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Hubrid's Halloween


by mygoodguild

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The wind howled, blowing through the dead branches of trees in the Haunted Woods. It was the end of the Month of Collecting: October 31. Chills and spooks were in the air on this frightening night.

     Jaclyn shivered and pulled her cape tight around her shoulders. Jaclyn, a little blue Chia, had decided to dress up as Hubrid Nox for Halloween this year. She'd always hated Halloween, but each year she insisted on dressing up. Jaclyn had no friends, so she had no one to trick-or-treat with. That's why she hated Halloween. But she loved to pretend to be someone she wasn't, so she always dressed up. She always wanted an excuse to not be Jaclyn the Chia anymore.

     Jaclyn, scared and cold, clutched her little bag of candy tightly. It didn't have much in it. Jaclyn started up at a big mountain that was looming in front of her. It had a tiny little building on top, maybe a Neohome of a lonely Chia who had no friends. Like Jaclyn. But Jaclyn wondered who would want to live on top of such an ugly mountain all by their lonesome.

     Jaclyn lived with her mother, a green Chia, her father, a yellow Chia, and her twin brother, a red Chia. Jaclyn's brother, Lion, was very popular. He had dozens of friends and every Halloween he would go out with them and stay out very, very late. He would come back to their Neohome hours after Jaclyn with a bag of candy so full, it looked like it would explode! Jaclyn felt very small when she compared herself to her brother. She wondered why she didn't have any friends and he did. And she wondered why everyone gave Lion extra candy. He had the whole Haunted Woods charmed!

     Jaclyn sighed, and then looked up at this mountain with determination. She wouldn't let Lion come back late at night with so much candy. She wouldn't let him smirk and tease her with it anymore. Jaclyn didn't want to be a nonentity anymore. She decided that this Halloween, everything would be different.

     Jaclyn began her long hike up the steep mountain, her bag of candy swinging in her hand as she walked. The wind that had been blowing through the dead trees was now blowing through Jaclyn's short, blue hair and her cape. Patches of dead grass almost made Jaclyn slip, but she caught herself and she didn't. No, not today.

     Jaclyn finally made it to the top of the mountain. She looked at the old, dark Neohome and gulped, hoping her efforts weren't futile. The building looked like it had been abandoned for a long time. But there was only one way to find out. Jaclyn pounded on the door, her heart beating extra hard. She wondered why she was so scared.

     The door flew open, and there stood a character so frightening, so evil, that Jaclyn screamed. She lost her balance and fell to the ground. Scrambling hard to get up and ran away, Jaclyn lost her bag of candy. It all rolled down the mountain.

     "Who do you think you are?" the evil voice boomed. "You never disturb me! Why do you think I chose to live up here, on a mountain in the Haunted Woods? How can you be so blind, you pathetic little Chia? You're interrupting my plans!" Then the angry character looked Jaclyn up and down. "Why... How can this be?"

     Jaclyn had gotten up and was now running down the mountain. But all of a sudden, lightning cracked above the Neohome and she stopped to turn around. Jaclyn didn't know how, but some sort of invisible force was pulling her back up the mountain against her will.

     "Now tell me," Hubrid Nox said, "why you are dressed up as me. There is only room in the Haunted Woods for one Hubrid Nox, and there definitely isn't room for a FAKE!"

     "You don't understand." Jaclyn wanted to cry, but she couldn't. "It's Halloween. Halloween is a night of spooks and scares, where all of the little Neopians d-dress up and try their luck, seeing how much candy they can get. I d-dressed up as you, Hubrid Nox, since I'm a blue Chia. It was easy."

     "Easy? EASY?!?!" Hubrid Nox roared. "I don't care about your silly little games, youngster. I don't want you out here playing around like you're me, ruining my image. Especially for candy. What nonsense!"

     "No," Jaclyn whimpered. "I'm not ruining your image, sir. Everyone knows it's n-not real. It's just for fun. And I just came up to your n-Neohome to see if you had any candy. I didn't mean to disturb you. I didn't know this was where you lived."

     "Where did you think I would live, Faerieland?" Hubrid Nox groaned. But then a strange smile spread out over his face. "Here, girl, come inside and tell me your name."

     Jaclyn's eyes widened. "I can't. I'd better go. I'm not allowed to go into the Neohomes of strangers."

     "Stranger? I'm not a stranger, little one," Hubrid Nox said sweetly. "Why, I'm famous. Everyone knows who I am!"

     "Famous? More like infamous!" Jaclyn spun around, running down the mountain as fast as she could. She didn't bother collecting her candy at the bottom. She ran. "I'm sorry," she called after her, not turning around once. "I've got to get back to my own Neohome!"

     ***

     "Hey Jaclyn, too bad you didn't get any candy this year, huh? Wow, that's a new record for you!" Lion laughed. "But look... I have a new personal best, too." The red Chia held up his own bag of candy. "See how it's bulging, as always? But look at this." Lion held up a second bag of candy, also overflowing. "This candy will last me for months. But don't worry. I'll share."

     Jaclyn forced a little smile. It wasn't the candy she wanted, it was beating her mean brother. But if he was offering to share his candy with her, she wasn't about to refuse.

     "I'll share all right... with my petpet!" Lion laughed and walked off. "Good night, sis!" he called before slamming his door.

     Jaclyn felt the tears in her eyes. The day's events were just too much for her. Finally they all came out, rolling down her cheeks. She'd wanted to beat her brother, just once. And finally, when she'd mustered up the guts to try, she'd failed. And along with failing, she'd almost gotten in trouble with a villain! And because of that, she lost the little candy that she'd had in the first place. That night, Jaclyn climbed into bed with a broken heart.

     ***

     "That little Chia," Hubrid Nox said to himself angrily. He reached over to his desk and picked up his evil Halloween night plans. Plans he had been working on for a long, time. He crumpled them and threw them in the trash. "I've got a new plan," he muttered.

     When Jaclyn had explained to Hubrid Nox what Halloween was, he was surprised. Halloween, a time for fun and games? Hubrid Nox had thought, for years, that Halloween was a time to be evil and scheme. Halloween was Hubrid Nox's favorite day of the year. It was the best time for a villain to do his work. He'd been planning for a long time, but now his plans had changed. He had a new plan, and he needed Jaclyn to help him carry it out.

     "Part one of the plan... Get Jaclyn." Hubrid Nox smiled. "This will be the best Halloween ever."

     Hubrid Nox walked out of his Neohome and into the pitch black darkness of a Halloween night. There weren't many Neohomes in the Haunted Woods. It wasn't the best place to live. So Jaclyn's residence wouldn't be too hard.

     Hubrid Nox checked the first Neohome, then the second. But then he got lucky when he saw a neomail box that said Chia Residence on it. There might be more than one Chia family in the Haunted Woods, but this was a start.

     Hubrid Nox walked into the unlocked Neohome. Everything was dark, but that suited Hubrid Nox. His vision was best in the dark. He saw little Jaclyn sleeping, and he scooped her up without even waking her. The easy part of the plan was done.

     ***

     "What am I doing here?!" Jaclyn screamed. She wasn't in her Hubrid Nox outfit anymore. "I can't believe you'd come into my Neohome and take me. That's a crime. I'm calling the Chia Police!"

     "No you're not, unless you're turning yourself in." Hubrid Nox grinned. "You're going to help me get all the Halloween candy that exists, and I want it all before midnight, before Halloween ends. Got it?"

     Jaclyn was silent. This would mean being a thief, committing crimes, and helping one of Neopia's most evil villains. But it would also mean beating Lion and having more candy than him for once. What could go wrong? Jaclyn agreed to Hubrid Nox's plans.

     "Here's what I want," Hubrid Nox said. "Candy canes, candy corns, candy apples, Chia pops, rock candies, chocolates, eye candies, candy peas, candy floss, candy hearts, candy bars, candy bracelets, candy neggs... And whatever other sweet candy type things that you can find. We need hundreds of thousands of pieces of candy. This is the ultimate evil plan for Halloween, and you should be thankful to even be a part of it! Now, we must set out."

     "I have a question," Jaclyn said. "Since we'll be getting so much candy at once, what do we keep it all in?"

     "We'll be making many trips. I'll give you four huge bags. Fill them all up as much as you can, and when they're full, bring them back to my Neohome. Just dump out the contents on the floor. We'll be splitting up, okay? You get all of the Haunted Woods, and I'll cover other worlds."

     Jaclyn nodded and accepted the four huge bags. She was excited. Just think of all the bellyaches she'd get from all this candy! And her brother had thought his candy would last a long time...

     ***

     Jaclyn walked into her Neohome, butterflies in her stomach. She made her way to Lion's room and saw his two bags of candy, sitting on a table by his bed. She could have stolen candy from him before, all these years. It was too easy, but Jaclyn had always been scared. Not anymore. She dumped his two bags into her own without any guilt.

     "Like stealing candy from a baby," Jaclyn whispered to herself as she went over to Barky, Lion's petpet. There were a few candies by Barky's bed. Jaclyn scooped them up, not wanting to leave anything for her selfish brother.

     ***

     "Look at this!" Hubrid Nox exclaimed. It was one o'clock in the morning, and Halloween was over. But there were so many piles of candy on the floor of Hubrid Nox's Neohome that it looked like ten Halloweens had just ended. "I am the most evil!" he cried.

     "Don't forget me." Jaclyn grinned, proud. "When everyone wakes up and sees their candy gone, we'll be here, eating it all. This is an endless supply!"

     "You? We?" Hubrid Nox snorted. "Girl, you're forgetting who I am. I'm Hubrid Nox, villain of all villains. There is no you in this. All of this candy is mine. This was my plan."

     "That's not fair!" Jaclyn cried. "I helped you. I got half of this, so half should be mine." Jaclyn felt cheated out of everything. "You're stealing this from me!"

     "Yes, just like you stole it from all the children of Neopia, and your brother." Hubrid Nox smirked. "Thank you. You committed the crime for me, and you get nothing out of it. I told you, I'm Hubrid Nox. This is what a true villain does. Now go back to your Neohome and get some sleep. Forget all about this. Good night." Hubrid pushed Jaclyn out into the cold night, slamming the door behind her.

     "How can I forget?" Jaclyn sobbed to herself. "Tomorrow, all of Neopia will be devastated. And I'll never be able to forgive myself for what I've done. I've caused so much sadness from so many... I can't let this happen." But Jaclyn felt defeated, hopeless, like always. She trudged to her Neohome and climbed into bed, hoping to disappear.

     ***

     "Jaclyn!" Lion screamed, waking his sister early in the morning after her long night. "What did you do with my candy? And Barky's candy? I told you I was sharing with Barky, not you!"

     "I didn't eat it," Jaclyn said. And this was the truth.

     "Well, where did you put it?" Lion demanded. "I can see right through you, Jaclyn. I'm your brother; I know you."

     "If you were my brother, you'd be understanding, and you'd care about me. You'd include me in your Halloween fun. But you never do." Jaclyn rolled over, still in bed, and buried her head in her pillow. "Go away."

     "So you do have it?" Lion asked.

     "No!" Jaclyn screamed. But then she rolled back over and looked at her brother. "But I know where you can find it. We'll get all your candy back and more, if you can help me."

     "I'm game!" the red Chia cried, not asking any questions. "Let me grab my sweater, okay?"

     After Lion got his sweater, Jaclyn explained all of the events of the previous night. "I'm really sorry for taking your candy. I just always feel so bad, because you're so much more perfect than me."

     "Jaclyn, you know that's not true!" Lion argued. "You're always so shy and never do anything, and that's not my fault. But... Gosh, that seems so unlike you."

     "Let's just get everyone's candy back. I don't know how we'll do that because I don't remember who had what or how much, but I know I took from everyone in the Haunted Woods. I don't know how I'll return stuff to everyone outside of the Haunted Woods because Hubrid Nox took from them, and I don't know where he went, exactly." Jaclyn sighed.

     "The hard part will be getting it from that old villain," Lion said. "What did an evil mastermind want with hoards of candy, anyway? You'd think he'd want to take over the Haunted Woods, not steal treats from its citizens."

     "He'd rather trick, not treat." Jaclyn laughed. "Come on, though. We've got a lot of work to do."

     Jaclyn and Lion held hands as they ascended the mountain to Hubrid Nox's Neohome. Lion hadn't wanted to hold hands with his sister because he believed it wasn't cool, but he was relieved when Jaclyn grabbed his hand. He was as scared as she was, thinking of everything this villain could do them.

     "Now," Jaclyn said, without ever letting go of her brother's hand, "how are we going to do this? Do we just bravely charge in, defeat the villain, and steal back all of the candy? Or do we sneak in, hope he's not right there, and steal the candy?"

     "It would be a lot cooler to do the first one, and we'd be in the Neopian Times for being heroes," Lion said, trying to act brave.

     "Cool? All you think about is cool." Jaclyn rolled her eyes. "No, this isn't about becoming heroes. Especially since this is partly my fault in the first place. This is about doing the right thing and not letting the bad guy win. We don't need credit for doing this. So, what's the plan?"

     "Well, if we defeated Hubrid Nox, he might never do a bad thing ever again! But if you want to be your normal like scared self, then go ahead and sneak in and steal the candy." Lion frowned.

     Jaclyn quit holding hands with her brother. "That's it. I can't stand you. Why did I ask for your help anyway?" Jaclyn stomped toward Hubrid Nox's Neohome and threw open the door. "Hello, Hubrid Nox?" she screamed, her voice echoing through the old building.

     "Jaclyn, what are you doing?" Lion asked, backing away.

     "Being brave. Being cool. Unlike you, I'm not just putting on an act." Jaclyn's face hardened when Hubrid Nox walked into view. "I want all of that candy back."

     "Hahaha, you've got be kidding me." Hubrid Nox clutched his stomach because he was laughing so hard. "Besides, I've already eaten quite a bit of it. I told you last night, it's all mine. There's no we in Hubrid Nox."

     "How does it feel for no one to like you?" Jaclyn asked. "Bad, right? I know how it feels. But it must feel even worse to have no friends because you're evil, right?" Jaclyn demanded. "You have to make others miserable to be happy yourself? Well, that's pathetic!"

     Hubrid Nox stared at Jaclyn. "Excuse me, little Chia, but I like being evil, and I like being alone. I've always been alone, my whole life. It's much easier to scheme and plot when you're alone."

     "And if you'd had friends before, would you have turned into a villain? No, I doubt it," Jaclyn said. "What you need is a friend. And I'm willing to be your friend, if you'll be willing to make the children of Neopia happy by giving their Halloween treats back."

     Hubrid Nox groaned. "Fine!" he cried. "But I'm not happy about it. This is the one time I'll let you win. Never again, I tell you!" Hubrid Nox stepped to the side to let Jaclyn in his Neohome. "But you have to promise," he said.

     "Promise what?" Jaclyn asked, feeling like a new person.

     "Promise that you'll teach me this whole Halloween thing and go with me to get candy of my own next year." Hubrid Nox grinned.

The End

 
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