My Little Aggravation
"Can we go now?" I was standing in the entrance hall of
my house, tapping my foot impatiently as I waited for my younger sister to be
ready so we could start the vacation already.
And there she came, sweat dripping down her
face, lugging a bulging, half-open suitcase. "Michael, can you help me close
my suitcase?" she asked.
I sighed. "Do you really need all this stuff?"
The Baby Lupe nodded, her tail wagging. She
held up her paw and counted on her fingers. "I have my Maraquan Usuki, my Usuki
Ballet Set, my Hula Girl Usuki, my Usuki Queen Set, my Usuki Dream Castle …
"Five things," I supplied. "But they're all
a bit too big for your little rolling luggage."
Kayla stuck out her tongue. "Mikey's jealous
'cause all he has is his stupid diary!"
I winced. "Don't call me Mikey," I said through
gritted teeth. "And it's a journal, not a diary."
"It's a diary," Kayla insisted, paws on her
hips. "What did it say on the cover before you crossed it out and covered it
with stickers and stuff?"
I didn't answer. Triumphant, Kayla chanted,
"Mikey has a diary, Mikey has a diary, Mikey has a diary!"
"Shut up!" I yelled.
Kayla gasped. "MOMMY! MIKEY TOLD ME TO SHUT
UP!" she screamed.
Mom came down the staircase, dragging the black
suitcase with all the necessities, as she called them, which was really only
her collection of squishy stress-relieving balls. "Michael, we don't use that
kind of language here," she scolded.
"She started it!" I cried.
"No, you did!" Kayla said to me.
"Stop bickering, you two," Mom said, pulling
one of her special stress-relievers out of her pocket, gripping it tightly.
"We need to get moving. The boat to Mystery Island leaves in an hour." She checked
her watch. "We should have just enough time to get there with half an hour to
spare, if we don't run into any problems." She gave us a meaningful look.
I clapped my mouth shut. Seething, I barged
out the door, my journal pressed against my chest. The grass, sparkling with
dew, tickled my bare feet.
"Do you need to go to the bathroom?" Mom asked
"No," said Kayla, now sitting right beside me.
I shook my head.
"Are you forgetting anything?"
"No," we replied.
"Okay, okay." My owner carefully stepped off
the porch, dragging her suitcase along with Kayla's.
I turned to my younger sister. "Why don't you
carry your own luggage?" I said, not really a question, but a suggestion.
"You don't have to carry anything heavy," she
I sighed, something I had started doing very
often since Kayla was born. No use arguing with her.
"I'm tired," Kayla whined.
"Almost at the port, honey," Mom said. The morning
humidity was disappearing and was being replaced by cold, dry air that burned
our throats and irritated us all.
After a while Kayla asked, "Are we there yet?"
"Does it look like it?" I snapped.
Kayla started to complain (about how mean I
acted, no doubt) but was quieted by a warning look from Mom, who was not in
the mood for any squabbling between us. Kayla pouted.
For a while there was sweet silence from Kayla.
The only sounds to be heard in the calm were the Kateils chirping from the trees
and our feet plodding along the dirt path. I was glad we had taken the rural
route; it was much more scenic. Kayla and Mom weren't particularly happy with
the decision, however, being city people. They wouldn't last more than a week
on Mystery Island. Good thing we were only staying a couple of days.
Then Kayla blurted, "Michael, carry me!"
"What? No!" I cried, emerging from my dream-world.
"Kayla, you're a big Baby Lupe. You're strong
enough to make it by yourself," Mom said to her.
"But Michael's an even bigger and stronger Electric
Pteri," Kayla pointed out.
Mom chuckled and relented. "Okay, Michael, why
don't you carry your sister for a while?"
"No way!" I exclaimed.
Mom frowned. "Fine, Michael." She sighed.
Kayla jumped on Mom's back, happy to have someone
to rest on. I shook my head. "Disgraceful," I muttered under my breath, feeling
quite content, though a bit guilty, to let the two females struggle while I
enjoyed the grassy, peaceful outskirts of Neopia Central.
"Mom, when does the boat leave?" I asked.
Mom looked up from watching Kayla bat at the
Vernaxes tangled up in the Spyder webs under the wooden railings. I was hanging
over the railing, peering out at the rolling, teal waves, trying in vain to
spot Mystery Island.
"The boat should leave soon," Mom told me.
Suddenly Kayla clapped a paw on her mouth in
shock, and, after spitting out a stray Vernax, she said, "Mommy, I forgot my
Scratchcard Wocky Usuki at home!"
Mom took a deep breath, trying to control herself.
"Oh Fyora," she mouthed. Then she said in a tight voice, "Kayla, didn't I ask
you whether you were forgetting anything? And now there's nothing we can do."
"But I can't sleep without her! And she's my
proud and joy!"
"Pride and joy," I corrected.
"I'm sorry, Kayla!" said Mom, her voice rising.
Kayla began to sob uncontrollably and I edged
away, not wanting the female Island Cybunny to think I was related to the immature
Lupe now attracting disdainful looks from the other Neopets.
"Come back here, Mikey darling," Mom called.
I blushed deep crimson and the Cybunny giggled.
I walked over to my owner, clenching and unclenching my wings. "Don't call me
Mikey," I said quietly but furiously, putting pauses in between each word for
But Mom didn't seem to hear. "Mikey, I need
you to do me a big favor. Please fly home as fast as you can and get Kayla's
Scratchcard Wocky Usuki before the boat leaves in… fifteen minutes."
I stared at her. "Oh, Fyora!" I cried. "How
do you expect me to fly home and back in fifteen minutes when it took us an
hour to get here?"
"Fly quickly. I don't want Kayla to make a scene,"
And, because I had no choice, I gave her a look
of pure poison and took off. The wooden docks disappeared behind me and soon
even the water was replaced by the blur of emerald-colored trees and blue sky.
Soon I saw my house whiz by. I extended my wings to slow down. I touched the
floor and set off at a run towards the door. I grabbed the handle and pulled
with all my might, but it held fast. Oh, how could I have forgotten my owner
always locks the door when we're not home? I flew over my house, dived through
the chimney, down the halls and into Kayla's pink, girly room, where I took
a quick breather before snatching Kayla's special Usuki (which was so conveniently
placed in plain sight on her bed; I wondered how she could have forgotten it)
and flying back to the port.
Soon it came into sight, the dark brown docks,
the cruise ship sailing further into the expanse of blue waves that sparkled
like crystal as light bounced off them. Wait… the cruise ship! My eyes widened.
They were leaving me behind! My wings ached, but I willed myself to keep going,
and the Neopets on the deck laughed as I approached them.
Suddenly I saw Mom waving. I beat my wings once
more before they hurt too much for me to keep in the air. I fell right out of
the sky, enjoying the gasps of surprise from the other passengers. I landed
right in Mom's arms.
"I was so worried about you!" she whispered.
I tossed the doll at Kayla's feet. She hugged
it so tightly, I was surprised its head didn't fall off. "Ungrateful little-"
I muttered when she didn't pay any attention to me.
"Say thank you to Michael, dear," Mom reminded
"Thank you to Michael," Kayla said unwillingly.
"We'd like to welcome you to our fabulous cruise
ship," interrupted a voice. It was the captain, a Purple Lenny, sitting on a
smokestack as he spoke into a megaphone. "You'll be able to enjoy looking at
the sparkling water when you reach Mystery Island, but for now we need you to
go down to your cabins and buckle yourselves in. Today is the princess of Maraqua's
birthday and all of Maraqua is celebrating, so we may encounter some turbulence.
However, try and enjoy the ride. Thank you!"
Mom took our hands so as not to lose us in the
horde of people struggling to climb below. It took us a while, but we made it
to our nicely furnished cabin.
Kayla gasped. "Oooh… A minibar!" She grabbed
a can of Neocola off the small, round table and swallowed it in one gulp, letting
out a huge burp.
I grabbed some Orange Chicken. I was starving;
my stomach was grumbling just like the Snowager does when someone wakes him.
I looked up. Mom, who had just come out of the
bathroom, was staring at me with wide eyes. The scene looked very suspicious,
me standing next to the nearly empty minibar table, spices from the Orange Chicken
all over my beak. Kayla was suddenly playing with her Scratchcard Wocky Usuki,
acting innocent. "Michael ate everything!" she told Mom.
"Tattletale," I said furiously out of the corner
of my mouth. Kayla just smirked.
"Don't you know how much all of this is worth?"
Mom said, squeezing a red ball.
Fuming, I didn't respond, only climbed in bed
and slept the rest of the trip, exhausted from my flight.
I flopped onto the hotel bed, forgetting it
was made of stone. My head vibrated with pain. It was the second day on Mystery
Island, and it had done nothing but rain without any signs of letting up since
we arrived. This left us with nothing to do but sit in our crummy hotel room
and listen to the drops slide down the small, dirty window.
The hotel room was appalling. Mom, of course,
didn't know it was the princess's birthday and everyone would be crowding Mystery
Island to view the celebrations. Of course she hadn't known the only hotel with
available space was a mold-filled, dimly-lit room that never stopped dripping.
"Michael, take me outside!" Kayla ordered.
I groaned. "But it's raining!"
"I LOVE the rain!" she shouted.
"Aw, but Kayla-"
"Please please please please please with a cherry
I slid off my bed and walked over to Mom, who
was clenching a ball inside her fist. "No one would notice if you just… abandoned
her…" I whispered, laughing softly.
Mom didn't laugh. She stared at me. "How could
you say such a thing? Now go take your sister outside."
"Kidding," I assured her, backing off. I shook
my head. Sometimes adults could never take a joke.
"PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!" Kayla shouted.
"Okay, Kayla!" I said over her voice. I took
her paw and she shut up, but wriggled away.
"Be careful, you two," Mom warned.
We promised her we would be.
Because it was the quickest way out, we forced
open the window and climbed out into the misty gray, ignoring the loud protests
from Mom. My feathers were instantly soaked with cool rain, and Kayla turned
around and around, catching raindrops on her rough, pink tongue.
"Don't get lost," I told her. "It'll be impossible
to find you." I gazed off into the fog.
"Duh," she said, looking at me like I failed
all my Neoschool classes. "C'mon!"
I followed her obediently, feeling like a good
A cry rang out through the gloom. "Draw a ticket,
and if it ends in a zero, two or five you win a fantastic prize! And best of
all it's free!"
"Wait up, Kayla, I want to visit the Tombola."
I walked over to the large, cheerful man, reached
into the box he was holding out to me, and drew out a slip of paper.
"Sorry kid," said the Tiki Tack Man after looking
at my ticket. "Not a winner. But here, have a booby prize. Try again tomorrow!"
He handed me a Bottle of Invisible Sand, then waved me away and started calling
I shook the seemingly empty bottle, but didn't
hear the soft grinding of moving sand. "Great. An empty jar." I tossed it over
my shoulder and it landed with a splash in a puddle. I looked around.
"Kayla?" No response. "Kayla!"
I climbed through the wet foliage, but Kayla
was nowhere to be found. I started to panic. Suddenly I saw a dark figure in
the fog. I hurried towards it. "Kayla?" But it was just another little Neopet
splashing in a puddle. Would I ever see Kayla again?
I wiped rain from my eyes- or was it tears?
I poked my head into almost every building on
Mystery Island, now faint from worry. Finally I heard a loud, bossy, girlish
voice coming from inside the Tiki Tack shop. My heart leapt. I pushed open the
heavy door, and in the center of the cluttered circular room sat the young Baby
Lupe. Her face fell as she caught sight of me. "Aw, you found me."
"Kayla! We weren't playing a game of Kacheek
Seek! I told you not to run off and you almost gave me a heart attack!" I shouted
"I know, I know." She scuffed the floor with
her paw, a deep pink settling on her face. "I just wanted to get you this Volcanic
Rock for your collection." She held out the small, maroon-colored rock.
My heart softened and my mouth fell open. Slowly
I reached out and took it. "Thank you," I said gently. "And I'm sorry." I draped
my wing around Kayla and we walked out onto the moist, soggy soil. Up in the
sky, the sun was shining from above the clouds, matching the grin on Kayla's
Author's Note: Comments appreciated!