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The Grey Faerie: Before the Darkness


by gpigluv

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As you walk through Faerieland, you see a figure lurking in a dark alley and masked by shadows, sobbing. Her shoulders shudder with every breath. You step closer, only to find her running. Going nowhere fast. This is her story.

      ***

     Baelia the Air Faerie had it all. She had gorgeous blonde hair that draped elegantly over her shoulders. She always wore the finest clothes, tailor-made by the most talented neopets and faeries that ever existed. She was athletic and intelligent, the envy of all the other faeries. But she wasn't truly happy. There was something missing, a gap in her heart that simply couldn't be filled.

     Many days she would watch other faeries talking and laughing with their friends. But she would sit alone on her porch, trying to conceal the tears that were forming in her eyes. For even though she had more than most other faeries did, there was something she didn't have, something that she had hidden inside herself and refused to let out. That something was friendship.

      ***

     Maelstra the Dark Faerie was watching the lonesome Air Faerie. Jealousy gripped her as she saw with her own eyes how very beautiful and talented Baelia was. But she grinned menacingly, knowing that she had found Baelia's weakness, the side of her the public had never seen before. Just how she was going to use that to her own advantage, she wasn't sure. Not yet, anyway.

      ***

     The next day, as Maelstra was walking through Faerieland, a plan formulated in her head. She smirked. The perfect scheme was just waiting. Her fingers were itching to carry out the dastardly deeds ahead.

     Maelstra teleported herself to Neopia Central. She looked around. No one was there who would recognize her, besides a few stray neopets busily shopping and getting ready for the day ahead. She silently flew through the bustling marketplace, and finally stopped in front of the Grooming Parlor. Maelstra ducked behind a nearby tree and transformed herself into a yellow Poogle. She admired her reflection in a window. The perfect disguise, she thought.

     The cunning Faerie dusted herself off and entered the shop with a sunny smile on her Poogle face.

     "Hello, how may I help you?" asked the pleasant shopkeeper.

     "I'd like to buy a mirror, please," said Maelstra politely. "Just a plain one will do, nothing fancy."

     "I believe I have one somewhere around here," said the Usul shopkeeper as she rummaged around behind the counter. "Ah, here we go! A nice mirror for you. That'll be 547 neopoints, please."

     Maelstra placed her neopints on the counter.

     "Have a nice day!" the shopkeeper called after her. "Come back soon!"

     Ugh, thought the dark faerie after she left the shop. All that happiness was really starting to get to me.

     She flew back to her cloud in Faerieland. Grinning menacingly, she pulled the mirror out of her satchel. She then fumbled through a cabinet and grabbed a glass vial filled with a dark purple liquid.

     Walking back to where she had placed the mirror, the faerie popped the cork out of the bottle. Being careful not to let any of the contents touch her skin, she placed a small drop on the mirror. Her reflection was soon a swirling purple mist.

     "Perfect," she cackled. "Simply perfect."

     Maelstra walked over to her bed. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow. She curled under the covers and slowly drifted off to sleep.

      ***

     Baelia awoke with a start the next morning. Sunlight filtered through the windows of her lavish home. Beekadoodles chirped and tweeted outside. She got up and closed the windows. As she got dressed and ready for the day, she heard a sharp knock at the door.

     "Coming!" said Baelia as she stuck a barrette in her hair. She opened the door a crack to see who it was. A cute yellow Poogle stood there.

     "Hello, miss! I'm --- Mary! May I come in? I am selling things to support my family."

     Baelia really didn't want to buy anything, but she was glad to have some company for a bit. She escorted the Poogle into her home. Mary made herself comfortable on one of the many sofas in the house. She laid out the items one by one on the coffee table in front of her. Some keyrings, a couple pieces of Tombola merchandise, and a toy or two lay before her. But at the very end of the table there was a marvelous mirror that whirled with a purplish glow through the small cloth that covered it.

     "What is this?" asked Baelia.

     "Oh, that is a magical mirror. It makes anyone who looks into it instantly popular. People would simply die to be your friend after you take one look in that mirror. But it's not for sale. It's much too valuable. I don't even know why I brought it along anyway."

     Baelia was intrigued by the mirror. She knew that the effects would last forever, and friendship was something she had always wanted.

     "Would you accept a gracious donation of-say-12 million neopoints?"

     Mary's eyes widened. "Oh, yes, miss! My family could sure use the money."

     "A deal it is then," said Baelia. She reached into the safe in the wall of her dining room and pulled out 12 million pure neopoints. She presented them to Mary.

     "Thank you! Thank you!" said Mary. "Use the mirror well. It only works once, and its effects cannot be reversed." And with those words, Mary left the house, never to be heard from again.

     Baelia grasped the handle of the mirror carefully. She removed the cloth from the mirror and took a deep breath. She stared into the mirror long and hard and felt a transformation coming over her. She looked down and gasped. Her skin was getting paler, and had barely any color left to it. Her hair was turning a dull shade of grey, rather than remaining the lustrous blonde it was originally. Baelia's beautiful dress was instantly turned filthy and ragged. As a single tear rolled down her cheek, her wings disappeared, the only remnants of them a few telltale feathers that drifted down to the ground.

     Baelia fell to her knees, buried her head in her hands, and sobbed. Everything she had was gone. She would have to leave. Run away and leave everything she had ever known behind.

      ***

     As the grey faerie ran through Faerieland, she did not go unnoticed. Neopets and other faeries stared at her and whispered amongst themselves.

     No one recognizes me, she thought. Do I really look that different?

     The sullen faerie saw her reflection in a nearby puddle. To her amazement, she did look astonishingly different. No longer would she be that faerie that everyone else looked up to, the one who everyone else would die to be. She was alone.

     Then the grey faerie realized something. She had no idea what her name was. She picked up a smooth stone and threw it in the puddle, causing ripples in her reflection. Her eyes, red from crying, saw a forest thick with trees up ahead. She raced to it. This would be her home for now, until she could show herself again. She drifted off into a shallow sleep. Her sleep was riddled with nightmares, causing her to toss and turn on the hard forest floor, waking up often to wipe the perspiration from her brow.

      ***

     She was awoken by a soft, tickly sensation on her ankle.

     "What-who's there?" she asked, squinting from the bright morning sunlight that shone brightly in her eyes.

     "Only me," said a Lupe sitting near her feet. The grey faerie was shocked. The Lupe was grey, just as she was, with a sad expression on his face.

     "Come here," beckoned the grey faerie, extending a hand for him to nudge.

     "I-I'm Malevo," said the Lupe. "I'm grey, just like you."

     The grey faerie found herself smiling for the first time since the "incident".

     She stroked the Lupe's matted grey fur, whispering softly to him. Perhaps she could have a companion through this ordeal. Someone who understood. Someone who cared.

The End

Author's note: Another NT story! I hope this story is as interesting for you as it was for me to write, if that made any sense. Please feel free to neomail me with your comments or constructive criticism! I'm always up for opinions!  ~Gpigluv ^.^

 
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