Encountering Wild: Part Three
The sunlight that fell upon my eyes the next morning awakened
me from my position on the couch. I abruptly sat up, for I had realized that I
had fallen asleep in the living room the night before. The burnt logs and ashes
in the fireplace glittered in the warm morning air, and I could hear the shouts
of eager tourists as they rushed towards the beach to catch the morning waves.
Despite the fact that it was quite early, I still
felt warm in house number 463. I guess it was because of the tropical temperature,
and the fact that I was starting to feel at home in this place. I turned my
head towards the sleeping mat that Wild had recently occupied, and I noticed
that he was awake.
His eyes were a calm blue now with no hint of
fire in them like before. He did not growl or glare; instead, he just simply
stared at me with a surprised look on his face. I heard him whimper for a few
seconds, and then he barked softly a few times. It was as if he was trying to
communicate with me. Unfortunately, though, I did not understand Lupe talk.
"I'm sorry, Wild, but... I don't understand what
you just said... if you did say anything," I said softly.
"He asked you a question," Genee said, to my
surprise, and appeared at the foot of the stairs. As he walked, I could see
the flicks of electricity emit from his body, but his face was calm as he approached
us. I guess that he didn't distrust Wild anymore. "Why are you taking care of
me after I attacked you?"
"Cause," I muttered softly as I glanced at Genee
and then Wild. "I had to. I couldn't let you go. Not in the condition you were
Genee nodded in response to my answer before
he turned to look at Wild. An eerie, tangled growl echoed from his throat, and
I saw Wild's expression turn into that of confusion. He growled back softly,
though this time, I got the feeling that he was talking to Genee this time instead
"Genee, dear, are you telling Wild what I just
said?" I asked.
"One moment, CT," he muttered back to me and
continued to growl/communicate with Wild. Their conversation lasted for a few
minutes, and during that time, I continued to sit stock still on the couch.
I did not want to move, mostly because I did not want to interfere in their
Finally, after a mere ten minutes, Wild turned
away from Genee and rested his head against his paws. I saw his tail flick a
few times as if he was annoyed, but his eyes eventually flickered shut as if
he was sleeping. Genee walked towards me after Wild closed his eyes. The way
he walked was calm, but I could that he was rather annoyed as well. He jumped
upon one of the plastic-covered chairs and slowly made himself comfortable while
I fidgeted impatiently. I wanted to know what words were exchanged during their
"Genee," I said quickly. "What did you two say?"
Genee looked at me forlornly and rested his head
against the back of the chair. "Wild's staying," he said shortly.
I lifted an eyebrow in question, and asked him
to elaborate on that short statement.
"Wild's staying, what else is there to say?"
he muttered, almost evilly, though I knew that it wasn't done on purpose. Genee
was able to control his emotions, and they rarely ever slipped past his walled-up
"Oh," I replied. "Did he say anything else?"
"He didn't want to stay, CT, and I didn't want
him to stay, either," Genee muttered softly and turned his eyes away from my
gaze. "But I knew you wanted him to, therefore, I told him he had to stay. He's
in a poor condition, all of us know that, and so does he. He wants to go back,
though. He wants to return."
"Return?" I asked. "Return to what? Does he have
a family out there?"
"I don't know, CT," Genee said back shortly.
"He wouldn't answer. He just went back to sleep."
After saying that, Genee closed his eyes and
turned his back to me, signaling that he did not want to continue conversing.
I understood completely, and although I still had many questions, I decided
to respect his need to be alone. It's the third day of my vacation here on Mystery
Island, and I haven't even left the house yet...
"I'm gonna go out, 'kay, Genee?" I said to him.
"Tell Tiger that yes, he could visit the Training School today. Hopper can't
go shopping today. Instead, I want her to volunteer at the Tiki Tour Guides.
Tell Bloo that he doesn't need to cook dinner or lunch today, and that he should
enjoy the entire day at the beach. There's some faerie pancakes in the pan if
they get hungry, and there's peach jelly in the fridge if you get hungry, Genee.
I'll be back soon."
Genee didn't reply, but I knew he heard me. He
always listens, even if he doesn't want to exactly listen. I got off the couch
and walked out the door of house number 463, and the first thing that met my
eyes was blinding sunlight and sand-filled wind. I coughed and spluttered as
sand entered my mouth, and rubbed the sand out of my eyes as well. Darn tropical
climate. I should get to a sheltered place; maybe the marketplace was open now.
I shut the door behind me as I left and started
to walk barefoot across the golden, sun-warmed sand. The tinted yellow sand
grains and small gray pebbles clung to my toes as I walked along the beach,
but I ignored them. I could easily brush off the sediments once I reach town.
My eyes were starting to get used to the suns rays, and I was able to stare
at the surf as it rolled in and crashed against the shore. The white-topped
surf and blue rolling made me dizzy as I stared, but it was a perfect kind of
dizzy. Almost nauseatingly sweet.
Westward wind blew down and mixed with the sea-tinted
breezes of the ocean, and, unfortunately, I was caught in the middle of their
blend. The tropical, salty smell started to get to my head, and it made me feel
both drowsy and sleepy. I placed one hand against my head, and I winced at how
hot my forehead had become. This much... tropicalness, was unhealthy to me,
I declared. I needed to get in shadows, or at least find a shaded, non-dizzying
place. I stared around, but soon realized that I was in the middle of the beach.
To my right was the ocean with it's hazy waves, and behind and in front of me
was miles upon miles of shaky sand that whirled, twirled, and danced in the
wind. To my left were miles upon miles of rolling hills dominated by unbearably
sweet and woozy scented tropical trees. I continued to walk forward, though
I stumbled, and my knees felt weak. I've been to Neopia Central's beaches many
times before, and I did not understand why I felt so odd now.
"Darn Mystery Island and it's... mysterious smells,"
I cursed to myself as I continued to stagger forward. The sunlight was starting
to get to my head now, and the afternoon was quickly approaching. Beads of sweat
was running off my neck and head like waterfalls, and it wasn't even noon. I
shuddered as I thought of the heat that would soon swarm over the island.
I just had to choose Mystery Island as a vacationing
My head was starting to feel damp from the excess
sweat, and I knew I had to get in shade before I dehydrate, so I headed towards
the nearest shadow I could find. There was an outcropping of rock that sat on
the middle of the beachside, and I knew that it was north of house number 463.
I had been walking north all this time, and I knew that I should encounter it
Unfortunately, I did not find this rock formation;
instead, I found a sandcastle that someone had built. A big sandcastle, mirrored
after the King Hagan's abode in Brightvale. The child used pebbles as a foundation,
and bits of green-tinted glass topped the turrets and created the windows. It
was quite tall, actually; it was few inches short of my waist. It was located
near the seaside, and in plain view of any spectator; nevertheless, it still
cast a shadow, which was a blessing to me. I collapsed.
When I awoke from my dreamless sleep, I could
feel the waves of the ocean wash over my feet and withdraw. The tide must've
increased while I slept. My forehead still felt quite feverish, but the sun
was gone now. Instead, the dark sky was dotted with cold, yellow stars, and
the wind was cool... scentless, too.
I used my elbow to prop myself up, and in doing
so, my head smashed against the side of my shadow-provider. Now the sand-model
of the Brightvale castle was missing a turret, and my head was encrusted it
it's ruins. At least it's builder wasn't here to witness it's partial destruction,
I thought. Glancing around, I noticed that the beach was empty.
"Of course it's empty, dummy, it's night," I
heard myself mutter. A smile flickered on my lips as I sat up and stretched.
For some odd reason, I felt rejuvenated and quite relieved. I guess some outside
air did do me some good. Gallons of sand still clung to my sweaty face and arms,
so I proceeded to wipe it all off. As I cleaned the left side of my face, I
heard a low growl in front of me.
It was Wild.
I did not even hear him come, but I do admit
that I was partially blind to all else except myself. Nevertheless, Wild was
still there, and he was staring at me with the expression I have come to known.
It wasn't a happy one, nor an angry one. In fact, it wasn't even neutral. His
eyes were glazed over in blue and black, but they were focused and calm. His
ears were perked up and pointed towards me, but they twitched occasionally,
as if they were listening to something else far, far away. His mouth was a line;
there was no sign of a frown or a smirk. The hair upon his face was smooth,
but his whiskers popped out in a crooked fashion.
It was a different expression. A wild one.
Wild growled once again, and took a step forward.
I saw flames flicker in his eyes, and he bent his front legs as if he was ready
to spring. I cowered back and threw up one arm in protection.
"CT!" Genee cried suddenly. "Guys, I found her!"
I turned to my left and saw Genee rushing towards
me. Since he was painted Skunk, all I could see of him were his white tinted
snout, tail, and chest. As he came closer, though, his body came into view.
Behind him were Bloo, Tiger, and... no, Hopper wasn't there.
She must be at home sleeping, I thought
to myself in amusement.
"Get away from her!" Genee growled angrily as
he rushed towards Wild. Wild instinctively jumped back and growled at Genee
as well. He seemed ready to fight, and I could see the eagerness in his eyes,
but once he heard the shock of an electricity bolt surge through Genee's fur,
he flattened himself upon the ground obediently.
"Smart Lupe," I muttered to myself and lowered
my arm as Tiger and Bloo sprang towards me.
"Oh CT, we were so worried about you," Bloo cried
in glee as he showered me with hugs.
Tiger, on the other hand, simply gave me one
(weak) hug and retreated. I could see that he was relieved though, when he said,
"Don't ever do that again, CT."
Genee, on the other hand, took one step forward
eagerly as well, a smile glued upon his face. This smile, though, faded when
he heard static erupt from his fur, and he compliantly retreated to a safe distance.
Another smile was put on, but this one was fake. I could see the hurt in his
eyes as he watched Bloo throw his arms around me in delight.
"Guys," I said quickly and pushed Bloo away from
me. "Let's... let's go back to our house."
Bloo nodded happily and started to hop towards
house number 463 followed by Tiger. I followed them as well, but when I passed
Genee's still figure, I whispered, "We're going to find a cure, Genee. And when
we do, you can hug me as much as you want."
Genee's head dropped slightly when he heard me
say that, and he nodded slowly. "Okay," he said, but I knew he didn't believe
me. He had so much hope for others, and yet he had no hope for himself. The
"C'mon, Genee, let's go," I said and beckoned
to him with my hand. He sighed and started to follow me. The moment he stood
up, though, I heard a long, saddening howl erupt from the shore.
When I looked there, I saw Wild. His entire body
was soaked in salty water, and the tips of his fur were covered in beach sand.
His head was thrown up, though, and his snout was pointed toward Kreludor. He
cried to the moon once again, but this time, the note lasted longer. I did not
understand him, but I guess that what he must've howled was directed to his
family, for I heard Genee whisper, "They miss you, too."
Eventually, Wild stopped howling and started
to walk away from the ocean. The way he walked, though, surprised me, for just
moments before he seemed so fresh and alive. Now, there was no bounce in his
step. Instead, he limped weakly towards us before he fell at our feet. He was
still breathing, but he breathed sharply and quickly. I heard him whimper once
again, so I bent down and placed one reassuring hand against his head.
Without warning, Wild's head shot up and his
jaws wrapped itself around my hand. I flinched at this reaction, but, fortunately,
his bite wasn't hard. He was too weak. Still, he kept his weak hold upon my
hand, but his head was starting to droop. Finally, he released my hand, and
his head collapsed onto the ground.
"He apologized," Genee whispered to me.
To be continued...