A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 197,125,118 Issue: 964 | 15th day of Swimming, Y24
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Farewell, Faerieland


by 77thbigby

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1st day of Sleeping, Y11

      ”We’re moving?!”

      The Vaughns had sat their daughter down and broken the news as gently as they could. Not that it helped. Divina still wasn’t taking it well.

      “When?” Divina demanded.

      “By the end of this month,” her dad said.

      Her blue eyes widened with horror. “What about my birthday party?”

      “You’ll still be able to celebrate the day with your friends,” her mother reassured.

      Divina only felt a twinge of relief compared to the tidal wave of emotions she was dealing with.

      “My friends!” Divina wailed. “What am I going to tell them?”

      “You’re a popular girl, Divina,” her mother said. “I’m sure you’ll make plenty of new friends in our new home.”

      “And where would that be?” Divina asked.

      The Blue Acara couldn’t imagine living anywhere other than Faerieland, but maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. She could see herself living in the metropolitan Neopia Central, the tropical Mystery Island or even touristy Roo Island. Just so long as it wasn’t rustic Meridell, primitive Tyrannia or frozen Terror Mountain. Her parents wouldn’t do that to her, right?

      “We’re moving to Kiko Lake,” her dad said.

      “Kiko Lake?” Divina shrieked. This was almost worse than she feared. It was in the middle of nowhere, barely a blip on the map. What had her parents done, closed their eyes and picked a random place on the map? What was it even known for other than Kikos? “Why?”

      “Your father wants to pursue his hobby of carpentry and turn it into a marketable skill. There is no better place to do that than Kiko Lake,” her mother explained.

      “You’re ruining my life for that?” Divina exclaimed.

      Suddenly unable to take any more, the young Blue Acara ran out of the house. She rushed along the familiar cobblestone paths, past the vestiges of celebration left over from the night before. Everything was a pink and purple blur as the tears finally began to fall. Unable to see where she was going, Divina’s headlong rush was abruptly stopped when she ran into a group of her friends.

      “Hey, Divina!” Violetta, a Faerie Kougra, exclaimed. “We were just on our way to your house!’

      “Wait, what’s wrong?” Posy, a Striped Xweetok, asked.

      “We’re, we’re…moving!” Divina choked out.

      Her friends all gasped and exchanged looks of horror.

      “Oh, Vee, that’s awful,” Roeland, a Woodland Ixi, said.

      Divina felt her cheeks flame. Roeland had been her crush for the last year. She did not want him to see her fall apart, but it was too late. At least he looked properly sad to see her go.

      The group of friends sat at the nearest outdoor table, and Divina told them everything she knew.

      “I’m gonna miss you guys so much!” Divina exclaimed.

      “We could always call or text,” Roeland suggested.

      “Or you could come and visit!” Posy put in.

      “Cell service isn’t the greatest out there, and you know how overprotective my parents are. They’d never let me travel all the way to Faerieland by myself,” Divina said bitterly.

      “So, this is our last month together,” Whitney, a White Uni, said sadly.

      Divina felt her tears well up anew. IT was all too real.

      “Please don’t cry, Vee!”

      “Yeah, you know I’d start crying too!” Violetta added.

      “Hey, I don’t wanna be sad for the next month,” Roeland said. “If this is Divina’s last month in Faerieland, then let’s make it the best one ever!”

      The girls all looked at him, some of them with furrowed brows as if unsure how to take the suggestion.

      “I don’t know,” Kinsley, a Royal Girl Kyrii, said with an uncertain glance at Divina.

      “No, I think it’s a great idea,” Divina said at once. Even if she hadn’t gotten into a habit of agreeing to everything Roeland said, her answer would have been the same. “Roeland’s right. This is my birthday month. I don’t want to waste it thinking about everything and everyone I’m leaving behind. I want to cherish every last moment I’ve got with you.” Divina couldn’t help looking at Roeland as she finished.

      Babs, a Polkadot Wocky, whipped out a pen and paper. “Okay, so what are we gonna do first?”

     * * * * *

     2nd day of Sleeping, Y11

      The first place they went was the Wheel of Excitement. As protective as her parents were with her, Divina was forbidden from ever spinning the wheel. Though, she was still allowed to go with her friends whenever they did. With eight of them total, it would have been impractical to get a cab or multiple, so they opted to walk. The weather was always pleasant in Faerieland, and they enjoyed the exercise.

      They left Faerie City and crossed the cobblestone bridge to reach the outskirts of Faerieland. The Wheel of Excitement was ideally situated near it. One by one, each of Divina’s friends took their turn spinning the wheel. Half of them won some Neopoints while nothing happened to the others. Divina was mildly tempted to try it, but just her luck, she would get a risky result and then her parents would find out and ground her.

      No thanks!

      “Hey, let's visit Naia!” Flossie, a Pink Cybunny, suggested.

      They had long ago befriended the Fountain Faerie. She welcomed visitors, as long as they didn’t try to sneak a dip in her fountain. Little risk with this particular group and their expensive paint jobs. While Divina was basic blue, she was perfectly content as she was. Though, visiting the Rainbow Fountain was always a treat.

      As the group arrived, the fountain was closed. They understood a ‘pet was getting their colour changed at the fountain. Just as they were about to leave, a Halloween Xweetok came flying awkwardly towards them. Despite her fearsome appearance, her yellow eyes glowed with delight, and she bore a happy smile. She was clearly thrilled.

      “Congrats on your new colour!” Violetta exclaimed, the others quickly following suit.

      It was common courtesy to do so for any newly painted ‘pet, whether they’d just been painted baby or mutant.

      “Fanks!” the Xweetok lisped, unused to speaking around her fangs.

      With the fountain now unoccupied, the group headed under the arcing rainbow that hid the main pool from view. There was Naia, sitting just in front of the falling water, ordinary if you didn’t know what you were looking at.

      “I’m sorry. All the magic has gone. You’ll have to-” Naia began before cutting herself off as she saw who it was. “Always a pleasure to see you! It’s been a while. What brings you all to see me?”

      Over Water Faerie Sandwiches and Delicious Faerie Bubbles (the drink, not the game), they told her their news.

      “Well, I think that’s a wonderful thing to do,” Naia said.

      “Thanks for lunch, Naia!” the group chorused.

      “You’re welcome! Come back anytime!”

      Not quite ready to head back yet, they headed up, following the rainbow that arched above the Rainbow Fountain.

      “Has anyone ever gotten to the end of the rainbow?” Lavender, a Pastel Ixi, asked.

      Whitney snorted. “No! Everyone knows that’s impossible!”

      “Well, I wonder what came first, the rainbow or the fountain?” Flossie put in.

      “Flossie!” Divina groaned. “You had to think of that after we left? Naia would have known!”

      “Sorry,” Flossie muttered, ears drooping slightly. “I can’t help if I just thought of it.”

      “Hey, what’s that over there?” Roeland pointed towards a small blue spot on a distant cloud.

      The Woodland Ixi rushed over, the girls all following after him. The group huddled around an abandoned Blue Grundo plushie.

      “Oh, some poor child must have dropped their plushie without realising,” Flossie said.

      Lavender frowned. “How? There’s nothing out here. The nearest places are the Poogle and Faerie Races ahead of us or the fountain below us.”

      “However it got here, it looks like it’s been here for a while,” Whitney pointed out.

      “Anybody else feel like we should take it with us?” Flossie asked.

      “You still play with plushies?” Lavender scoffed.

      “N-no!” Flossie denied, ears drooped again. “Forget it.”

      As her friends moved on, Divinas’ heart went out to the sad, abandoned plushie. I know how you feel, she thought.

      “Hey, let's go to the races!” Roeland suggested.

      Divina stopped. “No, I can’t. My parents would ground me for sure if they found out.”

      “Besides, the races are boring!” Lavender scoffed. “All they are is faeries or Poogles going in circles”

      “Girls,” Roeland muttered.

      “What was that?”

      “Nothing! Let’s just go.”

     * * * * *

     3rd day of Sleeping, Y11

      The next day, Divina and her friends went to the Activities Center. The AC was located in the heart of Faerie City and was a popular hangout for children of all ages. It had an arcade, an indoor play area and an arts and crafts area. Full of light, noise, and movement, it was the place to be. It being the last weekend before school started back up on Monday, the place was even more crowded than usual.

      This time, it was only Divina, Flossie, and Posy. Flossie and Posy were some of the younger members of the friend group and-when not pressured to keep up with the older kids-preferred quieter activities. Which is why the three of them were in the arts and crafts area, colouring.

      Not that Divina minded. She might not admit it, but colouring was fun! Besides, there were a handful of adults scattered around, doing the same thing. If they weren’t embarrassed, why should she be?

      Divina wanted to work in the fashion industry someday, just like her mother. Thus, she was sketching a design in her sketchbook while her friends coloured. Having added the finishing touch, she showed it to them.

      “Okay, girls. What do you think?” Divina asked.

      “Oh, I love it!” Posy gushed.

      “It's so pretty!” Flossie breathed.

      Divina beamed at their praise. Flossie and Posy were good for that. They were eager to please and rarely disagreed with their friends. Not one to pass up an opportunity for praise, Divina knew she could show them her work without fear of criticism.

      Afterwards, the three girls got a small vegetarian pizza to share (only Flossie was vegetarian, but the other two didn’t mind).

      They were just about to leave when Roeland and two of his friends arrived.

      “Hey, guys!” Roeland called with a friendly wave. “What are you doing here?”

      “We were just lea-” Flossie began.

      “We were just having lunch before we headed back into the arcade,” Divina cut in quickly. Anything to spend time with Roeland, even if it meant watching him play arcade games all afternoon.

      So that’s what they did. Posy and Flossie lasted only half an hour before saying their goodbyes.

      As for Roeland and his friends, they stayed at the arcade until dinnertime before they walked home together. The three of them talked about the games they’d just played and how Roeland had beaten the latest high score for at least three of them.

      Divina yearned to be a part of the conversation. “Yeah, that was some great gaming today, guys.”

      “Thanks, Vee! I’ve been practising all winter break!” Roeland boasted.

      Unfortunately, that was the best response Divina got, unable to keep up with the conversation and the boys totally ignored her. That is until they split up to go to their respective houses.

      “Hey, Vee, it was really great spending time with you today,” Roeland said with a smile.

      With that, all was forgiven, and Divina practically skipped inside, their objection all but forgotten…until she stepped inside to see empty moving boxes longing the hall and piled in the front room. Her throat tightened at the sight, and she hurried to her room, reminded all too soon of what was to come.

     * * * * *

     9th day of Sleeping, Y11

      The first week back to school after winter break felt like it lasted forever before Friday finally arrived. As was their habit, Divina and her friends stopped by their favourite café for a snack before being drawn to the model agency. The models were all faerie-painted ‘pets that showed off the faerie colour to its best advantage in the hopes of encouraging other ‘pets to be painted faerie too. Divina’s mother had been one of them in high school before her fashion career really took off.

      “I’m going to model here one day,” Violetta said proudly.

      As the only one of their friend group painted faerie, she was the only one eligible. She frequently bragged about being scouted early, but Divina didn’t mind. She was happy for her friend. It was really something to be proud of. Even though there was no chance of her achieving the same, she had her own dreams.

     To be continued…

 
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