Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 109,523,333 Issue: 207 | 9th day of Gathering, Y7
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Some Bad Day


by einstein20

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It was a miserable day for Aurora the green Aisha.

      Nothing had been going right; first she rolled off her bed onto the very hard, wood floor of her bedroom when she woke up, then her Floud knocked her bowl of cereal over during breakfast, AND she couldn't find her favourite necklace. It also didn't help that she had final exams at her school, Kauvara's Academy for the Magically Gifted, which would determine whether she was ready to concentrate all of her energies on her own interests (mainly sorcery) at the Academy. This, she had decided, was not going to be one of her good days.

      Aurora walked along the sea wall that bordered on one side of the Academy's grounds, which included a large mansion that housed the exceptional Neopets chosen to attend. At least, she thought, it's a sunny day. She glanced up at the clear blue sky and inhaled, trying to calm her over-studied nerves. She continued to stroll, swirling her long peasant skirt and humming a popular tune.

      Then her skirt's hem caught on a rock hidden between the pathway's stone. Aurora tugged at the snag but it would not give way. She glanced down at the dangerously pounding surf below her and shifted her balance toward land.

      "Darn thing," she muttered, still tugging. "I knew I should have given this to my sister when I had the chance." She sighed, defeated, and flopped down onto what should have been the grass but was instead, open air. Her paws grabbed at the empty space but she still fell over the edge and plummeted down to the sea below.

      She screamed and flailed her limbs as she fell farther and farther until the water closed in around her. She managed to take a frantic, large breath when she finally surfaced but was swept under again by the strong current. With panic taking over her actions, she didn't think to use a handy incantation, just her pathetic swimming skills. But those did not do her any good because by the time she got her balance; she banged her head on a piece of submerged driftwood.

      When she awoke hours later, Aurora found herself still under water but alive and breathing.

      "Hello." The kind-looking face of a water faerie appeared in her line of vision. "You took a nasty bump to your head this morning. Lucky I was nearby to get your breathing going. You land-dwellers should all know how to swim; it would be foolish not to." Aurora looked confusedly at her. "But listen to me. Putting blame on your little accident, I beg your pardon -- oh, Your Majesty." The water faerie bobbed her head to someone on the other side of her bed. Aurora turned her head and saw an aged Koi floating there.

      "Lady Dalila," he replied gruffly. "Where'd you find this one?"

      "She was by the seawall, I am not sure the exact location."

      "Well. What shall we do with her then?" the Koi, Kelpbeard, the Aisha realized, said to the faerie.

      "I don't know," Aurora answered weakly.

      Kelpbeard thought for a moment and studied the crest on her school jacket. "Do you go to Kauvara's school?" Aurora nodded. "Turn her then," he told Dalila and strode out of the room. They were alone again and the water faerie began to talk once more.

      "What is your name?" she asked and turned to a table laden with potion ingredients, Aurora was sure of it. What are they going to do with me? she thought. What did Kelpbeard mean by 'turn her'?

      "Aurora," she replied carefully.

      "Such a pretty name." Dalila turned back with a flask of some sweet smelling liquid. "I need you to drink up now, Aurora, then everything will be better."

      "Better?"

      "The King has ordered me to turn you Maraquan." She placed the flask in Aurora's shaking paws. Her bad day just got worse.

      "Maraquan?" she repeated, dumbly. She stared bewildered at Dalila. This could so not be happening. What about school? Her friends and family? She couldn't just leave all of that behind and start a new life under the water. Oh Fyora, this just keeps getting more unpleasant by the second.

      "You cannot survive under the water as a land-dweller and you have hurt yourself far too much for me to allow you to return to the surface. I'm sorry if I am doing this so abruptly but it has to be done. Now drink, young Aisha." Dalila placed her hands over Aurora's paws and helped her drink the foul-tasting concoction. "Sleep, Aurora, for it will save you from the worst of the transformation." Aurora felt herself drifting as her saviour chanted a sleeping incantation.

      Once again, Aurora woke up in a strange chamber but it wasn't Dalila's potion chamber nor was it her dorm room. She sat up and peered at the lavishly decorated bedroom. It was simple elegance, very different from the messy room she was used to living in. She jumped when the door creaked open and a Maraquan Mynci swam in, followed by a similarly painted Cybunny and Meerca.

      "Hi there," the Mynci greeted, a large smile plastered on her face. "You must be Aurora. I'm Randilyn but everyone just calls me Randy. I have the room next door and thought I should come over and give a 'Howdy'. This is Pixie," she motioned to the Cybunny, "and Wade," then the Meerca. "We are the ones who live on this floor. What's your name and do you have everything you need? Anything you need to know?"

      "My name's Aurora and where am I?" All three gave Aurora a weird look, as if considering if they had made the right choice in coming over to introduce themselves. "Sorry," Aurora quickly interjected, "it's been a long day for me. I'm really new around here."

      "Oh, that's okay." Randy was beaming again. "I knew the feeling when I first got here. You're in Nereid House at The Maraquan Institute of the Supernatural. You were dropped off early this morning but was half-asleep from what I could tell. Where'd you transfer from?"

      "Kauvara's Academy for the Magically Gifted," Aurora proclaimed proudly and climbed out of bed.

      "But that's a school for land-dwellers--" Randy's mouth formed an O in understanding. "You're a changeling, aren't you?"

      Pixie jabbed Randy in the ribs. "Randy! Be nice. Sorry, she doesn't know when to shut up. We'll go now." She was ushering her two friends out of the door when Aurora spoke.

      "It's alright; I only changed because it was the only thing that would save me." Three pairs of eyes swivelled back to the rumpled Aisha. "Yeah, I hurt myself while swimming and my best choice was to change. So where do you get something to eat in this place?" Aurora was pretty sure that this new day had the beginnings of 'good'.

     ***

      Several months later, it was Halloween and all of Maraqua was buzzing with sugar highs and the fear of the things that went bump in the night. Aurora was swimming toward the Main Hall at MIS, where she was currently enrolled, her transformation now complete. The teaching staff was holding a costume party for the students; she had chosen to have her costume be ironic; as a result she was dressed up as a witch. The party wasn't supposed to officially start for another 30 minutes, so Aurora swam in the direction of Kauvara's seawall, for old times sake.

      As she approached, she noticed a dark form enter the sea. It appeared to be fighting with the water and it was definitely losing. Fear entered Aurora's heart and she rushed toward the drowning shape.

      It turned out to be an Aisha in a princess costume, obviously going to a Halloween party too. Aurora finally reached her and swiftly put her arm around the princess's waist and swam up toward the surface. She could tell the Aisha was fading fast.

      "C'mon, just a little longer," she pleaded. The cool night air slammed into Aurora's face with a familiar sensation when they surfaced; it rushed into the costumed Aisha's lungs with a large gasp. Comforted by the strong rasping, Aurora swam toward the sandy beach, happy that she had saved someone's day from going from bad to worse.

The End

 
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