Pianto looked over the fence, the rainbow Usul plushie in
his sights. He glanced around carefully, looking for any clue that he might be
being watched. Carefully, cautiously, is mind calculating every move, the fire
colored Gelert climbed over the fence into the backyard. Double checking that
he wasn't being watched, Pianto snatched the plushie and took off back towards
the fence. But before he could make it over, he heard a scream behind him. Turning,
the Gelert saw a young red Cybunny. "Stop thief!" she yelled. But it was a vein
act. The Gelert was over the fence and out of sight before she could say anything
Pianto didn't steal the plushie
because he needed it. He had more than enough of his own at home. Many of them
were just as good as the Cybunny's too. It was the idea behind it. It was the
fun in scheming the plan and seeing if he could pull it of. But most of all,
it was because he was bored. His owner, Mason, wasn't a bad owner, just a little
busy. He was always out working, running Faerie quests, taking care of the shop,
or doing something else to help advance their level of wealth. So Pianto spent
most of time by himself. He had friends. Good ones too. But they were busy many-a-time
and couldn't always come out to play. So Pianto spent most of his time trying
to keep himself entertained. Here lied the problem because the young Gelert
was too smart. Not like genius or book smart. More like the kind of smart that
allows you to calculate complex plans in your head. And that's what Pianto did.
Calculate plans and carry them out. Sometimes it was something simple like sneaking
through a backyard without being detected. Other times, it was something harder
(and usually illegal) like picking locks, distracting the clerk at the toy store
while he snuck out with an item or two. Or sometimes it was something similar
to what he had done today. Strolling down the avenue, plushie in mouth, Pianto
thought of what else he could do. Hopefully, something more challenging than
what he had just pulled off.
Pianto looked across the street
at an odd looking Techo painted mutant and wondering why any pet would want
to look so weird when he lost his footing and tumbled to the ground with a thump.
Scooping the plushie in his mouth quickly, Pianto looked back to see what he
had tripped over. It was a spot in the sidewalk that was raised and uneven with
the rest. This would have seemed normal to any other pet and Pianto nearly passed
over it except something caught his eye. A small piece of paper rolled up thinly
and slid into the crack. The fire colored Gelert pulled the small paper out
of the crack and unrolled it carefully. On it was written what looked to be
a paragraph or letter of some sort. But it was written in some strange language,
one which Pianto didn't understand and couldn't read. But he knew some one who
just might be able to.
Pianto walked slowly into the dark, eerie shop. It was filled with the smell
of burning candles and skulls and candles of every type covered the shelves.
Sitting at the counter was an old Kyrii, looking as though he had seen many
days. His fur was gray and he wore a pair of tiny reading spectacles. Under
his chin was a long gray beard that looked like it had never been combed. Pianto
approached him carefully.
"Hello Bankten," the Gelert greeted softly.
"Why hello," the old Kyrii greeted back, pausing
from the pipe he had been puffing on.
Pianto was not a bit creeped out at the sight
of Bankten's eyes, which were glazed over with cataracts.
"What brings you to my shop?"
"Well," Pianto paused, then put on the counter
rolled up slip of paper he had found earlier. "I was wondering if you could
read this. It's written in some form of language I can't understand."
As Bankten picked up the paper to study it,
Pianto wondered how the old Kyrii could possibly read it with all those cataracts.
"Ahh, this is a piece of a very old scroll."
"Well no duh" Pianto thought. The Gelert
followed the Kyrii into the back room where Bankton turned on a lamp and began
to study the old scroll. After a minute or so, the shopkeeper looked up at Pianto.
"It is an old form of Tyrannian dialect."
"Can you read it?" Pianto asked, becoming
more anxious by the minute.
"Well, I'll give it a try," was the only reply
he got. Another minute passed by, and Pianto began to grow more and more anxious.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Bankton began to recite what sounded
like a poem while at the same time, writing it down.
"If you've stumbled upon this
then adventure you seek
but the journey will be tough
and at times will seem bleak
If you embark on this journey
then first you must go
to the land lost in time
where the dinosaurs roam
when you look through the birds eyes
at the end of the day
the line of darkness
will point the way
over the mountains
of ice and of snow
when you speak to the great one
then you shall know
past the obstacles and evil
past the good and the bleak
you will find the treasure
of that which you seek"
As Bankton finished his reading, Pianto was
still thinking over what the old Kyrii had said.
"It is almost dinner time," the old shopkeeper
remarked, bringing Pianto out of his thoughts. "You should be going."
"Yes," replied the Gelert Pianto thanked the
kind Kyrii and walked out. As he stepped out of the shop into the still busy
street under a sunset sky, Pianto heard a cry behind him.
"Hey, stop thief!" Pianto turned to see the
red Cybunny from earlier no more than ten feet from him.
"Oh oh!" the Gelert mumbled, the stolen plushie
still in his mouth. Pianto took off down the street, destined to out run the
out-of-shape Cybunny. Yet their paths were destined to cross again, sooner than
To be continued…