Funny Faerie: Part Four
Eran tensed, ready for an angry reaction to her disgraceful confession. But no reaction came, Reggie just sighed.
"Well," he started, "That’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever heard, but-" he reached over and patted Erana on the shoulder. "It’s not the end the world, but it might be the end of your comedy career." Upon hearing those words Erana covered her face with her hands and moaned. "But it might not!" Reggie quickly added, "It might not! If it’s truly your element then, you should be good. Right? Right?"
"Something like that," said Erana. She turned around to look at Darby performing on stage, as a wave of laughter erupted from the crowd in the wake of another one of her King Skarl jokes. Her eyes floated over to the crowd, "Oh no!" she cried into her hands and slunk down to the floor.
"What!" asked Reggie, suddenly alarmed. He knelled down by his ailing friend.
"What is she doing here?!"
"My school counselor!" Erana said, "She must have heard my name attached to show or maybe they’ve been spying on me the whole time? Oh no, oh no, no, no." She looked up at Reggie, "I’m going to be a boring air faerie for the rest of my life!" She sunk to the floor and curled up in a ball.
"I’ve never felt more hopeless; my life is over!" Erana cried and buried her face in her knees. Reggie wrapped his flippers around her arms and hoisted Erana to her feet.
"Now you listen to me," he commanded, "No one is going to die if you make a few bad jokes, life will go on and everyone will be fine." He looked at her sternly, "You’re going to go out there and do your best, because that’s all you can do." He put a reassuring flipper on her shoulder, "You have a chance, it’s not a great chance, but it’s chance and you have to take it. You have to!" Erana took a deep breath and wiped her eyes.
A roar of applause radiated from the audience and Darby came trotting backstage.
"You okay, honey?" she asked Erana.
"Yeah I think so."
"You’re going to do great," said Darby smiling, "And even if you don’t do great, we’ll still love you." Erana gave her a tiny smile. "Hey! There’s that beautiful smile!"
"Yeah, yeah," Erana said and took a deep breath, "I can do this." The sudden hiss of a microphone shocked Erana’s nerves.
"And now it’s time for our headlining act!" Stella stood beaming on stage, speaking to the awaiting audience. Darby grabbed Erana’s shoulders and turned her around to face her and Reggie.
"Remember; joke about things you know," said Darby, "That’s your best bet." Erana nodded silently.
"It’s Erana, the Funny Faerie!" Stella exclaimed, and furious applause rang out from the crowd.
"Okay you guys, you’re going to have to push me," said Erana, "My feet aren’t working." Reggie and Darby gave Erana a shove and she stumbled onto the stage.
Her odd entrance garnered a few chuckles from the silent crowd, which made her feel a little less sick. She tugged at the microphone to free it from its stand. The crowd watched impatiently as she fumbled with the microphone stand. She gave the microphone a hard tug and smacked herself right in the nose with it. A few members of the crowd gasped.
"All part of the act," said Erana, "I assure you." One of two small chuckles came from the crowd. She winced a little bit at the sharp ache now coming from her nose and turned to face the crowd. "That wasn’t exactly the entrance I was planning," she said, cracking a nervous smile. ‘Joke about what you know, joke about what you know,’ she thought.
"A few of you may of have noticed that I’m a faerie," Erana began, "Everyone thinks that faeries are these incredible, mysterious, figures, blessed with beauty and grace." She cracked a smile, "We’re not!" she shouted. A few laughs erupted from the crowd, "Do you think Fyora wakes up looking like that? No! It takes intensive labor to look that good! That’s what the Hidden Tower was originally for, hiding Queen Fyora’s hoard of skin creams!" The crowd was laughing now, they weren’t hysterical or clutching their sides but they were laughing. Erana’s confidence began to mount with every chuckle had by the audience. "And I think my entrance just now is enough to prove we aren’t too graceful either. If you think the faerie queen never smacked herself in the nose with something, I can guarantee you you’re wrong."
Erana grinned, ‘I’m okay! I’m going to be okay!’ she thought. "What I’m trying to say is, faeries are people just like you all. It’s just we don’t want you to know that, then you wouldn’t jump to do our shopping for us, oops I mean do ‘quests’ for us." Every laugh and cheer from the crowd sent a wave of energy through Erana and spurred her forward. "Speaking of Faerie ‘Quests’," she laid a thick emphasis on the word ‘quest’ that garnered some wild laughter from the crowd. "What’s the Fire Faerie doing with all those clothes, she’s always asking for? She can’t wear them, her wings are made of fire! Does she just hoard them and look at them all day?"
Erana stood rattling joke after joke as they popped into her head, not all of them landed but most received a hearty chuckle. Reggie had to flash the stage lights to tell her that time was up on her act.
"Okay everyone, it’s time for me to take my leave but before I go," said Erana, "What does this chair and Dr. Sloth have in common?" She pointed the microphone to the crowd and they shouted in unison;
"Neither one’s a faerie!"
Erana, pleased with herself, took a bow and fluttered her way backstage. I was only once she was off stage that realized that how sweaty she was. Darby ran up to hug her but recoiled after feeling her wet clothes.
"Yeah, those stage lights are hot, huh?" said Darby, she passed Erana a bottle of water.
"I didn’t even notice!" Erana said fluttering her wings madly, she was smiling with the intensity of the sun.
"Proud of yourself?" asked Reggie.
"I’m just so so glad I didn’t bomb out there," answered Erana. She took a sip of water. The backstage area was bustling now, the comics who were on earlier in the night were shuffling in and out. Byron, the pink Chia, from earlier paused by Erana for a second.
"Not bad, faerie," he said "But not great." As he shuffled away Darby scoffed.
"Don’t listen to that jerk," she said, "You were great."
"I’ll gladly take ‘not bad’," said Erana, "I can be happy with that."
"I think that’s how I’d describe it too," said a familiar voice. Erana’s stomach twisted into a knot as her school counselor appeared next to Reggie. A nervous smile cracked over Erana’s face.
"N-nice to see you Ms. Counselor, what brings you down from Faerieland?" Erana asked.
"You’d been gone for weeks, I had to make sure you had run off and became a castaway on Krawk Island." The Counselor took a small notebook out of her pocket and scribbled something in it, "You were good up there, but not great, Erana." Erana felt like her heart was being squeezed in a vice, tears sprang to her eyes.
"I guess you’ll be taking me back to Faerieland then, huh?" she asked, her voice breaking every other syllable.
"I can’t do that," said the Counselor, she snapped her book shut and returned her gaze to Erana.
"Why not?" ask Erana.
"Because of this," said the Counselor, gesturing behind Erana.
"Hey look at that!" Darby exclaimed.
"Well I’ll be.." said Reggie.
"What?" asked Erana, she turned around trying to find whatever it was everyone was talking about. Darby laughed as she watched Erana’s frantic search.
"No, Erana!" she said, "Look at your wings!" Spots of color had begun to appear on Erana’s once plain white wings. They looked like splatters of water color paint in blue, pink and yellow.
"Your element is no longer up for debate," said the school Counselor. "We’re going to have to draw up a curriculum for you since comedy isn’t something you can learn in Faerieland. How do you feel about staying here?"
"Really?" ask Erana, tears welled up in her eyes and poured down her cheeks like a water fall. "I can stay here?"
"Of course, you need to train in your element to become a full-fledged faerie!" The Counselor turned to take her leave, "We can discuss the details of your lesson plan another time, for now go have some fun."
"I get to stay! I get to stay!" Erana cried. Darby wrapped her into a big hug.
"Good job, sweetie!" said Darby, "You’re gonna go places!"