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The Most Beautiful Thing


by azn_suga_babe

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Sometimes I can't even believe it. It seems like every morning that I wake up, I have to pinch myself over and over again, just to make sure I'm still sane, and that I'm not dreaming. Whenever I look out onto the ocean, memories of the most beautiful thing I ever saw comes rushing back to me, and those same questions always pop into my head, yet the answers are still unknown: Was that really her? Was that really the mother of all Peophins?

      Was that really Venuquin?

      I can remember it as though it were yesterday. I was climbing aboard The Cunnameta, bags and all, ready to find some buried treasure worth a king's ransom. The day was cloudless, and not a flaw seemed to be detected. Psellia gifted us with fair wind, making our Captain, Sir Benjamin, and the rest of the crew on board, believe that the journey ahead of us was going to be a most probably smooth one.

      Captain Benjamin greeted us as we arrived on deck. He was a plump, blue Tuskaninny with a slight grin on his face, just below his orange moustache. I offered him a smile, which he returned with a wink, and instructed the others and me to make ourselves comfortable with what room we had below deck, and get a good rest. I knew he was a kind man when he told us that he wouldn't need our help until the next day, which I knew he did. This wasn't the first time I had been a crewmember on a ship.

      As I settled myself on the bottom of a straw bunk bed, I slid what luggage I had underneath it, and lay down on my bed, just as the other crewmembers were getting inside. I smiled at each man that passed by me, hoping someone would start talking and break the ice. I waited just a couple of minutes, and already I was getting impatient. No one was speaking, just busying themselves with their luggage. So, with a sigh, I began to speak.

      "Hi, there," I said, plastering on a smile, "I'm Thomas. As you guys can most probably tell, I'm a green Mynci, and I'm lookin' really forward to workin' with you." That was really all I could say. I could hardly think of anything else, so I waited for any type of response. It surprised me that it didn't take very long for someone to answer, seeing as how no one even spoke until I did.

      "Hi, Thomas. I'm Pete. What's goin' on?" At last, someone had replied. Thomas was a red Kyrii, bandages all over his arms. I walked towards him, held out my paw, and he gladly shook it. I felt more bandages beneath my palm, and I was beginning to wonder what exactly this Kyrii did for a living.

      As if reading my mind, he chuckled, and looked at his palm, "Don't be scared of these old thangs," he said, looking at the bandages. "I'm a blacksmith, I am. Always workin' for the King himself, and other fine warriors 'round Meridell. That's where I be comin' from," he explained, his smile growing wider with each word that tumbled out of his mouth.

      "That's mighty interesting, Thomas," I answered, truly impressed with what he had said, "I work at the butcher-shop back home when I'm not sailin' these clear blue seas. My pa left it to me after he passed away - bless his soul. Believe you me, lad, you never get tired of that raw meat smell..."

      Our conversation went on, and I knew I had made an instant friend. For the month that passed, Thomas and I were inseparable. We definitely grew to be the very best of friends, and the men I was working with aboard that ship had never made me feel more at home. Those fine young men just like so many other people I've had the honour of meeting in my life, were really one of a kind.

      It was on a fine summer's night when everything seemed to be going smoothly at one minute, then horribly wrong in another. Pete and I were below deck, telling each other what stories we had heard in Krawk Island, our last pit-stop of the day. Suddenly, The Cunnameta lurched to a stop, and both Pete and I flew forward. Through all the confusion that was going on in my mind, I knew I couldn't panic, whatever it was that was going on above.

      "Pete!" I screamed, suddenly remembering about my friend, "Pete! Are you okay?"

      With a grunt, Pete got onto his knees. One hand was held to his head, and I knew there was going to be a bruise there the next morning, "I'm fine, Thomas... But I think I'm going to need a pack of ice... Quickly."

      I nodded my head, and hurriedly went to get the ice. That's when I heard the shouting. The men began to stomp their feet so much that it felt like a thunderstorm had begun. Quickly, forgetting about the ice, I scrambled up the wooden steps that lead to the deck, and what I saw shocked me.

      The men were opening up bottles of our finest wine. They were shouting and yelling, "Hip, hip, hurray!" running back and forth, here and there. Captain Benjamin was drinking merrily; singing a sailor's song which he had taught us just a month earlier. I scanned the deck some more, and I realized that the starboard side seated piles and piles of these brown bags. We'd never had those bags before...That's when I realized; we had finally found the treasure worth a king's ransom!

      I hurried down again, and though Pete was protesting quite loudly, I dragged him up, and told him the good news. Just like everyone else, we began to jump, celebrating with every last bottle of wine and song that we knew. It was a truly fine night, which was filled with laughter and cheer. Captain Benjamin would give us our share the next day, and in no time, we'd be home at last. Nothing could've ruined my day.

      Except for one thing.

      All the men, including myself, had fallen asleep on the deck. We had celebrated too much, our strength all used up.

      Drowsily, I got onto my knees. I could barely keep my eyes open. However, when I finally mustered up enough strength to do so, the mess upon the ship was incredible. Piles of bottles and streamers lay everywhere, piled up so high that I couldn't see where it ended. But, the treasure was still on the starboard side, still tucked inside their brown bags. I sighed with relief, knowing that none of the crewmembers aboard ship had created some sort of mutiny and stolen the treasure without our knowing.

      Just as I lay my head down to sleep, I heard Pete scream. At least a dozen half-asleep heads rose, unaware of what had just happened. "Men! Save our ship! 'Tis The Revenge! They have come to steal our treasure!"

      My mind froze, and my eyes widened in fear. To my surprise, no one reacted. Either they were too sleepy to even process what Pete had just said, or they honestly didn't care. Pete seemed to have the same thing in mind as I did, so, by instinct, he rushed up to me, took hold of both my shoulders and started shaking me vigorously.

      "What are ya doin' on the floor like that, ya scab-licking chicken! Our lives are in danger! Hurry! Round up the men! We need to get out of their reach!" he yelled, almost deafening my ears. I nodded, and began to do exactly what Pete did to every other man on board, just so they knew what kind of danger we were really in. By the way they started screaming and running about the ship, I knew they had gotten the point.

      "Cap'n!" another man screamed from the top of the sails, "They're gettin' closer! There ain't no way we can out sail The Revenge! 'Tis impossible, sir!"

      Almost stiffly, Captain Benjamin stomped towards the tall pillar and shook an angry first towards the sky, "'Tis not impossible! You get your tail feather workin' as hard as it can possibly work! Never say impossible, men! Never!" he screamed, getting our self-esteem raised higher than it ever was before. No one would steal the treasure we worked so hard in finding. No one.

      To my surprise, it was working! We were sailing out of their reach. It seemed like they would never catch up to us! And they didn't. But their cannon balls did.

      When the first cannon hit, it hadn't hit anybody, thank the Faeries. Although, it created a large whole in our ship, and just as I expected, the water started pouring in, and The Cunnameta began to sink. Men drowning and our beloved ship floating towards the bottomless pits of the sea clouded my thoughts. I would not let this happen to the ship, and especially not my friends.

      BAM! The second cannon came without warning, just like the first. It made yet another large hole in our ship, only causing the water to reach up to our waists. That's when it hit me. I walked as fast as I could towards the treasure, although no one dared go near it. Everyone thought that the closer you were to what The Revenge wanted, the higher your chances were of getting hurt.

      I took in a large breath. With all my strength, I pushed all my weight against the brown bags filled with the treasure I had spent months away from my family in finding. The other men, suddenly catching on to what I was doing, began pushing, too. I could hear the confused cries coming from the other ship that was actually starting to gain on us. I pushed harder. They would not get this treasure.

      With one last almighty shove, the treasure fell off of our ship, and into the sea. Though still in danger, the men and I began screaming with joy. I sighed in exhaustion as I watched the treasure float deeper into the ocean. With a smug smile, I raised my fist high into the air, and screamed at the top of my lungs, "You may have our lives, but you may not have our treasure! If we can't have it, no one can!"

      The men began cheering. Pete was patting my back in joy, and without any of us noticing, our ship began to slowly sink. Our screams of happiness suddenly turned into screams of fear. We had celebrated too soon.

      A Lupe from the other ship was standing on the highest pillar, and as he looked down on us he yelled, "Treasure or no treasure, you will sink to your deaths!"

      The water was now up to my chin. I hadn't learned to swim! There was no point in trying. So I let my arms fall to my side, and the water swallow me into its cold blanket. And suddenly, a strange, sweet sound entered my ears. It was like nothing I had ever heard before. It was so comforting, yet so mournful. The last thing I remember seeing before falling unconscious was a pair of blue eyes, as deep as the ocean…

     xxxxxx

      I woke to the sound of the waves, crashing against the silver rocks. I was on the shore of another island, and it was still nighttime. I coughed. Water spurted from my mouth, and it took me all my strength to lift my head. My tiny green head swivelled around and around, until I could see all of my other crewmates. Everyone from the ship was on the shore…we were all safe. But how?

      I groaned. I was in minor pain. I had a killer migraine, so when I saw her, I thought I was hallucinating. There she was, lying against a rock, singing that same song I heard when I was drifting into the water. And then all of a sudden, my headache went away. It was as if she was some sort of healer or something…like she could make everything better with just a simple verse of the song.

      Who was "she" you may ask? "She" just so happened to be Venuquin. Mother of all Peophins. The saviour of my and so many others' lives.

      Though still in pain, I used every muscle in my body to walk towards her. Once there, I slumped against the rock, and the blue Peophin looked down on me, with a smile. "Thank you," I said, even though my gratefulness could not be said in words, "Thank you for everything."

      She whinnied softly and rubbed her cheek against my own. In a rich, silky voice, she replied, "That was very brave of you. Believe me, it was my honour to rescue someone as courageous as yourself."

      My cheeks flamed. It was then that I noticed her lips hadn't moved once. She hadn't spoke at all. She had said it to me…through her mind. This night was suddenly becoming all too unreal for me to handle.

      Once again, she whinnied, this time in goodbye. I watched her glide out, onto the ocean, where other men would have the experience of being saved by the most beautiful thing they would ever see.

      I've told that story many times before, but no one would believe me. Not even my fellow crewmates. I was the only one to see Venuquin, and even though no one believed me, I still considered myself way beyond lucky. The years passed, and I've come to the age where I can no longer tell any stories. When I wake up, and look out onto the clear ocean, I remember those blue eyes that had once made me feel better, in the worst of situations.

      My speech has gotten better since then also, and Pete and myself are still great friends. Although he too is curious as to how we all got saved that night, he won't believe me. But that's alright with me. And would you believe that I don't even care that we lost that treasure? Having heard that beautiful song, and staring into those deep blue eyes were treasure enough for me.

      And still, to this day, Venuquin remains the most beautiful thing I ever saw.

      And always will be.

The End

 
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