Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 128,277,782 Issue: 261 | 13th day of Collecting, Y8
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Pinky the Brave: Part Three

by ikea_sale


It seemed like the two had been running blindly for an eternity, not knowing where they were going and not caring. They knew they just had to get away. Eventually, when they could see nothing in the sea of bare sand surrounding them, they stopped and doubled over on the scorching hot sand, panting and puffing.

     "Are we safe?" asked Cicadasan in between deep breaths.

     Emakoke pushed herself up to her feet, even though her scrawny legs felt weak from running, and she looked around her while shielding her eyes from the sun. It was so intense--she hoped they had enough water to last them.

     "I can't see anyone. In fact, I can't see anything. Just sand," she replied, before collapsing back onto the ground.

     "Well done, Pinky," Cicadasan said with a scowl. "You've got us lost in the middle of nowhere." She sighed dolefully and laid her head on the ground.

     "Hey, chill out," Ema replied, trying to sound positive. "We'll just keep walking straight until we find a village. Then they can contact our owners and before we know it we'll be back in the luxury of our Neohomes!"

     Ema shut her eyes and imagined her bed back at home. A blissful smile crept over her face.

     "You don't understand!" Cicadasan cried, shaking Emakoke by the shoulders. Ema opened her eyes. Cicadasan was tearful. Ema had never seen her like this before.

     "What is it?" she asked. Cicadasan looked down at her foot, which was tracing patterns in the sand.

     "I came from the pound," she muttered. "I came here to get away from it."

     "Oh, I'm so sor-"

     "This physical stuff is the only thing I'm good at! I'm not pretty, I'm not smart--I... I loved being at camp! And now you've taken it all away from me! And I'll have to go back to the pound!" she bawled, her eyes full of tears, before jumping up and storming off.

     "Cicadasan, wait! I didn't know!" Ema called, running after her. She came side by side with her fellow Aisha, who turned her head away. "I promise when we're saved, I'll help find you an owner. Maybe--maybe my owner will adopt you!"

     Cicadasan snorted, wiping her tears with the grubby sleeve of her overalls.

     "As if I'd want to live with you, Pinky," she retorted, sniffing.

     Emakoke couldn't think of anything else to say; she couldn't think of any comforting words. She squinted out into the vacant, endless desert in front of them--the outlook wasn't too good. The two walked in silence for almost an hour.

     "We're not going to find anywhere, are we?" Cicadasan said eventually, stopping and tossing her rucksack to the ground. She pulled out a bottle of water and began to gulp it down. Emakoke just looked at her feet and shrugged sullenly.

     "We might."

     Cicadasan rolled her eyes as she slung her bag back onto her back.

     "It's a good thing you have me here. Like I said, you wouldn't survive an hour in the desert alone. Luckily, I have a map."

     She produced a fold out map from her jacket pocket, and looked at Ema conceitedly. Ema glowered at her and folded her arms. Nerves were beginning to run high.

     Suddenly, a gust of wind picked up and blew sand into her eyes.

     "Ow!" she yelped, slapping her hands to her face. As she did this, another strong gust of wind blew and tore the map from Cicadasan's hands. She chased after it frenziedly but it was no use; it fluttered off into the sky, dancing around in circles. The wind was really picking up and taking sand everywhere with it. Ema shielded her eyes, which were still stinging, straining to see her companion through the whirlwind of sand.

     "Sandstorm!" they both cried in unison.

     "What do we do?" she heard Cicadasan shriek through the howling of the wind that lashed across their faces.

     "I don't know! You're the brave one!" Ema replied, gritting her teeth to stop the sand coming in.

     "Well, I don't know!" Cicadasan retorted. Without really thinking about it, Ema abruptly tore a strip of material from her overalls and tied it around her mouth and nose loosely.

     "Copy me!" she yelled in a muffled voice. Cicadasan copied her and then they huddled close together. Usually they would both be disgusted, but the situation was too urgent to care about reputation or the dislike between them. The storm became worse, and their faces were sore and red as the sand whipped past them at high speeds. They could no longer see anything except a blur of orange and yellow rushing around them

     "We can't just stay here! We have to find shelter!" called Cicadasan after several minutes of huddling and squinting against the sand.

     "Let's go back! Try to get back to the pyramids!" Ema replied.

     They turned round and started to walk but both of them knew they couldn't see which way was actually the way they had come from. They couldn't see anything--it felt like they were drowning in a sea of whirling sand. But still they pushed on.

     Eventually, they saw something, a shadow through the sandstorm, looming above them. It was huge, whatever it was, and the sand thinned out as its walls acted as a shield.

     "We're not lost!" Ema squealed, feeling a deep sense of relief. The two Aishas staggered over to the wall and sunk down against it.

     "You know, I don't think I could have made it back here with out you," Cicadasan admitted. Ema smiled, even though she knew that Cicadasan probably couldn't even see her through the storm, which didn't seem to be calming down at all. If anything, it was getting wilder, and squinting no longer protected their eyes from the onslaught. Ema put her head down between her knees, and wrapped her second set of long ears around her face.

     "Maybe we should dig down into the sand! We might be able to make a cave or something!" she yelled, her voice coming out stifled even though she was shouting her loudest. It was a stupid idea, but it was a desperate situation. Both girls started to dig into the sand below them with their paws. The sand kept filling their shallow holes back up, but they kept digging anyway. Ema leant her body over her hole to try and stop the sand getting to it, and eventually got hers deep enough that she could curl up in it. She lay down, put her paws over her head, and shut her eyes.


     Ema groaned, trying to remember where she was, and what had happened. She felt surrounded by warmth, as if she was wrapped up in some kind of heavy quilt. On trying to move, she found she was surrounded. Buried. Gasping, she thrust her head up, submerged out from below the sand, and was hit by a blast of cold air. Immediately she remembered what was going on - but she did not know where she was.

     "Cicadasan?" she called anxiously, pulling herself out from the ground and shaking the sand from her clothes. It was nighttime, and the sky was littered with stars. It was absolutely freezing. Ema shivered, but tried to keep optimistic. At least the sandstorm had died down. All was still. "Cicadasan? Are you near?"

     She saw a hefty lump in the sand nearby twitch. She bent down and scooped the sand away to reveal her friend curled tightly in a ball, her head tucked between her legs.

     "Emakoke?" Cicadasan moaned, lifting her head up. Ema was slightly taken aback. Cicadasan hadn't called her Pinky. She had called her by her name.

     "Yes, it's me," Ema replied with a smile, grabbing her friend's paws and pulling her out of the sand. Once she was on her feet, they looked around them, bewildered. They weren't back at the pyramid. They weren't anywhere Ema had ever seen before.

     "This isn't the climbing pyramid!" Cicadasan exclaimed, peering up at the colossal Gebmid that loomed above them, its peak almost touching the night sky. Both girls looked up and gasped in awe. It was the biggest Gebmid either of them had ever seen. And they'd only ever seen pictures in magazines.

     "Where... where are we?" Ema stammered, pulling her tattered jacket tighter around her. Both of them looked a complete state; sand was caught in their sticky fur and they were sunburnt and covered in sore patches. Their eyes were swollen and puffy from the sand that had blown into them. But neither of them cared; they were too astounded to notice.

     As Ema stared up at the Gebmid, something else caught her eye and she looked down. The sand by her feet was moving. It was pouring inwards, very quickly, as if flowing down a hole. Curious, she got down onto her knees and looked closer. There was a hole--a tiny one, right at the bottom of where she had dug her pit earlier. All the sand was seeping through it as if it were hollow underneath.

     "Look at this, Cic," said Ema inquisitively, squinting down at the miniscule hole. Cicadasan wandered over, pretending to be interested but still gazing up at the Gebmid.

     "Mmmm..." she mumbled, briefly looking down.

     "I wonder where it's going?" Ema said, finally overcome by curiosity. She reached her paw down and began to scoop away the sand around the hole. To her surprise, her arm plunged straight through the thin layer of sand. Suddenly, without even the slightest warning, the ground below her caved in, the sand crumbled away rapidly and both Aishas fell down the gaping hole that had appeared, screaming.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Pinky the Brave: Part One
» Pinky the Brave: Part Two
» Pinky the Brave: Part Four

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