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Pet Name: Fiyadae
As you walk down the beach making hurried goodbyes, a shout reaches your ears. Being a judge of the NPS, Neopian Pet Spotlight, you're used to this. It's just another pet, wanting fame and fortune. You walk away in the opposite direction. Interviewing on the beach wasn't a good idea. You've got sand in your clothes and have been burnt by the sun, and the most exciting story you've seen all day is a red Usul who claimed to have been the first person to find Maraqua. Pity she thought Maraqua 'was, like the one in the air'. If only you could find a real story, something exciting, something...
Your musing have been interrupted by that yell again. It doesn't sound like the usual 'Hey, look at meee!' yell. In fact, it sounds like the pet is in... danger? On a bright sunny beach? You finally turn around. There in the small waves lapping the shore, a Camouflage Flotsam is sitting, looking frightened.
'What's the trouble? Pant devil after you?' you mumble toward her irritably. You're in no mood for new applicants.
She looks up at you with foggy purple eyes, and clearly but softly says, 'You can help me. You can warn them all.'
Curiosity aroused, you wander over and sit down before the water's edge. This could be the one. Crazy pets always had interesting, if untrue, stories to tell.
'What do you mean, warn?'
And you get comfortable, as the Flotsam begins to tell her story.
I was born just a Flotsam, just one drop in the millions of others of my kind. I lived in the sea, and it provided for me, giving me shelter and food for whatever I needed. I was happy. I was naive. I was lucky. But the time came when, as young neopets will, I ventured out of my home, and into the great oceans, seeking something, I still know not what.
That was the first time I had known hunger. And loss. A friend, an age-mate who travelled with me, was lost to the shifting tides. And I was alone. Tormented with grief and homesickness, I turned toward the place of my birth. But it was gone. I didn't know, as I know now, that they were rebuilding Maraqua, just over the rocks to the north. But I didn't get that far. As soon as I saw the ruins of my former home, I was convinced that all was lost. And so I gave my fate to the tides, and let the current take me where it would.
The memories of the months that passed then are fragmented. One day it seems I was riding the currents with Maraquan Shoyrus, the next thing I can remember, I was near the artic poles, in water that started to freeze my blood... But one memory I still remember. It was the day I found the island. Just a small place, covered with undergrowth, it was nothing. But it became my home.
I lived a peaceful, if solitary existence there. Foraging for food in the lagoon, a nest upon the sandy beach, it was, to my solitary mind, paradise. But then, one day, I crawled out of my ocean home, to see what excitements my home had on land. Now, as you realise, for a Flotsam to go on land is not easy. So it was slow going. But eventually, I reached a stream. Following its gurgling path through the short woods of my island, I was not optimistic. It was quite likely that there was nothing there. The island was tiny, it would not fit anything worth notice. Or so I thought.
After much huffing and puffing and 'I'm going to go back just once I've seen what's around this corner', I came upon the stream's source. Out of a cool, damp, mossy cave, the cheerful stream bumbled. But, of course, the stream could not come out of the rock. Against my better instincts, I crawled in.
The cave was not deep, or dark, or at all gloomy. Indeed, it was beautiful, stream shimmering along, casting reflections onto the rocky ceiling. And the cave was lit up, lit up from within. I could only hope that this was the end of this strange journey under the rocky confines. I stumbled forward, my flippers dragging in the pebble floor.
Before me lay an astonishing sight. In the bubbling spring from which the stream ran, all the colours of the ocean gleamed. As I watched, transfixed, the colours of shallow water on a summer day changed to that of a storm-whipped wave, and then to the colour of foam. I was in awe, of course, but even then, eventually, I lifted my gaze to the other side of the cavern. Among the smooth, white pebbles, there were statues. All faeries, all one type of faerie. Water. All along the sides of the cavern, so big I could not see the end, water faerie statues were frozen in different expressions of play or rest.
I slipped into the pool, my body feeling the relief of being in my element again. All around me, the colours of the sea swirled and twisted. Clambering out on to the other side, my fur was stained a mottled green blue. Before I had time to do more than register this fact, another faerie appeared. And this one wasn't made of stone.
The colours of the pool twirled into themselves, forming the bottom of her tail. Her very skin was translucent, underneath; you could see the colours moving. Her eyes gleamed purple. Slowly, as if every movement cost her something dear, she opened her mouth, and spoke.
'Traitor. How dare you come to this place. How dare you come to my sister's burial ground.'
At this point I was, foolishly, backing away. Trying to keep her occupied with the effort of speaking, I replied, 'T-this is a b-burial ground? I d-didn't know...' My voice trailed off as, with a bang, the statue with which I had collided fell, and with a crash that sounded my own doom, broke.
The faerie let out an unearthly wail as her sister's head rolled on the ground. Her eyes now sharp and piercing, she came for me...
You shake your head. What a weird tale. The Flotsam was obviously delusional. A faerie graveyard? Really?
'Listen, er, whoever you are. I'm sorry, but what you've says belongs in the fiction part of the Neopian Times. Try again with some other fool.' So saying, you begin to get up. Doubtless, it's a good story, but too outrageous. No one would let you print that.
'You don't belive me?' Her voice has hardened. She seems resigned.
'Not until you have proof, sunshine.'
'Fine.' She spits the word out. You turn to look at her, surprised in the malice in the voice. Her eyes. The foggy purple was gone, to be replace by sharp, piercing eyes. Like the faerie's in the stories. Her fur begins to change, rippling with colour, from the colours of shallow water on a summer's day changed to that of a storm-whipped wave, and then to the colour of foam. Her voice changes too. Now what was a pleasant, unremarkable voice has become a hoarse, creaky sound like a sail in a storm.
You start running, as the faerie-possessed Flotsam wreaks havoc, shrieking in an unknown tongue. Stormy waves rain down on the shore, and pets shriek as she turns her attention to them. You no longer doubt her story. She was right. People must be warned.
Behide you, a lone camouflage Flotsam sits in shallow water on a deserted beach.
'I'm sorry,' she says, 'but you have to be warned.'
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