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Vacationing


by charmedhorses

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It was the end of summer and the days were beginning to show signs of fall. Wildflowers withered and nights grew colder. Neopia was in a transition period.

      "Indi, what do you say we take a little vacation before Neoschool starts again?" a teenage girl by the name of Charmedhorses asked her baby Uni.

      "Really?" Indipsi's brown eyes grew large. "Where are we going?"

      "I don't know," Charmed said. "Where would you like to go?"

      In a heartbeat Indipsi exclaimed, "Mystery Island!"

      Charmed turned to look at her. "We've been there like a million times."

      The baby Uni shook her head furiously. "You've never taken me before."

      "Really?" Charmed asked in surprise.

      "You've gone like a million times, but always alone," Indipsi informed her.

      "Well you're always on a field trip or at a friend's house or something like that," Charmed said.

      "Wherever I was it doesn't matter now."

      "Right. I guess we're going to Mystery Island, then!" Charmed agreed. "When should we leave?"

      "Right now," Indipsi suggested eagerly.

      "That soon?" Charmed raised her eyebrows challengingly. "How about tomorrow? If you can be ready by tomorrow morning I'll take you."

      Indi rolled her eyes. How long could packing take? Then she began to think about all the things she wanted to bring along and raced off to her bedroom. She had to get a move on things!

      As Indipsi threw things into a duffle bag she wondered what Mystery Island would be like. Sure, she'd read about it in books but would the sand really tickle her hooves And she could help doubting that the water really was warm.

      Over dinner that night Indipsi begged her owner into telling her about her many trips to the mystical land. The only place that even compared to the country in her mind was Mystery Island.

      "Well, it's absolutely gorgeous," Charmed spilled eagerly. "The place is full of palm trees and the air is sweet with the scent of flowers."

      "What kind?" Indi asked, wanting to know every little detail.

      "All kinds," Charmed was being too vague. "Tropical kinds."

      "What are the Neopets like?" Indipsi wanted to know.

      "The natives or tourists?"

      "Both."

      "Both, huh?" Charmed paused and took a deep breath. "The natives are so amazing. Their coats are the most beautiful patterns-"

      "Like Choppy's?" Indi asked, referring to Charmed's island Uni plushie.

      "Yes, that's right. Like Choppy's. Anyway," Charmed continued her description. "The Neopets are beautiful and very kind. The tourists, well, what can you say about tourists? The beaches get busy so it's good to know of less populated areas."

      "And you do?" Indipsi interrupted.

      "Some of them. Mystery Island's a big place, but it's so popular it's hard to find a somewhat deserted place."

      Charmedhorses continued sharing stories with her Uni clear through dessert, when she noticed the starry sky outside. "Okay, it's about bedtime now," Charmed declared. "You'll get to see it all tomorrow."

      That night Indipsi didn't sleep a wink. True, her owner had kept her up longer than usual, but that wasn't why. Images and thoughts reeled through the Uni's mind. She simply could not wait to go.

      When morning came and Indi had barely gotten a couple minutes of sleep she was just as excited as she had been the night before.

      "Ready to go?" Charmed yawned after breakfast.

      "Yes!" Indipsi was practically dancing on hoof.

      Indi and Charmed headed first to the boat dock where they then caught a ship to Mystery Island.

      "How long does the ride take?" Indipsi asked.

      "Oh, I don't know. Two, three hours?" Charmed estimated.

      The girl and her Uni settled down on the top deck for the voyage. While Charmed watched the seaside landscape pass them by, Indipsi's head began to nod. Curled up on a wooden chair the Uni's lack of sleep began to catch up with her. The ship's rocking motion caused Indi's eyelids to grow heavy and soon the Uni was sound asleep. Charmed looked over at her Neopet and shook her head, smiling.

      Time passed quickly, Indipsi dozing while Charmed enjoyed the scenery. When the ship dropped its anchor in the harbor of Mystery Island, Charmed nudged her sleeping Uni. "Indi, it's time to get up," she whispered. "We're here!"

      The baby Uni opened her eyes groggily. As her weary eyelids rose it was as if a curtain was revealing the picture of her dreams. On the shore, just a few feet from the boat she could see a small bamboo hut and an array of palm trees. Seawater lapped gently on the sand, as if trying to pull Indipsi toward it.

      "Indipsi," Charmed interrupted. "We really need to get off or this ship's going to take us clear back to Neopia Central."

      Indi jumped to her hooves, leaving any thoughts of sleep behind her. "Race you to the shore, Slowpoke!"

      "Hey!" Charmed laughed, running after her.

      As soon as Indipsi set hoof on the sand she dropped to her knees and rolled, burying her muzzle in the sand and frolicking like a foal.

      "Are you sure you want to bury yourself in it like that?" Charmed asked.

      "Why not?" Indipsi retorted, looking up from where she lay on her back.

      Charmed shrugged. "A lot of paws, hooves, slippers, and feet walk on that sand. Who knows what kind of germs lurk there."

      Indipsi bolted upright and tossed her mane. "Yuck," she spat.

      "Why don't we find a hotel?" Charmed suggested.

      Indi nodded in agreement and joined her owner walking up the shore.

      "If I remember correctly, there's a cute little place just up ahead," Charmed said. "I bet they have a vacancy."

      All the way there Indipsi looked around her with bright wide eyes. Off to the side of their trodden path the Uni could see fallen coconuts littered beneath their trees. Then, to her surprise, she noted one that seemed to be moving. Indi furrowed her brown and looked closer. Sure enough, the coconut, which seemed larger than the others, stood up and hobbled away.

      "Charmed!" Indipsi exclaimed. That coconut just moved!"

      "Well, lookie there," Charmed replied, turning to look. "That must be a coconut Jubjub."

      "A coconut Jubjub?" Indipsi repeated skeptically.

      "Sure," Charmed said. "You'll see a lot of them here."

      This surprised Indi, who continued to walk companionably beside her owner.

      "Here we are!" Charmed announced a few minutes later. The pair stood in front of a small cottage, little orange flowers intertwined amongst the bamboo walls.

      "Isn't it cute?" Charmed asked fondly.

      Indipsi nodded. "Small, though."

      "Let me tell you," Charmed started. "In my mind small and personal is better than big and impersonal."

      Indi understood this point of view and was impressed when they entered the hotel. Painted on all four sides of the lobby was an ocean-scene mural of waves crashing against a rocky barrier.

      "Do you have any vacancies tonight?" Charmed was asking an island Draik at the front desk.

      While Charmedhorses signed papers and paid for the room, Indipsi looked out a nearby window, her jaw dropping as she spotted a green Kougra just outside. He seemed to be heading for the hotel and Indi hunkered close to the floor, trying to make herself invisible. If she wasn't mistaken, that Kougra was Cush, an old classmate of hers who had loved to pick on her.

      "Ready to see the room?" Charmed asked, dangling the key on a chain on her finger.

      Indispi sprang down the hall ahead of her owner. "You bet!"

      Just as Indi slipped into their room, the green Kougra, who was indeed Cush, entered the hotel in search of a room.

      Lying on her single bed Indipsi exhaled heavily. How could she have run into Cush on Mystery Island? Here she was, in this exotic place, planning to have the time of her life, and Cush had to be there to spoilt it. This was just perfect.

      "What's wrong? Don't you like the room?" Charmed asked, sensing the change in her Uni's attitude.

      "Yeah, it's great," Indi replied, trying her best to act cheery. "I'm just a little tired."

      "Too tired to collect seashells?"

      Indipsi hesitated. She didn't want to run into Cush, but she loved seashells. What were the chances he would be at the same beach, anyway? Indi decided to risk it and soon she and Charmed were busy digging on the shore.

      Charmed had guided her Uni to a gorgeous little beach hidden between coves. The sand beneath Indi's hooves was packed firmly, and as of yet Charmedhorses and Indipsi were among the few who had found the gem of a place.

      "Ooh! Look at this one!" Indipsi exclaimed, holding up a fanned seashell with her hoof.

      "Beautiful! And what about these?" Charmed called back from a few yards away. She held a pair of twisted shells up to her ears. Wouldn't they make cute earrings?"

      Indi nodded vigorously, adding another shell to the woven basket she had borrowed from the hotel.

      The sun shone down hard, glinting on the smooth surfaces. It was late afternoon by not and though Indipsi had gotten very little sleep the past twenty four hours she was raring to do everything.

      "We're going to be here a while," Charmedhorses reminded her. Charmed had figured on staying there for at least a week. After all, it was Indi's first time.

      "I know, but I want to do something else, today."

      Charmed considered this. Indi would get a good night's sleep that night anyway… "Well, why don't we do something laid back like build a sandcastle?"

      "Okay," Indi said agreeably.

      The teenager and Uni walked back to put their seashells aways and then settled themselves in the sand out front of their hotel.

      "Let's get to work," Charmed said, digging her hands into the ground and compacting the sand, which was to be turned into a masterpiece later.

      Thirty minutes into their building, Indi and Charmed had a wonderful turret and entryway built. They had also begun working on the mote, which would surround the fortress for defense.

      It all happened while Charmedhorses was down gathering water for the mote. Just then Cush exited the hotel. By then it was around dinner time and the green Kougra was planning to get a bite to eat. This all changed when he noticed the familiar baby Uni off to his left.

      A mischievous smile erupted on his sly face and he wasted no time in bounding over.

      Indipsi felt a pair of eyes watching her and looked up from her work to groan. "What do you want?"

      Cush shrugged innocently. "Need help?"

      "Absolutely not," Indipsi replied stiffly, taking a glance at her owner who was still at the shoreline.

      In a rash move Cush flopped down on the sandcastle Indipsi had been working so devoutly on. Beneath him the fortress toppled over in defeat, the need for a mote no longer relevant.

      Indipsi snorted with disgust and shoved the Kougra roughly with her hoof. "What'd you do that for?"

      "Now do you need help?" Cush teased.

      "Yeah, there's a certain Kougra I'd like to get back at," Indipsi replied, lunging at Cush.

      Throughout all of this Charmed had staid back, letting her Uni handle the situation herself. She did the same here, but watched with wide eyes at the scene unfolding in front of her.

      Indipsi and Cush were scrambling in the sand and for a moment Charmed was worried one of them would end up with a black eye. However, the wrestling soon ceased and Charmed's jaw dropped when she saw her Uni pick up a clump of sand and throw it at the unsuspecting Kougra.

      Soon a sand fight was in progress and Charmed sat down to observe. Behind her the sun hovered just above the waterline. Shadows began to cover the island and Charmed was thankful that they had a week to spend on Mystery Island. With Cush there as well, Charmed was sure it would be more than exciting.

THE END

Author's Note: Thanks so much for reading! I know it's more fall than summer now, but I was a slowpoke getting this story typed up. Feel free to Neomail me!

 
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