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A Day in the Life of a Very Rich Slorg


by cryistalene

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      Deep in the heart of the Haunted Woods, nestled amongst the dreary blackened foliage, a small moss-covered tree stump can be found. This stump, while it may appear unremarkable at first glance, has a certain charm. Small, speckled mushrooms decorate the top and sides of the stump and a small carved door can be found if one is careful enough to look. Inside this stump, a very small Slorg rests peacefully in a bed of moss. You might be asking yourself “Why am I listening to a story about a Slorg?” and this is a very understandable question. Slorgs are not known to be particularly interesting and some might even consider them revolting. This Slorg, however, is not just any old Slorg. In fact, he is not like any petpet you have likely encountered. This Slorg is perhaps one of the most generous creatures to roam Neopia, though you wouldn’t assume so by looking at his modest abode. Please put aside any assumptions or preconceived notions you may have about Slorgs and I will tell you a tale about this very special Slorg, who happens to be named Frederick.

      Let us return to where we started. In a very cosy woodland home, Frederick the Slorg rests peacefully in a bed of moss. A new day is beginning and the first streams of sunlight creep in through dusty wooden shutters. Frederick wakes with a start and slides quickly (as quickly as a Slorg is able) out of bed. His mouth parts in an enormous yawn and he stretches his slimy body to prepare for his daily journey. Frederick is a simple creature, which is evident by his humble surroundings. Few would guess that this stump is home to an independently wealthy gentleman of affluent means.

      The small wooden door to his arboreal abode creaks open and Frederick squints as the sun crests a nearby ridge. Though the Haunted Woods are known for being dark and dreary, this particular corner of the forest is quite lovely. Frederick certainly thought so when he chose this spot many years ago when he was but a young, idealistic Slorg. Over the years, his appreciation for the woods and his property had only grown.

     “Time to get moving,” Frederick thinks to himself. He couldn’t help but munch on a few nearby mushrooms before making his way slowly to the edge of the forest. His appetite is no different than that of any other Slorg, and his journey was surely going to make him quite hungry. This daily commute to his familiar destination often includes several meals and snacks.

      After a quite lengthy journey, Frederick finds himself in front of his beloved Shop of Offers. Gazing up at the towering billboards and ads, he pulls open the door and makes his way inside to set up at his usual stall.

      A pudgy, friendly-faced Slorg currently occupying the stall calls out to him in greeting. “Howdy there, Fred! Here to relieve me finally? I am famished.”

      “Sorry for the delay, old friend. I found some especially appetizing dandelions this morning and I couldn’t help but stop to enjoy them," Fred responds.

      The pudgy Slorg’s stomach grumbles in response. “Welp, that’s my cue! I’m off to find myself some lunch. See you tomorrow!”

      As Frederick waves his friend off he settles into his cosy stall and sets about preparing for the day ahead. Beneath a brightly-painted, blue counter is a large lockbox. Frederick carefully opens the box and looks down upon a large heap of glimmering Neopoints. A soft melody plays over the sound system and a few Acaras chat in a nearby stall. This time of morning is always peaceful, but it never stays that way. Soon enough, Neopians start to enter the shopping centre, arms full of various goodies.

      “You’ll never believe what Coltzan gave me today!” A red Shoyru boasts, walking alongside a pair of intrigued Aishas. The Shoyru grins as he pulls a golden dubloon out of his pocket and flips it in the air. One of the Aishas is clearly riveted, while the other rolls his eyes.

      “That’s nothing.” The unimpressed Aisha retorts. “I won a morphing potion from the Wheel of Excitement!” Both of his companions gasp in amazement and envy.

      Frederick listens halfheartedly from his tiny stall until the sounds of their conversation are drowned out by other visitors. He looks down at his open lockbox and its contents, which seem meagre in comparison to such treasures. A small sigh escapes him and he begins to feel self-conscious. He had always been a frugal creature, careful with his money in his younger days. He saved every Neopoint and worked hard in every job he had. He used to daydream about giving back to the community in some way. He had heard tell of these “dailies” that so many Neopets enjoyed and longed to have a daily of his own one day. The Shop of Offers was just the place to do exactly this. He donated all of his extensive wealth to the cause and recruited other wealthy Slorgs to join him. Though he did not have the same resources as a great king like Coltzan or the mystical faeries of Faerieland, he knew this was his calling.

      His thoughts are abruptly interrupted by a very eager Kougra who approaches him with a striped paw extended. Frederick smiles warmly and reaches into his lockbox to retrieve fifty Neopoints. The Kougra taps his foot impatiently and glances around the room.

      "Lovely day we are having, isn’t…” Frederick begins to say but the Kougra dashes away the moment he receives his small bounty.

      "He must be busy… lots of dailies to get to I suppose,” Frederick thinks to himself.

      Soon enough there is a long line of Neopets of all shapes and sizes outside Frederick’s kiosk. He gets to work distributing Neopoints to all who ask it of him. This is, after all, his daily duty and he very much enjoys it… most days. Today is a particularly challenging day as few patrons have the time to chat with him or even say “thank you” for their gifts. Always the optimist, Frederick rarely lets “off days” get to him. Despite the impatience of his clientele, he smiles jovially with each handful of Neopoints.

      The day draws longer and the line outside his stall wanes. Just as he begins thinking of packing up for the night a surly Skeith approaches his counter. Without a word, the Skeith extends his clawed hand and raises an eyebrow. Never deterred by a frown, Frederick greets him kindly.

      “How is your evening, good sir?” He inquires.

      “Fine,” snarls the Skeith, glancing down at his palm.

      With a smile Frederick places fifty Neopoints into the outstretched hand. “I hope you have a wonderf--” He begins.

      Yesterday, the fat Slorg gave me a hundred,” the Skeith interrupts. “What are ye? A cheapskate?”

      Startled, Frederick stumbles over his words “Um, err, well…”

      "I don’t have time for this. I have stocks to buy and bets to place,” the Skeith grumbles and promptly stomps off.

      Frederick looks around and sees that the Shop of Offers is nearly deserted. The empty halls feel very lonely as a lump rises in his throat. His vision blurs as tears brim his eyes. Had he worked all his life for nothing? Did nobody appreciate his generosity? Perhaps he was fooling himself to think that his modest earnings could truly make a difference for anyone. He sighs heavily and moves to close his lockbox. Just as the soft *clink* of the lockbox echoes through his stall, a morose Acara approaches. He is so lost in thought he nearly doesn’t notice her.

      “I hope you still have time for me,” the Acara says softly, her pink eyes peering over his counter. Grey Neopets always look sad, but this one, in particular, looks especially sorrowful. Plumes of smoke emanate from her scorched fur and in her paw she holds a disgusting, rotten yellow fruit.

      Frederick is taken aback by her startling appearance and stutters as he searched for his words.

      “Ah, you must be wondering about my glorious prize for playing Buried Treasure,” The Acara remarks sarcastically. “It has not been my day…”

      “I was just packing up for the day, but I suppose I have time for one more customer… though I can’t imagine that my small offering will turn your day around” Frederick replies, his sad eyes cast downward.

      “What do you mean?” The Acara asks, brow furrowed in confusion. “You are always my favourite daily host to visit.”

      “Really?” Frederick asks cautiously, “I can’t imagine I am the most exciting stop in your day.”

      “Exciting? Perhaps not… but there is a lot to be said for your kindness and predictability.” The Acara responds. “I never have to worry about lava ghouls when I visit your stall,” She says, gesturing to her burnt fur. “You never steal from me or give me rotten or scorched fruit.” She continues. “I always look forward to your friendly smile when I start my day, to be quite honest.”

      Frederick smiles genuinely and suddenly he remembers why his work is so important. He opens up his lockbox and gathers a hundred Neopoints for his new friend. He thanks the Acara as he hands them over.

     “I will see you tomorrow, friend!” He says cheerfully and the Acara smiles back at him.

      “That may be the first time I have seen a grey Neopet smile,” He thinks to himself, chuckling quietly. “All in a day’s work.”

 
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