Meow Circulation: 99,276,740 Issue: 197 | 1st day of Swimming, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Smatty and the Curse of Maraqua

by springsteen0991


Many years ago in a small fishing village...

     ...There lived a young Usul named Garin.

     But who cares about him, right?


     It was one of those evenings where Smatty knew in the back of her mind that some incredibly useless event was about to occur, but she had decided to ignore that fact.

     The red Kyrii was taking a leisurely stroll on Krawk Island's beach, glad that for once she was on a vacation. She had been spending too much time inside; she had decided that before going on her trip to Faerieland, she could warm up and relax with the pirates.

     The sun was almost setting, but she didn't care. Nights in Krawk Island were fabulous - full of mystery and adventure.

     Smatty took a seat on a rock that was halfway submerged into the ocean, and sighed peacefully. "I love these calm, relaxing, completely normal, fantastic days where absolutely nothing can interrupt my-"

     A yellow Usul that she saw running up to her cut off her sentence. She raised an eyebrow and watched the Usul rush across the foot deep water and skid to a halt as soon as he was next to her rock.

     "May you?" Smatty asked, staring at the Usul quizzically. She decided that he was a pirate; his ear piercing and cutlass may have given that away, though.

     "Why yes, you could," he replied in a formal manner. "I am Garin the pirate, and I require assistance."

     "Could you repeat that?"

     "I require assistance."

     "Oh." The Kyrii shrugged. "Well, Garin, how can I help you?"

     "Isca is in trouble!" he exclaimed immediately.

     "Who's Isca?"

     "She is a Maraquan Aisha that requires assistance. King Kelpbeard the Koi has locked her up in a dungeon. I would assist her, but the guards would recognize me," Garin explained.

     Smatty blinked. "Why is she locked up?"

     "Well, you see, whenever something goes wrong in the Maraquan culture they blame it on her, because sometimes she has dreams that tell the future. So now she's been locked up - and she requires assistance!" he urged.

     "Oh, I guess that makes sense," Smatty replied, rolling her eyes. "Another question: How am I going to be able to get down to Maraqua? I don't exactly have gills, you know."

     Garin pulled out what seemed to be a necklace made entirely out of seaweed, and grinned. "This magical necklace shall assist you. By utilizing it, it will enable you to breathe underwater."

     "How does wearing seaweed around my neck let me breathe underwater?"

     "It just does, okay? You must stop asking pointless questions, for Isca requires assistance. Hurry!" The Usul handed her the necklace, and was about to turn away, when Smatty stopped him.

     "How do I know where to go?" the Kyrii asked, putting the seaweed necklace around her head.

     "You will know where to go," Garin replied simply.

     "But how will I know what to do?"

     "You will know what do to do."

     "Hey! Could you please stop with the answers that don't actually answer anything?" Smatty asked, getting frustrated.

     Garin adjusted his headband, and turned towards the sea. "The answer is in your heart," he assured her. "Now I must depart - someone requires assistance from me elsewhere."

     Smatty groaned and turned away from the Usul, who was running off into the distance. "He sure has a nice vocabulary for an uneducated pirate," she grumbled, then paused. She stood silently for a moment, deciding on whether she would go on yet another random, pointless adventure.

     "Why me?" she asked rhetorically, then promptly dove into the deep ocean.


     The ocean was darker at night than Smatty had thought it would be, but she saw a brightly illuminated underwater city in no time. As she swam toward the light of the city, she glanced around the rest of the ocean.

     "Looks like I'm the only fish in the sea," she remarked to herself. After a moment of thinking, she then added, "I like how I'm able to speak in a perfectly normal way just because I'm wearing seaweed around my neck."

     "You're not the only fish in the sea, dearest," a voice cackled from a surprisingly near distance.

     "W-who said that?" Smatty asked as she swivelled around in the dark sea.

     "We did," another raspy voice replied.

     Suddenly, three rather hideous looking water faeries were swimming around the Kyrii in a circle. Smatty tried to escape, but instead they began to swim faster. She was trapped.

     "We are the Drenched, and we're going to drench you!" the third faerie exclaimed maniacally.

     "Hold up!" Smatty exclaimed, right before the faeries could move in on her and attack. Everyone froze, waiting for her to speak. "Why do you three feel the need to come beat up random people that are swimming in the ocean? It doesn't make sense. Maybe that's why none of you have any friends," the Kyrii snickered.

     "We are evil creatures-" one of the Drenched began trying to explain, but Smatty interrupted her.

     "Furthermore, you don't have to be evil. You're only evil because you feel like it. So, could we please just stop with all the fighting? I have an unknown Maraquan Aisha to rescue here."

     The Drenched all shrugged simultaneously. "She's right, you know," one of them said.

     "Yeah," another faerie agreed. "Let's go be nice to all of the other water faeries and establish friendships that will last forever!"

     "That's the spirit!" Smatty said, grinning. She waved goodbye to the Drenched and continued along her path to Maraqua.

     The city was getting clearer as the Kyrii swam deeper and further into the depths of the ocean, and the area around her was beginning to lighten up. Pink coral reefs and giant seaweed plants were growing everywhere, and she stopped for a moment and marveled at all of the pretty underwater treasures.

     But amidst the beautiful scenery, a dark purple figure lurked. It swam silently through the tufts of seaweed and drifted in and out of Smatty's sight.

     "What in the world is that?" Smatty asked quietly, to no one.

     "Let's play the guessing game. I'll give you a few clues, and you'll decide who I am," the figure called from behind a large rock. "Maraqua has banished me, my sister is Isca, and my name is Caylis. Figured it out yet?"

     "Um... Caylis?"

     "How did you figure me out?!" the Aisha shouted, showing herself.

     "Must have been dumb luck," Smatty replied, turning away. "I'm glad we had this little conversation, but I've really-"

     "Wait!" Caylis said. "What are you doing here, land dweller?"

     "Well, it's sort of complicated, you see. I met Garin on the beach, and he asked me to rescue Isca from the dungeon, and gave me this necklace made out of seaweed that enables me to breathe underwater."

     The Aisha rubbed her chin, and swam a bit closer to Smatty. "It all makes sense to me now!" she declared.

     "Really?" Smatty asked.

     "No. But I must warn you, something bad is going to happen when you enter Maraqua. I had a dream about it, so obviously it's going to come true."


     "You really do ask way too many questions." Caylis smirked, then said, "You seem pretty clueless. I'll help you sneak through the Maraquan gates, but only because I pity you."

     "Um, thanks," Smatty said, scratching the back of her head. "Let's go!"


     The two pets were crouched low next to the gates of the city. Maraquan guards were standing in front of the entrance, carrying sharp blades that could cut through the toughest seaweed. And seaweed can get pretty tough.

     "I've developed a plan, Kyrii," Caylis whispered. "First, we sneak up behind the guards and strangle them with seaweed, enough to make them faint. Then we must decipher the thirteen digit code required to break the lock of the door into Maraqua. As we enter, we'll have three tries to guess the password that allows you into the inner part of the city-"

     Smatty cut her off, "Why don't we just swim over the gate?"

     "Ah. Well, I guess that would work, too."

     The two of them propelled themselves up, over the gate, and into the bright city. "You don't exactly fit in here," Caylis noticed. "Here, hold this," she said, handing her a piece of coral.

     "How is holding a piece of coral going to help me blend in with Maraquan pets?"

     "Eh, I know Maraquans. We're not an observant people."

     "So where is the dungeon?" Smatty asked, dropping the subject.

     The two of them looked around for a moment, confused, until Caylis spotted a building with a big sign in front saying, "Dungeon Where Isca is Being Imprisoned."

     "That just might be it!" Smatty exclaimed. They swam casually, completely unnoticed, to the building. The guard at the front of it eyed Smatty for a moment, but then realized she was holding a piece of coral, so was therefore obviously a Maraquan.

     Caylis nodded to the guard, and added as a subtle remark, "I am definitely not Caylis, the Aisha that's been banned from this city."

     "Oh. Thanks for clearing that up," the Maraquan Draik said, nodding. Smatty and Caylis ventured through the doors and were immediately in a large, dome-like room with red walls covered in seashells.

     Isca was sitting dully on a couch, doing a crossword puzzle. "Drat!" she said to herself. "The ink keeps on washing off for some reason!"

     "Isca," Caylis whispered, approaching her sister. "We're here to rescue you."

     "Caylis! I had a dream that you and some nobody would come take me away from this dungeon! You see, Kelpbeard locked me up just because I gave Garin all of our magical seaweed...."

     Smatty looked insulted, but she was still at the entrance of the building. "They sure do sleep a lot to have all of those dreams," she muttered, but then her eyes opened widely. "The bad thing that Caylis' dream foretold hasn't happened yet, has it?"

     Isca heard her. "Oh, look, someone who isn't painted Maraquan is here." The two sisters swam up to the Kyrii. "Caylis, you had a dream?"

     " was about something large, attacking us."

     "Let's not worry about it," Smatty said, staring at the roof of the dungeon "Let's ditch this place."

     "But what about the guard?!"

     "He doesn't seem too bright. Maraquan security is not the best," Smatty said with a chuckle, but quickly everything fell silent as a figure seemed to approach the building.

     "What's going on in here?!" a loud voice boomed from the entrance of the dungeon. Smatty, Isca, and Caylis all gasped. It was King Kelpbeard himself, accompanied by that quite slow Maraquan Draik.

     "I'm leaving this dungeon!" Isca declared, swimming right in front of Kelpbeard. "I deserve to be free."

     "No!" the Koi shouted. "No, no, no! Isca, you are banished from Maraqua for insubordination." He turned to Caylis. "You are re-banished from the city, for attempting to rescue someone from this impenetrable dungeon."

     "No!" the three pets shouted simultaneously.

     Kelpbeard then turned to the Maraquan Draik. "You are banished too, for being incompetent. Finally, you, my fellow Maraquan," he said, staring at Smatty, the red Kyrii carrying a piece of coral to disguise herself. "You are banished too, because I'm in a bad mood!"

     "But sir-"

     Before Smatty could continue, a strange event happened in mere moments. The ceiling of the dungeon caved in, seashells went flying everywhere, and everyone screamed in terror. The five of them had no idea what was going on, but they all took cover and hid under the couch Isca was sitting on.

     "What in the world is happening?!" Kelpbeard shouted over the sound of falling rubble.

     They knew soon enough. When everything had cleared, the cause of the destruction was evident. More evident than any of them had ever wanted it to be.

     The Chasm Beast had attacked.

     It was large, green, and had many tentacles. And it meant trouble. The large thing reached into the now roofless dungeon and grabbed Kelpbeard.

     "ENOUGH!" he shouted. "Criminal Chasm Beast, you are banished too!"

     Smatty rolled her eyes. "Isca, Caylis, come on! This is our chance to leave."

     The Aishas nodded, and followed after her as they swam out from the dungeon and towards the surface, using all that was left of their energy to go as far away from Maraqua as they possibly could.


     Smatty burst out from the ocean, about to gasp for air, until she remembered that she could breathe underwater too.

     "Thank you so much for saving me, land-dweller," Isca said, smiling. "I would repay you somehow, but I had a dream that I wouldn't need to. So, I won't."

          "Oh. That's nice. Well, I mean, it was nothing anyway...." Smatty's eyebrow twitched.

     The three of them treaded water silently for a moment, when Caylis announced that they were going to leave and expand their horizons. Smatty left them and proceeded to the shore, taking off her necklace.

     "Always remember me!" Caylis shouted back to her before being swallowed completely by the darkness of the sea.

     "No thanks," Smatty grumbled, trudging through foot deep water.

     Arriving at the rock where she had been sitting earlier, she spotted a small note. Picking it up, she read it wearily.

      Dear Random Kyrii that I Met on the Beach Today,

     If you're reading this, I assume you saved Isca. I thank you greatly for that. But I require further assistance - could you please meet me at the Golden Dubloon? We need to discuss some important issues.


     Smatty laughed. No way. She crumpled up the letter and threw it behind her back into the ocean, letting it dissolve. She walked slowly onto the beach, sighing.

     "Maybe another day, Garin," she said to herself. "But right now, I'm on vacation. And I'd appreciate it if the rest of my visit here remained somewhat normal."

The End

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


Chain of Pearls: Part One
If the Bruce had been the one to decide the coming of age, she would certainly not have allowed Trisha such freedom tomorrow...

by shadowcristal


For The Life of a Pirate: Part Three
She tried to calm herself down, telling herself that there were a lot of orange Krawks and that most of them were probably pirates. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that she had a clue at last, after years of fruitless search...

by nut862


Demented Random Events
You have a new quest!

Art by fetedieu

by alexsmum


By My Honor: Part One
"I want you to rise above where I spent my life." Her gaze returned to his eyes, sincere. "Tory, I want you to become a knight."

by laurelinden

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.