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||You are on Week 722
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 Twenty Two Ends Friday, March 18
|"There's the hut!" Maurice said to herself as she ticked the last location on her checklist. "Not as impressive as I thought it would be. Let's see how it looks like on the inside."
The Shadow Zafara stepped into the hut and took in her surroundings. Nothing special either, she thought to herself and made a note on her clipboard. This meant more work for her; she had to write an article on the tourist attractions of Mystery Island for the Neopian Times. They had asked her to put in a good word for every place she visited but so far, nothing had really attracted her.
As she put a full stop to her sentence, an Island Kyrii appeared and greeted her. "Welcome to my little hut. Ahh, I guess you came here to have your fortune told, eh?" He looked at Maurice, but before she could get a word out from her mouth, the Kyrii suddenly gasped.
"What is it?" Maurice asked, a little surprised. "Is there something on my hair?" She swiped her head carefully with her paw so as not to mess up her hair.
"You're a shadow Zafara. Today is the 29th day of Running," he said, looking at her with bewildered eyes. "So it's true!"
"What's true?" she asked, clearly confused. Was the Mystic sick today? Maybe she had visited on the wrong day. "Um, it's alright, I'll pass. I'll come again another time."
Just as she headed for the exit, the Kyrii shouted, "you will eventually alter the fate of Mystery Island!"
Maurice was flabbergasted as she stumbled out of the hut. "Wha - preposterous! What kind of fortune is that?" she uttered, glaring at the hut. "How am I supposed to write a positive review of him? He's raging mad!"
She shook her head and stooped down to pick up her fallen clipboard when ...
Date: Mar 14th
...she noticed a small, colourful gem on the floor besides her. She picked it up, and bought it close to her eyes.
"Huh, what in Fyora's name is this?" she said under her breath, turning the stone this way and that, so it caught the sunlight coming in from the doorway. It shined in a million different colours.
"Let me see that, Shadow Zafara," the Mystic said, stepping forward with his paw out.
Maurice looked at him suspiciously for a moment, wondering if he'd steal it. Then she decided he was a trusted Mystic, and that seemed unethical. She handed it over, and he inspected it.
"I recognise this!" the Mystic exclaimed finally. "It belongs to..."
Date: Mar 14th
"Eithne?" Maurice questioned. She had never heard that name before.
The Island Mystic took a step forward and looked up to Maurice.
"Eithne is a fire faerie, but not one you wish to have anything to do with, Shadow Zafara." He said to her, "But the threads of fate have already been woven."
"What are you talking about?" Maurice asked.
"The fate of Mystery Island is in your hands, Shadow Zafara." The Mystic repeated, and then took Maurice by the hand and placed the gem inside it, "Go. Do what must be done!"
"But I don't know..."
Maurice did not what to spend any more time in this hut and quickly ran out, keeping her clipboard close to her chest as she rushed out of his hut.
"What was that all about?" She thought to herself before straightening up her clothes from the sudden run.
"If he think's he's getting a good review, he's got another think coming..." Maurice grumbled aloud, and just pocketed the gem. She still had a job to do. While the hut was the last spot on the list to write about, she still needed pictures for her article, so her next stop was...
Date: Mar 15th
Techo Mountain. If there was one place that it would be easy to get photographs, Maurice figured it would be Techo Mountain. Even though the rest of the island had seemed relatively lackluster, surely the readers of the Neopian Times would gobble up photos of roaring lava and hopeful Neopets tossing their ordinary Codestones into the flames. The namesake of the volcano, a giant stone formation in the shape of a Techo's head, would surely get some positive attention as well. As she approached and the mountain loomed over her, she took a seat in the grass.
Something was bothering Maurice, though, and it wasn't the tropical heat. What had the Mystic meant by his words? She doubted he knew anything about her and her destiny, and certainly didn't believe that she had anything to do with the fate of Mystery Island.
Regardless, the interaction was gnawing at her mind. Although she had been to Mystery Island countless times before, she had never heard of anyone having a similar experience with the Mystic. Why, then, had he bothered her?
Seemingly responding to her thoughts, the gem in her pocket started to hum -- loud enough for her to notice. As she quizzically took it into her hands and examined it once more, she heard a scuttling sound -- the quick approach of someone clearly in a hurry. Turning her gaze away from the gem, Maurice looked beside her and saw...
Date: Mar 15th
...A camouflage Kacheek, just in time for said Kacheek to collide with her. For such a small thing, it had enough momentum from its speed that it sent Maurice off-balance. She landed hard on her backside with a low "oomph" while the gem was knocked out of her hand.
The Zafara rolled onto her stomach to push herself up, and from this new angle she saw the Kacheek deftly snatch up the gem and continue running as he sprinted toward Techo Mountain. "Hey wait a minute, you! That's mine!" she yelled after him.
The reporter grumbled as she got to her feet and brushed the dirt off her clothes as best she could. That Kacheek was lucky he was likely unimportant because he definitely would have gotten a bad review for that.
Maurice paused to consider her options. Yes, she did not believe in the prophecy the Island Mystic had bestowed upon her, but that did not give the Kacheek the right to steal the gem. She wasn't sure why it mattered so much to her - it was probably just the principle of it all. What gave him the right to just take something from someone like that? What if she had hurt herself falling over?
She briefly entertained the notion of writing these events into her article, but decided against it; the Mystery Island Tourism Board would probably not take too kindly to mentions of assault and thievery even if they would make for good reading.
I guess you were wrong, after all, Kyrii Maurice thought as she made up her mind to continue along her way, forgetting about the Mystic, the gem, the Kacheek, all of it. Not that she had much of an option, as the little thief was likely too far gone for her to follow.
As Maurice continued up the trail to the peak of Techo Mountain, however, something caught her eye. It was a little brown shape holding the gem up to a nondescript portion of the mountain. Before her very eyes, the wall began to split in two to reveal a tunnel beyond, which the Kacheek began to travel down. As he passed, the wall began to close in on itself again. Maurice realized she had enough time to follow the Kacheek, but it was now or never...
Date: Mar 16th
Impulsively, Maurice lunged for the wall and dove between the grinding stone slabs into the dark tunnel beyond. Though quick, her lunge was less than graceful, and for the second time in just a few minutes, she found herself sprawled on her backside in the dirt.
"Oomph," she muttered to herself as she staggered to her feet. The darkness around her was disorienting, and air was thick with the smell of earth. As her eyes began to adjust, Maurice could make out a dim, flickering light somewhere in the distance, but the Kacheek, with her gem, was nowhere in sight.
Feeling her way along the tunnel's earthy sides, she stumbled toward the flickering, which cast dark, spooky shadows on the walls and floor. For the first time that day, Maurice began to feel truly afraid. As a reporter, she had covered her share of strange happenings, but she had never expected that she, an ordinary shadow Zafara, would find herself involved in such an odd chain of events.
The light seemed to grow brighter as she drew closer, and the air seemed warmer, as if she were nearing the center of the volcano. As she reached the end of the tunnel and stumbled around a corner toward the light, Maurice suddenly felt a sharp tug on her shoulders. Before she could react, she found her arms tied behind her back.
"Well, well, well," A voice whispered beside her ear. "Eithne told me it would be easy to lure you here, but I had no idea how easy it would be..."
Date: Mar 17th
"Eithne?" Asked the Zafara, frantically whipping her head around.
It was, of course, the Kacheek. "So, you've heard of my master, have you? Well, she is an all-powerful Fire Faerie..." The Kacheek had a hint of smugness in his voice.
Maurice decided to annoy him. What she was about to say was true, after all. "Actually, I only heard of her because of that mad old Kyrii who tells fortunes in the dingy hut. I must say, I wasn't very impressed by her description. Didn't sound like anyone I should be bothered with, at any rate."
The Kacheek scowled. "How dare you insult my master?!"
"Rather easily, to be honest." Maurice had six older siblings; she'd gotten quite good at winding people up. She could see the signs-- his jaw was tightening, his scowl deepening, his body tensing. Any minute now, and he would blow.
She just had to bide her time...
Date: Mar 18th
... or so she had thought but unfortunately, the arrival of the Fire Faerie at that moment foiled her plans.
"You've done enough, Kris," came her disembodied voice. Her figure appeared a few seconds later in a flash or flames.
"Master!" the Kacheek cried out, tears welling in his eyes. He quickly knelt down on one foot and presented the gem to Eithne with both his hands extended above his head as if it was a royal ring.
Eithne picked it up from his palm without much emotion. "Thank you, Kris. You will be rewarded for your service," she said somewhat indifferently.
Kris, on the other hand, took it as a word of highest praise and thanked the Faerie profusely. The scene made Maurice burst out in laughter despite the fear contained within her.
"Not scared, are we now?" questioned Eithne. "Well, the fate of Mystery Island is now in my hands." She gave out an evil laugh but Maurice thought that it was far below standard compared to the other evil faeries. She was about to counterattack with another one of her insults but then stopped short. Her eyes opened wide in astonishment as the gem began to hum loudly again, this time glowing bright orange as well.
Suddenly, columns of fire burst out from nowhere, giving Maurice a real shock. She reared back instinctively but couldn't move much due to the restraints. A column of fire that was merely inches away her licked her skin, causing her to howl in pain.
"The fire is spreading all over Mystery Island now and there's nothing you can do about it, pathetic Neopet!" Eithne exclaimed, laughing happily.
The Zafara closed her mouth and withstood the searing agony; she didn't want to give the Fire Faerie the pleasure of watching her suffer. She adjusted her hands but was surprised for a moment. Her hands could move again!
She was internally grateful for the fire burning away the rope despite sustaining some injuries. Neither Eithne nor Kris had noticed; both of them were too busy enjoying the sight of the flames to pay any attention to her. Maurice also saw that the Faerie's hand holding the gem was slack.
Seeing this as a good opportunity, Maurice lunged for Eithne's hand. The Faerie immediately dropped the gem; she was distracted and hadn't anticipated it. In a flash, the Zafara stepped on the gem with her foot, crushing and grinding it with all her might. It shattered and a million different colourful lights refracted in all directions.
"Nooooooooo!" Eithne yelled. The columns of fire disappeared as soon as the gem was destroyed and the Faerie and her servant were left helpless and powerless. Maurice hurriedly picked up the broken shards and sprinted off as fast as her legs would carry her out of the tunnel, across Techo Mountain and to the Mystic's hut.
"What in Fyora's name happened?" the Kyrii asked. "Half of Mystery Island was partially in flames for a moment before it stopped!"
Maurice held out her hand with the shattered pieces for the Mystic to see. "Is this... gem... useless now? Is the Faerie... powerless... too?" Maurice asked in between heavy gasps for breath.
"Is this true?" the Mystic gasped, his eyes wide open. "Yes, it has been destroyed and Eithne is powerless without it."
She managed a small smile as she gained her composure. "What about the island?"
"Eithne's power is weak compared to the other faeries so there wasn't any substantial damage," he replied. "A few huts caught fire though. The islanders will help them to rebuild their homes and shops, I'm sure. Now wait a moment here while I get something."
The Kyrii disappeared behind the hut and came back a few moments later with some sort of cream. "Here, for your arm."
Maurice was confused before she remembered that she was injured. "Oh! Thank you!" She took the cream from the Mystic and applied it on her burns. It felt soothing on her skin.
"I'm going to head home now," Maurice said after she handed the cream back to him. "It sure has been an eventful day."
"Yes, and thank you. You had altered the otherwise terrible fate of Mystery Island," he answered with a smile.
"Oh, that reminds me," Maurice held up her camera, "can I take a photo of you?"
"The Neopian Times," she said and winked. "A featured article."
Date: Mar 22nd
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