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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 10th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 141 > Short Stories > Doctor Snappy and the Anti-Gravitron 2645

Doctor Snappy and the Anti-Gravitron 2645

by tambourine_chimp

If you were to be walking past 31482 Neopia Central, Main Street, the first thing you would probably see are the many signs forbidding entrance upon the grounds beyond, with its withered and dying plants and, last be certainly not least, the Neohome itself. Or, at least, a sorry misconception of the word.

     The building looked half-done, and as if it were about to fall down at the touch of a feather, the stonework paled and crumbling, windows cracked into a thousand pieces. Its single green door hung lazily on its single remaining hinge, where it swung to and fro on the odd breeze. There was no particular roof to speak of, just a sparse lining of thatch around the tops of the walls. The curtains inside were ragged and moth-bitten, the rooms cold and dank.

     On some rare occasions, you may hear the odd dull banging echoing down the empty hallways and reverberating in the dark rooms. These noises could easily be mis-accounted for as faulty pipes or, to be extreme, ghosts.

     …But the truth, I think you’ll be glad to know, is much more interesting.

     For the truth was that, for all the rundown old house may seem, it was actually habitable, and was actually accommodating at this very precise minute a Neopian of the highest calibre and esteem that he had actually allowed his home to become so just to be left alone to his work.

     But where, I hear you ask, could anyone possibly work in a decrepit house such as this was? The answer is simple; the house had an extension to it that barely any other Neohome in the world had, one that was both out of sight and comfortable. It held, far beneath its rotting floorboards and mould-encrusted walls, a basement.

     Now, the basement was as different to the rest of the house as you could possibly imagine. For where the rest of the home was spare and cold, the basement was fully-furnished and warm, thanks to a furnace in the far corner, one could sleep within the hollowed-out ground (for that was basically what it was, more or less) with almost the selfsame amount of comfort as if it were a bedroom in the most luxurious of Neohomes.

     But it wasn’t a bedroom on the whole. No, it was mainly a workroom… a laboratory for want of a better word.

     Whose laboratory, I hear you ask once again?

     Why, none other than the lesser known and equally genius of the two Scorchio Doctors, Harry Von Snappy, the brother of the eccentric Doctor Zappy, worker and maintainer of the Secret Lab Ray that is so often frequented by nearly all Neopians.

     What’s that…? You mean to say you have never actually heard of the Doctor Snappy?!

     Well, then, I’d best be getting on with my story!

~**~

Doctor Snappy, dressed from head-to-toe in his usual grease-smeared overalls that had originally been a brilliantly dazzling whiter-than-white white, stood bent over a large metal contraption, red tail wagging joyously, goggles over his eyes as he worked a wrench in one hand, Rubber duck in the other.

     After giving the odd-looking machine a few final twists with the wrench, Dr. Snappy took a step back to admire his handiwork. Turning his head to the duck, he said. “Vell, Ducky? Can you tell vhat it is yet?”

     He gave the Rubber Duck a quick, tight squeeze, causing it to emit a short “Squeak!”

     “Vhy, yes, it is a machine of mine!” he nodded proudly, before realising that Ducky had been with him all the time while he made, and that Ducky was being sarcastic. He gave it another short pinch.

     “Cheep!”

     “Vhat vas zat, Ducky? Vhat is it? You really vant to know?” He gave the Duck two squeezes in quick succession this time.

     A word here, if I may… you may have already realised that the Doctor wasn’t all there in the Sanity Department. Like his brother, he too was a few clues short of a full Faerie Crossword.

     “Squeaky-squeak!”

     “Very vell, very vell, I shall tell you! To be being patient, please!” Gathering his thoughts and clearing his throat at the same time (an annoying habit, but it seemed to work) Doctor Snappy turned once again to his machine. “Zis machine – and a very clever little piece of vork it is, too – is zurely my greatest invention of all time! I present unto you, Mister Ducky…The Snappy Anti-Gravitron 2645!”

An awed round of applause utterly failed to swell within the room, leaving Doctor Snappy with his hands raised dramatically in the air. Turning an odd shade of red, he quickly squeezed the Rubber Duck again in the embarrassing silence.

     “Squeaky-cheep?”

     “Vhy ze number 2645?” Doctor Snappy repeated slowly, the redness in his cheeks growing darker with anger. “Vhy, have you been asleep the last ten years, Mister Ducky?! 2645 is ze number of times I have tried to create ze Anti-Gravitron!”

     There was a short silence as comprehension dawned on the Rubber Duck’s face (well, to Doctor Snappy it seemed like comprehension dawning. Really it was just the flickering shadows from the furnace), then, “Squeaky-squeak! SQUEAK!”

     “You vant to know vhat it does?” Snappy murmured in a confused daze. “Isn’t it obvious, you rubber simpleton? It destroys ze laws of gravity; it makes vun able to fly vithout vings!”

     “Squeak-cheep-squeaky! Cheep, squeak?”

     “How come you have vings, but cannot fly?” The Doctor’s confusion was mounting. Mister Ducky was never usually this bothersome. It was usually a case of “Squeak-ah-squeak-cheep” (that’s great, let me have a go), rather than all these questions. “How am I to be knowing zat? I am no zoologist!”

     “Squeak-ah-squeak-cheep!”

     Ah, the Doctor sighed happily. Here it comes. “Vhy, but of course, Mister Ducky! But kindly to be letting me demonstrate first, hokay? Hokay…now vhere did I put ze controls…?”

     If, by some amazing feat of magic and random possibility, we were to view the following proceedings from the eyes of the Rubber Duck, time would seem to slow down to half its normal speed.

     Letting his wrench drop lazily from his hand onto the work table, Doctor Snappy’s eyes grew large and he gasped for what seemed like ages as the tool fell onto the table…but not before hitting the controls in question, smashing it into a hundred pieces (the controls, not the wrench).

     Almost as if on cue, the machine hummed into life, sputtering and honking, emitting large clouds of steam as it bounced and shook.

     “Noooo!” Snappy cried out in despair, as time seemed to return to normal. Placing Mister Ducky on the work table, he scurried over to the machine, plunging his small red arm down amongst the clockwork components to the power switch below. “Must reach…ze main switch…before it is too…erk!”

     This last, strangled syllable of Snappy’s desperate cry was not actually intended, and only came about when the Doctor found himself being thrown up into the air, whereupon he found himself to be stuck fast to the basement ceiling, much to his displeasure.

     “Vell, vell, vell!” he fumed impatiently as fought to lie down on the ceiling, as standing made him feel dizzy. Tapping his claws, he muttered, “Zis is quite the predicament, to be sure! Vhat to do to be getting down, I am vondering…?”

     It was then that he spied Mister Ducky perched quite safely on the work table, where the Doctor had left him out of the machine’s range, and his eyes lit up with hope only a madman could dream of.

     “Ah, but Mister Ducky!” he sighed in relief, clasping together pleadingly. “You are going to help me to get down, hokay?”

     Mister Ducky, however, sat in stubborn silence, staring straight in front of him.

     “Oh, come now, Mister Ducky!” Doctor Snappy whined piteously, wringing his hands compassionately in the Rubber Duck’s direction. He was still stuck to the ceiling, spread-eagled on his back, and the machine didn’t sound like it was giving up any time soon. “All, you vould have to do is vaddle under ze machine and flick off the manual switch vith your beak! Please…?”

     Mister Ducky stayed exactly where he was, which was probably the wisest choice, given the circumstances.

     “Hokay, fine zen!” Snappy growled huffily. “Stay put, zen! See if I care!”

     And Mister Ducky did so, leaving the scatterbrained Doctor to his weightless fate.

     And, as far as I know, Doctor Snappy is still there to this very day, lying on his basement ceiling, waiting for Mister Ducky to kindly turn off the Snappy Anti-Gravitron 2645…

     …but, of course, that’ll never happen, will it? Mister Ducky’s way too smart for that.

THE END.

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