Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 176,283,283 Issue: 344 | 23rd day of Hunting, Y10
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Story of a Scriblet


by popdoom

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An immense white hair crashed to the floor before me, just barely missing my minuscule toes. Adrenaline surged through my body as I scurried over the obstacle, eyes wide with terror. I bounded onto another safe hair, gaping as a neon green beam detonated where I had been standing mere seconds ago. It left a smoking, burnt spot in the flaking skin of the petpet I was standing on, Fluffy the Warf.

     Fluffy didn’t like that, no. Couldn’t that blasted Aisha see that he was causing more damage than we were? I was just a harmless visitor of Fluffy’s skin up till then. A mere Scriblet. Those Fleafs give us petpetpets a bad reputation. We certainly weren’t all parasites! All petpets do need to make a home out of a petpet, and I was simply checking out this particular Warf!

     I cackled as a team of petpetpets assaulted the Aisha. His little blaster wasn’t good enough, eh? Howling with rage, the Aisha pressed a button on his ridiculous-looking suit, and disappeared in a flash of green light. The surface below me rumbled, ending my joy at seeing the Aisha flee. I clung feebly to my hair as it wobbled precariously, fearing the worst. With an earsplitting scream, a nearby mootix was flung off Fluffy. Looking around, I saw the culprit, the assailant of my fellow petpetpet.

      A colossal white claw raked through the forest of hairs, sinister and murderous. It tore savagely at the skin, scratching it red. With a flying leap, I hurled myself off my hair.

     Too late.

     I landed on the sweeping paw of Fluffy, and was violently cast aside off his body, legs splayed out to brace myself. I lost all sense of direction as I soared through the air. With a barely audible thump, I fell onto a hard wooden desk and blacked out.

     -----

     Huh?

     Painfully, I forced my eyes open. I was on my back, legs stuck comically into the air like a dead beetle. Blushing, I flipped myself over and immediately collapsed into an exhausted heap. Got to find refuge, I told myself. I couldn’t lie out in the open like this. I stretched my spindly legs and heaved my body up. A little wobbly, but I could manage. How did I end up here? In a few seconds, it all came back. The pesky Aisha, the terrifying paw of Fluffy the Warf. I certainly was lucky to still be alive.

     I surveyed my surroundings. Under me was a smooth, oaken desk, shining with a fresh layer of polish. Fortunately, whoever polished the desk hadn’t done a very good job of it, leaving many spots only lightly grazed with polish. They also didn’t seem to be very observant. I had been lying in one of those spots, and so did not get squished. I grimaced at the thought of what I would’ve looked like if the polisher had polished me. A blue smudge, tinted with red and black. Eugh.

     In front of me sat a large, gold plaque, the words “BEAUTY CONTEST” engraved professionally into it. I gasped, realizing where I was. The Beauty Contest, wow! It was every Scriblet’s dream to find oneself in the halls of the BC, with so many grand pieces of artwork to admire and, of course, scribble on! Such was the job of a Scriblet, to ruin artwork and articles. A grin spread across my face. I prodded my crest of spikes, licked my lips, and set off.

     The first step I took was off the edge of the desk. I windmilled my front legs and caught my balance, staring down at the distant marble floor beneath me. My rudimentary heart pounded. I’d had enough near-death experiences for the day.

     Carefully, I took a tentative step forward, digging my curved claw into the hard wood of the desk. Perfect. Bringing my other foot down, I made my way gradually down the vertical side of the desk. Step, dig, step, dig. All the while, I thought blissfully about the artwork I had seen up on the desk. It would be great fun to scribble on that, yes.

     I set my right foreclaw onto the cold, hard surface of the floor. My other five legs swiftly followed. The marble floor was slippery and hard. There were no footholds of any kind, and marble was impossible for my claws to penetrate. Scrabbling at the floor, I slid across. I planned to scurry up the nearest wall to reach the Beauty Contest entry hanging there proudly. By the time I neared the wall, I was moving quite fast.

     Suddenly, I realized I had no way to stop myself. I squealed a high-pitched Scriblet squeal and straightened my legs in an effort to stop my acceleration towards the looming wall. I winced and prepared myself to hear the splat of my own shell colliding with a solid wall.

     The floor was swept away from my feet. Was this what it felt like to die? Was I rising to the place where petpetpets went when they had passed away. No, I could feel my heart beating steadily in my chest. Something was holding me, something sharp. I tensed as the sharp things dug into my hard shell. I felt wet, soppy, grimy. The atmosphere was humid and made me squirm with discomfort. If this was death, apparently my senses came with me.

     I finally dared to open my eyes. I gasped with horror for the millionth time in that day. I was clutched between a pair of sharp, white triangles, which I assumed to be fangs. I was facing a gaping mouth too revolting for words. I lifted a leg and found it covered with a thick, slimy layer of saliva. The dread of being petpet food was the only thing keeping me from retching then and there.

     “How cute!” A booming voice echoed through the air. I curled up defensively. “Hey, Spinear, it looks like your catamara’s got something in his mouth!”

     I peeked through my self-protective curl. All I could see was a mammoth shoe, blue shapes sown onto its worn white surface. That was quickly blotted out by a face. The face of a... plushie Zafara? This was no ordinary plushie, that was for sure. The face seemed completely alive, a delighted grin tugging at the corners of its mouth.

     “Aw, Whisp, that’s adorable! You found a petpetpet!” the enormous face cooed. The plushie reached up with one gargantuan paw and tickled me playfully. He slipped his fingers between my captor’s teeth and gently lifted me away before giving the catamara a loving pat on the head. From here, I could see the petpet clearly. He had creepy red eyes that were, at the moment, fixed on me. His nose was a unique shade of pink, tinged with purple. Two sharp fangs peeked out from his lips. His body ended with a large fishtail that was slapping excitedly against the marble floor. The entirety of the thing was covered in a velvety, white fur. A catamara, they called him. I shuddered.

     I was abruptly plopped into a bag full of stinking omelettes and headless plushies. Fatigued, I made my way to a nearby headless plushie and nestled comfortably into its soft arms. It had been a long day.

     -----

     “We can sell this little guy for 60,000 neopoints! That’ll be a big step towards your lab map, Nitroglycera!”

     I was woken by a sudden jolt. Rubbing my eyes, I peered through the open backpack. A pair of blue eyes peered back at me, the eyes of a small Xweetok. The Xweetok turned her gaze away from me and gave a half-hearted laugh. I couldn’t see who she was looking at, my field of vision limited by the sides of the backpack.

     “Right. Lab map...” She sighed before returning to examining me. “This little guy sure is cute. I wish we didn’t have to sell it.”

     Sell me?! What madness was this? I couldn’t pass to another pet’s hands for a mere bundle of neopoints. I was worth more than that! I, an honorable Scriblet, couldn’t simply be SOLD for neopoints! I was outraged at this. I felt as if I had been slapped in the face.

     The Xweetok heard my hiss of fury and reached into the backpack, petting me with her delicate brown paw. Seeing my chance, I bounded onto her outstretched finger and scurried up her arm. Much to my surprise, she didn’t shriek. She simply watched me with awe. In my shock, I lost my balance and slipped from the smooth brown lock of hair I stood on, tumbling off her arm and landing in a thicket of pale green fur.

      I gave a terrified shriek and bounded off the furry paw of another petpet... a miamouse. My only instinct now was to get away alive. I skidded across the marble floor in a frantic attempt to escape, but I was abruptly confronted with a horribly familiar white paw. Nowhere to run. Without further ado, I turned tail and leaped upon the miamouse once again. Anything was better than having to face the chilling white fangs of that catamara. I clung helplessly to the miamouse’s soft fur, awaiting my impending doom.

      “Hey, you stole my petpetpet!” the catamara, Whisp, cried out in fury. “I wanted to keep him; I bet he’d be a good battler!”

      I stared at Whisp for a moment before realizing he was speaking to the miamouse I was currently hanging onto. Looking up, I saw her stick out her tongue defiantly.

      “He likes me better!” she shot back at Whisp. “See, you’re scaring him!” I whimpered slightly to make her statement more convincing. I’d much rather stay with this miamouse. Besides, I could make my home here with her. She seemed kind enough, with a relatively uninhabited pelt.

      Both of them ceased arguing and glanced up. “Mom says we’ve got to sell the Scriblet,” a voice from above sighed.

     An immense brown paw grabbed me and pulled me gently. I held fast. No way would I subjected to this kind of mistreatment! The miamouse hugged me against her fur, supporting me. I let out a despaired wail.

      “He doesn’t want to go,” the miamouse explained. I nodded desperately.

     Another sigh. “The poor thing. You really want to keep him?” We both nodded in response.

     “Fine. I’ll go tell Mom.” The miamouse gave a delighted squeal and hugged me even closer.

     “My very own petpetpet!” she whispered excitedly before plucking me off her fur. This time, I let her. “My name’s Creampuff! I’ll show you around! But first things first, let’s have a snack.”

      She climbed nimbly upwards before leaping onto a bouncy petpet bed and setting me down in its cozy depths. Bending down, she drew a piece of strawberry jelly from under her bed and broke off a crumb for me. I took it gratefully. Munching into the savory jelly, I remembered just how long ago my last meal was.

      I sighed blissfully. Life wasn’t bad.

The End

I really did find my Xweetok's scriblet while voting for someone in the Beauty Contest! :P

 
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