NI4: Life's a Beach
Updated: Sep 22, 2019
Sand. Definitely sand. Hint of sand crab. But not enough to taste good. Captain Raptor blinked open an eye. His snout ran aground into the wet sandy beach. He blew the air out of his nostrils, clearing more sand. He opened his other eye. It was important to get a sense of his surroundings before making sure he looked good. There was a lot of sand in front of him. Behind him was water, he was sure because waves kept swooshing along his tail up his backside. That was getting old. He stood up with a leap.
A quick inventory showed he had all his claws, one pirate captain’s coat and no hat. That was a concern. The hat was all that stood between him and mutiny. That might explain why the Bronto sister wasn’t right there. No hat, no loyalty. This was a terrible start to the day.
He looked around now that he was upright. There was ocean, where he obviously came from. A sandy beach, where he obviously landed, and a jungle beyond that. A plume of black smoke rose in the distance, around the bend of the beach. There were big footprints leading from where he lay to the forest. Next to him was a very large indentation. Captain Raptor scratched his head, pondering where Rhoda or Rhonda, (he could never remember which one was which) could be. His stomach rumbled.
He decided to multi-task. Raptor waded out into the water and waited for something to swim by. “Errur! Errur!” his species’ hunting call rang out from his throat. This would have the effect of making the Bronto sister come running back to him or freeze in terror as was a herbivore’s natural instinct. Which would make it easier for him to find her. Even better, if it was the cry-baby Brontosaurus, she’d start crying, and he could track her sound. It was a good plan, so Captain Raptor struck a triumphant pose that best exemplified being trapped on an island while hunting for food. If you didn’t start with the right pose, your endeavor faced certain failure.
The bull shark swam closer to the shore. There was something different in the water. It considered getting closer to take a nibble with its jangled mess of sharp teeth. That was the best way to figure out what something was. It felt a heavy shudder, almost like when the ocean would shift and rise so much it could flood the un-ocean for a time. The fish decided to move back to deeper waters, to avoid being trapped.
The loud heavy thumping of his missing crew mate's footsteps reverberated even in the waist deep waters. Captain Raptor watched the dorsal fin of his possible meal swim away.
He sighed and looked up to see the heavy footed crewmate stomp from the jungle up to the shore line. She wore a green leafy hat on her head. That was not a good sign, as now the balance of power had shifted in her favor. His mind swam with worry. What would he do in this new world order. He trudged over to her, out of reach of the bull shark.
“You’re awake! I figured you wanted to sleep, and I saw you lost your hat while saving me, so I went into the forest and made you one!”
She took the hat off her head and extended it out to him. It was a rough facsimile of his nice pirate captain hat, with leaves folded and nibbled down by her broad teeth.
He took it from her hand and placed it on his head at a jaunty angle. Never Turn Down a Command Position. That was the title of chapter 8 in his grandfather’s book. It had several nice drawings of the best ways to wear a hat.
“Thank you, Rhoda.”
“I’m not Rhoda!”
“That’s my other sister.”
“Huh? How many Bronto sisters are there?”
“I’m Rhona. I’m not actually part of your crew.”
Captain Raptor scratched his feathered crest. He hadn’t had breakfast, and this personnel problem hurt his head. “I don’t get it. You were on my ship, acting as a look-out.”
“Well yeah, I was just filling in for Rhoda.”
“Was she the one who cries a lot?”
“No, that’s Rhonda. That’s how I got on board.”
The Captain waded back into the water, maybe that big fish would come back. “Rhonda snuck a stowaway on board?”
“No. It was at your last shore leave. Rhoda ran off with her new boyfriend, and I was trying to console Rhonda while she walked back to the ship, and I kind of ended up on your ship.”
He pounced into the water with a frenzied splash, then came back up with a crustacean of some sort in his mouth, “mrhmple rnhr gwrhhr?”
“What was that Captain? You have a hermit crab in your mouth.”
There was some crunching and slurping noises as the captain cleared his mouth. “I thought she was kidnapped.”
“No, Rhonda’s your cook.”
“Rhoda then. Somebody said Captain King took her.”
“That’s her new boyfriend!”
Captain Raptor was about to unleash a furious roar to the heavens to vent his frustration over his double-arch nemesis, the tyrannical pirate Captain King. He heard the echoing roar from the direction of the black plume of smoke, his rival beat him to the punch.
“Son of an egg-sucking purple...”
He spun back to Rhona, the third Bronto sister. “We are going over there, and I will rip his tiny little arms off and slap him silly.”
“And get my sister back?”
“Yeah. That too.”
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