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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 52 > New Series > A Storm Brews: Part One

A Storm Brews: Part One

by battlesunn

Prologue
     The clouds slowly drift across the moon, a pale globe in the murky night sky. The trees groan and sway as the wind sifts through their branches. The forest darkens, and the moon is completely blocked by the clouds. Suddenly, the nearby vegetation begins to shudder, as if something has passed through it. A figure steps into the open, though it's face is shrouded with mist and shadow. Thunder rumbles, and white hot lightning streaks through the sky. The figure's face is alighted, and the features come into full view. Dark, brooding eyes. Wicked, curved bat ears. Black, torn dragon wings arching over it's back. The figure blinks, and across it's eyes are two glowing blue scars, as jagged and bright as the lightning itself. The figure roars, a horrible, echoing din. The trees and plantation shake and flutter as the sheer force of the sound rocks the dim forest. The figure lashes it's sharp, lizard tail and spreads it's wings. It rises into the night, like a huge, shadowed Korbat and disappears into the murky black sky.

***

NOT TOO FAR away, in a backyard, two pets sat. A golden Gelert and a rainbow Zafara. The Gelert, the older one, is Shelleylou, or Shelly. The Zafara is RingoTheGreat (or Ringo). Shelly was often burdened with the task of watching Ringo, as he was much younger and could not yet fend for himself. Their owner, battlesunn, was busy shopping. Shelly was miserable. It was a beautiful summer day, the sun splashed golden rays down on the grass and foliage in the backyard, a gentle breeze rustling Shelly's long, ribbon like ears. Shelly sighed, and looked contemptuously at her young charge, as he tugged irritatingly at her tail.

     "Shelly I wanna go swimming!" Ringo whined. Shelly groaned as she gazed across the yard at all the other Neopets playing happily and having fun, while she was stuck baby-sitting Ringo.

     "No, Ringo. I'm not taking you anywhere. We're staying in our backyard until battlesunn gets back." And then, she silently muttered to herself, she was going to go have fun.

     Ringo took no offence to Shelly's depressing attitude, but instead trundled off to his own little baby world, where everything was happy and friendly. Shelly absentmindedly watched Ringo toddle over to the garden gnome, and began what looked like a heated discussion with it. Why did Ringo have to be such a baby? Poloroe's younger brother, Killerflurry, was always much more independent. Suddenly, Shelly felt something odd. Then it hit her. The yard was silent, Ringo's baby dribble no longer radiated throughout the area. Shelly quickly returned her gaze to where Ringo had been. He was gone. Only the garden gnome remained, grinning blithely forward.

     "Ringo! Ringo! RINGO!" She called. There was no answer. Ringo had disappeared into thin air.

     Shelly whirled around and saw Ringo. He was travelling up a hill with surprising efficiency. He seemed to be bent upon reaching the forest at the top of the hill. Shelly felt the icy claws of fear clutch her heart. She didn't know why, nut she had a great sense of foreboding. She felt as though something very, very bad would happen to Ringo if he entered the forest.

     Though speed wasn't her best stat, Shelly managed to reach the hill quite quickly. She searched desperately for Ringo, but couldn't see him anywhere. To make matters worse, the once cloudless summer sky seemed to be darkening with heavy thunderheads. She suddenly knew where Ringo had gone, he was obviously in the forest.

     Shelly began to make her way towards the crooked trees, but she stopped. An inner voice in hr head was screaming at her, "Don't go in there!"

     Suddenly, she remembered why. There were stories about this place. Of course, this was the "haunted forest," the place where a horrible monster was said to live. Shelly sat down, and contemplated. She had to go in there, Ringo was there! but... She stared resolutely at the dark entrance. She would venture into that place, she had to. Ringo was in there, she knew it. If there really was a monster... Then, that was all the more reason for her to go. She folded back her long, ribbon ears and ventured into the gloom.

     As soon as she took her first step into the woods, Shelly felt an evil presence. It tickled the hairs at the back of her neck, and she instinctively took a step backwards. She forced herself forwards. "No." She said out loud. "No, I came in here, and I'm staying until I find Ringo." She continued through the forest, and immediately noticed that the sky had turned completely black. She also heard the distinct rumblings of thunder.

     She sniffed the air, she had picked up Ringo's scent. She put her nose to the ground, and saw a small, red hair. It was also Ringo's. She heard something, it was faint at first, but grew more prominent as the wind blew the sound through the air. She could hear a whimper, a frightened whimper. "Ringo!" She said.

     Shelly galloped through the woods, oblivious to any sound she was making. Ringo was in danger. She burst into a clearing, and saw Ringo. She skidded to a stop, her heart pounding. Ringo stood, petrified in the shadow of a terrifying beast. The thunder boomed loudly across the sky, and lighting cackled, Painting jagged lines down through the air. Shelly saw the thing's body, it seemed to be made entirely from the storm itself, and it thrived as the thunder and lighting whistled around it's fur. The figure advanced towards Ringo, and Shelly could see at once that it was a Kougra, or at least, it used to be. The Kougra's fur was black and wispy, it's eyes were a deep, blood red. The eyes were framed by two identical blue scars, shaped like lightning. It's ears were large and curved, and they stood straight up, like a Lupe's. Two, huge dragon wings sprouted from it's back, they were full of rips and tears, and ending in wickedly sharp claws.

     It lashed it's spiked tail, and Shelly stood rooted to the spot with fear. Could this monster even be a Neopet? It looked more like a hideous experiment of Sloth, or something straight out of the gallery of evil. It reared on it's hind legs, and prepared to lunge down on Ringo, who was frozen with absolute terror at the sight of this strange creature. Shelly sprung, knowing that she didn't stand a chance in a fight, she simply grabbed Ringo by his scruff and ran for all she was worth. She heard the beast roar as it stretched it's wings, ready to chase after them.

     Shelly didn't look back, she just ran. She didn't stop until she was out of the woods and in the safety of Neopia central, where she collapsed, panting from sheer exhaustion. After she had rested enough, Shelly turned her attention to Ringo. The Zafara seemed to have recovered from his experience, and lay against Shelly's side. He looked up at her, his eyes full or fear and wonderment.

     "Shelly, what was that thing?" Ringo asked, In a voice that was almost a whisper.

     Shelly gazed back at the horrible forest. "I don't know Ringo... I really don't know..."

***

After resting in Neopia central for almost an hour, completely exhausted from their terrifying experience, the two pets returned to their homes, where their owner was waiting. Battlesunn was very angry and worried. She had come home early from her shopping and had found the house completely devoid of her pets. She had checked all of the neighbour's houses, and had gone down to the park. They weren't there. When Shelly and Ringo returned, battlesunn fiercely scolded them and sent them off to bed with no dinner. Ringo had opened his mouth to tell battlesunn about the strange creature, but Shelly had shook had silenced him with a frosty glare. In their room, (they shared a room) Ringo had questioned Shelly about her strange behaviour.

     "Shelly, why didn't you let me tell mommy about the... Thing?" Ringo asked, his eyes widening as he croaked out the last word.

     "Because she wouldn't have believed you! She would've thought that you were crazy, and probably would've been even more annoyed." Shelly snapped.

     Ringo sniffed. "But Shelly, that Kougra thing was really freaky, mommy would've believed you if you had told her that we saw the Monocerous, the Kougra thing could be a new monster for the gallery of evil!"

     "NO!" Shelly screamed. "Don't you get it?!! People don't want to believe stuff like that! Stuff like that scares people!"

     "But..." Ringo whimpered, "No!" Shelly hissed, cutting him off. "Just be glad that we didn't get eaten okay? Now be quiet so I can get some sleep!" Shelly rolled over on her side, and refused to talk to Ringo about it anymore.

     The next day, Shelly was walking down Neopia central, she was looking for some new books to read, and was trying to ignore the fact the Ringo had decided to tag along. To add to her annoyance, Ringo was talking about the Kougra every other minute.

     "Hi mister Kacheek, we saw an evil Kougra in the woods last night." The Kacheek looked at him oddly, and walked briskly in the opposite direction. Ringo continued on as if nothing had happened.

     "Hello, Miss Blumaroo, I saw an evil Kougra last night, he had wings."

     The Blumaroo smiled at him, and whispered to her friend, "Children have such wild imaginations these days, don't they Doris?"

     Shelly glared angrily at Ringo. "You see? People don't LIKE to believe in monsters, they'd rather deny it"

     Ringo ignored her, and turned to another pet, a white Aisha with unique features. She had two orange fox tails and other interesting oddities.

     "Hi miss Aisha, guess what? We saw an evil Kougra in the woods yesterday." The Aisha, who at first had been acting quite indifferent to the little Zafara, dropped her bag of groceries and turned to Ringo, pure terror reflecting in her eyes. She lowered her voice to a frightened whisper.

     "Are you being serious? No, you couldn't have seen... I think you'd better come with me." The Aisha grabbed Ringo and Shelly by their paws and towed them over to a deserted bench. The Aisha turned to them.

     "Allow me to introduce myself, I am _Miles_Tails, Though you can call me Miles." Miles stared at the two pets.

     "Tell me, what did you see in the forest?" She asked. Ringo began to jabber excitedly.

     "We saw a huge, evil Kougra He was all black, except for two lightning scars over his eyes. He had huge dragon wings and a spiky tail. He tried to kill me." Said Ringo proudly.

     The Aisha groaned. "Oh no... Please don't tell me..." Tails looked at them in their eyes. "I'm afraid to tell you that you have met my brother, StormZ." Shelly gasped.

     "What? That, that, thing is your brother? What is he?!!" Miles sighed.

     "He is a Kougra, his heart is shrouded by darkness, he lives alone, brooding constantly." Miles paused. "He wasn't always that way." She said quietly. She stared at the sky, "Evil things do not explain the past... for the past explains the evil things..." Miles slowly began her story...

     "StormZ began his life as a happy white Kougra, full of life and with the heart of an innocent child. It was on that fateful day that something horrible happened to StormZ. He was minding his own business when a strange Shadow attacked him, he knocked StormZ unconscious and tortured him. When he awoke, breath was knocked out of him as a black mist engulfed him. Ripping changes came over him, his fur turned from white to black, his eyes turned blood red. Lightning cackled over his body and gave him the glowing blue scars and other markings. He fled towards the forest, and it's dark magic took an even greater affect on him. Great, black wings erupted from his back, his tail grew longer and thicker, and his whole mind, heart and spirit changed. StormZ has a tainted soul. He has become even more mysterious lately, he rarely talks and when he does it's with a dark, evil voice. The one thing that we do not know is whether this horrible change was by coincidence, or... if it was planned by nature in the beginning."

     Miles got up, and turned back to face the two pets. "I would advise you not to go seeking out StormZ again, unless you seek death." Then, upon finishing her speech, Miles left.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

A Storm Brews: Part Two

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