Keen's Pirate Adventure
I'm gonna spoil the ending of this story right now: I die. But not really, or else I wouldn’t be writing this, right? And you don’t really die in Neopia, you’re brought back as someone else. Apparently, you don’t remember but that’s a secret between me and my cousin now. But my story is, apparently, an exciting one. I think it’s exciting but I’m not that old and I think everything is pretty exciting. And who’s to say it isn’t? But this story is about pirates, luck, and a tree.
Let’s start at the beginning: my sister was just transformed into a candy Lutari. I wasn’t jealous of her or anything but I guess my mom could tell I wanted a color change, considering both of my siblings weren’t basic at all and I was just a plain, yellow Xweetok. So, to try and make us all even, my mom let me pick a color and, since I love pirates more than anything, I picked pirate.
This led to item number two: testing out my new color. I had the color and had the guts. I wanted to show the world I was a true pirate! “Are you sure? You haven’t really finished basic training,” my candy Lutari sister, Lily, asked me.
I didn’t care. I looked the part and now I truly wanted to be the part. In the past, all my sister and I had done was steal from others sneakily, instead of outright shoving it in their faces that we were pirates and whatever we wanted was ours! “We have to do it! I wanna take over ships, find treasure, and have everyone know the name of Keen the pirate Xweetok!” I shouted.
My sister shrugged it off as whatever, which was good enough for me. We asked our mom, Hannah, for some money to buy a ship for our adventure. “Isn’t buying a ship too expensive? Why don’t you rent one instead?” she offered.
“But then we can’t make it our own and call it by our own name! If I’m gonna be a pirate Xweetok, I need a pirate ship!” I reasoned.
Hannah pursed her lips and crossed her arms. “I just got you an expensive paint job though, since you insisted so badly. Why don’t you guys rent a ship and if you make enough from pirating, you can buy one? A really good pirate works with what she’s got, right?”
I grumbled and sighed. I couldn’t argue with her and she had a slight, albeit annoying, point: a good pirate should get enough gold for their own ship. Lily and I agreed to Hannah’s terms and was able to get one hundred thousand neopoints for the ship. Turns out, this was enough for either renting a good ship for a week or buying a cheap ship forever. We didn’t really think through the technicalities of owning a ship that could break down at any moment but we thought that, if we owned a ship, we could repair it ourselves!
After buying a ship that was is horrible condition, we made it our goal to repair it by hand. Issue was we only had a couple thousand neopoints leftover and with the amount of damage the ship had, we needed at least half of what we paid for the ship for repairs. We started to get discouraged on the whole “pirating adventure,” until Lily grabbed my shoulder and said, “I don’t want you to get down on your first real pirate adventure so trust me when I say this will be the best adventure you’ve ever been on!”
I could have never predicted how true that would have been but in that moment, I smiled at Lily. “Yeah, we can do it!” I cheered.
We did our best to repair our ship with the resources we had and in the end, our ship looked like a patchwork coat. It wasn’t much but it was ours and we appreciated what we had. The next step was finding pirates but since we had no gold to offer as payment for work, we had to ask our family for help. Only three of our cousins wanted to help us out: Spike the royalboy Shoyru, Joey the yellow Quiggle, and Bonzi the red Lenny. Not even my own brother wanted to help but he was just a small split Hissi so I could understand. I just didn’t understand why he was related so closely to me. Spike wanted to help because he loved pirating and living in Shenkuu, the land of the ninjas, kind of hurt his ability to do so. Bonzi wanted to have an adventure and Joey does whatever Bonzi does.
We were all set: pirate clothing, pirate foods, and pirate weapons. As we set off from Krawk Island, I got a weird feeling: I was the only land pet. Joey and Lily were both great swimmer and Bonzi and Spike were both great fliers but I was neither. Heck, I couldn’t even swim for safety. I had always relied on Lily to swim for me so I never really bothered but I guess that was part of my pirate training I never got to. I didn’t think hard about it because the moment we hit open seas, I was excited.
It took only five minutes for me to lose the excitement when everyone but Lily started to get bored. “When will adventure start?” Bonzi asked, wings hanging over the side of the ship.
“Guys, have more confidence. Adventure doesn’t start right away. If it did, it would go by so quick and we wouldn’t appreciate it! Adventure comes when you least expect it!” Lily cheered, climbing up the mast and into the crow’s nest to check the open seas.
“We could try fishing,” Spike suggested as he stopped playing with his pirate sword.
“But real pirates just steal from lame pirates who actually can’t pillage and fish for themselves! Is there any way to speed things up?” I cried, not knowing how to actually speed things up.
“Unless you can magically summon a ship to raid, we’re stuck in the open ocean,” Lily said as she kept searching on the sea.
The next hour was quiet and we were all starting to get hungry. “We might as well fish,” Joey said as he started to look for fishing poles.
“About that...I didn’t pack any fishing poles,” I shyly admitted. Everyone looked at me in anger, shock, and disappointment.
“Why...would you not…pack fishing poles?!” Spike shouted, probably angry that he let his stomach get empty,
“Because I thought that we were be raiding other ships by now! I thought we would be stealing exotic foods by now!” I whined, not really thinking things through.
“Look, I got an idea: Joey and I will dive under to try and catch fish to eat. Spike and Bonzi, you guys can try and fly back to land to get fishing poles; we’re probably not that far from Krawk Island since the forecast didn’t call for much wind.”
“What about me?” I asked Lily.
“Just watch the ship. That shouldn’t be so hard for you, right?” I don’t know why but how she asked me stun me hard. I nodded sadly and watched as all of my family went off without me. I felt bad as a pirate that I couldn’t swim and help Lily hunt for fish. It felt like a sad state of affairs but I wasn’t sad for long, because soon I was scared. I was alone, in the sea, with nothing around. I could scream for help and no one would hear me. The thought alone terrified me until it got worse: storm clouds in the distance.
“I can handle it, I can handle it,” I kept telling myself but I knew I couldn’t. The waves started to get rough and the ship started to rock more. I started to tear up and call for anyone to come and get me. I felt an impending sense of doom wash over me as waves started to fill the ship. If no one got me soon, I wasn’t going to make it. I couldn’t swim to save my life and soon, I was going to resort to that.
Thunder clashed and lighting struck the ship, causing small fires. It didn’t take long for the ship to start to sink, considering it was in a state of such disrepair that I was surprised it didn’t sink any earlier. I swore to myself until I saw what I feared for the worst: a giant wave. It was bigger than any building I had ever seen and I need it was going to overtake my ship. I cried and said, “I wish I could swim.”
I couldn’t remember what happened after that but I woke up in a foggy area. My body was slightly transparent and looked like static on a TV. “Keen, you have passed away,” I heard a deep voice say.
I couldn’t make out where the voice was but the fog cleared to see I was in a white room in white robes with a Halloween Grundo on a tall chair, staring right at me. “Wait, Keen?” the voice said, getting slightly higher.
“What’s happening?” I asked.
“Keen, it’s me, Yan, your cousin?” the Grundo asked in a more nasally voice.
“Yan? I’ve never heard your voice before. Where am I?” Yan got down from his chair and took off his hood, showing his respirator was off of his mouth.
“Yan, I reaped you. The storm...ugh this is unbelievable. Now you get the family clause, after I went through the hard work to find you,” Yan complained.
“What’s the family clause? Yan, am I gonna be ok?”
Yan groaned and explained, “Unfortunately, yes, you’re going to be ok, because I know Hannah would kill me and take me out of the reaping program other. There are a few million reapers out there that reap and either let pets live on as ghosts or start over fresh, no memory of their past life. Unfortunately, there is always a small chance that a reaper will accidentally reap a family member. Since this can lead to some issues inside the family, the reaper and family member gets to make the choice on whether or not the family member gets reaped.”
“And what if both of them disagree with each other?” I asked, still a little confused.
“Well, we sit here until one agrees with the other. It benefits neither because the reaper loses their chance to meet their quota and risks losing their job while the family member just sits here, losing time on the outside.”
“So, what now?”
“Well, do you want to go back to normal?”
“What would normal be?”
“Well, I can’t give you back your normal body. I already reaped it and even if I could, you would start out at the bottom of the ocean and you can’t swim, so I have an alternative.” Before I could ask what that would be, everything disappeared. It felt like a dream and I felt like waking up. I opened my eyes to see Hannah, Lily, and Louis, looking right at me. My eyes felt hard but when I started to wake up, I fell forward while hearing what sounded like bark peeling from a tree. Hannah grabbed me and started to hug me, her hug feeling weirder than normal.
“Thank Fyora you’re ok! Yan gave us directions on where to find you and you started to grow and I am so happy you’re healthy and ok!” Hannah said, crying into my shoulder.
“I’m sorry I left you on the ship alone Keen. I promise I’ll teach you to swim as soon as possible,” Lily said.
“I like your new look Keen. I hope you keep it and I hope we never lose you again!” Louis commented.
I didn’t know what he meant until I looked at my paw, seeing it was now a brown color with a weird texture. I rubbed my hand and felt the wood on my paw, realizing I was now woodland. “Well Lily, you promised me an adventure, and I think you fulfilled it. For that, I am grateful.”