Saving A Life
"Alright guys, let's start from the beginning. Everyone
pick a partner!" the Flotsam lifeguard called out. Megan, a shy but gentle and
kind Maraquan Kau, immediately stepped beside Miriam, a strong-willed fun-loving
Island Koi. The two had grown up together and were the pets of two very close
friends (hence their 'M' starting names and three-letter K species). They were
indeed opposites - but like everyone says, opposites attract!
The two had been enrolled in one of the advanced
water lifesaving courses, led by the one and only infamous Flotsam lifeguard.
Everyone called her Miss, or Miss Lifeguard. No one knew her real name. Right
now, she looked at her class to see if anyone was left over. Thankfully, there
was an even number of students.
"Okay then, choose a victim and a rescuer between
yourselves. Then begin from the first step," she instructed. Miriam, being sly
and agile, quickly appointed Megan rescuer and promptly lay down on the sand,
looking up at the blue clouds.
"Area check…" Megan whispered softly. "No fire,
no wire, no gas, no glass." She smiled and then moved on, walking around Miriam's
body twice, yelling at her to see if she was just asleep. The Koi smiled as
she adjusted the flower on her head, and paid no attention to Megan, pretending
to be unconscious. Megan got down on her knees and tapped the ground beside
Miriam's ears. "Hello, hello?! Are you asleep?" she asked. In the background,
many other voices and fits of laughter could be heard from the other pupils.
Miriam smiled at her friend, who had now "opened her airway". Megan weakly smiled
back, and then continued. "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand…nine
one thousand, ten one thousand!" She lightly pinched the victim's nose and pretended
to give Miriam two breaths. After that, she counted to ten once more while listening
and looking to see if she was breathing.
Miriam chuckled and said loudly, "Megan, you
forgot to check my pulse for ten seconds!" The Kau's face flushed red and she
backtracked a step to check the pulse. She often forgot to do that, and Miriam
couldn't help teasing her for it. Soon they were finished with the CPR and breathing
session and went on to ice safety.
"Okay, who can tell me what not to do if you
break through ice and fall into the water?" Miss Flotsam asked. Several hands,
including Miriam's, shot up. "Go ahead, Miriam." Miss Lifeguard favoured Miriam,
since she was the only Koi in the class, of a native water species and she was
particularly good in swimming and life guarding too, with Megan close behind,
although Megan was but another charge for her.
"You shouldn't freak out, you should stay calm.
And blow your whistle, since you're always supposed to bring a whistle with
you if you're going to go on ice," Miriam stated proudly. Miss Lifeguard nodded.
"Yes, the young Koi is correct. Now, what should
you do next?" Megan timidly raised her hand, after Miriam elbowed her. Miss
Lifeguard pointed at her. "The Maraquan Kau over there," she clarified.
"You should try to break the ice around you
by hacking away at it," she said, her voice very soft and nervous. The certified
lifeguard and the other students strained their necks to catch her words.
"Would you repeat that please, young one?" asked
Miss Lifeguard, a little grin playing about on her face. Megan shrank under
her gaze and Miriam quickly answered for her,
"She said you should try to break the ice around
you by hacking away at it, Miss." Megan's eyes thanked her silently, and Miriam
"And then?" the Flotsam prompted. Another student,
a blue Jetsam, spoke up.
"Then you kick with your legs to keep yourself
on the surface and then slowly climb onto the ice, still lying down to spread
out the weight, so that you won't fall in again," he recited. The lifeguard
"Next you roll towards the shore still lying
down and if you fall again you just try that all over another time, and so on,"
Miriam piped up. The lesson weaned on, and after another tiring hour, their
owners came to pick them up. Before they left, Miriam was presented a plaque
which said, 'Best Youth Lifeguard Award of the Class' and an official certificate.
Megan also received the official certificate (which certifies that they had
passed the level and were somewhat a lifeguard) but no plaque. She was extremely
happy for her friend, but was secretly discouraged at the fact that she had
excelled so well while she had not.
"Megan, want to go with me to Happy Valley?
My owner wants me to do some quests for Taelia, but I can play around a bit
before heading up the mountain," Miriam's bold voice said, shattering her thoughts.
The Kau quickly shook out of it and nodded.
"Let's go home and get prepared first, Miriam,"
she suggested, turning around to follow their owners back home. The Koi grabbed
her arm to stop her.
"Nah, we don't need anything, just ourselves.
Our inborn insulators will help us keep warm," she said impatiently. "Let's
go, I want to go see the Bruces skate and then we can skate too, after the program."
Megan yanked her arm away.
"Miriam, come on! Don't you remember all our
classes? We have to always dress warmly when we go out in the cold or else we
could get hypothermia - Sneezles, D'achoo, Kikoughela, and the Neo Flu, too!!
Just to be safe, Miriam, come on," she coaxed. Miriam sighed.
"Ok, look, if you want to waste your time getting
a jacket, then fine. Hurry up, I'll wait for you over there at the bench," she
said, indicating a nice wooden bench underneath a shady tree. It was a nice
day on Mystery Island, and Miriam relaxed and took a rest as Megan made her
way home to get dressed.
Only after nearly half an hour did Megan return.
When she did, Miriam could barely recognize her. The reason why she took so
long was extremely obvious, and Miriam rushed to her friend's side.
"Megan, what have you done to yourself?!" she
cried, sitting her down on the bench and unzipping her outer wool coat. Megan
grunted and reached to pull the zipper back up. She mumbled something, and the
Island Koi looked at her weirdly. "Pardon?" Megan wriggled her head out of a
toque and said loudly,
"I said, I got very warmly dressed! Now can
we go? I'm getting really stuffy in here!" Miriam looked at her strangely, and
"Oh, for Heavens' sake, take off a couple layers,
will you?! It's not that cold up there! It's just eight times colder than it
is here, and Megan, you only need one warm coat. I don't even absolutely NEED
one. Here, let me help you," Miriam offered, still laughing. Megan hesitated,
and then immediately squirmed out of a jacket. Miriam grinned evilly and attacked
her head, yanking off hundreds of earmuffs and hats. Soon Megan's clothing was
reduced to two sweaters and a woollen coat, one warm hat, one pair of earmuffs
and water-proof mittens. The Island Koi wiped a drop of sweat off her forehead.
"Boy, Megan, do you dress like that every time
you go up to the mountain? Wow…"
"Well…no, but this time we're staying longer
than usual…" Megan whispered nervously. Miriam giggled and patted her friend
on her back.
"Well, come on, let's go. We should have been
gone a while ago."
The moment the two friends arrived at the cold,
windy but extremely joyous town of Happy Valley, the Island Koi rushed to the
slushie store. Before Megan could reach her she appeared back outside, with
two Bubble Gum Slushies. Miriam motioned for her to come over and handed her
one while she slurped her own. The Kau examined it slowly, and then made a face.
"Miriam, remember? I can't and don't eat or
drink anything to do with Bubble Gum. My allergy…?" she reminded her friend.
Miriam's eyebrows went up and she nodded.
"Right, right! I almost forgot. Here." In seconds
Miriam had snatched the drink from Megan's hands, went back inside the store,
and came out again, this time with a Pineapple Slushie. Megan nodded at her
thankfully and sipped her drink, savouring the wonderful taste. It was cold,
of course, but with her clothing on, it felt like drinking lemonade in the summertime.
Before she could take another sip, however, Miriam had finished and was dragging
her towards the ice rink.
"Come on, the show's gonna start soon! Hey,
there's my cousin!" Miriam cried. She let go of Megan's arm and ran towards
an Electric Bruce. The Maraquan Kau looked after her, and then sighed. She found
two empty seats in the stands and resumed sipping her drink, waiting for the
Koi to return. But the show started - and Miriam still wasn't there! Megan decided
she was probably still talking to her cousin, so she stayed there. It was hard
to see the performers, but listening to the background music and the cheers
were enough. The show ended and there was still no sight of Miriam. Groaning,
Megan threw away the plastic slushie cup and then walked around the rink to
see if Miriam could be any where. It wasn't until an hour and a half of searching
did the two find each other again. Megan had circled the rink and the area around
thousands of times, and was just sitting down to rest when she saw something
running towards her in the distance. As the object came into view, she could
tell it had to be Miriam! She ran towards her as well, and they met midway.
"Megan!" they both said at once, their faces
filled with relief. Miriam laughed and then looked at the Kau seriously.
"Megan, where were you? I was looking everywhere
for you - the shops, the ice cream cart, the advent calendar, the Merry Outfits,
the gift tag place, every place! And this rink millions of times too!" Miriam
cried. Megan gaped.
"What?? I was at this rink the whole time, looking
for YOU! Where were you?!"
"Me? I was sitting in the front row over there
with my cousin! He's one of the performers in the next show!" she explained,
indicating a different stand. "I saved a spot for you, but I didn't know where
"I saved a spot for you, but you didn't show
up! You're supposed to tell me and find me so I'll know, Miriam! You don't just…just
SIT there and assume I know where you are!" Megan roared, her shyness disappearing,
her voice rising. Miriam's jaw dropped and her eyes flared.
"What?! You were supposed to be behind me! You
don't just GO off without letting me know!" she retorted, her face turning red
from anger. The two breathed heavily with overflowing anger. Megan was the first
to speak again this time.
"Well, you know what, MIRIAM?! I don't want
to go skating with you. If you want to go, go by yourself. I'm going home!"
she declared, turning around furiously. Miriam yelled after her,
"See if I care! I wouldn't want to skate with
you anyways! Oh, and I don't want to be friends anymore…farewell, EX-BEST FRIEND!!"
She turned around as well, and stomped away. Seeing that since she had spent
her time looking for her ex-best friend the whole rink was busy and filled,
she moaned and began trudging up the mountain, dragging her skates. But just
as she began the ascent, she spotted a little frozen pond nearby. Not a single
Neopian was there, and there were also nice little tree stumps around it. Miriam
joyfully skipped to the pond, and quickly strapped on her skates. Then she stepped
eagerly onto the ice.
Meanwhile, Megan was sniffing back tears as
she walked towards the base of the mountain. Yes, she intended to go home, but
she wanted to rest and think it all over before leaving. She had been best friends
- almost sisters - with Miriam since their creation, and never had they ever
fought. Not even once. Well, maybe a few times over what game to play or what
to do, but those were just minor verbal arguments. As she sat down on a snow
mound, a piercing, terror-filled shriek cut through her thoughts, making her
spring up in alarm. Her kind hormones kicked in, and in a flash she was sprinting
towards the direction in which the scream had come from. No one else heard -
it was noisy and bustling, with visitors and citizens alike running about. No
one really cared, either - they were busy. Besides, maybe it was just a joke,
like the Boy Who Cried Lupe…or something.
Megan stopped when the cries did, and listened
carefully. Amid the hustle bustle, she heard splashing of water. She frowned.
Water? 'No, it's too cold, all the ponds should be frozen…but perhaps I should
look and check just in cause, just to be safe…' Megan thought. She followed
the splashing; pausing every so often to make sure she was headed the right
way. Soon she came to a clearing, and the sight bedazzled her. There, in front
of her, was a small but reasonably large pond, one that hadn't completely frozen
over yet. How could she tell, you ask? Well, there were hundreds of tiny cracks
leading from the shores to the middle, each crack growing larger and larger.
And who was flapping around wildly, going under the water, and then bobbing
back up crying?
"MIRIAM!!" she yelled. By one look she could
tell that the Koi was weakening. Her skin was now pale and bluish, and her cries
were getting quieter and quieter. Without even thinking, she jumped out of her
coat, pulled off a sweater (she did this because she knew the clothes would
only make the rescue work slower) and ran to the side of the pond, not daring
to get on it. The exhausted Koi was shivering like crazy, and her terror-stricken
face was turning deathly white and blue. She opened her eyes momentarily to
look at Megan.
"Help me…" she breathed. Megan looked around
desperately for something to give her to hold onto while she pulled her in.
She was close enough to reach with a long stick. Then she spotted a long fallen
branch, covered in a new layer of snow. Rushing and heart pounding, she quickly
dragged it along to the shore, and brushed off most of the snow. Then she heaved
it onto the pond, and the impact of its weight broke the thin ice immediately.
For a moment Megan thought it was still too short to reach Miriam, but it was
that second when she felt a strong weight on the other end. She saw the weak
Koi use her last bits of strength to pull herself onto the floating branch.
"Hold on tight, Miriam! Stay with me, don't
go!!" Megan cried. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she pulled hard and
long to finally get Miriam into arm's reach. Lifting her and supporting her
weight the best she could, Megan laid her friend's now frail body down on top
of the sweater she had taken off earlier. Quickly the Kau covered most of Miriam's
shivering structure with her long wool coat. It was indeed warming her up, but
still not enough. Megan now reran the lifesaving classes through her head quickly
as she tilted Miriam's head up and opened her mouth to clear her airway. The
Koi's eyes were now closed, and after checking for ten seconds, Megan decided
that she wasn't breathing. Scared now, she gave her two real breaths. Then she
counted again and did the cycle for another while…and then she found out that
the breaths actually worked! Miriam's eyes fluttered open and she smiled weakly
as she said, her voice barely above a whisper,
"You forgot to check my pulse…"
* * *
A few weeks later, Megan stood onstage wearing
a bright smile, with a shiny Lifesaver medal around her neck. In the audience
were hundreds of Neopians and of course, her owner, family and friends.
"Today we are gathered to honour a very brave
young Maraquan Kau, who, despite the bitter cold and a recent argument with
the victim, saved her friend from the ice cold waters of a half-frozen pond.
She revived the other young pet, and kept her alive by taking her own winter
clothes off to warm up the other. When the paramedics came, her friend was immediately
taken off to the hospital, and this very Kau was also examined and found ill
with a mild form of hypothermia. Thankfully she was only the doctors' care for
a few days, and was soon returned triumphantly and joyfully to her family. I
give you, Megan the Brave Maraquan Kau!" the Neopian official cried gleefully.
The crowd erupted in cheers, and flowers and confetti and thrown up everywhere.
Miriam rushed onstage and hugged her friend long and hard.
"I owe my life to you," she whispered. Megan
"Oh, Miriam, it's nothing. I didn't take lifesaving
classes for nothing!" The celebrations went on, and after awhile, Megan gasped.
"Excuse me everyone, but I have to go, it's my lifeguard shift over at the Mystery
Island Beach! Thanks for everything and bye!" With that said, she was gone just
like that. Miriam laughed and, curtsying to the official, left quickly after
Author's Note: I really did take a lifesaving class before. All the info
about saving and ice safety is true…=P Comments appreciated!!!
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