Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 175,200,932 Issue: 414 | 16th day of Collecting, Y11
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The Curse


by wolf589

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"Petra, hurry up! I really got to go!" Petra's brother yelled from the other side of the bathroom door.

     "I'm almost done! Just wait!" she yelled back to him.

     "If you don't hurry up, I'm going to have a mess all in this hallway. Then you'll be sorry!" Max yelled back.

     Petra turned on the sink and washed her hands, soap and all. She hated germs! She wiped her hands on the towel and opened up the bathroom door. The Island Hissi hissed at his Disco Kougra sister as he slithered past her into the bathroom. She skipped out the door and headed towards the beach, where her best friend Ava waited.

     "Wow, Petra, you take forever! I have been waiting here for over five minutes now," Ava whined. Ava was a Rainbow Poogle, loved Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, and disliked Halloween Neopets. She was more scared of them than she was hateful. She thought they would hurt her, just because they were from the Haunted Woods.

     "Let's play some Beach Volleyball!" Petra cheered, her Disco Weewoo hopping hurriedly behind her. Her Weewoo didn't like to play Volleyball; she more enjoyed watching. Or digging around in the sand.

     "Tweet tweet," the little Weewoo said to her.

     "What, Jumpers?" Petra asked, changing her voice into the voice you would speak to Neopets or Petpets who might not understand you.

     "Tweet!" Jumpers started to hop away, towards a little hole in the dirt. Slowly, Petra followed her little Weewoo, with Ava standing there like a weirdo.

     Jumpers led her to a little hole, and in that hole was a note rolled up into a bottle. Petra grabbed the bottle and twirled it in her paws. There was a little thing keeping it closed, and she didn't have a bottle opener. Instead, she grabbed the little cork-thingy in her jaws and pulled it off. She started to spit at the ground, trying to get the germs out of her mouth.

     Ava grabbed the bottle from Petra's hands and held it upside-down, so the note could fall out.

     "Petra," Ava read the top line. "I knew little Jumpers would find this bottle. Now, you have to find the treasure! You may have to leave Mystery Island to find all the clues, but that shouldn't really be a problem for you. You must find the treasure at sundown, or a terrible curse will fall upon you. Here is your first clue.

     'Gal-aka ugg, ugga aka-boo uggh fyaar!'

     Do you know any Tyrannian?" Ava asked her.

     "I understood the whole thing. Now come on! We need to get to the Lost Desert!"

     *~*~*~*~

     "It's... so... hot!" Ava groaned. "Need.... water..."

     "Deal with the heat!" Petra growled at her. When they came up to the Qasalan River that ran through the middle of the Lost Desert, Ava collapsed beside the river and gulped down the water like a hungry Florg ate Petpets. She knew where the next clue would be. Down at the bottom of this river, right under the bridge.

     Petra gulped in two lungfuls of air and dived. She kicked her legs furiously, trying to get deeper and deeper into the river. She knew she wouldn't have much time before she needed to get more air, so she kicked faster, giving all her remaining power to her arms and legs. Once she got to the bottom she had to dig a little through the sand. Her paw hit something hard, and pain shot up her right arm. But, regardless of the pain, she grabbed the bottle and flew up the river like a rocket shot through air.

     Her head shot above water, and she gulped lungfuls and lungfuls of air. She awkwardly swam towards shore and fell onto the sand.

     "Petra! Petra, are you okay!" Ava yelled at her.

     "I'm... fine," Petra said through her wild panting. "Bottle." Petra held up the bottle and Ava grabbed it and pulled out the next letter.

     "I'm glad you found this letter. I didn't think you knew any Tyrannian! I'm impressed, seeing as that was a very deep river. Here is your next clue:

     Light as air, I float through the sky

     Why, oh why, can't I just fly..."

     It sounded like a weird clue. Like some person trying, and failing, to write good poetry. Petra knew that this could either be at Faerieland or Kreludor, because at those places you could float. She was going to try Kreludor first. She just had a feeling that the next clue was there.

     *~*~*~*~*~

     Petra jumped, feeling weightless on Kreludor, Neopia's moon. She stopped, seeing the Neocola Machine in the distance, and got a crazy idea.

     "Stay close," Petra said to Jumpers.

     Petra jumped towards the Neocola Machine. There was no line, seeing as nobody really liked Kreludor. Ava wouldn't come up here with Petra, afraid she would suffocate.

     She pulled out a shiny, Blue Neocola Token out of her sweater pocket. Slowly, she pushed the Token into the machine and clicked the buttons that would eventually make the Neocola drop into the slot below.

     "Oh," Petra sighed. All she got was a can of Neocola. She opened the soda up and started to drink it. She started to cough. She had something stuck in her throat.

     She couldn't breathe, could only cough, trying to dislodge the thing in her throat. Jumpers ran over to her, but she could only watch as her owner choked. Petra's vision began to get faded at the sides, and she was afraid she was going to die. She felt arms around her, and suddenly the coughing stopped, and she felt the thing fall out of her throat.

     "You have to be careful!" a Purple Grundo cried. "You never know what Dr. Sloth is going to stick into these bottles. If I hadn't gotten here in time, you would've choked to death."

     "Thank you, thank you so much! I don't have much on me right now, but here." Petra pulled five-hundred Neopoints out of her pocket and handed it to the small Grundo.

     "I couldn't," he said, backing away with his hands in front of him in a 'I don't want it' gesture.

     "You saved my life! I must reward you, and this is all I have. Take it. Please. It would mean a lot to me."

     "Fine." The Grundo snatched the Neopoints from Petra's hands with an irritated look on his face, then hopped away. She grabbed the paper, which was stuck in her throat, and unrolled it. There was some scribbled words on the paper that were hard to read because of the whole stuck-in-throat thing. She tried her best to read the paper.

     "Good job. I expect you nearly choked to death on this scroll. This is your last scroll. Now you must find me and stop the curse. I know it's a short hunt, but remember, if you don't get them all to me, I will curse you. It has happened to pets before you, and it would hurt me to get another cursed Neopet to look out for.

     Your last clue! Aren't you so happy.

     But where am I?

     Up in the air, down in on the ground, up on the mountains, or down underwater.

     We're all the same, no matter what.

     But some don't get the love they deserve.

     Find a pet, starving and cold.

     And give him a home, where he can grow old."

     Again, it was a failed attempt at poetry, but you could still kind of get it. But I didn't really. What does it mean, find a pet? What pet am I supposed to find? And what does it mean, give him a home? A picture of Ava flashed in her mind. Petra had never noticed before, but Ava was skinny for a Poogle. Usually, Poogles were plump and happy, but she seemed too skinny for a Poogle.

     And then Petra noticed that she had never, ever been to Ava's Neohome before! And she's known Ava for over six years! Was she the pet? Was she the pet I have to help? A scene flashed in her head from when she was four.

     *~*~*~*~

     "Are you okay, Ava? You're not acting like yourself," Petra had asked, in her little girl voice.

     "I'm hungry. I haven't eaten in three days." Ava had looked to the sky, up at the stars glowing above.

     "Doesn't your owner feed you?"

     "Sometimes. If I've been a good Neopet. But I'm just never good enough for her. I want a real home."

     *~*~*~*~*~

     Petra had never really, really thought about it back then. She had forgotten about the stuff Ava had said back then. She was only four, and only cared about Usukis and Plushies, and what Neoschool would be like. Ava was the pet, the pet she had to save.

     *~*~*~*~*~

     "Ava."

     "Yeah, Petra?" Ava questioned. She noticed her skinny-ness even more, now that she was facing her. Petra could just see her ribs poking out. She was un-loved, she could tell.

     "Ava, I want you to come live with me," Petra said.

     "What are you talkin-"

     "I know your owner doesn't feed you!" she interrupted. "I just want you to be loved, and Beth can do that. She'll welcome you into our home with open arms. Come on." Petra held her paw out, waiting for Ava to take hold of it and come to live with her.

     Ava collapsed into tears, and, tears flowing down her cheeks, grabbed Petra's paw, allowing Petra to lead her back towards her house.

The End

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