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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 12th day of Hunting, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 52 > Continuing Series > Po and Camp Neko: Part Two

Po and Camp Neko: Part Two

by polayo

OMNI AND I sat in partial silence in the taxi, but Tika was chattering away like she couldn't stop. Finally, I could tell Omni was just getting so aggravated; I had to catch Tika and keep her on my lap.

     "Don't worry, you know, you're coming with me and Omni isn't, so I've gotta spend some time with her, kay?"

     Tika chattered in agreement, and I turned to Omni. I took a deep breath and started to tell her what I had meant to tell her for quite a while.

     "Omni-I know sometimes I don't act it, but you really are important to me. I mean, for one you created me, and for two you take care of me. But it's not just that. You're my best friend, and you will be 'till the end of time. And even then..."

     She listened to me talk, her eyes tearing up. "Thanks...thanks, Po," She stuttered. "That...that meant a lot to me. I mean-I know you needed me, but you always seem to like your friends better..." She trailed off, and gave me a long hug. "I'm gonna miss you a lot, Po Some say NeoPets are just a picture, but..."

     "I know what they say," I nodded, and returned her embrace.

     The taxi pulled to a halt in front of the camp, and at first glance it was beautiful. A few cabins were scattered about, and a few bigger buildings, but they bordered a crystal clear lake that shimmered in the mid-morning sun. I sighed watching the Beekadoodles flitter from tree to tree, taking it all in. I turned around to help Omni lug my trunk out of the storage compartment in the taxi.

     She set the trunk down by my paws and gazed out at the lake. "It's beautiful," she said.

     "I know," I replied. "I never thought..." I trailed off. Omni was saying goodbye now, and this was going to be hard. "Omni-don't say good bye. It's too final. Just tell me you're always there for me and-and leave." I smiled down at my feet. "It's better that way," I said, choking back tears.

     Omni knelt down and wrapped her arms around my neck. "You're right," she smiled one of those mournful smiles. "See you in four weeks, at visitors day. And remember, write lots of letters!"

     She stepped back into the taxi, and didn't look back-Omni and I are too much a like. I watched the car drive away into the distance, watching until the very last dust cloud died down. Then I padded toward the nearest building and found a cloud Kau behind the glass window. When she noticed me, she quickly put down her magazine and slid open the glass door.

     "Hello, dear! Here, take this map," she smiled and handed me a small map of the camp. "You're cabin is the first building to your right!" She chirped cheerfully.

     "Thanks," I said, and walked off lugging the trunk, which Tika perched on behind me.

     The cabin came into view. It was small, but it looked like it would be a cozy housing for the eight weeks I'd be here. Sighing, I knocked on the door to see if anyone was in there.

     "Hello?" I called, and, hearing no one, I stepped in. It was empty so, choosing a bed and the top bunk, a positioned my trunk and hoisted myself up.

     I waited a few minutes before I remembered the map in my pocket.

     This whole camp was at my fingertips, and I wasn't going to let this opportunity wash away.

     I glanced once around the dark cabin, looking wistfully out the window at the foreboding forest that branched out in the back of the building. The yearning to explore gnawed at me, so I quickly spread the map out on my pillow.

     I picked out three buildings to explore: one was the mess hall, one was the computer lab, and the last one was the one that puzzled me. It was one of three cabins in the whole camp, but it was called cabin thirteen. It wouldn't have been as odd if it wasn't for the fact that the other two cabins were called 'Boy 1' and 'Girl 1'.

     The mess hall proved to be nothing big. I met the chefs, though, that was exciting. Of course, I'd met the soup faerie before-but I was psyched to meet Aletra, host of my favourite daytime TV show! I snapped a picture of them together-it was my goal to improve my photography.

     After that I wandered over to the computer lab, and I found Nisiko, the creative writing tutor. I knew she was going to be the tutor, of course, it said so in the brochure. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to have one of my friends there. Snapping a photo, I thanked her a walked out the door.

     Now it was time to tackle the main reason I set out to explore-Cabin Thirteen.

     I traveled a little down a gravel path, only to find it ending abruptly. That was the first time I thought Cabin Thirteen was just a joke but then, looking at the map again, I saw that Cabin Thirteen wasn't right on the trail-you had to travel a little through the woods to get there.

     Just when I thought I'd found the right place to enter the woods, a crunching on the gravel made me jump. Turning around, I saw a formidable yellow Eyrie rambling down the path.

     "Hello!" He squawked, and I smiled at him.

     "Hi! You must be Branston, am I correct?" I turned on my charming smile. "Your camp is wonderful! I'm just doing a bit of exploring!"

     I eyed the medallion that hung around his neck-it looked a little different than the one I'd seen him wear in Cheat!. Ignoring that, I turned my attention back to what he was saying.

     "I'm sure you'll love your summer here! You're Polayo, am I correct? Anyway, there's nothing down here," he said the last part almost nervously, as if there was something to hide. "Why don't you go and see if any of your fellow campers have arrived? They'll all be arriving in a few moments!" He turned to walk away.

     "Wait, Mr. Branston!" I called sweetly. "It's my goal to improve my photography this summer, may I take a picture of you?"

     He sighed, as if it were a chore, and scrabbled back over to me. Posing in a way that was easy for me to snap a good picture, the flash lit the shadows the star trees cast over the ground. He smiled as I called a thank you after him, and then when he was gone, I started to rustle around in the trees again.

     I walked into the forest, the calmness settling around me. The shafts of light fell on the pine needle ground in such a soothing way, I almost fell asleep.

     Luckily I didn't, or I would have missed the sight I saw next.

     Cabin Thirteen loomed above me, it's broken windows and flapping shutters giving it an eerie look. Stepping inside the dark cabin and letting the door slam behind me, I peered around me. There were cabinets hanging off their hinges, dishes piled around a muddy sink. In one corner, it seemed, there was a pile of blankets, but on closer inspection I saw it was actually some sort of bed. Obviously it hadn't been touched in years.

     I crept over toward the sink. Turning the creaking handle, brown, rusty water rushed out. Eventually, the water started turning clearer and clearer until it looked drinkable. I shut it off, and noticed the sink was unusually white where the water had hit it.

     I heard yelling outside, quite suddenly. Although it was not close by-in fact, it sounded very far off-I jumped up, out the door, and sprinted down the path. I don't know if I was just trying to get out of there because that place freaked me, but I definitely wanted out.

     Down at the end of the path, I saw a spotted Kougra and a yellow Aisha laughing and yelling and throwing water balloons at each other. Branston-that Eyrie I'd met earlier-was trying to get them to stop in vain. Obviously they were having the greatest time. I was laughing just watching them.

     As soon as they heard me laughing, they both looked over at me.

     "Po!" The spotted Kougra shouted, and suddenly I recognised her.

     "Cali!" I called out, smiling. I hadn't seen her in ages, but she was one of my good friends. Calixzo and I had known each other for ages-when her owner created her new account and got Cali, we met her first day. We'd been good friends ever since.

     "What are you doing here?" I asked.

     "I'm coming here for the summer. Oh yeah, have you met Tazzmar?"

     My mouth must have dropped open. "Have I? Tazz is...here?"

     Tazz was one of my best friends, I was amazed he was here. You see, I'd known Tazz quite a while, probably my whole life. He was Ev's boyfriend, so ever since then we'd gotten even closer.

     The yellow Aisha came up closer. "Po?" he goggled.

     "My god, how are you both here?" I asked, amazed.

     "I dunno-it's strange, isn't it?" said Cali.

     "Yeah."

     "Thank god you've stopped!" Barked Branston, obviously furious with them. "Come-now! To my office. I will not take this kind of behaviour at my camp!"

     Nervously, we all tiptoed along behind him, our heads hung.

     "This is too weird," I muttered to myself. "Hey, I've gotta show you guys something when we're out of here, Kay?"

     "What is it?" hissed Cali.

     "You'll see," I replied, hoping I sounded mysterious.

     Tazz just rolled his eyes. "I can't believe we're in trouble on the first day!"

     "Don't worry...he's probably as bad at disciplining as he is at Cheat!."

     When Cali made that comment, I cracked up, and I couldn't even stop when Branston turned around and glared at me. It wasn't until Tazz took a firm hold on my hand and told me to shut up that I was able to quiet down.

     Branston's office was cold and unwelcoming. He sat down behind his desk and was about to give us a great big talk and tell us how disappointed he was in us when, we were saved by the bell.

     The dinner bell.

     It seemed to make him even more aggravated. "FINE! Go!" He roared at us. "You got lucky this time. But next time, I will definitely have a talk with you-this is my camp and you'll follow my rules," he growled.

     I jumped down from the chair I was sitting in a dashed out the door towards the mess hall. He totally creeped me out, and I didn't want to stay around him anymore than I had to.

     I waited by the door of the mess hall for Tazz and Cali, who walked along like nothing had happened.

     "I guess that once we walk in there, we will officially meet all the other campers. I wonder how many there are?"

     I opened the door, expecting to see hundreds of pets of all species chattering away, expecting to hear hundreds of voices which you could barely talk over-but instead I found three faerie Aishas, one of them a half-Alien Aisha, all eating some mashed clawmatoes. They were talking about the courses they'd be teaching-of course, they were Quatringa, tutor of singing; Nisiko, the teacher of creative writing; and Wyndchyme, the half-Alien Aisha, who was this years guru of stage productions and acting.

     "Where's everyone else?" I asked Nisiko as I sat down with my mashed clawmatoes.

     "This is everyone, I believe. I thought there were supposed to be more, but when I asked Branston he said this was everyone. The strange thing is, though, he wouldn't let me see the list. I could have sworn there were eight campers...I guess it's just three, though."

     Tazz and Cali were now done in the line, and we started to talk-not just the three of us, but also with Quatri, Wyndie, and Nisiko about what was expected the next few weeks.

     "You'll love it here," said Wyndie. "From the way things look, it's a great camp. By the way, who's signed up for Stage Productions?"

     "I am!" I said, and waited for Cali and Tazz to say they were too. When I didn't hear anything, I turned around. "You guys aren't going to...?"

     "Well... I didn't sign up for it, but if you're still taking students, I guess I will. A one person play will be kinda hard," she laughed. "And Tazz, how about you?"

     "Well, I signed up for singing, but-well, since there are only three of us, why don't we all sign up for everything? It'd be a lot more fun, I think."

     "Yeah..."

     "That's not a bad idea," said Quatri. "I was going to ask who was signed up for singing, but I guess it's useless now...hey, Nisiko, what do you think?"

     "Sounds good to me-there certainly is enough room in all the classes!"

     We all laughed.

     I knew this was going to be an exciting summer.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Po and Camp Neko: Part One

Po and Camp Neko: Part Three

Po and Camp Neko: Part Four

Po and Camp Neko: Part Five

Po and Camp Neko: Part Six

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