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||You are on Week 246
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 Forty-Six Ends October 7th
"Are you sure about this?" Lina hissed.
"I'm telling you, he never wakes up before midnight!" the baby Grarrl, whose name was Sadie, replied with a grin as she strode forward confidently.
Lina hesitated, then ran after her friend, looking around warily. "I don't know," the cloud Aisha complained. "This place creeps me out, and it's starting to get dark."
"We'll just take a quick look, ok?" Sadie asked, trying to reassure her nervous friend. "I just think that any trip to Roo Island would be incomplete without a visit to the lair of the famous Count Von Roo."
"But I've heard stories... horrific tales of what he's done to some Neopians," Lina whispered, shuddering.
Sadie flashed her a comforting grin. "I'm not completely reckless, you know," the Grarrl commented wryly. "We'll be really careful, all right?"
"All right," Lina said, reluctantly giving in. The pair crept deeper into the famous Blumaroo's lair. For a moment, not a sound could be heard except for the soft padding of paws across the ground.
"Careful where you step," Sadie warned as she sidestepped a pile of rocks. "Expeditions like these have to be treated very delicat--..."
Author: runs away from scary cave|
Date: 30th September
Lina stifled a scream as Sadie stepped on a branch that neatly snapped into two with a loud crack. It echoed loudly through the cave. The two friends waited nervously, but nothing happened.
"There, see what I mean?" asked Sadie. "Nothing to it." She glanced at Lina's face, which was now a light shade of green. "Oh relax, worst comes to worst, we just hide or try to blend in."
"Blend in? Blend in?!?" Lina practically shrieked. "I'm a cloud Aisha, what do you mean blend in!"
Sadie hid her smile and said nothing. Really, Lina was seriously touchy these days.
They marched on a little further, then stopped for a quick snack of apples. It was starting to get dark, and the shadows were creeping all around them. Sadie fished a torch out of her backpack, shining it all around the cave.
"See? I told you he never wakes up before midnight. Nothing to it," she said confidently.
"Is that all you can say these days?" sighed Lina. "I told you this and I told you that?"
"Well, I did!" said Sadie indignantly. "I told you that there isn't anything that could go--" Her voice trailed off as her torchlight swept through the darkness. A few metres away, something glinted on the ground.
"Sadie?" asked Lina, confused by her silence. Sadie stood up and went to have a look. It was a golden die, intricately made, beautiful and exquisite. It seemed to beckon to her.
"Sadie?" called Lina again. "What is it?"
"A... a die..." whispered Sadie. "It's so beautiful..."
"A what? A die?" Lina was quiet for a few seconds as this information registered. "Hey... what... wait, no! Sadie, no! Don't touch it!"
But it was too late, Sadie had reached forward and snatched up the die. Everything was silent for a few moments, before the ground seem to open up all around them, and they started to fall...
Date: 3rd October
...Chilly, foul-smelling air whipped past their cheeks as Sadie and Lina spiraled downward in the darkness. Lina had just begun to scream when the Grarrl and the Aisha landed on something large and firm and soft.
"Where -- where are we?" Lina gasped, scrambling to her feet. The large, ivory cushioning under their feet was bouncy and silken, yet appeared to be, nevertheless, ancient and worn.
They seemed to be in some sort of chimney-like room, and rectangular opening cut through the brick wall and led out to a larger dimly lit room.
"I don't know, let's find out," said Sadie, jumping to her feet and walking from the cushioned fireplace. Lina tentatively followed.
They emerged into a kind of parlor with spindly, old-fashioned furniture scattered about the room and eerily burning torches hanging on the walls. Blankets of dusts were draped across the furniture, and cobwebs hung from the ceiling and chandelier, making the whole room look as though it were wreathed with dense fog.
"Hello," said a soft, tired, sighing voice, making the Grarrl and the Aisha jump. They turned to see an old white Chia standing in the doorway to the right of the parlor. She wore a black dress with faded white lace sown on the collar, hem, and sleeves and a matching cap. "How pleasant for you to drop in. I'm Mrs. Aldrick, the Count's maid..."
Date: 4th October
..."Well, how do you do?" Sadie greeted her with a charming, toothy grin. "We're visitors to Roo Island and we didn't think the trip would be complete without a stop by the lair of the famous Count Von Roo! And wow, it's really...." The baby Grarrl's head twisted all around, looking at everything in the room, before she finished, "Really something."
"Visitors, are you?" Mrs. Aldrick said with interest. "Does anyone know you've come here?"
"No, I don't think so," Sadie said with a shrug.
At the same time, Lina, alarmed, said, "Yes, we told our -- some of our friends where we were going."
Sadie turned to look at her in confusion. "But we were going in secret!"
Lina forced a smile. "I know, Sadie, it's more fun that way, but I couldn't help it -- I mean, there are all the traveler's safety guides about letting people know before you go off somewhere...." She just wished she were telling the truth. "They'll start searching if we're not back before midnight," she invented further."
"Oh, that's too bad," sighed Mrs. Aldrick. "The Count doesn't wake until midnight. You'd miss him if you went away before then. And he would so like someone to play with."
"Well, we didn't mean to trouble him, really," Lina said nervously. "We'd actually only meant to -- to look, from outside -- I'm sorry if that was rude. We didn't think."
"But of course you meant to come inside," said the Chia, smiling sweetly. "You took the key."
"The key. If you had not desired it, you would not have taken it. And if you desire it, you must play."
The die? Lina nudged Sadie. "Sadie," she muttered to her friend, "give her back the die."
"Give it back. Then maybe she'll let us go."
"Oh." Sadie lifted her hand, unfolded her claws, then stared when she found it was empty. "Er." She patted all over herself. "Er... I don't have it anymore...."
Date: 4th October
...To the girls' surprise, Mrs. Aldrick chuckled. "Well, of course you don't have it anymore, sweetie! This happens from time to time." The Chia then crossed the room and sat down on a worn-out chair as she related the answer to the missing die.
"You see, dearies, every night Neopets come and challenge the count to a game of Deadly Dice. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, you get the idea. Anyway, every night the count also places the Key somewhere in the woods for a very special Neopet to find. Only a Neopet who seeks adventure and yearns for excitement is able to locate the Key. When the key is found, it finds its way back the Count to alert him of the new challenger."
Lina wasn't sure if she was following this. She wasn't seeking adventure OR excitement and she saw the Key. Then again, she didn't want to pick up the key, either...
Sadie, however, was indulging in this story with excitement blazing in her eyes. "So, I found the key... now what?"
"Now, you prepare for the game!" said the Chia simply.
"Wh-what game?" asked Lina nervously, but Mrs. Aldrick waved her hand, silencing her.
"You'll see soon enough. Mustn't spoil the surprise now. Now if you girls will follow me. The count had me prepare a spot of tea and scones for you to have before the game starts. He likes it when his challengers have their full strength."
Although hesitant at first, Lina found herself following the old Chia and her friend who was skipping along happily as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Sadie always had been oblivious to suspicion.
* * * * *
Later, as the girls were finishing off their pot of snidberry tea and chockato scones, Lina kept glancing around the dark dining room. She scanned the shadows for any sign of movement or sound.
While chomping down on another scone, Sadie looked to her friend and said, "Will you stop acting so twitchy? We're just here to play a game!"
"That's just it!" hissed Lina. "We don't know what kind of game the count has in mind! What if it's a game where if you loose, you become a ghost and his eternal slave? Or maybe see how long you can survive in a pit filled with Mozitos? We could be facing extreme peril and not even know it!"
Before Sadie could answer, a light mist began to fill the room. Lina yelped in surprise, running to her friend's side. Twelve loud gongs erupted from the grandfather clock as a mysterious figure emerged from the mist.
"Tis the stroke of midnight," said a venomous voice. "Let the games begin..."
Date: 5th October
...Eyes wide with dread, the cloud Aisha turned around slowly to face the doorway of the dining room, Sadie peering impatiently over her shoulder. “Hey, scoot down, Lina!” she hissed. “I can’t see! Who is it?”
“Honestly, who do you think?”
Sadie blinked in surprise, and even Lina looked slightly nonplussed (as opposed to completely terrified). The famous Count von Roo wasn’t quite as tall as they’d expected.
Barely a head above his own maid, the Count’s long black-and-scarlet cape was a good deal dustier than it had been described to be in the stories the two young Neopets had heard; also, his fangs weren’t nearly as big as the ones in all the paintings. With his arms folded and one beautifully pedicured paw tapping the floor in impatience, he was frightening only in the most liberal usage of the word.
“Of all the stupid questions, why, I never heard such a– Er, ahem, I mean...” He paused, apparently to collect his dignity, before continuing in a more suave tone of voice, “So, these pitiful creatures will be my adversaries tonight, Mrs. Aldrick?” He affected a sneer; Lina felt as though she ought to be offended, but decided that it could wait until later. “Well, I suppose they’ll have to do. Of course, you are both familiar with the game of Deadly Dice, are you not? I expect you’ve both heard the dark legends from your parents,” added the Count, with a devilishly twisted grin.
Both of the young pets shook their heads, still staring blankly at their host.
“What? You haven’t?” He frowned in annoyance, then waved one clawed hand in the air. “It is no matter. You should both be afraid. Very, very afraid.” This was followed by a severe look. Mrs. Aldrick could be heard humming from the corner of the room as she dusted the furniture.
After a moment’s silence, Sadie spoke up with something akin to an air of defiance, standing up on her chair. “Oh really? Well, I think YOU should be afraid, Mister Roo, because we accept your challenge! And we're going to squash you flat!”
The Count smiled broadly at this. “Oh, are you, now? Very well! We will begin immediately!”
Lina, however, didn’t seem nearly as pleased with the recent turn of events. “Sadie!” she whispered urgently, “why did you have to say that?! Neither of us even knows how to play! Besides, don’t you think there’s probably a REASON they call it Deadly Dice?!?...”
Date: 5th October
...But Sadie wouldn't have any of Lina's pieces of wisdom tonight. "Come on, Lina, it's just a figure of speech! I bet he just named it that way to make it sound cooler. Besides, what about Carnival of Terror; that wasn't scary was it?"
"It was to me," Lina replied meekly.
The baby Grarrl turned to face the menacing Blumaroo again with an expression of supreme confidence. "Well, hurry up; we don't have all night Mister Roo."
The Count sneered and held out his paw. A golden die -- the very same one that she had picked up, Sadie noticed -- sat in the middle of the Blumaroo's palm, glinting brightly even in the gloom of the dungeon-like room. Then the two friends gasped as the golden sheen of the die began melting away, revealing a shiny, jet-black surface like the shell of a scarab. The Count closed his paw and when he reopened it there were now two dies, each identical to each other down to the tiny, skull numerals on each face.
"Let's begin, shall we," the Count said in a business-like tone. "In my paw are two dice. You will choose one and I will take the remainder to keep things fair--" his eyes glinted dangerously as he stressed the last word. "--Both of us will roll our respective die, and if you roll higher than me then you shall get a reward. But if you lose..."
Sadie snatched up one of the die from the Blumaroo's palm and glared at him. "I won't," she said simply and moved to Lina’s side.
"Are you really sure about this?" the cloud Aisha whispered when they were out of earshot.
The baby Grarrl winked at her friend. "Don't worry, I have beginner’s luck. Remember that time I played Dice-a-roo?"
"But you only got a sandwich from it!" Lina hissed in alarm. Sadie pretended not to hear and raised her arm, rolling the die within her enclosed claws. The Count merely smiled and held his die calmly in his upraised paw.
They both released their dies at the same moment, and as Lina watched in apprehension, as did Sadie, the ebony dice clattered and bounced across the dusty floor. The Count's eyes narrowed and his smile widened as the dice slowly rolled to a stop...
Date: 6th October
The Count had rolled a six; Sadie's die spun merrily across the floor and encountered a scrap of silk with a neat bow in it, that looked to Lina worryingly as if it had been torn from the neck of a Bruce. A dark stain decorated one edge.
The black die tried to bounce onto the silk and landed on the edge; it teetered, teetered, with the five uppermost -- and then rocked over and landed as a six.
"We tied!" Sadie exclaimed. "Now what?"
"Now the stakes grow higher," Count Von Roo said, drawing himself up impressively to his full height and picking up both dice. He also picked up the bow tie and wrinkled his nose at it. "I must take this to Mrs. Aldrick," he announced. "Leaving laundry lying about is unacceptable, especially with chocolate sauce on it."
He stalked off. Lina nudged Sadie. "What if he's gone to rig them somehow?" she hissed.
"If he were going to do that, he'd have had the chance already," Sadie muttered. "What do you want to do, go spy on him?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of getting out of here?"
"Um...." Lina looked around. "Maybe spying would be easier...."
Date: 6th October
...Sadie almost refused the idea completely, but the excitement of it all was just too tempting. Instead she grinned at Lina.
"Alright. Follow me."
Lina opened her mouth to tell Sadie that she would only get them into deeper trouble, but the thought of leading the way was not exactly what the Aisha had in mind either.
Sadie tiptoed carefully around the room, with Lina close behind.
The Grarrl needlessly made a signal behind her for the cloud Aisha to be quiet before she peeked around a corner.
She turned back to Lina, pointed down a rather short, cobwebbed hallway, and nodded.
Sadie walked forward cautiously, and pressed herself up against the wall as she moved down the passage. Lina stayed a little ways behind, letting her friend take the risks.
Sadie put her ear against the door. A faint talking could be heard inside.
"What were you doing, leaving this tie around? Especially when we have guests!"
There was a sigh.
"Are the guests still here?" That was Mrs. Aldrick.
"Most certainly. But there's something about these guests, Mrs. Aldrick... they don't seem to be as scared as they should be..."
A few soft sounds reached Sadie's ears as one of the two began to pace back and forth.
"And it's not just these... the last ones were rather over-confident as well..."
"Don't you think you should be getting back to them?" came a hurried reply. "They'll be wondering--"
"I don't care if they're wondering, Mrs. Aldrick."
"Of course, but it IS quite... rude... to leave them waiting."
At that moment, Sadie saw the door she was leaning against begin to open...
Date: 7th October
...Quickly, the two threw themselves against the wall as Mrs. Aldrick floated out, oblivious to the two spies. When she was gone, they tiptoed back to the now-open door.
"What on Neopia!" exclaimed Sadie, as she peered into the darkness.
"Sadie," stammered Lina, sticking close to her friend, "I don't think we should--"
Sadie motioned for her friend to be quiet and pointed. Lina fell silent and peered over her friend's shoulder as they both listened.
"You are the most beautiful pet of all Neopia, yes," hissed the Count.
Sadie and Lina looked at each other, their eyes widening in surprise. The Count was in a room filled with hundreds of drawings of himself in crayon. The Count stood admiring one such drawing, which was made to look like his reflection in the mirror.
"You are absolutely flawless," said the Count, pushing back his hair.
Sadie stifled a giggle as Lina gagged. Sadie composed herself as she noticed a particular doorway that the Count was blocking. It was the way out! But how could they make their escape? Suddenly, Sadie had an idea...
* * * * *
The Count was still busy admiring himself when he heard a voice behind him and quickly turned around. His mouth dropped open in shock as he stared at the two Neopets behind him, holding several of his prized drawings in their paws.
"Let us past that door," Sadie demanded. "Or else we will tear up your drawings!"
The Count snarled in his anger.
"Do you think you can get away with this?!?" he hissed. "I can only find you and get you again!"
"Well, I guess that's another day."
The Count sighed and shook his head. He was defeated, for now. He silently stepped aside and let the two young Neopets pass. Sadie and Lina nervously glanced at the Count as they walked past him, trot quickly speeding up to run as they neared the door.
It was only a few seconds later, but it felt like ages when they finally burst out into the open air.
"FREEDOOOM!!!" sighed Sadie, bouncing around with her eyes closed. Lina merely shook her head.
"Never, ever!" wailed Lina. "We're never going back to the scary caves again!"
Date: 7th October
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