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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 85 > Continuing Series > Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part Two

Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part Two

by shelleylow

Tsunami slid out the door and along the sandy Mystery Island path to the river while Wen and Flo headed in the direction of the dock that would take them to Neopia Central and their own schools, Shell's "Have a good day at school," and Dasher's cheery bark sounding from behind her. She reached the crystal flowing water and dived into the depths. She followed the current towards the sea, feeling the cool liquid rush through her mane and coat as her fishtail propelled her at a greater speed through the water.

     She could tell by the increasing briny feel and smell of the water that she was nearing the ocean, and when she finally reached it she headed off to a large reef slightly off the coast.

     This was the Turquoise Sea School to which Tsunami and her friends went. Part of the reef that was made out of rocks as well as the ground below had been hollowed out and formed several water-filled tunnels and crevasses under the water. The entrance was a large hole in the rock beside which the portrait of a large Peo had been painted, the Peo being the school's mascot.

     Flotsams, Jetsams, Koi, Kiko and other kinds of aquatic pets were scattered around the reef. They were exploring the various mulitcoloured corals and anemones growing all over it, as well as the bright shapes of Primellas as they darted on and out and around them, or chasing each other through the gently waving seaweed, scattering shoals of Pepitos and Blumpys and annoying the bad-tempered Phnards, or simply lying on the warm white sand of the sea bed and enjoying the current's gentle pull and push and the sight of the bright, filtered rays of the sun above as they danced and flickered with the movement of the waves.

     Tsunami found her friends talking in a small corner of the reef just as the sound of a conch shell being blown sounded from the rocks below.

     "Drat," said Streak as the other pets stopped what they were doing and swam for the entrance. "Now we've got to go in."

     "Never mind," Mirow said affably. "There'll be plenty of time to talk during recess."

     They glided through the water and into the entrance where they made their way to class. On the way, Streak suddenly tugged Tsunami's mane. Tsunami stopped up and turned to look at her friend.

     "What's the matter?"

     Wordlessly Streak pointed to a new painting on the walls of the rock. Bulletins were given like this, since paper wouldn't have worked underwater, and ink from Unioctos was used that could be cleaned off later on. This particular one depicted a line drawing of a Peophin with a horn sprouting from her forehead, and below the drawing were the words: 'The Legend of Harquin: A Musical. Auditions Now Open.'

     Tsunami didn't have to look at the grin on Streak's face to know what she meant.

     "Streak, surely you don't-"

     "Of course you could, Su! It's perfect for you. I can just see you now, on the stage as Harquin."

     "Harquin's blue. I'm green."

     "That's a lame excuse, S_Tsunami. And you know it," her friend persisted.

     "I think you'd be perfect," said Kainitsa, suddenly appearing beside them.

     Tsunami groaned. "No Kaina, not you too…"

     "They're not the only ones," came Raiiek's voice from behind her. Tsunami turned to see him and Mirow looking at her. She was about to refuse again, when she remembered that strange feeling that had come over her the night before, when she had seen that her family all had someone they wanted to be.

     Except me, she thought dolefully, and then made up her mind.

     "Alright," she said, mock-wearily. "Only if you go with me after school today."

     "Done," cried the other four with one voice.

     The auditorium was Turquoise Sea's pride and joy. It was a cave in the side of one of the cliffs further along the coast. The reef was a very long structure, and a tunnel had been built from it to the cave. The cave could be reached by humans when the tide went out fully, but when it was high tide the only way to reach it was through an underwater tunnel cut through the bottom of the cave. The rock in the cave had been sculpted into seats for everyone, and a stage right in front where school performances took place.

     Tsunami felt as though she had swallowed a nest of Beekadoodles, who were chirping and flapping about madly in her insides. She nervously watched the young golden Flotsam on the stage, singing loudly and lustily. She had a rich, mellifluous voice, and she was so confident! Tsunami's nerve started to drain away and her old fear of being in the spotlight came back in full force.

     "Streak, Kaina," she hissed to her friends. "I don't think I can do this…"

     "We'll be right there with you, you'll be fine," Streak whispered comfortingly.

     "You'll impress the judges, I guarantee it," said Kainitsa. "By the time you're done, they'll be begging you to play Harquin. You'll see."

     "And your name is..?" A friendly voice asked. Tsunami looked up to see a teacher she knew by sight, Ms. Silkfinn, a large yellow Koi, looking pleasantly at her. She felt a little better.

     "S_Tsunami," she whispered shyly.

     "Ah, yes." The Koi nodded, satisfied. "Right, now you just go up on that stage once Flairea up there is finished, and sing whatever you like."

     Tsunami nodded, smiling as convincingly as she could. She turned desperately to her friends. Somehow this had eluded her, and she could not think.

     "What am I going to sing?"

     "How about 'Quiet Waters?" asked Kainitsa.

     " 'Faeries in the Sky'," suggested Mirow.

     "Honestly, Su, you could sing 'The Kaus in the Meadow Go Moo' and still win them over," Streak insisted. "But I'd prefer 'I Rule the Waves' myself…"

     "I guess I'll sing that," Tsunami replied hesitantly. 'I Rule the Waves' was an old Neopian ditty of the sea-pets taught to the group by Kainitsa. It wasn't what most Neopians would call an impressive song, but she and her friends had sung it together so often, and she needed something that was instinct to sing in case she forgot the words in her nervousness. At that moment the Flotsam cut off her last note and her friends by the side of the stage applauded and cheered wildly. The judges nodded at her with approving smiles and she left, beaming, with her group.

     "She's good," Tsunami said.

     "You're next, Su."

     "S_Tsunami. Would you go up on the stage please?" Ms. Silkfinn smiled gently at her.

     Tsunami swallowed hard, trying her best to drown the Beekadoodles in her belly which all seemed to have panicked at the sound of her name being called. Slowly and reluctantly, she mounted the side-steps and strode out into the very centre.

     "All right, Tsunami," said Ms. Silkfinn briskly, "you may start singing whenever you choose."

     Tsunami nodded again, without saying anything. The Beekadoodles seemed to be flapping around more wildly than ever now. Ignoring them, she recalled the lyrics to 'I Rule the Waves'.

     "Over my head the seabirds cry, joyous in my element am I," she began, softly and awkwardly. Inwardly she gave herself a sharp nip. This wasn't the way to go. She tried again.

     "Rolling, tossing over the wave crests, content to be in the place I love best…"

     But she couldn't get the music in her head to play as it did when she was singing for her friends, or under the rain tree with Wavy to the accompaniment of the river, soothing her nerves and washing the tension away as easily as a white-crested roller over the beach, making her forget everything but the song and the thrilling delight of singing it, and singing it well.

     The sight of the judges watching and listening intently to her, added to the thought of being in the spotlight alone, by herself, created a mixture that was terrifying her. Panic was rising in her throat like a cold cloudy fist, choking her and numbing her back teeth so that she could barely get the words out. She couldn't go on like this, but she kept on, doggedly, till the end of the last verse.

     "There is nowhere else I'd rather be, than diving and leaping out in the sea. For there I am free; Jetsams and storms I can brave, I feel as if I rule the waves."

     Tsunami finished and trotted off the stage as tall and straight as she could, though she felt like collapsing. She couldn't have assessed her performance herself but the expressions on her friends' faces told her all.

     They surrounded her comfortingly as she sank limply to the cold, damp rock floor, but she could tell -as she feared-that she hadn't done as well as she should.

     "Don't bother telling me," she mumbled before they could say anything. "I was awful. I was just so nervous…" "Maybe you'll get a part anyway," Kainitsa whispered reassuringly.

     "Yeah, Su," Streak put in, "you didn't go off-key or anything; they might let you do some chorus singing."

     Raiiek smiled gently. "You'll be alright. It's not the end of the world."

     "You did try," Mirow pointed out, nudging her shoulder gently to help her to her feet. "Come on, let's get you home."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part One

Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part Three

Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part Four

Tsunami Takes the Stage: Part Five

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