Smell the Scents: Part Four
Bella sat in her room, examining her treasures more closely. She hadn’t been able to examine them when she had first found them because she thought that there were evil villains or guards waiting to capture her, so she had to get away quickly.
But now she could have a good look. Her mum had left her safely in her room, but she had slipped out again to find her treasures that she had dropped. She was back in her room now so that her mum would not see her and tell her off.
“ANOTHER neopoint!” she exclaimed excitedly. “That makes 4 now. Wow, I am going to be rich soon. I could buy a royal paint brush and become the most beautiful Gelert anyone has ever seen! Anyway, what else did I find?”
Bella dove her hand into the sack she had stored them in and pulled out a broken toy of some sort.
“Hey cool, I could play with that. Or fix it and donate it to the Money Tree with all the other broken toys I found. Then everyone everywhere will appreciate me and I will become famous. Really famous!”
Bella began to get excited and she reached her paw into the sack again, expecting to find something else that was amazing. She pulled out a cloud petpet paint brush.
“Eww, what’s that? It looks like junk. I don’t want it! Why did I even pick it up? Gross!”
She dropped it on the ground in a separate pile to all her treasures, wondering what to do with it.
‘I could just throw it out, I suppose,’ she thought. ‘I wish I had my usukis to play with. My trusty servants. We should go on another adventure soon. Maybe Timmy or Max will join us too. They will be so amazed at what we found that they will want to join in next time.’
“Not Timmy actually,” she said out loud. “Just Max. Timmy is mean and he wouldn’t play with me yesterday. I wish I could get him back for it. Well, I suppose I could ban him from coming with me and Max when we go on our next adventure. Or... I know! I can put all the junk I found today on his bed. It will be a surprise for him when he comes home!”
A few minutes later Bella crept out of her room. Her only ‘junk’ was the cloud petpet paint brush, which she had wrapped in a tissue because she didn’t want to touch it. She slipped into the room that Timmy shared with Max and placed the paint brush on his bed.
“Right,” said Jhudora, glaring at Max. “I will come straight to the point. I suppose you are wondering why I brought you here?”
‘Obviously I am wondering,’ he thought. ‘It’s not like I can read your mind.’ He decided to keep that thought to himself.
“Well, yes, I suppose,” he replied.
“I have brought you here to answer a question for me. I need a certain piece of information. It is really important for me.”
‘But what can I possibly know that is important for that funny looking faerie?’ wondered Max, deciding to keep that thought to himself as well.
“I will try and answer, Miss,” he replied, thinking that was a better reply than his previous thought.
“Good. You see, I normally stop a Chomby in his path to get my question answered. I wont let him pass until he has given me the correct answer. But I am getting sick of that. It is so last week.”
‘Annnnd...?’ wondered Max, refraining from repeating his thought out loud.
“So I have decided to lock up a Gelert and not let him out until he has answered my question.”
‘Wonderful. So what in Sloth’s name is the question then? You said you would come straight to the point. Not ramble on like this.’
“I will do my best to answer, Miss.”
Jhudora glared at him. “I should think so. You have one week to answer my question or there will be trouble.”
She started to walk out of the room.
“Excuse me, Miss?” asked Max hesitantly.
“WHAT?” snapped Jhudora.
“Well... you haven’t told me what the question is.”
She stared at him blankly for a few seconds.
“Oh, right. Your question is this: How can I get more people to do my quests?”
“Okay, I will try and think of some ways. But why do you need more people to do your quests?”
“Mind your own business!”
“Sorry, Miss, I didn’t mean to offend you or anything...”
“I will be back soon and you can start giving me suggestions,” said Jhudora, walking out the door and locking it.
“You would think,” said Timmy to his new doglefox friend, “that I would have been sensible enough to remember where the river was. Now I am completely lost. I can't even find my way out of the forest, which is what I should probably do now. I should go home and wait for Max. Then we can start searching together again, if he is in a better mood, that is.”
The doglefox, Joe, whined in sympathy. He had stayed close to Timmy’s side ever since Timmy had found him. Joe had been lonely by himself when his owner had left him and he now thought the world of Timmy. He did exactly as Timmy wanted and was at the moment trying to think of a way to please him. All doglefoxes love to please their masters and Joe was no exception. He couldn’t find any nice little gift, though, and he didn’t want to stop in case he and Timmy lost each other.
‘Oh great,’ thought Timmy, sitting down. ‘Now I am just as lost as Bella is. I have absolutely no idea where I am. It is no use following my scent back the way I came either. I have been going in circles.’
Joe sat close to Timmy, trying to comfort him even though he couldn’t speak. He gave a few small barks and whines in attempt, though.
“Oh, Joe, I am lost. What can I do? I need to get out of these woods but I can't.”
‘Out?’ thought Joe in his simple doglefox mind. He knew that word. He also knew some of the other words Timmy had said and realised that Timmy wanted to get out of the woods but didn’t know how. ‘Well, this is where I come in,’ continued his thoughts. ‘I know how to get out of this place. And it will help Master.’
He gave a little bark and grabbed Timmy’s paw gently in his mouth, trying to lead him behind a bush nearby.
“What is it, Joe? Are you trying to show me something behind that bush? Alright, we can have a quick look. But let go of my paw. I can follow you by scent.”
Timmy started to follow Joe, using his nose to sniff exactly where he was. To his surprise, Joe didn’t stop when he got behind the bush. He kept on going, following a small and barely visible path. It was probably used by petpets that lived in the forest. But why was Joe following it? Was there something important at the other end?
“Joe, we really shouldn’t go too far. I need to find my way home, you know.”
Joe kept on going and, not wanting to lose him, Timmy kept on following.
‘Oh no, oh no, oh no,’ thought Max. ‘I haven’t thought of any good ideas yet and she will probably be back soon. What can I do? I have never done her quests before, so I don’t know what they are like. I have never done any faerie quest for that matter.’
Thoughts ran swiftly through Max’s head, each as useless as the others. After a short amount of time (Max didn’t know how long) Max’s thoughts were yet again interrupted by the arrival of Jhudora. First he heard her footsteps, then the quiet sound of the door being unlocked.
“Well?’ she asked, stepping inside and shutting the door behind her. “Thought of an answer yet?”
‘Oh yes, totally. Because there is a perfectly simple and straightforward answer to your stupid question.’ Max decided that that answer should probably be kept to himself.
“Well, Miss, I have not had many ideas yet. But I am trying. Would you like to hear what I have come up with so far?” asked Max, nervously.
“Well, obviously! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” snapped Jhudora impatiently.
“What about giving out small, cheap prizes for every few quests that someone completes?”
“Already doing that. And my prizes aren’t cheap. They are wonderful. Everyone should appreciate them. NEXT!”
“How about an avatar for completing a certain amount of quests?”
“I already do that. At quest 20. Have you actually got any useful suggestions?”
“Well, I am trying, Miss. Ummm, what about a trophy for being one of the top quest completers?”
“NOBODY IS DOING MY QUESTS!” screamed Jhudora. “AND SO I ASK KINDLY FOR YOUR ADVICE AND YOU COME UP WITH ALL THIS... THIS... RUBBISH!”
She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. Max took a step backwards, trying to get away from her anger.
“I’m sorry, Miss,” he said quietly.
“You should be!”
“How about you try to be slightly more welcoming and pleasant to everyone?” asked Max, thinking this to be a sensible suggestion.
“Are you suggesting I am rude? Well, that is just going too far! You are in for it now.”
Max gulped as Jhudora, looking angry, stormed out of the room.
‘But that would probably help her...’ he thought. ‘I mean, she is so rude, she probably scares them all away...’
Max silenced his own thoughts this time, noticing that when Jhudora had stormed off angrily, she had forgotten to shut the door. He stuck his head out cautiously, and when he confirmed that nobody was looking, he slipped out.
To be continued...