The Magical Coconut Mission: Part Four
Also by chivo
Phobic gasped in horror as the small satchel containing the magical coconut was snatched from him. He reached to grab it back, only to be met with the threatening edge of a jewelled blade. He didn't have time to consider who the poor soul the Gelert had stolen the amazing sword from was, unable to do anything but gaze in horror at the magical object now in the possession of wicked scoundrels!
The Gelert laughed wickedly and held the bag, turning to his crew, most of whom were a ragged bunch and none of whom looked like they were going to be assisting the terrified pets.
"Grab the Kyrii's earrings! And check their pockets!"
The crew snorted with laughter, taking whatever valuables they could find. Spectra hissed in anger as a nasty looking Peophin swiped her gold bracelet, adding it to the pile which also contained her exquisite necklace and earrings.
"You're lucky you didn't flee, pets!" crowed one of the pirates, a rather decrepit looking old Krawk, complete with a wooden leg and tattered eye patch. "The Captain had me load the cannon, ready to take care of you!"
Phobic glanced to where the pirate pointed and swallowed hard. One of the cannons was fully loaded, a flaming torch in a bracket on its side. Seconds more of resistance would have seen them all fired upon! The Gelert prodded the Bruce with his sword, causing the plump little creature to jump in indignation.
"You, Bruce! You manage that craft well!"
The Bruce blinked, no doubt a little surprised at the compliment. Spectra, standing nearby was giving the pirates a look of disgust, not impressed at being robbed of her jewels and valuables by anyone, not in the least dirty, rude scoundrels on a grimy ship. The Bruce stammered his thanks, looking a little awed.
"We could use a fellow like you!" announced the Captain. "What do you say?"
"Say?" squeaked the Bruce, confusion written upon his features.
The Gelert nodded slowly, his hook running along the blade of his own sword as he considered the three prisoners standing before him.
"Join us, and we'll have these two walk the plank! You'll live a life of riches, plundering the ocean's with us!"
Phobic looked horrified, gaping.
"Are you mad? He's not going to become a thief! He's..."
He was interrupted by the Bruce, who had an odd gleam in his eyes. It was one Pho had seen before in the eyes of the merchants within the Deserted Fairground. He knew it instantly; it was greed.
"Riches, you say?" murmured the Bruce in glee, no doubt visions of piled gold and gems dancing in his mind.
The Gelert smirked, nodding.
The Bruce laughed in delight, nodding.
"Sounds like it brings in more profit than sitting around waiting for tourists to hire my ship!"
The Gelert shook his flipper, laughing and raising his sword. It was a rather amazing sight indeed. The handle was solid gold and must have been rather heavy. Glimmering rubies and sapphires decorated the handle itself, trails of emeralds laced along one side of the silvery blade. The weapon must have been worth a fortune.
"A new crew member, mateys!" The Bruce too, raised a flipper and had a cutlass thrust into his grasp, which he waved around in a menacing fashion. It seemed he had taken to life as a pirate rather fast.
Spectra looked enraged, narrowing her eyes. She couldn't fathom why someone would consider giving up a life of honesty to travel the ocean with beasts such as this crew of rogues and scoundrels!
"You traitor! We paid you to take us to Mystery Island!"
The Bruce smirked and the Gelert gave a toothy smile. Several of his front teeth were missing, a couple of which had been replaced with gold implants. The sight wasn't a comforting one.
"Oh, you'll get to the island, m'lady!" he hissed. "But only if you can swim that far!"
Spectra gasped, glancing to Phobic, who was eyeing the lifeboat tethered to the side of the ship, ready for lowering. If they only had a distraction, time to lower the boat and escape in the confusion! The Gelert, satisfied with the new addition to his crew, finally found the time to reach inside the satchel, having to balance his jewelled sword in his hook and use his working paw to reach in. This was his mistake, for the magical coconut had apparently awoken and from the sudden scream emitting from the Gelert, bitten his hand!
Chaos broke out at this. The Gelert was yelling angrily, dropping the satchel and his sword as he waved his bitten paw around in agony. Spectra saw her chance, knowing they might not get another. She grabbed the flaming torch from its bracket and hurled it at the cannon. The flame connected with the massive structure, the cannon firing seconds later. The pirates, not bright to begin with, all went into panic, running around, the smoke from the cannon fire clouding the deck. Pho grabbed his chance, snatching the coconut which had rolled out of the satchel in one hand and the Gelert's jewelled sword with the other. He sliced rapidly at the ropes tethering the small lifeboat as Spectra flung the torch at yet another cannon, causing a second loud explosion and more panic.
The small lifeboat slammed down into the water, free of its restraints, the Gelert still howling in pain, his crew unable to work out what was happening with the smoke from the cannons clouding the deck, the small lifeboat already starting to drift from the big ship.
"Spectra! Jump!" screamed Phobic, hurling himself off the side of the ship and landing in the lifeboat seconds before Spectra. They each grabbed an oar and rowed furiously. Adrenaline kicked in. Phobic knew if there was ever a time to use every ounce of energy he had, it was at this second. The two pets rowed in a frenzy as back on the boat, smoke continued to cloud the pirates' vision, the screams of rage from the bitten Gelert echoing across the water.
Lighter than their original ship, the small lifeboat moved quickly across the water.
"Pho, we need to steer into the current!" Spectra called, franticly trying to row.
Phobic eyed the water. The rapid flow of the tidal ebb was going to be the only thing that could boost their speed enough for them to escape the ship. He rapidly steered into it as the pirate crew continued to run around in confusion, though the smoke was quickly clearing. They steered into the flow of the tide, the little boat shooting forward over the waves with the help of their frenzied rowing. They worked harder than ever before and within moments the pirate ship was growing farther and farther away until it vanished altogether.
Exhausted, they didn't slow their rowing. They were both frightened that if they even rested for a second their attackers would catch up. Both recalled the Bruce's statement about pirates never giving second chances!
They rowed tirelessly for what seemed like hours, only slowing when physically unable to keep up the pace. The ocean was still and misty, fog rolling softly over the water. Above, the sun was setting, Phobic finding himself grateful for the approaching darkness. In shadow, they would be harder to seek out.
The moon slowly rose amongst the clouds above. Phobic gazed out over the gently shifting ocean.
"I think we're lost," he ventured softly, glancing at his friend.
Spectra nodded softly.
"But we have the coconut. And the sword."
"We can sell it and buy you another necklace, Spectra. I'm sorry it got stolen."
She smiled softly, shaking her head and squeezing his shoulder.
"I don't regret coming, if that's what you think. This is the adventure of a lifetime, Pho. Selling that sword won't just pay for my necklace, it's going to assure we travel back to the Haunted Woods in style!"
The small Draik smiled wearily.
"The woods seem far away, Spectra. I dreamt of travelling and seeing Neopia, but it's been drama after drama."
The Kyrii laughed softly, and shook her head.
"Silly Draik. That's why it's called an adventure!" The two friends exchanged a smile, gazing out at the ocean. Endless water, lapping waves, peaking rocks...
Phobic blinked. Rocks? Rocks meant a coastline. He leant over the side of the boat, squinting hard through the mist, desperate to see any sign of land. Spectra too gazed out, her gaze tracing the rise and fall of the rocks through the rolling fog.
"It would be Mystery Island, wouldn't it, Pho?" she ventured worriedly.
Phobic squinted again, unable to see anything. The possibility that it wasn't Mystery Island was barely worth considering. The only other place that lay in the direction they had been heading was the pirate port of Krawk Island. If they washed up there, the scoundrels would no doubt have them handed back to the Gelert and his crew within a day, the result of which wasn't worth thinking about.
Spectra lifted her head, nervously watching the distance until something caught her eye. Floating in the water beside the boat was a long palm frond. It was slightly brown, and its leaves a little tattered and torn, but it was the sign they needed. The luscious green palm fronds, which encircled the beaches of Mystery Island, were known throughout Neopia. They were going to be safe, provided they could avoid being dashed on the rocks.
Wary, the two friends steered with caution between the jutting boulders which surrounded the Mystery Island coast. Finally the small boat washed up in the shallows and the exhausted pets stumbled from it. Spectra splashed through the shallows onto the beach, Pho following, though his eyes weren't on the boat, which simply drifted away again. He was instead studying their location in horror. The stories he had read always described Mystery Island as a tropical paradise, but the palms were now browning and torn, the sand looking almost grimy. The moonlight wasn't reflecting upon the sand. It instead hid behind the clouds, much as it did back in the Haunted Woods. Phobic gazed around slowly. He lifted the coconut from his bag so it could see.
The coconut's golden gaze surveyed the scene, shimmering with sorrow.
"It's almost too late, brave friends. We must find our way to Mount Techo fast, or the Island will perish and rot."
Phobic nodded, grasping the coconut in his paw firmly.
"We've come this far. We're not turning back now!"
To be continued...