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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 108 > Short Stories > The Turnip Pie Contest

The Turnip Pie Contest

by hippiesoul

The starry Scorchio fell down the stairs, making turnips fly everywhere. Thump, thump, he tumbled down the stairs. Turnips rolled down, turnips flew to the ceiling, turnips stuck to the jelly walls, and turnips fell on Hippie’s head.

     “Hodari!” she cried, running to the starry Scorchio who was on the bottom of the stairs, fallen on a pile of turnips.

     He smiled weakly and a turnip fell on his head. Hippie helped him to his feet, looking more worried than upset. “Are you okay?”

     Hodari nodded, and quickly added, “I promise I’ll clean this up.”

     There were turnips everywhere, including a big spot of mashed turnips on the rug. Hodari himself had bits of turnips on his head.

     “Goodness, what were you doing with all those turnips? If you wanted soup or something, you could have asked.”

     “I was practicing Turnip Tower in my room, but I got tired of it and thought maybe I could sell those turnips for some NPs. But I guess I shouldn’t have tried to bring sixty turnips downstairs at once…”

     One more turnip unstuck from the jelly ceiling and fell on HS, who was passing by, on the way to her room.

     “So you’ve heard about it?” she asked, grabbing the offending turnip.

     “Heard about what?” Hippie and Hodari asked in unison.

     “If you didn’t hear about the Turnip Pie Contest then why is the house full of turnips?” She looked around. There were turnips all the way from the front door to her bedroom, and all over the stairs, plus the ones stuck on the walls and ceiling. “Did you decide it was Turnip Themed Week?” she enquired, a bit suspicious.

     “What’s that about the Turnip Pie Contest?” Hodari asked, interrupting Hippie, who was about to speak. This Turnip Pie Contest could be a good use for the dozens of turnips he was no longer interested in.

     “Well, the big restaurant near school is holding a contest. They’ll give a prize of 25,000 NPs to whoever presents them with the most impressive turnip pie.” Noticing the interest in Hodari, she added, “I can fetch you one of the flyers, if you want to know more.”

     “Thanks a lot, sis!” Hodari said, patting HS. “Hippie, this is great! I’ll get rid of the turnips and win a big prize, too! This is better than the best of sales!”

     He began talking about how great his pie would be, how superb and tasty, how extravagant, when Hippie interrupted him with a single statement. “I had no idea you cooked, Hodari.”

     In fact, he didn’t. But since when such a minor problem stops a great master like Hodari? Determined, Hodari picked up the turnips and took them to the kitchen. Then he went to the study and flipped through all the cooking books he found. When HS arrived, near dinnertime, Hodari was still in there browsing recipes.

     Looks like he’s serious about this, HS thought, knocking on the study’s door. Hodari opened in a hurry.

     “Did you bring it?”

     Without waiting for an answer, the Scorchio snatched the contest pamphlet from the cloud Aisha’s paw and closed the door on her face.

     “Hodari, you ungrateful freak!” HS yelled at him after the door almost hit her nose.

     “What did he do this time?” someone asked from behind her.

     HS turned and saw Dalí, the Fire Kyrii. He was holding Yaroo, his Alkenore, and because he had a towel hanging on his shoulder and some soap on his hand, she assumed he was going to bathe his petpet. She smiled. Dalí was very gentle and caring towards Yaroo. Sometimes she wished he was like that to the rest of the family, but she knew he was trying. At least this time he hadn’t ignored her.

     “He’s just overexcited about the Turnip Pie Contest. Thinks he’s gonna win the big prize.”

     “Oh,” Dalí said and then walked away with Yaroo. HS shrugged. He had talked to her, and that was a start already.

     In the study, Hodari read the pamphlet HS had brought with exceeding attention and excitement. Most of it was publicity to the ‘Spiffy Tasty Foods Restaurant’, but there was information on the contest, too.

     Do you think you have what it takes to make the best Turnip Pie in town? Do you think your pie decoration skills are outstanding? Do you think you are capable of making the biggest Turnip Pie?            

     Then prove it!

     At the Turnip Pie Contest, held by the ‘Spiffy Tasty Food Restaurant’, on the 16th of this month! Bake the most spiffylicious pie and win the grand prize of 25,000 NPs and a free meal for you and four friends at the ‘Spiffy Tasty Food Restaurant’!

     Hodari squeaked with anticipation. 25,000 NPs… That was a lot of NPs for him to spend...

     Firmly believing in his mission, Hodari returned to his recipes. The truth was that he hadn’t found a single Turnip Pie recipe, but thanks to his logical thinking, he selected recipes of Thistleberry Pie, Cherry-tastic Faerie Pie, Tasty Turnip Tartar and Gruel (it had Turnip listed as one of the ingredients). He planned to combine all those wonderful ways of cooking Turnips with the Pie recipes and make a fantastic Turnip Pie. Wasn’t he smart? He thought so, and very happy with himself, took his chosen recipes and went to have dinner with the family.

     “Nice to see you again, I thought you had been sucked into another dimension by the cooking book!” Hippie said, when he walked in.

     She poured some soup on a bowl for him as he sat down. Before tasting it, Hodari put the recipes on the table and announced, “I couldn’t find any Turnip Pie recipe, but don’t despair. I’m a quick and logical thinker so I selected those other Pie and Turnip recipes and I will combine them together in the greatest Turnip Pie Neopia has ever seen!”

     The other three glanced at the recipe papers on the table. Hippie made a face, HS laughed out loud and Dalí kept quiet. Hodari was a little disappointed, but showed no signs of giving up his ‘brilliant’ idea.

     “Laugh away, you nescient people, laugh away. But when I win first place in the Turnip Pie contest, we’ll see who’ll be laughing!”

     He looked at his soup and took the spoon, but his appetite seemed to be gone. He asked to be excused and went up to his room to work on his recipe.

     His room was silent, except for the soft breathing of his petpet, Vega, who was sleeping on a brown pillow, carefully placed below a Dung Hero poster. He took a deep breath of the calmness and inspiration his room gave him, and began working. He didn’t have much time left until the contest day, and he was determined to win.

     He had been working for a couple of hours already, when Vega woke and flew to Hodari’s lap.

     “Hello, Vega,” he greeted, leaving his work and petting the small petpet.

     “What are you doing, Hodari? You looked concentrated.”

     “Yeah, I was working on a Turnip Pie recipe.”

     “Turnip Pie?”

     Hodari explained the whole story to Vega and she giggled in the end. “Do you really think it’ll be a good idea to mix all those recipes together?”

     “Sheesh, I thought at least you would be with me!”

     Vega smiled, and the stars on top of her head began to glow. Hodari loved it when she did that, and always amazed himself with the beauty of Onas. Vega hugged his belly and said, “But I am, Hodari. And I’m gonna help you with the said pie.” She smiled up at him, and Hodari hugged her.

     “Thanks, you’re the best petpet.”

     And so, Vega helped Hodari compose a unique Turnip Pie recipe. Happy with the result, Hodari spent the following morning shopping, and then the afternoon cooking. Vega helped in almost everything, but she still couldn’t keep Hodari from falling asleep and letting the pie burn. Despite the slightly burnt flavour, Hodari thought the pie tasted good and gave a bit to Vega.

     “Oh my… this is… erm… interesting,” she said, trying really hard not to gag on the piece of pie.

     “Yeah, I think it tastes pretty good, too!” exclaimed Hodari, while Vega spat the pie on the garbage can behind his back. “But I think something’s missing… I’ll add a bit of mint.”

     Hodari continued to bake small samples of pie for the rest of the afternoon, leaving the kitchen in a mess. When he finally settled on a final recipe, he began making plans about the size and decoration of the final pie. Just as he was finishing his first sketch of the finished pie, Hippie and his siblings arrived home.

     “May all the faeries in Neopia help us! What’s this nauseating smell?!” HS cried, walking in the kitchen, followed by the other two. They covered their noses and looked close to the puking state.

     “It’s my turnip pie! Want a slice?” Hodari offered, apparently not noticing the expression of disgust on their faces.

     “I think I’ll pass…” the cloud Aisha said, leaving the kitchen with Dalí. Hippie, not wanting to burst Hodari’s radiant bubble, followed her two pets, shrugging.

     The contest day arrived at last and Hodari got up early with Vega to make his first-prize-winning Turnip Pie. It would be a really big pie with a really extravagant turnip and asparagus decoration. Hodari had everything well planned out, and everything would turn out great.

     Except that it didn’t. By mistake Hodari added a Scorched Tut Trout to the pie, and let the top burn completely. Hippie had used all the asparagus for dinner, and so the decoration was ruined. But Hodari didn’t let it get to him. He still took the pie and headed for the ‘Spiffy Tasty Food Restaurant’, convinced his pie was still the best.

     But luck was not with him. On his way he tripped over a root and (no, he didn’t get sent to Meridell) dropped his pie. Now with half his pie on the floor, Hodari was beginning to lose hope.

     “Well, you’re not gonna give up now, are you?” Vega asked, encouraging.

     Actually, they were so near the restaurant Hodari decided he’d go anyway. He approached the small crowd with his pie, looking down, a bit embarrassed.

     “By Fyora, what’s this smell? Are the Stinky Feet invading?” someone yelled.

     And before Hodari could understand what was happening, the small crowd fled. Only the jury was left, with an agonized face.

     “What… what?” Hodari asked, confused.

     “Well, boy, your pie sure is… intense,” one of the jury elements said.

     “And given that you’re the only contestant present… I guess you win the prize.”

     “Wait, don’t you want to taste my pie first?”

     “Erm, no, thanks,” the first one said. And then asked, concerned, “You don’t plan on being a cook when you grow up, now, do you?”

     “Oh, no, I want to be a Neopian Hero!” The jury looked relieved. “But cooking could be my pastime!”

     The jury elements nearly fainted. Hodari didn’t exactly get the message, but Vega would convince him later on. At that moment, however, Hodari could only think of how happy he was. And how he’d omit to his family the fact that he was the only contestant when he told them he had won...

The End

Author’s Note: Thank you for reading my story, all feedback is welcomed. But before you Neomail me about my return to The Neopian Times, please acknowledge that nothing is certain and this piece is only the result of a sprout of Neopian inspiration after the creation of my newest pet, _Hodari_.

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