Lupe Forest Marketplace
"CHOCOLAAAAATE CHIAS!! GETCHER CHOCOLATE CHIIIIIAAAAS
"NEOPETS TRADING CARDS!!! I GOT NEOPETS TRADING
CARDS HERE!! COLLECT EM ALL FOLKS!"
"KOUUUUUUUUUUGRAS!! RARE KOUGRA PLUSHIES! YA
NEED TALKING KOUGRA TOYS?!? KOUGRA T-SHIRTS?!? I GOT EVERYTHING KOUGRA HERE!!"
"NEOPETS BOARD GAME!! COMING SOON TO A BOARD
GAME RETAILER NEAR YOU!!! MAKES A GREAT GIFT!"
"Oh, uh, nothing."
Dozens of shopkeeping Lupes staked out territory
in the Lupe Forest Marketplace, a place filled to the brim with anything and
everything a Lupe Forest Lupe would need (and not need, nor even think about,
for that matter) to buy for the upcoming Lupe Forest winter festival, dubbed
the Lupe Forest Winter Festival/Carnival Extraordinaire. A savvy Lupe could
get everything he or she needed earlier on in the year, but unfortunately not
every Lupe is savvy, and many were doing their last minute shopping.
In Lupe Forest, advertising is often done through
howling, a primitive form of communication left over from their early days (as
any lupologist could tell you). So, every shopkeeper would stand at his or her
respective booth or in their respective stores and yell and holler about their
goods, their prices, and the weather as loud as they could. Whoever howled the
loudest would probably get the most customers.
It would have been awful to get a cold or lose
your voice right before the Lupe Forest Winter Festival/Carnival Extraordinaire
if you were a shopkeeper. Right now, thousands of the last minute shoppers,
desperate and confused, were buying as much of everything as they could to sort
out and deal out to their friends and family.
Amidst the crowd was a single Chia, wrapped
up like a burrito in a puffy white winter lab coat, flapped fur hat, and red
sneakers, wearing round glasses, and waddling plaintively from booth to booth
with a notepad and jotting down everything he could. Trailing behind him was
a blue Cobrall in earmuffs and a green-and-red Cobrall-striped scarf. The pair
often garnered an odd stare from quite a few Lupes, and also quite a few hungry
stares from the carnivorous ones.
He paused at a particularly large shop, in which
the owner, a voraciously loud orange Lupe in a loud red tie, was hollering.
Plenty of beautiful objects were displayed in the store windows, and plenty
of Lupes were seizing and arguing over them.
"Excuse me, sir?"
"WHAT DO YOU WANT, CHIA?!?"
"What's the hottest seller on the list this
"PROBABLY THE NEOPETS BOARD GAME. IT'S REALLY
COOL. CARE TO BUY ONE?!"
"Uh, no thank you sir."
"ALRIGHT THEN!! STOP BY AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!"
The orange Lupe turned and greeted another customer
in a voice well above a shout as Al stuck a finger in his ear.
"Well, so much for studying Lupe Shopping Patterns
Before Major Holidays. I can't hear myself think! Come on, Fluffy, we have shopping
to do of our own."
He tossed a few Neopoints into a bucket labeled
'The Soup Faerie Fund for Poor Neopians' that was manned by a blue Acara in
a Scorchio Clause costume (he thanked him with a 'Whatever') before heading
back towards Furgleton. Fluffy, tired of slithering across the cold ground,
slithered up to Al and bit on his heel.
"OW!" Al yelped, turning and look at the Cobrall,
who was flitting his tongue expectantly.
"Fluffy, if you were going to get tired of walking,
you shouldn't have come!" Al scolded. He plucked the Cobrall off the ground
and wrapped it around his neck, where it promptly fell asleep.
"I swear, you're getting older. I won't always
be able to carry you-Oh, scuse me!"
This is when Al bumped into Hotpaw, a reclusive
and horribly territorial fire Lupe who usually never left his cabin.
"Oh, hello!" the Chia beamed, upon recognizing
him. "What are you doing out so early, Hotpaw?"
He had a sudden thought, and began digging through
his pockets for a notepad.
"As a matter of fact, what are you doing out
Hotpaw gaped at the nosy Chia for a moment before
quickly hiding the bags he was carrying behind his back. Wisps of smoke from
his overheated breath steamed up Al's glasses as he talked. "Oh, uh, nothing.
Just some last minute shopping."
Al quickly wiped the steam off his frames.
"Really? For who?"
Al patiently wiped the steam off his frames
"Really? Then why are you shopping?"
Al wiped off the steam, this time removing his
glasses, before continuing his interrogation.
"What, you don't celebrate the Lupe Forest Winter
"I'm not telling you."
Hotpaw, annoyed, burst into flames, which danced
and flickered across his suddenly looming frame. Al leaned back in surprise
as he began to shout.
"BECAUSE I SAID SO!! NOW LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU
"Geeze, alright, alright," Al muttered as he
put away his notepad, waddling past him. "What a grumpy gus."
Hotpaw kept on fuming in flame after Al until
he remembered what he was carrying in his shopping bags was flammable (not to
mention explosive). With a start, he went out with a hiss and a cloud of smoke,
then beat out the flames that had formed on the bags. After checking the contents
carefully, looked around to make sure no one had seen (about 20 Lupes had stopped
to stare), smiled weakly to dismiss those who had, then ran off.
Al replaced his glasses on his face as he continued
walking, talking to himself busily as he wiped his nose.
"Hm. That kind of behavior makes one suspicious,
doesn't it? Of course, Hotpaw is always suspicious, but-Oh, excuse me!"
It was at this time that Al then ran into Warpaw,
a red Lupe who was fond of the Battledome. Warpaw mumbled a gruff apology, sorting
through the packages he was carrying.
"Oh, hello Warpaw!" Al beamed at the sight of
the less suspicious Lupe "Doing some last minute Lupe Forest Winter Festival/Carnival
"Huh?" Upon hearing, looking around, and then
seeing Al, Warpaw started, clutched the bags he was carrying to his chest, turned
tail, and fled back in the opposite direction.
Al scratched his head, watching as he bowled
several Lupes over in his escape.
"Everyone is so edgy around this time of year.
What was Warpaw so freaked out abou-- Oh, excuse me!"
It was at this time that Hollypaw, a volatile
Christmas Lupe who really disliked Chias, ran into him.
"Oh, hello Hollypaw. Oh... OH PIFFLE!!"
Al scurried off as Hollypaw snarled at him.
"THAT'S RIGHT! You'd better run away and not
be suspicious of the huge box I'm carrying!!"
Hollypaw harrumphed as she hoisted the said
huge box she was carrying back up on her back, lurking off and getting lost
in the crowd. Al, after seeking refuge in a booth full of Usuki dolls, pulled
his handy dandy tape recorder from his lab coat as Fluffy continued snored merrily
from his place around Al's neck.
"Al's log, da-"
"USUKIS!! GETCHER USUKIS HEEEEEERE!!"
Fluffy woke up with a shock at the advertisement,
tightening his hold around Al's neck. Al, turning purple, rolled around on the
ground for a while, trying to wrestle the Cobrall off. After finally doing so,
he sharply scolded Fluffy, who was too confused and still half asleep to understand,
and then returned to his log:
"Ahem... Al's Log, date 1583939. Anyway, I ran
into a few familiar Lupes today, particularly the more aggressive members of
Lupe Forest, Hotpaw, Hollypaw, and Warpaw. They seemed to be shopping for stuff
that didn't seem very Lupe Forest Winter Festival/Carnival Extraordinaire-ish,
so I can't help but be a little suspicious of what they're doing. All-"
"CHIAAAA PLUSHIESSS!! CHEWY, TASTY CHIA PLUSHIES!!
GETCHER CHIA PLUSHIES NOW!!"
Al turned off the tape recorder and replaced
it into his pocket. He waddled forwards a few paces and tugged at the green
sleeve of the loud purple Lupe who had interrupted him.
"Excuse me. I'm trying to record something."
The purple Lupe (Cecelia Pawdvertisement) glanced
at Al for a moment, as if sizing him up, then hoisted him up into the air with
one hand and waved him around, the other hand cupped to her mouth to amplify
her already quite loud voice.
"LIVE CHIA!! I GOT A LIVE CHIA HERE!! HALF OFF!!
COME AND GET 'IM!!"
Fluffy, trying and succeeding in being inconspicuous,
inched away from the shop as a flurry of Lupes looked up from what they were
doing. There was a sickening silence. Then, every Lupe pounced for the booth
all at once.
"I SAW HIM FIRST!"
"GIVE IT UP!!"
"Oh, what a predicament!" Al wailed. "If only
I had purchased those Neopets Talking Uni Toys, Angelpuss Plushies, and other
such inexpensive and entertaining Neopets merchandise!"
(Yes, that's right folks. According to recent,
unbiased statistics taken by researchers in an independent study, Chias who
buy Neopets merchandise are ten times less likely to be sold off for food by
purple Lupes Gosh, is there anything it can't do?
Not only that, they're DIRT CHEAP! Who would
want to miss out on such a great holiday gift option such as these lovely Neopets
notebooks and pencils, or even a Neopets toilet plunger!
Don't delay! Tell your parents to head for the
nearest store now and get your Neopets merchandise NOW, and if they don't, THROW
A TANTRUM!! I think I know what YOU want for Christmas NOW, kiddies!
And now, back to Al.)
Neopoints flew through the air as all of the
Lupes tried to thrust their money into the purple Lupe's free paw at once. An
argument ensued over who had paid for it first, and in the melee all the Lupes
began grabbing at the Chia, who was stretched, pulled, beaten, and kicked around,
as if a Gormball with Dr. Sloth painted onto it. Finally, an attempt by a pink
Lupe to toss him to a companion sent Al tumbling into a nearby fish tank, where
groups of aquatic petpets were being sold off by a dozy, soft spoken, and unsuccessful
Al bobbed up and down past a surprised Ghostkerfish,
gurgling miserably as the Lupes grumbled and walked away. Fluffy, who had been
following the rabble with amusement, sleepily slithered over to the tank and
stared at his floundering owner before putting on his headphones and relaxing
with his head against the tank.
To be continued...