Ral and Teoko lay on their bellies in the warm sand. Today
was especially hot, even for their home on Mystery Island. The two Kougra twins
almost blended in to the bright green bush they were trying to find shade under.
Teoko, the younger of the two brothers, rolled over onto his back to stare at
the pure white clouds lazily drifting over the pale blue sky.
"Ral," he whispered quietly, not wanting to
wake his brother is he was asleep. "Ral, do you think Faerieland is up there?
I've always wanted to visit a kingdom, Faerieland, Brightvale, Meridell, even
Ral just stared at Teoko. "Keep your voice down
little brother, we don't want to attract tourists, and anyways, what would Melanie
say if you just got on a boat and sailed off?"
For a long moment Teoko thought. All his brother
said was true; he couldn't just get on a boat and leave, but the island seemed
so boring for him. Nothing much ever happened aside from the daily boatloads
of tourists and Tombola players. How nice it would be to live in a kingdom,
with brave kings and queens and knights. He sighed. How nice it would be to
be a king. He would no longer be Ral's little brother (he was actually only
a few hours younger, but Ral never let him forget it); he could be brave King
Teoko, hero of Neopia. They could add him to King Skarl and King Kelpbeard!
His thoughts were interrupted when a herd of
tourists ran by, chasing an unfortunate coconut JubJub. The brothers looked
in disgust at the path of uprooted plants and garbage that the tourists left
behind. It was a wonder Mystery Island stayed so clean and beautiful with all
the no0bs running about. Teoko looked sadly at a squished box thrown aside and
some tin cans and neocrisp bags.
"Ral," he said suddenly as the idea came to
him. "Do you think we could make a kingdom?"
His brother snorted. "Seriously, little brother,
we only have one room in our Neohome; it only has a sofa and a table and three
beds, one for me, one for you and one for Melanie. We aren't supposed to be
inside anyways, remember; Melanie wants us to get 'fresh air.'"
Teoko was silenced, but only for a moment. "We
still have the boxes that the furniture came in, right?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's behind the houses, but what do you
want giant white boxes for?" But before Ral got his answer, Teoko was already
running towards the Neohome to retrieve the boxes.
For a good part of the day the youngest Kougra
brother sat outside the island market with the boxes and a pair of Quiggle scissors.
He cut the flaps on the bed boxes so that they interlocked when they lay side
by side, then he cut the tops of them in half and pushed them to the sides to
make nice high walls. He used the sofa box as a tower to one side of the main
chamber and the box from the chair eventually became a draw bridge entrance.
When he was done, it looked just like a small palace, perfect for him to rule
Wondering where his brother went, Ral crept
around the island eventually finding Teoko next to his finished masterpiece.
His mouth dropped when he saw the structure that was as long as a normal Neohome
room, though only half as wide, and had plenty of space to move around in. A
sudden wave of jealousy swept over him.
"Ha! Little Teoko, king of the cardboard boxes!"
Teoko now looked up from his work of making
arrow slits (although he didn't have any arrows) and saw his twin brother glaring
at him. Angrily, he walked to the other side of his palace where the door was
and climbed inside to hide from his brother. To his delight, the inside of the
palace was even more spacious then it looked like it would be from the outside.
He could run in giant circles inside without even skimming the walls. He spent
the rest of the evening in his kingdom, daydreaming about what a fine and regal
king he could be. When nightfall came he carefully pushed his palace behind
his Neohome, so no one would find it when there wasn't a brave king protecting
Teoko woke at the first rays of sunlight the
next morning and hurried outside to his castle. He decided that it was safer
on the property so he pushed it to the furthest corner of the lot where Ral
and Melanie never came. He didn't want to worry about intruders yet. Then he
hurried back to the Neohome so Melanie wouldn't have to look for him before
leaving for the day.
To his great surprise, Melanie wasn't even starting
to leave yet, but setting three large plates of Mynci waffles on the table.
As they stood around the table and ate their breakfast, Teoko and Ral forgot
everything in pure bliss. The light, fluffy waffles melted in their mouths and
sweet sticky syrup oozed down their chins. They hadn't tasted anything so good
after the long time they had spent only eating omelettes, yet they still had
to wonder why they were being treated to waffles suddenly. Then, as if to answer
their unspoken question, Melanie spoke.
"I hope you all enjoyed breakfast," she said
perkily. "I've been invited to go on a tour of Neopia with my friend; I'll be
gone a couple of weeks, but I've left you loads of omelettes." She pointed to
the deposit box in the corner which smelled strongly of eggs. "I'll send you
a postcard, but I've got to go now so I don't miss the boat. Bye!"
The twins stared after her. Both were thinking
the same things. Why couldn't they go with her? She practically had seen all
of Neopia already just from doing her so called 'dailies,' yet they had never
even left the island.
Teoko was first to complain once she left. "This
isn't fair at all. I'd give anything to see all of Neopia, but we have to stay
here and eat month old omelettes." He made a face that clearly showed his dislike
Ral was still jealous of him and his kingdom,
though, so he sniffly explained that she worked hard to take care of them and
that she deserved a break, and then strode away. Teoko stared after him a moment,
then shrugged and ran out the back door to where his palace was waiting. He
imagined rows of pets lined up outside just to see him in all his glory, while
inside servants ran back and forth bringing him more waffles, but after a while
even the most creative Kougras get tired of imagining, and this was very much
the case with Teoko. He also noticed that his palace was very empty, so he went
out to search for some proper furniture.
Having lived on the island all his life, Teoko
knew just where to go to find various knickknacks: the tiki tack man's rubbish
dump. He remembered when he and Ral were young and went there to get the extra
plushies and acorn toys. He almost considered asking his brother if he wanted
to help, but remembering Ral's bad mood he decided not to.
The rubbish dump seemed especially full today.
The Kougra found many hularoos and Kougra plushies that would make great citizens
and servants; he also found a great amount of pots, vases, and bowls, and even
a coconut mask, an authentic grass skirt, a mini coconut god statue, and two
sets of island drums.
Teoko took many trips to carry all of his treasures
to the castle, but he was very satisfied once he did, yet he hadn't seen Ral
at all since he left. Not too concerned, he started to set up his finds. He
placed the vases in small arrangements throughout his domain, then he took the
last vase and turned it upside down like a table. He placed this at the bottom
of the tower and put the coconut god statue on it, a perfect altar to the coconut
god. After setting up the drums and lining the citizens up against the wall
he put the skirt on his head as a headdress and tied the mask around his face.
He danced around his palace chanting gibberish as a ceremony of luck before
his quest to Geraptiku for weapons. He lost track of time and soon the sky darkened
and the moon rose, so Teoko decided his quest would have to wait until tomorrow.
Inside the Neohome Teoko quietly went to his
bed so he wouldn't wake his brother if he were asleep, but Ral was nowhere to
be found. When morning came, Ral was still gone. Teoko shrugged it off, grabbed
an omelette, and went to Geraptiku. The city was dark and a harsh wind sent
shivers up the young Kougra's spine. He had only been in Geraptiku once, and
Ral had been there. How he wished his brother weren't mad at him. He pushed
on further into the deserted city. He heard a scuttling sound behind him, but
turned around to see nothing. Once at the base of the deserted tomb he started
to climb. Inside the tomb was dark and musty. He grabbed a torch off the wall;
how he wished Ral were here.
For the longest of times Teoko continued on,
not knowing how he would find his way back out. Suddenly he bumped into a large
box. He excitedly lifted the lid and grabbed his treasure. Inside was an obsidian
dagger, a codestone and 3,000 coins. He gladly grabbed them and then sat down
to eat his omelette. He danced all the way out of the tomb and back out of Geraptiku
(he couldn't remember how he found his way out afterwards). He hurried to the
trading post where a friendly Cybunny traded him a scarab slingshot and desert
robe for his codestone and coins.
While he was walking back to the Neohome, he
thought he heard something moving around in a small grove of trees. What he
saw surprised him.
"Brother!" he exclaimed. "I've been wondering
where you were! Have you been here all along?"
Ral nodded his head but did not stop looking
at his feet which he was splashing in a puddle.
Noticing something was wrong, Teoko spoke again.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
The Kougra looked up at him. "Teoko, why does
Melanie always leave us? Does she not care for us? I know it doesn't matter
to you; all you do is sit around in your little palace all day."
Teoko started to reply, but Ral suddenly flashed
his eyes, a look of anger on his face, so the youngest brother just backed away.
In his castle, Teoko tried out his slingshot, which worked very well. He also
tried on his robe, which looked quite nice and regal.
That night he was pleased to notice that Ral
was asleep in his bed. He got up early in the morning before Ral even woke up
to make sure he didn't make him angrier in any way. Teoko spent the day in his
palace. Because he had no arrows, he enlarged the arrow slits so that he could
shoot scarab stones out. He was working on making a place to hang his dagger
when he heard paw steps outside. He peered through the slingshot hole and saw
a green Kougra passing by. Ral!
Ral heard a noise coming from within his little
twin's creation. He stopped to listen. Suddenly something came whizzing out
a hole in the side. He ducked, the projectile barely missing his head. Angry,
he went to retrieve it so he could throw it at his brother. It was a scarab
stone with a piece of paper taped to it, but when he picked it up he noticed
the paper said something.
You have been invited to a party at the palace,
Teoko eagerly opened the door for his brother.
He quickly gave the robe to Ral to wear while he put on the grass skirt headdress
and coconut mask. The twins took turns playing the drums and dancing around.
They laughed and danced until late at night, then fell asleep right on the palace
A few days later and the brothers still ruled
the castle together. Then a postcard came in the mail. On the front there was
a picture of the Tyrannian Plateau with Tyrannian pets running around. On the
back it said
Dear Teoko and Ral,
My trip has just taken me to Tyrannia. You
won't believe what happened. I have been hired as Jazzmosis' stage manager;
I'll be traveling with them the rest of the year. I love you both!
When the Kougra brothers read this they both
had a sparkle in their eyes, then got right to work with their shared, yet unspoken
plans. In only a month their small cardboard palace had been reinforced with
island stone walls around it and even a small moat. A new chamber was added
on where the blankets off of the beds made cozy sleeping areas. Ral's pride,
though, was a large grove of fruit trees which he had planted from seeds off
of the rotting fruit behind the island food shop. Teoko soon learned his way
around the Geraptiku tombs and they were able to buy more weapons and robes.
Melanie never returned, but why should Teoko and Ral care? They spent many years
of happiness in the kingdom they came to know as Arthen, and Teoko never wanted
to leave again.