Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 189,988,201 Issue: 564 | 28th day of Gathering, Y14
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

The Misfortunate Travels of Lemuel Gelert


by patt788

--------

This journal was recently recovered by Krawk Island archaeologists from a very diminutive undersea wreck. Through rigorous examination, the waterlogged text has been salvaged and transcripted.

      5 Month of Hunting

      Since I was young, I have been possessed by a strong desire to explore those portions of Neopia not covered by land. The seas are vast and expansive, an endless sheet of water with unfathomable mysteries at its depths and uncharted worlds on its surface, fraught through both with unparalleled perils and legends to be made! There, on the horizon, where the world ends to our eyes is where, to our hearts, the world begins.

      But in my long life I have not acquired a solitary day's worth of nautical experience nor any practical knowledge of the sea. Yet yesterday, by the inexplicable designs of destiny perhaps, I came across a questionable one-eyed Coconut JubJub selling boats. He was a sly, crafty fellow, and he offered me a vessel for a million neopoints. Imagine! A million for one of the run-down scraps of driftwood with mast and rigging he was trying to scalp! But I out-Doglefoxed the poor sap. I talked him down to a mere twelve hundred thousand. I felt almost sorry to do it, but swindling is a two-edged sword. And I would have felt worse if he hadn't charged me an extra seventy-five thousand Neopoints for the sails, and another fifty thousand to attach them and teach me how to work them.

      And thus it is that today, with my limited savvy, with only my Buzzer, Swift, to accompany me, and with only my dreams as they are carried along on the breeze to guide me, I have left my home of Mystery Island and set out on this valiant venture to travel the unknown expanses of the briny blue!

      6 Month of Hunting

      How beautiful the ocean is! I could spend all day staring at the blinding sunlight playing across its surface as it softly ruffles with waves. And the sunset last night was a sight to behold, I'll tell you! It exceeds my descriptive powers. It's something you have to see for yourself. Unfortunately, I slept past sun-up, but I'll be sure to catch it tomorrow.

      7 Month of Hunting

      The ocean really is endless, isn't it? And it's all--blue. Very, very blue. Deeply . . . blue.

      But, ah, the sun! Yes--the--the sun! It's--it's bright, and majestic! It shines down relentlessly on me hour after hour, minute after minute, second after second. It's heat warms me to the bone. What a glorious smell is produced by the perspiration of a seafarer hard at his work!

      8 Month of Hunting

      The ocean is still there. And it's still blue. And the sun is still shining. And Swift keeps glaring at me, and refuses to speak to me. But that may because he cannot speak. Do you think that's it?

      9 Month of Hunting

      I'm running out of water. I didn't think I'd need much, with water all around me, but have you tasted ocean water? Not pleasant. There's some really foul taste in it. It's like putting all the disgusting tastes of the world together and pouring them into the water. And somehow, the more I drink, the thirstier I get.

      10 Month of Hunting

      I'll have to resupply at the next port. It can't be much farther.

      11 Month of Hunting

      . . . Can it?

      13 Month of Hunting

      Still no sign of port. But luckily, it's become very cloudy. They hide the sun. A very nice wind has also sprung up, which has a very pleasing coolness to it. There are some dark clouds on the horizon; those should provide even better shade!

      14 Month of Hunting

      I don't need to go into port anymore! The sky's providing all the water I need! It doesn't taste great, but it's better than the sea water, and far quenchier.

      15 Month of Hunting

      It's still raining. I can hardly keep the pages of the journal dry. My pelt is soaked through. Swift has started sniffling. First it was insufferably hot, now it's insufferably cold. Sailing was definitely the dumbest idea I have ever had.

      . . . No, actually, I think trying to capitalize on Techo Mountain as a super Cooking Pot was worse. Mumbo Pango didn't like that.

      So sailing is the second most foolish thing I have ever done.

      On the bright side, the boat has started filling with water. I needed a bath, anyway, and now it will be like one big tub! There's always a silving lining.

      16 Month of Hunting

      Today I learned something new. When one's boat fills with water, one's boat sinks, along with its silver lining.

      17 Month of Hunting

      At least the rain's gone now. I have begun to tire of this sailing venture. Hopefully we will reach port soon.

      Swift has taken to the hobby of drumming his wings on my head to a not entirely unpleasant rhythm. I've started writing lyrics:

      The sea is blue,

      Blue, blue, blue.

      The sky is too,

      Too, too, too.

      The sun is hot,

      Hot, hot, hot.

      The water's not,

      No, it's not.

      The rain is back,

      Back, back, back.

      Give me some slack,

      Slack, slack, slack.

      This drumming hurts,

      Hurts, hurts, hurts.

      It does, certes,

      Certes, certes, certes.

      He's drumming harder. I don't think he likes it when I sing.

      18 Month of Hunting

      Land at last! I was so exhausted that the first thing I did after we washed up on the shore was to crawl into the sand and collapse. After lying there for a time I got up to build a fire.

      My fire was nice. It warmed my toes very nicely. Or, most of them. And that alone, after nearly freezing, was quite a relief. But Swift built a fire, too. I'm very proud of him. Of course, he is just a Petpet. His fire was--well, ah--his fire was tolerable. We decided to share his--I didn't want to hurt his feelings, you know.

      19 Month of Hunting

      Today I decided to look around and see if I couldn't figure out where I was. I couldn't. There were jungles, but I didn't go far into them. I was happy enough to find coconuts. Unfortunately, it didn't crack when it fell on my head, so I had to strike it on my cranium a few more times. Swift suggested a rock, but I told him we couldn't eat those. Petpets can be very foolish, at times, but we mustn't judge them. They're just mindless animals.

      23 Month of Hunting

      Swift and I have been spending the last few days eating, sleeping, combing the shores, and building a shelter. I know we'll have to go into the jungle sooner or later to try and find a way off this island, or at least to find out where we are, but right now we're enjoying ourselves. It's like a vacation, almost. Plenty of sun, although I hate the heat. Plenty of shade, although the trees have a habit of dropping things on your head. Lots of waves, although I don't know how to surf. Endless sand, although I hate the feeling of getting it stuck between my toes and caught in my fur. Lots of lovely seashells, although I've lost count of how many I've collected. Nothing to do but relax--although I'm getting bored.

      24 Month of Hunting

      I decided to go further into the jungle today. We hiked for hours before stopping for the night. It's amazing how beautiful the jungle is! Where the ocean is constant and unchanging, the jungle is always fresh and exciting. There are always hundreds of sounds and colors. No two trees are alike. And you would be amazed by how many little creatures live in the jungle. And how irritable they can be when you disturb them. And how some of these little creatures have very, very big mommies and daddies.

      26 Month of Hunting

      I had a staring contest with a Meepit that crept up to our campfire last night. I beat him. Okay, I confess, I cheated, but I don't think he noticed. Although he did get pretty angry when I rubbed it in his face.

      I've heard tell that the saps of certain plants have alleviative powers, but all the ones I tried stung. So I tried collecting Spyderwebs to bandage the scratches. Now that my arms are free, I'm writing this while Swift disentangles the rest of me. Tricky things, Spyderwebs.

      27 Month of Hunting

      No sign of anything but more and more jungle. At least it's always new, unlike the ocean. Although it's also very humid and itchy.

      30 Month of Hunting

      I saw one of those Shenkuu Sailing Ships overhead today. We were nearly rescued, thanks to my quick thinking. I started a fire to signal them. Unfortunately, by the time I got a spark they were long gone. And--thinking as quickly as I was, I wasn't much thinking about where the sparks were going. Who knew jungle vegetation could catch fire that fast?

      Luckily, it's raining now. Hard. We built a shelter, but it leaks. We used empty coconut shells to catch the water, but we ran out, so I lay down with open mouth under the last leak, although that got tiresome quickly.

      2 Month of Relaxing

      I foundd something interesting tody. It was a masssive stone door. and it was open. Some giant creatre must have left it unlocked. but i doubt if the crime rate is very high in the midddle of the jungl . I went inside, hopping to find the occupant, or at least any foood he had around and maybe a nice, big soft bed t sleep in.

      No such luch, so far. This house has the longest entry halll I hav eever seen, and it's very dark. It seems to be slanting downard, too. Maybe Ill end up at Neopia's core, if I don'tt melt before I get thre.

      Swift and I stoopped for the night to sleep It's verry dark here, so i apologize if my writing is difficlt to reed.

      3 Month of Relaxing

      I can't believe it! By some fortuitous design of fate all our misfortunes have culminated in a momentous discovery! Swift and I are the first members of modern civilization to set paw in a subterranean world of steam-powered technology and magma, lost to history for decades, maybe centuries, perhaps millennia! Maybe this whole sailing thing wasn't such a bad idea after all? I could become an explorer renowned the world over; I could become the next Roxton Colchester! Of course, I don't mean that literally; Roxton Colchester isn't my real name, so I won't become Roxton Colchester IV. But figuratively speaking, I might cut a figure as prominent as his in Neopia!

      Although, for a lost civilization only known to a bygone era, I find it surprising how many tourists there are. I asked one what its name was, and they said Moltara. Moltara; what an uncreative name! It doesn't even make sense. There are no feathers around here. When I discover it, I'll give it a new name. A better one. Maybe I'll name it after myself. Lemland. I like that. Swift doesn't, but what does he know? After all, he's just a mindless animal.

      4 Month of Relaxing

      So apparently this place has already been discovered, and the pitiable locals are stuck with Moltara for life. I tried to make a petition, but not many people signed it. I got five names, but four of them are mine under various pseudonyms. The fifth was Swift's, even though he doesn't like the name. Alas, though, he can't spell very well, and the signature came out as more of a scribble than anything else.

      But at least, now that I'm back in civilization, I can go home and give up this idea of sailing.

      5 Month of Relaxing

      Swift didn't want to go home without seeing the caves we've heard about. I hear they're full of lava rivers and igneous Neopets. Sounds like a strange place, but I suppose after all he's gone through for me, Swift deserves a little fun of his own.

      Personally, I didn't see the attraction of the cavern. The natives were primitive and in the atmosphere I felt like I was being broiled alive. There was a public pool there, and Swift wanted to go swimming, but it was guarded by a surly Tonu who refused to let me in. Why anyone would want to bathe in lava, when there's plenty to go around all over the place, is far beyond me.

      And it turns out there's a guy around here named Igneot. As if Moltara wasn't bad enough. I spoke to him anyway, but I think he's senile. I asked him why all the names in this place were so lacking in creativity, and he said, "The coals burn brightly in favor of this." I asked if he was sane, then, and he said, "The fire is dimming and so is the chance of this."

      8 Month of Relaxing

      Home at last! It's nice to be back to the peace and relaxation of Mystery Island.

      2 Month of Swimming

      Yes, home. Dull, boring home, where the islanders chant all day and all night and all the next day and don't stop; where the training school is expensive and those snobby little ninjas run their elite club under the volcano; where the beaches are crowded and the weather is almost always too hot and where the greatest entertainment is to listen to Rorru babble gibberish; where the islanders chant some more, and more, and more; and . . . why did I ever want to come home?

      That's it. I'm going sailing again.

      3 Month of Swimming

      I tracked down that same boat salesman. He seemed surprised to see me "al"--whatever that means. He cut off the sentence and gave me a cheery "good morning" instead. I asked for another ship, and his finest this time, but he wanted another million. When I told him that sixteen thousand, three hundred and forty-two Neopoints were the last of my savings, he took it anyway and sent me on my way once more into the salty brine! And so begins another adventure!

      4 Month of Swimming

      The ocean is still blue. Imagine that. But at least I'm free again from the humdrum life of Mystery Island; and back to the humdrum life of endless blue, day in . . . and day out.

      Swift's glaring at me again and not speaking. I consider myself moderately sagacious in social matters, and I'm convinced that his reticence is meaningful. But he'll forgive me once we get accustomed to the beauty of sailing.

      And at least this time I was smart. Er, smarter. I brought a map with us. Although it's a bit crude . . . and I think it's written in Tyrannian. But at least I have a better idea of where I'm going! . . . I think. I never was much good at reading maps, anyway.

      7 Month of Swimming

      Swift has gotten to enjoy sailing. He's found ways to entertain himself. Whether he's bashing his forehead against the mast, pretending to fly away before I grab him, or gnawing on my leg, I can tell he's having a good time.

      8 Month of Swimming

      We've reached Krawk Island, but when I tried to buy supplies, they told me they didn't accept air as payment. I was shocked; did anyone? This was something I had never heard of before. I'll have to look into that.

      23 Month of Swimming

      It turned out that nobody on Krawk Island accepts air as remuneration, which is logical, anyway, as there's so much of it all over the place. Imagining my lungs as money bags was unpleasant, anyway. So I went to work in a tavern instead for a few days until I got enough money to purchase a few supplies. Tonight we set off again. I asked for directions to Tyrannia, where I hoped I could get the map translated.

      26 Month of Swimming

      Not much has been happening. But today, for the past hour or so, there has been a very large ripple in the water behind us. I know it's far too large to be my wake.

      . . .

      Now I can see something beneath the wave that's pursuing me. It must be huge, because it's only brushing the surface and still it's body is a hundred times bigger than my boat. I can't quite make out a shape, but it tapers toward me like a giant spearhead. It looks a bit reddish in color.

      . . .

      Why! A tentacle just reached right up out of the water to tower over my humble vessel! It's some sort of sea creature that's been following me! It seems to be waving at me. I wonder what it wants? I'll see if I can communicate, perhaps it wants to make frie--

The journal ends here. What this could add to archaeological knowledge, I fail to comprehend. But I certainly found it to be entertaining, and I hope you feel the same.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Full of Toast and Underwater
The Maraqua part I get. Okay, yes, I am a magma Grarrl, but we had the explore tool and that worked. But the toast...

by shadowstrand

---------

A Glimpse Into High-Stakes Gambling
At this point, you probably know your options: Nerkmids, Scratchcards, Treasure Maps, or the Wheel of Extravagance. Only one questions remains: Which one?

by wellesley_girls

---------

Just Cookies: Part One
Ress had done it. She'd finally done it. She'd perfected her Pumpkin Cookies.

by checkered_cat

---------

The Legend of Premium Bat
Battius woke as Thorn wheeled above Faerieland and directed him straight to the castle. He smoothed his rumpled clothing as they landed in the castle courtyard.

Also by jair_lorce

by crocodile_babiez




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