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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 95 > New Series > Escape from the Enchanted Forest: Part One

Escape from the Enchanted Forest: Part One

by chloe_e_m

Prologue:

Once upon a time there was a sorcerer. He was a very powerful sorcerer, but not the most friendly. He was very aloof, and never talked to people. He never told anyone his name, and it is still unknown today. He was paranoid and trusted no one. He always thought someone was out to get him, and was made fun of quite a bit by the village's children for that. They would sneak up behind him and shout rude words or phrases. He would jump around, ash white. Then, realizing their mischief, he would brandish his old knobby wooden cane at them and holler at the little scoundrels as they ran off giggling.

     No one knows quite what made the old man snap. Many suspect the children finally got to him. Some believe that it was just old age, and it was bound to happen no matter how cruel the children were to him (this was mostly the children's defensive parents who would rather keel over dead than admit that their children had done something wrong). Either way the story is told, he snapped, went crazy, lost it… however you wish to say it.

     You see, the village where he lived in had strict laws against sorcery. The villagers were afraid of magic; they were angry they couldn't do it, and terrified of what it could do to them. This, perhaps, was one of the reasons the old sorcerer was so tormented. Anyway, these laws ordered that no magic was to be used in the village with the exception of an emergency. (They were always open to help if needed. If there was a drought they would call on him to conjure water, but, if he wasn't needed, they prosecuted him for his abilities.) The old wizard despised these laws; how was he to practice his sorcery if he couldn't do it unless they needed it? It was unjust.

     Well, like I said he snapped. One day, a few village boys got bored and decided to fall back on their old sport: teasing the sorcerer. They snuck up behind him like they always did (the sorcerer was partially deaf, and couldn't here behind him well, which made him even more paranoid), and then shouted a very rude word in his ear. Like always, the old wizard jumped around, cursing. Like always, he realized it was the boys up to their malicious tricks again. But, unlike always, he retaliated. Shouting a few 'nonsense words' as the villagers called them, he wielded his cane (which turned out to be much more than an old cane), and the boys were thrown backward a few feet and landed face first in the grass. None of the boys were badly hurt, just a little bruised and shaken, but by the stories they told, you would think he attempted murder.

     Of course, the villagers were furious (especially the parents of the "injured" children), and the case was brought to the village council immediately. While the old wizard had not actually hurt the children, ("He did too! Look at this bruise!") he had broken the Decree Against Unnecessary Sorcery, and was to be punished. The villagers were to scared of him to do anything too drastic, such as hang, and they saw no point in locking him away in jail, as he could easily magic his way out, so they banished him away to the countryside and prohibited him to ever set foot in the village again.

     Distressed and enraged, the old wizard fled, and vowed never to let another villager come near him. He built a fortress far, far away from the village, and put loads of charms and curses around it to keep them away. Every so often news of a new attempt to keep people away was heard of, such as the enchanted forest he added, supposedly filled with beasts and menaces.

     It wasn't until one day, when the villagers had thought they had seen the last of the pesky sorcerer, that rumor came that someone had been to see the old wizard. They had gotten past his forest, and other charms and curses, and made their way up to the castle to make him pay for having powers they did not. It was a silly thing to do; the person was never heard from again.

     Apparently, this idiot who went after the sorcerer was a valued member of the village, supposedly a council member. Enraged that he was gone, an angry mob with lit torches and pitchforks headed for the fortress. It took them a few days to get there, and when they were weary from the travel, the village's men told tales of what they would do to that blasted sorcerer when they found him. Reminders of what happened to the children and the council member were flying about and angered the villagers even more. An endless pep-rally seemed to be going on, and no one seemed to be able to or wanted to stop it. Rumors of what they would have to overcome to get to the castle were often discussed and frightened many people. None turned back however.

     Finally, they made their way to the fortress. But, when they got there, all they saw was barren land. Well, not completely barren; in the center of where the fortress used to be, was a golden book. Engraved upon the cover were the words "Scapeeay romfay hetay nchantedeay orestfay." No one knew what this mean, but they were certain that the book was magic.

     "Don't touch it!" screeched someone to a boy who was about to pick it up. They left it there to be covered with the dust and sand that time brought upon it. Eventually, the village grew to be much more than a tiny village in medieval times. Eventually, it became a community of over a million people from all over the world. This village became to be known as "Neopia." And eventually, though it took many, many thousands of years, the old sorcerer and his book were forgotten.

Part 1: The Beginning.

"Muuuum, we're bored!" whined Arrisee, a young split Aisha. Arri was a chipper little Aisha, but hated to be bored. She also hated not getting her way. And she certainly wasn't getting her way now. Arri had her friend Rhiannii, a pretty little disco Aisha over, and neither of them could think of anything to do. They had gone to Arri's owner Chloe for ideas.

     "Arri, I'm busy!" Chloe said angrily as the little Aisha tugged on her sleeve.

     "But mum... "

     "Arri, I have a deadline for The Neopian Times due by tomorrow. I've got a lot on my plate!" she cried frantically, typing.

     "I wish I had a lot on my plate," grumbled Rhia rubbing her stomach, "I'm starving!"

     "Why don't you two... go for a walk?" suggested Chloe turning back to her computer. Arri knew they wouldn't be getting anymore help out of her, so she and Rhia went outside to the backyard.

     "Well," muttered Arri irritably, "that was absolutely no help."

     But Rhia wasn't listening. She was looking at something on the ground. "What's that?" she asked inquisitively. A golden book, dirty and dulled book was half buried into the dirt.

     Arri had no idea what it was. She had never seen it before in her life. "I'm not sure," she shrugged, "let's have a look!" She grabbed the book out of the dirty and wiped off the cover with her shirt. "Oooh! It says something!" She rubbed the cover a little bit more with her shirt. After a few minutes rubbing, with a little help from good old elbow grease, she could read the title. Well, sort of.

     "What does that say?" asked Rhia, squinting her eyes.

     "Scapeeay romfay hetay nchantedeay orestfa," Arri read. "Oh, that's helpful!" she said sarcastically. She sunk back disappointed.

     "Hang on!" cried Rhia grabbing the book excitedly. "That's Pig Latin! Hold up, gimme a second . . ." She stared at it for a second or two, chewing her tongue. Then, "Aha! Escape from the Enchanted Forest!"

     "Oooh! Good job Rhia! Here, lemme see it," Arri took the book and opened it to the first page. On it was a beautiful illustration of two Aishas, split and disco, talking to a girl who looked remarkably like Chloe.

     "Weird," Rhia said in a hushed voice looking very fixated at the picture, "that looks just like me!"

     "And me," Arri commented. Then she shut the book and said: "Maybe we shouldn't . . . ." Her voice trailed off. "It looks like it could be dangerous."

     "Nah, what harm could an old book do? Just read it, and if it sounds dangerous, we'll close it and forget about it." She nodded as if this settled the matter.

     Arri ran her fingers over the engraved cover. Then, slowly, she opened it again and read:

     You and your friend are extremely bored. You go to ask your mum for advice, but she, being busy, is unable to help. The only suggestion she gives is lame: "Why don't you go for a walk?"

     At this Arri paused, biting her tongue. "Odd," she muttered, "very -- odd."

     "Go on! Keep reading!"

     "Desperate for something to do, you agree to take a picnic somewhere on your walk. Your friend suggests the forest down by her house. You agree. You walk through the forest and follow the trail for about an hour. Your backpacks, filled with sandwiches, are beginning to feel dreadfully heavy, and you are tired. Suddenly, you see a clearing. Should you...

A) Stop and rest.

B) Continue forward."

     "Lets stop and rest," said Rhia panting, "I'm exhausted!"

     "Why? We've just been standing here!" exclaimed Arri. Rhia certainly looked tired. "Alright, we'll stop and rest." No sooner did she say it the book began to glow brighter and rapidly flipping through the pages. It felt like a tornado was going around them.

     "What's going on?!" shrieked Rhia.

     "I don't know!" cried Arri, struggling to hold on to the book. Suddenly, the wind stopped and the book fell on flat on the floor, open. It seemed to be sucking in everything around them! As hard as they tried, the two Aishas couldn't stop themselves from being sucked into the book. It shut with a snap, and the two girls were gone.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Escape from the Enchanted Forest: Part Two

Escape from the Enchanted Forest: Part Three

Escape from the Enchanted Forest: Part Four

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