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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 15th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 78 > Continuing Series > Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Five

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Five

by barrelofmalkies

Untitled Document Our intrepid hero and his shivering sidekick said their goodbyes to Edna, and bravely sallied forth once more into the Haunted Forest. Digger looked around constantly, and jumped at every shift of a leaf. Jubby did his best to steady his petrified petpet, but he wasn't sure what to expect either, having never dealt with the Esophagor before.

It wasn't very long, fortunately for Digger's pounding heart, before they reached the great slimy… something that is the Esophagor. A great groan issued from the very ground, or so it seemed. But a great gaping mouth, and two small hollow eyes emerged from the ooze.

"IIIII AMMMM HUNNGRRYY!!!!!" the Esophagor moaned. "Feeeeed Meee aannndd IIII willl reeewwaaarrrd yoooouuuuu!!!"

Digger jumped into the air in fright, probably setting a world record for the Doglefox standing leap. He landed on Jubby's Kaudora hat, and held on, quivering. Jubby sighed, wishing as usual that he had an arm to pry Digger off his head with. That Doglefox ruined more perfectly good Kaudoras than a hundred treasure hunts! But Jubby knew he had no time for irritation, and so turned his attention to the Esophagor.

"Okay, I'll feed you. What do you want?" Jubby asked, hoping his voice sounded braver than he felt.

"Doooooggggleeefoooxxx oooonnn Ryyyyyeeee." The Esophagor groaned.

Digger yipped and hid under Jubby's Kaudora. "I TOLD you! I told you I'm bite-sized!!!" he wailed.

"Shh… don't worry little buddy," Jubby assured. "I won't let him eat you." To the Esophagor he said "Sorry, fresh out of rye, and you can't have Digger. What else do you want?"

The Esophagor looked crestfallen. It gave a huge earth-rumbling sigh, and said "Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern Chip Cookie," in a reluctant voice.

Jubby rolled his eyes. "You would ask for one of the rarest spooky foods to crawl into Neopia!" he groaned. "But okay, if that's what you want. Come on Digger, we're going shopping."

Digger, however, didn't say a word until they were well away. In fact, he didn't show his face from under the Kaudora hat until they were standing in the Spooky Marketplace, and Jubby was ready to hash things out with the local Shop Wizard.

"So what are you looking for today Sir?" it asked. Jubby wasn't comfortable being "sirred" by a fellow JubJub… especially one who dressed better than he did. But he knew this was no time to fiddle with formalities.

"Um…Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern Chip Cookie," he said instead.

The Shop Wizard did something indescribably fuzzy and complicated, and from nowhere appeared a long list of shops, arranged by price. The Wizard took the list in his prehensile JubJub toes, and handed them to Jubby. "There you go Sir. Have a nice day!"

Jubby wasn't about to correct the Shop Wizard, but it was NEVER day in the Haunted Woods, no matter how hard the sun tried to shine. With a sigh and a Doglefox still on his head, Indiana Jub did the most heroic thing he had done the entire adventure; he went shopping in the Haunted Woods.

The first shop he stopped in was a small out of the way little stall, run by a Mutant Chia. Digger, who had never seen one before, was slightly taken aback.

"I didn't know they made Artichoke Chia Pops," he said.

"They don't," the shopkeeper replied grumpily. "Now what do you want?"

"But if they don't make Artichoke Chia Pops, how come-" Digger continued. Before he could finish his sentence, Jubby arranged a large ball of fuzz over his sidekick's mouth. Having three people get angry with you in one day is bad luck, and our hero knew it well. So, he gave another gleaming smile, and kept his fluff arranged so that Digger couldn't be heard.

"I'd like a Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern Cookie," he said politely.

"Huh. Too bad for you. Just sold the last one," the shopkeeper replied.

With a sigh and yet another roll of his eyes, Jubby headed back out into the market. He repeated the process several times with several different shopkeepers, before coming to a shop that was really no more than a dirty blanket on the floor of the Marketplace. And there he saw it: his prize, the Chocolate Jack-o-Lantern Cookie! He rushed forward to the shopkeeper, a withered old green Kacheek who was taking a peaceful nap on his blanket/shop.

"Excuse me sir?" Jubby asked. He was reluctant to wake the sleeping elder, but he knew that with his current luck, every Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern Chip cookie in the Woods would be gone if he didn't get this one. The old Kacheek snorted, but didn't stir. "EXCUSE ME SIR!" Jubby said again. This time he used the same emphasis he usually put on the WOODEN SPOON… and hoped that the music didn't trigger by default.

Fortunately, the only thing that happened was the old Kacheek started, blinked a few times and woke up. "Eh, no need to shout Sonny! I ain't deaf yet." The old Kacheek told him sternly. "What can I do ya for?"

"We'd like to buy your Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern Chip cookie," Jubby told him with a gleaming smile.

"Put yer shiny teeth away boy, you're blindin' me!" the old shopkeeper said as he covered his aged eyes. "I'm charging 16,000 Neopoints for it, and if you think you can do better anywhere else, I tells ya it just ain't so!"

"Uh…" Jubby paused, wondering where in the world he was going to GET 16,000 Neopoints Fyora didn't pay in advance for these capers, and he'd spent most of his money on the ill-fated Lost Desert "beach" vacation. Suddenly, he remembered…his ace in the hole! With his skilful toes, he pulled a plastic card out of his bag. It was emblazoned with Fyora's picture, and the words "Faerieland Express Card". "Do you take plastic?"

The Kacheek took the card and squinted at it. He flipped it over, and saw the words "in case of difficulty, smack card on counter three times." With a puzzled look and a shrug, he leaned over to the post holding up the awning of another stall. With all his strength, the aging Kacheek struck the card against the post once, twice, three times. Each time the card struck the wood, a sound like a huge silver bell issued from the card. Three times the bell rang, and after the third time, there was a puff of purple smoke.

The old Kacheek fell to the ground in amazement. Digger started hopping around and barking like mad. And Jubby? Jubby just sat back and smiled. Fyora looked down at the shopkeeper and scowled.

"Isn't my credit card good enough for you?" she asked in her melodious voice.

"Ummm… eek… sorry your Faerie Queenness. I didn't… umm…" the Shopkeeper stammered.

"You didn't realize that I personally endorse every Faerieland Express card, and that I check the references and credit of everyone who holds one," she said, completing the Shopkeepers ill-conceived sentence. She then turned her eyes on Jubby, who couldn't help but gulp. "And that I personally track down and heinously punish anyone who doesn't pay their credit card bill?"

Both Jubby and the shopkeeper were speechless, one with amazement, the other with fear. Fyora shook her head and sighed, and reached down to pet the Doglefox who was trying so hard to be adorable at her feet. "Give the JubJub what he wants," she said quietly. "I know he pays his bills on time."

With that simple phrase, and another cloud of purple smoke, Fyora was gone again.

"Why… didn't you warn me Sonny?" the old Shopkeeper said shakily.

"Would you have believed me?"

"Not a chance."

Jubby nodded and the Shopkeeper's eyes opened and a grin spread across his face as he had an "Aha" moment. With a smile and a pat on the back, the old shopkeeper packaged up the cookie, and handed it to Jubby. The shopkeeper wrote down the information from our hero's credit card, and handed it back. Digger despondently followed our Hero off the blanket, and towards the exit of the marketplace. As they were walking away, they heard the old Kacheek exclaim "Wait till the guys at NeoPoker night hear this one!"

It was a short and uneventful trip from the Spooky Marketplace back to the Esophagor's oozing presence. It looked up as they approached, and said "Tooook yoouu loooonnng eennoouuughh."

"Well if you'd asked for a more common item, it would've been a lot easier." Jubby replied. For once, Digger was keeping his mouth shut. In fact, he was back hiding under Jubby's Kaudora. Apparently, the "Doglefox on Rye" comment had left a lasting impression!

"Wheeerrree's Myyy Ffooodd?" is all the Esophagor had to say.

Jubby sighed, and tossed the Chocolate Jack-O-Lantern chip cookie into the monster's gaping maw. There was a hideous crunching and slurping noise… then the Esophagor pulled a napkin out of parts unknown, and dabbed his lips daintily. "Taaasstttyy," it said with satisfaction. "Whaaaat Doo Youu Neeed too Knooww?"

"Where is..." Jubby paused for dramatic effect, and to give the background music fair warning "THE WOODEN SPOON?"

The Esophagor shook like a Jelly Muffin as the dramatic music blared. He didn't seem to mind, and in fact took the chance to dine on a few passing tree branches that flew off in the blast. "Theee Wwoooddenn Sppooonn offf Esssmmerrreeddnnaa." The Esophagor said when the music was over. Jubby listened carefully, and somehow managed to translate the extended language of the Esophagor into a language he could actually understand. The Esophagor continued. "Thhe Wwoooddenn Sspppooon iiisss…" he paused, showing a sense of dramatic timing that Jubby had never suspected, "wwiittthh ttthhe Kkrraawwkkss."

"Great! Thanks a bunch!" Jubby said. He took off like a shot towards the Redline express… not so much out of fear, but because Digger was trying to make a temporary den in the fuzz under his hat.

He had to forcibly pry the determined Doglefox from his fur when they were safely aboard the redline. "I'm going to have a bald spot there. I just know it!" He muttered as Digger settled down into his basket. If he intended for Digger to hear him, he failed miserably. Digger was fast asleep, exhausted from the sheer terror of someone wanting to eat him.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part One

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Two

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Three

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Four

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Six

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Seven

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Eight

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Nine

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Ten

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Eleven


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