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Friday: Just Hysterics

by vanquishee


Note: This short story was inspired by a particular petpet, can you figure out which one before you finish the tale?

Far away in the land of heroes and legends lay Meridell, an almost forgotten medieval kingdom. Upon further investigation into this terra firma one might see an abashed, albeit frantic Neo-citizen who was striding through the region's famous Green Dirt Road with one goal in mind: impress a certain king in a castle.

     The Neo-citizen was in a frenzy because he took a turn in the wrong direction and accidentally wound up in front of the other king of this realm, King Hagan, better known as the older and scruffier version of King Skarl. Oblivious to the differences between the two royals, the poorly misguided Neo-citizen tried to impress the wise king with a joke, but it turned out to be an unwise move. Let's just say that it would be best to avoid the wrath of the Wise Old King, as the Neo-citizen ran out of Brightvale Castle quicker than a Feeder in the Kadoatery!

     His side journey to Brightvale Castle took up a huge chunk of the Neo-citizen's time, as the clock was ticking before the Grumpy King would be "Out to Lunch". Needless to say, he felt a bit out of place as Brightvale was known as the land with an overwhelming thirst for knowledge, when in actuality he couldn't even play Maths Nightmare without a calculator. 'Maybe I should wear a pair of glasses and hold a Neopian Times next time I visit?'

     Retracing his steps, he ended up between the Ye Olde Petpets shop and the Kiss the Mortog Game. Shuddering, for the idea of kissing a Mortog brought chills to his bones, the Neo-citizen ventured forward to Meridell Castle. As he walked across the moat filled with rushing water that trickled down from Terror Mountain, he was in complete and utter awe as he saw the overwhelming number of knights and peasant militia who have dedicated their life and loyalty to King Skarl.

     He took a quick peek at his watch and inwardly groaned; the Grumpy Old King would be going on break in less than fifteen minutes!

     While maneuvering through the horde of tourists standing outside his palace, his eyes came into contact with the crooked host of the Double or Nothing game. Snargan merely smirked and egged, "You want to win a fortune? Get over here!"

     'No, you have one goal in mind. Don't get distracted!' the Neo-citizen thought to himself. For that reason, the Neo-citizen quickly strode past the Castle Treasurer of Meridell with his eyes on the floor to avoid getting distracted from other fun-filled games.

     Just when he was about to enter Meridell Castle, which housed King Skarl, the regal Grumpy Old King with a strange perversion to jokes, he stumbled onto a large wait line of Neo-citizens.

     Even so, the Neo-citizen could not help but admire the legendary king. 'Wow, I cannot believe I'm going to meet the legendary King Skarl, the reigning power house of Meridell! His decisiveness with battle tactics in the Champions of Meridell and Battle of Meridell has made him legendary throughout the land! Not even King Altador can rival his heroics!'

     Tipping on his toes, he saw King Skarl sitting on his customary throne, with his signature grouchy facade. 'I guess there's a difference between overthrowing a kingdom and running it. It looks like King Skarl would rather be entering battle than being entertained by his subjects.'

     Narrowing his eyes, the Neo-citizen could sense the Grumpy King's boredom- he was drumming his fingers against his throne, yawning in frequent intervals, and his face even displayed a distinct lack of interest.

     Either way, the Neo-citizen was starstruck. Even though the King was wearing a beautiful golden King Skarl's Crown on top of his head that was probably more valuable than any r99 item in Neopia's existence, he couldn't take his eyes off the jewellery wrapped around his neck, a Skarls Amulet that must have some special powers as he was never seen without it. 'Now I understand why security is so heightened up here; King Skarl's whole attire is probably worth more than Meridell's GDP!'

     Apparently, the Grumpy King could either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. In a single command or flick of his wrist, he could blacklist Neo-citizens from his entire land or with a simple nod, grace them with the most exclusive items in all of Neopia. Yes, the king could bestow Neopoints and Meridell food, but this Neo-citizen was hoping for something else entirely - he wanted something that no one had ever seen in all of Neopia.

     Seeing that he was next to approach the king, the Neo-citizen inwardly took a deep gulp, strode forward, and then took a bow. After all, how could he get on the king's good side if he didn't show him some respect?

     Taking a deep breath, the Neo-citizen said, "What do you do if fierce Peophins has eaten too much tin of olives?", and then delivered the punchline.

     The Neo-citizen grimaced while waiting for his response. The most difficult reaction to obtain from the greedy tyrant was a hysterical one, because after years of sitting on his throne and listenin to joke after joke, it had become as difficult as completing Jhudora's 50th Quest.

     He was frightened at the Grumpy Old King's response as his sense of humor was rather strange. What did catch his attention was the fact that the entire castle was as quiet as the Neopian Library. No one was talking amongst each other or quietly reciting their jokes. 'Why isn't King Skarl responding?'

     With suspension killing him, he opened his eyes and saw something he never expected; the King had a smile on his face. 'At least he's not moody.'

     However, what he and the crowd did not expect was that King did something he hadn't done in a very long time... he was in hysterics! He was laughing so hard that he ended up falling off his throne and rolling on the red carpet! His bellowing laughter echoed throughout the land so that even outsiders entered the castle to catch a glimpse of the happy Grumpy King!

     With tears brimming around his eyes from laughter, King Skarl bellowed, "My fellow Neopian. You have graced me with your presence, and I cannot help but be impressed! For all your hard work, I am bestowing you something that I have never given out before..."

     He reached into the depths of his regal cape and withdrew an item that had never, ever been seen in all of Neopia. The crowd gasped with shock, as the Neo-citizen was being graced with.... a Skarl Collectable Charm!

     The Neo-citizen was dumbfounded as he watched the king give him a thumbs up. Others were applauding him for a job well done, asking him to recite his joke, and even putting in offers on the r101 charm he just received. However, the only thought process the Neo-citizen could think of was... Where's my King Skarls Snowbunny?

     King Skarls Snowbunny Trivia: Rumored only to be given out by The Grumpy King.

The End

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