Illusen banged her fist down onto the table.
“Argh!” the Faerie moaned. “A billion letters to be answered, a trillion quests to be given out, a huge garden to water, and absolutely, completely no time to any of it!!” She swept a hand out dramatically, indicating to an invisible audience a, indeed, dying garden.
“This has got to sto-“ Illusen started, but a knock at the door cut her off.
A small Kacheek outside heard a huge bang.
Illusen hopped comically around on one foot after she viciously kicked the wall of her tree house.
“Ow!” she groaned. “Even... ouch... Jhudora... oooh... has got a better... oh... job than... good grief... this!”
Jhudora slammed a letter down onto the arm of her throne. It made a surprisingly loud noise for paper.
“UHHH!” she screeched. “I can’t even go about my own evil business without some TWERP bothering me with petty complaints! Can’t those audacious Neopians understand that I’m SUPPOSED to be evil?? Can’t they get it through their HEADS?!” As she said the last word, Jhudora ferociously threw the letter into a bookshelf, adding some magic to fling it at extra speed. It crashed into the bookshelf, and the shelf lit up in flames. Jhudora shrieked, and sent another ball of magic into the burning lump, putting it out. Jhudora stared at the smoking shelf with an annoyed look. She huffed loudly.
“Even Illusen’s job is superior to this!” she exclaimed.
Fyora looked down from Faerieland onto Neopia. She smiled as she watched the exasperated Illusen, throwing letters into a box, and labeling the box ‘Letters to be Replied To’. Illusen didn’t seem to care she was using extremely bad grammar.
Fyora also watched as Illusen hastened from one place to another, first dashing water over her pathetic, wilting garden, to shoving quests at happy, bouncy Neopets, then to digging letters out of her box to reply, and then repeating the whole irksome business. Most important, Fyora heard Illusen declaring about Jhudora.
Next, Fyora turned her attention to Jhudora’s Cloud. The Dark Faerie was pouring water over what appeared to be a blackened rock. She had a sulking look, and there was a slump in her shoulders. Fyora shook her head with motherly smile as Jhudora clambered all over the charred, dirty bookcase, but shied away from the least bit of the glistening, clear water. Fyora, again, heard her state that Illusen’s job was better than hers was.
“My dear little children,” Fyora murmured, the small smile never leaving her face. “Will you not be satisfied? To see how well you have it, take a look at your counterpart’s world.”
Fyora stood on the edge of the cloud, held her hands out, and whispered some words.
While not content with present places,
May you, my children, switch your places.
Until contented will you be,
In th’ other’s shoes, learn and see.
Illusen, darling, go to th’ cloud,
And see what hassles can be found.
Jhudora, child, visit the glade,
Until contented are you made.
There was a flash, some sparks sputtered, and for a split second, the world seemed to go black. However, the Neopians below appeared oblivious to it. Fyora smiled, and returned to her castle.
Jhudora blinked. How had she gotten to this sickening, bright, cheery place? The Dark Faerie thought she felt her breakfast coming up.
“I wonder where I am,” Jhudora said to herself. “Wait a second...” She wandered over to a wooden door, opened it, and continued walking forward. She expected to walk onto grass, or brick. Instead, she walked onto... nothing. Before she knew what was happening, Jhudora felt herself falling. She remembered her wings just in time, and started beating them together wildly. Jhudora reached the top of the tree house, and clung to the rail, regaining her breath. When she had gotten her wind back, she straightened herself, and stalked back into the house.
Humph, Jhudora thought. Illusen’s quaint little cottage. Even Jhudora’s mind-voice was sarcastic. I wonder what I’m doing here. I suppose I’ll find that goody-two shoes Faerie somewhere.
But to the Dark Faerie’s surprise, Illusen was gone from her little table in the middle of the main room. Jhudora thought she felt her breakfast coming up again as she took in the cheery green vines growing on the walls, the cheery wood furniture, and the cheery sunshine coming through the windows.
“Get me outta here,” Jhudora murmured. But a knock at the door caught her attention. Jhudora strutted to the door, and swung it open with a ferocious jerk.
“What do you want?” Jhudora demanded.
“Lady Illusen?” stuttered the small Lupe who was standing there.
“No!” Jhudora yelled. She could handle all her avatars being taken away, she could bear all her items being removed from the Hidden Tower, she would even tolerate a Jhudora Appreciation Day, just as no one called her the I-word. It was the height of insults for her.
“Huh?” stammered the Lupe. “But... you, you...” The Lupe decided not to stay there with the insane Faerie. He turned tail and ran as fast as he could.
“Good riddance,” Jhudora muttered. She went back inside the see what kind of food Illusen kept in her little tree house. Jhudora wandered through the house, looking for what might be a kitchen. When Jhudora finally found it, she threw every cupboard open. All she found were a few ‘leafy’ foods that she would not abide, and a couple thick Earth Faerie recipe books. Jhudora thought about blasting the books, but then again, they just might have a recipe for Dark Faeries. Perhaps a poison spell and Jhudora could un-spell it.
Jhudora took the cookbooks of their neat shelf, and started to carry them over the wood table that was placed in the next room, but thought twice. There were gross green vines growing all over the chair and table, and Jhudora did not want to have to touch them. Instead, she sat cross-legged on the ground, the cookbooks in her lap.
Jhudora flipped through the first book’s pages to the index. She ran her finger on the ‘D’ and ‘F’ section, and couldn’t find anything. Gritting her teeth, Jhudora fought the urge to throw the book at the wall.
Jhudora turned to the next book, and had the same luck as before. Her stomach rumbled. Jhudora was just about to turn the impudent things to piles of ashes when the door knocked. Jhudora clenched her fists, and shouted, “Illusen’s not here, so just get out!!”
There was a moment of quiet, and Jhudora sighed with relief. But her joy was a short-lived one. Suddenly, it seemed that all the pets in Meridell had come at that moment to get a quest from Illusen.
The pounding on the door drove Jhudora to the bedroom, still lugging the cookbooks.
“AAAHHHH!!” Jhudora squealed. “I wonder how those creeps would react to...” But just then, a pet through a rock through a window. It crashed through a wall, and hit Jhudora on the head.
“Ow!” Jhudora screeched. That was the last straw. Her eyes even redder than usual, hurled the books down to the floor. She gathered a green and purple ball of magic in her hands and...
Jhudora sighed as she looked at the ashy pile in front of her. At least a little bit of anger had been vented.
A stone careened through a wall and hit Jhudora on the cheek. It was a small stone, so it didn’t hurt the Faerie too much. However, when you’re mad, if you get hurt – even if it’s just a little bit – it makes you, not merely angrier, but ready to blow up. And that was what Jhudora did.
“How in NEOPIA did I get here?!” Jhudora wailed. “I want to go BACK to my own, gloomy cloud, and wreak HAVOC!”
Jhudora ran to Illusen’s bed, and was about to fling herself down when she caught her reflection in Illusen’s mirror.
Jhudora really did look like Illusen. The spell Fyora had cast made Jhudora seem to be and sound like Illusen. It just looked and sounded weird with the harsh tone and facial expression on the gentle Faerie’s face.
Jhudora let out another moan and sank down on the bed. This wasn’t her day.
Meanwhile, Illusen was having just as much fun.
“Eeww,” she squeaked, looking at the darkened cloud. “How does that Faerie live here?”
Illusen stared at the charred piece of wood that had used to be a bookshelf, and thought for a moment that she could move the shelf to get on Jhudora’s nerves. However, she thought twice, and decided not to.
“I don’t want to touch that thing, even with my magic.”
Illusen wandered around a bit, and eventually came to a large hallway of sorts. The tapestries were the evil purple and green that is Jhudora’s trademark, and the same hued cloud puffs were dotted here and there on the wall
As Illusen strolled down the hall, she thought, again, to irritate Jhudora, she could ‘borrow’ a few things. Therefore, as Illusen walked, she carefully scanned the walls and tables for things that might be useful to her.
A few Jhudora’s Brushes, a Jhudora Rug, two Jhudora Snowglobes, and a couple Jhudora dolls later, Illusen saw she almost to the end of the passage. There was a staircase at the end, and Illusen felt too tired to raid the upstairs. She decided to go to the end of the corridor, and then turn back. She was just to the end when...
“AAAHHH!!” Illusen almost fainted. She put a now-purple hand to her now-purple hair. “Wha... what happened to me?!”
What had happened to Jhudora had happened to Illusen. She had switched dresses, hair, eyes, voice... everything, except their personalities. And just as Jhudora’s voice had sounded strange on Illusen’s face, Illusen’s voice sounded weird on Jhudora. Only she thought she sounded like Illusen.
“This, is terrible,” the stunned Earth Faerie said.
“What, mistress?” came a terribly low, crackly voice behind ‘Jhudora’.
Illusen screamed, and whirled around. It was a Darigan Kougra, followed by an Eyrie, a Lupe, and a Grarrl.
“Oh... uh, hi... guys?” Illusen said lamely.
“Huh?” the Eyrie said in a confused voice.
“Never mind,” said the Grarrl. Its voice was so low, it seemed to shake the ground. “Let’s get to business. We searched the shack top to bottom, but we couldn’t find her anywhere.”
“What?” Now is was Illusen’s turn to be confused – again.
“What’s your problem, Mistress?” said the Eyrie. “Do you need to go throw a dart at Fyora’s picture? Illusen, of course!”
“Fyora’s picture? Illusen??”
The Kougra stared hard at Illusen. She fidgeted under the piercing red gaze. Suddenly, the pet roared. “She’s not Jhudora! GET HER!”
Too late did Illusen come to her senses and pretend to be Jhudora until the beasts left. Using her wings, Illusen managed to fly up to the ceiling, just in time to avoid the Kougra leaping. Its wings beat frantically, letting it get airborne for a few moments, but it crashed into the Lupe. The Grarrl just glared murder at the Faerie and roared for more troops.
Illusen tried to get away creeping along the ceiling, but the Kougra and Grarrl bellowed for some Pteris. They chased Illusen up and down corridors and hallways, and finally up the stairs that Illusen had seen before.
Illusen dashed as fast as she could up the staircase. She spotted an open door, and rushed in. She slammed the door, and shoved a chair against it. She hoped it would hold with a Grarrl and a Tonu banging against it.
“I want to go home!” Illusen sobbed. “Why did I ever say that Jhudora’s job is better than mine!”
Fyora watched from her castle. She, like the first time, saw that Jhudora had learned her lesson, and that Illusen had learned hers. Fyora smiled, and spread her arms out. She closed her eyes, said a few magical words, and the earth went dark for a split second, like the first time. The Neopians below were unmindful to it, though, and kept chatting on as if nothing had ever happened.
Fyora looked down, and, satisfied with the results, returned to her castle.
Illusen opened her eyes, though she had not been aware of them being closed.
“I’m home,” she whispered. Then, as it finally sank in, she shouted the phrase again – and again.
“I’m home, I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!” she sang happily. Illusen rushed to her kitchen, filled a bowl to the brim with water, somehow managed to reach her garden without spilling it, and splashed it all over the dying plants. They cheerfully perked their colorful heads back up.
Illusen gave a girlish giggle. She stroked the petals of a radiant blue flower, and patted the stem of a large, bamboo-like plant.
Illusen scurried inside, and started mixing up extra-cool potions to give as prizes for quests.
Unlike that morning, Illusen now looked forward to the file of Neopets that came to get quests. She thoroughly read each letter, wrote an equally thorough answer if it was a question, or a short thank-you note if it was just a nice card or gift.
Illusen’s life was back to normal, now. However, there was one thing she wonder for a long time, if not her whole life: she could never find two of her favorite cookbooks.
Jhudora laughed, not cackled, in glee. She was back in her depressing cloud! The only thing that could make her happier was conquering Neopia, but not even that would interrupt her good time – or rather, bad time.
Jhudora threw up her arms and whooped. Unfortunately, three of her minions came around the corner right then.
“Do you think she’s finally lost it?” a Dark Lupe whispered to the Kougra beside him.
“I thought she had,” the Kougra whispered back.
Jhudora stared at the pets in shock and embarrassment.
“Oh... uh, hello – I mean, so, where is she?!” Jhudora’s voice had returned to its regular hardness.
“Thank goodness,” the Kougra answered. “We couldn’t find her.”
“What?! How could you...” she cried, then changed her tune. All those annoying pets banging at Illusen’s door all day for a quest, and then to top it all of, Jhudora bothering her...
“Never mind,” she said suavely, leaning back in her throne. “I think we’ll take a break. For my sake, that is,” she added defensively.
If this got in, hope you enjoyed my first Illusen/Jhudora story!