The Birth of a Feud
Once upon a time, in a land that may be near or far depending on where you lived, there lived a young light faerie. She had beautiful blonde hair that fell in soft rings down her back and skin so smooth it felt like the petals of a freshly bloomed rose. The delicate blue hue of her eyes rivaled that of the sky above the clouds of Faerieland, the realm she called home.
The young faerie’s mother was an aide to the Faerie Queen, a delightful faerie called Fyora. She bought her daughter all kinds of wonderful trinkets from the places she visited while working for Fyora. On her finger, she wore a Glassy Krawk Island Ring. She had dozens of bookshelves lined with tomes like Bori of Brightvale and Brightvale, A Complete History that were given to her mother by King Hagan himself. Her wardrobe was stuffed with Fancy Pink Gowns and she slept in a comfortable Antique Four Poster Bed, watching the flames in her Gas Lamp dance, casting shadows in the panes of her Antique Glass Bookcase.
She was sent to the best finishing school in all of Faerieland: Miss Hildegard’s. She was quite well liked by her classmates at Miss Hildegard’s. They all marveled at her gowns from Prigpants & Swolthy, Tailors, a small shop in Neovia, where they had never had the fortune to visit. This young faerie was, in fact, the most popular girl in her class.
One day, a new girl arrived at Miss Hildegard’s Finishing School. Her cheeks were ruddy, her dress was muddy, and her auburn hair was knotted with sticks and leaves. On her feet was a scuffed pair of Wellington Boots that seemed to be a few sizes too big for the small earth faerie. Miss Hildegard smiled kindly and wrapped her arm around the new girl’s shoulders, trying to avoid getting the sleeves of her dress dirty, and guided her over to the empty seat by the light faerie.
The pretty light faerie smiled respectfully, as she had learned from Miss Hildegard. A young lady must be kind and courteous to every person, she said, so kind and courteous the girl was. “It is ever so nice to meet you,” the light faerie greeted her. The earth faerie grinned and extended her hand toward the light faerie. Miss Hildegard tutted.
“Lesson one, my dear,” she said as she made her way back to the front of the classroom. “A lady curtsies; she does not shake hands.”
The earth faerie’s cheeks reddened beneath their muddy mask. “I am sorry, I did not know,” she squeaked. It was then that the pretty light faerie decided to take the earth faerie – Illusen, as she introduced herself - under her wing. Nobody knew Faerieland’s upper crust and customs as well as the light faerie did. She would teach the odd earth faerie all she knew; she would help her navigate her way through high society. Nobody would remember the awkward girl who showed up in a muddy dress and Wellington Boots after the light faerie was done with her.
All was well for a while after Illusen’s first day at Miss Hildegard’s. As the Month of Storing approached, the purple clouds of Faerieland autumn faded to a dull pink, announcing the impending arrival of winter. Illusen had made a lot of progress. She curtsied while being introduced to others, drank her tea daintily with her little finger poised upright, and had even learned to control her pony-like laughter to a delicate giggle.
The light faerie was obviously having a positive influence on her. They went shopping together after school and made finger sandwiches in the light faerie’s vast kitchen. Illusen was taught her how to braid her hair and she taught the light faerie this odd game called Cheeseroller. She knew a lot of games that the light faerie had never heard of. In Meridell, they have ShapeShifter and Kiss the Mortog. The two young girls would often laugh about kissing Mortogs – not the ugly, slimy kind, of course – and finding their own heroes. Illusen still liked to climb trees and play Gormball, but she had come a long way from where she was before.
In time, their classmates seemed to have forgotten about the girl with ruddy cheeks and muddy Boots. Illusen and the light faerie she called her best friend were invited to tea parties and dances and sleepovers all the time. They had become closer than sisters, Illusen and the light faerie, and were quite inseparable. Others did not even address them individually anymore!
Knowing that, surely the light faerie was utterly and completely shocked when Illusen was invited to a garden party and she was not. To be completely honest, the light faerie was appalled! She had taken her time to teach Illusen how to be a lady. She had introduced her to the elite Faerielanders. She was responsible for making her into who she was! And now their friends were going to invite Illusen somewhere and not the light faerie? That was just unacceptable.
For weeks, the young light faerie listened to the other girls gush about Illusen. “She is so nice!” they said. “Gosh, Illusen, your hair is the most beautiful color!” and, “You are so funny!”
“Illusen is so generous,” the light faerie overheard one girl say. “She let me borrow her Sky Blue Eye Shadow!”
No mention, of course, that she had been the one who bought that eye shadow for Illusen.
One day, the light faerie showed up at school with a brand new Prissy Miss Bow her mother had bought for her at the NC Mall. All the girls loved it and told her how well it complimented her fair complexion. She was very pleased to have all of her friends back – until someone asked to borrow the Bow.
“I just got this from my mother,” the light faerie told them, biting her lip. “It is very sentimental, and it was very expensive!”
The other girls were upset by the girl’s unwillingness to share with them. “You should be more like Illusen!” they told her. “Illusen would not care how much it cost! I bet she would even go buy some for all of us so nobody would be left out! It does not matter how many Prissy Miss Bows you have now, you will never be as loved as Illusen!”
Needless to say, the light faerie’s feelings were hurt. That night, she decided that she wanted to be the nicest, prettiest, most talented faerie the girls at school had ever met. She set out to find the Darkest Faerie, who was said to use her powers to make great changes. Certainly she would grant the downtrodden light faerie’s wishes.
She found the Darkest Faerie on the highest cloud just outside of Faerieland. Purple clouds swirled with green smoke and behind the haze, the light faerie could see a cottage. She timidly approached.
“What do you want?” a voice thundered. “Why are you here?”
“I am seeking the Darkest Faerie,” the light faerie said shakily. Her palms had begun to sweat and she was starting to think that this was not such a good idea. “I want her help.”
“Oh, I want, I want, I want! That is all I ever get from anyone,” the Darkest Faerie groaned. “Are all the people down there really so selfish?”
Thinking about the girls at school, the young faerie nodded. “Probably.”
The Darkest Faerie watched the intruder closely and smiled. “I figured as much. Come, now, child. Tell me what I can do for you.”
“I have heard that you can change anything in the world,” the girl began. “I would like you to change me into a nicer, prettier Faerie.”
“I could do that,” she replied. “But what would be in it for me?”
“I will give you anything you want!”exclaimed the light faerie. “Neopoints, dresses, petpets – anything!”
“I will grant your wish, but you must give me time to think of payment,” the Darkest Faerie said.
With a wave of her hands, the light faerie’s hair grew longer and brighter than ever and her simple dress became an elaborate gown as fluffy as the clouds around her. She was beautiful.
Ecstatic over having her wish granted, she flew back to her home with a blissful smile gracing her perfect features. The next day at Miss Hildegard’s, the light faerie could her her classmates – former friends, she reminded herself haughtily – whispering. “Did you see how shiny her hair is?!” they chatted. “Her gown is so beautiful! I wish I had one just like it!”
In no time, the light faerie became, once again, the most popular faerie in class. Illusen was proud of her friend for bouncing back so quickly after the other girls’ mean words. Her birthday was coming up soon and with the light faerie and her other friends upset with each other, she was worried how it might end up. She was quite happy, however, that her birthday party would be free of any tension between her guests.
Illusen had planned to have a garden tea party for her birthday. The light faerie had come over early to help decorate and prepare the snacks they would eat. The two girls had made dozens upon dozens of Carnapepper Finger Sandwiches and gallons of Grapefruit Tea.
“I wanted to give you your present early,” the light faerie told Illusen as they walked upstairs to put on their dresses. She pulled out a skillfully wrapped box and handed it to the earth faerie. “Go on, open it!”
Illusen carefully unwrapped the box and squealed when she saw a Delicate Fyora Tea Cup. “This is gorgeous!” she gushed, hugging her friend. “Thank you so much!”
Eventually, all the guests arrived, looking great in their Garden Tea Party Gowns with parasols in hand. The party was going very well and everyone loved the tea cup Illusen received. The group gossiped and ate happily for a while until suddenly Illusen gasped, pointing at the light faerie.
“Oh my...” Illusen wavered. “What is happening to you?”
The light faerie did not know what Illusen was talking about until she glanced down. Her fingers were turning colors. The hue began to spread through her entire hand, turning my skin a lavender color. Her fingernails grew and grew, the tips sharpening at the ends and transforming into a noxious green. Her beautiful blonde hair became thin and limp, the yellow strands mutating into a deep purple right before her eyes. Streaks as green as her fingernails appeared, blowing in front of her face.
“I do not know!” the light faerie cried. Her back ached as if she had just lifted a herd of Elephantes. Looking over her shoulder, she was horrified to see a pair of gargoyle wings flapping. Her beautiful, delicate wings were ruined!
Suddenly, without thought, those monstrous wings began to flap wildly, lifting the light faerie’s feet from the clouds below. She watched helplessly as Illusen and their friends became smaller and smaller.
“Where are you going?” Illusen called frantically.
It did not take long for that question to be answered. The atrocious plum wings carried the young faerie to a familiar cloud on the outskirts of Faerieland, where the Darkest Faerie sat casually sipping a NeoCola.
“Well, hello, Jhudora!” she chirped.
“What did you do to me?” the purple light faerie wailed. “What has happened?”
“Whatever do you mean?” the evil faerie asked innocently. Jhudora gestured to her dreadful state, not believing what was going on. “Oh, that. Yes. I have decided what I would like in return for giving you what you wanted.”
“Judging by the look of me, I do not think you gave me anything,” Jhudora, the once beautiful light faerie, shouted. “I think you took it away!”
“Precisely,” she replied. “I gave you what you wanted: beauty, friendship. Now I will take all of that for myself and leave you here to take over this vile cloud. If you thought you had it bad before, Jhudora, you are a fool,” the Darkest Faerie scoffed. “I am going to show you what being miserable and alone is truly like.”
In that instant, Jhudora knew just what she was getting at. “You mean, you want me to stay here?”
“Yes, child,” she said. “Now that you have lost everything, you will know how much you really had.”
“This is all Illusen’s fault!” Jhudora grumbled. “If not for her, I never would have come here to begin with! If she had not moved to Faerieland, I would have kept my friends and-“
“You are stuck here until you figure out how to forgive and forget, Jhudora. Good luck.”
The young faerie’s mood turned black as night and she could feel the last ounce of the goodness light faeries are known for leave her heart. Jhudora would remain on that cloud for as long as it took for her to forgive Illusen.
That was likely going to be a very long time.