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||You are on Week 220
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 Twenty Ends April 1st
"Ohh... what's that?" the baby Acara said, releasing her aunt's hand and running across the fluffy clouds of Faerieland. She stopped over a lump of faded blue cloth and bent down to investigate. Brushing away a few wisps of cloud, she picked the blue lump up. To the baby Acara’s surprise, it was a blue Grundo plushie. "Oh," she said, "I wonder if another kid dropped you here, you poor thing. Don't worry, I'll give you a good home!" she told the plushie, hugging it tightly.
"Kasari, what on earth are you doing?" her aunt demanded, walking up to the little Acara. "You know better than to run off like that."
The young Acara looked down at her feet and mumbled an apology. "But look, Auntie!" she said, holding up the blue Grundo plushie. "Isn't he cute?"
"Uch, dear... it's just an old, discarded plushie. Why in the world would you want that ratty old thing?" the elderly Acara asked, sneering at the threadbare plushie. "Come along," she said, holding out her hand, "if you want a Grundo plushie that badly I shall buy you a new one."
"No!" Kasari insisted, clutching the plushie fiercely. "I want this one! I promised that I'd give him a good home."
Her aunt sighed. "Fine dear, let's just get going. We need to get this shopping home so I can prepare dinner."
Kasari smiled and nodded as she took her aunt's hand, holding the blue Grundo plushie securely in her other arm as they headed home...
Author: Has the Sneezles|
Date: 25th March
…When they arrived at Kasari's sprawling Neohome, the excited little Acara immediately ran up the stairs to her bedroom, delighted with the idea of a new plushie to take care of.
Kasari's room was already a sea of plushies. Unlike most Neopets with the NP to buy this many toys, Kasari had a name for each one and liked none more than another. Her aunt often joked that she was kinder to plushies then she was to live Neopets.
Now, with the new Grundo clutched in one paw, the Acara waded through the mounds of toys, each one placed lightly down and none squished or in any way uncomfortably piled. When she reached her bed she jumped up and laid the Grundo down on her pillow, sliding a talking Chomby doll out of the way. The Chomby protested with a mechanical-sounding, "I love you!" which made Kasari smile as she placed the toy lovingly on the windowsill.
"Now, I need a name for you," she mused, turning to face the reclining Grundo plushie once more. "Well, I guess first I should make you comfortable. Let me get you a bed!" She clapped her hands together in joy as she skipped over towards the closet to find the materials for creating a bed. She had dozens of them lying around the room, most of them shoeboxes, and a few pillows with blankets tied around them. Only about half of them were occupied currently by plushies, but each had a name carefully lettered out in multi-colored marker, and Kasari insisted that each new toy have its own place to rest.
"Oooooh, here!" she called out excitedly, waving the empty box that had once held her birthday cake in it. It had colorful pictures pasted all over it of cakes, balloons, and other birthday-related items. "This will make a really special bed! Don't you think it's pretty?" Kasari turned around, holding the box out as if to get the plushie's opinion.
But the blue Grundo was nowhere to be seen...
Date: 28th March
…"Hello?" Kasari called, looking around the place the plushie had just been. "Where'd my new friend go?" she hurriedly asked her army of squishy toys, tears welling up in her eyes.
She quickly looked to the side, where she had left the box. To her surprise, it had been transformed delicately into a bed, lined with the pillow she had taken out and cushiony tissues. And cradled inside was the blue Grundo plushie.
As fast as one could say "asparagus," Kasari was by the tiny bedside, looking down at her toy. The new little bed almost seemed out of place with its neatness, the others being sloppily cut with pillows messily sewn together, the work of the hand of an infant.
"Oh, little plushie, you made the bed by yourself? You really are special!" she said blithely, ignoring the oddity of the situation with the innocence of a child. She paused, looking at the fresh letters at the foot of the box where she had planned to write the name. "T… D… M… B… G… POP? What's TDMBGPOP?" the little Acara asked curiously.
It was then that she noticed the frown embroidered across the face of the little blue Grundo, giving it a sad, melancholy air. "Turn that frown upside-down, new friend!" Kasari said with a beaming smile. With a marker in hand, the little one carefully drew a smile on top of the frown. Of course, now it looked somewhat odd.
"Now you need a buddy!" she said, totally forgetting about the "TDMBGPOP" written on the bed. In fact, for the moment, she forgot entirely about giving it a proper name.
She turned around and began digging through her hoards of plushies for another Grundo, which didn't take long to find. "Emman? Perfect!" the small Acara exclaimed, turning back around to "introduce" the two.
The smile had been erased.
"Huh?" Kasari looked around quizzically, quite puzzled by this point. Again, she drew a smile, this time with permanent marker. And again, she turned around to grab Emman. When she turned around once again, the smile was gone...
Date: 29th March
…Kasari scratched her head in confusion. She knew she had used a permanent marker to make a smile on the Grundo's face, but now all that was visible was the frown. In fact, the frown looked even sadder than before, and she could almost see the material above the plushie's eyes had become bunched. It was almost as if his bleak expression had been sown in with the appropriate forehead wrinkles.
"There will be none of that," announced Kasari, wagging her finger, "or you will have to go to time out. Now, you don't want to look so unhappy when you meet Emman. He might not want to be your friend if you look like a grump. Here, let me introduce you."
With a dramatic air, she placed Emman beside the bed where her new Grundo was sitting. In contrast, Emman was a green Grundo plushie and had been one of the first of her collection. However, he didn't look old or worn, as Kasari would have never allowed one of her plushies to become. Instead, his green cloth was spotless and without tears, and his simple, stitched smile still looked happy and carefree.
"See," she instructed her new toy, "Emman knows how to smile. Look at him." Happily convinced that her new Grundo plushie had taken note of Emman's smile, she used the permanent marker once more to turn the frown upon the newer plushie's face into a smile. This time, her lines were thick and heavy. Not only was the Grundo now smiling, it almost looked as if it was wearing lipstick.
"You look better now," she announced cheerfully, "Now, I will get a book and read you both a nice story so you can take a nap." She walked over to her bookshelves, almost as heavily stacked at the bookstore when it was restocked, and picked up her favorite story. Opening the book, she walked back over to the two Grundos to read.
The new Grundo was no longer smiling. The frown had returned, and there was no doubting that the frown had become more pronounced and melancholy. Not only that, but Emman was no longer smiling either...
Date: 29th March
...She gasped in surprise. "Emman? What happened?"
That's when a look of enlightenment crossed her face. "Oh, I know!" she said, turning to the blue Grundo. "You must have a case of the NeoBlues! No wonder you're so frowny. And... maybe it's contagious?"
Kasari thought for a moment, then said, "Well, if it's NeoBlues, then we have to get you cured. Come on!" She grabbed the plushies and ran down the stairs to the door.
"Kasari! Dinner!" her aunt's voice called, but Kasari paid no heed. She raced down the steps, intent on getting her plushies cured.
She slowed down a bit after a block, but kept going until she was standing in front of the Neopian Hospital. "Well, here we are!" the Acara announced. "Soon you two will be all better."
She opened the door to the hospital, where a kindly green Gelert greeted her. "What seems to be the problem?" she asked.
"Uh... I have two patients for you that I think have NeoBlues." Kasari said.
"What are their symptoms?" the Gelert asked.
"Well... one of them was frowning and wouldn't stop, and soon the other was, too."
"Hmm, that's odd... NeoBlues isn't contagious," the green Gelert said with a frown. "I'd have to see the patients."
"Oh, okay! Here." Kasari said, heaving her two plushies onto the counter.
The Gelert stared. "Um… I’m sorry, Miss, but we can’t treat plushies. Maybe you should try the Toy Shop, or perhaps Kauvara could help you."
"Oh," Kasari said, crestfallen. She had been so sure that they would get cured right away. "Well... thanks, anyway."
She hurried out of the hospital to Kauvara’s magic shop, since it was closer than the Toy Shop. When she entered, a small bell on the doorknob tinkled cheerfully. Kasari looked around, her eyes searching for Kauvara. Suddenly, she popped up from beneath the counter. Kasari squealed.
"Oh, I’m sorry, dear. Didn’t mean to startle you." Kauvara said with a smile. "Why the frown?"
Kasari wrinkled her forehead. "Frown?" she asked, then glanced into a mirror on the back of the door and gasped in shock...
Date: 30th March
...Her natural countenance, which was usually a neutral expression bordering on cheerful, was mutated into a horrible, downward-twisting frown. She grimaced in the mirror, then strained the muscles of her face into what felt like her brightest smile. The face that stared back at her looked slightly amused; only the very corners of her mouth were upturned.
Kasari let the muscles of her face relax, and blew air in her cheeks to try and ease their cramping. "I must have caught the NeoBlues!" she exclaimed to the curious Kauvara. "I... I should get back to the hospital!"
"Now, wait a minute," soothed Kauvara, smiling. "You can't 'catch' the NeoBlues, you develop it yourself. And what do you mean, 'go back' to the hospital? You've already been there?"
Nodding vigorously, the Acara held up her two dispirited plushies. "They didn't -- well, one of them didn't -- always look like this. My first Grundo here was sad, and then Emman caught it--"
"Caught what?" Kauvara interrupted, still looking confused.
"I don't know!" Kasari exclaimed, her voice breaking. "The sadness! The frowns! I don't know how it happened, and now my aunt doesn't know where I am, and--"
"Shh, now, I am not able to think clearly with your yammering," chided the Kau. "Let me see. Sad plushie, sad plushie, sad Neopet..." Her face closed in a look of fiery concentration, before clearing with a bright gleam in her eye. "Ah! Try this."
Reaching up into the back row of her shelves, Kauvara withdrew a sealed glass vial, filled with frothy pink liquid.
"What do I do with it?" asked the baby Acara, eyeing the bottle suspiciously. "Do I drink it?"
"Oh, no," replied Kauvara, shaking her head gravely. "You wouldn't want to do that -- not yet, anyway. This potion is a happiness potion, but it's not quite finished, you see. It still needs a drop of water from a Terror Mountain icicle to be complete."
Kasari looked unsure. "Terror Moutain, for a happiness potion?"
Blushing slightly, Kauvara nodded. "I made it a bit strong. Trust me, if you were to drink it now, you'd be worse off than you were before. In order to balance out the giddy joy, you need what I have said." Holding out the bottle, Kauvara asked, "Will you go?"
The baby Acara paused only a moment before nodding. "Thank you." She reached out and took the potion, then turned for the door.
Kasari stopped, half-turning back. "Yes?"
"Make sure and tell your aunt before you go..."
Date: 30th March
...But of course, as usual, the little Acara's brain was racing far too quickly to pay much attention. She just nodded her head and ran home to grab a jacket and some boots. As she ran out the door for the second time that night, Kasari was stopped by her aunt.
"And just where do you think you're going?" the Acara's aunt asked.
"To Terror Mountain," Kasari said casually, as if she went there every day.
"I don't think so..." her aunt said matter-of-factly.
"Why?" the little Acara asked desperately, whining as she thought of how she and the poor little plushies needed to be cheered up.
"Well, for one, I called you to dinner and you never came. Then, I checked you room and you weren't there, or anywhere else in the house, for that matter - you didn't even tell me where you were, or when you would be back. Plus, once you DID get back, you still didn't tell me... don't you know that I have been worried SICK about you?!? So now, I'm just supposed to let you race off to Terror Mountain, in the dark?" She paused for a moment to catch her breath, then resumed. "Why do you need to go so badly, and why do you seem so sad?"
"That's why I have to go!" Kasari pleaded, almost in tears. "The little blue Grundo that I found this afternoon was really sad, and when I introduced him to Emman he only spread the sadness. That's why, now, I'm sad too!" A single tear fell down the Acara's face as she took a deep breath and got her second wind. "I thought it was the NeoBlues, but the Gelert at the hospital said that it wasn't contagious and that they don't treat plushies, so then I went to visit Kauvara, since I thought she might have a magical solution, and she said that I had to use this potion, but that I couldn't use it until I had gotten a drop of water from an icicle on Terror Mountain. It's really, really, really important and I really, really, really have to go now!" By this point, Kasari was almost bawling.
"You can forget it! There is NO way I am allowing you to go all the way to Terror Mountain by yourself, at night!"
"Then can you go with me?!?" Kasari begged. "Please!!!"
"NO!" her aunt said, unwilling budge, even a little. "Now you march your little legs back up to your room and go to bed! And," she added as Kasari began to open her mouth, "I don't want to hear another peep out of you!"
Kasari went upstairs, but didn't go to bed. She didn't even take off her jacket. She just sat on the edge of her bed and stared out the window, not even bothering to set down her things.
The window! she thought. At that moment, Kasari jumped up and carefully climbed out her window, trying her hardest not to make any noise as she set off for Terror Mountain, determined to fulfill her mission...
Date: 31st March
...Kasari had certainly never run away from home before, or even been on her own for very long. However, the young Acara did not have time to feel fear because her mind was focused on the importance of her trip. On the contrary, she was rather exhilirated.
It didn't take long for Kasari's pace to slow from a run to a spirited walk, and then to a saunter before finally settling upon a pace that was equivalent to that of a Slorg.
"Goodness, I didn't know that Terror Mountain would be this far away!" she muttered, already exhausted. The little Acara didn't really know what far away was (as she had barely reached the end of a few blocks), but she continued on faithfully.
Kasari soon reached a dock on the outskirts of Neopia Central, which she knew would have a boat that could take her to Terror Mountain. As it was nighttime, the dock wasn't bustling like it normally did during the day. Most of the ships had come in for the evening, but there were still the few occasional boats that made runs all night.
Kasari marched up to the first working ship she saw and requested a trip from the captain.
"My, my... you sure are a young one!" the captain said in response to her request, looking down. "Is there an adult who knows where you are?"
Kasari didn't know what to say, but she was hardly about to be stopped after going this far.
"Please, sir, please! I desperately need to get to Terror Mountain! It's of the utmost importance!" Kasari began, tears welling in her eyes. "I don't know what I'll do if I don't get there!" By this point tears were rapidly falling down her cheek.
"Now, just hold on there young one! I'll be taking you, if that's what you want. But, if I might ask, how are you planning to pay for this trip?"...
Date: 31st March
Kasari opened her scowling mouth, but then closed it again as the tears continued to cascade onto the heads of her two Grundo plushies. Of course, in all of her youthful ignorance, she had not considered how she would pay for the trip. With her bottom lip quivering, the Acara responded in a trembling whimper, "I-I have no Neopoints, sir." As soon as she spoke, Kasari suddenly latched herself onto the captain's arm and began to wail. "But ple-e-e-ase, sir, t-take me to Terror Mo-o-un-tain!"
Her screech crescendoed to such a pitch that the captain wiggled free of her grasp and clapped his paws over his ears. However, sympathy rested in his eyes as he let out a deep sigh. "Fine, then, little lady," he murmured. "I'll take you there. Just make sure you turn that frown upside-down, okay?" He grinned as a still-sniveling Kasari nodded her head empathetically and he helped her into the boat.
* * *
A few hours later the baby Acara was standing in front of Happy Valley, tightly clutching her plushies and the potion while rubbing her paws through her fur to brush away the cold. A small snowflake plopped precisely on the tip of her nose and she shivered, the sudden shudder not caused entirely by the cold.
"Well, then, I guess we'd better get going," Kasari said to her plushies, receiving only two deep frowns in response. With that, she set out at a brisk pace, her paws making tiny imprints in the snow.
For a while the Acara trotted on through Happy Valley, gazing all around in amazement. This was her first trip there and she was rather astounded by all the hustle and bustle around her. Panting, she finally reached a small wooden sign with the words "Terror Mountain" printed in bold black text on it. Brows furrowing, Kasari glanced warily behind her before entering an icy tunnel that would lead her to the top of the mountain...
Date: 1st April
...After a perilous journey, Kasari wandered out of the dark ice tunnel. She clutched her plushies in a tight hug and apologized to them for the cold weather. She wandered to the edge of a cliff next to the tunnel and looked down, gazing about as far as the eye could see.
"We should find an icicle," the Acara murmured with a gulp before turning and heading out to look around for one. Seeing a flat rock, she set her plushies down and resumed looking around again, finally spotting an icicle. However, before she could go to grab it, a harsh gust of wind rose up, causing her to yelp as she rushed to clutch her plushies again. Taking a deep breath, she returned to grab the icicle and, upon returning to the rock with it, set Kauvara's potion and the icicle down on the rock beside her and the plushies.
"Wooooosh," the wind whispered menacingly as it whipped past the baby Acara's ear. Kasari glanced around nervously and then back at the icicle.
"Here goes," she said, uncorking the potion and wrapping her paws around the icicle, rubbing it in an attempt to get it melting. As a single droplet came down from the icicle and into the potion, it began to fizz and bubble as bright blue streaks swirled around in the liquid. Kasari gasped, then watched as the potion slowly settled down, leaving the blue streaks intertwined in the pink potion.
"Okay..." Kasari whispered to calm herself, then grasped the potion bottle and took a deep breath before gulping down the liquid. It didn't taste that bad. It actually tasted like cotton candy. What, you thought happiness potion would taste bad?
Kasari lowered the bottle from her mouth and started to cough from taking such a big gulp. After a few moments, her coughs turned into laughs. She tried to stop laughing, but she just couldn't! She shook her head, and the laughs turned into a large spurt of giggles. After a few minutes, she finally stopped laughing, panting from chuckling so much.
It had worked! Kasari could feel herself smiling. She looked over and gave a delighted laugh. Emman and the blue Grundo had big smiles on their faces, too! Kasari grinned broadly and embraced the two plushies.
"Come on," she told them. "Auntie is probably worried." With that, the happy baby Acara and her two happy plushies headed for home.
Date: 1st April
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