Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 194,653,695 Issue: 751 | 30th day of Gathering, Y18
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Clipped Wings


by winter_pony4

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      Many years ago, deep in the Haunted Woods...

      Somewhere in a clearing in the Woods, there lay a cottage. On the outside, it appeared small and plain, but inside it was luxuriously decorated. The owner of this shack, a frivolously dressed Buzz, was gazing in a mirror while applying eye shadow, when a small Halloween Shoyru burst into the room, startling the Buzz and getting makeup everywhere.

      “Lady Sectonia, I hav--” the Shoyru began to say, when the Buzz fiercely cut her off.

      “You fool! How many times do I have to tell you: don't you dare interrupt me when I am grooming myself!” she snapped. “Now I have to clean this mess all up, and you've ruined my makeup! You better have what I asked you for.” she growled.

      The Shoyru sheepishly nodded. “Y-Yes, Lady Sectonia. Here you are.” she handed Sectonia a bar of soap.

      “Oh look, rose-scented - my favorite. Do you know why I asked you for this, Jimbigy?” Sectonia asked, sternly.

      “B-because you ran out?” the young Jimbigy asked, hopefully.

      “No,” Sectonia shot, “it's because I knew you would ruin everything that I value most! Beauty is everything; it's how you win over those you come across, but it doesn't last forever. So I don't need you making a mess of things before my time comes!” she yelled, shooting a lightning bolt close enough to scare the Shoyru, but not close enough to hit her.

      Jimbigy cowered at her master's fury. “I-I'm sorry! I won't mess up again!” she screamed.

      “You better not. I've lived for a very long time, child. My magic can make me look like I'm still young, but I cannot delay the inevitable. I can't have you causing me so much grief, it sends me to the grave. I don't know why I brought in such a bumbling 'apprentice' to my abode; I should've left you to the Werelupes. Now get out of my room while I clean myself up.”

      Jimbigy looked down. “Yes, Lady Sectonia.” Crestfallen, she went to her own “room.”

      It was more of a closet, really. In stark contrast to the rest of the house, all Jimbigy's room had was a mattress with a blanket and a pillow. She laid down on the mattress, and stared up at the ceiling. In her frustration, she remembered how she even got into this mess...

---

      “Little thief! Get back here with my goods!”

      The Shoyru was flapping her wings as fast as she could through the Deserted Fairground, arms full of Spooky Food, as the Bruce who ran the store she robbed was chasing after her.

      The kid was notorious for stealing from stores around the Fairground, but no matter how hard the vendors tried to catch her, she always narrowly escaped. Nobody knew why the kid was always hanging around, how she always managed to sneak in and out of the stores without being caught, or who her parents were. One thing they always noticed, though: she was always by herself, and nobody knew where she lived.

      The Shoyru's pursuer was about to catch up to her, when she used a spell to conjure up a smokescreen, covering the area in a thick fog and sending the Bruce into a coughing fit. In the confusion, she made a mad dash into the woods. Slipping through the brambles due to her small stature, she disappeared into the smoke, managed to shake off the Bruce and made off with the stolen food. The Bruce muttered several angry words underneath his breath as he cut his losses and went back.

      “Heheh, that was a close one. That worked up an appetite, if I do say so myself.” she chuckled to herself, as she popped a Ghost Marshmallow into her mouth. “I have to say, I didn't expect that spell to work. Maybe it was worth it freeing that Fire Faerie.” She looked up at the sky. It was starting to get dark.

      “...Oops. I lost track of time. I need to find some shelter, quick.”

      She could hear a howl in the distance, sending a chill down her spine.

      Panicking, she dashed through the forest, trying to find a suitable cave or abandoned house before the monsters came out at night. She could live with the ghosts that lived in the houses, but she didn't want to become one...

      After a while, she came into a clearing. In the center of the glade, she saw a cozy little home. She sighed in relief. She'll be safe tonight.

      Slowly pushing the door open, her jaw dropped. The inside of the house looked like it belonged to royalty; the furniture was either highly exotic or was lined with gold. It came as a shock, especially when compared to the plain exterior of the house.

      “Jackpot.” the Shoyru said to herself. Maybe she could make this her permanent home. Even if the place was haunted, dealing with ghosts would be worth it if it meant she could live in the lap of luxury.

      Putting her stolen food on the table, she started looking around the house. Each room was as gloriously decorated as the last. As she looked through each area, she thought to herself, what kind of Neopet lived here?

      As she was admiring two swords hanging over a mantle, she heard a noise that made her stop cold. Someone had opened and closed the door. The person who owned this house was still alive – a rarity in the Haunted Woods - and they had just walked in.

      Terrified, the Shoyru dove into a nearby closet, which, disregarding the fancy clothes that were hung up inside, was possibly the only plain area inside the house. She hoped that the owner wouldn't need to open it, so she could figure out a plan to escape...

      She could hear the distinct noise of insectoid wings buzzing. This whole place belongs to a Buzz? They didn't strike me as the 'fancy' type... the Shoyru wondered curiously. Then a thought crossed her mind.

      A feeling of dread overcame the Shoyru. Oh great. Buzzes have amazing eyesight, don't they? Certainly they'd see me even if I tried using Smoke Screen... How am I going to get out of here?

      Little did she know, the Buzz noticed the footprints the Shoyru left behind, leading up to the closet. Grabbing the two swords, she edged closer to the Shoyru's hiding spot. Much to the Shoyru's shock, the Buzz threw open the closet door.

      “Aha, I knew someone had been intruding on my property. I suppose that pile of junk food in my living room is yours. Tell me, why are you here, trespasser?” she demanded.

      Wings drooping, and unable to find any words, in her desperation the Shoyru threw up a smokescreen, and tried to make a dash for the window.

      Just as she suspected, the Buzz was able to see right through the smoke. Seeing the Shoyru's bid for escape, she threw one of her swords to stop her, pinning the tail of the Shoyru's costume to the wall.

      “Where do you think you're going? You just arrived.” the Buzz asked, spitefully. She grabbed the Shoyru. “I'll ask again: why are you here?”

      “Um... I was just looking for a place to stay for the night. I didn't think anyone lived here.” the Shoyru said, scared.

      The Buzz looked her over, curiously. “You're the child who's become the talk of the Fairground, aren't you?” she asked. “I've seen you use some minor spells in your escapades. Who taught you?”

      “U-um... A F-Fire Faerie I f-freed from a bottle.” the Shoyru stammered.

      “Oh, so it's simply a Faerie blessing? Hmmph. I can teach you some real magic.” the Buzz scoffed.

      “Y-You can?”

      “Absolutely, deary. Nothing less for my special guest.”

---

      “And I fell for it, hook, line and sinker!” Jimbigy groaned, as she buried her face in her hands. “Now I'm absolutely miserable, working my wings off to get a bunch of makeup for that vain bug! And she said she'd teach me magic, but all she's taught me how to do is this!”

      She held out her hand, muttered a few words under her breath, and a small fire appeared in her hand. “All this tiny flame could do is light a candle! Sectonia said I shouldn't use this spell inside the house, but what damage could this pathetic thing do?”

      As if to prove her wrong, the little flame suddenly set the hand of the costume aflame. Jimbigy screamed as she tried to take the suit off before she was set on fire. Terrified, she tore the suit off, as the fire engulfed it. She dashed out of the room, as the fire spread to the mattress and everything on it. Smoke poured out of her room.

      “Jimbigy, are you practicing your Smokescreen ability again?” Sectonia called out from her room.

      “Uh... Yes, Lady Sectonia! Everything's alright!” she lied.

      “So what was with that horrific shriek?” Sectonia asked, as she left the room. As she saw the horrified Shoyru cowering at the sight of the flaming room, her eyes narrowed as she filled with anger. Fearing her master's wrath, Jimbigy flew out the door, screaming as she tried to leave the quickly burning house behind.

      She couldn't get far, however, as she smacked directly into a twisting vine Sectonia summoned, as the Buzz herself loomed over the disoriented Shoyru.

      “I had told you not to use your magic inside the house.” she stated, bluntly.

      “I-I'm sorry, Lady Sectonia! I should've listened to you! Please, just don't hurt me!” Jimbigy cried, begging for her life.

      “Pitiful, Jimbigy... I have no use for a fool who cannot follow orders.” the Buzz muttered a few words under her breath, as the surrounding area became even darker.

      Jimbigy's vision went pitch-black.

---

      “Hello? Hello?! Are you okay?!”

      Jimbigy groggily came to. The light was blinding. She wasn't in the Haunted Woods anymore...

      “Are you alright?”

      Jimbigy grasped her head, which was throbbing. She felt like something was missing, but she couldn't tell what. She slowly got up and opened her eyes, only to see a Faerie Grarrl - of all Neopets - looking at her, concerned.

      “Hey. What happened? What's your name?” the Grarrl asked.

      “Uhh... My name's Jimbigy. Where are we? I thought I was in the Haunted Woods.”

      The Grarrl shook her head. “My name is Jewel. We're on the outskirts of Brightvale. The Haunted Woods is quite a ways away... Are you alright?”

      “I remember getting attacked... I must've passed out, but how'd I end up here?”

      “I have no idea, but it's typically considered to be a bad idea to stay in the Haunted Woods after dark so you don't get attacked.”

      “But it's where I live! Or... used to live, anyway.”

      “That's odd. You strike me as the type who'd live on Krawk Island.”

      “...Where'd you get that idea?”

      Jewel looked behind Jimbigy, and went wide-eyed. “...Oh. Perhaps not.”

      “What, what's wro--” Jimbigy turned around, and where she was lying earlier, was a squished Pirate Krawk Plushie, which had a fast-fading glow to it. She looked down to see that she now looked quite similar to the plushie; she had turned into a Pirate Krawk.

      Her wings. That's what was missing! She wasn't a Shoyru anymore; she couldn't fly! Was this one last parting shot from Sectonia?

      Defeated, she sunk to the floor, and buried her face in her hands. As much as she tried not to, she began to cry. Horrified, Jewel went over to comfort the despairing Krawk.

      “Hey, hey, hey there... please, don't cry! I don't know what happened, or where you live, but you can stay with me if you want.” Jewel suggested. “I promise, I can take good care of you.”

      “Will you really?” Jimbigy asked.

      Jewel solemnly nodded. “I swear, I will.”

      “T-Thank you.”

      The End.

 
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