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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 16th day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 114 > Short Stories > The Most Perfect Costume

The Most Perfect Costume

by beau_lis

It was a most unusual autumn day. Every where one looked, all the signs of the season were found. The sky was an icy shade of blue with big fluffy clouds rolling by. The trees and brush were becoming bare as their coverings fell gently to the ground below. All around the Neopian Pound, there were splashes of yellow, red and orange. The seasons seemed to be in conflict as the sun rose bright and warm in the sky while there was a chill breeze scattering the leaves in all directions.

     In the air, there was a sense of excitement as that special day drew near. It was a day of magic, mystery and fright. It was the day that all the pound pets loved almost as much as Christmas! It was the one day of the year where all the pets in the pound could become who and whatever they wished. They could be heroes, monsters, creatures and anything else their imaginations could come up with.

     As in years gone past, when this special day comes forth on the last day in the month of Collecting, the pets from the pound make their way to the Haunted Woods for a bit of frightful Halloween fun. There are games to play such as Korbat’s Lab and Fetch. For the pets who love teasers and quests, there is the Witch’s Tower, Brain Tree and the Esophagor. There is also a carnival, a haunted house and fun foods. Plus, there are shops, petpets and many sight seeing adventures to explore. However, the best was yet to come.

     When they had all played to their hearts content, the pets from the pound were all invited to Sssidney’s home for the annual Halloween party. This was the Halloween party of the Neopian year! Everything fun, gross, spooky, frightful, and Halloweeny could be found at this party. Not many knew it, but Sssidney had a soft spot for the pets without a home.

     On this particular lovely autumn day, anyone passing by The Neopian Pound couldn’t help but smile for seeing the pets hard at play out front. There were games of chase, hopscotch, ball and some other fun things that seemed to be a combination of various games. To the right, you could see the playground was in full use from many pets as well. Along the playground, there were large shade trees that kept pets cool in the summer and out of the chill breeze in the autumn. It was here, where most passersby would take a second glance to see what was happening. There, by the shade trees, were a group of pets lying on their backs looking up at the sky.

     “There! You see it?” asked Patty, a purple Poogle.

     Henry, an aubergine Chia focused his attention on the cloud above him. “I don’t care what you say. That cloud does not look like asparagus. It looks more like a sword.”

     “You must be daft Henry,” laughed Tymon a fire Korbat. “That is neither a sword or an asparagus. It is a staff.”

     “Look at that cloud over there!” squealed Elorah, a green Elephante. “It looks like a witch!”

     “Oh I see that one!” exclaimed Patty.

     “I see a cloud!” stated Tunny, a blue Tuskaninny sitting near by.

     Patty sat up and looked over at Tunny as he gazed up into the sky.

     “That’s right Tunny. It’s a cloud,” Patty said as she smiled over at Tunny.

     At that moment, Ms. Snowflake emerged from the building to the front porch. She looked around surveying all of the pets. Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly. There was something wonderful about this time of year. Ms. Snowflake wouldn’t admit it, but she enjoyed Halloween almost as much as the pets did. It was a special time for the pets of the pound. Try as she and the other staff might to make the pound as much of a home as possible, Ms. Snowflake knew that it could never replace a pet having his or her own family. So she was especially grateful that Sssidney was hosting such a wonderful night of fun for these pets.

     Descending the steps, Ms. Snowflake called all the pets back into the pound. It was close to supper time and the pets needed to wash up from their day of play. By the time the pets were all washed up, it was time for supper. Pets came from all directions for a spot at a table in the dining hall. After all, supper was the most important meal of the day, along with breakfast and lunch! Everyone was seated and chattering all at once. The food placed before them was fit for King Coltzan III.

     Looking around, one would think that it was a happy setting, full of food, laughter and excitement over the coming of Halloween. Then again, if one really took a good look around, they would see that in the far corner of the dining hall, sat a little blue Tuskaninny off by himself.

     Tunny always sat off by himself during meals. Actually, he was alone most of the time except for his best friend, Judge Hog Plushie. It wasn’t exactly Tunny’s choice to eat alone, but no one else ever bothered with him during meals or any other time of the day. Sometimes though, Patty would talk to him. Those were good days for Tunny and when they happened, he would go and tell his Judge Hog Plushie about how Patty talked to him.

     Upon hearing the shuffle of feet, Tunny looked up from feeding Judge Hog Plushie and discovered that the dining hall was slowly clearing out from the other pets. Oh no! He was going to be the last one in the dining hall again! Tunny began to sniffle back his tears.

     “There now, young one,” came Mr. Pickles cheery voice. “What seems to be the trouble?”

     Sniffling again, Tunny began, “Because the other pets are done eating and I’m not.”

     “Well that is nothing to be upset about. You just need to take your turn to eat. It seems to me as if Judge Hog Plushie has eaten his fill,” Mr. Pickles said as he looked to the food covered face of the plushie.

     “Okay. I am kinda hungry,” Tunny admitted.

     With that, Tunny started to eat up his supper. It wasn’t long before Tunny was finished and his face looked as food covered as his plushie. Mr. Pickles gave a warm hearted laugh and using a napkin, cleaned off the faces of both the satisfied diners. Tunny then picked up Judge Hog Plushie and headed for the recreation room. He knew a lot of pets would be there, including Patty. At least he hoped anyway.

     “Patty talked to me today,” Tunny said to his plushie. “So maybe she will talk to me again.”

     Once in the recreation room, he located a spot in the corner and sat down on the floor. With wide eyes, he gazed around the room. Tunny knew that exciting things were going to happen soon. He knew that Halloween was coming. He even remembered the party last year. Tunny’s attention was drawn to the conversation by a group of pets next to him. They were discussing Halloween costumes.

     “I have so many ideas for a costume that I don’t even know which one to choose!” exclaimed a green Kacheek named Earl.

     “Oh, I already know what I want to be! I’m going as a witch!” an excited Zolly the Zafara replied.

     “Well, I’m going as a maiden from Meridell,” sang Ailee, a disco Aisha.

     “I bet I will have the best costume there!” challenged Abe, a blue Lupe. “I’m going as Jeran the strongest knight of Meridell.”

     The rest of the group voiced their ohhh’s and ahhh’s at the wonderful costume idea.

     “I’m gonna have a real good costume, too,” Tunny stated.

     The pets in the group turned to find Tunny standing there holding onto his plushie.

     “Yeah? What kinda costume are you going to have?” Abe asked with amusement in his voice.

     Tunny just stood there holding his plushie. The truth was he didn’t have any idea what he was going to be for Halloween. He just wanted to talk to someone and to have someone talk to him.

     “It’s gonna be the most perfect costume,” Tunny responded with a smile, hugging his plushie.

     Tunny was happy because he was doing it! He was talking to someone and they were talking back to him!

     “That’s what I thought,” laughed Abe. “Go back and play with your plushie.”

     Tunny just continued to stand there, staring at the group. He didn’t understand why Abe laughed at him. Tunny didn’t say anything funny. At least he didn’t think he did.

     “Hey, get out of here,” Abe said a bit more forcefully.

     Tunny understood that and was crushed. Turning from the group, he ran from the recreation room and up to his bedroom. He had a room to himself because deep down, Tunny knew that no one wanted to share a room with a dim witted pet, and that’s what he was. He sat down on his bed and hugged his plushie to himself as tight as he could, trying to keep from crying.

     “It’s not fair!” Tunny cried to his Judge Hog Plushie. “Why do I have to be different? I’m so tired of being stupid!”

     With the last of his resolve gone, Tunny shed the tears that were inside him. Even though he didn’t always catch on to things as quickly as others, he did understand very well that he was treated this way because he was a bit slower than others.

     From across the room, Patty had watched what had happened between Tunny and Abe. It made her feel really bad for Tunny. She just didn’t know what to do about it. So she did nothing.

     Tunny was deep in conversation with Judge Hog Plushie when Ms. Snowflake came to his room.

     “It’s time for bed, Tunny,” she said softly.

     Ms. Snowflake wouldn’t admit it out loud, but Tunny was one of her favorite pets at the pound. It was mostly because he was so sweet and always appreciated anything that was done for him. She tucked him in nice and snug. Then she went to the other bed and tucked in Judge Hog Plushie as well. Ms. Snowflake didn’t tuck the plushie in as snug because Tunny would eventually go over and get him to sleep with.

     “Ms. Snowflake?” Tunny called softly. “I need a costume and it has to be the most perfect costume. What should I be?”

     “Hmmmm…,” Ms. Snowflake said. “I’ll have to give it some thought.”

     After an exchange of good nights, Ms. Snowflake left the room. She had heard about the incident between Abe and Tunny. She had also had a talk with Abe about using such cruel names. Now she had to help Tunny find a costume for the Halloween party.

     Lying in bed, Tunny thought about what happened in the recreation room. He knew he was a slow. But he thought that maybe someone would still want to talk to him. He wanted to talk to them. He wanted to play games with them and play plushies with them, too. Tunny let his mind wander to his costume. He became excited because Ms. Snowflake would help him get a costume and it would be the most perfect costume in all the pound. Tunny drifted off to sleep with wonderful dreams of other pets talking to him.

     The next morning, Tunny was in the dining hall feeding Judge Hog Plushie his breakfast when Ms. Snowflake came over to him.

     “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast yourself, Tunny,” Ms. Snowflake gently warned.

     Tunny looked up at her with wide eyes and said, “Yes, Ms. Snowflake.”

     It was at this moment that Ms. Snowflake came up with an idea for Tunny’s Halloween costume. She didn’t tell him because she wanted it to be a surprise. However, she did tell Tunny that she had an idea and he would find out on Halloween night, just before their trip to the Haunted Woods. Ms, Snowflake quickly gathered what she would need to make Tunny his most perfect costume.

     “I’m gonna have the most perfect costume and it’s gonna be really good,” an excited Tunny would say to anyone passing him by.

     Finally, the afternoon of the last day in the month of Collecting came. It was Halloween! All the pets and staff of the pound were getting ready for their spooky night of fun. It was going to be a night to behold. No one could have been more excited than Tunny because he was about to find out what his most perfect costume was!

     “Tunny,” Ms. Snowflake called as she came to stand in the doorway of Tunny’s room.

     Tunny whirled around and looked at Ms. Snowflake. Never in all his young life had he ever seen such a costume! He was in complete amazement for there in front of him was a Judge Hog costume. Tunny knew that he did have the most perfect costume in all the pound!

     Ms. Snowflake helped Tunny get into his costume and when he looked in the mirror, he hardly recognized himself. Ms. Snowflake explained to Tunny that it was very good then because tonight was the one night of the year that you can be anything you want to be and tonight Tunny was going to be the hero of all of Neopia.

EPILOGUE
Tunny’s costume was the hit of the party. He even won first place in the costume contest! Plus he had the most fun and had the opportunity to talk to a lot of other pets and they talked back to him!
He discovered that not every pet can be perfect and being different is okay. He also learned to understand that he has to work with what he has, just like the rest of the pets. That is what makes all the pets the same.
Tunny is still living at the pound with his best friend, Judge Hog Plushie and hopes that one day, a nice mommy and/or daddy will take him home.

The End

Author’s Note: Thanks Mia for giving me the final piece to the puzzle. I hope you enjoyed my short story. Please feel free to offer comments.

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