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 636
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 Thirty Six Ends Friday, December 13
|The ancient full moon hung in the winter sky as the newly-fallen snow glistened in its pale luminescence. Decorations, sheathed in a thin layer of crystalline ice, were hung from every Neohome and post to create the scene of the perfect holiday. For now, Happy Valley was mostly silent. Children were nestled warmly in their beds as they dreamed what the next day's trip to the Advent Calendar would bring. Through this cheerful scene, Tyla happily crunched through the snow as she softly giggled with her friend Bea.
Tyla hadn't lived in Happy Valley all that long. The Gelert had grown up in Meridell, and had been rather nervous about moving to Happy Valley. She had always thought that happiness could be found in the warm soil as you nurtured seeds to grow, but now she was glad that she had moved. If she hadn't come here, she may have never met Bea nor would she have realized that this snowy location had its own beauty and allure. She had been here in the past to visit the Advent Calendar, but living here made this time of year all the more magical. Today, she had spent the entire day shopping with Bea to get those last few needed items for the Day of Giving. It had grown late and the temperature had dropped significantly as the two friends reached the intersection where they would part ways to go to their respective homes.
"This has been a great day," Tyla announced as she readjusted her packages. "I don't think I've ever laughed so much while shopping."
"Me neither," Bea agreed. "What do you want to do tomorrow?"
"I don't know," Tyla replied. "Why don’t you decide?"
"Okay," Bea said, "I’ll try to plan something really fun. Good night! See you tomorrow!"
"Good night," Tyla repeated as she turned to the right.
"Where are you going?" Bea suddenly asked as a worried look crossed her Aisha features.
"Home," Tyla answered. She was perplexed by her friend's sudden change in demeanor.
"You can't go that way, though!" Bea cried. "That path goes right by the ice rink."
"So?" The Gelert was growing more confused by the moment.
"That's right," Bea said. "I sometimes forget that you're not from here. I suppose you've never heard the legend of the Moonlight Skater."
Tyla shook her head. "Who's that?" she asked.
Bea took a deep breath. "It's an old story," she began, "and everyone around here has heard it a million times before. You see, there used to be a skater that lived here in Happy Valley. Her name was Rayellen and she was a beautiful Lenny. No one had ever seen anyone who could skate as beautifully as her before, and she practiced every day at the rink so that she could improve. No matter the weather or how she felt, she would practice. One day there was a warning that a terrible blizzard was on its way and all her friends begged Rayellen to skip one day of practice, but she said she would be back before the bad weather. Unfortunately, the storm hit sooner than expected and it was terrible. Everyone had to wait until it passed before they could even look for Rayellen, but then it was too late."
"What happened?" Tyla inquired.
Bea shook her head. "No one knows. No one found any trace of her. It was as if she had simply disappeared."
"That's really sad," Tyla said.
"That's not the creepy part, however," Bea insisted. "A year or two after she vanished, Neopians who would walk by the rink on nights with a full moon during this time of year would hear the sound of her ice skates, and a few even saw her. I've heard her myself, and I know a guy who has a friend that's seen her. That's why no one goes that way at night. You'll have to take the long way around, okay?"
"Okay," Tyla agreed.
Bea smiled. "That's good. I'll see you tomorrow, then." She turned and ran to her own Neohome, which wasn't far away, and hurried inside.
For a few minutes, Tyla simply stood here as she considered the two paths. She appreciated her friend's advice, but she didn't really believe the story. After thinking about the situation for a bit, she decided to take the shorter route past the rink because she wanted to hurry home.
The night seemed to grow quieter as she walked, so that the sound of her boots crunching the snow seemed to echo through the darkness. Despite her resolution to take this path, she became more nervous with each step as she neared the rink. She would soon be past this obstacle and safe in her own warm Neohome. The thought caused a faint smile to appear on her face, but the smile quickly melted when she heard the soft yet unmistakable sound of a pair of skates gliding across the ice...
Date: Dec 9th
...Tyla looked up and peered across the frozen lake, but she saw no one at all. She buried her face in her knit scarf and quickened her pace. "It's just my mind playing tricks on me," the Gelert said, trying to convince herself. As if to mock her, the sound of skates scraping against the ice returned, but it was louder this time, as if it was right behind her.
Tyla jumped, startled, and spun around to search the rink a second time. There was no one to be seen yet again. She stood there for a minute watching the ice and realized she was completely alone. Go home, Tyla, she thought to herself. RUN!
The Gelert began to run in the opposite direction of the ice rink and toward a safer path. She stumbled through high piles of wet snow and gasped in heaps of cold air that stung her lungs like needles, but she thought of nothing other than the warmth and security of her own home. She then heard a faint cry.
"Help! Help!" the wind whistled in her ear. Tyla looked all around, but couldn't tell where it was coming from. "HELP ME! I'm drowning!" Tyla heard, more clearly this time, and she knew where it was coming from -- the ice rink.
Tyla hesitated for a quick second, but ultimately decided to see if someone needed her help. She knew she would feel awful if she were the one in need of help and someone had ignored her cries. The Gelert sprinted as fast as she could toward the rink.
From a distance she could see that someone had fallen through a hole in the ice and was struggling to stay out of the water. Tyla felt herself grow hot with determination. "Hold on! I'm coming! Hold on!" she yelled, her voice cracking in the dry winter air. She struggled back through the snow she had trudged through as she was running in the other direction not but a moment ago.
"Help, please! I can’t swim!"
"You have to hold on!" Tyla yelled in response. When she took her first steps onto the rink it creaked like an old wooden floorboard beneath her feet. The Aisha struggled to keep steady as she walked on the slippery surface of the frozen lake, but she found that it was in vain as she fell face-first onto the cold, hard ice.
The blow had knocked her off of her equilibrium so bad that her vision went blurry and her ears began to ring. Tyla steadied herself and desperately tried to regain her bearing. When she stood up and caught her balance, and her senses returned to her, she observed something that filled her with confusion and fear.
The horror scene that had been happening only a few feet before where she stood had now seamlessly vanished...
Date: Dec 9th
...There had been a hole, but now the sheet of frozen water was definitively frozen. Not even a crack graced the surface, and there certainly was no one drowning. In fact, there was no one around at all.
Tyla touched her head, where she felt a throbbing lump already forming. She closed her eyes, breathing deeply. Heart pounding, she opened them again, watching her breath form clouds of steam in front of her.
She inched carefully toward the boundary of the rink, listening as the creaking became more prominent the closer she came to the edge. Suddenly, with one particular step, the ice became so fragile that it cracked underneath her paw.
Panting, she retracted and switched directions 180 degrees, once more heading toward the end of the ice, but again, the nearer she got to the edge, the thinner the ice seemed to get so that it fractured beneath her step.
The Gelert shuffled slowly to the middle of the rink. The silence seemed interrupted despite the oppressive atmosphere.
"Rayellen?" she whispered.
A sudden gust of wind stole her breath away. She felt the hair on the back of her spine stand on end and Tyla turned slowly to face the reality that she had dreaded she might find.
There stood a Lenny so beautiful that she could only be the same one Bea had been referring to. She was wearing a sequined dress with ice skates, and Tyla could tell that she possessed an elegant poise as she stood quite still, gazing curiously toward Tyla.
"I'm dreaming," Tyla said, more to herself than the other. "I hit my head on the ice, I passed out or something... oh my, I need to wake up. There's someone drowning!"
"No one is drowning," Rayellen said, shaking her head. "I needed to get you out on the ice."
"You tricked me," Tyla blurted.
"I am sorry about that," Rayellen replied. The sincerity could be heard in her airy voice. "I was quite desperate. No one walks by this rink anymore at this time of year."
The Gelert just shook her head, inching away. "I need to get home... or to the hospital. Y-You're a ghost, a hallucination. You're not real."
"Please, don't go!" Rayellen cried. "I need your help."
Only the goodness of Tyla's character made her pause. "Help? Why would you need help?"
A saddened expression came over the Lenny's face. "I need you to..."
Date: Dec 10th
...win the Frozen Axel ice skating competition for me."
"What? Are you joking? I couldn't skate if my life depended on it. Why would I enter an ice skating competition?" Tyla gave the Lenny an incredulous look. She must've been crazy to think that Tyla was going to win an ice skating competition. Once again, Tyla started to turn around and headed toward the edge of the rink.
Rayellen got onto her knees in front of the Gelert and grabbed her hand. Tyla shivered. Rayellen's hands were stone cold and prickled her skin with sharp needles. The Lenny's eyebrows turned upward. "Please. Please. I'm begging you, please. I need you to enter it for me and win. Please Tyla, help me out." The Lenny began to cry with desperation.
Tyla shook her hand out of Rayellen's grasp and held it close to her chest, trying to rub the warmth of her jacket into the numb joint. "Why should I even help you?"
"It's my greatest dream to win that ice skating competition. I practiced every day for the chance of competing in it. I yearned for the chance to feel the pull of that gold medal's weight as it hung from my neck." Rayellen began crying even harder now. "Please, Tyla. Please?"
Tyla opened her mouth to respond...
Date: Dec 10th
..."Even if I do agree to enter, what do we do about the fact that I don't know even know the first thing about ice skating?!?
Tyla felt her stomach drop as she saw Rayellen smirking with satisfaction.
"Oh, don't worry. I'll teach you. Skating's really not that hard," Rayellen purred.
Tyla made one more desperate attempt. "B-but, why me? This is Happy Valley! There must be tons of other Neopets who can skate a lot better than I can! So why..."
Rayellen’s smirk dropped, and she sighed, "Well, I already told you that nobody passes by here during this time of year. To be honest, nobody passes by this rink even during other times. They all avoid it, and go to ice rinks where there isn't an urban legend to scare them off." She gave a bitter smile as she continued, "Though I suppose it isn't really a legend."
Tyla could feel herself slowly starting to sympathize with the Lenny, but another part of her struggled to accept the Lenny's request. For a few moments, she closed her eyes as she considered her options. As she opened them, the Gelert gave a small sigh as she agreed, "All right. What should I do first?"...
She regretted her words as soon as she said them. Rayellen turned to Tyla with a wicked smile as she crooned, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll whip you into shape by the competition in no time..."
Date: Dec 11th
Tyla slowly opened her eyes as she felt the warmth of the sun shining through her window onto her face. Rubbing her head and feeling the lump on it, she was suddenly reminded of the events that had happened the night before.
"Did that really happen?" she asked herself, wishing it was all just a dream but somehow knowing it wasn't. She yawned as she stretched and then got up, getting ready for the day.
"I'm telling you, it was real!" Tyla said as she and Bea were walking to get their advent gifts.
"Yes, I don't doubt that, but why would she want YOU to win the competition? Even if she teaches you everything, it's still not like she would have won, so why does it matter? After all, she's just a ghost."
"I don't know..." Tyla muttered quietly.
"I just don't think it's a good idea, making deals with ghosts... who knows what she's capable of!" The panic was obvious in Bea's voice as she talked.
"It'll be fine... I'll be fine..." Tyla finally said after some hesitation, in an attempt to convince both Bea and herself.
As night fell, Tyla was back at the rink. The light of the full moon made it still easy to see.
"Hello? Rayellen?" Tyla cried out, feeling herself becoming more and more nervous.
The sound of skates on the ice slowly appeared out of nowhere, and then became louder and louder.
"Did you get everything?" the Lenny asked, appearing out of nowhere.
Tyla jumped, surprised.
"You startled me! You really shouldn't scare folks like that."
A grin appeared on Rayellen's face. "Well, did you?" she asked impatiently.
"Yeah, I got everything you said I'd need."
"Good, good..." Rayellen said, amused. "Well, put on your skates and let's get practicing. There's a lot to teach you..."
Date: Dec 11th
...Most of what Rayellen had assigned her to get, and what she had brought, were standard skating gear: a warm hat, gloves, and the like. In the coldness of the night, under the light of the moon, it struck Tyla as vaguely amusing that tonight, she would be the Moonlight Skater, feared by the Happy Valley residents. With frigid fingers, she struggled to tie the laces of her skates, only to be stopped by a light touch on her forearm.
"Wait," Rayellen said. "I'd actually like you to wear these."
Tyla froze, fingers still grasping the laces of the ill-fitting skates she had bought just earlier that day, as the Lenny passed her another pair of skates -- this one slightly worn, with a smattering of sequins stitched over the snowy-white surface. Rayellen watched her slip on the shoes with such attention that Tyla almost felt self-conscious under her gaze.
"Come on. The ice is waiting."
The second she stepped onto the ice was like a transformation. For the first time ever, she wondered why she had never skated before, and also, whether she would ever want to leave the rink again. She understood just why Rayellen had insisted on skating even in bad weather, for once she was on the ice, none of that mattered. All that mattered was the hiss of the ice under metal, the chill of the wind against her cheeks, and the way the skates molded perfectly to her ankles as she glided across the rink, leaving swirls and whirls of ice pellets in her wake.
On the ice, she was at home.
She finally stopped for breath and Rayellen, on her own pair of skates, joined her.
"You're a natural," Rayellen said. "Did you see yourself out there?"
"I felt it," Tyla breathed, still slightly in awe, "and I love it."
"I knew you would. Now, why don’t we go over some spins and jumps? It'll be fun..."
Two hours later, she had practiced the intricate footwork, the high-speed spins and the leaps and jumps, until she had mastered it. Rayellen had told her she was a born talent, and within her fog of adrenaline and elation, Tyla could only enthusiastically agree. Within the ice rink, she had found her spot in the world.
"I've got to go now," Rayellen said, glancing quickly toward the sky, then back -- almost guiltily -- at Tyla. "Will I see you here again tomorrow?"
"You will," Tyla responded immediately.
With a final smile, the Lenny took off across the rink, escaping out the other door. Tyla stood there for a moment, savoring the feeling of being on ice, before resigning herself to the fact that she hadn't slept at all that night, and that she would surely need to rest herself before practicing more the next day.
She climbed out the door, back across the mats, and toward the benches, her mind all the while filled with the splendor of the ice rink in winter, just how happy -- there was no other way to describe it -- she had been on skates. If she could skate forever, she would. With several flicks of her fingers, she untied the knots on her skates and gave them a sharp tug.
They then remained there, stubbornly, on her feet.
How odd. The skates hadn't been too small -- in fact, they had fit her perfectly -- yet when she gave the skates another pull, they still remained where they were, as though glued to her soles...
Date: Dec 12th
...The Gelert continued to frantically tug on the skates.
"Rayellen! Rayellen! What did you do to these skates?" she wailed. There was no reply, however. The Lenny scoundrel had disappeared into the night, probably never to return again. Tyla shook her feet with a force she hadn't had before, desperate to get the sequined skates off. They stuck tight, though, gleaming at her mockingly.
"Someone help! I've been tricked!" she screamed, standing up and taking but a single step before slipping on the skates that had once made her feel so graceful. She now felt displaced in the rink, in the skates. Thoughts ran through her head so fast that she couldn't comprehend anything going on around her, and she had to lie down on the cold ground to collect herself.
A vague memory suddenly popped up in her head. It was of a story that she had been told by Bea. A young Cybunny had been traveling across Shenkuu to reach his hometown, and he needed to cross a great river to reach his destination. There were no bridges across, as any built were torn down by monstrous waves or storms.
There was only an old Techo who would row Neopets across the river if they requested. That Techo didn't want to be where he was, however. He was bound to the boat by the oar he held. To free himself from his eternal prison, he had to hand the oar to another, and they had to accept it willingly. The rest of the story jumbled together in the Gelert's mind as the irony of the situation she was in overtook her. Her last thought before falling into a troubled sleep was, "Is it just me, or do these skates feel a little tight?"...
Date: Dec 12th
...Tyla woke up the next morning, only to find the skates still on her feet. She walked miserably to Bea's house. When Bea opened the door, she snickered.
"Why do you still have those skates on?"
"It's not funny! That creepy Lenny tricked me!"
Bea's face looked amused. "I told you that you shouldn't have gone that way home."
Tyla tugged on her skates. Bea tugged, too. Tears came to Tyla's eyes.
"I can't get them off, and I won't wear these skates for the rest of my life!"
Bea's face looked solemn. "Then you must go to Rayellen tonight."
"Rayellen?" Tyla called. Rayellen strode up to Tyla.
"My plan was perfect. Now that you have these skates on, you can definitely win."
"The skates are magical."
"That would be cheating!"
Rayellen glared at Tyla...
Date: Dec 13th
..."Do you think I like being a phantom?" she hissed. "You think I like being the topic of a whispered conversation between two Neopets that I don't even know? You think I like seeing children skirting away from here after dark, and my only legacy being a ghost story told to spook your friends?"
Tyla began to back away as the Lenny, with ruffled feathers, started to advance upon her.
"N-no," Tyla stuttered. "I suppose that would be quite awful, but what does this stupid competition have to do with me, anyway?"
"Stupid competition?" Rayellen squawked, her eyes bulging a little. "I was training for this competition the day the storm hit, and I would have won, I know it. It was my destiny. Since then, I have been doomed to stay here, haunting this rink until I fulfill that destiny of winning the Frozen Axel ice skating competition.”
She continued to glare at Tyla.
"That's where you come in," she added.
"Look, Rayellen," Tyla said, "I'm awfully sorry that happened to you, but I can't cheat in the competition for you."
"Well, see, you don't actually have a choice now," Rayellen said, smirking triumphantly. "I told you, those skates were magic."
The Lenny began skating around the rink.
Tyla gasped as her feet lurched across the ice, out of her control, perfectly mimicking the actions of Rayellen, right down to the triple axel that she surely would not have been able to perform on her own.
"What great form you have. I told you I'd whip you into shape," Rayellen said, laughing airily at Tyla's indignant expression.
Tyla couldn't speak. It was as if her lips were glued together, much the same way her feet could not part from the skates.
"Now, get some rest," Rayellen said, disappearing into the dark. "After all, the competition is tomorrow."
It was some time before Tyla left the ice and headed home.
A large banner shimmered in the cool morning air, proclaiming that today was the day of the Frozen Axel ice skating competition. The sun blazed upon the heads of hundreds of Happy Valley inhabitants that were lined around the rink, talking excitedly about the impending tournament.
"So, you're really going to do this?" Bea asked anxiously.
"I have no choice," Tyla said. "I have to get these skates off."
Bea pursed her lips, but said no more as a whistle sounded to signal the start of the event.
The two friends watched apprehensively as the competitors did their figure skating routines one by one. Tyla glanced around several times, but saw no sign of Rayellen.
"Maybe she changed her mind?" Bea said hopefully after she caught Tyla glancing around for the fifteenth time. "I'll go get us some hot chocolate."
Tyla just smiled in return. She let her mind forget the troubles for a moment as she watched a young Bruce skate magnificently around the rink. She vaguely remembered others talking about the girl, Sophia, as being the favorite to win. Tyla had often spotted the Bruce practicing in the daytime, and found herself mesmerized by Sophia's performance.
When the Bruce did a final captivating stunt, Tyla couldn't help but clap enthusiastically with the rest of the audience.
"She's very good," said a voice next to Tyla, which made her jump. She turned to see Rayellen standing next to her.
"Yes," Tyla agreed. "I'm last to go, so we're up next."
The Lenny shook her head. "No. We aren't."
Tyla squinted at her. "Is this another trick? I'm not following..."
"How can I take something so special away from someone who wants it so badly?" Rayellen muttered, more to herself than Tyla.
Tyla followed her gaze to Sophia, who was smiling radiantly after her routine.
"She's worked so hard for this," Rayellen continued. "I had my shot. Fate took it away from me, but that gives me no right to take it from someone else who deserves it. I just wanted to perform my routine for an audience."
"You still can," Tyla said. "Just go out there, pretend all eyes are on you, and skate."
Rayellen contemplated Tyla for a minute before looking decisively toward the ice. As if an invisible pull had grasped the Lenny around the shoulders, Rayellen glided onto the rink. She paused in the middle of the ice, eyes shut.
It was as if the crowd melted away, the sounds of the audience died, and Tyla was mesmerized again as Rayellen began her figure skating routine, which she should have done so many years before.
After a few minutes, however, Tyla realized that the crowd really had gone silent and every face was turned, wide-eyed, toward the rink. It took one Neopet actually pointing for Tyla to deduce that the Lenny was visible, not only to her now, but to the entirety of Happy Valley.
"Is that?" came Bea's voice, and Tyla actually laughed out loud at the dumbfounded look on her friend's face.
When Rayellen's skates finally came to a stop, the crowd stayed silent. Tyla jumped from her seat, clapping loudly, and soon the others joined in, some even whistling.
The last image Tyla saw of Rayellen before she disappeared was the contented smile gracing her face.
"Tyla, the skates!" Bea cried.
The skates on Tyla's feet had also disappeared.
"As much as I enjoyed skating," Tyla cried, laughing with her friend, "I'm never putting a pair of skates on again!"
Date: Dec 13th
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!