Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 175,200,932 Issue: 414 | 16th day of Collecting, Y11
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Stranded!: Part Two


by matilda_39

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Also by brookeppg

The frigid sea water did not take long to wake Madalleena up. In fact, the second she entered the water, her mind snapped awake. The first thing that she registered was that she was no longer on the boat, where she was before, and that her two best friends were floundering helplessly, trying to stay afloat while lightning and thunder crashed overhead. The sky was still pitch black, and the water churned and roared, making it hard to not be pushed under.

      She looked up to see Rivers slowly moving closer to Amanda, despite the waves that were pushing her back. Maddie pulled away to help lighten the load. The faerie Xweetok glanced at her thankfully, and then set to work. Throwing out her paws and closing her eyes, a Bubble Shield appeared around the three pets. Rivers sank down onto the transparent floor of the shield, her face wet with a mixture of sea water and tears.

      “Good thing the bottled water faerie gave you the bubble shield ability,” Amanda sputtered half-heartedly, clutching InkHeart against her soaked body. Rivers gave a small nod, sitting down next to Maddie. The three looked around. They were bobbing up and down in the rushing water, though surprisingly, their bubble wasn’t getting popped.

      “W-we were thrown overboard?” the faerie Kougra asked in a slightly quivering voice. Amanda gave a small nod, realizing what had happened.

      The three sat in the bubble for what seemed like days, tired, cramped, and hungry. Rivers’ head throbbed and felt extremely groggy.

      “How long will this shield last?” Amanda questioned, poking the soapy exterior of their haven. Though now dusk, the only light was cast from the thinner layers of the barrier, causing a dim haze in their sanctuary. The only thing worse than the stench of salty fish, was the limited space the bubble could hold. Maddie and Rivers’ wings were folded against their backs uncomfortably, while the petpets squeaked in panic and scurried around the bubble. Amanda crouched with her legs tucked snuggly up to her chest.

      Maddie shifted from the awkward position she held and turned to face Amanda. “I sure hope it lasts long enough, but I can’t bear this putrid bubble any longer!”

      “I know, but we have to stick together and pull through, no matter what,” hummed Amanda, wiping a fragile tear away from her glum face. “Let’s get some beauty sleep, Rivers needs it!” she said, trying to brighten the mood. The others all smiled sadly, but the uneasy feeling of being stranded in the ocean still lingered in all of their thoughts. Nevertheless, the three friends settled down on the filmy floor, huddling closely, and were lulled into a deep sleep by the ocean’s waves lapping quietly outside.

     ******

      “What?!” Brooke, Amanda’s owner, cried, rubbing her temples frantically. She, along with Rivers’ and Maddie’s owners, stood awestruck in the Defenders of Neopia office, watching as Judge Hog looked over some missing persons files.

      “I am sorry, ladies, but it is true. The captain saw them tumble off of the deck when he was trying to steer the boat away from the storm. We aren’t sure if they are still alive, but we are sending out some Search Tuskaninnies as soon as possible.”

      “Are you sure that it was them?” Savannah asked, tears streaking down her face. She always had been a bit emotional. Lauren wrapped her arms around her friend, as the three owners were also best friends, and turned to look at the strong Moehog.

      “Almost one hundred percent. Were your pets a faerie Kougra, faerie Xweetok, and a pirate Blumaroo?” he asked, holding up the three pets’ passports. Each of them had a smiling picture of its owner.

      Lauren gasped, and grabbed Rivers’ passport. “Yes...” she mumbled.

      “Do you know when they will be found?” Brooke asked worriedly, reaching for her own pet’s card.

      The leader of the Defenders looked sympathetically at the girls that stood before him. “I’m sorry that I have to tell you this, but...” he sighed. “There is only a ten percent chance that your pets will have survived being out at sea this long...”

      There was suddenly a dead silence in the office.

     ******

      Dry saliva clung onto the side of Amanda’s cheek when she woke from her restless slumber. Leftover specks of sleep clouded her eyes, blurring her vision. Blinking back her sleepiness and yawning, she felt InkHeart curl up closer to her body. Smiling gently at how cute he was, she then noticed something; they weren’t moving! She sat up quickly and looked around to see that they were no longer surrounded by endless miles of sea, but a beautiful white beach dotted with palm trees that waved gently in the wind. Land!

      “LAND!” she shrieked. “Land!!” Both Madalleena and Rivers awoke with a jolt, accidentally popping the bubble. The faerie Xweetok squealed happily and flew up into the air, feeling quite free and happy after almost a day in the tiny bubble shelter.

      The best friends giggled and dashed up onto the beach, dropping to the ground and kissing the sand...

      ...before spitting it out of their mouths.

      “We’re saved!” the pirate Blumaroo cried, dancing in the shallow tide pools that the bubble had stopped in. Little Crabulas darted away from her feet, scrambling under a rock. Madalleena suddenly began to look around, and then shook her head in a worried way.

      “No, Amanda, I don’t think we’re saved. I don’t see anyone else here.” The three went quiet for a moment, staring at their surroundings. Finally, the pirate Blumaroo broke the silence.

      “Let’s search the island for inhabitants. There has to be somebody-anybody who can help us!” Amanda exclaimed, dropping to her knees. Blinded by her mask of fury and panic, she began thrashing at the gritty ground, biting her cheek until it was raw and numb.

      Rivers lunged at Amanda. Struggling to refrain her friend, the Xweetok screamed, “Get a hold of yourself! We are NOT going to shrivel up and die here! Help is going to come. No matter what, we’re getting off this island!”

      “But how!?!” Amanda cried, gazing desperately at Rivers.

      “I don’t know, maybe Maddie and I can fly, with you on one of our backs, towards home.”

      “That’s not going to work!!!”

      “Why not?”

      “Because, first of all, we don’t know where home is, and you two can’t fly over the whole of Maraqua with me on your back!”

      “Well, it doesn’t matter! The point is, we’re going to get home, one way or another!”

      Amanda relaxed a bit, and then gave a small nod. “You’re right,” she stood up when Rivers loosened her grip. “Sorry about that.”

      For the next hour and a half Amanda sat on the shore, her eyes twitching violently. I’m going to grow a beard before I get off this blasted island! she thought, while rocking back and forth.

      Leaving Amanda on the shore, Maddie and Rivers set out, with their limited knowledge of the survival training that they had learned when Lauren and Savannah had forced them into the local Scouts of Neopia group a few years before.

      “Let’s see... we need... um... a shelter!” the faerie Xweetok pondered, looking around thoughtfully. “Now, where would we find one?” She had barely began to look when she heard Madalleena’s voice cry out from a few feet down the beach.

      “Would this work?” she asked, and pointed. Sure enough, two large rocks covered in moss leaned against each other, forming a shape kind of like a triangle. “We can just move some rocks or something over to cover up one of the two entrances, and make a door!” she cried.

      Rivers nodded. “Yeah!” She leaned down to begin to pick up some twigs, when suddenly she saw two beady eyes peering out of a nearby bush at her. The Xweetok jumped back, and then tentatively reached forward and pulled back some of the leaves.

      “Rawr!” Ten or twenty Niptors shot out of the bush and began chasing her. Their teeth glinted like knives as they scrambled eagerly toward Rivers.

      “AAGGHH!!” the faerie Xweetok shrieked, and tore off into a sprint. The wild petpets took off after her, growling viciously. Abruptly, Rivers swiped a glance of a massive palm tree to her right. Thankful that she was a skilled climber, the Xweetok veered around the gigantic trunk. “Where’s a foothold?!” she cried, circling the trunk three, four times. The petpets were but yards away when she found a decent grip and swiftly scaled the tree. Finding a good branch to perch on, she looked down to see Madalleena and Amanda being chased around by the same petpets.

      “Up here!” Rivers cried, and then watched in relief as Madalleena grabbed the pirate Blumaroo and pulled her up the tree quickly. Settling onto the branch beside the Xweetok, they all looked down to see the Niptors circling the tree and roaring, mad that their prey had escaped them. Finally, they settled down onto the ground, but didn’t leave their spot under the tree.

      “That was close...” Amanda breathed, placing her paw over her heart to try to slow its beating.

      “Yeah...” Madalleena said, digging her claws into the palm tree’s firm wood and gazing down at the wild petpets. One Niptor looked back up at them and growled menacingly.

      “Looks like we’re not sleeping in our shelter tonight,” Rivers remarked, nodding towards the rock structure. A few of the Niptors had settled into it, tearing bits of moss from the rocks and fighting with each other over it.

      “Well,” Amanda began, “this can’t get any worse!”

      A split second after, thunder roared overhead, followed by a downpour.

      “Never mind.”

To be continued...

 
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» Stranded!: Part One
» Stranded!



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