Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 105,225,448 Issue: 209 | 23rd day of Gathering, Y7
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A Sister’s Sad Insight: Vira’s Sole Existence

by laura2s040


This mist twisted throughout the woods like a deformed beast. The trees that made up the sparse forest, twisted as if in an eternal nightmare, seemed to guard the path that wound through. The grass, if one could call it that, had long since shriveled up and died. The mud seemed to be taking over the ground. The pale gray sky above was only able to let loose a sharp drizzle and that was all.

     Shivering slightly, a figure wearing a swishing Blue Fur Lined Cloak, rushed along the path. The gentleness in the creature's movement showed that the Neopet was definitely female, but with her face hidden, it was the only clue to who would be on such a treacherous path at the edge of the Haunted Woods.

     Tiptoeing around the puddles of mud caused the creature to weave back and forth, but she still sped on as if she was being chased, even though no one was around. The grotesque trees gradually thinned out and the path straightened. On the moor in the distance, a café colored mansion stood, looking strikingly regal against the misty background. It seemed to be the final destination of the cloaked Neopet. At the sight of it, she hurried her steps and her breath became labored.

     However, she slowed as she realized that this mansion wasn't all as it had looked from afar. The windows were cracked yet not broken; the shingles on the roof were covered with mold or else not in their correct places. Shutters lay askew and on the ground below. The mansion looked brown from far away, but in reality, the house was slate gray with dead flower vines still clinging to sides. The figure examined this from under her hood, her eye's wide with fear, then…disgust.

     She gracefully walked down the stone path, which held more poisonous flowers then stones to step on. The door gradually came into a view. It was actually a mirror, but it was cracked just like all the windows of the forsaken house. The knob was actually shaped like a giant gleaming eye. The Neopet stared at it for a moment before raising a hesitant blue paw and knocking on the door several times. The mirror reflected her in its many fragments.

     And she waited.

     Then, the mirror began to glow, each fragment a different color; shades of magenta, cyan, goldenrod, cerulean, acid green and many others filled the doorway. One might even say it was beautiful. The Neopet seemed to remember something and looked at her feet, which were beneath the folds of her robe that just brushed the ground.

     The mirror seemed to meld back together again and the colors faded. The Neopet's reflection suddenly started to move separately from its real reflector as she took off her hood. The Neopet was an Acara and a very beautiful one at that, with Caribbean blue fur that had a perfect glossy sheen to it, her eyes a light periwinkle. The reflection smiled at her real counterpart who still stared straight at the ground and had her head still cloaked.

     The Acara in the mirror frowned at this sight. "Hello?" she asked innocently, fingering her expensive-looking pink pearls.

     The cloaked Neopet suddenly reached into the folds of her robes and seemed to be gripping something a little heavy.


     As quickly as the Maractite Battle Hammer had appeared, the figure put it back to where it had once come. She finally looked up and put down her hood. She was indeed a blue Acara, thought nearly not as pretty as the one that had been reflected in the now shattered mirror. She knocked again, in a more decisive manner than before.

     This time, the mirror did not glow, but stayed crushed. The door slowly creaked open, to reveal a huge foyer with two spiraling staircases on either side, but they were covered in a thick layer of dust as if they hadn't been used in years. This seemed to be the case with everything in the room, from the chandelier that was made from glistening Nova shards to the Blue Glazed Vase in the corner. The Acara coughed slightly as a couple of grumpy-looking Dust Motes floated by. Rubbing her nose, she inched forward a bit.

     There was a flash of black as another mysterious figure appeared, sitting on the railing of the overlooking balcony. "You broke my mirror…" the figure rasped, her voice defiantly feminine, but with a sharp edge to it.

     The blue Acara refused to look up, but instead concentrated on the dust-encrusted vase in front of her. "It was necessary. I needed to talk to you, Vira."

     The Gallery of Evil member hissed at the sound of her name as she jumped from her position and circled down on wings that spelled destruction for those who saw them before being mutated. They were actually rather scraggly, but fear magnified them.

     Vira landed, wearing her daily drab attire of a gothic dress with combat boots, her yellow-green eyes looking listless. "Ferny…" she said in recognition of the blue Acara in front of her, who was still avoiding her eyes. "What is wrong? Afraid to look upon your own ugly sister?"

     Princess Fernypoo sniffled a bit. "Is that any way to treat a guest?"

     Vira smiled briefly, her sharp teeth showing maliciously. "Oh yes, how rude of me. Come into the kitchen. You must be hungry after such a long walk."

     Ferny had a hard time deciphering whether Vira was being sarcastic or not as she followed her sister through the wide archway between the staircases and to a doorway on the left. The kitchen was a little bit less dusty since Vira had apparently been using it, but angry Dust Motes still zoomed about the room. The mutant Acara pulled something out of the cabinet and shoved it at Ferny. "Here. Have a Dust Covered Sandwich."

     The Blue Acara looked down at the mass of spider webs and the green sandwich in the bowl. She bit her lip to keep from screaming. It was tough as she tried to slowly place the bowl on the dusty table, but she still cringed a bit and Vira noticed with another fanged smile. "Spider webs are considered a delicacy by Lost Desert Inhabitants."

     Yes, she is definitely being sarcastic, Ferny thought as she wiped her dirty paws on her cloak. If it had been anyone but Vira, however, she would have screamed, thrown the bowl at the one who gave it to her, and would have had her father throw them into the moat. But Vira was powerful, not some servant…and she was also Princess Fernypoo's sister.

     "I'm not that hungry. Besides, I have something important to tell you."

     Vira snorted, toying with the idea of putting more spiders on her sister, but dismissed it. Ferny had still not looked into her eyes.

     The mutant Acara led her sister to a sitting room adjacent to the kitchen. It was filled with old regal furniture. Taking her Blue Fur Cloak off, Ferny placed it on a Royal Throne so dust wouldn't attack her. She was wearing a lovely spring pink and green sundress and looked ready to play a game of Gourmet Club Bowls. She sat down slowly, but a poof of dust till sprung up when she sat down. Once it settled, the Blue Acara set her sights on the marble fireplace. She still refused to look a Vira.

     Vira, on the other hand, did not sit as she stood in the middle of the room.

     "This place has changed a lot since I've been here last…" Fernypoo commented.

     "Not really. I haven't touched anything."

     Ferny couldn't tell if it was a joke or not, so she smiled slightly and then went back to her face of indifference.

     "I came to deliver a message," the Princess finally stated.

     "Oh?" asked Vira, one of her eyebrows arched to form a quizzical look.

     "Yes. It is from our father."

     Vira snorted at the word 'father'. "Our father? Maybe for you, but he is no father to me!"

     Ferny looked a little shocked. "How can you say that?"

     The mutant Acara kicked at a pillow on the ground, a swirl of dust lifted and swarmed around her face. "He left me here! Now, no matter how far I travel away from here, when the sunsets, I'm always magically sent back to this cursed house!"

     "He had that spell cast on you for your own good! You have strange and dangerous powers ever since that day in the field…You turned all the servants into mutants and you gradually changed…and not just your looks either, but who you were inside…"

     "How would you like it if you became ugly and no paint brush could fix it?"

     "I would be sad too! But I would not take it out on others. You are ruining lives, Vira! Neopets who are poor but have the gift of beauty have nothing left to live for once you are through with them. Their owners, I've heard, sometimes put them up for adoption because of it."

     Vira scoffed. "It is the only way to make me beautiful again."

     "Whoever in Neopia gave you that idea? Making every Neopet you meet ugly will not solve your problems!"

     "It is my destiny to become the most beautiful Neopet in the universe, Juniper said so!"

     Ferny almost looked up. "Who is Juniper?"

     Vira's eyes grew dreamy. "She is the most beautiful light Faerie in the world. While that darkness Faerie ruined my life that day in the field, she came to help me that day everyone left me here to escape my hideous face. She says the only way for me to return to how I once looked is to steal everyone else's beauty. She even gave me mirrors in order to steal it."

     Fernypoo remembered going to the Gallery of Evil with her father to read what other Neopets had dug up on her sister. He nearly burst when he read the lies about his daughter, but he didn't want all of Neopia to know that Vira, Queen of the Ugly, was his daughter. But if what Vira said was true, then the Gallery of Evil was right, though Ferny suspected that the same Faerie that cursed Vira was also the one that was now supplying her with an endless array of magical mirrors. Juniper was definitely not a light Faerie either. It was as if Vira had slid into her own twisted reality such as the ones in mirrors she often handed out, but Ferny knew nothing would change her sister's mind about it.

     "I must still deliver father's message."

     Vira crossed her arms. "Then let me hear it!"

     "He feels horrible about abandoning you, so tomorrow, he is going to announce to Neopia that you are his daughter. And he want you to live in the castle with us…even if the consequence is…" Ferny broke off for a moment for she really didn't want to say such a thing. "Even if this consequence is being mutated."

     "Really?" asked Vira, her eyes suddenly brightening.

     Vira, you cannot possible believe your sister! She is a liar! Your father is doing it as a publicity stunt and he expects no one to believe him. And when you go to the castle, they will lock you in the dungeon!

     Ferny didn't hear the voice, but she glanced up briefly to see Vira's face change from excitement to anger. The Blue Acara quickly looked down again as her sister's eyes flashed.

     "You are a liar!" Vira accused, taking a threatening step forward.

     "No! I'm not!"

     "Yes you are! Father is only doing this as a publicity stunt and as soon as I arrive at the castle, you will lock me in the dungeon!"

     Fernypoo had no idea how her sister could get such an idea in her head, but she didn't like the way she was walking toward her. She was quick to her feet as she pulled her Blue Fur Lined Cloak back on, the back gray with dust.

     Do something about her! She means to become the prettiest Neopet in Neopia and find a way so that you don't return to your normal state!

     Vira, though angry, seemed surprised at nothing. "No! She'd never do that!"

     Ferny backed up a bit, wondering whom on Neopia her sister was talking to.

     Yes she would! She had always been jealous of your good looks. Even when she became more beautiful then you due to the curse but upon you by that wretched Dark Faerie, she was afraid that you would some day return to being the way you were before. She will undermine you if you don't do something!

     Vira suddenly streaked across the marble floor using her wing as a speed boost and blocked her sister from leaving. "You plan to keep me ugly!"

     Ferny knew looking into Vira's eyes was a mistake, but she did anyways. "Neopets come to your door all the time because it always seems to be there when they are lost! They think they might be able to get help, so they walk up to your front door. They knock and a mirror suddenly fixes itself before their very eyes to show a pretty version of themselves. This reflection talks to them like an old friend and invites them in. Their reflection says how the most beautiful Neopet in Neopia lives inside that very house and how she has made the house ugly on the outside so no one enters unless they are beautiful also and pure of heart. They blink and then the mansion suddenly transforms itself to the way it originally looked back when we used it as our summer home. Unknowingly, the poor Neopet enters; unaware that it is all an illusion. They meet you, a beautiful green Acara, and sit down to have tea. You tell them how you know a way to make them as beautiful as the reflected image that they saw in the mirror on the front door. You offer them a magical mirror. Eagerly, they always look upon it and see the beautiful reflection of themselves once more. But the figure suddenly screams and tells the user that they are becoming very ugly and, in fact, they somehow are changed into mutants by some bizarre magic. They drop the mirror in horror as their reflection changes also. The illusion is suddenly shattered too and they see that the green Acara is actually you! I don't plan to keep you ugly, Vira; you plan to make the world ugly!

     Lies! Make her ugly! She deserves it!

     Vira's eyes became slits. "Those Neopets that come to my door deserve what they get! And this illusion you speak of does not exist! The house remains the same, as do I!"

     Ferny was beginning to realize how blind Vira was to this Juniper who was controlling her. Why, the Faerie even transformed the mansion for the Neopets who accidentally stumbled upon it but made Vira unable to see such an illusion. This whole time I thought Vira was behind all this, but Juniper is…She suddenly became aware about how much danger she was in.

     Vira held out her hands and mirrors from all over the house zoomed through the air right to her. "You cannot hide yourself!" she said, laughing, as Fernypoo closed her eyes in effort to avoid her own reflection. If she glanced upon one for only a moment, the damage would be done. She would be doomed to a life of a mutant forever, slaving away to get her beauty back. Fumbling through her pockets, she couldn't find her Maractite Battle Hammer she had used before anywhere.

     "If you think closing your eyes will save you, you are more naive than you look!"

     Stumbling around blindly in order to find the front door, Ferny felt the ground move beneath her. She hit a smooth surface in front of her, which obviously wasn't a wall. She fell backwards only to hit another smooth surface. Even if her eyes were closed, she knew by her other senses that Vira was using her powers of levitation to encase her in a box of mirrors.

     Soon, the evil deed was complete. From somewhere beyond her dark prison, Ferny could hear Vira's voice. "Now, if there is one thing I know about Neopets, it is that they can't keep their eyes closed forever. Besides…how long do you think you can last without food or water?"

     Frightened by her sister's word, Ferny tried once again to speak from the heart. "Vira! You can't do this to me! I'm your sister. I don't care whether you are the most beautiful Neopet in the universe or the ugliest! I will always care for you!"


     Don't listen to her! She is pure evil!

     "But Juniper! She sounds so sincere! She can't possible mean me harm."

     The ensnared Acara listened to the muffled noise. It sounded as if her sister was talking to Juniper the Faerie. Wait! She probably is! Juniper is talking to Vira via her mind!

     Trying to help her sister and save her own skin at the same time, Ferny continued her plea. "I don't mean you any harm! I miss how we use to make daisy chains to braid into our long hair, and how we use to pick bouquets of wild flowers for daddy. And when we played 'Beauty Contest' and we took turns winning…I wish things were back to the way they were!"

     Vira whimpered slightly and there came a noise of a crack spreading. The mirrors were beginning to break!

     How can you believe that sappy stuff? I doubt she misses that at all! She just wants to save her own skin!

     "Are you only saying this just to escape?"

     "Nothing I say will make you believe me, will it?"

     See? She is avoiding the question! Who are you going to listen to anyways? That rich brat you call 'sister'? Or me, the Faerie whose only dream is to see you happy?

     The cracking noise spread along with the echo of Vira's sobs. She then wailed, causing all the mirrors to shatter as if the sound of desperation was too much. Shielded by her Blue Fur Lined Coat, Ferny was spared the pain of glass shards flying about. The noise was immense; the princess's ears were still ringing.

     You let her go?!?! Do you want me to help you or not?

     "I do! I do! But she is my sister. I have to let her go. She never wronged me!"

     She left you!

     The blue Acara slowly opened her eyes, ready to shut them if necessary, but the shards of mirrors that littered the ground like a vast silver lake were so tiny that not even a Mootix would have been able to see itself. The mirrors were powerless now. Vira was in the midst of the wreckage, on her knees with her leathery wings spread over her. She had apparently protected herself with them. Her rancid colored eyes seemed diluted with tears.

     "She did leave me." She seemed to be talking to thin air, her voice shaking as if afraid of the invisible. "But she didn't want to. Father had to drag her away from me. I guess I forgot until now."

     Ferny saw opportunity. "That's right! I stayed at your door all night, trying to talk to you but you wouldn't listen. Father tore me away screaming. I didn't want to leave you because you weren't just my sister, but my best friend. And ever since Father and I left you, we have been searching for a cure."

     Vira turned to meet her sister's gaze with hope. "You have?"

     "Of course. We are family."

     How can you believe her?

     The mutant Acara looked up as if she had heard something. "I'm not sure who to believe."

     Fernypoo looked stricken. "You don't believe me?"

     Vira seemed shaken up as she stood and walked over to her sister, her combat-boots crunching on the glass. "Juniper could be right about father doing that as a publicity stunt. If he really loved me, he wouldn't do that. And he could have come here himself if he wanted me to know this instead of just sending you. But you don't deserve what happened to me. Others may or may not…I don't really know anymore. So, please. Just leave me in peace. I need to be alone so I can think."

     What? I never! Why do I even try to help you? I might as well leave…

     "Not now Juniper! I think you were wrong about my sister, but I still want my beauty back, so please don't leave me."

     Ferny wanted so badly to tell her sister that Juniper, in all probability, was as dark as dark Faeries come, but she knew Vira was sparing her a life a misery, so she kept quiet. Vira offered Fernypoo her hand covered in molting fur. In any other circumstances, the princess would have shied away and given a look a pure disgust, but she didn't care about that for a moment. She grabbed it and was helped up and led to the door. When she had been stumbling blindly about, she had managed to get into the foyer, so it only took a moment, but in that moment she remembered what it had been like living at the summer mansion. It had been a beautiful thing.

     "I'll tell father not to tell the world about you, okay?"

     Vira sniffed once and did not answer, just waved a small paw good-bye and closed the mirror door slowly. Ferny was left with just her reflection.

     But as she turned to leave, she watched in horror as it slowly began to change. She tried to pull herself away, but she found herself stuck to the ground.

     But in the mirror appeared a light Faerie. She was extremely beautiful, with blonde hair the shade of the sun and wings that gleamed like the sea at sunset. Her dress was a ball gown made of wisps of wishes, dreams, and golden fabric. But something wasn't right…namely the shadow that seemed casted over her. The light of her features was dim, as if they were covering up a darker color.

     "Who do you think you are?"

     The Acara knew automatically who it was. "Juniper, leave me sister alone!"

     "I don't think so. She is keeping me pretty."

     "I know you were doing something like that. When I tell Fyora that a dark Faerie is masquerading as a Light Faerie, she is going to capture you and…"

     "Really? Little child, do you know what I am capable of? I can make anyone ugly; such as I did to your sister. Trust me, Fyora knows what I am capable of, and knows what I can do to her beautiful face, so even if you do tell her, I doubt she'll do a thing."

     Fernypoo tried to turn away. She knew where this conversation was going.

     "Oh, don't worry. I won't make you ugly…your sister might find out and lose trust in me. I have decided that you will just keep your mouth shut, okay? You will not warn Neopets not to come here, you will not visit Vira ever again, and you will tell your father never to mention her name. Got it?"

     Tears filled her eyes as she nodded. Suddenly, she was released from the sinister grip and she tumbled backwards. Frightened, she looked at the mirror one last time to catch a glimpse of the most hideous dark Faerie she had ever laid eyes on before quickly picking herself up and running back into the forest.

     Though Ferny left scared, she left knowing that Vira, though seemingly evil, was a good Neopet a heart.

     In fact, they all are…

The End

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