Brought Together - Part Three
The Kyrii and the Quiggle collapsed onto the mounds of
snow at the end of the bridge. “Smatty,” Strophagus wheezed, “I do not ever,
ever want to cross that bridge again.”
“Fine with me.” She paused and looked at the setting
sun. “Strophagus, see those boulders up there? Let's set up camp right next
“Camp?” Strophagus asked in alarm.
“Yeah, we have to sleep somewhere. What did you think
we were going to do?” The Kyrii kept on walking.
“Well, is there not an inn somewhere in the area?
I thought that the tent was only for emergency uses.” He did not like the idea
of sleeping in a tent overnight.
Smatty rolled her eyes. “Well, I guess tonight will
be an emergency. There aren’t any inns nearby, but I think that we’re going
“I do hope so,” the Quiggle told her seriously. She
couldn’t help but laugh under her breath. The Quiggle marched through the snow
with Smatty. They set their bags down, and Smatty took the tent out of its box.
As she was setting it up, Strophagus stared at her in amazement. “You are a
genius when it comes to, er, setting tents up!” He couldn't think of anything
else to say, except that he secretly wished he had the same survival skills
“Thanks for the wonderful compliment, Strophy,” Smatty
snickered. When the tent was set up, Strophagus crawled in, followed by Smatty,
and they laid their sleeping bags out. The tent was roomy, albeit that it did
not shield the Neopets from the chilly weather all that much. Just as Strophagus
was about to get into his sleeping bag and snooze peacefully, Smatty poked him
on the shoulder. “We haven't had dinner yet. What do you want?” she asked.
“Nothing!” Strophagus replied, groggy. “Not hungry...
“Another intelligent comment made by none other than
Strophagus!” Smatty laughed. She took out some broccoli and nibbled on it a
bit, but decided she too was too tired to eat. She crawled into her sleeping
bag and immediately dozed into a deep slumber.
Early the following morning they left their uncomfortable
sleeping bags and put the tent away in Smatty’s bag. They continued their long
walk, eating breakfast along the way. “Where are we going today?” Strophagus
“Well...” Smatty mused, stroking her chin. “In about
an hour we'll come across a huge icy lake. We'll need to go around it, and we
can sleep at the inn owned by a few Bruces tonight.”
Strophagus was glad that they would not have to spend
the night in the tent again. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get going!”
Smatty stared at him as if he had just fallen to a
sure death and lived. “Wow, Strophy, you're more excited about this than you
were yesterday, that’s for sure!”
“I just enjoy getting things done,” he replied. They
continued to plow through the snow for a good long hour until up ahead a frozen
lake glistened brightly before Strophagus's eyes.
“Here we are!” Smatty said, shielding her eyes from
the glare the lake provided. Not only was the lake bright, it was wide and extended
forever. For a moment Smatty stood there sighing, marveling at its beauty. The
water was frozen solid and would be fun to skate on, she bet. “Okay, if we go
east from here, we should get to that inn in a few hours,” the Kyrii noted,
calculating distances in her head.
“How much more walking do we need to do?” Strophagus
complained. “And I am very hungry, Smatty, could we not take a break?”
“Out in the snow? In below freezing weather? Sure,
Strophy! Be my guest,” she said in a fake enthusiastic tone.
“Seriously?” Strophagus asked.
Smatty rolled her eyes. “No. You see, Strophy? That
was sarcasm. Commonly used amongst normal Neopets. Come on, let's get going.”
“Sarcasm,” the Quiggle said to himself. “I need to
study that quite a bit.”
The two of them side by side had walked along the
side of the frozen over lake for most of the day. For an hour it was still a
pretty sight, but by the time they reached the end of it they were longing never
to see it again. Around five p.m. NST, the two Neopets, exhausted, slogged into
a bed and breakfast type hotel. Smatty took out a few Neopoints from her bag.
“Could we stay here for the night?” she asked the manager, a bored blue Zafara
sitting at a desk near the front of the room. She exchanged neopoints for keys
to a room, and Strophagus followed her upstairs, dragging his bag. Smatty opened
up the room, and both were relieved when they saw that the room was quaint,
clean, and provided beds for both of them. They set down their bags and searched
them for what was left of their food rations. On a small coffee table, they
ate a short and measly dinner. They decided that in the morning they would eat
whatever breakfast the inn was serving.
The room was rectangular, and at the very end was
a large window. After dinner, Strophagus left his seat to look through the window.
He peered into the dark snowy night, watching the moonlight reflect off the
snow. Smatty came up shortly behind him to watch the snowflakes fall from the
sky, and neither spoke during this magical moment. It was the fairest sight
Strophagus had seen in a very long time, and he gazed at the wonders outside
until eventually he snuggled in his bed, dreaming of snow-covered tree branches
and icicles forming on windows.
The next day around nine o'clock NST, Strophagus and
Smatty sat eating the omelettes that they had ordered. Smatty was eating a Bacon
and Broccoli Omelette, while Strophagus was satisfied with a plain one. They
had packed their bags again and turned in the key to the room. They were to
leave as soon as they finished breakfast. “Will we be able to find the Queen's
Clover today, Smatty?” Strophagus asked her with some hope.
“I think we'll get to the cliff some time this afternoon.
But I doubt we'll have time to climb down the whole thing. So... I guess that
we could just set up camp at the top of it and climb down the next morning,”
she said, taking a big bite out of her omelette.
“You mean..?” the Quiggle began.
“That's right!” Smatty interrupted cheerfully. “We
get one more night in our favorite old tent! And best of all, the bottom of
the tent may be a little wet since this snow is so mushy. It’ll be like sleeping
in a swamp!” Strophagus sulked. He disliked the tent with a passion. He scoffed
down his last one third of omelette and rose from his seat. The two of them
thanked the manager, who was still astonished anyone came to the hotel in the
first place, and then they left, setting off for their final destination.
The sun was warm, and the top layer of snow was beginning
to turn mushy already. Smatty could hardly stand the brightness the snow emitted
when they were in plain sunlight. By noon, they could barely keep their eyes
open and walked most of the way to the cliff half-blind. By the time it was
three in the afternoon, the sun was no longer disturbing their vision; however,
they had been walking laboriously all day long. Wiped out from walking all this
time without a break, Strophagus and Smatty both sat down in the snow, which
actually felt good since the sun's rays were so warm. They sat there for a good
while just resting. After regaining some energy, they picked at their food rations,
eating just a little bit of food to preserve the meager servings that were left.
They had eaten too much of their food in the first two days of their trip, and
now they were regretting it deeply. “We did not pack enough food, did we?” Strophagus
pointed out, noting the obvious.
“I don't think we did, as a matter of fact,” Smatty
said matter of factly. “I may just have to eat your precious Queen's Clover
once we get it.” She grinned evilly.
“No, please do not do that, Smatty!” he begged
Smatty coughed sardonically. “I was just kidding!
Haven't you learned anything about humor over this entire adventure?”
“Perhaps...” Strophagus began, a gleam in his eyes,
“that it does not make much sense.” He nodded. Smatty slapped her forehead,
as she had done a lot so far this trip, and the two Neopets raised themselves
up as high as they could and stretched. They were both preparing for what was
yet to come, the most difficult part of their journey.
To Be Continued...