A Birthday Adventure
Marvis frowned when staring at the date. November 14th already? Where had the time gone? With all the holidays coming and going, it seemed the days were long-running together. She rubbed her paws together nervously while staring at the calendar. At that time, Enlea came around the corner.
“What has gotten you bothered Marvis?” the White Kougra asked.
Marvis scoffed. “Do you not realize what tomorrow is?” She swore the Kougra was always on another planet, whether that be Kreludor or further.
Enlea just laughed. “Of course, I know what tomorrow is! Everyone is getting ready for the celebration!”
Marvis rolled her eyes. In the village of Seaside, everyone was just so carefree. She thought the celebration was serious business! There were things to do, and people to see. They did not have a cake ready and usually, the ingredients took days to receive via port. She scratched her head, trying to make a list of things she still needed to pick up.
“When does the next ferry leave?” Marvis asked. She started to gather her belongings from the countertop.
Enlea pondered for a minute. “In about 30 minutes I believe!”
“Well let’s not dwell, we need to get to Neopia Central before the shops close!” Marvis announced. She grabbed a piece of paper and pen and started to scratch together a list of places they needed to visit.
• Fresh Foods
• The Bakery
• Gifts Galore
• The Toy Shop
“If we are going all that way, can’t we just stop at Uni’s Clothing? I heard they have new bows!” Enlea brought her paws together and batted her eyelashes.
Marvis rolled her eyes again. “Oh, I suppose IF we have time! We have to make sure we can make it back tonight; I want to be ready for tomorrow morning!”
Enlea and Marvis gathered their belongings and put on their boots. They began the trek to the port. Marvis lived on the edge of the village, farther away from the coast. She grew up in a smaller village in the middle of Meridell, so the adjustment to coast life was difficult for her. The wind was always blowing and the villagers that grew up on the coast had a different perception of time. The village was bigger than the one she was born and raised in but didn’t compare to the capital city. She decided Seaside was more of a fit for her than the capital since it was close to Roo Island and Neopia Central, which made her feel more connected to the world. Growing up in a small town she felt sheltered from the world. She now felt like she had seen more places and met more people than when she was growing up!
After sitting at the port for at least ten minutes, the ferry showed up. It was quite small, but the ride was short and the captain was always friendly.
“Ladies, hello!” Tuan boomed. The other passengers were exiting the ship. Enlea and Marvis were in a small group waiting to board.
“Hello captain!” Enlea answered back. The Gnorbu was large and strong. The girls were quite sure how he started ferrying people back and forth on the small boat. They have gossiped with other girls around town about how he could’ve possibly ended up here. He didn’t stay in town, they weren’t sure where he resided but most days he was running the ferry.
“Off to the island today, eh?” Tuan asked helping both onto the ferry.
“We have some last-minute shopping for tomorrow!” Enlea stated as she stepped onto the boat.
“Ah yes, I seem to have forgotten about the birthday celebration!” he stated, shrugging.
Marvis rolled her eyes. How could they keep forgetting? The birthday celebration was the biggest celebration in her village. How could these coast folk be so…. forgetful? Maybe they didn’t care enough?
“The water is great; we should get there pretty quick for you to get your shopping done!” the captain told them. Everyone boarded the boat quickly and got settled into their seats.
The first time Marvis was on a boat, she got horribly seasick. She had never experienced anything like it. She had been on the ferry a fair number of times now, and no longer got as sick. She let the wind blow through her hair and took a deep breath in to take in the salty smell. It still didn’t match the scent of the woods in the spring, but she was starting to enjoy the smells of the sea.
As they exited the ferry at Roo Island, Enlea grabbed her hand.
“Coffee Cave, please!! It has been so long since we’ve gotten a good coffee!” she begged, batting her lashes at Marvis.
Marvis sighed but nodded. She did love a good coffee and it had been a minute since she had a Butterscotch Latte.
With their hands full of bags, they began the trek over the bridge to Roo Island. Marvis glanced at her watch and gasped. It was already 7 pm. The last ferry was at 6:30!
“Oh no no no!” She gasped. Enlea then realized how late they were.
“I’m sure the captain wouldn’t leave us!” Enlea remarked, but a worried look crossed her face. Marvis shook her head. That was what she got for being so carefree! This is why we have rules and schedules, and we plan! They hurried to the dock to find it empty.
Marvis instantly started to tear up. She had never stayed away from home, especially in a bigger city! Roo Island had a game hall and was full of gamblers. She had also heard stories about Count Von Roo. Neopia Central was a capital city! Who knew what kind of people lurked about at night? There was a hotel, but it was quite pricey.
“Enlea, is that you?” The girls spun around quickly.
“Lilo? What are you doing here!” Enlea gasped. It took Marvis a minute to place the Blumaroo, but he was a famous player on their Altador Cup team. Marvis glanced at Enlea. How did they know each other? She’d have to ask later.
“We missed our ferry!” Enlea told him with a frown on her face.
Lilo tapped his chin a couple of times. “Now ladies, how could you do that!” He laughed.
Marvis frowned. How could he be joking at a time like this? They were far from their village. The cities are fun, but not safe at night!
Enlea started laughing. “You know how us girls get!” Marvis looked at her and shook her head. How could she laugh? What was the joke that everyone thought was so funny?!
Lilo laughed with her. “Well, I think I know a way for you two to get back, but you better have something to bribe with!”
Bribe? Marvis had heard of bribing others, but she had never had to do this.
“Follow me ladies! It’s a bit of a walk but won’t take long. Better than spending the night in the grimy hotel, eh?” Lilo chuckled again and waved them back towards Neopia.
Marvis was worried. While this was a well-known Blumaroo, how was she to trust him? Him and Enlea were chatting mindlessly while they walked as Marvis started to sweat. They were walking more in the residential areas of Neopia. She had never come this way. How did they not know if this was a trick? What if he was going to take us to the Dark Faerie? Or the Haunted Woods? Marvis' palms became slick with sweat. How could Enlea be laughing right now?
They turned right towards Kiko Lake. Marvis tilted her head. Kiko Lake was near the coast. There was a little inlet that would let them get back to Seaside. But how? She knew most ferries didn’t venture that way due to how small in the inlet was.
“So this guy is grumpy...” Lilo started. “But he is safe, I swear.”
Marvis scoffed and rolled her eyes. Lilo tilted his head at her but didn’t say anything.
“How do you know him?” Enlea inquired.
Lilo laughed. “We were pals back in the day; you forget how long I’ve been around!” He grinned.
They came upon a little shack near the inlet. Marvis bit her lip. The place was a dump. She wasn’t sure how anyone like Lilo could know someone who lived in a literal shack.
Lilo rapped on the door three times. “John, open up! It’s Lilo.”
The door swung up. The oldest Kiko Marvis has ever seen opened the door. He was scowling fiercely. He had an eye patch over one eye and was extremely slow moving.
“Lilo,” he grunted. We all waited for him to say something else, but we all just stared at each other.
“John, I’ve got some very nice ladies that need to get back to Seaside,” Lilo announced. “They’re small-town girls, you know how that goes.”
“I don’t drive anymore,” he stated and started to close the door.
Lilo quickly stopped it. “Ah, I forgot to tell you that they have something for you!”
Lilo glanced at Marvis’ hands and noticed the Bakery bag. “Give him whatever is in that bag,” Lilo said.
“No way! This is the cake for tomorrow!” Marvis said and shook her head.
“Cake?” John’s one eye glanced at her hands.
Marvis frowned deeply. Cake or home? What was more important?
“Hand it over,” Enlea urged.
I sighed deeply and handed over the birthday cake. John slowly cracked a smile.
“While Kiko Lake treats are good, nothing can compare to birthday cakes!” John stated. “Come on ladies, let’s get on the boat.”
Lilo disappeared quickly as he showed up. I was surprised to be walking towards the Glass Bottom Boat Tours boat.
“Do we have permission to be here?” Marvis asked.
John grunted at her. “When you own things, you can do whatever you want.”
Marvis shrugged and waited patiently for him to get the boat ready. She was still sad about the cake... What is a birthday celebration without a cake? She supposed she could swing by the store in the morning and attempt to make one from scratch, but it definitely wouldn’t be as good.
“Alright ladies, load up. Let’s make this quick so I can get to bed,” John stated as he sat by the motor. The girls loaded up with all their belongings.
“When did you start the glass bottom tours?” Enlea asked the old Kiko.
He stared at her for a minute before answering. “After I quit being a pirate.”
Marvis gasped. John chuckled.
“I wasn’t friends with Scarblade or anyone like that. I was way before their time,” he stated.
“Aren’t pirates bad?” Enlea inquired. Marvis nudged her with her elbow.
John laughed again. “You could say that, but I decided with all the bad I did, I could do a good thing by showing off Kiko Lake. So I retired and live in a shack and put most of my riches back into my home.”
Marvis thought about what he said. What a story to see so much, even if it was bad, and turn around and do something good.
Seaside came into view and the girls cheered. John let them off at the dock.
“Bye John, thank you,” Marvis said.
“Ladies,” he said with a nod goodbye. He then turned the boat around and headed into the sunset.
When Marvis got home, she was unloading her bags. She noticed her Uni’s Clothing bag was heavier than she thought. She dumped it out on the counter and there was a pile of golden doubloons. She gasped. Maybe John wasn’t as bad as she thought after all!