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The Trap Within The Chocolate


by inpitchdark

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Chocolate! Lollypops! Gummies! Candy! Jelly! No Neopet can resist the Chocolate Factory, the jolly old-timer in the Neopian Bazaar, owned and operated by a well-known Kiko with a goatee, who’s been selling sweets for decades. But could his cheerful factory have more menacing motives? Wipe that Neopet-in-a-candy-store look off your face and see what the candy store really is: a one-way ticket to a life of unhealthiness.

Do you remember the first time your Neopet saw the Chocolate Factory? Do you remember how they begged and pleaded to take a quick trip inside? Do you remember also feeling entranced by the smell and the look of the sweets on display? Do you remember the stomachache you had after eating all of the candy you bought? Yes. That’s all part of the master plan.

I managed to coax some nutrition information out of the Chocolate Factory owner with a large satchel of Neopoints, the secret to the Wishing Well avatar*, and a refusal to hear the word “no.” I pointed to a peanut butter chocolate Shoyru. “How much sugar is put into that?” I asked.

“Oh, maybe half a bag. Would you like to buy one?”

Half a bag sugar, folks. Half a bag of sugar put into an oversized, peanut butter chocolate Shoyru. The average Neopet and their owner consume less than half a bag of sugar per day combined. Chow down on a peanut butter chocolate Shoyru and you’ll be eating a few days’ worth of sugar in one sitting. That’s all part of the master plan as well.

Nimmo Bites, a treasured treat, contains ten cups of sugar in one serving. There are multiple servings in a box of Nimmo Bites. Who knew? A White Chocolate Korbat uses two whole sticks of butter in its recipe. A Kyrii Cracker has 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Strawberry Jelly has twenty grams of saturated fats and five cups of sugar. The only ingredient in the sugar bunny is, of course, sugar. Don’t even get me started on the chocolate covered lolly. I can hear the Health Frog keeling over in his chair, gasping and clutching for his emergency celery. I can almost hear you doing that, too. I can hear you running to the cupboard and grabbing all of the Chocolate Factory products you bought on your last visit and throwing them in the Meridell Rubbish Dump.

And yet...

And yet, I can still hear people rushing to the Chocolate Factory for an early morning, mid-day, or midnight chocolate fix. No matter what you tell them, most have played too far into the factory owner’s hands. They’ve fallen into the swirling vortex of doom - and chocolate. They’ve eaten themselves into a subconscious coma of chocolate. They’ve fallen for the low prices and high sugar content. They’ve fallen into the Chocolate Factory owner’s evil trap.

Now, what is this master plan I’ve been leading up to? Ah, yes.

The nefarious Dr. Frankie Sloth (oops... he’s going to come after me for that) has been spotted over the years buying and eating Chocolate Factory goodies. As we all know, Dr. Sloth loves nothing besides world domination... except for snacks from the factory. There has to be something more to this other than just plain love for chocolate. Oh yes. The doctor and the factory owner have been working together since Sloth’s plan to mutate Neopia fell. Dr. Sloth concluded that the quickest way to a Neopet’s heart is through sweets. He immediately teamed up with the Chocolate Factory owner to take over and rule the world. Lured by the promise of ruling Neopia, the once-friendly Kiko became a secret villain.

He began with the simple concept that chocolate brings joy. It certainly does. There are shops, whole shops dedicated to chocolate only. There are feel-good chemicals in chocolate. Neopets get addicted to this chemical, and therefore are addicted to chocolate as well. He thought, if he added a bit more to chocolate, it would slowly but surely infect the addicts. They would fall to the bottom of a chocolate-induced coma, never to wake up. This was just the thing to mutate Neopia: a seemingly innocent treat that you consumed mindlessly, thoughtlessly, which eventually takes over one’s life.

But what about those who did not eat chocolate? The factory owner knew plenty of Neopets who hated chocolate, were allergic to it, or simply didn’t eat it. He made lollypops, candies, crackers, and jellies, things that had a universal appeal and catered to everyone’s tastes. He put the chemicals into these as well, and the evil plan was on its way.

Everyone loved them. The sweets were in massive demand. Neopets and owners alike flooded into the store, forcing him to close periodically to restock. Food critics came down on him for the high fat, sugar, and calorie content, but after taking one bite of the delicious treats, they immediately forgot its general unhealthiness. Neopets lined up several hours before opening time. Neopets traveled from places as far away as Kreludor just to get fresh toffee apples and raspberry sweeties and Kyrii pops. No one suspected the jubilant, friendly owner to be the partner of Dr. Sloth, or that the things they were consuming were slowly making them mutant.

The mutation chemicals began taking effect a few months later. Neopets disappeared without a trace. The mutants made their way to Sloth’s lair, ready to be used as minions. They took on other forms besides Grundos. They became Lennies, such as the one running the Save the Wheels event (see luke_is_cool44’s brilliantly written “Save the Wheels? Pah!” article in Neopian Times Issue #453). They became evildoers around the world. Servants for Jhudora. Partners in crime with Malkus Vile. Servants for Lord Darigan. Members of the Thieves Guild. The power of evil grew stronger, yet no one knew the reason why it was happening. No one suspected the Chocolate Factory owner. No one suspected the chocolates and candies and jellies and lollypops. To this day, he still sells the vile, mutant sweets. To this day, to this minute, Neopets eat their last white chocolate Pteri or last Nimmo Bite and bam, they are mindless servants to Dr. Sloth. To this day, Neopets buy from the Chocolate Factory, where that fateful first bite awaits them...

The Chocolate Factory is a place of true evil.

No one ever comes out, as he says.

Beware.

* I don’t actually have the secret to the Wishing Well avatar. ^_^

 
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