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A Brightvillian Story


by mimidot

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"Hey, Sarila!"

      I turned around, to face my two best friends, Lalasi and Raine. I had no other friends, and only the two of them understood that there was no problem with being different. Yes, I was different.

      For one, I was one of the daughters of Hagan, the King of Brightvale. That made me separated enough from the rest, but I simply had to have the genes of my "cursed mother," in the king's words. I was not smart enough-not bright enough to reach the Brightvale standards. Anyway-

      "Ye-es?" I drew out the word. Some days, even my friends scorned me for being so "stupid," they called it.

      Lalasi, a faerie Draik, smiled sweetly at me.

      Raine was a fierce Royal Draik, like me, only male. "Sarila, do you want to come study with us?"

      I shook my head. "I'm not going to get any better, so no."

      "All right." The two headed off to the Scrollery, where the nice Aisha lady always let Neopets get a spare table to study at.

      I sighed, and swiftly made my way back to Brightvale Castle.

      "Your name?" the guards at the gate promptly asked me.

      "I'm Sarila, King Hagan's daughter."

      The guards looked carefully at me, and then nodded at each other. "Go on." The gates opened, and I headed in, only to meet my perfect sister.

      "Hello, Sarila. How was your day at the academy today?" She said the words so cheerily, that I snapped back:

      "I prefer to call it school, not an academy," I scowled at Marisa.

      She fluttered her eyelashes at me. I flinched. "An academy is an institution for higher learning. A school is an educational institution, Sarila. Do not you remember the definitions?"

      "Since you ask so nicely, no," I retorted back. "The only definition I know is my voice, and the definition for that is absolute and utter sarcasm."

      Marisa rolled her eyes. "You're starting to sound like that oaf, Papa's brother-Skarl."

      "King Skarl is interesting, unlike all you dull, proud Brightvillians."

      Marisa went quiet. "You are a Brightvillian, dear Sarila."

      "I won't be someday." Stomping through the large oak doors of the castle, I quickly fluttered up the stairs, so Marisa couldn't follow me and start scolding.

      Reaching the top of the stairs, I scampered towards my room, which was a long way off from the main hall.

      A few minutes later, I finally reached the polished marble doors of my room, gasping for breath. When I opened the door and stepped in to my room, I found Marisa there, waiting for me.

      I backed into the doorway. "How did you get here, you scamp?"

      Marisa smiled smugly at me. "I flew in through the window."

      "You memorized the pattern of the windows?"

      Marisa nodded. "By the way, what did you mean when you said you wouldn't be a Brightvillian someday? Did somebody offer you a pass out of Brightvale and into Meridell? Papa told me stories of Meridell, and all the knuckle-headed people there."

      "Knuckle-headed people?"

      "People who haven't even memorized the Neo-Dictionary, I guess I'll put it that way for you."

      I was hurt. I hadn't even memorized the "A" section of the Neo-Dictionary.

      "You're not going to become a traitor to Papa and Brightvale, are you? Are you going to become a traitor like our past mother?" Marisa suddenly grew solemn, and she touched the sapphire gem on her necklace.

      I thought about it for a minute-once or twice in my life I had actually considered running away from Brightvale. Overall, I hadn't seriously thought about running away, though. "No."

      Marisa let out a gasp of relief. "Oh good, I thought I was going to lose the only sister I had for a while." She looked at me suspiciously. "Are you lying?"

      "Why would I?"

      "For every reason there is in the world."

      I shook my head. "I am not trustworthy enough, I suppose." I stepped into my room, and took a seat.

      Marisa jumped off my canopy bed, and trotted out of my room, stopping in the doorway. "I hope you are trustworthy, Sarila. I hope you are." With that last word, she lightly jumped up and flew away.

     * * *

      "The Meridellians are so-so stupid," my father sighed, and daintily started cutting up a piece of fried chicken.

      Meridellians and their idiocy-the topic of dinner.

      I stuffed a piece of mashed potatoes in my mouth; that way I didn't explode with angry words about how Brightvillians always underestimated Meridellians, and thought the Meridellians were of lower value, of a lower step on the Lost Desert social pyramid.

      "Indeed," my brother, Falan, agreed.

      Marisa started listing off all the problems with Meridellians, and how Brightvillians were so much better than they.

      I shut my ears off, until my father asked, "What about you, Sarila?"

      I turned towards the table, my cheeks stuffed with food. I pointed at my cheeks, and the king left me alone. Instead, he started rambling about how he was so much more educated and civilized than his nasty brother, Skarl.

      After I took a drink of some dark red liquid, my father cut in. "Sarila, I ask you again: what do you think about this?"

      I swallowed the foul drink. "I-I don't have an opinion on it, Papa."

      "Don't have an opinion?" My father cried out. "Don't have an opinion, when you can so clearly see that-that…" the king's cheeks were bright red with fury.

      "You asked me what I thought about the whole topic, Papa," I whispered, feeling the downright cold gem on my necklace.

      My father faltered, and looked at Marisa, Falan, and my smallest brother, Terin.

      "Sarila," Marisa began.

      "Sarila…" Falan sighed.

      "Sarila?" Terin meekly peeped.

      "You were supposed to agree with the whole family, because that is just showing that you are…"

      "Intelligent. Instead, you chose to say you have no opinion on it,"

      "Which means that you have not much intelligence."

      My father looked triumphantly at me.

      I fiddled with my satin-smooth ear. "Intelligence, intelligence, intelligence," I finally said. "Opinion is not intelligence."

      "I am more intelligent than you, Sarila. Don't argue with me, is that understood? Now, eat your food and don't voice your opinion anymore." King Hagan smoothened out his mustache, and turned back to his normal green. He and my siblings started conversing in rather complicated words again, and I turned back to my eating. Cabbage, chicken, mushroom, eggs, cupcakes, oranges-they all went into my mouth.

      The rest of dinner passed in a daze.

      When the last of the good food was gone (consumed mostly by me), my father stood up from his chair, a sign that dinner was at last, over.

      Everybody slowly filled out-that included the visiting nobles who had not taken part in the dinner conversation-I was the last of the group.

      On my way out, a young, timid-looking servant stopped me.

      I stared. "Umm… is there anything I can do for you?"

      "Oh no, oh no," the servant hurriedly said, her voice low. "I simply heard the conversation your family was just having. I thought-I thought you could know a little bit about Meridell if you heard it from somebody who is neither opposed or for it, from somebody that has been to Meridell."

      I stopped trying to get past her. "Who?"

      There was a small silence, and then-"Me."

      "You? How did you ever get in and out the borderlines of Meridell and Brightvale?"

      "You forget I am a servant," she smiled faintly. "Servants have ways."

      "Come with me, to my room. We will not be eavesdropped on there." For looking around, a few Neopets still lingered.

      The little Ixi nodded, and gave me the lead.

      "What's your name?" I asked as we made our way up the stairs.

      The Ixi hesitated, but then rushed forward with a peep, "Fantast."

      "Fantast…" We traveled in silence for a while. I was thinking-fantast, I had heard the word before, but not used as a name… I stumbled over a rug I had not seen, but gained my step again and resumed to thinking. Fantast, fantast… for once in my life I wished I were smart, stuffy, and dull like the others. Slowly, it came-fantast was not only a name. Fantast was something about the future-but what? Fantast, a noun, which meant that it was somebody who could predict the future! "Fantast…" I said slowly, as we finally reached the doors of my room. "Fantast, that is a word too."

      Fantast smiled. "You've figured the word out, my lady."

      "Just call me Sarila, please." Opening the doors and entering, I added, "Can you really tell the future?"

      Fantast entered, and shut the doors behind her. "The broad future, I can tell. I can tell you what Brightvale and Meridell will become in fifty years from now. I cannot tell you, however, what you will wear tomorrow, what you will say tomorrow-not even whether you will do good or bad in school tomorrow."

      "I can tell you that," I laughed. "I'll do bad in school tomorrow, no doubt."

      "For a person who knows the definition of 'fantast', that's not too bad."

      I changed the topic, "How can you tell the future?"

      Fantast gazed upon me. "I will tell you that at another time. I must tell you, though. In years to come, you will have the urge to go to Meridell. Let me say to you, destiny is sometimes there, and sometimes it isn't. Do not go to Meridell, even when you are offered a trip to Meridell. That 'trip' will only lead to your death."

      "How?"

      "I do not know. Stay in Brightvale though, Sarila-stay and you will be happy."

      "I'm not happy in Brightvale."

      "Try, Sarila-you must try. You have no chores or duties like some Neopets do. Spend all your time reading books, and cherish how lucky you are, that you do not have to face with the problems most Neopets have. You have food, and quite a lot of it too. You have toys surrounding you-look at this." Fantast looked around my room, her eyes filled with wonder. "Study, Sarila, and you will succeed past anybody's expectations. Show everybody that you can do what everybody else can do, and a lot more effort is needed. They will admire you instead of scorn you, for Brightvillians-in their hearts, know that intelligence is cheap if you don't have effort. Their intelligence will stop somewhere, but if you study and learn the books, your intelligence will keep on flowing. They will admire you for that, and you will never regret it." Fantast gazed at me.

      I had not noticed that she had been edging towards the door the whole time. Before I could ask even a single question, Fantast said a quick "Good-bye and good luck," then she rushed out the door.

      I looked into the hallway. "Fantast!" She was gone.

           Back in my room, sitting on my bed, I decided what I would do. Fantast was right, and I was sure she was magical. Surely any magical creature was right.

      That was not such an educated guess, but in time, Fantast did prove to be right, and I knew I had made the right choice.

The End

 
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