Playing The Part: Part Five
"You're sending me threats via bits of scratch paper!"
"You're falsely accusing me!"
"You're calling me a liar!"
"You're not trusting me!"
"You're - HEY!"
A faerie Acara and a striped Kacheek were jumping
down each other's throats, until their owner finally slapped her hands roughly
over their shoulders.
"We were in a very important argument, Kat!"
yelled Glitter. "Besides, you're messing up my fur for the next rehearsal. It
takes HOURS to perfect my - "
Sweet grunted. "Oh, just shut up about your appearance
The girl gritted her teeth and tried to calm
herself down before calming her own pets down. "Look, can we talk about this
later? You wouldn't want to spoil your dinner now, do you?" She looked at Sweet
and Glitter, who avoided each other's eyes, and herded them into the kitchen.
Upon the sight of Kat, Fluffy jumped off her
table and whispered, "Any success pacifying my siblings?"
"Negative," said their owner to the white Aisha.
Fluffy tapped the shoulder of a jelly Poogle,
and shook her head. Her little brother groaned loudly and plopped his head onto
"I know," muttered Fluffy to Angel.
After dinner, Kat gathered all four of her pets
in the living room. As the quad sat side by side on the sofa (with Angel and
Fluffy separating Sweet and Glitter, of course), the girl stood before them,
pushing her long black hair away from her face and tying it up in a bandanna.
Taking a deep breath, Kat finally spoke.
"Fluffy and Angel said something about Glitter
finding a note in her locker this afternoon," she said in a businesslike, no-nonsense
tone. "What gives?"
"SOMEONE wants me out of the play," spoke the
faerie Acara, shooting a glare towards her older brother's direction. "SOMEONE
wrote me a threat that nearly made me faint. But I'm not going to let that get
in the way of my blooming career!" She smiled proudly for a moment, and then
reverted back to her scowl.
Kat nodded. "Well, I'm glad you won't allow the
note to interfere with your acting, but…"
Before she could speak up, Sweet rose from where
he was sitting. "I did NOT write those stupid threats!" he yelled so loudly
that the Aisha and the Poogle between him and the Acara cowered. "Believe me,
Kat, I wouldn't do such a thing! Fine, I admit that I'm jealous - "
"Hah! You admit that you want me out of the play!"
"You didn't let me finish!" the Kacheek shot
back. "I admit that I'm jealous - " here Fluffy covered Glitter's mouth so she
couldn't scream " - but I still didn't do it!"
"Liar - "
"Don't start that again, you - "
"ORDER IN THE COURT!" boomed the voices of Angel,
Fluffy and Kat.
However, the jelly Poogle still had another query.
"How now are we going to find out if Sweet wrote the note or not?"
The girl scratched her head. "Hang on, give it
to me." She stretched out her hand, and the white Aisha gave it to her. Pulling
out a small notebook from her jeans pocket, Kat tore out a small page, and fumbled
for a pen in her other pocket. The pets' owner gave the two objects to Sweet.
"Now tell me," she asked, "have you seen the
"Just heard of it," answered the striped Kacheek.
"But I didn't see the threat up close."
Fluffy and Angel traded a look, and nodded in
"Now," Kat began, "write the message as I dictate
it to you on that piece of paper." Although he was slightly confused, Sweet
took the pen and began to scribble the threat as the girl read it out loud.
Meanwhile, Glitter covered her ears, as she couldn't take hearing it anymore.
But the faerie Acara kept a watchful eye on her brother as he scrawled away.
As the Kacheek handed the paper back to Kat,
she scanned it closely, and held it up with the original threat. All of her
pets waited impatiently for their owner's verdict.
Finally, she turned both pieces towards her pets.
"Well…does Sweet have the same handwriting as the one who could have written
the threatening note?"
Angel and Fluffy shook their heads.
"Besides," added Kat, "no offense to Sweet, but
this isn't his writing style, He's more straightforward with these kinds of
things. Right Glitter?"
The faerie Acara pawed the floor with her foot.
"No," she whispered softly.
"I don't like fancy medieval scribbles," said
the striped Kacheek.
There was a ringing pause in the living room
as the revelation sank into Glitter's mind. Kat crossed her arms and tapped
her foot impatiently, and Sweet - instead of scowling in the "I told you so"
manner - wore a concerned expression on his face. The white Aisha and the jelly
Poogle grabbed each other's paws and waited with bated breath.
At last the silence was broken with a sigh from
the faerie Acara. "I'm so, so sorry, Sweet," she mumbled, a tear falling from
her cheek. "I guess I jumped to one of the craziest conclusions of my life."
She opened her arms and hugged her older brother. "I'll understand if you'll
never forgive me."
The striped Kacheek smiled and shrugged. "That's
okay," he replied calmly. "And I'm sorry too for yelling at you and calling
you a stuck-up jerk."
"I thought I was the one who called you that,"
laughed Glitter, brushing her tears away. "So we're all on the same side now?"
Fluffy and Angel traded yet another expression,
but this time, it was a happy one. "Are they really friends again?" asked the
Poogle to their owner.
Kat gazed at the ceiling in thought briefly.
"Well…I think they are." Then she added in a softer voice so only he and the
Aisha could hear, "I'm just hoping."
The two siblings winked at the girl, who now
called out in a clear, relieved voice, "Everyone, bed. We've spent too much
time debating on Glitter and Sweet's case."
The Kacheek and the Acara complied and went off
to their bedrooms, chatting about what had happened while they weren't talking
to each other. Angel picked up Morpheus the Anubis, who was sleeping soundly
at the foot of the sofa, and trotted to his room, yawning. But before Fluffy
could take one step toward her own, Kat gently laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Stay here for a while," she said gently. "I
have to talk to you about something. Privately."
The white Aisha froze, her stomach sinking. This
didn't sound good, but she obeyed accordingly and sat back down on the sofa,
stroking a little Snowbunny who had jumped up beside her.
Instead of towering over her pet, the girl reclined
beside Fluffy casually. "Tell me, how are things in the play going right now?"
She answered in a small voice. "Fine."
"I see. Well, if Glitter and Angel are characters,
and Sweet does the lights, what do you do during rehearsals?"
Fluffy decided to lie her way out of this. She
knew what was going on - Kat was about to ask why she had been behaving strangely
ever since the announcement of the play. "Uh…I…I'm the stage manager, and…"
But her owner had another trick up her sleeve.
"Ah, I didn't see your name on the document giving the final participants,"
she said swiftly. "Your little sister and brother gave me two copies after I
heard they made it."
At this, the white Aisha was stunned. Kat was
on to her. "You mean…you now know that I'm not doing anything for the play?"
The girl chuckled. "How can I NOT know? I'm your
owner, and I look out for you. Can't you tell me what is going on with you?
Not even your siblings see your strange behavior." She kindly placed an arm
around Fluffy's shoulder. "If you tell me what's bugging you, maybe I can find
a way to help."
Her last words echoed in the Aisha's four ears.
She could no longer hide her true feelings. Fluffy hugged her owner tightly
and started to spill. "I think I have stage fright," she whispered to Kat. "I
don't like so many Neopians staring at me waiting for me to do something they
like. It's so easy to be humiliated or to look bad in front of them all. I never
wanted to be part of this place in the first place, but my siblings were forcing
me to! Why can't they just leave me alone? And why can't the teachers do the
"If Fluffy is angry at the teachers, this must
be serious," thought the girl to herself, fighting back a small smile and listening
to her Aisha's anguished sobs. Kat turned back to her pet and returned the hug.
"Come now, that's not so bad. In fact, it's a problem a smart student like you
can solve easily."
The owner continued. "It's all right to be scared
sometimes, but you can't let it control you. And about getting all humiliated
- well, it's all part of life. Don't let what others think get to you. What's
important is that you know you're doing something good. Besides, your siblings
would really love it if you joined the presentation. Think about it - all four
of you working together with your classmates, putting together something really
The Aisha glanced at the girl as if she were
insane. But as the words slowly sank into her, Fluffy knew.
"Besides," added Kat, "humiliation is only temporary.
They laugh for a while, and then stop, and then you were worried for nothing."
At last a smile crossed Fluffy's tearstained
face. Suddenly a thought crossed her mind, and the white Aisha just got one
of her brilliant ideas.
Unfortunately, it had to wait until morning.
"I think it's about time we go to bed now," said Kat. "It's WAY past your bedtime."
To be continued...