A Waffle Paradise Circulation: 194,137,002 Issue: 741 | 22nd day of Swimming, Y18
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A Draik's Dessert-Themed Dilemma

by _brainchild_


      The sky was dark, and Batterflies littered the air. Hessron the Plushie Draik was in his bed, trying to sleep. However, his ears were plagued by an odd, creepy noise. Therefore, he got up to investigate.

      The ruckus seemed to be coming from the attic. He nervously crept up the stairs and opened the door. Then he sauntered over to the corner, where he was confronted by a large group of Batterflies huddled together.

      He frowned. Although he was disappointed, it wouldn't be possible to find an exterminator in the middle of the night. Therefore, he decided that he would deal with the problem on the following day.

      He started to walk back toward the stairs, trying to dodge debris. However, he tripped over a cardboard box. He yelped in pain as he stumbled. Then he sat up and looked inside the box, which he had never seen before. As he opened it, a swarm of mice crawled out of it. Disgusted, he moved out of the way. He had always disliked the small creatures.

      The items within the box had presumably belonged to the previous owners of the house. There were knicknacks as well as photos of Neopets whom he did not recognize, covered in dust and bugs. There was also a personal diary, but it had been soaked in water, so he couldn't read the ink. Nevertheless, he was most interested in the shiny pendant he found at the bottom of the box.

      It consisted of a circular crimson gem strung along a golden chain. The jewel had a smooth, polished surface, and it was adorned by salmon-colored swirls which had a very entrancing appearance. However, he was most intrigued by the golden switch on its face. It could be adjusted to stop at several intervals.

      Curious, he wondered what would happen if he pulled it. After gazing at it for a second, he concluded that there was only one way to find out. With great anticipation, he pulled the switch.


      He was blinded by a great white flash. He felt himself being carried away in the air, maybe by invisible hands. When the light subsided, he found himself standing in Neopia Central. However, it looked a lot different.

      There were a few stores which he didn't recognize. The shops which he was familiar with were in different locations. The outside appearances of the stores looked a lot more plain. Furthermore, all of the pets who walked by were using a different artwork.

      Fortunately, the Bakery still existed. Hessron had always loved treats. As a frequent visitor, the Shopkeeper knew him by name. Excited, he raced inside.

      However, there was a long line. After waiting, he approached the counter. "One Rainbow Cupcake, please." he requested.

      "Why are you in your pajamas?!" asked the Shopkeeper.

      Hess blushed. "Um... Because I felt like it, okay? Now, may I please have my cupcake?"

      "We don't serve anything by the name of "Rainbow Cupcake". Would you like something else?"

      Hess was bewildered. The previous day, he had ordered one without any problems. "Okay... how about an Orange Kougra Cupcake?"

      "Coming right up."

      As the Shopkeeper turned around to retrieve the treat, a mouse hopped out of the pocket of Hess' pajamas and crawled onto the counter. He grimaced, realizing that the mouse had come from the attic. Holding his breath, he desperately hoped that no one would notice.

      The Shopkeeper turned around. "One Orange—"

      Then one of the customers shrieked. "Look!" she cried, pointing to the mouse. "It's a filthy little rat!"

      Everyone quickly noticed the furry troublemaker. Appalled, all of the customers rushed out of the store. Therefore, Hessron had to enjoy his cupcake alone. He sat at the table and ate it while the Shopkeeper searched for the small creature.

      Then he left the shop. As he sat down on the bench, he overheard two Aishas talking. "Do you think that Neopets will be able to wear clothes someday?" one of them asked.

      Hess interrupted. "Pets can already wear clothes!" he told them. "This has been possible since Year Nine."

      "Year Nine?" replied the other Aisha quizically. "This is Year One!"

      "What?!" Astounded, he stared down at the pendant and concluded that it was a time-traveling device. He quickly decided that this experience was much too weird for him. Therefore, he pulled the switch again, hoping that it would take him back to the present.


      There was another brilliant flash. After it faded, he found himself in the attic, sitting right next to the box. He put the pendant back where he found it and went back to bed.


      The next day, Hessron returned to the Bakery to get a snack. However, when he arrived, he found an empty store front instead of the shop he knew and loved. The lights had been turned off, and there wasn't any furniture. A sign which read "For Rent" hung in the front window.

      "Hey," Hess asked a bystander, "What happened to the Bakery?"

      "What Bakery?" he answered. "I've never seen a Bakery in Neopia Central."

      An Elderly Girl Acara was standing next to him. "My grandson is much too young to remember. All the way back in Year One, there was a Bakery here. However, a customer saw a rat crawling across the counter. Therfore, the Health Department was called in to investigate. The place was shut down after an infestation was found in the kitchen."

      Hessron gasped. "Oh, no!" He raced back to his house and retrieved the pendant. He made sure that there weren't any more dirty critters in his pockets. Then he yanked on the switch.

      He returned to the Bakery, which was fully operational. Then he ordered an Orange Kougra Cupcake and savored it. The customers seemed to love the amazing food and cozy atmosphere.

      As he left, two Lennies approached him. "Hi," one of them greeted him. "We're news reporters who are writing an article on the best and worst restaurants in town. How was your experience at the Bakery today? Please be honest."

      "Awesome!" replied Hessron enthusiastically. "The customer service was great, and the food was very tasty. Also, the place was cleaner than most restaurants."

      "Thanks for your input," answered the Lenny. "That has been the majority opinion so far today. The customers have been very impressed. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day."

      Hessron waved, then walked away. Smiling, he was fairly confident that he had fixed the problem. Therefore, he pulled the switch again to go back to the future.


      Before he knew it, he had returned. He walked over to Neopia Central and was delighted to find the Bakery in its usual spot, as if nothing had ever happened. He walked inside and was confronted by a long line.

      Once he reached the counter, the Shopkeeper greeted him. "Good afternoon, Hess! What would you like today? Another Rainbow Cupcake?"

      "Sure thing." After receiving his dessert, he sat at the table and bit into it. He grinned with satisfaction as the flavors danced across his tongue. He was delighted and relieved because he had saved the Bakery from closure. His cupcake, and the taste of victory, had never been so sweet.

      The End.

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