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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 92 > Short Stories > The Stinkers Strike Back

The Stinkers Strike Back

by tolkienlordofthering

Nastyhobbitses, currently a blue Pteri, trudged across his lawn warily, soccer ball in wing. It had been a long morning for him, and his soccer team, the Strikers. ‘More like the Stinkers,’ he thought grimly as he recalled the game, which they had lost by more than ten points.

     “They lost it because of me,” he mumbled. “Just because I can’t kick the ball into the goal, or defend our goal for that matter. I wish the coach would see that I’m no good, and let everyone else play instead.”

     The Pteri walked into his NeoHome and set the ball down on the floor, then bent over to take his cleats and shin-guards off.

     Innocent_Baby_Eyes, the baby Gelert came out to meet him. “How did you do?” she asked, jumping up and down. She was too young to join a soccer team, although she loved the sport with all her heart. She was good at—and liked—all sports imaginable.

     “We did great. We only lost by about ten today,” he replied sarcastically, then quickly changed the subject. “I’m hungry. Is lunch ready yet?”

     “We all had sandwiches already. You have to make your own,” she said, taken aback by her brother’s bad behavior. “When you’re done, do you want to play soccer? I could give you some tips and…”

     She was cut short. “I don’t need help! Just leave me alone. Just because I stink at soccer, and you know it, doesn’t mean I need help from YOU!”

     “OK, if that’s what you think, I’ll find somebody else to play with me!” she said, marching to her sister Kmaki’s room, only to find out that her Kougra sister couldn’t play until she cleaned her room, which was the next thing to impossible, seeing as the floor was cluttered with all sorts of junk.

***

Over the next few days, Nastyhobbitses had more soccer practices. His next game was only one day away, and he was doing no better than he had been at the last practice.

     He was just about ready to give up and quit the team, but he knew he couldn’t possibly do something like that… could he? He quickly pushed the thought out of his mind, and started thinking about the game tomorrow.

***

It was a bright sunny day outside, and just the right temperature to have a soccer game. Nastyhobbitses’ team came to the game field, and started stretching. The Pteri looked over to the sidelines, and saw his three sisters and owner, ready to cheer him on.

     The referee blew the whistle and the Strikers took their places on the field. Nastyhobbitses was put in as a forward, and he was shaking nervously, as usual.

     It was their team’s kickoff, and a red Uni named Synthia kicked the ball. It went flying over the other team’s heads, and Nastyhobbitses sprinted to reach the ball before the other team got it.

     He was too late. A player from the other team reached the ball first, and began dribbling towards the Striker’s goal. He shot for the goal, and the ball rolled in easily, right between the goalie’s Lenny wings. Nastyhobbitses groaned and covered his face with his wings.

     The game went on for another hour, and every few minutes, the other team would make a goal on the poor Lenny, who was very frustrated by now.

     Finally, the game was done. The strikers had lost, 9-0. After a quick talk from their coach, Nastyhobbitses hung his head and walked over to his family.

     He looked at Baby_Eyes. “Do you think… you could help me with my soccer skills?” he asked, blushing.

     “Of course!” she smiled. “We can do it here, on the field.”

     The two walked onto the field. “You play goalkeeper while I take shots on you,” she commanded.

     The Pteri had never tried being a goalie before, but he trudged over to the goal, and concentrated on one thing: the soccer ball.

     The Gelert shot, but Nastyhobbitses quickly snatched up the ball in his wings, and gave it a long, hard drop-kick back to her. She kicked the ball as hard as she could, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get it past her brother.

     Baby_Eyes’ mouth dropped open as she stared at her brother. “I think we’ve found what you’re good at!” she exclaimed joyfully.

     “Really?”

     “Yeah!” she came closer to him. “You’re the best goalkeeper I’ve ever seen! Even better than that Lenny,” she whispered.

     Nastyhobbitses beamed. He hadn’t noticed that his coach was watching from the sidelines. When he saw how good a goalie he was, he came running up to him. “I’m amazed!” he said. “From now on, you can be our goalie.”

     “But, what about Starry?” asked Nastyhobbitses, referring to the Lenny.

     “Oh, don’t worry about him. He was getting tired of playing goalie anyway, and he’s much better at other positions,” replied the smiling coach.

***

Baby_Eyes and Nastyhobbitses spent all their spare time playing soccer in their backyard. Every time the little Gelert kicked the ball towards the goal, her brother stopped it.

     The next game--the one that determined which team was the champion--was this evening, and the Pteri was trying to get in all the practice he could get.

     Arainzil came out of the NeoHome. “Nastyhobbitses, it’s time to get ready for your game!” she yelled from the doorway.

***

Nastyhobbitses got into his goalie gloves and uniform right when he arrived at the field. “I’m ready,” he said to his coach as he and the others marched into their positions on the field.

     The whistle blew, and the other team started dribbling right towards the nervous Pteri. A player shot the ball, but Nastyhobbitses scooped it up into his wings and gave it a hard kick downfield to Starry, then held his breath. The Lenny was heading towards the opposite team’s goal, and with one kick, it flew right past the other goalkeeper and into the goal.

     The audience cheered loudly with anticipation as they watched the rest of the game.

     When the tournament was done, Nastyhobbitses and Starry were congratulated for their outstanding work. The final score was 3-2, and even though the Strikers had lost, it had been the best game they had ever played. And all because a blue Pteri had asked his little sister for help.

The End


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