Life is Sweet
The world is spinning.
It spins and spins, slowly, carefully. That motion is the only thing I’m aware of, the only thing I know. It’s comforting, yet at the same time it makes me impatient. It has gone on for too long. It seems it’ll never stop, but this can’t be all there is to life.
Suddenly, miraculously, it stops. And then the world starts tilting. I have nowhere to hold on to, I must go with the flow. I start wishing I could go back to the spinning routine, but it doesn’t happen and I fall over the edge.
The fall is a lot shorter than I pictured it to be. It doesn’t even hurt one bit. But now I am trapped, contained in a circular jail, just as big as I am. It’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds, at least not for me. Besides, movement has resumed. It’s not spinning this time, it’s just going forward. I wonder where this will take me.
Just as I’m getting used to the new movement, it stops. I’m annoyed at life for being so changing and wish things would stay like they are for once, but my wish is not granted. The temperature starts descending. I was so warm and cozy before that I took it for granted. The light starts diminishing as well, until it gets completely dark. I grow colder and colder until I lose sense.
“Hey, Barry!” called a voice. “The boss says to go check the freezer to see if the candy is done yet!”
Barry the grey Meerca adjusted his glasses and sighed. He knew the boss had assigned the task to his co-worker and he had no obligation to do it himself, but he wasn’t on the mood to have a discussion. He never was. This caused him to do a lot of extra work every day, but he shrugged it off as an occupational hazard.
Putting on a scarf hastily, he stepped into the freezer and tapped the nearest batch of filled candy molds with his finger.
They were hard as a rock, as they should be. That was the indication that they were ready.
“The candy is ready, Moe,” Barry said loudly but unenthusiastically. “Come help.”
The brown Skeith grunted and complained, but complied in the end.
Together they carried all the candy out of the freezer and started taking the pieces out of their molds to wrap them, one by one.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Someone taps me three times. I’m jerked awake by this; it tickles. My body is numb all over, but it’s not an unpleasant feeling. I feel strong and enduring. I can go through anything. I’m convinced I can.
I’m taken out of the freezer I was in and it’s such an amazing feeling. I can feel a slight hint of warmth again, and after being in the dark for so long, the shower of light is almost overwhelming.
I am let free of my prison, and I can hardly wait to be the wearer of one of those shiny orange wrappings a lot of my companions have by now. I’ll feel proud and purposeful then. This is what I’ve been waiting for.
Someone finally picks me out but pauses, observing me. Instead of being wrapped, I’m being directed at a dark, hollow place. My spirits fall as I wait for the end.
“What did you do that for?” roared Moe the brown Skeith at his co-worker. “I was going to eat that!” He leaned down to pick up the piece of candy the grey Meerca had just made him drop.
“We’re not supposed to eat them,” Barry the Meerca reminded him calmly. “We can’t afford the boss to notice one is missing.”
“Bah, it’s only a silly Apple Sweetie!”
Barry shrugged. “Fine, I don’t really care. Eat it if you want.”
“I don’t want it anymore; it’s filthy!”
Despite his reasoning, the Skeith wrapped the small piece of candy he was holding and put it in a box with some other previously wrapped ones.
The two continued with their work. Candy was popular year-round, but Halloween was approaching fast, which made them have to work even harder than usual. Moe bitterly hated the occasion for that same reason. Barry didn’t care.
The same evening cartloads of boxes containing different flavored sweeties were sent to the chocolate factory to be restocked the next day.
That was close.
I’m still recovering from the shock. Everything was so sudden and unexpected. I was certain I would be eaten there and then, but I’m glad I have the chance to experience more in life. It must be a sign that I’m destined to be great.
Hours have passed and I’m starting to feel squished inside this box. As if on cue with this thought, someone opens the box abruptly and spreads the contents in all directions. I roll a few times before stopping.
I realize I’m on display in the famous Chocolate Factory. Restockers are always active, but today there is an unusually great influx of Neopets in the shop. I can tell by all the noise and movement.
In fact, soon after I am put on display an old female Lutari grabs me among a handful of sweeties just like me and starts haggling with the amiable-looking Kiko owner. They come to an agreement pretty soon and make the deal. The next thing I know is I’m being thrown into a big purse and carried elsewhere.
Penelope the red Lutari had always been very fond of Halloween. She missed the days of her youth when she could go trick-or-treating herself. Her age didn’t allow it anymore, for she grew tired when walking too much.
However, that didn’t stop her from celebrating. Every year, she decorated her house to make it look haunted, and she dressed up to match it. Penelope was so good at portraying the Halloween spirit that her house was a favorite spot for all trick-or-treaters in the area.
Urban myths said she was a real witch, but a good-hearted one. Penelope would cackle, amused, every time she heard such rumors. They weren’t true, but she never denied them.
That day Penelope had woken up early to buy candy and decorations for the upcoming Halloween. She knew from experience that most restockers showed up in the afternoon, so the earlier she went shopping, the better.
She got to the Chocolate Factory just in time to see it open its doors and strolled in among the very first costumers of the day.
She browsed for a few minutes, but found nothing that attracted her. Just as she was about to leave, the Kiko shopkeeper took out a box full of assorted Sweeties.
Cheap but tasty, sweeties were a favorite of hers for Halloween. She took a handful without hesitation and bought them.
Shopping took all morning, and by the time Penelope went back home, she was exhausted. She dropped the contents of her purse into a bowl and went to her room to take a nap. She needed to refill her energies for that evening.
I’m lucky. I’m at the top of the bowl I’ve been put into. After being squished for so long in a box, I didn’t want that to happen again. I display the tiny apple drawing on me proudly. I bet the other sweeties are jealous. Lemon and orange and raspberry are good and all... but apple is the best. Oh yes, I’m lucky.
After some time, the Lutari who bought me reappears. She looks very busy, carrying all sorts of things around the house and hanging plastic spyders and ghostkerchiefs in random places. I’m confused.
A couple of times she stops right in front of the bowl to look at me, and I know she wishes to take me. But both times she shakes her head and turns away to go on with her mysterious preparations. I stay here and wait.
Finally dusk falls and, not long after, someone knocks on the door. I wait for the Lutari to answer it, but instead, a scary-looking witch comes and takes the bowl I’m in. I’m frightened.
Still carrying the bowl, the witch opens the door and I see a group of strange individuals. They look like they stepped right out of the Gallery of Evil, but that can’t be true. They look smaller and less terrifying than I always pictured them.
“TRICK OR TREAT!” they shout at the top of their lungs, and as soon as that is said, the witch gives them all candy. I am given to the one among them that looks like Balthazar. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or worried.
“How much candy did you get, Tommy?”
“I don’t know, Frank. I didn’t count it,” replied a baby Gelert wearing a cape and fake fangs to look like Hubrid Nox.
“I got 91 pieces. That’s almost a hundred!” his friend bragged. He was a baby Lupe dressed up as Balthazar.
“Wow!” Tommy said with his eyes opened wide, and started to count his own candy.
“Now I’ll choose the first candy I’ll eat!” Frank proclaimed, although his friend was no longer paying attention.
The baby Lupe closed his eyes and dug his paw into his bag of candy. After moving it a bit he clasped it around a single piece of candy and pulled it out, opening his eyes at the same time.
His wide grin faded as he saw the candy he was holding.
“Aw, it’s an apple sweetie,” he said, disappointed. “I’m allergic to apples!”
“Can I have it?” asked Tommy.
Frank shrugged and handed him the candy. Then he chose a different candy from his bag to be the first he would eat.
Tommy pocketed the sweetie his friend had given him. He had special plans for it. He said goodbye to his friend and headed home. They were neighbors, so it wasn’t a long walk at all.
Tommy entered his house as silently as he could. He didn’t want to be discovered. He went upstairs and got a small piece of cardboard and some colorful markers out of the desk’s drawer in his room. He quickly scribbled a note and attached it to the front of the apple sweetie with a bit of tape. Then he trotted downstairs and irrupted into the living room.
A cloud Gelert who was sitting on the sofa got startled by his exclamation and dropped the book she had been reading.
“Tommy, you scared me! I didn’t hear you coming in.”
“Halloween is about being scary!” the baby Gelert replied. “And you know what else it is about?”
“No, what else is it about?” his older sister asked.
“It’s about CANDY!” Tommy said, handing her the apple sweetie with the note attached to it.
The Gelert took it curiously and read it.
You might feel you’re too old to dress up and go trick-or-treating with me, but no one is ever too old to miss out on candy.
“Thanks, little bro!” A tear escaped Elaine’s eye. A really wide smile had formed in her face.
The sweetie was beaming. So was Tommy.
Elaine didn’t eat the sweetie. She put it in her gallery as a reminder of all it signified to her.
The sweetie was right. He was destined to be great after all.