Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 155,374,162 Issue: 219 | 9th day of Celebrating, Y7
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Two Most Unlikely Heroes

by blazing_star


It was a dark, dusty night in the Lost Desert. The Neopets of the desert had long since withdrawn into their little thatch-roofed houses, and with them went the hustle and bustle of the day. Now, in the dead of the nighttime hours, the only movement was from the tumbleweeds being tussled by the dry breeze. Not a sound was heard and not a single thing moved.

     Suddenly, a dark shadow materialized silently into a Neopet from behind a towering pyramid. He wore a black cloak around his swift, agile body, and the hood was pulled low over his head. A stray beam of moonlight shone across his face for an instant, and that moment of pale, silvery light revealed his identity: he was a sleek black Nimmo, so dark a shade that he was merely a flitting shadow; his slitted eyes were slanted and red, shining with the determination, strength, and patience of an experienced fighter. There was only one in Neopia that matched this description, and that was Nurogo the Warrior!

     Nurogo, who surpassed all else with the deftness and skill of his fighting!

     Nurogo, who was cold-hearted and wicked to the core!

     Nurogo, who never forgot the enemies that escaped from him alive!

     Nurogo, who was known to take on an army of Grarrls single-handedly and win unscathed!

     Nurogo, who was after the Lost Desert…

     He ran silently and purposefully over the sand to the famous shrine of the late King Coltzan III. All his senses were on the alert, yet he did not see the two curious pairs of youthful Aisha eyes, a girl and a boy, watching him from a bedroom window. After Nurogo had disappeared from view, the two young siblings held a whispered conference.

     "He's headed for Coltzan's Shrine."

     "But what would he want there, Shenika?"

     "You silly little Aisha, can't you tell? He wants the Desert Gem, of course."

     "Tee hee, he's after the Desert Gem. Hee hee!"

     "Daniko, he's gonna steal it!"

     "Huh? Oh! Grr, then we hafta stop him."

     "Right. Do we gotta plan?"

     "Er, no, but we'll think of something. And we hafta be careful! It's way past our bedtime."

     "Yeah, we can't save the Lost Desert if we're grounded."

     And so the two little Aishas, Shenika and Daniko, crept quietly out of their hut, armed with two clever minds and two brave hearts, unseen by anyone but the moon.

     ~ ~ ~

     Nurogo strode toward the shrine, and there it was. His red eyes shone with wild excitement as he gazed hungrily at it. On a mantle made of solid gold, right in front of Coltzan's Shrine, was the sacred Desert Gem. Despite the darkness of the night, it shone with a pure, dazzling glory and sparkled with tranquility and light. It was a crystal made from the very grains of Lost Desert sand and it shone like a golden, semi-translucent diamond. Such was its magic and power that it was said the spirit of King Coltzan himself had blessed this gem and therefore it was cherished and loved by all of the desert folk.

     The Desert Gem would soon belong to Nurogo the Warrior!

     Laughing softly, he slowly reached out to lift the precious gem off of its mantle…

     Wait! He whipped around. Was that a rustling noise behind him? He quickly dissolved into the shadows, his keen red eyes searching the air behind him. Nothing moved and nothing made a sound. With the patience of a seasoned warrior Nurogo waited longer, noiselessly. Still nothing. He returned to the gem and was about to hoist it into his dark gray bag, when he felt small paws grasp his ankles and jerk them to the side. He fell to the ground with a hard thud and tried to scurry into the darkness of the shrine's shadows, but he had not moved a few feet when a lump hurled itself at him.

     "Yaaaahh! No one messes with the Lost Desert!" yelled the voice of a young girl.

     The lump bounced up and down on Nurogo's stomach, causing it to lurch every time the lump's paws came in contact with it. Yet his many years of being a warrior had taught him not to show signs of weakness, lest he encourage his enemies. So even though his eyes watered with every jump and he was almost about to part company with his supper, Nurogo gritted his teeth and said nothing.

     "Hee hee! Oh, Dani, this is so fun! I found a trampoline, tee hee! Come over here, ha ha ha, his tummy is very bouncy."

     Just when Nurogo thought he could stand it no longer, he felt another lump hurl itself at him and begin to bounce on his now-upset stomach. Thankfully, the second lump was much lighter, and Nurogo estimated that this one was a mere toddler.

     "Oh ho ho ho! You're right, Sheni! Hee hee ha ha, what fun!" exclaimed the voice of a baby boy.

     They rolled into a patch of moonlight and Nurogo got a good look at his attackers' faces. When he saw the two very young Aishas, he nearly laughed out loud with relief. He had been right; they were mere children. Nothing that the great Nurogo the Warrior couldn't handle.

     Nurogo's stomach was now churning from the weight of the two jumping youngsters. Although he knew he couldn't hold out much longer, he also knew that the two Aishas attacking him were small-he could get rid of them easily. Nurogo waited until he heard the telltale panting of the young Aishas that signaled they were getting out of breath. He stayed still for just one more second, when both of them would land on his stomach after a particularly high bounce.


     In a flash the warrior leapt to his feet and grabbed Shenika and Daniko by their second pair of ears, smiling in satisfaction as he heard them squeal in terror. He had the upper hand now.

     Unfortunately, what he hadn't counted on was for the small Aishas to begin screaming at the top of their lungs. They threw their heads back with their mouths wide open and let out ear-splitting shrieks and yells.


     "Be quiet!" hissed Nurogo menacingly, tightening his grip on their second ears and forcefully shaking them up and down. This only seemed to increase the volume of their bellows.


     Nurogo ripped the leaves off of several cheops plants that were growing just outside the shrine and stuffed them into Shenika's and Daniko's mouths as makeshift gags. Silenced instantly, the brave Aishas shot Nurogo a dirty look and continued twisting, kicking, and struggling furiously in his firm grasp without a word.

     The Nimmo knew that his time was running out. If the screams of the Aishas had roused anyone, somebody would come outside to investigate for sure. He had to act quickly, or else he would not be able to get the Desert Gem.

     He swiftly tied ropes around their paws and forced the thrashing Aishas into a brown sack, securing the opening with another rope. As soon as the opening was closed, the thick sack silenced the sounds of their struggling. Perfect. Then the warrior set his eyes on his golden prize, the Desert Gem. Scooping it into another, smaller sack, Nurogo sniggered maliciously as he roughly shouldered both bags.

     "Heh heh heh, bet you're not feeling too bouncy now, eh?"

     With that, he stole swiftly and silently over the dunes away from Coltzan's Shrine.

     ~ ~ ~

     Inside the sack, Daniko managed to spit out the wad of cheops leaves Nurogo had thrust halfway down his throat.

     "Phaw! Yuck! I hate cheops plants! Sheni, if we ever get outta this sack I'm gonna tie that rotten Nimmo up with these ropes an' take that sword of his and chop him all up! Then I'll lock 'im in a box and chuck it at the Snowager! And then I'll-"

     Shenika spit her gag out and shushed him.

     "Phtew! Be quiet, Dani!" She lowered her voice to a whisper. "We don't want him hear us! Now is the time for some serious action on our part. Help me untie these ropes and then I'll take care of yours."

     The two Aishas laid out their plan as they fumbled with the bonds, while the unsuspecting Nimmo warrior continued to trek across the desert.

     ~ ~ ~

     Barely fifteen minutes had passed when Nurogo heard a sniff and then a loud yell from inside the sack.


     Nurogo sighed. So the baby boy had gotten his gag loose. He loosened the rope around the top of the sack.

     Immediately he was blasted with, "I WANT MY MOMMEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

     Nurogo grabbed the bag and snarled into it, "You're not going home, you sniveling wimp. I now have the pleasure of doing whatever I want with you. But maybe if you had not dared to oppose Nurogo the Warrior, you would be safely home in bed! So be quiet!"

     Daniko poked his head out of the bag. "B-but…" he sniffled, wiping an imaginary tear from his cheek with the sleeve of his robe, "I wanna go home to my momma and daddy!"

     On cue, Shenika tumbled out of the top of the sack and ran around laughing. "Hee hee!" she shouted gleefully. "I'm freeeeeeeeeee!!"

     "ARGH!" With speed and agility that Nurogo was known for, he dropped the bag and lunged after Shenika. He was unaware of the other Aisha that came crawling out from the folds of the sack.

     "I've got you!" he hissed into Shenika's ear as he seized her. The young Aisha let out a dramatic, theatrical squeal and struggled madly like a wild beast in his grip, shrieking and hollering to her lungs' absolute capacity. Secretly she was counting down the seconds for when Daniko would execute his part of the plan.

     Daniko stayed low in the dry desert shrub, creeping up upon the warrior who had his sister.

     "Now, this is where your nighttime stroll ends," Nurogo growled, holding the struggling Aisha girl tightly in his strong arms. She gave a fearful squeak, and Nurogo chuckled viciously. "After this night, your beloved Desert Gem will be all mine! Now that will be one valuable trophy."

     Suddenly, he felt a strange, giggly sensation. He looked down and saw the Daniko, er, tickling him! "Hee hee ha ha ha!" he yelped and dropped Shenika. No longer trapped, Shenika threw the sack aside, bounced on top of his belly, and began tickling as well, leaving Nurogo helplessly rolling around in fits of laughter.

     "Oh hee hee ha ha, stop it!" he choked out between laughs. "Ha ha ho ho hee ha ha!"

     He managed to escape momentarily from the two Aishas, kicking out at them as they tumbled off his stomach, but Shenika and Daniko were not to be discouraged that easily and merely sprung back up and continued tickling the warrior Nimmo.

     "Hee hee ha ha ho ho ho!" Nurogo howled. His sides were beginning to hurt from laughing so hard. "Stop! Please! Ha ha ha ha ha! Not my belly, ha ha, please! Ho ho ho ho ho!"

     Shenika and Daniko continued relentlessly tickling the evil warrior and then, as an idea struck them, they whispered hurriedly in each other's ears. Together they grinned and nodded an agreement, and then they began rolling him slowly. Unaware that he was being taken somewhere, Nurogo could not stop giggling uncontrollably.

     "Hee hee hee hee oh hee hee! Ha ha ho ho this is too much! Tee hee ha ha!" The Aishas had tickled him to the top of a tall sand dune. With a small grunt, Shenika and Daniko gave a hefty shove and pushed him over the top. They beamed and waved merrily at him as Nurogo rolled downhill straight into…a patch of low-growing Prickly Desert Cacti!


     In an instant Nurogo was covered in sharp spines as he rolled over the spiky, thorny cactus patch. He leapt up fifty feet into the air, trying desperately to pluck off the sharp prickles. He landed back on the cacti only to get more spines stuck on him and he jumped up again with a yowl.

     "Help!" he cried as he landed on the cactus patch a third time. "AAAAAAAAAGH!"

     Shenika and Daniko giggled hysterically at the pathetic sight and congratulated each other heartily.

     "Tee hee hee hee! I nearly forgot that this prickly cactus patch was here!"

     "Oh ha ha ha ha! Well, I'm glad we remembered, ha ha."

     Nurogo finally managed to land on warm desert sand. He kissed the ground and then began attempting to pick off his thorns, without much success. But he had barely yanked out one thorn when-

     "Yaaaaahhh! Don't ever come back to the Lost Desert again!" The small Aishas charged at him and pounced on his belly, ready to resume tickling him.

     Terrified, Nurogo howled off into the night with the unstoppable Aishas hot on his heels. "AAAAAAHH! HELP! GET AWAY FROM MEEEEEEEEEEE!!"

      "Wait! Don't you wanna stay for tea?" called the two Aishas cheerfully as he fled and disappeared over the horizon without a backward glance.

     And that is how two energetic youngsters, seemingly insignificant on the vast sandy plains, drove the great Nurogo the Warrior out of the Lost Desert.

     Panting heavily from the exhilarating chase, they returned to the spot where Nurogo had left his belongings. They dug the Desert Gem out of his other bag and walked back to Coltzan's Shrine to put it back in its proper place. As the Desert Gem glowed brightly once more on its golden mantle, they let out a deafening cheer could not have been thought possible from such small Aishas.


     Their midnight adventure over, Shenika and Daniko trudged happily back to their hut. Yet the night's events weren't over.

     Silhouetted in the doorway, hands on her hips, was the form of their anxious mother. As Shenika and Daniko neared the door… "Uh-oh," said Daniko nervously.

     "Shenika! Daniko! Do you know how much trouble you two are in? Running off out of bed whenever you please, the nerve!! Come back here this instant!" screeched their mother.

     Shenika and Daniko timidly edged a little closer to the door.

     "Now tell me, WHY are you running around the Lost Desert in the middle of the night?" she yelled furiously. "IT'S HOURS PAST YOUR BEDTIME!!"

     The little Aishas looked down and shuffled their feet. How would anyone believe what had just happened?

The End

I hope this story promotes more appreciation towards Aishas and the Lost Desert. Any feedback would be appreciated!

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