Deep within the Mystery Island forest lives a Yurble tribe.
It is a small tribe, only twenty Yurbles or so. The Yurbles in the village are
painted every color except grey. They say painting yourself grey is a dishonor
to the tribe. The Yurbles live deep within the forest at the base of a large mountain
that was forbidden to climb. Anyone who went up the mountain never came back.
They say it is a home to a monster. A monster so horrible, the people of the village
fear to speak its name. They say it comes down from the peaks of the mountain
at night and kidnaps anyone who sets foot outside their homes while blackness
still fills the sky. But there was one Yurble who dared to climb it. But not because
he was forced to. He chose to.
* * *
"Here's another one!" yelled Flick the Starry
Yurble as he tossed a large berry into a basket far below on the ground.
A spotted head poked out of the leaves of the
tree next to Flick.
"Gee, Flick, how many are you going to find?"
said Flick's friend, Hedge the spotted Yurble.
"Can't a Yurble help his tribe out?" mocked Flick
"I think you already broke the record several
times for the most fruit gathered," said Hedge.
"I think somebody's jealous!" mocked Flick as
he clung to the branch.
"No, I'm not!" answered Hedge. "And we better
start on the high branches if we want to finish before it gets too hot!"
The two Yurbles began to climb higher in search
of fruit. Flick pulled berries off the tree like mad and through them down into
the basket. He was the fastest berry picker in the whole tribe and was very
proud of it. During his berry picking frenzy, he clasped his hand around a small
grey berry. He pulled it off the vine and was about to throw it down into the
basket when something stopped him. He took a closer look at the berry. He had
never seen one like this. There were no grey berries around here.
Flick climbed down from the tree, still clutching
the berry. When his feet touched the forest earth he called out for Hedge.
"Hedge, come down here! Look what I found!"
Hedge climbed down his tree and ran over to Flick.
"What's that?" asked Hedge as he saw the grey
lump in Flicks hand.
"It's some sort of berry," said Flick holding
out the berry so Hedge could see it. "It's strange; I've never seen this kind
growing around here."
"Was there only one on the tree?"
Flick thought back to when he found the berry
for a moment.
"Yeah, it was alone. Wonder what it tastes like?"
"Well, just eat it or throw it away. You know
how the tribe is against the color grey."
Flick just shrugged and shoved the berry into
his mouth. "Tastes like nothing," he said. Flick then walked over to his tree
and began to climb back up it.
* * *
"How much do you think we got?" asked Flick as
the two Yurbles entered the main street of the village carrying the basket filled
"Enough to feed the entire village for the next
month," said Hedge.
"If we don't all get picked off by the kidnapper,"
said Flick. Recently, Yurbles had been disappearing more then ever before. There
used to be only one or two attacks a year. Now there were at least two attacks
a week. The only clue to where they were taken to was a large bird-like shape
flying towards the forbidden mountain.
The two friends carried the basket of fruit over
to a large wooden hut that served as a food storage house. They carried the
basket inside and sat it down right next to a large stash of bananas.
Hedge looked up at Flick. The pupils of Flick's
eyes weren't white like they should be, but a bloodshot red.
"Flick, what happened to your eyes?" asked Hedge.
"You look like you've been crying."
"What?" said Flick. "C'mon, there's a mirror
back at my house. I need to see this."
The two Yurbles ran down the road to Flick's
bamboo house. They burst through Flick's door and ran to his small living room.
Flick ran over to his small wall mirror and peered into the glass. His eyes
were red and bloodshot.
"Weird," said Flick.
"Maybe if you take a nap or something your eyes
might clear up," suggested Flick.
"Yeah okay, I'll go try and sleep for a few hours,"
answered Flick. "I'll see you later, Hedge."
* * *
Flick woke up to a nudge on his shoulder. His
eyes opened to see his blue Faellie Skip standing on his stomach.
"Oh, hey, Skip," said Flick. The Yurble moved
his paw to pet Skip when he stopped it in mid air.
It was grey.
Flick looked at his other paw. It was grey too.
Flick ran too his living room mirror and peered
into it. His starry appearance was gone. Flick was grey.
He started to panic. What could he do? He didn't
have a paintbrush to repaint himself with. Oh, if only his tribe wasn't so proud
Someone knocked on the door. Flick peeked out
through the curtains. It was Hedge! Flick pulled the door open and Hedge jumped
back in surprise. Flick pulled him inside before Hedge could say anything.
"Hedge," said Flick. "I need you to go and buy
me a paintbrush! I don't care what color. I'll pay you back later. Just do it!"
And he shoved Hedge out the door without explaining anything.
A neighbor Yurble happened to be passing by at
the exact moment Flick opened the door for Hedge. She saw Hedge's spotted form,
and then she saw Flick. The moment Flick pulled Hedge inside, she ran to tell
the village elder.
Flick was anxiously awaiting Hedge's return when
he heard a loud knock on his door. He flung it open with a huge grin, but that
grin fell slowly and his facial expression turned from happiness to fear. He
was staring and the elder's two assistants, who were brown and twice the size
of normal Yurbles. The huge Yurbles never spoke a word; they just picked up
Flick by his arms and dragged him away.
After a long time of being dragged through the
village, Flick was thrown into a large hut where the elder spoke to his people.
Or more like frightened them. Two large torches illuminated numerous frightening
tiki masks. Flick looked up. A large fire Yurble towered over him. It was Drako,
elder of the tribe.
"He doesn't look starry to me," said Drako. "Well,
Flick, do you know what happens to Yurbles such as yourself when they paint
"I DIDN'T PAINT MYSELF!" screamed Flick. "IT
WAS THIS BERRY I ATE!"
"I don't care!" yelled Drako back. "Being grey
is a sign of low-self esteem. Our tribe has been proud of ourselves for as long
as we have existed. You have shamed us. You are hereby banned from the village!"
"Bring me the rope," said Drako to one of the
large brown Yurbles, who disappeared into a closet and came back out with a
red rope that was tied in a circle like a necklace. A skull pendant dangled
from it. Drako took it and placed at around Flick's neck. "It's your banishment
rope. Take it and go."
Flick ran from the hut. He ran down the road,
past children who laughed and past adults who shouted insults at him. It had
to have been Hedge who ratted him out. Nobody else knew about his color. He
kept running. He saw Hedge in the middle of the road with no paintbrush. He
ran past Hedge. He stopped.
"Flick, I'm really sorry," Hedge said apologetically.
"I couldn't find a paintbrush."
"Tell it to someone who cares!" yelled Flick.
Flick then ran from the village and out into
the forest. He didn't look back to see Hedge shed a tear.
* * *
NIGHTTIME, YURBLE VILLAGE
Kit the Shadow Yurble sat in her chair outside
her hut enjoying the evening, as lots of Yurbles in the village did at that
time. But she didn't expect what was going to happen. Nobody did.
Suddenly, screams came from down the road. "IT'S
All of a sudden a large barbaric Pteri-like bird
swooped down on Kit and grabbed her with one of its large feet. Held in its
other foot was a purple Yurble who was shaking with fright. Kit screamed. The
bird then flew high above the village and up toward the forbidden mountain.
* * *
Flick's first night in the wilderness alone was
awful. He was so miserable that even the most miserable pet on Neopia's misery
wouldn't match his. He didn't manage to get a fire going, he couldn't find any
food, and the small wooden lean-to that he made was cramped. And when it started
to rain, the roof leaked. Flick sat wet, cramped, and cold for hours, not getting
any sleep at all.
As soon as the sun began to creep up over the
horizon, Flick left his shelter. He immediately knew that he had to get back
into the tribe somehow. But Drako was very strict about who could join. You
could only get in by one of two ways; being born into the tribe or accomplishing
a great feat for the tribe's people. Since he couldn't get back in through the
first option, he'd have to do something heroic.
Flick sat for hours thinking about what he could
do. He wasn't the adventuring type. He preferred to spend his afternoons reading
a book than exploring the forest or saving pets. He also didn't know anything
about combat or anything else that adventurers do.
Flick suddenly had an idea, one that wouldn't
involve too much combat. He could rescue the kidnapped Yurbles! Since he was
no longer a tribe member, the mountain was no longer forbidden. But,
thought Flick, I'm going to need to boost my endurance and find a weapon.
Flick decided that a bow would be the best weapon
for him, and he remembered reading a book about how to make them. He scavenged
around the dump where the tribe put their unwanted belongings until he found
a knife and a string of leather for a bowstring. Flick then found a reasonably
sized stick for a Yurble and smoothed down the edges with his knife. He then
attached the leather string. It wasn't the best bow in the world, but at least
it would protect him He then made a quiver out of more leather that he found
and cut sticks into arrow shafts. He attached stone heads to the arrows and
placed them in his quiver.
"See," said Flick to no one. "Reading books does
Flick's stomach growled. He had just realized
that he hadn't eaten anything in over a day. He began to wander through the
forest with his new bow and quiver across his back looking for food. He found
some berries on a bush. He was careful to look for grey ones as he picked them.
They tasted badly, but it was some nourishment.
Over the next few days, Flick's wilderness survival
skills improved. He was able to build fires and find food, but despite his efforts
he still couldn't stop the water from leaking through the roofs of his shelters.
Flick went running every morning to build up his endurance. After a couple weeks
of living like this, Flick decided he was ready to take on the mountain.
Flick couldn't have picked a worse day to begin
his adventure. It was sweltering hot. He had only been climbing for about fifteen
minutes before he was soaked in sweat. But Flick didn't give up, even when he
lost his footing and only held on to a near vertical drop by a finger. By the
time he had reached the summit, it was nearly dark.
On the summit of the mountain was a giant nest.
Inside the nest was a large yellowish Pteri-like bird. It was currently sleeping
at the moment, but Flick knew that once the sun was completely down the bird
would awaken and fly off to find another victim.
Flick tried to lay as flat as he could among
the rock. His grey fur helped him blend in well. He waited. Finally once the
last rays of sun had disappeared, the bird woke. It gave a loud squawk before
spreading its wings and took flight. Flick waited till it was out of sight to
make his move.
Flick ran over to the nest and heaved himself
up and over the side. He landed on a soft bed of large sticks and bird feathers.
He looked around. The nest was huge. Feathers were everywhere. Flick looked
around for anything that was out of place. He looked to his left, then right.
On the west side of the nest were five pets. Three out of the five were Yurbles.
The other two were Island Kougras, apparently kidnapped from a nearby village.
All of them were either asleep or laying on the ground staring into space.
Flick ran over to them wondering why the awake
pets didn't run to him. He soon found out why. As he approached the pets, a
nasty smell hit him in the face, making him want to pass out. Flick, fighting
to stay conscious, dragged a sleeping orange Yurble away from the smell. He
heaved the Yurble over the side of the nest and began to take deep breaths,
savoring the fresh air. After the black dots around his vision went away, he
ran back for the rest of the pets. After he had rescued the other four, he heaved
himself back over the side of the nest. The sleeping pets that had probably
passed out because of the smell were awake now.
"What happened?" said a Purple Yurble weakly.
"You were kidnapped by a giant bird of some sort,"
said Flick. "I rescued you. Most of you passed out from a very nasty smell that
I can't explain. We should all try and get down the mountain before the bird
Too late. A giant screech roared through the
air the bird came swooping back to its nest, a new victim in its talons.
"Go!" shouted Flick, drawing out his bow. "I'll
hold it off!"
As the captive began to make their descent down
the mountain, Flick shot an arrow at the bird. It hit its wing. The bird paid
no attention to the arrow and continued to go after Flick. He jumped out of
the way of its sharp beak. He did a belly-smacker on the ground before getting
up slightly shaken and firing another arrow. That one missed altogether.
Flick kept moving and firing arrows. After a
while, he began to get desperate. His quiver was emptying fast, and the bird
showed no sign of tiring. He was almost ready to collapse when he noticed a
rock on the ground. A perfect throwing stone. He picked it up and chucked it
at the bird. It wasn't expecting it and it hit it square between the eyes. During
the moments that it was confused, Flick drew out his last arrow. He aimed it
for the bird's heart, and let it fly.
It hit it square on.
The bird swayed back and forth a little before
falling to the ground. Its new victim was a fire Yurble, who ran away from the
bird as fast as he could. He ran over to Flick, and Flick couldn't believe his
eyes. The Yurble was Drako!
Drako got down on his knees and looked up at
Flick. "Thank you for sav- whoa!" He then realized who the grey Yurble was.
"Flick! But how…how…how did you kill that thing?"
As Drako got back up and stood speechless, Flick
seized the opportunity. "Lord Drako, I have done a favor for you and the tribe.
All I ask in return is for re-admittance to the tribe. All I wish is to go back
to my old life."
"Sure, Flick," said Drako, looking at the bird
and then Flick. He removed Flick's banishment rope and threw it on the ground.
"Anything you ask. I'll even buy you a starry paintbrush if you want."
"I don't want to change back to starry," said
Flick. "You see, being grey doesn't mean you have no pride in yourself. It's
just a fancy color. A royal Neopet could have no pride in himself, and a grey
one could. Color doesn't matter."
"Okay, if that's what you want," said Drako with
a shrug as the two began to climb back down the mountain.
Epilogue: Flick was accepted back into the village
for his deed. Although some Yurbles disrespect him, most look up to him for
what he did. He and Hedge are still friends. Hedge forgave Flick for suspecting
him of ratting him out. Flick and Hedge still pick berries together, although
Flick vowed to never eat another one again. Nobody has yet beaten his berry
Author's Note: Thanks for reading! Comments are always welcome!