A Day of Appreciation
Happy Sloth Appreciation Day, I proudly share my birthday with Sloth!
The space station was quiet. The Grundo workers were running about, fixing things and making sure everything was perfect. A tall figure watched from his private deck on board the space craft. Very soon it would be the day he was waiting for; it was that one special day of the year, where everyone had to appreciate him. Even if they didn't like him or know who he was, they still had to appreciate him.
"Soon, my birthday will be celebrated again!" Sloth chuckled to himself. "I have dubbed it, 'Sloth Appreciation Day', for it is a day of me!"
He sat back in his favourite chair, millions of ideas running through his evil head. The least evil idea in his head was the flavor of birthday cake he would like this year. He loved black forest cake; he always had one set aside for himself on his special day.
The villain chuckled to himself again, not caring if anyone heard him or not. He decided to call it a day; he was feeling tired. As he walked pridefully over to his bed, he couldn't help but feel excited about his birthday. He had lost count of his age after he turned eight hundred, so however old people thought he was, was up to them. He was not as old as Count Von Roo, however; only Tyrannia could be that old.
He snuggled down into his bed, cuddling close to his favourite Spotted Grundo Plushie. No one knew he had this plushie; he vowed to blast anyone who learned he did. After a few minutes of adjusting the bed's blankets, he finally fell asleep.
* * *
Sloth woke to the sound of an alarm clock. The device seemed louder than usual, being that it was six in the morning and a brand new day. Sloth got up, marching over to his wardrobe to change out of his pajamas. He chose his best clothes, as well as his most fancy black cape.
"Today, I shall visit Neopia," Sloth said to himself. "I shall visit and pick up the cake I want."
He dared not ask anyone to pick up his cake again; they never got the right one. His personal assistant Snarkie was away on a business meeting. Sloth had sent her to the meeting and now regretted it; she always got him the right birthday cake. This year he would get the cake himself, hopefully meeting his adoring public along the way.
* * *
When Sloth landed in Neopia Central, he was surprised at the sight of snow everywhere. He forgot how much he hated snow. Some misaimed snowballs flew in his direction from a backyard he was walking by. He wasn't thrilled by the projectile snow being thrown in his direction.
Sloth wandered around Neopia Central looking for the bakery, shuffling through snow that wasn't getting any shallower. Actually, the snow seemed to be getting deeper. The reason for this was a snow plow that was clearing the street.
"Fools, I'm trying to walk here!" Sloth bellowed. He was ignored amongst the noise of the passing snow removal vehicles, as well as the sound of shovels scratching the icy pavement.
This was turning out to be a terrible Sloth Appreciation Day. Once he arrived at the bakery, he was further disappointed. They were out of black forest cake, having sold many cakes that day. The fourteenth day of the month of Sleeping was a popular day for birthdays. Sloth stormed out of the bakery. He didn't even threaten to blast the employees. He just didn't feel like being evil; he only wanted his cake. Again, he regretted sending Snarkie on that business meeting. When all else failed, she was a miracle worker in the kitchen. She could bake any cake in the recipe book.
"Of all the rotten luck!" Sloth stormed to himself. "When I get back to my station, I'm going to order my staff to polish my statue until I can see myself in it."
He continued to storm down the street, struggling through the mess of snow that had been left behind by plows and careless shovels. He was grumpily walking along when someone bumped into him.
"Oh, I'm sorry, sir," said a small voice from out of nowhere.
Sloth, now awake from his thoughts, looked down and saw a small Pink Kyrii. She had bright blue eyes, an innocent smile, and was tiny. Sloth assumed this was a small child. He didn't pay much attention to people; he rarely saw kids on the space station.
"Sorry, sir, I was in a hurry," she said in her squeaky voice. "Today is my birthday, and I was just going to the cake shop."
Sloth looked at the child, puzzled. Today was her birthday? But it was Sloth Appreciation Day; it was his birthday.
"Today is your birthday too, right?" she asked, looking up at Sloth innocently. "You are Mr. Sloth, right?"
"Yes, I am." Sloth nodded. "And yes, today is my birthday also. May I ask your name, child?"
"My name is Liesa," she said. "People sometimes pronounce it as Lisa, but it's Lie-za."
Sloth nodded. The small creature was so cute that it was making him feel ill, though he felt compelled to leave her alone; today was her birthday too. For some reason, he didn't think she deserved to be miserable. He started to walk away when the little creature grabbed his hand.
"Mr. Sloth, would you like to come get some cake with me?" Liesa asked.
"Sure," Sloth said, unsure of why he said yes to begin with.
"Hi, Nova," Liesa said, "Do you have any black forest cake left?"
"Sure do, sweetie, just give me a second," Nova said.
Nova put down the mug and went to the back. After a few moments she returned with a fresh black forest cake. It was still warm; Sloth could smell the melting chocolate.
"How many pieces of cake do you want, sweetie?" Nova asked.
"Two please," Liesa said. "It's his birthday too!"
"Why, so it is," Nova said, lifting an eyebrow in amusement. "A very happy birthday to you, Sloth."
Sloth lifted his head in pride, accepting the cake. Nova said that the cake was free for people on their birthdays. It was to make up for those disappointed Neopians, which the bakery down the street couldn't serve. He took his slice of cake and sat down with Liesa, they chose a table by the window. It was a pretty sight, the snow outside covering everything in a white blanket.
"The bakery never has my favourite cake, so I come here every year," Liesa said. "The people here are very nice. Nova is my older cousin."
"This is a charming little café. I think I'll visit it more often," Sloth said. He actually enjoyed this café.
It was cleaner than Grundos café. It also didn't smell like anything was being burnt or charbroiled. It smelled sweet, like cherries and sugar cream. Liesa and Sloth chatted while enjoying their cake. He hated Neopians, but perhaps this little one wasn't so bad. She was sweet and clever. Sloth would have never have guessed to come here.
"So, how old are you Mr. Sloth?" Liesa asked.
"I honestly can't remember; I lost count years ago," Sloth replied.
"Are you as old as the Space Faerie?" she asked innocently.
"No, Mira has many hundreds of years on me," Sloth replied. "How about you, Liesa, how old are you?"
"I turned eight years old today!" Liesa said, cheerfully stuffing some more cake into her mouth.
Today had started out miserably, but it seemed to have gotten better. He hadn't expected to make friends with a Neopian, let alone one he would reign supreme ruler over one day. Maybe when he finally took over the world, he would have Liesa join Snarkie as an apprentice personal assistant. It was always hard to find people who knew what they were doing.
Sloth and Liesa left the Café; it was rounding on noon now. Sloth decided it was time to leave and get back to work. Neopians weren't going to fear him if he was caught hanging out with children. He escorted Liesa to her house; he was in a very good mood.
"Have a good birthday, Mr. Sloth!" Liesa shouted from her doorstep.
"Thank you, and happy birthday, Liesa," Sloth said as he turned to leave.
Sloth went back to his space station and began to scheme up his next big plan. He had forgotten about having his staff clean his statue. To make it even better, Snarkie was back from the meeting. She had brought some cake home too. More black forest cake, because it was the birthday boy's favourite. It was a perfect ending to the day.
The perfect Sloth Appreciation Day. Now if only he could take over Neopia.