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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 15th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 113 > Continuing Series > Shrouded Past: Part Two

Shrouded Past: Part Two

by shura_dono

I had been a long time in the dark cell. I thought maybe a day or two had gone by, but could not be sure, as there was no time down here, only the flickering light of the single swinging lantern. I had not seen the light of day since I had been brought onto the ship, and I missed it sorely. There was only Lieras to talk to, and we told each other of our lives. She had been down here since before I was born, and could barely remember the warm, golden light of the sun or the cold, silver light of the moon. I had just about given up hope of ever seeing my beloved Shura again, and dreaded the coming day when we would be exhibited for owners in search of exclusive pets. I found that some of the pets here had actually been sold to the pirates by their owners, a thought that horrified me.

     One night, right after we had been brought our gruel, I heard shouting, and the scraping that meant that another ship had pulled in beside ours. I panicked; surely it couldn't yet be time to be sold? The pirate that brought us food ran upstairs, but left the door ajar in his haste. Someone from the other ship yelled to come on to ours, and the voice sounded familiar. A few moments later it hit me; it was Shura! My excitement mounted as I shook Lieras' shoulder and in a whisper told her the identity of the other ship. Her eyes danced, the both of us might finally get out of this cell! Then it was apparent that Shura was on board and talking to the pirates, for I could hear her voice.

     "Have any of you seen a blue Peophin? She went missing a few days ago, and I don't know where she went."

     "No, ma'am, haven't seen any Peophin lately at all," the Eyrie was saying.

     I couldn't stand the idea of Shura leaving and not knowing that I was nearby the entire time, so I shouted, "SHURA, DON'T LISTEN TO HIM; HE'S LYING! I'M DOWN IN THE HOLD! HELP ME!" I kept up the shouting, and I heard running footsteps and raised voices. Then Shura was in front of my cell, hugging me through the bars, whispering 'Lynn, Lynn, Lynn' in my ear.

     "Oh, Shura, I'm so glad to see you. But what happened to the pirates?"

     "Oh, I sent them all overboard; they shouldn't be after us for a bit. We have to hurry and get you out of here though, before they get back into the ship."

     And she unlocked my cell with a strip of bent wire she always carries with her. I was finally free. We were about to go when I remembered Lieras. I called to her and she came forwards nervously. Shura picked the both of us up and ran for the door leading up to the outside world. But the Eyrie stood there, flanked by his crew, all of them sopping wet. Then Shura did something amazing. She put us down and cupped her hands together, concentrating. A blast of wind swept up towards the pirates, but the Eyrie dodged and swooped down on us, knocking Shura over. The rest of the crew hurried down and grabbed hold of Lieras and me, but Lieras had come too close to being free again to give up easily. She fought and scratched and bit, but she was clubbed over the head with the butt of a sword, and fell over unconscious with a long gash in her forehead. While watching in shock, I was quickly bound with ropes, and the same was done to Shura. We were all dragged to the back of the long corridor, where stood one of the larger cells. There was an iron post in the center, and a pile of manacles and chains in the corner. Three of them were taken and chained to the post, and then to us. Lieras and I were chained around the neck, and Shura's hands were chained together behind her back.

     "You won't find it easy to get out of here," leered the Eyrie, "I don't think we'll sell either of you for a while, you've still got too much spirit left in you." With one last laugh, he closed the door, leaving us in darkness.

     As soon as he was gone, Shura turned to me and asked, "What happened? I woke up and you were just gone. No note, no sign of struggle, you just disappeared without a trace. I immediately took to the water to look for you, but I couldn't find you anywhere."

     "I was kidnapped during the night by these pirates. They were going to sell me. I thought that I'd never see you again," with that statement, I went around and leaned against her, "You have some things to tell me too. How did you summon that wind?"

     Shura sighed at the question, "It's time I told you everything. I had better start from the beginning, when I first came to Neopia. I shared an account with a trusted friend. Together we had two pets, one each, and we were quite well off. Then she started to become greedy. She would spend more than her fair share of our Neopoints to better her pet, and one day I found that I could not get into the account at all. I sent her mail, pleading to let me back in, but she had soon blocked me. One day, she was caught and she had to leave. I was deeply hurt by her betrayal, and, to my surprise, summoned a windstorm born of my grief and anger. I was pleased with this new skill, and spent many months in solitude, honing and perfecting it, until I did not have to have strong emotions, but could summon a wind anytime. Since the time of my betrayal, I decided to live life alone, and bought a ship. I found that I was reluctant to hurt or steal from anyone, so I have never robbed any vessels, and that made me an outcast from the other pirates. I had no one that I could trust. Then I found you. We were both outcasts from society, looking for a friend; we were perfect for each other. I decided not to tell you of my power, for I wanted to bear my burden alone, and not let my grief spill over onto you. I realize my mistake now, but it's too late. We're stuck here now."

     "Don't worry Shura, you did what you thought was best, and I know that we'll find some way out of this mess. Somehow, we will escape."

     Many days had passed since Shura found me. The other pets had either been sold or had remained to wait another month in the confines of the ship. Leiras still had not woken; her skin was deathly pale and she breathed shallowly. I was afraid that the gash on her head would get infected, and Shura cleaned it every time water was brought in (my hooves not being ideal for cleaning wounds). Shura and I talked about anything we could think of, there not being anything else to do. But soon enough, every topic of discussion was exhausted, and we were silent, retreating deep into our thoughts. This was how I thought of how to escape. It was risky, and there were about a hundred million things that could go wrong, but it was the only plan we had, and we went with it.

     The pirates didn't have Shura's lock-pick. I found it, jammed into the fabric of her boot where she had fallen on it in the fight. I saw the tip glint when the swinging lantern illuminated our cell for a few moments. I managed to get it out without breaking it, and bent it back into shape, first freeing Shura, then myself, and then Lieras. I tossed my head, glad to be rid of the dragging weight of the manacle. Now we had to wait until the next time we were brought food. When we heard the pirate's footsteps, we put the chains around us again, but didn't close them completely. When the door was open, the pirate strode over to us, and when his back was turned, Shura did a fast bit of wind magic that slammed him into the wall, leaving him out cold. Shura grabbed Lieras and we hurried down the corridor. We stopped by the door and I peeked out. It was late at night, and I was blinded for a moment by the moon; my eyes had not seen this much light for a while. There were no pirates around; apparently the one giving out the food was the only guard they bothered with. We snuck over to where the dingy was kept, lowered it over the side, and we were away.

     I reveled in the moonlight, and then leapt out of the boat and into the sea, twirling in the ocean waters until my unexercised muscles demanded that I get back onto the dingy. What did it matter that my muscles ached, I was free at last! No more cages or chains, no more prospect of being sold away like a petpet, I was going home! Well, not technically, first we had to go and alert the authorities about the pirates, and get Lieras to the hospital, and of course we had to get our ship back from wherever the pirates got rid of it. But after that, I would be able to sleep in my own bed and play with my petpet once more. Once we were on land, both Shura and I were a little shaky at first, but we managed to get to the Police Station without too much trouble. The police were happy to hear where all of the pets that had been recently going missing were, and promised to find them as soon as possible. Then we went straight to the Neopian Hospital, where they sent us on a straight transport to the Healing Springs.

     The first thing that Lieras saw when she woke up was the smiling face of the Water Faerie, proclaiming her fully healed. She gaped in awe, looking around the beautiful world of Faerieland and staring at the moon until Shura swept her up in a hug. It was then that I noticed something wonderful.

     "Lieras, your wings are whole again! The Faerie healed them!"

     "My-my wings are healed?" she asked tentatively, craning her neck to look, "They are, they're not torn anymore!" With a cry of joy she took flight, twirling and looping in the sky; dancing to the tune of her words, "I can fly again!"

     "I think that it's time to bring you home, Lynn," said Shura, smiling, "And your friend too, if she so desires."

     Lieras did want to come home with us, and as soon as I walked in the door, I was tackled by Nemo, highly excitable Nuranna extraordinaire, and Shura had to help get him off of me. I lead Lieras to my room and she was thrilled that she had a home at last. I told her that we would have to share a room for now, but Shura would get her her own room soon enough. And so we all slept, but kept one ear open all night for fear that the pirates would come back for us.

     The next morning, Shura woke us up and said that the pirates had been caught sailing in the direction of our house. The pets that they had were all being either returned to their previous owners or given new homes, and we were to go and see the villains for ourselves. I was nervous, but when I saw Shura's expression, I almost felt sorry for the pirates. They wouldn't know what hit them. We walked in and saw that they were indeed the ones who had caused all of this.

     The first words out of Shura's mouth were, "Okay, what did you do with our ship?"

     The Eyrie looked surprised but answered, "We sold it to a boatyard on Krawk Island."

     "Good, you decided to preserve your health by telling me. I think that we'll leave the police to deal with you."

***

The journey was ending where it had begun, on Krawk Island. We reached the boatyard and were greeted by the jeers that we had heard last time. But Shura ignored them and gave the old Pteri in charge a slip of paper that the Police had given us. He gave us a sour look and gestured to our ship. We went over to it, still followed by the laughing and cruel jokes, but we boarded without a second thought about it. We were almost out of the harbor, when Shura grinned evilly and turned around. She sent a wind at the pirates on the wharf, knocking them all into the water. They came up spluttering and looked at her with incredulousness etched onto their faces. She gave a wave back, and we laughed. We had a new crew member and we were free. All was right in our world again.

The End

Previous Episodes

Shrouded Past: Part One


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