A Bad Dream
"Come on, Chili, is that the best you got?"
I glared. I flashed my wooden sword dangerously,
and Pepper backed up again, only to press forward again two seconds later. I
had one thing on my mind: To prove my worth.
I was momentarily distracted as a Buzzer buzzed
in her face, distracting me. I shooed the critter away, and it stung me. I yelped
but tried to fight again, hoping that those crucial two seconds hadn't given
Pepper the upper hand.
But it had. Pepper pretended to stab me with
her fake sword. I let out a fake gasp of surprise and fell over, my eyes closed,
tongue hanging out. I felt her bend over me and peeped one eye open. When I
saw she was watching me, I closed them again.
"Hmmm, looks like my opponent has fallen," she
said with sarcasm. I almost giggled, but managed to look dead. "Well, I guess
that there would be nothing wrong with me putting MAKEUP on her!"
I jumped up with my eyes wide open.
"Ok, ok! You win! Don't put that stupid blush
I eyed the pink blush she was pulling out of
her shirt pocket that she had got on half price day from the Uni. She smiled
happily as she put it back in her pocket.
"Ha. No matter how hard every pirate acts, they
are a total softie about makeup."
I gave her a glare.
"You know why I hate makeup, and that's not it,
She frowned. Her eyes shone. Pepper was like
the perfect Gelert. She was spotted, black and white, and her behavior spoke
"I'm just kidding, sweetie. You need to buy a
sense of humor."
"Sorry," I apologized. "I just was raised this
All of a sudden, my owner popped out of nowhere.
My stomach flipped over. She HATED when I pretended to be a Pirate. It's a long
She looked unhappily at me. Her eyes took in
the wooden sword, the sting the Buzzer had given me, and how exhausted I was.
Her face turned from unhappiness to anger as she glared at me. Her voice was
soft, but it was shaking with anger.
"Chili. You. Here. NOW."
I shuffled over, my eyes on the floor, not daring
to look up into her blazing eyes. My owner turned to look at Pepper.
"I think you better go home now, Pepper. Chili
and I have to have a talk."
"Yes, Ms. Invincible."
Pepper miserably bent down and took her two wooden
swords, fighting back tears. I felt awful. WHY did my owner always have to ruin
the fun? Pepper walked in the opposite direction, toward her house, her back
slumping and sad. My owner turned her attention back to me.
"Chili, you know this is forbidden."
I rolled my eyes. Another lecture coming my way.
"Don't roll your eyes at me, young lady. You
know I am doing this for your own good. Remember what happened last time you
engaged in piracy?"
I did. Way too well. For once, I interrupted
"Yeah, so what? Not my fault that Lupe was an
My owner gave me a look of such anger I flinched.
She continued her voice a bit louder.
"Chili, don't be this way. He was not an idiot,
he was smarter then you will ever be. He kept you away from piracy and showed
you how it makes you mad. Pirates are bloodthirsty, cold, ruthless, and mean.
Do you really want to be that way?"
She sighed. She lifted my chin and looked gently
into my eyes. She continued in a light voice, much unlike the firm one I was
"Chili, sweetie, I want what's best for you.
I don't want you to turn evil. You're the only one I have, and I want it to
stay that way."
She looked close to tears. I put my hand on her
"It's ok, ma. I promise, no more Pirates."
She smiled and picked me up in her arms and twirled
me around. The last time she had done that, I was just a newborn and didn't
know how to fly yet. When she put me back down, we were quiet for a long time.
I broke the silence.
"Let's go home, ma."
She grinned, showing her perfect teeth I wish
"Best suggestion you've had all day."
I flew lightly next to her, floating more then
flying. She kicked a rock in front of her and kept at it for a long time, until
eventually she got bored and kicked it in a puddle. When we went inside, she
"Chili, you know it's Friday, right?"
I was a little taken aback. So what if it was?
Of course, that's not what I said.
"Yes. Why do you mention it, ma?"
"Well, I was talking to Pepper's mother earlier,
and I mentioned I was lately loaded down with work. She offered for you to spend
the night at her house, and so I said sure. So you better get on over there."
I was a little surprised. I was happy to spend
a night at my friend's house, but my owner never made decisions for me like
that. I guess she thought I needed it.
"Ok, good night. I love you. I'll come home around
I gave her a hug and flew off to Pepper's house.
When I arrived, her mother was all smiles and cheerful.
"Hello Chili, darling! Great to see you! Have
you eaten yet?"
I almost flinched. Pepper's owner was a terrible
cook. I wasn't hungry, so I lied.
"Yes ma'am, I ate before I came here. I didn't
want you to have to provide for an extra pair of paws."
Wow, I thought. I'm amazing. That sounded
so true. I felt awful as her owner frowned.
"Ok, well then you better go upstairs and see
Pepper. She is a little depressed lately. She's stopped eating. I knew you could
cheer her up."
She gave me a kiss on the forehead and went back
to the kitchen. I flew down the hall to Pepper's room. I heard her cry. She
turned around and looked at me sadly.
"Ch-Chili. I d-didn't see you come in."
"I'm spending the night. Are you okay?"
She shook her head and I walked over to hug her.
She buried her face in my shoulder, and let her tears flow without apology.
I gathered up the courage to ask her what was wrong.
"Pepper, what's wrong?"
She paused, wiped her tears, and said softly,
"I miss the old you. The Chili that I could play Pirates with."
I frowned. How could I explain this to her? Forget
it, I thought.
"Let's have a sword fight."
She leapt up. "Really?"
I grinned. "Yeah, let's go."
We fought for a long time, until finally I "lost"
again. Pepper helped me up.
"Chili, you're one Shoyru of a fighter."
I smiled. The whole night we talked happily about
the usual. Owners, secret recipes, makeup (sadly), and overall girl stuff. We
laugh, giggled, and cried. This would suit me fine. Talking with my best friend
ever on Friday nights.
When we finally went to bed, I waited for Pepper
to start snoring. I reached inside my bag and pulled out my favorite book, The
Curse of the Pirate Aisha. My owner might be able to make me quit piracy, but
she couldn't stop me from reading about them.
I used my Night Vision ability and read about
sixteen pages when I heard a thump across the hall. I was a little scared, but
I got up and walked across the hall. I peered inside, but no one was there.
I frowned. Who made that noise?
"Hello? Anyone there?"
I heard something scuttle in the corner. A dark
shape flashed out in front of me, running to the side. For once in my life,
I was terrified. I tried to be brave.
"Who are you? Show yourself!"
I saw two purple eyes glow from the corner of
the room like two deadly balls of purple fire in the midst of a dark moon. I
shivered and a tall, shadowy figure swept over to me, her coal black body gliding
over the carpet like a ghost. The eyes stared hard at me. I could feel an aura
of evil protruding from the dark shape.
I breathed in frightened gasps. I stared back
at the eyes, trying so hard to be brave. I clenched my fists and shut my eyes
tight, sweat trickling down my face. After a minute I opened my eyes and saw
nothing there. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to go to Pepper's
I heard a scream. I stopped dead in my tracks.
It was a high pitched scream of pure terror, piercing the night like a dagger
through flesh. Coming from Pepper's room.
I flew there faster then I ever thought I could,
my wings leaving a steak of red and green behind me. My mouth dropped before
I could stop it.
It was the Shadow Usul. The Usul that everyone
knew about. The one that haunted every dark corner, every dark memory… Everyone's
deepest nightmares. As soon as her gaze met mine I shivered and all the happiness
from me was gone.
She wrapped her black, cold arms around Pepper.
Pepper screamed in protest, and the Usul slapped her arms around her mouth and
crawled down a hole in the middle of the floor. I heard Pepper's muffled cries
and I knew I had to follow her. I grabbed a sword from my bag first.
I flew down feet first into the dark hole. After
about a minute, my feet hit the ground lightly. I looked around and shivered.
The floor was made of dirty stone, and there
were pictures of evil villains everywhere. Dr. Sloth, Meuka, The Court Dancer…
All of them. I heard a scraping sound and whirled around. I saw Pepper in the
corner. The Shadow Usul was holding her, and Pepper was struggling to get loose.
She got her mouth free from the villain's claws.
"Chili, help me!"
I flew toward them, but she disappeared in a
cloud of black smoke. I coughed as the smoke flew toward me. It made me feel
tired and I didn't like that. At all. I looked around wildly, trying to see
where they had disappeared to.
There was another flash of smoke. But it was
red. I saw a chilling six feet tall figure I had only seen once before in my
Towering over me… Two yellow eyes hidden by a
filthy hat with the mark of a pirate. A pink scar near his right eye. The most
feared pirate ever to sail on the deep blue. Captain Scarblade.
His eyes looked down at me and the gold in his
tooth twinkled, giving him the look of a fearsome Pirate. He took out his sword.
The handle glinted, even though it was dark as a voidberry.
"Time for a rematch."
He slashed it at me and I ducked quickly. I pulled
the sword out of my pocket and flashed it at him. We flew across the cave, narrowly
avoiding each other's every move. He slammed me against the wall, pushing his
blade against mine, trying to get my neck. I strained against it.
The blade pressed slightly into my neck, leaving
a thin line of blood. I let out a small yelp and pushed the blade back toward
him, knocking us back into the center of the room.
This wasn't just a silly game my best friend
and I played with wooden swords. This was a serious fight between life and death.
There was no "pretending" to be dead. This was the real thing.
I slashed at Scarblade's leg and I met my target.
He let out a yell and aimed fiercely for my head. I blocked it and turned around
into the other direction. I had to think of something. My friend's life was
at stake, and I was getting more tired by the minute. Soon I would be out.
Without warning, he slashed at my side. I let
out a gasp, and this one wasn't fake. I fell over, but kept my eyes open. I
saw a bunch of dots. The last thing I remember before darkness closed in was
being brought into his cold arms and carried to parts unknown.
I woke up and rubbed my head. I felt like my
head had been banged against the wall, thrown around, and stabbed with a stick.
I blinked what felt like a hundred times before I could see again. I looked
around and realized in horror I was on a Pirate ship. For the second time in
Well, I figured, things can't get worse.
Boy, was I wrong. I saw Scarblade coming toward me. I sighed. When would he
leave me alone? But he stopped when he came to where I was.
"Hello, Chili. I knew you would come to help
your friend. Honest people are easy to fool."
I hated him. He started pacing.
"You have two options. You must pick one of them."
I was puzzled. What were these "Options?"
"One is, you can surrender and become part of
I glared at him. I was NOT going to choose that
one. I hoped the next one was better.
"The other one is that you don't become part
of my crew, and we hurt your friend here."
He pointed to his left. Reluctantly, I looked
over there. There was that Shadow Usul again. Hiding in the dark. She looked
as if the sun would make her melt. She held Pepper, who was unconscious. I tried
to think of what to do. Sadly, whenever I try to think logically, my mouth thinks
"Come here and fight, you pile of bones!"
Well, I figured, might as well. He leaped toward
me and we engaged in another fierce battle. He slowly gained the upper hand,
pushing me back into the stern of the ship. I don't think I was really up for
He had moved me to the plank. I knew what he
was doing. He was trying to push me over the edge. I flew up, but his sword
caught my leg and pulled me down. I yelped and fell face first into the plank.
I turned over and saw his sword try to smash into my face.
I quickly rolled over, just barely missing his
blade. I had enough time to fly over to where the Shadow Usul was. I used my
Magic Torch ability to knock the Usul out. She hissed as the light touched her
and ran off, dropping Pepper. I picked her up and Scarblade furiously snatched
I whipped my tail in his face, breaking his nose.
He howled and grabbed his broken nose, pushing it back into place. I heard a
craaaaack! Sweet Kreludor that had to hurt. But I was too busy flying away,
flapping my wings as fast as possible.
I felt a cannonball zoom past me. Rainbow Doughnutfruit,
does this guy EVER quit? I thought unhappily. Every time a cannonball was fired,
I could see it behind me for some reason. So I could keep dodging them in time.
Eventually they stopped firing.
I flew on and on. The aqua sea twinkled innocently
up at me. Eventually I saw the Rainbow Pool hanging lazily over Neopia Central.
I flew over to Soup Alley where Pepper's home was.
I flew inside the open window and set Pepper
down lightly on the bed. She opened her dark black eyes. They looked like two
swirls of dark black water reflecting the moonlight.
"Chili, what happened?"
I smiled. What lie could I make up this time?
"Nothing. Just a bad dream. Go back to sleep."
She closed her eyes lightly and fell into a dreamless
snooze. I picked up my book again and read as if nothing had happened. Miles
away, in Krawk Island, I heard an insane Pirate captain cackle evilly. Then
I heard a soft voice say, "You may have one the battle, Chili, but the war is