There was once a Neopian family with all flying Neopets in it. Even the owner was known to float a bit from time to time. Therefore, the family was known as the Flys.
Sky, the earth-loving owner, was a twenty-five-year-old woman who was very rich. Her NP didn't just collect dust in the bank, though. She bought paintbrushes for her pets so they could fly.
The first pet Sky got was Wave. Sky created Wave when she was eight, and still has her to this day.
Wave was a seventeen-year-old ghost Techo with a never-ending love for adventure. She hated girly things, loved cheese, and couldn't resist gliding above the treetops as a ghost can. So, she flew to school and back, between her home in Mystery Island and Grundo's, from Tina's to the pound, every day.
Tea, a twelve-year-old Darigan Usul, came next. She was a true goth, and she got straight A's in every subject in school. Flying was hard for her with such small wings, but she had learned to bear it. It was pure pleasure.
Cloud, a two-year-old baby Uni, was the last to be created. Although very young and immature, she could fly like it was nobody's business. Wave and Tea always took care of Cloud, and never made her mad.
Like the others, Cloud loved to fly. She loved it more than cherry pie, more than Meridell... more than anything.
Two years after creating Cloud, Sky thought she was done. No more pets.
That is, until that fateful day at the pound, the day she met Kinkee.
There sat Kinkee, a fifteen-year-old yellow Zafara, in that tiny cage at the pound. However, Kinkee wasn't like other Zafaras.
Kinkee had wings.
Immediately, Sky slammed 348 Neopoints onto the desk where the pink Uni sat and grabbed Kinkee.
When Sky got home, Wave, Tea, and Cloud instinctively looked at their owner to see what weird stuff they were eating for dinner. What they saw instead was Kinkee, the winged Zafara.
"Hi, girls," said Sky, fighting the urge to squeal in delight. "This is your new sister, Kinkee. No, we're not gonna eat her, and, no, you can't use her for archery practice, Wave. Don’t you remember the Meepit?
"Anyway, I want you all to be extra-nice to your sister. She's a bit shy, and even though you aren't used to winged Zafaras that aren't Faerie, Christmas, or Darigan, treat her like you would treat anyone else."
Wave looked around. Tea coughed. Cloud blinked. Sky scowled at all of them.
About a month after Kinkee's adoption, Wave, Tea, and Cloud started treating her like someone who had always been in their family.
Yep, everything was perfect for Kinkee until school started.
Wave grabbed her books, her summer book report, and her Defenders of Neopia backpack. Tea put all her new school supplies in her brand-new Jazzmosis bag. Cloud just laughed because she was too young to go to school.
Sky gave Kinkee a new Kreludor backpack, some notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, and all that other stuff. All of a sudden, Kinkee started to cry.
Sky was startled. "What's the matter, Kinkee?" she asked.
Still bawling, Kinkee replied with a sniffle, "I've never gone to school before. I... I'm scared."
Sky made a concerned face. "Hey, it'll be okay," she said. "You can do this. Don't worry."
"No," Kinkee said, wiping tears. "I can't write or read or draw, and I don't know math or anything. I'll get bad grades, and people will think I'm too stupid."
Sky frowned. "No."
"Yes, because I am!" Kinkee sobbed.
"You're not," Sky said softly.
"No. No, you are not stupid. Are we clear on that one?" Sky said sternly.
"Y... yes," Kinkee stuttered.
Tea, who had overheard the conversation, asked Kinkee why she had never gone to school.
"Because," Kinkee said flatly. "My old owner didn't care. She thought I was a freak, and never listened to me. She provided me with nothing, kicked me around, told me I was stupid. So, she never did get around to sending me to school... or naming me, for that matter."
Wave heard Kinkee's story, and, out of sympathy, burst into tears.
"Hey, it's okay," Sky said soothingly, hugging Kinkee. "Wave can teach you. I can teach you."
Cloud kissed Kinkee on the cheek, and with that, Sky took the girls to school.
When Kinkee walked into here classroom, everyone stared at her. Squinted eyes stared at her like piercing spears, cutting deep into Kinkee's self-esteem. Muffled whispers, mean giggles, blade sharp looks... it was all just too much for Kinkee.
"Good morning, class," said the sharp-looking teacher, who looked like she wanted the class to have a terrible morning. "I am your teacher, Miss Humphrey."
Kinkee raised her shaking hand. Miss Humphrey glared. "What?"
In the smallest of voices, Kinkee squeaked, "M-Miss? M-may I use the b-bathroom?"
Someone gasped. No one asked an eight-foot tall red Kau with bulging muscles to use the bathroom in the middle of class.
Miss Humphrey snorted. "You may wait until after class," she growled.
Kinkee's eyes bulged. "Not anymore," she thought.
The entire school day was just classes Kinkee didn't understand, hectic schedules, and very little time for relaxation. The teachers, the kids, the schedule... they were all horrible.
After class, a blue Gnorbu ran up to Kinkee, who was crying.
"Why're you crying?" asked the Gnorbu. Kinkee told her all about her inability to do anything school-related.
After she finished crying, the Gnorbu said, "That's terrible! I can be your tutor if you want! By the way, I'm Tina."
"I'm Kinkee," said Kinkee.
"So, um, wanna walk to your house?" Tina asked. "My owner lets me wander around, as long as I'm home by 5:00 and finish my homework."
Of course, Kinkee couldn't say no to an offer like that, and Tina and Kinkee talked and laughed all the way to Kinkee's house.
When they got there, Tina decided to neomail her owner so she could hang out at Kinkee's house. The answer was yes, as long as she came home by 6:00 and did her homework.
It was during the time Tina was over that Tina and Kinkee became best friends.
They joked, talked, told each other secrets (with one exception: no telling your friends what you wouldn't tell your family), did homework (Tina helped Kinkee out a lot), climbed the house, blew bubbles, ate candy, skateboarded, laughed, and sat down just to think.
Tina went home at 6:00, and, as it happens, she lived right next to Kinkee. Sky supervised and provided candy, thinking about how wonderful it was for Kinkee to finally have a friend.
The entire school year was just like that day: school happened, Tina and Kinkee walked home, one of them visited the other's house, they played around, did their homework, played more, then whoever didn't live there went home. Soon, they stayed for dinner, then they spent the night, then they stayed the night for two nights. They went to each other's birthday parties. They wrote an epic novel. They were friends forever, like friends should be. Tina, an adventurous girl who managed to get A’s, told Kinkee embarrassing stories and taught her how to write, read, and do arithmetic. Kinkee, shy and clever, told Tina funny little stories she made up on the spot and taught her how to fly (that didn’t quite work, but it was fun!).
You can imagine how fun summer was... or should’ve been.
On the last day of school, everyone sat at their desks, waiting for school to be over. Miss Humphrey, snorting, announced, “For your summer assignment, you are to write an essay about what you did over the summer...”
The class sighed.
“...in no less than 5,000 words.”
A few kids looked constantly at their watches, desperately wishing they were in kindergarten.
Soon, school was over, and people were streaming out of the school, yelling, and throwing crumbled-up notebook paper at each other.
Tina and Kinkee screamed all the way home. They hugged, and then entered Kinkee’s house.
Sky had an important announcement that had already been announced, and, since she was now at the toy store, an excited Wave told Kinkee instead.
“Kinkee,” Wave said, fighting back happy shrieks. “We’re going on vacation for two weeks to... to... EEEEEEE!”
“Ahem,” the seemingly calm and collected yet very excited Tea said. “To the Tyrannian Plateau, if you must know.” Then, she went to her room to smile, something no one ever saw her do.
“Pat toes! Pat toes!” Cloud screamed, laughing.
Tina’s eyes got as big as oranges. She turned to look at Kinkee, whose mouth was agape. Immediately, Tina dashed home to ask her owner if she could go, too.
The answer was yes, if Tina’s owner and her big brother, Kato the red Eyrie, could come.
Sky, Wave, Tea, Kinkee, and Cloud flew all the way to the Plateau. Tina rode on Kato’s back with her owner, and Cloud, who got tired occasionally, rode on Wave’s back sometimes.
When they got to the Plateau, Sky checked everyone into a hotel called Ugga Ooga Oy. It was top quality, for a prehistoric hotel, and it served good food.
Kinkee and Tina went out exploring, Tea went out shopping, Wave went out to fly, and Cloud went out like a light (for her nap, that is).
Kinkee flew all over the Plateau, carrying Tina all the time. They grabbed some omelette, played with cave-Neopets, paid a little visit to the Beast, and flew up over the entire Plateau for the scenic view.
Flying lower, Kinkee was having too much fun to see where she was headed. She ran head-on into the Plateau. Tina grabbed a branch that was sticking out of the Plateau, but Kinkee plummeted downward, towards the rocky ground below.
Kinkee felt air rushing about her face, her limbs... well, her entire body. She flapped her wings frantically, cried for help, ANYTHING—no good, she was falling too fast.
She braced herself for a very nasty landing.
All at once, everything went black.
When Kinkee woke up, she was in a big room full of stark white and shiny chrome. The smell of medicine filled the air, and Kinkee could hear the steady beep-beep-beep of a heart rate monitor.
The faces she saw belonged to a doctor, a nurse, Wave, Tea, Cloud, Tina, Sky, Kato, and Tina’s owner. All of them looked very concerned, and Sky was sobbing.
“I think you deserve to know what happened,” the doctor said solemnly. ”When you hit the ground, your arm broke, and... ahem... your wings...”
The nurse held up two battered, torn, and fulminated wings, then handed them to Sky. “I’m so sorry.” The nurse said softly.
With that, Sky crumpled to her knees and just wept. She was kneeling in a puddle comprised completely of her own tears.
Suddenly, a hazy purple light glowed in the center of the room. The light took the shape of a faerie. Then, it transformed from a light to Fyora.
“Greetings,” said Fyora in her smooth, gentle voice. “I see my Faerie Council member has lost her wings. This is very troubling.”
Kinkee grasped her shoulder, wincing. Wave, entirely out of concern, lifted Kinkee’s paw to see what was so painful. It was a glowing scar in the shape of a flame.
Wave was startled. She had seen the scar before, but she’d never seen it glow.
“Come to me, Kinkerris,” Fyora said to Kinkee. When Kinkee went to Fyora, she suddenly became a blinding orange light. The light changed shape and size. Then, the light disappeared. In its place was a tall fire faerie with amber eyes... and wings.
“Kinkerris. If you join the Faerie Council once again, you will regain your wings. If you do come with me, though, you cannot return here. What will you do?” asked Fyora.
Kinkerris bowed her head. A single teardrop streamed down her face and onto the floor. “I wish to come with you, Fyora,” she whispered.
With that, Fyora and Kinkerris lit up and vanished. Everyone cried, holding each other, screaming Kinkee’s name... it was a very sad moment indeed.
Back in Faerieland, a few days after Kinkerris rejoined the Faerie Council, Fyora was concerned for Kinkerris. She flew around, crying, and locked herself in her home for long periods of time. So, Fyora talked to Kinkerris.
“Something is troubling you, dear,” Fyora sympathetically stated. ‘What is it?”
Kinkerris sniffed. “Is there any way for me to be a faerie living in Neopia?”
Fyora laughed. “No, dear. Jhuidah, Taelia, the Soup Faerie, all the faeries in Neopia don’t live there. It isn’t allowed. However, you can roam freely about Neopia.”
That sounded good. “Yes! Can I do that?” Kinkerris asked, amber eyes alight.
Fyora hesitated. “Are you quite sure? If you did that, you would no longer be on the Faerie Council. You would just be a lowly quest faerie, and I went to all that trouble to put you on the Faerie Council and disguise you and bend the rules because you are my best friend. I don’t want my best friend to just push herself down like that,” Fyora warned.
“No, it’s fine,” Kinkerris insisted. “But if you don’t want it...”
Fyora sighed. “No. Do it. I WOULD want my best friend to be happy.”
With that, they hugged, and Kinkerris flew away. She would visit Tina, Sky, Wave, Tea, Cloud, Kato, and Tina’s owner. Then, she would give out a few quests and return with a story for Fyora and a smile on her face.
However, even though she lived in Faerieland, a part of her always stayed in Mystery Island, with her family and Tina and all her favorite places and the sky and the stars and the fun and the beach and everything she loved.
Nothing would ever change that.