Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 751
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 One Ends Friday, December 16
|The scene could not have been more picturesque. More charming. It was simply the pinnacle of what the Season of Giving should appear to be.
Cosy, wooden chalets, their windows aglow with the suggestion of a merry hearth.
Ivory-powdered slopes, decorated and dappled with energetic skiers, their expressions enjoying the rapture and exhilaration of the activity in which they took part.
And the slowly settling, powdery alabaster snow, gently coming to rest upon the scene, decorating it with the gentle suggestion of chilling days and warm houses.
And not a moment of the scene was genuine. Cassa sighed, tossing the toy snowglobe onto the nearby pile of sand. The Island Gelert’s gaze took in the real scene in which she was immersed. The bellowing rage of Mount Techo in the distance, the grumbling sounds emitted by the Tiki Man as he sold tickets to his game of change, the never-faltering, relentless, perfect sunshine.
It didn’t really match the Season of Giving scene one saw on greeting cards, she mused. It was the same each year. Neopia filled with merry images of winter scenes and marshmallows roasted over merry flames, but on Mystery Island, the sun still shone and the sand remained aglow. It was hopelessly, endlessly perfect.
But it wasn’t very seasonally appropriate. Even summery perfection got tiring at this time of year.
With a sigh, Cassa kicked sand in the direction of the discarded snowglobe, then paused, frowning. Golden grains of sand were now scattered over the glossy, glassy orb, but it wasn’t the exterior that the Gelert was now so intensely focused on.
Slowly, she bent down, picking the globe up gingerly and holding it to the light…
Date: Dec 12th
... wondering if it was a trick of the light, or a play of her imagination - but she could have sworn she saw a flash of green moving within the snow. She gazed intently at the swirling snow within the glass, at the blanket of white that danced within.
Eh, it must be my imagination, Cassa thought. I must be thinking about spending time in the snow too much...
"Hey! You!" a tiny voice suddenly called out.
Cassa whipped her head from left to right in puzzlement. "Did someone call me?"
There was no answer. After all, Mystery Island was deserted - save for the Tiki Man (and he was still busy grumbling to himself), all the Neopians had long since left for the wintery expanse of Happy Valley.
"Down her, yellow one!" the voice called again.
Squinting her eyes, Cassa almost dropped the snowglobe when a green form popped up from the snow. "Who are you?" She peered closer in an attempt to identify the creature, but it was too small to make out who or what it was.
"I'm Diane. Been trapped in perpetual winter here for so long, you know. Thank goodness being in this heat has helped melt us out from our icy prisons!" the voice piped up.
"Us?" Cassa enquired in puzzlement.
The little green form nodded. "Yeah, there's a few of us here. The rest will probably be thawing from the ice soon. In any case, what time is it now?"
"It's the the Month of Celebrating in Y18 now," Cassa replied. A part of her could hardly believe she was having this conversation. The Tiki man was staring at her as if she had lost her marbles, speaking to an inanimate snowglobe.
"That soon?" the green form cried out, its voice rising almost an octave. "Then we must hurry! You must let us out at once!"
"Why? What's going to happen?"
"Because," the green form replied impatiently. "The one who trapped us here struck during this time of year as well. And, the prophecy was that should we ever awaken, then another city will be shrunk to take our place. So if you don't let us out, then history might repeat itself!"
"What happened exactly? And how have I never heard of all this before?"
"Isn't it obvious? Shrunk down into a miniature little city and frozen in time," the green form sighed. "We are of a city that you, young one, have probably never heard of because we vanished off the map for so long. We're a city lost in time, lost even in the archives... so please, yellow one. Smash that snowglobe and let us out! We need to warn everyone before it's too late."
Cassa gazed at the snowglobe as a few more similar-looking forms of various colours popped up from the snow, their voices rising in an excited chatter. How am I supposed to know if they're telling the truth? What if they were cast away here in this snowglobe because...because they did something truly unforgivable and terrible? But... what if someone or something was really going to strike, and Neopia would lose some of its citizens to another snowglobe?
Cassa grasped the snowglobe in her paws, staring intently at the figures in the snow...
Date: Dec 12th
...One voice caught the Gelert's attention, even tinnier than the others, as though it belonged to a young child. "Are we being freed? Will I get to see my Mommy and Daddy again?"
"Bethany's parents were out of town when we were forced into this prison," Diane explained. "I know they must be so worried about her."
Cassa had her doubts about that, but ultimately decided it would be too cruel to voice them aloud. Perhaps Diana had felt the same way?
Could she bring herself to leave these Neopians trapped? During the Season of Giving no less. The Gelert shook her head. Better to do the right thing and be wronged than be skeptical and see someone get hurt... right?
Cassa marched over to a large rock. That would do to shatter the glass, she figured. Lifting the snowglobe high over her head, she heard the cacophony of excited voices within grow even louder. The snowglobe hit the rock with a satisfying crash. Cassa watched the scenery within trickle out through the cracks in the glass for a few seconds before the world seemed to lurch under her.
The Gelert stumbled and fell to the ground, getting an unappealing mouthful of sand. The world continued to tremble and it was all Cassa could do to not be ill. Eventually the trembling stopped and the Gelert could finally catch her breath. She rolled onto her back and saw white specks falling from the sky. But it wasn't snow it was... sand?
Cassa heard a giggle, loud and booming as though the giggler was very large. The Gelert scrambled to her feet. "Oh no," she said miserably, her heart plummeting all the way down to her feet. For she could see what was clearly the reflection of a glass dome. Cassa and all of Mystery Island were now trapped inside the snowglobe...
Date: Dec 13th
Before Cassa had time to panic, she felt the globe being lifted to meet the eyes of a green Lupe.
"Thank you," The Lupe said with a sly smile. Cassa recognized the voice as Diane's. "I didn't think convincing you would be so easy... but I guess you have the heart of a hero."
Cassa wondered whether or not to take that as a compliment before Diane added, "How stupid."
The Gelert wanted to scream, to demand answers, but her rage faded quickly into shame. She had released a town of potentially dangerous Neopians into the world based on nothing more than blind trust, and cut off Mystery Island from the rest of the world in the process. She's right, Cassa thought. I am stupid.
"A celebration is in order!" Diane announced abruptly to the excited townsfolk who had gathered nearby, breaking Cassa's gloomy reverie. They cheered in response. "There are many things to take care of. But first, I must make sure the globe is safe."
Cassa watched helplessly as the Lupe carried her into one of the nearby buildings and placed her roughly into a desk drawer. The outside of the globe was enveloped by darkness as the drawer slammed shut. "Don't worry, I'll be back later," Diane promised--although it seemed more like a threat.
The Gelert heard muffled chuckling grow more and more distant, and then the closing of a door. Then silence.
Cassa rested her muzzle on her paws and sighed. She knew the right thing to do was to seek out others on the island and explain the situation, but she was overwhelmed by crushing guilt. She was too cowardly to face their anger.
She lay still in the sand for a while, wallowing in the hopelessness of the situation, before she heard the front door creak open slowly. At first she thought it must be Diane making her return, but the cautious footsteps sounded suspicious. The sound of footsteps was soon joined by shifting knick-knacks, swinging cabinets, rustling papers; it was as if someone was rummaging through Diane's things, searching for something. This continued for a few moments before dissolving into silence, and then a few more careful footsteps as the unknown figure traveled to the center of the room.
"Uh, hi," an unfamiliar voice spoke hesitantly. "My name's Gabriel. Can you help me find you?"
"I don't have much time," the voice tried again. "Diane could be back any minute now. I know that she tricked you... I want to help you. I want to help both of our towns and end this curse once and for all..."
Date: Dec 13th
..."Curse?" Cassa squeaked, frightened. Recalling his query, she called out to him, "Here I am! Come find me!" She also heard the murmurs of other Mystery Islanders -- they must have been terrified.
In came light and up went Mystery Island.
A young Bori looked down at them, fish-eyed through the glassy sky. "I will save you. I'll save everyone here." He went to work tidying his mess.
The Gelert shouted to him, "And we'd be ever so grateful. But who cursed you -- us?"
Gabriel frowned. In a voice hardly above a whisper, he started, "It was--"
"Who goes there?" came Diane's voice, distant, but firm. Agitated. Unafraid. "Who dare enters the room of the leader of the Glacial South?"
And just like that, Mystery Island was dropped back into darkness, confined to its drawer.
"Gabriel?" asked a muffled voice. "Why are you here?"
"I was looking for a paper clip, ma'am," came a reply. "My parents wanted--"
"Run back to your parents, Bori."
Footsteps. Someone left the room.
Cassa's heart sunk. There went the island's last chance of being saved.
A drawer opened. "Hmm," muttered Diane. A drawer shut. Another opened... and another shut... The sounds were getting louder. The Gelert held her breath as she heard the drawer next to that which they were in open.
"That's odd, I could have sworn I left it in one of these--" Diane stopped mid-sentence. "Gabriel!"
Footsteps hurriedly left the room.
Shortly thereafter, footsteps returned.
These footsteps were different. Lighter.
Maybe there was still a chance to be saved after all...
"King Altador I demand you open your door at once!" The Aisha pleaded. "It's urgent, ever so urgent!"
A few seconds passed before the door creaked open.
The groggy King just glared at his sorceress. "I trust your disturbance of my afternoon nap is justified--"
"I have sensed it, seen it, sir..." Jerdana opened her eyes as wide as an Aisha could, and Altador met her gaze with one of renewed alarm.
"Seen what? Out with it, Jerdana."
"The Empire of the Glacial South has returned."
The Empire. Just those words alone sent the Lupe a shiver.
Near the time Terror Mountain had been settled, and before she had captured Altador in time, The Protector had sealed the inhabitants of Neopia's South Pole in an orb. While not formally declaring war, The South, and their leader, had made very clear their intentions to transform Neopia into a Snowball Planet, one covered in ice, one where they who were perfectly adapted to such conditions could reign supreme.
Altador took her paws in his. "Then we must act. Now."
He showed fear, though his ever-rare touch comforted the sorceress. Not smiling, she nodded...
Date: Dec 14th
"Miss? Are you in there?" the small, tremulous voice was muffled through layers of wood and space, the island enveloped by darkness.
"Gabriel!" Cassa cried, her paws sinking into the sand as she jumped and waved her forepaws, not caring if she looked ridiculous.
Instantly, light graced the smooth dome of Mystery Island and claws cupped its sandy surface from underneath. "Thank Fyora, I thought Diane went and took the snowglobe this time." The Bori looked left and right, his tail twitching with nerves.
"The diversion I created won't last very long," he told her, scooping Mystery Island's snowglobe form and stuffing it into a satchel.
"First off, let's get out of here; I'll explain everything to you on the way."
Cassa had so many questions and tried to say them all at once, but what really came out was, "Wha--how--who--why--WAIT!" she finished, as Mystery Island was plunged into darkness, bounced with the swift but light footsteps of a Bori thief-in-training.
"Cassa!" the Tiki Tack man called out from within the island, and even through his face mask and the darkness, she could tell he was far less than pleased. "Who were you talking to? Do you know something about what's going on?" There was an icy hint of warning in his tone.
The Gelert gulped and listened to the murmurs around her as countless Mystery Islanders nearby voiced the Tiki Tack Man's thoughts exactly.
There was certainly a lot of explaining to do.
The banner with the eight-pointed star gleamed in the light ocean spray, billowing in the wind with such ferocity one could swear the flag itself felt the anticipation of the coming encounter.
Among King Altador and Jerdana were the best of Altador's best sorcerers and their commanders, all conscious of the king's strategy, knowing full well the potential of sacrifices to be made.
"Your Highness?" one of the younger and less certain sorcerers tugged on the king's sleeve, much to his surprise.
"Back home...do you think everything will be okay? I mean, word's going to spread that you've flown the Peadackle coop--"
Altador cut him off. "I am most certain the Circle, [i]whom I have previously trusted, by the way,[/i] will guard the kingdom in my absence. There is a battle to be fought." King Altador's muzzle tightened into a grim line, which softened as he faced Jerdana, who nodded in understanding.
The king continued. "With your magic, my swordsmanship, and our combined leadership, the Empire of the Glacial South is as good as sealed once more."
A splintering sound rang through the entire boat as it crashed into a thick layer of solid water just off the shore of the land that had not been there one hour prior.
Jerdana echoed Altador's thoughts. "No one said it was going to be easy..."
Date: Dec 14th
"Well, you see," Cassa started as her mind frantically tried to string sentences with the right choice of words in their current situation, "I, er, I was gazing at a snowglobe and then a small animate thing ... began talking to me, so I kind of ... listened and ... well, that thing said that I should help free them from a curse and-there-was-even-a-little-Neopet-who-was-away-from-his-mom-and-dad-for-a-long-time-so-I-couldn't-not-help-so-I-broke-the-snowglobe-and ... well, er ... Mystery Island's ... trapped in the ... globe ... Sorry."
"WHAT?" Several citizens gasped. There were mixed emotions but they all had one thing in common: they were negative emotions.
"We're trapped?!" an elderly Gnorbu exclaimed, waving his walking stick in anger.
"Are we under a curse?" cried out a Peophin before she broke down in tears.
"Mommy, what's going on?" A child tugged his mother's sleeve, a blank expression on his face.
The Tiki Tack Man's face was unreadable, mainly because of his mask, but his tone clearly indicated annoyance. "Why didn't you consult me, Cassa?"
"I ..." the Gelert trailed off. Why hadn't she thought of that? She was saved from having to answer the question though, because the island was illuminated once more by light and a Bori's claw scooped the globe up. Cassa and the residents met with a distorted face.
"Gabriel! What's goin-"
Cassa had jumped like a lunatic and screamed to get the Bori's attention, but Gabriel's voice boomed over hers.
"Stop the war or I'll trap everyone in the globe!"
It took a moment for Cassa's brain to register what he was saying but even so, she couldn't comprehend anything. And then she heard an all too familiar voice.
"Gabriel, just what do you think you're doing with that thing?"
That voice definitely belonged to Diane; there was no mistaking it. She sounded extremely angry but Cassa could hear a hint of fright in the authoritative voice.
"Young one," another voice uttered. This one, Cassa didn't know, but it expressed righteousness. "It is dangerous. Please put away the globe."
"No, I won't," Gabriel's voice rang through the air, "until all of you reach an understanding."
A gentle female voice spoke up. "Dear little one, please listen to King Altador. I know that I'm responsible for the entrapment of the Empire of Glacial South, but it was for the greater good."
At that, Cassa heard laughter. "And what is this 'greater good' that you speak of?" That was Diane, Cassa thought to herself.
"Stop it," Gabriel cried once more, silencing King Altador, Jerdana and Diane. "Don't fight or I will ... I will smash the snowglobe right now!"
All was silence for what seemed like eternity to Cassa. Then the female voice, Jerdana's, spoke up.
"Alright. We'll call a truce, but these are the conditions ..."
Date: Dec 15th
...Gabriel uncovered the snowglobe with his paw so Cassa and the others could see the negotiations. It had been pure luck Diane hadn't found it when she stormed out looking for him, but he'd believed correctly she'd be so determined to go to his parents in search of him she'd miss the fact he was waiting at the opposite end of the hallway, hidden behind an ice sculpture of Diane herself.
"I can disarm the snowglobe and restore Mystery Island without needing to trap another nation," Jerdana continued. "If you, Diane, promise to keep The Empire of the Glacial South confined only to the south, so to say." She pursed her lips.
"What? And prevent my people from coming and going elsewhere on Neopia? Keep our land shrouded and hidden?" She folded her arms spitefully.
"That's not what we mean at all," the Aisha sorceress replied. "We just want you to maintain present world order."
"You've showed yourself time and time again to be not only an unpredictable adversary, but one inclined for your own benefits over the common good," came Altador's voice. "How can we trust you that this time will be any different?"
Gabriel frowned. It was his turn to speak. "The majority in this town are wonderful Neopets," he started. "We don't want conflict with other nations." He held up the snowglobe again, to Jerdana in particular.
"We were just afraid of the settling of the North Pole might destroy our economy," Diane continued.
The Bori broke it. "Now return the captured island."
"Alright little one," said Jerdana.
"But after that," Altador interrupted, "I want to see Diane. Lupe on Lupe."
The Aisha focused her mental and physical energy and the snowglobe shattered into nothingness.
The cool glassy sky was replaced by one hot and blue, much to the cheers of the others.
Cassa, however, was mortified. What was going to happen to Gabriel? What was going to happen, in general?
She ran up to the Tiki Tack Man. "We need to go back to the south pole!" she hurriedly said.
There was silence for several seconds. "OK, for you..."
How will this story end?
Date: Dec 16th
Cassa and the Tiki Tack Man boarded a boat and hurried south as fast as the currents could take them. The tropical weather quickly turned cold and frigid. They reached the shore of the southern island and climbed out, slipping on the ice beneath their feet, trying not to fall.
Cassa looked around, squinting as wind blew a gust of powder into her face. She saw nothing but hills and snow- no sign of Gabriel anywhere. On the wind, though, she heard murmuring voices, like the sound of people gathered together in the distance. With the Tiki Tack Man at her side, she followed the sounds, straining to her over the wind and the chattering of her teeth in the cold.
Finally, over the hill, she saw all of the people of the lost Empire scurrying about busily. The sounds of hammering and sawing broke through the voices.... and... singing? Cassa saw Gabriel, bundled up against the cold, and ran to him.
"What's going on, Gabriel?" She looked around at all of the activity around her. Houses that looked out of a storybook were going up around her. Lights were being strung about, and everything was being decorated.
Gabriel grinned at her, "Altador came up with the solution to Diana's worries. She thought we would struggle to survive without any tourism down here, and Terror Mountain sort of has a strangehold on the winter thing as a general rule."
"But they don't have something that we do," Diana walked up smiling from ear to ear. The happiness on her face made her look young. "We are the closest cold-weather destination for a number of very tropical places in Neopia." She nodded to the Tiki Tack Man, who is looking around in wonder at the snowy scene being put together in front of them.
"Altador is setting up a ferry route from both the Lost Desert, Krawk Island, and Mystery Island to here," Gabriel explained. Since it's only a few more days til Christmas, we have a LOT of work to do! We may not have the Snowager, but we can definitely manage a great holiday escape for anyone who wants it. We will decorate this place to be an Advent dream come true!!"
Cassa looked around again. The villagers were working fast, and she could already see it... the wintery scene from within the snowglobe was becoming a reality, decked out in garlands and candy canes for the holiday season.
"You, of course, will get a free lifetime pass to come whenever you want, Cassa," Gabriel said. "It is thanks to you that we were freed in the first place, so we owe this chance to you."
Cassa took a wreath from a passing Tonu and held it up, framing Gabriel in the center as she looked at him through the pine boughs.
"This is the best Season of Giving ever," she said, grinning at her new friend.
Date: Dec 18th
IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By
uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are
automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think
of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person
submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS
check with your parents before you submit anything to us!