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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 60 > Short Stories > The Disaster - A Maraquan Story

The Disaster - A Maraquan Story

by bookyalex

I am Gondwana, but that is not my full name. I am a striped Shoyru, and I was in Maraqua on the day the whirlpool struck. Many say it was an accident, a natural disaster, but I know the truth. Many also say that no one was harmed, which only a lie everyone wishes was a truth. And no one will believe me. They claim I am insane for thinking these well meaning pirates would do such a thing. But we know the truth. This is my story.

     "Alex, Alex!" Melissa00010 shouted form her spot - plastered to the window. Alex turned her head to face the red Kougra

     "Hmm?" She asked.

     "We're nearing the bottom! We're almost there!"

     Everyone snapped to attention.

     "Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen," the loudspeaker boomed. "Put on your oxygen helmets and tanks and prepare to depart." We did as we were told and put on our glass helmets and oxygen tanks, and Alex checked to make sure that all the Petpets had theirs on properly. Wouldn't want anyone to get a little water in their helmet. A few minutes later, our water sub touched the bottom with a bone-rocking thump. We all bustled to the door in our bulky equipment, wanting to be the first off. Emerging from the door, Alex said, "OK guys, listen. Meet back here at the Food shop in..." she paused to look at her watch, "An hour, all right? Here's your allowance, and 250 Neopoints extra," Alex said handing each of us 500 Neopoints.

     Laurasia2000 and diamondbunny headed for the games, while Melissa00010 and I headed for the Toy Booth that was selling Usukis. In case you are wondering, all the Usukis in Maraqua are in waterproof containers, except for the Maraquan ones which are built waterproof. Alex went into the food shop, probably to buy Melissa00010's Gruslen more steak - it never stopped eating.

     "Look!" I exclaimed as we neared the Usuki stand. "It's a Lost Desert Usuki! That's the only thing I need to complete my collection!" I rushed over to the stand, nearly cart-wheeling in my eagerness to get there. Arriving, I snapped open my wings as a brake to keep myself from falling. "How much…Is the….Lost Desert…Usuki?" I asked, panting. I saw Melissa bargaining with the other koi--a blue one--for a Mermaid Usuki.

     "5000 in Maraquan gold, or 1000 Neopoints," the yellow Koi replied in a raspy voice. "It's on sale today, we just got a new shipment, but with 5000 too many! Usukis are going outta style, and we just can't sell them all!" My face fell. Including the remnants of my birthday money, I only had 800 Neopoints, which was a well known fact because I kept complaining about it every time I wanted a Usuki which was 7000 Neopoints or something ridiculous.

     "Sorry, sir," I said, disappointment colouring my voice. "I've only got 800."

     "Gondwana," Melissa began, reappearing at my side. "I can lend you 200 Neopoints if you want."

     "Would you?" I exclaimed happily, daring to believe.

     "Of course!" Melissa00010 dug into her fanny pack and withdrew two 100 Neopoint coins in the palm of her paw and handed them to me. I took out eight of my own similar coins and gave them to the Koi, who gave the Ultra-rare Usuki to me. Being careful not to accidentally open the waterproof casing, I deposited the Usuki in my pack and looked at my watch. We still had 45 minutes.

     "Milkshake?" Melissa asked, rummaging in her pack to find suitable money.

     "Sure!" I said, producing a 25 Neopoint coin.

     "Hey! I thought you only had 800 Neopoints!"

     "I did, but I found this on the ground when I was putting away my Usuki," I replied mischievously.

     "Race ya!" Melissa exclaimed, her four legs getting a head start on my two. Knowing I would lose anyway, I continued at a more leisurely pace.

     "What took ya?" Melissa exclaimed impatiently as we entered the shop and went up to the red Kiko cashier.

     "Two vanilla milkshakes, please," I said, ignoring Melissa's remark and placing the coin on the counter. I handed my sister a milkshake and she began to drink. It really is rather amusing watching a Kougra drinking a waterproofed milkshake. They grip it by holding it between their paws and sitting on their hind legs, while trying to sip through the only opening--a straw which you much always keep your mouth on lest you get water in your shake.

     As we were finishing our refreshments, a blue Koi floating by the window gasped and shouted, "Twister!"

     Indeed a giant twister was heading toward Maraqua, with a pirate ship following in it's wake. I had no time to contemplate this, as we had to evacuate now.

     Everyone ran out of the shop screaming at the top of their lungs. The blue Koi rang a large bell situated outside the food shop which signaled danger.

     "Twister, run for your lives!" he shouted, warning the people who were not looking outside. We had only a few moments before the twister struck. Wind tore at buildings, ripping entire roofs off. Usukis and bottles and toys were everywhere, and I saw the gruesome end of the blue Koi as he was whacked in the head with a chair and then sucked into the twister. Neopets and people were flying everywhere. Underwater grasses and bushes and buildings were being torn right out of the ground, and debris was flying everywhere. I felt my oxygen helmet cracking as Melissa and I ran--or tried to--to the subs. I could hardly see and water was filling up my helmet. The bright yellow submarines were already leaving, and by the time we got there, only a few remained. A mob of people were rushing onto the crafts, and it was impossible for us to get near.

     "We better swim for it!" I shouted, hoping I could be heard over the howling wind - like a malicious, evil, laugh. I flapped my wings frantically, trying to reach the surface. A whirlpool was starting to form, and I knew if we didn't hurry, we would be caught in it. On top of that, I only had about half of my air left. I finally decided to ditch the tank, as it was slowing me down and I was going to be sucked into the whirlpool. Taking a deep breath, I threw of the helmet and my only supply of air. I was swimming faster now, but I wasn't going to make it. I looked around at the terror, the death, the horrible scene around me; at the place I would spend my final minutes, and prayed that my family would live this out. My last thought before I passed out was the blue Koi getting sucked into the whirlpool.

***

I woke up in a tent. Was this heaven? Then I felt the rhythmic throbbing of my head, and the pain of my arm. I'm alive! What?! I was lying on a cot in a brown tent which let the light but not the heat in, and a bandage was wrapped my head. I sat up--barely--and, propping myself up on the wall, looked around. There were dozens of other pets around me, and I was in pretty good condition compared to a red Aisha lying next to me. He had his right foreleg bandaged, and stitches up his left side where someone had patched him up. Then I remembered Melissa. And Laurasia, and Alex, and diamondbunny. I scanned the room frantically, hoping to see someone I knew. I spotted Laurasia at the far end of the room and breathed a sigh of relief until I saw her condition. I winced. She had casts on all her legs except her right foreleg and bandages around her stomach. The Kau was breathing shallowly and was still asleep. Looks like I was lucky.

     Just then, an old man, wrinkled with age, entered the tent and scanned the room. Noticing the Aisha next to me, he sighed deeply, and crossed the room to stroke his head affectionately. He sighed, and muttered, "Thank god for the Flotsams and Jetsams." Then he left the tent so his pet could rest. From those words, I knew I would have died if I hadn't been rescued by Mystery Island's Marines. They drilled at the Training School, and went out as rescue parties. I got off my cot and wobbled toward the tent flap, trying to ignore the pain that shot up my arm and made my head throb even harder. I knew I had to find my family.

     When I got outside, I found I was, indeed, on Mystery Island. There were five or six other tents like mine, and the one across from me had a sign on the top reading, "HUMANS" in bold black. I wobbled over to it, and pushed aside the flap. Even that took a lot of energy from me. I looked around for Alex. At first I though she wasn't there, but then I saw she was drinking something in the back of the room, her left arm in a sling. She spotted me a moment later and shouted, "Gondwana!" which woke the few who were still sleeping. I hobbled over to her, and jumped into her lap, glad to be off my poor feet.

     "What about the others?" I asked my mom. "Laurasia is alive, but what about Melissa and diamondbunny?" Alex didn't answer immediately.

     "I don't know."

     After sitting there in a moment of silence, I got up, much to the protest of my body.

     "Then let's go see," I spoke, my voice cracking on the last note.

     We went to all the other tents, and found only diamondbunny. She had a broken paw and a nasty gouge on her back from when a piece of roof had hit her. She joined us, and together, we went to the beach and sat on a fallen log, staring out at the sea as it crashed against the shore, occasionally washing up debris. Melissa was gone.

     We had a ceremony for the pets and people who were lost at sea. Melissa's Gruslen was no longer--gosh, how I hated those words--too. We all still had all our Petpets, who were mourning the Gruslen along with the other few survivors. Just before we went back inside the tents to get some much need rest, I saw a Mermaid Usuki wash up with Melissa's fanny pack.

The End

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