A Chaotic Vacation: Part One
Thursday had started out like any other day. I got up
early, read the Neopian Times, had breakfast with my owner (when she finally
dragged herself out of bed, that is). I walked my petpet, an Anubis named Pandemonium,
or Pan for short, in the woods near our home. Spent the afternoon reading my
favorite old books, and thinking up some new practical jokes (Ace had gone out
to get some NP by playing games). My usual routine. But as I did all of this,
something felt off. There was a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, like
nervousness almost, except there wasn't anything to be nervous about. My prankster's
intuition was telling me something was up. Or maybe there was just something
in the air. Whatever it was, the feeling subsided some as twilight fell.
"I'm home!" came a familiar voice from the entryway,
followed by the slamming of the heavy oak front door. With a sigh, I lifted
Pan off of my lap and left the living room where I had been sitting to greet
"You're late," I commented as I walked into the
front hall. "What kept-"
I stopped, startled by her appearance. The teenage
girl standing in front of me did not look terribly happy. Her hair, normally
light brown streaked with sapphire, was darker than usual, wet from snow that
was rapidly melting. Her Sticks N Stones jacket was buttoned all the way to
the top, the collar turned up against the cold. Water had soaked into the legs
of her blue jeans, half way up to her knees. The sky boots she had taken to
wearing, however, appeared to be impervious to wetness, and were dry in stark
contrast to the rest of her. Apparently, she was regretting our choice to live
on top of Terror Mountain.
She dumped her backpack on the chair next to
the coat rack and handed me a paper bag before beginning to peel off her jacket.
"I brought dinner."
I opened the bag and was met by the wonderful
aroma of ultimate burgers and potato wedges.
"You want to eat in the living room tonight?"
she asked, shivering.
I nodded. "Sure. Are you going to make a fire?"
"Yeah. But first I'm going upstairs to get something
I went into the kitchen to get plates, napkins,
and straws for the milkshakes Ace had bought, taking the food with me. Pan has
been known to eat entire bags junk food if he can get them, and I wasn't about
to take any chances.
By the time I had gathered everything and brought
it out to the living room, Ace had come down stairs, now wearing an "I love
the NT" shirt and a pair of many-pocketed black pants along with her boots.
I set out the food, drinks and plates on the coffee table while she built a
"Big storm brewing, huh?" I asked, and set the
napkins on the table.
"Yeah," she replied, pulling her island lighter
out of her pocket. "It shouldn't hit for a day or two, though. Or at least that's
what the weather report says. It's usually pretty reliable." She lit the kindling,
and blew gently as it began to catch.
Pan whined from his place on the sofa next to
"You ate already," I told him.
He looked at me with sad eyes. I sighed. He was
a master con artist, and almost always knew just how to get to me. With a glance
at Ace to make sure she wasn't watching, I slipped him a couple of potato wedges.
He wolfed them down and went to curl up on the rug in front of the fire.
Once she had added a big log to the flames and
the fire was burning steadily, Ace came over to sit next to me. She moved a
book out of the way, glancing down at it as she did so.
"The Ultimate Wocky Manual again, Chaos?" she
asked. "You've read it at least five times already. You really should try something
"Hey, it's a good book," I said defensively,
taking it from her. I looked at the cover. On it was a wocky, like me, but he
had a yellow coat instead of red, and brown eyes as opposed to my emerald green.
We ate in companionable silence for a while,
enjoying the warmth that the fire cast, and then Ace spoke up.
"I think we need a vacation."
"A vacation?" I repeated. Aha! So that was it!
"Yeah. I'm tired of being cold all the time.
I want to go some place warm and thaw out."
"Are you sure we can afford that?" I asked. We
weren't poor, exactly, but we had just finished building and furnishing the
house and it isn't like we had piles of extra Neopoints just lying around.
"Actually, I've been saving up for a few weeks.
We'll have enough, as long as we exercise a little restraint don't buy every
cheap souvenir that's shoved under our noses," she said, a bit too pointedly.
"Hey, that was a quality fuzzle!" I protested.
"That fell apart the next day," she retorted.
"Well, the Uni's sales pitch was convincing."
Ace just rolled her eyes.
"So where should we go?" I asked, changing the
"I was thinking about Mystery Island," she said,
turning her lighter over in her hands. "You've never been there before, and
I could really use a good surf session. One of my friends who lives there tells
me that there's supposed to be a very nice swell coming in this week."
"Mystery Island, huh?" I took a sip of my raspberry
milkshake, thinking about Ace's proposal. While I doubted I would want to try
surfing (a bad experience with a bathtub tidal wave had soured me on too much
moving water), there could be plenty of other interesting things to do. And
I had heard tales that the best itching powder money can buy came from the Island.
"Sounds good to me."
"Great. We'll leave tomorrow morning. Oh, and
"Let's try to stay out of trouble this time."
I sighed. You cause one little riot and receive
a lifetime ban from a shop and they never let you forget it.
* * *
We got an early start the next morning, and
by 8:00, we were boarding the ferry that would take us to Mystery Island.
"I wish we could have brought Pan," I said as
we walked up the gangplank.
"I know, I know," Ace responded, readjusting
her backpack. "But you know how he gets on the ferry. He nearly jumped overboard
last time, and I don't want to have to dive in after him. Besides, Ryan will
take good care of him."
I didn't say anything, just walked to the starboard
side and leaned against the railing as the ferry began to pull away from the
dock. I had to admit, it was a beautiful day to be outside. The sky was a deep
blue, free of clouds, and the sun shone brightly. Ace was right. It was very
nice to be warm.
A few hours later we reached the Mystery Island
dock. Ace, who had fallen asleep in a deckchair during the trip, stood and stretched,
while I got in line to get off the ferry.
"Hurry it up!" an impatient voice said from the
back of the line. "You losers are going to make me late for my training session!"
I rolled my eyes. Some people need to learn to
slow down and smell the roses.
Just as I was stepping off the dock, a rough
hand shoved me from behind. I fell forward, and only a quick twist saved me
from falling into the water. Instead I landed with my nose in the dirt.
"Out of the way, shrimp," a large yellow Scorchio
said, stepping over me. "I've got somewhere to be."
I picked myself up and brushed off the dirt,
glaring at the Scorchio's retreating back.
"You okay?" Ace asked as she reached me.
"Sure you aren't hurt?"
"I just my pride," I muttered.
Ace frowned at the Scorchio as he disappeared
"Well, it's a big island. We probably won't even
see that guy again. Let's just try not to let it ruin our vacation, okay?"
"Yeah." She had a point. Why let one jerk mess
up the entire trip? "So what should we do first?" I asked Ace as we moved away
from the docks.
A guilty look spread across her face. "Uh… Actually,
I was planning on going surfing first thing. A few of my friends live on the
island, and one of them going to lend me a board. I'm supposed to meet them
at the beach in about five minutes," she said, checking her watch.
"Oh," I said, feeling a bit disappointed.
"I thought maybe you could go on a tour of the
island, since you don't like swimming, and then we could meet up afterwards
and go get some lunch. It would only be for an hour or so."
I shrugged. "Okay. But just this once."
She grinned. "Thanks Chaos. Come on, I'll show
you where the tour starts."
To be continued...