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||You are on Week 616
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 Fifteen Ends Friday, July 26
|The moon hung high in the clear, cloudless sky. The air was still with neither a breeze nor a sound to disturb it. The forest trees were standing like silent sentinels guarding an ancient secret deep within. It was the definition of a hauntingly quiet night.
Several minutes passed before a few scant sounds began to echo in the cool night air. Bushes rustled and twigs snapped underfoot as a group of four figures made their way through the woods. Their movements were swift and direct, the actions of those who were moving with a purpose.
"We're almost here..." the one in the front of the group said.
The four shadowy figures continued their trek through the woods before coming to a small clearing within. A single gleam of moonlight broke through the tree canopy to illuminate a small circle of stones surrounded by four cut tree logs.
The group leader rushed to the circle and sat on the largest log, facing the other three. In the moonlight, it was seen that the figure was a young Korbat.
"Welcome, my friends," he said, beckoning them to join him in the circle, "to the first meeting of the Camp Noil Midnight Nightmare Society."
Two of the remaining three figures joined the Korbat in the glow of the moonlight, revealing them to be an Eyrie and a Draik. The fourth figure stayed in the shadows.
"Now, Marius," the Korbat said, "welcome to your initiation."
The last shadowy figure slowly walked to the circle. The light of the moon revealed him to be a determined-looking Lupe.
"You know the rules," the Eyrie said. "If you want to join our camp group, you have to tell a scary story."
"If it's not scary enough, then you're out," the Draik said.
"I'm ready," Marius said.
The Eyrie and the Draik took their seats on opposite ends of the Korbat. Marius took the last log available, facing the other three.
"Alright rookie," the Korbat said, "whenever you're ready. Give it your best shot."
Marius coughed a bit to clear his throat. "Alright," he said, "have either of you ever heard the tale of The..."
Date: Jul 22nd
..."Heard it!" the Draik interrupted.
"Shh!" the Eyrie snapped at him. "You don't even know what it is yet, Rodgia!"
"Well, I know that any story that begins with, 'have you ever heard of...' is bound to be a snore-fest. We're the Midnight Nightmare Society! Of course we've heard it." Rodgia retorted.
The two members of the group began to bicker, but were surprised by a sudden flash of orange light.
"There," the young Korbat said with an air of satisfaction in his voice. A rip-roaring fire had been lit within the circle of stones in the middle of the group. "Now, Marius. Continue the story you began, before you were so rudely interrupted..."
Date: Jul 22nd
...Marius took a deep breath. "This is a different sort of tale," he began slowly, "a tale that may only be told on nights when the moon is full."
The other three allowed themselves nervous glances upward, and surely enough the perfectly round light of Kreludor shone down on them, watching and waiting.
"This is the tale of The Phantom Ruki. The Phantom Ruki walks Neopia during every full moon, confined to the shadows of the night. It is said you can hear his desperate pleas carrying through the wind."
"Oh, please," Rodgia interrupted once more, feigning a yawn. "Get to the juicy details already."
The Eyrie crossed her arms. "Just let Marius tell his story, will you?"
"I'm sorry, Lylla, it's just that I don't want this wannabe to think that absolutely anyone can be accepted into the Society," the Draik shot back defiantly.
Lylla shook her head in return, but said nothing.
Marius continued. "The Phantom Ruki used to be a normal Neopet, just like any of us, but that was before The Awakening."
Lylla frowned. "What was The Awakening?"
Marius stared solemnly into the fire as he continued his tale...
Date: Jul 23rd
..."On the night of the full moon, the ghosts and ghouls of the Haunted Woods rise from their resting place to welcome all the new additions to their ranks."
"Get to the point," Rodgia drawled, propping his feet up on Lylla's lap. "I'm not getting any younger here."
Lylla, looking thoroughly annoyed, stood up and moved away from the Draik.
"Shush," the Korbat said quietly. "Let him talk."
"His grandmother had taken ill," Marius said, unfazed. "Like any good grandchild, he set off to see her, a basket," Marius gestured toward the crook of his elbow, "swinging from one arm, filled to the brim with tarts and bread. The night was dark, but the full moon lit his path; he had no fear. He had taken this road many, many, times in his past, and none of them had ended badly..."
"Ooh, foreshadowing," Rodgia said mockingly. "Scary, scary..."
"What he didn't know, however, was that the nights of the full moon were when the ghosts and ghouls of the Haunted Woods rose up to welcome their new members.
"He walked down the path almost carelessly, swinging the basket with a hop in his step. Imagine his shock, when..."
Date: Jul 23rd
"...his grandmother appeared before him on the path."
Rodgia yawned. Marius ignored him and continued.
"She looked as well as she ever had, and Silas was taken aback. He stared at her for a minute, and she stared back, equally as shocked. Finally, Silas managed to find the words to express his surprise. Grandmother answered him in a high, cheerful voice, saying, 'Oh, didn't you know? I've been feeling better since yesterday afternoon! Like I never was sick at all! In fact, I'm just out to see some friends. Would you like to join me?'
"Silas was too distracted by the strange occurrence of meeting his grandmother at midnight in the woods to wonder what friends of hers would have a get together at this hour. Instead, his thoughts were focused on whether he would have enough bread and tarts to go around. Like a good grandchild, he would never show up without enough for everyone.
"After a bit of small talk, he agreed to go with her, and allowed himself to be led back in the direction he had come -- the direction she had been walking all along."
Marius could now see that even the Korbat was starting to get bored with his story, but inwardly he smiled. It was perfect. He was just starting to get to the good part, and when he did, they would be so unprepared for it that they would, in fact, be terrified.
"He followed his grandmother down the road for a while, but the longer they walked, the stranger the path became. Remember, he had traveled this road many times before, and knew it well, but here there was a fork he didn't remember, and there the road sign had a different street name, and off to the side there was a giant stone in the shape of a Techo's head that he had never seen before.
"They walked past the stone head at first, but with a 'Tuttut, it looks like I've lost my way,' Grandmother turned back around and headed toward it. The Ruki was starting to feel a little apprehensive that his grandmother's illness had caused her to lose her mind, but he followed her right up to the stone.
"Only, when he looked up again, he wasn't looking at the same object he had seen from the road. Before him, in its grotesque glory, was..."
Date: Jul 24th
...A corpse version of himself -- a dead doppelganger, which was lying at the side of the road."
Everyone leaned closer, like curious Meepits... well, everyone but Rodgia, of course.
"Yeah, yeah," he bellyached. "He gets a big fright, aargh. Now pull the other one."
Lylla shot him a raw and poisonous look that would've sunk a battleship.
"His grandmother ran over to the corpse and wept."
Marius continued. "The Ruki was unbelievably confused.
Then, when he turned to his grandmother to tell her he was fine and that this was a prank, she didn't listen. He said it louder, but she was oblivious. He then attempted to hug her as a way of showing that he was still here, but he simply passed through her. He was shocked. Was he... a ghost?"
The Korbat coughed. Everyone had to admit this story really wasn't going anywhere, but somehow they were still scared... scared of something in the mists. The clouds gave way to the moon that illuminated the landscape. What was that tiny speck in the distance, and why is it coming closer?
Date: Jul 24th
..."Despite what little it did, he continued to call for his dear grandmother's attention. Trying to tell her that he was still here. After passing through her in the way that he had, however, he even had to convince himself that he was still alive. The Ruki could not have been dead, for he had felt no pain, nothing had gone black, and he'd never even fallen down. He didn't even remember being where the corpse was lying. It wasn't possible to pass away so instantaneously, was it?"
There was a faint groan in the distance. Random, but incredibly well-placed for the sake of the story and Marius getting a position in this club. The other three heads, even that of the vainglorious Rodgia, spun at the sound. Marius remained calm, however, as though he was used to such an occurrence. He then continued.
"Feeling hopeless, he looked around hoping for some sort of solution to his problem. Upon doing so, he noticed that the wind had picked up. There was increased whistling and groaning in the trees. It was then that he came to the horrifying realization that he couldn't actually feel anything.
"'I can't be dead, I can't be dead, I can't be dead,' he repeated to himself in both disbelief and confusion. It simply did not make sense. Such a spontaneous, random, and instant death could not be possible. His body wasn't even somewhere he had been."
All eyes were back on Marius now. Rodgia's glance, of course, was still bored. Although, it did look a bit forced now.
"The Ruki fell to his knees and stared at the corpse. Suddenly, there was movement. His corpse was moving..."
Date: Jul 25th
"...The corpse stood up and stopped before his grandmother. It said nothing, only stood there, staring."
Marius paused to build up the suspense. Everyone was staring at him intently, curiosity in their eyes.
"There is something I haven't told you yet, something you should know," Marius admitted.
A clock tower chimed in the distance, ringing twelve times. It was midnight.
"I'm a bit surprised none of you have caught on," Marius continued. "This wasn't my initiation. It was yours." An apologetic smile rose on his face as three ghost-like Neopets emerged from the shadows of the trees.
The Draik, Eyrie, and Korbat jumped to their feet as the intruders surrounded them. "What's going on?!?" Lylla asked, panicking.
It took a few moments before they recognized who the ghost-like Neopets were. "It's us," the Korbat realized, his voice unable to mask his shock.
Marius smiled crookedly. "I'm really sorry about this, but we ghosts get so lonely out here..."
Date: Jul 25th
...and we didn't want to scare you off." Marius laughed as his face began turning more sinister with every passing second. "The thing is, we need to consume other ghosts' souls in order to remain here, and it's easier on unsuspecting victims."
"It's us. We're the initiates. We are the ghosts, but we're not initiates to join their group... we're food!" Lylla panicked as the others began to cowl one another.
"No, no! This can't be! How do none of us remember?" Rodgia yelled.
Marius quickly responded. "In order to remain powerful, we must consume others' souls. It's easiest to do so on those who do not know their true nature, their true form."
The ghosts drew closer as the three were cornered on one another.
"I am sorry, but this must be done. Torvac, Cynthia, Bellops! Let's feast!" Marius yelled.
As all three ghosts charged forward with tremendous speed, The Draik, Eyrie, and Korbat shrieked with pure fear and ducked their heads into each other. As the ghosts were just about to clash with the unsuspecting victims, they suddenly stopped.
It was quiet.
The Draik, Eyrie, and Korbat looked up to see the three ghosts and Marius staring at them at arm's distance. Motionless. Just staring. They were confused.
"What... what's... going on? What happened?" Lylla asked.
Suddenly, the three ghosts and Marius fell to the ground as their laughter roared.
"Ahh, they fell for it!" Marius laughed as he violently rolled on the ground, unable to breathe.
"That's what they get for denying us!" one yelled among the commotion.
That's when Rodgia realized what had happened. "Wait, did you say Torvac, Cynthia, and Bellops? Aren't they the last three initiates we denied because their stories were terrible?" he recalled...
Date: Jul 26th
...In the midst of their continuing laughter, the realization dawned and grew on him. "You're pathetic!" he shouted. "Just because you guys are such sore losers that you can't see when someone's just better than you, doesn't mean that you can act like complete jerks to them! How pathetic! Go home, losers. The Midnight Nightmare Society doesn't need you." He sneered, the anger now replaced by his former scorn. "Try those wimps over in the Catacombs. The stories they tell are all about character development and plot and other lame-o stuff like that!"
"Rodgia, be quiet for once and listen," ordered the Korbat, whose ears were twitching, as though listening intently. "Do you guys hear that?"
Through the silence, there was a faint, but unmistakable, groan.
"We heard that during Marius's story!" Lylla said. "It wasn't you guys trying to scare us?"
"I didn't make a noise like that," Cynthia said. "Did you?"
Her friends shook their heads.
"If it wasn't us, then... who?" Marius wondered. "I mean..."
"Say, Marius, where did you hear the story of the Phantom Ruki?" the Korbat asked.
"Pfft, obviously he made it up!" Rodgia scoffed. "That was such an amateur story!"
"I read it in a big book of tales that I found in a library in Neovia," Marius said. "I thought it might be a fun retelling, that's all..."
"If that's the case, then... it's still the full moon," Torvac said. "The night that the ghosts rise up and welcome their newest members."
"We've gotta get out of here," Lylla said, shaking visibly. "I like scary stories, but not when they're real..."
"You guys are such losers!" Rodgia exclaimed, though now, it lacked the strength and mockery behind it. "I don't know why we ever accepted her into the society! She's just a wimp!"
"We tell stories, but it is our mission statement that we try to avoid becoming a story," the Korbat said. "If you wish to stay, then I won't try to stop you."
Rodgia crossed his arms and stubbornly maintained his perch by the fire, trying not to look as the others started off through the woods.
"They won't leave me," he muttered to himself. "I'm a valuable member of the Midnight Nightmare Society. They can't leave me behind. They need me."
As their retreating backs grew smaller, however, it soon became clear that they weren't about to come back for him. Making a split second's decision, Rodgia leapt up from his log and sprinted after them.
"Wait for me!"
By then, they had disappeared between the trees, leaving no sign of where they had gone.
As it turned out, Marius's story had been good enough to grant him admission into the Midnight Nightmare Society -- though his prank may have upped its scare factor -- but when the Korbat came around to inform him, Marius had to decline.
"Thanks, but Torvac, Cynthia, Bellops, and I have decided to take our tales somewhere else. You guys should join us sometime."
The Korbat merely nodded, but Lylla, standing adjacent, excitedly burst out, "Is it the Catacombs? If so, I'll gladly join you!"
"Another enthusiast? I'm always up for meeting fellow storytellers," Marius said.
"Another enthusiast? I've been a Storyteller for ages. I can't believe you've never noticed my beret!"
Date: Jul 26th
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