Nothing Has Happened!
A small Red Bruce walked through the Haunted Woods, shivering from the evening cold. He took a wide path around the Brain Tree and the Esophagor and avoided that swamp witch Edna for good measure. But as he was almost out of the (Haunted) woods, a bush rustled and a huge creature jumped out.
“ONCE,” roared the Monocerous, screaming directly into the Bruce’s face, “I ATE SIXTEEN JUBJUBS IN A WEEK!”
The Bruce blinked.
“Okay,” he said. “I mean, I don’t really know what to compare that to. I don’t actually think anyone else in Neopia eats Jubjubs. And I haven’t heard of any of them going missing, so I don’t even believe you, really.”
The Monocerous stared at the Bruce, lost for words.
“Should I walk around you or are you going to go bug some other Neopian?” asked the Bruce. He hadn’t even dropped his scratchcard prizes.
“WELL, I ALSO ATE, UH, A LOT OF BRUCES,” said the Monocerous.
“So you must be sick of ‘em by now,” said the Bruce. “See you later. Oh well, I hope the next crazy, random event that happens ends up with me getting a Paint Brush or something.”
The Monocerous stared at the Bruce as he waddled right of the area. The Bruce was singing to himself. Singing!
“ALL RIGHT,” said the Monocerous to the packed room. “LET’S GET STARTED.”
“Yeah, first could I ask that you quiet down?” asked the Spider Grundo from the ceiling. Many faces familiar to almost every Neopian were all crammed into the Golden Dubloon for an emergency meeting called by the Monocerous. The Swamp Ghoul, Bruno, Captain Scarblade… and of course Governor McGavrill, who had suggested the meeting space so he didn’t have to leave Krawk Island.
“Sorry,” said the Monocerous in his rare indoor voice. “Uh, so, I’m fed up. What do we all have in common here, folks?”
“We’re big and scary!” said Bruno. “Might as well embrace it.”
“No, some of us aren’t that big,” said Adee the Chia from under a table.
“We’re a force to be reckoned with, no matter the size,” said Nigel the Stockbroker Chia, adjusting his carefully combed hairline.
“That’s the PROBLEM,” said the Monocerous. “We talk big, but we don’t do anything after that. What we have in common is that, every day, we travel Neopia telling Neopians, in these sort of random events, you could say, how good or bad or scary or nice we are. But they don’t even care! No respect. Back in the day, I could have told them I ate only three Jubjubs in a week and they would burst out in tears. But now, they just push us aside and wait for that phantom Jacko to show up.”
“It’s true,” said McGavrill from the counter. “Now unlike you all, I do hand out a piece of a map to my island’s shore from time to time. But when I simply tell passers-by to visit Krawk Island and take a look at what I’ve done to the place, they only visit one time in a hundred!”
“Arr, I feel like even those evil sorts who steal and bother Neopians are more appreciated than us sometimes,” said Captain Scarblade. “I don’t wish to stoop so low as swiping Neopoints from pockets like a Smug Bug, but I’ve heard that some Neopians even receive a trophy after a visit from the Tax Beast. And no one is supposed to like taxes! By the way, let’s wrap this up before any Maraquans find me. What be the plan?”
“Uh, everyone, from now on, start giving Neopians you encounter more of a hard time,” said the Monocerous. “Whatever you do, don’t just say a few words and disappear.”
The crowd nodded and then was kicked out of the Golden Dubloon, for they had stayed over fifteen minutes without placing a single order.
A Faerie Shoyru and a Red Kacheek were strolling to the Cheeseroller booth on a fine Meridell day when the sky overhead darkened.
“Wonder what’s going to happen,” said the Shoyru. “Maybe Dr. Sloth will show up. I heard he was giving out some sort of rare potion last week!”
“Ha ha!” cried the Swamp Ghoul. “You’re never safe. Not from the Swamp Ghoul!”
The two Neopians turned their backs, disappointed.
“Is that your choice?” cackled the Swamp Ghoul. “I’ll teach you to ignore the Swamp Ghoul!”
The Neopians reached into their bags to get their Neopoints for the Cheeseroller entry fees, but the Swamp Ghoul was already cackling and speeding away with all their hard earned money.
“I didn’t know he could steal from anybody!” cried the Kacheek. “Oh, no, who else is going to come rob us?”
The Monocerous jumped out onto a slippery Terror Mountain slope.
“ONCE,” he began.
“You ate sixteen Jubjubs in a week, huh?” asked the Island Blumaroo walking up the snowy path.
“NOPE,” roared the Monocerous. “I WON TWENTY THOUSAND NEOPOINTS AT THE SCRATCH KIOSK… AND I’LL DO IT AGAIN WITH A LITTLE HELP!”
The Blumaroo dove to the side for safety, but the Monocerous had already torn a hole in the poor Neopian’s winter coat and ripped the three fresh Terror Trove Scratchcards from the pocket.
“TELL YOUR FRIENDS: BEWARE THE MONOCEROUS!” yelled the beast as he thundered down to Happy Valley.
Neopians everywhere were running into familiar faces all week, but they were coming away from every encounter worse for wear. The Ghost Lupe growled “Leave this place”, and then growled again, lowering Neopians’ endurance as they ran away. The Spider Grundo shot web into backpacks and pulled rare items out in a flash. Even Nigel began giving Neopians such a hard time, blocking the way and talking a mile a minute, that they were forced to buy his suggested stock on the spot. But as the frequency of terrible, annoying, and unprofitable events increased, Neopians started staying home.
After a whole day with only one poor Lenny in his way, the Monocerous was forced to call another emergency meeting. They met in the Food Club this time, chewing leftovers from the previous round angrily.
“We overdid it,” said Adee the Chia. “People were NOT happy when I tackled them and took their stuff after they refused to send a postcard to their friends.”
“Yessss….” Sidney said. “Sssssscratchcard ssssalessss are down. I was jusssst sssspreading the word… with a ssssmall chance of Ssssssssneezlesss.”
“But we had no respect before,” said the Monocerous. “Now, we have no one to even boast to. THIS ISN’T FUN!”
The group tried to come up with a new way to both captivate Neopians and keep them out and about, but they couldn’t come up with anything.
“Hey, I see someone at the door!” cried Nigel. A loud rumble rolled across the Food Club’s front porch. Before anyone could stop the Chia, he opened the door to see dozens of Neopians.
“Found you,” said a mean-looking Jetsam.
“Let her talk!” said another Neopian, pushing none other than Illusen to the front.
“What are you doing here?” asked Governor McGavrill suspiciously.
Illusen squeezed into the room.
“Look, you have all gone way too far this past week,” she said. “It’s okay to take from the occasional Neopian, but there’s not enough giving to balance it out. I don’t have the funds to give every Neopian I see five thousand Neopoints because they’ve been robbed by the whole gang of you on a short walk to the Food Shop.”
“Well, they weren’t paying any attention to us!” cried Bruno.
“Just take turns,” said Illusen. “If you only swipe an item once in a while, they might be more forgiving. Right?”
The Neopians in the background nodded, although they still looked a bit wary.
“So… when they see you’re only telling them about how great or whatever you are, they’ll be happy to listen, as long as you aren’t stealing ALL their stuff!”
The Monocerous realized everyone was looking at him.
“Well… ALL RIGHT, SOUNDS GOOD,” he roared. “Now leave us alone so we can work out a schedule. If you figure it out... we’ll have to steal even more, so BEAT IT!”
The Neopians ran away, but hopefully.
“Thanks,” said Illusen, and flew away, hoping the rowdy bunch would keep their word.
The Monocerous burst out of a rather large pile of sand on the Mystery Island shore, roaring at a passing Desert Shoyru.
“ONCE I ATE SIXTEEN! JUBJUBS! IN JUST A WEEK! GOT IT?” he rushed out.
“Wow, that’s a lot!” agreed the Shoyru nervously, clutching his sand sculptures tight.
The Monocerous grinned. “I KNOW, RIGHT? THANKS FOR AGREEING. HEY, YOU DROPPED THOSE,” he said, nodding at a couple of Neopoints that had fallen out of the scared Shoyru’s pocket. The Shoyru said some surprised thanks and picked up the money, then flew away after wishing the Monocerous a pleasant evening.
“Just you wait until next month,” the Monocerous thought to himself. But the grin on his face didn’t leave for a long time.