“Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Vira’s latest evil plot foiled!” The Kougra paperboy walked up to the large, purple faerie sitting on the busy street corner. Because he was dimwitted, he decided she must be the faerie queen. He shoved the paper in her face. “Hey lady, want to buy a paper?”
“Who the hey are you! Me, buy a paper from you!”
Taking a closer look, the paperboy recognized Jhudora. Dropping his papers, he fled in terror.
“Gee,” Jhudora remarked. “It’s good to see my reputation still precedes me. Now, any details about my latest plot?” She flipped through the Neopian Times, looking for any news of her latest bid to destroy Illusen, but found nothing.
After a while, in the back of the paper, she found one small column. It contained a brief mention about how two Illusen questers had eaten a cream-cookie bomb yesterday in Illusen’s glade. Since they were Skeiths, no harm had come to them, and Illusen sent them a basket of cream-cookies to say ‘thank you’.
“Drat! Foiled again!” remarked Jhudora. “My plots are barely mentioned in the Neopian Times anymore, and little Miss Vira, so called ‘Acara of Darkness’, is front page news! I need a new plot - something creative, something unique. Why can’t I even pull off the least tiny bit of evil? Why are my plots always found out? Maybe I should stop talking to myself when I plot! Especially when I’m in public!” Noticing the many people staring at her, she decided to go plot somewhere private. “To the cloud!”
Upon arrival at the cloud, she sent an irate Neomail to Michel, her publicist. “Dear Michel,” it read, “I hope this finds you in good health. As you might be aware of, my latest plot has been grievously foiled. If you have the time today, could you GET YOUR REAR OVER HERE, so we could have a friendly chat? Your best client, Jhudora.”
Ten minutes later, Michel rang on the door. He was clad in a bathrobe and had bits of shampoo in his fur, having just dashed out of the shower. He hated it when Jhudora was upset. She didn’t tip when she was like that. And, of course, she could be very dangerous. “Jhudy, darling, what’s wrong? Tell me about it,” the nervous Aisha said in what he hoped was a soothing voice.
“TELL YOU ABOUT IT!!” screamed Jhudora. She was madder that a just-kissed-Mortog, and twice as likely to explode. “Vira! Vira, Vira, Vira! She’s all everyone talks about these days! Sneaking mirrors into the Hidden Tower, disguising herself as a mirror salesman, everyone loves Vira! Nobody even thinks about me anymore! I NEED A NEW, EVIL, REALLY EVIL PLOT!!”
Dark green smoke spun around the petite publicist. A tendril spun around his neck, threatening to tighten. Franticly, he searched his brain. “A press conference! You can hold a press conference!”
“Is that your answer for all my problems? A stupid press conference! Whatever happened to evil plots! I need something evil, something that will make the papers! Any other ideas?”
The smoke began to tighten. In a high pitched voice, he yelped, “An evil press conference! When all the big reporters are here, we will hold them hostage! Then, if Neopia wants the reporters back, they will have to pay us millions of neopoints! If they don’t, we will make the reporters write a special newspaper all about Jhudora! It will be called ‘The Jhudora Times’! Vira doesn’t have her own paper! We will sell the papers so everyone can hear how great you are!”
Jhudora thought about it. After all, it seemed like one way to make headlines. Slowly, she calmed down, the green smoke drifting back into the cloud. Michel, relieved by the way things were going, continued, “And you can serve Poisoned Lollypops and Hypno Brew! You’re a great cook! By the time they eat, most will be under your control!”
“Great idea! I’ll go whip up a batch of Hypno Brew now!” Jhudora walked into the kitchen, humming a tune under her breath. What was more fun than cooking? She searched through her cupboards, looking for the ingredients. “Let’s see... big cauldron, essence of toadstool, eye of Techo, Puppyblew ears... Drat! Out of Puppyblew ears! Guess I have to buy more!”
She walked down to Potions Plus, her favorite ingredient shop. “Hey you,” she yelled at the shopkeeper, a young Kougra. “Got any Puppyblew ears?”
“Sorry, but the PPL banned Puppyblew ears last week. It’s part of this new thing they got, called H.A.P.P.Y. It stands for ‘Hearing, Alive Puppyblew Protesting You’.” He held up a piece of plastic. “They even gave me this nice button. Those PPL people sure are great!”
“Just great,” fumed Jhudora. “Guess I’ll just have to do this the old fashioned way.” She walked outside, looking for one of the homeless Puppyblews that wandered around Faerieland. After two hour, she was forced to admit defeat. Stumbling back into the shop, she screamed, “Where are the stupid Puppyblews?”
“Oh, them. The PPL took all of them off the streets and took them to a bunch of lonely Yurbles. They call it H.A.P.P.Y. That stands for ‘Heroically And Pleasantly Pleasing Yurbles’. They even gave me this nice button. Those PPL people sure are great!”
“Boy, are you dimwitted. Wait... You’re that paperboy! I’ll get you now!”
Suddenly afraid, the shopkeeper ran out of the shop screaming.
Jhudora helped herself to the money in the till and rare ingredients in the back. Then, feeling refreshed, she decided to look for a Puppyblew herself. As she walked down a dark street, she saw a tiny Puppyblew puppy. She grabbed it, holding it tightly so he couldn’t escape.
Holding the puppy in a tight hug, she walked back to the cloud. It was too bad she didn’t notice the photographer at the end of the street. As she reached the cloud, the Puppyblew squirmed out of her arms, running for the safety of a garbage can. “Just great,” muttered Jhudora, watching him sprint out of sight.
As she entered the cloud, Michel was sending off the notice for the press conference. It read, “Tomorrow at three, Jhudora will host a press conference about her evil schemes. Anyone can come, though questions not about evil will not be answered. It will be held on Jhudora’s cloud. Snacks will be served.”
“Wow, Michel. This place looks all nice and professional!” While she had been gone, Michel had set up tables and magical microphones. “I’m afraid we’ll have to serve Neocola™ instead of Hypno Brew. Do you really think people will come?”
“Jhudy, darling, of course people will come. Even though you have not been so popular lately, you still have a reputation of being positively evil! You are a master of it, an expert!”
Meanwhile, at the Neopian Times headquarters:
“Dude - did you see this?”
Dude, a green Nimmo, and editor of the ‘Villains And Plots’ section of the Neopian Times, stared at Meiki, his young Chia intern.
“Jhudora is hosting a press conference about how evil she is. Is anyone going?”
“Jhudora?” remarked Dude. “Wow. I haven’t heard a lot from her lately. Mostly, I just hear about Vira. But still, Jhudora is-” He never got to finish, because Marvin, the section photographer, ran in the door. His face seemed flushed, though as he was the reddest Kau Dude had even known, it was hard to tell.
“Speaking of Jhudora, guess what I just got a picture of? Jhudora hugging a Puppyblew puppy!” His face was flushed, but exhilarated. “This must be the shot of the century!” Everyone leaned over his shoulder, cramming in to see his candid shots.
“I don’t believe it!” Dude exclaimed. “Jhudora’s not evil at all! This shot’s for the front page! Forget that press conference. Anyone can tell Jhudora’s not going to talk about this, so let’s just type up a snappy headline for this sappy shot!”
Back at the cloud the next day, trouble was brewing. The tables and mikes were ready, a buffet table was set up, and Jhudora looked professional and evil in a green and purple suit. The only things not in place, in fact, were the reporters. “Michel! Where are they! It’s three thirty! Did Sloth do something really huge! MICHEL!!!”
The tiny publicist tiptoed in, every square inch of his skin radiating fear and unwillingness. “Jhudy, darling, I think it would be great if you went on a nice long vacation, maybe to Kreludor, possibly in disguise, for a long time! Doesn’t that sound like fun? I’ll go pack for you!” He turned, and started to leave the room.
“Stay right where you are! What’s going on! What did you do this time, you SPINELESS EXCUSE FOR A PUBLISIST!?!”
He paused, dropping a copy of that day’s Neopian Times on the ground. Jhudora picked it up, thumbing to the ‘Villains And Plots’ section, where a headline screamed out ‘Jhudora - Menacing Evil or Puppyblew Lover?’. Underneath it was a picture of Jhudora hugging a Puppyblew puppy.
“Okay,” said Jhudora, struggling to control her temper. “I just need to do something really evil now, to clear my name.”
An hour later, the ‘Villains And Plots’ department was going crazy. Dude and Meiki were busily fighting to change the layout of the next day’s front page, when Marvin ran in, showing them his photos. “I can’t believe it! Jhudora is just so - so evil! What a comeback!”
The next day’s headline: Jhudora Turns Publicist Into Mortog!