A Story Of Excitement
The sun beamed through the window one warm April afternoon as a small Light Faerie with golden yellow hair pulled herself up to a table. “Birthday!” she announced excitedly. “It my birthday!” A bigger Light Faerie smiled and picked up the little faerie.
“Look, Charlotte, birthday cake!” the big Light Faerie smiled, bouncing the child up and down. Her little face lit up at the sight of the cake- her favourite, vanilla and 3 candles on top, decorated as Charlotte's favourite thing- the Wheel Of Excitement, despite encouragement to have it fashioned after something else, like a Uni or a Faerie Bubble. Next to it was a tray of cupcakes, decorated with a thick layer of frosting and sprinkles and lots of other delicious treats like plump burgers with delicate purple wings on each side, sugar bubbles with different sweet fillings and pots of soup all smelling of rich flavours. Any party to which faeries were invited was guaranteed to be an absolute feast.
And any party for a young faerie was also guaranteed a huge turnout too. Every type of faerie was there, Earth, Light, Water, Fire and even one or two Dark Faeries could be persuaded to join in. The party spilled out on to the streets, where faeries handed out food to passing neopets and created an atmosphere of celebration for the young faerie Charlotte's 3rd birthday.
Inside, Charlotte concentrated hard as she blew out her candles. “A new plushie would be nice,” she thought, “Or maybe a pull along Kougra.” She smiled as everybody cheered her on and stood proudly back as another faerie cut the cake and handed her the biggest slice, which was quickly devoured. Charlotte closed her eyes as she savoured the light as a feather cake and admired the picture on top, the best part: the 20,000 NP slot. Most Neopians never saw this when they span the wheel, but in cake form everyone was a winner.
Little Charlotte ran over the soft clouds making up Faerieland, hoping to catch the Wheel Of Excitement before it closed. She sped past the Healing Springs, narrowly missing crashing into a Blue Quiggle who smiled and stepped away just in time and her face broke into a smile as she spotted the faerie hosting it, who waved as her as she approached.
“Ready for a spin?” she smiled.
“Of course!” Charlotte grinned. She pulled out her purse and found 250NP to hand it over, only the bigger faerie shook her head.
“For you, a spin is only 125NP. Don't tell Fyora.” she said, her eyes lighting up with mischief as she turned to the wheel and set it spinning. Charlotte watched with bated breath as the wheel span. She loved to watch it, either when she did it or from afar, watching happy Neopians as they won the 20,000 NP jackpot or angry when their poor neopet got sick.
The wheel slowly came to a stop..at the 500NP space! Charlotte grinned as she got handed the money over.
“Yes!” she exclaimed. “I won again!! It's too bad the person before me lost again though.” She ran happily away back down the path towards Faerie City with her winnings in her pocket and sped into the sun bathed kitchen where an older faerie was busy baking pies.
The faerie spotted the excited small girl and handed her a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Charlotte accepted one gratefully and went to sit down at the kitchen table.
“Guess what I did today???” she started.
“I'm sure it was very exciting” the older faerie interrupted, taking a seat herself. “But there's a matter I must discuss with you.”
Charlotte looked confused and nibbled on her cookie. Did she do something wrong? She made sure before leaving her bedroom that morning that she made her bed and put all her toys away neatly. And she even remembered not to leave toothpaste all over the sink when brushing her teeth.
“No, you're not in trouble dear.” the older faerie said patiently. “It's just that now you are 8 years old, you must begin to think about what you would like to do in the future.” Charlotte groaned. Faeries tended to think about this much, much earlier then most Neopians- it wasn't uncommon for a 10 year old faerie to know she would like to work in the bookshop, or fight in the battledome, or work for the Healing Faerie or even begin training for the Faerieland Altador Cup team if they showed enough promise.
But suddenly she had a brilliant idea. “I want to run the Wheel Of Excitement!” she blurted out. The older faerie looked surprised, her eyebrows raised.
“Are you sure?” she prompted. Charlotte was never more sure about anything in her life. “I don't approve of the Wheel Of Excitement. That faerie promises an avatar for 20,000 NP but then..” She frowned. “Anyway, there's more exciting jobs out there. How about helping the Library Faerie?”
“Boring!”, Charlotte thought. Who cared that some people didn't get an avatar? Once, she was taken to Kreludor and she saw one unfortunate Neopian remarking to another that they had just lost 100,000 NP from the Lever Of Doom. Charlotte thought for a moment, finishing her cookie, and ran upstairs to her bedroom.
When she got there, she took some paper and a pencil and wrote a letter, trying hard to use her best handwriting. “Dear Wheel Of Excitement Faerie, my guardian says I can't work with you cos you make people lose NP. But I think you're a good faerie really so please please please could you make her see sense? Thank you, Charlotte.” She smiled, admiring her letter and barrelled downstairs, past the kitchen and out to the post box to deliver her letter before the Neomail Chia came.
Three days later Charlotte stopped by the Wheel Of Excitement on her way home from school to find it empty with a sign draped over the top reading “Closed. Gone For Lunch.” This stuck Charlotte as odd as it was 3 in the afternoon, but she approached a nearby Neopet, a blue Quiggle anyway. “Where did the Wheel Of Excitement faerie go?” she asked, frowning.
“Oh, her? She got taken away by 2 members of the Defenders Of Neopia yesterday. Something about taking advantage of Neopians or something. I thought all faeries were good. Guess not.” They shrugged and went to walk away but Charlotte cried out.
“No, she can't be! She's not! But….but...” and she burst into tears. The Quiggle patted her sympathetically.
“There there, it's not your fault. You must be really disappointed. I always come through here in the afternoon and see you so eager to spin the wheel. But she was rigging the wheel, it was easy to see.” He looked down at Charlotte who was tear streaked in disbelief. “Of course,” he continued, it was clear to see she had enough heart to take pity on a small girl at least.” The Quiggle sighed and took Charlotte's hand. “Let's get you home.”
They reached the door and upon it being knocked, a Light Faerie answered looking very grave.
“Ah Charlotte, come in. We're just having a faerie meeting, go help yourself to a cookie and take a seat. Now.” she said, turning to the other faeries in the room and waving the Quiggle off, mouthing a thank you for bringing Charlotte home. “This business of the Wheel Of Excitement. What ARE we going to do about it?”
One Light Faerie standing at the corner of the table shook her head and put onto the table a letter. A very familiar letter, Charlotte realised as she craned over heads to see it. Her stomach dropped and tears formed in her eyes. Her nearby guardian saw this and came over to her side of the room.
“You don't have to worry about a thing, you did absolutely nothing wrong.” she smiled sympathetically, giving Charlotte a hug. “Although, as you were so fond of the Wheel Of Excitement, we all agreed that you might have an idea about what to do with it.”
Charlotte looked panicked, kind of put on the spot. “Well...I did want to run it, but I'm not sure about it now.”
A Light Faerie standing nearby considered and piped in “Well, the only other thing is to remove it completely.” Charlotte didn't want to see it removed, but she was hesitant to run it in case people judged her as a bad faerie for what her predecessor did. She sighed.
“Maybe you could at least consider giving it a try” a faerie suggested. She hesitated, as Charlotte's guardian raised her eyebrows at her and added “I know, I know, but she can't be worse then the previous faerie. Maybe this is time to set it to rights and make the Wheel Of Excitement something that's respected and not looked down upon just for the actions of one faerie.” The faerie sitting next to her nodded and said “Very well said, I wouldn't mind giving the wheel another chance. If it's what Charlotte wanted to do then I support her decision.”
Charlotte's guardian sighed and said “Fine, then it is done. Charlotte will run the Wheel Of Excitement. Only there's a few ground rules I would like to set first, if you don't mind.” Charlotte agreed, and together they made plans for the grand revamping of the Wheel Of Excitement, this time a lot fairer. They even came up with the idea to give Neopians who landed on the 20,000 space an actual avatar to reward them!
10 years later, on Charlotte's 18th birthday the Wheel Of Excitement finally had its grand reopening. Spins were just 250np and you could win a variety of prizes, or have your pet become sick if you landed on a bad space. Charlotte was confident that she would do a lot better as the hostess of the wheel, and indeed once word got round that it was a lot fairer now and that you could indeed now win a secret avatar people started to flock to the wheel as a daily rather then keeping away from it as they did before. And she couldn't have been happier for it.
If you visit the Wheel Of Excitement, or even if you're passing by, be sure to say hello to Charlotte!