Hannah and the Pirated Comic
The door of the Golden Dubloon slammed open and a Pirate Krawk ran inside.
"Have ye heard? Yooyus uncovered the door t' the pirate treasure cove!"
“I tell the truth and nothing but the truth!”
The crowd became excited, but the employees knew exactly what that meant.
“Oi, waitressy! Mo’ grog ov’r here, m’tank’s empty!”
“Yeah, grog us up!”
Hannah the Usul looked up from behind the bar, where she was reading a book about pirate treasure. She saw two large Skeiths banging their mugs against the table as they called for more drinks. “Coming right up!” she said, and quickly began getting another mug to satisfy her customers. She was the chamber maid at the Golden Dubloon, and a worse job she couldn’t have ever imagined even in her worst nightmares, though it was only because of one, or should she say two, certain aspects. “At least it pays the bills...” she muttered to herself as she filled up two mugs with foaming fruity drink.
“Here you are, boys.” She set the Skeiths’ beverages down and looked expectantly at them, her hands on her hips. “Anything else?”
“Nottin’, unless you can get dem Fontaine Sisters to bring us some grub,” the first Skeith said with a smile.
‘Why can’t I bring the food?’ Hannah thought to herself, but she said nothing. “Of course, sir,” she muttered, and went back behind the counter where she belonged. As she passed the two Aisha Fontaine Sisters, Loretta and Rosetta, she murmured, “Go bring something to eat to table six.”
Loretta, the older and prettier sister, smiled at Hannah and said, in a thick accent, “Of course, pot maid.” Rosetta, younger and slightly less good-looking but still jaw-dropping, smiled also, and she quickly conjured up a tray with a plate loaded with food from out of nowhere. Strutting, the two sisters walked to the table where the Skeiths were and set them down with a smile and a few words. The Usul watched them with malice as she shined a plate.
“Why does it always have to be about them?” she muttered to herself. They were the reasons that she dreaded coming to work every day. They were completely full of themselves and seemed to love themselves more than anything in the world, and any male Neopet that walked into their tavern would admit that they were the prettiest Aishas on all of Krawk Island (which, Hannah was glad to admit, did not account for much as the population of Krawk Island was mostly Krawks and other such pirate-like Neopets). However, for waitresses in a tavern, they went high above expectations in all areas, such as customer support, and they barely had to do any of the work while it was Hannah who was stuck behind the bar. Their boss simply loved them. Hannah had always dreamt of a much more adventurous, Fontaine-less tavern to work at.
As Hannah immersed herself in her thoughts, a strange Mynci carrying a large briefcase stepped up to the counter. “Excuse me?” he said loudly, and when Hannah did not look up, he started tapping the table. “Can I get some service?”
The disgruntled Usul looked up in amazement. “So sorry, sir,” she said, quickly getting to her feet. “What would you like?”
“A room for the night, please,” the Mynci said. He took out a small bag of Neopoints. “I’m on my way to the Neopian Times Office right now and my ship has made an emergency pit-stop here. I have some very important documents with me, so could you make sure that I have a room that few people go to?”
“Absolutely, sir,” said Hannah, scribbling down everything the Mynci had requested onto an Angelic Notebook. “And your name?”
“Mika Snowberry,” the Mynci said with a smile. As the Usul recorded the name and bent down to retrieve a key, the Fontaine Sisters smirked at each other and ran up to the man.
Loretta fluttered her eyelids and asked, “Did you say that your name was Mika Snowberry?”
“The Mika Snowberry?” Rosetta asked, pulling out a pair of puppy eyes. “Ten-time Neopian Times writer and artist of Totally Not As Pink As Your Spottiness?”
Mika, taken aback, had barely muttered a simple “Er” before Rosetta started screaming and Loretta shouted, “Hey, everyone! This is Mika Snowberry!”
All conversation in the tavern went quiet, even the two loudmouth Skeiths Hannah had served earlier. Then, there was a tidal wave of avid fangirl and fanboy shouts and screams as a horde of customers all rose from their seats and rushed towards the famous writer.
“Argh!” Just before the Mynci was trampled with autograph and pictorial requests, Mika quickly jumped under the counter with his suitcase. Hannah was still preoccupied with finding the right key.
“What are you doing, sir?” Hannah asked, amazed. She had not heard a thing.
“Listen up, missy,” Mika said, panting. “Just hand over a freaking key right now before I get mobbed!”
The Usul was amazed, but she knew better than to deny a customer. “Well, okay then, sir...” She took out a key to Room 13. She had been reluctant to give the key to the Mynci because it was right next to the Fontaine Sister’s make-up room. The Fontaine Sisters would certainly try to sneak into his room and see if he had anything worthwhile.
“Here you go,” Hannah whispered, reluctantly handing over the key. “Room 13 is just down the hallway to your left.” Mika snatched it in an instant and then quickly crawled away.
Rosetta and Loretta leaned over the counter. “You, chamber girl,” Loretta said, pointing a finger at Hannah. “Where’d Mika go?”
Hannah was about to give away the location of the new guest but stopped herself. “I – I don’t know,” she stammered out. She had always been a bad liar.
Luckily for her, though, the Fontaine Sisters instead took it as a combination of fear and shock. “Well, everybody,” Loretta cried, turning around to face the crowd once more, “We’re going to find that hunk of a writer!”
The crowd roared its approval and they began to break into small search parties to scour the entire Tavern for Mika. In the ruckus and general confusion, Hannah slinked away from under the counter towards Room 13.
She found the door wide open and Mika not inside the room at all. Cautiously, the Usul stepped inside. “Sir?”
“Aha!” The door swung closed, there was a shout from above and the next thing she knew Hannah found herself in one of the fishing nets that were usually hung around the portholes. “Gotcha!”
“What the – ” Hannah, disheveled, tried to untangle herself from the trap. “What is the meaning of this?”
Mika, with the briefcase still in his hand, jumped from his hiding place on the rafters. “So sorry, little missy; I thought you were a rabid fangirl.”
“What did you just call me?” Hannah hissed angrily. “I have a name you know, and it’s Hannah!”
“Well, I have a real name too!” Mika said. “You think I’d keep a stupid name like Mika Snowberry? No, that’s just my penname. My real name is Sir Lucas Roaring the Second!”
Hannah was not amused. “Right...” She sat down on a stool near the bed and suddenly remembered why she had visited the writer in the first place. “Are you sure you don’t want to leave?”
“Oh, no, I’m sure I’ll be fine here,” Lucas said with a smile. He was hanging the net above the door once again and stowing the briefcase behind the desk next to the lavatory door. “You don’t have to worry about me; I brought my own rations and everything. If you can just help me sneak out tomorrow with my briefcase, I might even recommend this place to my friends!”
“Oh, you really don’t have to...” Hannah said, feeling a lot happier and standing up to leave. “If you insist, though–”
Lucas, smiling, opened the door before redoing his net trap and climbing back to the rafters. “It would be my honourable pleasure.”
“Well, okay then,” Hannah said, and she stepped out of the room and back to the counter, feeling pleased with herself. The door swung closed. Little did she know that someone with large ears had been listening in her dressing room in Room 14, and was recounting the entire conversation between Hannah and Lucas to her sister.
At the counter, the mob of fangirls were still looking for the Mynci they knew as Mika. Hannah, bemused and in a much better mood than before, decided to ‘help them’ by saying that he had jumped overboard and was swimming towards the basement for a game of Krawps.
Many of the male customers gave her tips that evening.
On that same evening, Hannah was awoken by a shout in the night. In her room, Room 12, she cautiously got up, pulled on a dressing gown, and opened the door as another door slammed closed. In the hallway, Lucas was lying on the floor, broken. Next to him, his briefcase was open. A mess of colouring utensils and papers were strewn all over the floor.
“Lucas!” Hannah quickly ran over to the Mynci on the ground and helped him up. “What happened?”
“My – the – comic – gone – stolen – net cut – dagger – ” Lucas whimpered as he curled into fetal position. The Usul quickly ran into the bathroom of her room and got a cup. After filling it with water, she ran back into the hallway and splashed it on the Mynci’s face. He blinked and quickly regained his old manner.
“Thanks for that,” he said, beginning to scoop everything back into his suitcase. Sighing, he closed it and turned to go back into his room when he stopped. “Wait a minute!”
Hannah, perturbed, asked, “What?”
“You’re the only one that knew about the net trap – you could’ve easily cut it!” Lucas turned around and stabbed a finger at the shocked Hannah. “You were the one that stole the comic I was creating for Issue 300!”
“Wh - What are you talking about, L – L - Lucas – ” stammered Hannah, but the Mynci interrupted her.
“Please – call me Mika Snowberry,” Mika said forcefully. “Now: where’s the rough draft of my comic?”
“I’m telling you, I didn’t take it!” Hannah said with a hint of strength and defiance.
“I know you took it!”
“I did not take it! Why would I take it?” Hannah stamped her foot on the ground.
“Maybe you’re working for one of my competitors! Lady Jade? Kat? Tashni? Kami? Taipei? Who sent you?!” Many more doors were creaking open now at all the late-night commotion.
Hannah was nearly in tears. “I’m not lying to you, Mika! I didn’t take your stupid comic!”
“Oh, so now it’s stupid?!” Mika inhaled forcefully, as if he was going to blow a house down. “Well, I’ll have you know, little missy –”
Hannah’s temper broke. “Do – not – call – me – LITTLE MISSY!!!”
With that, she took the cup that she had splashed water on Mika with and smashed it on the Mynci’s foot. He jumped into the air, screeching. His briefcase was thrown and it opened again. All of the pencil crayons, pencils, papers, and other such artistic items flew into the air, released from their captivity.
Hannah knew who had actually stolen the comic. Furious, she ran over to Room 14 and smashed the door so hard it fell straight off of its hinges. She ran into the dressing room and just had to stop for a moment to take in her surroundings.
It was significantly larger than any other room in the Tavern and it looked as if somebody had splashed the entire thing with pink paint and then added scraps of pink tissue paper to everything. The two twin beds were completely covered with lace and larger than Hannah’s entire room. One of the walls was simply a large mirror with a desk in front of it. The wall furthest away from the door ceased to exist and instead the room opened on to a patio with a large plank on it. Hannah had never seen the room before, though she had seen the plank before. However, she had never seen the plank like it was at that very moment, because on it was two smirking Aishas, a piece of paper in the Green one’s hand.
“I knew it!” Hannah screamed. “Loretta; Rosetta; you were the ones that stole the comic!”
“Thanks for the update, Miss Obvious,” Rosetta said.
“Looks like she’s finally figured something out – now she just needs to figure out her clothing!” Loretta giggled, and she and her sisters’ smirks grew even wider.
“You give that back right now!” Hannah said, ignoring the comment about her dress, which she had picked up from the Money Tree.
“Maybe you should try and take it from us!” Rosetta shouted, and then she turned around and jumped off of the plank, followed by her sister. Hannah, shocked, ran to the patio and looked down.
There, many meters down, was a yacht that was prepared to depart with haste. The two sisters were now waving to Hannah, and Loretta was screaming, “We’ll never have to work at this dump ever again! The Neopian Times Writers’ Association’s Mika Snowberry Department will pay dearly for this!” Cackling, the two sisters drove off into the night.
Hannah, in a furious rage, sat on a Green Reclining Chair on the Patio. Realizing that it probably belonged to Loretta, she stood up again and threw the chair over the deck. She knew that she couldn’t stay at the Golden Dubloon anymore. She had harmed a guest voluntarily and might even get questioned by the Defenders. Hannah knew that she would also be accused for actually stealing Mika’s rough draft for his Issue 300 comic strip, since Hannah had no evidence to prove that the perpetrators were actually the Fontaine Sisters.
As the Usul leaned on the railings of the patio and looked down, she saw an underwater cave. She recalled what that pirate had said earlier that day about the pirate cave. Hannah also remembered about the book she had been reading. Could it be?...
Hannah heard shouts from behind her and realized that the Defenders were probably at the crime scene at the moment. One of them saw and her and said to his fellows, “Look! There’s the vermin that stole our beloved Mika Snowberry’s rough draft for his comic that he was writing for Issue 300! Get her!”
Knowing that there was only one way out, Hannah climbed on to the plank and jumped off. She was extremely good at jumping; one had to be to work at the Golden Dubloon. The Usul rolled herself into a ball and hit the water with a large splash. Having taken a breath, she could last under the murky depths for nearly half a minute, and that was how long it took her to reach the mouth of the cave.
The air was murky inside. As she set off to begin the adventure of a lifetime, she remembered Mika and fought back tears. What if she actually found treasure? Would she leave the cave, organize a search party, find the Fontaine Sisters, and return the comic back to Mika?
No; she knew that she would never be able to do that as long as she was a convicted criminal. Her entire body shook as she faced such a revelation. As quickly as she could, Hannah ran into the darkness, finally feeling like she was free.