Cleaning the Closet
"You have got to be kidding me. You are kidding, right Icy?"
asked Star nervously, her amber eyes darting nervously from the owner to the closed
"No, I'm not," Icy said with a smile, brown
eyes dancing with merriment. "All three of you are going to clean up the hall
closet while I'm gone. Besides, it's all of your stuff."
"But that's not fair!" protested Sugar, the
strawberry Moehog. "It's going to take us hours! We should be outside breathing
in clean, fresh air and relaxing during the summer. Not cleaning a dusty, old
"Ever heard of summer cleaning?"
"No, only spring cleaning," retorted Star grumpily,
her arms folded across her chest.
"Well now you have," said Icy, scooping her
brown hair back into a ponytail. "I want to see that closet absolutely clean
when I get back from shopping, understand? And if it isn't…no dessert for two
"We'll clean it! We'll clean it!" exclaimed
Sugar, eyes widening in horror. Like it or not, the strawberry Moehog was addicted
to sugar and sweets and the idea of not having them for two days was unthinkable.
"Good. I'll be back by four," Icy said, grabbing
her purse off of the small hall table. "Bye!" With a wave the young owner left
the house, the door echoing with a resounding thud behind her.
"Are we really going to clean it?" asked Searklarry,
the youngest member of the family.
"No!" cried Star.
"Yes!" yelled Sugar, the two girls glaring daggers
at each other. "We. Are. Cleaning. It," ground out the Moehog, eyes flashing.
"We can't obey Icy, can we?"
"Technically we could," said Searklarry. "And
then just not get dessert."
"I'm cleaning it," said Sugar, mouth in a determined
line. "I for one want dessert and for Icy to respect me. You two can either
help or not."
"Fine! I'll do it!" snapped the starry Elephante,
her trunk wrinkled in distaste. "Searklarry, are you with us?"
"I guess so," the blue Tuskaninny said. "But
who's going to open it?"
Both sisters turned to look at their younger
brother. "Oh no, I'm not doing it," Searklarry said, backing away from his sisters,
paws up in a defensive position.
"Fine, I'll do it," grumbled Sugar, stepping
cautiously next to the ancient wooden door. Gently, her hoof turned the handle
and the door creaked open.
At first everything was all right, the years
of accumulated junk just sitting there. But with a groan it started to crumble
from the shape it had taken over the years. "AVALANCHE!" screamed Sugar turning
tail and running.
Unfortunately, outrunning the closet avalanche
was harder then it looked. The wave of old toys, clothes, papers, and dust rained
down on the trio, the roar deafening. A few seconds later the rumble stopped
and now the only thing visible in the hall were the piles of junk.
From the largest pile Sugar poked her head out,
her green hair now a light shade of gray from all of the dust. "It's a good
thing none of us are allergic to dust," she commented, clambering out of the
pile and shaking herself free of dust.
"How does Icy expect us to clean this?" snorted
Star, appearing from under another pile of junk. Her trunk reached back into
the mess and came out with Searklarry, the Tuskaninny's eyes wide with confusion.
"What happened?" he mumbled, gazing blearily
up at Star.
"An avalanche," she said simply. "Where should
"I think we should dust off the shelves," suggested
Sugar, peering into the now empty closet. "Then we can go through the stuff
on the floor. We can make a junk pile, a keep pile, and a pile to donate to
the Money Tree."
"I'll go get some dust rags," said Star, quickly
leaving the cluttered hall for the more spacious kitchen where Icy kept cleaning
supplies beneath the sink. "Here we go," she said, handing a rag to everyone
in the group. "Just brush it onto the floor, we'll have to sweep anyway."
The Neopets attacked the closet, clouds of dust
billowing up everywhere. "I think," coughed Sugar, "we got it all." When the
dust settled enough so that the siblings could see each other they surveyed
Each pine wood shelf gleamed brightly, now free
of dust. "I guess we start going through the items," said Star, sitting down
on a clear spot on the floor. "Where should we put each pile?"
"Let's put all of the junk in this box," said
Sugar, producing a large brown box out of the pile. "We'll put all of the stuff
for the Money Tree in this container," she said, holding out a plastic crate,
"and the stuff we're keeping we'll just keep on the floor for now."
"Eeewww, look at this!" exclaimed Searklarry.
"I found my Grape Roll from a few months ago!" The object in the blue Tuskaninny's
paw was anything but yummy looking. The grape jam was now a moldy green, gray
dust clinging to the pastry.
"I told you I didn't eat it!" jeered Sugar,
prancing about the mess. With her craving for sweets, cookies and cakes often
gone missing were trailed to the guilty Moehog.
"But how did it get in the closet?" pondered
"What's it matter?" gasped Searklarry, a paw
clamped down on his bright red nose. "It smells awful!"
"So put it in the junk box," ordered Star. Searklarry
nodded and gave his sister's a wide berth so they wouldn't have to smell the
offending treat. Out of all three of Icy's Neopets, Searklarry was easily the
most forgiving and respectful, a quality that either made his life good or got
him dragged along in one of his sister's pranks.
"Hey look!" exclaimed the Moehog, holding up
a thin white box. "Chocolate!" Eagerly, she tore off the red ribbon that held
the lid on and popped one of the dark candies into her mouth.
She chewed contentedly for a several seconds
before her face became on odd shade of green and Sugar ran down the cluttered
hall for the bathroom. She appeared moments later and threw the box of chocolates
in the garbage pile.
"I think they were past their expiration date,"
she muttered, stomach still doing flip-flops.
"How about no more sampling the food we find
Sugar?" suggested Star. "I think your stomach would like that." Sugar nodded
and started to dig through some of the things around her, tossing more old food
and papers into the trash box.
"Awww," cooed Searklarry, holding something
to him. "Look what I found!" He held out a photo of a baby Star and Sugar, the
Moehog pulling on the Elephante's tail, a large pacifier in Star's mouth. "You
guys were so cute!"
"Oh god, look at me!" squealed Sugar, grabbing
the photo from her brother. "I was still red! And look how big my feet are!…Wow,
I had that big of feet?" she wondered, passing the photo onto Star.
"You always were a little devil," snickered
Star, looking at the antics of the baby Moehog "Do you remember the time you
switched my milk bottle to extra sour lemonade? My mouth looked like a Koi's
"Wasn't it great?" laughed Sugar, a large grin
on her face. "I wish you could have been there Searklarry."
"Yeah," he said softly, not meeting either of
"Don't feel down Searklarry," comforted Star,
placing a paw on his shoulder. "You've had your fair share of pranks with us
to last you a lifetime now, haven't you?" He nodded and went back to cleaning,
a slight smile on his face.
Searklarry had been adopted from the pound by
Icy when she'd gone looking for a younger brother for her girls. She said they'd
needed someone who liked bugs and all sorts of boyish things. Odd thing was,
Searklarry wasn't that fond of bugs or fighting. He was rather shy and quiet,
never wanting to interrupt anyone.
"Look at this!" gasped Sugar, holding out a
small trophy. "I never knew Icy played Cheat before! And she said all of this
stuff was ours…isn't this hers?"
"That's mine!" cried Star, snatching the trophy
from her sister. "It's one of my trophies from the Beauty Contest you baka!
I thought I'd lost it," she murmured, tenderly rubbing the dust off of the shining
metal. "Ah ha! It's first!"
"Actually it's third," supplied Searklarry.
"See? It has a three right there…and it looks more bronze then gold."
"But…third?" she exclaimed. "Do I honestly look
that bad? Maybe I should go on a diet! No more desserts for me! I'll start exercising
"Calm down Star," giggled Sugar. "It was one
of your first contests…you probably didn't know how to behave properly yet.
You look beautiful, you always have."
"Thanks Sugar," said Star, a blush forming over
her cheeks. "I do remember those first few contests though…I didn't know you
had to stay on the platform and wait for the judges. I think I was eating a
snack at the first contest and they completely missed me."
Searklarry laughed softly. "You've never struck
me as impatient Star. That's Sugar's job."
"Well I stole it," the Elephante said with a
smile, still cradling her trophy. "Besides, Sugar is the oldest…she's supposed
to act more responsible. Now back to work everyone! We should make sure this
closet is clean by the time Icy gets home."
But cleaning out the hall closet turned out
to be more of a game then an actual chore. And with fun and games the real job
"Catch!" yelled Star, launching a Blue Aisha
Keyring to Seaklarry. The Tuskaninny caught it and set it into the plastic crate,
already full of toys and old clothing items to go the Money Tree for pets who
really needed them.
Sugar paraded across the ground with hats stuck
on her front tusks, easily dunking the flying key chains. "Hey, Searklarry!
Can you help me get these off?" she asked, pawing at the hats. "My hoofs won't
Searklarry pulled each article off of the Moehog's
large teeth and placed them in the crate as well. "It's almost full," he called
to Star. "So is the junk box. But the floor is clean and the closet is orderly
for the first time in years. We're all done."
But Star didn't seem to hear him, her eyes riveted
on a small black box, the last item out, that sat on the floor. "What's wrong
Star?" asked Sugar, noticing the whites of her sister's eyes.
"Do you hear that?" she whispered, taking a
nervous step backwards.
"Oh my god," whimpered Sugar. "It's a bomb!
We must have accidentally triggered it when we opened the closet."
"What do we do?" wailed Searklarry. "We're too
young to die!"
"We should bring it up to the Police Office,"
said Sugar, her eyes never leaving the ticking box. "Someone there can disable
"And how do you suggest we get it there?" asked
Star icily, her amber eyes meeting Sugar's emerald. "Carry it?"
"Precisely. We'll just have to hope it doesn't
blow up while we move it." Searklarry's mouth fell open in shock and Star just
continued to look at Sugar like she was the most insane Neopet she'd ever met.
"At least we finished the closet," muttered
"I'm going to go get a basket and some pillows,"
said Sugar. "We'll carry it like that so it won't get bumped." The strawberry
Moehog took off down the hall for the linen closet in the bathroom. She came
back moments later with several fluffy, white towels and a basket that used
to hold shampoos on her tusk.
Placing the basket on the floor with Searklarry's
help, Sugar spread the towels inside, carefully making sure that each piece
of wicker had padding on it. "How do you think we should transfer it into the
"Tongs?" proposed Star. "We don't want to actually
touch it…our body heat could set it off."
"Tongs it is," announced Sugar. "Searklarry,
could you go get a pair from the kitchen?" The blue Tuskaninny nodded and inched
around the black box, mouth drawn in a thin line of tension.
Once he was safely around it the youngest of
the trio took off into the kitchen, the clinking of silverware reaching the
girls' ears. Searklarry arrived back in the hall, a pair of bright red tongs
clutched tightly in his paw.
"Who's going to do it?" he asked, knowing none
of them wanted to be blown up.
"I will," said Sugar bravely. Taking the tongs
from her brother she positioned them around the box and gently picked it up,
her breath bated. Nothing happened. Lowering it slowly into the basket, Sugar
breathed a sigh of relief when it was placed safely down, no loud explosion
ripping through the house.
"Are we supposed to carry it down the middle
of the street and into town?" asked Searklarry. "What happens if it blows? A
lot of Neopets will get hurt."
"We have to get it to the police as soon as
we can," stated Sugar. "We'll just have to hope for the best. I'll carry it
on my tusks…it will get bumped around the least there. Star? Can you put the
handle on for me?"
Gingerly the starry Elephante picked up the
basket handle and slid it onto her sister's tusk, fear etched in both of their
faces. If it were to go off Sugar would die for sure. "Let's go," said Sugar
anxiously. "I want to get this over with quickly."
The trio trooped out of the Neohome, Star remembering
to lock the door behind them even with the situation so desperate. They walked
as fast as possible, Sugar having to take gliding steps to relieve the jolting
on the basket.
They walked past the Pharmacy and skirted around
the Rainbow Pool, being as careful as they could to not go near anyone else
in fear of endangering them. Going up the small cobblestone path the group arrived
in front of the tall Police Station, the black brick imposing against the bright,
green grass surrounding it.
"Let's go in," said Searklarry, pushing the
door open for the three of them.
"Can I help you?" asked a rather pudgy yellow
Grarrl sitting behind a desk at the entrance.
"We found a bomb," said Star. "It's in this
"A bomb you say?" The officer immediately rose
from his chair and walked over to the family. The dull ticking reached his ears
and he whistled softly. "Hey! Bruno!"
A blue Gelert poked his head out of a door towards
the back of the station. "Yes Dobson? What is it?"
"These kids brought in a bomb. Call the Chia
Bomb Squad, would you? We'll take this out to the Grassy Plains and deactivate
it there…don't want to blow the building sky high."
"I'll call them now," Bruno said, ducking back
into the office. "Get that bomb out of here now Dobson! Hurry up!" The yellow
Grarrl pulled the basked off of Sugar's tusk and gestured for the three Neopets
to follow him out of the building.
"Where exactly did you find this bomb?" he asked,
walking through the streets of Neopia towards the Grassy Plain.
"Bomb!" cried out a passing faerie Acara.
Other citizens of Neopia heard the cry and soon
a small group had gathered around Icy's Neopets and Dobson.
"Yes, and it may go off at any second," the
yellow Grarrl said, shooting a glare at the crowd. "Please clear a path…we're
trying to get to the Grassy Plains before it explodes. Please move!"
Hurriedly the citizens moved out of the way
but joined the procession towards the deactivation spot.
A brown haired girl exited the Bank to see three
very familiar looking Neopets. "What's going on?" she murmured.
"Some Neopets found a bomb!" said an elderly
Bruce next to her, fiddling with her purse strap nervously. "They've gone to
"I see," Icy said, "then I'd best get going!"
Taking off at a run to catch up with the crowd Icy couldn't help but wonder,
'Did my pets find a bomb? Where?'
When she arrived at the hill a bunch of bright
yellow Chias wearing black jackets with the words 'Chia Bomb Squad' printed
on the back were gathered around a small box on the ground.
One was reaching forward with a pair of pliers
to open the box when it went off.
In surprise, the Chia slammed the pliers down
on top of the still intact black box, a shattering of glass heard as soon as
he hit it, the ringing disappearing. With a confused look to his co-workers,
the Chia opened the box with his gloved hands.
Sitting inside was a now busted alarm clock,
the face cracked and the bell lying limp on the ground. The crowd began to disperse
and Icy moved closer to the officers to see what they were saying to her pets
who had stayed behind.
"Pulling a prank like this is uncalled for and
dangerous," growled one of the Chias. "While we were gone a real bomb could
have been placed somewhere."
"But we thought it was real! Honest!" sobbed
Searklarry, not liking at all to be yelled at.
"In any case all three of you will be joining
Officer Dobson at the Police Station to wait for your owner to pick you up."
The three sibling exchanged guilty glances knowing they weren't even supposed
to be out of the house.
"Excuse me Officer," said Icy, stepping into
the huddle. "I'm their owner and I'd like to sincerely apologize for my pets
actions. If there is anything I can do to make it up to you…"
"Don't worry about it Miss," said the Chia,
"just keep more of an eye on your pets in the future." Icy nodded solemnly and
beckoned for her three Neopets to follow her.
"Are we in trouble?" asked Star softly, walking
dejectedly beside Icy, her head hung in shame.
"Is the closet clean?" Icy countered.
"Yep," said Sugar brightly, not as upset by
the incident as her brother and sister.
"Some punishment will have to be given," Icy
mused. "You did leave the house when you know you aren't supposed to and you
caused a panic attack in the town."
"Are you grounding us?" asked Star. "I guess
I'll have to call Kirjava and cancel our plans for shopping tomorrow."
"Oh no," laughed Icy. "The punishment is the
same one I said earlier. No dessert for two days!"
A dull thud sounded on the road and the group
turned, Star snickering slightly.
Sugar had fainted.
Please Neomail me any feedback you might have! Arigatou!