Hooked On A Snarhook: Part Two
It was late, night had fallen and Eral's boss and work partners
had gone home.
Needless to say, Erals was very disappointed
about losing the Snarhook, and he couldn't ignore the feeling of emptiness inside
him. It was one of those moments when you feel willing to do anything for the
people (or Petpets) you love.
He was standing outside Little Nippers, leaning
against one of the walls, glancing nervously at the street every few seconds.
It would be the best if nobody saw him doing what he was about to do, but the
only people out that night were the occasional mysterious buccaneers, probably
carrying illegal goods to sell on the Smugglers Cove, who never minded another
business besides their own.
Everything was planned: He would pretend he had
forgotten something important inside the shop and he needed to go in for it.
It wouldn't even be considered as breaking in because Erals had his own key,
which his boss had given him in case he was the first to arrive on the morning.
I better do it now, Erals thought to himself,
finally gathering enough courage. He felt anxious and besides, he looked more
suspicious if he just stood there with no apparent reason.
Part one of the operation couldn't have gone
better. When Erals entered, he felt relieved to find himself in a familiar environment.
But the good feeling didn't lasted as he had to proceed with his plan.
Erals was sure there was an archive of all the
customers and sales of the shop. More than once the chief shopkeeper had mentioned
it in his presence. He just had to find it.
He ran to the front of the shop, colliding in
his way with an empty cage which fell to the floor making a deaf noise. Erals
froze on the spot waiting for the worse, but after a tense minute he decided
it was safe to go on, just more carefully this time.
He walked right to the counter, if there was
an archive that was the place it was most likely to be, and sure enough in the
first case he opened he saw a red binder clearly labeled "Sales".
The brown Kyrii's hands were trembling slightly
while he turned the pages examining the archives of Little Nippers. If there
was a place where he could get more information about the ugly Skeith that had
bought his Snarhook, it was there.
"Erals?" a deep voice asked, and the Kyrii jumped
in surprise. His brown fur flew around him as he turned to face the huge blue
owner of Little Nippers.
"Sir!" he exclaimed, shock filling his eyes.
"I thought you'd gone home sir- I, I was just finishing the cleaning up-"
"You wanted to know who t'was that bought the
Snarhook, and where you could find 'em."
Erals shook his head quickly, desperately, but
the owner sighed and nodded.
"I know it's true, lad. But ya' know I can't
allow it. It'd be a distraction, a HUGE problem for th' place. Why do you think
I never got a Petpet of my own? And think or the reputation we'd get! Everyone'd
think the worse- Little Nippers takes back your Petpets once you've bought them,
and grown to love them. No, lad. No."
Erals gulped back the tears, knowing what was
"You have a choice to make, lad. Do you carry
on working here? Or do you leave, abandon your dreams, for some Snarhook?"
The Kyrii was full-out crying now, the droplets
pouring down his face. He didn't want to give all this up, no- this was all
he'd ever wanted. But that Snarhook…
The pirate knew the choice immediately, and his
"I understand, lad. That customer- he mentioned
that he was sailing back to Meridell. He works in the castle there, apparently.
Perhaps you could find him there?"
Erals wiped his eyes and nodded. He tried to
whisper his thanks, but his throat hurt too much, and in the end he just walked
out the door, head hung low.
The ship finally lurched to a stop, and Erals
opened his eyes slowly. He had nodded off into a sleep filled with dreams of
Little Nippers, of everything he had left behind, and now he sat cold and alone
at the back of the vessel. Quickly he stumbled shakily to his feet and hurried
towards the gangplank, rubbing his hands together to try and warm them up from
the bitter wind.
As he stepped over onto land a delicious smell
wafted towards him, of freshly cooked bread. This place was pretty nice, he
decided as he hurried forwards. The greenery and cheery faces were a pleasant
change from the sour mood Krawk Island had, and that made his spirits lift every
so slightly. It made anything seem possible.
He didn't have to ask for directions, he could
see the prominent castle in the distance, with its red and blue flags waving
with the wind. He thought that would be the perfect place to start his search.
After walking for several minutes he finally
stood in front of the castle. Erals was amazed by the size and architecture
of the building, but he had no time for distractions of that sort, so he walked
right to the door.
The entrance of the castle seemed to be very
guarded, two white Draiks with elegant uniforms were standing on the sides of
the door, each holding a spear. When they saw the Kyrii approaching, the one
in the right side called on a loud voice. "Stay where you are. Where are you
and what is your business here?"
"My name is Erals," he answered omitting the
fact that he was from Krawk Island, he didn't think Meridillians had a lot of
trust on pirates, "and I came looking for a Skeith who works here."
"A Skeith, huh?" said the Draik suspiciously,
but he lowered his spear. "If you come looking for king Skarl I'm afraid we
can't let you pass. Nobody can see the king without previous authorization unless
it's for telling him a joke."
"No, I don't mean the king," Erals explained,
thought a little confused about the joke business, but he considered it was
better not to ask about that matter. "The Skeith I'm looking for is yellow."
"Well, then what's his name?" asked the Draik
guard still skeptical.
"I… I don't know, I just know he works here."
At this point Erals could see how weak his argument was. He thought he would
be thrown out, sent to be judged or at least shouted at, but he didn't expected
what really happened.
"That's okay. I think you're telling the truth,"
said the guard sympathetically. "The Skeith you're looking for must be Hitieks,
he's the only one here who fits your description."
Erals breathed with relief, now he could realize
he was too used to the rudeness on Krawk Island. "Thank you, can you tell me
where to find him?"
"Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but he is usually
helping Snargan to count the winnings they get on Double or Nothing, so I expect
you will be able to find him there."
After thanking the Draik guard once more, Erals
headed to the room he had been indicated.
As soon as he entered the Double or Nothing room
he was greeted with a scowl from Snargan, the castle treasurer. "Fancy a game
of chance?" the big green Skeith asked with a sly chuckle. Erals thought he
didn't looked very friendly.
"No. No, thank you. I'm looking for someone called
Hitieks," answered Erals politely.
"Who's looking for me?" came a booming voice
from behind a massive pile of Neopoints.
"Uhh, hi!" Erals said quickly, turning on his
heel to stare into the eyes of a huge pale-yellow Skeith. It was the same one
from the shop, he realized excitedly as he continued. "Listen, that Snarhook
you bought the other day, from Little Nippers- well, I'd like to buy it back."
Quickly he dug around in his coat pockets and found the small package he had
been given at Little Nippers, all the pay he was due. "I have almost twice the
amount of Dubloons that you paid for that Petpet, and I'm willing to pay them
The Skeith frowned, and Erals excitement started
to fall. His stomach was getting that strange worried feeling again, and his
fears were confirmed when the gigantic creature shook his head.
"No. No, I bought him and we've become friends."
He shook his head again. "I've even bought a playpen for him."
"Please!" Erals exclaimed desperately, seeing
his one hope fading away. "This is all I've got-"
"And if you had twice as much I wouldn't. That
Snarhook has got me being the coolest guy in this place. How many of us Meridellians
have Pirate Petpets, do you think? It's all Whinny this and Turmac that-"
Every word hurt the Kyrii more and more. He had
come so far, given up so much- and all for nothing?
The tears flooded down his face, and Erals turned
around to wipe them away angrily. The Skeith sighed, and patted him on the back.
"I'm sorry, but he's the best thing that happened
to me in a long while. But, if you really want, I guess you could say goodbye
Those words hurt most. He didn't want to have
to say goodbye to the Snarhook that he loved. But just seeing him one more time
would be worth the trip, even if it was the last time.
"Follow me. I keep him in the storeroom."
When they went through the storeroom door, Erals
started examining the place, if he couldn't have the Snarhook at least he wanted
to make sure he'd be well and happy. The room was quite little but nice and
clean, it looked approvable.
"There he is," said the Skeith pointing to a
corner. Erals bent down, and when he did he heard the high-pitched noise the
Snarhook used to make all the time when he was happy.
"Something intrigues me…" said the Skeith, "Why
do you want exactly my Snarhook? I bet you must have lots of Petpets
in the place your work on."
But Erals wasn't listening, the moment he saw
the Snarhook the time slowed down for him, he opened his arms and hugged the
petpet tightly, like he had done in his last daydream, before the Snarhook had
been taken away from him. He wanted that moment to last forever, and he knew
it would always be in his heart.
When he finally let go, the Snarhook squealed
happily one last time before going back to play in its playpen again unknowingly
of Erals sorrow. Erals turned to face the Skeith.
"He seems happy here, at least" said Erals in
a sad, low voice.
"Why don't you buy a Meridillian petpet? I bet
no one in Krawk Island has one of those" the Skeith suggested seeing Erals gloomy
"No," answered Erals bitterly, "I don't want
another petpet." And he stood up ready for leaving when he felt something tugging
the fur of his right arm. The Snarhook was clinging to him with both hands.
"Don't little friend, I have to leave. If you
are happy then I am too," said Erals directly to the Snarhook, but the petpet
didn't loose its grip.
The Skeith had to intervene to make his petpet
let go of Erals, the Snarhook kept struggling to hold to him.
"I think he wants to come with me," said Erals
with a small smile.
"No way. He's my petpet, so I suggest you leave.
Now!" answered the Skeith pushing Erals towards the doorway. The Kyrii nodded
glumly, and allowed Hitieks to guide him to the door, which slammed hard behind
With a sigh he started towards the gate, but
something stopped him momentarily- a high-pitched squeak, and shouts.
"YOU STUPID LITTLE THING!" came the roar, startling
Erals. "YOU'RE MY PETPET NOW- DON'T YOU EVER HUG SOMEONE ELSE LIKE THAT
The Kyrii felt rage building up inside of him,
but before he could turn and go back into the storeroom a large Draik appeared.
"You lost? I'll take you to the exit." And, without
any say in the matter, the chocolate-brown Kyrii found himself headed for the
exit, his Snarhook still squeaking in pain behind him.
Erals shook his head as he looked up at the huge
castle. Darkness was falling, but the moonlight had no tears to dance across-
he'd had enough of the wrenching pain which stung his heart every second. He
had to get back into the castle, and save his Snarhook.
Finally the last of the lights faded from the
castle windows, and he was running, his long fur flying behind his like wings.
A couple of guards appeared from around the corner, but he'd been watching them
all afternoon, as he'd struggled to make a plan- they were always chatting,
and wouldn't notice his dark shape zoom across the soft grass that made little
noise as his paws hit it. And, sure enough, he had reached the gate, and was
halfway up it by the time they took any notice of their surroundings. He froze
as they passed directly beneath him, but quickly he was back clambering up the
Erals reached the top quickly, but as he looked
down he couldn't help but gulp. His arms hurt already, everything was a strange
shade of blue that hurt his eyes- all this heroic stuff had seemed a good idea
earlier, but now, as he looked down at the courtyard so far below, it didn't
seem so appealing.
The beat of wings nearby startled him, and he
almost toppled over the edge as he spun around. Two Draiks had walked out from
the small doorway in the gate, and were starting to take off, some sort of night
patrol. Erals knew that he would be seen within moments if he didn't jump down,
but his legs weren't responding- he gritted his teeth, trying to fight the fear-
And then suddenly he was sailing over the edge,
to the lush grass below. He'd been so shocked that he'd lost his sense of balance,
which he realized was a very bad thing indeed as his thin body slammed into
the ground. Pain spun sickeningly through him- the Kyrii only just managed to
stop a cry of agony escaping his mouth, but nothing could make the stars dancing
across his eyes fade, or the ill feeling in his stomach vanish. Finally, the
pain in his head increasing, he lost consciousness.
To be continued...