Belonging to the Sky: Part One
I don't belong. I was a mistake. I was a Kyrii, born in a small pack of wild Kyrii in Tyrannia who made their base in the mountains near the most populated areas, in the jungle. Don't get me wrong; I was fine being a Kyrii and the mountains were lovely but as I mentioned before, I didn't belong in this pack.
I was born a speckled Kyrii, meaning thin, pale emerald fur, a forest green mane along my spine, snow white paws and muzzle and sky blue eyes but as much as I thought my colour was ok, the pack did not. I was meant to be born with pure silver pelt that shimmered in the sunlight and eyes that reflected the deep, brown, earthy colour of the stones that made up the land we lived in. Things work differently in this pack. The elder will tell the parents the colour of their cubs and their name and the meaning behind the combination.
Oh. That was the other problem. My name is hiss_33. Nice ring to it, eh? It was a glitch I think, that as well as my colour so, yes, I was just that. A glitch. A mistake. I didn't belong. And they never let me forget that.
As I saw on a tall boulder at the base of the mountain, watching my pack-mates play by chasing each other into their burrows I painfully reminded once again that I wasn't like these pets. I never daydreamed about digging the deepest burrow or finding an undiscovered cave that made its way into the heart of the mountains where unknown treasures lay, undisturbed for centuries. No. my daydreams took me to a place no other Kyrii here ever wanted to go; the sky. I wanted to fly. To be free. To go places. Raising my head to the air, I watched as the horizon blazed like fire with sunset light and directly above my head, the deep violet night began to spread its wings and shower the sky with shy, silver stars.
"Coal! Rust! Creek! Hissi! Time to sleep! Get to your nests!" I heard the call of one of the older Kyrii ring through the trees and echo off the stones from our base, under the ground. With a lonesome sigh, I slid down the boulder and landed softly on the ground. My nest was the only one above ground, and I was fine with that. I couldn't bear going to sleep without an easy way of seeing the sky above my head, but it did get lonely sometimes. Coal, Rust and Creek were fire, brown and water respectively and were the best burrowers in the pack, although they were my age and my claws stung badly only after a minute of digging through the hard, Tyrannian soil.
"Race ya there!" I heard Creek, a water Kyrii whose glossy pelt shimmered like the ocean waves, yowl the challenge and darted towards the main tunnel entrance, Coal and Rust bounding after her. Being an outcast, my nest was under the shade of this tall boulder, about ten meters away from the main entrance, where the rest of the pack lived. As Rust ran past, his paw landed heavily on my tail and I let out a yelp and quickly drew it back. Rust briefly snapped his head back and showed his teeth in a smug grin. "Clumsy glitch!" he called mockingly, before following the others, swallowed by the shadows of the tunnel. Flicking my tail to shake the dust from its dark green fur, I stormed to my nest, a small mound of leaves and branches, and curled up inside it.
I gazed around, absent minded, at the scenery of the Tyrannian mountains and jungles. Restless shrubs clung to the bases of tumbled stones and boulders while a huge, dark mountain reared up behind the boulder I sat beside and silver moonlight rippled across the ground like waterless waves. I heard the eerie screech of a Skree as it flew across the swollen, silver moon, casting a menacing shadow over the ground as it passed. I shivered. The air was cold. But at least I could gaze up at the star-flecked sky above as I was slowly lulled into a shallow, restless sleep.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" I blinked my blurry eyes open slowly as the sound of familiar voices flowed softly into my sharp ears. At first, I thought I was dreaming- or having a nightmare- but the voices continued in hushed whispers nearby.
"Of course it is! If we catch this thing we'd be the most powerful Kyrii in the pack! No-one would dare defy us if we had a Skree on our side!" I recognised Coal's arrogant growl and lifted my head to try and see where he was. My gaze finally rested on the Kyrii's fiery mane, glowing fiercely in the dark as he stood at the base of a huge, ancient tree and I recognised Rust and Creek beside him. My ears flicked up in alarm. A Skree was almost impossible to tame, let alone catch! The one that lived in that tree was young but fierce and feisty and very aggressive. And besides, it would be a crime to keep a wild petpet like that trapped in the tunnels of our pack base. Before I could move a muscle, I watched in horror as Creek rammed into the tree trunk, shaking the branches and I heard a furious screech erupt from the leaves.
I sprang to my paws, my fur on end, as I saw the angry petpet dive out of the branches and lunge towards the three Kyrii. I watched as Coal ducked to avoid its dagger-sharp talons and Creek leaped after it, narrowly managing to grab its plumed tail and drag it to the ground. Rust quickly jumped on it and held it down, although it thrashed and screeched with fury, trying to escape. I couldn't watch anymore. It was bad enough that I was trapped and earth bound, I wouldn't let it happen to this wild petpet.
"Stop it!" I shouted, charging towards the tangled group of fur, feathers and claws.
"Scram, glitch! Mind your own business!" Coal growled, the flames along his spine blazing with frustration. Did he think catching a Skree would be easy?
"Leave it alone!" I snarled before Creek stalked up to me with a smug grin spread across her muzzle, her watery fur rippling with silver under the light of the moon and her turquoise eyes glinting with self-confidence.
"How are you gonna stop us, runt?" she sneered and I felt my claws dug into the earth. Hardly thinking, I reared up on my hind legs and shoved the water Kyrii away with my paws and slashed my claws at Rust's ear, leaving a tiny nick in the tip. Although the injury was tiny, the brown Kyrii screamed and jumped back, pressing his paw to his ear, his eyes watering. A heartbeat later, something slammed into my side and I found myself with a mouthful of dirt. I sat up, spitting the soil out and my scared gaze met Coal's furious one. I hardly heard the Skree snarl before flying into the night as Coal bared his fangs at me and I tried to scramble to my paws.
"Get out, 33. You don't belong here; you never have and never will. If you're not gone by sunrise, we'll chase you out," he growled with a menacingly quiet voice. I frowned defiantly and stood up, shaking the dust out of my pelt.
"Fine. I hope I never see you again," I growled before turning my back on the Kyrii pack I once called my family and bounded up the slope of the mountain. I heard the others growl and shout mockingly behind me but I didn't care. I was happy to leave. This way, I'd be able to do whatever I wanted without being mocked or bullied. I could be my own Kyrii with my own identity.
The moon lit my way up the mountain, guiding me through the rough terrain until I finally made it to the stony peak. This mountain was probably the smallest of all the ones in Tyrannia but I still felt as if I was on top of Neopia. The wind lashed around my muzzle and the air was cool and crisp. Below me, I could see the village stretched out past the jungle and the plateau even further off. I looked up and saw the endless ocean of stars above my head, stretching from horizon to horizon and I felt freedom streak through my fur and lift my heart. But I felt a pang of emptiness strike my heart. What was it like being up there? When I looked down, I thought I was dreaming when I saw the stars floating around me. I gasped before realising that they were Lightmites flitting around the peak. A few of them fluttered towards me and danced around my nose before joining the rest of their swarm. I felt a brief twinge of envy towards the carefree petpetpets; they always had family and got to fly as far and high as they wanted. I shook my head, my eyelids suddenly feeling as heavy as rocks, and curled up on the bear, open stone before drifting into a light sleep.
To be continued...