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||You are on Week 750
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 Fifty Ends Friday, December 9
|All Polly had ever wanted to do was be a part of the Poogle races. But no matter how much she practiced, she had never been able to run much faster than a Slorg, so she'd been told she had no chance. The Poogle had heard it from everyone, and been rejected so many times by the race committee heads that they sent her a Christmas card out of pity each year!
Still, no matter what, Polly couldn't give up. She got a job by the Poogle races, selling snacks in the stands. As she walked up and down the rows, she always took the time to observe the Poogles in the race, trying to discover their secret.
One day, while she was going up the stands, selling hot dogs and soda, her eyes more on the races than the customers, she heard a hiss from her right side. Turning towards the source of the noise, she saw a Hissi in a coat, beckoning her forwards.
"Would you like some hotdogs or soda, sir?" She asked, thinking he wanted to order.
But the Hissi shook his head. "I have something to offer YOU, my dear."
Polly was confused, but her boss told her that the customer was always right, so she tried her best to listen.
"I've heard about you, Polly the Poogle, and your quest to be in one of the races." The Hissi explained, and Polly's eyes widened in shock. But before she could ask how he knew about her, he continued on. "I know of a way your dream can come true."
"You do?" Polly asked excitedly, nearly spilling all the soda and hotdogs she was carrying as she rushed closer to hear the Hissi's words.
"Yes. All you have to do is..."
Date: Dec 5th
... to take this, and visualize with all your might the wish you so desire," the Hissi reached into his coat pocket, unclenching his fist to reveal a golden medallion. The medallion seemed to shudder in his hand, as if were alive, the golden coat glistening in the gentle sunlight. "There's strange magic within this little thing of mine to grant you your heart's desire."
"Are you serious about this?" Polly squeaked excitedly. This was what she had been dreaming for since all those years ago. If the medallion could truly make her wish come true... she could finally be a part of the race rather than being confined to the grandstands! As she reached out to grasp the medallion, the Hissi suddenly withdrew his hand, shaking his head slightly. "Ah ah ah... not so fast, little Poogle." With his other hand, he snapped his fingers and gave a sly smile.
Polly got the message. "How much do you want for it? I don't really have that much, but I've got a few hundred thousand neopoints in the bank... would that be enough?"
The Hissi simply laughed. "What I'm offering you is worth more than what neopoints could ever buy, Polly. Now, I'm giving this to you for free..." He handed the medallion to the grinning Poogle.
"Really! That's awesome!" Polly interrupted, almost unable to contain her joy as she took the medallion from the Hissi's hand.
"But just remember... be careful what you wish for, as there's always a price to pay..."
The Hissi's voice drifted in her ears as she studied the intricate design of the medallion. But when Polly finally lifted her gaze up to speak to the Hissi once more, she realised he was gone.
"Strange guy..." she muttered. The medallion was of a strange material and design; though it bore the likeness of metal, it felt strangely warm and silky to the touch. The ornamental carvings looked too delicate to be made by hand, and she could almost hear an indistinct humming from within.
Be careful what you wish for... the Hissi's warning echoed in her mind. He seemed so serious about it... I wonder what he meant? But...well... if I'm just careful, nothing will go wrong, right? the Poogle mused.
Suddenly, she was jolted out of her thoughts by a commotion from the racing track. The race was completed, and the Poogles who won were laughing and celebrating their win, while others were congratulating them for a race well run. I want to be a part of them...I really do.
Gazing at the medallion in hand, she made a decision ...
Date: Dec 5th
...I'm sick of being slow and getting left out. I want to be fast like the others. I don't even want to win all the time, just be able to be competitive, Polly thought. She closed her eyes and imagined herself down on the track, laughing and celebrating with the other racers.
From her palm, Polly could feel the medallion getting warm. The warmth spread into her hands. Up her arms and down her torso, until the Poogle felt soothingly warm all throughout her body.
Eventually the warmth faded. Polly blinked her eyes opened. The medallion still sat in her palm. Strange that the Hissi didn't want it back, so Polly just put it in her pocket. Was that it? Am I fast now? she wondered.
She eyed a pillar about 20 meters away from her. "On my mark, get set," she breathed to herself as she rocked. "Go!"
Polly surprised herself with the burst of speed she put on and the rate at which she arrived at her destination. She had never run so fast in all her life! "I can race now, for sure," she exclaimed joyously.
With a newfound spring in her step, Polly marched toward the race registration. "I'd like to register for the next race," she declared confidently.
The Scorchio who took the time trials and arranged races gazed at her strangely. "I'm sorry, miss, but the races are only open to Poogles," he said.
"What are you talking about, I am a Poogle," Polly replied. It then occurred to her that he may have been making a joke about her previous poor time trials. "I know, I know I didn't used to be fast like one, but I am now. I promise!"
The perturbed look on the Scorchio's face deepened. "I don't know what you're talking about, miss, but the answer remains the same. The races are only open to Poogles and you're not a Poogle."
"What do you mean I'm not a... oh no," Polly began, faltering when the reality hit her. Be careful what you wish for, as there's always a price to pay... The Hissi's voice echoed in her head.
Polly sprinted to the nearest restroom and ducked inside, making a beeline for the mirrors above the sinks. She was unable to suppress a gasp when she looked at her reflection and saw...
Date: Dec 6th
...the shaggy mane of hair, then the ruff of fur around her neck.
A Xweetok. She was looking at a Xweetok!
Polly moaned in horror, eyes wide with panic. What had she done? Xweetoks were great, sure, but she was a Poogle, no matter what her reflection tried to tell her.
Turning hastily away from the traitorous mirror, Polly dashed from the restroom, stumbling slightly over her long furry tail. The Xweetok huffed with frustration and scurried down the hallway in search of the duplicitous Hissi.
Polly walked toward home dejectedly. Her search of the Poogle Races turned up no sign of the Hissi she felt had intentionally tricked her, and she was at a loss over what to do next. She didn't even know his name.
The former Poogle pulled the Hissi's golden medallion out of her pocket and studied it carefully. There were some mysterious markings on it, but she couldn't read them. She had tried several times since her transformation to visualize herself as the Poogle she used to be, hoping the medallion would change her back, but it didn't seem to work. She tried once more, and again, nothing happened.
Must be a one-use thing, Polly thought in resignation. She pocketed the medallion again and continued toward home, trying to think of anyone she could go to for help.
The Xweetok stopped suddenly in her tracks as a totally ridiculous and desperate thought occurred to her.
"Hmmm...it could work," Polly murmured to herself. "And honestly, what do I have to lose?"
Before she could change her mind, Polly turned away from home and headed resolutely toward Jhudora's Bluff.
Date: Dec 6th
With her newfound speed, it didn't take very long to get there. Despite her conviction, Polly paused outside the purple walls. Was this really the best way? If magic had gotten her into this, surely it was magic that could fix things. But what if it made things worse? She could end up becoming a Slorg instead of just having the speed of one.
As she pondered, she watched several Neopets carefully step into the castle, then rushing out at top speed a few minutes later. Perhaps they were on quests for the Faerie. Or...
Polly shook her head. She HAD to become a Poogle again, even if she would never be able to race.
Polly strode up to the door before her courage failed her. She was almost knocked down by a Lenny that was exiting, but managed to leap out of the way just in time. Polly peered inside. There was green mist covering almost everything, making it difficult to make out the room's features. Jhudora was presumably somewhere within, but Polly didn't see her just yet. Polly stepped over the threshold.
The interior was warmer than she expected, and smelled faintly of something metallic. It was quiet, except for the rustling of something like wings. Polly walked quickly along the corridor. She did not want to be here any longer than necessary. The mist grew brighter as she got closer to the end. Even though her paws were cushioned with pads, her footsteps sounded too loud to her and only further exacerbated her apprehension.
Polly finally made it to the end of the hall, which opened into a large chamber. Here the mist cleared a bit, revealing the presence of the dark Faerie sitting on a throne. Jhudora looked at Polly, her green lips turning up in a predatory smile. "Welcome to my home..."
Date: Dec 7th
..what do you want?"
Polly stumbled towards Jhudora, tripping over her tail as she moved forward. "I was wondering if you could help me, I am actually a Poogle. I was in the stands at the Poogle races, just selling hotdogs and soda when a Hissi in a coat motioned me over and he.."
"WHAT?" Jhudora yelled, interrupting Polly mid-story. "This mysterious Hissi you speak of, he didn't happen to be wearing a gold medallion around his neck did he?"
"Well actually, he had it in his pocket," replied Polly. "He gave it to me and told me to.."
"Enough! I have heard all I need to hear." Interrupted Jhudora. "This Medallion he gave you, do you still have it?""
"I do," said Polly reaching into her pocket. "It is right here."
"GIVE IT TO ME NOW!" Screamed Jhudora jumping up from her seat.
Polly had never seen Jhudora so pale before. Then she gasped as a thought crossed her mind. What if the medallion was...
Date: Dec 7th
...cursed? Polly's eyes widened in alarm, and she quickly shoved the medallion into the faerie's outstretched hand.
"What is it?" She asked worriedly. "What does the medallion do?"
"Oh, my poor Neopet, it's not what it does." Jhudora shook her head, eyeing Polly like she being particularly dim-witted. "It's what it will do, once I properly mix it up into one of my potions."
That... did not sound good. Polly looked on at the sight of the dark Faerie smiling happily and she shuddered. "And then?"
Instead of answering Jhudora eyed her with a raised brow. "You wanted to be turned into a Poogle, right?"
Polly nodded slowly. The dark Faerie turned around, grabbed one of the potions of the shelves and threw it in her direction. "Here. This'll turn you into one."
Catching the bottle quickly, she carefully looked over the potion. It was a morphing potion. Not just any potion. It was a Faerie Poogle Morphing Potion! These things cost millions of Neopoints, Polly knew.
And the Faerie was just giving it to her for free? This was even more suspicious. Now that she''d given her the bottle, Jhudora was looking impatiently at her. "You can leave now." She said, shooing her towards the door.
Polly went, but she hesitated at the door. Suddenly, it seemed more important to know what Jhudora was going to do with the medallion than to turn back into a Poogle. So, instead of leaving through the open doors, she turned back, sneaking quietly through the halls. When she returned she saw Jhudora....
Date: Dec 8th
... raising the medallion in the air, before flipping it into a pot of bubbling green broth. The medallion vanished into the pot for a few moments before leaping out, as if burned. Jhudora grabbed it, caressing it with a palm, a smile playing on her lips. Now, instead of the dull hue it had taken on after Polly had made her wish, it was glowing with life once more.
"Kenza! Come out, you bungling buffoon!" she suddenly shouted out, almost causing Polly to drop the bottle of morphing potion. Ducking behind a large support pillar, Polly watched with widening eyes as the familiar-looking Hissi strode out from a room, a meek smile on his face.
"I told you to be more careful, did I not?" she shook her head in distaste. "Why did you have to show your face to that Poogle? Didn't you learn your lesson from your encounter with the Acara?"
The Hissi rolled his eyes, and Polly found herself marveling at his bravery for daring to do that to Jhudora. "Well, the form of a Hissi isn't that easily concealed, you know. And I had to pass her the medallion, didn't I? Anyway, there are thousands of Hissis in Neopia so it isn't like she will recognise me anyway. Besides,you were the one who completely flipped out on her, not me."
"And you should know the reason why," Jhudora glared at the Hissi, violet fire burning in her eyes. "Or have I not made myself clear enough?"
"Yeah, yeah..." the Hissi muttered. "Just tell me how many more Neopians you need to wish upon the medallion so you'll have enough essence for your spell."
"Mind your atitude, foolish Kenza," Jhudora warned as she handed the medallion to the Hissi. "Remember: we cannot let anyone know anything about this. I'll need two more Neopians to wish upon this medallion, before I can finally unleash the full powers of my spell... a spell never before seen in all of Neopia."
Polly sucked in a deep breath. This was worse than she thought. Whatever Jhudora and that Kenza was planning did not sound good. But how was she to stop it? And... was the medallion the key? After all, without it, Jhudora won't be able to complete her spell, would she?
Her attention was snapped back when the Hissi strode purposefully towards the hallway, twirling the medallion in hand. A few more steps, and he would walk past Polly. She could strike now, catch him by surprise, snatch the medallion from his hand and run away. She was fast now, and could possibly make a fast escape... could she? She didn't want to think of the alternative. But she couldn't possibly just let him go especially after what she had heard.
The Hissi was fast approaching now. I don't have much time, Polly realized. As she turned her gaze from Jhudora and then to the Hissi, observing the smirk that was plastered on both their faces, she took a deep breath...
Date: Dec 9th
... and sprung into action. The Xweetok lunged for the Hissi but missed badly, instead toppling over to the right because she had stumbled over her tail. She scrambled up to her feet and prepared for a counterattack or some sort of spell to fly at her but none came.
Polly watched, confused, as Jhudora and Kenza exchanged glances and smiled a few moments later. Whatever they were up to, it was definitely something of no good.
"Polly the Poogle," the Hissi began, startling the Xweetok, "or should I say, the former Poogle. Do you still wish to become a fast Poogle?"
"No," replied Polly firmly. "I'm not falling for any of your antics."
Kenza barked out a laugh. "You're compared to a Slorg, Polly, even after years of training. Doesn't that anger you? All that training for naught ..." he clicked his tongue. "Here I stand, offering you another chance. Your wish will efinitely be granted so long as you visualise it correctly. What say you, Polly?"
The Xweetok was on the verge of replying before she stopped herself. An idea had crept up in her mind. Maybe, just maybe, she could use the medallion to grant her the power to foil Jhudora's plans. If she used it, there still remained one more time before enough essence could be collected to complete the spell.
"You're right," Polly said sweetly, swishing her tail. "This morphing potion that Jhudora gave me can only convert me into a Faerie Poogle but won't grant me the speed I need. Please hand the medallion to me. I'd like to make one more wish."
"Exactly." Kenza nodded a little too vigorously and passed the artifact to Polly. Polly tried not to look too eager when she took it from the Hissi. The medallion glowed golden and the warmth and silkiness had returned.
Closing her eyes, Polly imagined herself having just enough speed to knock off the pot of potion and run out of the Faerie's castle. She didn't need the agility of a Poogle racer; all she needed was confidence and a bit of quick wit.
A warmth spread through Polly's body. It felt similar to the first time she used the medallion. When she opened her eyes, the necklace was no longer glowing.
It was now or never ...
How will this story end?
Date: Dec 9th
...Kenza made a grab for the medallion, but Polly had anticipated that, and she dodged out of the Hissi's reach easily. The movement felt fluid and Polly could tell that she had her old body back!
Suddenly, the prospect of thwarting Jhudora and Kenza didn't seem so frightening anymore. Polly landed lightly after her dodge and made a beeline for the potion. Jhudora realized what Polly was doing too late.
"No! You stupid girl! What do you think you're doing?" she screeched.
But it was too late. Polly pressed her paws against the pot and pushed. Despite being full of liquid, the pot toppled easily; its bubbling hot contents splashed all over Jhudora and Kenza. Their shrieks of pain and rage followed Polly as she loped out of the Cloud, setting her course for Fyora's castle.
"Miss Fyora! Miss Fyora!" Polly cried as she charged into the castle.
The Faerie Queen turned from lowering the display case over an item she had just put out on the sale floor. "Yes?" she answered, her calm voice a sharp contrast with Polly's frantic one.
"Jhudora's after me. I have this medallion that she really wants," the Poogle gasped. "A henchmen of hers gave me it to wish on to become fast, but it turned me into a Xweetok. I went to Jhudora for help, but as I was leaving I overheard her say she needed two Neopians to wish on the medallion before it had enough power for her to cast some great, never-before-seen spell. I wished again to be able to tip her potion, and I did, but now there's only one wish left. You're the only one I can think of who can keep this safe from her!" Polly spoke her tale quickly.
Fyora put a comforting hand on Polly's shoulder. "You did well to come to me. And you can relax, dear Polly, for Jhudora cannot reach you here."
Polly took a few deep breaths to steady herself as Fyora gently took the medallion and held it up to examine it.
"The Medallion of Wishes," the Faerie Queen murmured. "I had heard tales of it, but I've never seen it before. I can only imagine where Jhudora found it..."
She paused and cleared her throat softly. "The Medallion of Wishes is a strange magical artifact. It was created to be able to grant 100 wishes, but there was a catch. The first 99 wishes would have... strings attached. Such as infinite wealth, but the wisher was turned into a Petpet who could not make transactions. Or wishing to be fast enough to compete in the Poogle Races, but being turned into a Xweetok," Fyora added, gazing directly at Polly.
"The final wish, however, could be for anything. Power, wealth, world domination. I don't even want to imagine what Jhudora would have done with that wish. If what you say is correct, than 98 wishes have been made. I shall keep this safe from Jhudora. She will be angry, though, and the fires of her rage burn hot and long. You will not be able to stay in Faerieland," Fyora said gravely.
Polly nodded. It was hard to be faced with the reality, but she had figured as much. "I understand. There is always a price to pay," she echoed Kenza's words - spoken just earlier that day, but it felt like an eternity had passed. "I wished to be a Poogle just fast and clever enough to knock over Jhudora's potion and escape with the Medallion. I suppose my string was that I would not be able to live in Faerieland and compete in the Poogle Races anymore."
"Do not dwell on dreams lost, rather be proud of what you have done, that being saving all of Neopia," Fyora said sagely. Polly nodded. Yeah, she couldn't race with the other Poogles, but how many of those racers had ever saved the world?
"Farewell, Polly the Poogle. May we meet again."
Blood pounded in Polly's ears as she stared forward through the wind whipping into her face. This was it, the final sprint to the end! Her heart pounded. No one was in front of her, no one was beside her. Just a few more strides and she would be across the finish line, placing first for the first time!
The ribbon snapped and Polly raised her arms in triumph. The crowd roared around her. She hopped off her chariot and patted her trusty Alabriss on the head. "We won, Wish," she told the Petpet happily. "Great job!" Wish whinnied in approval.
The other chariot racers crossed the finish line shortly after. A few of them dashed over to shake Polly's hand. The Poogle couldn't contain her silly grin. Sure, Alabriss racing wasn't the same as Poogle racing, but it was still racing, it was still fun, and it was definitely worth moving to Altador for!
It had been several months, and Polly had not seen nor heard from Jhudora. She knew Jhudora's legion of minions was vast, so Polly knew she was out of the woods. Still, she hadn't been approached. Fyora had been kind enough to explain the situation to King Altador and his council, so the city guards were on watch as well.
"Great race, Polly," Vicky, a Shoyru, congratulated her.
"Thanks, you too!" the Poogle replied.
As she slipped into making small talk with the other racers about places and PRs, everyone laughing and celebrating, Polly couldn't help but wonder if her original wish to race and be a part of a group of friendly competitors was coming true after all.
Date: Dec 9th
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