Origin of the Pant Devil- Vigilante or Villain?
He didn't really conform to the appearances of his classmates and his name was foreign and different, too. He squirmed in his desk as the other kids stared at him.
The teacher was calling out names one by one as each kid perked up.
He mumbled it quickly and uncomfortably- just like how he felt. Pant just wanted to get this part over with.
"Did I pronounce that correctly?"
Pant was a young Gremlin that had difficulty adjusting to the new situations, and since he was a Gremlin, the other kids would tease him nonstop. They called him "Paint" and "Pants" thinking it was some original new mockery. Alas, he's heard it before a number of times. As he floated along through the school yard alone, a very young blue Aisha approached him. She placed her ragged backpack next to him where he was floating near the tree.
"Just ignore the others. They only pick on anybody who's new or has a funny name. I'm Smilly. It's meant to be pronounced 'Smiley' but everybody calls me 'Smelly.'"
For the first time in a while, Pant began to chuckle and laugh. Although she was in a younger grade, she was literate, like him, and she was talkative and bubbly in her nature, which filled the typical awkward silences Pant couldn't bare to stand. They stood on the soft grass of the school yard and shared each other's company for the duration of the lunch. A friendship was sparking and Pant felt at ease with Smilly.
After the school bell rang, Pant began to part and head home.
"Wait up!" Smilly wheezed out. She had ran all this way up to him.
"Oh. Sorry," Pant whispered out.
"Would you want to come to my house? We can work on homework together."
Before, Pant would be hesitant to accept an offer, but Smilly's genuine nature was overwhelming and hard to reject. He said yes, and they made their way to Smilly's house.
"Home sweet home," she said.
The two of them entered in a ramshackle apartment. It was bare with the exception of a lighting piece in the corner, a small stove, a little bathroom area, and a few sleeping bags on the floor. This home clearly lacked certain necessities.
Smilly struggled to do her homework in the dark apartment, and seemed to become embarrassed when Pant began struggling to work without a desk or anything else, too.
"I'm sorry about the place. My parents and I have been working hard, but you know... we get by..."
"Don't worry," he said. He didn't want his new friend to feel out of place.
After working on their school work, the two of them began to walk over to the Money Tree. Smilly said that this is where she typically would get anything she needed because people were so charitable. Pant had never been there before, so she explained how one could grab whatever one needed and all the donations that were available.
"Where is it, anyways?" he asked.
"Oh, it's right over there!" she pointed.
An enormous crowd of people were surrounding a tree grabbing things and throwing things. It was unnerving to Pant about the overwhelming amount of Neopians busy around the plant. Smilly grabbed Pant's hand and pulled him through to the front of the crowd so they could look at the items:
Dung. Seaweed. A third of an omelette.
"Wow! Look at this seaweed. I can plant this in my yard!" Smilly graciously grabbed the plant.
"Pant. Pant. Look at this. It's starry and everything. So pretty. I can put this in the front yard and everything."
"That's nice, Smilly. Are there usually more things here?" he asked curiously.
"Not really. This is the usual stuff; every once in a while a book will come in, though. I've read most of them, but every once in a while..." She continued to admire her find.
Pant looked around at the hustle of the crowd as people shoved their way to the front and ungratefully grabbed what they could. Many of the individuals appeared to be incredibly wealthy, even. This began to frustrate him into a fury. But he didn't dare let Smilly see. He clenched his fists in anger.
"Actually, Smilly, I really must go."
"Oh, are you okay?" She smiled up at him.
"Yeah... I'm... I'm fine. I just have to take care of a few errands before school tomorrow. Thanks for everything, though."
"Bye, Pant!" she squealed and waved.
Pant was at home now, wrestling with his thoughts.
"There must be so many other Neopians who don't have a lot of things like her. And if charity places like that are just where people throw their junk, then what's the point! All these people with all of their nice things- do they really need more?"
He was torn. There had to be something he could do. He went outside in the darkness for a breath of fresh air when he noticed some person walking with a bag filled with paint brushes. Beautiful, vibrating paint brushes. Pant couldn't help himself, he knew it was wrong, he knew it was bad, but he grabbed one of them and stood away. He was concealed within the darkness.
"Smilly would love this." He smiled and chuckled to himself. But, he didn't want her to know his crime. He believed it would devastate her.
He went to her apartment once again, placed it outside of her home- on the doorstep where she would find it and headed home.
The next day at school, Smilly had a sparkling new coat on. She pranced over.
"LOOK!" she screamed and twirled.
Pant couldn't help but smirk.
"It was such a random event! I opened my door this morning, and here was this paint brush. Oh, it's fantastic!"
Pant nodded his head, he didn't like to speak much, and besides, this was her moment. Smilly went around exploding with excitement around the class room.
That night, Pant was at his home, once again with his thoughts.
"Think about it," he muttered to himself. "There are tons of people like Smilly at there, and plenty of people with lots of things and luxuries. If I could... no... that's wrong."
But he couldn't help himself. Pant would notice struggling neopets, and then somebody else's item would disappear landing on the struggling neopet's doorstep randomly.
One day, he grabbed himself some neopet's new backpack, to give to Smilly, while walking to school.
"Hey! I know you!" The person had noticed him. Pant began to rush away.
"You're that kid with the funny name! Pant! Pant, stop! Pant, you devil!"
He finally got to school and sat down, shaken up by this morning's events. Smilly walked in. He smiled at her, but she sat down with a solemn expression on her face- a rare look for the Aisha. She knew. She knew what he had done.
He walked up to her with a frantic look on his face, "I'm sorry. I did it for you. I'm sorry, Smilly."
"I know," she whimpered. "Thank you. But please, no more gifts."
Pant felt a pang of guilt. But, he felt it was right. He even smiled to himself. He saw a number of excited Neopians come to find different gifts, even though he also saw many Neopians angered at their loss of items. He sat in his desk quietly pondering.
Suddenly, the kid from this morning burst into the classroom pointing and yelling.
"Pant Devil! You're a thief!"