Shrouded Past: Part One
|I had never before wondered about Shura's past. I was Aolynn
and she was Shura, and that was that. We were a team, and although I had told
Shura of my life, she had always changed the subject when hers was brought up.
Something in her eyes told me that it was a burden that she wished to bear alone.
When I did find out, it was not under the best of circumstances. It all began
when we docked at Krawk Island one stormy night.
Our ship rolled upon the storm-tossed sea, and rain came down in sheets, making
it hard for me to see even the lights of Krawk Island, the nearest port. I shouted
to Shura, "A little to the west there! Yes, that's it! Just keep going straight
"I see the lights now! Thanks Lynn, good work!"
she yelled back.
It had been a fine day to go out pirating, a.k.a.
goofing off while on a boat, and we were pretty far from land in general when
storm clouds began to gather. Krawk Island was nearer to us than Mystery Island,
so we started sailing quickly in that direction. We were only a few miles away
when the storm unleashed its fury, leaving us with low visibility. Fortunately,
there were lights on the island, or we would never have found it. But we did,
and soon we were running towards the Golden Dubloon in hopes of being dry.
The restaurant was full of tourists, as usual,
but there were also a fair number of pirates getting in out of the weather.
Shura led me over to a corner table, trying her hardest not to be noticed. We
had only got half way across the room, however, when Shura tripped over a conveniently
placed foot. I helped her up, but already other pirates were pointing and laughing
"Hey, wadda ya know, it's Shura, the pirate
"I heard that the bathtub you call a ship got
wrecked when it hit a pebble!"
"Only real pirates are allowed in here! Get
out you phony!"
Shura got to her feet, her face burning with
humiliation. She walked in a calm fashion out the door, and I followed, shooting
a glare at the still laughing pirates. Shura only got about five steps from
the door before stopping dead, and stamping her foot in anger and frustration.
"What is wrong with me that I can't be accepted
as a real pirate? Just because I don't loot and pillage like the rest of them
doesn't mean I'm some sort of freak!" Shura kept going, letting out pent up
anger for several minutes. I wisely kept my mouth shut and let her rant, until
she stopped for a few seconds to breathe of course.
"It's alright Shura. I think that you're a real
pirate, even if they don't. Let's go back to the ship, it isn't storming anymore,
and we can go home."
Shura nodded, and followed me silently. She had
let some of her burden out, and was feeling the better for it. We walked down
to the dock and boarded our ship, not noticing the staring eyes that watched
us from the window of the Golden Dubloon.
I slept soundly in my bed, with the sound of the surf in my ears. I was dreaming
about sailing, and the sea was covered in bananas. Shura had just walked up,
wearing a hat made out of Tigersquash and holding out some Pickled Olives and
telling me to eat them, when I was jolted back to reality by a dagger at my
throat and a gruff whisper.
"No sudden moves, now, lassie," it was saying.
"Don't even think about yelling, just come with me and you don't get hurt."
I opened my eyes to see a red Eyrie with an eye
patch, but before I could get a good look he had conked me over the head with
the base of the dagger, and everything went black.
My head was swimming, and I groaned. I slowly
opened my eyes and looked around. Everything was fuzzy, but when my vision cleared
I saw that I was in a dank cell, and a bedraggled green Shoyru with torn wings
was standing over me. I felt the floor beneath me moving, and realized that
I was on a boat.
"They got you too, huh?" the Shoyru asked, her
voice hoarse, "I'm Lieras. Who might you be?"
"My name is Aolynn, but you can call me Lynn.
Did they get Shura, too? She's my owner."
"No, these pirates only steal pets. They wouldn't
have any use for a person. I got taken off the streets and never had an owner."
She was interrupted by the sound of footsteps
coming down the hall. She fled back to the pile of straw, and began to fake
sleep. Finally, the red Eyrie that had held the dagger to my throat stopped
in front of my cell.
"So, the little Peophin is awake," he said in
a sneering voice, "Are you frightened? Not nearly frightened enough, by the
look of you. You're on board the Black Eyrie now, and here you'll stay. At least
until we can find someone to sell you to, that is," he noticed my horrified
expression and chuckled, "That's right, sell you. Some people will pay good
money for strong and nice-looking pets, even if they aren't painted. Not that
we don't have some of those too. We like to have a wide selection for our customers,"
he laughed again and walked away, presumably to the upper decks.
As soon as he had gone, Lieras stopped feigning
sleep and scurried over to me. I was sobbing uncontrollably at the prospect
of being sold to someone like my first owner or worse and never seeing Shura
again. She patted my shoulder and tried to comfort me, saying that owners were
overrated and she was better off without one.
"How would you know, you've never had an owner!"
I lashed out at her. "Shura was the only person in Neopia that I could trust,
and now I'll never see her again! We were both alone when we found each other,
and she'll be feeling horrible right now, because she doesn't know what's happened
to me! I could have been stolen; I could have run away; I could be dead for
all she knows! She needs me, and I need her just as much."
"You were lucky," was all Lieras said at first,
and then she started talking, "I did have an owner once, but she left Neopia
after a few hours. She never loved me, never saw me as anything more than a
collection of pixels, so I didn't hang around waiting hopelessly like other
pets. I left, and looked for another home. But nobody wanted a scruffy, wing-torn
green Shoyru. I couldn't even fly, and Shoyrus love the air as Peophin love
the water. I was alone, without any hope or anyone to call my friend. Then these
pirates found me, and I've been here ever since."
I was still feeling awful, but my anger and
tears had exhausted me, and I surrendered my mind to the rocking of the waves
To be continued...