The Dangers of Background Music
It took a moment for Jubby to recover, both from
the sudden force of Fyora's words, and the overpowering blare of dramatic music
that accompanied them. He found himself on the floor with his chair tipped over
backwards. Digger was hiding under his overturned basket, and the curtains were
entangled with the window sash. Fyora seemed the only person or thing unruffled
in the entire office.
"The wooden spoon?" Jubby asked as he laboured
back to his feet.
"No. THE WOODEN SPOON," Fyora replied.
The music blared, and once again Jubby found himself on his back. Fyora simply
looked down over her desk, and added "You have to say it with emphasis."
"Right..." Jubby growled as he hopped back
to his feet, and righted the chair with a mighty kick. "But for now, let's skip
the emphasis and get back to business."
Fyora nodded and smiled benevolently, not
daring to open her mouth in case her gleeful laughter escaped. With a far less
benevolent look, Jubby hopped back onto his chair, and braced himself for any
more blasts of dramatic music.
"So, some dark power is trying to get the
SP...um...spoon and we have to get it first," Jubby stated.
"So...where is the ancient kitchen utensil?
I need to know so that I can go get it."
"I'm not sure," Fyora confessed. "Otherwise
I would have gone and gotten it myself."
Jubby barely resisted rolling his eyes. "OK.
So you don't know where it is. Do you know who might know? Is there a Wooden
Fork or Wooden Kebab Set that go with it and might help me find it?"
"No, Jubby. There's not so much as a napkin
ring," Fyora sighed.
"Well, we're on our own...again," Jubby
said with a shrug of the fuzzy patches where his shoulders might have been.
"Come on Digger. We've got work to do."
Digger crawled from under his basket with a
longing look. He had been hoping that Fyora would have a moment to comfort "the
poor puppy" after his horrible scare. But from the look on Jubby's face, he
knew it was not to be. Fyora gave them a wave goodbye and a call of "Good Luck!"
as they headed out the door...but that wasn't nearly enough to assuage Digger's
"So where are we going?" he asked irritably
as they passed the front gates of the Palace.
"To talk to Jhudora," Jubby replied.
"But Fyora said that she didn't think Jhudora
was behind it," Digger protested.
"You just don't want to face her again."
"Her green lipstick scares me!" Digger whined.
"And those nails! My claws are better manicured than that!"
"Well then keep your eyes closed, and let
me deal with her," Jubby told him irritably. "I swear, you are such a wimp."
"Hey, if you were facing something with green
fingernails as big as you, wouldn't YOU be scared?"
Jubby only rolled his eyes and dragged Digger
into Jhudora's Cloud anyway. He found that he was last in a rather long line
of Neopets. Many were carrying different strange items, anything from chia pops
to Battledome weapons. The rest wore expressions from crestfallen to absolutely
terrified. Our hero watched the seething throng of Neomanity unworried, but
Digger was not so tranquil.
"I knew it! I knew it!" he hissed, hiding
himself behind the huge ball of fluff that is Indiana Jub.
"You knew what?"
"She's making a Battle-Flavoured Chia Pop!"
"A what?" Jubby laughed.
"No seriously. The Chia pops, the weapons...it
makes sense! She's going to infuse the Chia pops with the battle essence of
the weapons...and make a Chia pop that will turn any Chia that eats it into
a rippling-muscled mega-warrior!" Digger explained frantically.
Jubby thought about this possibility, and was
just about to tell Digger that he was full of baked beans, when a most un-faerielike
piercing shriek said "NEXT!" Jubby looked around. The line was BEHIND them now,
rather than in front...which meant that somehow they were next. As they approached
the doorway to Jhudora's inner sanctum, Jubby looked around for the source of
that unholy cry.
It was Digger who found it, a small, rather
skinny Meekins, with the most pathetic expression on its' face. "NEXT!" the
poor little petpet yelled. "NEXT!" Jubby turned to the pathetic petpet, and
asked "What's the matter little Meekins? Isn't she feeding you?"
"NO!" the Meekins shrieked. "NEXT!" Jubby
gave his sidekick a conspiratorial look, and headed into Jhudora's sanctum.
And there she was, lounging on her E-VL Boy reclining cloud, a green eyebrow
delicately arched as she watched her prey.
"Indiana Jub," she purred. If Fyora's voice
was a thousand harmonious bells, and the Light Faerie's was the sound of sunlight
on morning dew, then Jhudora's was the soft rub of shadow over velvet, or hundreds
of Shadow Kougras purring. "One of my minions...that is...clients...told me
they saw you outside. What can Jhudora do for you today?"
"I'm looking for information," Jubby
replied, not the least bit taken in by the Dark Faerie's velvety voice.
"So?" Jhudora said with a laugh. "I'm not
the Water Faerie. I don't do anything for free."
"Well...what do you want?"
"What do you need information on?"
"The..." Jubby paused, and braced himself
for the sound explosion he knew was coming. "WOODEN SPOON!"
The mighty blast of background music ruffled
the fluffy bits of cloud, and Jhudora's hair...but left the Dark Faerie utterly
unfazed. She tapped a green nail to her green lips thoughtfully, looking Jubby
up and down, as if to determine the amount of work or special items she could
milk out of him. She looked up, and smiled. It was a slow, lazy smile, like
a Kadoatie who just drank a whole Kau Kau farms milkshake by himself.
"You can start by getting me a new Meekins,"
she told him, "since your Doglefox is out there ruining him. They're no good
as announcers once they get fed."
"Absolutely not!" Jubby replied in horror.
"I'd never put another petpet into your evil hands after seeing what you've
done to this one!"
"What did you just say to me?"
"I said" Jubby replied, his voice slow and
his pronunciation very careful "No Way, you evil petpet abuser."
"Why you little armless ball of arrogance!"
Jhudora raged. She stood from her E-VL Boy cloud, sparks flying from her eyes
and lightning crackling between her outstretched talons.
Jubby knew that there were three times to run:
1) when the odds were 100 to 1 in the other team's favour, 2) when the Monoceraptor
was chasing you, and 3) when you've ticked off the Dark Faerie! Since this definitely
fell under situation #3, Jubby took off as fast as his short little ankles would
carry him. Digger, who had been having a perfectly nice time feeding crisps
to the Meekins, saw the furry streak of Jubjub that was his master...and followed
As they fled the potential disaster, Jubby
suddenly heard laughter from behind them. He turned, and was face-to-kneecap
with Jhudora herself...who was smiling in a most unpleasant way. Of course,
Jubby suddenly realised, Jhudora probably didn't know any other way to smile.
"Silly, silly Jub," Jhudora chided. "You
didn't really think I was going to fricassee you?"
"Um...char-broil is more like it," Jubby
grumbled, his eyes darting back and forth, looking for some way to get out of
"I was thinking electroplate personally!"
Digger said from behind Jubby's fuzzy back. Our fluffy hero, not to mention
Jhudora, shot him a warning look...and that was the end of his electricity jokes.
Jhudora shook her head, and chuckled darkly.
"Silly, silly Jub. I'll have too much fun watching you fail. I would never want
to end your mission this early," she said with a fang-filled grin.
"Gee, thanks," Jubby replied, more than
a little bitterly. "But you may be disappointed!" he added as a new wave of
courage smacked him in the face. "I don't plan to fail."
"The best laid plans of Meercas and Myncies..."
Jhudora said with a shrug. "Just to be a sport, I'll tell you one thing, for
"Oh? What's that?"
Jhudora leaned down, and pressed her green
lips close to Jubby's strawberry fur. "It wasn't me!" she whispered. She straightened
up to her full faerie height, and grinned evilly at hero and sidekick. With
another maniacal cackle and a puff of purple and green smoke, Jhudora was gone.
For a moment, Jubby and Digger could do nothing
but stand there, coughing and choking on the leftover smoke. When the air cleared,
Jubby sighed, and looked down at Digger.
"You know what this means," he said glumly.
"What do we do every time Fyora sends us on
a wild Beekadoodle chase and we have no idea where to go?"
Digger stopped and thought about this for a
minute. He finally looked up at Jubby and whispered "You don't mean..."
"Yup. It's time to decode a conversation with
the Island Mystic."
To be continued...