Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 120,791,029 Issue: 244 | 16th day of Relaxing, Y8
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Garin's Surprise

by 200389271


The fur raced across his face as the strong sea air danced around him. Even though he had been victorious, one thought still raced through his mind. Where is Scarblade? Since their departure from Maraqua Garin had felt differently. It was as thought a part if him was left behind in the underwater city. Leaving Isca and Caylis was foolish. Even though his longing for a life of piracy was everything, Garin also missed Maraqua. With its towering coral towers, the citizens, the weapons. Oh, how he longed for the the weapons, his greatest desire. Weapons that moved at lightning speed. Even though the King had given him a sword as a gift of gratitude, he kept it locked away, and he had two reasons for that. One because he never knew who he could trust. Garin knew that every pirate on his crew itched to use it. And second.... well... pirates don't like to be tied to Maraqua.

     He gazed out onto the shimmering waters, while his first mate, Jacques, walked up beside him.

     "Mate, we have a problem," Jacques reported as usual. Garin sighed, and turned to face his first mate, the thought of Scarblade escaping his mind.

     "What is it?" Jacques summoned him over to the cabin.

     It was not tiny, but yet not spacious, perfect for a medium-sized crew. Jacques opened the wooden door and nervously walked to the chest.

     "Garin... well... we..." Jacques stammered to a stop.

     "What is it?" the captain asked. Jacques sighed. "We are broke, okay!" Garin's eyes widened.

     "What about our-"

     "Gone. Disappeared. The dubloons we took over the years are gone. All that are left are some markings in the wall." Jacques led his partner over to where the gold had last been. Garin observed the markings, which consisted of only three marks. Something inside Garin knew they were not good.

      He backed up and sighed heavily.

     "When should we tell the crew?" Jacques asked, snapping Garin out of his thoughts.

     "We are going to have to tell them sooner or later." Garin stood up and headed for the door. "And I would rather it be later."

     That night, Garin hoped a good night's rest would clear his mind, but instead he awoke from a fitful dream. A shimmering gold pendant hung a few feet away from him. Garin tried to grab it, but the pendent only got farther away as Garin got closer. When finally he grabbed it, his hand was singed. He tried to drop the burning object, but it was stuck to his hand. Garin screamed in agony as the object burned his hand, then suddenly, it vanished, but the pain still lingered in his hand. On his hand however, was a scar, consisting of three marks.

     That was when Garin awoke, felling slightly woozy, and sat up, rubbing his forehead. It was hot. Scarblade. Garin dashed out of his bed and ran to the cabin, jumping over a couple barrels that had been tossed around during the night. He stumbled on a coil of rope, for it was too dark to see, and the only lantern was in the cabin. Then a crack of lighting split through the air. With even the little light that had been given, Garin could see perfectly what was in front of him. The door was ajar, with deep slashes all in the same arrangement as the scar in his dream. Just to be sure, Garin checked his hand, and nothing was there.

     "Good," Garin mumbled. "Jacques!" Garin shouted, knowing his friend was in trouble. He flung what was left of the door open, and stumbled in. Suddenly, Garin heard a deep low crackle. It was as if someone was laughing at him, stumbling through the small cabin. Even though Garin knew the ship like the deep engravings on dubloons, fear kept him from thinking straight, and the cabin seemed like an endless jungle; one in which Garin could not escape. Like he was a lost traveler, stumbling through, only to get even more lost than before. Garin suddenly panicked. He quickly turned, trying to get to the light, when he plunged to the ground. Something had caused him to fall. Without warning, a dark shadowy figure approached the door. At the crack of lightning, Garin could see just enough to tell who it was.

     "Scarblade!" Garin spat the word out in distaste, reaching for his cutlass, when he realized it was locked up. He withdrew a rusted sword from the cabin desk, and Scarblade crackled again.

     "Dear boy, I do not wish to fight, eh?" Scarblade laughed, his chest heaving up and down. Scarblade began to stroll in when Garin pointed his sword at the Lupe. Garin realized that something hung on Scarblade's neck. Without thinking, Garin dove for a piece of wood and swiped it at Scarblade, so he could reach the pendant. He was almost there when a heavy net landed on him. Garin was instantly forced to the ground. If Garin had had enough strength left in him, he would have been able to escape. He turned his head to see who had thrown it. Benny.

     "An unwary little feller, ain't he?" Benny asked Scarblade, laughing. Then Garin's sight went blank and he was tumbling into darkness.

     He awoke to find himself in a filthy prison cell. Garin could tell there had been others before him, due to the repulsive smell of death. When he sat up, the smell of rotten fish hit his nose.

     "Garin?" a faint voice whispered. A shadow loomed across the cell. He was skinny and weak, but he was still Jacques. He stumbled over beside his friend and sat down, avoiding a spyder.

     Garin patted him on the back, glad to see his friend was fine.

     "Good to see you, mate. I was worried about you."

     "Aye," Jacques replied. "Same here."

     There was a long, awkward silence, when finally, Jacques broke the spell.

     "Mate, it was him. He was the one who robbed us of our dubloons." Garin, who had been lost in thought, turned to face his friend.

     "I know." He turned to put his hand on the damp ground, and quickly pulled it away.

     "What's the matter?" Jacques asked, leaning over to see what he could do. Garin pushed some fur out of his face and gazed down to his paw.

     "Oh no," Garin mumbled.

     "What is it?" Jacques repeated. Garin held his paw up to show his best mate. Just like in the dream, and the wall, and on Scarblade's medallion, it was only three marks.

     "What is it?" Jacques repeated, getting tired of not being answered. Garin sighed. He didn't want to worry his friend.

     "It's-it's-it's Scarblade's mark, well, at least I think it is." Garin began to tell Jacques all about his dreams and his encounter with Scarblade. He explained how he felt when he saw the door, how frightened he was. By the time Garin had finished, it seemed as though only minutes had gone by, but outside the brilliant yellow sun was already in the process of disappearing.

     "All men sleepin'," a hoarse voice yowled from the stair.

     "Arr, all men asleep, all asleep!" a squeaky voice shouted. A second later, a parrot came flying through the air.

     "All men asleep," it practically screamed.

     "Come on, Garin, let's get some sleep, for who knows what will happen tomorrow." Agreeably, Garin fell into a deep slumber, but was suddenly awaken by a hard shake on his shoulders. Garin, who was still tired, barely opened his eyes. It was Jacques. Garin opened his mouth to ask who in their right mind would be awake at this time, but Jacques stopped him. He motioned for Garin to be quiet as he retrieved something from inside a coil of rope. At first, Garin had no idea what it was until he saw it shimmer in the light. A key! They were going to escape!

     Jacques fiddled with the lock and slowly pushed the door open. Luckily, the hinges were well oiled, so there was no extra noise. Together, they headed for the stairway. When Garin stepped on the first stair, it squeaked, and he quickly stepped back. And so did the next. The two friends looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. They were going to have to make a dash for it! It was their only hope. Once they would get up the stairs, they would have to jump off the boat. When Jacques gave the signal, they both ran up the rickety stairs, and dashed for the nearest route to escape. Garin heard shouts coming from below. They would have to get off the boat, now! When they both got to the side of the boat, they dove into the wild blue sea. Garin retrieved the kelp necklace from his shirt and put it on. Beside him, Jacques opened a small bottle and drank its contents. They swam deeper and deeper into the sea; they wouldn't be safe if they stayed on the surface.

     Together, they swam quickly to the ocean floor, to the only safe place. Maraqua. Garin knew that Isca would be pleased to hear of their arrival, and partly, Garin was glad as well. When they approached the gates, they were greeted by two Maraquan Gelerts.

     "Welcome, Garin the Foolish," the first one said, bowing.

     "And welcome, Jacques the Swift," the other added. The two were led into the city walls. It seemed so much different since they had left.

     "We need to find Isca. Do you know where we can find her?" Garin asked a passerby.

     The Jetsam looked up at Garin and nodded. "She is with the King," he wheezed. Garin and Jacques made their way to the castle, weaving in between many Maraquans. Luckily, Isca and the King were outside the castle.

     "Garin! Jacques!" Isca shouted as she swam over to meet her friends. King Kelpbeard made his way behind her.

     "Why, hello. What brings you two here again?" King Kelpbeard asked.

     "Aye, Scarblade, he is back," Jacques finally answered, and Garin held up his paw.

     "Garin, are you okay?" Isca asked, rushing to his side.

     "Well, I have had worse," Garin replied. They looked at each other. "Well, we better get going." Jacques and Garin turned around.

     "What? Aren't you going to-"

     "Stay longer?" Garin asked. Isca pouted, then muttered something under her breath. But before she could argue, Garin and Jacques swam back to the surface.

     "Just where we left her," Jacques said. Indeed, in front of the two was the Black Pawkeet, ready for sailing. When they climbed aboard, they were greeted by the rest of the crew.

     "Where to, captain?" an orange Wocky asked.

     "Well," Garin replied, "you know, I have heard that there is a wedding on Mystery Island. All sails to Mystery Island!" Garin shouted. Instantly, the crew set off to the ship. While Jacques and the rest of the crew worked, Garin climbed up to the crow's nest.

     "I know you are out there," Garin murmured, "and when you find me, Scarblade, I'll be waiting."

The End

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