A Faerie with Crystal Eyes
Audriana gazed at the crystal ball, hands waving hesitantly over it. The Light Faerie gulped when, after a few seconds, the ball’s light dimmed before flickering away. “Well ...um….” Audriana coughed. “That was unfortunate.”
Her client sighed. “You’re not as great as they claim,” the faerie Draik sniffed as she left the plum-coloured tent.
Oh stars, not again! Audriana kicked the table. She had initially assumed her fortune-telling tent would be the talk of Faerie City, but she was starting to have doubts. For the past week, her tent had attracted many curious Neopians and a few snarky Faeries who loved nothing more than ‘raving’ about Audriana’s psychic abilities and how it was always so convenient whenever her supposedly-amazing powers would fail just as she was consulting them. The Neopians were still curious about meeting a Light Faerie up close, which made them at least somewhat content with their visits. Though everything would be much better if her magic aligned with her fortune telling, mainly to keep face around the other Faeries.
Sure enough, yet another curious Neopian had poked his head into the tent, most likely wanting to know why such a thing was set up in a random street corner in Faerie City. The nervous blue Wocky strode over and took a seat, acting as if he’d expected the chair to launch him into space. “Well, I see you’re...uh, some kind of fortune...er?”
“Yes, unfortunately.” Audriana took her seat across, drumming her fingers and secretly wishing the agony would end. “Alrighty. How about you tell me what woes you want me to consult, and then we’ll stare into my crystallized ball until it completely dies out or, hopefully, explodes. Any questions?”
The Wocky’s eyes widened, and he shook his head.
Audriana quickly shuffled her tarot cards. “How may I help you, my child.” She stifled a yawn.
“Are you sure you’re up to it, ma’am?” asked the Wocky.
“I’m trying to, but I just don’t feel like my heart’s in it anymore,” Audriana sighed. She didn't want to elaborate on it any further; adding that all Light Faeries were supposed to be top-notch fortune-tellers because of their close relations to the sun, and that her abilities were either dwindling after setting up her tent or that she was the only Light Faerie in Neopian history that couldn’t see into the future.
“Yeah, I see what you mean.” the Wocky nodded, as if he somehow understood. “In fact, I may know a solution that can benefit both of us.” He knelt over, elbows perched on the table. “Have you ever heard of Solarita?”
Solarita was a legendary Light Faerie rumored to be residing in the Faerie Mountains. Because of her crystal eyes, she’s believed to have foresight stronger than any Neopian in history and was supposedly the first one to predict Faerieland’s fall from the sky‒why she never bothered to warn Fyora of this catastrophe was never explained. Audriana was also not the type to believe in such mythical beings; they were somewhat interesting to hear about, but were they real? And was such a debate worth suffering through?
Rather than inform the Wocky of his false sense of hope, Audriana snorted, “How do you expect Solarita of all things to help us? And why?”
“Everybody in Faerieland knows Solarita can solve any problem that comes her way,” the Wocky explained, “and since we’re both troubled, maybe we should take a chance and go seek her out? You know, if she exists.”
Audriana pulled up a tarot card, showing the blindfolded red Wocky. “I don’t think we should take a chance on some urban legend.” She replaced the card back into the deck.
“Come on. It’d be a great adventure,” urged the Wocky with a convincing smile. “Besides, the trip can still help us, if you’re willing to spend a few hours hiking through some light purple mountains.”
Despite knowing fully well how wrong this persuasive and delirious stranger was, Audriana sighed and nodded. “Oh all right. We’ll go on your stupid little hike and, after you’re proven wrong, let’s never meet again.”
“Alright! I’ll meet you here tomorrow morning,” said the Wocky. He scratched his head. “By the way, you can call me Victor. Sorry for not introducing myself earlier.”
“Whatever.” Audriana didn’t need her crystal ball to predict tomorrow’s little hike was going to be a humongous waste of time.
Sure enough, their trek through the Faerie Mountains was just as terrible as Audriana has predicted. The towering, pointed mountains loomed above the duo as they trekked through the nearby valley, Audriana fluttering above Victor, pleased that she didn’t need to spend her time working up a sweat as they continued their search for a Light Faerie that obviously didn’t exist. Still, the hike was a good excuse to clear her mind and forget all her terrible attempts at fortune-telling, so she could at least give that to Victor.
“I think ...she should be ...around here….” panted Victor, stopping at a tree to wipe his drenched forehead. He gazed around at the forest of thick green trees and shook his eyes, his breath ragged. “Man, I need a break.”
After plopping onto a boulder, Victor retrieved a water bottle from his backpack and took a long drink. “Ah, that’s much better!” He offered the bottle to Audriana, who refused. “How have you been enjoying the hike? Granted you’ve spent the whole time flying, but the scenery must be nice.”
“It’s as boring as I thought it’d be,” sighed Auriana, perched on a tree trunk. “By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask: WHY in Neopia are you wasting your time roaming around here, looking for Solarita?”
Victor took another sip. “I was initially going to confide this to you yesterday. But then I considered the legendary Light Faerie would be a better choice.” He frowned. “My biggest problem is that, well, I haven’t found my true purpose yet. My job at the bookshop is okay, but I feel like it’s not the perfect path for me. I wanted to ask for your guidance, since Light Faeries are supposed to be wise and all that.”
Viewing the tarot card she’d pulled up, Audriana examined the baby Bruce running towards a small fire Faerie. “You first expected me, and now Solarita, to pick a career path for you? Your inner doubts are the reasons we’re partaking in this wild Mallard chase?” Shuffling her tarot cards again, she sighed. “Then again, I somewhat understand how you’re feeling.”
“You do?” Victor arched an eyebrow.
“Just because I’m a wannabe fortune-teller doesn't mean I’m good at it,” Audriana scoffed, craning her neck towards the clear blue sky. “Many Light Faeries are good at predicting stuff, while I can’t even conjure one correct prediction without my magic going haywire.” She balled up a fist. “It’s hard to say, but I don’t think I chose the right path.”
They sat in silence for a moment, admiring the trees and a thin stream that skimmed through the area. Distant chirping sounds echoed above the trees, and a Snowbunny twitched its nose before hopping back into a bush. After what felt like an eternity, Victor murmured out loud, “She’s not real isn’t she?”
“Of course not.” Audriana pulled up a card. The sad Elephante was never a good sign. “Like I thought.”
“Yeah.” Victor shrugged and stood, stretching his arms. “Whatever. At least the hike was nice.”
“Don’t tell me you actually believed that whole faerie-tale about Solarita,” sniffed Audriana.
Victor picked up a flat rock and flipped it. “Maybe a little.” He grinned. “At least this wasn't a complete waste of time.”
“For you. “Audriana shuffled her tarot cards one more time before standing.
“At least I’ve finally found my purpose, and it’s all thanks to Solarita.” Victor flashed a teasing grin. “The legendary Light Faerie with the fancy crystal eyes may not be real, but trailing through these mountains has awakened a sense of excitement in me, one I’ve never felt before. Whether or not Solarita is real, I’d love to continue exploring the Faerie Mountains, and even venture into other areas around Neopia in search of other mythical creatures and beings. I could even write books!”
Audriana was annoyed that the somewhat-philosophical Wocky was able to solve his problems so easily. Nothing for her was resolved, and the only thing she could do now was hold her tongue to please her annoyingly chipper partner.
“I think you may have fixed your rut too.” Victor pointed to her deck of cards. “Those are tarot cards, right? I remember seeing those at your tent.”
“So?” asked Audriana.
Victor shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe you can be a tarot card reader instead of a crystal ball teller? Granted I don’t know if your light powers will work on them, but you can still try.”
Audriana considered all of the predictions she’d made with her cards since she and Victor crossed paths. Most Neopians weren't interested in tarot cards‒crystal balls were more popular because they were sparkly‒but what if she could continue her predictions with not-magical cards? Although she wouldn’t be using her light magic to show off, what was the harm of changing things up to reflect a skill she actually had? “Maybe there’s something in that. I’ll think about it.”
Victor beamed. “Great. See how beneficial Solarita has been to us? Told you things will work out for both of us.” He zipped his backpack and swung it over his shoulder. “While we’re heading down, you want to dazzle me with some of your light magic? If you can't predict the future, you can always be a great magician.”
“I’m a Faerie, not an entertainer,” said Audriana. “Are you still miffed about not finding your ‘legendary spirit’?
“I’ll find her someday,” said Victor. “Her cave has to be around here somewhere.”
Audriana shook her head. She examined the lucky Mortog card she’s just extracted and smiled, surprised and a bit relieved that a good omen has been blessed upon them both. Whatever happened next may not be answered in any fortunes, but she was certain they would both heading towards new paths they’ve just discovered; thanks, ironically, to their search for the legendary Solarita.