(Narrator: Amy) One morning, Tiff was in her room studying about rocks and minerals. She looked through her magnifying glass and wrote down facts about them -- whether they were soft, hard, smooth, rough, transparent, etc.
Suddenly, she heard the phone ring again, and went over to pick it up. "Hello?" she answered.
"Hi, Tiff," I said. "How's it going?"
"Everything's going just fine," Tiff replied. "I was just studying some rocks and minerals and taking notes about them. Why'd you call?"
"I just saw this commercial on TV, and today, there's a special sale at the shopping mall - everything is now seventy-five percent off!"
"Wow! That's amazing!" Tiff cried.
"I know," I told her. "So I was thinking, do you wanna come to the mall with me today?"
"Sure, why not?"
"And I'll make sure I call all my old friends to come over," I added.
"Sounds like a plan," Tiff said. "So what time shall we meet?"
"We'll all meet at the park at 8:30. Don't be late, okay?"
"I won't. See ya, Amy!"
"Bye, Tiff," I replied, then hung up.
I looked in a shopping magazine that I got from the mail. Their advertisements were exactly the same as the commercials seen on television -- seventy-five percent discounts on every item. All $20 books were now only $4.99; every piece of clothing that had an $80 value were all deducted to $19.99; and all $200 items were discounted to $49.99!
I was too excited to see any more things I would choose to buy in the shopping magazine, I ran back to my phone and called Tails and Cream about the sale. After the calls, I went into Sonic's room.
"Sonic, today's a special day in the shopping mall. Everything is seventy-five percent off!"
"So what else is new?" Sonic asked.
"Who cares?" I retorted. "If we go there now, we can save up a lot of money!"
"Really? In that case, let's go!" And with that, Sonic dashed out of the room.
"Sonic, don't run in the house!" I cried. Sonic didn't hear me, and fell down the stairs out of control. He wasn't on his feet at the bottom of the stairs. He groaned.
I gasped, and followed Sonic down the stairs. "Oh, Sonic! If you run in the house, you could easily trip and fall down and hurt yourself!" I helped Sonic get up.
"Sorry, Amy," Sonic said as he got back on his feet. "I was just too excited about the big sale you told me about."
Meanwhile, Tiff and Kirby took a long walk out of Cappytown, across the bench where they first met Sonic and me, and into the city park. Just like before, there were kids playing, people listening to music, playing games, and doing many other things.
Several minutes later, everyone else arrived -- me, Sonic, Tails, and Cream, with her Chao pet, Cheese.
"Is this everybody?" Tiff asked.
"It sure is," I replied. "I called everyone, and here we are!"
"That's great. Now all we need to do is find the shopping mall," Sonic said.
We walked all around the park. All the buildings, tall and short, were behind the streets. Some were museums, some were restaurants, and some were working offices.
"I know the shopping mall was here somewhere," I thought.
We kept on walking until we came to a six-story tall building. "That's it! That's the shopping mall I've been talking about!"
"But that's a different mall," Tiff said as she looked at the new mall.
"Forget THAT mall," I told her. "It's shorter than the one we went to before we attended that beauty contest, and it's especially shorter than that other one Ella took me and some of my friends to some time ago. This mall has the biggest sales on earth! And today's the day!"
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Sonic dashed towards the mall by himself for one second.
I yelled, "Sonic! What did I say about running at a speed like that?"
Realizing what I told him, Sonic slowly walked back to us. Then I turned to everyone. "Okay, we're all gonna go together, that way no one will ever get lost. Understand?"
Hearing my words, we steadily walked into the mall. As we got inside, it looked spectacular. People were wandering all across the halls, carrying plastic shopping bags filled with presents and all.
"This place is amazing," Tiff thought. "I wonder what we can buy from here."
Tiff, Sonic, Tails, Cream, Kirby and I looked around the mall. It was nothing like we had ever seen. Cream held on tight to Cheese, her Chao pet. She was a bit nervous about the height of the mall.
After walking a short distance from the entrance, we found ourselves in a part of the mall where the ceiling was six stories higher. Cream looked high up and shuddered. "I'm scared!" she cried.
"Well, don't look up at the ceiling, then," I told her. "It's like not looking down if you're afraid of heights."
We continued walking. Outside one of the shops was a man with a humongous jar of candies. "Guess how many candies there are in this jar, and win $10 times the number of candies inside!"
"I'll try," Sonic said. "Is there... 1,001?"
"Nope. Good guess, though," the man said. "Move along, now, please. There's more people in line. Guess how many candies in the jar! Win $10 for every candy piece inside!"
The first store we went into was K.C. Benny's. I tried on some of the finest clothes there was in the store. Cheese and Kirby had fun jumping on piles of clothes.
"Cheese, don't jump on the clothes!" Cream said.
"You too, Kirby," Tiff added. Cheese and Kirby jumped off. Cream caught Cheese. Kirby floated down to the ground.
Later, we checked out the book store. Tiff searched through lots of books - historical non-fiction, literature, autobiographies, science fiction, and many other genres.
Tails looked at graphic novels (or simply 'mangas'). Cream was reading children's books, with colorful pictures.
"Guys, I wanna buy this," Tiff called to her friends as she slightly waved a heavy textbook. It was titled 'Facts About Marine Biology'.
"But that's just some ordinary textbook," Sonic scoffed.
"This isn't just a textbook," Tiff replied. "It's brand-new, and it's got marine biology in it."
Tiff walked to the cashier. "I'll buy this book, please," she said. I took out my wallet. "How much do we owe you?" I asked.
"That'll be $26, including tax," said the cashier.
"Wow," I said as I paid for the book. "Some cheap price that is."
Then we went to a toy store.
Sonic looked at the action figures that were on sale for $5.99. Cream looked at beautiful looking dolls and plush toys. One of them, which was a rabbit like Cream herself, had a sound chip inside. Cream pressed the stomach of the toy. It said, "I'm the cutest rabbit in the world!"
Cream was delighted by the sound of the plush toy. "I want this! I want this!" She ran to me, holding the stuffed animal in her hands.
"Okay, okay, slow down, Cream," I said. "I know you're excited 'cause it's a low price day today."
I walked over to the front desk. "Cream wants to buy this stuffed rabbit," I said.
"That'll be $5.19," said the cashier. I handed the money, and the cashier put the animal into a plastic bag.
After that, Tiff, Kirby, Sonic, Tails, Cream and I went up to the second floor to the food courts for lunch. Cream was now holding her new stuffed animal instead of her Chao pet. Cheese trailed us where we were going, especially up the escalator.
When we got to the food courts, Sonic and Tails each bought fast food meals. Tiff and I bought fruit salads. Cream, Cheese and Kirby bought really sweet foods.
"So what have you been doing in the past few days?" Tails asked Sonic.
"Well, Amy took me to that beauty contest she mentioned earlier, and she had a great time. The only bad part about it was that Miss Adorabelle, the person in charge of the contest, had to find me a handsome outfit to wear while in the audience."
"What was it?"
"Ah, who really cares? The best part of it was when Amy actually won the beauty contest. I was proud of her that day. Then another couple days later, we went camping in Cappytown. We ate lots of food, told stories, and took a hike in Whispy Woods' forest."
"I wanna go there someday!"
"You will," Sonic replied. "Tiff is planning to invite all of us to camp one day, and we'll have even more fun all together."
Soon lunch was over. We kept on walking all around the mall. Cream could not carry Cheese in her hands because she was still holding her new stuffed animal. Cheese trailed behind... until he spied someone carrying balloons with all the colors of a rainbow.
Cheese wanted to play with the balloons, which were moving in the opposite direction of where the friends were walking. So without making a sound, Cheese started to go after the guy who was carrying the balloons.
Meanwhile, we were in a pharmacy store. We browsed through health care products, household objects, and nutritious foods. Sonic mostly looked at bags of junk food such as potato chips, corn chips and onion rings. I studied the cooking hardware.
Cream just looked everywhere in the aisles, looking for Cheese. She saw me still looking at the pots and pans, and asked, "Amy, have you seen Cheese? He was with me a while ago."
"No, I haven't seen him," I replied.
Cream ran to Sonic. "Sonic, I can't find Cheese anywhere! Have you seen him yet?"
"I thought he was with you," Sonic said.
Tiff walked over to Cream and Sonic. "What's going on?"
"Cream is a bit upset because she can't find Cheese anywhere," Sonic told her.
"I haven't seen him either," Tiff said. "He might have ran away from us because he wanted to play with something."
"RAN AWAY!" Cream cried. "Oh, what am I gonna do? I'll never see Cheese again!"
"Don't be sad, Cream," I comforted her. "He should be in the mall somewhere."
"Somewhere, in a six-story tall mall!" Cream wailed.
"Maybe he went back to the toy store," Tails said. "He likes toys, doesn't he? Let's go there!"
"Hold on, everyone," Tiff chimed in. "To make things easier, we'll have to split up in two groups, if that's okay with Amy."
I thought for a moment, then said, "Okay, we'll split up. But we'll have to meet up again in the main entrance once one of us finds him."
"Good idea," Tiff replied. "Amy and Cream, you two come with me. Kirby, you go with Sonic and Tails, and you three will check in all the places we went to. Sound like a plan?"
"It's a plan!" everyone said in agreement.
"Oh, I hope he's okay!" Cream cried.
Tiff patted her in comfort. "We'll find him, Cream. All right, everyone, let's go!" The six of us ran out of the pharmacy store and began our search for Cheese.
Out in the mall, Cheese wandered everywhere in the hallways. The people walking nearby were really tall - even taller than his old friends. He lost track of the person who was carrying the balloons.
Desperate for one, Cheese spied some red and blue balloons tied to a desk covered by a large white sheet. He jumped onto the desk and grabbed onto the strings, but couldn't untie the balloons.
"Hey, get that blue creature off those balloons before they accidentally get popped!" a man yelled. Fearing this, the man's wife took Cheese off the balloons, and put him back down.
Then Cheese noticed the colorful balloons from a long distance away. He went after them again. As he ran past every store, and down the stairs to other floors, he went right between the legs of other people, tripping some.
Cream, Tiff and I searched in the top floor. "Cheese! Cheese! Where are you?" we called. But Cheese could not hear us, even from one floor below.
Sonic, Tails and Kirby looked in the toy store. They looked in the stuffed animals. No Chao pet. "He must have left a minute ago," Tails said. "Let's try looking someplace else!"
When the colorful balloons came to a stop, Cheese ran closer and closer to them. The vendor who was holding the balloons turned out to be a clown in a red suit. He was giving them to some children.
Cheese got closer and closer to the clown with the balloons and snuggled on his foot. "Hey! Shoo! Get off!" The clown tried to shake his foot, but Cheese held on.
Then the clown walked to a security guard. "Excuse me, sir," the clown said, "there's some weird blue creature on my foot. Could you please get him off me?"
The security guard picked Cheese up in his hands and took him away.
Meanwhile, we asked the other guards in the security room if they have seen Cheese. "Nope, but rest assured to you, anyone who is lost will always come here no matter what. Come back later and we'll notify you soon."
Cream was worried even more. Tears touched her eyes. "What if we... never find him?"
"Don't keep your hopes down, Cream," I said. "The security told us they're doing everything they can. Hey, let's ask everyone in the mall if they have seen Cheese."
I looked in my purse. "I think I have a picture of him somewhere in here..." I took out a photo of Cheese. "Is this what he looked like?"
"Yeah..." Cream sniffled.
I asked a nearby customer. "Excuse me, have you seen a creature that looked like this?" I asked.
"I've never seen anything like that before," the man replied, then walked away without saying another word.
But that didn't stop us. We continued walking everywhere in the mall, asking several other people, showing the photo of Cheese.
The boys (Sonic, Tails and Kirby), however, didn't have much luck than us girls. All they did was ask other people if they have seen Cheese. Most of them said no, but one of them said, "Cheese? Heh! Sure, I've seen lots of cheese -- Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, macaroni and cheese..."
A few minutes after us girls left the security room, Cheese was delivered there. Sadly, he looked out the windows, watching customers pass by. He really wanted to play with the colorful balloons that the red clown was selling.
Back outside, we showed the photo to another of the security guards. "I found that blue creature and took him to the security room a few minutes ago," he said.
"Thank you!" Cream cried. "Come on, Amy!" She started running back to the security room. Tiff and I went after her.
In the security room, Cheese tried to think of an idea to escape. He waited until the last guard inside walked out of the room, and when the timing was right, Cheese sneaked out the door and went back outside into the mall, resuming his search for the red clown and his colorful balloons.
Five minutes later, we returned. But when we got inside, the room was completely empty. No guards, and to make matters worse, no Cheese.
Cream began to cry again. "What happened? He was just here ago!"
"I know how you feel, Cream," I said. "But we can't just stay in the mall all day looking for your pet. It's almost time to go anyway, but first, let's take a quick stop to the jewelry store."
Back in the mall, Cheese ran right through between Knuckles and Rouge. They were startled when they saw Cheese.
"Hey, isn't that Cream's Chao pet?" Knuckles asked.
"Looks like it," Rouge replied. "What's he doing out in the mall all by himself?"
Cheese followed the clown who was still carrying the balloons everywhere... especially when they went outside the mall and into the park! None of his friends even saw him go out.
They walked into a jewelry store, where me, Cream and Tiff were buying some jewelry. I could see Knuckles and Rouge step in.
"Knuckles! Rouge! Have you seen Cheese?" I asked.
"Sure, I just saw him walk through us a moment ago," Knuckles replied.
"Only we don't know where he went," Rouge added.
"Oh," I said. "Thanks for trying, though."
Cream overheard a bit of what Knuckles and Rouge said to me. "Did they find him? Did they, did they, did they?" she asked, overjoyed.
"Not really," I said sadly.
Cream sighed with disbelief. Her head was bent down. "What am I going to do?"
"Well, since he obviously left the mall by now, he could be anywhere at this rate. Tell you what, when we get home, we'll make some reward posters and put them up everywhere in the city park. And besides, Sonic, Tails and Kirby are still waiting for us."
Cream agreed with my idea, but was still very sad. She missed her Chao pet so much.
Later, us girls met up with the boys near the main lobby. "Have you seen Cheese, Sonic?" I asked.
"No, we haven't," Sonic told us.
"We looked in every store, and in the halls," Tails said.
"But we haven't seen Cheese in any place," Sonic added.
"Then it's settled," I sighed. "Let's all go to my house and make some 'Lost Chao' signs."
We all walked back home. Along the way, we didn't see or hear Cheese or the red clown at all.
In the park, Cheese saw the red clown sitting on a bench. He was holding his balloons with his foot while tying his shoes. Slowly, Cheese creeped towards the clown.
"You again! Hey, what are you doing?"
Cheese went closer and closer. He snuggled on the clown's foot, tickling him. The clown began to giggle. "Hey, that tickles!"
He laughed so hard, he accidentally let go of the balloons! "Oh my gosh! My balloons!"
Thinking quickly, Cheese climbed up to the top of the bench and grabbed onto the string of the balloons, and started floating in the air.
"Hey! Come back with my balloons!" the clown called.
Cheese held on tight. The balloons lifted him higher and higher. The people could not believe what they were seeing.
"Whoa! There's a big rainbow balloon floating in the sky!"
"I can't believe it! This is the first time I've ever seen a rainbow in real life!"
For one whole minute, Cheese sailed into the sky, hanging on for dear life to the balloons. Momentarily, they started to untie, one by one. As they did so, the balloons floated off and into the sky by themselves.
But Cheese did not let go. Then more balloons floated away into the sky. Cheese was still holding on until finally, he was left holding onto just one balloon - a red one.
The gravity of Cheese's weight holding onto only one balloon caused him to fall down fifty feet below. Some of the people aimed to catch him.
Cheese fell into the hands of a young girl. "I got him! Ooh, he's such a cute pet! And he's got a balloon for me!"
Cheese ignored the girl and jumped off with the balloon in his hands, then started back home. Dejected, the girl sobbed hysterically.
Back at my house, we were still making reward posters. We banged up about thirty so far. Cream, however, was looking through my window on the couch. She was depressed about Cheese.
"Why did Cheese run away from me? I can't even believe why he would do this..."
Then she noticed Cheese hopping along with the red balloon. Her face suddenly turned from depressed to excited. "Everyone! Look out the window!" she cried.
Her friends immediately looked outside with her. "It's Cheese!"
Cream ran over to open the door. She could see Cheese coming towards the entrance. "Cheese! It's you!"
She ran towards her Chao pet and hugged him.
"I'm so glad you're back, Cheese! I was so worried! By the way, why'd you run off from me like that?"
"Chao! Chao chao chao chao," ("I wanted to give you a present,") Cheese squealed. He handed Cream the red balloon.
"What's that? A present? For me?" She took the balloon from Cheese. "Oh, thank you, Cheese! You're such a good Chao pet."
Cream turned to her friends and said, "Now that Cheese is back with us, I guess we don't need these reward posters after all."
"Perhaps you're right, Cream," I replied. "So what shall we do now instead?"
"Let's watch some TV!" Tiff said.
"But... I thought you didn't like television," Sonic told her.
"I don't really, but today... we'll make an exception."
We all laughed, then tuned in to a comedy show on Channel D.D.D. on my television set.