Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 132,988,897 Issue: 246 | 30th day of Relaxing, Y8
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The Black Hole: Elon's Story


by beastybas

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"Elon, pass it to me, I'm open!" Jair Tollet screeched. The Maraquan Eyrie was so close to the goal she could have made a superb shot.

     But Elon Hughlis had other plans. "Not this time!" he yelled back to her, and threw the Yooyuball as hard as he could into the net. The goalkeeper didn't even have a chance. Yes! Elon thought happily. Then a new Yooyu entered the stadium, and there was no more time to think anymore.

     The right forward Acara quickly jumped into action. He ran toward the ball, smacked it from the other team's grasp, and headed for the goal. The crowd screeched wildly, as Elon threw the ball and made yet another hit. He heard the Mystery Island team's goalkeeper mutter furiously, "We don't have a chance against the Black Hole."

     Let them grumble, Elon thought. I'm going to make a record tonight.

     Suddenly, the whistle blew, and the game was over. We're in the finals... against Altador, I believe, Elon realized happily.

     The Mystery Island players shuffled out of the stadium, while the Maraquan team bounded out rejoicing their victory into the locker rooms.

     "We beat them 20 to zero!" Elon told his team members. "I've never made so many goals in my life! A new Neopian record goes to me!"

     "You're forgetting that I made the first goal," Jair remarked.

     "Well then I made 19 goals. That's still a record," Elon pointed out, not liking the Eyrie's tone of voice.

     Filo Desenz, the Flotsam defender of the team, turned to the Maraquan Acara. "Elon, that's just because you never passed the ball to any of us!"

     Tonie Plessix, the Koi goalkeeper of the team, nodded his agreement. Elon felt outnumbered.

     "But it was still a record," he pouted.

     "I think you should pass it to us more often," the Techo Barit Jowes advised.

     "What do you know about what I should and shouldn't do?" Elon burst out. They were making him angry. "You're just a new member of the team, aren't you? I know more about this than you."

     "He was only trying to make a suggestion, your Majesty," Jair said sarcastically. "Come on, let's go." The other Maraquan team members left to go to their bunks. Elon sat in the lockers for a moment longer, then followed them, knowing that he should get a good night's rest for the big game two days away.

     

    Elon woke up to a bright sunny morning. "Anyone up for practice?" He yawned.

     "As long as I get to score something," Filo grumbled.

     "Come on, I'll pass it to you," Elon tried to persuade him.

     "Yeah, right."

     But in the end, Elon got his way, and the team started to practice. Elon tried to make as many shots as he could.

     "I thought you said you'd pass it?" Filo said.

     "Oh, well... I forgot to." Elon faltered.

     "You really are the Black Hole," Filo said and stalked away to the opposite side of the field. Elon followed him angrily.

     "I don't like that name, okay?" Elon yelled. "So you can stop calling me it."

     "It's true. Once you get the ball, not even your team mates can hope to see it again." Filo sneered.

     "Break it up you two," Tonie yelled from the goal. "I thought we wanted to practice?"

     Elon turned away from Filo and concentrated on getting more goals for his personal record. Soon the other team members stopped playing altogether as they watched Elon make goal after goal.

     

     Elon climbed into his bunk bed happily, his thoughts whirring around one thing: the Altador Cup that he might win the next day. His dreams were full of him scoring a hundred goals, and being praised by the crowd as the best player that the Altador Cup had ever seen.

     Hushed voices woke him from his fantasy dreams. It sounded like his team members were talking.

     "Is Elon asleep?" Jair was saying.

     "I'll check," Filo whispered back. Just before he peered over the edge of the bed, Elon quickly closed his eyes and listened to their conversation.

     "So... you guys thinking what I'm thinking?" Jair continued when Filo gave the all clear.

     "That Elon needs to be kicked off the team? Yes!" Filo exclaimed.

     "Shhhh... not so loud," Jair cautioned. "What do the rest of you think?"

     Tonie the Koi spoke up, "To put it bluntly, he's our best player. If we kick him off, we lose the Cup."

     "What about after the Altador Cup is over?" Filo suggested, "We could always try to find a new right forward to take his place in the time from this Cup to the next Cup."

     "What do you think about this, Barit?"

     The Techo looked uncomfortable.

     "Come on," Jair said. "He never passes the ball. Plus, the way he just exploded at you after we won the last match wasn't very nice of him. When we even try to make a suggestion he gets angry at us."

     "Okay, okay," Barit mumbled. "I think we could use a forward who could actually pass the ball to us now and then."

     "So... raise a hand if you want Elon off the team," Jair said bluntly.

     Elon waited breathlessly. His webbed ears heard first one flipper, then another, then two more raise themselves to the air.

     "It's settled then," Jair concluded. "After this Cup is over, he goes off the team."

     Elon expected himself to be angry at them for even making such a suggestion. But instead, he felt a cold, sad feeling in his heart. Did they really all hate him so much?

     The Acara waited until all of his team members settled back into their beds, and resumed their peaceful sleep. But Elon rose from his bed, and trudged out to the lockers where he dressed up in his Maraquan Team Uniform. He plodded off to the field where he would play in the morning against Altador. I wonder how they'll tell me, and when? Elon thought. He imagined himself, happily holding the Cup above his head, when suddenly they would say, "Sorry Elon, you're off the team. Good bye." Elon shivered.

     Elon went to the pen where they kept the Yooyus. He picked up a fire one, stroked it, then put it back. He picked up all of them in turn, stroking each one, thinking of how he would never ever play with another one again, unless another team hired him.

     Taking a sweet faerie Yooyu, Elon ran out to the field and shot a goal... and another goal... and another goal.

     "I always thought they liked me," Elon said to himself. "Even with my... faults. Now I see they never did."

     

    It was a sad Elon that came out to the field in the morning. His team members had noticed the difference, and Elon saw them talking to each other in worried voices. Probably plotting how to kick me off the team without public attention, Elon thought bitterly. The team assembled, and so did the Altador team on the other side. Then he whistle blew, and the game began.

     Despite his grief, Elon felt a faint tingle stir in his tentacle-tips. This was the finals! Whoever won this game would win the Cup. It wouldn't be easy, though. The Altador team wanted to win in their home country... but so did Elon and the Maraquans.

     Soon the tingle passed, however. I won't be able to enjoy the Cup, even if we win. Elon sighed. My team mates despise me...

     "ELON!" a furious voice screeched. It was Jair, "You're zoning out, what's wrong with you?"

     The Maraquan Acara snapped into reality. "Uh oh, the game started already!" He quickly ran to where the Yooyu was sitting, faintly hearing the sound of shocked commentators:

     "Hughlis got a slow start to the game. He just stood there, how strange. The Altador team managed to score a point when he could have blocked them easily. Hughlis doesn't seem to be his normal spirited self... Perhaps Maraqua will not win their long awaited cup!"

     "I'll show them wrong!" Elon shouted and tried to grab the ball. But his feet were unsteady from his lack of sleep last night, and he tripped and fell on his right arm, his arm that he always scored with. Elon heard a crack, and the next thing he knew, all was a blinding pain.

     He faintly heard the referee blow his whistle to pause the game. He saw blurred faces of his teammates crowd around him. But clearest of all, he heard the commentators gasp in surprise, then start talking like crazy. "Hughlis fell down and apparently broke his right arm. Oh what a sad day for the Maraquan team. It looks like Hughlis won't be able to play anymore. That's one bad fracture. Maraqua might have to forfeit the Cup!"

     "No... no!" Elon gasped in pain as doctors crowded around him, "We can't lose the Cup because of me!"

     "It looks like Hughlis will be taken to the hospital this minute!" the commentators babbled on.

     "Elon, are you okay?" Jair asked him with a worried look on her face.

     "I'm sure you can carry on without me," Elon gasped through his burning pain. "Like you will for the next few years."

     Jair gasped, "You heard us?" But Elon was already getting carried away on a stretcher by two doctors.

     "There goes the Black Hole!" the commentators exclaimed. "It looks like the Altador team will have more of a chance now with Maraqua one player short. What a victory for Altador when they win the Cup!"

     Elon was starting to blank out with pain, but he heard the commentators words of Altador winning. A spark of his old spirit flushed through him.

     "Put me down!" he gasped and leaped off the stretcher, racing back to his team members despite his broken arm.

     "What's this? It looks like Elon's coming back to play with his injury!" the commentators shocked voice rang out as crazed fans screeched their approval. His team members looked shocked. Elon smiled uneasily at them. The throbbing fracture was starting to feel numb, but that wouldn't stop him.

     The referee blew his whistle and the game commenced. Elon ran forward again to snatch the ball in his left hand, and tripped again, right on his fractured arm. But instead of stopping, the Acara picked himself up and continued playing through the pain.

     Finally, Elon got hold of the ball again. He saw Filo standing around near the goal, looking bored since he saw that Elon had the ball.

     I can't make the shot from here without my right arm, Elon thought.

     "Filo, catch!" he yelled and threw the ball straight toward Filo, who quickly threw it into the goal, all the while looking surprised.

     Throughout the game, Elon never made one shot. He was scared that he would miss the goal using his left hand. He had never missed a goal in his entire life. Instead, the Acara did something no one in Neopia thought Elon would ever do: he passed the ball.

     It was an unsteady game, sometimes Altador was leading, and sometimes it was the other way around. But Elon knew, as he stood next to the Altador goal, that they would not win the Cup. There were only five seconds left to the game, and Altador was winning by a single point.

     Suddenly, Jair hurled the Yooyu with all the strength in her, and it made the goal! We're tied... one more in three seconds and we have the Cup, Elon thought, but that's impossible. No one can make a goal that fast.

     The new Yooyu emerged from the floor, but Elon was still standing by the Altador goal, and the other members of the Maraquan team were at the opposite end. Jair tried to do another power throw... two seconds left... but it fell short, a few paces away from Elon. Forgetting his fracture, Elon dived toward it, and landed heavily on his right arm. He heard another crack, but without hesitating, the Acara threw the ball with his left hand toward what he thought was the goal, and blanked out.

     

    When he came to himself again, Elon found himself in a large, white, hospital bed. His arm dully throbbed, but the pain was gone. Suddenly, Elon saw a glimmering object on a shelf opposite of him. As he realized what the golden object was, he almost blacked out again in shock. It was the Altador Cup.

     We couldn't have won... Elon thought. We were tied, last time I checked.

     Suddenly, four Maraquan Neopets burst into the room. When they saw Elon awake in his bed, they ran to him. Jair spoke for all of them:

     "We won the Cup! Your last goal saved the day! Oh Elon, I'm so sorry that we wanted to kick you off the team today. You showed us when you played out there with your fractured arm, what a nice team mate you are. Will you ever forgive us?"

     "Of course I'll forgive you," Elon said, bewildered. "But let me get this straight... I actually made a goal with my left arm?"

     "Of course you did!" Filo exclaimed. "That's what made us win! You should've seen the look on those commentators' faces! Even though you broke your arm a second time in a different place while you were diving for the ball, and even though you threw it with your left arm when you always shoot with your right, you still got a goal!"

     "Surely that's a good enough record for you?" Jair joked.

     "Yeah... I think it is." Elon smiled.

The End

 
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