Jhudora's Journal: Part Six
I woke up in a fluffy bed, so different than the hard earth I’d fallen on. Fyora stood by it, grimness on her face. I smiled and tried to sit up, but was met with a burning pain in my arms and neck.
“Don’t try,” she said softly. “It will only hurt.”
I was aware of my injuries, though I was surprised by the numbness in my legs. “I can’t feel anything below my waist,” I remarked, grimacing.
Her face paled. “Oh, no... please don’t let it be,” she muttered.
“Dira, my dear, I... I think you are paralyzed.”
I let out a nervous, fake laugh. “No!” I cried, “You’re joking, right? This is all just a practical joke. It’s all just a prank. It’s not real.”
I could have sworn her violet eyes were brimming with tears, like mine. “I’m sorry.”
“Can’t you fix it? Please say you can! Please say you can!” I begged.
“I will try, Dira.”
She lay her hands on my legs and closed her eyes, summoning enough power to heal them. A purple glow emitted from her hands, strong and bright. Then it died.
“Well?” I asked, my voice hardly above a whisper.
She shook her head slowly. “I am not powerful enough. The wound is too great, beyond my power.”
I choked back tears. “I understand, Your Majesty.” I closed my eyes, my lip trembling dangerously.
The door was pounded on. “FYORA! LET US SEE HER!” a chorus of voices pleaded. The queen opened the door, and two faeries spilled into the room.
“DIRA! Dira, are you alright?” Terri asked.
“Please say yes! Please say yes!” Cora urged. Both of them were talking fast.
I opened my eyes. “She’s fine! She’s okay! She’s alive!” Terri rushed to envelope me in a hug, and Cora joined in.
I gave a fake smile. “I’m okay, guys.”
Fyora shook her head. “Please, girls, don’t rush her. She’s still trying to recover from the news.”
Terri’s happiness whistled down to incredulous gloom. “I was hoping it wasn’t true,” she said. She tried to grin as best as she could. It was so pitiful I laughed.
Another knock on the door sounded. “Come in,” Fyora answered.
Entering the room was the Battle Faerie. Marian. My mom. Cora and Terri backed off into the chairs by the bed.
“She’s paralyzed, has a broken arm and an even worse neck,” the queen informed her softly. “There is nothing I can do.”
My mother shook her head fiercely. “There has to be something I can do, then,” she said. “I will stop at nothing to get my daughter back.” She turned to Fyora. “Summon a council meeting. We’ll need the strongest faeries most skilled in magic. One of each kind; excluding you and me. We need to make this quick, or else... who knows what might happen to her.” Her voice trailed off sadly.
A silence followed. “I’ll go,” Cora said suddenly. “That takes the dark faerie off your list.”
“Cross off light faerie, too,” Terri agreed. “I’m coming.”
Fyora looked thoughtful. “Marian, I suppose this might work. I’ll gather Illusen, Renee, Psellia, and Izzy in the Secret Cavern. Meet me there.”
Renee? Izzy? SECRET CAVERN? I thought, wondering what was happening.
“No,” my mother disagreed, “Izzy the fire faerie and Renee the water faerie are sick today. We can’t go without more power.”
“We can advertise,” Cora suggested.
“No,” was the reply. “The Secret Cavern is... well, secret. Only the chosen faeries are permitted inside, and they must have powerful magic abilities or a high rank.”
“What exactly is it?” I inquired.
Not meeting my eyes, my mom answered hesitantly, “Seventeen years ago, when the Darkest Faerie tried to take over Faerieland and eventually all of Neopia, a captain of one of the armies was severely injured. A few chosen faeries were gathered to heal her, for her wounds were bound with dark magic. Poison was seeping into her veins. We found a cave east of the Haunted Woods and took her there. It took a lot of our energy, but we managed to heal her enough so she could fight again.” She looked at Terri and Cora. “The only reason you may come is because I have sensed powerful magic in you, and Siyana and Lauren are busy elsewhere. But we don’t have a fire or water faerie – we’ll have to deal with what we have.”
“The Bead can help us,” I murmured.
Fyora turned to me, shocked. “The... the Bead? How did you know about that?”
“A gypsy gave it to me.”
“The Bead is one of the most powerful artifacts in all of Neopia. It is said to contain great power and only works for those it belongs to,” Fyora explained. “It originally belonged to a powerful sorceress. Her intention upon creating the Bead was that it might help someone worthy in a dire situation. I’ve been searching for it for years to try and write it down in one of my books I keep in the library, but I thought it was only a legend... until now.” She stared at me. “Dira, have you seen the power of it?”
I tried to nod, but my neck was hurting way too much. “Yes. It destroyed the journal.”
“We have no time to chitchat,” my mom urged. “It’s great that Jhudora’s plan failed, but it’s bad that the one who foiled it might never be able to walk again.”
And so she teleported everyone in the room to the Secret Cavern.
We waited patiently for Illusen and Psellia’s appearance by having a spell fight.
“TAKE THAT!” I laughed, pointing my good arm at Terri and turning her into Fyora for a second.
“Oh, yeah? Well, you won’t be laughing after this!” she retorted, turning me into a Meepit.
Cora then made us take the appearance of plushies, yelling, “That will teach you two!”
As we blasted spells at each other, giggling our heads, off, I heard Fyora mutter, “Kids these days... ”
The earth and air faeries finally arrived, and Psellia levitated me to a large, stone altar in the cave. I made a mental note to ask her for an autograph once my arms were healed.
The faeries circled around the altar and took out their wands. After a moment of gathering their power, they all began to chant something I couldn’t decipher. A blue glow surrounded me, but right in mid-chant...
“Wait!” Jhudora cried, appearing a flash of green smoke.
The faeries stopped murmuring the spell, and the blue faded away into nothing. “Jhudora!” Fyora fumed. “You know better than to interrupt a healing session in progress!”
“Let alone push my daughter off a cliff!” my mother barked.
“I know, and I’m sorry--” Jhudora began sincerely.
“She’s paralyzed because of you!”
The dark faerie froze. “She... she is?” she asked in horror. “I never meant for it to go that far... ”
“Well, you did,” the Battle Faerie continued. “And there’s nothing you can do about it except leave us and never come back!”
“Yes, there is,” I disagreed. Everyone turned to stare at me.
“Oh? And what might that be?” Illusen asked, glaring angrily at Jhudora.
“She can heal me.”
“I wouldn’t ever trust that witch,” the earth faerie protested, “After all--”
“It doesn’t matter,” Psellia declared, “We’ll need every ounce of magic we can get. I don’t care what the rest of you think, but I’m not going to let a fellow air faerie be immobilized in the legs. Jhudora, join us. You remember the spell.” Yeah. See why she’s my role model?
Illusen made a soft growl in her throat as the dark faerie shyly approached. The chanting began again, and the glow around me was white this time. Finally, a flash like sunlight lit up the cavern, then died away as suddenly as it had appeared.
“Well?” Cora asked eagerly. “Did it work?”
I blinked, trying to regain the feeling in my toes. They wiggled at my will.
“It worked!” Illusen cried, embracing me. “She’s alright!”
I sat up, wincing at the pain in my arm. “Not entirely. My arm is still broken, but that doesn’t matter.” I got to my feet, staring at the ecstatic faces of the seven faeries. “I’d like to thank you all with all my heart... or, the black hole that I call a heart.”
“Has she always been that... negative on herself?” Mom whispered to Illusen.
“Yup, ever since she learned to talk,” she replied.
“You’ve all been kind to me, just by doing me a favor and allowing me to walk again. I suppose Fyora chose you for a reason besides your magical ability; that would your willingness to help others, which is seemingly endless... also like my black hole.” I heard Mom sigh. “I think that you guys should be recorded in the Neopedia and have a statue made in the Hall of Heroes. But in short, I just wanted you, all of you, to know that nobody could ever find a group as awesome as you guys.”
There was a pause, and then the next thing I knew, I was being hugged by every person in the room, save for Jhudora. Once the group hug was finished, I turned to look at her. She was trying not to meet my eyes.
“Jhudora,” I said softly, “You helped too.”
She turned her head toward me, and I saw a tear escape her eye. “Only because I was the one who caused it,” she answered shakily, “I never meant for it to go that far. I never meant for you to get hurt. I mean, I did, but not like that. I don’t deserve a thank-you, Dira.”
I shook my head. “Everyone deserves a thank-you, and you definitely deserve one of these.” With that, I reached my good arm out and enveloped her in a warm embrace. To my surprise, she didn’t protest, but instead wrapped her arms around me in response. Who knew someone so... evil could be so sensitive and caring at times? Definite mood swing there.
When we were done, she muttered grumpily, “Speak of this to NO ONE.”
I nodded. “Can do.”
“Well, should we put her in prison or not?” asked Fyora.
I turned to her and shook my head slowly. “No. She helped bring my legs back, and that’s all I could ever wish for. No, let’s just pretend this never happened, like it was a rumor. After all, it’s not like her trying to take over Neopia is big news.”
Fyora cleared her throat. “Alright. Now, we should get Dira to the hospital to treat her arm.”
I lay on the bed in boredom, the cast on my broken arm filled with words. I ran my finger over it fondly and lightly, tracing the letters as a smile crept on my face. Everyone had signed it, wishing me well and stuff of the sort. Everyone except one.
A knock on the door snapped me to attention. “Come in.”
Mom came in and smiled. “Hi, Dira. How are you feeling?”
“Like a pile of sludge.”
“That’s not good,” she said, sitting down on the other side of my bed. She sighed. “Are you still mad at me?”
I knew what she was asking. “No, I couldn’t be after what you did,” I admitted.
She smiled softly. “It was the biggest mistake of my life, I assure you.” A pause followed until she asked, “So will you be moving in? My mansion is big, and there are no servants, because I think it’s so lazy.”
I shook my head. “I like my Neohome. It’s down the street from Terri, and I discovered Lily is my neighbor. Besides, I can take care of myself.”
Her eyes met mine. “I see. Well, I need to check on the shop really quick. I’ll take you out for lunch. Does Shenkuu sound good?”
“Sounds great,” I answered.
She got up and began to walk out the door.
“Mom,” I called before she could leave. “You’re the only one who hasn’t signed my cast.”
Mom turned around and grinned, a sincere grin at that. “Of course.”
Once she was done scribbling words on my cast, she left, shutting the door behind her.
To the craziest, most daring, fearless daughter I could ever wish for, I hope you know you’ve always touched the hearts of almost everyone you meet. Keep it up, and may your arm heal soon. ~ Mom
I beamed tiredly, closed my eyes, and fell asleep, my good hand draping over the cast.
What I didn’t know was that Xavier the red Kacheek leaned against the door, upon which Beck was pounding heavily. “No!” he barked. “That’s the fifth time you asked to go to the bathroom!”
“But it’s an EMERGENCY!” she begged, her voice muffled. “And it STINKS in here!”
“Sweet Fyora,” Xavier groaned, “I’m outta here!” He turned and walked out of the room and house.
“Wait. Wait, so you’re leaving me?” Beck’s voice came from inside the closet. “Oh, great. That’s just great. Fine then, you just do that.” She sighed and slumped against the door. “This is going to be a loooong night, isn’t it... ”
---A MONTH LATER---
Thanks to the Bead, my arm healed more quickly than expected. I rushed out of the hospital and went straight to my Neohome, eager to see the welcoming sign of the purple house. I stepped inside, noting the door was unlocked, and flicked on the light switch.
“SURPRISE!” a chorus of cries filled my ears, faeries jumping out of... anywhere, it seemed like. Terri, Cora, Lily, and Illusen were there, their faces covered in wide grins.
“Aww, thanks, guys!” I said. “You didn’t have to!”
“Of course we didn’t,” Cora answered, “but friends are always doing the unnecessary for their pals, aren’t they?”
“Yeah, why else would we trick the place out like we did?” Terri chimed in.
A huge banner hung across the ceiling, reading, ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’, and balloons were tied to chairs to keep from floating away. Everyone was wearing a sparkly, pointy birthday hat and had noisemakers clutched in their hands. Even Xavier was there, blowing on his furiously, tossing confetti.
I’d forgotten it was my birthday.
“Happy eighteenth!” the Kacheek yelled. “Come on, your mom made a surprise! She’s in the kitchen!”
I grinned and followed him to the room, the faeries behind me. Mom and Alice, a fire faerie I knew from the Academy, were admiring a tall, tiered birthday cake. Eighteen candles were scattered on the layers, frosted in creamy white icing.
“Dira!” Alice shrieked, almost tackling me in a hug.
I laughed and hugged her back, then moved on to my mother.
“I made your favorite,” she said with excitement, “Vanilla frosting with nutty chocolate cake.”
I stuck my finger out and swiped a bit of the icing from the corner. “How’d you know?” I asked, tasting it.
“Illusen told me. She said you used to love that kind on your birthday before you moved out. So, how about we get a slice and open your presents afterward?”
I nodded ecstatically. Alice lit the candles with her fingertips and the cake was served to each of us along with a glass of milk as we laughed and talked about random things.
Finally, after everyone was done, the birthday song was sung and the cake was diminished, Mom suggested I open the five presents waiting on the other side of the table. I opened the first one, a box wrapped in sparkly pink paper and ribbon, which was from Alice. It turned out to be Lavender Scented Perfume, something I’d always loved ever since I smelled it in the Marketplace. Terri and Cora handed me a box covered in holes, which was revealed to be a Rainbow Faellie, who I immediately cuddled and named Prism. Illusen gave me an Illusen’s Orb Plant, and Xavier and Lily gave me a gift certificate to the Faerie Food Shop, all of which I was happy with. Then I spotted a small box, wrapped in purple and green gift wrap.
Despite Illusen’s protests, I opened it gingerly and looked at the Jhudora T-Shirt and non-poisonous (or so the card said) lollipop. I laughed. “Well, at least she got me a present, right?”
The day ended with everyone going home happily, and Xavier getting a reminder to visit the Hidden Tower for the dubloon I promised him. My mom stayed behind to help clean up while Prism curled up on my couch and snoozed away.
“Did you like the party?” she asked me once we were done.
“How about your gifts?”
I picked up Prism and cradled him in my arms. “Of course.”
“Well, I’d ought to get going. See you later, kid.” She left with a wave.
I flopped on the couch and took a nap.
But not before slipping on the T-shirt, taking a lick from my lollipop, and giving a little smile.