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||You are on Week 244
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-Four Ends September 23rd
"Today's the day, Tammy!" Cassy announced. "I just know it is!"
Tammy looked across the breakfast table to her sister and groaned. "Cassy, you've said that every Saturday morning for four months!"
"But I just know that I'll be able to decide on one today!" the Maraquan Ixi cried. "Please take me out to find one today! You know I'm not allowed to go into town alone!"
Tammy, a Maraquan Gelert, sighed. Ever since her little sister had turned old enough to have a Petpet of her own, she’d had to take her out every weekend to try and find the one she wanted. The problem was, Cassy could never decide! "Fine, I'll take you to the city on one condition... that you promise to pick one out today."
Cassy bobbed her head in excitement. "Oh yes, yes! I promise! I really do. I mean it this time. Thanks so much, Sis!" Tammy swam over the table, gave her sister a hug around the neck and gleefully waited by the door.
The Maraquan Gelert grinned, then swam over to the door. Even if Cassy could be a pain sometimes, the little Maraquan Ixi was awfully cute when she was excited. Opening the door for her sister, Tammy smiled and said, "Alright, let's go!"
Author: wonders what Petpet the Ixi will get!|
Date: 16th September
...Tammy took her sister by the hand and led her out the door through the busy streets of New Maraqua. Cassy looked eagerly around the town.
"So what're you going to get?" Tammy asked. Cassy looked over-excited at the very thought.
"Oh, well, of course Angelpi are extremely cute," Cassy cried. "And then there's Babaas that are so SWEET, and Kookiths--"
Tammy cut her sister off. "Remember what Mom said," she told Cassy sternly. "Only MARAQUAN Petpets."
Cassy sighed. "I know," she said. "Well then I'll have a -- a -- a Slugawoo!"
Tammy gasped. "But they're so expensive!" she cried. "Can't you just get a Kelpflake or something?"
Cassy shook her head. "SLUGAWOO!" she shouted. Tammy pressed her paw over her sister's mouth to stop her screaming.
"Okay, okay," she said, thinking it wasn't okay at all. "A Slugawoo it is. But are you sure you don't want, say, a Ghoti? They're really quite --"
Cassy screamed. She hadn't been hurt, nor had Tammy done anything extraordinary. The Ixi had just seen their neighbour, Alissa, walking her Petpet.
It was a Pfish.
"Oh!" Cassy cried. "I want one of THEM!"
Tammy hurriedly pushed her sister's hoof down. "It's rude to point," she said. "Let's go get a Pfish."
The Gelert felt relieved. Pfish weren't nearly as expensive as Slugawoos. But when they got to the Petpet shop, Tammy's heart dropped like a stone.
On the front of the door was a sign that said, "CLOSED"...
Date: 19th September
..."Closed?" cried Cassy, her face dropping. "How can they be closed?"
"Good question," muttered Tammy as she read the store's schedule. The store was opened from 9 to 5 on Saturdays and it was only 10:30. Peering through the window, she could see the Maraquan Elephante who ran the store, tidying up the counter with a worried look on her face.
"Um, excuse me," Tammy shouted as she knocked on the window. The Elephante looked up and swam to the door.
"I'm sorry, Miss, but we're closed," she said quietly.
"Yeah, about that," said Tammy. "Your sign says you close at 5, and it's only 10:30. Is there a problem?"
The Elephante sighed heavily. "A very big one, I'm afraid. You see... all my Petpets are missing!"
"They're gone?" cried Cassy. "ALL of them?"
"I'm afraid so," continued the shopkeep. "When I closed shop yesterday, I double-checked to make sure every last Petpet was secured in its tank before I left. When I came here this morning... they were all gone! Every tank and cage had been opened. The strange thing is there was no sign of forced entry, and I'm the only one with a key."
"Did you contact the PPL about this?" asked Tammy.
"I am a member of the PPL. All the official Petpet shop owners are. I've alerted headquarters and they're looking, but so far... nothing."
The Elephante covered her face with her flippers. "Oh, this is terrible! All my poor little Pfish and Ghotis, gone!"
Tammy didn't know who to feel more sorry for: the Elephante or Cassy. Her sister had been looking forward to this all week and now it seemed as if she'd never get her Petpet.
Cassy, however, was not crying. Hearing the Elephante's tragic story ignited a spark within her Ixi heart. "Don't worry, Ma'am," she said boldly, puffing out her chest. "Tammy and I will get to the bottom of this!"
Tammy looked at her sister, shocked. "We will?"
"Sure! We'll look high and low for any clues or suspects and find your missing Pet -- MMPH!"
Cassy's speech was cut off as her sister covered her mouth and dragged her out of the Elephante's earshot. "What are you doing?" Tammy asked. "We're not detectives, Cass!"
"So? We can still look for the Petpets!"
"The PPL agents are already doing that! They're more experienced at this sort of thing. Let's just wait and see if they've found anything by next Saturday."
"NO!" snapped Cassy. "I'm sick of waiting. I came here to get a Pfish, and I'm not leaving till I find out what happened to them all!" With that, Cassy swam back to the shop and started looking around the perimeter for clues.
Tammy gave the Elephante an embarressed smile. "I apologize about my sister, ma'am. She just really wanted a Petpet today and is just a bit worked up. I'm sure the PPL agents will find them in no time and everything will..."
"TAMMY!" cried Cassy. "Come over here! I found something!"...
Date: 20th September
...Tammy rolled her eyes apologetically at the shopkeeper, then swam over to where her little sister was excitedly turning summersaults in the water.
"See Tammy, we can find things!" Cassy called, turning backwards for a change, her pointing hoof jerking as she moved.
"Cassy, be STILL for a moment, will you? You're making me dizzy, and I can't see where you're ponting." Cassy obligingly stopped summersaulting, and pointed forcibly at a mark in the mud with her hoof, almost smearing it out of existence.
"See?" she asked, swishing her tail. Staying calm under pressure did not seem to be one of her strong points. "See?" she repeated when Tammy didn't immediately begin celebrating. Tammy looked again, squinting at the mud, but all she could see was a scale, which could have come from any Neopet or Petpet that happened to walk by.
"Cassy..." Tammy said. Her little sister looked up at her expectantly. "Cassy, I think that's just a scale. It's nothing exciting."
"Yes it is!" Cassy practically screeched, pointing furiously at the tiny coloured speck in the mud. "It is, it is! See!" She held her leg over the scale for a second, then, with surprising delicacy, nudged the scale with the tip of her hoof. Tiny sparks played over the scale, leaping up Cassy's hoof. They only lasted a second or two, but they happened.
"It's a... a Pella!" Cassy said triumphantly.
"A Pella?" Tammy asked, blinking after the image of the sparks melted away.
"You know, the ones with big tails. The ones that spark all over!"
"Oh, you mean a Primella," Tammy said.
"Pella, Primella, same thing. Hey," Cassy said excitedly. "If we rescue the Petpets, I can have a Primella!"
"Cassy, Primellas cost 60000 NP. They're too expensive."
Then I shall have a Primella, Cassy thought rebelliously, though she only said out loud, "If a Primella dropped a scale, then the other Petpets might have left clues, too. Maybe there's even a trail of clues. Let's go!"...
Date: 20th September
...Tammy groaned, but seeing that her sister wasn't planning on giving up anytime soon, she swam after the Ixi, who was now peering closely at something on the counter.
"What now, Cassy?" the Maraquan Gelert asked slowly, rolling her eyes.
"Look at this!" the Ixi squealed, pointing at a small mark on the counter.
"It's just dirt, Cassy!" Tammy groaned.
"There can't be dirt in Maraqua, Tammy, the water would clean it," the younger sister said impatiently. "Anyway, look closely! I think it's Negg flakes or something!"
"Negg flakes?" the latter repeated with disbelief.
"You know, those things that the Camataras--"
"Catamaras," Tammy corrected, gritting her teeth and at the same time wondering how her sister was planning to have her own Petpet if she couldn't even pronounce its species.
"Yeah, whatever..." the Ixi shrugged. "Anyway, that's what they eat!"
"Sooo...?" the Maraquan Gelert rolled her eyes. "I mean, obviously the Petpets are fed in a Petpet Shop... you know, to stay alive..."
"But we never fed them on the counter!" the Elephante shopkeeper, who had swum over to hear the two a moment ago. "So maybe..."
"Maybe whoever stole the Petpets fed them to keep them calm!" Cassy yelled, happy at her discovery.
Suddenly, the Elephante's eyes opened widely. "There is only one person other than me who has the key to the supply room, where we keep the Petpet food..."
Date: 21st September
..."It's my assistant, Blake. Sometimes when I'm sick and can't make it to work, he takes over for me."
"It's him! It has to be!" Cassy practicaly screamed, "I bet he stole all those Petpets!"
"But why would he steal them?" Tammy retorted skeptically. "What in Neopia would he hope to gain?"
"Umm..." the Ixi pondered, "Well, maybe he wants to sell them and get some extra Neopoints?"
"He already has a job selling Petpets," pointed out the Elephante. "Why would he steal them to sell them again?"
"Because he wants to sell them for a whole bunch more than they're worth!" Cassy exclaimed, "And when he has enough Neopoints, he'll make his escape and..."
"Cassy!" Tammy yelled, having finally reached the end of her patience. "The assistant does not have a plan to become rich, he's not going to make a getaway, and we should just leave now and come back later when they find the real thief!!!" Panting heavily, the Gelert made a motion to drag her sister out of the store, but Cassy dodged her.
"I want a Petpet, and if I have to find the thief myself, then I will!" Cassy stuck out her tounge, then turned to the Elephante shopkeeper, who was looking rather surprised at the siblings' feud. "Real quick, where does your assistant live?"
"Well, I believe he lives near that seashell store, you know, the one with the Aisha storekeeper," she answered.
"Thanks ma'm! and I promise that I'll find your Petpets!" Saying so, Cassy swam out of the shop and onto the street outside."
"Cassy..." Tammy groaned following her speedy sister.
"I just want to ask this Blake a few questions," Cassy argued when Tammy finally caught up with her. "That's all!"
Sighing deeply, Tammy said irritably, "Fine, we'll just stop by, but don't blame me when he kicks us out of his house when we accuse him of stealing Petpets."
"That Primella has my name on it," Cassy muttered, obviously not listening to a word Tammy was saying.
When the sisters finally found a house with the name "Blake" on the mailbox, they swam up to the door, and Cassy excitedly knocked it with a hoof.
"Remember," Tammy muttered," Five minutes."
Cassy was about to make a smart remark back, when the door opened just barely a crack, and a raspy voice called out, "Who's there?..."
Date: 21st September
..."I'm from the Petpet shop--" Cassy began to say, but Tammy forced a paw over her sister's mouth.
"What my sister meant to say was that we found something in the Petpet shop that the owner thinks you may have left behind," she said, near breathlessly.
"I -- the PETPET shop?! I'm sorry, young girls, but I honestly don't know what you are talking about. I just -- just moved here a week ago. I have no affiliation with said Petpet shop. If you would be kind enough to escort yourself off of my lawn... please?" the raspy voice said hurriedly.
"I have just ONE more thing to ask, please," Tammy said. The door remained open, and no sounds came from inside. The Gelert took that as a positive response, for she continued. "Is your name... Blake?"
Cassy was struggling against her sister's hold over her give-away mouth through the whole conversation. She opened her mouth hard and bit down. Tammy screeched and let go as if she had touched hot coals.
"N-n-n-no, my name is not Blake. I haven't had enough time to... to remove his nameplate from the mailbox after he moved."
Cassy let out a war cry and rampaged through the door. Tammy tripped over herself and tumbled over the threshold as she tried vainly to restrain her sister. Her nose met dirt and she only vaguely heard Cassy saying, "Tammy?! Tammy?! I'm really really sorry." She lifted her head and looked into the room. All she saw was Cassy's face pressed extremely close to her own.
She hoisted herself up and looked around. What she saw nearly made her scream with agony and embarrassment...
Date: 22nd September
...Boxes met her gaze -- stuffed boxes piled high and stacked along and atop one another so thickly that there was scarcely any room to open the door, which explained the suspect's apparent unfriendliness.
Tammy's face burned as she noticed that, in her flight through the half-open door, she'd knocked one of the boxes over. Its contents spilled haphazardly all over the already cluttered room -- brushes, a hoop of leather, and a bag of food that had ripped open. A Maraquan Techo bent over the overturned box, his webbed paws scrambling to collect all the scattered bits.
"I'm so sorry," gushed Tammy, throwing an annoyed glance at Cassy. "My sister gets very excited about things sometimes -- a little overenthusiastic. I can see that you were telling the truth, sir -- no way to make all of these moving boxes appear of out nowhere." She leaned down next to the Techo. "Here, let me help you out."
"No!" he cried, jamming a handful of items back into the box. Seeing both Tammy and Cassy start at his abrupt tone, he added, "Don't you think you two have caused me enough trouble already? Can't you just leave me in peace to unpack?"
The Gelert nodded sheepishly. "You're right, sir. We apologize again. If there's anything we can do--"
"Just get out," muttered the raspy-voiced Techo grumpily.
"Yes, sir." Tammy grabbed Cassy firmly by the hoof, preparing to leave, when she saw something that stopped her in her tracks. One of the boxes was moving. Whipping around, she glanced again at what the Techo was dumping back into the box...
Date: 22nd September
...A Pfish was struggling desperately in the grasp of the-Techo-who-they-now-realised-must-be-Blake, its little mouth opening and shutting in frustration as it tried to wriggle free. Without the slightest regard for the Petpet’s delicate fins, Blake dropped it carelessly into the box and slammed the lid shut. The embarrassment that Tammy had felt just moments before vanished in an instant, and was replaced with anger.
"Hey!" she cried, enraged at the mistreatment of the Pfish and shocked that her little sister’s suspicions had been proved correct. Blake was starting to look less like a poor old guy caught up in something that had nothing to do with him and a lot more like the culprit of the crime.
"YOU stole the Petpets!" Cassy roared. She slipped out of Tammy’s hold and stood facing the Techo accusingly, hooves on hips.
"I -- what are you talking about?" he replied, coughing slightly.
Cassy didn't bother to answer, but only charged, with a wild shriek, at the old Techo. He let out a surprised "OOF!" as he stumbled to the ground. Cassy leapt atop the pile of boxes, tearing at the tape that bound them, frantically lifting off lids and setting Maraquan Petpet after Maraquan Petpet free.
"Cassy!" Tammy yelled, nearly tripping over the opened boxes as she made her way through the mass of Petpets over to the restless Ixi. "Don't open them all! We need to put the Petpets in a tank so we can take them back to the Petpet store!"
Blake rose from the floor, brushing himself off. "They will not go back to that horrific store, where they are sold at half their value by a simpering Elephante with no sense of what proper merchandise is really worth!" he screeched, his already bulbous eyes popping madly. "Stop!"
Without warning, a Cubett, newly released from its box and swimming ferociously, shot blindly through the air (or rather, water) towards Blake. There was a muffled clunk as its square body collided with the head of the Techo, who swayed and crumpled to the floor, motionless.
For a moment all was still and silent. Then the Cubett blew a few bubbles out of its mouth and swam off drowsily...
Date: 23rd September
...It took the sisters a moment to realize what had happened. Then Tammy lunged at the Cubett, remembering that it had yet to be sold.
"Round them up so we can get them back to the store!" Tammy ordered as she gingerly returned the Cubett to its box. Cassy stared at her, horrified.
"No way!" she said crossing her arms and shaking her head so fiercely that a swishing noise could be heard. "These Petpets need to be free! They have the right to swim all over Neopia's seas. And I'm going to free them!"
Tammy softened at her sister's sudden show of morals. She placed a gently tentacle on her sister's shoulder.
"What's going to happen to them when they're finally free? Oh, it will be wonderful at first, but who's there to protect them? They'd all be Jetsam food within a week. No, Cassy, I understand how you feel right now. Think of how happy these Petpets will make their to-be owners! The Petpets will all go to loving homes where they'll be cared for by someone who will make sure no one like Blake gets a hold of them."
Cassy appeared to be crestfallen as the words sank in. Then, with a sudden whirl, she broke free of Tammy and swam toward the door.
"C'mon!" she called, waving, "We've got to tell that Elephante we found her Petpets!"
Tammy glanced from Cassy to Blake, who let out a rumbling snore. The Techo wouldn't be moving any time soon.
* * * * *
"Really, I don't know how to thank you girls!"
The sisters stood with the Elephante shopkeeper at the counter of the Petpet shop. Customers stood outside to gawk at the place where Maraqua's greatest heist since Garin stole his dagger had taken place. Business was booming. Everyone wanted to get their fins on one of the rescued Petpets.
"It was an accident that we found them, really," Tammy said. "We couldn't ask for anything from you."
Cassy gazed wistfully at the Primella tank and began to open her mouth as if to say something. Catching Tammy's glare, however, she shut it and contented herself by admiring her new Petpet Protection League member pin.
"Yes, ma'am. We were only doing our job as loyal PPL members!" the young Ixi chimed.
"We weren't in the PPL when we found the Petpets." Tammy interjected. Cassy shrugged.
The Elephante shopkeeper surveyed Cassy a moment.
"You came here today for a Petpet, am I correct? And you wanted a Primella?"
Cassy brightened. "Oh yes!" she breathed. The shopkeeper smiled.
"I'd love to give you one, but I can't. They're just too expensive! But," she continued, seeing Cassy deflate, "I can give you this." She pulled a tank out from behind the counter. Cassy gasped. Swimming in the tank was cheerful looking fish-like Petpet.
"A Marafin!" Cassy cried, pressing her nose to the tank. The Marafin swam to the glass and pressed its face close to Cassy.
"Well, what do you know?" Tammy asked, smiling, "It looks as though today wasn't a total waste after all."
Date: 23rd September
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