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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 9th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 126 > Short Stories > The Tale of Dire Misfortune

The Tale of Dire Misfortune

by thecougar400

Sheba the Zafara cautiously crept through the Deserted Fairground, clinging tightly to her blue fur for warmth from the cold wind that harshly blew at her with all its might. Her owner was poor and could barely afford food for the Zafara and herself. This was one of the cheapest wheels and her owner could only spare one hundred Neopoints to the Zafara in hopes they might get slightly richer.

     "Can I help you, ssscared Zafara?" questioned an eerie voice. The Zafara gave a slight yelp at the voice, then turned around to face a Nimmo that looked at her with haunting yellow eyes that stared at her.

     "I... I'd like to spin the Wheel of Misfortune," she shakily explained. The Nimmo only smiled creepily and collected the Neopoints from the Zafara that shivered with fear.

     "Don't be afraid. Go ahead and sssspin," he hissed. She put a trembling paw on the skull lever and pulled. The wheel spun and spun. Her eyes were wide with worry at what might happen. The wheel was stopping, which made her heart hammer loudly inside of her. A moment later the night air was filled with a high pitched scream that was cold it could strike the heart with intense fear.

~~~~~

Four pets were sitting under the Money Tree in Neopia Central. A cloud Uni, a shadow Lupe, a fire Ixi, and a white Peophin.

     "Hey, I'm blind!" screeched the fire Ixi.

     "No Flames, you just have a poster on your face," commented the white Peophin.

     "What is it?" questioned the shadow Lupe as the cloud Uni retrieved the white poster from his Ixi friend's face. The cloud Uni read the words on the poster aloud.

     "Annual Story Telling Sitting," The Uni studied the poster closely some more.

     "Let's go check it out," suggested the shadow Lupe. The four friends walked up to the Chia-shaped building and went through the glass doors with silver handles.

     "I wonder where the campfire is?" queried the white Peophin as she looked around for the it.

     "There it is!" answered the shadow Lupe, whose name was Shadowpaw, while pointing to a cheery golden Gelert sitting in the center of a crowd of pets.

     "Welcome!" greeted the Gelert to the four pets who sat down on the hard, cold floor of the Catacombs.

     "I wonder what the story's about, Cloud?" questioned the white Peophin.

     "I don't know, Sea," stated the cloud Uni.

     "Alright, now I'll begin the story," uttered the Gelert. The Gelert spoke of a Zafara named Sheba who went into the Haunted Woods. When she spun the Wheel Of Misfortune something terrible happened to her. No one knew what happened to her, but some pets have said that her ghost haunts the Fairground to this day, wanting to bring the same fate that she had suffered to others. After this, Flames was shivering uncontrollably.

     "Boo!" screamed Shadowpaw which sent the Ixi screaming out of control and running out the door.

     "Nightpaw!" scolded Sea while hitting Nightpaw lightly with her Flotsam-like tail. The three remaining pets rushed out the door to find Flames. They found him behind a bush, still shivering like he was on Terror Mountain.

     "It's alright. That story was made up and Shadow paw shouldn't have been teasing you," she soothingly spoke while glaring at Shadowpaw.

     "What?!" demanded Shadowpaw as the Peophin looked at him.

     "Let's get something to eat," said Cloud, changing the subject.

~~~~~~

After the pets ate, they decided to take a walk through Neopia Central.

     "I think we better go home," Flames declared while looking at the darkening sky above them.

     "Hey, let's go to the deserted carnival!" Shadowpaw shouted to the group of three pets. At this Flames's eyes grew to the size of Ummagines.

     "What!"

     "You're crazy!"

     "I'm not going there!"

     "That story wasn't real! There is no Zafara haunting the Deserted Fairground!" bellowed Shadowpaw, trying to convince his frightened friends.

     "I guess he's right."

     "He has a point."

     "How do I get into these things?"

     The friends decided they would go. Well, almost all the friends.

     "I'm not going! I'm not going! I'm not going!" yelled the Ixi as his three friends attempted to yank him off the bush that he was clinging tightly to. After what seemed like hours they succeeded in yanking off their friend.

     "We need to pack supplies," ordered Shadowpaw.

~~~

"Oomph! Hey, watch where you're tossing that pack!" cried Cloud, while Shadowpaw and the others were packing their supplies for the excursion.

     "Alright, I think we have everything," expressed Shadowpaw to the band of adventurers. The group hoisted the supplies onto their backs and headed out the door of Shadowpaw's Neohome. Outside, the sun was almost setting.

     "We've almost reached the Haunted Woods," Sea calmly explained while pointing a golden hoof towards the distant grove of gnarled and bent trees. Unlike Sea, Flames was turning his head in every direction, jumping like a Mortog at every sound.

     "Finally! I thought it was going to take us forever to get here," muttered Cloud while adjusting his pack. As the Uni said this, the ground began to open. The group of four were taken by surprise as they fell into a dark pit.

     "I can't see!" clamored Flames as he was caught in a state of panic.

     "It's here somewhere," mumbled Shadowpaw as he groped in his pack for a lamp, pulling one out and turning it on, which caused the pit to be filled with a small amount of light. To the pets' surprise, the pit wasn't a pit, but a tunnel instead.

     "Are we going down there?" scrutinized Sea.

     "We have no other choice but to go down there or stay here forever," resolved Shadowpaw as he started down the corridor with his friend following closely behind him, especially Flames.

     "Ow, that hurts!" complained Shadowpaw as his head thumped against something wooden. He felt around blindly until his paw came across a handle. He opened the door and discovered that it led to a room -- a very strange room.

     "This looks like a castle library," observed Sea.

     "Did you say castle library?" entreated Cloud.

     "Yes. Why?" she retorted.

     "Because there's only one castle in the Haunted Woods. The Castle Of Eliv Thade," Cloud whispered. The door to the library opened, letting in a hideous Kacheek with two red eyes, searching for anyone who invaded his castle. Flames almost let out a scream, if it wasn't for Shadowpaw covering his mouth.

     "Who dares invade my castle?!" he roared. When he got no answer he searched around the room. He was near the door the pets had entered through, breathing heavily. He almost walked away, just as Flames sneezed loudly. With this, he stomped over to where the pets were hiding. He peered down at them, an evil smile crawling across his tattered face.

     "Run!" commanded Shadowpaw as he kicked Eliv Thade hard in the stomach, causing the Kacheek to fall down with a thud. The pets escaped as fast as they could, rushing down the halls, not looking back to see if the crazed owner of the Castle was following them. They were within a few inches of the door when Shadowpaw put his black paw on the rusted handle.

     "It's locked!" he despaired.

     "Covered!" came a voice. Shadowpaw and the rest turned around to see Cloud rush toward the door, horned aimed toward the center, and break it down. The pets rushed out of the creepy fortress, panting.

     "How did you learn to break down doors like that?" scrutinized Sea.

     "Let's just say it pays to collect Codestones," acknowledged the Uni.

     "Where are we?" catechized Flames.

     "I think we're at the Deserted Fairground," suggested Sea.

     "The Deserted Fairground!" shrieked Flames.

     "Can I help you, petssss," snaked a voice through the night air. The group whirled around to see a eerie-looking Nimmo. Shadowpaw and the others unsheathed their weapons and pointed them at Sidney. Suddenly there was a gust of wind, followed by an eerie moaning.

     "What's that!" howled Shadowpaw.

     "Now you petsss are going to get it!" Sidney hissed again as he rushed out of the Deserted Carnival when a pale white Zafara appeared, hands reaching out to snatch the pets.

     "I told you the stories were true!" pointed out Flames as the phantom appeared. Shadowpaw pulled out a bottle of fowl-smelling, bluish liquid and hurled it at the Zafara.

     "Let's get out of here!" screamed Shadowpaw as he hurried toward the gates of the Deserted Fairground. The pets rushed from the Zafara running with all the energy they had. They barley missed the paws of the Zafara as they escaped out of the Haunted woods. The Zafara was still following them.

     "I'm seeing a bright light!" bellowed Flames.

     "That's not you dying, it's the sun!" corrected Sea.

     The Zafara disappeared right in front of their eyes, screaming as she did.

     "Well, you don't see that everyday!" pointed out Shadowpaw.

~~~

The group of friends were at the library, trying to find out what was behind what they saw a few hours ago.

     "I've found it!" yelled Cloud as his friends closed around him looking at the page.

     "What does it say?" asked Sea.

     "It says the Zafara was named Sheba, who spun the Wheel Of Misfortune and died. She then haunted the Deserted Fairground, looking to bring those who visited it the same fate," he whispered in a hushed tone.

~~~

Well, I'm glad that's over with!" Cloud spoke, relieved that they had escaped. They were at Neoschool, talking about what happened.

     "Alright, class. Open your History books to page thirty-seven, we will be studying about Sheba the Zafara," spoke a green Wocky. At this Shadowpaw, Flames, Cloud, and Sea fainted.

The End

Note: Thanks for reading my story. You might want to read the Neopedia article about the Wheel Of Misfortune, because this story is sort of based on it. This story is dedicated to all my Neofriends. I really hope this gets into The Neopian Times!


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