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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 110 > Short Stories > As If By Magic

As If By Magic

by pokedigineo99

It was a cold, foggy day... the day I got my golden bangles.

     It started just like any other Saturday morning... I woke up, grabbed a nice big bowl of Gelert Day Cereal, and fed Taowin, my Mallard. After all of my daily dos were done, I took myself outside, and tracked down some friends, and had a good game of freeze tag.

     It was about sundown when I came through the front door of my NeoHome. My stepsister, Kishu, was sitting on the floor with her Bluna, reading 'Whiplash' for the twentieth time that week. Twister, (My owner) was busily chattering away by Neomail. Seeing nothing new around, I shuffled into the kitchen, grabbed a Neocola, and sat down on the big squishy couch. The mail sat on the table, a bunch of letters-most of them were probably bills-and little advertisement things. There was one unopened letter laid aside from the pile that looked a little damp and yellowed. I leaned over, taking a sip from my soda, and looked at the addresses:

Abygayl Lily
137762 Aisha Avenue
Neopia Central, Neopia, 17003

Jhudora Faerie,
199782, Dark Cloud
Faerie Central, Faerieland, 19274

      I blinked at it, and picked it up, setting my soft drink down. Opening it carefully with a single claw, I took the wrinkled, yellowed parchment, and stared at it:

Dear Aby,
     I have heard that you are good with solving riddles, and dealing with danger, so I have chosen you to take my challenge. If you do, I will give you something that will make you more powerful than you could ever imagine. If you don't-I will make it my personal business that you suffer for the rest of your days. You don't want that, do you? No, you don't. I suggest-for your sake-that you come to the corner of Brackell Road tonight at 11:30 PM.
Sincerely,
Jhudora Faerie

     I smirked. This had to be some kind of joke. It did sound pretty intimidating, but really. What kind of an idiot would pester me with that kind of nonsense?

     Rereading the letter to myself up in my room, I thought to myself, What the hey, there's nothing to lose... heh, I might as well show, just to see what kind of idiotic plot some fool's thought up for me THIS time...
So, I scribbled a little note for Twister, so she'd know I was off to go make some moron look even stupider, and left for Brackell Road at 11:15.

     At the corner of Brackell Road at 11:25, I began to think this was all some stupid gag, and that I should just head home before something stupid -- and most likely embarrassing -- happens to me. I ran this thought through my head several times, wondering whether or not I should just head home and shred the letter, or tack it to my wall, along with all the other idiot-notes I had collected over the years.

     I was just about to turn and head back to my NeoHome, when a chill breeze made my fur stand on end. I glanced down at my watch-11:30 PM, sharp. I turned around, and to my utter surprise, saw THE Jhudora standing before me, grinning maliciously, her hands on her hips.

     My jaw dropped open slightly, as I stared in disbelief at her. She was truly a strange sight to see on the corner of a Neopian road some 10,000 miles away from her homeland. Nevertheless, I took a few steps toward her, and put my paws on my hips. "So I see that letter wasn't just some moronic prank..." I smirked, and swished my tail, my whip-like end cracking lightly behind me.

     Jhudora laughed evilly. "Of course not, you stupid girl! Why in Neopia's name would anyone waste their time on such a bold, brave she-Gelert like you?" she said in a mock-innocent tone that made my ears burn.
She waved a finger at me. "But that's not my reason for appearance, my dear Neopet..."

     I nodded, and took from my pocket, the note she had written me, unfolded it, and held it out so she could see it.
"Yeah, it says you want me to do some kind of test, then you'll give me some kind of power junk..." She laughed out loud at this. "Ahhhh, yes... my test... of course!" She took out yet another yellowed, wrinkly parchment, and held it out to me.

     I took it, and read it.

     To progress through this test, you will need these instructions, as they will tell you where to go, and what to do when you're there. Good luck... you'll need it.

     I sighed, noticing there was a whole list of things to do, though there were only five bullets. Looking up to ask her exactly what the point was, she was gone! I made a 360 degree turn, but found no trace of the Darkness Faerie.
I shrugged, and looked down at the list.

     -Your first task is to find where all Neopets go, when they've lost all their hit points, and are hurting so.

     I shook my head. "How easy are you going to make this, Jhudora?" I called to the sky, wishing she would hear me.

     A few minutes later, I was at the transport center, preparing to transport to Faerieland. "Heh, what a stupid test... I'll be done in five minutes!"

     After arriving at the Healing Springs in Faerieland, I walked up to the Water Faerie. "Hello, I'm on a test from Jhudora, and the first part says to come here."

     The Water Faerie smiled. "Of course... come with me." She led me to a sectioned-off part of the springs, and handed me a black jeweled collar. "Here you are, sweetie... and good luck!"

     I stuffed the collar in my pocket, and glanced back down at the parchment.

     -Your second task is to run, where evil things dwell, and loathe the sun.

     I grinned once more. "Another easy one... gosh, you sure do stoop low don't you, Jhudora!" I laughed, and transported myself to the Haunted Woods.

     Looking around, I decided to shoot for the Haunted House. Upon entering, I coughed and spluttered. "Ugh! What kind of moron would live here?" I murmured, brushing cobwebs aside. A figure in the shadows ahead grunted, and stepped out. Before I could realize what was going on, I was face to face with a Mutant Cybunny. It groaned darkly, and tossed a Clawmatoe at me.

     I eyed it a moment, and then shoved it in my pocket with the collar.

     -Third you must discover the secret of treasure, and then you'll be one step closer to earning what is better.

     I blinked, as several ideas crossed my mind. There was Krawk Island's Smuggler's Cove... hmmm... no, that couldn't be. I sat down on the dirty floor of the Haunted House and thought. Suddenly I understood. "The Snowager!" I stood, and took a transport to its den.

     Looking carefully at the giant ice worm asleep on its hoard, I could see bottle of Dirty Snow with Jhudora's stamp at the edge of the pile. I moaned quietly, and crept cautiously up to it. I reached out for it, my fingers groping carefully. I looked up, and saw that I almost had it.

     Suddenly, the cave began to rumble. I shrank, and saw that the Snowager had just woke up, and was roaring at me viciously. I screamed, and dodged just in time, as it made to bite me. It reared up, and slammed down, sending broken up neggs, and glass everywhere. I jumped away, and rolled, snatching the dirty snow with one paw.

     That really made the Snowager mad! It lunged for my neck, spraying ice shards from its mouth.
I screamed again, and took off, sprinting for the cave's entrance. I could feel the chill of the giant worm's ice behind me, as it slithered after me, still spraying sharp shards of ice at me.

     I tumbled out into the sunlight, and madly stuffed the dirty snow in my pocket, and snorted. "What a maniac, sending me into the Snowager's den... I swear, my prize better be good, or... I'm gonna GET that nutty Faerie!"

     -Second to last, your fourth task will test, whether or not you can spar with the best!

     I laughed. "Ohhh... THAT'S a good one! She wants me to go down to the Training School, and fight. Now that's funny!" I laughed, and transported myself to the Mystery Island Training School.

     Battle cries of all sorts could be heard in the lobby of the school. Having being trained their numerous times before; I walked into the sparring room, and rang the bell at the desk. An elderly looking Techo came from a room, and smiled at me knowingly. "Aaaah, Aby-Chan... I was expecting you... I got word from Jhudora-Chan that you would be here on a quest, and you must battle my greatest pupil, Ryshu the Nimmo."

     I nodded. "Yes, sir. I must win, sir." I bowed respectfully, and took my place in the arena, and braced myself. The doors slid open, and out came Ryshu, the legendary ninja Nimmo. I bowed to him, and he bowed to me. Without warning, a gong sounded, and Ryshu leaped up, and prepared to dive-kick me.
I leaped out of the way as he landed, and floor-swept him. When he was down, I pounced, knocking him silly.

     He moaned, and kicked me in the stomach, and I flew across the room. I leapt up, and began whipping him madly with my ears and tail, then back-kicked him in the stomach, and bit his wrist. Ryshu fell to the ground, and held a hand up at me. "Very good, Aby-Chan. You have vectored this battle." He rose, and walked through the sliding doors and was gone. Behind him, he left a Night Stone on the ground.
After picking it up, I looked down at my final clue:

     -So you've come at last, to your final clue, now battle Balthazar is what you must do!

     I blinked. "Hoo boy... this'll be a toughie..." I nodded to myself reassuringly, and transported to the Battledome.

     I looked around. All I saw were other Neopets tearing at each other mercilessly. Shuddering slightly, but somehow feeling at home, she turns around completely. "Well, where the heck is the little bugger, anyway?"

      "Say no more," came a gruff voice behind me. Turning slowly, I came nose-to-nose with the infamous bounty hunter, Balthazar, Faerie catcher extraordinaire. He was considerably taller than me, by at least 2 feet, and was a dark blue color, his fur scraggly and dirty.

     "I hear you came to fight me," he began, cracking his knuckles menacingly, "So bring it on."

      I laughed, remembering a movie mom and I had watched once. "Let's dance," I said, poising myself, and tossing in a weak snarl for good measure.

     The battle commenced. I was thrown to the floor before I could blink my eyes. He stood over me, his rancid breath creeping up my nostrils, and began pummeling me with both fists. I shook my head and began thrashing wildly, ears and tail whipping-slicing the air with a sharp crack, claws extended-slice-and-dicing air and enemy, and jaw gnashing.

     I had given up thrashing, and was now attempting to worm my way out from under him, and give him the ol' one-two punch... but things didn't go according to plans.

     Just as I had slid out from underneath him, he lunged at my throat, as if he had known the whole time that I was going to make that move. I leaped out of range, and onto his back, where I dug my claws in. I yanked on his ears with my teeth, and climbed over his head and scratched his face. I bounced up and down, determined to fell him, but instead he stood on hind legs-sending me scrambling up to his head and clinging on with my claws planted in the top of his head-and fell over backwards -- on purpose -- smashing me against the floor.

     I couldn't breathe for a long time, and almost blacked out. Luckily Master Techo had taught me to withstand fainting, so I slowly rose to my paws -- only to be sent into a nearby wall.

     A pang of hopelessness entered my soul. What if I couldn't beat him? Would all my work be for nothing? This thought enraged me with a burning passion I could not ignore. I dove into his face with the top of my head, knocking a single tooth out, and making a sickening cracking sound.

     Before I realized what I was doing, I had taken Balthazar down, putting him in the submissive position, while I stood on his chest, chomping on his muzzle viciously. Only when I realized that he had been howling for me to stop did I get off. I spit at his paws and growled deeply. "That'll teach you to mess with me!"

     He handed me a Balthazar Plushie, and turned his back to me. I sat on my haunches and began cleaning my fur, until suddenly-Balthazar had whipped around, a potion in hand. He splashed it on my face, and my knees instantly buckled beneath me. I began to grow sleepier, and sleepier... but I transported myself to Faerieland, and stumbled onto Jhudora's cloud.

     She stood at the entrance, her hands on her hips, as usual. I emptied my pockets of all its contents:
The black-jeweled collar, the Clawmatoe, the dirty snow, the night stone, the Balthazar plushie, and the two letters.

     I collapsed to the floor, the potion's effect kicking in. From her pocket, Jhudora took out six shiny golden bangles, and put them on me: One on each ear, one on every ankle, and one on the tip of my tail.
Nothing made me feel more powerful. I didn't rise up and howl, 'I have the POWER!' or anything like that. In fact, I began to get even drowsier...

     "Now, you'll be wanting to know what these bangles do, I'm sure," I heard Jhudora say, though it seemed like a mere mumble, like the buzz of a bee. My head was swimming, and I hit the cloudy floor hard, and began to fall asleep at last. "First of all..." was all I heard before I began to snore, fast asleep.

      "Aby... sweetie, wake up... PLEASE!" came a soft voice hovering above my head. I opened my eyes halfway, and yawned. "Hmmm...? Can't this wait 'till morning?"

      But it was morning. I discovered that Kishu had found me somewhere in the middle of Neopia Central, dozing, and dragged me on home, where I slept for two straight days.

      Twister stood over me, looking me over with a curious eye. "What're those on your ears, ankles, and tail, Aby?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

      So I told her the story. From start to finish, the two were on the edge of their seats, gasping in all the right places, and so on.

      At the end, Kishu tapped me. "Then what do they do, miss smarty pants?"

     I frowned. "I... don't know," I answered, recalling how I'd fallen asleep. She raised her eyebrows, but spoke no more.

     By the end of that day, my friends were struck with awe, and green with envy.

     As I headed off to bed that night, I grinned, and fell asleep -- as a bright glow emitted from the bangles -- and the lights went out, all on their own as if by magic.

THE END!

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