The Plushtopia Chronicles – Lugia II
Author's Note: After the overwhelming feedback for my last Plush Lugia story, I couldn't just leave it at that. I had to do an encore of it! This may or may not turn out as well as the first one, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Enjoy!
In the strange and magical shop of Plushtopia, Karmen Aridos was in the middle of opening a letter from his boss. The envelope was lined with gold paint, telling him automatically that he had done something above and beyond the call of duty (Author's Note: Or "A and B the C of D." smirk) in one of his recent sales. He hadn't gotten one of these letters in decades, telling him that his boss was very pleased with his work. He carefully slit the letter open along the top. He wanted to save and date this letter for future admiration of his greatest accomplishments.
If the envelope wasn't the best thing he had ever seen, the sight of the letter itself made out of thick gold leaf made him absolutely giddy. He actually started laughing wheezy and he hadn't even gotten a chance to read the actual letter.
Finally, he got his emotions under control and started to read the letter, which had been printed with silver ink on thick, gold leaf.
"Dear Mr. Aridos,
It has come to my attention that you have recently sold one "Lugia Plush" to a distant carnival. The carnival, in turn, awarded the plush to one such "Alex Schaefer". You may or may not have known this, but I have been closely watching any and all of your customers and their purchases to see how they fare in the real world. And from my studies, I was witness to said Lugia Plush putting its life on the line to save its owner from his berserk father.
Although the plush did not survive, it showed great responsibility by protecting its owner and its mother and finally merging itself with them to give them new lives and powers that it had once owned. I have watched the newly-created plushies for some time and they have been as happy as I have ever seen them.
For creating a plush with such determination and responsibility for its owners, I send my congratulations along with a special upgraded spell book that has not yet been released to the public. You should receive it via Air Mail some time soon. Also, I am asking you a special favor. I ask that you recreate the same model but with special parameters that I have enclosed with this letter. Just call it a hunch from your superior to see if you can live up to your name. You have my permission to replicate this product and I hope to see the finished product sometime soon.
I anxiously await your answer, Mr. Aridos. You know where to contact me.
Aridos' boss never signed with his name. Instead, he always signed with a wax stamp with a broken star symbol cut into it.
Aridos felt that this was worth framing up. Not only had he gotten a new spell book out of this, but his boss wanted him to make another Lugia plushie – something he had never done before. He fished a second normal piece of paper out of the envelope and read over the specifications for the new plush. It seemed simple enough to make and he was in a creative mood. He would get to work on it right way.
While he was putting it together, he could only imagine the look on the next owner's face when he finally came in to buy it.
My name is Rye Amaldo and I am a Lugia fanatic. You were probably thinking that I was going to say "Pokémon fanatic", right? Wrong! I don't really care about the rest of the Pokemon out there. There is only one Pokemon that I really care about; and that is Lugia.
Lugia is, in my opinion, the very essence of what I pictured God to be... if he took the form of a great bird of destiny, that is. There is almost nothing to like about him. Everything from his silver-white skin to his incredible intelligence to his awesome powers. In my opinion, Lugia was perfect in almost every way. Why almost? Well... let's just say that his full size is a little... "big" for me to have in my apartment. At a staggering 17 feet high and weighing a crushing 476 pounds, Lugia isn't really the kind of creature you would have around the house. That's a crying shame, really. He and I probably would have been best friends in the end.
But I don't let that bother me. I have enough Lugia paraphernalia to allow his presence to be all around me. I have a Japanese soundtrack called "Revolution: Lugia", a number of posters with his figure on them, a 1/6 scale toy Lugia that I always kept on my night stand whenever I went to bed, a number of his trading cards, both real and fake (thank the Internet for those) and my prize possession – a jumbo Shadow Lugia trading card. True, it technically wasn't Lugia, but I didn't care if he was Shadow or not. To me, Lugia, Light or Shadow was Lugia. Period.
But even though I had a Lugia collection to rival most others, It still felt... incomplete. I felt like I was missing something that would make it nothing short of legendary. It was like there was something out there that I could not find to add to my collection that seemed to always evade me. I would browse the Internet for hours, trying to find that one item that always seemed right out of my reach. I didn't know what it was, but I felt that I would know it when I saw it.
I guess my story starts while I was looking through the local paper for nothing in particular one fine Friday afternoon. I didn't have anything to do and I was seeing if the paper would give me something to brighten up my already dull life.
I was about to flip the page when I noticed something. Flipping back, I saw a bright, full-color ad for someplace called "Plushtopia". I had heard of this place. In the past, it had had some troubling times. In all, it had been demolished and rebuilt a total of three times in three years.
The first time it went down, there were claims of a silver-white jet plowing into the roof of the building. And while nothing exploded, or burned up, it had had to be rebuilt because of property damages. The second time, it was said that it had burned down. It seemed like a normal arson case, but there was something about the mysterious black flames that had caught the attention of investigators. The case was never solved, but the place was rebuilt for a second time. The final destruction of the shop came when rumors of a bomb set by a mysterious bomber had destroyed a majority of the inside of the building. No evidence was found to support this theory, but for the third time, it was rebuilt and life went on.
But because of its troubled past, not very many people have gone to that shop since it opened over six months ago. I was never one to believe in superstition, but I wasn't quite sure what I would find at the shop. True, it said "Plushtopia", but something about it told me that there was more to what it was saying.
Even though it was supposed to be jinxed, I looked at the ad with interest. It was advertising a special sale on all "Pokémon Plushies". This was a shot in the dark, but I looked at it anyway. There weren't many pictures – all I saw was an Electrike, a Blaziken and a Suicune picture in the color ad – but under the words, "Also on Sale" was a list of other plushies that were on sale. I read ones like "Mightyena", "Mewtwo", "Jirachi", "Dragonite" and "Latias". Not exactly what I was looking for.
But then at the very bottom of the list were five little letters arranged in my favorite combination: L-U-G-I-A. Lugia! They were having a Lugia plush for sale! This was either a good thing or a bad thing. It was a bad thing because as far as I could tell, the manufacturers of Pokémon plushies could never quite get the heart and soul of the Pokémon to be as detailed as the plastic toy versions. It was a good thing, though, because a Lugia plush is normally in better shape than all of the other plush Pokémon, so this might be in my best interest to try out. And if the detail of these plushies in the advertisement were any indication of what to expect, I was to expect some pretty rare quality here. In these pictures, I could barely tell that they were plushies in the first place. The quality could only be better if they printed the "official" picture of the Pokémon in here. It was worth a try, so I went to grab my savings and headed out on my bike to check out this hunch.
The outside of Plushtopia was certainly colorful. It looked like a graffitied wall without all of the vulgar language. It looked kind of like a school project but with no particular theme other than to promote freedom of expression and color. There were no windows or other utilities on the outside of the building that I could see, giving it the look of a large colorful rectangular box. I thought of this as odd and prepared myself for it to be scorching inside the shop...
...but it wasn't. In fact, it was very cool and well air-conditioned as if it was just the perfect temperature to be ideal. There was plenty of color inside the shop as well. It looked like an artist's masterpiece with all of the different color designs and whatnot.
But I wasn't here for the color. I was here for the Lugia plush. I started making my way through the store, examining the merchandise.
The items on display were all sorted into what animal the represented. I saw a circular stand with a large, creamy-yellow-furred, bear-like creature with four feathery wings called a "Flammie". Various other colors and sizes were on the table and floor around it. It was cute, but not what I was looking for.
There was also a large, white-skinned dragon with large, feathery wings, brown leather gauntlets and a matching helm labeled, "Shiron – Windragon of Legendz". Huh. Must have been a typo. Stores tended to do that every now and then.
There was also a section in the back right corner of the store marked: "Inflatables – All Kinds!" I completely ignored this one. I was not in the mood for something that could its shape just because of a lack of air. No, thank you.
Finally, I found the area that I was looking for. There was a sign hanging over the front left corner marked: "Sale". Sure enough, this had what I was looking for. It had a collection of various Pokemon plushies whose details could only be matched by the real things. They came in different sizes and shapes. I saw a full six-foot fire-bird Pokémon called "Blaziken". I knew from dabbling in various Pokémon sources that this was about the same size as the real thing. It was a little intimidating with its six-foot fighting frame, but the detail and time put into this creation was second to none. I could make out every fine "scale" in its wrists and hands and when I looked under its foot, sure enough, they had not left out its clawed toes.
There was also a smaller but still impressive "Flygon" plush. Normally with other models, the eyes were stitched over the red domes. But with this model, it looked like the eyes were stitched on first and then clear red plastic domes sewn on over them to give them the most accurate detail I had ever seen. If I had a hat on, I would have taken it off in respect for whoever had made this.
But try as I might, I could not find a single indication that there was a Lugia plush anywhere in this corner. I couldn't make out a single scrap of silver-white cloth in this mix. It seemed that I had gotten her too late. Damn.
"Can I help you?"
I nearly jumped out of my skin and three feet in the air! From out of nowhere, an aged, decrepit old man had appeared behind me and had nearly scared me out of my wits. I rounded on him, expecting to chew him a new one for scaring me like that... but stopped.
He was rather small for someone his age. At most, he was about five feet high, but most of his back had given out to old age, resulting in a distinct hunchback. He certainly had more wrinkles on him than a bag of prunes and very little, white, wispy hair around the back of his bald dome. He was wearing a kind of tuxedo colored a strange shade of blue, but there were no tails coming out of the back of it. He may have been as old as he looked if it wasn't for his young, piercing-green eyes. Those strange orbs told me that there was still plenty of youth in this old fart.
But it was what was in his hands that caught my attention the most. In his wrinkled hands was a small, pygmy-sized, 18-inch model of the Beast of the Sea, Lugia. There was a tag attached to its left wing, telling me that it was still for sale. I could hardly believe the timing. There was still one left and it was all mine!
But when the old man continued to look at me, he frowned and asked again. "Can I help you?"
I would have loved to relieve him of that plush, but there was something not quite right with this guy and grabbing the plush right out of his hands might have been a bad idea.
I shook my head and held my hands up. "No, thanks. I'm just looking around."
The old man scoffed and shook his head. "No one ever comes into this store to just "look around". But you can start out that way. Let me know when you want to check out."
I stepped aside and watched him place the Lugia plush on the shelf. But then he gave it a small stroke on the neck with two wrinkly fingers and then patted it on the forehead before winking and walking away. I had never seen anyone but a child pet a plush like that, and that was with children who were by themselves with said plush. Clearly, this old man was not all up there in the head. The old man, his work done, turned on his heel and walked slowly back to the checkout counter on the other end of the store. I waited until he had disappeared through a door to the back room before turning to the plush.
I must say, this plush, like the rest of them, looked like it had taken a lot of time to perfect. I could barely see the fine stitching along its sides because the seams were so small. It looked just like the real Lugia if he had been real.
I put my hand on the plushie's skin and marveled at how smooth it was. It wasn't quite skin, but it wasn't quite cloth. It was more like it had been made out of rubber latex but with a definite firmness to it. It was just like I had pictured the real Lugia would feel. Its wings were formed at its sides with all four of its flat "fingers" stitched individually so they did not bind together. The fifth "thumb" was also sewn apart from the rest of its wing. I ran a finger over the round, V-shaped, sky-blue mark on its belly, barely able to see the thread that kept it in place. It stood on two short digitigrade legs with each of its three toes sewn apart from each other just like its wings.
All of its ten rectangular back plates were sewn to perfection and felt like rubber that was a little harder than the rest of its body. And at the end of a long, thick tail was a pair of—
"OW!!!" I yelped, sticking my finger in my mouth. Damn, those navy-blue spikes were sharp! It was like they had been carved from firm crystal and... yep, it had drawn a little blood on my fingertip.
Once I had gotten over that shock, I ran a finger that wasn't bleeding over its long, smooth neck all the way up to its navy-blue pointed eye masks. Thankfully, the masks were not as sharp as the tail spikes. It had a round, curved beak with two pointed fangs on both parts of its jaw. I managed to pry its mouth open and feel its flat, rubbery tongue. It was dry like it should be, but the detail was pretty alarming since the tongue had been sewn attached to its mouth but still able to move on its own. And in the middle of those masks, two powerful yet kind, narrow, navy-blue eyes looked back at me.
Yep, it was pretty good in terms of detail. It was so good that it scared me slightly. I had never seen this much work put into a single plush like this. Ever! It was amazing at the accuracy of this stuffed animal that I was sure I was feeling the real thing. It was that good!
Shifting my attention to the tag inserted into its wing, I saw that there were only five words printed on it: "Hello, my name is Silver." That was it. There wasn't much to go on other than that. Deciding I would figure it out later, looked directly into the eyes of the plush and smiled at it.
"Hello, Silver. Would you like to come home with me?"
I didn't expect it to answer, so I was confused when I suddenly felt a presence "wink" in my mind. I blinked and looked at it again. The presence had vanished, but the effects of what it had done still lingered. It was like it had "spoken" to me and answered my question to it. I couldn't explain it, but it was like it "linked" me and wanted me to take it home.
Looking over the plush again, I asked it the same question again, but it did not respond again. Figuring it must have been my mind playing tricks on me, I finally scooped up the plush in my arms and carried it over to the counter. I guess I was just so desperate to own this thing that I was daydreaming somehow.
I placed the plush on the counter and looked at the old man, who had returned from his trip to the back room. "I think this is all I want," I said, drumming my fingers on the counter.
The old man glanced at the plush and then up at me as if I was out of my mind to buy this. But without saying a word, he shrugged and scanned the tag with a handheld laser scanner. The price came up to be... $2.49?!?! I thought there had to be a mistake. There was no way that a plush like this could be that cheap!
But the old man simply said, "$2.49, please."
I blinked and just had to ask. "Are you sure that that's right? It just doesn't seem feasible for something of this detail."
The old man frowned. "Unless you want to pay what it's really worth, I suggest you don't argue the point."
I hesitated but then handed him my debit card without another word. I didn't have any cash with me, but I had a feeling that the real price of the plush was much more than I could afford. The old man swiped the card and handed me the receipt. But before he did, he hesitated and looked at me square in the eyes. I found that I couldn't break the eye lock even if I had wanted to. Those piercing green orbs scared me.
"Remember, if anything happens that you don't understand, come back and see me. I should have an answer to your problem. This is a very special plush and must be treated with extreme care if it is to survive. Do not forget it!"
I nodded and finally managed to break the staredown. That old man was creepy and I couldn't wait to get out of here. I took the bag containing my new Lugia plush and high-tailed it out of there without looking back.
I didn't stop moving until I had gotten all the way back to my house. The stare of that old man haunted me all the way there and didn't leave my head until I had stepped through the door. He scared me a little and his final words still echoed in my head.
"This is a very special plush and must be treated with extreme care if it is to survive. Do not forget it!"
What had he meant by that? It seemed like any ordinary plush, albeit it was much more detailed than a regular one. How could I "care for it" if it's just a plush? Huh.
When I finally got back to my room, I took the Lugia plush out of my bag and set it on my bed. It looked both cute and noble at the same time. It wasn't very big, but I would learn to live with it. In my opinion, it was just an infant and deserved a "nap" after being in that shop for who-knows-how-long. So to improvise, I pulled back the covers of my bed and slipped it underneath so that its head rested on one of my pillows like a sleeping baby. It still had its eyes open – they would always be like that – but I figured it would "go to sleep" when it "felt like it".
Once it was comfortably tucked away, I quietly left the room and headed for my living room. But just as I was about to enter the room, I stopped myself. Did I just do that? Did I actually put that plush in my bed? I had to slap myself across the face to get a grip on reality. Get it together, Rye! It's a toy! It doesn't have feelings! It's just to provide entertainment to people who can't tell the difference between reality and fiction! I sighed and turned on my heel to head back to my room. I don't know what got over me, but I was going to fix it right this moment.
When I got back into my room and turned on the light, I was immediately greeted by a strange sight. The Lugia plush had somehow climbed out from under my covers and had curled up on the top of my bed with its head under its wing. I had to look at this sight for a moment before I got a grip on myself. I was imagining things and it was all in my head. Plushies didn't move on their own; it was a load of hogwash!
But upon closer inspection, that "hogwash" was called into question. The plush appeared to be sleeping on its own. I could see under its wing and I balked when I saw its finely-stitched eyes in the "closed" position. Not only that, but I could see the plushie's body slowly rising up and down. It looked like it was breathing, but I couldn't be sure. Careful as not to wake it, I leaned close to it and listened closely...
...yep. I could hear air coming in and out of its unseen nostrils and judging from the deep, steady rhythm, it was fast asleep.
Now I was at a loss for words. I had a living, breathing plushie sleeping on my bed – three words that have never been used in a row like that before. I didn't know what to do. Should I wake it and deal with the attitude that might come with the waking of the dragon? Or should I let it sleep and wait for it to wake up?
I chose the former. I wanted to see if this thing was really real or I was making this all up in my head. Leaning over to the snoozing plush, I placed a hand on its side and nudged it slightly. I noticed that it was very warm – something that I figured was opposite of what a real Lugia would feel like. It was like it was generating its own body heat like a real person.
The sleeping plush grunted in its sleep and flipped over to sleep on its back. This confirmed that it could move on its own, but I still wanted to see it in a mode where I could talk to it. I nudged it again and it pushed my hand away with its wing. Then against all common sense, a "thought bubble" appeared above its head, a picture of a person poking a sleeping dragon in the eye with a stick. I had never seen this happen in real life but I soon realized that this was being projected into my mind. The plush was sending me an image directly into my brain and my mind was showing me what it was thinking through my sight. I had a hunch that I was the only one who could see this image, but I persisted. I should have taken the hint to let the sleeping dragon lie, but I wanted it to wake up.
But this plush was one heavy sleeper. No matter how much I nudged it, it slept on, grumbling all the while. At a loss for what to do, I decided to try something to coax it too wake up. I placed my hand on its smooth belly and gently rubbed it, applying just enough firmness to allow it to slowly come to.
At first, the plush "thought" a question mark above its head. Then the image shifted to three dots, one appearing after another. It appeared to be considering what I was doing. Finally, a golden spiral sunshine symbol appeared above its head and it finally began to open its eyes.
Sure enough, the eyes of the Lugia plush were indeed closed. But now, they slowly began to open until they were halfway open and shut. The plush looked at me with narrow, navy-blue irises while another three dots appeared above its head. Man and beast looked at each other for a moment before another spiral sunshine appeared and the plush opened its eyes fully, rolling onto its front. It shook itself out for a moment before turning around to look right at me.
The Lugia looked up at me for a while, a small smile stretched across its beak. It seemed to be happy to see me and didn't mind being woken up in its slumber. I didn't know what to do but look back. How do you talk to a creature you thought was simply stuffed and suddenly came to life?
On a hunch, I slowly extended a finger forward to pet it in-between the masks, but the plush seemed to be expecting me. As I approached it, it slowly opened its beak and when we made contact, it took it delicately in its jaws. I knew for a fact that a Lugia's bite was powerful enough to crush a coconut in one good snap, but it didn't seem to want to hurt me. Instead, it took my finger and gently shook it from side to side before letting go.
I chuckled at it. "Almost like shaking hands. You're really something, aren't you? Do you have a name or should I just call you "Lugia"?"
I knew that Lugia were intelligent, but in their infancy, I couldn't be sure. So I was surprised when it held up its wing with the price tag still attached to it and gave a small cooing sound. I took the tag and examined it. Now it was all coming back to me. It said, "Hello, my name is Silver."
"Okay, little guy. I'll call you "Silver", but..." I hesitated. "Are you a boy or a girl Lugia?" In the games, Lugia had always been genderless, so I was not sure what to think of this one.
"Maaa!" it barked at me and a picture of a pink symbol appeared above its head. It was a circle with a cross underneath it – the universal symbol for females.
"Okay, "girl"," I said, emphasizing the word. "You're a girl Lugia named Silver, right?"
A circle appeared. At first, I thought it was a zero, but considering the situation, it was the symbol for "true", "correct" or "yes" whereas an "X" meant a negative response.
That was one problem solved. I had a girl Lugia plush and her name was Silver.
Silver looked at me for a bit before rolling back on her back again, telling me that she wanted her belly rubbed. Apparently, she hadn't gotten enough of it while she was asleep. But since she was so cute. I couldn't say no to that face. I put my hand on her belly and gave it a little scratching. Silver cooed and flapped her wings like she was swimming upside-down on my bed. She squealed as I raised and lowered my hand to various parts of her belly and I could "see" a dancing star in a thought bubble above her head.
I realized that I could have rubbed Silver's belly all day and she would never get enough, so I decided to draw the line. Against her protests, I lifted my hand off her belly and stood up.
"I'm sorry, girl," I said, ignoring her cloudy thoughts. "But I have to get on with my life. You understand, don't you?"
Silver pouted for a moment before she finally got over it and nodded. But just as I was turning to leave, Silver ducked down and then sprang into the air, planting herself on my shoulder with amazing accuracy.
I looked at her for a moment before smiling and tickling her under the chin. "You wanna find something to eat? I could use some dinner."
Silver responded by thinking of a hambone being eaten in a three-stage loop. And when I heard her stomach making a churning noise, I figured the plushie was hungry.
"Alright. Let's find something for you to eat. You do eat, don't you?"
Silver nodded and started nibbling on my ear. This was a response that was a confirmation. I nodded and walked out into the kitchen with the plushie hanging on my shoulder like an obedient parrot.
When I reached the kitchen, Silver suddenly let out a squeal and leaped off my shoulder, drifting off into the living room. I figured she was going to find somewhere to wait for me while I found her something to eat.
I browsed through the fridge, looking for whatever I could find that Lugia ate. I knew that they were a kind of water mammal/bird/fish creature or the "Diving" kind of Pokémon in a nutshell, so I thought some raw fish would work. And it just so happens that I took some salmon out a few days ago to have on the grill out on my balcony. I was not sure how much she would eat, but I figured that an entire fillet would be a little much for her size. So I took a knife and cut the fillet in half and then in half again. I never liked to touch raw fish for very long, but this time, I made an exception.
"Silver! Grub ti... SILVER!!!"
Silver looked up in the middle of chewing on one of my throw pillows, ripping a good chunk of it off with a pulling motion of her head. I stared at the plush in shock as she chewed the fabric for a moment before swallowing it. Not only had she just swallowed a piece of cotton, she had already devoured a decent quarter og the pillow, which was slightly bigger than her.
"Silver! What are you doing?! You're going to choke on that!" I ran over and snatched the partly-eaten pillow away from her. But Silver's eyes began to water and she let out a wail of despair.
The pure emotion of that wail softened my mood immediately. I suddenly felt horrible for upsetting her and gave the pillow back to her. Another sunshine appeared above her head and she went back to her "meal".
I then realized that I had been duped. She had used her psychic influence to force me to give the pillow back to her. I snapped out of it and made to grab the pillow again, but Silver stepped in front of me and held her wings wide.
"What are you doing?" I asked her, blinking at her actions.
Silver did her best to explain by thinking up a storm of thought bubbles. At first, she had a picture of the pillow when it was whole with a green circle around it. And then, she showed a picture of the piece of fish still in my hand with a big red "X" over it.
This sent my mind into motion. If what she was thinking was true, then she either ate pillows or something close to it; probably anything cloth-based. I suppose that once you thought about it, it kind of made sense. Cloth creatures were most likely to eat cloth for food. When it came right down to it, food and plushies don't really mix well together.
"Okay, Silver, you twisted my arm," I said, admitting defeat. "Go and finish that pillow if you want to."
Silver thought of a smiley face and rubbed against my leg for a moment before returning to her meal. But despite being given a whole pillow to eat, she only at about a third of it before she thought of a balloon swelling. I guess that meant she was full. She grabbed the rest of the pillow in her beak, hopped down off the couch and tried to drag it away. But it was still too heavy compared to herself and she wasn't getting anywhere fast.
I sighed at the plushie's efforts. "Here, girl. Let me help you with that."
Silver cooed as I picked the pillow up and carried it to my room. It seemed like a waste to a perfectly good pillow, but I never liked the feel or the design of it anyway, so at least it was going to a good cause. At least Silver wasn't as picky as I was when it came to food.
When I came back to the living room with Silver following after me, I noticed that she was still bearing that plastic tie and tag on her left wing. She was just too good of a plushie to let that weigh her down, so I scooped her up and fingered the tag.
"Let's get rid of this, shall we? You're basically a living creature. No living creature should have to be labeled as a "thing"."
Silver looked at the tag still embedded in her wing and gnawed at it for a moment before giving up and looking at me with a cloud over her head. I went over to my kitchen and pulled out a pair of scissors before addressing the plushie.
"Hold still, Silver. This won't hurt a bit."
Normally, most people didn't look at things they thought would be painfully removed, but Silver looked right at the tag and held her breath as I clipped the plastic string with a quick snip. The tag fell to the ground and I carefully pulled the rest of the plastic out of her wing.
When it was finally out, Silver whimpered for a moment before she let out an "Ahh..." and a heart appeared over her head with a distinct ping.
"That feel better?"
Sirius flexed her wing experimentally before looking at me and nodding.
I smiled and tickled her under the chin before I set her back down on the floor. She was so relieved to finally have that tag out of her that she started chirping incessantly and ran around in circles before plopping herself down on her tail and looking up at me.
"I take it that felt like having a splinter removed, eh?"
Silver nodded. I was glad to see that she was happy and pleased.
My stomach growled and I realized that I hadn't had anything to eat yet. I looked at Silver and nudged her with my toe.
"Do you mind if I grab a bite?"
Silver smiled and nodded. A picture of a beach ball being kicked appeared above her head. I interpreted this as her going to find something to play with while I ate.
"Okay. Just don't get carried away."
With that, I walked over to the kitchen to get a sandwich made while Silver occupied herself with a dirty sock that I had left lying around some days ago. She picked up the sock and started shaking it in her beak before throwing it and stalking it with her head low. She then pounced on it and started wrestling around with it, squawking like a chicken with its head chopped off.
I shook my head at the wrestling plushie and went to go make something for supper. I settled with a lunch meat ham and cheese sandwich and nuked it in the microwave for about 40 seconds before eating it hot. I spent the waiting time watching Silver wrestling with the dirty sock. She seemed to be doing all right, but the sock seemed to have her pinned for a moment before she flipped over and tossed the sock into the air before batting it with her wing.
She was really a special creature once you looked past the size difference and the skin material. She was someone that had touched my life and I had barely had her for six hours. I hoped she would never leave me.
When my sandwich was done, I ate it while keeping an eye on the plush. When I was done, I paused as Silver gave the sock a staredown before it moved like lightning and slurped up the sock like a wet noodle.
"Silver!" I said, getting up to go to her. "Gross! I haven't washed that in days! How could you eat that like that?"
Silver, who was unfazed after her strange snack, simply looked at me and thought of a cookie with a bite out of it. I sighed and picked her up.
"You are really weird, you know that? I don't know what I'm going to do with you." I looked at those gentle stitched eyes before I finally relented. "Come on, it's late. I need to get to bed."
Silver, though, was still full of energy. She pictured another spiral sun along with a man running.
"No, girl. When I say bed, I mean bed. I am tired, Silver, and I need to turn in for the night."
Silver whined and showed a black scribble. She was obviously frustrated, but she knew that whatever I said, went. So she finally gave up and allowed me to carry her back to my room.
When we were getting ready for bed, Silver was eying my closet full of shirts hungrily. I could tell what she was thinking because an apple with a bite out of it appeared above her head. I noticed this and shook my head.
"Sorry, girl. These are all I have. Maybe I can find some fabric for you to eat sometime later. But until then, you and I have a date with the Dream World."
For the first time, Silver finally showed that she was tired. She yawned widely and a few Z's appeared over her head. She was about to nod off when I climbed into bed and covered the two of us up.
"We'll find something to do tomorrow, Silver. But for now, let's just get some shut-eye. Good night."
Silver cooed a little before curling up and falling fast asleep. I sighed as I stroked her soft, flexible flesh. She was really a wonder unto nature. I hoped that the two of us would always be together for the rest of our lives...
...but that's not the end of my story. Not even close to close! I slept like a log through the night and woke up feeling more comfortable than I had ever been in this bed before. It was like I had a heavy yet gentle blanket on me and it was lending its warmth to me on its own. It felt so relaxing.
But when I opened my eyes, I looked up and saw that that warm feeling belonged to someone. And judging from the size of the "blanket", it obviously belonged to someone B.I.G.! I lifted the weight up off me a few inches and saw that it had the same soft, bouncy material that belonged to...
Uh-oh. This was not good. I pushed the weight off of me, but it moved on its own and wrapped around my shoulders before pulling me closer to it. It had me pinned to its side and it wasn't going to let me go. But the grip on me was only solid for a moment. It soon loosened up and I was able to roll out of its grasp. With a dull thud, I ended up on the floor. But when I picked myself up, I was in for a surprise.
Lying in the spot where Silver had been just last night was a Lugia plush that was way too big to be her! It was like it had undergone a major growth spurt overnight and was now longer than I was tall. It probably stood a good six feet tall when it was on its feet, but I couldn't be sure that it was Silver.
A sleep bubble was growing and expanding from the place where Silver's nose would be, signaling that she was fast asleep. And other than the fact that she was now five times bigger than she once was, I had a feeling that it was still Silver in mind, body and soul.
"Silver?" I said, nudging her a little. This was how we met all over again.
Silver's nose bubble popped, but she did not wake up. Instead, she thought of a sleeping dragon with a person poking it in the eye with a stick. Yep, it was Silver, alright.
Skipping the hassle I went through yesterday, I proceeded right to rubbing Silver's belly. Just like yesterday, three dots appeared one after another as she considered what I was doing, and then a spiral sunshine appeared to tell me that she was liking what I was doing to her. Finally, she opened her eyes.
I could tell that those same machine-stitched eyes were once again looking at me. Despite being six feet tall, she was still my baby and I wasn't going to let anything happen to her.
"Wakey-wakey, sleepyhead," I said, massaging her belly just like she liked. "Time to get up for the day."
Silver purred as I rubbed her tummy and rolled around on her back a little. She was enjoying the feeling and I was as well. When I finally stopped rubbing her, I saw a different bubble appear above her head. Instead of a thought bubble, it looked more like a speech bubble. It looked like she was going to say something for the first time and I was on edge for a breakthrough with my relationship with her.
But the speech bubble remained blank. Silver tried to speak, but she couldn't quite get it out. She really wanted to talk, but it wasn't working out so well. Finally, the speech bubble popped and was replaced with a thought bubble with a sad face on it.
This didn't make any sense. If she wanted to talk, then she certainly would have. I didn't understand why she couldn't get any words out, mental or otherwise, and speak like I could.
This came as a real disappointment to Silver. Her eyes suddenly started to water and she let out a wail of despair. I could tell that she was upset and I tried to comfort her as best as I could.
"It's okay, girl. You'll do it someday."
But Silver shook her head and wailed even louder. I knew she was upset, but she was taking this a little personal. I tried to calm her down, but she was just too upset to get any thoughts out. She rolled off the bed and went over to the open door before she went into the living room. I gave her a moment and then followed after her.
But when I got out there, she was nowhere to be found. There was no sign that she had even made it out to the living room. It wasn't very easy for a plushie of her size to just vanish into thin air, so I was concerned to where she had gone.
But all was not lost. When I got out to the living room, I saw that the TV had somehow turned on, revealing a mixture of static and black letters. It looked like she had left me a note.
"Rye... Went to find answers. Be back soon. Silver"
Well, at least she left me something. I was starting to get worried as to how a six-foot plushie could just disappear without leaving a trace. I sat down on the couch and turned on the TV like normally. The note vanished and the display came on without a problem. If Silver needed questions answered, then I had to respect her wishes and let her find them.
Silver, meanwhile, had used her Teleport ability to vanish from the house and reappear in the back room of the place of her creation, Plushtopia. She knew exactly where she had wanted to go and went straight there, looking for answers to her problems.
There was nobody there when she arrived, but not for long. A few moments after she arrived, the back room door opened and the hunched form of Karmen Aridos appeared, flipping through a notebook. He didn't immediately notice the plush, but once he closed the door behind him, he suddenly realized that she was there. But despite her sudden appearance, he was not at all surprised to see her.
"Well, Silver, you've certainly grown since I last saw you. Have you been eating all your fiber?" Silver looked at the old man, three dots appearing above her head. Aridos shook his head. "Sorry. Just a little joke. Now, to what do I owe the honor of your presence?"
Silver wanted to tell him everything that was on her mind, but due to her inability to speak, she could not get the words out, so she had to improvise by repeating the three dots with a question mark on the end.
Aridos read her like a book. "I understand. You want to know why you can't speak. The answer is actually very simple." He paused, allowing Silver to show the question mark on its own. "I'm very sorry, but the reason you are a mute is my fault. I made a mistake while I was creating you and your speech ability was damaged slightly." When Silver looked horrified, he held up a hand. "Allow me to explain. You were supposed to be able to speak soon after your first night, but for some reason, I accidentally sent the energy that would allow you to talk into your growth ability. This is why your body is a little bigger than it was supposed to be. I admit that I was at fault here, but all is not lost."
Silver frowned at the old man, but Aridos ignored it. He simply walked over to a shelf and stored the notebook away in its place. He then turned back to Silver and continued his explanation.
"You will be able to speak, but only when you and your owner, Mr. Amaldo, have finally merged with each other."
Silver seemed to catch onto this and was about to leave when Aridos suddenly said, "But it's not that simple!"
When she halted and looked back at him, she realized that there was more to her being able to speak that simply "merging" with Rye.
"If you rush this, you'll destroy Rye before you can stop yourself. Merging must only be used as a final resort. There are certain requirements for this to be successful." Silver blinked. "If you merge with Rye at the moment, his body, mind and soul will be wasted. You need to be absolutely certain that that is what you want to do before you do it. Your feelings for him must be completely true and honest before you even attempt it. You need to develop a relationship with Rye that both of you are happy with. If both of you are not 100 satisfied with each other, the merging will be a failure. You must believe that both of you will be happy not only in this life, but the next one as well. Now tell me, what is more important – your ability to speak or a lifetime much closer together with Rye?"
Silver thought about this for a moment before she figured it out. She had only been thinking about herself and not her owner's. She had been so determined to be able to speak that she hadn't considered the aftermath of her actions. After all, she and Rye got along just fine with her being a mute. What was a little longer to make sure the both of them were finally happy with each other?
Silver looked at Aridos and thought a heart with a star in the middle of it. Aridos smiled and rubbed the massive plush on the side (he couldn't reach her neck) to reassure her.
"I'm sure you'll make the right decision, my daughter. Remember, there is a bond that you and Rye will always share with each other. And no amount of words spoken by any creature can explain that. Good luck."
Silver cooed and gave the old man a lick on the cheek with a wet, rubbery tongue before she disappeared from view after using her Teleport ability. She was going to make things right with Rye before she even considered thinking for herself. She just hoped that Rye would still be happy when it finally came to that.
I waited for over an hour before I heard the doorbell ring. Wondering who could possibly be calling on me this early in the morning, I went to go answer it and sure enough, the figure of Silver the Lugia plush was waiting for me.
I smiled at the massive plush. It didn't look like she would be able to fit through the door, but I bet she would find a way. "Find what you were looking for, Silver?"
Silver nodded and showed a green circle. That was a yes and I let her in. The plush nudged up against my chest, purring intently. She was really sweet; you had to admit it.
But as she made her way inside, her left wing caught on a nail in the door frame and her rubbery flesh split wide open, tearing a good two-foot gash in her wing before she was able to free herself.
"Silver!" I said, pulling the rest of the plush inside. "Are you okay?! You poor thing!"
Silver had grimaced when her skin had split open, revealing her cotton insides. She whimpered as she cradled the wing with her other one and walked into the living room. If a human had had that kind of gash, it would be considered life-threatening. But since Silver wasn't bleeding and her stuffed insides weren't going anywhere, I wondered if this was normal. Silver thought of a patch of brambles along with a red "X" over it. She seemed to be in pain, but it didn't seem like she was going to faint.
"Is there anything I can do for you, girl?" I asked her worriedly. "A split like that can kill a person."
Silver shook her head and lowered it to the gash. Opening her beak, she began to run her tongue over the tear. It looked like she was trying to clean it with her unusual saliva. At first, I thought it would be no good and that I would have to take up needlepoint to "heal" her, but as I watched, I saw a miracle of magic take place.
Silver started at one end of the tear and drew her tongue over a small section at a time. As I watched, I could see the rubbery cloth material start to weave itself back together by fusing the fibers of each side of the cut together. It looked like she was sewing herself back together, but there was no other thread holding it together. It took about five minutes, but soon, she had sealed her wing back up without as much as a plush version of a scar.
When it was all back together, Silver examined her wing and flexed it experimentally. It looked like she was going to be all right, but I was still concerned.
"Are you sure you're all right?" I said, taking her wing in my hands and turning it over and over. "That was some damage that was done."
Silver didn't seem to mind and even gave my face a good lick, chirping and smiling at me. I put a hand to my cheek and smiled as well. Her tongue didn't feel wet. On the contrary, it felt like she had just touched my face with a smooth, rubbery balloon. it was unlike any other latex that ever touched my face.
I sighed and looked at the plush with longing. "I've never washed this cheek. Now I never will. I love you, Silver."
And as if I had been smitten by her presence, I wrapped my arms around her neck and hugged her, taking pleasure in her soft, smooth skin against my face and arms. She was really quite cuddly. Silver smiled and wrapped her wings around me, returning my hug and holding me tight against her warm belly.
The two of us remained locked in a loving embrace for a long time before Silver's "stomach" started making noises and we separated. I chuckled at her embarrassed expression.
"Why don't we get you something to eat? I think I've got just the perfect thing for you."
Silver nodded and replied with a picture of a cookie with a bite out of it. I sighed at her impression.
"No, it's not another dirty sock. I've got something I've been wanting to get rid of for some time. Follow me."
Silver walked behind me and followed me to my room. I opened my closet and rummaged through the clutter on the floor.
"What did I do with it? I was sure I just saw it the other day. Hmm... oh! Here we are! Silver, meet your next meal."
Silver stared at the item I had withdrawn. It was a small blanket that I had asked my grandmother to custom-make a few years ago. I had asked her to put together an assortment of blue and silver pieces to add to my Lugia collection. Unfortunately, she didn't have any silver cloth and the end result was somewhat coarser than I had intended. I had wanted it to be silken-smooth, but it ended up being firmer than the blankets I slept under at night. I had no use for it, but it might make a decent meal for Silver.
The plush looked at the blanket with a blank look on her face and three dots above her head. She seemed to be making up her mind for a moment before she leaned forward and sniffed the blanket. It still had its freshly-made scent on it and Silver chirped with ecstasy. Another heart appeared above her head and she sat back on her tail with her mouth open for me to feed her. I groaned and balled the blanket up before tossing it to her.
Silver caught the blanket in her mouth and swallowed it whole! I could see the enormous bulge working its way down her throat. It didn't look like it was very good for her, but then it emptied into her body and all that came up was a small, polite burp from Silver's mouth.
"Ay-yai-yai, Silver! You're going to choke if you keep that up. You shouldn't just wolf your food down like that and you should cover your mouth before cleaning the attic."
Silver simply stood back up and came up to nuzzle me on the chest. I groaned and stroked her neck like she wanted me to. "You're hopeless, you know that? Utterly hopeless."
Silver simply smirked.
"Come on, let's go out into the living room and find something to do. One of my shows is on right now. After that, we'll go outside to play."
The massive plush followed me out to the living room where I turned on the TV and sat down on the couch to watch "World's Wildest Police Videos". Silver parked herself on the second couch and folded her wings at her side to watch with me, a spiral sunshine dancing over her head.
About a half hour into the show, I was distracted by Silver gnawing on something on her back. She looked uncomfortable and she was trying to scratch it with her wing, but they just couldn't reach the point of irritation. I knew that her teeth were plastic and that she could wear her skin out if she kept that up, so I decided to intervene.
"What's up, girl? Got an itch?" Silver turned to me and nodded before returning to try and scratch it. I decided to have a look. "Move over. Let me see it."
Silver whined from irritation but refrained from scratching long enough for me to spot what was bothering her. When I sat down next to her, I was able to see what was bothering her.
At first, I thought she had torn herself again, but upon closer look, I saw that it was anything but. A neat, uniform, silver zipper ran down Silver's spine from the bottom of her neck to the start of her tail. It made her look like a giant costume, but the zipper was way too short for even a small child to climb in. It looked well-used, but I was sure that it had not been there when we woke up this morning.
"This is strange," I said, running a finger up and down the zipper. "Let's get you a mirror, Silver. Wait here."
I went to my bathroom and found a hand-mirror to bring to her. If she could rotate her head behind her, she could look in the mirror and see what I saw. When I returned to the living room, Silver was once again monkeying with it and had managed to get it partway open.
"Careful! You don't know what that could do to you!" I sat down next to her and held the mirror behind her. "Here, take a better look."
Silver turned her head around so that she could see her back in the mirror. At first, she didn't know what to make of the strange zipper, but soon, she simply returned to trying to itch it.
But suddenly, I had an idea. "Silver, hold still. I want to see if there's anything inside of you. This won't hurt a bit."
She stopped squirming and allowed me to grab the top of the zipper and slowly pull it down. As it descended, I could feel her shuddering. It was like I was tickling her but she was trying not to respond for fear of knocking me out. When the zipper was fully open, I was able to have my first look at the inside of Silver's body.
I had expected her to be full of stuffing, but what I actually saw contradicted that. It looked I had opened a portal into a distinct emptiness. There was nothing but black in there and I couldn't see the bottom of it, even though she only went in a couple of feet.
Surprisingly enough, the hole looked just big enough for me to climb inside. I guess I had misjudged her appearance and the zipper opened up a good six feet. I wanted to know what it felt like in there, but I didn't want to do anything that Silver didn't want to do. So I brought the question to her attention.
"Silver... I'm going to climb inside of you. I promise that I won't hurt you, but once I'm inside, please pull the zipper shut. Is that okay with you?"
The plush blinked and then looked at the hole in her back before she turned to me and nodded. She then pictured a person falling backwards with another catching him. She obviously trusted me and that was all I needed.
I don't know how I came up with this insane idea or why I was going through with it, but all I know is that I was going to stick to it and just deal with the consequences.
So as a start, the two of us stepped off the couch to the middle of the living room where there would be more room. Then, Silver spread her wings so that I would be able to move my arms into them. After taking a deep breath, I lifted my left leg up and stuck it in Silver's back.
It felt like I was putting on a thick nylon. My foot seemed to glide through a silken passageway and then come to rest somewhere in Silver's body. It was bound so well that I thought I was going to get stuck. But it held and I lifted my second leg into her back. The feeling was the same and I was now standing half in and out of a giant plush.
"Are you okay, Silver? Am I hurting you?"
The Lugia shook her head. She seemed fine and unhurt, despite the fact that she had a human sticking out of her back. I sighed and proceeded with my next move.
I inserted my arms into the hole one after another. Just like my legs, it felt like I was inserting them into a silken sleeve that was made just for me. I figured that I was somewhere in her wings, so while my courage was still holding, I ducked and inserted my head into her back. It was like putting on a mask made of silk that was able to give me all the oxygen I could breathe. It was very warm in here, comforting me like nothing I had ever felt before.
Now that I was fully inside, I somehow managed to stand up inside of her, pulling my back past the zipper line and entering her body fully. I could still feel the cool air on my back, but that was all about to change.
"Okay, girl. Pull it shut."
Silver nodded and twisted her head around so that she could grab the zipper handle in her beak and tug it shut. I could feel the outside world closing up behind me, but I had come too far to just back out now.
Once the zipper was all the way up, I suddenly felt super-lightheaded. I felt like I was going to fall over from the sheer dizziness I was feeling and I wobbled dangerously in this black space. I also felt the warming sensation all around me intensify, comforting my muscles until I lost all feeling in my body. I fell over... and landed on my tail.
My eyesight went out for a moment before it returned, but with a distinct difference. It was like I had undergone laser eye surgery when I didn't need it, somehow enhancing my vision tenfold and bringing out details and colors in things that I never even knew were there. Everything had just sharpened out so that I could view the world in a new perspective.
And then I heard it.
"Ohh... what happened to me? I feel so dizzy."
It was a soft, soothing yet powerful feminine voice that I did not recognize. I could have sworn that I was hearing things, but I had to make sure.
"Silver? Is that you?"
(Author's Note: Remember that while Rye and Silver are together, they are speaking mentally. I will keep the quotation marks so that I don't cause any confusion.)
I could detect another presence in my mind, but at the same time, the presence belonged to me as well. It was like Silver and I were sharing the same brain.
"Rye? You can hear me? Where are you?"
I looked around, achieving angles that I never thought I could look at.
"I guess I'm here. But where are you?"
My head moved again, but I was not in control of it. It was like someone else was controlling me, but I was moving it along with it.
"I am here. This body is mine, but... I can feel you, too."
"I don't know how to say this, but I think we're the same being, Silver. I think you and I have merged somehow."
Silver suddenly panicked for a moment. "We merged already?! But... it's too soon! You'll vanish before I can tell you! It's not fair!"
I held up my arm and stared at it. It belonged to Silver, but at the same time, it belonged to me. I had fused myself with Silver's plush body.
"I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I'm vanishing. In fact, I feel better than ever!"
Silver suddenly realized that she had jumped the gun and assumed that I had disappeared inside of her. "Oh... Never mind then. Wait... you can hear me?"
I nodded. "Loud and clear. You may not be able to speak vocally, but I can hear your mind like you were talking right in my ear."
"That... that's wonderful! Now we can communicate better!"
"I'm glad. But... since I don't have my human body with me, can I take this one for a test drive?"
Silver smiled. "Of course you can. We're sharing the same body at the moment, so what's yours is mine and what's mine its mine is ours."
I chuckled at the line. "You know just what to say to take a man's breath away, don't you?"
Silver shrugged. "I guess that's the way I am. But before you borrow our body, let me make a little more room here. This house is a little cramped for my style."
I allowed her to do her thing, which turned out to be spinning on her toes and disappearing from the house. It was like I was being pulled by my navel through a narrow tube before reappearing completely intact.
"Will this do?"
I shook the cobwebs out of our head and looked around. Silver had teleported us out of the house to a large field on the outskirts of the city. There was more than plenty of room for us to move freely, so there was nothing to be concerned about.
"So that's how you disappeared earlier. You're a sneaky little plush, aren't you?"
Silver smirked. "You have no idea what I'm really capable of. Come. Let's go for a little flight."
I balked at this. "Fly? Now? But plushies can't fly... can they?"
Silver used our beak to preen our wing for a moment while she answered, "Better than you think. I've always wanted to fly in the sunlight. Just hold on for a moment."
Silver spread our wings wide and gave our tail an experimental flick before bouncing on our toes for a moment to get our bearings. I was unsure how this was going to turn out, so I had to ask her the obvious question.
"Have you ever done this before?"
"No." That was all she said, but that was enough for me to be nervous.
I didn't have anything to hold onto, so I had to go along with it. Silver flapped our wings once to get airborne, twice to hover for a moment and then three more times to start gaining altitude. I tried to close my eyes, but Silver kept them open so that she could see where we were going.
On the outside, I was calm, cool and collected, but inside, I was trying not to scream my head off. I had never been in the air without some kind of device holding me there. And since I was sharing a body with a great bird of destiny, I had absolutely nothing to prevent me from plummeting hundreds of feet to the earth below. Silver took pity on me and forced us not to look down. It was small comfort for one who had been scared of heights his whole life. I knew that once we got to a decent altitude, Silver was going to look down anyway and I was going to faint, bringing us both crashing down.
"Silver, please, this is far enough. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wussing out."
"Rye, hush," she said, mentally scolding me. "You are going to get over this if I have to kick you out of me and swallow you so you don't have any say in this!"
I shut up then and there. If she was as powerful as I could sense she was, I had no doubt that that was no empty threat. I forced myself to remain silent as Silver and I gained more altitude. I couldn't exactly shut my eyes or close off my mind since there was almost no way to tell us apart, so I had to force myself to cope with this.
We were at about 10,000 feet when Silver suddenly shut our eyes, enabling us to fly completely blind.
"Silver... what are you doing?" I couldn't yell at her after that dangerous threat she had given me.
"Shh... I need to focus. I have a surprise for you. Just relax and go with me. I promise you will not regret it."
I wanted to cry, but Silver was preventing my emotions from interfering with our flight. I was scared. She was absolutely insane to bring me this far and then put me in the dark like this. I didn't know if I was going to die from emotion once Silver and I finally separated or if I was going to be stuck riding coach on this flight from hell.
A few tense minutes passed in darkness. Silver seemed to know where we were going, but I was close to a nervous collapse. I just wanted it to stop and be back on solid ground for once. But since I was mentally bound to this mad plush, there was not a lot that I could do.
Finally, we broke level and Silver spoke to me softly. "This is it, Rye. I promise you that when we open our eyes, all of your fears and concerns will mean nothing to you."
I wasn't so sure about that. "Please... just make it stop. I want it to stop."
But Silver simply crooned and massaged my presence, removing some of my hopelessness and giving my enough courage to face what she had in store for me.
"Are you ready, my love?"
I sighed and grit my fangs. "Go for it."
The instant Silver opened our eyes, all of the fear and desperation in my heart was vaporized. It was like my soul had been purified and I was beginning a brand-new life. My fears of heights and of Silver's actions were removed completely as if they had never been there.
I was looking through Sirius' eyes down at the earth below. Somehow, we had broken free of the atmosphere and were soaring in-between the earth and outer space. I had never seen such a beautiful sight in my entire life. I never knew the earth was so blue and white. Years of watching the Discovery Channel and all of the space images were nothing compared to this. It was like I was looking down from the heavens to a creation of God. I had never been so happy and safe in my life.
"Silver... what... how is this... possible? I... I don't... understand..."
Silver smiled and embraced my presence with her own. "We are not bound to the world as humans are. We do not breathe air like they do. Our body is not affected by pressure like theirs are. Our special composition makes us immune to the natural elements of the planet. We are, in a way, a god. We are invincible to the worries of the planet and we answer to no mortal force. This is our life, Rye. Together, you and I could become one with the universe and co-exist as one. This is what I have to offer you."
Words could not explain what I was feeling. Words meant nothing in comparison to the wonder that lay before us. It was just a moment of pure bliss that I could not explain.
Silver smiled and closed our eyes again. "I have one more surprise for you. Please look up."
I did and the bliss in my heart jumped to an incredible level as we opened our eyes. If looking down at the earth from space was amazing, then that was nothing whatsoever compared to the sight of billions of stars in the space above us. I couldn't even speak as I watched the starry space above us glimmer and shine. Words were mortal in comparison to the wonder I was looking at.
Silver detected my speechless mind. "I have something to ask you, Rye. I want you to answer me truthfully."
I could barely speak as I muttered, "Sure... What...?"
"Will you... be my son? I want you to share what I feel at being a Synthetic. If you join me in this life, I will make you happier than you have ever been before. Please... will you let me... rebirth you?"
I wanted to say yes. I needed to say yes. It was like if I didn't then the world was going to come to an end. If I didn't say yes, then I would destroy the heart of the only creature who had ever treated me like this before.
But for some reason, it all came out wrong. "No... I won't... I live for other reasons... than to be happy."
The shock of my response all but broke Silver's heart. It was like everything she believed in and lived for had just been taken away from her. Her entire world came crashing down faster than a lead plane. Her heart was torn in two and I could have sworn that she was going to faint.
"I... I... I see..." Her voice was shaking and she seemed close to a nervous breakdown. "Well... let's... go home, then."
For the life of me, I do not know why it came out like that. I could not even remember my answer and I could not understand what I had done wrong. It was like I had blacked out at the most important time of my life. I would soon pay for my mistake in full once we finally got back home.
Silver said absolutely nothing as we flew back to the earth. She seemed to be working on auto-pilot and refused to answer any of my questions. I did not know it, but I had just destroyed one of her reasons to live and had driven her insane. But Silver seemed to hide it rather well and somehow managed to conceal her true feelings towards me. She had been destroyed by my answer, but I could not remember it for the life of me.
She said nothing as we Teleported back into the house and she used her beak to pull the zipper on her back down to let me out. I instantly felt my body return to its normal state and I was able to climb out of her and zip her back up. She was so heartbroken that as soon as I zipped her back up, she curled up and fell asleep on the spot. I was in the dark as to why she was behaving like this, but I didn't want to wake her this time. She had had a long day and I was determined to respect her wishes. It was getting on in the day and I went straight to bed without getting undressed. This day had been tough on the two of us, but I had no idea the extent of the damage I had done to that poor plushie's heart. I would soon find out how bad I had hurt her the following morning.
Silver did not sleep with me that night. Instead, she remained in the living room, stuck halfway between insanity and consciousness. I didn't realize how bad I had damaged her consciousness and I slept like a log all the way through the night.
When I woke up that morning, I was greeted by a surprise. Silver had disappeared from the house again, but this time, she did not leave a note as to where she had gone. I knew she needed some time to herself after last night, but I wish she had told me where she was going before she left.
But when I saw that one of my windows was wide open, I followed a hunch. I headed out onto the patio and looked around the outside of the house. She was nowhere out front, but when I looked up at the roof, I received another surprise.
Silver had grown like a weed overnight again and was standing on my roof, looking up at the sky. She was clearly much to large to fit in my house anymore, but I was worried that someone would see her. She was now as large and as tall as a full-fledged Lugia, which might alarm some people when they saw a giant bird-like creature sitting on my roof.
"Silver! Are you okay up there?!" I called up to her. To my amazement, Silver looked down at me and scowled with a low growl. Above her head, I could just barely see a skull-and-crossbones telling me her mood.
This was not like her. She never looked at me like that and never thought of a deadly symbol like that. For the first time, I realized that something was wrong with her. She was in one of the foulest moods I had ever seen anybody in and I had to find a way to cheer her up.
Running back in the house, I climbed up to the attic and made my way to a window that came out near where Silver was perched. I had to understand why she was so upset. If I knew Lugia, plush or otherwise, when they were in a foul mood like this, bad things happened in the world.
"Silver? Can you tell me what's wrong?" I said, inching my way over to her. She responded by slamming her tail on the roof, nearly knocking me down. "SILVER! Please don't do that! I could fall!"
But she didn't seem to care. She growled low and spread her wings before fluttering over to the other side. I didn't give up. I carefully climbed over the points on the roof and slid down to where she had landed.
"Silver..." I said, trying to keep my balance. "Please tell me what's wrong. I want to help you, but you're not letting me."
A rather different bubble appeared above her head. It was a black bubble with a white scribble dancing around in it. Her mood must have been particularly foul to have an inverted symbol telling me her thoughts. I just didn't get it. Why was she acting like this? After the treat she gave me last night, I was surprised she was even upset at all.
"Please, Silver," I said, placing my hand on her wing. "I want you to be happy. I certainly am since you came into my life. I did some thinking last night and I decided that I was going to do whatever it takes to make both of us happy. Please tell me what's wrong."
Silver's inverted scribble continued for a moment before it suddenly popped. A blank bubble hung there for a moment before a picture of a cable appeared. I did not know what to make of this, but when the cable snapped, I knew I was in trouble.
Before I could react, Silver pushed me clean off the roof with her left wing, sending me into a freefall. What was she doing?!?! Did I upset her so badly that she wanted to kill me?! I fell to the ground and waited for the inevitable death...
...but it did not come. I opened my eyes and saw that I was hovering just a few feet above the ground, surrounded by a faint blue aura. What was going on? Did she suddenly come to her senses and save me? I didn't have long to wait.
Using her newly-acquired psychic powers, Silver lifted me back up to the roof to face her. The instant I looked in her eyes, I knew she had lost it completely. She had finally snapped and whatever I did, I was going to pay dearly for it.
Silver brought me close to her and stared at me for a moment before spinning around and plunging her tail spikes into my chest. If I wasn't under her control, I would have died then and there. She withdrew her spikes completely blood-free but with a clean hole through my torso.
"Silver..." I said, shocked beyond all belief. "Why?"
To answer that, Silver backhanded me with her wing, causing my ribs and spine to snap instantly. I should have died, but believe it or not, I was still alive. My body was being broken by this plush behemoth, but somehow, she was keeping me from feeling any pain or dying.
She then brought me over to her and turned me so that I was completely horizontal. Then with a quick motion of her head, she plunged her razor-sharp fangs into my arm, breaking it in half. Before I could respond, she flipped me over and repeated the action with my other arm. I was now completely useless in the arm division, which was the least of my worries. She was killing me and yet she showed no emotion whatsoever.
Silver then drew back her head and butted both of my legs, breaking every bone in them to pieces. She then moved my body further down and wrapped her beak around my skull. If I could speak at the moment, I would have been screaming bloody murder. But I was powerless to stop my head from being crushed under that amazing set of jaws.
Now, I couldn't see, hear or feel. Her fangs had been directly over my eyes and ears and had broken them in when she crushed my head in. And yet... I was still alive. I should have been on the road to Heaven at the moment, but still, Silver somehow kept me alive. I should have been dead ten times over by now, but for her own sick reasons, Silver would not let the reality of the situation hit me. I just wanted it to stop and to pass onto the next realm, the plush was as gung ho as ever to draw this out.
Just when I thought she was going to finally release my spirit, I suddenly felt weightless and light-headed. My vision returned and I could see that I had somehow left my body. It was like I was a spirit, but I was still alive somehow. I was hovering in front of Silver, who had discarded my destroyed body like a piece of trash.
I quickly looked down and nearly lost my lunch if I had any to loose. The damage Silver had done to my body was indescribable. I could not recognize myself under all that blood and broken features. I could not believe that that sweet creature had done that to me and still stood before me.
I turned to Silver with fury. "How could you do that to me and still have my respect for you?!" I yelled at her. "What demonic force could allow you to destroy me and still keep me from passing on?! You killed me, you scum, and somewhere in that black heart of yours, you are pleased with it! I HOPE YOU ARE PROUD OF YOURSELF!!!"
Silver simply looked at me with a blank expression on her face. She seemed to have expected this, but she was unfazed after my spiritual scolding. So it was quite a shock when she spread her wings wide and assumed a serene pose. I didn't know what to make of this, but I suddenly realized what she was doing when I felt myself being drawn into her body! She was absorbing my spirit! And there was nothing I could do about it! My spirit was being pulled into her heart and I was going to be consumed just like a demon swallowing a ghost. I finally gave up and allowed myself to be pulled into her body, where I finally blacked out.
(Author's Note: If you think I made all that up to be mean, you have no idea. I got the idea from the game "Earthbound" where the monk, Poo (yes, that's his name), must finish his training before he can help Ness, Paula and Jeff. He has his entire being torn apart bit by bit until there is nothing left of him. Thankfully, he comes back at 100 percent health and his training is complete, so all is not lost. Keep reading!)
I woke up feeling strangely warm and comfortable. I opened my eyes, but I could not see anything. Everything around me was black and empty, but still, I was warm. It was like my body had just taken a dip in a hot spring but much more comfortable than that.
When I finally got the sense to get a feel for my surroundings, I suddenly felt cramped all around me. I could feel a chamber that felt distinctly like silk and that it moved whenever I did. It was like I was inside someone's... stomach.
"Silver?!" I yelled, trying to get a response. "Are you out there?!"
To my great fear and satisfaction, I heard a reply.
"Yes, my love. I am here for you." That voice had come from all around me, confirming that it was Silver and that I was inside of her!
"What did you do to me?! Where am I?! What's wrong with me?!"
I felt something push up against my back, soothing me and calming me down slightly.
"You are inside my body. You are going to be reborn, my love. We will finally be together forever."
I tried to squirm, but I didn't get anywhere fast. "What did you do to me?! The last thing I remember was looking down at my body and then being absorbed by you! Please tell me what happened!"
Silver's body heat increased slightly, once again calming me down enough to listen to her.
"I have removed you from your mortal shell of a body. It was necessary that I destroy it completely so that your spirit would be more willing to come inside me."
"WHAT?!?!" I yelled, trying to claw at the chamber. But my fingers weren't as sharp as they once were and I got nowhere. "Why did you do that?! I thought you were going to kill me! This doesn't explain anything!"
Silver bounced a little, sending me a little jolt and snapping me out of it.
"If you will be quiet for a moment, I will explain everything." I finally realized that I was going nowhere by arguing and gave up, crossing my arms in annoyance. "That's better. Now, listen closely...
"I was created with the one purpose to make my owner happy. And as far as I was aware, I did just that. We cared for each other through thick and thin and we remained good friends. But when I put all of my feelings and hopes into hoping that you would join me in my bliss, I was devastated by your answer. I know now that that was not what you had meant to say, but I went insane nonetheless.
"In my mind, I was putting together a way to force you to join me. I know that I went a little too far, but it was all necessary. I needed to destroy your earthly body completely so that your spirit would be more willing to come to me. Now that it is done, you are being reincarnated inside my body so that we will be one with each other soon enough. We will be more than just friends. We will be bondmates. Our bodies and minds may be separate, but our hearts will be one. We will feel each other's pain and emotions. Our life forces will be linked together more closely than you could ever imagine. We will be together as Synthetics forevermore. Do you understand, my love?"
I could not believe the ingeniousness of it all. Silver had gone to incredible lengths to make sure that we would always be together. This was just a taste of her true power, but I still could not believe the trouble she had gone through.
"Are you sure that you thought this out? I mean, we can't go back on this. If I'm going to be a "Synthetic", then I need to know that I'll be all right."
"You will be fine, Rye. Your body is being reconstructed inside of me as we speak. Soon, I will expel you and your life will start over from the beginning. We will finally be happy with each other and that is all that matters to me."
Now that I thought about it, this body didn't exactly belong to me. I felt parts of me that seemed to weigh more than before and parts of me that had never been there in the first place. Finally, it all made sense.
"I'm gonna be... a Lugia?"
"Plush, actually, but a Lugia nonetheless. Are you still mad at me?"
I should have been, but ever since I had merged with her back when she was only a day old, I had achieved a new sense of respect for the plush body. In short, this was going to be better than my meaningless life as a human! And I couldn't wait!
"No... I'm not mad at you at all. I'm actually looking forward to this! I just wish it would hurry up!"
Somewhere above me, I could feel Silver smile. "Thank you, Rye. You have no idea what this means to me! Now... rest. I will give you life as soon as your body is ready. I look forward to seeing you again... my sweet little Lugia."
I smiled as well and closed my eyes. She was really sweet. She had always been kind to me, and even in her anger, she still cared about me. I was just glad she was there when I needed her and I knew she felt the same way.
Some time later, Silver awoke in her new cave habitat high in the Rocky Mountains. She had been tending to Rye's egg for the past two weeks and she felt that he was getting close to hatching. It was a strange sight to see a plush lay an egg, but she defied the laws of nature and produced the egg of her mate. It had come out soft, but after an extensive cleaning and caring for it, it was finally ready to hatch. It had taken longer than it should have, but out in the wilderness, she did not have access to ways of speeding up the process.
The formerly pillow-like egg had since developed a hard, crystal-like shell, adding to its strength and signaling that it was maturing. Soon, it would hatch and she could once again look upon the face of the one who so dearly loved her. She kept her warm plush body on the egg as much as she could to speed up the process and now, it was ready.
Taking a deep breath, Silver expelled a soft, gentle stream of blue Dragonbreath over the egg. It surrounded the egg, warming it up and filling it with life. She returned to sitting on it like a concerned mama bird.
She didn't have much longer to wait after she did this. She suddenly felt the egg kicking under her. She quickly climbed off of it and watched it. The foot-long egg was shaking visibly and something was trying to break out of it. It shook, rattled and rolled around the next before it stopped and stood straight upright. Silver could barely contain her excitement as a thin crack appeared around the top. It intensified and grew bigger before the egg suddenly flopped onto its side.
Silver gasped, wondering if something was wrong with it, but her fears were unfounded. Almost immediately, the egg started to spin and fly apart. The egg went into a small spiral, sending eggshell flying everywhere. And in the middle of the mess was a miracle of magic.
Silver had finally rebirthed Rye. The tiny Lugia plush uncurled itself and flopped onto the nest. It matched her in every single detail except for its skin. Since Rye had just been reborn, his skin was still soft and cloth-like, but it would smooth over in time. The point was that he could now take his first breath in his new life.
Rye rolled onto his front and tried to stand up. He succeeded, but he was still too inexperienced with his new body to stand straight. He wobbled on the spot, using his new wings to balance as best as he could.
When he was finally standing straight, he looked up at the one who had given this new life to him and smiled.
"Hello, Silver," he said in a small voice. Since he hadn't exactly "died" before he had been reincarnated, all of his former traits were still a part of him. "Am I alive?"
Silver smiled and nuzzled the tiny plush. "You are. And we're going to live every day of our lives with meaning. We are finally together again and nothing will ever tear us apart."
Rye wrapped his wings around his "mother's" head and hugged her. He gave her face a few licks with his rubber-like tongue and rested his head on her. He then sighed and separated from her.
"I guess I need to stay out of the water from now on or my skin will start to smell, eh?"
Silver chuckled and picked him up by the neck with her beak. After depositing him on her back, she nuzzled him again and said softly. "We can fix that at any time. We'll just have to borrow someone's washing machine to get clean, won't we?"
Rye squealed and wrapped his wings around her neck. "I'm glad you came into my life, Silver. I hope we will always be together!"
Silver smiled. "No... we'll be much more than that. We will... and always will be... friends."
Coming soon from shadowlugia249:
"Ay Yai Yoshi" – A Yoshi TF
"Latex Lore Chapter 3: The Pop-Marked Man" – Shannon's Mission
"The Plushtopia Chronicles – Tails" – A Tails plush TF
"Anthro Anthology – Tails" – A Tails/Kitsune TF