Bloaty Belly Be Gone
"What did I tell you, Bellinda? Don't eat too
much, I said. Isn't that what I said, Markus? Nod your head, boy. I told you
to stay away from that rich carrot cake. And what did you do? Take three slices,
that's what you did. Yes indeed, ma'am, I counted all right. And then you went
with that pudgy friend of yours, Kolinne, and had those filling orange sweeties.
Just goes to show you the consequences of ignoring your mother's advice, my
Oh, the unspeakable agony of bloaty belly. My
stomach felt as if I'd tried to cram the entire Chocolate Factory into it, with
Pizzaroo for dessert. I half-wondered if I'd swallowed my little Usul sister,
Reina, in the process -I hadn't seen her since the luncheon at Kolinne's. I
was so bloated that I couldn't bear to even glance at my stomach, knowing all
too well the monstrosity that would meet my sugar pink eyes. And my mother nagging
me with her "I told you so" speech wasn't helping any. I couldn't seem to muster
up more than a groan to respond to her endless stream of words. Not that she
really needed any reply.
"And another thing, where is my brand new tube
of toothpaste? It was a lovely flavor, peppermint I think, and I can't seem
to find it."
I raised an eyebrow. Toothpaste? Weren't we
talking about the crippling pain my tummy was in? As I thought over the seemingly
random topic, something clicked. I distinctly remembered seeing Markus creep
out of the washroom the day before with something that looked suspiciously like
toothpaste. I put that disturbing fact into the back of my mind to ponder over
later. You never knew with that pestilent little brother of mine.
I moaned once more and clutched my rotund belly.
I couldn't stand much more of this misery.
My mother finally reverted to her fussy stage.
"Oh dear, we really have to get you something for that tummy, don't we?" she
said in concern. Without waiting for an answer she said, "Well, I'll run off
to the pharmacy and get you some Flat-U-Less tablets, sweetie." Ugh, sweetie.
I'd never be able to stand that word again. How had Kolinne gotten me to eat
those awful things anyway? Mother bent over to peck my forehead, fluffed up
the couch cushions I'd spread myself over, and rushed out the door like a whirlwind.
I sighed. Peace.
Wait, I'd forgotten about Markus. Now I had
to go and look up the antonym of peace.
"Look what I have," he sang out.
Afraid to look, but still curious, I lifted my
head to see what he was holding. What a stupid idea that was.
Markus grinned all over his face. "Your favorite
food in the whole wide world: broccoli and cheese pizza. Mmmmm." He inhaled
the glorious scent of the melted cheese and the pizza's golden crust. Then the
little monster held it out in front of my face so that I too could get a whiff
of the tormenting smell. My eyes followed the pizza, which he was swinging before
me like a pendulum. "Want some?"
I glared at him furiously. "Get away from me
with that thing, you irritating fur ball!" I tried to kick him, but he dodged
my pink foot nimbly.
"What's the matter, sis?" he asked in mock-concern.
"Is your tummy so big that your friends are gonna think you're a balloon?" He
poked my stomach. I let out an angry howl and kicked out at him once more; this
time my foot didn't miss. It made sharp contact with his stomach. He let out
an "oomph!" and fell back on the floor, winded. I craned my head to make sure
I hadn't damaged him too severely, but was disappointed when he sprang back
up like rubber. Resilient little bugger.
The fire Cybunny stuck his tongue out at me
and I longed to yank on it and tie it into a knot. That would have made for
some entertainment. With a disturbing giggle he dashed out of the room and to
the lair that was his bedroom.
As I mulled over the possibilities of sneaking
off to live my life as a reclusive Lost Desert hermit, I lay my head back onto
my pillow. I wriggled around on the yellow sofa to find a comfortable spot.
This proved to be more difficult than I'd expected; it's no joke trying to maneuver
yourself when you've got five extra kilos of pink tummy that weren't there the
day before. When was Mom coming back with those tablets? I wondered. I closed
my eyes momentarily, absorbing the sweet silence.
Suddenly, an explosive sound unlike any I'd
ever heard erupted from underneath the very sofa I lay on. I jumped up in fright.
What in Fyora's name had that been? My heart was racing as, wide-eyed, I bravely
leaned my head over the edge of the sofa to see what demon dwelled beneath it.
A pink and lavender blur darted out and I jumped again. I turned my head to
see a furious little baby Usul standing in front of me, her eyes ablaze.
"BELLINDA!" she screeched at me.
After removing my paws from my ears I looked
in surprise at my little sister. "What in Neopia is wrong, Reina? And what were
you doing under the couch?"
I watched as she gnashed her baby teeth. "We
were playing hide-and-seek, remember?"
I blinked at her. Oh yeah, I remembered now.
When we'd gotten back from Kolinne's house Reina had been dancing around me,
begging me to play hide-and-seek with her. Between my groans of pain, I'd absentmindedly
consented. Then I'd fallen onto the couch and started groaning again.
And completely forgot about Reina. Oops.
"I musta been under that sofa for days," she
bleated with a pained look on her face. "Without water or food, too."
I winced at the mention of food.
"Erm, well…" I struggled to find a way to soothe
her. "Hey, that must mean you're an awesome hider, huh?" Nice save, Bellinda,
Reina considered this for a moment. "Yeah, I
guess I am!" she cried, considerably perked up. I had to smile; she was too
The little Usul bounced into the kitchen, presumably
to get herself a snack, and I fell back onto the sofa. I saw Markus sidle into
the living room from the corner of my eye.
"What are you up to?" I asked, my gaze focused
on the fibers of one of the bright yellow sofa cushions. Did Lost Desert hermits
have cushions? Did they even have sofas?
"Nothing," he drawled.
Yeah, when Kaus fly. And Korbats swim. And-
"Hey, Markus!" someone shouted.
I swung my head around in all directions, wondering
where the voice had come from.
Markus rolled his eyes. "It's Lhoik. Duh."
Lhoik was a Kyrii who lived across the street
from us and was, unfortunately, Markus's best friend. This meant that he'd call
on Markus all hours of the day, usually by shouting out his window across the
street. Markus went to the window, which juxtaposed my sofa, and yelled back
"Can I come over?"
"No. No. No he cannot come over!" I said forcefully.
I was a sofa-ridden Cybunny and I wasn't going to look after two mischievous
vagrants, thank you very much.
Did being an older sister count for nothing
"Didn't you hear what I said, twerp? I don't
want your partner in crime over here, especially today."
"Aww, quit your bellyaching. Haha, bellyaching,
that's a good one," giggled the Cybunny.
Soon, Lhoik was hopping through our window,
which he thought very cool, and looking very pleased with himself. He stopped
short when he saw my vast stomach.
"Whoa," he said. "What happened to you?"
Did I mention that my brother has the rudest
I let out an indignant 'humph' and ignored him.
"She ate more than ten Grarrls could have at
her friend's luncheon," Markus told him with a smirk.
"Looks more like twenty," commented Lhoik and
the two began to snicker in unison.
With an angry growl I picked up a cushion and
hurled it at them. It smacked Markus right in the face and I silently applauded
Markus looked more than ready to begin a frenzied
pillow fight, but Lhoik steadied his paw. "Leave it. Come on, forget Lady Eat-A-Lot
and show me that new game you got."
Markus nodded and the two of them swiftly made
their way out of the living room, just as Reina bounced out of the kitchen,
munching on an apple.
"Reina, hon, could you possibly go and eat that
in your room?" I asked pleadingly. Even the sight of an apple made me sick to
"Okay," said the tiny Usul compliantly. She
skipped into the corridor and I thanked whoever had given me at least one obedient
I waited a few moments to make sure everything
was well and truly silent. I blew a sigh of relief, thankful that Lhoik and
Markus were actually being civilized and took up a book that sat on the side
table. The Great Cybunny Theft, it read. I grinned. I loved mysteries.
I was at the part where the Cybunnies had discovered
that the rare gem had been stolen, when utter pandemonium began.
"Bellinda, Markus and Lhoik are coming!" came
Reina's shriek. She flew into the room and threw herself behind the sofa.
I leapt a foot into the air at the unearthly
war cry. Into the room rushed Lhoik and Markus, with red and blue bandanas tied
around their heads and strange markings painted onto their faces with Markus's
face paints. But the most dreadful part was what they held. Markus was brandishing
a familiar tube of toothpaste while a few bright lipsticks belonging to my mother
lay in Lhoik's clutches.
"Look, there sits Lord Kass, the Usul minion's
leader!" yelled Markus, pointing at me.
"ATTACK!" the two cried in unison.
I squealed and tried to hop off the couch as
they charged at me. Instead I ended up falling onto the floor, and I was at
their mercy. With more battle cries they fell on me, the green toothpaste flying
everywhere, though mainly my face, and the lipsticks prodding my cheeks wildly.
My limbs flailed desperately, but it was all in vain.
"What do you two think you're doing!"
The two froze, scared stiff. Slowly they turned
around to see my mother glaring at them in fury, paws on her hips and a paper
bag sitting beside her.
"Uh, hi, Mom."
"Hello, Markus's mom."
I smirked all over my toothpaste and lipstick-covered
face. As my sweet mother began to severely chide at the two of them, I managed
to crawl over to the paper bag that still sat on the floor. Finally, my Flat-u-less
tablets had come to me. I stuck my paw into the bag and pulled out a compact
of gold eyeshadow. I guess she'd gotten sidetracked. I rummaged through the
bag's contents for a while before…
"Mom," I bawled, "you forgot the Flat-u-less
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