Ghoul Hunters: Part One
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
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
“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
“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
“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.
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…