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||You are on Week 223
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-Three Ends April 22nd
"Nooo!" Timar shouted, lurching forward in his bed and breathing heavily. The moonlight shone through the slats in his blinds, dimly lighting the young Kougra's bedroom. He could feel his blankets drenched with sweat all around him. Timar groaned and rubbed his face, trying to calm himself down. It had been the same dream the night before, and the night previous to that. However, each night the dream progressed a little further...
Still shaken from the nightmare, the Kougra reached over and turned on his bedside lamp. His little Anubis, Sparky, looked up from his Petpet bed, and whimpered at the sudden bright light. "Sorry, boy." Timar said as he got out of bed. He patted the head of his faithful Petpet, then opened the door of his room, and headed downstairs. Sparky followed, eager to get another late night snack.
Timar opened the fridge and pulled out a sandwich, then sat on his sofa and began to read a book while he ate, tossing bits of crust to the Anubis who eagerly sat beside the sofa.
How long will this go on? he wondered. This was the third night that he’d woken up from that nightmare and spent the early hours of the morning reading, desperately trying not to fall back asleep. Timar looked out his window and figured dawn was still hours away. He was so sleepy, but he was also too frightened to close his eyes... in case the dream came again.
Setting the empty plate on an end table (much to Sparky’s dismay), Timar laid back on the sofa to read. The minutes wore on, and the words of his book began to blur, but Timar still fought his sleepiness. Eventually his head would start to nod, but each time he’d jerk it back up and try to continue reading. However, he could only manage it for so long. In the end, the Kougra’s chin fell to his chest and he began to softly snore...
Author: Insomniac MSPP owner|
Date: 17th April
…In the dim vision of his mind's eye, the Kougra found himself once more in a vast, cavernous hall. The whole place appeared to be built out of a once well-polished marble. Overall, it looked as though it had been used for some regal purpose or another, but it was now in a state of extreme disrepair.|
Timar called out in an effort to break the dread silence; all he got in return was an echo that increased his boding fear. There was something about this place that wasn't quite right. In front of him stood two massive doors, and all Timar knew was that there was something frightening about them. The Kougra's sleek, black fur looked oily in the dreary lighting, and his eyes were wide with the terror that held him to the spot. He wanted to run away, but he couldn't. He tried and tried to move, but it felt as though two Skeiths were pinning his legs down.
All of a sudden he felt as though he was being pulled off somewhere. His legs moved against his will, moving him ever nearer to those formidable doors. The dream had never progressed this far…
Timar tried to calm himself down by repeating, "It's only a dream, it's only a dream…" The words came out of his mouth, but he lacked the actual belief that it was true. The dreams he had before had never been this vivid.
This time he wasn't even sure if he was dreaming or not...
Date: 18th April
...The doors swung open noiselessly, without a single paw touching the tarnished surfaces. Timar gulped his doubts down futiley, hoping that whatever lay beyond the doors would not be hostile, and he would not be forced to enter into whatever lay ahead. A chill dread hung in his stomach like a pile of rocks as what lay beyond met his vision.
Darkness. Pure, infathomable darkness. It was as if a thick, venomous smoke had filled the expanse beyond the doors, as a horrible scent met his nostrils. It was all so life-like, and yet... it couldn't be real, could it? The dread intensified. The sense of being watched filled his pores and made him quiver with fear...
His legs moved forward as if being pushed by some invisible force as he plunged into the black, foggy abyss before him. He tried with all of his strength to shut his eyes, but the invisible force did not grant him such strength. His eyes stayed wide open. He wished fervently that he would stay safe, and that he was anywhere but here, but his wishes were not answered.
As Timar progressed into the darkness, his terrified eyes became accustomed to the rapidly dissipating light. And suddenly, a scene unfolded before him, clearing the fog. A scene that chilled his blood and made him want to run away, far away, anywhere but where he was headed.
The darkness, now gone, revealed a large, lavishly decorated ballroom that, like the room preceding it, was in completely disrepair. However, a glinting chandelier hung delicately from the ceiling, hanging from the crumbling ceiling. Faded portraits of esteemed noblepets lined the walls, staring at him with unwelcoming, glaring eyes.
His ears caught notes of haunting music, an unearthly melody unlike any he'd ever heard. And suddenly, before him, appeared a mass of translucent partygoers, royal Neopets engaged in dance. A frightening aura hung over the room, and Timar's heart skipped a beat.
The faces of the dancers were concealed by masks, elegant, lacquered masks that gave the whole party an air of mystery to it. Even so, as he neared them, the masked faces of many turned to him, black eyes staring out from behind them. Black eyes he seemed to know.
"No... no..." Timar told himself, trying to stay calm. He'd seen this before, only once before, and it had left him without sleep for days. Or, at least he'd tried to not sleep for days. He couldn't return... to them...
The eyes flashed once, then twice, then three times. And then, in unison, the ballroom dancers lifted misty hands, pulling off their masks...
Date: 19th April
...The faces of the dancers were horribly contorted. Gaping holes yawned open where noses were supposed to be, and the dead black eyes Timar had caught glimpses of were merely slits. Each mouth was twisted into an angry sneer, and the dancers' raspy breathing filled the young Kougra's heart with terror.
"So, Timar," one of the dancers said, stepping forward. Timar knew he heard his voice, but the mouth of the Neopet didn't move. Eyes wide, the Kougra tried to shut the thoughts of the dancer from his mind... but to no avail. "I see you have returned to us."
Timar frowned. "Returned to you?" he asked, his voice bouncing painfully loudly off the decaying walls. His tail swishing anxiously back and forth, he queried softly, "What do you mean?"
The dancer's hard laugh filled Timar’s mind, making him cringe. "The waking world does things to your memory, I see," the voice scoffed. "You have no knowledge of who we are anymore?"
"N-No," Timar stammered, taking a shaky step back as the dancers advanced towards him. To himself, he added, "And I don't think I want to know."
The dancer who was speaking telepathically to the young Kougra smiled, baring sharp, crooked teeth. "Don't think you can conceal your thoughts from me," he told the frightened Kougra, his voice oozing malice.
"W-Who are you?" Timar asked aloud. His back bumped into the far wall, and he looked around in despair to find himself trapped.
The dancers laughed. The one speaking to him merely said...
Date: 19th April
..."We are you."
Timar’s eyes widened, and he fought even harder to move away from the ghastly apparitions. "I... I don’t understand," the Kougra stammered, a sinking feeling visiting his gut. The dancer’s smiled spread even more, stretching impossibly from one disfigured ear to the next.
"But you do know who we are," the dancer laughed, the sinister voice echoing in Timar’s skull. "For it is from you that we exist, that we dance. It is you that makes us remain forever in these grandiose forms, condemned for all eternity in these rotting halls."
"I have done nothing to you... to all of you," the Kougra said quickly, his rapidly switching tail betraying the lack of conviction in his voice. The dancers, every single one of them, responded with a collective hiss that reverberated off the dead walls like a howling gale from the depths of winter. The temperature dropped rapidly, and a shiver travelled up Timar’s spine, fear and cold not far from his mind.
The lead dancer glided gracefully, but menacingly, towards the petrified Kougra. "You did nothing to us? You deny your doings? You deny your existence? You deny us?" Each sentence was accentuated with a sharp jab in Timar’s direction by the figure’s ghostly claw. The spectre finally came face to face with the Kougra, its slit-like eyes burrowing into Timar’s bloodshot ones with unimaginable scorn.
"You want to know who we are?" The question drew the rest of the unearthly dancers closer together, forming a circle around the terrified Kougra.
"I am Deceit, cast away when my lies failed to convince my owner," a dancer to Timar’s right whispered through its narrow mouth.
"I am Enmity, cast away when I was no longer needed after reconciliation," said another dancer, its arms raised to the spindly chandelier.
"I am Doubt-– "
"I am Envy–- "
"I am Hate–- "
The ghostly voices echoed from every corner, maddening like the cacophony of screeching Kadaoties, chilling like the haunting melody conducting the dancers. Timar wrenched his paws to his ears and snapped his eyes shut to stop the onslaught, but the voices came from within his head, growing and building in pitch and speed.
Then, as suddenly as they had come, they stopped, and Timar, shaking with fear and drenched with cold sweat, opened his eyes to see the lead dancer floating before him, its misshapen face hidden behind a beautiful mask of white and gold.
"We were once part of you," it said in a deceptively calm voice. Then it spread both of its ethereal arms. "Now you will be part of us..."
Date: 20th April
…The gold of the mask blinded Timar, and it unconsciously drew him in to the dancer, a ray of seeming hope in the midst of the discord and darkness around him. The noise around him grew louder, but his mind shut it off, completely controlled by the sheer beauty of the mask before him. Unlike the rest of the sepulchral, gray shapes around him, this mask was clear, crisp, and colorful, so that he could see the flowing gold patterns mixed with the beautifully pure white. The dancer said softly, “I am Pride,” but Timar ignored the words. Closer and closer he walked, reaching out to the dancer.
The mask, as if with a mind of its own, suddenly fell off, and Timar saw the face inside. It was rotten. The nose was missing, and the eyes were small, stinted black holes. The dancer cackled evilly, its soft voice vanishing. And before Timar could react, it pulled him in with skeleton arms, and whispered in a dark, ruthless voice:
“You are Greed.”
The dancer repeated it again. This time the voice was shrill, mocking. It rose up, and joined the circle of dancers that had formed around Timar. Another spoke up, saying the same thing. Yet another repeated the words, and soon the all the dancers were shouting, as they menacingly glided around him. He rose up and joined them.
Timar couldn’t help it. His mind was racing with fear, but his body wouldn’t respond. He glided with them, his body now becoming as transparent and smoky as the rest, and shouted mercilessly at the now empty patch of floor in the middle of the circle. He tried to move his hands, but couldn’t. He tried to move his head, but couldn’t.
Timar could still think, though, and he did, desperately. What’s going on? Why can’t I move myself? This isn’t happening. HELP! But his body continued to glide along the floor, and as the circle of dissonance had receded, he was quietly dancing. How could he escape this prison inside his own mind?
He was trapped…
Date: 20th April
...As he whirled uncontrollably along the tide of ghostly forms, Timar tried his best to resist their inexorable pull. He locked the muscles of his arm as it rose, but the stiff limb was controlled by more than his own willpower. Both of his feet stepped of their own accord, and even his eyes darted to places where he had not willed himself to look.
The air seemed to hum for a moment, then grew in timbre, swelling into a vibrating buzz. Timar realized it was a chant... everyone was singing together -- and so was he.
Only his mind yielded still to his commands. I cannot wake up, he realized. I am one of them now -- and it's hopeless. I can do nothing to escape. His throat constricted in despair so complete and powerful that he didn't notice a small white form lift out of his body, floating wisplike away.
A soft, gentle note rose high above the chant, hanging in the air like the first song of bird after winter. Though Timar could not control his head or eyes to look at its source, his despair-withered heart swelled at the sound.
It grew fainter, fainter as the lithe white form was lost amid the grey, but before it disappeared completely, Timar heard a melodic voice whisper, "I am Hope..."
Date: 21st April
...The words were so soft that Timar wasn't sure he had heard them at all. But the beauty and serenity of that voice held him in awe. He saw several of the grotesque dancers turn their heads. Their chant grew louder. Though Timar's voice had joined them, his mind hadn't. Now he was horrified to hear the words of the cynical chant.
"Where there is Hope, let me sow Despair!"
The words banished the hope in him forever. With growing horror, Timar heard another hypnotically harmonious voice sing. It was deeper than Hope, but just as beautiful.
"I am Pardon."
The song ended abruptly, much like a candle that has been extinguished. Timar's heart wrenched as he sang with the others.
"Where there is Pardon, let me plant Injury."
Timar's eyes dragged his gaze to the other dancers. They had made a circle in mid-air, floating continuously in a ghastly wheel. In the center danced Despair and Injury. Once more voices rose above the others. It was stronger than the previous two, and seemed to fight the chant.
"I am Truth!"
The voices struggled to hold their tune, but they fell short. Another dancer entered the ring.
"You are empty! There is nothing left inside you! Give in, let the emptiness consume you!" the dancers chanted
Empty? Timar thought. No! I feel things. There's something inside me. I know there is!
Then the most sorrowful and lovely voice of all rang through the hall.
"I am Love!"
In his mind's eyes, Timar saw a certain little Anubis. And he knew that there was something inside him, something to hold onto that last voice with...
Date: 21st April
"...Where there is Love, let me sow Hate!"
The music's haunting melody thundered in volume, echoing across the decaying walls in chilled wisps. The dancers' movements became more exaggerated, continuing their steady pace that birthed more darkness. Hate emerged into the center, joining Despair and Injury to exile good from their desolate chamber.
The image of Timar's faithful Anubis lingered within the depths of his mind, allowing his heart to muster the inspiration to pound renewed hope. The golden mask that had once enchanted him melted and twisted grotesque like the dancers, soon showering to the floor as dust.
I do have something inside me, Timar's thoughts silently countered the dreary masquerade. I have hope, pardon, truth, love, friendship and forgiveness. With them fighting on my side, all the odds can be conquered and all evil defeated!
"You are Greed, cast away when your heart was forsaken!"
The dancers intensified their tormenting song to drown the music, though their voices fell empty upon his ears. The Hope that had whispered so faintly to him had already rooted itself in his welcoming soul, wrestling the utter despair that threatened to consume his sanity completely.
The Pardon to forgive the sins encircling him now allowed Timar the liberation to shatter the binding curse, the familiarity of his mortal reality entering this dreamworld for a mere heartbeat to spark his strength.
As a blessed wave of tranquility flooded him, Timar found Love standing proudly amidst his turmoil. Whirling around in an elegant waltz were the proclaimed figures of Hope, Pardon and Truth -- washing Love's robes such a pure white that Timar was reminded of fresh snow glistening beneath a winter's morning ray.
He saw the same white light pour forth from him in the shape of his petite Anubis companion, adding to Love's power -- Friendship.
The doors locking Timar inside this prison began to open, their seal crumbling to shroud the darkness with light.
He longed to race to Love's side, though he was frozen in place between this dazzling stranger and the deformed dancers.
"Why can't I move?" Timar asked warily. "I want to be one of you, not one of them. Why can't I join you?"
"You are missing the final piece to make yourself whole," Love replied. "We need Forgiveness to make our forces complete."
"Where is Forgiveness? Can it be summoned from some place?"
Timar realized when Love pointed at him that he was the key to uncovering Forgiveness...
Date: 22nd April
...Timar's mind raced, seeking to grasp the depth of what was happening around him. |
I am not Greed, he thought, finally stepping out of the dark clouds of his own inner thoughts and back into the light of reason. Forgiveness... forgiveness... he told himself.
He squared back his shoulders and gave a tremendous yell.
"I FORGIVE YOU!"
His voice erupted into an impressive roar, the birthright and hallmark of his breed.
Timar stood, facing each of the twisted, malicious dancers, who just moments before had caused him such fear. He allowed his anger and panic to fade away, replaced with gentle understanding.
He addressed each of them in turn...
"I forgive you for your Deceit..."
"I forgive you for your Emnity..."
"I forgive you for you Doubt..."
One after another, he looked deep into the source of their blackness, and called them what they were in the same breath he issued forgiveness.
"You are all part of that which ensures the goodness of our world... without you, there would be no name nor meaning for Love, Hope..."
Suddenly, a rustling noise rose to echo throughout the room, building into a frightening crescendo which ended with a sudden, blinding flash of light.
Timar stumbled and tumbled backwards, pulling himself into a ball. He kept his eyes tightly sealed against the blistering white source amongst such darkness....
Moments passed, and although he felt as though his heart would leap from his chest, he forced his eyes open.
There was... nothing.
His eyes could find no shapes, no movement, no light within what seemed to be a void encasing him. Then, just a moment before his panic reclaimed its control over his mind and heart, a flicker, a flame appeared just a few steps away.
He froze, unable to look away. "What is this..." he questioned, his voice a trembling whisper. No response came to comfort him. Alone with his thoughts, the solution suddenly became crystal clear.
"And I forgive myself."
With this, he awoke! An immediate gasp escaped him, waking his Anubis companion, who was sleeping quietly by his side. Sparky opened his eyes, blinking with confusion and sleepiness at Timar.
The Kougra looked about, wide-eyed and relieved. "It was only a dream, huh Sparky?" His friend gave an enthusiastic "yip," and Timar reached over and pulled his companion into a loving hug. "Thanks, Sparky," he whispered. Together, they nestled down onto the warm couch, eager to get some sleep...
"It was only a dream."
Date: 22nd April
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