Adventures Aren't Just in Books: Part One
"Come on, up you get.”
“You are going to have to leave your bed at some point.”
“Exactly. Some point. As in not right now.”
“Fine, your breakfast can just go to the Money Tree...
Ha I knew that would get you up!”
“Why do I put up with you?”
“Because I feed you, clothe you, wake you up when you’re being lazy...”
“Yeah, yeah I know.”
I groan and follow my mom out of the room. In the kitchen, I can hear my dad’s bad singing as he finishes serving up breakfast. I slide into my seat at the table as he sets a cup of coffee in front of me.
“You look like you need it,” he says when I give him a questioning look. A few minutes later and breakfast is sitting in front of me. I immediately begin to shovel it into my mouth until my mom gives me a disapproving look over her morning newspaper.
“Just because it is the holidays and you don’t have to do anything doesn’t mean that’s what you should do,” she tells me holding out a napkin for me to wipe my mouth on.
“Mmrphmh,” I try to say around my scrambled eggs.
“I said “That’s effort”.”
“Precisely, you need to go out and do things that require effort. When I was your age-“
“You were out climbing trees and finding “adventure”. I’m not five anymore, the kind of adventure I want to have is one where I make the dangerous trek from my bedroom to the fridge and back again.” I push away from the table and stand up, having finished eating. “If anybody needs me, I’ll be out back, having an “adventure” aka sitting in a tree.”
I storm out leaving an annoyed mom behind me. I bang into my dad on the way out: “Hey hey hey, what did I miss?” I sigh and push past him heading towards the back door.
Why can’t they just understand that I am quite happy sleeping in bed or reading a new book? Why do I have to leave the house to go on adventures when I can just pick up a novel and jump into new lands? Why do I have to be at risk, when I can be snug and cosy in bed?
I walk past the tree I normally sit in when I am kicked outside and head further away from the house, towards the woods which I don’t go in particularly often. “They want adventure, I‘ll show them adventure.”
I have been living with my parents my entire life but sometimes I swear that they just don’t understand me. Sure every child probably says that at some point in their lives, but for me I feel that that is so true. They think that everyone is like them, that everybody wants to be dragged into an adventure and taken on an amazing journey. But I don’t. The biggest trip I ever want to have to make is around the corner to get to school or across the street to go shopping.
For me, books are my amazing journey. I can visit places, meet new people and experience new things, just by reading and imagining them. I don’t have to leave the house, my room or even my bed. I just picture it and it’s like I’m there.
I keep going until I can’t even see my house behind me anymore. The only things I can hear are the occasional rustles of a Petpet going about their daily business. I sit down on a nearby set of rocks and begin to talk.
You see, I have this thing where if I need to get something off my chest, I will. Some people do this by writing it down or telling other people. Me? Well I talk to myself as if I were two people.
“Don’t you see I don’t want to be out here?”
“Well you are the one who brought yourself this far out.”
“Yeah but that’s just because I was angry at them for making such a big deal out of me not doing anything productive.”
“But they do have a point I mean you don-”
I cut myself short. I heard a branch crack behind me. I mean sure, a Petpet could do that but I shut up just in case. Then I hear somebody muttering under their breath before a few more twigs snap. I hide myself behind the rocks, unsure of who they are or what they are doing here.
A beautiful Shadow Wocky comes out from behind the trees quickly followed by another Neopet who I can’t see because of some bushes. I can hear his voice though:
“Do you have the package?” his voice is deep but isn’t really familiar.
“It’s back at the base,” the Shadow Wocky replies. She looks nervous but her voice stays even.
“Well, bring it to me.”
“I can’t, it is in a very sensitive condition.”
“I don’t care, bring me the package!”
“I- I- I ca-”
“YOU WILL BRING IT TO ME BY NOON TOMORROW OR I WILL TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!” my paws are beginning to shake but, from the looks of the Wocky, I am not the only one that feels afraid.
“Y-yes sir, right, right away sir.”
“And it had better be in mint condition or you will regret it.”
And with that the Wocky turns tail and races off to another part of the woods that I am even less familiar with. Whoever she was with seems to have left as well. I breathe a sigh of relief and step out from behind the rocks.
My head is reeling. Somehow I have witnessed some secret (well I’m guessing it wasn’t meant to be public knowledge) meeting or exchange. If I am honest, both ‘pets sounded quite suspicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if what they were doing was illegal. I am beginning to debate contacting the Defenders of Neopia when I hear another noise.
Now the chance of something like that meeting I saw happening again is extremely slim and yet I still find myself ducking behind the rocks. Why did I have to get so angry with my mom? Had I just stayed in the house I would not be hiding for the second time today.
This time around there seem to be a lot more Neopets. I don’t risk a glimpse above the rocks this time, scared that I will get seen if I do. They speak a lot more quietly this time but I can catch a few snatches of words here or there. Amongst them were definitely criminal, plan and Defenders of Neopia. The problem is I don’t know whether they are talking about reporting the duo from earlier or some dastardly scheme that they are plotting. Either way, I decide the best course of action is to keep my head down.
Soon enough, the group finish their discussion and head off their separate ways. Once I am sure that none of them are left, I sneak a look above the rocks to make absolutely sure. Lucky I did so, otherwise that Green Vandagyre staring just to the left of me would have definitely seen me. Who knows what would have happened if they had.
I wait a bit longer but I don’t hear any movement. Just as I am about to check whether I imagined the Vandagyre (along with everything else I have heard and seen today) I hear a few thumps on the ground. I guess that these are the sounds of the ‘pet moving away and poke my head up above my hiding-place. Thankfully there is no one there so I can finally get up.
As I stretch, I realise how stiff I am and it finally registers just how long I have been sitting there half-curious, half-frightened, as a Vandagyre just sits in the middle of a woods. Despite not knowing the gravity of the situation, I do feel a bit stupid for allowing myself to feel scared for such a long period of time.
Having worked out I have been gone for a good few hours, I decide to head back home, hoping to put today’s events down to my lack of sleep from my mom waking me up so early today.
Unfortunately this doesn’t go to plan.
I begin to walk down a path still trying to relax after those weird conversations when I realise I am heading the wrong way. Rather than heading the way I came into the woods, I have followed the path the Shadow Wocky took earlier when she went off to get the “package”. I turn to go back the way I came when something on the floor catches my eye.
It is a scrap of paper reading:
DON’T GET INVOLVED IN THIS. YOU WILL REGRET IT.
I shrug it off it’s a meaningless piece of paper in the middle of the woods. As if it was meant for me!
And then it all goes black.
To be continued…