Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 192,927,879 Issue: 670 | 21st day of Storing, Y16
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The Dazzling Peachpa


by leopardsymptoms

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When Senking broke his way of the outermost membrane of the translucent egg that enshrouded him, he was just a blue Hissi no more than a wee inch long, wiggling and struggling like a Skidget that found itself underwater. He squiggled his way out into the glass-like waters of the river, emanating a beautiful ultramarine all around him in the morning sun. To his left and right he saw that his one thousand or so siblings still snoozed inside the jelly membrane of the little eggs resembling little pearls on a blanket of emerald green moss. The first rays of the morning sun had just begun to penetrate deeper into the river, turning the ultramarine waters into a lighter hue, and the pearl-like eggs glittered like opals every time it caught the rippling sunlight. Some of his older siblings that made their way out of the eggs just hours before him smiled at him as their eyes met and swam off into the stronger currents beyond the mossy blanket. Others were just beginning to struggle their way out of the eggs themselves, lifting up the fragile shells above their heads as Senking waited eagerly to welcome his younger siblings. But soon enough his hunger set into his little stomach, sending a numbing pain he never experienced before and a little growl that sounded like thunder in the calming morning waters to his slight embarrassment. When he realized that there was no parent to look out for him, he knew that he had to start fending for himself immediately and let the swift river current carry him away from his first home and began his hunt for little critters that would nourish his teeny worm-like body.

      Senking's eyesight was naturally very good, so it was an easy matter to snatch into his mouth the silhouettes of the petpetpets that darted quickly against the surface of the water as they contrasted against the white light from the late morning sun. He continued his hunt well into the night, which in turn turned into a nonstop hunt for several days as his body continued to grow at such a rapid pace and found that he could go on catching and eating as long as sleep did not set in. He had a monstrous appetite for a such a tiny neopet as his tiny body quickly expended energy fighting against the strong currents, until he had grow another seven inches within the end of the week.

      Finally, Senking took his first rest since he first made his way around the raging waters of the river, admiring the calm waters that emanated a deep sapphire-like glow as the golden sun set in the world glistening beyond the surface. His feeding routine became much lax after this, taking the leisure to find food whenever he pleased now that the petpetpets were much easier to catch thanks to his size. He let the sleep take over his droopy eyelids as he squeezed his way into the space between the smooth round rocks that created pleasant marble-like noises as he moved one against another to make a perfect cool bed for himself.

      Such days of his early youth pleasantly slipped by, and it did not occur to him to venture outside the river surface until one day, a large splash sent ripples to the river floor and caught his attention as he was sniffing out little critters in between the rocks. When he looked up fear immediately took hold of him: a large shadow that was twice the size of his head was heading straight towards him. His mind raced. He was going to be eaten, he thought. He squeezed his eyes shut preparing himself for the same fate that took hold of the petpetpets that he had eaten so many times before, but as he waited for the fateful claws that would surely chomp down on his young body, he only felt a rush of tickling tiny bubbles sweeping around him in a circular motion. Slowly he let his eyes open, fearful what sight he would have to behold, but he instead he was immediately dumbstruck from the beautiful sight before him: it was not a fearsome Jetsam as he had assumed, but a very large Peachpa that had fallen from a tree beyond the surface of the waters, now covered by thousands of tiny bubbles that glittered like diamonds on its felt-like skin as it bobbed up and down along with the current. Immediately, an incredibly sweet and floral fragrant overwhelmed him, no doubt from the Peachpa itself. Mesmerized, the blue Hissi swam up to the Peachpa and tagged shortly behind it as the river carried it leisurely down an ever-growing stream far beyond the waters he had ever ventured.

      It was around sunset when the rocks cast long shadows around him in on the river floor like an elongated checkerboard, when the Peachpa got caught in between some dead leaves and twigs that created a tiny dam at the surface of the stream. The Hissi was delighted at the good timing, he was just getting tired and he could now reassure himself that the Peachpa would not float too far away as he prepared for a goodnight's rest. As he settled in between some rocks only a few feet away from the floating Peachpa, he admired its velvety texture, the sweet heavenly fragrance, and the tiny diamond bubbles that encrusted the whole fruit like a jewel in the blue river, now clasped firmly between some twigs. It was truly a sight to behold as the sun set and the glowing ultramarine waters gave way to darkness, all the while the tiny bubbles on the Peachpa began to reflect the full moon far above him like tiny stars casting a faint light to the bottom of the silvery river floor.

      A change took a hold of Senking now that he had found a new meaning to his life beyond catching little petpetpets to make his dinner every night: he now had to take care of the Peachpa as if it were his petpet, snatching up little pests that were attracted to its sweet scent before it could touch the fruit, nudging away twigs that were on a crash course and otherwise would have rammed and dented the perfect Peachpa.

      As strange as this amount of attention that the Hissi gave to this fruit, soon enough other small aquatic petpets joined him to admire the Peachpa day and night, attracted by the fragrant aroma that no doubt originated from the airy world beyond the surface of the river. Even a group of passing Peophins racing at full speed would stop in their tracks to admire the tiny air bubbles stuck to the Peachpa's velvety surface reflecting a myriad colors of the rainbow like a prism when the sun set casting its last rays into the water before swimming off again. What otherwise would have been a treacherous night of hunt where petpetpets had to fear for their lives from the likes of large neopets like Senking, found themselves forgetting their differences and admiring the Peachpa that caught the light of the full moon like diamonds and bestowed a spectacle of white sparkles in the dark blue underwater world. Such were the calming effects of the Peachpa, that it never occurred to the Hissi that any other Neopet would find the Peachpa a food.

      One morning, a disturbingly crude voice woke Senking up from his peaceful slumber.

      "Hey you," it addressed Senking. He looked up baffled at what had suddenly interrupted his sleep: a large red Jetsam with menacing yellow eye yellows stared down at him observing his every movement. Senking quickly gathered himself despite his sleepiness and the fact that another neopet much larger than himself hovered above him in an intimidating manner and greeted the Jetsam.

      "Yes?"

      "Morning to you too, sonny. Is that your little pink fruit over there?"

      "I'm its guardian." At his unusual remark, the Jetsam let out a loud snort.

      "Hah! Its guardian? You know that that's a fruit?"

      "Yes, it's a Peachpa. But I guard it so I am its guardian."

      "And what exactly do you guard it from?"

      "Anything that would harm its appearance including hungry neopets and large twigs that might bump into it. Many of us here appreciate its beauty as it keeps many of us less on edge so I do my best."

      "Well, I guess that will do. But let me tell you something, I'm the boss around these waters. If I find that that Peachpa is ever getting in my way, it's going to be safe in my stomach."

      "Yes, it won't be in your way." Senking could not help but recoil slightly into the rocks.

      "We'll see about that!" and the Jetsam left just as suddenly as it had awoken him and let out what could only be described as an evil laughter as it swam off.

      Senking tried to brush off this weird incident relieved that no harm had come to him or the Peachpa.

      That evening turned to a particularly dark night, when the moon reflected just a sliver of its round self, and Senking took notice of how unusually quite the river was. Usually, there would be one or two other petpets around him admiring the Peachpa that gently bobbed up and down with the current, but today there was not a single soul in sight, let alone the petpetpets that usually hid behind the rocks careful enough not to grab his attention. Senking would usually notice of them of course, but ever since the Peachpa came into his life, his mood ebbed and he made after the petpetpets for food much less often. He had even made an oath to himself that he would never eat anyone that shared the same interest in the beauty that the Peachpa had to behold, so special it was to Senking. Having not sensed a single clinking of the smallest pebbles that would have otherwise indicated a petpetpet making its own hideout, Senking carefully made his way towards the edge of the river, nudging the Peachpa closer to the shore around a bed of damp twigs and moss that he had made for it, before snuggling a few inches off to sleep in between the cool rocks that suited his harder skin much better. He tried to settle right off to sleep, but some unsettling aura had taken a hold of the whole river. The tiny holes where petpetpets usually hid and stuck their little heads out of were instead packed from edge to edge with tiny pebbles like a cemented wall. No doubt the petpetpets themselves had made the walls themselves in order to protect themselves from the open water where not a single soul entered tonight.

      Suddenly, a loud thump was heard from upstream, followed by a crashing noise of large rocks and the crackling of twigs that echoed into the crisp night.

      Two large Jetsams were heading straight down the river. One seemed to be chasing the other, a large mutant with arms that were as large as Senking himself whose menacing tentacles would have even made the Black Pteri retreat back to its nest. Senking realized that the one being chased was the very red Jetsam that had just rudely awoken him earlier in the day and quickly swam up to the Peachpa and cradled it with his tail as carefully as he could to find a niche between the rocks where he could hide into safety. But as he brought the Peachpa towards the floor, the red Jetsam saw him as an evil look flashed through his eyes and dashed straight towards Senking to knock the Peachpa out of Senking's grasp.

      "Sorry I'm just borrowing this!" the red Jetsam yelled and before Senking could do anything, the Jetsam leapt out the water and threw the Peachpa straight towards the mutant Jetsam swimming at full speed towards them. The mutant dodged the Peachpa falling towards it underneath the surface and rotated in a circular motion to grab the Peachpa and then leapt out of the water to throw it back towards them. Seeming to have underestimated its own strength, the mutant Jetsam threw the Peachpa a quarter mile further down stream where the it landed with a solid splash. Almost instinctively, Senking immediately swam towards the Peachpa hoping to get to it before the current would take it further away.

      As the two Jetsams continued their chase upstream, Senking swam and swam, but a dread began to grow in his stomach as the banks down stream grew further and further apart and the water flowing through his gills began to taste more saline. He pushed his tail from side to side as fast as he could, urging the most power he can, his hands crawling and reaching out as far as he could make them. He thought that his arms would surely detach from him from all of the rapid strokes but all he could think about was the safety of the Peachpa and how much he did not want to lose sight of it. Pearly balls of tears were cascading down his cheeks in such desperation as he was and the Peachpa was swept further away from him in the ever-growing stronger currents.

      Suddenly the floor beneath him receded into the darkness, and either side of the banks were no longer visible. Senking halted himself within the water, and all around him the navy waters stretched into an eternal abyss. Despite reaching the ocean, he had not reached the Peachpa, and it sunk into him that he would never see its beauty again.

      As he came to this realization, to his surprise, he felt an immense sense of strength welling inside of himself. He looked down and instead of his blue stubby fingers which he had expected to see, there was a beautiful set of translucent fins that were the same color as the Peachpa. He turned around to see his enormous tail stretched for yards and yards away, so far did it extend that he even thought that he wouldn't be able to see the end of it in the murky ocean waters. Despite the sudden change in his size, his body had never felt so light before.

      "I'm Maraquan!" Senking couldn't help but to murmur to himself. Although the Peachpa was forever lost, he felt that even those menacing Jetsams could not harm him now. A weird thought flashed through his mind as he contemplated what could have caused this sudden metamorphosis. Could it possibly have been the Peachpa? No way, he shook his head. It did not even bother him that he did not know which direction the stream was anymore. And with that, Senking disappeared into the ocean, forgetting about the pursuit but with a new confidence, forever holding the beautiful Peachpa dearly in his heart.

The End

 
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