A Star-Spattered Sky: Part Six
Silver ambled along the deck, looking at the pale sliver of a moon that was fading in the sky. He heard a crash and started to walk towards the sound. There was a loud thump and he hurried his steps. When he saw what it was, a chuckle couldn't help but escape from him before he coughed and looked at Jessica.
"What are you doing, Jessica?" he asked, holding back his laughter. She was lying on the deck at a very odd angle, like she'd just fallen from a space shuttle.
"I'm flying," she snapped. "You have a problem with that, Silver? Really, I don't think it's your business." She stood up and dusted herself off in an attempt at dignity.
"Yes, I do have a problem, because you're not flying," Silver said. "You're falling." Jessica hit him on the arm playfully.
"I'd like to see you try, Silver. It's harder than most people think, you know!" she exclaimed leaning on the rail. "I don't know what to do. There's no one to teach me how to fly and I can't very well teach myself, as you've seen."
"If I was a Faerie Krawk, I'd fly. But I never claimed to be a Faerie Krawk, did I? I'm a Pirate Krawk --"
"And proud of it," Jessica finished for him. "Yes, yes, I've heard this already, Silver. I just... I just want to know how to fly. I want to be able to fly."
"What brought this on?" Silver asked softly. "You didn't give a Cybunny's fluffy tail about flying yesterday."
"I had a dream," Jessica said reluctantly. "Queen Fyora and my mother were chasing me. Fyora told me to learn to fly."
"Mum said that it's okay for me to stay on the ship if that's what I want. I just have to take care of myself," she said sullenly. "Oh, and she said to look out for Deriun." She grinned.
"Well, I suppose 'Fyora' is right," Silver said. "You do need to fly. Keep up the... uh... good work," he said uncertainly.
"Oh, go and eat breakfast!" Jessica said playfully, shoving him in the direction of the cafeteria.
Deriun tossed this way and that, looking out his window and could not sleep. The night felt much longer than it usually did and it seemed insufferable that he should have to stay here in bed, bored to death for hour upon hour. So he sat up, rubbed the drowsiness from his eyes and went to his desk.
Instead of his usual muttering over a map, he opened a locked drawer and took out the papers that were contained inside. He looked at them with a tender expression on his face. They brought back so many wonderful memories. They told him of a time past, of a Deriun lost.
My name is Keilla, I live on Mystery Island and my owner has been telling me all about you. Do you know who I am? Well, I suppose it is not likely that you will. I am writing to you because you sound like such an interesting Neopet.
I am a yellow Acara, love to splash in the water and watch as the waves give life to the rock-pools, each crystal-clear current setting that world alive. Have you ever been to the beach? Have you ever heard the sound of the ocean as you're sleeping in your bed? Have you ever wondered if the sirens will come up from the deepest depths of Maraqua? Piper says I'm silly to think that sirens exist but I'm very sure they do.
Do you believe in sirens, Deriun? Oh, I almost forgot to tell you who Piper is. She is a silly little Royal Zafara without a care in the world except her hair! Sometimes she makes me so mad, Deriun! You wouldn't believe the snide comments she makes!
Well, I must go now. Please, do write back soon, I can't wait to speak with you! If everything my owner has said is true, you are one amazing Neopet!
He sighed as he remembered Keilla. She had been such a sweet, sweet Acara. They'd met one day in summer, the sun had glinted off her coat and made her look like a Gold Acara instead of a yellow one. She'd smiled and said, "How do you do, Deriun?" He still smiled at her memory, still wondered if she had been real. Jessica reminded him of Keilla. Her smile, her wit, her wonderful sense of humour.
The next letter was warmer, describing her life and her owner, her hopes and her dreams. "I would love to be an author," she wrote. "It would be so amazing to accomplish that feat." He touched the long-dried ink and imagined her writing her letters. He could see her Neopian Times Quill, her ink at hand.
'Do you like to read? I wouldn't imagine that you'd be interested in reading when you have that world of adventure lying outside your door! What's it like?'
He glanced at the porthole and saw that it was morning. He put the letters back into the locked door and turned the key, sealing Keilla and all of the memories she aroused back in the drawer.
"No, rotate your wings a little upward -- no! That's not --!" There was a crash and Jessica looked up at the Pteri from the ruins of a table.
"Don't even tell me that was a good try because I know very well it was not," she snapped, getting up and trying to reassemble the table. "We have a long way to go with this, don't we, Travis?"
"Unfortunately so," Travis agreed, nodding. "You're just not getting the wing positioning right. I suppose it's hard for someone who hasn't been doing it since birth."
"Just a tad." Jessica dusted herself off, the table standing upright for now. "I suppose I need a faerie's help to really get it right. Although your advice is helpful, I need someone of my kind to help me."
"You know, I think we might have a spare faerie flight instructor in the hold. Let me check," Deriun said, striding up to Jessica.
Jessica gave him a hard look. "You're so funny, Deriun. This is a serious matter. I need to fly! If I don't fly, how will I ever reach my full potential in combat? Think, Deriun. Think." She tapped her head and looked towards Silver who was walking past. "Don't you think so, Silver?"
"Hm? You're asking about flying again? How did I guess? Well, I'll agree with you, just so I don't get pummelled later on."
"You see," Jessica said in a smug way to Deriun. "He's got the right idea. If only that silly captain would catch on."
"Yes, all our life-long goals. Now, how are we going to teach you to fly, Jessica? It's going to be tough to steal a faerie flight instructor, you know."
Jessica thought about it, looking at the planks and frowning at the clouds. She could think of no way to learn how to fly. It looked so easy when Travis glided through the air, his wings slicing along like he was a professional.
"We could always kidnap a faerie," she suggested. "We'll dock and get a ferry to Faerieland, kidnap any old faerie and bring her back here and tell her to teach me to fly."
"Anyone have any better ideas?" Deriun asked, looking around. "Nope? Well, that's decided. On to the nearest dock we go!"
"Deriun, I was only joking when I said this would be a plan!" Jessica hissed as they sat on the ferry. "You're a wanted pirate, you shouldn't be in Faerieland!"
Deriun merely rolled his eyes and said, "Johnny, ready? When I say 'Miamouse', you grab her, okay?"
"Got it, Captain," the Chia said in a deep voice. "Grab her on Miamouse."
"Why Miamouse?" Jessica asked. "There's nothing special about a Miamouse!" She wrung her hands and looked around for passing faeries. Passing faeries, she snorted. It was Faerieland, how long would it take for a faerie to come flying past?
Half an hour later, Jessica was very bored. She wasn't even looking for faeries anymore, she was just sitting behind the bushes that they'd taken with them. "Oh no, a pair of bushes on the middle of cloud don't look suspicious at all," she'd said sarcastically to Deriun when he plonked them down.
"We need cover," he explained. "No cover, we'll be found. It looked a bit suspicious for three people to just stand in one spot all day, don't you think?"
"Well, bushes in the middle of Faerieland don't look all that innocent either!" she protested before lapsing into sullen silence. She hadn't said another word since.
"Miamouse!" Deriun yelled. Johnny darted forward with an agility Jessica didn't know he had and he grabbed the fire faerie and Deriun threw a sack over her head. "Put her in the cooler!" he instructed.
Deriun said proudly, "There's your teacher!"
To be continued...