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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Eating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 98 > Short Stories > Skies Above Tyrannia

Skies Above Tyrannia

by wolfyu

Vogel the green Pteri awoke in his nest. He rubbed his eyes and preened his feathers as he struggled to stay awake in the early morning. Opening one eye, he stretched his wings and legs, and then stumbled clumsily out of the nest and onto a branch. He looked out over the horizon to see a beautiful sunrise. Then he realized... this was the day! The day he had been waiting for almost the entire year. That day was the day of the Pteri Flying Championships, the dream of all Pterii to win. Realizing that fact, he got a burst of energy, and he jumped out of his tree and flew to a low hanging vine to wake his best friend, Brillo the silver Shoyru.

     "Hey, Brillo, you awake?" he called. Getting no answer, he tried again, this time successfully. The male Shoyru poked his metallic looking head out of the hollow tree trunk and said, sleepily, "'Lo, Vogel, what's cookin'?"

     "You dumb Shoyru, today's the day of the Pteri Flying Championships! You've been waiting for it, too, remember?"

     This seemed to wake the drowsy Shoyru up, as he opened his eyes wide and slapped himself on the forehead, "By juppie, yer right! Let's go, now! As you said, da' earlier da' better!"

     The two pets flew along side by side, Vogel practicing his aerial antics, which would hopefully win him the tournament. Brillo was watching his friend do a quadruple-loop dive. Completely awed by his friends agility in the air, he said, "Woah, now, Vogel, you're makin' me dizzy just whatchin' you!"

     Vogel spoke through flips, "But-I-have-to-practice!"

     The Shoyru understood and was quiet; allowing his friend to practice flips and dives of all sorts and lengths. Brillo knew how much this tournament meant to his Pteri friend, Vogel had waited for this event since he had first heard of it, seven months before, and now it was finally here. Brillo just couldn't ruin the happy time for his friend.

     The two pets were headed for Tyrannia, where that year's tournament was to be held, and as soon as the two reached their destination they were greeted by a person who was tallying the number of Pterii entering the championship tournament. "Hello," she kindly said to them. She then motioned to Vogel, "Are you the only Pteri in this group?"

     "Yes, ma'am!" Vogel said, politely, as to repay the ladies kindness.

     "All right, then, you'll need to enter. All you have to do is sign your name here, on this form. You also have to add your color, so that people and pets can tell who you are from the crowd. And don't forget your number; you'll be wearing the number on your back while you compete."

     Vogel and Brillo smiled. This lady seemed to be very polite to pets, and good at her job. They wondered if she owned any pets at all. Vogel quickly filled out his form. He and Brillo exchanged goodbyes and good lucks as he went to the competitor room to see if anyone else was there yet, and Brillo went to the stands to watch when the competition was held.

     Vogel entered the room to find that it was inhabited by three Pteri. There was one female and two males, the female being pink and the males being electric and fire. They all made themselves acquainted, and when all of the contestants (three hundred in total) had arrived, the Pterii got to choose two contests to take part in out of five. The choices were: aerial loops and dives, aerial slalom, 100-meter aerial race, canyon race, and timed upside-down flying.

     The green Pteri chose Aerial loops and dives and the 100-meter aerial race. He, of course, really wanted to win the loops and dives, since he had practiced it for over six months, and would be disappointed if he did not become champion.

     Suddenly, after all of the Pterii had chosen their categories, an announcement came on the loudspeaker, "All Pterii participating in the 100-meter aerial race, please take your spots in the stadium. I repeat, all Pterii participating in the 100-meter aerial race, please take your spots in the stadium."

     Vogel, along with forty-nine other Pterii perked his head up at the announcement. The first event would begin shortly, and Vogel wasn't about to lose.

     When all fifty Pterii, including Vogel, had been positioned at the starting line, the announcer, a striped Zafara named Raita, began calling off the names and numbers of the contestants. A very long list… Vogel thought to himself. Raita was now at number 35, "At number 35 is Kuja, number 36 is Vogel, and number 37 is Strutsi…"

     After the group of fifty was announced, Raita flashed a flag from her perch near an overhanging cliff. The Pterii were off at full speed from the start, beginning at the flag and whistle from the striped Zafara.

     Vogel beat his wings up and down almost violently as he struggled to gain speed against his competitors. Even with all of his effort, he was falling behind to two other Pterii. He relaxed his wings for a short moment to gain energy and he took off again, nearly passing the first Pteri ahead of him. Still the other bird was ahead, and the blur of Pterii was nearing the finish line. Just as Vogel was two feet away from the end, one more Pteri pulled in front of his beak by three centimeters.

     The contestants flew tiredly towards the ground to get some water from various volunteering helpers scattered in the arena. When Vogel had gotten his share, he walked over to the standings. He had come in fourth. A lot less than he had expected of himself, but he was very proud to be in the top five out of fifty Pterii, nonetheless. He looked into the crowd at the great gathering of non-Pterii pets and owners, and he spotted Brillo. The silver Shoyru was cheering for Vogel, though he had lost the top three. This boosted the green Pteri's confidence for the next competition.

     Vogel paced in the lounge where the contestants that were currently not competing were resting. He was just so nervous about the next event that he felt like he would be sick. Luckily he had never been one to vomit, so he just decided to pace. The other Pterii in the room were doing the opposite, sitting and having a good time. One certain pink female walked up to Vogel and stopped his pacing, "Hi! You're the one who came in fourth in the 100-meter race, aren't you?"

     Vogel looked at the Pteri's pink plumage and answered politely, "Yes. What's your name, and what contests have you participated in so far?"

     The Pteri female replied, "Oh, my name's Kuudes, but you can call me Kuude. I've done both of my competitions already, and I participated in the Canyon Race and the Aerial Slalom, but I got eighth in both of them… I really wanted to do better, though. Now I don't have any hope of doing so…"

     Vogel felt pity for Kuude, and he decided to comfort her before the announcement for the Aerial Loops and Dives began, "It's okay. You were up against… what? Thirty others. You did quite well. Heh! How do you think the Pteri in 30th felt?"

     This did seem to cheer her up, but their conversation was broken by the announcement, "All Pterii competing in the Aerial Loops and Dives competition report to the arena. I repeat, all Pterii competing in the Aerial Loops and Dives competition report to the arena,"

     Vogel looked into her emerald eyes. She looked into his brown ones. "Well," Vogel said to her, "do you want to watch me?"

     Kuude's eyes lit up and she followed him out to the arena. "Where should I go?" she asked him on the way out. "D'you see that silver Shoyru in the stands? That's my friend, Brillo. He'll understand if you tell him that I told you to watch!"

     She nodded and flew off towards Brillo. In the arena, Vogel noted that only nine other Pterii had entered the Aerial Loops and Dives competition. He quickly decided to put on much more of a show than he normally would, as to impress the judges against such a lack of competitors. He huffed out his feathery chest as Raita announced the contestants.

     In the crowd, Kuude had reached Brillo, who looked at her in a strange fashion when she first arrived. "Uhm… uh… Vogel sent me to sit here if I wanted to watch him in the competition…"

     Brillo understood and smirked, "Ah-ha…Vogel's got a girlfriend!"

     Kuude blushed and tried to keep a strait face as she watched the first Pteri getting ready to perform his stunts.

     The Pteri did all of the basic flips, dives, and other things, but nothing else. Vogel decided to keep that competitor out of his mind as he watched the next eight that went before him.

     Out of all of the eight, only one was close to Vogel's level of skill, and he would be tough to beat. The green Pteri had butterflies in his stomach as he lifted into the air to begin his stunt.

     He flew in circles for a few seconds as he spotted Kuude and Brillo in the stands, cheering him on enthusiastically. He gulped as he performed a tremendous quadruple-loop spiral dive, something he had never done perfectly in his entire life. And that was the first time he had done it. The crowd gave a loud cheer as he recovered from the great successful attempt. He grinned and did a spinning dive to finish off his act as he landed with a small "Thump" next to the judges.

     The crowd was very much impressed with the small green Pteri, and Vogel noted that Kuude and Brillo were cheering the loudest. He looked at the judges and then up at Raita, who was about to announce the winner. Five seconds later, she did, "And the winner is… Vogel the green Pteri! Congratulations, Vogel, you have won the Loops and Dives competition for this year!"

     Vogel's brown eyes widened as his name was announced by the striped Zafara with enthusiasm. He snapped back into reality when Brillo and Kuude tugged him back into the lounge room.

     "Hey, Vogel, congrats, man! You just won the Loops 'n Dives competition!" Vogel heard Brillo say.

     "Yes, good job, Vogel!" Kuude said to the green Pteri.

     Vogel was just able to speak, "I-I can't believe it! I actually WON!"

     "Yeah! You did, didn't ya'?" Brillo said, "An' now only the Upside Down Flyin' competition is left an' then that Zafara gal will say the name o' the champ of the 'ntire thing!"

     Vogel smiled, and then he turned to both of them. "What will we do if I win the entire thing? D'you think I'll be famous?"

     "Well, you never quite know, do you?" Kuude said.

     "Probably not, I suppose…"

     "Hey, you two, that Zafara's 'bout ta' state the winner! You'd better get out 'ere soon or you'll miss it. I'm sure ya' wouldn't like that, Vogel!"

     With that the two Pterii dashed out of the lounge and awaited the announcement.

     All eyes were upon Raita as she prepared to announce the winner. Most of the Pterii were the most eager, and some even began to sweat. Raita tore open an envelope and held her breath, increasing the tension, "And the winner of this year's Pteri Flying Championships is…Vogel the Pteri!"

     Vogel's heart nearly stopped at the mention of his name. His eyes widened as he let it soak in. He had won the Pteri Flying Championships, the dream of his whole life. He had accomplished it.

     When Raita came to present him with his trophy he looked almost petrified with delight as he shook hands/feet/wings with her. "Congratulations, Vogel. You are the champion."

     He quivered with delight as he touched the cold metal of the golden cup. That was the day he had won the Championships. The day he would always remember.

The End

Authors Note: Well, this is the end of my first story in The Neopian Times. I hope you enjoyed it. I had a very fun time creating the characters Vogel and his friends. Note: All characters in this short story were meant to be fictional, and if they come up in the search box it was not intended, it is merely a coincidence. I will accept constructive criticism and compliments! ^_~

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