Storm: Part Two
A miracle happened. Keegan made one last attempt to poke
his head out of the ocean, and he made it! He took a deep breath of glorious air,
swallowing a lot of rainwater in the process. He knew he had to get back to shore;
he barely had any strength left and he didn't know how far out to sea he had drifted.
He started swimming in a random direction; he
could still not see anything through the rain. As he swam, he was repeatedly
dunked under by huge waves, but he was defiant and always was able to get his
head back up. His body screamed in pain and exhaustion, but Keegan ignored it
and just kept swimming, never getting the thought of Tasha out of his head.
If Tasha wasn't waiting for him at home, he might have just given up this stupid
fight against the ocean and let himself float to the bottom.
At one point the rain stopped pouring so torrentially
for about ten seconds and Keegan could see through it just a little bit. He
saw a palm tree in the distance! He was swimming in the right direction!
Just as the rain started pouring even harder
than before, Keegan heard a scream to his right. He ignored it, thinking it
was the wind. He heard it again, and this time it seemed human. Keegan knew
he couldn't ignore it, and so he turned to his right and started swimming.
The scream got louder and Keegan knew he was
getting closer. He saw the outline of a figure that looked to be the shape of
a thin human.
"Can you hear me?" Keegan shouted as loud as
"Barely," the human screamed back; it was a girl.
"What's your name?" asked Keegan as he swam closer
to the girl.
"I'm Kelsey. What's your name?" the girl, Kelsey,
"I'm Keegan. Kelsey, I want you to grab onto
my arm and do not let go until we reach shore. Can you swim?"
"Then let's go."
Keegan felt Kelsey's hands grasping his right
arm as he struggled to swim even more now that he had the burden of the girl.
Keegan was about to suggest she swim by herself, but he heard Kelsey crying
and knew she would never be able to do it. Keegan decided not to ask the girl
any questions until they got to shore.
Every bone in his body ached by the time he was
sitting on the sand, especially his right arm since Kelsey had been holding
onto it. He sat, breathing heavily, letting the rain wash over his already-damp
fur. He heard Kelsey also breathing heavily beside him. She had long since stopped
crying, but she would give a little sniffle every few minutes. Keegan decided
now was the time to ask her some questions.
"Kelsey," he began, turning to face her, "why
were you in the ocean during a storm?"
Kelsey gave a little sniffle. "Right before the
storm started my baby Kougra Lester and I were out in the front yard, playing
with a ball, because I wasn't sure when we would get to go outside again. The
ball rolled away and Lester ran to get it. I didn't stop him because he usually
gets the ball if it rolls away and I wasn't worried he would get lost or something.
That is, I wasn't worried he'd get lost until a second after he'd gone it started
to pour. I waited outside for him to come back, but after five minutes he hadn't
come, so I ran down the street calling his name. I wasn't paying attention to
where I was going, and so I only knew I was in the ocean because I was underwater.
I pushed myself up and was just flailing in the same spot for a few minutes
before you came and rescued me, and now I'm here. If you don't mind me asking,
why are you here?"
"I was looking for driftwood because an article
in the Neopian Times my sister read said to board up the windows during a storm.
If I get out of this alive I'm canceling our subscription."
Keegan and Kelsey laughed unenthusiastically
for about a minute, and then Kelsey stood up.
"Well, I've got to go find my baby," she said,
pushing her wet blond hair behind her ears.
Keegan stood up also.
"You can't go! You'll be killed!" he shouted.
"What else am I going to do? Leave Lester to
Keegan sighed; knowing what he was going to say
next was the stupidest thing he'd ever said in his life.
"Kelsey, what if I said I'd go find Lester and
you could go home?"
Kelsey stared at him, her mouth slightly open.
"You'd do that for me? I'm almost a stranger
to you, and you're going to risk your life to help me?"
"Yes, I will."
Kelsey stared at Keegan for another moment, and
then sighed and said, "Thank you, Keegan; I am forever grateful. When you find
him just bring him to your house. We can meet right here on the beach after
the storm is over and you can give him to me."
Keegan nodded, making note that the place he
would meet her was in between two tall palm trees; he could barely see their
Kelsey turned around and walked away. Keegan
hoped she got home ok, and he opened he got home OK too.
How should I do this? Keegan thought as
he stood there, the rain pouring on top of him, thunder clapping, the wind wailing,
and lightning streaking through the sky. I can't see anything, and I've got
to rescue a little boy. I guess I'll just run down the beach and call his name;
what else can I do?
"Lester!" Keegan shouted, running as fast as
the wind would allow him and making sure he didn't slip into the ocean.
"Lester! Lester! Lester! LEEEEEESSSSSTTTTTEEEERRRRR!"
Keegan stopped running. It might have been his
imagination, but he thought he had heard someone shout, "Who's there?"
"LESTER, CAN YOU HEAR ME?" Keegan shouted back.
"I HEAR YOU! ARE YOU KELSEY?"
"THIS ISN'T KELSEY; IT'S HER FRIEND KEEGAN! KEEP
SHOUTING, LESTER, I'M GOING TO FOLLOW YOUR VOICE TO YOU!"
"WHAT SHOULD I TALK ABOUT?"
"TALK ABOUT THE MOST FUN THING THAT EVER HAPPENED
Keegan listened as Lester rambled on about something
about going to Meridell and playing Pick Your Own. The baby Kougra's voice kept
getting louder and Keegan knew he was getting closer. Suddenly, the voice stopped.
"LESTER, KEEP TALKING!" Keegan bellowed.
"MY THROAT HURTS REALLY BAD!" Lester called back.
"DRINK SOME RAIN WATER! YOU NEED TO KEEP TALKING
SO I CAN FIND YOU!"
There was a pause for a few minutes. Keegan stood
still, waiting for more talking to come. Lester started again, still talking
about his trip to Meridell with Kelsey. Keegan continued walking. After about
two minutes he seemed to enter a jungle. He could tell because it felt even
damper in here, if that was possible, and he kept running into trees he could
only see the outline of and branches. Now Lester's voice was very loud.
"LESTER I'M VERY CLOSE TO YOU NOW! I WANT YOU
TO JUST SCREAM AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!"
"OK I'LL TRY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Keegan winced, but ran towards the voice. He
followed the voice to behind a bush. He saw the outline of Lester sitting behind
a bush, screaming. Keegan tapped the Kougra on the shoulder. He stopped screaming
and turned around.
"Hi, I'm Keegan!"
Lester stared at his rescuer for a minute, and
then jumped into the Lupe's arms, crying loudly. Keegan made shushing noises
and hugged Lester.
"Everything's OK now. We're going to stay in
here until the storm is over and then we'll go see Kelsey," Keegan said gently,
sitting down where Lester had been before and placing the baby Kougra in his
"I-I was so scared!" sniffled Lester. "It was
raining so hard, and I couldn't see anything. I just kept running. And I tripped
on a root and fell on my knee. It hurt really badly." Lester pointed to his
knee where there was obviously a cut, but Keegan could not see it.
"And then I got up and kept running. The thunder
was really loud and it scared me and there was lightning in the sky! I found
this bush and sat behind it and started crying. I was really tired and I wanted
to go to sleep, but I was afraid if I went to sleep the lightning would hurt
"Lester, you've been a really brave boy; most
kids your age would have been screaming and crying for their mommies. I want
you to do something for me now," said Keegan.
"What is it, Keegan?" Lester asked eagerly.
"I want you to go to sleep. I'll stay right next
to you and make sure no lightning hurts you, OK?"
"OK, Keegan; night-night."
Lester crawled off Keegan's lap and lay down
on the cold, wet ground. Keegan sat, staring at the Kougra. He wanted to stay
awake, and he tried to, but he was so exhausted he automatically lay down and
closed his eyes.
Keegan woke up because it was quiet; he was not
used to that sound. He laid there, his eyes closed, for a few seconds, and then
he snapped his eyes open. He gasped; he could see the bush in front of him.
It was a pretty bush, decorated with pink and purple flowers. He hopped up and
saw no rain falling! Looking through a crack in the leaves glistened with water
overhead, he saw a blue sky!
Keegan shook Lester gently. The Kougra sat up,
"Lester, it stopped raining! We're going to go
Lester hopped up, grinning.
"Are you joking?" Lester asked.
"No; get on my back. I'll give you a ride there."
Lester hopped onto Keegan's back. Keegan started
running to his right; he remembered walking left last night. His body screamed
in pain with every step he took, but he did not care. He just wanted to be home
and see Tasha.
He was out of the jungle and on the beach. He
saw that the sky was completely blue with no trace of clouds, even puffy and
white, anywhere. The ocean was spewing out high waves and rough water, but that
and all the junk on the beach were the only signs there was a storm.
A few brave souls tried to surf in the water,
and pets walked along the beach, throwing things they found into trash bags
or depositing them in their pockets.
"Look at that shiny rock!" exclaimed Lester.
Keegan bent down to pick up the rock Lester was
talking about. It was white and shone in the sun. He handed it to Lester.
"When you tell people about this experience when
you're older you can show them this rock as proof you're not lying," explained
"Wow, thanks Keegan! I'll keep it forever!"
Keegan smiled; he doubted Lester would keep it
longer than tomorrow, but did not say anything.
After just a few more minutes of walking, he
saw the two palm trees and sitting in between them, a skinny blond girl. That
had to be Kelsey!
"Kelsey! Kelsey!" Lester shouted when he saw
He jumped off Keegan's back and ran to her. Kelsey
stood up, waving and smiling. Lester jumped into her arms and the pet and owner
hugged. Keegan walked up to them.
"Thank you, Keegan! Thank you!" Kelsey said,
tears in her eyes, hugging Keegan with her free arm.
"You're welcome," Keegan said, wanting to get
"Come home with us; I want to thank you with
something else somehow."
"Kelsey, I want to stay on the beach," whined
"How about I meet you here later? I need to go
do something," suggested Keegan.
"OK, that's fine with me. Goodbye for now, Keegan,"
"Bye!" Keegan called as he ran.
He ran as fast as his tired and aching body would
let him. He reached a small house with a purple Lupe looking sadly out the window,
holding a Harris in one hand and a Mazzew in the other. Keegan ran into the
"Tasha! I'm home!" Keegan shouted, tears in his
Tasha turned, shocked, and stared at her brother.
And then she put the petpets down, and the two reunited siblings hugged each
"We're safe now. Safe forever," Keegan whispered.