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The Once-Forgotten Shore


by book_moon

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      The Grim Sail was sailing to Krawk Island to deliver some goods that had been recently "acquired". It was the crew's biggest plunder yet, and they were looking forward to the Neopoints they would get from the smugglers on the island.

      "Cap'n, there's a shore ahead," Duke the first mate told his captain. "Should we land?"

      Captain Aguos squinted out toward the shore of which Duke spoke. "Arr, I think this is close to the Smuggler's Cove. It's not where I usually land to bring things for the smugglers, but I think it's close enough." Loud enough for the whole crew to hear, he announced, "Prepare to land on that shore."

      Tornin the navigator looked down at his map, then back up to the shore. Back down to the map, then back up to the shore. He decided he wasn't mistaken. "Captain, I think it would be very unwise to land here."

      The captain turned toward Tornin. "Why think ye so?"

      "If I'm correct, then the shore we're steering toward is the one that's always marked with a skull on maps." He tried to hand the map to Aguos, but the captain refused, and leaned in toward his navigator.

      "Tornin," he began in a quiet voice, "I can tell there's a storm a-brewin'. If we don't land somewhere, we'll be at the mercy of the tempest, and this is the only prime place for landing in our field of vision. I don't care if this is the shore of Faerieland, we're landing."

      Tornin nodded his head grimly. "As you wish, Captain." He knew there was no arguing with the stubborn Captain Aguos, and he also knew that the captain was not often wrong. And he isn't wrong this time, either, he thought to himself. If we don't go somewhere, we'll be caught dead.

      As the ship came closer to the shore, Tornin began to wonder if he was right or not. Might I have misread the map? Or maybe that skull doesn't really mean anything... He was all but convinced when he realized the sea level was rising. Or are we getting closer?

      "All crew, flee the ship!" cried Captain Aguos. "Swim to the shore!"

      Many crew members heeded the advice of their wise captain, but unfortunately, they would all get pulled under the surface by an unseen presence. The shore was still too far away to reach.

      Soon, the only crew remaining on the sinking ship were Aguos and Tornin. The two had sailed together since meeting in a course at Threelegs Academy many years before.

      "Tornin, ye were right," the captain remarked tragically. "We never should have tried to land."

      "You were right, too, captain. If we hadn't tried to land, we'd have been stuck in the sea during a bad storm. But I have to say... it's been an honor to sail with you for the past ten years, sir."

      "And ye as well." The two shook hands.

      Many years later...

      "Aren't you so glad that Krawk Island is back together?" Emma asked her sister, Lily, as the two Wockies walked along the shore.

      "It's wonderful," Lily said. "I still don't understand how the krawken ripped it apart, but the governor did a really great job putting it all back."

      Emma stopped short and looked at her sister with a mischievous look. "You know what would be fun?"

      Lily sighed. "Yes, I know what you're going to say."

      "We should go and see Smuggler's Cove for ourselves."

      "See, I told you I knew what you were going to say. You know that Mama doesn't want us going back there."

      "What if the next time the island gets ripped apart, the cove doesn't come back? We'll never be able to say that we looked into Smuggler's Cove."

      "And if we do go, we still might not be able to say it... or anything else, for that matter."

      "Come on, Lily! It'll be fun. Hasn't it been a long time since you and I did something adventurous together?"

      Lily had to admit she had a point there. They hadn't gone exploring since they were young children. Now, they were still fairly young, but they had outgrown the phase of exploration. "All right, fine... but only if you let me take the lead, and you don't do anything unless I say you can."

      "Sure," Emma said excitedly. "Let's go!"

      When they reached the hole in the rocks that was the entrance to the Cove, neither of the sisters realized it. They had never been told where exactly the cove was, only "not to go past the Academy." They kept on walking, and walking, until they were sick of walking.

      "Lily, what if we've already passed the cove without realizing it?" Emma asked sadly.

      "We might have... but then again, it might be ten feet head of us in the rocks. Let's keep going."

      And they kept going, and kept going... until they reached an impasse.

      "Well, we can't keep going... Guess we should go back, huh, Emma? Emma?"

      Emma was distracted by the sea. "Look at all the wreckage out there! All the junk, it seems like a ship graveyard."

      Her sister took a look around and realized Emma was right. Through the clear water, she could see the remains of many old ships on the bottom of the ocean. Some were so big, in spots so shallow, that they stuck into the air slightly.

      "Hey, look at this!" Emma cried out frantically.

      Lily looked over at her, and Emma pointed toward what had drawn her attention. It looked like an enormous branch... until you noticed the suckers. It took Lily a moment to realize what it was.

      "It's a krawken tentacle! I bet the krawken used to be in this bay, and it destroyed all those ships."

      "That's scary." Emma shuddered.

      "Hey, Emma, look over there." Lily pointed to a point fairly far away on the beach. "I can't quite tell what it is... but I think I have a guess at it. Let's go!"

      The two sisters ran along the beach, and when they were closer to what Lily had spotted, her hypothesis was confirmed. "It's a bunch of treasure chests!"

      "What do you think is inside them?" Emma asked excitedly.

      "Hopefully Neopoints. Or maybe some expensive jewelry."

      "Well, let's open it!"

      Lily opened the chest, happy to find that it was unlocked. The chest's hinges creaked, moving for the first time in years. The sisters were disappointed with the bounty, though - all it contained was many pairs of red socks.

      "Well, that's all right... Maybe the others will have better stuff."

      But soon all of the chests had been opened, none containing anything more valuable than socks, candy, or cheap earrings. The girls were going back home, disappointed, when one last thing caught Emma's eye.

      "That's not a rock, is it?" she asked curiously. Lily looked over to what she was speaking of.

      "No, it doesn't look like it... Let's go check it."

      When they got closer and were able to see what it was, they both gasped and looked at each other.

      "Is that..." Lily began.

      "A Draik Egg?!" Emma completed.

      They said simultaneously, "We're rich!"

      The End.

 
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