The Witch and the Mortog: Part Two
"Excuse me, but that is my mirror," said the sharp voice of Vira. Usually she was patient enough to wait for whoever stood in front of her mirror to leave, but she could not comprehend why such a motley pair would even need to admire themselves in the mirror.
The Zafara and Lupe turned to look at Vira. The Zafara's jaw dropped as she took in the Acara's glowing beauty.
"Hi—I'm—I'm Edna," the Zafara stammered. "You—you are just the kind of inspiration I needed." She cleared her throat and extended a paw, but Vira just eyed it with disdain. Edna withdrew her paw and, to avoid awkwardness, quickly asked, "So what is your name?"
"My name is Vira," replied the Acara, her voice ice cold. "And that is my mirror," she added again.
"This mirror is for the public," argued the Lupe. He did not like the way Vira was treating him and Edna.
"Clearly you do not understand standards," Vira snapped, carrying herself like a princess. "Good looking Neopets like me are one step above 'the public,' to quote."
Poor Balthazar and Edna were stunned into silence. They quietly stepped aside, and Vira brazenly stepped in front of the mirror and began primping herself, brushing her sleek hair and adjusting the pink bow on her head. She never acknowledged the Lupe and Zafara again. Balthazar and Edna took it as a cue to leave.
"That was so rude!" snarled Balthazar as soon as they left the tent and were out of earshot. "Why, I ought to give that Acara a piece of my mind! What do you think? Edna? Hello, Edna...?"
Edna was deep in thought. She kept walking, stepping right into a discarded Mummified Ice Cream cone splattered on the ground and not even noticing. Balthazar gave the Zafara a worried nudge.
"Hey, you have ice cream on your feet. Hello? Are you all right?"
"Huh?" Edna blinked and seemed to awake from her daze. "Oh, uh, sorry. I was just thinking about the Acara we met back there."
"Yeah, she was a rude one."
"No, no, I need to talk to her again."
"What?" Balthazar stopped in his tracks and snorted. "Why, for Fyora's sake?"
Edna just shook her head. She had not told anyone about her secret desire to be a supermodel because she wasn't sure whether Balthazar would support her dream or laugh out loud. So she couldn't explain that Vira was the exact image she needed for her beautification potion. "I just want to ask where she got her pink bow," Edna lied. "You go on. I'll meet you back home."
"Okay," grumbled Balthazar as he slunk away.
Edna hurried back to the Tent of Mirrors. Vira was still there, admiring herself in front of the square mirror. The Zafara gathered up her courage and approached the vain Acara.
"Hey Vira!" Edna paused and cleared her throat. "Um, I was just wondering... Would you like to be my model for the potion I'm making?"
The Acara's beautiful blue eyes narrowed as she saw it was the green Zafara again. "No thank you," she practically spat.
"Please!" begged Edna. "This is important to me."
"Why should I care?" snapped Vira. "Give me a good reason why I should help you. There is none. Step back before my gorgeous looks get tainted by your hideousness!"
The green Zafara was in total shock. She ran out of the tent in tears. Vira continued to stand in front of the square mirror, humming to herself and completely ignoring the fact she had hurt another Neopet's feelings. Like I said before, Vira is a vain Acara; she cared for nobody except herself.
I'll get to the Mortogs in a minute, keep calm!
Away Edna ran. She didn't want to go home just yet and have her family question her tears, so she ran off to an unfamiliar part of the Woods she had never gone before, hoping to get lost because by the time she found her way out again, she would not be as upset.
Unbeknown to little Edna, this was where the infamous Count von Roo lived. Yes, I know the Count now dwells in Roo Island, but remember, this was a long time ago, when Count von Roo still flew through the inhabitants of the Haunted Woods.
Edna crouched beneath a tree and sobbed. A strange noise rustled behind her. She turned around, startled, but found nothing. She continued to sob quietly, and the noise rustled again.
"Show yourself," the green Zafara commanded.
An orange Blumaroo shrouded in a dark cloak appeared beneath the branches. His menacing eyes glared at Edna as he hissed, "Who dares awaken the Count in his morning sleep?"
Edna was still upset by the nasty Vira that she wasn't the least bit afraid of the Blumaroo. "I am sorry I disturbed you," Edna said flatly. "I'll leave now."
"No!" the Blumaroo snarled, blocking the way. "Nobody awakens Count von Roo and leaves! What is your name?"
"I am Edna."
"What is your occupation?"
"I brew potions."
Count von Roo's eyes widened a bit. "Any type of potion?" he asked.
"Hopefully in the future. Right now I can only make sleeping potions and..."
"Sleeping potions?" repeated Count von Roo with excitement. "Tell you what, Edna. You are off the hook this time, as long as you bring me some of your sleeping potions. Sometimes I can never go to sleep when the sun is up."
Edna reached into her pocket and pulled out a small bottle of midnight blue liquid. "I have a sample with me now."
The Count took the bottle and gingerly took a swallow. Instantly, he gave a huge yawn and leaned back against a tree trunk. "This is extremely potent," he said sleepily. "It's working, I can feel it! Do you have more?"
Edna shrugged. "I would bring you more, but my ingredients are limited."
"Don't you have supplies at school?"
"I go to a normal school," said Edna, rolling her eyes. "I wish my parents would send me off to a school for witches, but they are too hesitant. So I self-teach myself everything about potions and magic."
The Blumaroo seemed appalled by this fact. "Take me to your parents! I shall convince them. Do not fret, little Neopet. Someone as smart as you definitely deserves the best..."
And so Count von Roo convinced (or blackmailed, more precisely) Edna's parents to send her to one of the top schools for witches in Neopia for the next few years. There, Edna learned skills of all sorts, from making basic morphing potions to creating exciting spells, such as the Spell of Sing a Lot. She and Balthazar still kept in touch, but they eventually grew apart. One summer day, when Balthazar was fit and old enough to wander on his own again, he bid farewell to Edna's parents and went on to live on his own again.
That is fine and dandy, you are thinking, but what about the Mortog? WHERE IS THE MORTOG OF THE STORY? It's coming, I promise.
At the new school, all witches were required to keep a petpet to cast spells on for practice. (Yes, the Petpet Protection League would not approve of this whatsoever.) Our beloved Edna chose a Mortog as her petpet because, one, she bonded over their green skin, and two, there were some magical properties about Mortogs. Edna could feel it.
Edna never once forgot Vira, the mean Acara she met at the Fairgrounds. She was mesmerized by the vain Acara's self-centered ego, and she wondered if the square mirror from the Tent of Mirrors possibly had something to do with it. So one weekend, Edna took a break from school and went to the Fairgrounds.
Something had gone terribly wrong during the time Edna had been gone. The Fairgrounds were suddenly deserted. Not a tourist was in sight, except for a few wandering vagabonds. Litter and trash blew in the empty winds. The old ferris wheel creaked in the distant.
A hunched Meerca scurried past. Edna caught his arm and asked, "What happened to the Fairgrounds? It used to be so lively!"
The Meerca looked frantic and scared. "Do not speak of it, do not speak!" he whispered. "The clowns can hear you, they can!"
Edna let go of his arm, and the frightened Meerca ran off into the distance. Edna looked around the site. Empty tents flapped in the wind, apple cores rolled on the ground... the place was as deserted as the Lost Desert. Then Edna saw it: the black-and-white striped Tent of Mirrors.
Edna peeked inside, half-expecting Vira to be there in front of the square mirror. Nobody was inside. She walked over to the last mirror, Vira's mirror, and gasped at the sight. A large crack had split down the center of the square, dividing the glass into two jagged pieces.
Using one of her recently learned spells, Edna mended the broken mirror. A thin line of dark smoke rose into the air above it as the surface slowly became whole again. A faint echo of laughter sounded in the background. Edna squinted at the mirror, for suddenly her reflection looked quite different: her wild green fur was perfectly smooth, her eyes were dark and contoured, and her face was perfectly shaped. For once, she was...
"I'm a supermodel!" shrieked the Zafara in shock. Her spell had done something to the mirror. Everything reflected in it was a thousand times more beautiful. But then, the faint laughter sounded again, and someone very close spoke,
"You are pretty, but only I can make you beautiful..."
It took Edna a few seconds to realize it was the mirror that spoke.
To be continued...