The inside scoop on Jelly W-argh! *choke* Circulation: 179,788,606 Issue: 445 | 28th day of Hunting, Y12
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

The Storm


by coookie18471

--------

Also by kewtiepiexx

Khaytra sat on the bank of the river, watching the water, thick and cloudy, creep closer and closer inland. The Lutari's fur, usually bright orange-red, had turned a sodden, damp red, like smoldering coals, in the torrential rains that had created the swollen river. He cast an eye up to the sky, watching it, wondering how long the storm would last. He knew that it would last for several hours yet; he did not know how long after that the rains would continue.

     "Looks wet." Khaytra's friend, a forest green Draik named Lymal, settled down next to him. The Draik spread his wings, green webbed with green so dark as to almost be black, and peered down into the river. "How long before it makes it up here?" The rain continued to pound on the river, as though a thousand marbles were being shot into the water.

     Khaytra sighed. "Maybe two hours, I'll say," he said. "It's been rising faster today than last night." He pointed down to a small twig, almost covered with water, sticking out from the rushing river. "The water was there this morning."

     "It couldn't have been," Lymal said. He looked around; the grey landscape seemed to depress the Draik. "I think we should leave here." He picked himself up off the grass, worried. "The water should be here eventually, if not soon. We should get away," he said.

     "I thought everything was ready?" the Lutari said, dangling his left foot in the water; when he drew the foot back, it was covered in brown and green muck. Khaytra examined it casually, as if muck attached itself to his foot everyday and this was a new, exciting species of it. "The boats, the packs, everything?"

     Lymal shook his head, scattering rain drops as he did so. "They're nearly ready, but not quite. I need your help on finishing up." Without waiting for an answer, Lymal turned on his heel, nearly slipping in the mud, and walked off to a circle of huts in the distance. Khaytra cast one last look down at the river, green and brown, and then followed Lymal.

     ***

     As Khaytra and Lymal came to the huts, a Krawk, tall, thin, and grey, poked her head out of one of the huts. The Krawk was named Iella; she had been friends with Lymal and Khaytra for many years. Quickly ducking into the hut, Lymal and Khaytra examined what Iella had before her.

     "Pretty good, isn't it?" she said, standing off to the side. "Not my best work, but I'd say it was decent." She smiled shyly, a sweet expression that made her emerald eyes sparkle, even in the gloom of the hut.

     It was a boat, made of wood and carved to fit perhaps five or six people. The head of the boat had an intricate figurehead, a coconut jubjub wielding a spear, that stood at the front proudly, as if its sole purpose was to guard and defend the boat with its life.

     "Nice," Lymal said, walking around the boat to see it from all sides. "This is perfect for what we have to do." He paused at the figurehead. "You had time to make this?" he said, casting an inquiring look to the Krawk. Lymal pulled himself into the boat, nearly disappearing inside of it.

     "Actually no, I didn't have time for it," Iella said, laughing. "I made it ages ago, but I never thought that I would ever have to use it for anything." She shrugged. "I always considered it more of a decoration than anything. And so I stuck it on the boat, just to make it more interesting."

     Khaytra nodded. "Well, whyever you put it there, it looks fine." He clapped, a sound that resonated in the small hut. "Do we have room for all of the equipment that we'll need?" the Lutari said, peering into the boat to address Lymal.

     "It looks like it, yeah," Lymal said, standing up in the boat. The sides of it came nearly to the Draik's shoulders; they were enormous, as Lymal was actually considered to be quite tall. "We even have little lockers under the seats if we need them."

     Iella glowed with pride. "A new design of mine," she said. "I --"

     A crash of thunder, rather like a pair of symbols slamming into a wall, quieted Iella. A moment later, a streak of blinding lightning illuminated the jungle outside the circle of huts. The rain came pounding on the roof, relentless like an army and almost as noisy. Drops of water came in from slight cracks in the thatched roof. Far away, out of sight of the three friends, the river had risen to the place where Khaytra had been sitting; it was flooding faster than the Lutari had expected.

     Khaytra walked outside of the hut, casting a quick glance up to the sky, which was now grey streaked with ominous red clouds. "I think," he said slowly, "that we should hurry up." He walked, quite calmly, back into the hut, now looking at the interior of the hut, rather than the boat. "Where are the packs?"

     "The packs?" Iella said, tilting her head. She thought for a moment, staring off into space. After a moment, her face brightened. "Oh! The packs. What we'd need to survive the storm." She ran out of the hut, into the rain. Khaytra watched as she went into the hut opposite the one that the held the boat. After a moment, the Krawk returned, dragging four heavy, palm leaf sacks behind her on the ground. "Here they are!"

     Khaytra glanced at the sacks. "They have everything? Food, supplies, everything?" He looked over at Lymal, still in the boat. "If we have the packs now, I think we can go." He took a bag from Iella.

     Lymal considered it. "I suppose," he said finally, "that that is it." He climbed out of the boat, carefully lowering himself down. "We each take a pack, leaving one in the boat, and bring the boat to the sea. We put the boat out to sea and jump into it." He seemed to run the process through his mind visually. "Yes, that'll work." He took a pack from Iella.

     Khaytra sighed. "Well, we better start."

     ***

     The trio made their way to the beach, dragging the boat along with them. For its size, the boat was very light; that was another bit of cleverness of Iella. Eventually, the beach, wild with sea foam and black waves, was reached. Khaytra looked up and down the shore and shook his head. "Looks like this is as good a place as any," he said, sweeping an arm out over the view. "We could start down there." He pointed to a miniscule bay where the waves were not quite as rough. "It would be easier to start in that kind of water, but then we run into the problem of the rocks right over there." A finger pointing to a spot a few inches out from the shore, where nothing could be seen, but doubtless there were rocks there.

     "Let's start here," Lymol said. He picked up his section of the boat and began to drag it. Iella and Khaytra both quickly began to navigate the boat to the coast. The beach itself was difficult to move across; rain was now pouring down in strangling blankets; lightning flashed in a myriad of colours over the sea; wind pushed the trio back away from the water's edge. Eventually, the boat made it to the water; it was put into the water, wild and black, and then given a slight push. Khaytra, Lymol, and Iella jumped into the boat as the water's strong fingers snatched the boat and dragged it out to sea.

     The three friends did not attempt to steer or paddle the boat; any attempt would have been laughable in the storm. They simply sat there, watching the waves swirl, chaotic and frenzied, all around the mighty sea. The rain invaded the boat; water had to be dumped on several occasions. Any sense of time was lost in the darkness that clung to everything, nearly blinding the eyes. Lightning continued to play a dreadful skit across the horizon; once, a bolt arched right over the boat, narrowly missing the wooden boat.

     Time passes in a storm; no storm can last forever. Day comes after an endless night, wiping away any trace of the night's terror. The friends came to see the dawn after the storm, a welcoming sight for them. The storm had lasted for nearly five days, if Khaytra had counted right. The winds died down about an hour after the clouds broke; the trio paddled their boat to the nearest island that they saw. It was an island that they had never heard of, almost like a brand new planet. The boat gently run into the pebbly beach, dark with stones.

     "Where are we?" Iella said quietly. She stepped out of the boat, pulling her pack, now much lighter, along with her. She pulled out a fruit, covered in fungus, and nibbled it. The other two could not stand the fruit; it was Iella's favourite thing to eat.

     Before Khaytra or Lymol could reply, a small green creature raced over to Iella, jumped up, and, with a snap of its jaws, chomped the rest of Iella's fungus fruit. The creature collapsed to the beach, twitching. Khaytra took a step forward to try to help the thing, but took two steps back as the thing, whatever it was, starting growing taller. After a few seconds, the thing, a Krawk, had now grown to full size. Iella simply gaped at the Krawk; Khaytra and Lymol ran back to the boat.

     "How did that happen?" Iella asked the Krawk, as if it would reply. The strange Krawk simply cast a blank look at Iella and wandered along the beach, staying close to Iella the entire time. Another little Krawk came waddling along from farther down the beach, perhaps looking for the now grown Krawk. Iella quickly offered a fungus fruit, and it too mutated into a perfectly grown Krawk.

     "That's it," Khaytra said. "We're out of here. Come on, Iella, let's go somewhere not bizarre." He and Lymol had the paddles for the boat out and were ready to shove off the beach. Khaytra thought there was something very dangerous happening on the island; it was unsafe.

     Iella wavered on the beach, casting looks between the boats and her new creations. She too thought something strange was happening, but, to her, it wasn't dangerous. She was creating Krawks from these little, adorable creatures. She wondered how exactly that could be so bad. Considering all of this, Iella shook her head. "We should stay here," she said. "What's wrong with staying here? We'd be creating a whole civilisation of Krawks here."

     Khaytra frowned. "Iella," he said gently. "This is just too weird. Let's go." He motioned for her to join him in the boat; she stayed on the beach. She took a step backwards, shaking her head. Khaytra sighed. "Get in," he said, now growing impatient.

     "No," Iella said. "I... I thought we were friends," she said quietly. "But I think we really should stay; why are you so averse to staying here?" She patted the two new Krawks. "We'd be hailed as heroes by these Krawks... What is wrong with that?"

     "It's just too weird for me, you being a voodoo princess just like that," Khaytra said. He stared at Iella, who returned his stare right back.

     "It's just unnatural too," Lymol said. He had been watching the exchange from behind Khaytra, and he too felt that they should not be messing with the Krawks; it was scary.

     "Well," Iella said, turning her back to the boat. "Just go along without me; I'm staying with the Krawks." She walked along the beach, tall and proud, like some warrior princess. She did not turn back to catch the unsure looks of her two friends, both of whom still cared deeply for her.

     "I guess..." Khaytra said slowly, dragging it out for effect, "that we could just leave her behind." He hoped that the thought of leaving her two friends might bring Iella back; he was wrong.

     "Go ahead, see if I care," Iella said, still not looking at the boat. She pulled her two Krawks with her. "Just go and leave me; let me do everything to save you on our island and then abandon me, go ahead." She sighed, thoroughly annoyed with her friends, and left the beach. She did not look back to see that Khaytra and Lymol had left; they did not come back.

     Iella moved into the caves in the center of the island. She grew her fruits inside the moist caverns; her Krawks multiplied as more fruit was grown. Eventually, Iella taught them to make boats and ships. She taught them how to attack other boats, take supplies, and much more. The island was soon covered with pirates that knew sailing. As time went by, these Krawks went out and attacked any ship in the vicinity; these attacks were commanded by Iella, who hoped that her friends would one day sail back to her. They never did.

     The island soon became rich in gold, fungus, and Krawks. Krawk Island had been born.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Top 10 Repurposed Items
You don't have to break your budget just to afford the essentials. Why not make them yourself using a number of everyday items you already have sitting around?

by matresses

---------

The Adventure Before Dinner: Part One
There are no wise magicians and no great pancake recipes, and the villain is anything but clever.

by umbreon54399

---------

Recipe for Disaster
Enter the "problem" employee.

by prismfire

---------

Completely Smart
Wanna see?

by ms_meepit



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.