Sea, Sun and Sickness Deleted Scene
Once induction and lifeguard training were finally over and done with, Dragon Shores is open to the public. Hence the name of the beach, it is a tropical resort and a vacation spot for anthropomorphic dragons to kick back, relax and let their troubles wash away with the tide. Everyone is taking it easy except for the lifeguard team which consists of the following members: Spyro, Smokey, Daniel and Stanley. Hopefully, the squad will expand and the amount of employees will multiply.
All over the coast, there are countless clusters of dragons and magical creatures wandering around, minding their own business even as they were being occupied with their activities such as surfing, building sandcastles, collecting seashells, swimming, taking photographs, mingling with the tourists and each other and so forth. Additionally, there is sand as far as the eye can see. Surf is up during the heated season of the year, most specifically: summer. According to the lifeguard team leader, Stanley, there are beach parties and karaoke sessions which were being held on most Fridays and usually Gildas hosts them.
Sometimes, the waves comes rolling in and they tend to retreat occasionally which depend on the time of the day. Fortunately, they didn’t lap up the sand and they had managed to touch the shoreline. Similar to Sunny Beach in Avalar and Seashell Shore in the Forgotten Realms, the sand is jam-packed with seashells and starfishes which were gathered by the seawater and were washed ashore. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours which ranges from the smallest to the largest and lightest shade to the darkest tinge which depends on their physical appearances.
Behind the beach are numerous buildings, shops and facilities which were aligned and they stood next to one another which can be seen for miles. At the centre of the sand, there is a white lifeguard chair and an empty, metallic bin which is positioned at the left side of it in case one of the lifeguards or the denizens are going to make use of it. Luckily, the chair is the perfect size for either Spyro or Smokey to sit in it for them to be on the lookout for tidal waves, people drowning in the ocean or anything suspicious.
The amusement park is clearly far away from the seashore which means it is difficult to observe in the distance. Speaking of it, they are both linked; therefore the holidaymakers and outsiders can travel between the seaside and the theme park without much hassle. A few miles away from the seacoast, the theme park and the summery scenery lays a tall, white lighthouse which is located on the far right of Dragon Shores. It is resting on a stone, rock-strewn cliff and there is certainly no light discharging from it right now since it is daytime. During the night, the light merely shimmers vividly to guide the boats, water transportation and swimmers back to the beach.
On the right side of the lifeguard chair is a tan-coloured lifeguard watch tower which is used for storing equipment and lifesaving kits, doing their paperwork and taking a breather. This is Spyro’s and Smokey’s base of operations and this is technically their headquarters. The building is in a shape of a vertical rectangle which had the capacity of filling two, three or more lifeguards inside which depends on how many are entering the tower and it doesn’t matter what height, width or weight they are. On the left, front and right sides, thee are moderate medium-sized, square-shaped windows and the flat roof is for the young lifeguards to be on the lookout for tidal waves, dire danger and anything out of the ordinary. At the front, there is a deep tan-coloured, wooden door with a silver handle, a small oblong-shaped window above it and a single horizontal, rectangular-shaped doorstep below the door. The tower is obviously for lifeguards (and sometimes their coach or their employer sets foot into the premises in order to check on their progress) only. To notify the population that entry isn’t permitted, there is a white sign underneath the door handle and on the door, it bears the words, “Lifeguards Only”, in red, uppercase letters.
Lastly, a tiki-hut bar can be spotted a small number of miles away from the lifeguard chair, the beach house and the trash can. This is where all the inhabitants and sightseers of every age group and species, including lifeguards to get a refill, a refreshing drink or a mouth-watering cocktail. If anybody is dehydrated, it is convenient for him or her.
In order to keep the DNN (Dragon News Network), the public and the reporters from noticing him, Spyro wore a pair of red shorts which represented his lifeguard status and a pair of sunglasses which were sitting in front of his tired, droopy and sickly amethyst eyes. To accompany with his current wardrobe change is a small silvery whistle which is tied around his neck just in case he needs to use it during his duties.
Judging by his appearance, he had seen better days. He looked as if he hadn’t been sleeping for weeks or months, due to how shattered he seemed to be and his purple-scaled skin is a palely and an unhealthily hue of its normal colour. Not to mention, his snout is reddish and a flow of gooey, viscous mucus is trickling down from his minuscule nostrils like a running tap. To accompany his bloodshot, watery and puffy amethyst eyes were black bags or circles which materialised underneath them since his horrible coughing kept him up occasionally whenever he had to go to sleep. To make matters worse, his flushed, facial complexions, annoying headaches and feverish forehead were providing him problems.
The reason why he is a part-time lifeguard is that he is taking a short hiatus from the limelight and he wanted to know what it is like to be a normal dragon where he didn’t need to worry about the paparazzi stalking him, his enemies giving him and the worlds he protects a hard time and the press frequently asking him questions and giving him interviews. Not only does he had to keep his identity under wraps but also his sickness.
After suffering from a couple of unrelenting, horrendous coughs here and there, he eventually decided that it is time to take a breather and get a glass of cool, refreshing water to calm his nerves and his coughing, which disturbed him from his part-time job. It is not that surprising if it bothered him whenever he had to save any world from destruction or world conquest which depends on what diabolical plan his fiendish enemies are up to. He made his way to a nearby tiki-hut bar which is not too far from the lifeguard chair.
He assumed that having a glass of water will stop his very bad coughing for a bit. Every now and then, his execrable coughs gets worse during his occupation but it depends on whether he coughed harder or not and how much time had elapsed. Unfortunately, his repulsive coughing is difficult to get rid of.
Due to his sickness, his movements were slow, his muscles and haunches were aching and he could barely breathe through his nose, let alone breathe fire. In fact, it absolutely deprived him of his inner strength and his fire breath but he isn’t going to let that stop himself from enjoying the day and the endless summer sun so far.
Additionally, he is determined to maintain his reputation and his pride no matter what, even though he is weak in the knees and his legs didn’t want to cooperate. If anyone in the Dragon Realms, Avalar or the Forgotten Worlds finds out that he couldn’t handle a little cold, he will never hear the end of it. It could tarnish his reputation as an almighty hero, whose name strikes fear into the hearts of his formidable foes. In spite of his incapacitated state, he kept his cool.
Along the way, his four paws touched the sandy roughness of the burning sand which is typical for Dragon Shores or any tropical resort whilst his claws gripped the surface. Every so often, he coughed roughly or harshly into one of his medium-sized, reddish-brown wings in order to cover his mouth so the germs wouldn’t spread. He couldn’t risk infecting anybody nearby as he passes by as if he is patrolling the perimeter of the seaside.
By the time he turned up at the tiki-hut bar; he let his walking slow down to a complete standstill. To his surprise, the bartender had recognised him as one of the newly-recruited young lifeguards. Luckily, he didn’t know that there’s more to the truth than meets the eye. Little did he know that in reality the little lifeguard is the great and powerful, sheep-roasting hero of the Dragon Realms, Avalar and the Forgotten Worlds? At this time, he plopped himself cosily on one of the chairs which were close to the table.
The moment he laid eyes on the reptilian redeemer, his face instantaneously perked up to the utmost limit, identifying his customer as one of the recent beach protectors. “Hey! You’re one of the new lifeguards, aren’t you?”
When the bartender acknowledged him as one of the new, highly-trained lifeguards, Spyro couldn’t help himself but feel his ego overinflated, even though this is his first day of lifeguard duties. “Yep, that would be me.” He smirked smugly, which turns out to be his real, arrogant one. He hadn’t grinned in an overconfident manner since he first become under the weather with his severe cold. He placed his paws on his hips for emphasis, being full of himself and proud of his abilities.
“Congratulations on your new occupation!”
“Thanks. That means so much to me.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, how is your new job?”
“It’s going so well so far but it’s an awfully big responsibility, trying to ensure the safety of the residents and preventing them from getting drowned. As if that’s not enough, I had to enforce the rules.”
“Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll do fine, in spite of the work load. So, what kind of drink would you like to order, sir?”
“I’d like a glass of water please.”
“A glass of water is comin’ right up!” The bartender called out in an enthusiastic way, going out of his way to prepare a drink for his customer. All he had to do is grab a tall, see-through bottle of water from somewhere in his bar and pour the contents into the glass which is nothing special. Since it is simply a glass of water, it took him less than a fair number of seconds to fix one up for the juvenile lifeguard. “Here you go.”
“Thanks.” Spyro replied with a feeble, but ill, smile, showing his appreciation to the bartender who owns the local tiki-hut bar.
Once the order had been finished, he wrapped his tail around the middle of the transparent glass of cool, thirst-quenching water with the purpose of pulling it to his side of the table, since he didn’t had any opposable thumbs and he normally had trouble with clutching objects with his razor-sharp, white claws. Using his tail, he hoisted the glass upwards to his reptilian lips before tipping it, allowing the water to slip down his scratchy, sore throat which effectively ceased his awful coughing for a while. For a second there, he thought that he could never stop coughing.
“I thought I had to pay for the water.” He tilted his head in confusion, misunderstanding why the bartender had never asked him to shell out his gems, which were the currency of the Dragon Realms.
“You only had to pay if you’re ordering a drink. Water is always for free.” The bartender responded, solving the little dragon’s question.
During the light-hearted conversation between Spyro and the local bartender, Elora walked up to the small tiki-hut bar, dressed in her forest green bikini which hid her hourglass-shaped, feminine body and the bikini is ideal for the beach and the summer. She doesn’t usually wear such revealing clothing but for a nice sunny day like this, this is an exception. On the other hand, she didn’t don it just for impressing fine-looking guys and handsome, male lifeguards.
“What kind of drink would you like, ma’am?” The bartender queried, awaiting an answer from the auburn-haired, green-dressed faun. Since he isn’t sure of her name, he referred to her as, “ma’am”, which is one of the few ways of addressing females.
In the midst of the summertime, Elora couldn’t resist ordering a chilly, revitalising drink with the purpose of beating the summer heat wave and to hydrate herself. “I would like a still glass of iced tea.”
“A glass of iced tea is coming right up!” The bartender yelled in a perky manner, clearly keen about his job but that is probably due to the fact that the blistering, sunshiny weather had a positive effect on him. With that, he went right to work. He steeped four to six standard-sized tea bags (or the equivalent in loose tea) in two cups of freshly-boiled (but not boiling), hot water up to ten minutes (there are different types of teas which will require different steep times). Next, he used any tea randomly before he steeped it. The longer he steeped it, the more bitter the tea will taste. Once that is done, he withdrew the tea bags and dissolved the sweeteners into the brew while it is piping hot. He allowed the tea to cool off in the summer heat, transferred the concentrate into a 2-quart pitcher, and dilute with cold water according to the taste. Finally, he served the drink with ice cubes and garnished it with a lemon wedge. “Here ya go, miss.” He then pushed the drink over to his customer, who waited patiently for it. It slid down the table until it came to a brief stop before she picked it up. “That will be fifteen gems please.” He told her in a business-like manner without hesitation, awaiting the exact amount of gems from his customer since this is the full price of the iced tea she had ordered.
Thankfully for her, the iced tea is affordable just like the other sub-zero beverages which are available to select at the bar. Elora withdrew a yellow-coloured gem and a blue-tinted gem which adds up to fifteen gems altogether, seemingly out of nowhere as requested which she brought with her along with the other gems that she saved up and she gently placed them on the table for the bartender to pick them up.
The cold beverage is a form of cold tea which is served in a translucent glass with ice cubes. It is blended with flavoured syrup, with common fruity flavours such as lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, passion fruit, strawberry and cherry. A slice of lemon is added at the top of the left side of the glass which is considered to be the finishing touch, in order to make it look appealing. In comparison to what the young, pubescent lifeguard ordered, the appearance of the iced tea is complex and colourful.
“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” Elora shot a grateful and warm smile to the male bartender, showing her gratitude to him.
“The pleasure is all mine, madam.” The owner of the bar returned the smile to her; a joyful beam is plastered on his face. “I’m happy to be of service.”
From across the table, a young lad who is wearing a pair of red shorts and a pair of dark shades had caught her eye. There is just something about him which sparked her interest, whether it is his sparkling amethyst eyes or his masculine body figure. Unbeknownst to her, he is her old, fire-breathing friend and her possible old flame the entire time. However, his handsomeness and his heroic stature had blinded her to see who he really is, which means his true identity.
Who is that guy? Just remain calm and collected, Elora. He is just a regular guy and he is no different to any other dragon in the Dragon Realms. Though, he does look handsome. Who am I kidding? What does he see in me? Elora thought, having a quick look at Spyro, who is sitting next to her and sniffled nasally before taking a sip of his water whilst he closed his eyes in attempt to make himself relaxed. After drinking it a little bit, he opened his eyes and settled the glass on the table before taking a few hitched and ragged breaths. Due to his latest get-up, she could hardly recognise him, despite the fact that his famous purple scales were shown.
Her thoughts were cut off by a cough attack which is coming from Spyro, who turned his head aside and coughed roughly and harshly into his paws while he squeezed his eyes firmly shut in order to hold back the pain. Unfortunately, as his bout of coughing progressed, they worsened to the point where they eventually sounded like hacking coughs. They were described as loud coughs that sound painful.
“Are you all right, sir?” The bartender asked, feeling concerned for the poorly, purple protector of the Dragon Realms, Avalar and the Forgotten Worlds.
Noticing that the little lifeguard is still suffering from his abysmal coughing, Elora took the liberty of gently placing one of her hands on his back and rubbed it up and down repeatedly which is her method of doing all she can to calm him down.
Once his terrible coughing subsided, he opened his eyes and regained his composure before clearing his throat. “Thanks, I really needed that.” He grinned, his voice is congested with the excess of mucus which is stuck within his lungs while he gazed into the faun’s beautiful sapphire eyes through his bloodshot, watery and puffy amethyst eyes even though they were concealed by his sunglasses.
“It’s my pleasure. Are you okay? I hope you’re not coming down with something.”
“I’ll be fine. It’s something you shouldn’t be fretting about.” Spyro forced a frail, but sickly, smile, attempting to conceal the pain he suffered from his severe cold and to make himself look like he is all right. He may be flashing a smile in the faun’s direction but a few feeble coughs from him suggests otherwise as he coughed weakly into one of his purple-skinned, petite paws. “Anyway, I’d better go.”
“Why? We’ve just only met.”
“I’ve got work to do but I assure you that you’ll be able to see me somewhere at this beach. I’ll see you around!”
Without saying another word, he downed the remainder of his glass of water before he turned around on his seat, moved himself off of it in a gradual manner and walked off on his four paws with his purple-scaled back facing the auburn-haired, green-clothed faun even as his pocket-sized paw prints were trailing behind him and his tail moving about in rhythm to his body movements. His size decreased with each passing second the more he walked into the distance.
As soon as he is out of earshot, Elora couldn’t help but wonder why he is acting weird in her presence, not to mention being secretive, especially about his mild illness. He is a nice enough guy but something about him seems a bit odd. I’m starting to think that he’s not admitting that he’s sick. Whether he’s ill or not, I’m going to check up on him.
She gulped down the rest of her cool, ice-cold drink, positioned the glass down on the table in front of her and went off, going after the ailing, draconic defender. It isn’t like her to be chasing after any male creature, whether it is a dragon or not but the way he acted earlier had made her more curious than ever. The way he disregarded his illness like it is nothing and leaving his final message out in the open caused her to become suspicious of him. Not only is she fretting about his well-being, but also her curiosity about his strange behaviour got the best of her.
She travelled along the vast amount of sand which is a material made out of tiny grains, her hoof prints were following behind her as her hooves dropped a bit deeper into the surface. Unlike any desert, the beach didn’t have any dunes. She let her cerulean eyes wander, searching for any traces of the pubertal, purple-scaled lifeguard. Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be seen for the time being. However, she isn’t planning on giving up any time soon.
Fortunately for her, luck is on her side when she had ultimately spotted him somewhere further down the seaside. He is giving some of the citizens a good talking to. In spite of his small stature, he had some sort of a commanding aura or vibe which he is giving off.
There is that cute guy from the bar! It seems like he’s got himself into trouble or more like scolding people. But why would he tell them off? It is not like he is in charge or anything. Once again, her thoughts had entered her mind which were relating to the boy she fancied. Then again, the “boy” is a dragon but due to his age, he is technically a teenage boy. As she approached, her ears had managed to pick up the whole conversation.
“You know the rules! No littering! It’s strictly prohibited. If I ever catch any of you doing this again, I’m going to make your punishments far more severe. Do I make myself clear?” Spyro exclaimed, ensuring that he isn’t straining his voice while trying his best to retain a professional image. All the while, he is being in a battle not to cough or sneeze for the umpteenth time. Even though it isn’t like him to be strict, he had to do his job.
The small group of rule-breakers cowered in his presence whilst he scolded the living daylights out of them, reminding them of the rules, water safety and beach etiquette. The more the volume of his voice increases, the more they are frightened of him. They thought that they will get away with dropping litter all over the coast without him noticing but they were wrong when he arrived at the scene.
Gosh, does he really need to be this strict? Is he allowed to have the authority to act that way? Elora thought to herself, clearly preoccupied with thinking about the fellow that she developed a crush on. She never expected any male or anybody to go out of their way of yelling the living daylights out of a group of mythological creatures. In her opinion, she finds it unacceptable of him to do such a thing. Little did she know that he is the answer to her inner assumptions of him?
Terrified out of their wits, the rule-breakers had stumbled on their words while they were trembling to death and they had become frozen with fear. “Y-Y-Yes, sir.”
“I said, is that clear?!?”
With a petrified jump, the litterers stood still in a stiff manner whilst they were sort of forced to give a salute to the angered lifeguard, who is dispensing some disciplinary action if necessary. “Sir, yes, sir!” They hollered in unison at the top of their voice, utterly understanding the importance of the guidelines. Whether they like it or not, they didn’t want to enrage a lifeguard any more than they already did, especially if he is a dragon.
“Good. That’s what I like to hear.” Spyro beamed, satisfied that the litterbugs were finally listening to him. He instantaneously glared sternly at the rule-breakers whilst he continued to discipline them which are his way of keeping his professionalism and formality in check. “Now, clean up the mess immediately!” The instant he heard Elora’s footsteps from behind him, he turned around to face her and his face instantly softened as his authoritative attitude had been temporarily reverted back to his usual persona. “Oh! Hey, I know you! You’re the girl from the bar, am I right?”
“Why, yes. I’m the one you’ve met.” Elora nodded, responding to the pocket-sized, purple protagonist’s question with a friendly smile which had spread across her womanly lips. Remembering the incident from earlier which occurred at the bar, she felt sympathetic towards him straight away. “I’m sorry that you were coughing before.”
“No worries. It happens sometimes and I’ve put that right behind me.”
“I’m glad to hear it. If you don’t mind my asking, what are you doing exactly?”
“I’m a part-time lifeguard and—” Unluckily for Spyro, his sentence is abruptly interrupted by a series of horrendous hacking coughs which were expelled from his reptilian lips and his lungs whilst he covered his mouth with one of his fore paws. They were described as dry, painful coughs with harsh, unpleasant sounds. Once he recovered from the cough attack, he straightened himself while trying to keep his head up high with the purpose of upholding his professional image and he composed himself. “And it’s my responsibility to protect Dragon Shores and to make sure that nothing happens to the citizens. Also, I had to enforce the rules ‘cause if I don’t, no one is going to take me seriously.”
Oh my goodness, he’s a lifeguard?!? Why didn’t I realise that sooner? That must explain why he told off some of the inhabitants in an authoritative manner. Remain calm, Elora, just don’t get nervous around him. He may be strict but if the time is right, he might warm up to you. At least, he is being nice to me. Elora thought to herself, putting two and two together and at the same time, she is astonished to discover that the guy she had a crush on is a lifeguard the entire time. However, this isn’t the whole truth which means that there is more to come later on and there is more to it than meets the eye. It didn’t take her long enough until she soon snapped herself out of her thoughts, thus returning her to reality. “I know this is probably not my business but why’d you even bother staying here if you’ve got the sniffles?” She inquired, feeling sorry for the ailing, adolescent lifeguard. “If I were you, I’d see a doctor and get plenty of bed rest.”
“I already told you that I’m fine and I’m not sick. There’s really nothing wrong with me.” Spyro lied, reassuring his previous ally that he is the opposite of being ill. He frowned, feeling a few tickles within his nostrils which will soon materialise in a powerful, fiery sneeze. Having the urge to sneeze, he turned his head away from her, throwing his head back while suddenly inhaling a bit of air and shutting his eyes tightly and abruptly shot his head forward, releasing a blast of scorching, red-hot fire from his snout. “Atishoo!” Once the fire had been snuffed out and slowly dispersed until nothingness, a stream of smoke is billowing out of his tiny nostrils for a short period of time. As a dragon, it is expected of him to experience fiery sneezes. After the fiery expulsion, he opened his eyes in a non-drowsy, sickly mood and snivelled frailly and nasally a small number of times to prevent a trail of mucus dribbling from his nostrils before he composed himself.
“You’re very welcome.” Elora replied with an amiable smile, grateful that her buddy had expressed his thanks to her. “Does this happen all the time?” She asked, clearly not used to seeing him letting out a sweltering sneeze from his reddened snout all of a sudden. Furthermore, there is a hint of worry in her voice.
Witnessing the unofficial leader of the Avalari’s unsettled expression, Spyro simply shrugged his achy haunches or shoulders as an answer, explaining to her that enduring scorching sneezes is normal and it isn’t anything out of the ordinary for his fire-breathing species. “Not really. Breathing fire while sneezing is normal for dragons, whether we’re sick or not. It’s part of our nature.” Grasping the realisation that she is still there, he made the decision to change the subject in order to move things along with their discussion. He believed that a tour would allow them to spend some quality time together which will take his mind of not feeling at his best in the process. “Since you’re here, would you like a tour of Dragon Shores?”
“I’d love to.”
“Great! I’ll call my colleague.” Spyro replied with a weak, but sickly, smile, which is spread across his reptilian lips. Sadly, his smile is weakened by his affliction and weariness but it is intent, nevertheless.
And with that, he wasted no time placing a paw in his bag before rummaging through it at a slower pace, on an account of his ailment and the symptoms he had experienced. After what seemed like an eternity (although, it’s only been several minutes), he pulled out a walkie-talkie which is given to him by his lifeguard coach, Daniel. He pushed a button with one of his white claws and brought the walkie-talkie to one of his ears which weren’t visible.
“Hello. This is Smokey. Who is this?” Smokey’s voice can be heard on the other line of the walkie-talkie.
“Hey Smokey, it’s Spyro.” Spyro answered in a shallow, throaty and cracking voice. The way he uttered those words, he felt like he couldn’t bring himself to speaking normally since the exhaustion and the symptoms of his severe cold had took their toll on him. To top it all off, he didn’t know whether he had just woken up or he is falling asleep.
“Hi, Spyro. What’s up?”
“Can you—” The instant the irritating tickle prickled Spyro’s throat; it soon developed into a sequence of painful, hacking coughs which lingered in his gullet. Each cough worsened as they wracked his frame and they became louder and sounded more unbearable with each passing second while he covered his mouth with one of his paws and closed his eyes firmly to suppress the pain which harmed his throat and his fire-breathing glands. It is bad enough for him that his unpleasant coughs refused to leave his lungs. Unluckily for him, it interfere his chat with his workmate before he had the chance to finish his sentence. When his awful coughing eventually subsided, he opened his eyes, removed his paw from his scaly lips, collected himself and regained his breath.
“You okay, Spyro? You still had that nasty cough?” Smokey’s tone of voice through the walkie-talkie sounded as if he is worrying for his cold-stricken buddy.
“Yeah. I’m sorry about that, Smokey. I couldn’t stop coughing today. They wouldn’t leave and my throat is killing me.” Spyro complained, placing a pint-sized, scaly paw on his chest and rubbing it in a circular motion as if he is trying to ease the pain and another one holding a walkie-talkie which he uses to communicate with his co-worker. “I’m sick and tired of being sick.” The frustration is clear in his raw, hoarse voice.
“It’s too bad that you meant that literally. I’m sorry to hear that you’re still not well. I think a glass of water should clear that right up.”
“About that, I already tried that method.”
“Oh, crud. Well, the other alternative way is going home to rest in bed. I’m certain that Daniel and Stanley will understand.”
In spite of Smokey’s advice, Spyro still stubbornly refuses to head back home to the calm and tranquillity of the Artisans homeworld, dismissing his sickness and assuming that it’s not a big deal to him. “I’m not giving up that easy. I’m not going home ‘cause of a petty illness like a stupid cold.”
“Oh for the love of Pete, quit being so stubborn. You’ll never get better if you keep insisting on staying here while being in the current condition you’re in. Besides, you don’t wanna be any sicker than you already are.” The purple dragon could feel his teammate’s frustration on the other side of the walkie-talkie, taking it out on him seeing as he tends to be dismissive about his very bad cold. “You want to get well, don’t you?”
However, Spyro had struggled to find the correct words in an attempt to retort back. As much as it pains him to say, “Yes”, he hates to admit that his companion is right. If there is anything that he despises more than admitting that he is sick is that he lost in an argument which he refused to surrender in. Realising that there is no way out of this mess; he decided to move the subject on to a different matter. “Can we move on to something else?”
“You really shouldn’t avoid answering the question, Spyro. I’m only saying this for your own good. Besides, I’m looking out for you. That’s what friends are for. What were you about to say earlier?”
“Can you take my place for a bit? I need to show someone around the seaside.”
“Sure, just wait until I leave the watch tower, okay?”
“All right. I’ll see you when I see you, Smokey.”
“Same here. Bye, Spyro.”
After Spyro hung up from his walkie-talkie and deposited into his purple-coloured bag, he sighed in a breathless and fatigued manner, which resulted in him wheezing a bit. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t count on the Avalari faun eavesdropping on his conversation with his teammate via their walkie-talkies which they used as their main method of communication.
“You’ve got some explaining to do, Spyro.” Elora sternly glowered towards the sick saviour, putting her human-like, feminine hands on her hips whilst she is tapping one of her hooves on the rough surface of the sand. Judging by her expression, she is absolutely appalled at him deceiving her which is something she knew that he’d never do deliberately unless he had a reasonable explanation behind all of his secrets and his odd behaviour. “I don’t know what is going on here but you’d better had a good excuse as to why you’re being secretive lately.”
“H-How d-did y-y-you kn-know m-m-my name?!?” Spyro stuttered and faltered in his words, not expecting anyone to know his name or his true identity, regardless of his latest get-up in an attempt to hide himself from the paparazzi, the public and the Dragon News Network. He pushed his sunglasses upwards with one of his claws which resulted in it resting on his forehead. “What the…? Elora?!?” He gasped, completely taken aback by noticing his old friend right in front of him as his eyes immediately grew even larger than their normal size.
“I’ve overheard your conversation. Why are you hiding all of this from me?”
“I… I’m not!” Spyro raised his paws defensively, realising that his true identity had been exposed, regardless of his lifeguard disguise. Grasping the realisation that there is no way out of this predicament, he sighed sharply and he reluctantly started to tell the truth as he lowered his miniature paws. “I was so busy that I didn’t have the opportunity to tell you and all of my friends yet. Just give me a chance to explain.”
“This better be good, Spyro.”
Settling his purple-skinned paws down on the sand below him, Spyro gave an account of him babysitting the dragon hatchlings, how he ended up taking up a part-time job as a lifeguard, him falling sick with a very bad cold and last but not least, him attempting to keep his secrets hidden from everyone so he wouldn’t get himself into any trouble. As he recollected the events and incidents of what happened in the previous few days when he enlightened her with his story, he made sure that he wouldn’t lose his voice with every word which fell out of his reptilian lips. “It all started when I’ve been tasked with babysitting the dragon hatchlings in the Artisans. Unfortunately, they’ve been stricken with a cold. During my errand, Gildas handed a leaflet to me before he left after chatting to me about the part-time job. This left me some time to think. As the day progressed into the later hours of the day, I had to escort the infant dragons home and on my way home, I’ve had a discussion with one of the Dragon Elders. As soon as I got home, I’ve suddenly fallen ill and I must have caught what they’ve got. I’ve been sick ever since. That’s why I couldn’t stop coughing today. I’m sorry, Elora, but I had to keep a low profile. I’m trying to take a break from the limelight so I know what it feels like to be a normal dragon where I didn’t need to worry about any villain attempting to take over the world or destroy it, anyone causing any trouble, the paparazzi stalking me or the press constantly interviewing me. Please, you had to keep this a secret. You won’t tell anyone about this, are you?”
“For your sake, of course I won’t. As long as no one discovers that you’re unwell, you’re completely safe. But why would you want to keep all of this a secret?”
“I don’t want anyone to worry their heads off about me just ‘cause I’m not feeling like myself. Also, I don’t want my enemies to know that I’m poorly. If they find out, they’ll take advantage of my sickness and kill me without mercy. To make matters worse, they’ll most likely launch an assault on the Dragon Realms, Avalar or the Forgotten Worlds when we least expect it.”
“You do have a point there. Who knows what Ripto or anyone will do to you if they find out. You’ll be too sick to stop them, let alone defend yourself or our worlds from their attacks, mass destruction or world domination. Worst of all, I’d dread to see them thinking you’re indisposed if they ever get the upper hand or assumed that they’ve won.”
“Puh-lease, I’ve gone through way worse things than an insignificant illness. I’ve already dealt with Gnasty Gnorc, Ripto and the Sorceress in the past and I’ll do it again. I can whup anyone with one claw tied behind my back. Even though I’m sick, it doesn’t mean that I’m too weak to put them in their place.” Spyro spoke cockily with pride, dismissing his sickness once again and not concerning himself with it. Alas, an uncomfortable sensation began to tickle his throat which soon developed into a persistent fit of deep, wet and sickening mucus coughs which threatened to ruin his sense of overconfident pride. “Let’s—” He tried to keep his self-control and composure while being at the mercy of his terrible coughing fit but to no avail. All he could do is succumb to it. Due to the force of his horrific coughs, they’ve caused him to bend over in excruciating pain, struggling to regain his breath.
Elora’s blue eyes grew enormous in horror and alarm at the sight of the purple protector suffering from his coughing fit. She swiftly came to his aid, crouching down to his level and patting his back repetitively with the purpose of comforting him as he coughed violently into both of his petite, purple-scaled paws with no sign of stopping as if he is choking on something or he is coughing up a lung. “Spyro, are you all right?!?”
“I’ll be fine. It’s just a coughing fit. It’s no big deal.” Spyro forced a smile which is filled with pain as he looked up in a frail fashion, wincing from the horrific ordeal as he recovered from his ghastly coughing fit when it had subsided. He tried to rise up from his current position but he stumbled forward, due to the lack of energy. It is unfortunate that his affliction had sapped his inner strength and the capability of keeping himself upright. Luckily, the auburn-haired, female faun helped him to his feet by taking his paws in her hands and gently pulled him upwards in a gradual manner which also caused her to stand up. Now noticing that his companion is holding his paws, he retracted them, straightened himself up and cleared his throat, despising the idea of how this is going as well as refusing to let her see him in his weakened state. Once he had regained his self-control, he carried on from where he left off. “Let’s not assume the worst. In the meantime, we’d better start that tour. You’re overdue for one anyway. There is a question which had been bugging me since you first arrived: what the heck are you doing here?”
“I’ve came here for a vacation to take a break from my busy schedule.”
“It’s about time that you decided to chillax. You’re always working non-stop and it isn’t healthy to do that all the time. You’ll burn yourself out.”
“Says the guy who is too occupied with saving the world and who didn’t have time to let off some steam.”
“Touché.” Spyro flatly muttered, acknowledging that the azure-eyed, green-shirted faun had made a witty, penetrating, or cogent remark which is a trait which she doesn’t normally do.
In spite of the little purple dragon expressing his dissatisfaction in a flat voice, Elora had made the decision to move their chat on to a different topic. After exchanging words between each other, she had come to the conclusion that they were too engrossed in their own busy lives and activities which mean they didn’t had time to rekindle their friendship. “It is such a pity that we hardly had time to ourselves, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Yeah, I don’t blame you. We’re so busy, leading our own lives. I’ve got world-saving to do and lifeguard duties and you’re involved in political stuff or whatever it is that you’re doing.”
After Spyro’s last comment, he and Elora had brought their conversation to a temporarily halt. Since they had ran out of things to say, an awkward silence had occurred between them. The only sounds which were breaking it were the occasional dry, hacking coughs and fiery sneezes which were coming from Spyro, who is coughing harshly, in short and repeated spasms and sneezing stridently into his flimsy, white tissue which he dragged out from a packet of tissues in his bag. Unfortunately, his broiling, burning sneeze reduced the tissue to charred, pitch-black ashes since it’s not fireproof, much to his dismay.
Luckily, his colleague’s boyish, teen voice blared out of the walkie-talkie which effectively stopped him from succumbing to his severe cold. He sluggishly picked up his walkie-talkie (by wrapping his tail around it) from his bag in reaction to the voice.
“Hiya, Spyro. I’d just thought that you’d like to know that I’m sitting in the lifeguard chair right now.” Smokey greeted in a high-spirited tone of voice through the portable walkie-talkie, informing his cold-stricken co-worker that he is already sitting in the lifeguard chair.
“Why didn’t you let me know earlier?” Spyro questioned in his low, weak and raspy voice, doing a double take. His delayed reaction of surprise had emphasised his unawareness of his colleague already plopping his backside on the lifeguard chair which they had shared during their lifeguard duties.
“You were too busy talking to your girlfriend for you to notice that I’ve stepped out of the watch tower. Don’t blame me if someone drowned in your absence.”
“Hardy-ha-ha. Very funny, Smokey.” Spyro rolled his bloodshot, watery and puffy amethyst eyes sarcastically, clearly not in the mood since his dreadful cold made him feel like the living dead. “She’s not my,” He paused, taking a quick, weary glance at Elora and then resuming his chit-chat with his colleague. “Girlfriend. Wait a sec. How’d you know that I’m talking to a girl?”
“I can see you somewhere on the beach with a female.”
“I’m not slacking off, if that’s what you’re implying. I’m simply showing her around Dragon Shores.”
“I’m not saying that you are. There’s no need to be defensive, Spyro. We’d better wrap this conversation up. You don’t wanna keep her waiting.”
“Yeah, you’re right. See ya around, Smokey.” Spyro bid his workmate farewell for the time being. Just right when he is about to say something back, a mighty, blazing sneeze had unexpectedly interrupted his speech. In order to prevent himself from infecting his friend and torching his walkie-talkie, he fumbled for a handkerchief which he yanked from his bag in a rushed manner before he turned away, taking in a ragged breath as much as his lungs could allow whilst he flung his head back, preparing for the imminent sneeze. “Hachoo!” As he shuts his eyes securely, a powerful torrent of fire is sent straight from his ruddy nose without any warning. Unluckily, the inferno had singed his paper handkerchief, much to his disappointment. The second the flames had been dispersed and vanished from existence, a waft of smoke and noxious fumes is billowing out of his nostrils.
“Gesundheit. Goodbye, Spyro. Get well soon!”
Once the chat is disconnected for the second time, Spyro hung up the talkie-talkie before he wrapped his tail around it and deposited it into his bag which is draped across his golden chest and pint-sized body. As soon that is done, he carefully lifted his tail out of his bag and allowing it to return to its rightful position which is right behind him at his backside.
Intrigued to know who Spyro’s teenage colleague is, Elora forwarded her question to him. “I know it’s probably none of my concern but who were you speaking to?”
“It’s Smokey. He’s my colleague, my new friend and my substitute, lest I had to go on sick leave, if I had to head off to save any realm or world from any loony egomaniacs, if I got injured or if something happened to me. He’s also one of the lifeguards here, besides me.” Spyro explained, providing the faun a brief, detailed description of his teammate and his new ally. He didn’t bother going into too much detail, lest he ended up coughing terribly once more.
“On the bright side, at least you’re not doing this alone.”
“We’d better start the tour before it gets delayed any longer than it already had been. Let’s go.”
With a nod, Elora had agreed to accompany Spyro on their tour around Dragon Shores, exploring the perimeter of the area and taking in the tropical and sunlit landscape, the lifestyle of the dwellers and what it had to offer. The sun is shining, the seagulls are squawking and the smell of seawater filled the air, nothing can possibly go wrong on this splendid day or so they thought. Spyro’s sickness may had hindered their time together but hopefully, the tour, tonight’s beach party, karaoke session and whatever the future will bring will make up for it.