“Wow, this is too good to be true, Sys-op. I mean, think
about it. One whole week at this sunny beach--with the waves, and the
sand, and not a care to be concerned with!”
Sys-op the pink Kadoatie looked up from out of a palm-tree
print bag at her owner, Agent_Magnolia the disco Aisha. “Magnolia,” she began.
“Stop doing that. You’re making me think we’re on vacation, and we aren’t.”
Magnolia frowned discontentedly with a sigh. “You’re
right. We aren’t. But, still! I’d love to imagine that we’re here to
just enjoy ourselves. Not on a mission.”
Magnolia set her bag down on the ground, looking over
the seashore contentedly. “That’s just nice and picturesque, don’t you agree?”
she inquired with a sigh. “I do wish we could stay here for a little
more than just--”
“Hey there!” Magnolia quickly turned around to face
the source of the greeting--a tall brown Kyrii clad in a coconut-print bathing
suit. “I don’t think I’ve, like, seen you around here much. What’s your name?”
“Marianne,” Magnolia replied. She held up Sys-op in
her bag. “This is... Flamingo. We just arrived here on vacation, actually.”
“Really? Ah, I see,” said the Kyrii. “Most people around
here are people that are always around here, so, like, everyone knows
everyone. I’m, like, Sandy. It’s nice meeting you!”
“It’s a pleasure for me, too.” Magnolia glanced off
onto the shoreline. “So... um... you wouldn’t happen to know someone named...
Lilia, would you?”
Sandy frowned, pausing a moment. “Yeah,” she finally
said. “Lilia? Like, why her?”
“Oh, no reason in particular. I’ve been hearing a lot
about her from people around here.”
“Yeah, that’s not really a, like, surprise,” Sandy
murmured. “She’s been caught near-drowning in the ocean about five times just
in the last three days! I’m, like, really beginning to get worried. I mean,
Lilia’s a really nice girl.”
Sandy looked up at Magnolia, trying to smile. “Oh,
whatever. This isn’t going to, like, have any relevance to your trip anyway,
right?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “Anyway, I’ll see you around, ‘kay?”
“Sure--um--bye!” Magnolia managed to exclaim as Sandy
ran off. “That went well.”
“For YOU, maybe,” Sys-op squealed. “My name is Flamingo?
You couldn’t be a little more creative than Flamingo?”
“I’m sorry, Sys!” Magnolia quickly assured. “I couldn’t
really think of anything else... I mean... you are pink like a flamingo--”
“--Not the same shade of pink!” Sys-op protested.
Magnolia, having found a suitable spot, lifted a coco-print
towel into the air with a content smile. “Well, I don’t see any cause for alarm
at the moment, so now is a perfect opportunity to enjoy ourselves, right?”
“If ‘enjoying ourselves’ is lying on a towel under
an umbrella, then sure,” muttered Sys-op.
“Oh, please,” Magnolia replied. “Take away the umbrella
and the towel and you seem to enjoy doing it all the time at home.”
“Not all the--”
Suddenly, a loud splash was heard from the ocean. A
few murmurs of confusion and struggle were heard before a voice exclaimed, “There’s
someone drowning out there!”
Several loud shrieks were heard before Magnolia managed
to stand up. “There is someone out there!” Magnolia confirmed, squinting.
“Sys-op, it’s that girl!”
“W-who?” Sys-op inquired, looking up in confusion.
“That Mynci out in the water!” Magnolia tried to explain.
“That’s who we’re here for!” She sighed. “Where’s the lifeguard?”
“Over there,” Sys-op replied.
Magnolia spotted a blue Jetsam sitting in the lifeguard
tower and gazing out into the ocean through a pair of binoculars. She quickly
ran over to the tower to alert the supposed lifeguard. “Hey! Down here!” Magnolia
exclaimed. Having gotten his attention, she continued. “There’s someone drowning
out in the ocean!”
“T-there is?” the lifeguard inquired shakily. “U-uh--oh,
yeah! Little girl!” He looked closer through the binoculars. “L-Lilia? Is that
Lilia? Oh, no; who let Lilia in the water again?!”
“I suggest you worry about that later and worry
about saving Lilia right about now,” Magnolia said pointedly, paws on
her hips. “You are the lifeguard, right?”
“Y-yeah! Of course I am! The lifeguard--uh-huh--yes,
I am!” the Jetsam replied, running down the ramp and to the sand.
“Uh-huh. You’re the lifeguard.”
“I’m the lifeguard!”
“You’re the lifeguard?”
“I’m the lifeguard!” The Jetsam ran around to
the back of the lifeguard tower. “Hold on, Lilia! I-I’m coming!”
Magnolia watched disdainfully as the lifeguard found
a nearby lifesaver and tossed it into the swirling water. “Grab onto that!”
he told her. The lifesaver was promptly washed ashore. “Uh... or not.”
“Aren’t you going to go swim after her?” Magnolia inquired,
panicking. The lifeguard remained in an uncomfortable silence. “But--w--you’re
a--and you can’t--OH, NEVER MIND!” Magnolia ran towards the ocean.
“Hey--wait!” Sys-op called after her. “You’re not going
to go in there, are you? There’s a whirlpool -- you could drown!”
“I could,” Magnolia replied. “But trying is
better than just watching her drown out there, isn’t it?”
Sys-op sighed. “The things I let you get away with...”
“Sys-op, you stay here with the lifeguard,” Magnolia
continued. She pointed to the lifeguard. “And get an ambulance or something,
because I doubt the ‘lifeguard’ here is going to help much when I get Lilia
back to shore.”
“Yeah, sure,” Sys-op replied as Magnolia continued
towards the ocean. “I certainly hope this isn’t an everyday thing.”
Magnolia searched for a few moments in the water before
finally spotting Lilia--a young yellow Mynci, one arm outstretched towards the
sky, drowning in the water. “Ah--there you are!” Magnolia exclaimed. Treading
in the water (or as close to treading as she could come in a whirlpool,) Magnolia
reached for Lilia’s hand. Her arm only managed to splash in the water a few
inches away, however.
Lilia, blinded in the water, suddenly submerged. Magnolia
gasped. “Oh, HOLD ON A SECOND!” she exclaimed, following Lilia underwater. She
felt blindly around with her paws and finally found Lilia’s hand, attempting
to bring her to the surface again. Magnolia opened her eyes at one point and
saw a large, black, spinning object below her. Before she could even begin to
think about what it was, the whirlpool sped up considerably.
Magnolia was now concerned with holding onto Lilia’s
hand even tighter. She caught one of Lilia’s arms with both of hers, trying
desperately to kick her way to the surface, only in vain. Suddenly, the whirlpool
came to an abrupt halt, sending Lilia and Magnolia sharply through the water
and into a wall of coral.
Magnolia gurgled, letting Lilia nearly slip out of
her paws. She swam to the surface, holding Lilia up before she managed to get
a breath of air. Magnolia crawled out of the water and onto the seashore, panting
all the while. Lilia spat water back into the ocean, turned onto her back and
“I was thinking you’d never come back!” Sandy
cried, running towards them. “When I heard Lilia was back in the water, like,
again, I heard you’d gone to save her. That was really, like, brave and
Magnolia looked up. “Oh, right. Um... thanks-- but--
Lilia opened one eye confusedly. “Ugh,” she murmured.
“W-what happened? Where am I now?” She rolled over onto her side and finally
“Lilia!” Sandy exclaimed. “What on Neopia were
you, like, doing out by the ocean again? I told you to, like, stay in the cabana!”
“S-Sandy?” Lilia questioned. “Stay in the cabana? You
can’t tell me where to stay!”
Sandy sighed. “Lilia,” she began, almost pleadingly.
“It’s for your own good. If I wasn’t looking out for you, I’d, like,
let you stay out here on the shoreline!” She motioned towards Magnolia.
“And aren’t you going to, like, thank this nice lady for saving your life?”
“Whu-what?” Lilia glanced in Magnolia’s direction.
“Oh! Um... thank you! I’m... um... I’m Lilia.”
“I guessed,” Magnolia replied, brushing a sea star
off of her head. “And no problem.”
“Now, Lilia, let’s get you off the seashore,” said
Sandy. “Or at least somewhere before one of those waves comes up and, like,
drags you out to sea again.”
“No ‘but Sandy!’s, missy!”
Magnolia and the small crowd that had gathered watched
as the Kyrii and the Mynci left the scene. “Still up for pretending we’re having
a relaxing time?” Sys-op questioned.
To be continued...