-Housepets! Home Stories
- Sparks’ Beginning-
- The Move=
The eyes of the Shepsky open as he lays down in his bed. His toes wiggle about as his legs stretch from inside the safety of the bed sheets, as a deep inhale and exhale escapes his muzzle. Ugh... I don’t wanna get up. So… lazy…
The body of the dog sits up and brings his paw up to his face, rubbing his eyes to try and wake up. A sigh escapes him as his shoulders slump forward. What time is it?
Sparks looks lazily over to his left, trying to tell the time on the alarm clock sitting on the top of his end table. The dog’s eyes grow wide, rubbing his eyes one last time before taking another quick glance at the device. 10:37?!
“What happened to my alarm? I was supposed to get up at eight!” He says to himself.
Sparks leaps out of bed, almost losing his balance as he plants both of his feet on the floor.I wonder why it didn’t go off… did I forget to set it?
The dog shakes his head, weighing out that option. No… I remember that I set I yesterday.
He turns towards the door of his room and places his paw on the knob. His paw rests there for a minute, his mind preventing him from leaving the room. Why do I feel like I’m missing something…
The Shepsky looks around his room, trying to spot what might be missing. “Wait a second…” Sparks realizes, his paw now resting on the surface of his neck. He lets out a couple chuckles. “My collar! I totally forgot!”
Sparks walks over to the end table on the other side of his bed, his collar resting at the top undone. Hehe… wouldn’t wanna walk out of here completely naked, would I?
He grabs the collar and walks towards the mirror hanging on the wall. “Hmm…” He utters, a thought forming in his mind as he wraps the collar around his neck. “We’re already naked, besides going out and walking the streets, the whole thought ‘I’ll feel naked
’ is completely meaningless.” The Shepsky lets out another round of chuckles. “It’s quite funny really...” Sparks smiles at his refection as his collar makes a high pitched *clunk*
His paws move away from the black and white cloth like material around his neck, the dark colored musical insignia dangling in the front of the collar. Sparks stares at the musical sign, his paw eventually grabbing it, making it twirl around between his fingers. I remember when I got my collar… ‘Staff paper themed cloth collar with a Bass Clef to match.’ My first Birthday present... That was such a great year.
He lets out a sigh. I’m so happy I was found that day… With mom and dad, I’ve never been happier.
His eyes shut, a smile forming on his face. Whoever is watching over me… thank you so much…
The Shepsky lets out another sigh and walks towards the door. With the twist of his paw, the door slowly opens to the hallway. Sparks steps forward as the smell of food fills the air. Mmmm…. I know that smell…
Sparks steps towards the glass half wall, surrounding the edge of the second floor of the loft. He looks down to see the kitchen occupied by both Isaac and Isabelle, prepping some food while a kettle of beef stew simmers on the stove. The dog clears his throat. “Is that beef stew I smell?” He announces down to his parents, their heads looking up to him.
“Good morning sweetie!” Isabelle smiles.
“Heya Sparks.” Isaac replies.
The dog moves away from the glass half walls and steps down the stairs to the ground floor of the loft. He walks over to the stools next to the island of the kitchen. “So what’s with the feast? Is someone coming over?” He asks, pulling a stool out from the island.
“Yep,” Isabelle answers, Sparks now sitting quietly at the island. “You remember Ms. Auburn, right?”
“Of course!” She was there for the last showcase for mom and dad…
“Well, she and her cat Res are coming over to visit for a while. Isaac, Malory and I will probably go out on the terrace to talk, so why don’t you and Res find something to do for when he gets here?”
“Hmm…” Sparks thinks. “We could play some Mario Kart! Or even some Super Smash Bros!”
“Make sure you don’t fall of the stage.” Isaac chuckles.
Isabelle and Sparks both shoot him a glare, the man smiling as he looks back down continuing cutting up vegetables. Isabelle looks at the Shepsky. “That sounds great hon. I’m sure he’ll love it.”
Sparks smiles at Isabelle. “Thanks.” He leaps down from the stool and pushes it back into the island. “I’m gonna go and clean my room. I may even show him some music too if he’s willing.”
“That sounds like a plan.” Isaac agrees.
Sparks smiles and walks up the stairs and back into his room, tempted to clean the entirety of his room.
Isabelle watches as Sparks goes up the stairs and hears his footsteps travel thought the loft. She lets out a sigh. “Hey Isaac?” She hesitantly asks.
“Yes Isabelle?” He replies, putting the ingredients in front of him into a bowl.
“Do you think we should actually move?” She leans against the counter top as her arms cross. Her eyes close as she lets out a sigh. “I mean, Sparks loves it here. I just don’t think that this is a good idea…”
Suddenly, she feels something touch both of her arms. She opens her eyes to see Isaac uncrossing her arms, his hands moving into hers. “I think it’s a great idea. This will be great for Sparks. Besides Tyler’s dog, he really doesn’t have anyone to talk to. We just need to find the right neighborhood. I know there’s something out there. We just aren’t looking hard enough.” His had comes up to her the side of her face, moving an out of place strand of hair back behind her ear. “Don’t worry about it. We’ve been wanting this for a long time now, so why not?” He kisses her forehead, her cheeks turning a rosy shade of red.
“Ok… Thanks hon.”
“No problem my flame princess.”
Isabelle’s cheeks start to burn, feeling her face start to turn red. Why does he have to call me that? Stupid hair…
Isaac and Isabelle’s lips softly collide as both of them move closer together. Oh yeah… because he’s adorable.
The romantic moment ceases as the kiss ends, Isabelle looks at Isaac with a smirk. “You h
to make that joke.”
“What? I had to for ‘the girl on fi--’”
Isabelle puts her hand on his mouth, muffling the final word. She giggles, “Oh, stop…” She gives him another peck on the lips and turns back towards the kettle to her left. “Now come on, we’ve got a meal to cook and we’ve got about 10 minutes before they’re supposed to get here.”
…” He sarcastically whines, turning around to the vegetables and lettuce before him.My husband is such a goof sometimes… but… I love him nonetheless.
She smiles. Till death do us part.
Sparks lets out a sigh, a smile prominently showing on his muzzle. “All clean.” He looks around his room one last time as his arms cross together. “Yep. Nothing out of place.” He walks over to the laptop on his desk, pulling out the leather chair that sit under the desk. Might as well check out prices for Magic: the Gathering. Wouldn’t wanna miss a chance to trade, would I?
The Shepsky opens up his computer as he sits down in his chair. The screen lights up in a bright black and white hue, Sparks’ fingers tapping away at the keyboard in front of him. His paw loudly taps on the enter key, the background changing to an anime style image. Sword Art Online… I love that show…
His mind instinctively boots up the internet browser on his home screen as his mind delves deeper into the anime. Hmm… What
if pets or humans got trapped in a game like that? What would happen? I wonder how the public would react to it…
He sits in his chair, his back hunched as his mind stares of into space. What if
I were trapped in a game like that? What would I do?
He sits there, his mind caught in this fantasy as he tries to put himself in the world of Sword Art Online
. I guess… I guess I would try and survive; to live my life to the fullest while in the game. I wouldn’t want to be angry or resentful while in there… Maybe even some pets would be locked in there too, that way I don’t have to be so alone.
Sparks lets out a sigh, shaking the thought away from his mind. Let’s get back to Magic.
“Sparks!” A voice yells from the main room. They must be here.
“Coming mom!” Sparks bolts out of his chair and quickly exits the room, heading towards the main living area. As quickly as he was called, he was now sitting on the sofa in the main room panting as a smile stretches from ear to ear. “I really… *pant*
need to work on my running. I’m already out of breath.”
“Well, you could always use the work out equipment that we have in the back.” Isaac smirks.
“Dad, you and I both know that I’m too lazy for that.” Sparks chuckles.
His father shrugs. “Eh, it was worth a shot.”
Isabelle lets out a chuckle and moves towards the couch. “Is your room all clean sweetie?” Sparks nods his head as she sits down on the back of the sofa, ruffling the Shepsky’s head fur. “Good.” She smiles at him, the dog smiling back.
The room then suddenly bursts into loud knocks at the door, all three of the Carlson’s heads looking over in the general direction. “Looks like our visitors are here.” Isaac says as he moves over towards the door.
With a quick motion the door opens to reveal two beings standing in the hallway, one a human and one a tabby. Sparks looks at the cat in the hallway. What’s that in his paws?
The cat stares at the ground awkwardly with a black and white bag dangling at the middle of his body.
“Hiya Mal!” Isabelle happily announces, the two in the hallway moving into the loft.
“Hey Iz!” Both Isabelle and Ms. Auburn give each other a hug. “How’ve you been? I heard that we missed a nice party while we were gone.”
“Indeed you did! You guys should have been there! The whole family was there, even some friends.”
“Well, we did promise that we would stop by to visit.” Malory lets out a chuckle, “Better late than never!” She turns to the cat behind her. “Res, would you do the honors?”
The Tabby walks past Ms. Auburn and stops in front of Sparks, his eyes still traced on the bag. Res clears his throat. “H-happy third birthday Sparks.” He smiles offering the gift that was in his paws.
Sparks looks at the tabby with a smile. “Thank you so much Res.” He takes the gift and sets it down on the ground, then wraps his arms around the Tabby giving him a hug. He feels the cat tense up for a quick second, but smiles the cat relaxes as his arms wrap around the Shepsky.
“No problem Sparks.”
The two break from their hug, Res looking away as a slight rosy hue forms on his cheeks. Sparks’ face grows a smile. He’s so nervous… what’s there to be nervous about?
“Well Sparks?” Isabelle utters to Sparks, “What’s in the bag?”
The Shepsky looks intriguingly at the bag. I wonder what he got for my birthday?
The dog brings the bag over to the coffee table while the three humans continue to converse with each other, Res following slowly behind. Both of the pets sit down on the couch as Sparks removes some of the tissue paper from the bag. The Shepsky lets out a barely audible squee, recognizing the now uncovered box within the bag. This… this is…
“The Kone XTD! This is exactly the mouse that I wanted! I can’t believe that you got it!” The dog instinctively reaches over and pulls the Tabby into a bear hug, Res now tense as ever. “Thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!”
“Spaaaaarrks!!” Res whines, attempting to push the dogs arms away.
The trio behind the two on the couch laugh and giggle away, staring at them with joyful eyes. Looks like they’re getting a kick outta us. Well… me actually.
He lets go of the tabby, almost his entire face turning red as his eyes stare at the floor. Sparks lets out a sigh and stares at the flustered cat before him.
“Hey guys,” Isaac calls out, both Sparks and Res looking at the man. “Why don’t you head upstairs? You gotta set up your new gift, right Sparks?”
“Yup!” He looks towards the tabby next to him. “Come on Res! I’ve got some new music to show you too!” Sparks lightly grabs Res’ arm, pulling him towards the stairs.
Isabelle watches as both hers and Malory’s pets traverse up the stairs and into the hallway. She smiles. Looks like they’re off doing their own thing.
Her body turns towards the two others standing before her. “Isaac, could you grab the salad? I’ll take Malory out to the terrace.”
“Sure thing.” Isaac happily replies as he heads toward the kitchen.
Isabelle looks at her friend, “Come on Mal, let’s go.” She gives Isabelle a nod and they both head outside to the terrace. “So what’s been going on with you Mal? I heard that you had a book signing spree over Christmas.”
“Yep. We went to about five different places, all of them were lovely. Res and I had a great time traveling, he even got some of the next book done while we were out. I think he even made a friend or two during the trip.”
The two sit down at a round table, the wind blowing softly onto the terrace. “That’s wonderful Mal! I’m glad that Res enjoyed it too.”
Isaac walks out of the main room and outside with a large bowl of salad around his arm. He places the bowl down on the table and sits down on one of the two empty chairs. “So, how’ve you been Malory? Good I presume?”
She nods. “I’ve been good. We just got back from another book signing so Res and I are pretty exhausted.”
“That’s great!” Isaac smiles, scooping a bit of salad into a smaller bowl placed neatly in front of him.
“But enough about me, what have you guys been up to? Anything interesting happen while I was gone?”
Isabelle and Isaac both glance at each other, Isabelle’s hands clasping together on the table. “Well… there was one thing that we were thinking about over the past month…” Isabelle starts.
“Well? What is it? I didn’t come down here to wait!” She smiles, Isabelle doing the same letting out a chuckle.Good ol’ Mal… always breaking the tension…
Isaac’s hands rest onto hers. She looks at him and he nods at her. Isabelle’s eyes then travel to Mal once more. “Isaac and I were thinking about moving out of the city and into a house.” Isabelle lets out a sigh. “We love the city, it’s just that… I’ve always wanted to move to a neighborhood, to get our own house… to actually mingle with everyone around us. It’s something that I’ve… well… something that we’ve
wanted for a while now and I feel like it’s the right time.”
“That’s great to hear Iz!” She gleams. “I’m glad that you are taking this step. Owning a house can be a real pain with all of the maintenance and all, but I know that you two will manage just fine.”
“Yeah… but here’s the thing; we’ve looked everywhere. We’ve looked at some of the houses around Long Island, but they just don’t appeal to us. The main issue is that with Sparks, we wanted to find a neighborhood that will mesh perfectly with him.” Isabelle puts on a straight face, her smile fading as the memories of house hunting begin to resurface. “That’s why we invited you here. We were wondering if you know of any place that could appeal to us in any way.”
“Hmm…” Malory thinks, her hand now on her chin. “I actually do remember one place that I visited for a book singing not too long ago. I think it was around Christmas that I actually visited a place called Babylon Gardens.”
“Babylon Gardens… is it a pet friendly place?”
“Yep! It’s a really nice place full of people and pets alike.
“It sounds great!” Isaac smiles, looking at Isabelle. “Don’t you agree?”
Isabelle’s face shows a less optimistic expression. “Well... what about the drive? How long would it take to get there?”
Malory stares at her with a confused look. “You don’t want to take a plane?”
“She’s got a slight fear of flying Mal.” Isabelle nods in agreement.
“Oh yeah… that’s right… Sorry Iz.” Malory lets out a sigh. “Well, from what I remember… think the drive from here is about 6-7 hours at best. I of course opted for the plane ride.”
Isaac’s eyes grow wide from the answer. “Wow. That’s a lot of driving.” Isaac says in astonishment, crossing his arms.
“Indeed. It’ll be a long drive from here. I wound suggest first trying to buy a house there first, maybe get it already furnished if you can, that way you don’t have to lug everything from here.”
“That’s a great idea. All we have to do is finish up the piece that we’re working on and that’ll be the one that helps us potentially get this house.”
“Oh,” Malory utters, her hand coming to her chest as she clears her throat. “You’re working on another piece?”
“Yep.” Isaac answers, “The piece is one that spans about 2 years, going from the day that Sparks arrived in our care and another that we are going to take around tomorrow. It’s been in the works since he’s got here and we’ve always wanted to finish it, so why not now?”
“Good point.” Mal lets out a chuckle, “Maybe it’ll become another piece for the gallery, huh? That’ll make two photos of Sparks that have made it big. Speaking of which, what did your guy’s last piece range? 1.2 Mill?”
Isabelle hesitates, nodding her head slowly up and down. She then sports a frown and looks down at the empty bowl in front of her. I hate talking about money around her… she always wants to know about how much money we make…
“The last one was one of the highest offers that we’ve ever gotten for one of our works. We couldn’t even believe it ourselves.”
“It must have been a great feeling.”
“It was. We even had a party at our place to celebrate. I think you were gone at the time… looks like I forgot to tell you, didn’t I?” She smirks and giggles at her friend.
Malory crosses her arms and smiles back at her. “Yeah, you did.”
The group lets out a collective laugh as it echoes around the space. The laugh then slowly ceases, Isabelle letting out a sigh. “I missed this,” Mal starts again, “Hanging out together, seeing you again, it brings me back to our college days, you know?”
“Yep. We used to hang out all the time if I recall, and with a decent group of people too.”
“Yeah… those were great times.” The whole group delves into the past, recalling all of the funny and memorable times from their college days, Isabelle continuing to think about the thought of moving to Babylon. Maybe it won’t be so bad… maybe Sparks will even love it.
Sparks taps away at his laptop, pulling up a playlist of his own design. I think he’ll like this one… he likes electronic music right?
The Shepsky clicks on the play button on his screen, starting the playlist with the start of his favorite album. He looks over to Res sitting down patiently on his bed. The dog notices the tabby’s foot bob back and forth to the music. Yep, he does!
The Shepsky smiles and leaves his computer, hopping gently onto his bed as he lays against the pillows leaning against the back board. Sparks looks over at Res, the cats eyes growing wide as he looks away, a rosy hue showing on his face. The dog grins. “You know, you seem more and more blushy every time I see you.”
The cat smiles awkwardly back. “Well… you seem to get taller every time I see you
The Shepsky giggles, waddling up next to Res. “You know, I think you’re right. And I’m only gonna get taller.” He smirks, the tabby crossing his arms. Sparks sighs, “So how’ve you been? It’s been a while since I’ve seen you! I heard that you and Ms. Auburn went out signing books again?”
Res nods his head. “Y-yeah… we went to about five different places. They were all fun. I even got a little work done on the next book.”
“Sounds like a fun time!” The dog smiles.
“It really was. Babylon was actually a really calming place, even in the mall there. I got a lot more done than I thought I would.”
Sparks tilts his head. “Babylon?”
“Sorry, I meant Babylon Gardens. It was one of the places we went to. As I said before it’s a really nice place, filled with pets of all kinds. I think I even saw a couple of rabbits while I was there.”
“Yeah… I wish that I could move there, it seems so peaceful, but, alas. My work comes first and mom wants the book to hit the shelves within the next three months.”
“Three months is a lot of time, isn’t it?”
“When you’re writing a fiction work around 350-400 pages?”
Sparks sits in silence and scratches the back on his neck, “My bad, kept thinking about my own writing. Totally forgot about the rest
of what comes with book writing.”
Res smiles and looks at the Shepsky, as his eyes dilate. “It’s fine Sparks.” The dog takes notice as he flashes a smile. “It’s definitely way bigger than the 20 pages you usually write.”
“You got that right.” The dog replies. The two share a moment of silence as the music from the computer ceases, the playlist continuing quickly as it moves to the next song seamlessly.
“So…” Sparks says finally, “Have you been playing any new games recently?”
“Not really.” The feline replies, hesitating a bit. “I’ve been so swamped with writing I really haven’t had time to play anything really. When I do play to take a break, I just play a bit of Pokémon and that’s it.”
The Shepsky smiles. “Oh yeah! You play the older ones right?”
Res nods. “I usually play Ruby version, but I’ve been getting into the newer ones recently. Did you know that their coming out with a 3-D version of it? It’s supposed to be really cool.”
Sparks smiles and squees, “Oooh! I can’t wait to see what they come out with! Now you’ve got me excited.”
“Yeah…” Res smiles, his eyes glancing over at the Shepsky. He looks back at the feline with a smile and watches as his friend starts to tense up. Suddenly, his catch something off about the feline, a sigh escaping him as his smile starts to slowly fade I know what you’re thinking Res. Your eyes gave it away…
Sparks’ eyes travel to the computer as his mind processes his friend’s actions. His hands clasp together and lets out a sigh. “Hey Res?” He asks, the felines expression, sporting an eager smile, the dog sighing as he slowly smiles back. “Can you tell me more about Babylon Gardens?” The cat’s shoulders suddenly but discretely slump as his expression turns into a faint smile, his pupils returning to their normal size. “That place sounds really nice.”
The cat sighs and hesitantly agrees, telling him about the other experiences he had at The Gardens through his book signing, his expression almost stone like as he progresses through his tales. Sparks’ smile fades as his face practically mimics his friend’s expression. Sorry bud… not yet…
- FIVE MONTHS LATER
Sparks walks groggily out into the hallway, his eyes still attempting to shut with each slow step forward. Man, I need a cup of coffee. Or maybe even some tea… either way I need something to wake me up.
The Shepsky reaches the glass half wall in front of him and peers out towards the kitchen. His eyes spot his mom and dad, their personal laptop resting on top of the kitchen island. Isaac stands before the device as he sips a cup of freshly made coffee. The man looks up towards the balcony.
“Good morning Sparks!” He smiles at the dog raising his cup of coffee.
“Morning Dad.” The Shepsky replies, waving at both his parents.
Sparks stumbles slowly down the stairs, his ears catching the sound of his father’s voice now behind him. “We’ve got some exciting news for you bud.”
“What news?” Sparks asks as a yawn escapes his muzzle. “Is it about the house?”
“Yep,” Isabelle gleams, turning around to face the dog giving him a warm cup of coffee, “Just a few minutes ago we were able to finalize the deal with the now old owners of the house. Furnished and everything. We got the house!”
Sparks’ face lights up with joy, his feeling of drowsiness seeming to dissipate almost immediately as he squeals with excitement. Isabelle and Isaac share a laugh together. “That’s great to hear mom!”
“Isn’t it?” She smiles, “I’m glad that we finished that little two and a half year project, it really helped out.”
The Shepsky sighs, looking around the loft. A plethora of old memories begin to play out in his mind, his stomach knotting up as his smile fades. “I’m gonna miss this place when we leave. My life pretty much started here.”
“Well, with the deal that we arranged with the building manager when we first bought the place, we get to keep the loft up until the point where we want to sell the place off.”
Sparks’ mind starts to calm itself as the nostalgic memories begin to fade back into his mind. “That’s good to hear. So we can come back here whenever we want?”
Isaac nods his head. “Of course. We’re not leaving this place behind, this loft is one of the best places that we’ve ever lived in. We wouldn’t want to give it up.”
“Yup.” The Shepsky agrees. He breathes a sigh of relief, sitting down next to Isabelle as he moves the warm cup slowly into his paw. A thought crosses his mind, thinking further ahead. “So wait,” the Shepsky ponders, “Is someone going to be taking care of this place while we’re gone?”
His father smiles at him. “We will Indeed. We figured that with You, Isabelle, and myself away from the house, we figured that we’d might want to have someone watching the house for us so that things stay in order.”
“Who’d you get?”
“Remember my mom and dad, Elizabeth and Charles, right Sparks?”
The dog nods and takes a sip of his coffee. His muzzle grows a smile, “I do. They were so nice…”
“Well, they’re going to be the ones watching the place. They’re the only folks I know that are close enough to do the job, so that’s good. Plus I doubt they’ll trash the place knowing them, you know, ‘clean freaks’ and all.”
Isabelle reaches over and smacks Isaac with her purse, an audible *thwack
* echoing through the kitchen. “Rude.” She points to him.
Isaac rubs the area afflicted area of his arm. He snickers, “Ow… That hurt!”
“Well, I think you had it coming.” Isabelle says in an exaggerated tone, her arms crossed as she turns away from her husband.
Sparks lets out a giggle, another forced breath leaving the Shepsky as his eyes glance around the space. He then gazes towards his parents, his paws now gripping the coffee mug in his hands by the handle. “I’m gonna go back and work on some stuff in my room.” The dog jumps off of the bar stool and scoots it back into the island, his free paw waving at Isaac and Isabelle.
Isaac and Isabelle both smile and wave back then go back to talking quietly with one another, then conversation sparking a few laughs as stokes from a key board could be heard from the upper floor. The Shepsky’s smile fades as he enters his room, the door shutting gently behind him. He slides against his door slowly to the floor, setting his coffee down on the carpet. I never thought that we would be leaving so soon… I’m surprised…
Sparks lets out a sigh and stares over at his computer. What about Emerald… what will she think?
He closes his eyes, imagining his friend finding out about the news as she cries and lashes out in anger towards him. How do I explain it to her?
The question sits in his mind and firmaments, lost as he tries to find an answer. “I’ll just have to tell her straight up…” He moves to his computer, the screen lighting up as his cursor moves and hovers over a sky blue icon. The dog clicks his mouse, the chat window popping up on his screen. “I wonder how she’ll take it…” Sparks’ fingers begin to type away at his keyboard. Sparks_Calrson
: Hey Emerald. You online?
The Shepsky sits and waits patiently for a response. After a second, the screen flashes a message onto the screen.TheGreenFlash
: hiya sparks! whats up?
Sparks reads the message and places his paws at the keys. His body starts to shake uncontrollably as his next message starts to form.Sparks_Carlson
: Nothing really. .-.Sparks_Carlson
: You got a minute? I need to talk to you…
The Shepsky crosses his arms tightly across his chest a sudden chill running down his spine.TheGreenFlash
: are you okay? you seem a bit sad Sparks_Carlson
Not really. I could be better.TheGreenFlash
: aww whats up?
Sparks just blankly stares at the message, trying to think of how to respond. How do I even tell her...
He releases a sigh. I don't think there's any way to just move around it, I have to tell her straight up.
His paws hesitantly move to the keyboard. Here goes nothing...Sparks_Carlson
: Mom and dad said that we're moving out of the city...
The dog flumps back against the chair, his arms over his eyes as he waits for the notification sound to pop up again. It's done... she's probably in shock right now...
The notification sound plays through the computer's speakers, Sparks' eyes quickly checking the screen.TheGreenFlash
He quickly types his response, Emerald typing out another message.Sparks_Carlson
: Yeah... .~.TheGreenFlash
: so your just leaving thenTheGreenFlash
: no say?Sparks_Carlson
: Not really. :/TheGreenFlash
: well there goes another friend. typical.
Sparks stares at the message in agony. I knew that she would be upset...Sparks_Calrson
: I'm sorry...Sparks_Carlson
: Mom and dad have wanted this for a while and they finally got the house... I can't really stop them eitherTheGreenFlash
: well I hope that you'll be happy in your new place i guessTheGreenFlash
Five minutes quickly pass by the chat, Sparks' head laying down on his desk in a depressive slump. Sparks waits patiently for another notification from his friend, finding himself waiting until the late night as a small snore escapes him.
Sparks’ glance travels around his room once more before his approaching departure. I’ve got my laptop and my equipment. Everything’s packed and in the van... looks like it’s the last time I’ll see this room for a while.
The Shepsky lets out a sigh. “I’m gonna have to make new friends now.” He speaks in a gloomy tone. “I wonder if Emerald will even talk to me now… maybe I’ll be able to talk to her through Skype or something…”
The dog’s ears suddenly pick up the sound of food steps behind him. He turns around to see Isabelle walking slowly towards him, his face quickly growing a smile to avoid the insecurity of answering why. “You almost ready Sparks?” She asks as she puts her hand on his shoulder.
“Yeah. I’m good to go mom.”
“Good,” she replies with a smile, she leaving the room as the black and white furred dog. Follows close behind. “Cause we’ve got about a seven hour drive to Babylon.”
“Is that why we woke up at the crack of dawn?”
“Well, five in the morning isn’t the best time for me to wake up, just saying.” Sparks sarcastically lets out, a yawn escaping his muzzle with a few light chuckles to follow.
Isabelle laughs back as they head down the stairs. “You two ready to go?” Isaac yawns.
“Yep. Sparks ready to go too.”
“Good, cause I’m almost falling asleep over here.” He smirks.
Isabelle flashes a half smile and shakes her head. “Well in that case lets head out! Come on, lets go to the car. We’re burning daylight!”
“Right.” She turns to Sparks. “Come on hon. It’s time to head out.”
“Okay.” He smiles insecurely. The family walk through the front door of the loft, Sparks looking back towards the loft behind him, glancing at everything. ?This is the point of no return…?
The Shepsky lets out another sigh. He holds the bass clef tag in his paw, recalling some of the pleasant memories of the times he spent in the loft.
“Sparks?” Isabelle asks suddenly, Sparks quickly looking her direction as his paw drops to his side. “You coming?”
Sparks looks slowly over toward the loft. “Yeah.” He utters, a tight feeling in his stomach starting to form, letting the door shut behind him. He follows his mother and father closely to the elevators of the building. Why does it seem like the longest walk ever…
The dog asks himself as he turns into the gap where the elevators were located, his question remaining unanswered. Isaac presses the down button on the wall, hailing an elevator to arrive to pick the family up. The Shepsky looks back from where they just came while silence fills the room.
“So, Sparks,” Isabelle asks, Sparks’ head moving slowly towards his mother, “Aren’t you excited? We get to go somewhere new, somewhere even me and Isaac haven’t even been to yet! Isn’t it great?”
The dog flashes a grin as he tries his best to keep up his happy appearance. “I guess you could say that.” He answers honestly. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Isabelle give him a puzzled look as she crouches down next to him. “Are you okay hon? Is something wrong?”
Sparks looks away from Isabelle and closes his eyes. He slowly breathes in and out as he tries to calm his mind. “I’m fine it’s just…” He looks over towards the hallway where the loft is his eyes locked onto the plaque that had contained the loft number. “I’m gonna miss this place. It’s my first actual
home, remember? It means a lot to me. Plus with Emerald probably heartbroken that I’m leaving… me being one of her closest friends… I just feel kinda lost. I know nobody at Babylon and I don’t even know where to start. It’s just… sad almost.”
Isabelle hugs the Shepsky tight as his arms slowly wrap around the human. “It’s okay Sparks, it’s normal to feel this way. Trust me.”
“Mhmm. How do you think I felt when Isaac and I left our homes to finally live together? We had to leave our family and friends to start our own lives in the city. At first we were terrified--“
“Well,” Isaac butts in, “She
was the scared one.”
Isabelle shoots him a glare as Sparks smiles. She looks back at him, “It’ll be fine sweetie. I’m sure that Emerald doesn’t hate your guts for leaving. In fact, since you both have Skype you really won’t be leaving each other’s sides at all really, right? You two will still be in contact so don’t worry about that, okay?”
“Okay…” He agrees apprehensively, the fear and anxiousness about the move still lingering in his mind.
“You’ll be fine Sparks. It just takes time.” Isaac adds. The dog nods, a high pitched sound emanating from inside the metal doors in front of them. The family enters the elevator and with the quick press of the button, the small space quickly moves down to the ground floor.
Pretty soon they were at the front of the building, various people waving Isaac and Isabelle off as they near the front doors. One by one the Carlson’s move thought the rotisserie door while Sparks keeps his head forward. The desire to look back at the building festers in the dogs mind while the family continues to move down the sidewalk towards their parked silver van, its fender barely sticking out into the street before it. Isaac walks over to Barry, the keys falling into the hands of Sparks’ father. Both Isabelle and the Shepsky stand in back of him.
“Will that be it Isaac?” The valet asks.
“That’s all Bair. Thanks again.”
“No problem.” Barry replies with a smile as the two shake then hug..
Isaac turns to Isabelle and Sparks. “The van should be open for you two, you should hop in.”
“Sure.” She answers. “Come on Sparks. Let’s go.”
Sparks looks to the valet, a forced but somewhat genuine smile plastered on his muzzle. I’m gonna miss him. His wedding was awesome.
Barry notices the Shepsky and waves his hand. “See ya Sparks! I hope that you and your family visit soon.” He gleams.
“See ya Barry.” The dog utters in an almost monotone voice, his smile starting to relax into a straight face. He gets into the van and buckles the seatbelt on his car seat. Isabelle closes the door beside him and gets into the passenger side of the van, the click of her seatbelt filling the air. Sparks looks outside towards Isaac and Barry, still talking with each other. His body relaxes into the car seat as he leans on the arm rest with his elbow, getting into a comfortable position. Sparks' eyes start to close as he takes one final look around him. Good-bye New York.
The door of the driver side of the car opens and closes quickly, the car shifting out of park and onto the road starting the Carlson's long trek. The Shepsky's eyes completely close and his mind falls into a relaxing slumber.
"I'll play 'Bloodsoaked Champion' and I'll pass the turn." The black and white dog smiles, his opponent moving his cards the right way on the table, drawing a card. Sparks looks carfully at what his opponent does, not wanting to miss a single play. Okay... If I win this I'll be able to go to the Grand Prix. No pressure.
The dog looks away for a second to see all of the people around the large space. Looks like Wizards of the Coast has another successful GPQ under their belt.
He looks back at the opponent, his board suddenly filled with cards, a now unwinnable battle starting to end.
"Sparks?" A scratchy female voice suddenly calls out from behind making him jump.
The Shepsky looks slowly behind him, but finds frightening sight. What the... where did everyone go?
Sparks looks everywhere only to find absolutely no one. Everyone in the large convention center was gone. He looks back towards his opponent only to find that the other half of the room had a similar fate, everyone else suddenly vanished. Sparks stands up in a fright his eyes frantically glancing over everything in sight. What's going on?!
"Sparks?" The voice repeats.
The Shepsky slowly looks all around him frantically checking every little spot. "Who are you? What do you want!!" Something then clicks in the dog’s brain. Wait a minute... why does this voice seem so.. familiar...
He looks behind him to find the convention centers doors opened, a figure standing in the doorway. His eyes try to hone in on the dark silhouette standing before him, but are unable to get a good look at it. The only thing that Sparks could make out were the pointed ears and the tail.
"Do you remember me?"
Sparks' mind pauses. What? Remember? I can't even see her! How would I be able to tell?
With a firm response the dog finalizes his answer. "No."
The room and the figure then disappear as Isabelle chuckles in front of him, trees and buildings passing the van by. "Well if you don't want food, then I guess the rest stop isn't an option I suppose." She jokes.
The Shepsky rubs his eyes and sits up in his car seat. Was that Isabelle calling my name?
He groggily looks at the man and woman in front of him then out towards the outside and discards the sudden thought. He then sees the car divert onto a separate road as a rumble starts in his stomach. I must've been hungrier than I thought. I guess a little food wouldn't hurt.
"So," Isabelle starts, "How was your nap? You've been out for three hours you know."
Sparks begins to talk, but gets stuck at his dream not knowing how to explain it. "It was... okay. I had the weirdest dream and I have no idea what to think of it."
"Well do you know what it was about?" Isaac questions.
"Not really." The dog answers honestly.
The family sits in silence, Sparks' sights suddenly blocked as the car parks into the parking space. "Well I hope you figure it out soon sweetie." Isabelle smiles, unfastening her seat belt. "Come on, let's get something to eat."
"Sure." Sparks responds, the family piling out of the vehicle.Maybe I'll understand it soon enough... who was I supposed to remember?
The dog asks himself, all three moving inside the building.
After a fast meal and a bit of time to stretch their legs, the Carlsons start to walk back to their van. While walking, Sparks spots a gift store next to them. "Oooh! Mom, can I go into the store?" He asks excitedly.
Both Isabelle and Isaac stop in front of him and smile. "Sure. Meet us in the van when you’re done. Ok?"
"Sure! I'll be right back." The Shepsky runs towards the shoppe, his speed slowing down as he enters the store. His eyes look around to see the different snacks, shirts, and accessories that stocked the store. The only people that were in the store were the cashier and a family of four, laughing and giggling as they enjoyed their time. Sparks walks to the accessories that the store had and was overwhelmed with the different choices. Key chains... rings... necklaces... wow they've got so much here!
He then spots a turntable with different bracelets dangling from the arms of the rotisserie display. He moves it around slowly, looking at all of the different options available. "Ooh... theses look cool." He says to himself, picking out two bracelets, one a black leather with a stone engraved with a peace sign tied with blue and black rope and the other a thin leather with a similar small rope wrapped around the middle.I think I'll get these.
Sparks sets both of the accessories on the bottom of the turning display, and reaches into the inside of his collar. He pulls out a small wallet and looks inside. Sparks looks up at the prices on the tags. He smiles, "I've got enough! Plus some!" The Shepsky walks over to the counter finding an old woman standing behind it smiling at him.
"Did you find everything that you were looking for dear?" She says with a smile.
"Yep! Two bracelets." He grins, placing both objects on the counter.
The woman takes the bracelets and scans both of them and takes a look herself. "Fine choices for you. They even match your eyes."
Sparks' cheeks start to burn, a chuckle escaping him. "Thanks!"
"That'll be Five dollars, dear." Sparks in a quick motion hands her a five dollar bill from his wallet sticking it back into his collar. The cash register opens and the transaction completes, the register closing shut. "Have a great day." She smiles.
"Thanks! You too."
Sparks waves and quickly exits the building and back into the Carlson van. He fastens himself into his car seat and closes the door, a smile now sticking to his face. The dog looks down at his wrist and admires his new purchase, both bracelets now worn prominently on top of his fur.
"So did you find anything you like Sparks?" Isabelle asks as the car stats to move forward.
"Mhmm! I got a couple bracelets!"
"Oooh! Let me see!" She says with excitement, looking back at him. She looks down at his wrist spotting the two accessories. "I like them a lot hon! Nice picks." She grins.
"Thanks mom." Sparks giggles.
The Carlsons move back onto the highway, getting closer to their destination. "Only a couple more hours to go now. We're making excellent time." Isaac announces to Isabell and Sparks.
The black and white Shepsky continues to look outside, watching the sights pass by one by one as the van drives quickly toward the Gardens. Maybe it won't be that bad after all..
He thinks to himself, his eyes slowly fluttering once more. Sparks lets out a yawn. "It's going to be a loooong drive."
"Hey Sparks?" Isabelle calls out from the front seat. Sparks' eyes open to see his environment changed, the trees less dense and the highway gone, in its place a street. "We're almost there sweetie." The family sits in silence as the Shepsky's anxiety grows. "Hey look, there's a sign right here... 'Babylon Gardens' Yep. We're here!"
Sparks looks towards the sign out of his window and beyond to see the plethora of houses in the neighborhood. As the Carlson’s drive through the streets, Isaac and Isabelle begin to hold their own conversation as the dog continues to observe and watch the environment around them. His eyes then spot a couple of canines strolling about on the sidewalk. Something however catches his eye as he continued to look at the pets before him. Wait... no leashes?
The van drives off down another stretch of road, the pets now out of view. Suddenly, the car slows down and pulls into a driveway, parking at the front of a garage.
Isaac turns his head to Sparks. "We're here!" He cheers.
Almost simultaneously, both Isabelle and Isaac exit the van and heads towards the back. They open the trunk and starts to unload the vehicle. Sparks unfastens his seatbelt and opens the door to see the sun blinding him. He steps out and stretches, his eyes shutting to avoid the sun's rays. My legs are killing me...
The Shepsky walks towards the already open trunk and grabs his belongings, then moves towards the front door.
Suddenly, Isabelle stops at the front door preventing Sparks from entering. "Sorry hon, There's some stuff that we need to talk about with the old owners, so we'll take care of the unpacking for now. You go out and have some fun, ok?"
Isabelle takes the box from Sparks and waves goodbye leaving Sparks on the front porch of the house. The dog lets out a sigh and looks behind him. "But... I don't know anyone here..." He whispers to himself. Sparks walks slowly away from the house towards the street and onto the sidewalk, his arms crossed as his eyes are cast downward. "Why did they need to talk with the last owners? Did something happen?" More and more questions fill the Shepsky's brain as he continues down the street. He looks upward for a second, noticing another dog of in the distance. Not wanting to draw attention to himself, Sparks uncrosses his arms and trains his eyes to something off in the distance.
His body tenses up as they both cross paths, the grey hound waving at him. Sparks waves back with a smile continuing to try and seem like he was happy. Sparks looks ahead of him and lets out a silent sigh. That was close...
His eyes look behind him to see the dog suddenly stop. As soon as he starts to see the grey Husky turn, Sparks' body faces the direction he was before.
"Hey! Wait up!" A voice says behind him. Sparks' body stops and turns around again, seeing the dog walking towards him. "I haven't seen you around here before. Did you just move in?" The first thing that Sparks notices is the shear height comparison to him and the husky. The dog wore a yellow bandana and a brown collar around his neck and his fur was a light grey. The Shepsky says nothing and nods his head to answer his question. The grey hound smiles. "Well I'm glad that we've got another dog among us at the Gardens." The husky extends his paw. "I'm Fox. What's your name?"
Sparks clears his throat. "I'm Sparks..." he says quietly.
“Huh? I didn’t catch that, could you say it again? Don’t worry, I don’t bite.”
The Shepsky clears his throat. “Sparks.” He repeats.
“Nice to meet you Sparks! Since you’re the new guy, I’ll let you sniff first.” Fox insisted as he stuck his hind quarters near Sparks.
"Um... s-sure..." Out of respect, Sparks sniffs Fox and lets him do the same.
They both walk side by side down the sidewalk, a car passing by them as the black and white dog stares off forward. "So Sparks," the Husky starts, "How do you like the Gardens so far? Does it look ok to you?"
"Yeah... I like it so far." He says quietly.
Fox stares at him for a second, the Shepsky looking away nervously. Why is he looking at me like that...
"Hold on..." Fox says, his hand going into his collar. "How about a game of catch?" He pulls out a foldable Frisbee, the cloth like toy unfolding with a *fump*
. "We could go to the park, so we wouldn't be far from where you live now. It’s only a block away!"
Sparks looks at him and thinks about it. "I... I don't know..."
"Aw come on! I know that you'd enjoy it! Just trust me on this one."
The Shepsky looks at him then quickly adverts his eyes. He seems friendly enough... I guess some fun couldn't hurt.
His eyes make contact with the grey Husky's and finalizes his answer. "Sure."
"Great! Come on, first one there's a rotten egg!" Fox says, bolting down the street.
The Shepsky's eyes grow wide, startled, but eventually smiles as he runs after him towards the park.
The two collapse under a tall tree, both of the dogs breathing heavily with their tongues dangling from their mouths. A soft wind blows through the park, rustling the leaves on the trees above and around them. Sparks lets out a peaceful sigh, but comes out as a grunt with his heavy panting. "I... really
need to exercise more often."
The Husky next to him lets out a few short chuckles as he moves towards the trunk of the tree, his back leaning against it. The other dog remains still, his body still against the cool grass. "See Sparks, I told you you'd love it." Fox snickers.
"Well you were definitely right on that."
Sparks stares up towards the trees, focusing in on the leaves and the sky before him. "So Sparks," Fox starts, the black and white dog's eyes now trained on the Husky, "Now that you've gotten acquainted with a little bit of the area, why don't I take you somewhere else? Maybe tomorrow?"Somewhere else?
"Where would you take me to?"
"Just a clubhouse for the other dogs in the neighborhood. It's really fun and cool, so I thought you might like it."
A shudder runs through the dog’s body thinking about the amount of dogs that would be there. Others...
"I... I don't know Fox..."
The dog lets out a sigh. "Ok, level with me bud. Do you go out often? You know, like to places with a lot of other people?" The Shepsky shakes his head. "Do... you not like to be in huge crowds of people?" Sparks' cheeks start to burn, nodding his head slowly. The two sit in silence, the black and white dog's heart starting to race. The silence stops as Fox continues, "So... how about this: what if I just take you inside just for a little bit? That way you don't have to feel like you have to stay forever and that you have someone to hang out with for the time that you and I are there. I'll even introduce some of my friends to you too! I bet they'd like to see a new face at the club. Does that sound alright for you Sparks?"
The Shepsky looks away and His eyes close. I don't want to make him disappointed... I don't wanna upset him either...
"Okay... I'll go..." He utters insecurely.
"Awesome," He gleams, "Thanks Sparks, I promise that I'll look after you at the clubhouse. Don't worry."
The cheerful look on Fox's face suddenly turns neutral and looks at him and lets out a light breath. He looks in another direction. "Um..." He say's, his eyes growing wide, "Let's head home. I'm sure your mom and dad are wondering where you are right now, right?"
A look of confusion fills Sparks' face as he stares at Fox, his anxiety starting to fade Why does he seem rushed?
"Uh... sure... let’s head home."
Both of the dogs stand up and start to head out as another small gust of wind blows through the air. Out of curiosity, the Shepsky looks behind him, seeing two other dogs on the further end of the park, a brown colored as well as a grey colored dog, staring in their direction. The brown colored dog looked as if he was frustrated even at a distance. Who are those guys?
Sparks looks up at Fox, his face keen on keeping forward. Fox even seems a little tense too... I can see it...
He looks behind once more to see the two dogs starting to head out themselves. Was that who Fox was staring at?
Sparks stays quiet in hopes of not making Fox upset or angry, not knowing how he would react. The two dogs head back down the street and arrive at Sparks' new home as they both step onto the porch. "And... here we are!" Fox smiles, "Home sweet home."
The Shepsky turns towards Fox. "Hey... I just wanted to say thank you for today... I didn't really know anyone here and I was really scared... I just didn't know where to start you know?"
"I get it." The Husky hugs Sparks, the black and white dog smiling and huging his new friend back. "No problem Sparks." The two release from their hug and Sparks starts to step into his house as Fox steps off of the porch. "Oh!" The Husky remembers, Sparks stopping in place. "The clubhouse thing is tomorrow at about five. Just giving you a heads up."
"Cool... I can't wait to go." He grins.
"I'm glad. I'll see you later!" Fox waves.
Sparks waves back, "See ya." He watches as his friend quickly walks back towards the park. Mom did say to meet new pets... I guess this is what she meant... And I guess I do have to do it for
her... so maybe this is a sign or something. Looks like she and fate have faith in me or something like that, I guess...
Fox grunts in frustration as he heads back towards the park. "Of all the days that I don't see Bino, he shows up when I'm showing the most insecure pet I've ever seen around the Gardens. The last thing that I want is to see someone like Sparks tormented. He would blame me..." Fox breathes in and out slowly, calming his nerves. "He'll be fine. As long as Bino backs off, he should be fine. I hope..."TO BE CONTINUED