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Tropical Tragedy: Search for the Jungly Jem: Part Two

by cheopspyramid


Part Two: Journey to Phillip

“Will you hurry up?!”

      “I told you, I’m coming!” I yelled.

      Running quickly to the ever-so-patient Ailis, I began to head towards the forest. Immediately after getting off the sandy part of the beach, I stepped on a twig and howled in pain. I hopped the remainder of the way on one leg, with the other two grasping my one hurt one.

      There, Ailis had her arms crossed, eyebrows down, mouth in a churlish frown, and her toe tapping rapidly. “How long does it take to get up off the shore? You weren’t that deep in thought.”

      “Well, sorry!” I yelled sarcastically. “I thought I heard something.”

      “Whatever,” Ailis called back. She turned her back on me and began to walk into the deep forest. “You coming? We need to get this mission over with.”

      I quickened my pace, as if silently agreeing to Ailis’s order. Side by side, we walked through the deep path filled with abundant plant life and tangled masses of vines. Upon reaching a large, round tree, I set down my backpack and stopped for a moment.

      “What’re you doing?” Ailis inquired.

      “Getting my log,” I replied.

      I reached for my small, checker-pattern notebook and opened it to the next clean page. My mind went blank for a second. Oh right! A pen! I reached back into my pack and rustled through my Chia snacks.

      Ailis looked over my shoulder. “I thought you said you were on a diet!”

      “I am!” I replied. “I never said it was a healthy diet.” I smiled and snickered.

      At the bottom of my backpack was my pen. I grabbed it and brought it out into the jungle air and began to write.


     I growled and shook the pen so that the ink went to the ball point. I began to write again.

     “The day is coming to a close… Ailis is being mean.”

      “I am not!” she yelled. “You’re just so slow at everything!”

      I shut the notebook with a large snap. Fearing the noise of the notebook, many Pteris flew out from the tree in which we were under. I swung my backpack over my shoulder and continued to walk next to Ailis down the winding, jungle path.

      “So where’s our first stop at?” I asked.

      “The Island Mystic’s hut for some briefing and a new guide, and then off to the center of Geraptiku to try and find the hidden gem.”

      I thought about what Ailis told me about what we would be doing. The thought “Ooh fun…” kept reappearing in my mind. The overall idea of the trip sounded fun, but there were so many things to do beforehand. And who is this new guide? They better not be slow… or be a Chia… that would be torture.

      “HURRY UP!” I heard Ailis yell from a far distance.

      I looked up and saw her many yards away from me.

      I need to stop gazing off into space! I thought.

      Once again, I sped up and kept running until I caught up with Ailis again. This time, she didn’t even bother to slow down or even stop! She just kept walking at her normal pace, leaving me a further distance each step she took. By the time I actually met up with her, I was out of breath.

      “What did I tell you? You are so slow! Stop day-dreaming and start focusing on your mission. Besides, we’re almost to his hut,” Ailis said.

      I panted for a while, but finally managed to sputter, “Really? That’s good… I need some… rest… and food….”

      “Oh don’t worry,” Ailis said slyly. “I’ll make sure that the Island Mystic provides you with food for your new healthy diet that I made!” She burst into an abnormal, cackling laugh and continued walking down the path.

      My eyes widened and I groaned. She was going to make this trip pure torture! Usually Ailis makes the trip fun by helping pass the time along quicker by starting songs or introducing a new game, depending on what area of Neopia we’re in. On our last trip, she and I dove down to the bottom of Maraqua without any scuba gear on and tried to see who could collect the most shells without running out of air. Technically, Ailis won, but she thinks that I did. But of course, I cheated by using a small, portable air tank. Don’t tell her, though! She wouldn’t be too happy!

      The night sky was full of clouds, drifting slowly across the endless navy abyss. Occasionally, a cloud would flow across the moon and the woods would slowly become darker, but almost as instantly as it came, the cloud moved away from the moon and it was allowed to emit the glow once again.

      Ailis and I continued to walk through the woods. A large gust of wind blew and chilled me to the epidermis. Usually I would say “chilled me to the bone” but it wasn’t that cold. My legs were getting tired, though.

      “I thought you said we were almost there,” I finally said.

      “We are!” Ailis replied, cheerfully. “We passed it a few miles ago. Most people don’t know that in order to actually see the Island Mystic, you have to take the back way. Otherwise, you just get his doll and his daily recording of some bogus prediction.”

      I fell to the ground and laid there for a while. Ailis stopped walking and grabbed me by the front paws and began to drag me through the dirty trail. Sure, it caused a few cuts and bruises and a whole lot of physical pain, but it was worth it! At least I didn’t have to walk anymore.

      At long last, Ailis dropped my paws and began to walk ahead of me. “We’re here!” she yelled.

      I got up off the ground and stretched. Looking around, I didn’t see much. Everything was completely dark and vague, but I could still make out the murky, bare trees swaying slightly in the wind. The moon above cast their shadows on the ground, which gave some sort of light. Off in the distance there was a long building made of bamboo and palm leaves.

      “This is it!” Ailis said. “The Island Mystic’s hut!”

      I skewed my brows, man was I confused. “I thought… the Island Mystic’s Hut… was a small, round building.” I pondered. “This looks like a factory!”

      Ailis shrugged. “He has to make Neopoints somehow. The Island Mystic and the haiku Kougra are a big cooperate chain.”

      I was baffled by this newfound information! My jaw dropped suddenly, but I shook it off. Ailis headed towards the back door and opened it slowly. She peeked her head inside and beckoned me to come in with her left hand.

      “Hello?” she called inside. “Phillip?”

      “Phillip?” I asked Ailis. “Who’s Phillip?”

      “Well, people can’t go around calling him ‘The Island Mystic’ all day, so I call him Phillip!” She smiled widely at me with her eyes closed and giggled.

      Okay, Ailis had gone from semi-odd to extremely odd. Sometimes she’s just a little too bubbly. Yet at least she wasn’t being mean like she was earlier that afternoon. It’s always better to be an airhead than a bully.

      Ailis slowly entered the warehouse and flicked on the light switch located to the right of the door. Instantly, the lights all around the warehouse turned on and began to generate a low humming sound. Once again, Ailis beckoned me to enter, and I did so reluctantly. Upon entering, I noticed the vast amount of trees located inside the building, rather than outside.

      “So, where exactly is he?” I questioned.

      “Well, he said to take the blue path until you reach a fork in the sidewalk and then he said to take the left path until you come across another fork with red and green pathways and…”

      Ailis continued to ramble on with some confusing directions, but after a while all I heard was “blah, blah, blah, blah.” Finally I put my hand over her mouth and asked her calmly, “Did he mention anything about a shorter path.”

      Hand still over her mouth, she nodded slightly and then pointed to the left of the building. I looked in the direction of her pointing finger and rolled my eyes. There, in the center of a large oasis of trees and a small pond, was a miniature hut that was identical to that of the regular Island Mystic’s hut.

      “And we were going to take the other way why?” I asked mockingly.

      She shrugged and then bit my hand.

      “Ow!” I exclaimed. “What’d you do that for?!”

      Ailis sputtered and said calmly, “You wouldn’t take your hand off of my mouth. Serves you right.”

      I stuffed my fist into my mouth quickly to care for the wound that Ailis gave me. That really hurt badly! Aishas have extremely jagged teeth that puncture virtually everything. She just had to bite me!

      I turned towards the small hut in the middle of the warehouse and began to walk towards it. Overall, the trip to the “factory” wasn’t so bad! The time went by fairly quick and it wasn’t raining like it usually is on our journeys. We typically have bad luck when it comes to good weather on our trip days. We were lucky today.

      Ailis quickly caught up and began to walk alongside me as I walked closer and closer to the enchanting hut. The air slowly became humid and hot, but the tingling feeling of minuscule faeries still lingered on our cheeks as they followed us during our walk; lightly rubbing our skin with their soft hands. The sad thing is, you can’t really see them. Only a small, elliptical glow that shot outward from their tiny bodies.

      As we approached the bamboo door, it sprung open magically. To me, it was scary. Doors aren’t supposed to shoot open without anyone pushing it. Strange and mysterious, it was. But acting as if nothing had happened, Ailis calmly walked through the open door and disappeared behind the fading darkness on the other side.

      I withdrew a deep breath and followed her in. It was dark when you first entered; nothing could be seen for a long time. And even as I walked on, nothing came into view. I turned around to try and find the door again, but it wasn’t there. Nothing was there. I was lost in complete darkness with nobody around me. I called Ailis’s name. “Ailis?! I can’t find anything! Help!”

      A voice from nowhere reached my ears. It was Ailis’s voice, but it was so distant that I could barely hear it. But I did make out a few words. “Turn… downward… look… down… walk.”

      Following the instructions, I leaned forward, and an incredibly odd feeling came over my body. At first, I fell forward, but as soon as I fell, the floor followed me and the entire room did a flip. I was now walking in a totally opposite way, and as I walked forward, there was a bit of light in the distance. Obscure, but it was there. I expected it to stay at the same distance as long as I walked, but to my surprise, the light steadily grew in size.

      I ran faster and faster to the light. I wanted to get away from that corrupt room, if it was even a room. Yet, as I reached the light, I thought to myself, What if this room is just as evil as the last one? Either way, the other one would be equal to or better than the last one.

      I walked into the light and immediately my body was jerked violently to the right. I was thrust down a long hallway, past thousands upon thousands of flashing colors. A dizzy feeling overcame my body and I swooned, but woke up again. Wind raced over my fur and I shivered at the cold feeling. And as soon as it began, it was over and my feet reached the floor and I fell forward onto solid ground.

      “Welcome,” a low voice whispered. “To my home of mysteries and secrets. Relax and inhale the incense. You are tired.”

      The last thing I saw was a room lit with many candles and smoke that masked my vision of the room. Black circles formed on the outside of my eyes, and they slowly closed in towards the center of my eyes. Fading… falling… in darkness….

To be continued…

Author’s Note: Yes, I do realize that this wasn’t the best section, but I can say that the next section is fabulous! Also, a new character shall be found to accompany Ailis and Damian on their trip. Could be a Chia as well… hm…?

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