Halloween With the Ixi of Doom
Shelleylou, a shadow Gelert, hummed to herself as she diligently
butchered the bright orange pumpkin, the slimy, strong-smelling goop coating her
paws as she scooped the stuff out.
"There!" she said, surveying her masterpiece
with pride. "I think I'm done!"
Just then, her brother, a skunk Krawk called
Ezanna, sauntered into the room. Her stared perplexedly at the pumpkin.
"Hey Shelly..." he began, smiling slightly. "Aren't
jack-o'-lanterns supposed to have faces?"
Shelleylou snorted, plucking the thoroughly hollowed
pumpkin from the table. "I don't see why they should," she replied, staggering
under the weight of the large vegetable, "that just makes them rot faster. I
want this one to last!"
Ezanna shrugged his scaly shoulders. "Whatever.
You're in charge of decorating the Neohome for Halloween, not me."
Shelleylou smirked. "That's right. I heard mom
talking to Zarrelian-- she said that it's your turn to take him trick-or-treating
Ezanna blanched. "What? No, she can't do that!
I took him last year!"
"No you didn't, Mordegan did. And it was a disaster.
You were at some party, kicking it up with all the cool pets, while poor Mordegan
chased Zarrelian halfway around Neopia," Shelly shot back.
Ezanna slumped dejectedly into a chair. "I had
plans for Halloween. I was going to hide in the garden behind the rowzes and
scare little pets!"
Shelley began to pad out the door with her pumpkin.
"Well Ezanna," she called back, "look at the bright side."
The Krawk glanced up. "What bight side?"
Shelly shrugged. "I couldn't think of one, I
was hoping you would." And with that, she trotted outside, shutting the door
behind her. Ezanna watched her leave, his yellow eyes narrowing into slits.
"Stupid Gelert, thinks she's so great." He yawned
and stretched, raising himself laboriously out of the chair. "I suppose I might
as well start working on my costume." He smiled to himself. "I suppose that
I'll at least get some candy for my trouble..."
Zarrelian didn't need to make a costume. He was
a terror in his own right-- a young, Halloween Ixi with a bright red coat and
leathery bat-like wings. He was, at the moment, crouched in the garden among
the flowers, watching his sister set up the Halloween decorations. He grinned
to himself, folding his ears back. He had to wait for the perfect moment to
make his attack.
Shelly whistled cheerfully at she hopped up on
a small stepladder, a large and very realistic model of the Shadow Usul under
her arm. She stood, perched precariously on the step ladder while groping carefully
for the hook that she had screwed earlier into the overhanging tree branch.
She smiled. Their Neohome was going to look fantastically scary. Her bright
emerald eyes glinted in concentration as she reached up higher, trying to grasp
the hook so that she could hang the decoration up. Suddenly, she froze, her
willowy ears rippling in the slight breeze. She heard something. She remained
still for a few moments before shrugging and going back to her work, deciding
that it was nothing.
Zarrelian breathed out a sigh of relief. Shelly
had almost heard him! That would've ruined everything. But she had returned
to the task at paw. He trotted slowly forward, readying himself for the jump.
And then he sprang!
Shelly turned and screeched as something small,
red and fuzzy collided painfully with her side.
"Zarrelian!" she roared. She bared her fearsome
teeth and seized her brother around the scruff of his neck, lifting him clear
off the ground. The Ixi yelped and struggled furiously, kicking his little hooves
and paddling the air.
"Ow! OW! Let me go! Put me down! Stupid Gelert!"
Shelly smirked. "Say the magic words!" she said,
her voice somewhat muffled by the Ixi she was carrying in her jaws.
"Ah, ouch! Okay, please put me down!" Zarrelian
The Gelert snorted. "I think you can do better
"Okay, uh, I'm sorry, oh gracious, kind, and
uh... Beautiful sister! I am not worthy of your, um... lovely, er... Saliva."
Shelly released her prize, allowing Zarrelian
to fall to the ground with a loud plop. He rubbed his head with a polished hoof,
scowling angrily at his sister. "Geez, that hurt! Do you sharpen your teeth
or something?" he snapped.
Shelly grinned. "Every day, oh tiny one." She
glanced at the sky. "Hmm. Looks like it's going to rain. Maybe Ezanna won't
have to take you trick-or-treating after all."
Zarrelian's face fell. "What? Oh come on, that's
not fair! I SAID I was sorry!"
Shelly quirked an eyebrow. "What are you apologizing
for? I don't control the weather." Her face darkened. "Yet."
The Ixi gave her a strange look, and then flounced
off, muttering angrily under his breath.
Shelly was lounging in her favorite beanbag chair,
reading a copy of the Neopian Times, when Ezanna came skidding into the room.
He spotted Shelly and scurried over, throwing himself to the ground at her paws.
"Shelly! Please, you've got to take Zarrelian
trick-or-treating instead of me!" he gasped.
The Gelert peered down curiously. "Why?"
Ezanna looked up. "Because I just realized that
I have a major essay due tomorrow for school on the history of the Lost Desert--
and I haven't even started!"
Shelly chuckled. "And here I thought you were
some great student, Mr. Bronston's favorite and all that. Well, how the mighty
have fallen!" She went back to her newspaper. Ezanna bit his lip.
"Come on Shelly, we've always been buddies! We're
the oldest ones!" he pleaded.
Shelly rolled her eyes. "That's not true. Mordegan's
older than you are." She returned to the article she was reading, "Everything
you Wanted to Know About Sand but Were Afraid to Ask".
Ezanna got up, clenching his claws together.
"That's not important now. Look, what's so bad about it? I'll even give you
my super rare Desert Tome!"
Shelly looked down at her paper. "Firstly, you
don't have a Desert Tome. Secondly, it's raining. Thirdly, I don't like Zarrelian.
And fourthly, you KNOW that I have a chronic fear of trick-or-treaters!" she
whimpered. "I just like decorating the house for Halloween, I don't like going
out and actually experiencing it."
Ezanna growled. "Fine. Betray your own brother,
make him fail the most important assignment of the year! Maybe I'll drop out
of school and roam the streets before getting picked up by Dr. Death and getting
sent to the pound and--"
"All right, all right!" Shelly cried, throwing
her paws up in the air. "I'll take the stupid Ixi for his candy run if you'll
just shut up!"
Ezanna grinned. "Thank you. Have fun, now." He
turned to leave.
Shelly suddenly thought of something. "Wait!"
she shouted. Ezanna turned back. "I don't have a costume," she said. Ezanna
"Oh don't worry, you can borrow mine. I have
a spare, fortunately."
About an hour later, Shelly stood with Zarrelian
in front of a nicely decorated Neohome. She was dressed in Ezanna's spare costume,
an oversized cape with a patched witch's hat that looked as though it had been
stolen from Edna's personal stash. The night was cold, dark and wet. The rain
had started as a light drizzle, and then had grown into a near torrential downpour.
This is ridiculous, Shelly thought. There's nobody else out here!
Then again, maybe that was a good thing. The Gelert shuddered a little under
her fur at the thought of trick or treating pets. She glanced down at the little
Ixi that walked a little ways ahead of her. Nothing, certainly not a little
rain, was going to keep Zarrelian from reaching his candy quota. Shelly sighed
as she and Zarrelian trotted up to the Neohome and rang the bell. A kindly looking
Moehog opened the door and smiled.
"Oh, what lovely costumes you have!" she crowed.
"Here you go, an apple for each of you!"
Zarrelian gaped open-mouthed at the shiny red
fruit. "An apple?" he exclaimed. "An apple? It's Halloween, lady! How about
"Zarrelian!" Shelly hissed. "Be quiet!" She smiled
weakly at the shocked Moehog. "Sorry. It's nothing against you, he's just an
idiot." She glared meaningfully at the Ixi. "A tactless idiot." The Gelert hustled
him out of the Moehog's hearing range before snarling vehemently at him.
"Pull one more stunt like that and I'll feed
you to the Brain Tree! Got it?" she growled. Zarrelian nodded.
"Yes sir," he muttered sarcastically.
"Good. Now let's just hurry up and get this over
wi--" She stopped, staring wide-eyed at the sight before her.
A pet stood on the path before her, all dressed
up in Halloween garb. It was wearing a large mask that completely obscured its
face, and a heavy black coat. Shelly squeaked and took a shaky step back.
"Stay away!" she warned, her voice trembling.
"I know, uh... How to do stuff that... uh, hurts." But the pet seemed to be
in no mood for a confrontation. It froze on the spot, looking as though it had
seen a ghost. Zarrelian's gaze flicked between his sister and the stranger,
watching with interest. Suddenly, he noticed the bulging bag of candy that the
Pet held loosely in its hands.
"Hey!" he exclaimed. "Candy!" The Ixi charged
forth and managed to tear a small hole in the bag with his sharp little horns.
The Pet uttered a small noise of shock, and hoisted the bag out of Zarrelian's
reach. A few stray pieces of candy fell out of the bag, a chocolate Nimmo and
some blueberry Neodrops. Zarrelian licked his lips and snapped them up greedily,
causing the hapless trick-or-treater quite a bit of distress. That seemed to
snap Shelly out of her reverie.
"Hey!" she snarled. "Zarrelian, leave that guy's
candy alone!" She bunched her powerful muscles and leapt forth in a blur of
shadowy fur. She had been aiming for Zarrelian, but the large cape caught on
her paw and caused her to go flying into the trick-or-treater's chest.
"Oof!" the mysterious pet grunted. Shelly, attempting
to regain her footing, flailed with a paw, knocking the trick-or-treater's mask
right off. She looked up and saw, to her surprise, Ezanna's scaly snout staring
sheepishly back at her.
"Uh, hi, Shelly..." he began, fiddling with a
loose thread on his costume. "I was just, uh, headed to the store to buy some
more pencils, and I thought that I'd get some candy on the way..."
The Gelert's expression changed from shock to
disgust as she snarled, baring her fearsome fangs. "Writing a big term paper,
eh?" She barked, eyes flashing. "What was the subject again? How to treat serious
Ezanna took a shaky step back, grinning feebly.
"Well hey, at least you conquered your fear of trick or treaters..." he looked
into Shelly's glittering green eyes. "...right?"
Zarrelian seated himself on a small tussock and
munched on Ezanna's ill-gotten candy, watching with interest as his sister pounced
on Ezanna, tied him up with his own cape and hung him upside down from a tree
branch like a tussed up Korbat. When she was finished, she came striding over,
"Well Zarrelian," she said, wagging her tail
happily. "It looks like you've gotten all the candy you'll need for tonight,
so what do you say we go home and watch Mordegan try to train his Warf how to
jump through a hoop of fire?"
Zarrelian shrugged. "Yeah alright. Just let me
do one more thing..." He trotted up to Ezanna where he lay hanging from the
tree and retrieved the apple that the Moehog had given him. Grinning evilly
to himself, he shined it upon his chest, and shoved it into Ezanna's mouth.
The Krawk scowled, swinging furiously as he shouted some very mean things that
were thankfully obscured by the apple. Zarrelian laughed and turned around,
cheerfully clip-clopping after his sister. He grinned to himself as he thought
of Ezanna, hanging from the moist tree branch in the freezing rain. He sighed
"I love Halloween."