Some people complain about summer because the heat makes them ‘uncomfortable.’ Well, the heat makes me MELT! Being a chocolate Blumaroo is actually pretty tough. I tried working in the Chocolate Factory for a few years until the day the air conditioning went out. I had to run into the huge walk-in refrigerator and hide out with the other candy until it was late enough that it cooled down outside. That night I packed my bags. I knew that it just wasn’t safe here anymore.
I didn’t even sleep that night. After I packed, I had to get to the chocolate shop and back before the sun came back up. The Chocolate Factory is open twenty four hours a day so I was able to meet with The Kiko, even though it was early. Even as an employee, I never learned the name of the mysterious Kiko that owned the factory. Before I even started to explain myself, the Kiko held up his cane and started singing.
“I already know why you are here.
I understand so don’t you fear.
It’s too hot so you have to go,
Somewhere that is full of snow.”
Suddenly he stopped singing and looked me in the eyes. “Take care, Sapphiryla. You are always welcome back.”
“Thank yo-” I began to thank him but had to stop because I was utterly confused. Somehow I was back in my home with my bags in my hand. I shook my head at looked at the clock, 7:21:09 P.M. NST. Somehow the day had passed without me seeing the sun. How on Neopia did that happen? That Kiko was even more mysterious to me now. I was bewildered and exhausted, but I figured I should leave so I could get somewhere cooler before the sun came up.
It was an hour long walk to the shore. With Neopia Central behind me, I could see the faint glow of the lights of Roo Island in the distance. The only problem was the lack of bridge. I walked along the shore toward the north, looking for a bridge or boat. It wasn’t long before I came upon a young lady lying on a blanket in the sand. She looked like an owner, not a neopet, so I was very cautious. “Excuse me?” I asked.
She sat up and looked at me with a smile. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. I’m Tracey.” She held out her hand. Slowly I walked over and took her hand.
“I’m Sapphiryla, you can call me Saph if you’d like,” I said as I shook her hand. “I’m looking for a way to Roo Island? Do you have any idea how to get there?”
“Actually, I’m on my way to Terror Mountain. I suppose we can make a detour to Roo Island, if you want a ride. My pirate Krawk, Skizzia, is planning her first voyage on her own tonight. She was just named a Captain last week.” She stopped and looked at me expectantly.
“A pirate?” I swallowed with an audible “gulp.”
“Oh don’t worry!” Tracey said shaking her head. “That’s just the color she is painted. She’s very nice and wouldn’t ever harm anyone.”
“How much does it cost to book passage?” I asked. Roo Island was very close so I figured it wouldn’t be too bad. We could probably make it there before dawn.
“Oh I wouldn’t charge you. Let me just check with Skizzia. We can go ask her now,” she said, getting up.
I have to admit I was intrigued. I hadn’t heard of an owner that let their Neopet make big decisions like that, although I hadn’t met very many owners. I watched as Tracey grabbed her blanket and started walking toward a bunch of rocks just a little north of where we were. Shrugging, I began to follow. As we came around the rocks, I saw an average sized vessel. Before I had the chance to really appreciate how beautiful the ship was, I heard a very upset voice.
“Tracey! I said I can do it. Please. I’m almost done. We should be able to sail in just a few minutes.” I followed the voice to a pirate Krawk, whom I could only assume was Skizzia. “Oh! I’m sorry. I thought you were offering to help me get the ship ready, again. Who is this?” Skizzia said, gesturing toward me.
“This is Saph. She needs a ride to Roo Island. I figured we could stop there?” Tracey said as she smiled at me.
“I don’t mind paying some neopoints for it,” I squeaked, trying not to sound as nervous as I felt.
“Nonsense!” Skizzia said. “We were already going that way. It would be silly to make you pay. We set sail in twenty minutes.” She smiled and turned back toward the large mast in the middle.
Sure enough, within twenty minutes, Tracey and I had boarded and were ready to sail. Skizzia was a great captain. She was able to hoist and maneuver the sails, steer and still talk with me and Tracey. Skizzia was really funny too. She was a tad stubborn because she seemed to want to do everything by herself but eventually she loosened up. She even let me steer for a few minutes.
“So are you visiting family in Roo Island or something?” Skizzia asked as she moved the sail.
“Actually, I don’t really have a family. I’m just going there because it is too hot for a chocolate pet in Neopia Central.” It was the sad truth, I didn’t remember my original family. I got along fine by myself, though. Working at The Chocolate Factory gave me a place to live as well. Of course, I wasn’t sure what to do now that I had left.
“Um, I don’t want to damper your plans, but Roo Island isn’t any cooler really,” Skizzia said, frowning. I didn’t know what to say. I guess I had just assumed since it was closer to Terror Mountain that Roo Island wouldn’t be as hot. I felt my shoulders slump. Why didn’t I check first? I thought. “Are you okay steering for a moment?” Skizzia asked, interrupting my thoughts. I nodded and she walked over to Tracey and they started whispering.
Tracey walked over to me and sat down. “Can you come here, Saph?” she asked. I looked toward Skizzia and she took the wheel. I sat down next to Tracey. Before I said anything, she started to speak again. “Look, I know we just met you a few hours ago, but you are welcome to stay with us. We are going to Terror Mountain for a few weeks and it is very cool there. Summer will be about over when we head back. You can come back with us too. There is always room in our family.”
“Wow,” I began. “That is some offer. You two are really nice and well... I don’t really know what I’m doing.” I stood up and walked over the side of the ship. I could make out some of the buildings on Roo Island. The breeze felt good here on the water, but I knew it wouldn’t be as nice on the shore. I turned back toward Tracey and Skizzia. They were both looking at me in anticipation. “Maybe I could come with you to Terror Mountain and see from there?”
Tracey jumped up and hugged me. “That sounds great! Skizzia?”
“Hard to port!” she said steering. “Can you move the mast, Tracey?” she asked with a smile. “Our destination is Terror Mountain.”
It took a little over a week to get to Terror Mountain. It rained twice, but otherwise the weather was great. If it got too hot, I would go below deck with Tracey and we’d play card games and talk. By the time we reached Terror Mountain, it was like the three of us had known each other for our whole lives. Terror Mountain was fantastic. It was so cold that I actually needed a jacket! Tracey bought me and Skizzia warm, puffy jackets and we all hiked to the top of the mountain.
“Could this be any more perfect?” Skizzia asked as we ate our lunch at the top of the mountain. “Well, maybe if the rest of the family could come...”
“You have more neopets?” I asked Tracey.
“Yes, I do.” She laughed. “How did we not talk about that until now? There are fifteen of us; myself and fourteen other pets. We all kind of do our own thing. I don’t like to think of myself as an owner but as a friend or even mother.”
“Sixteen,” Skizzia said. “There are sixteen now.” She pointed toward me. “Right, Saph? You are part of the family now whether you like it or not,” she teased.
“You know what? I don’t like it,” I said, holding back a smile. Tracey almost dropped her sandwich. “I love it!” I said, grinning.
Tracey laughed. “Welcome to the family, Sapphiryla. You’ll fit right in.”
I felt like my heart was melting. Though I knew it wasn’t from the heat this time.