“Aye, if it isn’t me ol’ brother’s partner, Wood!”
The Aisha smiled. "'Ello Drawlred! I see ye've
dropped by fer a visit!"
"Yes I 'ave!" Drawlred exclaimed.
"Who does tha girl belong ta?" Wood then inquired.
"Ah, I brought 'er to be hired by me brother,
but he said she be too weak fer working!"
"Weak, eh?" Wood stared at Hannah, and then
pinched her cheek to test Lyle's synopsis.
This, of course, hurt the Usul and she yelped
out in pain. The Aisha nodded at the yelp.
"Aye, very weak, mate! O'course that isn't too
bad if ye think 'bout it!"
"What ain't bad 'bout it, Wood?" Lyle interrupted.
"Ye see mate, she be fine fer smugglin' in goods.
Nobody ev'r suspects a young girl of crime!"
Lyle nodded, suddenly rethinking his plans.
Maybe this child would not be so bad! Afterall, as Wood had just said, nobody
ever suspects a child of crime.
"Aye, nevermind 'bout me not hirin' 'er, Drawlred!
She be hired! What be 'er name?"
"Hannah," Drawlred replied.
"Aye." Lyle nodded, and then stared directly
at Hannah. "You, Hannah, are now employed by me partner and I!"
Hannah nodded weakly. "O-okay," she stammered.
"Yar, ye may leave now, Drawlred! Thank ye for
Drawlred nodded. "Yer welcome, mate." The Krawk
gave a short wave to Hannah, and then limped out of the cave. The Usul was alone
with Wood and Lyle.
"Well, ye get ta work, girl! There's much ta
do! Come with me and I'll show ye all that needs ta be done!" Wood exclaimed.
"One question," Hannah whispered. "I have one
"What is it, aye?" Lyle inquired.
"What do you exactly do?"
"Aye, good question," Wood replied. "We be tha
Krawk Island smugglers!"
The days soon became habitual for Hannah. She'd wake up at dawn, eat a breakfast
of whatever Wood or Lyle gave her, set out to do work until 12, eat lunch, rest
for an hour, do work until 3, rest until dinner, eat dinner, do work until 9,
then go to bed. The schedule was tedious, but Hannah couldn't say anything to
the smugglers to change it. Their ways were set in stone; indestructible stone.
Days eventually turned into weeks, the weeks
into months, and the months into whole years.
Hannah barely ever thought of her old home,
and of her mother and brother and father, but there were those few times in
the dead of the night when thoughts about them crossed their mind. She missed
them dearly at those times, but there was no way she could go back to them now.
Afterall, now, 7 complete years had passed by.
"Ar, wake up, Hannah!" Wood yelled, shaking the Usul awake.
Hannah yawned. "Mornin' already?" she asked.
"Aye," he replied. He grabbed onto the Usul's
paws and pulled her into the upright position.
At the age of sixteen, Hannah looked a lot different
than she had when she arrived to Krawk Island 7 years back. Her once rather
chubby figure had slimmed out, and she was tall. Her brown hair was wavier than
it had once been, flowing freely until it reached down to her knees. She also
dressed differently, wearing raggedy old dressed rather than clean skirts and
spotless white blouses.
Hannah sighed, and then smiled wearily at Wood.
"What am I gonna be doing today?" she asked.
"Yarr, we have a surprise fer ye!" Lyle, who
was standing a few feet from Wood and Hannah, exclaimed.
Hannah perked up; surprises were rare among
the trio. "What is it?" she inquired eagerly.
Lyle and Wood turned toward the mouth of cave.
Hannah followed their lead. She gasped at what she saw.
Striding into the cave was somebody she'd never
ever forget; Drawlred! He had visited only four times since Hannah had been
dropped off, each only to bid a quick hello to his brother, Wood and the child
who'd grown up so much between each trip.
"Hi Drawlred!" Hannah cried out. "Why are ya
He grinned slightly. "'Cording ta Krawk Island
law, ye're now old enough ta work in me tavern! Wood and Lyle though it might
be time for a change! With their permission, I've hired ye!"
Hannah smiled, remembering him telling her that
she was too young to work there so long ago. Then, though, she frowned. Just
like that, Drawlred had hired her? After being with Wood and Lyle for seven
years they literally just sold her away? She was hurt, but did not say anything
to express her feelings. She did not want to get any of them angry.
"When do I leave?" Hannah merely asked.
"Aye, now! Come along!"
"B-but, what about my belongings?" Hannah thought
of the necklace she had put together with a thick line of braided thread and
seashells she found on a beach 3 years ago, and of the three dresses she had
sewn for herself.
"Yar, I have stuff at me place. Come along now,
Hannah! Tha customers will start arriving very soon, aye, yes they will! Say
g'bye ta Wood and Lyle! We will visit them later!"
Her head whirling, Hannah waved goodbye to Lyle
and Wood, and then turned back toward Drawlred. The events were so sudden… so
Before she could think of the situation more,
Drawlred walked over, grabbed her paw and led her out of the cave.
Hannah worked at the tavern for 3 years. Not only was it dreadfully boring,
but it was also badly paid. True, Drawlred did lend her the tiny spare bedroom
in his cramped residence, but she had to buy everything else needed for living
with her own Neopoints.
After three years, though, when Hannah found
the book, everything changed.
The book was lying in the sand, alone and dirty. It had a cloth cover, and
seemed to be fairly old. Hannah picked it up out of pure curiosity.
Later that night, when the tavern was at it's
slowest hour, she sat back on a barstool and started flipping throughout its
worn pages. The words spoke of ancient caves, built by an unknown crew of pirates
ages back. They had stored their prized treasure chests in it, but they had
not done so stupidly. Not just any old pet could retrieve it, as they had set
up monster guards in many places.
Hannah sighed, thinking about when she dreamed
of being like the Kacheek from that old book she was always obsessing over.
How she wished to explore old caves, and become a hero to the world.
"Yar, Hannah, what be ye doing?"
Hannah snapped out of her trance and stared
"I'm reading," she replied blankly.
"What? Readin'? Aye, don't let that pointless
rubbish fill yer brain! Anyway, ye need ta be working, lassie! I didn't hire
ye to slack off!"
Hannah nodded, but then questioned, "Do you
mind if I take the rest of the night off? I need to catch up on sleep."
Drawlred frowned, but then nodded. "Aye, I s'pose,
but ye better be 'ere bright and early in tha mornin'! 'Ear me?"
"Yes." Hannah stood up, scooped the book into
her paws, and then walked out of the tavern.
Drawlred watched from behind the safety of a
window. He thought it was rather odd for her to be turning right instead of
left, but he did not give the matter a second thought.
He should've though.
Hannah walked for about 10 minutes, but then plopped down onto the sand. She
quickly opened the book, and turned to page 289, where a map of how to get to
the pirate caves was printed. The location was far away, but she knew that if
she walked fast, she could arrive within a few days.
"I'm going to live out my childhood dreams,"
she whispered as she set off towards where the map specified. "I will be Hannah
of the pirate caves."
Many years later, when she was old and gray, Cecelia was walking around the
area where the bookshop was located. She was about to pass it when she stopped
and decided to purchase another book to read.
Slowly, she stepped inside and started browsing
through dozens of shelves of books. Most didn't interest her; they seemed boring,
with cliché plots and weak writing. But one, though, did in fact catch her eye.
The spine read Hannah of the Pirate Caves in shiny gold writing, and
the cover was navy blue.
Cecelia tugged it out of the shelf, and started
reading the first page of the story.
The young green Usul sat on her Wooden Bed,
flipping slowly throughout her leather-bound storybook. The pages were old and
yellowed, torn in some corners and ink slightly smudged every few paragraphs.
The appearance of the book was enough to tell that it had been read constantly,
as also was the fact that the Usul had her nose buried in it more often than
"Hannah," the Usul's mother said from the
doorway, staring harshly at her daughter, "have you done your homework yet?"
The Usul, Hannah, briefly glanced up from
her reading. "Some of it," she replied blankly.
Cecelia quickly shut the book and looked at
the author's name. Hannah. Simply Hannah. Hugging the book tightly against her
chest, Cecelia made her way over to the register.
"How much for this?" she asked the shopkeeper.
"Uh… how 'bout 4,000?"
"Alright." Cecelia fished 4,000 Neopoints out
of her purse and handed them to the shopkeeper.
"Thanks for your purchase. I hope you come aga
Cecelia left before the Nimmo could finish.
She quick-walked home, and once she arrived there, opened the door and plopped
down into the nearest chair. After reading only a few pages, she knew that this
Usul was her little Hannah… the one she had lost so long ago.
Smiling, Cecelia picked up a blank journal and
Air Faerie Pen from the coffee table a few feet over. Word by word, she copied
her daughter's book onto the paper, and then added a little part of her own
at the end.
She then ripped out a still-blank piece of paper
from the end of the composition book and scribbled her own little note on it:
This story is called 'Hannah of the Pirate
Caves'. I know that it's a real book, but please don't just send it back with
a rejection letter. My daughter, Hannah, wrote this. That's the author. Just
Cecelia dropped the piece of paper and journal
into an envelope. She then wrote the Neopian Times Submission address onto the
front of it in her finest handwriting, and stamped the envelope shut.
Following that, the Usul went outside and dropped
the story into the mailbox. As she walked back inside her house, she replayed
her own ending in her head, and then the second-to last sentence.
What you've just finished reading is Hannah's
And that is the second to last sentence in this
story as well, because the two are one in the same.
Author’s Note: Heh, I hope you enjoyed ‘Hannah of the Pirate Caves’^-^ I had
loads of fun writing it! Feel free to Neomail me with any comments about the story;
I love comments. And no, I did write this story, not Hannah =P So muwahaha X__x