The Trial of Her Mind: Part One
Thank you, Tiger, for helping me with the title! And now I present to you six months of work. *bows*
Alright, so before you start this, I’d just like to say that this is a sequel to Jhudora’s Journal, but hopefully a much, much, MUCH better series. So, pretty much what I’m saying is that if you haven’t read the last one, go do it now so you know what happened. Okay, now you can go ahead and read this.
I walked into the meadow, grass tickling my feet like feathers. Bright sunshine glittered across the blue sky, and not a single cloud was in sight. I twirled around in my beautiful green dress and dusted any dirt off the skirt. Flowers sprouted from where I danced, tulips and roses alike. Everything was perfect, probably more perfect than the time Illusen was first showing me how to do aerial tricks – wait, everything was more perfect than that, because that was the day that I ran into a Pteri and got my lower body stuck in the Symol Hole...
Suddenly, the sapphire sky became clouded in a thick blanket of grey. Wind tugged at my hair and gown, lightning flashed like light bulbs, and the storm clouds became a swirling mass of dull purple. The flowers turned into bottles right as I was struck by a bolt of lightning. I shrank down to the size of a tiny Moach, screaming in shock as I magically appeared inside the nearest bottle, my dress turning grey and tattered. What was happening? Then, everything vanished and what was left in its place was a faerie with violet skin and blue hair even darker than mine. Her piercing red eyes emphasized the malicious smile twisted on her lips as she picked up the glass container I was in. She held it up to eye level and stared at me victoriously, hatred reflecting in her countenance. Then her lips formed three words, the syllables rumbling from her throat like thunder.
“I have returned.”
I woke up in a cold sweat, panting like a Spardel. I looked around my room warily, a scream already planting itself in my windpipe. I sighed in relief. A dream. It was just a dream. The yelp withered and died until the only thing I could squeak out was, “Morning, Prism.”
The rainbow Faellie sleepily opened an eyelid from the foot of my bed. “Good morning,” he yawned back. “Sort of. You kept me up half the night with your endless yelling. Bad dream?”
I blushed. “Sorry, I... didn’t mean to.”
A mischievous grin lit his face. “But you did anyway.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Keep up that attitude and I’ll kick you off the bed,” I threatened in mock anger.
“I can fly, you know.”
“Not for long.”
A silence filled the air before it was disturbed by hysterical laughter. I was laughing so hard I almost rolled off my bed, and Prism got tangled in my top blanket and required my help. “So,” he grunted once he was free, “What was your nightmare about?”
I shrugged. “The Darkest Faerie. Creepy, huh?”
The next thing I knew, Prism had tackled me and was shaking my shoulder violently, his eyes wide and his pupils incredibly large. “WHAT? THE DARKEST FAERIE?! THE ALMIGHTY SORCERESS OF EVIL?!”
“SWEET FYORA, GET OFF OF ME!” I yelped, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and tossing him away. “What’s the problem? It was just a dream,” I said in annoyance. “It’s not as if she’s sending out petpetpet robots to spy on me or anything.”
The craziness in his face dwindled down a little bit. “Well,” he explained, “You are the Battle Faerie’s daughter, and we all know the relationship between those two. Remember what she said about her if she became free? The Darkest Faerie would come after you.”
I wrinkled my nose and crossed my arms. “Your point is... ?”
He held up his paws as if trying not to offend me. “Hey, all I’m saying is that it’s a little... coincidental.” Prism hopped up to rest on my stomach so he could try to stare me down into agreeing with him. It was quite creepy, so I patted him on the head and climbed out of bed, stretching and yawning as I did so.
“Well, even if it wasn’t entirely a dream,” I said, “It’s not as if I don’t know people who could handle it. Such as, I don’t know, MY MOM, FYORA, ILLUSEN... ” I shuffled into the kitchen to pour myself a bowl of Gnome Crunch Deluxe Cereal. “I’d say I’m pretty well off, wouldn’t you?”
Prism followed me and grabbed a Techo Strudel from the refrigerator. He sat down in the chair Lilac had made especially for him (it was really high so he could reach the table and actually join me for meals) and began chomping it like a Jetsam. “Still,” he said, his voice muffled by his breakfast, “Do you really think that even they could stand a chance against the Darkest Faerie?”
I shrugged. “Well, you seem to forget I also have the Bead.” This magical (and quite stylish, might I add) artifact was given to me by a ghost a few months ago in the form of a choker, in case you couldn’t remember.
The Faellie munched thoughtfully on his strudel before finally muttering a hesitant, “Alright.”
I frowned at the small drop of milk that had strayed from my spoon and onto my previously-spotless tile floor. “You don’t seem so sure about it,” I noted. He didn’t respond, confirming my belief. I rolled my eyes and continued to eat my cereal.
As I was clearing the table of the dishes, someone knocked on the door. Prism graciously answered it for me, and I heard him scream, “GAH!” Only one person could ever surprise him like that.
“Come on in, Terri,” I called from the kitchen. I heard footsteps and then my best friend entered the room with a smile. The Faellie followed, out of breath.
“You know,” he said, glowering at her as he flew around, “Normal people Neomail before they go to someone’s home.”
“I’m not normal, though,” she laughed. The light faerie turned to me. “Ooh, Dira! I love your pants!”
I looked down at my apparel and blushed. While Terri was wearing her favorite yellow sundress, I was still in my purple pajama top and Super Attack Pea pants. “Oh, yeah, sorry about that. I’ll get dressed in a little bit. So, why’d you come?”
She shrugged. “I felt like stopping by,” she said simply. Before I could scold her, she added, “Don’t lecture me. You know you don’t mind.”
“True enough.” I smiled. “Sooo... ”
“Oh! I want to show you something!” Terri exclaimed suddenly. She snapped her fingers and, in a flash of light, a deck of trading cards appeared in her palm. “I gave Xavier a faerie quest. I wanted to try out the whole ‘see the future’ thing.”
I cocked my head curiously. “I never thought you were into that stuff,” I stated. “Oh, well. Make yourself at home while I get dressed and I’ll meet you in the living room.” I went to my bedroom and picked out my clothes, which included, of course, the Bead.
When I returned, Prism’s eyes were so wide they bulged as they bore into my shirt. “Why. Are. You. Wearing. That,” he gasped.
I looked down at my Meepits Win T-Shirt. “What?”
“THE SPAWN OF EVIL,” he said.
“Not all Meepits are bad,” I argued, “I’m sure that they wouldn’t be sold if they were so horrible.”
My Faellie seemed to calm down and so did I. “Anyway, Terri, show us your cards,” I said, trying to get off the topic.
She grinned happily and spread the trading cards on the coffee table in front of the couch. “These are special cards,” she explained as she sorted them, “not just ordinary trading cards. There are three decks; green, red, and blue. This--” She held up a gold card for us to see. “--is the Vision Card. It gives the user and the person who wants their future told a special message through mental images. You know, a vision.” When she was done, she sat back on her knees and said to pick the top card from each coloured pile. I did what I was asked, and was commanded to turn them over.
The green card held an image of a sword, the red showed a paw shaking a hand, and the blue bore the emblem of a flame.
Terri analyzed the cards. “Well, the first one tells of war in which you’ll take part. The second card means that you’ll have an unlikely ally to try and help you win. And the third... ” She gulped. “Destruction.” Silence filled the air for a long, unpleasant moment until she shook her head and stammered, “N-no matter. Let me try the Vision Card. Prism, don’t make any contact with me or Dira, physical or mental, or you’ll mess it up.” Then she picked up the gold card, held it up to eye level, and closed her eyes. I just patiently waited.
Suddenly, the vision leaked into my mind and I became absorbed in it, the real world dissolving. First it was total darkness, but then I saw Terri, Cora, Fyora, Mom and even Prism locked in a cell, cramped and cold. They were yelling something, but I couldn’t tell what. Then the Darkest Faerie’s face loomed into view, and she glared at me. “So, Dira,” she hissed, pointing a slender finger at the prisoners, “Which shall you choose?”
“What?” vision-seeing me cried mentally. “Choose what? What are you doing with my friends? WHAT IN THE NAME OF FYORA IS GOING ON?”
The picture began to fade. “No! I have to see more!” And then I was returned to my living room.
At that same moment, Terri opened her eyes, gasping. She looked at me, fear shadowing her features. “I saw something,” she said slowly, “And I didn’t like a single bit of it.”
And that’s when I took the cowardly way out of sticky situations and fainted.
When I regained consciousness on the couch, the first thing I did was slap myself. Fainting is no way to deal with the thought of Neopia’s greatest villain trapping your friends and family for some unknown reason, most likely to take over the world and then squash it like a grape, screaming, “I CRUSH YOU, PUNY PEOPLES!”
My mind drifted back to the cards. I remembered Terri’s words: Well, the first one tells of a war in which you’ll take part. The second card means that you’ll have an unlikely ally to help you win. And the third... Destruction.
A war? I thought. Between me and the Darkest Faerie? That’s one way to get myself killed. But what about the ally? The card showed a paw, so maybe Xavier? Yes, it has to be, or else I’m totally clueless. I didn’t want to think of the third card.
“Dira? Are you awake, kiddo?” I looked around to see my mom’s face hovering over me worriedly, concern showing plainly in her eyes that I’d learned to read like an open book.
“Oh, hey,” I moaned, rubbing my forehead. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
She smiled. “It’s okay. Terri told me what happened, and then Prism got all psychotic over it. He’s in your bedroom. Terri’s trying to calm him down.” She shook her head and rubbed her temples. “To think that we used to call him quiet.”
“To think we used to call him normal,” I laughed.
My friend entered the room, looking exhausted. “I told that crazy Faellie of yours to take a nap, so try not to go into your room,” she warned me. She looked at Mom. “What do you think that vision could mean?”
The response was, “It’s unmistakable. The Darkest Faerie is coming for Dira. Or Fyora. Or... I don’t know. Either way, it involves us.”
I shuddered. “Well, truthfully, I don’t mind adventure, but this is waaaaay too much.” For the second time today, I hopped out of bed (technically couch, but whatever) and stretched. “This is pushing it.”
“More like shoving,” Terri mumbled. “The cards never said when this would happen, or what order they were in, so maybe if we practice some magic we can get a bit more powerful before she comes.”
Soon, I thought. It’ll happen soon. I decided not to tell them about the dream because I knew they’d go insane, so I resolved to save that matter for the Faerie Queen. “Let’s pay Cora a visit,” I suggested. “She has this week off, remember? And she’s more skilled than the both of us, so maybe she can teach us a few things. We’ll stop by your house so we can pick up your wand.”
She nodded. “Sounds good. Well, we aren’t going to get there by just standing here. Let’s go!”
Mom smiled at us and waved as we flew through the door. “Bye, girls!”
“See you later,” I called back.
Terri and I knew the way to her house by heart. 1849 Faeriedust Street is where she lives, her home dark purple and navy blue. Despite its... well, dark faerie appearance, she has a lovely Wisteria tree in her backyard, complete with a tire swing that we always use to see who would get either the highest or the dizziest.
I rapped on the door with my knuckle and patiently waited for the response, a muffled ‘Who’s there?’ from the interior.
“Delilah,” Terri answered. “Here to give you my autograph.”
“It’s Delina, Terri. If you want to trick me, you should at least get the name right.” Laughter and footsteps echoed from the inside until the door opened. Cora smiled. “What brings you here?”
I quickly explained the situation to her. Her face went from light lavender to deathly pale. I feared I should have brought smelling salts, but she recovered and invited us inside, allowing us to sit on her burgundy couch. She took her usual spot in the eggplant-coloured recliner, tucking her knees to her chest. “Well,” she explained, “since you guys are both different types of faeries, I’ll have to teach you the spells that any faerie can use. I have a whole bunch of books on magic from the Academy, so I’ll try to dig those out so you can study them. We can practice in the room upstairs.”
Terri shrugged. “What’s there to lose?”
“By what you just told me, your home, your friends, the whole stinking wor – GAH!” The light faerie hurled the nearest pillow at her in an effort to make her be quiet.
I giggled as Cora and Terri waged a pillow-throwing war against each other, but soon levitated the pillows in mid-air and returned them to the couches so we could get back to business. “How about we practice the basic spells here and take the books home?” I suggested.
The dark faerie nodded and showed us up the stairs into a room at the end of the hall. Hanging on the wooden door was a sign, painted with the words ‘MAGIC ROOM’.
It was aptly named, for it was basically just a large room. On one side of the wall were a few chests and weapons and wands, and in the middle of the room was a dummy that I assumed she used to cast spells on.
“What do you guys want to learn first?” Cora asked, twirling her wand in her fingers. “I’m most skilled at illusion spells, but I’m fine at healing and other stuff.” I nudged Terri, who decided that we should try illusions.
We were actually okay at this, because we like to pull pranks on each other by making them take different appearances. We usually do this during sleepovers, and it was especially funny one time when Cora woke up, screaming, because she looked exactly like Punchbag Bob.
It turns out, though, that there is much more to illusion spells than just that. We practiced for about an hour, but I still couldn’t figure out how to make false water or fire. Cora, naturally, was a pure master, and Terri, though her skills were a bit shaky, was much better than I was.
After a couple more minutes of frustration, I cried out in disappointment. “Why can’t I get it right?” I huffed.
Cora shrugged. “Maybe this just isn’t your specialty. How about we train on healing?”
“Please don’t tell me this will involve broken arms,” I groaned.
“No, but it will involve colds, bruises, and cuts,” she answered with a mischievous grin.
After more than two and a half hours of pain and relief, we took a break to ponder the situation while I tended to the paper cut that had appeared on my finger during training. “So, and I don’t mean to sound doubtful or anything, but, um, how exactly are we supposed to defeat the, erm, Darkest Faerie anyway?” I placed my wand on my cut.
“Uhh... ” Cora fidgeted with a strand of her short purple hair. “Well... I don’t know. But we’re resourceful, right? We’ll figure something out.”
I rolled my eyes, noting that my finger was now healed. “You’re helpful.”
“My pleasure to be of assistance.” She led us back downstairs and into the kitchen to make lunch, which consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches.
I bit into my blackened sandwich and sighed. “My head hurts.”
“Sorry,” Terri said. “I’m not the best at healing.”
No kidding, I thought. I should know. You experimented on me. “You’re fine,” I lied. Even though she harmed more than healed.
Cora tapped her chin. “We should try those cards again, Terri.”
“No,” she replied hastily, “I’m not doing those cursed things again. At least, not for a while.”
“I’ve had enough of it, too,” I agreed, “and I’ve only tried them once.”
Suddenly, a rainbow blur flew through the open window and darted frantically around the room, screaming. “SHE’S GOING TO GET ME!” it cried, “I’M DONE FOR! MY DAYS HERE ARE OVER! AAAHHH!”
I managed to grab its tail and pat its head. “What’s wrong, Prism?”
The Faellie stopped to pant and wipe some sweat off his furry forehead. “I... I was asleep... And she came to me. She told me that I wouldn’t live to see you fully master your powers. She said... she said you never would!” He collapsed against my shoulder, sobbing his little eyes out. There was no questioning who ‘she’ was.
I stroked his back as he soaked my T-shirt. “It’s alright,” I reassured him, though I was quite doubtful of my own words, “I’ll master my powers before she can get to me. I’ll give her competition.” I wasn’t sure; whenever I’d try to do one spell, I’d somehow do another one instead. Since I hadn’t been to the Academy in quite a while since my drop-out, I had never fully gotten the hang of this whole magic stuff. This was a major problem that I needed to work on.
“That’s right,” Cora said proudly, “especially with me as your trainer.”
Terri chimed in, “And me as your... as your... ” She looked at me helplessly and shrugged. “Friend?”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” I laughed. I rolled my eyes at Prism. “Since when did you abandon the ‘I’m so tough’ attitude?”
“Since today,” he sniffed, wiping his eyes on my sleeve.
I continued to cuddle him until he calmed down, that decided to go home and provide some comfort for the petpet. I departed only after Cora lugged two thick volumes into my arms. “You don’t have to read all of it,” she promised. “Just skim through them and you’ll probably learn some pretty useful spells for air faeries, as well as some illusions. No offence, but that’s not your strongest point.”
“No, but I’d say healing is.” I scowled. “I’ll see you tomorrow at eleven. Bye.”
When I got back, I realized it was nearly dinnertime, but I still wasn’t too hungry from the blackened sandwich I had earlier. Instead, I grabbed a chocolate milkshake in a metal bottle and flipped off the cap, tossing it on the counter. “Are you hungry?” I asked my petpet.
He looked up from the steaming pepperoni pizza in front of him, gooey cheese dangling from his mouth. (Don’t worry, he had been cooking it when he left the house screaming.) “Hmm?”
I laughed. “Never mind.” I took a swig of my shake and shivered at its chill. I leaned on my counter, propping my elbows on the marble, reflecting back on the day. It was mostly of pain, thanks to Terri’s horrible healing skills. Still, I had to give her credit because, unlike me, she could actually figure out the fire or water illusion spells.
“Ugh, I can hear you chew,” I whined suddenly, slightly disgusted. At least he chewed with his mouth closed and didn’t drink loudly.
Prism just laughed, which earned him a raise of my eyebrows. “I can hear you gulp.”
I scowled. “Oh, whatever. After this, I’m heading off to bed.”
“The sun’s still up.”
“Hey, YOU weren’t the one who got experimented on for spells. I’m pooped.” I quickly (and quietly, due to the fact that I wasn’t sure Prism was lying about me drinking loudly) finished off my makeshift dinner and shuffled tiredly to my room, changing into a pair of pajamas. I threw my fuzzy blue bathrobe on the foot of my bed in case I needed to get up for something. Because I was so exhausted and much too lazy to do anything else, I dove into bed and turned away from the sunlight glowing through my window. This all done, I dozed off.
To be continued...