Mayirah was raised like any normal Kacheek on Mystery Island. She was light blue and didn't have a nasty bone in her body. She went to school; she had good grades and was a very friendly girl. However, there was something different about her, something that all other Kacheeks had that she didn't.
She didn't have the ability to swim.
The other Kacheeks would laugh at her when they went on field trips to the beach they would tease her and chant, "Mayirah can't swim, Mayirah can't swim, Mayirah cannot swim!" Mayirah would block her ears and close her eyes, but that wouldn't stop the tears that would flow down her cheeks.
She never told her mother, but everyone at school knew and that was worst of all. She had no friends there and people would push her to the ground when she was in their way.
Mayirah went to an All-Kacheek School named Mystery Island's Kacheekers, which meant that even her teachers were Kacheeks. She couldn't stand it when even they looked down their noses at her.
Right now, they were on one of the dreaded field trips to the beach, and Mayirah was close to tears already when someone yelled
"Hey, Sinker! Wanna take a dip?!" the other kids called her Sinker, because that's what she did in water – sink. Mayirah looked up and glared at the Speckled Kacheek that smirked down at her.
"Just leave me alone, Justin!" Mayirah cried. Justin grinned and ran into the crashing waves of the ocean. Mayirah sat down on the sand and began playing with it while watching the others swimming. They were diving down and bringing up seaweed, and then throwing it at each other.
"Gross!" Mayirah muttered. "What's fun about throwing smelly stuff into someone's face?"
Nothing, but I'll tell you what is fun; flying!
Mayirah jumped and looked around. There was no one there. Mayirah began to get worried.
"Who said that?" A slight quiver in her voice made Mayirah wince.
Oh, no one, just a friendly faerie is all, the voice replied.
Mayirah's eyes widened. A Faerie? she thought. It must want my help!
Mayirah stood up and said proudly, "Faerie, I will help you with your quest!"
Suddenly, a puff of black smoke appeared in front of Mayirah. Coughing, she waved her hand through it to clear it away. Her jaw dropped, before her stood the Dark Faerie.
"Oh no!" Mayirah said, horrified, "What have I done?"
The Dark Faerie, Jhudora, walked closer to Mayirah and smiled maliciously.
"The right thing; something that will change your life completely for the better," Jhudora waved her hand in a sweeping gesture, "Come along now, we have work to do."
Mayirah stood frozen. "There is no way I am going anywhere with you!" is what she meant to say, but instead, she said,
"Okay. Let's go."
* * *
Jhudora smiled and touched the Kacheek's shoulder. In a flash, she had magicked them into her lair. She walked over to her throne chair and sat down. She smirked at the Kacheek and waved her forward.
Jhudora hadn't been able to convince a pet to help her for a long time; they usually ran away when she appeared before them.
She watched as the Kacheek walked over to her, a slightly troubled expression spread across her features. Jhudora hid a malicious smile and replaced with a warm one.
The Kacheek continued walking until she was about three feet from Jhudora's chair.
Jhudora looked down her nose at the Kacheek.
"What is your name, little one?"
The Kacheek stared at Jhudora wide-eyed and trembling, "I am Mayirah," she stuttered. Jhudora blinked twice then frowned.
"Say again, little one?"
Mayirah frowned and repeated her name to Jhudora.
Jhudora sat completely still, her mind rolling over the information she had.
A little Kacheek named Mayirah, she thought, a lonely little Kacheek with no friends and the same name as that missing Light Faerie.
Jhudora's eyes clouded as she thought back to the day that that Faerie, Mayirah, had gone missing.
They had been best friends, Jhudora and Mayirah. They had played together since they were young children, and they had always shared what they had with each other.
Their friendship wasn't without their faults, however, as they were completely different faeries, Jhudora being a dark faerie, and Mayirah being a light faerie.
Mayirah's parents were always asking her to stay away from Jhudora, because, "Nothing good can come from being friends with a Dark Faerie!"
But Mayirah would shrug it off each time they said it. Jhudora's parents, on the other hand, endorsed their friendship, because, being Dark Faeries, they had a plan to corrupt Mayirah. They were always asking her to join in in making their potions and in devising plots.
Jhudora and Mayirah both didn't care about what their parents wanted, they simply wanted to enjoy their friendship and live life to the fullest, playing games and daring each other to do foolish tasks.
One day, however, they took it too far.
They'd been on the tallest peak of Terror Mountain, jumping around and pelting snow balls at each other. Suddenly, they had seen a ledge just below where they were standing. Their eyes met and Jhudora blurted
"First one down wins a smoothie that the loser has to pay for!"
Mayirah grinned and began making her way down the slope carefully, while Jhudora jumped down and landed safely. Jhudora watched Mayirah climbing down and laughed at her
"Scaredy-cat, huh? Haha!" she laughed. "You owe me a smoothie!"
Mayirah grimaced at Jhudora and jumped off down to the ledge. Both girl's eyes widened when Mayirah's foot slipped and she missed her footing.
Jhudora jumped forward to grab Mayirah as she fell, but she was too late, and instead all she could do was watch her friend fall.
Jhudora's mouth fell in horror as she heard Mayirah's terrified scream, and the last glimpse of Mayirah that Jhudora ever saw was Mayirah falling into the thick fog, her mouth open and legs flailing.
Jhudora sat back, shocked at what had happened. "NO!" she cried, tears flowing down her cheeks. "Why did this happen?"
Jhudora remembered that her parents had offered her and Mayirah flying lessons, but they had ignored the offer and ran out into the sun. Jhudora regretted that decision, if they had taken up the offer, then Mayirah could have saved herself.
Jhudora sat on the ledge for hours, until she began to feel the cold and her face was numb.
She shakily got up and climbed pack onto the path without looking back.
When she returned to Faerieland, she didn't tell anyone what had happened, and when the news reached her that Mayirah was missing, she pretended she was hearing it for the first time.
Jhudora never had any other friends. She became secluded and distant, and, once old enough, moved away from her home and onto the place people now call 'Jhudora's Bluff'.
Jhudora jerked back from her memories and looked at the Kacheek named Mayirah.
Jhudora felt she had two ways of continuing with this Kacheek.
One was that she stick to her original plan and turn her into a little 'servant'. However, the second was that she realise the reasons behind her being sent to someone with the same name as her best friend.
Making up her mind, Jhudora said, "Okay, here's what we're going to do..."
* * *
Mayirah thought back, still surprised. She had not been expecting Jhudora to want her to go to Terror Mountain.
"Go to Terror Mountain," she had said, "and visit Taelia, the Snow Faerie. Ask her if she has seen anyone named Mayirah."
Mayirah looked at her, confused.
"But, ma'am, my name is Mayirah."
But Jhudora shook her head and waved at her to go.
Mayirah made her way up to the top of the mountain as quickly as she could, her breath huffing out and her cheeks red. She found the small cottage where Taelia lived and knocked on the door.
The door opened and a young woman with black hair poked her head out.
Mayirah watched as the woman looked down at her and smiled.
"Are you Taelia?" asked Mayirah. The woman smiled and nodded, then gestured for Mayirah to come inside.
Taelia offered Mayirah a seat, which Mayirah took, then sat opposite.
"Are you here to help me?" Taelia asked. Mayirah shook her head
"I'm not sorry, but I'm here to ask for your help." Taelia inclined her head to show she was listening.
Mayirah took a deep breath, "I've been asked to ask you if you have ever met a Faerie named Mayirah."
Taelia nodded, stood up and picked up a photo album. She walked over to Mayirah and opened to page, which had a battered Light Faerie smiling weakly, wrapped in a thick blanket.
"That is Mayirah," Taelia said as she picked up the album and put it back.
Mayirah the Kacheek licked her lips in anticipation and asked eagerly, "Do you know where she is now?"
Taelia sat down again and smiled sadly.
"Yes, she is lost."
Mayirah stared at Taelia
"What do you mean lost?" Mayirah prodded, "As in, hiding, taken away?"
Taelia, sighed and said
"She has become a Dark Faerie."
Mayirah finally returned to Faerieland, when several thoughts struck her.
One, how did a light faerie become a dark faerie? Two, most Faeries live in Faerieland, and three, she should probably find Mayirah the dark Faerie pretty soon if she didn't want to face Jhudora's wrath.
Running down the streets of Faerieland, Mayirah stopped in front of a rickety home with overgrown bushes and thorns making people wary of the inhabitants. She remembered being told by a faerie she was on a quest for, that a lonely Dark Faerie lived there. The elderly Light Faerie had seemed sad when she said that, like she had known the person.
Mayirah made her way to the front door and knocked three times.
* * *
Jhudora sat idly on her throne chair, twirling her staff and waiting for the Kacheek to return. She had sent her out to find out about Mayirah several hours ago, and the Kacheek still hadn't returned.
Suddenly, the door to the room she was in burst open, and in strolled the Kacheek and a Dark Faerie who looked vaguely familiar.
"Mayirah, who is this?!" Jhudora thundered
Mayirah looked at the Faerie and then whispered the word, "Mayirah."
Jhudora stood up and her eyebrows came together.
"You think this is a joke?" she shouted. "I told you to find my friend Mayirah, the light faerie!"
The Kacheek looked up fearfully and said, "But it is Mayirah!"
Jhudora started moving forward when the other Faerie finally spoke.
Jhudora faltered and stared at the Faerie. Only Mayirah had called her Judy, and she had never let anyone else call her that after Mayirah had disappeared.
Jhudora looked at the Faerie's face, then her wild hair, which was dark blonde.
"May?" May was Jhudora's shortened version of Mayirah. "Is it you?"
May smiled and nodded, "It is me, Judy. It really is."
Two months later, Jhudora was a whole different person. She no longer sneered at any pet and hated on the poor. She didn't get angry at people who were doing her quests.
And she especially loved smoothies.
For her help, Jhudora gave Mayirah the Kacheek a Faerie Paintbrush.
Mayirah became a Faerie Kacheek and no longer cared that she couldn't swim, because she could fly.