Lost in the Haunted Woods
Stranded. Lost. Alone.
Laylana couldn't figure out where she was. She
remembered a ship... a storm... lots of water... but nothing else. She saw a
forest that was so dark it looked as if the sun never shone in the trees. Laylana
noticed the many Spyder webs clinging to the branches. Laylana remembered something
about a wood like this, but it hurt to try and see through the mist clouding
her mind. A band of ghost Meepits scurried away into the dark trees as Laylana
stood and brushed off her red fur.
Laylana decided to go deeper into the strange
forest and have a look around. Maybe someone in there could help her!
If she could find someone. It didn't exactly
look like the sort of place you could find help waiting with open arms.
Eyes peered out from the shadows at Laylana from
all directions as she moved deeper into the forest. The scarce rays of light
that managed to pierce the canopy of branches overhead became thinner and thinner.
The wind tugged eerily at the branches of trees and ghost petpets scurried away
as Laylana continued to walk into the woods. A bush covered in tiny berries
began shrieking as she drew near, and Laylana gasped when the shape of a Faellie
dropped down from one of the trees in front of her.
"Oh... uh... Hi, there little guy, what are you
doing out here all a-"
"REAKKKK!" Laylana was cut off mid-sentence as
the shriek emitted from the Faellie.
"Gah!" the Kacheek stumbled backwards in shock
as the mutant Faellie stepped into a pencil-thin ray of light and dashed off.
The Faellie's shriek echoed around the trees, and the undergrowth rustled as
more eyes appeared in the shadows to watch Laylana.
Laylana shuddered. She had never been anywhere
in her memory (which was oddly little) like this. The eyes around her grew in
number as the forest got darker, and ghost petpets were darting everywhere.
What bothered Laylana most about the forest was the voices, whispering, constantly
whispering unidentifiable words in her ear; no matter how hard she tried to
block them out, they would not stop.
Suddenly, it all stopped. The eyes disappeared,
and the petpets vanished.
Even the voices stopped.
Laylana was blinded by a light as she stepped
out from behind a very prickly bush, even though it was no more than the light
of a lantern. Laylana rushed towards the ramshackle cottage and began frantically
pounding on the door with both fists and shouting at the top of her lungs.
"Hello? Hello, is anyone in there? Please help
me! I'm lost!" the Kacheek shouted. After several more minutes of shouting and
fist-banging, the door creaked open an inch.
Two narrow red eyes gleamed out at Laylana from
the crack. "Who daresssss to knock on my doooorrrr?" hissed a voice from within
"Please help me," Laylana whimpered. "I'm lost."
The door swung open wider. Laylana could make
out the tall figure of a Blumaroo standing in the doorway. His pale orange fur
stood out from the blackness, and it looked as if he was wearing... a cape?
"Of coursssse, child. I vill help you," said the Blumaroo. "But of course, I
vill need sssomethinggg in reetuurrnnnn..."
Laylana turned out her pockets and quickly collected
the Neopoints that dropped onto the ground. "249... 250... 251... I only have
two-hundred-fifty-one Neopoints." Laylana held the pile out for the Blumaroo
to take. "Is it enough?"
A quiet hissing sound, almost like laughter,
emitted form the Blumaroo. "I do not vant your money, child. Vhat I vant is
your BLOOD! BWHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Aaaah!" Laylana screamed and dropped her Neopoints
as she turned and ran, trying to escape the 'whoosh' of the Blumaroo's cloak
Laylana ran back through the forest, pushing
aside branches and stumbling over rocks, trying to see trough the mist of ghost
Neopets (real ghosts!) gathering at her feet. "Run," they whispered. "Run!"
Laylana gasped as she tripped over a tree root
and scrambled to get back up again, but it was too late. The Blumaroo was on
top of her, his insane laughter echoing around the trees.
"No pet escapes from Count Von Roo," he hissed
in Laylana's ear. "No one."
Laylana closed her eyes and braced herself to
feel the fangs of the Blumaroo sink into her neck, to feel all the blood pulled
from her veins, to feel the icy cold grip of death, and yet not death, but it
Out of nowhere a Meowclops appeared, leaping
unto Von Roo's chest and attaching his claws. Roo screamed and Laylana felt
a strong pair of hands pull her up from the ground and a voice in her ear whisper,
Laylana did not need to be told twice. She shot
off into the forest, running so fast she would have made a Poogle Racer look
slow. She heard Von Roo's screams far behind her, and another pair of feet thudding
on the ground behind her. Laylana dared not look back, afraid of who her pursuer
Laylana ran until she could run no more. She
slowed and collapsed unto the ground in the middle of a clearing, sucking in
lungfulls of air. It was several minutes until Laylana realized that someone
else was sitting beside her.
Laylana turned to see an Ixi crouching on the
ground. An Ixi, yes, but most definitely the strangest Ixi Laylana had ever
seen. This Ixi was wearing a witch's hat, for one thing, and her fur was the
oddest shade of green Laylana had ever laid eyes on. The Ixi turned to her and
"Well, that was a close one," the Ixi said. "I've
never met a pet crazy enough to go up and ask Count Von Roo for help! You're
either completely fearless, or incredibly stupid."
Laylana opened her mouth to defend herself, until
she saw that the Ixi was grinning, and she grinned back when she realized that
this Ixi just really wanted to help (unlike that Blumaroo!).
"Thanks for the save back there," Laylana said.
"I thought I was a goner!"
The Ixi nodded. "You should thank Poboy, my Meowclops.
He's the one who heard Von Roo. If he hadn't attacked Roo himself, I probably
would never have known you were there! Oh, and I'm Sophie the Swamp Witch, by
"I'm Laylana and I'm from... uhhh..."
"Can't remember? You probably hit you head or
something. I bet you wouldn't have gone up to Von Roo otherwise!" said Sophie
with a grin.
Laylana squinched up her eyes and tried to remember.
A ship... a storm... water...
Then all at once, it was there. The flood of
memory came so suddenly that Laylana gasped. She told Sophie everything.
"I had just won a Cruise on Scratch Card Kiosk
and we had only been at sea for a few days when this storm hit us. The ship
split in half like a Split Paintbrush. I fell overboard into the water. I guess
I hit my head on a piece of driftwood or something, 'cause suddenly everything
went black. Next thing I know I'm staring straight at the Haunted Woods." Laylana
finished, "My owner won't be expecting me home for another week, but now I'm
lost and I was kinda hoping that maybe you could help me get home?" Laylana
looked pleadingly at Sophie.
Sophie sat quiet for a moment, stroking Poboy
(who had magically caught up to them). Then she turned to Laylana and smiled.
"Well," she said, "let's get you home then!"
Laylana grinned. Even in the darkness of the
Haunted Woods, things were looking bright.