The small green Quiggle slowly raised the knife above his head...
“CARTER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“Huh?” the Quiggle replied, stopping his arm midair.
“That is NOT how you cut apples,” snapped the older yellow Kyrii. “Hold it like this,” she told him, fixing his grip on the knife. “And then push down, but remember to watch your fingers.”
“Ok, I’ll try again.”
“No, you will not,” the Kyrii said. “One, that’s a butter knife. Two, I never said you could try in the first place. And three, no. Just no. Go get your sister. You can do the brown sugar.”
“But Jeeeen, I wanna do the apples,” Carter whined.
“The only reason you want to do the apples is ‘cause I said you can’t.” Carter crossed his arms. “The brown sugar is fun. Now go get Cathy.”
“Fine,” he grumbled, hopping down from the kitchen stool. “Where is she?”
“I don’t know, go find her.” Carter frowned and stomped out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Jen sighed and turned to the drawers. Seconds later, she heard a loud thump, undoubtedly Carter banging on his sisters door.
“JEN WANTS YOU IN THE KITCHEN, PEA BRAIN!” Jen sighed again and picked up an appropriate knife from the drawer.
“WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME, YOU LITTLE TWIT?” Cathy shrieked as she pulled open her door.
“Nuthin’,” Carter replied as he began running down the stairs. Cathy jumped down after him and smacked him across the head, to which Carter turned around and grabbed her ponytail, pulling it hard. Cathy shrieked and ran in the kitchen.
“Jen! Jen! Jen! Carter pulled my hair and called me a pea brain!”
“Well, Cathy hit me and said I was a twit!”
“Did she now,” Jen mused as she began to cut the apples.
“Yeah, she did!”
“Jen, you must punish him!” Cathy cried.
“Ah, you’re right,” said Jen, turning to the two children. Carter was six and Cathy was eight, but they certainly didn’t act it. “Carter, go to your room.”
“WHAT?” he yelled. Cathy grinned.
“You heard me. To your room. Now.”
“But you said I could do the brown sugar!”
“NOW.” Carter opened his mouth.
“Yeah, Carter, NOW,” said Cathy with a smirk. Carter closed his mouth and began to cry before turning and running up the stairs.
“Can I do the brown sugar?” Cathy asked sweetly with a devilish smile on her face.
“No. Violence is wrong. To your room.”
“WHAT?” Cathy sputtered as Jen continued to cut the apples. “But he started it! He called me a pea brain!”
“Cathy. To. Your. Room.” Cathy started banging her fists on the counter.
“NO! No no no no no!”
“Yes,” said Jen simply. “Yes, or I won’t let you play with Sandra and Doreen later.” Cathy snapped her mouth shut and slowly worked her way out of the kitchen and up to her room, closing the door softly. Jen sighed for the third time and began to flip through the newspaper on the counter, eventually turning to the weather section.
“High of 10 degrees Celsius, drop down to a 7 tonight, back up to 12 tomorrow,” she said to herself as she read the paper. “Cloudy skies until tomorrow night, around 7 again. A chance of sprinkles Wednesday night, continuing into Thursday.” She sighed and flipped back to the front page and began to read to herself again.
“At our local branch of the National Neopian Bank, around 7:15 early this morning, two armed neopets broke into the bank and proceeded to steal many of the neopoints from its customers and cash registers. Thankfully, the police arrived and managed to prevent a hostage situation and take back most of the money,” she read. “However, the police were unable to arrest the two robbers and they are still on the run. Bank customers identify them as a red Mynci, possibly by the name of Marc, and a green Gelert, name unknown. Citizens should be warned that these two men are on the loose and very dangerous.”
Jen heard no sound from upstairs, meaning Cathy and Carter were still moping. She finished cutting the apples and put the slices into the premade crust. Taking a spoon, she began spreading the brown sugar over the slices. Cathy and Carter’s parents were away for the day and had asked her to make the pie for a party they would be attending that night. Upon finishing the pie, she placed it into the oven and went into the living room to lie down for a while. ‘I’ll just take a little break,’ she thought. Cathy and Carter were still quiet, and there were no sounds coming from the outside. The houses in Cathy and Carter’s neighborhood were spaced out, and as a result, Jen could not hear a sound from any of the nearby homes. She breathed in and out deeply before closing her eyes.
She never quite fell asleep, but it certainly felt like she was waking up when she was jerked out of her daydream by a small crash coming from the main hallway. She rubbed her eyes and sat up.
“Alright,” she mumbled softly to herself, “Carter or Cathy, which one of you broke something.” She stood up and ambled along into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes all the way. The harsh sunlight coming in the window blinded her temporarily, but when her eyes focused, she stopped dead.
A red Mynci and a green Gelert were standing at the kitchen counter.
Jen blinked. The Mynci and Gelert blinked. Jen’s thought flashed to the newspaper she had read earlier. ‘Citizens should be warned that these two men are on the loose and very dangerous.’ She blinked again.
“Alright, stick ‘em up!” said the Gelert, grabbing something from the counter. Jen saw a flash of silver and gasped.
“Not so loud,” whispered the Mynci. “What if there’s someone else here?” Jen gulped inwardly. ‘The kids!’ she thought.
“I thought you said no one was here,” the Gelert whispered back.
“Well, I assumed that no one would-”
“But you assumed wrong, dummy. And now we're in big trouble.”
“Well, don’t act like it was all my fault, Jack,” said the Mynci, raising his voice.
“SHHH!” the Gelert responded, obviously named Jack. Jen opened her mouth but closed it. Were these two really the highly dangerous robbers she had seen on the news? They were supposed to be tying her up or something, yet they were having a personal argument! She checked the Gelert’s hands in fear. ‘If it’s a really big knife or something, I can’t try to escape,’ she told herself. It took her a moment to realize that it was actually a spoon.
“Alright, stick ‘em up!” the Gelert tried again, shoving the spoon in her face.
“Idiot!” spat the Mynci. “That’s a spoon!” He opened a drawer and took out another utensil.
“Alright, stick ‘em up!” the Mynci said.
“That’s a butter knife,” Jen replied. “And the pointy part is towards you.”
“Hey! Don’t get cocky!” the Gelert yelled, getting in her face. Jen stumbled backwards in fear.
“We don’t want to hurt her!” whispered the Mynci to his accomplice. “Look how scared she is; we should be nicer.” The Gelert paused.
“You're right, Marc,” the Gelert said, straightening up. “Awfully sorry ‘bout breaking into your house and all, but we held up a bank earlier and the police are after us. We didn’t get much money, so we’re a bit on edge, but we’ll tell the cops you had nothing to do with it if the catch us. Name’s Jack by the way, and this here’s Marc.” The Mynci smiled broadly and nodded.
“Is something wrong?” asked Marc the Mynci in a sincere tone.
“Uh, no,” Jen began, “but the kids-"
“Oh, are there kids upstairs?” Jack whispered. “We’ll be quiet so they don’t get scared. Never settled down myself, but I’m guessing you’re a babysitter?”
Jack nodded. “You have that look,” he replied. There was silence for a moment.
“So...” Marc began, “um, we’re kinda hungry, and we noticed that pie...”
“Oh, well, that’s for a party later...” Jen started.
“Right, right, no problem,” said Marc. Jack nodded. There was another pause before he opened the freezer.
“Ooo, some Velvet Vanilla would really hit the spot right now,” he said, looking through the ice cream.
“Well, actually, that’s little Cathy's favorite flavor and there isn’t much left, so-”
“Of course, of course,” Jack replied.
“Hm...” said Marc. “Whoa! You’ve got Choco Chunk Blueberry? I gotta get some of that.” He began rummaging through the cabinets.
“Um, bowls are over there,” Jen told him, pointing.
“Thanks,” said Marc, walking over and pulling two out. “You want some?” he asked. Jen shook her head. Marc shrugged.
“Well, we know where the spoons are!” Jack said with a laugh. Jen smiled nervously as the two robbers sat down at the counter and ate their ice cream.
‘This is so weird...’ she thought. The two robbers finished their ice cream and put their bowls in the sink.
“Wait!” said Jack. “We can’t make her deal with this,” he told Marc. “Where’s the dishwasher?” Jen pointed and Marc and Jack picked up their bowls and put them in the washer.
“It’s getting full. I would offer to run it for you, but we really should go,” Marc told Jen.
“N-no, I’ll do it later,” she replied. The two nodded.
“Well, ok, thanks for the ice cream!” Jack said with a smile. “Back door?”
“Uh, through the living room.”
“Thanks,” Jack told her. “Well, bye!” Jack and Marc walked through the living room and opened the door. They checked the outside before sprinting out of the house and into the woods behind it. Jen closed the door behind them and went back into the kitchen in a daze.
‘Well, that was strange,’ she said to herself.