Reign of Ice: Part Three
"No time for sarcasm, get me out of here!” Brendon was frantic.
Irena started looking around for something she could use to pull her brother out of the quicksand. “This is why Mom never takes us on her vacations,” she muttered to herself.
“Ow!” She yelled, hopping on one foot. Looking on the ground where she stepped, she saw a sharp stone. She picked it up, examined it closely, and got an idea. She turned to the side and saw a vine dangling from a nearby tree. “Hold on, Brendon! I’m coming!”
“Hold on to what?!”
She used the rock to cut off the vine and took it to the quicksand where Brendon was trapped. She twirled the vine like a lasso, and then threw it towards her brother, who by now only had one arm above the quicksand. He grabbed it, and Irena pulled him out.
“Honestly,” the Blumaroo groaned, “I never thought I would have to pull a Kiko out of quicksand.”
After the incident, the duo made good time and got out of the jungle within an hour. However, when they were just clear of the trees, they turned around and saw…
“Uh-oh.” The Speckled Kiko was awestruck.
“This is not good.” The Cloud Blumaroo was horrified.
Just north of the island, storm clouds engulfed Neopia.
“We don’t have much time,” Irena said hurriedly.
Luckily, the Tropical Foods shop was coming into view.
The twins walked, or, in Brendon’s case, floated up to the shop.
“This time,” Irena told Brendon, “let me do the talking. ALL of it.”
“Why? What did I do?” The Speckled Kiko tried to make himself look innocent.
“Just don’t talk. This way, I won’t forget you don’t have feet to put in your mouth.”
They entered the shop. “Hello,” Irena began. “I need one Tagobo Potion, please.”
The Techo shopkeeper responded “That will be 749 Neopoints.”
Irena checked her pockets. “Let’s see… it looks like I only have 600. Brendon, do you have any money?”
The Cloud Blumaroo turned to her brother, annoyed. “Brendon, when I said not to do any talking, I meant to the shopkeeper, not to me. Now, do you have anything?”
“BRENDON!” She slapped the Kiko across the face, which was also his entire body.
The Blue Techo spoke again. “Do you think you could take this outside? You’re scaring away the customers.”
“I apologize for my brother.” Irena turned to Brendon. “Now, if you are done napping, could you help me with the potion before I find a way to use it directly on your BRAIN?”
“Look here,” announced the shopkeeper. “If you leave right away, I’ll give you the potion for 300 Neopoints. If not, I’m charging double.”
“Take the offer,” Brendon whispered. Irena scowled at him, but otherwise said nothing.
“Alright, here’s your money. My brother and I will be leaving in a moment.”
“And would you like paper or plastic?” the Techo chuckled. The siblings just stared blankly. “A little shopkeeper humor there. All those soggy old bags come from somewhere before you fish them up underwater, you know.”
As they left the food store, Irena got the tiny key out from her pocket. “Alright”, she stated, “We only need a little bit of the potion to restore the key. I’ll just pour a drop and…”
With a loud “POP”, the key grew at such speed it appeared to just poof itself to larger size. Irena almost dropped the potion, but Brendan floated in to grab the bottle just before it fell.
Irena was not so lucky. She landed on the sandy ground with a muffled thud. “Thanks,” she groaned.
The skeleton key now spanned the width of her hand. Though previously it could be concealed between two of her fingers, you could now see that it was very intricate and artistically crafted.
She got herself up and wiped of the sand. “Okay, now that we have this key in a usable condition, we can leave the island. Come on, I still remember that map of the southern part of the Island I read a while back. We can get to the harbor before dinner.” Then, in an almost inaudible tone, she added, “Good thing they haven’t revamped this island yet.”
Brendon, however, was already in line for Tombola. Irena saw him and yelled, “When did you get over there?”
The Kiko was floating up and down rapidly, excitedly. He thought today was going to be his lucky day. “Oh, uh, Irena, I came over here when that paragraph was describing the key.”
“But that was only two sentences!”
It was now his turn. Brendon reached his hand in the box and pulled out…
“Sorry,” declared the Tombola Guy. “Better luck next time. NEXT!”
Irena caught up with her ever-more-irritating brother. “Okay, now that we got that taken care of, I would like to remind you that you come to this island nearly EVERY DAY for your training.”
“But Dad never lets me get in line. By the time we get here, I have to head straight to training, then by the time I’m done, he takes me straight home. He says the line is too long or something…”
This could go on for a while, so I’ll just fast forward to where the adventure resumes.
“Okay,” after she calmed down, Irena got back on with her plan. “The harbor should just be an hour away if we stay by the shore. And… after all that arguing, it is of course starting to get dark. We still have to get to Moltara to find a heat source.”
“Why can’t we just get a Fire Mote from Brightvale?” Brendon did not want to go back to Moltara. After his vacation there last summer, he decided he did not like spicy food.
“Well, Brightvale is a little bit close to Meridell,” Irena was cross. “Chances are we’ll pass by that kingdom on the boat ride to get from here to there. And you’re likely on the Meridell most wanted list. If they see you, they’ll through you in the dungeon. And since Mom doesn’t trust you to go anywhere on your own, I’ll be with you when they catch you. And since I’m with you, they’ll probably throw me in the dungeon too.
Brendon just followed her. Being as he is, he wanted to get to sleep… again. He didn’t even feel bothered enough to complain.
By the time they arrived at the harbor, the sun was completely set with only a sliver of light over the horizon.
“I’m terribly sorry,” the Coconut native told them when they made their request. “None of our boats are sailing because of the storm. And besides, it’s kind of late to be setting sail. Come to think of it, it’s kind of late for two young Neopets like yourselves to be out and about. You should be finding someplace to sleep.”
Irena shuddered. “For some reason, this reminds me of a horror story I read just the other day.”
Brendon yawned. “EVERYTHING reminds you of a story you read ‘just the other day’. The talking fruit is right. We need to sleep.”
When she heard her brother say “talking fruit,” Irena smacked herself square on the face.
The native turned to face Irena. “You live with this guy?”
The Cloud Blumaroo groaned, “Not for much longer.”
“I’ll tell you what. I feel sorry for you…” the native began, but he was quickly interrupted.
“You’ll take us on the boat?” Brendon was getting fidgety.
“No,” the native resumed. “But I will let you stay in my hut for the night. If…”
“If?” Irena inquired.
“If,” the Island Native re-resumed, “you can keep the mouth on the boy zipped. Otherwise, I make no promises about Pango-Pango’s next meal.”
“We have a deal!”
It was just a couple minute’s walk to the hut. “I live close to the harbor.” He explained on the way. “You guys wouldn’t want to walk halfway across the island to get to work every day, would you?”
“Actually, Irena over there takes me all the way to the Lost Desert from our home on Roo Island to pay our ‘respects’ to King Coltzan EVERY DAY.” Brendon was really tired, and now, also grumpy.
“BRENDON! Remember the part about your mouth and the zip?”
“But we aren’t at the hut yet.”
Good thing for them they were arguing quietly.
They at last arrived at the native’s hut.
“Okay, you two. Let me show you to the guest sleeping quarters… erm, I mean your room.”
But Brendon and Irena were already asleep on the couch.
They were asleep for a few hours when the blizzard winds started to pick up. Irena was the first one up.
“Brendon,” Irena whispered. “Brendon, where are you?”
“I’m right here,” the Kiko yawned. “Hey, who put these blankets on me?”
Just then their host, the Coconut native they met at the harbor, walked in around the corner. “Oh, you guys are up. I, uh, get a little hungry during the middle of the night.”
“Yeah, right. You were being hospital.” Brendon sneered as if it were a crime.
“It’s too early for this, Brendon. And besides, I believe you meant hospitable.”
“Okay, fine,” the native confessed. “I got up to give you those blankets.”
“Well,” Irena began, “we appreciate your hospitality, but we really must be going.”
“But you can’t leave! Don’t you hear that storm outside?!”
“Actually, yes, we do,” Irena explained. “You see…”
“And,” mouthed Brendon, “here she goes again.”
“And so,” Irena concluded, “that’s why we have to save the world.”
“The only thing is,” Brendon added, “is so far, I feel like our adventure might be something of a blend of clichés, one-dimensional characters, and an overly linear plot, and sometimes the humor seems to be a little forced.”
Irena just stared at him.
“What? If I say everything now, what will be left for the critics to criticize?”
“Just, please don’t break the fourth wall again.”
“But,” the Coconut continued, “if you leave, you’ll surely freeze out there. We haven’t had anything so dreadful happen on the island since a long time ago when TNT decided to come to visit as a group.” In addition, he muttered, “And then I’ll have to take care of you until you thaw.”
“Look, I know you have a responsibility for tourists,” Irena remarked, “but we are in a hurry. We have got to get going.”
“Going where? The blizzard is all over the island.”
“We’ll just be off to the harbor.” Brendon was always the fast talker.
“Brendon…” Irena tried to direct the conversation elsewhere, but it was already too late.
While the native stared at them confused, the twins made a run for the door.
To be continued…