Of Meercas and Neggs
“Where is my Fish Negg?” cried the Meerca.
As the question echoed itself in his head, he quickly ran to a Happy Negg, its smiling face somehow seeming to mock him. The Meerca sighed and steered clear of the upcoming red Negg, heading back for another Happy Negg.
It was a hard life, collecting Neggs until he hit a wall or a red Negg. It didn’t pay well, or at all for that matter, and he rarely got his coveted Fish Neggs. Oh, how he longed for those.
He picked up another Happy Negg.
One poor Happy Negg found himself situated in between two red ones. The red Neggs taunted him incessantly – they found the chances of the Meerca saving him equal to the chances of Sloth finally gaining world domination. In other words, next to nothing.
The Happy Negg wished he could turn his smile upside down. He certainly didn’t feel very happy.
“Say, yellow guy, did you do everything on your to-do list today?” one of the red Neggs said impishly.
The Happy Negg didn’t give him the honour of an answer.
“I don’t think being stranded between us waiting for a Meerca pining for Fish Neggs was ever on anybody’s to-do list,” the other red Negg said.
“I’d rather be eaten,” the Happy Negg said unexpectedly. “By the Negg Faerie, even.”
“Happy, you are not,” the first red Negg said. “Too bad that smile is plastered on your face for eternity.”
“However long eternity is,” the other red Negg said.
Silently the Happy Negg wished eternity was only two seconds.
The red Neggs continued to jeer at the poor “Happy” one, who remained quiet. Pick me up, he thought. Please. I’ll get him a Fish Negg if he wants!
The Happy Negg had no idea a Fish Negg existed until then. He certainly didn’t know any. But was that going to stop him from hoping for a rescue? Most certainly not.
He sighed and calculated his doom.
The Meerca circled around the two red Neggs and the Happy one smack in the middle of the two. How in the world was he going to get the Happy Negg?
He ran around the trio multiple times, losing track of just how many times after he hit fifty-four. His want for a Fish Negg came back suddenly, and he almost scampered into one of the red Neggs. He swore he heard it say something, but dismissed it as his imagination.
He sighed. There was simply no way he could get out of this. He headed for a wall and disappeared into an all too familiar darkness, and then was forced to start again.
The Happy Negg watched disdainfully as the Meerca ran into the wall. He would have cried out something if he had had time – instead, he and the red Neggs were sucked into oblivion.
He woke up when he again popped onto the Meerca Chase field. His smile was accurate this time, for he was around no red Neggs, and the Meerca was coming straight at him. He wondered for a brief moment what would happen once the Meerca picked him up.
He shuddered at the awful possibilities, and brightened at the better ones.
The Meerca was getting closer, closer... and picked him up.
He abruptly felt himself get dragged along against his own will behind some other Neggs. Well. That wasn’t what he had in mind when he was thinking about what would happen.
“Tough luck, buddy,” the blue Negg in front of him said.
“I wish he hadn’t grabbed me in the face,” said a voice behind him. The Happy Negg twisted around to see a green Negg.
“He does that a lot for some reason,” the blue one replied. “You get used to it after a while.”
The statement horrified the Happy Negg. “After a while? You mean we’re stuck on this game for... a while?”
“Longer than just a while, kid,” the green Negg said. “Pretty much for forever.”
“But... but... surely the Meerca gets tired after some time!”
“That’s just the thing,” said the blue Negg. “He doesn’t. He just keeps going and going and going.”
“Except when he gets a Fish Negg,” added the green one. “Then he holds it for a minute before continuing on.”
“What’s so special about a Fish Negg?” the Happy Negg wondered aloud.
“They’re rare,” the blue one said.
“Very rare,” said the green one.
“Whereas we are not rare,” the blue Negg finished.
The Happy Negg had to agree that Neggs of his own kind were pretty common, and blue and green Neggs weren’t exactly atypical either.
“Why did I just get plucked up from my collector’s case? Why didn’t I have a say in whether or not I wanted to be a game pawn?” the Happy Negg cried.
The blue and green Neggs, although they too had smiles forever stuck to them, appeared to be taking pity on the Happy Negg.
“Part of a Negg gallery?” the green Negg asked.
“Yes.” He missed its case, and sitting on that plush purple pillow, and having that pretty rainbow Negg in the next case to talk to...
“No wonder this is such a shock,” the green Negg said to the blue one. “Them gallery Neggs never make the transition smoothly.”
“Oh, and you did?!” the Happy Negg said indignantly.
“Well...” The green Negg’s voice faltered.
“Don’t worry, buddy,” the blue Negg said to the Happy Negg. “Never thinks before speaking. Just take it light-heartedly.”
One by one, more Neggs popped up behind the green one. And one by one, more red Neggs appeared on the field. The Happy Negg feared for his life, though he knew he would just be subjected to this again. Not that that was a particularly nice fate.
Then, all of a sudden, the line halted for a split second before the Happy Negg felt himself tugged along at a faster speed. He twisted sideways to see what the rush was about, and saw an abnormally shaped blue Negg. With gills.
“A Fish Negg!” said the Happy Negg loudly.
The line of Neggs went completely quiet for a second, and then erupted into a noisy chatter about the Fish Negg.
The aforementioned Fish Negg was greedily picked up by the Meerca, who clutched it to his chest for a moment before it got added to the end of the line.
The Meerca raced towards the Fish Negg. It appeared to have rays of sunlight beaming down on it, and he could just imagine it sitting on a cloud, with wings and a halo...
He quickly picked it up and hugged it before it popped out of his arms and got added to the back of the line. The Meerca’s silly grin remained in place, and his daydreams resumed.
Until he ran smack into a red Negg, that is.
“Oh, curses,” he muttered before disappearing, his beloved Fish Negg and the rest of the line with him.
“So then,” the Happy Negg said to the rainbow Negg in the next case, “I’m surrounded by darkness again, and I expect to be back on the game field in a few minutes, but instead, I’m still sitting in the dark. I wait and wait and wait, and suddenly I feel this sort of whooshing motion, like I’m being lifted upwards by sheer force of the wind, and bam! I’m sitting in Joe’s inventory, the rest of the line crowded around me.”
“It’s a good thing Joe thinks he just accidentally removed you from the gallery, then,” the rainbow Negg replied.
“Yes, it is indeed. Although I’m not sure how he’s taking the rest of the Neggs appearing there.”
The Happy Negg and the rainbow Negg sat in silence, each making their own conclusions about what Joe would do with the rest of them.
“He’ll probably sell most of them,” the rainbow Negg said quietly.
“Probably,” agreed the Happy Negg. “I hope he keeps the Fish Negg, though, and the blue and green Neggs I was sandwiched between.”
“Why? I mean, I can understand about the blue and Fish ones, but why the green guy? He seemed a bit pretentious from what you told me.”
“At least my mind was kept off of the horrors of being a game pawn. Well, for a while, anyway.”
They sat in silence again, on their plush purple pillows, the Happy Negg glad to be back home, the rainbow Negg imagining the horrors of being part of Meerca Chase.
Joe walked in with two cases – the Fish Negg, who was settled on a bright green pillow, and the blue one, who was settled on the standard purple pillow. They were set down on either side of the rainbow and Happy Neggs.
“Hi there,” the blue Negg said.
“Hi. Does the Fish Negg talk?” the Happy Negg asked curiously.
“No,” the blue Negg said. “At least, he hasn’t spoken a single word to me since we were rudely pushed into obscurity.”
“At least you’re not a game pawn anymore,” the rainbow Negg said politely.
“True,” agreed the blue Negg.
“Where’s the green guy?” the Happy Negg asked.
“Sitting in a shop. The last thing he said to me was ‘I hope I go for an insane amount of money!’”
“Nothing about saying hi to me?” said the Happy Negg.
“No. Not even a good-bye to me.”
“Good riddance, then,” the rainbow Negg said. The other two murmured in agreement.
“I can only imagine how Joe is taking this,” the Happy Negg said after a while.
“Oh, pretty well,” the blue Negg said brightly. “He was screaming something about being rich.”
“Maybe we can get green pillows like that Fish Negg over there, then,” the rainbow Negg remarked.
“I actually prefer the purple ones,” the blue Negg said. “Less blinding.”
“This is pretty comfortable, though,” the Fish Negg said without warning.
The other three stared at it.
“I thought you said he couldn’t talk,” the Happy Negg said to the blue one without moving its eyes.
“I didn’t know he could!”
“Well, then I’m pleased to inform you that I can,” the Fish Negg said. “And I’m also pleased to inform you that this is a million times better than being held in a death grip by a greedy Meerca.”
“I can imagine,” the rainbow Negg said, having been the first to recover from the shock.
“What was that like, by the way, being held in a death grip?” the blue Negg asked.
“I imagine it’s like dying, though I wouldn’t know,” the Fish Negg replied slowly.
“At least you didn’t get gripped in the face,” the blue Negg said.
“I’d take that over a death grip any day.”
“Can we please stop this?” the rainbow Negg said. “I don’t want to hear an argument over who had the worst Meerca Chase experience.”
“Oh, well, that goes without saying,” the Fish Negg said.
“Of course,” the blue Negg agreed.
“This little Happy Negg obviously had the worst,” said the Fish Negg.
“Me?” the Happy Negg squeaked.
“Certainly. I’d have exploded into fishy bits if I’d been abruptly taken from this comfort and plopped onto the path of a rampaging Meerca.”
“Well, actually, I was stuck in between two very rude red Neggs the first time,” the Happy Negg said.
“Really? Well, then, that makes it even clearer.”
“Without a doubt,” the blue Negg said.
“Let’s celebrate,” the Fish Negg suggested.
“How?” the Happy Negg asked. “Not much you can do in a case.”
“I have an idea,” the rainbow Negg declared. “Why don’t we stop this chattering and go to sleep? In case you haven’t noticed, the lights have been turned out.”
The other three Neggs fell into silence.
“Actually, I hadn’t noticed,” the blue Negg said awkwardly.
“Glad to be of some use, then.”
The Meerca sobbed, his tears slipping past his paws.
“My Fish Negg,” he cried out brokenly. “Oh, my lovely Fish Negg...”
“Quit yer whining. At least you don’t have to play it anymore,” another Meerca said. He was the replacement, for reasons unknown. All he knew was that the previous Meerca had some... issues.
Issues involving an addiction to Fish Neggs, apparently.
The first Meerca paid him no attention, and pined for his Fish Negg once more.
The other Meerca hit him with a pillow before heading off to be subject to the awful fate of collecting Neggs – a new group, much to the delight of the old group – indefinitely.
The Neggs lived happily ever after. The Meercas... well, one took part in a Fish Negg addicts group, and the other took pride in his sanity not withering throughout his monotonous Meerca Chase run.
It’s a hard life.