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||You are on Week 251
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 Fifty-One Ends November 11
Ilena whirled around just in time to see another cage hit the floor, its occupant squeaking and fluttering around inside. She sighed tiredly. The earth faerie’s hands were already full – literally, since she was holding a fluffy, squirming group of Magarals. With another grimace, she pushed them all into a large cage and bent to pick up the fallen one.
It was only early morning, and already the Faerieland Petpet shop was in the midst of chaos. Ilena had a soft heart, and she hated seeing winged creatures caged up, so she let them run free when she locked up the shop for the night. It was a hassle gathering them all up when she came in again, but they had never been much trouble – until now.
Today’s just one of those days, the shopkeeper thought as she attempted to uncover a fleet-footed Miamouse hiding among the bags of food on the shelves. She gently brushed aside a Faellie that was clinging to her hair, shivering and cowering from all the noise. As she attempted to get the little Petpet out of her field of vision, she tripped over a small toy and fell into another row of cages. The resounding crash sent Petpets squealing and twittering all over the room in a frenzy. Groaning resignedly to herself, Ilena stooped down and began straightening the cages out.
She rose a few minutes later, brushing her hands together with a sense of satisfaction. "All right, little fellows, it's time you returned to--" She froze and stopped short.
The shop was completely empty.
Well, almost completely empty. One lone Floud bounced straight into the wall next to the door. It fell back dazedly for a moment, then dreamily readjusted itself and floated out the open door.
The open door!
With growing horror, Ilena realized that in her flustered rush, she had left the door to the shop – and the doors to all the cages – wide open...
Author: floats around aimlessly|
Date: 4th November
...Ilena launched herself through the open door and grabbed hold of the oscillating tail of the Floud, leaving it suspended for a moment in mid-air. It floated there dozily, looking confused by the fact that it was not moving forward for any conceivable reason. Ilena sighed and pulled it close to her chest, attaching a fine, silken string around the Floud's soft body.
"Right," she said, brushing her wild hair out of her eyes and trying to compose herself, "seeing as you're the only Petpet left, I'm going to have to use you to find the others. Do you understand?"
The Floud blinked at her, its expression unchanged.
"Oh, for goodness's sake!" groaned Ilena, and she let go of the Floud, letting it drift upwards into the air. As it floated across the cotton clouds of Faerieland Ilena followed close behind with the long silver string tied loosely around her slender wrist. The Petpets had probably scattered all around Faerieland, but the Floud could possibly help her track down a few.
As she pursued her errant charges the Faerie Queen waved merrily to her from the window of her hidden tower. Ilena gave a forced smile and waved back, desperately trying to think of an excuse for having a particularly vapid Floud tied to her arm.
"Err... lovely day for a stroll, isn't it?" she began, "I'm just giving the Petpets some exercise, you know, as they're so cooped up in the shop..."
The Faerie Queen nodded and let her continue on her way, following the floating Floud for what seemed like hours until eventually it came to a halt. Ilena stopped and gaped in horror at where the Floud had indicated some of the lost Petpets could be located.
"Are you sure they're here?" she whispered.
The Floud inclined its small fin so that it was unmistakably pointing at what lay in front of Ilena. Massaging her temples in an attempt to calm herself, Ilena strode forwards and knocked on the gates that led to Jhudora's Cloud...
Date: 7th November
...high, looming, ominous gates of a hard metal, deep purple from being imbued with dark magic. They seemed to dim the light around them, and Ilena felt sluggish just being near them. The Floud sank gradually through the air and landed on top of her head; she hastily moved it to her shoulder, not wanting to look more absurd than necessary.
She didn't like this at all. Jhudora was known to hate earth faeries even more than she was known to hate everybody else.
After an uncomfortably long wait, the gates burst open with a vicious CLANG and Jhudora appeared, a tall dark figure mostly obscured by roiling violet smoke. Poison-green lightnings flickered in it. "Welcome," she breathed in a low, menacing voice, "to my cloud and my quest. I have what you desire... magical artifacts of greatest power!"
"Actually," Ilena said, trying not to quaver, "I desire to retrieve my petpet stock. They got away."
There was a pause.
"Agh," said Jhudora irritably, "I didn't look at you properly. An earth faerie. Why, O Fyora, must I constantly deal with earth faeries? And you -- who are you anyway?"
"At least you're not named after Illusen. Well, why are you looking for petpets here?"
"I run the Petpet shop, but--" She was NOT going to say she left the door open. "There was an accident," said the earth faerie, dissembling only a little, "and they got out. I've had this Floud track them, and evidently several came here."
She thought she heard a snicker from within the dark smoke. "An accident. You've lost your stock of Petpets. And you think they're here? What makes you think I'll give them back?"
Not a whole lot, Ilena thought with a sigh. "Well, you might want to keep them from me out of spite," she said as boldly as she could, "but I've been looking after them long enough to know you'll probably get tired of them before long! What would you want with dozens of Petpets?"
"You wouldn't want to know," Jhudora said blandly, then let out a sigh that made the purple smoke puff away from her face. "On the other hand, I don't want to know that there are a lot of Petpets running around my cloud where I can't see them, so I'd best let you in so we can find them. Come on, then. Have you had breakfast?"
"I ate before work," Ilena said, steeling herself and stepping dazedly through the dark fumes.
Jhudora strode away from the gate, trailing bits of the smoke-cloud behind her. Ilena glanced nervously sideways at her and got her first good look at the dark faerie.
It was something of a shock.
Jhudora had perhaps not been expecting company. She was dressed in a soft-looking gown faded so far from its original deep purple that most of it was nearly pink, her poison-green lips were plum today instead, and her hair was loosely caught up in a clip instead of down around her shoulders and crackling with power. If she had mistaken Ilena for a questing Neopet, it might have been because of the cucumber slices held magically in place over her eyes.
She peeled one off and frowned at Ilena for staring at her. "What?" she snapped.
Ilena coughed and patted the nervous Floud. "Er, nothing. Shall we look for those Petpets?"
But looking for them seemed superfluous. Just at this moment, the Floud strained forward, and a delighted chaotic gabble rose from behind a nearby door. To Ilena, it was a familiar sound, if out of place.
To Jhudora... well, Jhudora dropped her second cucumber slice, and her face contorted with horror. "My kitchen--!" She lunged for the door, pulling it open, and...
Date: 8th November
...stared, speechless, at the room beyond.
The kitchen, under normal circumstances, probably would have looked quite normal, if a little bit too focused on purple and green, but these were not normal circumstances. As it was, the kitchen looked as though a large group of wayward Petpets had been set loose within, and that was exactly what had happened. Amidst a mess of pots, pans, and dishes strewn about the walls and countertops were over half of the Petpets that had escaped from Ilena’s shop... and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Plates had been smashed, wallpaper had been torn, a good many small appliances had been irreparably broken, and most of the furniture showed evidence of having been chewed on by Miamice, and as if it wasn’t bad enough that the place was in a shambles, none of the little creatures seemed to be showing any signs of boredom or fatigue. Harrises were clambering all over anything they could get a foothold on, Faellies and Magarals flitted about excitedly through the air, and there were Cirri literally bouncing off the walls.
It was, so to speak, a madhouse.
Jhudora was the first to speak -- or rather, shriek with rage, storming into the kitchen and attempting to shoo the Petpets out of the open door with no success whatsoever. “Get out, get out, you miserable creatures! Oh, what in Neopia have I done to deserve this?!?” (Ilena thought it would be in her best interest not to answer this question.) Whirling around, the Dark Faerie fixed her with a glare that made her want to run away screaming, but she managed to stand her ground. “How could you have let this happen?!? These aren’t Petpets, these are little monsters!”
“I’m very sorry, ma’am!” Ilena stammered, trying (and failing) to grab hold of a Faellie with her free hand while the Floud continued to circle her head lazily. “Please, I’ll just take them now and we’ll be out of your–”
“GET AWAY FROM THAT!”
Startled, the Earth Faerie looked to Jhudora, who wore an expression of mingled anger and fear, and followed her eyes to a small Flosset toddling across the floor, holding up what looked to be a rather sinister-looking purple amulet. “Put that down this instant, you horrible thing!”
Ilena was surprised that the other faerie hadn’t simply snatched the object, but it was obvious that something had to be done about the situation. “Hey, little guy!” she called, trying her best to keep her voice pleasant and inviting, leaning toward the Petpet a bit with her hand outstretched. “What’s that you’ve got, there? C’mon, let me see it...”
The Flosset, hearing a voice it recognized, turned toward Ilena excitedly, but tripped over an errant spatula that had found its way onto the floor--
-- the amulet flew from its grasp--
-- and a blinding flash of light filled the room...
When Ilena’s eyes had recovered from the shock, she glanced around dumbly, trying to make sense of what had happened. The Flosset was picking itself up off the floor, looking dazed but otherwise unharmed; indeed, all of the Petpets seemed to be fine.
All except the Floud, which was yanking at its tether in aggravation and yelling angrily, in Jhudora’s voice, “Perfect, just perfect! What could be a better start to my day?!?”
Not wanting to believe what her eyes and ears were telling her, Ilena glanced at Jhudora, who was staring into space and smiling faintly.
Date: 8th November
...Jhudora thrashed against the silver cord looped around her, flailing her tiny fins in a relatively useless manner. "This is -- all -- your fault!" she snarled between efforts, and Ilena marveled at how well the Floud's body could project Jhudora's voice.
The earth faerie fought panic and, strangely, the urge to laugh hysterically as she undid the simple knot binding her to the Petpet.
Once freed, Jhudora found a new course of action; spinning about in mid-air, she launched herself at Ilena. "Hey!" she cried, startled, but the former dark faerie's attacks bounced right off, quite literally. Jhudora, ever resourceful, shifted to a new tactic --
"OW!" Ilena lifted her arm, examining the miniature bite marks. Jhudora smirked in a savage way, though the effect was somewhat ruined by her small, button eyes and her purple nose.
"I didn't know Flouds even HAD teeth," Ilena muttered, rubbing her arm and glaring at the former dark faerie.
"They don't," Jhudora said in a mournfully disappointed tone, baring her pink gums.
Their conversation was cut short by the other Jhudora, or rather, what had once been Jhudora, who had apparently decided to float, and who had inevitably discovered she could not. Crashing to the floor with cucumber slices flying, it was with evident confusion that the Floud regained its feet -- and proceeded to repeat the process.
Behind Ilena, Jhudora moaned.
"What was that amulet, anyway?" Ilena asked, not yet willing to be bitten again. "And why was it in your kitchens?"
"Well, uh, I wasn't really sure what it did, so..." Jhudora trailed off.
"What?! How could you not know? It's YOUR amulet!"
"I borrowed it," Jhudora snapped irritably, and Ilena didn't comment on how very unlikely she found that to be. "At any rate, we need to find it."
Ilena nodded; perhaps the amulet could reverse this. Finding it, however, could present a greater problem. The Petpets had resumed their destructive play, and the floor was littered with dozens of new, shiny items that it seemed the Margarals had taken liking to.
Apparently the same thoughts had entered Jhudora's fluffy head as well. Surveying the madness with those beady eyes, she growled, "I think it's time we established some order..."
Date: 9th November
...Jhudora floated lightly toward the vapid looking Floud and fixed her with an angry glare -- quite ridiculous looking considering that Jhudora currenly possessed appearance of said Floud. "You!" she bellowed, her tone silencing all the Petpets in the room. "Sit down!"
Jhudora's body obeyed, crashing to the floor amidst the debris with a look that was part sorrow part confusion. She flapped her arms a few more times, pitifully, and finally gave up, sitting crossed legged, her face regaining its vacant expression.
"Now that my body is under control," Jhudora muttered angrily, “you need to establish some order with your ridiculous menace Petpets!"
Ilena did not enjoy taking orders from the Floud, even if Jhudora's mind was somehow trapped within its soft exterior. But she knew that it was her fault all this had happened and so, resignedly she set to work fixing tethers to each of the Petpets. When at last she had completed her work she and Jhudora set to the arduous task of cleaning up the mess.
Neither of them noticed the shadowy form lurking beneath Jhudora's kitchen table. Its malevolent blood red eyes watched the scene as it unfolded. Dark purple wings folded neatly behind its body, which was composed almost entirely of a massive, yellow-fanged mouth. Suddenly it burst forward, rushing across the room. Jhudora whirled around, mid-float, and cried out a warning, but the Bartamus moved too quickly, scooping up the buried amulet from amidst the debris and launching itself headlong out the window, hissing and cackling as it went.
Ilena looked as if she might faint; the monstrous bat-like Petpet was not near as "beautiful" as the little faerie Petpets she tended to keep in her shop. But she managed to muster enough courage to speak. "It seems it's not only my Petpets that are causing you trouble today..."
Date: 9th November
...Jhudora snapped. Or rather, she would have had she been in her real body. Despite the situation, Ilena couldn't help biting back a smile as she watched the Floud's face try to work itself into an angry expression.
"Argh!!" was all the dark faerie could manage to spit out between her gumless teeth. "You... you..." She stared at Ilena with a demeanor only a faerie in a Floud could possibly manage. Jhudora's soft, purple Floud eyes darted back and forth from the red-haired earth faerie and the now-empty space under the table, unable to express her fury in words. Ilena stopped choking back a chuckle and choked for real when she realized what the consequences could be.
"Jhudora!" she cried out in alarm. "The... the Bartamus... it... it..."
"I am perfectly aware that it has stolen my amulet," snarled Jhudora.
"No!" Ilena said, taking a horrified step toward the open window. "If it drops it..." She made a few hopeless hand gestures. "Will it happen again?" she managed in a very meek voice.
Jhudora's eyes widened. "Oh..." Immediately, she spun around to where she usually kept her magic staff and yelled, "Spartamos!" Nothing happened. Distressed, Jhudora tried the spell again. "Spartamos!"
By now, the Floud in the faerie's body had lost a bit of its vacantness and was watching Jhudora with interest. After Jhudora shouted a bit more, the Floud stood, flapping its arms a bit more meekly, and copied, "Spartamos!" The staff whizzed into the Floud's outstretched arm.
Jhudora and Ilena stopped, stared at the Floud, then at each other, and in a moment of truce they both nodded. "The Floud's coming," they said in unison, and headed towards the door, Jhudora barking out, "Heel!" to the once again vacant Floud, who scurried clumsily after them before the door swung shut behind them...
Date: 10th November
...With about half the Petpets from her shop tethered to her wrist, Ilena found it hard to stumble along after the Floud and Jhudora. But since Jhudora could only float at a rather sluggish pace, and the Floud was only paying half of its attention to the trip, it was pretty easy to keep up with them.
One of the Faellies fluttered ahead of the earth faerie and bumped rather roughly into Jhudora, "Would you get rid of those things for Neopia's sake?!?" Jhudora snapped, flashing her beady black eyes as angrily as she could at Ilena.
"Would you rather I let them loose in the kitchen again?" Ilena asked dryly. She probably wouldn't have said this had Jhudora been her former self. At the moment a powerless bad-tempered Floud didn't give her much of an impression.
Jhudora turned to shout at the Floud who had taken the dark faerie's body off aways down a dark coridor. "Over here, you clumsy dunce!"
The Floud obeyed and turned back to the middle of the hall in front of Ilena and Jhudora.
Suddenly it went rigid, looked about frantically, then ran down the hall and crashed into the front gate. Dazedly it got up, and began meekly waving its arms in an effort to float. It kept tipping its head up at the gate and nudging the double doors as if it wanted to get out.
"It's caught track of something," Ilena gasped, suddenly growing excited. "Quick, let's go!" And with that, she opened the gates and ran out, her array of Petpets flailing behind.
The Floud, after one more futile attempt to fly, stumbled out after her, flailing the dark faerie's arms.
"I don't believe this," Jhudora muttered. "I'm going out in public, looking like a Floud, accompanied by stupid Petpet in my body and an earth faerie, of all beings." With a resigned sigh, she slowly wafted out of the comfort of her own cloud...
Date: 10th November
...Under such circumstances, the only thing particularly surprising was how well the relatively short journey went. Ilena managed to avoid heavily crowded streets, and Jhudora bestowed upon herself the job of teaching the Floud more complicated commands; soon it could walk faster and make a grimace for passerby at will.
Nothing, however, is perfect. On one notable occasion, a blue Acara had passed with a plate of steaming faerie pancakes held loosely in her paws. The Floud, it seemed, suddenly decided it was hungry, and began to headbutt the Acara in a half-hearted way. It turns out that Jhudora's head is a good deal harder than its former one, and the frightened Acara ended up in tears. The situation was hardly helped by Jhudora herself, who was cackling over Ilena's shouts of, "Don't worry, she's just begging for food!"
Two spilled pancakes (which were quickly devoured by the Floud) and one apology later, the strange group was moving once again.
The Floud soon lost its enthusiasm for the chase, and found its energy much better used in its occasional bids for flight. Ilena was constantly involved in the effort to keep it under control. She had once tied it to her waist, but the Floud promptly gnawed through it.
Faerieland seemed to be changing; the buildings became more close to one another, and in most cases needed a fresh coat of paint. Ilena found herself slightly uneasy, though Jhudora didn't seem to have a problem with it. Which wasn't very assuring, coincidentally.
At one point the Floud sat down on someone's porch to lick the syrup off its hands. Ilena waited patiently, though when the Petpet was finished, it didn't leave, nor showed any intention of doing so.
"Looks like we're here," Ilena remarked to Jhudora, craning her head back to get a good look at the structure...
Date: 11th November
...The shutters were hanging off their hinges and the paint was so peeled you could barely tell that the original colour had been a mottled green. The front door was so aged that it looked like a Floud would be able to knock it in; which Jhudora promptly did. It fell in with a soft thump and stirred up a cloud of dust. Ilena spluttered as the dust settled, and got a good look around her.
They were in a small, dust-covered foyer. A small table bearing a delicate-looking vase was barely discernable from the dusty wall. As Jhudora floated into the house, she let out a small squeak of indignation at the state of the place.
The Floud suddenly began striding down the long hallway. Ilena looked around again, and this time she noticed a small line of pawprints on the dusty floor. The Floud didn't seem to notice them, but it was headed in that general direction.
Jhudora saw the prints, too. She floated excitedly down the hall and after the Floud, through a doorway to the left. Ilena followed at a distance, pulling the reluctant Petpets behind her. As she got to the doorway, she gazed around at what looked like a bedroom.
The Bartamus was sitting on the dusty bed, looking for all the world like it didn't know how it had gotten there. The amulet was clutched in its massive jaws like a small morsel of food it wasn't quite prepared to relinquish. The Floud was standing over it, apparently trying to look menacing. It seemed to be working. When Jhudora floated down to the Bartamus and held out her fins, it sat looking at her for a moment, and then its eyes flicked over to the Floud. Then it gazed back at Jhudora, and suddenly its jaws popped open.
Ilena was surprised to see the Bartamus give up its prize so easily, but then she noticed that the Floud had Jhudora's staff raised in the air, pointed at the Bartamus.
Jhudora caught the amulet in her small fins.
"We'd better get you and the Floud back to normal," Ilena suggested. "Jhudora, lead the Floud into the corner of the room. Then, you could try dropping the amulet again, and maybe you'll return to your own bodies."
"You think I'll do something like that?!" Jhudora exclaimed indignantly. "What if it doesn't work?!"
"Well, we'll just have to take that chance!" Ilena said impatiently. She pushed the pair into the corner, then took the amulet from Jhudora. Then she backed away, pulling the Petpets, as well as the shocked Bartamus, into the other corner. She threw the amulet towards the floor between the Floud and Jhudora, and braced herself.
There was a blinding flash of light, and Ilena and the Petpets were thrown softly against the wall. Once her eyes had cleared of spots, Ilena looked up.
"I'm me again!" Jhudora shrieked, from her own body. The Floud began to float aimlessly in the air, looking like it was lost in a daydream.
Ilena leapt to her feet. Jhudora looked at her pointedly.
"Okay, so it worked," she said. "You're all right, but don't think this puts you all on my good side. I still don't like earth faeries."
Jhudora squinted at her, then said, "I'm taking that Bartamus with me back to my cloud, but you're not coming. Go find those Petpets of yours that you couldn't manage to control."
Ilena blushed as Jhudora walked out, the Bartamus struggling in her arms.
"Well," she said to the Floud, "Let's go find your buddies."
And she walked out into the Faerieland sunshine. She had another adventure finding the other Petpets, but that's another story.
Date: 11th November
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