Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 194,403,598 Issue: 765 | 20th day of Sleeping, Y19
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A Baby and a Brute: Part Two

by 77thbigby


      Ana and Brutus had come to Faerieland on what had been a mission to get Naia, the Fountain Faerie, to paint Heebie, Brutus' brother. She had refused, explaining that she couldn't jut help every Neopet that wanted to be painted. Defeated, the pair of Bori had left. Ana had wanted to buy her family gifts and off they had gone to Faerie City. The young blue Bori was well into her shopping spree and had just bought her brother Marc some new paints and brushes.

      "Marc always has his supplies shipped from Faerieland. So, I know he’ll love these,” Ana said.

      As they exited the art supplies shop, Ana paused when she heard someone crying. The blue Bori looked around but saw no one that seemed even remotely sad.

      “Brutus, do you hear that?” Ana looked up at her friend.

      The mutant Bori shook his head. “No, hear what? There’s a music shop next door and I can’t hear much over the instruments.”

      “Someone is crying but I don’t see them.”

      The blue Bori set off walking and began to check alleyways. Her friend dutifully followed her. It was the third alley they checked where they found Baelia the Grey Faerie, sitting on the ground and crying into her hands. Without hesitation, Ana set her bag down and sat beside the distraught faerie. The Grey Faerie didn’t notice she had company at first.

      “Excuse me but are you alright?” Ana asked, placing a gentle hand on Baelia’s arm.

      The Grey Faerie looked up and startled at the hulking mutant Bori blocking the alleyway. Then she looked at the blue Bori sitting beside her.

      Baelia heaved a sigh and her tears stopped for the moment. “Oh, well, no. I mean, I’m never OK. I cry all the time but it’s because I’ the Grey Faerie, you see. It’s what I do. Cry.”

      “Isn’t there anything we can do?” Ana asked.

      “No, not really. Just leave me be. It’s what everyone else does.”

      Ana rose to her feet, picked up her bag and left the alley with Brutus. This meeting of Baelia had bothered her quite a bit.

      “I hate to just leave her like that. Maybe I can’t make everything better but I have to be able to help somehow,” Ana said, looking down at the bag she held in her hands.

      The Bori girl looked thoughtful for a moment before she smiled. She looked up at Brutus with the light of excitement in her eyes.

      “I know what we’ll do. We’ll buy Baelia a gift!” Ana exclaimed.

      “A gift? What kind of gift?” Brutus looked mystified at the suggestion.

      “A small gift that she can carry with her. Something bright and cheerful that will bring a smile to her face when she looks at it. Something beautiful and simple.”

      “Where are we going to find something like that?”

      “Well, I’m not really sure. I still have a few gifts to buy for the others. We’ll find something for Baelia too!”

      The pair of Bori continued shopping, heading to the beauty shop next. This gift was easy. Ana just bought Angela Cybunny Perfume. She did consider buying something for Baelia but nothing seemed right. The Grey Faerie didn’t use makeup and hardly seemed to care about her physical appearance.

      They moved onto a game shop where Ana bought a deck of cards for Gabr, the Torches’’ butler. He loved games of chance and had been the one to teach the Torch children about taking risk. A game was perfect for the ghost Bruce. Not so much for Baelia. So, Brutus and Ana continued on.

      “I’m going to buy Heebie a shirt. Help me pick it out, Brutus. You’ll know what he’ll like best,” Ana said.

      Neither was one much for shopping but they always enjoyed one another’s company. It was fun looking at the shirts available in Faerieland. They were unusual options for the Haunted Woods natives. Though, there was a lot to choose from, they did manage to narrow it down. Ana chose a white shirt with a large red heart on it.

      Brutus smiled. “Perfect.”

      Ana smiled back but then her face fell. “We still haven’t found Baelia a gift.”

      “No, we haven’t. It certainly couldn’t be found here. She only ever wears that one dress of hers.”

      “Other than her, I have one more gift to buy.”

      The next gift was a leather bound notebook that Ana had engraved with ‘Aabas’ name on it. The longtime courier of the Torch family was an avid poet and had such a beautiful way with words. Ana adored his work and ever cheerful demeanor. He had encouraged in her a love for the written word. She knew he would appreciate the gift.

      Even after all of the shops they had visited, nothing seemed right for Baelia.

      “It was easy to buy gifts for my family because I know them and what they like. I don’t know Baelia at all so buying a gift for her isn’t so easy,” Ana said.

      “Would you like to give up?” Brutus asked.

      Ana thought for a moment. Then, the young Bori shook her head.

      “No, not yet. I don’t want to give up so quickly,” Ana said.

      The pair of Bori window shopped, taking their time as they walked. When something caught their eye, they would pause to consider it. After a few moments, they would continue on. They finally stumbled upon a small variety shop. With so many options, it seemed the most promising.

      Ana stopped in front of a section of brightly coloured sand in glass vials. She was rather surprised to see such a display in Faerieland.

      “My Uncle X told me about these. They’re popular souvenirs for Neopets that visit Mystery Island. Sand is abundant there so they’re cheap to produce. I don’t know what these are doing here since there is no such supply of sand to be found here,” Ana said.

      “A cousin of mine brought these in and I decided to sell them in the shop,” the shopkeeper explained.

      The blue Bori began to look more clearly at the bottled sand. There were several colors, shapes and sizes. As she moved them, looking past the larger, more elaborate bottles she found some smaller but no less attractive ones. These were able to fit comfortably in the palm of her hand. She was enchanted by these foreign trinkets.

      “It’s almost like holding a jewel in my hand,” Ana said.

      “I wouldn’t know what that feels like,” Brutus pointed out.

      “No but I do. I think this will work for Baelia.”

      Ana bought an Ornate Rainbow Sand. Now they had to find the Grey Faerie a second time that day. She was not where they had first met her. Once more, they checked alleys and eventually found her. She wasn’t crying but walking aimlessly.

      “Baelia,” Ana said as she reached the faerie.

      At the sound of her name, the Grey Faerie turned to look, eyes registering recognition. “Oh, hello again. Am I in your way? Am I ruining your day? Are you going to tell me to take my rainy mood elsewhere?”

      “No, nothing like that! Brutus and I have been looking for you. We bought you a gift.”

      The Grey Faerie stopped in her tracks, eyes wide. She looked dumbstruck. No one had ever bought her a gift before. Ana gave Baelia the Ornate Rainbow Sand. The faerie held the small, cheerful vial in her hand.

      Baelia’s watery blue eyes lit up as she looked at the gift. “It’s beautiful! I will cherish this gift. I would like to give you something in return.”

      Ana shook her head. “No, Baelia. There is no need. We wanted to do this.”

      “Please, I want to give something back to you for your kindness.”

      “Very well.”

      “As you know, I have no magic of my own. However, it has only been recently that the other faeries have been willing to allow me to borrow theirs. I shall call on one of them now for your gift.”

      First, Baelia tucked the Ornate Rainbow Sand into her pocket, patting it fondly. She adjusted her plain dress and gave the two watching Bori a small smile.

      “My fairest sister, I need your assistance,” Baelia said in a clear voice.

      Much to Ana and Brutus’ amazement, the faerie that answered the call was none other than the Rainbow Fountain Faerie herself, appearing in a cloud of pale blue smoke. “Yes, Baelia? What may I help you with?”

      “I would like you to share your magic with this young Bori. She has been most kind to me.”

      “Certainly, Baelia. You know how my Fountain works, yes? You may now visit whenever you’d like to be painted. For now, I must go. I can’t leave it unattended for long.”

      It was now Ana’s turn to be speechless with delight. Impulsively, she hugged Baelia and Brutus.

      “Thank you, Baelia. This gift will help us a great deal,” Ana said.

      “Good,” Baelia said with a small nod.

      Ana and Brutus left the Grey Faerie then. They knew what they needed to do next. The girl sent a Neomail to her family and then they waited. As night was beginning to fall, they went to stay with Ana’s relatives that lived in Faerieland. They were warmly received and Ana’s cousins, aunts and uncles rejoiced with them at the day’s events.

      The next day, the Torch family arrived with Heebie. They had had to deal with rain in the Woods until the weather had cleared as they neared Faerieland. It had delayed their arrival but Ana, Brutus and their Faerieland family had used the time to prepare a delicious lunch. It was much appreciated by everyone. Only after they had eaten did they decide to go to the Rainbow Fountain.

      The entire family wanted to go but Ana stopped them. “Wait! This is for Brutus and Heebie to do. Besides, there isn’t room for all of us at the Fountain.”

      “Ana is right. We’ll stay here and await your return,” Duke Torch said to Brutus.

      Brutus looked at Ana. “I would like Ana to come. This would not have happened without her.”

      So, the blue Bori went with them. She held Heebie in her arms. He seemed quite amused as he looked around on their walk.

      “His first time leaving home and he’s a baby,” Brutus said.

      “He won’t remain a baby for long. He’ll grow fast. Babies always do you know. Enjoy this while it lasts,” an elderly Grarrl said as they passed her.

      Ana blushed at the Grarrl’s assumption that they were a family and that Heebie was actually their baby.

      Brutus looked down at the girl beside him, looking bemused. “Well, she was right about one thing. With help, Heebie will grow far faster than the average baby.”

      “We’re almost there,” Ana said, smiling down at the baby she held, still unable to meet the gaze of the older Bori beside her.

      Naia greeted them when they arrived.

      “This must be the brother you told me about,” Naia said, nodding her head to Heebie.

      “Yes, we’d like to use the fountain for him,” Ana explained.

      “To return to being a zombie?”

      “Yes,” Brutus said.

      “Are you certain? Babies are cute and a lot of fun.”

      “We’re certain.”

      “Very well. Please save Heebie to me. Only one Neopet is allowed into the fountain at a time. I understand he is a baby and cannot swim. The fountain is shallow but I will hold him until he has returned to his adult form.”

      Heebie blew a raspberry at Naia as she held him. The Fountain Faerie smiled at the baby Bori and slowly submerged him into the magical waters. He splashed happily and it took only a moment before Naia was able to let him go. The now zombie Bori stood up and walked out of the fountain. He smiled his familiar smile: jaws sewed shut and his eyes just empty sockets.

      “I have never been so happy to see you in my life!” Brutus said, hugging his brother.

      “Glad to have you back, Heebie,” Ana said, hugging the zombie.

      Naia watched the group of Bori leave, bemused.

      “What do you think of Faerieland?” Ana was walking beside Heebie with Brutus on his other side.

      The zombie Bori could not speak but, over the years, Brutus and Ana had learned how to ‘read’ him as he communicated with them. Now, Heebie looked around them and nodded his head.

      “It’s a nice place but I miss home,” Brutus admitted.

      “Me too,” Ana said with a nod.

      Heebie gave no sign that he disagreed with them. When they got back, however, Aubrey was upset that they would not be staying.

      “Please stay! You all just got here. Faerieland is lovely and I want to share our home with you!” The faerie Zafara looked almost pleading.

      “You may always welcome us but just on the walk back we got stared at. Not all of them were friendly,” Ana said.

      “Faerieland is beautiful, Aubrey. I thank you and your family for the help and warmth that you have shown to me and my brother. However, we refuse to wear out our welcome. Heebie and I would like to go home sooner rather than later,” Brutus said.

      “I miss home, too. I can always see Faerieland another time, Aubrey,” Ana said.

      Aubrey looked disappointed but she nodded her head in understanding. “OK but please visit soon!”

      The faerie Zafara hugged all three Bori goodbye. It was decided that the other Torches would stay a little longer. Brutus, Ana and Heebie all piled into a carriage and they were on their way. All three breathed a sigh of relief as they settled. Exchanging glances, they burst out laughing.

      “I have no desire to do that again,” Brutus admitted.

      “Agreed,” Ana said.

      The End.

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