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||You are on Week 798
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 Ninety Eight Ends December 21st
|"Come on, Matt! Or are you just scared?" A Wocky taunted, chuckling at the frustrated expression on the Kougra's face.
"I'm not!" Matt huffed indignantly. "It's just that there's always people around the wishing well! And some have said it's enchanted...That it doesn't like those who steal..."
"That's what the night is for, my friend," the Wocky grinned as he gestured at the night sky above them. "And as for the... enchantment...You do know it's just a legend, right?" His expression sobered at the conflicted expression on the Kougra's face. "Look, I know you don't really want to do this, but you know just as well as I do that the year hasn't been good to us," he continued softly. "We need the money for some clothes to keep us warm."
"Then why can't we just throw in some pennies and make a wish of our own, Todd?" Matt sighed.
"The wishing well is fickle," Todd shook his head. "How many times have we done that to no avail? We need woolen clothes to survive this winter; our fur is not going to be enough when temperatures drop further. There's a whole bunch of coins at the bottom of this well... It will really serve us well rather than simply lying there at the bottom of that well."
"I suppose you're right..." Matt said doubtfully.
Todd offered a small, guilty smile. "For the record, I don't want to do this either, but I don't fancy spending another day in the cold." The Wocky turned to his friend and patted him on the back. "Let's do this, okay? It'll be fine, I promise."
Matt could only nod.
In the cover of the night, the two friends crept forward to the wishing well. They peered over the edge, sucking in a breath at the inky blackness that greeted them.
"I can't see anything," Matt murmured.
"It's why we came prepared," Todd replied as he held up a stretch of rope and a flashlight. We can take turns; I can go first while you keep a look out, and-"
The Wocky never managed to complete his sentence. Faster than the eye could see, a soft beam of light lanced out from within the well, engulfing the two surprised Neopians.
Then, before either could react, they were tugged forward. In a tangle of limbs and shouts of terror and surprise, the two friends tumbled into the well.
As they fell, their voices merged as one, and their screams filled the air. Matt caught sight of the horrified expression on Troy's face as they continued to fall.
It suddenly occurred to Matt that no one had ever seen the bottom of the well before. What would they find? Was it simply filled with coins? Or was it something more? And what was that beam of light in the first place?
It seemed like they were about to find out...
Date: Dec 18th
Wind ripping at their faces, Matt realized they were surely about to smack into the bottom of the well -- hard. Bracing for the impact, he shut his eyes tightly.
And all of a sudden, all movement stopped.
Curiously, Matt opened his eyes.
He found that he was levitating, only a few inches above the ground.
Thoroughly confused, he remembered Todd, and found him floating a few feet away from him. His eyes were shut as well, a frightened expression etched across his features. Slowly, Todd opened his eyes, too; shocked at his surroundings, he gasped at the ground beneath him.
"We definitely wouldn't have survived if not for this weird levitation," Matt concluded. As soon as it was mentioned aloud, though, the levitation ceased, dropping both Matt and Todd the last few inches to the ground. "We were lucky that time, but I knew this wasn't a good idea. We need to get out of here - "
"Matt..." trailed Todd, who had followed walked to the wall of the well. "A slide...?"
Matt followed to his side. There before them was a golden chute of sorts. Matt connected the dots. "This must where the coins go."
"Perfect! Down we go then!" Todd exclaimed with an alarming lack of hesitation.
Quicker than Matt expected, Todd pushed himself down the chute.
Sighing, Matt positioned himself on the chute, giving himself a little push to start his descent...
Date: Dec 19th
After sliding through the golden chute for a minute or so, Todd and Matt landed softly on what appeared to be a cloud. The cloud was cool to touch, and though it gave way under their bodies, it was strong enough to hold them afloat like a hammock. The two Neopets took in their surroundings: they were surrounded by overwhelmingly tall walls also made of clouds and cornered by four guard towers. Through inlets of the walls, Todd and Matt could see that they were effortlessly and swiftly gliding over Neopia Central, weaving between the other cloud formations as if the cloud castle they were in was being steered. In their amazement, they didnt hear the muffled footsteps approach from behind them.
“Well, we don’t have visitors here too often,” a feminine voice said with a giggle at the end. Todd and Matt turned around with a startle to see a royal-blue Dimensional Peophin behind them wearing an opaque cloak that shone like starlight. The Peophin continued, “So, how did you two end up here?”
Like a child caught misbehaving, Todd looked down and stammered, “We… well… We were in a financial pinch and, and… we tried going down the Wishing Well…”
The Peophin’s eyes twinkled as she laughed, “Oh you boys, there’s a strong enchantment on that! There’s no way to retrieve those Neopoints that have been wished on." Matt nudged Todd with a disapproving glance as the Peophin continued, “Though, I’m not sure why the enchantment let you through to the teleport chute...”
“Where is here?” Matt asked incredulously.
The Peophin extended her hoof and motioned to the walled keep behind her. “Why, this is the Dream Fortress! This is floating, normally... inaccessible fortress where we safeguard and manage the dreams and wishes off all Neopets. Fittingly, we supply and oversee the Wishing Well’s magic, too.”
“And who is the ‘we’ that you refer to?” Todd chimed in.
The Peophin smiled and said, “My name is Jolla and I am the Sorceress of the Seven Skies. I’m in charge of the fortress’s navigation, and I work alongside the Dream Faerie up here… though she’s not in right now.” A tinge of worry sounded in Jolla’s voice as she then said, “We’ve actually been having an issue… You see, something been’s altering the dream and wish enchantments we oversee, and that’s probably how you two have ended up here by mistake instead of repelled away from the Well.”
After a brief silence, Matt asked, "So where has the Dream Faerie gone off to?”
Date: Dec 19th
Again, a look of worry flashed across Jolla’s face. Matt and Todd looked at each other. There was something that didn’t feel quite right about this situation.
“So… What about us?” Todd asked. “Are you going to keep us trapped here?”
“Of course not,” Jolla said. “We’re in the Dream Fortress. We build dreams and grant wishes; we don’t have a dungeon. We’ll let you off back in Neopia Central and hand you over to the appropriate authorities. But… There is one thing we would like you to do, first.”
“What is it?” Matt asked. He had a sinking feeling in his stomach. This couldn’t end well – just like he had known that trying to rob the Wishing Well couldn’t end well, either…
“Most of the guards and other staff here are mere illusions, made of cloud, and nothing else,” Jolla said. She waved a paw through the air and for a moment, Matt and Todd could see the guards in the corners as what they really were: vaguely guard-shaped clouds, tinged pink by the sun. “And I’m the Sorceress of the Skies. I have a very strong kind of magic that I can never hide completely. It makes it impossible to get past very old, very strong protective enchantments. Two young Neopians, ordinary and non-magical as yourselves, on the other hand… We would like you to go and investigate the Dream Faerie’s quarters.”
“You want us to snoop in the Dream Faerie’s bedroom?” Matt spluttered, incredulous. But Todd only shook his head; “I don’t think we have much of a choice here, Matt. We’ll do whatever you ask.”
“It’s not her bedroom,” Jolla clarified. “The Dream Faerie has the whole East Wing of the Fortress to herself. Lately I’ve been having a feeling that something is… just a little bit off in that part of the Fortress, so I want to make sure that that’s not where the magical disturbances are coming from. You two are the only ones who will be able to get in.”
“And what do you expect us to do if we find anything?” Matt asked.
“I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Jolla said. The Peophin smiled, and with a snap of her fingers, they were suddenly standing in a completely different part of the Fortress. In front of them was a massive doorway, with brilliant white doors. Jolla pointed towards them. “This is the entrance to the East Wing.”
With bated breath, the two of them pushed open the door to the East Wing, just enough to slip through. It was dark inside, and smelled comfortingly of lavender. A shiver ran down Matt’s spine and made his fur stick up on end. Above all, it was freezing cold, and he felt the chill bite his nose.
“Now what?” he asked Todd as the doors shut behind them.
“I guess we go for a look around,” Todd said. “I wish we had some light…”
As he spoke, part of the wall next to them started to glow. It lit up the hallway with a cold, blue light, and they watched as part of the cloud making up the wall detached and started to form itself into a fluffy, glowing… Gelert?
“Your wish is granted, intruders,” the cloud Gelert said. Now that he had finished forming, he was a good foot taller than Matt. He had to tilt his head to look up at him. “You should not be here.”
“Run?” Todd suggested, in a tiny voice. Matt nodded.
“Run,” he agreed, and they scrambled backwards.
Date: Dec 20th
They had spun about and taken no more than a step or two before a cloud coalesced in front of them to form the cloud Gelert once more, stopping them in their tracks.
"I said you *should* not be here," the Gelert said again. "I did not say you *can* not be here, though."
Matt and Todd, shaking, look at each other. They had expected to be attacked, or grabbed, or turned into jelly by the giant Gelert. Instead, they were getting a lesson in semantics. Odd, indeed.
The Gelert pointed behind them, down the hallway, "May as well have a tour, since you are here. If you try to take anything though, no amount of wishing in the world will save you." With those ominous words, the cloud Gelert turned into a puff of cloud again, and silence fell.
Matt looked at Todd, wide-eyed, still ready to bolt. Maybe it was a bad dream and he would wake up at any moment. A quick pinch to his arm assured him he was not dreaming, and he heaved a sigh as Todd started walking down the hallway.
There were no doors along the hall, only archways that looked into rooms that seemed bigger than should fit inside one building- even if the building was a giant Dream Castle. Matt wondered how they would be able to tell if something was out of place, because looking into each room was almost like a dream unto itself...
How will the story end....
Date: Dec 21st
...One room they passed contained a family of Vandagyres happily getting ready for the Day of Giving. The scene seemed to start just past the edge of the doorway. The family sat around a roaring fire - well, it looked roaring, the scene was silent - with a tree in the corner, plenty of presents spilling out underneath. The children were excitedly babbling, most likely about what they wished the presents contained.
A second room presented a much more somber scene. An aging Blumaroo was laying in a hospital bed. Two others on each side were holding the Blumaroo's hands and they were surrounded by more family members. Each seemed to be murmuring their pleas that this not be the last Day of Giving they spend with their loved one.
And in the room at the very end of the hallway were two Neopets - a Wocky and a Kougra huddled together in a cold, unlit, unheated home. A blast of cold wind shook the ramshackle walls, and the two hugged each other closer. Unlike the others, this scene seemed limited to the center of the room. Matt and Todd both recognized it as themselves!
And looking over the dream versions of themselves was a faerie. She was beautiful, rivaled only by Fyora herself in terms of her otherworldly grace. She wore a navy and periwinkle dress. Her wings and hair seemed to evoke both a night sky and a bright rainbow. Subdued, yet somehow vibrant. Bright, but in no way garish.
The faerie looked up at the real Matt and Todd. "I should have expected you would show up," she said in a soft voice. She did not sound angry. The Neopets could see that despite her beaut, the faerie appeared a bit tired.
"Are you the Dream Faerie?" Todd asked.
"Indeed I am. You must be Matt and Todd." It was a statement, not a question. "I presume Jolla sent you here to look for me."
"Yeah," Matt said. "Jolla said something about strange magical disturbances from your Wing, and that she couldn't enter. So she sent us."
"It is nothing she - or you - should concern yourselves with," the Dream Faerie replied. "The disturbances were nothing more than a tired faerie trying her best to help a pair of Neopets who desperately need it, but keep straying further and further away from her grasp..."
Matt and Todd both glanced at their feet and tensed their shoulders.
Todd was the first to recover. "We did try asking the Wishing Well. We asked every day until we had no money left, only then we had no money and no winter clothes, so what else were we supposed to do?" he asked, somewhat defensively.
"You must understand, the Wishing Well's magic was never intended to solve large problems such as this. It was meant to surprise a child with a new toy, or give a fashionista a new shirt. It was meant to feed on pocket change that would not be missed, not Neopoints you could have used to buy food or clothing," the Dream Faerie explained.
"I was trying to get through to you, then you started planning to rob the Wishing Well, and my ability to help was cut short. The only thing I could do was allow you access through the teleport chute so that we could meet here, face to face."
"We're sorry," Matt said. "Like Todd said, we just didn't know where else to turn."
"I do understand, and for that reason, I have decided to forgive you. Everyone deserves a second chance. Considering neither of you had many chances to begin with, I would say that you certainly do. After seeing the two of you, I think I know what would help," the Dream Faerie said. "I need the two of you to stand here, near where your dream selves are, and close your eyes."
"Thank you," Todd said as he dashed forward.
"Yes, thank you miss Dream Faerie," Matt said. "We'll never forget this." The last thing he saw before dutifully closing his eyes was a twinkle in the faerie's eyes as she raised her arms to perform her magic.
"I'm stuffed," Todd said appreciatively, patting his stomach under a thick woolen sweater. "That was really good."
"Thanks," Matt said cheerfully. "It's a new recipe I found in a Shenkuuvian cookbook. I was excited to try it out, and even more excited the Neopian Marketplace had the ingredients I needed."
The winter winds howled outside, although neither noticed it much over the sound of a merrily crackling fire indoors. The house - and its occupants - were warm and cozy. Matt glanced out the window and, to his delight, saw a shooting star carving across the night sky.
"Look, a shooting star!" he said. "Make a wish, Todd!"
Todd shook his head. "Nah, I can't think of anything to wish for - I have everything I could ever need already. Well, except maybe another serving of your delicious meal."
Date: Jan 2nd
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