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When Snorkles Fly


by charmedhorses

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Are you familiar with the expression, “When snorkles fly?” Well, our story begins on the fateful day that one very special snorkle did not fly...

     ***

“And there you have it!” the rainbow faerie announced, throwing her hands up in the air to proudly reveal her latest paint job – a faerie snorkle.

     A red Cybunny named Kiohno stood beside the faerie, brushing a spot of paint from his ear. The faerie, in her excitement, did not have the best aim and he had been wiping little patches of pink paint from his fur for the last half hour.

     “Why aren’t you saying anything?” the snorkle, who was not used to being the object of so much attention, asked his Cybunny nervously. “Do I look okay?”

     “You look amazing,” the faerie said and shot Kiohno a dagger look.

     “I’m digging the wings,” the Cybunny finally said. “Do they work?”

     A strange look crossed the faerie’s face and she said hurriedly, “Here, before you try flying, why don’t you take a look at yourself in this mirror.” And with no more than a snap of her fingers, a glimmering mirror appeared in front of him.

     Now, Mork did look a little... different. Thus, his Neopet’s hesitation to say anything. The poor little snorkle, who had been saving his allowance for weeks, looked like he had gone to Mystery Island and come back with the worst sunburn of his life. His new wings looked wilted like day old lettuce, and hung at an awkward angle, almost as if they had been clipped on. He stood at the mirror, slightly dejected, but reminded himself – at least he even had wings! So Mork stuck his chest out grandly and turned to the faerie. “How do I fly?”

     Kiohno, who could tell how disappointed his petpet was from the way Mork’s corkscrew tail hung limp behind him, played along. “Yeah, let’s see those things in action!”

     The faerie looked a bit uncomfortable. “Just concentrate real hard and it’ll come to you.”

     Mork bit his lip in concentration and pictured himself flying. After a few seconds, his wings began to beat—slowly at first, but gradually getting faster and faster. He kept concentrating but his hooves never left the ground. Finally, Mork opened his eyes and looked at the rainbow faerie in confusion. “Why don’t my wings work?”

     Mork had dreamt of flying since the day Kiohno brought his home from the petpet shop. A Pteri had flown overhead and Mork, looking up in awe, asked, “How does he do that?”

     “It’s simple. He has wings,” Kiohno had said.

     And just like that, Mork was obsessed with finding wings. Kiohno told him the only way he could ever get them was a faerie petpet paint brush. Kiohno didn’t have enough Neopoints to buy one so he told Mork that he’d have to save his allowance for months – maybe even years – if he really wanted wings. And Mork did. He’d played games every day and saved every Neopoint... all in anticipation of this moment. So you understand Mork’s disappointment when he found out the wings didn’t work.

     “I’m afraid they don’t work because you’re too... I mean the wings can only... Well, you see...” the faerie was trying to choose her words ever so delicately.

     “He’s too what?” Kiohno insisted.

     “Well, heavy,” the faerie admitted. “The wings, you see, the wings are so little, they can’t carry so much weight.”

     “So much weight?” Mork looked affronted. Okay, maybe he was a few pounds overweight... but he was a snorkle. He was born with a healthy appetite. That was nothing to be ashamed of.

     “Did you know that his wings wouldn’t work when you agreed to paint him?” Kiohno demanded.

     Now the faerie got very uncomfortable indeed. “Well, it’s highly unusual for a faerie snorkle to be able to use his wings... it’s not impossible... just hard,” she said. “You never know... I thought maybe his would work. I didn’t have the heart...”

     “You didn’t have the heart to stop him? Do you know how many Neopoints he spent on that petpet paint brush?” Kiohno exclaimed.

     Mork hung his head. He’d saved jar after jar of Neopoints for this moment and now that it was here... well, now that it was here, he was imagining all the other things he could have done with that money.

     “Look, it’s not like it’s my fault he’s too fat to fly,” the faerie snapped defensively, her sensitivity gone. “Why don’t you try losing a few pounds!” And with that she flew off.

     “Well...” Kiohno said, turning back to Mork. “We could always paint you back to normal and pretend like this never happened.”

     “No,” Mork said. “I have wings now and I’m going to use them. I’ll go to the Academy with you. I’ll exercise, I’ll eat better. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

     Kiohno smiled at his petpet’s stubbornness.

     “Come on, I’ll race you home!” Mork said.

     ***

     Now, snorkles are meant to be a little on the chubby side. That is simply how nature intended. So Mork found himself facing quite the challenge. Progress was slow. He cut down his meals to the point that Kiohno practically had to force food down his throat.

     “An apple is not going to kill you, Mork. I swear.”

     “No snacking between meals.”

     “But haven’t you heard that it’s better to eat more smaller meals than fewer big meals?”

     “No snacking between meals,” Mork maintained.

     And in the time that he wasn’t eating, he took to exercising. He started with one run a day. And when that didn’t work, he moved on to two runs a day. And when that still didn’t work, he took to three runs a day. Even Kiohno couldn’t keep up.

     At the end of every week, Mork would go out to the backyard and try his wings. Each time, Kiohno watched with crossed paws, hoping that this would be the time Mork flew. But week after week, he stayed grounded.

     Finally, the frustration wearing at his spirits, Mork declared: “One more month. I’ll spend one more month training if that doesn’t work, I’ll give up.”

     Desperate to make every last ditch effort he could, Mork tracked down the rainbow faerie who had painted him in the first place and convinced her to give him the name of a snorkle who could fly.

     “It’s against faerie policy,” she said smartly at first. “Besides, if you haven’t figured out how to do it by now, it’s not worth the effort. You never will.”

     Mork squealed in anger. He wanted to blame this all on her but he recognized that it wasn’t really her fault. “Please,” he said. “I just want to fly. I haven’t thought about anything else since you painted me. Maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s not worth the effort. But I won’t give—I can’t give up—until I know it’s really impossible.”

     The faerie shrugged. “Well, I can’t give you an address. But if you go to Illusen’s Diner you might find someone who can help.”

     “Thank you,” Mork exclaimed. “I’ll go there tomorrow!”

     ***

     Apparently Illusen’s Diner was where all the winged Neopets liked to hang out. Looking around him, Mork only saw one pet (or petpet for that matter) that wasn’t painted faerie—a green Kougra that stood out like a sore paw. But Mork had a feeling that he was just saving up his Neopoints for a faerie paint brush.

     The diner was quaint and cozy and a pretty faerie Uni wandered over to take his order. “Can I get you something?” she asked.

     “Maybe just a side of fries...” Fries weren’t part of Mork’s new diet and he already felt guilty for giving into the overwhelming smell of greasy goodness.

     As Mork watched the waitress deliver his order to the kitchen, he couldn’t help but think that the premise of a faerie Uni was awfully redundant. What was the point when Unis already had wings?

     Mork spent the afternoon munching on fries and watching the door. He rationed himself to one fry every half hour.

     “Can I get you anything else?” the waitress asked, three hours later, when he finally finished.

     “Well, I hate to ask...” Mork said. “But have you seen a faerie snorkle in here?”

     The waitress gave him a funny look.

     “I mean, other than me?” Mork clarified. “Have you seen a snorkle who can... who can actually fly? My wings don’t exactly work...”

     “Mmm, I see. Yeah, I know the snorkle you’re talking about. He should be here any minute. Usually comes around five o’clock for a drink with his Neopet. They call him Flutter.”

     Mork’s eyes sparkled with excitement. It was only ten to five. “Thank you! Then I’ll have a Neocola while I wait.”

     By 5:03, Mork was practically bouncing up and down in his seat with impatience. What if Flutter didn’t come? But at 5:05, the bell rang and Mork looked up to see a faerie snorkle fly – that’s right, fly—through the door. Mork scrambled from his seat and ran to meet him.

     “Mr. Flutter, may I buy you a Neocola?” he asked.

     “Who are you?” Flutter’s Neopet, a Faerie Lupe, asked.

     “Oh, I’m so sorry,” Mork exclaimed, still speaking to Flutter. “My name’s Mork and I’m trying to learn how to fly. I know this is really forward of me but I’d love just five minutes of your time.”

     Flutter looked to his Lupe for permission. The Lupe nodded.

     “Okay, five minutes,” the snorkle said. “I guess I can spare five minutes.”

     “Thank you so much! Thank you so so much!” Mork exclaimed. “Here, I have a booth, let me buy you a drink.”

     “I see you found him,” the Uni waitress said with a grin when they sat down at Mork's table. “You want your usual, Flutter?”

     The snorkle nodded. Then turning back to Mork, “So what can I do for you... Mork?”

     “I’m trying to fly!” Mork exclaimed. “I heard you’re one of the few faerie snorkles who can actually use your wings.”

     Flutter looked a mixture of embarrassment and pride. “Yes, I suppose I am.”

     “How did you do it?” Mork asked. “I’ve been dieting for weeks—”

     “Oh, dieting doesn’t work,” Flutter interrupted. “It’s all about exercise.”

     “But I’ve been exercising every day, too,” said Mork. “I run three times a day!”

     Flutter made a face. “I hate running. I could never do that.”

     “Then how did you do it?” Mork asked.

     “It’s simple,” Flutter said. “Wing exercises!”

     “Wing exercises?”

     Flutter nodded. “Here, I’ll tell you exactly what to do and you’ll be flying in no time.”

     “Really?”

     “Sure.” Flutter grabbed a napkin from the table, borrowed a pen from the waitress, and began scribbling down instructions. “The first thing you’ll want to do is ten reps of wing exercises three times a day... They’re very simple. All you have to do is lift one wing and then the next...”

     ***

     One month and hours of wing exercises later, Mork and Kiohno stood in their backyard, preparing for the moment of truth. Mork hadn’t even attempted to fly since he talked to Flutter. Flutter had warned him that it would take a while for the muscles to grow and that it would probably be best for his ego to avoid those disappointing moments of failure.

     “Either way, I’m proud of you, Mork,” Kiohno said. “Flying isn’t everything, you know.”

     “But it’s everything to me,” Mork replied.

     Kiohno sighed. “I just don’t want you to be disappointed if this doesn’t work.”

     “It’s going to work,” Mork declared. “I can feel it in my wings.”

     “Well, go on and try it then,” Kiohno said. “Stop all this blabbering and let’s see you fly!”

     Mork nodded. He bit his lip and concentrated, beating his wings together slowly at first and then faster and faster. He stood on the tips of his hooves and waited for that feeling of lightness that he was sure would come with flying.

     But nothing happened.

     He ran across the yard, trying to build up speed for lift-off. But still nothing happened. His eyes brimmed with tears. He couldn’t look at Kiohno; the disappointment was too much. Then, to add insult to injury, he felt a sharp sting on his rump. A buzzer had stung him!

     Mork whipped around, boiling with rage. He could hear the buzzer laughing as it flew off.

     “How dare you?!” Mork exclaimed. “Just because I can’t fly after you doesn’t mean you can pick on me like that!”

     And then a funny thing happened. The ground began to fall from under his hooves. Very slowly, he felt himself lifting from the ground.

     “What?” he said softly. “What’s—?”

     “Mork, I think you’re flying!” Kiohno called from the ground.

     “I am! I am!” Mork yelled. Then, remembering the buzzer, he yelled, “Why you little—see, you can’t get away from me! I can fly, too!” And with that, he soared into the sky, racing after the buzzer. He didn’t catch him, but from that day on, Mork had full use of his wings.

     So you see, it turns out that with a little hard work and dedication, snorkles really can fly!

The End

 
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