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 497
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 Ninety Seven Ends Friday, March 4
It had been an accident, Boochi acknowledged to himself. He hadn't intentionally aimed for that particular Chia. Or any Chia actually. He'd been aiming at a nicely painted Maraquan Buzz and missed. Now he was stuck with an unwanted, ownerless, and parentless baby Chia. Frowning, he suspiciously regarded the small squirming bundle that cried at his feet...
Baby Chias were so small! Boochi sighed. He was painted baby himself, but he was used to it and not nearly this helpless. And this Chia was far too old to have any relatives who might take on the role of guardian. Boochi supposed he ought to do something.
The newly infantilised Chia toppled over, found his face next to a flippered foot, and began gumming Boochi's ankle.
Boochi ignored this until he felt a tiny, sharp prick. "Ow!" he yelped, hastily bending down to scoop up the Chia and hold him at wing's length.
The Chia squalled.
Boochi peered into the conveniently wide-open mouth.
There, on the left near the front, was a tiny white speck. There was a gum-covered protrusion in the same spot on the right.
Wonderful, Boochi thought with a groan.
Hubrid Nox was teething....
Date: Feb 28th
And in all honesty, who would consent to taking in any Hubrid Nox at all, let alone a teething one?
This was no good. Boochi clenched his deceivingly colourful gun in great self-annoyance. For Fyora's sake, he was Boochi, wreaker of havoc and the youngest to have done so. And will always be. He ought to toss the wailing little thing aside and carry on with his fun without any further musing.
Wait, wailing? This was so very uncharacteristic of the notoriously caped, handsomely mustached villain. Other Neopians were staring. If he should ever return to his full-grown state, Nox's wrath would be unimaginable.
That, of course, finally struck a bell, a bright static sizzle, through Boochi's state of conflict. Of course this was uncharacteristic of Nox. The villain was completely different from the infant; there was no way to associate the two. Then why would anyone need to know who he was?
And with luck...
For the first time in many seasons, the Bruce's eyes softened.
With luck, and the care of the right hands, Hubrid Nox's disagreeable history may be rewritten and, over time, forgotten. A chance to start again.
To find that right caretaker, however... Boochi had to admit, he was no expert on such matters. A downright amateur, in fact. Inept. Probably due to the fact that he himself had never had someone like that to call his own, but this little incident had not alleviated him enough to acknowledge that.
Nox had stopped crying, possibly sensing the change of resolve in that Bruce to whom he clung, and began to drool happily on his paw.
"The first thing to do," Boochi mused out loud as he regarded the Chia, "is to give you a new name. We can't have you going around as Nox if we're to find you a good, proper home, now, can we? Hmm..."
Date: Feb 28th
Boochi scratched the top of his pink head with the tip of his ray gun, so deep in thought that he didn't realise that he had accidentally zapped the pirate Krawk passing behind him until he heard a commotion breaking out. When the Bruce turned to see the small, green Krawk mewling in fury while his pirate mates bundled him up and scurried away with the fussing infant, Boochi began to giggle to himself. "Krawks think they're so smart. The day they lost immunity to the effects of my zapper was probably the happiest of my life."
Turning his attention back to the problem at hand, Boochi squinted at Hubrid Nox, considering his appearance, demeanour, the ropes of drool that now hung from the baby's small, yellow paw as his worked at his sore gums. "Let's see. You look like a... Baldy? Blubberball? Gummer? Slobberpuss? No... I want something... cute. A name that will make someone want to take you in. Something sweet, or at least with the potential to become sweet, so that someone will raise you that way." The Bruce tapped a flipper against his forehead, rattling his thoughts around until they clicked together like a puzzle. "I think I've got it!"
Boochi picked up the baby Nox and, holding him at eye level, asked in a sing-song, high-pitched baby voice, "Would wittle Noxxy wike to be called Wemondwop fwom now on? Hmmm, wittle Wemondwop? Er, I mean Lemondrop?" As Boochi smiled encouragingly into the little Chia's eyes, he felt a chill run down his spine; there was something about the blankness of Nox's gaze that hinted at a malevolent and all too adult level of control.
Suddenly reluctant to touch the Chia anymore, Boochi spied -- and stole -- an unattended basket of laundry in a nearby backyard. Wrapping the Chia up in a sweater so that only his small, black eyes were visible, Boochi put his charge in the basket, hoisted it with a low grunt, and began to walk with determination, muttering, "Ooof, for a little guy you sure are heavy. I am, technically, just a baby myself, you know." The Bruce looked down into Nox's vacant eyes and shivered once more. "I can only think of one place to take you. I hope this works."
The Nimmo brushed the long, brown bangs out of her eyes as the doorbell rang once more. Exhausted to the core by the long day of babysitting that she had put in, Lumi had hoped to spend the evening just relaxing on the sofa with a stack of Grarrl Comics and a Diet Neocola.
With a sigh, Lumi shouted, "I'm coming, hold your..." The Nimmo stopped short when she opened the door and saw nothing but a small basket of clothing on her doorstep. Calling out into the darkness, Lumi said, "I don't do laundry, you know."
Movement from inside the basket caught the Nimmo's weary eye and that's when she saw the note. Unfolding the stiff paper, Lumi read:
To Whom It May Concern,
I have found myself in a most unfortunate position where I can no longer care for my little baby, Lemondrop. Having long admired your patience and concern when caring for your Usul clients, I am hoping that you will find it in your heart to take on the responsibility of one more baby, my darling Lemondrop.
Please know that you are my only hope.
Lemondrop's desperate mother
"Lemondrop?" Lumi asked as she reached for the pile of laundry.
Boochi watched from the cover of some nearby bushes as Lumi reached hesitantly for the corner of the sweater that covered the now fussing baby Nox. As the clothing was flung back, Lumi...
Date: Mar 1st
...sighed in relief, for it wasn't an Usul swaddled up in the cloth, it was a baby Chia. Lumi searched over and inside the basket for any more clues as to the origin of this small gift, but nothing but the smell of fresh laundry came from the makeshift bed.
Lumi glanced around outside once more before hefting up the basket and bringing it inside. Still silently happy that it wasn't an Usul, she placed the basket on her kitchen table to examine the abandoned child. A normal baby Chia by first glance, but Lumi could feel a strange edge of something more inside the tiny being.
Her eyes caught his, and she felt it pierce deep inside her. This child was not as innocent as she thought. She shuddered lightly, quickly glancing around in paranoia for Usuls, but turned back to the Chia again when she knew it was safe. If she could tend to bad Usuls, there was no way she could pass on trying to help out this young one thrust upon her.
Lumi pulled Lemondrop out of the basket, cradling him in her arms as she wandered off to find clothes for the small baby. She grimaced as she realised that all she had were hand-me-down Usul clothes, but she had to make the best of it. Lemondrop started to wail as he was stuffed into the skinny garb of a baby Usul, small sections of his middle bulging out here and there. Lumi pouted. "I'm sorry little guy, it's all I have. We'll get you something fitting soon, I promise!"
Lemondrop's tears began to stifle as the kind Nimmo's compassion enveloped him. Lumi smiled as he stopped sobbing, curling him up in her arms again. The strange aura of something dark still overtook her every time she touched him, but nothing would stop her from helping this child out.
Date: Mar 1st
...Lumi shook her head. No, not even that. She looked down at the baby Chia curled up sweetly in her arms and pushed the darkness out of her mind and heart. The Nimmo convinced herself that the dark aura she felt emanating from the infant was a figment of her imagination and she carried him into the nursery.
Six cribs stood lined against one wall, four of them occupied by baby Usuls, two empty. The Usuls slept soundly (it being mid-afternoon, Lumi had set them to napping). She strode to the nearest empty crib, right under the window that let fresh air and a pleasant breeze into the nursery, and gently set the sleeping Chia on the mattress. She just watched him for a few minutes, until the cry of one of the Usuls pulled her attention from her newest charge.
Quickly Lumi covered him up and turned to tend to the Usul who sat bolt upright in her crib, bawling. The Nimmo scooped her up, rocked her back and forth, and sang a sweet lullaby:
Kreludor grows round
And the stars grow bright,
But none as bright
As my little infant Usul.
The Usul stopped crying, but still squirmed in her caretaker's arms. Lumi guessed a nightmare had woken her up and continued to sing until, at last, the Usul was still. Lumi set her back down in the crib and covered her up.
Over the Usul's squalling, the Nimmo hadn't heard anything else. When she peered into the Chia's crib to check that he was tucked in and still asleep, she found it empty....
Date: Mar 2nd
Her first instinct was to panic. Find the baby, she said to herself. He couldn't have gone far. The Nimmo, in her frenzied searching, tossed around blankets, overturned cradles, and left the other babies bawling in their cribs.
Then she regained her senses.
Okay, thought the babysitter, where could he have gone?
Obviously, he couldn't have gone far. A little baby, in a matter of seconds, couldn't have flown away. But could this one? Lumi remembered the way he had stared at her, a creepy and shiver-inducing look... and those eyes. The last time she had seen eyes like that was...
Well, the day a worried parent had left a particular baby Bruce on her doorstep. Had she ever seen the baby Bruce again?
No... thought Lumi. Never again.
But he had been strange, she remembered. Almost as though he was plotting against her... and there had always been the fact that he had particularly enjoyed playing with the toy ray guns she had kept for any children that were sent to her to play with. Come to think of it, her best toy ray gun had disappeared with that Bruce.
In the midst of the bawling Usuls, Lumi cleaned up the mess she had made: several blankets strewn on the floor, the overturned cribs, the sobbing babies. The Nimmo carefully put the Usuls back in their cribs, tucked them in, and quietly left the room.
Then it was time to find Lemondrop. Now regretting taking him in, Lumi armed herself with a water pistol -- if it was good enough for the Usul babies, it should be enough for a little Chia, right?
She realised that if Lemondrop was indeed allied with the little Bruce baby that had disappeared with her best toy ray gun, she would need something bigger than a water pistol. Lumi snatched a toy ray gun of her own and -- feeling slightly stupid about how she thought a toy ray gun provided better protection than a water gun when clearly, both of them were equally useless -- proceeded to comb the house for any loose babies.
The kitchen first. She flung open a few cabinet doors, only to find dishes and cutlery -- no babies. The search through the fridge proved to be futile as well, as the only things in the fridge were a few slices of chocolate cake, a half-eaten sandwich left over from her lunch, and a bottle of chocolate sauce for ice cream sundaes and the like. Finally, Lumi tried the pantry. The pantry was full of boxes and cans, the perfect place for a baby to hide, but after rooting through it for a few minutes, Lumi was forced to admit that Lemondrop was not in there.
But there were more rooms to search through. Clutching her ray gun tightly, Lumi proceeded to the living room. There was nothing hiding in the sofa cushions. Nothing hiding in the fireplace, either, which she discovered as she poked through the cinders with a broom.
As the Nimmo left the living room, she thought about which rooms Lemondrop could be in. The kitchen, obviously, and the living room. The bedrooms were locked. What else was there? The bathrooms?
"The bathroom!" exclaimed Lumi, thankful the Usuls in the next room couldn't hear her.
She dashed to the bathroom, held the toy ray gun aloft, and slowly opened the door...
Date: Mar 2nd
...instantly noticing the open window, the curtains blowing slightly as the soft breeze rustled Lumi's bangs. She gasped out audibly, the toy ray gun clattering to the ground as she ran to the window, her fingers grasping the sill as she plunged her head outside to spot the baby Chia. A piece of torn Usul shirt was dangling from the sill, the very shirt poor Lemondrop was stuffed into. Yet there was no renegade child in sight.
Lumi dashed out of the bathroom, running for the front door and leaping outside into the grasses. "Lemondrop! LEMONDROP!" she screamed frantically, attracting more then a passing eye from the nearby neighbours. She leapt over small bushes, hopped around trees, squinting to spot the tiny yellow child.
What she did not notice was the door to the house ever so slowly closing behind her, the faint creak of the old door barely a whisper beneath her yelling. A soft grunt sounded out from throat of the baby Nox as he used the full force of his tiny being to finally close that heavy door. He cooed maniacally, dusting his hands off on his diaper as he waddled back to the nursery.
Luckily, being so small, hiding had been a very easy task. Creating the diversion had not been, though. Using all his baby strength, he'd used the long bathroom window curtains to climb up the hamper that rested under the window sill. Catching his undersized shirt on a splinter of wood, he had pulled himself back, taking a tumble onto the bathroom floor, but still succeeding in his task. In just enough time, too, as he rolled his tiny frame behind the hamper, Lumi gingerly had looked into the room. Her reaction had been perfect: in her dismay, she hadn't even looked down to see him hiding there, his one-toothed grin growing maliciously, even for a baby.
With the Nimmo distracted outdoors, baby Nox's plan would fall into motion. His form may have changed, but his consciousness was quickly falling back into place. He could not do this alone, though, not in this small body. Luckily, he wasn't the only source of "evil" in this house.
He picked up a Grarrl Grabber he found laying among the toys on the floor of the nursery and used it to bang upon the legs of the cribs in the room. The baby Usuls started to rouse, some fussing and crying, the others quiet in bewilderment. Baby Nox grunted softly for attention, and as several pairs of eyes looked down to meet his dastardly gaze, he knew, he had amassed his new army.
Now he could...
Date: Mar 3rd
Hold on! Nox stopped himself mid-thought; he couldn't carry out any of his best evil plans looking like this -- who would take him seriously? Well, these Usuls might, but most of the adult Neopians out there certainly wouldn't.
No... for an evil plan to be perfect, he couldn't simply execute it; the plan had to invoke the proper response too, and it wouldn't do that if nobody took him seriously. That meant he needed to return to his former glory first.
Nox pivoted on one tiny leg and stomped the other. The four baby Usuls were out of their cribs now and assembled in front of him. They looked as if they were cranky from being woken, but Nox knew better. Evil lurks in the hearts of baby Usuls after all. That wasn't just an irritated desire to return to their naps he saw on each of their faces, it was something more sinister.
Yes, this group would do, baby Nox decided. They weren't the most impressive-looking bunch, but they seemed like they might make up for it by being a bit more evil than the henchmen he usually used.
Now the first order of business was to find that Bruce...
Boochi shivered at that moment. He had solved his Nox problem but still felt uneasy. He tried convincing himself it wasn't his problem, but thinking about the situation only made it worse.
Hubrid Nox was in now a form that nobody but Boochi would recognise as Nox, not to mention a form that many of Neopia's heroes would probably be hesitant to fight against should Nox begin to wreak havoc. Not that Boochi was against havoc in general, of course, but this was still a world he had to live in, and he couldn't risk anything too bad happening to it.
It was his problem, Boochi admitted to himself. With a grumble he turned and stomped back toward the house where he'd dropped Nox off...
Date: Mar 3rd
Boochi strode with great determination toward the porch, his ray gun aimed at the front door, and just as he began to utter his famous call of "Bwahahaaa!", two hands grabbed him from behind and began to lift the small Bruce into the air. The one thing babies resent the most is being lifted against their will, and as Boochi spun toward the perpetrator with great frustration, his gun clattered uselessly to the ground.
"There you are," Lumi said as she turned the Bruce and looked into his petulant face. "I was just thinking about you, too. The one that got away, and here you appear." The Nimmo's smiling face soon darkened as she said, "But where could that Chia have gone? The thought of little Lemondrop being out here... all alone... well, first things first." Her nose wrinkling with exaggerated disgust, Lumi said, "I think someone needs a new diaper."
Lumi turned and walked back to her house, but when she attempted to open the front door, she found it locked. "That's strange," she said. "I don't remember even closing that door."
The Nimmo, baby Bruce firmly held on her hip despite his squirming, stepped away from the porch to look up at the open bathroom window and ponder its viability as an entry point to her home. As soon as she was in the open, three baby Usuls, propellered helmets attached to their heads, launched themselves from the open window and floated down toward Lumi. Too surprised to react quickly, the Nimmo was helpless to defend herself as the Usuls sprayed her with their toy water guns: toys or not, three streams of water at close range were powerful enough to send Lumi reeling backward.
Stumbling back onto the porch, water forcing her to shut her eyes defensively, Lumi did not hear the front door open, nor did she see the baby Usul, push broom in hand, who came out of the house and began to sweep at her feet. Taken completely by surprise, the Nimmo was pushed off of the porch and landed on the grass, where she sat momentarily dazed.
Sensing his advantage, Boochi scrambled away from the haggard babysitter and retrieved his ray gun. He turned toward the front door just as Lemondrop, the ersatz Hubrid Nox, appeared in the doorway. Boochi noted that the Chia's hands, held dramatically out from his body, threw off small sparks.
Is Nox getting his warlock powers back? Boochi wondered to himself. The Bruce looked around at the Usuls, busy tying up Lumi with a skipping rope from the playroom, and looking down at his ray gun wondered, And how do I defend myself against an army of babies when all I can do is zap my victims into babies? Glancing surreptitiously at Nox, he thought, And just how powerful can a baby warlock be?
Deciding to bluff his way, Boochi raised his plastic ray gun and placed Nox in his sights.
Not to be outdone, Nox began to turn his hands, forming a ball of energy out of the weak sparks. The longer Nox worked at it, the larger and brighter the ball became. The longer Nox worked at it, the more Boochi wondered if he should dive for cover. Just as the Chia raised the dangerous-looking, spluttering sphere into the air, he cried out with a blood-curdling scream. It was not a war cry. His free hand flew to his mouth, and Nox began to gum at his fingers while hot tears streamed down his face. The tooth was finally erupting.
Nox flung the ball of energy into the air, and not knowing what else to do, Boochi aimed his ray gun at it and fired. Being such a bad aim, however, Boochi's blast hit...
Date: Mar 4th
...the edge of the roof instead.
The house began to dwindle, throwing off bright sparks and streamers of coloured light. A polyphonous wail rose up from it as Usuls poured out of it in all directions -- racing out doors, clambering and tumbling out suddenly open windows, ejecting from the upper stories in a spray of propeller beanies. Some of the brighter ones grimly carried more short-sighted siblings, still straining backward and howling for a favourite toy.
The ball of energy, bereft of its master's direction, did not shoot off into the distance, nor did it fall. It hovered in the air, fizzing slightly.
Lumi groaned and rubbed her aching head, looking around. At the whole scene -- the ball of effervescent dark energy, the fleeing Usuls, Boochi himself, the rapidly shrinking house, and Lemondrop shrieking on the doorstep.
There was very little she could do about most of it. She had no magic that would make the house return to normal. It was rapidly passing the point where she wouldn't be able to fit through the doors, let alone the windows. Although they frequently seemed innumerable, by now she actually knew exactly how many of the little Usuls there were, and a rapid estimate suggested they were nearly all out. Anyway, she trusted the devious children to be able to mostly rescue themselves through acrobatics and so forth; it was trivial daily tasks like feeding and cleaning themselves that gave them trouble.
But little Lemondrop, she didn't know so well, and he was standing there wailing in obvious distress. She scrambled to her feet and lunged forward, snatching him up and backing away just before the eave would have knocked him on the head.
"It's okay," she soothed, although she really wished someone could tell her that, as she numbly watched the house finish its transformation into a very nice and completely unlivable toy dollhouse with a pop. "I know teething hurts, but you'll feel better soon."
Nox hiccuped in his sobbing. Lumi had cuddled him close against her shoulder, which meant he had easy access to something else.
He lunged for his target. The ball of energy, still tenuously under his mental control, took its cue from his sudden sense of purpose and zipped downward, smacking into the back of his head just as he sank his aching teeth into the babysitter's neck.
"OW!" Lumi yelped. "You little -- you bit me -- you -- ulp -- ooof...." The bite and the blast of his own magic had restored Hubrid Nox, and the young Nimmo collapsed, yet again, under the weight of a full-sized Chia vampire.
Nox blinked a few times. Coloured by the changes to his body and brain, the memories of the past few hours were also bizarre enough that they felt vaguely unreal. Still -- yes -- he was in front of a dollhouse that had recently been a large house in Neopia Central. And his fangs hurt with the echo of teething pangs, which he hadn't experienced for centuries. He had, fortunately, also been magically restored to his usual garb, though there was a small and utterly ruined Usul garment trying to strangle him. He tugged it absently away from his neck, shredding it further.
Oh, and he was sitting on a wheezing adolescent Nimmo. Nox moved off and took her hand, helping her up with a suave bow and concealing the wince when he realised his paw still had drool on it. "Miss... Lumi, is it?" he asked, in a low, warm voice, turning on about a quarter of his vampiric abilities at hypnosis to charm her.
She looked at him suspiciously, and he considered turning it up a bit. "Lemondrop?"
"Hubrid Nox," he corrected her. "At your service." He looked thoughtfully at Boochi.
Boochi formed the thought of fleeing. Then it suddenly vanished from his mind.
Nox smiled to himself. The Nimmo girl was still leaning, half-dazed, against his arm, and she hadn't even remarked on the fact that his paw was damp. The baby Usuls had gathered around in a small, curious horde, too young to be cautious as he met each little pair of eyes in turn. And Boochi, well, Boochi. He had plans for Boochi.
"It seems to me," Nox went on smoothly, "that your house is in somewhat less than its usual state of repair."
Lumi nodded hazily.
"You and all your charges. Including that foul Bruce --"
"You be nice to him," Lumi said a bit indignantly. "He needs his diaper changed, that's all."
Right, then. Evidently their antagonistic relationship didn't prevent an overt threat to her charges from alarming the Nimmo. "Yes, of course," Nox said soothingly. "He can come too."
"Why, Miss Lumi. I am very grateful to you for your care and your... recent assistance." He smiled broadly into her eyes. "I have a mansion. And you, I believe, may need a new place to live."
Another dazed nod. A soft "yes."
And Hubrid Nox called a thundercloud to carry his prey off to the Haunted Wood.
Date: Mar 4th
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!