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September 2014

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Tsuritama

Arrrrrrr - Happily Maybe After Part VIII - Arrrrrrrrr

Arrr, happy Talk like a Pirate Day and HAPPY BIRTHDAY me hearty arooza :333333


Story title B


The Alright, the Mediocre and the Ugly



Doug was sitting in the grass and let his gaze wander over the lake, sighing deeply. Another boring day in his boring life. He turned his head away from the glittering water and there she was: Esmeralda. Beautiful Esmeralda.
Doug sighed again, more deeply. Esmeralda stood only a few paces away from him, oblivious to his existence as always, staring at something in the grass, her swan-like neck bowed gracefully. For that what was she was: a swan.
The feelings that flared up inside Doug whenever he laid eyes on her might have been considered strange, but then again, Doug was a duck. And yet, the lady of his heart lived in another world.
Once, when he had been a young duckling, there was a woman and her daughter, sitting on a blanket in exactly the same spot he was sitting in now. Curious, Doug has snuck closer and listened to the tale the woman was telling. A tale of an ugly duckling, who’d grown into a beautiful swan. For a long time afterwards Doug had hoped he, too, would grow into a swan, but here he was, an ordinary, little duck. And there she was, Esmeralda, the beautiful, elegant swan lady, Esmeralda.
Doug sighed a third time in short succession, sounding even more crestfallen than before, and hung his head.
Suddenly the air was filled with shrieking and quacking. Doug’s head whipped around to see Esmeralda fleeing, wings flapping wildly. Something glittery hovered above the spot of grass the swan lady had been staring at.
“Yeah, that’s right! Stupid goose. Run! How dare you disturb the Almighty Pax?”
Doug’s heart quickened excitedly. The glittering thing was a fairy! Fairies granted wishes – everyone knew that. And to just happen to come upon one – it had to be Doug’s lucky day. Or it was… Fate.
The fairy was now ripping grass stalks out and throwing them after the hastily departing Esmeralda. Carefully, Doug crept closer.
“Um… Miss Fairy?” he addressed her uncertainly. “Miss Fairy?”
“What?” the fairy snapped and whirled around. Doug froze on the spot when her big, luminous eyes focused on him. He had only once felt as terrified, when he had accidentally come face to face with a huge dog. Luckily, the dog’s human had pulled the dog away before anything happened. But this was no dog, this was a powerful magical being, who didn’t answer to anyone save herself. And he had thought fairies were nice – this one was terrifying!
“What do you want, chicken?” the Terrifying One asked impatiently. It took Doug a moment to realise she had spoken to him (he even took a look around trying to locate said chicken).
“Um…” Doug mumbled. “I’m a duck.”
“That’s what I said. What do you want?”
Doug blinked slowly. It was clearly not what she had said, yet he didn’t think it wise to argue. Thus, he didn’t. Instead he asked timidly: “Canst you, oh fair Fairy, turn me into a swan?”
“Can I what? And should I why?”
“A swan. Oh, to be a swan. That’s what I desire most deeply. Fairies do grant wishes, do they not?” Doug wasn’t so sure about that apparent piece of common knowledge anymore.
“Gee,” the fairy cried, throwing her arms in the air in a very exasperated gesture. “If I ever find that idiot who’s come up with that nonsense, I swear I’ll turn him into… into… um… um… something.”
Doug hung his head, disappointed. “So, you dost not grant wishes?” he asked dejectedly.
“I might consider it,” the fairy drawled, a shrewd look on her face. “Do you have any alcohol?”
“What, pray tell, is alcohol?”
The fairy sighed deeply and shook her head sadly. Somehow Doug had the notion this had been the wrong answer. But he had seen a sliver of hope and he intended to grasp it.

Border


“Ah! There she is.” Finn pointed at a spot in the grass surrounding the pretty, little lake. Squinting, Bran made her out, floating just a few centimetres above the grass beside a duck. The duck seemed highly agitated, quacking and flapping his wings. Not that Pax seemed impressed. She looked bored.
“No… I told you I can’t and I won’t… no… forget it,” she droned monotonously.
“Hey bug, what are you doing?” Bran asked.
Pax lazily floated upwards until she was eye to eye with her friends and sighed dramatically.
“I’m being harassed by this thing.”
“The duck? What’s the problem?”
“He wants me to turn him into a swine-“ “QUACK” “Whatever - a swan.”
“I see… hold on, you understand him?”
Pax gestured grandly at herself and simply said “Fairy” as if that was the answer to every mystery in the universe.
“Quack! Quack quack quAck QuacK!” the duck quacked. Pax pointedly ignored him.
“So why don’t you just do as he asks? You’re supposed to be oh-so-mighty, aren’t you?” Bran suggested with a sneer at the end. To this day the greatest he had ever seen Pax accomplish were flying plates and flower pots. True, her magical prowess was by far greater than Princess Giselle's’ fairy godmother Tip’s was, but that wasn’t a much of a feat.
“I don’t do transformations. Unless you’d like to have roast duck for supper, I can manage that.”
“QUACK!”
“Hmmm.” Finn knelt down to the duck, regarding the animal with a pondering look that usually didn’t bode well for Bran. “Why not ask the Blue Fairy?”
“Ugh,” Pax retorted, disgusted.
“The Blue Fairy?” Bran asked, ignoring her.
“She turned Pinocchio into a real boy, certainly she can turn a duck into a swan.”
“Quack, qUACK, QUACK!”
“And you know where to find her?”
“I don’t, but Pax does.”
All eyes turned to Pax, one pair of beady duck eyes bored imploringly into her. She looked from one to the other, down at the duck, back at her friends, her face a study of disgust. But at long last she relented, throwing her hands up in defeat.
“All right, all right. Fine. I take you to the Blue Fairy.”
The duck flapped his wings excitedly, Finn grinned at Bran and winked. He unceremoniously picked up the duck and stood up.
“Well, let’s go.”
“Quack quack.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Pax spat. “By the way, he says his name is Doug – how droll.”

Border


The Blue Fairy, who’s real name was unknown to all but a handful of people, lived in the depth of the Crimson Forest, between the kingdoms of Queen Cinderella and Queen Snow White – the opposite direction from where they had originally been headed. It took them three days to reach the forest. Doug turned out to be quite the chatty fellow, although his main topic was Esmeralda. Pax dutifully, if reluctantly translated every single quack.
“So, what I don’t understand,” Bran said, “is why exactly you need to become a swan to be with her. Did she demand this? ‘Cause, you know, if she did, she is very shallow and you could definitely find someone better.”
The duck shook his head vigorously. “Quack qUack QuACk quAcK.” (“No, ‘tis my choice alone, fair Esmeralda would never make such demands. To be honest, good man, I’ve never spoken word to word to her. Alas, she is a swan, hence… Why would a beautiful swan like her choose an ugly duck like me? No, to woo her, I must become a swan.”)
“You’ve never even spoken to her?” Bran asked incredulously. “But…” A warning glance and a shake of the head from Finn shut him up. And so Bran said no more about it.
On the late afternoon of the fourth day they finally arrived at the Blue Fairy’s home. It looked every bit like a blown up bee hive in deep, brilliant blue. When Pax refused stubbornly to knock, Bran rolled his eyes at her and softly tapped a finger against the tiny wooden door. It didn’t take long and the door swung open and a brilliant, sparkling, blue fairy shot out. She hovered in the air, gracing them with an equally brilliant smile. Everything about her sparkled.
“Welcome,” she began, then she spotted Pax. The smile turned into a gasp. She clutched at her bosom dramatically and the luminous blue eyes filled with tears. “Pax?” she cheeped, her voice thick. Pax heaved a sigh and rolled her eyes. “Oh Pax!” the Blue Fairy cried and suddenly flung herself at Pax, near strangling the other pixie in her tight embrace, sobbing. Pax’s expression was a mixture of embarrassment, disgust and irritation.
“You know each other?” Bran inquired unnecessarily.
“I guess we do,” Pax conceded.
“What do you mean, you guess?” the Blue Fairy shrieked. She pulled herself off Pax and regarded her with pain clear in her eyes. “I’m your aunt!”
Bran’s jaw didn’t quite hit the ground, Doug’s beady eyes grew huge, Finn merely raised one elegant eyebrow.
“Oh, really?” Pax replied vaguely. “I guess… if you say so… Got any booze?”
For a long, long moment the Blue Fairy just stared at her. Then she shook her head. “In the kitchen,” she said and slumped slightly when Pax immediately shot past her and into the house.
“Honestly, I don’t know how my brother and his wife can stand this.”
“Oh, but it’s not like she completely forgot about you,” Finn offered. “She clearly remembers that she doesn’t like you.”
“Finn!”
“Oh. Is that so? Well… I guess that’s a progress,” the Blue Fairy replied and smiled. Not a sad smile, but a relieved, even joyous smile as if what Finn had just told her were the best news she had had in ages. Bran could only shake his head over all these fairy eccentricities.
A moment later Pax emerged from the house looking happier than she had in days.
“And, is it done?”
“Is what done?” her aunt queried.
“Is he a swan now?”
“Who?”
“Um… who ever wanted to be a swan.”
“Quack!”
“Yup, that one. Hmm… Seriously, that’s rather sloppy work, don’t you think?”
“Pax, we didn’t even get to the point of asking her yet,” Finn intervened. The pixie shrugged and settled down on Finn’s shoulder.
“All right, I gather you’re here because this duck-“
“QUACK!”
“- Doug seeks to become a swan?”
Four heads nodded in unison.
“Well, I’m sorry, but in that case, you’ve come to the wrong fairy. If you are a really good boy, I could turn you into a real boy. Would you like to become a real boy instead?”
Doug hung his head, disappointed. “Quack,” he said quietly.
“I see. That wouldn’t help you with your lady love. I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”
“And that’s that. Let’s go get something to eat, I’m starving,” Pax declared. The others agreed, yet without much enthusiasm, they had come all this way for nothing.
They took their leave of the Blue Fairy and turned to go.
“Oh!” the Blue Fairy suddenly cried. “Why don’t you go to Cinderella’s fairy godmother? Chi might be able to help.”
Hope restored, Doug quacked and flapped his wings, causing Bran to almost drop him.
“Thank you, we’ll do that,” Finn called back over his shoulder. “Looks like the game is still on. Let’s go.”

Border


“Oh dear, I’m afraid I can’t help you,” Chi, Cinderella’s fairy godmother, apologised. “My transformations only hold till midnight, then everything goes back to normal.”
“QuAck.” (“It is hopeless, oh I knew it. Let us just go home.”)
“Ah,” Chi stopped them. “There’s this witch, not far from here, she turned a princess into a swan… or was it the other way around? I don’t remember, but she certainly knows something about swans and transforming one.”
And so, with hope restored again, they were on their way to find a witch.

Border


The witch in question didn’t look like a witch at all. No wart on her nose, but instead a ring through it. Her spiky hair looked a lot like Pax’s, but in bright bubblegum pink. She wore trousers that were torn on the knees, no shoes, and a striped shirt. Her brown eyes were owlish and she spoke very slowly.
“Uh… that was my master… I’m… uh… still only an apprentice… um… yeah… thanks to that stupid swan business… I don’t want anything to do with that.”
“Can we speak to your master, please?” Finn asked, pronouncing each word carefully.
“Uh… she’s dead.”
“Oh.”
And again, they had come for nothing.
“Uh, but hey… um… there’s this chick who turned her brothers into swans… or something like that…”
Finn, Bran, Pax and Doug exchanged glances and shrugged at each other. They had nothing to lose.

Border


“No, I turned them back into humans. My father turned them into swans – accidentally. And it was more like a curse, kinda, you see.”
Disappointed they slunk away. It seemed indeed hopeless. When they came to a small pond, they sat down in the grass and wallowed in their misery. Worst of them was Doug. He waddled down to the water and swam into the middle of the pond, saying he wanted to be alone for a moment.
When Bran turned to Finn, he found his friend deep in thought, a frown between his perfect brows.
“Finn?” he asked quietly. At first Finn didn’t answer, then, suddenly his expression brightened. A grin spread across his face. He turned to Bran.
“I have an idea!” he announced and sprang to his feet. “Come on, if we leave now, we can still make it today.”
Despite his doubts that Finn’s idea would bear fruit at last, Bran stood up, infected by his friend’s sudden high spirits.
“Where’s Doug?” Finn asked.
“The pond,” Bran replied, pointing a finger towards the small water. “Look there… What the hell is he doing?”
The duck was wildly splashing about, his head underwater.
“He’s trying to drown himself,” Pax offered as explanation.
“Well, go and stop him!”
“Fine. Oi, duck! Stop killing yourself.”
“Doug,” Finn called, “you might yet become a swan.”
Instantly the splashing stopped. Doug’s head reappeared. “Quack?”
“Yes. Come on.”
With a joyous “quack” the duck shot through the water and out of the pond.

Border


Bran studied the sign above the dingy little shop dubiously. Finn had wasted no time, but had ushered the duck right in. Now he came out of the door with a self-satisfied smile on his face.
“Hypnosis?” Bran demanded.
“Why not? As long as he thinks he’s a swan.”
“Honestly Finn, of all the half-assed jobs we did, this is by far the worst. We might still find a way. The ugly duckling did turn into a swan after all, so-“
“Bran,” Finn interrupted, scowling. “Have you ever heard the story of the ugly duckling? I mean, all of it?”
“No, but I know in the end he becomes a swan, right?”
“The ugly duckling was a swan from the beginning, but he didn’t know that until afterwards.”
“Oh.”
No wonder they hadn’t been able to find someone who could turn Doug into a swan. Bran’s heart went out to the little duck. It was a horrible feeling, longing to be someone or something you were not.
“Hey Finn, have you ever wished to be someone else? For example, have you ever wished to have been born a woman?”
“No. I’m perfect,” Finn replied, and he wasn’t mocking Bran. Of course, Bran thought, stupid question.
For the next hour they listened to Pax nagging (“I’m hungry. I need a drink. Why the hell are we standing around in the middle of nowhere? Who’s Doug? A duck? The only duck I care to know is roast duck. I’m hungry. Feed me! Now!”). Then at last the door opened and Doug strut out. They held their breath, and for a moment there was only silence. Suddenly, Doug began flapping his wings and hopping happily about, quacking: “QUACK QUACK, quack QUACK!” (“I’m a swan, a real swan, I’m finally a swan! I can’t believe it, I’m so happy! Thank you, my good men. Thank you so much!”)
Pax dutifully translated, then added: “Sorry, but to me he—“ Bran quickly clamped a hand around the pixie, effectively shutting her off.
“I’m so happy for you, Doug. And now, let’s go and win your Esmeralda’s heart.”
“Quack!”

Border


And so, the next day found them back at the lake they had first met. Esmeralda was there, listlessly ripping out one grass stalk after the other. She looked forlorn and sad.
“Go on, Doug,” Finn said quietly, “go to your Esmeralda. Good luck.”
Doug bobbed his head once, took a deep breath and waddled across the grass. Finn, Bran and Pax watched him anxiously (though in Pax’s case less anxious and more regretful, he would have made a fine Sunday dinner; she had no clear recollection of the last few days, but a strong urge to eat roast duck).
Doug finally reached Esmeralda. She lifted her head and looked at him. Her sadness seemed to evaporate as she beheld him, and when he spoke to her and confessed his feelings for her (according to Pax) she seemed to positively glow with happiness. Together they waddled down to the water and swam into the sunset.
“Looks like Esmeralda was only waiting for Doug to approach her,” Finn commented.
“Yes, and this whole endeavour of trying to become a swan had no earthly use, all he ever had to do was talk to her.”
“I think you are wrong. Doug would have never approached her, he didn’t have enough confidence. But now that he thinks he’s a swan…”
“Hmm… what happens when the hypnosis wears off?”
“I don’t think that’ll be a problem. At least not for us.” Finn gave him a crooked grin. Bran shook his head.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: of all the half-assed jobs we ever did, this is the worst.” His friend only laughed in answer.
“Can we go now?” Pax demanded. “I’m hungry, so feed me. Bozo, get cracking, come on, I need a drink. Let’s go!”
“You know,” Bran said slowly as he and Finn followed the pixie. “We could try that hypnosis thing on her.”
The two men looked at each other, calculating, then burst out laughing. An irritated fairy shooed them down the road towards a brightly lit tavern.


End of Part VIII

Comments

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Thank you! I will read it first thing tomorrow morning! Right now I'm gonna go fall in my bed because I'm dead tired o.O
see you tomorrow ♥
Sweet dreams :3
See you tomorrow - or rather later ;)
Ohhh, that was a lovely chapter! Loved it!! :D

I don't have a duck or swan, but here's a dancing birdie :D

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:D Glad you liked it!!

Nice bird ;D Also, I love the icon ^^