Lifting the Birthday Curse
The first Neopets story I've ever written-written in honor of my birthday! :)
You might be wondering who I am by now, so I'll go ahead and tell you--my name is Tai0586, though my friends just call me Tai for short. I'm the oldest of my owner's four pets, and I'm a Christmas Kougra. However, this story isn't about me--it's about how I helped to break my owner's bad luck streak. You see, my owner, Sora200579, or just Sora, has had a very, and I mean VERY bad streak of unhappy birthdays over the years; however, this year, my three best friends and I were able to break it! How you may ask? Well, let's just go back a couple of days, and you'll see.
Two Days Earlier
It was early morning as the sun was shining outside my bedroom window. I slowly started to open my eyes as I let out my usual loud yawn, stretching myself as I tried to wake up, getting out of bed, landing on all fours as I headed out of my room, going downstairs. I smiled as I saw the rest of my family was in the kitchen as Sora was making breakfast.
"Hey, Tai. You're just in time for breakfast!" Icecream123920, or I.C. grinned, his tail wagging excitedly. He was a baby Lupe who Sora adopted from the pound, and her second oldest pet.
"Yeah, we're having pancakes today!" Renaki05, or Renaki, a Faerie Cybunny, and Sora's third oldest pet, grinned as she sat at the table.
"Awesome--my favorite!" I grinned, my own tail waving at that as I joined Gloria0586 or Gloria, who was a Cloud Bruce, and the youngest pet in the group. She looked to Sora, who was standing at the stove.
"Sora, are the pancakes ready yet?"
"Yeah, I'm hungry!" I.C. replied, blushing as his stomach growled. Strangely enough, Sora didn't reply. I looked to her, seeing her head was hanging low, frowning as she looked at the cooking pancakes, or should I say burning pancakes... Concerned, I got up, going over to her.
"Sora? Are you okay!?" I asked, tapping her on her leg with my paw, snapping her out of her trance.
"Wha-!?" She looked to me. "Yeah, I'm okay; why do you ask, Tai?"
Gloria frowned. "He asked because the pancakes are burning!"
Sora gasped at that, seeing Gloria was telling the truth as she quickly flipped the pancakes to stop them from burning, but by the time she was done the pancakes were as black as her hair.
She groaned. "Oh no..." She looked to us, frowning. "I'm so sorry..."
Renaki's ears lowered. "You're not yourself today, Sora... in fact, you haven't been yourself for the past few weeks..."
Gloria nodded softly. "Yeah, that's like the twelfth meal you've burned... You're usually a really great cook, too..."
Sora frowned. "I know... I always have rotten luck this time of year... I think I might be jinxed or something..."
I shook my head. "Nah, it's all in your head, Sora. Why don't you go upstairs and calm down for a while? We'll just have cereal for breakfast today."
"Are you sure, guys? Is that what you really want?"
The baby Lupe nodded smiling, "Yeah, it's okay--we'll have pancakes some other time."
Sora nodded, the frown still on her face. "Okay, I'm really sorry, guys-I promise I'll make it up to you later," she said as she went back upstairs to get cleaned up.
As soon as she was out of hearing range, Gloria and the others looked to me. "Okay, Tai. Spill it..."
"Yeah, you've known Sora longer than any of us--why does she think she has bad luck this time of year?" Renaki added.
I frowned. "It's the same thing every year, guys... for some weird reason bad things happen to Sora around this time. It's also the time right before her birthday, so she calls it the Birthday Curse..."
"The Birthday Curse?" I.C. frowned, whimpering sadly.
"She knows there's no such things as curses, right?"
"Well, Gloria--here's the thing, some really bad things have happened to her over the years... like last year, she had gotten a birthday cake for herself from her favorite bakery, but at the last minute, it rained and she AND the cake got completely soaked..."
The Cybunny frowned. "Ooh, that IS bad... what else has happened?"
"Well, the year before that, she had finally gotten a very rare plushie that she had saved for for months, but before she could even bring it home, that mean old Pant Devil stole it from her."
"Oh no... that's awful..."
"Yeah, I hate that guy--he stole one of my favorite toys from me once when I was in the pound..." I.C. growled.
I nodded. "Yeah, so that was just a bit of what's happened to her over the years... and I'm really worried about her."
"Yeah, we've got to do something..." Gloria replied as everyone agreed as we all thought hard, wondering what we could do.
Soon Renaki's ears perked as in idea popped into her head. "Hey, I got it! Why don't we surprise her with the plushie she wanted to get before! I mean we do have some leftover neopoints saved up."
"That's a great idea, Renaki... but why don't we add to it..." I smirked as an even bigger idea popped into my head.
"We know that look of yours, Tai... that's your thinking face."
"Yeah, what do you have in mind?"
"Well, I talked with Sora about this a few years ago before you guys came along... and I remember her saying that it's been a LONG time since she's had a birthday party, so I'm thinking we should give her one--but we'll make it a surprise!"
"A surprise party! She'll never see that coming!" The baby Lupe grinned, his tail wagging happily.
"Well, duh, I.C., that's the whole point." Renaki giggled, petting the little guy on the forehead.
Gloria soon blinked softly. "It's a good idea, Tai, but how will we get her out of the house so we can set things up?"
"Yeah, her birthday's tomorrow..."
"Don't worry, guys--I've got a plan for that, too..." I motioned the others to gather around me as I whispered my plan to them.
All of a sudden we heard the sound of footsteps coming from the top of the stairs. Gloria gasped.
"Uh-oh, she's coming back!"
"Quick, get the cereal!" whispered I.C. Renaki quickly got up flew over to the counter, getting the cereal and bowls from the cupboard, while Gloria got the milk from the fridge, pouring them into the bowls and sat down before Sora came back inside.
She blinked softly, looking to us. "Hey, guys--what's going on...?"
"Nothing!" we all said together as we started to eat our cereal, though we could tell she was starting to get suspicious as she sat down to eat her own breakfast.
This was going to be a long day...
Later that afternoon, we had made plans to go out to get the supplies for Sora's party. We had decided to sneak away while she was organizing her plushie collection; however, just when we thought we could make a clean getaway...
"Ahem!" She cleared her throat as she spotted us making a break for the exit.
"Oh, hey, Sora. We didn't see you there!" Gloria giggled nervously.
"I'll say you didn't. Where are you guys off to today?"
"Oh, well, we're um--that is to say, um..." the little Lupe stuttered, not sure what to say. Before he could let the secret out, Renaki covered for him.
"We're just going out to the Faerieland to visit the bookshop!"
"Yeah, that's it--it's half-price day tomorrow, so we wanted to see if we could find any sales on some new books!"
Sora smiled, nodding. "Oh, okay--well, have fun, guys." She turned back to her plushies as we made our way out of the house.
My friends and I went to our favorite party supply store in the Marketplace--though we DID get manage to get some books from Faerieland, just in case she got suspicious. After that we stopped by the bakery to get her birthday cake.
"Well, that's everything on our list, guys--we just have to get the plushie she wants and we'll be done!" I replied as Gloria carried the cake, which was in a big white box.
"Yeah, I just hope we don't get caught again--that was too close," said Renaki.
The little Lupe looked around, his eyes soon sparkling as he looked in the window of Plushie Palace. "Hey, Tai, isn't that the plushie you said Sora wanted for her collection?"
I blinked a bit, my tail swishing as I saw it. "Hehe, it sure is, I.C. Let's go get it!" I grinned as we all went inside.
That evening, we all got back home carrying our things inside, hiding the decorations in our closets for the time being as we put the cake in the fridge to keep it cold until the party. Sora, true to her word, made up for breakfast by giving us our favorite pizza from Pizzaroo for dinner, the Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza. Everything was going fine after dinner until Sora was just about to get a drink, I soon spotted her, quickly running over to the fridge, and stopping her just in time.
"H, hey Sora--what are you doing?"
"I was about to get something to drink, what about you?"
"Heh, what a coincidence, so was I!" I lied as I looked to her, my tail between my legs as she looked to me with a scowl on her face. I hated lying to her, but I knew I had to in order to keep her from finding out.
"You guys have been acting awfully weird today... are you sure you're alright?"
"Y, yeah, why wouldn't we be?" I chuckled nervously, sweating a bit as I got out a few cans of Neocola from the fridge, giving one to her as I closed the fridge door, before going back to the others, making sure Sora was out of the room before letting out a sigh of relief.
3rd day, the Month of Running, Sora's birthday
The big day was finally here, Sora's birthday. After breakfast, we had convinced Sora about some sales, she left to head to her favorite stores. Over the next few hours, we were busy around the house, putting up the decorations for her party. I.C. and I were putting up balloons of all sizes and colors, and colorful streamers along the walls, while Renaki and Gloria were working on the banner, which read 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SORA!' in big red letters.
"Well, that's it for the banner, Renaki."
"Awesome, let's put it up!" she said as she and Gloria hung up the banner in the middle of the room. Then they got out the birthday cake, which was a seven layer chocolate cake, putting it in the middle of the table which was beautifully decorated with the tablecloth we bought at the store and Sora's favorite flowers and all of her favorite foods were on the table, too.
"The place looks great!"
"It sure does, I.C., looks like we're making great time, our friends will be here soon!"
And sure enough, about an hour later, everyone we knew was there, including all of Sora's neofriends and their pets as we waited for her to arrive. All of them had brought presents from Sora's favorite shops, too.
"Ooh, this is so exciting!" Renaki grinned, bouncing happily, wearing her Sparkling Faerie Dress. In fact, we were all wearing our best clothes for the party.
Gloria grinned, as she put the last of the candles on Sora's birthday cake. "It sure is. Sora's going to love this!"
I.C., who was looking out the window at the time, soon blinking softly as he spotted her coming down the street. "Hey, you guys! She's coming!!" He grinned as he hopped over to us. My ears perked up at that.
"Uh-oh, quick you guys--we've got to hide!" I shouted as everybody quickly found a hiding spot and I turned out the lights, before finding a hiding place myself with the others.
Meanwhile, she was just at the door, getting out her key, thinking to herself.
'Man, I can't believe I couldn't find one thing in any of my favorite shops... not even the thing I was going after the most...' She frowned as she unlocked the door. 'Guess the birthday curse is still here...' she sighed sadly as she opened it, finding the house completely dark.
'Huh, that's weird... I thought I left the lights on...' She looked around, confused as she went inside.
"Guys, are you in here-?" she said as she soon turned on the lights, gasping as we all jumped out of our hiding places, pulling out our party poppers as balloons rained down on her.
"SURPRISE!!!!" we shouted. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!"
She gasped, laughing as the confetti from the poppers covered her. She grinned as she took in everything. "Wh-what's all this!?"
I grinned. "Well, you said it's been a while since you've had a party, and what's a birthday without one!"
She looked to us. "You mean, you guys did this...?" We all nodded, big grins on all of our faces.
"Hey, you're always doing things for us, Sora-" Renaki started.
"-so we decided it was about time we did something for you!" Gloria finished for her.
Sora laughed. "I can't believe it! You guys are the best! I can't imagine this day getting any better!"
The little Lupe grinned as he helped me get Sora's present, which had a big red bow on it. "Oh, yeah? Wait until you open your present!" I chuckled softly at I.C., shaking my head at him.
"You guys didn't have to do that..." she said, taken aback.
"Sure we did!" I smiled.
"Open it, open it!" I. C. grinned, jumping up and down excitedly. Sora giggled softly, nodding as she started to take the ribbon off, my tail swishing as she opened the brightly wrapped box, all of us looking to her as we heard her gasp at what it was. She took the plushie out of the box.
"No way...! A Baby Cybunny Plushie! This is the same one the Pant Devil stole from me before...!" She hugged all of us lovingly, a few tears of happiness rolling down her cheeks. "I never thought I'd get another one again! Thank you so much!!"
The Lupe giggled happily. "You're welcome, Sora!" I nodded in agreement, the grin still on my face as Renaki and Gloria soon brought her over to the birthday cake, the candles already lit. Seeing her eyes light up made us smile even more.
"W-wow--this is amazing!" she said as everyone gathered around her.
"Make a wish and blow out the candles, Sora!"
"I don't have to make a wish, Renaki. I've got everything I ever wanted right here... including you guys." She looked to us, giggling.
"So, would you say the 'birthday curse' has been lifted, Sora?" I smirked, chuckling softly. She nodded, smiling from ear to ear.
"It sure has! This is the best birthday I've ever had!" she exclaimed as she soon took a deep breath, blowing out all of her candles as everyone in the room cheered for her.
Well, there you have it, folks--that's how my friends and I broke Sora's birthday curse. We'll see if we can keep the record going for her over the next few years, but I have a feeling it's gone for good. Thanks for reading our story!
My first story for the Neopian Times. I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to drop me a neomail! :)