Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 192,522,755 Issue: 652 | 2nd day of Swimming, Y16
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April Showers


by goodsigns

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Kari looked up from tending to her Negg Seedlings and smiled at the Earth Faerie.

     "Welcome, Illusen."

     "Good morning, Kari," Illusen said. "What is it you wanted to show me?"

     "Oh, just come right through here, to the back," Kari said, nearly giggling with delight. "You're going to love this. It's my special surprise for the end of the Negg Festival."

     In the back room of the Neggery, a soft, chirping sound could be heard. Kari went to the box that was emanating the sound, picking it up and bringing it back to show Illusen the contents.

     "Aren't they precious?" Kari said.

     Inside the box were several pink baby Faellies. They were no longer than her thumb, their eyes still closed as they mewled, searching for milk. They were absolutely adorable, but the most surprising thing about them was the tiny sprouts growing from out of their backs, on their heads and between their little wings.

     "Wow, Kari, you've outdone yourself this time," Illusen praised, bending closer to get a better look at them. "May I pick one up?"

     "Of course!" Kari chirped. Illusen cradled one baby Faellie in the palm of her hand, gently stroking its silken fur.

     "What have you done to them?" Illusen asked, curiosity evident in her voice. With her magic and affinity for plants, she could feel how naturally the sprouts mingled with the Faellies' bodies.

     "All it took was the right flower seeds and some spells to ensure that both they and the Faellies thrive. I call them Spring Faellies."

     "What beautiful creatures," Illusen murmured, gently placing the Spring Faellie back in the box with its brothers and sisters. "But what's wrong with this one?" she asked, her hand moving towards the smallest Faellie in the box, its pink back bare of any seeds or plants. "Did the spell not take?"

     "Nothing is wrong with it," Kari said, almost defensively. "She's just as beautiful as the others."

     "You know, Kari, there's nothing wrong with admitting that a spell didn't work. It just happens sometimes."

     "Yes, I know," Kari said, her wings flitting with annoyance. She almost wished that she hadn't called Illusen now.

     Almost as if Illusen could sense Kari's change in mood, she smiled and bid her goodbye, leaving the Neggery as gracefully as she came. Kari flew back to the box of her little Faellies and scooped up the one without any flower-seedlings.

     "You're a wonderful little Faellie, you know that?" She cooed to it. The pink Faellie yawned and chirped towards the sound of Kari's voice. "Don't let anyone tell you otherwise...."

     ~~~~~~

     "Hey, look at April!" A young Spring Faellie sneered. "Doesn't she look boring?"

     A chorus of chirping-laughter accompanied the taunt, and April the Spring Faellie very distinctly turned her head the other way. The words hurt and she felt like crying, but she would not cry! She would not let them cry!

     Despite her determined thoughts, a tear slid out of one eye, and she quickly tried to brush it away with her tail. The movement was caught by the same Faellie that was taunting her, who quickly squealed with an evil glee.

     "Look! She's crying! April Showers has no flowers!"

     April took off with a huff before another tear could escape. The Faellies had only started flying about a week ago, but April was the best at it, unencumbered by flower petals or stems. The other Spring Faellies struggled and wavered in the air, but not April.

     Still, she would gladly give up her wings to have just even one flower. The thought caused more tears to spring to her eyes. This was what caused her dreadful nickname, she thought. She was always crying. April Showers, April Showers, April Showers has no flowers...

     She landed behind a Negg bush where nobody would find her and let a shower of tears fall. She had never fit in. Nobody accepted her. The only one who liked her was Kari, and that was only because she was their caretaker and had to love them all, flowers or no. April wanted somebody who loved her for who she was.

     Slowly her tears abated, and April listened as Zaira, Kari's assistant, hummed around the shop, watering the Negg plants. The door-bell chimed, signaling that someone had just entered the Neggery. April peeked out behind the plant, expecting to see a customer, but instead, it was Kari!

     "Miss Kari!" Zaira said, jumping in surprise and nearly upsetting a potted Negg. "What are you doing here? Is everything okay?"

     "Everything's fine, Zaira," Kari said, her voice calming. "Things at the Negg Festival were a bit slow, so I wanted to check up on you." She smiled and looked around at her beloved plants. "Well, all the Neggs look fine. How are the Faellies?"

     "The Faellies!" Zaira shrieked, almost upsetting a Negg again. "I've forgotten to give them their lunch today!"

     "It's alright, I'll do it," Kari said, heading to the back-room of the Neggery. April heard the sound of petpet-food being shaken in the bag.

     "Here's some for Daisy... Here's some for Rose..." Kari paused. "Zaira, have you seen April?"

     "April?" Zaira's face crinkled as she thought; unlike Kari, she couldn't really tell the petpets apart. "You mean the one that doesn't have any flowers?"

     April whipped her head out from view and sank deeper next to the Negg's stem. She wasn't going to show herself, not after everything that happened earlier. She wasn't that hungry anyway.

     She ignored their voices as they called for her, and finally Kari had to go back to the Negg Festival. "Leave food out for her," she told Zaira. "And try to find her, will you? The Negg Festival ends tomorrow, and I need to hand out the Spring Faellies as prizes."

     "I'll do my best, Miss Kari," Zaira assured her, although it was plain she wasn't as nearly worried as Kari was. "I'm sure she's just hiding. You know how those Faellies like getting into trouble."

     As the sun started to set and its glittering reflection slowly leaked out of the Ice Caves, April started to get hungry. She was bored of hiding around doing nothing, and any tears she wanted to cry were already gone. Zaira made a few attempts to look for her and set out of the Faellie's dinner, but then she went to bed.

     April slowly crawled out from her hiding place and flew to the back-room. The other Spring Faellies had gone to bed as well, and they were curled up in a pink flowery pile. If April had been in a better mood, she might have thought they were cute; as it was, they made her feel nauseous. She grabbed a few pellets of food and flew to the window to eat them.

     The moon light glittered magnificently off the icy surfaces off the caves, and April started to not feel so sad anymore. For all of April's life, Kari had talked about the Negg Festival. April didn't really know what it was, but it was ending tomorrow, and April felt like the end of the Negg Festival would be the beginning of something great. With that hopeful thought in her mind, she fell asleep.

     "Oh April! Thank goodness!" Kari's relieved voice woke her up from a deep sleep, and before she knew it, April was being smothered in kisses. "I was worried I wouldn't find you today! Come on, into the cage. We've got to travel to Neopia Central."

     April blinked wearily and flew into the cage where the other Spring Faellies were. They giggled at her, but it was the start of a new and exciting day, and April found that they didn't bother her so much. She munched on her breakfast pellets as Kari pulled a cart back to Neopia Central. Before she knew it, the snow and ice started melting away! April flew to the very edge of the cage as the air got warm and grass started appearing everywhere! Her thick furry coat made it so that the cold never bothered her, but this warmth was bliss!

     Neopets of all shapes and sizes were laughing and talking, holding up brightly patterned, colorful Neggs and slightly smaller artificial ones. They cheered when they spotted Kari, and started "ooh"-ing and "aw"-ing when they spotted the Faellies.

     One by one, April's brothers and sisters were handed out as prizes to excited Neopets and owners. The Spring Faellies fluffed up their tails and perked up their flowers, eager to be chosen. Finally, only April was left, and Kari reached into the open cage to get her out for the next Neopian.

     "Isn't there one with flowers?" the Royalgirl Grundo asked, not even reaching to take April from Kari.

     "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid she's the last one," Kari said, her hands still offering the petpet.

     "Can I have something else instead?"

     Rage, caused by hurt and sadness, filled April's tiny heart. If she wasn't going to be loved for who she was, then she wasn't going to stay. She jumped out of Kari's hands and flew as fast as she could, weaving her way through the crowd. In some small part of her mind, she realized that this was the fastest she had ever flown, and she found some small pleasure in the fact that none of the other Spring Faellies had ever flown this fast. But still, tears filled her eyes, nearly blinding her, and April had to blink constantly to keep her vision clear.

     Suddenly she bumped into something soft and warm; April started to fall until somebody caught her.

     "Careful," said a sweet voice.

     April looked up to see a Chocolate Aisha, smiling down at her. "What a beautiful little petpet," the Aisha said.

     "Her name is April," Kari said; she had taken off after the Faellie, but had been unable to catch up to her.

     "April..." the Aisha said. "Hello, April. My name is Vineti."

     "Would you like to take her home with you?" Kari offered. "She needs a good home."

     Vineti held April above her face, examining. Finally, her face split into a wide grin. "Yes, I'd love to take her home. She's perfect."

     April was stunned. This beautiful Neopet thought that she was perfect? The rage and sadness melted away, to be replaced by joy. She flew into Vineti's chest, hugging her with all the little Faellie strength she had. Vineti giggled and hugged the tiny petpet back, and then gasped.

     April felt a strange sensation, almost like her back was itching. She craned her neck to try to see what was happening.

     Flowers were blossoming out of her: red, orange, and pink daisies, their fragrant petals reaching up towards the sun. They were the most beautiful flowers April had ever seen. And they were hers!

     Kari was beaming at the pair of them, Neopet and petpet. Very knowingly, she said, "April Showers brings May Flowers."

The End

 
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