The Spardel Who Came to Be: Part Two
Part Two: I Love You Just The Way You Are
A Spardel. How could Casey have gotten her a Spardel for her birthday!?!?
Skylar tried her hardest to keep back the tears and her hardest to put a cheery smile on her face. She tried her hardest to tell Casey something nice about the ugly smudge-faced creature in front of her.
Skylar never would have thought Casey would have gotten her something as repulsive as this ugly Spardel. She hated Spardels! She hated their blank, staring eyes. They looked creepy to her. She wondered if it was the same one she saw in the Petpet Shop the other day.
"Oh, Casey... I... I don't know what to say..." And she really didn't. She felt tears choking her voice. Should she tell Casey the truth that would hurt her feelings or tell her a big lie that wouldn't?
"I knew you'd like him, Skylar," Casey said, and in her eyes Skylar could see affection and relief that she liked him. "He was the best one there."
"Yeah," Nancy scoffed. "We got so sick and tired of you bugging us, so we all pitched in a little to get him. "
"And he was on sale! A nice lady at the Shop Wizard had him for cheap!" Kimmy screeched. " And aw, he's sooo cute! Isn't he, Sky? What are you going to name him, Sky? Can we play with him, Sky? Do you think he's cute, Sky?"
Kimmy was buzzing with excitement. She just loved that Spardel and his bulgy, non-blinking eyes. But Skylar didn't. She hated him. She hated him more than anything she had ever hated before.
"I... I d-don't know yet..." Skylar stumbled with words and tried her hardest not to cry. "But if you'll excuse me... I think I'm going to bed. All this excitement's hurting my head."
She got up slowly and as soon as she was out of the room, burst into tears. She ran to her room and flopped onto the bed, horrible sobs jerking from her throat and fat tears of disappointment streaming down her face.
"Rosie... Rosie... Rosie...." She sobbed into her pillow. Skylar had never felt so sad; like her heart was broken in a million pieces. She angrily pushed the little home-made Rosie sleeping spot off the bed. This was definitely the third worst day of her life.
Every day for a week that Spardel, which Kimmy had named Toby and Skylar had agreed because she hadn't really cared, would howl for Kimmy. It was like Casey had bought him for Kimmy's birthday and not hers! Not that she cared anyway; she didn't like Toby.
Skylar thought the name Toby suited him. It sounded like an ugly name for an ugly Spardel. He didn't much like Skylar and she didn't much like him. And he was loud too. Very loud. Too loud for Skylar and especially for Nancy.
"Shut up, you stupid Spardel!" Skylar would yell, and he would look blankly at her with big, bulgy eyes and keep screeching louder. He would look as if he were smiling; intentionally trying to annoy them.
Skylar groaned. One day it got out of hand. Skylar was sitting on her bed studying when Toby went insane. He started tearing around their bedroom and knocking over everything, trying desperately to get someone's attention.
"Ugh. I can't wait til Kimmy gets back from that sleepover! Then she can give all the attention she has to Toby who never shuts up," Skylar grumbled angrily, burying her face into her Neoschool book. "Shoo! Go away!" She spat at him and he stared at her with blank, round eyes. She pinched up her face. She hated that Spardel.
Toby made his way over to the box entitled Rosie's Things and took out each of the precious treasures. Skylar watched disgustedly as he gnawed on the box. Then she gasped sadly as she watched him tear the pretty silk for Rosie in half; then in three; then in four.
"No," she whispered sadly.
He continued ripping and shredding until there was nothing but a few pieces of silk dust floating in the air. Toby burped at the delicious taste of silk. Then he tumbled after the ball, colliding with the bed because of the bulgy eyes poking out from the side of his head.
The little pink Faellie would never act like this, she thought. Never.
Rosie was too delicate and shy. Too fluffy and too perfect. Skylar dreamed peacefully what it would be like if Rosie was Toby right now. Skylar would be able to study in peace and quiet. Nancy wouldn't be so annoyed and Rosie would howl and cry for her and not Kimmy. Rosie would sit neatly at the foot of Skylar's bed, like a soft snowy-pink pillow. Perfect; that's what she would be. She would be perfect. And all hers.
She would flutter around the room and keep Skylar warm at night, silently tucked under Skylar's chin. Skylar wanted Rosie more than anything right now, especially more than that old pudgy-faced Toby who now was tearing a page out of one of Nancy's old story books. Skylar now wanted that perfect beautiful little pink Faellie more than she wanted a home and a bed. Her eyes filled with tears of sorrow, knowing she would never get one.
"Why don't you take him for a walk?" Nancy interrupted her daydream and didn't even seem to notice Skylar's tears. "He needs exercise. Maybe it'll make him forget about Kimmy until she gets home," she said. She didn't want to be bothered with the noises and commotion he was making. "And plus he's tearing everything up."
"Fine," Skylar sniffled, and away they went.
Out in Neopia Central, people stared.
It's because of this stupid Spardel! Skylar thought.
He was staring people down to their skin with his eyes bulged and tongue lolling helplessly out the side of his mouth. Skylar trudged on, trying to ignore the snickers behind her from the other neopets from her Neoschool.
Brenda the Korbat, dressed in a new silk dress and painted Faerie, whispered into Penelope the Zafara's ear saying, "Hey, isn't that poor old Skylar from Neoschool? Figures she could only afford that kind of petpet, having such a lazy, inconsiderate owner like hers." She was one of the richest neopets in town, and a snob. So was her owner.
"Yeah, I'd hate to be her. Did you hear she came from the pound? Figures. Casey has no imagination to come up with her own pet," Penelope said, her nose sticking high in the air without any care that she was hurting someone's delicate feelings.
Skylar looked at them with sadness clouding her blue eyes and her paws balled into fists. It wasn't her fault she came from the pound! And Skylar spat at them for talking about Casey like that. How dare they! Casey loved her, and did her best to please her. She had wanted to buy Skylar her a better petpet, but they could never afford such a thing.
Skylar realized now how selfish she was being. She was so sorry, she almost wept again. But she didn't. That was something Skylar had done too much in her life. Even so, she felt terrible for never appreciating the things she had. Then she looked at the ugly face of Toby staring at her right through her skin and the feeling vanished.
"They wouldn't be treating me like this if you were that perfect beautiful little pink Faellie!" she cried, tears forming in her eyes again.
She kicked dirt at him and ran to the park, where she flopped down in anger and confusion and buried her face into her paws. Before she knew it she had fallen asleep, even though she hadn't meant to.
Finally she awoke, dazed. It was already dark. Toby was sleeping on her stomach and she pushed him off. Then, she dusted herself off and walked home to find something terrible had happened.
Casey was sitting in her old reading chair with a neomail clutched in her hand. Her face was white and it looked like she had been crying. Nancy stood hopelessly over her.They looked up when Skylar walked in the door.
Casey jumped up, yelling, "Skylar! Thank goodness," and ran over to her and took her in her arms.
Skylar gave a confused glance at Nancy, who sat down and started petting Toby.
Skylar pushed Casey away and said in confusion, "Casey, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"Oh, Skylar. Kimmy... she's missing! She didn't come home at noon when she promised to... and... and we neomailed Janet and she said she had already left but she's not here! And we thought you were missing too, you didn't come until late!" Casey hugged her tight and tears ran down her face. "I'm such a terrible owner."
"No, you're not, Casey," Nancy said, her voice almost cracking.
Skylar was shocked. Nancy never cried! She never showed any emotion at all!
"Oh, yes I am," Casey whimpered.
Skylar glanced at the clock. 6:57. Had she stayed out this late? She hadn't meant to.
"I'm sorry, Casey. I didn't mean to stay out this late. I didn't mean to worry you. I fell asleep in the park and... and Kimmy! Where could she be? She couldn't be far, I mean-"
Just then, Toby went mad. He started jumping around and going crazy. Nancy tried to keep hold of him, but she couldn't and he got away. Out the door of their old Neopian apartment he went, rooing all the way. Skylar gasped and, without thinking, ran after him.
It was after dark and it was hard to see, and all she heard was the sense of adventure in her ears and the frantic sound of Casey yelling for her to come back.
But she didn't turn back; she kept running. She listened to no other sound but Toby screeching his head off in front of her. He had a scent!
"Aroooo! Rooo! AROOOO!" he howled.
"Oh, Kimmy. Where ever you are, please be safe," she cried silently.
Toby stopped and sniffed and ran on, then stopped and sniffed and ran on.
"Kimmy!" Skylar yelled frantically. "Kimmy! Where are you?"
She had to find her sister, she just had to! It was getting colder and Kimmy could freeze out here! She cried desperately in her head that Kimmy was okay.
Then she lost sight of Toby. Her heart skipped a beat. He was here just a second ago! He had vanished. In the distance, she heard a faint howl... and then nothing. She cried desperately over and over again his name but there was no answer. Only the faint whisper of the wind and her own heartbeat beating in fear.
"Oh, no," she cried over and over. "Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, no!" She flopped down in the mud and cried and cried. She had never cried so hard in her life. It felt like the day she was abandoned all over again! Only this time, she had lost her sister.
She wept for a few, then she sniffed a last sniffle and looked up. Her ears pricked. Something, or perhaps someone, was calling her name. Wailing her name.
"Skylar!" it called. "Skylar, help me!" It was distant, like an echo. She listened harder and gasped. It was Kimmy! Skylar knew her little voice anywhere. She scrambled up and instantly the tears went away and she screamed for Kimmy.
"Kimmy! Kimmy, where are you?" she yelled and ran in the direction of the voice.
"Skylar, I'm over here!" the voice called, now getting closer.
Skylar's heart thudded wildly with relief. She ran until she found poor little Kimmy muddy in a ditch, shivering.
"I f-f-fell," Kimmy explained in a shaky voice. "And my l-leg. I think it's b-broken." She was cold and her teeth were chattering. She tried to get up but then collapsed, her face twisted in pain. "I can't w-walk, Sky."
Skylar had never been so relieved. She soothed Kimmy and brushed the fur away from her eyes and patted her leg.
"Kimmy, it's okay. We're okay. You're okay. Everything's going to be okay," she said softly, softer than she had ever talked to Kimmy in her life.
Kimmy threw her arms around her sister. "I thought I was going to f-freeze out here, but then you c-came. I was so sc-scared, Sky. Then I saw Toby, and I knew you had come l-looking for me."
"I owe it all to Toby," Skylar said. "He lead me far enough to where I could hear your voice."
Skylar looked at her little sister with love and relief and Kimmy looked and her with love, too, and all Skylar heard was the frantic screaming and yelling of Casey and Nancy calling their names in fear.
"Over here!" Skylar yelled. "We're over here! Kimmy's alright. We're over here, Casey!"
As soon as they reached them, Casey scooped Kimmy in her arms and hugged her tight and told her how much she was worried about her and Nancy kissed her wet cheek and wiped away her frightened tears. And Skylar looked down at the ugly, smudged face of Toby.
His eyes stared into hers and his tongue lolled helplessly out the side of his mouth. Never before had she been so happy to see his face. He had saved Kimmy, her beloved sister.
"Oh, Toby, thank you." She bent down and hugged the Spardel, who licked her face with slobbery kisses of love. "Eww," she said softly. Then she kissed his big wet nose. "But it was a good ew," she giggled.
Without him, who knows how long it would've took them to find Kimmy? She continued hugging him and telling him how much she loved him. She was glad he wasn't a perfect, beautiful, little pink Faellie. Rosie probably wouldn't have been brave enough to run through the scary woods at night looking for a little Aisha. In fact, Rose would have been so attached to Skylar, she wouldn't have been to Kimmy, therefore never being such a good tracker of her scent.
Skylar was glad he was him; Toby. Just the way he was. The ugly, smudgy-pudgy faced Spardel. Eyes staring, tongue lolling, and forever changing their lives.
"I love you, Toby," she whispered into his ear, "just the way you are. You're my perfect beautiful little Spardel."
Toby licked her again and barked a questioning, "Woof?"
Skylar giggled. "Of course, you old mutt. Of course you're coming home with me." She scratched him behind the ears.
"Woo... rooo..." he woofed happily.
Skylar got up and looked at her family; her precious family she wouldn't trade for everything. Especially not a little pink Faellie. She smiled. "Come on, guys." She looked at her Spardel. "Let's go home."