Leaving the Cocolos
Lhexelle was a Mystery Island Bori who lived on Mystery Island. He had grown rather accustomed to the island life; you know, the one where you wake up, eat, do whatever you like to do, and go to bed whenever you like to go to bed. Sure, there were no big dreams to be had: no ambitions, hardly anywhere on the island, to own a skyscraper, or become famous. Why have such complicated ambitions when you can simply enjoy fresh fruit and the company of friends?
What Lex liked to do, aside from eating said fruit, was play in his band, the Cocolos. Phalease the Island Quiggle played guitar, Prupleful the Island Kougra sang, and ChubbyJubby213 (they called her Jubby) the Coconut JubJub shook the maracas with the best of them. Their blend of music was an eclectic but delightful sound, and the percussion provided by Lex's expertise on the drums provided the heartbeat of their island-reknowned sound.
He played the drums well. He liked it, sure, but his specialty was a skill unbeknownst to even the diehardest of fans. He wrote the lyrics for every Cocolos song. He was especially proud of his latest piece, "Juppie Clouds," and actually wanted to sing it. That would mean Prupleful would have to play the drums instead of sing, so Lex decided to talk to the Kougra backstage. They were about to perform the song, so he had to be quick.
They were rehearsing backstage on a stage in the Island Market. "Hey, Prup!" Lex called to his friend.
"What's up, Lex, my man?" Prupleful replied.
"I was wondering... well, you didn't seem -especially- crazy about the new single I wrote, and.. well, I really like it," Lex began to explain.
"Oh, Lex, of course you can, dude!" the Kougra replied, as if he had expected Lhexelle's request. "You've been talking about nothin' but that song all week, man! I'd love to have you sing it. We're up, dude, take the mic!"
Lex felt the adrenaline of going onstage. He'd felt it dozens of times before, but this time it was different. Not just the surge of excitement, but also one of self-expression. He would, for the first time, be personally expressing his dreams, visions, ideas, and raw creativity to the world. On stage, Prupleful began to create an awesome beat on the drums, and Jubby shook her maracas cutely (that's what she was best at). Phalease's guitar riffs were out of this world. Lex sang the song with so much energy that the audience roared with applause. It seemed he was singing the song's last lines after just an instant:
"But you tell me those lies! / And now I can't fly / Can't taste the juppies in the skyyyyyyyy
"You broke my wings more! / And now I can't soar / Can't taste those juppies.... anymooooooore....."
Applause exploded, and Lhexelle felt proud. The band members looked at each other, smiled, bowed, and went to their autograph signing booths. Lex dipped his claw into ink and signed CDs, papers and torsos with a stamp, since his claws couldn't properly grip a pen. He was then approached by a shady-looking Island Hissi -- you know, the kind that doesn't even look a bit like a fan? The Hissi was cloaked in a dark hood.
"Too bad you can't fly anymore..." the Hissi hissed at Lex. Lex had intended the song to be symbolic. Flying was a metaphor for being free, and someone in the song had taken it away from the singer. This Hissi didn't get that it wasn't actually about flying.
"Wait, man, I don't think you get it. I could never actually fly," Lhexelle explained.
"That'ssss a shame..." the Hissi continued. "If you ever decccccide you want to, meet me behind the Shop Wizard'sssss hut." With that, the Hissi launched into the air, cloak billowing, did a few swirls in front of the sun, and whirled away into the distance, tracing loops with his long tail as he went. Lhexelle was amazed at the Hissi's aerial prowess, and really, was quite jealous. He stood up and ran towards the Shop Wizard's hut without hesitating.
He arrived at the hut and looked around, but saw no Hissi -- then, a scaly wing beckoned him from the darkness of a nearby hut. He rushed inside.
"Ssssso, you wish to ssssee the ssssky?" the Hissi inquired. Between the Bori and the Hissi was an oval pool swirling with milky colors.
Flying was simply a metaphor in his song, but the thought of actually flying was too cool to Lhexelle. It's the theme of so much music and art for a reason. Now he might actually be able to experience it! "Yes!" he stammered in his excitement.
"The ssssservice I provide requires you to give up your drumming sssskills," the Hissi continued.
"Yes, yes!" Lex realized the Hissi had a motive, but also knew that he liked singing SO much more anyway! He wouldn't need to drum if he could sing, especially if he could fly!
"Do we have a deal?" came the raspy request. Lhexelle nodded eagerly, and the Hissi began to chant. The milky liquid in the pool started bubbling, boiling, frothing, and then streams flew up, swirling around under the roof of the hut. They whirled faster, becoming a pastel vortex, and advancing towards Lhexelle. They encircled him, spun countless circles around him in a dizzying display of soft hues. They flooded his vision, and he felt relaxed...
When he next opened his eyes, he looked at his claws. His fur was no longer that tell-tale island gold, but light blue. Blue! Islanders never were blue. Would his friends know him as the same person? Even his island bracelets were gone.
"Enjoy your flight," the Hissi encouraged. Lex left the hut. He looked at his back to see his wings. Blue. Glittery. Sort of girly, really, but.. whatever. He jumped, and.. up he flew! As he flew back to the concert site, he thought he could hear the Hissi enjoying his new drum mastery on a set of bongos. He chuckled. He took his time, flying around for a good half-hour, enjoying the exhilirating feeling of the wind blowing past his ears.
When he returned, the guys were behind stage, packing equipment back together. "Autographs are over," Phalease told him without looking up.
"Phal, it's me, Lex."
The Quiggle looked shocked. "What happened to you, dude! Fall into a bucket of Cooties?" Phalease then burst out laughing.
Prupleful actually looked really concerned. "Really, what happened, man?" Lhexelle took a moment to explain the bizarre encounter and the trade he had made.
"Whoa, your singing voice is great, don't get me wrong, dude," Prupleful told him. "But... wow, this really isn't the right look, you know? To be a singer, you gotta.. have the right look. Like, you sorta look like a girl, you know?" He paused. "We are island rock stars! Not... some faerie band!"
"You look more like a girl than me!" Jubby chimed in. She was the band's female member; of all the nerve!
Lhexelle, understandably upset, left, flew away, and decided not to contact the ones who had hurt him so. He didn't need them. He wasn't a girl, either. A few weeks passed, during which he grew a goatee and worked out regularly. The heavy weights had given him one built Bori bod, and his newly-bought sunglasses helped him look more masculine. In fact, he was the most masculine pet he had seen on the island, despite being bright blue.
He never missed the drums; he was much too busy writing music again. For a while, words wouldn't formulate properly: his emotions gushed too much and there was no room for symbolism. Most of all, he kept thinking about his old friends. Now, though, words flowed onto his paper as naturally as thought, and many poetic songs were written. Although, he wasn't sure whether his heart would ever fully heal...
There was a knock at the door just as Lex was trimming his goatee. Lex went to the door, opened it, and saw his old band
"We miss you, man," Prupleful confessed. He had his tail between his legs. Lhexelle had already given rejoining the band some serious thought, just in case they came back like this.
"Guys, I can't go back. I... I'm not like you anymore. My songs are a part of me, and.. I just don't fit the shoe anymore, y'know?"
"Don't worry, man!" Phalease told him. "You can stay here and do your thing. We're sorry, and wanted to apologize. We still respect you, and.. we were just playing around before, man. We're really sorry."
"And you're still totally, like, a dude," Jubby contributed. "Like, masculinity isn't a look, y'know? It's a state of mind!"
Lhexelle had seen the sky, but no heavenly glories could equate to a true heartfelt apology. He felt loved by his best friends again. They made up, and while the Cocolos went their own seperate ways, Lhexelle's musical creativity reached new heights. Today he still writes music, very happily, and... well, he still works out.