Orange and Yellow with Little Stars
Honestly, I find most faerie quests a waste of time. Unless you're Fyora or that weird lady who runs that multicolored wonderland pool, I could care less what book you want for your spell. Go bug a newbie, or better yet have the water faerie pop up all over those annoying complainers who say they've been around for some-odd years and haven't gotten a fountain faerie quest.
I'm not usually that skeptical. But I had bad experiences with the faerie who runs the healing springs, and her sisters aren't exactly my friends. Mortal enemies would be too strong a word, more like creatures I'm perpetually out to annoy. So when this Questing event comes up, guess what happens? Librarian decides to keep me active and make me run around serving guess who? The faeries. Ergh, I could just scream. We got a Crafting Faerie quest. To be honest, at that point Librarian and I were thinking the same thing. Tell the pixie-cut purple haired caffeinated faerie to find another helper.
But Librarian got this weird gleam in her eye. Fyora, I hate it when she does that! She took the quest and dragged me all the way to the NeoCash Mall from Faerieland (quite the walk, though it helps that you don't have to fly down now) just to pick up some patchwork squares and some trimming. After we actually got the stuff and were on our way back, I sorta cooled down a bit.
I rubbed the edge of one of the silky squares with my thumb. This was a moment when I regretted being blind. I missed seeing things, taking it all in. "Librarian?" I muttered, and she looked at me. I could tell she had her eyebrows raised.
"Hmm, Anna?" she asked. I could hear her footsteps slow down. I held out one of the patches.
"What color is this?" I questioned, holding it towards the sound of her voice.
"Orange and yellow with little stars on it," Librarian said finally, her feet swishing through the tall grass of Brightvale fields. They were unploughed, real natural grass that had never been farmed. I let the sweet smell and the warm sun fill my soul. Maybe this quest wasn't so bad after all...
"Librarian?" I said after a moment.
"What does orange and yellow with little stars feel like?" She stopped walking and sat down in the grass. I froze where I was. Librarian never did that. Sure, some owners would randomly sit down and take in nature, Librarian was never that owner. She took my hand and sat me down next to her, laying back in the grass.
"Orange and yellow with little stars is the smell of sun warmed dirt and dandelions," she said finally, and I giggled. She turned to me and ran her hand through my fur. "What sound is green?" I didn't even have to think about it.
"Green is the sound of a butterfly's wing when it accidentally brushes against a leaf."
"What smell is purple?"
"Oh, come on, that's too easy!" Librarian laughed and I sighed.
"If you must be difficult like that, purple is the smell of freshly baked cookies straight from the oven."
"Ooh, that's a good one."
"My turn to ask now..."
I don't know how long we sat like this, just listening to the wind and discussing colors and smells and memories. Not the old rusted memories that old people talk about that have no color; these were new memories. Like the time Cantilon set fire to King Skarl's castle, or the time Seans ate a whole Titanic Giant Squid in one bite and was sick for a week. We weren't in a hurry; the crafting faerie wasn't going anywhere. We were just living. Living in a field that smelled like orange and yellow with little stars.
When we finally stood up and brushed the dust off our pants, the sun was setting under the hills. It was a warm night, and we were in no hurry. The crickets chirped loudly, as if resenting our presence in the big field. We talked, not a rushed talk and not a long talk, a smooth talk like caramel on ice cream. By the time we came to the boarder of Faerie land I was no longer mad at having to go on a quest. I wasn't even thinking about the quest.
Librarian took my paw as we entered the busy streets of Faerieland. The place was usually crowded, and now with the huge influx of visitors for the quests you could barely make it two inches down the road without being stuck in line. It was a big jumble of words and sounds that edged in on my good mood and started fraying my happiness around the edges. So much to take in, so little time. I turned my head here and there at the sound until I thought I was going to go crazy. Librarian seemed stressed as well. I closed my eyes, trying to block out the chatter, the talking, the laughing. I gripped Librarian's hand tightly and she looked down at me. There was a slight halting in her voice, but I knew her eyes were sparkling again.
"Anna," she said, and her voice anchored me in the chaos.
"Hmm, Librarian?" I said, shouting over the commotion.
"What does pink smell like?" The crowds started to quiet a little bit. Maybe it was just chance that they heard this absurd question, or maybe the faerie's really did have a reason for their quests.
"Pink smells like the warm scent of clothes fresh from the dryer, all warm and static-y!" I shouted, and a few voices broke out in agreement.
"And what does black feel like?"
"Black feels like a warm blanket that you snuggle under with your favorite book to read when you don't think your mom is looking." A few laughs rang out from the crowd.
"Well?" Librarian shouted to the crowd, and they started shouting out their own colors. Some of them I'd never heard of, others were ones I'd thought I knew until someone shouted out a smell for it. Before we knew it everyone was laughing and talking, their quests all but forgotten. We made our way through the noise towards the quest station. It was a good noise, a happy noise. A noise of friendships being woven and memories being sewn of orange and yellow with little stars.
We gave the Crafting Faerie her supplies, and she didn't seem to mind that it took us all day. She asked us to sit down and wait while she fixed up our reward. Librarian turned to go sit down and I heard the faerie start to move away. My mind blanked. I grabbed her arm and she turned to look at me. She relaxed a bit and got down to my level.
"What is it, hun?" she asked. She sounded tired. Maybe her caffeine-pep wore off.
"I was wondering if--what I was trying to say is--" I stammered, and then sighed. "Can you make the orange one with yellow and stars on the front of what you're making. I like that one a lot." She was quiet for a moment, and I thought I'd made her angry. Then she laughed a little bit, a kind laugh, almost like a little bell.
"Of course, gifted one," she said, patting me on the head and turning towards the door.
"Wait, gifted?" I shouted as she walked away, I heard her turn slightly.
"Sure, gifted with no sight." She said quickly, walking into the other room for a moment. I stood there, stunned. Blindness a gift? What did she mean? Maybe she was still caffeinated and had had one too many lattes. I stood there trying to process what she meant. When she came back, she was carrying a beautiful patchwork dress. I took it happily, and held it up to Librarian.
"Did she put the orange and yellow with stars on the front?" I asked, and Librarian laughed.
"Of course she did, Anna. You asked her to." I smiled at the faerie.
"Thank you!" I waved as I left.
Just as we were about to go, I happened to hear two faeries talking at the door.
"Is that the one?" one of them said. By the tone of her voice I guessed she was an air faerie.
"Yup, the one that Delina said is blessed!" the other one said, she sounded like a fire faerie. I turned to them for a moment and walked over.
"What makes me blessed?" I asked, and they looked at me.
"Don't you know?" the fire faerie said, and I shook my head.
"No! Please someone tell me!" I shouted, and a hand rested on my shoulder. I turned a little and sniffed the air. She smelled like purple.
"What makes you blessed, little one," Fyora said, her voice rich like honey, "is not that you cannot see, it is that your mind lets you see so much more than anyone else."
"What do you mean?" I asked quietly, and she got down to my level.
"Delina only gives quests to those who have need them," she said simply. I turned to ask her another question to find her gone. I moved over to where I had ran from Librarian. She hadn't moved an inch.
"What do they mean?" I asked as we walked away. Librarian was quiet for a moment. Then she turned to me and handed me the dress.
"Anna, what does orange with yellow and little stars smell like?" she said. But she wasn't looking for an answer. That's when it sank in.
What made me blessed was not the fact that I was blind, it was what I saw. People who could see would never know what green sounded like, or experience the wonder of orange with yellow and little stars.