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||You are on Week 303
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 Three Hundred Three Ends December 22
"Race you to the Advent Calendar!" Rikki shouted as the Ixi slid down a small mound of snow.
"No fair, you had a head start!" her little brother complained, as the Wocky leapt after her.
"Come on, Bryin, last one is a rotten Negg!" the Ixi laughed, bounding off as she left small hoofprints in the snow.
"Rikki, I'm shorter! I can't run as fast as y-OOF!" The Wocky stopped suddenly short as he plowed straight into his older sister, who had suddenly stopped. "Ow, that hurt," he complained, ruefully rubbing his nose. "Rikki?"
But his sister did not respond. Instead, she stared ahead in shock at the Advent Calendar. Though loud shouting could generally be heard from the place at all hours, as pets happily showed off their presents, the yells this time were of a more panicked nature. Confused Neopets ran in every direction, only adding to the general chaos.
Bryin inhaled sharply. "What happened?..."
Author: is building snow sculptures|
Date: Dec 15th
...Rikki tried to get the attention of a passing Elephante, but only succeeded in getting bowled over. Bryin made a failed attempt with a howling Kiko. And neither of them even considered getting in the way of the caterwauling Grarrl that thundered through the crowd, increasing the panic tenfold wherever he stomped.
"Good grief," Bryin muttered. "You'd think Hubrid Nox had turned all the presents into slime-puking Chia ghosts!" Turning his head, he gave a snow-soaked copy of Darigan Storytime an irritated shove with his foot.
The book snapped open, flying into the air in the process and smacking the Wocky in the face.
Bryin jumped back with a yelp, and Rikki whirled to glance at him. "Bryin? What's wrong?"
"The book attacked me!"
Rikki glanced down at the offending literature. The pale grey visage of Lord Darigan, incongruously decked out in a Santa hat, grinned back up at her. And began to talk.
Rikki screamed. The book chatted on obliviously, cheerfully relating the misfortunes of a young faerie in her attempts to deliver a Christmas present. Nearby, Bryin skipped, skittered, shrieked and screamed as a wind up Darigan Pteri waddled menacingly toward him, and at the epicenter of the mass-merry mayhem that had engulfed the near vicinity, a Christmas Bori plushie launched a merciless assault on a bawling young Chia.
"Jumping Jhudora!" Bryin whimpered, shrinking against his sister as the book's incessant nattering drew the wind-up toy's attention away from the Wocky. "All the presents are coming to life!"...
Editor's note: There will be two entries today (Dec. 18) and one entry on Friday (Dec. 22)!
Date: Dec 18th
... “How can that be?!” the Ixi cried - rather pointlessly, Bryin felt - as she fended off a marauding Blechy hat that was attempting to latch onto her skull. “It’s not possible, is it? I mean, things like this just don’t happen!”
The Wocky raised an eyebrow at his older sister and wondered how long it had been since she’d picked up a copy of the Neopian Times. “They do, and more often than you’d think,” he said, with a hint of derision. Things like this did happen. And they were, as was amply evidenced by the chaos that was unfolding around them. As if to drive this point home, a gaggle of striped ornaments rolled past the pair with what Bryin could have sworn was malicious intent.
The real question was: Who, or what, was behind it?
There was no point in ruminating on this subject any further, Bryin quickly realized - at least not at that moment. The red-and-white baubles had made a broad arc in their path and were now rolling determinedly toward the Wocky and his sister, clanking against each other ominously. As he attempted to back away from the advancing decorations, he felt his foot hit something soft, and yelped as that something wrapped itself around his ankle.
An army of seasonal clothing- pink earmuff and scarf sets, Tyrannian pyjama bottoms, and Christmas Ghostkerhats galore - had amassed behind them. Suspending her disbelief in the face of this warm and fuzzy horde, Rikki gave a growl of anger and yanked at the Quiggle scarf wrapped around her little brother’s leg. “Get off him, you!”
“H-hey, stop doing that!” Bryin yelped, struggling to keep his footing on the snow-covered ground as the pink piece of apparel constricted around his leg, then suddenly reversed tactics and released him, instead going for Rikki’s forelimbs. As he watched helplessly, the Ixi was quickly rendered helpless by the scarf, which didn’t budge despite her cries of rage and attempts to tear at it with her teeth. Looking back down to his own feet, Bryin was horrified to discover that, while he had been distracted, over half a dozen Christmas Kookith plushies had crowded around him and effectively immobilized him, their squishy square bodies anchoring his feet to the ground with unexpected force and their black button eyes staring up at him with empty cheer.
This is too much, he found himself thinking, as he squeezed his eyes shut in a desperate attempt to block out the havoc that had consumed the once peaceful corner of Happy Valley. Being mobbed by toys gone mad was much more than he had bargained for; how were he and his sister supposed to escape from this mess?
“Look alive, there, boy! What’re ya tryin’ ter do, play dead?!”
There was a sudden ripping sound, like that of fabric being torn with a pair of strong shears... or perhaps claws. The pressure on his limbs lifted, and Bryin opened one eye hesitantly.
Standing adrift in a pile of shredded clothing and plushies, and helping a shaky Rikki back to her feet, was an old and ornery-looking red Bori...
Date: Dec 18th
...Bryin tilted his chin back to better soak in the familiar figure, his mouth an unwitting circle of surprise. Immediatly he recognized the Bori from memories slightly distorted with age: a much younger Bryin, trudging up the winding slope of Terror Mountain, sniffling quietly; Rikki holding his paw, her sympathy overcoming the urge to scold him for his carelessness; a blue Kacheek plushie clutched tightly to his chest, sporting a delicate tear that intimated the stuffing inside.
Rikki and the Bori were already trading introductions, as though they had met under circumstances that didn't involve the sudden animation of formerly inanimate objects.
"I'm Rikki," she said, though her voice still quivered a bit.
"Donny," he responded gruffly, and quite unnecessarily. It was apparent that both siblings knew him.
Bryin made to open his already limp mouth and share in the pleasantries when the unlikely party was interrupted -- a resourceful partnership had been formed between a pull along Gelert and a Whack a Kass puppet, in which the Gelert was used as a catapult to hurl cups of (exceedingly) hot borovan into the increasing chaos.
"So, Donny," Rikki panted, pulling her brother up and twisting to dodge one such cup; brown liquid splashed from the porcelain and hissed against the snow. "You work with toys, right? Why are they acting like this?"
"Dunno," Donnny said, preoccupied with the Kass puppet, which was considerably more menacing when it wasn't being whacked. Rikki found herself slightly irritated in the Bori's less-than-elaborate responses.
"But you fix them, right? You can fix these, too?"
There was the distinct sound of splitting cloth; the Kass puppet, which had made the mistake of attacking Donny's paws, fluttered in deep purple tatters to the frozen earth. It seemed Donny had abandoned his iconic mallet for a more practical solution.
"I can't fix it," he growled, or maybe that was just the way he spoke. His eyes rested briefly on the torn puppet, and a foreign emotion -- what was it? -- lingered in them. "But I think I know how..."
Date: Dec 19th
Donny's eyes lifted, set with a heavy scowl at being interrupted, but the innocent eagerness of Rikki's imploring eyes softened his expression. "How they can be fixed," he replied gruffly. "I can't do it myself, but that don't mean there ain't a way."
A winter Blechy hat floated through the air toward the Bori's head; grumbling, Donny snatched it from the air, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it with a ice-crusted boot. "Darn hat."
Rikki wasn't so easily distracted. "What is your idea?" she persisted.
"Well, none o' this is natural Advent-Calendar going-ons, so I figure a strange force must be at play -- a curse o' some sort. I could keep tearin' at the prizes or thwackin' 'em with my mallet, but it don't feel right destroyin' things o' the holiday, even if they are attackin' me." As he looked down at the crushed hat, Rikki recognized at last the emotion that colored his eyes. Regret.
He was right, she realized, gazing around at all of the ruined toys and clothes and gifts; it did seem a pity.
"Who would curse the prizes?" asked her brother softly. He looked horrorstruck at the idea.
Donny shook his head, tsk-tsking. "Someone that doesn't want us ter celebrate," he said. "Someone who wants ter make us ruin the Advent gifts, and take away some o' the holiday joy."
"But what do we do?" Rikki looked dolefully across the snow; even now more animated prizes approached, preparing to attack.
"If we don't want ter spend the day here thwackin'," said Donny, "there is only one thing ter to. We must find a way to lift the curse."
"But we don't even know who cursed them!" protested Bryin, searching the drifts for a weapon to fend off the advancing tide.
Rather than looking agitated at the comment, Donny's face broke into a sad smile. "Well now, I think I have an idea..."
Date: Dec 19th
..."It was Sloth," Bryin interrupted, loudly.
His companions might have laughed, had the situation been at all laughable (and it probably would have been, if humor had not been so hard to find in the middle of it). Still, the comment may have elicited smiles, perhaps even the odd chuckle, had it not been for the enthusiasm in his voice.
As it was, Rikki and Donny settled with expressions of incredulity. Except Donny, who looked more disgruntled than anything -- but maybe that was irrelevant, anyway.
"How do you know?" Rikki asked sharply.
"I just do. It's always Sloth," Bryin supplied, his voice still smug with epiphany.
His sister rolled her eyes and promptly returned her attention to Donny. "So, who do you think is behind this?"
But it was foolish to think a conversation could go on so long unabated; a small army of clockwork Grundos were making awkward but decided progress across the snowdrifts, glittering metal teeth gnashing with each setback.
Donny had obviously determined that enough time had been spent in the futile struggle against the toys, and with a quick gesture the three were off across the valley. Between quick breaths of icy air, he said, "Don' know who, exactly. To many bad'uns 'round here to know for sure."
That was certainly true. Take into account every villan in Neopia, and consider which among them would be willing and able to enchant Christmas gifts to attack innocent passerby -- your result wasn't a very narrow list.
"So what's the plan?" Bryin asked as he leapt clumsily over a pile of empty pillow cases.
"We're goin' to go see Taelia."
"You know her?" Rikki asked breathlessly. The group slowed as it became apparent that the enchanted objects had no intention of leaving their newly established domain.
"We're neighbors, aren' we?" Donny huffed, pulling at his beard irritably. "Anyway, she knows more 'bout this mumbo jumbo stuff than me."
"Right." Well, it wasn't hard to believe.
The rest of the journey was made in silence; Donny didn't make the best traveling companion, Bryin reflected half-heartedly. The Bori had his head bowed in the wind, glaring at the snow as if it weren't there and consumed with thoughts he felt no need to voice.
The Snow Faerie's igloo-like dwelling rested precariously on a cliff, framed by the strong contours of rock and the glimmer of a weak sun.
Donny paused in his footsteps, and Rikki, immediatly behind him, very narrowly missed walking into him.
The door to Taelia's home was ajar, trembling in Terror Mountain's erratic wind...
Date: Dec 20th
..."Isn't it too cold to leave your door open?" Rikki asked. "It must be freezing in there with this wind blowing."
Donny nodded solemnly, quickening his pace in the direction of the icy home. Rikki guessed that he was worried that Taelia wouldn't be there. She was worried too. The siblings walked briskly beside him, clutching their coats tightly with only hopes that it would help them warm up.
Before entering, Donny knocked on the door, just to be polite. "Anyone in here?" he shouted, looking in. Seeing that nobody was there to invite them in, the Bori led Rikki and Bryin into the home.
"Where could she be?" asked Bryin.
"Out on errands maybe, ya' know, for spells."
"Doesn't she have other people do that for her, people like us?" inquired Rikki.
"Sometimes she does things on 'er own," remarked the Bori.
It was obvious that the quiet home was deserted. The only thing that notified if anyone had even been here were footprints that were lightly imprinted in the ice floor. Bryin could tell that the footprints belonged to someone who had a light step but big feet.
"Do you think those could have been Taelia?" asked Bryin, pointing at the prints.
Donny examined the footprints carefully, and, to their surprise, he took out a foot measurer from his vest and held it next to the footprints. "They're size 9," Donny announced.
"What's size 9?" asked Bryin.
Rikki looked at her brother dubiously. "The footprints."
"Oh, yeah, right..."
"Taelia's shoe size is 7 an' a half." informed Donny. Rikki and Bryin looked at the Bori questioningly. "I know 'cause she had a special request at the repair shop. A new pair o' shoes." Donny explained. The siblings nodded.
"Now the question is, whose prints are they if-"
The door slammed shut, inturupting the Bori in mid-sentence...
Date: Dec 20th
...Donny marched toward the door with bravery that impressed the two Neopets who watched him, and threw it open in one quick motion.
Empty, whirling snow greeted him.
Slowly, very slowly, the old Bori crept out the door and into the outside world. If the one responsible for all of this was nearby, he or she could be hiding. He brought the door almost-closed, should he or she be waiting behind it, and his eyebrows lifted at what he saw.
Icicles dotted the door; the force of their impact must have been what slammed it. But even more intriguing was their arrangement. They spelled out a single word: Closet.
"Check the closet!" The Bori hurried back into the house, already following his own command. Rikki and Bryin half-ran after, spurred by curiosity and delayed by fear. What would they find within?
Reaching the closet door, Donny opened it quickly and stepped back, fists raised in defense. But nothing jumped out at them -- indeed, there was no sign of anything unusual except for a slight stirring of the coats.
Rikki and Bryin watched with wide eyes as their Bori companion slowly pulled back the heavy coats. Rather than being confronted by some sort of size-nine monster, there stared back at them the Snow Faerie herself.
Bound, gagged, Taelia looked up at them with imploring eyes. Rikki and Bryin darted forward, relieved, working at the knots at her wrists and ankles, and pulling away the cloth stuffed between her teeth.
"I heard your voices," explained the Snow Faerie breathlessly as her mouth was freed. "I did the only thing I could to give you a hint."
"We have a lot to talk about," said Donny brusquely, giving no indication that it had been anyone other than Taelia that he'd expected to find behind those coats.
Surprisingly, the faerie shook her head. "There is no time," she gasped. "He said he needed to take care of something, but that he'd be back! He tied me up so that I wouldn't go for help in the meantime, but he needs me for something. He is already on his way -- you must leave, and quickly!"
Donny helped the faerie to her feet, but as the four of them turned toward the door, it flew open once again.
"You have it wrong, faerie," said a voice. "I don't need you to do something for me, I took you to prevent what you might do. And look! If it isn't the pesky Bori toy-fixer that I just went to get. I was disappointed you'd run away, but it seems you've come straight to me after all. Convenient, don't you think?"
Laughing, the figure stepped forward, out of the blinding snow...
Date: Dec 21st
...and the temperature in the already freezing house plummeted lower. Rikki's breath plumed out in a moist cloud that turned swiftly to tiny ice crystals.
The thing that had just come in faced them and smiled a slow serpentine smile.
They all stared.
It didn't look like any Neopet any of them had ever seen. It was made entirely of ice -- old ice, compacted in rippling glassy white and blue -- and it went on two feet, but its legs and arms and torso all seemed weirdly elongated and wavy, as if the creature were built of snakes. It didn't have a proper neck; above the shoulders, it simply rose up, narrowing slightly, and flowed into a head. It looked a bit like an overgrown Snowickle, but it was talking.
It took a step forward, and Rikki's stomach flipped as she realized that its weight wasn't pressing indentations into the ice floor -- its feet were picking up a thin layer of ice when they were lifted.
"None of you will be permitted to interfere," it said. And then it grabbed them.
It picked up Rikki in one arm, and Bryin in the other; Rikki thought and hoped for a moment that Donny and Taelia would stay free and be able to save them, but as the powerful Bori lunged and Taelia snatched up her wand, the ice-creature lunged too, and its torso elongated and wrapped around them both in a swift double twist.
Taelia's wand clattered to the floor, sending up a few small chips of ice.
The Bori's heavy claws scrabbled ineffectively against the creature's solid-ice body. "Here, what's this?"
"Quiet," said the creature, and tightened its grip. It wasn't enough to crush them, but the four had all they could do to breathe, never mind cry out for help or in warning, while it sauntered back out the door and carried them into a crack in the rock.
Rikki struggled for air, starving for it even though it was so cold it hurt her nose and lungs, cringing away from the jagged icy walls in the narrow tunnel.
At last it opened out into a cavern, and their captor threw them down onto a massive heap of junk and treasure -- toys, neggs, weapons -- Rikki rolled off a sparkshooter and scrambled up on all fours, her hooves sliding on keychains. "You're--"
Their captor's form changed, growing longer and huger and losing its limbs, but the head only grew larger, and it grinned down at them with fangs like stalactites. "The Snowager. Size 9, you say, Donny?"
"Did you enchant all the toys?" Bryin demanded, incensed. "I didn't even know you could do that! Why would you want to ruin the Day of Giving for everybody?"
"Oh, I don't know," the Snowager said, looming up and glaring down at them. "Perhaps because I'm fed up with how half of Neopia comes and takes from me," and it bore down as if about to strike, so that the young Wocky squeaked and tumbled backward, "every time I sleep!"
"But the Advent Calendar's givin' things away on purpose," Donny said impatiently, seeming remarkably unflustered. "Don't see what good it does you to take that away, or have the presents all broken. Don't see you breaking up your own hoard, do we?"
The Snowager roared anger, and Donny ducked down so that a stray shard bounced off his hard shell. But only one, and only stray. Most had curved in midair to embed themselves in the upper wall of the cave.
Taelia stood, apparently unaffected by the unstable footing, and fixed her eyes on the gigantic ice-serpent. "Snowager," she said, "you will not harm them."
"I don't particularly care about harming them," the Snowager hissed, which was an accomplishment in a phrase with no sibilants whatsoever. "I care about having you and the Bori out of the way. But do you honestly think you could stop me? You couldn't keep me from locking you in your own closet -- or from bringing you here."
"I was caught unprepared," Taelia said, though two bright spots of color appeared in her snowy cheeks. She shook back her fur-trimmed sleeves. "I appreciate your desire to defend your own hoard, but it does not give you the right to destroy others' possessions, or prevent them from giving them away if they wish."
"Are you going to fight me, faerie?" The Snowager's booming laughter shook a light fall of frost from the ceiling.
And Bryin piped up nervously, "Wait...."
How will this week's story end?
Date: Dec 21st
... Donny, Rikki, and Taelia glanced at the young Wocky in surprise. The Snowager just laughed.
"A young boy is not going to disrupt me now." His eyes narrowed at Taelia. "I want my revenge, and I want it this second."
The Snow Faerie shifted uncomfortably, trying to gain time. "Give the boy a moment to speak."
Rikki had been watching the scene nervously, afraid for her younger brother. The Snowager could overpower them easily... very easily.
Bryin cleared his throat. "Well, I thought that..." He frowned, trying to find the right words. "You know, violence may never really end this dispute. Even with Taelia and Donny captured, Neopets will still enter your cave and steal from you. And they'll definitely try to get Donny and Taelia back if you hold them prisoner here. We've got to come up with some kind of agreement."
Taelia and Rikki nodded slightly, and Donny murmured his agreement. But the Snowager still looked angry and very sceptical.
"Foolish boy!" he boomed. "Neopets are crazy about my treasures. They care not about my likes and dislikes." He spat out the words. Bryin licked his lips, trembling slightly. He had no way to protest to the Snowager's statement, because he knew that the words were true.
"Why don't you just give it a chance?" Taelia piped up, taking a step forward. "If you make the presents back to normal, we'll try to go down to Happy Valley to see what we can do about your case."
The Snowager growled, causing small chunks of ice to break off the walls and crash down dangerously close to the four of them. He stared at Taelia intensely for a few seconds, and Rikki and Bryin watched with bated breath. What if the Snowager said no?
After a long pause, in which the Snowager gave each of them an iron stare, he declared, "Fine, I accept your offer. But if they do not agree... they will pay, and so will you."
The four of them exhaled in relief. "Will you un-enchant the presents now?" Rikki asked tentatively. The Snowager growled again, only this time it was not as intimidating as it had been before. Then he closed his eyes and bowed his head. "Very well. It has been done."
With the Snowager granting their wish, Taelia and the siblings set out into the open again. The Snowager had demanded Donny would stay as a hostage with him so that they could not just run away. Before heading down to Happy Valley, they made a brief stop at Taelia's igloo so the Snow Faerie could pick up her wand.
Rikki and Bryin stood at the very top of Terror Mountain, glancing down the steep slope. Rikki then looked up at Bryin and grinned. "Last one to the bottom is a rotten Negg!"
With those words, the Ixi joyfully began sliding down the slope, with an eager Bryin on her heels. Taelia, laughing, brought up the rear.
They reached the bottom to find that the Neopets gathered around the Advent Calendar were no longer shrieking and panicking. The Snowager had been true to his word; the presents that were left intact no longer terrorised the crowd.
Taelia took a deep breath. "Think we can convince them?"
Rikki grinned. "Definitely."
So the three of them got the crowd's attention and told them the Snowager's case, patiently answering everyone's questions and finally getting Happy Valley's citizens to agree not to steal from the Snowager. With those words, the Snowager let Donny go, and he and Taelia resumed their ordinary lives.
As for Rikki and Bryin, they went back home to recover from their adventures. But they knew it was not going to be long before they returned to Terror Mountain once more.
Date: Dec 22nd
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