The Runaway Child Who Actually Helped Out
The sun engulfed the entire Lost Desert with its fiery heat. As a result, uncomfortable Neopets sought refuge in their houses, trying to find a source of cold air that was nonexistent. As Chessella and her sisters walked into the vacation home they had rented, they began to wish they had chosen a different location for their Spring Break getaway.
"It's SOOOOOOO hot in this wasteland!" whined Ella's sister Walda. "I wanna go home!"
"Stop it, you baby," frowned Maldice, one of the other sisters. "You knew we were going to a desert. What did you expect?"
"A liveable environment," grumbled Walda.
Ella clapped her hands. "Anyway," she began, "where should we go today?"
"Maybe to the Food Stall," answered Walda. "I wanna see what kinds of chocolate—"
"NO!!!" all three of her sisters replied in unison.
"Fine, then. I'm staying home."
Her three sisters turned away. "Maybe I could give her one piece," began Ella, "to get her off the couch."
"Absolutely NOT!" snapped Maldice. "Every time she has chocolate, she ends up on a sugar rush and embarrasses us! Remember when she made that colossal scene in the restaurant?"
"On my birthday, nevertheless," frowned Angie, another sister.
"Remember that disastrous Valentine's Day?" continued Maldice. "She ate all her classmates' candy, ran away from school, and almost became another one of Jhudora's victims! The word "chocolate" is forbidden in this family! I repeat, FORBIDDEN!"
While her three sisters were squabbling, Walda ran out the door in search of chocolate. No scorching blaze would ever stop her from getting the sweet, sugary taste. She arrived in Sakhmet and made her way through the crowd until she reached the Food Stall. She put her small amount of pocket money down on the table and asked the Shopkeeper, "Do you have any chocolate?"
"No, sorry," he began, "but I do have this Grackle Bug on a Stick..." He waved the insect in her face.
"EEEWWW!" screamed Walda, dashing away. She had never heard of the bugs eaten by other cultures, and therefore, she was taken aback. "Get that yucky thing away from me..." she whimpered.
Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and saw a lovely princess, adorned in soft robes and shimmering gold. "What's wrong?" asked the princess.
"I went to the Food Stall," answered Walda, "and the Shopkeeper waved a dead BUG in my FACE! EWWW!" She stared at the ground unhappily.
"I guess you're a tourist," began the princess, "so you've never eaten a bug. Don't worry—you don't have to eat it. What would you like to eat instead?"
"Chocolate," grinned Walda.
"...That would be very hard to find here in the desert. Chocolate isn't eaten very often around here."
"WHY NOT?! It's amazing!"
"It's made from cacao beans, which won't grow here in the desert. As a result, it has to be imported for a huge fee."
"Oh. Is there a single piece of chocolate in this whole wide desert?"
"I don't think so. Sorry. Where are your parents?"
"My sisters? They're back at home."
"Do they know you're here?"
"Nope. I ran off while they were arguing."
The princess shook her head. "Please don't leave the house by yourself. It's not safe for a child."
Walda nodded nonchalantly. She wasn't listening by that point.
"I'll take you home. Where are your sisters?"
"What? Uh, they're in the vacation home, which is—"
The princess frowned with uncertainty as a massive sandstorm swirled around the desert, annihilating buildings and other structures in a fit of rage. "...There's no way we'll be walking through THAT," she shrugged. "I'll take you back to the palace."
Walda followed the princess into the luxurious castle. "Everyone!" yelled the princess. "Go to the basement! Take cover!"
"Yes, your majesty!" someone answered.
The princess escorted Walda down into the basement. "Stay here," she instructed. "I have to make sure the townspeople are okay." She sprinted back up to the surface.
Walda sat in the basement for a few minutes, but then she was consumed by boredom. She wandered around the cellar and began to rummage through boxes of goods. She had tossed aside many items of no interest to her when she heard two voices whispering.
One of them snickered. "What a PERFECT time to rob the place! We'll be rich."
"I can hardly wait!" answered the other. "Let's grab these golden statues.
Walda narrowed her eyebrows. After a few seconds, she decided that she probably wouldn't win against career criminals. However, she did intend to tell the princess about the theft upon her return.
Walda continued to sift through boxes until she gasped in delight. She had stumbled across AN ENTIRE BOX OF CHOCOLATE! Furiously gobbling the treats, she momentarily forgot about the sandstorm and the thieves. Nothing could trouble her when she was being carried away by chocolatey bliss.
She soon went off on a sugar rush. She dashed around the cellar, pushing boxes left and right. Oblivious to the destruction she was causing, she knocked down a heap of stones. They crashed onto the lower floor. Then she heard two creatures yelp in pain.
Walda stopped for a second. She frowned, concerned because she had hurt two people. However, then she concluded that the victims were actually the thieves. She smiled to herself, pleased that she had foiled a crime.
Then the princess came rushing in. "Walda!" she exclaimed, shaking her head. "Look at the mess you've made!"
"Yeah, but I caught two thieves," grinned Walda.
"What do you mean?" she asked. Then she saw the tails of two Meercas who had been crushed under the stones.
"...Good job," smirked the princess.
"Please... help us..." groaned one of the thieves. The princess ignored them, kicking the stones.
Then some of the Royal Staff arrived. "Oh, Amira, your majesty!" they exclaimed. "We were concerned because we heard a loud crash. What happened?"
"This child caught two wanted criminals," smiled Amira. "There are multiple warrants out for the arrests of Heermeedjet and Meerouladen, a duo of infamous thieves. Not bad for a kid."
Walda stifled her laughter as the two crooks were cuffed and dragged away. Then Amira turned to Walda. "The sandstorm has subsided," began Amira, "so I'll take you home."
The two arrived at the vacation home and found Walda's three sisters asleep on the couches. Walda jumped up and down excitedly, shouting out that she "caught the bad guys." Her sisters woke up, dazed by the confusion.
"Here is your runaway child," Amira told them.
"What? Runaway?" repeated Ella.
Amira's face reddened. "You... DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS MISSING?!" the princess fumed.
"Uh, no," answered Ella. "We passed out from heat stroke."
"She ran all the way to Sahkmet, relied on complete strangers for refuge from a vicious sandstorm, and encountered a pair of DANGEROUS, WANTED CAREER CRIMINALS..." Amira shook her head.
"Whaaaaaaat?" cried Ella.
Amira turned to Walda. "You tell your folks what happened. I have to check on the townspeople to see if anyone was injured." Then she walked out the door.
Walda gazed upward and saw three glaring faces. "YOU'RE GROUNDED!" yelled Maldice. "No toys, no playing with friends, and above all, NO CHOCOLATE!"
Walda stared at Maldice blankly.
"Go to your room! NOW!"
Walda ran upstairs. While it wasn't fun to be grounded, she had found chocolate, and she had caught two wanted thieves who would have robbed the palace otherwise. She felt that she could endure the wrath of her sisters in exchange for the arrest of the criminals. Strangely enough, all she could do was smile.