The story of my life is not a short one, but it's not a boring one either. I love to share it with others, for I am proud to say that I have the blood of pirates and desert royalty running through my veins.
You see, my father, Mon Pierre, was a proud pirate. He was captain of his own ship, the Aurelia. He was smart, handsome, successful, and loved by his crew like a brother. There was nothing my father loved more than to sail the high seas searching for merchant vessels to plunder. He kept most of his captives alive and let them go, but he never left even one gold coin aboard the ships he conquered.
Eventually it came to be that there was nowhere left in the northern seas to explore, and my father's crew grew restless for new adventures. A fair wind had been blowing that my father had noticed for a few weeks, and his heart told him to follow it. It was warm and mysterious, and smelled of spices and exotic fruits. For days it blew around him, teasing him, daring his to follow it. Finally, unable to stand the suspense, he set a course to let the wind take them where it would. And so, the warm breezes carried them on its breath to the south, and to the desert.
Elegant palm trees arched above the glassy ocean at the water's edge, their strong roots buried deep in the beautiful golden sand that stretched over the beach for miles in either direction. Not far in shore, a regal palace sat amongst the sands. The bone-white buildings stood close together, the dark windows looking like watchful eyes.
My father and a few other pirates rowed ashore, my father sitting proudly at the head of the rowboat. Surprisingly, the crew discovered a desert Peophin colony. Several members of the clan, including the king himself, had already gathered as my father got out of the boat.
Speak your name and business. said the king, a large, red-brown Peophin with flowing white hair and stern yellow eyes.
My father bowed, smiling. My name is Mon Pierre DeLune. I come in peace, and only wish for a place where my crew and I can rest and restock for a few nights.
This, of course, was not my father's real intention, for he could see the beautiful jewelry adorning these Peophins, and he could guess that there was more where it came from.
He looked up again to see the king's reaction. The stately monarch still wore a stern -disallowed_word-He never claimed, as far as I knew, to have been a compassionate sort). Every time she would glare at him with a look of utter hatred, and every time he would laugh.
But soon the ice around the young mare's heart began to thin, and she began to tolerate my father's presence. One day he sat beside her at length, listening to the lapping of the water against the boat through the tiny portholes.
You haven't told me your name yet. he said. The Princess glared at him.
Names are powerful. To have one's name means to hold them in your power. Why would I tell you?
My father laughed. Is that some more of your silly desert superstition? Well, I don't believe it, so I will give you mine. My name is Mon Pierre DeLune, do with it what you will. He laughed and tossed his curly black mane behind him, Now perhaps some day you will tell me yours.
The mare looked own and clinked her chains. She smiled. Remove my bonds and maybe I'll consider it.
My father laughed uproariously. "Very well, you've had them on long enough, and you're not going anywhere now."
So, her bonds were removed and the princess was free to travel about the boat. Occasionally she and my father would meet. She would glare at him, and he would smile at her.
Soon, however, the mare found herself enjoying seeing him. She would duck behind nearby barrels and watch him work. He looked so confidant aboard the ship, never missing a beat when anything went wrong. She would smile a little to herself, then turn and continue on her way.
My father, too, couldn't keep his eyes off her. He would work with a proud look on his face, then look out of the corner of his eye to see if she was watching.
One night my father was alone on deck after all the pirates had gone to bed. He felt eyes upon him and turned to see the princess sitting nearby, watching him.
"What are you doing up?" He asked her.
"I couldn't sleep."
My father smiled. Is that the only reason?"
The princess blushed. "I…thought you might want to know my name. "
My father didn't miss a beat, and instead causally removed his jacket and hat. "Well, are you going to tell me?"
She smiled. "Yes. My name is Seralani Nekali."
"That's quite a mouthful." My father said, and did a back flip of the side of the ship. There was a splash, then a voice.
"Well, Seralani Nekali, are you going to join me?"
Seralani laughed, took off her cape, and dove into the water. She surfaced to see my father watching her with thoughtful green eyes.
"I think I'll call you Lani,"
She smiled. "If you want."
When they were back on the boat, they said goodnight. My father turned and looked back at her.
"I made a mistake giving you my name."
"Oh?" Lani chuckled and cocked her head, "Why is that?"
My father sighed. "I'm afraid you've used it to work your magic on my heart." With that, he walked away, leaving Lani alone and blushing.
From then on it was obvious to everyone aboard the ship that they were in love. It was not long until they spent every waking hour together. Soon two months passed-twice as long as my Mon Pierre said he would be gone, so they sailed back to Seralani's kingdom.
They were more than a little surprised to find the king and his court waiting for them upon their arrival.
"The desert spirits are good at predicting the future." The king explained when they came ashore, "And they told me all about you two." He sighed, "Seralani, I can't say I approve of your choice of a mate," He looked regretfully at Mon Pierre, "But love knows no boundaries, and I am happy that you are happy." He smiled, and Lani hugged him.
"I want you to stay here for a few months," The king told my father, "I want my grandson to be born on land." My father's eyes widened and he blushed crimson. He looked at Lani, who smiled sheepishly.
"I suggest that the two of you be married soon. I'll have my servants make preparations." The king aid, smiling.
And so, my mother and father were married one week later, and even the pirates and the desert Peophins tolerated each other for the event.
Not long after, I was born! It was a joyous day among the kingdom, and my grandfather, the king, blessed me when I was just a few hours old.
I grew up there, on that island in the middle of the ocean, with pirates and Peophins everywhere to play with me and tell me stories. I don't remember this early stage of my childhood, but all my memories are happy ones.
Until, of course, the day my father disappeared.
My father's journals end here. There are a few more chapters filled in by different handwriting, which I assume is my mother's, but any further history of my father is lost.
My parents had taken me to visit a red Grarrl named Cheryl who was an old friend of my father's. We were staying there for a while so my father's crew could barter with the islanders. My father and his men had long given up their pirating ways at the request of my mother, thought it was somewhat grudgingly.
Anyway, one day my father was out swimming alone in the harbor while Cheryl and my mother were playing with me on shore. Suddenly there were shouts, and the father where my father was began to foam, as if some giant creature was struggling there.
Many Neopets had gathered to watch onshore_ but the choppy patch of water was quickly moving further out to sea. My mother jumped into the water and was gone for a long time. Finally she surfaced, eyes wide with terror.
"I can't find him! Cheryl, keep Cocapori with you, I have to go look for him some more." She dove back under again. I tried to run out to her, but Cheryl caught me and held me close to her. "No, little one, you can't go with her this time."
Hours passed, and finally after sunset my mother came back to the house, exhausted, crying, and alone.
"He's gone." Was all she said. I ran to her and nuzzled her chin, but even my presence wasn't enough to quell her grief.
Weeks passed by, and my mother only grew worse. Soon she stopped eating or talking, and Cheryl worried for her life.
One day I heard the two talking quietly. "I have to go, Cheryl. I can't live without knowing if he's alive somewhere. Please take care of Cocapori for me."
And this is where my mother's entries in the journal end. Everything that I'm about to tell you is from what I remember.
The next thing I knew, I was in Cheryl's arms with my mother smiling down at me.
"My little Coco, I wish I didn't have to leave you. Oh, have a good life, my dear one." She leaned down and kissed me. I could feel her tears on my skin as she did so.
I was far too young to understand the seriousness of the situation, but I felt an unexplained ache in my heart all the same. My mother had never left me like this before. I jumped out of Cheryl's arms and ran o the top of a nearby rock that looked over the harbor. I watched my mother swim away until she disappeared into the horizon.
I used to sit on that rock many times, hoping that she would come back from where I had seen her last. I thought that if I concentrated hard enough, that I could make her and my father come back.
But they never did, and eventually I put them in my past. I grew up with Cheryl raising me, and she did a good job of it. I quickly learned to keep my emotions to myself, so as not to trouble others. I became extremely sensitive of others' emotions, though, which is a trait that I still have to this day.
I didn't really have and friends. I didn't get along very well with others, and they all thought of me as shy and sulky. Aside from Cheryl's company, I mostly kept to myself.
One day after being teased particularly relentlessly by some other kids, I wandered too far outside the harbor. I still curse myself for doing so, and I'll never forgive myself for it.
I was swimming along the sandy bottom of the bay looking for interesting shells when something grabbed me around my tail. I struggled fiercely, but the thigh just held onto me tighter. I turned to see that I was held captive by a giant squid.
I remember looking up, thinking just how lovely the brilliant sun was as it grew further and further away as I was pulled down deeper.
I also remember the bright flash of red as Cheryl came swimming rapidly towards me. I remember that this surprised me a great deal. I had no idea that Cheryl could swim.
She latched onto the squid and fought it savagely. She couldn't talk underwater, but I understood the look in her eyes perfectly. She was telling me to get away, to swim as fast as I could and never look back.
And swim I did. I never looked back once until I was safe on shore. I collapsed weakly in the sand. Everything after that was a blur. The shouts and yells of many voices coming towards the harbor, the concerned faces looking down on me, the patch of dark red where someone's blood had begun to mix with the water…
I awoke to hear hushed voices nearby. Apparently, they were discussing my fate. I dropped back onto the pillow. I didn't care anymore. Cheryl was dead, and that was all that mattered.
Soon it was decided that I was to be taken to a girl named Amimain who was looking for a Peophin. They brought me to the other side of the island, where I met the girl of whom they spoke. She was nice enough, as well as understanding, but everything that mattered to me was gone now, and I was mad. I'm sure I was an absolute tyrant those first few weeks, but Amimain was patiently cared for me, and eventually I grew to love my new home.
Amimain was sweet and her other pets were nice, and soon I settled in quite nicely. I haven't forgotten Cheryl or my parents, but I've been with Amimain ever since.
Because of this though, I now have a hatred of the sea. It took my mother, my father, Cheryl, and almost killed me. Never again will I be able to swim in the sea without feeling unsafe.