Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 90,555,988 Issue: 164 | 29th day of Collecting, Y6
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Trick or Treating at Edna's


by lady_zinaya

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A small starry Zafara shifted anxiously from foot to foot, twisted the black cloth of her cape nervously in her paws. She watched, her eyes wide in wonder, as a small human fitted a pair of devil horns on the head of a baby Korbat.

     "I hate Halloween," growled a young Halloween Aisha, standing in the door, also watching the human and Korbat.

      "Oh come on Essi," the human said, pulling a bottle of glue from her mouth and squeezing a drop onto a spot where one horn had fallen off, "you don't even have to dress up."

      The Aisha scowled in reply, twitching her own, real, horns. "Neither does Tomeshi, but you're not making him take the two children from house to house."

      Thymei straightened the pointed part of her witch's hat. She couldn't understand what Essi had against Halloween. Everywhere she had ever been they talked about how great it was to go out and get candy from random strangers. She couldn't even imagine how great it must be for Essi to be associated with Halloween all year round.

      "Tomeshi has things of his own to deal with," Lady Zinaya answered. She pulled a sheet of red fabric from a nearby table and held it up to the tiny Korbat before her, then plucked a few pins from the cushion and pushed them into the cloth where she would later make seams.

      "It'll be fun, Essi," Thymei spoke up. "When I was at the adoption place, there were pets who had once gone out. They couldn't stop talking about how much fun it was.

      Turning to the Zafara, Essi flashed Mei (Thymei) the 'be quiet twerp' look that she had used so much since Mei's adoption.

      Zinny didn't look up to see the glare the Aisha had given Mei. "Essi, would you show Mei where the candy pillowcases are? I'll be done with Sutek's costume soon and you can head out. It's nearly dark."

      As Essi led the excited young Zafara up the stairs, Mei was hopping with thrill. "Oh, oh, oh," she exclaimed, "guess what Essi?" She only paused for a second, not giving Essi enough time to guess. "I heard about this wicked scary haunted house in the Haunted Woods. Can we go, it'll scare your fur off."

      The Aisha whirled on Mei angrily. "First of all, we're not going all the way to the Haunted Woods. We stay in Neopia Central, that's it. And secondly, I don't do scared." Essi turned and continued stomping up the stairs.

      Mei hesitated, taken aback. "You mean you never get scared?" she asked, scurrying after Essi. "Not ever?"

      "No."

      ***

     The streets were alive with pets, humans, and faeries of all ages in bright colored costumes. Young Neopets clutched their owners' hands, looking at all the amazing sights in wonder that they had never experienced before. Older pets and humans scurried across the road, clutching eggs and toilet paper.

      The crisp autumn's breeze bit though Mei's thin fur. She pulled baby Sutek closer to her body and closed her cape around them. She glanced up at Essi, who didn't seem the least bit disturbed by the cold. "This is amazing. Have you ever seen anything like it?"

      "Yes."

      As unsocial and gloomy as her escort was Mei couldn't help but feel there was no better Halloween guide. She had once been inside the Aisha's room. It was filled with dark, creepy things and had an eerie green glow. Essi was the essence of scary.

      They continued heading down the south through the Bazaar. With every Neohome they stopped at Mei and Sutek's bags grew heavier. Soon Mei's own pillowcase was overflowing with candy. "This is wonderful!" she exclaimed digging through her booty eagerly. "I've never seen so many sweets in my entire life."

      "You won't be so excited when your teeth fall out from eating all that," Essi muttered in response.

      Just the thought made Mei's teeth chatter, but as they approached another house she completely forgot Essi's comment. She hopped up the steps eagerly, Sutek in one arm and her candy bag clutched in the other.

      Gently she touched the doorbell with her nose, and then leaned back on her heels to wait. A few moments passed, but when the door creaked open Mei was as eager as ever.

      "Trick or…" Mei's voice faded away as her eyes fell on the creature standing at the door. The occupant was a tall Zafara of green fur, wearing clothes much like Mei's own costume. But one thing set her apart from any normal Zafara, a pair of eerie green eyes.

      "Edna…" Mei whispered, he voice in a hush.

      "What do you want," the old Zafara asked in her scratchy old voice.

      For a moment Mei couldn't move. What was she to say to one of the greatest potion makers of all time, one of her idols? "Uh," she held out her pillowcase, unable to tear her eyes from Edna, "trick or treat?"

      Edna narrowed her eyes at the small starry Zafara, clad in a witch's costume. "One second," she muttered and turned back into her tower.

      "This is so cool," Mei murmured, turning to look at a very indifferent Essi, "I can't believe I talked to Edna." She paused and took a moment to think then said, "I thought you said we weren't leaving the Neopia Central?"

      Essi merely shrugged as Edna reappeared in the doorway. "Here you go sweetie," she said, dropping a handful of small bottles into Mei's bag. Her voice echoed of deviousness and there was a look of mischief behind her eyes, but Mei watched the bottles disappear beneath her treasures with great pride.

      "Thank you," she said to Edna, before the old Zafara closed her door.

      When Mei had descended from the steps Essi snatched the pillowcase from Mei's hands. "What'd that old witch give you? I don't want you eating anything you don't know what it is."

      "Hey!" Mei cried defiantly, but Essi had already pulled a violet colored bottle from the sack and was unscrewing the cap. "Don't do that, those are mine!"

      Mei reached for the bottle anxiously, but Essi yanked it away. The Aisha sniffed it warily, then pulled it from her nose. "Smell's terrible," she said, opening her hand.

      Mei let out a horrified shriek as the bottle fell to the ground, spilling its contents across the dirt. The bottle shattered on the hard autumn soil.

      "Essi," screeched Mei.

      But it wasn't over. Each piece of glass settled to the ground and lay dormant for only a second. Then, suddenly they sprang into the air, to connect together where the bottle had originally hit the ground. Mei watched in terror as the tiny pieces maneuvered around each other, connected in a mysterious way. When all was still once again the pieces of the bottle formed a glassy skull.

      Mei whimpered in terror and backed away as the pieces began to tremble. The skull shook violently and hovered above the ground. A booming voice filled the air "Doom on those who release the curse!"

      Suddenly the glass skull dropped from the air. This time, when it hid the ground it exploded into a deep purple smoke.

     The smog surrounded the area, filling Mei's lungs. She gasped for breath and searched for an end to the terror that engulfed her. There seemed no escape as she wandered aimlessly through the smoke.

      She squeezed Sutek tighter, to be sure he was still in her arms. "Essi," she called, her voice high with fright, "Essi where are you?"

      Only a slightly higher pitched then normal answered back, "I'm right here. Calm down, the smoke will clear in a moment and everything'll be fine."

      Taking a deep breath Mei stopped moving. Of course Essi was right. Everything would be just fine. She calmed down and took deep breaths, ignoring the rancid aroma of the smoke around her.

      When the fog had cleared Mei found herself not where she had started. Suddenly she was in a dense forest, with eerie green trees and thick brown mud beneath her paws. It looked as though they were still in the Haunted Woods, but it was no place she recognized.

     She glanced around frantically, but Essi was nowhere to be seen. "Essi, this isn't funny," she called into the empty forest around her.

      Essi was not the only one missing. Mei was devastated to discover that little Sutek was no longer in her arms. Blood pounded in her ears as she came to the realization of just how bad her situation was. She had lost both Essi and Sutek and also she had lost herself!

      Frantic to find anyone that knew Mei took off into the forest. As she ran she could see things moving about her in the underbrush, but she didn't dare to stop and see what it was.

     Her legs sore and exhausted Mei was forced to slow her run to a jog, then a slow walk, and finally she stopped completely. Tears welled in her eyes as she glanced about to find herself in a spot no different from the one which she had started in. "Where am I?" she wailed into the darkness.

      Suddenly the forest began to shake beneath her paws. A violent breeze tore through the trees, causing their branches to reach out and grab at her. Mei pulled away from them and pushed through the branches tearing at her fur.

      A loud moaning filled the air, invading Mei's ears. She clamped her hands over them, but the sound penetrated them and pushed in anyway.

      Then she was not alone. Strange distorted pets came from the trees, their blood red eyes focused on the defenseless Zafara.

      "Thymei," the called to her in a robotic sort of voice, "you have release at terrible curse upon all of Neopia. Doom on you Thymei."

      "NO!" she screeched, tears welling up in her eyes.

      "Doom."

      "No."

      And then Mei was moving again, her weak legs suddenly energized by her terror.

     The mutated pets sprang through the forest behind her, reaching to grip her fur in their distorted paws.

      Mei's foot hit a root and suddenly she was on the ground. Quickly she turned to face the onslaught of mutants. She screamed as the neared, searching for a weapon amongst the branches, but there was none. She screamed and they were upon her, their gnarled claws hair pulling at her fur, tearing into her cape and hat. "No," she screeched, "It was an accident, Essi dropped it!"

      And then there was nothing. The creatures were gone. For a moment Mei thought she was dead, but when a throbbing pain erupted in her foot that she had stumbled over, she knew it wasn't so.

      They had left, she realized, relief flooding her heart. She had told them it was an accident and they had left. The truth really would set you free.

     She struggled to her feet and began, once again, to search for a way out of the forest.

     When the fog had cleared Essi found herself not where she had started. Mutated pets appeared around her. "Essienca," the called, "you have release at terrible curse upon all of Neopia."

      Essi opened her mouth, eyes wide with terror, and a blood-curdling scream escaped her throat, vibrating through the forest.

The End

 
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