Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 90,555,988 Issue: 164 | 29th day of Collecting, Y6
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Halloween With the Ixi of Doom


by battlesunn

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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 this year."

     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!

     "BOO!"

     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 relented.

     The Gelert snorted. "I think you can do better than that."

     "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 grinned.

     "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 some candy?"

     "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 injuries?"

     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, smiling slightly.

     "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 happily.

     "I love Halloween."

The End

 
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