Also by sperm_whales_4ever
Somewhere, deep in Faerieland, a blue Grundo plushie lay, unwanted, discarded, on a puffy cloud, its eyes turned down in sadness, as though it knew of its misfortune. It watched as its owner walked away. The little female Cybunny turned once more, and looked back at her redundant toy, then despondently looked to her mother.
“Why do we need to leave Georgie here?” she asked again.
Her mother smiled softly, her eyes glittering with almost the same amount of sadness. “We must wait for the right person to find him,” she reminded her, patting her head. “That person will be able to free Neopia from the realm of the Darkest Faerie.”
“Oh,” said the little Cybunny, and she turned away in tears.
* * *
Jhudora’s face was dressed in shadows from the flickering flames of the many torches that lined her gloomy home. The yellow Kacheek shivered as he handed her the item. She took it most ungratefully, snatching it, her long-nailed fingers scratching the little Neopet’s palm.
“It took you long enough,” she spat, and the Neopet winced.
“I’m sorry,” he said, his voice trembling. “I was searching for the one most fit for you... the finest quality--”
“Enough!” boomed Jhudora. “When I ask for an item, I expect it in less than the tolerable time limit! Now get out of my sight!” She gestured for the door. But the Kacheek stayed frozen in his spot.
“What?” she hollered.
“I was just... curious,” said the Neopet. “Why have you been asking for only weapons for the past week? Everyone I know... they’ve told me that you’ve asked for some dangerous items...”
“Are you implying something?” Jhudora scrutinized the Kacheek with narrowed eyes.
“N--no.” The Kacheek shivered.
“Then how dare you address me in such a way?” spat Jhudora. “Be gone!” She snapped her fingers, and he disappeared from sight. Jhudora sighed, leaning back in her throne. Were they on to her, and so quickly? Was it really that obvious? Jhudora crossed the dark, dismal room, and looked out the window. It resembled a prison window, and the room a cell, but it made Jhudora feel comforted, at ease.
Nevertheless, Faerieland was bright and cheery, filled with Neopets smiling and laughing....
Ugh! She hated it! But there was one thing amongst all the disgusting cheeriness and happiness that made her even more at ease. It was a small blue dot, barely visible from the light, airy bulges of the cloud, but it was there, Jhudora knew. And Jhudora also knew it was the sight of the discarded blue Grundo plushie, the item that haunted and marveled Neopians. Why was it there? Why did it have such a depressed look about its face? And who had left it there? It was just a toy... but still, something mysterious seemed to drift above it like a dragonfly. But Jhudora knew of the power it harnessed, and how so many... including her dreadful sister, Illusen, were after it, to “save Neopia,” of course. And Jhudora wanted to do just the opposite, prevent that, because then the Darkest Faerie would no longer be in control.
And that was why she needed the weapons. A battle was approaching soon, and she needed everything she could get her hands on to fight it with. She sighed a second time, staring at her hands, which itched to hold that discarded Grundo Plushie... and then there was a knock on her door. Another Neopet looking for a quest.
“Guess who wants a Red Frost Cannon?” Jhudora smiled scathingly to herself as she departed from her place at the window to answer the door.
* * *
Illusen sat on the leafy floor of her cottage and smiled at the red Scorchio standing in front of her.
“I see you have my item... and within the time limit!”
“Well, I’m only on level two,” he said modestly, smiling diffidently.
“You know, hard work always deserves rewards,” she said, turning to her cupboard. She opened the doors and pulled out one of her special Flower Cakes. She twirled around to face the Scorchio and held the cake out in her palm.
“Oh, thank you!” he cried, his eyes lighting up with delight.
“Have a good day!” She waved to him as he was leaving. As soon as he exited the cottage, the smile disappeared from her face. The truth was, Illusen was worried. Time was running out. She knew her sister was after the Grundo plushie as well, but it would be used for the wrong purpose. She looked to the slowly darkening Meridell sky. If only the Darkest Faerie’s rule would end, peace would triumph over evil, and Neopia would be restored.
She crossed the room to her cabinet, and opened the numerous locks that hung there with small clicks. Lining the shelves were various weapons, including several Rainbow Guns, copious Snowballs, Frost Cannons, an abundant supply of assorted Motes, and other miscellaneous armaments. She sighed. She didn’t like to use these, but right now, she had no choice. She left for Faerieland tonight.
* * *
The sky was slowly darkening, turning into various shades of orange and red, then fading into violets and indigos. Nighttime was approaching soon. Jhudora surveyed the pile of artillery she had collected from quests and smiled. There was no way she could lose against her dim-witted sister. Illusen would not be anticipating this. She looked out the window once more. In the growing obscurity, she could still manage to see the blue dot that was the discarded plushie. Soon, it would no longer be discarded, but safely tucked away in Jhudora’s Cloud, where no one, not even Illusen, could find it and use the power it had been given.
Feeling optimistic, Jhudora snapped her fingers, and the items filed themselves into a mesh bag that hovered behind and followed her. She walked out slowly, enjoying the night’s tranquility, but a smirk covered her face. She flew steadily over Faerie City, onto the cloud that held the plushie. When she landed, darkness had covered everything, but the Grundo lay in the middle of the cloud. Jhudora looked around. All was still. Was it going to be this easy? But a flicker of movement caught her eye.
Standing on the opposite side of the cloud was a figure. Her green eyes danced menacingly in the light, and she moved closer, charmed weapons buzzing around her. She walked with confidence, and Jhudora smirked at the thought of her losing. Soon, they stood face to face, and Jhudora drew her lips back in a sneer.
“Jhudora.” The Earth Faerie spat her sister’s name.
“Aren’t all you little Earth Faeries scared of the dark?” Jhudora taunted.
“I’m not afraid of you, am I?” she pointed out.
“I think you are.”
“Actually, it is you who is scared of me, I should think,” she retorted.
“Well, then you would be thinking wrong,” Jhudora snapped back, but with a little less confidence. What was wrong with her?
“I can see it in your eyes,” Illusen jeered. The two faeries stared at each other for quite some time, each silently daring the other to start the battle they knew would have to happen.
“Why have you come?” Jhudora asked, making sure there was no hint of trepidation in her tone.
“I think you perfectly well know,” Illusen said, “and it’d be best if you let me have it.”
Jhudora heard some emotion creep into Illusen’s voice, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Fear, perhaps?
“Ha!” spat Jhudora scornfully. “I suppose you want me to hand over Queen Fyora’s throne to you as well?”
With that sardonic phrase thrown, the battle started. Rainbow guns blasted in rays of dappled light. Snowballs were thrown with force and exploded with violent shakes. Cannons roared and Motes slapped against the cloud. The noise echoed throughout all of Faerieland, and curious Neopians gathered outside to investigate, but no one saw the battle. The plushie, in the midst of the fighting, lay buried underneath the soft cloud material, its face still frozen in the upsetting frown. And suddenly, it was scooped off the ground by Illusen, who started running, and finally flying, into the star-sprinkled sky.
“Coward!” screamed Jhudora, and shot her Rainbow Gun. Illusen’s wings flittered and went still, and she fell swiftly back to the cloud. But the Earth Faerie had enough strength to pull out an Illusen’s Potion and drink it quickly, before Jhudora had the chance to run over and grab the plushie. But the Earth Faerie was so stung by the word “Coward” that Jhudora had spat so cruelly, that she refused to relinquish her prize. Jhudora threw a Peach Snowball at her, and Illusen was caught off guard. As a result, the plushie went sailing into the air. Jhudora lifted herself off and grabbed it gracefully.
“Ha!” she spat again. “I knew no lousy Earth Faerie would win a fight against me.” She cackled, a sound that echoed as loud as the blasts from the battle. But, with anger boiling inside her like a pot of hot water, Illusen thrust a broken Rainbow Gun at Jhudora’s leg, and she fell to the ground. Illusen was about to grab the plushie again, but a booming female voice, deep and influential, broke the sounds of the fray.
Both faeries stopped in mid-fight and looked around for the source of the voice.
“Enough!” This time, Queen Fyora stepped forward. A small breeze ruffled her purple dress and long flowing hair. Her face was twisted in a discouraged frown. “Stop this fighting this very instant! I’ll not have the peace of Faerieland be disrupted by a battle!” She snapped her fingers, and the plushie sailed into her arms. She looked at the two faeries disappointedly. “I’m ashamed,” she hissed. “All this needless fighting against something so silly.”
“It’s not silly!” Illusen blurted out. “Please, Fyora, I’m doing this for the good of Neopia--”
“Oh, look at you, Miss Goody-Goody!” Jhudora mimicked Illusen’s smooth voice. “Always trying to blame me. Queen Fyora, it would disturb the balance of this world if it was used. I have come here to keep it safe and surreptitious, out of harm’s way.” Jhudora tried not to sound too desperate, but at this moment, it was quite challenging.
Fyora looked at the two faeries skeptically. “I just can’t believe two respected faeries would be willing to fight and destroy--” Fyora swallowed hard here, “--the other over a plushie.”
“No, you don’t understand--” begged Illusen, but Fyora held up her hand, signaling for silence.
She raised her voice. “Now, because of this, no one shall have this plushie, and it shall be cursed... forever!” She held the plushie to the sky.
“No!” both Illusen and Jhudora cried at the same time, but Queen Fyora did not respond. Instead, she chanted a strange curse:
“Behold, the motive of wrong-doing,
I banish this object from all possession,
All the trouble it caused must be ended,
So no one can have, what no one can hold!”
A beam of purple light flashed, illuminating the night sky in a shining arch of radiance. It was so strong, Illusen and Jhudora had to shield their eyes. As the curse was held for longer, a fierce wind whipped and howled all around the plushie that was hovering in the sky...
And then everything was still. The small, sad plushie lay in the middle of the cloud, surrounded by scattered weaponry. Illusen and Jhudora looked at it for a moment, then back at Fyora, but she was gone.
Jhudora went to touch the object, but as soon as her fingertip stroked the material, a halo of golden light shone around it, in a force field. In surprised, Jhudora jerked her hand away.
They were silent for quite some time. Jhudora flicked her fingers and her weapons filed once again into the mesh bag, and she walked off. Then, Illusen raised her hand, and her items gathered into a small group, hovering a few feet off the ground. And without another word, she flew off into the dark sky.
* * *
“What did you say this was called?” the young male Cybunny asked his mother.
She smiled. “The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity.”
“Oh,” the Cybunny surveyed the object with curiosity. “Why can’t I touch it, again?”
“It’s cursed,” said his mother. “By Queen Fyora herself. It has a force field around it, only visible if you try and touch it.”
“Oh,” said the Cybunny again. “It looks so sad.”
His mother nodded. “It always was sad. C’mon, now, it’s time to go.”
As they walked away, the little Cybunny looked back at the Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity once more, and sighed longingly. His mother looked back, too, and smiled softly, but sadly.
“Goodbye, Georgie,” she whispered inaudibly.