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

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Week 239
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Week 241

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 Forty Ends August 26th

"NO! Don't touch that!" Satira yelled, rushing across the room to slap her new friend's paw.

The Usul gave a shocked glare to the Cybunny and rubbed her stinging paw. "What's the matter with you? I thought you invited me over to play," she declared, unnerved by Satira's strange behavior.

"No one touches my plushies!" the Cybunny said sternly.

"Oh! They must be magical plushies, right? For example, if I play with this one," she said, pointing to a green Tonu plushie, "will I turn into a Tonu? Is that why we can't play with them?"

"No! They're not magical. I just don't like anyone touching my plushies," Satira insisted, getting angrier by the moment.

The Usul, whose name was Nina, eyed Satira warily and looked around the room. From floor to ceiling, there were piles and piles of plushies covering almost every inch of space. "So, um, what should we play with, then?" Nina asked.

"Didn't you bring over some Usukis or anything?" Satira asked. "If you did, then we could play with those, and that way I wouldn't have to worry about you trying to play with my plushies again."

Nina's eyes bulged at the comment. "I'm sorry, but maybe coming over here to play was a mistake," she said calmly. "I know you are new to the area, and maybe things are different where you come from, but I think you have some 'issues' you need to work out before trying to make friends. See you around." The Usul picked her Mipsy back pack up from the floor and left.

Fine! Satira thought, See if I care! I don't need you anyway...

Author: has a plushie army...
Date: 19th August
...I have my real friends. The ones who will never leave me... because they can't. Who am I kidding? They probably hate me....

If Nina had been able to see the Cybunny's behavior after her departure, she would have thought it even stranger. Satira moved carefully around her room, examining a plushie here and one there, occasionally lifting one up and apologizing to it before adjusting its ears or limbs.

My poor plushie friends, Satira thought mournfully, sitting down at last on her bed and staring around at them. How am I ever going to free you?

Her mind drifted back....

Years before, when Satira had been very small, she had lived with her mother in the Haunted Woods. They had, she thought, loved each other very much. She'd doubted it sometimes since, but at last she had come to the realization that they did -- but her mother's idea of love was a little peculiar.

Edna the Zafara Witch's idea of a lot of things was a little peculiar.

The first time Satira had made a friend....

Her recollections were interrupted by the witch's voice caroling up the hall. "Satira, dear, is your little friend still here?"

"No, Mother!" Satira said, leaping off the bed and coming to her doorway so that Edna wouldn't come inside. "No... I didn't like her very much anyway..."

Author: schefflera
Date: 22nd August
...Her mother appeared at the doorway, glancing past Satira at the piles of plushies layered inside. "You didn't like her? Are you sure? She seemed such a sweethearted little Usul. Maybe you should invite her here again... get to know her."

Satira shook her head. "No, Mother -- I am quite sure that I don't like her the least little bit."

Edna's green eyes narrowed with concern. "She didn't do anything to upset you, dear? Because if she did..."

"No, Mother!" cried the Cybunny in anguish, and then hastily lowered her voice. "No, she was fine. Just fine. We just... didn't share interests, that's all."

Her mother nodded as if satisfied, and turned to leave. Satira shut the door behind her, leaning against it with a sudden wave of relief.

The Usul was safe.

Her mind drifted back to her former train of thought, to the first time that she'd made a friend. It had been the little green Tonu, she remembered -- new neighbors in the Haunted Woods. Her name had been Sara, and she and Satira had grown to be friends almost immediately. All day they'd play together in the woods, making up ghost stories and collecting brightly colored leaves in autumn.

But one day Sara had come to tell her that she had to move away -- that her father had gotten a job in Neopia Central.

Satira had cried for days, and she and Sara had spent every possible minute together until their last day. But when the time had come to say goodbye, Sara was nowhere to be found.

Edna had given her a beautiful little green Tonu plushie that afternoon to comfort her. "True friends never leave you," the witch had told her daughter. "Now you'll have this to remind you of her forever."

Satira had been heartbroken that Sara hadn't even come to say goodbye, and each new friend she made since then had vanished just as suddenly if they ever had a fight or disagreement or had to move away.

"True friends are always there for you," her mother would say before giving her brand new plushies. "True friends don't fight."

It had been a long time before Satira had finally pieced the disappearances and plushies together; she'd refused to believe the truth before. Edna, when asked, would only laugh and say, "What a silly idea, my dear."

And now Satira did the only thing she could -- she didn't make friends, and that way they could not be hurt.

Satisfied at last that her mother was gone, the Cybunny went to continue straightening her plushies. As she crossed the floor, though, she noticed something out of place: a cloud Usul brush, in the middle of the carpet.

Satira suppressed a cry; it must have fallen out of the Usul's Mipsy back pack! The Usul would notice it missing, and come back to look for it...

Author: laurelinden
Date: 23rd August
...She picked the brush up hesitantly by the handle, letting it dangle from her paw as she examined it. At a loss for what to do, Satira glanced around, gave a small cough, and then set it back down just as hesitantly, hurrying around to straighten her plushies once more as if to give herself time to think.

Satira and Nina weren’t friends, and surely her mother had fallen for her bluff, hadn’t she? It would probably be safe for Nina to come back to reclaim her brush. Still... it was always better to be safe than sorry, especially in Satira’s case.

After examining a small Kacheek plushie, the only tangible memory of someone who had not even had the time to become a close friend, the Cybunny set her jaw determinedly, bent down to pluck the brush back up, and marched out the door.

I’ll find her before she can come back, she thought. Throw it at her like I’m mad. That way, she’ll never have to meet my mother — and she’ll never want to make friends with me again.

* * * * *

Two hours and fifty-seven houses later, Satira was finally forced to admit that she’d had no luck: the Usul was nowhere to be found. Even Nina’s own mother had told the Cybunny that she hadn’t seen her daughter since early afternoon, when the Usul had gone over to Satira’s house to play. Blanching, Satira had whispered an apology and left in a hurry.

It seemed that Nina had performed a vanishing act, and at the worst of times. There was much more at stake here than a cloud Usul brush and a friendship.

Hanging her head, Satira began slowly to walk home.

The frightening answer dawned on her when she came to a branch in the road and saw a sign boasting, in colorful letters, what seemed to be two routes back to her new home.

Two.

Which meant that there had also been two paths from her house to Nina’s house, and about a million ways for Satira to literally have walked right past Nina without either of them noticing. She could almost see it now; she could hear Nina’s voice in her mind as the Usul spoke to Edna, demanding her brush and possibly also criticizing the Cybunny’s way of “making friends.”

Satira broke into a run...

Author: wolf6181
Date: 23rd August
...Her mind was clouded with panicked thoughts. What if Nina met Edna? What if Edna realized she could potentially become a friend? What if... what if she was too late? What if Nina... was doomed? Waves of hysteria washed over Satira, pushing her ever-forward, eyes downcast on the path and trying not to think of all the other friends she'd lost... and regained.

It was half-way down the path that Satira thought to call out for Nina. "Nina? Nina!" she shouted, her voice echoing through the treetops. No answer. Around her, she felt as if the sides of the path were closing in -- strangling her. She felt even more distant from home, even though she was standing not more than fifteen yards' distance from the doorstep.

"NINA! NINA!" she shouted; her voice became hoarse as she repeated herself again and again, trying not to think of what might have happened.

"Satira, is that you?" called Edna's voice, and the green Zafara darted out into the frontyard. She bore a most worried expression. "Satira?"

Satira's heart skipped a beat, and unthinkingly the Cybunny dived into a nearby bush. Hopefully, her mother wouldn't hear the rustle, or would mistake it as something else. Hopefully.

"Hm, odd," Edna commented. "I could've sworn I heard her voice..." The witch shrugged and turned back towards the house, something gripped firmly in her hand.

From her current location within the bush, Satira could barely see this item, hanging haphazardly from the Zafara's hardly clenched paw. She could only vaguely see that it was not any normal shape -- it wasn't a cube or sphere.

Curiously, and with a twinge of terror in her heart, Satira crept out of the bush, trying to get a closer look before her mother retreated back into the house. She squinted.

The details were obvious, now. Satira gasped.

It couldn't be, she thought. It can't be. No.

But it was.

The item hanging in her mother's grip could only be...

Author: really_awesome_d00d
Date: 24th August
...a plushie.

An Usul shaped plushie.

Satira shook in horror as the events coming up to this terrible conclusion appeared in her mind's eye. Nina had come to Satira's house for her hair brush, and met Edna. Edna, being the good hostess and mother, must have invited Nina inside to help look for the brush. After some typical chatting, Nina must have mentioned Satira's behavior to Edna and---

Satira closed her eyes, feeling sick to her stomach. "It's not fair, we weren't even friends..." the Cybunny whispered, her eyes closed, tears trickling down her cheeks. "She didn't even know me..."

Suddenly, Satira opened her eyes, a light going off in her head. Why should Nina have to suffer simply because my mother felt that she had done wrong? Why? The little Cybunny clenched her fist, her body beginning to shake from anger. In her mind, she saw her room littered with her once-alive plushies, now nothing more than fabric and cotton. Some had been her closest friends, some acquaintances she had once known -- some she had only known for one day.

And all of them doomed to be this way, just because her mother felt that they should be punished. Just because they had to leave Satira's side, just because they got into a fight with Satira once. Just because they did things that friends do...

Satira, once she had realized what her mother had done to her friends, had built invisible walls around herself, so that no one would befriend her and become some stupid toy. Yet no matter what, someone always got through, always wound up becoming stuffed and silent. All because her mother thought it was just to do so. Satira's eyes nearly glowed with fury. It wasn't fair that she should isolate herself from the world, with only her cursed friends to comfort her. She deserved friends, real friends! Ones that argued with her, ones that had to leave her sometimes, not stuffed creatures that were silent and motionless! It wasn't fair for her friends that lay in her room either -- why should they suffer simply because they acted the way friends normally did?

Brimming to the top with fury, Satira rushed back to her house, slamming the door open. Edna came out of the kitchen, holding Nina the plushie Usul in her arms.

"There you are, m'dear!" Edna sang cheerfully. "I found out what a simply dreadful Usul Nina was, so I--"

"Turned her into a plushie that I could have forever and always?" Satira hissed furiously, holding up the plushie.

Edna stepped back, her cheery smile faltering. She let out a nervous laugh. "Dearie, please don't tell me you still think that your plushies are alive, that's just--"

"QUIT LYING TO ME!" Satira shouted, her voice nearly rattling the windows. "I KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ALL MY FRIENDS!"

Edna frowned, as if she were a teacher trying to explain a math problem to the school dunce. "Honey, please understand," she pleaded. "Those... others weren't your friends truly. They left you, argued with you, they--"

"--Acted like normal friends do!" Satira exclaimed exasperatedly. "Maybe you turned them into plushies for how they acted because you never had friends or something," she explained, her voice calming down, "but that's how friends are. They argue with you sometimes, they have to leave you behind, but you know that they'll still care about you no matter how far they have to go, no matter how many times you argue with them. They aren't those silent, stuffed, motionless objects that you turn them into and give to me as presents, Mother, they're not like that at all!" Satira exhaled, staring at her mother's face.

It was impassive, no emotions at all on the surface.

Without waiting for an answer, the Cybunny whirled around and ran up to her room. She had had enough. There had to be a way to turn them all back...

Author: lady_thai
Date: 24th August
...With that thought in mind, and with the remnants of her anger glowering like hot coals, Satira unceremoniously scooped up her backpack. She cast about for things to put in it -- namely, her favorite Usuki set and several chocolate bars in bright golden wrapping. She still cradled the lifeless form of what had once been Nina in the crook of one of her arms, acting as gentle and careful with her as if she had been made of porcelain, not fabric. After a moment's hesitation, she resolved to bring back whatever magic she could find, as it seemed wrong to stuff the rest of her former friends into her pack.

With the trip's necessities slung over her back, Satira cautiously made her way downstairs. She now regretted her outburst; she imagined it would be easier to sneak out of the house if she had pretended to be delighted. There was no going back now, however, and her mother had to know that turning pets into plushies wasn't a very good practice.

Edna, surprisingly, wasn't to be found in the kitchen, nor the living or dining rooms. Satira felt a vague premonition, but waved it away as nothing. Deciding to take advantage of her mother's ominous absense, she slipped quietly out the back door.

The Cybunny went the opposite way she had while searching for Nina, heading for the urban masterpiece that was Neopia Central. It wasn't until she was meandering around looming buildings and preoccupied citizens that she realized she wasn't quite sure where she was going. Where would you find ingredients that could revert plushies back to their original form, even in a place as large as Neopia Central?

She stopped in her tracks, causing a muttering Lupe to swerve hurriedly around her. With a weak hope, the Cybunny stepped into the Magic Shop, clutching Nina tightly...

Author: keikala
Date: 25th August
...The bell above the door chimed merrily as Satira stepped inside the Magic Shop, the small Cybunny taking a deep breath as she tried to summon up as much courage as possible. She looked about the interior of the store, but felt her heart sink deep within the cold pit of her stomach when she realized that the shelves were completely barren.

"Sorry," a voice called distractedly from behind the counter, "we're all sold out, but we should get some new supplies soon."

Satira ran up to the counter where she found Kauvara going over some invoices, the starry Kau seemingly oblivous to the desperate Cybunny. "Please," Satira cried, "you've got to help me!"

Kauvara raised her blue eyes to look at her, and it was obvious that despite her distracted state, there was compassion swimming in those sapphire irises. "I'm sorry," she began softly, "but there's nothing I can do right now until more supplies come in. Why don't you go on back home. I'm sure you mother is worried about you."

At the mention of her mother, Satira began to shake with frustration and anger so much so that it seemed to frighten the Kau shopkeeper. "You don't understand!" Satira cried. "She's the one who caused all this. Look what she did to Nina!" The Cybunny thrust the Usul plushie towards the Kauvara, who seemed only more confused.

"What seems to be the problem with the plushie?" Kauvara asked, "It looks okay to me."

"But it's not a plushie!" Satira cried, "Or at least it didn't use to be." In a rush, Satira's words flooded out of her as she explained the entire story to Kauvara. The Kau's face was a myriad of emotions as she listened to Satira's words.

"Are you sure?" Kauvara asked when Satira had finished. The Cybunny, exhausted by her outpour of words and emotion could only nod weakly.

"Then you're right," the Kau announced, "we do have to do something. I'm not sure if I can help, for this is powerful magic, but I'm going to try. In fact, there's one potion that just might work." Kauvara motioned for Satira to follow her into the back where there was an assortment of books, vials, and cauldrons.

"Do you really think you can help?" asked Satira quietly.

"Maybe," answered the Kau, "but this spell isn't easy to make. In fact, one ingredient is..." Kauvara's voice trailed off, as if she was unwilling to reveal her complete thought.

"One ingredient is what?" demanded Satira.

The Kau's face was pale as she spoke...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: 25th August
..."A rainbow wand of Negg charming," the sorceress breathed, almost to herself. "The creation of such artifacts has been outlawed for years! The side effects for using the wands are far too great. Yet, one person takes no heed of the warnings. One person continues to regularly produce the wands. One person dares to harbor these artifacts in her own home!"

"Edna..." Satira whispered.

Her mother often revealed the functions of the items she used in her spells. Upon more than one occasion, the Cybunny had heard her cackle her most recent creation. When the words "I've just made another rainbow wand of Negg charming!" popped out of Edna's mouth, Satira hadn't paid scant attention.

And now, to save her friends, Satira would have to venture once more into her mother's tower.

"You see, stealing from Edna is next to impossible." Kauvara continued, "Unless one was familiar with the layout of her grounds, she would catch you before you could even locate her storage chamber."

Satire trembled. Did she really have the courage to return and face Edna? The Cybunny looked down at the plush form of Nina, limp in her paws.

Yes, thought Satire resolutely. Yes, I can make this right!

"I'll bring back the wand if you can take care of the rest of the spell," Satira said. Kauvara looked skeptical.

"You can't possibly do this alone! What do you expect, help from your lifeless friends?"

Satira looked once more at Nina. Was it a trick of the light, or did the small, stuffed form wink?

"Actually, that's exactly what I expect..."

Author: hajohngirl
Date: 26th August
* * * * *

...Half an hour later, Satira was standing outside her home, trembling at the thought of reentering the tower. She was scared out of her wits, but she knew she had to save her friends. She clutched Nina tightly for courage and began to creep towards the looming building.

Satira didn't encounter her mother upon entering the house, and she was soon busily rummaging throughout the magical paraphernalia. She heartily wished she had paid more attention to what her mother had done with that rainbow wand of Negg charming.

"It has to be here somewhere," she moaned as she desperately shuffled through the clutter.

Suddenly, the door burst open, and Edna came crashing into the room.

"Satira! Satira, you've come back home!"

Terrified, Satira scrambled away, trying to get away from her mother. Edna's cries followed her up the stairs as she dashed into her room. Edna was already climbing up after her. Satira dived among her plushie friends, trying to cover herself completely. Her mother entered the room, laughing hysterically.

"Satira," she gasped, "you must never leave me again!" Edna's sharp eyes spotted the Cybunny's ear sticking out between two Shoyru plushies.

"Yes yes, now you will stay with me forever," muttered Edna, slowly stepping towards the plushie pile with her arm outstretched.

Just as Edna reached the pile, the plushies began to move. As one, they toppled over Edna and covered her completely. There was a bright flash and a scream from Edna.

When the light subsided, Satira was surrounded by all her old friends. But lying limply on the floor was one single Zafara plushie.

The End

Author: abhorsens_bells
Date: 26th August



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