Funny Faerie: Part Two
Erana held the tourist map out in front of her. Neopia Central was quite far away from her home in Faerieland, and it was much farther away from home than Erana had ever been before. The stairs leading down into the Deep Catacombs were rocky and steep. Erana couldn’t help but imagine what it was like for poor Neopets with wings trying to safely traverse them. She fluttered her wings and descended into the bustling artistic community housed by the catacombs. A story telling circle around a fire, beatniks holding a poetry jam, artists filing in out of the coffee house, painting supplies in hand. Erana took a deep breath, breathing it all in. This place was a beacon of creativity! How exciting!
"What an amazing place!" she said to herself and flew off the stairs and to the ground eager to jump into the fray. She spotted a blue Aisha in a black beret applying paint to a cave wall and floated over to them. "Hi!" Erana said, "Can you point me towards the comedy club?"
"Yeah its right over there." The Aisha pointed replied Erana to a stone building behind the coffee house. Erana thanked the Aisha and took off for the club, more invigorated than ever.
Erana walked into the comedy club and took in her surroundings. It looked nothing like she had imagined, there was no bustling crowd laughing and crying, no enthusiastic comic on stage jumping around telling jokes. There were only a few people spread out around the seats in front of the, small, stage. A yellow Acara sat at the bar while a red Bruce served her a drink from behind a long wooden juice bar. An Ixi stood on the small stage in the back of the room dismally reading jokes off a set of cards.
"You know how you can always tell if someone’s done a quest for a fire faerie?" said the Ixi dimly into her microphone, "They come back without any eyebrows." A couple of boos and hisses came from the minimal audience the Ixi contained to spit out her jokes in a dreary monotone voice. Erana fluttered over to the bar and sat down at the juice bar.
"What’ll it be Miss Faerie?" asked the red Bruce. Erana bit her lip and glanced around at the bare shelves behind the bar.
"Uh, what do you have?"
"We’ve got Stramberry Juice and Negg Juice."
"Is that it?"
"Uh okay, I’d like some Stramberry Juice, thanks." The Bruce produced a bottle of juice from beneath the bar and adorned it with a straw. Erana took a few sips while she continued to look around. This, THIS, was nothing like she had imagined it. She had expected a bustling club filled with laughter and smiles. This, this club was just, depressing. She leaned forward and asked the Bruce, "This is the comedy club right?".
"The Neopia Comedy Club?"
"This is the one."
"Hmm," Erana sat back in her seat, sipping her juice and fluttering her wings.
"It’s not what you were expecting, huh?" asked the Bruce.
"Not really, I uh, I came here to audition, actually?" Erana said quietly, suddenly embarrassed.
"Well I’m not sure you picked the right place to do it," chuckled the yellow Acara at the other end of the bar. She slid down to a seat closer to Erana. "The wallpaper’s peeling off the walls, the chairs are uncomfortable, a family of Grackle bugs live in the ladies’ bathroom," said the Acara "Whatever made you think THIS place was worth your time?" She appeared to be having a laugh at the current state of the club, but it only made Erana’s stomach sink. Her inner turmoil must have shown on her face because the red Bruce shot the Acara a stern look before turning to Erana in concern.
"Hey, don’t listen to this one." The Bruce gestured to the Acara, "She’s just mad she bought this run down club and is stuck here with the rest of us." He extended a flipper to Erana, "My name’s Reggie, that bitter Acara over there’s name is Stella."
"Well Erana, if you’re looking for work in comedy you probably won’t find it here, not now." said Reggie. Erana felt that sinking filling in her stomach again.
"But you don’t understand, I have to, I just have to!" Erana pleaded, "Everything is riding on me making it as a comedian!".
"Look around you, this place is in shambles, no one want to come here anymore." Reggie looked at Erana sympathetically, "I just don’t see it happening." Erana started to ring her hands anxiously and flutter her wings furiously.
"Enlighten me," Stella said, "Why do you need to be a comedian so bad?"
"Well," began Erana, "I want to be a, comedy faerie."
"A what?" Stella exclaimed, "A comedy faerie?" She burst out laughing, unable to contain herself. Erana frowned at her.
"Well," sighed Reggie, "At least you’ve got one laugh, even if it’s a little rude."
"I’m sorry!" Stella apologized, "That’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!"
"Thanks," said Erana sarcastically. "You're making me feel so much better."
"That’s our Stella!" said Reggie, "Insensitive and brash."
"Hey, I’m not that bad!" retorted Stella.
"You are!" Reggie countered.
"Well I could be worse."
"Ohh," groaned Erana, all her dreams were crashing down in front of her and snappy banter wasn’t going to paste them back together.
"Hey look kid," said Stella, "I’m sorry."
"It’s fine," groaned Erana, "I’ll just go back to Faerieland and live out the rest of my days as an earth faerie or something." She laid her head down on the bar and let out a pathetic moan.
"Well if you’re willing to give up that easy maybe it isn’t your field," said Stella.
"Stella!" Reggie snapped, "Can you try to behave like an actual person once in your life?" He laid a flipper on Erana’s shoulder in a feeble attempt to comfort her.
"Sorry, I’m sorry," said Stella "I’m a brash jerk. Why don’t you tell us a joke?"
"What?" asked Erana.
"Tell us a joke, if your funny maybe we can work something out."
"Stella, come on!" Reggie protested, "You can’t shatter someone’s dreams and then command them to tell you a joke on command, geez."
"I’m serious you guys," said Erana, "This is my only hope, if I don’t accomplish SOMETHING here I’m doomed."
"Well you tell me Miss Comedy Faerie," said Stella, "How do you do it? What can we do?"
"Stella, come on," Reggie hissed.
"No really, what can we do?" Stella insisted, "Tell me."
"W-well," she began "We could…we could fix this place up!" The words were shaky but as they floated in the air and filled the room she began to believe them more and more. "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" said Erana, she began fluttering her wings and began to lift off her chair. "We could replace this wallpaper and get a new chandelier," Erana explained. Reggie waved a flipper at her and gestured her back down to the bar.
"I love your enthusiasm," he started "But where are we going to get the points to do any of that?" Erana stopped for a moment and thought.
"Well these entire catacombs are fill with people who appreciate art," Erana began.
"We turn this place into a work of art!" exclaimed Erana, "I’m sure there are plenty of eager artists who’d love to have a new canvas. We could make something really cool out of the remains of this chandelier. The rest is just a matter of good old-fashioned elbow grease and determination!" She floated back down to the bar and slammed her hands down in excitement, "What do you say?!" Reggie and Stella exchanged concerned glances. Erana didn’t waver in her enthusiasm and continued beaming at them.
The rest of the individuals in the club had taken notice of Allan’s outburst, it would’ve been hard not to. The Ixi on stage leaned into close to her microphone and said, "I’m game." Stella rubbed her face and let out a little groan.
"Thanks for the input, Darby." Said Stella. "Well, what do I have to lose?" she sighed, "We’ll give it shot. It’s not going to be easy."
"That’s what everyone has been telling me!" said Erana, "’It won’t be easy’, well you know what I don’t care if it’s hard, I’m not scared!"
It was tiring and demanding work fixing up the shabby comedy club, but Erana did it all with a smile. She varnished chairs and repaired tables, she even took care of the Grackle Bug infestation personally. She scrubbed the toilets, but she wasn’t alone. By the time they were done with the renovations it felt like everyone in Neopia had contributed to some small part of the club. Many of Neopia Central’s food shops had provided food and drinks in return for advertising. The eccentric artists of the Catacombs were given free rein to paint the walls however they wanted. Many the residents of Art Central were eager to try out comedy, thinking of it as a new medium to master. It was truly a collaborative art piece and there was Erana, organizing it all.
To be continued…