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The Banister


by sunsetneversetting

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“Fyora, the Faerie Queen of the majestic Faerieland! Oh, what a wonder it truly is!”

     The Faerie Queen sighed at her own amount of sarcasm. She pivoted to face herself in the mirror, and saw the toll of the past days’ events on her face. Her normally calm, peaceful eyes that mimicked a thousand rainbows had been diminished to a dull grey that resembled a rock; her nails had been chipped past recognition; she swore that her back was giving out on her; and her hair- oh my, she didn’t want to even think about the hair.

     Fyora swirled in a circle, violet skirt following, trying to cheer herself up. However, her attempt at some amount of happiness was of no success. Her mind swarmed with how Neopians around the world complained of how high prices were, how the Shop Wizard had gone on vacation, (that itself was a nightmare; Fyora hadn’t slept for three days to convince the Shop Wizard to only take a month off and not a year), how the chocolate factory had run out of chocolate... the list went on. She wanted to help all of the Neopians, but she knew that they would have to sort at least some of the problems out themselves so they didn’t start relying on her for everything.

     She glanced around at her room. Once again, she was hidden up in the ‘Hidden Tower’ that most Neopians knew wasn’t hidden particularly well. But that itself did not permit the fact that she rarely broke out the Tower, broke out of her cage... her advisors told her to never show herself to the public, unless for special events or meetings. Apparently it was so that whenever she did appear it was considered extraordinary.

     “How is it that I’m the Queen, but myself being ordered around?” she whispered softly into the silence of the room. The area was bland, with exception to the one mirror in the Tower and the window that showed a marvelous view of the whole of Faerieland. She had been told to stay up there as much as she could, for occasionally brave Neopets ventured into the Tower to purchase one of her items.

     To her left was the winding staircase that led down to the other floors of the tower. It was exactly one thousand steps long, and even Fyora didn’t know how many stories there were due to the fact that the twelfth story had a habit of disappearing when Gelert Day was on a Tuesday (but only on even-dated years) and there was no third floor for unexplained reasons. The banister was wooden, shiny and incredibly slick...

     Fyora smiled the first real smile for days, and ten years seemed to melt off of her skin. She took the ends of her lilac hair and shoved them down the back of her loose-fitting dress. She hadn’t done this for a long time.

     Fyora calmly strutted over to the banister and hiked up her skirts. She then straddled the banister facing forwards, and hoped desperately that no one was watching. Either way, she was going to have fun. If it wasn’t for her sudden burst of euphoria, she would never have done something like that. She loosely let go of the banister, but still cradling it with her long fingers.

     It felt as if she were in a state of vertigo. The banister (having been conveniently polished the day before) was hard to hold on to, but Fyora kept her balance. Luckily, the turns were not too tight and she spiraled quickly to the ground. The state of glee Fyora found herself in was comparable to the sun shining with all of its glory after a rainy day.

     When the banister ended, Fyora was thrown a good ten feet and skidded to a stop at the base of an abnormally large lamp from Brightvale. She was in the centre lobby of the Faerieland castle, and to her luck no one was around. It was a massive area with a cavernous ceiling that opened up widely to reveal a painfully detailed mosaic of the winning of a war that had occurred years ago. Directly ahead of her were monstrous doors that were delicately carved from the finest wood. To her right was a corridor that led to conference rooms, meeting rooms, seminar rooms, discussion rooms and many other rooms that involved talking. To her left was where the servants who constantly attended to everyone’s needs slept, the kitchens and other rooms too numerous to mention. The lighting was that of a sunset, setting a calm mood.

     Normally the area would have been buzzing with excitement. Where is everybody? she thought to herself. She gathered her skirts and stood up gently, unraveling them. And then she remembered: Right! Today is the servants’ day off, and no delegates are visiting...

     Fyora gave a sudden laugh. It was so out of character for her to behave like this, so out of the ordinary...

     “But who wants to be ordinary?” she shouted to the ceiling. Its silent answer only encouraged her more.

     “What to do, what to do...” she commented to herself. And then she saw it: a shadow, down the servants’ corridor. It had been brief, but most certainly a shadow of something... or someone. Fyora twitched. If anyone, anyone at all saw her parade down the banister, then she would never live it down. She could cover it, as she did with all of her emotions, by putting on a placid mask, but this was different. She would be the laughingstock of all Neopia if they knew how the queen slid down a banister. But it’s not my fault, she thought quickly. Even the people in the highest positions need to be themselves every once and a while!

     She silently trotted down the corridor that the shadow had appeared on, her feet making soft noises. The shadow had appeared on the edge of an open door, approximately thirty feet away from the lobby. A person could have easily seen her land ungracefully from the banister and still have time to get away while she had been pondering the situation she was in.

     Fyora stopped close to the open door and smoothed even more wrinkles out of her skirt, trying to look as professional as possible. She slipped on the mask and placed herself in the centre of the doorway, prepared for the worst.

     She was taken aback. The room, still very brightly lit, had sunlight streaming through the open window in tendrils of light. It was an abandoned room, one that was being used to store old books, shelves or miscellaneous items anyone found. It was surprisingly small, only a few feet wide on each side, but crammed full of items nevertheless. There was no one in the room.

     Fyora nearly collapsed with relief until she realized that the window had been left open for a reason, perhaps... whoever had seen her had escaped out of the window.

     Dodging and ducking protruding items from the shelves (“I’ve really got to get this place cleaned up,” she muttered), she carefully picked her way over to the windowsill.

     Clouds stretched on for as far as the eye could see, but no buildings interrupted the flow of the landscape. Fyora herself had set up this region of Faerieland to be quiet and undisturbed, a message from the past to remind Fyora of what Faerieland was before it was settled. She had declared the area off-limits to all Neopets.

     She leaned over the windowsill, defeat in her eyes as she realized that someone had the power to make a mockery of her. However, as she leaned farther over the windowsill she became aware that two yellow heads were now protruding from the bottom of her eyes. Fyora yelped, and quickly knew that two intruders had chosen to hide underneath the windowsill.

     “What are you two doing?” Fyora managed to say.

     The two heads scampered from underneath the windowsill. They were two Lupes, no older than a few years. Seeing her, their faces twisted into a look of shock, horror and utter glee mixed together. They immediately bowed down, but clumsily tripped over their own paws and both managed to do a face-plant in the cloud.

     “You’re... your majesty!” one of them cried. He looked the oldest. The other simply stared, not bothering to close his jaw.

     “You see, you see,” the older Lupe continued, “me an’ my brother here, we wanted to play with our new rubber ball!”

     The older Lupe poked the younger one who held up a bright red ball, one that was obviously envied by many.

     “And we was playing with it,” the Lupe continued, showing his horrible grammar skills, “but we throws it over the gate! And the guard, you see, you see, you’re majesty, was sympa... sympa... sympathetic to us and let us pass! We swore we wouldn’t do anythin’ bad! And then I get the ball an' pass it to Johnny here, but he misses! So it goes into the room, bu' we didn't mean for it to!"

     The Lupe caught his breath, flabbergasted. “And we decide, now, to go right in! No harm, really! We got the ball and went out!”

     Fyora hadn’t said anything for a long time, until, “So that’s all you did? You got the ball and went right back out?”

     The Lupe who had done all of the previous talking started up again. “Yes, sir, I mean m’am, I mean, we went right back out or my name isn’t Phillip!”

     Fyora glanced at Phillip and Johnny, who looked as if they’d been given a death sentence.

     “Well,” Fyora said, unbelievably reassured that they hadn’t seen her, “I guess you didn’t mean to come in. Next time, just ask!”

     The Lupes looked at each other, aghast, amazed that they weren’t going to get a serious reprimand.

     “If you leave quickly, I won’t even tell your parents!” Fyora added, trying to give the Lupes incentive to leave.

     Phillip spoke up. “Thank you, majesty! Thank you!”

     Fyora smiled, her adrenaline slowing down. She hadn’t been caught!

     Johnny, who hadn’t said anything yet, turned to Fyora.

     “M’am?” he asked.

     “Yes?”

     “Next time, try going down the banister backwards. It gives you more momentum.”

The End

 
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