Fyora and Celandra: From Servanthood to Friendship - Part One
“Fyora, are you absolutely sure you’re alright?” inquired Psellia, one of Fyora’s council members.
Fyora nodded as she continued to cover her mouth and cough. Fyora awoke today feeling a bit groggy. She seemed to be less vivacious than usual. Psellia happened to notice this as she was one of Fyora’s closest friends and was very sensitive to sudden changes in Fyora’s mood.
“I assure you that I’m fine. There’s no need to get all anxious, Psellia,” Fyora managed to utter and then relinquished another cough.
Psellia was very doubtful of Fyora. However, she would not be able to argue against Fyora’s constant insisting. Thus, Psellia went about through the portal to Altador to attend an Altadorian council meeting; after all she was one occupied air faerie, possessing council positions in both Faerieland and Altador.
“ACHOO!” Fyora sneezed. Her harris awoke suddenly and stared at Fyora for a bit.
“Aww, deepest apologies to you, my little one; I did not mean to disturb your peaceful slumber,” Fyora said, gently stroking the harris that was now fast asleep again.
Fyora sat down at her desk, assuring herself that she was okay and the coughing and sneezing was simply a reaction to the changing seasons that she would quickly overcome. Fyora began reading over the paperwork submitted by the council regarding funding for the new employment agency. However, the words on the page began to dance around as Fyora inspected them with her tired eyes.
“Oh. Perhaps I have neglected to wear my spectacles,” Fyora mumbled to herself. Fyora searched in her desk cabinets for her specs. She finally discovered them under the huge mess of papers on her desk. Under the papers was a fine layer of dust.
“Eww... what a mess? How do they expect me to rule a country and clean the castle at the same time?” lamented Fyora. Fyora put her spectacles on and went on reading the employment agency documents.
“Hmm... sounds like a great idea and we certainly can afford it. Although I am a bit concerned about over-exerting the Neopets. I’ll just amend this a little,” Fyora said to herself as she read. Fyora took her pink quill and dipped it in a small lavender ink bottle. She wrote in “Neopets must not be forced to do extremely labor intensive jobs for long hours at the bottom”, and then signed her loopy signature with a flourish at the end of the document. As Fyora got up from her desk and went to deliver the endorsed initiative, she began another spell of coughing. She could barely speak when she met Siyana down the hallway.
“Fyora? Are you sure you are alright? You can barely speak. Here let me take those so you don’t have to walk all the way down to deliver this. You ought to think about getting a secretary or perhaps a servant. This won’t do,” Siyana said.
“Siyana, I assure you I’m alright. I’m probably just having allergies. I’ll get over them soon; don’t worry about me. I’ll be able to take care of myself,” Fyora replied reassuringly.
“Yes, you ought to at least get some rest,” Siyana replied, still apprehensive.
Fyora walked quickly back to her room, this time locking the door behind her. Her harris seemed to be wide awake now, staring at Fyora. Fyora and her harris went all the back to Fyora’s young days when she would take him to neoschool with her every single day. She regarded her harris as a friend, a friend that would always be there to listen to her when strife was going on in her life. Whenever Fyora was upset, her harris would easily realize that Fyora was distressed. Fyora walked to the windowsill and lifted up her harris, gently stroking him.
“Do I really look that sick? I mean all I have is a cough. It shouldn’t stop me from being queen,” Fyora said to her harris. The harris stared back, nodding at her then pointing at her mirror. Fyora looked into it and discovered that she was quite pale.
“Oh my! When did I turn so pale? I must have a nap so I can be well,” Fyora cried.
Meanwhile, the faeries were quick to act on the employment agency bill and soon had an empty building refurbished for the agency. Many Neopets had already begun forming a long line, eager to seek employment to help out their owners. In line stood a purple Gelert, poor and without a real owner that cared for her. She put her paws on the counter and asked if she could be provided with a job.
“Your name, my dear?” asked a light faerie.
“Celandra,” she responded, nervously.
“Any particular skills you possess?” the light faerie continued, scratching the purple Gelert’s name down.
“Umm, well, I like to organize things,” Celandra replied, hoping she’d uttered the correct words.
“Well... um... all the jobs under the category of your skill have been taken...,” the light faerie said. Celandra had already begun walking away. “Wait! There is one job open! It’s not exactly like the others, though.”
“Really? What is it? I’ll do it whatever it is!” Celandra said.
“Well, apparently parts of the Faerieland Palace have been quite dusty lately, but Fyora has yet to hire someone to actually clean it up. I think it’s a good time to hire somebody for her. Fyora’s a busy queen; she lacks the time to worry about these little things. So are you still up for it?” the light faerie asked.
“Any job would please me,” Celandra said, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Good, you’ll start this afternoon actually. Meet in the entrance hall of the palace and your supervisor will show you around and you’ll be all set. Good luck!” said the light faerie.
Celandra sighed as she headed back to what she had as a neohome. The building was run down and had a single room. The inside of the building was rather clean and organized with a small bed in the corner. There was a small window on the east side of the building which was perfect. The soft rays of the sun would creep in during the morning, giving Celandra a gentle wake up call. Other than the window, Celandra had nothing. No electrical lighting and only a small little lavatory that would be the size of a typical closet. The room was only illuminated by the quiet glow of the oil lamp during the night. Conditions were destitute and Celandra's only hope lay in the hands of the faeries that employed her.
Celandra yawned and began to doze off for a moment. Well... actually longer than a moment. When she woke up, it was already the afternoon and she was late to her first day. Celandra gasped.
“Oh no! I’m late! I can’t lose my job on the first day!” Celandra wailed. She hastily darted out the door.
Faerieland palace was quite the distance from Celandra’s home and Celandra was quite exhausted by the time she reached the front gates. The faeries guarding the gate stared at her for a moment.
“Oh my, are you sure you are okay? What business would exhaust you so much?” asked a young battle faerie.
“Never mind my exhaustion; I’m here to fulfill my first day of work,” Celandra replied.
The battle faeries slid open the gate, allowing Celandra to enter. Inside the gates was Fyora’s magnificent garden. Celandra stared at the blossoming trees and the seemingly endless panoply of flowers from lilacs to roses. The lilacs were especially numerous as they were Fyora’s favorite plant. They were quite a perfect complement to her eyes, hair and dress. Celandra was almost hypnotized by the beauty of the garden that she almost forgot she was to report to the entrance hall. She again began to run, nearly knocking over the two faerie Draiks at the front door.
“Annnd what might your business be?” they asked.
“Oh, I’m here to, um... well, I was hired to clean the castle,” Celandra said.
“Hmm... well, you’re late. Anne’s been waiting patiently for you,” they replied. The magnificent front doors creaked open to reveal the enormous entrance hall and a light faerie standing there.
“I’m so sorry, I’m late. I intended to take a short nap but overslept and...,”Celandra stammered.
“Dear, there’s no need to explain. I saw it all from the tower, your desperate running. It seems you are passionate about your job. Of course, first, I’ve got to give you a tour of the castle. You can’t do your job well without knowing where everything is. You’ll actually start working tomorrow, so no harm done in showing up late. Just try your best to be punctual tomorrow; will you do that for me?” Anne said, smiling.
Celandra was relieved that Anne did not chew her out for her tardiness. However, she was overwhelmed by the high ceilings and the tall spiral staircases that led up to the offices of the Faerieland council and the bedrooms.
“We’ll start with the bottom floor. We do not really need to go up the towers; they’re all the same really. I’ll just show you around the three main floors of the palace,” Anne said. Celandra followed her eager to see what other marvels Fyora’s castle had in store for her.
“The first floor is where the dining hall and the kitchens are located. The dishwashing you do not have to worry about, our kitchen crew will take care of all of that. Basically, all that’s needed here is a bit of mopping. Out there is the dining hall. Usually there are about sixty faeries that dine here, more if there’s a special occasion such as Fyora Day. Here it is necessary to clean tables and the floor. Of course the faeries are usually clean, and they always pick up after themselves. I will remind them to do so if they are excessively messy. Now follow me up these stairs,” Anne said.
Celandra followed Anne up the enormous spiral staircase to the second floor. A tapping sound resonated through the entire hallway. As Celandra moved along, she caught a glimpse of the faeries working on their typewriters, tapping away the daily reports and important notices. Anne led Celandra into Psellia’s office.
“Hey Psellia, I’m just showing around our soon to be housekeeper. Basically what she will be doing in the offices is some dusting work. Do you mind if she looks around?” Anne asked.
“Oh, no problem, she can take her time if she wants. There’s not much to see, though, besides a messy desk, and that’s something I should be taking care of,” Psellia replied.
Celandra looked around the office. It was a rather small room that allowed for a desk and a filing cabinet and a few faeries to fit. The desk was cluttered with a mass of papers with a typewriter in the center. Next to the typewriter were a set of quills and a bottle of dark blue ink. Psellia was busy tapping away on her typewriter until it jammed.
“Oh darn. I did it again. Now I have to start this page over,” Psellia lamented while yanking the jammed paper out of the typewriter.
“Basically you’ll dust the cabinets and the windowsill and if the faerie that’s working requests, you may be wiping down the desk,” Anne jumped in, seeing that Psellia was having a hard time and didn’t need any more disturbances.
Anne led Celandra up the spiral staircase to the third floor where all the royal suites were. Nobody happened to be upstairs except Fyora, who was taking a little nap.
“Since the queen is exhausted and trying to rejuvenate her strength, we won’t go into any rooms. Your job is to make the beds and mop the bathrooms. The faeries will keep the rest clean for you,” said Anne. “Do you have any questions or concerns, Celandra?”
“No ma’am, I’ll be fine. Thank you so much for the tour,” Celandra replied.
And so Celandra was soon to be the maid of the castle. Although Anne was nice, the work she was about to do would be tiring. Tomorrow would be her first full day of work.
To be continued...