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||You are on Week 509
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Five Hundred Nine Ends Friday, June 3
Fyora Day was fast approaching, and Meilee was absolutely frantic.
Not because there was a problem with the decorations for the celebration. Oh no. Those were perfect; the pink and purple streamers were as pristine as the Queen herself. The banners were ready to be hung, and all the balloons were ready to go, magically inflated for the indefinite future. She even had pretty pink tablecloths and purple napkins.
And there wasn't a problem with the food. She had tasted it herself; the punch was a delicious Purplum punch that was just the right shade of purple for the Faerie Queen. It had been expensive to import the Purplums, but worth it. There were lots of delicate, tasty dainties that were just the right sort to be served at a party in the Queen's honour; the earth faerie who ran the Faerie Foods Shoppe had worked hard on special ones just for the occasion. And the cake... the cake was gorgeous. She had gone all the way to Neopia Central for it, but the Breadmaster had truly outdone himself. It was fashioned in the shape of the Faerie Queen's wings, and if the sample he had given her to taste test came even close to the real thing... Fyora would love it.
There wasn't even a problem with the guest list, either. There was barely a faerie who wouldn't be there to celebrate in the Queen's honour. Even the reclusive Space Faerie was coming; Meilee had been happy to get that confirmation, but not shocked. Queen Fyora had always been fond of Mira, even if she rarely said so in so many words.
In fact, there was really only one problem. Unfortunately, it was a pretty big problem. It was nearly Fyora Day...
...and Queen Fyora was nowhere to be found...
Date: May 31st
"What?" she asked, her beautiful light faerie wings gleaming with iridescent drops of sunlight.
"Mistress, the Queen is not in her palace, nor can we find here anywhere in Faerieland. No one saw her leave and the guards didn't hear anything. Ma'am, she's just gone without a trace." The faerie Shoyru's name was Kotean, and he was the guard-captain of the palace. He stood by the entrance to the large pavilion on which the party was due to take place that same evening with a grim but resolute expression. He waited for Meilee's reply.
"What?" she said again. Kotean sighed deeply.
"Yes, Queen Fyora is nowhere to be found," he repeated, his patience wearing thin.
"Okay," she breathed, "but what do we do? If there's no trace, where do we even st-"
Meilee's question was interrupted by a noise that could be likened to the sound of several Elephantes rampaging through a metal scrapyard. The calamity rose from the buildings somewhere near the pavilion, and without any further leads on the whereabouts of the Queen, Meilee and Kotean rushed to the scene.
When they arrived, they found a large kitchen in ruins, several traumatised kitchen staff cowering under tables, and the head chef flailing uselessly in the midst of a scattering of pots, pans, utensils and half-cooked food. Meilee stepped over a broken saucepan and coughed loudly to get the head chef's attention. The Grundo continued to flail and pant, almost as if he thought he were fighting some invisible force, but he looked in Meilee's direction with wide, terror-filled eyes and was promptly thrown backward about six feet. He bounced off a wooden pillar and thumped to the ground, whimpering loudly.
"Run!" he called. "Run for your lives!"
Kotean didn't need to be told twice. When a someone is thrown six feet without appearing to have jumped, something fishy was bound to be going on, and he had no intention of getting caught in the fish's path. He grabbed Meilee and pulled her back to the corner of the paved area on which the kitchen was set, trying to hide under the shadow of the awning. A small groan issued from the wreckage beside him.
Meilee pushed the empty spice rack away and knelt over the prone form of a Techo whose eyes snapped open. She looked up at the light faerie and opened her mouth, giving a sharp intake of breath.
"Shh, it's okay!" Meilee whispered urgently. "What happened here?"
The Techo whimpered. "Tengu shouted something about ghosts, and we all looked over and saw him struggling against nothing, so we all got our frying pans and rushed over to help him. I got blasted backward. I don't remember anything else. Please, please just let me go."
"It's all right; we're not here to hurt you-" the Shoyru guard-captain began.
This time it was Kotean whose sentence was cut short. He looked down at the Techo quizzically. The Neopet had given a yelp and began shuffling backward as quickly as she could. Meilee gripped Kotean’s paw tightly, and they both turned slowly to see a piece of parchment floating, unsupported, in midair. Scrawled on the parchment in the Queen's handwriting, was the following message:
I have been cursed. Free me...
Date: May 31st
"Oh Fyora," Meilee groaned. "This is not good." Carefully, she reached for the floating paper. Kotean tried to swat her hand her away, stammering about how it could be cursed too, but it only vibrated gently as Meilee grabbed hold of it. She could tell it wasn't a fake; Queen Fyora's magic laced every inch of the parchment, feeling slightly frantic, but as powerful as usual.
This was too much for the Techo. She promptly scurried to her feet and fled the kitchen.
Kotean shook his head, glancing from the paper to the chaos still ensuing all around them. Neopets were flying backward, being repelled and pushed back from... something. He leaned in toward Meilee who was frantically rereading Fyora's note, hoping to find some secret code in the short message. "Do you think," he asked, whispering as quickly as he could while nudging her side, "that this room is filled with invisible Neopets?"
She looked up, watching a small orange Ixi rebound back from near the counter, and frowned. "I don't think so." There was plenty of spilled product on the floor: flour, chocolate pudding, cake frosting, etc. But she didn't see any footprints forming in them save for the ones the kitchen staff made as they traipsed about. "I think this is part of the curse the Faerie Queen is under."
"Making the kitchen turn on itself?" Kotean asked, unconvinced. "There are plenty of more important things that could have been cursed. Her royal chambers, for one. Or the conference rooms. The vaults, the dungeon, the--"
"Hold on," Meilee interrupted. The more she observed the chaos, the more she saw a pattern to it. She reached for the counter behind her and slowly got to her feet.
Kotean gasped. "What are you doing? Get down here!"
"Hold on," she repeated. She glanced around quickly for a weapon; finding only a set of metal grilling tongs unscathed, she settled for those. She held those in her right hand and gripped the buzzing note from Fyora in her left. And then she slowly made her way to where the destruction in the kitchen was the worst, near the stove. As she walked closer and closer, she could feel the difference in the air: it was laced with magic, and lots of it. The note vibrated more intensely. And then, just as she reached the countertop near the stove, she saw it. It was a small wooden object, but it was anything but inanimate. It was throwing off sparks of magic in pink, silver, and purple. Fyora's magic. The same magic that was causing the kitchen to be in such chaos.
Carefully, she reached out with her tongs and grabbed the object. She expected to feel some sort of jolt, or perhaps be flung across the room like all the others, but the object didn't do that. Instead, it seemed almost appeased when she picked it up, as if it had been waiting for her and was happy that she carried the note with her. It still made the kitchen react violently, but it left Meilee unharmed.
Kotean couldn't hold in his curiosity anymore. The Shoyru guard carefully stood up and shuffled toward Meliee, looking over her shoulder. A frying pan flew toward his head, but he dodged it quickly -- guard training had prepared him for just about everything. "What have you got there?"
"Queen Fyora," Meliee said solemnly, looking back at him. "Queen Fyora was turned into a cursed pepper mill..."
Date: Jun 1st
"A pepper mill? How odd, I've always thought the Queen's temperament was more sugar than spice," Kotean quipped. "Really, Meilee, Fyora's magic is much too strong to be contained within a mere condiment container."
As soon as the words left the Shoyru's mouth, Meilee knew that he had probably said the wrong thing. The pepper mill began to shake violently, sending tremors up the tongs and reverberating its indignation throughout the light faerie's whole body. "I-I'm sor-ry, Your Hi-ighness, he d-didn't mean-n it!"
The tiny wooden mill had drawn the attention of the entire kitchen staff; the sheer volume of magical sparks around it, purple-white hot, made it look almost on fire. The kitchen was more frantic than ever -- the cupboards flew open and slammed shut again, and the enchanted floating lanterns whizzed in frenzied circles over the heads of the stunned Neopets, who had all stopped struggling to stare in awe at the pepper mill. The Grundo head chef was the first to regain his wits. "EVERYBODY OUT! IT'S GOING TO BLOW!"
The staff abandoned the open-air kitchen like pirates jumping overboard from a sinking ship, scattering in all directions. Only Kotean and Meilee remained -- Meilee holding onto the tongs with all her might, Kotean tugging desperately at her arm. "Just drop it, Meilee!"
That was definitely the wrong thing to say. After serving the Queen for years, Meilee was especially attuned to Fyora's magic, but she was sure even the most non-magical of Neopets would be able to feel the outrage emanating from the pepper grinder now. She ignored the Shoyru and squinted down at the object, focusing all of her own magic to try to calm the offended Queen, but she didn't seem to be having any effect. On the contrary, the mill's tantrum seemed to be building -- the kitchen's lanterns darkened ominously, and a sickening rumble shook the floor beneath their feet.
"I thi-ink you need t-to ap-pologise," the light faerie hissed, teeth gritted with the effort of holding the mill between the tongs.
The stone floor had begun to crack around the outside edges of the kitchen. Kotean brandished his official castle guard's spear uselessly at the gashes in the ground, creeping ever closer to his dancing feet. "Fine!" he cried, his voice a few octaves higher than usual. "I'm terribly sorry, your Grace, I regret my insolent remarks and declare that you are the most powerful pepper mill in all of Neopia!"
The rage that had filled the kitchen dissipated gradually, but quickly -- like a sigh following the build-up to a sneeze. In a few moments, all was quiet and still. Meilee could swear that Fyora's magic felt almost... tired (but, of course, she didn't dare say it aloud).
The Shoyru cleared his throat. "So. The Queen can't very well celebrate her birthday in this condition, and you're the magic expert here. What can we do about this... err... situation?"
Meilee honestly didn't know. She wouldn't have believed Fyora could be trapped inside a pepper mill, either, if she didn't know the Queen's magic so well. It was a powerful curse, that much was certain -- frighteningly powerful. Only her devotion to Fyora kept her from running away from the pepper mill with the kitchen staff. "I've never seen magic like this before. We need to find out who did this and how. I can feel Fyora's emotions; if only we could communicate with words..."
The light faerie felt the crumpled note in her left hand grow warmer; she had forgotten that she still held it. Squeezing the tongs together one-handed, she shook out the paper in her other hand so she could read it once again. Upon closer inspection, she realised that the message wasn’t written in ink, but pepper, clinging to the paper by magic. Before her eyes, the black grains shifted to form a new message...
Date: Jun 1st
Think of the stories.
"What?" asked Kotean, confused. "What stories?"
"Ones about pepper mills?" Meilee said. The pepper mill hummed; she could feel the vibration even through the tongs, an angry little shaking like the buzz of a bee. Purple sparks crackled. "I'm sorry, Your Majesty! I just -- I don't even know any stories about pepper mills..."
"My mum used to tell this story about a boy who didn't eat his vegetables and was turned into a soup ladle," Kotean said, a little doubtfully. "Nearly the same, isn't it?"
From the way that the pepper mill's furious vibrations increased, Meilee had a feeling that it wasn't the same. Really. At all. "I -- maybe she means stories in general," she said. "I mean, when someone's turned into something in stories, how do they turn back?"
"By eating their vegetables," Kotean said promptly. "Mind, I always wondered how he managed that, being a ladle at the time."
"We do have a lot of vegetables in here -- it's the kitchens, after all. Maybe we could sort of... force them in..." She had to get a firmer grip on the tongs, for fear the mill would buzz right out of her hand to shatter on the ground. Meilee really did not want to think about what would happen if the queen of all Faerieland smashed to splinters. "Sorry! I am really very sorry, but do you think you could give us a clearer message? I don't want to do anything wrong!"
She passed the tongs to a dismayed Kotean, who held them out in front of his body cautiously, in the manner of someone carrying something either acidic or on fire. With both her hands free she could smooth the paper out fully, making a nice helpful expanse for Fyora to shape her words on.
The only words that remained were the ones already scattered there in pepper. Think of the stories...
"I know some Jeran stories," Kotean said. "But I really don't see that being helpful."
"It's really not," Meilee snapped. "Here -- hold the pepper mill above the paper, so she can make a new message."
Kotean did, carefully. "Look -- new words!"
Think of the think of the think of the stories
"That's not very helpful either."
Meilee resisted the urge to slap the Shoyru guard. It was not a very ladylike thing to do. "Your Majesty," she said to the mill, politely. "Could you tell us something clearer?"
of the stories think think stories of think stories of the the the the
"Is that a cryptic faerie way of speaking?" Kotean said hopefully, "that you can understand?"
Meilee shook her head. "It's just... nonsense. All it is is nonsense." She bit her lip. "Maybe her power is fading."
Kotean gave a startled yelp and dropped the tongs like he'd been burnt, and it was only a frantic dive on Meilee's part that kept the pepper mill from hitting the ground. Meilee held it cautiously; it felt faintly warm in her hands, like something alive.
"Maybe not," Kotean said.
"There are..." Meilee said slowly. "There are ways to block communications. To keep someone from speaking with others magically." It was painful to admit it. That meant that Fyora could offer them little more in the way of aid. Gibberish, nonsense words, cryptic clues of little use. The idea of doing this on her own... "That means that whoever it is that cursed her did so with magic of their own," Meilee said, tearing herself back to the problem at hand. "The blocking spell must be separate from the curse, or the queen wouldn't have been able to say as much as she did."
"So that means that whoever cursed her has powerful magic?"
"Or found powerful magic," Meilee hedged. "There are artefacts..."
"Yeah, sure," Kotean said dryly. "My mother always used to tell me of the magical Sword Of Turning Queens Into Pepper Pots."
"If it's someone with innate magic of their own, it means they're too powerful to be easy to deal with!" Meilee snapped. "And that this is more than just a prank -- or that they're powerful enough that this is just a prank to them, and that's almost worse! And they'd have power enough to -- oh, change their appearance, anything. Almost impossible to find."
They stood there, staring sadly at the pepper mill.
"Whoever it is," Kotean said, "I have to admit I like their sense of humour."
The pepper mill in Meilee's hands hummed with warm purple magic. A fallen tea-towel that Kotean had carelessly stepped on jerked out from under him. With a startled cry he fell, smearing flour and icing all over his wings and back and ceremonial Captain-of-Guard uniform. Meilee suppressed a giggle. Fyora didn't have enough power to form words, but could play petty tricks?
"I've been wanting to do that for ages," she murmured, and before she could feel horrified at speaking so to a haughty and magnificent queen, the pepper mill shook very slightly in her hands, almost like laughter.
"Do we need to know who it is to break the curse?" Kotean said. "Because I'm getting twitchy here."
"No..." Meilee said slowly. "No. It'd help, but -- how do you break curses, in stories? There might even be something in here that we could use. I could use my magic, but if it's not strong enough I'd just be drawn into the curse as well."
"True love," Kotean listed. "Or cold iron. Or a lucky coin that a beggar gave you, when you kindly stopped to give him bread. Or flowers, or thorns." He stopped and frowned. "Before this discussion goes any further," he said firmly, "I would like to say that not even loyalty to my Queen and country could convince me to kiss a pepper mill."
"Why?" asked Meilee, curious.
Meilee giggled. It was a relief, the laughter; she felt guilty immediately after, but all the same, the worry that had been building up leeched out of her, and she could think again. "Right," she said. "What in here can we use to break a curse...?"
Date: Jun 2nd
Kotean's eyes roamed the large kitchen. He racked his mind to recant all the faerie tales he ever read. Most of the stories ended with true love breaking the curse, but even Meilee's stout devotion to the Queen could not deter the magic binding Fyora.
"A potion, perhaps? There's always some odd concoction involving tongues and livers and other oddities," Kotean mused aloud.
Meilee shook her head. "Even if we made a potion, which we don't even know the recipe to, how would she drink it?"
Kotean raised his hand as if to answer, but paused as his thoughts clicked, and he dropped his hand dejectedly. "Good point. What about if we twisted all the pepper out? Maybe she'd return to normal?"
Meilee's visage turned to horror, and the pepper mill agreed at the repulsion of the idea with a massive burst of sparks aimed toward the Shoyru. Meilee remained unscathed, but a few sparks managed to land upon Kotean's feet, causing the Shoyru to dance in pain.
"OK! OK! Bad idea! My apologies!" Kotean gasped.
Once calm, the light faerie pondered, "Well, in some stories, a Neopet is cursed during the evening, but not during the day. It's rather dark in this part of the kitchen; what if we put her into the light?"
No magical response came from the pepper mill. Meilee pouted softly but was not deterred from her train of thought. She wandered over toward the closest window. The delicate glass was crystal clear, and the sun was shining full blast into the room. Meilee gently placed the Queen's pepper mill form onto the stone window sill and waited hopefully.
The pepper mill gave off small sparks of elation as the sun graced over her solid form, the sun rejuvenating her magic. Her shape did not change, though, the old wood simply renewing its deep brown colour in the warm rays.
Meilee held out her hands and slowly picked the Queen up. The light faerie cradled the pepper mill within her arms, looking toward Kotean for more ideas.
"Well, that didn't work, but I could feel her magic renew. The sun always had healing properties in that way. Now, what else..." Meilee started, but paused as something caught her eye.
The bright light had caught the edge of a silver pot on the far side of the wall. The shiny metal bounced the light back right into Meilee's eyes. The reflective surface gave her a new idea.
Kotean's eyes followed the light's ray toward the same metal pot. His eyes widened as his thoughts coincided with Meilee's.
"A mirror!" Kotean exclaimed, and Meilee nodded slowly.
The Shoyru bounced over toward the pot, pulling one down off the rack. Meilee raised up her hand.
"A real mirror, just in case. You don't want Fyora turning back into a meatloaf or something strange like that." The faerie smirked, and the mill tucked in her arms buzzed angrily.
Meilee hung her head in regret as she whispered, "I'm sorry, my Queen."
Kotean dashed toward the doorway, looking back over his shoulder at Meilee. "I'll get a mirror from the parlour and bring it back; it's better that no one sees her this way. Even a light faerie with a strange infatuation with pepper would start some rumours as well."
The light faerie made a face at the Shoyru as he exited. She turned back to the pepper mill cradled in her arms.
"Why would anyone do this to you, my Queen? And so close to your big event, too," Meilee mused softly to the wooden object. The mill buzzed softly in response, almost sadly, tiny sparks dropping from the mill to scatter amongst the stone tiles.
A small clamour sounded outside the door, a Shoyru tail popping through the stone doorway first. Kotean was dragging a rather large mirror, one that scraped the top of the door as he pulled it through the frame.
"I'm sure a smaller mirror would have done, you know," Meilee said, sighing softly.
Kotean shrugged. "I was in a rush!"
Meilee stepped forward toward the mirror and slowly exposed the Queen's captive form to the reflective surface. A mass of sparks erupted forth; Meilee's fingers were barely able to hold on to the unnatural condiment holder.
The shower of emotion was all that happened, though, as the Queen stoically remained a common mill. The light faerie sighed, still holding out the pepper mill toward the mirror in hope, but none came for the poor faerie.
Kotean rubbed his hands over his face, wondering what to do next.
"I really thought that would be it," he said, sighing softly into his claws.
Meilee nodded in turn, quieting for a moment as she froze in thought. So many stories she had heard as a child, so many curses, all broken, but most of the stories were rather outlandish. Stories that would never come true, until now.
"Wait," Meilee said softly, "I remember one more story."
The light faerie's eyes roamed the kitchen, searching over counters, staring at cupboards, visually exploring every nook and cranny. Finally, she stopped, for she had found exactly what she was looking for.
She motioned Kotean to join her at the side, and his eyes met hers before turning to her discovery.
"I remember one more story," she spoke again as she grinned, turning to the...
Date: Jun 2nd
...tiny key, now dusted with flour and pepper and all but hidden. Deceptively mundane-looking, it really didn't look like much, but it was lying discarded in spilled pepper. That by itself wasn't significant, and if that had been its most notable feature Meilee probably wouldn't have even noticed it, but there was a circle next to the key that was actually completely devoid of pepper. A circle that was, oh, roughly the size of the base of a certain enchanted pepper mill?
With a smile, the light faerie held up her tiny prize for Kotean to examine as she shook the pepper and flour off of it.
"A key?" the Shoyru asked dubiously. "What kind of curses are broken by... keys?"
But despite his doubt, the pepper mill was vibrating in contentment, and Meilee was sure she was on the right track.
"I think we were right, Kotean; I think it is a mirror that will break the curse. But I think it has to be the right mirror," she said softly, smiling at the key in her hand.
The faerie Shoyru stared at her as if she had suddenly grown another head. "What story did you hear THAT in?" he asked, doubt colouring his voice.
Meilee laughed softly. "Cynicism doesn't become you," she said, still laughing. "When I was a child, I read a story about a Kacheek princess determined to find her Kacheek prince, but he had been turned into a Mortog. She had to kiss every Mortog she found, and all of them exploded... except her prince."
Kotean was still staring at her oddly. "So?" he finally asked. With the look on his face, Meilee was tempted to pat her forehead to make sure no odd appendage had sprouted there, but she restrained herself.
"Don't you see? It has to be the RIGHT mirror, just like it had to be the RIGHT prince," she told him; in her hands, the pepper mill was practically thrumming in satisfaction.
Grudgingly, Kotean nodded. "I... I can accept that," he said finally. "But I still don't understand how you got that from the key."
The faerie shrugged. "It... might be a leap in logic. But, Majesty, this is a key to your private suite, isn't it?"
No words appeared on the note, but somehow the pepper mill seemed to radiate satisfaction, and Meilee nodded.
"I thought so," she said to Kotean, gesturing at him to follow her as she made her way to the Queen's apartments. "I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why Fyora was in the kitchen... and I couldn't come up with anything. Her Grace doesn't go to the kitchens; only servants do."
"Then how did she get there?" the Shoyru asked, winging along beside her as they flew the halls.
"A better question is what the servant who picked her up thought about what a pepper mill was doing in the Queen's quarters!" she responded, laughing.
"Oh!" Kotean said, confusion clearing off his face as the pieces fell together.
When they arrived at the door to Fyora's suite, the key snicked quietly into place. The pepper mill was emitting the occasional puff of pepper; was the Queen... embarrassed?
As they stepped into the parlour that was the first room in the Queen's apartments, Meilee was holding her breath. What kind of scene would they be stepping into? What kind of magic must have been released that could have turned someone as powerful as the Queen of the faeries into a pepper mill? Would the carpet be blackened, the furniture twisted and destroyed beyond recognition? Would the decorations be nothing more than dust?
The reality, she decided as she stepped in, was decidedly anticlimactic. She had only been in Fyora's rooms once, but they looked... much the same then as they did now. The mauve carpet was pristine, the lavender painted walls unmarred; the furniture was tastefully arranged. She paused, momentarily surprised, but quickly realised that there were no mirrors in the room either.
"My lady?" she asked softly, raising the pepper mill to eye level. "Your bedroom or your private workroom?"
The Queen vibrated softly in her hands, and without knowing how, Meilee suddenly had a destination. "The workroom," she said aloud, nodding, and headed for the room that had oddly enough been her destination the last time she had been a guest in the Queen's rooms.
"Well," she said as they stepped into the workroom, "at least it's easy to tell if we're on the right track or not."
The workroom was... nearly pristine. Clearly it had been cleaned, even if she had somehow doubted that the Queen kept her own space immaculate. In fact, everything looked to be in perfect condition -- except the mirror that hung behind the Fyora's desk. The glass was smirched, with blackened streaks that occasionally flashed purple -- at least Meilee thought they did; when she stared at them, they obstinately remained mere streaks of tarnish. They only seemed to flash in the corner of her eyes if she looked away.
Triumphantly, she strode to the mirror and thrust the enchanted pepper mill at it. However, if she had expected a spectacular display of magic as the Queen resumed her normal form, she was sorely disappointed; in fact, nothing happened at all.
"Oh!" she cried softly. "I know this is it, though! My Queen, now what?!"
But the answer didn't come from Fyora; surprisingly, it was Kotean who chuckled behind her.
"I know the answer this time!" he said, still chuckling. "I don't know why I didn't think of this before..."
Turning, Meilee stared blankly at the Shoyru, unsure what she was missing. He bowed to the pepper mill in her hands. "With your permission, Your Majesty?" he asked politely, gesturing to indicate the mirror that was now behind the light faerie.
The pepper mill thrummed again, almost expectantly, and Kotean nodded. "I'll take that as a yes!" he said, smiling, and reached for the mirror. With a crash that left Meilee gasping, he smashed the ruined mirror against the ground...
Date: Jun 3rd
"Why did you do that?" demanded Meilee, despairingly rushing to the broken mirror's side. "The queen's anger will know no limits when she finds out you've brok--"
She stopped when the pepper mill started to hum, softly at first, but then louder, but this time it was more than just a quiet buzzing noise; this time there was an actual melody...
This time, the pepper mill was singing.
Meilee tried to speak, but no words would come out. All she could do was stand there, speechless, as the pepper mill's song grew louder still and it started to glow. Beams of light escaped through the holes, and soon the entire mill was shrouded in a cocoon of golden light...
With a final blinding explosion of light, the grinder was gone.
Rubbing her eyes, Meilee was horrified to see that the pepper mill had disappeared and rushed to the pieces of mirror that lay in a starburst on the floor.
"Oh my goodness... oh dear, this really cannot be--"
"Meilee, my dear, may I ask... what, really, are you doing?"
"The mirror smashed and Fyora disappeared!" the light faerie started to say, but immediately she realised that the voice didn't belong to Kotean.
Fyora, standing behind her, laughed lightly. "Well, if you're talking about the pepper mill, then the answer is no. It hasn't disappeared. But it is just an ordinary pepper mill now. You see, when I was working on a special spell, I accidentally left the mirror lying around. Instead of hitting the pepper mill, as I intended, the magic bounced back, off of the mirror, and trapped me in the mill. Like many of the other castle decorations, the mirror was magical. As long as the mirror was kept intact, the spell could not be broken."
"I see," she murmured, not sure what else to say.
"All I can say is that this mirror had better be curseproof. I'm the one who smashed it, so I have seven years of bad luck waiting for me..." said Kotean with mock anxiety.
"Just be glad you aren't going to be stuck inside a pepper mill," said Fyora. "I must admit, I have never been in such cramped rooms..."
As though to emphasise her point, she put a hand to her neck and winced.
"Well, then. I suppose I should go and explain this to everyone," the Faerie Queen continued. "I must thank you, Meilee, for figuring out the curse."
"It was all Kotean's doing," Meilee said modestly. "He's the one who figured out how to smash the mirror."
"Thank you, Kotean," Fyora said. "And to express my gratitude, I would like you to have this."
And to Kotean, she threw the pepper mill.
Date: Jun 3rd
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