|After a long day of walking around Meridell as a tourist, Walda the Baby Kacheek was starving. She had grudgingly accepted the fact that there was no chocolate to be found, so she was searching for anything she could find. Unfortunately, she had been chased out of Merifoods because she didn't have any money to pay. As her stomach rumbled, she staggered around desperately.
She walked into Meridell Castle, prancing right past a sleeping guard. She figured that any royal residence would have some food inside. As soon as she entered, she was greeted by the delicious smell of a fresh dinner. As her mouth watered, she rushed into the dining room.
She had wolfed down almost all of the cheese and bread, yet she was still hungry. However, she soon heard footsteps and a crowd of Neopets talking. "You will LOVE this feast, your Majesty," someone was saying. Panicking, Walda hid behind a curtain to avoid getting caught, yet she was unaware that her tail was sticking out, in plain view...
Date: Jul 31st
"I know you're back there," a voice whispered near Walda's ear, and the little Kacheek gasped in surprise. "Don't worry," the mysterious voice continued, "your secret's safe with me. Just stay still!"
The curtain rustled as the mysterious savior made sure Walda was completely covered, then the Kacheek heard the soft footsteps recede as the nearing voices grew louder. Walda heard some scrambling noises and the thunk of a plate being placed on the table. The Kacheek guessed the bread and cheese she pilfered had been replaced, and she breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't regret scarfing down the delicious food, but she didn't want to get caught, either.
Just then, King Skarl and his boisterous group of guests entered the dining hall, and Walda heard the scraping of the heavy wooden chairs as everyone seated themselves. Walda stood as still as she could, but she soon noticed her nose began to itch. The dusty curtains were really starting to get to her. She longed to scratch, but tried desperately to stay still, when suddenly...
Date: Jul 31st
"ACHOO!" Walda could not stifle her sneeze any longer.
The chatter and metallic clinking sounds of cutlery against plates and bowls seized. The room became as quiet as a Miamouse. Walda was convinced her cover was blown, and soon felt batterflies in her stomach.
A soothing, velvety sound pierced the air, breaking the dreaded silence. It was the voice of her savior, singing. Her melody was sweet and captivating, and Walda could hear the guards humming and whistling along.
Walda could no longer resist taking a peek behind the dusty curtains, certain that the Skeith guards were distracted.
Beyond the hypnotized audience, Walda gasped...
Date: Jul 31st
Hovering over the Skeith guards was a beautiful air faerie. Walda watched in awe as the air faerie continued singing her melody.
However, Walda felt someone tapping her shoulder. Walda slowly turned her head and saw an earth hovering above her shoulder.
"Don't worry little one. My sisters and I are working on a plan to get you safely outside. The last thing we want to see is King Skarl taking his anger out on a child," the earth faerie whispered.
Walda nodded her head in understanding.
"Good. See that air faerie over there. We'll wait for her signal before we can leave, okay?"
Walda nodded again as she kept her focus on the singing air faerie. Two minutes later, the air faerie gestured for Walda and the earth fairy to sneak past the guards.
"That's our cue. Let's go." the earth faerie whispered...
Date: Aug 1st
Walda slipped out from behind the curtain and began creeping behind the earth faerie along the wall to the exit.
The air faerie was keeping the guests, guards, and King in what felt like a trance; all were mesmerized by the faerie's song. Walda's ears perked as she attempted to hear the lyrics of the song, but could not make them out from her position in the hall; surprisingly, though, she did not need to be able to hear the words to know that faerie was weaving an intricate tale of both love and despair, of both joy and melancholy -- at least, that was what Walda inferred.
It was then that she realized that she, too, had been mesmerized by the faerie's melody. Snapping out of the trance, she noticed the earth faerie was very much ahead of her, almost out the door. Walda hurried after her, and it seemed like she was about to escape unnoticed, when all of a sudden...
Date: Aug 1st
King Skarl himself leapt out at her from behind the door.
"Aha!" He growled, grabbing her arm and stopping her in her tracks. "I don't take kindly to intruders in my castle, especially when it comes to my meals! More powerful than an air faerie song is a wheel of stinky zebie cheese."
The earth faerie up ahead had turned around with a look of horror, and quickly began fluttering back toward Walda. She drew level with the king's head, splotched red with rage, and tapped him timidly on the shoulder.
"Your Majesty, please." She said. "Let me explain..."
Date: Aug 2nd
"She is here as part of the entertainment for your meal. You all came in a few minutest too early and sat down to the meal. She slipped behind the curtain hoping you would not see her, as it would spoil the surprise."
King Skarl paused for a second, thinking about what the faerie had said.
"That makes sense," he said, "Quickly then, get out of here so that you can get ready to entertain us."
"Thank you Your Majesty." Said the earth faerie with a bow.
"And I better be entertained." King Skarl added as Walda and the earth faerie slipped out the door.
Once in the hallway Walda looked at the earth faerie with fear in her eyes.
"Me, the entertainment?" She said. "What are we supposed to do now?"
"I have a plan." The earth faerie said. "Although, it may be risky..."
Date: Aug 2nd
"What's the plan?" Walda looked up at the earth faerie.
"Well..." The earth faerie muttered into the young Kacheek's ear and Walda nodded a lot before they set off with their plan.
"So you want me to make a run for it after I do the first part of the performance?" Walda was running to keep up with the earth faerie.
"Yes, when it is my turn for their entertainment, it will be your chance to escape." The earth faerie replied.
Walda felt a huge smile tug at her lips. She was finally going to get out of the castle.
As soon as they got to the dressing room to get ready for entertaining King Skarl, Walda saw a...
Date: Aug 3rd
...Rather harried-looking Nimmo wearing spectacles and shuffling several pieces of parchment in one hand with a quill stuck between her teeth. In her other hand, she held a jester outfit.
"Change of plans," the Nimmo said brusquely as Walda and the faerie walked in. "The Kacheek is to perform a traditional jester routine, as per the King's orders."
"But, that's not the plan. I was supposed to -" Walda started to protest but she was cut off.
"- figure out a way to sneak out of here after helping yourself to the appetizers? Faeries don't have such large appetites, so that only leaves you," continued the Nimmo, still rifling through the parchment and pausing every now and again to make notes.
"I know everything that goes on in this castle, you see. Just before King Skarl came in, I noticed a distinct deficit of crackers and cheese upon the dining platters. Now, the chefs were able to replace it, but we'll have to buy more earlier than expected. Skarl will find out eventually."
The Nimmo finally looked up and jabbed the jester outfit into Walda's chest. The Kacheek meekly took it. "Whether that's in several weeks when the time comes to replenish our stores and this has all blown over, or tonight when he's already angry about not getting his jester is up to you."
Walda stared at the jester outfit as the Nimmo exited the dressing room. "How am I going to come up with a jester routine in time? I've never even seen a jester performance before," Walda said. When she got no response, the Kacheek looked up and gasped. The earth faerie was nowhere to be seen...
Date: Aug 4th
Worried now, Walda weighed her options. She could wait in the dressing room and feign stage fright; maybe she'd be kicked out of the castle for not performing. She could go on stage and make - quite literally - a fool of herself, and hope she pulled off some sort of spontaneous jester act. Or she could...
Suddenly, Walda spotted a high window at the top of the room that had gone unnoticed before. The problem was, though, it was a very, very high window.
But it was now or never.
Quickly, Walda began stacking boxes of costumes on top of each other so that she could reach the window. Struggling with the last crate, she pushed it on top of the stack and then scrambled up the tower of costumes. Once on top, she was able to claw her way to the window and crawl onto the sill. The window was small, but being a Baby had its perks.
Walda savored the light breeze that sailed through the window, but her euphoria plummeted when she looked down from her great height, and realized that she, too, may be plummeting soon. "A faerie's wings would be helpful right about now," she grumbled.
But quickly, Walda noticed that the cobbles up the castle wall stuck out at angles large enough for footholds. Having ample climbing experience from scaling boulders around Meridell with her friends, she would have no trouble with this task. Nimbly, she made her way down the castle wall. To the ground. To freedom.
"I didn't even need those faeries after all!" Walda exclaimed. She looked around at her surroundings, embracing the beauty of nature.
Then her stomach grumbled, breaking the serenity.
"Let's see where my hunger takes me next," Walda said, wandering away from the castle.
Date: Aug 7th