The Secret of Keep Out Island
It was a dark and stormy night as a Wraith Xweetok rowed his boat to Keep Out Island – as the locals call it. The island itself was tucked behind Krawk Island – a large sign with the words "KEEP OUT!" was flapping in the wind – the sign was what kept locals from going to the island – however, this Xweetok was brave and a smuggler so it didn’t seem to scare him one bit. He knew Keep Out Island like the back of his paws.
The sea was rough as the Wraith Xweetok rowed as hard as he could – he was at least ten minutes away from the island he longed to go to. A flash of lightning lit up the dark and gloomy sky – followed by a rumble of thunder and rain which continued to pour down heavily – soaking the Xweetok from head to toe – not that he worried about it he didn’t mind getting wet.
It took twenty minutes for him to reach the shores of the island due to the weather – and when he did he was greeted by a Red Kougra – the same Kougra who once accused a certain white Gnorbu of stealing. The Kougra watched as the Wraith Xweetok pulled his boat onto the shore. Rain continued to pour down heavily – with lightening appearing once more – followed by thunder.
"How’d you go tonight, Tirov?" The Red Kougra questioned as he watched the Wraith Xweetok – now known as Tirov took a backpack, a several bags of stolen NeoPoints and a loot bag. Jumping out of the boat was a Captive Shadow Wraith – Tirov’s Petpet named Votir.
"Tonight, was a breeze, Boss. Everyone was sleeping through the storm and I was able to get the mention goods – where should I store these?" Tirov answered proudly showing the Kougra – known as Boss what he had stolen.
"Impressive. Yes, very impressive. You certainly do make a good thief, Tirov. I think you can store them in the cave where the Ghost Neopets lurk – just tell them you’re a friend of Boss’s and they will leave you alone" Boss answered eying all the goods. He then pointed to the direction of the cave where Tirov should hide the goods. A flash of lightening made it helpful for Tirov to see where Boss was pointing to.
"Alright, come on, Votir, let’s get this stuff to the cave and get out of this rain – I would’ve stolen an umbrella, however, us thieves don’t need them" Tirov said with a smirk.
Boss watched Tirov and Votir carry their goods to the mentioned items. Tirov silently made his way there – wondering what to steal the next night. Keep Out Island was similar to Smugglers Cove – however, no Neopian dared to go on Keep Out Island unless they were a thief like Tirov and knew what they were doing.
After taking the stolen goods to the mentioned cave and telling the Ghost Neopets that he’s a friend of Boss – Tirov returned to Boss who was waiting near Tirov’s boat. "Done! The Ghost Neopets were fine with that. What are you planning to do with the goods?" Tirov looked at Boss and waited for an answer.
"Keep them of course – and wait for their owners to forget they have been stolen then sell them a bit later on" Boss answered proudly. Every night after that, Tirov kept stealing goods from unsuspecting Neopians and bringing them to Keep Out Island to bring to Boss – it wasn’t until one night where he got an unexpected surprise in one of his visits.
It happened on Krawk Island when Tirov was planning to steal from Zaph – an Eventide Xweetok who is interested in astronomy. However, what Tirov didn’t know is that Zaph was nocturnal – meaning Zaph slept during the day and stayed awake during the night to look through his beloved telescope.
Tirov made his way to Zaph’s cottage – which was on the edge of the cliff between the Dubloon-O-Matic and buried treasure. Tirov could hear nothing and was pleased about how quiet it was. He and Votir – who was sitting on Tirov’s right shoulder at the time crept up to Zaph’s cottage. Tirov was surprised to see that Zaph’s door was open – however he didn’t know the Xweetok’s name or what the inside of his home was like. Tirov snuck in Zaph’s house as the door was left wide open – he noticed the lights were off leaving the cottage dark.
Tirov pondered to himself if he should get a torch out – for it was too dark and he couldn’t see where he was going. He was afraid he’d bump into something and make a lot of noise – disturbing the owner of the cottage and creating a scene after that. He didn’t want to be taken to Queen Fyora if he was caught – she would send Brynn to take him to Brightvale Dungeons – that’s something he wanted to avoid.
Tirov felt his way around the cottage – pocketing tiny items he could find. He walked a bit further on and stopped. He could hear someone’s footsteps and he knew they weren’t Votir’s as he was still on his shoulder. Tirov gulped – he hoped that the Neopet who was walking about didn’t turn on the light. Deciding to be on the safe side – Tirov quickly turned around – knocking something over causing it to crash and make a loud noise.
"WHO GOES THERE?!" Zaph’s voice yelled out and switched on the lights. Tirov covered his eyes – as did Votir. Tirov said nothing and started to run. However, Zaph had already seen him.
"STOP! THIEF!" Zaph called out – running to the front door to prevent Tirov from getting out. Tirov uncovered his eyes and looked around for a place to escape – there were none. "Who are you?" Zaph demanded – wanting to know the Xweetok’s name.
Tirov stayed silent – he was terrified about being caught and was ashamed of himself. How could he be so clumsy and knock something over? He looked around and saw that a Starry Lamp had fallen over. ‘So that’s what I ran into,’ Tirov thought.
"Well? Who are you? I know you’re a thief and you’ve stolen several items from my cottage – if you don’t speak up and return them – I will lock you up in the spare room and tell Queen Fyora about you in the morning" Zaph said – wanting answers from Tirov.
It took Tirov a few minutes to find words to say to Zaph. "Alright, you caught me. I was in here because – I wanted a drink of water – I couldn’t find where you kept your kitchen and I didn’t think anyone was home" Tirov said at last, untruthfully of course. He was hoping to steal some valuable items however, he nearly got caught.
Zaph looked at him and believed him. "Oh, that’s easy let me get you one right away. Sorry for accusing you of stealing. I won’t NeoMail Queen Fyora – I’m Zaph" Zaph couldn’t help but feel sorry for Tirov thinking what he said was true. It sounded like he was an honest Neopet.
When Zaph turned his back on Tirov to go to the kitchen – Tirov quickly took the Starry Lamp that fell over and opened the front door – and quickly ran out of the cottage non-stop. He ran as fast as his feet could carry him to the boat to return to Keep Out Island without looking back. When Tirov made it to the boat – he pushed it out onto the water – and jumped in it – putting the Starry Lamp in it. He then rowed to Keep Out Island as fast as he could – looking back worried that Zaph might appear.
When Zaph returned to where he thought Tirov was with a glass of water in his paw – Zaph nearly dropped it in shock – noticing that the Xweetok was no-where to be seen. "Oh, no! I let a thief go" Zaph complained to himself. He looked around to see what he had stolen – he noticed his favourite Starry Lamp was missing. "But where could he have gone? Maybe I should NeoMail Queen Fyora and meet up with her tomorrow and ask her if she knows where thieves would live" Zaph mumbled to himself.
A thought came to Zaph’s mind as he drank the water instead of giving it to Tirov after he had run off. ‘Why don’t I go and see where he went? It’s possible he went to the forbidden island that us Krawk Islanders nicknamed Keep Out Island. I heard that place is haunted – not that it bothers me – I just want to get my Starry Lamp back’ he thought. A smile came across his face – he was pleased with this idea.
"I’ll get a bag of jellybeans – as us Xweetoks will do anything for a jellybean! So maybe the thief will give the items back if I gave him one" Zaph said aloud and went to fetch a Neverending Jar of Jellybeans – he had two as he loved jellybeans too. He didn’t mind giving this thief one as long as he was happy to return the things he had stolen.
"But wait, how will I get there? I’m sure the thief would’ve arrived by boat – I can’t swim. Maybe I can borrow a boat at Warf Wharf – Neopians there often are happy to lend them" Zaph smiled at his idea then frowned – remembering it was still night time. "Oh, no! I remembered it was night – I’m sure they’d be all asleep by now. Though – to be on the safe side I will check it out and see if there is a boat I can borrow for free" Zaph said to himself. He smiled and looked around for his Petpet – an Orbulon named Orbert.
With the Neverending Jar of Jellybeans safely tucked under one arm Zaph looked around for Orbert – who was eventually found in his room eating out of his Disco Petpet Bowl – he had two of those – one was full of water – the other food.
"That’s where you have been, Orbert!" Zaph said aloud – causing the Orbulon to jump and quickly swallow his food. Orbert blinked his eyes and waited for Zaph to say something else.
"Did you want to come with me to Keep Out Island? We’re going to see a thief about the Starry Lamp he had stolen – I wanted to see if he’d trade the lamp for this Neverending Jar of Jellybeans" Zaph showed Orbert the jar.
"Sure, I’ll come with you – I heard the place was haunted though – other Petpets claimed that they’ve seen Zombie, Ghost and Halloween Neopets roaming the caves there – it’s said that they apparently protect the stolen treasure for the thieves" Orbert said – taking one more mouthful of food afterwards and eating it. He then quickly had a drink of water and looked at Zaph again. "When are we going?" he asked.
"When you are ready, Orbert" Zaph answered.
Orbert left his bowls and jumped onto Zaph’s shoulder. "Let’s go now, then!"
Zaph nodded and left his cosy cottage and made his way to Warf Wharf in hopes that someone would be still there to let him borrow a boat. It only took him fifteen minutes to get there as he knew the shortcuts.
When Zaph got to the Warf Wharf he noticed a Kiko with a boat – the Kiko was busy talking to a Jetsam (who was in the water). The Jetsam swam off when Zaph came closer – in response the Kiko turned around and beamed noticing he had a customer.
"Ah, you’re my last customer for the night – how may I help you?" the Kiko said to Zaph. A gentle breeze swept through the air.
"Hi there – I’m Zaph and I’m wondering if it was possible for you to lend me your boat – please? You see, I had been robbed and I’m certain my thief made his way to Keep Out Island – though I don’t have a boat so I can’t check it. I’m happy to pay you if required" Zaph explained.
"Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Those thieves again! I’m happy to lend you this boat for nothing – she’s called Old and Rusty – but she’s seaworthy" the Kiko said with a smile – pointing to an old boat nearby which was tied to a post. "The oars are at the back of the boat" he added.
"Thank you so much – Mr. Kiko" Zaph thanked him and ran to the boat – though he wished he knew the Kiko’s name – as the Kiko never mention it.
"No problem, just bring her back when you’re ready" the Kiko called out.
Zaph smiled hearing the Kiko say that – he jumped onto the boat which bobbed up and down with the waves. He then untied the boat from the post and put his Neverending Jar of Jellybeans on the floor of the boat – and finally pushed the boat away from the post. He looked around for the oars – being dark it made things harder for him to see as he forgot to bring his torch.
Orbert jumped from Zaph’s shoulders to help him look for the oars – he found them and passed them to Zaph. "Thanks, Orbert – now let’s go and get my Starry Lamp back – and find out what’s so scary about Keep Out Island" Zaph said smiling as he took the oars and started rowing. There was enough moonlight to see where he was going, the water was calm making it easier for him to row.
It took Zaph at least thirty minutes to row to Keep Out Island – and only one minute to pull his boat up onto the shore. He jumped on his boat again to collect the Neverending Jar of Jellybeans – which he put under his arm to keep it safe. Orbert jumped onto Zaph’s shoulder once more.
"You know, Orbert. I think this place would be a great place to look out for stars – I mean there’s hardly any light making it easier to see them – what do you think?" Zaph said – as his eyes adjusted to the darkness of Keep Out Island. How he wished he took a torch with him – though was glad that there was enough light from the moon.
"Tempting, Zaph – but I think we need to be careful in case there are any thieves lurking the shadows – you simply never know" Orbert told him.
"Good point, Orbert. We’d better be silent while we walk and try not to run into anything" Zaph said – and looked around. He looked ahead of him and saw what it appeared to be four caves. He noticed they all had lamps hanging above the entrance – which was good as he could see what he was doing then, however, he realized he had to move as quietly as possible in case there were thieves about. He made his way over to the first cave – tripping over a rock as he did – causing Orbert to fall off his shoulder and the Neverending Jar of Jellybeans to fall out of his arms.
Zaph looked annoyed as he picked himself up – he felt around for the Neverending Jar of Jellybeans and picked it up and tucked it safely under his arm again. "Orbert, are you okay?" Zaph whispered. There was no answer – but he felt something touch his shoulder. "Orbert?" Zaph whispered again – fearing that might be the paw of a thief touching his shoulder instead of his beloved Petpet.
"Yes, I’m fine – sorry for the silence, I wanted to stay quiet as it might appear we are not alone on the island judging by the lights ahead" Orbert answered – Zaph sighed in relief. He was glad to know Orbert was okay.
"I hope I don’t go tripping over any more rocks," Zaph said as he continued to make his way to one of the caves. He went to the one that was nearest to him and Orbert – which was about a five-minute walk. Much to his relief, he didn’t fall over anything. He walked up to the entrance of the cave which was well lit by two Fancy Wrought Iron Lamps. One on each side of the entrance.
He glanced inside and noticed nobody was about. ‘This is too easy,’ he thought smiling to himself. ‘I’ll just get my lamp and make my way back home.’ Zaph made his way further into the cave and was greeted by a group of Ghost Neopets.
"Who is there?" One of the Ghost Neopets – a Meerca asked. Zaph jumped with fright. "I-I’m Zaph, and I would like to have my Starry Lamp back, please?" Zaph answered stuttering at first.
A Ghost Lupe walked up to Zaph. "Turn back! Turn back! There is no lamp here – turn back!" the Ghost Lupe said.
Zaph began to feel somewhat afraid. He looked at his Neverending Jar of Jellybeans and back at the ghosts. "D-D-Do you happen to know of a Wraith Xweetok that was here? He stole my lamp and I presume he took it here," Zaph bravely asked them – hoping that the ghosts will be friendly and help him out.
A Ghost Xweetok joined the Ghost Meerca and Ghost Lupe. "No – there’s no other Xweetok around here except for me – you must be mistaking him for someone…" the ghost Xweetok lied. He knew about Tirov – but didn’t want Zaph to know that Tirov was hiding somewhere on the island.
"Now turn back and forget you saw us – go back home and into bed – there are no other caves on this island" the Ghost Lupe said.
Zaph bid them good night and left – feeling confused. "That’s weird, Orbert. I mean, I was certain that my lamp would be here. Let’s try the next cave."
On the way to the next cave, Zaph felt someone tapping his shoulder with their finger. He turned around and saw the Ghost Xweetok who looked at him nervously. "Don’t tell the others that I’m out here – however, I saw you had a jar of jelly beans, I could tell you where the Wraith Xweetok is if you’re willing to give me a handful of them?" the Ghost Xweetok said looking eagerly at the jellybeans. He had a torch in his right paw making it easier to see.
Zaph smiled. "Well – this jar is for that Wraith Xweetok, however, as you can tell me where he might be – I’m happy to give you some – help yourself," he said and took the lid off. The Ghost Xweetok took several paw-fulls of it and thanked him. In return, the Ghost Xweetok gave him the torch.
"Alright, I heard that he might be in the Wraith Cave – which is the fourth one on this island – thanks a lot, Mister" The Ghost Xweetok popped a jellybean in his mouth and started chewing on it. He loved the taste of jellybeans. The Ghost Xweetok then returned to his cave – happily eating his jellybeans.
‘I should be thanking you, I have a torch so I’m a step closer to finding that Wraith Xweetok’ Zaph thought as he put the lid back on the jar. He made his way to the fourth cave – shining the torchlight ahead of him so he can see where he was going. It was lucky he had the torch as there were many rocks and logs in the way. He would have fallen over them if he didn’t have the light.
Zaph at last, made his way to the Wraith Cave which had the same type of lamps hanging outside as the Ghost Cave did. Feeling a bit uneasy and scared, Zaph looked at Orbert. "Well, Orbert, here it goes. Let’s see if I can get my lamp back" he whispered. Orbert just nodded – listening out for any sound.
Zaph walked into the Wraith Cave and was instantly greeted by a Wraith Draik. "What are you doing here?" The Draik demanded in a fierce voice – making Zaph shake with fear.
"I-I-I am l-looking for a W-Wraith X-Xweetok that stole my lamp" Zaph stuttered – shaking with fear as he glanced around noticing that there were scarier looking Wraith Neopets.
"Tirov? You’re wanted" the Draik yelled out – revealing the Wraith Xweetok’s name.
‘That was easy,’ Zaph thought. Orbert stayed on Zaph’s shoulder.
Tirov eventually came with a smirk on his face. "Yes? Oh, it’s you – why are you here?" he then frowned at Zaph.
"You stole my Starry Lamp – and I want to know – would you like to exchange it for the Neverending Jar of Jellybeans?" Zaph told him and showed him the jar – though he was shaking with fear.
Eying the jellybeans, an idea came to Tirov. "Sure, I’ll be happy to exchange the lamp for the jellybeans. Just let me have the jar first and I’ll get you the lamp" Tirov said.
Believing every word that Tirov had said – Zaph eagerly handed the jar over to Tirov. "Now go home and get out!" Tirov demanded – then ran at the back of the cave with the Wraith Draik. Zaph waited for five minutes – Tirov didn’t return. He decided to wait for at least twenty minutes – and he still didn’t return. Realizing that Tirov didn’t mean what he said - Zaph was annoyed that his time was wasted – Zaph decided to go home. ‘I’ll have to get my lamp back another time, I thought Xweetoks would do anything for jellybeans – apparently not Tirov’ he thought as he went to his boat that he borrowed from the Kiko. He rowed back to Krawk Island feeling disappointed. Zaph had put his torch in his pockets.
"I had a feeling that would happen – what will we do now, Zaph?" Orbert questioned.
"We’ll have to make a return to get my lamp back" Zaph replied. Moments later they were back at Warf Wharf – where the Kiko was – he had gone home to sleep. Zaph tied the boat to the Warf Wharf and returned to his cottage. "Wouldn’t it be easier to buy another lamp, Zaph?" Orbert asked.
"It would – but I spent my hard earn NeoPoints on my Starry Lamp" Zaph answered as he opened the door to his cottage. He closed it locked it after walking inside with Orbert.
"I suppose – it wasn’t all a waste, at least I got a torch," Zaph said – pulling it out of his pulled the torch out of his pockets.
Orbert jumped off Zaph’s shoulder and returned to his food bowl – he was hungry after all that adventure!
Zaph placed the torch on the Blackberry Table – located in the kitchen of his cottage and went to bed – falling asleep moments later – dreaming about returning to the island and getting his lamp back.
Meanwhile, Tirov was having a great time eating the jellybeans – his favourite was the black one. He shared them with the other Wraith Neopets and the Ghost Xweetok. He had the Starry Lamp switched on in the dark cave and had no plans to return it to Zaph.
Maybe Zaph will get his lamp back when he returns to the island – for now, he will have to go without it or buy another one.