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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 601
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Week 603

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 Six Hundred Two Ends Friday, April 19

It had been a long winter. Even after the calendar had said it was supposed to be spring, there was a raw chill to the air as the sun seemed content to hide behind a steely, gray cloud. Finally, spring had chosen to make her appearance, and Sabrina decided it was certainly better late than never. The Kougra smiled, as she looked up at the blue sky and allowed the warming rays of the sun to fall upon her face. Beneath her feet, the grass was turning green and soft and there was the faintest smell of flowers on the breeze. This was her favorite time of year.

She was also glad because this was the time of year when her job at the greenhouse was the most active. There were few things that made her happier than to plant some tiny seed beneath the warm soil so that she could watch it grow. It was the perfect job for her, and she couldn't imagine herself doing anything else. The only thing she would change if she could was her boss, Mr. Leo. The hateful Elephante cared far more for Neopoints than plants, and would often quarrel at her for things over which she had no control. Still, he stayed in his office outside of the greenhouse most of the time and allowed her to do as she pleased with the plants. He was only a minor annoyance.

This particular day blossomed as a brilliantly warm and sunny day, and it seemed as if everyone in Meridell had caught spring fever. She had been busy all day selling Pebeanjay Flowers, musical Song Flowers, and even a particularly large order of her personal favorite, Rainbow Morning Flowers. She happily hummed a tune while waiting on each customer.

Toward lunch she had a lull in the steady stream of customers, so she prepared to take a short break and eat the Tigersquash Sandwich she had brought with her. As she sat on a stool, Sabrina noticed a large white envelope was sitting on the counter. Curious, she picked up the envelope and saw there was no writing on the outside, so she had no idea who it belonged to or if it was intended for someone. To the best of her knowledge, it hadn't been sitting there before. Seeing that it was unsealed, she opened up the envelope to peer inside.

There were three large, purple seeds unlike any she had seen before. Frowning slightly, she poured the seeds out into her paw to get a better look. She could recognize most seeds almost immediately, but something about these were strange.

She jumped when they touched her paw, for the seeds were unusually warm and moist. It almost felt as if they were living creatures that could move on their own. "What are you?" she whispered aloud.

"Sabrina!" Mr. Leo suddenly yelled. "What are you doing just sitting around?"

The Kougra whirled around, surprised to see her boss standing so close. For a big fellow, he sure could move quietly. "I was just taking my lunch break, sir," she answered.

Mr. Leo wrinkled his forehead, "Well, finish it up soon. I don't want any customers seeing you just sitting around." His attention fell to the seeds. "And hurry up and get those seeds planted before they dry out."

"Yes sir," Sabrina replied as he walked back out to his office. Placing her sandwich on the counter, she decided to go ahead and plant the strange seeds. After all, she was curious as to what sort of plant could come from such seeds...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Apr 15th
...It took her a little while to decide where to plant them. After all, she didn't know what kind of plant these seeds would become -- did it prefer sunlight or shade? Did it like to grow in bunches, or did it require space to thrive?

In the end, she settled for a generic setup: a generously-sized patch (they were pretty big seeds, after all) that got plenty of sunlight. She carefully placed the seeds apart from each other, gently sculpting the dirt back over them. She was excited to see them grow, but not overly worried about her choice. Something about those seeds just thrummed with life. They would persist; of that, she was certain.

What kind of flowers would they make, though? Sabrina loved her job -- over a period of weeks, she got to nurture beautiful things. It was a labor of love, coaxing gorgeous blooms from tiny, shy seeds, but she always knew what the results of her work would be -- brilliant Snap Draiks or Kougra Lillies, pristine White Lulus, or cheerful clusters of Pebeanjays... she loved them all, but they were well-tread ground for her. These, on the other hand --she didn't know what might burst from those verdant seeds, and it was like experiencing the joy of cultivating a flower for the very first time, all over again. Oh, she was so grateful to whoever had sent those seeds! If only she could thank them...

"Stop lazing around!" Mr. Leo barked. She jumped; she hadn't seen him hovering over her. "You've got work to do and plants to pot, and I'm not paying you to daydream!"

She held back a sigh. "Yes, Mr. Leo," she said, and returned to work, giving the freshly-dug patch one last glance.

***

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. Sabrina planted seeds, arranged floral displays, sold all kinds of flora to aspiring gardeners, and was heckled by her eternally-grumpy boss. He had seemed even more irritable than usual, and she was relieved when she finally went home. There, she enjoyed dinner with her older brother Marq. Tuckered out from the day's work, she took a well-earned night's sleep straight after.

When she returned to the greenhouse the next morning, however, she saw that the mysterious seeds...

Author: dianacat777
Date: Apr 15th
...had already sprouted. "Oh my!" Sabrina gasped, crouching down to peer at the flower bed. Most of her plants sprouted white or green, their stalks unfurling in delicate whorls toward the sun. These seeds, however, had sprouts of a bright, vivid pink, which zigzagged up from the soil like lightning bolts. Sabrina extended a paw to touch one gently, and squeaked when the sprout curled around her paw, moving all on its own!

Her heart beat loudly enough to drown out a stampede of Kiiyaks. She used one claw to untangle the sprout from her paw. It sproinged back into shape, wiggling as if to wave at her.

She slumped back and let out a nervous laugh. "Good morning," she said weakly. What are you? she thought to herself.

Shaken, she stood and brushed off her skirts, then went on with her morning chores. Mr. Leo was away today, so she was able to tend to her plants in peace, but thoughts of the strange seeds nagged at her, popping up all morning. She couldn't resist the urge to check on them again at lunchtime.

When she saw them, her eyes went wide. The sprouts had grown twice as tall! That wasn't all, though. Instead of being lightning-bolt-shaped, they were now shaped like...

Author: biscuitqueen
Date: Apr 16th
...Dr. Sloth.

"What a most peculiar species of plant," the Kougra mused as she observed the unmistakable silhouette of Frank's face. Why in Neopia would they adopt the likeness of such an evil "genius"?

A thought struck her. Perhaps these plants were a product of the doctor himself, evil perennials destined to subjugate Neopians everywhere?

Nah... what a silly idea.

She looked over the plants again. Dr. Sloth's features now seemed much less... prominent, like she had imagined them.

She then imagined her boss yelling to her "Get back to the customers!" as she noticed a red Quiggle entering the main area of the greenhouse.

After a quick bite of another sandwich -- it was lunchtime, after all -- she left the seedlings and returned to the store-front.

***

She returned to the back room just as it was time to close shop, unable to kick the nagging suspicions she had as to the plants' origin.

Sabrina gaped as she witnessed the majestic monstrosities that the seedlings had grown into.

The bushes were about three feet tall, with coarse pink leaves -- each shaped like Sloth -- and hot red flowers.

They seemed to notice her presence, and almost gravitated toward her.

Sabrina gulped as she gingerly approached them. She stuck out her hand to touch the bushes. "What are you?" she whispered.

The bushes seemed to understand the inquiry. Suddenly, one of the flowers opened wide, and a ball of fire leapt from what seemed to be a mouth. It went right through the window and shattered it.

The Kougra's eyes grew wider...

Author: rielcz
Date: Apr 16th
...as the flower swiveled around on its stalk, now pointing directly at her.

"Oh, Fyora," she squeaked out in fear. Sabrina barely managed to duck in time as the deceptively dainty red petals spat out another ball of fire. "I have to get out of here!" she said and then she spun on the spot, anxious to get away from the atrocious plants.

In her panic, she hadn't noticed that a purple root had wrapped itself around her left leg. Yelping, she fell to the ground, paws scrabbling for purchase on the loose dirt as the root began to drag her back.

Sabrina's heart thudded in her chest, blood rushing in her ears, as she desperately twisted around to see what was going on with her leg. Her breath rushed out in a relieved whoosh as she saw the tendril had only managed to grasp her boot. With a few vicious kicks she shook off her boot and the root's grip with it.

Stumbling to her feet, she ran, a fireball rocketing past her ear and singeing the fur. The door of the greenhouse crashed open with an ear-shattering crack of glass as she barreled through it.

A moment later, Sabrina found herself on the ground again, dazed from a sudden collision.

"Are you alright?"

Stunned, she looked up to see...

Author: crystallus
Date: Apr 17th
...Mr. Leo standing over her with a worried look on his burly face. It didn't seem to suit him. He was holding a half-eaten hot dog and wearing strangely casual clothing.

"Oh!" Sabrina said in alarm, jumping up quickly. "No, no... I mean, yes! Yes, I'm, er... fine!" She glanced around at the greenhouse.

"You're not having any trouble with that.. new plant, are you?" Mr. Leo asked kindly, even offering her the rest of his food. Sabrina hurriedly refused, giving him a stunned look as she did.

"Oh, uh, what makes you think that?" Sabrina asked sheepishly, patting off the dirt that had accumulated across the front of her clothing before finding herself face-full of it in another moment.

Sabrina heard glass shatter and an ear-piercing shriek before she looked up and saw the plant -- now ginormous and flailing -- crawling its way out of the greenhouse and toward her.

"Oh, nothing really..." Mr. Leo replied from the ground opposite her. "Just the great, rampaging killer plant in my greenhouse!"

The plant looked at the Elephante closely before...

Author: gloomrain
Date: Apr 17th
...shooting another fireball in their direction. Sabrina jumped behind a wheelbarrow that was sitting on its side in hopes of finding a little protection from the mad plant as she looked about desperately for Mr. Leo.

Her jaw dropped when she saw her boss nimbly jumping about and avoiding the balls of fire. The plant was still crawling toward him, but it seemed as if it was actually hesitant somehow. As she watched, Mr. Leo quickly disappeared into his office -- the office that he had never allowed her to step foot inside.

"I don't think he'll be safe in there," she mumbled to herself as she began to plan some manner in which to help the Elephante.

The door to the office then flew open, and Mr. Leo nimbly jumped out, holding a massive sword that glistened in the sun. "I've been waiting a long time for this day," he announced, a strange smile upon his normally gruff face.

Sabrina couldn't help but notice that her boss looked different, and it wasn't just his style of clothing. He looked like...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Apr 18th
...something from an epic action adventure.

This wasn't the Mr. Leo that she had known. His eyes held an inextinguishable fire that she'd never noticed before. Plates of ornately carved obsidian covered his form as he approached the apparent leader of the killer plants cautiously.

"And so, we meet again." Mr. Leo bellowed assertively.

To Sabrina's horror, the plant unfurled its leaves to reveal sharp, elongated canines.

"Ah, Leo. So it seems..." the plant said slowly.

"We'll finish this once and for all!" Mr Leo yelled as he charged swiftly toward the plants, his sword pointed in the direction of his foes' captain.

The plants wasted no time before shooting a barrage of fireballs in his direction. Mr. Leo dodged them swiftly; this only renewed his determination and vigor.

The plant boss...

Author: ce1in3
Date: Apr 18th
...curled and condensed unto itself.

It seemed to be retracting its vines, leaves, and flowers, closing up. Sabrina watched in shock; the crash of the fireballs ceased as the Elephante advanced on the plant. This can't be happening, Sabrina thought. Plants only do that when they're dying. Getting to her feet, she watched carefully. The plant boss continued to twine within itself. Then came the blast.

It was loud, deafening. Sabrina screeched and fell back onto her knees as the plant burst. Its vines rejuvenated, its flowers grew twice in size as fire spewed from their petals.

"Mr. Leo! Where are you? Mr. Leo?!? Leo!" Sabrina screamed his name as she tried to catch a glimpse of her superior. She then saw him, just as he was about to strike, his massive form swinging down the sword. It shattered upon impact, and an unsettling screech emitted from the plant, dying down into an ominous laugh.

"Leo, Leo, Leo... I thought you'd know better than that," the plant crooned slowly, its vine-like appendages crawling slowly toward its victim.

The Elephante braced himself as he reached into his jacket and pulled out...

Author: bheans
Date: Apr 19th
...a very tiny Negg-shaped device. "Push the button!" he roared at his employee before tossing it over.

The growls caused by the plant, coupled with swirling winds that had suddenly risen, caused the Kougra to only see her boss mouth the words.

At least she could make them out.

Sabrina instantly realized the whereabouts of the button -- it was a very large, resplendent thing, taking up most of the side. She pressed it.

Nothing happened.

Examining the little thing carefully, rolling its metallic structure over in her hands, she noted on the surface opposite the button -- she supposed it was the back -- an engraving of Sloth's head. The Kougra reasoned it must be some sort of superweapon, but what it did she could not be sure of.

She looked back at her boss for additional clues.

"It needs fuel to run properly!" he shouted at her. This time, he was audible.

"What does it need?" she yelled back, evidently stressed.

"Just go to the Health Foods Shop!" the Elephante exclaimed. "The Quiggle will know what to do!"

Sabrina left her superhero boss alone to fight the menacing plant while she headed to the shop.

She discovered the small device opened like a locket -- it had a small latch near the top. She just needed to find the correct thing to put in it.

The Kougra arrived at the shop. She handed the device over to him. His face turned pale. "Quinton," Sabrina asked him, "my boss said--"

"Cease your explanations," he said, hurriedly cutting her off. "I know all about this." He gazed sadly toward the ground. "I'll get what you need."

***

Sloth woke up in his chair with a start. "What?" he inquired to no one in particular. He then sunk back down. "Curses," he mumbled.

"What, sir?" his loyal Grundo servant Esterhazy cheerily inquired from the other side of the room. He then sheepishly added, "You were talking in your sleep again."

Sloth folded his arms, his face cross. "I always wake up just before I learn--"

"Here, sir," Esterhazy interrupted as he brought his master a cup of tea. "I've added a few drops of Slumberberry Potion -- it should have you asleep again soon."

Sloth downed the drink and quickly returned to a state of relaxation.

***

Sabrina ran back to where her boss and the plant had been. Both had disappeared -- all that remained of the fight was a shattered-beyond-repair greenhouse, some loose pieces of armour, and thousands of pieces of dead plant material.

"I'm too late," she said softly. The Kougra did not know where they were, or what happened, but... she wailed.

Out of anger, Sabrina decided -- perhaps foolishly -- to press the button.

What did she have to lose?

Click.

Suddenly, time seemed to flow in reverse -- night returned to day before Sabrina's very eyes. Mr. Leo and the monstrous bushes were back! They were fighting again! And then Mr. Leo was gone, and the plant was getting gradually smaller. Soon, the greenhouse had been repaired.

In a flash of white light, she realized herself sitting in the greenhouse, as though nothing out of the ordinary had even happened.

Gradually, awareness returned. She was wearing gloves, and she held a spade in her hand. She thought about her situation and realized she was sitting beside the pot the horrible flowers had emerged from.

She had just planted them.

Quickly, she dug them up.

Mr. Leo stepped into the back room. "What are you doing, uprooting seeds?" he asked her, annoyance thick in his voice.

"Trust me... you don't want these planted," she replied.

The Elephante's eyes widened. "Oh..." he remarked, a little stunned.

Sabrina stared at him. She thought she saw a little flicker of a smile on his face.

"Okay," he casually finished before leaving. Outside the room, he shouted to her, "Get to work!"

Picking the seeds up, she threw them to the ground and stepped on them, crushing them with her shoes.

It would be a good day today, and a better one tomorrow -- her boss would be away then. She smiled.

The End

Author: rielcz
Date: Apr 19th



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