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||You are on Week 347
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 Forty Seven Ends December 7
"They say..." Moki paused to push her spectacles up on her beak. The Bruce squinted at her book and began again. "They say that some of these cave paintings could've been ways of transmitting information. They say entire stories can sometimes be seen in the paintings!"
"Who says?" Loren asked vaguely, her paw brushing lightly over a faded drawing of a Tyrannian Kau.
"The author of this book!" Moki said impatiently, waving her book in one hand and her torch in the other. "Honestly, why even come here if you can't appreciate the historical significance of this place?!"
Her Wocky friend shrugged. "I appreciate the paintings for what they are -- art. Come on, let's go farther in!"
Moki looked around uneasily. "I don't know, Loren... the tourist path ends here, and it's getting rather dark. Maybe we should head back."
But the Wocky was already disappearing into the depths of the cave. Her voice came back out slightly muffled, almost as if the dark were pressing down around her.
"Hey, Moki, bring the light over here!"
"What is it?" the Bruce asked, holding her torch higher. Orange light flickered meekly on the cave walls around them, pushing back the blackness.
"Take a look at this painting..."
Author: Ugga Ugter|
Date: Nov 30th
Moki held the torch up to the spot on the wall where her friend was pointing. The Bruce watched as the orange light illuminated the faded outline of a large figure, wide and tall and hairy, holding a club and staring menacingly out at them from the wall.
"That's one big beast," said Loren, staring in awe up at the painting. "Look how it covers almost the entire cave wall." She stepped back to fully appreciate the piece of ancient art.
Moki stayed up close, staring intently at the picture. "Is this a Neopet?" she asked, trying to examine its features. "It doesn't look like any I've seen."
"Maybe it's an extinct monster that roamed Tyrannia long ago," breathed Loren. The Wocky's eyes sparkled with the orange firelight.
"I don't think so," said Moki flatly. The Bruce stepped away from the wall and held the torch up high. "Let's approach this logically. The creature is standing on two legs, and it has two arms, one of which is holding that... weapon." The crudely drawn club was still in the painting, but the artist had depicted it so that the creature appeared to be swinging the club at the viewer. "It has a tuft of hair on its head, very similar to..." Moki gasped.
"What?" asked Loren, rolling her eyes. "Did you come up with yet another boring theory?"
"Hold this," said the Bruce, giving the Wocky the torch. With both hands, Moki hurriedly flipped through the pages of the book until she found an illustration. "I knew it," she whispered."
"Knew what?" asked Loren with a sigh. "This had better be something interesting. And judging by the looks of that book, I'm not very hopeful."
"I think this should satisfy you," said Moki, lifting the book up to her friend's face so that the Wocky could see the picture.
Loren raised her eyebrows. "The Cave Chia?" An orange sketch of the beast sat on the white page, labeled with three simple words and nothing else.
"What do you think?" asked Moki, holding the book up and comparing it to the cave painting. "I think it's a match."
"Maybe so," said Loren, lowering the torch and shrugging. "But it doesn't matter to us. That thing is long gone by now. Let's keep going and see if there are any more paintings."
Loren took a step into the darkness, when both Neopets heard a dim thud. The noise came from the dark depths of the cave, dull and far away...
Date: Dec 3rd
Loren turned both ears toward the sound, eyes pointed into the darkness. But even her keen vision couldn't identify anything unusual.
Moki slowly turned as well. As the sound came again and again, each time closer to them, her heart beat in perfect time to the muffled thuds. The sound began to reverberate in the cave, shaking loose dust and pebbles off the ceiling.
"It sounds like footsteps," Loren whispered. Her voice contained a mixture of fear and excitement. She edged farther into the cave, hoping to find the source of the sound, but at that moment, the pounding stopped.
And after a brief moment, in which the quickening intakes of breath of Moki and Loren were the only noises to be heard, there was a low growl...
The two friends backed against the cold stone wall upon which the painting of the Cave Chia was drawn, and for a moment, the Bruce and Wocky held their breath.
The next thing they knew, the wall opposite them was exploding. Jagged pieces of rock and debris flew through the air, narrowly missing Moki and Loren. They screamed and clung onto each other for dear life, Moki dropping her book and torch in the process. The flickering light went out with a hiss and plunged them into complete darkness.
"It's the Cave Chia!" Loren shrieked, forgetting she had previously denied the existence of such a monster. They cowered from the beast that would undoubtedly devour them.
And then there was silence. The Neopets glanced up in amazement and immediately jumped in surprise as they heard a low, curious voice.
"I'm no Cave Chia," the voice said with a slight laugh. "But it is an interesting myth, isn't it?"
Moki and Loren heard the striking of a match, and they saw the small flame spring to life. It illuminated a pure white paw. The paw transferred it to a torch, and within seconds, a warm glow spread around the half-destroyed cave. The torch's bearer was a tiny white Lupe, smiling proudly down at them.
Moki and Loren's jaws dropped.
"So... that noise-" Loren squeaked out.
"Was me trying to break down the walls," the Lupe finished for her with a small eyeroll, as though it were obvious.
"Why?" Moki asked, her voice hoarse. Her heart was still beating wildly.
"Because that's the quickest way to get around," the Lupe answered, flicking a tiny piece of dust off his impeccable white fur.
Loren was once again interrupted. "I'm stronger than I look," the Lupe boasted. "Oh, and I had some help from Daley here." He pointed to a petite Tyrannian Doglefox that was wagging his tail enthusiastically.
"But - you'll destroy the caves and the paintings!" Moki protested, scooping up her book from the cave floor. It was covered with dirt. She gingerly dusted it off with her flipper.
The Lupe laughed, crossing the floor littered with bits of rocks in a single leap to stand next to the friends. Daley scampered after him.
"Actually, most of these caves and paintings are completely worthless," he said softly, brushing his paw over the weathered painting of the Cave Chia.
"What!?" Moki screeched, not bothering to fix her glasses, which were sliding down her beak again.
The Lupe smirked and scooped up his Doglefox friend. "You see, I am here on a much more important mission than your little... vacation..."
Date: Dec 4th
Loren was deeply offended.
"We're not here on vacation," she said, shuddering as the Doglefox started drooling in her direction. "We came here to do... uh, the same thing you're doing."
"Which would be?"
The Lupe eyed both friends carefully, checking to see if they could be trusted well enough. Shrugging to himself, he stalked off deeper into the cave, motioning them with his paw to come along.
The light in their part of the cave was quickly diminishing as the newcomer moved farther from them, and Loren couldn't help but notice the look of pure loathing on Moki's normally docile face.
"You think we should follow him?"
Moki straightened her glasses and nodded contemptuously.
They had managed to catch up to the Lupe, huffing from their lack of oxygen, when they reached a dead end. There was only a bare wall made of rock-hard stone.
"Let me guess," Loren said, pointing at the wall, "the wall's supposed to open like a secret passage, right?"
The Lupe grinned slyly, saying, "Wrong. The floor's supposed to open."
As soon as the words left his lips, Loren and Moki felt themselves free-falling through an empty hole that had, only one second ago, been the ground...
Date: Dec 4th
They landed on something soft, but not quite soft enough for a comfortable landing. By the time they had gotten up, groaning, the white Lupe was walking about the cave, while running his paw along the wall.
Loren and Moki glanced about the room. The darkness here was not as heavy as in the caverns above. There was a high, dome-like ceiling with smooth, orange-brown walls.
"This should be it."
They turned quickly in the direction of the noise. The Lupe had opened another hole in the wall.
"Too bad I was looking in a different direction. I would've liked to see how he did it," Loren mumbled to herself.
The Lupe headed down the newly opened corridor at a swift pace, Daley bounding beside him. The two friends followed behind him, wondering where he was going.
As they walked down the passage, Moki noticed a change in the texture of the floor beneath her flippers. She looked down and saw that she was standing on a bed of moss.
She tapped Loren on the shoulder and pointed to the ground.
"It's moss. So what?" asked Loren unenthusiastically.
"If there's moss here, then we should be close to the surface."
With another loud crack, the Lupe created one of his signature holes and bright light rushed at them. Loren grumbled to herself for not looking in time.
When Loren and Moki looked out the opening, they gasped in a combination of surprise and awe. Beyond the entrance was...
Date: Dec 5th
...a huge block of ice.
"Ice?" Loren asked. "How in Neopia did someone get ice all the way out to Tyrannia? How did they keep it frozen? And why?"
The Lupe grimaced sourly. "Look closer, and you'll see exactly why."
Moki pushed her glasses up and took a few steps forward, peering into the strangely dark and blurry depths of the ice. "It looks like a Chia," she murmured in surprise. "But..." Her stubby wings flew up to her beak.
"You understand," the Lupe said.
"Understand what?" Loren interjected. "What?"
"You remember the cave painting that started all of this, don't you?" Moki asked.
Loren frowned as the memories surfaced sluggishly, and nodded. "The Cave Creature thing, or whatever."
"Cave Chia," the Lupe corrected. "Sorry. Continue."
Moki nodded. "The Cave Chia. There's a Chia in that block of ice over there. Guess which one?"
Loren's eyes widened as she began to understand. "The Cave Chia! But how does this tie in with your mission?"
The Lupe sighed. "Because the ice is melting..."
Date: Dec 5th
Moki stood wide-eyed and gazed at the block of ice. "But- who- when? How? Why... IT'S THE CAVE CHIA! OK, the most important thing is to stay calm, got that, Loren? Calm, right, yeah, calm." She whimpered slightly, took a deep breath, and sat down on the cold ground.
Loren leaned over to pat her friend on the back, but got distracted by a wet feeling on her hind paws. Water!
"Oh no, oh no! There's water on the ground, Moki! That ice block is melting. That's not a good sign..."
The Lupe appeared to be thinking deeply about the situation. He had obviously concluded that there was nothing to be done and stepped back. He sighed, looked down at them, and said, "Sorry you have to be here for this. When the Cave Chia wakes up it is not going to be a pretty sight."
He looked round to explain it to Moki, but by that time she had gotten up and was waddling toward the ice, almost wading in the melted ice. She was inspecting it, searching for something, and when she found what she was looking for, she pulled it out of the slushy ice. She turned round, held it up, and smiled.
"A club?" the Lupe inquired, bemused. "How's that going to help us? What are you gonna do, kill the Cave Chia?" he finished in a mocking voice.
"No, I'm going to do this." Moki swung forward with the club...
Date: Dec 6th
The club struck the melting block with a resounding whack. Hairline cracks formed in the ice, and Moki pulled back for another swing.
"What are you doing?!" Loren cried. "You'll let the Cave Chia out!"
"That's the idea," Moki called back before smacking the giant ice cube again. This time the sound of the impact was louder, and chips of ice went flying. The web of cracks spread across the surface of the ice.
"Are you insane? The Cave Chia will destroy us all!" The Lupe dashed at Moki, trying to grab the club away from the Bruce.
"No! See, I read something once..." Moki was interrupted when the Lupe tackled her. The club flew out of Moki's wing and slammed into the ice cube.
For a moment, nothing seemed to happen.
Then, with a sound of shattering glass, the ice fell apart.
The Cave Chia shook itself, trying to get rid of the freezing cold water droplets that covered its body. Then it looked over at the three Neopets.
"Oh, no..." the Lupe whispered. "Now you've done it..."
The Cave Chia let out an unearthly bellow, took two steps toward Moki, Loren, and the Lupe, and...
Date: Dec 6th
Loren didn't even have time to scream.
The Lupe, the Wocky, and the Doglefox shot a puzzled look at the Cave Chia. It returned the bemused glance, looking almost docile. This expression contrasted sharply with the hungry leer it had worn on its face moments earlier.
In unison, all four of them turned around to look at Moki. She had a satisfied grin on her face, her book tucked under her flipper. For a minute, all of them held that stance.
The Lupe recovered first. "Care to explain?" He sounded angry and concerned at the same time, casting wary glances at the Cave Chia. He scooped up Daley with one paw.
"You see," Moki began. "I remember reading something. It was in this book," she added, holding up the tattered volume. She flipped open the book to one page and showed it to them. It was a drawing of the Cave Chia, looking exactly like the grotesque figure in front of them.
"And...?" Loren prompted. She didn't see how the depiction meant anything.
"And there's more!" Moki turned the page and showed them a small paragraph. Before they could decipher the tiny script, she began reading.
"'The Cave Chia is a beast that was rumoured to roam around the caves of Tyrannia,'" she read. "'But for years, it has been said that it was finally conquered and banished. The Cave Chia was put in a deep sleep, preserved in a block of ice. There, it is meant to stay until it is woken. The only way to properly wake it is to break the ice with its own club. The one who bore the club gains complete control over the Cave Chia.'" Moki glanced up at them, smiling, but Loren wordlessly gestured at the paragraph. One sentence remained.
The Bruce read the rest of the words to herself and faltered. At the Lupe's inquiring expression, she read the last sentence out loud in a quavering voice, "'But the Cave Chia can only be controlled for a limited amount of time...'"
As if on cue, a low growl, followed by the sound of heavy, approaching footsteps, echoed around the cave...
Date: Dec 7th
Moki slapped her head with her flipper. "I'm an idiot. Sorry."
"Bit late for that, isn't it?" the Lupe said dryly, watching the oncoming Chia with a calculating expression in his eyes. Loren, scared, backed up until she hit a wall. The only way out was the hole that the Lupe had smashed, and then what was to stop the Chia following them out? There were a lot of Neopians living in this area. No, they had to stop it now.
The Wocky's paws cast around for some kind of weapon, and she stiffened in surprise as she felt something furry, immediately relaxing again as a warm tongue licked her paw. Loren picked up the Doglefox and petted it, trying to chase away her fears in the critter's warm fur. It would have worked, too, if the Chia hadn't lunged for her at that moment.
Loren screamed, but she had backed herself into a corner, and there was nowhere to run. The Chia was less formidable without its club, but its arms were as thick as her torso and heavily muscled. One of them reached out to grab her. The Wocky debated the wisdom of biting or clawing at it, but the skin was thick and tough.
"Duck!" a voice called, and Loren automatically crouched down as the arm crunched into the wall where her head had been. She gulped and buried her nose in the Doglefox's fur. It whined, as if sensing something was wrong, then leaped out of her arms.
"Don't, little guy, that thing is dangerous!"
"Understatement of the year," Moki agreed weakly, and then blinked as the Lupe took the club from her.
"Just borrowing this. Hope you don't mind?"
He darted toward the Chia, spun the club, and then poked it hard in the chest. The beast roared with anger, its eyes looking anything but docile now, and lunged toward him. At that moment the Doglefox shot between its legs. The Chia lost its balance and nearly fell. The Lupe took the opportunity and whacked it hard over the back, causing it to stumble and fall flat on its already squished face. Loren felt a little sorry for it, actually; it was probably feeling a little confused after being trapped in ice for so long.
"You're pretty good at this, aren't you?" Moki asked the Lupe, somewhat shakily.
He hefted the club over his shoulder and gave an extravagant bow. "Of course, I am! It's my job!" He flashed a card at the duo. 'Alcander and Daley, Demolition and Monster Disposal.'
Loren read the card out loud and blinked. "Well, that’'s, umm, nice." She caught a movement in the shadows behind the Lupe. "Alcander! Behind you!" she shouted.
He looked over his shoulder. "Yikes..." he said in a very quiet voice and dove out of the way just in time. The lunging Chia hit the ground hard. There was a splintering sound, and the Lupe's eyes widened.
"Get back!" he warned, pressing his back against the wall.
The rock, weakened by the melted ice, split down the centre of the room. The Chia's massive form slid down the hole, and then, with a shuddering crack, the chasm slammed shut again.
Moki was the first to speak. "Do you think he's going to be all right?"
"It'll probably be fine," the Lupe said, going over to inspect the crack. "There's a system of catacombs underneath these surface caves. No one ever goes down there. It can't hurt anyone again, and we can leave it to wander the rest of its days in peace." He spun the club like a baton, and then tossed it to Moki, who almost fumbled it before gripping it tightly between both flippers. "Keep that as a souvenir, eh?" He passed Loren his card. "Tell all your friends!" Then, with another jarring crash, he and his Doglefox bounded through a newly made hole in the wall and out of sight.
There was a short silence.
"That," Moki said eventually, "was... an interesting..."
"Vacation," Loren filled in and grinned.
Date: Dec 7th
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