Pianto had come to, on some levels, regret his choice to
let Tetra follow him. On another level, the Pteri's constant chatter was a nice
break to the continual silence of the Tyrannian Plateau, where his only friend
would have been the whispering wind.
The two had been traveling together for almost
five days. In those five days, Tetra never seemed to stop talking! The chatter
machine must have run on batteries, Pianto concluded, because there was no other
way he could have talked so much without rest. The Gelert even thought he heard
Tetra talking in his sleep! Or perhaps Pianto was just beginning to lose it.
A large cliff rose up in front of the two as
they neared the ever-moving horizon.
"Wow, a cliff! That reminds me of one time…"
"Shhhhh!" Pianto ordered. Pianto was good at
coming up with plans, but this would be a real challenge. And the last thing
he needed was Tetra chatting away while he thought.
Pianto studied the cliff carefully. Something
seemed different about these cliffs. They seemed to have steps carved into them,
footholds that another creature would have carved.
"Any ideas yet?" Tetra asked.
One glance was enough to cause the Pteri to
"Were going to have to climb it," Pianto finally
concluded out loud.
"How?" Tetra asked.
The Gelert pointed out the footholds to his
partner. Pianto couldn't see any other way.
"You must be nuts!" Tetra exclaimed finally.
"There's no way we can climb that! It must be at least two, three hundred feet
to the top. It can't be done."
Pianto gave the Pteri an inquisitive look. "What
are you complaining about? You can just simply fly to the top."
Tetra looked down at the ground ashamedly. "Um…
well you see… the thing about that is…" The green Pteri finally swallowed his
pride and admitted the truth. "The thing is, I can't fly."
Man, Pianto thought, this guy just
gets weirder by the day.
Tetra looked up. "I mean, I COULD fly, just
that I'm afraid to. I'm not a big fan of heights."
Pianto sighed. "Oh well, I guess you'll just
have to scale the cliffs with me."
Out of all the ideas Pianto had had in his life, this turned out to be the
worst. The Pteri's wings didn't give him much grip on the cliff face (which
is to say gave him no grip on the cliff face). And it came to be discovered
that Tetra talked much more and much faster and louder when he became nervous.
"One time, I was walking along and I tripped
and fell, but it was only two feet. But my mommy made me get a bandage for it,
anyway. And then she gave me soup, and then…"
This is an example of how the 'scardey Pteri'
rambled on. Now, say this as fast as you can, multiply that by ten, and you
have the speed of which Tetra told this pointless story.
"I think we're almost there," Pianto called
down to his partner. In truth, they weren't even halfway.
At that moment, Tetra reached for the next ledge.
Bad move. The Pteri missed and slipped off the cliff face. He tumbled, screaming
into the plateau below.
Pianto didn't even have time to react. Yet something
was odd about the volume of the screams. First they got more distant as he fell,
then they gradually became louder, as if Tetra was coming back up.
Then, Tetra's tiny face peaked up over the rock
face. Tetra was still screaming, but was now being lifted by another pet-an
It was a blue Eyrie, but its face was face-painted
with markings like those in a tribe might have.
"Tetra, you can stop screaming, you moron! You're
not going to die!"
Tetra stopped and opened up his eyes. "I'm flying!"
he shouted. "And it's easier than I thought it would be!"
Pianto rolled his eyes. How ignorant could one
creature get? "Is he a friend of yours?" Pianto asked. Tetra looked down at
the Eyrie "Nope."
"Well, see if he'll give me a ride too."
Tetra pointed towards Pianto. "Can you give
him a ride too?"
The Eyrie obeyed immediately, without making
Pianto was glad to be carried somewhere for once. The Eyrie was a very large,
powerful male, but even the Gelert was surprised at the ease he carried the
The Eyrie continued flying for about a mile,
the whole time never making a sound. When he finally did land, they were in
a small village, surrounded by almost forty other Eyries.
All were painted basic colors of red, green,
and blue but mainly the males, from what Pianto could see, had face paint on.
All of them gathered around the two travelers.
For a second, Pianto thought they might be going to try to hurt him and Tetra.
But they didn't. Instead, a strange thing happened. They all bowed down; not
to Pianto, but to Tetra!
"Um Pianto, what are they doing? Are they going
to eat me? 'Cause if they are then we need to run and…"
Pianto put his paw over the Pteri's beak. "If
you keep talking, they're diffidently going to eat you then," he thought. "I
think… they believe you're a god."
Tetra's neck snapped back, eyes bulging out.
"Are you serious? Wow, what an honor! It's about time I got some recognition."
Tetra lifted a wing. As he did so, all the pets around him stared like their
lives depended on it, entranced at their 'god's' mighty power.
"A want a cup of water," Tetra shouted. One
of the Eyries leapt out of the circle and returned with a goblet full of clean,
sparkling water. Pianto couldn't help but be impressed at the Eyries' devotion.
It appeared that they were going to have a nice place to sleep tonight.
The 'god' got everything he desired; a bed, fresh food, and the whole nine
yards. The whole time, Pianto kept trying to figure out why they were doing
all this. He came to no conclusions.
Tetra seemed to be enjoying himself, perhaps
a little too much. So much so, that Pianto was kind of sorry to have to break
the news to Tetra the next morning that they had to leave.
"Can't we just stay a little longer, another
day or so? Please?! I've never had so much fun! They'll do ANYTHING for me!"
"Yeah, I noticed," Pianto commented. "That's
what worries me."
A disappointed Tetra slumped his shoulders and
dropped his head. "Fine," he murmured. "But when we're done with this little
adventure, I'm coming back. Got it?"
"Whatever," Pianto answered, itching to get
back on the road and find that beautiful Gelert
As they were walking out of the village, a group
of Eyries jumped in their way, blocking the two travelers' path.
"They don't want us to go," Tetra explained.
Ever since he had been crowned a god, he had been acting like he could somehow
understand what they were trying to say. Of course, this was no big trick as
Pianto could understand just as well.
"Never fear," Tetra called out, like he was
a general speaking to his troops. "We and my partner have a quest to complete
right now. But as soon as we are done, I will return to reclaim my place as
god. Isn't that right, assistant god?"
Pianto was so tired of being referred to as
'assistant god.' "Yes, oh mighty lord," Pianto called out sarcastically. The
wall of Eyries parted and the two were once again on their way, leaving behind
a village of disappointed Eyries.
About an hour outside the village, Tetra turned to his 'assistant god.' "Do
you think we'll ever come back to that village Pianto?"
"Oh… um, what?" The Pteri had disrupted Pianto
from his trance looking at the photo of the missing Gelert "Sure, Tetra; sure."
Pianto went back to staring at the beautiful
creature in the picture. Pianto hoped they would find her soon. He really wanted
to meet her. She was probably more beautiful in real life than in the picture.
To be continued...