Meow Circulation: 177,384,884 Issue: 315 | 26th day of Collecting, Y9
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Boris Visits Neopia Central


by excita

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Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope you like this story. (: Questions and comments are welcome!

It was Halloween night, and just from that one could tell that there was going to be trouble. However, no matter how obvious this may seem, a certain Halloween Kacheek couldn’t have been more oblivious.

      “Ho hum,” sighed Boris to himself, sipping a cup of Maggot Stew as he read this week’s Neopian Times, “I love Halloween, but it seems like every year is the same.” In all honesty, this was a bit of an understatement. Seeing as Boris lived in the Haunted Woods, almost every day was exactly like Halloween. Of course, the residents of the Haunted Woods always stepped it up a notch on the 31st day of Collecting. Just yesterday, Boris had almost screamed when he saw the 10-foot Spyder that had been sitting aimlessly on his front porch. But he figured that it was just his neighbor, Wednesday, getting in the spirit of the holiday.

      It was getting dark outside, and already Boris could hear the screams of the tourists and locals alike. He chuckled to himself as he imagined the show that his dear friend Edna would be putting on tonight.

      “Oh, Zelda,” he sighed, looking down at his beloved Meowclops. She stared him reproachfully with her single yellow eye. “I know you are bored, and so am I. Whatever shall we do to make this Halloween more eventful?”

      Letting out a screech, Zelda leapt off of her comfy Bone Chair and snatched Boris’s Neopian Times away from him.

      “Hey!” The Kacheek cried indignantly, running after the Meowclops. When he finally caught her, he noticed that Zelda had flipped to a different page in the newspaper. A particularly flashy add caught his eye.

      “TIRED OF YOUR BORING OLD HOMETOWN?” the advertisement screamed. “THEN COME TO THE ALWAYS EXCITING NEOPIA CENTRAL!” Below the bright green words was a picture of the famous Food Shop hamburger.

      Though he couldn’t stand cooked meat (everyone knew that raw meat was better, after all), Boris’s mouth began to water. He found himself longing to go to this strange and mysterious town.

      “What a great idea, Zelda!” he cried, hugging the startled Meowclops. “Pack your bags; we’re going to Neopia Central!”

     ***

      Half an hour later, Boris and Zelda were ready to go. Grinning from ear to ear, they made their way down the street towards the Eyrie Taxi station. During their journey, Boris was delighted to see the impressive displays that his neighbors had made in their yards. Each and every house was illuminated with orange lights, and many had cobwebs, spyders, and barbats covering every inch of their lawns. Many a tourist ran by him, screaming their heads off as they were chased by a Werelupe or Nightsteed of some sort.

      “Hello, Ed.” He grinned as a particularly frightening Werelupe dashed past him. “Don’t scare them too much, eh?”

      The Werelupe nodded reluctantly then continued on his way. Chuckling to himself, Boris picked up Zelda and they continued on their way. After about five more minutes of dodging terrified vacationers, they arrived at the Eyrie Taxi station. Boris paid the required NP and made his way to the boarding station. A scarred Pirate Eyrie was waiting for him.

      “Ooh, hello,” Boris greeted his chauffeur enthusiastically. “You’re from Krawk Island, then?”

      The Eyrie stared at Boris. “It’s called costume makeup, mate,” he said. “Halloween, remember?”

      “Oh, right,” Boris said, feeling his face redden. He forgot that, tonight, everybody would be looking spooky. He clutched Zelda tightly as they hopped aboard the comfy seats that were stationed on the Eyrie’s back. Wordlessly, they rose into the sky, and soon they were soaring above Neopia. Boris was pleased to see that it was a particularly clear dark night, and the moon was indeed full. Countless Korbats and Darigan Pteris swooped through the sky, making spooky noises as they passed.

      Boris let out a happy sigh. Oh, how he loved Halloween!

      Soon, the Eyrie began his descent into Neopia Central. The chilly air whistled around them as they gained speed, zipping towards the ground. Excitement filled Boris’s stomach as they grew nearer and nearer to the famed city. They landed with a thud, and the Eyrie turned around to look at him expectantly.

      “I already paid for—oh, right, a tip.” Boris fumbled around in his pockets before withdrawing a few cobweb-covered coins. The Eyrie winced at first, but shrugged his shoulders and took them anyways. He grunted his thanks and then took off into the dark night sky.

      Boris shifted back and forth on his feet, not knowing exactly what to do first. Suddenly, faint searchlights caught his eye, and the Kacheek decided to follow them. After all, where there were searchlights, excitement was sure to follow. Grabbing Zelda, he made his way down the cobblestone street, dodging numerous trick-or-treaters. He chuckled to himself as a few young pets covered in wrinkly white sheets passed by, chattering happily amongst themselves. Their costumes were simply atrocious, but Boris was pleased to see that the Halloween spirit was high.

      The searchlights were becoming clearer and clearer as Boris drew closer, and he could feel his heart beating faster in anticipation. However, just as he was about to turn on to Main Street, something caught his eye.

      “A Wizard’s shop!” he cried out gleefully. Having many magical acquaintances, he was always pleased to see someone of the enchanted sort. He skipped towards the towering purple cap, grinning happily. He flung open the door and let out a hearty “HELLOOO—?” He stopped short as he began to survey the inside of the store.

      The store had indeed been decorated for Halloween—everything was some shade of orange, black, or purple—and there were a few bubbling potions in the center of the room. But what filled most of the space were... cards. Thousands and thousands of trading cards were perched upon the walls, each of a different size, color, or shape. Boris didn’t think card-collecting was a particularly normal hobby for a wizard, but seeing as he was from the Haunted Woods, he wasn’t too quick to judge.

      Suddenly, everything got dark. A faint green light could be seen from somewhere in the room, and various clanks and clangs echoed throughout the building. Boris grinned—this was the type of Wizard’s domain he knew and loved!

      “Who dares enter my shop on such a night?” a voice boomed.

      Boris chuckled to himself. The voice wasn’t entirely convincing, but he knew that he should play along.

      “Uh... erm... um... j-just me, s-s-sir,” he stammered.

      “Oh, well, in that case...” The voice sounded much less threatening, and the lights clicked back on. Shocked, Boris saw that there was a short blue Scorchio in front of him. The Scorchio was decked head to toe in layers of capes and mismatched clothing, and a starry pointed cap was perched atop his head. He certainly looked like a wizard, even if he seemed a bit soft.

      “Who are you?” Boris asked, frowning at the stout little wizard.

      “I-I-I,” warbled the Scorchio, swaying back and forth slightly, “am the KING of all TCGs!”

      Boris scratched his head. “But I thought you were a wizard.”

      “I AM, you foolish mortal... er... well... you know what I mean,” the Scorchio stuttered, upon realizing that his visitor was, in fact, a zombie of sorts. Boris smiled to show that he was not offended, and the Scorchio continued. “I am a wizard, as I have already stated,” he said, calmly this time, “but not a typical wizard. You see, my magic comes in my card-collecting abilities.”

      “I, ah, see...” Boris said, unsure of what to say. After all, there are few things one can say to a card-obsessed sorcerer.

      “Well, would you like to have your fortune read?” he asked. Boris nodded eagerly. One of his best friends at home, Izmeena, was an acclaimed fortune teller, and he absolutely loved when she would predict his future. Boris surveyed the room for a crystal ball and, finding that there was not one, sat down and held out his palm expectantly.

      The Scorchio laughed. “Oh, no, my friend. You see, only the cards can tell!” He shuffled over to his vast collection of cards.

      “I should’ve known,” Boris muttered as the Scorchio returned, clutching a single card. Upon further inspection, Boris realized that it was a picture of the Scorchio himself, labeled Scorchio Alchemist. He snorted to himself, but quickly disguised it as a sneeze when the wizard shot a look at him.

      “Hold the card in your hand,” he said, handing it to Boris facedown. The Kacheek took it wordlessly. The Scorchio’s eyes glazed over, and he began to shake.

      “HIMMINY HUMMINY... SKIPPIDY DOO... OH FEEBLE VITCTIM, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU?!” The lights flickered on and off, and a flash of purple sent Boris sprawling out of his chair, landing on the floor with a loud thud. The Scorchio laughed and hurried to turn on the lights.

      “What in Neopia... ?” Boris exclaimed, shocked.

      “That happens sometimes. I’m not really sure what causes it, but it’ll be an extra 50 NP.”

      Boris opened his mouth to protest, but decided against it. As long as he was being charged, he might as well find out what the cards had in mind for him.

      “Oh, my...” gasped the Scorchio, looking with wide eyes at the card in front of him. “Oh, my, oh my...”

      “What is it?” Boris yelped, squeezing Zelda closer. In all of the excitement, he hadn’t remembered that she was still there. But she had recently made her presence known by leaping into Boris’s lap and digging her long claws into his thigh.

      “My dear boy,” stuttered the Scorchio, “Why, I’ve never even seen a fortune like this before! It says... it says that you are destined for DOOM!” He screamed the last word on the top of his lungs, jumping onto the table and doing some sort of limb-flailing dance. Boris tried to remain calm, but the Kacheek had to admit that he was a bit frightened—and not just because of the dancing.

      “What kind of doom?” he asked tentatively.

      “I’m not exactly sure. The cards aren’t always entirely specific.” The Scorchio shrugged.

      Boris snorted. It figured.

      “But,” the wizard continued, “I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to leave. After all, I don’t want you bringing doom upon my little shop.” He pointed a shaking finger towards the door. At this point, Boris was more than happy to oblige. Gathering up Zelda, he made a mad dash to the entrance of the building. He was almost out the door when the Scorchio spoke again.

      “Where do you think you’re going? You still have to pay, you know!”

     ***

      After he had finally escaped the wizard, Boris and Zelda decided to continue in their quest towards the searchlights. Boris was pleased to find that they were still dancing around the sky, more pronounced than ever before.

      “Let’s go, Zelda,” he cried, picking her up and breaking into a run. Oh, how he wished he had remembered to bring his neighbor Sammy’s broomstick! Boris shrugged it off, knowing that the exercise was good for him. As he grew closer to the searchlights, he caught many pets staring at him.

      A little Yurble came up to him. “Nice costume, man.”

      Boris chuckled to himself. “Thanks! You look quite spooky yourself!” He looked at the Yurble’s homemade Dr. Sloth costume and smiled. The Yurble giggled and ran off. Suddenly, screams echoed through the air, causing both Boris and Zelda to jump into the air. After regaining his cool, Boris realized that he was less than a block away from the searchlights’ domain, and that was where the screams were coming from. He started in the direction of the screams, but Zelda leapt out of his arms and meowed shrilly, her tail busy and her eyes wide. Boris frowned.

      “What is it, Zelda?” he asked. Frustrated, the Meowclops growled deeply and tilted her head in the direction from which they had come. Boris understood instantly. “Oh, you’re worried about what that wizard said?” he asked her.

      Zelda nodded furiously.

      “Well, I suppose you’re right. We should be more careful, now that we’re destined for doom and all.” A shiver ran through Boris’s spine as he remembered the prediction. Another scream pierced the air, and Boris’s curiosity got the best of him. “It’ll be okay, Zelda. We live in the Haunted Woods—we know how do deal with trouble.” He picked up the protesting Meowclops and rushed down the sidewalk. Soon, Boris could see where the searchlights were coming from. A towering building stood in front of them, with masses of costumed people gathered in front of it. A large podium had been built in front of the building, and a familiar-looking Nimmo stood on it, talking into a microphone.

      “Hello, c-c-citizens of Neopia C-C-Central! Welcome to the NC Mall, the generous s-s-sponsor of this year’s S-S-Spooky Festival! I am S-S-Sidney, your lovely host for tonight’s activities-s-s!”

      A cheer erupted through the crowd, and Sidney grinned, revealing crooked yellow teeth. Boris cringed. He had met Sidney before, and was not a fan of the fairground vendor.

      “Without further ado, I present... THE HAUNTED MALL!” More cheering. “I must warn you... only enter if you have the guts-s-s!” With that, a gigantic Korbat swooped down from the top of the building, nearly missing a group of screaming viewers. At the front, Sidney stood, beckoning people inside the mall.

      Boris somehow got shuffled into the line of pets waiting to enter the mall. The pets surrounding him were all chattering excitedly.

      “D’you think Count Von Roo will be in there?”

      “I heard there was a real Werelupe!”

      “Are you sure there’s no refund?”

      Suddenly, everything grew quiet. The sound of plodding footsteps could be heard growing nearer and nearer, and a shadow was visible on the horizon. The crowd fidgeted around anxiously, but nobody breathed a word. Boris felt his heart beating louder and louder as the shadow grew closer and closer, until—

      “AHHHHHHHH!” Boris let out a scream of terror as it became clear who was approaching them. After all of these years of living in the Haunted Woods, he had never in his life been as frightened as this. “IT’S HIDEOUS! IT’S—IT’S—”

      “It’s Queen Fyora,” snorted a Poogle standing next to him.

      Boris fell silent. He had never before seen the queen before, and had always pictured her a bit less purple. Now, he felt his cheeks begin to burn as Fyora made an obvious effort not to banish him to the Lost Desert for eternity.

      “Hello to you, too,” she said in a tight, controlled voice. Boris bowed deeply and said nothing, knowing that if he opened his mouth, anything that was to come out would be undecipherable. Satisfied, the queen moved on to greet a group of adoring fans.

      Through all the excitement, Boris hadn’t realized that they had been moving the entire time. Now he found himself at the beginning of the line, with Sidney staring down at him.

      “Hello, there, er...” It was obvious that Sidney was attempting—and failing—to remember Boris’s name. “Hey! Don’t you live in the Haunted Woods-s-s? You’re Edna’s friend, right?”

      Boris nodded sharply, eager to get away from Sidney.

      “Well, aren’t you going to go ins-s-side?” Sidney cooed maliciously. Boris hesitated as he spied a group of pets exiting the mall. They were all as pale as the moon, with their eyes open and their mouths dropped. For a moment, nobody said a word. Then one of them spoke up.

      “Where’s Yelvin?” the leader of the group asked. They all looked at each other, evidently shocked.

      “I dunno...” said another slowly, “He must’ve... must’ve... he must’ve been left back in... there.” Slowly, they turned to look back at the mall, terror and loathing clear in their expressions. It was obvious that they weren’t going back for poor Yelvin.

      “Well,” Sidney said impatiently, “I don’t have all night! Are you going in or not?”

      Annoyed, Boris took a step towards the mall, but something held him back. He remembered what the Scorchio wizard had said—he was destined for doom. And doom seemed unavoidable here. Although he did not want to seem like a Scaredy-Aisha in front of Sidney, he’d much rather be doom-free.

      “No—no, I just remembered that I had a previous engagement. Ol’ Brainy’s throwing a Spooky Spelling Bee, and I think I have a chance at the prize this year!” Boris lied quickly, scooping Zelda up and dashing off without another word.

     ***

      An hour later, Boris and Zelda arrived home, tired yet relieved. Nothing extremely scary had happened, though their most recent Eyrie escort had smelled strongly of sweaty gym socks. Now, they were home, and Boris had to admit that he was glad to be back where he belonged. It was nearly midnight, which meant that things were just getting started. Mutant creatures seemed to appear out of nowhere, chasing innocent trick-or-treaters and visitors. More houses than ever before had been transformed into old, spooky mansions or dark, echoing caves. Nevertheless, Boris found all of these things much less frightening that anything he had encountered in Neopia Central. He would take the Esophagor over Queen Fyora any day, the Kacheek decided.

      “We’re almost home, Zelda,” he said soothingly to his Meowclops, who was sporting a sore paw. “Look, here’s our street!” Boris was relieved to see the familiar black street sign. “And there’s our house! Good old 1313 Doom Str—wait a second,” the Kacheek snapped as realization dawned upon him. “Zelda! We’re destined for doom after all—Doom STREET!” He let out a jovial laugh as the weight of impending doom was lifted. A burst of energy hit Boris, and he danced merrily around the street. After all, the night was still young, and Boris had an idea of just where to start.

      “Oh, S-S-S-idney,” he called, “I think it’s time we explored your little Haunted House!”

The End

 
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