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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 46 > Short Stories > The Tale of Garoo

The Tale of Garoo

by shidi

The wizened old Grundo sat heavily into his rocking chair. Days like this, when his arthritic bones ached, it was hard to muster up the gumption to tell a story, but when his three grandchildren looked up at him with big eyes blinking and antennae waving in excitement, what could he do but comply? He chuckled to himself, and stretched out his knees, a few bones creaking and cracking.

"Long ago, when I was young, Grundos dwelt on a distant planet called Doran. Whether or not the planet still exists, devoid of life and desolately existing as a dark memory of our once happy past, I do not know." He paused for a moment, smiling at the eager young faces. "We lived in peace and harmony, until that fateful day Sloth darkened our door…"

"Grandpa! We've heard this story before!" little Xylox cried. "We've all heard about Sloth. Over, and over and over again… everyone in Neopia's heard of him!"

"Ah… but this story isn't about Doctor Sloth, not at all… tell me children, have you ever heard of Commander Garoo?"

"Commander whosawhat?" Blorix, the middle child asked.

"Commander Garoo, boy. Kids these days. No sense of history."

"Tell us the story, Grandpa… please?" Kimika, the eldest pleaded. "Tell us about Commander Garoo."

"All right, I shall… but I dare say… it's not a pleasant tale. No, not at all…"

The three grandchildren huddled close together as the old Grundo spoke in hushed tones, of a tale that hand never been told in Neopia before… and perhaps, never will be again.

"When Garoo was born, there was no celebration. Blumaroos are usually very happy and cheerful little creatures… but not Garoo. He was a surly, sullen babe--bit his mother's hand when she tried to feed him his first bottle of Kau Kau Farm milk. Why, he was so mean, that he wouldn't have anything but Two Bottles of Water…"

"What's so mean about water?" Kimika asked, blinking.

"He had Two Bottles of the stuff. Glass and all! Chomped 'em right down."

The little Grundos shivered.

"When he grew up and went to school, he was the bully to end all bullies. He didn't hit up the other kids for lunch NP, he hit up his teachers! And they gave it to him, too. Everyone was too scared not to because that little Garoo was as intimidating as intimidating can be."

The old Grundo paused a moment to cough a bit, and settle himself more comfortably. "When he grew up, Garoo was sort of a drifter. Didn't know what to do with himself at all, with all that violence and hate all piled up inside of him since the very moment of his birth. He stole to earn a living, had a vastly unsuccessful Neomail order business, and had his hands in some dirty business with Buzzes that we won't go into… but then, one day… his true purpose was discovered."

"What was it, Grandpa?" little Xylox cried.

"To be evil, of course, young one! As evil as evil could be! When he saw the clever advertising campaign (Come here, or else! - D.F. Sloth) for a place called VirtuPets, he knew he'd found his destiny. Garoo arrived fresh off the virtulift from Neopia, and looked around the space station. Cold, hard metal gleamed everywhere--as cold as his black heart. And there, staring down at him like a dark god, was none other than Dr. Frank Sloth himself. Finally, after all these years, Garoo was home."

A loud crash outside the window made the little Grundos jump and huddle closer. "Looks like a storm's coming," said Grandpa, closing the curtains before continuing his tale. "Anyhow, there he was with Sloth. Sloth was ready to mutate him hideously and enslave him like the other Neopets… but when he reached for Garoo, he could feel this cold Blumaroo reaching back. Iron will met iron will, and they stared each other down. Sloth grunted once--he didn't have time for this, he had the entire universe to conquer, after all, and sent Garoo off to join his dark army, as a private no class."

"No class?" squeaked Blorix, who was getting kind of scared.

"None whatsoever, I assure you," Grandpa said with a wry smile. "Garoo wasn't to stay such a lowly rank for long, however. He trained hard, and went on missions to enslave the Grundo people, along with his superiors. Funny thing was, though… on a lot of those missions, he was the only survivor from the Sloth team. He ruthlessly fought and viciously kept the Grundos under Sloth's iron fist, earning him the admiration of the Doctor in no time. Within a matter of three years, Garoo was appointed commander of Sloth's grand invasion plan… and that's when I met him."

"You met Commander Garoo?" Kimika asked, half disbelieving.

"That I did," Grandpa said, rocking in his chair.

"How?"

"Garoo, like a lot of great villains, had a weakness. He loved to rant and rave about his life and evil plans to anyone who would listen, and a few who didn't care to listen, but he caught and made to listen anyhow. I was one of those he captured. He tied me to a chair and told me everything. It was hours of torture--he recited poetry from his teen years, told me about the fungus he had growing on his left big toe, and all about the invasion. He swore if I ever told this to anyone, he'd cut my tongue out and serve it with a side of veggies."

"Gross!" cried Xylox.

Just then, a crash and bang sounded in the kitchen, causing the three little Grundos to shriek in terror, and hide behind the couch. Grandpa rose from his chair, leaning on his cane, and headed for the doorway. "Nothing to be frightened of, young ones… the storm must have blown the back door open. I'll close it and be right back." With that, he disappeared from view. From behind the couch, the Grundo grandchildren listened in terror to the sounds of struggle… and the slamming of said door. When all was silent again, they dared peek out from behind the couch Grandpa was standing in the doorway, his face ashen and pale, his hand gripping the cane tightly.

"Grandpa! Grandpa!" they called, relieved. "What happened? Are you all right?"

But Grandpa didn't say anything. In fact… he couldn't say anything, at all.

The End

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