A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 123,711,044 Issue: 249 | 21st day of Swimming, Y8
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Essence of a Pirate


by mossfurcool

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"Tess! Hurry up or we're going to be late!" Tess's mother called up the stairs. The Island Kacheek sighed and draped the necklace her brother, Joe, an Electric Kacheek, gave Tess for her birthday last year.

     "I'm coming!" Tess shouted slightly agitated to her mother as she grabbed her suitcase and darted down the stairs.

     "I'm ready for Krawk Island!" Joe said excitedly as he ran down after Tess. Tess's mother grinned and led the way to the harbour where the ferry was waiting for all the passengers to load.

     Tess kept a scowl on her face as she, her brother, and her mother found a spot to sit. "Why do we have to go to stupid Krawk Island?" Tess mumbled as she looked down into the water.

     Her mother frowned. "Oh come on, Tess. It'll be fun!" Tess nodded unenthusiastically and laid her head down on her bags and stared and the floor of the ferry until she fell asleep.

     "All passengers unboard the ferry! All passengers unboard the ferry!" The ferry manager's announcement woke Tess up and she grabbed her suitcase and stumbled off the ferry. She raised her eyebrows at her mother as if she was trying to say, 'I doubt this'll be fun.' Her mother raised her eyebrows back at her and told her to go relax on the shore with Joe while she took their bags up to the hotel room.

    Tess's brother raced down to the shore and she followed slowly, kicking the rocks that were in her path to the side. Tess sat down in the sand and watched Joe try to build a sand castle. "C'mon Tess, help me!" he called. Tess rolled her eyes and dug into the sand.

     As she turned over the mold and on top of the sand castle Tess found a gold earring. "Hmmm," she said as she inspected it. "Looks like a pirate earring." Tess took the earring and clipped it over her ear.

     "Hey, Joe!" Tess called out. Her brother turned to look at Tess. She drew out an imaginary sword and pretended to be a pirate. "Arr... matey give me all 'yer booty!" Tess laughed and so did Joe.

     "Here you are, pirate, all my booty!" Joe laughed and threw sand at his sister.

     "Ohh... I'll get ya fer that, matey!" Tess threw down her imaginary sword and tackled Joe playfully.

     "Tess, what's this?" her mother asked as she approached Tess and Joe, "I thought you said Krawk Island would be no fun." She smiled as to say, 'I told you so'.

     Tess shrugged her shoulders and said reluctantly, "Well, I guess I was wrong just now, but I bet the rest of the island is a snore!" Her mother rolled her eyes and led Joe back with her to the hotel.

     "You can stay out here if you want to, Tess," she called over her shoulder as she was walking. Tess sat back down in the sand and continued on her little brother's sand castle.

     "Hey, you," called a mysterious voice.

     Tess stood up and looked around abruptly. "Who, me?" Tess asked. The figure nodded and came out of the shadows. Tess's eyes grew wide. "Y... you're a p... pirate..." she stammered.

     The Kougra nodded, "Indeed I am. My name's Jake... what pirate crew are you a part of?" Tess was puzzled. This pirate thought that she was a pirate. It didn't make sense to her.

     "But sir, I'm no pirate," Tess said a little shaky.

     Jake tipped his head. "You aren't?" Tess shook her head. "Oh, well you're wearing a pirate earring and you were just talking like a pirate. Hold on... could I have a look at that earring?"

     Tess looked at the earring and took it off. "Sure." Tess handed the earring to Jake and he looked at it, and looked at it.

     Jake gasped. "PIRATES! I've found the one!" Tess was alarmed and started to run, but other pirates jumped out and held Tess to the ground.

     "Let me GO!" she wailed as she tried to wiggle out from the pirates' clutches.

     "We aren't trying to kill you!" Jake said as Tess stood up. She raised her eyebrows and let them continue. "That earring you were wearing... can only be worn by those who aren't pirates... don't necessarily want to be pirates but are the only ones who have what it takes. Anybody else who tries to wear it... well, it will just fall off."

     Tess smiled and looked at the pirates. "Does this mean you think I should join your pirate crew?" The pirates exchanged glances.

     "Not necessarily, but we want to try you out. Are you up for it?" Jake asked.

     Tess didn't say anything for a moment or two; she was pondering what her mother would think about it. Tess didn't really care, though. "Sure," she said enthusiastically. Jake nodded and the pirates looked at her one last time.

     Then one pirate gave her a slightly ripped bandana and a red and white-stripped shirt. "I knew you were missing something. Come with us."

     Tess followed the pirates wondering what was going to happen when she told her mother. She pictured her blowing up at Tess and Joe admiring her. She smiled, not caring, and continued walking up the shore.

     "Alright, here we are!" Jake said as he turned to face Tess when they reached a pirate ship. The other pirates all ran to separate corners like some kind of routine.

     "Excuse me, Jake...?" Tess started to ask but Jake turned his head and put his finger up to his mouth to tell her not to talk.

     "No talking. Just wait," Jake said as he signaled with his other hand to the rest of his crew.

     Off in the distance there was a foghorn-like blast. Tess jumped up in alarm and Jake started walking down the center of the ship. Tess figured she was supposed to follow so she carefully walked behind the Kougra making sure the rest of the crew wasn't setting off booby traps. She kept her arms up in defense and sneaked along.

     In a split second Jake spun around and slashed at Tess with his claws sheathed. Tess didn't panic but slashed back at him with her arm. Jake being stronger than Tess knocked her down. "Erf!" Tess exclaimed in slight pain as she fell on to a nail.

     Jake smiled, "Welcome to our pirate crew, Tess! Honorary pirate, that is." Tess's eyes widened.

     "H... how'd you know my name?" she asked.

     Jake snickered. "We pirates know all. No, actually it's engraved on that necklace," he explained, pointing at Tess's neck. "Anyway, now since you are in our crew you need a tough pirate name. How about... " Jake thought for a minute and scratched his chin. "Jeeda?" Jeeda nodded and waited for Jake to continue.

     Jake started pacing around Jeeda; looking at her thoughtfully. "Let me guess... you came from Mystery Island?" Jake asked as he stopped in front of Jeeda. The Kacheek's mouth dropped down.

     "H... how'd you know?"

     "The way your puny muscles are formed on your arms. Islanders tend to have less muscle, but it's gathered more around here," Jake pointed to the part of Jeeda's arm that had the most muscle, "because of their swimming and berry picking habits."

     Jeeda crossed her arms and stared in slight agitation at Jake. "You learn how to tell this stuff naturally during your training as a pirate." Jake turned around and scanned the boat carefully, then yelled out,

     "HAGS! Get over here! ...And fast!" A tired out pirate Korbat with slightly ripped wings flew over to Jake instantly.

     "Y... yes, Jake?" Hags asked almost out of breath.

     "Show our new pirate to her room," Jake grinned and pointed to Jeeda who waved shyly at Hags. The Korbat took a deep breath and flew slowly toward the other side of the ship. Jeeda padded after him trying not to make too much noise; she wasn't sure if there was anything rigged up.

     Hags stopped in font of a mahogany wood door with sharp, soot-black hinges shaped like vampire teeth. "This is your room," Hags sighed sounding very melancholy. "It's small but you won't spend much time in here anyways. Unless you're sleeping." Jeeda couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor old Korbat. He looked as if he had been working for these pirates for at least five years.

     "Hags?" Jeeda asked before the Korbat could fly away.

     "What is it?" he asked in a dreary, yet aggravated voice.

     Jeeda sniffled, "Well, I was wondering if these pirates treat you bad because you don't look too happy... well, I wouldn't either if I were a servant for these pirates, but... " Jeeda was then cut off buy a sharp, 'WHAT?!'

     Hags's eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open. "You think I'm a servant for these pirates?" Hags kept his angered stare on Jeeda until she answered.

     "Well, I mean it just looked like it... " Tess's voice trailed off.

     The Korbat rolled his eyes, "Girl, I am one of the oldest pirates here. Other than Jake, who is our leader, and Chet. It's just that, well, I am the only pirate in my class who has never gotten to train an honorary, or a to-be, pirate. We have gotten three new recruits, excluding you, in the past few weeks and so far Jake hasn't assigned any of them to me."

     Jeeda felt sorry for Hags but she didn't cry; she was a pirate. "Is there anything I could do?" Jeeda asked as she looked into Hags's sad deep blue eyes.

     "Not really you should just get settled in your room and come down to the dining hall in fifteen minutes." The Kacheek gulped down her tears and nodded.

     Hags couldn't help but smile. After Jeeda slammed the door to her room shut, Hags flew over to Jake.

     "Hey, Jake, I was wondering... " Hags started but he was cut off by Jake.

     "Yeah, I've been wondering too. Why haven't you swabbed the back deck? I asked for you to do that yesterday!" Hags crossed his arms and put a flat expression on his face. But Jake stared him down and Hags flew off to the back deck.

     After Hags was finished swabbing the deck, he was about to go tell Jeeda it was dinnertime, but Jake stopped him. "Jeeda must find out on her own that it's dinnertime. TRUE pirates don't need assistance," Jake stated as he drew his sword and leveled it with Hags's nose. He nodded hastily and flew off to the dining hall.

     Jeeda lifted her head up from her door. "They were just arguing about me, weren't they?" Jeeda asked herself. "Well, I should go to the dining hall now." She creaked the door open and looked around for Hags.

     She noticed a Korbat tail whip around a corner and guessed that it belonged to Hags. Running up to that corner she saw the same tail whip around another corner but it stopped half way. Jeeda walked up confused and saw about ten pirates from Jake's pirate crew lined up outside of a room.

     "Excuse me... but what are we waiting for?" Jeeda asked the closet Neopet who was a pirate Chomby.

     "Food," he answered in a gruff voice. "What do you think?" The Kacheek smiled a sheepish smile and backed up only to bump into a Neopet behind her.

     "Well, well, well, what do we have here?" Jeeda gulped and turned around and looked up at a Zafara.

     "Um... I'm the newest pirate on the crew, sir," Jeeda explained. A burst a fury raged in the Zafara's eyes as they turned a fiery shade of red and orange.

     "That's ma'am to you!" Jeeda nodded slowly and scooted down as the line shortened.

     The Zafara started shuffling through her pocket. "Here," the Zafara said as she handed Jeeda an eye-patch. "Ha, I knew there was something missing. Welcome aboard the toughest pirate crew of all Krawk Island..." The Zafara stopped and looked at the Kacheek.

     "Jeeda!" she finished.

     "Welcome, Jeeda! Now move it; the line has shortened!" Jeeda ran up the line back behind the Chomby.

     "NEXT!"

     "Oh hello, Jeeda," Hags said as he plopped some slop onto her tray. Jeeda smiled and picked up the tray, unsure what to do, so she walked up to Jake.

     "Jake," Jeeda started.

     "Just choose a seat and sit down but don't start eating yet." Jeeda chose the closest seat and sat down. After the last crewmember had food on their tray Hags got some for him and sat next to Jeeda.

     Jake stood up from his table and got the crew's attention by whistling. "Alright," he started, "Today we have the honor of welcoming our 15th crew member, Jeeda. Stand up, Jeeda." Jeeda obeyed and stood up from her seat. Jake motioned to his with his paws and Jeeda walked up next to Jake.

     "Jeeda has yet to be assigned a trainer. So now I shall announce the lucky pirate who will get to train this fine young Kacheek." Jake and Jeeda both noticed Hags crossing his fingers. "Hags!" Jake changed his mind and announced the Korbat's name.

     A wide smile struck across his face and he flew up to Jeeda. Jake had a slightly angered look on his face about his decision. "But remember, Hags, you are her trainer, not her friend." The Korbat nodded and the two sat down.

     "You may feast!" Jake left the stage and jumped down to his table and started eating and chatting with Chet.

     Jeeda smiled, "Congratulations, Hags!" Hags smiled and stuffed his face with the buttered bread he had put on his plate. Jeeda dug into the corn but got full after a few bites suddenly remembering her family. "Uh-oh... "

     Chewed up corn came spilling out of Jeeda's mouth. "Hags! I have to go; I'll see you tomorrow, I promise, but I have something I need to sort out." The Korbat stood up and followed Jeeda out of the dining hall.

     After Jeeda had left the ship Hags caught up with her. "Who?"

     Jeeda looked out into the sky, "My family... they don't know..." Hags didn't say anything; he didn't have time to. Jeeda had already darted out into the dark night.

     "I'll be waiting by the back deck tomorrow!" Hags's voice echoed in the sky.

     "Good-bye!" Jeeda called back.

     As Jeeda came back to the spot of beach where she met Jake she noticed her mother and Joe were looking around. "Tess!" Jeeda's mother called out. "Tess!"

     Jeeda walked closer. "Mom?" Jeeda's mom turned her head around and saw her daughter.

     "Oh, Tess! You're back!"

     "Tess? What are you talking about don't you-oh that's right." Jeeda sighed and started to explain.

     "So this Jake person just waltzes up to you and changes your name?" Jeeda's mom asked.

     "No, he wanted me to join his pirate crew. I passed some kind of secret test and he wanted to make my name sound more pirate like," Jeeda corrected. Her mother nodded slowly and sternly.

     "You know you aren't going back to that ship. You can't be a pirate, Tess; we're leaving the day after tomorrow."

     Jeeda's mouth dropped open. "What do you mean I can't go back? I promised Hags I'd meet him at the back deck tomorrow for training! You can't just make me break a promise! And it's Jeeda!" The Kacheek was almost out of breath exploding at her mother in rage. A light of fire beamed in her mother's eyes.

     "I just happen to be your mother! And I..." She was cut off by Jeeda.

      "Don't get to decide what I do!" Jeeda turned around and ran off away from her mother and Joe.

     Jeeda slowed down after her family got out of sight. "It sure is getting dark," Jeeda told herself. The Kacheek yawned and sat down on a bench near the water. "I could just rest a while here." Jeeda stretched out and lay down on the bench and slowly fell asleep.

     The next morning Jeeda woke up to the sound of Pteris chirping. Jeeda faced the north and looked down on the sand at her shadow. "I should get going, don't want to keep Hags waiting." As soon as Jeeda found the pirate ship Hags, Chet, Jake and all of the other pirates were running away carrying giant treasure chests.

     "RUN, Jeeda! RUN!" Hags called out as he threw some rocks at the ship.

     "What's going on?" Jeeda persisted.

     "We're being attacked!" Jake yelled from the cannon. Jeeda ran over to Jake and loaded the cannon. "By who?" she asked.

     "Two Kacheeks: a little boy and his mother," Jake explained quickly as he set the cannon off.

     "Mom..." Jeeda whispered to herself. Then the cannon fired. "WAIT! Don't hurt them! I know how to get rid of my family." Jake dropped a cannon and barely missed his foot.

     "Are you telling me that those rampaging set of angry Kacheeks are your family?" he said in a soft yet angered tone. Jeeda wasn't sure whether to nod or say no but she just slowly nodded and backed away into the ship.

     She quickly whipped her body around and noticed Joe and her mom on the upper deck throwing everything in sight down on her fellow crewmates. "Stop!" Jeeda begged as she ran up to the upper deck. "Why are you doing this?"

     "Why do you think? You little bad seed!" Jeeda's mom picked up a bucket of water and splashed it on Jeeda.

     "Okay, you have crossed the line, mom!" Jeeda picked up a sword and edged closer to her mom.

     "Are you prepared to make any sudden moves? Or do you wish to perish right now?" Jeeda asked as she leveled the tip of the blade to her mom's throat.

     "Tess... you are going to be in so much trouble," her mother said backing away from the blade.

     "I'm not under your rules anymore!" Jeeda shoved the blade forward and her mom jumped off of the plank. "And for the last time it's Jeeda!" Jeeda's mom made a big splash in the ocean and swam away hastily. "Joe?" Jeeda said as she turned her head slightly toward her brother.

     "Y... yes, big sister?"

     "Do you wish to join your mother forcefully, or will you be a good boy and go now?" Joe didn't say anything but just sat in the boat and started crying at Jeeda's feet. "Oh brother," she sighed. Joe looked up at Jeeda's angered face and jumped off the boat and joined his mother. "All taken care of, mateys!" Jeeda called back down to the rest of the crew.

     Jake and the rest jumbled back onto the ship and lifted Jeeda up onto their shoulders chanting, "Jeeda! Jeeda! Jeeda!" Jake was off to the side though. After Jeeda was let down off of the crews shoulders he signaled for her.

     "Yes, Jake?" Jake led Jeeda into a room near him.

     "Do you know what this room is, Jeeda?" She shook her head. "Well, this is where we keep records of the most outstanding performances made by pirates in our crew."

     Jeeda thought for a minute. "Are you saying that you think I belong here?" she asked. Jake shrugged his shoulders slowly.

     "Possibly," he said as he pulled something out of a box. "This, dear Jeeda, was the peg leg worn by the legendary pirate who long ago did the same deed as you," Jake said in a soft voice as he handed the peg leg to Jeeda.

     Jeeda took the peg leg and started at for a minute. "What does this mean?" Jeeda asked inquisitively.

     Jake continued, "Welcome, Jeeda, as a full, honored pirate."

The End

 
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