Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 94,333,932 Issue: 184 | 1st day of Eating, Y7
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Camping Dangerously

by yugi90163


Lupae the Lupe and Max the Kougra decided to go on a camping trip, just for the weekend. The problem was, there were so many places they could go, and they couldn't figure out where they wanted to go.

      "How about Tyrannia?" suggested Lupae.

      "I don't know," said Max nervously. "Remember in the news that one time some pets decided to camp there, but something happened and they came back all changed? One was even schizophrenic. The paper had said that the mirages finally got to him, and he was never the same again."

      Seeing his friend was hesitant, Lupae suggested Roo Island. Max frowned. "Everyone goes to Roo Island. It's always so crowded there with all the tourists from around the world."

      So Lupae and Max thought. And thought. And just for a change of pace, they thought some more. Suddenly, simultaneously, they got an idea. "The Haunted Woods!" they exclaimed together. "It's completely, 100% dangerous!" said Lupae excitedly. "And completely deserted, so we won't have to worry about crowds!"

      It was decided. They packed their camping gear and got their two Unis, Flash and Rogue, ready to be saddled up the next day. After a day of rushing around to get everything done, they went to bed, excited to start their adventure the next day. They got up early the next day, before the sun rose. They saddled up their Unis, put their gear onto them, and started off toward their destination.

      They stopped for breakfast (faery cupcakes), a few hours after the sun had risen, and started off again after they had fed their Unis. They arrived on the outskirts of the woods at about midday and cautiously entered the forest.

      There was a slight breeze, and as they went deeper into the forest, they started to get cold. Max and Lupae hurriedly put on their sweaters, thankful of getting them by way of the Advent Calendar. Gnarled tree branches hanging over their heads cast shadows that seemed to surround and trap them. A loud gust of wind rustled the trees. Stepping cautiously, Rogue suddenly stepped on a large twig and let out a frightening whinny as it snapped beneath her hoof. Rearing, she took off, coming off the path, while Max held on for dear life. Deaf to the cries of "Stop" and "Whoa, girl!", she took off through the forest as if the devil himself was after her. Lupe and Flash tried to get ahead of them in an attempt to slow them down, but Rogue seemed beyond help and they were soon behind her. Crashing through the trees, her hooves caught on the root of a tree, and she came smashing down on her left front leg. Max leaped off just in time and landed catlike on all fours a few yards away. Rogue cried out in pain as she tried to stand, and crumpled to the ground. Max rushed to her side.

      Lupae and Flash came through the trees a few moments later. "What happened?" he asked quickly before his eyes fell on the injured Uni.

      "Well," he said, "I guess this is where we're camping. We'd better get our stuff out. I know I brought a medicine pack..." His eyes widened in horror as he remembered where he'd put it. "I put it on Rogue; she was carrying it!" he said. Both pets turned to look, but there was no sign of a pack of any kind anywhere on Rogue, or around her, for that matter.

      "She must've thrown it off when she tripped. We've got to find it!" exclaimed Lupae. "Stay here with Rogue, Max; Flash and I will go and try to find it." Without another word, Lupae and Flash galloped away into the forest.

      Max sat by Rogue and looked into her pain-filled eyes. He soothed her, singing softly until her breathing slowed and a calm look finally crept back into her eyes. She set her muzzle in the grass and was soon asleep. Max curled up beside her and waited patiently for Lupae's return as night rose.

      Meanwhile, Lupae and Flash were trying to retrace the path of the crazed Uni, but could find no sign of a bag anywhere. They searched and searched until Lupae realized he had gone in the same circle a couple of times. He let out an exasperated sigh and was just about to give up when Flash suddenly let out an excited whinny and reared, his head going up. Lupae looked up and let out a cry of delight as he spotted the medicine pack on the branch of a tree above his head. Jumping up from Flash's back, his teeth clipped the bag and tore it, spilling the contents onto the ground. He hurried to pick up all the items and put them in his own bag. But as he reached for the last item, a Wrap Bandage perfect for Rogue's condition, someone got to it first. The ghostly green hand of the Pant Devil snatched the item away before Lupae could.

      "Hey! That's mine!" cried Lupae. "Give it back, thief!"

      "Give it back?" sneered the Pant Devil. "You obviously don't know me very well; I never give things back!" Lupae was enraged. The item was his and he desperately needed it. With an angry snarl, Lupae leaped for the item, teeth bared. The Pant Devil thrust it away easily. Again and again Lupae leaped, and again and again the Pant Devil thrust it away easily. "Monkey in the middle," sang the Pant Devil as he snatched it away again. Lupae was getting angrier and more frustrated with each passing moment. Suddenly, out of nowhere, something gray materialized in front of Lupae. It moved too fast for Lupae to see what it was. With an angry roar, the creature sprang for the Pant Devil, and with a surprised "Ooof!" the Pant Devil was knocked to the ground. As the creature landed, a look of pure terror appeared on Lupae's face as he realized what it was. The Ghost Lupe. The Pant Devil was more terrified than Lupae, however, and cowered in fear as the Ghost Lupe spoke to him in a booming voice. "THIEF! You would dare take something from one who needed it in a dire situation?! Give it back, or you shall never see the darkness of the forest again!"

      The Pant Devil hurriedly dropped the item and tripped over himself in an attempt to get out of the clearing as fast as he had entered it.

      The Ghost Lupe turned to Lupae, who backed away from him and tried to hold Flash as he reared and bucked with fright.

      "Do not be afraid. I do not wish to hurt you or your friend," the Ghost Lupe said in a much calmer voice. Under Lupae's soothing words, Flash finally calmed down and put his four hooves solidly on the ground again.

      Turning to the Ghost Lupe, Lupae said shakily, "W-Why d-did you h-help m-me? H-How d-did you know about m-my situation?"

      "I miss nothing in this forest. I live here and monitor the status of the forest from time to time," the Ghost Lupe answered. "I also happened to see my own kind in trouble, so I was obliged to help."

      "Thank you, Ghost Lupe, said Lupae, "but I have to say I am surprised that you stopped to help me, even if I am your kind. The stories I heard in Neopia about you were….so different from what you are really."

      The Ghost Lupe sighed. "You are confused. I can see why. The Neopians, knowing my history, have marked me as evil, but they have never met me and, well…it is known that they always feared what they did not know." The Ghost Lupe's expression suddenly grew hard. Lupae started to back away in fear again. "No, please, do not mind my expression. I was thinking, however, that now that I have done you a favor, I would like something in return. Please never speak of my presence or personality to the other Neopians other than your very best of friends. I would not take it very well if Neopians suddenly came into the forest to hunt me down for the pleasure of seeing me, if you get my drift. I must go now. Remember my warning, for I shall remind you if you dare to forget…" The Ghost Lupe materialized once more and was gone through the mist that had started to settle throughout the forest.

      Picking up the Wrap Bandage and putting it back in his bag, Lupae got onto Flash once more, determined to keep his promise. His thoughts were interrupted, however, as he realized he was lost. Flash, however, nickered encouragingly, and without any incentive, started to pick his way through the trees. In a matter of minutes, they were back at the clearing and were greeted by a rather tired looking Max. After quickly explaining what had happened, Lupae told Max to go back to sleep. After successfully bandaging Rogue's leg, Lupae curled up beside his friends and was quickly asleep.

      Max was awoken to the sound of his growling stomach and realized he'd had nothing for dinner the night before. Quickly pulling out two sandwiches from Lupae's pack, he woke Lupae up and had breakfast. After feeding Rogue and Flash, as well as checking Rogue's bandage(which proved to have held Rogue's hoof perfectly), Max and Lupae frolicked around the forest, occasionally scaring each other by jumping out from behind the trees. As evening fell, they took out their graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate to make s'mores, which they heated over a fire they made. They told scary stories late into the night.

      Waking up the next morning, they were delighted to find that Rogue was able to travel. They saddled up, had breakfast, and started heading out of the forest. With the help of their Unis, they easily made their way onto the main path, and emerged out of the forest. They slowly made their way home, thinking of what an adventure they'd had. And without each other, it wouldn't have been possible! They arrived home around noon, just in time for lunch: Bacon Omelettes for everyone!

The End

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