Eleanor's Gift:Part Two
It took almost an hour and a half to get Ellie completely
clean, but when she was it was definitely worth it. She stepped out of the bathroom
looking absolutely beautiful, and I could tell that even Spyke, who had very high
standards, was impressed. She had butter yellow fur, thick and silky, with a paler
lemon underneath. Her tail, short and bushy, was glossy, her eyes were a radiating
pink and her nose was like a little shiny black button. It was a very different
looking Ixi that had emerged from the bathroom that night.
"I must say, Ellie, you look very pretty," commented
Mum warmly. "I'll cook you something, then you can have a good night's rest."
Mum made a few Burgers for us all, with Slushies
for dessert. It was delicious, though I couldn't help feeling guilty. Mum usually
cooked us cheaper things, like vegetables, omelette and the less expensive pizzas,
so I knew that this was because Ellie was here. She wolfed down her food even
faster than Spyke, which left him amazed. I giggled when I saw Murgle obediently
eating his vitamin tablets- usually he would kick up a big fuss, but it seemed
that everyone, including my youngest brother, were determined to make Ellie
feel at home.
Soon Murgle was snoring, so he was put in his
cot. But it was only a couple of hours later, when Mum had tended to the slight
cut on Ellie's leg, and she was fast asleep in my bedroom, that we all talked
about our new visitor.
"She's quiet," remarked Spyke, who was eating
a bag of BBQ Crisps. "I don't think me and her will get on. She's far too shy."
"Now, now," Mum warned. "She's been through
a lot, you can tell. The way she was eating that, she must have never been fed
a proper meal. And the dirt that came off her when she was cleaned! She's been
in the wars, for sure."
"She's okay staying here isn't she?" I asked
anxiously. "When I found her, she was singing. Oh Mum, she sure can sing, she
has a gift. She told me she ran away from her owner."
"Probably mistreated her," Mum said wisely.
"And yes, she can stay. But for how long, I don't know."
"I don't really want her to stay," Spyke said
stubbornly. "We're fine as we are, we're already hard up. We can't afford to
feed her and everything."
"I know," Mum answered, frowning. "I'll be up
early in the morning, to go earn some Neopoints. You'll have to take her to
Neoschool with you two. And please don't argue Spyke, it's getting late."
"But--" Spyke began, so I glared at him and
he took the hint.
"Don't do your practical jokes in front of Ellie
either," I said. "She won't understand."
"I can't do much anymore in my own home," Spyke
"Come on you two, it's getting late," Mum said,
yawning. "See you in the morning."
"And here, class, we have a new student," Mr Trunkles beamed. Mr Trunkles was
our class teacher, a portly red Elephante in a blue suit that always seemed
to be cheerful. Currently he was standing in front of us all, next to Ellie,
who looked terrified. "I'd like you all to welcome Eleanor," he continued. "She'll
be staying at this school for a while. Eleanor, go and sit next to your friend
That lesson we studied Geography, which Ellie
seemed very good at. It wasn't my strongest point, but when we had to work in
partners, I went with Ellie, so we did very well. We learnt all about Mystery
Island, which was our new topic for the term.
"Mystery Island has some great sights," Mr Trunkles
said, pointing to a map on the wall. "On the Mystery Island Tour, you get to
see the Techo Mountain, as well as some of the beautiful sandy beaches."
"Wow, I would love to go," I enthused, poring
over the book Ellie and I were sharing.
"Yes, it's lovely there," Ellie smiled. I stopped,
"You mean you've been there?" I demanded.
"Well… maybe… look it doesn't matter," Ellie
muttered, blushing and looking away. "Forget it."
The rest of the day went uneventfully, and I
soon found out that Ellie was very clever indeed. Her favourite topic had been
Music, where she had happily tinkled away on the school's keyboards. Spyke,
Ellie and I were walking home though, when everything went wrong.
"Well, some of the girls in the class were following
me around today," laughed Spyke, doing several cartwheels over the green grass.
"They're dead annoying."
"Always attached to you, Mr Popular, " I smiled.
"Why do you call them annoying?" she said. "Don't
you like them?"
"No," he said, grinning fiendishly. "I hate
them." I laughed, because I knew Spyke was only joking, but Ellie didn't understand.
"He was only messing around," I said calmly.
"Spyke is always having a laugh. He's the class clown, eh Spykie?" He winked.
"So… Ellie, you're a right little smartie pants,
just like Tiff!" he whispered slyly. Ellie looked shocked.
"Do not call me and Tiff that," she replied,
tears forming in her eyes.
"It's okay," I said hurriedly, shooting angry
glares at Spyke. "He was being stupid. Weren't you, Spyke?"
"No I wasn't," he shouted, turning nasty. "Yeah,
take Eleanor's side, you've only known her a day! What's the point with her
staying here, she's only at our home because we feel sorry for her!" And with
that, Spyke turned and began to fly away, flapping his huge blue wings. Ellie
was crying very softly, and looked me in the eye.
"I am not staying at your home anymore," she
said solemnly. "I will leave as soon as I can, but please don't make me go to
"You're staying," I cried. "Ignore him, he's
acting like a brat. I know he can sometimes go a bit too far with his jokes,
but I've never known him to be plain nasty before. We want you with us, we really
When we arrived home, Mum had got back from
a hard day earning Neopoints.
"I have a few thousand now at least," she said,
smiling tiredly. "But goodness me I'm exhausted! Where's Spyke?"
"Err…" I said, glancing at Ellie. She was sitting
on the sofa, staring into space. "I don't know," I confessed, hurriedly explaining
what had happened. Mum looked shocked.
"Oh no," she cried. "Silly boy! He should be
back soon. What do you want for dinner? I don't have much at the minute, how
about some vegetables with a bit of Carrot And Pea Omelette?"
"Sounds very nice," smiled Ellie, all of a sudden.
"I will make it, Miss. I enjoy cooking."
"Alright then," Mum said, pleased. "But please,
call me Dion. I had better go looking for that little terror in a minute. Tiff,
will you check on Murgle? He's been asleep for ages, since we came back."
I walked over to Murgle's cot, and fondly held
him in my arms, but something was wrong. His usual rosy pink cheeks were covered
in little blue spots, while his arms and legs were covered in both green and
blue. He seemed to be rather distressed, because he was whimpering quietly and
his eyes were streaming.
"Mum! Murgle's ill!" I cried, my eyes wide with
fear. Mum cradled him and examined him closely.
"He's got Hoochie Coochies!" she shouted in
alarm. "Oh no! I can't afford the medicine! What are we going to do?" Ellie
glanced over from her cooking, and screamed when she saw the baby.
"Poor Murgle!" she said woefully. "Will he be
"We don't know Ellie," I answered. "But things
are looking pretty bad at the minute. Spyke's gone and Murgle is ill- what are
we going to do?"
To be continued…