A Very Special Plushie
The day had finally come, the day that started everything. The day that would hold possibly the greatest thing in one little Acara's life. The day that would change that little Acara's life forever. The day that... what do you mean you're getting bored? Fine, I'll get on with the story.
It was Bela's birthday. (There, happy now? Right, on with the story then.)
Bela was a little speckled Acara. She was seven years old, and lived with a family who adored her. She had eleven brothers and sisters, and the family didn't usually have a lot of neopoints, but they were happy, and had nice, if not always terribly expensive, things.
Most of Bela's family had petpets. In fact, she was the only one who didn't have one. And oh, how she longed for one of her own! Something cute and squishy that she could hug and squeeze and call her own.
Of course, when she had told her owner, Sango, this, she had thought she was talking about a plushie.
Anyway, where were we?
The little speckled Acara awoke that morning with a smile on her face. The day had finally came, and she couldn't have been more excited! Throwing back her bedcovers onto the floor, she scrambled out of bed and ran down the stairs into the kitchen, where her owner was sitting with a slice of faerie toast and gooseberry jam. She looked up at the sound of tiny Acara paws on the kitchen tiles and smiled when she saw her pet at the doorway.
"Happy birthday, Bela!!" she said, and ran to the door, scooping her pet up and hugging her tightly.
Bela wriggled from her owner's grasp and dropped onto the floor. She had much more important things on her mind than boring old birthday hugs. The birthday presents were another story...
Sitting there on the dining table was a little pile of presents wrapped in glossy paper and decorated with bows and ribbons and a myriad of other cute decorations. A birthday fit for a princess!
She ran to the table and clambered onto a chair, pulling the stack of presents towards her. Sango took another big bite of toast and gulped her orange juice, standing over her little pet with a smile on her face that was almost as wide as Bela's... which, in case you haven't gathered, is a pretty mean feat.
Bela scanned the gift boxes. None of them had airholes... but perhaps it was a robot petpet she was getting. They didn't need them. Or maybe Sango was taking her out today to go pick one herself. Or maybe she was just hiding it, so she wouldn't open it first and forget about her other presents. Whatever the reason was for it not being here with the other gifts, it would be here. She knew it.
Oh well, may as well just open the others for now.
"Thank you, Mummy!" Bela said as she brushed shreds of wrapping paper from her lap and hugged her owner's knees (she was too short to reach any higher than this). Sango smiled, and ruffled her fur.
Bela scooped up her gifts, a Princess Fernypoo action figure, a pink knit purse and pretty pink Wocky tea set, and began to carry them away up to her room. There hadn't been any petpet - so she must be getting it later today. It would probably be better if she picked it herself, anyway.
Bela spun around so fast her new action figure clattered to the ground. She didn't bother to pick it up, though.
This must be it.
This must be the petpet!
Sango ran out of the kitchen. There was a lot of clattering and crashing and she returned with a box. Not huge, but not small either. There was no noise coming from it, and it wasn't moving. Maybe the petpet was asleep.
Sango sat the box on the table, and Bela wasted no time in tearing off the paper and ripping the sticky tape off the top of the box. She threw it open, and pulled out fistfuls of tissue paper. Wow, it must be a really tiny petpet.
But it wasn't a petpet.
It was a plushie.
Sitting in its bed of pink and white shreds of tissue paper, was a Dragoyle plushie. Not like any other Bela had ever seen, mind you. It was turquoise, and rather small and fat with way too much stuffing. It had an assortment of patches, creamy wings, purple claws and a little tuft of yellow hair on its head. Its orange buttons where its eyes should be stared right through her, and all of a sudden she felt like reaching into the box and tearing it apart.
All this time, it had never occurred to Sango how badly she had wanted a petpet. Instead, Sango had got her a plushie. And it wasn't even pretty. It was just weird. Tears stung her eyes and her bottom lip wobbled as she tried to hold them back. Sango stood beside her, fingering the box and smiling at her.
"Well?" she said. "What do you think, honey? Isn't he lovely? I found him last week, and when I saw him I just thought of you straight away."
Bela swallowed and held back her tears. She knew she shouldn't have been upset; Sango was being so nice. So she smiled back, and hugged her owner tightly. "Thank you, Mummy," she said, and scooped the plushie out of the box by one of its creamy wings, dumping it on top of her new tea set and carrying her load upstairs.
Bela threw the plushie onto her bed and it (she refused to address it as a "he" like Sango had) fell onto its face on the duvet. It looked rather pathetic, especially next to her baby Usul plushie. She gathered up her tea set, laid it out neatly on the carpet and sat her two other plushies, a rainbow Yurble plushie and a plushie Kougra plushie, around it, and forgot all about it.
That afternoon, Sango took Bela to Faerie Foods for a special birthday lunch, and bought her a bottle of cherryberry krawkade and a box of snowberry biscuits so she could have a tea party with her new tea set. She returned home that evening with her treats in her arms and wasted no time in dishing the krawkade out into the dinky little china cups. She sipped hers in a ladylike fashion and savoured the sweet taste. Meanwhile, her two plushies who had joined her for a rather boring tea party (namely one where the cups were empty and no one spoke - a very boring tea party indeed) that morning hadn't moved an inch, apart from at one point when her rainbow Yurble plushie fell forward into the plate of biscuits.
She swivelled round to find her new plushie had fallen off the bed. It was almost like he had strategically rolled over onto his side so he could see her... and the biscuits. The biscuits were probably her best bet. Well, they did look delicious. And, despite herself, Bela suddenly found herself talking to it.
"Do you want a biscuit?"
She jumped. Had it just nodded? No, it couldn't have. But she swore she saw its head twitch a little... No! Pull yourself together. It didn't nod.
Nevertheless, she found herself walking over to it, scooping it up and sitting it next to her, presenting it with a dainty china cup of krawkade and a snowberry biscuit. And as she stared at it, staring at its biscuit but unable to move its arms or open its mouth (the poor thing), she felt a tiny little twinge of love, very, very deep down, but still there, for it.
And from that day forward, a wonderful friendship grew between pet and plushie. She named him Kimmie, a rather feminine name Sango would argue, but a cute one all the same, and she took him everywhere. She even took him to neoschool in her school bag, and when she went to the beach, which she often did, she would take him swimming with her. He would smell of salt water and seaweed afterwards, but Bela liked that smell. He would sit at the dining table at mealtimes and be given a little piece of Bela's meal to eat, and at night she would tuck him up in bed next to her.
And from this friendship, grew something even more magical.
One night, when the full moon was high in the sky and the crystal moonlight shone through Bela's bedroom window, something amazing took place. Kimmie was sitting on her bed, bursting with happiness at the wonderful day he had just shared with his friend, his smile permanently stitched on his turquoise face. What would they do tomorrow? Maybe they could play in the sand pit again, or maybe Bela would take him swimming.
It was then that he noticed the full moon, and all of a sudden a strange, tingly feeling washed over him. When a cloud finally slid in front of the moon and the light faded away, he felt strangely different.
And then, all of a sudden, Kimmie felt his wings twitch. His arms, usually so heavy from the weight of all the stuffing packed inside, felt light as feathers. A delicious smell of warm toast and boiled eggs wafted into the room, and he felt his nose twitching as he was filled with the warm, welcoming scent.
He could move!
Letting out a little squeak of joy, he flapped his creamy stuffed wings and flew high into the air. Oh, how wonderful it felt to be free! To be alive! He flew around the room and bounced to and fro across the pink carpet, testing his new skills to see what he could do. He stumbled once or twice, but quickly righted himself. He crawled under the bed and out the other side, skidded across the coffee table and jumped into the little glass bowl that was filled with Shoyru sweets. He took a blackcurrant Shoyru sweet and held it in his paws, licking it and savouring the wonderful taste, before bouncing back to his spot on Bela's pillow and stretching out on it, licking and nibbling at his treat and chirping with happiness.
Of course, it was Bela's bedroom too, so it was pretty inevitable that she came in and saw him. And that she did. Dressed in a beautiful pink night gown her sister Milaeah had made for her, she wandered into the room, rubbing her eyes and yawning, ready for bed. She hopped onto her bed and was wriggling underneath the covers when the Shoyru sweet stuck in her fur. She shot up and cringed at the sight of the sticky, nibbled sweet hanging from her hair and began to frantically try to pull it out, but Kimmie beat her to it and fluttered over to her, gently easing it out of her speckled fur and proceeding to lick it again, even if it was a little furry.
Bela didn't take this too well. Well, her favourite plushie had just come alive, and she was only seven; you can't really blame her for freaking out a little bit. Thankfully, she didn't scream and fling him at the wall or anything of the sort. She just gaped at him, rubbing her eyes, letting her arms drop to her sides then bringing them back up three seconds later to rub them again. She did this for a while, before blinking a lot, shaking her head so hard Kimmie worried she might rattle her brain around in her head too much and risk concussion, then squealing and scooping him up, and hugging him so tightly he worried his stuffing might fall out.
"Kimmie!" she squealed. "You're alive! You're alive!!"
"Not for much longer if you don't let go of me!" he squeaked. Thankfully, Bela seemed to understand him, even if it was petpet language, and she let go of him and sat him in front of her.
"Did you just understand me?" Kimmie asked, amazed.
"Yup!" Bela said, beaming.
Kimmie smiled at his owner. "Good, then," he said, "because I need to explain all of this to you.
"You see, in Neopia there are a lot of plushies. And I mean a lot. Thousands, maybe even millions. But, out of every, say, ten thousand plushies there is a special one in there. One like me. We look like a plushie petpet, see? But we are trapped in the body of a plushie until we come across an owner like you, Bela, who forms a real special friendship with us. When this happens, on the night of a full moon, we become real. Real petpets. For some of us, it never happens. I was really lucky to come across an owner like you. I think, on your birthday, Sango didn't get you a plushie to upset you - I mean, you know she would never do that anyway, but she wasn't ignorant. She knew about me, and she wanted to see if you could love me and look after me well enough to reap the rewards. Perhaps it was her way of seeing if you were ready for a real petpet. And you were, Bela. You have a petpet now."
Bela blinked. Then she blinked again. Then she squealed and scooped Kimmie up into her arms, and bounced up and down on the bed, whirling him round and round until he felt sick (which was another new experience for him, and one he didn't enjoy quite as much as the others). Then, she raced down the stairs with him in her arms and ran up to Sango, who was sitting at the dining table writing a neomail.
"Mummy!" she said, "Look! Kimmie's come alive! He's real, Mummy! He's real!"
And then, despite it being so late at night, she ran straight out the door and out to the sand pit in the garden, which was, and always had been, Kimmie's favourite place, with her new petpet flying behind her and chirping with joy.
Sango just smiled.
Comments welcome! :) Hope you liked it!