The Usuki Singing Stars #2: A Surprise for Lola - Part Two
“Jingle bells! Patricia smells! She also laid an egg!” Alan sang as he danced around the house. Patricia groaned as she entered the house. Instead of helping with the decorating, Alan was dancing around the house while he sang his little Christmas carol he made up. Their mother was busy decorating the tree.
“Would you like to help me, Patricia?” Mother asked.
Patricia shook her head. She still had to write up her Christmas list, hang up her stocking on the fireplace and she had to find a good apron for the Soup Kitchen. She was startled when Alan approached her.
“Want to see my Christmas list?” Alan asked. Patricia sighed and nodded. Alan grinned as he pulled his list from out of his holiday helper hat and handed it to Patricia.
Patricia read it quickly, since there was only one thing on it. “You want a petpet?” Patricia asked.
Alan nodded. “I want either a Puppyblew or a Warf!” he exclaimed. “I hope Santa can get it! I’ve been a very good Shoyru this year!”
“Yes, you were.” Patricia smiled, not telling Alan that he wasn’t good all year. As she walked upstairs to her room, Patricia planned out the next five days. Tomorrow was when she, Sparkles, Lola and Scary were going Christmas shopping. The other four days could be spent at the Soup Kitchen; Patricia thought that volunteering was a good idea, but what about her friends? She knew that Sparkles and Lola would volunteer, but Scary?
“Lola said she couldn’t come shopping with us,” Sparkles sighed. The girls were standing by the Grooming Parlour. “She said that she was busy doing something else. But she did say she was coming to our house for Borovan Day!”
Great, Patricia thought. She had forgot today was the 20th, which made it Borovan Day. Although borovan was only sold once a year, Patricia still hated the stuff! Perhaps she could just eat holiday cookies, like she was planning to do instead.
“I bet Lola’s busy finding more cheap junk for Christmas gifts this year,” Scary said. “I still can’t believe she gave us those cheap sand thing-a-ma-bobs last year. Mine didn’t even survive to see the New Year.”
Patricia was startled by what Scary said. Even if she was partly correct about Lola’s Christmas shopping, even Scary shouldn’t have destroyed her gift!
As the girls went to the Neopian bazaar to start shopping, Patricia told them about her plan about volunteering at the Soup Kitchen. She didn’t tell them about what she saw yesterday, however. The scene at the Money Tree sounded too scary for Sparkles. Scary wouldn’t care altogether.
“That’s a great idea, Pat!” Sparkles exclaimed as she clapped her hands in delight. “Working at the Soup Kitchen sounds like fun! I’m sure Lola would really appreciate it.”
Scary just scoffed at the idea. “Why should I waste my valuable time at the crummy Soup Kitchen?” Scary asked. “I don’t even need to go there in the first place. If I ever wanted to ‘help out’ the homeless, I’ll donate a potato sack to the Second Hand Shoppe!”
“But Scary,” Sparkles gasped, “helping others is the true meaning of the holiday season! You have to help us at the Soup Kitchen. Besides, Scary, it’ll be fun and very awarding!”
“And this helps you get that blue gown... how?” Scary replied back. The purple Bruce knew why Sparkles wanted to ‘help out.’
Sparkles blushed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she squeaked. Scary just smiled.
“Well, I’m going to volunteer to help,” Patricia stated, hoping Scary wouldn’t attack her. And even if she did help for a day, would it give her a higher change to get that new play set she wanted? She hoped dearly that it wouldn’t.
After a few seconds of silence, the girls decided to hit the shops. Patricia was lucky to find a Faerie snow globe. She was sure her mother would love it. Sparkles also bought one as well, for her mother. Scary didn’t buy a thing. The next stop was Usukiland, where Sparkles and Patricia bought clothing sets for each other. Scary still didn’t buy anything for anyone. When they went to the Toy Shop, Patricia frowned as she saw a huge group of Neopians in the shop. Everyone was grabbing as much as they could. Patricia decided to come back another time. Sparkles decided to stop by the Food Shop to get some borovan powder. Patricia sighed. The thought of drinking just one cup of borovan gave her a shiver. As she walked by the NC Mall, Sparkles quickly dashed to the display window and sighed at the blue gown.
“It’s still there,” Sparkles sighed. She was pressing her face to the window.
Scary groaned. “Let’s go home,” she moaned. “Your dumb dress isn’t going anywhere! So let’s go.”
“Okay,” Sparkles sighed. “We’ll see you tonight, Pat!”
“Bye, guys,” Patricia said as she waved to her friends. She still hated the thought of drinking borovan, but at least Lola would be there. Patricia couldn’t wait to see what beautiful handmade thing Lola made this year. Would it top her sand sculptures? Then Patricia had another thought in her head: Was she really as selfish as the others?
“Happy Borovan Day!” Sparkles sang out to everyone. Everyone replied back as Sparkles gave everyone a cup of borovan. Unfortunately for Patricia, there were no holiday cookies.
Patricia sighed as she took a big sip of borovan. She quickly gulped it down. She tried doing this until her cup was completely empty. Thinking that she had mastered the art of surviving Borovan Day, Patricia saw what the other girls were doing. Instead of drinking her borovan, Scary was dumping it in one of the living room plants. Lola was just staring at the fireplace.
“Now the plants are watered,” Scary declared. “So now-”
“Who wants more borovan?” Sparkles asked. Everyone, but Lola, shook their heads.
“Just hurry up and bring the cookies!” Scary snarled. “No one likes the borovan anyways.”
“But Lola and Patricia liked it,” Sparkles insisted. She turned to Patricia.
Patricia’s face went red. Sparkles must have thought that she actually liked borovan! This was false. Now the only thing Patricia wanted to do now was flee the house, with some cookies in her hand. Lola wasn’t responding to anything that was going on.
Sparkles smiled as she walked towards Lola, only to discover that Lola’s cup was still full. Patricia breathed in relief. Sparkles sighed as she walked back into the kitchen and brought out some cookies.
“Cookies,” Patricia and Scary exclaimed. Both girls were grabbing handfuls of cookie all at once. When Lola didn’t come up, Patricia decided to give one to her.
“No thank you,” Lola whispered. She didn’t even turn around. Patricia felt it was a bit creepy for Lola to just stare at the fireplace mindlessly.
“Oh well,” Scary said as she ate her cookies, “more cookies for us then!” Patricia watched as Scary took Lola’s cookie and shoved it into her mouth.
“That was for Lola!” Patricia argued. She then turned around to Sparkles and sighed at the empty plate she was holding.
“At least Scary likes the cookies,” Sparkles said. “But the good thing is that there is still plenty of borovan to go around.”
Great, Patricia thought. The last thing she wanted to think about was the bitter taste of borovan. But even the borovan couldn’t shake Patricia’s suspicion away from her. She knew, deep inside, that something was wrong with Lola.
“Lola,” Patricia stuttered, “is something wrong?”
“It’s the borovan, isn’t it?” Sparkles gasped. Scary and Patricia stared at her.
“Maybe,” Scary replied. She didn’t seem too concerned about Lola.
Lola was still staring at the fireplace. “It’s not you guys,” she whispered.
“Then, what’s wrong?” Patricia asked. She placed a hand on Lola’s shoulder. Just as Lola was smiling, Scary and Sparkles suddenly gasped.
“The Christmas tree is now lit up!” Scary exclaimed. “And we have presents!”
“But Scary-” Patricia began. She then stopped and sighed as Sparkles and Scary fled to their now lit-up tree. The girls were eager to pick up their brightly wrapped presents. Patricia was now wondering if their Christmas tree was lit up. But she shook that thought out of her head to comfort Lola.
“I hope this is my ball gown!” Sparkles squeaked with glee. She was holding a sparkling blue gift bag that had a snowflake read which read, To Sparkles.
“Look at this big thing!” Scary cheered. She was poking at a green box that had a holly themed tag that read, To Scary. Both girls were so busy squealing over their gifts that they forgot all about poor Lola.
“Guys,” Patricia snarled, “what about Lola?”
“Lola’s still here?” Scary wondered. She searched the living room and saw Lola by the fireplace. “Oh.”
“If there is anything wrong,” Sparkles assured Lola as she kept her gaze at her gift bag, “we’ll help you no matter what!”
Lola smiled at her friends. “Thanks.” She sighed. “But the thing is,” she tried hard hot to choke on her own words, “I’m going to be pounded on Christmas Eve.”
To be continued...