Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 108,522,844 Issue: 217 | 18th day of Storing, Y7
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Taelia's Gift

by slavatoredrizzit


A blast of icy wind tore at Taelia's thick fur coat. She sighed heavily and lifted her hood over her fall of dark hair, her blue eyes glowing slightly in the shadow. Another Halloween past and another Christmas yet to come. A tremor of happiness filled the snow faerie as she turned her gaze to survey the happy neopets under her care. Snow fell lightly on the ground, its icy touch now so familiar when it was once so foreign. Wistfully Taelia lifted her beautiful face to the sky, letting the shockingly cold air flow over her, and remembered a time so long ago when Faerieland had been her home.

      A sudden movement jarred Taelia back to reality and she spun about, her blue skirts flaring away from her boots like water, meeting the concerned gaze of the white Lupe Baden. He bowed to her gracefully, his thick tail swaying slightly with happiness. "My Lady Taelia," he said in his soft voice. "It seems as though another fall is coming to its close. What are your wishes for this winter in our realm?"

      Taelia flashed Baden a dazzling smile and reached up to tuck a stray piece of raven hair behind her ears. "My answer remains the same," she said in her rich, almost musical voice. "I wish this to be the greatest winter Neopia has ever seen. Make sure the Ice Caves are cold enough so that the Snowager may sleep peacefully and the crystals shine their brightest. Send regards to my sister the Negg Faerie and tell her that any aid she might seek is here for her."

      Another blast of wind hit Taelia and she shivered, drawing a concerned glance from Baden. "My lady should not prolong herself to the cold. Let us continue our talk inside, shall we?" Taelia tossed her head indignantly and Baden let out a low growl. She sighed once more and nodded, striding into her igloo alongside her Lupe friend. A magical fire warmed her home and Taelia was warm in almost an instant. She sighed and slipped off her coat, letting her wings free to open about her dress of blue and white stripes.

      Baden smiled at her and sat down in front of the fireplace, the snow melting off of his dazzling white coat. "What else do you wish of us, Taelia?" he said, now addressing her casually.

      Taelia shrugged her thin shoulders and answered with a sigh, "Fill the advent calendar and make sure that everyone in Happy Valley is at their happiest. That is all I can think of at the moment, Baden, but I feel that this year is to be the one that all dreams spring from."

      Baden stood up and regarded her suddenly with his intense black gaze, tilting his head as if curious. "If I may be so bold my friend," he said softly. "I think that this year you need to make yourself happy."

      Taelia bristled and folded her wings, whispering ominously, "What makes you think I am not happy? Can you not see all the joyful neopets around me? Can you not feel all of the glee in my realm?"

      Baden nodded, almost briskly and he dared to say, "I see many things, Taelia, but your happiness is not among them."

      Taelia began to snap at Baden but stopped herself suddenly, his words striking her like the icy winds of the mountain as she realized he was right. She hung her beautiful head and Baden walked over to place his head on her lap comfortingly saying, "What is it that you want, my lady?"

      A single tear rolled down Taelia's cheek as she whispered, "I want to go home and see my sister Fyora again."

      Baden gave a start and looked up at Taelia once more, something akin to fear shining in his dark eyes. "But my lady, you know that is not possible," he said gently. "You were exiled here for eternity to watch over us. I know not what you did to anger the queen so, but Fyora forbid you ever to return to Fairyland."

      With a hiss Taelia leapt to her feet, her wings spreading out to their full length as she shouted, "I did nothing! All I ever wanted was for Fyora to accept me like she did my other sisters. She never liked Nuria or me, she said we would disrupt the balance of nature in Fairyland all because of the ways of our powers. I never even liked the cold, and curse me if I love it any more today. The only thing I love about this place is you and the neopets that live here and without you I would have wasted away long ago."

      Baden stared at her in shock for a moment, his dark stare only shifting from her face as a blast of trumpets rocked Taelia's icy home. Taelia threw on her coat with great haste and flew out into the cold, carried by her feathery wings, Baden swiftly running behind her. Taelia crested the top of Terror Mountain and nearly fell from the sky in shock at what she found awaiting her.

      There, in all her resplendent glory stood Queen Fyora surrounded by her magical guards. Taelia fluttered softly to the ground and found Baden's warm fur awaiting her disbelieving touch. He grinned up at her wolfishly and nudged Taelia toward her sister.

      Queen Fyora looked up as her sister Taelia made her way toward her, and smiled gracefully. Taelia curtsied deeply to the queen and Fyora bowed her head slightly, the icy wind stirring her long purple hair. "Welcome my queen," Taelia said softly.

      Fyora's lovely face lit up in a smile as she strode over to Taelia, wrapping her in a warm embrace saying, "Thank you, my sister; we have been apart far too long." A blast of icy wind nearly toppled the lithe queen and she shivered. Taelia wrapped her arm about her sister and said, "Come, Fyora, let us get you inside." Fyora nodded gratefully and the two made their way back to Taelia's igloo.

      As soon as Taelia strode inside with Fyora a fire lit up, illuminating the faces of her faerie sisters. Taelia stood there a moment in disbelief, noting every face and every wing but the one that held her most was that of Nuria. Without a word Taelia rushed over to her fiery sister and wrapped her in a tight embrace. The dark-skinned faerie shivered and Taelia felt the unfamiliar heat of flame once more. Taelia released Nuria swiftly, earning a knowing glance from her sister.

      Nuria smiled and wrapped her arms about her bare waist saying in her thickly accented voice, "I suppose I should not have come dressed for the desert but for my dearest sister of the snow."

      Taelia smiled and could not help but laugh softly along with her sisters as the irony of their situations struck her. Fyora strode over to Taelia, sensing her realization and said, "I never wished you any ill will, Taelia, nor did I any of our sisters. It is just that we are all so different that if we were together for too long we would surely destroy each other without meaning to."

      Jhudora sniffed loudly and hissed in her dark voice, "Speak for yourself."

      A moment of uncomfortable silence filled the room before Jhudora granted Taelia a rare smile and said, "Merry Christmas, my sister, and now farewell." In a rush of shadow, fire, water and air all of the faeries left and Taelia returned to the bitter wind of Terror Mountain.

The End

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