Tuesday, 11 January 2022 01:00

A Strange Fairytale (Part 1)

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A Whateley Academy Tale

A Strange Fairytale

by Domoviye

 

Part 1

 Tink finished

Finally, the true origins of Tink the 6-inch tall, crazy fairy will be revealed!

 

March 8th, 2007
Miami, Florida

The mailbox watched the front of the MCO building, noting all the visitors, sending the information back to home base, waiting as only a robot could, for the signal to fly into action. It wished it had a watch to look at or its sensors let it pick up a radio station. Sometimes it wondered if having an MP3 player would break its creators budget, didn't he know keeping workers entertained made them more efficient. With a silent, robotic sigh, it kept scanning as it was programmed to.

An alarm went off in its head. Finally after days of waiting the sensitive sensors picked up the correct signals, happily its primary program kicked into action. A quick scan of the target made it come to a sad realization, the target was not in place for optimal take down. Plan A was scrapped and Plan B formed in its brain. Very slowly and carefully it began changing position.

It gave a robotic sigh, it would probably be several more hours before the target came out. As it continued scanning for possible problems and threats, it once again wished it had a radio.

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"So, Miss Powerful, can I get the name of your parents in case something happens?” the MCO agent asked, trying to learn her identity for at least the tenth time.

The budding superhero was ready for it, her parents had visited the Miami Crusaders website which told them all about the MCO power testing, and had joined on some pro-mutant forums asking for advice when getting an MID, everyone said she shouldn't give them her or her parents name. Still blinking spots out of her eyes from getting her picture taken for the MID, she smiled at the man as sweetly as possible for an almost thirteen year old girl, and took a second to fix her silver mask. “Like I said, Agent Brown. My parents died when my home planet blew up. I'm actually a princess who has to keep our culture alive and bring peace, unity and love to my adopted planet. So I could tell you their names, but for you to reproduce the words we'd have to split your tongue into four equal pieces.”

"Right,” the agent said, surprisingly unimpressed.

"Are we almost done? My adopted caretaker should be done her coffee anytime now and I can't wait to show her that the first step in my mission of world peace is all done.” Again she gave her sweetest smile.

He handed her the MID and waved her out, clearly ready to be rid of the kid who was bouncing around like she didn't know how to stay still. “Keep this on you at all times, especially if you're going on a trip. If you take a plane you have to present this or you will be arrested.”

"Thanks! This was a lot of fun. Sorry about breaking your treadmill, I didn't mean to jump on it so hard.” With an enthusiastic wave Miss Powerful skipped towards the exit, shoving her MID into her pink purse.

She jumped down the ten steps that lead to the sidewalk, her glittery pink cape flying behind her and landed perfectly, giggling with delight and began dancing in her pink jeans and t-shirt, slowing only to make sure her silver coloured tiara in her long brown hair wasn't about to fall out. Gingerly reaching into her purse she pulled out her phone, desperately trying not to break it. Her parents had told her, after she snapped her second phone in half, that she would have to pay for the next one. Tapping speed dial for her mom, she bounced from one foot to the other barely able to hold in her excitement.

"Hey Mom! I finished early. You're still at Starbucks right?” she said in a rush. Barely waiting for the answer, she kept going, “K, I'll be there in five minutes, I want to call Teri. See ya soon. Love ya.”

Hanging up she hit another number

"Hey cuz!” Teri's voice came over the speaker immediately. “So you made it out of the MCO office alive. What's the official verdict, are you a freak of nature?”

"YES!” she shrieked with delight. “They said I have a PK field and I can bench press like 8000 pounds, isn't that awesome! And they said with practice I might be able to fly! When I jumped across the gym I didn't throw up this time, and it was super impressive. And I could get even stronger since I only manifested like two weeks ago. I can't wait to fly to school and no ones going to bully me anymore! I'm the strongest twelve year old EVER!!!! This is like the best early birthday present in the whole wide world. And guess what, they let me call myself Miss Powerful. I wanted to be called Princess Powerful, but stupid Marvel already has a character called that, and they said since I wasn't a princess for real I couldn't call myself that. So it's MISS POWERFUL TO THE RESCUE!”

"Hey, calm down,” her older and much calmer cousin said. “Remember you can't just go showing off, superheroes have secret identities for a reason.”

"You're no fun! I have a mask, they'll never know its me when I land,” she said. “Anyways, I have to set up that meeting with the Miami Crusaders now. I know I have to wait until I'm eighteen, but do you think they could get me signed up for the Cadet Crusaders in New York? Should I stop a few crimes first? Do you think that will look impressive on my resume. I've never written a resume, can you help me with that? I can't wait to fight beside Lightning Strike. LIGHTNING STRIKE FOR THE WIN!” Miss Powerful shouted, punching the air.

Teri gave a laugh. “I think you'd fit in more with the Bakers Dozen over in Tampa.”

"Those losers! NEVER! It's the Crusaders or nothing,” she declared. “You're just jealous that I'm now like ten times cooler than you are with your boring old genes.”

She stopped walking for a moment to look behind her. A mailbox she could have sworn wasn't there before was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. “Weird,” she said to herself.

"So how's your mom taking all of this now that it's confirmed,” her cousin asked.

"You know her, she's panicking. Oh no you're a mutant! What will the neighbours say? How will we feed you now that you're eating more than your father? What if H1 comes around? Blah, blah, blah. You'd think it was the end of the wo-” She stopped again, certain she'd heard something banging and clanking behind her. A mailbox was right on her heels, one of its posts raised up as if it was walking. “Um, Teri, is there some art exhibit going on today?”

"No, why?”

"Because I think I'm being followed by a mailbox,” Miss Powerful said, reaching out to rap the top of the box.

"Did your mutation make you crazier than usual?” Teri asked.

"I don't think so. There's a mailbox right behind me that wasn't there a minute ago. Can I squish it?”

There was a pause as her cousin thought about how to answer that. “Nnnnoooo, you can't. Even if your name is Miss Powerful, the police and your mom would frown on that. Just start running and if the mailbox follows you, then you can break it.”

"But it's really strange,” Miss Powerful said, looking in the slot. Inside there was a glowing light. “Teri I think this thi-”

She never finished, a metal ribbon shot out like a bullet, encircling and zapping her with something. There was just enough time to scream before she lost consciousness.

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"Ow,” Miss Powerful said, trying to rub her aching head. She quickly realized that she was sitting in a very comfy chair, wearing very heavy bracelets and anklets. Lifting her arms was virtually impossible from the weight, something she hadn't thought was possible after running around for twenty minutes while carrying her Dads car over her head. Her ankles couldn't move at all, trapping her in the seat.

"Ah, my wisiter is avake,” someone said. “Thank you for agreeing to participate in my project.”

"What project?” she asked, struggling to see straight. All she could make out was a scrawny grey haired man wearing funny clothes, a white shirt with brown straps over the shoulders like coveralls, another bigger strap over his chest, and a funny brown top hat that was too small for him.

The experiment that will help me create the greatest theme park in the vorld, that vill make me bigger than that hack Walt Disney!” he shouted. With a flourish he pulled a colourful purple sheet away from the wall. “Behold my DREAM!!!”

There was a map of what looked like a park, it was divided into sections with cartoons showing what was what. Blinking hard, she could start making out parts of it. There was a fairy garden, with cute little fairies flying around, a centaur ride, goblin workshop, elven glade, leprechaun meadows, and more. At the very top were the words 'Burgermeister's Enchanted Valley!' with a picture of the man beside it.

"What do I have to do with that?” Miss Powerful demanded, clenching her fists to get some feeling back in her hands and arms.

"Well you see little girl, this is a very complicated thing. I plan on making every mythical creature in my theme park real. No silly robots or holograms or people dressed up in pathetic costumes, it's all one hundred percent real. But to get the creatures I need employees, that's where you come in.”

She frowned in thought. “What happened to your accent?”

"What?! I mean, vhat? Nothink 'as 'appened to my accent. It is perfect. Now if you vill just bask in my greatness for a vhile, I vill varm up de mac'ine.”

"My parents will come looking for me,” she said. “And they'll call the Miami Crusaders! Lightning Strike is going to kick your butt.”

"Ah foolish little girl. I have thought of everythink, they vill never suspect that you are my prisoner. For I am the genius Burgermeister!” he said grandly, thrusting out his pigeon like chest.

"Did you replace me with an evil robot?!” she shouted.

The Burgermeister leaned in closer his eyes wide with shock. “Do you 'ave any idea 'ow much a robot costs?!!! Do I look like I'm made of money?”

Miss Powerful gasped. “You made a clone of my body and killed it so they think I'm dead! YOU MONSTER!”

The mad scientist scratched his chin thoughtfully. “You know that is a very good idea. I should write that down. But no it's far more clever than that!”

"You caused an explosion and made it look like I was in the middle of it!”

He pulled a notepad out of his pocket and started writing. “Kid have you ever thought about becoming a minion? I offer a great dental plan.”

"NEVER! I'm going to be a superhero and send people like you to jail!”

"Ah vell. You vill never guess at how clever a plan I have created, to hide my incredible scheme!”

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In the Miami suburbs a penguin like bird flew to a house, crashing though a wall as it tried to stop. Shaking it's head it pulled out a pink cellphone and quickly scanned it to make sure it was at the right location. Once it was satisfied, it looked around the pink room with walls that were covered in pictures of superheroes. Hopping onto the bed it opened its beak and spit out a piece of paper. Delicate hands came out of its chest, one of which had a pen. It quickly wrote a short message on the paper.

Mom and Dad,
I hate you. Nyah!!!
I'm going to join the circus and never come back.

Your loving son.”

Its job completed it placed the letter on the pillow, flapped its wings and crashed through another wall. Satisfied with its work it headed back home on a pillar of flames.

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"Now little girl, what should I turn you into?” the Burgermeister asked. “Turning you into a goblin vould be a vaste. A dragon? No, you do not 'ave the sophistication to be one of them. A centaur? You are strong.”

Miss Powerful tried to break the bracelets around her wrists, but they were too powerful for her. “Why don't you just hire people to do this?” she asked, growing desperate.

"No, no, no, no, no. Do you have any idea 'ow much 'iring people vould cost? And the legal bills alone vould bankrupt me. Believe me, I tried. But there were all these forms to fill out, and people telling me it was dangerously unsafe, reckless, insane, and other not nice things. And then the lawyers came. Have you ever had to deal with lawyers! Those guys are scary! I had nightmares for weeks. And I've dealt with Dr. Diabolik, Emperor Gizmatic and Dr. Macabre. Villains at least leave you alone after the deals done. But lawyers, they're worse than leeches! They never get enough blood!” he shouted.

He took a few calming breaths. “OK, enough of that. Time for the show, you vill be a beautiful fairy. Von't that be nice?”

Miss Powerful screamed as the chair began moving towards a big metal tube. She started slamming her wrists against the chair, desperation giving her strength.

"Don't ewen think about that, my dear. Those bracelets vere designed for bricks like you, and you will not escape me,” he gloated, tapping away at a keyboard.

"You'll never get away with this!” she shouted. “The heroes always come at the last minute to save the day!”

She managed to drag her arm onto her lap as the door of the tube closed on her. Spreading her legs she let her hand drop between her thighs and squeezed the bracelet as hard as she could. Sweat beaded up on her forehead while the machine began to flash and whine. Electricity arced around her, making her entire body tingle and itch.

With a crunch the bracelet broke, whatever was making it weigh so much disappeared. Her hair stood on end, and she started feeling woozy, barely able to keep her eyes open. She tried to break the other bracelet, but didn't have the strength. Everything was turning black. Looking at the broken bracelet, Miss Powerful did the only thing she was still capable of, she threw it as hard as she could at the side of the machine. The impromptu projectile shattered the plastic and metal, there was a scream of rage and smoke poured out of the hole filling the tube.

Her muscles twisted and cramped, she felt her bones snap under the strain. Despite her best efforts she began to scream. As her muscles jerked and spasmed, her body seemed to erupt in flame. Tears poured down her cheeks. Her screams became frantic gasps of pain, her throat clenched cutting off her breath. Silently she shrieked for help as the machine continued to spark and flash around her.

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"Hello!” a girl chirped happily in the darkness.

"Huh?” she muttered, not really able to think at all. “Who are you?” she rasped, rubbing her head.

"I'm Rose Blossom. You must be thirsty, here, have a drink.”

Something soft was pressed against her lips, fresh, cool water splashed her skin, her desperately dry mouth opened sucking the sweet water in. The edge of the strangely soft and very large cup tickled her cheeks and forehead. With water in her, she was able to open her eyes and see who was talking. What she saw was strange enough to make her gasp in shock.

The girl, Rose Blossom she guessed, was kneeling beside her, holding a flower as large as her head in her hands. The girl had an odd green and pink tinge to her skin. Her hair was a wild mane of pink, fuzzy pink, bat-like boneless wings came out of her back, and despite having the face of a young teenager, her breasts were enormous. She was smiling happily, her pink eyes glowing with delight. “ Bell Flower, you're awake! And you're OK! Do you want to play with me?!”

Playing sounded like fun. “OK!” she shouted, jumping to her feet and going high up into the sky. She didn't feel afraid even though she knew she should be, somehow flying just felt natural. Rose Blossom flew up beside her, flapping her wings and circling like a bird.

"How can you fly without flapping your wings, Bell Flower?” the fairy, for lack of a better word, asked.

"I don't know. I didn't know I could fly.” She tried to move back and forth, which proved easy enough.

"Of course you can fly, silly!” Rose Blossom said, giving her a playful push. “Every fairy can fly! That's what makes us so great!”

She shook her head knowing something wasn't right. “I'm a fairy?”

"Catch me!” the fairy shouted, throwing herself into the confused girls arms.

She caught her easily and realized for the first time that compared to the plants and flowers all around them that she was as small as a mouse. That wasn't right either. “I'm not a fairy.”

"Yes you are,” her new friend insisted, hugging her tightly. “You're small like a fairy. You have wings like a fairy. You have a body like a fairy. And you're here in the fairy garden. So you are a fairy.”

Looking behind her, she realized that she did have wings, they were big and a couple of different shades of purple in a pretty spotted pattern, they were translucent, like fine silk rather than the velvety look of Rose Blossoms. Her hair was the same colour as her wings, it was also long and wild. None of that was normal. Looking at her hands, she saw that she had small claws, and her skin was dark and tinged with purple. She was tinier than Rose Blossom too, with a much smaller chest and hips, something told her that she should be jealous but she couldn't figure out why. A memory flashed in her mind of a being much larger and not having wings. It quickly passed.

"I'm a fairy! This is so cool!” she cried, and shot towards the brightly lit ceiling with a squeal of glee. Her new best friend held on tight as the wind rushed by. They bounced off the hard steel, flinging themselves at the ground, laughing as leaves, flowers and vines of the miniature jungle tickled their skin.

Bell Flower, over there we have a pool!” Rose Blossom shouted pointing to the far side of the room.

Turning tightly, they flew to the water where she lowered her friend down far enough that her feet were touching the surface and kept flying, creating a rooster tail behind them. They flew and water-skied doing figure 8's, jumps and leaps, until they both plunged headfirst in the cool water, flapping to the surface with their boneless wings.

"That's the most fun I ever had, Bell Flower!” Rose Blossom said, splashing her as they swam to shore.

"I'm not Bell Flower,” she said, sitting on a warm rock to dry off her hair and the sleek shorts and top she was wearing. The top had the back cut out with loops around her neck, shoulders and waist so her wings could move.

"But that's what the nice Burgermeister said your name was.”

She felt herself scowl, even though she didn't know why. “Well that's not my name!” she insisted.

"I'm sorry Be-. What's your name?”

Her scowl turned to a look of concentration. She knew she had a name. It was on the tip of her tongue, she just had to say it and she'd remember it. Part of a name came to her, Princess, Princess... something. She knew that wasn't her name, not really but it was close. Massaging her temples she asked, “Can a fairy be a princess?”

Rose Blossom tapped her chin, pursing her lips in thought. “I don't think so,” she finally said. “We're already awesome as fairies. If we were princesses too, we might be too awesome for the whole world and everyone would get really, really sad because they can't be nearly as awesome as us, and that wouldn't be nice. And you're already more awesome than any fairy I know about, the world, the whole universe might implode because of your awesomeness!”

“Oh, then I guess I'm not Princess,” she said unhappily. Even though it didn't feel right she knew that was close to her name, at least what she wanted her name to be. A memory of someone speaking popped up, 'Teri, is there some art exhibit going on today?' The voice didn't sound like hers, but she was sure that she knew the person. That had to mean they were talking to her, so she was Teri.

"My name is Teri!” she shouted happily.

Rose Blossom frowned and bit her lip. “That's not a very fairy name.”

"Well it's my name, and I wasn't always a fairy. I used to be a girl. In fact I was so special, I was a mutant girl and that's extra extra special,” Teri insisted, not sure how she knew it but certain it was true.

"What's a mutant?”

"It's someone with special powers. I must have been a girl, then I turned into a mutant and my powers made me into an awesomely awesome fairy!” She started doing a happy dance at being so special.

Rose Blossom started to cry. “Oh, I wish I was that special.”

The world seemed to fade away. She was sitting beside an empty dress that moved as if an invisible girl was wearing it.

So you've got superpowers now?” the dress asked.

"Yep! It happened yesterday," she said. “Isn't it awesome! I can lift ____ car!” Static filled the air for a moment.

Something plucked at the hem of the colourful patchwork dress. “I didn't think my little ______,” the static roared, “would able to beat up supervillains. What am I going to do?”

"Aw, don't be like that. You're still super cool. Now that I'm ____ ________, I'm going to need a sidekick. You want the job? Just think ____ ________ ___ ____” she stopped suddenly, the static slowly fading away. “We're going to need a cool name for you.”

Teri shook her head, returning to reality. Her new bestest friend ever was wiping her eyes with one of her wings. Reaching over she gave the fairy a big hug. “ Aw, don't be like that. You're still super cool. If you weren't, I wouldn't even know I was a fairy and I'd be all alone, that would be no fun. You're the specialist, not mutant fairy around.”

"Really?”

"Really! You can be my sidekick. Every hero needs a sidekick and I'm going to be a great hero one day. Fairy Lightning Strike for the win!”

"Oh you're so nice! I'd love to be your sidekick!” Rose Blossom said, spinning Teri around in a circle.

Falling back to land on some soft moss, Teri looked around curiously. “Are there any more fairies here?”

"No. Burgermeister said more would come soon, when I first woke up, but when you came in he was angry and said it would be a while before anymore came. It was SSSSSOOOOO BBBBOOORRRRRIIIIINNNNGGGG!” She jumped to her feet, dragging Teri up with her. “Oh you have to see this, this is the coolest thing ever!”"

"What?!”

"The window. It shows the outside and it's so neat.” Rose Blossom began to fly, carrying Teri this time.

They came to a tinted window that showed clouds as far as the eye could see. The sun looked like it was setting on the horizon. Teri pressed her face against the glass trying to see everything.

"Where are we?” she asked in a whisper.

"We're in an airship! The Burgermeister says he made it just for us. When the clouds aren't in the way, you can see the whole wide world!”

There was a ping and a sliding sound. “Vhere are you, my little fairies? I 'ave supper for you.”

"YAY FOOD!” Rose Blossom shouted.

"I know that voice!” Teri growled, her purple eyes lighting up.

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"How is my little Rose Blossom?” Burgermeister asked, putting two tiny bowls carefully on a rock set up like a table. “I have your favourite, mango and bananas in milk.”

"Thank you, Burgermeister, and thank you for giving me my new friend. She's so GREAT! She's a hero and I'm her sidekick!” the fairy shouted before grabbing a tiny spoon to start eating. Burgermeister towered over her, she would easily fit in his hand but she didn't seem to care about the size difference as she smiled up at him.

"I'm glad. Once I get my machine working again, I'll give you lots more friends. And then the children will come and you can play with them all day in Burgermiesters Fantastic Valley.” He got a far away look in his eye and wiped a tear that threatened to drop as he thought about finally turning his dream into reality.

"Isn't it going to be called Burgermiesters Enchanted Valley?” she asked.

"That's what I said, Burgermiesters Enchanted Valley.”

"No you didn't. You called it Fantastic Valley.”

"Rose Blossom, who is the genius?” he asked.

"You,” she said, around a mouthful of bananas.

"And vho is the owner of the Enchanted Walley?”

"You.”

"Correct. So I didn't not call it Fantastic Valley, which is a silly name. I called it the Enchanted Valley,” he explained calmly.

"No you didn't. You called it Fantastic Walley.”

"I said ENCHANTED WALLEY!”

"Fantastic Walley,” she corrected him again.

"Enchanted Walley!” he shouted back.

"Fantastic Walley.”

"Enchanted Walley!”

"Enchanted Walley!” she shouted just as loudly as the Burgermiester.

"It's the Fantastic Walley! It has never had any other name, and I am right because I am the genius and you are the fairy!” he shouted back.

"Ok, it's the Fantastic Walley,” she said with a grin.

"Very good, it's the Fantastic Walley, just like it says on all the ads.” He stopped talking, took his funny hat off and scratched his sparse hair for a moment. “Rose Blossom.”

"Yes?” she asked innocently, sipping her milk.

"What have I told you about playing word games vith me?”

"Don't do it,” she said, not looking up from her food.

"Correct. It isn't very nice to do that with people who don't speak English as their first language,” he said sternly.

"But you told me you're from Idaho.”

"That is not the point. Don't do it again,” he insisted.

"OK, I promise,” she said, hiding her hand under her hair.

"Good. Now vhere is Bell Flower?” Burgermeister asked.

"FAIRY LIGHTNING STRIKE!”

A stone shot out of a bush pegging him right between the eyes. His eyes crossed and he staggered backwards. “What was that for?!” he shouted.

"I don't know,” a tiny voice shouted from the bushes. “But it felt really good!”

Another stone flew out of the bushes, there was a crackle and it fell to the ground an inch away from Burgermeister.

"HA! Forcefield beats rock! You can't hurt me!” he exclaimed, thumping his chest. “Now be a good little fairy and come out here to eat your supper. It's apples, cinnamon and milk.”

There was some rustling in the bushes, it sounded like wings flapping really, really hard. He barely saw the laughing purple blur that erupted from the flowers, grabbed him by the ankle, dragged him through several rose bushes and other thorny flowers before finally dumping him in the shallow pool. While his forcefield was good enough to stop rocks, thorns and bruises, it wasn't watertight. Sloshing and dripping wet, he made his way back to the table, where Rose Blossom and Teri were laughing and talking as they shared their meal.

Spitting out a mouthful of pool water, Burgermeister glared at his newest fairy. “Bell Flower that was very bad.”

She stuck her tongue out at him and bounced an apple chunk off his forehead.

"Burgermeister, her name isn't Bell Flower, it's Teri,” Rose Blossom told him.

"No, it's Bell Flower.” He ducked a thrown banana.

"My name is Teri unless you want to go swimming again!” the crazy new fairy shouted at him.

He sighed, knowing when to give ground was an important part of dealing with children. “All right, I'm sorry, Teri. Can you please behave from now on?”

"No,” Teri said.

"But why not?!”

"Because I don't like you. And you have a stupid hat, so there! Nyah!” she said, sticking her tongue out at him.

"The new brain imprint must have malfunctioned,” he muttered to himself as he left the Fairy Garden. “A few more days and it should successfully override her old personality.”

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Rose Blossom woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of crying. The darkness didn't bother her since she could see in black and white, but the soft sobbing made her shiver in sympathy. With her pink eyes gently glowing like fireflies she looked at her best friend in the whole wide world who was sleeping beside her on the comfortably warm and soft moss.

"Teri, are you all right?” she asked in a whisper, hugging her friend.

There was no answer. Teri just curled up into a tighter ball, her boneless wings tightly wrapped around her tiny body, crying even louder.

She didn't know what to do. She wanted to call Burgermeister but Teri didn't like him even though he was so nice. Was she supposed to wake Teri up so they could play again? Playing always made her feel better. But it was really late at night, they were supposed to be asleep. If she woke Teri up would that make her happy or make her sadder? She didn't know.

Finally Rose Blossom shifted around, putting the smaller fairy's head on her lap. Stroking the long, curly purple hair, she began to sing a song. She didn't know where the song came from, like a lot of things it just popped up from somewhere in her brain. As she softly sang one lullaby after another, Teri slowly began to relax. The sobbing stopped and her breathing became more relaxed. Using a velvety wing Rose Blossom wiped the tears from her face and kissed her cheek.

"Good night, Teri. I'll make sure you stay happy,” she said in a surprisingly mature voice.

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The door slid open the next morning letting Burgermeister walk in holding the tray of food and smiling at the thought of spending the morning with his favourite person.

"Breakfast ti- AAAAHHHHH!!!!” he screamed as he tripped over a vine and fell face first to the floor, stunning himself.

"We defeated the giant!” Teri shouted, flying over to give Rose Blossom a high five.

"You're right Teri, that was fun!” her friend laughed. “What do we do now?”

"Tie him up of course. We're eating meat tonight!” she said with a big toothy grin, while Burgermeister screamed in fear.

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Burgermeister peeked inside, his forcefield set to maximum looking for any traps. The coast looked clear, so he crept in and put the two bowls of food on the table. “Lunch time.”

Rose Blossom came out and sat down at the table. “Thank you Burger Face.”

"It's Burgermeister,” he said, feeling quite insulted. “You know my name.”

"Teri said your face looks like hamburger, so she's calling you Burger Face. It's a lot funnier.”

He pouted. “That's just rude. Doesn't she know you shouldn't call people names?”

I" don't think she cares and she's really funny. You should see what she's doing right now,” Rose Blossom giggled.

"What is she doing?” he asked warily.

She covered her mouth as she giggled. “I can't tell you.”

"Vhy not?”

"It's a surprise, silly,” she explained as if talking to a small child.

"Are you helping her with the surprise?” he asked.

She nodded happily. “I have a very important part.”

"What's that?”

She whispered something.

"Vhat?” he asked, bending over to hear her better.

"I'm the distraction,” Rose Blossom said.

"FORE!” Teri shouted, swinging a small tree she'd ripped out of the ground like a baseball bat at Burgermeisters' butt.

He didn't go very far,” Rose Blossom said.

Teri frowned, she'd been aiming for the pool, but Burgermeister had only gone five feet, head first into the rose bushes. “I think I need a bigger club. Think we can ask him for a steel baseball bat, or a 9 iron?” she asked, sitting down to eat.

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Burgermeister walked confidently into the garden wearing a suit of oversized power armour. He had to crawl through the doorway because it was so large. A scabbard for a sword was welded to its back, a shield with his face painted on it rested on his arm. The head looked like a knights helmet, colourful yellow and blue feathers stuck out the top. The entire thing looked like a knight of old, clanking along with fake steam coming from the joints as it moved. It could theoretically dismantle an Abrams tank, which might have made it a little drastic but that fairy wasn't normal. Putting the food down, he stiffened his spine and called out, “Teri, Rose Blossom, suppertime!”

He waited but neither fairy came out to eat for several minutes. He called again, but still no one came. “That's strange. Vhere are the fairies?”

"Right here,” Teri said.

"AAAHHHH!” he screamed as both Teri and Rose Blossom appeared in his suit, near his chest. “How did you get in here?!”

"Rose Blossom found the ventilation pipe and knew that it was just big enough for us to crawl in after I ripped off the outer panel,” Teri explained. “Oh this is neat. Rose look at all these lights and buttons.”

"Shiny!” Rose Blossom squealed with delight. “Oh, a rocket pack!” she squealed, excitedly hitting a switch before he could stop her.

There was a roar as the rockets engaged, and the power armour leaped into the air only to clang against the ceiling, falling back to the floor with a loud, bone jarring thud.

"That was fun. What about this one?” Teri shouted, hitting another button. The robot got to its feet and ran forwards, knocking down several trees before hitting the wall hard enough to leave a dent.

"NO! Don't touch anything! You'll break it!” Burgermeister shouted, trying to catch the insane fairies in the tight confines of the suit.

"Rose, let's play a new game, who can hit the most buttons!” Teri said with a mad cackle, easily dodging the big clumsy hands.

"Oh fun,” Rose Blossom yelled. “On three. One, two, three!”

The fairies climbed, ran and jumped hitting every button and switch they could. The suit spun, flipped over, shot missiles, flew into the ground, filled with foam, danced, and ran as Burgermeister tried not to throw up, and the fairies cheered with each new discovery.

Fifteen minutes later, when the dented and smoking power armour finally stopped moving, the fairies crawled out, laughing and hugging each other at the fun, adventure-filled day they had had. A half hour later, after he'd finally extricated himself from his armour, Burgermeister crawled out of the fairy garden, leaving a trail of foam, water, and other less pleasant things behind him.

Reaching his cabin, he crawled into the shower and turned the water on, not bothering to take his clothes off. As the warm water washed over him, he started sobbing, wondering what would happen the next day.

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"What can we do now, Rose? Beating up Burger Face is getting boring,” Teri asked her friend, watching Burgermeister's pants flutter from a tree in the cooling breeze.

Rose Blossom stopped combing her hair, using the pool as a mirror. “I don't know. I usually just fly around and smell the flowers.”

"Well that's no fun.” She kicked a pebble into the pool. The ripples in the water reminded her of something. Getting to her knees she started drawing a water slide in the sand.

"Whatcha doing?”

"A water slide would be fun. I used to go to one with my... my... some people. There were water slides that went in circles, and a water jet, and a slide that Te- I went down on a mat and it was so fast!” She let out a wistful sigh. “It would be fun to do that.”

Rose Blossom joined her in the sand. “This looks cool. How high up is the slide?”

"I don't know. I just remember that it was fun,” Teri admitted, ripping the petals off of a rose. “Think we can fly out of here and go find a water park?”

The pink fairy didn't answer her, she was too busy muttering to herself while tracing things in the sand. It looked like she was making a blueprint. Teri leaned in closer, only to get shoved backwards onto her butt as Rose Blossom moved over to a clean patch of sand.

"Rose, what are you doing?” she asked.

"I need lots of grass, and thick flower stems, and sticks, and leaves, lots of leaves,” Rose Blossom ordered, her voice focused and intense, far different from the airy way she usually talked.

"Uh, OK,” Teri replied, flying off to get everything.

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Wiping the sweat from her forehead, Teri collapsed onto the huge pile of leaves she'd collected. The small beach was covered in drawings, numbers and symbols. There were five straight twigs off to the side, at some point Rose Blossom had used her sharp claws to trim them to different lengths and made them ruler straight. Some of the little vines and flower stems were torn up, the thick fibres drying under one of the lights, and others were braided together into something like ropes.

"Come on, Teri!” Rose Blossom shouted. “We don't need any stairs for the water slide since we can fly, that will make it easy. We need to dig a bunch of holes, the dirt over there is deep enough.”

Teri looked up at the upside down face of her friend. “What exactly are we doing?”

"Making a water slide. I've got it all worked out, and I even figured out how to get the water flowing.” Grabbing her arm, Rose Blossom pulled Teri up and skipped to a prepared section of the beach. “Come on, this is going to be so much fun.”

Despite being tired from spending over an hour getting everything Rose Blossom had demanded, a water slide sounded too good to ignore. Zipping over to one of several thorns shoved into the ground the two fairies began digging with a vengeance. While Rose Blossom used a sharp stick to loosen the ground first, Teri just plunged her hands into the dirt and pulled out big clumps of soil and pebbles. Even when she ran her hands over sharp stones, it didn't hurt, and just grabbing the edge of a stone or buried stick with two fingers she could pull it out of the ground as if it was a feather. By the time Rose Blossom was done one hole, her stick clanging off the metal beneath, Teri was working on her fourth.

"Lunchtime?” Burgermeister shouted.

"Wow! I didn't think we'd be done this much so quickly,” Rose Blossom said, stamping down the soil around the first post of their water slide.

"I knew we could do it. Now lets get lunch so we can get back to work,” Teri said jumping into the sky and zipping away.

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Burgermeister was waiting by the door, shaking a little as he held a tray with bowls of fruit and milk on it. Teri didn't bother saying anything to him, or throwing him into the air, or ripping his pants off, for which he was very happy. She simply grabbed the tray from his hands and flew it down to the small rock table.

"Thanks Burger Face,” Rose Blossom said, as she came flying over.

"Vhy are you so dirty?” he asked, staring at their dirt covered clothes and the streaks of mud on their faces and arms.

"We're building a water slide!”

"A-a water slide?”

"Uh-huh,” Teri mumbled around a mouthful of oranges.

"'ow are you building a water slide?”

Rose Blossom beamed with delight. “I made up the plans while Teri got the leaves, sticks and vines. And I made rulers that start at exactly half an inch and go all the way up to five inches. Now we're digging holes and putting in the posts to make the base. It would help if we had hammers and nails, but I think the rope I can make will work. And I found out that my claws are really good for working with wood. So we can carve out holes in the wood and put thorns in, packing them with some clay from the bottom of the pool.”

His jaw dropped. “How do you know all of that?”

"I don't know. I just do.”

Burgermeister glared at Teri for a moment, before getting to his knees, with a look of concern he leaned in close to Rose Blossom. “You shouldn't do things like that Rose Blossom. Thinking like that is too hard for you. You could give yourself a headache.”

"Nope! I started to get one when I saw Teri's picture of a water slide, but as soon as I began drawing and figuring it out, I felt all better.” She jumped up to kiss his nose. “But thank you for caring about me. Can you give us some steel and a welding machine? And a pump? I have an idea how to fill a big bucket with water but it would be easier if we had a pump.”

"I don't t'ink so. No, no, no, definitely not. You vill definitely 'urt yourselves with that. You may build the water slide but nothing else,” he said, sticking out his chest.

"We'll build anything we want, Burger Face. This is the fairy garden, not the stinky old man garden. So there, nyah!” Teri said, sticking out her tongue. Taking to the air she shouted down to Rose Blossom, “I'm going to finish putting up the posts. You can take your time and rest up a little, I know what to do.”

"OK, Teri!” Roe Blossom smiled after her friend. “I like her, she's so much fun.”

"I don't think she is very nice,” Burgermeister said. “You should try to teach her manners.”

"No,” she said firmly.

His eyes widened. “What did you say?”

"I said no,” Rose Blossom said, crossing her arms in front of her. “I promised to make her happy all the time, because she cries at night. And I don't like seeing her cry, so I won't do that. Nyah!”

"Why does she cry?” Burgermeister asked, his eyes wide with disbelief.

"I don't know. She doesn't talk about it and I don't want to see her cry anymore, so I don't ask.” She pointed at him, her face screwed up into a grimace. “And if you make her cry I'll be very unhappy with you.”

"B-bu-but I don't want to make anyone cry,” he said, looking like he was about to cry himself. “I want everyone to be happy all the time. That's why I'm creating this park. So that everyone will be happy, and I can see their sad, boring lives become bright, safe and full of joy. I don't want to make Teri cry.”

"Good. Then don't try to stop us from making our water slide, and we'll all be happy again.”

"OK,” he agreed. “I von't stop you. And I'll make a nice present for Teri to cheer her up. It might take a vhile, and I want it to be a surprise. So don't tell 'er anything.”

She clapped her hands with glee. “A surprise would be perfect. I can't wait to see her face when she sees it!”

Burgermeister made his way out, in the hallway he leaned up against the wall wiping the sweat from his brow. “How can she be unhappy?” he asked himself. “I've made her into a beautiful fairy who is supposed to be happy and safe all the time. What does she have to be unhappy about?”

His lip curled into a snarl. “That bad little girl, breaking my machine, that's why she's unhappy. I vill just have to make something that will make her happy and carefree like Rose Blossom. And maybe Rose Blossom can use it as well.”

Heading for his workroom, he thought about the problem.

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It had taken days of hard work, but the water slide was ready. Leaves, glued together using sap and clay, and rubbed smooth with rose hip oil made the slide, tied to the structure from strands of fibre they'd taken from the stems of flowers. The stick frame was wobbly, but looked like it would hold them, there was enough rope wrapped around the joints to tie up a human. And a head sized, watertight basket of woven grass and clay, with a large reed sticking at an angle from the bottom, hung by a dozen thick ropes from a bush above the water slide.

"How do we get the water into the basket?” Teri asked.

"Unhook it from the bush, and fill it up from the pool. You can lift Burger Face, so you're strong enough,” Rose Blossom said.

Teri quickly grabbed it by the ropes, flew to the middle of the pool and filled it up, before returning it to the bush. “Now what?”

"Now we open it up.” Rose Blossom flew up, grabbed a hold of the basket to steady herself and broke the clay covering the end of the reed. A stream of water poured out hitting the wide, angled platform at the top of the slide. The woven grass sides channelled the water onto the slide itself where it made the already slick leaves slippery.

"Oh, it looks FANTASTIC!” Teri cried out with joy. “You go first, Rose Blossom .”

With a giggle, Rose flew up towards the ceiling and dove at the slide. She hit it dead on, creating a wave as she zipped down the slide with a shout of glee. At the bottom she skipped along the water almost hitting the shore before she came to a stop and had to swim.

"My turn,” Teri shouted.

Flying as fast as she could, the slide shook dangerously as she rocketed down. Rose Blossom couldn't keep track of her as she hit the water and bounced into the bushes. There was a loud clang followed by a yelp of pain. By the time Rose Blossom swam to shore, Teri had staggered out of the bushes holding her head.

I shouldn't go that fast again. OW,” she moaned, falling unconscious into the sand.

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"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

"Expanding our base of operations, Burger Face,” Teri said, shifting the wooden hardhat she'd carved out of a piece of wood that was held on by a grass rope.

Burgermeister stared at what had been a beautiful wild garden and now looked like an industrial wasteland with grass being turned into ropes, twigs and small branches cut and stacked up like cordwood, vines and leaves were spread out to dry on the beach. Rose Blossom was muttering to herself pulling on a thick thread made of shredded vines and shaking her head in frustration. A half built Ferris wheel stood in the center of it all

"But... but... I only left you alone for a veek, so I could work on my projects. 'ow have you done all of this?” he asked, putting down a large box he was holding.

Teri ripped a small tree out of the ground by its roots. “We got bored.”

"My poor garden. You're supposed to be fairies! Fairies fly around, singing, dancing and looking pretty. Vhat vill the children think vhen they see t'is?” he asked, looking like he was about to cry.

T"hat we're very smart fairies,” Teri replied, snapping the branches off the tree. “Just wait until we get the Ferris wheel working, that will be something. And then we'll start on a roller coaster.

"NO! NO! NO!” he shouted. “I won't allow it. This has gone too far. I am the boss of this operation. You must obey me!'

Her eyes flared purple. “Make me.”

"Don't make me angry, Teri. 'ou vould not like to see me angry.”

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Rose Blossom looked up as Teri and Burgermeister argued. She sniffed a few times as tears welled up in her eyes, at seeing the two people she really, really liked fighting, if only she could figure out how to make them like each other. But she was only a little fairy, she was cute and really good at making things that Teri talked about, but she couldn't figure stuff out on her own. She couldn't even make a stretchy enough rope to get the Ferris wheel running. It all snapped when Teri rolled it up instead of storing the energy like it should. If only she could get some metal cables.

Arching her back to work out some kinks, she walked over, determined to stop the argument when her eyes fell on a mechanical box at Burgermeister's feet. Breaking into a grin, curiosity pushing the sadness away, she jumped up and glided to get a closer look.

The metal box was hastily made, the seams were barely sealed, and wiring poked out in great bundles. Something tickled her brain. Reaching out, she ran her hand over it, filling her mind with images. Pictures of wires, soldering, measurements and more appeared before her eyes. She gasped, yanking her hand back to clutch her head.

It didn't make sense.

The symbols, the measurements, the design, it didn't add up. It made as much sense as her breathing water, or a freezing fire. It was wrong. Impossible.

Wincing in anticipation of pain, she touched the impossible machine with her finger. The images came back, hurting her brain. She began to get an idea of what it could do. Her eyes flared, disgust filled her.

Grabbing a bundle of wires, her claws sliced through them. Using all her strength she yanked the broken wires out of the box and crawled into the hole. In the tight confines of the box, Rose Blossom began tearing everything apart.

"ROSE BLOSSOM! NNNNOOOOO!” Burgermeister screamed.

She ignored him, too focused on breaking the bad machine to even realize he was yelling at her.

He screamed again, as the top of the box was ripped open with a squeal of twisting metal. “Rose Blossom, what are you doing?” Teri asked, throwing the piece of metal and wiring away with one hand.

"It's a bad machine,” Rose Blossom said. “It's a good thing Burgermeister brought it here so I could break it.”

"It wasn't a bad machine!” he screamed in fury. “It's to make everyone happy. Rose Blossom, this has gone far enough! I'm going to punish both of you now.”

Rose Blossom climbed out of the machine, in time to see Teri fly up to glare at Burgermeister only an inch away from his nose. “You won't hurt Rose Blossom! She's my sidekick!” the purple fairy said.

"I am the boss here! I am in charge! I will do whatev- AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!” he screamed in panic as Teri grabbed him by the shirt, spun him around and dropped him headfirst into the shallow hole she had made minutes before.

Before Burgermeister could crawl out, the fairy came back with a tree and dropped it on top of him. Rose Blossom looked in horror as robots suddenly burst in, grabbed the mans arms and pulled him out, as Teri giggled with delight. A moment later the robots and Burgermeister were gone.

"That showed him who's boss,” Teri said, rubbing her hands together. “So Rose Blossom is this box really bad?”

"Yeah,” she said.

Picking up the box, Teri flew towards the nearest wall slamming the metal box into it as hard as she could. The metal cracked and broke with an ear piercing snap. She kept hitting it until all that was left were a few pieces of twisted metal and a bundle of broken wires and pieces on the ground.

"All done,” she shouted happily.

"Thank you Teri. It was really bad, I'm glad Burgermeister brought it to us so we could destroy it,” Rose blossom said. She shook her head trying to get the yucky images of the bad machine out of her head.

Teri gave her an odd look, before shrugging and giving her a big hug.

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Rose Blossom sat by herself on the beach. Her head ached with ideas and plans, she stared at pictures of roller coasters, Ferris wheels, rides and more. She had spent days asking Teri everything she could think of about how they were made, but Teri couldn't say much more than the basic structure. She knew it had a motor, gears and chains but where did they go? How powerful did they have to be? What were they made out of?

She scratched some symbols in the sand, trying to figure it all out. She could see how to build the structure, what she could use to make everything, how big each section was supposed to be, but there were holes, so many holes.

"It's just a case of mind over matter,” she muttered to herself. “My mind is all that matters.”

As she struggled with the problem, she absentmindedly doodled in the sand with a sharp stick. When she finally looked down she saw a car, it was rounded in shape. She KNEW it used kitchen oil to run, the plans appeared in her mind as if by magic. Mentally she took the engine apart, counting each bolt, discovering how it worked, learning where the special filter was placed to keep the oil from damaging the parts, and how the seals increased the fuel efficiency.

This was wrong.

She jerked upright as it sounded like the voice of god was yelling in her head. She screamed in pain clutching her ears. 

This was wrong

She shouldn't be thinking about this. 

This was wrong

It hurt so much. Static filled her skull, drowning out everything. Her brain was going to explode. 

This was wrong.

She somehow managed to wipe away the picture with her foot despite barely being able to see. 

This was wrong.

The images in her head dissolved into the static. The pain didn't go away, only faded a little, reminding her that this was wrong.

Crying she fell to her knees clutching her head. 

This was wrong.

Teri was at her side, landing so hard she showered her in a spray of sand.

This was wrong.

She felt Teri pick her up, placing her on her lap, whispering in her ear, begging her to be all right. Their tears mingled as they held each other as tightly as they could. As the pain finally began to die away, a single faint thought filled Rose Blossom's head. This was wrong.

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"I'm bored,” Teri said, kicking a flower. “Burger Face hasn't been here in weeks, only sending his robots. And they're no fun. And I'm bored of just doing the same things all the time.”

Rose Blossom looked around at the still not working Ferris wheel, the nearly completed roller coaster, a set of swings, and a few other half completed projects that she'd been able to work on without any problems. “Want to build something else?” she asked.

"No,” Teri said a little hastily, giving her friend a worried look. “We've already torn up a lot of the garden, and I'm tired of building things.” She looked around and remembered doing stuff like playing video games, talking with lots of people on a beach, surfing, boating, riding bikes, and dozens of other fun things. None of which she could do here. “Let's go outside.”

"How? We can't leave the garden,” Rose Blossom said, idly picking some small flowers to braid together.

Looking at the door, Teri realized that she'd never thought about opening it before. She didn't know why that simple idea hadn't occurred to her, it had just been a blank spot. “We can use the door. Come on, let's go explore.”

"There's a door?” the pink haired fairy asked in wonder. “HEY! There's a door!” Rose Blossom flew to the door grabbing the handle which was as large as she was in a bear hug, pulling, pushing, and jerking at it, as she hung on, eyes closed, her face screwed up trying to get it open. The handle didn't even wiggle.

Flying up, Teri grabbed it with both hands and could feel the entire handle as if she were touching it through thick cloth, she could even tell where Rose Blossom was on the handle without looking. With a grunt she shoved the handle down and pushed the door open, revealing a bare metal hallway. There was another door a little ways down on the opposite side of the hall.

Flying towards the new door, Teri stopped for a second turning around to see Rose Blossom still struggling with the handle, her eyes clenched tight as she strained to move the unyielding metal.

"Rose, we're out. Rose, you can stop that now. Hey Rosie!” Flying back to her friend who was now biting on the handle trying to get some extra leverage, she tapped her lightly on the head. “HEY ROSE!”

"What?” the fairy asked, still jerking and twisting on the handle.

"We're out.”

"REALLY?! Wow! I opened the door! I'm amazing!” Rose Blossom shouted doing donuts in the air.

"Yes, you were really amazing,” Teri agreed. “Now come on, lets see what's through door number two.”

They flew to the door hoping that the new place would be more interesting than the boring, boring hallway. Teri opened the door before Rose Blossom could try again, revealing a gravel road, wooden houses, and the sound of carpentry, hammers, and people singing songs. They went in cautiously, holding hands, not sure what to expect.

A cute little green man with bat-like ears and a long nose, wearing baby blue coveralls, came out of a building, holding a pocket watch. “What's going on here? It's not lunchtime yet, and we don't need another delivery for at least three days,” he said in a sing-song voice. He looked around at where most people would be walking and his big cat-like eyes narrowed in confusion.

"Hello!” Teri said, flying down to sit on his bony shoulder. “I'm Teri and that's Rose Blossom, we're fairies! Who are you?”

"Rumpelstiltskin, chief goblin. How- how did you get in here?” he asked.

"We were bored, so we decided to explore. We just opened the door and you were right next door.” Teri looked around at the dozen or so small buildings, which were quickly emptying as more goblins, each one cuter than the last, came out wondering what was going on. Each one had tools of some kind, most were for metal working but there were carpentry tools, and one was dressed like an old fashioned tailor with pins in his hat and a pair of half made pants over his shoulder. Six people who looked like Santa's elves came out behind them, they had scissors, paint brushes and held fabric that looked like black silk.

"How come they can wander around? I haven't visited anywhere except the engine room for months!” a goblin cried.

"Where did you come from?” an elf asked.

"Should we be working or is it break time?” the tailor asked.

Before the questions and grumbling could get worse, Rumpelstiltskin raised his arms. “Everybody take five. We have visitors, let's make them feel at home.”

All the goblins and elves ran around putting down tools, straightening their clothes, polishing their bald heads, getting glasses of juice and water, and falling over themselves at the thought of something new happening. Rose Blossom and Teri giggled watching them, as Rumpelstiltskin put his head in his hands and sighed at it all.

"You guys are funny,” Rose Blossom said. “I like you.”

"We're not used to having guests, give them a few minutes and they'll smarten up,” he muttered.

"I hope they don't, this is almost as much fun as throwing Burger Face in the pool,” Teri chirped.

"Who's Burger Face?”

"It's what we call Burgermeister. His face turns all red when we call him that, it's really funny,” Rose Blossom giggled.

"You throw Burgermeister in the pool! How? He's so big and tough!” the goblin said in awe.

"Teri is super super strong. She's a mutant girl who turned into the most awesome fairy in the whole world. And she doesn't like Burger Face, but she can't remember why. Since she came, we've gotten to throw him into the pool a bunch of times, tied him up, covered him in dirt, dropped a tree on him, and made his big shiny suit dance around. That was lots, and lots, and lots of fun.”

"Oh” Rumpelstiltskin said, his eyes widening in surprise. “You're why we had to fix his power armour. He wouldn't tell us what happened, just that it needed fixing.”

"So what do you guys do here?” Teri asked.

"We're fixers for Burger Fa- uh Burgermeister. We fix a lot of the machines, make clothes, and things like that. The elves are the decorators making sure everything looks pretty. Come on, sit down and tell us about dropping a tree on him.” They all sat down at the long table that had been hastily brought out and was covered in crackers, dried fruits, some buns, and cups which were quickly being filled with a syrupy hot chocolate.

"Do you guys like Burger Face?” Teri asked, taking a sip of the hot chocolate that was more like melted chocolate than a drink.

The goblins suddenly became interested in looking at their feet, drinking their hot chocolate, and looking everywhere but her.

She stood up, tapping her foot feeling more awake than she had since turning into a fairy. “If you don't like him, why don't you tell him to go away?”

Rumpelstiltskin began playing with his ears. “Well you see, it's not so easy. He's so big, and strong, and we just know that we have to do what he says because he's better than we are. What can we do to stop him? And he treats us really nicely. We have our houses, all the food and supplies we need. He gives us lots of interesting challenges. If we were on our own, we'd get bored and we would have to worry about all of the little things that aren't any fun.”

As Teri listened, the goblins and the room disappeared.

She was riding a bike behind a woman with long brown hair tied up in a ponytail. Looking back she saw a big man, she could only make out his smile, everything else was blurry. Two more guys, one with a baby carrier on his bike, their faces blurred so badly it was impossible to see what they looked like, were pedalling along with them. She knew they didn't come back somewhere as much as they wanted, so this was a... a... something.

Static filled the air, making it impossible to make out what people were saying.

This is a great place!” she shouted.

The static roared in her ears.

They locked the bikes up and she raced to a free spot on the crowded beach. It was her favourite beach in... the city. When the two young men arrived with blankets and a cooler, and a little baby, she put down her pink backpack and took off her shorts, revealing brand new pink bikini bottoms that matched her top. It wasn't the sexy thing she had wanted, but someone had told her that she was too young to wear what she really wanted.

With a whoop she ran into the water and dove under the surface, kicking hard to put distance between her and the shore. Wanting to get deep enough so she could pretend she was a mermaid and never had to head back to land and be ordinary.

She shook her head, noticing that everyone was looking at her. “He's not that big! And it can't be fun working all the time,” Teri shouted, jumping into the air where she began flitting around like a hummingbird on crack, memories rising to the surface of her brain. “I remember things like going to the beach with my friends, skateboarding, going biking with my- my- my.... friends, and, and sleeping in when I wasn't at school. There's lots of fun stuff to do.”

"We've never been to the beach.”

"I remember riding a bike. I got hit by a car.”

"I want to try that skateboarding. But how do you skate on a board? Wouldn't the blades get caught in the wood?”

"I WANT A VACATION!” Someone shouted over the growing noise.

"VACATIONS FOR EVERYONE!” Teri shouted, her face twisting into a manic grin.

The goblins and elves rose to their feet, pumping their fists in the air. “VACATION!”

"FOLLOW ME! FOR VACATIONS! FOR FUN! FOR BEACHES! FOR SKATEBOARDS! FAIRY LIGHTNING STRIKE!!!” she shouted.

The goblins watched in amazement as the fairy seemed to disappear, and the door that they barely noticed most of the time blew outwards as if hit by a bomb. Teri was standing in the hallway, staggering around in a circle holding her head. “For Vacations!” she squeaked, before falling to the floor with a groan.

The workers surged out of their room, Rumpelstiltskin picked Teri up holding her high. “Vacations for everyone!” he shouted, leading his men down the hall, while Rose Blossom checked to make sure that her friend was still breathing.

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Burgermeister sat in his office developing plans for a new and improved transmographier. After that horrible little girl damaged his old one, he realized that relying on obsolete technology just wouldn't cut it. If he was going to protect the children, he needed to improve his technology, making it stronger and faster. The baseline test subjects had been a good start. He'd need to learn how to change the bodies, while making the minds more pliable, and the resulting goblins and elves had proven useful.

But the mutant children needed to be done with special care to avoid hurting them. Channelling the burnout was no easy task. That's where he'd gone wrong with Teri, she'd damaged the process, so she hadn't gotten her full mind imprint, and her powers hadn't been reduced like they should have been, just changed.

He definitely needed to add armour if he was going to avoid mistakes like Teri.

He would have to use it on Teri and maybe Rose Blossom once it was working. Those fairies were out of control, destroying his mind imprinting machine like that. Why did the world keep him from making everyone safe and happy?

Well, he thought to himself, once he got the transmographier working, getting Teri into it would be easy enough and he could finally fix her mind so she was happy and cheerful all the time instead of being a mean little girl.

An alarm at the side of his desk went off. Pressing a button, a monitor showed the goblins and elves marching towards the bridge, shouting angrily. Rumpelstiltskin was in the lead, holding something in his hand. Zooming in, he saw Teri, who was holding her head, and Rose Blossom.

Biting back a curse, he made sure his PFG was in place and went out to meet them.

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Teri, who was still trying to make the room stop spinning, stood in the green hand, holding a giant finger to keep her balance. She and Rose Blossom were leading the goblins in the chant, demanding vacations, a trip to the beach, skateboards and chocolate cake. She'd slipped that last one in herself.

She really didn't know where they were going, but the goblins and elves seemed to, so she just went with it. Maybe they'd know the way to an aspirin once the shouting was all done. The hallways all looked the same, and while there were a few doors, the mob completely ignored them, as if they weren't there.

Suddenly the chanting and the mob stopped as if cut with a knife. Burger Face was in front of them glaring as hard as he could, doing his best to look impressive in his funny clothes.

"BURGER FACE!” she shouted, headache forgotten.

"Vhat are you doing out here?” he demanded.

Rumpelstiltskin stepped forward, staring at his feet. “Well, uh, you see, um, sir. We uh, were, maybe, kinda wondering-”

"WE WANT A VACATION!” Teri shouted.

"VACATION!” the mob cheered, now that they weren't the centre of attention.

"What?! Vho told you about vacations?” Burgermeister shouted in disbelief.

"I did, nyah!” Teri said, sticking her tongue out. “We want a vacation, because your ship is boring and smelly. Just like you!”

"Beach! Skateboarding! Video games! Surfing!” they chanted as one.

The man edged away from the increasingly noisy mob, and the scary fairy who was coming ever closer shouting at the top of her lungs.

"QUIET!” he bellowed, there was dead silence as his minions were cowed by his rare display of anger. “Now I know you all want a vacation, but we're at a very critical part of our plan. Just a few more weeks, and we'll be able to take a bit of time off before we start the big work of getting the Enchanted Valley ready. But right now, we're still trying to get more workers, making plans, getting the basic components of everything sorted, we don't have time. I'm very sorry but that's the facts.”

Teri saw the goblins and elves nodding in agreement with Burger Face. That wouldn't do, she had to get their attention in a big way. She zipped away as fast as she could, trying to remember how to get back to the goblins home. It only took her about twenty seconds and she almost missed the broken door she was going so fast. Flying inside, she found what she was looking for. With a grunt she picked it up, and flew more slowly, but still faster than most people could run, back to the goblins.

"- are ve all in agreement that ve double down and then take a vacation once everything is completed?” Burger Face asked.

"I OBJECT!” Teri shouted, flying right at him.

Burgermeister had just enough time to scream in terror before the big, heavy, solid steel anvil hit his face. The PFG saved him from a concussion and dental surgery, but he was still sent sprawling to the floor. Then Teri dropped the anvil on his chest.

"VACATION!” she yelled, raising her fists in the air, as Burgermeister struggled to get out from under the very heavy piece of metal that pinned him to the floor.

"Vacation!” the workers yelled with renewed fury.

Teri looked down from the anvil, smiling at Burger Face. “We want to go to the beach, and eat ice cream. And go surfing. And eat ice cream. And go swimming. And eat ice cream.”

"OK, OK. We will go to the beach tomorrow! JUST GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!”

"HURRAY! VACATION!” they all shouted.

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"I can't wait to go to the beach,” Teri said sleepily, lying on the soft moss that was their bed, curled up with her back to Rose Blossom.

"I've never been to a beach, is it really fun?” Rose Blossom asked, shifting her wing to cover Teri and herself like a blanket. After being alone at night for so long, she loved having such a good friend. She couldn't imagine being away from Teri anymore.

"It's great. We can build sand castles, swim, go water-skiing, get a nice tan, catch some fish and BBQ them later. It's so much fun.”

Smiling at how happy her friend sounded, Rose Blossom found the courage to ask something she'd been wondering about for a while. “Did you go with your friends?”

Teri stiffened, her eyes flaring slightly in the dark. “I-I-I... I don't remember.”

Wrapping an arm around her, Rose Blossom pulled her close. “Don't worry, Teri. I'm sure you'll remember. You're in the fairy garden, good things always happen here, so if you really want to remember you will. It will just take time.”

Teri scrunched up into a little ball. “Can you sing to me?” she asked in a quiet voice, nothing like her usual loud and excited self.

"You like my singing? I didn't think you were awake.”

"I wake up sometimes and hear you singing to me. It makes the bad dreams go away,” Teri whispered.

Rose Blossom stroked her friends hair and began singing softly. She felt a few tears fall on her arm that Teri was using as a pillow, but the smaller fairy began to relax. After a little while the crying stopped and little snores accompanied her singing.

"Good night, Teri,” Rose Blossom whispered, kissing her hair. Smiling at having cheered up Teri, she closed her eyes and let herself drift off to sleep.

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The people at the beach had never seen such a sight before, many of them hoped to never see it again. A bus, apparently from the Xavier's School for Disadvantaged Youngsters, pulled up around nine in the morning, and out poured twenty five of the strangest children anyone had ever seen. Most were green and bald, with bat ears, big noses, and big eyes, somehow they were so ugly they had come around from the opposite direction into cuteness. The remaining six could have starred in a Christmas movie as Santa's Elves, with no makeup needed.

They were wearing bathing suits and t-shirts, carrying surfboards, skateboards, one of which strangely had actual skates on the bottom rather than wheels, sun screen, towels and cameras. A few were playing with little toys from several fast food restaurants, and they were all yelling and cheering at going on vacation. Above there heads flew an inner tube from which could be heard two tiny girls shrieking with delight, and making a beeline for the ocean.

An older man, looking ill at ease in his t-shirt which proclaimed him as the Burgermeister of The Enchanted Valley, shorts that were dangerously loose, and a thick application of sunscreen on his balding head, nose and face, edged his way out of the bus. He didn't seem worried so much about the crowd of spectators who were taking photo's and pointing at the odd sight, his eyes were on the inner tube. As soon as it splashed down in the water, and what looked like two giant butterflies sat down on top of it, he breathed a sigh of relief, took his towel and went to find a place in the sand.

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"Ah, this is the life,” Teri said, lying back on the inner tube enjoying the gentle motion of the waves. Her purple backless bathing suit, pleasantly warm from the sun.

"We should go to the beach more often,” Rose Blossom said.

"You know we could live here. I know that some people live at the beach, they sing songs, jump around and other stuff to make money from people watching them. We can find a nice birdhouse or something to live in high up so people can't bother us, and do nothing but play, sing and relax,” Teri said dreamily.

She walked down the street, sometimes wearing a tiara and a silver mask, sometimes with her hair blowing freely in the wind, holding hands with an older girl whose face seemed to slide away whenever she saw it.

They were holding small shopping bags, she couldn't remember what was in them. One moment she was sure they were funny t-shirts bought from a street vendor, then she thought it was a present for her mo- someones birthday, then she knew it was a piece of cake and they were going somewhere nice to eat.

Music started playing.

No the music had been there all along, and she was finally noticing it.

A small group of musicians were playing a waltz, dressed up in evening clothes, and acting like they were performing in a concert hall. A person dressed the same way was handing out pamphlets. She took one, and read it eagerly, only she couldn't make out the words, they moved around like bugs on the page.

She started to giggle and said something to her companion.

No ___!” static erupted all around her. “You can't be serious!”

Bowing at the waist, she held out her hands. “Come on ____, it will be fun.”

She saw the blurry face turned brilliant red, but she took her hands. Together they began to dance to the music, much to the delight of the audience. They were both straight faced as if they were professional dancers, and not two young girls putting on an impromptu performance. The music came to an end, and then a quicker song began to play. They picked up the pace with the older girl leading, skipping and hopping in time with the music.

Finally they stopped, and the audience and the musicians clapped loudly. They both bowed, and she blew a kiss to the crowd before turning to the musicians giving them a kiss as well and a big thank you.

Teri realized that her friend hadn't said anything for a while. Just as she was about to mention it again, Rose Blossom spoke in a quiet whisper, “I don't want to leave the garden.”

"Why not?”

"Because it's safe there. Everything is so big and scary outside, I don't know what I'd do if I had to live out here all the time,” she said.

Teri rolled over to look at the pink fairy. “But you said you wanted to come to the beach more often.”

"Yeah, with you. You're strong and really brave and really cool. But if you weren't here, I'd be all alone and that's really scary. There are cats, hawks, cars, big people and all sorts of other things out there, what would happen if one of them came after me?” she asked, wrapping her wings around herself.

Teri hopped over to her and gave her a big hug. “If you want to go back, I'll go with you. I'll always be there to protect you, just call me Little Miss Powerful. If any nasty people come near you I'll beat them up, and no cat can withstand my fairy lightning strike!”

"My hero!”

Teri leaned against her friend. “Rose, do you remember anything from before you woke up in the fairy garden?”

"No, Burger Face said that I was born there from a special flower. He said that we're special and are born knowing everything we need, not like human babies. Why?”

Teri shrugged, playing with her long purple hair. “I just keep getting flashes of memories. I don't know if they're mine or not. I was hoping that maybe you knew what was going on.”

Rose Blossom gave her a big hug. “You could ask Burger Face, he'll tell you. He's a nice man.”

"No he isn't!”

Teri was about to say more when an enormous hand grabbed the inner tube. The tube was large enough that it didn't flip, but the two fairies both took to the air in fright. A young boy looked up at them in wide eyed wonder.

"I told them you were fairies. But they didn't believe me,” he said. “I'm David, what are your names?”

Rose Blossom landed on his head, grabbed a hold of his bangs and leaned down to look at him upside down. “Hi David! I'm Rose Blossom, and that's my best friend Teri. Who didn't believe we were fairies?”

The boy pointed back to shore where some teens were roughhousing in the water. “My brothers, they said fairies aren't real, even though those green kids said they were goblins.”

"WE DON'T EXIST!” Teri cried, feeling a bout of righteous indignation coming on. “David get in the tube, Rose hang on.”

They both did as they were told, and Teri grabbed the rope that was wrapped around the inner tube. Flapping her wings to help get more speed, she surged forward, leaving a large wake behind her, making the two passengers squeal with fright as they went faster than they could believe. She headed straight for the teens, when they were close enough, she let go of the inner tube flying up to land on the oldest boys shoulder. He just stood there with his jaw hanging around his chest.

"Hi, I'm Teri. David said you said I wasn't real. Well I am, so there,” she said, sticking out her tongue.

"Uh, what?” he squeaked like his pants were too tight.

"David said you said I wasn't real. My friend Rose Blossom and I would like to disagree. We're both real and we're both fairies. So I want an apology from you, right now. I'd normally throw you up in the air and maybe catch you, but you're cute, so I'll make an exception today,” she said."

"Right, sorry,” he said quickly. “You're real fairies. We thought you were mutants or something.”

"Well I am a mutant and a fairy. But Rose Blossom is one hundred percent real fairy,” Teri said pointing at Rose Blossom, who took a second to stop wringing the water from her hair and wave.

"Uh, yeah, cool, very cool. Are you with the green guys and Santa's helpers?” the boy asked, pointing at the goblins and elves who were trying to learn how to skateboard.

"Yep. We're taking a day trip to the beach. The guy trying to keep everything organized is Rumplestiltskin, and, oh god, what is he doing?” Teri moaned, covering her eyes as one of the goblins tried to go down a railing on the 'skates' skateboard. From the laughing, it hadn't been successful. “The silly one who might have just killed himself is Hoggle. I just met them yesterday.”

"Right and who's the guy yelling at them all?”

"Burger Face, he's kind of the boss. He looks a little hot doesn't he?”

"A little, is his face usually that red?”

"Usually only when he's talking to me. I think he needs to cool down. Rose Blossom, do you think Burger Face needs to cool down?” she asked.

"Yeah!” her friend agreed quickly.

With a mad cackle Teri launched herself at Burgermeister, landing gently on his shoulder. He instantly stopped trying to bring order to the chaos and looked nervously at Teri. “Hello, are you 'aving a good time?”

"Yep. It's great. Can I bury you in sand?” she asked.

He looked very thoughtfully at her enormous grin that seemed to split her face almost in two. “I vould really, really like it, if you did not bury me in sand. I need to breathe.”

"OK! Can you swim?”

Again he thought for a moment before saying, “Do I 'ave a choice?”

"Well, I could bury you in the sand!”

He held up a finger, silently asking her to wait a moment. She nodded and began humming happily. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a pair of swimming goggles and nose plugs. When they were in place he nodded at Teri. “I'm ready.”

"YIPPEE!” she shouted, picking him up by his shirt, it felt like she had giant invisible hands that reached around his back and chest, picking him up safely and keeping him remarkably stable. Flying very quickly out over the water she let go, sending him plunging into the ocean, not too far from shore. After making sure he really could swim she flew back to the beach laughing.

The teenagers were looking at her nervously. “So, he's your boss?” the first one asked.

"Kind of, it's complicated,” she admitted. “Today I'm being nice to him because he's taking us to the beach and promised us ice cream. I only had to drop an anvil on him to make him agree to it.”

"An anvil, like the big metal things you see in cartoons?”

"Yep. First I hit him in the face with it though. He was talking too much.” She didn't notice how everyone backed away from her as she kept talking. “Hey, do you guys have any music with you? I haven't heard any good songs in I don't remember how long?”

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The group of goblins, elves, fairies and villain were just finishing lunch and about to begin eating their ice cream when trouble arrived.

"So, I vas vorking with Dr. Diabolic on a ray that vould destroy all inorganic objects,” Burgermeister told the group. “It was to 'elp demilitarize armies and mobs. This was vhen I was much much 'ounger and thought that veapons were the best t'ings since sliced bread. When I accidentally svitched a vire and activated the machine, vhile Dr. Diabolic was in front of it. All I 'eard was a shout of rage and I saw the doctor standing there completely naked from the waist down. For such a big man, he is remarkably small. Vell let me tell you, I never left a job so fast. I never did get my electron microscope he promised me for my work. Anyvays, he- Oh what's t'is?”

A number of cars, vans and trucks pulled up. People rushed out with baseball bats, tire irons, knives and other instruments of pain. H1 pins featured prominently on their wardrobe. As a mob they marched up to the group, some of them yelling curses and demanding they leave.

Burgermeister moved very quickly to get between his charges and the H1 group. Teri looked up from her frozen yogourt, despite her pleading Burgermeister had refused to give her or Rose any real ice cream, as Rose Blossom grabbed her hand.

"What's going on?” she asked, her face dripping with yogurt.

"There are a bunch of scary men yelling at us,” her friend whimpered.

"I'll deal with them,” Teri said, wiping the yogurt from her face. Flying over she landed on a bush just to the side of the mob and waited to see what Burger Face was going to do.

"Vhat seems to be the problem 'ere?” Burgermeister demanded, glaring at the mob.

"We don't want your freaks around our beach. Get the hell out now!” the man in front demanded.

His eyes narrowed dangerously. “This is a public beach. My friends and I will go wherever we want.”

The mob moved forward, raising their weapons menacingly. “We're being nice. Get out now, or you'll be leaving in body bags.”

Burgermeister tapped a ring on his little finger. Energy crackled around him creating the outline of a hulking ogre. “These people are under my protection. If you try to harm them you will have to go over my dead body,” he growled.

Some of the men pulled out guns. Teri burst out of the bushes, grabbing two of the gunmen by their ears, her invisible hands encircling their head so it wasn't too painful, and flew them out over the water, dropping them into it without slowing down. Spinning on a dime she flew back at top speed.

Burgermeister was knocking the H1 goons flying, while the goblins and elves cheered him on. Someone took a shot at him, only to have the bullet drop harmlessly to the ground. Teri grabbed two more gunmen and threw them into the ocean as well.

By the time she got back for another round of dunk the morons, everyone except Burgermeister was lying splayed out on the ground groaning.

Burgermeister turned off his forcefield and looked around, biting his nails. “Um, right. Everyone, grab your ice cream. Time to go 'ome. No dilly dallying. Come on, lets go before the police arrive.”

Teri landed on his shoulder, making him jump and scream with fear. She patted his cheek, “Good work, Burgermeister.”

She flew away to grab hers and Rose Blossoms yogourt, leaving the man absolutely stunned.

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"If you move these gears over here, and move the pipes through the now open space, it should make it easier to build the steam engine for the children,” Rose Blossom told Rumplestiltskin, drawing on a blueprint that was spread out on a drafting board.

"But this was the design that Burgermeister gave us,” the chief goblin said.

Teri saw her friend blush and hunch down a little, still the pink fairy pointed at the paper with a pencil almost as big as she was. “But it's not very good. How are you guys supposed to get your hands in there to do all the little work? Repairing it will be a pain, you'd have to take it all apart. By moving the gears, you can just open it up and get right into the middle of the engine. It's a case of mind over matter, use your mind properly so nothing else matters.”

Bored out of her mind, Teri flew away from the technical discussion. Rose Blossom really liked working with the goblins and elves, she had been doing it for days and days. Teri had to admit a few of the things were fun, like hitting things with the big hammer on the anvil, but she wanted to get outside and have some real fun. The airship was just too boring.

She'd explored the hallways and the engine room, but almost every door was locked so she couldn't get into any of the rooms, and the engine room was really noisy, so it was just boring, boring hallways and doors. If only she could get into some of the other rooms, she might be able to find something interesting to do. Almost anything would do, a surfboard and a beach, a video game, a bike that was her size, a big tree to climb.

She walked along the beach enjoying the salty smell of the sea, someone would be there soon. She was waiting for someone, but when she tried to think of the person static filled her brain almost painfully loud.,

Up ahead she saw a girl who looked like she was maybe ten years old crying, while an older woman stood beside her dialing on a phone. A broken pet carrier sat at the base of a palm tree. Looking up into the tree she saw a cute cat sitting at the very top.

This looks like a job for ________ ________,” she whispered to herself.

Walking over, she smiled brightly. “Hi, is that your cat in the tree?” she asked the little girl.

Y-yeah. Kit's carrier fell and broke open, and now he doesn't want to come down!” the girl sobbed, as her mother turned back to the road looking for help while talking to someone on her phone.

I can get her for you.”

Without pausing, she grabbed the tree, digging her fingers into the wood just enough to get a good purchase, and began climbing, thankful that she was wearing shorts instead of a skirt. Some people were shouting at her to get down, but she was up the tree so quickly they couldn't do anything. The cat looked at her, wide eyed in fear.

Come here, Kit,” she said softly, holding her hand out. “Come on, kitty. I'm ________ ________, I'm a superhero here to rescue you.

The frond the cat was sitting on began to sink down. In a panic, the cat launched itself at her, landing right on her face. Unexpectedly getting a face full of claws, fur and scared cat, she shouted in surprise and jerked back, right out of the tree.

Hitting the ground twenty feet below, she realized she wasn't hurt, but even being super tough didn't stop the wind from being knocked out of her

Reaching up, she pulled the frightened cat off of her face and placed it in the waiting arms of the girl. “I saved your cat,” she said.

Getting to her feet she noticed people were taking out cameras, some were already recording her, they were all looking at her with wide eyes.

Oh boy.” She bolted away, shouting over her shoulder, “Gottago! Getabettercarrierforyourcat!”

Where did that come from?” she asked herself. Ever since they'd gone to the beach she'd been getting more memories like that. No one else seemed to have memories like her, she'd asked the goblins and Rose Blossom, they'd only looked at her funny. She supposed she could ask Burger Face, but even though he'd been helpful beating up the bad men at the beach, she still didn't like him. No matter how good Rose Blossom said he was, something about him just made her want to punch him in the face.

Pushing the memory aside, she looked around for something, anything to do. Her eyes fell on one of the air vents that lined the roof. Cocking her head she realized the opening was a little bigger than she was. Flying up, she grabbed the cover in one hand and gave it a jerk, tearing the screws out of the holes and revealing a vent that she could comfortably walk in, there was even room to spread her wings if she wanted to. Carefully dropping the cover onto the roof of the nearest house, she climbed into the vent and started walking.

The constant breeze was a little cool, so she wrapped her wings around herself like a cloak warming herself up. The dark vent stretched off into the distance, even with her night vision the far end was blurry and indistinct. Realizing that she could get lost in the vents, she began scratching the metal with arrows every few feet, to point the way back. Coming to another vent opening, she looked down hoping to see something interesting, and sighed in disappointment. The room below was dark and full of rocks, the rocks were pretty, looking like jewels and gold, but she really didn't care about that. She wanted to talk to new people and do fun things, not just look at rocks.

She kept walking, taking a couple of turns as they appeared. At every vent she looked down, mostly she saw hallways and storage rooms, but there were some different rooms that she thought could be interesting to show Rose Blossom. One looked like a meadow with horse stalls lining one wall, clover grew everywhere. Another one looked like a jungle, a pine forest filled yet another room. She wondered who would live in those rooms.

Finally after wandering around for almost an hour she saw something that looked really interesting. Breaking the vent she flew down into a room that had a giant window on one side, a couple of panels with lots of shiny buttons, a big purple sheet covered one whole wall, and there was a giant tube with a door in the middle of the room.

"What's this place?” she asked herself.

She started to fly towards the big tube, only to stop in midair, her heart raced, sweat broke out on her forehead, and her hands shook. “I-I-I think I'll look at that later,” she gasped.

Quickly Teri went to what looked like the main control panel. Sitting on top of it, she could see out the window perfectly. Mountains rose up around the airship, the brilliant white snow glittering beautifully in the sun. Just looking at the deep blue sky made a pleasant chill run through her body. Stretching out her wings she flew to the window to get a closer look. Her breath fogged up the glass, and her nose stuck against the cold pane for a moment.

"I wanna build a snowman!” she squealed. A memory clicked into existence.

I wanna build a snowman!” she shouted, looking out at the snow covered hills.

You'll get to build one soon, ___. We've got the whole Christmas holiday here,” a deep voice said as if the speaker was underwater. “Just hold your horses.”

Can we get a snowmobile too? That's just like riding a jet ski isn't it?” she asked, pressing her nose against the window of the SUV.

Teri smiled so widely it looked like her face was about to split in two. “That's a great idea brain. I wonder if Rose Blossom could make me a snowmobile?”

Hopping back to the control panel, she rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “Now how do I drive this thing?”

Stepping carefully around the buttons and switches, she couldn't make heads or tails out of the colours and letters. She did however see a clear spot that looked like it was covering something. Kneeling on the edge, she drove her fingers into the plastic and ripped off the cover. A joystick as big as she was, slowly rose up.

"HURRAY!!! A video game!” Teri shouted. Grabbing the joystick, she began veering towards the nearest mountain.

"Autopilot off,” a mechanical voice wheezed.

"Cool! Let's set down on the mountain and go skiing.” Pushing the joystick forward as far as it could go the airship tilted dangerously. Alarms began to sound. “Whee!” she shouted.

Burgermeister came running out, soaking wet, wearing a pink bathrobe. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” he screeched.

"We're going to go skiing!” Teri shouted to be heard over the alarms.

"Are you crazy? We're going to crash!”

"I've got it all under control. Trust me,” she said, as red lights began flashing. A robot bird came running into the control room, took one look at the oncoming mountain and ran away squawking in terror.

"Impact imminent!” the mechanical voice said.

"How do we slow down?” Teri asked, suddenly feeling a little nervous.

Burgermeister shoved her to the side, grabbed the joystick and pulled it back, making the airship groan in protest as it began to climb. Teri flew to the window and saw a shaggy white ape stare at them from less than twenty feet away. It ran off shrieking in terror before she could wave at it. There was a grinding sound and snow started rolling down the mountain, pelting the window.

"Oh, can I open the window? I wanna build a snowman,” she shouted.

"NO!” Burgermeister shouted back.

The airship began to level off as it cleared the mountain. The flashing lights and alarms turned off, and Burgermeister slumped down, hitting a button which made the joystick sink back into the console.

"Teri,” he said in a squeaky voice, “did you want us to hit Mount Everest?”

"Nnnnnnooooo... Maybe.... Only a little,” she admitted. “I wanted to get out and go skiing, and build a snowman and make snow cones.”

He began to laugh. “You wanted to make snow cones. Of course, of course. That makes all the sense in the world. Vhere better to make snow cones than the tallest mountain in the vorld. And ve could go skiing, that vould be so much fun. Everyone likes skiing!”

"So can we stop?”

"NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” he screamed. “You almost got us all killed. I vant you to promise to never drive the airship again!”

She shrunk down a little. “OK. I didn't mean to almost kill everyone,” she said, playing with her long hair.

"Good. Good,” he said, calming down a little. “Now then, I vill take you back to your garden, and ve vill forget all of this ever happened.”

"OK,” she said. Flying beside him she passed near the metal tube and she felt herself tremble. Pointing at the tube she asked, “Burger Face, what's that?”

"That thing. It's a surprise. Vhen it is ready, it will do many fun things. You can try it vhen it is done. You vill really like it,” he said almost dreamily.

"Oh... good,” she said, the joy of having a surprise present warring with a growing fear that made it hard to breathe.

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"Rose Blossom, can I talk to you?” Teri asked.

"Her friend stopped smelling the roses and dashed over, smiling happily. “What do you want to talk about?”

"I can't remember my Mom and Dad. That's not normal for humans.”

"I didn't know that,” Rose Blossom said. Her smile turned into a deep frown and she moved in quickly to give Teri a hug. “Do you want to ask Burger Face about it?”

"NO!” Teri shouted. “I don't want him to know anything about this.”

"Why not? I don't know why you don't like him so much, but he's a nice man,” Rose Blossom insisted, her lower lip stuck out and she sniffed back some tears.

Teri gave her a hug. “I'm sorry for shouting. Can we just talk without telling Burger Face?”

Rose Blossom's shoulders slumped and her wings rested on the ground.

"We can tell him later, after I start remembering things. OK?”

"You promise?”

"Promise,” Teri said, holding her hand over her heart.

"OK!” Rose Blossom squealed, jumping up and down with joy.

"I want to be a superhero. There's a woman, I think, who I really like. She's the coolest superhero ever. I think... I think I am going to be her partner when I get old enough.” Teri shook her head in frustration. As she tried to think about it, static filled her mind.

OK! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” she squealed, hanging up a phone. She ran out of a room that looked like a kitchen, but everything was blurry and mixed together, like a picture that had gotten wet.

_________ ______, I'm your biggest fan! Can you sign my book!” she shouted in the noisy school gymnasium, holding up a limited edition trivia book of the _____ _________.

The superhero gave her a brilliant smile, her neon yellow hair had a brilliant glow that seemed to light up the room. “Definitely. What's your name?”

She was holding the phone again in the kitchen. “HI! I'm TERI, and I'm a mutant. I talked to _________ ______ last year, and I can lift my bed with one hand, and she told me that I could be a hero if I turned into a mutant. So now I'm a mutant, and I put my finger right through my phone and it didn't hurt! So how can I sign up to become a ________ because I'll do such a good job!” She stopped to gasp for breath.

She was back in the gymnasium, the hero laughed and patted her shoulder. “Keep up that attitude and you'll go far. But remember you have to be an adult to join the _________, and you need to do well in school. What are your grades like?”

Best day ever!” she murmured to herself, walking away from the superhero holding her book tightly against her chest.

Something was in her hands, it was pressed tight against the book. She could see the book but whatever she was holding was a blank spot. The book was almost as bad, most of the words were gibberish, dancing around the page when she tried to read them, but she could make out some written words. 'To TERI, my biggest fan! Who will be one of the great superheroes one day. Your future partner, _________ ______'

Teri sat down with a little thump, rubbing her aching head. The memories didn't fit together. They were close, she knew they were close, but they didn't make sense. “Who is she?” she asked the air, knowing that the answer would unlock so many of her memories.

Rose Blossom knelt down beside her, hugging her as tightly as she could.

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"Oh look at all the pretty stones in here!” Rose Blossom exclaimed looking through a grate.

Teri put down the marker she was using to mark out the different rooms and routes in the ventilation system. They'd spent the last few days exploring it and seeing what was what. They'd had to remove some of the filters, and a few places were off limits because the wind was too strong for Rose Blossom, but they had had their own personal hallway for most of the airship.

Grabbing the vent, Teri felt whatever it was that made her so strong flow along the metal, with a push the screws popped out and the grate fell to the ground below. Flying down, she saw that with the light from the window reflected off the jewels that lined the floor. All the glittery lights looked great, and she found herself dancing in the air.

"Come on Rose, dance with me!” she shouted, landing on a particularly wide rock.

Rose Blossom landed beside her, took her hands and looked at their feet as they began dancing. “Dum-de, dum, de-dum, de, dum- de,” Teri said to let her friend find the rhythm.

As they danced the room dissolved around her.

Please ___!” she pleaded, clutching her hands in front of her.

A sigh came from a mass of long, curly hair. “TERI, those dancing classes are too expensive.”

But-but ____ is in them. She's having so much fun. I saved up my allowance, I have fifty-four dollars. Will that help?” she asked, holding up a heart shaped piggy bank.

A smile appeared in the air. She felt invisible arms encircle her, a strange perfume she couldn't place made her smile. “You have that much money?”

Yeah. I didn't buy the posters I wanted or Heroes Weekly Magazine for two whole months,” she explained.

I'll see what I can do. You may have to drop out of your piano lessons though.”

Yay!” she squealed. “Uh, I mean, um, aw shucks, I really like playing the piano.”

"Rose,” Teri said as they danced. “Have you had a birthday party?”

"No. Burgermeister never gave me one, and until you came it was only the two of us.” Rose Blossom stumbled as she answered and fell into Teri's arms. “Have you had a birthday party?”

Sitting down in the air with Rose Blossom in her lap, Teri tried to think. “I think so. But it's hard to remember.”

"Could we have a birthday party together?”

"Oh, that's a great idea. We can have chocolate fudge cake with chocolate icing and whipped cream, and chocolate ice cream on the side,” she said, licking her lips. “The goblins and elves can come to. We need to find a stereo and some music, balloons too. Maybe we can go to the beach again and have a beach party?”

"REALLY! HURRAY!” her friend cheered, jumping up to do loop de loops in the air. “Let's go and tell Burgermeister.”

"Well,” Teri said with a frown, “I guess we'll need him to get the stereo and the music. And to land this thing. I don't really know how to do that.”

Flying back into the ventilation shaft, they made their way to the bridge. Teri was forced to break through several metal grates that had been put up by robots, she didn't know why Burger Face bothered anymore, but within two minutes they were at the bridge.

Rose Blossom flew down first, hugging Burgermeister from behind as he worked on the big tube. “Burger Face! Teri and I are going to have a birthday party! Can we go to the beach again?”

"VHAT?!” he shouted in confusion. “Do 'ou 'ave any idea 'ow busy ve are right now?”

"Rose Blossom and I want a birthday party, because she hasn't had one and I don't remember when my birthday is,” Teri said, staying well away from the tube.

"No. I am putting my foot down, you can play around ship, but 'ou will NOT have a beach party. And the others must vork. They have lots of things to do to prepare for the opening of Burgermeisters Enchanted Valley, ve are almost ready to get many new employees.”

"But I wanted a birthday party,” Rose Blossom said, her large eyes somehow becoming bigger, with little tears falling from them.

"No. It vill have to wait.”

"We're going to have a birthday party, Burger Face, no matter what!” Teri shouted, still staying well away from the center of the room.

Burgermeister frowned at her, his innocent and often stunned expression became stern. “There vill be no birthday party. I am done listening to your demands, you can either support my goals or sit down and shut up.”

Teri reared up ready to start shouting, when Rose Blossom landed on Burgermeisters shoulder. “What can we do to help, so we can have a birthday party?” she asked.

He rubbed his chin in thought. “I am almost done vorking on a machine that vill make children so 'appy, but I need to test it. The most important part is ready now, vould you like to try it? It will only make you happy and joyful.”

Teri watched as Rose Blossom got a big smile on her face and started to nod. Without knowing why, she dove down, grabbed the pink fairy by the arm and flew as fast as she could into the ventilation shaft and headed straight for their garden. She couldn't hear Rose Blossom yelling at her over her panicked gasps, the only thing she cared about was getting away as fast as possible. She finally stopped when they were hidden under the thickest bush surrounded by thorns.

"What's wrong Teri?” Rose Blossom asked, rubbing her arm.

She couldn't answer. With her arms wrapped around herself so tightly it hurt, Teri stared straight ahead trying to control her shaking as a girl she didn't know sobbed in her mind.

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"Rumplestiltskin!” Teri shouted happily the next day. “We're going to have a birthday for Rose Blossom, can you guys help us?”

"It's for Teri too!” Rose Blossom said.

"A birthday? But we're swamped with work,” the head goblin said. From the sounds of construction, shouting orders, and the workers running around it wasn't an exaggeration.

Teri smiled sweetly. “Don't worry, I talked with Burger Face and it's all OK. He said you've done such a good job, we can all take a day off for a party while he has some important business off the ship.”

Rumplestiltskin scratched his bald head. “Business? He didn't tell me anything about it.”

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Hey Burgermeister, I heard from the goblins that there are escape pods in this thing,” Teri said, flying down into the control room, the early morning sun shone beautifully through the tinted window.

Yes, Teri each room has one. Why?” he asked pleasantly, probably surprised that she hadn't insulted him.

Well,” Teri said, drawing out the word, “no one ever showed me where it is. Don't you like me? Do you really want me getting crushed and killed if we crash? They told me you once had to fight off the US airforce and it was really close.”

He bit his lip, clearly trying to think of the best way to answer her question. Finally, “Of course I like you Teri. Come 'ere I will show you the escape pod.”

She followed him to a circular door outlined in red. “This is the escape pod? How does it work?”

Hitting a red button the door opened for him. “You get in, strap yourself in and pull the red lever. Since you are so small, you vill have to hold on tight, but it is perfectly safe.”

Thank you Burger Face!” Teri shouted slamming into his back, making him fall into the escape pod with a panicked shout. She grabbed the red lever, yanking it down and zipped out of the pod as the doors closed. With a gust of air and the groan of machinary the pod disconnected from the ship, at which point rockets propelled it down to earth. Judging from the land below, he'd end up somewhere in the Sahara Desert.

Bye bye, Burger Face,” she said happily. “I'm sorry you'll miss our birthday party!”

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"Trust me, it was really, really sudden. It caught him totally by surprise,” she assured him. “So we have today to have a party, do you think we could make a big chocolate cake, set up some decorations, make ice cream and get some music?”

"Elves, come on over here!” Rumplestiltskin shouted.

The six elves came running over from where they'd been making banners and painting machines. “What's up?” Twinkles, their foreman asked.

"We've got permission to have a birthday party for Teri and Rose Blossom. Can you make a chocolate cake, some ice cream and decorations? I'll get the goblins to help with the decorations but the cooking is all on you.”

The elf waved his hand airily. “Easy, easy, easy. We made an ice cream machine after the beach party. Is vanilla and chocolate OK?”

"PERFECT!” Teri shouted.

"All right, we're in business,” Rumplestiltskin said. “Twinkles you're in charge, the sooner we get this done the sooner we can relax.”

"What about music?” Rose Blossom asked.

You're on your own for that, none of us know any birthday songs.”

"I've got it covered, Rose,” Teri said. “You help these guys, I'll see what I can do.”

As the group got organized, she once again flew towards the control centre, but instead of getting out in the usual spot she went a bit further to Burgermeister's private cabin. Breaking the grate, she spent a moment relishing being in a forbidden place. The luxurious cabin had a beautiful Persian rug, dark wooden furniture that looked expensive and shelves lined with books. Her eyes went to a display case that held a cheap silver tiara and mask along with something that looked like a license beneath them. An itch at the back of her brain made her want to study them more, but she remembered that she had to get the music playing for the party.

She flew around the cabin until she found a stereo system and an untidy pile of CD's. Going through the pile it was mostly boring music from the fifties and sixties, but there were a few good ones. She pulled out two classical CD's and six big band CD's. A few minutes working with the stereo and she had them in order playing loudly.

Now she just had to figure out how to get the music heard in the workshop. She couldn't take the stereo because it was connected to the wall. She saw a phone hanging from the wall beside the doorway. She suddenly realized that similar phones were at every doorway, even in the fairy garden. Curious, she picked it up and looked at the buttons. There were the usual numbers, but there was another button with 'intercom' written under it.

Pressing the button, she heard the music echoing from the nearby rooms. “WHOO HOO! I did it!” she shouted, doing a happy dance in mid air.

Flying back, she was already licking her lips thinking about how good the cake would taste.

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"Thank you for getting Burgermeister to let us have this party, Teri,” the elf said.

"Don't thank me, Aurora. You guys did most of the work for the party. That cake smells wonderful, how long until it's ready?” Teri asked.

"I think it will be ten minutes or so. Do you want me to draw a picture of you?”

She looked at the elf's sketchpad, the woman had been sitting quietly in the corner drawing pictures as the elves and goblins danced around and put the finishing touches on the decorations. It was why she had come over to talk. “Actually, I was hoping you could draw something for me. But it will be kind of hard.”

"I like challenges,” Aurora said, pushing a lock of silky blonde hair behind her hair.

"Well I'm going to describe someone, but I can't describe all of her, only parts of her.”

The elf frowned, “OK, that is strange.”

"I know,” Teri agreed. “I have these memories, and I know one of them is my Mom, but I can't get a clear picture of her. I'm hoping you can help me.”

"Oh no! You don't know what your mother looks like? That's horrible.”

"Yeah” she agreed again. “Do you know your mom?”

Aurora looked off into the distance, her eyes becoming glazed for a second. “Nnnnoooo. But elves don't have parents. We're made by magic, when a baby first laughs at having a snowflake land on his or her face.”

"Oooohhhh, that's cool!”

Aurora got her sketchpad ready, her eyes were clear again. “So what's the first thing you can remember?”

"She has long hair, it's curly and dark brown. I think... I think it goes down to the small of her back. And she smiles, she smiles a lot, or she laughs. She has... her lips are-” Teri hit her head in frustration. “I can't remember!”

"Hey, Teri, don't do that,” Aurora said, picking Teri up in her hand. “I can't draw super quick, so the hair, is it really curly, or only a little?”

"I don't know. I'm trying to remember, but sometimes it’s straight, then it’s really curly, then only wavy, and I don't even know if the person is my mom or not,” she said, trying to stop her lip from quivering while biting back a sob.

Tapping her pen against her teeth, Aurora suddenly brightened up. “How about you tell me what you can remember right now?”

"I can try.” Screwing her face up in concentration, she grabbed the first memory that rose up. “It's a party. There are lots of people there.”

You always have your nose in Shakespeare and math books with your ______, little flower. Go find your ___________, she wants to show you her roses,” a man said, his voice sounded old.

Standing on her tiptoes she gave him a kiss on the cheek and ran off to where a blurry woman was sitting watching the festivities with a large smile.

_______!” she shouted, giving a very careful hug to the frail woman “_______ said you wanted to show me your roses.”

I do, the new rainbow rare roses are just starting to blossom. You'll love how they look,” the old woman said. “But first can you get my cane, some of the little ones were playing with it and it somehow got under the picnic table.”

Sure _______,” she said.

Running over to the picnic table she saw it was right in the middle of it. Rather than getting on her hands and knees, she grabbed the steel bar holding it together, lifted it up above her head, knelt down to grab the cane and stood back up, ready to put the table back down. Then she realized that everything had suddenly gone quiet. Looking around she saw a balding man slapping his forehead, his hand grew large covering his entire face, a woman with no face rubbed her temples as if fighting off a headache, everyone else was watching her in shock.

Very carefully putting the table back down, she shuffled her feet for a moment before saying, “OH LOOK! Chocolate cake!” Grabbing a slice, she walked over to the old woman, gave her the cane and began eating as if nothing had happened.

"OH LOOK!” Rose Blossom shouted, snapping Teri out of her memory. “Chocolate cake!”

Teri looked at the sketchbook, surprised to see that Aurora had roughly sketched out her memory, at least of her hugging an old woman as people milled about. She couldn't remember telling her what she was remembering.

Rose Blossom flew over to grab Teri by the arm. “Come on, lets go eat some cake.”

"Go on, Teri. We can try to draw your picture later,” Aurora said, smiling beautifully.

"Thank you,” she said, giving the elf a kiss on the nose.

Flying to the cake, she and Rose Blossom looked at the huge six-layer cake in amazement, it was like a little mountain to them. As they stared, the goblins and elves broke into Happy Birthday, and Rumplestiltskin lit two candles on the lowest layer. When the song finished, the two fairies flew up and blew out the candles, and the goblins moved in with long knives to cut the cake.

Sitting on two small cushions at the head of the table, they were each given a piece that was almost as big as they were, along with bowls full of ice cream.

"Happy birthday, Rose,” Teri said, leaning over to give her best friend a big hug.

"Thank you, Teri, I didn't even know I could have a birthday,” she said, returning the hug and topping it with a kiss on the cheek.

Picking up their forks they dug in, cramming as much of the delicious cake into their mouths as they could. Teri began drumming her feet, her wings spread out behind her and her eyes lit up. She noticed Rose Blossom dive headfirst into the slice of cake. It felt like pure energy was racing through her body.

"WHEE!” Rose Blossom shouted, taking to the air far faster than she usually moved. The pink fairy began dive bombing the goblins and elves, “YOU'RE ALL SO NICE! I LOVE ALL OF YOU!”

Teri stopped eating, everything seemed so slow. Even Rose Blossom was going in slow motion. She looked around and saw the prettiest yellow buttercups ever beside a house. She flew over, but couldn't stop in time, hitting the corner of the house, shattering the wood and plaster in a tiny explosion. “Oooohhhhh, so pretty!” she said.

As she sniffed the flowers, she noticed how pretty Aurora's blonde hair was. Jumping to the startled elf, Teri didn't notice that she had knocked down ten of the goblins that were running away from Rose Blossom who was busy trying to kiss them.

"Your hair is so pretty!” Teri shouted, wrapping herself in the glorious locks. “OH what's that!”

A second later she flew through the cake, sending pieces of it all around the large room, and came to a stop in front of a mirror. “This isn't me. I don't' have purple hair.” she said, smearing chocolate across her image, covering the hair. “That's better. I have brown hair. And brown eyes.”

Shouting made her look behind her. She saw Rose Blossom tackle an elf and start tickling him. Grinning from ear to ear, Teri flew over to join her whooping with glee.

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Teri woke up with a terrible headache, Burgermeister glared down at her. Sitting up she saw that the goblins and elves were repairing holes in their houses and removing debris.

"Teri,” Burgermeister said through gritted teeth, “never, ever, throw me in an escape pod again. And don't eat sugar, it supercharges your system and you act crazy... crazier, than normal.”

"Ow,” she replied, holding her head wishing he'd shut up.

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Burgermeister watched as the robots put the finishing touches on the transmographier. Even though he was still furious with Teri and her insolent behaviour, he was willing to admit to himself that he had overreacted when he'd tried to convince them to go into the devise before it was fully operational. They were his people, under his protection, if he harmed them he'd be no better than the monsters that infested the world.

While he could drug their food and place them in the transmographier now, it was still untested. He would simply need to find a new child to protect and see how they handled the transformation. If it worked, then he could immediately start the process on Teri followed by Rose Blossom. Then they would be a happy family again.

Nodding happily to himself, he went to a control panel and sent out the orders to his collection robots. They'd find him a mutant without an annoying bit, and then he would add one more child to his safe and happy home.

Watching the city of LA far below him, the future looked bright.

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Teri looked up from her book of Shakespeare she'd gotten from Burger Face's personal library, wondering what she should do next. She'd already visited the elves and goblins who were busy making everything they needed in preparation for the opening of Enchanted Valley, whenever that happened, and she'd just spent two hours reading while looking out the window in the lookout room at the bottom of the airship. Rose Blossom was still working with the elves, helping them come up with new designs and doing some of the detailed work they needed to do, so she wouldn't want to play tag or anything. She wondered if she should bother Burger Face or wait until after supper.

As she watched North American pass by underneath, a fiery rocket caught her attention. Flying to the window she looked closer and saw what looked like an oversized mailbox streak through the sky, slowing down as it neared the ship. A smile came to her lips, this was new.

Flying through the ventilation system she headed for the bridge, following the little marks she and Rose Blossom had made on the metal over the past week. For some reason as she flew onwards, she kept thinking a mailbox was right behind her, she shivered and almost flew face first into the side of the vent because she was looking over her shoulder so much.

Despite the extra strong bolts Burgermeister had put on all the vent covers, she was able to pop out the cover without really trying. No one was in the room yet, there were only the rows of buttons that she had promised never to touch after nearly running into Mount Everest, and the big tube she didn't like, that Burgermeister said he was still working on.

A panel in the wall slid open and a chair holding an unconscious teenage girl slid into the room, a backpack sat beside her. Teri shivered when she saw the girl was strapped to the chair with metal cuffs. Landing on the black girls shoulder, she gently tapped her ear, holding onto her short hair for balance.

"Wha- what's happening?” the girl muttered, shaking her head.

Flying in front of the girl, she waved happily. “Hi! I'm Teri, what's your name?”

Pretty orange eyes looked at her. “Marni. I'm Marni. Where am I?”

"Burgermeister's ship. There are lots of nice people here, even if Burger Face is annoying. Are you a guest?” Teri briefly saw a girl with long brown hair fixing a silver tiara and face mask in a bathroom mirror.

"I-I want to go home. A mailbox attacked me,” Marni said. She tried to move her arms, and started to cry when they didn't move.

"Don't cry! Don't cry! I'll help you!” Landing on the arm of the chair, Teri grabbed the metal cuff and pulled as hard as she could. The metal creaked, but didn't budge. Finally she had to let go, her hands hurt and she wasn't getting anywhere. For a second her arms felt numb and she couldn't move her hands or feet, she heard a girl screaming.

Climbing up onto Marni's shoulder, she stroked her cheek. “I'm sorry I can't open them. But don't worry when Burgermeister gets here, I'll make him let you go. Even if I have to hit him with an anvil again. Don't cry, it's going to be OK. You're parents will come looking for you, and they'll call the Miami Crusaders! The heroes always come at the last minute to save the day!”

Marni kept crying.

"You must be thirsty. Let me get you a drink. Do you have something in your bag?” Teri asked, opening the bag up.

She found a large supply of junk food, protein bars and energy drinks. Getting an energy drink, she punched it open and flew back up holding it so the girl could drink. “Here you go. Take a drink, you'll feel better.”

Even with the can pressed against her lips, Marni didn't drink. The sticky liquid ran down her chin as she cried and twisted her head to get the drink away from her mouth. Teri flew backwards, wracking her brain trying to think of how she could make the girl happy and came up with nothing.

"Vhat is going on here?” Burgermeister demanded.

"Marni wants to go home. I don't think she likes it here, Burger Face,” she told him.

"She vill like it soon enough. Don't you vant a new friend Teri?” he asked. “Just let me talk to her for a little vhile. If she still wants to go home, I vill send her home. But I need some privacy.”

Putting the drink down, Teri looked very carefully at Burgermeister. Nodding once, she gave Marni a big smile. “Just tell him you want to go home and you will. It was nice meeting you. Bye bye.”

The girl started sobbing harder, begging to be let go. It reminded her of another girl crying in fear with electricity surging around her. Her muscles ached. She remembered a door sliding closed on a girl, her name was, her name was... “Powerful,” she whispered.

Her hand stroked the air, in her eyes she was stroking a pink cape, a tiara rested in her hair. Her eyes grew brighter. “Burgermeister,” she said in a low voice, “how did I get here?”

"Teri, I am very busy right now. Go to the garden and play with your friends,” he told her sternly.

She turned slowly in the air. “Burgermeister, let Marni go home right now.” Her voice was low, almost a growl, nothing like her usual excited and happy tone.

The man looked at her nervously. Pressing a button on his watch, Marni's chair zipped towards the tube which opened up revealing a small chamber lit up in electric blue. A forcefield whined into life, blocking Teri off from his half of the room. “Teri, I 'ave been very forgiving of you. But if you do not go away right now, I vill become very angry.”

The anger and determination to get Marni out that had driven Teri just seconds ago, disappeared instantly upon seeing the inside of the tube. Her body hit the floor, her wings covering her face as she whimpered, tears pouring down her face. She fought down a shriek of terror as the chair and the girl on it headed towards the glowing blue chamber.

Her eyes turned pitch black. “Mommy!” she cried, sobbing like a baby.

Every instinct, every fibre of her being, roared at her to fly away as fast as she could. She trembled on the ground, peering out from behind her wings and fingers, her black eyes darted all around looking for safety. Her mind screeched at her to get away. She could see herself fleeing to the furthest corner of the room and hiding, flying back the way she had come through the vents and not stopping until she was safely in the fairy garden, or simply breaking down the door to escape, the images ran through her mind, becoming jumbled together, confusing and frightening her even more. The terror held her as firmly as any chains.

As she huddled on the floor sobbing and screaming through her teeth, praying to whoever would listen that this was all a nightmare and she'd wake up in Roses arms, the electricity reached out for her, crackling with laughter. It encircled her, burning her limbs, twisting her body. She rolled along the floor scratching at her arms, trying to push the electricity away, rising into the air only to fall back down as the world burned around her. Biting her tongue, blood filled her mouth, the shrieking in her mind became so loud she couldn't tell if it was just a memory or her own voice.

"OH GOD! SOMEONE HELP ME! PLEASE!” Marni screamed.

The cry for help pierced the chaos that filled Teri's head. She heard Burgermiester speaking, “Time for the show, you vill be a beautiful fairy. Von't that be nice?”

Her eyes flared a brilliant purple. “Miss Powerful to the rescue,” she hissed, slowly and shakily getting to her feet, blood dripping from her chin.

The room turned red. The electricity was once more confined in the machine, her muscles tensed, and her clawed fingers spread ready to shred anything that came near her. Bloody lips curled into a feral snarl. Turning away from Marni and Burgermeister, she flew towards the door. The screaming and shaking had stopped, her thoughts and mind were more focused than she could remember. At the door she picked up the phone that linked to the intercom and growled, “This is Teri, Burgermeister is a very bad man. Get to the escape pods, the ship is going down.”

"What are you doing Teri?” Burgermeister asked, backing away from her despite the forcefield between them, while activating his PFG.

"You hurt Rose Blossom. You hurt me. You took us from our families!” she hissed. Her eyes grew brighter as she went to Marni's bag with the open energy drink resting beside it. Picking the can up she drank it all, grabbed another one and drained that as well. Her blood felt like it was on fire, she had too much energy to contain, her body began vibrating so fast it hurt. The snarl turned into a rabid smile. Burgermeister stumbled backwards hitting the wall, his feet kept pushing him backwards sliding across the smooth metal floor. White faced, he began pressing buttons on his watch.

Robots rushed into the room, Teri watched them coming. Her face twisted into a psychotic grin, her eyes glowed, purple spotlights of pure energy. As the robots opened fire, she leapt into the air laughing like she'd heard the greatest joke in the world, her claws leaving grooves in the floor. The nearest robot fell backwards, a baseball size hole cut through its chest.

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Rose Blossom felt the ship shake. Like everyone else she had heard Teri's message and had thought it was just a new game, but something in Teri's voice made them decide that waiting by the escape pod was a good idea. When the ship seemed to fall a thousand feet before coming to a stop, the elves and goblins rushed into the pod strapping themselves in.

"Come on, Rose Blossom!”Rumpelstiltskin shouted, waving at her.

The fairy started to fly into the pod but stopped as the ship shook again. “I have to get Teri!” she shouted and flew into the air vent. The sound of the escape pod rocketing away echoed in the tiny corridor.

If the ship was going down, Teri was on the bridge, Rose Blossom reasoned. She flew as fast as she could while shaking with fear, and the seemingly impervious vehicle shook and rattled all around her. Her heart was beating a mile a minute. When she finally reached the bridge she almost cried in relief. Then she looked in and gasped.

Robots littered the floor, the control panels with all the pretty buttons were shattered and sparking, and the ventilation grates in the ceiling were torn open. Burgermeister was in a forcefield that glittered like an ogre swatting at Teri who moved in a blur ramming into him again and again. A girl with orange eyes was trying to free her wrist which was strapped to an overturned chair.

Flying down, Rose Blossom ducked the showers of sparks and landed beside the girl. “What's happening?!” she yelled.

"I don't know! Can you help me open this thing?!” the girl yelled.

The both ducked as Burgermeister flew across the room, followed by an enraged fairy swinging a broken kitchen sink.

Rose Blossom looked at the cuff which was cracked and badly damaged, a pattern of the cuff appeared in her mind with numbers and words she didn't recognize but could understand. Reaching inside, wincing when Teri was spiked into the floor like a football, she tried to find a lever that she could push or pull to open the cuff. “I think I can. What's your name?”

There was a crash and the sound of a door breaking. Burgermeister came down beside them, a metal bucket on his head, which Teri was beating like a bell with a mop.

"What?! I'm Marni! Come on! Come on! Come on! Go faster!” the girl pleaded, covering her head as a huge piece of metal fell and almost hit them with loud clang.

"I'M TRYING!” Rose Blossom yelled.

Teri streaked across the room dodging a broom that was trying to whack her out of the air.

"GET OUT OF MY BEDROOM!” Burgermeister screamed, as yet another door was shattered.

"I think I've got it,” she said, feeling something move in her hand. Pulling it as hard as she could there was a click and the cuff opened up.

A pink bathrobe that was cursing loudly, shot through the air and landed with a crunch on what was left of the controls. The airship began to spin like a top.

Marni grabbed hold of Rose Blossom, throwing them both to the ground. The singed and burning robe launched itself out of the wreckage and back into the bedroom. There was the sound of breaking dishes, and a heartbroken wail of grief. “Those were my mothers antique dishes, you monster!”

"How do we get out of here?” Marni demanded.

"The escape pod is over there,” she pointed at the far wall. “It should still work!”

She felt Marni shudder, the girls grip became harder, it was almost like she was touching a live wire. Then the girl moved like a cat, somehow keeping her balance as they ran for the pod, dodging flying debris, even knocking some of the bigger pieces out of the air with her arm. They got inside and the girl strapped herself in.

"TERI!” Rose Blossom shouted, the centrifugal force pushing her so hard into the padded seat she could barely move. Desperately she screamed trying to be heard over the shouting, shattering dishes, and the groaning of metal. “COME ON!”

"We have to go now!” Marni screamed, reaching for a bright red lever.

"But what about Teri?!”

The airship began to tear itself apart as it zipped across the sky at ever greater speeds. The floor ripped open, a battered, bruised and bloody Burgermeister holding a feebly struggling fairy was sucked through the hole with a panicked shriek.

"TERI!” Rose Blossom screamed as Marni pulled the lever, sealing the door before rocketing them away to safety.

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"Ow!” Teri moaned, rubbing her neck, weakly spitting out a mouthful of blood. It felt like she'd fallen a thousand feet and landed on her head.

Very slowly she got to her feet, trying to figure out where she was and why her arms were covered in scratches. She seemed to be on the roof of a very large building. Rubbing her eyes she saw a big sign, 'GK Grocery Store, Proud Supporter of the Gering Eagles Basketball Team, the best in Nebraska'.

"Nebraska? How did I end up in Nebraska?” she asked.

Staggering to the edge of the building, she wondered how she could sneak in to get some food. And aspirin. Lots and lots of aspirin. Two or three bottles would probably be enough.

Then she realized that something was missing. “Where's Rose Blossom?” she asked, falling to her knees.

 

To Be Continued

Read 3750 times Last modified on Friday, 13 May 2022 06:34
Dan Formerly Domoviye

Find out what I'm working on in and out of Whately, by checking me out on Twitter.

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