An Interview With the Healing Springs Faerie
I ran my fingers over my globe of Neopia, from the big cloud that marked Faerieland to the tiny blue dot of Roo Island, looking for inspiration. Ever since my first article had been printed in the Times, I had been struggling to write a follow-up, another interview about a Neopian who was just as fascinating as Tarla, and hopefully not as annoying. My first success as a real reporter had been shortly followed by my first failure, a fruitless interview with Mika and Carassa which had been both boring and painful, due to the fact that several objects had landed on me as I went into their igloo. After that I’d written some articles so embarrassing that I didn’t even bother to submit them. So now, here I was, hoping that something on my globe would capture my attention and send me on the interview of my dreams. I imagined myself walking into some famous-yet-obscure Neopian’s living room and having them say to me, “Well, hello there. Here’s some amazing information about me that nobody else knows!”
I needed the money, you see, because I needed a new house. The reason is complicated; suffice to say it involved a large-ish Kau who had recently been changed from Ghost color to Starry, and was used to being able to pass through solid objects... Apparently, “Large refrigerator-shaped hole in wall” is not covered under “Basic Insurance.”
I closed my eyes and spun the globe, letting my finger come to rest on a spot. I opened my eyes to see where I had landed: the outskirts of Faerie City.
“Why not?” I thought, grabbing my bag.
* * *
I arrived at the outskirts of Faerie City and looked around. Hmm... Jhudora was interesting, all right, but there was always the chance you’d get turned into a Mortog or something if you didn’t ask the right questions.
I was debating whether or not to chance it with Jhudora when I noticed a sign pointing down the road to the Healing Springs.
“Of course!” I said to myself. “The Healing Springs faerie. She’s got to be almost as interesting as Jhudora--and considerably less dangerous as well.”
I made my way carefully down the cloud-path--I don’t care if it’s magical, it’s still water vapor and I don’t like walking on it--and arrived at the front gate of the Healing Springs.
I watched as a Gnorbu who clearly had Neoflu went up to her as she sat in her little pool, cooling her tail.
“Well, hello there, you poor thing,” she said to the Gnorbu. “Let me see if I can help you.”
She spread her hands out toward the Gnorbu and scrunched up her face, concentrating hard. A poison snowball appeared on the ground in front of her.
“Oh!” she said. “Well, here you go.” She picked up the snowball and handed it to the Gnorbu, who sneezed.
“Hopefully that will help,” she said. “Come back soon!”
I blinked with disbelief as the Gnorbu shuffled slowly out of the Springs, holding his snowball. Surely she wasn’t so dense as to think that a snowball could heal the flu.
“Uh, Miss Healing Faerie?” I asked her tentatively. “I’m from the Neopian Times. Could you perhaps spare a few minutes for an interview?”
“Certainly,” she said. “What’s the Neopian Times?"
Reporters should be prepared for any question, but I will admit, that one threw me.
“What’s the Neopian Times?” I wondered if she was joking.
She smiled openly. This wasn’t a joke. “Yes. Is it one of those reading things? Because I don’t read very much.”
I gulped. “Um, yes, people do read it, mostly.”
“Well, that explains why I can’t remember hearing of it. I have a terrible memory. If it isn’t fluffy and cute, it tends to slip my mind quite easily.”
“Uh huh,” I said, briefly imagining a fluffy, cute version of the Neopian Times. I almost started laughing but I pushed it out of my mind. “If I could just ask you some questions...” I said.
“Of course,” she replied. “Why don’t you sit down?”
I settled myself awkwardly onto a bit of cloud and took out my notebook.
“Let’s start with this one: What inspired you to become the Healing Springs Faerie?” I asked.
She smiled and said, “Well, when I was a little water Faerie, I was never very good at spells and things like all the other Faeries. I would try to make something float, say, and it would turn purple. And then later I would try to turn something purple and it would inflate, or start buzzing, or grow legs and run away. I could never conjure anything that was much use either. So, on the suggestion of a very intelligent Light Faerie, I opened a free healing service. Thousands of Neopets pass through these springs every day, so odds are I can’t be wrong every time!”
I wrote this down and then asked another question.
“But don’t you ever feel bad when you try to heal a pet and you end up giving them something they don’t need?”
She shrugged. “A little bit, but it’s better than nothing. And it’s ever so delightful when I do get it right, that it quite makes me forget about the times when I get it wrong. I’ve also found,” she whispered to me, as though it were a great secret, “that forgetting about things makes you feel much less unhappy about them.”
I nodded. I was feeling a strange mixture of fascination and alarm.
The rest of the interview was uneventful. I asked her about her leisure activities (taking baths and reading gossip magazines--I had to define “leisure” for her first), her relationship with Fyora (“Absolutely delightful”), whether she had ever been outside Faerieland (No), and what it was like living so close to Jhudora (Occasional evil cackling and strange smells in the middle of the night, but otherwise fine).
After the interview, I still had some time on my hands before I was due back home. I figured that since I had come so far to Faerieland, I might as well make some use of my time here, so I made my way into the middle of Faerie City. I stopped at the library to try the famous Faerie Crossword. When I entered, the Library Faerie was chatting with a Fire Faerie at her desk. As I took a copy of the day’s puzzle, the Fire Faerie noticed my bag with the Neopian Times logo printed on it.
“Are you a reporter?” the Fire Faerie asked.
“Yes,” I said. “I’ve just come from an interview with the Healing Springs Faerie.”
To my surprise, the Library Faerie gave a sigh of annoyance and shut the book she was reading with a snap.
“How can someone so STUPID get so much attention?” she exploded angrily. She stood up and stormed over to a desk where a Skeith was diligently working on the crossword.
“Aren’t you DONE yet??” she snapped at him. “You’ve been doing that same puzzle since this morning!"
The Fire Faerie leaned over to me and whispered, “The Healing Springs Faerie has a good heart, but she really isn’t the brightest crayon in a box, as I’m sure you’ve realized. The Library Faerie doesn’t like her because she’s so popular even though she can’t think her way out of a paper bag.”
I nodded in understanding and took a copy of the crossword. When I handed it in, the still huffy Library Faerie gave me my prize.
So now you know: Illusen vs. Jhudora is nothing. The real rivalry in Faerieland is none other than Healing Springs Faerie vs. Library Faerie (Cue ominous music now).