Usuki Singing Stars #45: It's Fun Without Scary!
"That was so much fun, Patricia!” Sparkles gushed as she entered the living room. The pink Bruce turned to her friend and, with a wink, said, “With the perfect accessory, any girl can be a superstar!”
Scary looked up from her fashion magazine. “And who or what in Neopia preached that?” scoffed the purple Bruce.
“It was a shopkeeper Patricia and I visited today,” Sparkles explained.
Patricia showed Scary the woven bracelet she’d bought. “Isn't this the cutest thing ever?” beamed the faerie Shoyru. “We bought matching ones—though mine is purple and yellow, and Sparkles’ is—”
“I didn’t ask for your life story, Pat,” Scary sighed.
“Well, it was a pretty fun Marketplace shopping trip,” said Sparkles contentedly. “I can't believe there was a store that only sold cinnamon rolls!”
“Yeah! We ate two Aisha-shaped ones and didn’t have enough for lunch,” Patricia laughed. “Hey, how about we take Scary with us the next time we go shopping?”
Sparkles shook her head. “She doesn't like going to the Marketplace—something about second-hand items being resold bothers her for some reason.”
“I don’t believe in purchasing things that were previously owned by slack-jawed yokels,” Scary said firmly. “Besides, who’s to say the ‘merchandise’ was properly sanitized before being put for sale?”
“But they also have these really cool artisans who sell handmade knick-knacks,” said Patricia.
Scary rolled her eyes. “Only Snaw is interested in tacky trinkets.”
“That’s true,” Sparkles agreed. “It’s okay, Scare. Not everyone likes going to the Marketplace on Sundays.”
“Or carnivals,” Patricia added.
“There was a WHAT and WHERE was I?” Scary fumed, snapping her magazine shut. “And where was I when this ‘supposed carnival’ took place?”
“I think it was last Saturday,” said Patricia thoughtfully.
“Besides, I know how much you dislike carnivals,” Sparkles insisted. “So Patricia and I went by ourselves. We also went to Brunch on Sunday, and since you dislike Brunch for some reason—”
“Forget it.” Scary stomped out of the living room. Why were Sparkles and Patricia having so much fun without HER?? To think those fashionably-challenged dweebs thought they could only have fun without their closest and dearest Bruce! Scary kicked the top step and, still burning with rage, headed to her bedroom. If they think they can get away with having fun without me, I'll have to prove those two wannabes wrong! Only then shall victory finally belong to me: Scary, Empress of Cool!
The next day after Neoschool, Scary forced herself to tag alongside Sparkles and Lola as they headed to the Marketplace. Now we’ll see if I’m as ‘no fun’ as they claim I am, Scary thought triumphantly.
“Ooh, you wanna come too Scare?” Sparkles asked gleefully.
Lola smiled. “It’ll be so much fun with all three of us shopping together,” remarked the yellow Cybunny. “I need all the help I can get to find a new apron.”
Scary shrugged. “Whatever gets me out of the house and away from Snaw’s pathetic existence.”
As the girls approached the Marketplace, Scary shivered. All around them, Neopians rushed past them, wearing horribly outdated clothes and carrying cloth bags as if they were accessories. Scary thought everybody here were freaks: a sea of boldly-coloured Neopians wearing bohemian-style clothing, some not even wearing shoes. “It’s like we’re on a different planet or something,” Scary grumbled. “Just look at what they’re wearing!”
“I think their clothes are so retro-chic,” said Sparkles. “Right Lola?”
“Agreed. The colours are so pretty,” said Lola.
“Pfft. You two are so blind,” Scary scoffed, eyeing a white Lenny’s blue and green dress. When she turned back to Sparkles, she realized her sister—and Lola, whose presence didn’t matter as much—was gone. Fuming, Scary stormed through a group of green and yellow Lennys to reach a nearby stall with a bright pink awning. Sure enough, Sparkles and Lola were there, laughing and admiring themselves in pairs of heart-shaped sunglasses.
“Ooh Lola, these are so cute,” Sparkles gushed.
“Hey look, Scary found us,” said Lola, waving Scary over.
Furious, Scary shoved a disco Moehog aside. “And what are you two MORONS shopping for now?” she demanded.
“Just sunglasses,” said Sparkles, removing her pair. “So, find anything interesting yet?”
“No, I have not,” Scary sighed. “Though you two weirdos seem content with shopping for cheap plastic trinkets.”
Lola nodded. “These sunglasses are so cute. I think I’ll buy two pairs; one for me, and another for my Snorkle.”
“Speaking of petpets,” said Sparkles excitedly, “I remember seeing these super cute petpet clothes at a nearby stall! Let’s go there right now.”
Before Scary could say anything, Sparkles quickly led Lola through a thicket of shoppers. Those morons! There they go, ditching me AGAIN because I don’t care about stupid petpet clothes, Scary thought angrily.
The stall-keeper, a disco Aisha, smiled sympathetically. “You seem to be feeling left out—like the fourth wheel of a wheelbarrow.”
“Yippee. A philosophic quote from a shopkeeper,” Scary said sarcastically. “Look lady, shouldn't you be busy selling cheap trinkets to your idiotic clientele?”
“There’s no need for such harsh words ‘cause your own feelings have been hurt,” urged the Aisha. “Insulting me and my things won’t make you feel any better.”
Scary sighed. “Fine. But do hurry up before I follow my intuition and hurl dirt-balls at you.”
The Aisha nodded. “I can see that your fragility has left you feeling scorned; it’s something you refuse to show other Neopians.” She smiled sympathetically. "You may not show it, but deep inside, you have a very nice sensitive side."
“Bo-ring,” Scary drawled. “Got anything new?”
“You’re afraid of losing your friendship with the one you hold most dearly,” remarked the Aisha. “You know, that pink Bruce you're related to and were shopping with earlier. Your fear is that she’ll move on with that Cybunny, or anybody else, because you’re too difficult to spend time with. And then who'll be the unfortunate one?”
Scary shifted uncomfortably. Despite her strong dislike for the bohemian-looking Aisha, she had to admit—though never out loud, Fyora forbid!—that she was partly right about something. Although, even an idiot like Snaw could have picked that up with baby pet-level detective work, Scary told herself.
“If you want, I can sell you a pair of friendship bracelets for a small discount,” the Aisha offered. "They’ll make a perfect patching-things-up gift.”
Scary raised an eyebrow. “So was THAT your angle all along, Ms. Wannabe Fortune Teller?” she sniffed. “You dare fake your sympathy towards me so I would waste my money on a couple of plastic pieces of junk? Pfft, you Marketplace shop owners are all weirdly-dressed crooks!”
“That wasn’t—” the Aisha began.
“Save it for Lawyerbot!” Scary walked away, her head held high as she navigated through a bustling crowd. She was relieved to finally getting away from that possible scam artist—and to being able to leave the wretched Marketplace, even if it meant leaving Sparkles behind. For Scary, staying around was so not worth the stress.
“Wasn't the Marketplace fun, Scare?” asked Sparkles, parading around the living room with the new scarf she’d bought. “Although I was surprised you left without us. Were you feeling okay?”
“That place was a bohemian doom-trap!” Scary huffed. “A stupid Aisha tried scamming me with fake advice, and of course nobody there had heard of ‘modern fashions’. So no, my time there was terrible and I will never, EVER be dragged back there unless it burned to the ground in a sea of righteous flames.”
“That's a shame.” Sparkles held out a purple and green beaded bracelet. “Lola and I visited this jewelry stall, and the yellow Bruce sold us three bracelets for only one hundred neopoints! So we thought that maybe you'd want this one.”
“Pfft. Don’t patronize me with that tacky thing,” Scary sniffed.
Sparkles shrugged. “Okay…” She beamed. “But you know, it has been quite a while since we’ve hung out. That’s what Patricia said the last time we went shopping together.”
“I've been busy doing other things,” Scary insisted. "And besides, it's only been a few days. You don't have to be so melodramatic."
Sparkles nodded, as if understanding. “Yeah, there was that English assignment we had to do and that Math test to study for.”
“Whatever.” Scary picked up her fashion magazine and flipped through it, hoping Sparkles would stop her endless blabbering.
“Well then,” said Sparkles excitedly, “how about we go to the Smoothie Shop tomorrow after Neoschool? Lola and Patricia can come and then we’ll, you know, just hang out together.”
“Fine,” said Scary. At least she’s finally stopped ignoring me, she added quietly, with secret relief. Now if only we can stop associating with that idiotic Lola.
As soon as Sparkles walked away, Scary murmured, “It was only a matter of time until she would come crawling back like the spineless dweezil she is." She smirked, secretly relieved things were finally back to normal.