Fried Eggs and Faerie Paintbrushes
“Why are we here again?” Alfy whined at Ileire, her older sister. The rainbow Korbat sighed.
“We’re here because I have a few errands to run. By the way, I would have thought you’d be happy to visit Faerieland, judging by the way you insisting on being painted faerie.” Ileire raised an expectant eyebrow at the yellow Kyrii.
“Well, of course I want a Faerie paint brush, but that doesn’t mean I want to follow you on boring errands.”
“Tell you what, Alfy; if you help me get all these errands done, I’ll talk to Mom about getting you a paint brush.” Alfy immediately straightened, her eyes shining, as she quickened her pace and took the paw print purse from her sister.
“What’s our next stop?”
Ileire smiled, grabbing Alfy by the shoulders and spun her to face an ominous purple cloud hovering not far away. The yellow Kyrii’s smile froze and her triumphant look vanished.
“You game for a quest?”
Jhudora sat upon her throne, clutching the armrests with her violently purple nails, a disgusted look on her face. Below the platform where she sat cowered a red Blumaroo.
“Where is my chocolate dipped peophin cookie?” she asked in a deceptively level voice.
“Oh, er, you see, I asked the shop wizard but he didn’t-” Jhudora cut him off with a wave of her hand.
“Enough of your blubbering, pathetic mortal. I asked you to fetch me something, and you’ve failed. Guards!”
“No, please! Jhudora! I can get it plea-AAARGH NOOOO!”
The Blumaroo cringed as a bartamus swooped down from the high ceiling, picked him up by the tail, flew him through the window, and dropped him into the ocean beyond the edge of the clouds.
Ileire stepped up confidently, her sister clutching her arm in desperation.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” she hissed at the Korbat, “It’s a good 10,000 foot drop from there if we fail!”
“Relax, Alfy, I have wings,” her sister replied.
“But I don’t!”
“Well, then, that’s your problem, isn’t it? Hush now, it’s our turn.”
Jhudora gave the girls a penetrating glance, scanning them from ear to toe.
“Welcome to my home... Are you willing to accept my quest?” Jhudora rumbled. Even her voice sounded purple.
“Duh, why else would I be here?” Ileire rolled her eyes. “Must you say that every time I come here?”
“Fetch me a fried egg!” she commanded, ignoring the snarky comment. “You have 16 minutes and 40 seconds to complete this quest!”
Ileire strolled off the cloud with a grin, Alfy following nervously. A fried egg? Easy! This quest was as good as done.
The pair headed towards the swirling towers of the faerie city, leaving a trail through the fluffy clouds. Eventually, they reached the central square with all its clattering pink cobblestones, covered in a slight film of mist. Ileire spotted a sign opposite. “Faerie Foods” it said, in curling gold script. Perfect, thought Ileire as she started towards it, before being pulled back by Alfy.
“Look!” the Kyrii squealed, pointing at a glowing blue orb displayed prominently at the center of the square, “It’s a personality quiz! Can I take it? Please?”
Ileire sighed and looked at her sundial wristwatch. Fourteen minutes left. “Fine, I’ll go buy the egg while you take it. If you finish before I get back, wait here and I’ll meet you when I’ve got it.”
Alfy nodded, barely listening to her sister, already considering the first question of the quiz. Ileire rolled her eyes and entered the shop.
“Food from the Heavens!” an earth faerie in a white apron cried as the door jangled open, a flaming fire faerie pizza in her hands. “May I help you?”
“Do you have any fried eggs in stock?” she asked, her eyes scanning the display cases filled with hovering, sparkling, fizzing faerie foods.
The earth faerie put down the pizza and rummaged around her stove. She pulled a lilac colored pan from the hob and showed Ileire the faerie-wing shaped fried egg in it.
“Faerie fried egg? Sunny side up and sprinkled with lashings of faerie dust. Much better than any old average fried egg.”
Ileire frowned and shook her head.
“It’s got to be a normal fried egg. I’m on a quest.”
“Oh, well, I’m afraid I don’t stock those here. Perhaps you’d be interested in an orange cloud cookie, or could I tempt you with a faerie fondant?”
“No thanks, I’m on a tight schedule.” Ileire checked her watch again as she left the shop. Twelve minutes left.
She glanced over to the personality quiz and saw that Alfy was still engrossed. She stepped up her pace and turned off into Air Faerie Avenue, searching for a food store. The windows displayed plushies, books, clothes, and magic items, but no fried eggs. Finally, just as she was losing hope, Ileire spotted a café, and hurried inside.
“I’ll have a fried egg to go, please,” she said to the bored looking blue Cybunny behind the counter as she began counting out a little bag of gold coins from her purse. “And make it snappy!”
Ileire arrived back at the square a while later, with a fried egg wrapped in foil and five minutes to spare.
“Nerve of that Cybunny calling me rude!” she muttered to herself under her breath.
The blue orb that was the personality quiz stood unused. Ileire cast about, but couldn’t see her sister's bobbing yellow ears and fur anywhere. Panic began to well inside her and she felt the time sliding away while she searched for the Kyrii.
Where could she have gone? The furniture store? No, Ileire thought, Alfy could care less about interior design. The petpet shop, then? Alfy melted over anything pink and fuzzy, but she was more than happy with Bracken, her blorpulous and its bumbluz. Frantically searching, Ileire’s eyes suddenly fell upon a sign depicting a paint brush and palette. It read “Faerie Paintbrushes” in the same curly gold script as the other stores of the square. Alfy had to be in there.
The inside of the building was plainly decorated, but the forty-odd pink and purple faerie painted mannequins made Ileire cringe at the femininity. And there, parked in front of the disgustingly pretty faerie Kyrii dummy was the short bright yellow figure of Alfy, her large eyes gazing wistfully at the display behind a sheet of glass.
“Alfy! We’ve got to go!” Ileire gasped as she grabbed her sister’s arm and tried to pull her away.
The Kyrii stood her ground and sniffed, tears welling up in her great brown eyes.
“It’s not fair!” she whimpered, as the first drops began to fall. “You’re painted, our brother and sister are painted, and our cousins are painted. Everyone in our family is painted except me! Would it be so hard to just buy me a faerie paint brush and take me to the Rainbow Pool? Why do I have to be the only ugly one?”
“Alfy, on a normal occasion I would tell you that yellow is a perfectly lovely color, but as of right now, I don’t have time for this, so will you just shut up and we can deal with your crippling self esteem issues after I’ve delivered this to Jhudora.” Ileire glanced at her watch again. Two minutes left. Great.
Grasping the Kyrii’s hand, Ileire rushed out the door and took off for the purple cloud, flapping at top speed. Alfy clutched her around the neck as they flew, watching anxiously as the cobbles whipped past below them at a frightening speed.
One minute left.
They were out of the faerie city and zooming above the cotton-candy clouds of Faerieland’s outskirts.
Thirty seconds left.
The purple cloud was hovering just in sight now.
Ten more seconds...
They were almost there.
Five more seconds...
They burst through the doors of Jhudora’s building.
Three more seconds...
They wouldn’t make it down the hall in time! Thinking quickly, Alfy un-wrapped the egg and threw it at the dark faerie as hard as she could.
Two more seconds...
The fried egg soared through the air to Jhudora.
One more second...
SPLAT! The fried egg hit Jhudora full in the face just in time, sliding down to reveal the faerie’s furious expression.
“Your fried egg, I believe,” Ileire panted.
Jhudora said nothing, but lifted a hand to toss a flask of noxious nectar at them.
“Here is your reward,” she hissed, her voice deadly, “now GET OUT! OUT!”
Knowing a dismissal when they heard one, the two picked themselves out and dashed from the building. The Kyrii grumbled as they fled for their lives.
“That’s the last time I run errands with you!”