People are always dropping the big question around me: 'Just what happened between you and Jhudora?'
And my answer is always the same. When they ask that, I reply with a simple, honest 'nothing'.
Because we've always been like this. Sibling rivalry was one thing, but we were the kind that would take it to the next level and beyond.
I guess to fully understand it all, I'll need to start from the beginning...
Our mother was a Light Faerie. It is a rather common happening for a family of faeries to be of different magical types. It is not common, however, for opposing elements to get along well, especially when a Darkness Faerie is thrown into the mix.
Of course, my mom had to be the one faerie to break that standard and set a new one herself. She adored Jhudora, her poor misunderstood little Darkness Faerie. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me sick. I know deep down that she loved us both equally, but Mom was definitely convinced that Jhudora needed her care more.
She'd always be buying her pretty purple dresses and giving her extra helpings of faerie-biscuits during dinner. Whenever we went out in public together, she'd grumble about anyone who so much looked at Jhudora the wrong way. Mom would always pick out pretty trinkets and magical artifacts from the city when she'd come home from working at the Faerie Castle. Of course, they were for Jhudora, and not for me.
It's not like I really minded, I never really wanted any of those things. The one thing I did want was for my mother to realize that she was being conned by her own daughter! Every day, after school, Jhudora would drone about all of the 'horrors' she went through at the Faerie Academy, how everyone taunted her mercilessly. Outraged, Mom would offer to 'march right up to Queen Fyora herself and give her a piece of her mind', but then Angelic Jhudora would simply shake her violet head sadly, heroically announcing that she would deal with it herself.
I was not allowed to say a word all the while, fearful that I'd wake up without eyebrows, or with deadly potions in my hair.
Because, the truth of the matter was that she had nothing to deal with at all!
Jhudora was literally our school's Queen Bee. Most would expect some gorgeous Air Faerie to be the most popular girl at school, but nope, Jhudora claimed that the first moment she stepped foot in the Academy. She came complete with a posse of all types of faeries, ranging from Fire Faeries with vibrant ember tresses to Water Faeries who spent their time in the school pool. The Darkness Faeries at school followed her around like lost puppies; she was their 'hero', creating a revolution which ended the Academy's hatred for their kind.
With her sparkling, perfectly polished purple mane, lavender-hued, clear skin, and long, manicured nails, Jhudora knocked me into the dust. I looked like a complete dweeb in comparison, with my messy, ginger tresses, too-red lips, and freckled, blotchy skin. She was a master at magic, and thanks to Mom, had nearly every enchanted weapon a faerie could wish for. Me, on the other hand? I lugged around my lame-o, homemade honey potions and cookies. I was nice to everybody, but my only real friends included another Earth Faerie with crooked teeth, and a Light Faerie who tried to dye her hair pink.
I was a loser, my sister had it all, and nobody even cared.
I had no idea as to why, either.
She was terribly mean, enjoyed bullying other faeries and starting rumors. She had made at least half the girls in school cry at some point. Everyone was just terrified of her.
And she loved it.
That all was ready to change though, on one, fateful day.
I had been minding my own business in the Academy's lab, mixing together one of my delicious potions, when I heard it. The 'Plan'. A cluster of faeries stood by the door, whispering amongst themselves.
“Jhudora has gone way too far this time,” said Jessica, a pretty Air Faerie who wore her hair in a braid. “Pouring water on those poor Fire Faeries...”
“We need to take her down,” piped up Linda, a Light Faerie. “This needs to end.”
My ears perked at the idea, and I stood up quickly, leaving my tools scattered on the table in my excitement.
They turned to the noise, and I reddened a bit, before finally saying, “I can help!”
The group simultaneously raised their perfectly-groomed eyebrows, before closing me out for a moment, conversing as if I could not hear them, although I was standing less than a foot away.
“They're sisters! She'll tell Jhudora about this.”
“She's such a loser... she'll probably mess everything up...”
“But she's smart... that might help!”
“As well as extremely small and stocky... she'll slow us down.”
I pretended not to hear some of the meaner comments, but they still stung. After a few minutes more, they pulled apart from their glittery circle, and it was Jessica, their perfect little ringleader, who turned to me.
“You're in,” was all she said. She didn't even bother to smile.
I ignored the sick feeling that came over me.
I didn't talk to Jhudora much after I had practically sealed the fate of her demise. Whenever she was in a room at home, I promptly made my way out of it.
She didn't seem to care, but I was getting this weird... nagging feeling every time I saw her face.
I'd like to think it was hate or disgust, but I wasn't one to kid myself:
I was guilty.
So, it turned out that the plan... wasn't really even a plan. It involved most of the school basically crowding around Jhudora during lunch and telling her off. They said that they'd use me as a last-ditch resort (Jessica's words, not mine) if that plan failed.
I decided not to tell them that I thought their idea was stupid.
Whatever. I never liked any of them too much, anyway. I felt horrible for thinking that way, but I really could care less if their plan backfired and Jhudora got the best of them.
On the fateful day, when lunchtime came rolling by, I was nibbling on some cookies I had baked the night before. Jessica and her groupies were at the entrance; she would give me a signal if I was 'needed'. I was almost tempted to simply back out just to spite her, but was distracted when I heard a couple girls from the crowd around her talking:
“Marina, did you get the potions from the lab?”
“Of course... if this all works out, Jhudora will become a Mortog!”
I don't know why, but the strange, inexplicable guilty feeling hit me at full force. My heart was hammering, my hands went cold and clammy.
They were going to turn her into a Mortog? I mean... I didn't like her either, but I wasn't going to turn her into a hideous, wart-faced petpet! My friend with the bad teeth, Erica, didn't seem to notice the commotion, and focused on her sandwich.
Meanwhile, I was going through some sort of moral dilemma. Save Jhudora, get attacked later for 'making her look bad', as well as attacked by Jessica and her cronies. Leave Jhudora to become a beady-skinned amphibian, get in trouble with Mom, and murdered by Jhudora whenever she managed to change herself back.
It was a lose/lose situation.
While I was internally battling a panic attack, Jhudora swept into the cafeteria, her bat-like wings shining in the dim light. She was cackling evilly, as per usual, but from the corner of my eye, I could see Jessica uncorking a pale pink bottle, poising it as if to splatter it onto my sister's face—
And suddenly, I found myself darting out of my seat and toward the scene. My heart was beating a mile a minute and billions of thoughts shot through my mind: Jhudora was going to kill me. Jessica was going to kill me. I really am out of shape. And slow. Too many of those cookies—
And then I was there, in front of Jhudora, the potion dribbling from my rosy chin. I was trembling then, 'Oh, Fyora above,' I thought, bracing myself for the disgusting transformation. 'Here it comes.'
But... nothing came at all. Except for, I smelled fresh as noil-lilies. Slowly and painfully, I craned my neck upward, until I was face to face with Jessica's menacing glare. Marina, a Water Faerie, was laughing hesitantly:
“Um... I guess I mixed the potion up with my perfume...”
“That's it!” Jessica screeched, darting forward, and I prepared myself, ready to finally be wiped off the map of Faerieland--
But she was flying. Flying backward, swirls of deep, purple magic surrounding her fair, dainty form. My head was spinning. Jessica landed on the ground, far, far away. I managed to turn around, Fyora knows how, and caught a glimpse of Jhudora... with WORRY in her eyes?
I couldn't take it any more. I took the girly way out and fainted.
I woke up in my room. The mixture of both pallid and emerald greens comforted me, but of course Jhudora and her startling purple self managed to set that off balance.
She was looming over me, arms crossed, characteristic scowl on her face.
“If you're expecting a thank-you from me,” she barked meanly, “you're mistaken. I found out about your stupid little plan.”
I swallowed nervously, but managed to set myself upright so that she didn't tower several feet over me. “And?” I asked boldly.
“...” She seemed to be stunned silent by my defiance, but recovered, and to my utter shock, her face softened. “Nothing. Just wanted to say what you did back there... than—nothing.”
I smiled a bit. Jhudora was never one for apologies.
“Right back at you,” I replied.
We were quiet for a moment, but for the first time in forever, it was not strained. I stared at my hands, pondering for a while, before finally speaking:
“I can't wait to get away from all of this faerie drama.”
As I suspected, Jhudora's eyebrows shot up when she looked at me. “Even though you're graduating this year, you'll still be surrounded by faeries, Illusen.”
“I know that,” I said slowly. “Only I won't be. I've been thinking about this for a while, Jhudora, and I think I'm going away.”
And it wasn't a lie. I really did hate it here in Faerieland, what with all the petty girls and catty fights. I'd much rather be somewhere more calm... more green. Like Meridell.
“And just what will you do with yourself, you idiot?” my sister hissed. “You're not exactly self-sufficient. What're you going to make a living on, your stupid cookies?”
My eyes hardened. “Maybe I will! I can give them to pets as rewards for... doing quests for me or something. Because I'm so nice and likable, I'm sure it will all work out fine!” I was totally making this up on the spot, and we both knew it.
But once we got riled up, neither of us could stop.
“Oh yeah? I bet I could do the same and be one hundred times more successful than you, loser!”
“I'd like to see you try!”
Jhudora all but flung herself out of my room, and I pretended not to notice the sad look in her eyes.
So when people ask me just what my problem is with my sister, I don't really have much of an answer. We don't have a problem. We're just... sisters. And as much as we hate, abhor and loathe each other, beneath that... there's some sort of sisterly bond. Love, maybe?
I don't know.
But the thing is, although we're worlds apart, we've never been closer.
We're just doing what we always do: trying to win this never ending competition.
Because, I guess, that's just what sisters do.