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||You are on Week 349
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 Nine Ends Friday, December 21
"'Please leave money in jar,'" Corey read out loud. The Yurble scratched his head. "That doesn't make any sense. Wouldn't others just steal the Neopoints?"
"I don't think anyone feels like stealing when they're in the Lost City of Geraptiku," Myrik said worriedly as she looked at their deserted surroundings. "This place gives me the creeps. Come on, Corey, let's go."
A soft cooing noise floated up, and a lone Slogmok looked dolefully toward them.
"He's so cute, though!" the Yurble exclaimed. "I want to take him home with me!"
"Then leave the asking price and take him!" his Wocky companion cried, exasperated.
"It's just too weird!" Corey insisted. "If I'm leaving my hard-earned Neopoints behind, I want to know where they go! Aren't you the least bit curious?"
"Yes, but maybe some things are better left unknown," Myrik said, tugging on his arm. Reluctantly, the Yurble dropped a few coins into the cup, picked up the Slogmok, and followed her.
As they picked their way through the thick underbrush, the Slogmok began to whine.
"Maybe he's just saying goodbye to his home," Myrik said hastily when her friend hesitated.
"No, something's bothering him..." Corey said with a frown. As the three huddled together, the trees above them began to rustle...
Author: *leaves author jar*|
Date: Dec 17th
"What's going on?" Myrik whispered as she looked fearfully around them.
Corey didn't answer, his eyes scanning the trees that continued to shake and rustle in the eerily windless night. Except for the rustling of the trees, the night was silent. There were no Petpets scurrying through the underbrush or flying through the air. It was as if they were the only living things in the deserted village.
Suddenly, a dark shape leaped from one tree to another, causing an eruption of leaves to fall to the ground. "What's that?" Myrik cried, "Let's get out of here!"
The Slogmok whined loudly, as if agreeing with the Wocky, but Corey's frown only deepened. "Here," he said, handing the frightened Petpet to his friend, "I'm going to find out what that was." Before Myrik could protest, Corey turned and made his way back to the Petpet shop.
"Corey! Wait up!" Myrik cried. Despite her fear, she didn't want to be alone, so she followed her friend.
"I knew it!" Corey yelled when he made it back to Petpet shop.
"Knew what?" Myrik asked, walking up to him.
The Yurble pointed to the jar. "The Neopoints are gone," he explained. "That dark figure must have taken them."
"Who cares?" the Wocky retorted. "We've got the Petpet, so let's get out of here."
There was a strange light in Corey's eyes. "No way," he said. "I'm going to find out who that dark figure is." Without a word, he threw a couple of Neopoints in the jar. There were no Petpets left to buy, so he just waited.
"You're crazy!" Myrik yelled, her voice cutting through the quiet of the night.
They waited, and soon the rustling returned. "Here he comes," Corey said.
Myrik couldn't take it any longer. Holding tightly to the frightened Slogmok, she turned and plunged into the trees, leaving Corey to face whatever was heading their way...
Date: Dec 17th
Branches whipped her face and leaves rained down upon her as Myrik scrambled deep into the forest. She kept running despite the Slogmok's whining until she tripped on a root.
The Wocky fell and hit the ground with a soft
thump. At the same time, the Slogmok flew out of her hands and landed in a large pile of leaves.
"Oh!" said Myrik worriedly as she hurried over to where the Slogmok had rolled. It peeped its head out at her and looked at her with its innocent eyes.
She sighed with relief and picked the little Slogmok up, hugging it tightly. It squeaked indignantly.
"I'm scared," Myrik confided to the Slogmok. "I shouldn't have run, but..." She hung her head. "We should go back. The creature will have gone by now. And Corey..."
The sentence was left unfinished as the Wocky began walking back to Geraptiku. About five minutes later, Myrik stepped out of the trees and stared around her.
The creature was not there. But neither was Corey.
"Something's not right," whispered Myrik, setting the Slogmok down on the ground as she went over to inspect the place where Petpets were sold.
And then she saw it: a thin scroll was stuffed in the bucket where the Neopoints were supposed to go. She reached in and plucked the narrow roll of paper out of the bucket...
Date: Dec 18th
"Huh," she said, frowning. "It's blank. Weird. What a waste of paper, too." Myrik crumpled up the tiny scroll and dashed it to the ground, a sudden rush of guilt and frustration overcoming her. Why had she turned her back on Corey? Why did Corey have to be so... so... so idiotic?! If the sludge-head hadn't gone off to find out where the money went, of all things, none of this would have happened!
"Come on," Myrik said to the Slogmok, turning around. "We're going. Corey can get himself out of this mess on his own."
The Slogmok didn't move.
"Well, come on!"
One corner of the Slogmok's mouth turned down. Was it frowning at her? The Petpet retrieved the crumpled paper and, holding it between its teeth, climbed into Myrik's waiting arms.
The Wocky gently pried the paper from the Slogmok's jaws, preparing to toss it away again... and stopped.
There was a flash of jet-black ink. But before Myrik could read the words it twisted into, the ink had disappeared. It had been invisible, showing itself only after being exposed to the hot breath coming from the Slogmok's mouth.
Myrik hesitated, then blew.
"What is this?" she asked increduously, scanning the page. "Some sort of game?" Indeed, the last line read Insert five thousand Neopoints to play. Nevertheless, Myrik reached into her pocket, withdrew five thousand Neopoints, and dropped them into the bucket...
Date: Dec 18th
Myrik waited, wondering what was supposed to happen next. The sudden snapping of a twig from behind startled her, and with a gasp she quickly spun around. Scanning the dense forest carefully proved fruitless as she saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Eyeing the mass of trees and bushes one last time, she waved it off and brought her gaze back to the bucket.
A part of her should have seen it coming, but she was surprised nonetheless to find that the Neopoints were once again gone, replaced by another piece of paper.
"I wonder what this one says..." Myrik murmured, reaching into the bucket. She unrolled the paper and blew on it, once again revealing a cryptic message.
So it begins, your first trial awaits. From your position now, take sixty steps west, thirty steps north, and twenty west yet again. An unusual tree marks your destination. But beware -- the journey will test not only your endurance but your courage as well.
After reading it three times over to make sure she didn't miss anything, Myrik put the note away. Taking a deep breath, the young Wocky turned west and started her journey, the Slogmok following close behind...
Date: Dec 19th
Myrik made sure to carefully count her steps in her head as she walked, and for a few moments, only the quiet sound of footsteps on forest soil was to be heard.
Twenty-five... twenty-six... twenty-sev-
A loud, strangled cry reached her ears from somewhere within the dark trees behind them. Myrik whipped her head around, heart pounding, and the Slogmok began to whine.
Then, slowly, a silhouette emerged from the bushes. It let out a low, bloodcurdling growl that made Myrik's hair stand on end. Her teeth began to chatter and her heartbeat quickened.
The figure roared and began running toward them with thudding footsteps. The Wocky screamed and ran off, not bothering to count her steps. She no longer cared about the mysterious game she had been playing. The Slogmok ran behind her, its high-pitched whine audible over the stranger's continuous roars.
Suddenly, the Slogmok veered in front of Myrik, cutting her off. She took a sudden right turn to avoid falling and kept running, still hearing the monster behind her. She was vaguely aware that she was running north, just like the slip had instructed, but that was unintentional.
The Slogmok ran beside her and, once again, cut her off after a short run. This time, she turned left so as to not trip and kept running.
Up ahead, through her terror, she could make out a tree with blinding white bark. It seemed to shine in the darkness, giving off a feeling of safety and strength. Myrik ran faster, gasping for air, but stopped abruptly when she was a stone's throw away from the tree. Now that she was closer to it, she noticed its disfigured shape.
Ignoring the threat of the thing behind her, she squinted at the tree in both fear and awe.
It was shaped exactly like Corey...
Date: Dec 19th
"C-Corey?" said Myrik, carefully putting the tips of her fingers on the tree. A single tear rolled down her face. What had happened to Corey? "I'll get you out of there, don't you worry!"
Myrik pulled out her claws and started to tear away the bark.
Suddenly Myrik heard that strange, low growl again. It made her hair stand on end, and the Slogmok's reaction was no different.
She heard a branch being snapped in two, and the shadow creature emerged from behind her. Quickly Myrik turned around, only to find the creature breathing heavily a mere foot from her face.
There was a loud crack, and the creature vanished. In its place was a lone scrap of paper on the ground. Myrik picked it up and scanned it briefly.
Your next trial requires a great amount of logic. Use yours to follow the Great Path. But be careful of the many paths. Each one leads to more choices. Good luck.
Paths? There were no paths cut through the jungle... were there?
A great rumbling sound shook the island, and before her very eyes, a path started to unfold itself, along with three others. Taking a deep breath, Myrik decided to take the second path...
Date: Dec 20th
It only took a few seconds for Myrik to realise she had chosen the wrong path.
The trees here were different, dark and menacing, their branches twisting toward the cloudy sky in a sickening way. And despite the fact she walked along a path, branches scratched her arms, as if trying to pull her into the forest. The forest was different here... It scared her. It was almost as if it wanted her out...
Heart pounding in her throat, Myrik turned around sharply, the Slogmok at her heels. Perhaps it wasn't too late to choose a different path...
She gasped at what she saw. Where once a twisting path had been, she saw nothing but thick trees and bushes, each covered with thorns. There was no way she could possibly get through this. So she turned around and continued down the pathway.
Even though it terrified her, Myrik knew she had to keep going. This game... whatever it was... it was the only way she could get Corey back. Plus, she thought with a shudder, the more she kept moving, the less chance she'd run into... the thing.
Eyes on the ground, Myrik walked silently along the trees. Every snapped twig made her jump, every shadow made her heart stop with fear. As she walked, she noticed that everything was getting darker... and the air around her was getting colder. Night was on its way.
Myrik shivered and rubbed her arms in an attempt to keep warm. The sooner she completed this silly game the better. She heard a small whimper below and saw the Slogmok looking up at her with big eyes. Sighing, she reached down to pick up the trembling Petpet.
But as she held the furry creature in her arms, she realised he was not trembling because of the cold.
The forest was quiet... too quiet... The only sounds Myrik heard were the heavy breathing and pounding hearts of her and the Slogmok.
Then a tremendous whirling sound hit her ears. Myrik shut her eyes and sank to her knees as she felt wind pound against her body. She felt as if she were caught in a tornado. And then everything stopped.
Myrik felt a presence beside her, but the Wocky didn't dare open her eyes. She didn't want to. She was positive that the mysterious creature -- or perhaps something worse -- was beside her. She didn't have the courage to face it.
Then she heard a voice. "Go back. Forget about me. Go home. Don't let them get you as well..."
Her heart stopped. That voice was familiar. "Corey?"
Myrik opened her eyes, but she saw no one around her. Nothing was there except her and the Slogmok. But in the place where she had sensed the mysterious presence, Myrik could see a small slip of paper, lying in the grass...
Date: Dec 20th
There is no hope for Corey, a cold, intruding thought entered her buzzing mind. Leave him as he told you to. Save yourself while you still can.
Myrik gritted her teeth, trying to fight the voice but silently agreeing with it. She bent down slowly to pick up the small piece of parchment, letting the Slogmok down as she did. She nearly ripped the note; her hands were shaking so violently from the cold and fear.
Her breath steamed out in front of her, and her arms and legs grew numb.
My breath? the Wocky thought faintly. She found her neck was stiff and couldn't be moved. Myrik moved her eyes instead, which seemed the only part of her that wasn't quite frozen yet.
Her jaw would have dropped if she had been able to move it, but she could not. All that was allowed her was a sharp intake of breath, which she held as she surveyed the scene. The grass and trees were all suddenly covered in a thick layer of frost -- and so was she.
Myrik realised she was still holding her breath and let it out quickly. An appearance of black letters on the parchment caught her attention.
The path is wrongly chosen. You can still change your mind or remain here for all eternity.
Myrik read it over again. It was shorter than the other notes and held no clue as to what lay ahead except a future as an ice statue if she failed. There was no clue how to save herself. Oh, how she wanted to go back and pick a different path! Maybe the first one instead. But how, when she was frozen to the spot? It would be even better if she could just quit this dangerous game. To leave and never come back, not even letting her thoughts return...
Guilt crashed over her. This would be the second time she was abandoning Corey in less than a day. Would Corey have abandoned her?
A tear prickled the corner of her eye as it froze. She knew he wouldn't.
"And I won't leave him either!" Myrik was shocked when she realised she had said this out loud.
The path is wrongly chosen. You can still change your mind...
The path... Change your mind...
Myrik's eyes widened. It all made sense! The note didn't mean the path she was literally on, but the path she had chosen herself when she had decided to leave Corey. And now she'd changed her mind. She'd chosen the right path.
Myrik grinned despite herself and picked up the frightened Slogmok. It twisted around in her arms and tapped the note with a long, black claw. The words had changed. Her smile faded.
Your strength of mind has been tested, but what about your strength of body?
Myrik frowned. That was all there was. She glanced up from the note and cried out in shock. She couldn't say she wasn't glad to have a change of scenery from the thorny trees and bushes, but sky-high stone walls weren't exactly an improvement.
The Slogmok grabbed the note from her paws and shoved it in front of her eyes. Once again, the message had changed.
Your final trial awaits. Enter the maze and find the centre where the white tree lies. Beware: they are also seeking it out. They will do anything to get there first. Time will not be your only enemy...
Date: Dec 21st
"We've got to hurry," Myrik said as she sprinted into the maze.
The hallway split in two. One passage went left, and the other went right. They looked identical.
She paused, looking right and left frantically. Finally she chose the right and started to run again.
Hopefully it was the correct way. The note had said her strength of mind had been tested already, so surely she wouldn't have to do too much thinking to get through the maze. If this was about strength of body, then perhaps speed was all that mattered.
Unless, of course, the strength of body referred to fighting.
Myrik hated fighting. She avoided the Battledome like the plague. Far better to find other hobbies, things that didn't involve possible injury.
But it did no good to worry about it. She was going to save Corey or die trying. No matter what, she was resolved to do whatever she could to win this game.
She dashed around a corner...
...and almost ran smack into another Neopet.
It was a Mynci with black fur that seemed to suck the light from its surroundings. Myrik took a step backward. The Mynci glared at her.
Corey is ours! Turn back now and save yourself! The same cold voice spoke in her mind once more.
"No!" she yelled, darting around the Mynci and running as fast as she could. She heard the footfalls of the Mynci as it followed close behind her.
She turned around another corner and then another. Her lungs were burning, and she gasped for air. All she wanted to do was stop running and give in to her need to rest.
No, no, I can't stop, I've got to save Corey... The Slogmok chirped softly, as though it sensed and approved of her thoughts.
She glanced over her shoulder. Not only was the Mynci as close on her heels as ever, he had been joined by other Neopets.
Myrik thought that she had been running as fast as she could, but now she discovered that she could run faster than she'd ever thought.
The maze walls were nothing more than a blur. Myrik hoped desperately that she wouldn't trip, for if she faltered even once, her enemies would be upon her.
Just as that thought crossed her mind, a stray vine snagged her leg. She stumbled but didn't fall.
Myrik righted herself and started to run again. As she turned one last corner, she saw it.
A white tree stood tall and proud. Its branches were leafless, yet the tree still had a sort of majestic beauty to it. Unlike the last white tree she had seen, it bore no resemblance to her friend. It looked like a tree and nothing more.
Myrik stopped right in front of the tree and looked up at it. She was here, but what was she supposed to do now? There was no note in sight.
The Neopets had stopped and stood together in a group. They glared at her, but made no move to attack.
What are they waiting for? Myrik wondered. She set the Slogmok down gently. "What do I do now?" she asked.
The Slogmok walked over to the tree. After pausing a moment, it walked into the tree.
Myrik gaped. The white bark rippled a bit around the area where the Slogmok had disappeared. Tentatively placing her paw on the tree, she gasped as it sank into the trunk as though it were nothing but air. The Wocky walked all the way into the tree.
She found herself in a seemingly endless white space. The Slogmok was nearby, and not too far away was an unconscious Yurble.
"Corey!" Myrik yelled as she ran over to her friend. The unconscious Neopet held a slip of paper in his paw, and Myrik took it.
Congratulations. You've won.
Everything began to grow blurry, and Myrik could feel the cold mental voice screaming in rage. But it couldn't do anything. Myrik smiled as everything went black.
"Wake up! This is no place to be sleeping!" Myrik opened her eyes and looked up to see Corey shaking her. She was lying on the ground, in the middle of the path which led to Geraptiku.
"Corey! You're back!" She leaped up and gave her friend a hug.
"Um, back?" The Yurble seemed rather confused.
"You mean you don't remember?"
"Getting kidnapped and stuck in a tree!"
"No... not really... are you feeling all right? Maybe we should visit Geraptiku another day."
"I'm feeling fine... but I would really rather not go to Geraptiku. At all."
"Aw, come on! I really wanted to buy one of the Petpets..."
Just then, the Slogmok wandered out of the brush.
"Look, here's one of the Petpets! It must have, ah, gotten lost! Why don't you take it with you, and we can go play Tombola or something?"
"Well, all right," Corey sighed. "You never want to do anything exciting."
"To be honest, I've had enough excitement for one day already."
As the pair set off toward the Tombola stall, Corey said "Hey! What do you say we visit Maraqua next?"
Myrik sighed. Yes, Corey was back to his old self again.
But, to be honest, she wouldn't have it any other way.
Date: Dec 21st
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