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||You are on Week 234
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 Thirty-Four Ends July 15th
"At last! Freedom from the rest of Neopia!" The old green Skeith lifted his sunglasses a bit to admire the small island... his island. He had used his entire retirement fund to purchase a private isle of his very own off the coast of Mystery Island. Turning, he waved to the boat captain who had dropped him off.
"I'll be back in one week to deliver supplies, so you'll be on your own until then," the Scorchio called from the deck.
"Don't worry, I have more than enough to sustain me till then. I'll be fine," Hernan replied. The captain nodded and, after bringing up anchor, began his journey back to Mystery Island. "Ahh, at last, all alone." The Skeith looked left and right, admiring the white shores that were devoid of any intelligent life (other than himself, of course). Just the way I like it, he thought. All his life the Skeith had detested living in the city, being surrounded by all those other Neopets. They were always so loud and busy, and in his way. But now... a grin appeared across his face. Now there was nothing but peace and quiet.
After picking up his bags, the Skeith headed inland to the hut that would be his new home...
Author: Is thinking of something to write here|
Date: 7th July
…He breathed in the fresh island air and wiggled his toes in the warm sand as he walked. Bliss, he thought. Small birds fluttered above him. His birds. But unlike the bustling squawking birds in Neopia, they chattered softly to one another and flew on velvety silent wings.
He continued to walk inland, and soon the sand under his feet became sparse, and dry thirsty grass took over as he entered the more vegetated part of the island. The trees grew taller around him, and waved at him as he passed by. Hernan smirked at them. “Morning!” he shouted gleefully, and they appeared to bow down in response.
Soon he reached a small sandy clearing in the grassy forest with a small wooden hut in the middle.
“My home!” Hernan exclaimed excitedly to himself, and he rushed over to examine it. Heaving his heavy bags into one paw, he pushed open the wooden door with the other. It was just as he had expected. A simple round wooden hut, and nothing more. On one side, there were two carved bowls. One was larger than the other -- he assumed that was for washing -- and the other smaller bowl for eating from. On the other side was a hammock suspended not far from the ground, but far enough to be safe from pesky creatures that also chose to inhabit his home.
Hernan still continued to display the ridiculous grin on his face as he put down his bags. Thirsty, he opened one bag, retrieved a bottle, and took a large swig of water. Already he was feeling the intense heat on this little island, and he was glad of his little retreat.
“Well, I guess I’d better get to know my new home,” Hernan declared, and stepped outside the hut, carefully closing the door behind him. Suddenly he felt uneasy about leaving his belongings in the hut, with no locks or security. He tried to dismiss this thought, telling himself that he was the only one on the island, but the feeling remained in the pit of his stomach.
He forced himself to leave it behind and decided to see if there were any fruit-bearing trees, just in case the Scorchio was late delivering his supplies. He left the clearing and made his way through the humid undergrowth, stopping to drink every now and then. His feet scrunched the dry grass loudly, and he almost felt guilty for creating such a noise on this tranquil island. But it was his island, so he could do what he wanted... or so he thought. He had only been exploring for a few minutes when something made him stop dead in his tracks. The crackling of the grass had seemed extremely loud for the footsteps of only one person, and Hernan suddenly realised that the noise continued even though he had stopped walking…
Date: 11th July
...He waited a moment longer, and the sound stopped. He broke his paralysis and turned around towards where the noise had come from. There was nothing there.
He shrugged off his eerie feeling. "It's nothing," he told himself. "Just my imagination." He walked further through the undergrowth, and this time heard nothing but his own feet rustling through the grass. He chuckled. "I've only been on this island for half an hour, and I'm already going a bit crazy."
Hernan wondered if talking to himself was another sign of coming insanity. He shook his head. "No," he told himself. "It may make me look crazy, but I know I'm not crazy, so there's no need to stop." He smiled. Who cared if he looked crazy? There was nobody on the island to see him.
At last he found what he was looking for -- a small grove of fruit-bearing trees. He plucked one of the unidentified fruits and bit into it. The fruit was green, very juicy, and had a sweet taste. "Delicious!" Hernan declared. Making note of where he was so he could come back, he grabbed two more of the delicious fruits and headed off back home.
As he passed through the dry grass, he swore he could hear somebody following him again. He dismissed the sounds as his imagination, and began to sing to drown out his imaginary stalker.
"I'm on my island, its all for me... there's no one here that is scary... tra la la la la la dee... this is my island, it's all for me!"
He laughed loudly. The song had a nice ring to it. He'd have to work on the lyrics later. Taking one last bite of his mystery fruit, he tossed the nibbled core over his shoulder, and heard a soft grunt as it hit the ground.
Hernan froze. Fruits didn't grunt. At least... he didn't think they did. He slowly turned around...
Date: 12th July
...He saw the core of the fruit lying on the ground, quite peacefully, nothing unusual about it. But the underbrush that was behind it swayed to and fro slowly, as if it was recently disturbed.
Hernan, suddenly overcome with panic, whirled around to look for any other sign of disturbance. The only way for that fruit to emit a grunt was if it had hit someone, and the disturbed bush made it perfectly clear to him that he was not alone on this island. However, as he hurriedly finished scanning his surroundings, he was nonplussed to find no other evidence of this interloper.
He took a few deep breaths to calm himself down after seeing no other sign. After those couple of deep breaths, however, he thought aloud to himself, speaking quietly, "What am I doing, getting all scared over a simple grunt and a disturbed bush? That could've just been a Meturf or other little animal for all I know." Skeiths are stubborn creatures, he thought. No little animal was going to scare him.
Empowered with his Skeithish stubbornness, he decided to energize himself by declaring it aloud. "This island is mine, you hear me?!? MINE!!!" he bellowed. The shout echoed off the innumerable palm trees and reverberated underneath the forest canopy. He laughed quietly to himself - that felt good. He was a proud, stubborn Skeith; nothing could faze him. His spirit was indomitable. Having exhaled his exuberance, he marched back to his hut.
After walking casually back into his hut, he decided that he should try to relax - all these thoughts about an intruder on his own private island were making him tense and edgy. Maybe the heat was getting to him, or maybe he just needed some rest... With that, he sauntered over to his hammock, and without any further thought, flopped himself onto it.
Before he could even settle in, though, he sat back up with a start. On the ceiling of the hut, just above the hammock, was written... something, in a strange language Hernan couldn't decipher. His heart picked up speed as his panic instinct started to make its way to the fore again, causing him to spin around in another frantic search. And as he searched, he realized that the belongings he brought with him were gone. Not a trace left of them, as if animals had rummaged through them and found food or other things to toy with - they were simply gone...
Date: 12th July
...Hernan spun around once, twice, and a third time, hoping that his phantom posessions would reappear before his eyes. Alas, they remained MIA.
He sat on his hammock, mindful of the strange script hovering above, and put his head in his hands. "Oh no," he groaned. "What am I going to do?"
Why, get his things back, of course. He was strong-willed, and of strong body.
With new resolve and newfound confidence, Hernan stood up and marched out of his hut. He surveyed the area. A cool breeze ruffled the trees, bringing with it a serene feeling that almost masked the sense of unease.
He looked for anything that might be of use to him. A small insect buzzed next to his ear, making him step back, trip, and fall.
Hernan got up quickly and rubbed his backside, ready to vent his spleen on whatever made him trip. Looking down, he discovered the culprit -- a rock.
He picked up the rock and felt its weight. It felt good, and rested nicely in his palm. A satisfactory, if crude, weapon.
Hernan began walking towards the trees, and went deep into the brush, ducking low branches, and jumping over high roots. He walked for quite some time, surrounded only by the sounds of midday and his own footsteps, until everything went silent.
Hernan stood frozen, heart pounding as if to escape his chest, breathing forced and gasping. What he saw before him could only be described as terrifying...
Date: 13th July
...Ghosts, his panicked mind thought in a haze of shock.
And ghosts they seemed to be. Dark, ethereal shapes twisted through the shadows of the palm branches, breaking the silence only with the rustles of the bristly leaves chattering against each other.
The Skeith realized his paw was clutching something tight, and remembered the rock. Little good it would be against these.
Gasping for breath, he whipped his head from side to side, searching for a way out, but the shifting shapes were never still. They seemed to be everywhere at once, creeping in slow, ever-tightening circles.
Suddenly a spark of logic pierced his fear. Ghosts couldn't touch things, he realized. Ghosts wouldn't be able to steal his belongings, or write on the ceiling.
Summoning up an impressive amount of courage, even for a Skeith, he called out, "Who are you?"
The rustling grew louder, and Hernan swore he heard a faint, chittering laughter. Cold sweat broke out across his forehead, and his voice was stronger as he demanded, "Show yourselves!"
The movements stopped. In the silence that followed, a single palm branch moved away, and something stepped out from the shadows and into the light...
Date: 13th July
...A shaft of dusty light fell onto the coarse fabric coverings draped about the mysterious visitors. A claw reached from the dark depths and brushed aside the hood. The Techo was shorter than he had appeared from the trees, with flaking scales and a shocking purple beard. The other shapes unveiled themselves, revealing similar looks, albeit different colored beards.|
Hernan could only stare in amazement as the tallest, sporting a handsome beard of deep emerald, stroked his tail thoughtfully. “Would this be the one you had mentioned, Thater?” the tall one croaked, his voice rasping a little.
The first Techo nodded. “Look. He has the stone and everything. The Oracle proves its truth again.” Hernan heartily wished he had dropped the stone on the ground.
A little Techo with a lovely indigo beard, and a mustache to match, scowled. “You were right. I was wrong. Let’s get going, shall we?”
Thater sighed. “Yes, let’s get back to the cave, so we can take off these blasted cloaks. And you!” he said to Hernan, who had been nursing hopes of slipping away all through this peculiar exchange.
“Wha?” Hernan croaked. It was all he could manage, as his throat had closed in fear.
The indigo beard rolled his eyes. “Just tell him, Thater.”
“Tell me what?” demanded Hernan, whose throat was feeling more constrained than ever.
The tall Techo patted his tail again. “Be patient, Glendar. There will be time enough back at the Oracle.” To Hernan, he rasped, “Hurry up. Galloping Gadsgads, we can’t be late!”...
Date: 14th July
...Despite Thater's boisterous response, Hernan attempted to make a dash for it. Where to go, he truly didn't know, but after all, it was an impetuous move. There was no point though; Glendar hastily lunged at him, tackling him to the ground. "Trying to excape, eh?" exclaimed the Techo with a chuckle. "Well, you haven't exactly been visiting the Island Training School enough."
Hernan eyed the newcomers, sullen and angered even more at the same time. "What do you want with me? There's nothing special about this rock! I just picked it up to defend myself. Look! It'll probably break the instant it hits the ground!" With that, Hernan hurled the "special" rock at the floor with all of his strength.
There was a loud thud, and nothing seemed to happen. Suddenly, the rock began to move slightly, then violently. Hernan's eyes widened with fear. "What's going on? Am I seeing things?"
The ground seemed to open up, and a neat square-shaped opening revealed a spiral staircase of rock. The stairs themselves were glowing pale green as if they were radioactive.
Glendar stroked his indigo bead and shook his head. "Fool! Now look what he's done, Thater! The island basement has been revealed!" Murmuring, Glendar paced the floor. "Now anything and everyone can get in there and take whatever they want! It's too easy now!"
"Huh? Wha? What are you talking about? Take what?" Hernan asked nervously.
"Silence!" Glendar shouted as he shoved Hernan out of the way.
"Calm down," Thater said. "We can still make it to the Oracle. There is still time."
"What's down there, foolish one," Glendar said, addressing Hernan. "Is all the riches of this island. All the people of this island. A hidden civilization. They have been living in the basement of this island for many years."
Hernan chuckled at the thought of an "island basement." The only basement he had ever known was in his aunt's home in Neopia Central.
"What are you laughing about? This is not a matter to be taken lightly," exclaimed Glendar, noticeably upset.
"Come, we must really make haste now!" Thater said, hustling the confused Skeith along...
Date: 14th July
...All of a sudden, a gentle breeze came along. It made the palm trees sway, like there were millions of dancing trees. Without warning, the gentle breeze abruptly quickened into a gale, threatening to rip the dancing trees right from their roots.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of dark smudges came pouring right into the square hole of the island basement. The ghosts cackled and shrieked with delight as all of the bearded Techos stared at them with horror etched upon their faces.
"We must get to the Oracle before it is too late!" Hernan heard Thater holler over the maniacal laughter of the ghosts. As one, they all began to run.
"The people of this island have long been plagued by these ghosts!" Glendar shouted to Hernan over the wind. "They have tried to seal the spirits out with the 'basement,' but still some get through. Now that you have opened the entrance for the ghosts, the only hope for the island people is for you to reach the Oracle, for you are what the Oracle has prophesized!"
Hernan ran after them as fast as he could, still very confused. Just a short while ago, he had thought himself alone on the island, and now he was being called upon to save its entire civilization?
The wind acted like a giant pushing them back as Hernan and the Techos tried to fight against the river of ghosts. The leaves of the trees scratched their faces as they trudged through the dark smudges. At one point, a Meturf was hurled into Thater's surprised face by the tornado-like winds. Hastily, he tugged it off.
Finally, after what seemed hours, they reached a cave that seemed to emit light. It was a warm, welcoming kind of light that seemed to push the violent wind and spirits away, like a sanctuary from the darkness of the ghosts.
"Is... is that the oracle?" Hernan questioned with curiosity.
"Yes, we have made it!" Thater exclaimed with happiness.
Filled with hope, they ran into the cave, Hernan wondering what would await them...
Date: 15th July
...When they ran into the cave, the sight they beheld was amazing! It was a shrine, but not just an ordinary one. There was a feeling about it... a feeling of being safe, a comforting feeling.
It was glowing all on its own, emitting a pleasing, calm light. Hernan was mystified. On top of it all, was a giant gold statue of a Techo holding a staff. The Techo looked similar to Thater and Glendar.
"The Oracle..." said Thater, barely louder than a whisper. "We have returned." Thater, Glendar, and all the other Techos that had reunited there got down on their knees in front of it. Hernan, not knowing what to do, coppied them.
"Dear Oracle," Thater began, "we have returned to you seeking help in this time of darkness. Please guide us and help us rid the people of these ghosts. The entire civilization is in your hands. We await your answer."
The Techo stepped back and bowed deeply. Suddenly, there was an ear-splitting crack. Hernan jumped back. A brilliant flash illuminated the entire cavern, making everyone shield their eyes.
"Is this truth?" boomed a deep voice.
"The prophecies are true, master. He is here, the Green Skeith, Bringer Of The Light -- here, in this cavern," Thater explained to the Shrine while Hernan stood, dumbfounded.
"What! I'm no Bringer Of The Light! I'm just an ordinary old Skeith who decided to retire to a peaceful island!" Hernan yelled in mass confusion. "A supposedly empty one," he muttered to himself.
"Hernan, you are the Bringer Of The Light!" the voice boomed.
"But... but... I know nothing about this!" Hernan yelled. "What am I to do?"
"Hernan, step forward, take the staff from my hands. Once you have it, if you are the true Bringer Of Light, you will know what to do." After the voice finished speaking, the brilliant light faded, and all went silent.
"Wait!" Hernan yelled. "I'm still confused! Come back!" But nothing happened. The Skeith paused, not knowing what to do. Slowly, he stepped up to the shrine and took the staff from the gold Techo's hands.
An awesome power came over him, and suddenly he knew the answer. Hernan marched outside with all the Techos following him. As they walked farther, it became harder. More and more ghosts were blocking them, but Hernan pushed on. Finally, they came to the spot where the passage to the civilization had been opened.
Hernan raised the staff and without thinking, the words that were carved in his ceiling suddenly made sense to him. He called them out in the language they were written, and then repeated them in his own language.
"I am the Bringer Of The Light! You ghosts are the plague! You may choose to fight, but your options are to die now, or yield to my light!"
Suddenly, a huge blast came from the staff. All of the ghosts shrieked and shriveled into the ground. For a long while, ear-piercing howls echoed through the night and then... silence.
"You did it!" Thater yelled. "The ghosts are gone! You saved the entire population!" All of the Techos cheered, the first happy sound Hernan had heard in a long time. The Skeith gave a weary grin as they hugged him and congratulated.
Suddenly, having company didn't seem like such a bad thing anymore...
* * * * *
All the Techos continued to live on the island with their families, free and no longer tormented by the ghosts.
But not all of them went to new homes...
"Thater, I would be pleased if you and Glendar came and lived with me, in my hut," Hernan said, days after they had conquered the ghosts. "Being alone is overrated; I realize now that I could always use a friend."
The Techos happily agreed, and were about to give their thanks, when the Skeith added, "Only on the condition that you bring my stuff back though!"
Date: 15th July
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