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The Bottled Faerie Secrets

by vanillahazelnuts


You probably buy bottled faeries all the time, right? You search the shops, hoping that maybe this time your pet will be perfect. You want that blessing when you buy a bottled faerie. But why do they bless you? Is it because they're required to? If they were, then you'd be blessed every single time. No, something else makes those faeries want to bless you when you open that bottle, something far more powerful than your pet's needs. It's freedom.

Very few Neopians realize the truth behind the bottled faeries that they buy in stores. For instance, most faeries are captured from their homes and locked in tiny little jars by none other than Balthazar, the Bounty Hunter. This ultimate incarceration can traumatize a tiny faerie. Many of them are forever claustrophobic after this, though of course, being creatures of the air, they're claustrophobic already. But when you release a faerie, oh how they love you. The taste of fresh air in their lungs, a reason to use their wings, the rush of freedom... it all adds up to this enormous rush of euphoria that usually overwhelms them with good magic. Faeries have to release this energy, of course, because the magic spills out if they don't. So they bless the nearest living soul, namely your pet. Then they fly away to return to their families.

Being a journalist, of course I had to find out more, right? I need more words to fill up this article! So I tracked down two highly reliable sources for interviewing. They dished the secrets, from the fairies’ captures all the way up to their releases, and even a few other hidden surprises I bet you never knew about. And so, it is my great pleasure to say that I had the chance to interview these sources, with the first one being Balthazar the Bounty Hunter, of course.

After much travel and hasty questions, I finally found Balthazar's home, a small house in the Haunted Woods. I knocked on his door on one particularly crisp evening, and he answered surprisingly fast.

"Yeah?" he said. I could tell he was annoyed, and I didn't exactly want to get on his bad side.

"Oh, hello," I said calmly. "I'm working on an article for the Neopian Times, and I was wondering if you wanted to answer a few questions..." On the word questions, I got the door slammed in my face. But you probably don't want to hear all about how I got him to interview with me, so let's skip across lots of heated arguments and some breaking and entering done on my part to the interview.

We sat in his living room, and the shelves were lined with bottled faeries, all of them looking like they were talking to each other, but not a sound escaped.

"Why can't we hear the faeries?" I inquired my pen at the ready.

"Oh, that's easy," Balthazar grunted. "The jars are sealed so tightly that the sound can't escape."

"But then how do they communicate?"

"I'm not sure, but they can. It's some sort of magic they use, I think."

"Can't they breathe?"

"They're faeries. They don't have to breathe." Balthazar is looking annoyed now, but you would too if you had a nosy journalist banging on your door. His eyes are glaring into the crackling fire that happens to be sitting in front of our squishy armchairs. I really hope he doesn't want to throw me in.

"So, how exactly do you capture the faeries?" I ask hastily, trying to distract him from these sorts of thoughts.

He seems to snap out of a nasty daydream. "Well," he says dully, "I hunt 'em down. I know where they live and if they're planning on moving from place to place. I keep tabs on 'em, see. I go at the most unexpected time of day or night. I sneak up behind a group of 'em and grab 'em by their wings. I throw 'em in jars and seal 'em tight real quick like. You don't want those things escaping."

I hurry on to the next question.

"So where do you take the faeries?"

"I sell 'em to shops." He shrugs. "And they give me a nice price for 'em, too."

"Well, thank you so much for allowing me to do this interview," I say, standing up and holding out my hand.

He disregards it.

I nod and back out of the house.

See? The faeries' freedom is stolen from them. The only reason they move is because Balthazar is on the hunt for them, and also because of their love of free space. These creatures hate to stay in one place for very long, which of course makes the bottles a really hard place for them. Our next source, I'm proud to say, is none other than a formerly bottled Earth Faerie. I managed to get her to stay after setting her free, with the promise, of course, that she may leave when we are done. She had just blessed my little Aisha, Ellireani, who had immediately decided it would be an excellent idea to catch the poor faerie and hug her. She's not too happy that I just wrote that...

Anyway, after much persuading, closing all the doors and windows, and lots of wonderful chase scenes, we find ourselves in the kitchen, with me on one end of our table and the faerie sitting on the table. Ellireani is sitting in the chair nearest us.

"So," I began, beginning the interview with a wonderfully imaginative first word, "is there a name I may call you by?"

The faerie stares at me for a moment, and then cocks her head. "You're strange," she says matter-of-factly. "But I suppose I can tell you my name. It's Jailin."

"Well, Jailin, were you one of the faeries captured by the Bounty Hunter known as Balthazar?" I ask, scribbling furiously. Ellireani giggles.

"Yes," Jailin sighs. There's sadness in her voice. "He snatched me away from my home and locked me up in a jar. I sat on his shelf for about three months before he sold me to a merchant in Neopia, who in turn sold me to a young user, who put me in her shop and sold me to you." She’s staring at her feet, which are straight in front of her, and wiggling her toes.

“I see. Do you have any details about your life in that jar, and memories that stand out to you?”

“Well, there was this one…” Jailin says slowly. “I was in a user’s shop and a baby Kacheek walked in with this great big smile on her face. She was playing with all the toys, even the ones her Dad said she couldn’t play with. Then she found me.” She swallows. “She grabbed my bottle and started shaking it horribly. I was being thrown against the walls and everything. When she finally put me down I was frightfully dizzy and I couldn’t even stand up.”

Ellireani evidently finds this highly disturbing. “Oh, you poor, poor thing!” she cries, and I’m forced to put a hand on her shoulder to keep her from hugging the faerie again. I apologize.

“Oh, no, it’s fine,” Jailin sighs.

“Jailin, what caused you to bless Elli?” I ask.

“I was free, wasn’t I?” she says. “Don’t tell me that wouldn’t make you happy. I was so overloaded with joy the spell just sort of slipped out of me.” She glances at Elli, whose eyes are welling up with tears of admiration. “I’m not sure why I picked her, though.”

“You’re… so brave!” Elli exclaims.

“Yes, I do believe I am.” Jailin sounds very matter-of-fact. “Well, if that’s all…” And without another word, she flies to the nearest window, which I open for her at last.

I turn to Elli, who looks like she’s just found her idol.

“She’s wonderful,” Elli says, then hops out of her chair and rushes up to her room.

Well, that was a slightly inadequate interview with a more than adequate faerie, but we still got the basic information, right? When you release a faerie, they’re so overwhelmed with happiness that the spell simply leaps out of them onto your pet. The ones that don’t cast a spell on you, I’m sad to say, are simply fuming with anger. It’d be best not to cross those.

So if you go to bed every night wondering why the bottled faeries bless your pet, now you know. And you also know that you should never force yourself into Balthazar’s house… but that’s another story.

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