A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 125,893,067 Issue: 254 | 25th day of Hiding, Y8
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Kougra's Secret

by tigerstripe172


Lavy Melody put her nose against the window pane. "Bored, bored, bored," the blue Kougra said. "It's been raining hard for days, Mom. Will it ever stop?"

      Della Melody looked up from her knitting. "Hard to say, Lavy, dear." She put her project in her knitting basket. "Well," she said, "I think that I'll go take a nap now. Are you going to stay down here?"

      Lavy turned her face from the depressing rain to face her mother. "Sure. I think I'll read a book in front of the fire."

      "Okay, honey. See you later." Della walked upstairs, and Lavy heard the bedroom door close behind her. She got to her feet and picked up her favorite book, 'Tales of the Midnight Kougra', and plopped into the big easy chair in front of the fireplace, in which a roaring fire was going. Though her eyes rested on the book's pages, Lavy's eyelids drooped, and she was soon asleep.

      * * * * *

      When her eyes slowly opened, Lavy noticed that the rain had stopped. She jumped to her feet, basking in the warm sunlight that streamed through the window, a feeling that had been forgotten.

      "Yes!" Lavy cried, then started to yell for her mother. But before she could, a fierce knock brought her attention to the front door. She cocked her head, and walked towards the door. When she opened it, a terrifying sight met her eyes.

      An Eyrie, dressed in pirate captain's garb, glowered down at her. Behind him, stood three others.

      "Yes?" Lavy asked, trembling.

      "Me and me buckos here are looking for a little miss Lava'ia Melody! We hear that she lives in this 'ere town."

      "I-I am Lavy Melody. Wh-what do you want with me?"

      "Then yer coming with us!" the captain said, suddenly swooping down and picking her up off the ground as if she were only a delicate flower.

      "Hey!" Lavy cried, kicking her feet. "What do you want with me?!"

      "I'll tell ye later, wench," her captor sneered.

      A boom of thunder ripped the air.

      "Oh, great," Lavy thought. "On top of being kidnapped by pirates, it's going to rain again. Here it comes now," she added, as a big, fat, drop of rain fell on her nose.

      The group were headed towards a large ship. Lavy had read enough books to know that it was their pirate ship.

      By the time they reached their destination, the rain was pouring down, like it had been that afternoon.

      When the pirates stormed onto the boat, two other pirates joined the band.

      "Hey, now, what 'ave ye got there?" one asked, pointing to Lavy.

      "Oh, this is..." The pirate captain leaned over and whispered something in his ear. Whatever it was, the other pirate's eyes lighted up, and he did a little dance.

      "You mean you finally got 'er?" he said. "You mean it? I knew ye would, Cap'n Longbeak. I knew ye would!"

      The pirate was so funny looking, dancing around on one foot, that Lavy could barely keep from laughing.

      "Yep, I sure did," Captain Longbeak said triumphantly. "Take her to the best cell we have. Make sure you bring little Duchess up for dinner tonight."

      Lavy was taken through a couple hallways, then down a long, long, long staircase. But the room was worse than that. It was so filled with dust that Lavy sneezed again and again.

      "Sorry," one pirate said apologetically, handing her a hankie. "But it's been a while since we had a luxury traveler."

      The rest of the room wasn't any better. Lavy was used to downy quilts and a soft mattress, and the bedding was anything but. The mattress was hard and lumpy, the pillow was as flat as a pancake (Well, maybe not that flat), and the thin sheet that lay over the mattress was as dingy as could be. There were no adequate lights, only a window - but that didn't work, because it was under the ocean.

      I wonder if the Captain would take orders for new rooms, Lavy thought, looking at the dingy sheet. She couldn't imagine sleeping in that.

      A pirate's voice cut through her reverie. "Uh, excuse me miss, but we'll be back in an hour to pick you up for dinner. I'm John, by the way. Would you like a new mattress or anything?"

      Lavy couldn't believe her good luck.


           * * * * *

      When John came by to pick her up for dinner, Lavy was spread out on her fluffy mattress, propping her head on her new pillows, reading Mysteries of Neopia. She was reluctant to be pulled away from the excitement of Leorna the Wocky while she was being chased through the Haunted Woods by a ghost Hissi, but she realized she was hungry, so she put it down, and came with John, who was a Lupe.

      The meal was fine, but it was after the dessert plates had been taken away that the mystery unraveled.

      Captain Longbeak leaned back, licking his lips from Neoberry pie.

      "Ah, mighty fine stuff, that was," he said contentedly. "But let's get down to business. Do you know who yer parents are?"

      Lavy blinked at the obvious question. Doesn't that birdbrain think I know who my own parents are? she thought.

      "Of course; Koena and Della Melody."

      Captain Longbeak shook his head. "No, no, no," he said. "You are the daughter of Duke Shavalia Catune and Duchess Corlay Catune of the island Osnia."

      When Lavy blinked again, it wasn't because she knew the statement so well, but because she was understandably shocked.

      "What?" Lavy said, shaking so much that she thought the table would tip over.

      "Yep. When the overthrow of the island happened, the Duke and Duchess decided that you would be safer living in Neopia. So they sent you over to the Melody's humble abode, and left ya there. They obviously kept the secret well."

      Obviously! Lavy thought. Kept the secret well, what an understatement! I didn't even know there was an island called Osnia.

      "Then the Duke and Duchess made a law that whoever could find their baby could have whatever they wanted. They must not have counted on me," Captain Longbeak added, smiling evilly. "Now, I'll be ruler of all Neopia!!!" His voice had risen into a yell, and the dishes rattled.

      Captain Longbeak looked around at everybody staring at him, silent.

      "Well, what are ye all standin' around for?" he barked. "Sailors, get the ship started towards Osnia. John, take Little Duchess 'ere up to her room. On the double!"

      "Better go quick, Lavy," John whispered. "When he's in a mood like this, don't stand in his way."

      When John had Lavy plopped back on her mattress, she sighed, settled in a comfortable way, and picked up her book.

           * * * * *

      About three hours later, Lavy's reading was interrupted by a huge jolt. When she stopped rolling, Lavy got to her feet. It was a bad decision, however, because she was knocked over again by another jolt. Lavy then noticed that the portholes in the wall of the ship were being pushed by the water. Lavy wished fervently that someone would come and rescue her.

      She didn't have to wish long. John came rushing through.

      "Lavy! Hurry!" And without another word, he picked her up and dashed out the door.

      When they were halfway up the stairs, Lavy heard water rush into her room. She let out a sigh of relief as it splashed up the first couple stairs, but didn't come any closer.

      For the moment.

      When Lavy and John reached the top of the stairway, and the latter put Lavy down.

      "Okay," Lavy asked, taking a gulp of air. "What is this all... about?!"

      But she didn't need to ask, for at that moment she noticed the large ship, larger than her captive's ship, looming above her head. Some Skeith pirates were scuttling about the deck, and a red Grarrl stood at the edge of the boat nearest Lavy, glaring defiantly down at her and the other pirates on the inferior boat.

      Amidst the noise of the ocean, and the sound of worried pirates, Captain Longbeak yelled, "Don't back down, ye cowards! Fight them like pirates, and not petpets!!"

      Despite their leader's 'encouraging' words, the shipmates began lowering the lifeboats, until only John, Captain Longbeak, and Lavy were left.

      Longbeak gazed at the retreating pirates, and then noticed the last lifeboat. Before the two others could move, he dashed towards the boat, let it down, and was on his way to land quicker than you could say 'chicken'. :)

      John dashed to the side, staring at his deserting captain. With a terrified jolt, he noticed in horror that a cannon ball was sailing through the air... right at Lavy!

      John lunged at Lavy, taking her over the side of the boat just as the cannon ball struck the floor with a sickening crash!

      As Lavy paddled violently towards the surface, the water vanished, and she was suddenly back in her living room in front of the fire that was now just a few live coals. The rain had been reduced to a light sprinkle, Lavy observed joyfully. Her book was on her lap, and Della was walking down the stairs.

      "How was... *yawn*... your afternoon, sweetie?"

      Lavy hesitated before replying. "Fine, Mom, but... is there a secret about me?"

      Della cocked her head, then said, "Now that you mention it, I guess it is time I told you..."


The End

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