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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 95 > Continuing Series > Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Three

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Three

by battlesunn

The detour added another hour on to the duration of the ride, but the pets didn’t mind. As it turned out, most of them ended up having to take a pit stop. Mr. Bronston leaned against the side of his car as his students lined up outside the restroom, clambering to use the lavatory. When they finally finished, the pets mobbed around Mr. Bronston and put on their best begging faces. The Draik could sense impending doom. Atyur smiled up at his teacher and wagged his bushy, orange-furred tail.

     "Mr. Bronston, we’re kind of hungry. And since there’s a restaurant right there…" The Lupe gestured at the run-down diner. "We were wondering if you could lend us a few Neopoints to buy some food." Mr. Bronston snorted contemptuously.

     "Your ‘lend’ is my spend. The answer is no," the Draik retorted. Atyur whimpered.

     "Please sir, we’re really, really hungry," the Lupe replied, his voice suddenly becoming dangerously low. Mr. Bronston laughed harshly.

     "Look, Atyur. It’s your own problem if you didn’t pack a snack like I asked. It said, right on the supplies list, ‘Snack for car trip’. You didn’t pack your snack, you go hungry." He snapped. Zarrelian rolled his eyes and spat bitterly on the ground.

     "None of us brought our snacks! In fact, we hardly packed anything on that dumb list!" he snorted. Mr. Bronston was shocked.

     "What do you mean? That list was full of necessities for survival!" he exclaimed.

     Zarrelian sneered. "Yeah, for a Draik! But not for a furry pet. I mean, come on, I don’t need three pairs of boots; I’ve got hooves!"

     Atyur nodded in agreement. "Uh-huh. I agree with Zarrel on this one. I don’t need swim trunks, I’m a Lupe, for crying out loud!"

     At once, the entire crowd of students broke out in cries and shouts of unanimous agreement of Zarrelian and Atyur.

     "The only thing I packed was my sleeping bag and tooth brush!" Kybalt shouted. Mrkrawk launched into a long drawn excuse.

     "Well, I was going to pack everything, but my owner bought pizza on the night when I was supposed to pack and it was my favorite kind so I ate a lot of it and then I had to go and feed my Petpet so—" Mr. Bronston cut him off.

     "Skip to the last paragraph, would you?" the Draik interjected. He cast a scowl across his silenced students. "Cry me a river. I’m still not coughing up my year’s paycheck just to buy you guys lunch."

     Zarrelian whispered something in Atyur’s ear. The Lupe’s face split into a grin. He chuckled and passed the message onto Muerte, who spread it through the other Pets. Mr. Bronston cocked a brow. He had never seen this kind of behavior in his students before. Zarrelian held up a hoof and silently counted down from three.

     "In three, two… one!"

     In complete unison, all five of the Pets broke into a loud tirade of complaints.

     "Oh, we’re so hungry!"

     "We’re starving!"

     "Mr. Bronston is refusing to feed us!"

     "He’s a mean, mean Draik. He’s standing right there. Yeah, that’s him. The one with the ugly tie…"

     Mr. Bronston nervously wrung his claws. People were beginning to stare, whispering to each other and pointing at him. The Draik rolled his eyes skyward, stood strong for five seconds, and then crumbled like a cheap NeoHome wall.

     "All right, all right. I’ll buy you food. Just stop the wailing!" He offered hastily. The Pets cheered and exchanged high fives as the ambled joyfully into the restaurant. Mr. Bronston morosely followed suite, pulling a few crumpled one thousand Neopoint bills out of his wallet as he did.

     Mr. Bronston’s first impression of the diner was that the owner must have had a Juppie of a lot of Neopoints to be able to bribe the health inspector for all those years. The walls looked as though they had once been white, but the weeks of being exposed to the grease and gaseous fumes of the kitchen had given them a visible green tinge. Almost everything was broken, or on a tilt. The booths, the cashier desk, even the oven. None of this seemed to faze the Pets, who ran enthusiastically up to the cashier, a heavyset Meerca. The Meerca, a somewhat grease-covered specimen, wore a small nametag that bore the name, "Annigrette". Upon seeing the students, and their depressed looking teacher, she smiled knowingly and ran a paw along her cash register.

     Mr. Bronston plodded wearily over the Meerca and slapped a few thousand Neopoints onto the counter. The Draik cast an eye over his students.

     "Okay, what do you want?" he asked. Zarrelian adopted a thoughtful expression.

     "I’ll have a Super Fun Meal with extra grease," he decided. Atyur rubbed his paws together.

     "I’ll have the X-treme-ley Kewl Meal. And don’t go easy on the syrup or the chocolate sauce. Oh, but hold the vitamins." He proclaimed. Everyone else wanted an X-treme-ley Kewl Meal as well. Atyur was the big Lupe on campus, so naturally, everyone copied him in every way possible. Mr. Bronston sighed.

     "How much?" he asked. Annigrette smiled pleasantly.

     "That’ll be twenty-thousand Neopoints, sir," she replied.

     "What?" Mr. Bronston roared. "That’s insane!"

     "No it isn’t. We’re the only diner for a twenty-mile radius. We charge what we like." She calmly retorted. The Draik grumbled and mumbled bitterly for a few minutes, but forked over the Neopoints.

     "Fine," he growled. The Meerca grabbed the bills and shoved them into the cash register, the door producing a sharp ding! sound. Annigrette reached into a drawer under the counter and pulled out a large wooden number six, plunking it down in front of Mr. Bronston.

     "Okay sir, you’re number six. Please wait for your number to be called, and then you can pick up your food," she said pleasantly.

     The pets went off in separate directions, milling around the diner and chatting. Mr. Bronston leaned against the counter and dug out his road map, scratching his head as he tried to make sense of the directions and figure out where they were. He didn’t notice Anniegrette scanning the map over his shoulder. She startled him by breaking the thin silence.

     "Oh! You must be another one of those guys headed to that campsite in the Haunted Woods, right?" she asked. Mr. Bronston folded up the map and glanced up at Annigrette in interest.

     "Another one? There were others here?" he asked. The Meerca nodded.

     "Yeah. A whole bunch of them just came by for a rest. You know, give the pets a break to just chill out in an air-conditioned place," she smirked. "Though I must say, you’re the first one that bought them all food."

     "The little rascals wouldn’t stop bothering me. I can’t believe I got stuck with this scurvy lot," the Draik bitterly replied. Annigrette clapped a paw to her mouth.

     "You’re Andy Bronston, aren’t you?" she asked. Mr. Bronston’s eyes widened in shock.

     "How’d you know?" he exclaimed. The Meerca chuckled. "The other teachers were all talking about a bad-tempered Draik who hates everything," she explained. Mr. Bronston ground his fangs together.

     "I don’t hate everything! Everyone hates me because they’re jealous of my superior mind and personality! THEY’RE JEALOUS OF ME!" he roared. The Meerca poked her head around the heaving Draik and gasped.

     "Wait a minute, isn’t that your car? I saw you pull up in it… but that Tonu, he isn’t one of your students, is he?"

     Mr. Bronston whirled around. "I don’t have any Tonu students… hey! He’s stealing my car!"

     From across the diner, Atyur’s sharp ears picked up Mr. Bronston’s strangled cry. He gasped and turned to his peers.

     "Hey guys! Someone’s stealing Mr. Bronston’s car!" he barked. Zarrelian raised a brow.

     "So? I thought we hated Mr. Bronston." He replied. Atyur frantically waved his paws.

     "Yeah, but Buck’s in the car!"

     Muerte leapt up. "Not Buck! Come on, we’ve got to save him!"

     The pets jumped up and galloped out the door, chasing after the Tonu, who was making a quick getaway in Mr. Bronston’s car.

     "Oh no you don’t!" Muerte growled. The Grarrl employed all of his strength and charged at the car, reaching out with his jaws. When he got within a foot of the bumper, he opened his mouth and bit down hard on the car’s fender. There was a horrible screech as the vehicle was dragged backwards along the pavement, still clamped in Muerte’s powerful jaws. Mr. Bronston came soaring out onto the road, only to see a gargantuan Grarrl chewing his car to pieces.

     "MUERTE! NO!" he cried. But it was too late. Sadly, Mr. Bronston’s car was reduced to a pile of smoldering scrap metal. Fortunately, Muerte was able to rescue Buck and the Tonu before the car went up in flames. Mr. Bronston fell to his scaly knees before his ‘deceased’ vehicle, reduced to tears.

     "Oh my poor car! I should’ve taken more pictures," he sniffled. Muerte smiled.

     "Don’t worry sir, at least we saved Buck, and caught the bad guy!" The Grarrl glanced down at his strangely empty claws. "Oh wait, he escaped. But we still have Buck."

     Mr. Bronston sighed and patted his happily panting Doglefox on his head. It was a dark day for Andy A. Bronston.

     Suddenly, Annigrette popped her head out of one of the diner’s smeary windows.

     "Number six! I repeat, number six! Your food is ready!"

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part One

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Two

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Four

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Five

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Six

Zarrelian and the Fifth Grade Neoschool Camp of Doom: Part Seven

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