A Tale of Two Islands
It’s foggy again. Why does it always have to be foggy? No matter where the island floats to, it’s always foggy. What the heck, man?
Don’t get me wrong, here. I liked Lutari Island fine. I was just getting tired of the same fog every day. Sure, it was great for playing hide-and-seek—took tag to a whole new level, too—but it lost its novelty after about half an hour. Then it became a pain in the butt. You got used to squinting through it and my claws made for good traction on the constantly slippery turf, but it was an almost alien experience trying to readjust when the fog lifted on rare occasions.
So yeah. The weather was foggy again that day. All of my friends were either busy or simply not around, so I was bored out of my mind. No hide-and-seek or extreme tag. What was a young Lutari to do? I was cruising along the shoreline, letting the tide power my progress as I floated supine. This would be my second complete circle around the darn place. Well, no use sticking around up here. I dove for the sea floor. Perhaps there was fun to be had underwater. A good swim always perked me up on days like this.
I was instantly cheered by the sight of so much aquatic fauna—playful fauna, at that! It seemed the island was on the fringe of warmer, more bountiful waters. These petpets were certainly more active than the ones I’d encountered in days past. After a few hours of fun and games with these critters my curiosity got the best of me. I had to know where we were headed. At the surface, I could make out the silhouette of some land mass on the horizon, still several miles away. Another island? Whatever it was, I’d have to wait at least a week for our hunk of floating rock to make it within a reasonable viewing distance.
Scrap that. There was no way I could hold out for seven days. Thankfully, my friends were just as impatient as I and had helped me construct a kayak of sorts for such situations. And it just happened to be in my possession today. I had a word with all the right people—hey, it is rude to just row off to lands unknown in a little boat without first telling someone that you’re rowing off to lands unknown in a little boat—and it was decided that I’d be taking a vacation of sorts. I would row off to this unknown land in my little boat, kick it there for a few days, and return to Lutari Island when it floated by. I was totally up for this adventure.
Don’t think for one second that I was daunted by the task of all that rowing! I’m a big girl, all muscle. Sure, I was pretty sore by the time I came within one half of mile of my destination, but it wasn’t anything debilitating. Heck, even if I had been in agony I think I could’ve worked it off in two seconds. Once I got a look at the place, which was an island after all, my tiredness just melted away. It was awesome! Since I was entering the surf zone, the water was quite a bit wilder, but I was still able to enjoy the sights as I neared shore. It was clearly no unknown land; there were all sorts of people on the beach, some more in the water around me, and a bustling center of outdoor shops. I caught a whiff of food and urged the kayak that much faster.
But where to land? The beach itself wouldn’t be a good place. Too many people around and lots of grabby kids. An alcove found its way into my peripheral vision and I set course for it. It wasn’t deserted, however. I scared the living daylights out of a Maraquan Kyrii who had been chilling in there. Oops! “Sorry, dude!”
“What in Neopia are you trying to do, rowing that boat in here!” he snapped back. “You’ll be lucky if that thing is still above water after high tide floods this place out!”
Man, someone woke up on the wrong side of the reef this morning. I smiled, though. “I guess I’ll just find another spot for it, then. Relax, guy.” I began maneuvering to back out when I felt myself bump something. The Kyrii had swum up behind me and taken hold of the kayak.
“No, no, it should be fine in here,” he sighed. “The alcove won’t flood completely. Just be sure to give it a lot of slack when you tie it up.”
I don’t know what it is about smiles, but they sure do bring out the best in folks. “Thanks! What’s your name, anyway? I’m Sonjkaa.”
“Elheena,” he replied, a grin just tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Now I must ask what has brought you, Sonjkaa Lutari, to the shores of Mystery Isle.”
Mystery Island? I’d heard of this place! I’d heard lots about this place, in fact—its awesome surf, warm waters, fair weather year-round... In my excitement my answer came barreling forth:
“I just needed to get away from home for a little while. I rowed all the way over from Lutari Island. See it on the horizon? It’s kinda hard to spot now but it’s there. Anyway, it’s always foggy over there, man. It’s been driving me crazy. I mean, it’s a great place otherwise. It’s just that fog! Does it get foggy around here often? Is this just a break from it or is it always sunny and clear?”
Elheena just stared at me, unprepared for that rapid-fire explanation and abrupt question. He finally composed himself and said, “It’s usually a little foggy in the morning and sometimes at night. As you can see, though, it clears up quickly once the sun comes out.”
“So it’s like this every day?”
“Pretty much, yeah. We sometimes get rain, bu—”
“WHOO!! Almost no fog!”
Needless to say, I was totally stoked after that. Once I’d tied my boat down I asked about local lodgings. According to Elheena, commercial accommodations around here cost an arm and a leg, but some of the natives were generous with their homes. He went on to tell me about this human named Azure who lived with a couple of other Kyrii just down the beach. Azure frequently hosted broke visitors; perhaps she’d take me.
To make a long story short, she took me. What a wonderful week I had there! I made friends with her and Arzaohe, the girl Kyrii of the house, right away. It took a day or two longer to warm up to Xenon, the dude Kyrii, but it happened. I’d learned basic surfing skills at home, though there was neither great surf nor many great teachers there; Xe, a seasoned rider, helped me fine-tune my moves. (He’s awesome, you know.) Aside from the waves, I enjoyed exploring the island, watching the sun rise and set, eating the yummy food, learning the local customs, and all sorts of other cool stuff.
So imagine how bummed I was when Lutari Island came within clear sight some ten or so days later (rough tides and whatnot had slowed its progress). I was happy that I’d be seeing all my family and friends again, yes, but in that short time Mystery Island had become a second home to me. In fact, I think this place held just as much meaning to me as did my homeland. I’d miss it something fierce. Unless, of course...
Idea! I took Azure, Xenon, Arzaohe, and Elheena with me to Lutari Island and introduced them to everyone. They were received very warmly—so warmly, you could almost bake something with all the friendly. Anyway, I had another word with all the right people, my new crew at toe this time, and I ended up staying on Mystery Island! How cool, huh?
Before Lutari Island disappeared over the horizon once again, there was a big ol’ beach party between the two lands. I’m telling you, it was something! I don’t think the grandest of Neopia’s balls or whatever could compare to how insanely awesome and fun it was. And then we had to part ways. It was bittersweet, but it wasn’t like we were saying goodbye forever. I still send a long, detailed postcard to Lutari Island every week for everyone to read, and I always get one back. Things are always great here and things are always great there.
And once the islands cross paths again, you can bet we’ll keep the residents of Maraqua and Faerieland alike up late with our party!