Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 471
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 Seventy One Ends Friday, August 13th
"...And with all this treasure, we can afford the biggest wedding ever!" the Usul chirped.
Jeran said nothing. He sat still and silent, staring up at Hannah as she bounced on her toes.
"Cara!" An older Usul's voice broke in on the conversation. "Put away your toys and come down to dinner now, please."
Toys were scooped up, pushed quickly onto shelves or thrown into boxes, and a young Usul girl in a pink dress dashed out of her bedroom and off down the stairs not three minutes after her mother had called.
After several minutes, a tremulous voice broke the silence in the darkened room. "Jeran?" There was a pause while Hannah the Usuki Doll shoved a treasure chest off her stomach. More firmly, she went on, "You aren't, er, going to feel... honour-bound or anything, are you?"
The Jeran plushie pushed open the lid of the toybox. "Definitely not," he said with feeling, clambering out and offering a gallant paw down in case anyone else wanted out. A wind-up Cooty took him up on it and trundled off across the floor when let down. Jeran perched on the edge of the box. "I didn't even ever agree to it. No offence."
"Absolutely none taken!" With this fervent statement, Hannah began making her way down the shelves. "I've got better things to do with my treasure, honestly, and I don't think we'd make very good partners. You don't seem the treasure-hunting type."
"I'm not. And you don't seem the idealistic type."
"I'm not." Hannah the Usuki Doll dropped down from the last shelf and came over to lean folded arms against the box, staring up. "I like adventure, excitement, wealth, and revenge."
"I can see the appeal." The Jeran plushie pushed off the edge of the toybox and made a soft landing on the floor beside her. "There are more important things, though." A sly glance sideways. "And I think you know it."
"Do not," Hannah scoffed, looking away from him. "Like what?"
"Oh--" Jeran paused, his plush ears twitching at an odd scratching sound. It was probably just one of the Petpets...
Editor's Note: This week's Storytelling beginning was written by schefflera. For the entire month of August, user-written beginnings will kick off each week's Storytelling Contest, so send in your opening entries! If yours didn't make it this week, be sure to check back next week!
Date: Aug 9th
...and yet as Jeran strained his ears he noticed that the noise was coming from under Cara's bed. He started to approach the sound, but found himself blocked by Hannah.
"Hello! You didn't answer my question," she snapped.
Jeran raised a finger to her lips and whispered, "Something's under the bed."
Hannah's painted eyes lit up as she giggled, "Ooh, adventure."
The duo investigated underneath the bed, where they found several items of little interest: old popcorn, forgotten marbles, etc. They soon discovered that the sound was coming from a shoebox that seemed to be moving slightly.
Hannah inspected the box and declared, "It says 'Arts and Crafts' on the side."
"Don't get too close, Hannah," Jeran urged, feeling worried for his friend's sake.
"Oh, quit whining," laughed Hannah. "I'm a girl with a passion for thrills, and I've dealt with worse things than a giant box of arts and crafts. Now, c'mon, help me open it."
"Hold on," Jeran moaned. "We have no idea what's inside--"
"Exactly," interupted Hannah. "So, if we don't open it now we'll never know."
Jeran sighed and began to aid his friend in lifting the lid. He knew that his knight's intution was telling him to be safe, but he was rather curious to see what was causing the scratching noise.
As soon as the lid was pushed aside, a puff of dust filled the air. When it had cleared, the two saw something emerging from the box. It was an old green sock that had two red buttons for eyes and a stitched-on mouth. There was an elastic band around the top creating a small poof of hair.
"At last, I, Dr. Sloth, am free!" it announced.
Jeran couldn't help but laugh.
"Wow, 'Dr. Sloth,' you've really let yourself go," he mocked.
"Stop laughing!" barked the sock. "You fools will be my minions in no time."
"What are you going to make us do?" teased Hannah this time. "Make us wash you and leave you out to dry?"
"I have a plan," declared the sock angrily, "and it is flawless. Soon all of Neopia shall tremble beneath the glorious Dr. Sloth..."
Date: Aug 9th
Jeran shared a smirk with Hannah. "I'm not sure 'glorious' is the right word," he mused.
"What about 'threadbare?'" Hannah suggested, a small giggle escaping.
"That might be better." Jeran leaned in closer to the abused green sock, squinting. "I think I see some fraying at the edges."
"I know a good seamstress who might be able to patch you right up," piped up Hannah. "Great at mending -- she could probably even fix your case."
"Enough!" The sock's poorly sewn lips curled into a snarl, his button eyes twitching. "Once my plan is complete, no one shall dare to mock me again, and I shall rule -- "
"This sounds rather scripted," Hannah muttered to the Lupe.
"And he's already got all the symptoms of Poor Villain Syndrome," Jeran whispered back, nodding. "He has failed to realise that we're the heroes of our own respective stories, and he's going to tell us his grand plan, thereby making it easier to foil it."
"And he's so absorbed in his own monologue that he doesn't notice that we're scheming right in front of his face," Hannah added in agreement. "He should really get that treated."
The sock remained oblivious to their murmurs. " -- First, first I shall use this fan to spread vaporised poison to weaken all around me, and once they are unconscious, I shall play music that will sing brainwashing materials to their subconscious state and then all, all will bow to me!" He let out a laugh that Jeran believed was supposed to be maniacal but sounded oddly full of phlegm. Coughing, the sock spat out a glob of white onto the floor.
"Eww," Hannah commented.
"Glue," the sock snarled in distaste. "I hate living that arts and crafts box. But now I am free, free to take over -- "
"I think you've been listening in on too many Storytelling competitions," Jeran commented. "A scheme like that only works in fiction."
The sock stared levelly at the Lupe before slowly nodding his agreement, to both Jeran's and Hannah's surprise. "Yes, yes," he said. "You think I'm a victim of Poor Villain Syndrome, but that's not it at all. You see, while your attention was directed upon me, my army was given time to prepare..."
Hannah frowned. "Your army?"
The sock slowly smiled, his gaze focused on something behind them. Apprehensively, the two toys turned around, to see the top drawer of the young Usul's bureau slide open, with hundreds of socks of every colour clambering up over the edge and descending toward them...
Date: Aug 10th
Jeran bravely pulled out his sword and held it aloft; the effect was slightly marred by the way the thin plastic toy wobbled. "This is all so cliched! The villain distracts the heroes by monologuing, and then surrounds them with his minions. How did we not spot it?"
"Never mind that now, how in Neopia are we supposed to fight socks?" hissed Hannah, pulling out her equally flimsy dagger as they backed away from the advancing footwear. "They don't even have arms!"
The first sock soldiers had reached them; Jeran slashed one with his sword, and Hannah brought down two others with quick stabs of her dagger. However, the socks sprang up again almost instantaneously, only a bit frayed.
"We'll never be able to take the whole army!" Hannah cried. She looked upward and said, "Now would be a great time for a plot twist."
"I've got it!" said Jeran excitedly. "Follow me, we have to get up the shelves again."
Hannah looked at him as if he'd gone insane, but she sprinted after him, knocking down socks left and right. When they climbed the shelves, the socks tried to grab them and pull them down; however, they had no arms, and their efforts were in vain.
Jeran heaved the lid of the toybox open and climbed in, shoving protesting toys out of his way.
"Are you going to explain what you're doing?" panted Hannah, rubbing at a stitch in her side that had come undone when an angry sock slammed into her.
"We can't beat all the socks with daggers and swords," said Jeran, his voice slightly muffled, "but we do have weapons that they're powerless against."
Hannah stared worriedly at the socks below. Some were starting to boost others up the shelves. "Are you going to rally everyone in the room to help us?"
"Aha, found it!" said Jeran triumphantly, and his head reappeared over the edge of the box. "Oh, yes, they can help us aim this." And with the help of a burly Tyrannian Skeith Plushie, he hefted a toy Water Faerie Water Blaster.
"So... you're going to squirt the socks with water?" asked Hannah dubiously, secretly wondering if Jeran had received a heavy blow to the head from a particularly smelly sock.
Jeran grinned. "Not water. Laundry detergent. We're going to have to venture downstairs..."
Date: Aug 10th
Now Hannah presumed he really had gone insane. "Are you insane?!" she yelled, emphasising her thoughts.
She skirted aside as a Mr Chuckles Action Figure popped over the side of the drawer and began pelting small plastic pies at an advancing sock, which took one to the gut and fell to the floor.
"Nice one!" Jeran encouraged, before turning back to Hannah. "Have a better idea? Besides, it'll be another adventure." His eyes twinkled at his last words.
"Prepare to acknowledge defeat," the Dr. Sloth sock yelled mockingly from down below. "Soon everyone will realise my power. Surrender now, and I shall reconsider donating you to a toddler playroom--"
"Oh, put a sock in it!" Hannah cried. "Fine, Jeran. Since we seem to be utterly surrounded, without hope from the approaching mob, now would be a good time for our harrowing escape!"
She hoisted up an Altador Paddleball and began punching a pink sock that had been inching sneakily around her back.
"Right," Jeran agreed. He disappeared in the mass of toys once more, leaving Hannah to defend the chest with an Acorn Yoyo, efficiently throwing the toy to knock a sock out and reeling it back in to repeat the process.
"Here we are," Jeran panted, as he pulled out a Royal Uni Kite. "Hold on to me, this should take us past the army and to the door." He pointed toward the bedroom door, which stood a couple of inches ajar.
"Um, are we sure this is going to work?" Hannah asked sceptically.
They exchanged glances for a beat.
Jeran shrugged. "We're the heroes. It's not like we're going to die. Heroes never die."
Hannah thought about his statement, then nodded. "But what about the other toys?"
They both regarded the nearest revolter, an Altador Cup Fanatic Bobblehead, who was screaming ecstatically as he thumped a sock repeatedly with a Darigan Snowglobe. Neither action looked like it was doing much good, but he seemed to be enjoying himself nonetheless.
"I think they can manage until we get back. Let's hurry."
Hannah grabbed Jeran's waist, the Lupe kicked off hard, and the two plushies glided gracefully over the assembly, watching as the door grew ever closer.
Hannah smiled. "That was almost too easy. You'd think there'd be some sort of attempt to foil our narrow escape--"
Then something large, fluffy, and grey smacked Jeran in the face, and the kite wobbled perilously from side to side.
"What was that?" he cried. "I can't see."
They heard a peal of evil laughter from below. "Eat lint!"
Another ball of fuzz smacked the side of the kite, and Jeran and Hannah went down, landing on the floor with a soft flump.
"We have to make a run for it!" Jeran shouted, grabbing Hannah's hand and racing toward the door. They could hear the leader of the socks slithering his way toward them. Luckily the rest of the group was too preoccupied to notice their departure.
They skidded out the cracked bedroom door and pulled it closed behind them, hearing the sock's angry cries from within.
"How does it feel to have no hands?" Jeran taunted, and he and Hannah took a few moments to perform a victory dance even though the task was far from being completed.
"Better get going," Hannah finally said, and the two turned to find themselves face to face with a spotted Puppyblew, who growled deep in his throat before lunging straight for Jeran...
Date: Aug 11th
Without pausing to think, Jeran dove under the stomach of the Puppyblew, sliding along the wood floor and getting a small splinter embedded in his side, before skidding to a stop behind the Petpet. He staggered onto his feet, ignoring the sharp pain in his side, and looked around the corridor for a couple of seconds before finally spotting Hannah near the staircase.
"Hurry up, Jeran!" Hannah shouted, pointing behind him. Jeran glanced over his shoulder to find that the Puppyblew had turned around and was preparing to lunge for him again.
Jeran obeyed, sprinting toward the staircase and skidding to a stop beside Hannah. After pausing for a second to catch his breath, he asked, "Now... what...?"
"Now, we climb!" Hannah answered, gripping the first ledge carved into the wood of the staircase rail and raising herself so that she could rest her forearms on the ledge. After pausing for a second to rest, she heaved the rest of her body onto the ledge and scrambled onto her feet. Extending an arm down to Jeran, she called, "I'll help you up!"
"Thanks!" Jeran called back, accepting Hannah's outstretched arm and allowing her to help pull him up onto the ledge in the nick of time; the Puppyblew narrowly missed biting off his tail.
The two plushies continued climbing the rail until they were too high up for the Puppyblew to reach them, even if it jumped. Safe for the moment, they decided to take a break for a minutes to rest.
"Now that we've narrowly escaped from danger, I want to take a look at your battle wound," Hannah said, pointing to the splinter still embedded in Jeran's side.
"All right," Jeran agreed, allowing Hannah to examine the splinter.
"I'm going to pull it out, okay?" Hannah said, already grasping the splinter. "One... two..."
"Wait!" Jeran protested, but it was too late. Hannah yanked the splinter out of his side. "OWW!"
"Sorry," Hannah said, but she didn't look the least bit apologetic. "Doesn't it feel so much better now?"
"You should be," Jeran retorted, but he had to admit that it felt a lot better. "But, yeah, it does."
"Now, let's climb the rest of this rail," Hannah said, already climbing onto the next ledge.
"What for?" Jeran asked, glancing down to see if the Puppyblew was still waiting for them below; it wasn't.
"You'll see," Hannah answered, waiting for Jeran to join her on the ledge. Jeran sighed, but he still climbed onto the ledge.
The two plushies continued climbing the rail until they reached the top of it.
"Now what?" Jeran asked, looking around and realising that they had nowhere to go.
"Now," Hannah answered, gesturing grandly, "we're going to slide down the railing 'til we're downstairs..."
Date: Aug 11th
Jeran grinned. "Couldn't take the safe way out, could you?"
"A chance for adventure and danger? How could I pass up that?" Hannah scoffed, winking at her companion. "Besides, it's much faster than climbing."
"Then let's go," Jeran agreed. He grabbed Hannah's hand. "One, two --"
"Three!" Hannah jumped off the ledge, pulling Jeran along. The ride down was terrifying and exhilarating. The normally still air ripped at their fur as they slid down faster than either could've imagined possible. The staircase zoomed by, no more than a blur of colours.
Just as quickly as the descent had begun, it finished, the banister coming to its end. With nothing to stop them, they flew forward, crashing to the ground several feet away. The plushies now lay in the foyer of the house with the front door a few metres in front of them.
"Now that," Hannah said once she'd stood, "was the very definition of adventure."
Jeran stood as well, brushing himself off. "Well, it's not over yet. Or has the slide down taken away more than just your breath?" he teased, grinning. He leaned over and knocked on her head, as if to check that it wasn't hollow.
Hannah reached up and grabbed his paw. "Ha ha, very funny. You do remember how to get to the laundry room, right? It's this way." She began tugging him down the hallway away from the front door.
Jeran followed absentmindedly, thinking about the layout of the house in his head. If they had been in the foyer, they had to go through the hallway and into...
Hannah turned a corner, pulling Jeran with her. He tried to pull her back, but it was too late. They were in the dining room...
Date: Aug 12th
Instantly, Jeran crumpled to the floor in the entryway, a lifeless doll once more. Hannah followed a moment later, pausing at the threshold just long enough to get her bearings. Long enough to realise that she had strolled right into the one place no toy should ever be caught walking: the dining room at dinnertime.
The two dolls lay in a jumble, waiting for the inevitable. An agonising minute passed, and... nothing. No gasps, terrified shouts, probing paws. Maybe they hadn't been spotted. But the complete silence was unnerving; shouldn't they at least hear the clanking of silverware?
Hannah lifted her head off the ground a fraction of an inch and began to crane her neck so that the table would be in her line of sight. "What are you doing?!" Jeran hissed, his voice not much higher than a breath.
"Something isn't right..." The Usul squinted up at the dinner table; it seemed miles above the tiny dolls. The table was set with Tentacle Rice and Asparagus Toast Dumplings, but the meal was eerily untouched, and all of the chairs surrounding it were empty. Not a Neopet in sight.
Hannah was standing now, gazing around the deserted dining room, her stitched brow furrowed. Curious, Jeran finally risked a peek. "Where are the little Usul girl and her parents? They always have dinner at 6 PM sharp."
"I don't know, but I don't like this," muttered Hannah.
"I'm sure it's nothing to be worried about. They're probably just in the kitchen. Let's take a quick look, if we sneak in very quietly and leave as soon as we see that they're safe, they probably won't even notice." Jeran had risen now, too, and was about to take a step forward when a familiar voice rang out from above.
"You had better not take that step if you ever want to see your family again..."
Date: Aug 12th
Jeran and Hannah craned their necks up to see Sloth the sock perched cockily on the chandelier of the dining room.
"It's you!" snarled Hannah as she assumed a wary stance and Jeran drew his sword. "I should have known you were behind all this!"
"Yeah, we really should have known," added Jeran. "I mean, you're the central villain and you needed to escalate the tension somehow. Pretty obvious, really."
"But what did you do with the family?" asked Hannah. "And why? And how the heck did you get up on that chandelier?"
Sloth cackled gleefully and rocked back and forth, but soon stopped when the motion started to make his seat sway. "I'll tell you how I did it," he said while wrapping himself tighter around the chandelier arm on which he sat. "It all began a few weeks ago, when I first started to hatch my evil plan..."
"So what do we do?" Hannah asked Jeran, completely ignoring Sloth.
"I'm not sure," replied Jeran. "Sloth is obviously more powerful than we thought. We'll have to either come up with a brilliant strategy or wait for a deus ex machina to come along."
Hannah glanced back at the sock, who was obliviously continuing with his explanation: "...the sock drawer. But there was one problem: where was I going to get that much fresh fruit? That's when I had my third brilliant idea..."
The Usul shook her head. "We can't afford to take our time: I'm sick of hearing him talk. So let's take action."
"All right," said Jeran, nodding in agreement. "Let's go and get that laundry detergent, then come back. With any luck, he'll still be talking about his 'genius and dastardly plan.'"
Hannah giggled at Jeran's impression. "I still don't know what you're planning to do with that detergent," she said, "but I'll go along with you. Come on, let's get out of here."
The two toys began to slowly back away from the still-blabbering sock, but they almost immediately hit a wall. A warm, furry wall. "Uh oh," said Jeran.
Jeran and Hannah turned around to find themselves face-to-face with an angry-looking spotted Puppyblew. "Looks like he found us," said Hannah with a gulp.
"Indeed I did," the Puppyblew responded in a posh accent.
"Twist!" gasped Hannah and Jeran simultaneously.
"Quite," said the Puppyblew as he sat down, completely blocking the two toys' path to the door. He folded his paws and smirked. "You see, old chaps, it turns out that Sloth was not all bark and no bite." He paused for a moment. "No pun intended," he quickly added. "It turns out that Sloth is actually a jolly good craftsman. He was kind enough to grace me with this splendid mind-control helmet." The Petpet raised a paw to point to its head, where there sat a tiny hat, seemingly made out of tin foil, secured in place by a long elastic band stretching under the Puppyblew's neck.
"But how could he make something like that with no arms?" Jeran protested.
The Puppyblew looked shocked. After thinking, he replied, "Suspension of disbelief. Indubitably. It doesn't really matter. What does matter, my dear boy, is that you and your little treasure-seeking friend are done for!" The Petpet yipped in triumph and rose, slowly advancing toward Hannah and Jeran.
"...and once I managed to connect the jetpack to the freeze ray, I flew up here and incapacitated that troublesome Usul and her family. And now, my plan is nearly complete! Muahahaha!" Sloth grinned in delight. After a few moments, he glanced down. "What's going on down there?" he shouted. "Were the two of you not listening to my plan? Well, then, let me start over. It all began a few weeks ago, when I --"
"Sir," called the Puppyblew, "I don't think that the captives need to know the details of your scheme at the moment. May I dispatch them?"
The sock pouted. "What good is an evil plan if you don't get to explain it? But very well, go on, if you must. For once these so-called 'heroes' are out of the way, I can command all of the socks in Neopia to rise up, and I shall be their master!"
"Oh," said Jeran, nodding his head, "so that's what all this is about. I guess that sort of makes sense."
"That's not the problem now," said Hannah, shaking the Lupe's shoulder and pointing to the menacing Puppyblew in front of them. "He's the problem! Now would be a good time for that deus ex machina to show up..."
Date: Aug 13th
"Did somebody call?" came a chiming voice.
All eyes turned to the doorway where a worn pink faerie doll was standing.
"Oh my Fyora, it's... well, it's Fyora," gasped Hannah.
"That's right," declared the faerie queen. "I was Cara's favourite toy when she was younger, but now I've mostly been resting in the bottom of the chest. However, I've come out to set things right."
"Bah, you don't scare me," sneered the sock. "Get her!"
The Puppyblew charged at the doll, but immediately stopped as she raised her hand.
"Don't underestimate me, Doctor," she said proudly.
With a snap of her fingers, the helmet on the Puppyblew's head dissolved into pink dust.
"Why, thank you, Your Majesty," said the Petpet. "I can't tell you how irritating that piece of rubbish was."
"My pleasure," replied Fyora with a smile. "Now why don't you go play with that sock?"
The Puppyblew suddenly jumped onto the table where he began to snap at the sock.
"No, bad Petpet," called Sloth frantically.
In no time he was being torn to shreds by the spotted Puppyblew.
"Thank you so much," Hannah exclaimed, "but wasn't that a bit easy? I mean, no offence, but having Fyora show up and save the day isn't that great of a way to end a story."
"So, you don't want my help?" snapped Fyora.
"No, no, no," Jeran interjected. "We're very grateful."
"I'm just teasing," said the doll with a smile, "and I'll let you finish everything off. There's still an army of socks and a bottle of detergent."
"Right," Jeran answered.
"I'm going to make sure the family is unfrozen and forgets everything that happened," Fyora explained. "But I'm sure that the Puppyblew would be willing to help you; he's actually quite a nice fellow."
The duo nodded and departed for the laundry room.
"That was a little weird," Hannah said as they climbed up to the cupboards.
"Hey, Fyora deserves a chance to be the hero once in a while," Jeran replied. "Now let's find that detergent."
"I'm still waiting to hear what your plan is," said Hannah as they pulled out the yellow bottle.
"You'll see," answered Jeran with a smirk.
The Puppyblew helped them carry the bottle up to the room where they found that the socks had subdued the majority of the toys.
"Would you like me to dispatch these rough customers?" asked the Puppyblew.
"No, thanks," answered Hannah. "I want a chance to be a hero in this story, and to see what Jeran's plan is."
"Okay, you've been patient enough," Jeran gave in. "We're going to fill these pistols and spray the socks until they collapse."
"Of course, it's so obvious," gasped Hannah. "Really, I'm not just saying that to be cliche."
Jeran's plan worked like a charm. The remaining toys all took pistols filled with detergent and sprayed the many socks. Eventually they all returned to their lifeless forms.
"Wonderful," exclaimed Jeran. "Now let's get everything back to normal before Cara comes for her before-bedtime-playtime."
Just as Jeran predicted, Cara showed up eventually ready to play.
"What's she holding?" Hannah whispered. "Wait, it's Sloth!"
"Look what I found," the Usul cried, "and we're going to play 'Sloth takes over Neopia'!"
Date: Aug 13th
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!