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||You are on Week 688
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 Eighty Eight Ends Friday, January 23
|Mallorie dove headfirst into the shallow snow beneath her fluffy winter boots, just barely missing the ball of white that whizzed past her head. "I'll get you for that, Morty!" she screamed at him through a flurry of snow and giggles.
"Good luck!" the Aisha playfully rebutted as he sent another almost perfect sphere flying her way -- Morty had a talent for making snowballs and even better aim. This one hit his friend square between her eyes.
"Ow," she said, mock-wincing before wiping the snow off her face and bursting into another fit of laughter. "Morty, you little!"
Morty, towering over Mallorie, shot the Wocky a characteristic casual grin. "Hey, I'm only forty-two days younger than you!"
Kneeling, she looked up and shook her head at him playfully. Mallorie had known the Aisha for years and that was his go-to answer to the endearing insult... and she wouldn't have any other phrase follow.
Grinning almost menacingly back at him, she threw a hastily and secretly pieced together snowball right at his cheek. "Got you," she said with a barely perceptible smile before leaping to her feet and pushing him into the fresh Terror Mountain snow.
Looking up at her with wide eyes, the Aisha rubbed his back.
Concern instantly panged Mallorie as she helped him up. "Oh my Fyora, are you alright? I didn't mean to do it so har--" She hesitated and eyed him suspiciously, a lopsided smile coming to her face. "You're not going to throw a snowball at me, are you?"
He mirrored the expression and chuckled. "You know me too well... but in this case, no. You pushed me into something hard under the snow and I landed on it back-first."
The Wocky almost winced upon hearing that she had caused her friend pain and instantly commenced rubbing his back. "What do you think it was?"
"I don't know," Morty replied as he broke free from her worry and felt around in the snow. "I have to make sure no one else hurts him or herself, though," he admirably concluded.
At last his paws clasped the object in question. "Aha!" he exclaimed as he pulled a hard plastic cylindrical tube from the ice beneath the white. Twisting off its top, he pulled out its contents and found it to be a note.
Mallorie read aloud over his shoulder -- she'd always been the better reader.
"To whom it may concern," she started...
Date: Jan 19th
"There isn't much time. A great snowball battle is about to take place between my clan and Tyrela Softpaw's clan."
The Wocky wrinkled her nose in confusion. "The same Wocky who goes around rescuing lost Terror Mountaineers? She doesn't seem like the fighting type."
Morty peered over at the note, squinting at the hastily-scrawled letters. "Goodness, the author of this note didn't take enough penmanship classes, did they?"
"Oh, hush," Mallorie retorted. "It's obvious that they're in trouble and didn't have the time to write neatly."
She went on reading. "The source of the feud between our clans is enclosed with this letter. Protect it. It truly belongs to the Rescued. Those Wockies have no business trying to take it from us.
You have the option to battle the oncoming horde if and ONLY IF you are able to incapacitate every one of them with your skillfully-crafted snowballs. If there is even the slightest chance of you failing, then by all means, run.
If you choose to run and hide, fret not. We Rescued will find you and keep you safe. How, you ask? We�ve spent much time with Taelia and have learned her ways.
Best of luck. Time may have run out for me alrea"--
Mallorie gasped, flipping the paper over only to find that the other side was almost as blank and white as the snow.
"Well... did they make it okay?" Morty asked, craning his neck to search the note for further clues.
The Wocky sighed. "I don't know, but unless we don't take care of whatever's in here, the author's enemies will."
The Aisha lifted the cylindrical tube. "I'm not afraid!" he crowed, waving it over his head like a sword. "I'm the best snowball fighter in Neopia Central!"
Watching Morty's ridiculous performance, Mallorie giggled at his antics, then stopped short at seeing a glistening item fly out of the tube and into the snow.
"Careful!" she cried, racing to it.
Kneeling down to get a better look, Mallorie reached into the half-foot snow impression and pulled out...
Date: Jan 20th
...a silver key. Mallorie examined the key, hoping to find any significance to it.
"A key?" Mallorie asked. "Why would they be after a key?"
"It probably goes to something," Morty answered. "I wonder what it goes to?"
Mallorie and Morty walked in the snow. A delicate flurry was beginning to fall. A chill wind picked up, sending Mallorie's fur to blow in her face.
"What do you think the key goes to?" Mallorie asked her friend.
"I'm not sure, but I think it's treasure," Morty replied. The Aisha smiled hopefully. "Why don't we find out?"
Mallorie was unsure of that idea. Morty's ideas weren't always the best, but this was different. Finding out what could cause a great battle could get the two into big trouble, something that Mallorie wanted to stay out of.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Mallorie asked. She was hoping to talk him out of that idea. "I'm positive that someone is after it. Plus it could land us in a huge amount of--"
"Don't worry," Morty interrupted. "Nothing bad is going to happen."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Of course I'm sure." The Aisha held up the silver key to show the Wocky. "Besides, who's going to think that we have the key?"
Mallorie sighed. "You have a point."
Morty opened his mouth to reply, but a sudden order stopped him from doing so.
"There it is!" someone from behind Mallorie and Morty shouted. "Get that key!"...
Date: Jan 20th
...Mallorie and Morty turned around to a pack of Lupes sprinting towards them, and they looked at each other with fear.
They began to run but one larger Lupe jumped and landed in front of them, stopping them in their tracks. The four others formed a line behind them, and Mallorie and Morty were cornered.
"Children, do not run. We are only here to help. That key? If isn't used properly, all of Terror Mountain will be in grave danger!" The Lupe then held his paw out, waiting for the key expectantly.
"But how can we trust you? You just came out of nowhere yelling at us. And I'm sure if we tried to escape, you wouldn't let us," Morty said, trying to be brave.
Mallorie was frozen with fear. Morty was only going to get them into more trouble by challenging this Lupe! But he also had a point; who knew what this guy was up to.
The Lupe started to frown and they could hear a low growl. "Stop trying to distract me; where is the key? Surely you have hidden it from me."
Morty went to stand in front of Mallorie as the Lupes started to circle around them.
"Wow, uh... you're pretty determined, aren't you," Mallorie lightly chuckled, her paws shaking.
Morty began to scoop up the snow off of the ground and make a snowball, and was prepared to throw it when suddenly...
Date: Jan 21st
...Mallorie hit them first. Morty was a little shocked, considering he hadn't seen her begin to pack the snow, but he grinned all the same. "Nice shot!" he shouted before throwing his own. The snow whizzed right between the ears of one of the Lupes.
The pack began to create their own snowballs, starting to throw them at the pair. Morty managed to duck the first one that was thrown his way, but the next one hit him in the shoulder. "Ow! These are practically made of ice!"
"We'd better use all of our dirty tricks to get them," Mallorie told him. "No holding back." She scooped a few tiny pebbles into her snowball before she threw it. It hit a Lupe square in the face and he turned and fled.
"Great! One down, four more to go. Keep going with that gravel!" Morty encouraged, tossing snowball after snowball until another Lupe ran off with its tail between its legs.
"You think your little rocks will so easily defeat us all?" one of the Lupes snapped. "You're quite easily mistaken. Give up now, and we will offer you something greater, far beyond whatever is keeping that key in your possession."
"Yeah?" Mallorie taunted, dodging a snowball that was aimed at her head. "And what do you have that's so great?"
"Well," the Lupe began, "we have..."
Date: Jan 21st
Mallorie stopped as a large shadow suddenly appeared over the hill. A great white-furred Snowbeast reared its head across the snowy dale. Behind him, he was dragging a large wooden catapult with a large mass of snow on it.
"This is your last chance," the Lupe replied with a devilish smirk. "We offer you a chance to walk away from this for the key. Give us the key, or we will unleash an icy freeze upon you the likes of which haven't been seen since the Bori were frozen!"
Morty gulped. The Snowbeast was glaring right at him and looked like he was just waiting for an excuse to launch the maelstrom of snow and ice toward them from his catapult.
"So, what say you?" the Lupe asked. "Oh, and let me assure you... this isn't the only Snowbeast we have."
Mallorie still looked defiant. A pebble-marked snowball was squeezed in her paw as she looked for any sort of sign of weakness in the Snowbeast.
"Time's up," the Lupe said and then turned to the Snowbeast, "Ready... aim..."
Date: Jan 22nd
..."What is the meaning of this?" an authoritative voice shouted. Mallorie whirled around to see who spoke and then gasped.
A beautiful fur-clad faerie stood just behind Mallorie's left shoulder. The newcomer lowered the fur-trimmed hood of her ice-blue parka to reveal her shiny black hair. Her piercing blue eyes were sparkling with fury.
The Snowbeast, who had been ready to fire at his leader's command, dropped the rope release and lumbered backward a few steps.
"T-T-Taelia?" Monty stuttered. "Is that you? Is it really you?" The poor Aisha was in total sock, but a look of hope started to dawn on his face.
Mallorie, however, was a little more wary. Taelia looked furious, and Mallorie hoped she and Monty weren't the ones on her bad side. She gulped, then began to recount the story that led the two friends into their current predicament.
"...And so he," Mallorie said, indicating the Lupe holding his ground across the field, "was going to set the Snowbeast loose on us so that he could get the key." Mallorie watched Taelia nervously as she finished her tale, trying to get a feel for what the Snow Faerie might do next.
Taelia nodded speculatively and turned her gaze to the Lupe across the snowy field. "Is this true?" Taelia called to him.
"More or less," the Lupe said with a shrug. "The key belongs to us and we really, really need to get it back."
"The key, the key..." Taelia said in her musical voice. "If this is all over a silly key then I'd better have a look." Taelia held out her hand and looked expectantly at Monty, who was clutching the key in his hand.
Monty took a tentative step toward Taelia and held his fist over Taelia's waiting palm. He opened his clenched hand and...
Date: Jan 22nd
… the faerie snatched the key from mid-air.
Without speaking, Taelia examined the key with an intent expression. Her brow furrowed as she lifted it, turning it over in her hands, and she pursed her lips thoughtfully.
Mallorie took a step forward. When held to the light, it was easier to see the detail that had been etched into the metal. A serpentine design traced its way down the body of the key, and something about it seemed almost familiar. She squinted to obtain a better look but Taelia’s fingers closed around the key, removing it from view.
The faerie’s knuckles grew white. When she spoke, her voice was imbued with ice. "I recognise this key. It opens a passageway into the Snowager's lair."
There were a few beats of silence before Mallorie found her voice. "Ah. The Snowager?" she echoed, sharing a glance with Morty. The snow beast resided in the ice caves and was well-known for the treasure hoard it had amassed. Legend told that the Snowager coveted riches and guarded its wealth jealously. Mallorie had seen illustrations of the beast in the past and realised that the key had been engraved with a representation of its likeness.
Taelia's assessing gaze probed Mallorie and she raised an eyebrow as she asked, "You said that it belonged to the Rescued?" There was a faint note of puzzlement in her tone but Mallorie disregarded it, focusing on the question and the concern threaded through it.
One of the Lupes interjected before Mallorie could elaborate. "They won't give it to us, though," he complained sourly. Taelia's glance flicked in his direction, as readily as though she’d expected his complaint, and Mallorie's followed suit.
"What?" Morty asked. "You don't mean..."
Mallorie's thoughts spun but she managed to finish her friend's sentence. "You don't mean to say... that you're members of the Rescued?" The idea left her stunned and didn't seem to add up. Had she known, she would likely have handed the key over. "Why did you attack us, then?"
The Lupe rolled his eyes and Mallorie bristled at his obvious disdain. "To save time, of course! We were in a hurry."
"You're always in a hurry." Taelia's silvery voice was as cool as ever but it had become tinged with affection. Tugging at her ear, Mallorie remembered that the note had said that the Rescued had spent time with Taelia.
"So... he's really part of the Rescued, then?' she confirmed.
Taelia looked from Mallorie to the Lupe. "Nathan, I think that you should explain what's going on. I, too, would love to know."
Nathan heaved a dramatic sigh. "Very well. One of our agents was being tracked by members of the Softpaw clan," he explained. "They wanted to remove the key from our keeping, and she was forced to hide it here when she realised how close behind they were. She sent us a message, telling us what she'd done, and we came here to retrieve the key. As I understand it, she left a second message with the key in case we didn't arrive in time."
It was a lot of information, which made Mallorie felt dizzy. "Where is the Softpaw clan now?"
Nathan stiffened, and whispers raced through the Lupes behind him. "Our agent managed to lead them astray. However, they must be on their way here by now."
Taelia's eyebrows rose. "Tyrela's coming?"
"Tyrela... and her Wocky army," Nathan told her grimly...
Date: Jan 23rd
..."Attaaaack!" an angry, shrill voice called out, piercing the cold air. Mallorie gasped and spun around. The voice belonged to... a blue Wocky with icy white stripes running down her fur.
"Softpaw," Nathan growled and then turned to face Tyrela. He deflected a packed ball of ice flying his way, sending it back to the Wocky who'd thrown it. Morty gaped at him, wondering how he'd done that.
"Defend the key at all costs!" Nathan declared, barking orders at the Snowbeast and Lupes. Mallorie and Morty immediately sprang into action, packing snowballs and flinging them at oncoming Wockies. Soon, a full-blown snowball battle was raging between the Lupes and Wockies.
"Ha ha!" Morty cried in victory as his snowball smacked a Wocky straight in the face. The Wocky tumbled over and scrambled to run away. Morty turned around, looking for his next opponent. That was when he saw Tyrela armed with a Fiery Snowball. Tyrela brought her arm back, then recoiled, hurtling the Fiery Snowball in Taelia's direction. Taelia had been busy defending the key from other attacking Wockies. She was not aware of the oncoming snowball. He had to do something!
"Yaaaaah!" Morty threw himself forward into the path of the fiery snowball. Taelia whipped around just in time to see the snowball hit Morty squarely in the chest, causing him to crumple into a smoking heap on the snow.
"No!!!" Taelia shouted as she blasted Tyrela with a powerful Icy Snowball. The impact knocked Tyrela back a few feet. Tyrela struggled to push herself up. Her leg was hurt.
"This... is not over!" Tyrela yelled. The Softpaw Wockies draped her arms around their shoulders and carried her off, quickly disappearing into the fog and snow.
When Morty's eyes blinked open, he was attacked by a relieved Mallorie, who half-strangled him to death in a bear hug. He was lying in a bed as soft as snow.
"Rest, young hero," Taelia said while appearing from behind Mallorie. "You are safe in my home."
"We're safe," Morty repeated. He smiled weakly up at Mallorie, who reassured him. "Yep, no more snowball fighting for me... at least for now." They then exchanged grins.
Date: Jan 24th
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