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 752
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 Two Ends Friday, December 23
Brrr, it was a cold night. Colder than he had been expecting. Colder than he'd thought was possible in the kingdom of Brightvale. The last time he was here — what, three or four days ago? — it hadn't been like this. It had been winter, no doubt about it. But this was different. This was bone-chilling, penetrating, catch-your-breath and stop-you-in-your-tracks freezing.
There was a sharpness in the air, far beyond the invigorating briskness he had come to associate with winter, and if you breathed it too long it would feel like you were inhaling daggers. He wished he had something to cover his mouth and nose with; something more effective than his flimsy shirt collar.
A boreal wind came from seemingly out of nowhere — nowhere but the north — and blasted him from behind, sending him careening into an alleyway. He knew he would find a safe harbour, from the wind if not from the chill, in the shelter of the surrounding buildings. A few hurried footsteps in the shin-deep snow that was mounding, a sudden slide on the slippery ground and he was there, heart racing. The small Ixi put his hands to his face and breathed into them, until his quickened breaths slowed. To avoid breathing the daggers.
Steadied and huddled against the side of one shadowed building, the Ixi pulled his vest tighter around his skinny self. He knew it would make no difference — the vest was short sleeved. But just the action of it psychologically warmed him. He felt like he was doing something. The subzero temperatures bit at his bare arms, and his blue fur was quickly becoming tinged with white.
The Ixi's name was Hanso, and he was young. No one knew the exact age of the child with the swift feet and fingers, who seemed to be everyplace and no-place at once. It was rumoured and widely believed that he had been on his own from an early age; though no one knew where he had come from, or even the tiniest fragment of detail about his past, before he was first seen running the streets like a wild Neopet, putting his nimble fingers to their unscrupulous use.
Hanso hugged himself tight and rubbed his bare arms, his deft hands also frozen and an inadequate medium of warmth. His only comfort was the hope that it wouldn't be for long. He had returned to Brightvale for one purpose and one purpose only. It would be an open and shut mission, get in and get out.
First, however, he needed to acquire some means of warmth. It wasn't long before a light, distant and glowing softly in the blowing snow, caught his opportunistic eye...
Author: dewdropzz |
Date: Dec 19th
..he walked closer to the glowing light "Brightvale Books" read the sign. Then something in the window caught Hanso's eye. It was a small handwritten sign that said "Help Wanted."
"Hmmm," thought Hanso to himself. "This bookshop could be the perfect cover for me while I work on setting my grand plan into action.
Hanso walked into the bookshop and was greeted by a Brown Ixi.
"Hi there," said the Ixi with a smile. "I am Natalie, how may I help you?"
"Hi Natalie." Replied Hanso rubbing his hands together to warm them up. "I just moved to Brightvale and noticed your 'Help Wanted' sign in the window. How would one go about applying for a job here?"
"You are interested in the job?" Natalie asked, her face lighting up.
"Yes," Said Hanso. "I am very interested."
"Then your hired!" Replied Natalie. "Can you start right now? I need to run home for a bit."
"Of course," said Hanso. "Take your time."
As Natalie walked out the door Hanso couldn't help but smile. Now to set the first part of his plan into action he just needed to..
Date: Dec 19th
...Find the right books.
Working at the Bookstore would be a good cover, but it would also help make step three of his grand master plan much easier. So, once he had the place to himself, he got started, looking along the shelves and the back rooms for just the collection of books that he would need.
Of course, Hanso did make sure to play the part of the attentive shopkeeper while he was alone. It would take him a few hours to gather everything he needed, and being a helpful employee to those who came in would help to further his alibi. But, when he was alone, he was gathering his information.
"Brightvale Maps, Brightvale Castle, Neopian Structural Engineering, and finally, Brightvale Dungeon Security." Hanso said at the small collection of books he had with a sly smirk, "Imagine, putting all the knowledge a thief would need into getting inside King Hagan's castle and looting the treasury would be sold to the common Neopian. It's almost like they want their treasures to be stolen."
The Ixi looked around for a moment and rushed to the windows of the shop. It didn't seem like anyone would be coming inside, so he quickly rushed back and began studying the books. He put the maps and charts and history of the locations to memory, learning all the ins and outs of Brightvale Castle. The minutes became hours, before he had everything memorized.
"Excellent..." He thought to himself, "I'm ready. All I need now is to..."
His thought to himself were cut off when the door to the bookstore opened and the entrance bell rang. He could take a moment to fool this customer as well before he started. With the biggest phony smile that Hanso could muster, he left the back room, only for his cheerful demeanor to suddenly drop when he saw who was there.
A female Kougra in the armor of the Brightvale guards was in the shop.
"You're not Natalie." She said.
"Ah, no, I'm not." Hanso replied, "I just started working here and Natalie had to step out. What can I do for you...?"
"Brynneth." She said, "And I'm here to get King Hagan's latest order of books, and I'll need your help getting them into the castle..."
Date: Dec 20th
...Holy Fyora, she would lead him straight into Hagan's Castle?
And just like that, Hanso would prepare himself for the fourth step -- assessing the castle's weak points and guard break times.
He could feel this coming together. The Ixi rubbed his hands together.
"Er..." Brynneth interjected, "the books?"
"Oh, of course," Hanso replied as he ran up to the large list of active orders at the till. "King Hagan, King Hagan... Ah, here it is!" Hanso pointed to the most recent order by the monarch. "Come here Brynneth -- actually, mind if I call you Brynn?"
"What was your name again?" she said as she walked over to the list.
"Hanso," he charismatically revealed.
She folded her arms. "Hanso, no you may not."
"Alright, alright." He smiled at her and led her towards the "reserved" section in the back of the shop. If she was his ticket to the top, there was no way he was going to tear it up. "Brynneth, whatever you say Brynneth."
She smiled at him. "OK, Hagan's books... Ah, here's the marked pile." She picked some up and looked at their titles. "History of the Day of Giving, Fabulous Costume Parties Part II, Going From Drab to Fab, Dresses for Beginners--"
"It sounds like he wants to throw a costume party for the Day of Giving," Hanso said, snapping his fingers at the thought.
"Huh," Brynneth started, "he never struck me as the partying type."
"From his selection of books it sounds like he totally isn't," Hanso continued, grinning. "But it all sounds very cool."
"It does, doesn't it." Brynneth shot a grin back at her counterpart.
A costume party? Why, he could be in and out and no one would even know it was him! And... could he have an actual guard to himself, too? What with her wealth of knowledge...
"Brynneth," Hanso began, "would you consider letting me take you to the party?"
Brynneth beamed at him. "I... wow... Sounds good, you rugged Ixi." She picked up some more books and gestured for Hanso to do the same. "Now close the shop and follow me, Natalie will understand -- matters of the monarch, of course. Let's go to Hagan's Castle..."
Date: Dec 20th
...We have not a time to waste!"
Indeed. All was going in accordance to his plan - were his lucky stars shining on him or what?
"Lead the way Brynneth," Hanso grinned as he took some books from her.
The Kougra snorted. "Mind you, flattery isn't going to get you anywhere but out the door with Hagan."
"I'll keep that in mind," Hanso replied, an unrepentant grin still plastered on his face.
"Ixis," Brynneth shook her head. "I'll never understand you guys."
Their journey was short and relatively smooth, and Hanso soon found himself standing right in front of the doors of Hagan's Castle.
This is it, then. I'm here.
"Ah, Brynneth. I see you've brought the books," a fellow guard remarked as they strode past. His gaze travelled to Hanso. "And this is...?"
"An employee of Brightvale Books," Brynneth replied. "He'll be joining the party later."
"Aye, aye," the guard smiled. "A good time we'll have tonight."
A good time I'll have indeed, Hanso thought.
As they entered Hagan's Castle, the King greeted them with a bright smile on his face. "I see you've brought me the books I require. Thank you."
"It's a small matter," Brynneth set the books down.
"Yeah," Hanso quickly agreed. "From the looks of it, it will be a great party!"
King Hagan laughed. "I truly hope so!"
"By the way, where will the party be held?" Hanso couldn't help but ask. Knowing the answer would make his attempt at avoiding capture much easier. "In the colouseum? The grand hall? The... "
King Hanso began to roar with laughter. "Dear little Ixi, did I ever say the party would be held here??" ...
Date: Dec 21st
"It will be held in Happy Valley!"
Hanso tried unsuccessfully to hide his surprise as his dreams of robbing the castle were crushed under a huge drift of hypothetical snow.
"B-but it'll be so cold!" he remarked, an attempt at masking his true disappointment.
King Hagan flashed Hanso and Brynneth a smile and replied, "Do not fear, young Ixi, I have devised a plan for that. Why do you think I needed all of these books?"
"For kingly dresses?" Hanso said sourly. He doesn't normally push his luck when he's around royalty, but he was rather disappointed about the venue change.
Brynneth glared at him and quickly diverted the subject toward Happy Valley. "Are these books to help your subjects, King Hagan? Making dresses for Terror Mountain must be a challenge."
"Of course they are. There will be a costume party and a costume contest, but Happy Valley isn't warm. Why else would I need a book titled, Winter Dresses for Beginners?" he said, rather ruffled.
The king looked almost insulted, but Brynneth replied tactfully, "Ah, so we didn't see the whole title of the book."
The slightly awkward silence was interrupted by a soft crash and an entire tower of winter plushies in the back corner. Hanso was perched right next to them with a guilty look on his face. King Hagan stared at the pile of plush he was going to hand out as thank-yous to the party-goers.
Brynneth hastily apologised for the both of them and asked the King if there were any tasks they could help with before the party preparations.
"I'm sure I could find something for you to do, especially after the plushie tower," the King replied. He decided help was better than kicking them out. "I've got it! You can help with..."
Date: Dec 21st
..serving food at my party."
"Wait, what?" Said Hanso Surprised.
"Yes." Replied the king with a smile. "I can see it now, both of you dressed in black with white aprons on. Walking around my party carrying trays full of Carved Cantaloupe,Fresh-Squeezed Grenelon Juice,Grilled Shishkafruit and of course Brightvale Berry Pudding. You can carry silver platters and hand deliver to all of my guests."
"I think that is a lovely idea." Replied Brynneth, nodding.
"Of course.." Said the king. "You two will need to hang out in the castle for a bit to learn proper serving etiquette."
A smile spread across Hanso's face. The king wanted him to hang around the castle. Looks like his plan was back on!
"We would love to," said Hanso.
Now he just needed to...
Date: Dec 22nd
... bide his time and wait for the right moment to put his final part of the plan into action.
Hanso and Brynneth were led to their temporary quarters by a guard. They arrived at the door of Brynneth's room first.
"I'll see you later, Brynneth?"
The Kougra smiled. "Sure."
Hanso's room wasn't situated far from Brynneth; it was just two rooms down the corridor. He thanked the guard for escorting him and closed the door.
A simple but elegant four-poster bed was placed at the centre of the room, with a bedside table flanking each side. Right across the room, a stack of books sat on a table of the finest wood, with a straight backed wooden chair to complete the set. Hanso chuckled. It looked like King Hagan was adamant on instilling the ways of Brightvale upon his guests.
But there was something much more important in the Ixi's mind. He was there for one purpose only and that wasn't to prepare himself for the upcoming party. If he wanted to get out safely, he would have to carry out his plan as soon as possible - that meant nightfall, when everyone was asleep. Forget about the useless lessons.
Hanso pored over a few books as he waited for time to pass. Before he knew it, the sky turned dark as blank ink and there was no moonlight.
Now was the perfect time. Slowly, the Ixi opened the door and scanned the corridor. All was silent. He tiptoed out of his room and made his way down the hallway, to the ...
Date: Dec 26th
...reading area. Shucks. Perhaps his memory was off, and he had taken a wrong turn... Hanso shook his head, trying to picture the books he had studied ever so carefully back in the Library.
"Left, not right, of course. How could I have been so silly?" He muttered to himself, his eyes shifting back and fourth, looking for shadows, listening for noises - but all was as quiet as could be. Almost too quiet.
This was much easier than expected, as the Ixi took a final turn and reached out, slowly turning the handle of an old wooden door. Of course, up to the next story he'd go, it would be simple, quick, and he'd have everything he'd need. Surely, after all this mess, he could accomplish the one thing most important to him: affording medicine for his little girl. All of this mischief was necessary for his little girl, the planning, the studying and the perfect opportunities have all played their parts - he was finally at the last door, before he could run home and see her beautiful face light up. He pictured her playing once again - in the warmth, of course. Healthy, happy, and as cute as could be. He just couldn't lose her: and he wouldn't.
The door was slowly pried open, and a staircase awaited him. The top of the stairs were dark, illuminated only by the moon, shining in through a window on the right. He took a step forward, his heart rate pounding in his chest, wondering what wondrous treasures were awaiting him.
Just as he felt this was much too easy, a voice rang through his ears, sending chills down his spine.
"Excuse me, sir. What are you doing?" A small voice, a younger Skeith. She rubbed one of her eyes as if recently awoken, an old poogle plushie grasped in one hand. Perhaps a niece of the king?
Hanso needed to think: fast. He turned, and smiled at the little one. His heart was racing and he felt his throat tightening, but hopefully he could smooth things over with this innocent, little Skeith.
"Well, you see..." He began, stepping out of the staircase, and patting the Skeith on the top of her head, "I was just about too...."
How will the story end?
Date: Dec 26th
... head back to my room." he continued, hurriedly closing the door. He absent-mindedly scratched his chin. "Shouldn't you be heading to your room?"
The Skeith yawned. "I heard something outside my room, and was wondering who it could be."
"Well then, it's just me," Hanso smiled brightly. "I... uh... will be heading back now," he called out as he walked down the corridor, eyes trained on the Skeith. "You can go back to bed now."
Nodding, the Skeith rubbed her nose before shuffling back to her room.
As soon as the Skeith was out of sight, Hanso let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. That was close. Too close. He would have to act fast, lest someone discover him.
Hanso carefully pushed open the door just wide enough for him to squeeze through, before closing it behind him. Without delay, he scurried up the staircase, eyes trained on the landing where the treasures were sure to be held.
As he finally neared the last of the steps, Hanso felt a smile pull at his lips. This is it. Almost there...
As Hanso leapt onto the landing, all prepared to see a wide array of treasures awaiting his picking, he spotted the unmistakable form of Brynneth waiting in the corner. Her eyes, illuminated by the soft moonlight, gazed intently into Hanso's own. "What are you doing here, Hanso?"
"Me...me?" Hanso sputtered. "I... uh... What are youdoing here?" he countered.
"I guessed yov were up to something," Brynneth shook her head. "I'm not stupid, you know. After all, you did show way too much enthusiasm at this task. Looks like I'm right."
Brynneth stalked forward, still glaring at the Ixi. "Really, though. Stealing from King Hagan? Right under his nose? A pretty daring thief you are. What will King Hagan think of you?"
Hanso's eyes widened, tears welling up in his eyes. "Wait, no! I can explain! Please don't tell King Hagan!" he pleaded frantically.
Brynneth cocked her head to one side and folded her arms. This reaction was... unexpected to say the least. She had expected the Ixi to be angry and upset, yes, but this emotional reaction...
"I'm waiting," she replied. "Why are you doing this?"
Hanso sighed and lowered his gaze. "My daughter is very sick," he began softly. "I lack the funds and ability to oversee her medical bills, and... she needs the treatment now, but..." he swallowed a lump in his throat. "I can't afford it. I can't raise so much money in time, so..."
Brynneth got the message. She had her fair share of encounters with thieves before, but this Ixi was different. Intuition told her that he was telling the truth.
"Well, Hanso," a familiar voice suddenly echoed through the room, catching them both off guard.
Hanso and Brynneth turned to face the stairwell, only to see King Hagan staring straight at them, a little Skeith by his side. "I do not appreciate you scullying around in my castle, but I do sympathise with the love you have for your daughter."
Hagan ruffled the hair of the Skeith before continuing, "I want you two back to your rooms. The party will still go on, and I need your help. But..."
He looked directly at Hanso, who instantly redirected his gaze to the ground. This is it. he thought miserably. I messed up.
"... Tomorrow morning at first light, Hanso, you will come with me to fetch your daughter to the castle. We have the best doctors here, and she will be given the best treatment."
At that, Hanso gazed at Hagan in shock. He must have looked so bewildered and amazed that Hagan started laughing. "What? I'm not that evil, you know." He reached out and placed a hand on the Ixi's shoulder. "But next time, if you are in need of help, just ask. Don't resort to stealing, okay?"
Hanso nodded, tears springing to his eyes. "Thank you, King Hagan," he whispered.
Hagan simply laughed. "Good night, Hanso. I'll see you in the morning."
Date: Jan 2nd
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!