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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 10th day of Celebrating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 119 > Short Stories > In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight

by one_two_three456

Let me introduce you to Glasserine. Glasserine is your average blue Gelert with a very high dream: to become the biggest pianist in Neopia. She has a very rare, classic red cherry piano, a little worn out from the past years, but still playing as smoothly as 46 months ago. You could tell that Glasserine was very serious about her playing; she locked her eyes on the bundle of notes on the single piece of paper which held a masterpiece. Her fingers fell into place as she played, not even looking at the keys which were under her nose.

     Glasserine was never proud of her piano playing. She always used to say "Where ever I go, there's always a better pianist than me". Of course, she was very proud of her pieces which she perfected so beautifully, but she would never get any praise from friends or family. She was always in her sister Sheraline's shadow. Sheraline was the top runner in the whole of Mystery Island, third-to-best runner in the whole of Neopia, in fact. She was also very popular in school; she was the center cheerleader for the school, in the advanced group for the dance squad, and she was excellent at every sport that existed. Sheraline was always her owner's active pet, what with her being a rare Faerie Poogle. Her owner, Signifiesse, always attended Sheraline's practices, track meets, cheerleading practices, football games, soccer meets, and so on. Of course, Glasserine trailed along behind Signifiesse, hanging her head low from the emptiness inside of her. She always thought that she was a disappointment to Signifiesse, never achieving anything good enough to impress her.

     The door quietly opened as Glasserine entered the house from school. She waved goodbye to her friend Prainah from the street, closed the door, and slipped onto the piano bench. She opened up her level 10 piano book and started playing a wonderful, melodic piece. It was called "Something to Cry For", in a C minor key. The flowing, rhythmic song sounded so beautiful, so magnificent. It could bring tears to anybody's eyes.

     "Oh why, oh why…" whispered Glasserine as she played. "Why couldn't I be accepted?" Tears started rolling down her beautiful shining black eyes. The tears came out, one by one, as if they were in time to the song. When Glasserine ended the sad song with the finishing note, she quickly dried her tears and sniffled.

     "I'm home!" yelled Sheraline. She often came home from school late either because of her practices or that she was with the huge group of friends that she hung out with.

     "You're home early, aren't you?" asked Glasserine, standing up and tucking her piano books into the bench.

     "Yah, well, all the gals had to go home and the guys couldn't stick around for long… I just decided to go home," said Sheraline in her know-it-all voice. She stomped up the flight of stairs.

     "Okay," Glasserine mumbled to herself. She marched into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. She browsed around and finally picked up the wobbly piece of strawberry jelly and put it on the table. She opened the freezer and immediately grabbed the last bowl of vanilla ice cream. She slumped down in the comfortable bamboo chair and mixed around the two. She picked up her spoon and took a bite. If you were looking at her at that moment, you could have seen her eyes close lightly and the sound of the dreamy sigh.

     "Hey girls, how are you?" asked Signifiesse as she walked in from shopping in Faerieland. She dumped the paper bag on the classic dining table and started to unload the items. Out came the books Wonders of Water, Playing with Fire, and Rainbow Painting.

     "Hi Siggie!" said Sheraline jokingly. "Ooh! Are you going to read all of those books to me?"

     "Well, to congratulate you on your wonderful performance in your Dance Squad, I'm going to read Rainbow Painting and Wonders of Water to you. Of course, I want to be fair, so I'm going to read Glasserine Playing with Fire."

     "Oh, uh, Signifiesse? I've already read Playing with Fire and Wonders of Water. Perhaps you could read Rainbow Painting to me?"

     "No! That's not fair," complained Sheraline.

     "Sorry Glasserine, I'll get you three books later, okay?" asked Signifiesse cheerfully. "Now, put all of the items in the fridge, cabinets and freezer, Glasserine. Cuddle up Sheraline!"

     Glasserine slowly put the items away, dragging her feet and hanging her head. Signifiesse always promised her the same thing. In fact, she now owed Glasserine twenty three books, none ever paid back to her. She looked longingly at Signifiesse and Sheraline, all snuggled up and laughing at the pictures in Rainbow Painting. She sighed and headed up to her room. She took out her only diary.

     "Dear Diary," it said as she wrote on a new, fresh page. "Today I practiced my pieces, just like usual, although, 'Something to Cry For' made me too depressed. It seems like I talk to my music, the piano keys are my only friend. Sometimes I wonder why Signifiesse even wants to keep me.

     "Well anyway, when Signifiesse came home from Faerieland she had a bag of groceries and books with her. She was about to read to me Playing with Fire, but lucky me, I had already read it. So I suggested that she could read Rainbow Painting with me, but Sheraline insisted that she got to read it. So instead I had to put away all of the groceries and Signifiesse promised me another three books later. That makes 23 books all together, starting from the beginning of last year. She'll probably forget them by tomorrow, what difference does it make.

     "I have nothing to write about my drab, boring day. I'll update you if anything interesting happens, but don't expect anything. Thank you for listening…"

     She closed the diary and tenderly put away the black pen. A tear appeared on the rim of her eyes. She was afraid to blink for the tear would slip down her cheek. Instead, she wiped the tear away and tidied up her room.

     Sheraline skipped up the stairs and twirled into her room.

     "Rainbow Painting was such a good book! It's really funny, the pictures are great, and it's a really great story. Too bad you didn't read it," said Sheraline, giving her a fake disappointed smile. Just then, Signifiesse came up the stairs.

     "All right, girls, into bed," she said as she wrapped her arms around Sheraline's shoulders. Oh, how Glasserine longed for the comfort of love. She had never known what a hug felt like, let alone how a flash of love filled her whole heart with warmth.

     Signifiesse walked out of Sheraline's bedroom with a warming smile on her face. She walked into Glasserine's room and touched the light switch.

     "Are you ready?" asked Signifiesse. Glasserine nodded solemnly and Signifiesse switched off the light, just like that. No smile, no good night, no kiss for Glasserine… only for Sheraline. Glasserine sighed heavily and drifted off to sleep, her only sanctuary.

     The next day was a weekend, which meant no school. Glasserine woke up and stretched her arms. She pulled back the curtains and had a peek of what kind of a day it was. As usual, it was sunny and warm. The sun rushed into Glasserine's room and lit up every single bit of it. Glasserine smiled and combed her hair using her only basic blue comb until all of the tangles were gone. Satisfied, she opened the door and walked downstairs quietly.

     "Good morning!" she called out as she got to the bottom floor. "Hello?" There was no reply so she walked across the hall to the enormous dining room. On the table there was a note.

Glasserine,

Gone searching for Jelly World, stopping by at Faerieland, Mystery Island, and Terror Mountain along the way. Hang out at the guild, if you want.

-Signifiesse and Sheraline

     Glasserine read it briefly and shrugged her shoulders and tried not to let it show that she was upset. Instead, she opened the fridge and looked at the breakfast shelf. The only thing that was lying there was a plain omelette. Glasserine took it out and silently ate the cheesy, plain breakfast. Her day dragged on as boring as her omelette, so it would make no sense to talk about it. But let me tell you about when it just go interesting…

     Glasserine had just finished playing her piano repertoire and studies so she decided to do a little exploring. She walked out the door and walked around until she ended up in Mystery Island. She always loved the atmosphere there; it gave her a secure feeling and she loved watching the Myncis as they played volleyball. But today she didn't feel like going to the beach… instead she felt peculiarly attracted to Techo Mountain. She noticed there was a new tiny pink building that was peeking from under a tree.

     I wonder what that is? she thought aloud as she marched up to it. As she approached the building, she saw a line-up of owners and their pets waiting outside, chattering excitedly.

     "Excuse me?" she asked a purple Meerca. The Meerca turned around and gave Glasserine a happy smile. "What is this building and why are people lining up outside of it?"

     "Oh!" the Meerca giggled. "It's the new Pink Performance Gallery. It's having its grand opening right now, in fact. They're having a talent contest! Whoever wins the judges' hearts gets a grand prize of one million Neopoints and a rare item. The runner up gets ten thousand Neopoints."

     "Can you do anything you want to?" asked Glasserine suspiciously.

     "You bet! I even heard that they have a jelly piano and a classic wooden violin in there for contestants. I'm going to recite a poem I wrote," she boasted. "What are you going to do?"

     "Oh, I guess the piano."

     The Meerca nodded and said, "Oh". Then she turned to her owner and immediately got engaged in a conversation with him.

     This is going to be fun! thought Glasserine as she twiddled her fingers with anxiety. Just then, a loud voice boomed over a speakerphone.

     "Ladies and Gentlemen, pets and owners! We will now be opening the doors. Please come in quietly and wait for a number. When your number is called, proceed to the ballroom and show off your talent!"

     Glasserine tapped the Meerca on its shoulder. "Good luck!" Glasserine said.

     "You too!" the Meerca replied. She crossed her fingers and grinned before she turned to walk through the gigantic doors.

     "Here, hon. Your number's thirty seven. You know what to do, right?" said a gigantic blue Skeith, chewing some pink gum and popping bubbles. She was obviously not waiting for an answer as she turned to the next contestant.

     Glasserine browsed through the monstrous and beautiful room with her eyes. She was looking for the ballroom when she suddenly saw a group of people. Glasserine told herself that they must've been the judges, what with their shiny new name tags and serious, grave faces. They looked like tough people to please… Glasserine couldn't even imagine what smiles would look like on their faces.

     Out of the blue, a thought popped into her head. She didn't bring her piano books! It was a total disaster… how could she play? Could she remember the notes? Would she mess up in the climax of the song? Oh no!!! It was already too late to go home to get her books; the judges were already seeing number twenty-one. What would she do?

     "Number thirty seven!" interrupted a loud voice. "Where is number thirty seven?"

     "Oh! That's me!" shouted Glasserine as she came out of her daze. She shot up and ran to the ballroom.

     "Okay, what will you be doing today?" asked a green Jetsam.

     "I guess I'll be playing a piece on the piano. …Something to Cry For. It's in the key of C minor," she added. The judges nodded towards an unusual jelly piano and Glasserine walked towards it. She tested out a key and found it as effortless to play on as her own piano. She put her hands into position and began to play.

     "She's good," mumbled one of the judges.

     "Yeah… and she doesn't even have something to read," muttered another one.

     Glasserine surprised herself by how well she could remember it. It was almost as if the piece lived in her fingers, waiting to get out. She closed her eyes and drifted away into the beauty of the song.

     When the song was over, oh, about two minutes later, the judges burst with applause. The other contestant's eyes were as wide as saucers, and when they recovered from the shock, they clapped their hands together as hard as they could, not even caring that their hands were sore.

     "Glasserine!" yelled a familiar voice. Glasserine turned around and saw Signifiesse and Sheraline running up to her. Actually, Signifiesse was the only one running. Sheraline was sort of dragging her feet and looking glum. Glasserine got up from the piano bench and stood stiffly, unaware of what Signifiesse was going to do.

     "You were spectacular! It was so beautiful… you played magnificently… come here!" praised Signifiesse, embracing her in an affectionate and loving hug. Glasserine suddenly found out what love was: it was everything in that hug. She felt secure now; it was almost like a part of her was complete.

     "I love you," said Signifiesse lovingly. That hug was like it lasted forever, but yet it ended so soon.

     When Signifiesse finally let go and she went to sit down with the other contestants, Sheraline walked up to Glasserine.

     "You know, all this clapping was just politeness. Nobody actually liked it… I heard somebody tell their pet that your playing was pathetic. It's too bad that I can't compete now because it's too late, but I'm sure I could win. I could perform a dance! I'm sure I could steal their hearts away… But you? Pfft, you're pretty pitiable. You really think you'll win?" snorted Sheraline. Glasserine saw red.

     "Oh, you're just jealous and you KNOW it! You're just really mad at me because I did a good performance… you know how it feels to win, you've won about a dozen hundred times. But I haven't won once! I haven't gotten any praise, ribbons, not even a hint of love. So why can't you accept that I got some praise? Why can't you just live with it?" With that, Glasserine walked away with angry tears and sat down. Sheraline was left there looking stunned.

     Approximately one hour later, the judges finished up with all of the contestants and came out of the ballroom with a clipboard in each of their hands.

     "Attention! We have seen all of the contestants, and first of all we want to congratulate all of you. You amused us all, both bad and good. Next, we want to tell you that we thought very long and hard and came up with a winner and a runner up. These people stole our hearts and deserve to win. First, let's start with the runner up!" said one judge.

     Another judge stepped up to the platform and said, "We would like to award Huinyuah, a yellow Lupe, for his talented and wonderful dancing performance. Well done!"

     There was a shout of excitement and joy and then a huge round of applause. Huinyuah stepped up and received his prize of ten thousand Neopoints. He leaped into the air and landed on his feet, grinning from ear to ear.

     "The winner of the Pink Performance Gallery talent show is…" said one judge, holding the suspense within everybody. "Glasserine, a blue Gelert, for her outstanding and brilliant piano playing. Congratulations!!!"

     "AHHHHH!!!" screamed Glasserine in happiness as she stood up and accepted her prize. The rest of the day was all happiness, jumping around, and grinning. But the important thing was that Glasserine finally felt accepted and stayed that way. I guess it was, in fact, Glasserine's time to shine.

The End

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