Who Knew the Ocean Wore Sandals?
You might lose your lotion at the beach, or maybe some pesky neopets might steal your sunglasses, but you’d never expect a sandal to get lost in the ocean! It all began with the beach down at Mystery Island. My younger sister, Olivia, had begged our owner, Chella, to go for months. Whenever she got herself worked up, she started bouncing up and down on her disco Meerca tail, and my brother Zor, the island Pteri, and I, the faerie Xweetok, would have to retreat into a hidden coven to avoid the shouting that would ensue. When we were forced to actually hide somewhere, it was best not to come out until Olivia had a sweet popped in her mouth.
After months of begging (and staying out of sight), Chella decided that a trip to Mystery Island would do us good. However, we should have seen the warning signs presented to us during the constant badgering. Like how Olivia’s eye would grow wide and her tongue would hang out of the side of her mouth and her arms would be raised like a zombie...
I’m not pulling your tail or anything, it’s true. Anyway, on one fine morning, we decided to pack a lunch and grab a boat to Mystery Island. Olivia had insisted on bringing her fuzzie bear to the beach, claiming that it wanted to see the waves. Yeah, right. She probably just wanted it to complete her look of complete innocence if she got into trouble.
“AAAAIIEEEE!” Olivia screamed dramatically as her thin-soled sandals made contact with the scorching sand. Dragging her bear along, she danced on the sand, twirling ahead, jumping up and down to avoid keeping her feet on the ground longer than necessary. Her hand was on her pink dress, dotted with flowers, to be tugged on if it fluttered too high.
The rest of the group lagged behind.
“Be careful, Olivia!” our owner called, worried.
Olivia took no heed. Several minutes later, she tripped on the grainy sand, which was by then cool to her touch. Instead of screaming again, she pouted and announced, “My bear wants to build sandcastles!” The rest of us exchanged looks, apparently wondering how a baby's mind works.
Peace reigned for a minute or so. The sparkling waves rollicked, the sand sparkled, and there was a pleasant chatter of talking. Zor and I took out the beach ball we had packed and started to playfully smash it at each other. However, as the tide came in, it ran over Olivia’s amateur sand castle. She looked up at the tide, angry words sprouting from her innocent mouth.
As I was about to smash the ball back to Zor, a long string of high-pitched noises ensued. The ball dropped on my furry head and rolled away. Ignoring the fact that Zor was trying to hide his laughter, I decided to give the little Meerca a piece of my mind.
Or I could let Zor take over the whole situation. His big brother attitude was kicking in. Zor looked up. “Hey Olivia,” he called. “Do you need help building another sand castle?”
This time, however, Olivia did not want her brother’s sympathy. Running down the cement steps toward the ocean, she vowed revenge upon the tide that destroyed her castle. Once again, our owner called a warning and Olivia ignored it.
Her rage was as explosive as dynamite. As she fumed, her knuckles turned into fists as she started screaming and stomping at the oceans. Passersby stared and backed away at the sight of the beginnings of a full-blown temper tantrum. Her buckles flew with the force and her dress flapped. Her bear lay a little way to the side, face down on the sand.
Frustrated, her hands tugged the hem of her dress down. Olivia always did that when she was thinking particularly hard, as she was doing now. Tugging and tugging, she finally had her first thought, which was kicking the ocean.
I turned to Zor, chuckling. “Chella should’ve painted her baby instead of disco, with the amount of screaming and kicking she does daily.”
Zor returned my grin, but replied uneasily, “Should we tell her? Before something bigger happens and we get blamed for it?” His voice trickled off as I shot him an annoyed glance.
“Relax, Zor!” I rolled my eyes. “She’ll get over it, and then you’ll regret having wasted your voice.”
Meanwhile, the thought of kicking the ocean grabbed Olivia and held her tight. Getting excited, she hopped as fast as she could to the ocean and began kicking with all her might possible. Suddenly, with one swift kick, one of her unbuckled sandals flew off her feet and into the ocean.
Zor groaned. “That’s what I was talking about! We’re going to be blamed for it now, just watch.”
I sighed, glancing around. “Here she comes now.”
Olivia trotted up the steps slowly, holding her bear in front of her. All her dramatics from earlier had disappeared as her rage was replaced with shock and fear. Nervously, she tugged on her dress; in a tiny, baby voice, she implored, “Zor, Blu, please come get my sandal out of the ocean.”
I was about to tell Olivia to go ask Chella; after all, this whole mess was created by her and we had no responsibility. But as I looked at Olivia, I saw her tail slightly droop and I knew shame was sweeping over her. Sighing, I turned and jumped into the afternoon sky.
“Hurry up!” Zor called over his shoulder, already flying toward the place where the sandal was last seen. “Do you want to rescue a sandal and get showered with appreciation later, or do you want an angry owner on our tail?”
Rescuing a sandal was pretty low on my list of what I had actually planned to do on this beach trip, but he was right, of course. Soon we flew out farther and farther, past the neopets wading in the shallow waters, past the neopets pretending to know how to swim, and past the surfers and swimmers, looking. All the while, we kept a careful eye on Chella, hoping she wouldn’t see us and holler at us.
“Aha!” I cried. This was too easy. Just ten minutes into the search and I had already seen something bobbing up and down in the blue current. I swooped down, with thoughts of prizes and celebrations...
But it was just an old, smelly boot. Furiously, I quickly dropped it into the ocean while ignoring Zor snickering. I distanced myself from him and vowed not to announce anything until I was absolutely certain that it was Olivia’s sandal. Then, I could reap the rewards for myself.
We looked and looked, my hope for a nice present slowly fading as an hour passed, and then another. As the sky darkened, we decided that we needed to enlist the help of our angry owner, who was impatiently wondering where we were. Although we had fished up countless other random items, we still had not seen the sandal. Finally, we concluded that Olivia would have to walk home with only one sandal. The other one was nowhere to be seen, and even if it could be seen, it was too far away and dangerous for us to fly farther out into the ocean.
The next day after the incident was a subdued one. Olivia had been grounded, and as Zor had predicted so had we. He traipsed angrily to my room.
“I told you so!” he exclaimed. “If we had explained to her about the ocean, maybe this wouldn’t have happened!”
I was about to angrily retort when we heard Olivia softly talking to her bear in the room next door. Without saying a word, Zor and I nodded at each other and mutually agreed to tiptoe to the door of her room and listen to what she was saying.
“...was an interesting day, Fuzzie...” we could hear her say softly.
“She’s talking to her bear!” Zor whispered to me.
I whacked him. “Of course, genius! What else would she be doing, talking to herself?”
“...my sandal fell into the bad ocean at Mystery Island. It swallowed my feet whole. I got my feet out, though...”
Zor punched me back. “I think that’s highly plausible, actually.” He opened the door, ignoring my protests.
“Hey, Olivia,” he said. “Talking to Fuzzie again?”
She nodded, immediately trying to look sad and innocent. “Olivia want sweet,” she whimpered, her eyes growing huge.
Zor and I shared a grin; things obviously hadn’t changed much.
Back in my room, I took out a piece of paper and my favorite earth faerie pen. I had nothing better to do, so why not write? I started journaling about yesterday’s events at the beach. Who knew the ocean wore sandals?