Grey Day Woes: Memoirs of the Fallen
So you wake up in bed, shivering in the Neopian cold, and tingling all over with excitement for some strange inexplicable reason. Then it finally hits you – it’s the day you have been waiting for ever since the beginning of the Neopian year, the day you have marked with a gigantic red cross on your lunar calendar (wait... do they use those anymore?) from the moment you possessed one. It’s finally (drum roll starts) dum dum dum... GREY DAY!
Okay, I admit it; maybe it’s not so dramatic. Maybe all of us do not feel the sudden urge to start out of bed at three a.m. NST like a Blumaroo on a pogo stick and wake up all our neopets with the jubilant cry of “It’s finally Grey Day, everyone!”
But of course there are the rest of us, on the other hand, who would be quite prepared to do so if they were not unconscious in slumber. Okay, there is only me. But as they say, every drop makes an ocean, so I continue to carry out this age old tradition every year, even if not with such melodramatic enthusiasm. Every year, there is an eager race to the door to see who can get hold of the special Grey Day issue of the newspaper. Of course, the race has only one contender in it (which, by the way, happens to be me in case you hadn’t already guessed). Most people nowadays cast a single glance the bill left on the newspaper by the delivery boy and decide to bid their daily supplement farewell.
So this year I decided that it was time for me to take a stance... to step out and show the world that Grey Day can be enjoyed despite its greyness. And what better way to do this than to interview its very inspiration, the enchanting, the whole heartedly motivating, the one and only...
To those of you who have read this masterpiece so far and intend to stop after looking at the name of the interviewee, I demand that you continue. And no, that most certainly does not mean that you skim through only the beginning and the end of this interview and proclaim that you have read the whole thing just to get the credit for enduring an innovative form of torture. That sort of thing does NOT work with me. *silence*
Moving on to the actual interview, (and yes, I really hunted out the elusive little faerie from the labyrinths of Neopia Central’s greyest streets with my acute eyesight and super-sharp senses) I decided to humour her with a doughnut before subjecting her to my queries over a cup of coffee.
So, in true journalist-style, with a businesslike notepad in one hand and a pen behind my ear, I spent an afternoon lurking about on the streets of the marketplace asking random passers-by if they had any clue to her whereabouts before I finally discovered her sitting forlornly below the Money Tree. This is a somewhat *cough* accurate account of our exhilarating tête-à-tête. For further reference, I will refer to myself as Super Journalist and this has absolutely nothing to do with my childhood passion for tying a pillowcase over my head and pretending to have super powers *glares*. Thus, the Super Journalist begins her one-of-a-kind noble quest for the truth...
Super Journalist: Are you the Grey Faerie?
Grey Faerie: *rolls eyes* No, I’m just a lunatic who goes around wearing rags and living in eternal sorrow for fun. What do you think?
SJ: Now, now, there’s no need to be like that. I was only trying to start a conversation.
GF: Then this is why you won’t succeed.
SJ: *sighs patiently* I’m from the Neopian Times. Am I allowed to ask you a few questions?
GF: Didn’t exactly give me a choice there, did you honey?
SJ: Admirable use of sarcasm. Keep this up and I’ll have my article in no time!
GF: Go away! You’re interrupting my afternoon weeping session. What do you want from me?
SJ: I would like to interview you for our Grey Day special. If only you could step outside the marketplace for a minute or two and join me down at the coffee shop...
GF: And this brings us to the imperative moment where one must ponder over the unanswerable question people have been asking for millions of years – do I want to? Let’s see, point one, you barge into my private space at this unearthly hour and expect me to have a welcoming committee ready. Point two, the Neopian public has been making me look bad ever since I was brought into existence. Ever heard of the word “No”, sunshine?
SJ: Exactly! That’s what I say when my clients ask me to leave...
GF: I warn you, I have dangerous powers. One snap of the finger and I could –
SJ: You’re the GREY faerie! You don’t do any magic.
GF: That’s what you think. *smiles dangerously*
SJ:*nervously* Alright, let’s make a deal. I get to interview you for ten minutes and after that I leave you alone for ever. *hurriedly* And I get you a doughnut at the Coffee Shoppe.
GF: Is that a bribe?
SJ: Depends on whether or not you like doughnuts...
GF: Fine! You win.
*Both go to the Coffee Shoppe*
SJ: Now, we can begin.
GF: I thought you said you were going to get me a doughnut!
SJ: *triumphantly*Aha! You do like doughnuts! At last, the Grey Faerie likes something!
GF: *surprised* Why? Am I supposed to hate everything?
SJ: Yes... hence you are called the GREY faerie.
GF: What does that have to do with anything? It’s just a colour.
SJ: So... *ponders* why DO you call yourself the Grey faerie?
GF: *points at clothes* Have you seen me?
SJ: But why grey? You could call yourself Dirt faerie if you want.
GF: *glares* Is this an interview or some sort of insulting spree? And why not grey? It’s a perfectly good colour, after all.
SJ: But it isn’t exactly a very happy colour.
GF: Well, I’m not exactly a very happy faerie.
SJ: Point noted.
GF: And I still want my doughnut.
SJ: *shifty eyes* You can have it after the interview.
GF: Typical of you press reporters! Well, I’m going to remember that. You probably think I’m some sort of absentminded scatterbrain just because I lurk around all depressed-looking, don’t you?
SJ: You really want me to answer that?
GF: On second thought, no.
SJ: Moving on to the next question, do you have any friends?
GF: I am the Grey faerie. Figure it out.
SJ: But it’s not possible! Surely all the I’m-so-friendless-and-forlorn stuff is only for your image?
GF: Well, if all Neopians are as pestilential as you, then I don’t decidedly want to spend a lot of time with them.
SJ: Pestilential? Moi?
GF: You have just ruthlessly dragged the sad and friendless Grey faerie to the Coffee Shop with no concern for her busy and poignant life to answer some silly questionnaire posed by an infuriating reporter. Pestilential is an understatement.
SJ: Come on! There must be someone out there you like? Er... I mean, don’t dislike?
GF: You’re obviously a bit slow in the head. For the millionth time, I am the Grey faerie! I am lonely and miserable. I’m not supposed to have friends!
SJ: Fine. Next question. Which is your favourite Altadorian snack?
GF: What sort of question is that?
SJ: A perfectly legitimate one.
GF: *sighs*I have never been to Altador, but I’ve always wanted to try the fig muffin.
SJ: How about the cheese stuffed olives? I LOVE cheese stuffed olives.
GF: I’m lactose intolerant.
SJ: Oh dear... that kind of hampers the next question ‘Which is your favourite smoothie flavour?’ Oh well, let’s just move on. Which is your favourite colour?
GF: *rolls eyes* You make me wonder...
SJ: Oh come on! How stereotype are you? Grey?
GF: *sarcasm*No really? I wouldn’t have guessed.
SJ: That’s not even a proper colour!
GF: Yes, it is!
GF: Fine! My second favourite just happens to be purple.
SJ: Purple? Purple?
GF: Yes. Purple. P-U-R-P-L-E as in Jhudora’s skin colour.
SJ: That’s officially violet.
GF: *threatening glare*
SJ: Okay, then what’s your name?
GF: I don’t have a name.
SJ: How can you not have a name? Everyone has a name!
GF: You don’t! You are just called the Super Journalist.
SJ: That’s for security reasons.
GF: Super Journalist? Pshaw! You might as well tie a pillowcase around your head and pretend to have super powers!
SJ: *murderous look* Next one. How are things between you and the Soup Faerie?
GF: What’s that supposed to mean? Are you implying that there’s some kind of dispute between us? She’s the Soup Faerie, for greyness sake! She doesn’t go around picking fights! And neither do I, for that matter...
SJ: But you must fight with someone! It’s abnormal to live a life without friends or fights!
GF: Okay, let me get this straight. You are calling me abnormal...
SJ: Let’s not go there. Next question. *looks at notepad* Were you always the Grey Faerie?
GF: What is that supposed to mean?
SJ: Well, there are all these rumours about how you once used to be a light faerie or air faerie...
GF: And then I gladly decided to trade all that happiness for a life of perpetual gloom and misery and become a grey faerie. Yeah, sure! *sarcasm*
SJ: *glares* Fine. What happened to your wings?
GF: What do you mean, what happened to them? I have four perfectly beautiful wings!
SJ: Oh come on! Those cannot be called wings. They are four feathers!
GF: Says the flightless reporter...
SJ: How come they aren’t bright and colourful like the others’?
GF: I’m not exactly the rainbow faerie, you know! And they are a perfectly pretty colour.
SJ: White! White? That is not even a colour.
GF: They aren’t just ‘white’. They are a beautiful hue of pearl white. You won’t find them anywhere else in Neopia!
SJ: Ever heard of the Neocash item ‘Grey Faerie Wings’? The NC Mall goes into mass production this month.
GF: There is still a very marked difference between the original pair and the copies.
SJ: I don’t see it.
GF: You don’t exactly happen to be the brightest spark around, you know.
SJ: There will be some dispute over that...
GF: Your time is nearly up. Any last queries?
SJ: Do you want to give any message to your fans?
GF: Okay, who are you kidding? Fans? The only fans I possess are the sort that spin around on my ceiling.
SJ: Aha! So you have a ceiling! Where do you live?
GF: What? No! I am a homeless, hungry waif who lives on the street! I don’t have ceilings or homes.
SJ: Come on! Spill the beans. You said you had ceiling fans. You need a ceiling to put ceiling fans!
GF: Not always. Have you ever tried attaching a ceiling fan to the pavement?
SJ: Just tell me!
GF: Fine. Sometimes, on rare, once-in-a-lifetime occasions I drop by at the deserted tomb, if you must know.
SJ: Do you ever stay with the shopkeepers?
GF: I tried to lodge in Usuki Land once. Ever since, I have been haunted by nightmares of evil usukis wanting world domination. I suppose the rainbows-and-happy-and-toys of it all was a bit too much. But after that I have never stayed in any shop.
SJ: What are your aspirations and dreams?
GF: *gasp* Aspirations and dreams? Please tell me the editor of the Neopian Times put in that question or I will surely lose consciousness in astonishment. Do you even know what it means?
GF: But no, seriously, just how do you expect me to have aspirations? I am poor, homeless, miserable and lonely. I have no friends and I roam the streets weeping pitifully and looking depressed. It’s my JOB. And it’s a really hard one. All I get to do is be poor and homeless. I don’t even have a name! All the other faeries get to swoop down on unsuspecting neopets and demand silly things. Pets line up to satisfy their whims and fancies. Have you SEEN the queue outside Illusen’s Glade?
SJ: I’ve BEEN the queue... but continue all the same, this is very exciting. It’ll make the cover page. Grey Day Special: Grey Faerie declares out her True Feelings! Read today!
GF: *murderous glare*
SJ: Someone’s looking tetchy today...
GF: So would you if you were made of pixels and had to live on the streets! You’d think that the Neopian Times would at least give me a proper residence for all the publicity I get!
SJ: I’ll drop a hint to the Editor...
GF: Anything more?
SJ: Yes. One thing. Can you do magic?
GF: That’s not the ideal question you ask the Grey faerie.
SJ: But can you?
GF: *mysteriously* Only if I want to...
SJ: *squirms uneasily* Well, we can find a way round that, can’t we? Because I have this homework assignment –
GF: No! I am a faerie! I don’t sit around doing Neoschool homework for some irksome young pest of a reporter! This is the last time I do an interview, you hear me? GOODBYE!
*walks off in a huff*
And that, my devoted readers, was the Grey faerie – the very icon of the Grey day celebrations, the origin of the Grey paintbrush and all the other not-so-pretty Grey things of Neopia. Wherever she goes, she has the image of a forlorn young waif. She valiantly puts up with the unbearable task of sleeping in places like the deserted tomb where only the truly courageous at heart dare to venture.
Of course, she may be a bit of a crosspatch, but then, so would I if I had spent an entire night in a place where I was threateningly gazed at by a thousand ominous beady Usuki doll eyes. Her dress may be ragged, but she is a truly motivating soul who spreads goodwill among all the Neopians. Her sarcastically gifted disposition is a gem of wisdom amongst the other ignorant minds of today, while her greyness is greyer than any other greyness in all of Neopia.
And above all, the Super Journalist has done it again. She has successfully written the first interview in a long line of magnum opus to come. She has produced a uniquely astounding literary experience without any casualties or over-dramatic music. And most of all, she has saved herself the extra cost of a doughnut.