Sophie's Cousin versus The Neopian Times
“...And the final reason why Sophie the Swamp Witch can’t be trusted is because her eyes are too close to her nose,” Peppi Pansy read from the Neopian Times.
“Well, what do you think?” her boss, Mr. Peterson asked with a grin. “It wasn’t easy coming up with one hundred different reasons for why we can’t trust Sophie.”
“I don’t know, Sammy,” replied Peppi, a petite green Kau. “Is it safe to write about Sophie? You know how dangerous her wrath can be.”
Samuel Peterson, a Red Lutari writer, had a habit of writing articles that weren’t always one hundred percent true. Most of the time he could get away with it, but Sophie the Swamp Witch proved to be quite the obstacle in his path... on several different occasions.
“Don’t worry,” Peterson said with a grin. “We’ve sabotaged Sophie’s delivery system; she’ll never even know. We’re perfectly safe.”
Suddenly the door burst open and a Faerie Ixi angrily charged in. She wore a fluffy pink dress and had equally frilly hair that tumbled down her shoulders.
“Alright, Peterson, you’re in big trouble now,” she declared as she jabbed a painted hoof at him. “You thought you could get away with writing obvious slander against Sophie.”
She grabbed the newspaper from Peppi and began to read, “Reason 76: Sophie hates everybody. That’s completely preposterous; I’ll have you know that she and Edna are quite good chums. Reason 24: Sophie is known to conspire with Dr. Sloth; again, completely off, she was only purchasing some Neocola from him.”
“Um excuse me... who are you?” Peterson demanded after he recovered from shock.
“I think I have to file something,” Peppi exclaimed as she slipped out the back door.
“I know what you’re thinking,” the Ixi intruder said as she twirled her hair. “You’re probably used to Sophie charging in, but now you’re stuck with me. It’s seriously time for Sophie to have a break; she has better things to do. So I decided to take it upon myself to thwart you while she does witchy things like mixing Eye of Slorg in some kooky potion.”
“I’m sorry, but you still haven’t answered my question,” interrupted the irritated Peterson.
“I’m getting there,” snapped the Ixi. “A good character needs time to develop, and nothing does that better than the perfect backstory. As a writer you should really respect that.”
“And you are?” Peterson asked as he tapped his fingers along his desk.
“My name’s Elma,” she said as she did a dainty curtsy. “But you can call me Cousin Elma.”
“I don’t have a cousin,” the Lutari responded as he rolled his eyes.
“No, not your cousin, haven’t you been paying attention to anything I’ve been saying,” she snapped as she threw her hooves in the air in annoyance.
“I must have missed something,” Peterson replied sarcastically.
“I’m Sophie’s cousin,” she declared as if it was the most obvious thing ever. “And I’m here to put a stop to your atrocious article.”
Peterson sighed, “Look Elma—”
“That’s Cousin Elma to you,” sniffed the Ixi.
“No, it’s not!” Peterson said in frustration. “You’re Sophie’s cousin, so that means that—”
“Look, Petey boy, you seem to have an interesting point of view, but this isn’t really going anywhere,” Elma sighed as she shook her head. “Can we please get back to the matter at hand?”
“Yes.” Peterson was practically growling now. “Sophie may have had a few tricks up her sleeve, but I doubt you can do anything to stop me.”
“That’s not true,” denied Cousin Elma. “I may not be as fluent with magic as Sophie is, but I’ve got a few spells under my belt.”
“Oh, please share because I’m dying to know,” Peterson grumbled icily.
“Alright,” exclaimed Elma with an eager grin, “I’m thinking of a number between one and twenty; what is it?”
“I have no idea,” sighed Peterson.
“That’s right!” she cheered as clapped her hooves together. “That’s because I cast a forcefield around my brain, protecting my thoughts.”
“Well, if you find a way to actually make use of that, let me know,” said Peterson as he started to usher her out, “but it’s time for you to leave. Get out.”
Once he was able to force her back out the door and slam it closed, he sank down and sighed.
“Is it possible that she’s worse than Sophie?” he pondered to himself. “Nah, Sophie was actually able to spoil some of my plans; this girl doesn’t have a chance.”
He then returned to his desk, straightened out his blue suit, and returned to writing.
As the sun back to set, Samuel Peterson departed from his office. He smiled and waved farewell to Peppi then headed towards the coffee shop. He smiled at the Orange Shoyru shopkeeper and ordered a drink and a biscuit. The Lutari sat down and was about to enjoy his snack when a flamboyant Ixi sat down across from him.
“Alright, Mr. Peterson you’re a tough guy, but I’ve got a proposition for you,” Cousin Elma declared smugly. “My family is quite wealthy and I will pay you quite handsomely to retract your comments about my cousin.”
Peterson resisted the urge to splash the hot coffee over her and instead said, “Look here, Elma—“
“Cousin Elma,” the Ixi reminded him.
“Right, Cousin Elma,” the Lutari sighed. “I have no need for any money; I’m doing just fine as it is. And if I retract my story, people are going to start asking questions, and before I know my reputation is under fire again. So I respectfully decline your offer.”
“But... but...” Cousin Elma fumbled for words.
“I’m going home. Why don’t you use your money on something productive like supporting Faerieland or finding Krawk Island?” the Lutari said as he got up to depart.
“If I want to be like Sophie, I have to think like Sophie,” Cousin Elma began to chant. “If I want to be like Sophie, I have to think like Sophie.”
“You know, I can hear you,” Mr. Peterson sighed. “Why don’t you try to find some epiphany in your head and not out loud?”
Mr. Peterson was rudely awakened in the middle of the night by pounding at his door.
“This girl doesn’t quit,” he growled as he pulled a pillow over his head.
“Samuel, answer the door,” demanded Mrs. Peterson. “If I don’t get my beauty sleep, I’ll be ugly in the morning. And if I’m ugly, I’ll be angry, and you know what happens when I get angry.”
“Fine, dear,” he sighed as he sleepily walked down to the door.
He opened it and exclaimed sarcastically, “Surprise, surprise, look who it is.”
“Okay, Mr. Peterson, you win,” Cousin Elma sobbed as she dropped down to her knees.
“Uh... Cousin Elma, as much as I love to bask in victory, it’s midnight; could you just vamoose?” he grumbled.
“She was right; Sophie was right,” Cousin Elma continued to sob, apparently ignoring Mr. Peterson.
“What was Sophie right about?” Peterson sighed.
“Oh, she said I could never be as good as her; I figured I could show her up in her own game,” Cousin Elma explained as she stood up. “Alas, I have failed.”
The Ixi dramatically collapsed again to the ground.
“I could just see her face, so defeated by realizing that she was wrong,” Cousin Elma continued.
“You know, ever since I cancelled Sophie's Neopian Times delivery, I have missed the thwarting her,” Peterson muttered.
“And it would so deliciously ironic; Sophie outshone in ruining Samuel Peterson, the guy who specializes in ruining her.”
“Yes, I can see the headlines now,” Peterson exclaimed, his sleep vanishing. “How’s this sound: Samuel Peterson thwarted by Sophie’s smarter, prettier, and all around superior cousin?”
“That’s sure to show her,” cackled Cousin Elma.
“...and in actuality Sophie’s face is perfectly shaped,” Peppi read in confusion.
“I don’t get, Sammy,” she said with a puzzled look on her face. “Why are you cancelling out everything you said about Sophie in that last article?”
“Oh let’s just say that I had a little talk with Sophie’s cousin,” Peterson explained. “We were able to quite a pleasing agreement; she’s nowhere near as devious as Sophie.”
“No,” Peppi muttered under her breath, “She’s much more.”
**Note: Want to read more about Mr. Peterson? You may also like Mr. Peterson vs The Neopian Times!