Messenger: Just Another Pirate Tale - Part One
So here we were again.
Stuck in an Eyrie cab, flying over an enormous body of water and under a huge, floating cloud. Faerieland.
Not to mention, I was sitting next to a rather large Chomby, a whining Acara, a frantic mother, a screaming baby, and a very loud weewoo. Huge waves loomed precariously close to our cramped cab, and a few slammed into us, little droplets of cold saltwater flying in through the window.
Clark (the XXL Chomby) kept attempting to shove the window closed; however, it seemed to be stuck. Finally the glass shattered in his hands and a humongous tsunami-sized wave hit him full on in the face. He toppled over backward, which knocked over the weewoo, which knocked over the baby, which knocked over the mother, which knocked over the Acara, which knocked over the crate (I hadn’t mentioned the crate before because it, unlike everything else, wasn’t worth mentioning, as a result of it not causing any noise), which knocked over me, which tipped the cab. I could hear the labored wing beats of the Eyrie driver as he heaved us back up again.
Did I mention that the Weewoo was loud?
“Can’t you get the cab under control?” Clark yelled, while flicking pieces of glass off his face. The crate made a slight whimpering noise and spontaneously leaped up into the air and onto my lap. Well, it was aiming for my lap, but it hit my face, knocking me over backwards, which sent me out the window. The Acara (not the whiny one, but her mother, who, incidentally, was also an Acara) grabbed my ankles and reeled me back in, but unfortunately I landed, crumpled in a heap, on the baby’s lap (also an Acara), which set her off again, not to mention the crate hit Clark in the stomach, which doubled him over, but one of his back spikes poked the whiny Acara in the eye, which also set her off, which in turn set the mother Acara and the crate off.
Our journey was off to a bad start.
Shall I start at the beginning?
We started out about an hour ago from Neopia Central, which is where I live. I live there with my parents and my older brother, Rooli. I, like my mother, am a faerie Wocky, and my father is a blue Wocky. Rooli is adopted; he is a fire Blumaroo.
We work in a doctor’s office, a petpet doctor’s office, in fact. My mom is the doctor, my Auntie Lila is the receptionist, and Rooli and I are the doctors-in-training. At least, I was. Dad is allergic to petpets, so he works at the Petpet Supply Shop with his partner, Clark. Recently I have begun my career as a messenger, delivering messages, petpets, rather, to Neopets around the globe. My latest delivery involved a feisty, unwanted Tyrannian Gallion called Pecan, who is mine now. On that same delivery I met up with Midnight the shadow Acara (the mother), Star, the baby Acara, and Bluecloud, the (whiny) grey Acara. Bluecloud may be whiny and a little too honest, but she is my best friend. Unlike most grey pets, her eyes are a dark, clear, blue, not red and bloodshot.
Currently we were on our way to Krawk Island to deliver a Weewoo to a pirate there. The Weewoo had been taken to our clinic because it apparently couldn’t sing, although I have no idea why the owner was worried, because now that the Weewoo was singing, it was making us all deaf. My mom restored his voice (mainly because she was being paid to-I don’t imagine she’d let it sing otherwise) and now she was calling on me to send him along.
“Why in Fyora’s name,” Clark screamed, “is this cab not yet under control?!”
“Sorry!” the driver screamed back as the cab did another loop-de-loop in midair.
“You said this cab was reliable!” We’d had quite enough experience with unreliable cabs in the past. Incidentally, that was how we had met Midnight and her daughters, a cab crash on a Kiko Lake glass-bottomed boat. Paul, our driver, had been on his maiden voyage, which explained for inexperience. This time, Clark had made sure to get a driver with plenty of experience.
“I have plenty of experience, mind you!” the Eyrie yelled. “In fact, I’ve been driving cabs for forty-seven years to this day!”
“Great!” Clark snapped. “Well, apparently those forty-seven years were useless, because most cab drivers I know don’t drive my face into the ocean!”
“Well, you must excuse me, sir, I’m quite old, sir, I have a spot of arthritis in my right wing...”
“AUGH!” Clark yelled as the cab was slammed against a cliff. Bluecloud and Midnight screamed as the driver groaned and passed out. I peeked out the window.
“This is interesting,” I said. “Last time we landed on a boat. This time we’re hanging off a cliff face in the middle of the ocean, about fifty feet away from the water. Not to mention the fact that our driver just fainted.”
“Is the water deep?” Bluecloud whined. “I can’t swim.”
“It’s shallow,” Clark assured her.
“You didn’t let me finish. It’s shallow and filled with enough pointy rocks, toxic waste, and flesh-eating petpets that it doesn’t really matter if you can swim or not, though I suppose that would help you swim away from the petpets, assuming you don’t smash to your death on the rocks first.”
“Great,” Bluecloud muttered. “Just great. That really helped my confidence.”
“Always glad to be of service,” Clark snapped, craning his neck out of the window to get a closer look at the rocks.
“Geez, you guys are in a bad mood today,” I said brightly, beaming. Everyone stared at me blankly. “Guess that didn’t work,” I sighed, dropping my ridiculously happy face and resuming a blank stare at the churning sea below us.
“We could revive the driver,” said Midnight slowly, “and he could fly us out of here!” She looked around at us, smiling, before taking up the status quo and slumping in her seat, staring at the wall.
“I doubt we could revive him,” Bluecloud said worriedly. “How would we get to him? We’re stuck in here, and he’s out there.”
“Where?” asked Clark, folding his arms and sighing as one of the flesh-eating petpets devoured one of the cans of toxic waste. It burped, wiped its mouth with one of its fins, and slowly hunted around for more.
“Apparently he dropped onto one of the larger rocks,” said Bluecloud. “It’s fairly high. I don’t think-” She was suddenly cut off as one of the petpets gave a tremendous leap into the air and nipped our driver on the tail. He immediately yelped and shot straight up into the air, flapping his wings wildly. Soon he was out of sight, just a dot on the horizon, zooming toward the north, toward Faerieland. Wait... the north? Faerieland? If that was in the north, then we must be on...
“Krawk Island,” I said aloud. “Our destination.”
“You mean we’re here?” Midnight gasped, clutching at Star, who coughed and began whimpering.
“Yes!” I shouted excitedly. “We must be on one of the cliffs!” We all bolted for the window and stared out at the landscape before us.
“We must be somewhere near the Smuggler’s Cove,” said Clark thoughtfully. Sure enough, about half a mile away a pirate ship was floating slowly toward the mainland.
“We’re saved!” Bluecloud shouted joyfully, flinging her arms up into the air. Bad move. She accidentally shoved the crate containing Pecan out the window, which plummeted downward onto the rocks below. Everyone gasped, except for me, of course, for they didn’t see what I saw. Pecan was zooming back up toward us, free of his ruined crate. He glided in through the window and promptly collided with the weewoo, who gave an angry squawk and fluttered daintily out the window. He floated upward about twenty feet before landing on a tiny ledge on the rock face. And that was what gave me my idea.
“Clark,” I instructed, “do you have any rope?”
“He doesn’t,” said Bluecloud abruptly, digging deep into her pockets and withdrawing a thin-looking grappling hook. “But I do.” She slowly unraveled the rope, which was composed of a waxy grey twine about a quarter-inch thick. The hook itself was a gleaming silver material with four curving appendages, like the petals of a flower slowly unfurling. The points were needle-sharp and could probably draw blood if dug in hard enough.
Bluecloud leaned cautiously out the window and twirled the grappling hook like a lasso three times before letting it fly. It flew out about thirty feet before latching onto a sturdy-looking rock protruding from the rock face. Bluecloud gave it a few tugs before beginning to climb. Clark followed, then me, then Midnight with Star, who was holding onto the end of the rope. Midnight had tied the twine tightly over Star’s hands so that if she slipped she would not fall into the toxic waters below.
We continued like this for about ten minutes. It was quite easy work, actually, mostly because there were many ledges and footholds on the cliff face. We soon reached the place where the grappling hook had landed and all clutched the rock face cautiously as Bluecloud unraveled the rope and let it fly again.
Panting heavily, I nearly shouted in relief as my head poked up over the top of the cliff. Clark was right; we were right next to Smuggler’s Cove. It was only when we had pocketed the grappling hook, did a quick head count, and began walking toward the village inn that we realized that the weewoo was gone.
To be continued...