Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 174,678,845 Issue: 383 | 13th day of Running, Y11
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The Kacheek Siblings - More Than Just Fishing

by adorable_chao_10


Also by mewmeow953

It was a crisp afternoon, just an ordinary day in Neopia. “I’ll be leaving soon!” a blue Kacheek called out to his family. He had planned on going on a fishing trip for quite a while, and finally found the time.

     “Bye, Chuby Cheeks!” his little sister screamed out from her room.

     Suddenly, there was a knock on the door of the Kacheek Siblings household. The middle child, Chuby Cheeks, the usual one to get the door, answered it. A smile spread across his face when he saw who it was.

     Ghosty, a lonely ghost Kacheek, was standing there, smiling at Chuby Cheeks, staring in his eyes. "How are you doing, Chuby Cheeks?"

     Chuby Cheeks smiled back, a fishing pole slung over his shoulder. "I was just going fishing,” he replied, pausing. “Hey, why'd you visit?" he asked, surprised someone came to see him. The bait box in his arm made a low clank noise when he set it down.

     Ghosty kept smiling, because he had no other friends beside him, and his relatives. "I just wanted to talk.”

     Chuby Cheeks opened the bait box, carefully examining each hook, trying to remember which kind brought the rarest fish home. "Talk? About what?" he said, lifting a spiny hook in the air and observing it. He tied the hook to the string at the end of his pole, and Ghosty just watched him.

     He kept grinning at Chuby Cheeks. "It's just that, I don't have that many friends. The only friends I have are you and my new relatives..." Ghosty said, slightly teary eyed. He then got his fishing pole out. "So, you like fishing, too?”

     Chuby Cheeks gasped. "Why would you bring that with you?" he asked. Then he thought for a moment and smiled. "You knew I liked fishing all along. And you want to go fishing with me, huh?" Chuby Cheeks dragged a wooden raft that was behind him closer to himself. "You think this baby can hold two?" he asked, a twinkle in his eye.

     Ghosty smiled and slightly laughed. "I hope so, if it doesn't, I could always leave. I personally do like fishing, though!" Ghosty examined the wooden raft. "It looks good!”

     "Really? I made it from the bark of trees from Mystery Island. The trees there are really tough. At least, that's what my little sister, Starry, told me. I had to trust her- she's good when it comes to plants and agriculture." He patted the raft to prove how strong it was. Ghosty continued smiling at him- it confused Chuby Cheeks. "Why are you always so cheery?" he asked.

     “I guess it's because I'm around someone that isn't afraid of me that I'm a ghost, or teasing me that I got adopted from the pound,” he said, rather gloomy sounding. “By the way, ghosts are weightless so you don't have to worry about me and the raft." He said, putting his ghost paw on the raft to proof his weight wouldn't affect it at all.

     "Why... why would I be afraid of you? It's just a color," Chuby Cheeks said, grinning. He then stared at Ghosty's hand going through the raft for a moment.

     Curious, he tried to hug Ghosty, but ended up falling through him, his face hitting the ground. "Wow, I had no idea. Actually, I did. It's just so interesting when you finally experience it," he laughed.

     "My new relatives did that, even my new owner did! Fell face flat. Yeah." Ghosty was now laughing with a friend he could call his best friend. "Yup, I can only hold ghost items and ghostkerchief items. That’s why my fishing pole is in ghost form. The only problem is for the bait. It was hard to find, but I have a ghost worm!”

     Chuby Cheeks made a large inhaling sound through his nose, staring at the ghost worm. "I don't even care that that makes no sense." He got up and pushed the raft out the door, later lifting it over his head. "Come now, Ghosty! The fish are jumpy at this time of day!"

     Ghosty stared at Chuby Cheeks, smiling, that he had found his one true best friend. “Thanks for letting me go with you, Chuby Cheeks! I never know the right time for fishing!”

      * * *

     The two ventured out to Meridell, given direction from Chuby Cheeks’ little sister, who went there often. When they traveled to Meridell's end where the water started, Chuby Cheeks, using all his strength, pulled the raft over his head and tossed it into the water. He took a great leap onto it, Ghosty hovering behind. Getting out an oar, he paddled his way to the surface of Maraqua, his usual fishing spot. He cast his line far off and stared at it patiently.

     "Cool, so you can start from Meridell to Maraqua? That's my new shortcut! I just went underwater to Maraqua, hint ghost swims easily, and went to the shoreline there!" Ghosty was amazed with Chuby Cheeks and how he showed Ghosty how to get to Meridell to Maraqua. "I usually have to hold my breath - ghosts still breathe you know!

     Chuby Cheeks broke out into a hissy fit. "WHY!? IT'S NOT FAIR!" he cried, complaining, "I WANT TO SEE MARAQUA SO BADLY!" Ranting, but still staying sharp, he quickly reeled in his line as soon as it bobbled. He threw his catch into an ice chest and started arguing again.

     "I'm sorry if I made you upset! I could take you to Maraqua with me! Come on, it'll be fun!" Ghosty was pulling Chuby Cheeks’ arm. "I could get you a scuba mask, or some water wings! You could go with me! We just have to hold on to something ghosts and regular people can touch! Like ghostkerchief items! I didn't mean to make you upset!"

     Chuby Cheeks' face changed to an odd color of purple-reddish, as he desperately tried to pull his arm away from Ghosty. "There's a problem. I can't...." he sighed, gulping, "I can't swim," he said with much shame, his face red from embarrassment. He tried to pat Ghosty on the back, but his hand went through him. "Don’t act so concerned. I'm perfectly fine, never knowing what Maraqua looks like," he said dryly, reeling another fish in.

     "I could give you swimming lessons!" Ghosty said cheerfully. "I could easily help you with that, even if I am a ghost! Minty and Pheonix, my sisters, would be better teachers, but, hey, I'll give it a shot! I couldn't swim when I was in regular form, either!" Ghosty believed helping him would increase their friendship.

     "That sounds nice- wait, I got a bite," Chuby Cheeks said, tugging angrily at his fishing pole. "A big, strong one, too!" he said, aggravated, having to stand up and pull with all his might. "Help me out, friend!" he huffed out between clenched teeth.

     “Okay!" Ghosty pulled and pulled on the fishing line with all of his power. Ghosty was trying as hard as he could. He then tied the ghost line to the regular line, so when he would pull on the ghost one, the normal one would be tugged as well.

     The struggle was too much, Chuby Cheeks couldn't catch his breath. His grip was getting looser, his face turning white, his heart beating faster than it had ever beaten before. In the blink of an eye, he was flung forward, screaming before hitting the surface, sinking deep into the ocean. Down, down, down.... He thought he was going to die.

     "Hang on, buddy, I'm coming for you!" Ghosty dived down too because he was holding to the ghost line. With quick thinking, Ghosty grabbed a breathing mask for Chuby Cheeks, just in case something went wrong. Ghosty put the mask on Chuby Cheeks and tried to help him swim, trying not to breathe.

     Chuby Cheeks, in Ghosty's arms, was very still. Even with the mask, he was having a difficult time breathing, since he was still in shock. He was only able to slightly open his eyes, getting a quick glimpse of what he wanted to see since he was born- Maraqua. Tears fell from his eyes, in complete awe of how beautiful the underwater city was. It wasn't long until Ghosty got him to the surface. Chuby Cheeks' eyes were still huge, tears fogging up his sight. He then realized- his friend just saved his life.

     "Are you okay there, Chuby Cheeks? You seem uneasy and pale! Are you sure you’re okay? You want me to call the Neopian Doctor to see how you are doing?" Ghosty stared into Chuby Cheek's eyes. He was crying slightly, maybe from all of that water in his eyes. Ghosty saw the fish swim away in the distance. "That was the titanic squid! You almost caught the avatar fish! Anyway, I'm just glad you're okay!”

     Chuby Cheeks lay on the raft, coughing loudly. For some reason, it was hard for him to squeak out words. “You.... saved my life," he whispered, “and I saw it. I saw Maraqua," he said with a very slight smile. He then closed his eyes, letting his body soak in the sun to get dry. Ghosty called the Neopian Doctor on an emergency neomail Chuby Cheeks kept in a rucksack he brought with him. They soon paddled their way back to Meridell.

      * * *

     The green Gelert doctor inspected Chuby Cheeks, who was faintly looking at him. The Gelert flattened out his hands, pumping on Chuby Cheek's stomach in an attempt to get the water out of his lungs. Chuby Cheeks started to cough out water and after a few seconds, he opened his eyes wide open, confused. "Wha-what's going on?" he asked himself.

     "We were fishing, remember? Then that huge squid dragged you down!" Ghosty stared at Chuby Cheeks. The green Gelert doctor was suspicious about Ghosty's story.

     "BROTHER! OLDER BROTHER!" a high pitched voice gasped out. Starry, in a farmer's uniform, was running through the plains to get to her brother. She had been working in the fields when she had seen the doctor next to Chuby Cheeks. She immediately dropped her pitch fork to ask what had happened. "Are you okay!?”

     "I am now.... I was drowning, and Ghosty saved my life."

     Starry gave him a huge hug, relieved to hear he was okay. She then looked at Ghosty with huge sparkly eyes, forever in his gratitude. It was then that the Gelert doctor believed that Chuby Cheeks’ drowning was not Ghosty's fault, left the bill, and departed.

     "Um... Hello? Who is this, Chuby Cheeks?" Ghosty had no idea who Starry was; this was the first time he had ever seen her in his entire life. Ghosty held out his paw for a handshake, but Starry rejected it, since it was slimy and wet from the water. Ghosty stared at Chuby Cheeks and was amazed that he saved his friend's life. Ghosty knew this friendship would last a long time.

     "This is Starry, my little sister I always tell you about." Starry flashed a peace-out, sticking out her tongue. Her attitude greatly differed from her clothing. She slipped on a garden glove and tried to shake Ghosty's hand, but could not since he was a ghost.

     "EEP! YOU'RE A GHOST!" Starry shrieked, surprised, "I HAD NO IDEA!" Her face held fear- Ghosty didn't like that. It was as if she completely forgot that he had saved her brother's life.

     "Uh... thanks, Starry," said Ghosty, annoyed about how people treated him like that. "Um... I'm leaving now. I need to go think about something... alone." Ghosty stormed off- mad with how Starry treated him. “I'm a person too!” thought Ghosty. “How come everybody treats me like that: like they're afraid.” It was obvious from the distance that Ghosty started to cry.

     Chuby Cheeks, still a bit shaken up and dizzy, didn't bother trying to follow him.

     "Come on, let's get you home and put you to bed," Starry said softly, supporting Chuby Cheeks on her shoulder.

     Almost breathless, Chuby Cheeks was only able to mutter the words. "Ghosty... is a Kacheek just like us. You shouldn't be afraid... " It was too low for Starry to hear, who continued supporting her older brother on their long walk home.

      * * *

     Once Starry and Chuby Cheeks got home, Dude, their older brother, looked up from his newspaper and gasped. "My, my, what happened?" he asked, worried.

     "Chuby Cheeks almost drowned, but his friend Ghosty saved him," Starry answered for Chuby Cheeks, "I'm putting him to bed." Dude nodded, approving that that was a good idea.

     Once Chuby Cheeks was tucked under his covers of his bamboo bed, he quickly drifted into sleep, dreaming of the titanic squid being captured instead of bringing him deep into the ocean. Also, he couldn't stop thinking of how beautiful Maraqua was. But most of all, Ghosty appeared many times in his dream, there for him, smiling.

The End

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