Some cookies are necessary to make this site and our content available to you. Other Cookies enable us to analyse and measure audience and traffic to the site. Cookies are also used by us, advertisers, ad-tech providers and others to develop and serve ads that are more relevant to your interests. To consent to the use of Cookies and proceed to the site, click Accept below. If you wish to withdraw consent later you will find a link in the footer Cookie Choices. For more information: Privacy Policy.
Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!

Week 277
You are on Week 278
Week 279

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 Seventy Eight Ends June 16

“Are you sure this is correct, Marna?” The Tonu squinted up at the sun and then looked despairingly at the empty horizon before him.

“That’s what the map says!” the Acara answered, jabbing at the parchment in her hands.

“Yes, but this is the LOST Desert,” the Tonu argued. “How accurate could a map be?”

“You’re such a worrywart, Tenken,” Marna said. “I’ve passed through here before. Last year, with a caravan, remember? I know what I’m doing.”

“I certainly hope so. I don’t want to be stuck here when the sun go-” the Tonu trailed off, and both of the Neopets stared. They had almost walked straight into a city wall, which had come upon them so suddenly that Tenken could’ve sworn it had materialised in front of them.

“Umm, that’s odd. There shouldn’t be any cities out here,” Marna said, looking suspicious.

“Well, no one knew about Qasala. Maybe there are tons of little obscure cities hidden in the desert. It’s possible,” Tenken said, though he sounded unsure of himself.

“No, I went through here last year, like I just said! There was no sign of a city!”

The Tonu shrugged. “Maybe they build fast. Let’s go in; it’s our best bet for shelter tonight.”

Reluctantly, the Acara followed the Tonu into the eerily quiet city. The walls were crumbling, but looked too sturdy to be merely ruins. Besides, flitting through the streets were smiling citizens clad in desert garb.

“They look friendly enough,” Tenken began slowly as a desert Cybunny hurried by, smiling broadly and waving.

Too friendly,” Marna whispered back. “Look, ALL of them are smiling, even though they’re just doing errands.”

“Erm… maybe they really, really like living here?”

“HALLO!” The two Neopets jumped as a loud voice rang out behind them. A desert Ruki with a mile-wide grin waved at them. “FIRST TIME HERE? GREAT FUN, GREAT FUN! ENJOY YOUR STAY!” he shouted happily, before hurrying off.

“Tenken,” Marna said, “there’s something very weird about this place...”

Date: Jun 9th
...Like some horrible celestial eye squinting through the scurrying flock of clouds scattered over the horizon, the desert sun leered down at the pair of Neopets as they dallied, demanding to know why these foreigners came to be in its domain. Pale of fur and soft of limb, these were not the lithe, golden creatures that dwelt within its plains of sweltering sands. The sun was the desert's feared tyrant, who carried plagues of drought and famine to be dispersed at whim to those unlucky villagers who had nowhere else to go. The sun would not tolerate such an intrusion.

The sun beat down.

"Marna," Tenken rasped, as a spiteful breeze stirred from the dunes and began spitting sand into his eyes, his nostrils, his tongue. "I wouldn't give a flying Feepit if this was Dr. Sloth's vacation suite. Right now we have a choice between weird," With a mighty whuff, the Tonu managed to momentarily clear his nasal passages of the desert grit. "And dead."

The Acara twirled her ears around each other unhappily, but her essential reply was choked off by another cloud of sand hurled by the dune winds. She sighed, wanting to emphasize the fact that if this trip went terribly, terribly wrong, the blame would rest entirely on Tenken's amble shoulders.

The sigh was reply enough for Tenken. Without another moment's hesitation, he hauled his unwilling friend off towards the rickety Inn sign posted over one of the doors.

* * * * *

"Try some of the cake, Marna," Tenken urged from his seat across the table, his grin smeared with crimson frosting.

She looked down, bewildered, to find a king's banquet spread before her. Heaps of roasted Grackle bugs were mounded within whicker baskets, and a ring of cheopples and gruisberries lined the table before her empty dish, ripe for the picking. As the table's centerpiece there perched an enormous grackle-stuffed turkey, its skin seared bronze by the sun.

On the chair behind it, Tenken's hooves clacked noisily as he fumbled with a wing. Playful as a Kadoatie, the sneaking desert wind snatched at her paws, coating them with yet more sand. The Acara drew them back to wipe them clean against her fur, but though she rubbed her paws desperately against one another, the grit clung to them like newfound skin. Her mind settling itself into the early stages of panic, Marna brushed her paws tentatively against her cheeks.

Only sheer, dumb shock prevented her from crying out. The sand was not a layer covering her fur.

The sand WAS her fur.

Glancing up, Tekken's drooping mouth was tugged back into an eerie smile. In the sunset glow radiating from the dunes that surrounded them, his cheeks shone with grease. "IT'S DIVINE."

With a start, Marna was jolted into the waking world. Groggy though she was at first, the scratchy fabric of the sheets below nudged her rudely back into lucidity. Reaching down to throw away the unbearable covers (which appeared to be fashioned from burlap), the Acara reached within her mind for the dream that had startled her so. But as dreams do, the story had fled to hover just out of reach.

"Tenken?" she murmured into the darkness, made deeper by the lack of the desert sun's unforgivng blaze. As Marna recalled, her friend had last been heading out into the city for a meal ("I traveled for two days on the back of a caravan wagon so cramped you had to ride with your head out the window the whole way to keep from suffocating, so help me Fyora someone had better be handing out free food," he'd claimed). Exhausted and somewhat suspicious of any food that would please the clone-like city citizens, Marna had opted to retire early. Even with the burlap sheets.

Without warning, the room door issued a squeal that made her muscles jump about three feet to the left. The light of the desert sun peering over the dunes cast over her a temporary blindness as it burst in through the opening door. Silhouetted in the doorway was the barrel-like frame of one decidedly un-desert Tonu.

"Tenken!" Marna whispered happily, hoping not to awaken the zombie-like innkeeper from his sleep (she preferred it when those blank, oddly glittery eyes remained closed. It gave off the illusion that they were within the skull of a coma patient, where they belonged). She raised herself up on her forepaws. "How was the food?"

Her companion stepped forward, out of the sun-cast shadows. Pictured within the blank panels of what should have been his eyes was her own terrified reflection. Nothing else. Nothing to suggest that within this shell of a body dwelled the friend she had called Tenken.


Author: missjessiegirl
Date: Jun 12th
...Marna could see nothing, think of nothing, as she shot away from Tenken and his outstretched hand full of food... rather than running, it felt as if she were plummeting through the air, heading for the ground, closer and closer every moment to the spikes that jutted up from the earth, waiting to pierce her in the heart.

Tenken, oh Tenken, she kept thinking. I should have stopped you... I should have...

She could not bear it any longer, and fell, sobbing, on the stoop in the shadow of a small house. She was not a stupid Acara... she had known the second she had seen the Tonu that there was no hope for Tenken... he was gone... lost forever...

As she sat there, thinking only of despair, of loss, her hand began to burn. At first she ignored it, but after a while it seared into her with pain and she looked up at her red fingers. It was nothing. Just the sun burning the only part of her not cast in shadow.

The sun. The sun. It clicked in her mind. The fearful tyrant of the sands... that was not what the sun was! It was a protector, it watched them all, kept all the desert cities alive, burning, always burning... it was a beacon of hope, shining down on all places, over the Lost Desert which had been lost for centuries but had finally been found.

Marna stood. She would not lose Tenken. Like the Lost Desert was found after so many years, she would find and restore Tenken's soul to him... no matter how long it took.

There was a sudden boom and she gazed up into the turmoil that was the sky. The sun had been covered by an angry black cloud, and light faded from all the glassy eyes of the city... every eye but Marna's. A storm was coming.

"GREAT FUN, DIVINE, ABSOLUTELY PLEASANT! A STORM!" grinned one of the passersby in that oddly empty voice that they all had.

"What is so good about a storm?" Marna could not help but say, rubbing her burnt hand.

The villager looked at her, but there was no curiosity or suspicion in those dead, emotionless eyes. "WHY, A STORM, OF COURSE, OF COURSE. A STORM IS WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGES. WHERE WE MOVE AGAIN. WHERE WE MEET TOGETHER. WHERE--"

There was a pause, and dare she think it, Marna thought that, on the edge of an instant, there was something more than abyss in the eyes of the zombie before her. Then he continued, wincing as if a club had come upon his subconscious during the break in his sentence.


Author: mangohomer
Date: Jun 13th
...Marna gasped. What kind of absurdity was spewing from the villager's mouth? And what enemy was he speaking of?

Suddenly feeling uneasy, Marna looked over her shoulder. No one was there but the empty eyed villagers staring blankly at the foreboding skies.

The hairs on Marna's neck began to prickle. She could feel a dark presence. Something far worse then the zombie villagers. It was all around her and yet she couldn't see a thing.

"WOULD YOU LIKE SOME DIVINE FOOD?" A voice suddenly boomed in her ear as a hand shoved a Grackle bug towards her mouth.

Gasping in surprise Marna shoved the villager to the ground and ran frantically from the growing crowd of zombies. Huddling behind some old bins she began to cry. If only she and Tenken had kept on going. She had known there was something terribly wrong with the city.

Wallowing in self pity Marna felt a hand on her shoulder and she shoved it away. "I do not want a Grackle bug or any of your food!" she exlaimed in fear and frustration.

"Quick we don't have much time!" a deep voice growled behind her.

Spinning with surprise Marna found herself face to face with a looming Lupe cloathed in a dark cape. "Who are you?" She gasped.

"We don't have much time, HE is coming! If you want to get out of this place we must leave now. If HE finds you it will be too late, you'll be lost like the others."

Grabbing her hand he started racing down the darkening alley. Stumbling to keep up Marna followed close, terrified that she might be running straight into a trap. Reaching the edge of the alley the Lupe glanced up and down the street and when he was satisfied that no one was watching darted across with Marna in tow.

A loud booming like thunderous drums sounded behind her and her heart beat faster with fear and adrenaline. Dark clouds started creeping their way down the streets behind them as the lupe rushed onwards.

Marna's skin grew cold as a deep chill set around them, something terrible was coming. A loud chanting arose from behind them.


A loud sucking sighing sound suddenly sounded nearby. Suddenly, the Lupe came to a halt, a wild fear burning in his eyes.

"Stay perfectly still, don't even breathe!" the Lupe gasped. "He's here..."

Author: zenwe
Date: Jun 13th
* * * * *

Deep within the desert sands, The Golden One stirred, prodded from his sleep. Something was hurting him, an emotion that felt like a thousand tiny fire ants crawling across his skin...

Fear, that's what it was. He had not felt fear for a very long time. It was a terrible, nasty thing; like anger, or hunger, or desire. An aching, horrible thing, a thing which was not pleasant. And it was right above him.

He shifted uneasily, one dune slowly merging into another as the sands that made up his body shivered with this alien fear. Something had to change, something had to move. Something in his desert was not perfect.

The Golden One gathered his will, sending his thoughts racing through the sand into the beautiful city he had built for his pets. Where was this fear coming from? Who was it that was not divinely happy? (They must be delighted, he thought, they must be joyful!)

THERE! There she was -- through the eyes of the villagers, he could see her, this strange pale Acara whose eyes were full of fear and pain. She was not one with him... she was not happy.

But that would be alright. He would fix it. He would make it divine and pleasant for her. He would give her great fun.

His focus grew, throwing up the sand from his desert surface into a great black and blowing cloud. He would show her how to be sand, like him, and how to be happy.

"Be Joyful!" he whispered to her through the voice of his village pets, "Eat! Drink! Be merry!"

Was it possible that she did not understand? She still had that horrible emotion radiating off her body. He knew why now, though. She had been misled. He could see it -- she was with that Other one, the nameless one, the Lupe.

They had fought together for as long as the desert had existed. The Golden One brought sunlight and food and joy, The Golden One took no form but the sand and the sheer joy of the sunlight. But the Lupe, his dark cloud-born brother, he brought rain... rain, and shadows, and terrible, painful things -- hunger and fear and desire for knowledge or for war.

He tried to explain it to her, then. "I have come. Soon your fear will be vanquished. Love me, love the Divine One!"

How could she resist him? His concentration was rising to a fever pitch. The joy of his pets, chanting his name, gave him strength. The others were happy, yes, but her fear hurt him like a physical blow.

This was not fun. This was not ABSOLUTELY PLEASANT!

But that was all right. She would see. He would bring the storm cloud to her, and wrap her in the sand, and make her one of his own pets.

And then she would be happy. Then everything would be all right again, and quiet, and he could go back to sleep again.

* * * * *

In the City of Perfect Joy, the pale Acara Marna began to scream over and over again as a great pillar of cloud swept towards her.

The Lupe lunged towards the cloud, growling and snarling at it. "Run!" he shouted at her. "He's seen you -- run for your life!"

Amonng the advancing villagers, Marna could see her Tonu friend, his face lit up by a strange, paralyzed joy. For a moment she was torn between going to him and fleeing for her own life.

That moment's hesitation was enough. The sand cloud swept over the black-cloaked Lupe, hiding him from her sight. She screamed once more, and the blowing sand filled her mouth and lungs, and blackness welled up to greet her. In that blackness, she thought she could hear a voice.

"DON'T BE AFRAID," whispered the impossible desert voice, "EVERYTHING WILL BE PERFECTLY DIVINE."

All across the strange, quiet, storm-wrapped city, the grieving howl of a lone Lupe rang out and then fell silent. The villagers, together as one, lifted their heads to listen to the voice of their master...

Author: threskiorn
Date: Jun 14th
...For a heartbeat, everything drew together, like the whole world was sucking in its breath. It was so quiet, and linger of breath did not pierce it. It was in that vacuum of dumb silence where Marna's heart created a symphonia of pounding thumps, her mind spun with stomach-quenching speed, and her mouth opened in a piercing silent scream.

It was fear.

"I WILL SEAL THE PALE ONE'S HEART." murmured the Golden One. Marna heard his voice behind her, a tickle of warm wind on her shoulder. It sliced through the silence, her fear. The voice was so gentle, so calm, so beautiful, so...


Marna uttered a small protest as warm shafts of sunlight shot around her. Golden light silhouetted her, such a bright light but she could close her eyes to it. It was so bright, so prefect, she ceased her barriers of fear and let the golden light waft around her, drifting around her with such playful banter giddy happiness surged within her. All she saw was gold, and DIVINE golden light.

She smiled, and then...


"NOOOO!" Suddenly darkness ripped through her golden vision, and then a strange surge of emotions and struggle exploded with in. She thrashed, screaming as her heart pounded. It roared as the light flickered around her and vanished.

A strong force closed around her, and she found herself on the ground, sand covering her. She spat, coughing as the sandy grit replaced the last of the warm golden light. She was oddly lying on the cold ground, her limbs entangled, covered in cold sweat and sand.

"SHE IS IMPREFECT. SHE IS BLIND, MY DIVINE ONES." A whisper of harsh, cold breath in her ear.

Suddenly she was being pulled up. She swayed, the villagers' dazed grins blurring with her... tears?

"I'm... crying?" Marna whispered. She looked around, as silence lapsed into the city again. A strong hand on her shoulder, now, and Marna turned.

Marna turned to see the Lupe. She blinked through salt encrusted tears to see his sharp, serious face sparkling with tears.

Suddenly a terrible coldness wrapped around her, and the Lupe gave a rasping, scared breath.


The Lupe snarled. Marna saw his fists clenched, tight enough to crush stone. Anger flooded through his eyes, like smoldering embers.

Suddenly a harsh wind struck through the city. The wind roared, pumping through the city, blistering, angry roars of wind. The storm darkened, the clouds draped in angry scars of inky black. The Lupe didn’t falter, but Marna saw fear in his eyes.

The villagers in their suspended, eternal happy daze stumbled towards Marna. She whimpered, brushing tears from her face. More rushed into her eyes, tears flooding through her eyes. Her heart pulsing fiercely through her ribs, Marna stood firm but her eyes drowned in tears.


Marna shuddered as the blank, smooth piercing eyes of the villagers closed in on her. The Lupe grabbed her hand, and held it tight.

"Brace yourself..."

Author: spottedoreo_4
Date: Jun 14th
...Marna couldn't have let go even if she wanted to. Clinging tightly to the Lupe's steady paw, she stepped close to him, unable to steady her shaking. She felt weak, as though her legs would give way beneath her at any moment, her heart pounding so fast she was certain it would burst.

Wind whipped through her hair and stung her eyes, blurred with tears, and for a moment she felt as though she couldn't even breathe. The Lupe was tense beside her, poised for something even he didn't seem certain would happen, his equally tense eyes wide and alert.

But there was something beyond his eyes, as there was in hers. Perhaps the one thing that seperated these two from the rest of this possesed village. For shining in the eyes of Marna and her Lupe companion was emotion -- fear, raw and real, skittering like a nervous creature through wide eyes.

The villagers didn't seem to like this at all. Drawing ever closer, their eyes as blank and glossy as if painted on as hollow as a doll, their bland smiles overwhelming, for a terrifying moment Marna thought they would be overtaken by it all.

Suddenly, the Lupe grew rigid. "RUN!" he cried above the roaring wind, abruptly surging forward to lunge through the crowd of people. He wrenched Marna after him by her paw, and she cried out at the clawing hands of civilians trying to hold her back. The very sound seemed to affect them, and for a split second -- just a second long enough -- they drew back, and the two had raced out of their enclosure.

Sprinting down the beaten sand pathway, they could hear the divine one's voice trailing after them emptily. "DO NOT RUN. WE WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR FEAR FOREVER."

It was like racing through a nightmare. All around them were staring faces, empty smiles, other attempts to grab her on every side. "Your heart is strong, my friend," the Lupe called back to her, Marna stumbling and panting in his wake. "We are close now!"

Her lungs felt as if they would burst, her mind rushing. Just then, something caught her eye. A Tonu off to her side, turning his head to watch her pass, that same frightening grin plastered on his face. "Tenken!" Marna gasped, stumbling to a faltering halt.

It took the Lupe only a moment to realize she had stopped following, and he too staggered to a stop, wheeling around to see her walking towards the Tonu. "What are you doing?!"

But the Acara didn't seem to hear him. She was moving slowly toward her friend, a fresh wave of tears welling in her eyes. "Tenken," she whispered, choking back a sob. "Oh, Tenken... I... I'm so sorry..."

For a moment, the Lupe thought he saw something change on the Tonu's face. A flicker behind the eyes. As Marna drew closer, Tenken took a step back. He seemed disturbed by the sight of her tears.

As she broke into sobbing, his eyes widening, and to the Lupe's amazement, Tenken's smile vanished. "That's it," the Lupe uttered, briefly stunned. "Marna! Your emotions--"

"BE HAPPY. BE DIVINE." The voice rang out around them, and he realized to his horror that they were being surrounded once more.

"Marna!" the Lupe cried desperately. "It's up to you! Reach out to him!" Only she could save them now...

Author: mutedsanity
Date: Jun 15th
...Tears ran in dark streaks down her face as she faced the Tonu who once had been her friend. His smile was gone now, replaced by a hostile blankness, and he stared at her with a wildness in his glassy eyes.

Ignoring the growing clamour of the townspeople around her, Marna reached out a shaking paw, and took him firmly by his own. It was cold in her grasp, but warmth soon flowed from her touch to his -- warmth, and a tangible feeling of the depth of her emotion. "Come back to me," she pleaded in barely a whisper, not looking away from his faltering gaze. "Tenken..."

He blinked, and tried to step back, but she kept her grip firm. "No, I'm not letting you go that easily," she sobbed. "Tenken, don't you remember? You can find happiness in this world, too... Sometimes sadness makes it all the greater!" Her voice came in a rush, trying to get through to him, to have some part of the Tonu who had been Tenken hear her. "Remember the carriage ride?" she asked. Around her, the emotionless cries of "HAPPY, DIVINE!" seemed to shake the very foundations of the world, but she did not stop speaking. "Remember how wonderful it felt to come here at the end of our trip, and get into the cool inn? Tenken, if you had not been hot and tired, there would have been no relief! If you are not sad sometimes, your happiness is nothing. It is shallow, and empty... Tenken, you will never know real happiness this way." Beside her, the Lupe lowered himself to the ground, snarling at all of the approaching townspeople. The noise seemed to give them pause, but still they pressed in all around, reaching out with paws, fins, wings, claws...

Tenken's eyes widened, and his pupils sharpened, coming into focus at last. When he looked into her eyes, Marna saw her friend staring back at her. The relief almost buckled her knees; she hugged him with all of the last of her waning strength.

"Marna," he whispered, his voice thick with tears. "Thank you..."

The Lupe snapped at one villager who had gotten too close; she did not so much as blink. Her wide eyes still shone with false light, and her mouth remained forced into a fake grin. "WE WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY," she cried.

"There's no time," hissed the Lupe over his shoulder. "You got your friend back -- now run!"

Marna glanced at the Tonu, but Tenken remained in place. "No," he said. "I have been there, and I would not wish that state on anyone. We must save them."

The Lupe was dancing back and forth in the sand; only his lithe movements kept the villagers back. "There are too many!" he cried. "We'll never do it!"

"We can," replied the Tonu firmly. Taking Marna's hand, he turned to the ever-closing circle of enchanted townspeople...

Author: laurelinden
Date: Jun 15th
..."Tell them," Tenken whispered, his heavy-horned nose nuzzling her shoulder and pushing her foward. "Tell them the truth."

The villagers kept advancing, smiling with that unnatural brilliance. She could tell that they were surrounding her, and that the only way out now was through them -- was to reach them.

"You have to break out of this," Marna cried out, suddenly. Though her voice sounded fragile and tiny, she could feel a gathering strength behind it. "This isn't real. This isn't... this isn't life. You're dead -- you're all cold and dead and you think you're happy but you're really not! You're really just blind to the truth, to the dark black underbelly of life, to the blood and mud and sweat of existence. We're not divine! We're not meant to be divine or divinely happy or perfect -- we're meant to breathe and bleed and catch the sniffles and get banged up and hate and desire and..."

She stopped, gasped for breath, overwhelmed by the incoherence of her own thoughts. She felt the dark Lupe standing close behind her now, his fierce physicality adding to her courage. Marna didn't know how it was that she had come this far, but she was in the middle of them now, and they were all watching her. She felt confusion among them, and the wavering of smiles.

The Lupe growled, softly, "Tell them, Marna. Tell them the truth."

When she spoke again, her voice sounded eerily like his -- darker and stronger than the little Acara had ever been before.

"There must be rain! The sun cannot shine forever. There must be hunger! There cannot be food forever! There must be darkness and night-time, or you cannot sleep and if you cannot sleep you cannot dream. And there must be suffering. I must be allowed to suffer and to die, or nothing can ever change and be born. Come with us! All of you -- forsake this desert garden and come with me, and I will teach you pain and I will teach you hope!"

She stopped, suddenly, her heart beating wildly. She did not know where the words had come from, or what inner certainty drove her to them.

At that moment, one white-robed Usul stepped out from among the crowd. It was a small creature, but its eyes glowed with the light of the sun, and in its still, calm bearing there was a presence that seemed overwhelming. When it spoke, Marna could hear through its own, small, squirrelish voice a much deeper and stronger voice, a cthonic desert booming:


"What do you want? What do you want?" chorused the villagers in a muttered, confused chant. "What do we want?"

"We want to be free," Marna answered quietly, and her voice echoed in the sudden desert silence. The wind stopped, and strange grey clouds blew across the sun. "We want to be free."

"YOU WILL DIE," the desert Usul spoke -- not threateningly, but with a sad and strangely desperate tone -- "YOU WILL SUFFER HUNGER AND THIRST AND DESIRE AND IT WILL NOT BE PERFECT, AND IT WILL NOT BE HAPPY, AND YOU WILL LOSE THE DIVINE JOY."

"But we will be free," she repeated. "Let us go. Let us all go. We don't want your happiness!"

At that moment, the rain started.

The downpour was torrential. It gathered momentum in the city streets and across the hard, cracked plains to the north. From the dunes it washed sheets of thick golden mud, burying everything in its path. The Lupe was laughing like a mad beast as the flood swept towards the gathering, and in the lightening's illumination Marna could see the townspeople collapsing beneath the rain in dazed heaps.

She knew, instinctively, that they had woken up -- that somehow, beyond any explanation, her words had changed something and had broken the desert's hold over them. Yet with the sudden onslaught of the rain and the jumbled threat of lightning, it was all she could do to hold steady on her feet.

"Help us!" She whirled to the Lupe in fear, "Take us to higher ground!"

In the thundering dark, his golden eyes glowed with a frightening violence. "Help you?" he growled, "Why should I help you? This is exactly what we wanted."

Another crack of lightning and a sudden shaking of the ground through Marna to her feet. The water rushed over her, and she lost consciousness.

In the silence of her dreams, Marna saw the Golden One. He was formless, a being of light and evanescent sound and pure, radiating peace. She was not afraid now. Her last stand against him, the violence of the storm, even the shocking betrayal of the Lupe, all these things had worked together to strip away the last of her fear. She was not afraid -- she could even, at this moment, understand the sublime and divine beauty of his vision -- but she was also unmoved.

"Do not kill us all," she said, softly, demanding his attention. "That is not pleasant. You must let us go."

She could feel a ripple of grief from him, and for a moment she regretted her harshness. The moment passed. "You must let us go," she repeated.

She felt his assent, even before she felt the sun shining on her cheeks.

Tenken shook her again, his thick Tonu voice filled with concern. "Marna! Marna! Please don't be dead! Marna-- wake up!"

She sat up, groggily, spitting water and mud from her lungs. All about her in the hazy desert sun she could see the other pets from the village sprawled out in the slowly-drying sand. They lay limply on the ground, crying, or sat in little huddled groups or two or three, talking softly. The Lupe was nowhere to be seen among them.

She stood, shaky but resolved. "Come on," she ordered, her voice carrying effortlessly across the dune slope. "We have to keep walking."

One by one, the pets stood up and followed her. She led them flawlessly across the expanse back to Qasala, speaking no more words, and answering none of their hesitant and fearful questions.

It was not until she had returned to the charted and well-mapped city that she saw a mirror, or realized that during her three days in the lost desert her soft yellow fur had all turned a dark, shadowy grey.

* * * * *

The Golden One stirred within the sands, warmed by the pleasant rays of the sun, contented and perfect in his solitude.

The City of Perfect Joy stood empty. The wind blew sand through its deserted doors and windows, and strange Horus birds took perch among its collapsing rafters. He was happy with this, too. The sound of the sand and wind, the buzzing of Scarabug wings and the yipping of scavanger Anubi was all joy to him, just as the happy voices of pets had once been. In the emptiness of the desert, everything was perfectly divine.

But not far away, haunting the boundaries of the Golden One's domain, the nameless Lupe waited and watched. Someday the city would rise again. Someday pilgrims would seek out the Perfect Joy and someday the Golden One would welcome them with his divine food and his eternal joy. And when that day came, the shadowy Lupe knew, his quiet war would start once more.

The End

Author: threskiorn
Date: Jun 16th

Quick Jump

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12
Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16Week 17Week 18
Week 19Week 20Week 21Week 22Week 23Week 24
Week 25Week 26Week 27Week 28Week 29Week 30
Week 31Week 32Week 33Week 34Week 35Week 36
Week 37Week 38Week 39Week 40Week 41Week 42
Week 43Week 44Week 45Week 46Week 47Week 48
Week 49Week 50Week 51Week 52Week 53Week 54
Week 55Week 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60
Week 61Week 62Week 63Week 64Week 65Week 66
Week 67Week 68Week 69Week 70Week 71Week 72
Week 73Week 74Week 75Week 76Week 77Week 78
Week 79Week 80Week 81Week 82Week 83Week 84
Week 85Week 86Week 87Week 88Week 89Week 90
Week 91Week 92Week 93Week 94Week 95Week 96
Week 97Week 98Week 99Week 100Week 101Week 102
Week 103Week 104Week 105Week 106Week 107Week 108
Week 109Week 110Week 111Week 112Week 113Week 114
Week 115Week 116Week 117Week 118Week 119Week 120
Week 121Week 122Week 123Week 124Week 125Week 126
Week 127Week 128Week 129Week 130Week 131Week 132
Week 133Week 134Week 135Week 136Week 137Week 138
Week 139Week 140Week 141Week 142Week 143Week 144
Week 145Week 146Week 147Week 148Week 149Week 150
Week 151Week 152Week 153Week 154Week 155Week 156
Week 157Week 158Week 159Week 160Week 161Week 162
Week 163Week 164Week 165Week 166Week 167Week 168
Week 169Week 170Week 171Week 172Week 173Week 174
Week 175Week 176Week 177Week 178Week 179Week 180
Week 181Week 182Week 183Week 184Week 185Week 186
Week 187Week 188Week 189Week 190Week 191Week 192
Week 193Week 194Week 195Week 196Week 197Week 198
Week 199Week 200Week 201Week 202Week 203Week 204
Week 205Week 206Week 207Week 208Week 209Week 210
Week 211Week 212Week 213Week 214Week 215Week 216
Week 217Week 218Week 219Week 220Week 221Week 222
Week 223Week 224Week 225Week 226Week 227Week 228
Week 229Week 230Week 231Week 232Week 233Week 234
Week 235Week 236Week 237Week 238Week 239Week 240
Week 241Week 242Week 243Week 244Week 245Week 246
Week 247Week 248Week 249Week 250Week 251Week 252
Week 253Week 254Week 255Week 256Week 257Week 258
Week 259Week 260Week 261Week 262Week 263Week 264
Week 265Week 266Week 267Week 268Week 269Week 270
Week 271Week 272Week 273Week 274Week 275Week 276
Week 277Week 278Week 279Week 280Week 281Week 282
Week 283Week 284Week 285Week 286Week 287Week 288
Week 289Week 290Week 291Week 292Week 293Week 294
Week 295Week 296Week 297Week 298Week 299Week 300
Week 301Week 302Week 303Week 304Week 305Week 306
Week 307Week 308Week 309Week 310Week 311Week 312
Week 313Week 314Week 315Week 316Week 317Week 318
Week 319Week 320Week 321Week 322Week 323Week 324
Week 325Week 326Week 327Week 328Week 329Week 330
Week 331Week 332Week 333Week 334Week 335Week 336
Week 337Week 338Week 339Week 340Week 341Week 342
Week 343Week 344Week 345Week 346Week 347Week 348
Week 349Week 350Week 351Week 352Week 353Week 354
Week 355Week 356Week 357Week 358Week 359Week 360
Week 361Week 362Week 363Week 364Week 365Week 366
Week 367Week 368Week 369Week 370Week 371Week 372
Week 373Week 374Week 375Week 376Week 377Week 378
Week 379Week 380Week 381Week 382Week 383Week 384
Week 385Week 386Week 387Week 388Week 389Week 390
Week 391Week 392Week 393Week 394Week 395Week 396
Week 397Week 398Week 399Week 400Week 401Week 402
Week 403Week 404Week 405Week 406Week 407Week 408
Week 409Week 410Week 411Week 412Week 413Week 414
Week 415Week 416Week 417Week 418Week 419Week 420
Week 421Week 422Week 423Week 424Week 425Week 426
Week 427Week 428Week 429Week 430Week 431Week 432
Week 433Week 434Week 435Week 436Week 437Week 438
Week 439Week 440Week 441Week 442Week 443Week 444
Week 445Week 446Week 447Week 448Week 449Week 450
Week 451Week 452Week 453Week 454Week 455Week 456
Week 457Week 458Week 459Week 460Week 461Week 462
Week 463Week 464Week 465Week 466Week 467Week 468
Week 469Week 470Week 471Week 472Week 473Week 474
Week 475Week 476Week 477Week 478Week 479Week 480
Week 481Week 482Week 483Week 484Week 485Week 486
Week 487Week 488Week 489Week 490Week 491Week 492
Week 493Week 494Week 495Week 496Week 497Week 498
Week 499Week 500Week 501Week 502Week 503Week 504
Week 505Week 506Week 507Week 508Week 509Week 510
Week 511Week 512Week 513Week 514Week 515Week 516
Week 517Week 518Week 519Week 520Week 521Week 522
Week 523Week 524Week 525Week 526Week 527Week 528
Week 529Week 530Week 531Week 532Week 533Week 534
Week 535Week 536Week 537Week 538Week 539Week 540
Week 541Week 542Week 543Week 544Week 545Week 546
Week 547Week 548Week 549Week 550Week 551Week 552
Week 553Week 554Week 555Week 556Week 557Week 558
Week 559Week 560Week 561Week 562Week 563Week 564
Week 565Week 566Week 567Week 568Week 569Week 570
Week 571Week 572Week 573Week 574Week 575Week 576
Week 577Week 578Week 579Week 580Week 581Week 582
Week 583Week 584Week 585Week 586Week 587Week 588
Week 589Week 590Week 591Week 592Week 593Week 594
Week 595Week 596Week 597Week 598Week 599Week 600
Week 601Week 602Week 603Week 604Week 605Week 606
Week 607Week 608Week 609Week 610Week 611Week 612
Week 613Week 614Week 615Week 616Week 617Week 618
Week 619Week 620Week 621Week 622Week 623Week 624
Week 625Week 626Week 627Week 628Week 629Week 630
Week 631Week 632Week 633Week 634Week 635Week 636
Week 637Week 638Week 639Week 640Week 641Week 642
Week 643Week 644Week 645Week 646Week 647Week 648
Week 649Week 650Week 651Week 652Week 653Week 654
Week 655Week 656Week 657Week 658Week 659Week 660
Week 661Week 662Week 663Week 664Week 665Week 666
Week 667Week 668Week 669Week 670Week 671Week 672
Week 673Week 674Week 675Week 676Week 677Week 678
Week 679Week 680Week 681Week 682Week 683Week 684
Week 685Week 686Week 687Week 688Week 689Week 690
Week 691Week 692Week 693Week 694Week 695Week 696
Week 697Week 698Week 699Week 700Week 701Week 702
Week 703Week 704Week 705Week 706Week 707Week 708
Week 709Week 710Week 711Week 712Week 713Week 714
Week 715Week 716Week 717Week 718Week 719Week 720
Week 721Week 722Week 723Week 724Week 725Week 726
Week 727Week 728Week 729Week 730Week 731Week 732
Week 733Week 734Week 735Week 736Week 737Week 738
Week 739Week 740Week 741Week 742Week 743Week 744
Week 745Week 746Week 747Week 748Week 749Week 750
Week 751Week 752Week 753Week 754Week 755Week 756
Week 757Week 758Week 759Week 760Week 761Week 762
Week 763Week 764Week 765Week 766Week 767Week 768
Week 769Week 770Week 771Week 772Week 773Week 774
Week 775Week 776Week 777Week 778Week 779Week 780
Week 781Week 782Week 783Week 784Week 785Week 786
Week 787Week 788Week 789Week 790Week 791Week 792
Week 793Week 794Week 795Week 796Week 797Week 798
Week 799Week 800Week 801Week 802Week 803Week 804
Week 805Week 806Week 807Week 808Week 809Week 810
Week 811Week 812Week 813Week 814Week 815Week 816
Week 817Week 818Week 819Week 820Week 821Week 822
Week 823Week 824Week 825Week 826Week 827Week 828
Week 829Week 830Week 831Week 832Week 833Week 834
Week 835Week 836Week 837Week 838Week 839Week 840
Week 841Week 842Week 843Week 844Week 845Week 846
Week 847Week 848Week 849Week 850Week 851Week 852
Week 853Week 854Week 855Week 856Week 857Week 858
Week 859Week 860Week 861Week 862Week 863Week 864
Week 865Week 866Week 867Week 868Week 869Week 870
Week 871Week 872Week 873Week 874Week 875Week 876
Week 877Week 878Week 879Week 880Week 881Week 882
Week 883Week 884Week 885Week 886Week 887Week 888
Week 889Week 890Week 891Week 892Week 893Week 894
Week 895Week 896Week 897Week 898Week 899Week 900

IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS check with your parents before you submit anything to us!