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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 4th day of Hiding, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 37 > Short Stories > The Beast's Lair

The Beast's Lair

by gyr_falcon125

My name is Braver. I'm an explorer. I woke up to an excited start today when my owner checked the mail. "Braver! I think you'll want to see this," he said in a cheery tone. It turns out, a rich Acara paid a large sum of Neopoints in order to fund an expedition of the Beast's Lair.

I long wondered what lay inside this cave. Once when I was only about a few days old, my owner took me for a stroll in the Tyrannian Plateau. He looked around everywhere, and still knows his way around today. We both traveled into the Beast's Lair like many before us. I admit that I was acting a bit cowardly. My owner thought it was pretty funny. "Come on, Braver! I named you Braver for a reason!" he had said while laughing very hard. I jumped at every little sound.

It's a little dim in my mind, but at the end of the cave, we spotted a Pterodactyl as my owner called it. It was screeching so loud that my ears popped. "Please! Let's leave NOW!" I begged him. He didn't make me do anything I didn't want to, so we left in a hurry (or at least I did).

"Braver? Why are you shivering? The sun's out. It's so hot here!" he exclaimed when we got out. Of course, I was actually shaking with fear. I try to live up to my name now, though.

The expedition began some months later, which were used for preparation. Other Lupes from my pack were happy to follow. I led the team to the Tyrannian Plateau. We each took a piece of omelette from the giant egg that was baking in the sun. Sabre-X watched us all carefully to make sure we didn't sneak another piece. "You there! What are you trying to do?" he shouted at a Lupe who attempted to take another piece in vain. We didn't get a good first impression.

"It won't happen again, Sabre-X. I assure you," I said to him. Sabre-X made no reply except for an expression filled with fury.

"We should ask the leaders of the village for some advice," suggested one of the Lupes. That seemed like a good idea at the time. The leaders didn't share the same interest in the expedition that we all did.

"You'll all perish! You shouldn't trespass on that animal's territory! It's just like how you Lupes don't want strangers just walking around in your territory!" an angry leader spat at us.

I sighed in disappointment. They weren't any help at all. Some Lupes complained along the way to the Beast's Lair. "Who do they think they are? We're a lot more modern, and a lot more smarter than they are."

We entered the cave, and the familiar noises brought back memories of my past journey here. "This is more like a cavern rather than a cave. Watch where you're going. I'm sure you don't want to hit a stalagmite or a stalactite. Don't breathe too fast either. The air in here isn't as healthy to breathe as the air outside," I warned them. The dripping of water was everywhere. The sound of heavy breathing got louder.

"That doesn't sound friendly. Do we have any defence at all?" some Lupes asked.

I rolled my eyes. The Lupes that were anxious before were now showing signs of fright.

Then, we reached the old rope that another NeoPet had tied to a stone so long ago. No one knows the outcome of its quest here. "All right! We're very close! Let's go one by one. Anyone want to go first?" I asked already knowing the answer. The Lupes looked uneasy. "Suit yourselves." I took a hold of the rope and climbed. I looked at the Lupes that followed.

I cocked my head to the direction of the sound and saw the Pterodactyl-the point of this expedition. It looked at us one by one. I closed my eyes hoping it wouldn't screech. It did. "Ah! Run! It's gonna eat us for lunch!" said many Lupes in unison. They started running around in circles.

"Stick together! Believe me. You'll be a lot safer that way. No sudden movements or loud noises! You'll scare it," I said to them.

"Us scare IT?" a Lupe asked. The Lupes began talking in lots of whispers, but stopped when the Pterodactyl starred at them some more. It wasn't screeching anymore. "Thank goodness," I whispered to myself. The Pterodactyl had calmed some. "Let's take notes now so we can compare them later!"

The Lupes had stopped stirring and settled. They fumbled in their backpacks and took out little notepads and ink bottles. They dipped a claw in the ink bottles and took their notes, writing with their claws, observing the Pterodactyl closely, which seemed confused. I smiled. "See? That wasn't so bad, now was it?" I asked. The Lupes didn't answer. They were busy admiring the Pterodactyl to talk. There were many numerous "awes" at the Pterodactyl's behaviour. All was going well.

But then, disaster struck. The Pterodactyl opened its wings and a Lupe got closer to measure the wingspan, but that was too close for the Pterodactyl. It hit the Lupe upside the head, and he was knocked cold. "Uh oh," I said in a voice shaking slightly. The Pterodactyl screeched at the top of its lungs. It was louder than I had heard from it from ever before. As a matter of fact, it was louder than ANYTHING I ever heard before was. "Let's get out of here NOW!" I shouted to the panicking Lupes. We rushed out in a dash for our lives. "You there! Help me carry the unconscious Lupe!" I ordered.

The Lupe I addressed didn't seem to want to do it, but did as I asked. We climbed the rope and raced out. The light that marked the entrance came closer and closer. My heart was beating so fast I probably couldn't have even counted the beats. I'm sure that was the same for the other Lupes.

I was one of the last ones due to the fact that I was carrying a Lupe. The Pterodactyl was still screeching loudly at that moment. When I approached the exit, it started to cave in because of the Pterodactyl's screeching. I shoved the knocked out Lupe and the other Lupe that helped me carry the knocked out one out of the hole, lunged forward at the exit, and leapt out in a blur of blue fur. I rolled over onto my back in the dried up ground panting hard.

Everyone was there starring at us. A rich Flotsam stepped up to me and asked, "Would you like to lead an expedition I'm planning into the Haunted Woods?" All the Lupes fainted.

"Sure. No problem. I even have a team assembled already," I told him. All the Lupes on the ground started having seizures the instant I said this. I just grinned.

The End

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