Water Faerie Wishes
If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets in the sea...
A young water faerie sat at the window of her neohome, sighing dejectedly. A new day was dawning in Faerieland. The sun was shining, neopets were romping among the clouds, and a distant splashing indicated that the Healing Springs were open for the day’s business. It was the same as it had been yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and the day before that. In fact, it was just the same as every day she could remember. Every day to come would probably be the same as well, the young faerie reflected.
“Aqunda, breakfast is ready,” came a shout from the kitchen. Aqunda rolled her eyes and pulled herself away from the window. I wish something interesting would happen for once... she thought to herself, casting one last look at the scene outside as she went to join her family.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, Aqunda found herself on the outskirts of Faerieland, lounging on a small cloud. Watching neopets frolic above her, she frowned. I wish I had a friend to play with, she thought, gazing longingly at the laughing groups. Rolling over and resting her chin on her hands, she sighed once more; she already knew most of the inhabitants of Faerieland, and she didn’t think even one of them was worth playing with. I wish I could meet someone new.
Third time’s a charm.
During Aqunda’s contemplations, the wind had begun to pick up, and the cloud she was resting on was slowly dispersing. She didn’t notice, however, until she fell right through it, shrieking.
The water faerie’s eyes widened as she watched the ocean far below rushing up to meet her. Moments before landing, it occurred to Aqunda that she should really cast a spell of some sort to slow her descent, but by the time she had thought of an appropriate spell, she had hit the water with an almighty splash.
Aqunda’s momentum caused her to continue sinking long after she had hit the surface, and by the time she had regained some control over her direction she was deep under the water. Righting herself, she looked around, eyes straining to see anything in the meager light.
Shivering, Aqunda rubbed her arms in a futile attempt at warding off the cold. I had no idea it could get this cold in the ocean, she thought miserably. Oh, I wish someone was around to help...
Looking around once more, Aqunda caught a glimpse of something a little lighter than the unending ocean, swimming towards her. “Hello? Is someone there?” she called out, her heart lifting as the light patch approached more quickly. It promptly sank again, however, as the patch got closer, revealing itself to be a hungry-looking Jetsam. Screaming, Aqunda turned tail, pelting away, with the creature following close behind.
I wish this Jetsam would leave me alone, Aqunda thought several minutes later, when the Jetsam was still after her. She had completely lost her bearings, no longer even sure which way was up. I wish I could get rid of it somehow.
Luck seemed to be on her side at long last, for Aqunda spied a small cave ahead; big enough for her to fit into, but far too small for the monster chasing her. Thanking her lucky stars, Aqunda put all of her energy into reaching the opening. Just as she was squeezing into the opening, however, she felt something tearing at her tail. Wincing, she curled up inside the cave, watching the Jetsam circling outside. As it finally gave up, Aqunda took a moment to catch her breath and examine her tail. The Jetsam had bitten it, apparently, and the delicate fin at the end was torn. Trying to ignore the sting caused by the salt water, Aqunda turned to examine her refuge. To her surprise, it seemed to be a tunnel, and it was quite wide. Curious, she decided to follow it – after all, she could gain nothing by returning to the open sea.
The farther she ventured, the lighter it became, and Aqunda started to suspect that the cave she had found was an unknown entrance to a well known place, if the sandals and boots scattered in the sand were anything to go by.
Approaching what appeared to be a pier, Aqunda felt a tug at her tail, and excited shouting came from above. I wish everyone would leave my tail alone, she thought, grumbling. Before she had time to do more than that, however, she was pulled out of the water. Frowning, she found herself face to face with a triumphant fire Gelert with goggles on his chin. Except they were on his forehead, and she was upside-down. “Well, this is... different,” he commented, his expression having changed to surprise while she was thinking.
“That’s quite a tale,” the Gelert commented some time later. After he had hauled Aqunda to the shore, she had told him of her predicament, in the hopes that he could help her. “Unfortunately,” he continued, “the last Uni bus for the day left almost ten minutes ago.”
Aqunda growled quietly. I wish I’d got here ten minutes sooner! she silently griped. Reluctantly, she acknowledged that fuming would do her no good, and returned her attention to the Gelert. “You never told me you name, you know,” she pointed out after a moment of silence.
The Gelert laughed sheepishly. “Oh, right! How rude of me,” he acknowledged. “Well then, my name’s Ixion. Pleased to meet you!”
Aqunda blinked. “Ixion?” she repeated, thinking she had misheard.
Ixion nodded. “I know, it’s a bit weird. My owner thinks I’m an Ixi, I reckon,” he commented, smiling when she giggled. “That’s more like it. Did you know, you haven’t smiled once since I met you.”
Pausing, Aqunda glared at the Gelert. “Hey, that’s cheating,” she exclaimed, but his shameless grin caused her to break out in laughter again a moment later. She was beginning to think this whole experience hadn’t been such a bad thing; she’d made a new friend out of it, after all.
“I’ll help you get back home tomorrow, if you’d like,” said friend commented, “but for now, we’d better find somewhere to sleep. The closest accommodation is several hours walk from here, and it’s already dark out.”
Really, Aqunda reflected, it was her own fault for tempting fate.
That night, curled up by a fire, Aqunda spent her first night away from her parents, and she was finding she didn’t like it at all.
I wish I could go home... she thought sadly, curling up tightly.
“If wishes were fishes,” came a voice, “then we’d all cast nets in the sea.” Aqunda jumped, spinning around to face Ixion, who had moved into the firelight as he was speaking. “Yeah, you said that out loud,” he added, seeing her perplexed look.
Blushing, Aqunda averted her eyes, realizing how childish she sounded. As a result, she was quite surprised when Ixion sat down beside her.
“The first time I spent the night away from home,” Ix began, staring into the fire, “I was terrified. My sisters and I had gotten lost in the woods, and we thought we were going to get attacked if we dared to sleep. By midnight, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, but my older sister had gotten up later than me that morning, so she was wide awake. She told me to rest, and promised to wake me up if anything happened. I felt really safe, knowing she was watching over me.”
Aqunda stared, wondering what had happened to the happy-go-lucky Gelert she had met that afternoon. He’d been replaced with a quiet, thoughtful neopet, lost in the past as he gazed into the flames. He hadn’t told Aqunda much about himself, she realized suddenly, but he didn’t need to. As she settled down once more, Aqunda smiled, aware that the Gelert beside her would protect her from all the monsters of the night.
“So this is a Uni bus...” Aqunda commented, staring at the carriage. The sun had long since risen, and there must have been hundreds of neopets cueing up for a ride in the flying contraptions.
“You mean to say you’ve never been on a Uni bus before?” Ixion asked incredulously as they moved toward the cue’s head. Aqunda turned to face him, scowling.
“It’s not my fault I never needed one before,” she defended, privately smirking at the look on his face.
“Whoa, calm down. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“I know you didn’t, now come on; it’s our turn.” And with that, Aqunda turned and waltzed into the carriage, leaving a stunned Gelert behind her.
“...When did she grow a spine?” Ixion muttered, following.
“I heard that.”
As they approached Aqunda’s neohome, the water faerie turned to her companion with a smile. “Once again, I can’t thank you enough for helping me,” she told him, smiling.
Ixion waved the thanks off. “No, I should be the one thanking you,” he told her. “After all, how many neopets can honestly say they caught a water faerie at the fishing pier?”
Aqunda laughed at her goofy friend’s statement. “I’d better go; my parents must be so worried about me,” she admitted after a moment. “Promise you’ll come back and visit me, okay?”
Ixion nodded, the laughter leaving his face. “I promise,” he told her.
And with that, they both went their separate ways. For that day, at the very least.
“You are a cruel and unusual light faerie, Fortuna. Did you really have to toss her through a cloud?”
The light faerie addressed turned to the entrance to her lair, for want of a better word, observing Ixion as he languidly entered. “She thinks a lot. Loudly. You would have done the same thing if you had to listen to her going on about how nothing ever happens, every single day,” she retorted, glaring at him. “Honestly, sometimes I think you only come to Faerieland to pester us.”
Ixion opened his mouth do defend himself, but was interrupted by a voice coming from the orb Fortuna held.
I wish I had feet, or wings, or something. Then maybe I could go and visit Ixion some time, instead of waiting for him to come to me. It was Aqunda’s voice.
Ixion looked at Fortuna expectantly. She eyed him warily for a moment.
“No,” she replied, “I am not about to mess with the laws of nature to quite that extent. Besides, I used up my quota for her wishes...” she paused, mentally counting, “four wishes ago.”
“Fifth time’s a charm?”
If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets in the sea...