Snack for a Turmac
"What a nice day to be outside. Isn't it Mona?" said Stella to her yellow faellie. Mona chirped in reply while trying to balance on her bouncing shoulder. Going to Meridell for inspiration was a very good idea. Stella stretched her wings out to feel the breeze fly over them. The warm sun felt good on every scale of her body. This was the perfect place for a Christmas Draik to make some amazing artwork. She looked around for something to draw. Everywhere she looked it was fields, trees, and a few rocks. Nothing here sparked her interest.
"How about we walk a little farther?" she said, stroking Mona until she made her purr and giggle. After they walked a little farther, Stella stumbled on something very intriguing. A large object was sitting in the middle of the field. At first, it looked like a giant boulder. It was mostly green, but it had splashes of yellow and purple along the top and bottom. As Stella got closer, she noticed that Mona was acting very unusual. She was shaking and whimpering. Stella thought that she was cold from the slushie she had earlier. As she put her hand on the thing, she noticed that the felt warm. And that it was breathing? She noticed the top bobbing up and down. Suddenly, a bellowing echoed from the object. She stepped back in alarm.
"What's going on with that thing?" Stella asked herself. She walked around to try to get a better view on the thing. She pointed out four feet with huge claws, a small tail for the size, and an enormous sleeping face. She realized that this thing wasn't a boulder. It was a giant turmac! She remembered a story of a big turmac back at the village. His name was Turmaculus and that he was said that he could only be awaken with a petpet snack. Stella looked at Mona, who was shaking and twitching madly. Stella got really worried, since she only does that when she's really scared. Stella thought that this was the perfect opportunity to get an amazing picture. If only she could get a glance of him awake. She glanced at Mona grooming herself and decided it wasn't worth sending her partner and best friend to become a meal for a picture. She got her supplies out and got to work. She started painting Turmaculus sleeping. Mona was helping by handing her the right paints. They worked for a good bit. Stella had just finished the ground when she decided to take a break.
"How about some lunch?" she said to Mona, who was organizing Stella's tools. Her ears shot up and she squealed with excitement and raced toward her owner, licking her lips. Stella caught her in mid-run so that she didn't charge into the tree she was leaning against. She munched on her grilled cheese sandwich and a small tub of macaroni and cheese, watching Mona fish out a smaller meal from the sack. As they were eating, Stella noticed Turmaculus stirring in his slumber.
"Mona," she said, slowly grabbing her things, "we better get going." She motioned to the turmac. Mona looked at him and immediately cowered in Stella's smock pocket. Stella wanted to move out of his view, but she also wanted to see the great Turmaculus. She slowly started to tiptoe away, when suddenly Turmaculus started to open his eyes. She froze in her tracks. She felt Mona burrow deeper into her pocket.
Turmaculus looked sleepily around the area. He didn't seem to notice Stella and Mona as he slowly rose up. Stella was amazed by the way he looked with the lights and shadows reflecting off his skin. She was so awed that she didn't notice him starting to arch his back and stretch his legs. Suddenly, she realized that as he stretched, the closer his claws came towards her. She tried to get out of the way but it was too late.
Before she knew it, she was entwined in his mighty claws. She could feel them squeezing at her torso, making her feel like she was going to lose her breath at any moment. She felt Mona trying to escape her pocket, but his claws closed her in. Stella tried to escape by banging, pushing, even blowing fire at the claws, but still the turmac didn't even blink a response. Then, Turmaculus sat down and started to groom himself. He lifted his free paw and licked it thoroughly and began brushing his face. Stella immediately knew that he would do the same with the paw she was stuck in. She tried even harder to free herself of him, when suddenly she felt herself being lifted up into the air. She tried to scream at the turmac to get his attention, but she was too scared to find her voice. The last thing she saw was his gigantic tongue coming closer and closer. And then everything went black.
When she regained consciousness, she was in a very strange place. Everything was a light pink color. The air was warm and stale. There was very little light, but she could see something that looked like a cave. She was still a little dizzy from being knocked out by something that she couldn't remember. She slowly started to get up when she noticed that the floor was soft and slippery. Her hand was covered in some kind of slime. The walls felt the same as the floor did. She took a whiff of the air and smelled a terrible stench like rotten meat. Suddenly, she felt something moving around in her pocket.
Immediately she remembered what had happened. She realized that they were inside Turmaculus's mouth! Mona burst out of her hiding place, looking terrified. She saw Stella and hugged her. Stella returned the favor. The moment didn't last long when the ground moved under her. She fell back down on her knees and hands with Mona under her belly. As the ground shook, the place got brighter. Stella squinted to see what was happening. There was some sort of opening at the other side of the cave.
"That must be his mouth." she thought. Stella noticed it was getting larger and larger. She tried to walk towards it, but she just fell back down. She thought that she could fly out, but then suddenly there was a giant gust of wind pulling her away from the opening. She tried to fight it, but it was too strong. Mona was holding on to what must have been one of his teeth. Stella grabbed on also, shielding Mona from the wind.
Then, as suddenly as the wind started, it stopped. She looked towards the opening and saw that the opening was closing quickly. Immediately, she scooped up Mona and flew towards freedom. She flew as fast as her wings could take her. She was almost to the exit when another gust of wind came out of nowhere and started blowing her towards the opening. She was startled for a second, but she soon prepared to be blown out of this nightmare. Suddenly, she stopped with an unexpected jerk. Everything happened so fast that she couldn't bring it all into focus. It took a few seconds, but she could see that the opening was just a small crack now and that it closed before her very eyes.
"So close," she said to herself, mourning over her failure. She turned to see what stopped her and she saw that one of her wings was stuck in between his teeth.
"What, I lost my only chance of survival because of some teeth?!" she thought, trying to pull her wing out. "A little help, please?" she asked Mona. She crawled out from under Stella and pulled her wing out.
"Thanks," she said, stroking her. She walked towards his molars and sat down with a thud. How on Neopia were they supposed to get out of here? Stella couldn't believe she let this happen to her. She put herself and her faithful friend in danger. She had a chance of escape and she blew it. Stella was really depressed, but she knew she couldn't give up hope.
She thought back to when she was a Grundo. Back to the days when all she had was her mind and her spirit. She would always let out what she was thinking by doodling when she wasn't working as an assistant for Dr. Sloth. Then she remembered that faithful day. The day of the escape. All of her fellow Grundos were racing towards the escape pods to retreat to Neopia, never having to be slaves ever again. She remembered how she was one of the first into the pods. The others were trying their hardest to get to safety without getting caught. She saw those who had given up hope and decided to stay where they were. She also remembered seeing Sloth's mutant creations grabbing them against their will and dragging them into those dark halls. Back then, she knew that they were going to be turned into his mindless, mutant minions. Then she finally remembered how she saw some of her closest friends being dragged to their final minutes of self-thought. Back then she made a promise to herself to never give up her faith, and she kept that promise ever since. Soon, Stella noticed that they were in another mouthquake.
"I bet he's about to open his mouth again," she said, getting back on her feet. Holding on to his teeth for extra support, she got in front of his tongue so that they could get out the second he opened his mouth. Mona was hovering around her and finally settling back into her pocket. Stella got her wings ready, making sure she was ready to leave in the blink of an eye. She was all set when she noticed something strange. She noticed that there was a sort of up and down motion. She feared that he must have been on the move. Still, she held her ground, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Soon enough, there was a flood of light in the area, as she expected.
She was about to make a run for when she felt something warm and squishy slam into her. Stella knew that it must have been his tongue. Before she could get ready to jump, she was already out of her prison and into the... water? She found herself swimming in a lake. Mona was coughing up some water. Stella began to swim away when she was lapped by up into his jaws.
Before she knew it she was back where they started, this time bobbing like an ice cube in Turmaculus's midday drink. She was stunned, and then she realized that she wouldn't stay there for long. She began to swim rapidly towards one of the upper teeth to grab on to, but just as it was in arm reach, the water level started to drop rapidly. She swam with all of her remaining strength, but soon all she could she was his uvula hanging high above her head. Stella slowly started opening her eyes after her descent down Turmaculus's throat.
"I can't believe I'm not dead," she thought, feeling herself for any lost limbs.
"Wonder where I am now?" she said, looking around. It looked like the mouth, but Stella knew it wasn't. She took a whiff of the air. She quickly covered her nose. Her nostrils burned with the smell of some kind of gas. She backed up against the wall and slowed her breathing. After she got herself back to normal, she slowly uncovered her nose and looked around some more. She called for Mona after she couldn't see her anywhere. Mona got up slowly from a corner in this new environment. Her legs were weak and she was really shaken up. Stella walked over to her and picked her up to calm her down. She was rattling and whimpering like crazy.
"Come on, girl," she said, sliding her into her smock, "let's find a way out of here." Stella walked around trying to get a grasp on things. She followed the smell that she noticed earlier, hoping it was a way out. Suddenly, she found herself with one foot off the ground and losing the rest of her footing. She struggled to keep her balance. Luckily, the worst damage that happened was a sour tail. She slowly looked over the ledge and saw a pool of digestive acid.
"So that's where the smell's been coming from," she thought to herself. There were small bones sticking out from the toxic lake. There were also other strange objects floating around on the surface. Paintbrush handles, morphing potions caps, and even part of a stone wall. Stella felt a little sick to her stomach. Now she realized that they were in his. She went back to where they first fell, thinking about what to do and most important, how to survive until then. She heard a gurgling noise coming from overhead. She looked up to see some kind of hatch rumbling. Mona looked at it, sinking lower into her hiding place.
"That must be his throat," Stella said, reassuring her. As soon as she finished that sentence, the throat started to open up. Things were pouring out from the ceiling that made Stella get a genius idea. She grabbed onto the edge and reached out to try to grab some supplies. She wasn't fast enough to snatch anything useful, but see did grab a blanket. After that happened, she altered her plans a little bit. She spread the sheet out, holding it down with her feet and holding it out. As she knew it would, the blanket caught most of her prizes just like a net. After it was full, she brought it further away to rummage through her loot. She gathered what they needed and shoved the rest over the edge. It sizzled with direct contact.
"Well, I guess we'll be here for a long while," she said to Mona who was sniffing a piece of potato. "It feels like we've been here for days!" Stella had just finished collecting more supplies. She was starting to get antsy. She started pacing back and forth thinking of escape. It was eating at her ever since they got into this mess. Mona was constantly on edge as well. They were passing time with doddles. The throat started to open again.
"Well, let's get back to work," she said, getting the sheet ready. As she was preparing, she heard something that sounded like someone screaming. Then suddenly, a Bori fell out of the hole. Stella opened the blanket as wide as she could to catch him. The Bori landed in the blanket and Stella brought him to safety. After he was brought into safety, he thanked Stella for recusing him. Stella took a close look at this new character. He was an island Bori with a hat that she guessed he won at apple bobbing and a camping backpack stranded to him. He reminded her of her cousin Shovel.
"So, how did you get into this mess?" Stella asked.
"I was just taking a nap, and all of a sudden, I was sliding down this beast's throat," he said.
"I can relate," Stella replied.
"How'd you get down?" he asked back. "Sit down, this may take a while," she replied. She told him about how they got caught in his claws, how they almost escaped, and how they survived for so long.
"Wow, that's quite a tale," the Bori said after the story was over.
"Yeah, I know," Stella said, "but I still need a way to get out of this nightmare." Mona moaned, cuddling up to Stella. The Bori's ears perked up.
"Maybe I can help with that," he said, reaching into his pack. He pulled out something really bright. After the light settled down a little bit, Stella saw a small light faerie in a bottle. The faerie smiled to her and waved.
"I've been saving it for an emergency. I guess you can call this an emergency," he said. Stella gave a giant smile.
"I get it. We can let her out and she can transport us out of here," she said. Mona squealed with delight and did a backflip towards Stella, landing in her open arms.
"Okay, we need your help," said the Bori to the faerie. "We're going to let you out of there if you will transport us outta here, okay?" The faerie nodded her head and fluttered her wings in agreement.
"Alright," said Stella. "Let's pop this problem!" Everyone looked at her with a puzzled look.
"Just open the bottle," she grumbled. The Bori popped the cork and the faerie floated out of the bottle. She waved her hand and some glittery stuff hovered all around. Stella, Mona, and the Bori started floating in the air and started to glow.
"This tickles," the Bori said, giggling. Mona cooed and chirped in wonder, trying to catch the sparkles. Everyone started to tingle and then, POOF, they were gone.
They reappeared in the middle of Neopia Central and the faerie waved goodbye and flew away.
"Well, girl, that was quite the adventure," Stella said to Mona. Mona flew around in a circle over and over in joy. The Bori brushed off his fur.
"I guess I'll see you around," he said.
"Yeah, see you around," she replied. After the Bori was out of sight, Stella said, "Note to self, let's never go to see that turmac again." Mona nodded her head yes. "Wait till I tell the guys back home about this."