The Crack in the World
She was trapped, surrounded by a world of glass that let her see into the distance but never reach. She swam up to the wall in front of her, and crashed into it, the impact nearly crushing her fin. Defeated, she retreated to the middle of her snow globe-like chamber, encompassed by a magical sea in which she had no power and not even enough strength to swim towards a glimmer of light, a ray of mocking hope.
Aurelia rummaged through her bag, unable to find her elusive keys. As a few more moments passed, with Aurelia still unable to locate her keys, she stuck her head into her bag, thinking it would help. Masked by her bag, Aurelia felt dizziness overwhelm her, and in again just a few more moments, she felt a nice breeze lead her green Kyrii-self to the rock hard pavement outside her neohome.
“Slothicle!” she exclaimed while pulling down her bag from her head. Everything had fallen out, but forget about her belongings – it was her bottom that hurt! Rubbing her hip, Aurelia slowly stood up. Her eyesight readjusted to her now-vertical position, and with that, Aurelia was able think properly. As she began to walk towards her house, a Ruki tapped her on her shoulder and, frightened, she gasped.
The Ruki smiled slightly, and asked, “Don’t you want to pick up your stuff?”
“What? Oh. Um, yeah, I guess.” Aurelia walked over and picked up her sparkly notebook, a couple pens, and other various objects. “Thanks.”
“Sure. Sometimes people just need a bit of help coming up with the right idea.” With that, the Ruki turned around and walked away, his antennae rocking back and forth with every step.
Aurelia managed to get her patterned door opened easily enough. As the key turned and she heard a click, she reminded herself how much she really needed to get that door repainted. It bothered her every afternoon, every time she heard that “click” and faced the door for even a few seconds.
When she stepped into her neohome, everything seemed calm. With normalcy in the lead, she took off her shoes and took a look in a mirror. Assured that the little tufts of hair she had on her head were in place, she walked into the bedroom and collapsed onto the bed.
What a long day, she thought. Rolling over to her side, she saw her snow globe of Faerieland – the old Faerieland, the heavenly one situated among the clouds – and watched the little snow pieces frolic about the bottom of the snow globe, for once unperturbed. As her eyes gazed over the little miniature shops, she noticed a crack in the glass. Aurelia sat upright and took the snow globe in her hands. Remembering how she had gotten the snow globe, how her owner, Vallie, had taken her into Faerieland, and remembering how beautiful the clouds had been: how soft and relaxing and peaceful everything felt, even with Jhudora’s Cloud looming over them. How safe everything had felt, how reassuring, even idyllic, in a place whose imminent destruction was readily approaching.
Aurelia gingerly took the snow globe into her paws and slowly ran a paw along the crack. She couldn’t feel it through her paw, yet she felt something run through her, and with the next blink of her eyes she found herself in Faerieland. Not the new Faerieland, but the true, original land of the faeries.
As Aurelia walked, she felt uneasy, as if the clouds upon which she was treading couldn’t handle her weight. To escape the uncertainty of the clouds, she dove into the closest shop.
The shop had an old smell, of mildew and tarnished pages. Looking around, she saw few shelves, all slightly tilted to create an illusion of nothing being perfect or aligned properly. Some books, bound with old leather, were precariously resting upon those uneven shelves. To say the shop had a bookcase would be misguided, because what once perhaps had been a bookcase was now an aged assortment of wood with some broken glass in the middle. Some dust flew in Aurelia’s eye. Her eyes watered, and when the dust dispersed, she wiped the tears. Looking up, she saw that a faerie had appeared in front of her.
“Hello,” Aurelia said, with a slight tone of surprise in her voice. Her eyes scanned the faerie, who was entirely clothed in purple, to match the wings she had of a lighter, more lilac color.
“Welcome,” said the faerie. “You’re our first visitor in weeks... how did you get here?” Just as Aurelia’s eyes had critiqued the faerie, the faerie herself – whose name was Madelaide – let her eyes wander about the green fur of Aurelia.
“To be honest, I don’t really know.”
Isn’t that always the case, Madelaide thought. “Yes, well, I’m afraid there isn’t much to see here. You would be just as fortunate to find a book in some random cloud as you would be to find one here.”
Aurelia paused. “Well, where did they all go?”
“My dear, don’t you know?” Madelaide sighed. “You need ideas to write books. And we haven’t gotten very many of those since we relocated. I’m one of the few faeries left here. Few have the ability to visit the true Faerieland anymore; if you want a book, a story, an idea, you’d best be off in the rocky new excuse for Faerieland.”
“But... everyone has ideas.”
Madelaide’s eyes brightened at those words. Perhaps the vitality of Faerieland had finally arrived within this green Kyrii. “Well, if you like, you could provide some for me. It would mean the world to me and this store, and all the faeries that were wiped away as idea after idea evaporated.”
“An idea?” Aurelia answered. “You want an idea from me? Can’t you get one of those anywhere?”
“No, I can’t. My mind has lost the ability to form connections, to find links creative enough to spawn an idea.” Madelaide continued on. “A faerie’s power comes from the element she is bounded to. As a library faerie, I’m bound to my library of books. But that’s no longer here.
“Now come on. Give me just one.”
“I still... I don’t know what you want!” Aurelia shouted. How could she give someone what was so inherent in her being?
“Please,” the faerie sighed.
“Isn’t asking me for an idea something that you’re doing because of an idea you had? I mean, how can I be sure that you really need one?”
“There’s a difference between ideas and desire. I’m telling you,” Madelaide said with more and more indignation as she talked on, “I just really need an idea. So much that my desires clearly brought you here.”
They spent the night talking away. Aurelia told her stories and ideas and the faerie listened, absorbing every detail with her omnipotent, yet flawed, brain. And Aurelia talked her way incessantly through the night, until her words blended together and her eyes took on a glazed look. Finally, she drifted off into her own world of dreams and ideas.
When she woke up, she was lying on crystal rocks and seashells. Aurelia looked up and saw snowflakes coming down. This seems familiar, she thought.
She was right. She had dreamed herself into her dreams. With dreams more powerful than ideas, with dreams being ideas interwoven together, bound together so strongly they actually create a story, it’s simple to fall in. In a daydream or a hallucination is a slight trip, a mere slip into the world of dreams, then Aurelia had tumbled down a long drop and landed with a crash in a land where a speck of an idea because a mountainous reality.
Madelaide wrote on, and wrote and wrote and wrote, with her quill pouring out the ink for the words of the ideas. And as she wrote, her wings first slid into the book, and then her clothing, and her body, until even her soul had been whisked away by a swirl into the book. And what remains today of Madelaide is in that book you bought from Faerieland, in that shop that contains all the secrets and aspirations of all the people who had dreamt their way into Faerieland, just as Aurelia had done. Ideas aren’t so keen on being stolen, and a trapped fate is what is in store for those who attempt to do so.
They all had found a connection, a way to create ideas. Aurelia’s snow globe was her passion, her source of connections, and well, she was so in love with her dream of Faerieland that she ended up right in that very snow globe.
And Aurelia had been defeated, trapped as an idea inside a snow globe, very similarly unable to see a crack in her very own globe as the Faerieland within the snow globe that had been unable to foresee their own destruction. Though ideas don’t enjoy being stolen, a small green Kyrii should always be wary of the dangers of sharing uninhibitedly.
My first NT submission! I hope you enjoy my way of letting the Faerieland in the clouds live on in our hearts. :)