The Foster: Part Four
Twenty minutes after the mac and cheese incident, Sam and her large foster family were entering Pizzaroo. Both Savannah and Kisa wore clean clothes, and were cheese-free. Zana and Sam parked their bikes outside, ready to ride to the Neopian Docks on their way to the 2 Gallon Hatz concert after dinner.
"Go ahead and get your pizza, but make sure that it's a good price," Savannah warned, handing Kisa, as she was the oldest, a plump bag of neopoints. The Kougra smiled, and then the pets all scampered over to the glass case where many different pizzas were.
Sam automatically picked out a large slice of Flaming Fire Faerie Pizza, smiling at the thought of biting into the spicy meal, and then stepped back to watch her foster sisters.
Wren and Emily both went to the pizza topping bar, piling their pizzas high with mushrooms, pepperoni, cheese, and just about anything else that was available. Maddie grabbed two Pizza Pasties, one for her, and the other for Savannah, while Dove got a small slice of fluffy Cloud Pizza. Lastly, Zana, Kisa, and Alisa - who made faces at the Caramel Pizza - all settled on three slices of plain, cheese pizza.
"Finally," their owner said playfully when her pets returned, scooping a spoonful of baby food into Misty's mouth as she spoke. The brown-haired girl had found them a good booth to sit in with a perfect view of the plaza. "I'm starving over here!"
"Oh, be quiet!" Madalleena giggled, sitting down next to her owner and placing their meals on the table. "I got you your pizza, didn't I?"
Savannah smiled, glanced at her pizza, and then stuck out her tongue at her second oldest pet. Soon, the two were laughing hysterically and poking fun at each other, while the other pets giggled.
The green Kacheek grinned, licking cheese off of her fingers. This family was very... unique, always goofing around and acting strange in public. Even Madalleena, though she sometimes seemed like a grouch, still had her moments when she would do something goofy.
Settling down into the comfy booth chairs, the group began to munch on their pizza. But before anyone could manage to get halfway through one slice, there was a loud crack of thunder, and then rain began to pour down.
"No! Now we can't go to the concert!" Zana moaned, frowning into her pizza.
"Don't worry, sweety, the rain will probably clear up soon. You know how weather in Neopia Central is," Savannah reassured.
"Good," Sam breathed. She was really looking forward to going to the 2 Gallon Hatz concert and meeting the band members as well.
The conversation then drifted, and the Kacheek smiled around the table. Emily, Zana, and Wren were laughing through tears at jokes that they were telling each other, and Kisa was telling Savannah about a book that she had just finished reading. Dove was inspecting her pizza, trying to decide if it was really made of cloud. Alisa was making silly faces at the baby Xweetok in Savannah's lap, and then laughing whenever the baby did.
The Kacheek's gaze shifted, and she caught sight of Madalleena eyeing her. The moment that the Kougra saw that she had been seen, she ducked her head and resumed eating her dinner.
After a while, the striped Xweetok next to Sam glanced at her watch and gasped. "Oh! We better hurry if we want to get to the concert in time!"
Sam's eyes lit up as she thought about meeting Billy-Joe, and all of the other members of her all-time favorite band. She shoved the remainders of her pizza into her mouth, and then smiled at Zana. "I'm ready!"
Savannah glanced out the window and frowned. "Wait, girls, I think that the storm is getting worse!"
Everyone turned and looked out the window as well. Sure enough, it was now pitch black outside, and the window rattled as the rain hit it. A roll of thunder echoed through the sky, and Alisa and Misty hid their faces in Savannah's shirt fearfully.
"Zana, Sam, I'm sorry, but I think that you'll have to put off the concert, I think that it's too dangerous to ride your bikes to the docks in this weather, and even more dangerous to be out on the water."
"But Savannah, I've never been to one of their concerts!" Sam whined.
"Sorry, Sam, I don't want you to get hurt out there. Besides, you can just save your tickets for the next 2 Gallon Hatz concert."
Slumping down into her chair, the Kacheek groaned.
"Geez, Sam, you don't have to be so rude!" Maddie remarked.
"I wasn't being rude, I am just upset." Sam growled.
"Well, isn't that a change!" Maddie barked sarcastically. "All that you've ever done since the day that you arrived at out house is yell and cry! You could at least be a bit grateful! I mean, without us, you would still be in the Pound!"
"Madalleena!" Savannah cried, shocked. She knew that her Kougra knew better than to act like this.
"Well, at least in the Pound, I would have been welcomed by everyone!"
"Oh, because you would fit right in with the other stuck-up pets that were dumped there?"
Sam's eyes widened with anger, and she slammed down her pizza and pushed herself up so that she was balanced on her feet on the edge of the booth seats, paws on the table. All of the other customers in the restaurant turned their heads and began to watch with interest. "You think that I'm stuck-up?!" Her voice rose several octaves, resulting in it sounding squeaky. "What about you?”
"Samantha!" the young owner cried desperately.
"I bet that is why you were abandoned in the first place!" The faerie Kougra stood also, leaning until the two pets' noses were almost touching.
The Kacheek's eyes filled with a mixture of sadness and rage, and then she yelled so loud that her voice hurt. "I did not get put into the Pound because of the way that I act! I was in a loving and perfect family, and Bree wouldn't have given me up if she didn't have to! If her dumb stocks hadn't plunged, then I would still be living with her and my brother and sisters. But they did, and now I have to go through the rest of my life as an orphan, while you will have Savannah forever!" Sam felt hot tears pour down her cheeks, and she looked once more over her foster family's expressions, before tearing out of the restaurant, grabbing her bike, and pedaling off into the storm.
The young Kacheek pedaled blindly through the darkness, feeling the rain pound against her face, and hearing her foster family's voices calling after her. She knew that she shouldn't have run out into the storm, but she couldn't help it! That Kougra had absolutely no right to say those things about her!
Sam felt a mixture of tears and rain run down her cheeks, but she didn't bother to wipe them away. No one would see her cry out here.
She saw images of her family flash through her mind. Her original family. Images of Bree, the blonde-haired, green-eyed, carefree girl. Dylan, the cool starry Gelert. Laura, the sensible desert Aisha. And then there was Meg. She had always been Sam's favorite. Meg was an orange Kougra with wide, trusting eyes. She had still been in diapers when Bree had left. Sam felt her tears flow faster. She missed Bree so much!
Suddenly, the front tire of her bike hit something hard, and she went airborne.
A cry escaped the Kacheek's lips as she flew through the air. It wasn't like on Neovision where everything happened in slow motion. Everything went so quickly.
She felt something slam into her head.
There was a sharp, horrible flash of pain.
And then everything went dark.
"Sam? Sam?!" Madalleena called, waving her flashlight that the Pizzaroo shopkeeper had lent her. She felt horrible about what she had said to her foster sister.
Something bumped into her, and the Kougra whipped around, only to see her owner, Savannah, looking panicked. Tears streaked down her face, and she sobbed, waving her flashlight frantically.
Maddie felt horrible. She hadn't meant to cause any of this.
The faerie Kougra looked right and left to see all of her foster sisters - except Alisa and Misty, who were with a friend - searching desperately.
"I found her!" Dove's shrill voice finally called out, loud and panicked. Maddie gasped, and allowed Savannah to grab onto her paw, before flying towards the voice.
They found Dove underneath two large oak trees. Her fur dripped from the rain, and she was wringing her paws. At first, Maddie didn’t see Sam.
Then she did.
A few feet away from Dove was Sam’s red bike. It was beaten, and the paint was scratched up. The tires still spun slowly. And a little farther away, hidden by the roots of the oaks, was a tiny and still body. Madalleena’s paw flew to her mouth, and Savannah dashed over to the body, lifting the creature into her arms and sobbing. The older pet began to feel dizzy, and sank to her knees, a single thought replaying through her mind.
It was Sam.
To be continued...