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

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Week 228
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Week 230

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-Nine Ends June 3rd

Dear Hector,

I write you with regard to the strangest turn of events – it seems that, on my way to shop this evening, I stumbled upon the most peculiar of objects. I'm not sure how to describe it to you, other than to say that it appears to be a small box. The method as to how to open it, however, still eludes me. I'm including it in my correspondence to you, as I know you are often clever about these things. I do hope you return from the Haunted Woods soon… I worry about you so much while you are in that wretched place. Please respond soon. I am eager to hear from you, and know that you are well.

Sincerely,
Kaitlen

Author: Had too much cake today :X
Date: 27th May
Dearest Kaitlen,

I am sorry to worry you so. I know my job is a dangerous one, but someone has to do it. There is so much knowledge yet to be unearthed in the Haunted Woods. I feel, as a renowned scholar and archaeologist, I must complete my research here. I know it troubles you, so I will speak of it no further.

On to the subject of your box. This is really a unique item. The carvings alone must be centuries old. They seem similar to texts I have come across, but I cannot find an exact match for the language. It's as if some eldritch culture created this wondrous container. I have not been able to open it yet, but I am researching it vigorously. The wood has a strange inner heat to it and produces a soft glow when left alone. I am very intrigued.

I believe it would help if you could elaborate a bit more on how you came upon this mysterious marvel. Where exactly did you find it? Was anyone else about?

I will do what I can to solve this conundrum for you.

Yours Truly,
Hector

Author: jasujo928
Date: 31st May
Dear Hector,

Yes, your work is rather dangerous, and it stresses me so. I thank you for sparing me the more gruesome details of your work, but it does not lessen my concern at all.

I found the box in the most unusual of places. I had just left my house in the evening to go the shop, with the intention of going to that Tropical Foods store that contains the most delicious foods! Along the way, my path takes me between the Cooking Pot and Techo Mountain. I was marveling at the height of the mountain when something caught my attention. It was near those trees that no one dares go near for fear that those awful legends about that lost city may be true.

I found that my eyes were glued to a strange light, and it drew me toward the object in question. When I finally saw the small box, I was at the edge of those trees. Call me silly, but I had the strangest feeling that I was being watched even though I knew I was alone, and, I must say, it frightened me to death! However, I was still unable to resist my curioisity, so I quickly picked up the box and hurried away from there.

I sincerely hope that you discover the secret behind that box, and very soon. Remember though, please be careful. I know you can become somewhat reckless when a discovery is close.

Sincerely,
Kaitlen

Author: animegirl42602
Date: 31st May
Dear Kaitlen,

A strange and fascinating story, but my own fear has momentarily eclipsed my interest, for I had a terrible fright last night. I had gone to bed late, and I left the strange box on the table in my study. As I fell asleep, my mind was consumed with the contents that unfortunately seemed trapped inside. No doubt, you will say those thoughts were the origin of the nightmare, and normally I would agree. I am a rational and well-grounded Yurble, but I must admit I have trouble believing that was the entire cause of my horrible dream.

The dream began with me lying in bed, when suddenly, I heard a terrible noise issuing forth from my study. I jumped to my feet and ran to the study where a hideous sight greeted me. The box was open, and there was a beast comprised of malevolent, glowing light hovering over the box like some sort of evil genie rising from its lamp. The monster looked at me, it's crimson eyes burning with a dreadful intelligence. Nodding its glowing head slightly, it spoke two words that shook through the house like thunder.

"Thank you."

It exploded; and that is when I woke up, still screaming as sweat was dripping freely from my face. I immediately ran to the study, but found that the box was still closed and there was no monster.

However all the plants I keep in my study were dead -- limp and brown as if they had been subjected to a great heat.

Kaitlen, when I first heard that this box may be from the legendary lost city, I was thrilled. I thought that upon opening it, we might find information that would be invaluable as well as exciting. Yet now, I can't help but think that perhaps we should destroy the box, or perhaps bury it deep where it shall never be found. My dear, I truly don't know what to do, but I feel that something must be done soon...

...or it might be too late.

Your dear (frightened and confused),
Hector

Author: nightcrawlers_secret
Date: 1st June
Dear Hector,

The events of which you told me in your last letter have shaken me quite a bit. This is not because these facts are new to me -- no, no. It is because I know exactly what is happening to you, because something similiar is happening to me as well. With frightening accuracy, I might add.

Last night, as I lay awake in my bed, I thought I heard a something tapping against the window. Thinking that it was the wind -- it was quite a windy night -- I shrugged it off. However, it came with alarming repitition, not ceasing even when the wind was not blowing. Because this alerted me I decided to go check it out. When I pulled back the curtains, the tapping ceased and I saw nothing, so I returned to my bed.

It was not even a minute later when I heard the tapping again. Confused and almost scared I hurried back to the window, pulling back the curtains reluctantly. I did not see anything, and yet again the tapping stopped. Trying to ignore it, I rushed back to my bed and hid under the covers.

In a matter of seconds the tapping started up again, and furious, I leapt from my bed and ran to the window. Believing it must be some kind of trick by the neighbor's children, I threw open the curtains and found myself staring at a ghastly face! I screamed aloud, but could not push myself to close the curtains. It was as if my joints froze all at once.

The face was terrible -- oh Hector, it was terrible! Fire dribbled from its snarling jaw, and two eyes burning with intense hatred stared back at me with utmost hostility. I thought I was going to die, right then and there. Finally I threw the curtains back into place, collapsing to the floor, terrified.

When I awoke, I was in my bed, and thought it all just a bad nightmare. To reassure myself, I walked to the window and pulled back the curtain. Although I did not see a face, the sight that greeted me was not at all reassuring.

Scratched into the window was the message, "Thank you".

Believing it a foul omen, and scared out of my wits, I threw on a shawl and hurried to the Island Mystic as fast as my Aisha feet could carry me. If anyone could make sense of these strange signs, it was him as he, you know, is the leading expert of the supernatural on Mystery Island.

He seemed to be expecting me, and I spilled everything to him. About your letters, about the box, about the terrible dream and the message on the window. I even added in the bit about your monster and the death of all your plants. Instead of telling me something rational, the Mystic looked frightfully shaken. He clutched me by the shoulders and said, "The heat of the volcano burns all. Nothing can escape it."

With that, he told me to leave, and I was left in baffled fear.

Hector: whatever that box is, it is my fervent belief that it is only a creation of purest evil. Get rid of it in anyway you find possible, so no one can discover it again. Whatever is in that box is something we Neopets were not meant to find.

... Perhaps this monster is what destroyed the lost city?

Hector, I fear for the welfare of both of us. Please, lay my fears to rest: destroy that box!

Shaken and confused,
Kaitlen

Author: really_awesome_d00d
Date: 1st June
My dearest Kaitlen,

Your news is frightfully disturbing, but I'm afraid it pales in comparison to my new discovery. I cannot destroy the box!

Upon reading your letter I hurried to my study with the destruction of the object weighing heavily on my mind. However, upon reaching the room I was unable to locate the box! It seemed to have vanished completely, although I had kept the door to my study locked all day. I searched in vain, and finally gave up and collapsed on a chair, exhausted. To my surprise, I felt a lump in the cushion of the chair I had not noticed before. Feeling under the cushion, I found the terrible little box! I don't know how it could've gotten there, as no one had entered my study since that dreadful night. Also, I had checked under the cushion several times during my search, and had not found any trace of the awful thing.

But that is not the worst part, not by far. Upon locating the box, I promptly built a fire in the fireplace, intent on burning the box to ashes. The fire roared and crackled merrily, and my spirits lifted at the thought of being rid of this monstrous little terror. However, my hopes were dashed as I threw the nasty thing in the fire. I watched in horror as the flames engulfed the container, but it did not burn! I waited for over an hour, but the box did not sustain any damage whatsoever.

When I removed the box from the fire its temperature had not changed at all. Also, the soft glow it emits when left alone is now brighter, and more sinister. I do not know what to do; there are no large bodies of water for me to cast the box into here in the Haunted Woods, and I fear some unlucky soul would dig it up if I were to bury it.... It is well known that things buried in the soil of the Haunted Woods do not stay underground for long...

These turns of events fill me with dread, and I fear that our nights will grow long and sleepless. I dare not send the box back to you, for I would never forgive myself were any harm to befall you. However, something puzzles me greatly: in both of our... experiences, the monster we saw thanked us. This leads me to believe that perhaps -- just perhaps -- the foul creature will do us no harm. But I dread to find out what it has to thank us for.

I'm sorry I have no council to give. Perhaps you should make a journey to the Island Cooking Pot and seek the council of Jhuidah. The wise faerie may be able to give us some advice...

Anxious for your safety,
Hector

Author: black_magefive
Date: 2nd June
Dear Hector,

I did take your advice and visit Jhuidah, and the news she revealed to me was frightening to say the least.

The name of this monster we've been seeing is Malumin. It is not technically a monster though -- it is a curse. Jhuidah explained Malumin's entire history to me.

Centuries ago, a dark faerie named Gerap that had been banished from Faerieland reigned over the lost city of Geraptiku. She had found the small tribe and made it flourish, but in return took many of the resources away from the inhabitants of the city, and used them for her own evil deeds. On one fateful day, the inhabitants tried to rebel against her and reclaim what was rightfully theirs. In a fit of rage, Gerap created Malumin, an evil fiery being bent on destruction, which cursed the city to burn for a decade. The dark faerie watched Malumin destroy the city for a very long time, pleased with herself.

The faerie then encountered a problem, though. Malumin's curse was supposed to end after a decade, but it lingered on. Malumin continued to grow stronger, and soon enough the curse itself threatened to put up the entire island in flames. Gerap could not let that happen -- she did live on the island herself, after all.

That was when she created the box. She encrypted it with all sorts of spells to prevent it from burning, and to be able to keep Malumin inside of it. Those are what the markings on it mean: they are spells. Malumin was trapped inside that box for centuries after that, but now Jhuidah fears the spells put on that box have worn off, and that Malumin could roam free and set all of Neopia on fire. This is why it thanked us, because we've helped bring it to power again!

So now, Hector, it is quite necessary that we destroy Malumin and the box, before the curse rises again and does any more damage.

I am afraid I have to end this letter with some terrible news, though.

Jhuidah has no idea how to destroy the box.

Extremely worried,
Kaitlen

Author: springsteen0991
Date: 2nd June
Dearest Kaitlen,

I know tales of this dark faerie Gerap! I have heard that she is a faerie of the olden times, immortal and incredibly powerful. I have also heard tell that she resides still on Mystery Island at the very heart of Techo Mountain.

With no other options available to me now I must make the journey back to Mystery Island with the box in my possession. I dare not send it by Neomail as there is a great risk of Malumin using its influences to end up in the wrong hands. I have no doubt that it intended for you (or some hapless passerby) to find its box.

I do not know what has become of this Malumin and I pray for both our sakes that it is, for a while longer, imprisoned within this relic by Gerap's magical seals.

When I arrive we must make haste to Techo Mountain and delve deep into the very heart of the Volcano. There I believe we shall find this Gerap and discover the manner in which we can destory this box and Malumin with it. If that fails I am sure that she will, with the accursed creature back on her island, re-invoke the seals that have bound Malumin for all this time.

That is all I have time to say; I must be off for it shall take nearly a week's travel to reach you. My work here in the Haunted Woods can wait; this matter is far too important to leave unattended. Please prepare traveling supplies so that we may make the journey to Techo Mountain as soon as I arrive on Mystery Island. I only hope that we are not too late.

See you soon,
Hector

Author: demiurgec
Date: 3rd June
...Kaitlen watched her friend approach with a stir of nerves in her belly. Clutched in his hand was the unsettling glow of the box; she could see it even from where she stood. It had been nearly a week, as he'd predicted, and finally he had returned.

"Hector!" she cried, rushing out to him. She already wore a pack that had been filled with provisions, and held the other out to him.

Hector ignored the bag at first to hug her tightly, then tossed his own on the porch and took the one she extended. "We must leave immediately -- no time to waste refreshing ourselves or exchanging baggage."

She nodded her understanding, and hurried to his side. "It's great to see you again."

* * * * *

The heat of the mountain was almost suffocating. Kaitlen and Hector struggled to breathe through the thick ash and fumes. Sweat beaded heavily on their foreheads and ran down, clotting their fur with moisture.

"Do you think it's close?" panted Kaitlen, glancing blearily around the caves of steaming stone.

Hector glanced up from his map, nodding. "We are near the heart. If she is here at all, she is near."

A tremendous rumble jarred them to attention. The mountain shook again, so violently that the friends tumbled to the ground, rolling onto layers of gravel. "What's happening?" gasped Kaitlen, fighting to stand again.

"I don't--" began Hector, but his speech was cut off as the mountain gave another horrible shudder. From deep inside they heard a powerful churning of molten rock and lava, swirling within the volcano's gut, ready to burst from its mouth.

Kaitlen turned pale with fear. "You don't think it's getting ready to erupt?"

Pursing his lips, her friend shook his head. "No. We can't think of that now. Our only mission is to find--"

"Who, me?" asked a voice.

Both whirled about, eyes wildly scanning the rockface that had been empty moments before. Before them stood a faerie -- or at least a creature who resembled one. Her locks were dark as smoke, but entire body glowed with firelike intensity, and her eyes were distant, ageless. She looked like no faerie either had ever seen.

"Are you Gerap?" asked Hector.

The faerie nodded slowly. "I am the one you seek. And you hold what I seek."

Kaitlen threw Hector a nervous glance, and he said, "What will you do if we return it to you? You won't free the monster, will you?"

The Faerie's lips curved in what might have been a smile. "Indeed, no. I assure you that this box will never be found by a mortal soul again."

With slightly trembling paws, Hector held up the box, burning with the heat of the volcano, its ancient runes glowing with lava's light. "Take it, please," he said.

As the faerie lifting it from his hands, it felt as if a tremendous weight fell away from his heart, and he and Kaitlen both sighed in relief. The faerie's face, though, looked worn, and many fine lines they had not noticed before were sharp in her face. Her eyes were sad as she looked at them. "Revenge is not so sweet as many would have you believe," she whispered, and her form faded until it was wisplike as smoke, and evaporated away.

The mountain gave one more terrible lurch, and was still. Kaitlen and Hector did not need to speak as they turned for home.

* * * * *

"What's that?" Kaitlen asked, pointing. A small object's edge was sticking up out of the soil of the jungle on the path home. "It might be an artifact. Do you want to dig it up, Hector?"

The Yurble gave her a slow smile. "I think some things are better left undiscovered," he replied. "Maybe even the mystery shrouding the Haunted Woods is part of what gives it its significance."

Kaitlen laughed, and felt carefree for the first time in weeks. "Maybe you're right."

The End

Author: laurelinden
Date: 3rd June



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