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Nowhere To Go But Up


by taravdr

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      It was in the middle of the night when Baby blue JubJub Claire woke up, scared and alone in the Haunted Woods. All she could see in the distance, was a sign saying "Edna's Tower". Confused as to how she wound up there, she proceeded to slowly tip-toe towards the large castle. Glowing with green, it seemed to be the safest place around. To her left, were creepy faces on sticks. Except they weren't faces. They were faceless faces. She didn't understand what these things were, so she hurried up to the front of the tower.

      As she stood at the entrance, it didn't look as safe as she originally thought. The tower now had large green eyes that seemed to stare back at her. The way in appeared to be a large dark mouth, ready to swallow up any innocent neopets. She took a deep breath in, and then made her way inside the darkness.

      The first thing she came to, were steps that seemed to lead to an upstairs. "Should I walk up? Do I try to call for a neopet?" These were all thoughts that ran into her mind. However she was too afraid to say a word. All her courage was used to go up the staircase, one step at a time. Each step creaked more than the previous one; she was certain there was a neopet listening at the top of the stairs. It was still pitch black, and she only had enough vision to see where her feet were going. Her hearing was working perfectly fine, however, and she heard a voice chuckling.

      “Welcome, my dear neopet. Have you come to help me with my latest spell?” The voice stated. Claire was still coming up the steps, and still could not see the figure that was speaking, but she decided to say something.

      “Umm… actually I need your help. I don’t know where I am, or how I ended up here. Can you please… help me?”

      “What’s your name little JubJub? I am Edna, but many neopians know me as The Witch. If you do me a favor, I will help you out. It’s that simple.” Edna replied.

      “Oh… well… my name is Claire… but I don’t think I can do anything to help you out… I don’t know this area very well at all. I’m also very hungry and...”

      “Hush Claire, I will give you 1,950 neopoints. Now, all you have to do is head over to The Deserted Fairground. If you go straight, and turn right at the Castle of Eliv Thade, you will see it. Once you enter The Deserted Fairground, buy yourself some food. There will be enough neopoints to get you full, and get me what I need.” Edna interrupted. She was very pushy, but Claire was hungry, and Edna did offer her food.

      “Well… okay. What is it I need to get you?” Claire asked. She was still very hesitant and scared.

      “I need you to hunt for a Ghostkerchief Dagger. I won’t tell you where you can find one, because that would be too easy. Bring me that, and I will reward you. Travel safely; you never know what may happen in The Deserted Fairground.”

      And with that, Claire was on her way. Back in the middle of the Haunted Woods, she felt just as alone and frightened as she did before she met The Witch. Except now she had a mission; get food and get the Ghostkerchief Dagger. She followed Edna’s directions as best as she could. She walked down the path, past the Halloween Paint Brushes, and came to the corner next to the Castle of Eliv Thade. That castle looked even scarier than Edna’s Tower, so she quickly hurried to her right, and now faced the entrance to the Deserted Fairground.

      Claire stood at the entrance, gazing up at the skull and bones on the sign. “I can’t do this. I’m too young to be on my own. I just want to know where I’m from. I didn’t ask for this!” Claire started to cry, and realized she had nothing to even wipe her tears with, but her feet. She realized that her stomach was grumbling, so she needed to find food. Crying wasn’t going to help her, so she mustered up all her confidence, and walked right through those gates.

      The first thing she noticed, was all the pumpkins. They didn’t look as nice as she had hoped they would be; even the ones that were smiling didn’t seem friendly. She came to something that read ‘Cork Gun Gallery’, and decided to ask any neopian there if they knew where she could find food.

      “Excuse me, miss? Do you know where I can find food? I’m very hungry…” Claire asked politely.

      “Why, yes I do! My name is Lyanka. And for just 100 neopoints, I’ll let you aim with this cork gun and shoot for a prize of your desire. If you miss, you’re out of luck. We do have many food prizes, so shoot carefully!” Lyanka, the blue Aisha replied. Claire immediately gave her 100 neopoints, and aimed for what seemed to be a box of salted seaweed. Her foot shook a little, as she was scared to miss, and finally took her shot.

      “Sorry! Try again. That’ll be another 100 neopoints.” Lyanka stated. Claire felt horrible, wasting 100 neopoints on this game when she could be spending it on real food. She still needed the Ghostkerchief Dagger too, if she ever wanted help to find her way back to where she came from.

      “Umm…no thanks… I will be on my way now… thank you.” Claire started to walk away, and noticed something called Bagatelle.

      “This looks like a nice game! Jackpot is 2,380,500 neopoints? Count me in!” She said to the man running the game.

      “The name’s Harker. For 250 neopoints, I’ll throw a Mootix ball. Wherever it lands, gets you a prize! The higher the number, the better the prize. Ready to play?”

      “Yes! Yes! Here, 250 neopoints!” Claire replied. Harker threw the Mootix ball, and Claire watched impatiently, hoping for the jackpot.

      “We have a loser! You can try again, but that’ll be another 250 neopoints.” Harker stated.

      “Umm… maybe on my way back. Thanks.” Claire responded. She didn’t want to seem rude, but she had a suspicion that maybe these games were rigged. She figured she should stop playing and focus on her main goal. She walked away and never looked back.

      As she got to a corner between a scary robot Chia clown and many scary pumpkins, she noticed a sign saying “Spooky Food”. “Food! I found it!” She exclaimed. She ran over to the shop, and immediately walked in; no hesitation.

      All the food looked different than what she was used to. “Do you have any bacon and broccoli omelettes?” Claudia asked the shopkeeper.

      “No. What you see is what I have. I assure you it’s yummy!” The vampiric Bruce declared.

      “Oh… well I’ll take a mummy spaghetti.”

      “That’ll be 334 neopoints. Have a spooky night!” The Bruce replied.

      Claudia made her way out of the shop, now with only 1,266 neopoints left. She now had to find the Ghostkerchief Dagger. Surrounded by numerous games, this Deserted Fairground didn’t seem to give out many prizes. She wasn’t about to waste any more neopoints, because she hadn’t a clue how much it would cost for the Dagger. She headed back towards the corner where the robot Chia clown and the pumpkins were, and from far could see a large axe. She crept closer, hoping it was some sort of weapon shop. Sitting right next to another game with a sign that read “Coconut Shy”, was what seemed at first like a large rock. As she came closer, it glowed just like The Witch’s Tower, except yellow and orange instead of green. This shop oddly enough seemed less inviting than Edna’s. Claire then saw the sign; “Haunted Weaponry”.

      “Yes! I think I found it!” Claire shouted. She was so excited about the sign, she forgot about how spooky the shop looked. She hurried in, only to find out that it was quite lovely inside, apart from all the scary looking weaponry.

      “Excuse me, sir? I’m looking for a Ghostkerchief Dagger. Do you happen to have one?” Claire questioned, with urgency in her voice.

      “I do have one left. 1,350 neopoints and it’s yours young JubJub.” The large strong Scorchio offered.

      “Oh no… I only have 1,266 neopoints left. I need this very badly… is there any way you could…”

      “Sold. Make sure to handle this with care, as it can be very dangerous in the right hands. Have yourself a safe night.” The Scorchio interrupted. Claire was sure glad he did. Now she had exactly what Edna needed, so it was off to the Tower.

      With no neopoints left, she knew not to fall for the Deserted Fairground games anymore, and kept her head up and feet walking. She came out of the Fairground the same way she came in; past the skull and bones sign. She was thankful that she was no longer there anymore, and was now terrified of pumpkins.

      She made it to Edna’s Tower, and this time took no delay in entering it, and even ran up the stairs this time. She was so happy to be bringing Edna the Dagger that she tripped in her feet running up the steps and the Ghostkerchief Dagger went flying.

      “Welcome back, Claire! I see you’ve flown to me the Ghostkerchief Dagger I asked for. Good work.” Edna exclaimed as she noticed the Dagger thrown across the room.

      “Oh… I’m so sorry Edna, I didn’t mean…”

      “Hush, my dear. I was only joking.” Edna interrupted once again. Claire started to wonder if all neopians in the Haunted Woods interrupted neopets when they talk. She knew better than to ask silly questions. This time, she knew what she was here for.

      “Well, I got your Ghostkerchief Dagger, now I want what I came here for.” Claire demanded. For once, she wasn’t scared. “I would like to know where I’m from. Why did I wake up in the middle of the Haunted Woods? With nothing on me to survive or even live?” Claire questioned her. Edna was now brewing the Ghostkerchief Dagger in a large black pot. She assumed it was for the spell she needed to make.

      “I’m afraid I don’t have any information you want to hear. You see, sometimes in Neopia, Neopets are put up for adoption. They are sent to the pound and abandoned. We don’t really know why, but some of us aren’t wanted. Some are thrown in the middle of nowhere, to fend for themselves. I believe this is what happened in your case.” Edna confessed, and for the first time, she had sadness in her voice.

      “You mean…I’m really all alone? No one wants me?” Claire asked, with tears in her eyes.

      “Don’t look at it like that, Claire. How do you think I got to where I am? All of the most successful Neopians have been thrown on their own, with nowhere to go. That is what makes us so strong; we have been through hard times. For it is not where you came from that matters, it is the journey.” Edna explained.

      Claire thought about it in silence for a few seconds, pondering the information that was just thrown at her. She thought, maybe Edna is right. Just because we aren’t wanted, or we’re alone, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road.

      Claire sighed, and then proceeded, “I have to admit… I am disappointed. But when you’re down, there’s nowhere to go but up, right?” Claire asked.

      “Nowhere to go but up and away from the Deserted Fairground.” Edna replied, with a wink.

      Claire winked back, turned around, and headed down the stairs of the Tower. She headed out, without hesitation, far away from the Haunted Woods, to discover the world that’s out there. Promising herself to never play another game in the Deserted Fairground.

      The End

 
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