The Maraquan Dream Catcher
The orange Gelert was running. He had been ambushed by a
brown Skeith and a shadow Korbat, and, when they threatened him, he scampered.
He was too busy looking over his shoulder to notice the cliff he was about to
dash off of. The Gelert's breathing was labored as he smiled at the fact that
he could outrun his pursuers. But his dreams were short-lived, as he realized
there was nothing to run on. He flailed his arms as he fell forward, down and
down to the sea.
"Isca, Isca! Wake up!" someone said, shaking
Isca from her slumber. Isca sat up, her heart beating very fast. She had been
the Gelert, felt his fear… "Isca, what's wrong? You were yelling in your sleep."
Isca looked to her sister, Caylis, who had awakened her. The Maraquan Aisha's
eyes were clouded with worry.
"I don't know… I mean, I'm not sure." She had
a bad feeling that today would be a dark day for that poor Gelert. Isca could
see the future in her dreams, and this was not the first time she had dreamt
about the surface dwellers. But usually she saw only good things. Caylis was
the one who could see the future through her nightmares.
"What did you dream about, Isca?" Isca felt
the bed dip as Caylis sat down on it. Isca stared, as the morning sunlight filtered
through the water in their home, then sat up and tucked her white hair behind
her ears as she relayed her vision.
"That poor Gelert…" Isca said when she finished.
Caylis looked unsure.
"That's out of the ordinary, though. I'm the
one who foresees misfortune."
"Yeah, I know. Maybe I should talk to Garin
about this. He might be able to lend a hand."
"But it was merely one bad dream, Isca." Caylis
tried to meet her sister's gaze, but she avoided it. "Right, Isca?"
"Well, no…" Isca said as she fiddled with the
edge of her shirt. "I've been having them more often lately."
"I doubt that Garin will be able to help," Caylis
sighed, "but if it will make you feel better to see him and Jacques, go ahead.
And no," she added, seeing the look on Isca's face, "I'm not going with you.
Me being there would just make you nervous."
Isca nodded, more to give surety to herself
than to dismiss Caylis, and rose from her bed.
"See you later, then," said Isca as she hugged
her sister good-bye. Then she swam out the door and realized that she wasn't
sure where Garin was currently pirating.
* * *
Isca was above the surface, looking at the horizon
for any signs of Garin's ship. She had been looking for a very long time now,
and, by the looks of the sun's position, it was getting late. And then she saw
it, The Black Pawkeet. Enlightened by the sight of Garin's vessel, Isca surface-dived
and swam towards the hull, which was quite visible undersea.
After reaching the ship's hull, Isca resurfaced
and called out. "Hey!"
Isca heard some shouts and feet moving about
onboard, and a red Kyrii pirate wearing a green sash appeared. Jacques.
"Oy! Isca, nice to see you!"
"Nice to see you too! How's the crew doing?"
"Burly as ever. Would you be looking for Captain
"Yes, Jacques, could you get him for me?"
"That I will." Jacques replied, and he left.
Isca waited a few moments before a yellow Usul pirate appeared. He was wearing
a necklace of seaweed, which permitted him to breathe underwater.
"Hello Isca, I have instructed Jacques to take
my place for the afternoon," he said, before hauling himself up on the railing
and diving off into the ocean. He surfaced next to Isca, and, when she submerged,
"You haven't been by in a while. How's Maraqua?"
"Fine, just fine lately."
Garin caught the uncertain look in Isca's eyes.
"Let's talk about what's troubling you…" Garin
said, and they swam to deeper, more private waters.
Isca and Garin were swimming by a coral reef,
Isca having just explained her frequent nightmares to Garin. A Maraquan Anubis
swam up to Isca, who scratched it under its chin. Garin gave Isca's story a
lot of thought before answering.
"Sounds as if you need a dream catcher."
"A dream catcher?" Isca said, confused. The
Maraquan Anubis yipped angrily when Isca stopped scratching its chin. He yipped
a second time.
"Yeah," Garin replied. "What, never heard of
Isca shook her head.
"Oh, well I thought you would have seen one
by now, what with all the tourism from that fishing hole in Old Maraqua."
Isca glared at Garin.
"Oh, sorry," he muttered. Isca didn't agree
with all the surface dwellers that fished in Maraqua's waters. Many of the captured
fish had been her friends.
The Maraquan Anubis, aware of being ignored,
swam off in a huff. Garin continued, "Well, dream catchers are small hoops with
a web of strings in the center. They are usually decorated with beads and feathers.
They're said to filter out any nightmares you may have -- if you hang them
"Sounds magical. Do they really work?"
"I should believe so! Want me to put one together
for you? I could get it to you tomorrow."
"Oh, Garin, would you do that for me?"
Garin nodded, and Isca became very excited.
"Well then, I will leave you to it. I want it
to be a surprise, okay?"
And, at that, they swam apart and waved to each
other. Garin headed to the surface and Isca headed home.
The next morning Isca awoke from another bad
dream, one of an Acara misplacing her purse. She tried to stop thinking about
it and glanced around the room, looking for Caylis.
"She must be out," Isca decided, not seeing
her sister anywhere. Isca got up and stretched, then sat at her vanity table
and brushed her hair. Then she left the house to do some everyday chores
before going to find Garin. Or maybe she would make him come to her.
First she decided to visit "Maraquan Petpets,"
the only petpet store in Maraqua. She swam through the front door, and a bell
sounded, letting the owner know that someone had entered.
"Why, hello there, Isca! Fine day, isn't it?"
said the Maraquan Elephante who ran the shop.
"Yes, quite lovely out. How are the petpets?"
"Good, good. Have a look around. Enjoy yourself."
Isca nodded and glanced around, smiling as she
saw all the happy petpets here. Ranging from Bubblebees to Mundos, there were
petpets here for anyone who could afford them. Isca swam over to a sad-looking
Marafin and picked him up and cuddled him. He smiled up at her. Isca took
him with her to a shelf and opened a bag of treats. At a glance from the shopkeeper,
Isca stated, "Don't worry, I'll pay for this." She took some treats out of the
bag for the Marafin. The Marafin wiggled its fins as it ate and when it finished
it gurgled happily before swimming away to have fun with the other petpets.
Isca checked the price of the bag of treats
and shook her head. Things could be so expensive. She dug some points out of
her pockets and paid for them.
Then she said to the Elephante, "I have no need
for these treats. I want you to split them among some of the other petpets."
The shopkeeper nodded, and she left the store.
"There you are," someone said behind her.
Isca turned around. "Garin! I was just looking
for you," she said as she saw him and his charismatic smile.
Garin nodded and said, "Close your eyes."
Isca closed her eyes.
Then Garin said, "Hold out your hands."
Isca did as she was told and Garin placed something
in her grasp. She opened her eyes to see the most beautiful decoration she had
ever seen. The dream catcher's ring was made from thin, indigo coral, and the
web of string in the middle was adorned with shards of maractite. Strings dangled
from the web, and at their ends were either more maractite, or seashells. The
sun danced over the maractite and shells, making it shimmer.
"Oh Garin, it's gorgeous!"
"Glad you like it," Garin said, and blushed.
Isca rushed forward and gave Garin a quick hug.
"Thank you, Garin! Even if it fails to work,
it will look wonderful near my window," Isca said, and let Garin go.
"Oh, don't worry, it will work."
"Oh? And how do you know that?"
"Because," he stated, "it was made with a very
vital ingredient. Friendship."
Isca smiled and nodded.
"Well, don't just sit there, go set it up, and
be sure to let me know if it works!"
"Of course, Garin! I will come and see you tomorrow
with the news!" Isca said and swam off towards home.
Isca awoke the next morning, light-hearted and
well rested. She looked up towards the window, where the dream catcher was hanging.
She had dreamt well the past night. The dream catcher had worked. The wind picked
up and the maractite in the dream catcher clanged together, producing a
beautiful sound. Isca could sum up the magic in one word. Friendship.