How to Be a Fire Faerie: Part Four
I stepped up to the stage - or, in fact, just the area
of green grass surrounded by bright lanterns. "M - my name is Simma Starclaw,
and I'm going to show you a fire story," I stammered. I held out my hands, trying
not to look at the sea of faerie faces in front of me, all eyes looking expectantly
I felt for my magic, and pushed it out of my
hands - but nothing happened. I pushed again, urging flames out of my palms.
Beads of cold sweat burst on my forehead. Why
wasn't it working? The crowd had begun muttering to each other mutinously. One
faerie shouted, "Boo!"
Fyora stepped up. "I'm sorry, Simma, but you'll
have to go back to Mystery Island. You've failed forever."
The words sunk into me like a stone. Failed forever.
"No!" I said angrily. "That's not fair!"
"It is perfectly fair," replied Fyora. Was it
me, I thought, or was her voice getting deeper? And - and her body much, much
rounder - redder - and furry?
My father stood there, growling at me in a Fyora
costume, the skirt cutting in around his waist, the knee-high socks pulling
in his bulging muscles, and the half-diamond encrusted tiara perched jauntily
between his furry ears.
"Make me breakfast!" he yelled.
There was the rest of my family, jumping down
from the blue sky, all yelling at me too.
"Make me lunch!"
"Make me dinner!"
"Make me dessert!"
I felt my body getting smaller, rounder, furrier,
and shorter. I was a Kougra again. My surroundings were blurring, becoming my
own kitchen, and a large pile of plates to be washed up.
I woke with a start, hearing a yell and not realising
for a moment it came from my own mouth. I looked down at my hands - they were
still hands. I was still a fire faerie.
And could I do magic still? Only one way to find
out. I felt for my magic, and pushed it out - though very gently. A tiny puff
of fire hung suspended in the air, swirling gently. I blew it out as relief
washed over me.
I sank into my soft pillows, sighing contentedly.
I had to get some sleep.
The festival was tomorrow.
"Are we all ready?" asked Fyora loudly. "YES!!"
roared the crowd of faeries.
We were about to go down to Neopia for the festival.
All of us - every faerie in Faerieland - were about to drop down to Neopia and
party our wings off.
I gulped as I saw the enormous drop below me.
I wasn't scared of heights, but even so, that was enough to give anyone vertigo.
I had to fly all that way.
No, correction. Not fly all that way. Drop all
that way, and only begin flying at ten metres above ground level. Gulp.
Well, those were Fyora's orders, and only an
idiot refuses Fyora's orders.
"LET'S GO!!!!!" yelled Fyora. The faeries on
the first cloud dropped - they were all the earth faeries. As Illusen's own
species, they got to arrive first.
The next cloud, water faeries, let by a tall,
pretty water faerie who I recognised from Fyora's council, jumped two minutes
after the earth faeries.
Then it was the light faeries...
Then, after two minutes panicky waiting, Blaze,
at the front of the cloud, yelled, "GO!"
I only had a second's glance at the dark faeries
behind us - apparently Illusen doesn't like dark faeries much, so they were
coming last - before someone behind me shoved me off the edge of the cloud and
I began falling, falling through whirling air, the wind roaring in my ears.
The temptation to open my wings was so strong,
I had to actually clamp my arms over them. I was going slower than I thought
I would have, but that was probably because of the roaring wind buffeting my
stomach and chest.
I could see a few yellowy dots beneath us - the
light faeries. Next second they had disappeared and the ground of Neopia was
looming closer - closer - I heard a yell from Blaze in front of me - "WINGS!"
- but her voice was nearly whipped away by the wind.
I opened my wings and beat them as hard as I
could, feeling myself slow down. Then, I stretched out my feet and felt them
strike solid, grassy ground. I was a bit dizzy for a moment, then looked up.
"Wow," I breathed.
Illusen's glade had been incredibly decorated,
hundreds of times much more beautiful than I'd seen in pictures in storybooks.
The tall, spreading trees had lanterns hanging
from them like fruit - each lantern burning with a bright, unflickering light.
The grass was a rich, fresh green, with multicoloured spots thrown onto it from
the reflecting light of the lanterns.
A patch of grass had been set up as a stage,
and there were lots of small tables around. An air faerie had bewitched some
plates of cream cookies, neggs, soup and drink (contributions from Illusen,
the negg faerie and the soup faerie) to float on cushions of air at exactly
hand height, and they were now skimming between the faeries, merrily nudging
then on the side of the head if they refused to take a piece of food or a glass
I looked around, and spotted several familiar
faces in the crowd. Illusen herself was sitting on a log bench, chomping a cream
cookie and talking animatedly to Fyora, who was smiling.
Jhuidah, the island faerie, who I had visited
once before, was looking suspiciously at the negg faerie and Taelia, the snow
faerie, who were showing her a large negg patterned with snowflakes.
The soup faerie was sitting on a table accompanied
by what looked like a mini version of her huge cauldron.
Even the space faerie was there! She was sitting
on a low branch of a tree and talking to several young air faeries, who were
And skulking in a quiet, shady corner away from
the crowds, was Jhudora, the darkness faerie, accompanied by four other darkness
faeries, who seemed to be bowing and grovelling a lot.
Illusen stood up. "Hello, everyone," she said,
smiling. "It's a great honour for me to host the festival this year, and I hope
you'll all enjoy it."
She put the tiniest stress on the word 'all',
and I saw Jhudora mutter something. Illusen smiled broadly.
"Let the show begin!"
The show began. First up were the air faeries.
The pranced onto the stage, swinging their immaculate, silky hair behind them,
and thrust their arms out as one.
In unison, they conjured tiny, spinning tornados
in front of them. They then used the tornados to vacuum up any dust, debris
or litter left over from the food.
Everyone applauded wildly, including me, although
I felt as if something very large was fighting to get out of my stomach.
The earth faeries grew long, winding vines so
high we couldn't see the ends, then set off climbing them. They returned five
minutes later with several faerie pancakes - it turned out they had been all
the way to Faerieland and back!
The crowd tucked into the delicious pancakes
- all except me that is, because I thought if I ate something, a not very nice
thing might happen all over the light faerie standing in front of me.
The water faeries made beautiful, bubbling fountains.
The light faeries made tiny little bubbles of
light float into everyone's hair and clothes - I saw Jhudora stamping on hers.
The dark faeries made the entire clearing go
pitch black for a second or two.
The fire faeries made hundreds of fireballs and
threw them into the air - they spun round and round Blaze, who was juggling
her own sixty fireballs, whilst flying blindfolded, one-winged, upside down
and singing a song in perfect tune.
And then it was my turn.
"Now we have Simma Starclaw, fire faerie, with
a surprise presentation," said Illusen. Her eyes were fixed on me.
I stepped up to the stage - or, in fact, just
the area of green grass surrounded by bright lanterns. "M - my name is Simma
Starclaw, and I'm going to show you a fire story," I stammered. I held out my
hands, trying not to look at the sea of faerie faces in front of me, all eyes
looking expectantly at me.
"This is the story of my life," I added. I felt
for my magic, brought it up, and pushed.
Flames, glorious orange, yellow, red, golden
flames, erupted from my hand into the air. I twisted my wrist, and they broke
off from my hands.
The fireball hung suspended in mid-air. I moved
my hand, and it split into two shapes. They changed into...
A big Kougra and a small Kougra.
Me and my dad.
The fiery me was scrubbing the floor. My fiery
father was yelling at me.
Then, there was fiery me, plodding dejectedly
down a path. There was the fiery door in the wall.
Fiery me looked around, then hopped into the
I twisted my wrist and the fire vanished completely.
Several faeries looked around, confused.
I pushed all my magic out and flames exploded
around me, and around the crowd, conveying the blinding light around me in the
There lay fiery me, on the ground, out cold.
Her body began changing - getting longer, thinner, less furry, winged.
In came fiery Fyora. She picked up the screaming
fiery me and put her on the fiery pillows of a bed.
There, next day, was fiery me learning to walk.
Learning to fly.
Shooting fireballs from her outstretched arms.
And finally, fiery me walked to the front of
the crowd, took a bow, and disappeared, leaving nothing but a tall plume of
smoke behind her.
For a moment there was complete and utter silence.
Then the crowd exploded into cheers, screams and whoops. I walked off the stage
and was enveloped by dozens of faeries, and covered in congratulations, smiles,
hugs and pats on the back.
Illusen was cheering as much as the rest. Blaze
was clapping loudly whilst saying something to Taelia and the negg faerie. I
caught the words "student," and "proud."
Jhuidah and the soup faerie were also clapping
madly, both stirring the miniature cauldron.
Even Jhudora was slapping her hands together
Fyora brushed past me in the crowd. Our eyes
met for a fraction of a second.
The tiniest of nods.
A whisper of "well done."
That was worth more that the cheers of the crowd
I raised my hands in the air, and felt for my
With a push inside, a flurry of bright orange
sparks flew into the air.
A few fell and died on the grass, their brightness
But one tiny spark, smaller than all the rest,
slowly sparkled its way up into the blue.
I watched it go until it had disappeared.