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||You are on Week 855
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 Fifty Five Ends Friday, October 30
|Daybel smiled with elation under her ornate black and gold mask as she surveyed the guests in her dining hall. Sparkling pumpkin-shaped lanterns lit the area, black and orange banners and streamers were everywhere, and the buffet table could almost sag under the sheer volume of delicacies and beverages set upon it.
Everyone at the party came in elaborate costumes, and all of them wore masks. Different types of masks, from those adorned with vivid faerie wings to the simpler black ones that only covered one's eyes, yet still managed to lend an air of mystery.
Daybel herself was wearing a black silk gown made to look like a Crokabek's wings to match her mask. She was greeted by another Lupe in the exact same outfit, down to the identical golden curlicues on her mask.
"I'd say our Halloween masquerade party is a success," the second Lupe remarked, wearing an equally identical smile. "What do you think, Daybel?"
"I feel the same way, Lally," Daybel replied, nodding with approval. "Everyone will be talking about this for days - no, weeks to come!" She paused. "Do you have the winners of the costume contest?"
"Right here," said Lally, producing a crisp white envelope. "Let's announce the - "
But Lally's voice died on her lips when she saw a guest break away from the crowd milling about in the hall. She and Daybel watched the figure leave furtively - a figure also wearing a black and gold mask, and a black silk gown.
And judging from the ears and the tail, a third Lupe, just like Daybel and Lally...
Date: Oct 26th
"Daybel--" Lally began.
"I know, I see her, too," Daybel said, her golden eyes still trained on the third Lupe, watching as the mysterious Neopet wove through the throng of guests in a swirl of black silk before slipping out through the dining hall's great oak doors.
"Captain Bayard," Daybel said, looking to the great spotted Gelert, who had been standing attention beside her.
The chainmail hanging from Bayard’s armour clinked as he shifted his weight to incline his massive head down towards the smaller Lupe. “Yes, Princess?”
“I believe our culprit is here, though not for long.”
“I just saw her leave the Great Hall. How quickly can you ask your men to seal the exits to the castle?”
“Immediately, Princess,” Bayard said. “They’ve been waiting for my signal all evening.”
Bayard bowed his head and retreated from Daybel’s side. If any of the guests at Luna Castle’s annual Halloween Masquerade had been paying close attention, they would have noticed Bayard, Captain of the Guards, pull back into the deeper shadows of the room. They would have seen him slip behind a tapestry hanging over the wall and curiously never come back out. Instead, the masked guests were in the thralls of celebration, unaware of anything beyond the food and merriment in the Great Hall. Though the royal family at Luna Castle hosted the Halloween Masquerade annually, this year Halloween would be accompanied by a full moon, and the anticipation was sharp in the air.
Daybel’s fur stood on its end as she watched her people enjoy the festivities, but it wasn’t out of excitement. Generally, a full moon was something to celebrate in their kingdom, but the old travelling witch last spring had warned their family of the terrors a full moon on Halloween would bring...
Date: Oct 27th
Captain Bayard slid from shadow to shadow. He had spread the word quickly from station to station, and all exits from the portcullis to the dungeon trapdoors had been sealed. However, as the moments crept past, first one post and then another flashed the signal...no sight of the intruder. Unable to spare any of his guards from their posts, Bayard had taken on the task of tracking down the intruder.
His eyes flickered around the room, hunting in the torchlight for the stranger...the threat to his royal mistress. His entire being longed for something, anything. In such a situation, especially with the warning so ambiguous, silence never boded well.
Suddenly the slightest whisper, a silk cloak on the floor, caught his attention. The intruder! He stiffened, one hand reaching for his sword hilt, the other flattening his chainmail to see that it made no noise. Bit by bit, he extended his head toward the intruder.
The young Lupe had evidently been instructed by an evil mistress well acquainted with the castle. The dusty trapdoor she had begun to ease open had never been used in Bayard's time. However, it had once seen great use as an entertainer's entrance. The door would allow someone to slip unseen into the ballroom through an entrance near the grand piano...feet away from the princess and her lady-in-waiting.
Bayard tensed, trying to read the stranger. She seemed oblivious, but one could never tell with this kind of person. Quietly, she worked the lock, trying to open it without sound. As it stuck, her head dipped, searching in a blouse pocket for something.
No better time. Bayard sprang, pinning the Lupe's arms to her sides. "Looks as though the curse is over before it's begun. I don't intend to let any harm befall my princess."
Within a few moments, the guards had her searched and placed in a cell, four guards stationed outside. For a moment, the soldiers sighed in relief.
They might not have had they seen the Lupe's smirk, heard her mutter of "Just as planned" or seen the strange twitches and changes creeping moment by moment upon her guards...
Date: Oct 28th
...The guards returned to the party, where they were hailed as heroes. They interacted with and unwittingly spread their infection to the guests. No one realized the cracking skin at first, as all in attendance were hidden by masks... It was not until some partygoers started fainting that the guests realized there was something amiss in their midst.
Yet, the ensuing kerfluffle was relatively tame. Guests spoke to each other in hushed whispers. "What's happening? What's going on?"
It was not until those who had fainted regained consciousness that the screams began.
Stripping themselves of their masks, the features of those who had risen became evident: peeled and rotted skin; a foul stench; and clear insanity, motivated only by witnessing the destruction of others.
The guests had become, effectually, zombies. They moved slow, but with the guards amongst them, it seemed no one could stop their attacks. The spread of the condition throughout the crowd continued.
Daybel and Lally, high above the noise and confusion, discussed the fate of the party from the raised platform on which the royal thrones were seated.
"Oh dear, this is dreadful, absolutely horrible!" said Lally as she looked down at the chaos below. Streamers were torn, masks were carelessly strewn everywhere, and the buffet table was broken to bits. "We need to escape, my Princess. We're safe for now, but it won't be long until they come for us, too!"
And yet Daybel just turned, slowly, and faced Lally with a wicked grin.
As Daybel moved toward a nearby tapestry concealing another entrance to the castle's secret passages, Lally took a step back and gave her double a suspicious, concerned look. "What... what's going on, Princess?"
Daybel looked down at the mindless hordes, before returning her gaze to her lady-in-waiting. "Everything is happening just as planned..."
How will this story end?
Date: Oct 29th
Lally shrank back in horror. The Lupe before her certainly looked like Daybel, but... "What have you done with my Princess?" she cried.
The impostor chuckled. "Princess? What Princess? There is to be no more royalty. No, my dear, there will be complete equality." She indicated the roiling mass below with a calm toss of her head.
"Why are you doing this!" Lally cried. "I understand your husband was imprisoned for theft, but Princess Daybel is merciful and fair. In just another year the sentence will be finished..."
"I gave up on fairness long ago," the impostor replied. "All I want now is complete equality. Before illness and death, everyone shall be the same..."
Lally realized, too late, that there was no way to reason with this mad Lupe. She turned to run, but her way was blocked by two gasping Blumaroos stumbling toward her with rotting, groping arms. Turning again, she saw Daybel's face swing through her field of vision. The impostor herself was beginning to twitch with the effects of the transformation. And on that lovely, now peeling face, there was the most terrifying smile...
Lally felt her own skin begin to prickle. The stench curled around her like a suffocating blanket. Her last thought as she fell into unconsciousness was "I'm so sorry, Daybel."
The full moon had risen. It shone, a perfect cold circle above the doomed kingdom. From a distance, the screams and growls seemed almost musical, like soft background beats.
Deep in the woods at the edge of Luna Castle, the old travelling witch looked into her crystal and sighed.
"I told 'em," she muttered wearily. It was time to pack up her potions and things again.
Date: Oct 30th
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