I stared down at my email; Six new messages. Behind me, my bedroom door continued to be pounded. All I wanted is a moment of peace and quiet. Ha, “peace and quiet”. I wish. I suppose this is what I signed up for when babysitting my two three-year-old brothers. It was more difficult than I imagined. Once I managed to take the Lil’ Scientists: Chemistry Edition away from Myles, Beckett would be opening the espresso container. What’s a genius to do?
“Come out and play, artee!!”
“Yeah, come out and pway!”
“It’s ‘play’, Beck!”
The pounding stopped.
Four messages were from Mirvena’s facebook page; No, I will not be your friend. How many times do I have to repeat this?
One was the confirmation on my library books at the National Library of Ireland, “Memory’s voice: Deciphering the mind-brain code”, “Nature’s Gambit: Child Prodigies and the Development of Human Potential”, “Understanding GIRLS; For Dummies”. The last book might sound peculiar, however it was recommended from one of the boys at school. I suppose he was being sarcastic. Time for a talk with Butler.
One more. It was from Father. I did a double take. This couldn’t be good.
Father was directionally challenged. The last message I had gotten from him was when he was lost in Peru, viewing some ancient temple in the jungle. The message before that, he was in a hiking group in the Himalayas, looking for Yeti. The message before that was from the Bay of Cola, on a business venture. I am not sure exactly what has influenced father to travel, but I expect being cooped up by the Russian mafia was a definite factor. Now, as I stared at the flagged message, I only thought, where will he be this time?
I opened the envelope.
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 15:41:29 -0800
Subject: see monsters
im sorry, but youll have 2 come pick me up on the Lear . bring the net. Seem 2 b in the Bermuda tri with a see monster. please don’t tell mom.
don’t forget to iron your socks ! im tired of picking up ur drycleaning.
– Artemis Fowl I
Aurum Est Vox
I laughed out loud, a rare thing for me. How typical; Father was lost again. But how am I to “pick him up” while watching the twins? My last robot, babysitter, and clone had failed. Let me think…
“Artee, why wher you laffing?”
“No, Charlie’s funny.”
“Uh-huh, but Bobby’s funnier! He can burp the Cleanup Song.” No, I thought. Please don’t start singing.
On Jul 25, 2010, at 8:13 PM, Artemis the Second Fowl wrote:
I am on my way. However, I am bringing the twins along, since I still have to babysit. I expect a raise. While you are waiting, I advise examining this link.
-*=+_ARTSTERS DA BOMB_-+=*-
After I pressed “Send”, I closed the lid of my laptop. “Myles? Beckett?”
“Do you want to go see Dad?”
“Where’d he go?”
“He…” Think fast, Arty, “…left on the boat to check out the water and got lost. Get your coats.”
“But I don’t want to go!!”
“You just said you wanted to go see him.”
“Yeah, but now I don’t!!!”
“I agree with simpletoon!”
Little kids. “I will bring espresso and Professor Primate. You can watch Barney the whole plane ride.”
“I wanna go!”
“Okay, grab your coats then.” When they scurried off to find their jackets, I let out a sigh of relief. Stage one of my plan had worked. But if I was really to scare away a sea monster, I was going to need some extra equipment, besides the net. “Myles?”
“Do you want to bring your chemistry set?”
“Okay, bring it down!”
“…can you stop saying ‘YEAH’?”
“YEAH!!” Myles ran away giggling. Brothers.
The aircraft neared the spot on the water where I traced Father’s email to be coming. At the speed we were going, we might just make it home before Mother came home. I took in the peaceful surroundings; no sea monster in sight. I did a sharp bat-turn, just to be sure there wouldn’t be a tap, since my lights were out. With the thrill of flying, I conceded that I could flathat until Father spotted us. I was at peace, when I sent out the flare. I was in a trance. I was manning the controls with graceful speed. I was-
“REALLY UGLY GREEN BERDIES!!!!” Myles and Beckett started laughing over the sounds of Sesame Street.
Four ugly birds. That could be- From the back, I heard squeals of delight. “LOOOOOOK!! ONE THE UGLY BERDIES LIIIIIIKES US!!!!”
“LET’S FEED IT OUR YUCKY SANDWICHES!!” They don’t like my sandwiches?! I heard a screech as the window in the ‘Unaccompanied Minors Secton: 4 myLes and simpltoon’ opened. “HERE YA GO BERDIES!! FOOD!!!!!!!” The giant green “BERDIE” swiveled its head around, and ate my sandwich in one bit, like a chocolate chip. I resisted urging to shout back in the passenger area, Look! Someone-something really does like my sandwiches! I was feeling pretty good about myself and my sandwiches until the hungry bird turned an even darker shade of green, and died. It was disgusting. Naturally, Beckett and Myles were glued to the window.
“Looky! He’s all exploded!!”
“He’s really messy.”
“CLEAN UP TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Ironically, Barney’s favorite song started to play from the identical TV’s all across the cabins. In my haste to turn off the power switch to the TV’s, I almost swerved into a giant green head. A cold sweat formed on my brow.
“We can drive, Artemis!”
I pondered this for a minute. How would they do in copilot…?
“We’ll eat your sandwiches forever!”
“And interrupt you when Holly’s over!” I couldn’t turn that down.
“Okay, get in copilot.”
“YAY!!!!!” They scrambled into the seat.
“Now, make sure we don’t hit the… birdie.”
“I have to go to the bathroom!” Shouted Beckett, a tad unnecessarily. He ran off. Myles grinned and turned back to the controls. When he came back, Myles turned around. “That took awhile.”
“Be shut, Mys!”
“…Beckett?” I glanced back into the passenger area. There were colored papers flying around like confetti. “Did you open the windows?”
“Yep!” Beck and Myles beamed. “You looked sweaty, so we cooled you down!”
“How’s that for observant?!” Myles added.
“I’m not overheating. I am simply nervous that we might collide with the sea monster.” Their faces fell. “…but I admire your awareness.” I added. “Now would you mind cleaning up the passenger area?”
Beckett glared at Myles. “What’s the magic word?!?!”
I sighed. “Please?”
“Def-nit-ly! Let’s go My’s!” They ran off. I only hoped that they wouldn’t get blown away. “CLEAN UP!!!” I smiled and spun the plane around. We were about half a mile off target. Suddenly, as if it were summoned from the deep, two gigantic heads of the sea monster swung to look at us. D’Arvit.
“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Look, he’s back!” It’s bloodshot eyes glared at the window where Beckett was leaning, then lost their focus. The head exploded.
“CLEAN UP!!!!!!!!!!!” BOOM!
“CLEAN UP!!!!!!!!!!!” BOOM!
“CLEAN UP!!!!!!!!!!!” BOOM!
“CLEAN UP!!!!!!!!!!!” Silence. Pin-drop silence. Then a cheer. And some claps.
“YAAAAYY!!!!” Beckett and Myles took turns bowing, then turned to me and asked. “Now, where’s Dad?”
“This place is a mess!” exclaimed Father as he inspected the remains of colored paper. “It’s brilliant!!” He grinned and turned to the twins. “But we have to clean it up.” He added solemnly. “Why don’t you help them, Arty-boy?”
“Yes, Father.” I knelt to pick up some fruit-smelling markers. “And, Arty?”
“Yes?” I looked up.
“Good work.” He patted my back.
“Now how are we going to explain this to Angeline?” I thought I heard him mumble on the way to the cockpit. “‘Just some normal family bonding-time.'” He chuckled, and the plane lurched to the right, causing the tower of colored paper the twins made to collapse. Instantly, I remembered something.
“Father, perhaps I should drive.”