To Be a Pirate: Part Two
Usi marched boldly up to the door of the Island Mystic,
Silvermist following timidly behind. Before knocking on the door, however, she
heard voices coming from the inside.
"Really? Off course you say?"
"Yeah," replied a rough-sounding voice. "So they've
decided to make a detour to Mystery Island, get some loot, y'know, afore heading
back by Krawk Island. Hurry up, old guy, I want to hear my fortune, I gotta
head back to the Revenge."
Usi gasped. Did he mean… the Revenge? The dark
ship that the evil Scarblade controlled?
"All right," said the other voice, slightly irritated.
"Ahem…you'll discover the hurdle you're struggling to overcome will be easily
taken care of soon. Now, you pirate riffraff-"
Usi, who was pressing her ears to the door, suddenly
sprang back. The pirate was heading to the door. She shoved Silvermist behind
the hut just in time.
"Usi, do tell me what's going on?"
The yellow Usul stared out from behind the shack
as the door swung open. She heard Silvermist gasp beside her. A pirate Shoyru
banged out of the hut and took off, flying into the trees.
"Silvermist, stay here. I mean it!" Usi hissed.
Ignoring the poor Kougra's confused protests, she took off sprinting into the
woods after the pirate. She ran furiously, knowing that anything connected with
the Revenge could be nothing good. Soon she came upon two voices, high up in
the trees. The small Usul froze.
"Just as we thought," she heard the Shoyru saying.
"That idiotic Kyrii does have his moments. This'll be the time to attack. The
Black Pawkeet is coming to Mystery Island. A hurdle easily overcome."
Usi heard cruel laughter up in the trees. She
bared her teeth, automatically feeling angry. Suddenly she realized what the
pirates were saying. The Black Pawkeet was coming to Mystery Island. She forgot
everything else the pirates had said. The Black Pawkeet was coming to Mystery
"Let's head on back to the Revenge," Usi heard
one of them say. "I'm sure the Captain will be interested in our report." More
cruel laughter, and Usi flattened herself against a tree as she heard two Neopets
take wing from above. Watching them, she could make out the pirate Shoyru and
another pirate, a Pteri. They flew out of the woods, speeding into the sunset
on the sea.
Oh no! The sunset!
Usi leapt to her feet. She hadn't meant to stay
so late. Dashing out of the vegetation, she stopped by the hut and Silvermist,
who was luckily still there.
"Usi? What in the world do you think you're doing?
Racing off and leaving me, I mean really. And it's late too. You have some explaining-"
"Come on," said Usi quickly. "Let's go home.
I don't want to get in trouble."
While Silvermist spluttered in annoyance, Usi
grabbed her friend's paw and pulled her forward, forcing her into a run.
"I don't believe you, Usi," Silvermist panted.
"You are crazy. Now you're all worried about getting in trouble. I do think
you're just about the least sensible Neopet on Mystery Island."
As Silvermist continued scolding, Usi paid no
attention. There was another reason she didn't want to get in trouble now. Thaliana
might keep a closer eye on her, and that would mess up everything. A plan was
forming in her mind.
Soon they came to the marketplace. It was as
busy as ever. The Grarrl who Usi had spoken to before looked like he wanted
to say something, but they sprinted past before he could. Moving quickly, the
two Neopets hurried past the shops and into the trees. The remaining rays of
sunlight pierced the foliage, giving a little light to their path. Quickly they
burst out of the forest, stopping by their Neohomes.
Usi grabbed Silvermist's paw. "Y'see that rope
hanging out of my window? Go to the bottom of it at six o' clock tomorrow morning,
kay? Please, Silvermist, you know I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't something
"Really important, not real important," Silvermist
"Oh, whatever, you will come, right?"
Silvermist looked at the sky anxiously. "Oh,
fine. But this had better be good."
"It is!" insisted Usi, relieved. "See you tomorrow!"
Usi left Silvermist standing by her house. The
yellow Usul ran over to the rope beneath her window, climbing it rapidly. She
hoped that she could make it to her room before Thaliana came to tell her it
was time for dinner.
Near the top of the rope, Usi heard her mother
step up the stairs. She had guessed right. It was dinnertime. Usi tumbled through
the window just as the door opened.
"Usukishi! Stop playing silly games on the floor,
fluffikins. It's time for dinner! Wash your paws, brush your fur, and come down,"
Thaliana said condescendingly, disappearing out the door again.
Slowly Usi picked herself up from the carpet.
She glanced in the mirror and was relieved to see she no longer looked perfect.
Her fur was mussed and a little dirty. In irritation she yanked a hairbrush
through her fur and ran recklessly downstairs.
"Did you wash your paws?" Thaliana trilled. Usi
paused, turning toward the kitchen sink and dashing her paws through the water.
"I bet pirates never have to wash before meals,"
"What's that, cuddlykins?"
Usi hurried over to the table, taking a seat.
The table was covered with a frilled white tablecloth. Tall, sweet smelling
candles burned in the center of the table. Thaliana always insisted on eating
Usi bolted down her food as fast as possible.
She stood up loudly, knocking the chair backwards. "I'm done," she announced.
Thaliana sniffed. "Very well. You should ask
if you may be excused, however. Push your chair back in, and take your dishes
to the sink."
Impatiently Usi gathered up her plate, silverware
and cup and kicked her chair back into position. She moved over to the kitchen,
dumping her dishes unceremoniously into the sink, then dashed up the stairs
"Go to bed!" Thaliana yelped up the stairs.
Usi paused. She'd need her sleep, and she'd make
sure to wake up early tomorrow morning to get ready. And it was dark out. Usi
flicked the light off and crawled into bed. Lying quietly in the dark, her mind
racing, Usi found it impossible to fall asleep.
The next morning, Usi woke with a start. She
hadn't realized she had really fallen asleep. Worried for a second she had woken
too late, Usi looked out the window and noted with relief it was still fairly
dark out. She glanced at the clock. 5:57, it read. Usi lay still, heart pounding,
until the time flicked to 6:00. Then she slipped out of bed and peered eagerly
out the window. A small figure was approaching the house.
It was Silvermist. The nervous Kougra darted
over, coming to a halt below Usi's window. "Usiiiiii," Silvermist hissed. "Are
you up there?"
"Yup," whispered Usi as loudly as she dared.
"Climb up the rope."
Silvermist blinked in the dark, her ears going
back. "And how am I supposed to do that?"
Usi sighed. She swung herself with practiced
ease out onto the slim rope, climbing down speedily. The small yellow Usul jumped
the last few feet and landed nimbly on the ground.
"Y'gotta come up, Silvermist," Usi whispered.
"I need your help. C'mon, it's easy. I'll stay behind you."
Silvermist looked anxiously at the Usul. "Oh,
all right," she said finally. "This is dumb, though. How do I do it?"
"Just…jump up on the rope, grab it with your
paws, and pull your way up."
Silvermist made a clumsy leap at the rope, clinging
to it rigidly.
"Relax your grip," Usi instructed. "You'll never
move that way. Now, I guess…just inch up it."
Fraction by fraction, Silvermist began climbing
up the rope.
"This is simply idiotic, Usi," she grumbled.
"My claws are going to get wrecked."
Ignoring her friend's complaints, Usi waited
patiently until there was enough room for her to scurry up. It seemed like an
eternity until Silvermist reached the top and tipped inside the room. Usi was
up the rope in a moment, clambering up to perch on the windowsill.
"You okay?" she asked, trying not to laugh. Silvermist
gathered herself up from the floor.
"The proper use of words would be, 'Are you okay'
not just 'you okay'. And I'm fine, apart from a small loss of dignity."
Usi rolled her eyes at Silvermist. "Oh, whatever.
I gotta tell you something."
She sprang from the windowsill to the bed. A
faint, misty light was beginning to show on the horizon now.
"Silvermist," Usi began. "Yesterday, when I followed
that pirate, I heard him talking in the woods. He said- he said the Black Pawkeet
was coming to Mystery Island!"
"Oh no," said Silvermist in dismay. "I'll have
to make sure not to wear any jewelry outside for a while."
"No, Silvermist, that's not the point!" Usi said
impatiently. "The Black Pawkeet is Garin's ship. Garin! He's a great pirate!"
"Good for him," said Silvermist disdainfully.
Usi could see she wasn't getting anywhere.
"See, Silvermist…" Usi paused. "I'm gonna run
away to join Garin's crew and become a pirate!" she said quickly.
There was a silence in the bedroom. Then Silvermist
"Of all your dumb ideas, this is the stupidest
yet," she hissed. "You can't do that! What about Thaliana? What about me? And
no pirate would want a girl in his crew anyway. And it's way too dangerous.
The ship could sink, and a million things could happen, and how could you be
a pirate, Usi? Pirates steal. That's bad!"
"Think of the adventure, Silvermist!" said Usi
excitedly, hopping on her bed. "Sure we might loot a little, maybe a lot, but
only from those stuck-up rich people who can afford it. We'd search for treasure
and be out on the open seas… Thaliana can get a new toy. And about being a girl…"
Usi leapt off the bed, hurrying to pull out her
cardboard box. "Look at this!" she exclaimed, showing Silvermist her pirate
dress up clothes. "I could look like a boy pirate in no time. The only problem
is that I don't have a sword."
Silvermist jumped at this small chance. "Exactly,
Usi. You don't have a sword. No pirate is going to want a crew member without
"I'm sure they have extra swords on the Black
Pawkeet," said Usi confidently. "Don't you get it, Silvermist? This is my one
big chance. Otherwise I'm stuck here my whole life playing fluffy toy to Thaliana.
I don't belong here."
"Maybe you could try to get used to it," Silvermist
tried again. "It's fun here, Usi. You don't have to work or anything, all you
need to do is play. There's no danger."
"I like danger," Usi replied stubbornly. "I've
made up my mind."
Usi pulled off the big yellow bow on her tail
and tossed it on her bed. Taking a bandanna, she tied it around her ears. She
even found a big gold clip-on earring, and she fixed it to her left ear.
Usi snatched up the hairbrush from her dresser
and brushed her fur the wrong way up a couple times to make it less neat. Then
she took a pawful of dirt from the plant on the table and rubbed it into her
fur, making it dirtier.
"How do I look?" Usi asked, waving an invisible
sword at Silvermist. The Kougra made a face. Usi hopped in front of her mirror.
"Wow," she breathed. "I look like a real pirate."
"As if that's a good thing," muttered Silvermist.
There was a definite light over the trees now.
Usi turned to Silvermist. "I'm going to have to stay down at the marketplace
for the day," said Usi. "I'll wait until I see the Black Pawkeet. Then I'll
follow until it hits shore somewhere. If they don't let me join their crew,
I'll hide on the ship until they're out at sea, and then I'll just blend in."
Silvermist looked at Usi's determined face. "You're
crazy. You're really crazy. But…since you are going to do it anyway, I suppose
I can offer assistance."
"Thanks, Silvermist. You're a good friend."
Silvermist sighed again. "I'm a crazy friend,
that's what I am."
Usi leapt over to the window. "Let's go. It's
getting light out, and I don't want Thaliana to catch me."
"Can we take the stairs?"
To be continued...