Dark Friend: Part One
Author's note: This is the sequel to "Her Spirit's Eyes" (whose first part is in Issue #244). To fully understand this story, you should read that first. Oh, and if you have any comments at all about this story, feel free to Neomail me. :-)
"WANDA!!" Laura, a striped Xweetok, shouted up the stairs while holding her baby daughter, Dina. "Hurry up; we're going to be late!"
"Hold on!" Wanda, the Bori who had just recently been painted Faerie, shouted down the stairs. "I'm having trouble finding an outfit that doesn't get in the way of my wings!"
"We were going to leave five minutes ago!" Laura called.
Wanda rolled her eyes. "And what do you want ME to do about it... stop time?!"
Laura groaned, and looked at the clock. The fair was in Vladimyr village, the town near Neopia Central that the family lived in, so they were going to see it, but Wanda was taking too long to get dressed.
"Wanda, we're going to be waiting outside for you!" Laura exclaimed. "Is that okay?"
"That's FINE!" Wanda shouted down the stairs.
Wanda heard the door opening and closing; Laura and Dina really DID go outside. She just sighed and continued looking through her dresser.
After a few seconds, Wanda realized that she had looked through her whole dresser and had not found anything. Groaning, she shoved the drawer back into the dresser and ran to her closet, desperately hoping to find something that would work. She finally found something that fit nicely over her wings, smiled, put it on, and almost crashed into Dina's crib as she ran out the bedroom door.
* * * * *
Laura bit her lip. She saw many other pets and owners were having fun at the fair, while she was still standing there waiting for Wanda to get dressed.
"Gosh, how long is this going to take?" she wondered aloud.
Finally, Wanda opened the front door. "Here I am! Sorry I took so long," she exclaimed.
Laura turned around with relief when she heard the door open. Then she was stricken with surprise when she saw the outfit that Wanda had on. Dina was wearing a simple, blue one-piece, and Laura had thrown on a pink tank top with blue jeans. Wanda, however, had a light red dress that reached almost all the way down to her feet, and a slit on the left side that came up a ways past the knee. The dress was also one of those kinds where it was held up by two ribbons that tied in a bow behind the neck.
"Umm..." Laura said, still a little bit surprised, "isn't that dress kinda... well, you know, formal... for the fair?"
"Yeah, but it's the only thing I had that would work with my wings!" Wanda turned around, showing that the dress also had a low back.
"Well... whatever," Laura grimaced. "C'mon! Let's try to get there in time for some cotton candy!"
Laura ran to the fairgrounds while holding Dina in her arms, while Wanda struggled to catch up to her without tripping on her dress. Laura got there first, expecting to see an admission booth, but instead she saw a sign that read, "Free admission!"
"Well, that's odd..." Laura said.
"What's odd?" Wanda asked, catching up to Laura.
"It doesn't cost a single Neopoint to get in." Laura pointed to the sign. "You'd think there'd be a charge of some kind..."
Wanda examined the sign. She noticed that there were the words "15 NP" on it, but they were painted over and replaced with the word "Free."
"It looks like there used to be, but they changed their minds," Wanda said, pointing out the painted-over words. "...But whatever. This means we can get in for free!"
Laura nodded. "Well, come on! Let's go, then!"
Wanda followed Laura through the fair gates. As they went through, they almost felt as if they were teleporting to an entirely different land. At the fair, there were balloons, clowns, booths of all kinds, and lots of people having fun and licking ice cream cones. Unlike outside the fair, where it was quiet, empty, and almost no one was there.
Awe-stricken smiles came onto the faces of Laura, Dina and Wanda. Each of them either had not seen a fair in a really long time, or had never seen one at all.
"This is wonderful..." Laura said with a smile.
"This is amazing..." Wanda followed with the same fashion.
"Eh!" Dina cheered, breaking the mood.
Laura and Wanda looked at Dina and gave a slight chuckle. She was so young and clueless, it was unbearably cute.
"Well?" Laura asked. "Where should we go, first?"
* * * * *
"That was great!" Wanda exclaimed, walking out of a tent with Laura and Dina behind her.
"I don't think I'll ever eat anything with peanuts in it, again..." Laura said with a sick look on her face.
"I am now going to announce that I officially love science booths!" Wanda said with a grin. "Did you see that earthquakes thing?"
"Yes..." Laura looked worried, disgusted, and confused all at the same time.
"What? Don't you like science stuff?" Wanda asked.
"Not really, no," Laura admitted.
"Well, I happen to like science and brain-stimulating stuff like that!" Wanda exclaimed.
Laura rolled her eyes and glanced over to her side. She noticed a purple booth: a fortune telling booth. There was a long line, but it seemed like something that would get her mind of the earthquakes thing.
"Hey, Wanda!" She poked Wanda in the shoulder. "There's a fortune telling booth! Let's go check it out!"
"That sounds boring." Wanda shook her head.
"Come on... please?" Laura begged.
"Tell you what," Wanda said, "you and Dina can go get your palms read or whatever, and I'll just wait here."
"Alright, but don't wander too far, okay?" Laura agreed. "We don't want you getting lost."
"I won't. I promise."
Laura smiled ecstatically, and she ran to the back of the line for the fortune telling booth. Wanda just rolled her eyes and went to a nearby bench to sit down for a while.
* * * * *
After a long wait in the line, Laura was finally close enough to see who it was that was actually telling the fortunes. It was a male, white Poogle. He wore sort of a purple beret on the right side of his head, with a big, yellow feather coming out of the top of it. He also wore a yellow shirt, and a purple cape that rested on his left side rather than on his back. He had gray eyes, which were actually normal for a white Poogle. When he talked, he had a tendency to roll his 'R's a little bit.
"Ah, yes..." he said to an Usul, who was just in front of Laura in line. "I see that you have a congenial future ahead of you... you will soon travel to a region where you will find true love... yes, have a splendid day, Trela." Laura could see the Usul blushing as she walked away from the Poogle. Then the Poogle looked at Laura. "Salutations! And welcome to my fortune telling booth! My name is Cindon; what might yours be?"
"Hello, Cindon. My name is Laura," Laura said with a nod. "And this baby Xweetok is my daughter, Dina."
"In-on!" Dina said with a, cute, babyish smile.
"Laura and Dina!" said Cindon with a smile. "It is so wonderful to meet you both!" He looked into Dina's eyes, and a more solemn look appeared on his face. "Dina has scintillant irises, in the shade of indigo, but maybe just a little more violet..."
"Yes, she was born with them that way," Laura explained. "Aren't they pretty?"
"I agree, but they are more than just pretty..." he said, lowering his voice so only Laura could hear. "Your daughter seems to be... preternatural somehow. I believe she has a paramount destiny upon her shoulders... but what that destiny is, it is insoluble. Please do not take this negligently; I am rarely inaccurate with my conjectures."
"Um, right." Laura had only a vague idea what Cindon was telling her. "Now what about me?"
"Oh, yes." Cindon stood up straighter. "We cannot forget about you. Now let's see..."
* * * * *
Wanda wandered around aimlessly as she waited for Laura and Dina to get back from the fortune telling booth. Without paying attention to where she was going, she bumped into someone... or rather, someone bumped into her.
"Ow, hey!" yelped the person or pet that Wanda bumped. "Watch where you're going!"
"What?" Wanda protested. "You're the one who... uh..."
Wanda turned around to see who it was she was talking to. She was surprised to see that it was a Light Faerie, although she didn't wear the traditional Light Faerie outfit. Instead, she wore a orange tank top, and bright yellow, knee-length shorts, which had velcro on the bottom. An orange belt was woven through the belt loops of her shorts, and attached to that belt was an orange sheath, in which was one of those swords designed specially for Light Faeries. Her long, yellow hair was also pulled into a braid.
"Uh, sorry, I wasn't watching... where I was going," Wanda stuttered slightly.
"Well, try to pay attention next time!" exclaimed the Faerie. "...Um, hey, what's with that outfit?"
"Oh, that's kind of a long story..." Wanda chuckled weakly, "so what's with yours? I thought that Light Faeries wore long, fancy dresses."
"Like yours?" the Faerie replied, with one eyebrow raised in confusion.
"Uh... yeah," Wanda blushed, feeling kind of awkward. "So...?"
"Well, I'm not really much for the helping-out-weary-travelers-thing that most other Faeries do. I'm more for battles and excitement!" the Faerie answered. "...And it's... kinda hard to have battles and excitement when you're wearing a dress."
"Yeah..." Wanda giggled a little, partly to be polite, partly because it really WAS kind of funny. "By the way, my name's Wanda. What's yours?"
"Aillira," the Faerie answered. "It's nice to meet you."
Wanda and Aillira talked for a little while. They learned more about each other, and found that they shared some common interests.
"So you're part of this fair??" Wanda said with wide eyes.
"Yeah, although I don't do much..." Aillira nodded. "I just act in plays sometimes and help carry stuff around."
"You've been in plays? What kind of parts do you play?" Wanda asked.
"Oh, I'm usually some kind of Faerie Princess, or something..." Aillira said with a sigh. "When I'm lucky, I get to be a talented Battle Faerie... though that's kinda rare..."
"I take it you play the part of a Faerie a lot." Wanda raised one eyebrow.
"Uh-huh... I don't think I've ever been anything besides a Faerie, now that I think of it!" Aillira replied. "I've been an Air Faerie, a Fire Faerie... I think I've been Illusen a couple of times... I've played the Soup Faerie before, too... once I even played Fyora..."
Wanda turned her head to the bench she was sitting at before. Laura and Dina were waiting there for her; they had gotten back from the fortune telling booth.
"Oh, sorry, but I gotta go." Wanda sighed. "Maybe we'll meet again sometime!"
"Yeah, maybe sometime..." Aillira said.
Wanda started to walk away from Aillira, when a thought struck her mind. She turned back to Aillira. "Hey, wait! Just one more thing!"
"What?" Aillira asked.
"How do you wear that outfit with those wings?"
* * * * *
"Wanda! There you are!" Laura sighed, as Wanda finally came running back to the bench. "Where were you?"
"Oh, just around," Wanda replied.
"You almost had me worried!" Laura said. "But it's a good thing you're okay. Now where to?"
Dina pointed to a nearby booth. "Geh!"
Wanda and Laura looked where Dina had pointed. They smiled; it was a food booth.
"Well, I am getting pretty hungry!" Wanda admitted.
"Yeah, me too." Laura nodded. "Come on! Let's go get some scones!"
They went to the booth and ordered two Elephante-ear scones and a couple of soft drinks. Then they went to a nearby tent with benches inside it, sat down and began to talk.
"So how did it go with the fortune telling?" Wanda wondered.
"Not bad, I suppose," Laura said with a sigh. "The fortune teller used a lot of big words; he was fairly hard to understand."
"Wow," Wanda said, dipping a piece of her scone into some honey-butter. "I always thought you, being an adult, would know just about every word there is!"
"No, I'm afraid not." Laura giggled, giving Dina a very small piece of her scone.
"I guess that's what I get for living with orphan kids for twelve years..." Wanda bit a piece of her scone. "So what did he say, anyway?"
"Well, he told me I was too stressful and needed to be more trusting..." Laura rolled her eyes.
"Heh!" Wanda replied. "Sound advice!"
Laura gave Wanda a glare, but then sighed and continued. "But you know what else?"
"What?" Wanda asked as she put her lips around her straw.
"I think he may have known about Dina."
Wanda nearly choked on her root beer. "What??"
"Actually, he didn't give many details," Laura answered. "First he made a comment about her eyes..."
"That's believable," Wanda added.
"Yeah, well..." Laura continued, "then he said something about her being unusual... then something about her having some kind of destiny on her shoulders... and then he just said that he's rarely wrong."
"That's it?" Wanda asked, taking a sip of her root beer, hoping this time she wouldn't choke.
"Yeah, pretty much." Laura nodded. "I'm not sure if he knows anything else, but it's kinda--"
Laura was distracted when she heard a familiar voice. She turned her head to see where it was coming from, and was surprised to see an old friend of hers.
"Kiro!" Laura picked up Dina, stood up and walked over to the red Mynci. "I didn't know that you got back from Mystery Island!"
"Laura!" He smiled and laughed. "Am I glad to see you!"
Wanda walked over to Laura and Kiro. "Hey Laura, who's this?"
"This is Kiro!" Laura answered. "He was a friend of mine back in Neoschool. Oh, and Kiro, this is Wanda, that Bori I told you about in my letters!"
"Oh yeah, I remember reading about you!" Kiro replied. "But in the letters you were blue!"
"Yeah, I got painted Faerie a couple of days ago..." Wanda explained.
"I see!" Kiro nodded. "Oh, Laura? There's someone I'd like you to meet..."
Kiro led Laura and Wanda to a female Island Kougra. Her eyes were a sunny yellow color, and she had well-groomed fur.
"Laura, this is Yollinda, that Kougra mother I told you about!" Kiro said, making a gesture toward the Kougra. "Yollinda, this is Laura, that Xweetok mother I told you about!"
"Oh, this is Laura?" Yollinda beamed. "Kiro told me so much about you!"
"Um, yeah... likewise." Laura looked to one side as Yollinda shook her hand. "This is my daughter, Dina." She made a gesture to the Baby Xweetok in her arms. "And this is Wanda."
"Hi..." Wanda said with a small wave.
"I remember hearing about you!" Yollinda exclaimed. "And... um... hey, nice dress..."
Wanda blushed a little as she said, "It's kind of a long story..."
"Okay..." Yollinda paused, then knelt down to where she could see Dina. "And this is Dina! Kiro told me she was cute, but I didn't think she'd be this cute!"
"Eh-beh!" Dina cheered.
Yollinda smiled, staring into Dina's coruscating indigo eyes. Dina's eyes would shine in the sunlight and twinkle in the moonlight: they gave the average person sort of a calm, content feeling when that person looked into them.
"So why did you leave Mystery Island and come here to Vladimyr village?" Laura asked, breaking Yollinda out of her reverie-like state.
"Well, I remember telling Kiro that I'd miss him when he was about to leave," Yollinda explained, "and then he brought up the idea that I could come visit his hometown for a little while, so I guess I just got all excited and decided to check it out!"
Laura nodded. "That's nice. I was looking forward to meeting you, anyway."
Just then, three baby-colored pets came running up to Yollinda. "Mom!" said one, a Quiggle. "There's a fortune telling booth over there! Can we go check it out?"
"Hey, Mom, who're they?" asked a Yurble, pointing to the Songdream family.
"Oh! Kids, I'd like you to meet Laura, Wanda and Dina," Yollinda said. "Guys, these are my children: Jimmy, Timmy, and Zack."
"Hi, Laura!" said Zack, a Blumaroo. "Kiro told us about you!"
"So that's Dina!" said Timmy, the Quiggle. "She's so cute!"
"Oooh, you like her!" Jimmy, the Yurble, teased.
"Not that kinda cute!" Timmy shot back.
"Um, now if you don't mind..." Wanda burst in, "our scones are going to get cold if we don't get back to them..."
"Oh, right!" Laura replied. "We've gotta get back to our food before it gets thrown away or eaten or something. See you around!"
Kiro, Yollinda and her kids waved as Laura, Dina and Wanda went back to the food table. Then Kiro told Yollinda that they should get some food, too. Yollinda nodded, and they went to a booth for some cotton candy.
To be continued...