Meow Circulation: 175,033,999 Issue: 413 | 9th day of Collecting, Y11
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Stranded!: Part One


by matilda_39

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Also by brookeppg

Extra thanks to babygirl229911 who used her amazing writing skills to help us & let us use her pets!

It all started when the Neopian Lottery’s jackpot shot up to an amazing sum of twenty million neopoints. Everyone in Neopia went lottery-crazy, purchasing as many tickets as they could afford, and praying that it would have the winning number. There was even a huge clock on Neovision News, counting down until they announced the winning ticket numbers.

      That’s when three extremely close friends got the lottery bug. There was Amanda, a spunky pirate Blumaroo, Rivers, a feisty faerie Xweetok, and Madalleena the playful faerie Kougra. They had been best friends since kindergarten, just like their owners.

      Anyway, the three of them all pitched in and bought three lottery tickets, agreeing that they would equally split the prize money if any one of them won. So, on the night of the drawing, Amanda, Rivers, and Madalleena all huddled in Rivers’ living room, staring eagerly at the Neovision screen, clutching their tickets in shaking paws. Lauren, Rivers’ owner, had allowed the three to have a sleep over that night.

      “I’m so excited!” Amanda squealed, clapping her gray paws together.

      “I know, we could be rich!” the Kougra cried, fluffing up her pillow, making sure she still had her ticket.

      “Shush, it’s on!” Rivers warned, fluttering her wings excitedly.

      A yellow Ogrin wearing a tuxedo appeared on the screen. After some announcements, while the three silently begged him to hurry up, the Ogrin began reading the winning numbers off of a slip of paper.

      “The winner is... number 2, 9, 11, 14, 22, and 28.”

      At this point, Maddie slumped in her chair groaning, realizing she did not have the winning numbers.

      Rivers mumbled inaudible words and turned to face Amanda.

      “Well?” Rivers asked, holding her breath.

      “Oh my gosh!” Madalleena cried, grabbing the ticket from Amanda’s frozen grip. “You won-I mean, we won!”

      The girls erupted into squeals. “Twenty million neopoints! We are rich! What should we spend it on?”

      After some discussion, they all agreed on spending some of their money on a well needed vacation; a week long cruise on the S.S. Maraqua. And that is where their adventure began.

     ******

      Sticky beads of perspiration clung to Rivers’ body, providing an unpleasant bath. The sun seared the wooden boat deck underneath the threesome’s feet. They now stood on the deck of their cruise boat, holding suitcases stuffed with a week’s worth of items.

      “Gosh, can’t we enjoy our vacation for three minutes before we all bake to a crisp?!” Amanda sighed, whipping sweat from her brow. Maddie shrugged, fingering the air faerie bubble necklace strung around her neck.

      “We’ll cool off once we’re surrounded by the ocean,” she assumed. An ear-splitting siren jolted Rivers out of her endless day dreaming.

      “All aboard! Captain Murphy, here! Get all your tails, fins, paws, and hooves in the boat or we’ll leave ya’ll behind!” a straggly yellow Kacheek called, tipping his sailor’s hat. The platform that led from the docks to the boat was slowly pulled away, and Rivers, Amanda, and Madalleena began waving frantically to the Neopians on the docks.

      “Good-bye, Neopia Central! Good-bye, boring old work! Hello, vacation!” Amanda yelled, leaping up and down on her tail. The threesome giggled, and then leaned down to open the petpet cages that their petpets had to be put in during loading time. Rivers’ Turmac, Jerum, made a grumbling sound as it crawled into its owner’s arms. Amanda pulled a plushie Snarhook, InkHeart, from her petpet cage, while Madalleena gazed longingly at her friends’ petpets. She didn’t have a petpet yet, but wanted one a lot!

      Slowly, the boat moved away into the pre-dusk horizon. Orange and pink clouds illuminated the sky, dotting the boat with shadowy crevasses. The on-coming expanse of crystal-blue water sat invitingly leagues away.

      “Are those storm clouds?” Amanda asked Inkheart, cuddling him closely by her chest. Sure enough, above the boat, one or two of the clouds were gray, standing out from the usual white clouds. As if saying “yes,” he gave her a slimy lick then greedily chewed on a chocolate chip cookie that was tucked away in Amanda’s knapsack.

      “Let’s go to our room and un-load these bags; they weigh a ton!” Rivers said reassuringly, patting her friend on the back. The pirate pet lingered over Rivers’ comment and then agreed. Joyfully, Madalleena, Amanda, and Rivers lugged their bags up a musty row of stairs until they came to room 388.

      Flinging open the door, the faerie Kougra looked around. Three intricately carved beds with sea foam green covers were bolted onto the floor, one next to each wall. A small dresser was placed next to each bed with handles made of pretty sea shells. The walls were a pale blue color, and had pictures of sea Neopets hanging on it.

      “I call the bed by the window!” Rivers cried, flinging herself onto the bed under the porthole. Each of the other two pets grabbed another bed, and soon the room was full of blankets, plushies, clothes, and pictures.

      “Look at these pillows! They’re made with feathers!” the pirate Blumaroo squealed, burying her face in one of her pillows. Suddenly, a mischievous grin came across her face, and she flung the fluffy pillow at Maddie, who was bent over her suitcase. “Pillow fight!”

      Moments later, the three friends were bashing each other over the head and giggling happily. Their squeals echoed around the room, and all of their petpets squeaked and dove under their owner’s beds.

      All of the sudden, they heard a knock on the door. The threesome looked at each other. They were all covered with feathers. Quickly trying to brush them off, Rivers opened the door and leaned out. A well-dressed pirate Eyrie holding a silver tray smiled at her.

      “Room service!” he trilled, and removed the cover from the tray. Three rose slushies, blue moon sundaes, and a whole steak and egg pizza sat there. Rivers’ mouth watered wildly, and then she frowned.

      “How much does it cost?” she asked.

      “Actually, ma’am, all food is free for first class visitors!” He winked, handing the awestruck Rivers the platter. “If you ever need anything, I’ll be right here!” With that, the pirate waltzed away, and the Xweetok happily turned to her friends.

      “Food!” Maddie cried, leaping towards the tray, grabbing the nearest slice of pizza.

      “It’s sure good living the rich life!” Amanda commented, taking a whiff of the rose slushies, which actually smelled like freshly cut roses.

      “You know,” Rivers began, “I wish this vacation would never end!”

      Suddenly, there was a loud crack of thunder outside, followed immediately by a flash of lightning. All three girls squeaked as the lights in the room flickered. Rushing to the window, Maddie began to feel light-headed. Outside, the clouds had turned a dark grey, and the sea water was beginning to churn. More lightning and thunder crashed, creating a large amount of noise.

      Barely audible above the storm, the speaker above them crackled to life. Then, the captain’s voice filled the room. “All travelers, remain calm! We are experiencing a storm. Please remain below deck for your safety, and we will try to steer away from the storm!”

      Maddie watched as the water roared outside, crashing into the side of the boat. A loud crack of thunder filled the sky, causing the Kougra to feel panicky. With a small gasp, she collapsed.

      Rivers watched worriedly as Madalleena sank to the floor, glancing around in a panicked way. Having known the faerie Kougra since kindergarten, they knew that the girl was horribly afraid of storms, so this must be terrifying for her. Leaning down, the Xweetok patted her best friend and murmured comforting words to her.

      “Wait! Where’s InkHeart?!” Amanda cried, glancing back and forth around the room. Sure enough, the plushie Snarhook was nowhere to be seen.

      “He must have slipped out when I opened the door to get the food!” Rivers began to look around frantically for Jerum, whom she found hiding under her bed.

      “InkHeart!” the pirate Blumaroo yelled, and then rushed out of the room and towards the stairs to the upper deck, despite the captain’s orders.

      No! The faerie Xweetok silently screamed, salty tears blurring her vision. Gathering up every ounce of strength in her body, Rivers wrapped her arms around Maddie’s limp body, scooped up Jerum, and flew skyward in one swift motion. I need to find Amanda!!!

      Meanwhile, Amanda was searching desperately on the top deck, trying to ignore the icy bullets of rain that pounded on her back. InkHeart had to be here somewhere! Her heart pounded wildly as a wave crashed into the boat, causing her to stumble and fall onto the water covered deck. She felt the wind pick up, almost to the point of where she couldn’t stand back up. Struggling, she suddenly heard InkHeart squeak. Reaching under one of the few chairs that hadn’t been knocked overboard, she found the plushie petpet soaked and shivering.

      “Amanda! Get back below deck!” The pirate pet looked up to see Rivers clutching Madalleena – who had fainted – and Jerum. Her eyes betrayed a look of distress, and her fur hung heavily, soaked with the foaming sea water. Clutching InkHeart, Amanda stood and attempted to make her way over to her friends.

      Suddenly, the boat jerked to one side, flinging Madalleena, Rivers, and Amanda off of the deck. Salty sea spray covered the trio, blinding them temporarily. Rivers let out an ear piercing screech as she tumbled towards the water like a wet noodle. The two conscious pets floundered frantically, plunging under the murky depths. When they bobbed to the surface, sputtering, a gargantuan wave rose above them. Amanda shrieked, right before it crashed down on top of them unmercifully.

      When they rose to the surface, the boat was nowhere to be seen. Some vacation this was turning into!

To be continued...

 
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