Kidnapped Under the Stars
On a warm summer day on Mystery Island, when the water was a clear blue and the sand was golden, an Island Slorg named Shanika was collecting shells to show her best friend and owner, Khalin the Island Kyrii. Khalin was the Mayor of Mystery Island; he also loved telling everybody who would listen of how he found Shanika wandering aimlessly around the Island Market while he was out choosing a new shirt to wear. Everyone on Mystery Island admired the closeness between Shanika and Khalin, and few people ever spoke foul of either of them.
"Shanika, hurry up. We will be late and you know I am meant to be there before everyone else," Khalin sighed, fixing his hair in the mirror.
He glanced up the hallway to where Shanika was getting ready for the evening's party.
"I need a new flower!" Shanika cried, running out of her room, slamming the door behind her.
"I can't be seen anywhere with this in my hair! It's all wilted." She pointed at the blue flower that was in fact wilting.
Khalin looked at Shanika, leaned out the window, picked a beautiful red flower, and placed it in Shanika's hair.
"There, now you look like a lady, now can we please go?" he whined to Shanika.
With a glance in the mirror Shanika rushed out the door behind Khalin, never noticing that was something was hiding in the bushes watching her.
At the beach, Shanika left Khalin to go and do his duties while she admired all the decorations that had been placed around the beach. There were streamers and balloons and lights of so many colours that lit up the night sky. She walked to the water and watched the waves crashing down then turned to find Khalin in the crowd.
She caught his eye and waved and smiled, but suddenly a coconut JubJub with a brown potato sack in his hand was there. He flung the sack over her head and picked her up in one swift motion.
She wriggled inside and tried to escape, but the JubJub had a firm grip on the bag. She knew he was running fast and she could hear the screams behind her of the people at the party, but as the JubJub kept on running, she heard the yelling voices growing distant until she couldn't hear them anymore, only the sound of the JubJub panting.
Somehow Shanika fell asleep in the bag and when she woke up, she forgot where she was. She tried to stretch, but all of her muscles ached with lying so awkwardly. She could feel the heat of the morning sun and knew they had been moving all night. Suddenly, the JubJub stopped and threw the bag down, landing on a table very hard.
Shanika scrambled to the opening, and peering out, she saw a Techo with a white coat on, jeering at her.
The Techo clasped his hands together and smirked.
"An Island Slorg? Well done, Jamiel, we will get quite a bit for her, I am sure," he said to the Coconut JubJub, his eyes never leaving Shanika's face.
The JubJub nodded, grabbed the bag on the table and left the room. Shanika wasn't sure what she was supposed to do, so she sat there and looked at the Techo's face, remembering the warm look in Khalin's eyes and how he hugged her every night before she went to sleep.
A tear appeared at her eye so quickly, she never even got time to wipe it away.
"Maybe you're not worth the trouble," growled the Techo with a glimmer in his eye, looking at the tear rolling down her cheek.
He stormed out of the room, leaving the door ajar just a little bit, enough for Shanika to see outside.
Shanika peeked out the door and saw a beautiful pink door with purple and white flowers on it. She crept closer and saw a Pink Uni sitting behind the desk.
The Uni saw Shanika and picked her up off the floor, placing her on top of the desk.
"What do you think you are doing?" she asked in a soft tone that only made Shanika miss Mystery Island even more.
Shanika started shaking and the Uni picked her up and cuddled her.
"There, there, everything will be ok dear," the Uni reassured Shanika.
The pink door was gently opened and in walked the most beautiful Lenny that Shanika had ever seen. She had light blue feathers that were cleaned to perfection.
She was wearing a long purple dress that had black around the bottom, with gold shoulders and a black and gold head piece to match. While Shanika was admiring her dress, she never noticed the Lenny smiling back at her.
"She is perfect! Please can I take her home with me?" the Lenny asked the Uni, still smiling at Shanika.
"I ermm... I guess so," the Uni replied, looking at Shanika helplessly.
The Uni leaned over and whispered in Shanika's ear, "This is Princess Leylani of Meridell City. You will be happy with her, I promise."
The Lenny picked Shanika off the table and swung her around.
"You are going to love my home! I live in a fine palace in Meridell and we will have servants and entertainers, and when we get home, we will have a big party to celebrate you coming to live with me! Aren't you excited?" she asked, noticing Shanika's eyes were glassing over with tears.
"I'm sorry, Princess Leylani, your home sounds wonderful and very exciting, but I have a home and an owner I love very much back at Mystery Island. We were having a party right on the beach last night, when a horrible Coconut JubJub named Jamiel threw a potato sack over my head and brought me here," Shanika cried, hoping that Princess Leylani would help her.
Princess Leylani opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. She glanced at the Pink Uni, who was as just as shocked as she was.
She put Shanika back on the table in front of the Uni and bent down, looking Shanika right in the eyes.
"Well, in that case, Shanika, I will do everything in my power to get you home!" Princess Leylani exclaimed.
She grabbed out a little device and neomailed The Defenders of Neopia.
Almost immediately, there were two beeps, explaining that what Shanika had said was true.
Princess Leylani gently picked up Shanika and gave her a small squeeze.
"If you come with me, I can take you to see Kayla who runs a potion shop. She should have something there to transport us to Mystery Island."
Princess Leylani and Shanika walked to Kayla's Potion Shop in Meridell. Behind the counter, Shanika saw a red Zafara with a dark blue witch's hat and coat with gold stars all over it, pouring a green liquid into a bottle. She looked up and smiled at Shanika and Princess Leylani.
"Ahhh, Princess Leylani, I have been expecting you for quite some time."
She pulled two bottles of blue liquid from behind the counter and a green bottle as well. She placed them on the table and looked at Princess Leylani.
"Drink the blue bottle and think of where it is you want to go. Concentrate on nothing but your destination. You will see a yellow light and then you will be transported. Simple, huh? Once you have arrived at wherever it is you want to go, drink the green bottle to return back to Meridell."
"Well, Shanika, are you ready for this?" Princess Leylani asked as she turned towards Shanika.
Shanika just nodded her head, pulled the cork out of the bottle and drank it as fast as she could. She had never tasted anything more delicious. It was candy and soda and cake all mixed in together. She shut her eyes really tight and thought of Mystery Island and the beach.
Finally she saw the yellow light that Kayla had been talking about.
The first thing Shanika noticed was the salty ocean smell. Then suddenly she was being lifted off the sand and swung around.
When she opened her eyes, she was staring into Khalin's big brown round eyes. Her heart felt like it would explode with happiness.
They hugged and laughed and rolled around in the sand.
When she stopped, she looked around for Princess Leylani, who was sitting on a rock watching nearby.
"Khalin, this is Princess Leylani; she saved me!" Shanika said, explaining her story.
"Well, Princess Leylani, thank the stars above that you found Shanika; I have been worried sick about her. When I found that she had disappeared, I searched the whole of Mystery Island looking for her. Tonight, Princess Leylani, we have a feast in your honour, and this time, Shanika, don't leave my side." He smiled down at Shanika, still holding her in his arms.
As the sun left the sky, Princess Leylani was getting very excited about the night's feast.
But she also felt sad; just when she had thought she would make a friend, she had to leave again. She walked outside and down to the harbour, where she sat on the jetty and let the water splash against her ankles.
She heard a soft cough from behind her and looked at a faerie petpet with beautiful yellow and orange wings that twinkled in the sunlight.
"Hello, I'm Chonelle the Faerie Catamara," the petpet whispered.
Princess Leylani reached out and touched Chonelle's cheek.
"Nice to meet you, Chonelle. I'm Princess Leylani of Meridell. What brings you to the Island, Chonelle? You don't look like an Islander to me," Princess Leylani said.
"Oh no, I'm not an Islander. My owner and I came here three months ago for a holiday, but when I went for a swim, I couldn't find her again. She left without me and I have been staying here ever since," she explained.
Princess Leylani looked out at the harbour and back at Chonelle. She gave Chonelle the biggest smile that she could manage.
"Well, Chonelle, I don't know if you heard, but I was the one who brought Shanika back to the Island. I found her when I was looking for a petpet to keep me company. If you are interested, maybe you would like to come back to Meridell and live with me at my castle?"
"Really? I would love to!" Chonelle cried, jumping into Princess Leylani's arms.
Princess Leylani laughed with joy and hugged Chonelle.
At the party, Princess Leylani and Chonelle arrived together and ran up to Shanika and Khalin to tell them their happy news.
"Oh Princess Leylani, that's wonderful! I am so happy for the two of you. Maybe sometime, Khalin and I could visit you at your castle," Shanika said.
Princess Leylani hugged Shanika.
"You are always welcome to my home, Shanika, and I am so glad I could bring you and Khalin back together." Princess Leylani smiled.
Shanika grabbed Chonelle's hand and danced the night under the stars, all the while watching Khalin and Princess Leylani laughing with each other under the golden marquee.