or had believed they were completely invincible, and this one seemed to be the latter. Well, that would be one thing easily proven wrong.

     Loranigh stood up and quickly covered her pleased smirk with a distraught expression, and ran in the direction of the Draik. Before long, she had crashed right into her, seemingly on accident. Right at the moment they bumped together, she carefully dropped the negg into the girl’s canvas bag (Tree-hugger, she thought) so it sat there unbroken and unseen.

     Then she backed away, staring into the Draik’s eyes with a faked sense of fear and cried, “Oh no, I’m sorry, ma’am!” She made herself look as hungry as possible, hoping that she might get a snack out of the deal. All the while she thought, As soon as she puts something into her bag, that negg’s going to make a very big mess. I hope she brought napkins.

     ---

     Luna gave the Kyrii a curious glance, then a small smile. "No harm done, I'm sure," she soothed. "You look rather hungry. Here," and she reached gently in her bag and plonked the first thing she grabbed into the hands of the Kyrii.

     Needless to say, the rotten Negg turned to mush as soon as it hit the recipient’s hands. Some of the passersby caught a whiff of the smell and chuckled.

     "April Fools," they cheered, and Luna lashed her tail concernedly.

     "Oh, goodness, I didn't realize food could expire so quickly. I'll have to hurry home with what I've got. Here," she fumbled in her bag and handed the Kyrii a rag to wipe her hands off with and a Strawberry Almost-Gummy rat. "Sorry about that. I'll just drop the rest off at home and come right back!"

     ---

     Lori grinned thankfully at the Draik. A good day’s work, she thought, and I even get something to eat! The Kyrii outsmarts them again. She put her hand out to accept the gift, still smiling.

     That smile disappeared very quickly as her hands became suddenly an extremely smelly goo. She looked down at her soiled hands, her expression changing from shock to disbelief to anger in rapid succession. For the first time in a very long time, her plan hadn’t worked; far from it. And now she had negg on her face – well, hands – and pets were starting to laugh at her.

     Despite her boiling anger, she calmly flicked the goo off her hands, noting grimly that the smell would stick around for a while, and took the offered rag gently. She scrubbed away as much as she could of the smelly matter, and stared carefully at the face of the Draik as she traded the cloth for the almost-gummy treat. Then she smiled slightly and ran away, disappearing through the crowd and into an alleyway.

     She would remember this Draik’s face, and she would watch for her return. And while she waited, she would make a plan to avenge for the humiliating experience.

     ---

     Luna sipped calmly on a cup of tea as she finished relating the story to Luxor as he stocked the fridge with her scant few purchases.

     The Peophin looked worried. "Um, Luna... it's not like you're not doing a good job or anything, but... It's April Fools today. Maaaaybe you should wait and go shopping tomorrow. A couple meals missed couldn't hurt any of us, and-- "

     His adopted sister sprang to her feet, electricity crackling from her wings to give emphasis to her words- as if her noble pose and the skyward tilt of her muzzle didn't already add a dramatic flair- and she commanded, "No! You have entrusted me with a task, and I shall complete it! Regardless of the troubles and the rotten Neggs, I shall prevail and bring food home to my family!"

     Before Luxor could stop her, she had grabbed her bag and shot out the window again. The Peophin smote his golden-plated forehead with a groan.

     "I'm more worried about who gets in your way... Oh, Fyora," he pleaded to the sky, "don't let her get into any fights!"

     Oblivious to his laments, Luna tucked her wings in closer to her body as the ground rushed up to meet her, enjoying the feel of the wind through her white bangs. This time, however, she was more considerate and landed on the outskirts of the Marketplace.

     The Draik had landed outside the Soup Faerie's place, actually, and she stuck out like a wildflower in Happy Valley against the brown structure. She swished her tail, as she often did while thinking, and on impulse bought a small notepad and began making her own map of the place, with little notes on the shops to visit and such.

     Her gaze was totally riveted on her task, though her ears were swiveling back and forth to catch the cries of merchants hawking their wares. Unlike most of her species, Luna was fairly confident in crowds, and let the movement of those around her guide her path.

     ---

     Loranigh walked quietly with her hands behind her back. She was only a few feet away from the Draik, but she blended in well enough with the crowd that she didn’t attempt to hide. She had been pacing between several streets, watching the pets that came in and out of shops carefully. She didn’t want to miss her target when she reappeared.

     Lori had spent the past hour plotting and preparing, and was quite proud of her work. The first thing she had done was look around for inspiration. It came to her when she found a discarded sack filled with flour. For a moment she wondered why it had been thrown out, but when she opened it, she found it was full of petpetpets.

     The discovery had delighted her, and she would have skipped if she hadn’t been weighed down by the heavy sack. She dragged it with difficulty to a very small shop she had seen earlier. The owner of the shop, frustrated at the lack of customers coming to buy his over-priced junk, had left without locking the door.

     Lori couldn’t remember how she had managed to pull the heavy sack of flour up the ladder onto the roof of the building, but she did know that the effort had left her very sore and in want of another Almost-Gummy Rat. Once she had recovered, she carefully positioned the sack over the door. As soon as it was opened, the open bag of flour would fall and leave the poor victim white and covered with petpetpets.

     The next step in the plan had been even more difficult than the first. She had pulled up an old lawn sign advertising a small bakery, and decided to put it to her own use. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but Lori was mostly illiterate. She attempted to write ‘Electric Draik Clothes, 50% Off!’ on the sign, but it ended up saying ‘Ilktrek Drak Cloths, 50% Of!’ It would do well enough for her purposes, so she just shrugged and put the sign in front of the small store.

     So now the trap was set. The bag of flour was positioned above the door of the shop, and the sign outside was set to be irresistible to the one Draik that had managed to make a fool out of Loranigh.

     ---

     Luna fidgeted as she stood to her full, impressive height, trying to spot any good deals. She had stopped by their shop to pick up the profits of a Dubloon she had found in the desert; supplementary funds, of course.

     Then she saw the sign. ‘Ilktrek Drak Cloths, 50% Of!’

     She beamed, glad for her knowledge of the many sub-dialects of Neopia. Who cares what 'Ilktrek' means, I bet I can find something exotic and cheap there! Perhaps it's a Moltaran shop.

     Luna slipped quickly through the sea of Neopets, letting her excitement transform into a faint current of electricity that crackled from her wings and did an excellent job of 'convincing' Neopets to keep from jostling her.

     It seemed to her that no one else had seen the sign yet- what luck! With her typical enthusiasm, she threw the door wide open.

      THUMP

     A bag of flour landed inches in front of her, a mushroom cloud of white blossoming in the middle of the shop. "Darn it, I've got to learn to do that more carefully. Guess I'll have to replace this for them."

     Unperturbed, Luna flapped her wings and sent the powdery mess into the street in a gust of wind.

     "Ah, it looks like they've already sold out," she sighed, then scooped up the empty flour bag. "Hey, what's this? Ooooh, petpetpets! Won't Luxor be thrilled. These'll pay for a good few dinners!"

     After nipping out of the shop long enough to snag a replacement bag of flour and scribble of note of apology to the store's owner, she was back in the market, wiping a few grains of white from her coat and passing by what might have been a Kyrii covered in flour.

     "Ah-ah-ahh...."

     The disturbance of the flour tickled Luna's nose, and even though she covered her face with a kerchief, she couldn't hold back the thunderbolt that accompanied it.

     "ACHOOOO!!"

     The blue light flashed from her wings and struck several pets nearby- just enough to make them jump and zap a couple hit points, but nothing serious.

     "Sorry," she murmured sheepishly, then hurried on her way.

     ---

     The Kyrii smiled, still calmly keeping pace as the Draik rushed towards the store. The smile slowly grew into a grin at the anticipation of what was sure to come. This had been one of her more difficult pranks to set up, and had taken more planning than usual, but it would be worth it.

     She stopped a few feet behind the Draik and crossed her arms, smirking. The heavy, flat ‘thump’ of the sack was as triumphant a sound as final bell at the end of a school day, the fanfare of trumpets announcing the arrival of the queen, the boom fireworks after the race, the...

     Something was wrong. Loranigh leaned as close as she dared towards the Draik, peeking over her shoulder at the sack lying in the middle of the shop, its contents covering the floor. The Draik’s energetic entrance had flung the sack of flour away from her. The smirk, needless to say, had quickly turned into a gaping expression of disbelief.

     Quite suddenly, the Draik moved her wings and Lori jumped back a bit to avoid being touched and giving away her position. The movement of her wings drew up and pulled the flour out of the small shop, and the Kyrii found herself surrounded by a great white cloud.

     She ran away as quietly as she could, and by the time she was behind the next building over, she was caught in a great sneezing fit. When she had recovered, she looked at her reflection in one of the windows. Her blue fur and brown clothing were both pure white from the flour.

     She had failed. Again, that impertinent Draik had somehow managed to sidestep Lori’s plans and come away unscathed. And once again Loranigh was left seething. But the Kyrii wasn’t one to just be angry, and she wasn’t one to settle for an even score and call it a tie. No, she was in this game to win.

     Loranigh stood up and walked away with her head held high. This white coating could help her with her next prank. The ideas boiled through her mind. This would be one of the most difficult and meanest pranks she had ever attempted. Lori smiled. “The game’s not over yet,” she whispered to herself.

     But it seemed that Draik wasn’t finished playing either. She sneezed as Lori was about to go past, and a jolt of lightning wracked the Kyrii’s thin body, and she sat down in the dirt with a thump. Lori looked around in dizzy confusion until she saw that Draik walking quickly away. Loranigh abruptly suffocated a small flame that had appeared on the tip of her tail with her hand, glaring at the Draik as she disappeared into the crowd.

     ---

     It was amazing the things you could find lying abandoned behind old stores. Lori had trekked over to Uni’s Clothing to see if she could find anything suitable for a disguise, and the dumpster behind the building was like a treasure trove of cloth and accessories.

     After a few minutes of digging, she came up with a black hat, large enough to hide a large portion of her mane. Another few minutes produced a dark brown apron. It appeared to have some sort of juice spilled across it, but the stain was unnoticeable when she wore the apron backward.

     The Kyrii adorned her new hat and apron, but something was still missing. She returned to the clothing heap.

     After some fruitless rummaging, her hand touched something hairy. She leaped back, giving a yelp of surprise and almost falling off the clothing pile. Once she had regained her composure enough to investigate, she was at once horrified and delighted by what she found.

     The thing that had brushed her skin was a very old, grey fake mustache. It was long and thin and looked more like a piece of lint than anything else. It was disgusting, and perfect, the piece de resistance of Loranigh’s whole getup.

     She practically skipped back to that shop in the marketplace that had been abandoned by its owner. When she got there, she looked around cautiously, but the owner of the store still hadn’t returned. So Lori got to work.

     The first thing she did was take the flour sack and empty it into a trash can. She then wandered about the shop with it, filling it with the heaviest things she could find. Then, realizing she couldn’t move the sack, she emptied it, moved it onto a table, and filled it with the random items again.

     Then she threw a rope over one of the beams going across the roof, and tied one end of it around the sack. The other end she tied into a loop, laid it on the floor, and moved around the furniture a bit until the whole contraption was relatively well hidden. When someone stepped in the loop, all Lori had to do was push over the sack and the victim would be launched upside-down into the air.

     Loranigh walked around the store slowly, grimly admiring her work. In her hand she carried a very large pair of scissors. That Draik, that girl that had ruined her plans over and over again, who had left Lori covered in rotten negg, flour, and electrocuted, would pay.

     And she would pay in locks of pretty white hair.

     ---

     Luna had not spent all her free time reading books to come up lacking in the intelligence department. But when it came down to it, she was just about as vain as a Royalgirl Uni.

     "Sale today on haircuts," offered a gruff, aged Neopet of indiscriminate age, with a floppy black hat and a massive mustache. "You there," it grunted, scooting over to where the Draik sat on a nearby bench, counting her Neopoints and wondering if she should get Luxor anything.

     "I'll give a pretty girl like you a discount."

     Luna paused, then smiled calmly and amiably. "All right, then. I'm game. How much?"

     The pet coughed, then muttered something under its breath. "Oh, 100, maybe 200 NP. Depends on what you'd like."

     Without blinking, the Draik plopped a bag of 300 into the dusty blue paws. "I'll take the works of whatever you've got."

     "Follow me, then," the pet coughed, sounding suspiciously like a chuckle, and led Luna back to the shop she had found the flour previously.

     "Oh, did you have to replace that flour I found? I'm sorry if I caused you trouble- the stuff seems to follow me around. Trouble, not bags of flour," Luna corrected quickly, before stepping onto something and getting hauled into the air by one slender, scaly leg.

     Her escort suddenly, and dramatically, whipped off its mustache. "I gotcha!"

     Luna blinked. "...And you are?"

     The Neopet sighed, then took of the rest of the disguise. "Remember me now?"

     "Not really. But don't take it personally." The Draik tried her best to shrug upside down. "I'm terrible with remembering things."

     "I've been following you all day, trying to show all these petty fools," the Kyrii gestured with her paw to the other Neopets who had stopped and were watching curiously, "what a real April Fool's prank is."

     The rest of her very dramatic and pleased sounding speech, Luna ignored, instead very calmly reaching up and freeing her foot from the slip knot. With a soft thunk, she balanced upside down on her shoulder, setting the contraption back up as best as she could every time the Kyrii's back was turned. Her captor was a very good orator, punctuating bits of her speech with paw movements and pacing at the time.

     At last finished, Luna pattered outside, gave the Kyrii a little smile, then traipsed back into the market, the cry of dismay that quickly escalated into a screech of fury almost music to her ears.

     "I'll cut you down once I finish shopping," she called cheerfully over her shoulder and continued with her work, confident she would be disturbed no longer.

     ---

     Loranigh hung upside-down by one ankle, swinging slightly. Her voice had gone hoarse from screaming, her fists were numb from pounding on the ground, and her waist was sore from attempting to reach up and untie her leg.

     She crossed her arms over her chest indignantly, but she was completely and thoroughly beat, and she knew it. How could this have happened? She’d had everything perfectly set up, everything planned, and she still failed. But she didn’t just fail, she had lost as well.

     Now, her anger and drive had run out, and Lori was just tired. And embarrassed. And even a little scared. She didn’t know what she would do or say when the Draik came back, nor what she would do afterward. So she just hung there and waited.

     ---

     True to her word, Luna appeared- though after she had returned her groceries, of course- and calmly untied the ropes, having the benefit of being quite tall and not needing anything to stand on.

     Lowering the Kyrii down slowly, so as to not drop her captive on her head, the Draik hummed quietly as she worked.

     "Now, I'm not going to give you some kind of lecture; those are boring and quite a waste of my time. All I'll say is that there are still a couple hours left in the day. Go have fun or sit and sulk, I don't really care. But tomorrow, if you'd like to have lunch, here's my Neomail address." She grinned, showing long white fangs.

     "If nothing else, I admire your enthusiasm. And may I say, you have a very nice villain laugh?"

     ---

     Lori held very still as she was untied, but once she was let down, she would be ready to bolt. She almost did, until the Draik started talking to her, instead of yelling like she had expected.

     She took the piece of paper that was offered to her. It didn’t make sense. All day she had been trying to humiliate this girl, and now she was inviting her out to lunch? She looked down at the piece of paper. She didn’t attempt to read the address, that would take a while; instead she skipped to the end.

     ‘L’ like in ‘Loranigh’, ‘U’ makes the ‘ooh’ sound... she thought, looking closely at the paper. Luna. The Draik she had been trying to prank all this time was called Luna.

     She looked at the Draik, Luna, again, but she didn’t really know what to say. “Okay, um, Luna. I--I guess I’ll stop by. I’m Lori.”

     Luna's wings gave a little flutter of satisfaction, a happy spark of electricity popping in the air like a tiny firecracker from the tip of her tail. "Great, then. I'll write you in for lunch tomorrow~"

     With that, she took off into the evening sky.

The End

 
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