A Tail of Two Krawks
"This is all your fault!"
Bern turned around and narrowed his eyes at his friend. "Zip it, Lorn!" the red Krawk growled. "I'm tired of hearing you whine!"
"Well, it is your fault," replied Lorn sulkily. He happened to be a red Krawk as well, albeit a bit more pampered and less mischievous than Bern. He tugged at his tail... or rather, their tail, gloomily. "It was your idea to go annoy Jhudora, and it was your idea that got us into this mess."
"I said to zip it!" Bern snapped. But as he continued to storm down the path, he knew that Lorn was right.
The two friends, having recently moved to Faerieland, had expected it to be breathtakingly wonderful, with tons of cool magic to experience and countless attractions to keep them occupied, just like the brochure had said.
Next time, Bern swore, he would burn any brochure that claimed such things.
When they had arrived at this 'magical place in the sky', all they found were clouds and ever-happy Faeries and bumbling Faerie Neopets. There was nothing interesting to do except to watch the Poogle Racers run around in circles or watch the Faerie Cloud Racers (what was with racing in Faerieland?) crash into each other in the sky.
Bern had had enough. He was bored, he was restless, he wanted something to happen. So he ran over to Lorn's house that morning and blurted out his entire plan for the afternoon. He spoke only four words, but it had sent his friend into complete and total shock. Those words? "Let's bug Jhudora today."
Lorn had put up a fit. He refused to leave his room and Bern had to literally drag him out of there. Lorn's mother had looked at him oddly, but he managed to assure her that he was just taking Lorn out to play, which she accepted.
Only when Bern threatened to lock him in a room full of Meepits did Lorn finally give in and agree to help him bother the Dark Faerie.
If only Lorn had put up a bigger fight...
"My mum's going to kill me," Lorn mumbled. He looked down at their formerly separated tails, now joined together into one by a spell Jhudora had cast on them. He scowled at Bern and added with emphasis, "We could be stuck like this forever. And it's--"
"Yes, yes, I know!" Bern tossed his hands in the air. "It's my fault! Now will you please, please stop talking?!"
Lorn loudly sniffed. "No, I won't."
Bern turned around again and gave him a death glare. "I am going to hang you from your tail on a tree..." he spat through gritted teeth.
"You mean our tail," said Lorn dejectedly.
Bern couldn't take it any longer. He tilted his head at the sky and let out a scream of frustration and rage. Lorn simply stared at him. When Bern was done screaming, Lorn said, "Nice one, Mr. Angst."
Bern would've liked nothing more than to toss his friend off the cloud they were standing on right now.
"What have you two been doing?!" Bern's mother screamed at him. The Faerie Krawk looked at them with horror etched in her face and put a trembling claw over her chest.
"Let 'em be." Lorn's mother, an extremely old Ghost Krawk, absent-mindfully nibbled on the wooden portion of her cane. "Hmm... good tasting wood they put in sticks these days."
"Well... it's a long story, Mom," Bern said nervously. "Let's just say that we got a certain someone very angry, and that a little... accident happened." He shifted from foot to foot, waiting for his mother to continue screaming.
She did. "What were you thinking?!" she roared. "Now look at you! How are you going to go to school now? How are you going to win that athletic scholarship with this... this..." Bern's mother raged on. Lorn's mother watched on.
"It isn't that bad," Lorn's mother said. "It's reversible. Nothing to worry about at all."
"Not bad?!" Bern's mother turned on the older Krawk. "How is this 'nothing to worry about'?! My son... your son... are literally joined at the hip!"
"Not the hip," Lorn's mother replied irritably. "They're joined at the tail. Are you blind or something?" She mumbled something under her breath and chewed some more on her cane.
"You two are heading to the Faerie Library," Bern's mother hissed, "to get this mess sorted out! And don't come back until you do!"
"Hello there." The Library Faerie kindly smiled down on the two red Krawks standing in front of her. She tucked back a stray strand of brown hair and then folded her graceful hands together, her purple wings lazily beating behind her. "How may I help you today?"
"Erm... do you have any spell books on reversing spells?" Bern asked. The Library Faerie thought for a brief second.
"I believe we do, though," she added when she saw that Bern was about to run off. "It's all in one big book, unfortunately. The Spellbook of Everything it's called... would you like me to fetch it for you?"
"Yes," Lorn said. She nodded at them and waved her hand smartly. A massively thick book landed in front of them with a heavy sounding whump. Bern and Lorn's eyes boggled at the sight.
"So..." said Bern weakly. "It's all in there...?"
"Of course," the Library Faerie said brightly. "Don't worry, there's only a little over a billion spells for you to look through."
Bern fainted, taking Lorn down with him.
When he came to, he saw Lorn munching on some Faerie Crisps. "Hi, Bern," Lorn said between bites. He sounded somewhat less unhappy. "You woke up just in time. I was wondering what this word meant for spell number 1001, since I'm not really fluent in the Faerie language."
"What?" Bern asked dazedly. Lorn shoved the Spellbook of Everything into his face. He jabbed a greasy finger at an unbelievably complex line on the page.
"This line. You know what it means?"
Bern rubbed his eyes. He could see that the sun was beginning to set outside through the glass windows of the library. "No, I don't. And how long have we been here?"
"Around five hours or so," Lorn said. "I've been reading as fast as I could, but I didn't know what some of it meant, so I sorta guessed when I read it aloud. So..." He paused to think. "If I'm right, I've been reading 16.683333 spells per minute..."
Bern's head was spinning. "How in the world can you read 16.68 whatever spells in a minute if you can't understand what the spell means?"
"The first spell was an intelligence enhancer," answered Lorn calmly. "I'm really smart now."
Bern snorted. "Really?" He stared greedily at Lorn's bag of Faerie Crisps. Lorn slowly followed his gaze and then held the bag close to his chest.
"Mine," was all he said.
"Sharing is caring," Bern said with a wicked grin. Lorn shook his head.
"Just one, tiny little bite--?"
Bern gave up and wandered around a bit, which didn't take very long, considering that he was still attached to Lorn. He finally gave up on walking about and sat down next to his friend. "Hey, I think I know how to separate us!"
Lorn looked up from the book in interest. "Yeah? How?"
"Simple." He unsheathed his claws. "We cut the tail apart."
"What?!" Lorn cried. He jumped up, earning a grunt of pain from his friend. "You aren't serious?!"
"Yeah, you're right," answered Bern calmly. "I'm not."
"That Meepit over there is, though!"
Lorn gave a shrill scream and spun around so fast that Bern fell on his face.
"Ow!" Bern snarled. "That hurt, you doofus!"
Lorn didn't seem to notice. "Where? Where's the Meepit?!"
"I was kidding!" Bern shouted. "Chill!"
Lorn stared at him, unbelieving until the meaning of Bern's words sank in. "Oh," the Krawk said. He slouched, like he was trying to make himself smaller. "That wasn't funny!"
"The library's about to close." The Library Faerie floated over to them. "I suggest that you two leave... oh, dear. What happened to you?" She spoke the last sentence somehow with a mixture of scorn and cheerfulness.
"What does it look like?" Bern crossed his arms.
"You could've just told me that," the Library Faerie said sympathetically. "We could've gotten that fixed up in a jiffy..."
Bern and Lorn looked at her, opening and closing their mouths though no words came out. "Wh-what?!" Bern stammered. "We didn't have to do all this work?!"
"Of course you had to," the Faerie answered haughtily (though still having a friendly ring to her words). "It's in the Rulebook of Helping Others. 'Let them suffer and wallow in their problem for at least three hours (ten hours, for heroes) before helping them.'"
"That's the stupidest rule I've ever heard," Bern grumbled.
"It makes sense, though," observed Lorn thoughtfully. Bern shot him a dirty look. Lorn added meekly, "Then again, it doesn't make any sense at all."
"Well," the Library Faerie said, "now you know. Hold still now..." She closed her eyes and waved her pencil around in complex movements.
The two friends began to glow brightly, and a great warmth spread through them. It sent shivers down their bodies and they began to float in the air, glowing and pulsing until they became so bright that they had to shut their eyes...
And then they were sitting on the cold, plush floor again, their tail, at last, separated into two tails, just like it should be.
"Whoo!" Bern cheered, jumping up and down in sheer joy. "Whoo-hoo! Free, finally, finally free!" He began to laugh, relieved at having the spell reversed at last.
Lorn stared at his tail, gingerly touched it, and then burst into a huge smile. The Library Faerie watched them with amusement.
"Well, that should teach you to stay off of Jhudora's bad side," the Faerie said. She waved her hand and the door opened. "Off you go now. I can't have you two rejoicing in my library."
As they left, Bern whooping and Lorn dancing a little jig, the librarian gave a contented sigh, kicked back, and took out a copy of A Million Pranks to Pull on Unsuspecting Neopets: A Group Prank Organized by Her Royal Faerie Majesty. "Prank number 342," the Faerie muttered to herself as she checked it off. She looked up at the happy Krawks and secretly smiled as she caught a last glimpse of the pets before they disappeared into the horizon.
"'Give them a really thick fur coat of Walking Carpets'... completed," she said happily.
As she began to lock the doors, she heard the Krawks' faint, but horrified screams and giggled to herself.
"Fyora really is a great prankster," she complimented and she started to whistle as she flew to the Faerie Queen's tower to inform her that their prank quota for the day had been reached.