The cover for this story WAS NOT MADE BY ME. It was labeled as 'Free to Use or Share' under Google Advanced Image Search, so I am not infringing the copyright of the person who took the photograph. Again, THE COVER WAS NOT MADE BY ME AND DOES NOT BELONG TO ME.
Ah, plot bunnies—excuse me, plot bunnycombs. We all know and hate them. *_* Ah, no matter.
No, I will not be bothered to put the... er, squiggly thing over the N in pinata, no, I don't have a set plot or anything, and no, I probably will never update. Now, enough of my ramblings. Enjoy.
Dedicated to all pinatas
You live and die for the entertainment of others
I sighed and leaned over the edge of the boat, staring into the crystal blue water below. Gentle waves lapped at the boat, rocking it slightly. A gust of wind blew over the ocean, whipping my already frazzled hair into even greater disarray, but I didn't care that much. Hair was the last thing on my mind.
The boat I was on might better be described as a ship. There was the deck, which I was on now, and the lower chambers, where all of the ship's occupants slept and ate. There was also a storage room, but I had no storage, so I hadn't seen it. The ship itself was named the S.S Pinata or something along those lines.
The occupants in the ship weren't particularly interesting. There were about three crew members, including the captain. Then there was an adult female who wasn't interested in talking to anybody, along with a boy that looked to be around my age, although he seemed to be timid and didn't speak to me. And then, there was me.
How did I wind up in this mess? I thought to myself. Pinata Island, where you raise pinatas and send them to parties... I had no other choice, really, but to come here. It was better than nothing, after all.
"Um, hello?" The voice drew me out of my thoughts. I stood straight and turned. It was the boy I had mentioned earlier.
"I-I'm Hunter. You must be, um, Emma, right?" Hunter asked. He seemed to be very nervous. Hunter stood a few inches lower than me (I was about sixty-five inches tall). He was Caucasian, and had expressive hazel-colored eyes and dark brown, nearly black hair that was just as windblown as mine. His skin was pale, as if he didn't go outside often. He was wearing a plain white T-shirt and tan jeans along with grey sneakers, and didn't look to be very strong.
I smiled, trying to reassure him. "Yes, I'm Emma. Are you taking over a garden too?"
Hunter smiled back, the uncertainty leaving his eyes. His teeth were white. "Y-yeah. My parents bought one close to...um, to Pinata Village."
"Bought? I got my garden for free," I said, raising an eyebrow.
"Really? You must be getting Jardinero's old garden, then." Hunter walked over and leaned over the ship's guardrail.
"Yeah, Jardinero's garden, that's it," I said, nodding and doing the same.
"I—You haven't seen it yet, have you?" Hunter stuttered slightly and averted his gaze, staring down into the clear water below.
"Well," Hunter said, "You'll see why it was f-free soon."
"Wh—" I was interrupted by the captain.
"Pinata Island, dead ahead! If you have luggage, go get it! We will arrive in less than thirty minutes!" he shouted. I looked out to sea and, true enough, I could see Pinata Island's beach in the distance.
"See you, Emma. Good luck if your...er...I mean, good luck with yourgarden," Hunter paused before pushing himself off the rail and quickly heading for the door that lead to the lower parts of the ship.
"Bye, Hunter. You too," I said. Hunter was obviously a shy boy and spoke strangely, but there was something likeable about him. I gazed back down to the water, gently pulling at the slightly tanned skin on my wrist, and let my thoughts wander again.
"...and you just take a left, follow the path, and you should arrive at the garden with little problem. Any questions?"
"No, sir," I said to the instructor in charge of helping new arrivals to the island who stood before me. He was wearing a grey mask with bright red squibbles on it here and there. He also was dressed in a long beige shirt with blue stripes around the hem, and similarly-colored pants. He did not wear shoes. I glanced at my own light blue sneakers, wondering how everybody could walk around without any shoes on.
"Ahem! Good. Now, follow me, please, and we'll pick out a mask for you." The instructor called me out of my thoughts. I did as he said and followed him into a small, rickety building. Lights flicked on, and I saw rows and rows of boxes. The man took down five large ones.
"These are the masks. Pick any one you like. I know it will be strange for a few days, but it's just customary, and you don't have to wear it at night. If you decide to go swimming or or stay outside when it's raining, wearing it then is definitely not a good idea." With that, he disappeared back out the door.
I opened one box. None of the masks there were very interesting, so I opened the second box and rifled through.
Then, one mask caught my eye. I took it out. It was dark blue with various shades of purple highlights and markings it. I put it on. It covered all of my head except for the top back, my mouth, my ears, and my eyes. As I said, the back wasn't colored, so my short, light brown hair wasn't smushed against my head and making it itchy. Although it felt awkward wearing it, it fit fine. I could breathe, at least. I closed the box and stood up.
"Are you done yet? Oh, yes, very nice. A good pick. Now you're ready for Pinata Island, so...go to it. You have a garden to be taking care of, remember?" The man seemed in a hurry to get me out, so I quickly hurried outside and onto the dirt road.
The Village was arranged around Pinata Central neatly. There was a house here and there, but most of the residences were out in the countryside. The Village was mainly composed of shops.
I picked up the pace. The garden was in sight. But as I drew closer, I felt dismayed. The place was as dead as my old dog Lavinia. The ground was dried, sun-baked soil, and looked as hard as rock. In the places there wasn't hard soil, unruly grass sprang up. Old, broken junk was laying everywhere.
What happened here? I thought.
They told me it was in ruins, but I didn't know it was going to be this bad...
As I neared closer, I noticed a girl standing near the border of the 'garden'...if you could call it that. I could tell from this far that she had blue eyes. Her hair was dark and tied into two laid-back ponytails, tied with orange ribbons. She was wearing a green mask that covered all but her mouth, eyes, and hair, that had a yellow sun on the forehead area. The mask had one leaf on top of it sticking into the air, then six smaller leaves arranged in a circle on the mask, also sticking out. The girl was wearing a purple shirt and lavender pants, both with orange striped markings on the edge. She was also wearing green gloves, and was tanned from the sun.
The girl waved to me. I waved back and walked faster until I was face-to-face with her. Well, actually, I was looking down on her. She looked to be about my age (sixteen), perhaps a little younger, but she was a lot shorter than I was.
"Oh, hello. I'm Leafos. You must be the one who's going to take over the garden," Leafos said, smiling warmly.
"Yes. My name is Emma," I said simply, returning the smile, although mine was less friendly.
"Well, now that you're here, you can get started on fixing up this place and attracting your pinata! I have a few tools for you to help. I know it isn't much, but later, when you get more chocolate coins, you can buy some better tools from Lottie."
"Oh. What are you going to give—" I was interrupted when a strange light began to emit from Leafos' hands. After a moment, a book appeared out of thin air, flapped about like it was alive, then dropped into Leafos' waiting palms.
"...A flying book." I blinked several times, opened my mouth, and squeaked. Leafos handed me the...magical...book. She looked casual, as if she hadn't just made a book appear out of midair.
"I've given you the journal. It contains everything you need to attract pinata," Leafos explained.
I blinked again and looked down at the journal. It was orange and yellow, heavy, and had a hard cover. Before I could thank her, she started up her magic conjuring thing, and this time, a shovel appeared, which she promptly handed to me.
The shovel was very old. The head seemed as if a bite had been taken out of it by a starving animal, and the hilt was just a bunch of splinters. Tied on the hilt was a ribbon, as if its presence made the shovel less broken.
"This shovel is old, but it won't break. Oh, and one more thing. I've contacted Willy, the local builder, about building a small house for you, since sleeping outside isn't really comfortable. He said that he would do it for free, as a welcome present. He's going to be here soon, so you might want to get rid of all this hard soil," Leafos explained.
"How do I do that?" I asked. I wasn't very experienced in this field.
"Just hit the ground with your shovel really hard and it will soften up. Go on, try it."
I put the notebook down where it wouldn't get any dust on it, took the shovel with both hands, and hit the ground. Sure enough, the hard soil softened into cool dirt.
"Good! I'm going to let you try this yourself for a little while. Maybe you'll attract some pinata! Now, turn this mess into your dream garden!" Leafos exclaimed enthusiastically. With those encouraging words, she headed for her house and disappeared.
I sighed, took off my mask, and wiped the sweat off my brow. I thought I had known hard work before, but it had only been an hour and already I was exhausted. I put my mask back on and stretched, before continuing to smack the ground with my shovel.
Well, Leafos was right, anyway. This shovel simply refused to break. At least I had most of the garden looking like...well, a garden, again. I had already gone through and broken the useless junk with my shovel. This place was looking up.
"Here's Willy!" a booming male voice called. I stopped my work for a moment and looked up to see a tall, muscular man. I couldn't see any of his skin except for his eyes and hands, which were white. His eyes were brown. The man was dressed in a blue mask with a sledgehammer head held up on top of it. He was wearing overalls the same color as his mask, and had an orange shirt on under it. He was carrying a toolbox and supplies. Although he was much bigger than me and even kind of frightening, I quickly realized that he was friendly and good-natured.
"You must be Emma, the new girl. I'm Willy, as you probably know, the local builder. I build houses for people and pinata," Willy said.
"Pinata have houses?" I asked. I thought about pinata frogs living in a cottage and was confused.
"Yep! Now where do you want your house?"
"Oh, I don't mind. In the middle, please," I said. Willy walked over to the middle of the garden. He took a strange cube out of his toolbox, and when he set it on the ground, it rolled over, expanding, then turned into a giant box with patches on it that hid Willy inside it.
"Geez, talk about not wanting people looking over your shoulder..." I said, blinking. I turned back to my work.
By the time Willy had finished an hour or two later, all the hard soil in the garden was gone. I stretched my aching limbs, trying to get the kinks out of them. I looked at my hand. There were small blisters on them. They didn't hurt badly now, but I knew they would tonight. I went over to the journal lying on the ground and traded it for the shovel. I looked at the journal. There wasn't any dust on it, at least. I opened the book and flipped through a few old pages until I found a picture of a worm with interesting markings.
"'Whirlm'," I said out loud. What a funny, yet cute, name. "'Every garden has to start somewhere, and it's harder to keep Whirlms out than it is to keep them in. Ancient wisdom says, "Whirlms are the foundation of any successful garden." Please don't mistake them for stomach parasites. Whirlms will inhabit any garden with a soil or grass.'" So, this Leafos girl had humor. I looked around. There was plenty of soil, but no Whirlms in sight.
"Whew! That was easier than I thought it would be!" Willy exclaimed as he left the box by a door. He hit the box with a hammer he was holding and it folded up, turning back into the tiny cube it had started as. In its place was a small house. The house was made of wood and was well-constructed. It looked as if it could withstand a hurricane. It had three rooms, and I was all-in-all happy with it.
"Well? Ya like it? It has full plumbing installed and electricity on already and is furnished, so you don't need to worry about that! Heh."
"Are you kidding? I love it! Thanks so much, Willy!" I exclaimed, eyes lighting up.
"Hey, no more freebies, kid. Next time you want me to build a pinata house, you have to pay." Satisfied, Willy grinned and left the garden.
I walked over towards the house and entered it. It was not extremely spacious, but it was much better than my last home. The room I entered was a kitchen, with a small fridge, a sink, and a countertop. There was a window behind the counter where light spilled in. There was also a table with a chair. I walked over to the sink and flipped the handle with 'C' marked on it. Sure enough, water flowed out of the tap. I turned the handle again and headed into the next room. This one was a bedroom. There was a single bed here with a pillow and blue covers. Beside it was a lamp. There was a window opposite the bed. I headed through the final door. In here was the bathroom with a toilet, shower, and sink. The floor was white tile.
I walked back into the bedroom and happily threw myself onto the bed. I was struck with a thought; where did Willy get all the wood used to build the house? Or the bedsheets? The sink? How did he do the plumbing? He wasn't even carrying anything but a toolbox and a little wood, not to mention he finished in less than two hours. I decided that, as usual, it was probably best not to ask.
My thoughts were interrupted by a strange sound. I sat up straight and listened.
There it was again! It was an odd sound that reminded me of a trumpet, although it was quiet. It was followed by a squeaking sound. Curious, I got off the bed and headed out the front door.
I was greeted with more of the squelching noises. Looking about, I found the source. It was some sort of giant worm.
Whirlm, I corrected myself.
The Whirlm was black and white, about the length of my foot, and by the looks of it was very happy. It was plowing through the dirt as if it were air, and did a flip upon coming out of the holes it had made, making its odd noises all the way.
I stared at the Whirlm. Was it...? I blinked rapidly. My eyes weren't deceiving me. It was changing color! After a few moments, the red and black was gone, replaced with much brighter colors, and it finally stopped bouncing around.
Now the Whirlm had the dominant color of orange. Its...end...tail, whatever, was green with a red stripe outlining the green. The middle of its body was red with angular white squiggles in the red color. Then there were some green circles on its neck, along with a red stripe closer to its head. All in all, I was rather surprised at this spontaneous color change. The Whirlm raised the upper part of its body off the ground and examined its surroundings. It turned and looked at me quizzically, cocking its head.
I gazed back at the Whirlm and was suddenly overcome with the thought that it was very cute. I didn't like worms that much—they were long and slimy and they bent into unnatural shapes. This 'worm' was a pinata, though, and it looked fluffy, all paper mache, wasn't all that long, and was flexible but did not bend into anything too creepy. I started towards the Whirlm, clucking my tongue lightly. The Whirlm squeaked lightly in response. I held out my hand, thinking to myself that I must look ridiculous, treating a worm as if it were a puppy, but I continued anyway. Finally, I squatted down and gently began to stroke the Whirlm's head.
"Wow! You've attracted your first pinata already!" The Whirlm jumped, made a trumpet noise, and swiftly rolled away from me in the manner of a detached wheel.
I stood and turned to face Leafos, who was grinning sheepishly. "Sorry. Whirlms are skittish, you know. Anyway, I have a few more things for you. First..." she handed me a flashlight that she had been holding, "here. It can get really dark here at night." She conjured up two things next; a yellow packet and a rusty watering can, and promptly handed those to me. "That is a grass packet. It will never run out of seeds. Just pour it on the ground and lush grass will spring up. It's easy. Also, I figured you would need a watering can, considering this is a garden and all. Oh, yes, and to go with that, take this seed. It will grow a turnip. You can eat it, or you could sell it to Lottie for a few coins. I recommend eating it. Turnips are really good!" I accepted the fat, purple seed.
"Thanks, Leafos. Without you helping me, I would be a mess. I just hope I'm not being a problem," I said with a light chuckle, balancing the items I had received in my arms.
"Of course you're not a problem! I'm going to do everything I can to help you become a successful gardener. Well, I just wanted to see how you were doing before I went to bed. Goodnight, Emma, and good luck!" Leafos said cheerily, heading back to her house.
"Night, Leafos." I sighed. Alone again.
Well, except for the Whirlm of course. I glanced over at it. It had curled up into a tight ball and was asleep. I glanced at the sky that was already dark and decided I should follow the Whirlm's example. With a yawn, I headed for my house. I had had a long day, and it was time for sleep.