Sara and her friends recall their childhood, then go on an adventure for it.
|Sara thought about the dozens of computer games that she had played, the dozens of toys that she had played with, and the dozens of cartoons and movies that she had watched as a little kitten. She sighed in despair. She was a teenager now, getting close to an adult age, and her childhood days were leaving for other kittens, puppies and other baby animals that would be born soon. It was like some of Sara's favorite shows that used to air on TV, but eventually stopped airing. She had always wondered what happened to those shows. Perhaps nobody wanted to watch them anymore, nobody but her. Or they simply became un-watchable, which was both illogical and untrue, if you asked her. |
Sara really wanted to be younger again. She thought life back then was so much better. For one thing, she would re-watch everything that she watched, replay all of her childhood games, and overall, do everything that she used to do when she was a kitten. She wouldn't have to worry about her parents, brother or brother's friends asking her, "Aren't you too old for that?" because they wouldn't.
To Sara's disappointment, which would probably last the next two-thirds of her life, traveling back in time and/or what was nicknamed reverse-aging (actually, getting younger if one traveled deep into the past) were considered impossible. Nobody knew if it really was, but everyone assumed that it wasn't. Sara couldn't decide whether to agree or disagree with the rest of the world, but at this rate, her opinion was bordering on disagreement.
Sara lightly hit the eject button on her Playstation 2 and inserted the Winnie the Pooh: Preschool disc for the Playstation, pressing the eject button again to send it in. She prepared to revisit her childhood as the game loaded. The logos popped up, followed by the title sequence. During all this, Sara was fighting back tears of nostalgia, but a few slipped out. This all seemed pleasantly familiar; when she was at least three or four years old, back when her dad had one of his apartments, she'd play this game.
While Sara had a pretty complex childhood, she absolutely loved Disney's Pooh. She thought it was cute, funny, and had perfect life-lessons. Her favorite part of the franchise, however, was Tigger. She really, really loved Tigger. She even had a Tumble Time Tigger toy from when she was at least five. She loved it with all of her might and was depressed when she lost it. It said things like "Tumboriffic!" and "Ta-da!" all to her amusement. Sara also played Winnie the Pooh: Toddler for the computer, and enjoyed that as well. She was also lucky enough to get the Rumbly Tumbly Adventure game for the Playstation 2, and she still played it on occasion. She had seen one of the featurettes (The Honey Tree) as a kitten when she was in preschool, but disliked it back then. She had watched portions of the New Adventures of Pooh as well, but found that show to be considerably better. Whenever she heard the theme song, she could barely resist singing along. She knew very little about the direct-to-video-and-DVD movies, however, and couldn't remember having a single one.
Despite that Sara was trying not to cry as she attempted to win Preschool, she was ultimately losing. Losing not against the game (that wasn't even possible), but losing against her own nostalgia. It was like a curse that her parents had placed on her forever, in which she would get older. She wished that when she was any age over three but under twelve, she would remain that age forever. But no, she kept getting older, and here she was, lamenting about aging. It was a quarter-life crisis that not even replaying the media that made her childhood wonderful could solve.
"Why can't I just be a little kitten again?" the pink cat asked this question to herself over and over. She was experiencing one of the games that she loved as a kitten, but it wasn't really helping with her problem. Surely someone would help her, and she knew exactly who: Jane and Marie. With what she hoped would be a great idea, she stopped playing the game and went outside to find Jane and Marie. Hopefully they didn't have anything important to do and would be able to help her.
After reminding her parents of where she was going, Sara went over to Marie's house and knocked on the door. Marie's older brother, Mario, answered the door. "What do you want?" he asked rather unkindly.
"Is Marie here?" Sara asked. "I want to talk to her about something."
"No, she went to Jane's place. Go there instead." Mario slammed the door, but Sara simply resigned to his response and went over to Jane's house.
She went across the street to Jane's house, climbed over the fence and stopped at the front door. She pressed a paw against the door bell and heard the first three notes to Die Fledermaus as the doorbell sound. John, Jane's older brother, answered the door.
"How may I help you?"
"I'd like to see Jane and Marie, if they're here," Sara said.
"They're upstairs. Feel free to enjoy yourself."
Sara entered the house and climbed up the stairs. Once she had made it, she looked around for Jane's room. As she would have guessed, Jane and Marie were in there; the former was playing Winnie the Pooh's Rumbly Tumbly Adventure for the Playstation 2--this was one of Sara's childhood games--and Marie was watching her do so.
"I got the elephant-looking thingy! What do I do?" Jane asked, holding the Playstation 2 controller in her paws.
"Press the buttons that show up on the TV," Marie said. "I see Circle, Square, Triangle, X."
Jane hit the Circle and Square buttons with a paw without any problems, but accidentally pressed the X and Triangle buttons in that order instead of the other way around. On the TV, the elephant scared her character off. The screen went to black.
"Does that mean I lose?" Jane asked.
"You can't really lose at this game. You just have to start that part over."
"Okay, sorry." You'd expect Jane to be disappointed, but for some reason, she wasn't.
Sara entered the room, and Jane ran up to her and nuzzled her face. "Hi, Sara!" Jane said.
"Hey, Jane." Sara didn't sound quite as happy.
"What's wrong?" Jane asked.
"Oh, it's just that... well... I don't know how to put this. I'm not even an adult kitty yet, but I miss being a little kitten."
"You do?" Jane was bewildered.
"Oh, my... I'm really sorry." Marie joined the conversation.
"It's not you. It's neither of you. It's... me..." Sara was starting to get depressed again. "There was so much going on back when I was a kitten. So many shows, games... but I only saw so much of it. And I want to see it again. I want to watch all the shows I watched and actually liked, and play all the games I had that still worked. But I keep thinking everyone will know and think I'm too old for it. So I have to watch those shows or play those games in my room, in private."
"Is it so you don't embarrass yourself?" Marie asked, and Sara nodded.
"It's the only way, or everyone will hate me. Hate me for watching everything that I'm too old for. Doug, Rugrats, Dragon Tales, PB&J Otter, Gargoyles, the New Adventures of Winnie the--"
"You still like the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh?" Jane started to speak, and Sara responded by blushing.
"Yes. That show. Gosh, especially that show. I feel so bad."
"We can watch it here, if you want." Marie pawed at one of her ears.
"No... that's not what I'm here for." Sara brought up her front paw and gave it a couple of licks. "I'm here because I don't just want to be a kitten all over again. I just want to go to the world that was my childhood. And I want to know if you'd like to come with me."
There was a long pause between the cats and dog. Presumably, Sara's friends were thinking of a way to respond. Jane came up with something.
"Oh, I get it!" Jane said. "You want to go to where all those shows happened!"
"I was thinking only one of them." Sara thought this was getting awkward. "I don't want to tell you which one. I'd rather you guess."
"Is it Rugrats?" Jane asked, as that show was the first thing she could come up with.
"Dragon Tales?" Marie asked.
"PB&J Otter?" Jane asked.
"You're getting warmer..."
"Gargoyles?" Marie cringed as she said that, unable to believe Sara actually watched a show like that, despite that Sara remembered seeing very little of it.
"I give up," Marie stated.
"I give up, too," Jane agreed. "Where did you want to go to?"
Sara could feel her heart racing as she heard that question. She whimpered quietly to herself as she prepared to answer. This would either impress Jane and Marie or cause them to leave her forever. Then again, Jane did have a Winnie the Pooh game up, so it was probably not going to be the latter. Sara took a deep breath and answered.
"The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh."
When they heard that, Jane and Marie stood, seemingly speechless. Jane's tail froze in the air, and then started wagging with clear excitement.
"That is awesome! Can we come?!"
"I thought you wouldn't want to." Sara looked away in embarrassment. "We haven't been there before, and there's probably no way to get there..."
"All shows have a way to get there," said Jane. "All shows NEED a way to get there!"
Sara couldn't tell if her friends wanted her childhood or at least had part of it, but it was probably both. "I'm really sorry I had to say it."
"Sara, it's okay," Marie said. "We love that show just as much as you."
"And I watch it for Tigger!" said Jane. "He's the one that got me into the show! I remember the first time I even saw Tigger..."
Sara and Marie glanced at one another. They were talking about Sara's childhood, not Jane's, but they didn't care. At least this was a related subject. They barely listened as Jane babbled about the first encounter with the character.
"I guess it all started when I was born. I was just born and my mom was carrying me out of the birth room, and I saw John waiting there, holding a New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh video, with Tigger on it! I couldn't believe it, I knew I just had to have that video! So I tried reaching for it as much as my little puppy paws could go, but John was all, 'Sorry, new baby sister, you're not old enough for even Winnie the Pooh.' And I cried for, like, half a year! But all that changed when my mom took me to the toy store for the first time. I guess I was half a year old then. I found a plush Tigger toy on one of the shelves, and I took it as my own. My mom looked down and saw me holding it, but she was so nice, she didn't even ask about it. She let me keep it, too! I hugged Tigger, and when I touched one of its hands, I felt something inside that wasn't as soft as the rest of it, so I pressed it. I swear, it said, 'I'm Tigger! That's T I Double Guh Err, hoo-hoo-hoo!' I remember because I still have that toy somewhere. From that day on, I loved Tigger, nothing could keep the two of us away. And that was before I saw the show he used to be from, which was Winnie the Pooh. I watched one of the episodes of the New Adventures of Pooh, and he was there, and I loved it!"
"Jane..." Marie was slightly annoyed. "That's not what this is about."
"What I'm trying to say is that I've always wanted to meet the real Tigger!" Jane got back to what the animals were really talking about. "I've got to go to the New Adventures of Pooh so I can meet Tigger for the first time and tell him just what I love about him! So can we come? Please, please, please?"
"I'm not saying that you can't," said Sara. "I'm saying that there's probably no way to go there. The show's hasn't aired a new episode for years, let alone aired on TV."
"There's gotta be a way! There's always a way, we just gotta find it!"
"I'd like to go to that show, too," Marie said. "It's peaceful and everyone is really nice. I guess I'll try finding it first, though."
"I don't really know where it is, but I'm planning on going to my dad's house in the desert this weekend, and I'll be leaving tomorrow night," Sara said.
"That's a great idea! We can go there, and then we can go beyond the desert! Everyone knows the New Adventures of Pooh takes place in the forest, so when your dad doesn't think anything's wrong, we'll sneak out of the house, walk to the forest and hope that we'll find Pooh, Tigger and their friends there!"
Sara couldn't believe a single word Jane said. She was always coming up with crazy ideas, sure, but this... this was almost something out of Felix the Cat: the Movie.
"I don't know. I want to go, but they don't just live in any forest. They live in someplace called the Hundred Acre Wood, which is a forest."
"Are you saying that the Hundred Acre Wood is close to where your dad is?"
"I don't think so, but that might be right. And if my dad doesn't mind, I guess we can go."
"Oh, my gosh! This is gonna be the best weekend ever!" Jane wagged her tail in delight, then noticed it and started running around in circles, chasing her tail. Sara and Marie could only look on. They had forgotten they should be accepting this, given Jane's species.
"I do want to go, but I'm worried about our brothers. They'll be so mad if they find out where we're going."
"But they didn't have our childhoods because they were born long before any of us," Sara said. "We've got to give them our childhoods. We've got to show them just how beautiful the New Adventures of Pooh was and is."
"Can't we just leave them home?"
"We could, but how will they know where we're going? We're bringing them whether they like it or not!"
"What?!" Jane stopped. "Are you trying to stop this weekend from being the best ever?"
"No, why would I? I love the show, and I want Alex and his friends to love it, too."
"Okay, that makes sense," Jane said.
"Oh, my. Mario is going to kill me," Marie whimpered to herself.
With that, Sara returned home and waited for Thursday, which was tomorrow, to come around. She made sure to keep this a secret from Alex and his friends, assuming the latter would be coming over between now and tomorrow night. Also, she was planning to tell her dad an excuse, which was to go outside for several hours and promising to be safe, before trying to find the Hundred Acre Wood. It obviously wasn't in the desert, it was just so far past the desert that Sara and her friends couldn't compare it to anywhere else. It was going to be a long journey, but it would all be worth it. Sara was going to fulfill her childhood dream and help her friends fulfill theirs, which were exactly the same as hers, only slightly different from hers. Sara wanted to be young again; Marie wanted more peace and nicer residents than who she was dealing with; and Jane simply wanted to meet Tigger. Both Jane and Marie were coming, as were their brothers as well as Sara's, who was Alex. The girls wanted to surprise their brothers with where they were going. They didn't care if they would be mad at them. This was all for their childhood. They all missed it, and they all wanted it back. And starting tomorrow night, they would get it. They just had to wait.
TO BE CONTINUED