The Black Rose
“But Momma!” the young faerie cried. “Momma, I don’t want to!”
“No buts,” the faerie’s mother instructed. “You’re a dark faerie. It’s your job to.”
“UGH!” the youngling grunted. “I HATE being a dark faerie!”
Her mother breathed in, then out, in an attempt to regain patience and to try not to obliterate her child. “Darling, go to your room,” the mother demanded. “You remember what happened the last time I got angry, now don’t you?”
Yes. The dark faerie remembered it all too well. She had retaliated the same way long ago. Her mom punished her by turning her to stone for a month. An unorthodox punishment? Yes, yes, it was. However, her mother saw it to be necessary. She knew that there was something wrong with her daughter. For some reason, her daughter disliked the dark faerie lifestyle. The youngling thought that being a dark faerie was a disgrace and an embarrassment, considering what many of them had done to Neopia in the past. The mother had heard her daughter talk about leaving her. This worried the mother, but only slightly. After all, her daughter was not strong enough to leave her mother. The girl’s powers weren’t developed enough yet. Her mother confined her to their Haunted Woods abode until her full powers blossomed.
Fortunately, the mother didn’t see that happening for a good deal of time. The mother still had time to turn her child around. She had time to bring the girl to the dark side.
The girl glared at her mom angrily and then stormed off to her room. She plopped down on her bed and shoved her face into a pillow. She cried. She cried a lot that night. She spent that entire night in her room. She knew that her mother wanted her to rethink her ideologies, but the young faerie didn’t want to. All she wanted to do was make a difference.
Unfortunately, being a dark faerie limits one’s opportunity to do so. The girl knew that dark faeries were well known for causing mayhem and destruction. She knew that they poisoned the lives of way too many Neopians. She knew that she hated her own kind for being so virulent and sinister.
The next morning came. The mother slowly creaked open the door to her daughter’s room. The faerie couldn’t believe her eyes. She saw the faerie creating a black rose using only some scrap wires and some discarded black thread. The rose was elegant, yet also ominous and haunting. “What is that?” the mother asked, abhorred by the sight.
“It’s a rose,” the girl pointed out as she curled the edges of the petals inward. “I got bored after a while, so I found this stuff in the corner of the room and—”
“Why must you disgust me?” the mother asked.
The daughter couldn’t believe her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“Dark faeries are supposed to taunt light faeries and have idiotic, weakling Neopians do their bidding. They are supposed to wreak havoc. They are to be recognized as names of evil.” (The youngling knew this already; her mother had reiterated this exact speech verbatim many times in the past, and she knew the whole of it by heart.) “They’re most certainly not supposed to be creating art, especially when that art is of something as delicate and useless as a rose.”
“But Momma,” the faerie tried to explain, “roses are art. They’re nature’s art.”
“I don’t give a white Weewoo about art!” the mother exclaimed. “You are a disgrace to this family, Delina!”
The mother was enraged. The daughter was upset, but she tried not to show it. If there was one thing she learned as a result of being raised by dark faeries, it was that she needed to be brave always, no matter what the situation was. “Momma, I—”
“Shut up!” The mother was enraged. “I knew from the day you were born that you would be an unusual faerie. I was kind of hoping that you would be unusual in a good way. I was hoping that you would take after me, Jennumara, your mother, but I guess some things are too good to be true. You turned out to be weak and spineless. Everything you touch lives, instead of dying or becoming corrupt. You smile at helping and frown at the despair of others and not the other way around. I’m starting to doubt your existence as a true dark faerie in general. There’s no point in waiting for your full powers to bloom before I let you go into the world; either way you’ll be a disgrace to this family. It’s best to force you out of this family now before people learn that you—you reject—are my daughter. Now off you and your pathetic rose go. I hope it wilts.”
Delina didn’t protest; she flew out of the house as she was told. After flying only a few short feet from her home, she was forced to land to the ground. (She had only sprouted wings a few weeks before, and so hers were as weak as those of a newborn Carmariller.) She then began to pull her dainty, purple legs away from her home. Although her feet began to ache after a while, she didn’t care; she didn’t care about the fact that her mother had disowned her; she only cared about how she was on her way to a better life. That’s all that the young faerie wanted: a better life. She wanted love. She wanted acceptance. She wanted people to forgive her for being born a dark faerie. She wanted people to overlook that and see her as a benevolent being rather than a malevolent one.
Delina made it all the way to Neopia Central when she decided to settle down and exile herself from the world. For years, she hid in the alleys, only to come out when someone needed her assistance. Because she was born a dark faerie, this kind of opportunity didn’t come along very often. However, Delina was okay with it. She was still happy to be as far away as possible from her wicked mother.
However, her true colours beamed across the suburban region right before the faeries turned to stone. A young, yellow Gnorbu—a female of about ten years old—jetted down the block where Delina’s current alley was located. As she sped down the block, she turned into Delina’s specific alley and hid behind a trash can. The dark faerie saw this happen right before her eyes. She wondered why the adorable, little Neopet was being chased. Curious, the faerie approached the Gnorbu and asked, “Darling, are you okay?”
The Neopet jumped. She was obviously startled, and her heart had skipped a beat because of it. She squealed in fear, “A dark faerie?!”
As the Gnorbu heavily breathed in and out, Delina rested her dainty, frail hand on the Neopet’s shoulder. “Don’t be afraid, young one,” she said in attempts of calming the pet. “I may be a dark faerie, but I certainly don’t act like one.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, somewhat confused, somewhat disgusted by the rejected faerie’s presence. “I thought that all dark faeries were—”
“Evil?” Delina interrupted. “I know. I get that a lot. However, that’s somewhat of a misnomer. Just because one is born a dark faerie doesn’t mean that they all succumb to the temptations of evil (not like any part of evil tempted me in the first place). Now, tell me what’s ailing you. I’d be more than glad to listen. I don’t get many visitors, as you probably can tell.”
“My name is Duele,” the girl explained, “and I have just run away from my owner...”
From there, the distraught little Gnorbu explained about why she ran away from home. Apparently, Duele was locked in her room interminably, forced to read nothing but books. Although she became very intelligent as a result, Duele longed for a real childhood. She decided that fateful afternoon to fake a case of Chickaroo and try to run away when her owner decided to take her to the hospital to be examined. She did this successfully, but her owner followed her, trying to catch her prized pet before she got out of reach. Duele turned into the alley as a diversion, and that was how she ended up with Delina.
As Duele told her story, Delina found some scrap metal and some discarded spools of colourful, silk thread. She began to make synthetic flowers for the girl, and they were similar to the ones she had made on the night she had left her mother. They were gorgeous and elegant. As she quickly weaved the faux florae, she then decided to create a wig, rather than a bouquet, for the girl. She finished at the exact moment that Duele finished her tale. The Gnorbu couldn’t believe her eyes at what she was looking at; the wig was elegant and stunning, and she was amazed that a dark faerie could make that in the amount of time that she spent telling her the story.
Delina looked at Duele. “I-It’s a wig. You can use it to, y’know, hide from your mom,” the dark faerie explained.
She handed the wig to the Gnorbu, and the Neopet immediately put it on her head. It was comfortable and chic. A subtle smile came to the Gnorbu’s frowning face. “Thank you,” was all that she said to Delina.
Delina smiled in return. “I told you that I wasn’t bad,” she emphasized.
The two hugged, and it sparked a friendship stronger than no other. Delina unofficially adopted Duele, regardless of the fact that faeries don’t usually adopt pets (unless you consider Illusen’s Ixi to be the exception to this cliché). The two lived together in the alley. Although the dark faerie refused to leave the alley unless she had to, Duele would adorn her wig on her head and venture out into the world to collect scraps of metal and fabric, along with whatever else she could find. With these materials, Delina could make an abundance of wigs, synthetic flowers, and other trinkets for Duele to sell to Neopians wandering the streets of Neopia Central. Life was good, and the two were just about to buy their own Neohome...
...until the Faeries’ Ruin happened.
Duele came back to the alley after spending a cloudy afternoon trying to find supplies for her adopted mother’s next project. As she walked deeper into the corridor, she called out, “Delina? Delina, I’m ba—”
She stopped what she was saying the moment she saw her dear friend’s statue in her place. Delina’s pose was nonchalant and relaxed; she was in the middle of curling the petals to a black, synthetic rose when she was petrified. Tears formed in Duele’s eyes as she collapsed to the ground and mourned over the loss of her dear friend. After about thirty minutes of sobbing, she pulled the rose out of Delina’s hand as carefully as she could. After she managed to get the flower—which wasn’t petrified—out of the dark faerie’s hands, Duele scrutinized it. The petals were worn and frayed at the edges, and the wire was bent out of shape and rusted. It was the flower that Delina had made at her mother’s house so many years earlier, but the Gnorbu didn’t know that. Instead of wondering who the flower was for, she wove it into her old, yet still attractive, wig. After that, she dashed to Kauvara’s Magic Shop, hoping the wise Kau would have an answer.
Unfortunately, Kauvara did not. However, she was kind enough to agree to protecting the statue until the faeries were freed from stone. She sent some of her good friends—two Grarrls that she knew from her youth—and had them redeem the petrified faerie and bring her back to Kauvara’s shop. It was there that Delina stayed while Hanso and Brynn fought Xandra and saved Faerieland, as well as the rest of Neopia. Kauvara made sure that she fulfilled the vagabond Gnorbu’s request by protecting the faerie for the girl. Although the talented magician and alchemist disliked the typical, malicious behaviours of dark faeries, Kauvara didn’t want to see the child cry. She had no choice but to deal with the fact that she was guarding a dark faerie.
Soon enough, all of the faeries, including Delina, were released from their stone prisons. After kindly making Kauvara some synthetic flowers as a gift of gratitude, Delina rushed back to the alley where she hoped that Duele would be.
She was there alright, but so was the Faerie Queen herself. “Dear child,” the Queen said to the yellow Gnorbu, “I’ve heard from my messengers about your friend, Delina. She is supposedly a very ambidextrous and skillful faerie, and I was hoping that she would be here so I could ask her to help the rest of us faeries in rebuilding our fallen home.”
Without them knowing that Delina was there, the dark faerie replied, “I’d love to come.”
Fyora and Duele turned around and faced the “reborn” faerie. “DELINA!” cried an elated Duele.
She ran to Delina and gave her a huge hug. Fyora smiled. “Originally, I was just planning on inviting you to join us in rebuilding Faerieland, Delina, but your bond with Duele seems to be too strong to let her not come along with us.”
“You mean that I get to live in Faerieland as well?!” shrieked Duele with excitement.
Fyora said nothing, but she confirmed the ecstatic Gnorbu’s assumption with a simple nod of her head.
“OH THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Fyora, how could I ever repay you?”
The Queen bent down in front of Duele and replied, “Just keep being a good friend to Delina.” She winked at the Gnorbu, who squealed with excitement.
Fyora got up from the ground and looked at the dark faerie. She put one of her regal hands on the faerie’s shoulder and said, “You are not like all of the other dark faeries, are you now? You aren’t like Jhudora, the Darkest Faerie, or the others; you have a heart. That’s most of the reason why I’ll need you to help me. Your compassion and understanding will come in handy when it comes to rounding up volunteers for rebuilding Faerieland. No average dark faerie could even dream of being as honourable of a faerie as you. Plus, your ability to create extraordinary creations out of trivial scraps will be very useful in reviving our fallen city.”
Delina smiled brightly. It was something she hadn’t really done in a while (and this went back to before she was turned to stone). She said to the Faerie Queen, “Thank you, Fyora! I won’t let you down!”
“I’m not done talking yet,” she pointed out. “Again, you’re a different dark faerie, Delina. Instead of being deemed as just your average dark faerie, I bestow upon you a new name: Delina the Crafting Faerie.”
The Crafting Faerie smiled brighter than anyone had done before her. She had always dreamt of having a good reputation. She had always dreamt of being a somebody. Fyora’s request was too impressive for her to refuse. She took her new title as the Crafting Faerie and moved with her Gnorbu best friend, Duele, to Faerieland.
From the moment they left Neopia Central, Delina knew that her life’s dream was fulfilled. As soon as they arrived in Faerieland, the Crafting Faerie noticed her old, black rose woven into Duele’s wig. She never understood how it got there, but she did know that the rose was the beginning of her whole journey into becoming a new faerie.
It all started with a rose, she thought as she took her first steps into the woodland wonder known as Faerieland.