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||You are on Week 678
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 Seventy Eight Ends Friday, October 31
|Dr. Sloth gazed out the large window in his office, looking down at the puny planet of Neopia below. "Esterhazy," he barked.
His cheerful and faithful Grundo servant ran up to his idol's side. "Yes, sir?" He grinned so wide and was so peppy that it was almost unsettling... and Dr. Sloth liked unsettling. Perhaps that's why he liked Esterhazy.
"It's Halloween today, isn't it?" the doctor continued as he gazed out his window once more, the folds of his face and forehead creasing with contemplation.
"Yes, sir!" His smile was unwavering. "The day when Neopians from all over dress up in costumes and go out, buckets ablaze," he continued, gesticulating wildly, "ready to accept treats and perform tricks from and on the onlookers..." This was clearly an impassioned topic for the Grundo.
"But," Dr. Sloth rebutted as his features darkened, "you have no idea how many of them seek to dress like me, to look like me... and they all FAIL!" At this last word he flung a cup of pencils off his desk, and the little wood cylinders rolled casually away.
"Well..." Esterhazy started with a gleam in his eye. "What if we were to hold a 'Dr. Sloth Lookalike' costume contest? You can give them all pointers on how to be a better you, and how to train others--"
"I like this idea," Dr. Sloth said, interrupting with a truly malevolent grin. "I can build up a veritable army of costumed creatures... and I can take over this cursed holiday once and for all!"
Esterhazy blinked and, for a moment, his smile wavered. "Or you can do it that way, too." He started to chuckle.
Dr. Sloth joined in. "Get on it, Esterhazy."
"Yes, sir!" he finished with a salute before dashing off...
Date: Oct 27th
...meanwhile, in Neopia, a certain Bruce slicked his two front spikes up before eyeing himself in the mirror. He turned every which way, his cloak billowing around him, before he nodded, satisfied.
"Yes, this will do nicely," Brucey B said to no one in particular.
It had taken him all day to get the thumb-shaped bald cap exactly right, but it had been worth it. Every year since his last encounter with Sloth, he had dressed up as him. At first it was for the irony, but he had come to quite enjoy impersonating the would-be overlord. Now, it was traditional for Brucey B to turn up at Sakhmet's annual Halloween festival dressed as Dr. Frank Sloth.
When he entered the kitchen, his sister rolled her eyes.
"Again, Brucey?" she asked, stirring her yearly pumpkin soup.
"Oh, but imagine how many Neopians I would disappoint if I came as something as bland as a Christmas Zafara, Carolyn!"
His sister, fidgeting with her halo, huffed. She had never been a fan of Halloween -- though, neither had he until he'd found out how popular he'd become at the costume parties.
Just then there was a knock at the door.
"I'll get it," his sister said, laying down her ladle. She returned very soon after with an expression of perplexity. "It's, um... for you, Brucey."
She handed him a black and green envelope, which he opened eagerly -- fan mail, perhaps? Inside was a strange-looking invitation...
Date: Oct 27th
..."What?!?" Brucey B threw the invitation on to the floor. "'Cheap and trying too hard,' he says!"
Carolyn bent down to pick up the invitation and started to read it:
To the pathetic one trying to imitate me,
I, Dr. Frank Sloth, invite you to the first ever "Dr. Sloth Lookalike Contest," which will be held on this day of Halloween.
You must wonder why the all-great Dr. Sloth should do this amid his busy schedule. Well, I am doing this because it frustrates me to see all your cheap imitations of myself every year, and it just looks like you're trying too hard. Therefore, I thought I might as well get some amusement out of it.
So, I expect you to be at the Virtupets Space Station lobby by 11:30 PM.
Dr. Frank Sloth
Carolyn looked up at her brother as she finished reading. "Do you think it's real?"
"Of course it's real! That envelope drips of his signature black and green." Brucey B shook his head. "Does he even understand the spirit of Halloween? 'Cheap and trying to hard,' it seems!"
"Calm down, Brucey! You don't have to get so worked up about it. Why don't you go? What's the worst that could happen?"
"You mean go like this?" Brucey B then splayed his arms out and Carolyn got a good look at the costume for the first time.
The spikes on the top of his head were shaped like three unripe bananas, each of them drooping down at different angles. The bald cap was dyed a dirty green and his face was also painted the same colour. For the eyes Brucey B had taken a pair of 3D glasses, removed the blue lens, and attached another red one in its place. At the neck was a Petpet collar cut in half, the pictures of three baby Kougras vividly visible on the sides. The cape was not really a cape, but rather a black bathrobe that was wrapped around his body.
The costume was clearly a mockery of Dr. Sloth.
Carolyn stifled a laugh, but failed. "Well, it's not that bad!"
"It isn't if you don't like Sloth, but standing in front of him to be judged as his lookalike, I'd say it's pretty bad... not to mention downright lethal."
"Well, I didn't get any invitation. Maybe he somehow knows who is dressing up as him and inviting those alone? Are you going to go?"
"Oh, well... when you put it like that, I guess I don't have much of a choice, do I? Also, I don't even have time to make a better costume."
"I think you should go! I know that the last time you two met didn't go very well for Dr. Sloth, but that doesn't mean he'll still remember you, does it?"
"Trust me, Carolyn. Nobody forgets a slots game -- especially when they lose a fortune in one."...
Date: Oct 28th
..."Think of it like this," Carolyn argued. "It could be like a 'last laugh' for you. You could rub it in." She knew how to convince her brother. One thing he liked to do was brag.
" I guess you're right," Brucey B replied. "If that's so, then I need to work on my costume!"
The Bruce ran back to his room to work on his costume. Carolyn, on the other hand, rolled her eyes and went back to her soup. That is, until a knock at the door caught her attention. She stepped away to see who was there. On the other side of the door was a Grundo with bright eyes -- like something was on his mind.
"Is Brucey B going to the party?" he asked.
"Yes he is, Esterhazy," Carolyn replied. "He is..."
Date: Oct 28th
...Brucey B didn't know how to sew, so he used staples to put some extra touches on his costume. He figured that, unless Dr. Sloth got real close, they would not be visible. He also used clear tape to help keep his Sloth-like hair atop his head.
"What have you done to your costume?" Carolyn asked as she peeked into her brother's room.
"Oh, I'm just making sure I get the last laugh, sis," the Bruce said to her with a smile.
His costume (while still not technically sound) was certainly more than just a mere Dr. Sloth costume now. Brucey had made himself into the Happiness Faerie, wings and all. He was quite proud of himself (and of his idea) -- in fact, he was willing to bet that he'd be the only Happiness Faerie in the contest.
Carolyn giggled, then said, "Well, I can say that you've certainly outdone yourself this time, Brucey."
As Brucey looked at himself in the mirror he knew she was right. "I'm ready," he told Carolyn.
He was about to get a flower from their garden out back when there was another knock on their door...
Date: Oct 29th
...Carolyn went to the door and was surprised to see bright eyes peering up at her.
"Hi, Esterhazy," she said inquisitively. Esterhazy was an interesting character, but two visits in one day was certainly unusual, even for him.
"Is Brucey B still going to the party?" he asked.
"Yes, Esterhazy." Carolyn was getting perturbed now.
"Is he dressed like Dr. Sloth?" Esterhazy asked.
Carolyn chuckled, then said, "Oh he's dressed up all right!"
"Great!" Esterhazy exclaimed approvingly before scampering off.
Carolyn thought something was off, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.
* * *
Esterhazy returned to the Space Station to find Dr. Sloth twiddling his thumbs.
"Well?" Dr. Sloth inquired.
"Of the four hundred and seventeen invites, four hundred and three are confirmed. I double checked everyone on the list -- I even double checked that they would wear costumes!" Esterhazy exclaimed, giving Dr. Sloth a thumbs-up for good measure.
"And?" Dr. Sloth asked, annoyed.
"I'm off to check, sir!" Esterhazy replied. He rushed off to the workstations to ensure the other Grundos were fulfilling all of the orders, speaking aloud to himself as he filled out his clipboard.
"Spiky hair wigs? Check."
"Red contacts? Check."
Esterhazy stopped by the final workstation where Frank's Armed Invasion Legion (F.A.I.L.) was hard at work, practicing their drills and weird maneuvers. "Army, check!"
The plan was coming together perfectly...
Date: Oct 29th
"This is it! Are you ready?" Carolyn asked, giving her brother an eager look.
Brucey B straightened his cardboard wings and adjusted his cape before nodding. The two stood before a large steel door sporting an image of Dr. Sloth and a caption that read: "Dr. Sloth's Halloween Bash."
The doors opened with a whispered whoosh and Brucey B's jaw dropped as he saw hundreds of Dr. Sloths mingling within. Grundos of every color were zipping through the crowds holding silver trays full of Neocola and Sloth-shaped hors d'oeuvres.
"My goodness," Carolyn whispered. "You've got some real competition."
The two exchanged a look before venturing into the crowd.
"The party's really hopping!" Esterhazy squeaked from behind Dr. Sloth's back.
The boss, himself, was standing away from the large crowds, surveying his potential minions with his usual grimace. For the most part, the costumes were cheap and pathetic in their attempts to imitate him. A small group nearby was taking turns laughing maniacally, but their efforts only increased Sloth's frown.
"Enough of this. Time to unleash my plan," Dr. Sloth said over his shoulder.
"Time for the costume contest?" Esterhazy asked excitedly.
"No, you fool," Dr. Sloth snapped. "Time to release my gaseous concoction that will turn all of these miserable Neopians into mutants!" With that, he tilted his head back and laughed like a real villain should...
Date: Oct 30th
..."So, despite the fact that there are hundreds of other Neopians here for the contest, are you at least having fun?" Carolyn asked.
Brucey B thought for a moment, then answered. "Yeah... I am, actually. Have you tried the punch yet, or the Haunted Hummus? Delicious!"
Carolyn rolled her eyes. "Always eating, Brucey. Do you ever stop?"
Brucey was about to give back a smart retort when a scream rose up from the crowd, followed by dozens more.
"Oh no! What's happening?" Carolyn shouted above the din. They ducked under a table in a panic, where they then saw a green gas travelling along the floor and Neopians dropping like flies.
"I don't know," Brucey yelled back, "but we've got to get out of here!" Carolyn nodded frantically.
They left the safety of their hideout and made a mad dash across the station lobby, toward a door marked "EXIT."
However, the sign mislead them.
The corridors twisted this way and that, and soon they were lost.
"Which way did we come from?" Carolyn cried, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. Brucey was too scared to respond. They stood silent, listening for the sound of footsteps, but heard nothing. They weren't being followed.
"Do you think anyone noticed us running for the door?" Brucey asked shakily.
Carolyn shrugged, then replied. "I don't know."
"Four hundred and one... four hundred and two... four hundred and... wait. Uh, Sir? Dr Sloth?" Esterhazy peered up from his clipboard at the tall villain.
"What is it?" Sloth snapped.
Esterhazy gulped. "We, uh... we're missing a Neopian." He squeezed his eyes shut and shrank back from the explosion of anger he knew was coming. However, there was silence. Esterhazy opened his eyes slowly.
Dr. Sloth seemed to be deep in thought. He was silent for a moment, then said: "Brucey B."
Esterhazy nodded. "Y-yes sir. I think I saw him earlier with his sister, Carolyn."
Sloth smiled. "Then Carolyn will know where to lead him. Finally, after so many months, I will have my revenge on that dratted Bruce. He will be made to pay. Make sure all the exits are sealed. We don't want Brucey growing a brain too soon."
"Yes sir. On it." Esterhazy gave mock salute and took off to the control room to seal off all the doors (and, ultimately, Brucey's escape)...
Date: Oct 30th
Brucey B and Carolyn soon noticed that, every time they thought they'd found an exit, it was only another dead end. "All the doors are locked. Why are all the doors locked?" Carolyn asked.
"They must have figured out we were missing," Brucey replied. "We still need to find a way out, though."
Carolyn nodded in agreement. "Yes, but which way should we go?"
Brucey B didn't have an answer. He was as confused as she was. "I don't know. That way?" he said as he pointed down a hallway.
Carolyn shook her head. "We just came from that way, though. Why not this one? We haven't gone down this hallway." Brucey's eyes followed her paw toward a dimly lit, narrow hallway.
"Are you sure you didn't breathe in some of that weird gas? That hallway practically screams danger."
"Well, at least I'm coming up with new ideas!"
Brucey knew that she was right. He'd only been leading them around in circles, strategically avoiding hallways that seemed unwelcoming. He knew as well as she did that their only real option was to go down an unexplored path.
Brucey finally agreed and went down the hall that Carolyn had suggested. With each step, Brucey felt more and more that this was a bad idea. It seemed as if they were getting further away from their goal with each step.
When they'd finally reached the end of the hall, the duo saw a large door. "That's got to be it!" Carolyn exclaimed as she took off running.
"No. Wait! Carolyn!" Brucey ran after his sister, trying to get her to slow down and think before she acted, but it was too late. By the time he'd reached her, the door was already open and she was already inside. "Carolyn?" he whispered as he stepped inside.
The doors behind him quickly closed. "Hello, Brucey B." Brucey watched as the chair in front of him slowly turned around, revealing the green face of the one and only Dr. Sloth. "Yes, yes. I know. You're in such shock that you can't think of a word to say," Dr. Sloth continued.
"Not quite," Brucey B retorted with a smile. He turned slightly to see the two Grundos at the door.
Dr. Sloth, however, grimaced at the Bruce's reply. "You know that I'm not one to beat around the bush, so let's get to it. There's a problem that needs to be settled between you and I."
"Don't you just want to turn me into one of your little minions? That is what the green gas was for, wasn't it?" Brucey watched as Dr. Sloth's mouth curled into the equivalent of a smile. "You're so predictable."
"What can I say? I'm not one to give up on a good idea easily. Anyway, let's get back to settling this problem..."
"No, thanks. I think I'll just be on my way." Brucey turned around and took a step toward the door before Dr. Sloth caught his attention.
"You wouldn't leave your sister, would you?" Brucey turned around slowly. His eyes quickly darted around the room, only to find his sister standing next to Dr. Sloth in what seemed like a daze. Dr. Sloth continued. "Even if you could get past my Grundos, which I don't think would be easy, I can't imagine that you'd just leave Carolyn behind."
Brucey's face quickly showed just how much anger he felt. "What do you want?" he asked through his teeth.
"It's simple, really. You stole a fortune from me at that slots game. I want it back."
"I didn't steal anything from you. You'll have to win it, the same as all other Neopians... the same as me."
Dr. Sloth thought for a while. He knew the Bruce just as well as the Bruce knew him. "How about a wager? You're a fan of those, aren't you? We both play slots. If you win, I'll let you and your sister leave and I'll not mess with you again. At least, not for the rest of the year."
"Plus all of the other 'pets here."
"Sure," Dr. Sloth agreed, feeling very sure of himself. "However, if I win, you work for me willingly, without my having to turn you into a mutant. Do we have a deal?"
As Brucey watched the sun rise the next morning, he couldn't help but realize that Halloween had passed without him eating a single piece of candy. What a waste, he thought.
"So, what happened last night?" Carolyn asked as she walked past Brucey to grab some breakfast. "I hardly remember anything."
"Not much," Brucey replied with a yawn. "Sloth just lost another fortune in a slots game."
Date: Oct 31st
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