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Storm: Part Two


by hottamale0774

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A miracle happened. Keegan made one last attempt to poke his head out of the ocean, and he made it! He took a deep breath of glorious air, swallowing a lot of rainwater in the process. He knew he had to get back to shore; he barely had any strength left and he didn't know how far out to sea he had drifted.

     He started swimming in a random direction; he could still not see anything through the rain. As he swam, he was repeatedly dunked under by huge waves, but he was defiant and always was able to get his head back up. His body screamed in pain and exhaustion, but Keegan ignored it and just kept swimming, never getting the thought of Tasha out of his head. If Tasha wasn't waiting for him at home, he might have just given up this stupid fight against the ocean and let himself float to the bottom.

     At one point the rain stopped pouring so torrentially for about ten seconds and Keegan could see through it just a little bit. He saw a palm tree in the distance! He was swimming in the right direction!

     Just as the rain started pouring even harder than before, Keegan heard a scream to his right. He ignored it, thinking it was the wind. He heard it again, and this time it seemed human. Keegan knew he couldn't ignore it, and so he turned to his right and started swimming.

     The scream got louder and Keegan knew he was getting closer. He saw the outline of a figure that looked to be the shape of a thin human.

     "Can you hear me?" Keegan shouted as loud as he could.

     "Barely," the human screamed back; it was a girl.

     "What's your name?" asked Keegan as he swam closer to the girl.

     "I'm Kelsey. What's your name?" the girl, Kelsey, replied.

     "I'm Keegan. Kelsey, I want you to grab onto my arm and do not let go until we reach shore. Can you swim?"

     "Yes."

     "Then let's go."

     Keegan felt Kelsey's hands grasping his right arm as he struggled to swim even more now that he had the burden of the girl. Keegan was about to suggest she swim by herself, but he heard Kelsey crying and knew she would never be able to do it. Keegan decided not to ask the girl any questions until they got to shore.

     Every bone in his body ached by the time he was sitting on the sand, especially his right arm since Kelsey had been holding onto it. He sat, breathing heavily, letting the rain wash over his already-damp fur. He heard Kelsey also breathing heavily beside him. She had long since stopped crying, but she would give a little sniffle every few minutes. Keegan decided now was the time to ask her some questions.

     "Kelsey," he began, turning to face her, "why were you in the ocean during a storm?"

     Kelsey gave a little sniffle. "Right before the storm started my baby Kougra Lester and I were out in the front yard, playing with a ball, because I wasn't sure when we would get to go outside again. The ball rolled away and Lester ran to get it. I didn't stop him because he usually gets the ball if it rolls away and I wasn't worried he would get lost or something. That is, I wasn't worried he'd get lost until a second after he'd gone it started to pour. I waited outside for him to come back, but after five minutes he hadn't come, so I ran down the street calling his name. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and so I only knew I was in the ocean because I was underwater. I pushed myself up and was just flailing in the same spot for a few minutes before you came and rescued me, and now I'm here. If you don't mind me asking, why are you here?"

     "I was looking for driftwood because an article in the Neopian Times my sister read said to board up the windows during a storm. If I get out of this alive I'm canceling our subscription."

     Keegan and Kelsey laughed unenthusiastically for about a minute, and then Kelsey stood up.

     "Well, I've got to go find my baby," she said, pushing her wet blond hair behind her ears.

     Keegan stood up also.

     "You can't go! You'll be killed!" he shouted.

     "What else am I going to do? Leave Lester to die?!"

     Keegan sighed; knowing what he was going to say next was the stupidest thing he'd ever said in his life.

     "Kelsey, what if I said I'd go find Lester and you could go home?"

     Kelsey stared at him, her mouth slightly open.

     "You'd do that for me? I'm almost a stranger to you, and you're going to risk your life to help me?"

     "Yes, I will."

     Kelsey stared at Keegan for another moment, and then sighed and said, "Thank you, Keegan; I am forever grateful. When you find him just bring him to your house. We can meet right here on the beach after the storm is over and you can give him to me."

     Keegan nodded, making note that the place he would meet her was in between two tall palm trees; he could barely see their outline.

     Kelsey turned around and walked away. Keegan hoped she got home ok, and he opened he got home OK too.

     How should I do this? Keegan thought as he stood there, the rain pouring on top of him, thunder clapping, the wind wailing, and lightning streaking through the sky. I can't see anything, and I've got to rescue a little boy. I guess I'll just run down the beach and call his name; what else can I do?

     "Lester!" Keegan shouted, running as fast as the wind would allow him and making sure he didn't slip into the ocean.

     "Lester! Lester! Lester! LEEEEEESSSSSTTTTTEEEERRRRR!"

     Keegan stopped running. It might have been his imagination, but he thought he had heard someone shout, "Who's there?"

     "LESTER, CAN YOU HEAR ME?" Keegan shouted back.

     "I HEAR YOU! ARE YOU KELSEY?"

     "THIS ISN'T KELSEY; IT'S HER FRIEND KEEGAN! KEEP SHOUTING, LESTER, I'M GOING TO FOLLOW YOUR VOICE TO YOU!"

     "WHAT SHOULD I TALK ABOUT?"

     "TALK ABOUT THE MOST FUN THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU!"

     Keegan listened as Lester rambled on about something about going to Meridell and playing Pick Your Own. The baby Kougra's voice kept getting louder and Keegan knew he was getting closer. Suddenly, the voice stopped.

     "LESTER, KEEP TALKING!" Keegan bellowed.

     "MY THROAT HURTS REALLY BAD!" Lester called back.

     "DRINK SOME RAIN WATER! YOU NEED TO KEEP TALKING SO I CAN FIND YOU!"

     There was a pause for a few minutes. Keegan stood still, waiting for more talking to come. Lester started again, still talking about his trip to Meridell with Kelsey. Keegan continued walking. After about two minutes he seemed to enter a jungle. He could tell because it felt even damper in here, if that was possible, and he kept running into trees he could only see the outline of and branches. Now Lester's voice was very loud.

     "LESTER I'M VERY CLOSE TO YOU NOW! I WANT YOU TO JUST SCREAM AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!"

     "OK I'LL TRY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

     Keegan winced, but ran towards the voice. He followed the voice to behind a bush. He saw the outline of Lester sitting behind a bush, screaming. Keegan tapped the Kougra on the shoulder. He stopped screaming and turned around.

     "Hi, I'm Keegan!"

     Lester stared at his rescuer for a minute, and then jumped into the Lupe's arms, crying loudly. Keegan made shushing noises and hugged Lester.

     "Everything's OK now. We're going to stay in here until the storm is over and then we'll go see Kelsey," Keegan said gently, sitting down where Lester had been before and placing the baby Kougra in his lap.

     "I-I was so scared!" sniffled Lester. "It was raining so hard, and I couldn't see anything. I just kept running. And I tripped on a root and fell on my knee. It hurt really badly." Lester pointed to his knee where there was obviously a cut, but Keegan could not see it.

     "And then I got up and kept running. The thunder was really loud and it scared me and there was lightning in the sky! I found this bush and sat behind it and started crying. I was really tired and I wanted to go to sleep, but I was afraid if I went to sleep the lightning would hurt me!"

     "Lester, you've been a really brave boy; most kids your age would have been screaming and crying for their mommies. I want you to do something for me now," said Keegan.

     "What is it, Keegan?" Lester asked eagerly.

     "I want you to go to sleep. I'll stay right next to you and make sure no lightning hurts you, OK?"

     "OK, Keegan; night-night."

     "Night-night, Lester."

     Lester crawled off Keegan's lap and lay down on the cold, wet ground. Keegan sat, staring at the Kougra. He wanted to stay awake, and he tried to, but he was so exhausted he automatically lay down and closed his eyes.

     ****

     Keegan woke up because it was quiet; he was not used to that sound. He laid there, his eyes closed, for a few seconds, and then he snapped his eyes open. He gasped; he could see the bush in front of him. It was a pretty bush, decorated with pink and purple flowers. He hopped up and saw no rain falling! Looking through a crack in the leaves glistened with water overhead, he saw a blue sky!

     Keegan shook Lester gently. The Kougra sat up, yawning.

     "Lester, it stopped raining! We're going to go see Kelsey!"

     Lester hopped up, grinning.

     "Are you joking?" Lester asked.

     "No; get on my back. I'll give you a ride there."

     Lester hopped onto Keegan's back. Keegan started running to his right; he remembered walking left last night. His body screamed in pain with every step he took, but he did not care. He just wanted to be home and see Tasha.

     He was out of the jungle and on the beach. He saw that the sky was completely blue with no trace of clouds, even puffy and white, anywhere. The ocean was spewing out high waves and rough water, but that and all the junk on the beach were the only signs there was a storm.

     A few brave souls tried to surf in the water, and pets walked along the beach, throwing things they found into trash bags or depositing them in their pockets.

     "Look at that shiny rock!" exclaimed Lester.

     Keegan bent down to pick up the rock Lester was talking about. It was white and shone in the sun. He handed it to Lester.

     "When you tell people about this experience when you're older you can show them this rock as proof you're not lying," explained Keegan.

     "Wow, thanks Keegan! I'll keep it forever!"

     Keegan smiled; he doubted Lester would keep it longer than tomorrow, but did not say anything.

     After just a few more minutes of walking, he saw the two palm trees and sitting in between them, a skinny blond girl. That had to be Kelsey!

     "Kelsey! Kelsey!" Lester shouted when he saw his owner.

     He jumped off Keegan's back and ran to her. Kelsey stood up, waving and smiling. Lester jumped into her arms and the pet and owner hugged. Keegan walked up to them.

     "Thank you, Keegan! Thank you!" Kelsey said, tears in her eyes, hugging Keegan with her free arm.

     "You're welcome," Keegan said, wanting to get away.

     "Come home with us; I want to thank you with something else somehow."

     "Kelsey, I want to stay on the beach," whined Lester.

     "How about I meet you here later? I need to go do something," suggested Keegan.

     "OK, that's fine with me. Goodbye for now, Keegan," Kelsey said.

     "Bye!" Keegan called as he ran.

     He ran as fast as his tired and aching body would let him. He reached a small house with a purple Lupe looking sadly out the window, holding a Harris in one hand and a Mazzew in the other. Keegan ran into the house.

     "Tasha! I'm home!" Keegan shouted, tears in his eyes.

     Tasha turned, shocked, and stared at her brother. And then she put the petpets down, and the two reunited siblings hugged each other.

     "We're safe now. Safe forever," Keegan whispered.

The End

 
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