If you have a Facebook account, click here to continue logging in.


If you don't have a Facebook account, click here to log in with your Neopets information.
Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!


Week 395
You are on Week 396
Week 397

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 Ninety Six Ends Friday, December 19

"Thank you for flying with us today. We know you have a choice in Space Station-to-Neopia travel, and we appreciate your business. We'll be landing in two hours, so just sit back and enjoy your flight." Vaech clicked the intercom off and turned his attention back to the control panel. He blinked tiredly a few times, the buttons blurring slightly before his eyes. The month of Celebrating was always a hectic time, with plenty of Neopians going on holiday to the Space Station or those living on the Virtupets Space Station visiting their families on Neopia.

His ship was small but fast, and it practically did all the work for him -- Vaech set the course and then sat back and enjoyed the view of space. He was really just there in case something went wrong. The Grundo leaned back in his captain's chair and took in the velvety black expanse before him, sparkling with silver stars. A dark sliver of Kreludor was visible through the windscreen, its deep grey pocked with darker circles where meteors had hit it.

Vaech clicked on the intercom and said, "If you'll look out of the windows on the right side of the spacecraft, you'll see the dark side of Kreludor. We'll get a closer view as we cruise past."

***

Vaech was awakened by the sound of pounding on the cockpit door.

"Wha...? I must've dozed off," he muttered to himself as he stretched and wiped the sleep out of his eyes. "Who is it?" he called.

"Captain Vaech, the passengers are starting to get restless; what should I do?" asked the Aisha flight attendant, Nika, through the door.

"Restless after less than two hours in flight?" Customers are getting harder and harder to please, Vaech thought. Pretty soon they'll expect travel to be instantaneous!

There was silence for a moment and then Nika spoke, her voice hesitant. "Captain, it's been six hours."

"WHAT?! That's impossible!" Vaech gave the control panel a bewildered stare. The coordinates were still set, but... then he looked up at the windscreen.

Looming before the ship was the dark side of Kreludor, huge, blackish grey, and getting closer with every second. Nika stuck her head through the door, her eyes wide with fright. "Captain, are we going to crash?"

"Not if I can help it!" Vaech replied, switching off the auto-pilot and wrenching the controls to steer the ship away from Kreludor. The ship didn't budge from its course. "Oh wait, I guess I can't. Something is pulling us down... but what?"

Author: Going Off Course
Date: Dec 15th
Vaech knew that he really ought to be panicking about now. After all, his ship was being forcibly pulled down toward the unforgiving surface of Kreludor.

Still... the excitement came as an almost welcome change from the monotony of constantly shipping Neopets to and fro, going over the same route over and over again with nothing to do but stare at the controls and occasionally sneak a nap.

"You... you can't get us away?" Nika asked, her voice even squeakier than usual. "We're going to crash?"

"Ah... well... it looks like it." Vaech shrugged. "You go and give the lecture on crash preparation to the passengers, and I'll see if I can ready the emergency landing gear. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but I think we can make it through."

Nika, looking reassured at the Grundo's calm tone, nodded and left to do so.

Vaech pressed the series of buttons he had only needed to use once before (and hadn't that been the most exciting training exercise the flight teacher had ever sat through?) and waited for the display to read EMERGENCY LANDING GEAR ENGAGED.

But the words that flashed onto the screen were completely unexpected.

IN KRELUDOR'S CAVERNS DEEP
DOES A WICKED CREATURE SLEEP
CALLING OUT IN TROUBLED DREAMS
FOR AID FROM OTHERS IN ITS SCHEMES
SHIPS WILL ANSWER ITS DARK CALL
MAKING UNPLANNED MOONFALL
AGAINST THE WILL OF THOSE WHO RIDE
WHO CANNOT FIGHT GRAVITY'S TIDE
SEEK THE ENTRANCE TO THE LAIR
FIND THE GUARDIAN WAITING THERE
SPEAK THE WORDS IT NEEDS TO HEAR
SPEAK WRONGLY, AND THE PRICE WILL BE DEAR
ENTER THE CAVERN, FIND YOUR FOE
UNTIL IT'S DEFEATED, YOU MAY NOT GO.

Vaech blinked slowly. "What... what's going on? That makes no..."

Suddenly, the ship began to shudder violently. In less than a minute, the ship would make impact...

Author: cookybananas324
Date: Dec 15th
...unless Vaech did something drastic. The Grundo took a deep breath, flicked several switches, and punched the button labelled "full burn." And... nothing happened. Not even a message on the screen this time. He flipped the switch marked "reverse thrusters." Nothing. In a desperate frenzy, Vaech pressed every button, flicked every switch, and turned every dial he could reach. Again, his efforts were met with a complete lack of results.

At last, all other options exhausted, Vaech sighed to himself. "I'd hoped I wouldn't have to do this, but it looks like there's no choice." With those words, he reached for the one button he hadn't yet pressed. It was unmarked and small, but coloured a deep, threatening red. Vaech closed his eyes, whispered "Please let this work," and pushed the button.

His chair began to vibrate. "Aaaaaahhhh," Vaech sighed. He'd known that having a massage chair installed would be a good investment, and if he was going to crash land on Kreludor, he was certainly going to be comfortable in his final moments. You had to hand it to the Virtupets Space Station: their machines could give a good massage. But as Vaech relaxed in his chair with his eyes closed, he didn't notice that his ship had changed direction slightly and begun to slow down. If Vaech had been paying attention, he would have seen that he was now headed toward a flat, unmarked portion of Kreludor at a reasonable speed -- as if the ship were trying to land itself.

And that's exactly what it did. Several seconds later, Vaech's small craft settled to the surface of Kreludor, light as a feather. So smooth was the landing that Vaech didn't feel it at all over the rumbles of his massage chair. "Shouldn't we have crashed by now?" the Grundo thought to himself, and he opened his eyes. The view from the windscreen showed a serene Kreludan landscape. Oh, thought Vaech, I guess we already have. Quite a gentle crash, that.

Vaech reluctantly left his still-vibrating chair, walked to the back of the cabin, and opened the cockpit door. He flicked the intercom switch closest to him. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but it seems that we have unexpectedly landed on an uninhabited part of Neopia's moon. Please stay in your seats with your seatbelts fastened as I begin to figure out what in Fyora's name is going on."

Vaech switched the intercom off. Nika glared at him. The passengers stirred in their seats uncomfortably, not sure if their captain was joking or not. It was then that Vaech remembered the strange message that had appeared on his screen. Something about finding a lair, and saying words to a guardian... he flicked the intercom switch again. "Anyone know anything about words we're supposed to say to some sort of guardian?" The question was met with silence. "I didn't think so. Thanks anyway."

But just then a small, timid-looking green Cybunny raised her paw. Vaech, surprised, went over to her and knelt by her seat. "Do you know something about this?"

"I think -- maybe," the Cybunny stuttered. She was shaking in terror; Vaech was concerned for her.

"What's your name? Are your parents here with you?" he asked.

"I'm Mella. And no, I'm meeting them on Neopia; I was here visiting my grandmother. But about this... guardian. I've been having dreams for the past -- no, not dreams, visions," the Cybunny said, shaking even more. "Granny said I should ignore them, but I just can't. They're always the same: I get in a rocket piloted by a captain who looks just like you." Mella pointed at Vaech, who felt a tingle go down his spine. "Then we crash on Kreludor, and I go outside with the captain and two others. Then we go to a cave, and I hear a voice. I know what it says by heart; I could never forget." Her eyes grew wide as she recited:

"YOU SEE THE GUARDIAN AT THE CAVE;
NOW YOU ARE IN DANGER GRAVE.
TELL THE GUARDIAN WHAT YOU SEEK,
BUT THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
THEN TELL HIM THESE WORDS, ONE BY ONE:
'NEOPIA SHALL HAVE NO SUN.'
NOW THE WAY SHALL OPEN WIDE;
PREPARE YOURSELVES, THEN STEP INSIDE."

When the Cybunny finished reciting, she sunk back in her seat, exhausted. Vaech sighed -- another riddle. How he wished he could just settle back into his massage chair! But it seemed that he'd have to play along, at least for now. "All right, Mella, besides you and me, who else came outside?"

"Her," Mella said, pointing to Nika. "And him," she added, this time pointing to...

Author: rosabellk
Date: Dec 16th
"Me?!"

The speaker was a pink Poogle sporting a small goatee, a black beret and an expression of haughty disdain.

"What could I possibly have to do with this nonsense? I am a poet, my dear little Cybunny. Not a figment of your imagination."

"But it's true, Mister Poet," insisted Mella in her shy way. "I saw you reciting last month in the Catacombs at Neopia Central -- but I saw you in my visions only nights ago!"

Vaech turned to the sceptical-looking Poogle. "I've heard two poem-riddles in so many minutes, and now a poet has popped up --"

"We poets don't pop up! We glide. Delicately."

"-- a poet has glided into the picture. I don't think this is coincidence."

"What would you have me do?" asked the Poogle poet. "Exit the safety of this luxurious aircraft to trundle amidst the unknown meteor-blasted, crater-encrusted, frigid, Fyora-forsaken wasteland that is Kreludor?"

"Yes," answered Vaech simply.

"Ridiculous!" exclaimed the Poogle.

Unfortunately for him, the remainder of the passengers had been quite taken by Mella's guileless story, and they shouted their approval of Vaech's decision.

"That's settled then," said Vaech, addressing the passengers. "Nika, myself, and Pinky Poogle here --"

"It's Alstaf, esquire. Twelve times Neopian Poet Laureate, fifteen time winner of --"

"Right. Alstaf, Nika, and I are going to check things out on Kreludor to see what we can learn. The rest of you can sit tight here. We'll be back as soon as we establish whether there's any truth to Mella's vision."

The passengers murmured in acquiescence and ushered the trio out of the ship. Then they slammed the door behind Nika, Vaech, and Alstaf and turned on their massage chairs.

***

Outside of the craft, Vaech and Nika were struggling to keep Alstaf from floating away in the low-gravity Kreludor atmosphere.

"Concentrate, Alstaf!" said Vaech. "You can fly around after we've figured out where this cave is, and what is guarding it."

"Plus," added Nika in her sternest flight attendant manner, "if you don't behave yourself I will withhold your Bag of Peanuts."

This threat made Alstaf calm down immediately, and the three of them moved across the dark Kreludan landscape.

"Look!" exclaimed Nika suddenly. "That dark spot on the hill over there!"

Vaech narrowed his eyes in the direction she was indicating.

"I see it, Nika. It looks like a cave to me. Let's make for it."

As they approached, Vaech noticed that Alstaf was beginning to walk more and more slowly.

"Alstaf! What's taking you so long? Are you --"

But Alstaf was looking dead ahead with unfocussed eyes -- and then he began to recite:

"COME CLOSER NOW, NEOPETS THREE
AND THE TRUTH WILL YOURS BE:
FOR UNDERSTANDING TO REACH YOUR MIND
FIRST YOU MUST THE GUARDIAN FIND.
APPROACH THE CAVE, FIND THE ROCK,
ROCK OF ANCIENT LAVA, WHITE AS CHALK
THEN SPEAK YOUR MESSAGE, AND AS YOU SPEAK,
THE DOOR WILL OPEN TO THE THING YOU SEEK."

"This is getting freaky," said Vaech as Alstaf blinked and shook his head.

"I'd say," said Nika. "Alstaf, I will provide you with two Bags of Peanuts for being so helpful."

Alstaf only looked at Nika in confusion as Vaech hurried them both toward the cave...

Author: larkspurlane
Date: Dec 16th
Light-footed Nika reached the cave first and cried out in dismay: the cavern's opening was completely packed with boulders of moonrock. The Aisha slammed her paw against the rocks, but they didn't budge in the slightest.

Vaech frowned. He was the Captain, was he not? Mighty, brave, and strong? "Don't worry, my dear," he said in what he hoped was a reassuring voice. "I'll take care of this."

As Nika looked on in something less than total confidence, Vaech braced himself, took a mighty and Captainly breath, and launched himself at the rocky barrier.

And bounced right back into the dust. Kreludor's springy gravity made for a particularly humiliating bounce. "Lovely," said Alstaf. "Might we now consider returning to our vessel?"

"Rock of ancient lava, white as chalk," Nika said suddenly.

Alstaf frowned, his little goatee wrinkling. "Whatever are you talking about?"

The Aisha extended a paw. Most of the boulders jamming the cave's entrance were a dull gray, but the one she pointed at gleamed like... well, like a piece of chalk. Engraved on its surface was the outline of a paw. "Would you like to do the honours?" Nika asked the Captain.

Vaech cleared his throat, wiped the moondust from his clothes, and strolled up to the cavern door. He placed his hand against the white rock's cool surface. What had those words been? "Neopia shall have no--"

BOOM! With an ear-shattering scrape and a rumble of rock on rock, the boulders moved. Vaech threw himself back with an un-Captainly gasp. When the dust settled, the cavern's entrance was still crammed with rocks... but the white boulder was in entirely a different place, nestled against the top of the arch.

Vaech clenched his fists. "Why won't it let us in? We know the password, we know which rock to push..."

"Yes, that's a grand achievement," Alstaf muttered. "Shall we push one of the identical gray ones? Or the shining white one with a paw on it? Quite a puzzler!"

Vaech wracked his brains for a retort, but before he could speak, a low, gravelly voice rumbled out from the rocks themselves:

"IF IT'S OF PUZZLES THAT YOU SPEAK,
HERE'S ONE YOU WILL FIND QUITE UNIQUE --"

"Oh, no, does it have to be poems again?" Vaech groaned.

"YES," rumbled the rock-voice snippily. "YES, IT DOES. NOW IF YOU'LL EXCUSE US...

"IF IT'S OF PUZZLES THAT YOU SPEAK,
HERE'S ONE YOU WILL FIND QUITE UNIQUE.
A GUARDIAN WAITS AT THIS CAVE,
STEADFAST WATCHER, WISE AND BRAVE.
YET HERE YOU ARE, AND SEE HIM NOT.
TO THIS MATTER BEND YOUR THOUGHT:
THESE ROCKS WILL TUMBLE TO THE GROUND
ONLY WHEN THE GUARDIAN'S FOUND.

Alstaf looked like he'd tasted something sour. "That was mere doggerel! Come closer, you base boulders, and I'll demonstrate how a real poet composes--"

"Alstaf, please," said Nika, "we don't have time for that. We have to find the Guardian..."

Author: arula
Date: Dec 17th
***
Mella was not a happy Cybunny. So absorbed were the adults with their quest to find the creature in the cave that they paid no attention to her anymore. In fact, they had even left the spaceship without her. It had been mere luck that she had managed to sneak out just before the door had fallen shut.

At a safe distance, the small Cybunny followed the group.

***

A guardian? What was it with all those poems?

"Well, my dear friends, it looks like we will have to find the Guardian," Vaech repeated what he had understood from that strange poem. If he didn't know what was going on here, he at least wanted to pretend to be in control of the situation.

"And where, oh dear Captain, do you suggest we start?" Nika looked up at the Grundo expectantly.

Unfortunately, the answer was something that the rock-like voice had failed to specify, and so Vaech replied with a vague hand gesture in the direction of the boulders. If something guarded the entrance, it would only make sense for it to be close, wouldn't it?

"So you want us to climb over those boulders that will most likely blow up in our faces?" His eyebrows raised under his hat, Alstaf glanced in direction of the ship.

"Yes, I want you to search the region. And no, we will not go back to the spaceship until we've found that Guardian."

"Remember, no peanuts if you disappear," Nika reminded the poet, who began the search with a sigh.

Setting a good example, the Grundo joined the two by looking behind a corner in the rock. It didn't surprise him that he found nobody there.

"Maybe we have to lure him out somehow? Didn't that girl, Mella, say that we would have to tell him what we want?" Nika suggested, peering behind a rock.

Not exactly a solid suggestion, but what did they have to lose? Straightening himself to look taller and more impressive, Vaech began to speak.

"Dear Guardian, so mighty and brave,
Please come out, let us enter the cave."

Maybe he should consider becoming a poet. His two verses had been quite good, if he dared saying so himself. But then Vaech took a look at the pink Poogle rolling his eyes and decided to stay with flying his airship.

"THE GUARDIAN IS WHO YOU ASK FOR
THE ONE WHO CAN OPEN THE DOOR
YOU SPOKE YOUR REQUEST
NOW YOU ARE MY GUEST
BUT DO YOU KNOW OF THE RIDDLE THE REST
TELL ME THE WORDS, QUICKLY IS BEST
SO I CAN LET YOU ENTER THE CAVE
THAT COULD VERY WELL BE YOUR GRAVE.

It was a young voice who spoke the words and the three adults gasped as a Neopet emerged from the shadows.

"Mella..."

Author: iloenchen
Date: Dec 17th
"What is it?" she asked, stepping forward.

But the moment she rejoined the group, the ground beneath their feet began to shake. It started out as a passing rogue tremor, but escalated into a quake that nearly knocked Alstaf to his feet.

"This is nothing like a good massage chair, I daresay!" he complained, tripping and falling against Nika, who screamed. "Oh dear, pardon me..."

"The rocks!" the Aisha shouted, pointing to the shuddering pile of boulders. She and Alstaf dove to the right, while Vaech grabbed Mella and dove to the left.

At first, only a few stray rocks rolled down, but they were quickly followed by four more, and six, and ten, and soon they got even harder to count. They moved so quickly that in no time at all, just about all the rocks had crashed into the middle of the cave, dividing the four into two pairs.

The white rock, however, had managed to stray away from its brethren, and Vaech went over to it when he was sure that it was over.

Then he remembered his comrades.

"Nika! Alstaf! Are you all right?" he shouted. "Nika! Alstaf, it's me! I've got Mella..."

The only answer he got was his own voice echoing back at him. He turned around and saw Mella struggling to get back onto her feet. Perhaps the others were still stupefied by the sudden rock slide; Vaech quickly went over to the Cybunny and helped her up.

"Are you hurt?" he asked. Mella nodded in reply, but didn't turn to face him. After all her talk about dreams and rhymes, she was suddenly eerily quiet.

It was then that the Grundo remembered something... something about the rocks falling when the Guardian was found. Sure enough, before them was another cavern, but what about Alstaf and Nika? Surely he couldn't leave them behind... and what about...

"Mella?" Vaech turned her around so they were face-to-face.

Then he gasped, stepping back...

Author: precious_katuch14
Date: Dec 18th
Mella had resumed the uncontrollable trembling which had characterised her poeticising previously -- and sure enough, she began to speak:

"WELL DONE, NEOPETS FOUR,
THE GUARDIANS OF STONE YOU DEFEATED
AND YOU'VE OPENED THE DOOR.
NOW YOU ARE SPLIT, PAIRED TWO BY TWO,
BUT FRIENDSHIP WILL SURELY REUNITE YOU:
SO ADVANCE INTO THE CAVERN,
LET HOPE SERVE AS YOUR LANTERN;
FIND YOUR ENEMY IN HIS LAIR,
SMITE HIM WITH WIT AND WORDS FAIR."

Mella's trembling subsided as the last words fell from her lips. Then she blinked out of her strange trance and saw Vaech looking decidedly weirded-out in front of her.

Vaech coughed and tried to resume a Captainly mien. "Well, that was informative, Mella, thank you. I guess we can conclude that the cave's guardian was actually the stones themselves -- not some beast like we thought..."

"But there's still an enemy waiting for us somewhere," interjected Mella with a shudder.

"Right. And the first poem-riddle said that until it was defeated, we couldn't leave... which makes sense, since we're practically buried here. But you've just given us the key to defeating it: with wit and words."

Vaech paused to consider this. "Wit and words fair -- I bet that's where Alstaf comes in."

Vaech and Mella turned to the dark passage in front of them.

"Only one way to go," said Vaech in what he hoped was a comforting Captainly manner.

"I'm afraid," said Mella in a small whisper, and she hid behind her ears and grabbed Vaech's hand.

Together, they walked toward the darkness, a darkness which deepened as Kreludor's starlit surface was left further and further behind them.

Moments passed, minutes passed, then what seemed like hours passed as they made their way into the bowels of Neopia's moon -- and with the steady cadence of Vaech's Grundo feet and Mella's hippity-hopping gait, the darkness around them grew more and more complete.

Finally Mella stopped and squeezed Vaech's hand.

"I can't see any more."

"Me neither," said Vaech. "Maybe we should turn back to get help--"

"But we can't leave Nika and Alstaf here alone," came Mella's small, almost-teary voice in the darkness. "We need to have hope, we need to keep going, who knows what could happen -- "

As Mella spoke these words of compassion, pinpricks of light began to shine all along the cave's sides like so many miniature stars embedded in the hard, dry walls.

"Let hope be your lantern," whispered Vaech in wonder. "Mella, you're brilliant!"

Vaech grasped Mella's hand and together they began to jog onward with a new energy.

And there at the end of the shining tunnel leading to the heart of Kreludor was...

Author: larkspurlane
Date: Dec 18th
...a young Nimmo, curled in the corner of the cave, reading a book.

Vaech and Mella exchanged startled looks. The Nimmo hadn't noticed them, apparently; he was hunched intently over his book, occasionally turning a page with a papery rustle. Vaech wondered how he managed to read in the cavern's dim, twinkling light.

Mella hopped forward gently, trying not to scare the little Neopet. "Excuse me," she said, in a voice so quiet that Vaech had to strain to make it out. "Excuse me, are you trapped here, too? We're trying to find our way out. My name is Mella, and this is Vaech. Would you like to come with us?"

The Nimmo's long fingers trailed slowly down the page. Then he shut the book and lifted his head.

His eyes were a solid, impenetrable black.

"My name is Darkness," he said, "and I would love to come with you."

Find your enemy in his lair... "Oh no," Vaech breathed, cursing himself for not realising. "Mella," he said, reaching for the Cybunny girl, "come stand behind me!"

Mella turned, eyes widening. Behind her, the Nimmo's eyes were widening too, twin pits of utter blackness, spilling outward to cloak his entire body in shadow. He smiled, set his book carefully beside him, and stood. His legs and arms, already lanky, stretched impossibly as he rose, until they dangled like the spidery limbs of a skeleton.

Mella shrieked and rushed to Vaech's side, and the Grundo put a reassuring hand on her head, hoping she couldn't feel how it trembled. "What-- what do you want?" he asked, trying to keep his voice steady. Those were hardly "wit and words fair"... oh, if only Alstaf were here!

The Nimmo crouched on his long, skeletal legs, peering down at them with his blank black eyes. "All I want is to come with you," he said, and his voice was like the papery whisper of his book: a lifeless, bone-dry rustle. "I've been waiting here for so long, calling, calling out to you light-dwellers... I spoke to your mind, little one," he hissed to Mella. "Such a sensitive mind. And you listened, and you came, just as I asked! You have set me free!"

Mella stiffened beneath Vaech's hand. "What is it?" Vaech murmured.

A look of horror passed over the Cybunny's face. "Neopia shall have no sun," she whispered.

"Sensitive and clever," the Nimmo cackled. "Thank you, my friends. You have released the darkness, and now..." His voice deepened.

"YOU PLANET-DWELLERS ALL RELY
UPON A BAUBLE IN THE SKY:
AN UGLY BALL OF HEAT AND FIRE,
A FIERCE AND EVER-BURNING PYRE.
IT BLASTS DOWN SUCH A HAIL OF LIGHT,
EACH DAY DESTROYS THE PEACEFUL NIGHT.
SO HERE I HIDE, BEYOND ITS REACH,
AND FROM THE DARKNESS I BESEECH:
FREE ME, YOU WHO DAYLIGHT SHUN,
AND I WILL SNUFF THE GHASTLY SUN!"

"No!" Vaech cried. "That isn't why we freed you! We just wanted to get our ship working again--"

"If you extinguish the sun," Mella said, "every living thing on Neopia will die!"

"And what a peaceful, beautiful planet that will be," the creature said, his black eyes expressionless. "Bathed in eternal night, slumbering forever in perfect darkness." He took a skittery step toward them, turning his gaze to the tunnel entrance. "How kind of you to leave the door open."

Vaech tried not to panic, but he could feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins. He had to do something! He had to-- uh--

"If you put out our sun," he cried, feeling ridiculous, "then everyone will... run...
We'll all be very sad,
So please don't do it...
uh... you are very bad..."

Mella squeezed his hand. The Nimmo turned, his stilt-like limbs towering above them. "You try to best me with fair words?" he hissed, and his shadowy features twisted into rage. "That will be your doom, light-lovers."

The monstrous creature lifted one skeletal hand and snarled. Vaech curled himself around Mella, bracing for the blow. This was the end, and he ought to be terrified... but to his surprise, a familiar face filled his thoughts. A clever and patient Aisha, who'd been there for him through all his victories and mistakes, all those endless hours shuttling back and forth through the emptiness of space... Nika. As the Nimmo's hand came down, the only thing Vaech felt was a wistful sadness: he would never see his friend again. "Goodbye," he whispered.

An echoing crash rang down through the tunnel. Vaech hugged Mella tight. Strange... he didn't feel any pain. He hoped it would be over quickly.

"Vaech!" cried a familiar voice.

The Grundo cracked one eyelid, then gasped. The spidery Nimmo had reared back in surprise and was staring at the wall of the tunnel... which had just tumbled to the ground.

Clambering over the wreckage came a pink Poogle wearing a very scuffed-up beret... and his own dear friend, Nika.

The Nimmo cast a black glare toward the newcomers.

"IT MATTERS NOT HOW MANY FIGHT," he roared,
"DARKNESS WILL TRIUMPH OVER LIGHT!
I DO NOT HEED YOUR FEEBLE CRYING,
I AM SUN-EATER, NEVER DYING!"

"Sun-eater?" Nika gasped, turning to the Poogle beside her. "Alstaf, please, can you--"

"I most certainly can," Alstaf replied, settling his beret on his head with a steely glare. He cleared his throat, smoothed a paw over his goatee, and spoke:

"YOUR WORDS MAY BE LOUDER, BUT MINE ARE SWEETER.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF RHYME OR METER?
YOU'LL FALL BEFORE ME, AND YOU KNOW IT,
FOR I AM THE SUPERIOR POET!"

As Alstaf spoke and the Nimmo-creature stared, Vaech and Mella crept to Nika's side, desperately happy to see each other.

"YOUR PRETTY WORDS WILL NOT AVAIL," the Nimmo called,
"YOUR SUN WILL FLICKER, FADE, AND FAIL.
MINE IS THE POWER OF THE DARK,
AND I EXTINGUISH EVERY SPARK.
A SINGLE POET CANNOT STAND
AGAINST MY BLACK AND PITILESS HAND!"

With a crack that echoed like a whip across the tunnel walls, the Nimmo reached out a skeletal hand and slapped Alstaf off his feet. The Poogle tumbled head-over-heels into the rocky wall.

Mella ran to him, with Vaech and Nika close behind. Nika lay a gentle hand on the Poogle's cheek. His glasses were cracked and broken. "Alstaf?" she whispered.

His eyes didn't open.

"You're wrong," Mella cried, turning furiously to the Nimmo. "He is not a single poet, and he is not alone. All of us stand against you, all of us together!"

She grabbed Nika and Vaech's paws. "YOU LURK AND MUTTER IN THE DARK..." she shouted.

A shiver went up Vaech's spine. His eyes fell on the pinpricks of light still shining in the tunnel walls, and suddenly he knew what to say. "BUT WE HAVE BROUGHT A GLEAMING SPARK!"

Nika squeezed his hand. "BEFORE US ALL THE SHADOWS RUN..." she said, and reached for Alstaf's fallen paw.

A tremor went through Alstaf's body, and he blinked and looked up at the monstrous Nimmo. He tried to speak, but broke into a fit of coughing. The others gathered around him, and helped him to sit up.

Alstaf took a deep breath, then gave the Nimmo a cocky smile. "OURS IS THE POWER OF THE SUN!"

The Nimmo gave a hideous, wordless shriek, and raised his hands to the tunnel ceiling. The tiny lights twinkling in the walls grew brighter, and brighter, until every shadow in the cavern shrivelled... and the Nimmo shrivelled too, his spidery limbs dwindling away under the bright glow of light.

And as the four Neopets watched...

Editor's Note: How do you want the story to end? Tell us!

Author: arula
Date: Dec 19th
...the air slowly filled with stars.

The pinpoint lights fell from the walls and floated through the cave. They drifted, spun. They moved so silently, so softly, serene. Shining gossamer snowflakes.

It was beautiful.

The cave became eerily silent as the Nimmo's screams dwindled into whimpers, then nothing at all. They watched. Vaech. Nika. Mella. Alstaf. They all watched as the Nimmo fell to the ground, dark eyes staring blankly at the ceiling.

Then slowly, so slowly, the lights gently faded away into oblivion. But they never disappeared completely. For while the dancing firefly lights were nowhere to be seen, the cave still basked in a silver glow.

No one wanted to speak. No one wanted to break the beautiful silence. As if afraid words would chase the light away, and they'd be brought back into darkness... cold, lonely darkness...

Seconds were hours. Hours were seconds. The hourglass shattered. Sand cascaded into the wind, which brought it up to the heavens, where it became the ever-shining stars in the sky.

"Is it... is it over?" Mella asked. Her voice was barely a whisper, as if she hadn't spoken in a long time, as if she had forgotten how.

Vaech was silent. He opened his mouth to reply, but no words came to mind.

Nika was silent, fingers still entwined with Vaech's. She didn't have an answer either.

Alstaf was silent. Even he, a poet, a master of words, could think of nothing.

The Nimmo stirred.

Mella shrieked and backed away. Nika's hand tightened around Vaech's. Alstaf glared, still too weak to stand on his own two feet. Vaech took a threatening step forward.

The Nimmo slowly sat up and turned his head toward them. His dead, doll eyes looked right through them as he opened his mouth and whispered, "Goodbye."

There was a sound of glass breaking, and he shattered. Light, brilliant light enveloped everything. They had to close their eyes to avoid blinding themselves as a wave of warmth washed over them.

As the brilliance faded away, they opened their eyes once more to see the Nimmo, standing there, staring at them, staring...

Vaech took a step forward, but was held back by Nika. "Wait," she said. "Look at his eyes."

His eyes. His frightening shadow eyes. Dark eyes. Black eyes. Devoid of any light, any sparkle, any smile, any warmth.

His eyes were melting, fading, dwindling into a dazzling hue of star-coloured silver. And then they changed again. To green, like the flowers and the leaves on the trees and the grass after it rains... to blue, like a bright summer sky... to sunset orange and lilac purple, wagon red and sunflower yellow... and then to gold. Brilliant, brilliant gold. The colour of the sun.

And then back to silver again. Silver like the stars and the moon. The very light that covered the world like a warm blanket as the sun set behind the horizon. Always there, protecting the world from darkness like a silent guardian.

The air was filled with a melodic voice.

"AS DARKNESS FADES A LIGHT IS BORN
CHASES AWAY THE SHADOW'S SCORN
MEMORIES ONCE LOST WERE FOUND
THEY SPIN IN CIRCLES, ROUND AND ROUND
REMINDING ME OF THINGS LONG FORGOTTEN
OUTSHINING THOSE OF THINGS SO ROTTEN
OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, HOPE
THE THINGS THAT FORM LIFE'S TIGHT ROPE
FOR EVEN IN THE DARK OF NIGHT
THERE ALWAYS IS A SPARK, A LIGHT"

As the words faded, so did the music. The Nimmo looked at them, body shimmering. "Thank you."

The cave was filled with a blinding light once more.

When they opened their eyes, they were back outside, standing in front of a stone wall. There was no evidence of the cave, nothing to show it was ever there in the first place. The spaceship could be seen in the distance, sitting there patiently, waiting, still waiting.

They all stared at each other, not saying a word.

"We did it," Alstaf breathed. He stumbled and Nika rushed forward to support him.

"But... how exactly?" Vaech wondered. He shook his head. "I'm still not sure..."

"Light," Mella whispered. "We showed him the light."

Vaech frowned. "But... how did showing him the thing he feared, hated... how did that bring victory?"

Mella shook her head. "I'm not talking about the sun. There are other kinds of light, in the world. Brighter ones."

They slowly walked back to the ship. Vaech vaguely wondered what he was going to tell the passengers. Alstaf was mumbling something about extra peanuts to Nika, who was rolling her eyes. Mella walked behind them, staring at the ground.

Vaech looked to the sky. "I wonder..." He sighed. "I wonder what happened? To him, I mean. He just..."

"Disappeared?" Nika said.

"Something like that."

"I don't think anyone knows where he is now," Mella said, "but I have a feeling he's somewhere, watching..."

Above them, the stars twinkled. The stars shone. Brightly. But none as bright as the constellation, one the world had never seen before. The one the astronomers would soon dub "The Nimmo." For if you connected the dots, the brilliant pinpoints of light formed the shape of a Nimmo, smiling down upon the planets, protecting them and filling the universe with light.

But to the four Neopets who walked back to the ship, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, the constellation had a different name.

Light.

The End

Author: reveirie
Date: Dec 19th



Quick Jump

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12
Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16Week 17Week 18
Week 19Week 20Week 21Week 22Week 23Week 24
Week 25Week 26Week 27Week 28Week 29Week 30
Week 31Week 32Week 33Week 34Week 35Week 36
Week 37Week 38Week 39Week 40Week 41Week 42
Week 43Week 44Week 45Week 46Week 47Week 48
Week 49Week 50Week 51Week 52Week 53Week 54
Week 55Week 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60
Week 61Week 62Week 63Week 64Week 65Week 66
Week 67Week 68Week 69Week 70Week 71Week 72
Week 73Week 74Week 75Week 76Week 77Week 78
Week 79Week 80Week 81Week 82Week 83Week 84
Week 85Week 86Week 87Week 88Week 89Week 90
Week 91Week 92Week 93Week 94Week 95Week 96
Week 97Week 98Week 99Week 100Week 101Week 102
Week 103Week 104Week 105Week 106Week 107Week 108
Week 109Week 110Week 111Week 112Week 113Week 114
Week 115Week 116Week 117Week 118Week 119Week 120
Week 121Week 122Week 123Week 124Week 125Week 126
Week 127Week 128Week 129Week 130Week 131Week 132
Week 133Week 134Week 135Week 136Week 137Week 138
Week 139Week 140Week 141Week 142Week 143Week 144
Week 145Week 146Week 147Week 148Week 149Week 150
Week 151Week 152Week 153Week 154Week 155Week 156
Week 157Week 158Week 159Week 160Week 161Week 162
Week 163Week 164Week 165Week 166Week 167Week 168
Week 169Week 170Week 171Week 172Week 173Week 174
Week 175Week 176Week 177Week 178Week 179Week 180
Week 181Week 182Week 183Week 184Week 185Week 186
Week 187Week 188Week 189Week 190Week 191Week 192
Week 193Week 194Week 195Week 196Week 197Week 198
Week 199Week 200Week 201Week 202Week 203Week 204
Week 205Week 206Week 207Week 208Week 209Week 210
Week 211Week 212Week 213Week 214Week 215Week 216
Week 217Week 218Week 219Week 220Week 221Week 222
Week 223Week 224Week 225Week 226Week 227Week 228
Week 229Week 230Week 231Week 232Week 233Week 234
Week 235Week 236Week 237Week 238Week 239Week 240
Week 241Week 242Week 243Week 244Week 245Week 246
Week 247Week 248Week 249Week 250Week 251Week 252
Week 253Week 254Week 255Week 256Week 257Week 258
Week 259Week 260Week 261Week 262Week 263Week 264
Week 265Week 266Week 267Week 268Week 269Week 270
Week 271Week 272Week 273Week 274Week 275Week 276
Week 277Week 278Week 279Week 280Week 281Week 282
Week 283Week 284Week 285Week 286Week 287Week 288
Week 289Week 290Week 291Week 292Week 293Week 294
Week 295Week 296Week 297Week 298Week 299Week 300
Week 301Week 302Week 303Week 304Week 305Week 306
Week 307Week 308Week 309Week 310Week 311Week 312
Week 313Week 314Week 315Week 316Week 317Week 318
Week 319Week 320Week 321Week 322Week 323Week 324
Week 325Week 326Week 327Week 328Week 329Week 330
Week 331Week 332Week 333Week 334Week 335Week 336
Week 337Week 338Week 339Week 340Week 341Week 342
Week 343Week 344Week 345Week 346Week 347Week 348
Week 349Week 350Week 351Week 352Week 353Week 354
Week 355Week 356Week 357Week 358Week 359Week 360
Week 361Week 362Week 363Week 364Week 365Week 366
Week 367Week 368Week 369Week 370Week 371Week 372
Week 373Week 374Week 375Week 376Week 377Week 378
Week 379Week 380Week 381Week 382Week 383Week 384
Week 385Week 386Week 387Week 388Week 389Week 390
Week 391Week 392Week 393Week 394Week 395Week 396
Week 397Week 398Week 399Week 400Week 401Week 402
Week 403Week 404Week 405Week 406Week 407Week 408
Week 409Week 410Week 411Week 412Week 413Week 414
Week 415Week 416Week 417Week 418Week 419Week 420
Week 421Week 422Week 423Week 424Week 425Week 426
Week 427Week 428Week 429Week 430Week 431Week 432
Week 433Week 434Week 435Week 436Week 437Week 438
Week 439Week 440Week 441Week 442Week 443Week 444
Week 445Week 446Week 447Week 448Week 449Week 450
Week 451Week 452Week 453Week 454Week 455Week 456
Week 457Week 458Week 459Week 460Week 461Week 462
Week 463Week 464Week 465Week 466Week 467Week 468
Week 469Week 470Week 471Week 472Week 473Week 474
Week 475Week 476Week 477Week 478Week 479Week 480
Week 481Week 482Week 483Week 484Week 485Week 486
Week 487Week 488Week 489Week 490Week 491Week 492
Week 493Week 494Week 495Week 496Week 497Week 498
Week 499Week 500Week 501Week 502Week 503Week 504
Week 505Week 506Week 507Week 508Week 509Week 510
Week 511Week 512Week 513Week 514Week 515Week 516
Week 517Week 518Week 519Week 520Week 521Week 522
Week 523Week 524Week 525Week 526Week 527Week 528
Week 529Week 530Week 531Week 532Week 533Week 534
Week 535Week 536Week 537Week 538Week 539Week 540
Week 541Week 542Week 543Week 544Week 545Week 546
Week 547Week 548Week 549Week 550Week 551Week 552
Week 553Week 554Week 555Week 556Week 557Week 558
Week 559Week 560Week 561Week 562Week 563Week 564
Week 565Week 566Week 567Week 568Week 569Week 570
Week 571Week 572Week 573Week 574Week 575Week 576
Week 577Week 578Week 579Week 580Week 581Week 582
Week 583Week 584Week 585Week 586Week 587Week 588
Week 589Week 590Week 591Week 592Week 593Week 594
Week 595Week 596Week 597Week 598Week 599Week 600
Week 601Week 602Week 603Week 604Week 605Week 606
Week 607Week 608Week 609Week 610Week 611Week 612
Week 613Week 614Week 615Week 616Week 617Week 618
Week 619Week 620Week 621Week 622Week 623Week 624
Week 625Week 626Week 627Week 628Week 629Week 630
Week 631Week 632Week 633Week 634Week 635Week 636
Week 637Week 638Week 639Week 640Week 641Week 642
Week 643Week 644Week 645Week 646Week 647Week 648
Week 649Week 650Week 651Week 652Week 653Week 654
Week 655Week 656Week 657Week 658Week 659Week 660
Week 661Week 662Week 663Week 664Week 665Week 666
Week 667Week 668Week 669Week 670Week 671Week 672
Week 673Week 674    


IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS check with your parents before you submit anything to us!