The Faerie Queen
”I think I see a castle up ahead…we’re almost there!”
Lacey squealed with excitement. She was finally going to Faerieland! It had always been Lacey’s dream to visit Faerieland, and now it was being made possible thanks to her class field trip. She and her classmates had learned all about the land’s history—how it once floated in the sky upon cloud tops, but now rests peacefully on Neopia’s surface. She had become somewhat obsessed with Faerieland soon after learning about it. Lacey was a faerie Neopet herself, after all, so she felt a connection to the land and wanted to discover everything it had to offer.
The young Poogle had brought her most treasured belonging with her on this trip: Her Faerie Queen Doll. Lacey carefully brushed the doll’s long purple hair, admiring its beauty. Its eyes glowed magically. It looked just like Queen Fyora herself. Lacey wondered if she would get to see the queen while they were in Faerieland. The chances were slim to none, since the ruler of the faeries was so busy, but she felt a rush of enthusiasm at the possibility. It would be such an honor to tell Queen Fyora just how much she looked up to her! Lacey hugged her doll closely, wishing with all of her heart that the day would meet all of her expectations.
“We’re here!” Lacey’s teacher Ms. Valerie announced. “Everybody follow me, and stay close where I can see you. We will be taking a tour of Faerieland all the way into the city.”
Lacey tucked her Faerie Queen Doll into the side pocket of her bag where it would be safe while she walked. It was finally time to see all of Faerieland’s greatest landmarks in real life, not just as pictures in a textbook!
The class followed their teacher for a few minutes and finally approached a massive arching gate. Lacey began to quiver, hardly able to contain herself as the gates slowly swung open. She walked with the crowd around her, taking her first footstep into the magical land.
Her mouth dropped open in awe. Spectacular green vegetation and a multitude of colorful floras were blossoming as far as her eye could see, with turquoise cascades running through the hills. Tiny faeries whizzed by—some yellow, some blue, some green—hardly stopping to notice the dozens of wide eyes staring curiously at them. But what grabbed Lacey’s attention the most were the elegant castles off in the distance. They made up what was known as Faerie City. In the center of them all was the tallest castle of them all. It was a brilliant shade of purple, brighter than the rest of the buildings, with spiraling points and shiny windows. Was it Queen Fyora’s castle? Lacey wondered. But then she remembered her studies—the queen’s home was a closely guarded secret, so it was unlikely that the castle that stood out the most would be hers.
Lacey’s thoughts were interrupted by Ms. Valerie’s voice. She was being called over to follow the group for the start of the tour. She bounded over to them, trying to figure out which landmark they would be visiting first.
“Over here you can see one of Neopia’s famous wheels: The Wheel of Excitement! Isn’t it exciting?” Ms. Valerie gushed. A petite light faerie was hovering next to the rainbow wheel with a bored expression on her face. She doesn’t look very excited to me, Lacey thought.
“Can we spin the wheel?” a classmate raised his hand and asked.
Ms. Valerie replied cheerily, “If you brought Neopoints to spend, you can spin the Wheel of Excitement at the end of the trip. But now it is time to move on to our next stop—The Faerieland Employment Agency!” The class groaned and followed her reluctantly.
Lacey shuffled her feet impatiently. Landmarks like the Wheel of Excitement and the Faerieland Employment Agency were all very important, but they weren’t the particular places that she was hoping to spend most of her time during the trip. She wanted to see where famous faeries lived, such as the mystical Fountain Faerie or even Jhudora, the evil faerie! Maybe even Fyora…
Lacey reached down into the pocket of her back to grab her Faerie Queen Doll. Her paw touched the soft fabric of the bottom of the bag. She fished around some more, but soon it became clear that the pocket was empty. Frantically searching the rest of her bag and the ground around her, Lacey started to panic. Her precious Faerie Queen Doll was gone! She had been so absorbed in the Faerieland tour that she hadn’t even noticed it falling out. Lacey bit her lip, trying desperately to hold back tears in front of her classmates.
“Ms. Valerie?” Lacey raised her hand. But her teacher was engrossed in the class lecture about the employment agency. “Ms. Valerie!” Lacey called out louder, realizing she was rudely interrupting.
“Do you have a question about the agency, Lacey?” Ms. Valerie asked.
“I, uhh…no, not quite,” Lacey stammered. “I mean, I do have a question. Can I quickly retrace our steps and go back the way we came? I dropped something.”
To Lacey’s dismay, Ms. Valerie shook her head. “No, Lacey. I can’t let you leave the group on a trip like this. You would risk getting lost, and Faerieland is very big. We must all stay together! Maybe you’ll find it as we’re leaving.”
Lacey pouted angrily. It was getting harder for her to hold back her tears. She could sense her classmates staring questioningly at her, but she refused to break down in front of them.
Ms. Valerie had quickly turned her attention back to the Faerieland Employment Agency, asking the representatives to give advice to the class. Lacey waited for her classmates to refocus on the lecture, and once Ms. Valerie’s back was turned…
She quickly slipped out of the room and exited the employment agency building. Lacey felt a bit guilty for disobeying her teacher, but she had to find her doll. To some Neopets, it might just look like a normal toy, but to Lacey it was the most important item in the world.
“Okay, we came from that direction,” Lacey spoke aloud to herself, staring in the direction of the Wheel of Excitement. “And the entrance gates are over this way…or, are they that way?” She scowled, trying to remember. She decided she would head towards the Wheel of Excitement, scanning the ground as she walked.
But the farther she walked, the more worried she became. What if someone found it on the path and took it? It was a very valuable item and she wouldn’t be surprised if somebody wanted to keep it for themselves. I can’t believe I was so careless! she thought miserably.
Lacey looked up to see how close she was to the Wheel of Excitement. It was nowhere in sight. She spun her head around in every direction, trying to find it. It was a giant rainbow wheel, how hard could it be to find? But in her panic, she must have walked too far away from it to be able to see it. Which direction to I go now? Lacey wondered. Not only was she missing her favorite item, but now she was lost in an unfamiliar land. Ms. Valerie had been right, and she was going to be furious with Lacey for disobeying her.
Lacey sat on a nearby rock and threw her head into her paws. She wasn’t holding back tears anymore. She let them flow, just as the beautiful turquoise waters flowed in the streams around her. This was supposed to be the greatest day of her life! She was in Faerieland, a place she had always dreamed of visiting, but here she was sitting on a rock and sobbing. She was mad at herself for setting her expectations too high and for being so careless with her items. And on top of it all, she was lost and didn’t know what to do next.
“I believe this belongs to you?” a voice behind her said, making her jump. Lacey turned around to see who was talking to her.
Lacey gasped, trying to process what was going on. Am I dreaming? she wondered, blinking a few times. The figure who asked the question was tall, beautiful, and had long purple hair.
It was Queen Fyora!
The queen held an object in her hand, extending it out to Lacey. She gasped once more when she realized what it was. Fyora was holding her Faerie Queen Doll!
“You’re…how did you…” Lacey stumbled over her words. This is the worst time for me to forget how to speak!
“Take it,” Fyora smiled. Lacey received the doll from the queen’s gentle hands and hugged it close to her once again, promising not to be so careless with it anymore. “Let’s get you back to your class,” the queen said.
Fyora took Lacey’s paw and led the way, striding through Faerieland confidently. Lacey felt overcome with emotions, taking in and appreciating every moment of the journey. Finally, she began to recognize the location. They had just passed the Faerieland Employment Agency and were coming up to the Faerie Caverns, where Lacey could see her class standing in front of. Ms. Valerie had a horrified expression on her face and it was evident that she was keeping the rest of the class within her sight.
“There you are!” Ms. Valerie screeched when she saw Lacey. “I turned around for one minute and you were gone! Do you know how worried we were about you?”
Lacey opened her mouth to apologize, but Fyora answered first. “I’m sorry about this, but Lacey was with me. She should not be in any trouble.”
Ms. Valerie narrowed her eyes at first, then realized it was Queen Fyora who was talking to her. She bowed her head in respect. “As you say, Queen Fyora,” she said.
Fyora turned to Lacey once more, pulling her out of earshot from the rest of the class. “I hope you understand how dangerous it was for you to leave your group all by yourself! I know you wanted to find your doll, but there is nothing more important than your safety.” Fyora paused, not wanting to frighten Lacey. She softened her voice and continued. “I heard that you really look up to me. That makes me feel very happy. Maybe you could be a queen someday, too! I hope your doll reminds you of that.”
“Thank you, Queen Fyora,” Lacey finally managed to say. “Thank you so much for everything.” She watched as the beautiful faerie queen winked at her, spread her wings, and flew away into the sky.
Lacey looked down at the Faerie Queen Doll in her paws. It had been special to her before, but after the day’s events, it had an even greater meaning to her. She would never lose it again. From then on, it would always remind her of when Queen Fyora helped her in Faerieland. The day had been perfect after all.