A Dangerous Night With Balthazar
“Why do we have to be here, Chris? I’m scared in this place!” Zulu the blue Korbat exclaimed.
Chris the starry Shoyru rolled his eyes. “There’s no reason to be scared,” he assured her. “We’re in the Haunted Woods, big whoop. I’m here with you and so is Ello.”
“That’s right!” Ello the pink Faellie squeaked happily.
Chris, his younger sister Zulu and his petpet Ello were traveling through the dark and not so friendly Haunted Woods. Chris needed to visit Edna’s tower to ask her for spell advice but she wasn’t at her tower. Now the three were flying back to Neopia Central, taking a spooky trail through the dim woods.
It was now getting dark, and Zulu tried her best to remain brave. Chris and Ello didn’t seem to be bothered by flying through a creepy looking forest at night. Surrounding them were bare, lifeless trees with branches that reached out like wrinkly old hands. The wind blew through the forest with a piercingly loud howl, and a light fog danced around the floors of the forest.
“Anyone want some faerie cakes?” Ello asked, unzipping a compartment in Chris’s backpack.
“Sure,” Zulu answered, taking one and popping it into her mouth. “Thanks, Ello.”
“No problem!” Ello smiled. She flipped a few times in the air to show how happy she was. Although it was a rare moment when Ello wasn’t happy.
“Are you sure we’re on the right forest path?” Zulu questioned Chris.
“Yes, this is the only forest path that goes to Neopia Central. It has to be the right one,” Chris answered. That was the fifth time Zulu asked him that. Chris was the eldest in his family, having three younger, girly, and squeaky sisters. He was the only boy, and sometimes he felt his sisters walked all over him.
Soon it got so dark that Chris had to take out his flashlight and the three began to walk. Suddenly there was a brush noise, as if someone ran through the bushes. “Who’s there?” Chris asked, flashing the flashlight to the bushes.
“Ah, it’s the Pant Devil! He’s come to steal our pants!” Zulu screamed.
“Calm down!” Ello ordered. “And even if the Pant Devil was here, we're not wearing pants!”
“Shush!” Chris hushed them. There was another ruffle noise, and a tiny light began to spark out from the bushes. “Who’s there?” Chris repeated. “Come out. We won’t hurt you.”
The light from the bush beamed brighter, and then disappeared. There was one more ruffle noise and suddenly the light was right in front of Chris’s nose! The light turned out to be an air faerie. “Help me!” she squeaked. She was wearing a tiny blue dress with soft blonde hair.
“Help you? From what?” Chris asked.
There was a sudden howl that shook the forest! The howl was deep and gruff, and sounded close. “Balthazar!” the faerie squeaked. “Balthazar!” The air faerie’s light gave out, and she fainted. Chris caught her in his paw and held on to her carefully.
“Give me the faerie, young ones. She’s mine,” a gruff and evil voice laughed. Zulu, Ello and Chris turned around to see Balthazar the Bounty Hunter. One of the meanest Lupes around, he is dedicated to capturing faeries and trapping them in jars, only to sell them back for a profit. He stood there with an empty jar clutched in his claws.
“You’re not getting this poor faerie!” Ello growled. She flashed her tiny but pointy fangs.
Balthazar threw his head back in laughter. “What a feisty Faellie you are,” he chuckled, “but you’re not intimidating me. You see, I had this faerie, but before I put her in her jar, she escaped. I would like her back. She’s too weak to put up a fight anyway.”
“Chris! He’ll hurt us!” Zulu cried.
Chris took the small faerie in his paws and handed her to Ello. “Protect her and Zulu, Ello. I’m counting on you,” he said solemnly. He then took out a rainbow gun from his backpack and aimed right at the Lupe. “Fight.”
“You silly, silly Shoyru. You indeed are a foolish one for thinking you have a chance to defeat me. However, you’re a brave one; I will give you that much. So I will ask you one more time; hand me the faerie,” Balthazar growled.
Balthazar let out a slight laugh. “Well, I warned you.” He then pounced on top of Chris before Chris could shoot his rainbow gun! Balthazar and Chris began fighting vehemently!
Using his giant claws, Balthazar slashed Chris, and began to repeatedly slash him! Chris kicked him off and flew up in the air! “Take this!” Chris held out his paw and a spark of lightning shot out, hitting Balthazar in the shoulder.
“I see you have some abilities.” Balthazar smiled.
“Faellie... you must... give me to the Lupe. I can’t have... your owner getting hurt,” the air faerie stammered weakly.
“Yes, ma’am.” Ello nodded. “You win, Balthazar!” Ello called. “I’ll give you the faerie.”
Chris and Balthazar stopped fighting and Balthazar reached out to snatch the faerie from Ello’s paw. However, when he grabbed the faerie, his claws tore open a small pouch of dust the faerie had around her waist. The dust flew right into Ello’s eyes and-
“Ello? Ello, where are you?” Zulu cried.
“Seems your little friend is gone,” Balthazar laughed, putting the air faerie in his jar. “See you later.” He then disappeared into the night.
“Ello! Ello!” Zulu called. She was nowhere to be found. Zulu began to lightly sob. “She’s gone.”
“Pull yourself together,” Chris ordered his little sister. “We’re going to find her.”
“You were certainly a pain to obtain, but you’ll still make me a nice profit,” Balthazar said, using his sharp claws to poke holes in the air faerie’s jar and then put the jar inside a bag with even more bottled faeries inside. He then crept off into the night, leaving his sack of bottled faeries hidden under a pile of leaves.
“Where am I?” Ello squeaked. She was surprised to find herself with the air faerie inside the jar. Balthazar must have not noticed her.
“When Balthazar took me from you, he broke a pouch of dust I had. It was shrinking dust, and it shrank you. You somehow got inside this jar with me,” the air faerie answered. “My name is Haley.”
“I’m truly sorry for dragging you and your friends into this. I just didn’t want to be trapped inside this jar.” Haley sighed sadly. “I’m sorry you’re trapped too.”
“Hey, no worries.” Ello smiled, trying to cheer Haley up. “All we have to do is figure a way out of here.”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple. We can’t escape here; we have to wait until Balthazar sells us to a Neopian who will then release us. That’s how it works.”
Ello rolled her eyes. “Well, I’m not giving up that easily.” Her Faellie mind zoomed with ideas and finally Ello exclaimed, “Hey! I’m much teenier than my normal size, and I was small to begin with! I bet I’m super extra small!”
Haley giggled. “Yes, I imagine you would be.”
“So I can probably fit through these air holes.” Ello grinned. She flew up to the jar’s lid and sure enough climbed out of an air hole.
“You did it! Now get out of here, it isn’t safe here. Save yourself!” Haley cried.
“No way! I’m going to find Chris and Zulu and come and save you,” Ello objected. “How long am I gonna be teeny tiny?”
“The dust should wear off in a few hours,” Haley answered. “Please be careful.”
Ello winked reassuringly. “No worries, Haley.” She then spread her wings and flew off towards the shining moon.
“You know, Chris, sometimes I wonder what is going through your head at times,” Zulu told her older brother.
“Me too.” Chris grinned.
“So what exactly is going through your head right now?” Zulu questioned.
“We’re going to get Ello back,” Chris answered. He took a bright orange potion out of his backpack. “I need you to drink this.”
“Why?” Zulu asked suspiciously.
“Because it will turn you into a faerie. Then once you’re a faerie, Balthazar will come to trap you, and I’ll trap him in my net,” Chris explained.
“You drink the potion!”
“No! I don’t want to be a faerie!”
“Because I’m a boy. Boys don’t want to be faeries; that’s a girl’s thing.”
Zulu growled, “Fine, I’ll drink your stupid potion. But I better turn into a pretty faerie or you’ll be sorry!”
“Yeah, yeah, just hurry up, sis.”
With one final glare, Zulu then drank down the potion quick! “Mmm! Tastes like Loveberries!” she exclaimed. Her body began to shake back and forth and a pink light flashed- Zulu had become an earth faerie. “What a rush,” Zulu stated. She was now a tiny earth faerie with long brown hair, a green mini dress and was barefoot.
“Good job, Zulu. Now go stand under that net trap I set and wait for Balthazar to come for you.”
“What if he doesn’t come for me?”
“Just... make faerie giggling noises or whatever. Do whatever it is faeries do!”
“Well, I wouldn’t know what faeries do; I’ve only been a faerie for going on ten seconds.” Zulu rolled her eyes and floated in the air in the middle of the forest. “Tee hee hee,” she pretended to giggle.
“Well, I’d say tonight was successful; nineteen faeries captured.” Balthazar smiled. He released a giant yawn and looked up at the sky; the sun would be rising soon and he would have to go the marketplace to sell his faeries. “I may have time for one more faerie.” His sharp ears then picked up a laugh far off in the distance. “Seems there’s one more.” He smiled.
Balthazar prowled through the forest carefully until he saw an earth faerie floating there. He smiled, and got out his tightly woven net. Then with one quick swing, he lashed out and-
“Hey! What’s going on?” Balthazar snarled. He was suddenly trapped inside a net himself!
“We meet again, Lupe.” Chris smiled, flying down from the trees. “Where are your bottled faeries? Tell me! Or I won’t let you go.”
Balthazar grinned. “So the predator becomes the prey,” he chuckled. “I have a sack of bottled faeries just east of here.”
“Good. Let’s go, Zulu,” Chris commanded. Zulu flew up next to Chris, and the two ran off.
“Fools.” Balthazar smiled.
Now Chris and Zulu were zooming through the forest, trying their best to avoid every pointy tree branch and scratchy bush.
“What do you think you’re doing?” a tiny voice interrogated.
“Chris did you hear something?” Zulu asked.
“No,” Chris answered. “Did you?”
“I thought I heard someone say something.”
“I said something!” the voice squeaked. Chris and Zulu turned their heads to see a very, very tiny Ello floating right in front of their faces. “You’re going the wrong way,” Ello squeaked. “The faeries are this way.” She flew off in the opposite direction and Chris and Zulu followed.
Finally, they reached Balthazar’s sack of faeries. Zulu and Chris took turns releasing grateful faeries. Eventually Zulu transformed back into a Korbat because the potion she drank was only temporary. The last bottle left was Haley’s.
Chris took in a huge sigh and opened the bottle. A gust of wind blew past his face and standing in front of him was Haley. “Bless you, Shoyru.” She smiled, giving Chris a light kiss on his forehead.
“Hey!” Zulu and Ello cried.
Haley smiled. “Bless you, Korbat and Faellie.” There was a sudden gust of wind and Haley was gone. The warm and cheerful rays of the sun began to poke through the bare top of the woods.
“Well, we should probably go release Balthazar,” Zulu suggested.
“Ah he’s a big bad Lupe with claws; he’ll escape on his own.” Chris smiled.
Ello did a flip in the air! “Let’s go get smoothies!”
I really enjoyed writing this story :) I would appreciate feedback! Whoo hoo for Faellies and Shoyrus!