Come dance with the gypsies... Circulation: 119,338,143 Issue: 240 | 19th day of Hunting, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

You Should Never Be Too Cocky


by bunni287

--------

For those who do not understand the spelling, Xander is pronounced 'Zander'.

The Cybunny stood at the base of the tomb. He could hardly believe that he was there. Geraptiku. The abandoned city. The name alone gave him thrills of the discoveries and adventures hidden deep within the tomb. Xander threw back his hood and gazed at the peak of the tomb with vibrant amber eyes. In the dark it looked a little ominous but that's just what he wanted. To feel the fear but do it anyway! His stomach back flipped as he took the first step to the large, blackened stone door. A panel was pushed and the door slowly ground open. Xander quickly swept inside before the door was fully up.

      Darkness loomed before him and the floor was oddly soft. As Xander lit his lamp, he noticed that the floor was covered in a thick carpet of dust and he screwed up his face in disgust. The door rumbled shut, making him jump. But nevertheless, Xander made his way down the halls to start his search for treasures, his elongated shadow in close pursuit.

The day before…

      "Hey Mom, can we go to Geraptiku tomorrow?" an eager young Cybunny called to his mum.

      "I busy tomorrow, I'm taking Angela to the Doctors, I think she might have Sneezles!" said a worried-looking human as she ushered a sick pink Gelert into her room.

      Xander thumped his feet in annoyance. He had been to Geraptiku everyday since it was discovered. There was no way he was going to miss out on a possible discovery!

      "Don't get moody, Xander," came a cry from down the hall, "missing just ONE day of exploring won't hurt you!"

      The yellow Cybunny slammed his bedroom door and muttered moodily under his breath. Exploring was his life. He did not want his sister to ruin his chances of glory. He looked to his poster of the famous Kougra explorer, Jake, stood in a brave pose on his own with his name in bold letters, star erupting from behind the letters. On his own…

      Suddenly an idea came to Xander.

      "Mu-um!" he called, hanging off of his door.

      "What, Xander?" came a muffled response.

      "Can I go to Geraptiku tomorrow?"

      "I told you, I'm busy taking your sister to the doctors tomorrow!"

      "No, no, I mean go on my own," explained Xander hopefully, "I've figured that I've been so many times that I should know the tomb inside out by now!"

      A silence followed.

      Xander's ears perked up as he listened for his um. The rustling and shuffling of bedcovers could be heard from his sister's bedroom as his mum put her to bed. Then the bedroom door opened and his mum exited the room.

      "Well?" prompted Xander.

      "Xander, that's the silliest and most dangerous idea you've ever had." His mum sighed.

      Xander's face fell. "What?"

      "That idea is both silly and dangerous, what if you get hurt; what if you get lost?" his mum said with a note of concern.

      "But, but, I know the place like the back of my paw, look!" moaned Xander outstretching his paw.

      "You might think you do, Xander, but you don't," his mum said bending down to him, "You and I both know that the tomb can be tricksome!"

      Xander scowled and opened his mouth to say something but no noise came out and he smartly shut it again.

      "I'm glad you see what I mean." His mum smiled, giving him a kiss and a cuddle. "Now come on, off to bed!"

      Xander moodily accepted the kiss and hug and then trudged off to his bed.

      "Good night, Xander!" whispered his mum and his lamp was switched off, leaving Xander in total darkness. After he was sure his mother had gone to her room, he turned on the lamp again and swung out of bed. He stuffed necessary items into his rucksack and opened the window. He looked back and listened to make sure no-one had heard him. 'Nothing, good!' he thought. With eyes blazing in defiance he slipped out of the window and skirted along the cool, wet grass.

Present…

      Xander felt a little guilty about running away but he figured that if he was quick enough, he would be back before morning and no-one would notice. The moon had given Xander enough light to sneak onto a boat going to Mystery Island without being noticed and make his way through the dense jungle to the city to enter the tomb. Now only a brave flickering glow from the old lamp in his hand gave him enough lamp to see inside the tomb. The tomb itself was still and Xander had a strange feeling of being watched. "Just your imagination!" he told himself.

      Xander noticed large, ancient symbols scarring the walls down the corridor. Meaningless to him, unless he somehow understood a language that had not been heard for thousands of years.

      He paused and gave them a closer inspection. He cleared some of the dust away and carefully stroked the cool stone markings, admiring the effort that the carvers had put into these long halls. Deep swirling patterns and stars and suns and wriggling lines like snakes inlaid into a cool, smooth black stone. A creak echoed from somewhere deep within the tomb and Xander was pulled back to reality. He glanced at the lamp and noticed that it was half burnt out. He decided to move on.

      As he turned he stopped suddenly in the middle of the path as he remembered that one of these stones triggered the traps. The one to the left with the large crack up its middle, near splitting it in half. Xander gave it a wide berth as he passed it. 'See, mum,' he thought cockily, 'I know this place like the back of my paw!'

      As he walked down the corridors of the tomb, he said what was in each room as he passed it. "That's got a trap," he murmured, "that's empty, got a trap, got a trap, treasure's been taken…"

      He passed the usual thirteen doors on his right and ten doors on the left but suddenly a fourteen door on the right suddenly jumped into Xander's sight. He stopped suddenly and shined the lamplight onto it. It was rather splendidly decorated with gold around the door frame in the shapes of swirls, wriggling lines and two great watchful eyes, which gave Xander a slight fear of the room. But why would anyone want to decorate a door frame so without the chance of big treasures?

      Grinning, Xander entered the room thinking, 'This is it, the BIG treasure!'

      The room was…empty?

      Xander yelled out in frustration.

      "Who would do such a stupid thing!" he yelled angrily. But suddenly the walls glinted in the lamplight. He looked closer to the wall and noticed that they were made out of a shining black stone. It was not like any of the other rooms he had explored. A bad sign but Xander dared himself to go in further. A wiser explorer would have turned on his heel and left the room but Xander's curiosity had gotten the better of him.

      The room was cool, which again was strange as the tomb was usually humid. Another bad sign and it unnerved Xander and he felt his hairs stand on end. He felt an unfriendly presence was watching him somewhere in the shadows. He took another brave step and immediately knew it was a mistake! Something moved in the room and caught the corner of Xander's eye.

      He froze.

      Eyes shifted nervously from side to side as a shadow slithered in front of him. Xander could not help but gasp. A pair of angry, watchful eyes, not unlike those above the door frame to this room, glared at him from a great height. A snarling mouth snapped just in front of Xander's face. "Get out!" it roared viscously.

      Xander needed no second thoughts and ran full pelt down the corridor. The ghost followed him, roaring and snapping just behind his heels.

      As Xander raced towards the exit a stone of his path suddenly inverted. He instinctively knew that he had hit the stone which triggered the traps. A horrible laughter sounded behind him from the ghost. "Stupid fool!" it laughed, hissing on the 's.'

      Ancient coils creaked and released a deadly fleet of arrows. Xander dodged them the best he could but was still hit a few times, thudding into his arms and legs. He had a choice to stop and get eaten by the ghost or to carry on out of the exit and find help for his wounds. Xander gritted his teeth and kept running.

      Dizzily, he stumbled out of the door and somehow made it down the steps. He smiled exhaustedly as he collapsed onto the floor.

      ~*~

      Xander woke suddenly. 'Was it all a dream?' he wondered.

      A pair of soft blue eyes gazed down upon him. "Phew, you're awake," said a soft female voice. "We almost lost you!"

      Those last words made Xander suddenly jolt upright and he fell straight back onto the soft covers with a snarl as bandaged wounds reminded him sharply that everything was real.

      "What did you think you were doing out there, all on your own; you could have been killed!" The pet, who Xander noticed was an Island Gelert, asked while bandaging his leg with gentle care.

      "W-who're you?" groaned Xander.

      The Gelert stopped wrapping the fresh bandage around his leg. "Don't you even recognise your beautiful sister?" she smiled.

      "Angela?" gasped Xander with surprise.

      "Yep!" Angela smiled giving him a wink.

      "How-how did you find me?" asked Xander.

      "After I got cured, the fountain faerie gave us a quest," smiled Angela. "Being the super nice person I am, I accepted it and after she painted me this very nice Island colour. Then she told us that she had seen a vision of a little Cybunny lying at the bottom of the Geraptiku tomb's stairs and told us to get there straight away. We didn't realise it would be OUR little Cybunny!"

      Xander's ears drooped.

      "I'm REALLY sorry!" he apologised.

      "Glad to hear it!" snapped a familiar voice.

      Xander looked to the doorway and saw his mum standing there with arms folded. A large pang of guilt stung Xander's body as she made her way to his bedside and hugged him gently. "I'm so glad you're safe," she whispered.

      Xander hugged his mum tightly, taking in her warmth. "I'm really, really sorry, Mum!"

      "You learnt your lesson?" asked his mum.

      "Yes," said Xander. "You should never be too cocky!"

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Trading Post - a Simple Guide
It has been my experience that a good many Neopians tend to overlook the Trading Post as a viable source of good deals, either because they haven't the patience to seek them out or because they are driven away by the chance at making a bad deal. I find it a shame...

by tyleraapje

---------

- Extreme Potato Counter -
Incoming!

Also by the_ghoul_family

by pixiepuff


---------

DOOMed Adventures
When Meepits Attack

by ladyash782

---------

Usually abnormal
Bread and butter

by tristess



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.