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Week 488
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Week 490

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 Eighty Nine Ends Thursday, December 23rd

"Oh, it's beautiful, Uncle Avalaz!" Lotte cried, holding the snowglobe up before her eyes. Tiny flecks of iridescent glitter swirled lazily through the water inside it, blurring the pretty winter scene within. "Where did you find it?"

"Well, I can't tell you that, Lotte, it would ruin the magic of the Day of Giving, wouldn't it?" Uncle Avalaz replied, laughing. "Let's just say that I was out on Terror Mountain one day, in the thick of a blizzard, and suddenly, there it was."

"Don't be silly! Really, where did you find it? Did the shop have any others? Mum might like one for her birthday..."

"There aren't any others," Uncle Avalaz snapped. Lotte blinked in surprise and lowered the snowglobe, a pout starting to form on her face. Uncle Avalaz had never spoken to her so coldly before; she'd always been his favourite among his nieces and nephews. She didn't see how anyone could be cranky on the Day of Giving.

Before she could ask him any more questions, Lotte's mother called to them from the dining room. "Avalaz, Lotte, dinner's nearly ready! Come on!"

Uncle Avalaz stood up and headed toward the dining room, but Lotte didn't follow at first. She turned the snowglobe over and over in her paws, tears burning the rims of her eyes.

"What's the matter, Lotte? Don't you want any dinner? Your mum cooked something special for the Day of Giving."

The little Wocky looked up at her uncle with wide eyes. She hoped he wouldn't notice her tears. "Yes, Uncle Avalaz, I'll be there in a minute. I just want to put my present in a safe place."

That seemed to satisfy the Gelert, and he left the room whistling to himself. Uncle Avalaz is certainly acting strange, Lotte thought, turning the snowglobe over again. As she did, something caught her eye. She held the upturned snowglobe up to the lamp to see better.

On the bottom, engraved in fancy, flowing letters in the rich mahogany wood, was the inscription: "For my sweet G. on the Day of Giving. Love, W."

Lotte furrowed her brow in confusion. Who was G.? And why had Uncle Avalaz given her G.'s snowglobe...?

Editor's Note: Due to the upcoming holiday, this Storytelling Contest will end on Thursday, December 23rd. After a short hiatus, the Storytelling Contest will re-open with a new beginning on Monday, January 3rd. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Author: An Ill-Gotten Gift?
Date: Dec 17th
The young Wocky looked into the snowglobe at the two small Gelerts that were inside of it. They appeared happy, holding their hands in the Ice Caves while the glittery snow twirled around them whenever the globe was shaken. Lottie then stared at the carving for a few more moments before realizing that everyone else had been waiting for her at the table. The Wocky quickly slipped her present under the bed and headed to the dining room, puzzled. Throughout dinner, she simply ate the Sweetcorn Snowbunny Loaf that her mother prepared especially for the holiday and tried to appear joyful. She didn’t want Uncle Avalaz to notice that she was mystified or for her mother to think that anything was wrong.

“Are you sure that you don’t want anything else, Lotte?” her mother asked her as she noticed her plain plate of dinner. I guess it didn’t work, Lotte thought. The older Gelert gave his niece a tiny look.

“Yep! Can I be excused, Mom? I’d like to play with Jarnie and Ammie,” Lotte lied. The two were her little sisters, who were sitting by the Solid Stone Fireplace. They were playing with the Usuki dolls that they had just received earlier in the evening, and Lotte just wanted to get away from everyone at the dinner table, determined to uncover the story behind her gift from Uncle Avalaz.

As she quietly left the table, Lotte sat with her sisters, cleverly looking back at the adults’ table, waiting for the time she could break away without them noticing. From their perspective, she was very convincing with a Maraquan Usuki in her hand and a smile on her face.

It took only a few minutes for the older Neopians to start saying toasts and eating desserts. The younger ones were busy having fun. Only a cry would distract the elders. Lotte found this the perfect time to leave the warmth of the fireplace and begin her detective search.

The little Wocky first wondered if her uncle had anything else that could have led her to figuring out who G. was. What else did Uncle Avalaz have with him when he came? Lotte thought to herself. He did come with several other gifts for the young Lupes and Acaras that ran around the living room with their toys, but those were nothing like the present that she received. What kind of clues would be in a Red Shoyru Plushie, after all?

His coat? He did come into her family’s neohome in a Caroler Jacket. It had two big pockets; perhaps he had something in there that would help her? The Wocky slyly made her way to the first room in her neohome, where the coat rack stood. Beneath the many other coats of her relatives, she found the grey jacket belonging to her uncle, obviously his by its smell, which held his kind scent. A wave of guilt suddenly overcame Lotte. Was this really something she should be doing? Uncle Avalaz was the gentlest person he knew; surely she should have left this whole mystery alone...? But he would have never snapped at her over nothing. She then felt immensely curious. She had to figure this out.

Lotte’s small, furry hands reached into Uncle Avalaz’s coat and...

Author: berryseed
Date: Dec 20th
... found a surprisingly small amount of things in that immensely huge pocket. She felt around the large wool inside of the pocket, but all she could find was a piece of paper, carefully folded in half, a slushie coupon, and a jewelled case of breath mints.

Carefully retrieving the piece of paper, Lotte deftly hid it under her heavy knitted sweater. She looked carefully around to check that nobody had realised she was missing. The adults were laughing and chatting at the dining table, and no one had noticed her absence yet. The children were too busy playing with their new presents to notice anything, either. Lotte smiled slightly; she wished she could be one of the children down there, playing with her new presents without a worry. But she couldn't; she was itching to solve this mystery. Remembering the piece of paper patiently waiting to be read under her sweater, Lotte jumped into action.

Quietly tiptoeing across the hall, she made her way to the stairs. Avoiding the third and fifth, which were the creakiest, she climbed the old wooden stairs to her bedroom. Excitement and nervousness, mixed with some guilt, filled her as she closed the door behind her. Uncle Avalaz would be so disappointed with her if he found out. She paused. She could always just ask him about this mysterious G and W. But then she remembered the irritated glint in his eye as he had snapped at her earlier this evening, and proceeded to unfold the letter.

Her eyes widened as if she were opening the biggest treasure chest in the whole of Neopia. Her paws trembled slightly as she unfolded the piece of paper; it was a letter.

Avalaz, it read.

The time has come, sooner than I thought... or hoped. You can come now, and retrieve what is now rightfully yours. I cannot deny it, no matter how much I want to; it is your rightful possession now, though I must admit I was fond of that thing. I took great care in its making, but, alas, a deal is a deal. And as you know, I always keep my word. So you must come and take it as soon as possible.

I am sure that whoever receives it will enjoy it greatly, but also hope that they will take care of it. Its previous owner loved it with all her heart, as I loved her. She was so happy when I handed it to her on that special Day of Giving. So please, make sure it is in good hands.

Yours sincerely,

Waldemar

Lotte stared at the name at the end of the letter. Waldemar! He was W! Lotte grinned, forgetting completely about her previous guilt and nervousness. She was definitely on to something now.

Excitedly folding the letter, she opened the door, intending to sneak back downstairs before someone noticed she was gone, but there stood someone at her door already, blocking her way.

She looked up to see...

Author: annaisme2006
Date: Dec 21st
...her mother, hand outstretched to turn the doorknob. She looked just as surprised to see Lotte as Lotte was to see her.

"Were you going to come into my room?" Lotte said, furrowing her brow as she watched a guilty flush work its way into her mother's cheeks.

"Well, yes, but I wasn't--that is, I thought you were still downstairs, and I just..."

The Gelert broke off her sentence, chewing her lip anxiously. "Lotte, what did your uncle give you today?"

"Which uncle?" asked Lotte, although she knew full well what her mother was asking.

"Uncle Avalaz. Did he give you a--a snowglobe, maybe?"

Lotte's jaw dropped. "How did you know?"

"Can I, can I see it?" said her mother, who sounded like she was holding back tears.

"Mom, what's wrong?" asked Lotte, beginning to panic. "What's going on?"

"I haven't seen it in so long," whispered the Gelert, almost to herself. "Not for years and years. I had begun to think it was gone forever."

Lotte was utterly confused by this turn of events. What was so important about this snowglobe that it practically made her mother cry? Thinking hard, she hurried to her bed, pulled the snowglobe out, and offered it to her mother, who cradled it carefully.

"Lotte, did I ever tell you about my sister Gallina?" she asked quietly.

Lotte shook her head, even more puzzled. "I didn't even know you had a sister."

A sad smile crossed her face as she stroked the snowglobe. "For my sweet G. on the Day of Giving," she murmured. "We were all so jealous of her. Who else could say that Waldemar, the famous glassblower, had made a beautiful snowglobe just for her? But at the same time, no one could really resent them. They were so happy together, which made what happened all the more tragic."

Lotte's eyes were growing wider by the second. "What happened, Mom?"

"Perhaps I should tell this part of the story," said a much deeper voice, and Uncle Avalaz walked into the room...

Author: trisshamster
Date: Dec 21st
Lotte immediately tensed at the appearance of her uncle. Avalaz seemed to take note of this and his eyes softened.

"I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier," he sighed. "It's just that this is such a hard subject for me. But I suppose that you have a right to know."

Lotte stared up at her uncle eagerly; she thought that she might have nodded slightly but she wasn't sure.

Uncle Avalaz took a deep breath as if he was about to do something painful; then he said, "Your aunt Gallina was a wonderful girl, but sadly she had a deathly disease. The doctors told us that although they could not specify a date, she would not last long."

Lotte thought that she saw her mother starting to cry again, but in a flash the Gelert brushed away her tears.

"Still Gallina was able to be happy for the rest of her life. She was an optimistic person, which was easy with a friend like Waldemar," Avalaz continued. "It was him that gave her the snowglobe that is now in your possession."

Avalaz was silent for a few minutes and Lotte was about to ask what happened next when her uncle began to speak again.

"This is where I come in," he said. "There was a special kind of magic in the globe that was powered by the love of the two friends. However, I realized that this love would vanish as soon as Gallina passed away. I explained this to Waldemar, and although he was reluctant, he agreed to leave me the snowglobe to find a new owner once Gallina was gone."

"And that's when he wrote you the letter," Lotte blurted out thoughtlessly.

A look of surprise washed over Avalaz, but it was soon replaced by an endearing smile.

"Yes, you clever girl, Waldemar sent me that letter along with the gift soon after; he was quite unwilling to let go of the sentimental item, but we both knew that it would never be the same if I didn't find a proper holder for it," Avalaz finished.

"But Uncle, what's so magic about the gift?" Lotte asked, "I mean it's really nice, but I don't see anything special."

Lotte's mother, who had remained silent for the tale, rose and sighed. "That's because you're not the proper holder. Your uncle and I both assumed that our love for you would rejuvenate the globe, but there must be someone else."

"Yes, and if we want to preserve the magic of the love of Gallina and Waldemar," Avalaz added, "we will have to find the holder before the Day of Giving is over..."

Author: a_greenparrot
Date: Dec 22nd
Meanwhile, in the shadows of Neopia Central, an Aisha sat eating a Negg. Beside her was a Lupe, who looked tired.

"Thanks for getting the food, Garo," the Aisha said. The Lupe opened one eye.

"I stole it. No need to lie."

The Aisha nodded, "I understand... it's hard to make a living, especially now."

Garo sighed again, then said, "Lily, you're my best friend. But we're just street urchins with no place to go... we have nothing."

"We have each other... and the stores by here," Lily said, standing up. She offered a hand to help Garo stand.

"Speaking of which... anything at the Money Tree?"

"Never, Garo. At least, never anything we can use... unless you want an old twig."

The two walked out into the sun, heading toward The Money Tree anyway. All the while, they saw Neopets fighting over a particular expensive item.

"They never learn..." Garo grumbled.

The two continued on their way as the Neopets wrestled over what looked like a now-crushed Negg.

As they passed by, one Neopet by The Money Tree signaled his triumph by saying, "The Negg is mine!" His declaration was soon followed by the unsuccessful Neopets tackling him.

Continuing on, Lily looked in the windows of the shops, occasionally making a comment or squealing with glee at the sight of an item. Garo fell behind, retracing her steps... looking at every item she'd seen moments before.

What I wouldn't do to be able to get her a gift... something! Garo thought.

He sighed again, looking into the window of the Second Hand Store... nothing but dung.

He shook his head and sighed. "If only I could get some Neopoints..."

Lily, further ahead, looked into the window of the Defense Magic store.

"I wonder if Garo would like this?" she asked herself, looking at a Lupe Reflector Shield.

She then looked at the price tag and shook her head. "I guess that's out of the question," she muttered to herself. With her eyes sad and her head downcast, she retraced her steps, hoping to find him.

"I wish there was a way to buy him a present!" She lifted her head, a new look of determination on her face.

Garo had the same look of determination by the Second-Hand Shoppe.

Then, at the same time on different sides of the street, they both said, "I'm going to find a way to get something... something for my love."

Author: ladykayk3
Date: Dec 22nd
Back at Lotte's house, the three Neopets had grown silent. Lotte was pacing the small bedroom, brow furrowed and lips pursed. Uncle Avalaz was watching his niece with a somewhat amused, but mostly sad, smile; Lotte's mother was gently shaking the snowglobe and watching the flecks of glitter slowly swirl through the water.

"I know!" Lotte announced a minute later, pausing and turning to face the two adults. "We'll go outside and look around for a pair of best friends!"

"I don't think that it'll be that easy, sweetheart," Lotte's mother began. "It'll probably be hard finding a pair of best friends with love that strong--"

"And if we give it to the wrong Neopet, the magic of Waldemar and Gallina's love will be lost forever," Uncle Avalaz finished.

"But we have to try!" Lotte protested. "We can't give up because it'll be hard!"

"I suppose that you're right," Lotte's mother said. Uncle Avalaz nodded in agreement.

"I know I'm right," Lotte said, striding past the two adults and out of the bedroom. "Follow me!"

***

Out among the shops of Neopia Central, Lotte, Uncle Avalaz, and Lotte's mother had passed by countless Neopets. Lotte was marching in front, glancing from one passerby to another. Uncle Avalaz was strolling a foot behind his niece, more carefully watching the crowd. Lotte's mother was trailing a few feet behind, thoughtfully looking around.

"Perhaps we should take a break?" Lotte's mother suggested an hour later, pausing in front of a coffee shop. "I could buy you a hot chocolate, Lotte."

"No, we have to keep looking," Lotte insisted without pausing. "We can't take a break or else we won't have enough time."

"Right," Lotte's mother said, hurrying after Lotte and Uncle Avalaz, only to bump into a Lupe in front of the Second-Hand Shoppe. "Oof!"

"I'm so sorry, ma'am," the Lupe said, smiling apologetically. Lotte's mother ignored him, though; she kneeled down on the sidewalk, feeling around the concrete as if in search of something. "Are you okay, ma'am?"

"No, I dropped a snowglobe and seem to have lost it," Lotte's mother explained, pausing and blinking back tears.

"I'm sure we can find it," the Lupe reassured, kneeling down and feeling around until his paw brushed against something cool and smooth. "I think I found it."

"Thank goodness," Lotte's mother breathed, holding out a paw. The Lupe didn't give back the snowglobe, however; he held it closer to his face and examined it, realising that it would be the perfect gift to give to the Neopet that he loved most in all of Neopia.

"I'm really sorry, ma'am," the Lupe said, standing up and tucking the snowglobe into his pocket, "but I'm gonna have to keep this."

"What?!? You can't!" Lotte's mother protested, reaching forward, but the Lupe jumped off the curb of the sidewalk and ran across the street, into an alley...

Author: lil_miss_sunshine807
Date: Dec 23rd
"No!" Lotte's mother cried, falling to her knees in despair.

Uncle Avalaz and Lotte stood there for a moment, in shock. Lotte then declared, "Let's go after him! We have to get that snowglobe back."

Lotte's mother looked up, and with a flicker of determination in her eyes, rose to her feet and began running in the direction the Lupe had taken. Lotte and Avalaz quickly followed.

They ran for a long time through the snow, looking for the Lupe. He was nowhere to be seen, though...

"Let's take a break, Mom," Lotte panted. "Just a cup of borovan before we continue?"

Lotte's mother sighed. "We may as well... this seems hopeless." The three trudged to the nearest cafe to rest.

Uncle Avalaz was just opening the door when Lotte, who'd spotted the Lupe, suddenly cried, "There he is!"

Before Lotte's mother could run over and beg to get the snowglobe back, however, Lotte murmured with a smile, "It looks like we found the right person after all. Don't you see how he loves that Aisha? Can't you see how happy she is?" Lotte sighed happily. "C'mon, let's get some borovan and head home."

***

"Oh Garo, it's beautiful!" Lily exclaimed. "I wish I could have given you something this wonderful."

"You don't have to, Lily. The best gift I could ever be given is right here with me," Garo whispered. "Lily... more than anything in the entire world, I love you."

Lily smiled. "Oh, Garo... I love you too."

They then heard a laugh, and turned to see a young Wocky holding some mistletoe over their heads.

The End

Author: jessiemarie89
Date: Dec 23rd



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