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||You are on Week 607
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 Seven Ends Friday, May 24
|Skyleur opened her eyes and looked around the room. The walls were bleak stone slabs, identical to how they'd looked when she fell asleep. Above there was a skylight, and through the glare on the glass she could still make out the great star overhead, the star that nearly turned night into day.
Every night since she found herself in this strange prison, that star had grown bigger, brighter. At first, it was just a speck against the dark sky, and now it nearly filled the only window she had into the world.
She picked up the metal rod from the floor next to her and carved another notch into the wall. She was nearly out of space.
The Aisha counted them up, just like she did every night. Early on, she could remember how many days it had been. She added another notch, and remembered how many there had been before. But not now. Slowly, slowly she was losing herself to the prison, and the great star overhead.
One year. Exactly, if her marks could be believed. Tomorrow, a year and a day. The exact time the Nimmo had said she would be here for before it claimed her. The Nimmo, who had been in the cell next door when she arrived, and vanished a day later.
She looked up at the star again, and for the first time in months she felt fear. If the pattern continued, not only would she disappear tomorrow night, but sometime between then and now.
Skyleur's ears perked up. She heard singing. Vibrant, cheerful singing...
Date: May 20th
...Like the star above her, it increased in magnitude, swelling into a chorus of melodious sound. She closed her eyes and drank it in, feeling the music fill her up entirely. They were singing her name, she knew, they were calling her. This was her moment -- this was her chance to leave this prison, to feel the sun on her face and the wind in her hair.
The music came to a crescendo and it enveloped her, cocooned her. Her world was whirling.
It was dark when her eyes opened again. She couldn't remember the last time she had experienced darkness, for the star had nearly turned night into day and destroyed any semblance of darkness the room held.
It was dark now, though. Moving her paws in front of her face, Skyleur couldn't see them. The floor under her feet felt glassy smooth, almost liquid in its consistency, but it was the same black as everything else around her.
That's when the smallest speck of light burst to life in front of her eyes.
She gaped at it for a moment. It was no more than a pinprick in the endless darkness, but it vibrated, zipped around a few seconds, and slammed itself onto her arm. It stayed there, a dot of light on her arm, the only light in the room.
Not for long, however -- another appeared, larger than before, and it followed the same pattern as the previous one had. This one plastered itself onto her forehead. More were appearing, each sticking itself to her body, some on her arms, some on her neck and cheeks and forehead, her clothes. The air beside her was filled with whizzing flecks of light and they bombarded her, so that before long, all of her was covered in light.
Time hung suspended.
The light then exploded into brilliant rays of white, filling the spaces around her.
Gasping for breath, she took in her new surroundings. There was an up, and there was a down. She was at the up; when she reached out a hand, she brushed fingertips against the ceiling.
It moved. She pushed against the ceiling and felt it give away; a circular disk of metal opened up, and she managed to slide it aside, then looked out into her new world...
Date: May 20th
...She managed to hold back a gasp.
She had been imagining a beautiful sun that glimmered a pale yellow against a background of light blue sky, flowers of all colors imaginable springing forth from the ground, trees swaying and the leaves rustling softly from the light breeze, and the cool grass squishing underneath her bare paws.
It was a battlefield. Literally.
The smoldering ruins of what she thought might be trees were still flaming here and there, adding even more smog into the already-polluted air. Battles raged all around her, swords clashing against swords and explosions being fired from projectile weapons everywhere. The ground beneath her was nothing but charred patches of grass and dirt.
The lights surrounding her slowly floated off and away, despite her futile attempts to capture them and make them take her to her ideal destination. She couldn't comprehend why they would have brought her here, when she was meant to be in a magical place of her wildest dreams.
She looked down at what must have been the bunker she climbed out of, and then turned back to the battles as someone rushed toward her...
Date: May 21st
...and then rushed THROUGH her. The passing was like an uncomfortably warm breeze that made her ache. Deeper down, however, was the peculiar and unsettling feeling of familiarity. She had seen this before. She had BEEN here before. With that memory came fire that filled her feet and sent her running after the someone that had just passed through her.
Donovan. Skyleur had to catch him and tell him what she had failed to say the first time through, but where had he gone?
Skyleur tossed her gaze left, right, and around, searching the charred battlescape for the Darigan Yurble. He was a quick one. It was then that the familiarity came back to her: the lake. He had gone to the lake and she needed to stop him. She spun on her heel and bolted toward the lake, a murky and disease-ridden expanse in the midst of the skirmishes. Heat rose from the waters, distorting the air above it into squirming mirages.
However there, on the bank, was Donovan, hoisting a package over the edge and about to drop it in.
"Donovan!" Skyleur screamed, her voice straining against the force with which she tried to stop her oldest friend. "Donovan, don't!"
It was then that...
Date: May 21st
...he heard her.
Her voice seemed about as real to him as he did to her - a shade, a ghost from another time – but gradually, he halted. Gradually, he lifted the package back up, claws tightening their grip.
"Adele?" he murmured. "Adele, is that you?"
In that moment, Skyleur did not know whether the answer was yes or no. "Donovan, stop! You can't!"
He turned to face her, and he seemed to finally see her. A small smile crossed his face. "Adele, you're alive. Thank Fyora..."
And then he was gone, like a flicker of smoke fading into the air. The package dropped from his fingers, but instead of touching the hissing, foul water, it disappeared as well.
Sudden exhaustion struck Skyleur as the past few minutes caught up with her, and she sat back on her haunches, reeling. What had just happened? She remembered... she remembered the Yurble, Donovan. She remembered the package, that foul thing of dark magic he had risked his life to dispose of when he mistakenly learned his best friend upon the battlefield had been killed. And she remembered the future; the magic reacted adversely upon touching the pestilential, blood-soaked water, resulting in a magical explosion that had ended up destroying an enormous portion of the battlefield... and destroying Adele, who had been desperately chasing after him, only seconds too late.
The strangest thing was... she knew these memories weren't hers. She remembered them, but she knew they had never happened to her. She was Skyleur, not Adele – but she remembered being Adele, even though those memories were foggy and fast fading. Even more, she knew some of them had never happened at all. The package had fallen into the lake, but now it had not... and the war still continued.
The war still continued, and Adele... Adele was at peace now.
To reach your paradise, you must change what happens here tonight.
She did not know where the words came from – from the massive star that blazed hot and red overhead or from her own soul, she didn't know. But she heard them nonetheless, and she knew them to be the truth.
Skyleur looked up, eyes burning with a new purpose. From the battlefield, another shade approached her...
Date: May 22nd
...It was Donovan once again. Only this time he was not rushing through her, but approaching her promptly.
"Adele, let's go," he said. "We have to meet Polaris."
Skyleur searched her brain for that name. Polaris... He was a Lupe, a warrior... and the best friend that Donovan would lose in battle. But she couldn't remember what had lead up to that moment, a moment she must have been brought back to so she could she could prevent the tragic events she had forseen that would lead to the demise of Donovan and Adele.
"Where are we meeting him?" Skyleur asked innocently.
A puzzled expression wiped across Donovan's face. "Back at the bunker... where else?"
Skyleur paused for a moment. She forgot. She was not Skyleur here; she was Adele.
"Of course," she replied meekly. "Sorry, silly question." Unsure whether or not she should know already, she cautiously continued, "Um, so what are we meeting Polaris for?"
Donovan looked at her again, baffled. "Are you feeling alright? We're meeting to prepare for the Wraiths. They're going to arrive soon."
Wraiths? Is that who we're fighting? Is it just us or are there more soldiers? What was the war about? Where is that mysterious package? So many questions rushed through Skyleur's mind, but she couldn't come up with any clear answers. She knew she couldn't even ask them aloud or she could risk causing suspicion. Care had to be taken in order for her to maintain Adele's identity with the little information she could piece together.
"Right," Skyleur said. "Sorry, I guess I'm just a little anxious."
"Don't worry," he said, with a confident smile on his face. "With Polaris leading us, everything will be just fine."
The pair made their way less than a mile across the barren field of dirt and gravel until they found themselves outside their pastel bunker. Just as they approached, the door to the entrance opened and a gleaming white halo peaked through the shadowy cracks.
Slowly, out came a Lupe suited in bright, shining armour. It was Polaris, shrouded in an aura of confidence and with his head held high. Skyleur immediately became enamored with the dashing warrior. She knew there was something special about him, something important. In fact, she came to the realization that perhaps her purpose was not simply to stop Donovan from dropping the package into the lake...
Date: May 22nd
...Polaris greeted Donovan with a smile, then turned and looked at Skyleur. He paused for a moment, studying her face -- his own a blank, expressionless mask. Skyleur thought she could see some emotion in his eyes, but he couldn't tell what it was. Affection, maybe.
"Are you sure you should be here, Adele?" he asked.
"We need her," Donovan cut in. "She's the only one who knows where the book is."
Uh oh. Skyleur searched through Adele's memories, but came up with nothing. Her panic must have shown.
"Are you okay?" Polaris asked.
Skyleur nodded slowly. "It's just the..." she looked around. "The heat. It's getting to me."
"Of course." Polaris put an arm around her shoulder and then guided Skyleur into his tent. "We have a few minutes before the troops will be ready to follow us. Rest. It's cool in here, and you'll be safe. I'm going to talk to Donovan."
As Polaris exited the tent, he stopped to talk to the Skeith guard that was posted outside. "Keep an eye on my sister."
Sister? The word echoed through her head. Adele was Polaris's sister? Also, she was supposed to know the location of a book that would help them defeat the wraiths?
She lay down on the cot and wracked her brain, but her head started to spin and the light in the tent vanished.
The great star from her prison window was back, suspended over the cot and piles of supplies. It whispered to her...
Date: May 23rd
...You know more than you suspect. It not only comes from her memories, but from your own.
Skyleur's head continued to spin. What did the star mean by that? Her own memories, as well as Adele's? Did this mean that her own memories had some link to all that was going on? Is that why she was here?
Skyleur wanted to ask the star more about what was going on, but the world around her returned to the tent and cot that she had been in. It was quiet, and quite cool as Polaris had said. For a tent outside of a battlefield, it was quite comfortable.
"A book to defeat the wraiths..." she muttered to herself. From what the star had said, it was something that she, as Adele, wouldn't know. However, it was something that she, as herself, would be able to figure out.
Think... she told herself. It must have been at some point I had met Adele, before all of this. Years ago...
She thought back hard. In her memories Adele had perished in the battle, but she, Skyleur, had met her once before. It was several years ago, in the woods.
"It must have been then..." she said to herself, trying to remember their meeting. However, her calm thoughts were soon interrupted by a great cry coming from outside.
"The wraiths!" someone shouted out. "It's a sneak attack!"...
Date: May 23rd
...She had to find the book. There was no time to spare -- already the sounds of battle were emerging, the shouts and screams of their own side intermingled with the hiss of the approaching wraiths. She wracked her brains.
Somewhere within Adele's memories must have been the knowledge of where the book was, but the star was telling her to use her own memories.
Memories. Memories of bleak stone slabs, the notches on the wall, a Nimmo in the cell next door. Memories of days before all that, before her life in the cell... and then memories of her reliving Adele's memories -- the putrid, diseased lake, the glint of Polaris's bright, shining armor, the package that Donovan desperately tried to get rid of--
Her gaze caught on the rectangular shape on the table, wrapped in cloth and tied haphazardly with twine. Something within her knew this was it -- the package, the one that Donovan had tried to dispose of, was the secret to their victory.
She ran forward and grabbed it, tearing off the wrapping. She was not Adele, she was Skyleur. Reliving Adele's memories, yes, but her actions were Skyleur and her thoughts were Skyleur, and when she ran out the tent, she would be Skyleur.
The flap of the tent opened, and she felt herself passing through that invisible veil that separated the two. Here in the battlefield, she was Adele. Skyleur was in the dungeon, or by the lake, or back in the tent. Adele was on the battlefield, book clutched in her arms, looking wildly around for someone.
She saw Polaris first, dueling with three wraiths at once; the gleam of metal looked red in the setting sun, a color reflected in his shiny silver armor.
"Polaris!" she shouted. "Brother!"
She raised the book high above her head, showing it to the whole battlefield. The wraiths paid no attention, and none of the other battlers did, but that made no difference. All that mattered was that her brother saw her, and--
He turned, battle forgotten, eyes filled with the fear that his sister, his beloved, darling sister had been hurt. The very same eyes widened, first with recognition of the book, then with shock and anguish as the wraiths descended upon him.
Adele's scream was lost in the battle.
"What did you do?"
Donovan's scream was louder than hers, yet she couldn't hear a word.
The book was roughly taken out of her hands. Donovan ran, but Adele stood still in the heat of the battle, eyes glued to the silver armor that still gleamed, even on the dirt.
Something within her seemed to break.
Donovan was running.
"No!" she heard herself shout. "Donovan, stop!"
She was then running after him, sweat dripping from the heat of the great star that now hung in the sky, having appeared as Polaris was slain. She was Skyleur again, and she needed to stop him, because if Adele's memories were true, then disposing of the book would only end in disaster.
Adele's memories. No, she needed to use her own memories. The star that had accompanied her in prison, and did so now, had told her to use her own memories... and the memory that floated back into her mind was one of several years ago, of her and Adele, in the woods...
Date: May 24th
...Just a passing glance; at first, no verbal communication was exchanged. But in that glance -- that bone-chilling, spine-tingling glance -- Adele revealed her world to Skyleur. A world both of them had tried so hard to suppress... until this point.
Skyleur spun around and chased after the stranger. "Please!" she shouted to her. "Tell me your life, your secrets. I must know who you are!"
She met with Adele by an old apple tree.
Adele spoke to her. "My... your... brother is ill. His best friend dashes away. We must stop him... save him... save our world." She paused.
Skyleur's memory paused. "No!" she yelled to no one in particular as she fled after Donovan. "It can't end there!"
The Aisha looked up. The star beamed overhead. She swore she could hear... singing.
Adele was singing to her. By the apple tree. "Music is a great gift," she commented upon the song's end. "Music, second only to magic, is my greatest passion. Use it wisely."
The mysterious creature seemed to beam... beam with the light of magic overhead.
Skyleur, slumped next to a nearby tree, sat in awe over Adele's very being, her majestic spirit.
Skyleur, on the battlefield, ran in awe of the star overhead, of the star inevitably saving everyone here.
Time hung suspended.
Skyleur tossed her gaze left, right, and around, searching the charred battlescape for the Darigan Yurble.
The Aisha had to find the lake... the pestilential pool of blood-soaked water, a disease-ridden expanse destined -- or pre-destined -- to destroy her very essence. Adele's very essence. Skyleur's very essence.
The universe seemed to spin around her. Finally, she decided just to run and see where her subconscious took her. She had gotten to the lake before without knowledge of its exact location... why couldn't she do so again?
Turning on her heel, she bolted. There. There it was, and there, on the bank, was Donovan, hoisting a package over the edge. He was about to drop it in.
"Donovan!" she screamed. She then remembered, in this timeline -- the timeline of what happened, yet should not have been -- he did not hear her. To yell at him further would be useless here.
Her previous ghostly vision of Donovan halting was nothing but Adele's final memory, Adele's final wish. Adele had wanted things to go this way... but the explosion had occurred instead, and of course, after the explosion, he was gone -- everything was gone -- like a flicker of smoke fading into the air.
Nothing. She had to try a different strategy. She thought about the star, about her encounter with Adele in the woods... and then music filled the air, the wretched, dusty air.
Skyleur was singing. Singing Adele's music.
His ears propped up.
It was then that he heard her.
"Adele?" he murmured. "Adele, is that you?"
She stopped singing and ran up to him. Almost crying, she hugged the Yurble.
He may have been a ghost from another time, but she was certain this time, at least, was real. Real somewhere.
"Donovan, we're alive. Thank Fyora..." she trailed, stifling tears.
The Yurble looked down at her. "Yes, yes I am, but if we don't drop this book in the water, Polaris soon won't be."
"NO!" Skyleur screamed at him. Adele then continued. "To cure anyone you desire, you must drop The Spellbook of Divine Wisdom in the purest of water, not--"
"Not the most poisoned of water?" The Yurble's eyes widened. "Thank Fyora you stopped me. My misreading could have done who-knows-what harm."
The Aisha smiled. She knew.
"Now," Donovan continued with a smile, "let's find another lake."
Skyleur watched as Adele and Donovan walked off. She was floating, now... her spirit floated above the battlefields, above the treachery, above the harrowing memories.
Adele... she was at peace now, wherever she was. Skyleur was at peace as well.
Gradually, she floated up toward the star.
You have succeeded, my child.
Skyleur awoke in her cell.
The star overhead had disappeared.
The wall was now marked with enough ticks for... a year and two days.
The Aisha, trying to let things sink in, gazed around the room for something, some sign.
In a corner, she saw a book. She ran over to it and read its title aloud. "The Spellbook of Divine Wisdom."
She opened its cover. Inside was a note. "Thank you for saving us... our time, our world."
She opened the book to the first page. On it was a giant star. The caption underneath read, "Your paradise awaits."
The Aisha reached out her hand and touched it... immediately, she was surrounded by light.
She traveled through the tunnel of brightness to her paradise.
To her destiny.
After what seemed an eternity, the tunnel appeared to near an end.
She smiled, and let herself bask in the warm glow of the sun that she knew was on the other side....
Date: May 24th
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