Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
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||You are on Week 519
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 Five Hundred Nineteen Ends Friday, August 12
|The sun blazes down from an unmarred azure sky as I drift aimlessly upon the crystal, blue waters of the ocean. I'm not sure how many days I've been drifting now. All the days and nights have merged together, and I've lost all track of time. I'm positive it's been more than two days, but other than that I'm completely unsure. Powerless to do anything, I close my eyes as my small boat gently rocks and sways.
I was just a normal Blumaroo before becoming lost at sea. It was an amazingly beautiful and clear summer day when I decided to take my small boat out for a trip. A part of me was pretending to be that better known Blumaroo - Bonju. I packed a small pot and a few ingredients, laughing carelessly as I set sail.
The storm simply came out of nowhere. One moment, everything was calm and peaceful and the next I was looking up at angry storm clouds racing across the sky. I grabbed my paddle and had made a desperate attempt for land, but the sea became greedy and tumultuous. It ripped the paddle from my paws as it threw my small boat further out to sea. There was nothing I could do except to simply hold on and hope that my tiny vessel didn’t capsize.
With the storm finally passed, I was distressed to find I could no longer see any land. In every direction there were only the gentle waves, deceptive in their calmness, dancing and waving in the breeze. I had no idea which way I had been blown, nor did I have any way to steer if I had known the way. At first, I panicked - screaming for help until my throat became raw as tears streamed down my face.
I'm much calmer now. After the initial panic wore off, I knew I had to be smart in order to survive. I rationed the small bit of food of water I had brought along, thankful for the supplies. I was going to make it. I was going to get through this.
The food is gone and there's only a drop of fresh water, but I'm still struggling to remain calm. I can feel my panic rising up in my throat, but I'll keep it pushed down. Panic is the enemy, and I have to keep a cool head. Just as I'm thinking this, I feel my boat begin to move a little faster. Sitting up, I realize I've been caught in a current, and I see an island rising before me like a beacon of hope.
Date: Aug 8th
I think of lifting my sails but the current carries me where I need to go. I can see the island, approaching ever-closer, and tears come to my eyes. My throat catches as the current brings me closer. I can see stray palms on a sandy beach, a jungle, and a large rock formation rising somewhere in the middle of the island.
A little too late I realize just how quickly the current flows, jumping from my ship just in time. The boat beaches on the shore and I swim toward the sweet, sweet land. Once I can feel the sand against my toes I feel like singing in joy, but there is no time for that -- first, I must check my ship.
I rush over and get a look at the hull, then I sigh in relief -- the only damage done is from the storm. The ship will still float, and providing that I weave a sail, I still may make my way home. Right now, though, there are more important matters to attend to... like water, food, and shelter. I summon what strength I have and pull my ship further up the beach so that the tide does not pull it back to sea and leave me stranded.
Satisfied, I turn, spotting something that I was not expecting to find in the middle of nowhere.
Date: Aug 8th
But these are no ordinary footprints. These are very large footprints, with two toes on each foot. They lead straight into the jungle. I decide to follow their path, hoping they will lead to food and shelter, rather than savage natives. I take a deep breath, turn my chin up, and march with false bravery into the jungle.
The jungle is certainly a sight to see. Trees seemingly stretch for miles above my head, and every shade of green paints the plant life. I catch glimpses of small creatures scurrying around me in every imaginable color. It is getting harder to follow the footprints, as bushes are covering most of the ground at this point.
After a couple of hours of wandering through the jungle on the trail of the footprints, I notice that the trees are thinning slowly. I must be getting close, I think to myself.
A clearing begins to show itself through the remaining trees. As I get closer, I start to hide behind bushes so that I won't be spotted, in case these natives are hostile. When I finally reach the last traces of the jungle, I can't believe my eyes...
Date: Aug 9th
Dancing around in a circle are seven or eight (it's too hard to tell exactly because they're moving so fast) large and colourful birds. They look a lot like Beekadoodles, but are much taller, and in colours never seen before. They look like rainbows as they streak around, blurring their colours together as they hop and twirl and spin.
While dancing and turning around on their two-toed feet, the birds make the most beautiful music. Their voices sound as clear as bells, a whole choir of bells, which joins together like a well-practised orchestra. I have never seen or heard anything so beautiful before, but the birds are not what catch my eyes.
After being adrift at sea for so long, and after the hike across the island's jungles, my body is screaming for water. There, in the middle of the clearing, is a golden fountain, which sprays water, clear and cool, up into the sky. The dancing birds are showered by its refreshing quench and I can't help but join them.
Before I even make up my mind to do it, I bounce high on my tail and join the circle. I bounce and spin and wave my arms. My mouth is opened to catch the fountain's water and my relief is so great that tears spring to my eyes.
It takes me some time to realise that the other dancers have disappeared. The enormous Beekadoodle-creatures have all stopped, moving out of the clearing and into the shelter of the trees. When I try to explain, I see what has scared them off...
Date: Aug 9th
Where the jungle ends, a volcano towers over the high branches, spitting a pillar of black smoke into the sky. As I watch it begins to rumble, low and ominous. Trickles of molten lava start to spill from its mouth.
I stand there, gaping, as orange lava rushes toward us. I glance back at the birds, who let out a haunting cry of despair at the terrifying sight. I see them begin to climb up some of the surrounding trees, using their wings to propel them upward, as though they seem incapable of proper flight.
Following their example, I begin to climb up a treetrunk, my cooking pot swinging distractingly on my arm. I almost think I'm not going to make it, but then one of the birds that happens to be perched on a branch in the same tree extends its leg. I grapple on to it and am pulled away from the infernal wave of molten rock mere moments before its arrival. I thank the bird out of impulse; although it doesn't speak, I think it understands.
I then notice that all of the birds have turned their attention to the golden fountain. Based on where it's situated, the flow of lava could just pass it by, scorching a line through the jungle and toward the ocean. The rainbow of beautiful birds stare at the fountain, desperate hope clear on their foreign features.
And it is a desperate hope. The lava engulfs the fountain, and when it does, something very strange happens. As the fountain that I'd drank from is destroyed, I experience a moment where I feel like something strange is writhing in my throat, almost suffocating me. Something even more peculiar happens to the birds...
Date: Aug 10th
As the last of the fountain dissolves in the molten lava, the golden artifact melting in the face of the intense heat, I cannot help but mourn for the beauty that was just lost in the eruption. Though sadness grips me, it is the birds that dominate my attention, however, for as the fountain's existence is erased by the liquid heat from the core of the planet, the birds begin to dissolve before my eyes, wafting away like spectres in the wind. When my climb began I was surrounded by a group of the strange avians, but by the end, as the eruption's wrath erases any trace of the fountain, I am alone save for the company of my cooking pot.
Perplexed, I realize that I am thirsty, as if I'd never drank at all, and begin to wonder if the birds, the fountain, any of it have been real. Am I still drifting, lost on the sea, dreaming fantastical dreams?
Such errant thoughts will not help me escape the molten danger that is still flowing toward me, however. Though the trees are not themselves an escape, I realize that by following the phantom avians a new path has opened up before me. The trees are close enough that I can easily pass from tree to tree and distance myself from the explosion much more quickly, as the tree tops are closer together than their trunks had been.
Lunging from tree to tree, I struggle to put as much distance between myself and the eruption as I can. My journey concludes abruptly when the canopy itself ends, and I find myself on the edge of another clearing...
Date: Aug 10th
Shielding my eyes as I cut through the tree line, the bright sun seems to catch on something piled high in the middle of the clearing. Small mountains of glittering jewels and shiny golden coins stand unattended in the middle of a field of golden grass.
I shake in disbelief. This sight is just too odd; it has no purpose, no meaning to be here... and yet, here it is. I look toward the sky to check for any flying occupants, then back into the trees to see if anyone is waiting to pounce. Catching the wind with my ear, I wait to see if someone, anyone, is out there, waiting for me to find this treasure.
When nothing returns to cause me alarm, I carefully venture out toward the riches that await me. My jaw drops as I approach the nearest pile. As my eyes graze over the treasures, I can see that this is indeed no mirage. Glittering faces stare back from the ancient coins, sparkling jewels of all colors lay haphazardly mixed in.
I glance around, counting at least eight other piles of treasure, biting my lip as I try to contain my excitement. I check my pockets and cooking pot, wondering how many coins I could take with me on my journey. Reaching down to pick up my first coin, it instantly begins to melt into a golden liquid, dripping between my fingers.
Before my eyes, the rest of the treasure piles begin to melt as well, sending a golden river flowing across the clearing, streaked with the colors of the glistening liquid jewels. The makeshift river moves quickly, and I am compelled to follow it. As I finally reach the mouth of the treasure river, I gasp out loud.
The golden river was flowing into...
Date: Aug 11th
...the very fountain that I saw get destroyed by the unforgiving heat and ferociousness of the lava with my own two eyes. The rebuilt fountain is not the same as it had been previously, though. It has all the same intricate features, but is set into the ground this time. Also, on the north side is a groove, and it is this groove that channels the golden liquid into the fountain.
Liquid as bright as the sun spurts from the fountain. It dazzles me but I cannot look away. It is beautiful, but also haunting. I have never witnessed anything so surreal before in my life. It's like magic, stripped back to its most natural form. I wonder if this is some sort of ritual, and upon thinking this thought I suddenly feel like I am an intruder who has witnessed something special that no foreigner should ever see.
I hear shrill cries coming from above and behind me. I look up to see a beautiful spectrum of colours as birds fly over my head. Their cries sound joyous. They swoop down low and circle the fountain, colours blending and merging with each other. More and more of them swoop down low. There are more birds this time, as if each has sensed that they must come to the fountain. I wonder what they are going to do next.
As I watch in amazement, the birds settle on the ground and form multiple circles around the fountain. The inner circle of birds cries in unison before drinking out of the fountain. I realise that I am holding my breath, exhaling just as I see the most wonderful -- yet frightening -- thing. The birds themselves are turning into gold...
Date: Aug 11th
...and then flying off in a line, headed toward a place that I can't name. I feel a stirring, a feeling that I should follow them, but I don't know how to, for I know I cannot fly.
I watch them until the last ring of birds drinks from the fountain and flies off to join the line. I know that I can't stay there, and that I have to join them. I dip my cooking pot into the golden liquid, filling it with a small amount and then raising the pot to my mouth to drink its contents. I expect it to taste metallic, but the taste is sweet, like the sweetest honey. I have never tasted anything like it before.
As I enjoy the flavor, I fail to notice that the birds have flown out of sight. I frantically look around, but they are nowhere to be seen. I wish that I were looking from higher up, believing I would then be able to see them. As I wish this, I start to lift off the ground, into the sky.
Rising in altitude, I'm able to see that I've flown off in the direction that the birds had headed...
Date: Aug 12th
It's a curious sensation. I know I'm floating, but it doesn't feel like I'm floating. It feels like I'm standing, perhaps sitting. My legs feel heavy, but that doesn't stop me from flying up into the sky with the birds.
I look around for a second and spot them, fluttering into the distance. They're golden, from beak to feet, but they manage to fly anyway. They fly and fly, and I follow, until they reach the beach. I see my little boat on the beach, waves rushing up. It looks peaceful, calm, unlike the golden birds that are now squawking and beating their wings...
They're squawking and beating their wings. Why are they doing that?
They try to fly off into the distance once again, but they're stopped by some sort of invisible barrier that prevents them from going any further. I wonder if I'm limited by this barrier as well, and drift off toward them in order to test it out. It turns out that I am, for the second I cross the shoreline, I crash into an invisible wall in the sky.
I'm stuck on this island.
The birds, giving up, fly down to the sand and settle there. They sit, staring into the horizon. The sun's setting now, streaking the sky with yellow and orange and red as I land and join the birds in their vigil. Somewhere behind us, the volcano rumbles again.
It's only a matter of seconds before it erupts.
Lava runs down the sides into the jungle with extraordinary speed; it solidifies instantly, but instead of the black, rough rock lava typically creates, the cooled lava turns into gold.
It's not lava. It's gold.
I wonder whether the fountain survived.
The birds panic. They rise into the air, and I follow them. But they're trapped, managing only to fly upwards a few feet before they're forced back down onto the beach. Lava overtakes the sand, covering everything in a layer of gold.
It's only stopped by the seawater, I realize, but it's too late; I run toward the ocean, hoping to escape on my boat, but the more I run, the slower I am. I look down and see that my feet are slowly turning to gold, followed by my knees, continuing upward... I feel myself slowing, stopping...
The birds on the beach are solid gold statues now, staring out at the sunset with eyes that can no longer see.
I stop, motionless. I can't move anymore.
The volcano is still erupting.
I'm stuck on the beach, staring out into the sea. I can't move a muscle. I'm stranded, forever and ever. Would someone come and find me? Would they be surprised to find the Blumaroo statue on the beach, standing in front of a flock of golden birds that had once been colorful, beautiful, magnificent? Would they think to leave, or try to investigate, they way I had done when I first saw the bird footprints?
Had these birds fallen to the gold as well? Those footprints, were they from when the birds arrived and decided to take a look at the place?
I don't know. I will never know.
I stare at the setting sun. I know I will be seeing many of these sunsets, for as a gold statue, it's impossible for me to move from this position. The sky's gradually growing dark, the yellow and orange being replaced by pink and purple. The sun disappears beneath the sea with a flash of golden light.
Date: Aug 12th
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