A Screechy Situation
A shriek escaped from the next door house and made Aulyssa's ears fold back in a state of annoyance, twitching them a bit as she let out a low growl. The shriek was loud and scratchy, and it certainly set off her anger.
"Really? That's the fourth time today! I cannot stand the new neighbors, yelling like that," Aulyssa told her friend Hasiera as they sat at the table drinking apple juice.
"That wasn't the neighbors, silly Poogle," Hasiera replied. "That was their Kadoatie. They're known for constant wailing."
"They have a Kad?" Aulyssa said. "They can't stay here with that that non-stop crying machine blowing our ears off every two seconds. I'm going to knock on their door and give them a piece of my mind, that's what I ought to do..."
"What? Aren't those long Gelert ears of yours throbbing from the screeches already? We've got to convince them to get rid of it. It's a miracle the windows haven't shattered yet."
Just then, another piercing yell emerged from the neighbor's house, which made Aulyssa stomp upstairs to her room and come back down with thick winter earmuffs.
"You're exaggerating, Lyss," Hasiera stated. "Sure, the yells aren't very pleasant—"
"Not very pleasant?" Aulyssa interrupted. "Those cries are capable of waking up the Turmaculus in an instant. It might even be heard from Kreludor, for Fyora's sake."
"But Aulyssa, what kind of people would we be to ask our new neighbors to get rid of their noisy Kad? It's their petpet, Lyss. Would you get rid of your Huggy if someone complained about his constant hugging?"
"But my Maurco isn't annoying! His hugs are adorable."
"Point is, we're not asking them to get rid of the Kad."
"So you expect us to live with it?"
Hasiera bit her lip. She didn't know of a solution that wouldn't involve abandoning the Kad, and she didn't know what to tell Aulyssa. Aulyssa was a stubborn Poogle, and she'd take a decision without thinking twice, so Hasiera always tried to stop her from doing anything crazy.
"I suppose... we would have to deal with it. For now."
"What? Can't we just kidnap the little pest and ship it to Mystery Island or something?" Aulyssa asked impatiently.
"You know better," Hasiera walked over to the couch and plumped herself on a squishy pillow. "And don't get any ideas, missy. Last thing we want are upset neighbors as well."
"Fine," Aulyssa grunted and headed for the door. "I'm going over to Meridell. It's quiet and it smells like Turdle dung but it sure beats the shrieks of the little rat."
"Don't get into any trouble."
"No promises." Aulyssa went outside and shut the door behind her. Hasiera sighed and closed her eyes.
Aulyssa walked a steady pace and didn't look back to her house or her neighbor's. She was sneaky, like a Hissi, and clever, like an Aisha. She'll find her way. She knew she'd come up with something to fix this screechy situation. She always does.
Going past Meridell and ignoring the ruckus and chattering, Aulyssa arrived at Neopia Central. The scene was calm yet busy, as most Saturdays are at a marketplace like this. Neopets were coming and going at every direction, with shopping bags from all the varieties of the shops. She made her way to the Petpet Shop, and entered.
Dozens and dozens of petpets of all shapes and sizes and colors roamed, with odd combinations of features and patterns and eager faces to be someday taken into the hands of a loving Neopet owner. Aulyssa walked to the front desk.
"Excuse me," she asked. "Do you have any information on Kadoaties?"
"Kadoaties?" the clerk, a friendly-looking Usul questioned. Aulyssa shuddered. She hates the perkiness of Usuls. "We don't have anything to do with Kads in this shop. Try the Kadoatery, located in the Plaza."
"All right," Aulyssa said blankly. "Thank you."
"Have a nice day!"
Aulyssa exited the Petpet Shop. Through Neopia Central and into the Plaza, she came to an old-looking building with faded brown paint and a sign that read "Kadoatery".
She opened the door and took a step inside. The lights were dim and there she saw an array of caged Kadoaties of different colors. Each one looked unhappy and hungry. Some were whimpering, some were moaning, but they were all certainly upset.
Aulyssa stood motionless staring at the lonely Kads when she heard a tired voice from behind speak up, "May I help you?"
It was a Scorchio, that seemed to work in the Kadoatery. It was obvious he didn't like his job and all he needed was a good, long sleep. His eyelids were half down, and he looked weary.
"Oh! Um, hi, yes. Do you, um, know how to keep a Kadoatie quiet?" Aulyssa asked.
"Are you serious?" the Scorchio said with the same monotonic voice.
"Those locked up Kads never have a moment of silence. They're always whining about, and sometimes even scream. The only way to keep them shut is to feed them their favorite food, but even that won't help for long."
"No other way?"
"Not that anyone knows of."
"Um... okay. Thank you," Aulyssa stared with an awkward feeling. She started to leave when the Scorchio spoke again.
"You don't happen to be here because of Luke, are you?" he asked.
"Luke, the stubby blue Kadoatie that was taken by some Cybunnies a couple days ago."
"Yes, I believe so. My new neighbors moved in last week and they recently took in an extremely annoying Kad that shrieks so much my ears are bound to fall off."
"Yep, sounds like Luke."
"You used to have him in here?"
"Yep. Loudest of the bunch. I was about to take him to Geraptiku and leave him there to be taken by a band of natives. Then the Cybunnies came along and I was happy he was outta my sight. Or out of my hearing."
"Well, I know I can't take him anymore either, and I don't know what to do about it. I've considered moving to a new neighborhood myself. But I was hoping you'd be able to tell me a way to keep him quiet."
"Well, then, I'm sorry, little lady. There's nothing I can do. Shop's closing soon anyway. Farewell."
The Scorchio said nothing more and opened the door. A flood of light entered the dim room and set off the Kadoaties to start crying again. Aulyssa stepped out, and then the Scorchio. The door closed with a creak as muffled whining rumbled inside. Locking the door with a rusty key, the Scorchio walked away as Aulyssa heard him mutter to himself, "Have mercy."
Once again Aulyssa walked through Neopia Central and headed back to her house. She let out a sigh as she heard a loud crash of glass breaking on the floor, followed by the voice of the neighbor, "Luke, not my grandmother's vase!"
Aulyssa hesitated to go inside her house when she thought of what Hasiera would always tell her: "Use your words." Her advice would never come back into Aulyssa's mind, as she took her own decisions. Not this time.
Knocking on the neighbor's door, Aulyssa kept still waiting for a long minute until it finally opened. There stood a friendly Cybunny with ruffled fur.
"Oh, hello! You're my new neighbor, aren't you?" the Cybunny said with a nervous smile. "Sorry about my messy fur, but my petpet refused to get in the bathtub and started yanking at me. He's quite the fighter and I'm ashamed to say to my new neighbor that I hope he hasn't been a trouble to you."
"HAS HE EVER!" Aulyssa steamed. "Ahem. Pardon. Me. Sorry. I mean, I believe I did, um, slightly overhear some minor whining."
"Oh, thank goodness," the Cybunny's cheeks puffed up with a grin. "I thought my Luke had been wailing so loud you could hear it from your own house.
"Anyway. That's behind us, isn't it? Care to join Luke and I for some cookies?"
"Sure! I mean, no. No, no thank you. Truth is, erm..."
The Cybunny's smiled seemed to have frozen and it was awkward for Aulyssa to stand in front of such a gleeful Cybunny without hurting her feelings about the most annoying petpet in Neopia.
"Okay, I'm just gonna say it. Listen, I'm glad and all, I guess, that you moved here, but you have to understand that your Kad simply won't stop shrieking! It's the loudest thing I've ever heard and it's honestly driving me insane. I didn't know what to do about it, and I've had several ideas I'd rather not tell you about, but I chose to confront you and hope you'd please, please, PLEASE do something about it!" She said it rapidly, but didn't hold her breath, for she wasn't afraid of an angry Neopet. Aulyssa had good fighting skills, and it was a mistake for anyone to mess with her.
She realized the green Cybunny was no longer smiling, but had a blank expression. Aulyssa felt hot, thinking her neighbor would go complain to Hasiera for her rude behavior. To Aulyssa, nothing was worse than an endless lecture from Hasiera.
"Oh, my," she blushed. "I didn't realize Luke was such a trouble..."
"Well, he does disturb my peace of mind quite frequently—"
"...but you shall worry no longer! I will send him to live with my sister. She has a very unique way with Kadoaties, and I'm sure he'll be well taken care of there!"
Aulyssa's mouth dropped with joy. "You'd really do that for me?"
"Anything to please a new neighbor!"
"Wow!" Aulyssa smiled, and even her ears eased with relief. "One million thank you's! And to show my appreciation, why not head to the Petpet Shop in Neopia Central? I went there earlier today, and they have a nice discount on Faellies." Aulyssa's smile quickly disappeared. Never in her life had she been so grateful, she'd be NICE. This was the kindest thing that's ever been said from her mouth.
"Oh, darling, how nice! I'd love to!" The Cybunny's tail swished in delight.
Aulyssa's smile returned. "All right. But first... I'd like to take a bite of one of those cookies you told me about earlier."
"Why not? Come in!"
Aulyssa stepped inside. Luke was weary and had fallen asleep on the sofa. She made sure to be her quietest so that he wouldn't wake up. Anything but wake up again. Entering her neighbor's dining room, Aulyssa's nose caught the scent of the glorious cookies, fresh from the oven.