"Relax, you'll do fine." Ridergirl333 patted her green
Scorchio on the back encouragingly.
"I don't know," said the green Scorchio, who
was named EmeraldFlame555 and called Emerald by his friends. "I've never done
a show before."
"You seem to do it well enough at home," I said,
shooting him a murderous glance.
Last week, big Hollywood producers had discovered
my brother Emerald's talent for comedy. Now, they wanted to see him in action.
It all started when Emerald was teasing me in
the food shop. I'm a Uni, but I'm not as vain and conceited as other members
of my species. I'm more of an academic type, choosing to create marvelous poems,
stories, and songs rather than admire myself in a mirror. My owner Ridergirl
says I remind her of her. Ridergirl is a great student.
However, Emerald's specialty is his sense of
humour. He was mocking my looks in the meats aisle. Then, a rich Mynci dressed
in a suit and top hat asked Em if he would like to star in his next movie! The
Mynci's name was Steven Steinberg and he had directed "Tyrannia Park" and other
famous films. His next film was to be a comedy about a young Scorchio falling
in love for the first time.
Now, palms sweating, chest heaving, my young
brother took his first step onto the stage and into the world of superstars.
We were in The Golden Dubloon. Pirates of all
sizes, shapes and species glared at Emerald insultingly. This would be a tough
crowd to please. And yet, front row centre, I saw Mr. Steinberg and his workers,
cheering Emerald on.
"Good evening ladies and germs! My name is Emerald
and I'll be your stand-up clown! And speaking of clowns let me tell you one
about a Koi, a Grarrl, and a Uni who walk into a restaurant. 'What'll you have
today?' the waiter asked. 'I'll have some kelp,' The Koi said. 'I'll have some
fried Jubjub,' the Grarrl said. The Uni thought for a moment, then she said,
'I'm on a diet today, sir. Make it a small salad and could I borrow some hairspray?'"
Emerald's imitation of a Uni was... awful. He
was mocking Unis everywhere! He held his head up high, with a snooty air to
him. He made his voice high-pitched and squeaky. He even wiped his lips with
a lace handkerchief.
For several agonising moments, the crowd sat
stock-still, scarcely breathing.
The, the entire restaurant erupted in laughter.
"Hoo hoo! He's a good one, sir!" a young Kyrii
told Mr. Steinberg.
"Wait until I tell you about the time I saw
three Unis walk into a building. You'd think one of them would have seen it!"
The crowd loved Emerald's Uni jokes.
I was shocked.
An odd warm sensation formed behind my eyes.
Not now, I thought to myself. Don't cry!
If there are two things I pride myself on, it's
my intelligence and my toughness. I always keep my cool in a fight, and I have
never lost. I haven't cried in public since I was a baby. And while other Unis
weep their eyes out over nothing, I'll be strong.
But nothing like this has ever happened before.
My own brother betrayed me.
All for fame and fortune.
Silently, I ran from the room. I couldn't hold
the tears back any longer. I went into a bathroom stall and cried.
The audience loved me! Fame, here I come!
Mr. Steinberg himself came up to congratulate
me! He asked if I could try out for the part of Nick, the Scorchio who falls
in love in his movie! Me, EmeraldFlame555, a movie star!
Pirates and tourists visiting Krawk Island shook
my hand, asking me questions about my comedy career. Everyone seemed to welcome
Everyone but my own family.
Sure, Amethyst the purple Peophin congratulated
me, but Sapphire gave me icy glares. Ridergirl said nothing, keeping her face
as blank as a wiped slate.
Ruby was nowhere to be seen.
But I had little time to dwell on this, because
a hundred people were asking me questions:
"What is your name?"
"Where do you live?"
"Where did you learn to be so funny?"
"Can I have your autograph?"
Okay, so no one asked me for my autograph, but
when I replay the scene in my mind, I always add that part in.
Ah, I was enjoying the fame already. But where
was my sister Ruby the red Uni?
I asked Ridergirl where Ruby was. I could tell
that Ridergirl was trying to control her temper. After biting her tongue several
times, Ridergirl said, "She went to the bathroom."
Just, "She went to the bathroom." No detail,
nothing. She just said it in a dull tone, like she was hiding something.
Confused, I walked to the hallway where the
bathrooms were. I knocked quietly on the door of the girl's room. "Ruby, are
you in there?"
I heard a sob, a choking noise, and then hooves
clicking on linoleum. Ruby walked to the door and opened it. "What do you want?"
"What's the matter?"
"Are you sure I'm not too dumb to tell you what
the matter is?" She asked grouchily.
I was taken aback. Shocked. "Ruby, let me explain!"
"You don't have to explain. I know that you
think I'm stupid and vain, just like every other Uni."
"No, Ruby, I seriously want to explain..."
"Seriously? When have you ever been serious
in your life?"
Then, Ruby stormed out of the bathroom, slamming
the door behind her.
I made no attempt to follow her.
She had made herself clear. She hated my jokes.
To be continued...