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||You are on Week 358
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 Fifty Eight Ends February 29
Muta’s footprints filled with snow almost as soon as she raised her foot to take her next step. Thick, white swirls of snow flurries whirled all around her, but the Bika just lowered her head and pressed on. The load of food and blankets strapped to her back seemed to weigh twice as much as they had when she’d started out in Happy Valley a few hours before, but she couldn’t stop. Her owner, a kindly old Bori named Kajsa, had broken her leg after slipping on some ice the week before, and she was counting on Muta’s help. Besides, Kajsa was bound to have something warm for Muta to eat when she got home, and her bed would be laid out by the fire, all ready for Muta to curl up in.
A huge blast of frigid wind nearly knocked the Petpet off her feet. The sky was growing darker, either from the worsening storm or night fall. Either way, Muta hoped that the shape of Kajsa’s little cabin would soon appear through the snow. She squinted a little. There was something up ahead, but it wasn’t her snug home -- it was the tall figure of a Neopet. Maybe it was just someone lost in the storm, or maybe Kajsa had had a visitor. Plenty of guests had visited them since Kajsa’s fall, which Muta liked, because it meant even more pats on the head and yummy treats.
The Neopet was walking toward her quickly in spite of the snowdrifts. Muta kept her head down, hoping that the Neopet -- a Kyrii -- would not see her in the snow and walk right by. He definitely wasn’t anyone she recognised, and she doubted that he was hiding any treats in the pockets of his blue coat. She sniffed the air a little as he approached. Definitely no treats... in fact, he smelled like Snorkles.
The Kyrii stopped in front of Muta and bent over. He had tired eyes and his mane was frazzled-looking. “Yes, you’re a nice, healthy Bika, aren’t you?” he said in a voice that, though kind, made Muta nervous. She tried to shy away from him, but he reached down and grabbed her. “I think the Snowbeast will like you...”
Author: Writer Sacrifice!|
Date: Feb 25th
...Muta squealed and fought as hard as she could. She'd heard about the Snowbeast from her owner.
"It's simply terrible, what they do to those poor defenseless Petpets! How could they be cruel enough to feed them to the Snowbeast? Jinx or no jinx, it's just not right," Kajsa had said. Muta had agreed emphatically.
But the Kyrii was wise in the ways of Petpets, and he had obviously done this many times before. He held Muta in such a manner that she could not whirl around and bite him, nor could she get in a good kick.
She sighed and stopped struggling. No use wasting her energy -- there would be other chances to escape, or at least she hoped so.
The Kyrii took Muta's stillness as a sign that the Bika had calmed down. "There, there. That's a good Bika. Now how about I take you to the others?"
The Kyrii started walking slowly but steadily, navigating his way through the snowdrifts, with Muta in tow. Muta tried to keep her eyes open for any chance to flee, but no opportunities presented themselves. It was hard to stay alert; she was so cold and tired, and all she wanted to do was give in to sleep...
No! Muta knew as well as anyone raised on Terror Mountain that if you fell asleep out in the cold, you'd never wake up.
Still, her eyelids grew heavier with each passing moment, and she staggered wearily beside the Kyrii.
She barely noticed when her captor entered a building.
"Kalla!" the Kyrii cried out, "I got another one!"
Muta's eyes snapped open, wide awake once more, and the Bika looked around. It seemed to be a stable of some sort. Petpets of all shapes and sizes were imprisoned. It seemed to be feeding time. Muta's stomach rumbled.
Another Kyrii was pouring food -- standard Petpet chow -- into a food dish. The red-furred Kyrii looked up.
"A Bika? She'll certainly make a nice tidbit for the Snowbeast, Tarsor. Where did you find her?" Kalla asked.
"She was wandering around in the cold. It seems as though she was making a delivery to someone, perhaps her owner. There's a nice load on her back," Tarsor replied.
"Ah, we could use the supplies. Tie her up with the others and I'll help you with those as soon as I'm done feeding all of these Petpets."
Tarsor lead Muta to a stall and firmly pushed her inside. He grabbed the load off her back and slammed the stall door shut.
The Bika looked around the stall. The floor was covered with soft hay, the walls were wooden, and the door was standing slightly ajar...
With sudden elation, Muta realized that Tarsor had forgotten to close the latch of her stall. She took a quick look around-- Tarsor was still occupied with the bundle (the bundle that should rightfully have been Kajsa's, Muta thought in irritation) and Kalla was putting the now-filled food dish into the cage of a Snorkle. Their backs were both to the Bika.
Taking a deep breath, Muta charged out of the stall, making for the stable door as fast as she could...
Date: Feb 25th
She was nearly out! Just a few more steps... Muta flattened her ears to her head, a sense of elation rising in her stomach as she neared the open door. She'd be escaping back into the freezing winter storm, of course, but anywhere was better than here.
All of a sudden, a high-pitched wail of desperation broke Muta's concentration. She swung her head up, staring at a row of cages along the stable wall. Inside one cage that was low to the ground, staring at her with the two most depressed eyes she had ever seen, was a thin and sombre Kadoatie.
She faltered, staring at the trapped Petpet that was clearly asking her for help. How could she run for safety, when all of these other poor Petpets were being saved as snacks for the Snowbeast? Still, there wasn't much she could do if she was trapped in a stall...
There was a sudden commotion behind her. "Kalla, the Bika is gone!" Tarsor cried hoarsely. "If she gets home, she'll lead others back here!" There was a sound of frenzied footsteps behind Muta, and she did the only thing that seemed sensible -- she burrowed quickly into a large pile of hay, becoming so completely covered that not even the tips of her ears showed. From her hiding spot, she could just barely see out past the layers of scratchy hay.
Two pairs of feet came pounding up to the haystack. Kalla hurried on, but Tarsor paused directly in front of where the trembling Bika was hiding. "She can't have gone far," he mumbled to himself, taking a half-step closer. "We'll find her. And when we do..."
With that, he whirled and headed outside after Kalla. Quietly, Muta shook herself free of the hay pile and walked over to the row of cages. She knew she only had so much time...
Date: Feb 26th
So the Bika got to work. She approached the cage with the Kadoatie first, poking and prodding at the latch. Luckily, it was designed for simplicity and whoever had made all the latches had not counted on Petpets escaping. Within a few seconds, a satisfying click sounded. Every Petpets' ears perked up; they knew that sound. It was the sound they heard every time the Kyriis opened the door to shove some Petpet chow into their cages. The Kadoatie stopped wailing pitifully and watched as Muta swung the door open.
Muta tried by looking from the open door to the door that led outside to tell the Kadoatie that she was free. Whether the Petpet understood or not, the Bika couldn't waste time. She hurried on to the next cage and opened the door. An astonished Snuffly gazed back at her.
In this fashion, Muta opened all of the cages, and gradually the Petpets filed out of their pens, looking surprised, scared, or elated. A few stretched their muscles or ran around in jubilation; they were happy for a chance to exercise after being cooped up for so long. Another bunch of Petpets wandered uncertainly toward the door leading to the cold, and a few of those slipped out into the storm when no one held them back. Pretty soon, all the Petpets followed suit, charging the door with howls, mews, barks, and squawks. Muta watched them, satisfied, rounding up the stragglers and herding them out the door.
Suddenly, the Bika heard a cry of rage and shock that she knew did not come from a Petpet. "Where are they going?" bellowed the voice. "Who set them free? WHO DID THIS?"
There were muffled squeals, and Muta knew the Kyrii who had yelled out was trying to catch the escapees. She looked around the shed for a place to hide, and her eyes fell upon the Kadoatie; it had not run away with the rest. It stood, frozen, unsure of where to go as it heard the voice of the one who had imprisoned it for so long. Muta hurried to chase the Kadoatie into the haystack.
The Bika made sure the little Petpet was properly hidden in the hay and was about to hop in herself when the slightly ajar door leading to the outside was slammed fully open with a bang. Tarsor froze, his mouth partly open. His gaze moved from Muta, clearly in the process of hiding herself, to the open, empty Petpet cages, and back to the Bika. His eyes darkened and a look of anger replaced his initial surprise.
"YOU!" He screamed and began to advance on the helpless Petpet...
Date: Feb 26th
Muta stood still for a second, frozen with fear. Then she swivelled around and fled from the Kyrii's grasping paws.
"Aaarrgh! You little devil! The Snowbeast will devour us all!"
Muta growled under her breath as she dashed toward the door, panting heavily. Oh, really? Guess who's dealt with that before?
She skidded to a halt.
Before her stood Kalla, blocking the entire doorway, her expression equally furious.
"You little rat!" she shrieked. "At least the Snowbeast will get one Petpet for his breakfast today!"
Muta froze, her heart thudding wildly. Behind her was Tarsor, barely a metre away. She was trapped.
There was an explosion of straw and a furious yowl as the Kadoatie hurled itself from the pile of hay and landed on Kalla's face, clawing and wailing incessantly.
"What-" Kalla only had time to exclaim before the vindictive Petpet was all over her face.
Tarsor snarled, lunging for the Kadoatie. Muta butted his leg with her head, tripping him into Kalla.
Picking himself up, the apoplectic Kyrii fixed Muta with a murderous glare. "You're going to pay for that."
And then Tarsor froze.
The orange glow of dawn broke through the parting clouds and the last few flurries of snow, casting a pale, fiery glow on the vast white plain.
An enraged roar split the air...
Date: Feb 27th
...and was followed by violent, shaking thumps.
"The Snowbeast has awakened!" said Tarsor, with a hint of pleasure in his voice. "Now we can get rid of these pesky things, Kalla."
The Kadoatie, too, had been taken by surprised, and Kalla took the chance to rip it off her and stand up. "It's about time," she scoffed. "I despise these little half-wits." Her eyes were clouded over with hate.
Suddenly, Muta felt herself being lifted off the ground. She squirmed, trying to fight, but Tarsor's icy grip was too strong. He ran out into the snow. Muta winced, but again, she was helpless.
A giant shadow blocked the orange and pink glow of the rising sun, and a thick darkness enveloped them. With the last bit of courage in her body, Muta opened her eyes.
She stood before a giant, white beast. Thick clouds of mist left its mouth with each breath, but it seemed oblivious to the cold. It was covered in shaggy, snow-coloured fur, and if it had not been for the shadow, the monster would have completely blended in with the surrounding environment.
Tarsor held Muta above his head, as though holding a prize out to the Snowbeast. "Here!" he shouted gleefully. "Take this!"
Muta quivered and shut her eyes. She could hear the Snowbeast grunt with satisfaction and knew a giant fist was swooping down out of the sky...
...and then she felt Tarsor stiffen.
Again, she opened her eyes. The Snowbeast had faltered, the massive arm frozen, outstretched. The beast was silent. It seemed as though time had stopped, but Muta knew something was dreadfully wrong...
Date: Feb 27th
The Snowbeast stayed like that for a few seconds before its eyes glassed over and its eyelids closed. Its knees buckled and it collapsed on its side, breathing deeply. The ground shook as its large body fell. Snow on a few nearby trees even fell off the leafless branches into piles below.
"What in Fyora's name..." Muta heard Tarsor mutter, still holding her above his head. Muta squirmed gently, and he lowered her slowly as if in a daze. He put her under his arm as if she were nothing more than a bag of potatoes, much to her annoyance.
"Tarsor, what happened?" Kalla asked, appearing by his side. Her once angry eyes were now glassy with fear.
"I-I don’t know." Tarsor shook his head to clear it. "But we have to awaken it! If we don't--"
"It won't wake," a voice said behind them. Tarsor and Kalla whirled around to see the speaker. Muta felt her head spin from the fast turn and a quick glance at the Kadoatie told her it felt the same way.
Ahead of them stood a yellow Chia with huge brown mittens on his hands and a pad on his chest. On either side of him stood a red Mynci and blue Kacheek dressed in a similar fashion. Each had silly-looking pots on their heads, but they stared the Kyriis down defiantly.
Kalla cursed angrily under her breath. Tarsor gazed back at them, equally defiant. "The Petpet Protection League," he addressed them. "What have you done, you fools?"
The PPL opened their mouths in protest but before anything came out, an overjoyed cry rang through the still air. "Muta!"
The Bika's ears perked up at the sound of her name and most wonderful of all, the familiar voice. Tarsor noticed this and frowned.
"Muta!" the voice called again, and a Bori pushed her way between the Chia and the Mynci, leaning heavily on a walking stick, being careful not to put any pressure on her left leg. She didn't look so well. In fact, she seemed utterly exhausted. Seeing her Bika in the arms of Tarsor, Kajsa snarled and shouted, "What have you done to her?"
"What have we done?" Tarsor shouted back furiously, free hand clenched. Muta leaned away from Tarsor's body as much as she could, the fury radiating off him making her extremely uncomfortable. "We've done nothing! We would have done something if the Snowbeast hadn't dropped unconscious in the middle of feeding time!"
"You were going to feed Muta to that... that thing?" Kajsa cried, voice rising with hysteria.
"Please, lady, let us handle this," the Kacheek reassured her. "We are professionals." As he said this, however, the pot on his head fell over his eyes. Kajsa snorted but fell silent.
The Kacheek lifted the pot back onto his head and cleared his throat. "You should be thanking us, Kyrii! We have just dealt with your curse! Fear not; it's not dead, merely unconscious. We--"
"You what?" Kalla interrupted. The Kadoatie began to mew again.
"I know what you said, fool!" Kalla said, irritated. Her voice dropped low. "But the Snowbeast is not our curse."
Tarsor nodded fearfully. "The Snowbeast is what's been protecting us from the curse this whole time..."
Date: Feb 28th
"What in Neopia do you mean?" spluttered Kajsa, her voice almost hysterical. "If the Snowbeast isn't plaguing you, then why did you want to feed Muta to it?"
Tarsor's ears flicked dismissively. "The Snowbeast may be powerful, but it's a mortal being. It can be destroyed if need be. And while we do have to hunt for Petpets constantly, it's a beneficial being, similar to Chiazilla."
Kalla took over. The predatory gleam in her eyes had been replaced by a hushed fear. "But the curse is another matter."
Even the Kadoatie was silent.
"What is the curse, then?" asked the Kacheek, his imperious and condescending manner completely gone.
"We're not sure," responded Tarsor. His voice was barely a whisper. "Because the last time it came, the Snowbeast wasn't there to save us."
"Our village was completely destroyed, burnt to ashes by the creature. Only one Neopet escaped to keep our legacy alive -- our great-great-grandmother," continued Kalla in a hushed tone. "But the calamity awoke the Snowbeast from a century-old slumber. The two creatures fought... and the Snowbeast managed to freeze its fiery power. But it didn't die. It lies dormant in the deepest reaches of the Snowbeast's cave, unable to escape because its mortal enemy blocks the way."
Tarsor cut in, his voice an urgent plea. "You must revive the Snowbeast, or the monster will come back! And it will not destroy only our village. It will do what it originally planned to do: destroy all of Terror Mountain, perhaps all of Neopia..."
The Chia, already a pasty shade reminiscent of beach sand, paled further.
"Well, you see, we can't actually do that right n--"
"Look!" cried Kajsa, interrupting the PPL member. Her eyes were wide, and her face was upturned toward the sky.
A dark cloud was rolling in from the north, covering the fiery dawn sky completely. But it wasn't just a cloud, no, even Muta and the Kadoatie knew that. It was black as ebony, and it seemed almost solid, as if it were congealing.
No, it was congealing, solidifying into...
Date: Feb 28th
...a giant birdlike creature, flame bursting from its wings as its shape more completely formed. It released a horrible, mangled cry, like it hadn't had the chance to make noise for hundreds of years.
"That's... a Moltenore?" the Kacheek muttered, staring up at the creature with unblinking eyes.
Without turning toward him, Kalla answered, "One that's been locked up in a volcano for so long that it's grown to that size."
"What volcano?" Kajsa quickly countered.
"An ancient one, lying dormant under the ground for several millennia," Tarsor croaked. "A legend has been passed down through us that says that when the Moltenore is released, it will awaken the volcano."
"And this volcano," Kalla continued, hardly audible at that point, "is very, very big."
"In fact, I think we may be standing on top of it right now," Tarsor finished. Almost everyone's eyes slowly turned downward toward the ground, trying to take in all at once these terrifying realisations.
Muta had long ago stopped trying to get out of Tarsor's grasp; now, there didn't even seem to be a point to it. But a vague hope sprang up within her. Glancing between the Moltenore, still far away, and the fallen Snowbeast, she summoned whatever courage she still had and gave a fierce wiggle that easily sent her falling out of the Kyrii's unbraced paws down to the ground.
All eyes turned toward her as she charged right at the Snowbeast, putting her front hooves out in front of her to strike him right in the head -- another roar pierced the air as the monster awoke from its slumber, clutching its throbbing forehead and staring down at the little Petpet that dared attack it. In one swift move, he snatched up the Bika and covered all but her head in his giant hand, glaring at her on eye level.
Muta heard Kajsa cry out in vain to save her, shouts of surprise from the League members, and shocked silence from the Kyrii. But she knew that it was too late; if she had to be a snack before the Snowbeast could stop the Moltenore, then so be it...
Date: Feb 29th
Time itself seemed to pass in slow motion as Muta felt the giant hand transfer her closer and closer to a gaping mouth. She was now so near to the Snowbeast, so near to her own death...
She looked around to her owner, the kind and loving Bori who had taken her in so long ago and tried to give thanks with her eyes. Kajsa struggled fruitlessly through the thick snow but her leg and the blizzard hindered her. The Bika squeezed her eyes shut, waiting to be devoured.
Then an awful screech shattered the suspended silence that had hung in the air. The scream rent the air, jerking at Muta's every nerve. She felt the steely grip release her, and she plummeted toward the ground. Her fall was cushioned by the soft layers of snow, and the Bika quickly opened her eyes to watch the unfolding events in front of her.
The Moltenore was floating almost right behind the Snowbeast, its maw open as it released its anger and screamed its terrible cry. The Snowbeast turned in surprise, forgetting all about the snack it was about to eat. Muta scurried out of the way as the great beast took a few lumbering steps toward its nemesis.
The Moltenore advanced, melting the snow in its fiery wake. Even as it flew forward, the mountain began to shake. Muta knew that the trembling had nothing to do with the heavy footfalls of the Snowbeast and ran toward the cluster of Neopets who were watching, terrified.
"The volcano is erupting!" Tarsor yelled unnecessarily. The Kadoatie was yowling in fright again and leapt into Kalla's arms. The Kyrii didn't even notice the presence of the Petpet as she ran away from the rumbling slope. Tarsor was right on her heels, and the PPL was stumbling through the snow as well. Muta hesitated, looking at her owner, but the Kacheek from the League was helping her down. Together, the little group ran away from the battle at the top of Terror Mountain.
Multiple roars from behind them let them know that the two enemies finally had reached each other. Despite herself, Muta glanced backward to watch the two opponents.
The Moltenore and the Snowbeast seemed to be an equal match. Both were fierce and determined not to lose; viciously slashing at each other, they competed for their spot on the increasingly shaking mountain. The Snowbeast was snarling, lashing out at his opponent with more force than he had ever swiped at a Petpet. The Moltenore's mouth was still open in an awful leer. The flames surrounding its figure were enough to keep the Snowbeast at bay, but it was still receiving some heavy blows.
Muta found herself standing still as she watched the battle of fire versus ice. She was caught up in the action as the two beasts fought. They would take turns advancing and then shrinking back; neither had an advantage over the other.
Then, so suddenly that neither of the monstrous creatures could anticipate it, a colossal explosion ripped through the air. Muta squealed as she felt a sharp pain hit her. She felt her body being thrown into the air.
Then it all went black.
"Muta? Muta?" The persistent, anxious voice broke through the haze of darkness that swam through the Bika's mind. Grudgingly, the Bika returned to consciousness to find her owner peering over at her. When the Bori met her Petpet's gaze, she smiled.
"She's all right!" she announced, somewhat weakly. Muta lifted her head slightly and glanced around. She was in an unusual building, but the cushions she was lying on were soft and comfortable. The Kadoatie was a few feet away from her, happily washing its face with its paws.
"When the volcano erupted, the explosion hit you," Kajsa answered her unspoken thoughts. "The entire top of the volcano blew off. We were all farther down the mountain than you, but we all got injured."
Looking around at the rest of the group around them, Muta spotted the three PPL members and the two Kyrii, who were lurking somewhere in the corner of the room. All had some bandages or were leaning on crutches, like Kajsa.
"No one else got hurt by the explosion," the Bori continued. "Some houses got destroyed, though. But... well..." She hesitated for a second, then quickly plowed on. "The Snowbeast and the Moltenore were both right on top of the volcano. As soon as the Moltenore was hit by the debris from the explosion... um, everything kind of settled. It seems that the Moltenore was the one possessing the volcano."
The Bika tried to wrap her mind around this strange thought while Kajsa kept speaking. "Our house was apparently destroyed too, but they're building us a new one here in Happy Valley. Right now, we're at his home," she said, pointing to the Chia. "He's letting us stay here while we recover. And he wants to keep the Kadoatie, too." She leaned over and scratched the Petpet behind its ears, causing it to purr contently.
Muta felt overwhelmed. It had all happened so fast, and now her house was gone, along with the tip of Terror Mountain.
But good things can come with such events, too, Muta thought to herself, thinking of the Kyrii, who no longer had to sacrifice Petpets, and the Kadoatie, her new friend. And with that thought in mind, she lay down once more on the cushions and fell asleep.
Date: Feb 29th
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