The Air Disaster
LoreNov 30, 2022
The Clumping Desert is a vast and barren space occupying most Eastern Cooltopia. Far out in this largely deserted landscape, there lived a lizard known as Ardi.
You wouldn’t be remiss in wondering why anyone would want to reside alone so far from civilization. Ardi wasn’t exactly what one would call a creature’s creature. In fact, he’d spent years cultivating this solo existence far from Sapphire Town. Unkindness from town dwellers had led him to seek out a different life in the desert, and now, Ardi didn’t want to change a thing. Until one day, there was a knock on his door…
Everyone loved Jo. But it wasn’t just her beautiful plumage or her sparkling eyes that drew people in. Jo was a nurturing soul, a feather to cry on, always ready to lend a wing to those in need. It was because of this giving nature that Jo found herself volunteering for a quest, an important task for the people of Sapphire Town.
Instances of Furnados were growing at an alarming rate. Some had even swept into town, leaving panic in their wake. These large swirling fur storms were a frequent occurrence out in the Clumping Desert, but usually dissipated to a mild breeze before reaching the town. Something wasn’t right out there, and being the supportive bird that she was, Jo agreed to fly out and investigate.
The first few miles of flight were pleasant. Jo hovered on the soft currents of wind and admired the desert views. Large sweeping dunes undulated beneath her like a rolling sea. But as she flew further, she sensed the winds picking up. Her feathers began to ruffle in all directions and she swayed a little, struggling to stay on course. She soon found herself fighting against the strong force of a wind that quickly tired her.
She glanced about for a safe space to rest and chanced upon a small sand dwelling covered in strange windmills, jutting out from between the sandbanks.
Ardi wasn’t sure what he was expecting as he opened the door, but a ruffled mass of orange feathers wasn’t it. Jo, despite her exhaustion, beamed her best beaky smile and held out a wing “I’m Jo, lovely to meet you! I was sent here to investigate the Furnados,” she said, attempting to appear official.
As a desert local, Ardi knew instantly what Jo meant. He had seen the winds becoming fiercer by the hour. Having had several near misses himself, he knew something was agitating them. He looked at Jo with concern and said, “The wind spirits are unsettled. If Sapphire Town is already affected, then the situation is far more dire than I thought.”
Ardi gestured behind him to the various anemometers and windmills adorning his home. “I study the wind, and something is telling me you should return home.”
Jo brushed down her feathers, ready to argue as to why her mission should continue, when she was interrupted by the loud whirring of the windmills behind Ardi. “Are they supposed to be going that fast?” she asked.
Ardi shouted, “We need to leave, now!” The spokes on the tallest anemometer creaked and snapped off, flying backwards and skipping across the dunes.
Ardi slammed his fist on a corroded metal button next to his front door, causing the earth next to his house to move. The ground shook as a trap door opened. Ardi quickly winched up a battered-looking vehicle to the surface. “My dune buggy,” he said in explanation as he climbed on board, gesturing for Jo to join him. He began driving them with haste in the direction of Sapphire Town.
Jo felt a tug on her feathers. Glancing backwards, she saw a huge Furnado loom behind Ardi’s home, casting a menacing shadow before consuming the hut in a cloud of sand and fur. Ardi sighed in sadness as he heard the commotion but didn’t look back.
The Furnado quickly gained ground on them, whipping angrily at the dune buggy. Ardi expertly swerved around the winds as smaller Furnados swarmed around them, joining the chase. They were almost at the edge of Sapphire Town! Just one more large dune to navigate! Abruptly, the buggy was side-swiped, sending it into a spin.
Ardi scolded himself for being caught off guard and attempted to veer sharply to avoid the angry wind, but it was futile. The Furnado swept them up into its midst, buggy and all, swinging them in circles until they were too dizzy to think, before spitting them out frighteningly high above the ground.
Without a second’s thought, Jo swooped towards Ardi, wrapping her soft wings around him in a safe embrace. Tucking her head in and holding on tight she fell towards the ground, rolling across the sand before landing in a ball right at the edge of town.
Much to their relief, the Furnado missed the town by a whisker, heading straight out to the sea,
Quickly, a crowd gathered around the unlikely pair. Townspeople were scrabbling to hear what had happened to their beloved Jo. Jo unfurled her wings, allowing Ardi to roll out onto the sand. Noticing the crowd gathered around them, he shuddered uncomfortably and glanced out longingly towards the desert.
Suddenly, Jo’s voice penetrated the noise of the crowd, “This is my friend Ardi. He saved me, and I think he can help the town!” she said proudly. “Now, we are heading to the tavern to give my report and have a hard-earned glass of milk!” Caught off guard, Ardi contemplated turning tail and running. He could always rebuild–he’d done it before–but something stopped him. Jo had saved him; she genuinely seemed to care. “Perhaps one milk for the road,” he said, surprising himself. Jo wrapped her wing around him as they strode through the crowds toward the tavern, and he couldn’t help but smile.
In the days that followed, Ardi helped set up a Furnado warning system, using his knowledge of the winds. Everyone now knew when to take shelter if needed, and the town felt safer. But before long, a new strange phenomenon appeared around Sapphire Town. Strange eggs were rolling to the borders of town, pushed ahead of the wind like gifts. No one knew where they came from, but those who found them felt compelled to protect them, patiently waiting for a day they might hatch.