The Roomies Ruin: Part Five
“Faerieland?” Jim repeated, his eyes widening behind his large round glasses. “You mean, the place that is sinking thousands of feet each day? Didn’t they just issue an evacuation order about an hour ago? Why would anyone order a statue of Jhudora and have it sent there?”
Maybe it’s because they know it’s not just a statue, Jesc said, fear gripping her stone stomach. Maybe they want Jhudora out of the picture. She felt her heart race, her skin sweating. One of her worst fears was coming true: Jhudora was on Faerieland, a land doomed to crash into Neopia’s surface. If she wasn’t found by the authorities leading the evacuation, there was no doubt in Jesc’s mind that the dark faerie would crumble into thousands of pieces of rubble upon impact.
“Oh dear, we need to get her off Faerieland now,” Jim said, pacing amongst the crowded Trading Post. “Okay, Jesc, how about you stay here and Liam and I grab the first Eyrie cab we can find to Faerieland and get her back? We have the address. It will just be a matter of time.”
No, Jesc said adamantly. I can’t let you two go off without me. What if whoever has her is dangerous?
“But there is no way we’d be able to get you there quickly enough,” Jim said, explaining carefully. “Jesc, you’re a stone statue, and having an Eyrie Cab carry you is hard work. We’ll be lucky if we can even find an Eyrie Cab willing to take us to Faerieland, let alone one that would be willing to take a stone statue along too.”
Jesc understood his logic, but at the same time, she knew she wouldn’t be able to just sit idly and wait for Jim and Liam to return. There has to be another way, she said.
“Hey, can I ask you a question?” Liam asked suddenly. The young blue Lupe had his arm raised tentatively, his eyes latched onto Jesc.
“How did you get your wings to move?”
Jim blinked and turned to Jesc as well. “You know, Jesc, I was actually wondering the same thing.”
I used healing magic, but I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up, the air faerie admitted sadly. I’m so drained.
“But you can use some bit of magic, right?” Liam asked. “What if you cast a spell of some sort to make you move more? Or maybe shrink so we can carry you with us?”
I might have enough energy, but a spell of that proportion would need a potion aspect, and I can’t make a potion like this, Jesc said sadly.
Liam turned towards Jim. “Why don’t you brew the potion for her?”
The yellow Aisha nearly jumped in shock. “Me? Brew a magic potion? I-I think that’s... rather preposterous. I have no exp-experience with things of that... sort.” He looked away shiftily.
“Preposterous?” Liam wrinkled his nose in confusion. “Mr. Leemer, the head of the Neohome 2.0 board, said you used some sort of magic potion spell that made Mortogs invade his home last April.”
Did you? Jesc asked, looking over at Jim who was bright red.
“It wasn’t the best move,” Jim admitted embarrassedly. “Jhudora was the one who convinced me to do it. And I ended up getting a mustache in the end.”
“But it worked,” Liam said pointedly. “If you can brew the potion, then Jesc can come with us to Faerieland.”
“No, no, I refuse,” Jim said, looking away.
Please, Jim? Jesc begged. Potion making isn’t that hard, and I’ll be here to walk you through it. We can all do it together and it’ll be so much fun! Please?
Jim tried to stop himself from looking at her, but the plaintive look in Jesc’s eyes was much too powerful. “All right, you win,” he mumbled. “But Liam is helping too! Now, where can we brew the potion? I threw out all of the equipment when I vowed to never cast a spell again.”
Don’t worry, Jesc said, already hobbling down the dirt path road. I know exactly where we can go.
Liam had never cooked anything in his life, unless cereal counted, and he was terrified that something was going to go horribly wrong. Gripping the long wooden spoon, he stirred the magical cooking pot, slightly creeped out by the statue of a frozen Jhuidah looming over his shoulder.
Please be careful with my pot! the island faerie begged. The blue Lupe glanced back at her, taking in the fine details of the stone faerie: her flowing grass skirt, her coconut top, and even the flower in her thick wild hair. He had never seen her in person before since his previous excursion to Mystery Island had solely been to the beach, but she seemed kind enough, if not just a bit anxious concerning her magic cooking pot.
“Sorry, ma’am. I’m trying to do my best,” he apologized as a blush crept up on his cheeks. He stirred the potion in the green pot as carefully as he could.
“I got the last few things for the potion!” Jim called, rushing over to them from the direction of the Trading Post with a bag of ingredients in one hand and a book in the other. “Altogether it cost about 25,000 NP, spell book included, which isn’t all that bad if you think about it.”
Good, Jesc said, surveying the ingredients as Jim pulled them out one by one. She had never tried this spell before, but she had heard through word of mouth that it was fairly safe... if done correctly. Let me see the book and I’ll read what to do. Keep stirring, Liam, and don’t forget to throw in a counterclockwise stir every five minutes!
“It’s tiring,” Liam said, his arms growing heavy and sweat dripping down his cheek. “And it’s so hot in front of the fire.”
No one ever said potion brewing was easy, Jhuidah chimed in, clearly enjoying the only bit of company she had had in the past month. She had quickly grown tired of the tourists who gawked at her in her petrified state.
Try singing a song! Jesc suggested brightly. My favorite potion singing song is “If I Only Could Feel My Arm.” It was originally a sea shanty from Krawk Island called “If I Only Could Feel My Leg” about a pirate with a peg leg, but I changed it up for variety. Sometimes after a few rounds I change “arm” to “wing” or “hip” or “the space between my eyes and eyebrows.”
“I think I’m okay,” Liam said, forcing himself to continue stirring.
“How many Farn leaves do we need?” Jim asked, staring at a purple and pink plant in his paw quizzically.
Four, Jesc replied and the yellow Aisha plucked a few leaves off the plant and dropped them into the brew which turned yellow.
Almost done with the potion, Jesc said, her voice dripping with anticipation. We just need to add half of a Snout Plant and seven Lemints—leaves included—and it’ll be ready! Her blue eyes scanned the clearing. Where’s Scotchmel? He’s needed for this.
You mean the Weewoo? He’s over in that patch of grass, Jhuidah said helpfully. Listen, the island faerie continued tentatively, do you think that there will be any of that potion left for me when you’re done? I would really love to stretch my wings for a bit, even if it was just a second.
Not today, I’m sorry, Jesc said sadly, but I promise once we get Jhudora back we’ll make a new batch and let you scamper around as much as you like... that is before the potion wears off.
Wonderful! Jhuidah cheered, instantly sounding happier. In exchange, I’ll even give you a complimentary copy of Gourmet Cooking for Your Pet! If you’ve already read it, it’s a great investment come August!
“I don’t think I ever want to cook ever again after this,” Liam murmured as Jim dropped the last few ingredients in the pot. With a deep gurgle, the potion turned grass green and the smell of burnt hair wafted through the clearing, making everyone wrinkle their noses in disgust.
The smell of burnt hair means it’s done! Jesc cheered, looking away from the book and towards Jim. Get Scotchmel, quickly!
Suppressing a fearful hiccup, Jim did as he was told and slowly approached the white Weewoo playing in the grass. “H-Here, boy,” he cooed pathetically, his paws outstretched and shaking. “Come to U-Uncle Jim. Pl-Please don’t claw my eyes out, please.”
Scotchmel looked up at him curiously with his tiny black eyes and then fluttered to his shoulder without hesitation. His heart already racing, Jim hurried back to Jesc. “Let’s get this over with,” he muttered, his palms starting to sweat.
Liam ladled a bit of the potion and approached the stone air faerie and his boss. “Do you know the spell?”
Yes, Jesc replied. When I say “now,” all you have to do is splash the potion on Scotchmel and me.
“And please don’t get any on me,” Jim begged his intern.
Liam nodded. “I won’t.”
Now, Scotchmel, Jesc said before she began to read. I’m really sorry, but this needs to be done. I promise it will be over soon, only in a few hours, okay?
The Weewoo blinked uncomprehendingly, but Jesc took it as a good sign.
Okay, she said taking a deep breath. Here we go. And she started to read. She couldn’t physically say the words, but thinking the incantation was good enough. Slowly she and Scotchmel began to glow with a golden light, the effects of the spell starting to take place. It took a lot of effort on her part and was nowhere near as perfect as it would have been had she not been petrified, but she finished reciting the incantation and told Liam, Now!
Despite the potion having been brewed only moments before, it was cool to her stone skin as Liam splashed it on her chest. It seeped into her flesh and Scotchmel gave a confused chirp as it did the same to him, slowly touching his core. A moment later, there was a flash of blue light, blinding everyone in their vicinity for just a moment, and then the spell was complete.
Liam opened his eyes, white spots flooding his vision for a moment. Everything around him was exactly the same; nothing physically had changed. Jesc’s body was still frozen as stone and Scotchmel was still perched on Jim’s shoulder. But he knew the spell had been a success when Scotchmel opened his beak and said, “Wow, being a petpet is so vo!” in Jesc’s bright and cheery voice.
“Jesc,” Jim said, glancing down at his shoulder. “I-I have to admit, having you as a petpet is a bit... creepy.”
“It will only be for a few hours,” Jesc said, flapping her new white wings; it felt amazing to be able to move again, even if she had switched bodies with a Weewoo. “Now Jhuidah, please take good care of Scotchmel! We should be back in a few hours.”
No problem, said the island faerie. Good luck trying to save Jhudora!
“Seeing as it’s the three of us who are attempting to save her,” Jim said, glancing from his nervous intern to Jesc happily chirping on his shoulder, “I think we’ll need all the luck we can get.”
* * *
Jhudora was absolutely enraged.
Not only she had been kidnapped by a snot-nosed blue Lupe and put up for trade like a mere item, but now, after a trip across the ocean by express delivery mail, she was back in Faerieland, a continent steadily descending from the sky to its doom. The cloud was scarily deserted save for her and the delivery Draik wheeling her through the empty cracked cobblestone streets, and an odd purple mist coated everything like toxic morning dew.
Get me off this contraption! she growled at the Neopet, but the Draik didn’t respond. Instead, he just picked up his pace. He wanted to deliver the creepy talking Jhudora statue as quickly as possible so he could take the first Eyrie Cab he could off the cloud before it pummeled into Neopia’s surface.
Jhudora was rolled down a main street without a Neopet or a faerie in sight until they reached a narrow brick house with two stories and a flagstone pathway. The Draik knocked three times before the door opened, revealing a shadow Kacheek in the doorway. He wore a purple button down shirt under a dark purple vest, and his small eyes widened in excitement at the sight of the dark faerie statue at his doorstep.
“Ooh, she’s finally here!” he cheered.
Who do you think you are, trying to buy me?! Jhudora shouted at him, unable to move but making her voice as threatening and angry as possible; with her temper, that wasn’t hard. 400,000 neopoints? That’s less than the price of my doll in the Hidden Tower!
“It really is Jhudora!” he said, his eyes widening as his eyes took in the statue. “I knew you were the real one and not just a lawn ornament!”
“Please sign here,” the Draik deliveryman said suddenly, passing the Kacheek a clipboard, who took it eagerly and scrawled his signature which was too sloppy for Jhudora to be able to read. “Hey listen,” the Draik continued cautiously as he took back the board, “you do know that Faerieland is falling and that an evacuation order was issued today, right?”
“Yes, I do,” the Kacheek said smiling pleasantly, completely unfazed by the news. “Thank you for the delivery!”
The Draik just shook his head. “Take care,” he said and, taking his wheeling cart with him, he hurried off.
Listen, Jhudora growled before the Kacheek could drag her inside of his house, I don’t think you know who you’re dealing with. I’m “the” Jhudora, not a copy or a blasted lawn ornament. I’m the one that makes you weak Neopets have nightmares at night, the one The Neopian Times is always writing rumors about, yadda yadda blah blah blah. You have no power over me. Don’t you dare think that whatever you’re going to do to me will go unpunished. Once I’m a faerie again, I’ll turn you into a pile of soot before you can even blink, and I’ll sweep up your disintegrated form and use it in my next potion.
The Kacheek looked at her in shock, but instead of immediately stammering or running away like most of the Neopets she dealt with, he just shook his head quickly. “Oh no, please, Jhudora, I think we’ve started off on the wrong foot. I don’t plan on doing anything to you, honestly! I know of your great deeds, of your power. All of that! The thing is, Jhudora...” He trailed off and smiled at her, his eyes admiring. “I’m your biggest fan.”
To be continued...