A Pirate Called Pudgywinks: Part One
Dedicated to my own personal impersonation of Calvin. You know who you are.
The day began much like any other. Lertley awoke to the sound of Lilly’s squeaky swivel chair as she rocked back and forth while writing her latest poem. Lately, Lilly had been writing a lot. And that in itself wasn’t so unusual, but the poetry thing was. Lilly was primarily a Neopian Times writer, and had just recently come home bearing the NT star avatar. But lately, the short story thing had kind of gotten pushed to the back burner and Lilly had turned over a new leaf. Apparently she now believed that poetry was “high culture” and other writing wasn’t. She’d gone to the Faerieland book shop and checked out every available book on poetry they had. Lilly’d started acting weird, too. She now wore a blue school girl cap with a yellow star that she called her “thinking cap” and walked around the house muttering rhyming words to herself. “Bet, let, wet, net, set, yet, get, Neopet!” Lertley found it bizarre and somewhat unnerving.
“Lil!” Lertley groaned as he rolled out of bed and stepped into the living room. “What now?”
“Please excuse the early morning composition,” she said, without looking up. “I am attempting to capture the essence of a sunrise by accessing my inner powers of poetry.” She looked out the window, the orange rays of light streaming in accenting the acute rumples in her brown and green faerie Xweetok fur. Her “thinking cap” was askew on her head and her clothes were the same ones that she’d worn the day before. Clearly, Lilly was neglecting her routine, morning, hygienic procedures.
“How about: The sun looks so orange, coming up into the sky, and Lertley ate Neggs,” Lertley said sarcastically, moving towards the kitchen.
“I didn’t know you could write Haiku!” Lilly exclaimed, looking up for the first time.
“Haiku is a form of prose, developed in Shenkuu that has five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the last. Very advanced stuff!”
“Well, I guess I’m a poet, and I didn’t even know it,” Lertley grumbled, heading again for the kitchen.
“You should write poetry!”
“Yeah,” Lertley chuckled. “I’ll write one right now. It’s called, Lertley Wants Neggs for Breakfast and He isn’t Talking To Anyone Until He Gets Some.”
“Lertley!” Lilly called after him. “Wait! I have something to ask you!”
But Lertley was already in the kitchen, pulling a large cheese Negg from the cupboard. Lilly strode into the kitchen after him, pen tucked behind her ear.
Lilly’s brother ignored her and set off to find a plate.
Lertley got a cup and some water and set that on the table.
Lertley placed his Negg on a plate and sat down.
Lertley took a big bite of cheese Negg. Then he looked up and said, “Yes, Lilly?”
“Only outranked by you, Sis.”
Lilly got herself an omelet and sat down in a huff.
After they’d eaten for a few minutes, Lertley asked through a full mouth, “Were you going to tell me something earlier?”
Lilly looked at him in confusion for a minute before answering, “Oh! Yeah, well, I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor.”
“You know my writing buddy? Amelia?”
“The pink Cybunny?”
“Oh! The one who sleeps over here, like, all the time?”
“What about her?”
“Well, apparently she needs someone to baby-sit her siblings.”
“I thought she was an only child.”
Lilly paused, biting her lip.
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Um, sure.” Lertley leaned over the table as Lilly’s brow furrowed and her head bowed.
“Well, Amelia told me at our last sleep over something... that she hasn’t really told anyone else.”
“Her owner’s a pound surfer.”
Lilly looked at her speckled Gelert brother, appalled. “You seriously don’t know what a pound surfer is?”
“Honestly! Well, anyway, a pound surfer is someone who goes to the pound regularly in search of painted pets, or pets that you can’t create anymore.”
“That’s not particularly ethical.”
“It’s not. Like Autumn always says...”
“You can’t judge a Neopet by their color,” Lertley finished, remembering the words of his owner.
“So Estella, that’s her owner, found these two baby pets at the pound: a Mynci and a Kyrii. And Estella is going to be gone for a week, but apparently they’re out of food so Amelia needs to make a trip to Faerie City and she doesn’t want to drag Tweedles and Pudgywinks with her.”
“Those are their names, silly,” Lilly answered, sticking a piece of Faerie toast in her mouth.
“Oh,” Lertley answered, imagining the horrors he would face if he had to go through life with a name like Pudgywinks.
“I figured I’d bring someone with me,” Lilly said. “Just in case. Are you up to it?”
“Sure!” Lertley answered, good-naturedly. “How much trouble could they be?”
Those famous last words...
A few hours later, Lertley and Lilly had arrived at Amelia’s house and were knocking on the door. It opened to reveal a grinning pink Cybunny.
“Thanks, Lilly!” she gushed. “You’re a lifesaver! Come in!”
“No problem!” Lilly said, stepping in the door. Lertley followed close behind.
Amelia grabbed a bag on her stand and stepped past them into the doorway.
“I’ll only be a couple of hours. Lunchtime is at twelve. If they get riled up, you can let them outside to play in the yard. If they misbehave, just tell them you’ll tell me about it. And you can always bribe them with cookies if you have to.”
“Got it,” Lilly said. “You get going now!”
“Ok, Tweedles is in the living room, and Pudgywinks is in the bedroom. Have fun!” Then she left without another word.
At that moment, a sweet looking little baby Mynci girl walked up to them and tugged on Lilly’s skirt before sticking her thumb in her mouth.
“Sissy say you da poet.”
“Yes,” Lilly said, bending down, “I write poetry. Do you?”
The Mynci ducked her head shyly and said, “Des!” Then she took Lilly’s hand and started guiding her towards the living room. Between two couches were scattered crudely written little poems of one or two lines with a bunch of rhyming words in them. The Mynci picked one of them up.
“I wite pom bout du. Du wanna see?”
Lilly bent down and accepted the paper from her as though it were made of gold. Lertley’s sister beamed with delight.
“I’d love to.” Then she turned to Lertley and bluntly said, “I’ll watch Tweedles, you go find Pudgywinks.”
Lertley smiled at his poet of a sister and went off to find the alleged Pudgywinks. He stomped upstairs to where he assumed that the bedrooms were. On the doors were homemade posters with the Neopet’s names on them. On the first door was Amelia’s name and next to it were drawings of the Faerieland Yooyuball team. Of course. Amelia was a huge fan of the Altador Cup. On the next door was Tweedles’ name with flowers and cute Faerieland Petpets surrounding it. On the last door was Pudgywinks’ name with—and Lertley bent closer to inspect the curious logo—a skull and crossbones on it.
Just then, the door burst open and a big-headed, baby Kyrii boy fully decked out in pirate clothes and an eye patch catapulted himself out of the room and started whacking him with a dangerously heavy, wooden sword.
“Yah!” he yelled as Lertley fell backwards and landed with a thud on the floor. “Swashbuckling Captain Pudgywinks defeats the evil landlover! Be winning himself some doubloons! Yar!”
Then the little pirate was gone, fled back into his room and was now sitting on a bed with black covers and he was screaming, “Ah! Man the sails, men! Set the Black Kyrii to the current! Thar she blows!”
Lertley stepped tentatively into the large room. The walls were blue, probably to make its inhabitants feel as though they were really on the ocean blue. Random pirate paraphernalia was flung about on the floor, and, to Lertley’s amazement, a mizzenmast was positioned in the center of the room with a small ladder rising up from the floor to a crows nest above on which a telescope was perched. To the right of this was a platform with a wooden steering wheel. When Lertley looked down, he found he was on a brown floor mat scooted up next to the door that was labeled “the plank.”
“You must be Pudgywinks,” Lertley said, but he was cut short as the Kyrii leapt off his bed and flew at Lertley again, his sword waving madly.
“No words out of the prisoner or he’ll be walkin’ the plank! Ye hear?”
“Ow! Stop that!” Lertley yelped as Pudgywinks battered him with the wooden sword. It hurt more than Lertley had expected and each smack left a bruise on his leg, which sent him tumbling back towards the door. Then Pudgywinks ran off into the corner and wheeled out what looked like a toy cannon.
“She’s a loaded! You best be walkin’ the plank now! Yar!” Then the cannon started spitting black plastic balls at Lertley, who, in a panic, ran out of the room and slammed the door shut. Behind the closed door, Pudgywinks was commending himself for making Lertley walk the plank. Lilly then peeked up over the top of the stairs, holding Tweedles’ hand.
“Lertley,” she called. “Is everything alright?”
“Um... sure.” Lertley breathed.
“My bwoder tinks he a piwate,” Tweedles explained. “He a wittle bit cwazy.”
“I wish someone could have told me that sooner,” Lertley whined, rubbing a bruise on his leg where he’d recently been whacked with Pudgywink’s sword.
“Well, keep an eye on him,” Lilly said, heading back downstairs. “If you need help, call me.”
“Um...” Lertley began, but Lilly was already gone. “Brilliant.” How in Neopia was he supposed to keep an eye on Pudgywinks if he got shot when he entered the room?
“Come on, Lertley!” he urged himself. “The kid’s a fourth of your height, and even less of your weight. You just have to show him who’s boss. Yeah! That’s it!”
Mustering his courage, Lertley opened the door to the pirate ship and stepped back inside. He looked up to find Pudgywinks atop the mini mizzenmast, peering through the telescope.
“Alright, listen up!” Lertley commanded. “I’m the babysitter, so you have to listen to me, or I’ll tell Amelia about what you’ve done. Now, I want you to stop this pirate act and start... ahhhh!!!”
Before Lertley knew what was happening, Pudgywinks had descended on him in a sword waving flurry. He leapt off of the mizzenmast, his sword held aloft, and Lertley was hit square in the temple.
Lertley fled the room in a panic, feeling like was about to black out. The kid was crazy!! He slammed the door behind him and listened, terrified, to Pudgywinks scream from behind the door.
Lertley had just entered a babysitter’s worst nightmare.
To be continued...