Hannah and The Golden Dubloon
Hannah and The Golden Dubloon – Hopefully the first of many Hannah tales by me!
“We rescued the Healing Faerie all thanks to you, Hannah...” Queen Fyora breathed with a warm smile. She addressed the crowd of adoring fans in front of her and waved her arms. The entire population of Faerieland had turned up to see the hero of their country. “If it weren't for your quick wit, your stunning skills, your way of delving through caves like they were nothing at all... All the trials you went through!” The Queen stood back, and bowed at Hannah proudly. The rest of the crowd did the same.
Hannah stepped forward shyly. “I couldn't have done this without the help of my trusted and most loyal friend... Armin!”
More cheers from the audience rose up, as Hannah and Armin held hands and raised them happily. This was the best feeling Hannah had ever had. There was nothing she couldn't do now.
“From this day forward, in Faerieland, you shall be known as Hannah the Brave!” Queen Fyora announced, causing the faeries below them to start chanting her new title. “We will never forget what you have done for us, Hannah, and you will always be a great companion of Faerieland. You can go back to Krawk Island and tell them all of your success, or you can stay here in the palace.”
Armin nodded. He exchanged a glance with Hannah, and they grinned at each other. “Actually,” he murmured, “we're going to continue adventuring, aren't we, Hannah?”
“Our life is an adventurous one, after all,” Hannah agreed. “We'll visit our home countries again one day, and of course you too, Your Majesty.”
“Well then, Hannah the Brave,” Fyora said, beaming, “Wake up!”
Hannah looked perplexed for a moment. “Huh?” she mumbled.
Fyora shook her by her shoulders and started shouting. “Wake up! You're so lazy!” Armin and the crowd of fans vanished, and then Fyora did too. Hannah was left with a voice ordering her to wake, and she turned around and around in circles, wondering where Armin was, where everyone was, what she was going to do...
“HANNAH! YE BE GETTING FIRED IF YE DON'T GET YERSELF UP!”
Hannah jolted awake with a start. She sat up in bed and blinked at the world around her. It was her dingy room, above the Golden Dubloon, where she slept and worked and lived. The wallpaper was peeling, the carpet full of stains and dust from previous workers. Her bed, however, was her own, and it was comfortable and soft. Whenever she slept at night (after going to bed way after midnight) she always had the most pleasant dreams. That was what that was just now, she realised with a gloomy expression. Just a dream.
It was only seven in the morning, but Hannah had to be up straight away to be able to help get the place ready to open at nine sharp. Standing at the edge of her bed, the culprit for bringing her out of her dreams, was Loretta Fontaine. The beautiful Aisha stood with a satisfied smirk. “So now yer up, ye can be gettin' the place lookin' shipshape.”
The Usul heaved herself out of bed and made it grumpily. She was always grumpy when she was woken up. Loretta watched as she tidied her room, then stalked off without a backwards glance, telling her to get herself in the kitchen or else.
Hannah had been working at the Golden Dubloon for about three months now, and the fair Usul hated the non-working hours. She needed the room above the restaurant, and to pay for it, she had to work as a serving girl. But because Loretta for some reason had a grudge against her, she ended up cleaning the kitchens too. Hannah put up with it, though. She had to earn the dubloons, if she were ever to achieve her dream.
While walking downstairs, Hannah blushed at the thought. It was her dream to save Neopia from a disaster, or go adventuring and find some amazing treasure, and make friends. She had always pictured a small Bori called Armin, who was always beside her, and they were together through thick and thin and come what may.
“Hannah!” The chef, Morrie, had wriggled his way in after his attempt to steal the recipes impressed the manager. (It was Krawk Island; scallywags were popular here). “The kitchen be needin' a good scrub! Get to it!”
Loretta glided past, and Morrie smiled. He always did, when she walked past, not that she noticed. Most people acted like that around her. She turned suddenly, and muttered to Hannah. “After that, ye can help me lay the tables.”
This was daily treatment for Hannah, and she felt like she wanted to scream at times.
* * *
Two Bruces, one yellow, one blue, walked in at nine sharp. They were the Golden Dubloon's oldest and most valued regulars. They were always kicking up a great fuss if the Golden Dubloon opened even a minute after nine on the dot, and they always had the same table, at the back, near the kitchens and toilets. Probably the worst table in the entire restaurant, but who were the staff to complain? They were the only two who wanted it.
Loretta always greeted them, a smile stretching on her face, fake and cheesy. “Right this way, Paul and Janet, let me show ye to yer table.” And they always followed obediently. They always ordered the same thing, belt busting burgers, one for each of them.
Whenever another customer came in, if it were another Aisha, or a Krawk or Draik, or another Limited Edition Neopet, Loretta always greeted them. The rest were left for Hannah to take care of, but she did it in her stride. Working as a serving girl was the only part of the Golden Dubloon she liked, besides her bed. She welcomed customers in and laughed as they told her stories of their travels, though inside she felt envy. How she wished to travel too.
It was later, at dinner time, when Loretta suddenly sidled up to her with an irritated expression on her face. The Aisha looked around before whispering, “I need ye to do something for meself.”
Hannah sighed. “What is it, Loretta?” she asked tiredly.
Loretta glanced around again. “The Manager asked to me to do something for him, but I can't; I've got to go somewhere tonight.” She preened suddenly. “A beauty contest. I'm sure to win.” Her tone dropped lower again, and she grew more serious. “Yer sure to do it, right? Ye gotta go to the back room and find a secret recipe.”
She explained where Hannah would find it, then was off with a wave in her direction, a rare gesture from the vain Aisha. Hannah felt a little bad for Anya, the new shy Acara who was working full time tonight for the first time, without Loretta and, for the moment at least, Hannah. The Usul unlocked the back room with the keys Loretta gave her, and realised this was the first time she'd ever seen the inside of it.
It was a dusty dark room, so Hannah lit a lamp and ventured inside. There were hundreds of old books, moth eaten clothes, but even a treasure chest full of silk and gold, though Hannah knew better than to steal from the scary manager of the Golden Dubloon. Morrie might have impressed him, but she knew she wouldn't. One foot out of line and she'd be gone, she knew. Now, the recipe. Loretta said it would be under the pile in the corner, underneath a huge book, older than any other book in the room.
Hannah found it almost instantly. It was a red leather bound book, with a lock across it, and Hannah's curiosity grew. There was another key in the chain of keys she was holding. She tried it, and to her surprise, it actually worked. She opened the book cautiously, and gasped.
There in the pages, were detailed locations of several pirate caves, full of treasure and adventure and traps and wonder. There was one cave not too far away. It wouldn't cost anything to get there.
Hannah hesitated for a second, just a second. Then she laughed, and it was the first time she had laughed in ages. Years, maybe. She picked the huge book up, holding it in both hands, and left the room, not even bothering to close the door. The treasure of silk and a few gold coins? Ha! Not worth risking the wrath of the manager. But this book? Well worth it.
She walked out the back way, and stopped for a moment. She was sure she had been seen for a second, hearing something. She glanced up at the Golden Dubloon and vowed to return one day as Hannah the Brave.
“Armin...” Hannah whispered, excitement rising inside of her as she paced towards the cave. “I think I've found something. And I'll find you, too.”
Hannah, the fair Usul from Krawk Island, off on her first whirlwind adventure.
* * *
The Manager happened to glance out of his window, and saw the Usul girl running away with the big book in her hands. Loretta had played into his hands, giving the keys to the girl. He smiled, and shut the curtains.