Faded Memories #1: Forgotten Princess - Part Two
It was a few minutes before dawn when Navaleen opened the door to the room she and Fyora shared to find that her younger sister was still asleep.
“Lazy,” muttered the girl. Without a second thought, she aroused Fyora by shaking her, hard.
“Lay off, Navaleen,” demanded Fyora. Navaleen slapped a hand around her sister’s mouth and told her to be quiet.
“Why,” asked the indignant faerie.
“I found a way out of the palace,” said Navaleen excitedly. “Come on! I’ll show you.” It only took a matter of seconds for Fyora to get ready. Both girls could hardly contain their excitement. They were expressively forbidden to leave the palace grounds and it had been their main goal while exploring their large home to find a secret way out.
“Here it is,” said Navaleen. Fyora looked around. Her sister had led her to the gardens and she was now pointing to a door in the wall.
The door was old. Very old. It looked as if no one had used it a long time. Vines had grown over it and rose bushes had obscured it from view.
“Cool,” exclaimed Fyora. “Let’s go!” Neither girl hesitated. It took both of them to get the door to open but once they did, they ran as fast as their legs could carry them to the center of Faerie City.
Both girls stared in awe at the sight around them. Everywhere they looked they saw faeries and faerie neopets rushing about their business. The princesses separated and began to look at the merchandise that was being sold in all the booths. Navaleen occupied herself by looking at the weapons and armor that was being sold.
Not even Fyora knew that she had been sneaking away sometimes to go watch the faerie guards practice combat in the courts at the palace. She had been fascinated by these faeries and had caught herself multiple times daydreaming she was fighting along beside them. She became so occupied that when she looked up from the booth. Fyora was nowhere in sight. Navaleen felt her stomach churn in fear and her mind raced. What could have happened to her?
She was about to open her mouth and call her sister’s name when she stopped herself. Fyora was not a common name and probably just about everyone here knew that one of the princesses was called that. They weren’t supposed to be here and Navaleen didn’t want to be caught. Even she feared the wrath of Thyora if the queen found out that they had gone into the city. Worse, what if Thyora found out that her youngest and favorite daughter had been lost in the process? Navaleen shivered and began to hurriedly look for her sister. She was so preoccupied that she didn’t notice she had attracted the attention of several faeries throughout the market.
Fyora had been browsing through a stand of books when something caught her eye. A dark faerie was sitting in a nearby alley with a black cloak wrapped tightly around her. The faerie noticed Fyora’s glance and smiled. She beckoned the princess forward. Fyora approached her warily. She knew dark faeries had a bad reputation but she had never had the opportunity to find out why. Still, she didn’t want to take chances.
“Are you lost, little one?” questioned the faerie.
Fyora shook her head.
“Would you like me to tell you your fortune?” asked the faerie. The princess raised her head, startled. Some faeries were granted the ability to read the future. Could this faerie be one of them?
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “But I don’t have any money.”
“Did I ask for money?” said the faerie. “You will pay me by merely keeping me company for a few minutes.” The faerie smiled. “Company is something I do not have much of.”
Even though Fyora wanted to say no, she found she couldn’t. It tore at her heart to see a faerie so lonely. The dark faerie had certainly seen better times. Her cloak was torn and frayed and her face was thin. Fyora nodded in agreement.
“Then sit in front of me, little one,” said the dark faerie. While Fyora obeyed, the faerie reached into a pocket of her cloak and pulled out a small pouch. When she dumped out its contents, Fyora was horrified to see that they were small bones no longer than her finger. She saw that there were strange makings on the sides of each bone.
“Um... may I ask something?” she questioned hesitantly. The dark faerie nodded her head in silent agreement. “Why don’t you have much company?” Fyora felt ashamed at asking such a personal question, but the faerie didn’t seem insulted. The dark faerie sighed.
“My only gifts are those that lie in fortune telling.” stated the faerie. “Many faeries find this to be...” She paused as if searching for the right word. “Insignificant.” Fyora nodded in understanding.
The princess watched in fascination as the dark faerie chanted a few words over the bones and then, to Fyora’s surprise, the signs began to glow. They did not glow all at once. Some of the signs on certain bones glowed for a certain number of seconds before becoming dark once again. Then new signs would glow. The dark faerie watched them with deep concentration. Fyora watched as surprise and a small amount of shock and even pity filled the fortune teller’s eyes. She looked up at Fyora and her face was serious.
“You have a tough life ahead of you,” she said. “You will face many choices and lose some loved ones along the way.” Fyora was entranced by her words and could not bring herself to look away from those deep violet eyes. The faerie continued.
“But you will pay the biggest price of all, when you try to protect something you love. By protecting it, you will destroy it.” Fear suddenly whelmed up within Fyora. She desperately wished she was back in the palace with Navaleen. Navaleen! What had happened to her? Fyora wanted to run. Her instincts screamed for her to get away from the dark faerie. But she was frozen in place and was helpless.
“But tell me,” said the dark faerie. Her eyes glinted in what seemed like triumph. “What is the young princess doing wandering about in the faerie city without someone to guard her?”
At that moment, Fyora’s body seemed to suddenly connect with what her mind had been screaming. She scrambled to her feet, but not before she found herself surrounded by dark faeries. They grinned at her evilly. The fortune teller stood and laughed.
“This is just what we have been waiting for. You will allow us to have the upper hand on that cursed queen.”
Fyora let out a scream as the dark faeries nearest to her grabbed her. They had just managed to get a hold of her when both faeries were blasted backward by a surge of magic. Navaleen rushed through the line of dark faeries to grab her sister. Neither faerie hesitated. They both ran as fast as they could out of the alley. They had only made it several yards when the dark faerie who had told Fyora’s fortune ran out after them.
“It’s the princesses,” she screamed for all to hear. “They walk among us commoners and mock us! Make them pay for their rudeness and for their mother’s crimes!”
To the girl’s horror, the faeries around them were rallied by the evil faerie’s words. They all made grabs at the girls but the experience of dodging people the princesses had gained at the palace aided them. No one could catch them. They often resorted to magic to move objects out of their way as they ran for their lives.
Despite their efforts, they were soon surrounded. There were just too many faeries. It was impossible to outrun them all. The girls huddled together as the mob shouted insults and complaints about their mother at them. It was then that they realized how hated and despised their mother really was. The palace life had secluded them enough so that though they knew the people were displeased with their current ruler, they were unaware that the faeries would actually move into open revolt when given the opportunity to get the upper hand on their queen. The girls were just what they needed.
The girls huddled together, shaking in fear when something unsuspected happened. A light faerie suddenly pushed her way through the crowd surrounding them.
“Enough,” she cried. “Stop it!”
The crowd stared at her stunned.
“Do not blame these girls for crimes they did not commit.” the light faerie stated.
“But they’re the princesses,” cried a nearby earth faerie. “They...”
“Did nothing to you,” finished the faerie. Fyora and Navaleen stared at their savior, stunned. They were silent as the light faerie steered them away from the angry crowd.
Cold dread filled Navaleen’s chest when she saw that the faerie was leading them to the palace. This was one prank that she wasn’t going to be able to talk herself out of. She sighed. It was going to be a long night.
To be continued...