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Faerie Festival


by firecomet14

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Luna's silver eyes sparkled with reflections of the magical firelight. She watched from the shadows of the bushes as the Faerie Festival continued in full swing; the many faeries danced in the firelight, emitting magical glows under the full moon.

     Luna was a tall, thin faerie, about twelve years old, and possibly the youngest grey faerie in Neopia. She hid in the shadows, not letting the rejoicing faeries see her, for she would be shunned and scorned. Her dress was ragged and dreary, with more patches than you could care to count, and her shoes were worn and dull, merely shreds of cloth tied onto her feet. Her skin was a dull, pale grey, barely visible in the shroud of shadows.

     Despite her grey color, Luna still could have been a magical faerie. She was not like other grey faerie. Her eyes were beautiful and silver, rather than bloodshot and grey, and shimmered with hope that she would one day be just like the other faeries. Her hair was still a limp grey hue, yet it was perfectly tied back in a large ponytail. Her face was not gloomy and sullen, but lit with a small smile as she gazed at the moon.

     Luna had not always been this way. Once, long ago, almost before she could remember, she had lived in a large palace, filled with marvelous things. She had been loved, more than one person could imagine possible. Her mother had given her everything she needed, yet taught her important values and lessons.

     Then, one night, as the rain poured down over all of Neopia, a shadowed figure had come to her beautiful home. Luna had sensed the evil presence of the shadowed figure and had tried to run, but for some reason she had been immobilized, possibly frozen with fear. The shadow whisked her away to a small forest clearing on the outskirts of Faerieland. There, the shadow had performed the difficult ritual of removing her wings. Losing her wings had been such a shock to her body and soul that she had fallen unconscious, so Luna could not remember the night clearly, but she did know that something must have gone wrong, and the ritual had not been fully completed. Whoever that person was, they had disappeared, leaving Luna to fend for herself.

     Luna had survived, though. She was not grief-stricken and depressed like other grey faeries. She could not miss the ability to fly, which she had never learned, or magic, which she was too young for anyway. So Luna had survived in the forests of Faerieland, thriving off of edible plants and rain water, with help from any kind stranger she met, though she tended to keep to herself for fear that the shadow would return for her.

     The festival was now reaching its peak as the faeries finished their dance around the crackling fire. Luna shivered, but dare not move. She had just barely been able to dive into the bushes before the magical barrier was set up to keep out any pets or villains looking to ruin the festival. The water faeries sang out in melodious voices that sent shivers down your spine and make you tingle with happiness at the same time. All around the faeries were rising into the air to join in the joyous dance. Luna longed to join them and be normal, but she knew better than to think that anyone would accept a grey faerie as her equal.

     Suddenly Luna felt a chill that gave her goose bumps all over. Something is horribly wrong here. The thought shot through her head before she could stop it. The chill had given her a sinister sense of foreboding that she tried very hard to ignore, but couldn't as the feeling pushed into her very consciousness and made her want to get up and run as fast as she could.

     She pushed the strange premonition to the back of her mind and turned her attention to Fyora, who had risen up above the various faeries and quieted the dancing and singing. The queen was dressed in what would seem, to the untrained eye, her normal garb, but on a closer look it would be clear that the dress was custom made of the finest silk known to faeries, and was crafted so exquisitely, it seemed seamless.

     "Now my sisters in magic," she spoke in a whimsical, musical voice, projecting her words to the whole group of faeries, "dawns a new year. And, with every new year, a new faerie is brought to the world of magic!"

     There was an torrent of cheers from the groups of faeries that had congregated by type, with the Space Faerie, the Battle Faerie, and many other faeries of great power and fame sitting at a table at the head of the festival. Luna noticed that Jhudora was leaning against a tree as far from the light of the faerie lanterns as possible. Simply looking at her made Luna remember the horrible feeling of terror she had experienced just moments ago.

     "Now," Fyora boomed across the clearing for all to hear as the cheers died away. "What kind of faerie shall it be?"

     The groups fell silent as Fyora held up a large lantern, shaped as an overly large diamond, that flashed numerous different colors. Each color - blue, red, yellow, purple, and green, and sky blue - flashed before your eyes in under a second, yet each one was seen distinctly. As she placed it on a lantern hanger in the middle of the long table, the air grew thick with tension. Each faerie was keen on having another one of their kind, especially the dark faeries.

     Fyora stood back as the lantern flashed brighter and began to slow down. For a moment, it seemed as if it would stop on the malevolent purple that would signal a new dark faerie, but as they watched, the lantern emitted a light so powerful, everyone in the clearing was temporarily blinded by its brilliance.

     As Luna lowered her arm after the light had subsided, she was shocked to see that the lantern was glowing a soft purple, unlike the one before it. It shimmered under the thousands of stars in the sky and seemed to emit a soft song to the clearing around it, which the trees, the earth, even the moon itself seemed to answer.

     The light of the glittering lantern perfectly matched the color of the stunned Queen Faerie, who now had a misty look in her eyes as if she was remembering something. As the initial shock wore off, the faeries bean to murmur to each other in hushed tones. A queen faerie had been chosen merely years ago, but the faerie chosen had disappeared shortly afterwards, and was certainly a great surprise to most of the faeries who had not been there to witness it. Luna had learned this from one of the faeries who attended the last faerie festival, after eavesdropping on her conversation.

     No one dared make a sound in the entire clearing. The lantern's song died out, and it was left in the shimmering silence of the night. Feeling her premonition begin to edge its way back to her, Luna's eyes darted to the spot where Jhudora had just stood. The tree she had been leaning against was bare, save for a large gash made through the middle of it, still smoking with purple magic residue.

     Luna looked back to the head table to see a dark shadow moving in the trees behind it. The rest of the faeries were too busy whispering to each other to notice, but Luna saw and realized that it must have been Jhudora. The horrifying feeling was coming on so strong it made her want to scream to the heavens for help, but she remained quiet.

     From the darkness behind the head table, a malicious light began to grow. It grew to about the size of one of the many lanterns around the faeries, then suddenly shot into the air. The blast hit the invisible barrier above, turning it a translucent purple. The color spread quickly until the whole shield was a sickening violet color.

     Instead of the panic and screaming she had expected, the faeries seemed not to notice, and didn't even look at it. It was only when Luna watched for a moment did she realize that they were frozen in place by the ghastly spell. All of them except Fyora, who whirled around to face the intruder.

     Out of the shadows came Jhudora, her every feature illuminated by the lantern. Shadows flickered across her face as she raised her hand and seemingly ignited her palm with a flickering amethyst flame.

     As Fyora raised her arm to cast a spell, Jhudora said, in a sickly sweet voice, "I would not recommend that."

     Against her will, Fyora's arm snapped rigidly down by her side. "What do you want, Jhudora," Fyora snapped. "The new faerie has already been chosen."

     "Maybe so," Jhudora replied. "But if there is no queen to fulfill the duty of receiving the new faerie, it will never be carried out." A look of horror spread across Fyora's face as Jhudora continued. "And when there is no Queen, there will be no one to stop me from taking control."

     "You'll never get away with it, Jhudora," Fyora replied, struggling to raise her arm again. Luna felt frozen to the spot, although the spell had not affected her. Suddenly she realized that she had to do something, so she started slowly creeping through the bushes to the spot where the two faeries stood.

     "Do you like my spell?" Jhudora said, changing the subject. "It freezes any magical beings around me. And it is only increased in power by your silly barrier."

     "You always did have to resort to trickery to accomplish anything," Fyora spat.

     "Another queen would be a disaster to my plan," the dark faerie continued, frowning. "I already had to dispose of the first one, although I didn't even need to finish removing her wings. You Queen faeries are all weaklings." She laughed evilly as she finished.

     Suddenly a look of pure rage shone through Fyora's eyes. "So it was you," she screamed, "who caused me so many years of misery!" She struggled to free herself from the grasp of the spell, but to no avail.

     Jhudora lifted her arm up into the air, and Fyora rose off the ground with it. Jhudora opened her mouth to utter a spell, but before she could say the fatal words, Luna burst from the bushes behind her, wielding only a branch she had found on the forest floor a few feet away.

     Due to her stealth and grace, Jhudora did not see the young grey faerie rushing towards her until they had nearly collided, at which point it was too late. Luna hit the dark faerie in the back of the head with the stick at full force, snapping it and sending splinters flying everywhere, although it was only enough to stun her for a few seconds before she fired a blast of purple magic that hit Luna square in the chest. Fyora fell to the ground, released from Jhudora's spell.

     Luna was blasted back against the table, nearly smashing into the frozen Battle Faerie, and lay there, gasping from the magnitude of the blow. The enraged dark faerie was standing over her within seconds, arm raised, poised to cast another spell. As she brought her arm down, though, she was blasted back by an invisible force, sending her flying through the air and slamming against a tree at the far end of the clearing.

     Luna's vision was beginning to fade. She could just see Fyora running towards Jhudora now. The last thing she saw before she blacked out was the shimmering light of the lantern swimming before her eyes.

     *****

     When Luna woke up, she couldn't remember where she was, or what had happened. After a moment, though, she realized what had been going on just before she blacked out. She forced her eyes open and sat up abruptly, but instantly regretted the move when she felt the searing pain in her chest. Squinting through the pain, she saw she was in a nicely decorated chamber with a high ceiling and white and lavender walls and furniture.

     There was a water faerie leaning over her, dabbing her forehead with a damp cloth, and at the end of the bed was Fyora herself watching her, her jaw set in a slight grimace.

     Once the pain had subsided, Luna pushed herself up slowly. Her chest still hurt, but not as badly as before. The water faerie pushed a cup of something warm towards Luna, which she drank gratefully before asking in a scratchy, croaky voice, "What happened... after I blacked out?"

     "Jhudora ran off, the coward she is, and as she left, the barrier and her spell broke," Fyora said in a soothing, motherly voice.

     As the water faerie waddled out of the room, Fyora asked, "Who are you?"

     "I... I really don't know," Luna replied. "I go by Luna."

     At Luna's words, Fyora's face softened and a tear rolled down her cheek. She leaned forward and gently embraced the startled grey faerie. Suddenly Luna felt a change rolling through her body. She felt a strange feeling she had never felt before washing over her like warm water. A strange rustle on her back caught her attention and, when Fyora ended her embrace, Luna turned her head to see a pair of membrane-thin lilac colored wings where there used to be only shreds of her old ones.

     Another tear rolled down Fyora's cheek as she said, "You will make a fine queen someday... my daughter."

The End

 
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