The Pennyworth Games
Chapter 1: Only the Beginning
Every year, Pinata Island would hold a large competition. It was called the Pennyworth Games. There would be races, tricks, shows. However, it was much more important than any event on Pinata Island. The winner at the end would be declared a million-dollar pinata, the rest becoming Pennyworth.
This year, Leafos was old enough to compete for herself. She wracked her brain until it hurt. She just couldn't think of the pinata she should use! She checked out the sign-up sheets. Almost everyone was using syrupents. That's what would make her different. She really loved barkbarks, and that was exactly what she'd enter.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the twenty-first annual Pennyworth Games! Let's meet our judges!"
"Hello," Storkos, judge number one began, "I am Storkos. You know those little baby pinata eggs? I deliver them!"
Judge number two, Seedos, said, "My name is Seedos. I go around the gardens and give you seeds."
The last judge being Dastardos, he didn't have much to say but he kills sick pinatas.
"The first event is... racing! For the first race, we have the syrupent Pancake, the other syrupent Munchie, and the barkbark Bones!"
Leafos sighed. She really didn't want to be in a race against two snakes... even one was too much. However, she took her spot in the very front, while Bones stood at the starting line. Leafos leaned in, whispering in his ear, "Just get to the finish line first."
First. Bones heard that word a lot of times. Meaning, beat everyone (and every pinata) there is in sight. Meaning, show Leafos how proud and strong and brave you are, even if it means running with four broken legs. Mostly meaning, don't let anyone steal your pride. Bones snuffed in an agreeing way, growling at his slithering competitors. Three, two, one. Go, Bones!
Leafos cheered loudly, getting nasty looks from the crowd. Bones would hurdle the rocks, she'd "woo hoo" to herself, and the crowd would shush her. Bones would pull ahead of Munchie and Pancake, and she'd hear others sigh as the incredible dog pushed himself across the finish line almost five seconds before the others. People in the crowd erupted with boo's while Leafos ran over to the judge's table, accepting the blue ribbon.
After all of the racing was over, Leafos sat down in the winners' circle (the people with the highest scores would compete together. Second place would sit in the middle circle, and last place in the last circle). She would be competing in the talent portion against her friend's syrupent, Gelatin, Lottie's two-headed syrupent, Whisper, and a white flutterscotch named Butter. She sighed to herself when she realized she had tougher competition, seeing as how the pinatas were dressed in better outfits than her. However, she would try to hold onto her first-place reign as long as she could.
"Alright, people. This is when the competition gets serious. The five people with the lowest scores will get eliminated after every event. When there are ten people left, we'll start eliminating two at a time. Here's the deal, though. You won't drop from the winners' circle all the way to the last circle in one event. You will drop from the winners' circle to the middle circle, and if you fail to bring your scores up, down to the last circle. So, right now we have fifty people. We'll need to eliminate the syrupent Munchie, the syrupent Slither, the kittyfloss Mouse, the mousemallow Kitty, and the bunnycomb Honey. The rest of you, follow our directors to the auditorium. Thank you!"
Leafos and Bones started off down the hallway, following the guide. They took their seats in the auditorium, getting weird glances from about everyone who owned a pet syrupent in the whole competition. She crossed one leg over the other awkwardly as she saw from the corner of her eye Lottie and her strange two-headed syrupent glaring at her.
"Alright, everyone! Why don't we get started then? First up, will everyone from the winners' circle take the stage, please!" Bones followed Leafos up the narrow steps and onto the stage, along with all of the other trainers and pinatas. "First up, Lottie's two-headed syrupent, Mystery!"
Leafos and the others were shooed off to the side of the stage to watch Lottie's pinata. They were very great, forming a jumprope, in which Lottie felt the need to jump, falling flat on her face. Leafos held back a laugh as Lottie's mask cracked. She got up, brushed the imaginary dust off of her costume, and walked off the stage.
"Alright. That was Lottie and her pinata Whisper! Next up, Nalla and her syrupent, Gelatin!"
Nalla took the stage, grabbed Gelatin by his rear, and used him as a whip. That went on for about four minutes until the judges asked her politely to leave the stage.
"Next up, we have Jessie and her white flutterscotch, Butter!" Jessie stepped on shyly and moved her arm in a large circle, and Butter followed. She made a figure eight, Butter following closely. She opened her legs and Butter flew through. She made a real dramatic bow, leaving Leafos confident she would win.
After announced, Leafos and Bones walked into the middle of the stage. To everyone's surprise, Leafos backed off the stage and played the tape that Bones had practiced a doggie tumbling routine to. As soon as the music began, he ran the length of the stage and flipped himself. The crowd cheered and Leafos smiled. Probably the only positive feedback she had gotten all day.
A few flips, rolls, prances, and bows later, Leafos was safely in the winners' circle for another round. In fact, she had landed in first place with a perfect twenty points. The next highest score being Lottie with fourteen, she was not worried about a thing.
"We're going to have to eliminate some more pinatas... Sad, I know! We'll be down to only forty pinatas, making the competition harder and harder to stay in. We'll have to eliminate the pretztail Pretzel, the syrupent Syrup, the syrupent Pancake, the mousemallow S'mores, and the kittyfloss Toothbrush. The rest of you will be showing off your pinata's best tricks. Each trick is worth five points, making this round worth fifteen points! Good luck!"
Leafos ended up going first (she was, after all, in first place) and got no cheers whatsoever. She stuck her arm straight down, pointed her finger, and made a circle. The barkbark knew the trick and did a barrel roll, making the judges "ooh" and "ahh". Leafos only prepared for the next trick. She got on her hands and knees and patted the ground. Bones stood on his hind legs. Leafos took out a finger gun, flinched, and Bones fell down. She got up and opened up her legs. Bones jumped off the ground and figure-eighted through her legs. She smiled when she realized she had done a great job.
All of the other tricks were either too boring or too stupid. Leafos had the victory in the bag. It was when Lottie's pet got first place for doing nothing but disobeying her that she was starting to get suspicious. She still got second, and she was still in the top three, but she wanted it all. She wanted to show all the mindless people in the competition syrupents were not the only pinatas with talent.
Leafos suspiciously popped up behind Lottie. "So!" she startled the older woman. "I didn't know the judges were looking for disobeying animals."
"Oh, you know," Lottie's lip quivered, "every judge has its likings."
"Yeah. So, which judge is liking your bribery?"