A Halloween We Won't Soon Forget: Part Two
Also by misabella
Within two minutes after losing his Sparkshooter, KillerDawg had learned one very important fact: a Battledomer without a weapon is like an Ultimate Burger without the meat. The ghosts were beating him up and he was barely hanging on.
"What did we ever do to you?" he screamed just before he was slashed with a Sword of Domar that seemed to appear in the Aisha's hand out of nowhere. His few health points were taken away and he fell to the floor like the others before him.
The ghost pets grinned in triumph, but suddenly the Xweetok whispered, "Soooomeoooone is cooooming. I hear them," and the three sank themselves into the floor, becoming completely see-through.
"Guys?" Fudge asked nervously, poking her head up into the attic. When she saw that the pets were all on the floor, she relaxed slightly. "Oh, they're just asleep..." Questions still pushed at the inside of her lips, begging to be asked, but she ignored them, pulling herself into the attic and then beginning to shake McGonny gently.
"Hey, McGonny, get up... we need you to help with the party," she said quietly and uselessly. "You don't want Quislings to have to run it all by himself, do you?"
"Mm... wha...?" the Acara asked groggily, blinking and looking up at her with pink, irritated eyes.
"Did you hurt your eyes?" Fudge stared at him.
"No... I'm just very tired," McGonny mumbled, lying down again.
"Wake up! Why are you tired? What were you guys doing?"
"Forgot? What do you mean?"
McGonny squinted at his owner and then closed his eyes. "The boys took so long upstairs... I went to go get them... I pulled a ladder out of the closet and when I got up here... they were lying on the floor... and then the ghosts..."
"What ghosts?" Fudge's eyes were wide, like two giant white gumballs. "McGonny, sit up and explain this to me right now!"
"No... I can't!" he shouted suddenly, and his owner flinched. "They might be listening in!"
"Who are they?" Fudge gritted her teeth. "McGonny, I'm getting mad now. You tell me what's going on or you're grounded for a month!"
"I'm telling you; it's hard to remember exactly!" he yelled. Then in a calmer voice he said, "Look. We can't stay up here. Let's go down the ladder and I'll explain. Bring everyone else down too..."
Fudge blinked at him before saying firmly, "Alright, but I want the truth and nothing but the truth." Gently and one by one, she woke up the other pets, who started babbling nonsense groggily. They were ignored and only awake enough to fly or climb down the ladder and land on the floor, where all of them immediately dozed off again. Fudge shook her head as she closed the attic door behind her. She sat down on the floor and McGonny did the same, though a bit stiffly because his costume was not made for sitting cross-legged in.
"Alright, now explain this to me. What exactly happened?" Fudge asked gently.
McGonny fidgeted. "Well, so the party guests arrived and I was yelling for Frost, Kyakoy, and Strawb to come down. But they wouldn't come down. So I went upstairs to this room and Frost wasn't there. And then I heard this weird music... like someone playing a pipe organ. And I figured out that it was coming from the attic, which they must've opened..."
"So you pulled the ladder out of the closet, set it up, and climbed into the attic?" prompted Fudge, and her pet nodded.
"Yeah. Exactly. And then..." He gulped, trying to word what he was about to say correctly. "Well, I saw them lying down on the floor. I wondered why... Th-then three g-goats came out..."
Fudge stared at him. "Goats?"
"No! I mean..." the Acara gulped and then said in a voice that just screamed 'Don't believe me!', "...ghosts. Ghost Neopets."
His owner just blinked at him for a moment, then replied, "Oh, don't be ridiculous, McGonny, why would there be Ghost Neopets in the attic? I think you have been reading too much science fiction."
"I have not!" McGonny struggled to keep from shouting. "Go look if you don't believe me."
"Okay then, I will." Fudge stood up, climbed the ladder, pushed the door open, and disappeared into the attic.
Only then did McGonny start to worry.
Fudge looked around. Behind and in cardboard boxes, under some old wearables, behind the organ even. No one except her was in that attic.
"Nope!" Fudge walked down. "No ghostly pets up there. Did it occur to you that maybe you dreamed it?"
"No!" McGonny stood up. "It wasn't a dream! Maybe they are out of the attic... and somewhere in the house!"
"McGonny, there are no ghost pets at all. None. At all." Fudge accompanied this with a stern but not unkind face. "Now, if you want to have an intelligent conversation with me, you can, but if you don't, then help me get everyone else up so we can go downstairs and help Misabella and Quislings with the party."
The Neopet said nothing but walked over and gently shook Kya. Not believed by his owner.
Could anything be worse? At Neoschool, every teacher always said at least once a day, "It is important for all of you to have good communication with your owners. Nothing good can come of it otherwise."
As McGonny and Fudge woke up the pets, they started babbling about the ghosts. Not wanting to hear his owner's words repeated, McGonny slowly walked downstairs to the kitchen, where Misabella was trying to wash a huge stack of dishes quickly, probably because Quislings was the only one running the party at the moment. Misabella never liked having to do a whole lot of work after a party, so she cleaned up while the party was still going on.
"So, what were you guys doing up there?" Misabella asked curiously. McGonny made a little "mmm" sound and grabbed a plate and washcloth, saying nothing more.
The girl tried again as she pulled empty Neocola cans off a counter to throw them away. "Did you have fun?" When her friend's pet just grunted and looked away, Misabella sighed. When McGonny got in this mood, he was not getting out of it easily.
"Are you sure they're gone?" whispered a small Aisha.
"I'm positive, Baylee, now get out of the floor and let's talk!" snapped her Xweetok friend.
As Baylee pulled herself out of the floor and sat on it, she grinned mischievously and remarked, "Boy, that was fuuuuun. Those pets were such pushovers!"
"I beg to differ," objected the Ghost Kacheek, sitting cross-legged on the floor across from Baylee. "The Usul... he was just plain annoying." He patted the ground. "Sit down, Ellen. They're not coming back up for a while."
"How d'you know that?" the Xweetok asked, but sat down.
"They're running a party. I heard it," Baylee chimed in, smiling. "Do you think we can--"
"For heaven's sake, Baylee!" Ellen snapped. "We've lived here for generations, and each time there are new pets here you--"
"Guys!" the Ghost Kacheek said calmly but forcefully. "Why d'you have to fight all the time? Huh?"
"Haina," Baylee said, frowning, "You know what I mean. This is our Neohome. Lots of times new pets come and try to live in our Neohome."
"Technically, Baylee, it is not OUR Neohome," nitpicked Ellen. "We just--"
"Trespass on it?" Baylee joked.
"No!" Ellen rolled her eyes. "Live in it. Now, back to the topic at hand: when shall we go down to that party?"
"I thought you said--" the Aisha began, but was cut off for the umpteenth time.
"To SCARE the pets, Baylee. To SCARE them, get it?" Haina's eyebrows wiggled up and down.
"Ooohhh..." Baylee smiled mischievously.
"C'mon!" Haina shouted. "Before they come up here!"
"I'm just looking at the Usul's weapon..." Ellen trailed off, playing with a piece of the Sparkshooter. She'd scared that Usul into thinking it had exploded into nothingness, but in reality it was broken into three pieces.
"...and then the Ghostkerchief quietly slipped behind Sarah," Kya said spookily, "and followed her for a while. He didn't do anything to her, he just followed her, staying about twenty yards away from her at all times so as not to be noticed." He jiggled the flashlight he was holding under his chin a little so as to make it brighter in the dim room. Kya had always loved to tell ghost stories--especially when he could make them extra-scary. He glanced towards where Strawb had been sitting. An empty space on the floor was all that remained, but everyone was too drawn into the story to notice. So that meant Strawb had gone to get that fake Ghostkerchief McGonny had made earlier. They were planning to have Strawb go halfway up the stairs to where there was a balcony looking down on the living room, and dangle the fake Ghostkerchief from a long piece of string in front of someone's face. They'd probably scream--the result Kya (and Frost) liked best.
But unfortunately, everyone was also too drawn into the story to realize that three Ghost pets were sneaking down the stairs.
"Shh!" Baylee hissed in Haina's direction. "Don't step on the edge of the steps--it creaks! They will hear us." Her friend nodded and turned her head.
"Hey Ellen... c'mon!" The Xweetok had stayed at the top of the stairs.
"One of 'em's up here," mouthed Ellen, and Haina grinned, not saying any more.
"Then, the Ghostkerchief hovered behind Sarah, who didn't have a clue..." Kya smiled evilly in the flashlight's glare. Several pets were leaning forward, eyes wide and jaws dropped, while the very youngest of them had run crying to Fudge and Misabella. "It waited upstairs as she went down. It hovered up there silently, just waiting for her. And then, when she was going upstairs again in order to go to bed... it made itself known!" He yelled the last part as Strawb dangled the fake Ghostkerchief in front of a Pirate Kougra's face. The scream that resulted was loud enough and shrill enough to nearly break the windows. Kya started to laugh (though not unkindly), but he only got to enjoy his prank for a moment, for suddenly he heard Strawb scream an equally shrill scream, and he tried to look around as Haina pinned him to the floor.
The room exploded into utter chaos. Everyone was running around as Baylee slipped from Neopet to Neopet, trying to find someone who would stay still long enough for her to pin down and scare. Even KillerDawg was shrieking like a little girl as he pulled out his Sword of Domar with trembling hands. He charged at Baylee but she turned around at the last second and made a sort of rapid hand motion that sent the sword flying into the air and exploding completely. KillerDawg gawked; he knew he couldn't train with TWO of his weapons gone!
In one swift motion Baylee tackled him and struggled to keep hold of the kicking Usul. She heard McGonny, Quislings, and Morgan scream in unison, but get cut off as either Haina or Ellen pinned them down too. Here we go, all over again...
Misabella and Fudge stood gaping at the scene: Neopets rushing about frantically, ghost pets floating around.
"McGonny was right," whispered Fudge.
"What's going on...?" Misabella whispered. "I'm going to get our pets!" She jogged over to the pinned down Quislings and KillerDawg. KillerDawg was struggling while Quislings just lay there, staring into space. And carefully and quietly, the Ghost Kacheek crept up behind Misabella.
Haina's heart was pounding; she was sure other pets could've seen it through her skin. Hesitating, she gulped. Scaring a pet was one thing, but jumping on their owner...
"Gotcha!" came a teenage girl's voice and a hand on the Kacheek's shoulder. Haina whipped around and stared into Fudge's deep brown eyes. She began to panic, but stopped herself, and in that split second she thought, Okay, I have two choices. I can be Scary Haina or Regular Haina... but I don't know the right choice to make!
So she went with neither, and simply burst into tears.
"Okay. So tell me... what's going on here?" Misabella spoke in soothing words as Haina wiped her eyes, conscious of the dirty looks Ellen and Baylee were throwing her. Fudge and McGonny walked in just then; they'd been sending the party guests home.
"I'm sorry..." whispered Haina, to not only Misabella but Ellen and Baylee as well. "We were just having fun..."
"You were just having FUN?!" shrieked Morgan. "You don't have fun like that!"
"Shut up!" yelled Ellen.
"Speak for yourself," Fudge replied, glaring, and Misabella looked again at Haina, who continued.
"Well..." Haina sniffed. "We've lived here since we were adopted--no, since our parents were created--and one day we awoke and found our parents gone... so we didn't know any better than to stay in the attic... hoping they'd come back..."
At the mention of their parents, Baylee had dissolved into tears as well, clinging to two of her drooping ears. "...but they didn't... so when more pets moved into this Neohome, we came to meet them and they got scared... well, we thought it was actually kind of fun scaring them like that... you can figure out the rest..."
"I'm sorry I didn't believe you," whispered Fudge to McGonny, and the Acara squeezed his owner's hand, signaling that all was forgiven.
Kya cleared his throat and coughed a few times, and the Ghost pets took the hint.
"Sorry," muttered Haina, looking at the floor, and Baylee followed suit. Kya tilted his head at Ellen, and she reluctantly apologized too.
"It's alright," McGonny replied, standing up, "because everyone is forgiven now, isn't that right, Mom?"
"Quite right." Fudge smiled. "You know, I do think there's a way you three could find homes..."
"You do?" the ghosts chorused, looking up with wide eyes.
"Yep." Fudge nodded. "If we advertised that three Ghost pets were going to the pound, people would be competing to adopt one of you first!"
"Honest? We wouldn't have to stay there days and days?" Ellen asked.
"Nope." McGonny shook his head. "You should've seen how many people were trying to adopt ME, when ONE advertisement was placed by my former owner!"
"So that's settled," Strawb announced over the cheers of the pets, and Quislings grinned.
"Yep. Early tomorrow morning, we'll find new homes for--oh, uh... I'm sorry...what are your names?"
"I'm Haina." The Kacheek nodded and gestured. "She's Baylee, and her name's Ellen."
"You know what?" Strawb asked Kya and Frost. "This sounds really weird, but I'm actually glad we got in trouble!"
Epilogue: Ellen, Haina, and Baylee spent the night in with Fudge, Misabella, and their pets, and were put into the pound early the next morning. They were adopted seconds after being sent to the pound and were all lucky enough to get nice owners. Throughout the years, they were traded, put up for adoption, and pounded several times, but although this made them quite unhappy at the times, they knew better than to go and scare some innocent pets.
The guilty ones, however, are a different story...