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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 746
You are on Week 747
Week 748

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 Forty Seven Ends Friday, November 4

The only thing Ella had ever wanted was to be famous. She wanted to see her name in the Neopian Times and have others chant he name. From the time she had been a young Zafara, she had done her best to make her mark on society. She worked hard to be the top student and athlete. She collected trophies and nominations. One day she would be famous. She just had to be.

This morning began like any other. She woke early, gathered her books, and hurried off to school. As usual, she was the first student to arrive, but she smiled brightly at her teacher, Miss Talia, as she walked in to sit at her desk.

"Good morning, Miss Talia," she said.

The Krawk looked at her strangely as she sat down. "Are you a new student?" she asked.

Ella started to laugh as she thought this was a joke, but then she noticed the odd look in her teacher's eyes. It was clear. Miss Talia really didn't recognize her...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Oct 31st
"I'm Ella." The Zafara replied, "Are you sure you don't recognize me?"

"Ella...Ella...." Miss Talia said, looking through her book, "Ah yes. Here we are."

The Zafara felt a little bit better, knowing that she was there. Though she did feel slightly sad. Poor Miss Talia's memory must have been going. It must have just been a temporary thing.

"My apologies," The Krawk teacher said, "I just hadn't had a chance to introduce myself is all."

"That's fine." Ella said, "I know who you are."

"Well thank you." Miss Talia said, "Not many students take the time to learn their teachers before the first day of school.

Wait, first day? It was the middle of the fall. They had been in class for almost three whole months now!

"Poor Miss Talia, her memory must REALLY be going." Ella thought to herself.

The Zafara didn't have much time to dwell on the mental state of her instructor, as the bell soon rang and several other students began to file in. Though something was wrong. Many of them were dressed in their back-to-school bests and carrying papers with a small map of the school to find the right classroom.

The sort of thing that they'd do on the first day of school.

"Am I missing something?" Ella thought to herself.

She was slightly disturbed by all this, but she kept it to herself. At least she recognized all her classmates. After a few minutes, the second bell rang and everyone was seated, and Miss Talia spoke out.

"Welcome to your first day back, students." She said, "I'm Miss Talia."

"Good morning Miss Talia." The class replied in unison. Except for Ella. Why were they going along with poor Miss Talia's floundering memory?

"Excuse me." Ella said, raising her hand, "But what is today's date again?"

"Why, it's the first day of school, Ella." Miss Talia replied, "The 28th day of the Month of Hiding...."

Author: dr_tomoe
Date: Nov 1st
"This is too weird!" Thought Ella to herself.

"Why does everyone think it is August 28th? It is September 22nd, what is going on here?"

Before Ella could continue her thoughts Miss Talia spoke.

"Today we are going to work on a group project, everyone find a partner please." Said Miss Talia.

Partner activities were Ella's favorite, she always worked with her best friend Dixie and the girls always had so much fun!

Ella got up from her seat and went over to where Dixie was sitting.

"Hi Partner!" Said Ella with a smile.

"Um, Hello." Replied Dixie, "my name is Dixie, what is your name?"

"Nice Joke!" Replied Ella, "you know who I am."

"No, I really don't know." Said Dixie with a confused expression. "You should go find a partner, before there is no one left to work with."

"Dixie," said Ella Shocked. "I am your partner."

"No," replied Dixie. "I am working with my best friend Stacey."

Ella could not believe this. Did her best friend really not know who she was? And how could Dixie say her best friend was Stacey? Something really weird was going on here....

Author: she_chose_love
Date: Nov 2nd
***

"Dylan, just... stop."

"But my chewing gum collection is--"

"For the last time, I don't care!" Ella stood with a pout but walked away with a huff. She couldn't believe she had to partner with Dylan, the class laughingstock. Of all the things that seemed so off, that good-for-nothing Pteri's personality just had to stay constant. She had to get out of here.

"Ella," Miss Talia interjected, "it's the first day of class so I'll only warn you, but you must ask permission before you leave the classroom--"

"Stuff it, Miss Talia," the Zafara spat. "It's not the first day of class, and I'm ESPECIALLY not working with gum-for-brains over there." Ella pointed at the Krawk, flustered. "You're insane, and the rest of this class belongs in the loony bin alongside you!"

The entire class was glaring at Ella now -- in between stealing a quick glance over to see their instructor's increasingly enraged face.

"Ella Adrian, the only one out of proper mind here is you! Go straight to the principal's office!"

Ella sighed. It would do no good to continue arguing.

The Zafara walked out the classroom door. At least she was out of that nightmare.

***

"Ella... Adrian," the Skeith opposite her at the large desk muttered while perusing the Zafara's file. "No record of bad behavior in your previous years here at NeoSchool 118," he commented as he set down the folder and leaned in uncomfortably close. "Are you having family troubles?"

Ella crossed her arms and backed away. "Family troubles would be better than this, Principal Brown."

"This?" The principal stood up from his desk, startling the student. "And could you tell me what 'this' is?" He walked over from his desk to the office door, where he firmly closed and locked it.

The Zafara just stared at him, confused and unnerved by his actions. "Er... the fact it definitely is not the first day of class, but everyone is acting like it is. No one remembers who I am."

Principal Brown's voice became hardly louder than a whisper. "I heard it from your teacher, but I wanted to hear it from you. Just to be sure." He walked back over to her and stared her right in the eyes. "You are one of the extremely few the experiments have no effects on..."

Author: rielcz
Date: Nov 3rd
...Ella felt a chill trickle across her spine. "Experiments?" she asked in a shaky voice.

The Skeith nodded, somehow managing to maintain eye contact despite his head movement. "Yes," he replied simply. "Experiments." He finally broke eye contact to stand up and pace, his hands behind his back. "Specifically, experiments regarding memory."

Principal Brown glanced over at Ella as he walked. "Have you never noticed anything strange going on? Anyone who forgot things they should have remembered?" he asked her.

Ella shook her head immediately, then... stopped. Now that he mentioned it... "Dixie - my best friend - would sometimes not have her homework done and she... seemed like she... forgot we even had homework. I would just let her copy mine," the Zafara explained, her speech pattern choppy from the shock of what she was hearing. "I thought she just... you know, had a bad memory."

There were other examples too, but Ella was too uncomfortable to talk about them. Was her position at the top of the class because she was the only one to remember every lesson, not because she was the smartest? Was her supposed athletic prowess because she was the only player on her teams to remember the plays?

"It's something we've been looking into for a while," Principal Brown began explaining again, apparently oblivious to Ella's mental crisis. "Myself and Superintendent Smith, that is. We've been developing a potion and putting it into all of the food and drink in the cafeteria - it's quite easy when the lunch ladies don't remember you being back there at all after a taste test, you see."

"Why, though?" Ella asked. "Why perform these experiments? Why try to take people's memories away?"

"Why? These records say you are smart, girl, surely you could figure it out," the Skeith asked in astonishment. "Money! Cold, hard Neopoints! There are a lot of people out there who would pay top Neopoint for this power. Not to mention the ability for personal gain. Think about it, the ability to remember things that other people are completely unable to. We could pour this little potion into restaurants and convince people after the fact it's an essential ingredient. People like us who are immune would have all the power! You could be rich, famous."

Ella stared at her hands. Was he right? Could she get famous for simply being immune to whatever was in Principal Brown's potion? All she wanted was to be famous, but did she want it like this? As she - a high school student - stared up at her school's principal, she wondered did she even have a choice?

"So, Miss Adrian, I suppose only one question remains." He extended his right hand toward her, presumably to shake. "Are you in?..."

Author: catchinglights
Date: Nov 4th
"This is a lot to take in all at once," Ella faked a smile at Principal Brown. She knew she did not want anything to do with his evil plans, but all the information was overwhelming her. What could she do?

"You said that there was an extremely small number of students who the potion had no effect on. Where are the others?" Ella still pretending to be sweet to the Skeith.

"Well, unfortunately the other two students did not like the idea of destroying people's memories for financial gain. The fools. Where they are now is unimportant." Principal Brown smiled a smile too big for his face, showing all his teeth. "But you're no fool, are you, Ella?"

Ella kept her facade going. She knew if she showed that she was in opposition to his idea, she would end up trapped with the other students somewhere. Unable to do anything to stop her Principal's nefarious plan.

"Well, good. That means there are less people to share the riches with!" Ella crossed her arms, trying to sound smug.

Principal Brown's laugh was deep and low. "I knew a girl as smart as you would understand." He turned to his intercom, pressed a button, and spoke into it: "Superintendent Smith you can come in now, no need to bring the restraints for this one."

Superintendent Smith, a large Krawk, burst through the door. He looked Ella up and down before shaking her hand. "Ella, I've heard much about you from Principal Brown. He said your file was exceptional. I think you could be a valuable asset to our team."

"I'm excited to be a part of all this," Ella lied. "The neopoints, the fame, the power..." her voice trailed off.

"Good, well, the first thing we should do then is take you to where we've been producing the memory altering potion. We can discuss our product and our plans more there." Principal Brown stood and began walking towards the door.

Superintendent Smith turned toward Ella, "Follow Principal Brown, if you please. You'll never guess where we have been manufacturing the potions..."

How will this story end?

Author: stargirl346
Date: Nov 4th
Ella tried hard not to swallow or let her tail twitch. Principal Brown meant business in more ways than one.

All the same, her facade did not stop her heart from pounding as she was led down a corridor, then another, the available light growing dimmer and dimmer with every turn. It was a veritable Cybunny warren, Ella thought. There would be little chance of escape here if part of her impromptu plan went wrong.

How long have these tunnels existed below the school? Ella thought.

And then it struck her--she had been here once before, during a field trip; just not in this particular location.

The Catacombs.

Principal Brown at last reached a room where the musty walls opened into a great circular space. Rows of bottles and potion ingredients lined the walls, and Ella, intelligent as her school said she was, couldn't make heads or tails of it.

"While we still cannot disclose the details of the ingredients or where they come from," he explained, "They are all mixed right here in the Catacombs, which provides a perfect mix of the necessary humidity and secrecy."

The Zafara watched as the largest machine in the room churned and whined, shuddering just before sliding a small vial across the conveyor belt, its contents viscous and silvery.

"So," Ella began, affording the luxury of revealing a small bout of nervousness, "What did you want me to do again?"

"That's the thing," Principal Brown smiled. "Given our previous results, we have been able to determine that the potion does not work on you because of your determination--you have a very specific goal in mind, and with this potion, no matter what that goal is, we will help you reach it."

Ella's heart dropped.

"Oh yes," he chuckled, sensing her stunned silence. "All we need to do is help you reach that goal, and then run some tests on you, before releasing you for being such a good sport."

Ella's heart raced for a different reason altogether. The fame she was after, the fortune that could be gotten, it was all at her fingertips! Her name would be written all across the Neopian Times, of how amazing she was, the awards she'd gotten, the contributions she'd make to Neopian society--

Did she really want it all at the cost of her friends, her teacher, and her fellow students? A sense of fame illegitimately gained?

Suddenly, in her mind, her name in lights did not seem as bright as before.

Besides, there was no promise of release. She could very well be walking right into a trap!

The answer was clearer than ever.

"No."

"Excuse me?" Principal Brown's face darkened. "I don't think I heard you properly."

"No, I mean," Ella cursed herself for slipping. "How do I know you'll let me go afterward?"

"You have my word as your principal--the authority over the entire school," he added, seeing the obvious hole in this particular vein of honor.

"Okay." Ella could not fight the instinct for her tail to lash about in anxiety this time. Her mind raced for something, anything, from any of her classes she could use.

English, Maths, Neopian History, Gym, Weaponry--

Weaponry? It was the one subject she was borderline mediocre at.

"So what is your very particular goal, Ella?" the Skeith leaned forward inquisitively.

Ella swallowed. "To be...to be good with a sword," she told them. It was part of the truth, anyway. Skilled users often made the Stories section of the Neopian Times more often than not, and a great deal were in the Articles section.

"That I can definitely help you with," the Skeith boomed. "Personally." He beckoned to Superintendent Smith, who disappeared into the next corridor of the Catacombs. "I was in the Battle for Meridell long ago."

He glanced around the cave uneasily at the memory. "It was a different time. Didn't pay very well."

Dread prickled into Ella's fur. There was no way she could take him, even in a practice fight!

Before Ella could retract her most ridiculous goal, Superintendent Smith returned and produced a box, opening it to reveal two swords within. Both showed clear signs of use, but both were indeed the real thing. Ella shivered. The school had only taught with wooden swords! One misstep, and something would be sliced for sure.

Or...Ella slowly realized. Something in this very room.

"Choose yours first," the Skeith grinned, with the excitement of a child on the eve of the Day of Giving.

He enjoys combat, Ella thought with dismay, and shakily took the sword with the more worn grip.

Ella took her stance a little too close to the machine, which was still whining and shuddering before spewing the tiny bottles.

To her surprise, Principal Brown was too caught up in battle practice fever to notice this fact.

"Now then, keep your knees bent, like--ah, that much you know, but if I lunge this way--" Principal Brown demonstrated, and Ella ducked, her own weight forcing her to topple. "Your knees were bent too much," he called, lifting her by the paw without waiting for her permission. "You want a sturdy stance. Be unwavering in your decisions."

"Yes sir," Ella grunted, bending her knees a little less, tail lashing with the effort. "Might I try a parry this time?"

Principal Brown nodded. "Prepare for my strike well, now," he growled, deliciously.

Ella lifted her sword above her head, sideways, its blade trembling with her loose grip.

Principal Brown let out a battle cry as Ella ducked out of the way.

Next thing she knew, there was a sword embedded in the machine. It hissed and sputtered, then gave a resigned sigh as it stopped altogether.

"What have you done?!" Principal Brown cried in rage, turning on Ella.

"I...missed," Ella replied lamely, seeing that her lies would get her no further. The sheer madness in Principal Brown's eyes told her so.

It was time to put her track medals to the test. Ella turned and fled the room, making sure to leap off of the machine in the hopes of damaging it more.

The large THUD she heard as she raced through the Catacombs was more than reassuring.

"You get back here!" Principal Brown roared, his thundering steps echoing across the Catacombs.

Ella saw a flickering firelight down another corridor and sped towards it, keeping her large tail out of the way.

She emerged in the middle of what she knew to be the large campfire, the center of storytelling, art, poetry, and much more, but there was no time to take in the arts now--

How strange she looked, a student running for dear life. It definitely attracted attention. Good.

"I need help!" she screamed. "Principal Brown is behind me and he's gonna make everyone forget!" Ella saved her breath and the details as she navigated the more familiar tunnels to the surface, not even blinking in the harsh sunlight as she sprinted towards the one shop she knew would help.

The Zafara had trained in endurance rather than speed, and the dull ache in her head, the burning in her lungs, and the trembling in her legs told her that she would soon give out.

But there it was--the blue shop with yellow stars on it, crowded as always, with the one Neopet who could possibly help her. With a sudden burst of adrenaline, she kicked the door wide open and saw her--behind the counter, grinding potion ingredients with a mortar and pestle.

"Ms. Kauvara!" Ella panted, shoving through all of the Neopets waiting for her to restock her famed potions.

The Kau's ears perked up, and Ella knew that somehow, whether she would be famous or not, there was hope for Neoschool 118 yet.

The End

Author: flufflepuff
Date: Nov 7th



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