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||You are on Week 309
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 Nine Ends February 9
"Thank you for coming on such short notice, dear, we really appreciate it." The old Krawk beamed toward the young Pteri as she handed her the keys.
"You're welcome," Sandie replied politely, hooking the key ring with her wing. "I'll see you later tonight!" she continued, waving as the old Krawk walked down the street. "Have fun at the concert!"
A few more of these emergency Petpetsitting jobs, and I'll have that paint brush in no time,, Sandie thought, walking in through the front door. They give me more than enough Neopoints to make up for the trouble of coming at the last minute!
The first thought that crossed Sandie’s mind when she entered the old Krawk’s house was that a hurricane had hit it. The second thought that crossed her mind was that the room was alive.
Every available space was crammed full of wriggling Petpets. Doglefoxes burrowed themselves into the couch cushions, while Kookiths leapt cheerfully among drifting feathers in the air. A Tuceet flapped around the ceiling light, squawking loudly as it occasionally hammered its beak into the roof tiles. A line of Babaas straggled by, bleating loudly, followed by a line of fervently quacking Mallards. Somewhere, lost amid the general chaos, a lone Kadoatie wailed and wailed.
Sandie groaned. "Oh no..."
Author: Too... many... Petpets...|
Date: Feb 2nd
...The young Pteri had walked straight into the middle of Petpet chaos, but it was too late to back out now. The old Krawk was long gone, and Sandie couldn't just leave all the Petpets by themselves. It would ruin her reputation as the best Petpetsitter Neopoints could hire. "It's for the paint brush. Remember the paint brush," Sandie whispered to herself as she plunged headfirst into the job of a lifetime.
The first thing she did was to head into the kitchen so to set out food for the various Petpets. She had learned long ago that Petpets weren't nearly as restless with full stomachs - and had a tendency to sleep. Continuing to focus on her goal, she walked into the kitchen.
To her surprise and disbelief, the kitchen was filled with even more Petpets. A Puppyblew and an Anubis were barking at a plushie Harris, that had climbed upon the kitchen cabinets as a Snoogy watched quietly with sad eyes. Sandie shook her head, as she tried to gather food and feedbowls, nearly stepping on numerous Meepits that littered the floor like multi-colored tile. The Pteri maintained her composure as she finally located the food and bowls.
Her plan almost worked, but the first Neopets she fed were already done and demanding her attention while she was still struggling to feed the others. "That old Krawk better tip well," Sandie mumbled as she continued.
* * * * *
Time passed slowly in the Neohome seemingly furnished with Petpets, and Sandie's patience was nearly at its end. At least, she thought with some relief, the old Krawk should be home soon.
Just as soon as the thought crossed her mind, she thought she heard someone at the door. She jumped up and opened the door, but found that she had been mistaken. No one was there.
She sighed as she begin to close the door, but suddenly a Doglefox ran past her and into the evening air - followed by the entire herd of the old Krawk's Petpets...
Date: Feb 5th
...Sadie blinked in denial. That didn't just happen. I will turn around, and everything will be back to normal, as insane as it already was.
Hardly breathing, she turned around. The house was still a mess, but it no longer seemed to be moving. Everything was still, and deadly quiet.
A wave of panic rose in the Pteri's chest like the final grip of a Grarrl's snapping jaws. What am I going to do? she thought despairingly, staring out into the night. The sounds of the rushing herd were distant, and she couldn't see the Doglefox or anyone else on the street.
A sound crunched behind her. Sadie jumped, thinking that the old Krawk had come home early, but when she turned around it was the sad-eyed Snoogie, staring dolefully up at her.
"You're the last one left, aren't you?" asked Sadie softly, and the Snoogie nodded. Apparently the little guy hadn't been up to prowling wildly through the countryside.
Sadie was standing next to the Petpet, looking blankly down the street, when an idea struck her. "Snoogie," she said, (for she had no idea what the Petpet's name might be, if it had one at all), "Do you know where they might have gone?" Surely the Petpet herd must have escaped before.
Gazing sadly up at her, the Snoogie nodded again...
Date: Feb 6th
...Sandie's heart skipped a beat. "Can you show me?" she asked as kindly as she could, even though the Pteri was ready to jump out of her skin. Every second was one second sooner that the Krawk would return to find her beloved Petpets at large somewhere in Neopia Central.
The Snoogy nodded slowly, and took a small step toward the door. Sandie scooped the Petpet up in her arms. "I think it'd be a lot faster if you just pointed the way, don't you think?" she said sweetly but hurriedly. The Snoogy nodded again. Sandie was about to dash out the door when she thought of something. How would she get the Petpets home once she found them?
The Pteri frantically looked around the small Neohome. There was no enormous crate or anything else she could possibly use to transport the Petpets. Sandie would need a way to get them to follow her. She spotted the huge bag of Petpet feed in the corner. Glancing at the clock, which told her that the Krawk would be home any minute, Sandie ran to the large sack. Searching for something more portable, the Pteri could only find a ripped pillowcase from one of the sofas. She filled it up with as much Petpet feed as it could carry, and then, with the Snoogy still in one arm, Sandie dashed out the door.
The Pteri breathed a sigh of relief when she remembered that she had ridden over on her bicycle. Throwing the pillowcase in the basket and perching the Snoogy on the handlebars, Sandie hopped on the bike and said, "Where to, Snoogy?"
The frantic evening adventure was turning out to be quite the experience for the little Petpet, who gazed wide-eyed at the neighborhood about him. "Come on, buddy, come through for me. Where are they?" said Sandie through clenched teeth.
The Snoogy pointed down the road. In a flash, Sandie was off, pedaling wildly down the road as the Snoogy's ears streamed back in the evening wind...
Date: Feb 6th
...Sandie rode faster and faster. There was not a moment to lose. The pillowcase full of Petpet-feed rattled in the metal box on her bike. Past the houses and shops they went, until they came to a fork in the road. The Pteri looked down at the Snoogie, and asked, "Which way, my little one?"
The Snoogie raised a tiny paw and pointed to the left fork. Sandie couldn't help noticing that it was shaking tremulously, rapidly, like the frantic beating of her heart.
"Poor thing," she cooed. "Are you sure you want to go?"
The Snoogie managed to nod with strong certainty, despite its fear of going out into the vast world of Neopia. Sandie smiled. Here was a great Petpet, ready to confront what it was afraid of most. It might've been teased and bullied by the others, but now it had proved itself to be the bravest of all.
They took the left fork, following the winding path. Sandie looked around her as they went. Here was a part of Neopia Central that she had never visited before. The atmosphere was strange and grey-looking, like an ominous mist or a threatening cloud - certainly not like the cheery colourful streets she knew and loved. The Snoogie began to feel the chill, too. It held onto her more tightly, burrowing its little head into her side. The Pteri increased her grip on it reassuringly.
Sandie and the Snoogie went down the lane, each with the other for comfort and support. Suddenly the situation didn't seem so bad anymore. With light hearts they went, Pteri and Petpet, continuing their quest.
But what they didn't know was that a hazy shadow stirred in the gloom, hidden by the dusky twilight ...
Date: Feb 7th
...or, perhaps, creating it.
Sandie kept accelerating, her talons gripping the pedals of her bike and spinning them faster, driving onward even as the road dipped and began to slope ever-so-gently downward. She only noticed that it was growing easier, the motion of her tired legs going from difficult to effortless; she began to grin, and after spinning past several blocks, she yielded to temptation and let go of the handlebars to spread her wings. The bike sped onward straight and true. The Snoogy clung to her, squeaking.
Then a sudden gust of wind snatched at her wings, hoisting Sandie upward and breaking her claws' grip on the bike. She squawked, tumbling backward in the air and flapping frantically to break her fall, and still landed hard on the ground. Her bicycle, with the sack of Petpet feed, continued onward, still gathering speed.
Sandie rubbed her feet, which hurt from having the pedals yanked from them, and checked to make sure the nervous Snoogy wasn't injured from the fall. Then she got up to chase after her bike.
And stopped as that hazy gray fear descended on her. The sun was going down. The air was dim and things fluttered at the edges of her vision; she was in an unfamiliar part of Neopia Central, guided by the one un-lost Petpet of her employer's enormous horde, and she could barely imagine there being any other Petpets in the area, much less how so many could have disappeared, apparently into thin air.
The old Krawk had probably arrived home ages ago to find both Petpets and Petpet-sitter missing. Sandie couldn't even remember if she'd locked the door. The poor lady probably thought she'd been robbed. If she was very kind, she might think Sandie had been kidnapped, rather than being the robber herself.
And she could not for the life of her remember why she had been so cheerful and carefree a few minutes before.
Up ahead, her bicycle trundled rapidly off into the thickening mist and disappeared.
Sandie blinked and stopped dead.
The shadows darted and flickered around her, turning red in the west by the setting sun.
Her bicycle was gone.
It hadn't turned any corners. It had been going quite straight.
It hadn't fallen down and become obscured against the gray road. That would be hard for a bright pink pike, anyway.
It hadn't simply become obscured by the fog. She was sure it had just been passing that little potion-shop, and she could see farther down the road than that, if not very well.
It was just gone.
Into thin air, Sandie thought, and walked slowly down the street after it...
Date: Feb 7th
...Cold mist from the fog hung heavily in the air as Sandie entered the gray town. When she did, she only managed to stop again to stare in shock at the tiny buildings that seemed incredibly strange from up close. As she passed the small potion-shop, hugging the Snoogy close (whether to comfort it or herself she was unsure), Sandie peered inside the old, grimy window and saw the strangest potions that she had ever seen. All were labeled with faded pieces of paper which read "Essence of Jubjub Saliva" or "Powdered Korbat Wing." Sandie winced away from "Claw of Pteri" and turned quickly to return to her mission of finding her bike and then the Petpets.
"Looking for some potions?" Sandie practically jumped out of her feathers, but luckily managed to bite back a bloodcurdling scream. The Snoogy made pathetic, frightened noises as its companion whirled around to face the speaker.
An old, withered Shoyru faced them, supporting himself on a gnarled stick and watching the two with eyes that seemed to see everything. A wide yet seemingly forced smile spread across his features as he repeated his question. "Are you looking for some potions?"
Sandie gulped. There was something about this Shoyru that she didn't like... but there was no one else around that she could ask if she ever wished to retrieve her bike and the Petpets.
"No, actually I was just passing through. I am looking for something, though. Have you seen a bright pink bike roll by? Or perhaps a huge herd of Petpets?"
The Shoyru seemed to consider for a minute. His all-seeing eyes scanned the gray road, the tiny buildings, and the Neopet and Petpet until he finally pointed with an old, withered finger down the road, the way the bike had been going before it abruptly disappeared. "That way. You'll find what you're looking for there."
Feeling relief spread through her, Sandie quickly thanked the Shoyru and hurried on her way, deciding that with directions she had, at least, some hope of returning the Petpets to the Krawk, if not on time.
But, hey. It's better late than never.
However, in spite of her new optimism she still couldn't bring herself to fully trust the Shoyru's words. And she just couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched, as the strange haze seemed to twist around the road, almost as if doing some kind of unknown dance...
Date: Feb 8th
...She walked down the still, motionless road, noticing how her steps sounded oddly loud on the pavement. Around her the houses seemed to sag in the gloom, their windows protruding forlornly, glistening like tear-filled eyes.
A scuff sounded behind her. Heart hammering, Sandie froze, and would have attributed the sound to her own imagination had the little Snoogie not been trembling so.
All at once she whirled around, a scream of terror already forming in her throat--
--And emptiness greeted her.
And it wasn't just emptiness of the street, Sandie noticed. Behind her, the path where she'd come was completely invisible, engulfed by the fog. It shouldn't be that way, the Pteri realized. Just a few steps ago she had seen relatively far before her, but now she could scarcely see anything at all. It was almost as if the rest of the town had disappeared...
Somewhere ahead of her, Sandie heard a new sound: a sharp yelp, as if some creature were crying out in pain. The Puppyblew! she realized, her eyes bulging wide with horror. Could it and the others be ahead?
Clutching the Snoogy close, the Pteri took off at a run toward the source of the sound, doing her best to ignore the way her heart thundered in her chest. It might have been her imagination, but she almost thought that she could hear someone laughing...
Date: Feb 8th
...Around her, the mists turned from bland gray to a dull murky color, and then lightened to a brilliant poisonous green. Sandie kept running, wishing she thought the Snoogy could hold on hard enough to let her fly for better speed, but she was shaking so much herself that she could hardly hold the poor little Petpet. It wouldn't be fair to expect more strength from it.
She could hear more cries from up ahead now, but the green mist was thick and seemed to scatter the sound. She kept imagining that the cries were coming from behind or all around her, but she didn't know what else to do but keep running.
The mist took on a weird sickly-sweet taste, filling her mouth and nose. Her lungs labored against its suffocating thickness, and it seemed to press against her, slowing her forward rush.
Then suddenly it was gone from in front of her, and the young Pteri stumbled forward in an involuntary roll, tumbling claws-over-beak for a full revolution before she dug in and got upright, coughing out puffs of cotton-candy fog.
She looked around.
There was a pocket in the fog; it formed a hazy green wall behind her and rose up into a domed roof. At the very top, the fog condensed and thickened, drawn downward and solidified into an enormous, translucent-green, wobbly mountain that looked astoundingly like jelly.
All the Petpets were there, and they were eating from it, gobbling down the foggy green jelly as if they were starving, as if it were the best thing they had ever tasted. The ground-bound ones clustered around the base and climbed up and over each other, tumbling in their haste to reach it. The flying ones darted at it from higher up, occasionally pecking or throwing each other back.
But their bellies were all swollen and distended, and they cried out in pain as they gulped down the sweet "treat." The yowl of the Kadoaties hurt her ears; all the cries ripped at her heart.
The Snoogy whimpered and pulled forward in her grip. Sandie looked down at it, nearly let it go to get a snack, and then gasped in horror at herself and wrapped her wings around it more tightly.
She heard laughter again, this time unmistakable, and looked up.
She couldn't believe her eyes.
Above her drifted an elderly faerie Krawk, beautiful still in her age... and she was cackling to the Petpets, "Eat, little ones, eat! This will teach you to run away from me, oh yes it will...."
Sandie stared in horror. Her kindly old employer? Doing this? It couldn't really be her... could it?
"Mrs. Krawn?" Sandie squeaked. She cleared her throat. "Mrs. Krawn? Please -- it was my fault, I wasn't careful enough. Please, you're hurting them!"
The Krawk looked down at her and laughed louder. "You're too soft on them," she said, her voice going back to its earlier kind tones. "No wonder. Come along, dearie. I'll give you a lesson."
And felt her stomach growl...
Date: Feb 9th
...Suddenly Sandie was starving. She was almost tempted to drop the Petpet and let it go get the food, as well as herself. She was lowering the Snoogy to the ground, but then slipped out of the trance and pulled the Petpet away instantly. That was so close...
The temptation kept coming, but thankfully Sandie could resist the temptation by thinking of how horrible the Petpets looked, with their stomachs bulging and yelping with every bite, not being able to stop eating.
"Stop!!!" she cried, nearly stopping the Petpets from their eating, but not quite. "Stop this, Mrs. Krawn! Or whoever you are! Because you're different than the real Mrs. Krawn, I know!" Here she was screaming, when it was absolutely silent except for the pitiful mewing of the poor Petpets. They made enough noise to not let herself think though. Sandie tried again. "Mrs. Krawn, I don't want to do this but... if you keep feeding these pets like this, I'm going to be forced to..."
"Forced to what? Cry like the little baby you are?" Mrs. Krawn said. Sandie almost did break down and cry, because she didn't know what to do to help the poor Petpets.
But she brushed away the comment quickly. "I'll be forced to... to do... oh no!" she cried. Sandie had started to let go of the Snoogy, but suddenly stopped herself. He'll just go straight to the jelly, and end up like the other Petpets! I can't do that. "I'll... go back home! I'll tell the police! I'll tell everyone you’re a wicked witch who treats her Petpets so horribly, they could die!"
Suddenly, the Petpets vanished. Even the small Snoogy who had been by her side the whole time vanished. The terrain had turned from the nasty, spooky colors back into a blooming forest, thick with trees and a clear, crystal-blue sky overhead. Only the Krawk and the Pteri were there.
"Oh my," Mrs. Krawn said. "You seemed to have reversed my magic... No one's ever done that before, usually they just run to the jelly and get sent back to their home. You are the only one who hasn't let go of Helper and failed this test. You truly are the greatest petpetsitter around." She smiled.
Sandie was very confused. The only things she managed to establish were that she passed a sort of test and the Snoogy's name was Helper. "Huh?" the Pteri said, making a very confused face.
"This was a test! You passed! You're the only one who's ever passed before. I always pretend to go out once a month, and hire a petpetsitter to sit. But they never get what they expect. The whole herd will get out somehow, and come here. The sitter has to follow, and see the horror of the Petpets stuffing themselves until they can't anymore.
"Usually they cry out, but sometimes the temptation spell I cast kicks in right away and they run to the jelly. If they take one bite, they are sent back home. But you... you have passed. I’ve never seen anyone with so much dedication. I’ve heard from my Petpets that you were saving for a paint brush.” Here Mrs. Krawn paused, waiting for Sandie’s answer. Everything was becoming clearer, and she now understood what Mrs. Krawn was saying. Sandie remembered muttering ‘It’s for the paint brush.’ She nodded, and Mrs. Krawn continued on.
“Well, since you have done such a good job on watching my pets, I’m giving you a bonus, as well as your original pay - 2000 Neopoints.” She handed Sandie the Neopoints that had suddenly appeared in her hand. “And your bonus...” she said. And then, in here hand, Mrs. Krawn had a...
“A PINK PAINTBRUSH!!!” Sandie cried in delight. “Oh my, you shouldn’t have... This is for me?” Sandie was almost crying, she was so happy.
“Yes, it is for you. Take it, I know you deserve it.” Mrs. Krawn smiled. “Now, I can transport you home, or to the Rainbow Pool. Which one would you prefer?”
“Rainbow Pool, I want to use this right away before someone steals it.” Mrs. Krawn nodded, and they began walking out of the forest together, talking.
* * * * *
Sandie positively beamed when she was painted. She was her true color now, the color she’d wanted to be her whole life. “This day she couldn’t get any better,” she said to Mrs. Krawn, giving her a smile. Mrs. Krawn smiled right back.
“You definitely deserve it,” she said. “Definitely.”
Date: Feb 9th
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