Like a Faerietale
Snazzy’s life was pretty good. Her plushie business was booming; her best friend’s daycare was taking off. Nothing could get her down.
Every day was like a faerie tale; maybe that’s why she loved Faerieland so much. It was never cloudy, since they lived in the clouds, it never rained, and it was always sunny and peaceful. Everyone here was happy. No depression, economic or otherwise, got anyone down.
Leaning over a small piece of violet fabric, she rubbed her eyes and checked the clock.
Past midnight again.
She always got wrapped up in making plushies, even when no deadlines loomed over her head. She loved what she did; the sore fingers and sleepless nights were worth it.
She loved making plushies because she could make someone happy. Make a difference in a child’s life. That and it was her only natural talent.
Turning the newly sewn purple Koi over in her hand, she inspected it for imperfections. Fin was straight, tummy was sewn on tight, and eyes were glued to perfection.
Snazzy was proud. No skipped seams, nothing on upside down, it was consistent with her other Koi.
The mother who ordered this would love it, but her daughter would love it even more.
She carefully placed the Koi in a box lined with red satin, just as the mother ordered.
She curled his tail slightly around to give it a nice presentation, and placed the lid on the box.
“Alright, guys,” Snazzy announced to her wall of plushies, some to be sold, some too important to get rid of, “I think my work is done here today. Time for bed.”
On her way to her room, she came across a very angry looking blue Techo plushie on the floor. Someone had ordered this for the Altador Cup last year but never picked it up. It had been lying around her shop since, getting knocked over because of its odd shape, rolling around on the floor and being a general annoyance. And now, at almost two in the morning, it was in her way on her way to her glorious bed. Sleep was her mission; this plushie was the enemy in her way of that.
She scooted him over with her foot, too tired and sore to bend down. It was a draw this time, evil plushie.
Finally she made it to her room. Flipping on her light she admired it. Light purple walls and a soft pink carpet. Her bed, a wonderful canopy bed with purple stained wood and a deep purple canopy overtop, was decorated with a plush pink comforter and matching pink and purple pillows. Lying on one of the pillows was a plushie she had made a long time ago.
She stepped onto the soft carpet, a stark difference from her wood flooring of the hallway.
Snazzy was powering down; her energy levels were failing from being awake for almost twenty two hours straight. Her back ached from being arched over her work all day, her fingers almost hurt as much, and her eyes blurred from staring so intently.
Forget the blankets, forget being comfortable. She fell face first into her bed and was out like a light.
Starfire looked over her friend, face down in her bed. The Buzz was breathing softly, her fingers twitched every now and then, and of course, her purple arm was lying on top of her “special plushie”.
The plushie was the first thing Snazzy every really made, it was also a Buzz. The body was orange, the wings blue with orange polka dots, and all the thread was black, standing out against the colours. In Starfire's opinion, it wasn’t made very well, but it had lasted the years of Snazzy’s love, so it must have been pretty strong.
Starfire didn’t understand why Snazzy worked herself so hard; she could pump out quite a few plushies a day and had a big stock for people to just buy if they came in.
Starfire was Snazzy’s best friend. She had the key to her shop and thus her house, since they were one and the same, and she had to come check up on the Buzz every now and again to make sure she was sleeping and eating. Judging by how she was sleeping, Star guessed she had not been taking care of herself. Again.
“Snazzy!” Star yelled, “SNAZZY.” Nothing. The Grarrl sighed; her friend really was out this time.
She nudged her a bit. Nothing.
“Snaaaazzy,” she whined, “wake up!” Again, nothing.
Star pouted, and nudged her more, whining her name.
Finally, she lifted up the purple arm and took the plushie underneath.
“Give her back,” the Buzz groaned into the pillow.
“Not until you get up and open shop.”
“Give her back...”
Snazzy snapped up and grabbed the toy from the Grarrl’s grip. Her pink eyes were fierce with anger. “Don’t touch her! I don’t like people touching her!”
“Open up shop.”
Snazzy brushed some dust off her plushie, hugged it, and set it back down on her pillow.
She grudgingly did what her friend told her.
Business was really slow that day. Snazzy had called the woman who ordered the Koi, telling her it was ready a few days early, and a few kids came in before school, but not much was going on. It was the middle of September; the wind blowing through the window was starting to chill her for the first time since last winter. It was happening; fall.
Fall meant kids would ask for help with costume props for Halloween. Then winter, which meant a ton of work for presents.
Snazzy liked the spring best, but the fall was pretty. As far as sales went, winter was always her saving grace. Winter was cold; Snazzy didn’t like cold.
Something was wrong today. The faeries should have been running around setting up for the festival. If Snazzy was right, that should have been today. Normally a few of them would go shop to shop, inviting the faerie neopets to the festival. Someone should have been here by now, telling her all about the pie and cake and how fun the festival would be this year. Of course, Snazzy would turn down the invitation, she didn’t like big parties.
Still, though, where was every faerie?
When Snazzy heard the news, she was shocked. Everyone was; they couldn’t believe something like this had happened. The faeries were turned to stone? How could someone be more powerful than the faeries?
To make matters worse, things were going bad in Faerieland. Without the faeries, life was chaos. Neopets even started to steal from one another. Shops were broken into daily, buildings were being vandalized, and things were taking a turn for the worse.
Starfire had family in the rest of Neopia, so she could bring news from them. Things weren’t much better. Even faeries who didn’t live in Faerieland were turned to stone. The faeries' magic held Neopia together, and without it the seams were coming undone.
Over the months, things got worse. Faerieland was in a state of disrepair, and there was no magic to fix it. People mourned the loss of the faeries like they were really gone; they placed flower wreaths on the statues and kept the area clean and nice. It was like a creepy shrine of sorts. Snazzy stayed away from it.
When things finally seemed hopeless, there was word that a group of kind Neopians were trying to save the faeries.
Of course, that hope crashed down as fast as Faerieland crashed into the earth.
None of Faerieland's neopets had ever seen anything like it. Most of them had been born in the clouds and never left; it was a sight to behold.
Snazzy liked to believe there was always a good side to everything. Her home and business were lost, the last few months were the worst of her life, and the faeries were still stone months after the horrible accident, but Snazzy got to see the ground.
She got to feel the soft grass, see new kinds of fauna; it even rained.
Snazzy learned she really liked rain. She was jealous she had been missing it for so long.
Although, she had more important matters to attend to than the rain. She had a home to rebuild; she had to help the town get back on its feet.
After the crash, things did indeed pick up. The faeries were back, thanks to some Ixi and Kougra not many had heard of before. They were heroes now, but Snazzy still didn’t know their names.
With the faeries back and their magic to help, things were happy again.
Everyone still had a lot of work to do. There was a lot of construction for weeks; houses and shops had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Snazzy was lucky; her house suffered minimal damages. She had to build a new wall and fix over half of the roof, but at least it still stood.
She leaned on her counter and watched the rain. She loved the way it smelled, and loved how it made puddles on the street, how they danced when the drops hit them. She loved how rain felt on her head when she was sitting under a tree. Snazzy loved ground life, even if she did miss the clouds.
Business was better than ever too; she got a ton of new clientele. A lot of tourists came to see Faerieland, and they all wanted souvenirs. What better to take home than a cute little plushie?
Her best little Grarrl, Starfire, loved ground life too. She could see her family much easier; they could even visit her. Snazzy was surprised when she met some of Starfire’s brothers, and even more surprised when she heard how siblings she had. Snazzy was an only child, so she missed the glory of having ten siblings. Snazzy liked her brother Carnagian the best. His nickname was Carnage, but he was really sweet. She thought the name was very unfitting of him. He liked to play the saxophone and just relax.
Another long day plagued the Buzz. Her pointer finger on her right hand wouldn’t stop bleeding; she ruined some very pretty blue material because of it. She had pricked it one too many times with a needle while making a water faerie plushie to restock what she had sold that day.
She stood up with a big stretch, her wings fluttered and she yawned.
Telling her wall of plushies goodnight, she headed for her room.
All she could think about was her soft bed, the warmth, the comfort of her favorite blanket and her little plushie friend. Sleep was trying to steal her before she could get there, but she would win.
She would not fall asleep on the floor again, at least not until she installed shag carpet all throughout her house.
Opening her door, she pawed at the light switch. Another yawn; her eyelids were heavy. Tonight she would sleep well.
She must be seeing things. The stress of her job and the sleepless nights finally got to her.
Her plushie was lying on her pillow, like always, except now it was life sized and breathing.
Snazzy just stared, watching the giant plushie snore.
Snore. It was making noise.
She was glad for the soft carpet in her bedroom, since it softened the fall.
“Snazzyluff?” someone asked, her voice was soft and laced with worry, “Snazzyluff?”
The voice’s owner was poking her side a bit, and Snazzy had no idea who it was.
Whoever it was must have known her, because no one knew her full name, and those who did didn’t dare use it.
Snazzy leaned up groggily, she rubbed her head. It ached like she had been hit with a baseball bat. Her eyes were blurry, but she could make out her floor. She must have passed out and hit her head or something.
She snapped her head up. In front of her, with its hand on her shoulder, looking extremely worried was...
Her special plushie, the first plushie she ever made. The plushie she slept with every night, repaired and loved.
Her plushie was touching her, talking to her, worrying about her.
Okay, so she was freaking out a bit; that was normal. She grabbed the arm touching her, held its wrist, and stared.
She looked into Eyye’s eyes. They weren’t the same glass beads they used to be; they were real now.
Her arm was warm to the touch. She was breathing.
“Eyye?” she asked cautiously. Then, without warning, the plushie hugged her and started to sob.
Sob. The plushie was crying. Breathing, talking, hugging, crying.
What was going on?
“Eyye... what happened? Have I gone crazy or something?” Snazzy asked, slowly prying away from the hug.
The plushie shook her head. “No, you’re not crazy, Snazzyluff.”
Snazzy sighed. “Don’t call me by my full name; Snazzy works fine.”
The plushie nodded. “Okay, Snazzy then.”
After some more freaking out on Snazzy’s part, and some calming down on Eyye’s part, the two decided they had no idea what had brought Eyye to life. So, like she always did when faced with anything tough, Snazzy called Starfire.
The Grarrl came over as fast as she could, which wasn’t very fast. She ran a daycare and had to call all the parents telling them it was an emergency and they had to pick up their kids. In the meantime, Snazzy and Eyye got more acquainted.
They chatted like old friends, even if Snazzy was a bit weirded out.
“I like Jazz; I heard that dark blue Grarrl in the cape play some a while ago.”
“Carnage. He’s my friend’s brother.”
Eyye nodded. “Okay, I really like what Carnage played. I like it a lot more than the music you play when making things.”
Snazzy smiled. She had assumed Eyye would love everything she did, since at this point she believed the plushie was merely a figment of her imagination, brought on from stress and being too tired.
“Well, maybe we can ask him to play for you sometime,” Snazzy assured her, and she seemed to be overjoyed at the prospect.
While talking of things that didn’t matter, Snazzy noticed a rip on Eyye’s wing.
She asked her to turn around so she could see. It was a rip, alright. Something too small to have seen when Eyye was plushie sized, but an eyesore now she was full sized.
Snazzy was half expecting something other than stuffing to come out of the plushie’s rip.
She gingerly touched the hole. “Does it hurt?”
“A bit. Can you fix it?”
Snazzy laughed. “Fix it? Honey I can make you better than ever before.”
Before this, Snazzy had never liked taking care of people. She wasn’t really what you’d call social. Her only really friend was Starfire. She always thought taking care of the sick or needy was a tiresome job she hated; she could never understand how Starfire could do it so well and enjoy it. Snazzy liked to see happy children and know the joy they got from her plushies, but that was as far as her mothering instinct went.
She smiled as she sewed Eyye’s wing. Something inside her made her want to help the Buzz, make her feel better. She took her time and double stitched the spot so it wouldn’t reopen.
“All done,” she announced as she clipped the last bit of string hanging off Eyye’s wing. “Try it out and see how it feels.”
The plushie spread her wings and flapped them. “Feels great! You did a wonderful job!”
“Wow, you weren’t kidding, Snazzy.” Starfire had let herself in and was standing in the doorway, watching Eyye prance around and Snazzy look utterly shocked.
“Y-you can see her too?!” Snazzy stood up as fast as she could, and ran over to Starfire. “You mean I’m not crazy?!”
“Told you so.” Eyye pouted.
Starfire patted Snazzy on the head, she was at least a foot taller than her, “Looks like some stray faerie magic hit your plushie, Snazzy.”
Snazzy was frazzled. “Okay well, I guess we just have to find the faerie that did this and make her reverse it!”
The two looked over in unison when they heard a whine. Eyye was staring at them, her eyes full of shock, and her mouth slightly ajar.
“You... You don’t want me here, Snazzy?”
She was obviously on the verge of crying; her chin trembled as she talked. In all the time Snazzy had known her, as a plushie for years and now as a real Buzz, she had never looked so weak or pathetic.
She had never seen that kind of pain and sadness in anyone’s eyes except when the faeries were turned to stone.
And she had caused it.
“No... Eyye, I didn’t mean it that way...”
Too late; the Buzz ran off to Snazzy’s room. Starfire smacked Snazzy on the back of the head. “What did you go and say that for, you ninny?!”
“I didn’t mean it that way!” She tried her case, but the Grarrl wouldn’t have it.
“Go in there right now and make things right!” she growled. Grarrls were scary when they were angry.
Snazzy lightly rapped on the door. “Eyye? Can I come in?”
The door creaked open. “I thought you loved me. I was special... You wouldn’t let anyone touch me. I was your pride and joy and now...”
“Eyye, please, I didn’t mean it like that.”
“What did I do wrong? I didn’t mean to come to life...”
Snazzy sighed. She slowed nudged the door open against Eyye’s protest. “Please, Eyye, let me explain.”
When the door was open, the faerie could see the sadness in her plushie’s eyes. She was trembling, still crying, and worrying her hands.
Snazzy felt like a pile of dirt. She had never meant to hurt the plushie, she just never thought before she spoke. She wanted her life to be normal and back to how it was.
So, against her better judgment, she hugged Eyye. The Buzz sobbed against her, nuzzling her face into her neck. Snazzy patted her back and shushed her. “I’m sorry...” she kept telling her.
Once Eyye had settled down, she pulled away. “You really didn’t mean it, Snazzy?”
“Of course not.”
“You really want me here, right?”
“Of course I do.”
Snazzy never realized how sensitive someone could be. She never let others affect her like this, but then again, no one she cared about had ever told her they didn’t want her around. She didn’t know how much she had hurt Eyye, but she could imagine.
The two walked back into the main office, where Starfire was waiting. She was looking over a Vira plushie that was in disrepair. Probably asking herself what kid would want that thing. Well, it wasn’t for a kid, it was for a collector and Snazzy was fixing it up for him.
None of that mattered now, though. Starfire looked at them and smiled. “All better, you two?”
Eyye nodded and Snazzy smiled; she was embarrassed.
“Still want to find that faerie, Snazzy?”
“Of course I do.”
Eyye looked at her and gasped. Snazzy smirked. “So I can thank her!”
The three of them had a nice time the rest of the day. Since all the children were home, Starfire could stay for as long as she wanted, and Snazzy had closed shop so they could all spend time together.
They drank tea and told jokes; a lot of them went over Eyye’s head, but she laughed nonetheless.
Starfire even called her brother and had him play Jazz for Eyye. Her eyes were big and she was full of wonder as he played for her. She gingerly touched his saxophone, and he laughed, skipping a couple of notes.
When Starfire and Carnage left, Snazzy apologized to Eyye again. She had felt terrible all day about what she did to her. Eyye reassured her it was perfectly fine, and all a misunderstanding.
At bedtime that night, Snazzy wrapped her arms around Eyye like she always had, and they slept like nothing had changed.