The Trial of Her Mind: Part Two
I had no dreams that I knew of, but when I woke up, the hair on my neck was standing on end like someone had shocked me. I looked around; my heart was beating extremely fast, and I had no clue why. I felt like I had just walked out from a haunted house, and I could have sworn that I was soaked in perspiration. “What’s the big deal?” I panted to no one but myself. Prism snored quietly at the foot of my bed, clearly unaffected by whatever was making me freak out. I was about to wake him when everything around me was clouded in darkness and I was standing in the middle of nowhere, seeing absolutely nothing. Suddenly, the Darkest Faerie appeared in a puff of violet smoke. She smiled wickedly.
“Hello, my dear,” she said, her voice dripping with honey. Poison honey.
I clenched my fists. “Leave me alone, will you?” I snapped. My voice was trembling but my eyes were practically on fire with rage. “What do you want from me?”
She shrugged, pacing back and forth but keeping parallel to me. “On the contrary,” she hissed, “you can offer everything I need.”
“Like what?” I growled. “Wait, let me guess – you want me to wash off the Barbat droppings on your statue?”
She shook her head and chuckled; it echoed along with her footsteps, creating an awful, eerie noise that made me even more nervous. “I like you, child,” she stated, and I suspected she was lying completely. “Allow me to make a deal.”
Over my dead body, I thought angrily.
“I can arrange that,” she said smoothly. I gulped; I should have guessed that if she could get into my mind to talk to me, she could read my mind, too. She looked me in the eye and held my gaze, but for some reason, I just couldn’t look away no matter how hard I tried. It was as if I was trying to prove that I was brave, which was as false as the whole ‘I like you’ thing.
“As I was saying,” she continued, “if you helped me with what I plan to do, I will spare you. Perhaps, if you’re good, I’ll even let you become a Lady of my court.” Seeing my confused expression, she sighed. “Well, you don’t expect me to take over Neopia and leave it without a government, do you?”
I looked her in the eye again, and silence stretched for a few moments. Then I stomped my foot; I know, it may seem childish, but right then, it was more out of defiance than out of a tantrum. “Never!” I yelled. “I’m not going to help you. Not now, not ever!”
She scowled and, with one quick spell, moved from ten yards to ten inches away from me. A long, scarlet fingernail jabbed me in the chest. “Then you’d better watch your back,” she snarled. She snapped her fingers, and the Darkest Faerie and the blackness surrounding us disappeared.
Once again, I was in my room, sitting on my bed, extremely tired and about ready to faint. I realized that going into my own mind like that had taken energy and magic that I didn’t possess.
I quickly changed into some proper clothes, put a hair pin in my locks, and scribbled ‘Be back in a while. ~D’ on a sticky note, which I slapped on the kitchen counter. Then I bolted out of my house and took to the skies. I had a feeling Fyora would want to hear about this.
“I DON’T CARE IF SHE’S ASLEEP!” I screamed, flailing my arms around in frustration. “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS?!”
The light faerie blew a bubble with her gum and let it pop, staring at me with a bored face. “No, I don’t,” she said in an uninterested voice, “I already told you, you need an appointment.”
I liked the day-shift secretary better. “DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A NEGG ABOUT AN APPOINTMENT?!”
She looked back down at her Glamour Day Magazine. “Like, whatever.”
I took a deep breath in annoyance. “If you don’t let me see Fyora,” I said slowly, “I’m going to take that gum out of your mouth and stick it all over your hair. Is that clear?” Her yellow eyes widened in fear.
“No, no, not the hair!” she pleaded. “Fine – just go see the Faerie Queen. Just please, don’t touch my beautiful hair!” She pointed in the direction of the staircase leading to the floor of Fyora’s room.
I smiled maliciously. “Thank you for your service, ma’am. Have a nice day.”
I flew up the staircase; by flew, I mean that I was running really, really fast. Of course, since the last time I’d been to Fyora’s room it was when I broke into it, I hadn’t a single clue to where her quarters might be. Any normal person would have asked for directions, but I think I’ve made this pretty clear – I am not normal.
So, nope, I didn’t go ask anybody. Instead, I resorted to just kicking open every door I could find, apologizing once I saw that inside there was no Queen Fyora.
“Oh, sorry, ma’am,” I said hastily for what seemed like the billionth time, shutting the door. Where in Neopia is that blasted room? I thought in frustration. I opened a few more corridors and finally stumbled upon the one I desired. Fyora was tucked snuggly in her lavender blankets, snoring lightly and seemingly content to be snoozing away in her bed.
I wasted no time in launching myself at her, wrapping my palms around her fair shoulders and giving them a hard shake. “Majesty!” I hissed. “Your Majesty!!!”
She turned out to be a light sleeper, and I had to slap my hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. Once she had searched my face and realized that it was just me, she calmed down and clawed my fingers away. “Dira!” she exclaimed in shock. “What are you doing here?”
“Can I talk to you about something?”
“Well, what is so important that you had to wake me up at two in the morning to tell me?” she demanded. I raised my eyebrows as if to say ‘So important I had to wake you up at two in the morning to tell you’. She sighed. “Fine. What is it?”
I shut her door and returned back to the bedside. “Where do I begin?” I laughed humorlessly. “Okay, so you know how the Darkest Faerie is, um, you know. Evil?”
“Where are you going with this?” she asked slowly, as if not wanting to know the answer.
“Well, she’s coming back. And she keeps on bothering me, even though I’m not sure that I’m who she’s after. I don’t know why, because she doesn’t know me, but she is.”
She shook her head in baffled response. “That... that’s impossible. I have placed her under maximum security spells and relocated her to my garden. There is no rational way that she can escape.” There was a hint of doubt in her voice.
I crossed my arms. “But there are some irrational ways,” I retorted. “And, when it comes to the Darkest Faerie, it doesn’t have to be rational to be effective.”
“Ridiculous!” she sputtered.
“Oh, come on, Queenie,” I said, “I beat Jhudora by falling off a cliff. I’d say that is pretty irrational.”
“Did you just call me... Queenie?”
“Well?” I tapped my foot. “Are you going to help me or not?” Okay, fine, I’ll admit I was being a bit rude to Faerieland’s queen, but at that point, I think the situation was important enough to give her an annoying nickname.
She considered this, than hesitantly said, “I will. Now let me get some sleep, will you? Tell me about this when I am wide awake. Good night.”
“Night,” I answered. I tiptoed out of her room, lightly closed the door, and hurried down the hall. I even managed to give an evil glare at the secretary as I left, who in turn hid behind her fashion magazine.
Once I stepped out of the palace, I made my way to the Faerieland Library, despite the fact that it was so early in the day. I tried opening the door, and, not to my surprise, found it locked. I took the bobby pin out of my hair and placed it delicately in the lock, twisting and turning it in such an amateurish way that I’m sure Hanso would be pouring waterfalls of tears if he’d seen me. Finally, after a few minutes of prodding, twirling, and mumbling some frustrated words, I managed to open the door and slip inside. It was dark, of course, and I had to rely on my poor night vision to see.
Finally, I felt along the walls and flipped the light switch on. The ceiling lamps were so bright compared to the darkness before, I had to close my eyes for another five minutes to adjust, and then crept on, looking at the spines of the books. Finally, I found what I needed: History of the Darkest Faerie – Ins and Outs and Inbetweens of Neopia’s Greatest Villain. Despite the odd title, I plucked it out from the shelf and turned to the table of contents, trying to find any clue on why the faerie would be picking on me, instead of, I don’t know, QUEEN FYORA OR SOMETHING?!
Anyway, I couldn’t find anything in that book and, despite all my research, couldn’t find anything in any other tomes, either. I glanced briefly at the clock on the wall, and it read 4:38. I groaned. Why isn’t there something about that war with the Darkest Faerie the year I was born? There has to be at least one book, but apparently it isn’t in here. I facepalmed. I’d need to go into the castle for the second time this night.
As soon as I walked in, the secretary hastily screeched, “You don’t need an appointment! Just go on ahead, do your business!”
I shrugged and continued to stride up and down the halls, searching for the same door that had led to so much trouble a few months ago. Yup, those who read the last series, I think you know what I’m talking about. Those of you who don’t, well... Shouldn’t you have read it before this, then? How else would you know what happened?! Go read it and come back when you’re done. My goodness!
Finally, after running around for twenty minutes or so, I encountered the tall, polished door I’d been seeking. With a tired shove, I pushed it open and stumbled inside. Everything looked almost exactly the same as last time I was in there, and I wrinkled my nose at the memory of Jhudora sitting on the armchair, cackling her purple-and-green head off.
The many shelves of books loomed on every section of the walls, beckoning for me to come pick out a novel and read. I was pretty tempted, but I mentally slapped myself and concentrated on the task at hand. Scanning hastily over the titles, I managed to pick out a few scrolls and books about the Darkest Faerie. I seated myself in the chair, skimming quickly over the words in an effort to find the information I needed, but to no avail. I couldn’t gain anything, and one of the scrolls turned out to be blank. I groaned in irritation, probably for the sixth time tonight, and left the books on the chair as I departed from the room, castle, and Faerie City, the rising sun setting a shadow below my flying form.
“Where have you been?”
Those were the first words I heard when I tried to creep back into my bed. I jumped in anyway and wrapped the blankets around myself like a Faerie Queen Burrito.
“Ahem, young lady?” Prism tapped his foot impatiently. I just buried my face deeply into the pillow.
“Go away,” I tried to moan, but it turned out more like ‘Pmmph mawayf’. “Phie mmmed fleesh.”
I bet he was cocking his head in incomprehension. “What?”
I lifted my head so he could hear me. “I NEED SLEEP.” Plop! Once again, I shoved my face into the blankets.
“Well,” he said, “it’s 5:40. And you left at what time, exactly?”
He didn’t get an answer. I was too busy doing something. And that something would be called what? Oh, yeah. SLEEPING.
I finally woke up at nine, due to the fact that a certain somebody was banging a miniature gong in front of my face. No, I don’t know where he got the gong; all I know is that he was smacking it as hard as he could.
“Okay! I’ll get up!” I growled, throwing myself out of bed. “What was that?”
“Breakfast is ready,” he said. “Poached eggs and waffles.”
That was enough to send me bolting out of my room and into the kitchen. I quickly grabbed the plate with my meal on it, poured a glass of milk, and drenched my waffles in maple syrup before I hungrily chomped it down like a starved Skeith.
I was already finishing my milk when Prism flew down the hallway, looking at me like I had just sprouted another arm. “You’re... already done?”
“Yup,” I confirmed. “You’re a good cook.”
One of his eyes twitched. “Okay,” he said slowly. “Have fun with that.”
“I’m getting seconds.”
“Uh... have fun with that.”
After I was done with my breakfast, I glanced at the clock, realizing it was only 9:13. “What do you want to do? I’m not going over to Cora’s until eleven.”
Still a bit freaked out from my ravenous eating, he unsteadily answered, “It doesn’t matter. Whatever you want to do.”
“No, whatever YOU want to do.”
“No, you decide.”
It went on like this for a few minutes until we finally agreed on making our favorite thing in the whole entire world of Neopia. That, my friend, would be the wonderful, delightful, genius invention of triple-chocolate-brownies.
It didn’t take us very long to gather the ingredients (E.G. semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and surprisingly, some chopped walnuts), mix them together in a bowl, pour the batter into a pan, and so on. As we waited for the delicious brownies to cook in the oven, we got a few spoons and cleaned out the leftover batter in the bowl.
“So,” Prism said, taking a lick from his spoon, “what do you guys do over there at Cora’s?”
“Train. For... the... uh... ” I didn’t want to mention anything about the Darkest Faerie to him again, because I knew he’d go completely hysterical. I crinkled my nose in deep thought. “Altador Cup. Wooh, go Faerieland.”
He grinned joyously, as if that was probably the best thing I could have said. “I know, right? I’m, like, SOOOOOOO excited because Faerieland got a new logo, did you see it, it’s pink and green, but I’m kinda disappointed because Faerieland has NEVER won and really, my second favorite team is Shenkuu even though they’re ‘underdogs’ and they’re good but they just can’t seem to win... ” Frankly, after this, all I heard was ‘BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH’.
As my petpet drawled on endlessly about the Altador Cup, I just pretended to be engrossed in the conversation and let my thoughts wander off, adding ‘Yeah, I hear you’ or ‘I know, right?’ at what seemed like appropriate times (and not reminding him that the Altador Cup had ended a few months ago). For some odd reason, my memory kept reminding me of the future-telling cards. I knew I had figured out what the war part was and I was absolutely certain that the ‘destruction’ bit was going to be on our side, but wasn’t sure about the whole unlikely ally thing. The paw could mean Xavier, but he’s not exactly what I would deem unlikely, I considered thoughtfully. If it was Jhudora, now, I’d scream. And most likely start begging the Darkest Faerie for mercy on my knees. So who could it be? I drummed my fingers on the counter that I was leaning against, looking around as if I would suddenly find the answer in my kitchen. Fyora’s not too unlikely either. Same thing with Tor and Roberta. So... Okay, I’m lost. I exhaled deeply. Where’s a hint where you need it?
Well, I certainly wasn’t going to get it by waiting for brownies. “I’ll be in the living room if you need me,” I declared abruptly. For once, I recalled my mental to-do list, and on top of it was ‘TELL FYORA ABOUT THE WHOLE THING’. I shuffled hurriedly into the room and wrote a short, detailed Neomail describing the events that had occurred over the past few days. It looked something like this, if you don’t mind reading an extra two minutes:
To: Queen Fyora, Faerieland Palace
Subject: Read this!!!
Hey, Fyora. Sorry for waking you up at two, but this is really important. I don’t care if you have errands to run. You’d better read this unless you want the whole of Neopia to go up in flames. You still reading? Good.
I didn’t really think any of her first appearance. I had this really weird nightmare and the Darkest Faerie said that she had returned and all those cheesy villain lines, except I was too scared to think about how cheesy it was. The second encounter I had of her was the vision Terri and I had when she was trying out her future seeing cards, which, unfortunately, was of some of my closest friends and family and you being locked up in a cage and the Darkest Faerie was asking me ‘which one it would be’. I still have no clue what she means, so don’t ask. The last time I saw her was something that I didn’t know anyone, no matter how powerful, could ever do. She somehow snuck into my mind in the middle of the night to talk to me. It wasn’t telepathy; we were literally standing in the middle of my mind, which happened to be just darkness, and talking. She finally let me go, but I was exhausted.
I spent all last night looking for something – anything – on why she’d be trying to get to me. I went to the library in your palace and the public library to search for a book on that war between you two when I was born, but it’s apparent that you didn’t want that leaking out, because I couldn’t find a single word about it.
To make a long story short, you need to help me. ~D
P.S. ‘D’ means ‘Dira’. Which you should have already figured out.
I quickly used a bit of my faerie magic to teleport the Neomail to the queen. As I watched the envelope flutter out of my open window and zip to the city, I sighed with a mix of worry and nervousness. The only thing that distracted me was the smell of the fully cooked brownies wafting in from the closed oven door.
To be continued...