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||You are on Week 704
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 Seven Hundred Four Ends Friday, October 9
|The one reassuring idea about most haunted areas is that they seem to be contained one way or another. If one sees a haunted house, all they need to do is either venture inside and escape it, or flee from it altogether. The Haunted Woods, although seeming endless at times, can be seen all once. One merely needs to scale the highest tree in their vicinity and hope for the best.
Someone might argue that ghosts and other ethereal creatures can and have dwelt in the air, but I cannot imagine that would be very comfortable for said beings. Air dissipates and floats: who would want a dwelling place such as that?
Even so, there is one place for the intangible ones with the perfect balance of motion and the stationary.
It is the water- dwellers who should be the most afraid around the Month of Collecting. The water they breathe, the plants they eat, the room in which they sleep, everything has the potential to be haunted, especially toward the month's last few breaths.
No one in Maraqua seemed to realize this except for Gelda.
The Koi shuddered as yet another unnatural chill settled in her tail. It was much more than the days getting colder, of that she was certain.
She slammed her windows shut and dove under the covers, breathing carefully despite her racing heart. Her friends had just called her paranoid after she'd begged for their help in driving away the ghost in her kelp garden.
"Prove it," they'd said. "Scaredy-Kad," they'd said. "You're paranoid, Gelda," was the worst of all.
But she just knew it wasn't the water- wind cooling her and stirring up her precious plants. Gelda snapped her head up from her bed. No. She wasn't going to be driven truly insane before she found tangible proof of the spirit's existence. Something had to be done.
Night reluctantly settled on Maraqua. Good. Whatever the nightmare was would be coaxed out of its hiding spot, and the Koi would be prepared.
Gelda wasn't entirely sure what she had to face, so she inched softly toward her garden with a string of garlic and a book in one fin, and a homemade spear in the other. She curled up her poised body, ready to spring, trembling and fearful as she was. She was afraid it would come, she was afraid it wouldn't.
She didn't have long to wait.
The kelp grass rustled.
Gelda barely had time to blink, let alone raise her weapons, before exactly what she feared was nigh upon her...
Date: Oct 5th
The ghost shimmered softly between the kelp plants, eerie and haunting. It blinked large eyes back at Gelda. She couldn't quite make out what it looked like—it was still in the shadows, and seemed sort of hazy around the edges, as if it was starting to fade away.
"I'm warning you, I'm armed," Gelda told the ghost shakily. She gripped her spear more tightly.
The ghost blinked again and wiggled its long whiskers.
"If you're trying to scare me, it isn't working," Gelda lied. "Now, why don't you go and haunt someone else's garden? My friends all think I'm paranoid because of you."
"Oh," the ghost said in a soft female voice that surprised Gelda. "I'm... I'm sorry." She glided out into the open and Gelda could see that she was vaguely shaped like a Maraquan Wocky. She waved her tail back and forth in a glum sort of way.
Gelda let her spear fall to her side. The ghost didn't look very scary after all. Mostly, she looked very sad. Her eyes were downcast and her ears and fins drooped as if she simply didn't have the energy to hold herself upright.
"That's fine," Gelda heard herself say. "What's your name?"
"Min," whispered the ghost.
"Min," repeated Gelda. "Are you okay? You seem..." She trailed off, unsure how to finish that sentence.
The Wocky shook slightly. "Everywhere I go, people get so scared. I can't stand it. I keep moving around, but anytime I'm near anyone who isn't a ghost, the same thing happens over and over again." She seemed to fade a little bit as she spoke. "Anyway... I'll... I'll go. I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable." She started to slink back into the kelp garden.
Gelda watched her go, but as Min's tail was disappearing between the plants, the Koi called after her. "Wait..."
Date: Oct 5th
“…Where will you go?” Gelda asked.
The ethereal Maraquan Wocky sighed. “I don’t know… I’ll just try my best to fade away. If I focus really hard on not existing then maybe nobody will notice me enough to feel afraid.”
“Do you want to?” Gelda asked curiously. “Stop existing for real I mean?”
Min nodded emphatically. “I wish I could move on to the spirit land beyond Neopia but something keeps me here… I am a restless ghost who desperately wants to enter the final sleep. I am so tired.”
“Really?” Gelda found herself smiling with a growing excitement. Her ghost related research might really pay off this time. “I might be able to help you with that. I thought something like this might happen so I did some reading on the subject of putting ghosts to rest.”
The Wocky’s eyes went wide and she became more solid. She gracefully flipped around and propelled herself straight towards Gelda. It looked strange, because even though she made all the proper swimming motions the water did not part around Min’s lithe body.
“Do you really mean it?” Min whispered. “Oh please, please help me.”
“Sure. But I do want one thing from you
once we figure out how to put you to rest.”
“I want you to scare the pants off of everyone who thought I was paranoid. Deal?” Gelda held out her fin so they could shake on the bargain.
Min laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
Min made as if to grab Gelda’s fin in her own and the ghostly appendage slipped through Gelda’s solid one; it sent a tingling shiver through the Koi’s whole body. It was like swimming directly into a cold draft after nestling near a heated vent on the ocean floor; the sharp prickles across her scales made her pull away.
“Oh. Sorry.” Min deflated a little and hovered back.
“No, no, I was the one who wanted to shake on it,” Gelda said, then quickly changed the subject. “Now, I read that first you have to figure out how the ghost… well… how the ghost died.”
Min shrank back even further. “I’d rather not talk about that.”
“We have to! There’s no other way for me to know how to help you.”
Min stared down at the soft, sandy floor of the kelp bed. “It wasn’t exactly gruesome or anything… it’s just… well, it’s a little embarrassing…”
Date: Oct 6th
"You see... I have always had a fascination for rare and exotic seashells" she meekly mumbled.
"Seashells?" asked Gelda with a puzzled stare "What do you mean?"
Min paused for a moment before finally giving in with a sigh. "I had heard stories about these rare golden seashells way at the bottom of the bubbling pit. I thought I could quickly swim down there and pick one up before anyone would notice! Unfortunately, when I got there I was momentarily distracted by what looked like a shining trident."
"A trident?" Gelda asked.
"Yes. I was curious so I swam towards it when I realized that I had accidentally gone into a a nasty patch of poisonous kelp weeds. I felt faint and lost consciousness. When I woke up I had turned into what I am now." explained Min. She slowly lowered her head and made what sounded like a whimper.
"I spent my entire life exploring the oceans finding new seashells everyday and I lost everything to a patch of kelp weeds! Pitiful!" she sobbed.
Gelda couldn't help but feel sympathy for the lonely apparition. "She couldn't have been much older than I was." she sadly thought to herself.
"Alright! I think I know what we can do to help you move on!" she exclaimed.
Min shot up with gleaming eyes. "Can you really help me?" she asked now bright and hopeful.
Gelda gave a soft laugh. "Yep! But first we need to make our way back to the bubbling pit. Do you remember where it is?"
Min slowly sank. "I do... but..."
Date: Oct 7th
"But what?" Gelda narrowed her eyes menacingly. "Do you WANT to rest in peace, or not?" The sudden meanness that came from Gelda surprised Min.
"Of- of course I do. Why would I not? It's just... Sometimes... I feel scared. Can a ghost die again?" She whispered, hanging her head and emitting an eerie pink glow from her cheeks. Gelda instantly felt sorry for the way she'd spoken.
"Probably not." She said in what she hoped was a reassuring, gentle voice. "I mean, how could you? Wouldn't you just... I dunno, waft through everything?" She made floaty motions with her hands.
"I-- I guess. Yeah. You're right. I WILL rest in peace. Follow me..."
Date: Oct 7th
The journey wasn't far to the bubbling pit. When they arrived Gelda paused at the lip of the pit and all the excitement she had felt earlier suddenly disappeared. She looked over the edge into the depths and started shaking. It was a long way down to the bottom and who knew what perils lay within the darkness.
"You don't have to do this if you don't want to. I understand," Min's voice broke through Gelda's thoughts and she looked at Min. The sad look on her face reached Gelda's heart and with a new determination she moved closer to the edge.
"I made you a promise that I would help you. I never break a promise." Gelda took one last look around her, realizing this maybe the last time she sees the scenery around her. This adventure she had volunteered for could very well be her last. She took a deep breath and began to make her way down into the bubbling pit, Min close behind...
Date: Oct 8th
..."Watch out for poisonous kelp weeds," Min commented.
"I am," Gelda said to her friend. She kept an eye out for the bright patches of kelp. She didn't want to meet same fate as Min did.
The two swam through the bubbling pit. Both were on the lookout for golden seashells. It shouldn't be that hard to find, Gelda thought. It was gold. It could easily be spotted in the light.
However, the light didn't last long. The sun went down shortly after Min and Gelda went down into the bubbling pit. Light was becoming scarce as they went down to the bottom of the pit.
"How much farther until we reach the bottom?" Gelda asked.
"Not much farther. We're almost there," Min replied. "Thanks again for doing this for me."
Gelda gave the ghost a smile. "No problem." She eyed a patch of bright yellow and orange kelp. From the bright colors, she knew that it was poisonous. "It isn't that hard to-"
The Koi could barely get her thoughts out before a current picked up, bringing her with it. Gelda flailed around in the current, trying to get out. Min swam alongside her. Min was thinking of how she could help her out. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to think of something before the current sent Gelda into a patch of poisonous kelp weeds...
Date: Oct 8th
“Gelda!” Min shrieked.
Gelda heard her name but was too shocked to speak. The current had died suddenly and the Koi saw the brightly shimmering kelp plants all around. In her panic to escape the pulling waters, she’d actually gotten her fin wrapped around a particularly nasty patch.
“I’m here!” Gelda called, acutely aware of her body and waiting to feel the faintness that Min had told her about.
“Are you alright?” Min called.
“I...I think so,” Gelda cried back. It was true that she felt neither faint nor poisoned. She looked down at the scales on her body. Perhaps the poison didn’t affect her as quickly as Min? Gelda jumped as Min appeared next to her.
“Let me help you. I figured I can’t die twice, right?”
Min helped untangle Gelda’s fin and the two looked around hastily. They both saw it at the same time. A few yards away, floating serenely, was a large dark shape that looked familiarly like a Maraquan Wocky.
“Come on,” Gelda whispered, swimming over to Min’s corporeal body. Just like Gelda’s, Min’s body was tangled amongst the weeds. Gelda began freeing the Maraquan Wocky from her kelp grave.
“What are you doing?” Min asked.
Not wanting to sound too optimistic, Gelda gently grabbed hold of Min’s body and swam as fast as she could towards the opening to the bubbling pit. If Min called after her, she didn’t hear.
Once she reached the top, Gelda laid Min’s body near the ground, watching it float there tranquilly. “Min?” she called out. “Min.”
The eyes of Min’s body slowly opened, then fluttered wide. “That was weird,” Min said, reaching a fin up to her head. “Jubble Bubbles! My fin! My body!” She raked her figure excitedly, beaming at Gelda. “How did you do it?”
Gelda shook her head. “I mostly just wanted to make sure your body didn’t stay in the bubbling pit forever. Then I noticed the poison wasn’t affecting my skin the same as yours, so I thought if I could take your body out, then you might be able to reconnect.”
“Thank you Gelda. You’ve been so amazing to me. How can I ever repay you?”
“Well, how about a rare golden sea shell?” Gelda asked, nodding her head towards the entrance to the bubbling pit.
She laughed as she saw the look of horror on Min’s face. “Just kidding!”
Date: Oct 9th
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