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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 125 > Continuing Series > The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Two

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Two

by dancepixie100

The morning was quiet and peaceful, almost identical to the one 12 years ago. The gentle breeze stirred the leaves of the ancient tree outside where the Pteri's were busy chirping and fluttering their energetic wings. A ray of morning sunshine streamed into the cottage room where a young and beautiful Ixi lay dreaming. The light shone brightly on her eyes and the Ixi awoke. She looked around her room, which was decorated with banners and streamers. She smiled happily. Today was her birthday.

     An aroma of warm pancakes drifted into the room and tickled the Ixi's nose. She got up and walked downstairs where Kallisto, her Acara nurse, was busy preparing the breakfast. "Ahh, hello dearie. Happy birthday," she said as the Ixi entered the kitchen. She couldn't stop smiling when she saw the large box wrapped with pink bows in the center of the table. She loved getting presents. "Go ahead Ritz, open it up," said Kallisto with a gleam in her eye. The Ixi excitedly ripped off the pink paper and bows and lifted off the top of the box. She peered in and shouted with glee. Inside was a tiny Faellie petpet. Ritz held it in her arms and cuddled its large ears and adorable fur.

     "It's perfect!" she announced happily. The Faellie squeaked with joy at its new owner. The little creature opened its delicate wings and whirled around in the air. Then it plopped back into the box clumsily. "I will name it Flutter!" Ritz said. The Ixi and Acara giggled as they watched the Faellie try to fly out of the box again.

     "Can I take Flutter outside to play, Kallisto?" At this, the Acara's cheerful mood broke into a frightened glance. Her eyes shifted darkly as she studied Ritz.

     "I don't think that's a good idea, sweetie," she said trying to sound like her usual happy self again. "I'd rather you just stay here." Something dark was haunting the Acara inside.

     "But Kallisto!" protested the Ixi. "I'm 12 years old now. All my other friends get to do more stuff than me," she sniffed.

     "Oh alright. But stay by the cottage and don't talk to any strangers!" she replied. The usual rules. The type of rules that Ritz wanted to break.

     The Ixi trotted to the door with Flutter by her side. Kallisto sighed and shuddered as she followed the young girl carefully with her eyes. The second the door clicked shut, the Acara knew she had made a terrible mistake.

     Outside, the day was warm and bright. The Faellie skipped ahead to a small patch of flowers and picked a lovely pink blossom. Than it flew back to Ritz and gracefully handed her the flower. "Oh thanks Flutter," she said sweetly. She tucked the flower behind her ear and kissed the Faellie on its nose.

     They continued to walk along the path that wound behind the cottage. Flutter leaped in excitement from the beautiful meadows and streams around them. Finally the Ixi stopped and rested. "This is my favorite place to play," she said. Flutter was busy nipping on a piece of grass. The world was dead silent, but something stirred behind the trees. "What was that?" gasped Ritz. Flutter sat up and crawled closer to the Ixi. Something strange rustled behind the bushes. Ritz suddenly had the odd feeling that she was being watched.

     The noise rustled again, but this time Flutter was frightened and started bouncing and jumping into the air like crazy. She squeaked with horror and began partly flying, partly running, down the narrow path into the dark woods. "Flutter, come back!" shouted Ritz at her friends' unexpected fright. She began to chase the little creature through the meadows but came to an abrupt stop once she saw the Faellie run into the dark and haunted woods. Ritz gulped with fear. She was not supposed to go this far away from home.

     She slowly entered the forest, shaking uncontrollably. Around her, the trees grew like towers of an enemy. They loomed in front of her and suffocated her breath. The shadows cascaded over her eyes and the last bit of pure light fought to survive under the grasp of the darkness. "Flutter?" she trembled. There was no reply, only the haunting call of a Weewoo in the distance. Now she was truly petrified. The Ixi desperately tried to see where she was going. She made turns left and right, but she seemed to be going nowhere. A cold icy breeze sifted through the trees and chilled her bones. It seemed as if the wind was speaking to her. If only she could make any sense of it.

     At last she could make out a tiny sound. It waltzed softly to her ears and she recognized it at once. The familiar squeaking of Flutter who lay motionless behind a hollow of a large oak. "There you are," Ritz panted with relief. But something was wrong with the Faellie. It stood dumbstruck, gaping with a large open mouth and wide eyes at something around the corner. When Ritz came to eye level with the Faellie, it still didn't move a muscle or acknowledge her presence. "Flutter, snap out of it. Come on, I want to go home," cried the Ixi.

     "Help me…" whispered a voice between the trees. "Don't leave."

     "Who was that?" cried Ritz. Her heart raced and pounded in her chest violently as she stepped closer. There, tangled between the trees, was a beautiful Faerie. She was obviously in need of someone to help her. Her exquisite purple gown and black cloak was tattered and shred. She was left hanging almost unconscious from the trees by the loose ends of the threads. Her face was smeared with dirt and mud and she groaned wearily.

     "Help me," she repeated desperately.

     At once, Ritz bravely stepped forward and climbed up the tree, the sharp bristles and leaves cutting into her skin. Once she had reached the branch where the Faerie lay slumped over, the Ixi prodded her gently with her nose. "Take hold of my back and don't let go," she said. With great trouble, the Faerie managed to grasp the little Ixi and hold on. Then Ritz pounced off the branch and landed on the ground softly using her wings. "I guess being painted a Faerie comes in handy," she chuckled once she was safe and sound. "So what happened to you?" Ritz asked. The girl sat upright and smoothed out her dress.

     "I was attacked by WereLupes. I tried to fly high up into the tree but I got stuck. I waited here for hours for a young brave pet like you to come and rescue me," she said gleaming. Ritz blushed with embarrassment.

     "Oh it was nothing," replied the Ixi shyly.

     "But surely you wouldn't think that I would let your kind act go without a reward," she said with a smile curving unto her lips. She reached into the pockets of her black cloak and held out a small velvet bag. "Here, take this," she said with a hint of excitement in her breath.

     Ritz took the bag from the Faerie and looked inside. In the bag there was a beautiful black star, a dark nova. It sparkled like the midnight black sky and its edges gleamed in the shadows. It was the most magnificent treasure Ritz had ever seen so she carefully held it in her hand to see closer.

     Suddenly, Ritz was no longer in the forest with Flutter by her side and with the Faerie. She was inside a shadow and there was nothing but darkness around her. All she could hear was piercing screams and hopeless cries. They were getting louder and louder, and the shadows were getting thicker and thicker. Then an icy dark hand stretched out its long fingers to grasp the Ixi. Ritz tried to run away with terror but there was nowhere to run. "Come…" the hand seemed to say. "Come to the dark side." She looked again and there were eyes, yellow slits of fury. They seemed to suck some of her soul away, forever lost to the dark powers. Ritz was giving up strength, she was losing the battle. She lowered herself to the ground and shut herself off from the shadows.

     "Ritz! Ritz! Wake up. Please wake up." Ritz opened her eyes at last and looked around. There were no more shadows or dark evil voices. She was back inside her cottage and lying on her bed, safe and sound.

     "Kallisto, what happened to me?" muttered the Ixi with difficulty. Once she had regained her vision slowly, she noticed five Faeries surrounding her with worried looks on their faces. "And who are they?" she added.

     "Ritz, I think that it's time to know your true story," said Kallisto, close to tears. Ritz sat up with attention. Those faeries seemed strangely familiar to her. She tried desperately to search back in her memory to when she had seen them before. But it almost seemed as if she never had a memory…

     "Ritz," said a Light Faerie. "I believe that you should know your true past and your fate, as your life is about to change forever," she said. Ritz gasped with confusion.

     "I know you think that you lost your parents and I adopted you," began Kallisto slowly. "But this is a lie. You are not Ritz, the little Ixi who lives in the meadows… you are Princess Ritzalina, heir to the throne of Meridell." The Ixi could not believe a word she was hearing. How could she be the princess? She stared at Kallisto for the longest time, questions bursting in her head by the dozens. Now a fire Faerie spoke.

     "We are the Faerie guardians," she said presenting the others with a gesture of her hand. "Twelve years ago, we blessed you with wonderful gifts, but the Dark Faerie, Phaedra, cursed you with a horrible fate. That fate was inflicted upon you today in the woods," she shuddered.

     “So that Faerie that I helped in the forest was really Phaedra. And that nova I touched was what caused me to fall in a shadow dream. What exactly is this curse, anyway?” Ritz whispered with fear. She was afraid of what she was going to hear next.

     “Well we don’t really know exactly,” said a water Faerie. “But we think that as long as you keep having more of these dark dreams, your soul and pureness will be destroyed, as well as the kingdom of Meridell.” At this, Ritz peered out the window. Already dark clouds were forming in the distance by the castle. She seemed to feel fine herself, only terribly weak.

     “The only way to rid yourself of this curse, is to destroy the nova,” said an Earth Faerie. On the table by her bed, Ritz gazed at the little velvet bag containing the dark magic artifact. She shivered with fear, but in her heart she knew what she had to do.

     “You still have a choice,” the air Faerie said simply. “You can chose to hand your life and the kingdom of Meridell over to the dark powers, or you can fight for what is rightly yours.” Ritz breathed in smoothly and calmly, she was not afraid.

     “So be it. I chose to destroy the nova.”

To be continued…
Previous Episodes

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part One

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Three

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Four

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Five

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Six

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Seven

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