George the Giant Brown Kelp was used to the long,
echoing sound. He had heard it all his life, never knowing what it was or where
it came from. It was one of the few sounds that George ever heard in the part
of the sea where he had grown up and lived, aside from the constant sound of
the water swirling about him.
He was the loneliest kelp in the entire ocean.
He had no family, no friends, not even neighbors. As far as he could tell, there
wasn't a single sign of life around. He lived in one of the deepest, darkest,
most terrifying parts of the sea where few creatures ever traveled. It was a
place so dark that no light reached, not even the tiniest ray of the sun. George,
of course, had no idea that a sun even existed.
Most kelp, of course, live in clear, shallow
oceans, in ecosystems of kelp filled with life. Somehow, George had sprung up
in the most unlikeliest of places. He was unique, though he didn't know it.
How a kelp could survive in a place such as the one that George survived in
is a mystery, though Neopia is filled with magic that can make nearly anything
One morning, or afternoon, or evening, as it
was too dark to tell what time of day it was, a small Lampfish glided by, illuminating
the waters all around. It had been quite some time since a Lampfish had come
by, and George loved that the Lampfish light allowed him to see the things around
him. It was one of the few moments in his life that made him happy.
The deep swooshing sound came again, and George
felt that this was one of the few opportunities that he would have to find out
what the strange sound was coming from. He would ask the Lampfish. Surely he
would know something about it.
It had been quite a long time since George had
spoken anything, and his voice made a strange squeaking noise as if, in the
meantime, it had lost its power to form words.
"Excuse me?" asked the Lampfish in an incredibly
rude voice as it swam over to the kelp. "Did you SAY something to me?"
"Errr... Yes. Um. Err..." Considering George
had lived his entire life in complete solitude, he was a bit shy.
The Lampfish looked at George as if he was a
lump of cheese, turned around, and began to swim off.
"N-No! Wait! Don't go!"
"What do you WANT?!" screamed the Lampfish, facing
George once again.
"I... I was just wondering... er... do you know
what that sound is? Th-the swooshing sound?"
The Lampfish rolled its eyes. "It's probably
just a boat, who cares? Is that all? Will you leave me alone now?"
"Y-yes. Thank you." 'Thanks for nothing,'
thought George. Being the secluded kelp with little knowledge of the outside
world that he was, he had never even heard of a boat and had absolutely no idea
what it was.
George gave up trying to find out what the sound
came from and began to look around, as it was one of the few times he would
have to see the area around him in light.
The last time George had had a chance to look
around, there really wasn't much to look at. Nothing but sand, some kind of
grass, and a few pebbles strewn here and there. But this time, sitting right
next to him between a medium sized rock and a clump of light sand, was something
entirely new, and George gasped.
He could hardly believe it. It was another kelp
-- a Giant RED Kelp. To George, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever
seen. The entire time George had been wallowing in his loneliness and despair,
another kelp had sprung up right next to him without him even realizing it.
It had been such a long time since George had
been able to see his surroundings with light, and it had been such a long time
since George had spoken even a single word, that one red kelp had been able
to grow up right next to him without his knowledge. It was, to say the least,
"H-hello..." said the red kelp. Her voice was
quiet, but sweet.
"Hi..." was the only word that George could think
of to say.
But George wasn't the only speechless one. Both
were so utterly shocked that all they could think of to do was stare. Finally,
after what seemed like ages, one of them spoke up.
"Um, well, I'm Gabrielle, but..." She blushed.
"You can call me Gabby if you'd like."
"Oh, okay," George said quietly, smiling his
kelpy smile. "My name's George."
The Lampfish apparently decided to stay around
for a few more weeks, and George the Giant Brown Kelp and Gabrielle the Giant
Red Kelp, who turned out to be quite friendly, got to know each other well.
As is common with kelp, they were becoming the best of friends within days.
He was happy, she was happy, the Lampfish who
was for no apparent reason swimming in circles around them was probably happy
as well, and all was peaceful in that part of the ocean.
Sadly, not everyone can live happily ever after.
The way of the world is not always so kind.
In another part of the ocean, not too far away,
something horrible was lurking.
The two kelp chatted about all sorts of things,
all day and all night long (even though it was impossible to tell day from night).
They talked and talked, and both became so excited about their newfound friend
that they forgot all about their troubles -- their loneliness, their sadness,
the deep swooshing noise that had recently come louder and more frequently.
"Oh, red has always been my favourite colour!
Their conversation was usually simple, as kelp
conversation usually is.
"The water, what colour is the water?"
"I'm not sure, but it is quite pretty." She paused.
"I figured you would like brown, since you know, you are a Giant Brown Kelp."
He smiled. She smiled.
The two kelp weren't aware of the fact that,
for one of them at least, it would be the last time they would ever hear that
swooshy sound. The two kelp weren't aware of the fact that a giant kelp-eating
sea creature was creeping its way into their area, searching for delicious plant
food to fill its gargantuan stomach.
But the two kelp were not completely and utterly
distracted. In one sudden moment of despair, they were so completely undistracted
that they could no longer move. They were so shocked that neither could speak
what would have been their final words to each other.
In this despairing moment, Gabrielle noticed
of a set of jagged teeth, a humongous squirmy tongue, a slimy throat, and finally,
a stomach filled with an assortment of rotting seaweed. In this despairing moment,
George noticed an enormous sea beast eating his new friend.
As the colossal sea monster clamped its jaws
around one helpless red plant in one of the deepest, darkest, most terrifying
parts of the sea, both kelp noticed that this moment was not a happy one. The
happiness that both kelp had experienced while being together was being ripped
away before their very eyes.
The Lampfish, oblivious to the fact that the
sea beast was a herbivore, swam off as quickly as possible, afraid that the
creature might look to him for a fishy dessert. As the Lampfish swam farther
and farther away, its light began to dim.
The kelp eating monster swam off in search of
other, better tasting plants, and George stared in utter shock at the place
where Gabrielle was just a moment before. It had all come so quickly, and he
was still trying to comprehend the fact that his one friend, his only friend,
was being digested in the stomach of a sea beast.
It was then that George realized what the deep
swooshing sound that he had heard his entire life had come from, and it definitely
wasn't a boat.
And then his troubles -- the ones that had all
disappeared when he met Gabrielle -- the loneliness, the sadness, the deep noise
that George now knew came from a vicious beast searching for kelp just like
him for breakfast, all came rushing back. He became overwhelmingly overwhelmed.
The Lampfish light went out, and George the Giant
Brown Kelp was, once again, the loneliest kelp in the entire ocean.
An hour, a day, a week, a month, an age. George
didn't know how much time had passed since that horrible day, nor did he care.
All he thought about was her, but she was gone. Woe, grief, despair.
George never hear the swooshing sound anymore.
The monster must have swum to some other place. George wished it hadn't. He
wished it would come back and send him to Gabrielle. He needed a friend.
More and more time passed, and George reached
a sort of melancholy with everything. He finally realized that Gabby would never
be back. He would never see her again. He was no longer particularly unhappy,
though never particularly happy either.
In the deep swirling waters, George spent most
of his time just thinking. The entire experience had opened his eyes to life,
and, strangely enough, George became quite wise.
'Loss makes you stronger,' he thought,
and sighed. 'It also makes you... incredibly depressed.'
One morning, or afternoon, or evening, George
was pondering, as he usually did. He was distracted, though this time not by
another kelp, but by himself and his own thoughts.
In the distance, had George been looking in that
direction, George would have noticed three white specks. As insignificant as
specks might be in an enormous ocean, it was so incredibly dark that seeing
anything, even specks, was something that didn't happen often. The specks grew
larger and larger, and--
"Lampfish!" George shrieked, though he didn't
mean to say it out loud. This unexpected arrival was exciting. Three Lampfish
swimming his way, and he had decided just a few days earlier that he would try
to make friends with the next one that swam by. When he had decided that, he
hadn't thought that there might be more than one.
'Three new friends,' he thought. After
Gabrielle had gone, George had realized how lonely he really was. Now he was
desperate for any company. As the fish floated closer and closer, George thought
about what he would say. Should he ask how they're doing? Should he say hi,
hello, or howdy? Though he had become wise, he still wasn't used to social situations.
Closer the fish swam. Closer, closer...
George was impatient. He couldn't wait.
Closer, closer.. George could now see their fishy
'So these are my new friends'. He sat
in silence, thinking to himself. 'Hmm, that one looks... familiar.'
Closer, closer... George could now hear them.
"Oh Launie, I talked to Fernald the Futonfish
yesterday and he told me this absolutely FABULOUS story!"
The Lampfish looked familiar, sounded familiar,
but George couldn't figure out why. Two seconds later, it hit him.
"So there is this Aisha named Allison, and----
oh, wait." The Lampfish, the one George had recognized, stopped for a moment
and the two other Lampfish stopped with her.
"What is it?" asked one of the other Lampfish,
probably Laurie, in a nasty, hissy voice.
"I just remembered something. Last year when
I was coming through here this absolutely irritating brown kelp would not stop
asking me about boats. He would NOT stop talking, I just had to swim away, I
couldn't take it anymore."
"Boats? How dreadfully irritating!"
"I know. He might still be there. Let's go that
way," she said, pointing a fin.
George sighed. The three fish were swimming off,
their light fading.
He didn't know what to do.
He was lonely.
He was sad.
"WHAT IS THAT SOUND?!!?" George yelled. His emotions
got the best of him and he could no longer control them. He had just then realized
that he had been hearing this irritating sound for the past few minutes, but
at the time he had been far too distracted with the prospect of friends to notice.
George looked right, the direction the sound
was coming from. He rarely ever looked to his right. In fact, he hadn't at all
since that day so long ago, as it was the place where Gabby had been, and also
the place where Gabby had been eaten.
As George looked right
to the place that on that fateful night
had began with one horrible bite,
George, now so shockingly pale white,
just might have cried at the sight
that he saw.
George gasped. He could hardly believe it. It
was a kelp -- another kelp. A Giant Red Kelp. A Giant Red BABY Kelp.
It could not stop giggling.
George stared at the tiny kelp, unable to think
of anything to say. Giggling, as everyone knows of course, is contagious, and
George could not help but start giggling himself.
In all the darkness, in all of George's despair,
one tiny, baby kelp had sprung up without George even realizing it, just like
George smiled his kelpy smile.
"I name you..." he said with a grin. "Goofy!"
"I nem oo, Foofy!" repeated Goofy, still giggling.
The Lampfish light went out, and George the Giant
Brown Kelp, once again, had a friend.