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Once Upon a Fyora Day


by really_awesome_d00d

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It was a bright and cheery day in Faerieland, much like every other day. Sun filtered down through the thin air above, landing in sunny patches across the cloudy utopia. Faellies, Meekinses, Flossets, and faerie petpets galore flitted and danced merrily, weaving intricate patterns in the sky. Faeries and Neopets who lived in the heavenly paradise began to awaken to the start of a fresh new day.

     But this was no ordinary day. This was a holiday.

     This was Fyora Day.

     As the citizens of Faerieland awoke, excitement beat in each of their hearts. Today was the day to celebrate Queen Fyora! The very thought exhilarated them. Fyora deserved praise; she was wise, powerful, and a steadfast ruler. It was no easy job to rule Faerieland, either, and a day of rest and relaxation was well-deserved. Most, if not all, of the faeries felt this way.

     And Illusen was no exception.

     The earth faerie awoke lazily, yawning and rubbing her eyelids. Brushing back a lock of her auburn hair the delighted young Faerie checked her calendar. After all these days of waiting, it was finally Fyora Day. With a yelp of glee she bolted out from her bed, charging to the mirror in her bathroom. Oh, there was so much to do, so much to get ready for!

     She turned on the sink, pulled out her toothbrush, and scrubbed her teeth to white perfection and until her gums began to ache. When she was done, she drew her favorite tube of lipstick – it was a glossy leaf green – and brushed it softly against her smiling lips, not trying to smudge or waste it. After that was done, she put the lipstick back in her drawer and drew a worn brush. Tugging it through her silken auburn locks, Illusen untangled it and brushed it until every lock of her brown and green hair shone. With that out of the way, she rose to her feet and took a deep breath, thinking fondly of the dress she were to wear.

     The entire year, Illusen had been juggling a thousand things at once. Whether it was practicing her spells, conjuring leaves, making flowers bloom, or making soil fertile, Illusen was constantly training to become an earth faerie. In between this hectic schedule of little play, the earth faerie had been earning money through performing simple spells in front of young Neopian audiences and giving out blessings.

     Only last week did she finally have the necessary Neopoints required to buy the dress. She'd been eyeing it enviously all yearlong, dreaming of the thought of wearing such a beautiful garment. Wrought of pure green silk, woven with tiny, leaf-shaped emeralds, and complete with gloves and shoes, Illusen knew it was the perfect thing to wear for this most special of days. In fact, that was the purpose for which she had purchased it.

     Illusen carefully pulled it out from her wardrobe, her eyes glistening as she looked the glorious gown over. It was pristine - it had never been worn - and Illusen could only imagine the look on the other faeries' faces when they saw her in it. With a bright, toothy grin the earth faerie slipped into it. As the cool silk brushed against her skin, she felt happy and content. She'd earned this dress.

     Fitting on her gloves and shoes, carefully, as not to break anything, Illusen took one last look at herself in the mirror. She could truly see herself as happy, now. Her hair was brushed smooth; her face was made up to perfection. A glossy green smile creased her face, shining back at her. With a deep breath of resolve, Illusen smoothed one final wrinkle of her dress and headed out the door.

     Illusen sighed contentedly. There was no way this day could go wrong.

     ---

     "Illusen, you look absolutely marvelous!"

     "Illusen, where did you get that dress? It looks great on you!"

     "Illusen, you're breathtaking! Where did you get that beautiful dress?"

     "Illusen, you look amazing."

     Illusen smiled warmly at all of these comments, laughing shyly. "Oh, I bought it from Mea's Dress Shop, down in Faerie City, and thank you." The grin she bore spread, literally, to each of her pointy ears. As she strolled down towards where the parade would take place, a hand tapped her on the shoulder. Whirling around, she stared into the pure blue eyes of her best friend, and yet again that friendly, all-too-Illusen smile formed on her lips.

     "Illusen, you look terrific!" Kiana said, gasping in awe. "You must've been up for hours getting ready!" The Air Faerie truly appeared shocked.

     "Oh, I wasn't up for too long," Illusen explained. "I've been saving up for this dress for a year, for just this occasion."

     "You really do look amazing in it, you know," Kiana replied, a pleasant smirk on her pale face. "If Fyora doesn't notice you in that dress, then I've just become the apprentice of the Space Faerie."

     "Don't flatter me," Illusen responded, giggling, waving away the compliments. "Really, I don't look that good, do I?"

     Behind her, a low alto voice cackled in delight. "You look like a hog, you filthy witch!" it taunted, and a cold, raking hand grabbed her shoulder. Illusen's contentedness was rapidly replaced by anger - boiling, seething anger.

     "Hello to you too, Jhudora," the earth faerie quipped, yanking the purple-nailed hand from her shoulder. "What are you wearing, one of your guardian's old dishrags? Hopefully it can't be as dreadful as your dress last year." She whirled around to face Jhudora. Her confidence was chucked when she saw the apprentice dark faerie.

     "Unless you consider this a dishrag," Jhudora explained, "I don't think I'm wearing one." Illusen couldn't believe her eyes. Jhudora merely laughed in a hearty, terrible cackle. "What, do you think you're the only one who shopped at Mea's Dress Shop? Oh please."

     The dress that Jhudora wore was woven of shiny green silk, and small, leaf-shaped emeralds frosted its surface. It was complete with emerald green gloves and shoes. Without doubt, the dress Jhudora wore was a completely identical gown to the one Illusen wore.

     "How do you like it?" Jhudora asked mockingly. "I don't look that good in it, do I?" She rolled her eyes and pinched up her face in a way that made her look like a certain earth faerie, only with puffy, exaggerated features before smiling wickedly. "You disgust me."

     With that, the dark faerie walked away.

     "The parade's starting!" Kiana shouted, grabbing Illusen's gloved hand. The earth faerie was speechless. How could this happen? Of all the dresses she could have picked, she had to get the one Jhudora chose? Her stomach was reduced to a tense knot and the earth faerie suddenly felt sick. "C'mon, Illusen, all the good spots are going to be taken!"

     Illusen could only watch Jhudora's sneering face disappear amongst the crowd, and suddenly the confidence and air of pride she'd worn were discarded. She'd been bested, bested by a dark faerie. A certain dark faerie without heart or emotions, or friends, for that matter…

     In the distance, trumpets sounded. A proud row of faeries, clad in armor and wielding various weapons, began marching forward in monotonous rhythm. "It's starting!" Kiana whispered. Illusen grinned excitedly, trying to forget about Jhudora.

     And there she came. Sitting on a regal throne of white and lavender, a crystal tiara nestled in her silky hair, was Fyora. In all of her glory, she must have been the most beautiful faerie at the entire ceremony. A warm, genuine smile parted her lips; a friendly, loving glow danced and flickered in her glassy eyes. Her gown was just the same as always, and all the more beautiful. Clutching her staff, she appeared ethereal - almost too beautiful to exist, if such a thing were possible. The crowds gaped in silent awe.

     The Faerie Queen cleared her throat briskly, and then spoke in a voice loud, clear, and pure enough to soothe a giant. "Greetings, my fellow Faeries and Neopians," she began, "and thank you for your loyalty and devotion. Both are invaluable to me, as you might not realize. As a young Faerie I strove to make a difference, and now I know that I have. You are all here to support me, and I thank you. Now, without further ado, the celebrations can begin!"

     Fyora lifted her wand, pointing towards the sky. A plume of brilliant purple fireworks fluttered from its end, exploding like dazzling supernovas in the clear blue sky. Faeries, Neopets, and Neopians all cheered happily, rooting and whistling in honor and support of their beloved queen. Illusen smiled, whooping loudly. Fyora waved from her throne as the parade continued on, looking back for a moment.

     The Faerie Queen's eyes met Illusen's for a split-second, and the queen smiled before turning away.

     "She looked at me!" Illusen cried excitedly to Kiana. "Fyora actually looked at me!"

     "See, I told you!" Kiana replied, but the delicate air faerie was soon shoved aside by a fuming Jhudora.

     "She looked at you?!" the dark faerie sneered. "Why on Neopia would she do that? You're nothing but an arrogant witch."

     "You really shouldn't go so hard on yourself, Jhudora," Illusen snarled. "After all, we can't all be prudish snobs like you."

     Jhudora's eyes glittered with a vengeful spark. "Shut up, Illusen," she snapped. "Otherwise, bad things might accidentally happen." With a victorious grin on her face, Jhudora disappeared yet again amongst the crowd.

     Illusen sighed deeply, wiping beads of sweat from her forehead. "Don't let her get to you," Kiana said, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder. "She's just jealous because you look better than she does. She looks like a Snorkle in that dress."

     Even with the idea of Jhudora as a squealing Snorkle, Illusen wasn't cheered. "I'm sick of being her enemy," Illusen said thoughtfully. "I mean, whatever happened between us? I never did anything to her-"

     "You're better than her, that's what," Kiana explained. "Some faeries are just too wrapped up in themselves, like Jhudora. They can't see that others can be as good, or even better than they are, so when that happens, they do their best to bring them down to their knees. Just don't let that awful witch get to you, Illusen. She's nothing but a jealous hag. When you're world-famous, she'll be just as despicable as always."

     Illusen didn't say anything. She didn't want to hear those words from Kiana, because she didn't want to see Jhudora as inferior. She wanted to be friends; she always had wanted to be friends with everyone. Perhaps she was too childishly naïve, but if they could just resolve their differences, they might become good friends… The Earth Faerie smiled sadly. Like that would ever happen.

     "C'mon, cheer up Illusen," Kiana murmured, then gasped.

     "What?" Illusen asked, following her friend's line of vision. At the end of the air faerie's gaze was the most splendorous thing Illusen had yet seen the whole day through.

     It was the Fyora Day cake.

     It was tradition for the faerie bakers to team up and bake a magnificent cake for Fyora Day, superior to all others, but this one was by far the most amazing one Illusen - or anyone, for that matter - had ever seen. Towering at nearly ten feet, the monstrous masterpiece was covered in dollops of thick white icing, flowers of whipped cream, and mountains of ice cream. Sprinkles of every color of the faerie spectrum speckled its pristine white surface. On the very top was an edible model of Fyora, smiling bright and as she always did.

     "It's… amazing!" Illusen called out and Kiana nodded in stunned agreement. The cake truly was magnificent. The crowd stayed in equally shocked silence for only a few seconds, before rushing towards the delectable dream of any sweet-tooth, Illusen included. She joined the ring of the lucky who were as close as they could be to the cake.

     "Wait, wait your turn!" the faerie bakers shouted as they drew their knives to cut and serve the cake. Illusen smiled, savoring the sugary aroma. Oh, she could taste the chocolate on her tongue, the vanilla ice cream melting in her mouth… The bakers neared the cake; the first one extended her knife to cut the first piece-

     BOOM.

     Illusen was thrown back three feet, spinning wildly through the air and landing in a crumpled heap on the ground. The first thing she realized was that she felt sore - achy - and that she was completely drenched in a mixture of chocolate, cake batter, and sugar. The second thing she realized, in complete horror, was that her dress was now completely and totally ruined.

     "My dress!" Illusen shrieked, hot tears stinging her eyes as she examined herself. What in the name of the Space Faerie had just happened?! She had been standing near the cake, everything was going fine… Wait, where was the cake?

     The cake had exploded. Exploded on her.

     It all came back in a rush of burning emotion. The cake had exploded all over her! She was completely soaked in liquid chocolate and cake batter, and her dress was incorrigibly stained. Her face felt sticky and her muscles were sore. Tears streamed down her face. How could this happen? What had caused the cake, of all things, to just explode?

     The faerie bakers and those who had been close to the cake were now also covered in what the cake had once been, but Illusen was undoubtedly the worst off of all of them. In disgusted fury Illusen tore off her gloves and wiped her face clean as best she could, the sickly sweet taste of chocolate in her mouth.

     "Holy Kau! Illusen!" Kiana shouted, but Illusen did not grab her hand. The earth faerie, now robbed of her pride, stood up. The onlookers were distressed - their cake, which they had anticipated so much, was gone! Other Neopets and Neopians were trying as best they could to clean themselves of the catastrophic cake's remains. Illusen felt alone - desperately alone - among them, bent and broken, looking around with tearful eyes of rage.

     This was no accident.

     And suddenly, it all made sense.

     Shut up, Illusen. Otherwise, bad things might accidentally happen. It was what Jhudora had told her after Fyora had looked at her. There was no doubt in Illusen's mind; she'd had enough, now.

     Jhudora had done it. There was no innocence left in the earth faerie; her dreams of peace with the dark faerie were now gone and shattered, gone like the year's worth of savings she'd spent on the dress she could never wear again. The dark faerie was standing aloof from the others, smugly victorious, eyes dancing with victory.

     As the bakers hurried to calm some sobbing Neopets down, silence descended upon the distressed and panicked crowd. All except for Illusen, who was now overflowing with hateful fury that she had never experienced before.

     "JHUDORA!" the enraged earth faerie shrieked, pointing a shaking, chocolate-covered finger at the now falsely shocked Dark faerie. "IT WAS YOU!"

     "What you are you talking about?" Jhudora snapped back automatically. "I didn't do anything."

     "Yes, YOU did!" Illusen screamed. "You made the cake explode to ruin my dress! And you've not only ruined that, you've ruined my hopes that one day, we might be friends!"

     "Friends? Friends?" Jhudora asked, truly stunned, and then shook with uproarious laughter. "Illusen, do you actually think we could be friends? You really are that stupid? Oh, that's priceless!"

     Illusen wasn't smiling. No one else was, either.

     "'I wanted to be friends,'" Jhudora sneered, mocking the earth faerie. "You're truly-"

     "That is IT!" Illusen screamed, and before she could stop herself, she lunged at the dark faerie. The auburn-haired faerie collided with the dark faerie's stomach, sending the gasping Jhudora tumbling into a puff of clouds.

     Illusen barely had time to yank at the dark faerie's hair before a hand strongly gripped her shoulder. "GET OFF OF ME, KIANA!" she shrieked, but she received no reply from her friend. Instead, she felt herself being lifted off the shaken form of Jhudora, and stood straight, shaking with rage and sobbing.

     She looked to see who had picked her up and stopped the fight. Her mouth hung open when she realized who it was.

     It was Fyora.

     Jhudora scrambled to her feet. "You're a psycho, witch!" she shot venomously at the Earth Faerie before storming off.

     Illusen looked at Fyora, tears brimming in her eyes. This was it. She'd get banished for sure. She'd just openly attacked another faerie in front of, all people, the Faerie Queen. She expected the lavender-haired Fyora to look enraged, but the queen seemed calm, almost understanding. Warmth glowed in her eyes. The Faerie Queen extended a hand to Illusen, and the earth faerie took it.

     Still dripping with chocolate, melted ice cream, and cake batter, Illusen sobbed into Fyora's shoulder. "S-she said she'd get revenge," Illusen said, shaking. "S-she…"

     "Shhhhh… There, there, my child," Fyora said, breathing slowly, before pulling Illusen from her shoulder to stare into the Earth Faerie's eyes. "I already know everything."

     "I'm sorry, Queen Fyora-"

     "Please, just call me Fyora," Fyora said calmly. "And I know you are Illusen. Please, come with me."

     Illusen took her hand again, and light filled her vision…

     ---

     "There, there,” Fyora murmured soothingly, handing Illusen a piping hot cup of tea. The two were now inside Fyora's personal chambers in the Faerie Palace. “Don’t cry, now."

     "J-Jhudora's always been mean to me," Illusen stammered, shaking within the blanket that she had been wrapped in. "She always ruins everything for me. I just wanted to be friends with her, and she laughed at me for it. Why are people like that, Fyora? Why? It doesn't make sense."

     "We'll never really know that, Illusen, Fyora said, sitting down silently. "Jhudora is turning out to be a Dark Faerie just like many unfortunate others - ruthless, foul-minded, and unwilling to associate with others. It's the sad truth of the situation. But Illusen, she is a fellow faerie. You have to understand that."

     "She's not a f-faerie!" Illusen breathed. "She's a monster!"

     Fyora placed a hand on the shaking earth faerie's shoulder. "Illusen, she is a faerie. What I would suggest is that you no longer try to associate with her. With all the calamity happening in Neopia, we do not need fights breaking out in Faerieland, right?"

     "But she started it!" Illusen shouted indignantly.

     "Regardless," Fyora said, "she is still a faerie, and is thus still your sister."

     Illusen fell silent.

     "If I attacked every faerie I didn't like, what would people think of me?" Fyora said. "They'd think me a poor ruler, unfit to be queen. You don't want people to think of you poorly, Illusen. If there is any advice I can give to you, it is that. Strive to be a hero, a person others can look up to."

     Illusen sighed. "I… I've been thinking," the earth faerie said after a moment of silence, "… Maybe I should move from Faerieland. So I don't have to be near her anymore."

     Fyora remained silent. "No matter what you do, Illusen, know that Faerieland will support you."

     Illusen smirked, staring happily up into the benevolent eyes of the Faerie Queen.

     And suddenly, she felt a sense of peace.

     ---

     Early the next morning, before anyone awoke, Illusen stood outside the door of her small Faerieland house. Wrapped in a hooded, emerald-green cloak that gave free movement to her wings, a determined look in her eyes, the earth faerie strode out to the border of the clouds, all of her possessions in hands. She gazed down upon Neopia.

     Flapping her wings, clutching her possessions ever tighter, Illusen leapt skyward, and then plunged down to Neopia below, her destination set firmly in mind.

     In the distance, a dark faerie watched in silence.

     And that, as they say, is that.

The End

 
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