“Hey, Mitch, look at this one!”
The said blue Bori just smiled, not looking up from the shopping list he was occupied with. When he heard his friend laugh at something, his cheery (and admittedly rather obnoxious) voice filling up the Toy Store, he replied with his usual slight stutter, “That’s n-nice.”
...Some clover toothpaste, a bottle of olive soap, a natural sponge...
“Yeah, isn’t it? Hey, wait, Mitch, you aren’t even lookinggggg!”
...Onigiri, organic milk and organic fruits; don’t forget the butter...
...Chokato jam, paper towels, a jar of cinnamon spice...
“Alrighty, you asked for it!”
Before Mitch could look up and say anything, his face was splashed with something freezing and wet, making the poor Bori jump for his life. He wiped his face with his arms, shivering from sudden shock and the feel of icy water, nervously blushing when he saw an elderly Lupe look at him in confusion.
Still the slightest bit wet, he turned around to find his friend, angry and embarrassed, “E-E-Eletik!”
“Ah ha ha ha ha!” An Electric Krawk skipped over to him, laughing merrily with a Blibble-shaped squirt gun in his hands. By the look from his damp blonde hair, dripping tail, and the wet little Meercas running around behind him with water guns, it looked like he had been drenched as well. “Oh man, did you see the look on your face?! That was hilarious!”
“E-Eletik, what in the world!” huffed Mitch, waving the shopping list at him sternly. “Y-You know that I h-hate it when you scare me! B-Besides, I thought you were g-gonna help me buy the g-groceries!”
“Of course I was!” Eletik said triumphantly. He tossed the squirt gun aside (“Careful, you m-might hit somebody!”), and threw an arm around his best buddy. “Just tell me what I need to get, and I’ll go and get it! Simple, right?”
Mitch raised an eyebrow in suspicion. He furrowed his brows and opened his mouth to complain, but Eletik just smiled wider, leaving the Bori to sigh in defeat and look down at the list. “T-then can you go and see if you can find some b-bamboo tea?”
“Bamboo tea!” repeated Eletik enthusiastically, his face lit up while he did a fake salute to his friend. “Sir, yes, sir!”
Mitch gave a nervous smile. “C-Can you do that at least, Eletik? Here, t-there’s a store in the marketplace that s-sells them – “
But the Krawk was already prancing out the door, singing to himself a made-up song about the wonders of bamboo shoots and tea leaves.
Glad that his overly-excitable friend was gone (and hoping that he really would find the tea), Mitch straightened out his list and set off to find the first thing on the list. Well, not really the first thing on the list, but something he decided he needed. Just in case.
“B-Black cherry tea: They say this has a very c-calming effect on headaches...”
The next time he saw Eletik, the Krawk was outside Unis Clothing Shop, slurping a smoothie noisily in one hand, a cardboard box under his other arm. With no sign of bamboo tea.
But what really troubled Mitch even before he walked up to him was that Eletik had a dangerously mischievous look in his eyes.
When he noticed his Bori friend coming to him, he downed the rest of his drink (“W-Watch out, you might get a b-brain freeze!”) and threw it away, now holding the box with both hands. His eyes glinted and Mitch could feel his heart waver at the motion.
Eletik said every word as if it was the most important thing since the discovery of Shenkuu, “Guess. What’s. In. The. Box. ”
“Eletik...” Mitch started exasperatedly, feeling something worrying was about to happen.
“No, no! It’s something you’re gonna like! Guess, guess, guess!”
“S-Something I’ll like...?”
“Yeah! You’ll definitely like it!”
The young Bori smiled meekly, wondering if this was just another annoying prank or if Eletik really had gotten him something. With Eletik, he never knew.
“Is it... t-tickets to see the N-Neopian Philharmonic?” he asked hopefully. Mitch had always dreamed of hearing them, but he never was able to get tickets in time for their once-a-month plays at the Concert Hall. He often wondered how their songs sounded like, like Neovian Overture, Jeran’s Theme in C Major, Parlax’s Betrayal...
“What? No!” Eletik replied, bringing his friend back from his reverie. “Guess again, guess again ~!”
Then Mitch frowned. “W-what? Um, crepes?”
“You’re a horrible guesser, Mitch.” His friend sighed, looking over his shoulders before slowly lifting the lid.
Crawling on the bottom of the box was a tiny Petpetpet, a little Pinchit, snapping its tiny claws and peering up curiously at the two of them.
Mitch looked back down at it, and then at his friend, who was now giggling and cooing at it. That made him worry. “W-Why do you have it in a box? A-Are you going to give it to your Tuceet?”
“No, of course not! Why would I give all of the little guys to her?”
“...’All’ of the little guys?”
“Yeah, I had a bunch more of them in here! This one got left behind, though. Oh! I dare you to guess where I hid them. Guess, guess!”
If Neopets could change their colours with emotions alone, Mitch might have very well turned white as he blanched, the possibilities of these ‘little guys’ running rampage and causing itchy-Petpet-havoc all because of Eletik.
As if to prove it (and ruin his friend’s ‘hiding place’), the doors of the clothing store slammed open, a squealing Lenny and her Faellie nearly dancing out of the store, petpetpets all over them.
“Ewww! They’re – AH! – everywhere! Ow! Ow! They’re eating my – Ew! – They’re eating my new dress!”
“E-Eletik!” cried Mitch in horror (again, if colours could change, he’d be a snow Bori by now) watching the poor Lenny remove the Pinchits and Itchis from her Faellie as another scream could be heard from inside the store.
The Krawk started giggling at first, and then after realizing something, handed the cardboard box over to Mitch before running off again, laughing like a maniac.
And the Uni who owned the shop decided to come out at that exact moment, eyes locked on the shivering Bori and trotting over to him, seething in pure Uni rage.
The poor Bori would’ve turned ghost by then.
After much apologizing and explaining and promising to never let Eletik into the store again, Mitch then spent the better half of the hour wandering about hurriedly, struggling to maneuver through the crowds of shoppers looking for his friend. It wasn’t all that hard to chase him down, really. All he had to do was follow the trail of bewildered, confused Neopets and hyped up children, the fading sound of laugher leading the way to his next destination.
And then there was a scream.
A shrill, scratchy cry that made all the poor souls within earshot wince in discomfort. When the noise died down and Mitch thought it was safe to uncover his ears, he physically shook as there was another one. And another one. And soon the air was filled with the distressed cries and mews of Fyora-knows-what.
Whatever was happening, it couldn’t good. Mitch dashed over to find the source, ears still covered as he passed by those who wanted to get away from the ear-wrenching sounds. He probably knew who started this. And he hoped that he was wrong.
Soon enough Mitch found himself staggering in front of Kadoatery.
“The lights! The lights! SOMEONE GET THE DARNED LIGHTS!”
“Hurry! The Kadoaties, they’re – “
“AH HA HA HA HA HA HA ~ !”
Mitch groaned. Uh oh.
The doors burst open then, heightening the volume of the cries, and Mitch spotted Eletik slither out in all his Krawk glory, a mischievous grin on his face with Kadoaties clinging to his arms and legs. Soon terrified Kadoaties were scrambling out of the building, eager to get away from the darkness with the equally distressed caretakers running out after them.
“Oh! Hey, Mitch!” The Krawk skipped on over to his friend, the latter trying to capture one of escaped feline Petpets.
Eletik didn’t notice the glare he got as he began talking excitedly, “Oh man, dude! I was inside trying to feed them, right? Then I saw this sign that said ‘Please don’t turn off the lights’ and I thought it was pretty weird. Who’d turn off the lights, anyway? So, I went in the back to find more food, but it was too dark, and then I had an idea! I found all these switches on the wall and I started to flip some of them, and then – “
“Eletik!” He was cut off by Mitch, who was whimpering as he attempted to hold onto the whining Kadoatie in his arms. “T-The Kadoaties, you idiot, c-catch them!”
The rest of the hour was filled with frantic chases throughout the plaza. Luckily, it ended peacefully, with all the little Petpets back in their cages in a now well-lit Kadoatery. All thanks to the two of them, the caretakers, and the good-natured Neopians who helped them out (being the kind souls they were, or just to stop the horrible cries). After that, Mitch apologized and apologized and promised that he wouldn’t let Eletik inside without supervision ever again.
“Those things are loud, aren’t they?” Eletik laughed, rubbing his ears(?) as the two of them left the area. “I forgot they were afraid of the dark, little scaredy cats!”
Mitch couldn’t bring himself to say anything. He just let out a shaky breath and put on a (very) strained smile. “Ah. W-well, yeah. Just... don’t run off again, o-okay? W-We need to finish the grocery shopping first before we do anything.”
The Krawk just laughed casually, as if that was the obvious answer, giving the Bori a rather hard slap on the back. “Okay, okay. I’ll wait until after we’re done! I won’t do anything this time, promise!”
“Of course! You can trust me, can’t you?”
“Okay then, let’s go!”
When Mitch turned from the counter to see the lack of a certain hyperactive Krawk, he already felt the irritation and panic rise dangerously high inside him. He was actually pretty surprised with himself that he didn’t see this coming. I should’ve known.
But instead of rushing off to find his friend, his feelings just sort of slipped away as he paid the Quiggle clerk for his purchase, the next few things on the list. Chokato jam, a bowl of yoghurt, some organic fruit straight from Meridell. He left the Healthy Foods Shop feeling drained and hopeless.
It didn’t make much sense to Mitch. Wasn’t Eletik his best friend? Wasn’t he the same age as him? Wasn’t it Eletik himself who insisted that he come along to help him out with the shopping? Mitch frowned as he realized that it was just an excuse for him to run free without any consequences from any adult-like figures. He felt like he was being used. And now, of all things, the Krawk was lost once again.
“I feel like a mom,” the Bori muttered to himself as he read the list again, not really taking in what it said. “R-running around without a c-care in the world, l-leaving me alone just to do whatever h-he wants! A-And he always gets us in trouble, too - !”
He started walking furiously, ranting to himself under his breath about Eletik this and Eletik that. He gave off such a dark aura that the shoppers around him steered clear of the little Bori’s way, not wanting to catch the eye of the troubled Neopet. Mitch didn’t seem to notice, however. He just went on and on to himself as he quickened his pace to relieve some stress, sending anyone in his way a ‘don’t-touch-me-please-I’m-very-angry’ look.
Soon, out of breath (because he’d never run out of things to rant about) with eyes totally not tearing up, the Bori found himself near the Wishing Well.
There was a passing thought that he was glad Eletik wasn’t there with him. He wasn’t in the mood for fishing Krawks out of a well. But Mitch sauntered over to it, glad to see that there weren’t many eager Neopians gathering around it that day.
He peered curiously down it, noting the worn-out and earthy feel of the bricks and how the bucket that hung from it was surprisingly shiny and clean. Mitch knew that lots of people went to the Wishing Well to, obviously, wish for something. He’d heard of a rather poor Ruki who donated a little bit of his shop till every day for his wish, and one Sunday morning he found a Gallion sleeping on his doorstep.
“It’s not like I n-need anything, th-though,” Mitch thought aloud, wondering if it was really worth it. He didn’t have much spare money anyway, the rumor being you have to wish ‘generously’.
But Mitch, in his current mood, didn’t think there was anything more to lose. Besides, he knew that people took the change in the well to help towards the Soup Kitchen, so why not? He fished out a spare coin from his shopping bags, and flipped it lazily into the well. “I h-hope this day doesn’t e-end badly.” He sighed, pulling away from it timidly as another Bori came and decided to cast a wish, too.
Feeling his frustration rise again, he left and began walking aimlessly, listening to the voices of the marketplace and wondering how in Neopia he was going to find his crazy friend now.
“What? Koori, you spent all the money on books!?”
“- Stop hitting Emily with that twig, Gabby - !”
“I’m, like, telling you, pink is totally your color.”
“And then here comes this crazy Krawk, laughing his head off –“
“A Tiki Tour sounds good about now! Can we go, please, can we - ?”
Mitch almost stopped dead in his tracks. Was that was he thought it was? He jerked around to see two Hissies slither past him, both of them looking like they nearly got rolled over by the Turmaculus.
“So this kid wanted to make the chocolate?”
“Yeah! Then he somehow manages to head into the back room, and comes out, being pushed out by one of the chocolatiers, practically covered in chocolate and mint - !”
“Gee, kids these days! No wonder he was Electric coloured. Aha, what a guy! Oh, now tell me, was he banned from the store?”
Mitch didn’t bother waiting to find out.
After finding Eletik again (this time in the Grooming Parlour, covered in not only sugary sweets but raspberry-scented foam soap as well), Mitch dragged him outside by the tail, already upbraiding him with every last bit of Bori energy left inside him. And Eletik, for once, kept mostly quiet and stumbled along, bubbles and chocolate leaving a trail behind them.
As soon as they got home, Mitch decided that he would ignore Eletik for the rest of the day. Which didn’t seem like a problem, the Krawk rushing to the shower and disappearing somewhere in the house, seeming to sense how much his friend was fuming right now. The Bori managed to put all of the groceries away in peace.
Later in the day, Mitch was in his room, lying down face flat on his bed, too tired to even think of anything else to do. His own Snicklebeast couldn’t even cheer him up. Really, he would never be able to show his face in the bazaar after this...
He heard footsteps (strangely soft, quiet footsteps) and glanced up briefly to see the Krawk, smiling but... was he sad?
Mitch groaned into his pillow, not bothering to look up anymore. Whatever Eletik was going to do now, he would rather not be a part of it.
“Hey, uh...” He heard some shuffling, and a nervous cough. “Oh! I have something for you, Mitch!”
Mitch heard more footsteps and felt something land on his bed. “No, really! You’re really gonna like this one this time! I thought that you wanted something like this, so, I found some for you. Well, um... I’m gonna go leave now, seeyoubye!” Before Mitch could bring himself to sigh again, he heard the Krawk scramble out of his room, not laughing or giggling, but just skipping out in silence.
Odd. The Bori brought himself to sit up, his Snicklebeast pushing a familiar cardboard box towards him. Mitch tensed. If he knew better, he knew there were probably more Petpetpets swarming inside, or a Spyder ready to jump out at him, or something just as startling...
But he heard nothing from inside the box. And leaning in to hold it, he saw there was a short message scribbled in crayon on the top of it.
I’m sorry! :(
Mitch frowned, still suspicious, and decided he might as well get it over with. So he opened the box.
He blinked. And blinked again. He rubbed his eyes, shocked at first, then doubtful, and then his face softened with a charmed smile on his face. Managing to leap off the bed to catch up with his friend, he called after him, face glowing while waving the contents of the box in his hands.
Two tickets to see the Neopian Philharmonic.
My first time writing for the NT! If you're reading this, that must mean I got in =D I hope you enjoyed my little tale!