Usuki Star: Part One
Rose flipped anxiously through the June issue of a magazine until she reached the page with the advertisement for the pop music group Usuki Star. The magazine belonged to Ali, her sister, and had come in the mail almost a week ago, yet every day Rose took the magazine from its place on top of her sister’s wooden desk and gazed at the advertisement. The advertisement was nothing special; just a blend of pink, purple, and yellow. But it was not the whole page that interested the Striped Shoyru. Every time she flipped to the ad, she immediately looked towards the bottom of the page, which told of a contest to meet the members of Usuki Star in Neopia Central. All she had to do was Neomail a form to the magazine company, and she would have the chance to meet the singers in her favorite band. The idea excited her, and every time she read the sentence about the contest, her heart leaped with joy. Even though Rose knew that thousands of Neopets would surely enter the contest, she was determined to be the winner.
Rose happily got up off the hard floor and ran into the kitchen, where her brother Mat, a Draik, was preparing lunch. He was in charge while their owner was out of the house. It was a Saturday, but Ali had gone over to a friend’s house somewhere nearby, and their owner was out shopping for food to make dinner with. Rose tapped Mat impatiently until he finally turned towards her and sighed.
“What do you want now, Rose?” he asked, exhausted from having to keep up with her for the whole morning.
“Look, Mat!” the Shoyru placed the magazine on the counter in front of her brother. She pointed at the Usuki Star ad.
“It’s an advertisement,” Mat started to turn away, but Rose wouldn’t let him. “There’s nothing special about it. Go back to your room and play with your toys.”
“It’s not just an advertisement!” she argued, “Look, Mat! They’re having a contest where you can meet the singers in Usuki Star.”
“Cool,” replied the Draik nonchalantly, “Now I have things to do, Rose.”
“Mat,” she whined, “Usuki Star is my favorite band! Can’t I enter?”
Mat stopped to think. There seemed to be no harm in letting his sister enter such a contest. Besides, if he just let her enter, maybe she would stop annoying him.
“Please, Mat?” Rose’s eyes widened as she looked up at him.
“Fine. You can enter the contest. What do you have to do to enter?” He rolled his eyes.
“I have to fill out a form and Neomail it to the magazine company.” Rose turned the page happily. “This is the form.”
Mat looked over the form. It asked for her name, address, the date, a signature from Rose’s owner, and why she wanted to meet the members of Usuki Star. It seemed fine to him.
He closed the magazine. “You’ll have to have Mom sign it when she gets home,” he told her, “but you can probably fill out the rest now. Just make sure that someone can read what you wrote.”
Rose hugged Mat and skipped off, clutching the magazine in her hand. She went into the bedroom that she shared with Ali and sat down at her sister’s desk. She grabbed a pencil from a cup of writing utensils and started filling out the form. When she reached the section that asked why she wanted to meet the singers of Usuki Star, Rose had to stop and think.
“Usuki Star is my favorite band ever,” she said to herself as she wrote down her answer, “and it’s been my dream to meet the singers of Usuki Star. I think their music is really good and I sing their songs all day. I think it would be really fun to meet the members of Usuki Star and I would be so happy because I’ve always wanted to meet them.”
Content with her answer, Rose put the pencil back where she found it and closed the magazine. Her sister had subscribed to the magazine, called Neopia Culture, about a year ago. Rose wasn’t sure why Ali had been interested in such a thing, but she was happy that she had discovered the contest. This could be the chance of a lifetime.
As Rose got up from Ali’s desk, she heard someone come into the house. She ran into the entryway where she found her owner holding three bags full of various foods she had bought. She watched as her owner put down the bags and rubbed her tired hands. Finally Rose’s owner caught sight of the eager Shoyru and hugged her gently.
“Will you help me carry these bags into the kitchen, Rose?” her owner asked, kindly, handing one of the obviously lighter bags to Rose.
“Yes, Mommy,” she replied, carrying the bag to the kitchen, where Mat then took it from her and placed it on the counter.
Rose’s owner placed the other two bags on the counter and watched as Mat started to put the groceries away. “How was your day?”
“I have something to show you!” Rose exclaimed. She ran into her bedroom and took the magazine from where it was still lying on the desk and ran back to her owner.
“What’s this?” Rose’s owner asked curiously, starting to flip through the magazine. “Isn’t this your sister’s magazine?”
“Yes,” replied Rose sheepishly, “but I was bored so I started to read it. Then I saw an advertisement for Usuki Star. It said the magazine was having a contest to meet the singers of Usuki Star, and that’s my favorite band, Mommy, so I just have to enter.”
“How do you enter?”
“I filled out this form,” Rose turned the page, “but I need you to sign it. And if I win, I get to meet the members of my favorite band! Mat said I could enter.”
Rose’s owner turned towards Mat, who shrugged and continued to put away the groceries. “I guess it’s alright. I’ll sign it later, Rose. I have to help your brother with the groceries. Have you had lunch yet?”
“No,” replied Mat, who answered before Rose had a chance to speak. “She was too busy filling out the form for that contest.” He placed a plate of food on the counter. “Go have lunch before it gets too late.”
Rose took the plate and brought it into the dining room. As she ate, she realized that she had been extremely hungry. She finished her lunch quickly and ran back into the kitchen, carrying her empty plate.
“Mommy, can you sign the form now?” Rose asked anxiously, holding out the magazine.
“Sure,” her owner sighed. She took the magazine from the Shoyru and flipped through the pages until she found the contest form. She scanned the page until she found the line for the signature. She signed quickly and handed the magazine back to Rose. “Here you are. If you can find an envelope, I’ll send it to the magazine tomorrow.”
Rose grinned and went into her owner’s study. It was a messy room filled with papers and piles of books scattered all over the place. No one had taken the time to organize it yet, but somehow her owner still managed to find things. She walked over to the desk. There were always so many things on top of it she didn’t even know what color the desk was. Sighing, she started to look through the boxes and papers in search of an envelope. Rose searched through everything on the desk, but she found no envelopes.
“This is going to take forever!” the Shoyru groaned, resting her head on top of the palm of her hand. “There’s so much stuff in this room.”
Rose, however, knew that she had to find an envelope to meet the singers of Usuki Star, so she resentfully continued her search. She walked over to a small bookshelf and looked for an envelope, but there were no envelopes there either. As she started to wonder if there were any envelopes here at all, she saw Mat peering into the room.
“How is the search going?” he asked calmly, looking around the room. He looked back at Rose, standing sullenly in the midst of the messy study.
“I can’t find an envelope, Mat.” Rose sat down on the floor and pushed a large box away from her. “It’s so messy in here. I’ll never find it.”
“Oh, don’t start crying over a little thing like an envelope. We’ll find one.” The Draik smiled kindly. “I know this contest means a lot to you.”
“You’ll help me? Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Rose stood up and ran over to her brother and gave him a huge hug.
Mat coughed. “Yes, I’ll help you. I’ll search this half of the room,” he motioned towards the left side of the study, “and you can search the other half. We’ll find an envelope in no time.”
The two Neopets searched through boxes and papers. They flipped through books to see if there was a pressed envelope inside. They looked behind large piles of items and under tables.
It had been almost twenty minutes when Rose shouted, “Look, Mat! I found a box of envelopes here!” She waved the box above her head and went over to the smiling Draik. “Thanks for helping me, Mat.”
“You see,” Mat patted his sister’s head, “you didn’t even need my help!”
“I did!” Rose insisted. “You encouraged me to keep going!”
“Well, I’m glad you found what you were looking for, Rose. Why don’t you go and tell Mom you found an envelope?”
Rose nodded and ran out of the room, Mat slowly following her. Mat stopped and watched Rose go into the kitchen and show their mom the box of envelopes. Their owner turned and caught sight of Mat, and beckoned him to come closer.
“Thank you for helping Rose search.” Their owner gave Mat a small hug. “I know she really appreciates it. Right, Rose?”
Rose nodded happily. “I’m really happy you helped me look, Mat!”
“I have the form here,” their owner said, ripping out the form from the magazine. “Let me just read it over once to make sure we have done everything it asked us to do to enter.”
Rose watched her owner read over the form. Suddenly, she frowned, and Rose asked her, “What’s wrong, Mom? Did we forget to do something? Because if we did forget to do something, I’ll do it!”
“No, we did everything, Rose. I was reading over the rules of entry.” Their owner paused. “I’m very sorry, Rose, but you’re not old enough to enter this contest.”
Rose’s eyes widened fearfully and then she turned away. “Usuki Star is my favorite band! I thought I would finally be able to meet them.”
She took one last look at her owner and Mat, who stood in the kitchen, looking at Rose pitifully. Then Rose turned away and ran to her bedroom as she felt a tear roll down her cheek.
To be continued...