The Usuki Singing Stars #5: Patricia Skis Again
“It sure is high up here,” Patricia whimpered as she rode on the chair lift. The faerie Shoyru was shaking with fear as the chair lift took her high and high into the air. Patricia, and the rest of her gym class, was spending a day at the Terror Mountain ski slopes. When she had finally reached the top, Patricia, Sparkles and Scary, jumped off the lift and made their way to the others. Lola couldn’t go skiing because she had caught a terrible flu bug.
Lucky Lola, Patricia thought as she stared down at the ground below. Oh, why did she have to go skiing! After the Pant Devil and Aubri, skiing was the worst thing in all of Neopia. Because of her natural fear of heights, and her fear of injuring herself, Patricia had decided to ski down the Cybunny slope. But her friends, however, had other ideas.
“I want to go down the Triple Black Diamond!” Sparkles exclaimed. The pink Bruce adored skiing. She was also the best skier in the class!
Scary nodded and said, “Yeah! I’m sure that hill is a piece of fruit cake. Are you ready, Pat?” The purple Bruce was waiting for Patricia to respond, but the only thing Patricia could do was whimper.
“I can’t go down there!” Patricia exclaimed as she shook. “It’s too... too... high! I think I’m going to go to the Cybunny slopes instead. I’m sure those are way safer.”
“Oh, you mean the baby slopes?” a brown Aisha asked. Patricia shivered as Aubri, who was her public enemy, approached her with a confident smile. “I was sure that a winged freak like you could tackle any slope. But luckily I was wrong. If you didn’t want to come, Patricia, you could have stayed back home with your little bottle.”
“I’m not a baby,” Patricia mumbled. “I’m just a bit cautious, that’s all.”
“Yeah right,” Aubri scoffed. “I’ve met petpets who were braver than you! But I guess that’s what you are: A big, winged baby.”
“Pat’s not a baby!” a blue Shoyru shouted. Patricia shivered harder. It was Alan! In order to “support her”, Patricia’s family had decided to chaperone the ski trip. Alan and his Puppyblew Marc were happily running around in the snow. Their mother was busy watching the young Neopians ski.
“Hurry up, Pat,” Scary moaned. “If you want to prove your better than Lola, hurry up! We’re not going to wait forever.”
“Coming,” Patricia sighed. She tried to walk to her, but her skis were very difficult to walk in. Thud! Because she tripped over her left ski, Patricia fell over face down into the freezing snow. She groaned to herself as she saw everyone else, except Aubri, ski their way down the Triple Black Diamond. But why didn’t Aubri go?
“Why didn’t you go downhill?” Patricia huffed as she tried to get up.
Aubri just laughed. “There is no way I’m going to ruin my new fur coat just for some dumb school mark,” she explained. “But don’t even bother telling me your excuse, because I already know yours: you’re afraid.”
“I am not!” Patricia protested, but even she couldn’t take herself seriously. Was she really a coward? Patricia sighed as she trudged toward her mother, who held her very close. Aubri just laughed and walked toward the ski lodge. Patricia just sighed and turned toward the slope. The Cybunny Slope: This was designed for beginning skiers. Not for Patricia, who was too afraid to even be a beginner! But just as she was walking away, something caught Patricia’s eyes.
“Ann!” Patricia cried. “It’s the third Usuki Singing Star!” Sure enough, the blond haired yellow Usul that Patricia was screaming at was Ann! Without thinking, Patricia ran toward Ann, making sure that she didn’t trip over her skis. Ann was surprised when Patricia approached her.
“Hi... Ann,” Patricia huffed. She tired hard to catch her breath.
“Hello,” said Ann. She was also wearing a pair of skis, but for some reason her legs were shaking. “You’re not here to watch me ski, are you?” After Patricia shook her head, Ann said, “Good. Because I am never going to ski again! I don’t even know why I volunteered to pose here for my winter NT photo spread.”
Neither do I, Patricia thought. Even though she didn’t have a photo spread, she understood Ann’s feelings. Why did she sign up for the ski trip, if it was optional? Why couldn’t she just run lap after lap in the gym, like the others?
“Well, I’m not going to go down this thing,” Ann declared. And with that, Ann took off her skis and walked away. Patricia watched with amazement as Ann strutted toward the lodge, not caring that she had just ended a once in a lifetime NT spread. And if Ann could walk away from the slopes, why couldn’t Patricia?
“Help,” a voice cried. Patricia turned around and saw her mother screaming, “Oh my poor Alan! When I wasn’t watching him, Alan must have put on skis he found and went down that slope. Won’t anyone help him?”
Alan! Patricia thought. Even though Lenny rescuers were coming, Patricia felt that they were coming too slow. Without even thinking, Patricia grabbed her ski poles, flung on her skis, and headed down the slope in a flash.
What a thrill! Patricia tried hard not to scream, but she couldn’t help it! As she skied, she looked around the slope for Alan. She tried to keep her eyes open, but her eyes would sometimes shut close. But she tried hard to keep them open, even if she was having a heart attack. When she saw him, Patricia tried to shout at him.
“Alan!” Patricia shouted. “Alan, can you hear me?” When Alan didn’t respond, Patricia tried to kneel forward. This was a skiing trick Sparkles, and her instructor, taught her. It was supposed to make her ski faster, which was what Patricia needed to do in order to catch up to Alan.
The faster she skied, the more Patricia began to actually enjoy skiing... at least a bit. There were no trees or snow drifts on the slopes, so Patricia was pleased that she wouldn’t injure herself. The farther she knelt, the faster Patricia felt she was going. She was beginning to catch up to Alan!
When she saw a Lenny rescuer skiing beside her, Patricia shouted at him, “Go over there! And stop!” Following her instructions, the Lenny skied his way toward Alan and stopped himself in front of him. Patricia watched in relief as the Lenny picked up Alan and took him back to the top of the slope. But when she turned forward, Patricia couldn’t believe it: she was already halfway down the slope!
I can do this, Patricia thought. As she skied, Patricia noticed that a yellow Kau was skiing beside her. She then took a picture of Patricia and said, “This will look perfect for the winter issue! Thanks, kid.”
Patricia nodded as she skied faster and faster down the slope. When she finally made it to the bottom, she huffed and puffed and collapsed to the ground. Her legs were as wobbly as jelly, and her arms were shaking furiously. She was pleased when Sparkles and Scary ran toward her.
“Congrats, Pat! You made it down the Snowbunny!” Sparkles exclaimed as she helped Patricia up. Did she really go down the Snowbunny slope?
“You went down the slope and you’re still shaking? Ha!” Scary scoffed. “I went down the Triple Black Diamond, and I am still up for going it down again. But at least you did something that prissy Lola couldn’t.”
“Yeah,” Patricia sighed. As she rode up the ski lift with her friends, Patricia couldn’t help but think about her terrifying journey down the slope. But she was also worrying over Alan. Was he okay? Was he hurt? Did he have to go to the hospital?
When they reached the top, Patricia ran toward her mother, who was cradling a tired Alan in her arms. Marc barked happily when Patricia came, and continued sniffing the air for snowflakes. Her mother looked at Patricia with a relieved look.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” her mother whispered. Patricia nodded and walked back to her friends, who were waiting for her by the Snowbunny slope.
“I’m so glad you conquered your fear, Pat.” Sparkles smiled. “Scary and I are going down the Snowbunny again. Want to come with us?”
“Unless you’re still a Mallard,” Scary added as she prepared her starting position.
Patricia looked down at the slope. Did she really conquer her fear? Could she go down the slop again? When she saw the familiar Lenny rescuer on the edge on the slope, Patricia sighed with relief and smiled at Scary.
“Beat you there,” Patricia replied. Scary nodded, and then the three girls quickly jumped toward the slope, hoping to win their little race. But even though Sparkles was beating them, Patricia was just relieved that she could ski down the slope without her fears.