A pirate Eyrie flew through the sparse clouds, enjoying the patches of warm sun in between them immensely. He almost frowned when he realized that he had reached his destination, but was too happy flying. His beak just couldn’t frown.
He landed neatly on a strip of grass in front of a large neohome. His home.
A speckled face appeared in the door. “VINNY!” it shrieked.
“Vinny, you look great! A pirate zap on your first try, you are so lucky!” The speckled Acara ran outside and threw her arms around her big brother in a tight hug.
“Ooof! Hello to you too, Megan!” Vinny gasped around his little sister’s tight hug. He looked down at Megan, a speckled Acara. She was second youngest in their family, and held a special bond with all of them.
“Vinny? Is that you?” A disbelieving face materialized next to him. Jay looked up at him, smiling his white Xweetok smile. “A pirate zap!” Jay was the youngest in Vinny’s family, a male white Xweetok. He may have been the youngest, but he seemed to have knowledge past his years.
“Yeah, a pirate zap!” Vinny said, grinning. Megan finally released him and jumped onto his back. “Wow! You need to lose some weight, Megan!” Vinny wheezed.
“Wow! Lucky zap, Vinny. Pirate is so popular right now.” Vinny’s eldest sister, though still younger than him, Jade, spoke up as she trotted over. Jade was a popular island Uni. At neoschool, she always had all the gossip.
Turning to the last member of his family, Vinny grinned. “Pirate, Lindsey!”
Lindsey was their owner. She had long, crinkled brown hair and blue eyes. “Do you want to stay pirate?” she asked, coming to stand next to him on the grass square that was their garden.
“I think I’ll go back to the lab a couple more times, to see if I can get my stats up. I doubt it will change my appearance again, after a zap like this,” Vinny said.
The next morning, Vinny awoke to a shock. Hadn’t he been a red Kougra last night?
Then he remembered. His lucky zap at the lab ray. He had gone from being a red Kougra to a pirate Eyrie in just a day.
Vinny stood, stretching his wings. He couldn’t wait to fly again. To sail up to the clouds.
It had always been his dream to fly. Now, he could do it!
Grinning, he trotted out to the dining room, where Lindsey was reading the latest issue of the Neopian Times. She sat perched in her favorite chair, a mug of vanilla borovan beside her on the table.
Slipping into his chair, Vinny grabbed a piece of faerie toast from the steaming plate that lay in the center of their dining room table. “Mmm!” he said, taking a bite.
“Morning, Vinny,” Lindsey said, looking at Vinny over the Times. She looked wide awake and probably had been since 5:30 in the morning. Lindsey was always a morning person.
Drowsily, Megan appeared at the hall door, rubbing her eyes and stumbling over to fall limp into her chair. She yawned.
“And good morning to you, too, Megan.” Lindsey said, smiling and sipping her borovan. Megan scowled at her through heavy eyes.
Megan had never been a morning person.
Grinning, Vinny took a piece of toast and flung it at Megan. “Good mor-ning, Megan!” It landed on her nose, creating a splat of butter between her eyes. She scowled even deeper as Vinny and Lindsey burst out laughing. But soon she was laughing too, her laugh like the beautiful ringing of bells.
“Hey, what’s all the - oh,” Jay said, appearing in the doorway. Seeing Megan with a piece of toast on her nose and Vinny, Lindsey, and Megan laughing so hard their stomachs ached, he smiled and shook his head.
Taking a seat, Jay wordlessly took a piece of toast from the diminishing pile and took a bite. Smiling, he swallowed and asked, “Who threw the toast?”
Lindsey’s laughs faded. Smiling, she pointed to Vinny, who was grinning. He shrugged innocently. “She looked hungry.”
“Not that hungry!”
“Well, how was I supposed to know you wanted to take your own piece of toast and eat it without butter on your fur?”
“Everyone should know that!” Megan giggled, her eyes shining. She stuffed the piece of toast into her mouth and looked at Jay. “Ge em, Ay!” she cried through a mouthful of toast.
Jay giggled. Secretly, he slipped his half-eaten toast under the table and tossed it onto Vinny’s lap.
“What wa - eeww! Jay!” Vinny cried, smiling. He took the half eaten toast and threw it at the currently-reading-the-Times Lindsey.
It sailed through the air, over shooting Lindsey. At the same time, a grouchy, familiar island face materialized at the hallway door. Opening her mouth, Jade prepared to ask what all this loud ruckus was about when a piece of toast landed in her mouth.
“Wh-ump guh!” she cried. Everyone was shocked to silence for a second, until Jay started laughing so hard tears streamed down his face.
One by one, everyone joined in.
Vinny opened his wings and flapped them hard. He rose slowly into the air, waiting for a headwind. Finally, he caught one and his pirate Eyrie self went spiraling up, two small figures on his back.
“Jay, Megan? Hold on tight,” Vinny said, grinning wickedly.
“Okay!” Jay and Megan chimed, holding on even tighter to their brother’s feathers. Vinny caught a thermal and rose up quickly. Positioning himself for a dive, he flapped his wings hard, brought down by the extra weight of Jay and Megan.
But he successfully dived. Not steep, just enough to get him moving downward and still going forward to the laboratory.
Jay and Megan both started yelling, Megan high-pitched and loud. She screamed and screamed and screamed until they pulled out of the dive. Jay, however, just screamed for a second, before he slightly got used to the dive.
Vinny swooped down low over Mystery Island. Spotting the laboratory ahead, he said to them, “Well? Did you like the ride?”
Jay grinned. “Yeah! Can we do it again on the way back?”
Megan groaned. “Noo-oo-ooo-ooooo....” she mumbled. Vinny just smiled and sailed into the laboratory. “We’re here,” he said.
Jay slid off Vinny’s back, neatly landing on the cold, metal floor. Megan fell off with a groan. “I’m walking home,” she said, picking herself up and dusting off her speckled Acara fur. “I think I got airsick.”
“Sorry, sis,” Vinny said sympathetically, ruffling the fur on his sister’s head. Padding over to the line, he realized there was only one person in front of him. A faerie Bruce.
Jay stood next to him. “Are you scared?” he whispered. Megan trotted over to stand at Vinny’s other side.
“Nah. Why should I be?” Vinny said, confident he wouldn’t regret this trip. How wrong he was about to be proved to be.
The faerie Bruce disappeared through the door, and Vinny stepped forward. His eyes shone and tail flicked. Megan, over her air-sickness, was grinning.
Jay, however, had lost his happiness. His face was cast in shadow and his eyes dark. Even his white Xweetok fur looked different. He looked like he knew something Vinny and Megan did not....
“Vinny.” Jay’s voice was clear and unwavering. Jay narrowed his eyes down at his little brother, sensing something was wrong. “What is it?”
“Don’t go into the laboratory after the faerie Bruce. Do not get zapped,” Jay said, his face dark and solemn. Megan’s face was a picture of puzzlement. Vinny stood, looking puzzled and undecided. What was that all about?
But then the faerie Bruce came out. Though now she was not a faerie Bruce. She was bigger, oozier, and disgusting.
She was a mutant Bruce.
Vinny tried to hide his horror as she stumbled past him. Megan could not help herself. She drew back from the horrible being. Jay, however, just stood in the same spot. He lifted his head to a crack in the roof. Sunlight streamed down, hitting his face and warming his fur.
Vinny hoped with his heart he wouldn’t be turned into a mutant. He... he just couldn’t be. The evil scientist ushered him in. Megan cried, “Good luck...” and Jay had a pained look on his face. But then the door closed, and their faces disappeared from Vinny’s view.
He gulped. “Jay, I really, really hope you’re wrong,” he whispered as the scientist led him into the chair.
Vinny’s paws were locked into place on the chair. The scientist got to his platform, snapped on his goggles and cackled. “You may feel a slight tickle....” he said ominously.
Feeling a bolt of pure fear, Vinny began to struggle against the locks that held his paws into place. Jay’s words echoed in his head.
‘Do not get zapped....’
But it was too late. The Scorchio scientist flicked a switch and the ray gun that had been pointing at Vinny fired.
A bright light filled Vinny’s vision. He groaned and cursed himself for not listening to Jay. He could be anything now! Then the bright light receded, and Vinny felt the shackles that held him to his fate fall away. Keeping his eyes closed, he raced blindly for the door. Luckily he reached it, and burst outside.
His eyes snapped open. He didn’t feel any different....
“Megan? Jay? Do... do I look different?” Vinny asked, looking over at Megan and Jay.
Megan was staring at the door, eyes narrowed. Jay’s face was pained. “No,” he whispered. “He never should have gone through that door.”
Jay was staring right at him. But... no, he wasn’t looking at him. He was looking through him. It was like Jay couldn’t see him.
Feeling a terrible wave of fear, Vinny lowered his gaze to the floor. Nothing was there. No speck of dirt, not paw print, hooveprint, no... him. Vinny had no paws, no legs, no tail, no nothing!
Looking up wildly, he said, “Megan? Jay? Can you see me?” His voice shook and tears were brimming in the corner of his Eyrie eyes.
Megan looked around, confused. “Did you hear something?” she asked Jay. Jay nodded. “It sounded like Vinny. I expected him to be done zapping by now. Maybe it’s him in the next room.”
“No! I’m right here!” Vinny shouted. Megan jumped, and Jay lowered his head, horror and realization like a slap on his face.
Megan looked around, scared. “Where is he? J-jay?”
Jay looked at Megan. His face was pained, shocked, horrified, scared, and sickened. Too much for any respectable neopet to cope with. “It’s no use wondering where he is, Megan. He’s invisible.” Jay’s voice was clear, but not calm. “I tried to warn him. He should have listened.”
Tears stung Vinny’s, Jay’s and Megan’s eyes. “You’re right, Jay. I should have listened to you.” Tears openly coursed down Vinny’s face. But no one could see him cry anyway. He had invisible tears.
Vinny knew he couldn’t go back home. Not now. “Jay; Megan. I just have one thing to say: I’m s-sorry. And goodbye.”
With that, he took wing and flew with wings he’d always dreamed of. Wings that were tainted with tears. But not just tears. Invisible tears.
As he took flight, Vinny heard a single sound: Megan sobbing. Jay, however, was silent. Silent and mourning.
The invisible Eyrie flew away, not looking back nor forward. Vinny’s eyes were blind to all around him. Didn’t matter. He was crying anyway. Crying invisible tears.
A lone green Cybunny wandered around Mystery Island, hungry and bored. Suddenly, a drop of water fell on her head. Looking up, she expected to see storm clouds, to see it had started raining. But no, the sun shone as bright as ever. There was nothing in the sky, not even a cloud.
Puzzled, the Cybunny went on her way, skipping stones in the surf and climbing trees for fun. But if she had taken closer look at the drop of water brushed off with her paw, she would have realized:
She couldn’t see it.
Yay, I'm in the NT again! =D Globalgirl89 and Leapordstar rock!