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||You are on Week 531
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 Thirty One Ends Friday, November 4
|Her eyes were wide as she stared into the mirror with horror. She had smudged her makeup! Genn quickly grabbed a generous glob of Vampire Face Paint and rubbed it back into her cheekbone.
"There, all finished!" the Kacheek announced proudly, looking herself over.
Genn had carefully selected this year's Halloween costume. She had chosen to dress up as the late Hubrid Nox, a notorious Neopian villain. As the doorbell rang, the Kacheek grinned, checking one last time that no hair was out of place before running downstairs to greet the trick-or-treaters. Grabbing a candy bowl full of Grarrl Gobstoppers, Genn flung the door open.
The Kacheek gasped loudly, dropping the bowl of candy as MAGAX jumped at her upon entering the house.
"I've got you once and for all, Hubrid!" MAGAX declared, a slightly muffled sound behind all the thick plastic and cloth of his mask.
"Jackson!" Genn yelled. "You scared me half to death!"
The Kougra giggled, pulling off his mask to wink back at his friend before getting back into costume.
"Are you ready to go then?" the Kougra prodded.
Genn huffed and retrieved the renegade gobstoppers before pushing Jackson out her doorway, grabbing her candy bag and following him out to the road.
Jackson pulled a carefully folded piece of paper out of his pocket, and both Neopets looked it over briskly.
"Okay," Jackson stated, stabbing at the map with his claw, "We've carefully mapped out the highest candy to house ratio, so if we just follow this path, we'll be swimming in more lollypops and gummies than we could ever handle.
"Great, let's get started then!" Genn said.
She took one step forward on their journey before stopping dead in her tracks, eyes wide for the third time that day. Her paw quickly grasped Jackson's shoulder, as the Kougra also noticed the form that was now standing before them.
"Excuse me," the familiar voice rang out...
Date: Oct 31st
...A Grarrl in a cardboard suit of armour was standing at the end of the path, clearly dressed as Jeran.
"Daniel!" Genn greeted him. "That's a great costume! Where did you get it?"
"I'm afraid I have no idea who Daniel is, sir," the Grarrl answered, clearly thinking that Genn's costume was a little too convincing. "My name is Sir Jeran, knight of Meridell."
"Very funny, Daniel," Jackson joked. "We're going to get a good haul this year. I guess you can come along with us if you'd like, although it would mean dividing the candy three ways instead of two..."
"Who is this Daniel of whom you speak?" the Grarrl asked. "Also, this talk of confections is quite intertaining, but I need your help. You see, I am on a quest."
"Daniel, we're on a schedule here," Jackson stated, brandishing the map. "We don't have time for games."
"Ah! A map!" the Grarrl remarked. "Yes, curious Wocky, you do look somewhat like an adventurer... if a little rough around the edges. Perhaps you can be of help on my quest? You see, I am pursuing a dangerous criminal."
"Daniel, this isn't funny," Genn snapped. "It's me, Genn!"
"I'm afraid I don't know anyone by that name," Daniel answered. "Are you feeling alright, strange Chia? You look dreadfully pale."
Genn drew Jackson close and whispered into his ear.
"Jackson, something's not right with him."
"You're telling me," Jackson replied. "It's like he thinks he's actually Jeran!"
The pair were about to question their friend further when an explosion came from down the street.
"Aha!" Daniel proclaimed, wheeling around to face the noise. "I have found you at last, varlet! Prepare to taste justice!"
Through the smoke of the explosion, a new figure emerged, looking ruthless and wearing a smirk as big as her ray gun...
Date: Oct 31st
"So now you show yourself, Ylana Skyfire!" Daniel shouted out.
The figure that stepped out of the smoke wasn't Ylana Skyfire, but rather a Lupe dressed up like Ylana. Whereas the real Ylana wore advanced space battle armor, this outfit looked to be made more out of cloth.
Genn had to gasp a bit. "Isn't that Wendy?" he said to Jackson. "What's going on here?"
"I'm afraid that isn't your friend!" Daniel said, standing between the smirking Lupe and the other two in costumes, "That is the notorious bounty hunter Ylana Skyfire!"
"Ah, Sir Jeran!" Wendy said, kicking a few rocks out of her way. "Thank you for showing up here. It saves me the trouble of actually having to find you later. You're not my target today, however. My bounty is on..."
Wendy pointed her ray gun toward the group. "The warlock Hubrid Nox!" she declared.
"What?" Genn said, the color vanishing from his face. "Wendy, what are you..."
Genn didn't get to finish before Wendy fired again, the shot from her blaster heading right toward them. Just when it looked like it was all over for the Kacheek, Daniel got between her and the shot, blocking the blast with his cardboard shield.
"How did that..." Jackson started to say, wondering how a flimsy piece of cardboard could have stopped such a blast. "That should have..."
"My shield is made of some of the finest material ever forged!" Daniel said. "It will take more than a shot like that to break it, Ylana!"
"You're a fool for getting in the way, Jeran!" Wendy proclaimed, taking aim again.
"Wendy! Daniel! Please!" Genn shouted out, "Please stop this! What's going on?!?"
"Yeah, guys. Come on! Stop this!" Jackson pleaded as well.
Before the two could get their answer, a tall figure clad in white grabbed both of them by the hand and started to pull them away from the battle...
Date: Nov 1st
...Genn tried to swat at the hands that had grabbed them (which were encased in crude foam versions of what were supposed to be metal gloves), but was unable to get them to let go. The hands' owner stopped when Jackson and Genn started panicking. Looking up, they saw the face of the one who had been pulling them away.
It was none other than King Altador. Or, at least it was what King Altador would have looked like if he were a Ruki.
"Michael?!?" Jackson gasped.
Michael looked at them with a dumbfounded expression. "Who is this Michael that you speak of? I am the mighty and powerful King Altador!"
He then posed in a heroic stance, which probably would've seemed far more heroic if his costume were made of real steel. It was actually made of styrofoam that had been glued together and had sequins taped onto it.
"Just stop it!" Genn said. "You're not actually King Altador, Michael! It's not fu--"
Michael's serious gaze stopped Genn from continuing to speak. The Ruki unsheathed his cardboard sword and pointed it at Genn and Jackson. The pair just stood there, far more embarrassed for the Ruki than scared. Genn leaned over and mumbled to Jackson.
"This is getting way out of hand..."
"I agree, but you know how Daniel's shield actually blocked that beam from the ray gun? If that cheap cardboard shield was real, then what if Michael's sword is real, too?"
The Kacheek and the Kougra looked over at Michael, who was now charging toward them at full speed...
Date: Nov 1st
Thinking quickly, Jackson raised his fake Darklight Axe and pointed it threateningly at Michael.
"Stop!" he cried. "Come any closer and I will unleash my powers on you, Altador!"
Immediately the Ruki halted, looking at the inflatable axe with suspicion. He held his toy sword at the ready. Genn wanted to hug Jackson for his genius idea. Instead, she followed his lead. Thoughtlessly, some words came to her, tumbling out of her mouth as if from someone else.
"Come, the spirits of the dead,
Here let your evil be widespread.
Bind the land in eternal night,
Away from hope, away from light.
Make known the power in our hands held,
As we unleash all chaos we have withheld!"
As Genn finished her "spell" she could see the horror that Michael felt. He was backing away from her. She turned and grinned at Jackson, but he was looking at her with disbelief. Genn's smile faltered. Why is he taking this seriously? she wondered. All I did was make up a stupid rhyme to get rid of Michael...
"What have you done?" the Ruki moaned. "Surely we will now perish! MAGAX, help me destroy this villain before it's too late!"
Michael turned to Jackson expectantly, and Genn half-feared that he actually believed he was MAGAX, like this delirious Ruki. The Kougra shook his head, however, and remained next to Genn.
At first she was relieved, but then she was puzzled. Why had Jackson looked so scared when she said the rhyme? An idea then came to her -- one that would explain the Kougra's reaction. Shocked that she hadn't thought of it before, she turned toward her friend, terrified by a low moan that was now sweeping through the Haunted Woods.
"My goodness, Jackson... I did this!" she gabbled fearfully as shadowy shapes stumbled through the forest toward them. "My spell was REAL!"
How could she have been so stupid?!? If everyone else's costumes had became "real," in a sense, then why hadn't she considered that this could apply to her as well?
Taking advantage of Jackson's distraction, Michael turned and lunged at Genn, sword pointed at her heart.
"DIE!" he screamed, racing forward. "Let your evil be undone!"
The Kacheek turned, startled, before her eyes widened at the sight of the sword, which was now inches from her chest...
Date: Nov 2nd
Genn was so stunned that she couldn't move. Her eyes were glued to the sword's point, her paws locked in place. Terror built up inside the Kacheek, and time seemed to slow to a near halt.
A large body hurled itself into Michael, and he went flying with the force of its impact. Landing in the dirt, the Ruki gasped so hard to regain the breath that had been driven from his lungs that Genn could hear him where she stood.
It was Daniel who had knocked Michael aside, and he now turned his incredible hulking body toward Genn. "Nox is mine!" he roared.
Daniel raised his sword, but this time Genn found that she was capable of reacting. Genn ducked out of the way as the sword came down, and she heard a distinct whoosh as the cardboard sword whizzed by, just inches from her head.
The next thing the Kacheek knew, Wendy was shooting at Daniel, her ray gun held before her as she squeezed the trigger. Ylana Skyfire was attacking Jeran. Why? Genn wondered. I thought I was the one they wanted?
"I will be the hero here, not you!"
Oh yeah, that's why.
"Neither of you will be able to defeat me!" she said in a loud, ghostly voice.
"It's four against one, Hubrid Nox... or are you incapable of counting?" Jackson asked.
Not you too! Genn thought, disappointed.
And that's when the dark shapes began to emerge from the Haunted Woods...
Date: Nov 2nd
Genn struggled to hold down the mad panic rushing through her. She watched, horrified, as one of the deathly figures stepped through a patch of light. Its terrible features made Genn freeze in shock.
"Zombies..." she breathed. With a grim smile, she turned to Jackson.
"Is it I who cannot count?" Genn spoke dully, still aware of his betrayal. "Why, you have forgotten my minions!" she added with a twisted smile.
Genn's "minions" were much closer now. They were a legion of ghastly deformed Neopets. Their mottled greyish green flesh hung loose on twisted limbs, in crude imitations of long-dead Neopians. Their arms and legs were bent at unnatural angles, forcing them to shuffle forward unsteadily. Blank, lifeless, yellow-tinged eyes stared eerily in different directions and blinked unevenly with torn lids.
An undead Aisha's mouth hung gaping, revealing crooked, rotting teeth. It moaned and the sound carried through the woods, chilling Genn's bones.
Genn tried to fight down her growing terror. She turned toward the Neopets. They had gathered in a tight group, back to back with each other. They wore courageous faces, with weapons readied to fend off the approaching monsters.
Genn's fear disappeared for a moment. In it's place came... envy, she realised with a start. The feeling grew stronger as she saw the group together, their mutual bonds of trust clear. Here she was an outsider. Her own best friend had abandoned her.
And rightfully so, she thought with disgust. I caused this. I am the villain, no matter what my intentions may be.
Genn was suddenly filled with sadness. Jackson kept glancing at her in the corner of his eye. His face was full of anger. Never had he looked at her so hatefully.
"Don't leave Nox unguarded," Altador said. No, Genn reminded herself angrily. Not Altador, just Michael.
"I've got an eye on her," a hard voice declared, coming from Jackson. How could he forget our friendship so easily? Did it mean nothing to him?
Genn glared at him accusingly. Her anger then formed to words and spoke through her.
"Attack them!" Genn cried, pointing menacingly at the four. The zombies shuddered, then turned and began to stumble toward the little group.
The Kacheek felt a wave of savage triumph as she watched the Neopians exchange helpless glances. Serves them right, she thought.
Surrounded by the undead, MAGAX gave a strangled cry of frustration. With a jolt, Genn remembered that that was Jackson. What had she been thinking! The zombies were now closing in, though, cutting her off from them...
Date: Nov 3rd
The horde got closer and closer to the four as they backed up into each other. Even with their combined forces, it would be impossible for Jackson and the rest of them to hold off all of the zombies. Genn realized that, if she didn't stop them, her friends would be finished.
Putting her emotions to the back of her mind, she hurried into action.
"Err-- zombies! I command you to stop!" she shouted, but it was in vain.
They didn't stop, as if their rotting brains couldn't register a word Genn had said. The Kacheek became panicked, until she remembered that she possessed the powers of one of the world's most accomplished warlocks; in essence, she was Hubrid Nox.
"Neopian horde that rose from the dead,
Let your souls rest once more upon your bed.
Return from the place that you came from,
Let the horrors brought from you be done!"
As Genn spit out the enchantment, the hex took hold of the zombies almost instantly. They shook in pain before slowly collapsing onto the dirt ground.
"What is the meaning of this?!?" Daniel said, shaking his head in confusion.
"Hubrid Nox is trying to sabotage his own minions, as well!" Wendy hissed.
Genn was taken aback. "No, I was helping you guys! Don't you see? I'm not trying to hurt you!"
"And why would someone like you do that?" Michael said.
"We're all friends, that's why! If only you guys could snap out of it. Don't you remember? Michael, Daniel, Wendy... Jackson?"
For a moment, Jackson's face twisted, and Genn thought he'd begun to regain his memories. Instead, though, he only said, "I have no idea what you're saying, Nox, but your mind games won't work on me!"
I didn't want to do this to you guys, Genn thought. It might be the only way, though...
"Friends who had forgotten their names,
Play along with a dangerous game.
Let them remember all they forgot,
And see through the spell that was brought!"
"What is Nox doing?" Wendy asked. "Stop him!"
Before anyone could move, Genn had already finished uttering the phrase. The wind began whizzing past them all, throwing debris and leaves into the air; after a few moments, it had receded and everything was silent.
"Ge-Genn?" Jackson asked, blinking. "Genn, is that you?"
"Jackson!" Genn said with a grin. "Michael, Wendy, Daniel! Are you guys alright?"
The others warily nodded, confused about where they were. The swift moment of relief from having her friends back quickly vanished, as Genn saw another wave of zombies now heading their way. They were slowly edging toward the five, with no intent of stopping...
Date: Nov 3rd
"But, that's impossible!" Genn declared. "I thought I killed off all the zombies."
She gazed as far off into the distance as she could with the thick trees. There was a rustling behind one of them, and out from behind the desolate bark came another Hubrid Nox.
This Nox had the mustache, face paint, plastic teeth, and clothes, although they looked just a tad large on the red Aisha.
"Darcy?" Genn asked, staring at her friend in disbelief. How embarrassing, wearing the same costume, she thought.
"Ha!" the other Nox said as she pointed to Genn. "It is you, imposter Nox. I will be the only Hubrid around here, and I will see to it that you and your legion are destroyed!"
"Darcy, It's me Genn!" the Kacheek yelled, waving her arms frantically in the air. "Call off the horde of zombies!"
The others, now realizing that they were the Neopians they actually were, broke out in a chorus of chanting as well. "Yeah, Darcy, it's us! Call off the horde!"
"Then, imposter Nox," Darcy roared, "expose the fraud that you are, or else I will!"
Genn, out of hopelessness, uttered another hex.
"Darcy, forgotten friend who is now a foe,
Just as I am not, you are not Hubrid
Let your original demeanor show,
Recast your spell, let the zombies be rid."
"How do you come up with that stuff of the spot?" Jackson whispered to Genn.
Darcy smiled. "Interesting rhyme, imposter Nox, but as you are not the real Hubrid Nox, your 'hex' is no good against me!"
Genn stood still, realizing that by calling off the spell she had also undone whatever magical prowess she had once possessed. She supposed Darcy was too far away at the time to have received the counter-spell.
"Michael," Genn commanded, "use your sword to fend off the zombies. Wendy, use your ray gun, and Jackson, use that axe of yours."
"But," Daniel said in a melancholy tone, "these are just toys! Cardboard! Plastic! They won't really work!"
"They actually did work before I undid whatever spell had a hold on them. If Darcy is still operating under the original spell, then perhaps she and her zombie horde won't know the difference!" Genn smiled at the troop. "It might be a long shot, but we might as well try."
Jackson got up with his inflatable axe. "Stand back!" he said, pointing it at the zombies. "I could easily turn you back to the dust from whence you came!"
"Yeah," Michael said, "I'll destroy you guys!"
Wendy pointed the ray gun at the zombies, then proclaimed, "I am Ylana Skyfire, so you'd better be gone or else!"
Darcy felt threatened. She gulped and frowned.
Genn saw the expression on her companion's face and yelled, "Nox, we won't destroy you if you let us through and call off your zombie horde."
Darcy sighed. "Very well," she said, defeated.
"My undead minions, you have done me well,
Though it is time for you to go and sleep,
Whether I'll need you again time will tell,
But return to the dirt; don't make a peep."
With that the zombies collapsed into dust, crumbling around Genn and the group's very eyes.
"Come forward, imposter Nox and friends," Darcy said, motioning to them. "I suppose it is now time for the ultimate showdown."
"Very well," Genn said, a bit surprised about the potential fight that was to take place. "Before you and I battle for possession of the title of Hubrid Nox, I want you to see something."
With that, Gennn took off her costume. The others watched and, following her lead, did the same.
Darcy witnessed this and began to laugh.
Uh oh, Genn thought to herself. Is she going to realize it's us and figure out who she really is, or is there actually going to be an ultimate showdown?...
Date: Nov 4th
"Fools!" Darcy cried in a gleeful, booming voice, "You cast aside your weapons, yet I am the mad one! Without them, you don't stand a chance against me!"
Genn bit her lip. No weapons, no more power... nothing but her brain. Darcy / Nox still had power, though... still had magic.
"Nox, what species is Altador?!" she cried out with sudden inspiriation.
Darcy paused and gave her an odd look. "A Lupe, imposter," she spit out smugly, as if it were the most well-known fact in Neopia... which was what Genn had been gambling on.
"Oh really?" she challenged, "Look at him, Nox! Look at Altador! What species is he!"
Darcy glared at her, but she couldn't help but notice the Aisha's eyes sliding toward Michael. Jackson's face lit up as he caught on. "A Lupe! A Lupe? What species does he look like to you, Wendy?" he said with a grin.
The Lupe laughed. "Funny, he doesn’t look anything like the Lupes I know!" she laughed.
It was now Michael’s turn to laugh, wiggling his segmented Ruki carapace. "If I'm a Lupe, then you're a Draik!” he taunted.
Darcy frowned. "But... you're Altador... I saw it... I recognized you..." she said uncertainly, and then her face smoothed out. "No! No tricks, imposter! No delays -- you can't put off the inevitable! My minions will destroy you!"
Out of the corner of her eye, Genn saw the zombies still advancing, but she knew they were close to breaking Darcy. But, she thought desperately, If I don't get her to call off the zombies first, even if I wake her up, we're doomed!
Jackson seemed to realize the same thing. "All right, Nox -- you win! Call off the zombies and we'll -- we'll -- we'll turn over the kingdom to you!" he cried, improvising on the spot.
Darcy smiled an imitation of Nox's cold, cruel smile, and nodded. Muttering a quick incantation, the zombies fell to pieces around them.
"The kingdom?!? Nice, Jackson," Wendy muttered under her breath.
He shrugged. "I couldn't think of anything better," he said sheepishly, toeing the dirty with the toe of his boots.
Genn ignored their banter, eying the disintegrating zombies with relief... and some trepidation. Now they had to save Darcy -- or they would end up right back where they were.
"All right!" she yelled. "The kingdom is yours -- but you have to answer one question first!"
"There were no terms!" the Aisha retorted, scowling.
"Just one! What species are YOU?" the Kacheek cried out, watching Darcy's face carefully.
Darcy laughed. "What a stupid question! Everyone knows that the great Hubrid Nox is Neopia's cruelest, most evil vampire Chia ever!"
"That's right," Michael nodded, "Nox is a Chia!"
"But what species are YOU?" Genn cried again, darting forward and yanking off her friend's costume.
Darcy's mouth fell. "Impudent imposter!" she yelled, raising her arms to catch a spell.
Genn only pointed at her friend, though. "You don't look like a Chia to me! You look like an AISHA!" she screamed, desperation lending volume to her cry.
Darcy paused, the battle between what she "knew" and what Genn was telling her waging across her face. Finally, after tense moments that felt much longer than they probably were, Darcy involuntarily glanced down at herself.
"You look like an Aisha to me, too," Wendy said softly to her best friend, "But I couldn't stand it if you were really a Chia, Darcy... I like you too much."
Confusion warred with anger on their friend's face, a similar battle to what Genn had witnessed play across the features of her friends mere minutes earlier. Finally, however, Darcy staggered and stared back at Genn. "Genn?" she asked uncertainly, "Michael? Jackson? ...Wendy?"
Giddy laughter filled the air as the relieved group of friends converged on Darcy, hugging her and laughing.
When they finished hugging, Darcy still looked confused. "What happened to me?" she asked, a plaintive note in her voice.
Genn looked back at her. "I have no idea," she told her, "But it happened to all of us... as if our costumes made us into who we appeared to be."
Jackson fidgeted uncomfortably. "But that can't be, right?" he asked, scuffing the dirt with his boots again.
"No," said Genn, "It can't be... but those were real zombies..."
"And your blaster fired real rays, Wendy," he replied, staring at their Lupe friend.
The group stared at each other in anxious consternation.
"We may never know," Genn said after a bit.
Finally, Jackson nodded. "All right, that's probably true. But..."
"But what?" Michael asked. Like Jackson, he seemed pretty unsure about what they had just experienced -- but then again, they all were.
"...But can we still go get Halloween candy?" the Kougra asked with a grin.
Around him, the group laughed and nodded. After all, what was Halloween without candy?
That evening, after the group had parted ways and Genn was safe in her bedroom, the Kacheek fingered her costume. What had happened... wasn't possible. It wasn't. Zombies? Somehow actually believing that they were who they dressed up as?
No, it wasn't possible. It just wasn't.
And yet... and yet there were char marks on her costume. Char marks from blaster fire, from her friend's toy blaster that couldn't really fire dangerous bolts of energy.
Sometimes, life in Neopia was very, very strange.
Date: Nov 4th
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