The Truth About Jack
He always could feel the pull, the force. It haunted him,
day and night. He was born to be good, he was sure - yet he could feel Jhudora's
call to him always. Jack was the youngest of the famous Elenoi's Army. His brother
and two sisters saved people, pets, from harm. Morrell, his brother, was a bodyguard
for Queen Fyora now. Lena, the oldest sister, was a tropy-winner, the decoy of
them all. Nari had the best job of all: she dealt with supernatural evils.
Jack wished he could be important, too. But the
fact remained that he wasn't. He didn't discover a plot of vampires. He didn't
take a dark arrow for the faerie queen. He didn't win trophy upon trophy for
the beauty contest. He didn't do anything important at all.
Even though he did nothing compared to them,
he didn't want her to come. She came of her own accord, in the middle of the
night, while he made feeble attempts to sleep. "Jack," she said, voice rasping.
"Come with me, Jack, you know you belong in the dark." She tried to coax him
out of his home.
He shivered in his bed. "Never," he rasped.
She laughed. "Not now, maybe," she told him,
"but you will come to be my follower - even the greatest of my dark generals
- in time." The dark faerie glided away like a ghost, leaving Jack to his thoughts
of fear and shame.
He shook like a leaf when he thought of it. She
came every night now, always saying the same things, and he could do nothing
to stop her. Neopia was free; she could go where she wanted. Even on the private
property of a Neopian citizen.
It was finally his turn to be great. He was finally
of age. But he could do nothing. There were no good faeries to be saved, only
dark ones to be followed. There was no dark plot to be foiled, only those to
Jack thought of his three siblings. When Nari,
a soft-spoken island Uni, came of age, she foiled Bella Roo and Count Von Roo's
plot to take over Neopia. When Morrell, now a glowing Lupe, came of age, he
saved Coltzan's Shrine from destruction. Lena, a beautiful spotted Gelert, beat
all the Defenders of Neopia challengers when she was of age, and had become
one of the most well-respected Battledomers in Neopia. These thoughts just made
Jack even more miserable.
Then, he had a terrible thought.
What if I really am meant for the darkness?
He shook it off. Of course not. Zafaras were
called to magic, more like, or Battledoming. Never the darkness. Could zafaras
even be painted shadow? the green Zafara wondered vaguely.
As he tried to sleep, though, he couldn't keep
it off his mind. Darkness pulled at him always.
She came again. Of course.
"Jack, Jack," she called. "Come to me. Do my
quests, become one of mine."
"No thanks," he said. "Elenoi is for Illusen,
and my sister is the one for the quests."
Cackling, she replied, "Don't worry, my sweet.
You will finish my quests and become my minion."
He decided on a new path: tease, torment, drive
off. "Only Sloth has minions, stupid old bag," he said.
She glared at him. "You will see the darkness
one day," she promised. She got closer.
"Not while Nari is around," he said, smiling.
He shouted, "HELP! NARI! A DARK FAERIE IS TRYING TO GET ME!"
His sister burst through the door. "Jhudora,"
she snarled, bristling.
The evil faerie hissed and thrust herself from
the window. "I'll be back."
Nari turned to Jack. "Why was she here?" she
He gulped. "I - well - " He told her everything,
starting from the very first visit, telling her the threats of a shadowed heart
he had received. "And that's what happened," he concluded.
His sister was silent for a moment. Finally,
she said quietly, "I know I should have told you. I didn't, though. I didn't
even tell Mom."
"What are you talking about?"
She sighed. "When I was on that hunt for Balthazaar,
remember that? I was hunting him because he had that store of dark faeries that
Mom wanted me to confiscate. I found him and located the store. Well, I neglected
to tell you all one part." She looked guilty. "I opened a bottle of them."
He stared. Everybody knew you weren't supposed
to open a bottled dark faerie unless your owner was around.
"It flew high above my head," she continued.
"It made a prophecy. It told me that - well - I'll just get it. I made a written
record of the prophecy."
Jack followed Nari to her room in a high tower.
She dug through a trunk full of old files from cases she had worked. He saw
some with photographs of Count Von Roo, Vira, and Jhudora paper clipped to some.
"Here." She handed him a thin, two-sheet report
Army upon army may fall down to the ground
Before the one for whom Jhudora's trumpet will
Heart of dark and born the same
It is he who is to blame
Destroying all that crosses evil's path
Betraying all family that he hath
Yet though he was born under darkened sky
He will choose the path he will live by
Prevail he must over all he fights
Raised to be lightest of lights
Born is he under dark stars above
Symbol of hate, brother of love
Hope there may be for Neopia yet
Jhudora may lay it all upon a bet
For if he chooses the side of light
He will defeat the darkness in a fight.
Jack looked up from it. "Why do you think it's
me?" he wanted to know.
She stared at him. "Jack, look at the clues.
'Born under darkened sky.' Elenoi created you at night. 'Born is he under dark
stars above.' It was Jhudora's day, the night all the stars turn black. 'Raised
to be lightest of lights.' Mom wanted you to be the greatest of all of us. It
all fits to you. Even 'brother of love.' Lena's planet is Venus."
Her brother was pale. "Now I know," he mumbled.
"She visits me - stalks me - because of this prophecy."
"Yes," she told him.
He turned to her. "I will not do what is expected
of me," he said dangerously. "Jhudora will pay." He turned and stormed out of
the room, down the stairs, and headed for the door.
"No, Jack, you can't just run off," Nari protested.
"And why not?" he wanted to know.
"Because you just - can't," she said. "Mom'll
know you're gone, anyways, so you may as well at least get a plan before you
throw yourself into some crazy scheme to kill a faerie."
"Well, what do you propose?" he asked.
"I say we go together."
He stared. "No! It's my fight, not yours."
"I don't care, I'm going with you."
He rolled his eyes. "Fine, Nari," he said angrily,
"But I won't save you if you need saving."
"Hey, I'm the one who whooped a vampire, an angry
acara, and random monsters that pop up around Neopia, so I don't need saving,"
she told him.
"Let's just go."
And off they went on a journey of life: Jack's