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Week 426
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Week 428

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 Four Hundred Twenty Seven Ends Friday, August 28

A cool breeze ruffled the red and white awning over the front door of The Crumpetmonger, and Addy pulled her light jacket a little closer around herself. The chill of autumn was already in the air, and at that moment, a fluffy, fresh-from-the-oven pastry seemed like the perfect thing to warm her up.

The little bell above the door tinkled as the young Grundo entered the shop. It smelled as lovely as ever, a sweet, comforting cloud of cinnamon, sugar, and spices. Addy wandered the aisles for a while, peering into the glass cases filled with sweet treats and trying to decide if she wanted a scone or a hot Beef Stew Pie or an airy Vanilla Cream Puff.

As the minutes passed, it dawned on Addy that something was different in the shop. The fragrance of baking was the same, but the shop seemed dimmer, quieter. Then it hit her -- the jolly Meerca shopkeeper, with her wide smile and icing-splattered apron, was nowhere to be seen. In the past when Addy had stopped in to the shop, the Crumpetmonger herself had always been behind the counter, making pleasant chitchat as she rolled out a golden sheet of dough with the rolling pin held in her long Meerca tail.

"Hello?" Addy called hesitantly. There was no answer. Maybe the Meerca baker had just gone to buy more ingredients, but why would she have left without locking the front door?

"Uh... is anyone here?" the Grundo said, leaning over the counter to see into the back area where the ovens were kept. A thought crossed her mind -- what if the shopkeeper was back there, hurt? Taking a deep, determined breath, Addy went behind the counter and into the back room.

"Miss Crumpetmonger? Are you here?" she called as she walked past the hot ovens. In the gloom at the far end of the room, Addy could see a figure, a tall, thin shape hunched over the marble slab where the Meerca shopkeeper kneaded her scones.

"Hello? Sorry to bother you, I was just..."

The figure whirled around to face Addy, hiding something behind his back as he turned. It was a Mynci with sunken cheeks and hollow eyes who looked like he'd never eaten a crumpet in his life.

"Who are you?" he demanded. "What are you doing back here?..."

Author: Would you like a mystery with your cream puff?
Date: Aug 24th
"I...I... my name is Addy," said the Grundo. "I came looking for the shopkeeper."

"Well, she's not here," said the Mynci, glaring at her, "so you may as well get out."

"Where is she?" A note of panic edged its way into Addy's voice -- she did not like the look in the Mynci's eyes at all.

"Dunno. Don't particularly care." The Mynci shrugged, then turned back around, apparently deciding that Addy wasn't worth any further bother.

He plucked a scone off the counter with his free hand and shoved it whole into his mouth.

"Stop it!" Addy snapped, rushing forward to snatch another pastry from the Mynci's grasp. "Those aren't yours!"

As she grabbed the scone, she caught a glimpse of the object the Mynci had been hiding behind his back, and was now clutching tightly to his chest.

It was an old, worn blue Blumaroo plushie.

"Aren't yours, either!" said the Mynci, grabbing the scone back. Then, noticing where Addy was looking, he took a step backward. "Don't you say a word. Don't you dare. Gwillie's the only one who's stuck by me through the years. Everyone else is gone."

Gwillie? Oh, he must mean the plushie. He seems a bit old for stuffed Neopets...

"Gone?" she asked.

"Gone," said the Mynci. "My mum, my dad, my big brother. Gone. Got sick. Left me alone. Now it's just me and Gwillie."

"Oh... I'm sorry."

The Mynci shrugged again, then took a bite out of the scone.

I really don't think he knows what became of the Crumpetmonger, Addy thought. He probably was just hungry...

"Ptew!" The Mynci spat out a shred of paper, looking at the scone in disgust. A bit of newsprint had been baked into the pastry.

A clue to the Crumpetmonger's disappearance?

"Here," said Addy, picking up another scone. "Take this one. I'll trade you."

The Mynci looked at her as though she were crazy, but took the offered scone and handed Addy the bitten one.

Carefully, Addy extracted the paper from the pastry.

It had obviously been clipped from a newspaper, and the print was as large as the title of a front-page article.

Though the first few letters had been torn off, the rest was clearly legible:

NITARIUM...

Author: cookybananas324
Date: Aug 24th
"What's a 'nitarium'?" Addy mused aloud, trying to figure out what letters went in front of the portion of word.

The Mynci looked up from his pastry eating, his crumb-covered face looking anything but adorable in contrast to the pale sunken look of his features. Addy felt a little surge of pity for the skinny wild-eyed Mynci, but pity wasn't going to make her stupid; she knew that the look in his eyes was an unstable one.

"A nitarium? I dunno, sounds like crazy talk to me." The Mynci shuffled around and stared at Addy as if he'd suddenly been made suspicious by his own words. "You aren't one of the crazies are you?"

"What are you talking about? I'm as sane as you are!" she exclaimed, suddenly aware that it felt like she'd been punched in the stomach.

It had just occurred to her that maybe he wasn't as sane as she was. Nitarium... her heart dropped into her already fluttering stomach as the obvious finally hit her full-force: sanitarium. She was willing to bet the origin of her new acquaintance involved that word somehow.

"I dunno," the Mynci was saying when she looked back at him; she was alarmed to see that he was looking panicky. "You're staring off at the wall like a crazy. Gwillie just told me so and he usually knows what he's talking about."

"N-no, I was just thinking!" Addy realised that her voice had just gone up a couple of octaves but she didn't think she could control it now; what was she supposed to do with an insane Mynci? She couldn't just leave him in the town, but she didn't think she'd be able to drag him along wherever she went. She settled for trying to figure out more about him first.

"Oh, I see." He looked as if her explanation had appeased him. "The walls help you think the way Gwillie helps me! I wish I could talk to walls too; if I could, then Gwillie and I could have lots of company, sometimes it gets boring with just the two of us."

"Uh... yeah, walls are helpful sometimes," Addy said, fully aware that nobody with an ounce of sanity left would want to talk to walls. "So you never told me -- what's your name, anyway?"

"Name?" He looked suspicious again. "Nobody but friends and Neopets in white ask about names."

"Oh well, I want to be friends! I'm not wearing white, am I?" This last bit was true; Addy was suddenly very glad she'd decided to wear her orange sweater instead of her fluffy white coat on this cold day.

"That's true," the Mynci said sullenly, then looked as if he'd had an idea. "You gotta tell me yours first, though. Then I'll know you want to be friends. Gwillie doesn't like you that much, but he says it's okay if you say your name first."

"T-thanks, Gwillie, you're a really generous plush... uh... Blumaroo!" Addy said nervously. "My name's Addy, what's yours?"

He stared at her for a moment, then nodded his head in approval. "Name's Mullen, least I think so, Gwillie calls me that anyway, so it's gotta be my name, right?" The last note in his voice was almost pleading, and Addy felt her heart twang in pity again.

"Mullen, that's a nice name," she said, smiling at him and nodding.

"What's wrong with your face?" Mullen asked and pointed at Addy's smile. "You sick or something?"

"W-what do you mean?" she asked, her small grin fading. "It's called a smile, you know about smiles, don't you?"

"Heard of 'em," he said, the look in his eyes was somewhat sad. "Haven't seen one in a long time, so I forgot what they looked like." He scrunched his face up in thought; it looked like he was staring through a foggy window. "Lucy used to smile sometimes, I think," he said suddenly.

Addy stared at him for a moment, heart hammering in alarm. She was pretty sure she knew who that was; her mother had told her all about it in a scary story one night. Nurse Lucy... the nurse who had died in Meepit Oaks Sanitarium after the patients had locked her away.

She didn't think the Mynci had anything to do with the Crumpetmonger's disappearance anymore; the smell of pastries was still too thick in the air for her to have been gone long enough for Mullen to have taken her away and returned. However, she now had a nasty suspicion that Mullen wasn't the only remnant of the sanitarium's inmates wandering free this night.

"H-hey, Mullen?" she asked carefully. "You wouldn't happen to know if, ummm... anyone else who knew Lucy is out here in town tonight, would you?..."

Author: scarletspindle
Date: Aug 24th
Mullen licked the final crumbs of his scone off of his fingers. "Just two," he said matter-of-factly. He then took another scone from the counter and began to gnaw on it nervously.

"And they are..." prompted Addy, fighting the fear rising in her throat.

"One of 'em's named Bartleby. He's my friend; he knows my name."

"And what's Bartleby like?" asked Addy.

"How do you mean?"

"Is he..." Addy stopped herself before she said "dangerous," afraid that the word might set the unstable Mynci off. "Is he nice?" she finally settled upon.

Mullen nodded. "He's the one what brought me here. I feel bad for 'im sometimes 'cause he don't have a friend like Gwillie, but he doesn't seem too lonely. Bartleby and Lucy used to be friends. One time he told me a joke. Wanna hear it?"

Addy tentatively said yes, afraid of offending Mullen by refusing.

"All right, here it is. 'Life.' That's what he said, it is. He said 'Life's a joke.' 'Life.' Pretty funny, eh?"

Addy laughed nervously and took a step backward. "He seems... droll."

"Oh, he is." Mullen's eyes widened and he nodded vigorously, causing scone crumbs to fall from his face. "He's always telling jokes an' such. There's this one he tells all the time: 'Help, I'm not insane! I've been falsely imprisoned! Let me out of here!' Hilarious, innit?"

"Very," the Grundo said, thoughts whirling through her head. "Will you excuse me for a second? I'd like to talk to the wall again."

Mullen winked at her knowingly and whispered something in his plush Blumaroo's ear.

Addy locked her eyes onto the wall and began to think. All right, we're dealing with at least one crazy pet, maybe two. Mullen obviously isn't quite right, and as for Bartleby... either he thinks he's sane when he really isn't, or he's lucid and has been locked up in a madhouse and probably wants revenge. Either way, he could be very dangerous. I'd better find him before he causes any trouble. And what about the second one? Mullen said there were two inmates who escaped with him...

"Who was the other pet who knew Lucy?" Addy asked aloud, returning her gaze to the Mynci. "Is he your friend too?"

A dark look came over Mullen's face instantly, like a thundercloud blotting out the sun. "No. No, he ain't my friend. He's a right bad 'un, he is. We don't like to talk about him, do we, Gwillie?" He shook the Blumaroo's head side to side. "He ain't nice. He don't tell jokes an' such."

Addy gulped and shivered despite herself. "And what's his name?"

Mullen put his half-eaten scone down on the counter and motioned for Addy to come closer. She hesitated, then did so. His voice lowered to a whisper, Mullen told her. "His name is..."

Author: rosabellk
Date: Aug 25th
"... Horace."

Mullen pulled back from Addy and glanced around the bakery in fear, as if the mere mention of the name could cause horrible things to happen.

"Horace," Addy repeated, noticing Mullen flinch as she used the name. "Do you know where Horace and Bartleby are now?"

Mullen shook his head. "Bartleby told me, he said to wait here. Said it would be real funny. I thought about following, but Gwillie said not to. He said only the podgy lady could go."

"The... podgy lady?" Addy gasped. "You mean the Crumpetmonger? They took her somewhere?"

Mullen checked with Gwillie, before nodding helpfully.

"Mullen, this is very important," Addy said loudly and slowly. "Do you know where they took the podgy lady?"

"Horace said not to say," Mullen replied, biting his lip.

Addy sighed and took the Mynci's spare paw.

"Mullen, I'm your friend. If you or Gwillie know where Horace went, you should tell me, because friends tell each other things."

Mullen glanced at Gwillie. "You mean like... secrets?"

Addy nodded, "Yes, yes, we can tell each other secrets!"

Mullen's eyes grew wide with excitement. "I like secrets! Once I snuck an extra bowl of food away from Dr. Alexander! He blamed Horace for it, but it was me!"

Mullen leaned back, panting as if what he'd just said had been a great personal strain.

"I need to know the secret Horace told you to keep," Addy reminded him gently. "Where has he gone? Where did he take the podgy lady?"

Mullen looked to Gwillie for confirmation.

"To his house," the Mynci said quietly.

"...and where is his house?" Addy pressed; the gentle tone of her voice fading.

"It's the big one, the one with the hands on top, it goes BONG! Gwillie doesn't like it, it hurts his ears," Mullen explained.

"The house with the clock?" Addy questioned. "But that's the town hall... he lives there?"

Mullen nodded. "He did, before the Neopets in white came for him. He lived there with his brother. The Bruce with the cane."

Addy gasped. She knew of only one Bruce in Neovia that had walked around with a cane.

"Mayor Thumburt," she whispered to the walls...

Author: herdygerdy
Date: Aug 25th
There was a long moment of silence as the Grundo pondered this new development. Mayor Thumburt had never made any mention of ever having a brother. But this Mynci seemed entirely honest in his naivety. Was he confused, or making things up? It seemed impossible to believe.

But Thumburt was the shady type, she realised. Little was known of him besides the appearances he made in the town square, his speeches and petitions. He was loyal to his town's welfare, certainly, but he was very prideful at the same time. There were some subjects he dogded entirely. His position meant a lot to him. Bad connections -- even family ones -- that could threaten his seat of power... was the mayor cold enough to leave those behind?

Then Mullen let out a long snicker that jolted Addy out of her reverie.

"What is it?" she asked warily. The Mynci didn't seem entirely there, a couple Neocola cans short of a full package, and she was starting to wonder if his cheese had slid off his cracker entirely.

"Gwillie thinks the walls don't like you very much," he chortled to himself, tracing his paw in a circle around one of the battered plushie's button eyes. "When you talk to them, they sit and listen, but they never say anything. But Gwillie tells me stuff all the time."

"Erm." Addy wasn't sure how to respond to this new development in the conversation. "Well, they're very... sturdy. Like... steadfast, you know? Always there for me."

"They're always there for me, too." Mullen nodded sagely. "And they listen. Always listening to me. Only Gwillie can't avoid them. I try to run, but they're always there, all around, one side, two sides, three sides, and four. But sometimes Horace and Bartelby bring the shiny things, and one of the walls is scared of them and gets out of the way." A sneaky grin lit the previously solemn face. "The Neopets in white don't know. But it's a secret. Right?"

"Yes, yes, right..." Addy paused to get her suddenly scrambling thoughts under control. "Erm, which one of them has the key... um, shiny things? Horace or Bartleby?"

"Horace does," the Mynci says. "And then take a walk out into the nice, cold place, where there's all the eyes, but no walls. Horace said he was going to bring back a bunch of friends this time."

They were taking other Neovians to the Meepit Oaks Sanitorium?

As gentle and non-provocative as she was trying to be toward the clearly fragile Neopet, Addy couldn't keep her voice from shooting up several octaves. "You're kidnapping Neopets and taking them back to the asylum?"

It was a useless inquisition -- the Mynci clearly had no idea what was going on. If this was some kind of scheme, he was only a bystander or a pawn. But it left her lips anyway.

And she got an answer, nonetheless.

"Horace says they're telling him to. And they are. I hear them as well. They're in the walls, in the no-walls, and they watch and whisper, and we have to listen. Horace says that the Bruce he used to live with needs to listen to, that's what he said when he pulled the wall away --"

The Mynci gasped and pitched forward, his eyes bulging. He clutched at her arm, which she instinctively drew back to no avail -- was Mullen having a fit?

"What's wrong?" the Grundo cried out, struggling to free her arm.

"Gwillie says I need to tell you a secret," Mullen panted, eyes rolling, "that I can trust you. He says you might be the only one who can help. But I don't want to. They're everywhere. I don't want to..." His voice petered off into a whine.

Addy struggled to remain calm. "I'll keep it a secret, I promise."

She helped the clearly disturbed Mynci to his feet, but he kept his head facing the floor, clutching his plushie tightly.

"They're going to find me," he whimpered. "And take me away to the place they took Lucy, the nothing-place."

"Who are they?" Her voice trembled in spite of herself, and she wasn't sure if that was because who she was dealing with, or the subject that lingered on the Mynci's tongue, something promising malevolence and dark intentions.

"The lights," he gasped.

"The... lights?"

"The blue lights you can only see when the bright thing in the sky goes to bed. There are so many of them, and they're everywhere... they spin around in circles, and they tell us things. The white pets can't see them, can't hear them. But we can. We heard, and then we listened. Horace listened first, and then Bartleby, too. And everyone else. All of them. Gwillie tells me not to listen, but they're so loud."

"They told Horace to make more pets listen..."

Author: dianacat777
Date: Aug 26th
Addy closed her eyes, her sensitive Grundo attennae poised in a gesture of empathy. She could almost hear the voices of the asylum inmates who had remained unseen, unheard, for so many years, caught in some alternate dimension of existence. She could almost hear the voices of the ghosts, the only ones who bothered to speak to the "crazies" while all the rest of life rushed by.

She could almost feel the fiery despair of Horace, who had once played with Mayor Thumburt as brother and friend, until one day the doctors in white coats took him away, away from the Mayor's rising prosperity and fame.

It was time for all the rest of Neopia to acknowledge the existence of the "crazies," to listen to the cries of the "crazies" and the ghosts. Now Horace and Bartleby, egged on by the ghosts, were kidnapping sane Neovians like the Crumpetmonger and bundling them into the sanitarium. Innocents such as Mullen, who had the misfortune of being in on the secret, would later be disposed of.

Responsibility told her that, in this poor, haunted town, she was one of the few remaining Neopets who still had a clear mind and a good heart. With some luck, she might be able to rescue the kidnapped Neovians, put the ghosts to rest, and restore care and respect for the unloved "crazies."

But fear was stirring in her chest. Did she have the courage to go to the town hall, where Horace and Bartleby were doubtless trying to kidnap the mayor?

Could she face the ghosts and the confused asylum inmates, united only in the depth of their despair?

A giggle from Mullen jerked her out of her swirling thoughts.

"They haven't found me yet," mumbled the Mynci, pressing his ear against the plushie's face. "They're all circling toward the house with the bonging clock. And there's walls here. Oh, yes, there's walls." Then he began to sob again. "But the blue lights aren't afraid of the walls..."

Addy extended her hand. "Come on," she said. "I'll protect you, Mullen. I promise. I won't let the blue lights catch you."

Mullen stared at her. "Gwillie says you're going to the house with the clock. Gwillie says you might help, and I should trust you. But I'm scared..."

"I promise I'll protect you," Addy repeated desperately. She couldn't abandon him.

"I don't want..."

Another idea popped into Addy's head. "I'll tell you a joke, how about that," she offered. "Come on."

"I like jokes," said Mullen, cheering up visibly and moving the Blumaroo's head up and down.

"Come on then."

And with some gentle nudging, the two pets moved off haggardly into the dark, toward Mayor Thumburt's town hall...

Author: yoyote
Date: Aug 26th
Down the cobblestone streets they sprinted, Addy whispering jokes to Mullen whenever the Mynci faltered. The words coming from her own lips sounded strange; this was not an atmosphere for humour. The night sky seemed blacker than Addy had ever seen it before, and strangely cold breezes rushed across her antennae and through her thin jacket.

How had it gotten this cold so quickly?

The streets were empty, unnerving Addy further. Usually there were some pets roaming Neovia whether it was day or night, evening or dawn. Even at midnight, there should be daredevils heading toward the Haunted Wood's graveyard, or shady dealers looking to make a profit off of wealthy pets out too late at plays and parties.

But everything was silent now, except for Addy's and Mullen's feet on the cobblestones, and the occasional frigid breeze slamming at the shutters.

And then... different footsteps.

Addy slowed as she heard the steps get louder. Behind her, Mullen whispered something to his Blumaroo plushie, and Addy hissed, "Shh!"

Mullen tilted his head slightly, one round ear pointing to the direction Addy thought the footsteps were coming from. "Big feet," he remarked.

"...What?"

"Big feet," Mullen repeated. "Don't you hear? Slap-slap-slap-slap-slap."

Shaking her head slightly, Addy returned her attention to the footsteps. Strangely, now that she thought about it... the footsteps didn't quite sound like paws, or talons, or her own two-toed feet.

It sounded like... like someone wearing flippers. Or maybe... maybe, someone who had webbed feet. Like a Bruce.

And suddenly, from the shadows cast by the massive clocktower, came a green Bruce, his clothes tattered and eyes wide. Mullen let out a sound halfway between a shout and a whimper, and stepped back. Addy stepped back as well, remembering Horace, the Bruce potentially behind all this.

But in the figure's left flipper was a cane.

Mayor Thumburt skidded to a halt when he saw the Grundo and Mynci. Raising his flippers as if to protect his face, the Bruce shouted, "No! Stay away from me!"...

Author: cpmtiger
Date: Aug 27th
Addy opened her mouth to shout something at the Neovian Mayor, but her words were replaced by a shriek as she fell over her Mynci companion's foot.

"Gwillie doesn't like the looks of that Bruce," Mullen muttered, keeping his usually fidgety eyes on Mayor Thumburt all the time he spoke.

"He's the Mayor, Mullen. He won't hurt you. He'll protect you, but first we have to protect him."

Still holding up his flipper defensively, Mayor Thumburt panted heavily. Evidently, he'd been running away for quite a while.

"Don't worry, Mayor, we want to help you," Addy said in her most reassuring voice and stepped closer to the Thumburt. Mullen followed her forward, but cowered behind her much smaller body, taking the occasional peek over her shoulder.

"How do I know you're not one of those insane pets who are trying to take me away? They've already got the Crumpetmonger -- my dear friend."

Addy shook her head. "We want things back to normal." Well, almost normal. After this, she'd need to make sure that the "crazies" were looked after properly. After all, they were Neopets too.

"Just stop those fiends quickly, before I'm forced into the sanitarium, and lose my precious job," Thumburt cried.

Addy raised an eyebrow. Mayor Thumburt clearly didn't regard the "crazies" as anything more than imbeciles. It sure would take a lot of persuasion to get Mullen treated fairly. "Just calm down, Mayor. They'll hear you otherwise."

"Too late for that," came a maniacal voice. A Bruce, almost identical to Mayor Thumburt, stepped out from the shadows of a nearby tree. He was wearing regal clothing, the kind Addy expected to see Thumburt wearing. "We've found you again, dearest brother." His voice was laced with venom and malice.

"No! Get away, and go back to where you came from. I won't be taken by you," Thumburt screamed.

Addy could only blink at the ensuing scene in front of her. If it weren't for the cane, she wouldn't have been able to tell the two brothers apart.

"Our plans to take over Neovia are nigh. There's nothing you can do, so make this easier for everyone," Horace said with a smug grin. Addy was slightly surprised at how eloquent he seemed. Not like a "crazy" at all.

"You won't take my place. The citizens of Neovia will realise that I'm gone."

Horace let out another maniacal laugh. "Anyone who would get suspicious is being captured," he said simply.

"You leave them alone," Thumburt yelled.

"Mayor," came another yell, as the Crumpetmonger was pushed into the light of the dim streetlamp.

A Scorchio stepped out behind her, wearing shabby clothes similar to Thumburt's attire.

"Oh, my dear Crumpetmonger. I feared you had been seriously harmed," Thumburt called.

Mullen peeked over Addy's shoulder once more, and set eyes on the Scorchio. "Bartleby," he called, with utter glee. "Gwillie says that Addy's jokes aren't as funny as yours. You should compete."

"Soon, Mullen, my friend. Soon, I can tell you all the jokes you want -- when we're free from the sanitarium."

Mullen nodded ferociously from behind Addy.

Horace had meanwhile laid eyes on Addy. "Looks like we've got a spy on our hands. She knows too much, so take her too."

Mullen clapped his hands. "Hooray, Addy, you can come with us too."

"N-N-No, Mullen," she stammered. "This needs to stop now. We can't let this--"

Addy was cut off by a sudden whimpering cry from Mullen.

"The blue lights are here. Don't let them get me...!"

Author: jayo289
Date: Aug 27th
Addy froze, stopping cold with sheer terror. It was the blue lights that had started it, and the blue lights that would get them in the end. "Where are they, Mullen?" she whispered slowly, cautiously.

"Up there," Mullen cried, pointing toward the night sky. Addy looked up as well, but saw nothing but the stars above, twinkling in the Neovian sky, and suddenly realised what these blue lights were.

"Do you mean the stars?" the Grundo asked, putting a paw over her mouth to conceal her giggles.

"No, they're the blue lights!" Mullen protested, cringing away from them. "Horace said that they're going to fall from the sky and get us!"

"Falling from the sky?" Addy questioned. "Are you talking about the meteor shower that's supposed to happen tonight? Because if you are, those stars aren't going to fall anywhere near here."

Mullen stared at her from the corners of his eyes, confused at having everything explained to him. "I--well..." He was at a loss for words, straightening up and staring at the sky.

Addy smiled, glad to have the phenomenon explained to Mullen. She was just about to state this when Horace sprang toward her, grabbing her arms and forcing them behind her. "I've got her!" he proclaimed, holding the struggling Grundo still. "Bartleby, hand me the rope!"

Bartleby looked from the rope to Mullen, who stared at him with pleading eyes. It was those eyes that changed the Scorchio's mind. "No," he said, throwing down the rope. "No."

Horace glared. "And to think, you would have made a great minion. I might as well do it myself." He inched toward the rope that the Scorchio had thrown down, dragging Addy with him.

"No!" Mullen cried. "Gwillie says that since Addy protected me, it's my turn to protect Addy!" The Mynci ran forward, kicking Horace in the shin.

It didn't hurt the Bruce, but the distraction was enough. Addy whirled out of Horace's grasp and grabbed the rope before he could even blink. Taking advantage of his shock, she wrapped the rope around his wrists and ankles, and just like that, the fiend was captured.

Mayor Thumburt walked forward when he saw that his brother was correctly apprehended. "Well, since you want to get away from the sanitarium so much, I suppose you won't mind staying in the jail, now would you?" The mayor smiled at his clever joke before leading Horace away into the night.

After watching the two leave, Addy turned to Mullen, who was whispering to Gwillie excitedly. "C'mon, Mullen. Let's go watch the blue lights fall from the sky."

The End

Author: newmoon653
Date: Aug 28th



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