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||You are on Week 215
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 Two Hundred and Fifteen Ends February 25th
"Argh!" screamed the Cybunny in frustration. She pulled the half-written paper out of her typewriter and crumpled it, then threw it behind her back into the overflowing wastepaper basket across the room, where it joined hundreds of similar balls of paper.
The Cybunny drummed her head against her desk in frustration. "Ughh, I'm never going to finish this book!" she cried, slamming her paws against the desk. Meekly, she tilted her head up slightly to gaze at the typewriter in front of her face. She growled at it, as if it had somehow caused her writer's block.
Glancing to her left, the Cybunny saw where she intended to neatly pile her completed pages. There was only one page, though, and her eyes grew watery looking at it.
Seriah completely lapsed into despair. She didn't even have a title! All she had was the desire to write, but at this point not even that was doing her a lot of good. She couldn't even figure out how to start the first page! Her despair quickly gave way to anger. Seriah was as stubborn as Cybunnies came, and she wasn't about to let anything get in the way of her becoming a great author. She sat up in her chair, took a sip of cold coffee, then once again placed her paws over the typewriter keys. Alright, she thought to herself. Here goes.
The day had started off like any other...
Author: Frustrated Writer|
Date: 18th February
...sunny, cheerful, the streets overcrowded with Neopians of all types. But one in particular stood out. He was a red Lupe by the name of...
Writer's block had her once more. "What's wrong with me?!?" the enraged Cybunny screamed, tossing the nearest object, a pen, to the floor. It snapped in half as it landed, creating a small puddle of ink on the wooden boards. This only further infuriated Seriah. Blinded by her anger, she yanked the typewriter off her desk and tossed it at the window. The glass immediately gave way to the pressure, and shattered pieces fell to the ground behind the typewriter.
Seriah snorted and turned to walk back to her desk, when she heard a shout of pain. Pulse quickening, anger replaced by worry, she ran to the window and peered at the ground, which was two stories down. The typewriter had landed on somebody, and they couldn't get up. "I'm so sorry!" Seriah called. She bolted out her door and ran as fast as she could down the stairs, berating herself for what she had done.
She quickly located the fallen stranger and kicked the typewriter off of him. Grasping the red Lupe's paw, she helped him to his feet.
"Ouch; thank you. It's amazing what falls from the sky nowadays," he mumbled, rubbing his head, obviously not aware that it was the Cybunny who had thrown the object.
Seriah gasped as she looked into the stranger's eyes. She thought back to what she had started writing before she tossed the typewriter. This Lupe bore a striking resemblance to the red Lupe she'd had in mind when writing her story.
The Lupe noticed the shocked expression on her face but mistook it for bewilderment over his strange story of a typewriter falling from the sky. "Since I didn't get to meet you the normal way... hello. What's your name?"
"Seriah... Seriah Sundara," the Cybunny answered, still a little awed. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. "Who are you?"
The Lupe offered a friendly smile. "I am..."
Date: 21st February
"...well... say, you know," said the Lupe, frowning slightly, "I'm not entirely sure. Heh." He chuckled nervously to himself and winced as he felt the rapidly inflating knot on the top of his head.
Oh no, Seriah thought, groaning to herself, I've given him amnesia. Or... But she pushed those thoughts out her mind as she struggled to think of something to do.
"You should get to the hospital," she said decisively. "Right away. I'll take you."
"Well, thank you, but I don't think that'll be necessary. I'm quite alright, no thanks to whoever dropped this machine," the Lupe said amiably, tossing a slight glare upward.
Seriah blushed and mumbled, "Oh, ok... alright then--"
BEEP! ZZZZZT! WHRRRR!
The pair jumped as the shattered typewriter began to whirr and buzz. They stared in amazement as the keys struggled and quivered, as though they themselves were desiring to write great works.
"Would you look at that," said the Lupe wonderingly. "Looks like it fared better than I did!" He scratched his head in bewilderment.
Slyly, Seriah bent down to examine the machine. She pretended to test the keys, then rewrote the sentence she had left off on:
He was a red Lupe by the name of Quennis...
"Oh!" exclaimed the Lupe, doing a funny little hop. "I've got it!" He smiled to himself, then held out his paw to the Cybunny. "My name is Quennis," he said, grinning adorably.
Seriah trembled as she shook his hand, and quickly sat down on the ground. She stared first at her fingers, then at the apparently magical machine which she had recently thrown out of a second story window. In a sort of a daze, she began to type...
Date: 22nd February
...Quennis was no ordinary Lupe. There was something about him that didn't seem real, yet no one could exactly put their finger on it. He blew in and out of town as if he didn't really belong to anyone...
"What are you typing?" Quennis asked, trying to look over her shoulder at the typewriter. "Is that your typewriter? What are you writing about?" he queried, occasionally peering at her with a confused shine in his eyes.
Seriah hesitated. Maybe this was just a fluke, maybe he was just playing around, maybe it was a coincidence...
Her mouth opened, but no words came out. How would it feel to be told you weren't real?
"Of course! Ummm... it's a project," she blurted out, silently hoping that Quennis couldn't tell that she was lying. Turning her head sharply, she glared at her paws as if this was somehow their fault.
Today, however, Quennis had a purpose for being in town....
The Cybunny glanced up at the bewildered Lupe. Was her suspicion really true? "So..." Seriah tried to appear casual. "What're you doing in town today?"...
Date: 22nd February
...Quennis' expression lost its usual cheer. In an apologetic and embarrassed tone, he murmured, "Well, that's my problem, you see. I know I'm here today for something important, but I can't remember what, exactly."
"Oh," Seriah said softly, looking down at the keys of the mangled typewriter. She felt nervous and strange, wondering if she would have to construct this Lupe's whole life and purpose.
Seriah tried to come up with an amazing idea for the Lupe's life, but only questions surfaced in her mind. Had he simply sprung out of her imagination, or was there something more to this unfinished story? What if his purpose in town today was to meet Seriah?
The Cybunny's little paws flew over the keys as she typed:
Quennis was gifted in ways most Neopets could never imagine. And today, there was someone he needed to help. It was a young Cybunny by the name of Seriah…
The Cybunny stopped typing and glanced hesitantly at the Lupe. She found that his large eyes were staring back into her own. They looked calm and friendly, yet somehow mysterious...
"Come to think of it," the Lupe said slowly, "I was looking for someone, and it just might have been you. I get this funny feeling that you need my help..."
There was no doubt about it now. Whatever Seriah wrote was affecting Quennis. "Uh, cool," was all she managed to say. "Hold on, just let me finish this paragraph." She typed:
It was the Lupe's mission to help the young Neopet with her writing endeavors. But in turn, she would be helping him much more. For he had a story that he needed to tell. Somehow, he had to let the world know his secret...
Seriah set the typewriter aside and looked at Quennis. She smiled innocently and said, "Alright, I'm done. Why were you looking for me?"...
Date: 23rd February
...Quennis gave her a friendly smile. "I had a hunch that you might need help with your writing," he said. "After all, most people don't chuck a perfectly good typewriter out of the window for no reason. Frustrated, were you?"
Blushing, the Cybunny could only nod. "A little. Writer's block would do it to anyone. But how do you plan to help me?"
"It just so happens that I have the perfect cure for writer's block," he announced proudly, puffing up his chest.
Seriah laughed. "What is that, Quennis?"
Shedding his silliness, the Lupe's face grew solemn. "Writer's block is when you can't think of an idea, right? Well, that won't be a problem any longer."
"What do you mean?" prompted the Cybunny eagerly.
"I have a story to tell you," he explained. "I trust that you will write it down so that what has happened to me will no longer be a secret. If I only tell a few Neopets, it will not be enough; they will forget it, and it will be lost. I need the entire world to hear it. Will you do this for me?"
He looked so serious, so earnest, that Seriah nodded instantly. She could not help but marvel at what was happening. The character of her own story was telling her what to write! Better yet, it seemed as if he was developing the ability to get ideas stemming from what she'd written, rather than requiring her to type it all first. "Tell me," she requested, gazing at him intently.
"Very well," he said, and sat down beside her. "The first thing you must know," he began slowly, "is that I was not always a red Lupe..."
Date: 23rd February
..."In fact, I was never a Lupe to begin with." Quennis' eyes darkened, and Seriah shuddered slightly when she saw the intense look of concentration on his face. "Many, many moons ago I was a Lenny; a powerful and respected Lenny, gifted not in the arts of combat but in the subtleties of magic. A great Lenny sorcerer and king of his own kingdom."
Seriah heard the trace of pride in the Lupe’s voice and stopped in her typing. She hadn’t written anything about Quennis being prideful. Still, she hadn’t written anything about him being a Lenny either, or even telling her what to write for that matter.
"I do hope you’re writing this down," the red Lupe's voice suddenly snapped her out of her contemplation.
"Yeah, I am," Seriah said quickly, tapping noisily on her typewriter.
"As I was saying, I was the greatest sorcerer of all," Quennis continued his monologue. "Knowledgeable, cunning and ambitious. Neopet and Petpet alike feared or revered me.” Suddenly his voice lost all the warmth she had imagined him to have. "But there were times when I couldn’t think of the answers to my more profound questions, my mind blank just like yours was. It was during those times that I realized that there was much knowledge left undiscovered, many ideas yet to be unearthed, perhaps hidden away or neglected by some ignorant fool. I pondered my situation but came up with naught. Then I stumbled upon an idea."
"What was it?" Seriah asked breathlessly, totally engrossed in the telling of the tale. Her paws moved like quicksilver across her typewriter, her words flowing and ebbing with Quennis' voice. She wanted to hear the rest. She had to hear the rest. Her gaze fell upon the sheet of paper where she had typed her last sentence:
And the Lupe paused for effect, the revelation hanging at the tip of his tongue...
Quennis turned to the Cybunny, a haunted look tinting his eyes. Then he opened his mouth, and the words came out slowly and ominously.
"I decided I must have all knowledge, known and unknown, forgotten or hidden. My mind would never be idle again." He paused again, the silence deafening. Then–-
"I decided to steal the minds of every Neopian in the world..."
Date: 24th February
…Seriah gulped and went pale under her fur, her paws clacking out Quennis' long-ago intention and then stopping without her volition. They felt numb. "J-just -- just a minute," she stuttered, taking them away from the keyboard. "I've got a, um, a cramp."
"No, you don't," said the red Lupe who used to be a Lenny and a sorcerer-king, looking over her shoulder as she wrung her paws together and tried to get some feeling back into them. "You're frightened."
"Don't be," Quennis commanded her, his voice still cool and remote. Then he shook himself and added in a warmer tone, with a bright and perhaps slightly dopy smile, "Obviously I haven't really done it, and why would I be telling you the story if I still meant to? I've been changed, in more than just species."
Seriah was strongly reminded of the way he'd behaved when she first met him, before she'd started writing about his purpose and how he had a story to tell. She looked suspiciously at the typewriter, but there was nothing after:
...decided to steal the minds of every Neopian in the world...
While she wasn't watching him, Quennis leaned calmly over her shoulder and blew on her paws. Seriah flinched and gasped as the unnatural chill went away and feeling flooded back with a definite pins-and-needles sensation. "I thought Lupe Breath was a dangerous Battledome ability," she joked weakly.
"Ah, but I'm not really a Lupe, remember?" Quennis said dryly, sitting back on his haunches. "Now, start typing again."
Her paws still prickled and stung with the return of feeling, and they felt clumsy, but for some reason Seriah didn't quite dare not to obey. She just backed up the typewriter and X-ed out anything she typed wrong.
"I decided to steal the minds of every Neopian in the world," Quennis resumed. "I meant to begin with the most brilliant ones. Eliv Thade was easy; his own craving for mental challenge allowed me to pose as a servant and give him the puzzle that drove him mad and left him ever stalking around his house posing word-jumbles to the unlucky souls foolish enough to walk in."
"You stole Eliv Thade's mind?" the Cybunny squeaked, then instantly regretted interrupting the flow, then wondered what on earth was wrong with her. Were characters supposed to run away with her like this? Was Quennis actually real; had he really done all this? Imaginary kingdoms were one thing; bringing in real people from the rest of Neopia wasn't exactly what she'd had in mind!
Had Quennis stolen her mind?
The Lupe sighed. "Yes, I'm afraid I did. And with that, I could be sure I had nearly all the knowledge of clever puzzles and how to solve them -- after all, Eliv Thade had been among the best, and I not only had his mind; I had defeated it with my own puzzle."
Seriah caught up to him hastily and found herself adding:
There was a strange tone to the words Quennis spoke, a tone both regretful and chillingly proud…
She eyed this nervously, wondering whether it would make him angry, but Quennis peered over her shoulder and suddenly gave a rueful chuckle. "Oh dear. I suppose I haven't entirely learned humility yet."
"Are you, er, supposed to?"
"That's later in the story. I'll get there." He smiled at her gently, leaving the Cybunny terribly confused. One minute he was commanding, solemn, and intimidating; the next he was back to warm, kind, and a little conspiratorial.
"All right, then. I'm ready," she said. Whatever else came of it, she wanted to know the rest.
"Very well. I had to leave Thade with some knowledge of words, and this gave me the idea to go next to the Library Faerie -- after all, she holds a vast amount of knowledge on that and every subject, which she desires to share, and as a resident of Faerieland she seemed likely to notice and oppose me if I left her too long unchallenged." Quennis shook his head. "And there, much as Thade had done before me, I let my desire for intellectual challenge and my arrogance override my good sense. There, I made my mistake..."
Date: 24th February
..."I was too prideful in my quest for knowledge. Since I had left Thade with a knowledge of words, I was not yet advanced enough for the Library Faerie; my challenge did not pose enough of a threat for her."
The Cybunny hardly knew what she was typing anymore. Her mind was completely engrossed in the story, and her fingers seemed to move on their own accord.
The Lupe's voice took on a remorseful tone now, regretting the decision he knew he had made…
Quennis continued on. "She beat me at my challenge. She found out who I was, and what I sought. Unfortunately for her, she was not strong enough to defeat me completely. However, she placed a curse on me that she knew would hinder my plans." The Lupe hesitated and paused to look at Seriah's hands. They continued to type diligently.
"She turned me into this harmless, simple-minded Lupe to teach me a lesson. To give me a taste of my own medicine, the curse would place my mind in the control of someone else, thus making me a victim of what I had intended to do to other Neopians."
Seriah gasped as she realized the impact of this curse. She really had been in control of Quennis' mind at the start! Or at least her typewriter had been in control…
"You're correct," the Lupe said quietly, watching her reaction. "I had no recollection of who I was until you imprinted the memory into my mind, just as you are typing the words onto that blank sheet right now. Thanks to you, all my memories are flooding back."
Seriah knew if she continued to write, he could tell her anything... and it could happen. The Cybunny knew that she should stop, but the writer in her compelled her to finish this strange story…
Date: 25th February
...And yet, perhaps there was another way, a way to satisfy her hunger to know and to finish the story, yet also to avoid bringing disaster on Neopia.
"And what happens next?" she asked softly. "Would you do the same again?"
"I can't. It's already done."
"You know what I mean. Would you make the same kind of choice again, to do that to other Neopians, now that you know what it's like?" Was the regret in his voice for having wanted to steal everyone's mind -- or for having failed?
If it was only for having failed, would she be able to stop writing?
Quennis sat still, gazing off into the distance. At last he stirred and said, "That's your decision, isn't it?"
"Uh," Seriah said. "I don't see how."
"You made me remember who I was," Quennis said softly, "but the curse isn't yet broken. You could break it for me. You could let me go on telling my story. Or -- if you can break your own writer's block and create the end as well as the beginning yourself -- you can tell my story instead. You can make me a villain. You can make me reform. You can make me your slave."
"It's your choice," the Lupe said softly. "You hold my mind in your hand."
Seriah stared numbly at her keyboard. She'd just asked whether Quennis regretted what he'd done. Now he was pointing out that she had a similar choice. It seemed wrong to control his mind now that she realized what she was doing, or could do. She certainly wouldn't make him her slave -- though it was tempting to make him tell her stories -- no! That would definitely be wrong. But so would letting him go back to his plans to steal all Neopia's minds.
She had to know. "I'm asking you," Seriah said deliberately, "whether you regret it now, and whether now that you remember, you'd do the same thing again. Or if you had the choice, whether you'd go back to it."
And she tapped her question out on the keyboard, then added:
The Lupe, once a sorcerer-king Lenny, had to pause again, this time not for effect, but for deep and real thought. Then he opened his mouth and answered honestly...
"I don't know."
She whirled to stare at Quennis in frustration. "You don't know?"
"I don't know. I don't know all that I knew then. I told you I was made simple-minded; even with my memories, I can't think the same way."
"Then I'll tell you one problem with your story."
"Oh? And what is that?"
"Knowledge doesn't work that way," she said defiantly. "Just because one person knows something, doesn't mean somebody else can. Your telling me your story doesn't mean you don't know what happened anymore -- in fact, you wouldn't know at all if you hadn't told me!" She lifted her chin and met his eyes. "If you lost to the Library Faerie, it wasn't because you had left knowledge with Eliv Thade. And you can learn what other people know without hurting them!"
Quennis stared at her for a long, breathless moment, then dropped his eyes. "You're right," he said softly, "and you have won. But I haven't lost."
"You've kept me from making my real and worst mistake all over again. My plan would have increased my knowledge, but it would have destroyed some of the knowledge in Neopia at each step, by leaving fragments behind for the mindless to cling to. I still think that those who never use their minds don't deserve what they do know -- but I would do more harm than good by theft. If you let me go, I will go back to my kingdom, and I will seek out knowledge and gain it without taking it away from others."
Seriah looked at her paws, which had been typing away without her conscious attention, then looked back up at Quennis and nodded. "Then go."
The red Lupe walked away without another word, and she watched him until he went out of sight.
And she typed:
The Lupe walked away, having remembered that knowledge has never had to be removed from one mind to enter another. And through the haze of dimming twilight, as he turned a corner out of sight, he was starting to look like a Lenny.
Date: 25th February
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