Righting the Moral Order of the Universe
In a neighborhood not so different from your own, I live with my very ordinary family. To be more specific, we live in the Lost Desert, where it is usually very hot and there is always sand in your food and the wind makes it really a bore to try to get anywhere by flying. As I have been reminding my owner all day, I am supposed to be having a vacation that is worth writing a report about. Instead of doing that, we had a disagreement about my allowance and now I'm trying to think of a clever way to write a report about nothing. Let me start:
* * *
Phillip, a yellow Kyrii who always wears a fedora and is my brother, was sitting under a large umbrella, nursing a Flaming Blooble Fruit Juice with an air of deep personal grievance. This was normal. Seisan, a blue Aisha, was dozing, buried in the sand, ears occasionally twitching. This was also normal, although it seemed to me that she wasn't re-applying her sunblock often enough to avoid getting burns on the delicate skin of her ears and eyelids (but, to be honest, that's normal, too; she'll be a real nuisance about the unbearable agony & so on for the next few days).
The giant skeleton crushing houses in the distances - and growing larger by the minute, as it drew ever nearer - was decidedly abnormal. (Don't worry, I'm just going to make this up as I go. Everyone is fine really.) Somehow, my siblings remained ignorant of or apathetic about this crazy situation, so clearly it was up to me to do something. An obvious solution presented itself immediately, and I launched myself into the air with a running start. (I'm an Eyrie, in case you didn't know, and I am an expert, graceful flyer. Uncommonly so.)
"Excuse me," I said to the large skeleton, flapping my wings lazily so that I remained at about the height of its eyes - or rather, where its eyes would have been if it weren't a skeleton. "I couldn't help but notice that, as a giant skeleton, without any muscles, it's really not possible for you to be moving around like this."
"It could be enchanted," Seisan suggested from down on the ground.
"Get out of here," I said, frowning down at her severely. "You could get hurt."
"And you couldn't?" she snapped, rearing up onto her hind legs so she could cross her forepaws. "Besides, you're right, it's just a big pile of bones."
And, indeed, faced with the logic of the situation, the monster had fallen into a giant heap of peaceful bones. On the ground, all of our neighbors and several pedestrians were cheering.
"Get out of my report," I said to Seisan, my tail flicking with irritation.
"I just wanted to see what you were doing," she said, leaning over my shoulder. "Why don't you write about something more fun, like going to Faerieland? You could have a sandwich or ice cream at Faerie Foods."
"Win some dough on the Wheel of Excitement, lose it all on the Poogles," Phillip suggested somberly. "It's a metaphor for life."
"Well, I'm not writing about metaphors," I said. "I'm just writing about life."
They kept making suggestions and criticizing my spelling, so eventually I had to spread my wings so wide that they had to back up. "Go write your own reports," I grumbled.
"I just talked myself into going to Faerieland," Seisan said. "If you come with me, maybe you'll get some ideas for your paper."
I'm not sure it's the first place I would have chosen (as I'm rather partial to mountains, and I love to hunt up a good scare in the Haunted Woods), but Seisan's chatter put me in the mood for a sweet snack, and you can really stretch your wings out up amongst the clouds.
Phillip abandoned us as soon as he saw the Quests building, muttering something about seeing a dame about a Doglefox. He's really not normal, that one. Seisan and I walked on by ourselves, taking a gander at the faerie petpets before we stepped into the food shop.
I was about to sink my beak into some Fruity Faerie Fingers when I smelled an adventure. "I've got to go," I informed my sister, who was delicately licking the strawberry topping off of her ice cream. "You can have these, if you want," I said, pushing my dish towards her. I love my family, but I don't really need sidekicks. And anyway, I saw her beady little eyes light up when I was haggling; she was definitely going to have asked if she could have some later, so I was actually being very generous and considerate.
When I say that I "smelled," an adventure, I mean it. Something was burning! Faeries fighting an alien invader? A rogue lightning bolt striking dry tinder? I followed my nose to several small, dwindling fires that someone had set pathetically on the branches of a tree, a wooden pier that led out onto one of the sparkling ponds, and finally, in the furniture store, where a hapless Light Faerie clerk was watching in dismay as a disgruntled red Pteri used a Chair of Nova as kindling.
"Sir, it's fine if you want to set your chair on fire, but you really have to pay for it first," she was saying when I burst into the shop gloriously. The Pteri's altitude dropped slightly in an involuntary response to my impressive entrance.
"What seems to be the problem here?" I inquired in a booming voice.
"There's no problem," the Pteri said, and, obviously flustered and blustering, continued: "I don't know what you're talking about. Everything's totally fine and normal and A-OK where I'm standing, buddy. Who even asked you to butt in, ya buttinski?!"
"You shouldn't start fires in a furniture store," the faerie said quietly.
Obviously, I couldn't let that kind of talk stand. "I challenge you to a duel," I said.
The sneaky Pteri, however, was hopping from perch to perch, getting closer and closer to the door. Once he realized that I was wise to his tricks, he spread his wings and made an aerial break for it. "I'll be right back, ma'am," I said to the shopkeeper. (I'm not sure if "ma'am" was really the right way to address her, but obviously this is all happening so fast that I can't think too much before I act.)
Anyway, there's something refreshing about a chase. I'm not in Faerieland often, but whatever the Pteri knew about the terrain wasn't enough to elude my swift and certain pursuit. We soared over purple roofs and dodged purple towers; faeries and flying pets enjoying the fresh air only felt a sudden gust of wind go by, as we were moving too quickly to be seen clearly.
Let me take a moment to talk about flying around while wearing a wig, which I do frequently. I'm not sure why I love my Dark Neovian Eyrie Wig so much. I mean, it's not a cheap piece of merchandise, but it's not something no one else can afford; I haven't seen any yet, but I'm sure some of my Eyrie brethren are sporting the same luxurious hairpiece as I. And I can't say that the asymmetry and black-void-of-space shade of shoe polish black speak to my character or anything. I guess I just like how it looks. I've been thinking a lot about who I want to be and how much of that depends on the image I project to other people. But, back to the point: don't even get me started on how hard it is to keep a wig on when you're cruising at an altitude of Space Station or when you're doing loops or even just faced with a strong wind. I'm not about to tie my wig on like a bonnet, man. So please appreciate that for the duration of this speed-of-light race I was splitting my attention between hunting down a crafty little hoodlum (please know that I don't think this particular Pteri is in any way representative of all or even any other Pteris) and keeping my wig in place. A truly great feat indeed!
Perhaps sensing that the current tactic was totally ineffective, the Pteri eventually made a dive for the ground and began to dodge around a sea of feet. Naturally, it wasn't hard for me to follow the trail of disgruntled and confused civilians, for the Pteri was rudely pushing anyone who happened to get in his way. We finally collided midair and went rolling across the cobblestones in a little alley.
The Pteri broke down immediately. "An air faerie sent me on a quest, and she looked so stern but at the same time kindly, so I couldn't turn her down but then I had to spend thousands of points on toothpaste that I had to hunt all over the city for so I missed my lunch and all I got was two agility points. Agility points!! Two!!!" the Pteri bawled. "It happens every time I accept a quest. Well, I'm sick of all of these faeries ordering me around and spending my money and giving me something I don't want or need. I'm going to set everything on fire so the clouds evaporate and all of Faerie City falls into the ocean!"
"You can always decline a quest. It's totally normal," I ventured. "I mean, setting everything on fire?? That's really extreme! You could scare little kids with that kind of talk. I don't think Faerie City is built on clouds, anyway. It just floats, so the clouds naturally happen to be around it."
The Pteri got even more angry and said some things that really I don't think we need to dwell on.
"That is enough of that," I said, taking the Pteri into custody.
I marched him all the way back to the furniture store, giving him a hefty nudge whenever he muttered something uncouth or attempted to escape. The faerie was grateful and said thanks, sure, but I was kind of hoping she might give me some furniture or like, I don't know, half of the cost of the chair as a reward or something.
Well, but anyway, the point of the story is, I'm really great, and wherever I am, the world is safe.
* * *
Later, at dinnertime, Seisan, somehow having recovered from her stomachache in time for a hearty supper, suddenly asked me, "Why do you have to write a report? You're not even in school."
"Oh, I just thought if something interesting enough happened, maybe I could write about it for the Neopian Times."