The Cursed Mirror: Part Three
Tessa was awoken by an abrupt opening of a door, followed by multiple foot steps. When she opened her eyes, multiple Neopets dressed in suits and robes were staring at her, along with General Jayfus and Queen Fyora herself. Tessa got up from the chair nervously and hit her book bag carrying the snoring Twist. Fyora smiled in amusement, then introduced herself.
“As you already know, Tessa Blackwood, I am Queen Fyora. These people are my advisors who have joined me on my visit to you, and I believe you’ve already met General Jayfus,” she said, glancing at him for a moment. “We have much to talk about. Come,” she finished, motioning the group to follow her to her desk.
As they got there, Tessa crossed her arms. “Not to be rude, my queen, but I was dragged here without a choice and I would like to know why I’m really here!” she argued.
Queen Fyora sat her desk chair, trying to relax. “Well, Mrs. Blackwood,” she began, “I believe that my guard has already told you a few things, so I will explain the rest of the story. Over the past month, multiple people in the castle have been showing up in a trance-like state, completely drained of all energy and not able to identify their attacker. When I heard of these attacks, I immediately knew what was wrong.” Fyora lowered her tone. “A few weeks before the beginning of the attacks, my mother's mirror was stolen. This mirror used to be a weapon of last resort on criminals, but my mother soon ended its life as a weapon by casting a spell that returned all of the affected back to normal. In honor of her deed, the statue you see in the city square was made. I had kept the mirror secured in my treasury for quite some time, but as I paid less and less attention to it someone managed to get it while I wasn’t looking. Now they’ve gone on a rampage, using it on all three of my advisors and at least twenty other people in the castle.”
Tessa was shocked. Trying to digest all the information she asked, “Why me? Don’t you have teams of people to do this sort of thing? What about those people in the courtyard?”
Fyora lowered her head in shame. “We did, but included in those twenty people were all of my special operation teams. I would try to send someone else to confront the thief, but I we’re down to so few people I can’t risk losing anyone else. As for telling the rest of the city, that would be chaos. People would be blinded by fear, and everyone would be at risk. The people in the courtyard are here on a national meeting of leaders of different areas in Neopia. They can not know about this either, and unless I don’t get this over with quickly, one of those leaders are going to be attacked. Then, the other areas of Neopia will take it as a threat, which is what I think is what the thief’s objective was all this time. This is why I humbly ask you to help us.”
Tessa, almost dazed in confusion, sat in the nearest chair she could find. “Help? Help?!” she said in a baffling tone. “I almost got attacked out there too, you know! I’m not up for risking my health and wellbeing for the rest of my life!”
Fyora arose from her chair, causing the Advisors and Jayfus to step back. “Then do it for your mother. As much as I hate to say it, she will be affected if this gets out of hand,” Fyora said sadly.
Tessa sighed and thought for a moment, then arose from her chair as well. “Fine, I’ll do it.”
Over the next few hours, Fyora ran Tessa through the plan. Tessa would act as a decoy outside the city walls. When the thief attacked, he would use the mirror on her. While he used the mirror and was disabled, other forces would move in and take control of him. Tessa would be drained for a minute, but Fyora would use her mother’s spell to return her to normal right after. She also said that Twist would have to be left behind, but Tessa said otherwise.
“If I’m going to be knocked out, Twist is coming with me, or I’m not doing this at all!” she said with anger. Surprised, Fyora nodded in agreement as if she had no choice.
Tessa was nervous the whole day, and tried to get her mind off of it by traveling around the city once more. Before she knew it, night had struck and she was back at the empty ground floor of the castle.
“Alright, Tessa, are you ready?” Fyora asked, standing next to her, the only one on the floor besides Tessa. “We’ve cleared out this floor and the courtyard, so no one can interrupt you. Just walk out of the city walls and wait.”
Tessa nodded nervously, on the verge of tears.
Fyora comforted her. “Again, Tessa, thank you for doing this. It means so much to us,” she said, opening the front doors. “Good luck!”
Tessa walked out of the castle and down the dark, deserted courtyard, almost as if it was her walk of doom. She continued walking for the next five minutes clutching her back pack, letting Twist out to fly alongside her. “At least now I don’t feel as lonely.” She gave him a weak smile.
Finally, Tessa arrived at the front gates of the castle, which were open just enough for her to walk through. Walking out into the usually bustling City Square, she sat down on the edge of the fountain, which was still running.
“Get in, buddy. This is going to be rough. I don’t want you out,” Tessa told Twist, opening the backpack as he gently floated in.
Looking around, Tessa saw nothing different than she saw every day at the square, only this time, there were no people, no slogans, no screaming, and definitely, no lights. In the far off distance, she saw various Neopets in dark armor, hiding behind buildings and peeking out every once and a while. She assumed these people were the takedown team, who comforted her loneliness.
After thirty minutes of sitting, Tessa questioned the plan they had set up. Fyora had told her if they began to think the plan wasn’t going to work to cut it off and they would try again another day. Right as the guards were about to get up, a massive figure burst from a small building, running towards Tessa. This figure, Tessa noticed, was not holding a mirror. Confused and scarred, Tessa screamed at the top of her lungs, alerting the guards. Right before they arrived to defend her, the figure grabbed her and slumped her over his back and began to run into a maze of building. The guards were shouting, trying to figure out what was going on, as the figure began to weave through various alley ways and streets, eventually losing the guards in confusion. By the time Tessa heard a door open, she was too dizzy and confused to find out what was going on and couldn’t see anything clearly. Eventually, she lost consciousness.
The next time Tessa woke up, she was in a cell. Twist, who had somehow found his way out of the bookbag, was poking at Tessa’s face, trying to wake her up. She moved him to her lap and looked around. When she rubbed her eyes and took another look around, and realized she was in some kind of abandoned prison. Worried, she ran toward the cell door, shaking the bars, hoping they would be old and loose, but it didn’t work. Defeated and in shame, Tessa slumped back onto the bench she was sitting on and buried her hands in her face, crying uncontrollably.
“I just want to go home. I should never have done this in the first place. Why me?” she asked herself.
Twist, saddened by his owner, was trying to figure out a way to get out of the cell. When he approached the cell door, he realized that he could just barely fit through the bars. Poking at Tessa’s face and hands, he tried to get her attention, but she continued crying. Determined, he shook her head mercilessly until she moved her hands to look at him.
“What?” she yelled as he flew over to the bars. He showed her how he could move in between them.
Seeing a slight chance of hope, Tessa asked him if there were any keys for the door. He looked all over the walls and in all of the cells, but to no avail. Returning to the cell, he told her of the news and she sighed once more. “Well, there’s no use crying anymore. Let’s see if anything in the bag can help us.”
Searching through the contents of the bag, the only things she could find that were useful was the book that she had bought at the Book Store in Faerie City and the remains of their loaf. “I see you ate almost all the rest,” Tessa said with a groan. Twist, who was standing on the other side of the bench, took a few steps back, rubbing the back of his head. “Here, we can split it.” Tessa took the remains of the loaf, ripped it in half, and gave one of them to Twist. He jumped with glee and began eating.
“Let’s read some of this book. I haven’t gotten a chance yet.” She opened Adventures of The Battle Faerie to a random page that happened to be the beginning of one of the stories. This story was entitled, ‘One Small Note.’ It read,
I had been captive for days in that prison. The evil Hubrid Nox had trapped me in his castle, deep in the dungeons. I was fighting him after he had set a spell on a small town that turned all the residents into ghosts, and refused to turn them back. But like a coward, he had cast a spell on me to make me fall unconscious. This time, though, it was my turn to do some dirty work. I summoned a faerie to alert my team to where I was, and soon they came and set me free so I could...”
‘That’s IT!” Tessa said with excitement. “That’s how we’re going to get out of here! Twist, you take this book to the woman at the Book Shop, and maybe she’ll remember us! That way she can alert Fyora, and you lead Fyora here!”
Twist danced around, anxious for their escape. Tessa handed him the book, and he squeezed through the bars with the book, just making it through. “Good luck, buddy! Don’t be scared!” Tessa said, waving to him goodbye as he flew up a flight of stairs out of the cellar.
After Twist left, the cell was even worse than before. The grey and windowless walls stared back at her, as minutes seemed to feel likes hours. After what began to feel like forever, she heard footsteps on the stairs. Scared, she got into a standing position, ready to take on anyone who was going to attack her.
The footsteps got louder, and louder, until a large figure stood before her. Tessa was dumbfounded. She stumbled back, falling onto the floor. “No...”
The figure's hand came out from behind its back, holding the mirror. “Hello, Tessa...”
Twist flew up the stairwell with ease, only to be stopped by a large door. Putting the book down, he put his hands on either side of the knob and turned as hard as he could, finally opening it. What he saw was in fact the Faerie Weapons Shop. Confused, Twist picked up the book and continued moving through the crowds of people browsing weapons. Once he got outside, he spotted the Book Shop across the City Square. It was now well into the morning, and the Square was more crowded then ever. Twist took a deep breath and began flying over the crowd.
As Twist kept flying, he got more tired, and was afraid he was going to fall into the crowd of people. Almost about to collapse, he finally made it across the mob of people to the front of the bookstore. He glided down as gently as possible and took a long rest before getting back up.
Flying into the bookstore, Twist look desperately for the shopkeeper. Finally, he found her carrying books back to their proper shelf. He flew in front of her, trying to get her attention.
“Oh, hello there,” the faerie said, adjusting her glasses. “Aren’t you that pet that one girl had? She bought the book you’re holding,” the Faerie said with a weak smile, walking around Twist. He continued flying next to her, shoving the book in her face, desperately trying to communicate with her.
“What about that book? Has she read it?” the faerie asked, still oblivious to the situation.
Twist opened it up to the story that had grabbed Tessa’s attention in the first place. He quickly shoved it in the Faerie’s face, trying to get her attention.
“What, what?” the Book Shop Faerie asked, annoyed, taking the book with her spare hand. “Ah, this is a very popular story. What about it?” she asked Twist, still dumbfounded.
Twist, who was losing patience and time, continued to poke at the story. He started to cry out of desperation.
“Wait, this? You mean this has happened to that girl? She’s trapped?” the Book Faerie asked.
Twist, seeing a slight chance of hope, nodded, still pointing at the story.
“I see! She used this story as an idea. This book is like the faerie in the book! We have to alert Fyora! Come with me, now!”
“You’ve got to be kidding. General Jayfus?” Tessa said, still breathing heavily on the floor.
Jayfus smiled evilly. “Yes, Tessa Blackwood. You’re probably very confused, aren’t you?”
“You-You stole the mirror, didn’t you? And you knew about the whole plan! You knew when to kidnap me and take me here! You knew about everything!”
He took a few steps closer, holding the mirror up to his face. “I think Fyora was a fool not to use this mirror. Do you know how many criminals haven’t gotten their justice because of her? How many innocent families have gone wary because of her stupidity? That is why I stole the mirror. So it could serve its true purpose.”
“Then why did you use it on all those people? All those people who weren’t criminals?” she asked, backing into the wall.
Jayfus walked towards her, slowly pulling the mirror up to Tessa‘s face. “They didn’t agree with me. All of them. I had a plan to take over the castle, but instead they planned on mutiny, and destroying me. So I took action before it turned to the worst for me. Now though, I have you. All I need to do is use this mirror...”
Suddenly, Tessa heard footsteps on the outside of her cell. Then a voice, and the sound of a large object hitting the wall. Then out of nowhere, it blew the wall of the cell open, revealing Twist, the Book Store Faerie, and Fyora along with her guards. “Get Jayfus!” Fyora yelled at them.
Jayfus tried to make a run for it, but it was too late. Tessa was hanging onto his leg, impairing him. “Get off my leg, you brat!” he said, almost using the mirror on her. But before he could, the guards ripped it out of his hands, throwing it to Fyora and restraining him.
“I don’t know why you would do this, Jayfus. I trusted that this could have never been you. I’m afraid I was wrong. Take him away,” Fyora said in shame, as more guards came in to escort Jayfus out of the prison through the blown-out wall.
Tessa rubbed her head and got up off the floor. “Where am I, Fyora?” she asked.
Fyora looked around, admiring the view. “When my mother ruled, this was the old prison. It was later converted into the Faerie Weapons Shop, but the basement remained the same. Ironic, isn’t it?”
“Sure is!” Tessa said with a laugh, turning around to look at the wall, only to be met by Twist flying into her face, giving her a big hug. “I missed you too, buddy,” she said, trying not to tear up.
After Jayfus was taken to the Faerieland Prison for what he’d done, Fyora used her mother’s spell to return everyone who was affected back to normal. She then locked it up in its own room, far away from where anyone could find it. Tessa was reunited with her mother, and also got the job at the Faerie Employment Agency. She continues to work there today while visiting the castle every once and a while, hoping an event like this will never happen again in Faerieland.
At least, for the most part.