Petpet Talk: Lost Adventures in Geraptiku - Part Two
“They can’t be too far up ahead,” Arnold replied. “Come on!”
The petpets raced up the trail. They skidded to a halt at a dead end where the trail separated into two paths. Both paths led into areas surrounded by bushels of trees.
“We should wait here,” suggested Chucky. “They’ll come out and get us sometime soon.”
Arnold and Stacy agreed it was a good idea. The trio waited till the sky was a dark lavender. The trees grew darker, and their shadows stretched longer and longer until they covered the petpets. Finally, Stacy the Mazzew spoke up.
“We should probably start searching for Karl and his family,” she suggested calmly. “Either that or we scream for help.”
Chucky glanced around nervously. “It’s getting really dark,” he stammered. “I—I don’t know if I want to shout. Who knows what might come out of the darkness and find us?”
Arnold took a few deep breaths evenly. Calm down, Arnold, don’t be scared, he told himself. You’re just lost on a friendly Island. Not scary, not eerie, but a fun and friendly Island. “Hey, at least we’re not lost in the Haunted Woods, right?” he chuckled.
Chucky and Stacy didn’t find that comforting in the least. “Can we think of something to do—fast?” Stacy asked. “I’m getting anxious.”
“And I’m getting hungry,” Chucky offered as his stomach gave a growl.
Arnold hazarded a guess. “Let’s go left,” he suggested. “Left is always a good way to go.”
“I thought right was,” grumbled Stacy, but she and Chucky hurried after Arnold as they ran down the left path.
Thirteen minutes later—or an hour and thirteen minutes later, they didn’t know—the petpets came to a stop. High above them stood a tall stone mountain. Even in the night, they could see smoke billowing out of the top.
“That must be Techo Mountain,” whispered Stacy in awe.
“Uh, guys, can we please focus on the task at hand?” asked Chucky, waving a paw. “We are kind of lost here, remember?”
The three friends walked kept to the path, but it only seemed to lead them straight to the giant volcano. Then, to their delight, they stumbled upon a Coconut JubJub. Fortunately, the JubJub seemed nice. Unfortunately, it didn’t speak petpet—just like every other neopet in Neopia.
“Blah blah blah blah lost?” asked the JubJub.
Arnold, Stacy, and Chucky nodded fervently.
“Blah blah blah blab blab, blah blah blah Geraptiku?” said the JubJub.
“Huh?” Arnold had never heard of Geraptiku before, but he assumed it must be where the tourists’ beach huts are located. Just to make sure, he turned to Stacy and whispered, “Where’s Geraptiku?”
“Probably where all the tourists stay for their vacation,” Stacy concluded matter-of-factly. She nodded to the JubJub.
The JubJub smiled and beckoned for them to follow. They walked away from the mountain and down a steep trail. The trees got thicker and thicker. Soon Arnold couldn’t see even half a foot away.
“Are we going in the right direction?” he mumbled to Stacy and Chucky.
“I don’t know,” Chucky said.
“Yeah, we are,” Stacy said confidently. “Trust the natives!”
Suddenly the trees cleared. The petpets halted and stared in front of them. For as far as the eye could see, there were ruins everywhere. Ashy remains of old homes stood in lumpy piles here and there. Burned tree bark littered the place, along with skulls.
“Blah blah! Blah blah blah petpets,” the JubJub chuckled before disappearing behind them.
“What did that JubJub say?” asked Chucky nervously.
“I believe she said we’re the most unusual crowd of petpets she’d ever seen,” Stacy said carefully.
Arnold walked over to a fallen sign made with bones and a sheet. Petpet Shop it said in large painted letters. Arnold looked up and practically fell over. Three dark shadows stood before him.
“Mark? Moe? Millicent?” he gasped.
Sure enough, it was the three Meepit brothers from Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets. The three notorious Meepits who had almost came along with them on their trip. The three petpets with whom Arnold had shared more than enough adventures this past year.
“Do you see what I see, boys?” Mark, the leader of his brothers, sneered. “I say we just found our jackpot.”
“Mark, what are you doing here?” Stacy demanded, rolling her eyes.
Mark’s bright eyes glistened in the dark. “Early this morning our owner received a call from Karl inviting us to come keep you company on your trip to Mystery Island. Unluckily, our owner thinks we’ll just be up to no good—and he won’t be there to give us time-outs, either—so he refused.”
“But we don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do we, fellas?” laughed Moe.
Stacy’s jaw dropped. “So you hitched a ride here by yourselves?”
“How?” put in Arnold, his curiosity holding the better of him.
“We have our ways,” Mark snapped. He turned to his brothers and said, “Okay, so we found our companions. We can put away the map now.”
Stacy rolled her eyes again and muttered, “I don’t want to know. But tell me, could you use your brilliant map-using skills to help us find our way home?”
“You mean back to Neopia Central?” asked Millicent. “Are you insane?” He shook his head and laughed darkly. “Never mind, don’t answer that.”
“I didn’t mean our home in Neopia Central, dimwit,” snarled Stacy. “I meant Arnold’s family’s beach hut. It’s around here somewhere.”
Mark raised an eyebrow. “Your family’s staying here? In Geraptiku?” He grinned. “Wicked.”
Arnold looked around. There wasn’t another single person in the whole quiet place. It was completely deserted... but the Petpet Shop sign seemed warm. He leaned over and sniffed it carefully. His sharp nose picked up a scent.
“Someone’s here,” he said in alarm. “Or to be more precise, someone was just here.”
Mark snorted. “Aw, is the little kitty-witty scared?” he cooed.
Arnold rolled his eyes. Meepits.
Something rustled in the trees. Chucky jumped in alarm. “Can we find our way back to the beach hut now?” he stammered.
“Fine, fine,” Mark growled. “On one condition.”
Arnold sighed and crossed his arms. Mark smirked and continued, “We’d like to stay with you, of course.”
“The hut’s big enough,” Stacy said, adding under her breath, “Thank goodness.”
“And we get first serve at mealtimes,” added Moe.
Arnold stomped his foot in frustration. “If we don’t hurry up, we’re not going to get any mealtimes.”
Mark turned to Moe and Millicent. “Okay, get out the map.”
The other Meepits just stared back at Mark blankly.
“Get the map,” Mark ordered.
“You just said we don’t need it anymore,” Millicent said sheepishly.
Moe and Millicent glanced at each other nervously.
Mark shook his head angrily. “Moe! Millicent! For the love of Frank Sloth...”
“Paper airplanes are our hobby, you know that!” argued Moe.
Stacy groaned. “So we’re lost—without a map, either.” She moaned and hugged Arnold and Chucky. “We’re doomed!”
Mark rolled his eyes. “Sissies,” he sneered. “Look, Meepits are great at finding their way out of trouble. All you have to do is follow our lead.”
So reluctantly, Arnold, Stacy, and Chucky followed Mark and his brothers across the ruins. Ten minutes later after trampling from ashes to ashes, Stacy stopped and spoke up.
“Didn’t we pass this already?” she asked, pointing to a pile of broken bones on the ground.
“Uh.” Mark scratched his head. “Nah, you’re mistaken.” Then he muttered to himself, “Let’s see... east is that way... but then...”
Arnold sighed and buried his head in his paws. “We’re lost,” he howled.
Just then the bushes behind them rustled. Then out popped an unusual petpet which Arnold had no idea what its name was. It looked like a sundial... a large circle for a head with a golden toned body.
“Flying Fyora, it’s a Tekkal!” whispered Stacy in awe.
“A Tekkal?” repeated the others.
The Tekkal stepped forward. Arnold hesitantly gave it his paw to shake. The Tekkal snorted and teased, “Why so serious, guys?”
Arnold sighed in relief. The Tekkal seemed friendly, so he answered, “Nothing. We’re just lost... we want to go back home.”
“Back to our beach hut by the, well, beach,” added Mark.
The Tekkal frowned and thought in silence for a moment. Then he asked, “You guys are tourists?”
The petpets nodded.
“Wow, no wonder,” laughed the Tekkal. “I thought you were unusual.”
Arnold glanced around at the ruins and asked, “What happened here?”
“Oh, Geraptiku has been deserted for quite some time now,” answered the Tekkal. “I can’t really tell you much, except that you should never venture inside the Deserted Tomb.”
Mark, Moe, and Millicent’s eyes grew wide. “Deserted Tomb?” they echoed.
“Yeah, inside roams the most mysterious monster ever... it’s so dangerous, no wonder the tomb’s deserted.” The Tekkal beamed and added, “But here’s the bright side: they say there’s powerful treasure in there!”
“Powerful treasure,” repeated the Meepits, completely transfixed.
The Tekkal shrugged nonchalantly. “I say it’s baloney and hogwash, but you can come with me if you like, and I’ll show you the tomb myself.”
“Actually, we’d much rather we go back—” began Stacy, but she was interrupted by the Meepit brothers.
“You have to take us there! Now!” they shouted together.
“Or else,” added Mark threateningly.
The Tekkal chuckled and said, “All right, I’ll show you. But you’ve been warned...”
“I don’t care about warnings or dangers,” Mark yawned. “We Meepits can handle anything.”
Arnold groaned. This vacation was going downhill... in a seriously bad way.
To be continued...