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||You are on Week 554
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 Fifty Four Ends Friday, May 4
The Lost City was quiet - the air was heavy with the typical moisture of the tropics, but here it was always slightly cold. Despite his cheer and excitement as he tested the rope he'd tied to the rock outside the tomb, Lorengli found his paws to be feeling distinctly clammy.
Lorengli tapped the glowing worms in his lantern, speaking gently to them. "Come on, chums. Brighten up, will you? We've got some adventures to have!"
The Bori clamped the handle atop in the lantern and began to descend slowly. A true adventurer, he'd ignored the more 'obvious' entrance at the front of the tomb for a shortcut that his treasure-seeking nose had sniffed up for him.
In his mind, finding the true treasure was just a formality. He was already there. He could smell it, and his mouth watered.
Quickly he swallowed the extra saliva, lest it slicken his grip on the lantern and he drop it. That would be a terrible coincidence!
Lorengli tried to peer down into the inky blackness beneath him, but it was no use. Well, no matter! There had to be an end to this pit he was lowering himself into. Otherwise...
The Bori glanced upwards briefly to the tiny seeming dot of light above him. This time, he swallowed less out of practicality and more out of fear.
At last, the tip of his tail brushed something, and he swept it back and forth trying to ascertain the shape and the sturdiness of the object...
Date: Apr 30th
It didn't seem sturdy, that was for sure. In fact, the more that he brushed up against it, the more it seemed to just vanish. Wait, no. It wasn't vanishing, it was more wrapping around his tail. That was strange. And now he could feel something crawling up his back.
Lorengli suddenly started to squirm and fidget wildly and rapidly. He realized what he had just brushed up against... a Spyder's web! He grabbed the rope with only one hand and started to try and brush the Spyders off of him. It was his greatest shame as an adventurer and treasure hunter, but he had a deathly fear of Spyders.
"Get off! Get off! Get off!" Lorengli shouted at the Spyders as he kept brushing them off of him. His paw brushed up against one and he could feel it knock the Spyder off of him, but he kept brushing, still feeling their many legs crawling over him.
After a few minutes of getting the Spyders and their webs off of him, Lorengli could feel his composure returning and his breath stabilizing. And that's when he noticed that it was pitch dark. What had happened to his lantern?
It took a moment, but then he realized it. He must have dropped it while he was trying to get all the Spyders off of him. He didn't even think about it; it had just happened.
The Bori looked down, and was able to see a tiny glimmer of light a bit further down. Oh thank goodness, the lantern didn't break and it looked like solid ground wasn't that much further down.
With his composure returning, Lorengli continued to climb down the rope with confidence. And soon, he reached where he had dropped his lantern. Lorengli slightly pushed his foot down on the ground to make sure that it was stable, and once he was sure that it would hold, he let go of the rope and hopped onto the ground.
"Sorry about the bump, guys," the Bori said as he picked up the lantern, the worms inside shaken up from the fall.
"Now," Lorengli said to himself as he looked around and shone his light about, "what do we have here?"
It looked like he had arrived in a corridor of sorts. Looking around, he found that the light couldn't reach the end of either pathway, showing only darkness both forward and backwards.
"Well, here goes nothing," he thought to himself as he took a few steps forward...
Date: Apr 30th
...The Bori chose the dark corridor to his right, since he was right-pawed. It was a little silly, but Lorengli was very indecisive, and the only way he could make a decision quickly was to relate himself to the situation.
The corridor was dark, cold, and eerie. Although Lorengli was an expert advernturer, he still got the creeps every now and then. He extended his arm to get as much light as possible, but it was no use -- the path was simply too dark. Lorengli took small, cautious steps, and began to regret taking the right corridor. He'd already been walking for a good five minutes, but the Bori couldn't help be feel like he wasn't getting anywhere productive.
Suddenly, Lorengli heard a low and ghastly growl echo through the corridor. He stopped dead in his tracks and held his breath, afraid that any noise could cause his untimely demise. What in Fyora's name was that?!? he asked himself silently. The Bori's heart began to pound as his imagination started running wild.
The strange noise echoed again, only this time much closer than before. Lorengli took a small step backward and held the lantern behind his back. He tapped it lightly with one of his claws, silently begging the glow worms to dim themselves. Surprisingly, they seemed to understand his plea.
Footsteps could now be heard, meaning the creature would soon be face to face with Lorengli. He gulped in fear but refused to move. He'd traveled all the way to the Lost City from his home in Meridell, climbed down a secret passage from his rope and maneuvered his way around in the darkness. He wasn't about to run away in fear because of a few noises, was he?
Lorengli began to think of all the rumors he'd heard from his colleagues about The Deserted Tomb. There was the fabled ghost Hissi that guarded the treasure, and no one knew what would happen if the Hissi were to get a hold of some poor Neopet. There were also rumors of booby traps planted all over the tomb, but traps wouldn't be growling at him.
I can't just run away after I've come so far... he thought to himself. Meanwhile, whatever was accompanying him in the cave seemed to be slowly approaching; Lorengli was running out of thinking time.
Out of pure adrenaline, Lorengli yelled "Show yourself!" at the mysterious creature and held his lantern out in front of him again. The glow worms slowly began to light up, and the Bori's eyes widened when his lantern was at full illumination and revealed...
Date: May 1st
...nothing. Absolutely nothing, but the menacing growling was still reverberating in his ears. His breath caught in his throat as the heavy footsteps came closer, the growling grew louder -- and yet, still, nothing showed. The steps grew louder yet, so loud that he felt as if he should be staring down the maw of a vicious beast; on the floor, tiny pebbles and bits of jungle refuse rattled. Lorengli still saw nothing, however, alone in the room as his heart beat out an erratic tattoo in his chest and his breathing rasped through his lips.
Thump. Tha-wump. Thump. Tha-wump. The footsteps sounded massive, their volume echoing inside Lorengli until the Bori grew so frightened, so sure that a vicious monster was close at hand, that his lantern slipped from his hands for a second time. Disoriented from their fall the poor worms dimmed their glow as the lantern rattled around on the ground -- the booming footsteps, however, as well as the growling, ceased.
Catching his breath, he reached for the lantern with a mental apology to its poor occupants, but just as he came within a hairsbreadth of the handle, the lantern suddenly knocked into his hand. Lorengli drew back as if he'd been shocked or stung; had the lantern moved?
As he stared at the lantern, frozen, his mind registered tiny details clearly. The worms in the lantern were shaking slightly, clearly terrified; the glass pane on the lantern was periodically fogging and unfogging, almost as if someone, or something, was breathing on it.
The lantern rolled forward again, coming to a rest at Lorengli's feet. His heart seemed to freeze for a moment before hammering again at double speed; he was so scared that he thought he might be sick. Reaching down, all muscles quaking, he took a firm grip on the lantern, staring with wide, frightened eyes at the tiny worms inside. The lantern shook slightly in his hand, but his grip held firm.
That was no accident, he knew; something had nudged his lantern back to him. The footsteps, the growling -- he was definitely not alone. Something was close to him, very very close... but what?!?
"Who's there?" he called again, his voice breaking in an incredibly embarrassing manner.
The growling started again, but instead of footsteps, it was accompanied by an odd, yet regular, swooshing noise, and punctuated by the occasional... whining sound?
"Show yourself!" he demanded again. "It's not like you're..."
The Bori then blinked, comprehension suddenly dawning as if a veil in his mind had been torn aside.
"You're invisible, aren't you?" he asked the emptiness in front of him.
In reply, the growling and whining stopped, but the strange swooshing noise got even faster. As he wanted, tiny pebbles flung this way and that in front of him. Almost like... like... like something was wagging its tail!
Well well well. It seemed as if the Lost City had more than one secret, and while he could be wrong, this secret seemed to be on the friendly side; gulping noisily, he decided to find out. Steeling himself, he reached out a tremulous paw in front of him. To his surprise, he found something warm and fuzzy, yet definitely wholly invisible! It appeared as if his paw were resting on thin air, yet something there was definitely something solid and alive in front of him. The swooshing grew even faster, tiny stones flying every which way.
He smiled; he couldn't help it. Even without seeing the beast in front of him he knew it was radiating happiness. To think, he'd been frightened out of his wits just moments before! He patted the creature in front of him awkwardly, not sure how to pet something he couldn't see, but just then the most horrible crashing sound erupted further down the corridor...
Date: May 1st
...Lorengli felt the invisible creature shy away from his hand and, moving his palm a few inches lower, it became apparent to him that his new companion was crouched down in fear. The Bori gave the creature what he hoped was a reassuring pat and not just his hand shaking up and down in terror. He was growing numb from the feet up, and in truth could not be sure.
After a few seconds of deafening, bone-chilling quiet, Lorengli at last found the courage to breathe again. His invisible friend was quiet except, for its breath coming out in short, worried pants. Still too afraid to move, he stood stock-still, waiting to see if the crashing sound would be accompanied by anything else. Several minutes later the quiet went on undisturbed, and he focused on letting his heartbeat slow back to a normal pace and steeling himself to move forward.
Wanting to hear a friendly sound, he spoke to the creature, letting his fingers resume petting its soft, invisible fur, saying the only words that came to him, "That's a good boy..." The creature jerked its head away and half-growled, half-whimpered. Lorengli thought for a moment and then tried again, "Eh, girl?" The creature's wagging resumed, and her head found its way back to Lorengli's paw.
The quiet continued on as he stood there petting, even his pounding heart quieting at last. Still not ready to press on, he lifted his lantern up with his free paw and took a look at his glow-worms. They seemed to finally be relaxing, as well, and slowly returning to full illumination. Lorengli gave them an approving nod and turned his eyes back to the seemingly empty space in front of him, watching his paw pet what appeared to be thin air.
"What to call you..." he thought out loud, barely above a whisper but still taking comfort in the sound of his own voice. He thought back to simpler times, to the days of his youth when real adventuring was only a dream he practiced for in the safety of his yard with his own first pet. He smiled fondly, remembering the little Puppyblew he'd called, for some reason he couldn't quite remember, Sparklebomb. He chuckled softly at himself, thinking how silly that was. It was good enough in a pinch, though. Looking down toward the invisible creature, he proclaimed, "I dub thee Sparklebomb the Second." His invisible friend gave a delighted nod and some enthusiastic wagging. "Well, then, Sparklebomb, it seems we're in a bit of a pickle. You see, I came in through that--"
Sparklebomb interrupted his musings with a low growl that crescendoed into an urgent whine. "What's the matter, girl?" he asked, his paw finding the side of her face and resting there in the most reassuring way he could manage. Sparklebomb whined again, her tail stopping suddenly and completely. Lorengli started to kneel, but Sparklebomb made it clear that there wasn't time for any further resting when she took his sleeve in her mouth and began to pull. The Bori could hear his invisible friend's fur pressed hard against the corridor's wall as she began to lead him forward. He wondered for only a moment why she would be leading them toward the source of the sound that had frightened them so, and concluded that she must know something he didn't.
Sparklebomb, who was clearly feeling suddenly distressed by something he could not perceive, stopped occasionally to sniff the ground and air, but for the most part kept a quick pace that Lorengli had a little trouble keeping up with. Eventually he spoke, asking her, "Where in Geraptiku are you taking me? What is going on?"
Sparklebomb stopped short and yipped at him, a sound he immediately interpreted as, "Shut up, you fool!" So then he did, with an understanding nod, but Sparklebomb did not continue forward. Instead, she began to whine, and from the pulling on his sleeve he could tell that she was looking around and sniffing fervently in all directions.
Another crash that seemed much nearer than the last echoed down the corridor, and both he and Sparklebomb crouched low. The glow drained out of his worms in an instant, leaving them all in total darkness...
Date: May 2nd
...The darkness descended just in time, too, for no sooner was Lorengli crouched and hidden in its inky penumbra than the creator of the crashing and banging strode into view, lit faintly by a lantern that swung freely from a golden belt. The Bori could just barely make out the rough details of the form as it approached, but he was immediately overwhelmed by the immense size and obvious power of the figure.
Nearer it drew, and nearer yet, and as it did, Lorengli could feel Sparklebomb jump onto his lap, and it took both of the Bori's restraining hands to keep the small, quivering creature from giving away their position. And yet nearer did the figure stride, filling the corridor with its enormity.
When it came so near that Lorengli could have reached out and brushed its filthy leg-wrappings, its golden bracelets and scimitar-tipped staff, he was paralysed with a fear that could only be known to the Bori; for here, breathing the same stale air as Lorengli was the long-standing, and presumably vanquished, enemy of his kind... the Bringer of Night.
Lorengli's mind spun with terror and confusion, but he forced himself to concentrate on the figure which, perhaps having sensed the proximity of an interloper, now paused, raising his lantern to fill the dark shadows of the cavern. The Bori looked at the other, from the top of his golden headdress down to his cloven hooves, and knew that this was most definitely the famed, and infamous, Moehog who had once waged a most terrible war against the Bori, only vanquished by the heroic efforts of Armin...
You're no Armin, Lorengli's mind howled in protest. If the Bringer of Night yet lives, the Bori need a new hero, not a bumbling treasure-seeker.
I know that, Lorengli snapped back at himself impatiently. I need a minute to figure this out...
A minute was more than the Bori had, however, for as the Bringer of Night raised his lantern in their direction, the worms in the lantern at Lorengli's feet began to glow in sympathy and...
Date: May 2nd
...fear. The sudden glow of the lantern made the Bringer of Night stop short. He raised his own lantern menacingly. "Ah," he said, his face twisting into a wicked smile, "a little Bori adventurer has come to steal the treasure, eh?"
Lorengli was shivering in fear. He tried to control himself. "Y-yes, I have come for the treasure," he replied, then swallowed. "And I'm sure you want it too, right?" He'd guessed that either the Moehog had come here looking for the treasure or was guarding it... hopefully the former.
The Bringer of Night laughed, making Sparklebomb shiver in Lorengli's arms. "Well, of course! I already have the treasure, though..." His eyes now narrowed at the frightened Bori. "And I believe you have something of mine."
"E-excuse me?" Lorengli felt Sparklebomb squirm and twist in his paws -- trying, it seemed, to get down.
The Bringer of Night smiled cruelly. "And there she is..."
Date: May 3rd
...Sparklebomb's squirming finally succeeded in Lorengli's release, and he heard the scampering of paws across dirt as the invisible pet scampered back to her apparent owner.
Fantastic, Lorengli's inner conscience cried. I've successfully gotten lost in a tunnel and then run into one of Neopia's most heinous villains -- who, coincidentally, found me keeping his pet hostage. The Bringer of Night's eyes never left the Bori's until a small cloud of dust was stirred at his feet, signaling the return of his companion. He then bent down...
"There's my precious. Did you get lost in the scary tunnel?" the Moehog cooed softy.
Lorengli wasn't sure if he wanted to laugh or bolt in the opposite direction, but the oddity of the scene and the glint of the staff in the wormlight left him paralyzed to the spot.
After the Bringer of Night was apparently content that Sparklebomb was, indeed, alright, his eyes shot back up to catch Lorengli's and he grinned maliciously.
"I suppose you want some sort of reward now?" he asked mischievously.
"W-what?" Lorengli spluttered. "Oh, n-no... I--" he uttered, struggling to gather his thoughts. He suspected that the best reward would be permission to run in the opposite direction, but thought better than to make such a request.
"Follow me," the Bringer of Night said, turning, the light from his lantern obstructed by his enormity so that Lorengli was left in semi darkness with only his worms.
The Bori picked them up and, since he felt he had no other choice, began to follow the hulking silhouette...
Date: May 3rd
...The Bringer of Night lead Lorengli through turn after turn in the vast maze of corridors that made up the Geraptiku Tombs. Out of boredom, Lorengli began to count his rhythmic footsteps. 1001... 1002... 1003...
By footstep 1557, Lorengli had summed up enough courage to ask, "Where are we going?"
The silence only continued, though. The Bringer of Night hadn't said a word since Lorengli had begun to follow him.
Suddenly, the Bringer of Night stopped in his tracks. Nothing appeared to be different about this particular corridor; it was just as dark and creepy as the last...
The Bringer of Night tapped his staff on the ground and then candles suddenly lit up, lighting the rest of the hallway.
Lorengli could see a large glow at the end of it. That... that... must be my reward... or a terrible trap...
"Young... Bori," he said, almost spitting out the name, clearly still wanting revenge on Armin, who had humiliated him so long ago. "Seek your fortune."
Lorengli was a little timid, but a push from the Bringer of Night's menacing staff was all the motivation he needed.
Lorengli nervously crept through the hallway. He turned back to look at the Bringer of Night, who was still wearing the same disinterested look. Would he be sneering if this were a trap?
Turning back, Lorengli could now make out the strange glow. It was thousands of beautiful golden Neopoints! The fear that once predominated his mind was now replaced by fantasies of his new riches.
Lorengli reached for one of the Neopoints, but as soon as his claw touched it, it turned into a Spyder!
One by one, the rest of the Neopoints followed suit.
"NOT SPYDERS!" Lorengli cried as they began to crawl all over him.
Lorengli ran desperately for his life, but was stopped. Another tap from the Bringer's staff caused a large stone wall to appear, trapping Lorengli in a corridor with his worst nightmare.
"Sweet dreams..." the Bringer of Night sneered...
Date: May 4th
...Lorengli scraped at the stone wall with his claws, but it was no use. The Bringer knew what he was doing -- of course he did -- and Lorengli had walked right into his trap. He hadn't much time to feel foolish, though, for the Spyders were beginning to crawl up his legs. The Bori shrieked out in terror at the feeling. He was certain that his demise was drawing near, until...
Until he realized that Spyders couldn't really hurt him. Yes, they were revolting and slimy, and the sensation of them crawling along his fur made him want to scream his lungs out, but ultimately they were harmless creatures.
Slowly, he began to accept the fact that he was locked in his own tomb with a bunch of Spyders. After about a week he even became friendly with them, except for the crunchy few that he had to consume now and then to cure the rumbling of his belly.
Week after week, Lorengli lost touch with reality more and more. Sometimes he believed the Spyders were his family members, and that he was back home in Meridell. Sometimes he thought they were secretly scheming to destroy him behind his back. Occasionally, he was certain that he could hear Sparklebomb breathing softly in the corner of his cell, and that she had come to rescue him somehow.
The invisible Puppyblew never came, however, and on the day that he had to eat his last Spyder friend, it was with relief that he closed his eyes, lay down on the cold stone floor, and let himself be swallowed by the void.
The Bringer sat on his golden throne with a smile, his loyal Petpet curled up asleep on his lap.
A Bori. He had finally captured a Bori. Many foolish adventurers had fallen into his trap before, beguiled by the innocent nature of the transparent Puppyblew that he sent to sniff out invaders. Finally, though, he had captured a Bori, one to make up for the Bori that had defeated him so long ago and forced him to shamefully take retreat in this cold, hard prison for eternity. In his mind, he convinced himself that it was Armin's insane voice he could hear chattering away to a bunch of Spyders behind that wall.
It was a quiet triumph, but it danced through his heart like a victory parade.
Date: May 4th
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