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Nestled in the Rotting Footwear

by keytopond


Neransu swam gracefully through the warm waters of Mystery Island, moving in such a way that not a single ripple showed upon the water surface. Life was easy and carefree for the young Lutari and with a smile she dove farther downward.

      Despite her age, Nera, as her friends called her, was already given the honor of the coloring of the island. Such was unheard of until a much later age but Neransu had managed to prove herself time and again as mature enough to handle herself and others. One could usually find her listening to the stories of the island faerie and swimming among her companions when the weather was nice.

      However, knowledge often cannot make up for experience and Nera was still young. She did not notice the signs of an oncoming storm and even if she did she seemed not to pay much mind. The warm waters she had been swimming within soon started to swirl with a force that dragged her farther down and farther from the island. But the island painted Lutari was far from concerned. Lutari were known for their swimming ability and for their long lasting breath and Neransu was no exception to these traits. Even with her age against her, if she willed it enough, she could have swum back to the surface, but the key word was "if". Something caught her attention and soon she just let the current bring her to the ancient ruins of a city seemingly forgotten.

      The ground was cracked and what was left of the buildings were covered in a film of seaweed and other underwater plants. Taking a moment, Nera ran her black claws over the nearest building, surprised at how easily the ancient structure crumbled. As it slowly fell to the sea bed, the sand was disturbed and clouded her sight. After a moment of squinting, she saw the sand had returned to where it was meant to be and she set her eyes upon a small opening in the rocks. Unlike the rest of the area, the cave seemed free of most seaweed and plants; a clear sign of use.

      With a push of her long tail, Nera jetted into the cavern to find she had been right. Looking upward, through the water, she could clearly see several Neopians casting lines into the water, each line with an odd wiggling creature at the end. Neransu had heard of such a thing called fishing before, but the brightly colored creatures seemed to be more scary than appealing and she wondered how any fish was to fall for that.

      Another swish of the tail and Nera went towards the bottom of the cave past several odd fish and other things. The sea bed was scattered with foreign objects that were a mystery to the young Lutari and she paid no mind to them. At least she paid no mind to most of them. With her sharp eyes Neransu picked up on a glinting bottle nestled between several pairs of rotten footwear and broken fishing supplies. Carefully moving the unwanted items aside from the bottle as to not disturb the sand, she slowly took the bottle into her claws. Within it was a creature throwing itself at its glass prison, seemingly unhappy to be in the confined space. It seemed all that kept it inside was the enchanted cork at the top of the bottle which Neransu could easily take out but decided against. The creature was not any faerie that she knew of and therefore could not be trusted if let loose.

      Placing it under one arm, Nera made her way through the calming waters of the Neopia sea and with a smile she figured the storm had passed. Within a short time she had reached the island she knew and loved, and, with a graceful jump, landed on its shores. Making sure that the bottle would not fall, Neransu ran towards the oversized cooking pot in the distance.

      The tanned face of Jhuidah greeted the young Lutari over the enormous pot as she stirred away at some mysterious recipe that only she seemed to know how to create. Seeing Nera was not there for her usual stories, the island faerie stopped mixing the liquid.

     "Child, what is the problem?" she inquired at the now out of breath Lutari.

      Taking the bottle from under her arm, Nera handed the mysterious item to her. Grinning, Jhuidah placed the cork between two fingers and, to Neransu's surprise, freed the creature within the bottle. Immediately it dove into the mixture the island faerie had made earlier and started to grow in size until a very annoyed male Wocky stood before them both.

      Now this was strange in itself, a Wocky being within a bottle, but soon Nera realized he wasn't standing on the ground. Indeed he seemed not to have any legs past his purple cloth covered waist but a tail that seemed to fade out at its tip that hovered slightly above the grass. Adorning his ear was a golden ring and Nera wondered vaguely if he was a member of a band that played in the Tyrannian concert hall.

     "Its about time someone released me!" said the Wocky crossing his arms. "I've been stuck in that bottle for a week. An entire WEEK! Doesn't anyone realize how important I am!"

      Finally finding her voice, and her breath, Neransu neared the Wocky cautiously as he seemed to be a tad irritable at the moment.

     "Who... Who are you and why were you in this bottle?" Nera asked, bringing attention to herself.

      He looked over to her as if seeing her for the first time, but slowly his face relaxed while looking at the Lutari.

     "You must be the giant Neopet that picked my prison up from the watery depths," he said smiling slightly and suddenly threw a small amount of magic to the ground that turned into a purple cloud before starting to disappear. "Alakazam! I am the Auction Genie!"

      Jhuidah shook her head and returned to her stirring in her cooking pot leaving the startled and slightly amazed Lutari to handle the genie.

     "You mean you are that genie that lives at the auction house?" Neransu said, watching the last bit of purple smoke dissipate.

     "But of course, what other Wocky is as handsome and powerful as I?" the Auction Genie replied, smirking slightly.

      With a snort Jhuidah mumbled something that sounded like, "and modest too," but Nera couldn't quite be sure she said anything at all.

      Finding his audience losing interest in himself, the genie quickly went on about how a fire faerie had tricked him a week ago after she disguised herself as "a maiden in distress" that "no gentlemen could resist" as the genie said. But the maiden had an enchanted bottle with her that "anyone could have fallen victim to" and turning herself from the rambling Wocky, Neransu saw Jhuidah nodding to that section of the story, having been trapped in a similar situation a few months earlier.

      Finally after several attempts to show off more of his "greatness," the island faerie and Nera bid the Auction Genie farewell and he returned to his "much missed job," but the young Lutari could have swore she heard him say something about a pay check being in his mail even though he was missing.

      As Neransu made her way back to the waters surrounding the island she heard a shout from behind.

     "Child, don't you want to hear the story of how the Turdle beat the Snowbunny in a race?"

      And with a smile she sat near the cooking pot listening of tales of old and new from the island faerie.

The End

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