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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 4th day of Hiding, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 113 > Short Stories > The Other Side of Neopia

The Other Side of Neopia

by violinoutoftune

Kevin, a blue Kacheek, sat in a tree viewing the sea as the sun was rising over it on a beautiful Saturday morning. He wondered what was out there waiting for him; what was on the other side. He then turned to look the other way, out to the menacing snow-capped mountains. What were they hiding behind their cliffs? He could only wonder as he had been doing for years now.

     "Hey, Kevin!" the blue Kacheek glanced down from his perch in the tree. Below stood his three best friends: Jenny, Ann, and Bobby. "C'mon down!" Jenny, the blue Acara, said smiling up at him.

     "Okay, be right down!" Kevin called. He took one last look at the rising sun over the water then lowered himself to the ground.

     "What were you doing up there?" Ann asked, hoofs on hips. The white Uni was the snobby one of the group while Jenny was more kind-hearted. Kevin stood out as the leader and as for Bobby the chubby yellow Chia; he was, well, just Bobby the chubby yellow Chia.

     "Oh, just thinking and stuff," Kevin replied. His mind was still on the unknown.

     "Well, we're going to go shopping," Jenny said. "Want to come?"

     "Shopping this early?" Kevin looked confused. "Why?"

     "Hubert's Hotdog's has just restocked!" Bobby said with a grin. "We want to get our share before they're all sold out!"

     "Uh, you guys can go without me," Kevin said.

     "Okay suite yourself," Ann said turning to go.

     "We'll be back here later, Kevin," Jenny said. "Bye!" The three went down the road into Neopian Central, and Kevin went to his house. He had plans, big plans.

***

Later the four met back at the tree; Bobby stuffing hotdogs in his mouth; Ann and Jenny carrying shopping bags and Kevin holding a notebook and a pencil.

     "What's that for?" Bobby mumbled through bites, looking at the notebook.

     "Plans," Kevin said.

     "For what?" asked Jenny, setting down the bags.

     "It better not be one of your crazy ideas again," Ann said crossing her arms. Jenny frowned.

     "It's not a crazy idea," Kevin said in defense. "It's the best one yet!"

     "Uh-huh? Like the time you tried to build a rocket; or how about that spud throwing machine?" Ann laughed.

     "I'm sure it's a wonderful idea," Jenny said ignoring her. "Tell it to us, Kevin."

     "Well," he started, a bit nervous, "I've always wondered what's on the other side of those mountains and on the other side of the sea," he said pointing to the places. "And so I've decided that I want to find out. Now the mountains would be a bit hard to climb over so I suggest we go on sea. And that's only possible if we have a boat, and they cost a lot. And I'm not even sure that we can find one anywhere, well maybe Krawk Island, so--"

     "What?" Ann cut him off. "Slow down, what are you talking about? Sailing over the mountains? Boats that can climb?" Kevin sighed.

     "I want to know what's out there," he said. "What's on the other side of Neopia? I want to have an adventure!" He looked at his friends' faces. They held confused glances. "I mean, I want to take a boat and sail across the sea! Past Meridell and Mystery Island; go around the world!" His friends gasped, finally understanding.

     "But Kevin," Jenny said. "That's impossible! You know what we learned in Neoschool. Go too far out to sea and fall off the side of the planet!"

     "But no one's proved it!" Kevin argued.

     "Yeah, but we hear the stories all the time," Ann said. "Neopians that have tried to go around the world and never come back. Face it, Neopia is flat!"

     "Well, maybe the other side is so much better that they just stayed there."

"If there was a lot of tasty food there!" Bobby said, raising another hotdog to his mouth. Jenny pulled it away from him.

     "Really, Kevin," she said. "It's not safe." Jenny almost always agreed with Kevin. Grief hit the Kacheek that she wouldn't even help him.

     "Well, I guess I'll just have to go alone," Kevin said, and started walking back home. He couldn't believe none of them would go with him. But then he felt bad for asking them to go with him in the first place. He might as well give up.

     "Kevin! Wait!" The Kacheek turned back. It was Jenny running to catch up with him. He stopped so she could catch her breath.

     "Kevin," she said. "Sorry for what we said before. We will go with you."

     "No," he said. "You shouldn't risk your lives for something you don't believe in." He continued walking.

     "But we're your friends!" Jenny persisted. "And if you believe in something, we'll be right behind you! Right guys?" She turned to Ann and Bobby who were walking not far back. Kevin looked on too.

     "Right!" Bobby said. "If you two are in, I'm in! Wouldn't miss it for a chocolate Faerie cake with a berry on top!" Now all eyes were on Ann.

     "Oh, alright!" she gave in. "At least I'll miss Neoschool and Dr. Ballard's boring lectures." They all laughed and cheered.

***

It was late afternoon the next day when the four arrived on Krawk Island. They had come to find the thing that they needed to make their adventure possible: a boat. Not sure what to exactly do, they stood on the beach and asked passers-by.

     "Um," Kevin said to one Krawk. "Do you know how we can get a boat?" The Krawk ignored him completely, as if the Kacheek were only another grain of sand between his toes.

     "Excuse me," Ann asked another Krawk. "We are poor little creatures in need of a ship. Would you mind telling us how to get one?" The Krawk didn't reply to them directly but muttered something to the effect of stupid children as he walked on.

     "And I thought I was rude," Ann said under her breath. They kept asking nonetheless but could get no real responses. One pirate said he had a boat and would sell it to them for a thousand dubloons. Since the four had no idea what dubloons were, that opportunity flew away with the wind.

     "I guess Miss Stryke at Neoschool really doesn't know her geography," Jenny said. "Because we obviously don't."

     "This is so pointless," Kevin said. "We could build a boat faster than buying one here!"

     "You know how to build a boat?" Bobby asked.

     "Well, no," Kevin said. "It's hopeless. I never thought going on an adventure around the world would be so hard to do."

     "You want to go 'round Neopia?" a voice asked. Approaching the friends was a green Krawk. "The name's Krawkins, and if me ears heard correctly, you need a boat to sail 'round Neopia in."

     "Ye-Yes," Kevin said, stunned.

     "Well, I have a boat called the Black Dubloon; my, she's a beauty. Anyway, me always wanted to sail to the other side, but have never had anyone share my views on the matter, until you! So, mateys, we leave tomorrow!" The jaws of the four dropped. What an astonishing coincidence!

***

It was late that night, and the four were now sleeping on Krawkins' elegant ship, the Black Dubloon. Well, not all of them were sleeping. Kevin was awake, still having a hard time believing that his dream was coming true. He got down out of his bunk in the ship's hull and quietly climbed up the ladder to deck to not disturb his four sleeping friends.

     The stars were shinning brilliantly that night. Kevin stared at them, thinking of how far they had come and how far they would still go.

     "They're beautiful aren't they, matey?" Kevin turned to see Krawkins. In his hand was a white sailor's hat with two blue stripes. The Krawk saw Kevin looking at it.

     "Here, matey," he said. "This be for you." Krawkins handed Kevin the hat. "Well, Cap'n, you better get back to bed."

     "Captain?" Kevin asked, giving Krawkins a confused glance. "Me?"

     "Aye, sonny," the Krawk replied. "You will be leading the Black Dubloon on this journey."

     "Why?"

     "'Cause you got me into this; if you hadn't have come, I'd wouldn't be goin' to the other side of Neopia."

     "Thanks," Kevin said, putting the hat on a going on down back to bed.

***

"Everyone on deck, we're leaving!" Kevin called in his sailor's cap, "Untie the rope! Put up the sails!" It was a crisp morning the Black Dubloon pulled out of Krawk Island and began its journey. The crew, made up of his three friends and Krawkins, ran around following the orders of Kevin, the new captain. Of course, the Kacheek also went around giving a helping hand where it was needed.

     They were now pulling off the shore and sailing away from land. The Black Dubloon floated over the water with ease.

     "Goodbye," Kevin whispered to the land. Soon the place he had called home was only a small spec on the horizon.

***

Days later, the sun was high in the sky and the morale was low on the boat. They had been at sea for a long time and hadn't seen anything else except endless waters. The friends were beginning to doubt why they had even come on this journey in the first place. It seemed pointless now as the days and nights flew by without any occurrences.

     Bobby was at the wheel, lazily directing their course; Krawkins was below deck, sleeping. Ann paced the deck near the bow, while Kevin and Jenny leaned on the railing up in the crow's nest, staring out at the infinite sea.

     "It's been ten days," Jenny said. "And no sign of land."

     "Mm," Kevin replied.

     "Should we turn around?" Jenny questioned. "Should we go back?"

     "Mm," Kevin groaned.

     "Should we keep going despite of all this?" Jenny asked. This time the blue Kacheek didn't make a noise. "Snap out of it!" Jenny pushed at Kevin's shoulder.

     "What? Oh," Kevin sighed. "Sorry, Jenny. I've just been thinking. Maybe we should turn around. I don't think there's anything left to see. It's hopeless."

     "Hopeless?" Jenny and Kevin both looked down the ladder to see Ann climbing up it. "I didn't come all this way for nothing!" Ann called up. "I'm not going back now; not now, not ever!" She stood next to the Acara and the Kacheek with a determined face. "And nothing will make me go back!"

     "Well, that settles it then," Kevin said, stunned by the white Uni's speech. The rest of the day, the all went around encouraged if not startled by Ann's words, and definitely not thinking about turning back, but thinking of what lay ahead.

***

"All hands on deck!" Kevin called, "Put the sails down; secure all loose objects to the deck!" The crew obeyed immediately, and for good reason. It was dark, apart from occasional flashes of lightning that illuminated the sky. Buckets of rain fell on the small ship and powerful waves of seawater splashed on the deck. At the wheel, Krawkins tried to slow the boat as it is moved frenziedly on the water, but it was no use. The ship continued to droop side to side. Mid-deck, Ann and Jenny were taking down the tattered sails as swiftly as possible.

     "Are you thinking twice about not going back?" Jenny asked Ann over the roaring wind. Ann just grunted.

     "Help! Bobby's gone over board!" Kevin sprinted up to the other three, losing his hat to the wind. "Hurry, we got to save him!"

     "Where'd 'e go off?" Krawkins asked.

     "Near the bow!"

     "Take the wheel!" Kevin followed his orders. The Krawk tied a rope around his waist and dived into the furious sea. Ann and Jenny rushed to hold on to the rope. They watched over the edge through the dim light. They waited for what seemed hours, but finally two heads appeared up on the water.

     "Pull!" Jenny said, "You know how much Bobby weighs! Pull with all your strength!" The two girls tugged and strained until both Bobby and Krawkins were safely on the deck.

     "Bobby? Are you okay?" Ann asked squatting beside the yellow Chia.

     "I-I think so," Bobby said, spitting up seawater. A sigh went around through the group. But the storm wasn't done with them yet.

     "Watch out!" Kevin called. The once so sturdy mast swayed in the wind until it finally could last no longer. Screams went up from the boat, as tumbled like a pencil to the deck with a loud thud. Kevin let go of the wheel. It wouldn't help them now.

     "Get in the lifeboat!" He looked through the onslaught of rain. Jenny, Ann and Bobby were climbing in to the lifeboat. But Krawkins? Where was Krawkins? Kevin felt around the deck with his hands using the collapsed mast as a guide. He hands touched a warm body.

     "Krawkins!" the blue Kacheek screamed. The Krawk was caught up under the fallen mast.

     "Kevin, hurry!" He turned to see his friends struggling to keep the lifeboat near the Black Dubloon.

     "Kevin," Krawkins said breathing hard. "You're a brave young lad. Now go with your friends and leave me here with the boat."

     "No!" Kevin screamed. He pulled with all his Kacheek might and the Krawk came free of the mast. He then dragged him to the lifeboat.

     "Almost there," Kevin shouted. Just then, a huge wave crashed against the side of the Black Dubloon, dumping Kevin and Krawkins in the dark, unforgiving sea.

***

The blue Kacheek felt sand beneath him. His first thought was that he lay on the bottom of the sea. His second thought was that he was dead. But he learned the truth when he opened his eyes. Up above him was the sun, shining blissfully for all. He was alive! Kevin sat up. In front of him was the peaceful vast sea that had proved to be such a tyrant the night before. He stood and turned around. There, was even a grander sight to see. In his view rose glorious snow capped mountains; huge monuments towering over him. He was speechless.

     "The others," reality finally hit him. He glanced around the beach. Not too far away laid Krawkins. Kevin rushed over to him.

     "Krawkins?" he said, feeling for his pulse, "Krawkins! Oh, please, don't be dead! Please, please!" The Krawk's eyes slowly opened. "You're alive!" Kevin screamed, hugging the creature.

     "Uh," the Krawk moaned. "Alive but not well." It was then Kevin saw Krawkins' scarred flesh, as torn as the sails of the Black Dubloon.

     "Will you be alright?" Kevin asked.

     "I'll manage," the Krawk said, viewing the damage. "But me ol' ship now rests on the bottom of the sea. That's the thing that saddens me." Kevin gave him a look of compassion.

     "Well, we better find the others."

     "Here we are!" Kevin turned around to see Jenny, Ann, and Bobby walking up to them on the beach! Kevin ran to them and they all hugged. This was more then he had hoped for. They were all alive and together.

     "So captain!" Bobby said, "Where to now?" Kevin turned to the peaks.

     "Why, the mountains, of course!" he said grinning.

     "Wow," Jenny said in awe. "We are going to climb up those things?"

     "Well," Kevin said glancing at the Uni present, "Ann could fly up there." A worried look spread over the white Uni.

     "Yeah, Ann!" Bobby said. "Go see what's up there!" "Um, well," Ann stuttered. "I can't really fly."

     "What?" the other four chorused.

     "My owner never taught me to," she said, embarrassed.

     "That's okay, Ann," Jenny said putting a reassuring paw on the Uni's shoulder. "We understand."

     "Well, then," Kevin said. "We better start climbing."

***

"Not, much further," Kevin said, exhausted. Kevin and Jenny led the procession followed by Ann and Bobby, with Krawkins bringing up the rear. It was getting close to night and the five had almost reached the peak. They were filthy, hungry, and barely alive. Mud was caked to their faces and their limbs. Their clothes were shredded and their feet bleed from scaling the rocky surface.

     "We better be almost to the top," Ann said, panting.

     "I'm starving!" Bobby complained, rubbing his belly.

     "Well, there's no goin' back now, mateys!" Krawkins said.

     "That's right, we just have to keep going," Kevin said. His words were followed by a scream. Jenny had stepped on a loose rock and was now grasping the edge to avoid sliding down the mountain. Kevin ran, and dumbly, stepped on the same loose rock, making him and Jenny plunge down the cliff. Somehow, the Kacheek managed to grab hold of a ledge and the Acara clutched his leg. They dangled there above jagged rocks sprouting up out of the sea like tombstones.

     "Kevin, are you alright?" Jenny asked, looking up at him. "Can you hold on?" The Kacheek didn't reply. His paws were slowly losing their grasp on the rock. Kevin closed his eyes. Thoughts flew through his mind. They had come so far. They had successfully found a ship and a new friend, Krawkins. Just when all hope seemed lost, Ann had come to their rescue by giving them a boast of hope. They had all survived the storm and made it to the shore alive. And all of it to end here; it wasn't fair.

     Kevin knew that this must be the end. His hands finally gave up to the mountain. The Kacheek and Acara screamed as they both plunged down to the sea. Then, suddenly, Kevin felt gravity fight with another force. He realized that he was no longer moving down, but up. His eyes opened.

     "Ann!" he shouted. "You're flying! You saved our lives!" It was true. The Kacheek and Acara sat on the Uni's back as she flew up to the summit.

     "But, Ann," Jenny started. "I thought you didn't know how to fly!"

     "I guess we can learn things when we have to," she replied. Sooner than ever the three were back on the peak and met Krawkins and Bobby with a warm embrace. Kevin finally pulled away from the group.

     "Guys, you should see this!" he exclaimed. They all looked to the other side of the mountain and beheld the Neopia they all knew and loved. There was Neopian Central, Meridell, Krawk Island, and all the other places that Neopians led their peaceful lives.

     The sun was now just setting behind the five friends, and a day ended in Neopia. Their adventure had also just come to its conclusion. They had traveled to the other side Neopia, proving it was round. More importantly, they had made a new friend and strengthened their previous friendships. But the best thing of all was being home.

The End


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