Faerie Origins: The Dung Faerie
"Meilara! What are you doing? I thought we agreed to meet closer to Illusen’s Glade! I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes looking like a doofus, gawking around, trying to find you!” The tall, lanky faerie had her arms akimbo, hands furiously gripping at her hips as she glared at her friend. “Do you not understand what ‘right outside where’ means? Do I need to be more specific next time, like … ‘right on Illusen’s doorstep’? Hello, Neopia to Meilara?”
The faerie she was speaking to was gazing out in the opposite direction, facing the many acres that stretched out before her bewildered eyes. She brushed her dark, wavy hair out of her hazel eyes and murmured, “How much land do you think is here, Vynessa? A thousand, maybe even a few thousand acres?”
“A few thousand acres? More like a few thousand feet.” She shrugged when Meilara shot her a nasty look. “Meilara, I’m just saying that this place isn’t that impressive, you know? Why are you always so, I don’t know … enthralled by it?”
Meilara shrugged. She stuck her tongue out at the blonde. “Ready to bug our most favorite faerie ever?”
They rushed off towards Illusen’s Glade, the thought of all those beautiful acres—however many there be—forever in the back of Meilara’s mind.
Illusen smiled warmly as the two faeries entered. “Hello Vynessa, Meilara. What may I do for you girls today?”
They both giggled, hands by their mouths. “Hi, Illusen!” they sang, never tiring of hearing their names in Illusen’s beautiful, seemingly all-knowing voice. They had been coming to visit Illusen for a few months now; it started off innocently, with the two girls curious to meet the renowned faerie in person, but after chatting for a while Illusen decided to take them under her metaphorical wing to mentor them in all areas of their lives. She always encouraged them to speak their minds, ask all questions, and—most importantly—never fear to be themselves. Meilara spoke up, asking almost without thinking.
“How did you know what kind of faerie you wanted to be?”
Illusen tilted her head, green and red hair falling off her shoulders and encasing her body. “What do you mean, Meilara?”
“I mean …” the dark-haired faerie sighed, ignoring the strange look Vynessa threw her way. “I know you’re an Earth faerie, and I know you live here because of all that stuff that happened with Meridell, but … what made you decide to help people? Why do you give out quests and reward Neopians and-and be so generous with your wealth? How did you know that’s who you wanted to be?”
Illusen smiled, eyes soft with understanding. She reached out and lifted Meilara’s face. “One day, perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a hundred years, you’ll find that there is an ember burning right in the center of your chest. That’s called ‘passion’, Meilara. When that tiny spark starts, you can do one of two things; you can douse it with water and watch it go out, or you can stoke the fire and watch it engulf everything—your job, your past times, your life. My passion is helping Neopians and allowing them a tiny peak into my life by offering them opportunities to help me. Yes, I am an Earth faerie; yes, I left my homeland in search of something more; yes, I’m extremely happy here. If you have a passion—either of you, this is directed to you as well, Vynessa—then you must make that decision.” She winked and added, “I know you’ll make the right decision.”
Meilara couldn’t hide her grin and tucked her long locks behind her ears. She tugged at the straps of her overalls and murmured, “Thanks.”
Vynessa tossed her long blonde hair over her shoulder and asked, “Do you get lonely being out here all the time? I couldn’t imagine being away from my friends for more than, like, ten minutes at a time.”
“Of course not!” Illusen motioned towards all the items that were both littered and neatly piled across the room. “There are many Neopians that come through here with such an honest willingness to help … they don’t get to chat long, of course, because I need to keep them on a time limit, but they’re so sweet. And you girls fill my life with a joy unspeakable! I understand what you mean about fearing loneliness, but when you’re generous to other and they are generous to you, you’re never really lonely because you make friends everywhere you go.”
Vynessa shrugged at this. “How do you braid your hair like that?”
Illusen gave Meilara a quick “some people never get it” look, then began to explain her hairstyle techniques to the dazzled blonde.
Meilara chose to look out of Illusen’s doorway, off in the direction of Meri Acres Farm. She was always aware of the ember right in her center, but never stopped to think too deeply about it. She knew exactly what her passion was and nothing—and no one—would stop her from doing it.
“What is this stuff, Meilara? It’s just … dung.”
Meilara rolled her eyes and shoved some items towards Vynessa who was, interestingly enough, sporting a new, yet familiar, braid. “They’re not dung, they’re gifts. You wouldn’t be able to appreciate that though because they don’t have an expensive price tag attached to them.”
“Wow. Snippy.” She sniffed and began packaging all the items Meilara had collected into a large bag. “What are you planning on doing with all this stuff, anyway?”
Meilara tied in a knot in one of the bags and said, “Guess you’ll find out, won’t you?”
Vynessa laughed. “You’re always up to something strange, aren’t you, Mei? I think I know where some of this stuff is going.”
“Oh, do you? Where exactly is that?”
“Your thousands upon thousands of acres, obviously.” She said this with a dopey expression, mimicking Meilara’s obvious feigned ignorance. “Why would anyone want this dung?”
“It’s not dung!” Meilara threw her hands in the air. “How many times do I have to say that?”
“What? It’s only the second time.” She haphazardly pushed some of the items around with a long finger and breathed out heavily. “Meilara, I know you want to do something good but … is this really the right way? What are you planning on doing with this stuff?” She picked up a piece of paper and said, “What’s anyone going to do with this, like, for real?”
“It’s not … the right person will find it. All these items are special in some way, and not everyone has the potential to see their use. No offense, Vynessa, but you probably can’t see the use of paper.”
“Hmm. I could use it to write a letter asking for all dung to be destroyed immediately.”
“Not dung,” Meilara chirped. “That’s a pretty good idea. Good on you, Vynessa.”
The blonde threw an apple core at her friend and laughed. “I’m capable of some good ideas. When are we shipping this stuff out?”
“In a few minutes, I want to make sure that I’ve got everything packed up.” She took a quick look around and, aside from the items next to Vynessa, everything was in a bag. “Awesome. Hurry up and we’ll be ready to go!”
Vynessa gulped, swallowing her pride, and began tossing all the items into the bag, whining for Meilara to not leave her behind.
“Whadya want?” Charlie screeched, waving his pitchfork and spitting chewed up bits of food. The girls recoiled, holding the bags up to the face to shield themselves from the flying bits.
Vynessa tossed the bag, shouted, “I’m out”, and took off running, blonde hair wildly careening behind her. Meilara screamed at her to come back but was quickly silenced when the straps of her overalls were yanked by the Kacheek farmer.
“WHADYA WANT?” He shoved her away and glared. “Git outta here!”
“Wait!” she held her hands out. “Listen, I know you get a lot of hecklers out here, but I wanted … I wanted to do something nice.”
He squinted. “Nice? Whadya mean?”
“I have a bag of stuff here that a lot of people would think is … well, dung. But I know some people could get some use out of it! I know this is a rubbish dump, but not everything is as it appears.”
Charlie nodded. “A’ight. Give’r ‘ere.” He took the bags and opened them. “Go-o-o-lly! There’s some good stuff in ‘ere!” He wiped his nose and asked, “This is mighty gen’rous of you, Miss, er … what’s yer name?”
Meilara pursed her lips. She looked Charlie right in the eye and, with the biggest smile she ever wore, said, “The Dung Faerie.”