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Lessons for Sparkie


by shroomsrock101

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Spark_wing180 was a yellow Shoyru. Better known as Sparkie, she lived on Mystery Island with her owner, Shroomsy, and her sisters, Luna, SG, and Nira. Her owner had many friends, and so did her pets, but all the friends in the world couldn't stop the inevitable from happening.

     ***

      One hot summer day, I, Shroomsy, was working in the kitchen, preparing for dinner. As I was chopping peppers to add on some spaghetti for seasoning, I was also looking around my Neohome and taking in the actions of my four pets.

      Luna was carelessly flipping the pages of a magazine on evil, and SG was modeling new outfits, holding them up to her fur and asking anyone who cared to look, "Does this go with my eyes?" Nira was arranging the flowers we had bought for the huge dinner, to which many of the family's friends would be invited. I, however, overlooked all this and was wondering: Where is my fourth pet?

      Just then, I spotted Sparkie. The Shoyru was outside, listlessly bouncing a basketball along the garden path. I sighed. Sparkie was the one in the family who was the most reserved and shy. She had an extremely hard time making friends, and preferred to write in her journal and talk to Nira and her other friends, of whom she did not have many.

      I never really thought that Sparkie was bored with her life and her actions, but I began to think twice about it.

     ***

      The next morning, I watched as three of my pets woke, ate their breakfast, and left to do their jobs. In Nira's case, it was training and socializing, for Luna it was buying food for me to use in meals, and SG went to look at all of the "fashionable clothing" in the market.

      Sparkie, however, simply sat with nothing to do, no one to talk to. My doubts confirmed, I slowly walked up to her pet and asked, "Sparkie, would you like to go to the marketplace and buy something?"

      The Shoyru looked up at me, and I was shocked to find the bored sadness in her eyes. Sparkie, however, nodded and replied, "Of course, Shroomsy," in a flat, monotone voice. I was secretly horrified at the fact and thought for a terror-filled, fleeting moment that she would turn grey before my eyes. But instead of showing this worry to Sparkie, I smiled warmly back at her and said, "Let's go, then!"

     ***

      When Sparkie and I left the house, we both saw the ferry sitting in the harbor immediately. I grinned and exclaimed, "Why don't we visit Neopia Central? All of the best things are in the Bazaar or on High Street!" Sparkie smiled wanly at my false enthusiasm and agreed. We walked over to the Coconut JubJub selling tickets to the Islanders who wished to be admitted.

      "Ferry tickets! Get your ferry tickets here!" he cried. "Only seventeen left! Ah, would you, Miss, and your lovely Shoyru here want to jet off on our humble Neopian ferry to a distant land?"

      Chuckling, I replied, "Sure, how much is a ticket?" He asked for some fruits and I handed over a Furanga Fruit and some Meridellian berries I had found while playing Pick Your Own. The JubJub gave us each a ticket, and we were off to Neopia Central Marketplace.

     ***

      When we arrived at Neopia Central, I immediately took Sparkie to the new shopping area, the Neopian Plaza. We browsed for a while, but found nothing that seemed interesting. I was about to visit the Bazaar, but on the way we passed a small horn-shaped shop, and Sparkie stopped in her tracks, transfixed.

      "What is it?" I asked when she gasped in amazement. I had just realized that the pet was not behind me. "Sparkie, what is it?"

      The Shoyru rushed into the shop and I followed. I knew that she had found something she liked, and began to smile. I noticed that the sign on the shop I was about to enter read, "Neopian Music Shop" and thought, Music? Is Sparkie going to ask for music lessons?

      Sparkie was standing at the counter, gently running her fingers up and down a set of pan pipes. She raised the instrument to her mouth and slowly blew out her baited breath. A beautiful sound came floating out, hanging hauntingly in the air. The shopkeeper looked delighted.

      So did I, until I saw the price tag.

     ***

      I haggled endlessly with the shopkeeper, begging him to let me take the pipes for a meager 900 Neopoints, but he wouldn't budge and seemed intent that I pay him 1050. Finally I shouted, "Take 950 Neopoints if you want them so much!"

      The Kyrii still refused to take less than 1000 points, so I forked over 975. He seemed quite satisfied, and I handed the pan pipes to Sparkie. Right as we were about to leave, he called, "You know, Neopia hasn't seen an accomplished pan pipist in years. Most Neopets can't get them to play the right way. But your Shoyru here, your Shoyru has the potential to be the most talented of them all!"

     ***

      Sparkie and I were on the ferry back to Mystery Island, and the Shoyru was looking pensive. "What is it, Sparkie?" I asked.

      "That shopkeeper," she answered, "said I 'had the potential to be the most talented of them all.' What did he mean? I'm not good at anything."

      I was very irritated. "That's not true!" I reassured her. "Play the pipes again for me, would you please?"

      Sparkie obliged, and soon the light, flowing melodies were wafting out of the pan pipes and filling the air over the ocean with its haunting tune. Sea-Aishas could be seen leaping about in the water, listening joyfully to Sparkie's music. Suddenly the Shoyru stopped. "How was that?" she asked breathlessly.

      "Beautiful," I replied softly. "It was beautiful."

     ***

      All throughout the weekend, Sparkie played her pan pipes for us and for the whole of Mystery Island. She was amazing, and never seemed to tire. Then came that fateful day.

      Sparkie awoke, just like any other day. I called for her to come down for breakfast, but when she opened her mouth to reply, no sound was emitted. She was horrified, and rushed downstairs.

      "What is it?" I shouted. Sparkie tried desperately to say something, but I quickly concluded, "You have developed a sore throat!"

      Sparkie appeared both horrified and outraged. I quickly sent her back to her room to lie down, handing the Shoyru a cup of Snowberry Tea. She obeyed me very listlessly, walking up the stairs slowly. When she entered her room and shut the door, I thought I could hear her crying.

     ***

      Two days later, Sparkie's sore throat had gone, but she seemed to have lost all of her ability to play the pan pipes! She picked the instrument up and blew, but the noise that exited sounded more like a wailing Kadoatie than anything else. The whole family was distressed, but none as distressed as Sparkie herself.

      She refused to play the pipes all throughout that week, and simply returned to her old lifestyle of moping, occasionally playing basketball, reading, and talking to her few friends. I had gotten over my misery and was becoming more and more annoyed by the second. I made up my mind. I'll do it tonight, I thought grimly to myself.

     ***

      "Sparkie!" I barked. The Shoyru was outside playing with a friend, but when she heard me she said good-bye to the Kacheek and entered the house after her friend had shouted "See you soon, Sparkzes!" after her.

      Sparkie flew into the kitchen. "What is it, Shroomsy?" she asked. "Why did you need me?"

      I walked to the den and picked up Sparkie's pan pipes. Then I stalked back into the kitchen and demanded, "Play them for me."

      "Shroomsy," Sparkie replied, "you know that I can't do that anymore."

      I shook my head. "Oh yes, you can. Do it now!" Sparkie glared at me fiercely and appeared aggravated, but raised the pipes to her mouth and blew into them. Though the sound wasn't beautiful, it was a far sight better than the last. She blew again and there was a sharp squeal from the pan pipes.

      "I can't do it!" Sparkie slammed her foot down, thrust the instrument down onto the table, and began sobbing hysterically.

      I stepped over to my pet. "Sparkie," I responded, "you can do anything. I know you can still play the pan pipes, but you don't believe it. That's the difference in your playing. You don't believe anymore.

      "Try it again. I don't want you to give this up, because it would be a really huge waste of extreme talent."

      Sparkie stopped crying gradually and grasped the pan pipes on the table. She slowly and deliberately picked them up and put them against her lips. Then she blew into the tubes.

      The sound that wafted out, the sound that had once been beautiful...

     ...was even more ethereal than it ever had been.

The End

Hehe, my third publication! :D Comments encouraged and appreciated very much!!!

 
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