It was common knowledge to all young faeries that, be they
of Air, Water, Earth, Fire; Light or Darkness, each one of them had to perform
a specific task if they wanted to become full-fledged faeries. This task differed
from individual to individual, as each Faerie was special and unique. Thus it
was that a certain female Air Faerie by the name of Amara found herself facing
an assignment - an assignment to perform a good deed.
Now, normally this oughtn't to be a difficult
deed to carry out, but lately needy Neopians were far and few. Many Newbies
that Amara found were in no dire need of aid - after all, it was getting easier
and easier to earn money as of late. Besides, what helpful gifts could a Faerie
bestow? This task would have better suited an Earth Faerie, he or she could
conjure up a filling feast for a starving Neopet; Amara thought grimly to herself
as she hovered in the sky above the Haunted Forest before finally settling down
on a tree branch to brood it over.
The Haunted Forest had always been the dainty
female Faerie's favourite hangout; she and a few of her friends would flutter
in the air or race each other. It was also a good place brood for a while. Oh
yes, the forest's air of mystique never failed to attract inhabitants of Neopia…including
some rather unwelcome ones.
The infamous Faerie-poaching Lupe known as Balthazar
also liked to roam in the Haunted Forest, albeit for a more sinister reason
- capturing faeries. He knew of the faeries who frequented 'his' domain and
how they often perched on trees. If he could get close enough to them, all would
be over in a swing of a net - his net. Then he could bottle them and sell them
for a hefty sum of money, which would reap good profits. With all this in mind,
Balthazar began sneaking up on his latest target, a pretty Air Faerie brooding
on a branch not far from the ground. It was Amara.
Amara never noticed the sound of a twig breaking
as some beast stepped closer and closer, she was way too absorbed in her thoughts.
A rustle sounded in the undergrowth below her and it was then that she whipped
around; but it was already too late. As a net appeared from nowhere and engulfed
her, she instinctively tried to fly away but she was trapped. Trapped! The word
rang hollow in her own ears as she sensed a certain amount of evil emanating
from a creature very close to her. Turning around, Amara let out a yelp as Balthazar
lifted the net, scooped her into a glass bottle and capped it firmly in quick,
deft moves of his paw.
All at once she knew what had happened, and
what was going to happen. Using her fists to pound on the glass with all her
might, Amara starting shouting, "Let me out! Let me go, you great oaf!" However
as to be expected, her pleas fell on deaf ears as Balthazar stared balefully
at her and chuckled.
"My dear Faerie, I wouldn't dream of setting
you free. Why, I can just imagine how much money you alone can fetch me!" And,
turning away from the now sobbing Faerie, he proceeded to capture more of her
kind, impervious to her incessant pleas. Balthazar had heard much of these before.
Amara must have dropped off to sleep somehow;
the next thing she knew she was awakened by a huge commotion. Peering through
her transparent confinement, she was more or less resigned to the sight of many
more bottled faeries sitting on a shelf aside her as starry Kau she recognized
as Kauvara bustled beside a counter. Just her luck to end up being sold at the
Magic Shop, Amara thought unhappily even as Kauvara warily opened the shop doors
and was nearly bowled over by a big throng of Neopets rushing in as one great
Her bottle was soon grabbed by a set of red
paws, brought over to the counter and taken out of the chaotic shop. Once away
from the crowded, bustling Marketplace, the creature set the glass container
down on the grass and Amara saw it was a red male Zafara, scruffy-looking and
not very well-fed.
The Zafara put his face close to the jar and
whispered softly, "Hi…I'm Jem. Don't be frightened. I won't hurt you! But, but
can you bless me?"
Amara's heart immediately went out to him as
she saw that he couldn't be very rich. She braced herself as Jem's paw nimbly
unscrewed the bottle cap and set her free! The sweet rush of air that hit her
face as she fluttered aloft, the joy of having a whole world to roam about in
all added up to one precious thing - liberty!
The Faerie smiled gently at the nervous Neopet
and spoke in her usual, melodious voice. "Thank you very much for granting me
my freedom." She blew gently at Jem, granting him the ability to turn invisible
at will. No doubt that skill would come in handy in the Battledome, if he fought
at the Battledome. However, this wouldn't be counted as a good deed, would it?
It was merely Faerie protocol.
Jem marveled at the delicate creature floating
before him even as he spoke. "Um, thank you. But don't faeries disappear after
"Well yes, normally we do. Nevertheless, don't
you have an owner to return to?" Amara returned a question of her own.
The red Zafara was silent for a while before
replying. "No. My previous owner vanished one day and I never saw him again.
Since then I've been roaming the streets homeless. Oh, I do wish I had an owner
Amara smiled to herself. "Wait here. I'll be
Leaving Jem slightly bewildered, she fluttered
off to the home of one of her human friends. Michelle was a female teenager
who lived alone with no pets whatsoever and Amara was uncertain if she would
want to adopt Jem but well, there was no harm in trying. Alighting at the door
of Michelle's NeoHome, the Faerie quickly pressed the doorbell and the teenager
answered almost at once.
To Amara's great pleasure and relief, Michelle
agreed to adopt Jem, the red Zafara. The duo returned to Neopia Central where
Jem was waiting and Amara explained to Jem that if he wanted an owner; Michelle
was willing to take him in. The Zafara was so overcome with gratitude that he
had difficulty speaking and in a voice choked with emotion Jem fervently agreed
to have Michelle as an owner.
However when human and Neopet turned to thank
the Faerie who had brought them together, Amara was gone.
Watching the poignant scene from a nearby tree,
the female Air Faerie smiled happily. It had almost been worth being captured
by Balthazar to be participant and witness just so she could make two Neopians
happy… Then Amara realised what she had done was a good deed.
All at once her entire body and wings were visibly
stronger and the magic within her was strengthened drastically. It was happening;
upon the completion of her task Amara was becoming a full-fledged Faerie!
As the newly 'promoted' Faerie Amara fluttered
around joyfully in the air, the corners of her mouth twitched upward, ever upward
and rapidly developed into a complete grin.
Now this was definitely worth getting captured