|Zaco snapped his muzzle around with a snarl, bashing it into the corner of his Faerie Nightstand. The white Lupe woke with a start for the third time that night, the unbelievable imagery of his dreamscape dissipating into the dim light of his bedroom. Through the window, he could see the familiar and comforting violet glow emitted by the towering reaches of Fyora's palace. His nose ached something fierce, and he rubbed at it with a paw.
Again? Zaco thought. For the last three nights, he'd been plagued by nightmares. He hadn't slept more than an hour or so at a time, and his performance at the Faerieland Employment Agency was tanking. He'd failed two jobs--two!-- since the nightmares started, marring his perfect record, and he was facing disciplinary action. Demotion.
Zaco shuddered at the thought. He wasn't the wealthiest Neopian by any stretch, but he was comfortable, and Sonitri, his Floud, was spoiled rotten. He had to do something about his sleepless nights if he didn't want anything to change.
He started by reaching for the switch on his Light Faerie Lamp. Zaco recoiled from the light at first, covering his eyes and rubbing the last vestiges of sleep from them. Sonitri stirred at the foot of the bed. When Zaco's eyes adjusted to the flood of magical light from the lamp, he lowered his paws.
As he surveyed his now-lit bedroom, his jaw dropped open.
Scribbled writing covered every wall he could see....
Date: May 22nd
"What in the..." Zaco whispered to himself before slowly pulling back his blankets and climbing off the bed. The floor creaked lightly as his foot hit the ground, but he payed no attention to it. He was studying the walls around him, trying to decipher what exactly it all meant.
There were words and incomprehensible phrases intermixed with poorly drawn sketches. The phrase that caught his eye was positioned next to what appeared to be the Giving Tree: "The Darkness remains though day is here." It was etched in black, though most of the words surrounding it were in red and blue, and matched the handwriting of a Baby Chomby.
A loud bump emanating from his closet made Zaco jump nearly five feet out of his contemplation...
Date: May 22nd
He whipped around, back pressed to the wall, and jumped forward again as something cold seeped into his fur. He glanced over his shoulder and was greeted with a smeared mess of wet paint where the black tree had been. It was all over his back, too. Ah, eww.
He was drawn back to his senses by a second bump from across the room. His eyes snapped to the doors of his armoire.
He approached it slowly. "Hello?"
There was third bump, and this time he saw it - the whole armoire leapt off the ground and hit the floorboards with a thud.
"I'm warning you," he said, "If you don't - show yourself, I'm going to call the guard."
The closet made one final, heaving thump. The force of it made the doors swing open...
Date: May 23rd
... to reveal a tiny yellow faellie. The look of panic and fear on its faced mirrored Zaco's own expression. Both stood completely still, studying each other.
The Lupe was confused as to how such a tiny petpet could be causing such a ruckus in his armoire, but he eventually decided that the faellie must be harmless.
"It's ok, little guy. I won't hurt you," Zaco said.
Sonitri flew over and landed on Zaco's shoulder. She rubbed her head on the Lupe's neck. The faellie decided that Zaco must be okay after all, and hopped into the Lupe's armed for comfort.
Zaco walked over to his armoire, checking to see if anything else was in there. The faellie held tight to Zaco. The mysterious cause of the handwriting had caused quite a panic in the poor petpet.
Just as Zaco was starting to feel a bit more confident in his surroundings, a loud growl came from under his bed...
Date: May 23rd
...This is getting ridiculous, Zaco's brain interjected randomly as he jumped into a defensive stance facing the bed. The Faellie let out a squeal and burrowed into Zaco's sleep clothes out of fear.
Zaco glanced toward his shoulder to see if Sonitri was still here, but to his shock the Floud had flown off. "Sonitri, come back here," he called out, looking around for anything he could use as a weapon.
The only response the Lupe got, however, was further growling from under the bed. He needed to react, and fast. He kept a slingshot in his bedside table - it was meant to be a toy, but he supposed it would do in a pinch. Whatever was under his bed couldn't be too big.
As he approached the bedside table, Zaco was careful to sidestep the plate on the floor. He had had a little snack before bed; even though he knew eating late at night was bad, he thought a full stomach might make him sleep better. He didn't remember leaving the plate licked clean, though. The carrot cake had been delicious but crumbly, so there should have been a few crumbs left. Carrot cake... uh oh.
The growling started again, and Zaco recoiled in shock as he realized what the creature was...
Date: May 24th
It was a huge, fiery red Grarrl, and it seemed bigger than a normal sized Neopet.
Zaco stumbled back and was frozen for a moment. He recognized this creature in his nightmares, yet it was silhouetted and hidden in shadows.
"You're..." He made out the words. "You're the..."
The Grarrl's eyes blazed a deep amber and a growl rose in his throat. He smiled, showing his sharp, jagged teeth. "I'm glad you remembered," He said.
Sonitri squeaked and cried. "Go away!"
The Grarrl's gaze goes onto the Faellie. Then he took a step forward, snarling the words...
Date: May 24th
"Give me back my dinner, and I may think about leaving you alone."
"No," replied Zaco bravely. "You can not hurt this little guy." Zaco clutched the Faellie tightly and took a step back.
"Give him back!" Yelled the Grarrl. "Or else you will be sorry."
"You are not having him!" Said Zaco, raising his voice slightly.
"Very well then," growled the Grarrl. "Kita, come out."
Zaco didn't know who Kita was, but he did not want to find out. He began slowing backing towards the doorway when he bumped into someone standing behind him. Zaco turned around and let out a frightened scream as he came face to face with...
Date: May 24th