If you have a Facebook account, click here to continue logging in.


If you don't have a Facebook account, click here to log in with your Neopets information.
Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!


Week 544
You are on Week 545
Week 546

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 Forty Five Ends Friday, March 2

Gerald made his way to the Science Fair, lugging his entry behind him in a wooden wagon. He was mumbling to himself, angry because the event was one he'd rather not have anything to do with.

It wasn't his fault that he was expected to be a more knowledgeable Neopet, nor was it his fault that his knowledge was low compared to even those whose knowledge was seriously lacking.

Arriving at the doors of the building where the convention was to take place, the Techo was met by laughter from his peers. He was the last Neopet anyone would expect to be entering such a contest -- he definitely couldn't believe he was going to.

Gerald was too cool to look nervous, though -- he had a reputation as a cooler-than-thou tough guy -- and so he waved to the many that mocked him. "'Sup," he said with a brief nod before walking through the door.

"Who are you?" an usher asked Gerald.

"I'm Gerald," Gerald said casually.

The usher looked down a clipboard he had and started walking away, motioning for Gerald to follow him. There was an empty table on which he would set up his project, and the Techo, taking the contraption out of the wagon, placed it to the left of his area.

Eventually, the time came to give awards to those whose creations were exceptionally purposeful or marvelous. Three judges walked around the tables and inspected the work. Occasionally, they would ask questions.

At the table adjacent to Gerald, a Cybunny -- he overheard the judges call her Jessica -- discussed a weather experiment. She began to falter under the pressure, mixing up her words, and ended up talking herself out of a ribbon.

I hope that doesn't happen to me, Gerald thought.

The judges came to his table. "So, what does this do?" a well-dressed Mynci asked. The others on the mobile panel consisted of a Chomby and an Aisha.

"Er..." Gerald began to fumble. He didn't really know what it did, since he hadn't actually built the machine. Instead, he'd stolen it from a young Lenny that he presumed was entering the same contest. The Lenny went away crying, and he didn't have to do a project -- a win situation for him. Gerald wished now, however, that he would have tested it out first to see what it did.

The judges' eyes burned through the Techo. Gerald hesitated. "Er, how about I show you?" he said as he flipped a red switch on the side of the machine. Closing his eyes, Gerald hoped for the best...

Author: rielcz
Date: Feb 27th
...The stolen project began to vibrate and let out a weak buzzing sound before it came to a stop. The Aisha judge scribbled down something on the notepad she was holding before asking, "Does it do anything else?"

Her comment was met by laughter. Gerald blushed, a shade of pink against his shadowy scales, as he realized his peers had all gathered around his table to watch him fail. Gerald shook away his embarrassment and replied to the judge, "Of course it does! I just don't know what," he finished with a mumble. He then frantically grabbed the red switch and jostled it around, in hopes that it would do something... and then it did!

The switch completely snapped off.

The sound of laughter filled the room yet again as the judges shook their heads and began to walk away. "Wait," Gerald begged. "I know it works. Please, just wait!" Panicking, Gerald hit the machine with a clenched fist.

The bump seemed to be exactly what was needed, as the device began to hum and rattle. The laughter stopped and Gerald found the judges back at his table, observing with interest. The hum quickly grew to an overwhelmingly powerful deep tone, which pulsed throughout the room.

"What is it doing?!?" the Chomby judge shouted over the sound. Gerald tried to keep a confident face, but inside he was just as confused as everyone else, if not more. Each wave of sound seemed to intensify, and soon became too much to handle. "Can you turn it off?"

Gerald examined the machine, but failed to locate any buttons or switches besides the one he'd broken off. The Techo thought that maybe he should hit it again, but then found he couldn’t move! The sound was paralyzing, and as the pounding waves grew more frequent, Gerald felt like he was being crushed.

In fact, everything in the room was being crushed! Science projects were flattened, tables were squashed, and even Gerald's peers were being deflated, as if the laws of physics no longer applied! The terrible ordeal seemed to last for hours, but after what had, in reality, only been a few minutes, the machine came to a sudden stop.

Gerald gulped as he looked around. Everyone and everything in the room had become entirely 8-bit...

Author: potential_ruler
Date: Feb 27th
...The Chomby judge was the first to react. "An interesting premise for an exhibit," he mused, "but I can only wonder why you chose 8-Bit?"

Gerald thought fast. At this point, he knew there was only one choice of action -- he would have to coolly play the incident off, find the young Lenny, and reverse the damage. "Ah, 8-Bit! I thought the color suited the theme of this science fair. Kind of... science-y, if you know what I'm saying."

The judges nodded. They were impressed. The crowd, however, was raucous. "But how do we get OUT of being 8-Bit?"a small Kougra screamed from the back.

Ad-libbing at this point, Gerald quickly shot back, "Be patient. I want you to be able to explore the world with this new perspective. In an hour, I'll reverse the effects of the machine and everything will be back to normal. Trust me."

Someone on the judging panel cleared his throat. Gerald spun around to face the Mynci judge. "I must confess," the judge said smoothly while squinting at Gerald's name tag, "er... Gerald, that I am surprised at the depth of your knowledge. I was the under the impression that you had no idea how your machine worked. To be frank, I was expecting a flop. I must now question your control over the situation." The judge squinted over his 8-Bit-stylized glasses to stare directly at Gerald.

"Sir..." Gerald stammered. "As you know, there should be s-some element of surprise in a science fair project! Excuse me for being theatrical, but I thought my behavior suited my exhibit."

"Very well," the Mynci replied, "but I fully expect to be returned to my previous form in an hour. If I am not, I believe that perhaps the truth of the matter will be revealed."

Gerald feigned a smile. "Don't worry, sir!" he exclaimed, somewhat lacking in enthusiasm. "Now, as for the rest of you -- explore the world in your new form! There's so much more to be discovered from a different point of view."

The crowd already seemed to agree. All of the 8-Bit Neopets seemed to be growing more relaxed with their new color, and they were looking around the room with awed expressions. The bright colors of their 8-Bit-ified surroundings struck a note of sheer wonder in the gathering.

Taking advantage of the distraction, Gerald quickly walked to the door. He needed to find that Lenny within the hour. If not, his reputation would be forever ruined. He pushed through the exit doors into the dazzling sunset outside...

Author: cactusthorn2151
Date: Feb 29th
...Gerald strode the twilight streets, keeping his eyes peeled for the tricksome Lenny whose fault all of this was. If he couldn't find the feathered fiend or figure out how to reverse the machine's effects before an hour was up, he would be faced with an angry mob of 8-Bit proportions. He suddenly wished he'd given himself more time to figure things out. The Techo sped up and rounded a corner onto what seemed like a deserted alleyway.

But no, there was a flash of colour at the other end in the dim light. Gerald approached with caution and spotted exactly what he needed -- a single silky white feather lay crumpled on the ground.

The Techo broke into a sprint and rounded the next corner, vaulting a low wall and dodging various obstacles. After a few more turns he could see the tail feathers and flurried feet of the fleeing Lenny, and after a few more he was within reach of him -- or, at least he would have been, had his arms been a little bit longer. Gerald lunged at the Lenny and the two of them went tumbling to the ground in a tangle of limbs and feathers.

"Get off me, you ugly brute!" the Lenny hissed in a combination of fury and fear.

"No! You gave me a dud project, so it's your job to put things right," he retorted, pinning the Lenny down. The Lenny gave a strangled squawk and stopped struggling, as doing so would only cause him more pain.

"I don't know how it works," he protested, "and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you."

"Why would an egghead like you make something he doesn't even know how to use?" the Techo asked suspiciously.

"For reasons far beyond what your puny wit could understand. And it's Heed," he said, struggling again in a halfhearted show of indignation.

"What?" Gerald was beginning to get confused, and he didn't like being confused.

"I said it's Heed, not Head. My name is Egg Heed!"

The shock and amusement of it all made Gerald let go of the Lenny and slump sideways in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. This was surely priceless! In his moment of laxity, however, the Lenny -- Egg -- had freed himself and was now looming over the Techo. In an instant, he had pulled out what looked like a Virtupets laser with a large ring on the end and fired it. A thick and heavy net shot out, wrapping itself snugly around Gerald.

It was now his turn to struggle...

Author: rararee
Date: Feb 29th
...Gerald fought all he could to try and get out of the net that had been shot around him. Even in 8-Bit form, the ropes were jumbled in ways that he didn't know ropes could jumble.

"Let me out of here before I pound you!" Gerald said.

Egg was slowly approaching Gerald's struggling form, watching him try to get out of the ropes. "You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into, do you?"

"It's not like you do, either!" Gerald shouted back, still struggling with the ropes. "You're the one who said you don't know how it works!"

"That's right," Egg said, "I don't. I do, however, know what I was supposed to do with it, and I know why. I was supposed to take that contraption to the next supply ship heading for the Space Station, where it was going to be placed in a manufacturing plant of evil robot Grundos being made for Dr. Sloth. I also know that it was going to completely shut it down by turning the entire place 8-Bit, thus thwarting his army of darkness and another invasion."

"AND!" Egg said, with a lot of anger in his voice at that, "I know that you, in your great stupidity, set the thing off too soon, and from what you said broke it, thus dooming all of us!"

Gerald stopped struggling after Egg said that. "You're lying... you have to be. You're just some kid who made an invention that doesn't even know how it works. Why else would you go running off crying when I took it?"

"Because I was hoping that someone would step in and stop you if I played the part of the victim," Egg said. "Much to my dismay, they just let it happen."

"Well, what can we do?" Gerald said, not wanting to go down in history as the one responsible for dooming all of Neopia, struggling to get out of the ropes again.

"We," Egg said, "Are not going to do anything. What I'M going to do is get my device back and try to get in contact with HQ, seeing if I can get in touch with the inventor to see if it can be fixed from here. What YOU'RE going to do is stay right here, so that you don't mess things up any further."

Egg was about to leave when Gerald shouted out to him. "You can't leave me like this!" he said. "Not after what you just said."

"Watch me." Egg replied, pulling out a small device that started beeping. "So, it's this way then?" he said to himself and started walking toward the science fair.

Gerald realized that he wasn't going to figure out how to get out of these ropes, which left only one other way of escaping. He might not have been very smart, but he was tough, so he grabbed two parts of the rope and started to pull them apart with all of his strength. Slowly, the ropes began to snap under the strain, giving Gerald an escape from the trap.

As soon as he was free and on his feet, Gerald ran after Egg. The Lenny didn't have a chance to complain before he was being hoisted up and literally carried as Gerald ran to the fair.

"PUT ME DOWN!" Egg shouted.

"Not a chance!" Gerald said. "We're working together to fix this, whether you like it or not!"

Egg continued struggling to get free from Gerald's grip, but it was no good. He was stuck in his clutches. "Fine," Egg said, "Just let me do the talking." Egg was silent for a moment, "And the thinking," he then added.

That was fine by Gerald. He didn't want to have to do the thinking anyhow. Now they just had to get to the science fair and hope that the device could be repaired...

Author: dr_tomoe
Date: Mar 1st
...They arrived just as the last table was finishing their cleaning. The Mynci judge approached them. "Gerald! There you are. You forgot this." he said, handing the dreadful device to Gerald. He then peered at Egg. "Oh, and who's this?" he asked suspiciously.

"Just a friend, here to help me carry this home!" Gerald said, cutting in (a little too quickly) before Egg could say anything.

The Mynci still looked suspicious, seeing as how the device wasn't very large, but just said "Ah... very well, then," and began walking away. "Oh," the judge said, calling over his shoulder, "Remember that you only have thirty-five minutes left to return us to normal." Egg stood there looking shocked while Gerald assured the judge that it was no problem at all.

Once they were outside and out of earshot, Egg exploded. "Thirty-five minutes?!" he exclaimed angrily. "We can't even make it to HQ that fast! This is supposed to be secret work; we can't have a school board snooping around!"

While Egg was ranting, Gerald was growing more angry and feeling dumber by the second. "Enough!" he finally yelled. Surprisingly, Egg shut up. "I told him an hour back when I thought it was just a stupid science project. If you had told me what it really was, instead of running away crying, this whole mess would have been avoided!"

Egg just glared at him. "Well, fighting won't help us now. Let's hurry up and get to headquarters, before anything worse happens..."

Author: iprincessaly
Date: Mar 1st
..."And how, exactly, are we going to do that?" Gerald yelled. "We only have half an hour--"

"Be quiet," the Lenny snapped. "I'll call us a spaceship." He whipped out a tiny remote control and pressed the red button on it, sparking a string of bright lights and beeps that soon turned into a small flying disk that, almost as if by magic, seemed to instantaneously materialize in the middle of the sky.

"Come on," Egg said shortly, opening the door to the spaceship. "We've got to hurry."

***

Gerald glanced down the gleaming metallic hallway, feeling more self-concious with every passing second. HQ had turned out to be a little metal box -- for lack of a better word -- floating in the middle of space, and if he wanted to be very honest, it was the biggest disappointment ever.

"I thought we were going to the Space Station," Gerald said.

"Yeah, change of plans," Egg replied, whisking the Techo through a set of glass doors. "In here..."

Author: chocolate_lover67
Date: Mar 2nd
...Gerald tried to balk, the words setting off alarm bells in his head, but Egg proved to be stronger then he looked when the Techo didn't have the element of surprise on his side.

"Sorry, buddy," the Lenny said, "But I needed you to come with me willingly. It would have been a lot easier if you'd just stayed trapped in the ropes, but when you didn't, I needed to trick you."

He started at Egg suspiciously. "Why did you need to trick me?" he asked with a glare, then glanced around before asking sheepishly, "And... what did you trick me about?"

The Lenny rolled his eyes. "If I'd said come with me to a tiny facility in the middle of space, rather than the big, well-known Virtupets Space Station, would you have come?" he asked derisively.

Gerald shrugged. "Sure, why not?" he asked, eliciting an incredulous stare from Egg.

After an awkward moment, the Lenny shook himself and muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like "brainless fool," but Gerald couldn't understand the mumbled words.

"So why am I here?" he asked finally.

It was now Egg's turn to act a little sheepish. "Well... we hadn't exactly planned on needing to reverse the damage. The machine only went one way, and you're already 8-Bit, so I figured we could test solutions on you..." he trailed off.

With a double take, Gerald's mouth fell open. "YOU CAN'T TURN IT BACK?!?" he shouted, flabbergasted.

"I didn't say that!" Egg shot back defensively, and then took a deep breath. "Well... we don't know. Alex?"

A white Xweetok entered the room at the Lenny’s call. "What are you doing back so soon, Egg?"

"We've got a problem," he began, and then quickly informed his friend, who Gerald learned was named Alex Mart.

"Like smart alec, but backwards?" he'd asked, but only received a glare in response.

At the end of the sordid tale, the Xweetok scratched his head. "Well... I have a second machine, but I don't have an 8-Bit Reversification Device!"

"Can't you just, I don't know... invert the polarity ray or something?" Gerald asked, grasping at straws.

Alex and Egg stared at him for a moment, mouths slightly open. The Techo flinched; it might have been a dumb idea, but this wasn't his area of expertise! He was just flailing for technical jargon... they were the scientists.

Egg turned to Alex and raised his eyebrow. "Could that work?" he finally asked.

Alex bit his lip. "Uh... actually... yeah. Yeah, it could," he mumbled, scratching his head absently again.

Gerald's mouth fell open with an audible pop, but the two ignored him. Instead, they rushed out of the room, only to return a few minutes later with a device very similar to the one he had swiped from Egg earlier.

Muttering between themselves, the two poked, prodded, and adjusted the machine with tools they seemingly produced from nowhere. Gerald didn’t follow much of their conversation, but the two seemed generally satisfied.

After what felt like an eternity of watching the two fuss, something finally clinked into place and Alex nodded purposefully. "There!" he said, "Now, just hold still..."

Before Gerald could protest, the Xweetok flipped the machine on. From his perspective, the world seemed to pop to life -- everything took on a depth. He had begun to grow used to its absence, and the sudden return to reality startled him.

"It worked!" Egg and Alex cried happily in unison.

The Techo breathed a deep sigh of relief. "Thank Fyora!" he said vehemently.

"Now," Egg said, "Just one more thing to do..."

***

With a grin and a flourish, Gerald flipped the device on. The Mynci and the other judges, as well as the spectators, all popped back into three dimensions, leaving the 8-bit world behind -- all except one Chomby, who had left early after declining to go back to his original colour. Apparently he'd quite liked it.

"Well," the Mynci said, somewhat grumpily, "That's all well and good, but you're 16 minutes late."

Gerald's face fell, but then cleared. "That's okay, sir. I don't really deserve to win anyway."

The Mynci gawked, stammered an awkward acknowledgement, and then left. Slowly, the crowd dispersed.

Egg stared at him. "You told him the truth?"

"Well... sort of," Gerald said, and shrugged, "Lying didn't really get me anywhere I wanted to go anyway."

"No, I guess it didn't, did it?" the Lenny replied.

Gerald smiled. "Can I buy you a cup of Borovan? I think I owe you one."

Egg stared at him even harder before finally nodding. "Yeah, I think I'd like that... and maybe next year, I can help you with your project instead of you stealing one."

"I'd like that," Gerald replied, and then the pair headed towards the Catacombs for a cup of Borovan. It was an odd start to a friendship, but sometimes, the best friendships start that way.

The End

Author: agedbeauty
Date: Mar 2nd



Quick Jump

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12
Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16Week 17Week 18
Week 19Week 20Week 21Week 22Week 23Week 24
Week 25Week 26Week 27Week 28Week 29Week 30
Week 31Week 32Week 33Week 34Week 35Week 36
Week 37Week 38Week 39Week 40Week 41Week 42
Week 43Week 44Week 45Week 46Week 47Week 48
Week 49Week 50Week 51Week 52Week 53Week 54
Week 55Week 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60
Week 61Week 62Week 63Week 64Week 65Week 66
Week 67Week 68Week 69Week 70Week 71Week 72
Week 73Week 74Week 75Week 76Week 77Week 78
Week 79Week 80Week 81Week 82Week 83Week 84
Week 85Week 86Week 87Week 88Week 89Week 90
Week 91Week 92Week 93Week 94Week 95Week 96
Week 97Week 98Week 99Week 100Week 101Week 102
Week 103Week 104Week 105Week 106Week 107Week 108
Week 109Week 110Week 111Week 112Week 113Week 114
Week 115Week 116Week 117Week 118Week 119Week 120
Week 121Week 122Week 123Week 124Week 125Week 126
Week 127Week 128Week 129Week 130Week 131Week 132
Week 133Week 134Week 135Week 136Week 137Week 138
Week 139Week 140Week 141Week 142Week 143Week 144
Week 145Week 146Week 147Week 148Week 149Week 150
Week 151Week 152Week 153Week 154Week 155Week 156
Week 157Week 158Week 159Week 160Week 161Week 162
Week 163Week 164Week 165Week 166Week 167Week 168
Week 169Week 170Week 171Week 172Week 173Week 174
Week 175Week 176Week 177Week 178Week 179Week 180
Week 181Week 182Week 183Week 184Week 185Week 186
Week 187Week 188Week 189Week 190Week 191Week 192
Week 193Week 194Week 195Week 196Week 197Week 198
Week 199Week 200Week 201Week 202Week 203Week 204
Week 205Week 206Week 207Week 208Week 209Week 210
Week 211Week 212Week 213Week 214Week 215Week 216
Week 217Week 218Week 219Week 220Week 221Week 222
Week 223Week 224Week 225Week 226Week 227Week 228
Week 229Week 230Week 231Week 232Week 233Week 234
Week 235Week 236Week 237Week 238Week 239Week 240
Week 241Week 242Week 243Week 244Week 245Week 246
Week 247Week 248Week 249Week 250Week 251Week 252
Week 253Week 254Week 255Week 256Week 257Week 258
Week 259Week 260Week 261Week 262Week 263Week 264
Week 265Week 266Week 267Week 268Week 269Week 270
Week 271Week 272Week 273Week 274Week 275Week 276
Week 277Week 278Week 279Week 280Week 281Week 282
Week 283Week 284Week 285Week 286Week 287Week 288
Week 289Week 290Week 291Week 292Week 293Week 294
Week 295Week 296Week 297Week 298Week 299Week 300
Week 301Week 302Week 303Week 304Week 305Week 306
Week 307Week 308Week 309Week 310Week 311Week 312
Week 313Week 314Week 315Week 316Week 317Week 318
Week 319Week 320Week 321Week 322Week 323Week 324
Week 325Week 326Week 327Week 328Week 329Week 330
Week 331Week 332Week 333Week 334Week 335Week 336
Week 337Week 338Week 339Week 340Week 341Week 342
Week 343Week 344Week 345Week 346Week 347Week 348
Week 349Week 350Week 351Week 352Week 353Week 354
Week 355Week 356Week 357Week 358Week 359Week 360
Week 361Week 362Week 363Week 364Week 365Week 366
Week 367Week 368Week 369Week 370Week 371Week 372
Week 373Week 374Week 375Week 376Week 377Week 378
Week 379Week 380Week 381Week 382Week 383Week 384
Week 385Week 386Week 387Week 388Week 389Week 390
Week 391Week 392Week 393Week 394Week 395Week 396
Week 397Week 398Week 399Week 400Week 401Week 402
Week 403Week 404Week 405Week 406Week 407Week 408
Week 409Week 410Week 411Week 412Week 413Week 414
Week 415Week 416Week 417Week 418Week 419Week 420
Week 421Week 422Week 423Week 424Week 425Week 426
Week 427Week 428Week 429Week 430Week 431Week 432
Week 433Week 434Week 435Week 436Week 437Week 438
Week 439Week 440Week 441Week 442Week 443Week 444
Week 445Week 446Week 447Week 448Week 449Week 450
Week 451Week 452Week 453Week 454Week 455Week 456
Week 457Week 458Week 459Week 460Week 461Week 462
Week 463Week 464Week 465Week 466Week 467Week 468
Week 469Week 470Week 471Week 472Week 473Week 474
Week 475Week 476Week 477Week 478Week 479Week 480
Week 481Week 482Week 483Week 484Week 485Week 486
Week 487Week 488Week 489Week 490Week 491Week 492
Week 493Week 494Week 495Week 496Week 497Week 498
Week 499Week 500Week 501Week 502Week 503Week 504
Week 505Week 506Week 507Week 508Week 509Week 510
Week 511Week 512Week 513Week 514Week 515Week 516
Week 517Week 518Week 519Week 520Week 521Week 522
Week 523Week 524Week 525Week 526Week 527Week 528
Week 529Week 530Week 531Week 532Week 533Week 534
Week 535Week 536Week 537Week 538Week 539Week 540
Week 541Week 542Week 543Week 544Week 545Week 546
Week 547Week 548Week 549Week 550Week 551Week 552
Week 553Week 554Week 555Week 556Week 557Week 558
Week 559Week 560Week 561Week 562Week 563Week 564
Week 565Week 566Week 567Week 568Week 569Week 570
Week 571Week 572Week 573Week 574Week 575Week 576
Week 577Week 578Week 579Week 580Week 581Week 582
Week 583Week 584Week 585Week 586Week 587Week 588
Week 589Week 590Week 591Week 592Week 593Week 594
Week 595Week 596Week 597Week 598Week 599Week 600
Week 601Week 602Week 603Week 604Week 605Week 606
Week 607Week 608Week 609Week 610Week 611Week 612
Week 613Week 614Week 615Week 616Week 617Week 618
Week 619Week 620Week 621Week 622Week 623Week 624
Week 625Week 626Week 627Week 628Week 629Week 630
Week 631Week 632Week 633Week 634Week 635Week 636
Week 637Week 638Week 639Week 640Week 641Week 642
Week 643Week 644Week 645Week 646Week 647Week 648
Week 649Week 650Week 651Week 652Week 653Week 654
Week 655Week 656Week 657Week 658Week 659Week 660
Week 661Week 662Week 663Week 664Week 665Week 666
Week 667Week 668Week 669Week 670  


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!