Never Too Old For Fun
This story is dedicated to my brother, graypaw64.
Cloud, Spearspee, Dustpelt, and Blake are his pets and I'd like to thank him for letting me bring them into my little story.
"Yahoooo!" Little Sywun cried excitedly as he bounded down the stairs of their small neohome in Terror Mountain. The day had finally arrived! Sywun's little nose itched with excitement as he thought of it. His cousins were coming! They were coming all the way from Shenkuu and would be here any minute. Sywun's mouth watered as the familiar fragrance of vanilla cake and juicy berries wafted from the kitchen and tickled his taste buds. He scampered into the kitchen where his owner Crystal and his sister Lukio were baking a welcome cake.
"I really hope this cake turns out all right," Lukio fretted, reading the back of the cake box once again. "I hope I got all the ingredients we need. How many cups of sugar, Crystal?"
Crystal laughed. "Oh, Lu, you worry too much! You only need two cups of sugar." She began mixing the batter, then handed her little Lupe puppy the spoon to lick. She knew it was his favorite part of baking sweets, of course, besides eating it.
Sywun licked it greedily, but was too excited to think about it. Crystal's brother Zack had to travel all the way to Kreludor for an important quest, and his neopets were coming to stay for a week! He really hoped they would like their house. Crystal had decorated it up with pretty pink rose flowers, beautiful pottery vases and Sywun had helped her dust and clean. He even straightened his room up, neatly placing all his favorite plushies and toys along the wall in a neat, orderly line.
"When are they coming?" Sywun asked impatiently. "Are they coming soon? Chiko!" His attention then turned to his Faellie, who had just awoken from a deep slumbering sleep and a dazzling dream of being the first Faellie to fly all the way around Neopia. He stretched and squeaked happily as Sywun picked him up and let him lick the spoon too.
"Yes, Sywun. Be patient," Crystal said. She smiled at her little puppy. "And don't let Chiko eat too much cake batter."
Then Sywun's other sister Yuna walked sleepily down the steps and into the kitchen, her petpet Peppermint the Christmas Puppyblew following close behind. "What's that smell...?" She yawned. "Why are you making a cake?" she asked her sister Lukio. "It's not my birthday."
The Xweetok laughed at her older sister. "Silly, Yuna! Didn't you remember our cousins were coming?" She tossed a berry to Peppermint, who caught it and out of his mouth oozed a juicy goodness.
The Bori yawned again. "Oh yeah, I must have forgot. Silly me." Yuna giggled. "It smells awfully nice, though."
Sywun laughed too. His sister Yuna was so forgetful! He glanced anxiously at the clock. It was almost nine.
As Crystal pulled the steamy delicious vanilla cake out of the oven, the door bell rang.
"They're here!" Sywun cried, and Chiko squeaked happily atop his head. "Come on, Lukio!" He pulled his sister by the paw and lead her to the front door, just as Crystal had opened it and a stream of neopets came pouring in. They all greeted each other with warm welcomes and laughter.
"Aww, Sywun! You're getting so big," Cousin Cloud said, patting Sywun on the head. She was a Xweetok just like Lukio.
"I smell welcome cake!" Dustpelt laughed. He was a Kougra. "Did you make a cake, Lukio?"
Lukio blushed. "Yes, I did. With Crystal's help, of course."
"I hope it's not like the time she made a cake for my birthday and accidentally put salt in it instead of sugar," he murmured under his breath.
Spearspee, the Shoyru, nudged his brother in the ribs with his wing. "I'm sure your cake is really good, Lu. I'm sure it's delicious, right, Dustpelt?"
"Yeah," Dustpelt mumbled to himself.
"Hey, be nice, guys," Zack scolded his pets.
Yuna looked around. "Where's Blake?" she asked.
"Oh, he's coming," Zack said. "He insisted on carrying the luggage."
Just then, a huffing, puffing Pteri came flying in holding many suitcases and bags. He collapsed on the ground, completely out of breath. "I'm here," he panted. "But why do you insist on bringing all your Battledome equipment, Spearspee? They weigh a ton!" The Pteri let out one last breath of exhaustion.
"Well, you never know," the Shoyru said. "Perhaps I wanted to see how Terror Mountain people show their stuff." He glanced at Yuna, his only real competition out of his cousins.
"Great," Zack said. "The gang's all here. Now you guys be good for Crystaline, you hear me? Because whoever doesn't, well, let's just say he can kiss your yummy omelettes goodbye."
The four cousins glanced at each other. No! Not our omelettes! Their eyes fiercely warned each other not to misbehave.
Crystal smiled. "I'm sure they'll be fine, Zack. Now you go and complete your quest." She gave one last wave as he went out the door. "Don't forget about me, okay?" she hollered after him. "I'd sure like a souvenir or two from Kreludor," she teased.
Zack grinned and then he was gone.
Crystal turned to her full house of pets. "What do you guys want to do first?"
Spearspee and Yuna immediately glanced at each other, their eyes set for a battle. Bring it on!
"Bring it on, Bori!"
"Oh, you bet, Shoyru!" Yuna's eyes blazed fiercely as she faced Spearspee. Her sharp Bori fangs glistened and she snarled defiantly. Fighting in the Battledome against Spearspee was one of the things Yuna loved most about her cousins' visit.
"Hiyaaa!" Spearspee shrieked as he threw a sand snowball at Yuna and used his trumpet of deafening as an extra effect. Yuna clapped her claws over her ears to block out the deafening waves. With her health now down close to nothing, Yuna knew she couldn't let her guard down. With a piercing scream and an "ARRRRRRRR!", she brought out her evil snowball wand and rainbow gun and, with a Bori scratch to top it off, the battle was Yuna's to win. She let out one last snarl of triumph and laughed.
Spearspee groaned in defeat. "Don't worry, Yuna! I'll get you next time!" he warned, his kidding grin spread across his face.
Yuna cackled. "Oh, sure. I'd like to see you try, Shoyru!"
"Hey, guys!" Blake shouted. "That was a pretty cool fight. Too bad I'm no good at fighting..."
"Nah, you're great, Blake," Spearspee assured his brother. "How 'bout we practice a bit? Me and Yu can take turns."
"Sounds super!" Yuna smiled. "But I'm starving, and Lukio's welcome cake is all my brain can think about!"
And so the Bori, the Shoyru, and the Pteri let out one last cheerful laugh and started home.
"Sywun! You need to be careful!" Lukio warned as the welcome cake nearly toppled to the ground in a sticky mound of frosting and berries. "Why don't you go play somewhere else?"
Sywun sighed and picked up his Jeran play set. He shuffled out of the kitchen in utter despair. His cousins were too old for him! Cloud usually hung out with Lukio and Spearspee and Blake with Yuna and Dustpelt usually just sat around and watched neovision all day. Sywun hated being the youngest in his family. He wanted someone his own age to play with.
"Don't forget to come back for welcome cake!" Cloud shouted at him. "It's nearly cooled!"
Sywun carefully laid his Jeran playset on the bed and picked up his Jeran bouncy ball. Jeran was his all time favorite hero and he admired him greatly. Sywun kicked the ball against the wall just as a voice startled him. "Hey, kid, wanna have some fun? I have a surprise for you."
Sywun turned to see Dustpelt, carrying a box. Sywun smiled, revealing his sharp, pointed canine teeth and nodded. "What's in the box?" he asked, cocking his head.
"Oh, this?" Dustpelt grinned. "It's just some old toys of mine, Spearspee's, and Blake's that we had when we were little. Zack said since we don't play with them much anymore, you could have them."
Sywun took the box in awe. New toys! His bluish gray eyes grew big. In the box were all kinds of neat stuff. Sywun placed a baseball cap on his head and took out the wind up faellie. "Ooohhh..." Sywun was mesmerized. So many cool toys! Sywun threw the mootix parachute toy up in the air and giggled as Chiko flew up to catch it. He took another look at his new toys. He dug deeper and found a pirate hat. "Oh!" Sywun remembered when he and his cousins and siblings were younger, they used to play pirates a lot. Sywun was always the captain, and his cousins and siblings were always his loyal crew. He wondered when those fun times stopped. He wished they didn't act so grown-up when they were still so young. "Wanna play?" Sywun asked Dustpelt cheerfully.
Dustpelt shook his head. "I'm much too old, Sye, but you enjoy your new toys."
Sywun frowned in loneliness. Too old? Never! "Okay." He sighed.
When Dustpelt had gone, Sywun scampered into Lukio's room, clutching his jacks and ball set in his paw. Maybe Lukio or Cloud would play with him. Sywun opened to door and the first thing he saw were ribbons. Cloud twirled and Lukio made her heart loop. Sywun watched a few seconds in awe. He loved the way Lukio ribbon danced. Then he remembered why he had come. "Luki, Cloud, do you want to play jacks with me?"
"Oh, hey, Sye," Cloud cooed as she danced past, waving her ribbon just under Sywun's nose. It tickled him and he sneezed and laughed.
Lukio spun around and gracefully let the ribbon twirl around her. "Sorry, Sywun. We're kind of busy."
Sywun looked down at his paws dolefully. "Well, can I ribbon dance, too?" Sywun picked up Lukio's spare rainbow ribbon off her bed and started bouncing around with it waving behind him. He didn't hear Lukio's frantic, "Sywun, look out!", until it was too late. He crashed into Lukio's side table and watched in horror as the lamp fell and shattered into pieces. He looked up at Lukio with apology in his bluish gray eyes. He hadn't meant to!
Lukio sighed. "Go, Sywun. Go play in your own room, please." Her voice was calm but inside she was steaming with rage.
Sywun sighed and shamefully walked to his own room. He stopped at Yuna's door, though, noticing how much fun Battledome fighting sounded. Yuna stood around next to Blake and Spearspee. They practiced some of their moves and battle cries. Sywun watched in wonder as they threw wet snowballs at each other.
Just like a snowball fight! Sywun thought with glee.
He ran into the room and pelted Yuna in the head with one.
"Hey!" she spat angrily. "Who let the little pup in here?"
Sywun was taken aback. Little pup? No way! "I'm not little!" he cried in defense.
"Yeah, you are, Sywun. Go play somewhere else, okay?" Yuna sighed. Little brothers were so vexing.
"Go on, Sye. Battledome fighting is a grown up game," Spearspee said. "Maybe when you're older."
Sywun's face balled up and he shuffled out of the room. He sighed and kicked at the wall. Being a little kid was no fun!
"Hey, guys! Come get some delicious cake before it's all gone!" Crystal called up the steps.
"Oh, yay!" Everyone piled down the steps in excited laughter... except Sywun. He was sorrowful. He snuffled sadly and dragged himself down the steps.
Dustpelt licked his jowls. "Come on, kid!" he called as he dashed past the little puppy. "Let's go get some cake. I know you love it."
Sywun brightened a little. He did love cake.
"Yummy." Cloud sighed as she pushed away her second plate. "It was very good, Lulu."
Lukio smiled with pleasure. "Why, thank you."
"Aw, gee, Lukio! This is probably the best cake I've ever eaten!" Spearspee forked another bite into his mouth.
"Yes, indeed," Blake nodded.
"Mmmmm... it's okay. It's a little salty, though..." Dustpelt looked around to see how they would react. The table fell silent. "Oh, come on! I was only kidding you, Lu. It was great."
Everybody laughed and Lukio smiled in relief.
"Oh, Dusty, you kidder!" Cloud scolded her brother. "That's wasn't very nice."
Sywun remained quiet. He felt lonely.
"Hey, guys, how about some lemonade?" Crystal got up and pulled out a pitcher of ice cold lemonade. "I know it's your favorite."
After everybody had eaten their cake and drank their lemonade, Sywun tiptoed up the steps with a piece in his paw for Chiko. He watched the faellie scarf it down and mew his thanks.
"Sywun, are you feeding Chiko cake again?" Crystal's stern voice sounded behind him. He knew Crystal didn't allow petpets eating neopet food, especially cake.
"Yes, Crystal," he said quietly. "I'm sorry." He turned around, but Crystal didn't seem angry. She seemed... concerned.
"Sye, what's wrong? You were so quiet eating your welcome cake, I thought something was bugging you." She sat down at the edge of his bed. "Is something bugging my puppy?"
Sywun sighed wistfully. "Why is everyone so much older than me? Why do I have to be a baby? They don't like playing with me! They say they're too old and I'm too young! It's not fair!" Sywun whined.
Crystal patted her Lupe sympathetically on the head. She brought him into her arms and cradled him comfortingly, just as if he were a newborn Lupe again. "Oh, Sye, I'm sorry you're lonely. But sometimes older kids need their space. They all love you Sywun, and maybe they'll play later."
"Will you play with me, Crystal?" the Lupe puppy asked hopefully, looking up at his owner from his seat in her lap.
Crystal frowned. "Sorry, Sywun. I have to get going." She glanced at her watch. "I'll be late!" She quickly kissed her puppy between the eyes and set off towards her job at the Sweet Dreams Cafe'.
Sywun was alone again. He went back to his box, examining all the toys again. What should he play? He took a look at his pirate hat again. Maybe that could be fun...
Sywun stood up proud with his pirate hat atop his head and nodded curtly. If no one was going to play with him, he'd just play by himself.
"Arr, this be good root beer, ehh, Chiko?" Sywun cackled like a pirate and clashed his glass against Chiko's.
"Right, Cap'n Sywun! The best I ever drank!" Chiko squeaked in Sywun's imagination. Suddenly a gust of wind knocked against the boat and Sywun ran to the edge.
"Arr, Chiko!" Sywun called as he peered out to sea. "There be a storm a brewin'!" He pointed out yonder, and the faellie squeaked in surprise. That storm was huge! Big, black clouds spun and tumbled angrily and Sywun could see rain falling in the distance. "Oh, no, Chiko! Hoist the sails!"
"Aye!" The faellie squeaked and obeyed his captain. Sywun nodded. Where was his crew? Right, he had none. "Okee, maties!" he cried, pretending he did. "We need to work together if we wanna beat this storm!"
Sywun gasped as cold rain pelted him down and the ship swayed in sickly motions. "Chiko! The storm! She be too strong!" The ship spun sideways as a gust of strong wind blew and whipped the sail right off his ship. "Oh, no! The sail!" Sywun cried out in fear as the ship rocked angrily in the waves and water crashed over the sides. "Chiko!" he cried. "She be too strong!"
Thunder rolled and rumbled in the blackened sky and lightning crashed in bright streaks of light. What would Sywun do? He had no sail!
Suddenly six figures appeared in front of him and Sywun cried, "Sea monsters! They're here to steal my treasure!" He could hardly see in the rain, but he fought through the crowd, swiping his enemies in the stomach with his eyes closed.
"Aye, Cap'n Sywun! It be us! Yer loyal pirate crew."
Sywun opened his eyes. His crew, they came back! He smiled through the rain and thunder.
"Cap'n Sywun, we got the sail." Cloud and Spearspee pulled the sail back up the pole and Lukio brought up the anchor. "Cap'n Sywun, this is some nasty storm, yeh?" she cried.
"Aye." Cap'n Sywun giggled.
Blake shoveled buckets of water off the boat and Dustpelt took control of the ship and turned the stern. "Cap'n Sywun, where to now?" he called through the rain.
"Home." Sywun sighed in happiness, his wet fur plastered to his forehead. He pointed to the shore and cried, "Land!"
Sywun jumped off his bed and ran excitedly around the room, completely happy. The other neopets sat on the edge of the 'ship' and laughed. They had never had that much fun in a long time!
"Don't you remember we used to play that all the time when we were kids?" Spearspee asked. "Sywun was only a little pup then."
"Yes! It was a lot of fun," Cloud exclaimed with a remembering smile.
"Indeed." Lukio nodded.
"Woo hoo! I never had so much fun," Dustpelt cried, laying back on Sywun bed. "Have fun, kid?" he asked Sywun, giving him a friendly elbow nudge.
Sywun nodded, his pirate hat perched upon his head. "Yes." He smiled.
Dustpelt nudged him and winked. "Say, you're a pretty fine Captain Sywun."
The happy siblings and cousins fell into a heap of laughter. When they stopped, they glanced at each other apologetically.
"Gee, Sye, we're sorry we didn't want to play with you," Yuna said.
Cloud smiled a crooked smile of apology. "Crystal said you were upset."
"Yeah, sorry you were lonely," Blake chirped sadly.
Sywun could only smile. "It's okay, guys!"
Lukio hugged her little brother. "We love you, Sywun. And we're sorry for being so mean."
Sywun was melting in his happiness.
"What do you want to do now?" Dustpelt asked wonderingly, turning to Sywun.
Sywun thought a moment, glancing at his new box of toys. "Fun!" he cried jubilantly, jumping up and down. "Let's just have fun."
A word for those who read this...
Okay, so you may think you're too old to do something, but the truth is, you're not. If you like it and it makes you laugh or smile and have a good time, then go for it. You're never too old for doing the things you enjoy the most, no matter what anyone may say.