Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 590
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 Ninety Ends Friday, January 25
|It wasn't that Evey found her job frustrating, but... well, okay, she found her job frustrating.
Manning the cash register at Hubert's Hot Dogs was more aggravating than she would have thought. The red Aisha did her best to smile brightly and not lose her temper as a young Chia began to deliberately smear mustard all over the brand new "Hubert's Hot Dogs" sign that hung under the condiments booth.
"Hubert!" Evey called. "Code yellow under the sauces!"
The ever-attentive Hubert monkeyed his way down from the roof of the hot dog stand, where he had been affixing hot-dog shaped balloons of various sorts. He batted the young Chia away with a large inflatable Megachilli Hot Dog. "Oi, get out of it! That's mustard, not paint!"
The Chia scampered off with a screeching giggle while Hubert attempted to clean the mustard-smeared sign, which now advertised that his hot dogs were "A-WAYS FRESH." Not an appetizing prospect, Evey reflected.
She turned her attention back to the task at hand, which was giving a senior Elephante (already munching on his Gherkin Hot Dog) his 12 Neopoints in change.
When she opened the cash register, though, it was empty.
"Hubert?" she called. "We have a problem..."
Date: Jan 22nd
...Hubert glanced at the empty drawer and shrugged.
"No problem," he replied. "Just pop on over to the Battle Magic shop and ask them for change. They won't mind."
Evey lifted a skeptical eyebrow. "And what exactly do I offer in exchange? The drawer is emp-TY, in case you hadn't noticed."
Hubert nodded sagely. "I did, in fact, notice just that. Thankfully, the proprietor of Battle Magic -- 'The Guardian,' he likes to call himself -- is a Grarrl with an appetite as big as Kiko Lake is deep. Run over a dozen of our finest dogs and he'll be more than happy to front you a few hundred Neopoints."
Evey sighed. She couldn't fault Hubert's logic; the fastest way to The Guardian's pocketbook was most certainly by way of his stomach. Looking at the clock over the door she realized that the lunch rush would be starting soon. She'd better get a move on or the customers would find themselves shortchanged!
Throwing together an enticing assortment of hot dogs containing a variety of ingredients, Evey trotted next door, the box of dogs in her hands. As she opened the door to the Battle Magic Shop, the smell of her wares obviously preceded her. The Guardian drifted toward her, eyes closed in delight and nose sniffing the air.
"Oh my... what is that ambrosial aroma?" he said with a sigh, eyes still closed. Evey looked at him warily, unconsciously backing up a pace.
"I'm Evey, from the shop next door," she responded, "and I need a favor..."
Date: Jan 22nd
..."What sort of favor do you need?" The Guardian said, taking another deep whiff of the hot dogs that Evey was carrying.
"We're having a bit of a Neopoint crunch over at the hot dog stand," Evey said, "so I was hoping you would be willing to buy some of these hot dogs for lunch."
The look on The Guardian's face turned from pleasure to disappointment. "Oh, so they're not gifts from Hubert?" he said, a twang of regret in his voice.
"I'm afraid not," Evey said.
"That's a shame, because now we have a problem," The Guardian said, his stomach suddenly rumbling as he sadly rubbed his gurgling belly.
"What sort of problem?" Evey asked, not liking where this conversation was suddenly going.
"See," the Grarrl sadly said, "I'm out of Neopoints right now, too. I just had to give the last of my change to someone buying some Chilli Chucks. I don't have a spare Neopoint on me to cover lunch."
Evey couldn't believe it! What was she going to tell Hubert? Also, what was she going to do about the lunch rush?
"Isn't there anything you can do?" Evey said in desperation.
It seemed like a light suddenly turned on in the Grarrl's head. "Actually, yes, there is," he said suddenly. "The Breadmaster at the Bakery has a tab with my shop that's due today. One of his cousins had a birthday and he got him a few starting weapons. If you stop by and ask him to pay his tab, then that should be enough to cover those delicious-smelling hot dogs."
Evey looked at the clock in the Battle Magic Shop. Maybe if she hurried she could get there and back before the lunch rush started. "Alright!" she said, heading out once again, this time to the Bakery. "I'll be back soon..."
Date: Jan 23rd
...As she walked to the Bakery, Evey wished she could have left the box of hot dogs behind -- the weight was beginning to put a strain on her arms -- but she decided that there might not be anything more foolish than leaving a box of her boss' most delicious offerings in the care of a hungry Grarrl. With a sigh, she placed the box on her hip as she heaved open the door to the Bakery.
The scent that hit her was more delicious than even Evey was used to at Hubert's; the air in the shop was warm and heavy with spices and sugar. Hearing the bell chime over the entrance, the Breadmaster turned and said, "Yo. How can I help you?"
Evey, mindful of time slipping away quickly, explained her situation, starting with the empty till at her own shop and ending with the Guardian's suggestion that she ask the Breadmaster to come pay his tab. Overall, Evey was having a more aggravating day than usual.
The Breadmaster wiped flour from his hands with a white towel and shrugged. "I'd like to help you, but my cash register is also empty. After being so busy throughout the month of Celebrating and the Day of Giving, no one seems to come by the Bakery for a while. 'Counting carbs' seems to be the thing at the beginning of every year," the Breadmaster said, hooking his fingers into dismissive air quotes. He soon chuckled, though, and added, "But they'll be back. They always are by Valentine's Day."
Crestfallen, Evey asked, "Is there no way you can help me?" Mischievously, she thought to add, "I'd sure hate to disappoint The Guardian... you know, go back and tell him that you won't be in, and that he won't be getting these hot dogs..."
"Yo, wait," the Breadmaster interjected. "I'll tell you who will have lots of Neopoints right now. Quinton over at the Health Food Shop. Right now, what with New Year's resolutions and whatnot, everyone is buying from that lucky Quiggle, but they'll be back here soon enough. Tell you what," the Breadmaster said, lowering his voice, "you bring Quinton a basket of my chocolate chip cookies, and I guarantee you he'll buy them. Don't look so surprised; you think he lives on Sprout Wraps alone?" Putting together a beautiful basket of cookies, the Breadmaster said, "You sell these to Quinton and bring the money back to The Guardian. All right?"
Evey felt like she had no other choice, so after the Breadmaster balanced the basket of cookies on top of her box of hot dogs, she backed her way out of the door. As she started to cross the Neopian Bazaar, she thought she heard a screeching giggle...
Date: Jan 23rd
...Instinctively, she hunched over her box of hot dogs and tray of cookies. It really wouldn't do to drop the cookies on the ground and be out of luck again.
Certain that her goods were safe, she chanced a look around the bazaar, and her heart sunk. Oh, no! she thought. There was a rather large, boisterous crowd approaching Hubert's. The Mynci was already flying around expertly, balancing mustard in his paws and squirting an extra dab of ketchup with the bottle clutched in his tail.
Biting her lip, Evey was torn. Should she pop back over to see if the Mynci needed help, or should she continue the errand for the Breadmaster?
Sighing, she decided she should probably ask Hubert where he needed her most. She rushed over, still protecting her packages, reasoning that the hot dog stand was on the way to the Health Food Shop anyway.
It didn't end up mattering. Hubert spotted her first, and upon noticing her packages, called out, "What! You haven't finished yet? Don't drag your feet now! Customers are starting to come in. Come back quickly, before they finish their lunch!"
Feeling affronted, Evey stopped up short, and resisted the urge to stick her tongue out. She was the one running around the bazaar when it was humming with life! As if she wanted to be protecting cookies and hot dogs and exchanging errands just to fill the register right now.
As much as the moment frustrated her, at least she wasn't the one directly dealing with the hoards of customers for the time being... and really, Hubert meant well. She knew she could have a worse boss, and Hubert was likely as annoyed by the situation as she was.
Cheered by her mental pep talk, she picked up her feet and hurried over to the Health Food Shop. She barely managed to push her way inside, mumbling "Excuse me!" to a Chia she was sure she had accidentally bumped with the door, and she realized that the Breadmaster wasn't joking. The shop was jam-packed full, with eager Neopians elbowing each other to get the last Parsnip Sandwich or bartering with Quinton over the price of a bunch of Organic Broccoli.
Putting a protective paw in front of her packages, she pushed her way forward, not even bothering to say "excuse me" now; no one was paying any attention to her, anyway, as they were so focused on the wares Quinton was continuing to stock on shelves that were emptying faster than he could keep track.
Evey liked the green Quiggle. She didn't see him much, but on slower nights, when Hubert let her walk around the bazaar, she would venture into the Health Food Shop. Quinton was always quick to offer her a smile and a quick taste of a fresh Organic Cherry when no one else was looking. She wasn't sure how her offering of cookies in a busy store like this would go over, and she was hoping that the goodwill they had generated by being neighbors in the bazaar would carry over into this transaction.
"Ah, hello!" Quinton said, seeing Evey as she approached the cash register in the back of the shop. "I'm surprised Hubert let you get away right now. Shouldn't you be helping out?" he said, teasing her.
This is what she liked about him. Quick witted and observant, but never cruel.
She looked down at the package of cookies in her hand. Wrapped in a simple brown cardboard box and tied up with a thin brown rope, it was innocuous. If Quinton really did buy cookies with as much gusto as the Breadmaster had hinted at, then maybe she wouldn't have to say much. Evey would hate to embarrass him in his own shop.
Leaning over the counter, she quickly told him of her morning's activities, ending with, "And then the Breadmaster thought you would be willing to buy some... organic flour." She raised her eyebrows at the last bit, hoping Quinton would catch on.
"Ah, how nice of him. Surely, though, you understand that I can't possibly take accurate stock of my flour needs during such a busy time.
"Tell you what," Quinton continued, after seeing the flash of despair cross Evey's face, "the Smoothie Store put in an order for some Cinnamon Honey Sticks this morning. I haven't had time to run over there yet." He waved his paws about, as if the reason was obvious. It was. "The payment for the honey sticks should cover the cost of the 'flour,' and by the time you get back, it should have cleared out a bit."
Evey looked at the clock and groaned. Of course the shop would be emptier then. The lunch hour was half over already, and she had spent it running around town! She hoped Hubert still had everything under control.
She couldn't blame Quinton, though. His slogan was "Lovely, lovely, healthy food!" Of course he couldn't risk being seen purchasing delicious, chocolaty, fresh cookies.
Nodding her assent, she took the roll of Cinnamon Honey Sticks and slid it on the box of hot dogs, tucked in next to her body to prevent them from rolling around.
Darting back out of the store, she stepped into the bazaar and saw...
Date: Jan 24th
...the Kiko known as the proprietor of the illustrious Chocolate Factory, who was standing not very far from his shop. Seeing Evey out of the corner of his eye, he turned and faced her, and then immediately started toward her... Evey groaned inwardly. This lunchtime only gets more and more stressful, she decided with languish.
"You there," he called cheerily in the Aisha's general direction.
Sighing, she approached him. The two met not far from the Toy Shop.
"You there," the Kiko reiterated, to which Evey nodded her head gingerly, "seem not to be entirely busy."
Evey was dumbfounded by the Kiko's statement; she even glanced at her arms to ensure she was still carrying the boxes. In what universe wasn't she busy?
The Kiko continued to stare at her, a disconcerting smile present on his face.
Apparently, in his universe...
"Anyway," the Kiko continued, "I have a task for you."
The Aisha almost screamed. Quickly regaining her composure, she politely and curtly responded, "Do you?"
"Well, if you desire it," the chocolatier announced casually. "I'll pay you in Neopoints if you successfully carry it through."
Evey's eyes widened. Perhaps this could solve all of her -- and, she supposed, half the Bazaar's -- problems!
The Kiko took the widening of her eyes as bewilderment apparently generated from his proposition. "Don't worry," he hastily added, "I don't pay in chocolate -- I'm not that eccentric." He gave her an almost alluring smile, and then his demeanor shifted to something a little more judgmental. "Of course, if you can't carry through with the task, I'll gladly find someone else..."
"Er, no," the Aisha said quickly. "I'm, uh... quite inclined to accept your offer. What would such a 'task' entail, though?"
"Are you familiar with Hubert's Hot Dogs?" the Kiko asked.
Evey's eyes widened once again. Feigning a smile, she complacently nodded. "Of course I know it's location." Did he know she worked there? She supposed she would soon find out...
"Well," he continued, "Hubert owes me quite a bit of money."
Evey's morale collapsed. Her entire afternoon seemed like an endless cycle...
"Are you familiar with the Chocolate Dipped, and Chocolate Hot Dog?" the Kiko inquired. "Well, the Chocolate Factory supplies the chocolate to ensure their creation, and Hubert's behind on his payments."
The Aisha was quite familiar with them -- they were some of the more popular dogs they sold. "When was the last time you received payment?"
"The last time we spoke was about a month ago," the Kiko replied. "Hubert could make back the money he owes me in a few busy lunchtime shifts, but recently he's been concerned with hiring new staff and generally renovating the facility."
Evey thought about the sign the Chia had dirtied with mustard -- how long had that been present? She then stared at herself -- how long had she worked there? About... three weeks.
"So, I want you to go down there, request... say, a third of what he owes me -- about 5,000 NP -- and bring it to me. In turn, I'll grant you 1,000 NP. I'd do the task myself, but... well, it is the lunch hour rush, right?" he said, smiling. "If he doesn't pay me that sum TODAY, you can tell that Mynci I'll supply him with chocolate no longer!" Fury seemed to cascade over his eyes. He then calmed. "To the same reward, of course."
The Aisha just glared at him, and she realized she was beginning to grow weary.
"Er..." she mustered.
The Kiko was beginning to lose his patience. "Well," he said, "as I said, if you can't do it, I'll find someone else."
That was probably bad. The chocolate hot dogs were very popular -- losing them could only hurt the shop. She realized, then, that she had to accept the offer, and stall for as long as she could while she sorted out this mess.
"I'll accept," she said reluctantly, though feigning enjoyment.
"Splendid!" the Kiko replied emphatically. "Return to the Chocolate Shop before lunchtime's over, please."
Hopefully, Evey thought as she waited for the Kiko to leave, this mission can yield Hubert enough Neopoints to satisfy the rest of the lunch crowd -- allowing him to gain even more Neopoints -- in addition to supplying some excess for the chocolatier.
After he was out of sight, the Aisha dashed toward the Smoothie Store...
Date: Jan 24th
...Once again, Evey found herself aggravated by that high-pitched, screeching giggle as she made her way to the Smoothie Store. "Doesn't anyone ever keep an eye on that kid?" she muttered to herself.
It took some shifting and precarious balancing of her packages for the Aisha to grab and open the door to the store, and when she entered, she couldn't believe what she saw. In a cloud of noxious green smoke stood that darkest of faeries herself, Jhudora, obviously in the middle of an argument with the pale-looking Tuskaninny that runs the shop. The faerie looked even angrier than usual, and her eyes flashed a warning at Evey as she slowly approached the counter. Only the urgency of her own situation gave Evey the courage to interrupt.
"I'm sorry," Evey said hesitantly, "but I have a delivery? Your Cinnamon Honey Sticks from Quinton? At the Health Food Shop?"
The Tuskaninny gave a weak smile and said, "I'll be with you in a moment. I'm just trying to explain to this, erm, customer that I can't make her a Chocolate Chip Cookie and Mustard Smoothie, because they don't exist. I don't have Chocolate Chip Cookies or mustard in the shop. It isn't possible."
Jhudora raised her arms threateningly and thundered, "No one says 'no' to me. You will make me a Chocolate Chip Cookie and Mustard Smoothie or I will turn you into a Mortog!"
With a flash of inspiration, Evey interrupted, "Wait a minute, I think I can help." She placed her packages on the counter and began to open the one from the Breadmaster. "Here, I have some lovely fresh Chocolate Chip Cookies, straight out of the oven at the Bakery this morning."
The Tuskaninny heaved a sigh of relief and said, "If you have some mustard in there, too, you can just name your price. I, ah, would obviously be in your debt."
Jhudora lowered her arms, crossing them over her chest impatiently.
Evey reached into her box of hot dogs and began going through them. "Okay, we have a Chilli And Cheese Hot Dog, no... a, um Sushi Hot dog, no, no mustard on that. A Taco Hot Dog, Honey Coated, Double Dung." Her heart sank. Looking up at the others, Evey said, "I don't seem to have any mustard in here."
Jhudora's eyes burned with such malice that Evey took a step backwards. Nearing the exit, she heard that giggling again from outside and it made her feel as angry as Jhudora looked. To herself, Evey seethed, "That young Chia has been on my nerves all day, running around the Bazaar unattended. Ever since he used up all the mustard at the Hot Dog shop and smeared it on Hubert's... mustard! I bet he's covered in it!" Aloud she trumpeted, "I know where to get some mustard! Just hold on a second, I'll be right back..."
Date: Jan 25th
...She set down the boxes. The Smoothie Store was not busy in the slightest -- whether that was due to the lunchtime rush being over or to Jhudora being there she could not say, though she desperately hoped the former -- and seemed a safe enough place to leave her articles.
The Aisha then ran toward the doors.
"You'd better be right--" Jhudora shouted at Evey, the last part cut off from the Aisha's hearing as the door closed behind her.
The Aisha approached the Hot Dog Stall.
"Evey!" Hubert shouted to her as she neared the stand. "There's 15 minutes left in the lunchtime rush!" He looked like a total mess.
"Sir, I've been trying--"
"And I'VE been forced to turn down customer after customer who doesn't have exact change -- which is almost every one! I'm losing serious money here!" The Mynci was clearly in a frenzy, causing distress and fear amongst the passerbys.
"Where's the box?" Hubert inquired. "Did The Guardian take the dogs?" His demeanor shifted, his agitation resolved into tranquility. "Do you have the funds?"
"SIR!" Evey practically yelled at him. "Everything is going to be alright, so long as you can answer the following question."
The raising of her voice stunned the Mynci, and he merely nodded his head.
"Where is your mustard-covered smock?" she asked him slowly.
"I just washed it," Hubert said. "Why? Do we desperately need mustard or something?"
Evey wanted to scream. She wanted this day to be done; she wanted this ordeal to be over.
Then came that annoying giggle again... but wait. Something seemed off about it.
The youngster approached the stand... guided by an older Chia that appeared to be his mother. She seemed to be carrying something... and he wasn't laughing -- no, he was whimpering.
The two arrived at the shop. "I understand that my boy was causing quite a fair bit of trouble at your Hot Dog Stand," the mother started, "wasting all the mustard. Well, I came by to say sorry, and to give you this." She opened the bag, revealing a vat of mustard.
Evey immediately lit up with joy. Quickly, she thanked the Chia, explained that she worked there, and then took the vat and ran to the Smoothie Shop.
"Here's your mustard!" Evey called as she entered the doors.
Jhudora lit up. She immediately retrieved a cookie from the Aisha's parcel and used some spell to generate 10 cookies. The faerie then gave those and the mustard to the Tuskaninny, who promptly whipped up Jhudora's smoothie.
The faerie tasted it... and smiled mischievously. "Disgusting," she said. "Just the way I like it." With that, she tipped Evey a fair sum of Neopints and was off.
"Thank you!" the Tuskaninny exclaimed. "Have this to show my gratitude." He handed her 2,500 NP.
She gave him the honey sticks, and he gave her another 500 NP.
She dashed out of the shop...
She gave Quinton the money. The Quiggle then bought the rest of the cookies...
She gave the Breadmaster the money, who then gave it to her to pay for The Guardian's tab...
She gave The Guardian the money, who then used it to pay for his lunch of Hubert's Hot Dogs...
She gave Hubert the money, who used the Neopoints in the remaining 10 minutes left in the lunch hour to serve all the hungry customers.
By the time everything was done, there was just over 5,000 NP in the till.
Explaining the situation about the chocolatier to Hubert -- who, for some reason, didn't seem surprised -- she took 5,000 NP and ran toward the Chocolate Shop.
"You're late," the Kiko said as she walked in.
"Does that really matter?" she replied with a twinkle in her eye as she set down the bag filled with 5,000 NP.
He lit up. "I suppose not. Splendid! And here's your 1,000 NP reward." He handed 1,000 NP back.
Evey walked out of the Chocolate Shop, happy that the day was done. She would give the money to Hubert, as well as set some of tomorrow's wages aside, "Just to ensure something like this never happens again," she said aloud to herself.
She returned to the Hot Dog stand, requested the rest of the day off (which Hubert granted her), and returned to her Neohome, where she slept through the rest of the day until morning...
Date: Jan 25th
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!