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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 10th day of Swimming, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 147 > Short Stories > Okay, So a Lenny With a Flamethrower and A Plagiarist Walk Into a Room...

Okay, So a Lenny With a Flamethrower and A Plagiarist Walk Into a Room...

by buddy33774

Hawkins laid down his pen, leaning back from his desk contently. After nine straight grueling hours of writing, working through the night into the morning, he'd finally finished it - his very first article! Six pages of pure unadulterated genius - a splendid article on how to get rich quick (something which Hawkins was sure no one had ever thought to write about before) which he was sure would be accepted.

     Dark circles beneath his eyes, the green Kyrii wondered out from his bedroom into the main living room of the apartment he shared with a certain red Lenny.

     Speaking of the Pant Devil, there he is now!

     Lennert stood in the middle of their kitchenette, obviously (making an attempt at) cooking breakfast. When the Kyrii walked out, he turned, smiling wildly. "Morning, Hawkins! Sleep well?"

     Hawkins, too content to worry about why his roommate was so darn cheery, or why he was cooking breakfast again, just smiled back, sleepily. "Oh, I didn't sleep at all! But I'll tell you what I did do-"

     "Save the world?!"

     "… no…"

     "Oh… 'cause if you had saved the world, man that would've been so cool!"

     "… I finished my article…"

     Lennert's shoulders slumped. "Oh… saving the world from destruction would've been so much cooler…"

     Hawkins shook his head, slightly dumbstruck. "Okay, Lennert… well, I'm sorry that completing my first article isn't cool enough for you…"

     Lennert looked up, a bit cheered. "Don't worry pal, I forgive you!!" Lennert looked down at his feet, then glanced back up at his roommate. "Oh, guess what I did!"

     Hawkins, who now stood right in the middle of the room, shrugged, his sense of great joy now gone, replaced with a sense of dread at what could be sitting at the Lenny's feet. "It doesn't have to do with blowing anything up, does it?..."

     "Not this time!" Lennert ducked down behind the counter, emerging a few seconds later with a pack-type thing strapped to his back, an attached hose and nozzle in his wing. "Watch!"

     Lennert pointed the nozzle into mid-air, pulling the trigger. Out of the end shot a huge jet of orange and red flame, illuminating the whole room in its glow. Lennert laughed hysterically as he swung the whip of fire from side to side, finally letting off the trigger. "Impressed?"

     Hawkins, who had been standing perfectly still in the middle of the room, just shook his head, more annoyed than surprised. "Somehow, I have a feeling this will end with something blowing up…"

     Lennert just grinned, all-knowing. "This is the best idea I've ever had - I'm saving us Neopoints! Think about it: this thing can do everything that the rest of our kitchen appliances can, all in one and faster, too! It'll save us so much time and money, it'd be stupid not to buy a high-powered flame-thrower!"

     As if to demonstrate his new toy's capabilities, Lennert grabbed two slices of toast off the counter and threw them up, torching them in mid-air. As they fell back, the Lenny expertly caught them on a plate. The pieces of toast were burned to delectable, tasty black crisp.

     Lennert spun on his heel to face - an empty living room. "Hawkins... Hawkins?... Hello, anyone there?" The Lenny sighed, slouching his shoulders sadly. "Everyone always runs away from me…"

Neopian Times HQ

     Hawkins sat at his desk, anxiously twirling a pen in his paw and clicking it in and out. He had left his article on Brintle's desk a few hours before, and now there was nothing left to do but sit and wait…

     …and wait…

     …and wait…

     …and, well, you get it, right?

     "Hotkins!"

     At the sound of his name, the spring Hawkins had been sitting on finally snapped. In an anxious surprise, Hawkins tossed the pen he had been holding behind him, where it flew through the air…

A Few Desks Behind

     A certain green Pteri had been sitting at his own little Pteri desk, minding his own little Pteri business when it happened…

     "Boy, I sure hope I don't get hit with a pen today! 'Cause if I did…"

     Just then, a large black pen came flying through the air, hitting the Pteri on the head and lodging itself between his eyes like a horn.

     "Oh, come on!" he shouted in aggravation. "This is just so wrong! I… hmmm… hey!" He looked around, sneakily, then smiled to himself. "Boy, I sure hope I don't get hit with a giant cake!"

     Another pen came from somewhere off to the side, stabbing him in the eye.

     "Ahhh!" he cried, holding his eye in pain. "Now come on! I just wanted some cake! I would've even settled for a single slice!"

Brintle's Office

     "Hmmm…" thought Hawkins, as he turned to close the office door, "I sure hope I didn't hit anyone with that pen…"

     "Hotcakes," began his white Blumaroo of a boss, walking around all important-like to his side of the desk, "I've realized recently that the quality of the 'Times has been… well, slipping…"

     Hawkins looked around, a little confused. It seemed as if his boss was always dragging him into his office, as if the Kyrii was some kind of assistant… and assistant to the Assistant Editor… did that make Hawkins the "Assistant Assistant Editor"? Did he get paid extra for this?...

     "Like this for example!" continued Brintle, holding up a rather familiar six-page article. "I don't know who wrote this piece of filth, but I'll tell you, it's a good thing they forgot to sign their name!"

     Hawkins let out a small gulp. The article his boss was holding looked oddly familiar - as it should! It was the same article Hawkins had finished just a mere few hours ago! "Ummm, was it really that bad, sir?..."

     Brintle's eyes widened, serious as a certain cardiovascular dysfunction "'That bad'?! Hawkins you don't understand - this wasn't just bad. This was deadly bad! I'm talking 'someone please gouge my eyes out bad' bad! I'm talking 'I have no will to live anymore' bad! Hawkins, this article should never be read by living eyes."

     Brintle balled his paws into fists. "And if I ever find who wrote this article, I'll cut off their hands, making sure they never subject the world to such terrible torture again!" With that, Brintle threw the papers into the trash bucket next to his desk.

     Hawkins let out another gulp. Had he been wearing a shirt, he would have tugged at it in a very cartoon-like fashion.

     "So," Brintle went on, failing to notice Hawkins' nervousness, "I've decided to bring in a professional - someone who actually knows how to write stuff, to teach everyone here the ins and outs of writing something that doesn't make me want to puke. His name is-"

     Before the Blumaroo could finish, a shrill fan-girlish scream came from outside the office. "Oh my gosh! HE'S HERE!"

     Hawkins and Brintle threw the office door open and rushed out into the marble-floored lobby, where they soon discovered the reason for the scream - and what a reason it was!

     Through the glass double doors stepped a truly fine piece of boy. For shoes, the young man, about 14 in human years, wore sweet black tennis shoes, covered at the tongues by low hanging blue jeans. He wore a white shirt and leather jacket for a top; simple, yet so manly and rugged. He wore thick, black, uber-mysterious sunglasses; his hair, wild and untamed in all its dirty blonde-ness. Surely like the person under it.

     "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" a nearby Cybunny panted, gasping for air. "I can't believe he's here -- in the very same room as me!" another Usul next to her squealed. Next to her, a young female Zafara simply passed out.

     The boy strutted up to the reception desk and, removing his glasses, let wild a charming grin as he introduced himself. "The name's dy… Buddy."

     "Wow!" commented a nearby voice. "That is one very attractive person!"

     Hawkins spun around - and gagged. "Mister Brintle?!"

     "What?!" the Blumaroo shrugged. "He is!"

     A charming, yet-still-cool smile on his face, the young man made his way over to where Hawkins and Brintle stood, holding out his hand to shake the latter's. "And you must be Mister Brintle," he noted, his voice cool and crisp like cold fried chicken. And I'm talkin' "extra crispy" -- none of that "original recipe" junk.

     "Hotkins, this is Buddy! He'll be working with everyone for a while, helping us turn out real pieces of literature."

     "Hotkins" looked at the boy apprehensively. "So, does that mean he's a good writer?"

     "Oh, heck no! He's just the only one who would do it for free!"

     Buddy smiled goofily. "Court-ordered community service. I, umm…" He coughed. "…did some stuff…"

     Brintle clasped his hands on both of their shoulders. "Well, I bet you two have a million things to talk about! What, with both of you being writers and all-" He stopped, looking down at Hawkins. "Well, with one of you being a writer, anyway."

Hawkins' Desk

     Hawkins could only look across his tiny, cluttered desk at the boy, the one they called "Buddy". They had been sitting like this for the last 20 minutes, all in a long, awkward silence.

     Buddy coughed.

     Hawkins cleared his throat.

     Buddy tapped his shoe lightly on the floor.

     Hawkins tapped his pen on the desk.

     "Ummm…" stuttered Hawkins, determined to finally break the uncomfortable silence, "so… you're a writer, huh?.."

     Buddy looked back at him, his face bored. "Yep."

     "Uhh… write anything good lately?..."

     Buddy shrugged. "Well, actually, I came up with a great idea for a story. It's about a Kyrii and Lenny who live together in an apartment. I'm thinking of calling it 'Lawkins and Hennert'!" He moved his hand in the air as he said the title, as if spelling it out. "What do ya think?"

     "Sounds oddly familiar…"

     "Well," ended Buddy, pushing away from the table, "this has been a great conversation, but I'm gonna go see what Mister Brintle's up to." He shot Hawkins a wink, slipped the glasses over his eyes and wandered off to find Brintle, doing a super-cool disco strut all the way.

Brintle's Office (yes, again)

     Hawkins (or "Hotkins"… or "Hotcakes"… or whatever Brintle was soon to call our little green Kyrii) walked into the office, immediately catching sight of Mister Brintle and Buddy sitting at the desk; Buddy in front, Brintle behind.

     "Come in, Hotcake!" (Oh! How did I know! Man, I'm good!) Brintle waved, motioning for the reporter to take a seat next to his teenage counterpart. "Buddy was just showing me what he's got - just imagine! Been here just a few hours and he's already got something written!"

     Before Hawkins could take his seat, he noticed an article sitting on Brinte's desk - a rather familiar-looking article about how to become rich!

     "But… but… Mister Brintle, that's the same article you saw this morning! You said it was terrible!"

     Brintle looked down at the article, then back up at Hawkins, shaking his head. "Now Hotcakes, I'd know if this were the very same article. Do you think I'm stupid or something?"

     "Yes!"

     "Mister Brintle, I know for a fact that's the very same article - I WROTE IT!!"

     The Blumaroo scowled, looking back at Hawkins, annoyed. "Hotcakes! I would've thought better than you! Trying to take credit for poor, ole' Buddy's work!" He motioned to Buddy sitting across from him, who was now putting on a pathetic puppy dog-eyes face. And… was that a tear that just rolled down his face?! "I'm ashamed!" continued Brintle. "I think you should leave before I get really mad and throw my shoe at you!"

     "But Mister Brintle-"

     "That's it - the shoe's coming off!"

     "But you don't wear shoes!"

     Brintle stuck his arm at length, pointing angrily towards the door and shouting. "Out!"

     Well, what else was there to do?

Apartment Roof

     As the sun began to set over Neopia Central, Hawkins sat stretched out on a lawn chair on the roof of their apartment building, fuming to Lennert, who was playing around with his new "toy".

     "That ignorant piece of… of… ignorance!" the Kyrii fumed, clenching his paws into fists! "I can't believe he did that! But I bet this isn't the first time - I bet he's stolen every piece he's ever had published!"

     Lennert, as it always seemed to be, was off in his own little world. "Hawkins, check this out! If I turn this knob, I can make the flames bigger!" He showed this be clicking the knob a few spaces to the side and waving the huge jet of flame, now about five feet in length around, laughing hysterically. "Hahaha! Die Weewoos, die! Die! Die Di - uh oh! I hit one!"

     "You know what? I bet he didn't even come up with that story about a Kyrii and a Lenny living together on his own! I bet he stole that one, too!"

     "Oh man, this is bad!" Lennert picked up the petpet's remains, glanced around to see if anyone was around, then turned and heaved the Weewoo's body over the side of the building.

     "I can't just him get away with this!" resolved Hawkins, who hadn't even noticed the atrocity his friend had just committed. "I've got to find a way to get back at him! To make him really pay!"

     "Whatcha gonna do?" asked Lennert, dusting off his wings and making his was over to a second lawn chair of his own.

     Hawkins broke into a devious smile, eyes flashing devilishly. "I think I know just how to get back at that thieving… err, thief! Lennert, you up for some god old-fashion vandalism?"

     Lennert shrugged. "Do I get to wear a nifty black robber suit?"

     "…If you want…"

     Lennert grinned. "I'm in!"

Later that night…

     Hawkins and Lennert stood across the street from their target's house… or one should say, mansion. It sat in the middle of Neopian Central, in the center of a perfectly pedicured lawn, surrounded by a ten-foot wall of hedges. The only way in was through a locked iron gate.

     Both pets stood dressed in classy, yet cheesy black thief garments along with matching backpacks of supplies. "Ready?" asked Hawkins, glancing across to Lennert. The Lenny nodded vigorously. "I was born ready!"

     The two ran across the street to the gate. Reaching into his backpack, Hawkins pulled out a rope with a grappling hook attached to the end. "Okay, Lennert," he explained, "I'll throw this over the fence. Then, when I'm over you can - Lennert?" Hawkins looked behind to find his roommate had disappeared!

     "Over here!" the Kyrii looked back to see his partner-in-crime standing on the other side of the fence. "But… but… how'd you get over there?!" Hawkins stammered.

     Lennert shrugged. "Just walk through the hedgerows."

     "But…aren't there walls or something?"

     "Nah, this guy's an idiot!" The Lenny turned to make his up the driveway, with Hawkins following through the hedges.

     Across the lawn and up to the porch, they came to the front door. Hawkins again reached into his backpack, this time pulling out a large, thin knife - a glass cutter.

     "Why don't we just try the front door?"

     "Lennert, no one is stupid enough to leave the front door un-" The Kyrii was immediately silenced as Lennert simply turned the handle and let the door slide inwards. Hawkins shook his head, flabbergasted. "Man, you were right - this guy really is stupid!"

     Quietly, the two slipped into the foyer, made a right and crept down the hallway, through some double-doors, and finally, into their true destination - Buddy's Trophy Room.

     "Okay," instructed Hawkins, putting his pack back to the ground and digging for a hammer, "you take half of them, and I'll take half. You don't have to completely destroy the trophy, just mess it up enough so that it's hard to tell what it is."

     Lennert set his pack on the ground but, instead of pulling out a hammer he pulled out something much larger - an industrial-power flamethrower!

     Seeing it, Hawkins just shook his head. "Now, I know you brought that along for good luck…"

     Lennert smiled, all knowing. "Like I said, this thing does stuff ten-times faster - including vandalizing and destroying trophies!"

     Without another word, Lennert flipped on the flamethrower, its huge orange flame spraying across the wall. Lennert waved the blazing pillar around, making sure to torch the entire wall. After a few seconds, he let off the switch, smiling at Hawkins as the wall burned to a crisp behind him.

     Hawkins watched, unimpressed. He was made even less impressed when sparks started jumping from the trophy wall to the two connecting walls, the carpet, and ceiling, setting them ablaze as well. Within thirty seconds, two thirds of the room was burning. "Hmmm…" wondered Lennert, noticing the room going up in flames around him, "this is rather unplanned for…"

     "Okay, let's go!" Hawkins grabbed his pyromaniac partner's wing and began dragging him to the door. At the door, the Kyrii glanced back to the flamethrower still attached to Lennert's back. "The torch stays."

     "No!" Lennert shouted over the roaring flames. "I wasted good money on this thing!"

     "That flamethrower is staying in this room - whether you're attached to it or not is your choice!"

     Unwillingly, Lennert tossed the flamethrower into the inferno and followed Hawkins outside…

Outside (where else?)

     The two amateur vandals rushed outside on to the large front lawn, where Hawkins stopped to glance back at the house. The fire had spread, engulfing the entire room and threatening to consume the whole wing.

     "You know, I just thought of something," Hawkins pointed out in his usual calm, matter-of-fact way. "When we threw that flamethrower into the fire, it was full of fuel…" He sighed, shaking his head sadly at his conclusion. "I figure right about now the flames should be eating through the casing…"

     

KABOOM!!!!

     "You know," noted Lennert, smiling slightly, "if we had listened to me and taken the flamethrower with us, that would've never happened."

     "Oh, shut up!"

     From Across the Street

     Hawkins and Lennert sat on the bench, watching the mayhem that had erupted at Buddy's mansion. Chia firefighters were trying desperately, albeit futilely, to put out the inferno, which by now had swallowed up the entire house and was burning it to the ground. But judging by how the hose was spraying wildly in the air with two Chias hanging on for dear life, it didn't seem to be going well.

     "I think I recall saying somewhere that this would end with something blowing up," Hawkins pointed out.

     "Well," Lennert replied, "at least we accomplished our mission."

     "Yeah, I suppose… Though, I was kind of hoping that we could do this without, you know, burning Buddy's house to the ground…."

     "You always have to complain, don't you!" shouted Lennert. "It's never enough to just get revenge on someone -- we have to do it without burning their house to the ground! Can't you just be happy with the status-quo?!"

     "You know, he'll probably never write again.."

     Lennert shrugged, getting up to leave. "It's not like he wrote that well to begin with."

     That Lennert sure does have a point there.

 The End

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