It's Raining! It's Pouring! Old Faeries Are Snoring!: Part Four
If there was any doubt that the cave was created by faeries, it was quickly dispelled. The moment Shadows stepped in, torches lining the wall flared up, lighting the place up as bright as day.
“There you have it, I can guarantee one of the Neopets that I know does not live here,” Myshi laughed, admiring the ingenuity of the torches. Ehdis was thrilled and had a little skip in her step as she joined them in the cave. The stairs went so far down that they couldn’t even see the bottom, despite how brightly lit the hallway was.
“Well, that looks promising,” Rillion whined. “We just climbed up this entire mountain to only have to climb all the way back down again. Joy.”
Shadows gave him a dirty look but held her tongue. Between Myshi and Ki, they had enough squabbling and hers and Rillion would add anything to the group.
After going down so many stairs that the entry looked like a small opening above, Shadows felt so exhausted that it was a miracle her feet still worked. She could tell from the way that her friends were dragging their feet, that they too shared in her suffering. It was difficult not to be discouraged, but they had come so far now that it seemed foolish to give up.
“Shadows, how much farther?” Rillion hissed, slumping against the nearby rock wall.
“How am I supposed to know?” she tossed back, grumpy with her exhaustion, “It’s as much farther as these stairs go.”
“What kind of answer is that?” he grumped.
She sighed in frustration and tried to keep her temper but it took a lot of willpower. “Rillion, it’s the best answer I can give you under these circumstances. I don’t know how much farther; I’ve never been here before, same as you. Please stop making this even more difficult than it already is.” He didn’t say anything more, but she could tell from his silence that he was mad at her. At that moment, she just didn’t care.
They descended down through an archway, and like an oasis in the middle of the barren desert, they found themselves at the bottom of the stairs.
“Finally. I thought I was going to pass out,” Rillion groaned, and Shadows was about to tell him to shut his snout when something else silenced them all.
A voice more soothing than a mother’s and full of magic called out, “Can I help you with something?”
Shadows turned to see a tall faerie with dark yellow hair and yellow eyes standing before them. Her gown moved with no wind and her wings were delicate gauze that sparked like the stars. They were all so bedazzled with her grace and beauty that for a moment, no one remembered their manners.
Then, Shadows gathered her wits back around her and replied, “I’m sorry, m’am, to disturb you, but we have come from Meridell, where a drought is plaguing our people and forcing many of us to leave our beloved homes. We came here with the hope that the powerful faeries rumored to dwell here could help bring rain to our lands and chase away the drought that is dooming us all.” She tried to talk with as much elegant flourish as she could muster, but it sounded cheesy and false upon her ears.
The faerie looked at her deeply, as if she were peering right through her and then responded, “Well, that sounds like a very intense little journey you’ve just taken, but I hate to be the one to shoot it down. We faeries can do nothing about the weather. While some rumors, such as faeries living here, are true, others are not. I am so sorry to be the one to tell you this. Before I send you back on your way to your homeland, may I have your names, brave travelers?”
“We’re Myshinki,” Ki offered up and one by one, they each shared their names.
“Well, Myshinki, Rillion, Ehdis, and WiltedShadows, my name is Ahdaylia, a light faerie. There may come a time where my name may be of some use to you. Now, I’m terribly sorry, but this is a place for only the most powerful of faeries, so I really must show you the way out,” she explained with a somber face.
Rillion took one look at the staircase they had just descended and wailed, “Are you serious? We’ve got to go up those stairs again when it was all for nothing.” The girls held their tongue because while they felt that he shouldn’t talk to Ahdaylia like that, they all shared in his dismay.
“Oh no, that is just the entrance at the top of the mountain. We do have a common entrance down here at the base of the mountain.” She smiled and gestured for them to follow her. Shadows felt as if someone had kicked her in the gut. They had climbed up the entire mountain then back down only to be told that it was all in vain. It hardly seemed fair.
As Ahdaylia showed them the way out, she announced, “Don’t worry, though things may seem hopeless now, TNT looks fondly upon those who are willing to be brave and stand up for what they believe is right. Don’t lose hope despite what events may hold for you, for you never know what’s around the corner.”
Shadows mustered a weak smile and a pathetic sounding thank you before leaving the mountain lair.
The exit they had used blended back into the ground and they were surprised to find themselves outside of the forest. The sun, still high in the sky but obviously towards the evening end of things, was blinding after the fire lit hallways of the faeries’ lair.
“Well, that was completely a waste of time.” Ehdis sounded as if she’d been sick for weeks and was on the brink of giving up her last breath. Or maybe, she just sounded that way because Shadows felt like it. After all they had been through, they had nothing to go home and tell their family about. It was awful and one of the worse disappointments that Shadows had ever felt in her life.
“I knew we shouldn’t have gone,” Rillion said, his tail dragging in the dirt behind them as they began the tedious journey back home. At least they didn’t have to worry about camping in the forest again but it hardly seemed like a consolation compared to what they had hoped would happen.
Ki called out softly, “Perhaps things aren’t as hopeless as you all think.”
Rillion scoffed and Shadows couldn’t help herself. “Thank you for trying to be so encouraging but I think they’re even more hopeless than we realized. This is awful.”
“No, really, look behind us,” Myshi urged and they turned around to see what they were talking about. Filling the sky behind Darkling Mountain was a cloud so dark that it looked almost black and it extended past the horizon. As if it realized that it had been recognized, a low rumble of thunder crawled across the ground to roar past them.
Ehdis spoke first. “Wow, well, that looks promising, but um, I think we should hurry home. I don’t know about you guys, but that looks like the kind of storm I don’t want to be caught outside in.”
No one protested. Instead, they all turned around and broke into dead sprints, racing past empty fields and shabby little farmhouses. Soon, they went their separate ways, Rillion and Ehdis splitting off to race to their houses.
“Hurry, Myshi n’ Ki, we’ve got to get home before that storm breaks,” Shadows called over her shoulder to her slithering friend. There was nothing more motivating to chase away one’s exhaustion than the threat of being drowned out by an impending storm.
Shadows could make out her home on the distant horizon line, but even with them being so close, the storm still caught up with them. By the time they got to her door, they were both soaked. Shadows's fur was matted against her frame and Myshinki glistened like a jewel in each flash of lightening that blazed across the land. The raindrops were so big that they felt almost like rocks bouncing off of them and they were beyond relieved when they got inside.
Her parents stared at her in shock, unable to take in what they were seeing. The twins took one look at her, then threw themselves upon her, yelling at her about where she’d been and what they had done while she was gone. She managed to fight her way through them to her parents.
“I know that you’ve been worried about me and I’m sorry,” she began before they had a chance to say anything, “but Ehdis, Rillion and I decided that we needed to help Meridell or watch everything as we know it end. We went to Darkling Mountain in the hopes that the faeries there would be able to make it rain. But, when we got there, Ahdaylia, a light faerie, told us that there wasn’t anything she or any other faerie could do to help us. It was awful, Mom. I thought we’d gone all that way for nothing, but she told us to keep faith in TNT. That they helped those who were brave and stood up for what they thought was right. That was when we saw the storm coming and ran home. I’m really sorry for not telling you where I was going but I was afraid that you would stop me.”
“And with good cause,” her father retorted, looking stern and proud all at once, “But you did a good thing and this rainstorm looks like just the thing we need. But, you still haven’t explained about the Hissi behind you.”
“The left head is Myshi and the right head is Ki; they lived in the forest by Darkling Forest all on their own. They didn’t have a family and they were being bullied and had to avoid being eaten. I couldn’t leave them there; they needed a family too. I know it’s an extra pair of mouths to feed but with the rain, please don’t make me tell them that they have to go away,” she pleaded, desperate to keep her word to Myshinki.
Her mom looked around her at the mutant standing nervously behind her and then at her father. Her dad nodded his head and then her mom announced, “Myshinki’s welcome to stay and we’re so glad you’re back. We were afraid you ran away for good in light of us possibly moving. But now that it’s raining again, we don’t have to go anywhere. We’ll be able to stay here.”
And that was how Meridell, despite a terrible drought, was able to recover from its hardships. A trio of friends, oops, make that a group of four friends had the faith and courage to try to make a difference in their land. They learned from their adventures, that when it rains, it pours.
Thank you to Rillion and Ehdis for participating in my story. Ehdis is a lab rat so she’s definitely changed since I wrote it. Who knows? Perhaps she’s a whole different being in her new form. Hope you all enjoyed.