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||You are on Week 653
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Six Hundred Fifty Three Ends Friday, April 25
|In most respects, William was a very average Kougra. He lived in a simple house just outside of Neopia Central, the kind of house you don't even look twice at as you walk past. Each morning, he would walk quietly to his job in Mr. Bunches's fruit and vegetable shop. He was a good employee, but not the kind that stood out in any fashion or would probably ever see a promotion. In his day-to-day life he was just an anonymous face in the crowd, and he had learned to accept that. Nothing about him was unusual... except for a reoccurring dream.
Ever since he could remember, he had been plagued by a dream. It wasn't the same exact dream each night, but all the dreams seemed to be part of the same story. It was like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and he just couldn't figure out the order. The dreams always took place on Mystery Island. Oddly enough, he knew it was Mystery Island although he had never personally been there. There was a dark cave in the middle of the jungle that called to him. He knew that, deep inside this cave, was a great danger or a magnificent treasure, yet he would always awake before actually entering the cave itself. There was also an island Xweetok that often appeared in these dreams who seemed to be his friend. He was confused by what these nightly images actually meant, but he had never confided in anyone about the dreams. He thought it was just his problem and it affected no one else.
He was wrong, though.
One morning, he was stocking the shelves when Mr. Bunches walked up to him and he noticed that the Mynci seemed a little upset. "Good morning, Mr. Bunches," he greeted.
"William," his boss said firmly, "I have a new shipment of the freshest fruit coming in and I need you to go and pick it up. My usual guy is out sick, and if someone doesn't get out there soon I'm going to lose this fruit. Can you go?"
William nodded. "When do you need me to leave?" he asked.
Mr. Bunches handed him a ticket. "Right now, actually," he answered. "Your boat will leave in one hour, but you shouldn't need to pack anything. I want you to go straight to Mystery Island, pick up the fruit, and head back here."
For a second, William couldn't make sense of what he had just heard. "Mystery Island?" he questioned as images of his dreams flashed through his mind.
If Mr. Bunches had noticed that William was surprised, then he made no comment about it. "Yeah," he said in a distracted tone as he walked away. "After all, that's where the best fruit in all of Neopia is grown. Now, hurry up. You wouldn't want to miss your boat."
William dutifully nodded, but his heart was beating wildly inside of his chest. Mystery Island. Perhaps now he would finally learn the secret behind his dream...
Date: Apr 21st
...The only thing he thought about was his dream while on the boat. It was as if it were controlling him. He just thought it was a coincidence.
Once again, he was wrong.
Once off the boat and on Mystery Island, he went right to where he was supposed to go. There was a green Techo with a clipboard there, next to a crate of fruit.
"Are you picking up for Mr. Bunches?" he asked.
"Yes I am," William said, nodding.
"You're not his usual guy."
"I know. He's sick."
"Would you like help with the crate?"
"Alright, I'll get someone to help you."
William signed for the delivery and the Techo walked off. The Kougra then patiently waited for someone to help him.
"William!" a voice shouted.
William turned in the direction that the exclamation had come from. There, he saw the island Xweetok from his dream running toward him...
Date: Apr 21st
...Temporarily stunned by his disbelief, William's reply was delayed. "How... how do you know my name?"
The Xweetok tilted her head slightly and gave a coy smile. "Well, I'm either psychic... or I read your signature." She held up the clipboard William had signed earlier and winked.
Oh, William thought dejectedly. Of course. It was foolish for him to have expected anything different. Finding an island Xweetok on Mystery Island was like finding berries at Gadgadsbogen. And the one from my dream isn't even real, he reminded himself in dismay.
"You okay there, buddy? You look a little down in the dumps," the Xweetok said, playfully mimicking his pout.
"It's nothing," the Kougra said, shrugging. "Let's get this back to the docks quickly. I'm under instructions to bring it back as soon as possible."
The Xweetok nodded and took one end of the crate. "Now, you ever lifted a thing o' fruit before?"
"Uh," William stuttered.
"That's what I thought. Your arms are even scrawnier face-to-face," she muttered. "Anyway, what you've gotta do is--"
"Wait, what did you just say?" William asked, searching the Xweetok's face for any visual cues. Did he hear her right? Was she implying that they had perhaps met somewhere before?
Before she had the opportunity to respond, however, the green Techo from earlier approached them. William and the island Xweetok exchanged a confused glance.
"Bad news," the Techo said. "It looks like there was a functional error with all the cargo ships scheduled for the remainder of the day. Some kind of minor engine combustion or something. They're saying they won't be able to dock until late this evening."
"So, what do we do with, uh..." The Xweetok gestured to the crate of fruit resting at their feet.
"I'll take care of it," the Techo replied. "I've already contacted your boss, too, William, and we're going to put it in storage for him, so you guys are essentially off the hook for the rest of the day. Congrats."
"Awh, but I'd much rather stand here in the baking sun for six hours straining my back by lifting fruit into boats." The Xweetok sighed dramatically. "Darn! There goes my day."
The Techo narrowed his eyes before returning to his office. "Don't push it, Lyra."
Today was, indeed, turning out to be a very strange day for William, but it was about to get even stranger.
"So, Will," Lyra said, grinning, "would you like to go find the cave?"...
Date: Apr 22nd
..."The cave?" William replied with a suspicious tone.
"Yes, the cave..." Lyra replied, slowly nodding her head. Lyra examined William for a moment before saying, "Are you feeling alright, William? You're not your usual self, it seems."
William's eyes shrunk and his jaw remained half open. First Lyra had implied knowing of me prior to this encounter, and then she mentioned a cave he thought to himself. Now she's gone on to say I'm not "feeling like myself." Could it be true? I just don't get why--
"So, I take it that's a no?" Lyra asked, interrupting his train of thought.
"Uh, well, I wasn't expecting to go... I mean, I didn't think we would be looking for a cave today," William replied in a confused tone, allowing his doubt to get the best of him.
"That's THE Cave to you, William, and we haven't a moment to lose. Today's the day of the Kreuldor eclipse," Lyra said, unfolding a piece of cloth she had hidden behind the paper on her clipboard.
"This is 'The Mark of Ta-Kutep.' It's famous for mysteriously appearing in the sky during such ellipses, and it signifies the opening of The Cave. You think those engines combusted on accident?" Lyra said.
It all came back to him suddenly: the eclipse, the mysterious mark, the entrance to the cave -- they were all elements from his dreams.
"I-I-I, I guess," William said, still shaking from the eeriness of the situation.
"You guess what, William?" Lyra replied.
"I guess I'll go with you to find 'The Cave,'" William said.
"Splendid!" Lyra responded, sporting a bright smile. "Now you just need to lead the way..."
Date: Apr 22nd
...William furrowed his brow in surprise. "You don't know the way?"
"Don't be silly..." Lyra replied quietly. "No one knows the way but you."
William started to feel the pressure mounting. Lyra tapping her foot wasn't helping at all.
"I need a moment," he finally muttered.
Lyra sighed. "Look, Will. I know we've been through a lot lately, but you were the best -- that's why you were chosen, remember? I know you can do it. So, where to?"
William didn't believe what he was hearing. He wasn't even sure he was the right William that Lyra was talking about. So, how did he know everything, then?
"Lyra. Who am I?" he asked sternly. "How do you know me?"
She looked up to the sky. It was dimming, casting a beautiful shadow of pinks, oranges, and reds only created at the island. They were running out of time. As her head dropped back down, William noticed a little glimmer in her eye.
"Will... you don't remember me, do you?"
William didn't know how to respond, but he realised that he didn't have to.
"Will. The cave is the way home..."
Date: Apr 23rd
..."Home?" William asked, echoing the word. "I have a home, though, near Neopia Central."
"Really?" Lyra prompted. "Where were you born?"
William frowned. "I... don't know," he finally admitted.
"Where did you work before you worked for Mr. Bunches?"
"I don't remember," the Kougra said. "I can't recall anything before that time. I've always worked for Mr. Bunches and lived in a house outside Neopia Central."
Lyra made a tsking sound. "You haven't always lived in Neopia Central, and Mr. Bunches was only put there to help and protect you."
William blinked startled. He had never thought of his curt Mynci boss as a protector, but now that he thought about it, he had noticed Mr. Bunches giving him odd lingering looks from time to time.
"Who are we?" William asked.
Lyra put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Everything will come back eventually. You'll just need a little prompting, which is where I come in. I couldn't let you do it alone, buddy."
"We're friends?" He hadn't meant it sound like a question, but Lyra smiled nonetheless and nodded. He closed his eyes, trying to access a part of his memories that, according to Lyra, was safely tucked away somewhere in his head.
Slowly, the images started to take shape and the flashes of his dream connected to tell a story. He now knew, like an invisible pull, where the cave on the island was located.
When he opened his eyes to peer at the face before him, he smiled, not altogether genuinely, for though he did not recall exactly why yet, his gut told him not to trust the Xweetok...
Date: Apr 23rd
What happens next? (write the next paragraph of the story!)
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