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Sylvia


by belldandy213

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Introduction: Through the ages, stories have been woven from the threads of time. While so many are brought about, many stories have been long forgotten, as did this one. This is the story of a young rainbow Usul by the name of Sylvia. While her story during life is seldom known, you might recognize her story after death. Read this tragic tale of despair… and let the words of this horror story seize your heart to haunt you forevermore.

Sylvia had lived many a winter in the cold, dark caverns of the Deep Catacombs cadging for a home to call her own. It was hard to believe that such an innocent young Usul could've been abandoned so harshly in the lonely streets of Neopia.

      I'll find a home someday, thought Sylvia sadly. The sun will come out soon. I just know it. I must stay alive!

     The Usul walked slowly down the Deep Catacombs. Passing the Neopian Times stand, the Usul picked up a copy. It felt so good to read the Times. The stories of happy pets in real homes in real neighborhoods, made her feel so overjoyed. It was as if a painter painted a smile on her canvas face while she read the Times.

     One night, Sylvia was browsing through the Neopian Times stand when she saw a strange figure in the bushes nearby. It seemed a figure of a Gelert… or Lupe, maybe? It was so faint. The figure was strangely shadowed, yet his eyes where a bright, ruby red.

     Why is that? thought a nervous Sylvia. She couldn't imagine that anybody could've been watching her. Yet, before she could ask the stranger who he was, the pet, as if an apparition, disappeared in the cool night air. Sylvia was terrified. This was what troubled her and millions of homeless pets at night. The Usul couldn't make a move, and it seemed an eternity had passed until she gathered enough bravery to go off to look again for warmth and shelter.

     The Usul stepped slowly and determinedly through the lonely streets of midnight in Neopia Central. Midnight always seemed so much darker than day, and still so lonely. It was as if life stopped thriving at sunset and the town that once was a prosperous metropolis turned into a ghost town of nightly contempt and loneliness. Sylvia walked and walked onwards until she reached Kaula's Magic Shop, where she readily stepped inside the door.

     Kaula, Kauvara was her successor in running the magic shop, was always good to Sylvia. She felt sorry for the Usul's misfortune. While Kaula had no place for Sylvia to stay, on the occasional night when the Usul had no place to go, she would let her stay in a spare apartment right over the Magic Shop. Sylvia was very grateful of Kaula's generous hospitality. However, as she stepped inside the shop this particular night, something strange was about. Nobody was there! But Kaula never left her shop by night. Maybe she had already called it an early night and gone to bed? That could be a possibility. Sylvia walked across the tiled floor to the staircase. The stair seemed strangely unfamiliar, yet she had only last walked on it just the other night. It was almost as if a ghastly presence had fallen upon the shop. She stepped onto the second floor and knocked upon the door of the apartment.

     Silence.

     She knocked again.

     More Silence.

     Sylvia was puzzled. Kaula never ignored her knocks… nor did she ever close up before midnight. Did something happen to her? What's going on?? These questions could not be answered. Sylvia looked at the door… should she try to open it? She looked skeptically at it.

     If I try to open the door, then I might figure out what's going on… Sylvia thought to herself eyeing the doorknob nervously. She looked around anxiously, and carefully reached for the doorknob. When she touched it, it was so cold that it stung her furry paw. Quickly, she turned the doorknob to the right. There was a soft click, and almost simultaneously the door opened to a messy room with broken potion bottles scattered everywhere and paper littering the wooden floor. The wallpaper had been torn down revealing a bare wall. Alas, there, on the bed, lay a still Kau lying contortedly on the disheveled covers.

     Kaula was dead.

     Sylvia went pale. Her only friend in the whole world was dead. Who could have done such a thing? The Usul ran quickly downstairs. Everything… happening too fast… it was like… the world was disappearing… all that she knew had… died! As she went to turn the doorknob and leave this wretched shop, she noticed a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes… by the bottom of the staircase. The Usul paused, and viewed the creature with great contempt.

     You killed my friend… whoever you are! I hate you! I HATE YOU!!! thought the Usul angrily. When she went to speak to the figure, no sound came out… as if the shadow had her too scared to even speak. The Usul stood wide-eyed at the shadowy figure's bright ruby red eyes. It turned away from her and slowly disappeared into the gloomy scenery of the Magic Shop. Sylvia stared at it, certainly shocked, as it disappeared. She turned towards the door to go out into the mysterious world of Neopia Central after the lights were off… and discovered the door was…

     Locked.

     Sylvia sat down in the wooden floor and burst into tears. Her best friend was dead upstairs, and she was locked inside her late best friend's own home… A shadowy figure was after her, and it seemed that she'd be next… The world was going all too fast! Tear by tear, sigh by sigh, the Usul, ashamed to sleep anywhere near the body of her dead friend upstairs, lay down in the floor and slept… hoping that she'd wake up again…

     * * *

     Sylvia awoke to the sunshine pouring down on her from the windows. But this wasn't warm sunshine… it felt, strangely, cold. Maybe it was the fact that she was imprisoned in the home of her dead friend with nothing but a dead body to keep her company? Or the fact that she'd starve to death once she could find no more food? Maybe it was the looming fact that she was possibly the next victim to Kaula's ruthless killer? Whatever the cause, there was no doubt in her mind that she had to get out.

     I should look around this shop. I'll see if any of the windows or doors are unlocked! the Usul thought to herself. I'll start with the downstairs, and then I'll proceed… The thought halted. Sylvia remembered her dead friend lay on the upstairs.

     "I cannot possibly go up there! Not to see the her like that… not again!" Sylvia's eyes watered as she began to sob. The tears trickled down from her eyes, down to the floor down below. Her heart, pierced with inexplicable depression, beat hard against her frail ribs. Sylvia, gathering her courage, walked towards the window nearest to the door. She tried the knob, and found it sealed. She walked towards a nearby door. It, too, locked. Door after door, window after window…all unable to pry open… what could she do to escape?

     "Nothing… I can't do anything… My life is over…" Sylvia sighed. However, she still had not checked the upstairs. Remembering this, she hesitantly approached the stairs. Facing upward, she climbed. What had once been a warm, humble place to escape to, had become a dark, cold, terrifying place reminding her of horrible things. The tears fell harder and harder as she approached Kaula's second floor bedroom door. She grasped the doorknob shakily, and turned it. She almost screamed when she saw what happened to the room.

     The room was neat and tidied to perfection. The wallpaper was good as new… no tears! However, there, on the freshly-made bed, lay nothing but a small pile of garments neatly piled where Kaula once lay. Where did Kaula go? Her body had been there just a night ago, and Sylvia knew that there could have been nobody upstairs last night…

     But could it have been the mysterious shadow creature that she saw last night? Well, it seemed quite plausible. After all, these supernatural occurrences of late made it so Sylvia could have believed anything. However one thing horrified Sylvia: How could that creature have gone upstairs without her knowing it? She had seen it in an instant, and all of a sudden it vanished into thin air. This puzzled her greatly, as she gazed at the neat room. Sylvia, trying to imagine happier things, set off throughout the room, again checking every door and window, finding that they all were sealed as well…

     * * *

     As another night and day passed, Sylvia's food supply was starting to lessen. The Usul had spent most of her time desperately searching the house for an escape. When she was not doing that, she was rummaging through the different potions and magical items, desperately searching for one to stop that evil shadow creature, should it ever come again. The horror obsessed her racing mind as she slipped closer and closer to her final moment.

     * * *

     The next night, Sylvia sat around a fireplace when she heard a horrible shriek from the upstairs bedroom. Unsure of what to think, she raced over to the top floor and opened Kaula's bedroom door…

     …There, on the bed, the remains of her dead friend burned. As the hot, harsh fire touched her friend's body, Sylvia cried. Her tears fell sadly on the frame of the door on which she was standing, as the fire strengthened and began to spread. Trapped by the flaming fire, the Rainbow Usul sadly cried. At the last moment, she could have sworn she saw the piercing ruby red eyes of the shadow creature in the midst of the flames. A maniacal laugh shrilly rang throughout the room, as all the darkness in the world shrouded her view forever.

     Afterward:

     You might say that Sylvia never became a ghost. But people are starting to believe that this compassionate Usul became, in fact, the apparition we call the "Shadow Usul". When the authorities came by after prying the doors opened in the burned house, it seemed to be that all of the shop was virtually untouched except for that one bedroom in the top floor. Also, a few singular items were singed on the first floor (away from most fire damage) that are possibly the only traces of her presence in that shop. My sources for this story are mostly interviews with Kauvara, who has smelt many burning smells coming from her room on the top floor apartment, and heard many noises from that room as well. Even once she encountered the Shadow Usul who was crying over where the bed that Kaula supposedly died on once was.

     Though much of this story was speculated, I found that the Neopian authorities had written in their police report for this case that a diary was found lying near the fireplace downstairs. Much of this diary was singed in the fire, but of the very little that still remained, included what seems to be the very last diary entry written. On it was told the last hours of her life:

      2nd day of Collecting, Year 17 [BN]

Dear Diary,

     I'm not sure what is going on here at Kaula's house. It's been a long several days in this house, and I'm really worried. What if I never escape? It seems that I'll never get out because all of the locked doors are impossible to pry open… even the ones that have latches! It's as if a spell has been cast over each and every door or window that leads to the outside world. I'm sitting by the fireplace, trying to warm myself from the awful cold spell that is blanketing this room currently. Wait a moment, what's that shriek coming from upstairs? Nobody else is in this house… and it can't be… her. No, but what could it be? Well, I must go see for myself… It's not as if I'll find out any sooner just sitting here. I hope that I'll write in these pages again. If not, then I'll say one thing:

     I want to help Kaula finally rest. Unless her killer is found or identified, then neither I nor she will truly rest… I guarantee…

     If anybody ever reads this, please help! Please! Please!

     Well, goodbye world, I'll miss you if I never return…

Sincerely,

Sylvia

            This letter, and the remains of the rest of the diary, helped me a lot in the writing of this story. They told me what happened inside that shop in the last week of Sylvia's life, and are helping me now carry forth the message to you that we must help the Usul out, and try to capture the fiendish thing that killed her and her friend.

     To Summarize, maybe the Shadow Usul isn't as bad as you think, maybe just a lonely Usul, trying to help her friend finally rest. I hope you will no longer fear the Shadow Usul, and think, maybe I should help her out. It would be a wonderful thing for you to do. After all, in the midst of evil there is always some good.

The End

Author's Note: Hi… I wrote this story because I always have been curious about the Shadow Usul Neomails welcome! Especially constructive criticism. I hope you liked this story… (Oh, and before I forget, Kaula's house was her shop. Only the entrance of the house/shop is the shop. All of the "backroom" area in the shop was her living space.)

 -belldandy213

 
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