The waves lapped silently up the shores of Krawk Island.
Keeshi the blue female Wocky sat on the sandy beach, watching the waves crash
on shore, and the fish jump up out of the sea water. Keeshi loved the smell of
the ocean breeze; she could sit here for hours. But Keeshi wasn't here to nap
on the beach and daydream all day long until she had to come home for dinner.
She was anxiously waiting for someone, and he should be arriving any time soon.
For the past two months, a young pirate male
Kougra had befriended Keeshi when he saw her sitting on the beach crying when
she realized her owner had abandoned her younger sister. He went by the name
of Captain William Stripes, and he was the captain of a grand and glorious ship
called the Red Tsunami. He would fend off pirates that were a threat to Krawk
Island, and he never lost a battle. He entertained Keeshi with dozens of fascinating
tales of how he courageously fought off five pirates single-handed, or the time
when he nearly thrown overboard in a raging storm. But Keeshi didn't like him
because he was a well known captain or because he was the richest Neopet in
Krawk Island for his work. She liked him because he himself was a pirate.
Keeshi longed to be a pirate. Or a buccaneer,
if there was a difference between the two. She wondered how exciting it would
be to fight off an army of evil pirates, steal treasure chests looted with money.
But that was the silliest dream ever. She wasn't painted pirate, and she had
no experience in using a sword. Sometimes boat rides made her seasick. But that
was partly why she was waiting for Captain Stripes. Today she was determined
to try and make that dream come true at last. Tiredly, she leaned back on the
sandy shore and closed her eyes, the crashing waves and cool breeze a soothing
sound to the ears...
It wasn't long before Keeshi heard footsteps
behind her. She sat up and turned around. Coming to greet her was Captain Stripes
himself. The expression on his face was solemn but warm-hearted. It bore a small
smile, but loving eyes. He was a very handsome Kougra, and all the ladies on
Krawk Island blushed at even the thought of him. Keeshi herself felt her face
growing a little hot when Captain Stripes came down and sat by her.
"It's a marvelous scene, isn't it?" he whispered.
"I remember when I was younger I would come
out and wade in the shallow salt water. It always brought me joy to see the
clear blue sky stretching out miles in front of me and below little fish swimming
around my feet. The sand felt soothing, and I remember dozens of times I would
lay on the beach and take hour long naps."
"So, you love this beach as much as I do?"
"Yeah, well, when you're the captain of the
biggest fastest ship on Krawk Island, I barely find time to do that anymore.
I only find time to do that when I meet you here. Just watching you gaze out
into the horizon is like a memory of my childhood."
Keeshi blushed. She never really that she was
that special to Captain Stripes. Part of her thought that the only reason he
stopped every day to talk to her was just because he felt sorry for her. It
relieved her to know that he liked her for who she was. You don't find Neopets
who are like that anymore.
"So, what are you daydreaming about, Keeshi?"
"Well, I was wondering... what is it like to
be a pirate?"
Captain Stripes chuckled a bit. "Well I'd say it's adventurous and brutal."
"You bet," Captain Stripes nodded. "I mean,
sure it's lots of fun to be in charge of fifty sailors and uncover treasure
chests that have been buried for centuries by other pirates. But when the food
tastes like Pteri dung, when the nights are freezing, and life threatening storms
lie ahead of you, not knowing when they'll occur, it's tough." He stopped and
stared deep into Keeshi's eyes. "Why do you ask?"
"I don't know. I guess being a pirate has always
been a dream of mine, ever since my owner took me to Krawk Island years ago.
Digging up buried treasure, fighting off a whole army of cut-throat villains...
and not to mention wearing totally chic clothes."
"Chic?" Captain Stripes laughed.
"I'm serious," Keeshi giggled. "In fact, there's
something I've been wanting to ask for a long time. Now, hypothetically speaking,
if I were to ask if I could join your crew and become a pirate just like you,
what would your immediate response be."
"Hypothetically speaking... most likely I'd
"Why?" Keeshi whined.
"Listen, Keeshi, I know you want to be a pirate,
and it's your lifelong dream. It was mine, too. But you've never been to the
Swashbuckling Academy, you have no experience with getting into a duel with
a pirate, and you have told me that it doesn't take much for you to get seasick.
Maybe if you had a little bit more experience, then I'd say yes. But I think
right now it's just too dangerous."
Keeshi cast her eyes to the sandy ground, watching
a Crabula scuttle back and forth on its legs. She couldn't hide her disappointment.
Of all people, she thought that Captain Stripes would understand. But he was
just like everyone else. He didn't believe she could do it.
"You're not a pirate," Captain Stripes whispered
when he noticed the expression on her face. "You're just a city girl who loves
to hang out at the Grooming Parlor and play Usuki Frenzy. Being a crew member
on the Red Tsunami is very dangerous. You are very special to me, Keeshi and
I don't want to put your life in danger by saying yes. I'm really sorry."
Down by the docks a loud bell sounded, echoing
throughout the whole entire island. At once, Captain Stripes stood up and brushed
the sand of his uniform. "I have to go," he announced. "My crew got a report
this morning that one of our ships was robbed by a band of pirate Kyriis. They
took the loot and buried it somewhere far off out North. We're going to go recover
Keeshi quickly stood up. "Can I go?"
"Keeshi, do you remember what I just-"
"I know, I know... when will you be back?"
"In a week, two weeks, probably. As much as
I want to stay, I really really need to go on this journey. I'll give you a
full report of my adventure when I return," replied Captain Stripes. Quickly,
he bowed to Keeshi in a polite manner before he quickly strode off toward the
harbor. With tears in her eyes, Keeshi watched as he walked away; she watched
her hopes and dreams walk off with him.
"I'm going to be a pirate," she finally said
to herself. "I don't care what Stripes says."
Looking to her left, she noticed dozens of boxes
being loaded on board the Red Tsunami. Who knew what was in them, but quite
a few of them looked big enough for her to fit in. With a fiery look in her
eye, she casually made her way over to the docks, one word echoing in her mind
the whole time: stowaway.
Groggily, Keeshi opened her eyes. Where am I? she thought to herself.
Confused, she looked around. She was in a box. A box filled with... musho mushy
peas? That was when it all hit Keeshi like a ton of bricks. She threw herself
into this smelly, tight box to sneak aboard Captain Stripes' ship. And by the
rocking and swaying, she could tell that they were probably miles away from
Krawk Island. She had done it! She succeeded!
With a burst of energy, Keeshi was able to kick
open the box, although it hurt terribly. Her legs were cramped, and she might've
pulled something in her neck. Surprisingly, she didn't feel sick at all even
though the ship was rocking. So trying to get used to the movement, she headed
toward a flight of stairs and slowly began climbing up.
She came to a door, which she pushed open, revealing
the bright sunlight, nearly blinding her. Shading her eyes, she saw sailors
everywhere. Three were swabbing the decks, one was climbing up the mast, and
another was talking to Captain Stripes... Captain Stripes! Keeshi smiled when
she saw her handsome friend talking to a pirate Poogle.
"Captain Stripes! Captain Stripes!" she called.
But she was stopped abruptly when she felt two
paws grab her shoulders. "Hey, let go of me!" Keeshi yelled, struggling frantically.
Turning around, she stared into the eyes of a pirate Eyrie glaring down at her.
"Let go of me, birdbrain!" she commanded.
"Captain Stripes! Ahoy, Captain Stripes!" shrieked
the Eyrie, ignoring Keeshi's shrieks and pleads. Captain Stripes turned around,
his eyes widening in surprise when he was Keeshi in the hands of this Eyrie.
"Ahoy, Captain, we got ourselves a stowaway!" he declared. Immediately, the
crew turned and looked at Keeshi, glaring at her with dozens of cold, brown
eyes that Keeshi dared not look into.
Captain Stripes strode over, his eyes blazing
with fury. "Keeshi, what are you doing here? We're miles from Krawk Island,
we can't afford to turn this ship around?" Rolling his eyes, he looked up at
the Eyrie. "This is no stowaway. She's my friend, Keeshi. Release her."
Grunting, the Eyrie let go of Keeshi, who rubbed
her shoulder tenderly. Captain Stripes stared deep into Keeshi's eyes. Keeshi
was frightened, he had never given her this cold-hearted, cruel look before.
It was as if he viewed her as an enemy than a best friend. Setting a firm jaw,
he turned to his crew. "What are you looking at? Get back to work, we're making
good time!" he ordered.
The crew at once went back to work, murmuring
among themselves, and still keeping a wary eye on the stowaway Wocky. "Keeshi,
what are you doing here?" Captain Stripes repeated. "I told you before, it's
not safe and you deliberately disobeyed me. We are going to have to find some
way to get you back home before you get yourself in trouble."
"Captain, I can do this. Just give me a chance,
I can be a pirate!"
"Keeshi, if the Red Tsunami was to get hijacked,
your blood would be on my hands, and I wouldn't forgive myself if something
bad happened to you!" Captain Stripes half yelled, half whispered. "I'll call
in another ship to take you back to Krawk Island." "Captain Stripes--"
"Land ho!" Keeshi was interrupted. The crew
was leaning over the edge of the starboard side of the Red Tsunami. Far out
was a patch of land, almost invisible to the naked eye. Captain Stripes quickly
took out a telescope and aimed the lens at the patch of land. He could see a
volcano surrounded by a lush green forest.
"What's all the excitement?" Keeshi questioned.
"That band of Kyriis buried their treasure here.
I can feel it," whispered Captain Stripes.
"But this island isn't located on the map?"
"That's why we're so fortunately to have already
found it a few hours into our journey."
It took about an hour for the Red Tsunami to
drop anchor off the shores of the island. Keeshi and Captain Stripes were rowed
in a rather large rowboat to the island, where more than half the crew got off
and began scanning the island intently. Keeshi's eyes showed pure excitement
and eagerness, but whenever she looked at Captain Stripes, who returned the
look with a disappointed expression, the joy vanished.
Once on the beach, Captain Stripes took out
an old, ancient map and nodded at Keeshi. "Stay close to me. I don't want to
have to go searching for you if you wander off." Keeshi nodded, and she and
the crew followed Captain Stripes through a dark jungle.
Keeshi had no problem staying close to the crew.
Within fifteen minutes the crew had stumbled upon quicksand, poisonous thorns
jutting out from some plants, and a fast moving river filled with piranha-like
fish. Among the crew, Keeshi found a very friendly pirate Shoyru who was named
"Why is this treasure so important to Captain
Stripes?" she asked.
"We recovered this treasure not too long ago.
Legend has it that the evil One-Eyed Murrain and his evil band of pirate Kyriis
have used this is to store all their ill-gotten treasure for decades. If we
find more than one treasure chest, Captain Stripes will use the money to heal
his sick little sister Cheyenne."
"Captain Stripes has a family?"
"Aye, you didn't know that?"
"Captain Stripes never mentioned anything about
his family... to me, at least."
"He brought his little sister out on one of
his cruises to find buried treasure. She wandered off and got stung with a poisonous
barb from a tree. It gave her the grumbles, and Captain Stripes has lost nearly
everything he had trying to find a cure for her."
"So that's why he didn't want me coming along
with him," Keeshi said. "He didn't want me to get that disease either." Then
another thought entered her mind. "And that's why he's spending as much time
with me as he possibly can," she whispered to herself. "It's because he knows
exactly what I was going through. Because he couldn't imagine would it would
be like to lose someone you love..."
To be continued....