A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 182,656,530 Issue: 231 | 16th day of Running, Y8
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The Greatest Treasure of All: Part One


by kacheeklover3579

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Katrina the blue Kacheek sat on a Pink Tile Patio Chair in the yard outside her neohome, leaning back and enjoying the nice weather. She was surrounded by Sillie Daisies happily bobbing in the cool breeze. It was a beautiful, peaceful day. She looked up at the clouds and smiled…

     "Ouch!" she suddenly exclaimed. Her annoying neighbor Ricky, a green Ruki, pointed and laughed at her. He had tipped her chair over from the back.

     She sat up scowled at him. "You're such a jerk! Did you come over here just to bother me?"

      "No," he replied, "but I decided to work that into my schedule since I was here. I'm really here because Mum wanted to come over. Your mum sent her an urgent Neomail telling her to come over quick. She said she had really good news or something. Rita's inside with Aaron."

     Katrina liked Rita, who was Ricky's little sister. She was a sweet and cute baby Ruki, nowhere near as big of a pain as her older brother. And Aaron was Katrina's adopted brother, about a year older than her, a red Aisha. He could be nice when he wanted to be, but usually he just ignored her. Another irritating trait of his was always thinking he knew everything, never admitting that anyone besides himself was ever right.

     "I wonder what the big news is," Katrina wondered aloud. "Mum didn't say anything about it to me or Aaron." She walked inside behind Ricky to find her mother, Aaron, Rita, and her little Ona, Dreamer, sitting in a circle around the dining room table. Her mum looked as if she was about to explode from keeping an exciting secret hidden for too long.

     "I have some fantastic news for everyone," Katrina's mum gushed once all the members of both families were sitting down. She smiled at Ricky's mum. Katrina thought it was amazing that her mum and Ricky's could be best friends, but they were. No one ever would have guessed, considering the way their kids always argued. "Okay," she continued, and took a deep breath. "I know we've all been working very hard and that we all deserve this so much. So I got us all a vacation to Mystery Island for a whole week!"

     Katrina nearly gagged. A whole week to be spent together with her worst enemy? No thank you! she thought.

     "Isn't it great?" Katrina's mum said excitedly, and Ricky's mum joined in the little celebration. But Ricky and Katrina could not have been less enthusiastic.

     They started packing later that day, and they were to leave first thing in the morning tomorrow.

     ***

     When they finally arrived, the two mothers went to check in to where they would be staying for the vacation. They told the kids to go to the beach to relax, but they ended up on clean-up duty. They were told to pick up all the garbage on the beach. The grown-ups tried to motivate them to do it because they "might find a treasure" among the trash. Rita was the only one who fell for that, but the others felt sorry for her and pitched in as well. They ended up with a very large pile of random junk, consisting mostly of bottles of sand.

     When the mums came back, they were pleased at how much the young ones had done. They told them that, as a reward, they could go to the Cooking Pot and try a bunch of different combinations to make all kinds of pretty sand sculptures.

     On the way there, while dragging along a huge wagon full of all the sand bottles, they argued over what kinds of sand sculptures to make. Rita wanted the heart-shaped one, but neither Ricky nor Katrina knew how to make it, or any other kinds for that matter.

     "It's made with a bottle of red sand and one of black," Aaron brought up to his sister. "Duh, Kat, everyone knows that."

     Katrina glared at him and clenched her fists. It was times like these when she remembered and appreciated the good old days when she was an only child.

     They finally arrived at the Cooking Pot, where Jhuidah the Island Faerie gave them a warm welcome and greeted them with a sincere smile. Her beautiful bright pink wings matched the flower in her hair, whose petals fluttered in the island breeze.

     Katrina pointed to the bottles of sand that they wanted to mix.

     "Ah," said Jhuidah, "you plan on creating your own sand sculptures? Yes, those turn out lovely. I have seen many interesting types of sculptures made. Which ones will you make? Please choose two items to put into the pot."

     "Okay, red and black first," said Ricky, putting a Bottle of Red Sand and a Bottle of Black Sand into the Cooking Pot. The pot bubbled for a while, and then a Heart-Shaped Sand Sculpture could be seen at the bottom of it.

     Jhuidah handed Katrina their new item, congratulating them on their correct combination. Katrina then passed it to Rita, who smiled and giggled at the cute little heart of sand she was now holding.

     "Good job, children," Jhuidah said softly. "Are there any other combinations you would like to try?"

     "Let's try some pretty colors. Let's mix blue with purple and see what we get!" said Katrina. And with that, such a simple statement, an argument was started.

     "Katrina, blue and purple wouldn't work," said Aaron.

     "And why not?" Katrina asked, annoyed.

     "Because, as everyone knows, that isn't even a valid combination," Aaron replied very smugly and matter-of-factly. He knew he was right, and he wasn't afraid to announce it, even if it embarrassed his sister.

     "Well, who cares what you say?" Katrina shot back. "You know, you could be wrong."

     "Excuse me? I definitely know a lot more about things like this than you -"

     "Guys!" Ricky cut in.

     "What do you want?" yelled Katrina and Aaron at the same time.

     "I think I should decide the next combination."

     "And why is that?" asked Aaron.

     "Because I'm obviously the smartest one here. I also did most of the work picking up these bottles while you two lazy Slorgs sat around doing nothing."

     "What? I was sitting around?"

     "You were the one who took that twenty-minute break with that lame excuse that you got sunburned. First of all, it wasn't even that hot, and you look perfectly fine to me now!"

     "You should talk! You were the one who…."

     As the fight dragged on, Dreamer started softly pllllrrrrr-ing and burying her head in Rita's lap, wishing the yelling would stop. Rita kept quickly turning her head every few seconds to look at who was speaking (or rather, shouting) at the moment. Jhuidah simply sighed and shook her head, not believing how long an argument could go on that was started by something so trivial as an incorrect recipe. She knew she had to do something, say something to stop the pointless arguing.

     "May I please offer a suggestion to you, children?" she said, trying her best to stay calm.

     Everything was suddenly silent as the three bickering pets stopped to listen to the Island Faerie's advice.

     "All right, well, I have a secret recipe for you. No one else knows it but those who stumble upon it by luck, or those who I deem worthy enough to tell."

     The three leaned in closer to Jhuidah, eyes wide open, ready to hear the super secret recipe.

     "I see you are very… erm… enthusiastic when it comes to the Cooking Pot, so I think you should know," Jhuidah continued. "The recipe is for a Bottled Faerie. A Bottled Faerie can be created by two nearly worthless items. It is quite a good deal. Think of it: spending a mere fifty Neopoints or so to get two items, then mixing them here to create something worth a few thousand. Not much, right? But what if you do this every day? Your profits will be in the very high thousands, and you can get rich! ... Of course, you three wouldn't be interested, would you?"

     "No, we are, we are!" said Ricky loudly.

     "Yes, please tell us!" Katrina begged.

     "Well, okay then. The recipe is a Faerie Cake and a Bottle of Blue Sand. That creates a Bottled Water Faerie," she whispered in their ears.

     The words had barely left her lips when Ricky, Katrina, and Aaron zoomed off to get a Faerie Cake from the Island Market.

     Jhuidah smiled at Rita and Dreamer, who were left sitting there alone, and they smiled back. Then she let out a large breath of relief, glad to have the loud, squabbling pets out of her company for a while. Rita and Dreamer began playing quietly together as Jhuidah went about her business.

     When the three others returned with a Plain Faerie Cake, they wanted to see right away if the recipe worked. They tossed the cake and one of the bottles of sand from their wagon into the pot and stirred vigorously. After much bubbling, the liquid cleared and the pets peered into the pot to see their new Bottled Faerie. But what they found didn't exactly look like a Faerie…

     Katrina reached in and pulled out the item inside. There was a bottle, but no Faerie.

     Immediately Aaron and Ricky began to quarrel.

     "It didn't work! It's all your fault!"

     "My fault? How is it my fault? It's totally your fault!"

     "No, I told you not to get the Plain Faerie Cake. I knew it was supposed to be a Chocolate one! But noooo, you insisted on the plain one!"

     "Well, maybe it's not that! Maybe the way you stirred was the reason it didn't work!"

     "That's dumb! Why would it be -"

     "Guys?" said Katrina, who had been examining the bottle for quite some time now.

     "What?"

     "There's a paper inside." Katrina uncorked the bottle and took out the little scroll that was inside.

     "Who cares?" said Ricky. "I wanted a Faerie!"

     "It looks like a… a treasure map!"

     "A what?" exclaimed Aaron, as he and Ricky crowded around the bottle and the paper with Katrina.

     It was a map of Mystery Island, and there was an "X" marking the spot on the Tombola stand. There was a little inscription at the bottom:

     Cross rivers deep, climb mountains tall

     And you shall unlock the greatest treasure of all

To be continued...

 
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