The Dragon Flower: Part Four
“Amina, did you see that group of Meowclops playing? This is totally awesome! How far do you think we have traveled from the school?” Lopina asked with nearly half her body hanging over the side of the ship.
“To answer your questions: 1. No, I didn’t see the group of Meowclops, 2. I don’t agree with the “totally awesome” part, 3. We are probably about ten minutes from the school,” Amina responded with total disgust with her sister’s behavior. “And 4. Will you get over here! You’re going to fall overboard!”
“Amina, there is no need to worry about your sister. She is completely safe, and even if she does fall out, she is a Xweetok, after all,” said Mr. Coco. “She will...”
“Land on her feet. Yes, I know; however, it is a long drop,” Amina finished Mr. Coco’s sentence with some confidence, for she too was a Xweetok.
“Hey, Mr. Coco?”
“Yes, Lopina. What is it?”
“How far do we have to go? How long will it take to get there? Will it take several hours or days? And can we stop and play in the forest down there?”
“Whoa, settle down, Lopina! The trip will take us twelve days to get to our destination. As for playing in the forest, perhaps,” Mr. Coco answered.
Twelve days... Amina thought to herself and watched the clouds go by. That’s really far away. I wonder if we will ever see Ms. Forest again.
“Hey, Amina!” Lopina yelled and nudged her sister on the shoulder.
“Aaah!” Amina screamed. “Don’t do that! You scared me!”
“Well, that’s because you weren’t paying attention!”
“Well, excuse me for thinking!” Amina took a long breath to calm down and said, “What is it, anyway?”
“Do you want to go exploring?” Lopina asked and turned and looked at Mr. Coco.
“Before you two go off 'exploring,' I need to introduce you to the Captain,” Mr. Coco said and pointed to the Captain, who was standing next to the helm. “Come along.”
Lopina ran up the stairs, while Amina slowly walked behind her sister. When Amina reached the top, Lopina was standing there shaking her head in total disappointment.
“What!? Do you really think I wanted to run up the stairs? You better think again!” Amina retorted in her defense.
“Come on, let’s hurry up and talk to the Captain, so we can go exploring,” Lopina said and the girls walked over to the Captain with Mr. Coco in the lead.
The Captain was a very tall and muscular Spotted Lupe with long hair. He wore his sword on the right side and had an unusually large triangle-shape buckle for his belt.
“I guess the Captain has never cut his hair,” Lopina whispered.
“That’s right, young lady and I am very proud of my hair,” the Captain commented to the green Xweetok.
Amina rolled her eyes and said, “Forgive my sister, she’s just a little excited and does not watch what she says.”
“No need for apologies, my young Xweetok. Allow me to introduce myself,” the Captain said. He bowed with respect and said, “I am Captain Mendanbar. I have been a captain for twenty-three years and my crew has been with me ever since the beginning. We are quite an interesting family now.”
“Captain Mendanbar, this is Amina and Lopina,” Mr. Coco said and placed a wing on each of their shoulders. “They have a request for you.”
“May we please have your permission to explore your ship?” Amina asked.
“Absolutely! You may go anywhere you want! Also please say 'Hi' to my crew. It’s not often that they get a chance to speak to guests on board ship,” Captain Mendanbar said. He bent down and whispered, “Besides, they need to practice their manners because they are getting rusty!”
“Uh, okay. And thank you, Captain,” said Amina.
“Yahoo! Come on, Amina, we are wasting daylight! Let’s go! Come on, come on!” Lopina yelled to her sister.
“I am coming.”
When the girls were out of sight, Mr. Coco said, “After they are done exploring the ship, would you mind putting them to work? I do not want them getting into trouble, especially the green one.”
“I don’t mind at all. I could use a few more hands on ship anyway. And as for the green one, I have tasks for her,” Captain Mendanbar replied.
“Thank you, I would greatly appreciate it.”
After seven days of doing numerous tasks for the Captain, Amina and Lopina were getting close to the entire crew. Both girls were busy and staying out of trouble, which Mr. Coco liked. However, Amina was starting to notice Lopina getting restless. So restless, in fact, that it was beginning to concern her.
One windy morning, Amina walked up to the main deck and saw Lopina staring into the sky with the look of total boredom on her face.
“Good morning, Lopina!”
“What are you looking at?”
“Nothing...” Lopina said with a sigh. “I’m so bored...”
“Do you want to ask Captain Mendanbar if we can go exploring?”
“We’ve explored this place from top to bottom! There is nothing more to explore!”
“Well,” Amina said and looked up, “not the top.”
“You’re right! The crow’s nest is the only place we haven’t explored!” Lopina said with a twinkle in her eye.
“Don’t you dare! We are not allowed to explore that!”
“Oh, Amina,” Lopina said with another sigh. “You worry too much!”
“Well, you give me cause to worry!”
“Hehehe. That’s what I’m good at!”
“Uh... I have to go check in with Captain Mendanbar. Are you coming?”
“No, I’ll stay here and watch the clouds.”
“All right, but be good, please?” the blue Xweetok pleaded.
“Like I said, you worry too much!”
Amina walked over to the Captain’s Cabin and knocked on the door, still keeping an eye on Lopina.
Amina opened the door and said, “Good morning, Captain!”
“Ah, Amina, just the young Xweetok I needed to see.” He paused and looked around. “Where’s Lopina? You two are hardly apart.”
“She’s outside watching the clouds go by. Um... why do you need me?”
“I have a project that I need help with. Will you help me?”
“Yes, of course... but will you help me with Lopina? Please?” Amina asked and widened her big blue eyes.
The Captain sighed, smiled and said, “Another young lady used to do the same thing to me... very well, what can I do for you?”
“Even with all the duties that you have been giving us, Lopina has become restless and bored. I’m afraid that she is going to do something foolish and get herself into trouble.”
“Yes, I have noticed that she has not been full of energy as of late.”
“What can we do to keep her out of trouble so she won’t be bouncing off the walls with boredom?”
“What are you doing up there!?”
“What was that?” the Captain asked as he rushed to the door.
When Captain Mendanbar and Amina got outside, everyone was on deck and staring up. They both looked up to find Lopina who was climbing up the mast to the crow’s nest.
“Lopina... how could you?” Amina whispered with great sadness in her voice.
“Lopina, climb back down here NOW!” Captain Mendanbar ordered.
“But I’m almost there!” Lopina yelled back.
Lopina was climbing around the rim of the crow’s nest, when her back legs slipped and her hands began to lose their grip!
“Amina, I’m slipping! I can’t hold on!” Lopina cried in desperation.
“Captain!?” Amina cried.
“Rox, fly up there and get her!” the Captain ordered to a shadow Eyrie.
Just as Rox was taking off, Lopina fell and a strong wind pushed the green Xweetok out towards the open sky.
“Lopina!” Amina cried and ran to the railing of the ship. Amina climbed the railing and was about to jump after Lopina, when Mr. Coco grabbed her. Just then the Eyrie whooshed past them and dove to get Lopina.
After several minutes, the Eyrie appeared with Lopina, who was laughing hysterically! Everyone sighed in relief.
“Amina, you should have joined me! THAT was so much fun!” Lopina said as the Eyrie set her down.
Amina ran up to her sister and hugged her. “You scared me to pieces! Don’t you ever do that again!” Amina screamed and slugged her sister in the arm.
“Amina, no need to get violent,” Mr. Coco said and walked over to the girls.
Everyone turned to see Captain Mendanbar with storm clouds on his face.
“Yes, Captain?” Lopina asked with distress in her voice.
“You will come with me NOW!” Captain Mendanbar said with a hint of anger.
“Mr. Coco, you will accompany us,” the Spotted Lupe said and turned to Amina who was about to follow. “Amina, you will wait here with the others, am I clear?”
“But,” Amina started and stopped when she saw the Captain shake his head no. “Yes, sir.”
The three walked towards the Captain’s Cabin and shut the door. Amina was more worried than before and wondered what they were going to do to her sister.
To be continued...