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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 29th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 122 > Short Stories > Hannah's Christmas In the Caves

Hannah's Christmas In the Caves

by cool_space_faerie

Hannah looked behind her, her dirty ears flapping as she cocked her head side to side. It hadn't been much excitement for her, despite the fact that Christmas was nearing, but Hannah was an unusual pet of standards -- an unusual Usul, you would say. Instead of living in green, tall trees, she spent most of her life escaping the Pirates of the caves. She was trying to get away from the Pirate Caves.

     "So far, that filthy crew don't even know where I am," she would mutter occasionally, as her feet touched the cold puddle. She would always try to hide in a muddy cubby-hole, or go to secret caverns. So far she wasn't successful. She knew that Uncle Bloodhook, and his crew, would catch up to her eventually. She heaved a sad sigh, and continued to sprint off into the distance.

     For once, she had discovered a good hiding place. It wasn't hygienic, but it was better then nothing. She took a bite of her stale piece of bread, and a gulp of fresh water. She looked at her ripped dress. Not much of a dress. Brown, thin, and muddy. Then, she looked at her paws. Really the same thing. Then, she looked at her emerald prize, and grinned. She felt it's smooth surface. "Well, at least it's a Christmas present I'll enjoy!" she gave a small giggle. These were good times in the caves. Suddenly, her joy was broken by some gruff voices.

     Pirates!

     Hannah stuffed the jewel in her bag, held her breath, then dived into the nearest little pool. It was tiny, Hannah could hardly fit in, but she squeezed through a passage. Her head came poking out into another muddy hiding place, apart from that the only exit was that underwater passage. She grinned all over, but kept silent. The pirates were always alert for any suspicion, and if they discovered Hannah... she couldn't think about it. Instead, she huddled up into the damp corner, and listened.

     "Hmmm... no signs here.... we need to move out crew!"

     "Aye, Cap'n we shall get the jewel!"

     They disappeared. Hannah punched the air with victory. She had found a great hiding place! She gave a chuckle. "I might as well count down to Christmas!"

     The next few days, Hannah saw no sign of the pirates, so she moved into her normal Hideout. However, whenever she felt scared, she paddled her way back to the ultimate hiding place. Hannah never knew that there was such a Hideout, all she thought was that they were cramped and uncomfortable. She often stroked her prize jewel, murmuring to herself, “I think my Christmas won’t be so bad.”

     Hannah decided to ‘move out’ a bit. She found a rickety ladder, and bravely climbed up it. A Pawkeet would attempt to peck her sometimes. Finally, she reached her goal. A grand, bronze, treasure chest. She gazed proudly at her achievement, and, using her deft more. Not Hideouts, of course, but explore more. So, taking a slightly safer route, she stumbled upon a ladder. Hannah looked at the unsteady ladder, and gave a brave grin. “Safe enough to me,” she exclaimed. So, she carefully climbed the rickety ladder. It would wobble then and there, and the hands, opened the chest without difficulty. Gold coins scattered here and there, and Hannah picked up the ones she could reach.

     “Well, I better get back!” she sighed proudly to herself, and, once again, tried to climb the ladder. Well, she tried. The ladder rope started to break, and soon, Hannah was falling down to the water. “Oh nooooo!” she screamed. The icy cold water touched her body as it splashed. Her gold coins scattered down to the depths of the water, leaving Hannah paddling for her life. “This can’t be a good Christmas!” she screamed to herself, and then had no choice but to dive underwater.

     The icy water pressed against Hannah’s face. Hannah squinted her big eyes against the water. She reached out for some coins, and gasped with amazement when she saw a small passage! Dropping coins, leaving them on the sand, Hannah did the opposite of what she was supposed to do. Her curiosity was mixed with anxiety. What happened if pirates were there? Would she get killed? Could she risk it? She imagined herself out of the caves, under a Christmas tree, with her jewel. She decided to risk it.

     Hannah gave a gasp of fresh air. She felt relieved that no one was there. She gave a contented sigh... or at least she would have if she hadn’t heard the crafty voices of the pirates again. Hannah plunged back into the water, listening to the conversation intently.

     “But Cap’n, why are we desperate for a gem?”

     “You fool, this gem… this gem shall contain the power for takin’ over the whole of Neopia! Then we’ll have a merry Christmas!” There were evil snorts and sniggers, and a stunned gasp from Hannah. She simply had to stop them. Suddenly, she felt dizzy, and uncomfortable. She was begging for air. She felt herself float up to the top of the water, about to take her breath of life…

     “There she is lads!”

     Hannah heard the angered voices of the pirates. “Oh no!” She gasped. Diving down, yet again, she felt the icy water press against her ears, the shouts of pirates, and the orders of BloodHooks voice, which was usually, “C’mon lads! Yer can swim!” Hannah heard the splash of the crew. She knew it. She was going to die. Sunlight was beaming into her anxious eyes – was she going to make it?

     She did. The crew were struggling, and flailing their paws around frantically, whilst Uncle BloodHooks face was turning a fiery red. Hannah gave a victorious smirk, and, not realizing it, had entered Krawk Island.

     Krawk Island?

     Yes, Krawk Isalnd.

     “C’mon Hannah! Where have you been?” Hannah turned around. She gave a sad sigh. It was the Golden Dubloon manager. Hannah wished she hadn’t exited the caves, and entered the Island. The manager lead her to the bar, where they had decorated it, and Christmas music was playing. Hannah miserably worked and worked hard, and decided to talk to the manager..

     “You want to WHAT??!!!” Hannah gave a serious look at the manager. “Aye, I know the bad pay… but quitting?” Hannah nodded, and, sticking up her nose, left the bar, leaving the shell-shocked manager.

     Hannah booked to leave Krawk Island by boat. She agreed to depart at 3.00 o’clock, and immediately began to pack her bags, despite the only items she had was the gem. “Maybe I can get a good life somewhere else,” she muttered to herself. The time flew by, and soon she was aboard the majestic ship, which, to Hannah’s wish, was heading towards Happy Valley. She looked sadly at her home, but maybe there was somewhere else she could enjoy.

     In two hours, they had arrived at the joyful place. Hannah stood out, because of her drab dress and dirty fur. Looking around, she saw wide smiles around her, and laughing pets carrying trees and decorations. She smiled – a perfect place to celebrate Christmas! She stuffed her paw in her pocket. A sad look fell upon her face. She was broke. Then, she looked at the Advent Calendar. She trudged through the snow. She saw joyous pets of all kinds carry items, and a few hundred Neopoints. Hannah entered the calendar. Looking around, she saw the date –17th December. Opening the calendar, some prizes came out, including 300 Neopoints! Hannah laughed heartily, and saw her gifts. A Sparkly Seasonal Stocking, and a Seasonal Kaleidoscope. Immediately, Hannah ripped open the stocking, and, to her surprise, there was a five coin dubloon.

     It couldn’t be.

     But it was.

     Hannah’s heart beat faster than ever. Then, behind the excitement, there was a tinge of homesickness. Hannah started to miss Krawk Island. She heaved a small sigh, then lay in the snow. She thought of her past life as a sleazy ‘bartender’ – well, that’s what her manager told her, and how she soon became the adventurous ‘rascal’ (the pirate’s nickname for her), and, now, a lax citizen of Happy Valley.

     Hannah snapped out of her day dreaming when she realized that she came here for a reason; she wanted a happy Christmas. Maybe, she could insist for a job.. She looked around. No chance of a job. She sighed. It wasn’t until she gazed at the sign; ‘CHRISTMAS TREES HALF PRICE!’ She gasped in amazement. Walking slowly into the shop, she saw the chubby Bruce shopkeeper. She smiled at Hannah, and showed her all the trees in the shop. Then, Hannah saw it. A nice-looking tree the same price as all the others, not bad at all! She smiled. “I’ll take it!” she announced proudly. The shopkeeper took the money, and gave in return, Hannah the tree.

     The shopkeeper was extremely kind, because she gave Hannah some decorations for free! “Have a very merry Christmas!” she exclaimed.

     Hannah nodded, and exited the warm shop. She had an idea.

     Soon, after the call, Hannah was back on the ship to Krawk Island. She missed the Caves, and the endless tunnels, with the exciting atmosphere in the air, and Hannah had packed her bags, ready to come back. As soon as she set foot on the Island, she ran past the bar, on which she noticed catchy ‘Jingle Bells’ tunes, and, looking around so no one would get suspicious, entered the caves. It was just as cold, damp, and dank as before, but at least it was Hannah’s real home.

     That evening, in Hannah’s hideout, she put up the Christmas tree, and the twinkling decorations, and sat laxly on the muddy wall. She yawned, and thought to herself, “Maybe those Pirates won’t have a great Christmas, but I certainly will.” And, after that, she couldn’t help laughing. Aloud.

The End


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