Pack Up, Let's Go!
I gazed in amazement at the Neopian Times. There was an exciting picture of Petpets hurrying across a racetrack: a Warf, two Puppyblews, and a Feepit. All seemed as if they were panting and gasping in a way that I initially thought wasn’t possible for their cute little bodies. Gustallo poked his head between me and my precious reading material to look at the photo.
“Do you know what this stuff is?” I motioned to the photo.
“Oh, that?” The Jetsam motioned a starry fin towards the racing article. “Didn’t ya know that Petpet racin’ was a common sport?”
I shrugged. “I never had much interest in it...”
“Pah! Ya gotta get out more! Ya know, see the sights Neopia truly has to offer!” he replied. I could see the adventurous sparkle in his eyes.
“We get out!” I objected. I worked quite hard to keep his belly full, his health in peak condition, not to mention his closet stacked with the latest action figures. (Really, do you know how much an itty-bitty Jetsam Ace action figure costs these days?)
“Humph. The only place we ‘get out’ to is the Giant Omelette...” he mumbled.
“What was that?”
“Oh! Er, nothin’,” he said, and then returned to his room.
Adventure... an adventure...
I contemplated the word as I washed the dishes. My hands slipped the plates into the dishwasher while my mind was reeling over the previous conversation. It’s true that there are many places in Neopia that are visited every day, mainly for the gain of the owners and their pets, but there are also places that are there for shopping, thrills, and maybe a little bit of misfortune.
I absentmindedly dropped a spoon and submerged my hands in the soapy water in search of it. I yanked it from underneath a frying pan, but soon became distracted by the water smoothly flowing down my fingers and back into the sink, where it slipped into the drain as the pipes gurgled like the stomach of a hungry Skeith.
Where does the water go when it leaves here? I wondered as I peered into the pitch black hole in the kitchen sink. I imagined long, twisting, turning pipes going throughout the neighborhood, and the water inside of it churning with excitement in anticipation of its new destination.
“Even the water has more of an adventurous spirit than I do.” I whimpered.
But then I looked up at the calendar and smiled. 24th day of Eating? At this rate, the month would be over before I knew it, and all of the good weather in Neopia would be replaced by thunderstorms and windy days! Or perhaps it would simply stay the same, but either way, something must be done besides visit the Giant Omelette!
“Pack up!” I cried, the two words taking nearly all of the strength out of my body. “We’re heading to Maraqua!”
Gustallo burst through his door, almost taking it off of the hinges. His flippers slapped against the carpet and his sharp teeth gleamed like the starry pattern on his back.
“S-seriously?” He stammered at first but then regained his arrogant smirk and usual bravado. “Heh, so I see ya gave in to the logic of my argument, huh?”
I nodded, even though I had actually gotten the idea to go to Maraqua from the kitchen sink, but who in their right mind would want to hear that?
“Now pack your things! And make sure to bring enough to keep yourself occupied!”
He gave a swift nod hurried back into his room to prepare for the trip ahead. I turned and continued to my room, showing the excitement I was keeping deep within with a happy, whistling tune. Yet, I couldn’t help but jump and click my heels as I opened by closet to gather up enough clothes and games to last a week. Thank goodness I wasn’t still in midair, otherwise the tsunami of junk that flowed from my closet would have flipped me around like a Shoyru doing a loop-de-loop. I sidestepped the mound and looked at the mess that had strewn itself about my floor. Suddenly, I heard another crash and screams that melted into angry and vulgar comments. It seems that Gustallo was having a similar problem.
Too small. Too gaudy. Too big. This one has holes in it. That one smells like garlic. Why is there a Meepit in this jacket? Better throw it out...
I gazed proudly at the pile of clothing I had prepared for the week’s vacation. Then, I shifted my stare to the mountain of unwanted apparel that coated the carpet of my room. Maybe that fluffy jacket would be a good addition to my pile of vacation clothes. After all, it was just a Meepit, right? Right?
“Hey, are ya finished yet? I don’t have all day, ya know!” Gustallo complained as he barreled into my room, without knocking of course. He fell silent a moment and stared at the pile of clothes I had selected for the trip. At first, he smiled (which I believed was from the thought of going on an epic vacation), but then a snort, a snicker, and finally an enormous blast of laughter.
“We’re goin’ to Maraqua, not a slumber party!” he scoffed. “And last time I checked, it’s not too bright to go swimmin’ in a Meepit-infested jacket!”
I shifted my bewildered gaze from Gustallo to the sorry-looking jacket. He was right. After all, I would need a bathing suit and perhaps a few water toys. Gustallo turned away and said “Ya know if ya need any help with things...” He paused for a moment, and turned back to face me again. I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar light in his eyes, a kind smile spread on his toothy mouth. “I’m here for ya.”
“Oh, no, it’s fine!” I assured him. Gusty is the one that I’m doing this for. Although I enjoy the thought of traveling, I’ve always wanted to give him a gift that he would truly remember, not just some Jetsam Ace action figurine or a book about gardening plants with a taste for Neopets. I wanted him to be truly happy for once. “I knew there was something missing from what was in this pile anyway.”
“Have it your way.” He grinned mischievously. “Um, in the meantime, I’ll be looking for an exterminator for those Meepits. But then again, if you want, I could just handle them myself...” His grin widened into something more sinister. Just like that, the kindness in his eyes vanished, only to be replaced by the stereotypical attitude that was trademark to Jetsams across Neopia.
At last, the carelessly placed pile of clothes and supplies had been packed away, and quite neatly I might add. Not a single item out of place (except for the Meepit, who hadn’t turned up since). And now, the difficult task of carrying the suitcase out of my room.
“Yeah, yeah, I know these things are hard to find, but listen here, bub...” Gustallo seemed to be engaged in a serious argument. I peered into the living room to see that a fat, intimidating Grarrl was standing in our doorway. The label on his stained yellow uniform read ‘Neopian Pest and Petpet Control’.
“We ain’t got the Neopoints to pay your ludicrous prices!” Gustallo’s vengeful cries echoed throughout the house. I began to believe his ravings alone would be enough to run the Meepit out of our house.
“No Neopoints, no service,” the exterminator calmly replied, ignoring anger seeping from every pore on Gustallo’s body. With that, Gustallo slammed the door in his face, all the while muttering something about shovels and poison.
“Calm down, Gusty. We’re going on vacation, remember?” I placed a hand on his dorsal fin. I knew he would eventually get agitated, someway or another. After all, it happens around once a week, if not a bit more. “If you truly want to have fun this weekend, then it would be best to start off on the right foot, um, flipper.”
He brushed my hand off of his fin walked over to his suitcase, which was brimming with what seemed to be plushies and knick-knacks. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s get goin’, eh?” He strutted proudly towards the door and placed one bright, starry flipper on the doorknob. He hesitated to open the door and instead turned towards me.
“What’s wrong? You don’t want to leave anymore?” I asked.
“No,” he said. A solemn look returned in his eyes. “The opposite. I’d love to go, especially when it’s with you, Nina.”
My eyes widened at the statement. Even after all of the days that I have been with him, Gustallo has never said such a thing to me. He has thanked me before for favors large and small, but he has never looked at me and said something with such an honest tone. Despite the sentimentality of the situation, it was getting quite creepy and out of character for him.
“Alright!” I laughed. “Enough mushy stuff! Now, which lucky Jetsam is ready for an awesome weekend in Maraqua?”
Gustallo’s sharp teeth gleamed as he smirked proudly. “The only Jetsam with an owner awesome enough to take him there.”
Gustallo swaggered out of the house, back straight and tail swinging rhythmically from side-to-side. To tell the truth, I was swaggering too. Despite the extreme weight of our luggage, we picked up the pace in order to catch the next boat for Maraqua.
The Meepits rejoiced in our departure.