Disclaimer: I don't own the Power of Five (o_O)
Okay. This is my very first story I would like to share. Read on!
Cleanliness is Her Happiness
Sunlight sifted the French windows, muddy tracks were all over the hallways, shattered plates could be found in the kitchen, a trailer of a horror movie was displayed on the screen of the TV and the pitchy screams were bursting. The couch was cluttered with bits of pop corn. Magazines and newspapers were left scattered all over the floor. You would think a tornado visited this unpleasant hacienda and a baby Llama has somehow managed to get inside the house. It was munching a throw pillow. It was about to grow worse when Professor Chambers inspected each room in her house with a mortified expression plastered on her pale face. She finally arrived in the living room, firm hands on her hips.
There is only one explanation why her home was in a chaotic state.
"Boys!" She screamed it all out, tempting to claw her hair off while doing so. Her voice was earsplitting but the boys did not hear her. The only evidence for that fact is when a football came soaring into the living room, breaking through the polished windows.
Matthew Freeman was the first to witness the terror held inside Professor Chambers, then Pedro, then the Tyler twins. It was only when Richard stepped into the room did the uptight woman calmed down.
"It's alright, Joanna…" Richard patted her shoulder but she slapped his hand away.
"Oh, they've really broke the meter this time! I am sick of cleaning up their mess! I… I…" She wasn't able to continue. She glued her eyes on the four boys who were all sitting down on the jumbled couch, drowned in silence.
Matt's blue eyes were looking at her apologetically. His black hair was wild today. His hands were clamped together.
It was hard to believe to see Pedro wearing brand new clothes. A few months ago, he was a beggar. A nobody. But now, here he is. He still has a scrawny structure, his dark brown hair was long and his eyes were shameful at this moment.
The twins, Scott and Jaime, were now looking healthy. Scott's hair was cut short thanks to the Nightrise, an organization which made it a point to torture him— to make him turn against the others. He was quiet. But not as quiet as before. All thanks to Pedro's healing powers, his progress of returning to a normal state was going great. He sat looking dull.
His twin was more cheerful than him. And was easy to talk to. He brushed the back of the baby Llama that has strings of saliva falling out of its mouth.
They may be the Gatekeepers. The four of them may be part of the Five. But they are still developing teenagers. They could escape and defend for themselves but not clean? She couldn't let them depend on the adults in this sort of situation. She wants them to at least learn how to keep their surroundings orderly. She shook her head. "I want you boys to tidy all your doings and get that cria out!" She suspended her anger to see if they would complain.
None of the boys protest. But Matt spoke. "What's a cria?"
Suddenly, the baby Llama has launched a spit smack on the face of the heated professor. She wiped it off, hearing the suppressing snickers of the boys.
"A cria is a baby Llama!" She shrilled and treaded towards the door but stopped to turn.
Matt could picture smoke pushing out of her ears. "I'll be at town and when I get back," she eyed them crossly. "Everything should be spotless!" They could still hear her heavy steps and the slamming of doors.
Matt looked at Jaime questioningly. Is she gone?
Jaime instantly received Matt's thought. He rose to his feet and looked at the door where Professor Chambers vanished. He tipped his head down and finally after a minute he nodded. "She's gone." He scratched the back of the crias's ear.
Scott clapped his hands together, stretched his arms and legs casually. He yawned, "That went well."
Pedro nodded glumly, burying his face in his hands. "I think Professor Chambers is really mad."
"Oh, you think, Pedro?" snorted Jaime. Matt found his feet and paced around the devastating room.
"Who threw the football?" demanded Richard, reaching for it. It was still resting on the ground that was also supporting the pieces of broken glass. Scott shrugged, zipping his eyes close. "Matt was teaching Pedro how to play football and when Pedro tried to throw it to Jaime, it accidentally wounded up here."
Hearing the truth, Pedro groaned. "I am sorry! I told you, it's bad idea, Matteo!" He was getting good in his English though his accent was still thick. Matt sighed. "At least you experienced playing the game."
"That's right!" Jaime agreed brightly.
"And what about the... cria?" Richard pointed his slender forefinger at the baby Llama.
Matt, Pedro and Scott gazed at the obvious suspect.
"What?" Jaime looked at them innocently. "Just because I'm being nice to the... cria that doesn't mean, I brought it in."
"And just because we're looking at you, it doesn't mean we accuse you to do so," retorted Matt. He sighed and suddenly an intimating smell of Llama pee.
The cria has decided to turn the battered couch into its personal toilet.
"That's rude, Llama Duck!" said Jaime, stepping away from the couch and the cria. "Get outside and do the rest of your business there!"
The cria actually understood him and it did his order.
"I didn't we could control animals..." muttered Scott. "I tried controlling this monkey but he never listens."
"A monkey?" Matt made a face.
"What if I don't?"
Scott shook his head disappointedly. "I told you the monkey won't listen!"
Matt scowled at him.
Jaime rolled his eyes. "The Llama duck is fond of me that's why."
Pedro looked at Jaime confusingly. "You call cria... Llama duck?"
Jaime nodded. "There's a song for that! Ah-hem. Here's a Llama, there's a Llama and another little Llama! Fuzzy Llama! Funny Llama! Llama, Llama duck! Llama, Llama cheesecake! Llama-"
"Stop singing, Jaime. They got it already." Scott said.
Jaime shrugged. "Killjoy."
The only adult in the horrid room cleared his throat. "I'm sorry to rain on your parade… but aren't you boys going to clean all your mess?" Richard has brought the reminder to life again. Matt nodded and looked at his guardian slyly. "So, does that mean you would help us?"
Richard smirked. "I'm going to hit the road again." He went out of the room before Matt could stop him. He looked around grimly. Let's just say, he has gotten used to having Professor Chambers sweeping their droppings away.
Scott yawned once more, running his finger through his cropped hair and got off of the couch. "Well, I feel sick at this moment so…" He was already close to the doorway but Jaime seized his hand. "Oh, no you don't!" He hauled his twin back with all his effort. "Everyone should help in cleaning!"
"I reckoned we could start cleaning this room," said Matt, beckoning the others. "The sooner the better…"
• • •
Matt glanced at the wall clock pinned on the kitchen wall. It was two in the afternoon. He predicted that Professor Chamber would be coming back at exactly five o' clock, since she must be probably in the marketplace buying food. They have accomplished in cleaning the living room which appears like nobody has touched it for century, the hallways that used to be decorated with mud, the dinning room and the patio.
Though they have to start over with the corridors because Jaime has accidentally let his "Llama duck" into the house, leaving again, muddy prints.
Matt soaked all the plates and bowls which he and the others have used. His fingers were wrinkled from dipping in the water for too long.
Pedro was arranging the glassware, dinnerware and whatnot in the shelves. He was determined to shape everything, still thinking it was his fault for Professor Chamber's outburst. He still has no solution on repairing the window. But Matt reassured him that he would find a way to sew the gap close. It wasn't large but it isn't too small either. Matt decided to let that problem go to the professor.
Scott was mopping the black and white tiled floor. He was beading sweat after mopping the whole corridors. He cursed inside for swallowing his brother's persuasion of helping out. His mood was worsening and it seems as if he was ready to explode. So Pedro was constantly brushing his fingertip on Scott's shoulder or hand or whatever that was in his reach. Scott glanced at his twin who was clearly enjoying.
Jaime sprayed the window, wiped the wet streaks using the squeegee they have found at the supply closet near the living room. He was whistling, hoping it would brighten everyone's state. But it annoyed everyone instead.
Pedro muttered something in Spanish. Jaime raised his head from overhearing Pedro's thoughts and he smirked at him. "Want me to sing the whole song to you, Pedro?"
"No!" Pedro shrieked. His brown eyes widened in horror. Matt smiled faintly. Scott rolled his eyes. Jaime was singing the annoying song. "Pancakes! Pancakes! Sugar-looking pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes! Sugar-looking pancakes!"
He repeated those lines over and over again. Matt didn't fail to see Pedro swore. It went on for half an hour. "I don't know if it's doing this stupid job or if it's hearing your stupid song that's making me hungry!" Scott griped. Matt laughed. "Yeah, I'm getting hungry too."
Pedro nodded in agreement, glaring at Jaime who merely shrugged. "Do you guys want pancakes, then?"
"No!" Pedro's voice was hoarse. He sheltered his ears with his hands and was shaking his head furiously. Matt grinned and rested his hand on his shoulder. "Let's eat something else. Something sugar-looking."
Pedro growled at him and was looking dangerously heated. But Matt ignored his reaction. "Our break time should last only ten minutes. Professor Chambers might be home soon." He glimpsed at the clock briefly. It's three o' clock.
"Make it fifteen!" said Scott. His body is worn out from mopping.
• • •
"We only got an hour left!"
Matt and the others were too absorbed with the action movie they were watching that they have utterly forgotten about their goal of cleaning. Great. Now Professor Chambers would totally turn into a fire-breathing Godzilla. Or worse than that. An Old One.
"We have to split!" said Matt promptly, flattening the wrinkles of the couch again. Jaime fluffed the throw pillows and positioned them in a pattern on the couch. Red, white, red, white…
"Anyway there are four rooms left. I'll take care of the study room. You guys get to choose the other three. The bathroom, Richard's room, Pedro's room—"
"My room?" Pedro tilted his head puzzled. "Why, my room?"
"Well… My room is clean. I fixed it as soon as I wake every morning. The twins' have obviously kept it clean but um, awhile ago… I saw your room and…" Matt chose his words carefully. "It still needs a bit cleaning."
"I'll clean it for Pedro!" declared Jaime, smirking maliciously at him. Pedro gaped at him dubiously. "No! No! No! I clean my room! You might put ugly pancakes in my room! "
"Too late, I said it!" said Jaime, nodding contently at Pedro's rumbling reaction. Matt turned to the Scott and Pedro. "Which one of you will take care of Richard's room and the bathroom?"
"Why Richard's room?" grumbled Scott.
"We mess with his things remember?"
Scott blinked and soon, he could see the image of the four rummaging around the man's room at the back of his mind. "Oh. Yeah… do you think he'll notice?"
"He hasn't entered his room yet," said Jaime. Matt nodded. "So, we're safe for now."
They were caught once and Richard gave them the silent treatment which was so unlike of him. But still, it was a torment since he is more carefree than the professor. "So… who will take care of the bathroom?" They all exchanged glances. The bathroom has to be the most revolting place— with the toilet and all…
Unfortunately, Pedro wasn't quick enough to put his words into English.
"I'll clean Richard's room!" said Scott abruptly. Pedro released a very long curse and was stomping on the ground miserably. From the look Scott worn, Matt knew he was reading Pedro's mind. "Is that so? Fine. Let's see..."
Matt was the only one who didn't know what their plan was. Jaime obviously knew, hearing his brother's thoughts. Matt looked at them confusingly. Scott and Pedro just stood in the center of the living room, eyes stuck together. Jaime noticed Matt's bewilderment. "Want to guess who will win the staring contest?"
"Staring contest?" Matt looked at Jaime completely ridiculed from the other two boys' scheme.
"Blink… blink… blink… blink…" Scott muttered the words. He was using his power to make Pedro do what he commands. But somehow, Pedro resisted.
"You are not fair," mewled Pedro.
"You shall blink. Blink… blink… blink…" Scott continued. They were not blinking for at least a minute. Until, Matt who has gotten quite impatient decided to give them a challenge. He waved his hand in front of their faces. Pedro's hand twitched. His eyes were trying hard to hold their ground. Scott molded his hands into fists. His teeth gritted. "Stop that Matt!" he hissed.
Matt rolled his blue eyes. "End the game already!"
Jaime's lips stretched into a mischievous grin. "Flying pancakes!" he shouted.
"Huh?" Unknowingly, Pedro has blinked from glancing at Jaime who was howling with joy. Scott snickered, "You blinked. So you'll take care of the bathroom." He hi-fived his brother gratefully.
Pedro whined in Spanish. But they can't waste another minute for games.
Pedro's room needs a serious makeover. Jaime grimaced at the room he was about to clean. The bed was tossed all over. His clothes spread on the wooden floor that groaned when Jaime landed a mere foot. He took one more step and felt something cracked underneath his house slippers. He backed away and lifted a dirty sock which actually ate a moldy pizza.
Jaime struggle to keep his scream inside. He flung it across the room, disgusted. "Pedro… what on Earth have you been doing!"
It's going to be a long hour for Jaime. He wished he didn't clean Pedro's room. But it was better than the bathroom.
Scott didn't like cleaning another person's room but it was better than the bathroom. He has already made Richard's bed, wiped the dust off on the boards of his shelf and he organized his newspaper rack. But didn't make it too organized knowing Richard might as well freaked out. He was halfway through, until he found a chest that carried all of Richard's personal items.
He peered and a smile formed on his face. "Well… well… well… what do we have here?"
Pedro gulped and shuddered. He has cleaned the mosaic-tiled floor and it was much to his surprise, sparkling. The sink was done. The bathtub too, though he was still feeling nauseous about pulling the tufts of hair out of the drain. Lord knows where the hair came from… Armpits? Pedro shook his head. The toilet was his problem. Matteo has helped him with a few complicated things but he didn't bother helping him clean the toilet.
What should he do?
Jaime fortunately lived after cleaning Pedro's room for half an hour. He could hear a deafening noise below in the kitchen. He settled on seeing what it was. And it wasn't the Old Ones or the dark creatures he seen thousands of years ago. Llama duck and his herd were causing a racket in the kitchen.
"Oh, shoot!" Jaime looked at the mess. The kitchen has resurfaced. Every plate were crushed into bits. Jaime had to take all the pieces far from the Llama mouths. He caught sight of his Llama duck. He stomped towards it and pulled the plastic which it was sucking on.
"Shoo! Shoo! Tell your buddies to get out!" he commanded.
But the cria spit on his face in reply. Oh. Great.
Scott was chuckling to himself the whole time. Sitting like an Indian and flipping through the black journal- no, wait... diary of Richard. He dragged his finger down the smooth page, eating all his secrets.
"... Richard's girlfriend left him because of the overflowing toilet... it spilled all of Richard's... droppings..." Scott was disgusted but he still has the urge to read more.
Matt was done. He sighed in relief. It was easy clearing all the documents. But the books were hard to arrange in its genre but it's better than the stinking bathroom. And he knew Professor Chambers would really appreciate that. He swept the floor. Blow the must out. He glanced at the small clock on the study table. It was almost five o' clock. Professor Chambers's arrival would be anytime soon. He consumed a minute of taking pride of his job and soon he began to wonder if the others were done. A shriek reached his ears.
He took a deep breathe and rushed towards the bathroom which was just across. Did Pedro forget the instructions Matt has said? He looked down and saw water seeping beneath the door. "Uh, Pedro? Are you alright?"
"Matteo! The toilet is evil! I only put rug inside and now it trying to drown me with its water!" His voice was pitchy and he could hear splashing inside. A horrible feeling fired Matt. No, he didn't believe the Old Ones have something to do with it. If they are involved with the toilet issue, then Matt would be incredibly surprise. "You clogged it with a rug?"
It was quiet. Only the sound of water pattering on the door could be heard. "I was about to use tissue to wipe it inside but I thought rug would be better."
"And then you flushed it?"
"What flush? The only thing I did Matteo, was pressed this shiny silver handle. I think it's the way to clean it even more."
Matt sighed. "Hang in there! I'll go get the mop and I'll find an extra plumb!"
He didn't answer Pedro. He raced downstairs and into the supply closet which was located close to the living room. Fortunately, there was another plumber. He clutched it along with the mop. He began to make his way towards the stairway but Scott appeared.
"I'm done with Richard's room!" He was looking awfully pleased. He must have done something. But Matt didn't dare to think about it in his presence. "Where's Jaime?"
Before Matt could answer, Scott raised his hand, hushing him. "Oh, no... Jaime is in trouble..."
"He is?" burbled Matt. "Where is he?"
Jaime came out of the kitchen hurriedly and he frantically closed the door. He ran towards them, panting and sweating. The other two boys gazed at him in relief. Jaime's clothes were invaded by green filth. He looked exhausted and a bit traumatize, as if the Old Ones has terrorize him face-to-face.
"Were you rolling in the mud?" Scott asked.
"You don't look good," remarked Matt.
"Don't go to the kitchen," rasped Jaime. Scott looked at him mortified. Matt knew Scott has read his twin's thoughts. "Oh and next time, I'll clean the bathroom…" muttered Jaime.
"The bathroom!" Matt's blue eyes were becoming a refuge for fear. "I need to get there before—"
The main door has swung open. "We're back!" Richard called out.
Soon Professor Chambers emerged from their sight with Richard trailing after her. They both looked relaxed. Not for long… Matt thought. The twins stared at him intently, examining his thoughts and soon they understood what was happening in the bathroom.
"Well, I feel quiet sorry for scolding you boys," she said, looking at them. "But I must say… you really did clean your mess!" She glanced at her background, marveling the moment. Richard sent the three boys, two thumbs up with a wide grin.
A gurgling noise came from the bathroom could be heard. The boys glanced at each other anxiously. But Professor Chambers didn't seem to notice. "I'm so impressed. I'm happy for you boys!" she said pleasantly. "I bought you all your favorite food!" she said blissfully. Richard nodded, lifting the shopping bags filled with canned goods.
"And…" She paused and studied them carefully for once.
"Jaime… Why are you…?"
"I cleaned something so extreme," mumbled Jaime. Professor Chambers nodded uncertainly.
Without any of their knowledge, Richard has actually opened the door, freeing a herd of Llamas. Their hooves clapped the floor loudly, they all have their own plastic bags tagging along them. The hacienda has turned mad once more. The Llama invasion has just begun.
"What's going on...?" The professor looked around utterly dazed.
Jaime quickly act. "Look professor! Flying pancakes!" He pointed at the ceiling but he knew the professor has witnessed the sight of the rampaging Llamas.
Professor Chambers stared at him as if he's crazy. "I am not Pedro, Jaime!"
Jaime sighed. "My mistake..."
"Where is he by the way?" Professor Chambers looked at them with her hands on her hips just like a while ago. She was back to her old self within five minutes. What a record!
That's when they heard a shriek and a blast upstairs.
Pedro has been heaved out of the bathroom by the toxic waves. He couldn't stand being under the water again. Just like before… He laid flat on the puddle-infested floor. He groaned and spit out drops of liquid that came from the toilet. He moaned once more. Tremendously queasy.
Jaime looked at him. His jaw dropped down to the ground. Scott cupped his mouth to refrain from snickering. "Pedro…?" Richard looked aghast. Professor Chambers was shaking her head in disbelief as she walked towards her room to get a towel for Pedro. Matt budged from his stunned pose and came over to Pedro's side and he hoisted him.
"Are you okay?" asked Matt, gazing at the shivering boy.
"Toilet. Evil. Toilet. Evil…" Pedro cursed in Spanish and glowered at the bathroom. Scott lowered his head and pursed his lips. "Seeing this event reminds me of what happened to Pearl…"
"Pearl?" Richard looked at him, wincing. "Did you…?"
Scott shrugged and smirked. "I'll be happy to clean your room again. Oh, and Pearl isn't really a hot girlfriend... you should change that in your diary."
"It's a journal!" snapped Richard.
"Wrapped yourself with this Pedro," The professor shoved the towel into his arms. He blanketed himself, still shuddering while the professor has once again freed her stress by screaming at the top of her lungs, scolding the boys.
• • •
She stood outside in her garden, tending some of them with fresh water, even if the night has crawled. The four boys were fast asleep at last. The hacienda would be boisterous with the boys goofing around like every other day. But after the episode they had late afternoon, the hacienda was now still. The Tyler twins managed to lure all Llamas back to the fields but the creatures have left the whole place damaged and so obviously, Professor Chambers forced the boys to clean again. That includes Richard. She was sick of them.
But night time was the only moment she realized how dreadful it would be without the boys.
Not being able to hear a football game.
Not hearing the crashing of plates.
Not a sound of merry laughter.
"I see you're no longer fuming." Richard materialized behind her, trying to move silently but the twigs crunched underneath his shoes and the leaves rustled. "You shouldn't be so severe to them. They won't be here for too long, you know."
She sighed. That day would soon come. And in that day she will resumed her research without any teenage boys perturbing her.
"I know," she said, touching the smooth red petals of a rose that still has fresh dewdrops. "I hate those kids for turning my home into a hole, for disrupting my studies, for bringing mad things into this place. But…" she sighed. "I was actually wrong about making them clean the whole house because…" she faltered.
Silence hit the air.
"Because?" Richard waited. Professor Chambers rotated herself and the Matt's guardian was staring at a teary eye woman. "Because they have done enough cleaning… as the days go by… they cleaned all my troubles away with those ludicrous smiles and their stupid laughter," she sniffed. Richard smiled. "I'm sure when they hear this, they'll be touched."
"Richard has got that right…" Matt looked away from his window that was showing him the view of the two adults. He transferred his eyes to the other boys who were lounging in his room. Jaime chuckled and shook his head. "Are you crying Scott?"
"Shut up," he mumbled, blurry eyes and tears were almost pushing out. Pedro smirked at him not wanting to miss the opportunity to deride him.
"You'll dream of toilets tonight!" growled Scott.
"And flying sugar-looking pancakes!" added Jaime lightly.
Pedro glowered at the two American boys.
Matt shook his head. The days he so far spent with the three other gatekeepers… were always getting better. This has to be one of the best.
"Pancakes! Pancakes! Sugar-looking pancakes!" My sister kept singing it which is how it got itself tangled in this story. I'm sure some of my friends who could read this story would know about this song. ;)
It's truly annoying.
Anyway, in return for writing this story, please review! Tell me the positive side and the negative side.