"Faster!"

With claws clacking noisily on the brick below Spyro ran, tearing through the streets with a blatant disregard for safety that saw locals press themselves into the walls to avoid what would definitely be a nasty collision.

"It's not much further, we can still make it!"

At his side a glimmer of gold nodded and beat his wings faster, reducing the sight of him to a thin wisp as he flew by. He felt the miniscule muscles in his back roar their discontent at his effort, but silencing them was easy when he had motivation. Who knew that disgruntlement at a friend's poor timekeeping was such an excellent fuel?

They skidded around a corner and took off down the harbour road. At their side lay the endless expanse of darkness that Breeze Harbour stretched out into, and within it sat various Sky Boats, big and small, winged and sailed, but all seemingly floating on nothing. Amidst the starry blue sky and the gentle streetlights they were a sight to behold, but they didn't have time for sightseeing.

"Pier one, two, three…" Spyro counted, catching the smallest of small glimpses at the signs as he sped past. "Four, five, six…" He stole a glance up at the clock tower. Time was ticking away. "Seven…eight!"

He jerked around to follow the line of the pier, tearing chunks out of the brick as he did so. Unlike its companions pier eight faced not out towards open sky but onto a rocky wall. A wall which provided a background to a small portal filled with the gentle pastel colours of autumn.

"Yes!" Spyro cheered. With a speedy stumble he ran and leapt for the portal, Sparx clinging to his back to keep up with him, but as the portal's hues filled his eyes he didn't notice the clock tower. The clock tower that ticked to nine and tolled the hour, and as the bell chimed the portal's colours disintegrated.

He didn't realise his failure until after he passed through the portal's empty gate, and his disappointment was immediately vanquished by pain as he clattered into the cliff face behind him.

"Ow!" he moaned, crumpling into a heap as the impact rocked his nerve endings. Then the bell tolled again and they stung even more. Sullenly, he dragged himself to his feet and looked back, through the empty portal gate and at the stark white face of the clock tower. Nine PM. Portal switch-off time, and he had missed it.

"Ah," he said, clenching his eyes shut as he waited for what would inevitably happen next, and sure enough he heard the buzzing of a dragonfly in his ear.

"Bzz! Bzz bz bzbzzz bzz!" Sparx shouted.

"Sorry, buddy," Spyro said. It was the only thing he could say.

"Bzz bz bz!"

"I know, it was my fault."

"Bzz bzzzzzz bzz bz!"

"Hey, it wasn't intentional, I just thought we had time for ice cream, and it turns out we didn't. I'm sorry, I should have listened to you." He sighed, "Oh well. Looks like we're stuck here."

"Bzz bzz."

"Are we not?"

"Bzz bzz bz!"

"Hey, no need to take that tone with me!"

"Bzz bzzz bz bzz bzbzzz!"

"Alright, I'm sorry. Now please tell me how we can get home."

Sparx extended a spindly arm into the distance, pointing towards one of the Sky Boats nestling in the harbour.

"They go to Autumn Plains?"

"Bz."

"How do you know that?"

Sparx frowned and pointed to a poster stuck no more than twenty yards from them, all bright colours and explanation marks. It sang the praises of a cheap Sky Boat service to Autumn Plains.

"Ah," Spyro said, blushing slightly, "Yeah, I really should be more observant."

"Bzz bz."

"Uh-huh," Spyro said, shaking his head. "Well, it looks like all the piers are full so hopefully there's a boat going to depart soon. Where do we need to go?"

"Bzz bzzzbzbzz."

"The terminal. Got it."

With an awkward gait Spyro began to walk, moving unevenly as his bruised body protested. Sparx moved to follow, but suddenly swerved to the side to pass through the empty portal. He looked up at its vacant arch as he passed through, and spun around to look at it again afterwards. It looked so barren and useless without its colour, a fancy piece of artwork that served no purpose other than to waste materials. He'd never seen a portal reduced to such obsoleteness before, but then he'd always been good at keeping time. He looked over his shoulder to glance the hobbling Spyro, and pressed his hand into his face.

"Bz bzz!" he muttered, then fluttered after him.


So, a new story at last, and this time I've broken it up into parts to keep you all waiting! :D

I will, hand on heart, admit that this isn't the most engaging opening chapter one could write, but trust me, it gets better (if I say so myself XD). After all, they're stuck in Breeze Harbour, a place where Land Blubbers are constantly causing havoc... :/

Comments are, as always, greatly appreciated. :)