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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 28th day of Sleeping, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 25 > Short Stories > Of Evil Cousins and The Pant Devil

Of Evil Cousins and The Pant Devil

by ladyofsylla

RincewindII was plummeting earthward, his eyes streaming and his ears ringing painfully. He was a red Blumaroo, and the claws of a large fire Eyrie were digging into his sides. The flat green field below him was quickly becoming more and more detailed as it rushed up to meet him. The Eyrie's wings flapped frantically, but they were useless.

"I'm sorry!" yelled Dangerlove, the Eyrie. "I didn't know I couldn't fly! I thought I'd changed!" She let go of RincewindII, and tried to get out of his way. "At least when we land," she said helpfully, "I won't land on top of you."

RincewindII didn't find this exceptionally reassuring. He just hoped his brothers and cousin (who were presently on Dangerlove's back) would land safely. He knew he wouldn't. He had a tendency to get the worst of things. He shut his eyes just before the soft grass came up to whack the life out of him.

But there was no brain-shattering collision. RincewindII opened his right eye. He was in something soft and dark. "Excuse me," he said uncertainly, "am I dead?" There was no answer; just the steady bump bump of his head against the top of… wherever he was. He hesitantly opened his other eye. It didn't help much.

And then RincewindII realised that he was being carried. Yes, and inside a sack no less. How did he figure this out, you ask? Simple: he reasoned that the steady bumping of his head against the top of the sack meant that somebody was walking while carrying what must be a sack. And the surface he was sitting on felt extremely sack-like.

"Um. Excuse me?" RincewindII tried again, louder this time. He thought he heard muffled shouts coming from behind him. "Bugger," he muttered, "they've got my brothers and cousins too. It's quite rude to go around catching NeoPets in sacks, especially if they've just fallen from a very high height." He curled up in a ball, and tried to fall asleep. It was impossible.

Just as RincewindII's eyes were becoming droopy with sleepiness, he was tossed away roughly, and landed uncomfortably among several other sacks. He heard muffled curses coming from under him, and he attempted to roll aside. Then, all of a sudden, his sack was upended and he was sent sprawling into a large tuft of grass.

There before him stood Thalireion, a power-hungry yellow Gelert with delusions of grandeur and a considerable mean streak. "And how are we this morning, clever Rincewind?" the Gelert said in an evil syrupy voice. His eyes blazed red momentarily, striking fear into the hearts of whoever were unfortunate enough to be standing nearby. Then he frowned and tried to look sympathetic. "My poor brothers had to carry you and all of your fat friends in those flimsy sacks. It was very difficult for them, you understand." He grinned crazily. A mutated Blumaroo poked his head over Thalireion's shoulder. "Difficult, you understand…" he wheezed and backed away slowly, muttering, "My preciousss… nasssty Rincewinds, we needs it my preciousss, we wantssss it…"

Thalireion glared at the retreating Blumaroo. "Don't mind him," he said. "He's always going on about his 'precious' whatever that is." A mysterious gleam lit his eyes for an instant, then disappeared. "But that's not the point, is it dear cousin?"

RincewindII flinched. He hated it when Thalireion called him that; it was quite disturbing. "Um, no. That's not the point?"

The Gelert looked confused. "Not the point…" he muttered. "The point. Yes, it is the point! Who put that idea into your head?"

RincewindII wasn't exactly sure where this conversation was going. He considered replying with something like "Actually, you did, you evil and insane cousin of mine! Feel my WRATH!" but he didn't. Instead he said, "Um, I'm not exactly sure who…"

"Good. Then you won't be surprised to learn that I have arranged for you and your friends to be eaten alive by the Pant Devil." Thalireion grinned proudly.

"The… the Pant Devil?" RincewindII repeated incredulously. "But I thought the Pant Devil just stole things. You know, like smoothies and PetPets and…" he trailed off at his cousin's fierce gaze.

Thalireion sighed impatiently. "Dear Rincewind, obviously you are behind the times. The Pant Devil has taken to eating pathetic and scrawny red Blumaroos like you. Or hadn't you heard?"

RincewindII thought about this. "I hadn't heard, sorry." He glanced hurriedly about at his surroundings. He expected to see the Pant Devil drifting frighteningly about with a knife, fork and bib, but there was only the pile of struggling sacks and the mutant Blumaroo. At the moment the mutant was sitting beside the sacks and stroking them, saying something about birthday presents and his precious. It was very disconcerting.

"Well?" Thalireion said abruptly.

"Well what?"

"Well, don't you want to know why I'm feeding you to the Pant Devil?" the Gelert asked.

"No." RincewindII had learned long ago not to question the actions of his cousin Thalireion. They rarely made sense, anyway. Besides, at present Thalireion was trying (and failing) to take over Neopia with only a plain golden ring and his mutated brother. It was all very stupid, and RincewindII had no opinion of it.

Thalireion's eyes blazed. "I'm going to tell you anyway!" he growled. "I'm feeding you to the Pant Devil because you're a useless, gangling, stupid cousin! You're cowardly and pathetic, and I don't like you!"

RincewindII raised an eyebrow. "That's all? I thought you were trying to take over the world."

"Well I am, but I don't want you around when it happens. It would be much more satisfying if I knew you were gone." Then Thalireion's eyes focused on something behind RincewindII. The Blumaroo was too nervous to turn around and see what his cousin was looking at. A smile appeared on the Gelert's face. "Well, well, well. I see you're early, Mr. Devil." RincewindII swallowed. "Come hither, Mr. Devil, and start with Rincey here. He is quite anxious to be eaten. He'll make a great hors d'oeuvre."

RincewindII froze with terror. He was too frightened to panic, he was too frightened to run, and he was too frightened to turn and face what was inevitably going to be his demise. He just gulped and stared pleadingly at Thalireion. The Gelert looked a bit nervous.

"Erm, Mr. Devil, you may start eating him now," he said uneasily.

There was some random shuffling behind RincewindII, and he finally worked up the courage to turn his head. What he saw behind him was exactly the opposite of what he had expected. The Pant Devil was floating a foot above the ground, holding up a sausage and looking confused. "Erm… I have stolen your sausage," he said to RincewindII.

The Blumaroo burst out laughing. He had to try very hard to keep himself under control, but the look on his evil cousin's face was the most amusing thing he had seen that day. Thalireion's mouth hung open, and he stared wide-eyed at the Pant Devil as if he had just found out that his amazing and evil scheme wasn't working, and that his scrawny cousin had come out the winner. Which, really, is what had just happened.

The Pant Devil shrugged and zoomed away, carrying RincewindII's sausage aloft. RincewindII left his cousin standing there stunned, and set about freeing his friends. The mutated Blumaroo stood nearby, stroking a golden ring and muttering. RincewindII ignored him. Finally Dangerlove and RincewindII's brothers and cousins were freed. "Well," said RincewindII, "I suppose we'd better go home."

The morning was turning into midday as the five of them strolled happily off, the soft green grass stretching away before them… At least it looked as though it was stretching before them. In all actuality, they were nearing the edge of a very steep and very high cliff. For reasons best left unexplained they were unaware of their impending doom.

But at least they're happy for now.

The End

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