Jimmy's Vacation: Part One
Jimmy grumbled and rolled over.
“Jimmy, sweetie, wake up,” a sugary, sweet voice crooned.
Jimmy’s eyelids slowly flickered open as a pink rotund blur slowly came into focus.
“Happy Birthday, Jimmy, honey!” the pink blur squealed in excitement.
Jimmy blinked a few times as he realized the large, pink blob was none other than his mum. He sat up and leaned against the headboard of his king-sized bed.
“How does my little angel feel about being ten years old?” his mother asked sweetly.
Jimmy looked around the room at the multitude of presents that scattered the plush carpet of his gargantuan room. There were presents of all sizes, colors and shapes. Some were wrapped up nicely with a red bow while others were excessively studded with jewels of all sorts.
Jimmy clapped his hands excitedly and bounced up on down on his bed, suddenly feeling wide awake.
Jimmy was a green, rotund Skeith who was, indeed, very spoiled. His mum and dad were named Veronica and Humphrey, a pink Skeith and a brown Skeith. They had won the biggest Neopian Lottery ever heard of around fifteen years ago, before Jimmy was born. Since then, they had bought no less than twelve mansions all across Neopia, one for every month. It was currently the Month of Swimming and the family of Skeiths was presently residing in their Meridell mansion.
Jimmy slipped off his bed into his set of blue, fuzzy slippers and waddled over to the biggest present in the room. It was as tall and wide as Jimmy himself and wrapped in elegant, royal blue wrapping paper. With much difficulty, Jimmy managed to stand on the tips of his toes and tear a long sash of wrapping paper off the present. He quickly tore off the rest of the paper and stared in awe at his gift.
Before him was a transparent bin, full of plushies of all colors, sizes and shapes. “Thank you, Mum!” he exclaimed in delight. He ran forward and hugged his mum, (though his arms barely reached halfway around.)
“There’s nothing that makes your mummy happier than to see a smile on your face, angel-cake,” Veronica cooed, squeezing Jimmy so tightly, that he turned purple. “Now go and unwrap your other presents.”
Before long, Jimmy’s room was littered with a plethora of plushies and puppets, a towering pile of clothes, numerous board games, several picture books, countless trinkets, many different action figures, plenty of miscellaneous toys, and a brand new set of jacks and marbles.
Veronica watched adoringly as her little “baby” darted off from present to present in pure delight and amusement.
“Come now, sweetie-pie,” she said to Jimmy once he had had ample time to admire his presents. “Daddy’s waiting for you at the breakfast table.”
Jimmy followed his mum (who just barely fit through the doorway) down the grand double-staircase and through the large, tiled main hall to the banquet hall. The banquet hall was extremely long and made Jimmy feel extremely tiny, though he really wasn’t. Sunlight from the many arched windows lining the wall shone on the grand table that was almost as long as the room. Almost a hundred golden chairs were arranged neatly by either side of the long table, though only three were ever used. Veronica always said the extra chairs were for “guests,” though the truth was that Jimmy’s parents never really invited anyone and he himself didn’t really have any friends.
“There’s my birthday boy!” his father, Humphrey, said in a loud, booming voice that echoed noisily across the stone-built room. Jimmy rushed over to give him a hug (his hands reached even less around,) before sitting down in his chair and demanding pudding.
“Pudding, my boy?” Humphrey asked. “Quite a good choice, if I do say so myself.”
Jimmy looked proud of himself. One might think he had won the Beauty Contest, though one could expect Terror Mountain to melt before that happened.
“PUDDING!” Humphrey bellowed so loudly and suddenly that Jimmy almost fell out of his chair.
Almost immediately five sharp-looking Lennies came skittering into the banquet hall from under the majestic tapestry that hung in front of the entranceway. They each held a tray with numerous bowls of pudding, all different flavors. Jimmy clapped his pudgy hands together gleefully as the Lennies set all the pudding down in front of them and skittered off. Veronica and Humphrey were so rich, that they could afford to hire what they called “personal assistants” for all around the house.
“Dig in, my boy,” Humphrey boomed, smiling widely.
Jimmy, completely neglecting to use his spoon, dove straight into the pudding with his hands, devouring the food ravenously as if he had been starved for weeks, which he very well hadn’t. Veronica and Humphrey grinned widely as they watched their “baby angel” gobble down his food like some sort of famished monster. After Humphrey had ordered a few more scrumptious dishes for the three of them to enjoy, he cleared his throat to get Jimmy’s attention.
“Jimmy,” he announced. “Your mum and I have some news for you.”
Jimmy, who had just stuffed his twenty-first biscuit into his mouth, looked up. “What’s that?” he mumbled with his mouth full.
“Well, sweetie,” Veronica started. She looked at Humphrey adoringly. “Your daddy and I are going on a vacation to Shenkuu!”
Jimmy didn’t seem the least bit perturbed. “Oh,” he muttered, his mouth still stuffed. “What’s it like there?”
“Oh, well, they have magnificent waterfalls and such beautiful greenery...” Veronica started dreamily. “And there are exotic foods and just plain gorgeous apparel...” (Shenkuu was one of the few places in which they didn’t own a mansion.)
“Oh. What will I do there?” Jimmy asked, seemingly bored.
“That’s the thing,” Humphrey continued. “You’re not coming.”
“Oh,” Jimmy seemed quite happy. “You mean you’ll leave me here alone?” He quite liked the thought of running around the mansion without anyone telling him what and what not to do.
“Actually, dearie,” Veronica began. “You’re going to stay with relatives.”
“Wha...?” Jimmy almost choked as he gulped down a cream puff. “Relatives? Who?”
“Uncle Fredrick and Auntie Grace,” Veronica answered fondly. “Uncle Fredrick is my brother, you know.”
Jimmy’s eyes grew wide in horror. “Not them!” he pleaded. “They’re so boring!” Jimmy had heard plenty of stories about his Uncle Fredrick and Auntie Grace. He had heard that they lived in a shack only as big as his room (even though his room was a decent size for a house.) This apparently classified them as “boring.”
“But it can’t be that bad, dearie,” Veronica quickly put in, not wanting to see her little Jimmy burst into tears.
“But they’re boring!” Jimmy insisted.
“But they’re family!” Veronica pointed out.
“But they’re boring!”
“But they’re family!”
“ENOUGH!” roared Humphrey, silencing the two immediately. He quickly gave an apologetic smile as he noticed that his dearest Jimmy was as frightened as a Tigermouse, eyes popping out and everything. “Jimmy, there is no arguing. You’re going to stay with them.”
At that very moment, Jimmy broke into a ferocious tantrum, crying wildly, flailing his feet and banging his fists, causing numerous platters to bounce an inch off the table. “NO! NO! I DON’T WANT TO GO!” he wailed stubbornly.
“Jimmy! Jimmy!,” Veronica cried desperately. She finally broke into tears as well since she couldn’t bear the sight of her little angel pie being unhappy.
“SILENCE!” Humphrey hollered once again, instantly quieting the two. He quickly composed himself and smiled at Jimmy after he remembered whose birthday it was.
Veronica dabbed at the corner of her eyes with her laced handkerchief before managing, “Dearie, you can take all the toys you want if it makes you feel better.”
This seemed to calm Jimmy down a little bit, though he still seemed extremely upset. But Humphrey was adamant. Jimmy was going whether he liked it or not.
Jimmy sat miserably on his bed as a tired-looking Xweetok, one of the “personal assistants,” packed all of Jimmy’s birthday presents into multiple suitcases.
“Don’t forget that,” Jimmy demanded, pointing at an overlooked plushie lying on the floor, just as the Xweetok was about to close his last suitcase.
The Xweetok scrambled over to the plushie, returned to the suitcase, and stuffed it in. Each and every one of Jimmy’s fourteen suitcases was bulging to the point where one might think they would explode.
Jimmy heard a creak as the ceiling-high double-doors to his room swung open slightly.
“Jimmy, dear,” Veronica called to him, her head popping out between the two doors. “We’re going to leave soon.” This didn’t seem to cheer Jimmy up much, since he huffed to himself and looked away.
Noticing this, Veronica quietly slipped away and called back, “Mummy will buy you another present when you get back if you behave!”
Jimmy plopped off his bed and trudged towards the door as six or so other neopets rushed into the room to help the Xweetok heave all the suitcases downstairs. They all appeared to struggle under the immense weight of the suitcases.
Jimmy hardly seemed to notice all the stumbling and crashing that the “personal assistants” were making while carrying the cases as he slowly plodded forward, down the stairs. Two weary-looking Lupes hauled open the grand front double-doors (with much difficulty,) revealing Humphrey and Veronica who were waiting patiently for Jimmy at the front steps.
“Hurry, Jimmy!” Humphrey called, not-too-kindly. “You don’t want to keep your mother waiting!”
“Don’t rush, dear,” Veronica’s voice quickly contradicted. “Mummy can wait!” She received a fierce glare from Humphrey who obviously looked like he wanted to get moving. Jimmy walked up to them slowly, looking unmistakably gloomy.
“Don’t look so down, dear,” Veronica comforted her little “plum cake.”
“It’s your birthday, son,” Humphrey grunted. “Look happy!”
Jimmy snorted at this.
“Guess what? We get to fly today!” Veronica chimed cheerily, hoping to get Jimmy’s spirits up.
By “fly,” Veronica meant sit on a large, comfy, canopied cushion while four or so unfortunate Eyries flew the platform to their desired destination.
Jimmy’s eyes widened. He hadn’t “flown” yet because his mum was always dead afraid that he might fall off and break an arm or something of the sort. Jimmy wobbled with excitement since he was a bit too lazy to jump.
Humphrey shouted at a few Eyries as they quickly lifted the multiple trunks onto the large cushion. Humphrey and Veronica then ushered Jimmy on and positioning themselves on either side of him.
“LET’S MOVE!” Humphrey bellowed at the Eyries as they scrambled nervously towards the platform and each grabbed one of the four handles with their claws.
“Yes, sir,” they stuttered nervously. They were getting well paid for this.
Perhaps it was the many, many suitcases or the humongous breakfast the family had just recently gobbled down, but the Eyries were struggling to get even a foot up in the air. Quickly, eight more Eyries came to the rescue, grabbing onto anything they could hold, and the family of three rose shakily into the air and started to move forward slowly.
“Uncle Fredrick and Auntie Grace live in a hut in Mystery Island,” Veronica explained to Jimmy, who wasn’t paying attention in the least and instead was admiring the magnificent view down below them. He gazed in awe as he spotted neopets scurrying around like tiny petpetpets and Neohomes that hardly outsized his marbles.
“The weather is quite nice, actually,” Veronica continued, completely oblivious to the fact that she had no audience. “But you know how it is. We lived in our beachside house in Mystery Island last month, remember?”
The trip was a long and slow one. Plenty of times, the Eyries had to land and rest their wings, much to Humphrey’s disapproval. Many times, the canopy would suddenly fall a few feet before the exhausted Eyries managed to return to their previous altitude. This would make Jimmy turn an unhealthy shade of purple. Lots of times, Jimmy would complain that it was hot, or that he was bored, or that he wanted a milkshake, so that Veronica had to soothe him by telling him how many presents she would buy him when he returned.
The sun had almost set when they reached the shoreline of Mystery Island. This was a relief, as Humphrey was tempted to strangle Jimmy if he made one more complaint about how far it was.
“Your Uncle Fredrick and Auntie Grace have a boy your age,” Veronica was explaining to Jimmy. “His name is Tidey.”
“That’s an odd name,” Jimmy speculated flatly.
“Not half as good as yours, dear,” Veronica agreed.
“Can he be my personal assistant?” Jimmy asked innocently.
“NO!” Veronica shrieked admonishingly, shocking the Eyries and causing the canopied cushion to fall a few feet. She quickly composed herself. “I mean, no, dearie. He’s your cousin. Be nice, okay, darling?”
Jimmy grunted but said nothing more of the subject.
They drifted over a few miles of trees before Jimmy noticed that they were slowly descending. They finally lowered towards a small clearing in front of a shabby, run-down hut.
“Here we are!” Humphrey boomed as the platform hit the ground with a thud.
Jimmy looked at the cabin as if it were some bedraggled, wild Lupe. “Who lives there?” he asked as if he pitied whoever did.
“Why, your Auntie and Uncle!” Veronica answered fondly, looking at the hut dreamily. “Isn’t it cozy?”
“I have to live there for a week?” Jimmy asked, plainly horrified.
“Precisely! Isn’t it lovely?” Veronica cooed, mistaking Jimmy’s tone for excitement. Jimmy was horror-stricken.
At that moment, the creaky door of the hut burst open and a tall, blue Lupe and a lean, kindly-looking Lutari strolled out. A small, blue Shoyru shuffled nervously behind them.
They approached the Skeith family with smiles. The Lupe held out his hand to Humphrey.
“Humphrey!” the Lupe greeted him, smiling.
“Fredrick,” Humphrey grunted, giving his hand a sharp pump. He was obviously still grumpy from the long trip.
Uncle Fredrick then turned to Veronica and threw his arms around her in an embrace (which didn’t reach all the way around either.) “Good to see you, sis!”
“You too, Freddy,” Veronica said, giving Uncle Fredrick a quick squeeze.
The yellow Lutari, which was Auntie Grace, stepped forward and hugged them both. “And you must be Jimmy!” Auntie Grace said kindly to Jimmy when she reached him, shaking his hand politely.
Jimmy forced a smile and allowed his hand to be shaken.
“I hear it’s somebody’s birthday!” Uncle Fredrick announced jovially, stepping forward and eagerly pumping Jimmy’s arm. “How old are you turning? Ten? How do you feel about finally reaching two digits?!” he inquired merrily. Jimmy shrugged nonchalantly.
At this moment, Auntie Grace pushed forward the blue Shoyru that was obviously trying to stay hidden behind his parents.
“Come now, Tidey,” Auntie Grace urged kindly. “This is Uncle Humphrey, Auntie Veronica and your cousin Jimmy! Say hi.” Tidey shyly gave a faint smile before darting back behind Auntie Grace.
“He’s a little shy,” she told Jimmy. “But I’m sure you two will get along.”
“Well, we better get going,” Humphrey said gruffly and abruptly, obviously impatient. “Nice to see you two again.” He had obviously forgotten Tidey. The Eyries had just finished hauling down the last of Jimmy’s fourteen suitcases onto the porch of the hut as Humphrey spoke.
“I WANT TO GO WITH YOU,” Jimmy wailed miserably out of the blue. He started crying wildly.
“Dearie, you must behave,” Veronica scolded Jimmy. She gave him a tight squeeze and whispered how much she loved him and how much she’d think of him and reminded him how many presents she would get him when they got back. Jimmy could tell, however, that she was crying too.
Finally, Veronica climbed back onto the cushion where Humphrey was waiting impatiently. The platform, now relieved of the weight of a Skeith and fourteen suitcases, lifted up in the air easily and started drifting away. Veronica was bawling and waving and constantly blowing her nose on her handkerchief as the cushion was lifted up, up, and out of sight.
“I love you, Jimmy!” Jimmy heard Veronica cry out just as the last of the cushion disappeared behind the tops of the trees.
To be continued...