A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 121,679,817 Issue: 245 | 23rd day of Relaxing, Y8
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The Darkest Faerie's New Job


by bookworm_kate347

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Author's Note: Have a look at my pets; this story is about them!

The sun had come out for the first time in weeks, and it seemed that the cold rainy days preceding it had been no more than a practical joke on the part of the weather, to try to make the inhabitants of Neopia forget about the concept of "Summer."

     I think I ought to introduce myself. I'm Kate, and I live with my pets Lilla the Island Kacheek, Tawny the Grey Kougra, Daisy the Robot Gnorbu, and Seacat the Mutant Aisha, in a small house on the edge of Neopia Central. I would have preferred to live in Meridell, as I'm an open air sort of person, but my pets insisted they'd miss shopping too much if we moved.

     I was sitting on the sill of my large window, flung open to invite in the glorious rays of heat and light. For days I had become increasingly frustrated with being cooped up in my home, with nothing better to do than avoid chores and argue with my pets. However, now that the skies had finally cleared, I was unable to make up my mind as to what to do first.

     Bam! The door banged against the wall so hard that I half expected it to make a hole as Lilla pranced excitedly into the room, talking at over a hundred miles an hour, as usual.

     "Katelookitssunnycanwegooutiwanttogotothebeachorgoshoppingandgetanicecream!" she yelled, seeming to stop only to gulp in a large amount of air.

     "Slow down!" I replied. "If you die of asphyxiation we're not going anywhere!"

     "Sorry," she panted, not looking at all sorry. "It's sunny! Can I have an ice cream? Can we go to the beach? Can we have a picnic?"

     "That depends on what your sisters want to do," I answered, deciding not to point out that she hadn't spoken much slower, and it was still difficult to make out individual words. "Why don't you go and ask them - and DON'T SLAM THE DOOR!"

     The door slammed shut as she dashed out of the room.

     *

     Very soon, as I had been expecting, I had in front of me all four of my pets, arguing ferociously. Daisy thought going to the beach was unfair, as she couldn't swim, and would rather stay at home and read. Tawny and Seacat both wanted to go shopping, but while Tawny liked poking around tiny backstreet shops in the marketplace in the hope of picking up a bargain, Seacat liked the big shops in Neopia Central. Lilla still wanted to go to the beach in Mystery Island, while stopping on the way to buy ice cream. Sadly I wondered why they couldn't just get on with each other.

     Eventually, I decided I had to step in. "As today is such a nice day, we're all going to do something together. Everyone write down where you want to go, and I'll draw it out of a hat."

     "Which hat?" asked Tawny. "You don't have one!"

     I glared at her and snatched an empty flowerpot off the windowsill. Tawny muttered something about it not being a hat, but subsided quickly. Finally, my pets each dropped a slip of paper into the "hat." I mixed them up and pulled one out at random. "Altador," I read. "Who wrote this?"

     No one answered. I sighed. "Come on, I want to know whose idea it was so they can say what they want to do there!"

     Still no one owned up to it. Irritably I unfolded the other pieces of paper. All of them said "Altador." My pets were as baffled as I was.

     "Are we going to Altador then?" asked Tawny. "Coz I really don't want to... "

     "Why not?" asked Daisy. "It did come out of the hat, and it might be interesting!"

     "It looks like something wants us to go to Altador," considered Seacat seriously. "I think we ought to check it out!"

     I wasn't so sure. "It could be dangerous, though," I pointed out. "There have been a lot of rumours lately, about the Darkest Faerie. I think we ought to go somewhere else instead. How about Mystery Island? Tawny and Seacat can go shopping, Lilla can sit on the beach, and Daisy can go on an island tour."

     Even though my pets hate listening to each other, they hate listening to me even more. As soon as I had spoken, they all became dead set on visiting Altador, however suspicious the circumstances. From experience, I knew that I could either take them to Altador, and risk us all being in danger, or endure at least a day of sulking from all four of them. I chose Altador.

     *

     On any other day, in other words, when I needed to get somewhere, my pets would constantly fall for the distractions along the way, but today they hardly even glanced at Faerieland's busy streets, so intent they were on getting to the portal. It was all I could do to even keep up with them, and I reached the portal out of breath and annoyed. So were they.

     "Why are you so slow, Kate?" whined Daisy. (If you think that a robot can't whine, you'd be wrong.)

     "Didn't you want anything to eat when you got there? You know we had to stop at the food shop!" I retorted. "If you keep moaning, you can't have the Faerie Bubbles that I bought for you!"

     I decided that the muttered "sorry" was the best apology I was going to get, and turned towards the portal. "Who's going first then?"

     As I had predicted, this led to even more arguments. Lilla was slightly scared, and wanted one of her sisters to go first. (It's sometimes hard to believe that Lilla's the second oldest, only a day younger than Seacat, but then her sisters do look rather more scary than her, except Tawny, but as she's the battler, she doesn't let this worry her.) Eventually Seacat won, as she reasoned that a scary Mutant would make anything dangerous on the other side of the portal think twice before attacking her. Daisy would go next, as metal is rather indigestible, then me, then Lilla, with Tawny bringing up the rear. I felt rather nervous as I watched my pets begin to vanish into the portal, but I stepped in in my turn.

     Clich├ęd it may be, but the view in front of me when I opened my eyes took my breath away. The magnificent city of Altador lay below the small hill where we stood, ringed with a formidable looking wall. My pets all had happy smiles on their faces, apart from Lilla, whose paws were pressed tightly into her eyes. I prized them away, and she cheered up as no immediate danger threatened.

     "Well," I said uncertainly, "we didn't come here just to stand near the portal. Let's go and see the sights!"

     It was a fantastic day. We got chased out of a Flat Rock Quarry by two enraged JubJub workers after Tawny discovered a perfectly round rock there, had a guided tour of a farm windmill by a very friendly farmer, hired a rowing boat from the docks for an hour (Daisy stayed on the shore in case it capsized), visited the local shops, and admired the old statues in the Hall of Heroes. To please Daisy, we wandered around the library in the archives, but came out again rather quickly when Tawny nearly fell into some sort of abyss. What a ridiculous feature to build into a library! After a quick look at the stars from an observatory, we headed home when night fell.

     *

     We had hardly closed the door of our Neohome when we heard someone banging on it furiously. When I opened it, I saw our next door neighbour, Carol, standing on the doorstep looking very worried.

     "What's the matter?" I asked, surprised to see anyone this late.

     "I was really worried about you!" she gasped. "Some sort of magic has been flying around enticing everyone to visit Altador, which Fyora has confirmed was cast by the Darkest Faerie, and I was sure that I heard your noisy Island girl shouting something about going to Altador as you all went up the street this morning!"

     I was shocked. It really was magic made by the Darkest Faerie then, and I had put my pets into danger without realising it! "The other people who went to Altador because of the magic... " I began. "Has anything happened to them?"

     "Well, no," admitted Carol. "But no one knows what to make of it, so we assumed the worst!"

     I reassured her that we were all quite alright, and we said goodnight. I passed on the news to my pets, waiting curiously for me in the kitchen, but although we discussed it for a long time, we never knew the meaning of the strange events.

     *

     Meanwhile... in Altador, the Darkest Faerie was talking to Gordos, who enjoyed fame as the Collector of Taxes and the Manager of the Altadorian Tourist Board. "There you go, I told you I could increase the number of tourists visiting this city!" she was saying triumphantly. "What shall we do next? Personally, I think we can milk this image of me as the Betrayer a bit more..."

The End

 
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