Stingpeesel jumped from dish to pan to wooden spoon to dish, frolicking inside the dishwasher running its cycle and spraying soapy hot water everywhere. Stingpeesel was a peemeekadoo. They looked like tiny Smeagols, but with round little mouths, smaller eyes, and big ears almost as big as the face. Stingpeesel knew about Smeagol because the owners of the house had once left the TV on over vacation, and his family watched weeks of movies and shows while they were gone, including the ‘Two Towers.’ Stingpeesel’s favorite show from that time was ‘Hawaii 5-0.’ Those were special days, but with the return of the Hansons, those days were over.
Light flooded the dishwasher and the water stopped.
“Aw! Why’d ya do it? Why’d ya? Why’d ya?” said Stingpeesel.
His older brother, Beedoopel hopped onto the dishwasher door and put his hands to his hips. “Because. Because. You cannit do this. Cannit. Even if mom and dad are gone for dragonfly dodgeball weekend, you cannit. You cannit. I’m in charge now.” He yanked Stingpeesel off of a spatula and shook the suds off him, whipping him like a dusty rag.
Beedoopel dragged him off the dishwasher door onto the kitchen tile and headed toward the den with the secret hole in the wall.
“But I wannoo hang on the ceiling fan and ride the dog and watch Hawaii 5-0.”
“Cannit. Not until the family in beddy-by. Cannit.”
A furry black creature rounded the corner from the dining room.
“Hissy cat!” said Beedoopel. “Drop dead. Hissy cat.”
Both peemeekadoos did exactly what their parents taught them and fell to the floor motionless.
The cat sauntered up to them and sniffed Stingpeesel’s head, then batted lightly at his body, but the peemeekadoo stayed perfectly still. The cat batted a few more times, jiggling Stingpeesel’s legs then clawed him good, throwing him in the air and lunging after him.
Beedoopel sprang from the floor. “No, hissy. Hissy, hissy, hissy!” He dove for the cat and wrapped himself around its neck. “Leave him, hissy, hissy, hissy. Leave him.” The cat rolled and clawed at Beedoopel. “Go, Stingpee, go!”
Stingpeesel got up and stumbled in a circle goggling his head.
Beedoopel held on, but the cat caught him with a claw and pulled him into his mouth, biting hard and piercing his body. “Bad hissy, hissy, hissy! Bad!” He twisted around until he looked eye-to-eye with the beast and roared with his most raspy and hideous voice, jabbing at its eyes as he did so.
The cat dropped him and withdrew a few tiles away, it’s head looking back and forth between Stingpeesel and Beedoopel.
Beedoopel snatched his brother and sprang toward the hallway leading to the den, but the cat sprang after them. Beedoopel dodged, then slipped between the trashcan and the cupboards, turning quickly to round back the other direction as the cat dove in after him, struggling to get through. By the time the cat pushed through and looked around, they were already through the hallway and into the den.
The cat sped towards them, slipping on the tiles, but when it hit the carpet its claws dug in and it shot right to them.
“Bad—” Beedoopel flipped sideways, yanking his brother’s arm to throw him behind the bookshelf, then stumbled toward it himself. The cat sprang and batted him just as he lunged for the gap in back of the bookshelf, bouncing him to the floor. Beedoopel grabbed an electrical cord, spun himself around it and flung himself onto a lamp table, tumbled to his feet, then with a run and jump leapt behind the bookcase, landing on top of his brother.
“Hee-hee! You made it!” said Stingpeesel. He frowned. “You’ve a hole in you.”
“It’s just a hole,” said Beedoopel.
“Can we hang on a fan now?”
“Cannit. Not until family is in nighty-nights. Cannit.” Beedoopel squeezed him through the hole under the baseboard and wormed into an electrical box behind an outlet.
Stingpeesel pouted, arms crossed. “Family’s not home.”
“Too dangerous. They see us and they bring freakout. Freakout bad, but not so bad as they catch us. Then they bring the destroyer. You know the destroyer?”
Stingpeesel wrinkled his nose and looked away.
“Whazzyname?” asked Beedoopel.
“Yes. Nashnulenquirer is bad, bad monster. Kill us all. Kill us all.”
“M’not afraid. M’not afraid.”
“Should be. Dad and Mom say. Should be.”
The back door opened and the girl’s voice squealed. The boy stomped in followed by the low tones of the grownups.
“See! You’d be stuck,” said Beedoopel.
“Not stuck,” said Stingpeesel. “I hide good. Real good. Not stuck.”
“So young,” said Beedoopel. “You think you’re invincible. So young.”
The two peemeekadoo brothers settled in for a snooze and waited for the house family to go into nighty-nights.