The Usuki Singing Stars #6: Cinder-Lola
“I can’t thank you guys enough! It was really nice of you all to help me clean our attic,” Patricia said as she dusted a big pile of boxes. The faerie Shoyru felt really lucky today. Because she was stuck with cleaning the attic by herself, Patricia’s friends had decided to help Patricia clean it so she could go to the big neoschool dance. But so far, only Patricia and Lola were hard at work, while Scary and Sparkles sat on some big boxes Patricia had dusted.
“It’s too bad that I had gotten a manicure today,” Sparkles sighed as she gazed at her polished pink fingernails, “but I’m sure that you two can finish things up.”
“But I thought you guys were going to help too,” said Lola. “After all, we all promised Patricia that we would help her.”
Scary just rolled her eyes as she flipped through her magazine. “We’re both too busy to work, Lola. And besides, Sparkles had a manicure, and why I will never know, while I am busy reading my magazine.” As soon as she flipped to a bright pink page, Scary waved her hand at Patricia. “Come read this, Pat!” she insisted. “And then you can take the quiz. You can work later.”
Patricia nodded and placed the box she was carrying on the ground. Lola sighed as she continued her work, while her friends laughed and gossiped about rumors they heard in neoschool. She grunted as she lifted heavy boxes and gently untangled Spyder webs that were now abandoned. Lola felt like she was the only one who was actually trying to help Patricia, while Scary and Sparkles were only helping themselves. When it was time to go home, Patricia thanked her friends for their help and reminded them to come back tomorrow.
“We still have to sort all of the old toys and clothing that are in the boxes. And Mom was wondering if we could find some old antique things she was looking for.” Patricia tried hard to make the chores sound okay, but even her friends could feel how exhausting it would be tomorrow. That is, if Patricia and her friends had decided to actually work tomorrow.
The next day, however, was really exhausting... for Lola, that is. While the yellow Cybunny dusted and re-dusted old boxes, Scary and Sparkles were telling Patricia about what dresses they were planning on wearing to the big neoschool dance. Lola started to feel like none of her friends, including Patricia, was willing to do any work today. The only thing they wanted to do was gossip.
“So what dress are you going to wear, Patricia?” Sparkles wondered as she gazed at a pile of old costumes that Lola was planning on sorting.
Patricia shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. Maybe my sparkling faerie dress, but my Mom has to sew one of the sleeves back on since Marc chewed it off.”
“Maybe you can find something here,” Lola suggested. “I‘m sure that-”
“Are you done working yet?” Scary demanded. The purple Bruce glared at Lola and said, “Shut your face and go work. I’m sure there are hundreds of other things that you can do while we relax. And stop ease dropping on our conversations!”
Lola sighed as she went back to her work. After sweeping the dusty floor boards and sorting all of the Christmas decorations, it was time for Lola to begin sorting the many costumes that were stored in the attic. There were many different things that were stored in different boxes: wigs, dresses, a pair of clown shoes from Halloween, and a pair of Earth faerie play wings from a costume party Patricia attended last autumn. But one dress that caught Lola’s eye was a sparkling promenade gown.
This is the most beautiful gown in the world! Oh, it would be great if I could wear it to the dance! Lola thought as she picked up the dress and twirled around. As she gazed at the gown’s flapping skirt, Lola pictured herself at a grand ballroom in a faraway palace. She pictured herself wearing the gown and dancing with a mysterious yellow Poogle, who was wearing a black and white tuxedo. As she would dance, her skirt would fly in a breathtaking circle, and Lola would feel like a belle in a ball.
“So I was thinking of wearing some dark red lipstick with my dress,” Scary began eagerly, “and maybe some eye shadow too. And- Lola! What in Neopia are you doing? Put that rag away and go back to work!”
“And if you could fold everything,” Patricia added, “that would be great. Oh, and don’t forget to sort out the feather boas.”
Without starting an argument, Lola went back to sorting the clothing and began folding them, as her friends continued the ‘make up conversation’ Scary started. When it was time for everyone to go, Lola felt extremely exhausted. But she was glad that the dance was tomorrow night. She was also pleased that she had saved the sparkling promenade gown for tomorrow.
I just know that I would go, Lola told herself. And I will wear that dress to the dance! I just have to.
“I just love my new dress!” Scary exclaimed as she showed off her new gothic red and black dress to her friends. “And I’m also thrilled that I had some leftover midnight eye shadow for tonight.”
“I’m just glad that I found my sparkly scarf,” Sparkles sighed. The pink Bruce was thrilled that she could wear her shining blue Bruce scarf with her elegant blue Bruce dress. “But I’m still torn about if I should wear a pink tiara or not. What do you think?”
“I think that somebody should work a bit faster,” Scary snarled as Lola finished up some last minute cleaning. Patricia’s attic looked a lot cleaner, thanks to Lola. Everything was in a packed box, and every box was piled neatly in a group. Scary and Sparkles waited anxiously for Patricia to finish changing into her dress. Both Bruces didn’t like waiting in the attic anymore.
“I’m done!” Patricia announced as she modeled her dress in front of her friends. But only Lola wasn’t smiling.
“Is that the... um... sparkling promenade gown I found yesterday?” Lola stammered.
“Yep.” Patricia nodded. “I was trying to find something, but then I found this dress lying on a box. So I decided to wear that to the dance instead of my faerie one.” Lola groaned in disbelief. Now she had nothing to wear to the dance!
Lola gulped. “Well, I think it’s great that you found a dress for tonight. But, um, what will I wear? I already packed everything away and taped the boxes shut. Do you have any spare dresses, Patricia?”
“Why would you need a dress?” Scary asked in disbelief. “We all know that you can’t go.” Everybody, except Scary, gasped and stared at Lola, who was busy staring at Scary. Why couldn’t Lola go to the dance?
“Scary,” said Sparkles, “what are you talking about? Lola worked really hard with cleaning Patricia’s attic. And hey, she worked harder than any of us!”
“But what about the other chores,” Scary wondered, and everyone immediately stared at Patricia.
“Oh yeah,” Patricia giggled nervously as she tried to continue. “I forgot to tell you, Lola, didn’t I? Well... because I accidentally got in trouble last night, I promised my mom that I would do some extra chores tonight. But since you’re not going to the dance, I guess you can do them for me! Can you?”
“Well,” Lola began nervously, “I guess that I could-”
“That’d be great!” Patricia said as she ran down the stairs. Scary and Sparkles followed behind her, while Lola made her way down slowly. Before she could even say goodbye, her ‘friends’ were already out of the door and running as fast as they could to the neoschool dance. Lola just sighed and shook her head.
Bye guys, Lola thought as she made her way down the stairs. I hope you guys have fun. And I know I’ll have fun cleaning all night while you guys are having fun.
“Patricia!” a voice cried from upstairs, Lola watched as a faerie Kau and a blue Shoyru, who were Ms. Winston and Alan, ran down the stairs with worry. “Have you seen Patricia, Lola?” Ms. Winston wondered. “I was calling for her all day. She was supposed to be doing her chores.” But before she could continue her ramble, the puzzled Kau noticed Lola’s sad expression. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes,” Lola squeaked, trying hard not to tear up. “And if you’re looking for Patricia, then you have just missed her. She has already left to go to the Neoschool dance.”
“What!” Ms. Winston gasped. She began to feel very angry at Patricia, but then asked Lola, “Why didn’t you go along with Patricia? I’m sure she didn’t just leave you here all alone.” When Lola didn’t say anything, Ms. Wentworth began asking her other questions. “Did Patricia clean the attic? Has she finished her other chores?”
“No, she didn’t,” Lola admitted. “I cleaned it while Patricia relaxed. And because she wanted to go to the dance so badly, she asked me if I could do all of her chores tonight. I wanted to say no, but she was in so much of a hurry that she left before I could finish my sentence.”
“How terrible,” Ms. Winston sighed. “That girl certainly needs to learn her lesson when she comes home.” Suddenly she gasped. “I have an idea,” she chimed. “How about Alan and I finish up her chores today while you go to the dance!”
Lola gasped. “Oh thank you, but I don’t have anything to wear. And I’m sure Scary would have my neck if she sees me there too.”
Ms. Wentworth rubbed her chin for a moment. “I think I have the perfect dress for you!” she assured Lola. “I packed it away in my closet for now, but I wouldn’t mind it if you borrowed it for tonight.” After a quick whisper to Alan, Ms. Winston lead Alan upstairs and into one of the bedroom. When they came out, Lola gasped at the shining princess dress and wig that Ms. Winston was carrying. Alan was carrying the shining princess shoes, and little Marc was carrying the matching gloves in his mouth!
“Oh my, I don’t know how to thank you guys!” Lola was trying hard not to cry, but her eyes were watering so fast that she couldn’t help it. After putting on the dress, wig and shoes, Lola looked at herself through one of Ms. Winston’s hand mirrors and gasped. She looked just like a faerie tale princess!
“Now, all you need is a matching mask and you’re all set,” Ms. Winston declared, but Lola was still unsure.
“How will I get to the dance?” Lola wondered. “I don’t think I can run with these shoes on.”
“Don’t you worry,” Ms. Winston assured her. “I know a friend with a magical pumpkin carriage in his barn.”
“But the best part of the dance was when Scary tripped over her dress and twisted her ankle!” Sparkles giggled as she ate her lunch.
Patricia stared at Sparkles with an awkward expression. “Any who,” she continued, “I think the best part of the dance was when that mysterious Cybunny came in the pumpkin carriage! And how she danced with almost every guy at the dance was amazing.” Patricia looked at Lola and said, “I am really sorry for leaving you at home, Lola. It’s too bad that you missed the dance.”
“Oh, I didn’t miss it at all,” Lola said thoughtfully. “Your stories make me feel like I was actually there last night.” This was true; since she really was there last night!