She would never fly. No matter how rich her owner was, no
matter how hard she tried; she would never be able to fly. She wanted to fly;
oh, how she wanted to! But she wasn't like all the other Pteris. She was a plushie.
And a plushie could never fly.
She was the youngest of her owner's pets, created
just three months ago. Created as green Pteri, created with the desire to fly
in her heart. And, just when her young wings were strong enough to lift her
off the ground, her owner took her to the lab ray.
Her owner had grabbed her wing that day. Told
her they were going to a magical place where she could be painted pretty colors.
She had always wanted to be painted, and came along willingly. She had stepped
into the place, that awful place. A ray gun was pointed at her. Then she had
been scared. What was going on? She cried out - "Mommy! Mommy!" - And then - then,
before she knew what was happening - she fell asleep.
When she woke up, she was back in her own bed.
She sighed. Just a dream. Today, she was going to fly, she thought excitedly.
As she passed her mirror, she saw purple out of the corner of her eye. "That's
funny…"she thought. "I don't remember being painted purple…" She looked in the
mirror. And that was when it all began.
"A Pteri that can't fly. How stupid!" As Mai
was recalling these events from her past, Carla, a beautiful cloud Pteri, was
making fun of her. Again. "I mean really," Carla continued loudly, showing off
for the Pteris playing Cheat under a tree. "A plushie Pteri? Honestly, how dumb
can you get? I know who won't be winning the Jr. Pteri Flying championships
The Jr. Pteri Flying Championships - two months
after the real one was the junior one, for Pteris not yet old enough to fly
the entire distance. The 'juniors', as they were called were only two weeks
away - and Mai still couldn't fly. "Flightless Pteri, flightless Pteri!" And
still, Carla reminded her of it. Carla's friends joined in. "Flightless Pteri,
flightless Pteri!" It beat through her head over and over and over again. "Flightless
Pteri, flightless Pteri!" Would it ever stop? The chanting grew louder, louder.
"Flightless Pteri! Flightless Pteri!" Louder, louder - their words hurt like
buzz stings - and still louder! "Flightless Pteri! Ha, ha, flightless Pteri!
Flightless Pteri! Flightless Pteri! HAHAHA!" "Please," Mai thought. "Please,
make it stop!" "Flightless Pteri, flightless Pteri!"
"Stop it!" One of the males from under the tree
stood in the middle of the circle. "It's not her fault she can't fly! Leave
her alone!" And everything blacked out.
"Are you okay?" Mai
blinked. A handsome orange Pteri was looking down at her. It was - no. Could
it be? The one who had saved her? She realized he wanted an answer. "Yeah… I'm
"Those girls were so rude. I can't believe them!
Honestly, I mean it isn't your fault the lab ray turned you plushie!"
"H - how did you know it was the lab ray?"
The Pteri grinned. "Your owner and my owner are
in the same guild. You know, Wild Tsunami?"
After a second of thinking, Mai remembered. A
new member had joined the guild… a member with an orange Pteri.
"My name is Byrd. What's yours?" the Pteri continued.
"Well, Mai, I've come to a decision. I'm going
to teach you how to fly."
"But… that's impossible. Plushies don't fly,
and you know it. We're too heavy."
"That's all you think."
Mai still had absolutely no idea what Byrd was
talking about, but she had no time to ask as her owner called her.
"I have to go…" she murmured and ran to her owner
as fast as her plushie legs could carry her.
For the next week, Mai only saw Byrd twice. Once
was at a guild meeting, where the members discussed the next poll, and the other
time he was playing Sutek's Tomb. Strange… Byrd hated Sutek's Tomb. He claimed
the only time he had ever played that game was to get the avatar. Oh well. That
wasn't a big deal. Mai was more interested in finding a way to at least watch
the Juniors. She didn't have the Neopoints to buy a ticket, and her owner wouldn't
give her any. "You'll just feel worse about being painted plushie," her owner
But she wanted to go. Flight was something every
Pteri wanted. Like all Pteris, Mai had a desire, a burning desire in her heart.
The desire to kiss the ground goodbye, to spread her wings and fly. But, plushie
as she was, this desire could never, never be satisfied. To her, just seeing
other Pteris fly was enough.
The day before the Juniors, the doorbell rang.
Absorbed in "How to Make A Pteri Plush Doll" Mai let her sister Berry answer
it. "Mai!" Berry shouted. "It's for you!"
Mai's beak dropped. "What…" she stammered.
"It's a flying machine!" Byrd cried happily.
"I made all by myself! It's for you!"
Mai stared. Byrd had used Blue Yarn to tie two
scorchio wing shields to a beach chair. There were three levers - one attached
to each wing, and one in back. The entire thing was painted with Sparkly Blue
"See? You push the lever in back to turn the
brakes on and off, and you can push the levers next to the wings to make them
move up and down. What do you think?"
Actually, Mai thought that it was the most absurd
thing since Dung Petpet Paintbrushes. She highly doubted the "flying machine"
would even get off the ground. And, even if it could, it would never support
her weight. After all, she was a plushie. But, she thanked him anyway.
"Let's try it out now!" said the excited Byrd.
Mai really didn't want to crush his hopes, but
she didn't want to crush his machine, either. Eventually, she agreed to go to
the park with him and try it out.
Mai gingerly sat on the machine as Byrd lined
the entire area with pillows. A host of young Pteris had gathered around to
watch. Mai thought grimly that they would soon be laughing.
"Okay, let's try it!" Byrd cried. Before Mai
knew what was happening, Byrd had switched off the brake and she was pushing
the levers. She was up in the air! But, no! The beach chair couldn't take her
weight. The chair ripped, and she fell…fell…and - oh miracle of miracles - managed
to hit the pillows. The Pteris watching burst out into laughter. Tears filled
Mai's eyes, not from pain but from humiliation.
"Oh…darn." Byrd looked disappointed. As she watched
Byrd trudge away, Mai was suddenly filled with emotion. She could live with
the embarrassment. She was used to it. But… Byrd. He had tried so hard to get
her to fly, and all his efforts had resulted in failure. Silently, she picked
up the scorchio wing shields, the levers, the yarn and the sparkly blue paint,
and headed for the shop wizard….
It was the day of the
Juniors. Byrd filled his water bottle sadly. All that annoying Sutek's Tomb
was for nothing. All that planning…all those neopoints…all for nothing.
The referee gestured to him. The Juniors were
about to start. Bird flew to the starting line. If only Mai could be here…
Byrd turned sharply. It was… Mai! And she had
the flying machine… only it was different. Instead of a beach chair, she had
used a wooden garden bench.
"I used all of your Sparkly Blue Paint. Sorry."
"It's…it's okay." Byrd was stunned. Would this
one work? Or would it be just as mortifying as last time?
"On your marks," yelled the referee.
"Get set." Mai turned off the brakes.
"GO!" The ref blew his whistle.
Mai pumped with all her might. The machine got
off the ground, and, slowly, Mai began to move forward, using the steering lever
she had added after crashing into a tree.
She was far behind. She could barely see the
Pteri in last place. "C'mon, c'mon…" she muttered. She pushed the levers harder,
Faster, faster - she passed one Pteri, two Pteris.
Harder, harder she pumped - she was in fourth
Higher, higher - She passed Byrd. Now only Carla
remained in front of her.
Faster she pumped. She and Carla were neck and
neck. Carla glared angrily at her. Mai just grinned.
Now the finish line was just yards away. Mai
was getting tired. Then she remembered how badly Byrd had wanted her to fly,
and with her final ounce of strength she pushed the levers and passed Carla!
She had won! She could hardly hear herself think from the sound of cheering.
A medal was put around her neck. Byrd landed and cried "Mai! It worked! You
won!" Mai smiled. She had finally achieved flight.