Jacko fell face-first into the floor. The yellow Gnorbu had just tripped over a Codestone that was sitting in the middle of the floor in his sister’s room. That’s when his sister, Kristie, emerged from behind a large pile of books.
“Hey Jacko,” asked the baby Gnorbu, “what are you doing here? This is my room.”
Jacko rubbed his sore head as he stood up. “Mom said to come downstairs for breakfast.”
Kristie cheered and skipped happily out of her room, dodging the many plushies, books, boxes and other miscellaneous items that cluttered her floor. As she came down to the table, Jacko yelled at his mother, “I nearly killed myself in that room of hers!” He pointed at Kristie.
The baby scowled at her brother. “You did not!”
Saidy, the siblings’ mother, looked up from the pancake she was flipping. “Just sit down, you two. Breakfast will be ready in a couple of minutes.”
Jacko and Kristie sat down. Already sitting at the table was their oldest brother, Thatchel. He was reading a book. Jacko scowled. The yellow Gnorbu pointed at Kristie again and demanded, “Mom, tell Kristie to clean her room! It’s filthy, and there are Miamice under her bed!”
“I like Miamice,” objected Kristie.
Saidy looked over at them. “I’ve told you many times, Kristie. Your room is a mess, and it needs to be cleaned. I’m embarrassed to even let other pets in for a visit.” The purple Gnorbu peeled some pancakes from the pan and flipped them onto a plate. She placed the plate onto the table, and immediately the Gnorbu siblings began taking pancakes and placing them on their own plates.
“Mama, I try to clean my room, but then something more interesting happens and I get sidetracked!” protested the baby, pouring syrup onto her plate.
Jacko rolled his eyes. “Yeah, right,”
Saidy walked over to the table and eyes the two of them. “Now, I don’t want to hear any more attitude out of you!” she barked. “Now, when you’re done eating, I’d better see you in your room cleaning up, Kristie!”
Jacko was playing Sakhmet Solitaire in his room when he heard giggling coming from his sister’s room. He didn’t think that she was having that much fun cleaning, so he went inside to investigate. His jaw dropped when he saw what was happening. Kristie was sitting in the middle of the room, a small Miamouse scurrying across her back. The Gnorbu was standing on all four limbs, rearing up and laughing delightedly as the Miamouse climbed all over her.
Jacko dove in, tripping over a Blue Hissi Plushie while doing so, and plummeted into Kristie. He grabbed the Miamouse that was on his sister and dangled it by the tail.
“Put Ashley down!” cried Kristie, trying to grab the Miamouse.
“Who’s Ashley?” asked Jacko.
“Who’s your Petpet?”
Jacko shook his head. “Yes, you have a... Petpet named Ashley. Wonderful. But who, erm, what is Ashley?”
Kristie gave an impatient look. “Ashley is that Miamouse you’re holding!”
Jacko nearly gagged on what his sister had just said. “You’re keeping a Miamouse... that was living under... your bed? One of the ones that, like... feed off of... decaying stuff?!”
Kristie nodded her head proudly. “Yep,” she confirmed.
“Aw, gross!” Jacko twitched, then dropped the Miamouse on the floor.
“Hey, Ashley, come back!” Kristie chased after ‘Ashley’, who was speeding across the floor. The Petpet took cover under the bed. “Oh, thanks a lot, Jacko!” the baby yelled sarcastically. “Now Ashley’s gone!”
“Kristie,” explained Jacko, “if that really was your Petpet, it wouldn’t have run away from you!”
“She was running away from your big ugly face!” snapped Kristie.
“Whatever you say,” shrugged the yellow Gnorbu, stalking away. As he left the room he could hear his sister saying, “Come on out, Ashley. The scary monster isn’t here anymore. It’s safe to come out.”
“What’s the trouble?”
Jacko was sitting on the couch in the living room with Thatchel. The white Gnorbu was reading an issue of the Neopian Times, but he looked up from it to talk to Jacko.
The yellow Gnorbu was biting the tips of his hooves. He stopped for a moment to say, “It’s Kristie. She--”
“--isn’t cleaning her room?” said Thatchel, finishing Jacko’s sentence. “I also should know. She’s my sister, too, you know. And yes, I know it smells disgusting in there, and there are living things in there other than her, and you’re a neat freak, but, who are we to blame? She’s just a baby.”
Jacko thought. “I know, but it’s just that--wait, I’m a neat freak?”
“Just wait,” said Thatchel coolly. “There’s going to be a time when Mom finally snaps at her, and her room is going to get cleaned, but for now, just grin and bear it.”
“Okay,” gulped Jacko. “If you say so.”
That evening, Kristie leapt into her little bed, almost as if her floor was spotless, even though this was far from the truth. Only she could get into her room, because Jacko, Thatchel and Saidy would all trip. It was almost like a built-in security system.
“Good night, sweetie,” Saidy called from the baby’s doorway.
“Night-night, mommy!” Kristie called back, then lay down in her bed.
Jacko rested his head on the pillow, hoping that Thatchel was right, and their mother really was going to snap at Kristie.
Through his window, a Shadow Wocky wearing black clothes sat on a tree branch, staring at Jacko. He thought, No, I won’t strike him. He’s too paranoid.
He searched around the house until he spotted another window. He peered through and saw a baby Gnorbu lying in her bed. He would strike at that minute. He jumped off the branch and flew towards the window. The glass broke, and there were shards of it all over the floor.
The Wocky was determined to steal something, something valuable. He reached around, ignoring the frightened Gnorbu’s cries, trying to find something worth stealing...
“ARGH!” he screamed.
If he was not mistaken, he had just been bitten by a Miamouse. He looked for something else, but he stumbled forward, finding himself buried in plushies.
Meanwhile, Jacko heard the commotion and went to see what the matter was. He swung open Kristie’s door and gasped when he saw the thief sprawled across the floor.
The Wocky made an attempt to stand up, but he slid on a T-shirt and fell. He tried to turn his head, but ended up getting hit with a tuba. When he tried to scream out in pain, his voice echoed through the house, and soon the whole family of Gnorbus were at Kristie’s doorway, watching the aimless thief.
Saidy flicked on the lights. “Well, I’ll be!” she exclaimed, “A thief tried to break into my daughter’s room!”
“It’s a good thing we have insurance,” said Thatchel.
“I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that,” said Jacko. He smiled for the first time at the fact that Kristie’s room was messy.
That morning, the Defenders of Neopia came and arrested the Wocky. Saidy had bought a new window, and was ready to replace it. She sat at the table with Jacko and Thatchel, sipping her tea. There was no sign of Kristie.
“I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad Kristie’s room was a disaster,” said Jacko.
“Yeah, it seems almost as if it was... harsh to nag at her,” said Thatchel.
Saidy took a sip and stated, “Alright, I know what you guys are thinking. Kristie’s like some big hero just because she’s untidy. She should at least get those awful Miamice out from under her bed, but, I think I’ll buy her some slack from now on.”
“Deal,” Thatchel and Jacko said in unison.
Moments later, the trio heard Kristie’s voice from upstairs say, “Hey guys! Come look! I have something really amazing to show you!”
The family all stood up and rushed upstairs, all while Kristie was shouting, “Come on! Hurry!”
They all stopped before the doorway and gaped at what they saw. Kristie was sitting in the middle of the room, beaming.
“You’ll never believe it! I cleaned my room!”