The Happy Crystal
Dessinere gazed at her own reflection in the mirror, which was crystal clear. She sighed and wiped the tears which were falling from her eyes. She had never expected such a mishap to take place.
In the reflection stood an Aisha, unhappy looking. She was full of gloom and darkness, grey from top to bottom. But there was a bright, rosy pink patch which cancelled some of the gloom from her. It was what she called her 'healing scar.' It helped to heal her wounds and stopped her tears eventually. It was the only component which supported her in her life of darkness.
But how did she get this pink patch? Rather, a more accurate question would be-how did she become so grey and miserable?
No Neopian would ever be able to digest the fact that the depressed Dessinere was once the happiest Neopian alive, four years ago. She used to be gracious, smiling and full of gaiety. She even won the Miss Neopia award. Until something disastrous happened, which left her life shattered.
Dessinere's mother knew the most powerful magical spells in Neopia. Lord Darigan wanted her mother to teach him these, so that he could conquer Neopia. When she refused, he got angry and cursed Dessinere to become a Grey Aisha forever. He imprisoned Dessinere's parents in his dungeon. And that was when all the happiness was washed out of the Faerie Aisha.
All she had now was a mistress, Rosemary to look after her and her expensive mansion which she resided in. All the glitter and glamour in her surroundings had no effect on her gloom.
"Dessinere, it's time for your lunch!" called Rosemary from downstairs.
The Aisha rubbed her eyes and slouched down to the dining room, her ears drooping.
"I made your favorite chicken taco." she said, smiling a little. Dessinere had no sign of cheer on her face but she gobbled down her taco. She was hungrier than the Turmaculus.
"Dessie, I think you should forget it...but hmm...I think you should find a solution to your problem. Cheer up." she said in a jolly face, pouring some watermelon punch into her glass.
She sipped the punch and gave Rosemary a hug. She was like her best friend and had always stood up for her.
"Still sad? Well, I have something to pep you up, dear. There's a Chocolate Festival at Brightvale today hosted by King Hagan. I think you should check it out." she said, beaming.
"Good idea. That might help me cheer up a bit." she murmured.
She went to her closet, fetched a navy blue dress and wore it over her nightgown. The blue silk went well with her bland looks. She woke up Clyde, her pet Warf.
"Good morning, Clyde." she said, pouring some beef and vegetables into his bowl. He woofed happily and ate the food faster than it appeared before him.
"Thanks for the beef, Dessie!" said the Warf.
"Well, you finished that fast. So, want to come to the Chocolate Festival at Brightvale with me?" she asked, petting him softly.
"Ooooh! Do they have chocolate cream filled biscuits and tarts?" he asked, jumping around.
"Maybe. They even have chocolate achyfi!" she said, pretending to be happy.
"Let's go, then!"
The cute Warf pounced upon Dessinere's lap and Dessinere ran outside, scrambling over. She decided to sit in one of the Poogle-drawn carts.
"Where to?" asked the Faerie Poogle.
"Well we're going to Brightvale." she said.
"Chocolate Festival." added Clyde.
"Okay then. I'll stop by for some chocolate treats too." she said, grinning eagerly.
She started flapping her huge, pink wings and the two of them were soaring along with the cart. Clyde stuck his tongue out at a Drackonack, who was trying to jump to the cart. We quickly arrived and the Poogle got down and stopped.
"That will be 500 neopoints, please." she said.
Dessinere drew a purse from the pocket of her dress and pulled out a lump of coins. The purse was a never full purse. It had been jinxed by her mother so that it could carry an infinite number of neopoints.
"Thank you." said the Poogle. Dessinere and Clyde trotted along a path where a sign was standing.
"Chocolate Festival Here." said Clyde, reading it out. They eagerly walked across the sign and saw a living dream. There was a huge chocolate fountain with strawberries and pound cake for dipping. There were chocolate tarts, chocolate dipped marshmallows, white chocolate bars, chocolate cakes, chocolate cookies, chocolate biscuits...basically chocolate everything.
Clyde jumped over to the counter with chocolate biscuits and sat on top the table, chomping on crunchy cookies and biscuits where a Uni cuddled him. Dessinere looked around, only to be trampled by a running Meerca.
"Hey, watch it!" shouted the Meerca, shaking his fist.
"You're the one who bumped into me, fool!" she shot back angrily.
"Oh yeah? Why were you standing there?"
"WATCH YOUR STEP, ragdoll!!" she bellowed.
The Meerca was quite frightened.
"I'm sorry. I was just reaching for the last chocolate pudding." he murmured.
"My name is Stanley Stone. What is yours?"
"I'm Dessinere Taniste. But I go by Dess or Dessie." she stammered.
"I think I've heard that name before." he said.
He pulled out a Brucey-B print handkerchief and wiped his sweat.
"So, you're here for the chocolate too?"
"Not really, but my happy-go-lucky Warf is." she grumbled, pointing to a Warf gobbling down chocolate tarts.
"Say, that is a lot of chocolate pudding he's munching on." he chuckled. "I was once like that too."
Suddenly, gloom faded from Dessinere's face. She curled her lips into the most convincing smile ever. It was the first time she actually even smiled in the four years of her darkness.
"You remind me of a Faerie Aisha." he said, grinning. "Everyone said she had the best smile in Neopia." "Even her name was Dessinere. Just like-"
He paused for a second and stared at Dessinere.
"Wait! Are YOU Dessinere?" he asked, shell-shocked.
There was a crowd of Neopians surrounding her.
"Yeah..." she murmured sadly.
"Hmm...prove it. Well, let me give you a test question. What was the outfit you sported to the Miss Neopia contest?"
"A frilly pink gown with designer shoes and a handbag."
"Wow, so you really are Miss Neopia. I'm sorry, it's just so surprising to see Miss Neopia in such a downtrodden condition, you know." he said in a guilty voice. "Sorry for trampling you over." he added.
"It's okay. And please call me Dess. I don't like so much attention." she said, looking at all the Neopians surrounding her. "Lord Darigan had turned me grey." she murmured.
"Hey, I could help you." He leaned over to Dessinere and whispered.
"You can ask Queen Fyora to help you."
"Okay." She called Clyde over and wiped the chocolate off his face. They called the Poogle and instructed her to bring them to Faerieland again.***
"So that's what I'm thinking." finished Dessinere, after telling her about Stanley's plan.
"Hmm...I'm not sure about this, Dessie. But if you have the determination..." said Rosemary, pausing.
"Then go ahead!"
"Off I go, then."
She scrambled through the Poogle carts as fast as she could, rushing over to Fyora's castle. There were two Faeries guarding the castle.
"May I meet the Faerie Queen?" she asked.
"Your Majesty is busy now, but you may visit her." said one of them. The faerie escorted Dessinere to the Faerie Queen's lair, passing a few trap doors and gates. Then she allowed her to walk inside.
"Your Majesty." she blurted out. "I need your help."
The queen was giving instructions to a light faerie and turned over to her.
"Sure, my dear. Just a moment. Athena, please leave my lair for a second." she said calmly.
"Well, I need your help. You know, four years ago, Lord Darigan-"
"Imprisoned your parents and turned you into a grey pet? I know that." she said.
"But how?" she asked, amazed.
"I got to know from one of my loyals the day after the incident happened. A Kougra, she is." she said, smiling. "And I have just the thing for you."
She drew a crystal from the palm of her hand and rubbed it on Dessinere's forehead. It blended into her skin and a sea of changing colors covered her. The grey tint faded entirely from her body and she was no longer a Grey Aisha. She felt as cheerful as she was before she was turned grey by Lord Darigan.
"Well, Miss Neopia, how do you feel now?"
"I feel like sunshine and rainbows now!" A wide smile stretched across her face.
"But how did you do that, faithful queen?" she asked.
"You won't believe me, but the crystal I gave you was a very rare crystal. And I obtained it because of you. When Lord Darigan turned you grey, he captured your happiness in a bottle so that it wouldn't stream back into your skin. It's actually quite difficult to do so. There are only two of these crystals in Neopia. One is the crystal which runs one of the most important machines in Moltara. The other, I guess, was part of an elixir a Kougra, Danoise stole from Lord Darigan's chamber when she delivered a message to him from me as a gift to me. I recognized this as the remains of the happy crystal, which was actually outstanding. I could have used this to create a very rare kind of faerie wand, but then I got to know that this happy crystal belonged to you. So I decided that one day, I would bring it into its original shape and give it back to you. But I've been so engaged with preparations for events that I forgot all about it. Thankfully, you came here and reminded me." she confessed, smiling.
"Oh, thank you! I couldn't think of a single way to return your deeds, your Majesty." she said, joyfully.
"Wait, that's not it! Danoise rescued your parents too. She's in the dining room, downstairs." added the queen.
"Thank you once again, your Majesty." said Dessinere, bowing. She leaped with grace towards the fancy dining room."
"Mom! Dad!" she squealed. She hugged her parents tighter than anything.
"It's so good to have you back, sweetheart." said her mother.
"You're back to normal again, dear." said her dad.
"So, let's go home and have lunch!" she squealed, trembling down the pink stairs decorated with ribbon.***
It was a happy ending for Dessinere. She was no longer full of darkness and gloom like she was. A doorbell rang and Rosemary opened the door.
"A letter." she said. She pulled it out and read it aloud.
"You are invited to participate in the Miss Neopia contest for this year on 12th September, the month of Hiding.
Sincerely, the Faerie Queen."
"Well, Dessie, you are once again going to be Miss Neopia." said her mother.
"Not so fast. You need to wear that beautiful smile of yours. It is your best accessory!" chuckled Rosemary.
They all laughed and gulped down an enormous slice of carnapepper casserole prepared by Rosemary.
"Thanks to Stanley, I'm now back to normal." thought Dessinere.
She walked upstairs and dozed off, dreaming about the Miss Neopia contest.