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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 166
You are on Week 167
Week 168

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 One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Ends February 27th

"Come one, come all!" the red Mynci shouted as loud as he could. "Erad's Everything Emporium has it all! Lowest prices anywhere... ask anyone, even the Shop Wizard!" Erad lowered his hands from around his mouth. No one seemed to be coming in.

He turned around and looked at his newly opened shop. It looked very much like the others, and he did have good deals. However, he noticed that the older, larger shops seemed to get more customers. Erad sighed, then sat on the ground in front of his store. One day, his shop WOULD be huge and impressive, like the ones down the street. For now, though, he lacked the Neopoints to invest in his shop and make it more grand.

He walked inside, listening to the pleasant bell over the door tinkle as he made his way in. Plopping himself on a chair behind the counter, Erad laid his head down on his arms. There had to be a way to make his shop popular. How did they do it? he wondered, looking out his shop's window at "Mel's Megastore" across the way. They must have started out just like me...

Erad jerked up...

Author: Half-Price Nerkmid
Date: 23 February
...and stared straight into the eyes of a scarlet Lenny.

"How did you get here?" Erad inquired, staring at the pet's rather large beak. "I didn't hear anything!"

The Lenny's smile was hidden by a particularly large shawl wrapped around her face. "That's not important. You seem glum. Why so?"

Erad sighed, slumping down again. "A pile of dung could attract more customers than my shop could. I don't have any Neopoints to improve this place, either."

The Lenny nodded her head; her eyes contained a mischievous glint. "Maybe it's not your shop size? Maybe it's just the merchandise." She turned her head to the shelves, where plenty of plushies, books, and simple toys could be seen. "Any shop in Neopia sells these things. What you need is some items that nobody has, items that will make your shop renowned by all corners of the globe!"

The Mynci tilted his head up again. "How could I do that?"

"Simple. Just sell these," she said, holding up an empty glass bottle. Upon a closer look, Erad could see it was filled with a transparent liquid.

"Water?"

The Lenny let out a quiet bout of laughter. "Not water... a potion. Just sell them for 100 Neopoints, and I guarantee, you'll get as many customers as you want. Maybe more." She handed the bottle over to him, then pulled out another package full of them from her robes, placing them on his counter.

Erad spent a moment staring into the liquid, then lifted his head up again, to ask a question. Scanning his shop, Erad saw that the Lenny was no longer there...

Author: too_kule
Date: 23 February

...The Mynci shrugged. Maybe the potions would help his sluggish sales, and maybe they wouldn't. If nothing else, it certainly couldn't hurt to try. Erad opened the package and carefully lifted out a bottle, setting it on the window display shelf where the light would catch it. He'd soon unpacked the entire box. Some were in the window, and the rest took up the foremost shelf inside his shop.

Erad stepped outside to admire his handiwork. They looked so appealing, the bottles neatly lined up there in the window. They glittered strangely, almost hypnotically, in the sun, and no longer looked empty. It was now plain that they had liquid inside. Erad shook his head and went back inside, to await the customers he'd been promised.

He didn't have to wait long. A quiet little Acara soon came in, wearing glasses that made her eyes look even larger than they already were.

"I'd like to see one of the potions in the window," she said in a voice that was barely more than a whisper.

"Of course, just a moment," Erad said warmly, then hurried off to get one for her. Handing the potion over the counter, he said, "Here you go. That'll be 100 Neopoints, please."

The Acara paid for the potion, then walked out of Erad's shop. He looked at the coins excitedly. The Lenny had been right! Oh, and now... here came another customer! Then another, and another. After he had attended them all, Erad glanced at the clock. It was almost closing time, and there was only one bottle left.

"I wonder what it is about these bottles?" he mused, looking at it. "Why do people want them so much?" The Mynci glanced around guiltily, then gazed back at the bottle. "I think I can afford to try it, just this one. After all, I've sold so many." He closed the shop doors and locked them, then retreated to his back room...

Author: crystallinefreedom
Date: 24 February
...Rolling his eyes, Erad doubled back to grab the bottle, then returned to his back room. He slowly examined the bottle for a moment, just staring at the contents with interest.

His ears suddenly heard a raspy voice. "How did today's sales go?" the voice asked.

Erad let out a startled shout, jumping as he looked around wildly. He spotted the Lenny and sighed, slumping. "You could have warned me," he muttered irritably. "You scared me out of my wits, you know. The sales went wonderfully, though..."

"May I ask you what you're doing with that bottle?" the Lenny asked, now flapping her wings gently...

Author: nihtawneemiw
Date: 24 February

..."May I ask how you got into my shop?" Erad retaliated, feeling slightly embarassed.

"I have my ways," she said cryptically. "So, as I was saying..."

Erad put the bottle down and forced himself to look away from it. "Yeah, right... sales were great today. I sold all of the potions except one, which I was just about to try for myself."

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," she said flatly from beneath her veil.

"W-why?" he stammered. Surely the potions couldn't be harmful. But... what if they were? How stupid he'd been to put his valued customers at risk!

"Because it's the last one."

"Oh," the Mynci said, feeling stupid.

"However, I could get you some more," she continued. "Many more, in fact. And even if you raise your prices, they will keep coming back."

Feeling a little nervous, Erad was trying to think of the best way to make her leave. Clearing his throat loudly, he said, "Well, that sounds lovely. However, I'm afraid you really must--"

"You could sell them for millions," she said, touching the potion lightly with a red wingtip.

"M-millions?" he blurted, his eyes shining with greed at the prospect.

"Yes, but not quite yet. Tomorrow, however, you shall sell them for one thousand apiece." she said, handing him another box full of potions. She took the bottle he had set down and put it in the box with the rest. "It'd be foolish for you to drink something worth a thousand neopoints. Sell it along with the others tomorrow."

* * * * *

The next day...

Author: joey200010
Date: 25 February
... sales were booming. Erad must've sold over thirty bottles before lunch! He couldn't believe his luck. Somewhere around noon, the Mynci decided to take a lunch break. He walked out and put an "out to lunch" sign up in the window.

Fifteen minutes and a full belly later, Erad started walking towards the shop. After all, there were still plenty of bottles to sell! It was a short walk to his shop, so Erad took the time to think to himself.

"I can't believe this! I'm going to be rich if this keeps up! What did that Lenny say? 'You could sell them for millions?' Wow! I'd better restock them soon. Wait... the only way to get them is to see that Lenny. Will she give me more? Will she want something in return? What if I can't find--"

His thoughts were interrupted when he noticed something strange. A line? Yes! There was a long line of Neopets leading up to the door of his shop! Erad completely forgot about the Lenny as he ran to open his door.

* * * * *

The day was over, and Erad was much richer. "That line seemed like it would never end! I can't wait until tomorrow!" He looked around the shop, which was now completely empty. His eyes rested on the shelves, which were also empty. He walked over to the counter to collect the Neopoints from the till.

He grabbed all the Neopoints and stashed them in his pockets. From the looks of it, his pockets were about to burst! "Hmm, I'd better go to the bank," Erad thought to himself. He was about to walk out from behind the counter when he tripped over something, spilling the Neopoints all over the floor. Erad looked to see what had made him trip.

To his astonishment, he found that it was that same bottle he'd been left with the day before. "I wonder why I couldn't find it?" he asked, reaching over to the bottle when the door opened. Not surprisingly it was the Lenny, who now stood in the doorway.

"I trust that you've had a good day?" she asked, eyeing the Neopoints all over the floor.

"Uh, yeah! It was perfect!"

"Good. I have some more for tomorrow. You should be able to sell these for ten-thousand Neopoints. But now, however, I must ask you for something in return..."

Author: videogamemaster5
Date: 25 February

..."I will require some Neopoints so I can continue to supply you with the potions." The Lenny said.

"Sure, I could handle giving some profit to you." Erad said. "How much would you need?"

"Ten-thousand Neopoints will be suitable, for I will not supply you with them anymore if I am not paid. Considering how much profit you are making, it's not too much to ask I hope."

Erad shook his head, and quickly handed over the Neopoints, then he asked the Lenny a question. "How come so many Neopets want these potions? I must know why my products are so valuable."

"We shall discuss that later." the Lenny said. "Sell the potions for ten thousand tomorrow, and a hundred thousand the day after that." Erad looked at his Neopoints then looked for the Lenny but she had disappeared! Erad sighed and set up his shop for the next day.

* * * * *

Two days later, Erad opened his shop and waited. Would people really pay 100,000 Neopoints for a potion? he wondered. They had easily sold yesterday for 10,000, so he hoped they would do the same at this price. He waited for the normal rush, but when no one came in, he began to get worried. Looking out his window, he noticed that all the Neopets were over to Mel's Megastore! "Why is everyone over there?" he said aloud. "Wait a minute look what he is selling! It's..."

Author: jakezsnake8
Date: 26 February
..."the same potion I'm selling!" cried Erad. "No! And he's selling it for 90,000 Neopoints!" Erad then looked at his potions with a great deal of dismay. "NO!" he cried. "I must make profit! I'll sell these for just 80,000!" he said, then quickly began changing the prices.

A Blumaroo walked past, and shouted to the crowd, "He's selling the potion for 10,000 NP less!" Suddenly the whole crowd rushed over to Erad's shop and began fighting to get at the potions.

Just as Erad sold off ten potions, the Blumaroo seen earlier had announced that Mel's potions had dropped to 75,000. The whole crowd disappeared again. Erad wouldn't give up, though. "I'm going to lower these to 50,000!" he shouted. It was pandemonium. The crowd was running back and forth for what seemed like eternity. Finally, the crowd stopped in the middle, looking at the two shops.

Mel's potions had dropped to an astounding 50 NP. Erad had said he didn't want to go any lower. But they waited, because their feet were very sore, and they would see who, at the end, would have the cheapest price. "If you don't lower your price, Erad," they had said, "we're going to Mel's."

Erad was in a tight situation. But I have to make a living! he thought. Then, he looked back at his shop. There were still 23 potions in stock. If he would just lower his prices a bit, at least he'd come away with some Neopoints. Peering at Mel's shop, Erad saw that he only 20 left in stock. Tightening his face and clenching his fists, Erad shouted, "40 NEOPOINTS!"

Mel, a Draik, flapped his wings angrily and shouted, "30!"

"25!"

"20!"

"15!"

"10!"

It stopped there. Erad didn't want to go any lower. "I...I..."

"You sure you want to give up, dude?" laughed Mel.

Erad shook like crazy. "This is bad," he said. However, he then remembered that Mel had only 20 in stock, while he had 23. There was only one way he'd get the Neopoints for sure.

"One Neopoint apiece!!!" Erad screamed. This did it. The crowd rumbled over to Erad's store, and the horde was pushing and kicking each other to get to the potions first.

In just one minute, all of the potions had been sold. Erad looked at Mel with satisfaction and smiled. But his smile was quickly torn off when he saw the Lenny, red-faced and quite angry.

"I told you to sell these for 100,000," she hissed. "You weren't supposed to lower the prices!"

"Well, I only care about the Neopoints!" retored Erad.

"Well, too bad," sneered the Lenny, "because I'm giving you a new supply of potions, and you MUST sell them for 100,000 each, or you're seriously going to regret it. Plus, you'll still have to pay me my 10,000-a-day fee!"

Why should I?" Erad shouted.

"Oh, you'll give it to me... or else!" the Lenny screeched.

Not wanting to infuriate the Lenny further, Erad conceded. I know, he thought, I'll just open EARLIER than Mel!

The next morning...

Author: marucho8d7
Date: 27 February

...Erad unlocked his shop doors, then gasped as he went out to set up his sign. People were milling about the street everywhere, completely confused. Erad's eyes widened in horror, as he saw that every shop on his block had signs advertising the potions! Apparently, he wasn't the only one who had the clever idea of opening early. The advertisements in front of the stores were constantly changing, as the shopkeepers desperately tried to entice shoppers to get the potions from their store.

Erad couldn't believe it; the entire block was in total chaos. All the shopkeepers had eventually lowered their price down to 1 NP. All except Erad, of course, who'd been afraid to touch the price of his merchandise. Within minutes, the shopkeepers had begun fighting in the middle of the street, angry that they'd made no profit! The Mynci ran over to pull Mel away from the clerk of Stan's Superstore. "How could this have happened?" Erad tried to shout over the roar of the fight. "Did a mysterious Lenny sell these potions to you, as well?"

Mel turned around, and was about to answer, when the authorities showed up. "HOLD IT!" the chief shouted, causing the fighting to stop abruptly. "What is going on here?!"

Several voices began speaking at once, but all the chief could make out was something about a potion that had been in high demand. "A potion, huh?" the Chia said, "Better call Kauvara to solve this mess."

Kauvara soon arrived on the scene. The chief quickly explained what he could make of the situation to her, and had Erad fetch a potion for her to examine.

Kauvara gasped. "I suggest you arrest all of these shopkeepers!" she said in a furious tone. "How dare you unscrupulous people sell this potion?!? Why, it's...."

Author: vvolven
Date: 27 February
...The Potion of Greed!"

She scowled at all the shopkeepers, including Erad. No one, however, reacted to her anger, and none of them had, apparently, known what the potion was.

"I suppose I will have to spell it all out for you," Kauvara snarled, unlike her usual self. "The Potion of Greed entices all who see it to do anything for it, which is why they were all willing to pay hundreds of thousands of Neopoints for it. They soon grow to depend on greed, and it is this potion that sustains their lives."

Kauvara's eyes were flashing dangerously as she continued. "The sellers, too, are taken in by the potion. Do you all recall the terrible yearning for profit? Can you really not see what has become of you, fighting in the street over a few coins? This potion was banned from Neopia long ago. I wonder, who could've been crafty enough to create so many of them right under my nose?"

As if on cue, Erad spotted the scarlet Lenny darting behind a shop.

"IT WAS HER!" Erad bellowed. "SHE SOLD US THE POTIONS!"

The police chief darted towards the Lenny, then brought her over. "Unhand me!" she cried. "These terrible shopkeepers are trying to frame me!"

"You're not fooling anyone," Erad said bravely. "I think we can see past all the greed now, and who you REALLY are is apparent! A conniving con-artist. I don't think you control greed, but greed controls you."

Kauvara shot a rare smile at Erad.

The Lenny's beak dropped open in astonishment. With a slight gasp, she tried to fight off the police chief. "Fools, my plan was flawless! After you silly shopkeepers had put each other out of business, I would have been free to set up my own shop... with no competition! Obviously, my threats and mysterious attitude weren't enough to keep your mouths shut!" she spat.

The Lenny continued to try to try and escape from the police, but it was no use. Her conniving ways were done for good.

* * * * *

Erad sat at the counter of his shop. He had given an exclusive interview to the Neopian Times regarding the Lenny con-artist, and the story had been the best promotion his shop could have ever received. Everyone wanted to hear about his fascinating tale, which he happily told as he sold his plushies. He and the other store clerks had worked out a deal that was mutually benefitual. Each store was now specializing in a certain type of item. Mel focused on selling collectable cards, while Stan sold health food. Erad enjoyed selling toys to young pets, and was making a fine profit. The Mynci smiled as he handed a blue Poogle plushie to a small Usul. The greedy Lenny had taught them all a fine lesson, for sure.

The End

Author: bellylaugh7
Date: 27 February



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