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Babysitting


by jalen1425

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A Neopet in the world of Neopia often has a lot of things to worry about, no matter what the owners say. Getting faerie quests on time, Battledome matches, earning enough Neopoints to buy that Paint Brush you've always wanted-- but none of that applies to me. My biggest problem is none of those. In fact, my biggest problem is much bigger than most of the biggest problems that any of my friends have. I'd give anything to swap my problem with any of the previous problems listed--wait; I'm confusing you, aren't I? Let me say it simply-- my biggest problem is my little sister, Liana.

     My name is Toby. I'm a brown Gelert who lives in Terror Mountain and has a nice family except for one of the members, whom I sometimes feel like feeding to the Snowager. Liana is a purple Kacheek with an obligation in life to make her brother's existence miserable. Not that you'd tell by looking at her. She's very cute and puts on the angel-act for anyone she meets. She could actually be the perfect model of a perfect little sister-- but that's only when she's around other people. At home she's a disaster. A walking, talking, Gelert Wand-breaking little disaster.

     My older sister, Holly Anne, is an Island Uni who doesn't seem to mind Liana's tricks and ravings, while my owner thinks its my fault that Liana lives to torment me to death. Being the only guy in the family doesn't help! So you see why Liana is such a problem? Normally, I live with it. But it was just about to get much, much worse….

     "I'm going out."

     This was from Holly Anne, on a cold Saturday in the Month of Storing. Our owner had gone to Neopia Central for the day, to withdraw some Neopoints from the bank. Holly "going out" meant only one thing-- I had the day to myself! Hurray!

     "Where are you going?" I asked her.

     "To the top of the mountain, for the day. Frances invited me."

     Frances is her current best friend. I nodded. "Okay," I said cheerfully. "Have a nice time!"

     I was about to bound from the room when she called me back.

     "Wait, I haven't briefed you yet!" she said, trotting up next to me.

     "Briefed me?" I replied. "What do you mean, briefed me?"

     She grinned evilly. "Well, you didn't expect me to bring Liana along, did you? I'm going shopping," she said this as if shopping was a sacred word and shouldn't be dirtied by my foolishness.

     I waited a second to let the full horror of her words sink in. Then it hit me.

     "Wha-- I mean, um, you-you can't expect me to…"

     Again that amused smile. "You are responsible enough, aren't you? I can trust you, right?"

     Holly has that awful ability to make a guy feel two feet tall. She had me in a hole and she knew it!

     "Good! Oh Li-aaaaaa-na…" I sat there fuming as the tiny Kacheek's footfalls grew nearer to the family room.

     She appeared there quicker than I would have thought possible. "What is it, Sissy?" she asked sweetly.

     "I'm going shopping today. Will you be a good girl and stay here with your brother?"

     "Of course, Holly-Wolly. We'll have lots of fun, won't we Big Bro? Won't we?"

     "Sure…whatever." I watched with distaste as she zoomed back towards her bedroom.

     Holly smiled again. "Alright then. You'll have fun, I promise." She winked at me. "Just make sure she doesn't eat any Strawberry Jelly…. You know she's allergic." She was about to close the door when she stuck her head back through. "Oh, and Toby," she muttered, in a hushed voice. "Don't give her any candy."

      Duh, I thought dryly. She's hyper enough as it is! I listened carefully for any noise from her room, my long ears raised. No sound, I thought, relieved. Maybe she's reading or something.

      I settled myself down on the sofa with a book. I'd let her do her own thing. Better for me anyway.

      But after about 20 minutes of silence, I decided to go check on her. Liana is never this quiet for long. Anyway, Holly Anne would kill me if anything happened.

      I found her in my room, her arms full of toilet paper. The legs of my desk were covered with the stuff, held there messily with endless strands of tape. I put my paw to my forehead.

      "Liana! What the heck do you think you're doing to my desk?" My carpet was littered with toilet paper, too. I shook my head. If only my owner could see her now!

      "This is a Kadoatie," she said in an exasperated voice, gesturing at the desk. "Can't you see that? And his legs are all broken, so I'm fixing him!"

      Of all the crazy things in Neopia. "You can't tape toilet paper to my desk, Liana! Go put it away wherever you got it, and then go read or do something productive!"

      Argh. I sat on the floor and began peeling the paper off the legs of my desk. Why had Holly done this to me? I didn't deserve it! And toilet paper? Where in the world did Liana come up with these ideas?

      After successfully cleaning up my desk and floor of all TP and tape, I stumbled back to the family room. Liana wasn't there. I breathed a sigh of relief and was about to collapse onto the couch once more when-

      CRASH!

     The noise, which came from the kitchen, gave away Liana's location better than a signpost. I ran all the way there, only to find another mess on the floor. Liana stood on the countertop, attempting to reach the highest shelf. A glass had fallen from it and now lay in pieces on the floor. I growled.

     "What are you doing up there, Liana?" I asked slowly, counting backwards from ten in my head.

     "Getting the cookie jar."

     "Why were you getting the cookie jar?"

     "To eat it! Whadaya think I'd do with the cookie jar?"

     I paused, temporarily caught off guard. "You don't mean you would eat the cookie jar, right?"

     She grinned like a vampire. "Maybe. You ever eaten a cookie jar, Toooooooby?" She stretched out my name until she was out of breath. Then she giggled and rolled off the countertop, barely missing the glass shards. I barked and shoved her out of the way. She ran in circles around me as I swept up her mess. Holly was going to get it when she got home!

     "Hey, I know what we can do! I know! I know! Lets go to the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop! We can get Chia Pops! Yummy!"

     "No way!"

     "Why not? You like Chia Pops! You-

     "Just shut up, please? Act like a normal Kacheek for once, please?"

     She grinned and said, "Okay. But you're a very mean babysitter!"

     I barked at her and she ran out of the room, giggling like a crazy little freak. Wait a second, she IS a crazy little freak! Ha!

     I collapsed onto the couch once more, praying for her to fall asleep or something. My friends talked about babysitting their siblings…but this was the limit! I fumed in silence for a while on the sofa, and then fumed some more. Why did she annoy me so much? Why did I have to be stuck as her babysitter? Why was she even created? Why- Then, one of my long ears raised, I noticed something. The house was deathly quiet. No sounds of scampering Kacheek feet, no crashes or bangs that usually followed Liana wherever she went. I stood up and called her name.

     "Liana?"

     No answer came.

     "Liana, answer me!"

     Still no answer came. I groggily got up from the couch and walked around the house, calling for her like one might a lost Warf. But I couldn't find her anywhere. I began to get annoyed.

     "Liana, this isn't funny. You'd better come out right now or I'll…I'll…" The empty threat died in my throat. My anger turned slowly to worry. What if she was sick or something? It would be my fault. Or at least that's how Holly Anne would see it!

     I'd soon searched the entire house but my sister was nowhere to be found. I started to freak out, just a little. What if she had run away or locked herself up somewhere or…gone to get some Chia pops?

     Let's go to the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop! We can get Chia Pops! Yummy!

      Oh, dear Fyora, that's what she'd done. It would be just like her to sneak off. We didn't live anywhere near the shop, though, and her scarf and mittens were still hanging in the closet! That crazy little Kacheek! I hurriedly put on my own scarf and bolted out the door. I ran all the way to Happy Valley, calling her name the whole time. Holly would kill me! What if Liana got kidnapped or something? But ...who'd want to kidnap her? said a voice inside my head. I smiled a little. I had to find her.

      I ran around the valley, told everyone that I'd lost my little sister, searched behind every rock and stone around every corner, but she didn't turn up anywhere! I sat under a large pine tree, exhausted. What was I going to do?

      Suddenly, a snowball hit me in the back of the head.

      I looked up. A purple Kacheek was sitting in the branches above me, shivering, with a paw full of snow.

      "Liana!" I didn't know whether to shout or laugh. She slowly clambered down from the tree and gave me a hug.

      "I only wanted a darn Chia Pop!" she howled. "But then I stubbed my little toe on a mean rock and then an evil Doglefox started chasing me and I ran all around and then I got tired so I climbed this tree and then it started snowing!" She sniffed pathetically. "I'll never run away again, Toby. Even for the yummiest Chia Pop of them all!"

      I laughed. Was she really as bad as I thought? "I'm glad, Liana," I said. "And I will try to be a nicer babysitter next time. Okay?"

      She grinned a wide, wide grin. "Okay!"

     Holly got home a little later, cheeks flushed with cold and carrying several shopping bags. Liana and I were on the couch, playing Cheat! together.

     "Well, it looks like you two have had a great day! Do anything interesting?"

     We mumbled our assents and Holly smiled. When she left the room, Liana stuck out her tongue at me. She then proceeded to beat me very badly indeed.

     Oh well, I thought. Some things never change.

The End

 
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