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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 68 > Continuing Series > Lost in the Desert: Part Two

Lost in the Desert: Part Two

by smileyface12_5690

"What? Are you crazy? Do you think we're crazy?" Riggo asked. "We are not letting you stay here by yourself. It isn't right."

     "I can stay here if I want to. You aren't my boss, you know," Liji retorted. "For all we know, this may be the only landmark for miles! We are better of here."

     "No. We could die! We will die if we stay! Dehydration, starvation, hyperventilation...think! Just think, for one second! We don't have a single chance in the world of surviving if we stay. Don't you realise that? Well, do you?" Riggo's face was red. They were lost in the desert, and that Aisha made it seem like she wanted to die out there.

     "Fine. But let's rest, for we are tired. It is stupid to travel without energy," said Liji.

     "No, it is stupid to rest and wait for the steaming hot air to melt us if we wait until morning!" Riggo contradicted. "We should travel by night, when it is cooler. And it doesn't matter if this shrine is the only landmark for a million miles! It can't help us anyway! We don't have a map or a compass or anything like that!"

     "Well..." Liji had a distant look on her face. "Well, I know it may sound silly, but...I think I have a tie, some sort of connection, to the shrine. Like, it's an ancestor of mine, somehow. The carver was an Aisha. I am an Aisha. It makes sense...oh!" she gasped as she uncovered the whole panel, "It's a map! Look...there is the palace! Ooh...the marketplace...it's huge! Wow! They even show a way to get to other cities! The city of Kharmenn, Opolis, and Foreya!" she looked up at the others, "One of them still may be in existence. We can get out of here! It makes sense!"

     "No, it doesn't," said Baroo, "Look. On that panel, with the carver...he shows the shrine. But he would have had to carve the entire pillar before presenting. That may have just been what he thought, or hoped, they would think of his shrine. Who knows...maybe they hated it! Maybe he didn't even show it to them! That map may be wrong!"

     Liji thought about Baroo's statement. He was right. It may have just been someone who made something and never showed it off. Then again...it may. There was still the possibility that her original hypothesis was correct! But that was a long shot. She knew that it was probably unfit for relying on.

     "Good point," said Riggo, realising the same thing. "But, we don't have anything else to work off of. What can we do? Where can we go? We just have to trust that this map can lead the way, even if it is wrong. Remember, it may be right on the money!" But he looked like it was no use. Maybe they should stay, instead of getting lost. But they didn't have a chance of getting home unless they didn't attempt to. The three looked at each other. They were pretty much hopeless.

     "Well, then," Liji got up, "Let's go!"

     It was a lot easier to walk in the desert this time around, when the wind and sand weren't surrounding you. They walked for a long time, nearly three hours, when night came. But they didn't stop, as Riggo had said earlier not to. They walked through the dwindling twilight hours and into the star-filled night.

     "The sky is so pretty," Liji commented, staring at the moon and the stars, lighting their way through the desert. "I've never seen so many stars! It's always so bright out at night, you never get to enjoy nature." The others agreed, looking up, but still walking forward.

     "Silence..." Riggo said after a while. "Complete silence. I like it. I like it a lot." Baroo and Liji smiled.

     "No Puppyblews or Warfs barking! No baby Neopets crying! No noise! Oh, how lovely!" Baroo laughed out loud. The others laughed with him. Never had they enjoyed the silence so much. Well, semi-silence now.

     "Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to be stranded out here!" Liji began. "I've never gotten to experience such a wonderful moment. This, I shall cherish forever." Baroo laughed again. "Hey! It's not funny!" but Liji soon got lost in laughing, with Riggo not too far behind. And so they walked on, laughing, roaring, and giggling into the night and into the warm desert morning, to say goodbye to the moon and the stars and hello to the bright desert sun.

     "Man, it's hot!" Riggo complained as they walked on. "I can't bear another minute!" His hair was matted, his feet were stiff, and his tail lost the ability to wag happily. He inched his way along, the hot sand sticking to his legs.

     "I need water!" Liji cried, crawling through the sand dunes.

     "Oh...so tired..." Baroo fell over and slept, snoring rather loudly. The other two stopped, and took three sips each of the cool water the white Lupe had brought with him. They sat down, flopped over, staring and the fiery, flaming sunshine burning through their fragile skin. Liji cried some more, and Riggo complained some more, and eventually they both fell asleep.

     Liji woke up in a cage of bamboo. She looked around. Where was she? She looked below and saw a pot of boiling water. Oh, no! All around her, desert Poogles were dancing and chanting and screaming their heads off. The Aisha was frightened out of her wits, but there was nothing she could do. She just stared at all the dancing figures, evil grins on their faces, nasty glares from their eyes. Liji was done for. It was over. Only a few months of life and now it had to be ended. She cried as what must have been the chief Poogle, covered in gold and silver jewelry, took a long carving knife and began to cut the rope that held up the cage she was in. She stared the shining silver blade of the knife, slicing back and forth, back and forth, until the final cut sliced the rope in two. Liji screamed as the Poogles laughed. Just before she hit the steamy water, she woke up, in the middle of the desert, panting. It was a dream. It was all just a dream.

     She couldn't get back asleep. She was tired, but just couldn't fall asleep. She had a strange feeling that something was wrong. Even more wrong than it was before. But what? She thought back. The shrine! She quickly got up and ran back in the direction of where they came from. She knew it would take a long time to get there, but she had to, she just had to. She couldn't explain it, but she had to get to the shrine before something terrible happened.

     She ran for hours, and even when she got tired, she still ran. Twilight came. She knew that Baroo and Riggo would be worried about her, but she had to keep going. Then she realised that they would probably be looking for her. They might get lost, too. She thought about this, stopped, and turned around, but she was too far now. She turned back around, and ran again. And there it was! The shrine, at the very edge of the horizon! It would only take a few hours to reach at the rate she was going. Night settled in. She didn't care. She had to find out what was wrong and figure out how to stop it.

     She was almost there. She just had to climb one more sand dune and she was there. She quickly ran up the side and stood up at the top, only to see that it had disappeared. She couldn't believe it. Gone? She had just seen it! She looked around to see if anyone had stolen it (being solid gold, it was very valuable), but no. No one. Just her and sand. She sat down and stared at the world around her. It was a wasteland for sand. She cried. How could she be so stupid? Now the other two would go looking for her and get lost. She would die on that hill. Her face was completely covered in tears. She whimpered and moaned. She pounded her fists at her legs and began to pull her long, long ears, but it was no use. She was a goner. She was done for. It was over. It wasn't a dream this time. Oh, but how she wished it was.

     As she cried even more and the sun came out again, she thought back over her life. It was rather short and not very entertaining. If only she had done something worthwhile. But no, she figured there would be time for that later. She thought back to the Wheel of Excitement. She clenched her fists. None of this ever would have happened if that stupid Kiko didn't want to play at that ridiculous wheel. But it was too late now. She was lost. Again.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Lost in the Desert: Part One

Lost in the Desert: Part Three

Lost in the Desert: Part Four

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