Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 127,331,912 Issue: 258 | 22nd day of Gathering, Y8
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Vampire Flowers

by rainbow_mist_wave


Also by elvenmirror24

It was a warm spring day when Pansy the red Usul skipped out to her flower garden behind her house. The garden was pretty secluded; it was cramped between the neighbor's fence and the back of Pansy's owner's shed. And it was all hers! Pansy sank down on the soft earth in the middle of her irises and daylilies, wiggling her ears in delight. This was her own little corner of heaven, and Pansy wouldn't have traded it for anything. She breathed the fresh spring air, heavily perfumed by the scents of her flowers, and began pulling weeds out of the soft earth, humming a little as she worked - if an Usul can be said to hum. Her reverie was disturbed by a loud creaking from the other side of the weatherworn fence along one side of her garden. Pansy sat up, ears twitching. The creaking grew louder, and then there was a thud. Curious, Pansy waded through the sea of flowers and pressed an eye against the knothole in the fence. She blinked a couple times, trying to get a good view. She could see two Lennies - one blue, one yellow - moving around in the yard next door. They had a box full of something between them and they were talking in low voices, bending over the box. The trapdoor to their underground cellar was open.

     What are they doing? Pansy wondered. Her Lenny neighbors were new and she knew nothing about them or what they were up to... She switched eyes and kept on watching through the knothole. Now the Lennies were lowering the box and taking something out of the box. Pansy twitched in impatience. What is that? she wondered, bewildered. Then the blue Lenny turned to go put the thing back in the box, and as Pansy saw him, she gave a startled gasp and leapt back from the knothole in shock. Inside the Lenny's blue feathers was something round... and black... with a wick sticking up from it...

    It's a bomb! Pansy thought in a panic. There's a BOMB next door! She scrambled away from the fence, shaking with fear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! she thought in a panic. I must tell someone... but Owner's out of town... they might not even be bombs. Oh dear, if only I knew! I know, I'll get Sappy... Pansy turned and bolted for the house as though ten hungry Grarrls were after her. She threw open the back door and charged into the living room, where her adopted Bori brother was sitting on the couch, reading a book. "Sappy! Sappy, I need you!" The shaking Usul wrenched the book from his claws and began shaking him. "Sappy, there's a b-b-bomb next door and t-t-t-the Lennies are p-p-p-putting it in their cellar and hurry up!"

     "There isn't any bomb," Sappy said lazily, reaching for the book. Pansy pulled it away.

     "Sappy, please come out and make sure it's not a bomb! Please!" She was nearly tugging him off the couch.

     "Fine," Sappy grumbled, shaking his sister off and walking towards back door quickly, book still in paw. Pansy followed behind wide-eyed.

     As soon as the two Neopets were outside, Pansy nodded frantically towards the two neighbors, who seemed to have gotten into an argument over the bomb. "There," she whispered. "See it?" The Usul pointed timidly to the blue one, the one who was currently holding the bomb. His body was only halfway visible, as he was halfway down the steps into the cellar. Thankfully the bomb was still in view.

     Sappy glared shortsightedly at the Lenny, shading his face with one paw. "Hmm," he muttered. "I... whoa!" The blue Bori's eyes widened for a moment. "We better get back into the house," he said finally. The Bori took a deep breath and walked stolidly back to the house.

     "So?" Pansy asked breathlessly. "What do you think?"

     Sappy gulped. "That is most certainly a bomb," he wailed as he melodramatically waved his paws in all directions. "This is a disaster! A catastrophe! We have neighbors that plan to blow up the whole neighborhood!" The Bori shuddered, shook, and shivered.

     After a few seconds, Pansy grew tired of her older brother's antics. "Quit it!" she snapped. "This is no time to panic. All we have to do is steal it!" Sappy's face brightened. Pansy continued on, outlining her plans in detail. Once she was done with her intense tirade, she grinned, flopping on a convenient chair.

     "Wow," Sappy said helpfully, in a considerate, awed tone.

     Pansy looked smugly around herself. She was a genius, no doubt about it. Suddenly she frowned. In all this, she'd totally forgotten to water her plants.

- - - -

     "Is this a good idea?" Sappy asked again, arranging his black cloak around him. You could barely see the pair in the midnight darkness.

     Pansy nodded. "Yes, it is, trust me." She patted Sappy's shoulder. "Now you go up to the door and distract them while I steal the bombs, ok?"

     "You're the craziest person ever," Sappy hissed. He clamped on his metal mixing-bowl helmet and adapted a heroic stance.

     "Okay." Pansy arranged her black cape around her. "Go to it!"

     Sappy slid out of the bushes and scrambled up onto the porch, heading to the front door. He arranged his cloak and rang the doorbell. Silence. Sappy rang it again. This time there was a shuffling on the other side of the door. Then the handle turned and a blue Lenny stuck his head out of the door, rubbing at his eyes.

     "What do you want?" he groaned. "It's 1:00 A.M."

     "Uh, Honored Gentleman," Sappy started. "I am Glutinous Maximums, the noble door-to-door seller and uh, I... " The Lenny was losing interest. Sappy began pulling something out from the back of his cape. "So," he said boldly, "I have come to sell you... " He pulled out the object and held it up to the moonlight. "A CABBAGE GRATER!"

     The Lenny stared at the spoon in Sappy's claws. "Cabbage grater?" he repeated dazedly.

     "Um... yes! It's Titanium Platinum twenty-first Century Cabbage Grater!" Sappy insisted. When would that hare-brained sister of his get done?!

     Pansy darted around to the cellar as soon as Sappy got the Lenny's attention, and began heaving on the trap door. After a few moments, the door creaked open a few inches. Pansy slipped into the darkness, trying to shut the heavy trapdoor behind her softly. Unfortunately, in the process, she lost her balance and went tumbling down the cellar stairs; the trapdoor slamming shut behind her.

     The two standing on the porch heard the slam. "What was that noise?" the Lenny asked.

     "That was your heart," Sappy improvised hurriedly. "It's pounding so hard out of excitement at the sight of this wonderful product that you can hear it!"

     "Really?" the blue Lenny said doubtfully.

     "Certain," Sappy said with a grin. He was beginning to sweat.

     Groaning and rubbing her sore back, Pansy got up and began feeling her way through the darkness. The Usul kept on tripping on her cloak as she bumped her way through the boxes and barrels stacked in the cellar. Then she felt a shelf, then a box. She took off the lid and felt inside... her paws felt something cold and round... It's the bombs! she thought. The Usul began shaking in fear, sweat dripping down her. Slowly she picked up the cold objects, tucking them in her cloak, and began stumbling towards the cellar stairs. Pansy ran into several stacks before she found the stairs. Clumsily she tied up the bombs in the cloak, paws shaking from fear. She began climbing up the stairs... one step at a time, always expecting for a bomb to roll out of her cloak and explode. Then she was pushing up on the trapdoor, heaving with all her might. After a few minutes of desperate shoving, the door inched open and she began rolling out the bombs. She scrambled out, bent under the weight of the heavy wood. As she slid out, the door slammed shut behind her with a crash. Pansy grabbed the bombs and began to run.

     "There it is again!" the Lenny cried. He began walking around off the porch.

     Sappy saw a small figure running off towards his house, and guessed it was Pansy. He had to distract the Lenny. "Sir!" he yelled, leaping off the porch. "The cabbage grater must flee to distant lands! May all your wildest dreams come true!" And with that, he began running towards his house, stumbling over his cloak as he ran.

     Pansy groaned as she leapt over the low shrubs that lined the edge of her yard. She should really get those shrubs trimmed. She landed and tore off her cloak, leaving it sprawled in the grass beside her. She tugged at the box lid angrily. It resisted her. The Usul tugged harder. The lid still wouldn't come. Pansy growled. As she tired, she put the box down, giving it one last pull. Suddenly, the box lid came flying into her face, hitting her nose. Pansy stared hard at the box, then stuck her paw in for one of the pesky bombs. Once in the moonlight, the bomb didn't look so scary. Neither did the other two that the box yielded. It was rather disappointing. It was at this point that Pansy realized that she had no utensil with which to dig. As she had planned to bury the bombs, this was a small setback. She decided to dig with her own paws.

     "Miss Pansy?"

     Pansy looked up wide-eyed, sweeping the bombs behind her back. "Oh!" She smiled as sweetly as she could manage, picking up her watering can. "Mister Lorrie! What news?"

     The Lenny peered over the hedge, brows furrowed slightly. "Yes, I suppose so," he said gruffly. "I heard some noises, so I came to investigate. ...What are you doing, may I ask?"

     Pansy coughed and peered over her flowers. "I was watering my flowers," she stuttered. "They're, um, vampire flowers, so I was told by my florist, um, Karen, that it's better to water them under the moonlight!" She grinned sheepishly.

     The Lenny leaned further over the bushes. "Really." He seemed rather unconvinced. "Anyway, I believe your brother was just over, trying to sell me a spoon he was passing off as a cabbage grater. Why would that be?" The Lenny raised an eyebrow and attempted to look behind her back. "Oh, what's that?" He seemed surprised. Too surprised. And happy. This was going all wrong.

     "Um, nothing," Pansy said, glaring at her neighbor.

     The Lenny glanced at the open box on the ground then up at Pansy. "Do you happen to have my candles behind your back?" he asked, grinning.

     "Candles?" Pansy asked suspiciously.

     "Candles," the Lenny laughed. "For my daughter's birthday next week."

     "Not... bombs?" Pansy asked weakly.

     "Blackberry scented candles," the neighbor replied. "Take a whiff."

     Pansy reached thoughtfully behind her back, smelling the supposed candle thoroughly. She slumped. "I guess you're right," the Usul sighed. "Just candles. Not bombs."

     "How about giving me my candles back, then?"

     Pansy piled all three candles back into the box and handed them over the hedge sadly. "I'm really sorry about this," she muttered sheepishly. "I thought..."

     "Well," the Lenny cocked his head, "perhaps they shouldn't make them quite so dark or round." The Lenny turned to go, box in hand. "Oh, that's right. Tell your brother that he can work on his salesmanship. It wasn't quite convincing."

     Pansy laughed nervously. "Yeah, I'll tell him. See you, Mister Lorrie." Pansy walked to the back door and up the stairs to her room. She slipped into her bed. Just as she was getting comfortable, she remembered she still hadn't watered her flowers. "Rats. Stupid flowers," she groaned, as she slipped off to sleep.

The End

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