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||You are on Week 822
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 Eight Hundred Twenty Two Ends Thursday, April 25
|Topsi stood in the center of Illusen's Glade, surrounded by a half dozen neopets of various species. A small table stood to his left; sitting behind it was a small blue Cybunny wearing overly large spectacles and a Polka dot tie. A cash tin was by his right paw, a quill and large sheet of paper by his left. Occasionally he would sniff importantly and push his spectacles up on the bridge of his nose (they really were too big.)
"Listen up, you lot!" cried Topsi. "Topsi's Negg Hiding Academy is now open for business! Any Neopet who fancies him or herself to be an Easter Bunny in the rough is welcome to sign up for my 3 day course. Enrollment will cost you 1,500 neopoints. At the end of 3 days training if I deem you worthy of donning the mantle of "Apprentice" you will be awarded a certificate of completion and will subsequently be allowed to join me in this year's Festival of Neggs." he paused; then bowing low, made a sweeping gesture towards the sign up table.
"Let the enrollments begin!"
A mad scramble ensued as Neopets rushed the table, pushing and shoving to try and be first in line. Topsi smiled in satisfaction - it looked as though the inaugural class was bound to be a success! He was so busy looking at the line that he failed to notice the figure luring behind a nearby tree...
Date: Apr 8th
...until it was too late.
Topsi didn't realize anything was amiss, at first. Once everyone in line had signed up--and this took quite a while, considering the crowd--he grinned to himself, before he called everyone's attention again.
"Now that everyone is ready, let's begin the first lesson!" All the Neopets who'd joined cheered excitedly at this announcement. Nodding happily at the enthusiasm, Topsi continued, "Basically, what we're going to do now, is have a little Negg hunt, but with all the Neggs hidden by you!"
If his first pronouncement had been meet with cheers, this one was met with nearly deafening screaming. Clearly, everyone was ready to do some hiding.
"Think of this like a test of your abilities, but don't forget to have fun!" Topsi concluded, befre gesturing to the table where everyone had lined up to enroll in the course. "Everyone, please line up again and get one Negg each. Once you all have a Negg in hand, you'll have fifteen minutes to pick the perfect hiding spot."
Once again, there was another mad scramble for the table. But this time, the line did not move along quite so fast. Mostly because as soon as the first Neopet had offered out his hand for a negg, the Cybunny behind the table had reached into his basket only to cry out in shock, "THE NEGGS ARE GONE!"
"What?!" Topsi's eyes widened in alarm, and he quickly ran towards the table to see for himself. But it was true. The basket they'd filled with Neggs earlier that day was completely empty, save for a single note...
Date: Apr 9th
The blue Cybunny fished it out with trembling hands and spectacles dangling precariously from the end of his nose he began to read.
"Your little Festival has gone on long enough, Topsi! It distracts fickle Neopians from training for the real event of the season - MY challenges! I have assembled a team of skilled puzzle gamers. Together, we will find every last Negg in Neopia to prevent you from hiding them. Without Neggs, there can be no festival! Mu ha! Mu ha ha! Mu ha ha ha ha ...what do you mean how do you spell that? Don't write down the laugh you fool! Oh, just sign it and get out of my sight, underlings these days...
Aristole A. Avinroo"
"Oh! Whatever are we to do! He's right, a Festival of Neggs without Neggs is unthinkable!" In his agitation, the Cybunny's glasses dropped to dangle from one ear, although he didn't seem to notice.
As one the crowd turned to stare at Topsi. The boisterous Cybunny had turned quite pale, but he rallied magnificently.
"Not to worry, not to worry everyone. Remember, a budding Easter Bunny is always prepared! Finneus, the backup Neggs, if you please!"
The little blue Cybunny carefully replaced his spectacles before diving under the table. A few moments later he reappeared, heaving a solid metal box up onto the tabletop. Peering at the dial carefully, he made a complex series of twists, then flung open the lid triumphantly.
The box was empty.
Pandemonium ensued. The pets in the crowd shrieked, Topsi flung himself under the table to begin frantically searching the ground, the other Cybunny hopped from foot to foot wringing his hands and muttering "Oh, calamity!" over and over.
"Excuse me!" came a small voice from the edge of the crowd. "Excuse me everyone!"
Nobody paid any attention. The crowd was split now, some huddled furiously debating, some bending to help the increasingly frantic Topsi, a small group descending on the blue Cybunny and angrily demanding their Neopoints back.
The speaker, a small spotted Aisha, climbed up onto the table and slammed a rock into the heavy metal box with a great clang. The noise died down as everybody turned to look at her.
Date: Apr 11th
As she realized she had everyone's attention, the spotted Aisha smiled. "I know what we can do", she clarified. Topsi was astonished, but signaled for her to keep talking. The crowd was in a mortified silence.
"What is Aristotle's biggest weakness?" she asked. When no one answered, she sighed. "Being defeated. He hates the fact that he is not the best. We must hurt his ego. And in this case, we can do so by making the BIGGEST NEGG HUNT NEOPIA HAS EVER SEEN!"
"But without Neggs, how can we have a Negg Hunt?" the clumsy Cybunny asked, adjusting his glasses.
"I happen to know a place where we can find some Neggs," she smiled triumphantly. "Then, we hide them and send a note to Aristotle challenging him to find them. When he doesn't, he'll leave us alone. What do you think?"
Topsi wondered for a minute. The crowd waited in silence. Then Topsi shrugged. "What else do we do? Dear student, please take us to this place. Together, we can figure out the best places to hide Neggs! I believe you all have the sagacity and intelligence needed, and indeed this will be an even better way to learn how to be Easter Bunnies! Let's go!"
The entire crowd became more energetic after Topsi's speech and gladly followed the Aisha. Then she suddenly stopped in front of... the Kadoatery. No one understood why.
"Neggs are a classic Kadoatie food," the Aisha clarified. "For the most demanding Kads, yeah, but classic nonetheless. Just wait here, I'll speak to the Kad lady."
Everyone was exchanging looks, probably wondering how the Aisha got so much sagacity. She came back, cheerfully holding a dozen Yellow Neggs.
"The lady said a group of Neopets tried to steal the Neggs yesterday, but the Kadoatery lights went out and they...couldn't handle the Kadoaties' cry, if you understand me. I believe they won't be back for a while."
"She said she is happy to help us", the Aisha added. "But under one condition..."
Date: Apr 11th
...The Aisha didn't have to explain herself, for at her feet, a blue Kadoatie let out a loud, plaintive mew.
"Princess Wigglebottom wants to come hide them with us."
Topsi and the rest of the class stared down at the Kadoatie, which was fixing Topsi with its pitiful stare. It let out another wail. Well, it certainly was an unusual request, but he could deal with it.
"Here's another Easter Bunny lesson for you all," he improvised quickly. "The Festival of Neggs is about sharing the joy of the season with everyone, no matter how small." To the Kadoatie he added, "Of course you may come with us, Princess Wigglebottom. Or do you prefer Your Highness?"
The Kadoatie mewed, arching her back and flicking her tail lazily.
"Well, we have Neggs, now we need hiding places," Topsi said to the assembled Neopets. "Does anyone have any ideas for where we can put them? Remember, we're trying to fool the best gamer Neopia has ever seen. I'm talking real last-place-you'd-look type places -" He broke off when Princess Wigglebottom wailed loudly again.
The Cybunny had been ignoring the Kadoatie pawing at his pants, thinking the Petpet was just bored. Now that she had his attention though, she began to walk confidently across the ground. When Topsi just stared at her, she wailed again, pawing at the dirt in agitation.
"I think Princess Wigglebottom has an idea for where to hide the Neggs. Maybe that's why she wanted to come with us?" the Aisha suggested.
"Well... er..." Topsi stammered, but he quickly regained his composure. "Lead the way, Your Highness..."
Date: Apr 22nd
Now, a Kadoatie willingly heading towards water may seem like a strange prospect, but that is precisely what happened next.
After quite the trek, Princess Wigglebottom had led the group of would-be Easter Bunnies to the very edge of Kiko Lake. Here she licked her paws before curling up and taking a nap in the warm sand.
"Well I must say, I wasn't expecting this," Topsi nervously confessed, seeing his own surprised expression mirrored in the faces of the group gathered around him. “Perhaps her Highness was just hoping for a nice fat fish?”
But the small spotted Aisha piped up with clear excitement. "No, this is perfect! Really quite clever!" She gestured across the lake at a small fat vessel slowly cruising the water’s placid surface. "Have any of you been on that Glass Bottom boat ride? The guide talks about a deep trench below the lake. Apparently this trench is so deep that even the locals don’t swim to the bottom!"
"I heard the Snowager's cousin -- the ‘Aquager’ -- lives down there, sleeping on a bed of Neopet bones,” said a Darigan Xweetok, smiling in satisfaction when several Neopets trembled and went white in the face.
"Well I heard that the trench doesn't have a bottom, and if you keep swimming you'll eventually surface in a mysterious shrine in Shenkuu!" said a buck-toothed Mynci, puffing up with self-importance as the others Ooh’ed and Aah’ed at the prospect.
Once again the spotted Aisha tried to raise her voice over the din of her fellow apprentices, but when that failed she picked up a pretty shell and clanged it against the Negg case.
"There are no monsters in the trench - as far as I know - and we won’t get lost, because I have a plan.
“There are clams all over the floor of Kiko lake - you can see them from the boat. We just need someone to dive all the way down to the bottom of the deep, dark trench, ask one of the clams for permission to hide the Negg inside their shell, then close it. We can tie a rope to the Neopet’s leg so he or she can follow it back up to the surface. Aristotle will never find that Negg!
“Now we just need a volunteer.”
“Of course--” she added quickly with a laugh, “--it can’t be me because I can’t swim.”
Though it was clearly a solid plan, this was taking Negg Hiding to extremes, and the group of fellow apprentices simply stared at the Aisha in nervous silence. Even Topsi shuffled a few steps away from the other Neopets, avoiding eye-contact and whistling in a manner he hoped would make his tall figure inconspicuous and so less likely to be picked.
Date: Apr 24th
Surprisingly, it was the little cybunny with the over-sized spectacles that broke the silence. He had been very quiet on the whole journey from the Kadoatery, as though the debacle was getting rather too much for him, but now he held himself with an air of quiet confidence.
"Um, excuse me everybody, excuse me. I never thought I would be suited to the more practical side of Negg Hiding, as it were, but it just so happens that in my youth I was rather a fine swimmer. Indeed, I could do a lap of the Meridell Castle moat in less time than it takes King Skarl to fall asleep in his council meetings! Now it has been some time, but I just might still have it in me to make it to the bottom."
"Well hoorah!" blurted Topsi a touch too quickly. "Good man, Finneus, I always knew you had it in you! But, however are you going to find a small clam at the bottom of a deep, dark lake, when you won't have your glasses on?"
Finneus flushed a deep shade of red. Eyes fixed firmly on the ground, he mumbled something.
"I'm sorry old chap, what was that?"
"I said I can actually see quite well. They are more for, erm, dignity, as it were..." The mortified Finneus replied, only slightly louder.
"Oh well, fine! Fine!" blustered Topsi. "In that case, we have our man! Let's see now, you, you and you! Go and find us the longest, strongest rope you can. And you two over there at the back! Run down to the quay, book us all in on the next trip. Someone head to the Post Office, and issue our challenge to Aristotle! Tell him we will stop the Festival of Neggs if, and only if, his gamers can find all 10 of our hidden Neggs."
Just as everyone began to scatter to their tasks, the Kadoatie let out a wail and leapt at Topsi. With a broad grin, he declared
"And we, Princess Wigglebottom and I, shall hide the other neggs. It's not for nothing that I am the best Easter Bunny in all of Neopia! Good luck everyone." With that he scoped up the Kadoatie and was gone, bounding off back towards Neopia Central.
Half an hour later, the boat was gently chugging them towards the centre of the lake. Finneus had finally removed his spectacles, and was staring into the clear water with a determined air. The spotted aisha had, rather naturally, taken control of the whole group.
"Are we ready everyone? The trench should be just up ahead. Here Finneus, make sure you knot it tightly. Oh look there!"
Gasps from the assembled pets, as below the clear glass of the boat a deep chasm swam into view. It seemed to suck the light from the water around it, a deep hole from which only a few omninous bubbles rose, now and then. Yet Finneus was unfazed. Rope tied tightly around his waist, he lambered up on to the side of the boat.
"Don't worry yourselves. I shan't be a tick!"
And with that, he dived over the side to sink like a stone...
Date: May 3rd
The next couple minutes passed in silence as the Neopets eagerly waited to hear the results of the dive. Then, a tugging on the rope prompted the Aisha to pull Finneus back to the boat. Everybody held their breath in anticipation as he emerged from the lake.
"I've hidden the Negg!" Finneus announced.
Cheers quickly filled the air, and triumphant smiles appeared on everybody's faces. Fighting to be heard above the celebration, the Aisha asked the boat's captain to bring them back to shore.
The ride back was filled with cheerful speculation on where Topsi might have hidden the rest of the Neggs, and a few pets almost failed to notice when they arrived at the dock. Topsi and Princess Wigglebottom hadn't returned yet, so the group walked over to Kiko Lake Treats for a snack. They didn't expect to see who they saw standing in line, however...
How will this story end?
Date: May 6th
...It was none other than Aristole A. Avinroo himself!
Several pets in the group moaned in distraught terror as they realized he had undoubtedly seen the location where they had hid the Negg, or if not seen, he was smart enough to have figured it out.
AAA walked right into the center of their panicked huddle, led by a young Gelert. "Topsi's entourage," he started, waving his arms to quell the crowd, "I was at the Post Office when this Gelert, claiming to represent you all, passed me a letter -- it was addressed to me and everything. Obviously you were not expecting I would be there to mail my application for a Masters in Game Design to Brightvale University. Regardless, I opened the envelope and saw you were all challenging me to some Negg Hunt, and if my team and I 'are able to find 10 Neggs, the Negg Festival would be cancelled, or else it won't' yada yada yada." He paused for dramatic effect. "I asked him to take me to you so I could make it clear that I DO NOT CARE whether your Negg hunt continues or not. I have better things to do than to find Neggs. I am not sure wherefrom your motives stem."
Topsi and Princess arrived at the scene partway through AAA's speech. "But," started Topsi as he walked up to the Blumaroo, "You stole all our Neggs and left a note saying you had assembled a team to find and take all the Neggs in order to stop the Negg festival forever!"
AAA frowned. "Where is this note?" The Aisha passed it to him and he raised an eyebrow suspiciously. "I am not the villain here!" he announced, and the crowd started to murmur; he waved his arms again to quiet them. "Listen! I did not write this note."
"Prove it!" shouted someone from the crowd.
"For one," began AAA, "why would I assemble a team of skilled gamers when I already AM Neopia's best gamer?" There was stunned silence from the crowd. "And two, I am a college student -- the last thing I can afford is an underling. Besides, my sister Abigail is already the best underling I could hope for, and for sure she's been around me long enough to spell M-W-A-H-A-H-A!" he finished, spelling it out.
A pause. "So if it wasn't you," called the spotted Aisha, "who wrote it?"
"I know just who!" declared AAA with vengeance. "And I can take you to him!"
AAA rang the expensive doorbell. About 30 seconds later, the door opened. "Ah, AAA, what a pleasant surprise!"
"Chadley," AAA replied through clenched teeth as he motioned vaguely to the crowd. "Give these 'pets back their Neggs."
"I don't know what you're talking about!" he replied, seemingly surprised.
"Come on Chadrick," the Blumaroo shot back, "I know it was you who stole their Neggs and framed me for it! I read your letter and found its obvious holes -- that I would assemble a team, that I would have underlings... we all know that it is YOU who has the legions of followers!"
He stared at AAA, and then at the crowd, then back at AAA, and then he sighed, all without letting his fabulous grin falter. "Alright, alright, I know when I'm beat." He shrugged and snapped his fingers. "Casi, Mary, bring them back their Neggs," he called through his door. Almost immediately, an Aisha and a Cybunny appeared clutching crates of Neggs. The Zafara gestured to them and whispered to a stunned AAA, "Just some loyal fans of mine."
Topsi saw this and was overjoyed. "But why did you do it?" he called.
"Easy," AAA commented as he spun around to face the crowd. "Chadley wanted to--"
"Oh come on, Aristotle, save the big reveal for he who made the scheme," the Zafara interrupted coolly, much to AAA's chagrin. "By hiding the Neggs, threatening the festival, and blaming AAA, I was trying to make him extremely unpopular -- so much so that he would be unable to show his blistery face in public, and I could instead lead the Daily Dare once again!" He folded his arms, almost proudly. "And I might have gotten away with it, too... But I didn't count on the fact that AAA would be so poor and unpopular as to not have any adoring fan-derlings!" Chadley gave the Blumaroo a look of mock horror.
AAA started to protest, but turned to the crowds instead, who were now receiving their Neggs. "Hey guys, I helped you find your Neggs... a little help here?"
"Sorry," started Finneus. "But that is Chadley of whom you speak... Voted best smile in Neopia for, what, eight years running now? You won't be able to rile any of us against him, he is just too popular!" He appeared almost starstruck looking in Chadley's direction.
The Blumaroo sighed; he knew when HE was beat. "Anyway, I'm glad you all have your Neggs back," he mumbled as he walked off. However, Princess started to follow him for company, and he was appreciative of that, at least. He leaned down and gave her a few pats.
"Now then," declared Topsi to the group, "you all have some experience hiding Neggs. But the bottom of Kiko Lake certainly isn't the only place it can be done. So, to continue our first lesson, you will hide your Neggs, and me and my associates will find them and grade you on how well your Negg was hidden!" He grinned in the sort of frighteningly mischievous way only Topsi could, and clapped his hands. "Negg hunt, commence!"
Date: Jun 23rd
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