A Faerie's Tale
Slowly and surely it drained every last drop of compassion from me. Without fail I grew every day weaker than the last. I was inevitably, irrefutably, unmistakably destroyed.
You would've never known that at one point I was sweet and jubilant; a nurturing soul. There was never a malicious word that passed my lips. I was gentle. I was kind. Until the universe faithfully and thoroughly ruined me.
Let me tell you my story.
My name is Jhudora. I was born in Faerie City about twenty-five years ago into a quaint little house on the outskirts of town. My mother, a Fire Faerie, was a kind and loving women. She was the perfect mother. I was an only child, though I had always yearned for younger siblings. As you may or may not know, all Faeries attend the same school, the Faerie Academy, from ages six to eighteen. There I met my best friend, Illusen.
When a Faerie is young, no one knows what type of Faerie she will be. She has plain wings and hair and is in all ways unremarkable. It is not dependent on what kind of Faerie her mother is. There are no indicators that predict which type of Faerie she will become. For this reason, all Faeries are taught only basic magic until their fifteenth year. On September twentieth, Faerie Day, all Faeries that are fifteen will discover their special powers in a celebration called the Aging Ceremony.
So there was no discrimination when we were young. Illusen and I would do everything together and no one would bat an eyelash. We shared our anxieties, our secrets, and our cheer. We were two apples taken from the same tree.
But time, as it often does, changed everything. On September nineteenth Illusen and I talked about about the impending catastrophe about to unfold, unbeknownst to us at the time.
"Now remember. We're still the same people inside," Illusen reminded me.
"I know," I reassured her.
We shared a quick and embrace and a parting smile as we both took our separate ways home.
"Jhudora! Wake-up! Today is a very important day!" my mother told me, gently rousing me from a deep slumber.
Groggily, I got up and gobbled down a quick breakfast of Fluffy Faerie Pancakes. In a hurry, I flew to school, eagerness manifesting itself inside me with a tingling sensation in my stomach. When I arrived, more than half of the fifteen-year-old Faeries were there, already sitting. I scouted out Illusen, who raised a hand to guide me over.
"Are you nervous?" I asked her.
"Yeah, a little," she replied.
"Me too," I admitted.
She opened her mouth as to say something more, but at that point the room fell silent. The Faerie Queen descended into the room, her lavender wings and hair standing out against our plainness.
"Faeries of Faerieland," Fyora began her speech, "I'm very pleased to be privy to such a pivotal moment in your lives. Today you find out who you are and where you belong. I am overjoyed to announce the commencement of the Aging Ceremony!"
And with that Fyora raised her staff. It first began to glow a soft yellow, then red, and finally exploding, showering us with glowing magical crystals. I closed my eyes and felt the transformation take place. I felt the magical crystals being absorbed into my skin, strengthening me and altering me.
'Only altering your appearance,' I reminded myself.
"The ceremony is now over. I wish you the best of luck," announced Fyora before departing.
Gradually I opened my eyes and rotated toward Illusen. Her newly brown hair and green wings let me know immediately that she'd become an Earth Faerie.
"You're an Earth Faerie!" I told her excitedly, "Well, go on then. Tell me what I am!"
Illusen's eyes met mine and I could see the fear brewing in them. Nervously, I bit my lip.
"Y-you're... a Dark Faerie...," she stammered.
Disbelief seized my heart and mind. But a strand of violet hair fell over my shoulder, proving her right. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see my purple wings. I glanced around the room and realized that I was the focal point. Out of about one hundred Faeries, I was the only Dark Faerie. I looked around at the wide-eyed Water, Light, Earth, Fire, and Air Faeries. Their faces all spelled out clear timidity. Suddenly self-conscious, I began to leave. Before I could exit, Illusen reached out and grabbed my shoulder.
"Remember, you're still the same person," she assured me, but in her voice there was an edge of doubt.
I managed a smile that was more of a grimace. I escaped the room and took a different path home. A much lonelier path. As day turned to dusk, I began to panic because I still had a little way til home. Hurriedly, I doubled my pace.
The sky continued to darken and my heartbeat started increasing. The trees were beginning to look unfamiliar, but I assumed it was the quickly darkening heavens making my mind play tricks on me.
Night fell upon the forest. At this point, I was aware that I was lost. My wings had grown tired, my heart weary, and my heart cold. I stopped at the base at a large oak tree. Shivering, I realized that I now had the ability to warm myself up with magic. I lifted my hand and suddenly conjured a violet ball of light, heating my core up. As I sat in the warmth of my magic and the shelter of the tree, it began to drizzle.
"Hello...," came a voice from behind me.
I jumped with a start.
"Who are you?" I managed to whisper.
"We are many," said a different voice.
"Of one mind...," muttered another.
"Please show yourselves," I demanded in a quivering voice.
Five figures slowly emerged from the darkness and encircled me.
"We heard that this year there was only one Dark Faerie...," murmured a short-haired Faerie to those beside her.
The tallest Faerie stepped forward and inclined her head slightly.
"Congratulations. You're a Dark Faerie. And now you can choose: Become one of us, or become a victim of our society," she said in a soft, but authoritative voice.
"Dark Faeries!" she continued, now speaking to everyone in the vicinity, "We have been wronged by all of Neopia. They spread rumors and discriminate against us without reason. So, what are we here to do?"
Everyone except for me replied in unison, "To give them a reason!"
The tall Faerie stared me in the eyes.
"So what do you say? Are you in?" she questioned, extending her hand out to me.
I considered for a moment, then I took her hand in mine and shook it. And just like that I was in.
"Good choice," she told me, helping me up.
"What are your names?" I inquired.
"That's not important," she said to me with a swift wink, "We're your friends. That's all that's important."
"Now there's the matter of initiation," piped up a spiky-haired Faerie.
"This one should be a very special initiation. Something that will make all of Neopia see us as the toughest force to be reckoned with," suggested a Faerie with long, wavy hair.
"Yes indeed," said the tall Faerie, "Jhudora... I want you to do something unspeakable."
"And what would that be?" I asked.
"Steal Fyora's staff."
And with a flash they disappeared.
Cold and now yet again alone, I wondered what exactly I'd just agreed to. Somehow though, I found the strength inside me to go on. After several minutes I saw a soft, indefinite glow. Slowly, the blurred image turned familiar. It transformed into the place I used to call home.
Carefully, I opened the front door. My mother sat in a cushioned rocking chair in front of the fireplace. I could hear her soft, whispery cries.
"Mom...," I began cautiously.
She raised her head slightly and twisted toward me.
"Oh my...," she gasped.
"Is everything okay?" I asked.
"Get away from me," she whispered.
"I'm your daughter!" I asserted.
"You are no daughter of mine. You've been turned into one of those evil... things," she gasped.
"What? A Dark Faerie?" I questioned loudly.
She simply nodded her head.
Angered, I headed back out the door, my head reeling. My thoughts turned to the sinister plot developed by the group that had met with me earlier. I thought of the stares I received earlier at school, the strained way in which Illusen conversed with me, and the most recent callousness of my own mother. My irascibility boiled up to the brim and I made the worst decision of my life.
I decided to do the task assigned to me.
Dawn was just over the horizon as I arrived at Fyora's castle. Guards surrounded the ground entrances. As I was contemplating, how to break in, my eyes caught a glimmer. Someone had left a window open. Not believing my luck, I carefully maneuvered my way up, keeping out of sight of the guards.
Fyora lay in a regal, quilted bed before me. Her staff was suspended in a glittery, purple glow. Anxiously, I reached my hand out to touch it, but before I reached it, it zapped me. Alarms started blaring throughout the palace. I was paralyzed from the shock, and as the guards raced in and took me into their custody, I had no choice but to remain motionless. In a couple of hours, the brought me before some of them most influential figures in Faerieland, Fyora at the head of them.
She looked me squarely in the eyes and firmly declared the following:
"Jhudora, you have broken into the Faerie Palace and attempted to steal the most powerful item in all of Faerieland; my staff. Although your motives are unclear, I have made a decision I think appropriate for your punishment. You are hereby banished to a cloud island outside of Faerieland. It will be known as Jhudora's Cloud. You will not be allowed to enter the city, nor will you be considered one of our denizens."
The applause from the crowd stung like bees. A pair of guards escorted me to the location of my banishment. They cast a spell on it, restraining me to outside of Faerieland. Thunderclouds rolled in overhead. Raising my arms, I used magic to produce a shack to protect me from the frigid outdoors. Shivering, I created a small ball of light to warm me up and made a crude fireplace. Thunder clapped viciously overhead. Strong winds whistled outside of my door.
Suddenly my door was flung open. The five Dark Faeries who had found me in the forest stood before me. Their eyes flashed with anger. The tall leader stepped forward and addressed me.
"Jhudora, you have failed us. You are a disgrace, not only to us, but to all Dark Faeries. You disgust me," she spat.
And as quickly as they had come, they vanished. Tears came streaming down my face. Shame and disappointment broiled within me along with anger and sadness.
And in that shack I stayed, harsh words reaching me from all corners of Neopia. On that island of isolation, I stayed as my life crumbled. There I remained as I was inevitably, irrefutably, unmistakably destroyed.