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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 19th day of Collecting, Yr 20
The Neopian Times Week 97 > Short Stories > Fallen: Faeries

Fallen: Faeries

by oily106

I sorted out the house, tidying methodically, my mind working furiously. After my dream last night, I vowed to research further into Angel’s past. I would go to the Faeries…

     I wiped the mantelpiece clean and grimaced. I wished for a quiet life, one of tranquillity and peace. But a life without Angel would be unbearable. The pure white Zafara with broken wings had become the focus of my dreams.

     "Angel!" I called. She popped her head around the door, her sapphire eyes sparkling.

     "Yes, Dreamer?"

     "I’m going out," I said. Her face fell.

     "But, Dreamer, I want you to play with me…"

     I couldn’t help but laugh at her upset expression.

     "Try this," I said, fishing out NeoQuest from the back of a cupboard. "It’s addictive," I warned as I threw it to her.

     Angel caught it easily and examined it with interest. "Thank you, Dreamer," she said. She smiled and disappeared.

     I felt myself smile, too – Angel always had that effect on me. I grabbed my NeoHome keys and let myself out.

***

A pleasant Eyrie ferried me up to Faerieland, making conversation during the flight. Coming level with the cloud floor of Faerieland, I thanked him and hopped off. Faerieland was as impressive as ever and swarming with pets. I began to realise how naïve I was – it was impossible to spot a normal Faerie, and I doubted any Uber Faerie would be easy to find. My eyes wandered to the glittering spires of Faerie City. I allowed myself to be swallowed by the crowd and moved slowly towards the City. I eventually progressed to the gates, passing through into the City. Heading straight down the main avenue, I aimed for the towering palace.

     A guard at the palace entrance barred my path.

     "Why do you seek to enter the Faerie palace?" he barked. I was a little intimidated but managed to ask to see an Uber Faerie. I then noticed he appeared to be a Dark Faerie. I looked at his back and saw a pair of wings.

     "Are you a male Faerie?" I asked incredulously. He scowled and asked me why I wished to visit an Uber Faerie.

     "It’s for a friend of mine…" I began. I smiled as I thought of Angel. The Faerie yawned openly and I became indignant. "She was once an Uber Faerie pet, I’ll have you know!"

     The Faerie brought his face close to mine.

     "We get hundreds of those every day, claiming magical powers or Faerie affiliation."

     "But she’s real! I mean, she’s definitely not a normal pet. She’s a white Zafara, with white feathery wings and sapphire eyes…"

     The Faerie’s eyes widened.

     "So you know…" he trailed off. "Okay, little Cybun, I’ll send you to see an Uber Faerie. Just don’t blame me if you come back out with less limbs than you started off with."

     He chuckled nastily and opened the door for me, executing a mock bow.

     Now, I was inside, but knew not where to go. There was a large, marbled corridor leading to distant set of double doors. Branching off the main corridor were stairs, passageways, more doors, more corridors, lifts and vertical shafts. I was totally lost. I wandered a little way up the main passage before a hurrying Earth Faerie cut across my path. She caught sight of me and pouted.

     "Yaa-telllle!" she cried, stretching out the syllables. An Air Faerie appeared, descending a set of stairs. She was young and had dark, frizzy hair. She looked harassed.

     "Darkian’s been letting pets into the palace again!" the Earth Faerie sighed exasperatedly.

     The Air Faerie regarded me clearly.

     "What do you want here?" she asked.

     The Earth Faerie groaned. "I’m going on ahead, Yatelle – I’m not hanging around here!" she flounced off.

     Yatelle repeated her question and listened to my answer. She took me to the left and led me up a staircase. It was marble at the base, matching the corridor, but as we ascended, it changed. I watched my paws climb up cloud, diamond, earth and silver. Walking off as the stairs turned crystal, Yatelle flew me across a gap and began to rise up a shaft.

     "It’s built like a maze in here," she explained. "At the centre is the main hall, the original dwelling of the Faeries since Neopia was first made. The six Uber Faeries dwell in six towers, with Fyora’s tower rising in the middle. It mimics the arrangement of the Seven Stones, placed at Neopia’s core, which balance out the different magic. The towers are often shielded from Neopians’ eyes and guarded by many spells."

     I absorbed this information avidly.

     "Like the Hidden Tower?" I asked.

     "Similar, but that’s just an old weaponry," replied Yatelle.

     We reached the end of the shaft and broke back into the sunlight.

     "Which Uber Faerie?" the Air Faerie asked.

     I paused. I wanted to find whichever Faerie had replaced Angel and her Faerie. What was Angel? I thought hard. She was not Fire or Earth – too unlike her. And she was not Dark either. Water was possible, but I felt she must be Air or Light.

     "Light," I said firmly. Yatelle nodded and veered to the right. She stopped in front of as seemingly blank space.

     "We’re here," she explained. I gingerly stepped onto nothing and thanked Yatelle. She leaned forward quickly, whispering into my ear.

     "Don’t trust her. She is not what she is…"

     The Air Faerie departed hastily. I saw a small patch of air open up beside me to reveal a room. I entered cautiously.

     The room was made from some kind of mirrored white marble, every surface reflecting bright light. It was magnificent. I squinted, adjusting my eyes to the light. In the middle of the room, a beautiful Faerie was seated. The room’s beauty paled into insignificance compared to hers. Her eyes were sparkling diamonds in her porcelain face; her hair a golden blonde that trailed down her shoulders. Her gauzy wings were rimmed with silver and gold and her robes were a pure, pure white that flowed down to the floor. I had never seen anything like her.

     "You’re beautiful," I stated dumbly, awe-struck and humbled. The Faerie smiled.

     "Thank you, she said. Her voice was clear and sweet, like the mellow sound of golden bells in the sunlight.

     I hesitated to ask her my question – it seemed so stupid and trivial. But I thought of Angel and began to speak.

     "I have a frien… I know a… a pet, I guess. She’s a white Zafara with white feathered wings. I call her Angel. She’s Light, I suppose. I think she used to belong to the old Uber Light Faerie…" My words came out in a rush.

     The Faerie smiled patiently. "The previous Faerie who held my position was evil and corrupt. All the good Uber Faeries teamed up to help rid Neopia of her."

     I nodded, seeing the truth in the Faerie’s words.

     "And, well… pet like owner, I’m afraid. When a Faerie falls, so does her pet."

     I blinked. "But… Angel’s not evil…" I hesitated.

     "Of course not," the Faerie reassured hastily.

     I felt my heart twist – Angel had seemed so pure. It felt wrong to me to see her as evil – but the Faerie must be right. I grappled with the idea, trying to accept it. Angel…

     The Faerie smiled at me – she was so kind to someone as undeserving as me.

     "I have a gift I should give to you…" she said. I was surprised but grateful and I felt blessed to be so lucky.

     She produced a feather from the pocket of her robes. It was not an ordinary feather – it was spun of delicate glass, exquisitely made.

     "For your friend," she explained. I reached out trembling paws and accepted it without question.

     The Faerie held my eyes for a moment.

     "You’ve always dreamt of having wings," she stated. I nodded mutely.

     She reached out her dainty hand and laid it on my fur. I felt a tear slip down my cheek – I had never been happier.

     "It must be painful for you. Seeing your Angel with her broken wings, seeing all these perfect Faeries flying…"

     I nodded dumbly.

     "Knowing that you can never achieve their level of greatness, that you will not ever fly truly…"

     I felt tears gathering in my eyes and I nodded, reaching out to the Faerie for comfort. Her voice soothed me.

     "Seeing Angel fall because of her own fault, ruining what you never had but always desired…"

     I frowned mildly and withdrew slightly from the Faerie. The white light of the Faerie seemed harsher. "Angel did not fall because of herself…"

     The Uber Faerie waved her hand impatiently.

     "Unimportant. What is important is that Angel will lose her wings. You will have to watch her feathers falling away…She’ll never fly again – unless you could buy her a Faerie paint brush. Then she could have new wings."

     My head drooped. "I… I can’t afford it." I lifted my head. "She should be able to rise though, not just to fly."

     "But would you see her forever grounded?" The Faerie smiled and closed her eyes. A Faerie paint brush appeared in her hands. She offered it to me. I took it carefully, marvelling at its bright colours.

     "Thank you!" I cried, overjoyed.

     "So… will you use it on yourself then?"

     I paused, my heart suddenly heavy. With this paint brush, I could fly. I would possess beautiful Faerie wings. I could touch the clouds in the skies and fly up to the stars at night. I could soar above the ground… but while one always meant to fly would have to look up at me…

     "It is for Angel," I whispered, my heart filling with resolve, my eyes with tears.

     The Faerie clapped her hands. "How noble," she said. But her compliment seemed to twist and sound mocking. I felt the paint brush disappear between my paws and I clutched at nothing. I opened my paws and a stream of dust ran through them onto the floor. I looked up at the Uber Faerie, confused.

     Her radiant light became blinding and harsh, stripping away the comforting shadows of my delusions. She no longer seemed so good.

     "You dared to presume that such a creature as you could fly in the same skies as Faeries do? You thought that your useless broken friend is worth saving? She has fallen; her wings will moult – she will be nothing! I am the Uber Light Faerie now!"

     I stumbled backwards from the angry Faerie. "Light Faeries should be kind and noble and good…" I clutched at my old conceptions hopelessly.

     "Uber Faeries are chosen on power, nothing else. We play our games – games of power and ambition that that fool, Fyora, cannot possibly understand or control!" I saw the naked greed in her eyes then – they glinted hard as diamonds in her pure white face. She was beautiful and terrible. I turned and ran to the door, my heart pounding.

     The Faerie waved goodbye merrily. "Come back soon," she mocked.

     The door slammed behind me and I realised I was balancing precariously on an invisible ledge above a long drop. I looked down and saw Neopia beneath me. The ground seemed to swirl and I sucked in air hastily. The tower behind me was sealed firmly shut. A tear rolled out of my eye – my humble hopes and dream, my beliefs and conceptions, all lay shattered. I was lost and knew not what to do next.

     And if I fell, I had no wings to save me…

     Sometimes, hearts are not enough to fly with.

The End


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