My Friend the Cupcake Faerie
For moonflower909, who said I should write a story about Zami. Thanks for letting me use Tisane as one of Zami's friends at school!
She stood on the corner of a Meridellian street, in a town she knew as Cedarbrook Valley. She had come to a stop in front of a house, a mansion so to speak, with white stone pillars, and large, square windows on every floor. The house was impressive, from what she could see in the dark of the moonless night. But it wasn't the exterior that made her feel drawn to it. It was the inside.
There was something special inside. Something sugary and sweet. The perfect ingredients, and the equipment she needed to make her wildest dreams come true. And there was something else. She could feel someone's presence. Nobody had seen her, but someone was there. Somebody with the same hopes and dreams as herself. Somebody with the same desire, the same passion. Could it be that they were in this house?
She picked up her suitcase and started on her way towards the great stone steps. This was, without a doubt, the place she had been looking for.
Zami awoke with the first light of dawn. What time is it? the baby Xweetok wondered as she yawned and sat up in her bed. She rubbed her eyes and glanced at her alarm clock. It was 5:42 a.m.— thirty-three minutes earlier than the alarm was set to wake her up. She thought about going back to sleep, but decided there was no point. She had been having a terrible sleep anyway, waking up every hour to check the time, and dreaming of the exciting day she had ahead of her.
For Zami, the only thing more thrilling than the first day of school, was the last day of school, especially since this year, her class was having a party to celebrate the end of a successful school year. As no party was complete without food, Zami had promised to bring a special treat for the whole class to share. She wasn't just going to bring any store bought treat though. Her friends deserved better than that. She wanted to bake them something, but what, she didn't know.
She had been trying to find something the night before, but as luck would have it, she had been called away to help rescue a barbecue party from her friend Claare's hamburger obsessed warf.
"I'll just have to get up early and bake tomorrow," she'd told herself. And get up early she did. She put on her light pink dress sundress, (the one she had bought specifically for the last day of school) then she brushed her teeth and stumbled down the stairs. Why did her house have to have so many? Why couldn't they have an elevator like Peydon's family? Or a slide. A slide would have been fun. But not convenient for going up floors...
Zami was shaken out of her daydream when she suddenly felt something underneath her foot. Before she knew what was happening, she was rolling down the stairs like a tumbleweed.
"Zackare!" she shouted her little brother's name when she realized what she'd stepped on. "Why would he leave his rubber duck there of all places?"
She couldn't stay mad at her brother for too long. After all, he was only a toddler, and it was partly her fault for daydreaming when she was already too tired to see where she was going. Since she hadn't been hurt, she chose to shake the whole thing off, as she drowsily made her way into the kitchen.
Now, what would she need... Eggs, flour, water, sugar... Of course, she didn't know exactly what she was making, but those ingredients would almost definitely be needed. She would also need a different ingredient, if she wanted her treat to be special. She could use cinnamon, or honey, or vanilla extract or...
"It's too early for this," she grumbled, trying to get her mind to focus. She stood on the stool to reach the top cupboard, and when she opened the door, she let out a gasp of utter shock. A pair of chocolate brown eyes, the same colour as her own, stared down at her from the top shelf. Zami screamed. Acting upon instinct, she picked up a frying pan and swung it at the tiny creature.
"Please, don't!" the creature pleaded. "I didn't do anything wrong!"
At first, Zami was too shocked to speak. The frying pan shook violently in her hand, as she trembled from head to toe. When she was finally able to speak, her words came out in a jumble of mixed up letters, as if they had rolled off her tongue and gotten mangled together before reaching their destination. "I... What.. You are who?"
The creature, though certainly as startled as the Xweetok, was considerably more calm. "You've never seen anything like me, have you?"
She shook her head, eyes wide, mouth open, unable to tear her gaze away. "Why are you so small?"
"Not all faeries are giants like Illusen."
"You're a faerie? Like one of the ones in the bottles? Uh, no offense." All at once, it occurred to her that she shouldn't care whether she insulted the faerie or not. She had broken into her house in the middle of the night. And for what purpose? To steal?
"I can explain," the trespasser promised. But as seconds turned into agonizing minutes, she had still failed to provide a decent explanation.
"Well," she began, clearing her throat. "I'm from Faerieland, of course, but I left. I guess I kind of ran away. I didn't know where I was going, but I was passing through Meridell, and I saw your house, and I... I thought I could stay here for a while. I didn't touch anything though! I would never steal!" She could see the Xweetok was unmoved. "I didn't do anything wrong!"
"Breaking into someone's house is wrong! Whether you stole anything or not. How long were you planning on staying in here? Did you think you wouldn't get caught?"
"Please don't tell anyone!" she cried. "I'll leave. I'll get out right now, and I won't come back. Just please don't tell anyone I was here."
Zami wanted to agree to the deal, and send the creature on her way, but curiosity got the better of her. "Who are you? Why can't I tell anyone about you?"
Reluctantly, the faerie gave up her name. "I'm Briyeta," she told her. The second question was left unanswered.
"What kind of faerie are you? Actually, let me guess. Just going by your yellow wings, I'd say you're a light faerie. Am I right?"
"I'm a cupcake faerie," she supplied readily. Almost proudly.
"What in Neopia is a cupcake faerie?"
"A faerie who makes cupcakes, obviously."
An answer like this could only mean one of two things, thought the Xweetok. Either that the faerie was completely crazy, which was likely, as she was risking everything to live in somebody's cupboard. Or that she was the crazy one, and the 'cupcake faerie' was simply a figment of her imagination. Zami didn't like the idea of being a madwoman, especially since she had a reputation for being the most sane of her group of friends. But there was a chance that she could have just been dreaming, or that she'd hit her head when she had fallen down the stairs, and knocked something loose. She couldn't really be crazy. Could she?
"Did you come to my house to make cupcakes?"
"And other things too. Cookies, pie, brownies. Any kind of dessert is my specialty!" The baby Xweetok's staring was starting to make her uncomfortable. "Uh, don't worry. I brought my own supplies." She held up her three inch suitcase, and Zami wondered how anything but a toothpick could possibly fit inside.
"Could you make cupcakes for a last day of school party?" Zami blurted, possibly without meaning to.
Briyeta grinned. "Whose last day of school is it?"
"Mine," said the Xweetok. "I'm supposed to bring a treat for the whole class, and I have no idea what to bake."
"No idea what to bake!" the faerie exclaimed. "You're a baker! That's why you volunteered, isn't it?"
Zami blinked. "How did you know that?"
"Call it a faerie's intuition. You're like me, aren't you?"
The Xweetok peered long and hard at the tiny creature. "I don't think so."
She giggled. "I could be wrong. No matter, though. We'd better start baking; school starts in two hours."
"Wait, you're going to help me?"
"You asked me to help you, didn't you?"
She wasted no time waiting for the girl to answer. "Come on then, help me get this bowl down."
And so they baked, working together to create a treat that tasted like something from a faerietale. Zami poured the sugar and Briyeta sprinkled the salt. Briyeta cracked the eggs and Zami separated them. Zami chopped up strawberries and Briyeta mixed them in, until the batter was the same colour as Zami's dress. When they were finished, they poured the light pink liquid into cupcake trays, put them in the oven and waited. After twenty minutes, their first batch of strawberry shortcake cupcakes were ready, and in another ten minutes, they were cool enough to eat.
"So," prompted Briyeta excitedly. "How do they taste?"
Mouth full of the giant bite she had taken, Zami nodded her head up and down many times. "You really are a cupcake faerie, aren't you?"
"Would I lie to you?" Briyeta broke a crumb off of her own cupcake.
"I don't know. All I really know about you is that you ran away from home, and broke into my house, only because you wanted to live in our cupboard."
"Hey, it's not like I know your whole life story either! You didn't even tell me your name, for crying out loud!"
She blushed. "You're right. I'm sorry."
"So? What's your name?"
"Zaminiae? Do they call you anything for short?"
"Zami. My friends call me Zami." A smile.
"Okay, Zami. I'll be on my way." She hopped down from the table and started in the direction of the door.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm leaving, just like I promised. I hear there's a house with an elevator in it in the town beside this one. A house that big must have a kitchen big enough for me to hide in!"
Zami caught the flying faerie in midair. "Please don't go."
"Hm? Why the sudden change of heart? Feel bad sending a poor, defenseless faerie out on her own? You don't have to worry about me, I've gotten this far on my own, haven't I?"
"It's not that. It's just.. I think I owe you a favour. You helped me make these cupcakes. I would never have been able to make them without you. Not at this time in the morning anyway."
The faerie shrugged. "You don't even know if your class will like them."
"I guess we'll find out in..." She looked at the clock. "Fifteen minutes! What was I thinking, volunteering to bring the food and help set up? I'm gonna be late!"
Moving as quickly as she could, the baby Xweetok packed the cupcakes tightly into two containers. Then she found a better hiding place for Briyeta, where her family, who had just woken up, wouldn't find her. She said goodbye to her parents, and was out the door with lightning speed, at a pace she liked to refer to as 'last day of school'.
The sounds of music and laughter rang through every classroom in Cedarbrook School. In some rooms, students were dancing, and in others they were playing games. In Mrs. Legreu's class however, most of the action was situated around the snack table.
"These cupcakes are awesome!"
"Are they strawberry?"
"Strawberry is my favourite!"
A group of students had gathered around their teacher.
"Did you make these, Mrs. Legreu?" one of the children asked.
The white Scorchio laughed. "My cupcakes don't taste this good! You have Zaminiae to thank for them."
"Thanks, Zami!" a small crowd of children shouted.
"Did your mother help you make them?" asked a Christmas JubJub named Razzie.
"She didn't," Zami answered truthfully. But deep in her heart, she knew she didn't deserve all the praise. How could she give credit where credit was due, without exposing Briyeta? "My friend helped me make them," she decided to say. "She's an excellent baker."
"She must be a lot like you!" said Zami's friend Tisane, taking another bite of her cupcake. "You guys make a great team."
It occurred to the Xweetok for the first time that what the baby Kacheek said was true. "We do make a good team, don't we..."
Shortly after twelve o' clock, when Zami got home, (the last day of school was only a half day) she shared with Briyeta the wonderful news.
"Tisane even asked me to bring a treat to her beginning of summer party!"
"What's a beginning of summer party?" the faerie inquired teasingly.
"A party to celebrate the beginning of summer, obviously," she teased back.
"Well, I suppose you're gonna want my help for that too."
"Only if you want to help me."
"How are you gonna make the perfect dessert without me?" she wondered, a little too cockily for the `
"Hey! The strawberry cupcakes were half my idea, you know. And you couldn't have baked them without me!"
The faerie was clearly extremely insulted. "Sure I could. I've baked things a million times better, without any neopet's help. Oh," she smirked. "And I've never needed anyone to think for me because it was too early for my brain to work."
That was all it took to set the Xweetok off yelling. "So you don't need my help then? Fine, you can start looking for a new cupboard to live in. I'm not going to lie to help a thankless brat like you!"
"Maybe I don't want help from a sissy little rich girl!" She started to imitate the girl's quiet voice. "Is the colour of the batter okay? I don't know, maybe it's not exactly the same shade as my dress!"
"You actually think I wanted the cupcakes to be strawberry so they would match my dress? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"
"You just say that because you know that's what you were thinking! I saw how many times you looked down at that blob of frill!"
"Blob of frill? Really? Okay, that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"
Just as Briyeta opened her mouth to return the blow, another voice called from the hallway. "Zami, did you bring a friend home from school? Who's in there with you?"
The voice was followed by the sound of clicking footsteps, high heels coming towards the kitchen.
In a split second, Zami grabbed the cupcake faerie, stuffed her in the nearest drawer and turned on the old Neovision set on the refrigerator. If she had been any slower, her mother surely would have caught her. "What's wrong, Mom?" the Xweetok played innocent, picking up a towel and pretending to dry the dishes.
"That's strange. I thought I heard someone in here with you. It must have been the Neovision."
All of the sudden, there was a noise. A strange noise, like a rattle, coming from the cutlery drawer...
Zami removed a bread knife from the soapy dish water, ran her towel over or it once or twice, and carefully laid it in the drawer, which squeaked and rattled as it was being opened and closed.
"I didn't realize how much that drawer needed to be oiled." The pink Xweetok frowned. As she was speaking, a sharp cry pierced the air, and the ears of the mother and daughter. It was the mournful whine of a two-year-old who had lost his favourite toy. "Mommy! My duck is squished!"
The mother knelt down to take the misshapen rubber duck from the wailing child. "What happened here?"
"Uh..." Zami chuckled nervously. "He shouldn't have left it in the middle of the stairs."
The mother departed with the baby Ogrin in one arm and the pathetic looking duck in the other. "Don't cry, Zacky. We'll fix it." Zami heard her say as she clicked down the hardwood floors of the hallway, away from the kitchen.
"Phew," the baby Xweetok sighed in relief. Her relief was short lived, unfortunately, as she soon remembered the contents of the drawer where she'd hidden the faerie.
"Sorry, Briyeta!" She flung open the drawer to see the faerie crouched between a fork and the bread knife.
"Whoa, what were you trying to do? Kill me?"
"Of course not!" she shouted, her anger returning to her. "I was trying to save you!"
"I know." Briyeta's expression lightened as she climbed out of the drawer, shinnying this way and that in an effort to avoid sharp utensils. "But, why? Why did you help me like that? I thought you would want me to get caught after... you know."
"I couldn't let my mom find you. She'd flip if she found out a stranger had made a house in her cupboard. And I would be so in trouble if she found out I knew, and didn't tell her. Not to mention you would be out of a home."
The faerie looked stunned. "Y-You still want me to stay? Are you serious?"
"Yeah. Unless I really am too sissy for you."
For once in her life, the cupcake faerie didn't know what to say. She settled for, "I didn't mean that, Zami. I'd be honoured to stay. If you don't mind my big mouth."
"Deal," Zami giggled, shaking the tiny faerie's hand with her finger. "We make a good team anyway. I bet we could bake anything with both of us working together."
"How 'bout we bake something now? There's this new recipe for chocolate fudge brownies I've been wanting to try."
"I can make cream cheese icing for them?"
"Cream cheese? That would be great!"
And in no time at all, the two bakers had created delicious cheesecake brownies, the ideal dessert to take to any 'last day of school', 'beginning of summer' or 'start of an everlasting friendship' party.