You Should Never Be Too Cocky
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
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.
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.
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
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?'
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,"
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