See the Light
Kirin sat on the edge of the wall surrounding Faerie City. Her normally perky wings were drooping, and her hair didn't seem as gold as normal. She played around with the edge of her yellow skirt for a few minutes, then looked at the patterns in the clouds below her, then went back to fidgeting with her skirt.
As a Light faerie, Kirin was normally very bright and very happy. Even before her top and skirt touched her shining skin, the vibrant yellow coloured fabric glowed on its own. Every morning, Kirin tied a ribbon in her hair because she felt that the hair made shadows on her face, and she hated shadows. Why make something very bright darker? Kirin felt it was her duty to fill Faerieland and the rest of Neopia with light and happiness. This was normally what she did. However, that particular week, she had not.
Kirin tilted her head a little bit, and using her peripherals, she could see the Rainbow Fountain. The Fountain Faerie sat in it, her arms spread elegantly across the side of the pool. Looking this way and that, the Fountain Faerie seemed to be debating about something. Her scaly mermaid tail flicked the water back and forth in front of her. Then she picked her head up, and whispered something. Then she closed her eyes.
Kirin knew what this meant. The Fountain Faerie was calling someone to do a quest. From the wall, Kirin saw a very happy Acara and its owner run to the Rainbow Fountain, exchange a few words with the faerie, and then leave. Her heart sinking, Kirin floated down from the wall. She knew what came next. The pair would return successfully with the requested item, and the Acara would get a brand-new colour. Then the two would walk off with the happiest expressions possible on their faces.
Usually, Kirin liked to watch the Fountain Faerie quests. She loved to see happy Neopets. But about a week before, Kirin had been trying to cheer up a group of Neopians by rewarding them with Neopoints. However, they didn't seem much happier. Upon asking them why, they told her that they'd prefer a famous faerie to be rewarding them. Then they could brag to their friends. Realizing this was true, Kirin had spent the rest of the day in her room, her normally brightness just barely flickering.
Her wings fluttered a little bit, but Kirin didn't feel like flying. Accidentally, she glanced at the Healing Springs, where a group of elated Neopets were healed after a victorious Battledome match. Kirin, trying to block it out, snapped her head in a different direction, lining her vision up perfectly with Jhudora's Cloud, where an owner and two Blumaroos were being given a Bartamus. They bounced off happily, the small petpet cradled in the Blumaroos' arms.
Almost in tears, Kirin jumped into the air and her wings managed to catch her before she hit the cloud again. Her face hidden in her hands, Kirin made way for the castles. Instead of flying inside and going to the rooms where all the faeries lived, she darted behind the castles and flopped down into the shadows.
"It could be worse," Kirin tried telling herself. "At least I'm not the Grey Faerie, Baelia. Then I wouldn't be able to make people happy. And I'd be lonely." This only cheered her up for a second. Then she remembered that Baelia was very well known to Neopia, and that she even had an avatar to herself. Kirin's wings drooped. She watched a trio of Air Faeries fly by in a line, apparently playing tag. She sank lower. They might not be famous, she thought, but at least they're enjoying themselves.
Seeing a flicker of light, Kirin looked down at her feet, which were stretched out in front of her. Though they were still touching her glowing skin, Kirin's slippers were losing color. With growing sorrow, she watched as they changed to a light so low, you could barely tell the light was still there. The same happened with her skirt, then her sash, her top, and, to her horror, her wings. Even her hair ribbon seemed to slump down on her head. Kirin let her head thump against the castle. She remembered the first rule of a Light faerie: Don't become depressed, or your light will go out. And now Kirin's light was out. Nobody could see a Light faerie if they didn't have any light.
"Maybe if I go back out into the sunlight, my light will return," she said to herself. Little did she know that this would do the exact opposite.
When she stepped into the light, mouths stopped talking, and faces turned to her. A particularly bratty looking Uni turned to her and snorted, "A Light faerie who doesn't have any light? What's happening to Neopia?" A few Neopians around the Uni snickered, whispering behind their hands.
Kirin, feeling it was a good time for shadows, quickly untied her hair ribbon and shook her head. Her hair fell in front of her face like a thick and glossy but dull, gold curtain. She jumped, thinking her wings would catch her, but instead she felt the cloud under her feet again. Confused, Kirin jumped. She landed on the ground. She jumped again. Again, she could feel the ground beneath her. It was then she remembered a Light faerie with no light could not fly. Finally, Kirin realized that there were still people watching, but it was too late. There was laughter all around her.
She heard that Uni's voice again. This time, it was cackling, "Awww, the poor little Light faerie can't fly? Poor little unwanted Faerie."
Torn between being furious and embarrassed, Kirin sprinted off in a different direction. It was the worst day of her life. Her hair, mixed with tears, streamed behind her like a long, gold wave. She ran as fast as she could, until she had almost run off the edge of the longest cloud of Faerieland.
Feeling unneeded, Kirin dropped down to the edge of the cloud. Her feet dangled over the side, and she stared at her hands. It was only when she felt something hit her back that she turned around and noticed she wasn't alone.
Unable to find the thing or person that had tapped her back, she walked back to the edge of the cloud. That's when she saw a flash of blue in the corner of her eye. Turning to face it, she found herself looking at a small blue Grundo plushie. Sniffling a little, she knelt down to pick it up. It was old and tattered, and a little stained. The poor plushie even looked a little... sad. Were its eyes drooping?
"No," Kirin told herself. "Impossible. " Dusting it off, she tucked it under her arm and headed back to the Faerie castle.
As she neared the castle, she heard whispers. "Yeah, that's her! That's the Light faerie I told you about!"
Exasperated, Kirin looked towards the voices, expecting to see one of the Neopets that had been laughing at her earlier. But what she saw was much better.
About four or five young Neopets were huddled together, staring at her. She cocked her head, and one of the Neopets in front came out to speak. "A-Are you Kirin, the Light Faerie?"
All Kirin could do was nod.
"W-we're big fans. You rewarded us once, and gave us 200 Neopoints," the pet, a blue Scorchio, told her gratefully. "I just wanted to thank you for how kind you were." He looked at her for a split second, and then the whole group awkwardly turned and shuffled away, leaving Kirin staring in disbelief.
For a moment, she didn't know what to think. Then, she heard herself giggle. Soon, her giggle turned to a laugh. Kirin pulled the blue Grundo plushie to her chest in a hug, and twirled around the cloud with a warm feeling suddenly filling her.
Again, she saw a flicker of light and glanced down, but this time the light was starting. Her shoes started to glitter, and finally they were a vibrant yellowy gold. Then came her skirt. It jumped to life in an instant. As a smile grew on her face, Kirin watched happily as her top went from a dark yellow to a shining gold. The sash lit up too. And then, finally, Kirin's wings lifted and fluttered back to life. They were light again.
Laughing, Kirin jumped into the air and her wings caught her. She dropped back down to the ground, though, noticing the Grundo plushie still in her hand. She stared at it. Tilting her head, she looked at its eyes again. They didn't seem to be drooping. Holding it up in front of her, she whispered, "Even a simple compliment or act of random kindness can make you shine."
She even thought she saw the plushie glow a little.