The First Time I Flew... Almost
“You really should get down. You’re going to fall.”
Trugmorik ignored his Petpet as he climbed higher into the Money Tree, his sight focused on his destination.
“Elfwick is going to be so upset with you,” said Daisychain, flitting through the tree branches after Trugmorik.
“I’m not going to fall,” Trugmorik said impatiently, “Besides, how’s Elfwick going to know if no one tells her?”
Daisychain rolled her eyes, “She’ll know. You know she will. She finds everything out. You can’t keep a secret from her.”
Trugmorik batted Daisychain away with a paw when she tried to grab at his cape with her beak. He knew the White Weewoo had a point, but he needed to get up to that branch near the top of the tree.
“What are you looking for anyway?” Daisychain asked as she circled Trugmorik’s head.
“There is a Petpetpet stuck at the top of the Money Tree. I have to get him down,” Trugmorik insisted for the seventh time.
“I don’t see anyone,” Daisychain said as she flew up to the top of the tree and back.
“It’s really small,” Trugmorik said.
“Why are you climbing?” pestered Daisychain. “I thought you were a great superhero. Can’t you just fly? Or was that what all that crouching, and jumping at the bottom of the tree was?”
Trugmorik flushed. He had tried to fly at first. He had crouched deep towards the ground and leaped over and over. It should have worked.
“I think there’s something wrong with the atmosphere. My flight isn’t working.”
Daisychain let out a shrill, mocking laugh. “The atmosphere, huh, are you sure you’re not just incapable of flight? After all, most Xweetoks can’t fly, unless, of course, you want Elfwick to change you into a faerie. I don’t think she would, though, considering what happened when she tried to paint you Baby.”
Trugmorik flushed a deeper shade of red. He had only been painted Baby for a week when he had gotten himself thrown into the Rainbow Pool. Elfwick hadn’t spoken to him for a long time.
“I don’t want to be painted faerie,” Trugmorik shot over his shoulder, reaching for the next highest branch, “I was embarrassed enough as a Baby. Just the name of the Paintbrush proves that faerie is a girl color. It’s not at all suitable for superheroes.”
“I think it would suit you well,” Daisychain grinned maliciously, “although not nearly as well as Baby did.”
Trugmorik growled and yanked himself up to the next branch so hard that he almost fell off of it. He was very high now. Arguing with Daisychain sure does help the time pass, he thought.
“If you’re not going to help me, Daisychain, then go home,” Trugmorik shouted angrily.
“I can’t help you save an imaginary Petpetpet because it’s, you know, imaginary,” Daisychain said.
“It’s not imaginary! It’s right there!” Trugmorik pointed.
“The only thing I see up there are Light Footed Lenny Boots.” Understanding dawned on Daisychain’s face. “So, that’s why you need to get up there so badly.”
Daisychain nearly fell out of the sky laughing.
“Oh, this is too much. Trugmorik, you have made my day. I can’t wait to tell the other Petpets. I will love this!”
“I only need them temporarily!” Trugmorik was shaking so badly he could barely stay on the branch. “I need them until the atmosphere changes and my flight kicks back in.”
“Trugmorik, I hate to break it to you,” Daisychain smiled, “but, you have never been able to fly.”
“Yes I have,” spluttered Trugmorik, “You remember that one time at Terror Mountain.”
“That wasn’t flying,” sighed Daisychain in mock patience, “You were falling and your scarf got caught on a branch and you flipped around, and then landed in a snow drift.”
“That’s your interpretation,” said Trugmorik.
With that he turned his back on his Petpet and focused once more on his goal. He was so close now. The boots were hovering just a few feet away. If he could get just a little farther he could reach them.
“I’m going to get Elfwick,” Daisychain said, breaking Trugmorik’s concentration yet again. “She’ll be able to get you down.”
“You do what you feel you need to do,” Trugmorik said dismissively, “I need to get those boots.”
Daisychain glared at Trugmorik again. When she didn’t get a reaction she sighed, shook her head and shot off in the direction of the bookshop where Elfwick was shopping for comic books for Trugmorik. Elfwick would sort things out.
Finally, Trugmorik was alone and able to focus on the task at hand. He was so tired and his arms and legs were aching so badly. He had to press on, however. How could he call himself a superhero if he couldn’t even climb a tree?
With a last grunt of effort he drew himself onto the branch the Lenny Boots were hovering over. Trugmorik held onto the Money Tree’s trunk for balance and support. He reached as far out as he could. He was so close. His paw was mere inches from the boots. He could already taste victory.
And then they were gone. Some eleven-year-old owner had snatched them out of the tree for their Baby painted Acara. He had been so close. He imagined he could still feel the breeze from those tiny fluttering wings. He felt like an absolute failure.
With a heavy sigh he leaned back against a small branch. He heard a snap. He was in the air now. What a wonderful feeling. He felt elated. This was the feeling he had always dreamed about. He was flying through the air. What a glorious moment!
“Trugmorik, no!” The scream from Elfwick brought Trugmorik out of his happy state.
He opened his eyes only to see the ground coming towards him very fast. He clawed the air trying to find something to hold on to. He closed his eyes again and braced himself.
He landed with a plop into Elfwick’s arms. She hugged him close whispering words of worry and comfort. Trugmorik couldn’t hold it in any longer.
With a great sob he let his tears flow.
“I couldn’t do it,” he cried, “I couldn’t get the boots.”
“What boots?” Elfwick asked.
“The flying boots, I couldn’t get them,” Trugmorik sobbed against Elfwick’s shoulder, soaking her shirt in his tears.
“You mean these boots?” Elfwick held up a brand new pair of Light Footed Lenny Boots.
Trugmorik stared at the boots in awe. Slowly a smile spread across his face. He grabbed the boots, hugged them tight, and skipped triumphantly around on the grass.
“I’ve been saving up for those boots for a while,” Elfwick said, “Don’t you go losing them or anything. And I’d better not ever see you climbing the Money Tree again. If I do, it’s no more comic books, got it?”
Trugmorik nodded, saying, “Thank you so much Elfwick. I’m sorry for scaring you like that.”
Elfwick smiled, “I accept your apology, Trugmorik. You know, if there’s anything you ever want, you could try asking for them. I usually can’t say no to you.”
Trugmorik smiled, “Okay, from now on I’ll ask.”
“Good,” Elfwick said, satisfied, “You really are a silly Xweetok, you know.”
Trugmorik smiled, laughed, and began pulling on his boots, excited to feel that exhilaration again.