Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 176,434,818 Issue: 340 | 25th day of Eating, Y10
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The Great Neopian Faerie Race


by stingjc

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As the faerie cloud racers lined up at the starting line near Faerie Queen Castle, the bad blood had already begun. Before the race had even started, Illusen and Jhudora continued their bitter feud with an argument that echoed across the Faerie City. Each year, the pair of them fought tooth and nail against each other, and though no one was quite sure how their feud had started, everyone knew that only one individual would be able to pull them apart before the start of the race.

     Fyora the Faerie Queen herself arrived and simply raised one palm of her hand. Illusen and Jhudora shut their mouths instantly and retreated to their respective flyers, grumbling under their breaths.

     “Well, that was quite a show, wasn’t it, Brucey?”

     Brucey B., the special guest announcer at this year’s Faerie Race, nodded in agreement. In fact, he had never seen such a spectacle in his life. “I thought they were going to tear each other’s wings off,” said the green Bruce as he finally sat back down after witnessing the argument. “Do they always do that?”

     “It’s a bitter, bitter loathing that those two harbor for one another,” replied the perennial announcer, DinoStinger. The Faerie Chomby was the best for the job, able to fly alongside most of the Faerie Racers while simultaneously supporting the weight of whatever guest announcer had been hired that year. “The odd thing is,” he continued, “that one of them is always the winner. In fact, they exchange the trophy each year, much to the chagrin of the loser.”

     “Ouch, that must hurt,” said Brucey B, who obviously didn’t follow the race that often.

     “Indeed.” DinoStinger faced the cameras. “I would like to welcome everyone to the 8th Annual Great Neopian Faerie Race on Neovision, brought to you by the fine folks at the Meridell Potato Company. The finest potatoes in the land! Let’s head over to the starting line to see how things are going.”

     The Lenny who had been filming DinoStinger and Brucey B. nodded and flew over to the starting line where the faeries themselves were lining up and preparing for the start of the race. He ran the camera up and down, focusing the lens on the participants while the announcers sat and commented on what was being seen by millions of pets and owners around Neopia.

     “Well, there’s the Negg Faerie in her Happy Negg-mobile. And immediately to her right is the Tooth Faerie in the Enamel Express. Whoa, folks. On your screen now, you can see a quite maltempered Jhudora, the dark faerie. And I am quite glad to see that the very intelligent judges at this year’s Faerie Race placed the Soup Faerie in her Cream of Tchea Moto-Soup instead of Illusen. That would have been quite the error. Don’t you agree, Brucey.”

     “Absolutely,” replied the Bruce who really had no idea what to say about that.

     “Well, there’s Taelia the Snow Faerie. That must be a new vehicle she’s riding. And... I’ve just been told that she calls that the Snowmobile. Well, good luck with that, Taelia, m’dear. And to the side of her is Jhuidah the Island Faerie in her Flying Cauldron. Next to her is the illustrious Illusen in the fabled Phenomenon of Faerieland. And quite a phenomenon that is, as she is the returning champion. And last, and perhaps least, coming in dead last every year is the Grey Faerie in her flyer Storm Cloud. You just feel sorry for her every year, don’t you, Brucey.”

     “Sure do,” said Brucey B. as he watched the faeries like he’d never seen them preparing for a race before.

     “Yep. And I’m getting word that the race is set to begin in ten seconds. Wow, that was fast. You better get out of there, Lenny, before you get run over.” The Lenny cameraman flew backwards a few feet with the camera trained on Illusen as she geared up.

     Spectre, the undisputed champion of Cheat, was this year’s primary judge. He stepped up to the finish line lazily and looked down the line with a sneer on his face. He knew he could beat them all so easily at anything, especially a race. “On your marks,” he said, raising a small pop-gun. “Get set!” His fin increased pressure on the trigger. “Go!” he yelled a he shot off the pop-gun. At the same time, seven out of eight flying racers made horrible bursting noises as their engine exploded at the same time.

     On the other hand, an evil cackle could be heard in the distance as Jhudora flew out of sight and the rest of the participants stood angry on the starting line, their flyers completely useless.

     “What in Neopia happened?!?” yelled DinoStinger into the microphone. He had been prepared to fly with all the racers, but he was cut short at the sound of the explosions. “It seems Jhudora has booby-trapped the rest of the flyers. Why didn’t we all expect this? She did it a few years back as well. Remember, Brucey?”

     “Oh, yes. I think I do,” said Brucey B. as he stared at the chaos caused below.

     A cantankerous old Yurble with a bucket and a mop on the sidelines screamed in complete agony. “No!!! Not another mess to clean up!”

     “Oh, he does not look happy,” proclaimed DinoStinger at hearing the old Yurble’s complaint. “But luckily for him, here come Donny from the repair shop on Terror Mountain. And it looks like he’s brought a nice set of tools.”

     Donny set to work immediately on Illusen’s flyer. Within minutes, she zoomed off after Jhudora. One by one, Donny was able to fix the flyers and their smoking engines until at last the final racer was fixed. The Grey Faerie sighed and then hit the ignition, as she shot off after the other seven contestants.

     “Well, that was quite a start if I say so myself. Hop on, Brucey. We have to keep up with everyone.” DinoStinger popped open a can of Achyfi, swallowed it down, and then shot off after the faeries with Brucey B. on his back, holding on for dear life. Within seconds, the two announcers had passed the Grey Faerie, the Tooth Faerie, the Island Faerie, the Snow Faerie, and the Soup Faerie. As DinoStinger approached Illusen and Jhudora who had caught up with one another, he heard a whistling in his ear. Deftly, he avoided a flying Negg which had been shot out of the Happy Negg-mobile. The Negg Faerie shot another Negg straight at Jhudora’s Broom-Flyer. This time, it connected, and Jhudora screamed as she fell down through the clouds, her racer spinning wildly out of control.

     Illusen smiled at the sound of the screaming dark faerie, but she didn’t have much time to smile as a Negg found its way to her own racer, connecting with the bumper and knocking her straight up into the air.

     “Well, the Negg Faerie is definitely taking no prisoners this year, is she, Brucey boy?”

     Brucey tried to speak, but he wasn’t quite used to the speed at which DinoStinger was currently traveling. Instead, he just nodded. DinoStinger stopped in mid-air and watched as the contestants flew past him. The Negg Faerie was overtaken by the Tooth Faerie, who was throwing Neopoints from her flyer. The Soup Faerie and the Island Faerie were battling it out with flying balls of stew. In fact, the only faerie not fighting was the Grey Faerie, who was so far behind the others that she wasn’t in any position to hurl anything at anyone.

     “What a race. Well, let’s go and see where Illusen was headed to. I have a feeling she will be back in this race in no time. After all, she has in the past. Right, Brucey?”

     “Erm, definitely,” replied Brucey B. as he watched the Negg Faerie dropping exploding neggs into the Flying Cauldron. The Island Faerie’s racer began to spin wildly and bounded into the Enamel Express. “Ouch,” said Brucey low and under his breath.

     “Exactly what I was thinking, Brucey boy,” said DinoStinger. With a great thrust of his wings, the faerie Chomby leapt up through the clouds, looking desperately for Illusen. Before DinoStinger had left the starting line, Lenny had placed the camera on the head of the Chomby. And if DinoStinger knew anything, it was good TV. The Chomby swung his head this way and that, searching for some glimpse of the lost earth faerie.

     Suddenly, Illusen shot around them at breakneck speeds. “Whoa, folks. That faerie sure does know how to fly. And it looks like they are all nearing Krawk Island.”

     Cannonballs were zooming through the clouds left and right. DinoStinger chased after Illusen, but she was going faster than he ever remembered her going. Dipping below the clouds, he saw the outline of Krawk Island with pirate ships sailing in the waters around its borders. Apparently, the townsfolk weren’t too keen on the racing faeries as they were hurling cannonballs at the racing participants. One cannonball whooshed near DinoStinger’s left ear.

     “That was a close one, wasn’t it, Brucey?”

     The scared green Bruce was too panicked to speak but nodded his head again. He watched as a lone cannonball flew towards an unsuspecting snow faerie. BAM!

     The Snow Faerie on her new Snowmobile flipped itself out of the sky. DinoStinger and Brucey B. watched as it hurtled towards the ocean below and crashed into the salty waters. “And it looks as if the Taelia the Snow Faerie is officially out of the race. That’s a shame,” said DinoStinger as Brucey neomailed for a pit crew to come and help Taelia out of the ocean. “Well, we’re down to seven contestants. And I’d like to inform all of you viewers that this segment is brought to you by the fine people at Kau Kau Farm. Natural, fresh, and yummy.”

     The faeries were moving fast through the territory. Nearly all of them had passed Krawk Island and were now headed towards Mystery Island.

     “Home to Jhuidah, the Island Faerie, Mystery Island boasts luscious jungles and the infamous Tombola Tiki Hut.” DinoStinger watched as Jhuidah lowered her flyer near the Techo Mountain as she waved to the island natives. They cheered her on, but it was a short-lived celebration as the Soup Faerie threw her spoon towards Jhuidah’s cauldron. Within seconds, the engine sputtered and died. Jhuidah crashed into the jungle near the beach on the east side of the island.

     “Ouch,” Brucey B. said as he called for another pit crew.

     “Wow, you’re right, Brucey boy. That’s gotta hurt. They sure are dropping like flies this year, aren’t they?”

     Brucey B. had to agree, though he didn’t have much to say since he didn’t know how these races typically turned out.

     The racers were still neck and neck. Illusen and Jhudora were hurling magic at one another from their racing crafts, and they were in the lead. The Neggmobile was the next casualty as the Soup Faerie and the Tooth Faerie teamed up and rammed her from behind. She flew in an arch before crash-landing in the ocean.

     “Ouch. Hey, Brucey, if you look in the distance, you may be able to see Lutari Island, which means we are approaching Altador. This is usually where Jhudora usually messes up, as you well know, because she’s not quite used to the sunny beaches and warm attitudes around the place, right?”

     “Umm... sure,” said Brucey.

     “Not very talkative today, are we, Brucey? Well, here they go, and yes, I was correct. Illusen whacked Jhudora with a good spell, and the dark faerie has been bumped back to last place. Well, I assume last place. The grey faerie is nowhere to be seen. But then again, she usually doesn’t show up at the finish line for a good day or so after the winner crosses. Well, there goes Illusen, zooming out to a good lead. Looks like we are going to have a clear winner this year.”

     DinoStinger raced towards Illusen, forgetting all about the other faeries in the race. He wanted to get her picture as she crossed that finish line. But, of course, things weren’t quite finished yet. After crossing the mountains past Altador, the Lost Desert and the Haunted Woods stood awaiting the racing participants.

     “Well, here’s a land after your own heart, eh, Brucey?”

     Brucey B. nodded in agreement as he gazed out at the hot sands of the Lost Desert. What he wasn’t expecting was a ball of mud which came from the Haunted Woods and smacked poor Brucey in the face. The green Bruce fell far towards the sands of the desert and soon DinoStinger couldn’t even see him anymore.

     “Hmm... well, I guess he’s lost in the desert again, folks. Someone send a search party out for the dear.”

     As the racers flew through the areas, the Esophagor and the Brain Tree below were hurling mudballs up. They were able to knock the Soup Faerie and the Tooth Faerie out of the air. DinoStinger cringed as they crashed down. “Only two flyers left, folks, and it looks as if Jhudora is catching up with Illusen now. It will be a fight to the finish.”

     DinoStinger zoomed to the finish line waiting back for them at Faerieland. He wanted to be the one to take the photo finish. Finally, he made it and faced the direction of the approaching faeries. They were still hurling spells at one another, their feud far from over. In just thirty seconds or so, they would be crossing the finish line.

     “This is it, folks. You better place those final bets. It could be anyone.” DinoStinger detached the camera from his head and focused it on the incoming flyers. He watched as Jhudora pulled her wand from inside the racer.

     “Oh, no! Not Jhudora’s wand!” But before he had finished uttering his warning, Illusen had done the same. Both reared back at the same moment, and they shot rays of light at one another, knocking both faeries and flyers to the ground in front of the finish line.

     “What?!?” DinoStinger yelled. “No winner this year?” But he had spoken too soon. Coming slowly from the clouds behind the fallen faeries came a single dark rain cloud carrying none other than the grey Faerie.

     “Oh, my.”

     The Grey Faerie passed the fallen racers and crossed the finish line herself. The crowd was in complete shock, and the only people cheering were those who had been foolish enough to place bets on the Grey Faerie (which was paying out nicely at 250 to 1). DinoStinger finally was speechless.

     But the Grey Faerie didn’t even seem to notice she had won. Once past the finish line, she exited her racer and simply walked away from the race. Jhudora and Illusen were too shocked to fight anymore. Instead, they simply watched as the trophy was taken from Illusen and sent off after the Grey Faerie.

     “Well, folks. What a turn. Who would have expected such a thing to happen?” DinoStinger shook the disbelief from his head. “Oh, well. Every dog does indeed have his day. Signing off for this year’s Faerie Race, I’m DinoStinger. See you next year. And please stay tuned for a word from our sponsors. Uni’s Beauty Salon. The most popular name in Beauty.”

The End

 
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