Living With Wuggles
I need 3 slushies, any kind you’ve got, and make it fast. Like speed of Light Faerie fast.”
I don’t know if it was the urgency in my voice or the deranged look in my eyes, but the Eyrie at the counter didn’t need telling twice. As the slushie machine buzzed and whirred, I shut my eyes and tried to keep myself calm. Just breathe and count to 10, I told myself. Everything’s going to be okay. I breathed slowly - in and out, in and out - but the effort, of course, was futile. I hadn’t even reached 7 when I heard the piercing shriek.
The unsuspecting Slushie Shop customers surrounding me frantically looked all over, no doubt thinking the slushie machine was horribly malfunctioning or a Kougra’s tail had just been trod upon. But it wasn’t that. It was much, much worse.
The slushies didn’t even rest on the counter for a millisecond before they were in my arms and I was racing through the shop. As I jostled through the crowd of now panicking Neopians, my Black Cherry Slushie sloshed all over the front of my jeans. Oh great, not again! I groaned inwardly.
I finally made it out into the freezing cold Happy Valley air. I didn’t slow down for a second as I followed the sound of the screeching - which had not faltered for a second in all of the preceding events. I dodged hurtling snowballs, weaved through Neopets who stood there innocently catching falling snowflakes on their outstretched tongues, and slid and slipped over patches of ice until AT LAST I caught sight of my target. There she was. The red Wocky with the evil glint in her eye.
MY red Wocky, that is.
“SLUSHIES SLUSHIES SLUSHIES GIVE THEM TO ME NOW, PUNY HUMAN!!!!!” the Wocky screamed, her tail bristling so fiercely that I’m positive to this day that all former Wocky-tail-bristling records had been shattered. I really must’ve been on the brink of insanity, for even at such a terrifying time as this I somehow found myself admiring her lung capacity. Seriously, who else could have kept up that powerful, unceasing wail for over a minute? And in bitterly cold weather, no less.
“Calm down, FireLilyWuggles, I’ve got your slushies right here.” I tried and failed to keep the panic out of my voice, hoping that the use of her full name would make me sound stern and in control.
“CALM DOWN?! HOW DARE YOU TELL ME TO CALM DOWN! WHEN I DEMAND SLUSHIES, YOU GIVE ME SLUSHIES OR I WILL BURN NEOPIA TO THE GROUND!” FireLily burst into a fit of cackling as she flung herself onto the ground and rolled around in her madness. I quickly looked from side to side, hoping that I was the only person witnessing this. Surely, everyone else was too busy with their holiday shopping and general merriment to observe my train wreck of a Neopet in all of her crazy glory.
They weren’t. Of course.
A crowd had started forming in a crude circle around us, Neopets and owners alike all eagerly awaiting whatever would happen next. I recognized a few familiar faces. These weren’t friends of mine or anything. I really didn’t have time for a social life when my entire existence seemed to be running about doing FireLily’s bidding to avoid her ever acting on her schemes to, as she says, “burn Neopia to the ground”. If I hadn’t purchased the best safe Neopoints could buy to hide all matches, torches, fire-themed Battledome items, and other flammable materials she could otherwise have gotten her hands on, I have no doubt that she would at some point act on that plan. But anyway, as I was saying, these weren’t my friends. They were just regular attendees of the recurring FireLilyWuggles-Has-A-Mental-Breakdown-While-Maidie-Dies-From-Embarrassment Show.
This insanity all started nearly 5 years ago, when this psychotic, evil, vicious ball of bright red fur came into my life. Words cannot express the fierce optimism that filled me to the brim when I anticipated meeting my first ever Neopet. Cheery pictures flooded my mind of the endless adventures I would have with my new best friend. Sledding on Terror Mountain, fighting off pirates on Krawk Island, building our Usuki collections, and taking in the wonders of Faerieland – I simply could not wait to get started.
Never in my wildest nightmares did I expect the reality of living with FireLilyWuggles: nearly getting pushed off Terror Mountain when she decided sledding was not her thing, having to singlehandedly fight off pirates that she paid to ambush me while she sat back laughing her bushy tail off, finding my prized Usuki dolls with their heads bitten off, and getting banned from Faerieland after one to many incidents involving a derailed Wheel of Excitement and some very harassed Poogles.
When I first met FireLily, it was love at first sight – cliché, I know, but I honestly mean that 110%. Seriously, this was the cutest little red Wocky you can imagine. Our eyes met and the toothy smile she immediately flashed at me melted my heart. Before you could say “AWWWWWWW SO CUUUUTE”, FireLily had pounced – knocking me to the ground and nuzzling her soft head in my neck. That settled it. She was mine, and I was all hers.
Brimming with sweetness, FireLily let loose a stream of non-stop chatter as we walked to our new Neohome. “Oh, what a lovely, wonderful, perfect day it is! I have never been happier, loving owner, and I have had some very very very VERY happy days! Teehee! What fun-tastical adventures we are going to have together! You are sunshine and rainbows and everything in the world that is good! I love you Maidie!”
Tears of pure joy filled my eyes as I hugged my Wocky and whispered, “I love you too, my FireLilyWuggles”.
This happy bubble lasted less than 10 minutes. Without a warning, FireLily’s demeanor visibly changed. The toothy, sweet grin was replaced with a demented, twisted scowl. The fluffy, bouncy tail became as stiff as a board and her fur shot up like she had just been electrocuted. Her claws shot out with a menacing sound like breaking glass, and her bright orange eyes became a dark, fiery abyss. Most terrifying of all though, was the change in her voice. Gone were the precious “teehees” and “I love yous”. As we approached my front door, she let out the cackle that has haunted me every single day since.
“MUAHAHAHAHAHA, YOU WILL RUE THE DAY YOU LET THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE FIRELILYWUGGLES INTO YOUR HOME!!! DESTROYING THIS PLACE WILL BE MY FIRST CONQUEST ON MY WAY TO TAKING MY PLACE AS THE RIGHTFUL RULER OF NEOPIA!!” In seconds flat, my once perfectly decorated, quaint little Neohome became a war zone. Vases were smashed and furniture was thrown across the room as she tore through the house at lightning speeds. I just stood there, mouth agape and paralyzed with shock and fear. What in the Faerie Queen’s name was going on?!?!
Wincing with every crash and smash that filled the air, my voice shook as I called out, “FireLily?! Calm down, sweetie, whatever this is we can work it out together!”
All the cacophony came to an abrupt halt. FireLily turned, the stuffing she had ripped out of my beloved Blue Kougra Plushie clenched in her fist, and stared at me, blinking slowly. Then…she laughed. A cold, unfeeling laugh that brought the made the room feel as frigid as the Snowager’s cave. Count your lucky stars that you never have to hear this laugh.
“TOGETHER?! YOU THINK WE CAN WORK THIS OUT TOGETHER?! THERE IS NO ‘TOGETHER’, THERE IS NO ‘US’! MAIDIE, YOU ARE NOT MY OWNER, YOU ARE MY SERVANT!! YOU WILL DO MY BIDDING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, MUAHAHAHAHA!!!”
And then the destruction continued in earnest.
This went on unceasingly for days. I developed a nervous habit of looking over my shoulder and throwing my arms in front of my face in defense at the slightest sound. My eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep – who could sleep with a malicious Neopet staring at you without blinking, just waiting for you to let your guard down so she could pounce every night! Almost worse than her constant screaming were the rare moments of complete silence. I knew in those moments that FireLilyWuggles was plotting new ways to make my life miserable and take over Neopia once and for all.
About a week went by before I finally managed to sneak out of the house. FireLily was on one of her daily tirades, trying to find the inch of my wallpaper that she had not yet managed to claw to shreds. Ignoring my fear of heights in my desperation for some peace and quiet, I jumped out of my second floor bedroom window into a tree and shimmied my way down the trunk. I hardly remember how I ended up in Happy Valley from my Neopia Central abode, I was so delirious from lack of sleep and the feeling of freedom that I had forgotten! All I know is, if fate had not brought me to the Happy Valley Slushie Shop that day, I might never have lived to tell this story.
I remember the feel of those icy, cold slushies on my tongue and that wonderful sweet taste that was so unbelievably delicious that all felt right with the world. The flavor, Mangorific, remains my favorite to this day. I sipped contentedly as I walked home as I racked my brain to think of ways I could live with FireLily without going completely insane myself. Maybe I could send her to the Training School where she could learn to put that fighting spirit to good use? Maybe I could try being extra, EXTRA nice? My heart sank as I reached my front door. I took one more sip of my slushie and steeled myself for what was waiting for me inside.
Naturally, FireLily was in the middle of a monologue about her future destruction of Neopia when I walked in. “ – AND EVERY MOEHOG, PEOPHIN, SHOYRU, AND KACHEEK WILL BOW DOWN TO ME AND SING THE FIRELILYWUGGLES NATIONAL ANTHEM WHILE…” She trailed off, her ears perking up as the front door squeaked open. Painfully slowly, she turned to face me. This is it, I thought as I squeezed my eyes shut, I’m a goner.
“Is that a slushie?”
I slowly opened one eye, startled at the normal volume she had used to ask this simple question. Is this a trick? She was staring at me with an innocent curiosity, eagerly awaiting my response. “Uhh yeah,” I responded carefully, “…You want a sip?”
FireLily’s eyes looked like they would bug out of her head as she reached for my slushie in pure excitement. I watched nervously as she sipped, waiting for her to throw the slushie in my face, scream about how slushies would be banished when she was the Supreme Ruler – I would’ve expected anything more than what she did next...
She HUGGED me.
Suddenly, the FireLilyWuggles I had met that first, wonderful day was back. She was giggling and cuddling and “Oh this slushie is so so so yummy good! You are so wonderful for bringing this back for me, loving owner!” and it all felt much too good to be true. But it was! For the first time since I had brought her home, we were a family, and we were happy! That was the day I discovered the secret to living with FireLilyWuggles. That cold, delicious secret: slushies.
Every time she drinks a slushie, she is all sweetness and goodness. FireLily and I are the best of pals. Everything is just like I had imagined it to be. We go on adventures, we laugh, we play, we sing, we dance – you name it. The only problem is…keeping her stocked with slushies is not the easiest task. At first, I tried to keep as many as I could fit in the house, but they got all melted and watery and this lead to a tantrum like you would not believe. The expense quickly became an issue as well. It got to the point where FireLily could either have the 10 slushies she needs to stay sane or we could have beds to sleep on and a roof over our heads. Believe me, it was not an easy choice.
That brings us back to the beginning of this story, with FireLily rolling on the ground, people staring, and my cheeks burning with embarrassment as I stood there in the Terror Mountain snow. Trying to ignore the crowd of people watching and focus on my crazy Neopet, I held out her daily slushie and calmly said, “FireLily, I got you Sour Lemon, your favorite!”
The screaming stopped and there it was – that adorable little face and toothy smile that melted my heart on our very first meeting. She grasped the slushie in her paws and sipped with a look of pure joy. The whole crowd around me seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief. Looking up from her prize at that moment, FireLily looked up at me and whispered, “I love you, Maidie”.
“I love you too, my FireLilyWuggles.”
I knew that slushie-induced sweetness would only last an hour at most. Then it’d be back to the screaming and scratching, misery and mayhem. But that hour of peace with my psychotic, sweet Neopet was enough. It’s a crazy, messed up life. But it’s my life…and I’ve got to admit, sometimes I almost love living with Wuggles.