Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 132,988,897 Issue: 246 | 30th day of Relaxing, Y8
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Because of a Jawshell: Part Two


by anna_invincible

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I smiled and Caylis snorted.

      "Well, where do you propose we start, dear sister?" she asked impatiently, as if finding my owner was impossible. Isca looked embarrassed. Garin helped her out.

      "How about the last place you saw her, Chili?" he said to me.

      I almost scowled, but reminded myself that he just wanted to help, so I replied warily, "Yes, follow me."

      I led them to the kelp beds where I last remembered seeing Anna's wavy brown hair. Caylis then asked me to tell her what Anna was wearing, how long she had been gone, how tall was she... She asked LOADS of questions. When she was finally finished asking me questions, she looked around the coral beds where I showed her to look (it was where I had lost sight of Anna).

      She pondered and looked in every direction, pushing away fronds of kelp and feeling the sand between her fingers. Isca, Garin and I stood in silence, waiting for her to finish. She finally sat up and approached us.

      "Chili, Isca, Garin, I know where Anna is."

      "WHERE?" we all screamed in unison. She smiled coyly.

      "Well, fine, picky picky, follow me."

      She led us up to an air packet and near a very old, rusted ladder. We climbed for several minutes, it was a long ladder. Several of the bars on it were broken, and I had a very bad feeling I might fa-

      "AH!"

      The bar I was on cracked and I slipped off, falling... falling... I closed my eyes tight. It took me a moment to realize I wasn't falling. I opened one eye and saw that Garin's hand had caught mine. He smiled and I stuck my tongue out at him.

      We were at the top of the ladder, I looked around, and I shivered. It looked like someone had died up there. There were lots of bones, and the ground was cracked and caked at the edges. I looked uncertainly at Caylis.

      "Uh, are you sure this is the right place?"

      She scowled. "Yes, I am sure. Do you think I would lead you guys all the way up here for nothing?"

      I secretly thought, Yes, I do, but I didn't say that out loud. Caylis still struck me as the sort of rebellious young Neopet, even though as far as I knew, she wasn't.

      Isca had been very quiet during all of this, and she spoke up in her nervous, high pitched voice. "C-Caylis, why would Chili's owner come here?"

      Caylis frowned. "Maybe she didn't come here on her own free will."

      Everyone, as if by instinct, looked at me. Even Garin. His light blue eyes showed pity and compassion. I did not want to let my true feelings show. I scowled and demanded angrily, "Why is everyone looking at me?"

      They all turned away. Caylis began pacing. I noticed for the first time she had legs and was no longer a mermaid-like Aisha, as was Isca. They had LEGS. I wondered why I didn't notice it before; how else would they have climbed that ladder? Unless they could fly. I snorted at my own foolishness.

      "Well, if this really is the spot, we should try to find Chili's owner," Garin offered to break the silence.

      Caylis and Isca nodded together and everyone started looking around. Caylis looked under a rock; Garin called out Anna's name several times; Isca looked as if she were thinking of what to do. I stood in silence, and for a while I thought everyone had forgotten me.

      "Chili?"

      Isca's voice made me jump. I whirled around. She continued more softly. "Chili, I really think you should help-"

      WHOOSH!

      An arrow just barely missed her head, and she screamed as she ducked. Some crazy looking Techos jumped from behind a bush.

      "Isca, Chili, Caylis, get OUT OF HERE!" Garin screamed as he fended them off. For a second I scowled at him for trying to be noble, but as soon as an arrow sliced through his side and he screamed, I knew he wasn't trying to be noble.

      "GARIN!"

      Before I could run over to him, a red Kyrii popped out of nowhere. Literally. Nowhere. He had the same rebellious, handsome look about him that Garin had, and I could tell they were best friends.

      He rushed over to Garin, taking a bottle out of his shirt pocket. I looked at the potion doubtfully. It looked like some cheap prank disguised as a healing potion. Garin opened one eye.

      "Jacques? Is that you?" he asked weakly. Jacques smiled. The resemblance of his smile compared to Garin really scared me. It was like they were brothers.

      "Who do you think it is, genius, Dr. Sloth?"

      Garin smiled and closed his eye. He continued in a mocking tone. "Whoever you are, Dr. Sloth is a right sight better then you usually look."

      Jacques found this funny, I had no idea why. Guess it's one of those times when you say, "It's a guy thing."

      Jacques tipped the potion into Garin's mouth and, to my disbelief and regret, Garin was up and barking orders in less than five seconds.

      "Come on, guys, we gotta find Chili's owner," he said determinedly, jumping up.

      "Who is Chili?" Jacques asked, confused.

      Caylis pointed at me. Jacques looked utterly delighted, picking me up and swooning over me.

      "Aw, how adorable is she?" He tickled my feet and laughed. Garin looked impatient and disgusted. He took me out of Jacques' arms and put me down on the ground. I pouted; I liked all the attention.

      "This little urchin is not as sweet as she looks," he said as I scowled. "However, her owner can put up with her, so we must go find her."

      A look of sudden understanding came to Jacques' face. He looked as though he knew where Anna was. He turned to me.

      "Chili," he began in a kind voice, "what does your owner look like?"

      "Well... " I paused. What would they think of her? Ugly? Cute? I took a deep breath. "She has long, wavy, brown hair, and she has dark brown eyes that are huge. She has long eyelashes and she is tall. Her skin is pale but tan at the legs and arms."

      I thought that was pretty accurate, except for the tan. They would think less of her if they knew she was pale as a ghost.

      Jacques smiled. "Chili, I think I know where your owner is."

      I jumped up. Garin smiled. Caylis and Isca hugged each other. Jacques waved his arm.

      "Follow me!"

      He led us down the ladder again. I noticed that all the way, he kept looking back at me, as if seeing if I was ok. I guess he didn't know how tough I was, because he puppy guarded me the whole way.

      When we got to the bottom of the ladder, he took *another* odd looking potion out of his pocket and drank it, then dived into the water; I guessed it allowed him to breathe underwater. Caylis and Isca jumped right in, and Garin put on his necklace, winked at me, and jumped in after them. I shuddered, but followed.

      We went through what seemed like miles of kelp, rocks, and sand. My legs were starting to get tired. When my head was drooping and I seriously was about to fall asleep right on the sand, Jacques stopped us.

      "It was right around here," he said. I thought he was done before he told us his story.

      "Earlier this morning, around nine, I was looking for Garin around here." My stomach flipped. That's the time we were going fishing! He continued. "I looked around and in that corner." He pointed to my right. "I saw a pale girl with wavy brown hair. She was calling out 'Chili, Chili! Come back!'" My stomach flipped over again. I felt awful and guilty, yet he continued in his horrible story.

      "I was about to go over and ask her what was wrong and who had she lost, but someone jumped out at her. They grabbed her and before I could do anything, they disappeared into smoke. The last thing I heard was a scream from the girl."

      I couldn't take it. I had to interrupt.

      "Where did you see them disappear, again?"

      He led me to the spot that he had explained before, and I padded the ground curiously. Hold up...

      "Guys, be really quiet for a second," I said, putting my ear to the ocean floor. Garin snickered, thinking I was insane, but was soon silenced by Isca's punch on the shoulder. I could hear it, just faintly... "Chili, Chili..."

      I stood up.

      "Well, now what, genius?" Garin asked impatiently. Ignoring him, I jumped on the ground where I had heard someone calling my name. I felt something besides sand.

      "Chili, is there a-"

      Isca never finished her question. The second time I jumped on the spot, I fell straight through.

      "CHILI!" Isca, Caylis, Garin, and Jacques screamed in unison.

      When I hit the hard floor below, I think everyone expected me to start bawling like a baby. I stood up and brushed myself off with dignity.

      "Chili, you idiot, get back up here!" Garin shouted angrily.

      I ignored him. That Usul was *not* in charge of me. Looking around, I saw a small, dark room. There was one window. When I went over to open it, there were bricks on the other side. Once again, I heard that soft cry saying "Chili... Chili!" This time, it was louder. It was coming from the far left corner of the room. Was it Anna?

      Dashing over there, I saw a wardrobe. The wardrobe was vibrating slightly as if being pounded by small fists. I opened the latch and a tall girl with long, wavy brown hair and dark brown eyes fell out. She blinked, momentarily shocked by her fall, then smiled and opened her arms wide.

      "Chili!"

      She caught me in a hug, and she rubbed her nose against mine. She hugged me close, and I felt very happy for the first time in ages. When she finally released me, she looked up at the hole in the ceiling.

      "Come on sweetie, let's get back up there."

      I moved a ladder near the trapdoor I'd fallen down, and I climbed up first. Anna followed close behind me, and I helped her out. She nodded thankfully. She looked around at everyone, who seemed beyond belief. She smiled.

      Once we had gotten back onto land again, Anna gave her thanks to everyone.

      "Caylis, Isca! You helped save my little baby!" Anna said happily. They looked down.

      "Well, we-" Anna stopped them and gave them each a super hug. She turned to Jacques, and grinned more broadly then ever.

      "And you! You led them to me!"

      The red Kyrii looked down, seeming redder then before. "Well, yeah, a little... "

      She hugged him tighter then Isca and Caylis, picking him up since he was so short and light.

      Just when I thought the scene couldn't get any more pleasant, my brothers, Fei and Rak, came flying to the scene. Fei's rainbow feathers swirled behind him; he was a lovely rainbow Pteri. Rak squeaked in delight, his electric blue coat shimmered with energy and his Korbat tail shook happily.

      "Chili, big sister, you're alright!" Fei exclaimed happily, hugging me.

      "Oh Chili cheese fries, we were so worried!" Rak squeaked, hugging me as well.

      My youngest brother, Jazz, poked his head out of the water; he was a "cute" little Christmas Koi who loved to be annoying. He smiled in his mischievous way.

      "Yo, Chili Chii. Glad to see Scarblade didn't getcha again."

      If he weren't my annoying little brother whom I absolutely despised, I would have given him a hug. Instead, I felt like I had to give someone else a hug. I ran up to Garin and flew into his arms, giving him the biggest hug I could manage. I expected him to pull away, but he just smiled and hugged me back.

      "Chili, you're one adorable little Shoyru, ya know that?" he asked quietly, releasing me from my hug.

      "Yes, but that's why everyone loves me," I said with a hint of playfulness.

      Everyone laughed. Anna picked me up in her arms, and Rak and Fei flew close behind; we left Jazz in the ocean, he always went there and was home in time for supper.

      Before I knew it, it was dinner time again. My owner looked up from her potatoes and arched an eyebrow at me when she saw I wasn't eating.

      "Chili darling, after all this surely you must be hungry!"

      Little Rak chewed his cake faster and said with his mouth full, "Yeah, Chili, the faster you eat dinner the faster you get dessert!" A crumb fell out of his mouth. Anna looked annoyed but calm.

      "Rak, dear, don't talk with your mouth full. My friends won't think I'm doing a good job in teaching you manners," Anna said softly but sternly.

      "No, mommy, you taught us fine, see?" Fei said, tucking his napkin into his lap and taking his elbows off the table. Anna laughed.

      "Just because I teach you the rules, doesn't mean they will always be followed," she said cheerfully, throwing a small iced cake at Jazz, who ducked.

      "Mom," I started, "I'm not hungry... could I just go to bed?" I yawned. I really was in no mood for food, just to sleep.

      "Ok, sweetie, but I would really feel better if you ate something..." Anna said, ducking as Jazz threw an apple at her. Just to make sure my owner wasn't too worried, I grabbed an apple and headed for my room.

      I jumped onto my bed and took a good, long stare at the ceiling. There were pictures of my past on it; pictures of my first time going to the Haunted Fairground; pictures of me and all my brothers; pictures of me being silly; and pictures of me and my owner.

      I bit into the apple. The juice ran down my fingers, and I put one arm under my head. I closed my eyes and dropped the apple onto the wooden floor. Just when I was about to fall asleep, there was a knock on the door. Too tired to yell, "Come in!" I waited for whoever it was to open the door.

      My owner came walking in, smelling freshly of shampoo and soap. She smiled, but frowned when she saw the now rotting apple on the ground. In case she was mad, I pretended to be asleep.

      She picked up the apple, threw it in the rubbish bin, and crossed the room over to me. I fake snored very convincingly. I could tell she wasn't fooled, but she acted like it. She patted me softly, and whispered, "Goodnight, dear Chili. I'm very proud of you."

      She walked across the room and I heard the door close. I smiled and snuggled into my pillow, ready for a good night's sleep.

The End

 
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