'I do not feel the same way as the others... I can no longer feel happiness or joy... if I had only stopped to think... maybe the world would be different, maybe we could be happy... I am not happy today. Nor was I happy yesterday... or the day before that. There is sadness everywhere, I am everywhere, but I am no where. Lost in my imagination... stuck in a world that only I know. I am lost there, stuck there forever... what a foolish thing I did... what an idiot I was, what an idiot I still am... I am stuck here... lost forever... I am stuck in nowhere...'
“Come on, Trace!”
“Hold on, Jamie! I'm coming, I'm coming!”
“Aren't Usuls supposed to be fast?” Jamie calls, teasing her sister.
“Aren't Kacheeks supposed to be nice?” Trace asks, tripping over her tail.
The speckled Kacheek laughs, helping Trace up. “We have plenty of time to be nice later; we're going to be late!”
“Why do we even have to go to the Merry-Go-Round?” Trace brushes the dust out of her cloud fur before running after Jamie.
“So we can meet up with Tisha! Her owner won the Caption Contest and she's taking us for pizza!”
“Jelly bean pizza?” Trace's eyes grow wide; jelly bean pizza is her favorite.
“Whatever kind of pizza you want! But only if we get there on time!”
'Perhaps if I had listened... if I had not been so naive, if I had not thought myself invincible. I am anything but invincible... trapped in this prison... she tried to warn me... save me... and now we are both forever alone... my friend... never again will I see her... and it is all my fault...
'That day in the forest, she warned me... told me it wasn't safe... all I could do was laugh... I thought I was invincible... I thought I was indestructible... but I wasn't... she tried to warn me... but now I am lost... lost in nowhere...'
“Jamie, I think we're lost!” Trace declares.
“No, we aren't!” Jamie defends, though she knows they are.
“We've been going around in circles!” Trace sobs. The very idea of being lost frightens her to tears.
“Don't cry! If we're lost, we'll find our way out eventually!”
“But what if it gets dark? I don't want to stay in the forest after dark! What if Balthazar comes and eats me? I don't wanna be food!” Trace bursts into tears.
“Don't be ridiculous, Trace! Balthazar doesn't live on Roo Island! He lives far away, all the way over in the Haunted Woods!”
“But what if he got lost too? Maybe he thinks this is the Haunted Woods and that we're faeries for him to bottle up and sell at inflated prices?”
“Have you been reading those scary stories about him in the Neopian Times again?”
“Maybe...” Trace sniffles.
Jamie sighs. “We'll be fine! Just calm down and take a deep breath!”
“What if he hears me?” she squeaks.
“Stop reading the Neopian Times.”
'All the stories say that you should never stay in the forest after dark... I didn't listen... I thought myself immune to the dark... I thought myself to be super powerful, much more than what I was... I thought I could prove them wrong. I wanted to be a legend... to be the one who did what no one else could do. How stupid I was...
'If I could just be free, free from this prison, and save my friend, the one who tried to save me no matter what, I could save her... save her from the horrible fate I brought upon her... save her from this prison of nowhere...'
“What's gonna happen to us?” Trace whimpers; she pulls at her braids, the once cheerful blue bows now sagging.
“We're going to get out of here.” Jamie runs a paw through her hair. She considers just screaming until someone finds them, but decides against it. Though not on the scale Trace is thinking, some unsavory creatures do roam the forest.
“I wanna go home!” Trace cries, tears streaming down her face.
“I know you do! I want to go home too!” Jamie is near tears herself. They have been wandering through the woods for hours; she is hungry and cold and in no state to plan a route out of there.
“Somebody's gonna look for us, right?” Trace looks at her sister, her eyes wet and miserable.
Jamie is unsure, but one look at her sister and she knows she can not admit her worries. “Sure sis, somebody'll look for us.”
Trace's stomach growls. “Do you have anything that we can eat, Jamie? Some trail mix or something?”
“I don't have anything... your petpet ate everything I had in my backpack yesterday... I haven't had time to fill it up again.” Jamie regrets saying the last part, the last thing Trace needs is guilt.
“I'm sorry!” Trace wails, tears streaming down her face.
“It's not your fault! Don't cry, Trace! We'll get out of here soon! And when we get out we can go have a jellybean pizza, my treat!”
Trace cracks a small smile, though tears still soak her face. “Okay, Jamie. I believe you.”
'If I had only believed them, if I had trusted that I didn't know everything, that I wasn't all powerful, that I could be caught, things would be different. I never should have been so foolish, I should never have dragged her into this, then at least one of us would be safe. But no, we are both trapped. Trapped in nowhere.'
“I'm so tired, Jamie... are we almost out of here?” The sisters have been walking through the forest for hours, trying in vain to remember the way out. Their footprints have been erased by the chill wind, and darkness is creeping closer.
“We'll be out soon, Trace, we'll be out soon.” Jamie doesn't believe a word that she has just said, but if she tells her sister the truth, the poor Usul will have a panic attack, and that is the last thing they need. “How about we sit down for a minute... you can rest and I can... gather my thoughts.” What Jamie really wants to gather is a compass and a map; she fears that they may be lost forever.
Trace sits, only to jump back up. “Ow! Owowowowowowow!!!” She rubs her back.
“What happened?” Jamie rushes over, afraid some rabid petpet has attacked her sister.
“I sat on something hard! It hurts!” she moans.
“Okay, okay! What did you sit on?” Jamie rushes over, and begins searching through the underbrush.
“It felt like a bottle! Maybe it was a map somebody put into a bottle and then we can get out of here!” Trace skips around, thinking that soon she'll be free and able to eat as many jellybean pizzas as she can.
Jamie sighs. “I sure hope so.” She continues to look for ten minutes, until her hand hits something hard and cold.
“Did you find it?” Trace asks. “What is it?”
“I'm not sure, it's stuck under a root!” Together the sisters pull, until the object is in their grasp.
“Is that a-”
“It's a bottled faerie!” Jamie exclaims.
'If I am ever released, perhaps I can start anew... perhaps I can free them... find her... tell her how sorry I am. I shall never doubt her again... Not after being trapped in this prison... this glass prison of nowhere...'
“Open it! Open it!” Trace hops up and down excitedly; she has never seen a bottled faerie before, and the illuminating glow of the faerie instantly puts her in better spirits.
“Alright, I am!” Jamie laughs, her sister's good mood is infectious. She tugs at the cork, and finally it opens. Slowly the bottle begins to glow, and out comes a light faerie, her golden hair tussled and dress wrinkled. Her eyes look as though they have seen much sorrow, but now they are filled with hope.
“You have freed me from my prison...” The faerie speaks softly, as though she is afraid she will be trapped once again. “I suppose, I ought to bless you...”
“Oh no, it's quite alright! Just please, can you help us get home?” Jamie looks at her hopefully.
“Home... yes I can do that.” The faerie gives her a small smile. She waves her hands, and light engulfs the trio. When they open their eyes, they are at the foot of the Merry-go-round, they can see Tisha and her owner looking for them.
“Thank you so much!” Jamie exclaims.
“Thank you!” Trace parrots.
“You are welcome. Now I think it is time for me to go. I have a feeling that somebody is looking for me as well.” The light faerie turns to leave.
Trace runs after her. “Wait! Where are you going to go?” She does not wish for her new friend to leave.
The faerie gives her a small smile. “I'm going to find a friend. I led her somewhere that she most certainly doesn't want to be.”
“Where is she?”