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||You are on Week 730
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 Thirty Ends Friday, May 20
|Why did I think it was a good idea to bring so many sandwiches?
Thep thought first occurred to Mysha as he passed the Money Tree on his way from Neopian Central. Even then, twenty of the things were seriously weighing down his backpack, and Plushie Skeiths were hardly the fastest creatures at the best of times. He had the same morose thought as he trudged up a series of small green hills just outside of the main village.
I probably should have left all the apples at home, too.
Enviously, he glanced ahead at Teela. She seemed to have no such issues. Her little backpack was tucked between the fluttering webs of her Korbat wings and she skimmed just above the waving, emerald grass as she fluttered ahead. Sulking, Mysha was forced to remind himself why they were on this journey.
How many times had he sat in class, gazing at the map of Neopia? There, on the image, the ever-present arching rainbow that shone between Roo Island and Neopia Central. Why was it there? What was at the base of it?
Teela had tried to suggest that perhaps it was just a rainbow, and what was at the base was probably just grass and some water, but she had agreed to go with him. Mysha half suspected that it was to keep him from getting lost, but he was grateful for the company, anyway.
About an hour from the coast of Neopia Central, they were able to get a clear view of the rainbow. The colours were scintillating. Indigo blending to violet. Violet to coral. Coral to azure. Azure to emerald. Emerald to glistening gold. Mysha thought that he would never see anything so beautiful again. He was so lost in the daydream of what they might find over the next hill that he didn’t notice Teela had stopped. A dangerous thing, for he only just stopped himself from bowling over her.
"Why did you stop..." He trailed off, eyes widening.
Ahead, was something that did not belong in the shimmering rainbow vision…
Date: May 16th
A flock of gnarled mutant Pteris were scattered amongst the field beneath the rainbow. Though normally hidden in the shadows of Neopia, the ultramarine beasts were out in the glorious, shining field.
"What-" Teela interrupted herself to swallow her fear "-what do you think they're doing here?" Teela was frozen as if she had just gotten a blast from the Snowager. She knew darn well that these creatures weren't just here to enjoy the rainbow like she and Mysha were.
Mysha thought for a second and looked at Teela fearfully. "Well," he sighed, "there's only one way to find out" and with that, Mysha hiked his backpack higher onto his shoulders and started marching towards to fearsome flock with Teela following meekly behind...
Date: May 16th
Mysha's march was one of confidence. He had questions for these Pteris, like, "Why are you here?" and probably others, but he could think of them when he got there.
Feeling powerful, Mysha raised a hand into the air and opened his mouth to speak.
Before he could let out a sound, a Pteri moved its head in a flash, facing Mysha and staring right into his eyes. It did not even look as if his body moved!
It barely took a second for Mysha to throw himself into some shrubbery near him. Teela gave out a small cry and ran after him, running into his backpack and hiding with him.
"W-what are you doing? I thought," she cried, with her voice quivering, "you were going to go up to them?"
Mysha's head slowly turned to face her. He was eating one of his sandwiches.
After a moment of silence and half a sandwich, Mysha responded to her emotionless stare with, "You cannot do anything on an empty stomach, right?"
Before she could respond, there was a slight noise above them. Both of them looked up to see a Mutant Pteri staring down, just inches from their faces...
Date: May 17th
"Hello Chum," the Mutant Pteri said, a sinister smile crossing his lips. "And what 're the pair o' you doing in a place like this?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Mysha replied.
"We're here for the Midnight Rainbow," the mutant Pteri growled. "Said only t' appear 'nce every hundr'd years. More o' my kind will be coming soon. Now why're YOU here?"
"Er-" with a little quick-thinking, Mysha pulled out a scroll and quill from his backpack and flashed a confident smile, "We're here to document it!"
The Mutant Pteri looked a little confused. "You two squirts are risking your lives to DOCUMENT this?"
"Yeah, yeah!" Teela spoke up. "We've been commissioned from King Altador for that very purpose."
The bewildered Pteri looked around, "Where are your bodyguards then?"
"They're on their lunch break," Mysha said, never deviating from that toothy smile.
"Fascinating," the Pteri looked at Mysha and Teela like they were a bunch of idiots. "Well, if you know what's good for you, go find a better hiding place. More will be comin' soon, and you'd best not be out in the open when they do."
Both Mysha and Teela nodded vigorously as the mutant Pteri turned to fly away.
"Hold on!" Mysha exclaimed.
The repulsive Pteri stopped mid-flap.
"What exactly IS supposed to happen when the Midnight Rainbow appears?" Mysha asked hesitantly.
A loud, raspy laugh erupted from the Pteri's throat, "You mean you don't know...?"
Date: May 17th
Mysha’s toothy smile drooped a little, and he shook his head. Luckily, Teela saved the day.
“Of course not! It’s all stories and rumours, isn’t it? The King is only interested in fact! THAT is why we’re here!”
The Pteri looked sceptical, his tattered wings sweeping as he hovered. Teela steeled her nerves and continued.
“Oh, of course, there are tales.” She managed a little laugh that she hoped sounded bemused. “Myths, legends. That old one… what was it again…?” She trailed off, hoping beyond hope that the Pteri took the bait.
Apparently, the Pteri’s weren’t very bright.
“Ya mean the one about the colour revealing, I should think.” He looked a little proud of his wisdom. “That anyone who wanders through the light of the Midnight Rainbow has their real colour revealed.”
Teela tried to hide her confusion, refusing to look at Mysha, who was now anxiously gnawing on his claws, clearly missing his sandwiches.
“Oh yes.” She nodded, trying to look like an authority on the subject. “Their true colour. Before painted.”
The Pteri snorted, cackling low in his throat.
“Don’t be daft, kid! The colour you SHOULD be, regardless of what ya owner painted ya. How we got like this in the first place, ya know. And now we’re hoping it turns us back.”
Teela widened her eyes, trying to back up, hoping Mysha would take the hint.
“Oh, yes. Well. Good luck with that. We should go anyway. It’s about to be…”
The Pteri smirked, shaking his head slowly. A flapping noise behind them made it clear they wouldn’t be leaving from behind, and in front, the slowly darkening rainbow.
“Yes, lass. About to be midnight…”
And with that, the rainbow began to shimmer darkly...
Date: May 18th
...and its colours began to meld. The rainbow became an ominous cloud-like arch. Teela and Mysha could see a slow, reverent procession of the Mutant Pteris passing under it. The Pteri motioned them forward, swooshing its heavy wings slowly ushering them toward the cloud.
"Come on then, no dawdlin' on ye fact findin' mission... for the king 'n' all," he cackled.
Reluctantly, and without any more sandwiches, Mysha put his paw on Teela and they moved slowly forward.
As they got closer, they could see a figure go under one side of the enormous, looming cloud. It was one of the Mutant Pteris. They could hardly believe what they saw next! Flapping high into the night sky on the other side of the arch, was an elegant Faerie Pteri. They heard it's triumphant call as it soared swiftly away.
As a second Mutant Pteri made its way under the Midnight Rainbow, Teela marveled, "Oh, look! How beautiful! It's wondrous!"
Their Pteri escort added quickly, "Aye, but not always, Lass." Nodding it's beak back at the Midnight Rainbow, "Look there. That be the risk o' not knowin' where ye be from." And then added, "And ye do know were ye be from, do ye not?"...
Mysha and Teela saw then what had happened to the second Pteri. It had...
Date: May 18th
...changed, but the wondrous transformation that had seen the first gain gleaming peach feathers and a magnificent plumed tail had not taken place. No, this Pteri had shed its monstrous fangs and scales, but what lay beneath… was not a Pteri at all. Instead, a shiny purple Quiggle stood dazed beneath the Rainbow’s arch, looking at its webbed hands with clear dismay.
“Poor lad, he.” The Mutant Pteri before them shook his head sadly. “He always dreamed of flyin’ – tae really fly, more than these coarse wings can give us. Wanted ta gain his true wings, as it were. Yet not all of us will find what we seek on this fair night.”
“That’s so sad,” murmured Teela. “So he wasn’t actually a Pteri?”
“Not in spirit. Yer true self ain’t always what ye think it tae be.” Their escort nodded towards the despondent Quiggle, who was now watching bright Pteris of all shades soar into the sky. “An’ that’s why no matter how many times I’ve seen the Midnight Rainbow’s light, I ain’t got the heart ta walk it.”
“You’ve seen this before?” Teela exclaimed. “But – you said every hundred years…”
The Pteri shrugged. “I’m old, Lass. I gather my flock over the years, and when the Midnight Rainbow shines, I lead them here ta find their dreams. Ye can tell that to yer King – I hear he knows a thing or two about shepherding.”
“Surely he can still change, though?” Mysha couldn’t help but pity the lone Quiggle. In searching for a way to become one with the sky, he’d lost the small ability to fly that he’d already had. His own tiny wings twinged in sympathy. “There are paint brushes, and morphing potions… he can still use them, right?”
“Aye, but the Rainbow goes deeper than any simple brush. He can change his look, his shape, but he can’t be changin’ [i]himself[/i], if ye ken. Mayhaps it’s time he realized his dreams… maybe weren’t what he thought they were all along.”
“But you said he wanted to fly?”
“He did, and he still do, and maybe he always will. But the truth’s been shown ta him tonight – maybe his heart lie in the water all along, and he just never saw it, he was too busy lookin’ up. Now he’ll finally look down, and maybe he’ll find what he really sought. The truth ain’t always what ye want. But it’s the truth all the same.”
Mysha, for once, didn’t think about sandwiches. Whatever mysteries the rainbow had promised him when he initially set off after it, he hadn’t expected anything this… solemn. Magical, yes, powerful, yes. But how could something this beautiful be both so wonderful and so sad in the same breath?
“This place be sacred to us, but on this night, the rainbow shows its true colors to all – and shows their true colors in turn.” The Pteri tapped his claws on Mysha’s soft shoulder. “Why don’t you two be givin’ it a try?”…
Date: May 19th
"W-we're just kids, though! If someone who's been around for so long doesn't know what he wants, what chance is there that we wouldn't come out the other side a mangled mutant?" Mysha said with wide eyes. The Pteri scoffed at his remark and took another long gaze at the monochrome rainbow.
"Aye, ye be only a wee lad... but ya've had less time to wonder about who yer supposed to be. Maybe you'll find somethin' wonderful on the other side."
Mysha glanced at Teela, who was staring at the Midnight Rainbow with wonder. "I... I think I wanna do it," Teela said. She took a step forward, but Mysha grabbed her arm.
"Wait Teela! You don't know what will happen! This could go so wr-!" But he was cut off by the old Pteri.
"Let 'er do it, lad. The fear of the unknown is mighty, but it can, and must, be triumphed. This little lass has more courage than you or I."
Teela looked back at Mysha and smiled. She took a deep breath and flew toward the Rainbow. Silently, and landed at it's base and gazed upward. The Rainbow shimmered so brilliantly against the clouds in the sky, and Teela couldn't help but grin a toothy, fanged grin up at the sky. She was ready.
The little Korbat took a step forward without hesitation and bathed herself in the sparkling light of the Midnight Rainbow. Ready for anything, she came out the other side... Completely unchanged! The Rainbow showed her reflection perfectly, and she was exactly the same. Mysha stumbled over the bushes and ran to see his friend. His eyes went wide when he saw her - still small and white... and still Teela.
"I don't get it," The Korbat said quizzically. "Did it work?"
"Aye, lass," The Pteri answered, walking slowly toward the pair. "Yer someone who's true tae yer heart. Th' Midnight Rainbow looked deep 'n' found ya t' be at home in yer own body. Take that fer what ya will."
Teela looked on at the old Pteri with no expression. In a way, she understood what had happened... but she was underwhelmed by it all at the same time. "What about you, Mr. Pteri?" She asked.
"What about me? There's nothin' more tae know 'bout me, little one. I'll be back next time 'round. Maybe by then I'll have a fraction o' yer courage, lass, but these old bones don't like changin' too much nowadays. There's still time fer you, however, little Mysha."
Mysha simply shook his head. "I don't like change much either, but I think I've learned something today all the same. Thanks for this, Mr. Pteri."
"Gahaha!" The old Pteri guffawed and began to take flight. "I'm happy, lad! Time fer me t' go, however. Small chance we'll ever meet again, but little Teela... stay true tae yerself! And little Mysha, keep the lesson ya learned close t' yer heart!" And with that, the old Pteri began to fly away to the north. The kids smiled and waved him goodbye, shouting farewells into the sky. As he flew farther and farther away, Mysha could swear he saw the Pteri shine in a rainbow of different colours...
Date: May 20th
...before vanishing into the distant woods.
The kids regarded each other solemnly. Something strange had happened that night, and if it were not for the shimmery haze that continued to linger around the rainbow, or the poor purple Quiggle that still stood frozen beneath the rainbow, Mysha would have believed the night's events was simply part of his imagination.
His mind flitted back to the words the old Pteri had spoken. He recognised what the Pteri meant, but how was he supposed to achieve that?
Then, as if the old Pteri had heard, Mysha heard his voice ring in his mind, as clear as a bell.
"Just look within yae heart, lad!"
Mysha gasped, instinctively looking at Teela, who tilted her head questioningly.
"Something wrong, Mysha?"
"No, no..." he shook his head. "I just... I was just thinking about what the old Pteri said. Perhaps... what he wanted was for us to always stay true to who were are inside. To always look within."
Teela nodded. "Yes, I agree."
The two fell silent, the silence stretching like a heavy cloak between them. Mysha thought about what the Pteri had said.
Just look within yae heart, lad!
Indeed, he will.
"You know, this night has gotten way too serious for my liking," Mysha said, a wide grin playing on his face. "What say you we get ourselves some sandwiches?"
Teela snorted. "Is there a day you can live without sandwiches?"
"I doubt it."
Teela shook her head in exasperation, before breaking into a smile. "Perhaps so. I may not agree with your fondness of sandwiches, but Mysha..."
"Just stay true to yourself."
Mysha laughed. "The same goes for you, Teela."
And far away, farther than the eye could see and in the realm where magic and science existed as one, the old Pteri smiled as the words of the two kids reached his ears. Then, with a flap of his ancient wings, he melted into the night.
Date: May 22nd
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