Jealousy: A Tale of Two Salesmen
"Don't leave me."
The silver Lenny stared blankly at her companion,
a gangly red Shoyru. Her startling amber gaze swept tartly over the house in
front of them and then back to her friend. For a second, just a mere second
mind you, she looked apprehensive.
"Smitty," she sighed to her friend. "Smitty,
Smitty, Smitty. There are some things, some situations in life that you must
accomplish by yourself. By yourself," she repeated for emphasis.
"Grai, sometimes it's like you want me to suffer.
I-I-I mean you're my business partner, you should help me with this. I-I mean,
please, we're a new business; just help me with this one, please."
The Lenny looked down her beak at her companion,
then she swept her gaze up to the house before them. It was tall, so tall that
Grai would be sure to say it could reach nearly to Faerieland. There was story
after story and countless windows. Its pale blue paint was chipping and the
roof seemed to sag. This was the house no one came to, no one ventured to its
door. No one. No one in their right mind would.
But you don't know Grai. Yet.
Grai was one determined Lenny; she'd gladly jump
up for a challenge and was known to all the other salesmen in Neopia Central
as 'ruthless', 'cunning' and 'cold.' 'Sly Grai' was what she was better known
Now let me introduce her partner. He stood nearly
a full head above Grai. His arms seemed too long, his wings too big, his red
color annoyingly bright. He was clumsy and forgetful but ultimately kind. Now
what's someone like Smitty doing with Grai? Well, not many know, but if you
ask me I'd say it was because they had developed a faithful friendship. But
that's just me.
"Go on, Smitty, I'm right behind you," Grai urged
impatiently. At her words Smitty hesitantly leaned into the front gate which
swung open with a rusty creeeak and he stooped to pick up his briefcase. Smitty
moved forward up the walkway as though walking on Draik Eggs -well, maybe not
Draik eggs. I'm not sure they would like him walking on them that much- while
Grai followed him taking long, leisurely steps. Her face was set in a determined,
somewhat intimidating smirk. She had guessed (and hoped) for sometime that this
house and its occupant could be the answer to her and Smitty's career. This
was a vital sell that they were about to make. If they could.
Dear Fyora, Grai thought with a sudden
grimace, I hope he doesn't mess it up.
Smitty was now on the porch. He looked about
as though he was about to jump into a pit of brainrolls and rotten neggs that
had been conveniently left in the road. In short he looked as though he was
going to vomit.
He knocked on the door.
He bit his lip but did not dare to look back
What am I going to do, what am I going to
do, he panicked wildly. Please, get to the door!
And then the doorknob was turning ever so slightly.
Smitty straightened his back and put on a weak attempt to match Grai's signature
And the door opened.
"What?" a sharp voice snapped that caused Smitty
to jump several feet in the air.
"Who's there?" he yelped into the dark doorway
ahead of him. He turned quickly back to Grai to send her a frantic glare.
"Oh, Smitty." Grai strode up to the porch practically
radiating disappointment. "Did you already scare the old dear away?"
"What old dear? You better not be talking about
me. I am still young, you know," the voice snapped again cutting the air.
"GRAI!" Smitty was now hovering anxiously in
the air a few feet away from the door. "There IS no 'old dear'. A voice! Hear
it? Huh?! Grai!"
"I am not old!"
"Who said that, Smitty?" Grai stretched her long
neck peering into the doorway. "Helloo? Helloooo? It's your neighborhood salesmen
here, care to have a little chat?"
"Salespeople?" The nothingness in the doorway
laughed. "Haven't had you guys visit in a while."
Grai showed no surprise that she could not see
her client. She just smiled sweetly.
"You must be Ms. Ebonli," she said quietly.
"Got that right," said the voice loudly. "So,
I suppose you know of me? I suppose you've heard just all about my marvelous
Beauty Contest days?"
"I've heard a little of your achievements." Grai
nodded and then sent a mischievous look to poor Smitty, who was still hanging
back looking utterly confused. "You were quite a winner when you were younger,
"Young? I am still young, you dung brain. I'm
not ancient. I am more of refined. The older the piano, the sweeter the song,
or whatever it is."
"Violin," whispered Smitty.
"Ms. Ebonli, my partner here and I have a proposition
for you. Mr. Smitty, take it away." With a flourish of her dull, gray wing Grai
beamed and motioned toward Smitty and his briefcase.
"You better not be selling me dentures," the
Smitty looked panicked. No, more than panicked.
More like a combo of panic, franticness, and undeniable fear.
"Um, hello." He squinted at the darkness in the
doorway. His great big wings seemed to close around his body, as if he were
cold. "Did getting an, um, ahh, invisible," he gulped, "petpet seem like a good
idea? Can finding your petpet be a pain? Do you lose your invisible petpet for
long periods of time? If- if so, then EZ C is the item for you."
"Go on," the voice said, its tone unreadable.
"Formulated by topnotch scientists, this is a
spray that will change your relationship with your petpet. Just take your EZ
C spray can and generously apply to petpet. Um, um, make sure that it IS your
petpet you are spraying. Wait for... for ten minutes and wah-lah, your visibility
of your petpet will have increased by 20%! Your petpet will still be invisible
but you will be able to make out a rough, silvery outline of its body...
"Uh. Buy your own EZ C for just 2,000 NP
a bottle." Smitty looked a bit more confident and less sheepish as he said this.
"That's right, folks, only 2,000 NP!"
He stopped, exhaled deeply and waited. Smitty's
bright green eyes stared determinedly into the doorway.
"I," the voice said, suddenly sounding very tired
and very old, "was once the most beautiful Wocky ever. I won golden trophy
after golden trophy. I had, oh, so many adoring fans. I was an icon. A symbol.
The electric Wocky."
Grai folded her wings, a sly smile on her. She
had quite obviously heard this tale before.
"Many, as I said adored me. And sadly even more
envied me. That's where things went wrong. One day I was strolling innocently
down Neopia Central, just around Bread Street. I was surrounded by fans (as
usual). Someone pushed through my crowd of adorers. She was a pretty Wocky;
I'd seen her around before. She competed along beside me. She smiled convincingly
at me. She pulled out a bottle from the bag she was toting. 'Want your fur to
shine, Ebonli? This stuff works like a charm! I swear! It doesn't leave residue
or anything!' Really? I said. How much? 'Well...' Her smile faltered for a moment.
'I'm a little short for cash, I mean we all can't be winners like you, so I'd
have to say 75,000 NP. And honestly that's being cheap. This stuff's amazing!'
I happened to have enough money on me to buy it. She sounded so genuine. So
friendly. I went home and rubbed it through my fur and then went to bed... When
I woke up... I looked like- like nothing. That, that girl had put invisible
paint in the shampoo. I was so foolishly ashamed and without thinking I fled
from my Neohome and into the woods. I didn't have enough money to buy a new
paintbrush, so instead I scrounged up my remaining money and hid in this old
house. Many devoted fans have come looking for me but I've scared them off pretending
to be a ghost. I was so ashamed of my appearance, I've cut off all contact from
the outside world... How did you hear of me?"
Grai seemed to jolt out of a daze.
"Oh! I was selling some beauty products awhile
ago and I came across an old withered Wocky, who after she bought a good amount
of supplies she confided in me that once upon a time she had ruined the career
of a most famous other Wocky. She told me the story. I thought that we might
be able to help you."
"For a fee?" the voice scoffed goodheartedly.
"Of course," Smitty chimed in shyly. He opened
up his briefcase to reveal several turquoise bottles branded in pink lettering
EZ C! SEE YOUR PETPET! "No scam, I promise."
"Oh, the wonders of kindness," said the voice.
"They will take you two far."
The silver Lenny and the annoyingly bright Shoyru
walked down the steps of an old, decaying house, smiling. The trees around them
drooped with autumn colored leaves and the sky was clouded. A small breeze ruffled
the Lenny's wings as she glanced back at the house. In the doorway stood a beautiful
Wocky. Grai had to squint to see her faint outline but she too was smiling.
Hope you liked this. Comments, questions and criticism is CRAVED by the
author. -Thank you