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Thief-catching 101: an Interview with the Pant Devil


by dark_stars_angel

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My pet Eyrie, Chivalry, has always had an obsession with evil things, due to his occupation as a Knight, so I suppose it was inevitable when he began badgering me about getting an interview with the Pant Devil. Wanted to find out the truth through all the rumors about why the Pant Devil was so blue, pant-obsessed, and evil, he said. So what else was I supposed to do except start thinking of ways to catch the floating villain?

      It took me quite a while before I could concoct a sneaky scheme to snare that ghostly menace, but when he came floating out of the sky one day and tried to steal Chivalry's favorite Tiger Couch right out from under him, we were ready.

      Chivalry landed on the floor with a painful THUD! and the Pant Devil began heaving with all his ghostly might to drag that Tiger Couch right out the window with him. He groaned and struggled to inch forward with it, but after Chivalry and I both dug in our heels and sat on the couch again, it refused to move.

      At this point, the Pant Devil began to panic: once he'd chosen the object to steal, apparently he couldn't stop until he'd succeeded in purloining it. His electric blue face lost its mischievous grin and began to take on a faintly greenish hue.

      "Have time for an interview, Mr. Pant Devil?" I asked sweetly, unable to resist a smirk at the hysterical ghost-thief. He replied with something too rude to bear repeating, but after a half an hour of "convincing" him, Chivalry managed to make him see that it was either an interview with us, or a nice chat with the friendly neighborhood Chia Police. He was very, very cooperative after that.

      "First things first... do you have a strange obsession with pants?"

      "Um... no... not that I know of," said the Pant Devil, rolling his eyes. Apparently he was well used to being asked that question.

      "So, were you always this blue and ghostly, or is it some kind of bizarre fashion statement?" I asked with a fiendish little chuckle. It's not every day a simple Neopian Times reporter gets to threaten the Pant Devil with blackmail.

      "No... I used to be a normal Ghostkerchief... and then... " He gulped nervously, looking like he was considering abandoning the couch and letting the Chia Police have him.

      "And then?" I prompted him carefully, pulling out my Faerie Notebook to take notes. He grimaced, floating hesitantly in the air alongside the arm of the couch with slick blue fingers resting on the tiger-striped material.

      "I was floating through Neopia Central one day... and... uh... I... erm... tripped." He squinched his eyes as tightly shut as they would go, his face the same colour as a Strawberry Kougra Cookie. He made a grotesque grimace at us. "I fell into a bucket of Kougra Face Paint... but since I wasn't a Kougra, it... erm... turned me blue." He said the last words so fast I could barely understand them, then groaned again.

      "Wait a second... Kougra Face Paint? It turned you blue?" Now that didn't make much sense, although I've never had a Kougra to test the stuff on.

      "Haven't you ever read the fine print on that stuff? It says right on the back of the jar 'Can have highly strange and bizarre when used on neopets not of the Kougra species. Please see the Happiness Faerie for examples.' Of course, I didn't notice that until I was already soaked in the stuff."

      "So, when did you become evil and start stealing things?"

      "I'm not evil! Really, I'm not! I just have an obsession with... stealing... other people's... things?" He looked hopefully up at us, then shrugged and continued his story, eyeing the Tiger Couch wistfully. "Anyways, I was in a pretty serious state of shock after I turned myself blue, so I wasn't really watching where I was going. I ran into a huge pile of Mega Ultrasizes and got puffed up this size; just a tad bigger than normal pets. Unfortunately for me, the shopkeeper wasn't too pleased with that... he accused me of stealing the Supersizes and that's where my stealing habit got started." He smirked, still greedily looking at the couch with beady eyes.

      "Where'd you get the name 'Pant Devil', then, if being blue and liking clothing has nothing to do with it?"

      "Well, the Devil part is pretty obvious, but after I developed my, uh, fondness for other people's belongings, I started calling myself the Paint Devil. Then some idiot misspelled my name in a report somewhere, and I've been known as the Pant Devil ever since. You have no idea what it's done to my reputation!" he wailed despairingly, looking both pathetic and demonic.

      I blushed all the way up to the roots of my hair as I suddenly remembered a report I'd written on Neopian criminals, in which I'd accidentally misspelled a certain blue someone's name...

      "What do you do with the stuff you steal," I asked hurriedly. For the oddest reason, I was suddenly very eager to conclude the interview. Thankfully not noticing my chagrined expression, the Pant Devil smiled evilly, showing unnaturally long, pointy teeth. I gulped and wondered if he was related to Count Von Roo. The Tooth Faerie would have had a party collecting those fangs.

      "I keep a bit of it carefully stashed in my secret lair," he said, hovering a few inches above the floor.

      "Where's your secret lair?" I asked, even though I figured he'd know better than to tell me.

      "That's why it's called a secret lair, dummy!" he snarled gleefully. "You'll never ever know that it's far beneath the surface of Neopia; never in a million years!" Chivalry and I glanced at each other and tried our best not to laugh in his face.

      "And what do you do with the rest of it? You said you only kept a bit," I queried eagerly. The Pant Devil flushed guiltily and looked away, his entire body drooping.

      "Idonateittothemoneytree," he said to the floor, speaking so softly I could barely make out a word he said.

      "Huh?"

      "I said, 'I donate it to the Money Tree!'" he wailed sheepishly, swooping in frantic circles around the Tiger Couch. "There! Now you've made me say it! I'll never be able to show my face in the Gallery of Evil again..." He seemed to be sulking now, but Chivalry and I were too busy staring at him agog to notice. Neopia's trickiest thief, donating his loot to the Money Tree?

      While we were staring, the Pant Devil took the opportunity to make his getaway before we made him reveal any other embarrassing secrets. He dodged around behind us, grabbed the back of the Tiger Couch and tipped it forward until my stunned pet and I were dumped unceremoniously off it and onto the ground. Straining against its weight, the tricky blue fellow dragged it to the window and somehow managed to get it through, bursting into the free air like a faerie from a bottle.

      As I crawled stiffly over to the now deserted window to watch the Pant Devil sail away with my couch, there was only one thing left I could think of to say:

     "Whoa."

The End

 
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