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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 28th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 7 > Short Stories > The Skeith Hunter

The Skeith Hunter

by al_the_chia

There was once a purple Blumaroo called Outback. Outback was a legend in the dusty parts and jungle regions of Neopia. Not because he was a hero. He wasn't successful in any way. As a matter of fact, Outback was the most horrible failure of a Blumaroo ever. He flunked out so much, he became known as Outback the Failure. Despite this, Outback was a happy Blumaroo, with a bright, shiny smile, glimmering, shining eyes, and a cheery greeting: "G'Day."

He liked to wear and collect teeth for some bizarre reason, and had a toothy Native necklace and a claw earring stuck in one of his floppy ears. He also wore a dusty old cowboy hat, which he garnished with several claws around the band, as well as a bright red Pteri feather. He lived in a dusty old shack on a beach on Mystery Island, trying to discover something he was good at. Every day, he tried and tried to do something right. He took up writing, he took up wrestling, he took up chess, checkers, Chinese checkers, basketball, baseball, Gormball, football, but nothing seemed to work for him. He would often end up staring out at the ocean, his eyes misty, miserable about his last failure. Little by little, failure after failure, his bright cheery complexion began to fade. His bright eyes became dull and tired, his cheery smile still on his face, but seeming more forced and inauthentic. He couldn't find his purpose in life, and it seemed like he never would. But he kept up his persistence. He kept on searching for his place, his reason, his ultimate goal. But the search seemed hopeless, and Outback's future looked grim....

One day, Outback was starting another morning in his old shack. He yawned, staring at the clock. "Well, here we go again..." he sighed. He grabbed his hat, attached his earring, tied on his necklace, and bounced out of bed, as he usually does. Hopping across his dusty wooden floor, he arrived in his cramped kitchen, as he usually does. He poured his coffee and slowly sipped it, as he usually does. Then, he opened the latest Neopian Times, as he usually does. Instead of reading the current news, he skipped straight to Job Offers, as he usually did. He searched and searched for the next job, for the next opportunity to discover himself, as he usually does. But something happened that usually didn't happen today. There was one, huge, glaring ad that immediately grabbed his attention, one new thing he hasn't tried yet. One new thing that seemed perfect. Skeith HUNTER WANTED. His eyes widened. "Skeith hunter!" Outback nearly jumped out of his chair. Skeith hunting was something he had once been forbidden to do.

His father was a Skeith hunter, one of the best in Neopia. He was a tough burly Blumaroo, with scars and marks all over, and he'd often show them off to his son, as kind of a warning. "This is where I got bitten by a nasty red Skeith who had run away from his owner, and here's where I got scratched by an angry Lenny who escaped from the pound. Outback, I'm showing you these scars to warn you... I don't want you to be in danger like I have... I want you to be anything but a Skeith hunter!" the young Outback, truly shocked by the gaping scars, had agreed never to take on his father's profession. And his profession was truly a dangerous one. He was assigned to help control dangerous creatures that troubled Neopians. He battled everything! From rabid PetPets to the Pant Devil, his father was truly a hero! He always told his son never to give up, always be persistent...

Outback smiled. He looked to the corner where his father's old Crystal boomerang sat. It was one of the family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. And now, outback picked it up, shining it's beautiful glass surface, testing it's diamond-like hardness. Outback's smile suddenly came back. "Sorry dad!" He said, a determined look on his face. "This is likely my last chance to do something right! I have to seize it!" And with that, he threw the boomerang. It whistled as it cut through the air, zooming around the room several times, before whizzing back, hitting Outback on the head with a dull thud. Outback blinked, a bump swelling up on his head. "Nice try, dad!" He picked up the boomerang and bounced out the door, rubbing his head.

Outback soon arrived at a tour boat business. The whole place was deserted. Pieces of paper flew like tumbleweeds across the dusty ground. Outback took a deep breath. "I'd better not blow it..." He marched in, entering the main office. The Mynci at the front desk was surprised by the young Blumaroo "Hey, who might you be?"

"Outback Dustee."

"Say, wasn't your dad that famous Skeith hunter? Taking on the Profession, ay?"

"Yep! I'm gonna keep the family name in Skeith hunting!"

"Very well. I'm having a horrible time with my boat ride. Every time I take out some tourists for the tour, this great big, terrifying Krawk leaps out of the water and scares them all away. I'm not talking a cute, little baby Krawk, the kind that they sell as PetPets. I'm talking about the biggest, fattest momma Krawk I've ever seen in my life! You have to get it out of my swamp!!"

"All right mate, I'll do my best!" Outback smiled his flashy smile. "That Krawk'll be out of here in no time!"

Outback patted his trusty crystal boomerang, which was attached to his belt. The creek was covered with many vines and trees. The water flowing slowly through the small creek and Outback's breathing were the only sounds heard. It was an eerie, awkward silence. Outback looked around slowly, carefully. Suddenly, he tripped and fell into the water with a loud splash. He spluttered and spit, pulling himself out quickly.

"AUGH!" he gasped, soggy from head to tail. He spit out the water, choking. "Darn! I never learned how to swim!" Outback looked around, seeing a small wooden raft with a long pole. The raft was covered with green slime, as well as the pole. "Crikey..." he muttered, hopping on and snatching the pole. He pushed off, slowly rowing on, following the current, until reaching a bigger neck of the water. It was almost the size of the river, and was as silent as the crick. "All right, where are ya, Krawky..." he whispered, staring into the water. He sat there for almost half an hour. Flies were buzzing around his head.

"Tricky little bugger..." Outback sighed. "Might as well grab some grub." Outback reached into his lunch box, and grabbed his lunch, a ham sandwich. He munched on it, staring dejectedly into the water. "Well, maybe I'm not cut out to be a Skeith hunter after all," he stated, chewing on his sandwich. Suddenly, the water began to bubble and froth. Outback jumped as a pair of green eyes poked out of the water. They slowly turned, staring at Outback. A smile crept up onto Outback's face. "Well, isn't she a beauty." He stared at the eyes, which stared back. The eyes suddenly turned to the ham sandwich in Outback's paws. They blinked, then lowered. Outback moaned. Suddenly, the whole massive body of the legendary Krawk of the Swamp came shooting out of the water. It raised its massive head, letting out a ground-shaking roar, and creating a small wave. The wave hit Outback's raft, making it rock and shoot away downstream. Outback gasped, his eyes widening and terror on his face. "CRIKEY!!" He threw his ham sandwich into his lunch box, slammed it shut, and began rowing as fast as he could, panting and gasping for breath. The Krawk blinked, then followed, wading through the water, his huge green eyes piercing into the purple Blumaroo He shuddered. "SHE'S A BIG ONE ALL RIGHT!!" he yelled.

The currents began getting stronger and louder, and soon turned to roaring rapids. Outback bellowed, battling the frothing waters that were trying to pull his raft underwater. He was thrown over rocks and was spun and thrown about so much he got sick. The Krawk waded on through the rapids, as though as it were a couple of steps. Outback got face full of foam and water, and was almost blinded by the rushing waves. The pole splintered in his hands, and he fell down, clutching onto the raft for life, being thrown and tossed along the river at a blinding pace. He yelled as he saw a huge waterfall coming up fast. Then, Outback and his lunch box was violently thrown off his raft. The lunch box hooked onto an overhanging branch, as well as Outback, grabbing it just as he was about to go over. The rushing water carried the raft over the waterfall, and it slowly tumbled down, turning over a few times, before hitting the water with a jolting smack. Outback blinked, clutching the branch.

"Wow..." he said, with a jolt of excitement. Just then, the Krawk caught up, pausing at the waterfall. Outback frowned. "All right Krawk, if you wanna fight me, then let's go!!" He held onto the branch with one hand, his other reaching for his crystal boomerang. The Krawk smiled a toothy grin, showing rows and rows of massive teeth. He suddenly charged forward, his tree-trunk legs wading his massive green body through the rushing water. Outback shut his eyes and raised the boomerang, preparing to whack the creature with it. There was a brief silence. He opened his eyes. His lunch box was gone. Outback stared as the Krawk munched on his ham sandwich. Outback let out an exasperated cry.

"That was my lunch!!" The Krawk simply smiled, bits of Outback's ham stuck in his teeth. "Well, you'd better give me something for it!" Outback yelled. "That was a secret family recipe." Outback watched as it reached into its mouth, grabbing one of its massive teeth. It shook the tooth. It was obviously loose. It then pulled it out with a light popping noise. "Ewww..." Outback said, putting his boomerang away, his other hand clutching the branch. The Krawk smiled, a new gap in it's mouth, and put the tooth into Outback's lunch box, then putting the lunch box into Outback's free hand. It was so big it barely fit into the box. Outback blinked, smiling. "How'd you know I like collecting teeth?" The Krawk pointed to outback's claw decorated hat. "Oh... thanks, mate." Outback smiled. "Hey, I was wondering... Could you go to some other river? The tour guide says your scaring the tourists, and we'd both appreciate it if you would.... Well... find a new home." The Krawk smiled and nodded. It turned its massive body around, and marched out of the water, taking gigantic strides and stomping gradually away into the distance, never to return. "Thanks a whole bunch! I'll visit you sometime!!" Outback yelled after him, waving. He then relaxed, feeling the mist from the water. "Whew... that wasn't so hard." Outback sighed, smiling. Suddenly, the branch snapped. Outback seemed to hang in midair for a second, his eyes widening, before plummeting. "AHHHHHHH!!!" Outback screamed. He clung onto his lunch box, tumbling around over and over again, falling, falling, almost falling forever, before belly flopping into the water with a loud, painful SMACK! "OOF!!!..." Outback sank into the shallow water. "Owww... Crikey..." He gurgled. He painfully stood up, still clutching his lunch box "This reminds me of the time I tried to dive..." He waded to the riverbank and pulled himself out of the water, limping slowly down the path, clutching his stomach in agony.

He limped up to the Tour Guide's office, throwing open the door with a dramatic flair. His hat was wet and sagging on his head, his ears drooping, dripping water on the floor. His eyes had a wild sparkle to them, and his face had the broadest grin he had ever grinned in his life. The giant Krawk tooth he had received was clutched in his paw, a trophy of some sort. He proudly limped in, the Mynci staring at him openmouthed.

"All right, that's 500 NP," the Blumaroo casually stated, holding out a wet paw. The Mynci blinked. He handed him the Neopoints without any question. The sopping, sagging Blumaroo turned around and limped out. The Mynci shook his head. "How... in the world..."

"That was great fun! I actually did it!" Outback yelled out. He was practically skipping the whole way home. He had succeeded! He was good at something! For once in his life, Outback the Failure was not a failure. And he remained a hero to Mystery Island. Whenever there was a problem, he was called up, and soon he gained experience, popularity, and the many scars his father warned him about. But he didn't care. He was now known as Outback the Skeith Hunter, a much better title then Outback the Failure, and he lived happily (although dangerously) ever after.

The End

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