A Song for the Faerie Queen
The classrooms at Faerie City School had been decorated with purple streamers, plastic crowns, and silver staves. Glowing stars had been pasted all over the walls and glittery wands poked from every pencil cup. It was a Thursday, the 29th day of the Month of Hunting, and the following Monday was Fyora Day.
Mrs. Ziggafield’s art class was toiling away on their Fyora-themed art projects. Some were busy working carefully with beautiful pieces of stained glass, others creating origami stars, and a few were up to their elbows in clay.
Morgan in particular.
The faerie Kacheek had spent the afternoon carefully constructing the beautiful vase that was emerging from what was once a lump of white goo. She crafted a ring around its neck and used a plastic knife to cut notches in the top for added design.
“Almost finished?” asked Lonnie, her Fyora Day arts partner. The faerie Nimmo’s tone was impatient.
Morgan glanced sideways at him. “Almost.”
“Want me to do something?” he asked eagerly. “I can make the handle or the star shape for the center or--”
“No, no,” Morgan quickly cut him off. “It’s fine. After all, I want it to be perfect.”
“But you haven’t let me do anything!” the Nimmo whined.
That’s because I don’t want you to mess it up. Morgan opted to keep that thought unspoken. “How about you go visit Mr. Baxley and see if the oven’s ready?”
Lonnie made a face, but hopped off down the hallway.
Morgan didn’t wait for him to leave before continuing to nitpick the vase’s shape. It’s not like she had chosen Lonnie to be her partner when Mrs. Ziggafield announced for Fyora Day this year that they’d be constructing a Faerie-themed project. Partners were pre-assigned and grades were going to be given on creativity, style, and the overall presentation. It was the day of their Queen after all, and it deserved to be celebrated appropriately.
“Maybe we can make something to go with the treasure chest I made in shop class?” Lonnie had offered earlier in the week.
Morgan faltered. “Umm,” she said finally. “Maybe.” Of course, the Kacheek had no intentions of creating something that would complement Lonnie’s boring wooden box, but she wanted to sound polite. “Ooh, I know! How about we create a vase and paint it purple with faerie shapes? Then Mrs. Ziggafield could put it in the windowsill with some beautiful flowers. Fyora loves nature, after all.”
Lonnie’s mouth twitched into a half-smile. “I was really hoping we could do something with the treasure chest, but uhh, okay. Your idea sounds good, too.”
If it were up to him, Lonnie would have constructed a Fyora robot or wind-up Meekins that’d prance around the room. Morgan was glad they had decided on what she wanted to do.
“All done?” asked Mrs. Ziggafield. The faerie Lenny stood over Morgan’s shoulder, admiring the vase. “And where is Lonnie?”
“Lonnie’s seeing if Mr. Baxley’s oven is ready to bake the clay. Tomorrow we’ll add the paint and it’ll be right on time for Monday.” The faerie Kacheek beamed. She anticipated an A-plus for sure.
The next afternoon in art class, Morgan fetched the vase from Mr. Baxley and applied two layers of paint in slow, monotonous strokes. Lonnie mixed the paints to create different hues as Morgan had instructed. The Nimmo had given up on asking to assist her with the vase itself. By the end of the period, their project gleamed under the fluorescent lights, easily one of the prettiest in the room. Satisfied, Morgan skipped to the bathroom to try to wash the paint off her paws.
When the faerie Kacheek emerged, she saw something that made her stop. Hopping down the hallway, and carrying a wooden tray to support a purple vase, was Lonnie.
“Lonnie, what are you doing?” she asked, striding towards him in surprise.
“I’m just moving it to the classroom,” said Lonnie, startled. “Careful, the paint’s still drying. It turned out really cool, huh? Mrs. Ziggafield told us to bring everything to the table for Monday.”
“Yeah, but you should have waited for me,” the Kacheek replied. She grasped the edge of the tray. “Here, I can take it.”
Lonnie didn’t budge. “Nonsense, you did the entire project! At least let me carry it in.”
“Lonnie, I’m not fooling around. Give me the tray.”
Annoyance made the Nimmo’s eyes narrow. “Would you stop fussing like you’ve been doing this entire time? I can handle it, Morgan!”
Morgan gave the tray one final jerk and this time Lonnie released his grasp. Both Neopets watched in horror as the purple vase teetered, tottered, and fell from the side of the tray. With a smash, their project now lay crumbled at their feet, clay shards littering the floor and purple paint smeared everywhere.
Heads turned and conversations stopped. The students around them now gathered into clusters wincing and murmuring. Morgan took a step back from the mess and felt tears welling in her eyes. Without even looking at the faerie Nimmo, she turned on her heel and said nothing for the rest of the day.
Morgan moped all weekend, mourning the loss of their beloved Fyora Day art project. She felt guilty that they would not be able to participate and would receive an F due to lack of a special creation. It’s not like she’d fail art class with the F; art was an easy enough subject to pass.
As students filed in on Monday morning, gathering up their projects, Morgan raised her head to look for Lonnie. She wanted to apologize, but it seemed as though the faerie Nimmo was not going to be in class today. Morgan understood why. If her owner hadn’t made her attend Neoschool this morning, Morgan would have stayed home as well.
The presentations began and Morgan tried to be a good audience member. However, knowing that their names were going to be called soon, a knot of dread formed in the pit of her stomach.
Halfway through the fourth presentation, the door cracked open and in came a faerie Nimmo carrying a purple box.
Lonnie! Morgan wanted to yell in surprise, but her eyes were glued to what the Nimmo was holding. He took a seat in the back of the room and winked at her.
As a faerie Chia and Zafara took their seats, Mrs. Ziggafield came to the center of the room again. “Morgan and Lonnie? It’s your turn.”
Morgan stood slowly and shyly turned back towards Lonnie, waiting for him to step in front of the class. When he did, Morgan forced a smile.
“As many of you know, we had a problem with our original Fyora Day project,” Lonnie began. “So Morgan and I decided to create a new project that would honor Queen Fyora. This,” he held up the purple box, “is a music box. We all know that Fyora loves the citizens of Faerieland, but music is also important to her. When you wind this spring back here,” Lonnie demonstrated by giving it a good twist, “and pop the lid back,” he slowly opened the box, “Fyora’s music begins.”
And so it did. The most beautiful melody filled the entire classroom, and a figurine of the Faerie Queen twirled in a circle as the music played. Morgan was instantly drawn to the beautiful object in Lonnie’s hands. The inside of the box was lined with purple velvet complete with a silver trim.
“What craftsmanship!” exclaimed Mrs. Ziggafield, clapping her wings together. “This is quite an amazing feat for the amount of time you had.”
When Morgan and Lonnie’s art class came to a close and they started into the hallway, Morgan waited for the Nimmo outside of the door. “That’s the treasure chest you made in shop class!” she said excitedly.
“Yeah,” said Lonnie plainly. “Just repainted and redesigned. The light sensor wasn’t working too well this morning, so that’s why I was late.”
“I can’t believe you know how to do all of this,” said Morgan in amazement. After how she had behaved with their initial project, it was nice of him to spent his weekend on this one and claim that both of them worked on it together. “How did you get all of these pieces so fast?”
“I had to place an overnight order at the Virtupets Space Station.”
Morgan’s eyes grew wide. She knew how expensive it could be ordering things from Virtupets, let alone an overnight order. The faerie Kacheek admired Lonnie’s love of all things scientific. She would have had no idea how to construct a music box complete with a twirling Fyora statue in the center.
“Thanks, Lonnie,” Morgan said genuinely, giving his paw a squeeze. “And... and I’m sorry for the way I acted.”
Lonnie smiled. “No problem.”
There was a beat of silence. “Fyora’s song,” Morgan said suddenly, recalling the lovely music that emitted from the purple box. “Can we listen to it again?”
“Sure,” said Lonnie, and he handed the music box to her.
She gave the spring a twist and they listened to the sweet melody all the way down the halls.