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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Relaxing, Yr 20
The Neopian Times Week 107 > Short Stories > Sneezles

Sneezles

by chibi_wolf_syaoran

Sneezles* the blue Zafara stared longingly at the "Princess Pink" table in the cafeteria. Her soft blue eyes wavered slightly as she scanned the "cool" group.

     The table only consisted of six members -- a pretty, Faerie Uni, two pink twin Usuls, a cloud Peophin, a desert Aisha, and a starry Gelert. They all looked extremely beautiful and well groomed. She knew they belonged to illustrious owners; the Uni's owner, brite_starry_nite*, was one of the richest Neopians around.

     I wish I could be like them, Sneezles thought sadly, brushing a tangle out of her own mangled coat. I wish I could be pretty and have everyone look up to me and respect me…

     Sneezles didn't have an owner; she was abandoned when she was only a few months old. She had lived in the Neopian Pound for quite a few years already, but she didn't mind it all that much. Ms. Cupcake and Ms. Snowflake were really nice to her. In fact, Ms. Snowflake was the one who persuaded her to come to Neoschool. "You need to go have fun, and learn! Every neopet should have the chance to a good education."

     Though she was very poor and very plain, Sneezles had one big wish. She wanted to win the beauty contest. Every time she saw a neopet proudly displaying a trophy from the beauty contest, Sneezles wished with all her heart that she might someday own one, although with her plain color, tangled fur, and quiet ways, she doubted she would ever be noticed, unlike Luna, who was considered a shoo-in to win the contest.

     "Hey, Sneezles," a sweet yellow Poogle came up to her. "Whatcha thinkin' 'bout?"

     Sneezles smiled at her young friend. Connie* was only a year old, and only in second grade, but had already made lots of friends because she was so lovable. If only I was as cute as Connie, then everyone would love me, too. "Nothing, Connie. Just random stuff."

     "Oh. Hey, Luna's* inviting us to the beauty contest on Saturday, wanna come? Pweeeze?" Big, melting Poogle eyes turned on her.

     Laughing, Sneezles agreed. "Alright, Connie, just for you," she joked… when suddenly, she remembered. Luna was the Faerie Uni that she admired so much, the rich, gorgeous, socialite Uni. Regretting her thoughtless decision, Sneezles sank down in her chair.

     Connie was oblivious to Sneezle's sudden change of temperament. "Okay then! See you at 4:00 at Luna's house!"

     "Umm… Connie… I don't think Luna would like it if I came…" After all, Sneezles was the plain, old, Zafara that no one wanted. How could a nobody like her go to a big party hosted by the coolest neopet around?

     Connie blew off her excuse with an airy wave. "No prob, Luna already told me I could invite anyone I wanted!"

     Yeah, Sneezles thought miserably, she didn't know you would invite the biggest loser of all Neopia!

     Connie surveyed Sneezle's downcast expression and silence. "Aw, c'mon, it'll be fun. It's just a beauty contest, nothing big's gonna happen!"

     "All right, all right," Sneezles reluctantly agreed. "I'll be there…"

~~~~At the Contest~~~~

Sneezles trudged her way up to the big building in which the prettiest Neopets met. Why did I have to come? Why?

     Finally arriving at the humongous mansion, Sneezles could hear the faint sound of music coming from inside. Walking tentatively towards big wooden door, she was stopped by a sudden shriek.

     "WHAT is that Fuh-REAK doing here?" Luna made a disbelieving noise, and gawked at Sneezles. A hush fell over the noisy group, and everyone turned to face them.

     Sneezles whimpered as all the eyes of the Neopets in the room turned to her. She sniffled as her eyes started watering. Then, suddenly, a cheerful voice broke the tension.

     "Hi, Sneezles! Luna, I see you met Sneezles. She's a really good friend of mine. I'm glad you made it, Sneezles! C'mon, I want you to meet the other beauty contestants!" Connie beamed at her, seemingly oblivious to everyone staring at her like she had grown two heads. However, after Connie's statement, everyone went back to what they were doing, and Luna huffed but let Sneezles through.

     Sneezles whimpered and clambered into the building, wishing she had never came. It was so embarrassing… even though she was thankful to Connie for helping her out, she was also humiliated for having to depend on a second grader to save her, however popular. No wonder she wasn't even being nominated for the beauty contest…

     Sneezles was miserable throughout the whole party. She didn't know anyone there, except for Connie; they were all snobby, rich Neopets. In fact, many of them were taught by their owners, being considered too good for Neoschool.

     Since Connie couldn't always stay with her, Sneezles spent much of her time wandering around the room. It was humongous, with lots of props and beauty items. She was approaching the stage when she heard some voices talking.

     "…look on her face?"

     "Ya, totally uncool… I mean, she almost had a breakdown!" Giggles came from behind the tree.

     Sneezles eyes filled with tears again. They were making fun of her! She was about to slink away when she heard something else.

     "Like, totally! I mean, she's rich and cultured like us, but come ON! As if she could just start yelling like that… TOTAL image wipe-out!"

     Sneezles gasped. They weren't talking about her, they were talking about LUNA! She had to tell her. She looked around for Luna, but couldn't see her anywhere.

     What should I do? Think, think…Just leave. That's it. I've never heard this conversation before… Sneezles walked away from the tree, but then was stopped by her conscience. Gossiping is bad. I have to stop them!

     Taking a deep breath, Sneezles stepped up in front of the stage, looking up. "You shouldn't be mean like that! Luna was just surprised, that's all…"

     The gossipers stopped talking, shocked to see someone who had listened in. Sneezles was shocked as well; the people who were saying bad things about Luna were the friends she sat with at lunch!

     After a period of silence, one of the Usul twins spoke up. "So… the freak stands up for her bully, eh?" There were a few weak, scattered laughs.

     "I may be a freak, but at least I'm not a backstabber like YOU!" Sneezles didn't know where she got the courage to stand up to the spoiled Neopets.

     "What's going on here? I bet they can hear you from, like Mystery Island!" Luna rolled her eye-shadowed eyes and giggled, then noticed Sneezles standing there. "What are YOU doing here, freak? Stay away from us, we won't wanna be friends with losers like you."

     Sneezles, not believing that the neopet she stood up for would turn on her like that, stared at Luna, then ran away, speechless. As she ran, she could hear strains of laughter in the background.

     Forget it, I'm not staying here any longer.

     Sneezles ran all the way back to the pound, crying, not even bothering to stay for the judging.

~~~~The Neoschool cafeteria~~~~

"Well, well, well… look who it is… the freak!" Luna and her simpering, backstabbing friends giggled.

     Sneezles tried to push her way past Luna, but she blocked her way.

     "What, not trying to push your way into our group, now?" Luna mocked.

     Sneezles couldn't take it anymore. "You know what? Last Saturday, I was defending you! Your so-called "friends" were making fun of you behind your back. I was telling them off for saying mean things, but you're not very thankful, are you? Because all YOU care about are Neopoints, popularity and looking good. You know what? You're poor in spirit, despised even by your "friends", and have an ugly heart!"

     Luna was shocked. No one dared to speak to her like that! "Why… why you…" She was speechless. She turned to her friends. "Is this true??!!"

     Her friends either turned away shamefully or shook their head, terrified.

     No matter how much she wanted to disbelieve it, Luna knew the crying, angry, plain blue Zafara was right. Tears welled up in her own beautiful, crystal-blue eyes. "How could you," she whispered. "How could you?" She ran off, crying.

     Sneezles felt bad that she had made Luna cry, but deep down in her heart, she knew that it was Luna's friends who had truly made her sad, and she had done the right thing in telling Luna. Sometimes it feels awful to do the right thing… Knowing that when she was tortured by mean Neopets, she would've liked a friend to talk to, Sneezles headed towards where Luna ran off to, sending one last, angry glare at the "Princess Pink" group.

     "Luna! Luna, wait up…"

     Sneezles finally caught up to her in a deserted hallway. Luna was crouched on the ground, sobbing. "How could they do this to me? I was their best friend!!!"

     Sneezles felt sorry for the beautiful Uni. "It's okay, Luna. Sometimes, Neopets can be just plain mean."

     Luna stared up at Sneezles, eyes rimmed with red. "But… I was AWFUL to you! How come you're here, trying to comfort me? I called you a freak… and a loser, and so many other bad things! So why are you helping me? Shouldn't you be with my "friends", laughing at me behind my back?" Luna erupted into sobs again. "How can you take it? People being so mean to you, I mean… how can you take it?"

     Sneezles sat down beside Luna. "It IS hard. But don't worry, you've done great in the past, you have the confidence, the style, the courage. If I'm okay, you will be too. And besides, it's easy. You just have to be nicer to people. Even though I don't look it, I have quite a few friends… they're just not "higher-class", you know? I didn't get to be their friend because I'm rich, or famous, or beautiful, I'm their friend because I care about them."

     "Thanks… you know, it's weird. Just a while ago, I teased you about wanting to be my friend… I guess you are, now." Luna managed a weak laugh.

     Sneezles was immensely happy. She had made a new friend! "Luna? You go, girl." She smiled. "Hey, I never stuck around long enough to find out… did you win that trophy?"

     Luna smiled, her tears finally beginning to disappear. "Yes. But you're right, I'm not really pretty, I have an ugly heart. You, however, have a very beautiful heart." Luna, the most popular neopet in Neoschool, the richest, the classiest, and the pickiest, gave Sneezles a hug.

~~~~The Next Day~~~~

"Hi," Luna said shyly to her new friends, Sneezles, Connie, and a few other plain Neopets. "I'd like to make an announcement."

     She pulled out a shiny gold trophy.

     "This is the beauty contest trophy I won on Saturday. However, I don't think that contest was judged fairly. I now present the new winner, Sneezles!"

Sneezles the Blue Zafara

Beauty Contest

Overall Winner

     A round of warm-hearted applause erupted from the mediocre crowd. Connie whistled.

     Sneezles accepted the trophy, tears of joy in her eyes. "Thank you so much, Luna." She couldn't have in her wildest dreams imagined Luna, the coolest neopet in Neoschool, giving her a beauty contest trophy. This was the best day of her life. She had finally gotten her wish, and not to mention a new friend as well!

     "Thanks for teaching me that true friends are what counts, and inner beauty attracts true friends." Luna smiled warmly at Sneezles, the first true smile she had in quite a while. "Congratulations, Sneezles. You're a true winner!"

The End

Author's Note: Hope you all liked it! *I just made up the names, so sorry if I used anyone's Neopet's name!


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