There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 193,049,732 Issue: 676 | 16th day of Sleeping, Y17
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Avarice


by pillsi

--------

She appeared to live in a small carriage wagon. She wore a cloak sewn of stars and celestial blues with two holes so her tall ears were not held captive.

     "Do you wish to have your fortune told?" the white Aisha gypsy asked with a silvery voice. Avarice gazed at the gypsy, her arms full of shopping bags and other assortments from the Neovian shops. Shrugging, Avarice sat in a rickety chair across from the Aisha.

     "Now tell me," the gypsy began, placing a hand on her crystal ball. "What part of your future do you wish to be told? Perhaps you would like to know if a handsome young lad loves you or if you will achieve greatness in Neopia? My crystal ball can see all truths, even the wealth of your future."

     "I want to see my entire future," Avarice exclaimed, shifting in her seat with a wild grin stretching across her face.

     The Aisha paused before drawing a breath and explaining, "I cannot show you every..."

     "I want to see my entire future!" Avarice spat at the Aisha. She folded her arms over her chest. A childish pout replaced her excited grin. The Aisha gazed to the stars twinkling down into the Haunted Woods that night.

     Sighing she began waving her hands over the crystal ball muttering incantations – a curse – under her breath. Avarice watched in fascination as clouds of smoke swirled in the crystal ball. Glimpses of a wealthy Neopian – a wealthy Usul – twisted in the fog of the crystal ball; a mansion located in the well-to-do district of Neovia, a walk in closet the size of a small bedroom. Avarice watched as her dreams swirled. In the crystal ball a well renowned Neopian Times Journalist was interviewing Avarice when the fog twisted and contorted into a horrifying red color. The mansion disappeared along with the news reporter. Before Avarice was a small Usul, shaking as the last bit of her strength was zapped from her body as she pushed a ginormous object up a never-ending slope. Avarice leaned in closer to see the object, but she could make out little. It was round, perhaps gold or brown? Avarice could not tell.

     Avarice bit her lip. "Surely, gypsy, this is the wrong Usul in the crystal ball," Avarice stated. "Your mystic powers must be poor."

     "My fortunes are never wrong," the gypsy stated. "The poor Usul you saw will be your future." Avarice began collecting her bags. Beginning to walk away, Avarice ran her paw through her dark brown wig. Surely the gypsy was wrong. What could Avarice do to have such a future. Stopping, Avarice turned to look back at the carriage. The gypsy could be right though. What if that desolate future was hers to live?

     Walking back to the carriage, Avarice asked, "Is there a way to prevent my future?"

     The gypsy looked up at Avarice from her crystal ball. "I can look," she replied her voice and answer soothing to Avarice. She ran her hands over the crystal ball once more. Avarice leaned in to look, but could see nothing through the purple smoke.

     "I can see a choice, a choice you must make in the near future. You decision will determine your destiny." After a moment of silence, the gypsy rose from her chair and walked over to her carriage.

     Avarice followed, stopping at the steps. "What choice? What answer must I give?"

     Hollering from somewhere deep inside the carriage, deeper than Avarice thought the carriage could possibly be. The gypsy replied, "I can not tell you the correct answer. You must make the decision on your own."

     Avarice groaned as the Aisha stepped out of the carriage, presenting the Usul with two items. "One of these items may give you eternal happiness." The Aisha gypsy began, "the other may condemn you to that forlorn future. Choose wisely."

     Staring at both items, Avarice bit her lip once more, knowing the wrong choice could lead to her certain unhappiness and the other her certain happiness. In one hand, the gypsy held a bag of dust, in the other a golden apple. Avarice looked from one item to the other weighing her decision. The dust collected was, without a doubt in Avarice's mind, dust collected from the inside of the gypsy's carriage. Avarice picked up the golden apple, her mouth instantly watering as the apple shone in the starlight.

     "You have chosen your future then," the gypsy said with a deep breath. Avarice did not reply at first, she just stared at the apple's glamour. When she finally did look up, the gypsy was gone—vanished. Avarice left the gypsy camp, forgetting her shopping bags, and walked all the way home, shoving other Neovians out of her way as she refused to look at anything but the magnificent golden apple.

     "Oomph," came a squeaky voice from below Avarice. She tore her eyes away from the apple to gaze down at a small Xweetok. The Neopian was dressed in rags, a potato sack and a rough-spun cloak covering her dirty face and putrid smelling fur. Her coat was matted with mud and Avarice could trace the lines of her cheekbones.

     "Do you have any food?" the pauper asked Avarice, instantly looking towards the golden apple.

     "No, I don't have any food," Avarice replied.

     "Then what is that?" the pauper asked, pointing a paw at the apple. Avarice hugged the apple close to her.

     "I can't give you this," Avarice said.

     "Why not?"

     "'Cause I need it."

     "Oh, I didn't know. Your clothes are so glamourous I didn't realize you were homeless."

     "I'm not."

     "So you have food at home?"

     "Yes."

      "Then can I have the apple?" Avarice could have sworn steam came out of her ears. "Well, can I have the apple or not?" the pauper prodded.

     Avarice would not – could not—give her the apple. It did not matter how hungry the pauper looked, the apple was Avarice's.

     "No," Avarice snapped at the pauper, "if you want food, go get a job at the Employment Agency. I hear they take all sorts of Neopians, even the pathetic beggars like you." Avarice clenched the apple with a firm grip, and stormed along the streets towards her house.

     Sauntering up the gravel pathway, Avarice admired her large Neohome for the millionth time. The shingles glimmered a slate blue in the moonlight, casting a gorgeous glow on the Neohome. Taking a deep breath, Avarice pushed open the large wooden doors, content to finally be home. Avarice dropped her cloak on the floor and gazed at the golden apple for a mere second, then up at the clock. 11:30 pm NST. Avarice looked back down at the apple. Her mouth watered as she imagined how sweet and crisp the apple would be, but her stomach churned as she brought her mouth to the apple, reminding Avarice of the large dinner she had only a few hours ago at the Crumpetmonger. Ignoring the warning from her stomach, Avarice bit into the apple with a crunch, juice dripping onto her chin.

     Bloated, Avarice retreated up the stairs and towards the master bedroom. After rinsing her fur in a basin of warm water, Avarice climbed into her bed, fluffing her Petpet feather pillow and pulling her luxurious blanket up to her eye sockets. Within minutes, she dozed off to sleep.

     Barbarous shouts echoed into Avarice's bedroom. She groaned, rolling over, but something was wrong. She opened her eyes. Her bed was gone, replaced by a slab of rock. Shooting to her feet, Avarice gazed around her. Her bedroom in Neovia was gone, replaced by a prehistoric cave.

     "How did I come to be in Tyrannia?" Avarice asked. "I couldn't have slept walked here." She chuckled to herself, but soon—after comprehending the dank smell of the cave and the distant echo of water dripping—asked, "that's preposterous right?"

     Another barbarous howl reverberated through the cave. Avarice followed the noise. Within a mere minute, Avarice was blinded by a light, a scorching sun pelting a barren wasteland of plateaus and hills. The ground gasped for water, cracked in jagged lines from dehydration. There was not a plant in sight.

     This was not Tyrannia. This was a land Avarice had never seen. Avarice took two steps out of the cave.

     "Where am I?"

     "Aipoen," A silvery voice answered behind her. "It is the memory of a Neopia before Neopets roamed its lands. Before rain washed away the sinners and sprouted the cardinals."

     A cold sweat broke out on Avarice's face. "Wh-why am I here?"

     "Because you failed to change your future," a small Xweetok said, appearing behind the gypsy Aisha. The Xweetok's fur was caked in mud and her clothes tattered and rough-spun.

     "So the golden apple was the wrong choice?"

     The Aisha shook her head, clicking her tongue. "Picking the apple was not the choice. The chose was whether to share your apple with a starving pauper and you chose not to."

     "Your greed has brought you this fate," the pauper said, flicking her tail around her body. "Your trial was to help those in need. Your answer was to keep the apple for yourself."

     The earth beneath Avarice's feet began to tremble. "Please, wait," the Usul pleaded as the gypsy and pauper began to fade out of sight. "Let me try again! Please don't leave me here." It was futile. The ground began to tilt, causing Avarice to stumble backwards. With a monstrous rumbling sound, a ginormous boulder began to tumble down the slopped earth. No not a boulder, a giant golden apple. Avarice tried to move, but found her feet were bound, buried in a crack in the earth. Avarice knew the next part of her future. As the apple came crashing into Avarice's body, she braced herself, and to her surprise, was not squashed. She pushed against the apple. The earth released her feet. As eternity passed by, Avarice was forced to push the golden apple up the never-ending slope.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

To Space!: Part Five
"Did you enjoy the tour, Brandi?" Agneza asked, voice carefully neutral.

"Yes, I did," Brandi said hesitantly, unable to meet Agneza's gaze.

by 77thbigby


---------

Dicey Friends
No one trusts roo anymore...

by classicmess

---------

Caring for Vandagyres
I spoke with some Vandagyres and their owners to find out more about this mysterious pet.

by themaybird

---------

The Scientist's Apprentice: Part Two
"I was struck by lightning, and now... I'm in... the... future..."

by vanessa1357924680



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.