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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 6th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 119 > New Series > Ghoul Hunters: Part One

Ghoul Hunters: Part One

by bluescorchio104

7:05 am, No. 876 Strochal Avenue, home of Thepyt Guinpen

Thepyt sleepily turned over in his bed, trying to ignore the noise nearby. The rustling noise was really getting on his nerves. The pudgy black-spotted Bruce cracked open one eye, ready to berate his Petpet for waking him up. But instead of a Petpet, he saw… nothing. That’s funny, he thought. I could have sworn that I heard the noise coming from there… He drifted off to sleep once more, forgetting all about the rustling noise. From his position hovering near the ceiling, the Pant Devil descended slowly, cracking a wide grin. He did so love robbing people of their possessions. He fingered the Glowing Paint Brush he had silently taken just a few minutes before from a room nearby. There wasn’t anything much in this room however -- just clothes. Not bad for a morning’s work, though. He stuffed the paint brush into the already near-bursting pouch he had secured on his belt, and zoomed off, intent on unloading some other poor Neopian of one of their prized possessions before the morning was through.

7:05 am, No. 874 Strochal Avenue, home of Kerfon Swift-Tail

Kerfon happily munched on a mouthful of cereal, admiring the view through his kitchen window. The sun was bright and shining, the sky was clear, the Beakadoodles were singing, and it was in every way a prefect, glorious morning. This impression was instantly shattered as Kerfon realised his tail was on fire. He leapt up, frantically yelping and howling in pain. The silver Lupe stuck his tail in the kitchen sink and soaked it. The fire sizzled out quickly, leaving him with a blackened, charred tail tip. Kerfon looked around to see who had ignited his namesake, and quickly spotted the culprit. It was quite hard not to, actually, considering the culprit was not only quite large, but flaming and emanating intense heat. The Lava Ghoul grinned nastily, and soared through the window, escaping Kerfon’s wrath and setting the daisy-patterned curtains on fire. Kerfon groaned. Those curtains were new, and they were his favourite set too. He set about extinguishing the flames, muttering curses to himself.

7:05 am, No. 872 Strochal Avenue, home of Barshont Bouncer

Barshont, the striped Blumaroo, hummed a tune to himself happily as he dusted a set of books with a Feather Tickler, and adjusted one of the volumes an infinitesimal fraction. He looked around the spotless room, satisfied that his morning’s cleaning had been well worth it. The tidy Blumaroo observed that his Elegant Table Lamp had a slight fringe of dust around its rim. I’ll see to that!, the fussy Blumaroo thought to himself. He bounced over to the corner and started dusting. Behind him, an unwelcome visitor was undoing all of Barshont’s good work. Barshont lowered himself onto his hind legs, and lifted up his tail. He looked over his shoulder, and was horrified to see a green slime dripping from his rear appendage. He looked up sternly to deal with whatever villain had caused this discrepancy in his tidy Neohome, and was even more horrified to see Meuka the Mucus Meerca dripping snot all over his spotless Cream Rug. The disgusting Meerca moved through out the room, carelessly splattering mucus over the walls and shelves. He sneezed mightily, and Barshont’s polished Coffee Table was visible no more, buried underneath a thick layer of sickening mucus. Barshont was speechless, but managed to wave his Feather Tickler menacingly. “Get out of my Neohome!” he managed to yell, his face redder than a Tomato Chia’s “You disgusting, filthy, just plain icky Meerca!”

     He charged, waving the only weapon at hand -- namely, the Feather Tickler. Meuka watched in amusement as the feathers sunk into his belly. Barshont pulled the Feather Tickler out from his opponent, only to see the feathers had clumped together in one big green snotty mass. He dropped the Feather Tickler in disgust, and started yelling some more. The Meerca sneered, and hopped out of the window, sliming the entire windowsill and a good part of the frame as he did so. And then he was off, sliming a path through Barshont’s precious front Neogarden. Several Yokalias slumped over and died as Meuka’s secretions were splattered over them, and the majority of the grass was turned a sickly green. Barshont growled angrily to himself. Now it would take him a whole day to clean the room. He bounced off to look for a good rug cleaning service in the phone book, grumbling irately.

***

Thepyt yawned, and stretched his stubby wings. He walked sleepily to the bathroom, and splashed some water on his face, savouring the cold shock.

     DING DONG!!! DING DONG!!!

     The loud sound echoed throughout the Neohome, almost causing Thepyt to inhale some water. He snorted, trying to get a few droplets of water out of his nostrils, and waddled out of the bathroom and to the front door. He opened the door, and was promptly brushed aside, as his neighbours, Barshont and Kerfon, barged in. They bounced and walked respectively to the living room, where they plopped themselves down on the Zen Sofa. Thepyt followed them in, wishing that his friends would be more polite. He eyed Kerfon’s bandaged tail, asking, “What in the name of Fyora happened to your tail?”.

     “I had an unwelcome visit from the Lava Ghoul,” replied Kerfon, wincing as Barshont accidentally leant against the injured appendage. “He burnt my tail, not to mention my property.”

     Barshont and Thepyt nodded sympathetically. “Well,” Barshont began, “I had an even more unwelcome visit from Meuka the Mucus Meerca.”

     “At least you don’t have a burnt tail,” snorted Kerfon.

     “But I had an awfully hard time scrubbing that disgusting Meerca’s… residue… off my furniture. Not to mention myself. He damaged my Feather Tickler beyond repair as well.”

     Thepyt chuckled. “It seems that I’m the only Neopet who hasn’t had a bad morning.”

     Kerfon snorted again. “You just wait.” The Lupe’s look darkened suddenly, as his keen eyes roved around the room. “Wait a minute,” he said, squinting his eyes suspiciously. “There’s something missing…”

     Barshont, his eyes sharpened by years of detecting the smallest amount of dust or dirt, immediately picked up what was wrong. He pointed to the Zen Curvy Drawer. “Look!”

     “What?” said Thepyt, slightly confused. “I don’t see anything.”

     “Exactly!” the Blumaroo triumphantly announced. Kerfon looked as equally befuddled as his Bruce friend, but after a few minutes caught on to what Barshont was saying.

     “He means there’s no glow!”

     Thepyt still looked puzzled. Barshont sighed heavily. “The glow from the paint brush, remember?”

     It suddenly clicked. Thepyt leapt up and hurried to the drawer, where he unlocked the top drawer using a complicated combination tapped into a Gamma Monitoring Console. He pulled open the drawer, hoping that he was merely hallucinating that there was no glow emanating from it. But it was no hallucination. The Glowing Paint Brush, from where it had rested on its velvet pad, was gone. Thepyt, alarmed, pulled open the other drawers, revealing other empty velvet pads. A collection of golden Battle Cards, a Cheat! trophy, and a childhood Fuzzle, among other items, were gone. Thepyt pulled out the last drawer, and seeing only yet another empty cushion, collapsed onto the thickly carpeted floor, sobbing inconsolably. Kerfon and Barshont watched on with varying degrees of sympathy and I-told-you-so-ishness.

     “That’s what you get when you store all of your valuables in your lounge room instead of in a Safety Deposit Box.” Barshont said indifferently. His look softened and he bounced over to the spotted Bruce, placing an arm over his shoulders.

     “There, there,” soothed Kerfon, sitting down next to Thepyt. “It’s okay.”

     “No it’s not!” he blubbered, wiping tears from his eyes. “My Glowing Paint Brush is gone!”

     “But you can always buy another one, right?” Kerfon looked hopefully at Barshont, hoping for some support. Barshont, however, decided that the nice-soft-and-cuddly comforting approach wasn’t working.

     “Snap out of it!” he snapped, slapping Thepyt on his chubby cheek. “You can buy another one. It’s just a material possession for pity’s sake! They’re not even that expensive!”

     Thepyt stopped moaning in despair, and sat up properly, drying his eyes with the back of his wingtip. Kerfon looked relieved. He didn’t know how much longer he could have held out before he would’ve had slapped Thepyt too. He grinned slightly. “I believe you were saying something about not having a bad morning?”

     Thepyt half-smiled. “I take it back.”

***

They were comfortably seated around Thepyt’s dining table, eating an early morning snack. Or in Thepyt’s case, breakfast. He wolfed down scrambled eggs hungrily, as his friends bit into some fruit.

     “What are the odds of all three of us having a really awful morning on the same day?” Barshont remarked, taking a bite out of a Starberry.

     Kerfon wiped Tigersquash juice from his lips. “A lot of numbers to one?” he guessed.

     “All caused by those damn critters,” Thepyt said angrily.

     “Someone should really do something about them,” Barshont said, banging his fist on the table. It wobbled, and Thepyt steadied a red apple, at risk from rolling over the table edge.

    “Someone really should, shouldn’t they?” he said thoughtfully. “I wonder…”

    Kerfon looked slightly alarmed. His friend had that thinking-really-hard look in his eyes, which didn’t happen very often. Thepyt was not exactly the kind of guy who had a gold Neopian Book Award trophy, if you know what I mean. Nonetheless, you could see the spark of an idea developing inside his brain. An idea that could change their world.

To be continued…

Previous Episodes

Ghoul Hunters: Part Two

Ghoul Hunters: Part Three

Ghoul Hunters: Part Four

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