Kiba watched outside of his hotel room with extreme interest.
Even though it was midmorning, the sky was dark, tinted by the clouds. Droplets
of water fell heavily onto the window panes, and Kiba observed as they slid down
the windows nearby. Lightning flashed, creating temporary shadows against the
walls behind him. He looked down. They were residing in Ye Olde Ship Inn, and
below them was the ocean. The waves rolled in and out, adding to the deep hues
to the wet sands. Kiba had come to love the water. He looked back to the storm,
the sound of thunder all he could hear.
A copy of the Neopian Times had blown away from
its original owner, and one page flew into the window, all headlines blotted
out by the rain. Thunder crashed nearby. The baby Lupe turned his head when
he heard a whimper.
There was a lump under the bedcovers, and it
was shaking rapidly. Kiba jumped onto the bed and pulled the covers away, revealing
his twin brother, Zuni.
Zuni's fur was much paler than Kiba's due to
lack of sunlight. He looked around, scared. "W-w-w-when will the thunder g-g-go
Kiba jumped and laughed. "What, scared of a
Zuni, slightly perturbed, ran his paw over his
left ear importantly. Abandoning his terrified stutter, he responded. "Actually,
it's more than just water out there. There is also lightning, which could kill
Kiba sniffed as he leaped off the bed and sauntered
back over to the window. "Yeah, Zuni, key words are 'out there'. We're fine
He resumed looking out of the window and Zuni
shook his head slowly before lying down. They sat in silence for a moment, listening
to excited squeals on the room next door. Kiba averted his gaze and growled.
"Why did we get stuck next to a bunch of baby
Myncis?" He got up and banged on the wall a couple of times. The noise stopped
momentarily. "Well, that's better."
As he walked back to the window the noise struck
up again. He merely rolled his eyes as he curled up by the window.
A pencil banged onto a desktop behind him. Both
Kiba and Zuni turned to look at their father.
"I can't work like this!" He threw the pencil
across the room for further effect, and it lodged its tip firmly in the wall
behind Zuni. Once again, the cries of the Myncis stopped, only to restart.
Kiba padded up to him. "It's just a bit of rain,
dad. It's perfectly natural. Besides, we get it all the time back at Mystery
Island, and you can write just fine then." He jumped into his father's lap to
examine what he had written.
Or, in this case, not written. The paper was
completely blank, showing no signs of the slightest attempt. He turned to look
at his father, who was smiling down at him. "It's not the rain, it's those blasted
Myncis, the malfunctioning air conditioner, and the Purple Juppie Java I ordered
an hour ago that still hasn't been delivered."
Zuni abandoned the bed and joined Kiba. "What
did your boss want you to write about again?"
Their father sighed. "Hmm…an article about the
different hotels of Neopia Central. I have to write reviews on each, write the
prices per night, etcetera. Deadline is tomorrow afternoon, and I won't have
enough time to gather information on the hotels. Writing for the Neopian Times
just isn't as easy as it looks. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going downstairs
to see about that java."
He got up, abandoning the two brothers. Kiba
stared at his brother. Zuni stared back. Kiba was opening his mouth to speak
when Zuni stopped him. "Yes, I know what you're going to say, and lets just
get it over with before I change my mind."
Kiba smiled, and they sprinted towards the door
and managed to escape through just as it closed with a muted thud. They watched
their father enter the elevator before they spoke.
"That was pretty good, if I do say so myself."
Kiba puffed out his chest looked proudly down the hallways.
Zuni grunted. "Yeah, but how will we get back
Kiba's face fell for a moment. "Ah, don't be
such a pessimistic."
Zuni slapped his paw on his forehead. "That
would be pessimist. And do you even know what it means?"
Kiba had already started to trot off. "Who knows,
Zuni ran after him, forgetting about the pessimist
argument. "So now what?"
Kiba let him catch up. "Remember when everyone
was hanging their coats in the lobby?" Without waiting for a response, he continued,
"Well, we'll get a really long one, and you'll stand on my shoulders, and frighten
the Myncis into being quiet."
They had reached the elevator. Zuni didn't warm
up to the plan. "Why do I have to stand on your shoulders?"
Kiba sighed and pushed him up against the wall
with the buttons controlling the elevator, and then tried to climb on his shoulders
to hit the button. He managed, but barely. Zuni had dropped him, unable to support
the weight. "Alright," he sighed exasperatedly, " I'll stand on your shoulders."
Shortly after that they arrived at the lobby.
Their father was not that far off, talking to the waiter. "Can I please have
my Purple Juppie Java?"
The waiter, and old (and half deaf) Kougra answered
in his raspy voice. "Eh? Yurble Jubjub Ona?"
"No, Puurrrple Juuupiiiiee Jaaavaaaaaa," their
father spoke louder.
"Purple Jubilant Lava? Hmm…we haven't got any
Kiba and Zuni didn't listen to anymore, afraid
they would laugh and give themselves away. Kiba inched over to the coat rack,
and when no one was looking, snatched a long grey button down overcoat. With
second thoughts, he doubled back and grabbed the matching hat. He dragged them
back and, with Zuni's help, folded the coat for easy travel. Kiba put the hat
on Zuni's head, and, being too big, fell to one side. Zuni tried to straighten
it, but gave up quickly.
Their next destination was the hotel's Neomail
center. Kiba clambered up into one of the chairs and began typing as fast as
he could manage.
You have a massage waiting in the lobby. Please
come and pick it up.
In the 'To' section he typed the room number
of the Myncis next door( only after Zuni told him what the room number was,
of course) and hit send as Zuni read the message.
"Kiba, did you just say they have a massage
waiting for them in the lobby?"
Kiba rolled his eyes. "No, I told them they
have a message waiting."
"You spelled it wrong."
No response. Kiba merely grabbed the coat and
headed upstairs, with Zuni in tow shortly after.
They made it upstairs fairly quickly. They hid
around the corner as the mother Mynci danced out of her room, smiling. "Be good
little ones, mommy is off to get a massage!" There was a chorus of high-pitched
"byes" from the room. Once the Mynci was gone, Kiba and Zuni donned their disguise,
hat and all.
They waddled over to the door and knocked. The
door was opened by a bunch of baby Myncis who had clambered on top of each other.
"Whaddaya want?" They chorused, all at different times. It took a moment for
Zuni to completely comprehend.
Zuni coughed and put on a fake deep voice. "If
you little babies are not good and quiet for the rest of your stay, we --
I mean -- I will chop of your tails."
They eyed him suspiciously. "Wit wat?"
Zuni fished desperately in the coats pockets.
His paw grabbed something long and slender, and he pulled it out. "With this
Plastic Butter Knife of Doom!"
He prayed silently as the Myncis looked at the
knife in horror, whispering in hushed tones amongst each other. When they had
reached a verdict, they responded "Okays, we be good."
They hurriedly closed the door. No more sounds
came from inside. Zuni and Kiba walked off awkwardly and removed the coat. "It
worked!" Kiba whispered excitedly.
Zuni nodded. They sat in silence trying to figure
out what to do next. Zuni sighed. "Knowing dad, he'll probably talk to the guys
downstairs about the air conditioner, and it'll probably be a while before he
gets the staff to understand him, so that should buy us time to help with his
article. He's writing it on Neopian Central Hotels…hmm…I have a plan."
Before he had a chance to find out what the
plan was, Kiba had been pulled out to the Money Tree by his brother. It had
stopped raining, which had helped a bit. Zuni had grabbed an old cardboard box
and a broken toy car and used the two to create a rolling box. They placed the
hat and folded coat inside. As a team, they rolled the box to the nearest hotel,
Hotel Opera, with Zuni explaining his plan to Kiba as they walked.
To be continued...