The Keepers: Part Four
Kendrick the spotted Shoyru sat in his window seat in his bedroom, looking down at the lake where Adrina would soon be meeting him. The windows were open and a soft breeze was drifting through, making the curtains sway. The lake was sparkling under the moonlight. He had to admit, he felt pretty guilty. To his luck, there had been no need to deceive his uncle, who had decided to go to bed early after they visited ancient Altador. Kendrick had simply snuck back into the lab and taken the pocket watch time machine that his uncle called "the Timebender". He now held the fragile device in his spotted hands and listened to its musical ticking as he waited for the pink Xweetok to arrive.
At precisely ten o'clock, Kendrick spotted a shadow moving in the yard, soon followed by a mane of bright pink hair that caught the moonlight entrancingly. He became immediately and unreasonably nervous. He was confident he knew how to use the Timebender correctly, but Adrina would surely want to walk through the old Faerieland, not simply observe it. Naturally, Kendrick would make sure they were careful, but he always had trouble keeping his thoughts straight when he was with the pink Xweetok.
Swallowing his fear, he jumped out his window, holding the watch firmly in one hand and smiling into the breeze as he lifted his wings. The best part of being a Shoyru was definitely flying. He saw Adrina look up from the lake and he waved down at her with a huge grin. Just for fun, he did a couple of fancy flips and dives in the air. Adrina clapped for him and laughed, and he flew straight for her and scooped her up off the ground easily.
He was expecting her to scream, but she didn't. She let out a small gasp and then laughed, enjoying the ride as Kendrick flew her around the lake, at one point skimming the surface of the water just enough for it to splash them. His wings got tired shortly after that, so he landed them on a sturdy branch of a large tree.
Adrina was a bit unsteady at first on the branch, but once she'd balanced herself she giggled and said, "Well hi, Kendrick."
He grinned, "Hi, Adrina. Are you ready to see Faerieland at its finest?"
In answer, she gave him a crooked smirk. "I still don't understand how you're hoping to manage that."
"With this," Kendrick said, and held out the beautiful golden pocket watch for her to see.
Her reaction was almost identical to his. "A pocket watch?"
Kendrick chuckled and handed it to her. "Not just any pocket watch; this one is special."
One thing he'd learned about Adrina was that she was very open-minded, and she didn't disappoint. "Magic?" she asked, now holding the watch to her ear and probably listening to its musical ticking.
"Science," Kendrick said, "But sometimes I think they are much the same."
"So this watch can take people to the old Faerieland?"
Kendrick smiled. "Oh, it can do more than that. This watch can take anyone anywhen!"
Adrina put her hands in her lap, still holding the watch. "Anywhen?" she asked, "So... it's like a... time machine?"
Kendrick was grinning so much it reached the spot around his eye. "Exactly! I can't believe you believed it so easily!"
Adrina just shrugged with a smile. "Well, anything's possible, right?"
"Right," Kendrick agreed, despite the fact that he hadn't believed it himself before. "So, are you ready to see Faerieland?"
Adrina nodded excitedly, and Kendrick carefully turned the hands of the Timebender into position. "Ok," he said, "Get ready. One, two..." and they were snatched up by a sudden strong gust of wind, though the tree they sat on remained motionless. This time, Adrina did scream, just a little, as they vanished into swirls of silver and green.
When they arrived in cloudy Faerieland, Adrina actually burst into tears of joy. At first, Kendrick had been really upset, thinking maybe the transportation had scared her and that she'd be angry at him, but once he realized they were happy tears he felt more than a little pleased with himself. Once she recovered, he extended his hand and asked her if she'd like to look around.
Faerieland was more than beautiful, though rather unnerving. Kendrick couldn't get over the thought of tumbling through the light, fluffy, wispy clouds they were walking on. It was a good thing he had wings, or he'd have been to nervous to do anything.
Adrina was taking everything in wordlessly, staring from one bright and glittering shop and landmark to another. She literally gasped at the sight of the Rainbow Fountain, and stopped in her tracks to admire it. A Faerie Ixi actually collided into them at their sudden stop, apologizing sweetly before walking on, and Kendrick flinched. They weren't supposed to interact with anyone. When a beautiful air faerie was selling fizzy pink drinks a few minutes later, though, and Adrina turned her blue eyes on him, he couldn't resist. He searched in his pockets for some Neopoints and they spent two magical hours walking around the still floating Faerieland.
"I can't believe this is all real," Adrina said, looking around at the floating buildings, the pink and purple buildings, and all of the gorgeous winged residents of the city that, in actuality, now sat on the ground in Neopia, close to the Haunted Woods. "It's amazing. To think that you can go anywhere you want, in any time you want... Wow."
Kendrick was feeling much more carefree than he knew he should have, given that they had actually reacted with people in the past, something he knew was very risky, but he couldn't help it. They were having such a wonderful time, and he couldn't see how buying a drink and talking to a couple Faeries could greatly alter Neopian history. True, they got a few odd looks at their rather "different" clothes, but other than that there was nothing to be suspicious about. "It is amazing," he agreed, but then he sighed, looking at the real watch on his wrist and seeing that, back in the present, it was a few minutes after midnight. They really needed to be getting back. He looked at Adrina apologetically.
"Let me guess," she began, swatting a lock of her pink hair over her shoulder, "We need to be getting back?"
Kendrick smiled. "Sorry, but... yeah." He took the Timebender out of his pocket and placed it back in her hands. She sighed.
"I wish we never had to leave."
Kendrick really wasn't sure what to say, but Adrina smiled at him. "It's alright," she assured him, "I've had a wonderful time."
Kendrick smiled back, and carefully turned back the hands of the pocket sized time machine. They were seized by a sudden wind and sucked into a tunnel of silver and green without a care in the world.
Unbeknownst to the Shoyru and Xweetok, they hadn't been nearly as alone as they'd assumed. From her dark purple cloud, Jhudora the dark faerie saw everything that went on in Faerieland. When she noticed an oddly dressed pair of Neopets seemingly poof into the clouds of Faerieland out of nowhere, she used a spell to disguise herself as a harmless Ixi.
"Very interesting," Jhudora said to herself as she arrived back to her noxious purple cloud and returned to her true form. "A device that allows the owner to travel into any place, any time, in Neopia." She let out a wicked cackle that echoed around the high ceilings of her floating fortress, "And in the hands of mere children, no less." She continued to cackle with glee as she made her way to her large crystal ball. She ran her hands across its glassy surface and a scene emerged inside amidst a cloud of purple smoke.
This will change everything, the dark faerie thought. Of course, I suppose it technically doesn't exist yet... But no matter. A few years of waiting will be more than worth it.
It was a quarter after midnight when Kendrick and Adrina arrived back in the present, behind Uncle Arthur's house. Adrina stumbled a little as they materialized onto the grasp, and Kendrick steadied her. "Time travel can make you kind of dizzy sometimes," he said, then chuckled a little. "I'm kind of used to it now, I guess."
Adrina laughed and shook her head. "Oh, don't worry," she assured him, "It's definitely worth feeling a little dizzy."
Kendrick smiled. "So, you had a good time?"
Adrina's answering smile was dazzling. "I had an incredible time," she told him, "Thank you so much, Kendrick!" And then she jumped up and hugged him. It was a good thing that she couldn't see his face, because he was certain it looked like he had been painted red. She let go after just a few seconds, and said, "Well, I'd better be going. I'll see you tomorrow, right?"
Still considerably flustered, Kendrick answered, "Tomorrow yeah see... um... oh."
Adrina laughed at him. "Goodnight, Kendrick." Then she turned and walked away, back toward the road.
"Goodnight Adrina," he whispered. When he was certain that she was gone from hearing distance, the spotted Shoyru took off into the air and shouted, "Woooooo hoooo!" while he flipped and looped back up through his window and into his room.
His exuberance didn't last long, though. As he landed into his soft, pillowed window seat and sat down, exhausted, he realized he probably shouldn't have shouted.
A glowing Zafara in striped pajamas was sitting on his bed with his arms crossed, looking more furious than Kendrick had ever seen him.
To be continued...