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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 84 > Short Stories > The Case of the Forgotten Birthday

The Case of the Forgotten Birthday

by leb388

Untitled Document

Alas, another year gone by. What am I talking about, you want to know? Well, by the time you read this, it will probably be well after the event--my birthday.

     I casually mentioned it to my Neopets and my baby Poogle niece, Keira. "Hey, guys, something special's coming up next week," I told them over dinner last week.

     "I know," Lebmon, my striped Pteri and youngest pet, said. "Another beauty competition's starting, and I'm going to enter."

     "That's cool, but anything else?" I hinted.

     "Will I be able to see it, whatever it is, Auntie leb388?" Keira asked.

     "Yes, Keira, of course!" I replied. "It's very special. Only happens once a year..."

     Li, my Desert Aisha, thought for a moment. "Well, I'm writing a story for The Neopian Times, and hopefully it'll be done by the end of this weekend so I can send it in to the Times for next week. It's another detective story that Conspicit's helping me with. Well, it's not really an annual thing, but it's still special."

     Conspicit, my Island Poogle, nodded. He and Li often had adventures in their N.E.M.S., or Neopian Explorers and Mystery Solvers, organization, and they wrote stories about them. "That's right. This one's really good. I mean, they all are, but... yeah."

     "Um, I mean like birthdays," I hinted some more, a bit frustrated. "Anyone's birthday coming up?"

     "Oh! One of my friends' birthdays is coming up," Pegasus, my white Tonu, announced.

     I was stunned. Could my own Neopets forget my birthday? I decided to stop dropping hints, hoping they'd remember on their own. Maybe they were just busy, and besides, there were still a few days until it arrived.

     That day was a Friday, and Friday faded to Saturday, Saturday to Sunday, then into Monday. Still, nothing. The only uncommon thing was that Conspicit and Li were home a lot, and they were usually out and about in Neopia searching for clues in some detective case.

     Yes, now that I thought about it, they did seem to be in the basement more often than usual. I asked Li about it.

     "Conspicit's doing some experiment on Transmogrification Potions," Li warned. "You'd better not go down there."

     Yes... Conspicit would be likely to do something like that. "Li, I've been trying to hold back on this all week, but I really can't anymore. You see, tomorrow is--"

     "I know--the day Conspicit and I planned to visit Jamezbfod and his pets."

     At this I was really puzzled. Why would they be visiting my brother without me?

     Then I got it. Of course! It was so simple. My pets were planning a surprise party for me, that's what it was. That was unusual, though. They knew I hated surprises. "All right, Li, I hate to break it to you, but I already know you're planning a surprise birthday party for me."

     She frowned. "Birthday party? When's your birthday?"

     I was shocked. "Don't lie to me, Li. I seriously want to know the truth."

     "Leb388, I had no idea your birthday was coming up. Or did it go by already? It's not like I forgot... you'd think I'd remember now if I did, but I don't."

     Li wouldn't lie like that--I had to believe her. "Well, you'll have to call this the Case of the Forgotten Birthday." I thought for a moment. "Hmm, Li, did you say something about going over to Jamez's house tomorrow?"

     "Um, yeah," she said, looking confused.

     "Well, let's go over there today."

     "Okay. Should Conspicit come?" Li asked.

     "Nah, just the two of us will go."

"All right." Li ran to get her Serf Lens, which served as her magnifying glass, and a yellow detective hat. Actually, it was a baseball cap she wears backwards, but don't argue with style. "I'm ready!"

     "Okay," I replied, "c'mon."

     So we walked out and down the street, trying to make our way through the crowd to reach our destination; the next Neohome--41668 Bread Street. "You know, where I live, houses are numbered by whether they're odd or even. Odd numbers go on one side, evens on the other."

     "Whoa," Li replied. "That must get confusing." She slowed in her pace, trying to walk with me through the crowd.

     "Not really--it's what you're used to, I guess. Okay, here we are. Why'd you want to talk to Jamez?"

     "Because I remembered that I wanted to talk to him about something," she replied, walking up the steps. "Oh, I know! Look at his roof!"

     I looked up, and his slanting, gabled roof looked like a tornado hit it. It was disheveled, with shingles missing and others barely attached. It looked like the only thing holding it together was a lot of duct tape, and knowing Jamez, it probably was.

     While Li inspected Jamez's front yard with her Serf Lens, I rang the doorbell to Jamez's NeoHome and waited for him to open the door.

     "I gotta go, Chet Flash. Bye," came Jamez's voice from inside. There was a clicking sound and he opened the door, Neocell phone in hand.

     Before he could say anything, I demanded, "Jamez, what happened to your roof?"

     "Um, nothing," he said quickly, stepping out of the doorway and down his steps to reach his lawn and look at the roof. "I don't see anything wrong with it."

     A shingle fell off and nearly hit Li. "AHHH!" she yelped, jumping back.

     Some people in the crowd stopped and stared at us. Then again, they always do, so that wasn't very unusual.

     "What's going on?" came a voice. Suddenly, Conspicit appeared through the side of my house where a small door opened up to a stairway that led to the basement inside. He crossed the lawn to reach us.

     Cross the lawn... I have to remember that, I thought.

     "Jamez!" Conspicit exclaimed. "Your reign of lies has ended! I have found the cure! Li, drink this." He handed his partner a bottle and uncorked it.


     "Li, it won't turn you into a Mutant. Drink it."

     A bit warily, Li drank the potion and gasped, enlightened. "Jamez! This stuff cures your Amnesia Dust!"

     "His what?" I queried, wondering what that had to do with anything, especially why my pets forgot my birthday.

     "Um, nothing, nothing," Jamez quibbled.

     "Nothing indeed!" Conspicit exclaimed. "About two weeks ago, Jamez was doing an 'experiment' in his attic when the substance he was working on exploded--quite noisily, I might add--and caught the attention of everyone outside. His roof was badly damaged, and half of Neopia was wondering what was going on. Jamez had to think of something to do quickly without being prosecuted for trying to fabricate an illegal substance--Anti-Pant Devil Pepper Spray--"

     "I wouldn't have had to do it if those darn Chia Police would stop being so snoopy!" Jamez protested.

     "Jamez, let me finish. Anyway," Conspicit went on, "Jamez used another invention of his--Amnesia Dust--to erase everyone within a three-mile radius zone's memory of the last thing they saw, heard, or were thinking of."

     "Which would have made everyone forget about the conspicuous explosion in Jamez's attic, but in you and Li's case, it erased your thoughts about my birthday!" I exclaimed to Conspicit.

     "Well, not exactly, leb388. See, I remembered your birthday, and I was planning to celebrate it, but I had to make a cure for the Amnesia Dust first, or else Li, Pegasus, Lebmon and Keira wouldn't have known about it."

     "You remembered?" Li asked. "But I was talking to you about it outside when Jamez's attic exploded!"

     "I know, Li. But something about my brain makes me immune to the Amnesia Dust. Maybe it's the fact that even though I'm a Poogle, I have the mind of a Grundo, my old species, and since we came from a different planet our minds are different from most Neopets."

     "Yeah, you xenobiological dude," I joked, "can we start planning for my birthday? I'm rather sick of all these mind-erasing potions and counterpotions and whatnot. Tomorrow--" I gasped. "Where's Jamez?"

     We never did find Jamez, and by the next day I was sort of getting worried. Nevertheless, my Neopets and Keira gave me a great birthday party, and when it was over Conspicit showed me a crate of the Anti-Amnesia Dust potions he'd made, while Keira watched intently.

     "That's cool," I said. "Now Jamez's Amnesia Dust is worthless. We'll have to drink some before Jamez decides to--" I suddenly coughed.

     "Gack, it's like the air's full of talcum powder," Conspicit shouted over the swirling mass of white dust. "I mean... huh? What were we talking about?"

     "Unky Conspicit, what are these bottles for? 'Anti-Amnesia Dust?' What's that?" Keira asked, pointing to the crate.

     "Gee, I don't know, Keira," Conspicit admitted. "And can you please stop calling me 'unky'? I'm your cousin, not your uncle."

     "Okay, Unky Conspicit."

     "Guys, they're for Jamez's Amnesia Dust," I interrupted. "Don't you remember?"

     "Jamez's what?" Conspicit asked, looked puzzled.

     I sighed--it was pointless. "Ah well, I had a good birthday party. Thanks."

     "A great birthday party for a great owner," Conspicit said, smiling.

Behind leb388's NeoHome, jamezbfod laughed with glee. "No one defies Jamez!" he cackled. "No one! My Improved Amnesia Dust will destroy Neopia! Mwahahahahahaha! Eh, I'm bored. I wonder if leb388 still has some cake left."

The End

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