The Malevolent Candy Vampire
Tulse, by very nature—as he was a most fluffy Marshmallow Grundo—always loved all things sweet. In fact he dedicated his life to sweets and eventually opened up his own bakery where he handcrafted every delectable sweet he could dream up! When Tulse wasn’t snacking on cakes and pastries, he was preparing them for all his customers in the heart of the Neopia market! And it was his love of sweets that inevitably led him to Wilburt the Candy Vampire, an evil little creature he discovered in a bag of candy corn and decided to make his very own petpet, despite the ominous sharp teeth and hateful glare.
“I’m not sure this is a good idea,” Tulse’s owner had warned her pet while side eyeing the piece of candy corn with impossibly sharp teeth, but Tulse could not be deterred. He was in love with his strange little petpet.
Only…despite Tulse’s best efforts to appease the delicious but evil petpet, Wilburt was, as some would say, bad to the bone.
At least once a day, Tulse would be busy at work in his bakery only to discover that a bunch of ingredients—usually the rare and expensive ones—were missing. He would later find Wilburt relaxing in the back pantry with gourmet chocolate smeared on his mouth and a smug expression across his face.
Wilburt also had a tendency to scare away customers. One of his favourite games was to hide in the display jar of candy corn Tulse set out in the front shop for young Neopets to snack on while they ordered. Wilburt would wait for a pudgy little paw to reach down eagerly in the jar, and then would sink his sharp, unruly teeth in. The Neopet would burst into scream or cry and the owner, in horror, would immediately scoop their pet up and claim to Tulse, “I won’t be coming back here!”
Slowly but surely, Wilburt was seeing to Tulse’s beloved bakery’s demise. Between eating all the ingredients and scaring away the customers, Tulse was losing business and he was losing it fast!
The last straw was a particularly grizzly incident where Trasey, Tulse’s sister the Brucicle, was viciously attacked by the Candy Vampire who seemed to be craving the cold, sweet taste of a popsicle.
“Wilburt! Stoppppp!” Tulse wailed, trying to pry the Candy Vampire off his sister. Wilburt had taken a large bite out of Trasey and was ready for the next!
“Tulse!” Trasey screamed, “Get your evil petpet off of me—now!”
That was it. Tulse knew a decision had to be made. After thinking long and hard about it, he came to the bitter realization that despite this creature being made of sugar, he was the least sweet petpet in all of Neopia. And it was time he and Wilburt would have to part ways.
What Tulse did not foresee was that it was not going to be so easy to get rid of him. No matter how Tulse tried to advertise this petpet for sale, Neopets wanted nothing to do with him. The few that showed a glimmer of interest were dissuaded upon meeting him, as he would immediately lurch out and attempt to bite them. Eventually, Tulse changed his “FOR SALE” sign to a “FOR FREE” sign and was certain this would spark interest, only it did not.
The next step was to try and convince Wilburt to leave on his own accord, but that would prove to be difficult as well. Even though Wilburt had never been particularly fond of Tulse, or any Neopet for that matter, he quite enjoyed the bakery where he could endlessly snack, and all of the young Neopets the bakery brought in for him to terrorize when he was bored.
“I’m staying right here,” Wilburt insolently said to Tulse.
That left Tulse with only one option. In all of Neopia, there seemed to be only one match for this Candy Vampire. Only one creature who would have interest in this sour faced, maniacal candy.
With trembling hands, Tulse knocked on the ominous Esophagor’s rattling door, which was located in the heart of the scariest place in all of Neopia. Tulse’s hands were shaking as they waited. And then they heard There a booming sound that sent chills down Tulse’s spine.
“Whaaaaaat Doooooo Yooooouuu Wannnnntt?” the dark blob warbled to Tulse, appearing in the doorway as it croaked open. The Esophagor was one of the most feared monsters in all of Neopia and rumours about his consumption of unsuspecting Neopets swirled in town constantly. Tulse momentarily asked himself how he’d found the nerve to bother the monster while he slumbered.
“I have something for you, sir,” he stammered. “I’ve been told you’re a fan of spooky food and treats…and well…I think you may like this.”
Tulse opened up his paw and revealed one tiny piece of candy corn, his arms tightly crossed over his chest, his eyes glaring up at the monster with an insolence the Esophagor found rather amusing.
“Don’t get any ideas, bub,” Wilburt said, “I ain’t your lunch!”
Tulse could see that the Esophagor had indeed been amused by the attitude of this freakish little candy corn. Never in the Esophagor’s life—and he’d been around forever—had he ever come across something like this. He’d eaten his fair share of candy corn, and had certainly swallowed up the occasional undead cupcake or cannibalistic pumpkin. But never something quite like this…
“What isssss heeee?” he croaked to Tulse.
“I’m not really sure, sir,” Tulse said, “But I’ve been keeping him as my petpet. I thought you might like him.”
“Letttt meeeeee seeeee himmmmm…” the Esophagor said.
Tulse handed over the Candy Vampire, who immediately chomped into the Esophagor’s hand. Instead of yelling out like so many others had, the Esophagor was unfazed. He laughed at the candy corn’s valiant effort. This infuriated the Candy Vampire more, who again tried to assault the monster. Tulse started to sweat, feeling it was only a matter of time before the Esophagor either swallowed him whole or flung the two of them out.
Only Tulse watched a smile spread across the Esophagor’s green, oozing, toothless mouth. They both continued to watch Wilburt storm around the Esophagor’s hand, hurling insults and attempting to eat or wound the monster in some way.
Eventually, the Esophagor turned to Tulse and said in that familiar rumble, “I willlllll maaakeeeee youuuuuu a deaalll…”
And as it turned out, the deal was one that Tulse could agree to. The Esophagor, who had been (unbeknownst to Tulse) long searching for a sidekick, found all the right qualities in this evil candy vampire. His only condition was that Tulse continue to care for him when he was not helping out the Esophagor. And as fate would have it, this made all the difference.
You see, the Esophagor himself was a rather ominous and evil creature, who enjoyed scaring and snacking just as much as Wilburt. They developed a harmonious relationship with one another. The two of them got along rather famously, and would snack together on all the spooky food scared Neopians were constantly bringing the Esophagor. And this meant that when it was time for Wilburt to go home to Tulse for the evening, he was rather content.
He no longer sought out Tulse’s siblings as his dinners and desserts, nor did he have the time to torment his bakery customers, or ransack the pantry for that matter! And Tulse, who had always secretly loved Wilburt in a special sort of way, got to keep his evil little petpet, despite their differences.