Chapter 2: Fablehaven's Most Wanted
After heading inside, Seth immediately retreated to his bedroom. He went back to laying down on his bed, unable to think about what the Singing Sisters would make him go through. Seth was unable to sleep well. Instead, he found himself tossing and turning all night. Every so often, he would open his eyes to take a glance at his digital alarm clock, which only kept displaying later and later times whenever he saw it. After what felt like forever, Seth finally fell asleep.
Waking up the following morning, Seth felt exceptionally groggy. He didn't have the slightest clue as to whenever it was that he finally fell asleep, nor did he have any recollection as to what he may have dreamt about. Seth looked out the window at the surrounding property and saw that it had apparently rained all night, as the terrain appeared to be damp. Fortunately, the rain itself had stopped.
After freshening up in the bathroom, Seth changed into some fresh clothes and made his way downstairs to the dining room, where the rest of his family was in the midst of eating a breakfast consisting of fruit and cereal.
"Feeling better, Seth?" asked Kendra, as Seth sat down in his seat, which was the one next to hers.
"Not really," muttered Seth, as he reached for a box of Count Chocula, which had intentionally been placed in front of him. He then proceeded to open the seal and poured some of the chocolatey cereal into his bowl. "How come you guys are letting me eat sugary cereal all of a sudden?"
"We just want you to be happy," said Mrs. Sorenson.
"As a matter of fact, Seth," said Grandpa, "we were talking it over, and we've agreed to let you do whatever you want today."
"Really?" asked Seth, as he poured some milk into his cereal, watching as it gradually changed from white to brown.
"Whadda ya say?" asked Mr. Sorenson.
"I'm sorry if you weren't in the mood for baseball yesterday," said Warren. "I should've asked you."
"Okay!" snapped Seth, holding up his arms. "I'm not a baby! It's not my birthday! You don't have to spoil me."
"Seth, if we're unable to help you," said Grandma, "the least you can let us do is allow you to be happy."
"You want me to be happy?" asked Seth. "Just leave me alone."
Seth reached for his spoon and began to shovel cereal from the bowl into his mouth. Despite its sweetness, the taste meant very little to him.
"Don't you want to do anything?" asked Clover.
"I just want to stay in my room today and play some video games. Is that too much to ask?"
"Come on," said Kendra. "Lately, you've been playing video games every day."
"Yeah, you should get out there and experience real life a bit more," said Grandma.
"You know what's great about video games?" asked Seth. "They're not real! If I die in one of those games, nothing bad happens to me. If I die in real life... I actually die!"
Seth then backed out of his chair and stood up. "I'm sorry, but I just want to be left alone."
"Why?" asked Warren. "You've beaten that BioWarriors Extreme game like ten times. Take a break."
"Can't you at least do something else?" asked Kendra.
"Fine," replied Seth. "I'll do something less strenuous. Maybe play some Mario."
"Ooh, can I be Luigi?" asked Warren.
After breakfast, Kendra headed outside. Although it was still damp out, fairies were still floating about the garden. Clover soon joined her.
"Where's Warren?" asked Kendra.
"He's spending some time with Seth. I really don't see the appeal of those video games they're so obsessed with."
"Honestly. We offer to let Seth do whatever he wants to do today, and he just wants to stay cooped up in his room."
A moment later, a reindeer walked into the garden, pulling a wagon that Dale was riding atop of. The reindeer stopped in front of Kendra and proceeded to lick her hands.
"Cut it out," laughed Kendra. "I know you're excited to see me and all..."
"Come on, Dancer," said Dale, prompting the reindeer to refrain from licking Kendra.
"How do you tell them all apart?" asked Kendra. "They've been with us for almost three months, and I still have trouble."
"Just intuition, I guess."
"These reindeer are very gentle and obedient," said Clover, rubbing her hand upon Dancer's forehead.
"They love it here," said Dale, as several small fairies flew up to Dancer and sat down on the branches of the reindeer's antlers. "And they're always more than willing to pitch in with my chores. And ever since he's become more sentient, Hugo's considered them to be a great help, too. But, right now, I've gotta go feed the fog giants."
"See you later," said Clover, as the wagon pulled off away from the garden.
More fairies flew up towards Kendra, some of whom opted to land on her head and shoulders. Many of them appeared to be either hugging or even kissing her. Others started to sing in a harmony of what sounded like bells and chimes.
"The fairies sure are happy to see you," said Clover. "You keep this up and I'll be out of a job."
"But I haven't done anything special lately."
"You there," said Clover, pointing at a fairy with lavender hair, "not that I'm complaining, but why are you fairies praising Kendra so much today?"
"I'm not entirely sure," replied the fairy. "Sometimes, we just feel... empty when she's not around."
Kendra sat around on a lawn chair, as fairies continued to flutter around in her vicinity. Several other reindeer wandered into the garden, and although they attracted the attention of several fairies, the majority of them opted to just stay near Kendra instead.
Over the next little while, Kendra and Clover were joined by Raxtus, Geminus and Vanessa. Together, they discussed the situation regarding Seth, but alas,were unable to come up with any ideal solutions for his dilemma. One suggestion that got thrown around was to simply use the Omega Star to wish for whatever it might be that the Sisters asked for. However, Kendra got that sinking feeling that it might not be so easy.
Later in the morning, the group had caught sight of Bright, who was flying over towards the garden, coming from the direction of the naiads' pond. Trailing directly behind her was her sister Brook.
"Hey, Bright!" said Clover, as the two fairy princesses descended down towards the group.
"Brook!" said Kendra, who was somewhat surprised to see the visiting fairy angel. "How are you?"
"You're probably all wondering why I'm here," said Brook, as she stroked her glistening, crystalline hair,
"Does it have something to do with those three?" asked Raxtus, pointing to three smaller fairies who were hovering around Brook's head.
"Yeah, who are they?" asked Geminus. "I've never seen those fairies around Fablehaven."
"Where are our manners?" said Brook. "Girls, land before me."
Brook pointed down towards a small table next to where some lawn chairs had been set up. The fairies followed Brook's cue and landed down atop of it. Now that they had come to a full stop, everyone could see the three fairies for whom they really were.
"Everyone," said Brook, "I'd like you to meet Passion..."
Brook pointed to a fairy with crimson red hair and pink wings, each one shaped like half of a heart.
She then pointed at the cyan-haired fairy with blue, crescent moon-shaped wings.
Lastly, Brook pointed to the fairy with canary yellow hair and wings that resembled flower petals.
"Girls," said Bright, "I know you're familiar with Clover," pointing to the green fairy angel. "And you know about Raxtus and Geminus, and their daughter, Vanessa. And last, but certainly not least... Kendra Sorenson."
"It's a honor to meet you," said Larissa, as the blue fairy fluttered around Kendra, followed by her two comrades.
"Not that I have any problem with this," said Geminus, "but... why are you being all formal with these new arrivals?"
"Passion, Larissa and Goldenrod have shown an interest in co-existing among humans," said Brook. "Although they're young, they'd like to become fairy angels themselves some day. I've been spending some time tutoring them back in the Fairy Kingdom. And since they've become acquainted with English, I think they're ready for some first-hand experience in the human world by staying at Fablehaven."
"They seem really friendly," said Kendra, as the three new fairies each kissed Kendra on her cheeks and forehead.
"A fairy's gotta be open-minded if she ever wants to become a fairy angel," said Clover. "That's what Tiara, Opal, Geminus and myself all aimed for. Even though we weren't born into royalty."
"I kinda got sidetracked along the way," said Geminus, placing her claw upon Raxtus' shoulder.
"You can't just toss around feminine pronouns in regards to fairies all the time," said Brook. "Ever since Apollo was born, male fairy babies have been popping up just as frequently as females."
"Let's not get carried away on technicalities, Brook," said Bright. "Anyway, these girls are here so that they can live close to humans for a while. Kendra, you in particular would make a good ambassador that the fairies can associate themselves with. As long as you can check in on them every so often and see to it that they're content, everything should be fine. If you have any concerns, just let me know."
"Seems simple enough," said Kendra.
"I figured that would go over well," said Brook. "But, I'll be returning to the Fairy Kingdom for now. Goodbye, everybody."
The group all watched as Brook flew off, heading back towards the naiad's pond.
"Wow," said Goldenrod, as she flew circles around Kendra. "The rumors are true. She really does emit light energy!"
"Who said they were rumors?" asked Clover.
"Uh, take it easy," said Kendra, as the smaller fairies continued to buzz around her body. The feeling always reminded her of being swarmed by mosquitoes. However, the fairies were far more desirable.
"Fair enough," said Passion. "But, you're just so... energetic! It's amazing that you're fairykind!"
"Can you go fairyprime for us?" asked Goldenrod. "Please?"
"Yeah!" said Passion in agreement.
"Take it easy, girls," said Bright. "You should at least meet the rest of the household."
"I'll go get them," said Clover as she scurried over towards the house and entered through the door.
Up in Seth's bedroom, Seth was laying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. Warren was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding a video game controller in his hand and staring at the TV. Clover then entered through the door.
"Guys, there's some new arrivals outside whom I'd like you to meet."
"Really?" asked Warren, as he proceeded to shut off the system and TV. "Seth lost interest a while ago, but I hung in there."
Warren then walked over to the side of Seth's bed and proceeded to gently shake Seth's arm. "Come on, at least be considerate."
"I heard what Clover said," muttered Seth. He slunk out of bed and followed Warren and Clover downstairs. They then ventured outside, where everybody had now gathered in the garden where the other fairies were waiting.
"Here they are," said Bright. "First is Warren Burgess. But I think he needs no introduction."
"We've heard of him!" laughed Larissa, as she floated up towards Warren. "He used to be a fairy. But he still feels... cozy."
"I'm fairystruck," said Warren with a smile, as he held out his hand for Goldenrod to land upon.
"He's so... him!" said Passion, flapping her wings vividly. "He's attractive. I mean... real attractive. He's..."
"Married," added Clover, gesturing towards the ring on Warren's hand, which the fairies had perched themselves upon.
"What am I, chopped liver?" asked Seth.
At that exact moment, a crack of thunder came booming from the sky above. Kendra and Seth looked up and saw that the sky had somehow gotten cloudy again.
"Terribly sorry," said Bright. "This here is Seth Sorenson, Kendra's brother."
"He must be really popular with the fairies too," said Goldenrod. "Here comes a whole court of them!"
Everyone looked over to where Goldenrod had been pointing, and saw a large swarm of at least one-hundred fairies flying towards them. It was impossible for anyone to hear what they were saying, but they all sounded rather agitated.
"What's going on?" asked Passion, as the fairies flew up towards Seth.
"Oh no!" cried Seth, as he proceeded to dart away from the group. The court of small fairies flew after Seth, assaulting him with an assortment of beams and sparkles of magical energy.
"No!" cried Clover, as the group chased after Seth and the pursuing fairies.
"Leave Seth alone!" exclaimed Grandpa.
"They're not listening!" cried Grandma.
"Bright, Clover, do something!" squealed Mrs. Sorenson.
"I command you all to stop!" blared Clover.
Soon Seth and the swarm stopped moving away and remained in one spot on the grass near the edge of the yard.
"What are they doing to my son?" blurted Mr. Sorenson.
"I can't separate the fairies from Seth with my powers," said Bright. "There's too many of them!"
"Fairies!" shouted Kendra, once she and the others had caught up with them. "In the name of the Fairy Queen, I order all of you to leave my brother alone!"
As if on command, the fairies all dissipated from around where Seth was. Where Seth had been laid a rather incredible sight. In his place appeared to be a bizarre creature, roughly seven feet long. He sported pink rabbit ears, moose antlers, purple and black tiger fur, whiskers, eight limbs, each with a green goose's leg at the end, and the tails of a rat, pig, raccoon and monkey on his rear. Protruding from Seth's mouth were elongated, uneven teeth and three long, blue tongues that were sprawled out over the grass.
"Oh my goodness!" moaned Mrs. Sorenson.
"Looks like we came at a good time," said Larissa. "This looks like a fun game!"
"This is not a game," said Kendra sternly, as rain started to fall from the sky. "You there," said Kendra, pointing to the nearest stray fairy. "Why have you attacked my brother?"
"Your brother has been radiating an excessive amount of dark energy," replied the green-skinned fairy, who sported brown hair and wings.
"What are you talking about?" asked Kendra.
"It's not enough to irritate a stronger being like you. But for the past week, my kin and I have begun to feel weak any time Seth approaches us."
"Why did you not tell anyone?" asked Grandpa.
"We did! We spoke to Bright and Clover about the matter, but she was unable to vouch for us."
"They're right," said Clover. "We tried to sense what the fairies were talking about. But whenever we detected Seth, we couldn't sense anything out of the ordinary. We didn't know what the problem was."
"And we didn't want to tell anyone because..." began Bright, "we were worried that this would just lead to Seth getting into even more trouble."
"He's already in plenty of trouble," noted Warren, pointed down to the deformity that sat before everyone. Seth then let out a deep moan. "Just help him already."
"Right," said Clover, as she and Bright nodded. They then conjured up a cluster of rainbow and green sparkles around their hands and directed them down at Seth. Everyone watched as the nonsensical creature on the ground quickly morphed back into a teenage human boy.
"What happened?" gasped Seth, wiping off the raindrops that were dripping down his face. He was experiencing a feeling of wooziness.
"The fairies rebelled against you," said Dale, helping Seth to his feet. "They turned you into a bizarre hodgepodge of different animals."
Seth groaned. "But why? I've been good to the fairies. Maybe not a saint or anything. But I definitely haven't done anything to them that could be considered bad."
The group proceeded to walk back towards the house.
"Seth, this is a lot like that time you became a mutated walrus," said Grandpa.
"I've been trying to erase the experience from my memory," said Seth. " But at least then, I actually did something wrong, even if I was unaware of it at first."
"What's this about a walrus?" asked Goldenrod.
"You don't want to know," said Dale, as the group all entered the house.
"Seth, you're sopping wet," said Grandma, pointing to the dampened, grass-stained clothes that Seth was wearing.
"Dry off," said Bright, conjuring up a towel in her hands, which she presented to Seth. Seth then proceeded wipe himself down.
"Seth you'll need to change your clothes," said Mrs. Sorenson. "I'm doing my laundry this afternoon. You can throw your clothes in with mine."
"Can't Bright or Clover at least clean them with their powers?" asked Seth.
"Restoring you took a lot out of us," said Clover. "We need to conserve our magic right now."
"Yeah, in case the other fairies lash out at you again," stated Bright.
"Speaking of which," said Grandpa, "I think that as the fairy angels of this preserve, you ought to reprimand the fairies for what they did to Seth."
"We can't," said Bright. "They would never retaliate against someone unless they had been provoked first. Nor would they blatantly speak any lies."
"Well, whatever it is," said Warren, "there's something odd going on with Seth."
"Well, excuse me!" blurted Seth. "I've already got enough on my plate with the stupid Singing Sisters! And now I've got to deal with a bunch of fairies who went after me for no reason!"
"There was a reason," said Clover.
"Suuure," said Seth, as he huffed out of the living room and went up to his room. He quickly pulled off his damp clothes and tossed them to one side, then proceeded to put on a fresh change. Seth then fell back onto his bed and began to sulk.
"Stupid fairies. I wish they'd just leave me alone! I'd happily let the Singing Sisters off every last one them instead of me."
Back downstairs, nobody else had said anything since Seth's departure.
"We can't go on like this," said Grandpa. "If there really is something going on with Seth, we'd better approach the situation with caution. In the meantime, I'm relegating all of the fairies in the garden to the naiads' pond."
"But that's not fair," said Clover.
"I'm sorry. But Seth is under enough pressure as it is. Once this whole thing gets resolved, then the fairies may return."