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A Day at the Beach

by _icypanther_


"This is so exciting!" exclaimed Sugar, clapping her hooves together excitedly. "Can you imagine? We're finally going to the beach!" She pranced around the kitchen table; her green eyes alight with happiness.

      "I can't wait!" agreed Searklarry, taking a bite of his Neocrunch Cereal. "It's been ages since we've had a good swim! And it's a nice break after all of the homework we've been doing!"

      Icy's three Neopets had started school about a week ago; their happy go lucky summer days now gone. Sugar and Star, the starry Elephante, were both in the same class at school and had a very strict teacher, Mrs. Cloodle, who was quite mean.

      Mrs. Cloodle assigned hours of homework every day and gave out detentions as presents. On the second day, Sugar had gotten one of the infamous detentions for asking her friend, Kirjava, if she could borrow a pencil.

      The yellow Gelert also had a policy on what she thought was appropriate for school and what was not. So far, no gum, toys, candy, or hats were allowed in her classroom. She was one of the most hated teachers in the school and she knew it too. But knowing only made her give out more detentions and put in harsher rules. As Star liked to say, Mrs. Cloodle enjoyed torturing her students.

      Searklarry, on the other hand, had one of the nicest teachers in the entire school, Miss Calli, a blue Peophin. She had crafts and projects everyday for her class and rewarded them with candy if they did a good job.

      Sugar and Star were jealous of their younger brother's good fortune, but any envious thoughts they might have had for him were always squashed when they remembered that Searklarry used to live in the Neopian Pound until Icy, their owner, had adopted him.

      "Is everyone ready to go?" asked Star entering the kitchen, a bright purple visor on her head in place of the jeweled cap she normally wore. "Icy said she just had to get some sun block on and then we'd leave."

      "Just let me finish my cereal," said Searklarry, now shoveling the spoon from the bowl to his mouth. "Does Icy have our towels?" he asked after swallowing and bringing his dirty bowl to the sink.

      "I've got everything," Icy said cheerfully appearing in the doorway. The fifteen-year-old owner had her dark brown hair pulled up into a high ponytail and a pair of sunglasses perched on her head. She wore a pair of denim shorts over her swimsuit bottoms and her bright pink swimsuit top.

      In her hands were four large towels and on her arm was a small purse holding sunscreen, spare change, bandages, and other odds n' ends. "Could one of you grab the lunch out of the fridge?" she asked, nodding towards the refrigerator. "My hands are a bit full…"

      "Sure Icy!" said Sugar, flouncing over and grabbing the huge wicker basket. "Can we leave now?" Icy nodded and handed off some of the towels to Star who took them with a smile.

      The strawberry Moehog zipped out of the house and was hopping about impatiently for the rest of her family outside on the front step. "Hurry up!" she cried.

      "The beach isn't going anywhere," said Star dryly, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. "We have the whole day ahead of us Sugar, just relax. And you're supposed to be the oldest," she muttered, watching her sister's childish antics.

      "No arguing you two," cautioned Icy, "let's make today a fun day!"

      "Yeah!" chimed Sugar. "No Mrs. Cloodle to ruin anything!" Even Star had to smile at that and the family of four strolled down the busy streets of Neopia to the dock where they would be able to take a ferry to Mystery Island.

      "I'm glad it's still warm enough to go swimming," said Searklarry, having to double his pace to keep up with Sugar. "Otherwise we would probably be doing more chores around the house."

      "Don't remind me," groaned Sugar, the image of a broken alarm clock coming to mind. "But you're right…it is a good thing it's still summer weather."

      Meanwhile, behind Sugar and Searklarry, Star and Icy were chatting quietly about one of the Elephante's most recent Beauty Contests. "It still doesn't seem fair that Apple won," grumbled Star. "She put on a pair of bunny ears and wins? How is that?"

      "It's okay Star," laughed Icy, "I still think you're one of the prettiest pets. Although it was a little odd that the judges picked Apple…"

      "There's the ferry!" shouted Sugar, effectively ending the Beauty Contest discussion. "Come on Icy! You're going to slow!"

      Icy giggled and went up to the impatient Moehog. "Remember Sugar…I am paying for us to go to the beach." Sugar blushed and remained silent while Icy talked to the Ticket Taker.

      "I need four tickets to Mystery Island please," she said politely to the green buzz on duty. The buzz, who's nametag read 'Kooul, handed Icy the tickets and the group boarded.

      The ferryboat was free to all Neopets and their owners. A ticket was only required so that your name would be marked in the log so if the ferry sank or their was an accident you could be accounted for.

      "We're finally going!" yelled Sugar, her green hair blowing in the salty breeze.

      Icy collapsed on one of the deck chairs, towels pulling on the floor as her arms dropped next to her sides. "I think I'm already burning," she muttered, digging through the bag for the sunscreen. "Why do I have to have such pale skin again?"

      "Because the sun loves to torture you," supplied Sugar, sitting down in a chair next to her owner. "Besides, you kind of look like me when you're all done being roasted…I meant that as a good thing!" she cried as Icy glared at her.

      The ferry ride over was quite uneventful, an odd feat for having Icy's three Neopets on board. Normally some type of catastrophe was caused (completely accidental of course) and the plans of the day were changed as Icy used all spare Neopoints to pay for the damage.

      "Looks like we're here," remarked Star as the ferry bumped gently against the pier. "Isn't it gorgeous?" Bright, white sand sparkled across an endless beach, lush green palms offering shade from the vibrant sunlight.

      Aqua water lapped at the shore, seashells and smooth pebbles coming to land on the ground as the waves pushed them up with the tide. "What are we waiting for?" queried Sugar, jumping from paw to paw. "Let's go!"

      The strawberry Moehog took off across the gangplank set up from the boat to shore, her hooves clapping loudly on the thin board. "Sugar! Don't go so-" Splash! "-fast," finished Icy, shaking her head.

      The over eager pet had fallen off of the plank and into the water, now surfacing with seaweed sticking to her body. "Ewww! Gross! Get it off! Get it off!" screamed Sugar, running around in the shallows.

      Snickering slightly, Star carefully walked onto the beach and into the water by her sister. With her trunk, she plucked off the clingy green weed and tossed it further into the ocean. "Better?" Sugar stopped her panic attack immediately and trotted causally back to solid ground.

      "What do you three want to do first?" asked Icy, dumping the towels and her purse in an empty spot of sand devoid of any other Neopets and their owners. Sugar set down the picnic basket and sat down on her haunches.

      "Can we go swimming first?" begged Searklarry. "Please?"

      "Do you girls agree?"

      "Sure do!"

      "Last one in is a chocolate fish pop!" screamed Sugar, making a mad dash for the sparkling water. Star took off on her sister's heels while Searklarry went behind, knowing that come water races he would win those.

      Icy came last, desperately tugging off her shorts to reveal matching pink bottoms to her top. "NO FAIR SUGAR!" the girl yelled, her flip-flops landing carelessly on the sand as she sprinted for the water. "I WASN'T READY YET!"

      "You snooze you lose," snorted Sugar, wading into the deeper part of the ocean. "Face it Icy…you're much too slow to compete with us."

      "Hmph." Running through the water to create a fine mist on both sides, Icy dove into the darker depths, coming out a few seconds later, her already dark brown hair almost black. With a contented sigh, the owner floated on her back, letting the water gently push her around.

      Searklarry was zipping around the ocean, a blur of motion as his tail propelled him forward at an incredible speed. Star was relaxing by Icy, spraying water over her head with her trunk to keep her top half cool.

      Sugar had ventured into the deep parts, her head high above water, a wide smile on her face. But suddenly, the smile turned into a surprised 'o' as she disappeared beneath the surface in one fluid motion, her hooves vainly kicking at the water above as she was pulled down.

      Fortunately, Searklarry had seen his oldest sister vanish and he went underwater to rescue Sugar. Wrapping one of his arms about her neck, the Tuskaninny swam upwards until the sunlight was hitting both faces.

      "You okay, Sugar?" Searklarry gasped.

      "Yeah…but something keeps pulling me down," she exclaimed, struggling even with her brother's help to stay afloat. "Wait! I just got my hooves redone, remember? That must be what is so heavy. Can you bring me to shore Searklarry? I gotta get these things off."

      Searklarry towed Sugar to the beach where the Moehog set about prying off the large bits of metal on her hooves. "There we go," she smiled, picking up the rings and dumping them by the picnic basket.

      Now unsinkable, the Neopet cheerfully made her way into the water where she immediately splashed Icy, the girl jerking up. "What was that for?" she growled. "I'm trying to relax!" In answer, Sugar pushed another wave at her owner and then one at Star. "This means war," declared Icy, a devious smirk coming to her face.

      An all out water fight began, Searklarry running to join the fray as water was thrown, kicked, and pushed around, thoroughly soaking everyone if they hadn't already been before. "Can we go get lunch now, Icy?" panted Sugar, needing food to replenish her energy.

      "Sure," the owner agreed, making a beeline for the shore. By the time Sugar got there (completely exhausted and going at the pace of a snail) Icy had already set lunch out on a blue-checkered blanket. "Dig in!"

      Several Cheese Sandwiches and Ham and Cheese Sandwiches were set up in stacks with refreshing glasses of Apple Juice close by. NeoCrackers filled a large bowl for a snack and for dessert Icy had brought Chocolate Chip Cookies.

      "Looks yummy," commented Sugar, helping herself to one of everything.

      "Tastes better," chewed Star, swallowing the remainder of her sandwich. Sugar eagerly dug in before spitting out the bit of chewed bread, her face a mask of disgust.

      "Someone put sand in my sandwich!" Icy giggled, Star shrugged, and Searklarry pointed his tail at the starry Elephante. "STAR!"

      "It was payback for putting soap on my toothbrush last night," the Elephante retorted, sticking her trunk up in the air. "You did deserve it."

      Grumbling beneath her breath, Sugar grabbed a new sandwich and began to chew furiously, bits of cheese and ham flying everywhere. "Now remember," cautioned Icy, "that no swimming for thirty minutes, kay?"

      "Got it!" the three pets chorused together.

      "I'm going to stay here and read my new comic book for a while."

      "Let's go build a sand castle!" squealed Star.

      "I have a better idea…" smirked Sugar turning to her brother.

      "Why are you looking at me like that?" squeaked Searklarry, backing nervously away from his sisters, both who had adopted the look that read mischief. "Get away!" The Tuskaninny made a run but both girls tackled him.

      A few minutes later, Searklarry was up to his neck in sand that the other two Neopets were packing in firmly around him. "Let's go get some seashells to decorate him!" shouted Star happily, her prancing almost squishing the poor Tuskaninny.

      With giggles, Sugar and Star ran off, leaving Searklarry alone in his pit of sand. Helplessly he struggled to get free to no avail. "Mental note to self," he muttered, "never go with both of your sisters out of Icy's sight when at the beach."

      Just as he concluded his observation a strange roaring filled his ears and he turned his head as much as he could to see a gigantic wave bearing towards him. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" The wave submerged him, the Tuskaninny fortunately having taken a breath before it hit.

      Like magic, the sand packed around him began to loosen and the Neopet wriggled free, flexing his tail happily before shooting to the surface. A sharp pain shot through his stomach and Searklarry bobbed back underwater.

      Dang it, he thought, attempting to paddle towards the top. Stomach cramp…

      A pair of arms wrapped themselves around Searklarry and he soon found himself looking blearily up at Star. "I am so sorry Searklarry!" she cried, hugging him to her. "I didn't know the tide would come in!"

      "Who ever thought we'd see the day a Tuskaninny couldn't swim?" chortled Sugar, before adding, "I'm sorry too, Searklarry. Can we make it up to you?"

      "Can you convince Icy to let us go scuba diving?" Every time they had gone to the beach, Searklarry had begged to go scuba diving and each time Icy said no, saying it was very expensive and quite dangerous.

      "I think we might be able too…come on!" Star dashed off and the other two exchanged shrugs before dashing off after their sister. "Hey, Icy?" asked Star, skidding to a halt and blowing sand all over her owner and the book. "Oops," she said meekly, Icy looking over the top of the book, sand coating her wet hair.

      "Oops is right," laughed Icy, for some reason in a rather good mood.

      "Why so happy?"

      "Nothing like a good fight scene," grinned Icy, a dreamy expression covering her face. "Especially with all those yummy fishies!"

      "We were wondering if we could go scuba diving…" said Star, hoping Icy's dreamlike state might let the question go unnoticed.

      "You know that's really expensive, Star," sighed Icy, the peaceful expression leaving her face. "We don't have that kind of money."

      "What if we gave up all sweets for a week? I'm sure we'd save a lot then."

      "Good idea…all right then. Let's head over and get some masks!" Icy left with Star and Searklarry, Sugar standing frozen on the ground.

      "No…sweets? Candy? Cakes? Cookies? For a week? I'm going to die," she murmured. She had thought the punishment for the whole alarm clock had been hard enough…two days without her wonderful sweets. (For reference, see Cleaning the Closet) But a week? It wasn't even thinkable.

      "Come on Sugar!" yelled Star, waving a mask and goggles from across the beach. "We'll leave without you!"

      With a sigh, Sugar ran over to her family. If she had to give them up she may as well enjoy the outing they were costing her. Seconds later, all four were in the crystal depths of the ocean, Icy dressed in flippers and a skin-tight black suit since her skin was so delicate.

      Little schools of Koi raced through the waters next to Sugar, their scales shining brightly in a rainbow of colors. Coral stood out amongst the dark water, seaweed and anemones reaching up towards the by passers.

      It's so pretty, thought Star, drifting aimlessly through a strand of underwater flowers. A group of Flotsams were performing tricks off to the side, a yellow one particularly showing off to its group.

      Icy was paddling backwards, her arms supporting her head as she admired the underwater beauty. 'It sure is getting dark,' she remarked to herself, the bright light of the ocean fading.

      Star looked over at the spot she'd last seen her owner and screamed, the sound coming out more of a gurgle beneath the helmet. "BLLLBLBLBLBLBBL!" She reached over and shook Searklarry by his shoulder and pointed at Icy.

      "BLOPPIBL! BLLLLB!" Searklarry yelled, his cry going unnoticed by Icy.

      Sugar gasped as she turned around, the horrific picture blocking out every rational thought. Icy was swimming into the gaping mouth of an enormous jetsam, its yellow eyes narrowed cruelly as it waited patiently for its snack to finish floating in.

      "BLIBP BLOP BLIIB!" screamed Sugar, hurriedly back pedaling away. "BLEIL BLIOOPS BLO BLET BLEP!" Icy blinked several times as complete darkness surrounded her, the foul stench of decay filling her nose. Rows and rows of pearly white teeth gleamed at her and she did the only thing she could think of…she screamed.

      Meanwhile, all three pets had raced to the surface, seeking out a lifeguard. "HELP!" shrieked Sugar, throwing off her mask and running towards a disco Acara on duty. "MY OWNER JUST GOT EATEN BY A JESTAM!"

      "A jetsam?" the life guard repeated, face dubious. "There shouldn't be any in these waters."


      "Can you please help Icy?" pleaded Searklarry, now in tears. The whole scuba diving idea had been his…Icy always said it was dangerous and now he knew why.

      "I'll go take a look," she said, jumping off the chair and donning a pair of scuba equipment from a chest next to her. "I need one of you to come with me to show me where your owner is."

      "No need," whispered Star, pointing out at the water. A large pack of jetsam could be seen, a large red jetsam in front the leader, the same one who had swallowed Icy. With a frenzied roar, the Neopets charged and residents in the water ran screaming.

      "ICY!" screamed Searklarry, dashing into the water.

      "SEARKLARRY!" screamed both girls, watching in terror as their young brother swam out at lightning speed towards the Jetsams. The Acara life guard grabbed Sugar by her hair as she made a move to go after her brother.

      "There is nothing you can do," she said, "you aren't a water Neopet…you have no chance out there."

      Weaving in and out of snapping mouths and flailing tails, Searklarry continually slammed Sugar's hooves that he'd grabbed from the beach towels against the much bigger Neopets, anger overriding his fear.

      With a deafening ring, the metal connected with the lead jetsam's mouth, the whole pack immediately stopping in their dashing after the Tuskaninny. A snapping sound issued from the red Neopet's mouth and it took off in the water, its herd following behind.

      Once the water calmed, Searklarry spotted Icy floating in the water and swam frantically over, fearing the worst. "Icy? Icy wake up," he sobbed, pulling her to shore behind him. "Please wake up."

      The girl remained unresponsive, small cuts covering her face from the Jetsam's teeth, the black swimming outfit ripped in numerous places. "Let me see," said the Acara, bending down next to Icy once she had been towed up to the beach. "She's alive," the guard announced, a smile of relief on her face.

      As if on cue, Icy began to cough, water spilling from her mouth. "Ugh…it tastes disgusting," she moaned, sitting up cautiously, slightly dizzy.

      "Does this mean we're going home now?" asked Sugar, pouting slightly.

      "Uh huh," said Icy, woozily getting to her feet. "But think of it like this…we had a nice day at the beach, right?"

      "A nice, normal, and relaxing beach trip," Sugar remarked sarcastically, "that definitely fits ours."

      "It was at least more normal then any of our others," giggled Star, flipping Icy onto her back and walking towards their towels. "I mean, Sugar and Searklarry both almost drowned, Icy almost got eaten by a jetsam, Sugar got sand on her sandwich, and Searklarry fought off a pack of Jetsams."

      "Speaking of which," chuckled Sugar, "since you've suddenly turned so brave Searklarry, would you mind doing something for me?"

      "And that would be?"

      "Help me make dinner again?"

      Searklarry's face paled, Icy's went green, and Star's turned an odd shade of blue. Sugar laughed and said, "I was just joking!"

      Icy leaned down and whispered to Star, "Remind me to not let her near the kitchen, Kay?"

      Star nodded and sighed, stomach already churning. It had been a wonderful day, quite ordinary for Icy's pets, but come dinner…it was another story.

The End

Author's Notes: Arigatou to you all for letting me put these up! Comments are welcome with open arms!

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